Friday, January 16, 2009

WSJ: Steelman "clearly doing something right"

Remember our link to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill musing on whether the Republican party will stop Sarah Steelman?

Going back to July of last year, the Wall Street Journal runs an op-ed on then-gubernatorial candidate Steelman, and her battle against entrenched GOP party leaders.

....And it's where her reform campaign against earmarks and self-dealing is threatening the entrenched status quo, causing her own party to rise against her.

So bitter are House Minority Whip Roy Blunt and Sen. Kit Bond at Ms. Steelman's attack on their cherished spending beliefs that last month they rallied the entire Missouri congressional delegation to put out a public statement openly criticizing her campaign against six-term U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof. Joining them in their support of Mr. Hulshof has been the vast majority of the state Republican machine. Ms. Steelman is clearly doing something right.

Her sin is in fact to belong to that new mold of Republican - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint - who know it's no longer enough to simply hawk lower taxes. In 10 years as a state legislator and treasurer, her target has been the slothful political favor factory that's led Republicans away from small-government principles and outraged conservative voters.

And, oh, the howls of misery. Ms. Steelman's Republican colleagues were livid with her attempt to strip them of comfy pensions, annoyed with her "sunshine law" requiring them to be more open in their dealings, furious at her attacks on their ethanol boondoggles, appalled that she criticized GOP state Speaker Rod Jetton for moonlighting as a paid political consultant. The final straw was her temerity to make her primary race about her opponent's Washington earmarking record.

Perhaps this explains Senator McCaskill's recent comment:

"[the state GOP] is trying to shut Sarah Steelman down.... I feel for her. There are a lot of people on the Republican side who want her to go away. Although I don’t agree with her on very much, she ran a tough campaign."

[Hat tip: Red State]