Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sleeping Giants

As Democrats fret over polls showing Creigh getting clobbered, my eye caught something Joe Abbey recently told C’ville Weekly, Charlottesville’s weekly alternative periodical.

Here is what the paper wrote:
Deeds’ campaign is optimistic that polls are wrong because the pollsters don’t consider those who voted for the first time in 2008 as likely voters.

“We’ve been calling them our sleeping giants,” said Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey. “They’re not showing up in the polls, but if they show up at the polls on Election Day, then it will be game over.”

Jus' sayin'.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

McDonnell promises to defund planned parenthood

So much for Bob McDonnell's promises that he will not impose his exreme, Conservative, Pat Robertson social values on the entire Commonwealth.

From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell revealed plans to single out and de-fund Planned Parenthood upon entering office as Governor of Virginia.

Speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, McDonnell was asked, "Can you promise that as Governor you'll use the veto pen to ensure that Virginians' tax dollars are not used to fund Planned Parenthood or abortion?" McDonnell responded by saying, "Yeah, I've said that I would do that...that'll be part of what we'll get done." (Watch here)

"McDonnell has tried to hide his ideological background throughout this campaign. However, with the polls favoring him to win the Governor's race, he reveals his true colors on conservative talk radio," said Jessica Honke, Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV). "The fact is Bob McDonnell is out of step and out of touch with voters and the wrong choice for Virginia. As Governor, he will continue the anti-choice and anti-women's health policies he's pushed since his first day in public office."

McDonnell's plan to defund Planned Parenthood is an attack on basic, preventative health care. If Planned Parenthood were defunded, tens of thousands of women and families would lose access to prevention services, including pap smears, cancer screenings, gynecological exams, family planning counseling and services, HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment and a host of community education programs emphasizing healthy relationships and lifestyles. Furthermore, McDonnell's statement is factually inaccurate; no state funding goes to the provision of abortion-related services. In 2008 and 2009, an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated.

As a legislator, McDonnell sponsored over 35 pieces of legislation designed to chip away at a woman's right to choose. He is opposed to reproductive choice, even in cases of rape or incest, voted to allow pharmacist to refuse Emergency Contraception and supports Bush-era abstinence-only policies that are medically inaccurate and dangerous to teens.

Additionally, he voted against common-sense legislation that would help ensure women could access contraception at their local pharmacy, voted against a bill declaring that contraception was not a form of abortion, voted against allowing public universities to distribute Emergency Contraception, and voted against requiring discussion in schools of the importance of post-rape medical help.

"McDonnell has repeatedly jeopardized women's health through divisive attacks on Planned Parenthood," said Honke, "At a time when more and more families in Virginia are uninsured and under financial strain, we can't afford to elect a Governor who will create more barriers to affordable health care. Virginians are looking for solutions, not politics as usual."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McDonnell Position on Opt Out Now Poses Real Danger to Virginia

Now that it looks as though the U.S. Congress is going to pass health care reform with a public option that will include an opt out provision for individual states, the stakes are higher in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, and it is worthwhile to examine the respective positions of each candidate on this critical issue.

While it is true that Creigh’s position on this – when asked about it hypothetically, he said he would look at what was passed and make a decision on whether to opt out based on whether it was good for Virginia – is less that I would like, Bob McDonnell’s position – a blanket promise that under his leadership Virginia would opt out of any public option – was irrational.

In the absract, I suppose, this was merely yet another case of ideology trumping facts and common sense when it comes to Bob McDonnell’s worldview. Take a look at McDonnell’s views on the environment, where he has politically declared off shore drilling environmentally safe despite much conflicting evidence, or on transportation, where he has put any new revenue source off limits despite abundant evidence that it will be necessary, or on climate change, where he has simply refused to recognize the irrefutable science.

Bob McDonnell might not be a member of the Flat Earth Society, but he is damn close.

Still, on each of these issues, the consequences to average citizens of McDonnell’s ideological positions seems speculative or remote. It’s tough for folks in, say, Charlottesville to appreciate how they will be hurt by off-shore drilling, and even the consequences of climate change seem like science fiction to most people. Furthermore, the negative effects of all of these will likely be gradual, so people will have the opportunity to adapt and time goes on.

Perhaps a few weeks ago, given the uncertainty of health care reform in Congress, the hypothetical opt out issue debate between Creigh and McDonnell was similar -- fodder for debate among policy wonks and political nerds, but no immediate practical consequence for Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public.

Given Sen. Reid’s comments yesterday, however, that is no longer the case. A public option with an opt out for states looks more probable today than two weeks ago, and so the candidates’ positions on this critical issue is more significant than it was.

And in light of that, Bob McDonnell’s position has gone from merely irrational to irresponsible, if not disqualifying him from the office he seeks.

Here’s why.

As far as Bob McDonnell is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether the public option would ultimately be good or bad for Virginians. He will just opt out.

But in this issue, lives are at stake, literally, and there is nothing abstract about that. At the very least, Virginia deserves a Governor who will honestly and intelligently evaluate the facts in front of him and come to a reasonable and considered decision, not simply be driven by an ideology, no matter how sincerely believed, that government is bad.

Evaluating the facts, the benefits versus the liabilities, is exactly what Creigh says he will do. It is exactly what Virginia needs.

It is, also, the exactly what Bob McDonnell says he will not do. He has made his decision, facts be damned.

Look, I don’t think McDonnell is callous or doesn’t care about people. I do think, however, he is a prisoner of an ideology from which he cannot break loose, and that it leads to ill-considered decisions that have serious consequences, intended or not.

I am amazed how, in light of this, any reasonably informed Virginian can cast a vote for Bob McDonnell.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Showing Up

Judging by the backbiting and recriminations that have spilled over to the pages of the Washington Post, Democrats are stoically steeling themselves for a tough defeat on Nov. 3 by building the foundation to blame someone else.

Indeed, this argument has been going on in the blogs since June, when Creigh won the primary. Of course, memes move faster and more intensely in cyberspace.

In my view, there is still an election to be had, however, and as long as that is the case, anyone who cares about what will happen in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the next four years, at least, should focus on the question of what they can do to help Creigh win this election, because if recent elections have shown anything, they have shown that Republicans can no longer beat Democrats in Virginia; Democrats can only beat themselves.

The other day, conservative blog Bearing Drift carried a very interesting post about Bob McDonnell’s lead in the polls. Pregressives should listen. Here is what they had to say:
Polls are not strictly predictors. They do not foretell exactly what people are going to do. Rather, they are snapshots. They tell us what the results are likely to be should people show up on Election Day in the same numbers as the particular poll presumes they will.

In other words, the reliability of a poll is dependent upon the actual electorate closely resembling the pollsters’ sample. That is why it is important to look beyond the top-line results of these polls to understand what these polls are telling us about the potential electorate. That is also why the accuracy of a particular poll does not necessarily carry over from election to election. Quite simply, human beings are rather unpredictable.


If Republicans are to win this election, however, it is going to take more than simply hoping the other side decides not to show up.

But, you know, the fact is that all Bob McDonnell does have for him in this election is hoping Democrats do not show up. Look at every poll – they go Bob’s way because the composition of likely voters is disproportionately heavy with Republicans and Conservatives compared to recent statewide Virginia elections.

Indeed, it seems sometimes that is how Republicans and Conservatives see the path to victory in every race: deter the other side from showing up to vote. Sometimes, they use sleazy tactics, like caging, and sometimes they use blatantly illegal ones, likie giving voters false information. GOP opposition to motor voter laws, or their insitance on picture IDs to register to vote, are all aimed at depressing turnout and voting rights.

So, leaving aside all the crap in the papers and the blogs about campaign strategy, and leaving aside all the parsing of policy, in the end we will be left with a choice between two people with very different worldviews and outlooks on the role of government in our lives.

if we show up, Creigh will win and Bob will lose – simple as that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hey, Virginia: WAKE UP!

A while back, I wrote a post about how Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign resembled that of George W. Bush’s for president in 2000, in the sense that in each case the candidate’s success in the media and polls seemed to be based more on the perception that he was a good guy rather than a meaningful assessment of what kind of chief executive he would make, based on an analysis of their lifelong records and the substance of their political positions.

In retrospect, of course, it was all too clear by the Fall of 2000, or should have been all to clear to any reasonable person, that if elected that George W. Bush would fubar the country as badly as he did.

I’ll leave it to historians and the many millions of people smarter and more astute than I to analyze exactly what happened and why during the Bush presidency, but long before he became president, George W. Bush had a clear record of incompetence and failure in virtually everything he had attempted as an adult.

Why on Earth was anyone surprised when he turned out to be a failure as President also, leaving the rest of us to grapple with the insecurity, fear and difficulty of living through the worst economy since the Great Depression

So, what do we learn about Bob McDonnell from this?

More than anything else, Bob McDonnell’s past tells us that the most lasting historical legacy of his administration, should he be elected, will probably be the implementation of extremist social policies. Bob McDonnell has always been, and still is, first and foremost a culture warrior.

Need proof? A day after suggesting at a debate that he would not focus on pursuing his conservative social agenda were he elected governor, but would focus on jobs and the economy, Mr. McDonnell gave a speech at Liberty University where, perhaps feeling confident of victory on Nov. 3, he let his guard down and, to loud cheering, defiantly asserted that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that as governor he will tirelessly protect the unborn.

(BTW, lets none of us get into an argument over semantics and pretend that we don’t know what Mr. McDonnell means, i.e., that gay people will burn for all eternity in Hell on account of their deviant sexual practices and that official government discrimination against such people is not only acceptable, it is encouraged. Indeed, Bob McDonnell pursued this exact policy, to the extent he could, as Attorney General. As for abortion, I suspect we will see some of the strictest limitations in the U.S., especially if Ken Cuccinelli is Attorney General. Why would anyone think that two politicians who have spent their entire public lives espousing extreme pro-life positions would finally get into office and not act in a manner consistent with the tenets that have guided them their entire lives? Does that make sense to anyone?)

Mr. McDonnell has praised the economic record and policies of George W. Bush and suggested he would follow a similar policy, were he elected Governor – presumably, tax cuts for the wealthy, reducing government regulation of the financial sector and generally favoring big business at the expense of workers. In the conservative ideology, it does not matter if these policies produce poor results. Lower taxes and smaller government are the goals themselves, and as an ideological matter, low taxes and less involved government are always virtuous, without regard the actual effect such policies may have on the lives of actual people.

Lowell at Blue Virginia has a great post up about looking to California as a predictor of what Virginia might look like as a result of a McDonnell administration following such economic policies:
If Virginia elects [McDonnell], they can look to California as an example of what happens when conservative "starve the beast" economics meets a transitioning 21st century economy: start with gross, across the board underinvestment in public education, from pre-K to city colleges & public universities. Pile on deficits because the government needs to spend on is going to be debt-financed. Watch wages stagnate and unemployment climb even in up business cycles, and then shoot up when the business cycle goes flat, because all the tax cuts and resulting mountains of debt prevent counter-cyclical public sector spending. Don't forge the massive, always-growing inequality (and the resulting increases in political polarization) because the tax cuts are always somehow tilted towards either rich individuals or corporations, or both.

So, when I hear people say they are not excited about voting for Creigh, or that there is an enthusiasm gap, or that they just won’t vote, I just want to tell them to think about it this way:

When you vote, it is not for the sake of the politicians running for office, it is for your own sake.

Get out and vote for Creigh. Not for Creigh’s benefit, but for your own sake.

