Republicans are chomping at the bit at the poll numbers indicating that Republican Gubernatorial candidate McDonnell has a large lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia’s off year Governor’s race.
Various pundits are trying to spin a Republican win the Virginia Governors race as having some key relevance to the upcoming 2010 Mid-Term Elections. Unfortunately, much of what is being spun, is just that – SPIN – with little or no relevance to reality. So – let’s deal with a couple of the more popular Republican “Urban” spin myths -
“Virginia is a Blue State”
No – Virginia is a purple state with a penchant for electing moderates. The last time the state elected a conservative ideologue was Governor Gilmore. It took the state 6 years to financially recover from that disaster, as Gilmore slashed taxes and ignored the actual operating costs of the state putting the State in it’s deepest financial hole since the Civil War. As the Republican Party has become more conservative, drifting farther and farther from the State’s ideological center – they have lost election after election to moderate, largely moderate Blue Dog Democrats. McCain, whose Military background should have made him a slam dunk in the state lost for one reason and one reason only…
McDonnell has kept the rancid conservative red meat off the table, and run at the center.
“A McDonnell Win is a Rejection of Obama”
No, it isn’t. While much has been made of the black vote as being pivotal in the state in moving it into the win column for Obama – that is mostly smoke an mirrors. The reason Obama won had to do with young and white middle class suburban voters in Northern Virginia and Southeastern Virginia rejecting conservatism which they felt had become extremist. Creigh Deeds is a Southwestern Virginia boy, with no real roots in either of the urban and suburban areas of Virginia. McDonnell was raised in Northern Virginia, and now lives in Virginia Beach – both urban/suburban areas. McDonnell is winning (so far) based on this pedigree, and running away from the conservative “values” arguments which so turn off suburban/urban voters.
Second – Deeds is not the “Administration’s candidate”. Deeds beat the two presumptive DNC candidates, Moran and Terry McAluffe in the Democrat Primary.
Lastly, McDonnell has tailored his message to the Northern Virginia – Southeastern Virginia voters, talking about transportation issues in terms of completing mass transportation projects and widening roads – as well as coming up with proposals to keep the juggernaut school systems in those areas funded. This is the exact reverse of typical Republican-speak in Virginia, who greet Northern Virginia and it’s transportation issues with disdain, and Northern Virginia’s Public School Juggernaut, consistently rated as one of the top 5 in the whole nation, with suspicion and hostility.
A Win for Republican (conservative) values –
McDonnell has done several things to improve his chances in attracting minority voters, instead of writing their vote off. As such, he has met with Asian groups in Northern Virginia over 50 times, done the Black Church walks, and avoided the usual conservative pitfalls. Pitfalls?
Republican Minority Voter Kryptonite includes a lot more than just those “Macacca Moments” – so lets discuss some of those Minority Kryptonite conservative values moves –
- McDonnell, unlike his Party’s previous Republican candidates has refused to swear fealty under the confederate flag. While Virginia historically is inseparable from the Civil War, the symbology of the confederate flag, deification of dead confederates and dead confederate symbols has come to represent intolerance, bigotry, and racism to Minority voters.
- Military background. As the sole fully integrated entity in the United States for decades, years spent in the Service gain respect because of the values of the Military. McDonnell has a Military background, and one of his daughters is currently serving in Iraq in the Army. That is a huge contrast between McDonnell and the usual chickenhawk conservative crew.
- Real Minority support. Black conservatives are Minority voter Kryptonite in that they are willing to be trotted out to provide racial cover for racist conservatives. The bullshit detector goes right off the scale, making many of these folks about as welcome in your average minority person’s living room as the local head of the Crips or MS-13. Trotting out the sort of black conservatives you see on Faux News means you have something to hide, and what you are hiding is ugly – typically racism. McDonnell approached and recruited Minority business leaders and political figures, and convinced some of them that he is a departure from the conservative Republican White People’s Party mold – thus getting Sheila Johnson to speak on his behalf, and convincing Former Governor Doug Wilder, if not to support him – not to make an endorsement of the Democrat candidate. He also gained the support of Virginia’s Black Police Chiefs.
Lastly, McDonnell has run a campaign focused on issues, and proposals to address issues like roads, schools, privatization of the state run Liquor stores, and to continue the tradition of support and growth of Virginia businesses started by Democrat Governor Mark Warner (Warner supports Deeds)…
Not conservative red meat issues and talking points.
So… If McDonnell wins, what it really is is a rejection of conservative values of guns, homophobia, and racism…
That put him there.
And the death knell of the far-right conservatism that has threatened to destroy the Republican Party the last few election cycles.