Yes, I know the election is not until July 25th. And, actually, I expect the candidate running as a Republican, former State Senator David Boutin, to come out on top. But while the Democrats may lose this particular battle, they have won the war. More specifically, the Republican Party in New Hampshire has moved so far to the left that the Concord Monitor has endorsed Boutin.
In other words, the political divide in New Hampshire is no longer about small government versus big government, which I believe is the essence of the conservative versus liberal divide. It’s about who can run big government better. From the Monitor endorsement:
Boutin is a strong supporter of full-day kindergarten and believes it should be fully funded. He … supports Medicaid expansion, and is adamant that the state’s “alcohol fund” should receive the full 5 percent of liquor profits that it was promised. …
To ensure “full transparency and accountability,” Boutin believes the Division for Children, Youth and Families should be broken off from the Department of Health and Human Services and become its own agency, with its own commissioner.
Before I get into the Monitor’s endorsement, a few words on how I define “conservative.” To me, a conservative is someone who supports policies that push decision-making to the lowest possible level. So, decisions that can be made by State government should be made by State government and not the federal government. For example, we could not effectively fight a war with 50 different commander-in-chiefs, so we need to have one commander-in-chief, the President.
On the other hand, we don’t need a national education policy. It’s better to allow the States to set their own education policies because a mistake in education policy will not have national ramifications, as would be the case with a national education policy, while successful policies can be adopted by other States.
Similarly, decisions that can be made at the municipal level should be made at the municipal level, not the State level. For example, State government needs to be responsible for a state highway system because it is unlikely, to say the least, that municipalities would be able to effectively work together in this regard. On the other hand, municipalities can and should adopt their own education policies for the same reasons that it is preferable for States, not the federal government, to set education policy.
And whenever decisions can be made by the individual, they should be made by the individual. I don’t need the City of Manchester or any other municipality to protect me from Uber. I don’t need the State’s help to choose who cuts my hair. And if I am going to be taxed to pay for educating the public, I should get to choose where my kids go to school, including a private, religious school.
Now on to the Concord Monitor’s endorsement of Boutin.
When a liberal media outlet like the Monitor praises a Republican for a willingness to cross the aisle and work with his Democratic colleagues they are talking about same-but-less Republicanism: expanding government but just not to the degree that the Democrats would expand it.
When the Monitor praises Boutin for supporting fully funding full-day kindergarten and the so-called “alcohol-fund,” they are praising him for thinking like a Democrat does – that more government spending automatically means better results.
[S]upport[ing] Medicaid expansion is the antithesis of small-government conservatism. From Guy Benson at Townhall:
Medicaid was initially designed for the truly indigent, pregnant women, children and the disabled. The Medicaid expansion population is by definition less poor, and is disproportionately comprised of able-bodied childless adults.
Medicaid Expansion, along with “stabilizing” the insurance markets, represents Obamacare’s glide-path to single-payer. By supporting Medicaid Expansion, Boutin is supporting moving people from private health insurance to government health insurance. By increasing the income eligibility for Medicaid Expansion over time, more and more able-bodies adults will become government-dependents.
And Boutin’s solution for the incompetent bureaucracy at DHHS is more bureaucracy: To ensure “full transparency and accountability,” Boutin believes the Division for Children, Youth and Families should be broken off from the Department of Health and Human Services and become its own agency, with its own commissioner. That’s how Democrats think: the solution to a government program that is not working is another government program.
To be clear, I am not saying that there are no meaningful differences between Boutin and his opponent, Manchester Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh. Boutin opposes the unconstitutional no-free-speech zones around Planned Parenthood clinics. I don’t know where Cavanaugh stands on the issue, but because Planned Parenthood supports him I assume he stands against free speech for opponents of abortion. Boutin also, I believe, to some degree supports school choice. Cavanaugh, I would venture to guess, opposes any choice for parents. And, of course, there is the issue of Sanctuary Cities. Boutin, I understand, opposes. Cavanuagh supports.
But philosophically, they both believe in big government.
The New Hampshire GOP celebrated the Monitor’s endorsement. Apparently, all that matters now is that the candidate with the “R” after his or her name wins. Sad.
Cheer up Democrats, while you may lose this particular battle, you have won the war. Both parties in New Hampshire are now the parties of big government.