How does a Republican win in Fairfax? Don’t be a dick.

I’ve heard Republicans crowing about winning some board of supervisors seat upstate somewhere. That’s not something I can possibly muster up interest in, but I had to laugh when a read a bit about the winner, John Cook, this evening:

Cook is among those in the Virginia GOP who blame the party’s slide in recent years on a misguided embrace of divisive social issues, including abortion, same-sex marriage and gun rights. The approach, they say, has allowed Democrats to lay claim to such day-to-day issues as transportation and education.

“I’ve been active in the party and have some strong views on why [we have experienced a] string of defeats,” said Cook, 45. “Now that we’ve won, it’s my intent to say to the party, ‘You did it that way and you lost, and we did it this way and we won. So choose: Do you want to win or lose?’ ”

We see Bob McDonnell doing the same thing now, too. This guy is about as far to the right as you can get, but he’s trying to pretend to be a “moderate” now. Why? Because, like Cook, he’s actually in the game, and he knows what it takes to get elected in Virginia, and it’s not being to the right of Genghis Khan. The sort of dead-enders who still support Jeff Frederick as RPV chairman are the folks who think that Republicans shouldn’t do anything differently. Don’t get me wrong—I love these people. But as ostensible believers in the power of the market, they should see that the folks who win races are the guys closest to the center. Cook won by not acting like a Virginia Republican. McDonnell’s only hope of winning this +6 Obama state is to run, run, run from his record. The kind of Republican that his record shows him to be is the kind that supports a government so small that it can fit through your bedroom keyhole to tell you what kind of sex your all-powerful government will and will not allow you to have. Who wants to vote for a jerk like that? (Or a government like that?)

A Republican won in Fairfax. I gather that’s unusual. Let’s see if Virginia Republicans learn a lesson from this. My guess? Nope.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “How does a Republican win in Fairfax? Don’t be a dick.”

  1. It’s not actually that unusual, just contrary to the direction things have been trending the past few years. From what I’m told, Braddock District, where Cook ran, leans Republican (though not as strongly as some others), but has stayed Democratic for the past twenty years via a competent office-holder with the power of incumbency. The real message from this race is not “Republicans are back, baby!”, it’s “as usual, the energy of a presidential race is hard to harness for off-year elections.”

    But as to your main point, I agree, and it’s kind of scary. Virginia Republicans are having a civil war, and it’s not about whether to continue with the extremist positions that have led to their decline, it’s just about whether to openly embrace them or to hide them until they’re in office.

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