People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Awakening

Check out these vote numbers for Rick Boucher here in the 9th Congressional District.  I simply pulled (from the Virginia Board of Elections returns) the data for 2006 (the last year he had an opponent) with Tuesday results.  The numbers are rather startling.

Consider, first of all, that overall turnout was down only slightly (2.45%).

Then consider this:

Boucher's vote total for 2010 compared to 2006?

Down a whopping 32.66%.

The breakdown by county (and municipality) of those who pulled the lever for the Democrat:

And where was his worst drop in support? 

Where he needed it most - Montgomery County, home of the People's Republic of Virginia Tech.

And home to the largest concentration of voters, by far, in the lengthy list above.

There his support plummeted from 17,214 in 2006 to 12,147 in 2010.  A drop of 5,000 votes.

Consider the fact that he only lost by 9,000.

What to make of this?

Probably not what appears on its face.

Here's my take:

Rather than "independents" in all the localities shown above switching from Boucher to Griffith in 2010, I'm thinking a whole mess of liberals stayed home, having no real desire to get out and vote for their favorite liberal.  At the same time a mountain of citizens of Southwest Virginia who sat out 2006 voted this year.

Call it the Tea Party Effect.

Or the Obama Effect.

Or the We're Mad As Hell Effect.

To make a long story short, the incumbent Democrat failed to motivate his troops in sufficient quantity (even in the coalfields where his support was traditionally most solid) to get him over the top.

Tomorrow we'll play What Should He Have Done Differently.  Could be a hoot.

The Demons In The Voting Machine

So I'm at the polling place in Bland in the evening and it's my turn to vote (yes, there was a steady stream of people coming in to vote for Morgan Griffith even in By God Bland, Virginia!) and I proceed to the little voting booth where the touch-screen machine is sitting, and I touch it and ... nothing happened.  I looked over at the poll worker and he hesitated, then looked at another gentleman and said, "Ralph (names have been changed to protect the innocent), you need to reset the gizmo," or something to that effect.  

Ralph had been checking a text message on his personal phone.  I was a distraction.

Ah, America, 2010.

Which reminds me of a piece I wrote for the Roanoke Times back when I had a regular column in 2006.  I wrote it right after Rick Boucher had beaten Bill Carrico by ... a few votes.  I got a kick out of writing it; you might enjoy it as well:
Is that your final vote?
By Jerry Fuhrman

Now I had heard and read a good deal about Democrats around the country being alarmed by the potential for chaos and mischief on Election Day as a result of our having decided to take their advice in 2000 and drop the butterfly ballot method of voting and switch to electronic voting machines. It's an odd thing, though, that I haven't heard a single whine since Election Day. Curious indeed.

Anyway, I showed up at the polls in Bland on Nov. 7 (make that poll; the metropolis of Bland has only one voting place, next to the IGA and across from the abandoned car repair shop) to do my civic duty, with list of candidates and issues in hand so as to not inadvertently vote for a candidate I hadn't intended to and regret it the rest of my life. (I think I accidentally voted for Bill Clinton in 1996; I blame myself for his failed presidency.)

When I entered the place, I encountered six people, several of whom were working the room, making sure I wasn't an illegal immigrant, and two elderly voters, one in each of the two booths. Appearing to be short in stature, I could just see tufts of snow-white hair jutting over the top of the partitions.

It took both of them, it seemed, an inordinately long time to cast their ballots, but I just accepted it as being a situation where these older folks were trying to deal with a new technology and needed to navigate carefully through it. In any case, the two finished about the same time and left, both with looks of frustration on their faces.

So it became my turn to vote. I walked around to the front of the booth, approached the machine and touched the blank screen to activate it. It immediately lit up. As it happened, there were two pages to be dealt with, the first having to do with the major issues and races involving Allen/Webb, Boucher/Carrico (I live in the 9th Congressional District), and two of the three Constitutional amendments.

After voting quickly for George Allen by touching my index finger to his name, I moved on to the congressional race. That portion of the ballot looked something like this, as best I can recall:


I pressed CARRICO. The screen immediately changed and the following message appeared:


I pushed YES. The screen went dark for a brief moment and then this came up:


Somewhat startled, I hit NO. Then this flashed onto the screen:


Feeling a bit of exasperation setting in, I firmly pressed NO. Another message immediately appeared:


After letting out a growl, and peering over the top of the booth to see if I was being watched, I put my fist to NO. The machine reacted with a shudder and with this:


I was by now incredulous and, at the same time, enraged. With teeth clenched, I clawed the surface of the voting machine, raking my fingernails across the screen. I then stabbed NO. The CRT went black. A pause ...


I rocked backward, nearly losing my balance. I stared in disbelief. A swirl of disjointed thoughts and surreal images flashed through my mind. That night. The Crazy Horse. Booze. Lots of booze. Wild merrymaking. Feelings of fear and vulnerability came over me. I stood and gazed into the abyss.


So Rick Boucher beat Bill Carrico, handily, in the general election on Nov. 7. By a whopping 35 points as it turned out. And my marriage is safe. I think.

As for those electronic voting machines, my message to you is this:

Originally published November 16, 2006.

On This We Agree

The Roanoke Times editorial page this morning:
Rep. John Boehner, presumably the next House speaker, said, "Across the country right now, we are witnessing a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people."

All would do well to listen to the people this time. The electorate demonstrated that it is not brand loyal to either party and will shift alliances looking for change to the partisan culture of Washington. They did it in 2006, in 2008 and now in 2010. They'll do it again in 2012 if nothing changes. 

