On Virginians and troop withdrawals

3346248 Well, my fellow Virginians have managed to deliver another confusing message to the national electorate and media.  On the one hand we want some particular thing and on the other hand we want something different.  We don’t pigeon hole well.  We are a bit of a Southern version of New Hampshire.  The end of Virginia as a Southern state has been long predicted.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for it. Virgina will probably go to the Democrats in November unless Obama is nominated.  If that happens, then the inherent psychological conservatism of the state will probably push it toward McCain.

Overseas, we see Gates letting the generals set foreign policy on the basis of their egotism and ambition.  The neocon Utopians love this because they believe that it will lead to endless American domination of the Middle East.  In fact, it will lead to a renewal of Sunni Arab insurgent activity against the US when the tribes come to believe that we are not really their friends.  pl


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18 Responses to On Virginians and troop withdrawals

  1. zanzibar says:

    “Virgina will probably go to the Democrats in November unless Obama is nominated. If that happens, then the inherent psychological conservatism of the state will probably push it toward McCain.” – PL
    Why did Virginia Democrats and many Independents overwhelmingly vote for Obama today and repudiate Hillary Clinton?
    Obama garnered over 600,000 votes compared to Clinton’s 345,000 and McCain’s 245,000.
    I realize November is a different election but I am curious about today’s results.

  2. David J says:

    “Virgina will probably go to the Democrats in November unless Obama is nominated.”
    I know people that are deliberately voting for Barack to stop Hillary. They have no intentions of voting for him during the general election, but at this point they just want to stop the Clinton machine.

  3. Actually I would argue that Virginia has become a true battleground state where different views of the future sometimes favor Republicans and sometimes Democrats. What has always interested me about N.VA. is is it support of the best deliverer of constituent services regardless of voting record on other things. Short-run self-interest I guess. The next census (2010)will really put N.VA. in the drivers seat.

  4. lina says:

    I doubt that even a McCain endorsed by the ghost of Jefferson Davis can beat an Obama-Kaine ticket this November. Or an Obama-Clark ticket, for that matter. All Obama needs is either a Virginian or a national security heavyweight on the ticket and McCain is toast. There just isn’t enough racism (no matter how virulent) to overcome McCain’s marriage to George W. Bush among Independent voters. The anti-Bush vote will beat the racist vote.
    Your state has gone purple Col. You’ve got a Dem governor and you’re on the verge of having two Dem Senators.
    The south will not rise again.

  5. W Patrick Lang says:

    What a strange reaction! Virginia has never been reliably Red. That was an illusion held by the idiot media and the K Street people. Pl

  6. David W says:

    Col., do you have any insight or opinion on Jim Webb voting for Telecom Immunity? A lot of people are upset at his going along with the Bush Dogs on this vote, which is a transparent attempt to indemnify the telcos for their quid pro quo with the President, breaking the law in exchange for fat govt. contracts. Anyone care to comment on this?

  7. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang says that, if Obama is the Democrat nominee, Virginia will probably support McCain. To an outside observer like me, that doesn’t speak well of Virginians. McCain is an ancient mariner still fighting his 100 years’ war; the enemy keeps changing, but he just sails on, because that is all that he knows how to do. Hillary Clinton just promises to more efficiently twist and turn a new set of nuts and bolts. What Obama offers is the hope that America can again become a land where values and principles, right and wrong, honour and truth, caring and compassion, are not just empty words but actually mean something.
    That is why his message so resonates with ordinary Americans, who are flocking to him even as the various establishments either shake their heads or snicker. His message also excites many of us who watch from outside since, perhaps even more than ordinary Americans, we need someone to bring America back from the dark place into which Bush, Cheney and the neocons have taken your country.

  8. Nancy K says:

    Do you feel Virginia will not vote for Obama for President because he is too liberal or too dark? They seem to be voting for him in the primary.
    I am a Democrat and I live in CA, however I have friends who have always voted Republican and they are going to vote for Obama if he gets the nomination, however they would not vote for Hillary, I’m not sure if it is because she is too liberal, too female or too Clinton. It’s going to be an interesting election. Isn’t that a Chinese curse.

