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Rope-a-dope strategy could rally Democrats in November, said Va. congressman
By Wayne Dawkins
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – If the midterm Congressional elections were on Labor Day, said U.S. Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Va., the Republicans would win: “They have an attractive message, reduce deficits and cut taxes.”
But the election is eight weeks away on Nov. 2. The nine-term congressman told hundreds of Democratic faithful, including their top leaders gathered in Scott’s mother’s back yard, to remember the lesson of the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman fight: Be patient and absorb the hits from the formidable foe, then deliver the knockout punch.
That’s right, apply rope-a-dope.
Scott’s 34th annual cookout along the Hampton Roads harbor attracted Democratic National Committee chairman and former Gov. Tim Kaine, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb and virtually every Democrat running or holding office from Virginia Beach in the east to Richmond heading west to Washington, D.C.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Nye, who swept into the once staunch Republican 2nd District on Barack Obama’s 2008 coattails, was among the politicos. This time Nye is running as the Democrat who occasionally votes against Obama and the Democratic leadership’s policies. His challengers, a Republican and Republican-turned-Independent, say Nye’s contrarian votes are inauthentic.
A twist at the cookout was the appearance of Libertarian candidate James Quigley, Scott’s 3rd District challenger. Quigley showed up with a dozen supporters who were wearing his campaign T-shirts. Quigley and company were treated cordially by the Scott crowd. The challenger has a snowball in a Virginia summer’s chance of winning.
So what differentiated Quigley’s run from Tea Party candidates who have been an unpredictable mix of Libertarians and socially conservative Republicans? He told me he favors restoring felons' voting rights: It’s a natural right. They pay taxes. Once they do their time they should be able to vote.”
William M. Grace, a black small businessman for 38 years, said investment banks that were bailed out by Obama’s administration are sitting on the money prolonging high unemployment and stalling small businesses hiring in order to undermine the presidency.
Grace wants Obama to get meaner and stop extending hands on cooperation that only get bitten. “What’s wrong with being black and angry?” answered Grace about Obama’s probable caution of not appearing to be an angry black man.
Kaine worked the partisan crowd with optimism. The Gross Domestic Product is growing again, “two great women” [Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan], he said ,join a third on the U.S. Supreme Court, and millions of children are now covered by health insurance.
If the election were today, weeks of GOP and Tea Party bluster could flip Democratic Party majorities in the House or Senate. However the election is November, so time will tell if Democrats are enthusiastic enough to knock out the opposition after its flurry of punches.
I read your blog and saw your mention of my campaign. I wanted to thank you, and also clarify some differences between the Libertarians and the Tea Party candidates. We Libertarians were at first encouraged with the rise of the Tea Party because we saw it as a popular movement against excessive taxation and a grass-roots movement in the promotion of individual rights. I have no wish to paint all Tea Partiers since this would cause me to stop seeing them as a collection of individuals. However, I would say that we Libertarians are very concerned that the Tea Party has, in general, been taken over by the Republican Party and can no longer be considered inclusive of all people.
-- James Quigley, firstname.lastname@example.org