I too call for change.  But unlike the editorialists at the Times, I mean it.

When that change comes, and it sure as hell better come, watch these same change-artists howl for the status quo.

Throwing Out The Trash

Well, Tuesday turned out to be a day to Take Out The Trash.  A project I continue this morning by cleaning out my .jpg file.  The first to go?  This:

In case you're wondering, I'll not miss it at all.

As Only Glenn Beck Can Do It

If you worked your butt off to get your favorite conservative candidate elected on Tuesday, you deserve to celebrate.  And what better way to celebrate than with the man the liberals love to hate the most.

Glenn Beck.

Warning: You'll need a hanky.  You'll laugh that hysterically.

Produce! Or Else.

1994 brought such jubilation.  Such hope. Remember this?

"As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to change its policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives."

Then came 1995 and 1996 and 1997 and 1998 and 1999 and 2000 and 2001 and 2002 and ...

... eventually those of us who hadn't died waiting gave up on the GOP and its Contract With America.

Now it's 2010:

And why should we be suspicious?  I'll tell you why:

McCain is still there. Lindsey Graham. Grassley. Lugar. Snowe. Collins.

Are any of them actually capable of bringing about the kind of sweeping, fundamental change in the way government does business - and change that will get government out of our lives - that the American people still demand?

I have my doubts.

But they'd better get their arms around this: If the Republican Party doesn't fix Washington, there will, as sure as the Sun rises and sets, a third party established to make it happen.

Unfortunately when that happens America loses.  And the unions and the environmentalists and the looters and the moochers and the government win.

Your first test?

A simple pass/fail:  An outright repeal of ObamaCare.*

So.  This is your last chance to get it right.  Fail and be tossed onto the trash heap of history along with your brethren who toyed with us back in 1994.

* Let Obama veto it.  He's history too.  This be the test of will.


Quote of the Day

From the Wall Street Journal editorial page:
Mr. Obama said at his press conference yesterday that "We'd be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the past two years." What the President doesn't seem to understand, still, is that his health-care nationalization started these arguments but didn't come anywhere close to finishing them—though it did finish off many of his staunchest allies.
"Martyrs To ObamaCare," November 4, 2010

So What Now?

The Republicans in the House reign supreme.  And they did it without presenting to the American people a clear road map showing where they intend to take the USA come January.  Probably because a lot of them don't know where they want to take it.  While others (hopefully not many) want it to remain on course.  Toward certain doom.

So what should they do now that they've won?

Daniel Henninger has it nailed:
The simplest way for the Republican Party to free itself and the economy from this unending Beltway hell is by reviving a core belief of one of the country's most successful presidents: If the government will get out of the way, Ronald Reagan argued, there's no limit to what the American people can achieve.

You cannot understand the way any business functions and then pass a 2,000-page law to regulate the health economy and then a 2,000 page law to re-regulate the entire financial economy. You cannot—in one year—load 4,000 pages of limitless uncertainty on the back of the economy and expect it to grow without Washington life support.

The president stood there yesterday perplexed that so many voters didn't understand what he was trying to do. The Federal Reserve purports to be perplexed that the private economy isn't emerging from the recession as it should, so it decided yesterday to throw another $600 billion at it.

Rather than wait for Barack Obama or Ben Bernanke to figure this out, Congress's new Republicans should look to do whatever they can to unlock and liberate the American economy.

Whatever is causing the uncertainty crisis, get rid of it. One of Ronald Reagan's lasting insights (in truth it began under Jimmy Carter) is that federal regulatory intrusion can kill the economy. We are there.

The GOP as been handed a rare chance to be the Party of Growth, instead of just another party in Washington. From its choice of committee chairmen to directors of its study groups, the GOP has to make clear its commitment to being the party of sustained, long-term economic growth. The Democrats' alienation from the real economy is an opportunity but also, if one may use this word in our politics without blushing, a responsibility. If the GOP doesn't get this right, no one else will.
It's up to the GOP to get America back on track.

If they don't - if they go about Washington with the familiar business-as-usual attitude - God help them.

And God help us.

Nobel Schmobel

What's the Nobel Peace Prize compared to this?
Barack Obama sex doll for sale in China
By London Telegraph Staff

A doll wearing a dark blue suit and red tie, and with Mr Obama's face carefully screen-printed onto its head, was exhibited at the recent 8th Sex Culture Festival in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The doll was photographed by Chinese state media nestling behind several other standard plastic female toys.

Mr Obama is widely popular in China, and a "Maobama" t-shirt, bearing an image of his face crossed with a portrait of Chairman Mao, has become a best-seller. [link]
So Barack Obama is wildly popular in the repressive and totalitarian state of Communist China.  I wonder why?

In any case, the commies there apparently lust after the guy so much they've made blow-up sex dolls with his likeness affixed.

I keep coming up with great punchlines, but none of them are suitable for mixed audiences.

But I hope they find in him that which they hope to ...

... uh, never mind.

It Ends. It Begins.

Virginia has shaken off its flirtation with liberalism and is well on its way to being back on track.  However there are yet hindrances to progress that linger.  Too many hindrances.

In one case, Hindrance, thy name is James Webb.

For me for him, 2012 can't come soon enough.

Obama and Webb Are Next.

Both have done great harm to this country.  Both deserve that which is in store come November 6, 2012.

Boucher and Perriello were only the beginning.  Let's not rest until every one of these liberal politicians makes it into the trash heap of  history.