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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Three Cheers For Democracy

Or representative government, as the case may be.

This, from the Martinsville Bulletin, seems right to me:
Democracy prevailed

The 2008 election finally is over, and democracy has won.

On Wednesday, Albemarle Democrat Tom Perriello’s victory in the 5th Congressional District race was confirmed after a recount showed he topped incumbent Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Rocky Mount, by 727 votes.

Rep. Goode had asked for the recount when the Nov. 4 election results showed only a 745-vote difference between the two. The slim margin meant the recount was done at taxpayer expense.

Now, it is time to move past the election and to welcome Congressman-elect Perriello to the rigors of elected office. [link]
The outcome was unexpected. But not incomprehensible. As is the case in (nearly) every election involving an incumbent who was unseated, most votes were cast against one instead of in favor of the other. This election was no different.

Virgil Goode managed to cultivate and motivate a whole lot of constituents in recent years who were prepared - even eager - to vote against him in Southside. From his completely unnecessary outspokenness on the non-issue of an American Muslim congressman using the Q'uran for his swearing in ceremony to Goode's out-of-the-mainstream - and rather obvious - opposition to immigration (rather than to illegal immigration, which many of us oppose), raising the legitimate accusation of his being a xenophobe(!), he pretty much sealed his fate.

Too bad, really. Now folks in the 5th Congressional District are left with a Democrat who, from all indications, will fit right in with the increasingly liberal wing of his party. And that won't play well with the people of Southside for long.

But play Tom Perriello will. The people have spoken. And they get the last word. Always.*

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* Okay, the people get the last word, except in California, where the ruling elite can void the will of the people with impunity.