Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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What I’ll Remember Most About the 2011 Elections

At this morning, Virginia Democrats do not hold a single Virginia executive office, they're a small minority in the House of Delegates, and now they have (barring recount) lost control of the State Senate. Former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Peter Rousselot has written a devastating postmortem that I can't recommend enough and encourage you to read in full if you haven't already.

As for me, what I'll remember most about the 2011 election cycle is this ad from House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong trashing just about everything Democrats believe in. The leader of House Democrats - as chosen by his fellow House Democrats - distances himself from President Obama, a woman's right to choose, reasonable gun safety regulations, and limits on air pollution - all in one ad.

I understand the need to emphasize different issues and rely on different messaging in different parts of the state. But if you try to run away from the leader of your party and everything your party believes in, not only are you hurting your own team, voters don't buy it. A friend pointed me to this quote from Harry Truman:

I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.
Just as Harry predicted, Ward Armstrong lost anyway. And just as former Rep. Glenn Nye did last year, Armstrong managed to not just lose, but hurt the party he was supposed to be leading in the process, making Democrats look like a bunch of gutless phonies who'd throw a friend under the bus in a second if a consultant told them it might help their chances of getting re-elected.

Senator Warner Meets Chinese Drywall Victims

A group of families frustrated with efforts to resolve the plight of homeowners who have been made homeless by Chinese drywall contamination came to make their case outside a DPVA gathering in Virginia Beach yesterday. Senator Warner held up the event 45 minutes, stopping to hear them out first.

The group was approached by Brian Moran, DPVA Chairman, prior to the Senator's arrival as they quietly assembled across the street from Croc's 19th Street Bistro. Both Moran and Senator Warner got an earful from homeowners whose lives have been sent spiraling into chaos as they have spent years seeking relief from the effects of the contaminated construction materials.

They appealed to the Senator for some form of relief from the damage to their lives, allowed to fester by unresponsive state and federal governments. Many of them have had to abandon their homes because of the damage to their families' health. So far there has been no recourse. The properties, some with mortgages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, are worthless. Contractors have avoided responsibility by reorganizing their businesses then continuing to operate. Insurance companies have side-stepped claims. Some of the families have held on, paying two mortgages, hoping to salvage their credit and financial futures. Some have given up on being made whole, but simply ask for forbearance on their credit ratings if they allow the properties to be taken back by financial institutions that hold the mortgages.  

No, We Will Not “Coalesce” Around Glenn Nye in 2012

So, it turns out that Glenn Nye is seriously considering running again in 2012.
"I'm still considering running again," Nye told The Virginian-Pilot. "I think there's some things that took place in this election which indicated a strong possibility of my being able to win in 2012. But I don't feel the need to rush a decision."
Nye also claims that he's "still proud to be a Democrat," even though he just finished a campaign in which he bashed top Democratic priorities and leadership. But sure, we believe you Glenn!

More Nye wisdom: "I'm afraid right now we are in a time when extremists are the decision makers in this country." Riiiight, so Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are "extremists," in Nye's view?  He might be calling John BONEr and Eric Can'tor "extremists" as well, but since he uses the present tense when he says "are the decision makers in this country," it's hard to believe he's referring to anyone but the Democrats, who last I checked controlled the White House and Congress. Apparently, Nye believes that Bob Dole's 1993 Republican alternative health care reform legislation, which Democrats essentially adopted earlier this year, is "extremist." Same thing with the Reagan administration conservative, market-based "cap and trade" idea.  And Nye wonders why he alienates "the base," aka "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party?" What an imbecile.

Finally, per the Washington Post's comment that "it's not clear whether everyone in the party would coalesce around Nye as the best candidate," I can say categorically right now: NO WE WILL NOT COALESCE AROUND GLENN NYE IN 2012! Sorry for the "all caps," but Glenn Nye's pretty dense so I wanted to make sure he heard that.

New Poll: Rigell 41.5%-Nye 41.0%

Based on their less-than-stellar past performance, I can't say that I'm exactly a big fan of Christopher Newport University polling.  With that caveat, a new poll by that outfit finds the 2nd Congressional District race to be essentially a dead heat (Scott Rigell 41.5%-Glenn Nye 41.0%-Undecided 12.4%-Kenny Golden 5.1%). The problem is, undecideds usually break for the challenger over the incumbent, especially when they're angry like they are now.

Still, the Nye campaign is touting this poll, writing, "We've known from the start this race is going to come down to the wire and it has." I certainly can't disagree with that statement.

A Rough Week For The Prejudiced

A lot of people just don't get prejudice. They don't know when to let its rationalization lay. But that should not be surprising when they also don't know how to support their arguments; reducing them to mere beliefs. Beliefs require faith and we lost faith in conservatives long ago.

You see, the value of conservatism, and yes, I acknowledge there's value, is that it should help keep us from throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Unfortunately, too many "conservatives" see the water as sublime soup and the baby as a too demanding obligation.

