Monday, June 15, 2009

Please, Don't Make Me Snark Again

Virginia Tomorrow is a website run by Bob Holsworth, a quality, if right-of-center political analyst from VCU. Indeed, Prof. Holsworth seems to be giving Larry Sabato a run for his money in the MSM quote sweepstakes.

I suppose it is only a matter of time (if it has not happened already) that a blogger opts to write under the name “NotBobHolsworth,” and we will know, for certain, that the good professor has truly arrived.

Dr. Bob, as he calls himself, publishes posts by guest writers at his site from time-to-time, and if anything, they point up what a good political analyst Dr. Bob himself is. His latest guest post, however, left me scratching my head a bit. It is from an obvious GOP shill named Tony Lee, who describes himself as “writing a book about how the GOP can appeal to minorities and Generation X and Y voters while staying true to its conservative principles and values and how Virginia is replacing California as the nation’s new harbinger state.”

In a post entitled, “Why Deeds’ Win Was Good for McDonnell,” we find the latest entry in the sweepstakes to explain why Democrats electing the best candidate to run against McDonnell was really the worst thing we could have done. (Can we really be this dumm?)

Lee’s argument, in his own words, is as follows (and as the humor columnist Dave Barry used to say, I am not making this up):
Had McAuliffe or Moran won the nomination, Republicans, thirsting for a revival, may have gone overboard in attacking the Democratic candidate. In essence, they may have made the same mistake Moran made in the primaries -- making the race about the opponent instead of about McDonnell. It would have been fun and exciting, but Virginia’s independent voters may have been turned off.”

Lee concludes, “With Deeds on the top of the ticket, the election will be less circus-like and more focused on meat and potatoes issues unless Democrats attempt to spuriously tie McDonnell to figures like George W. Bush. This helps McDonnell.”

Maybe the election will be more down to Earth, but Lee goes on to argue with plenty of bold assertions, but few actual facts, why McDonnell’s policy prescriptions are superior to those of Creigh.

At first, I had a difficult time making head or tail of this argument. But then I got to thinking about it, and could see the unassailable logic of it. Indeed, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was recent historical precedent for Lee’s analysis.

In 2008, had the Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton for president, the election would have been the political circus Lee paints, only on a national level, and probably much worse. In their rapturous glee of going negative on Hillary, the GOP would have certainly lost focus on winning and overplayed their hand, sending huge numbers of independent voters over to the Democratic side, as surely as lemmings follow one another to their deaths by walking off cliffs.

Fortunately for the GOP, Democrats played right into the Republicans’ hands by nominating Barack Obama. saving the Republican slime machine from its own worst instincts. Unable to rely upon the backlash to the overreaction that the Hillary nomination almost certainly would have caused, Poor Obama was left only to debate issues with the Republicans, a clear advantage for the GOP. To be sure, I'm surprised Obama survived that grueling ordeal with even a molecule of pride intact.

And that is why we have President McCain in office today.

Oh, wait...uh, well, I guess I need to work on the end there. But in any event, based on this analysis, here is the point: I really hope that once Mr. Lee’s book is complete, Republicans don’t read it. If they do, we may never be able to again elect another Democrat to office.

Crossposted to Blue Virginia.

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