If Creigh is going to win this race, it will not be because of some magical canvassing or phone-banking operation that we haven’t yet seen;

If Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because he is suddenly going to become a smooth orator;

If Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because he will suddenly adopt the kinds of Progressive positions that many on the left would like to see;

And if Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because the mass of low-information voters out there who are getting their news from the MSM and who are tilting this race McDonnell’s way are suddenly going to get a new flood of information to change their minds.

Creigh will win this race because each of us on our own will have taken it upon ourselves to get out and vote, to get our friends and family out to vote.

It will be because each of is taking personal responsibility for the future of the Commonwealth.

The votes are out there.

Here’s a simple idea. Send an e-mails to five friends today who are not politically involved, and remind them how important it is to vote for Creigh.

Or the Virginia we have begun to take for granted, one that is moving in a inexorably positive and progressive direction, may be no more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creigh's Depressing Comment On The Public Option

This exchange during tonight’s debate left me deflated:
Question: "Mr. Deeds, and would you go against some of your fellow Democrats and against the public plan?"

Creigh Deeds:
"I'm not afraid of going against my fellow Democrats when I think they're wrong...Public option isn't required in my view, I think we have to do two things with health care, we have to reduce costs so more people can afford insurance and we have to increase coverage. I share those broad goals. I don't think the public option is necessary in any plan and I think Virginia...I would certainly consider opting out if that were available to Virginia. We have to find ways to increase competition in order to reduce costs..."

First, not only is Creigh clearly wrong on this – no health care reform can possibly succeed without some form of government-provided health insurance that provides meaningful competition to drive the cost of health care down – I don’t get the political calculation.

Democrats should be championing the public option, not running away from it, for two reasons. First, it is clearly the right policy that will lead to providing affordable health care to the people who are most hurting now – middle class families. If, as Democrats, we are not all about supporting the middle class, then we are in the wrong party.

Now, far right-wingers have demonized the public option as government-run health care. Creigh’s answer seems to buy into this bogus criticism. No Democrat should buy into this. We are the party of using government to make the lives of people better.

Finally, this was a chance for Creigh to really draw a distinction with Bob McDonnell on a critical issue. By unequivocally stating he would opt Virginia out of the public option were it passed by Congress, Bob McDonnell is saying that he would damage the health of every man, woman and child in Virginia for the sake of his extreme right wing ideology. Further, McDonnell’s critique of the public option was merely a recitation of talking points that are in some cases dishonest and in others simply wrong, but that have been in both cases fully debunked. The bottom line is that the “private sector, market-based solution” is what got us in the mess we’re in.

What an opportunity to lead and teach folks on a key issue that would not only be right and moral, but would also tap into to modern populist history of the Democratic Party beginning with Franklin Roosevelt.

Instead, Creigh tried to hedge on this critical issue, in the hopes of picking up votes from people who are not going to support him anyway.

This was just a blown opportunity to redefine this race around a winning issue.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does Bob McDonnell Believe in Evolution?

Well, now that we know Bob McDonnell is uncertain about whether human activity is causing climate change on our planet, I wonder what Mr. McDonnell's views are on Evolution and the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools?

I would be very curious to know, for example, whether Mr. McDonnell accepts the Theory of Evolution, in the sense that humans evolved into our present form, or whether is he a Biblical literalist like his mentor Pat Robertson, who completely rejects Evolution as an explanation for human existence and contends G-d created the universe in seven days as set forth in Genesis.

But even if Mr. McDonnell chooses not to share his personal belief on that score with the voters, he should specifically answer whether as Governor, would Bob McDonnell permit, or even advocate, the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes along with Evolution, or any place else in Virginia's public schools? Would he limit the teaching of Evolution in any way in our public schools?

These are legitimate questions to ask for several reasons.

First, it involves the education of our children, and so these questions are not really about Mr. McDonnell's personal beliefs, but the extent to which those personal beliefs would manifest themselves into public policy.

