Moderate Democrat defeats Bush family surrogate in Virginia

“Don’t get mad, get even.” — Animal House.

UPDATE: Following Tuesday’s good night for Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new memo Thursday adding 11 additional Republican-held districts they now deem to be battlegrounds for 2018’s midterm elections. That includes Wisconsin’s First District. 

Our Democrat(ic) acquaintances are doing a victory lap after Tuesday’s off-year elections. Good for them. Celebrate your victories, we say at the Policy Werkes. Avenge your defeats.

That Democrats won elections on the coasts — for mayor of New York City, governor of New Jersey, and various Washington State contests — should be no surprise. Virginia is the prize — it is purple at best — and it was fairly won. But let’s not get carried away, either side.

pol spectrum

Many would say the political continuum ought to be a circle, with fascism and communism meeting.

CNN solidifies its reputation as the Clinton network, braying: “Key wins by Democrats may portend an ominous future for President Trump and his party.”

“Voters delivered a forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday,” the New York Times tells the Manor’s In-Box. Rachel Maddow and Pajama Boy will be giddy.

Not 24 hours after polls closed, The Washington Post could divine: “Republicans seek new path after failure of Gillespie’s ‘Trumpism without Trump.'”

Ann of Althouse asks, “How do they know what Republicans are seeking based on one Republican losing a race in a blue state?” She quotes the WaPost:

The Republican Party thought it had a plan to win the governor’s mansion in Virginia: Run a mainstream candidate who could nonetheless employ the racially charged culture-war rhetoric of President Trump to turn out a white working-class base.

Ann comments:

Yikes. Did that happen? Republicans had that as a plan? Sounds more like the Democratic Party’s plan to defeat the Republicans” — get people to believe that’s what Ed was doing. I saw [Northam’s] pickup truck ad: Scare people into thinking Republicans are heartless haters.

Nate Cohn in the New York Times damps down Democrat(ic) glee:

This time, election were held on neutral or even Democratic-leaning terrain. For that reason, it is not obvious that Tuesday’s performance represents a significant improvement over the Democrats’ showings earlier in the year. In 2018, they won’t always get the luxury of competing in such favorable districts.

Winner no Bernie Sanders clone

The winning Democrat, Ralph Northam, had a strong Virginia/Southern pedigree: Virginia Military Institute graduate (Stonewall Jackson’s alma mater) and military service. But Northam is more than Hillary Clinton with a hard hat and Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin challenger Randy Bryce is no Ralph Northam. (See: “Putting a hard hat on a socialist.”)

As the race tightened Northam promised to ban sanctuary cities in his state, reversing an earlier position. After calling Trump “a narcissistic maniac,” he softened his tone to promising to work with the President. He supports a petroleum pipeline through his state and opposes “single payer” health care.

On the other hand, Northam opposes school choice, supports the $15 minimum wage, and is supported by the abortion lobby.

Virginia had a chance to elect a Democrat the Bernie Sanders/Randy Bryce/Nicholas Maduro mold.

Tom Perriello was their Great White Hope. John Nichols’ publication, The Nation, praised the man’s “starkly progressive agenda.” Perriello was backed by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Bill McKibben, and Rosa DeLauro. Perriello’s major funder? George Soros. But Mr. P. lost the Dem primary election, big time (59-41%).

Truth is, losing Republican candidate Ed Gillespie kept his distance from Trump (thus the WaPost’s “Trumpism without Trump”), a fact the President tweeted from Korea last night. Whether a full-on embrace with this most unusual president would have helped or hurt is conjecture.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Gillespie is a George W. Bush man. But then, so is Northam. He voted for George W. both times.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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31 Responses to Moderate Democrat defeats Bush family surrogate in Virginia

  1. AnonyBob says:

    Indulge my adapting and repeating this comment recently added to an earlier post; so much of it applies to this one:
    Was the Virginia Dem primary last night? No. Last night the winner of that primary won the general election. (Hellooo Althouse: it was also the Lt. Gov. and Atty General and the Dems took at least 15 GOP seats in the lower house, it wasn’t just one race that portends difficulty ahead for the Grand Old Party.) I’m fine with moderate Dems in power. It was the GOP, Dave, who took it in the chops last night, including the legislator who wrote the state anti-transgender bathroom bill. In fact, a transgender woman actually beat a GOP anti-gay incumbant, and GOP’s House of Delegates 66-34 majority got wiped out. Let’s see, what other state has such a lopsided majority in the lower house? Do you think it got Robin Vos’s attention? Trump may have won Wisconsin by a small margin, but how tightly is the GOP gonna hug him?


  2. ElHombre says:

    Communist and fascist are both things of the left. Mussolini was a leftist, not a conservative.


  3. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Yes, your diagram would be more accurate if presented in circular form with communism and fascism meeting. Which raises the question of why a certain affluent midwestern college town run by a gaggle of self-regarding, sanctimonious liberal twits sees no problem with erecting a monument to one while recoiling in horror from the other.


  4. coolkevs says:

    There goes ABob riding the Anti-Trump wave in a state where Hillary won and a lot of its population commute into DC. Kind-of like Madison voting for whoever wins the Dem primary against Walker.


  5. Ken says:

    Your political line is bunk. Fascism isn’t anymore right wing than communism. In fact, fascism is a brand of communism, i.e., nationalist (vs. the more prevalent internationalist). The actual line goes from totalitarianism (decidedly leftwing, which includes communism, socialism, oligarchy, and, that’s right, fascism) to anarchy.

    The right is about conservatism, which is about conserving our basic rights as founded in British tradition and immortalized in the US Declaration of Independence, with a government designed around protecting these rights in our Constitution. The “far right” would be a strict interpretation of our constitution, with a broad interpretation of our rights (as made explicit in the ninth amendment and the privileges and immunities clause); the “far right” would be considered extreme libertarianism today, but to the left of anarchy. The furthest right position is that of people like Rothbard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madisonexpat says:

      Right on.


