Thursday, November 10, 2005

Democrats Win Big Victories

In a surprise gubernatorial sweep, Democratic candidates have retained governorships in New Jersey and Virginia. The elections, held on November 8th, came as a sharp message to many incumbent Republicans facing their own reelection campaigns in 2006. The New Jersey race, bitterly fought and noted for its unprecedented amount of character assault and brutal mudslinging, was won handily by Democratic U.S. Senator John Corzine, who defeated Republican businessman Douglas Forrester by a wider margin than had been expected.
More eye-opening, however, was the triumph of Democrat Tim Kaine in the gubernatorial race of one of our nation’s Reddest states, Virginia. Both sides had polled a statistical dead heat and were calling for a razor thin victory, but in the end Kaine won over Republican Jerry Kilgore by 51%-46%, a significant margin.
The political tides in Virginia bode ominous for an already beleaguered Republican Party and have served to efface any doubt as to the attitude in the nation as a whole. If even Virginia, that rock of conservatism that stood solidly behind George W. Bush in 2004, is rejecting Republican candidates, the incumbent party is in trouble. Perhaps adding insult to injury, President Bush’s appearance in the state in the last days of the campaign seems to have weakened rather than strengthened Kilgore’s effort to win the Governor’s Mansion. The embarrassing experience seems only to confirm the President’s growing inability to effectively lead, his essential impotence in the alarming political affairs of the country, and the fact that he has become a liability to his fellow conservatives.
This is a President whose Administration has sunk, and, with a 35% approval rating, things don’t seem like they will be getting better any time soon. Really, the Virginia race is a statement about America, about an America that is coming to fully understand and to fully repudiate the policies of the Republican Right. Today, Ohio, the crucial state that handed President Bush his victory in the 2004 Election, is more liberal than neighboring Illinois.
In California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger sailed into the Governor’s Mansion on a wave of popular approval in 2002, the public has rejected all four of his key policy initiatives. Even the Reddest of the Red States, discontent is fomenting. Across the country, those who were once stalwart supporters of the Bush Administration now speak out against it.
“I’ve become an Independent,” they say. “I just can’t support this Administration anymore.”
“The President claims to represent Christians, but he is so corrupt,” the remark despairingly.
“I’m voting Democratic for the first time in my life,” they tell delighted poll workers.
More and more, the 2006 Congressional elections are beginning to look like a Democratic sweep, and many analysts have cautioned that the Republican majority could well lose both houses of Congress next November. Still others are already looking to the 2008 presidential race.
“ ’08! ’08! ’08!” came the thunderous roar from the Virginia throngs as Governor Mark Warner yielded to podium to his successor at Kaine’s acceptance speech. The Governor just smiled and waved his hand dismissively as the Governor-Elect began to address his ecstatic supporters. The sentiment, however, is irrepressible and will likely make for watershed votes in 2006 and 2008. We can only wait.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Conservative said...

Progressive,
I can't help noticing that our two viewpoints are on different ends of the spectrum, and also that we both receive comments from proponents and opponents of our particular beliefs. I think that, for the sake of debate, we could possible direct each other's readers to each other's sites, running sort of a dual operation. Let me know what you think.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think it would be cool to have the two of you working in some kind of partnership (sort of a Carville-Matalin arrangement), "Democrats Win Big Victories" is hardly the same order of hyperbole as "Virginia Falls." Your views are at different ends of the spectrum but one set of views is a lot closer the end than the other.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Editor said...

No comment...but I think you're right.

10:38 AM  
Blogger RightDemocrat said...

Democratic victories are encouraging but there is still a lot of work to do if we hope to win back Middle America. The Republicans have lost all credibility on fiscal matters. Despite the Republican failures on ethics, the economy and Iraq, we Democrats need to project a stronger and more mainstream image to win a decisive victory in 2006. If Democrats can expose the GOP distortions, move to the center on social issues and take a firmer stand on matters of national security such a protecting our borders, I think that we can become the majority party once again.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that you're right. The Repubs are likely to nominate someone far more middle-of-the-road to avoid associations with the current group of slimeballs. I can hear them now - "Yes, yes, Mr. Rove, he is a good choice, Mr. Rove" - and if the Democrats have any sense (not Hillary, as much as I admire her courage) we'll have a Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum set of candidates. Hopefully the trust issue will carry the day as it did after Nixon peed the pond for the Republicans.

I still marvel at how the supposedly 'Christian' right-wing voters can still stand to support the Bushies. Given that the Administration's stance on the torture issue alone you'd think they'd have second thoughts. "How Would Jesus Torture?" seems like a pretty good bumper sticker right now.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Conservative said...

Basically, I would like for you to attract more readers to your site, and I will attract more readers to mine, and then we can defer these readers to each other so as to facilitate debate (and perhaps educate you on the finer points of policy). This would begin immediately, of course. Please contact my site to let me know if you agree.

8:08 AM  

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