Second, given his aforementioned comments about climate change, Mr. McDonnell has demonstrated that he views science through a lends of ideology. That is his right, but voters have an even more powerful right to know what he believes.

Finally, and not to beat a dead horse, there is Mr. McDonnell's background at Regent University. His alma mater is steeped in advocating the teaching of Creationism in public schools.

1. At a 2007 "Faith, Facts and Evolution Conference" held at the school, for example, seminars included the following, all of which are designed to train participants to create the impression that Intelligent Design is science that is on equal footing with Evolution, and should be taught in schools::
- Tools for Resolution: A Scientific Model of Creation – Dr. Hugh Ross
- Origin of Life: Comparing Models – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Scientific Challenges to the Evolution Model – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Scientific Support for the Creation Model – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Cosmic Design: Fine Tuning the Universe – Dr. Hugh Ross
- Cosmic Design (cont’d) – Dr. Hugh Ross

2. As for the school's founder, Rev. Robertson's belief in Creationism has gone much further than mere personal belief on his part, and into the realm of advocacy of teaching Creationism in public schools. In 2005, the Rev. Robertson condemned the town of Dover, PA, for example, suggesting G-d might smite it down, for ousting a school board that had advocated the teaching of Creationism as science.

3. Finally, consider this 2005 LTE from Dr. William Cox, Professor and Director of the Christian School Program at Regent, to the Virginia Pilot, stating:
If intelligent design is banned as theory from discussion on the basis of a “faith” orientation, so should evolution be banned. If evolution is allowed in the classroom, then so must be intelligent design. To do otherwise is to hold a double standard in both science and religion.

Of course, not all of the beliefs prevalent at Regent should automatically be attributed to Mr. McDonnell, but given his official positions with the school, and the school's mission to train graduates to implement Regent's fundamentalist tenets as public policy, it is fair to ask which ideas he adheres to and which ones he does not.

I don't really care what Mr. McDonnell thinks about Evolution privately, or what he chooses to teach his children about it.

But I profoundly care what he proposes to teach mine.

Bob McDonnell: Invisible With No Secrets to Conceal

The Washington Post’s endorsement of Creigh this morning (see Hokie Guru's post here) hits the nail right on the head when it comes to articulating why Creigh is the clearly superior choice to Bob McDonnell to be our next governor.

While I don’t typically subscribe to the notion that newspaper editorials make a huge difference in voters’ decisions – voters have a nasty habit for reaching their own decisions for their own reasons – I think this one will resonate for the remainder of the campaign and make a huge difference.

Not because the WaPo chose to endorse Creigh over McDonnell – that was expected – but because while the right-of-center Post editorial board tried to argue that its differences with Bob McDonnell “are on questions of policy,” they are barely able to hide the clear disdain they feel for the GOP candidate and the campaign he has run.

Consider the following characterizations of McDonnell from the editorial:

-- “Mr. McDonnell has staked out the intolerant terrain on his party's right wing[.]

-- “Mr. McDonnell lacks … political spine[.]”

-- “Mr. McDonnell … remains in denial.”

-- “Virginians should not confuse Mr. McDonnell's adept oratory for wisdom[.]”

And, of course, the worst cut of all:

-- “He is a dexterous politician.”

As this race has wound down to its final weeks, the question hanging heavy in the air for Democrats is whether Creigh can win it, in light of the numerous polls showing McDonnell beating him. The state’s Republicans are already filling Cabinet posts.

They should wait.

I’m not interested in arguing about the methodologies or results of these polls, and I don’t quibble that their internals are consistent with the overall results, although I would argue that this consistency is derived from the potential flaw all these polls share.

The question surrounding these polls is the extent to which their likely voter screens are accurately predicting who will show up on Election Day. In that regard, these polls do not so much show a persuadable electorate that is choosing McDonnell over Creigh as much as they suggest an electorate that has been stacked against Creigh from the start.

