Many of us pay attention to national elections and our local political races. It’s often a challenge to get people to pay attention to elections that don’t have impact them directly. One political race, however, is receiving widespread attention: the Virginia governor’s race.
The recent fundraising e-mail sent by the Democratic Governors Association is a reminder of the stakes :
The race for the Virginia Governor’s Mansion is attracting attention, in part, because the Republican candidate, current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, is known for statements considered radical by the Left. In case you’re not familiar, Cucinelli is the man who spends time trying to keep his state’s anti-sodomy statute in place, speaking out against LGBT rights, railing against women’s right to choose, fighting to get public colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and, of course, that avoidance of answering questions about ethics thing…
His opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, has garnered his share of attention — quite a lot of it unwelcome — during his political career. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, McAuliffe is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. He also served as co-chairman of former President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and, more recently, as the chairman of Hillary Clinton‘s2008 presidential campaign during which she ran against then Senator Obama. Since then, though politically active McAuliffe has not garnered fully enthusiastic support among Democrats. Perhaps people remember comments such as this one printed by Common Dreams in 2002: “The Chairman, you see, is no stranger to shady deals and dump trucks full of cash. After all, he’s arguably the most successful raiser and distributor of soft-money, the gangrene of American politics. Moreover, his office helped convince the FEC to gut the new McCain/Feingold soft-money ban last month.”
Politics sucks sometimes. Just how
f*cked up far have we fallen that the only two candidates are, one the one hand, a man who thinks that big government (or any government?) shouldn’t exist but seems to want to expand government to fit in a woman’s vagina and, on the other hand, a man who many liberals whose memory reaches back beyond 10 years thinks it’s OK to be unquestionably smarmy in business practises?
Is this the best we can do? And, how sad is it that many of us admit that if we were in Virginia, we’d gladly vote for McAuliffe if only because he could be a local thorn in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor‘s side? He has his positives: during his heyday with the DNC his team created a computer database of more than 170 million prospective voters and a Women’s Vote Center to educate women voters on pertinent issues. They also formed an initiative to build ties to newer and younger voters and, of equally crucial importance, founded the Voting Rights Institute to protect voting rights which are still under attack today by the GOP as a whole.
So, yeah…McAuliffe doesn’t exactly receive loud, ringing endorsements but, in all honesty, Cuccinelli frightens
the crap out of me and every other woman I know and many people of colour.
Frankly, Virginia, going forward it would be a good idea to groom other candidates; it would be a great big step in the right direction. If the nation is to move ahead, presenting candidates on either ticket who force consituents to say, “Is this the best our state has to offer?” isn’t the way to go.