  9. rjj says:

    “What Obama offers is the hope that America can again become a land where values and principles, right and wrong, honour and truth, caring and compassion, are not just empty words but actually mean something.”
    Regime change, eh? “They will sing songs about us.”
    Is there something in the air? or the water? – or the coffee?

  10. Surge07 says:

    In his withdrawal speech Romney gave a preview of the McCain campaign. McCain will run on fear. The message will be that the US faces enemies around the globe, and that only an experienced warrior can defend us and keep us safe.
    I think that with Jim Webb’s support a Democrat can win Viginia.

  11. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Nancy K —
    I lived for several years in California. It is a gorgeous state with a lot of great people. One day, I may even return there to live. Nothing more beautiful than a drive on the Pacific Coast Highway. And, before I continue with this comment, it’s probably best I put on the record, that I still have “native” Californians who are close friends. In particularly, an American-Greek woman whose family for a few generations has been very active in the California Democratic Party. They are, without a doubt, some of the classy people I have ever met.
    But, based on some of the assumptions you made in your comment, I must be frank with you. At least from my observations and experience, those from California in the late 20th century are every bit as racist, if not moreso, than those “unhip” people from Virginia. Los Angeles is more segregated than most Southern cities, including Richmond with all those Confederate monuments. And when it comes to racial integration, San Francisco was the biggest joke of all. I had to go all the way across the bay to Oakland before I felt like I was in Atlanta, GA. Why the demographics? And let’s not forget about how Californians historically treated the Chinese…and Mexicans…and Japanese. For that matter, why the Watts riots as well as Rodney King? Was that racial harmony breaking out on the left coast?
    Why are more American blacks returning to the South than leaving? Why has Atlanta been called a “mecca” for American blacks?
    I remember one conversation with an otherwise nice woman from Malibu. During the conversation, she heard my accent and, like clockwork, she interjected into the conversation that LA was vastly superior morally to the South. I think her argument rested on the fact that Ben Vereen lived within five miles of her. Wow…that’s radical social change based on reality. Such introspection and looking within for transformation!
    California, unlike Virginia, went for Clinton. Using your logic, am I then to presume that Californians are unable to vote for a man of color? I don’t make such a presumption, of course. I don’t even come close. But therein lies my point.
    Also, in your favor, I want to stress that one of the most blatant cases of racial violence against a black I have seen firsthand did not occur in California. It happened in Boston when some thugs-townies went after a black guy at a green line subway stop. (racial violence does go both ways — Oakland’s Angela Davis proves it – so let’s stay reality based).
    In your defense, I also want to end where I begin and re-emphasize that California is just incredibly beautiful, as well as the West Coast. Also, strangely, I find myself pulling for Cal-Berkeley in football games from time to time. (for a Southerner, that’s a big deal).

  12. David W says:

    Sidney, we Californians have our own North/South thing going on–the artist Sandow Birk created a fictitious narrative and did a series of faux-historical paintings based on a fictitious War between Fog and Smog, aka San Francisco and LA.
    You can definitely find racism and rightwing reactionaries here ( see Michael Wiener, nee Savage), and, like Virginians (and most of America), we have to fight stereotypes, as well as the reality that we aren’t better than anybody else by dint of where we live!

  13. Nancy K says:

    I never meant to imply that we Californians are devoid of racism, far from it. California is really just a microcosom of the US and even the world. A multipal of people all with their own prejudices came to live in California and this is reflected in our divirsity from far left to far right.
    I’m 5th generation Californian and I love this state too, but have had thoughts lately of moving to North Carolina, where my daughter lives. Alot of Californians getting ready to retire are moving south.

