As I expected, little has changed in Virginia.
The red places (most) are still firmly red and the blue places (few) are still blue. The Democratic Party enclave on the Potomac remains a beachhead but only that. Other than there, Deeds won among his neighbors in Bath and Allegheny Counties (a matter of courtesy), among black voters in traditional Democratic constituencies and in the little university community "islands" scattered across the state.
The Commonwealth remains reliably conservative in the bone deep attachment of the people to their own values, traditions and way of doing things. Moderation, moderation, moderation; that is the touchstone in Virginia politics.
The crazed preachers do not win statewide races here and neither do their proteges. The only serious threat to McDonnell's ascendancy was his bizarre association with Pat Robertson's university, but, on balance, he, and his family looked so familiar that people just overlooked that.
The Republican problem in Virginia in the past has been party apparatus driven candidate choices. That collection of the defeated and discredited have reflected the national party's dream of becoming a majority through "outreach" and the delusions of the country club crowd that runs the state's party apparatus rather than the clear preferences of those who vote in all those red, red counties. I have not forgotten the chilly reception that Earley received at the Republican convention in '01 in Richmond when he was nominated to run for governor against Mark Warner. He spoke with fervor of his beliefs. He spoke in half a dozen languages as he accepted the nomination. Lao, Spanish, Cambodian, etc. The crowd of delegates from all those red, red counties got quieter and quieter as he dug the "hole" deeper and deeper. I left the convention convinced that he would lose and he did.
The lesson that the Republican Party in Virginia should learn from all this is that "you have to go home with the one(s) who brought you to the dance." pl
McDonnell’s relationship with Regent University wasn’t “bizarre” at the time. It was characteristic, and it will be interesting to see whether that past tense continues to be appropriate, especially with an Attorney General who doesn’t seem far removed from the Earley camp.
I am a liberal democratic follower. Note no capital on the “D”! Voting the “in’s out” was the philosophy of at least one of my grandfathers. The founders of many now great universities have done so from a somewhat clouded career. Brown University founded by a slave trader for example. So let’s see where Regent U. is 100 years from now. What is most worrying to me is that the ratio of non-profit colleges and Universities to profit making colleges and Universities has reversed since 1970! Who knows where REGENT will stand among US colleges and Universities 100 years down the road. Just for the record raised a Quaker/terian. Mother Quaker and Father Presbyterian.
I tend to agree with your analysis. But the MSM do not. They are morons, no?
I heard that half the voters under age 30 from 2008 did not vote this time: a quarter of blacks did not vote. And then I heard that the Democratic candidate said he’d opt-out of any new federal health insurance for the state?
I don’t believe everything I hear, but I don’t believe I’d have voted for the guy.
There is in Virginia, as there is in much of the country, a presumption that Government will not, in any way, effectively help the little guy. So, the best that can be hoped for is to “keep government out of our lives.” Folks vote against their pocketbook because they don’t believe the Dems will produce for their pocketbooks, and they don’t believe they are even in the class targeted for assistance. Consequently, there is a bias towards the Republican party, but no love for it at all.
There is also a very strident anti-intellectualism. “Fancy talk” , foreign languages, international travel, all reveal a corrupt and untrustworthy soul, regardless of party.
Religion is not a subject for political campaigns. Democrats routinely run against candidate’s associations with Pat Robertson, and they routinely lose. Most republicans from the Southside have at least some association with Robertson, but he isn’t the candidate. People resent those attacks, most Virginians, in my experience, still honor the old ethic of not even discussing religious views and attacking a condidate for Pat Robertson’s views is seen as very poor form. (whatever McDonells views on a woman’s proper role in society, they were pretty clearly rendered non threatening when his daughter was shown to have been a platoon leader in Iraq, I guess he got over it).
So far, the Democratic majority has not done a thing for working people, and working people have noticed.
Lastly, this is probably not a bad election to lose. With Virginia’s “pay as you go” system, there is going to be a lot of pain in the next several years and there is no way to pay for the much needed transportation initiatives promised. The Governor is going to have to sign budgets cutting services and he isn’t going to be able to build any roads, at least not without assistance from a stimulus bill which he is ideologically unable to embrace.
I must address your quote, “you have to go home with the one(s) who brought you to the dance”. It is, actually an increasingly modified paraphrase of, Univ. of Texas coach, Darrell Royal’s comment at a press conference when he was asked about making changes for an upcoming game. He responded that, a party in Oklahoma, when he asked a girl to dance, she replied, “I’m going to dance with who brung me.”
I seem to remember that you are from somewhere in the Deep North. So, I guess it is understandable that you don’t know that this is a very old and typical “saying” down here in God’s Country. pl