Thursday, November 08, 2012

Martin O’Malley v. Bob McDonnell: The Democrat v. GOP Divide in Microcosm

An article in the Washington Post looks at the rivalry across the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland and their respective governors as well as Martin O'Malley's correct predictions on the outcomes of Tuesday's elections.   But the article also brings out the glaring gulf between the agenda of the Democrat Party and that of today's Christianist/thinly veiled white supremacist controlled Republican Party.  The Democrats seek to expand the rights and protections of citizens and stamp out discrimination while the GOP seeks to uphold discrimination and reduce the rights of citizens, especially those who are gay, non-white and female. Think I'm exaggerating?  Look at the last session of the GOP controlled Virginia General Assembly: the GOP sought to take women back 50 years in time in terms of being able to control their own bodies, defeated employment protections for LGBT Virginians - even those employed by the state and its agencies - and pushed through voter identification laws in an effort to disenfranchise minorities.  Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell presided over the entire travesty and only sought to lessen the horrific treatment of women when he realized his ambitions to be Mitt Romney's VP nominee were suffering.  In Maryland, Martin O'Malley presided over an opposite legislative effort to expand rights and protections.  Here are some article excerpts:

In their civil but pointed rivalry for cross-Potomac bragging rights, Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley scored a nearly complete victory over his Virginia counterpart, Republican Bob McDonnell, in Tuesday’s election.

O’Malley led his party to triumphs on four statewide ballot questions. He also used a new, gerrymandered electoral map to swipe a U.S. congressional seat from the GOP.

On two of the ballot questions, O’Malley helped win advances for Latinos and gay and lesbian voters. Both are important Democratic constituencies whose support should prove quite useful for an ambitious politician eyeing national office.

McDonnell failed to deliver Virginia, a critical national battleground state, for either Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney or U.S. Senate candidate George Allen.  .  .  .  . 

Romney’s overall loss to President Obama also marked a setback for McDonnell’s national ambitions. He had harbored hopes of being appointed to Romney’s Cabinet, ideally as attorney general.  Instead, the Virginian will have to listen politely while O’Malley boasts about the Democrats’ successes when the two of them appear — as they often do — as antagonists on national television political talk shows.

Moreover, Tuesday’s results suggest that McDonnell hasn’t done enough to nudge the Virginia GOP toward the political center. That’s partly because he is conservative and partly because his room to maneuver is limited by even more conservative Republicans in the General Assembly.
In any case, the party’s profile is hurting its prospects in presidential years when turnout jumps among minorities and young people.

Across the river, meanwhile, O’Malley is positioning himself to appeal to just those growing groups. He won big for Latinos by advocating successfully for the ballot measure known as the Dream Act. It allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Maryland universities.

He won big for gays and lesbians — and boosted his appeal to the younger generation — with a historic popular vote endorsing same-sex marriage. “I think the results yesterday show that O’Malley can do very well in the coalition of the ascendant,” Eberly said, using a term popular with the Obama campaign that describes a political alliance among expanding demographic segments.

McDonnell (whom I have known since 1994)  has consistently sold his soul to the Christofascist led by The Family Foundation and those who are little more better than closeted KKK members who comprise the ugliest elements in Virginia - as did my former classmate, George Allen.  The good news is that these groups appear to be slowly losing power in Virginia.  One can only hope that with time today's version of the GOP will likewise soon find itself on the wrong side of history and out of power. 

No comments: