Just after my inaugural post below, I was invited by Alice Marshall to contribute to her blog, GOTV (gotv.blogspot.com). Alice and I agree about the importance of Chap Petersen's victory this November. I'll primarily blog about that race at GOTV. When I do dare to branch out from that there, I'll try to stick to politics as Alice mostly does and as the noble GOTV name befits.
I hope to tie this year's Virginia GOP to the rapidly crumbling national GOP.
I hope to enlist this year's resurgent national Dems in the effort to elect this year's Virginia Dems.
Next year, as I shift focus to the national races, I'll turn the tables, hopefully strictly positively following massive Dem victories in VA this year.
Loyal Dems, be forewarned; I'm not beholden to any candidate or party. It just so happens that I know of no GOP candidate for whom I'd vote, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. I will try to be as constructive as I can with my criticism of Dems. Without buying into the reprehensible GOP meme that 9/11 changed everything, I realize the importance of making the most of our two party, winner take all, system; so, I'll stay away from rehashing history, like the impact of Nader in 2000. I'll especially avoid such unpleasantness at GOTV.
Good ends never justify bad means. Today's GOP does not act as if it believes in that principle. To its credit, today's GOP has acted as if it will abide by the clear, un-stealable, will of the people. If the margins are big enough and the stakes are small enough, the GOP will accept defeat.
The first campaign I ever actually volunteered for was Dave Marsden's 2005 race for the VA House of Delegates. I told Dave before I signed up that he was far from my ideal candidate, but his opponent was a cookie-cutter version of a young unprincipled GOP ideologue. I could not sit by and let such a person be my representative. Dave won big (almost 60%!). It's a good feeling to realize one is in the mainstream of one's district. As a freshman Delegate, Dave and I have disagreed, sometimes uncomfortably publicly, but he truly listens and explains his positions. Unless and until someone closer to my views challenges him, that's all a constituent could ask for. And even the GOP may have gotten the message that we we're comfortable with Dave for another two years, because they have yet to announce a challenger for this November.
My VA Senate district is obviously larger and likely more diverse than my VA House of Delegates district. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis is the incumbent, not an inexperienced novice. She also doesn't act like a rabid ideologue like Michael Golden. She also has a lot of campaign money at her disposal (too much of it derived from her husband's office and position in the national GOP leadership - I'll probably post a lot on this later, both here and at GOTV but for more details see the blogwork of Andrea Chamblee and another blogger at tomdavistruth.com). On the other hand, Chap Petersen is an experienced office holder with proven popularity, and he just concluded a very impressive first quarter fundraising period. It should also be noted that in 2003 with a big money advantage against a much less well known opponent, Jeannemarie's victory margin wasn't all that impressive.
Chap ought to be regarded by independents as an acceptable alternative to Jeannemarie. His fundraising ability and how he uses that money will help in that regard. If the clamor for change we saw nationally last year can carry over to this year's VA elections, that will also help Chap.
TURNOUT IS THE KEY!
Citizens can be very unhappy with the status quo, but if they don't think their votes will make a difference, they won't bother. I'm going to do all I can to argue that replacing Jeannemarie with Chap will make a huge difference. I'm going to continue to advocate that national Dems, VA Dems, and Chap himself push that message loudly, proudly, and often.
If the voters of my VA Senate district turn out in great numbers and give a big margin to Chap, we may even see Jeannemarie and Tom retire from public life, and you won't have to read my ramblings at next year's blog, vote[challenger to be named]dumptom.blogspot.com. That's got to be a pretty good incentive in itself, no?