Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quick Question

Since the scandal is in full swing right now, I was wondering about something.

Many political analysts as well as most dems feel that Virginia is "turning blue", or at least purple. They cite Tim Kaine's victory over Kilgore as well as the seemingly competitive race for a Senator who has represented Virginia for many years in various offices.

If Jim Webb does in fact beat George Allen, or even if he comes close, as a result of this scandal; will it prove anything?

It seems to me that the dems have been winning recently (and for the better part of 20 years now) not so much on their own ideas or stances but on the blunders of the GOP. Look no further than the upcoming midterms across the nation. In almost every race, the dems are pushing how Bush messed up the war and how the GOP needs to be punished for it. They aren't running on a real change message. They don't even have a clear message on how they plan to fix Iraq (and this is their main issue).
Contrary to some people's belief, 2006 will not be 1994 even if the dems do regain control of Congress. 1994 was about a movement and a real change. It was "Here is what is wrong and here is how we are going to fix it". The dems strategy this year is "the GOP sucks so vote for us".
I don't blame the dems, taking an unpopular issue and using against your opponent is section 1 of the political strategy handbook. Even so, at some point you have to prove you can govern and not just be good at telling everyone why your opponent is bad.

My question to everyone out there is, can the dems beat the GOP when the GOP doesn't screw up? Can they beat us on ideas, or can they only beat us when we beat ourselves?


  • At 8/18/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger zen said…

    Can the Dems beat the GOP on ideas? First I'd need to know what ideas the GOP has that have actually worked for us? If these past years of Republican control are a reflection of what the GOP does when it controls the House, Senate, Executive and a great deal of the Judicial, then I guess my question would be; What are the Republican's running on? More of the same?

    I understand your point, and I'll address it more directly in a moment, but seriously when given the actual chance to govern, the GOP has failed us. Miserably.
    If only they would put as much effort into governing as they do into campaigning....or sadly yet, maybe they are.
    The only message from the right is to attempt to scare the hell out of people and embrace the false notion that the nation is so much more secure, the world is so much more stable under their guidance. Reality says otherwise. And as the party that preaches loudly about "personal responsibility", they run from it at every opportunity and point to scapegoats at every turn—liberals, the media, democrats. It's pathetic, but not unexpected.

    The Democrats do have ideas, and the strategy you use to ignore them, is threadbare and transparent. National security means more than tough talk, slogans and erronious wars. It means actually protecting our ports, building allies, and actually listening to recommendations of the 9/11 commission. It means learning the lessons that terrorism should be addressed as an intelligence and investigative matter (ask the Brits about this one) while at the same time protecting the one thing that is America above all else—the Constitution!
    Energy policy, healthcare policy, honest government...ideas are there, just because you refuse to listen and hear them does not negate their existence.

  • At 8/18/2006 2:34 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said…

    Tim Kaine

  • At 8/18/2006 5:39 PM, Anonymous brimur said…

    Hahaha. You have to prove you can govern? Yeah Republicans DO have a long way to prove they can govern. They remove PAYGO rules, run up massive deficits to finance a disaster of a war and tax cuts for people who aren't "trickling down" shit.


    Surpluses, peace, prosperity, etc. (The Clinton years)

    Seems to me your thesis is wrong. Dems have time and again proven their superiority at governing. Your fixation is with Republicans ability to campaign as if they have valid ideas. Far different from governing.

  • At 8/18/2006 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Clinton years were before the tradegies of 9/11, tsunami in Indonesia, Katrina and other hurricanes where the US government provided many services. This greatly added to the national debt and it wasn't the fault of the GOP. They get blamed for everything. What about the expenses of the Great Society? They just tried to "buy" votes by providing everything for those who had no work ethic. There have been good and bad governing on both sides. Too many people just aren't willing to check out the facts.

  • At 8/18/2006 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oops, tragedies, I type faster than I spell!!

  • At 8/19/2006 7:25 AM, Blogger zen said…

    Spending $250 million a day in Iraq. While giving tax cuts. That's responsible fiscal policy?

  • At 8/19/2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous brimur said…

    Anon: Yeah and the fall of the Soviet Empire was Carter's doing, the defeat of the Confederate forces was James Buchanan's doing, not Lincoln's, and the salvaging of our nation from the Great Depression was Hoover's strong fiscal policy not Roosevelt's New Deal.

    Really, this "Blame everything on Clinton" crap is just stupid.

    Just to directly address a couple of your points. Clinton made terrorism a priority, and it is a fact that the Bush administration shifted priorities because it didn't work well with their Missile Defense plans. Second, Katrina is all on Bush. In 2004 when Florida was going to have Hurricane troubles in the middle of the presidential campaign Bush made sure they had ample resources for the emergency- well in advance. Turns out the resources they got were much much more than the Gulf Coast got for Katrina. Not to mention the delays. The 2004 Florida response proves that the government Clinton left half a freaking decade earlier was perfectly capable of handling the crisis better, only Bush was too busy vacationing, much as he was on 9/11.

  • At 8/20/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    brimur, I think 11:07 was not blaming this stuff on Clinton but pointing out that Clinton had a lot less stuff to deal with when trying to balance the budget, etc.

  • At 8/20/2006 5:09 PM, Anonymous brimur said…

    Fair enough. There have been two major tragedies in this presidency. I won't bother reasonably debating whether or not one or both were preventable. But I will say that even a cursory understanding of the budget situation would show that neither of those events have had the direct effect on the deficit problem that the tax cuts for wealthy people and the disastrous Iraq war have.

    Strong leaders use crisis as an excuse to lead, weak leaders just use crisis as an excuse.

  • At 8/20/2006 5:43 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    "tax cuts for the weathly" have made the economy what it is today.
    The Iraq war certainly has resulted in huge decifits, but largely b/c no one wants to curb spending in Washington.

  • At 8/20/2006 6:00 PM, Anonymous brimur said…

    gophokie- "The economy what it is today"? Point me to an economist who isn't gravely concerned that we're entering another recession? And even without an official recession, we have never had an "economic upturn" that's been shared by so few. Wages are stagnant and the divide between the top percent and the rest of us has only grown at a steeper rate under this presidency than at any other time in recent history. So when your candidates say that "the economy is strong" they just sound out of touch to most people.

    As far as spending goes, two points:

    1)suggest cuts to match that spending and
    2)find a way to blame that on Democrats for me please. Because last time I checked Republicans controlled everything.

  • At 8/21/2006 10:40 PM, Anonymous GOPHOKIENEEDSTOGETLAID said…

    Get a woman, and calm down.


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