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      An enemy is someone who means you harm and has the means to inflict it. A friend is someone who has wants to do good for you, and has the means to bestow it. I once wrote primarily to predict and to change the world. I now write to help a few people, those who […]
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Virginia might actually get a liberal leader…while the DNC gets…something else

McAuliffe also brings a political portfolio well to the left of Democrats Mark R. Warner and [Tim] Kaine, who toiled in the state party for years before they were elected governor by pledging bipartisan cooperation and campaigning as moderates. (From the AP via WTOP, emphasis added)

It has been quite the weekend for political announcements. Our illiberal President-elect is consolidating his takeover of the Democratic Party by appointing another illiberal to head the DNC – Tim Kaine, outgoing governor of Virginia. Meanwhile, Terry McAuliffe  has announced his formal bid for the governorship of Virginia.  (Click anywhere below to go to the video announcement on Terry’s site.)

McCauliffe My decision

As a liberal, I applaud Terry McAuliffe’s decision to run for governor of Virginia. Terry has worked hard for other liberals, most obviously for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign. I heard Terry give his reasons for supporting Senator Clinton on various occasions. He supported her candidacy because he believed (as did I, and millions of others) that she was both the most qualified member of the field and the most liberal of the field, in the American tradition of liberalism. That tradition calls upon people to work hard for their personal successes. Consider, for example, Terry’s own work to build a number of successful businesses, work that meant he has neither needed nor sought a salary for his work in politics, including his stint as DNC Chair, when he actually managed to put the DNC on a sound financial footing (an accomplishment soon squandered by the now almost-never-heard-from Howard Dean). American liberalism also calls upon government, applying measures available within its Constitutionally delimited sphere, to provide an equal opportunity for anybody’s hard work to pay off.  Although nobody is guaranteed a pay off in this tradition, everybody is guaranteed a fairly level playing field, at least in principle.

During the 2007-08 Democratic primary campaign season, I heard Terry state many reasons both for his support and his hard work on behalf Senator Clinton. That she is a woman was not one of them.  Yet not only does liberalism favor Terry McAuliffe, so does feminism. I supported Senator Clinton because she was the best qualified, most liberal candidate in the field; I became active in her campaign when I saw opposition to Senator Clinton mount despite these pluses, and I saw this opposition come from people who would ordinarily also favor the most qualified and liberal candidate for the Democratic Party nomination. Yet these people seemingly could not stand to see a woman given an equal opportunity to gain the Democratic Party nomination. Terry fought against this illiberalism, which, in that context, operated in the guise of sexism.

I have no idea if Terry McAuliffe identifies himself as a feminist.  My own view of feminism is not that it requires support of any woman for any position but it does require vigilant resistance to those who would deny any woman her rightful opportunity to pursue any position in civic life, in the political arena or any other public stage. In a less misogynist, less sexist society, to identify oneself as a liberal simply would be to identify oneself as feminist. This is because in a truly liberal society, one in which being male or female neither presumptively advantaged nor disadvantaged a person, all one would have to be vigilant about would be liberalism itself, not the subcategory of feminism. Feminism becomes necessary in a society where hatred, contempt, and under-appreciation of women are systemic.

In 2007-08, Terry McAuliffee worked harder than virtually anybody else I observed to see this country elect a true liberal to the Presidency, a true liberal who also happened to be a woman. If the people of Virginia elect Terry McAuliffe their Governor, and he brings his commitment to liberalism – to opposing absolutism, to being willing to experiment with all ideas except those that conflict with the fundamental tenets of liberalism, to being committed to supporting fellow liberals regardless of their sex – to the state of Virginia, then the state of Virginia’s future should be brighter. Whether an actual liberal can win high office at the state or national level remains to be seen.

(A related post appears here.)

94 Responses

  1. How strong are Terry’s chances in purple VA? I’m sure he would have had a prominent position in HRC’s admin, but since that is not happening, I wish him all the best in his gov run. He’s a trooper.

  2. The kos people HATE McAuliffe. It’ll be interesting to see if Obama tries to sandbag him.

  3. The Kos people hate him because Kos hates him. The Kos people don’t really know to think for themselves which is why I lurk here.

  4. Any true friend to Hillary is a true friend of liberalism. (That would exclude, you know, Billy R. of NM (D – Just Call Me Judas), one-time cabinet nominee and shiv champion of the West. Here’s hoping VA sends McAuliffe to the guv’s mansion.

