The news today was as expected: Steven Heacock announced that he, too, will stand as a candidate for the Third Congressional seat. Heacock has the sort of political resumé that makes such a run a natural. And for this, centrist Republicans are all breathing a sigh of relief. More interesting the Heacock announcement per se was the subsequent endorsement by Jerry Kooiman, leaving State Senator Bill Hardiman the only social conservative in the race.
Normally, this would be a Hardiman advantage. The west side of Kent County and large parts of Barry are well known for their social conservative orientation. And there is no doubt that Hardiman has carried the water for them. So given this, it is all the more strange at the slow, even reluctant start of the Hardiman campaign.
Heacock opens with a dedicated web site; so too, does newcomer Bob Overbeek. So what does Hardiman offer? A splash page. Now the real difficulty here, is less the splash page, than the lack of cross links to such sites as “billhardimanforcongress” and the like. He owns them, but has not put up the cross links. Whether we look at this from the marketing or the political, you need to help searchers find you, and well… he’s making it difficult.
So what are social conservatives supposed to do? At the very least, they will need to dig deep into their pocketbook to run a campaign that gets respect. The more likely answer is that the Culture Wars are indeed over. It is no longer enough to be for Family or Marriage; for those seized with political passion, they now follow other gods, not least being those of the Tea Party.