Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Other 5th District

The 5th District: mainly rural, mainly white Republican, with a major university planted in one end of it, that nevertheless voted OUT its incumbent conservative Republican member of Congress.

We're talking about the 5th congressional district of Virginia, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the 5th congressional district of North Carolina, except that the Virginian 5th got rid of its toxic member of Congress, Virgil Goode, while the North Carolinian 5th is stuck with She Who Must Not Be Named.

Maybe there's something to be learned from the successful Virginia upset, and this Slate article might be a start. How did a candidate named Perriello defeat the Goode Republican? Perriello's self-deprecating TV ad certainly didn't hurt.

My mother-in-law happens to live in this district. She's a conservative Republican who voted for Obama this year and who particularly wanted Virgil Goode retired ... the rude, crude Goode (his name rhymes with 'mood'). I've been following Goode's career since he was first elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1996. He became an unapologetic traitor to the party in voting for Bill Clinton's impeachment, and after becoming a Republican he let his own inner-Sarah Palin full expression. He went out of his way to insult the first Muslim member of Congress, Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and he had a hair-trigger impulse to demonize the "un-American" elements he saw all around him. It's the base instinct of conservative populism: fear people who are different.

We were tickled to see that Tom Perriello has been declared the winner in that race.

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