  5. I guess I’ll have to start saving for a couple of contributions.

  6. If Tim Kaine (against gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, etc) is a “moderate” in Va then McAuliffe has a steep hill to climb to the guv’s mansion.

  7. I like Terry McAuliffe. He stood by Hillary to the end and always with a twinkle in his eye.

  8. seriously what are these people smoking that they have put Tim Kaine as the chair of the DNC.

    Isn’t his point of view opposite to the platform.

  9. There are two platforms. The one the wish you to see since that will get your vote and the one that coincides with Obama. This makes him the perfect candidate to lead the DNC! Donnie McClurkin had other responsibilities this year.

  10. barging in (hi heidi!) to say, congratulations to The Confluence for being nominated for Best Liberal Blog!

    I put up a post just now asking members to vote for you and for Uppity Woman (she’s GREAT if you’ve not read her) at my place. I’ll send a letter to Puma PAC members reminding them to vote for you.

    GO Confluence!


  11. Ana, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:23 pm Said:

    seriously what are these people smoking that they have put Tim Kaine as the chair of the DNC.
    It wasn’t “these people” is was Obama…after Donnie McClurkin, Doug Kmiec and Rick Warren..no ‘obot should be shocked..

    WASHINGTON — Gov. Tim Kaine, of Virginia, who was a top contender to be President-elect Barack Obama’s running mate, has been tapped by him to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Democrats familiar with the decision said Sunday.


  12. Tim Kaine as chair of the DNC – if this does not demonstrate to the entire “progressive community” that drank all that kool-aid that the one is not progessive and not liberal I don’t know what will.

    Terry will be able to raise money for his run (already he’s being accused of positioning himself to buy the governorship – by people who had no problem with Obama’s refusal to limit himself to public funding limits or backtracking on his commitment not to welcome support from 527s), so DYB, you won’t have to kick in too much.

    No, DYB, the problem will be actually getting Virginians to vote for a liberal. It is enough to make me consider moving to Virginia just to vote for Terry. (Of course here in DC we don’t get a governor, stateless as we are.)

  13. Pat Johnson, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    That’s exactly what Terry did. He worked tirelessly on retire the debt efforts and he never ever wavered in his loyalty. Terry has a big personality and he’s not everybody’s personal cup of tea but he’d make one hell of a governor. Nobody would work harder for the state, nobody would do so with greater enthusiasm.

  14. Tim Kaine as chair of the DNC – if this does not demonstrate to the entire “progressive community” that drank all that kool-aid that the one is not progessive and not liberal I don’t know what will.

    So how is the gay community going to respond to yet another insult from Obama? I don’t even bother asking about women’s groups anymore, since we know they are spineless.

  15. Here’s some more info. I found about Judas’ withdrawal. He’s doing it “for the good of the country,” you see…

    “I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process,” Richardson said. “Given the gravity of the economic situation the nation is facing, I could not in good conscience ask the president-elect and his administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done.”

    Obama said he has accepted Richardson’s withdrawal, first reported by NBC News, “with deep regret.”

    “Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office,” Obama said. “It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time. Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson’s decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration.”


    Obama Team Feels Richardson Wasn’t Forthcoming About Investigation Before Being Offered Commerce


  16. Ana, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    The President has no obligation to represent the Party platform (it actually says so in the roolz) and yet has, by tradition, complete choice over who becomes DNC chair. Some of us sought to get the party to hold an election for DNC chair this year because of the fissures in the party – you can imagine how well received THAT was.

  17. [[[[ sigh ]]]] I love Terry M. he was the bright spot of my day during the election. Whatta guy! Lucky Virginians!

  18. Heidi: how ridiculous is that? The president can appoint the DNC Chair, but the appointee is not even accountable to the platform?? This party is so screwed up. There are so many arbitrary and conflicting rules (see the caucus system and weighted delegates) that it completely defies common sense and the essence of the democratic process.

  19. We all have to make a big stink out of Obama picking Kaine. Most people won’t pay any attention. The Favreau-retention/Warren-invocation/Kaine-selection – a trifecta of misogyny, sexism, homophobia.

  20. *shrugs* The progressive community has always been extremely flexible. They hated Obama with a passion until it was him or the girl. They don’t care about abortion rights, and every other principle can be fudged. The only absolute line they’ve ever met they will not cross has been HRC, everything else by anyone else is up for grabs.

