Friday, November 6, 2009

"The madness at rush hour . . ."

The title is lifted from Metro columnist Robert McCartney's 867-word challenge to Governor-elect Bob McDonnell published in yesterday's Washington Post. He's speaking, McCartney says, for the voters of Northern Virginia, who surprisingly (at least to me) went solidly Republican in Tuesday's election.

The challenge Mr. McCartney laid down to Mr. McDonnell is pretty basic: Do what you promised, and what you promised is that you will improve our roads without damaging our schools. And, after claiming you've moderated the extreme social views you espoused 20 years ago in your master's thesis for Regent University, don't "go Sarah Palin on us."
"McDonnell charted a model strategy for Republican success in the Obama era by focusing his campaign on pocketbook issues such as jobs and transportation rather than 'culture war' crusades over abortion and same-sex marriage. He did so despite his own roots in the Christian conservative movement. It's crucial for Northern Virginians, who are generally moderate to liberal on social issues, that McDonnell stick to that approach."
I'm sure Governor-elect McDonnell is well aware that Northern Virginians have all that time they're stuck in traffic to monitor his performance. If that isn't enough to make him jump on the traffic problem first thing, I don't know what is.

There was also an interesting poll out yesterday from Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, suggesting voters thought Creigh Deeds spent too much time focused on McDonnell's 20-year-old thesis and not enough time communicating his own detailed and positive solutions to our state's impressive list of problems.

The shifting colors of the political map is ever fascinating, isn't it? To me, the James Carville phrase that helped Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush still rings true: It's the economy stupid. Our state's economy is a mess; and the easiest, most obvious way to attack a mess is to just clean house.

We did it in our last Presidential election; we did it again last Tuesday.

Which made me think of my husband Charlie's last big home project, which was to clean up the mess that was his home office. It took him a few hours of furious activity to empty the room--pull everything off shelves, out of drawers, and create lovely towering stacks of stuff in the hall. Then it took him days and days and days to sort, shift, weed-out and restart the office as a functional space.

I was struck with how emotionally cleansing it was for Charlie to empty out the room; and how much patience, creative problem-solving and simple hard work went into remaking it into a usable space.

In our last two elections, we Virginia voters have proved ourselves fans of the emotionally cleansing gesture. But could we have elected two more disparately visioned and minded men?

Which one's vision and mind, I wonder, will we be willing to stick with as we face the hard work of realistically facing the future?

No comments:

Post a Comment