    • Richard Forty says:

      Correct, fascism and marxism both involve central economic planning, and valuing the collective over the individual, so they both belong on the totalitarian left. Socialism on the far left, moderate dems are center left, repubs center right, libertarians far right, since they are the polar opposite of collectivism, valuing individualism above all.


  6. Hoth says:

    Fascism falls between socialism and communism. It doesn’t belong anywhere near the right side of the spectrum.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AnonyBob says:

    All this defense of fascism as not being right wing “because I consider myself right wing” is bizarre and too telling of the failing education system of America. Dave’s continuum is correct, and a good argument can be made that it should be circular. There is little difference in the police state totalitarianism of fascism or extreme communism. ElHombre and Ken must’ve slept thru high school history classes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richard Forty says:

      Correct, both fascism and marxism involve total central economic planning, valuing the collective over the individual, and one party gov, putting both on the totalitarian left. Their only difference is nationalism vs internationalism. Democratic socialists and dems belong center left, repubs center right, libertarian extreme right, since they value pure individualism over the collective and want absolute minimum gov.


  8. Even though your political scale is widely accepted and taught through our failing education system (and probably the entire world’s), this idea of using left = communist and right = fascist gives us an incredibly flawed scale. Having totalitarian systems (that are virtually identical) at both ends just leads to ridiculous and ambiguous placement of types of government, goofy attempts to correct it like “it should be circular”, and it has no logical placement of anarchists. It is simply an awful way of describing government. It allows people “on the left” to call someone who advocates limited govt a “fascist” because they are both “right wing”. By the scale they are correct. In the real world they are spouting nonsense.

    A far more superior scale, that seems to elude virtually everyone, is one with no goverment at one end (pick left or right, it does not matter) and total government on the other. Then there is no need to make a circle because fascism and communism will correctly be placed next to each other (since “there is little difference” between them), and anarchists are logically placed on the “no govt” side.

    But since that scale actually makes sense and outs statists (on both sides of the aisle), it will never be used.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tom Davidson says:

    Jackson was an instructor at VMI for 10 years, but his alma mater was the Military Academy at West Point


  10. frankdn says:

    Well Bob, we know that the original fascist, Benito Mussolini, edited a socialist newspaper and was a member of an Italian socialist party. And his famous dictum, “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state,” perfectly encapsulated fascist totalitarianism… and Nazism too. Hitler didn’t call the Nazi program “National Socialism” in ignorance. Fascists, and Nazis, were in fact socialists.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    It’s neither a line nor a circle, but a matrix. Authoritarian is at the top, libertarian is at the bottom, liberal is to the left and conservatism to the right. The Nazis and Italian Fascists would be in the upper left quadrant.


    • Richard Forty says:

      Correct. If you must have a line, then fascists and marxists belong on the totalitarian end, socialists and dems center left, conservative repubs center right, and libertarians right, and anarchists extreme right. But having the box you suggest also allows conservative repubs and liberal dems to be opposites as well, mainly because they tend to be collectivist or individualist on different issues.


  13. AnonyBob says:

    Revisionism runs rampant.


  14. old baldy says:

    “Fascism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

    Turner, 1975, and Larsen, Hagtvet and Myklebust 1984


    • Richard Forty says:

      And that writing, although commonly taught, is wrong. Fascist and Marxist both involve total central economic planning, valuing the collective over the individual, and one party gov, and totalitarianism, so they belong next to each other. The only minor difference between them is emphasizing internationalism or nationalism, but the actual organization of gov and its effect over the individual vs the gov is identical. The real opposite to both is free market individualistic libertarianism. Liberals or conservatives would end up near the middle, since each has collectivist vs individualistic elements.


      • AnonyBob says:

        The fascists may have believed in central economic planning, but they were happy to leave the means of production in private, for-profit corporate hands. They were quite supportive of capitalism. The privately held arms manufacturers did well.


      • old baldy says:

        I just heard a new way to describe China, coming from the recent trip by our fearless leader to the Far East. “Authoritarian Capitalism” . How does that fit in your revisionist scale?


  15. madisonexpat says:

    Hitler instituted universal health care. So no capitalism there. Socialist like Bernie and Hillary.


  16. madisonexpat says:

    Less every day. Western Europe is Post Modern, Post National, Post Christian and Post Capitalist. It is doomed. The Left won that one. They may not here. Not yet. Thank God for Kellyanne and President Trump.


    • AnonyBob says:

      “Thank God for Kellyanne and President Trump.”
      It’s really hard to believe anyone can say that with a straight face. But I know you believe it, Splat. Mind-boggling.


  17. AnonyBob says:

    Yeah, a highly qualified and experienced woman who understands the world, our government and constitution. She looks like a nun compared to his self-enriching, self-aggrandizing, immoral and corrupt doofusness. Putin couldn’t play her.
    Yep, sure dodged a bullet there.


  18. madisonexpat says:

    Oh yeah ABob and O’Ballsy, Hillary is qualified to advise Weensteen, Spacey, Mark Halperin and now AlFranken how to quash bimbo eruptions. She’s good at terrorizing and demonizing the “nuts and sluts” who had the temerity to complain about Hillary’s husband sexual predations. And recall that Bill called her his “moral compass.”
    Now Roy Moore should do to Gloria Allred’s current clients complaining about harasment what President Trump did when he said put up or I’ll see you in court. Whoopsie. Where’d they all go?
    Maybe Hillary could tell Al Franken to come out as a gay man who is gonna take on the NRA.
    There is your nun Bob.


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