A Sample of What American Political Life Needs Far More of

NRO’s Jim Geraghty reports that the two major candidates for governor in Virginia, McDonnell (R) and Deeds (D), were asked the following by a magazine [original]: Can you name one good reason that someone should vote for your opponent? I’ve put their responses in the blockquote below:

DEEDS: [Long pause] You know, I can name you a thousand good reasons why they should vote for me. I’m the best-prepared person to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. … Bob is a guy that I’ve always gotten along with, but I get along with most people. I work hard to get along with people. I don’t agree with Bob on a great deal.

McDONNELL: He’s a good family man. He’s worked hard to represent his district well for 18 years. To me, he’s a good story of somebody living and accessing the American dream. You know, he tells the story about … first guy in his family to go to college with four $20 [bills] in his pocket and now he’s competing for the job held by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To me, that’s a great story. I think there’s a hundred reasons why I’d be a better governor than him, but for the way, and this is his own personal life story, the way he has told it — it obviously happened because of tremendous hard work, tremendous perseverance to be able to get to the level that he is at, and I think that’s very admirable.

I’m not going to knock Deeds: a staple of American political life for over 8 years now has been believing the other party is worse than Hitler, especially if that other party had President Bush in it. The Obama administration is setting a new record in terms of utter classlessness that is absolutely impacting political discourse: the Secretary of State went to Pakistan and promptly bashed President Bush for applause (hmm. Pakistan seems to have a mind of its own when considering where its problems lie), the administration has lied about the effort put forth by the previous administration on Afghanistan, and it has gotten to the point where the only thing that the current administration can be counted on to reliably do is blame everyone else for everything. Those links are partisan, but notice the case I’m making here is about partisanship – either we’re working together here while disagreeing with each other on some points, or we’re going to spend the rest of our lives ranting about enemies who actually are our fellow citizens. We need far more people to speak like Bob McDonnell just did of his political opponent.

One more link that I suspect some of you will find to be indirectly related to all of this: Josh Gerstein, “What if Bush had done that?” – double standards do not help when getting people to realize we’re all supposed to be working together. If you go through previous posts categorized “links,” you can find plenty of examples of right-wing classlessness and double standards (update: actually, I just stumbled on a really good example of how low some on the Right will go to slander the President – NRO is completely out of line giving this utter garbage any credence – the only reason why they’re running it is to attack the President).


  1. Very timely, and incisive as well. The prompt reveals something of their character as well as their ability to step outside ideology.

  2. Wow. I wonder if this had anything to do with McDonnell’s win…

    Unfortunately, probably not. Most people seem to like vilifying the “opposition”.

  3. Yes we need more of McDonnell’s spirit. But I am sure that Deed’s attitude can be found in both parties at all levels. That is how they behave and have little to do with the party they belong to, it’s about what kind of persons they are.

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