“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama
I suppose the above quote is somewhat inarguable. If you are indeed walking down the right path, then you should certainly keep going regardless of the challenges and eventually you’ll get closer to a good destination. Of course it’s the knowing whether you’re on the right path that is difficult. You can either observe that you’re on the right path because the actions you’re taking are having the intended outcomes and you’re getting closer to accomplishing a goal – OR – you can believe you’re on the right path and stick with it no matter what the results look like. The latter is more of a religious argument. If you view your political philosophy as having religious validity, then you can indeed keep going when the whole thing is falling apart. (Hey, can’t we all.)
Today is election day 2013. The big races are for the New Jersey and Virginia governorships. In New Jersey most folks are expecting a huge win for Christie, which is seen as the launchpad for his 2016 presidential campaign. I was once a fan of Christie, but not anymore. Nonetheless I think he’ll win big.
The Virginia governor election is far and away the more interesting and more “competitive” – though it probably won’t be that close. Terry McAuliffe – Bill Clinton’s “bag man” – is the Democrat, and Ken Cuccinelli the Republican. During the government shutdown McAuliffe was up big, around 14% in some polls. But since then things have tightened dramatically, in no small part due to the fact that the current general anger is the high pricetag of Obamacare (McAuliffe is actually campaigning on Obamacare). The current RCP average has it 45.6 for McAuliffe, 38.9 for Cuccinelli, and 9.6 for the Libertarian candidate, Sarvis.
I’m hardly a Cuccinelli fan – he strikes me as Moral Majority. But if he does win the race, despite the rather overwhelming odds against him (McAuliffe has a massive money advantage) then I can only assume it will be seen far and wide as a repudiation of Barack Obama. As McAuliffe himself noted, in the last 45 years the Virginia governors race has been won by the party not in the White House every single time.
So I expect a big win for Christie, and a reasonable one for McAuliffe. But if Cuccinelli should win it will send some waves through the halls of Congress. Those folks have to run for re-election in another year.
As for Sarvis, I hope he wins – but he won’t. I don’t know anything about Sarvis, but he’s a Libertarian and it would be really nice to see a non R or D win. If Sarvis does end up pulling down 10% + in a McAuliffe victory, the Republican establishment will rail against the radical “Tea Party” as costing them a victory and giving it to the Democrats. To this we make several notes. First, most Libertarians do not associate themselves with the Tea Party. Second, the chant amongst the establishment over the last few years has been that people who ascribe rigidly to principle and vote accordingly are a threat to democracy. This is absurd.
We’ll be watching the returns tonight … and probably rocking the baby.