  21. Better Kaine than Donna B or a replay of Howard.

  22. It’s why I’ve labeled “that party” (whateverthefkitis) the Sexisthomophobacrat Party. Right now the REAL Democratic Party is MIA

  23. fif, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:40 pm Said:

    After November 4, I had to make a choice: work on Dem Party Reform or channel my political/social activism elsewhere. I looked at the morass you indicate; considered how much I had beaten my head against the wall of the DNC during the previous 10 months, and decided to found 51 Percent. Until the culture changes, the political parties won’t. Obviously, per this post, I will support particular candidates for particular offices, but I am not wasting too much of my energy on Party reform. The Republican Party is not an option for me (with respect to those for whom it is); but that doesn’t mean I have to run after a Party that left me.

  24. Seriously, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:42 pm Said:
    You are right about this, and it makes me angry (not you being right – smile – but the fact that this is indeed the state of affairs).

  25. SOD, I just call ’em Obacrats; less typing.

  26. I don’t know anything about Kaine,but it seems that if he is against gay marriage his appointment is just another stick in the eye to the LGBT community. How much more does Obama have to do to show those so-called Progressives that they’ve been hood-winked?

  27. I was just thrilled at this announcement(finally!). I think he would be a great governor. Gov. Hyper!!!! I think he does have a steep hill to climb:first, in getting the party’s nomination, and, second, to win. On the plus side, no one thought BO could win here…. It would be awesome if the Big Dawg would campaign for him-that would really help him in the western part of the state-you know, with those Appalachian types.
    As far as Kaine for DNC, it could have been worse: I thought it was gonna be Donna Brazille for sure.

  28. Stateofdisbelief, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

  29. It needs to be made clear that Obama picked Kaine not some unknown Dem committee. We need to throw it back in the face of the Hillary hating ‘obots…

    “So the Democrats have chosen Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to deliver the party’s response to President Bush’s State of the Union speech. Chalk up another one for the What the Hell Are They Thinking? file”

    And one of the worst..Avarosis:
    “On the unlikely chance that you thought there was any value left in the Democratic party after today, we have a homophobe giving the Democratic response to the State of the Union tomorrow.”


    Well on this on Arianna and John can’t blame the D party, this one is all Bambi.

  30. Speaking of Dastardly Donna, where is she these days?

  31. Joan, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:50 pm
    I think you can bet your bottom dollar that both Clintons will be campaigning for Terry.

  32. Pat-Great minds!

  33. So I tip-toed over to the Cheeto den to see what they thought of their messiah’s pick…and the comment section is disturbing. It is an incoherent list of babbling that makes little if any sense. Now I know you’re all saying “…and what is different about that…” but this is REALLY freakish…just babble and more babble. Have they added sedatives to the kool-aid?

  34. Am I expected to send a Get Well card to both Ariana and John?

  35. Could she as SOS? Would it be proper?

  36. Can it possibly be true that Ariana and Avarosis don’t know that President Obama – not “the Democrats” – picked Kaine?

  37. I’ve never heard of Cheeto den, do you have a link to their site? I’d love to check out the place, you have me curious.

  38. Joan, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:52 pm
    I don’t think she can run around stumping. But a video or two for Terry’s website? Or an email blast? One would hope support from Hillpac…

  39. Well this explains why I have left this party, and with no regrets.

    Honestly, I think its better to go the way of Lincoln. Instead of reforming a party, its better to wake up and start a new one.

    The Republican and Democratic party are both a sham at this point.

  40. heidiliofpotpourri, on January 4th, 2009 at 11:53 pm Said:

    Can it possibly be true that Ariana and Avarosis don’t know that President Obama – not “the Democrats” – picked Kaine?
    I don’t know and I my stomach isn’t strong enough to go look. SOD is brave maybe she will check it out.

  41. Obama is going to have a tough time sandbagging McAuliffe. Talk about a puncher/jabber. And nobody, aside from Senator Clinton, has a better sense of how to oppose Obamacrat nonsense.

  42. SHV — those links were from 2006 when Kaine was selected to respond to the SOTUA by Bush. Not regarding the DNC pick

  43. Your are very fortunate..

  44. Mary Ellen — it’s the site that is all orangey — but we don’t link there…they have cooties.

  45. There is a picture of Obama getting off the plane in DC. He looks like someone whose thong got caught in the nether regions by the look on his face.

    Someone must have told him it was “showtime” and all the exits have been secured.

  46. Hillary/McAullife 2012!

  47. That is correct..I posted those as a baseline to compare how they will rationalize Kaine as chair of the DNC. If it follows the usual pattern, it will involve scrubbing the web, followed by the fact that the “O” is a brilliant politician and he is positioning for the ’12 run…blah..blah..

