Brian Moran’s Counterproductive Criticism and Hypocrisy


    Pointing out Governor McDonnell has created jobs and wondering aloud whether making moves Tim Kaine and he himself took constitute dereliction isn’t going to persuade independent voters to back Democrats this fall or help Kaine defeat Felix or whomever in 2012. But that is Moran’s chosen strategy for the DPVA.

    There’s just no sense in pretending that the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) is on its game. A meager chain of mealy mouthed releases that misstate ground truth and criticize the Governor for actions he may take in the future, but which Moran and Kaine themselves already demonstrated are appropriate, are laying the groundwork for the Republican’s defense.

    Take this from a recent DPVA Morangram:

    “…Despite his repeated previous claims that he’s “thrilled to be governor of Virginia,” McDonnell flip-flopped yesterday and opened the door to jump ship if Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney come calling next year.

    Let’s remind Governor McDonnell that Virginians elected him to lead, not to run for Vice President…”

    This from the skilled strategist who abandoned his office in the House of Delegates to run for Governor almost handing that safe Democratic seat to the Republicans. And what if McDonnell is picked (heaven forbid and quite the pipe dream) to run and doesn’t give up his office? Is Moran going to criticize him for being outside of the state ala Tim Kaine following the DNC appointment? Doesn’t the DPVA have any shame at all?

    In that same ineffective call for cash, he says:  

    …hold Bob McDonnell accountable and advance an agenda that will create real, good jobs by improving our education system and fixing our broken transportation infrastructure.

    That’s a trap too. The transportation issues went unsolved during eight years of Democratic executive leadership. Certainly the Republicans were the root of infrastructure decay, but McDonnell isn’t any less successful than his predecessors. Remember, four of those years belonged to Tim Kaine; the GOP will. And if our education system needs that much improvement? Again, what was going on in those eight years? Did McDonnell somehow undo all those great achievements in a year? Remember too, most Virginians still believe that McDonnell found all kinds of cash laying around in the Department of Transportation, lost under Democratic management, and he’s fixing our roads with it.

    Then there is the Politifact analysis of Moran’s “truthiness:”

    …We started with his claim that in 2010 – the first year of McDonnell’s term –  Virginia’s average monthly unemployment rate rose .1 percent to 6.9 percent. That’s true, but it provides an skewed picture.

    That’s because when McDonnell was inaugurated in January 2010, the state unemployment rate was 7.2 percent — its highest point of the year. The rate slowly declined the rest of the year and ended at 6.6 percent by December, ranking Virginia 9th lowest in the nation.

    In other words, the unemployment rate improved during McDonnell’s first year as governor. And one could make an argument that, when it comes to computing the monthly average for 2010, McDonnell was hurt by a relatively high unemployment rate he inherited from his predecessor, Democrat Tim Kaine.

    Nothing like inviting a look under the hood of the Kaine job creation record. Of course, that wasn’t Kaine any more than McDonnell guiding those numbers, but Moran has set the argument and provided the ammunition for the other side.

    If the DPVA strategy is to go negative early and often, the Republicans are going to have a field day come this fall. But Democrats will compound that error and the resulting failure by continuing to release half-baked, self-destructive claims that only underline a failure to connect with the electorate.

    Governor McDonnell and his Virginia GOP are doing a really lousy job but the DPVA just doesn’t seem to know how to get the point across. Worse: Democrats in Virginia, lacking any constructive strategy, can only wince and whine while the Republicans prepare for a successful fall campaign.

    • According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

      Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia PAC has bolstered its staff in the run-up to the fall House and Senate elections.

      Paul Bennecke, the former political director for the Republican Governors Association, has been brought on to manage the PAC’s involvement in targeted Senate contests.


      Republicans are hoping to flip at least three seats to take a majority in the Senate, which is the last bastion of Democratic control in the state. Republicans hold the majority in the House of Delegates and swept the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general contests in 2009.

      Phil Cox, executive director of RGA and McDonnell’s gubernatorial race campaign manager, remains at the helm of McDonnell’s political operation, including directing the PAC. D.J. Eckert will focus on the House contests.

      And the Democrats? As one Democratic insider told me, we’re “unprepared and undermanned and underwhelming.” And then there’s this: “In light of all the Republican hires and their money advantage, what are we doing to do everything we can to ensure we keep the Senate and gain in the House? I don’t know.”

      Well, I DO know: Brian Moran’s busy working his “day job” (and completely put aside WHAT that day job is for the moment; the bottom line is we need full-time commitment to DPVA right now, with the State Senate hanging by a thread and so much – a woman’s right to choose, for instance – on the line!). If this were an organization truly hungry to win, what they’d do right now is totally shake things up, bring in a seasoned, full-time staff of professionals, and stop f***ing around as they’ve been doing. And Democrats who put up with this garbage would stop acting like “sheeple,” pretending like all is well, and demand steps be taken immediately to make DPVA an effective, powerful fighting force that Republicans fear. Right now, it’s none of those things.

    • To actually vote FOR something as a Democrat?  I’m all for defeating Republicans, but it makes every person on the ground’s job much easier when Democrats stand for something, not just being against Republicans.

    • ncmcpherson

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the DNC & DPVA…

      • had a positive, consistent message;

      • got out in front of an issue or at least early on;

      • spoke out on issues on national talk shows to let people know that we have a voice and an opinion;

      • had the courage of their convictions to stand up for their constituents and elected officials;

      • would look beyond the next election and plan for the future locally, nationally and globally;

      • would invest in a strategy to strengthen their ideology;

      • understood that until they get their act together, it’s an unnecessary uphill struggle.