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View Diary: An Alternate Analysis of Virginia's Election Results (77 comments)

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  •  Am not an expert, (31+ / 0-)

    though born in the Commonwealth of Virginia and lived here all my life, except for a few years at school.

    In my observation, we have just elected a moderate Republican governor. McAuliffe managed to set my teeth on edge again by stating in his victory speech (I paraphrase) that Virginia should be a beacon of bipartisanship and that (close to this approximate quote) "We can disagree on opinions but agree on principles."

    Perfect fit with what I have viewed for some time as a sleepy old Virginia Democratic party.

    The state stills centers politically on Richmond, a place where history and tradition hang heavy, including the tradition of very slow, deliberate change and the Cavalier code of "gentlemanly" courtesy and almost chivalric respect toward political opponents. A conservative place in the old-fashioned sense of clinging to "the way we always did it" and being suspicious of marked shifts, whether left or right.

    Of course Karl Rove, the Tea Party the radical religious and now the Republican Party in general right have clearly repudiated the "gentlemanly" part. But the miore tradition-proud Dems have been unwilling to recognize this, to soil their own gloves, or (horrors!) call an opponent a liar to his face.

    In terms of policy, the establishment Democrats are also the true conservatives.  

    They include many people who would have been moderate Republicans 20 years ago, some neoliberals, a few plain old-fashioned liberals hiding for the time being behind false mustaches, and quite a number of what I see as hidebound, career-minded political professionals who, up to now at least, have been far too complacent about losing.

    At least, this time we won something. That's a start.

    Richmond went quite blue; even the exurban Loudoun County went blue; a few other places that seems to me to be bellwethers went blue this time. Yet the race was not a landslide. One thing that fact suggests to me is that McAuliffe may been about the bluest candidate that could have stood a chance for Governor this time around.

    The whole state needs to evolve in its thinking, including a bunch of the electorate. Liikely this will continue to be a gradual  process, but at least the slow-moving Old Dominion did not fall easily, either, to the siren song of the radical right.

     

    •  Agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, kareylou, schumann

      While not born there, I lived in Hampton Roads for 11 years starting in the mid-eighties. When I first moved there from California, I experienced serious culture shock. Racism was rampant and the religious right got its way with nearly everything. This was the home of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, after all. Back then, most businesses were closed on Sundays due to blue laws. When put up for a vote, a majority voted to keep Sunday for Gawd. This lasted until the state supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. As with all things conservative, when they were forced to change their ways, Gawd did not come down and strike everyone dead (though Pat Robertson did claim credit for saving Virginia from a hurricane).

      Looking at the county-by-county results, I think that not much has changed. Democratic votes came from Northern Virginia (which has always been more liberal than the rest of the state), college towns, areas with higher concentrations of African Americans, and Hampton Roads (which is somewhat surprising to me given that it is conservative and has a huge military presence). The rest of the state is still solidly red, and will likely be forever. Many people whose livelihoods depend on the federal government have not so quickly forgotten which party caused the shutdown, and they tend to vote. I think this coupled with Cooch's repulsive views on women's issues made the difference.

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