  48. Lakota — me too!!!

  49. On being a newly hatched Republican….after 40 years a dem and about six months a repub, I can say I really like it. The only MSM push-back against obomination is coming from repubs, i.e., Karl Rove’s op-ed in the Wash. Post. this weekend. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I like Terry McA but if I were a Virginian, I would vote repub. just to get that balance of power thing going.

  50. Correction-

    Clinton/McAuliffe 2012!

  51. Fun facts to know and share about Time Kaine:
    *When he ran for governor in 2005, Kaine introduced himself as a leader guided by his “family and Christian faith.” He also urged his fellow religious Democrats to talk about their faith in campaigns, saying “Voters want to understand what motivates you.”

    *Tim Kaine has stated he is personally opposed to abortion He supports restrictions on abortion, such as requiring parental consent and banning so-called partial-birth abortions in cases where the woman’s health is not at risk.

    *Kaine did oppose an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would define marriage as that between one man and one woman, though he has publicly stated that he personally opposes same-sex marriage.

  52. I want to always be aware of not calling a woman by her first name and a man by his last, therefore, my “correction.”

  53. “It needs to be made clear that Obama picked Kaine not some unknown Dem committee”

    Yeah, but Obama isn’t responsible for anything. It’s either the fault of whoever advised him to pick Kaine or the advisors who didn’t manage to stop him from picking Kaine. Or, as my Obot father said today, HRC is responsible for the Middle East, if it goes wrong it’s her fault, not BO’s.

  54. somerset
    In the wonderful new Obama dominated political landscape, Terry Mac is the enemy of your enemy (if your enemy is Mr. Obama) – so if you lived in VA you could, by your logic, vote for Terry Mac.

  55. lakota in ga,
    Right on. I generally call people by their titles. I know Terry, just a bit, so it is natural to call him by his first name (he’d call me by mine, which would be fine with me).

  56. Kaine on marriage July 19 ’05:

    “I do not support any change in the institution of marriage. I do not support the creation of civil unions, but I do believe that gays and lesbians should be able to contract with one another, and we should respect those contracts in Virginia law, just as we respect any contracts.

    “And finally in the area of adoption. Virginia has adoption laws right now that I agree with. The adoption laws say the only couple that is allowed to adopt is a married couple.”

  57. And wasn’t Kaine once considered as a presidential possibility? Oy vey!

  58. I am assuming that everybody here knows that Obama came very close to offering Kaine the v.p. slot.

  59. Pat Johnson, on January 5th, 2009 at 12:11 am
    Some of the news coverage says that Mr. Obama’s selection of Kaine as DNC chair is meant to keep Kaine in a position to run for president.

  60. Oh, charming. What about single people? Are they allowed to adopt? And how many adopted or foster kids does our hero personally have, anyway?

    On the upside, all the Obots who’ve ever come here to offer homophobic slurs are thrilled to bits.

  61. Change you can believe in!

  62. The American public has been hoodwinked and don’t even know it. They will be out there on Jan 20th laughing and scratching at this “historical” event while the rest of us who know better will be sitting back and waiting for them to play catch up.

  63. *Kaine did oppose an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would define marriage as that between one man and one woman, though he has publicly stated that he personally opposes same-sex marriage.
    He wasn’t happy with the language of that amend. but he would have signed it…Like Obama he wants it both ways.

    A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine clarified today that he opposes the scope of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage working its way quicklty through the Virginia legislature, but will nonetheless sign the measure as written if it is adopted, putting it to a referendum.

    “He was not comfortable with [the current amendment] language,” said Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner. “He preferred language that was not as broad.”

    Skinner told the Washington Blade for reports earlier this week and in today’s print edition that Kaine supported the amendment. She did not mention his reservations about the scope of the language.”


  64. I think the Kaine pick is just to give him a job. He has nowhere to go in VA since both Senate seats are held by Dems. It’s just a reward for his total humiliation on BO’s behalf.

  65. Well, back to school for the young’n tomorrow, Goodnight All!

  66. nite Joan

  67. Us LGBT folks need to just haul ass out of this party. Clearly, there are intentions on diminishing our role in the party. Or shall I say eliminating it?

  68. I loathe and despise Obama. Can’t say it often enough.

  69. McAullife’s got a chance because he will probably run against Allen. That is of corse if Kaine doesn’t tank his chances in the same way the economy is tanking.

  70. He was against it before he decided to sign it. Afterward, he felt so much regret that he had to seek therapy. But it’s still going forward.