  14. Bobo says:

    Who is that officer in the picture, I note the beads in his left hand. I should know but please enlighten me.
    Now to the Obama effect. The man has wowed this country well. Though many will disagree I see this election as one that came before, I believe we are seeing the Jimmy Carter effect. We have had eight years of a president that has split this country wide open in many ways and the populace is yearning for a change and will vote for someone new to cleanse our souls of the recent past. The result will be a neophyte in charge with similiar results. I for one will vote, as many other independents will for McCain. At least he knows how to stand up for his country.

  15. W. Patrick Lang says:

    That is Lieutenant General Sir John Glubb, “Glubb Pasha” whom I had the honor to know slightly. pl

  16. Arun says:

    McCain may know how to stand for his country, but he does not know how to stand for his deepest convictions (he voted against banning use of torture by the CIA) or for his family (South Carolina primary, 2000, and its aftermath).
    I wish you all joy in voting for him.

  17. Having lived in Virginia most of my life I grew up with the Republicans the liberals and the Democrats the conservatives in good old Virginny. That flip flop is again about to occur in my opinion. Long-term realignments in Virgina are trend setting. Heavily militarized, VA’s economy is totally dependent on Uncle Sam one way or another. Most civil servants of any longevity were willing to see contracting out from the Reagan Presidency on become the real operational style of government, hoping of course to benefit from that change. Encouraged by both parties, after all contractors give campaign donations and civil servants don’t, the logical limits of accountability and finance have been reached. If the issue is really big government then contractor dollars will undergo reductions whichever party is elected in November. McCain’s one real strength is that he and H.Clinton both understand the world beneath the surface of Washington going on and Obama has yet to prove it. Now its just a question of who will they bring into power with them. McCain is not a professional politician, while that is what the DEMS are offering. I still think events may decide the election. What do I mean by that. Well, Fidel Castro could die, and that might be interesting to watch play out in domestic politics. Mexico could have a revolution once the border is sealed. The Russian play for dominance in the Artic arena could get real serious. A new oil shock could occur. We are completely unprepared for the jump above $100 a barrel. The recession could result in depression. The dollar collapse could occur rapidly. War in south Asia is more likely than not. Yet none of this is even on the issue agenda for the campaign. The CIA is moribund, the FBI reorganization has failed, and most of the country fears the transition to Microsoft VISTA as much as anything. Chinese curse–May you live in interesting times. I guess we do.

  18. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Nancy K —
    I re-read your comment and you are exactly right. You didn’t make such inferences. My apologies! I think I was “riled up” after reading about the Daily Kos leftest attack on L. Johnson and others (calling them racists) simply because they support Clinton. Has it come to this? It is like a scene out of Paddy Cheyevsky’s film Network.
    A few years ago, there was a pipeline of people moving from LA to Charlottesville, VA. Some stayed for a couple of years and then moved back to California Others apparently have made it their permanent home.
    But you mention North Carolina. NC may have something in common with California: an extraordinarily beautiful coastline, majestic mountains, and between the two, several excellent colleges. And when in Ashville, if you squint, you’ll think you are in San Francisco or Oregon.
    At least to me, California is a fantastic experience as well. If you move East, you may find you miss it, especially since your roots are so deep. You will be hard pressed to find anything more stunning than Kings Canyon.
    Here’s an ironic fact and one that is somewhat funny (imho). If you are familiar at all with Cal-Berkeley, you will know that the LeConte name is everywhere. The LeConte brothers — John and Joseph — were instrumental in turning Cal Berkeley into a top notch school in the 19th century. John LeConte was the first prez of Cal. Well…the LeConte brothers were originally from Georgia and graduated from UGA. I’ll have to check, but I believe both supported the Confederacy. If Wiki is correct, Joseph LeConte found the “Reconstruction” intolerably cruel and headed west.
    Maybe Berkeley city government, in honor of the LeConte brothers, would like to pass a Georgia history appreciation day to celebrate each year at Cody bookstore on Telegraph! On second thought…maybe not. (that was attempt at a joke).
    Basically, I believe if you shake any family tree hard enough, an ethnic nationalist will fall out. I of course am including Southerners. (may also include Harvard’s Allen Dersh as well…not sure yet…but anyone who supports torture sends up red flags).

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