The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Principles of Self-Defeat

There's an old adage that says that victory has a thousand fathers but that defeat is an orphan. However, it seems of late that defeat has finally been adopted. Both the blogosphere and the mainstream media seem to be aflutter with opposing claims of which faction put the nail in Jerry's coffin. Was it the conservatives or the moderates that abandoned us of Election Day? (I guess Jerry learned that lesson about being all things to all people) However, I see the problem in a different way: its a geographical one. Namely, NOVA versus everybody else.

Now, during most of the 90's and to a degree this last primary, the battling seemed to be primarily between the various geographical regions. Richmond had the power, the West was the "most Republican" etc. However, all the vitriol seems to have coalesced towards Northern Virginia. Granted, this may have a slight ideological component. Simply put, things are different between 66 and 95. The zeitgeist is totally different. They have different concerns. Being five minutes late for work in the Valley is fuel for a major argument; I'm sure its par for the course in NOVA. Its Jay-Z instead of Tim McGraw. Now this is oversimplifying things for sure, but the fact is that Northern Virginia is the least Virginian part of Virginia. Problem is, they're electing the same Governor we are out in the sticks.

This may be harsh, but this time we put up an individual who was argurably the most Virginian of recent candidates, and we lost big time. As much as we hate to admit it, he probably turned off NOVA. Maybe it was a combination of a stealth strategy on his part and a generally bad media strategy on ours, but at some point Tim Kaine just took Northen Virginia and ran away with it. We need candidates who can appeal to both the base and the centrists that compose the majority of Northern Virginia. The problem is, the Republican Party of Virginia is simply mortified by this possibility. They seem to think that Northern Virginians are somehow impure, that they simply cannot be as Republican as we are. That and they speak with an American Neutral accent or even *shudder* a northern one. But this logic is highly flawed. Let's say, hypothetically, that we had in fact nominated Chairman Sean Connaughton. Do you really think that the REAL base (not the rabid, vocal anti-tax activists) would have sat on their hands and handed him percentages in the high 50's? Highly doubtful. Despite any foibilies on his fiscal policy, the Chariman definitely would have held things together with the SoCos. AND he would've brought in those all-important centrists. But I think, that at the end of the day, primary voters were absolutely mortified by the prospect of putting "that boy from Connecticut" on their beloved ticket. Now granted, Senator Allen isn't the genuine article. But he does a darn good job passing (or converted very well). However, as much as it may pain me, as a born and bred Virginian with a humble lienage of 300 years, maybe its time to drop this litmus test of a minimum residency period. Remember, we're electing a Governor for all Virginia.

Now I'm sure that I will soon be accused of RINO coddling. But what I am suggesting here is not an abandonment of our core values. Indeed, I think that at the end of the day an efficient, liberty based government appeals to everyone. We may differ on the means, but that is a fundamental principle aligning the mainstream of our party (and I honestly think that Chichester, Stolle, Potts et al are the fringe). What I am saying is that we need to be careful on the packaging. We don't HAVE to have a NOVAian on the ticket next time, but we do have to pay attention to their sensibilities. Its simply a different ballgame there; the death penalty is not their issue, and the robocalls didn't work. Hopefully we can talk about this at the Advance (and I think Allen 2.0 may be the answer. LP-lite, anybody?).


Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

Wyatt, hope to see you at the Advance. I think there is some truth in what you say, but I don't think it is the whole story.

Hampton Roads is 50% Virginian-raised and 50% not. Jerry lost here on issues and campaign, not on him as candidate. It takes candidate, issues and campaign to win.

10:12 PM

Blogger James Young said...

Wyatt, pining away for Chairman Sean is purely a waste of time. For as much as RINO-coddlers hate to admit it, the fact is that the "purer" Republicans (your phrase, not mine) led the ticket, while Kilgore was a drag on it.

With that having been said, I agree with your statement that Northern Virginia sensibilities should be respected. And there's one word with which a Republican can do it statewide: TRANSPORTATION. 'Fact is, all that Kilgore offered was the same Jack Rollison/Mark Warner referenda lite that those of us in NoVA rejected overwhelmingly three years ago. A Republican who will guarantee NoVA its fair share of transportation funds (not more; just our fair share) without higher taxes would do much better than Jerry Kilgore.

What squishes fail to recognize is that Northern Virginia is sick and tired of being the piggy bank for every big-spending Leftie to come along. A Republican who taps into that will do much better than Kilgore. In fact, Republicans who did that did very well in NoVA --- especially PWC and Loudoun --- in the nineties. The problem is that, when the real estate market took off, they did what most entrenched incumbents do, and started spending like drunken sailors. That's one reason why your beloved Chairman Sean got only 60% of the vote in his own home county primary, while Bill Bolling carried Hanover with over 80%.

11:54 AM

Anonymous NoVa Scout said...

I knew wew could count on you, James.

1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Young should point out that his brand of Republicanism resulted in landslide defeats in his two campaigns for elective office. I don't think he gets it...

3:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the final count showed 82% for Bolling in Hanover and 64% for Connaughton in Prince William. I guess it shows that there a lot smarter people in Prince William!

3:18 PM

Blogger Wyatt Coleman said...

I'm heading off the to the Advance in a few minutes, where I'll try to formulate a more complete response, but judging from the responses of the two James', perhaps my point was less than clear.

Yes, low tax, small government policies can be sold in NOVA. But its all in the packaging.

BTW, its amazing how much vitriol the mere word "Connaughton" can still inspire.

3:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because he is a menace to the glass houses that the right wing and the Democrats live in -- he is a conservative who people like and who gets things done. That makes him dangerous to the establishment ...

4:11 PM


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