One of the problems with prejudices is that you can dress them up, but you can't take them out. Unfortunately for the Republicans in Virginia Beach, someone or two walked their dog of a prejudice and that has revealed the ugly face of racial animosity subtly harbored within the local leadership. There are no two ways around it and a simple admonition complaining "stop sending those E-mails" ignores the root problem. Despite all the obfuscation and attempts to blame the E-mail on an accident and denials of receipt, the way it works is that you send E-mails to what you have determined to be a like-minded community. And when members of that community fail to distinguish themselves by taking exception, their silence speaks volumes. Not one person who received either E-mail has produced any E-mail that divorces them from like-mindedness.

"As a matter of fact, the point that they made was that Karen Beauchamp hasn't been in a leadership role in the party since 2001. Well I got news for you, Karen Beauchamp was one of the hardest workers we had in the Republican Party, and she was the one who organized the headquarters every single day. And both she and Dave Bartholomew were responsible for Bob McDonnell's success in 2009. It certainly wasn't Kenny Golden; I'll tell you that." - Kenny Golden to Tony Macrini on WNIS

Daily Press: A Vote for Rigell is a Vote for Bush!

I read a lot of political endorsements, but today's Daily Press endorsement of Scott Rigell could be my favorite ever:
  • Giving Glenn Nye credit for working tirelessly to kiss the Daily Press' butt, then endorsing against him anyway
  • Telling voters they should support Rigell even though he's not ready to represent their interests just to stick it to President Obama
  • Calling for a return to the Bush-Cheney economic policies that led to the Great Recession
Check it out:

Glenn Nye Schools Clueless Scott Rigell on DADT


"Scott Rigell accused Rep Glenn Nye of voting to end DADT despite the advice of Military leadership. Rep Nye then explained to Rigell that the vote did not end DADT, but rather gave the Sec. of Defense the permission to do so. Nye also explained that he voted to examine the option of ending the policy based on the recommendation of Military leaders. (Debate 10/15/10)"

The question for 2nd CD voters is this: do you want an uninformed, extreme, slippery, used-car salesman representing you in Congress the next two years?  No, didn't think so.

Glenn Nye: John Boehner’s Favorite Democrat

You have to understand something about Republican opposition to Democratic reforms: It has nothing to do with the merits of the policy. Republicans decided immediately after the 2008 elections to block everything the Democrats tried to do. I mean, when the GOP, which purports to be the party of small businesses & tax breaks, is filibustering tax breaks for small business, you know they've abandoned all principles.

So when Glenn Nye brags about voting against health insurance reform, clean energy reform & the TARP program that could end up turning a profit for taxpayers, what he's bragging about isn't principles. Frankly, I don't even know if Glenn Nye knows what Glenn Nye believes in.

What he's really saying is that when America faced great crisis, Glenn Nye stood with those who sought political gain from blocking solutions.  

Republican Poll: Rigell 45%-Nye 40%-Golden 7%

Just as with polls done for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it's hard to know what to make of polls commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee. With that disclaimer, here are the results from a new poll by the NRCC on Virginia's 2nd Congressional District:
In Virginia's 2nd district, Rep. Glenn Nye (D) trailed car dealer Scott Rigell (R) by 5 points. The Congressman took 40 percent to Rigell's 45 percent. Independent Kenny Golden, a former Republican, took 7 percent. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted by the GOP firm Ayres McHenry & Associates Sept 23 to 26 and had a 4.9 point margin of error.
That 5-point lead for the used car dealer (Rigell) is just outside the statistical margin of error, so right now it looks like the 2nd CD could go either way.  That's assuming, of course, that the GOP polling is accurate, which we can't really know since we aren't privy to the "internals" of the poll. How about we just call this race a tossup and leave it at that?

I Agree With This Ad. The Only Problem Is…


I completely agree with this ad; 2nd CD Republican nominee Scott Rigell is simply another member of the "I've got mine so @#$@ you" party, fighting for the rich and powerful over the other 98% of us.  I also agree that extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is not worth the nearly $1 trillion price tag, all of which will be added to the national debt.

So, I like this ad, right?  Well, yeah, except the only problem is, Rep. Glenn Nye doesn't really advocate different tax policies than Rigell does. Just recently, for instance, Nye said he favored extending all the Bush tax cuts, including on the wealthiest Americans, commenting that "now is not the right time to raise taxes on anybody." How is that different from Rigell's position, exactly?  Uhhhhh.  Also, Bearing Drift appears to be correct when it says, "Nye co-sponsored H.R. 498 last year, which makes permanent the very capital gains tax cuts attacked in the ad." Whoops!

The fundamental problem here? When you vote and talk like a Republican, it's very hard for the Democratic Party to attack your opponent without causing collateral damage on you as well.