Ready, fire, aim

Right before Labor Day, Larry Sabato tossed out an idea that’s been circulating for months in Democratic circles: the GOP could be blown-out in the November elections. This provided the RTD’s Jeff Schapiro with an opening to expand upon the theme, and wonder if the only thing standing in the way of such an electoral disaster is the attorney general campaign of Republican Mark Obenshain.

Mark’s going it alone, Jeff says, plotting a course that takes him as far away from his ticketmates, and their many, multiplying, weaknesses, as possible.

That makes for good copy. It’s also an indication that the statewide campaign’s final narrative is being formed.

The Republican ticket is finished. All that’s really left now is properly identifying the scapegoats.

The most likely candidate for that role: E.W. Jackson. The Washington Post has a lengthy piece on the Jackson campaign. It is not favorable and contains remarks from more than a few, unnamed Republican sources who say that Jackson is, for all intents and purposes, finished (a charge the Jackson campaign hotly disputes).

Ken Cuccinelli is a contender for the title of the man who sank the GOP, and Bob McDonnell is not to be overlooked for his role in the coming debacle and let us not forget the man sitting on the sidelines who has made a new career for himself as dart thrower: Bill Bolling.

It’s the sort of narrative the press loves because, if the November debacle actually occurs, it will only be the beginning of the story. Afterwards, there will come the recriminations, which could lead to the GOP crack-up that some have long predicted. That’s the kind of copy that has “Pulitzer” written all over it.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I wrote on Friday that before folks on the right began prepping for the circular firing squad, they should take a deep breath and understand that the real campaign for statewide office has only just begun. These next few weeks, with voters actually paying attention, are the ones that matter. The press knows this. Larry Sabato knows this, too. Otherwise, we would not be reading what was once a Democratic fantasy of a November sweep becoming the accepted narrative.

The question becomes, then, whether the right will allow this narrative to become fact.

It’s a choice with ramifications that go well beyond November.

  • We can win all three slots. The belief that we can’t is nonsense. In a race where turnout will be lucky if it crosses 40%, we’ve got the votes to win. I don’t want to hear doom and gloom from anybody.

    • reluctant activist

      Personally, I’d like to see everybody abandon both ships and vote for Sarvis, He actually seems like a reasonable, smart guy, with absolutely NO experience in government, which, given the way things are going, might be a very good thing. Have a great day!

      • We don’t need anybody at that level with no experience. This isn’t local supervisor or a legislative job.

        • Wally Erb

          Are you also then making a case against E.W. Jackson, since he also needs to perform as Governor when needed?

          • Nope. As LG he’s not in the executive role and he can learn on the job. While I would preferred a Republican with more elected experience, that didn’t happen.

          • Eric McGrane

            Which republican would that have been?

          • I supported JeanneMarie Davis. She’s a personal friend. Scott Lingamfelter and Pete Snyder were my next choices, again, because of personal relationships.

          • Eric McGrane

            Ah, that’s right…I forgot that you did take a stand on JeanneMarie. Thanks.

          • Jazzboy1

            Brian, Brian, Brian… go back to your civic lessons. The Lt. Governor has a very responsible job presiding over the Senate.

          • That job doesn’t matter if there’s no 20-20 tie.

      • MD Russ

        Sarvis has as much experience as McA in elected office.

        • Daniel Cortez

          When are conservatives going to learn that the extreme libertarian candidate can not win.

          • MD Russ

            Oh, they will learn that about the same time that social conservatives realize that preaching the gospel of limited government while calling for government intrusion in the most personal and private aspects of your life is inconsistent. For example, how do you call for less intrusive government and then limit by law a woman’s access to legal and ethical medical procedures?

          • Eric McGrane

            You talking about cracking baby skulls with scissors/forceps, or some other ethical medical procedure? OR did you mean the democrat war on women from working to limit mammograms and pap smears? This is so hard to keep up.

          • MD Russ

            Very nice, Eric. When logic fails you, resort to emotion. What “democrat war on women?” The last time I checked, the Democrats wanted you and I to pay for that Georgetown bimbo’s birth control.

            Do you realize that the only thing that is standing between you social conservatives and total extinction is the loony liberals who believe that free abortion on demand without parental notification for underaged girls makes sense but that executing sociopathic serial killers doesn’t?

            Extremists on both ends of the political spectrum make me want to retch.

          • Eric McGrane

            I guess your snark detector is broken. I was making fun of the left’s constructed claim of the GOP war on women. I thought that was obvious.

            And I’m not a social conservative. You just made that up.

            And -2 points for including the word “extreme”. That was old news 60 days ago.

          • Jazzboy1

            Switching your views in 60 seconds, huh Eric?

          • Jazzboy1

            No Eric, it’s all the talk about conservative sex police in the bedrooms. You are going to see a larger than normal turnout out of young 20-30 year olds going to vote against Cuccinelli and Jackson because they don’t want to be labeled sex offenders under the anti-sodomy laws.

            80% of heterosexuals admit to engaging in oral sex — but some crazies in the GOP think that they should be threatened by prosecution. Don’t believe me? Ask your grown children. You’re arguments are too cute by half.

      • Larry Lyons

        Anyone voting for Sarvis is essentially voting twice, once for Sarvis and once for Cuccinelli.

        • reluctant activist

          Yes, that is certainly possible. However, I have reached the point in my life where I am no longer willing to vote for the lesser of two evils. While I cannot imagine a cold enough day in hell when I would actually vote for Cuccinelli, I just want to be able to hold my head up and vote for a candidate I actually believe in. I’m just so weary of these hucksters who have corrupted the political scene.

          • MD Russ


            I have been a “hold-your-nose-and vote” Independent for most of my adult life. Just when you think that you are through with the major two parties, along comes a stink bug like Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, or Bill Sarvis.

            The best that we can hope for is that the Republican ticket will take such a thrashing in November that the Republicans will jettison the Libertarians and the Tea Party and return to being a mainstream political party. If they don’t then we are doomed to be ruled by liberal Democrats.

          • Jazzboy1

            MD Russ: You make sense. If the GOP cannot police its own nominating process – then the mainstream voters will do it for them.

            Third party candidates rarely win but their votes affect the winners and losers and Sarvis doesn’t help Cuccinelli. But as of today, it is looking as if a sizable amount of conservatives can’t vote for Cuccinelli. Hello McAuliffe for 4 years.

    • S Fisher

      Thanks Brian! Your opinion is greatly appreciated in this season of GOP political doubt!

      • Jazzboy1

        Yes, keep the blinders on. Then you can say we lost because of the mainstream media (not the failings of our own candidates).

        • S Fisher

          Not saying that at all, every candidate has his/her own failings that become issues in a campaign and there are plenty to go around this year.

          However, the press does have it’s place, rather that it’s influence is small or large is personal preference, when swaying the vote. I would think we could agree that they have especially strong influence over those who don’t research the candidates and take editorials as fact.

          I was just expressing appreciation for giving some glimpse of hope for the GOP instead of the doom and gloom that is heard all over the place.

    • Warmac9999

      I agree. We have outstanding conservatives who represent the interests of the grassroots Republicans, independents and most thoughtful libertarians. Sardis is a spoiler who, based on his academic record, comes from liberalism not the libertarian roots he espouses.

    • Daniel Cortez

      Respectfully Brian you may not want to hear it but it is there. I hear it from the wives of our highest ranking conservative politicos. But you are correct conservatives could still win…..As I recall similar anxiety was norm when ole Ollie North ran for office……Let’s see how it turns out this time once the October surprise hits.

    • DJRippert

      There is no chance whatsoever that the RPV wil win the Lt Governor race. 0.00% chance. Had the slippery eels of the RPV held an open primary you might have had Pete Snyder on the ballot. Of course, you probably would have had Bill Bolling too.

      Democracy – it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

      • People said the same thing about Republicans taking back the House in 2010 and Scott Brown winning in Massachusetts. Stranger things can happen.

        • Jazzboy1

          The Democratic candidate Martha Coakley against Scott Brown was a deeply flawed candidate and turned off voters like Cuccinelli and Jackson are doing so well. Like VA, Massachusetts has a long history of electing candidates from both parties to the Governorship.

      • Michael Polito

        Again, provide some evidence that Bolling would have won in a primary. I’ve yet to see any.

        • andrewp111

          What is more to the point is why didn’t Bolling even try to compete in the Convention process. He wasn’t prepared for that kind of campaign? Well, boo hoo hoo.

          • Jazzboy1

            Well Andrewp111, you’ll be “boo hoo hooing” after the election when the Democrats take all three top slots, regain the Senate and make huge dents in the Assembly — all because you guys wanted to close off the process to just hear from the true believers.

    • The belief that E.W. Jackson is electable is nonsense.

      • It’s not nonsense. Alan Grayson got elected.

        • Jazzboy1

          As Mitt would say, “You wanna bet $10,000?”

    • OB2

      Save the Republican Party in Virginia. Vote against all of the Republican candidates. Send the party to an embarrassing defeat. Perhaps, just perhaps, out of the ashes will arise a revitalized party that no longer celebrates “stupid’ and thus might win independent votes.

      • That’s one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard.

        • OB2

          I’m sure you think so. But I’m more interested in effective government than in using politics to score debate points. It is not a sport. As soon as the extreme wing of the Republican Party leans this, the better the prospects are for a win and effective leadership. As a Virginia resident and Republican for almost 40 years, I am willing to take a tactical loss to score a strategic victory.

        • Jazzboy1

          Brian your faith in your partisanship is admirable as long as you have the faith of your convictions to accept responsibility and go down with the ship — after all Captain Smith did the right thing on the Titanic. Although he let too many women and children go to their doom too.

  • The real cause of this problem is that idiotic convention. Without it, you’ve got Bolling/Snyder/Whocares and that’s a win for the Top 2 positions at least. Luckily, the next RPV convention will be pointless as nobody is going to beat Mark Warner. The only thing at stake will be the RPV’s credibility that will be at sub-Deutsch levels if Bob Marshall wins the nomination.

    • MD Russ

      Agree. Sideshow Bob would be the Republican Creigh Deeds.

    • Michael Polito

      What makes you think Bolling would have beaten Cuccinelli in a primary? Find me a primary poll showing Bolling ahead.

      • The only proof I can provide would be the Rule of Common Sense.

      • andrewp111

        Bolling might have won a primary if one was held, but that clown wasn’t willing to compete in the convention process. All he does is spit sour grapes as to how he was cheated out of the governorship. I don’t think a guy like that would beat McAwful if the nomination had been different.

  • andrewp111

    I think the narrative is fact and cannot be changed, and there is one primary reason – the McDonnell scandal. The Washington Post has been after McDonnell ever since he restricted abortion, and they found out that he got a little too greedy with ole Jonny Williams. They have been after McDonnell and Cuccinelli like a hound dog ever since.

    • Jazzboy1

      Here it comes.According to you and your ilk, it’s not what McDonnell and Cuccinelli did with the shady Jonnie Williams that has turned voters against them — but the Washington Post for reporting it! Ha! You just don’t get it. Blame the media but not yourselves for being led blindly down the primrose path.

      The point is Cuccinelli might very well have beaten Bolling in an open primary — BUT the Republican!voters would have been given a spirited, invigorating debate that would have strengthened the RPV. But noooooo! Let the party bosses control the process so Cuccinelli didn’t have to lift a finger to compete and enter into a real debate. Now Bolling and his team are working against Cuccinelli, McDonnell and his family are tainting Cuccinelli, and Sarvis will probably get 5% of the vote to keep McAuliffe in the lead.

      And Jackson? What were you guys thinking? Yes, he might honestly believe the earth is 10,000 years old, but his stridency and close-minded viewpoint have given VA voters 10 million reasons to vote down his religious brand of extremism. Thomas Jefferson is turning over in his grave at what the RPV has become in 2013.

  • Jazzboy1

    There is a very strong likelihood that the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Dr. Ralph Northam will win by a larger percentage of the vote than McAuliffe beats Cuccinelli. He could provide coattails for McAuliffe (in VA the two positions are elected separately). Northam is a pediatric neurologist and former army doctor in a state with respect for military experience and medical expertise — he believes in science unlike his GOP opponent that insists the earth is 10,000 years old.

    Dr. Northam turned a red State Senate seat blue in 2007 and went on to win a stunning landslide with 60% of the vote in 2011 against a seasoned TEA party millionaire businessman. Northam will beat firebrand Rev. Jackson in another landslide. He comes across as a mild-mannered Clark Kent but has been an effective leader of the Democrats in the VA State Senate. Now he will be in a Superman position presiding over the Senate starting in 2014 that will stop the extremist agenda of the GOP.

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