  71. Don’t be silly, Reg. They may not want your imput or for you to show up to anything, but your money and votes are crucial.

  72. Seriously: Too bad they’re not getting either.

  73. Not that it will happen, but I’d love to see Steinem and all the feminist leaders who urged us to jump on the misogyny train because of abortion put on the spot and forced to comment.

  74. Right, the old Supreme Court meme that was supposed to scare us back into reality. And look who he surrounds himself with? All the worst of the worst who are on record for opposition. What a guy!!

  75. Obama got 60% of women’s votes, what percentage of GLBT votes did he get? Probably at least that much?

  76. Yes, well, if Gloria and friends had any common sense, they’d understand the concept of leverage. As in, if you happily gives your votes to someone who doesnt seem preconditioned to support your interests and don’t demand anything in return, you don’t have any.

  77. How in the hell do Avarosis or HuffPoop not understand that Obie is the Head of the Party and hence selects the DNC chair??

    Avarosis has no right to bitch or complain after practically fellating the One. 😡

  78. Good night everyone.

  79. I was just looking at the AP photo of Obie arriving in DC and I noticed the door had the Presidential Seal on it. My God, he can’t even wait a few more days!

  80. ot
    i just found this website called nutty news.
    there is an article from forbes.com dated 12/22/08
    This LA doctor who does liposuction used the fat to power his car and his girlfriends car.
    I guess you could say that this is conservation at it’s best.
    All of us that are thinking about liposuction could be contributing to the environment . Who Knew?
    I had to post this as I was laughing so hard I had tears from my eyes.



  81. Oh Helen I saw this a few days back! No more oil problems and getting rid of a few pounds will help to support the move from fossil fuels! LOL!!

  82. Fredster
    My question is did he give a discount on the operation?



  83. HILLARY UNLEASHED has an article about Code Pink is protesting in front of backtrack’s hotel from now until.
    i guess the kool-aid is wearing off. Reality bites doesn’t it.



  84. helenk, on January 5th, 2009 at 2:46 am Said:

    My question is did he give a discount on the operation?

    Au contraire! We…the fat donors…should receive a stipend for the patriotic duty of donating our excess fat! 😉

  85. So, we’ll have a pro-life DNC guy…operating from Chicago! yeay!
    And Jr/jr is giving away…more tax cuts – chirps a happy WSJ. To raly Republicans apparently

  86. Yes, a big tax cut, apparently, to get Republican votes.

    He did praise Reagan, after all.

  87. VA is very conservative, and the sort of democrat who can get elected here is one on the conservative side of the party. Kaine was nearly too liberal to win the governorship and didn’t manage to carry his running mates to victory in the Lt. Gov. and Attny. Gen. races. Kaine did a more than decent job as Gov. – which means he concentrated on real issues and didn’t mess with stuff that hasn’t a hope in hell of getting passed here. I think he’s a reasonable choice for DNC chair and probably will do a good job. Tilting at windmills – no, he won’t do it.

    Terry McAuliffe is a spoiler. He has no track record in VA politics and he’s way too liberal to be a real candidate. We already had two very good candidates for the nomination, both of them electable. He won’t be elected. He might cost us the election. I’m angry at him for what he’s doing. The next cycle includes redistricting and I don’t want to continue to live in a gerrymandered safe republican district, thank you. We *need* to elect democrats. And no, the republican candidate won’t be Allen – he’s gone and not recoverable.

  88. […] Prof. Heidi Li Feldman has a related post at The Confluence: Virginia might actually get a liberal leader…while the DNC gets…something else […]

  89. I’m thrilled to hear Terry M. is running!! He is a true Clinton democrat!

  90. NBC has just announced the selection of Leon Pannetta as head of the Cia. He has no national intelligence experience.

  91. Kit, How conservative can VA be after the Obama victory?

  92. chatblu,

    It can be very conservative. NoVa (the area around DC) goes dem. Western Va goes republican. The state gets swung by Richmond and Hampton Roads. Obama’s support there came primarily from blacks and veterans. Both groups tend to be conservative on social issues. Really, this is not a socially liberal place. Honestly, Webb and Warner are pretty much right in line with the state and Kaine is a bit too liberal.

    I believe gay rights will come, even here. Not quickly here. That marriage amendment to the state constitution passed the voters overwhelmingly.

  93. […] Confluence: Virginia might actually get a liberal leader…while the DNC gets…something else MyDD: Should Tim Kaine be the Next DNC […]

  94. […] for Virgina’s Governor to succeed Kaine, go HERE. […]

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