Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dems overcome anti-illegal immigrant frenzy in Virginia

In yesterday's election, the Democrats won back control after over a decade of the State Senate by gaining four seats, mostly in tending-Dem Northern Virginia. It was close, and the Republican effort to save themselves came to a head in Prince William County, where the local Board of Supervisors has enacted a draconian law to go after illegal immigrants, worst in the nation. This was the new Republican red meat issue, scaring people in the Tsongas race in Mass., and embarrassing Hillary Clinton in the last Dem debate. In any case, here in Virginia, in the end it did not save the bacon for the GOP. (They still hold the House of Delegates, but Dems gained about 4 seats there also.)

9 comments:

finnegan said...

I just finished a documentary about illegal immigration in Virginia. I was wondering if the GOP was going to go after this issue full-bore, and it seems that those who did met with mixed results. Roemmelt, who ran against Marshall in Prince William presented himself as a "tougher on immigration than Marshall Democrat" lost.

In our district, Delegate Lohr sent out a mailer letting everyone know he was "tough on immigration" (whatever that means). Of course, I don't think that had any effect in the conservative Valley district.

Brenda Rosser said...

What does 'GOP' stand for? I assume it has something to do with the Republicans.

Sorry to hear about Virginia's irrational attachment to GOPs. Sounds terrible!

Bruce Webb said...

Brenda GOP stands for 'Grand Old Party'. The Republican Party was the party backed by the veterans of the Union Army (northern/Lincoln), which was also known as the Grand Army of the Republic or GAR.

Bruce Webb said...

Even that might have been a little cryptic. In the American Civil War (1861-1865) the North under Lincoln was determined to maintain Union of the States (which is why just about every town in the American West has a 'Union Street'), the Southern States organized as the Confederacy, and unashamedly calling themselves the 'Rebels' with prototypical hero 'Johnny Reb'.

The Wiki article on this is pretty good and might even help you understand the lyrics of Country and Western songs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_the_American_Civil_War

Amusing side note. The American South is often known as the 'Land of Dixie' which probably would have astonished surveyor Jeremiah Dixon who with partner Charles Mason established the Mason-Dixon Line in the 1760's. The Mason-Dixon line has come to represent the border between the American North and South. Somehow the 'Dixie' part got attached to the South.

Jack said...

Brenda/Bruce,
Bruce has described the original derivation of the term, GOP. At some point in the late '90s that derivation became archaic and was replaced in the minds of most people by the derivation of the achronim G.O.P., pronounced gop and never stated as G-O-P. Those who spent time in summer camp as children will recognize this term, the derivation of which has to do with the abysmal quality of the beverages served at summer camp dining halls.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

finnegan,

You're in my district. Yes, very conservative and Republican here in the Shenandoah Valley. Actually, where I live specifically, the east central precinct of the city of Harrisonburg, in which James Madison University is located, is the only precinct (there are five in H-burt) in the entire Shenandoah Valley that went for Kerry in the 2004 election. The city as a whole tends to mirror the state average as a whole, but the rural area around us is deeply Republican, over 70%, although this dates back to the Civil War when the Republicans were the liberals, and there remains a strand, gradually fading away, here of "Mountain Valley Republicans." One of their main leaders in the state Senate, Russell Potts of Winchester, just retired.

Regarding the origin of "Dixie," it is probably not from Dixon of Mason-Dixon. More likely it is from the state monies that were issued prior to the Civil War. The
biggest banks in the South were then in New Orleans, where French was still widely spoken. Ten dollar bills issued by their banks were also labeled with the French word for ten, that is "dix." These tended to trade at a discount in New York, and they were called "dixies." I gather that this is the most widely accepted explanation.

BTW, I thought it had gone the other way, but the closest race for the state Senate, in Fairfax County, currently has the very conservative GOP incumbent (Cuccinelli) in the lead over his very liberal Dem challenger (Olezsek), by 92 votes. That happens to be the district that George Mason University is located in. However, even if the GOP holds onto that lead (there will be a recount), the Dems have taken the Senate just barely, 21-19.

Barkley

Brenda Rosser said...

Thanks Bruce, Jack, Barkley.
This is all very helpful.

I first studied some American history at high school. I think the topic was an exploration of the causes of the American Civil War. (Apart from further reading since.)

I remember feeling some instinctive sympathy for the Southerners despite the horrific history of slavery.

Elvis Presley's 'An American Trilogy' is such a sad song.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Just to be clear, that "Mountain Valley" Republican tradition in the Shenandoah Valley dates to the Lincoln era when the region had few slaves and tended to be anti-Confederacy.

It is amusing to realize (and I told some students of this the other day, with them having their mouths hanging open) about how it is not so ironic that Republicans now have the red color in the US.
After all, at the founding meeting of the US Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854 were some German political refugees from the uprising of 1848, with Karl Marx being in communication with some of these folks, most notably Union general, Wedemeyer. Indeed, the only signature of Karl Marx in possession of the US government in the national Archives in Washington is a letter of congratulations to the first Republican president of the US, Abraham Lincoln, on the event of his reelection in 1864, from the First International, signed by its then leader, Karl Marx.

So, the US Republican Party is a Communist conspiracy (!!!!!!)

Brenda Rosser said...

Communist conspiracy: The big capitalists and politicians meet in the Chamber of Commerce and in Corporate think-tanks to conspire against the public interest.

Now they've shot themselves in the foot.

Bankruptcy Law Backfires as Foreclosures Offset Gains (Update1)
By Kathleen M. Howley. 8th November 2007
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=a0EKOfVyqCD4&refer=home