Republicans: Paying For Bush’s Mistakes

You know, aside from the personal toll following in the wake of Bush must take, Republicans are losing elsewhere as well.  This, at least minutely, points to some hope, I think, for our democracy in that as the current president and head of the GOP has failed so utterly, his party is left holding the bag, and what an ugly bag it is.

The astute Capital Eye has picked up on the fact that for the first time in ages, both military service members and civil sector employees are donating more campaign money to Democrats now than they are Republicans.  Of Republican candidates, Ron Paul, the only anti-war GOP candidate for the presidency, cleans up for Republican donations, pointing to the idea that perhaps now military members and federal employees are using donation dollars to sound their protest.

I’m inclined to believe this.  I started blogging while still in the military, and during that entire time I wrote under an alias for fear that expressing political views would endanger my career.

As a young sailor, though, I learned very quickly that military culture was a conservative one.  “You vote Republican, son,” a crusty first class once told me.  When asked why, he said, “They’re the ones that give you the pay raises.  They’re the ones that take care of you.”

I never bought into that logic.  I was barely in my twenties and making more than enough money for my wife and I to enjoy a rather nice quality of life.  Plus, at the time, I was largely apolitical, but if I had to choose, I was probably going to choose a Democrat.

Still, that doesn’t change the fact that at the time, the culture of the military was largely Republican, more so with officers than enlisted folks, and in both cases, Republicanism was taught and fostered.

I imagined that might have changed somewhat.  As the data suggests, Bush’s policies in Iraq have led to a break in this kinda tribal pass down of the Republican political culture within the military, and outside in the civil sector in which I’m currently employed.

Again, in my day to day life I see the same thing.  This, actually, didn’t even start with the Iraq war, but instead with the change to overtime rules.  My boss, who puts in  more hours than the rest of us in the office, actually doesn’t get paid what she should because she is a “supervisor” and therefore is not awarded time and a half overtime, and is in fact capped.

That move angered a lot of people in the civil sector, and I’m sure Iraq isn’t helping, especially when you think that a large number of these folks are vets like myself, or have children or family in the military.

In fact, Virginia is military country.  The area where I live has one of the largest US military presences in the world, and the single largest US Naval base.  Which brings me to Virginia.

When I moved to Virginia back in 98, Jim Gilmore was the Governor, and the Senate seats were occupied by George Allen and John Warner.  All Republicans.

Gilmore, pretty much an idiot when it came to, well, anything, was succeeded by Mark Warner who turned Virginia into a progrowth state, and cleaned house.  He was succeeded by his Lt. Governor Tim Kaine.  While Warner’s election had little to do with Bush, Kaine’s had a lot to do with it, some even saying that the eleventh hour campaign stop by Bush on Jerry Kilgore, Kaine’s opponent, was the nail in the coffin.  A year after that, Senator George Allen was unseated by Democrat Jim Webb, himself a veteran.

Now, with the announcement that John Warner is leaving politics, and Mark Warner is officially running for his seat, it is EXTREMELY likely that come January of 09, Virginia, once a red state, and definitely military country, will have a Democratic Governor as well as having both Senate seats filled by Dems.

Republicans losing the military.  Republicans losing Virginia.  It’s not a matter of figuring out what you’re doing wrong guys, it’s just about having the strength to fix it.

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