On the one hand, these polls may be accurate gauging an electorate ready to turn on Democrats as a result of various political and social forces largely beyond the control of either candidate in the race, and capturing the vicissitudes of the national discussion and political scene.

But given Virginia’s recent electoral history demonstrating a clear trend towards Democrats (even discounting 2008 as an once-in-a-lifetime election), and the circumstances of this specific race, the evidence suggests that that these polls are wrong because they are flying in the face of common sense.

It is not that I am unaware that many of my fellow Virginians simply see the issues and candidates from a different, more conservative perspective, than I do. There are loyal Republicans and Conservative ideologues that would vote for McDonnell even if it were proved he regularly engaged in bestiality.

I don’t even argue with Republicans comprising a larger share of likely voters than Democrats, even though this is not consistent with the trend either in Virginia or nationally, to the extent that this denotes some sort of enthusiasm gap.

Rather, it is the dominance McDonnell is showing in these polls among self-described Independents – even Conservative-leaning ones – that simply doesn’t track with the facts of the race, or the reality of each candidate so adeptly captured today by the Washington Post.

According to the Post, McDonnell has run “a disciplined, focused, policy-oriented campaign.” Perhaps. But as the Post makes clear, he has also run a dishonest and cowardly campaign.

I think it is hard for voters, confronted with this, to admit that it is really happening. Can any even slightly informed person actually believe Bob McDonnell is a moderate on the issue of choice or gay rights, as he pretends to be?

I have faith that when presented with the facts, independent-minded voters will make the right decisions. On issue after issue – transportation, education, the environment, the right to choose, anti-gay discrimination – analysis of the candidates’ positions and records demonstrate that Bob McDonnell will be a disaster for Virginia.

That is the fundamental issue in this race. And it is because the Post editorial so clearly explains this truth that it will resonate across the Commonwealth.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Washington Post Endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia

Great news... the Washington Post endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia.

And here's what they say about batshit crazy Taliban Bob McDonnell (who hides behind his wife and children in television commercials):

Mr. McDonnell has staked out the intolerant terrain on his party's right wing, fighting a culture war that seized his imagination as a law student in the Reagan era.

Yet Mr. McDonnell, champion of a revenue-starved status quo, remains in denial. He professes to feel the pain of Virginians struggling with financial hard times. In fact his transportation policy, a blueprint for stagnation and continuing deterioration, would subvert the state's prospects for economic recovery and long-term growth. And it would only deepen the misery of Northern Virginia commuters who already pay a terrible price -- economic, personal and psychological -- because of the state's long neglect of its roads.

As for Mr. McDonnell, he deserves credit for having run a disciplined, focused, policy-oriented campaign. As a candidate, a statewide official and a lawmaker, he has maintained a civil, personable manner. His intellectual agility, even temper and facility with the grit of policy have inspired the respect of colleagues, staffers and rivals. He is a dexterous politician.

Our differences with him are on questions of policy. The clamor surrounding his graduate dissertation from 1989, in which he disparaged working women, homosexuals, "fornicators" and others of whom he disapproved, has tended to obscure rather than illuminate fair questions about the sort of governor he would make. Based on his 14-year record as a lawmaker -- a record dominated by his focus on incendiary wedge issues -- we worry that Mr. McDonnell's Virginia would be one where abortion rights would be curtailed; where homosexuals would be treated as second-class citizens; where information about birth control would be hidden; and where the line between church and state could get awfully porous. That is a prescription for yesterday's Virginia, not tomorrow's.

Mr. McDonnell has inspired a worthwhile debate over privatizing liquor sales in Virginia, one of 18 states that control the wholesale and retail trade in spirits. But by suggesting the state could use the proceeds of privatization as an ongoing funding source for road improvements, he has played fast and loose with the facts -- first by plucking projected revenue figures from thin air and second by glossing over the question of what state services he would cut if the $100 million currently gleaned from annual liquor sales could be diverted for transportation.

