Another election day… how exciting. Nice to be a cheerleader for my friends and not have a real stake in the outcome. Of course, I want my team – the GOP – to win. But that’s different than worrying about whether or not the precinct results are meeting expectations.
In Mississippi, Governor Haley Barbour sailed to reelection. Woohoo, baby.
In Kentucky… things did not go so great for incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher, whose path to reelection was stained with scandal. His Democrat opponent, Steve Beshear, won in a landslide. Fletcher now joins the swollen ranks of Right wing conservatives whose moral hypocrisy sank their political prospects.
Finally… a look at Virginia. While my friends have been telling me how they were “confident” about the stakes in Virginia, I confess I never thought it would end well tonight. It hasn’t felt like 1993, 1997, or the many special elections in 1999 and 2000 since the myriad corruption scandals hit the front pages. The problem Virginia Republicans face is different than what folks in flyover states face.
Virginia’s local news broadcasts are flooded with all the news from inside the beltway. When national news hits home district by district, it’s tough. But in Northern Virginia, they hear every misstep in grand detail. Total saturation. All politics. All the time.
Still reeling from George Allen’s failed bid last year, Virginia Republicans are more consumed with infighting than getting the job done. Personal vendettas, consultant wars, and political fatigue have trampled grassroots energy. Old and new guard warriors in the GOP failed.
I remember when, under the steady hand of a few great guys, Republicans swept the constitutional offices and the House of Delegates and the State Senate. I remember special election after special election where Republicans defied the odds – and won. Virginia, long dubbed the “mother of presidents” seemed poised to produce another with the shining star of adopted son, George Allen.
Tonight, Republicans are likely to lose control of the State Senate. The current wife of Congressman Tom Davis, Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, lost a tough reelection bid. The Congressman recently withdrew his interest in the US Senate seat being vacated by John Warner.
In 2008, Republicans have to really evaluate the playing field. Are consultant loyalties more important than winning? Are single-issue lobbyists really the owners of the Republican brand? Are they going to play ostrich on corruption? Are grassroots voters going to trade lies for access?
Finally… the good news is Haley Barbour – a former lobbyist who really is just a good ol boy – won reelection. He won tonight because in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he was a leader. Not a manager. He governed. He didn’t owe any favors to anyone.
Republicans can’t attack Democrats effectively until they get clarity on their own future. It’s time to de–toxify the party. Anyone who joined the GOP that embraces the “Goldwater” model, or believes that being a “movement conservative” trumps every other principle, or is obsessed with a dead man (Reagan) needs to leave power.
The Republican Party was just fine before Reagan. And we’ll be just fine without all his sycophants too.
— Media Lizzy
Check the results at RealClearPolitics!!!