And I think I f***ed up.
Not for the presidential race, but for the US Senate race. See, our choices were both former governors: Mark Warner (D) and Jim Gilmore (R). Ordinarily I slant toward the Republicans, since they fit more closely with my fiscal conservatism, but what I remember of Gilmore's tenure as governor wasn't terribly positive.
He promised to get rid of the car tax. Fail. He also sold significant portions of protected land to pay for government initiatives. Now, I had just graduated from W&M when I heard about that, and the land he wanted to sell had the same name as a man-made lake on campus, so I think maybe that just tugged at my heart-strings too much, but I didn't feel like he was taking Virginia's natural resources as a serious priority. True, Green and Republican don't often mesh, but generally Republicans don't seek to expand government.
So I felt like he short-changed us, and I voted against him today. But instantly I was wracked with guilt. Not because I'd voted Democrat, but because I remembered who else represents our Commonwealth in the US Senate: Lunatic Webb. You might remember Jim Webb as the nutjob who tried to take a gun into the Capitol, or as the fellow who refused to shake hands with the President. Webb capitalized on a horrid campaign gaffe on the part of then-shoe-in George Allen to deny a Republican seat in the Senate.
What made me so upset about remembering this is that I think Webb is dangerous, and without a counter-balance in the Senate, Virginia's elected representation may not truly represent her. VA is not a blue state. She's a mix: liberal at the top and boot-tip, and conservative pretty much everywhere else. So voting to put Warner (granted, he's moderate, but he's also the new guy) with Webb may well spell doom to Virginia's economy.
We owe a significant portion of our success in the Old Dominion to John Warner, who as Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee kept Norfolk Naval Yards afloat and funneled great gobs of cash into the state. Will M. Warner and Fruitcake Webb continue to see those as priorities? Will they have the same pull on Capitol Hill?
My biggest concern is that Webb will bully Warner and Virginia will not show her true colors for the next several years.
I still think Warner is a better choice than Gilmore, just not right now.
Oh, I'm so conflicted.