Mr. McDonnell has sought to corner Mr. Deeds by focusing on debates in Washington over energy policy, labor union membership and other contentious federal issues. But a governor of Virginia can do little to influence the ideologically charged debates raging on Capitol Hill. Mr. McDonnell also has claimed he would be more effective at creating jobs. Yet while Mr. McDonnell has been an activist public servant, he has no significant record, either as a lawmaker or as attorney general, of promoting policies to encourage job growth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Organizing for Virginia 2009 and President Barack Obama's Visit in Support of Creigh Deeds

First, Democrats are making a big weekend push in Virginia to campaign for Creigh Deeds. President Barack Obama's campaign arm, Organizing for America, sent e-mails to thousands of members in DC and Maryland asking for 5000 volunteer hours. If you can get out, please do because this race is about more than Virginia. Deeds will appear at six events with DNC Chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and Jody Wagner, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, in Northern Virginia. Anita Kumar from the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog has more here.

Second, Rosalind Hilderman (from the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog), tells us that President Barack Obama is coming to Virginia on October 27, 2009 to campaign in support Creigh Deeds and the rest of the Virginia Democratic ticket. We'll bring you more details when we have them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ask not what your President can do for you

Interesting item, from the Adam Nagourney article in today’s New York Times:
A White House that has shown no hesitation to delve into state race [sic] across the country … has been struggling to figure out how to deal with Virginia. Mr. Deeds’ aides have pleaded with the White House to send Mr. Obama into the state; they have yet to agree.

“The most precious commodity we have is the president’s time, and we have to appropriate it on a rational basis between now and Election Day,” said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Mr. Obama.

Now, that comment is simply hilarious, especially in light of the convincing defenses offered by Mr. alelrod in defending Obama's trip to Copenhagen.

Mr. Axelrod, however, apparently believes he can say just about anything and by infusing that quality in Mr. Obama, it will be taken seriously. Here, try this on to see what I mean: “The most precious commodity we have is the president’s sense of fashion when it comes to mixing and matching colors and textures, and we have to appropriate it on a rational basis between now and Election Day,” said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Mr. Obama.)

To anyone who has been paying to attention to Obama’s nine months in office, one thing has become clear to me. This presidency is not about the economy, or energy, or any particular policy. The Obama presidency is about Obama, nothing more, nothing less. Everything else is a means to an end.

Thus, Obama does not ask himself how he can help Democrats win in Virginia. Rather, Axlerod’s comments make clear that Obama is concerned with how Virginia will help him.

The calculation at this point seems to be that Creigh will lose this race, and if Obama gets too involved, then the Virginia gubernatorial results can be spun as a referendum on Obama. But if the president does not get too involved, then Obama gets to spin the race as a local contest in which Obama was not front and center.

Right off the bat, I draw two conclusions from this:

Creigh was absolutely correct not to rely on Obama’s Virginia coalition in trying to win this race. He correctly read that Obama would be a follower, not a leader, in the election. Had Creigh relied on Obama, this election would be lost. As it is, Creigh is behind, but the election remains winnable.

For all the talk of change and a transformational presidency, Obama is just another typical politician, clinging onto power for power’s sake. I still support him and am in line with his overall goals and governing philosophy, but he is not a Democratic Party leader.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hat Tip - Blue Virginia - Taliban Bob McDonnell Scares off Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman apparently thinks that Taliban Bob is too right-wing for reality.

Lowell has more!!

Bob McDonnell's Macaca Moment - Sheila Johnson

It made Hardball :)

George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Sheila Johnson = Macaca

Hat Tip - Not Larry Sabato - Sheila Johnson Does the Dirty for Bob McDonnell

It is absolute bullsh*t that Sheila Johnson would make fun of a political candidate with a slight speech impairment. That's what she did to Creigh Deeds, an honest, nice, hard-working, intelligent man. Not Larry Sabato has more. Now, to her credit, she did apologize later... but...

No apology from the Taliban Bob McDonnell campaign. Stay classy, Batshit Crazy Bob!!