Saturday, September 08, 2007

Focusing On What Really Counts

Last year if anybody had told me that Virginia would actually be the state responsible for the U.S. Senate turning blue, I’d have laughed at them. Sure, I believed passionately in Jim Webb, but the thought that reliably red Virginia could hold the key to tipping the Senate blue would have struck me as just as nonsensical as a baseball movie where the Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees in the final playoff to get into the World Series.

Ok, so Major League spawned two successful movies, the Indians did just that in the late 90s, and on the Jersey Turnpike, stuck in rush hour traffic, in late November of last year, I glared at some idiot honking at me only to see a young man grinning from ear to ear, pointing to my car’s bumper sticker and giving me the thumb’s up. And I remembered a sign I had seen a few days earlier at Jim Webb’s victory celebration in Arlington that said “Virginia Says Your Welcome to America.” And I realized, somebody on a crowded New Jersey highway actually was thanking me for a Democratic Senate.

Because of Webb’s showing, following the success of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Virginia now is a targeted state. If the Democrats push forward and succeed at taking back the state Senate and gaining seats in the House of Delegates, the national Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO will also target us for the presidential race in 08. It’s an exciting time to be a Democrat in Virginia.

But it’s also a time fraught with peril. Along with great opportunity comes great risk. We’ve got work to do now that it’s after Labor Day and voters are starting to pay attention. We’ve got less than two months to consolidate the gains we’ve made and push further. We can do it.

Between now and Election Day I’m out of the blog wars that have occupied so much of my time. It’s time to put aside the egos, the endless introspection and the equally endless sniping and personality clashes.

If we spend more time absorbed in the melodrama of our own fights to the exclusion of focusing on campaigns and issues, the gate we worked so hard to crash will be rebuilt with us on the outside looking in. And it will be deserved.

The best way to get our ideas and issues taken seriously is to elect the candidates who will listen to us and implement them. And we can’t do it if we are continuously bickering among ourselves.

Especially, I’m done fighting with Republican bloggers, regardless how noble the reasons. I’d rather fight their candidates so that ours will win.

No comments: