Monday, June 8, 2009

Operation Chaos

For those of you who don't remember or who weren't paying attention at the time (like I wasn't), Operation Chaos was a plan conceived and initiated by Rush Limbaugh during the Democratic presidential primaries last year. At the time, then Senator Barack Obama had a double-digit lead over then Senator Hillary Clinton in the polls and was the hands-down favorite for winning the nomination. Rush Limbaugh decided, for reasons of his own, to encourage Republicans to vote for Sen. Clinton in the primaries in order to keep the contest alive. It worked, too. Rather than having the Democratic nomination sewn up early like John McCain did with the GOP nod, Obama had to fight for months to become the nominee.

I'm an independent. I want to be perfectly clear on that. I'm not a third-party member, and I'm not even a registered independent. As far as primaries go, I believe that Republicans alone should be allowed to choose who will represent them, just as Democrats should be allowed to choose their own nominees. Whether Mr. Limbaugh had good intentions or bad, I think he should have just let Democrats go their own way, just as I believe independents should have let Republicans pick their own nominee during the primaries.

However, I'm also a realist (most of the time). Unless and until the system changes, people will use that system to their advantage. That means the rest of us need to work it to our advantage, as well. The GOP ticket here in Virginia is set. Bob McDonnell is the nominee for Governor, Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor, and Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General. I'd be happy with that ticket achieving victory, but since I can't just sit back and assume that any or all of the three will win, I've decided to make sure the Democratic ticket is one I could stand to see elected.

As such, I'm endorsing R. Creigh Deeds as the Democratic candidate for Governor, Jody Wagner as Lt. Governor, and Stephen Shannon for Attorney General. Creigh Deeds may not be as good a "jobs" governor as Bob McDonnell hopefully will be, but he does have a plan to provide transition assistance for workers who get laid off. He has an excellent record for supporting public education, which I admire. His opposition to certain measures for domestic energy production is not as stringent as Brian Moran's. And he has a better record of service to the Commonwealth than Terry McAuliffe.

Jody Wagner, similarly, has a better-established record of public service than her opponent in the primaries, Mike Signer. She has held positions in the administrations of two governors in the Commonwealth, including service as Secretary of Finance. Stephen Shannon is unopposed for the Attorney General spot on the ticket.

I'm going to vote in the primary tomorrow; not because I want to cause "chaos", but because I care about who leads here in Virginia. In the general election, I'll be voting for McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli; but in case they don't win, I hope the alternative is Deeds-Wagner-Shannon.

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