When Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Virginia Democrat Governor Tim Kaine went bottom-feeding and uttered one of the most divisive comments I've ever heard: "Ol Virginny is dead." Kaine, drunk on the Democrat's sweep of the state, just could not help himself in trashing the voters of Virginia who had traditionally taken a middle-of-the-road approach to politics--electing conservative and moderates from both parties and earning the reputation as one of the best governed states in the Union.
Was Kaine suggesting that just because Virginia had helped elect the Nation's first African-American President that it was a "new day" in the Old Dominion and that he could proclaim Virginia purged from her past sins of prejudice and slavery? Where was Governor Kaine when, 20 years prior to Obama's election, Virginia elected the grandson of slaves and the nation's first African-American Governor? Where was Governor Kaine when the Virginia Republican Party, in 1988, nominated Maurice Dawkins; the first African-American to run for a U.S. Senate seat since Reconstruction? Did Governor Kaine vote for Reverend Dawkins or, did Kaine support fellow Democrat Chuck Robb and did that mean that Kaine was, at that time, part of "Ol Virginny?" Was Governor Kaine suggesting that, prior to Barack Obama's election, the citizens who had voted him into office were backward and bigoted? What was he thinking?
And what will Governor Kaine have to say now that the Democrats in Virginia, under his leadership as Governor and DNC Chairman, have just had their heads handed to them on a platter? Is "Ol Virginny" alive again Governor? Or is it just possible that you have failed miserably both as a Governor and as DNC Chairman and that Virginians want to put some brakes on the unprecedented growth of government your party is promoting? Is it possible that Virginians voted for Barack Obama last year because they really were hopeful that his message of "hope and change" truly offered something different in American politics? And is it now possible that they're experiencing buyer's remorse as they witness President Obama dismantle our free enterprise system block by block and push his hard left, radical, divisive, socialist agenda? That's not what most Americans believed would be the "hope and change" the President promised during his campaign.
As this is being written, Democrats hold both of Virginia's U.S. Senate seats and the Governor's mansion. However, all three men won their seats campaigning as "moderate" to "conservative" Democrats. Virginia is anything but blue, as most of the pundits declared a year ago. And now, the most conservative Republican ticket in over a decade has swept all three of the Commonwealth's highest offices by margins not seen since the sixties.
Politicians come an go, the pendulum swings back and forth, and those who think they have a permanent grip on power are the ones who are most likely to watch it slip from their hands. That is the lesson of history and one which American politicians never seem to learn. Arrogancy is a blinding vice.
Last night's returns in Virginia & New Jersey should send a very strong message to the Democrats who now hold overwhelming power in Washington. The voters in these elections seem to be saying "You had your chance and you blew it." What happens from now until the 2010 elections should be great political theater. The voters will be watching.