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Monday, October 6, 2008

Good Morning, it is now a different race

In the four months or so that I have posted in this space, I'd like to think I gave Mark Warner the rough treatment he deserved. I will confess, however, that I was less enthusiastic than most over here about heaping praise on Jim Gilmore. As one of the leading Bob Marshall bloggers, I must admit that his narrow loss hurt deeply, and while Gilmore was and is certainly head and shoulders above Marky Mark, it was more difficult for me than most to get behind him with zeal.

That all ended for me when I came across Gilmore's fervent opposition to the Paulson-Pelosi-insert-establishment-politician-here bailout (Tim Craig, Washington Post, emphasis added):

Gilmore came out strongly against the $700 billion plan, arguing in a concise way that it amounted to government run amok. Warner supported the bailout, saying it was needed to prevent economic turmoil. Warner tried to pin the need for Congressional intervention on lax oversight by the Bush administration and "greed" on Wall Street.

Warner noted that both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama voted in favor of the plan, prompting Gilmore to say at one point, "I'm not in this for John McCain, I am in this for the people on the other side of this camera."

For once, Warner's efforts to turn the contest into a referendum on Gilmore's record as governor was overshadowed by an issue of more immediate concern. The only thing anyone who watched the debate will probably remember tomorrow is the word "bailout."

You got that right, Tim.

Of all the issues on the domestic front, this one was the biggest. Wall Street went into a panic, which promptly infected Washington and led the Administration and Congress into mass hysteria. Two weeks and $700 billion later, the entire episode cast a pall on democracy as we know it, while the free-market ideal (which didn't actually have anything to do with what went wrong) fell victim to the cross-fire. It was an ugly spectacle that revealed the American "elite" to be a bunch of ignoramuses with a dangerous herd mentality.

Friday night, Virginians were given a clear choice on a dramatically important federal issue. No historical arguments about who was the better governor. No Marky Mark distractions and obfuscations that required the Warnerese-to-English translator. On Friday night, Mark Warner revealed himself as the guy who will stand for the elites and stand on ordinary Virginians.

Jim Gilmore, meanwhile, revealed himself as the guy with the level head, the fellow with the better grasp of the state of our economy, and the guy who will stand up for each and every one of us and stand up to the elites of both parties.

Don't tell me this race is "over." Every single vote cast for Jim Gilmore is a vote against that bailout. More importantly, every vote cast for Jim Gilmore is a warning to Washington never to do something this stupid again.

That message will be much louder with 40% of the vote than 30% . . .

. . . 45% will make it louder still . . .

. . . and, if we can pull Gilmore up to 50%-plus-one, the message will reverberate through the country like an earthquake.

Don't tell me Gilmore can't catch up either. I remember a Republican "blue-blood" in New Jersey who was running more than twenty points behind with less than three weeks to go in the campaign. She ran on an anti-tax, populist platform, too. The elites laughed hysterically. Establishment types in both parties declared here a sure loser.

Yet on Election Night 1993, Christie Todd Whitman shocked the world and beat Jim Florio. The anti-tax shock waves rippled across the land and set up the GOP for the 1994 landslide. Meanwhile, Washington hasn't enacted a tax increase since.

Every vote matters now: win, lose, or draw. This isn't about personal battles for glory or reputation. This isn't even partisan anymore. This is us versus them, the sensible electorate versus the skittish and panicky elected, the sane masses versus an elite gone mad.

Jim Gilmore would have had my vote by default, but he's earned it now, and if you're a Virginia voter reading this, any Virginia voter reading this, he's earned your vote, too.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

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Comments on "Good Morning, it is now a different race"

 

Blogger SWAC Girl said ... (October 6, 2008 at 9:46 AM) : 

Excellent, DJ. I linked, and hope everyone in the blogosphere reads your well thought-out post.

 

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