Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You May Know a RINO; but How About a VINO?

Lately I have been baffled by the actions of our leaders in Washington as well as Richmond for that matter. I have been thinking as of late that many of these leaders seem to be completely out of touch with the people, but frankly also Virginia history.

I remember growing up learning about the Founding Father generation and the values that served them well in guiding the course of this nation. Many of them of course were Virginians. We all know them well; Washington, Madison, Jefferson, and others like Monroe and the infamous Patrick Henry. There are many more Virginians that swelled the ranks of history that as children we learned of and some of us reveared.

But todays leaders seem very very distant from those that directed our great Commonwealth from its humble beginnings to being one of the most powerful Southern colonies and then later one of the most powerful Southern States in the Union. Why is it that so many of our current leaders stand in direct contrast to those that made our history. Now, our ancestoral leadership were not Gods mind you, nor were they perfect men but there was something very statesman-like about them. I dare say today you cannot find a single "statesman" in Washington these days. Plenty of career politicians, but no statesman.

In terms of Virginia, I think there is something deeper afoot. I believe I can say this with little doubt that being a Virginian IMHO is a blessing. I come from the school of I am "Virginian By The Grace of God" and make no apologies. I have to say that because I am the only one in my family born and raised here in this great Commonwealth. I have plenty of siblings born in places like New Jersey and my father is a Pennsylvania man, but I can tell you there is something different in being from Virginia.

Maybe its the rich education of our identity and Virginia's role in our nations history that touches those that were raised amidst the bossom of her valleys and rivers that draws us back to our past in times of crisis. Afterall, for a long time Virginia was a leader on the national stage, especially politics but have since been relegated to the back hallways of power. Oh, sure there have been some individual success at the national level like say a John Warner-R but even he is no longer sitting at the table. A Chuck Robb and even the historic election of Douglas Wilder, but currently the nation does not appear to be enamored with our leaders as we have seen in the past.

I simply believe in large part it is because our leaders in Washington today simply do not emulate the traditions of character and statesmanship that our ancestoral leaders had resulting in our nations reliance on them and the principles they promoted by way of government.

We are all familia by now with the term RINO (Republican In Name Only) which is usually presented as a negative connotation to Republicans not being "conservative" enough, but lately I am thinking that there simply more VINO's (Virginian's In Name Only) within the Commonwealth. Virginia has witnessed widespread growth throughout the State, especially Northern Virginia, the suburbs of Richmond and toward Virginia Beach that has resulted in relocation by citizens from other regions throughout America.

If you are considering what impact such growth trends have on the State political identity you only have to consider the following;

How many leaders in our Senate and House Delegation in Washington were born and raised in the Commonwealth of Virginia?Thrown in the Executive Mansion as well.

The number will shock you or worse may not even impact you at all.

The answer I believe is (4).

Gov. Tim Kaine-D (St. Paul, MN)
Sen. Jim Webb-D (St. Joesephs, Missouri)
Sen. Mark Warner-D (Indianapolis, Ind)
Eric Cantor-R (Minority Whip) Richmond, Va
Rick Boucher-D (Abingdon, Va)
James Moran-D (Buffalo, NY)
Bobbhy Scott-D (Washington, DC)
Robert Wittman-R (Washington, DC)
Randy Forbes-R (Chesepeake, Va)
Tom Periello- D (Ivy, Va)
Frank Wolf-R (Philly, PA)
Glenn Nye-D (Philly, PA)
Robert Godlatte-R-let me know on this one
Gerry Connoly-D (Boston, MA)

We always here that we are all products of our youth and the environments in which we were raised, so there should be very little surprise that our current leadership on balance in Washington has moved far away from Virginia's historic stands on free speech, taxation, spiritual significance of the Declaration, property rights, government intervention, and frankly the guiding principles of our U.S. Constitution.

There is a line in the great movie "Amistad" where Anthony Hopkins portraying John Q. Adams states that sometimes we have to realize that "who were are IS who WE were".


Anonymous said...

Bob McDonnell our most likely next Governor is from PA as well I think and so it continues.His kickoff tour began this weekend.

Anonymous said...

As senatorial candidate John Briley once said in response to attacks that he was born outside Ohio, "At least I had the decency to come into this state with my clothes on."

My experience has been that people rarely have much influence over where they were born. I refuse to give anyone any credit for being born in any particular place. I refuse to assign them blame for being born any particular place.

NoVA Scout

Anonymous said...

We have one statesman in Congress, google Ron Paul

Anonymous said...

It is very true that peoples values are set in area of the country or at least extremely influenced by the region they were born and raised.

For example, what explaination is there that 80% of our armed forces on active duty come from the South and Midwest. Why is it that the Northeast as a region represents but a few percentage of the active standing Army? Culture thats what and liberal values that do not support the military. They will say its economics and that the South has more enlistees because of this, but it truth its because there is an apparent cultural stigma of sorts in the Northeast to the military.

Anonymous said...


Lucks Lane said...

I was in the Hartford CT airport three years ago and watched a ceremony of an Army warrant officer's body offloaded from a US Air flight.

I do not think any region of our country loves our country more than any other.

Only about 5% of us ever serve in the armed forces. It does not matter whether or not you served. I do not consider myself any more American just because I served.

We stand as one.

James of Bon Air said...

The proof is in the pudding LL. The educational system of the Northeast does not portray the opportunity of the military in a fair light. Like places like Berkeley, CA you find areas not even allowing the recruiters on high school campuses.
Southerners historically have led the way in filling the ranks of the armed services and there is no denying that fact. That is not to say that that makes them more patriotic, but may be a condition illustrated by the number of bases and allegiances amongst family traditions whom have served at those bases. hence the term Army "brat". The numbers are striking and it does not stop at secondary education either. if you look at college thwe largest contingent of ROTC numbers are in the South which will produce the offcier class. The South has both V.M.I. and the Citadel for those not attending a Service Academy as well.
Does the fact that the ranks are filled greater by the South mean anything culture-based?...you bet ya!!!!!!!

Lucks Lane said...

The northeast pays a much larger share of Federal Income Tax than the south.

It all evens out.

No region is more or less American.

I was born and raised in VA and am a member of the lucky class that pays the largest percentage of Federal tax.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me Lucks Lane? The highest percentage of relocation is coming to the South from the Northeast. Of course tax dollar revenue is high when your tax rates are the highest. Have you seen all the taxes that people in Jersey pay? Local, Township, State and Federal levels etc. The cost of living in the Northeast is much higher and tghus they garner higher wages and income as well so how does that wash? The issue still remains that the culture in the South of duty, honor and patriotism is embedded in the culture and it is not in the Northeast. In the Northeast the military is a but of jokes at cocktail parties.

Jonathan said...

I think its typical of the culture today with all the relocation that occurs that you end up with every State becoming a melting pot of sorts.

The influx of folks from the Northeast in particular has changed the voting patterns of Virginia certainly. Northern Virginia has experienced and massive increase in population brought on by Federal government full employment and those industries tied to government consulting. The Federal ranks are certainly more liberal on balance than conservative so it makes since that Northern Virginia and central Maryland mirror each other in politics. In fact, upstate Virginia is looking more like Maryland these days than the rest of Virginia.

Lucks Lane said...

Where do many of our weapons systems come from?

The northeast.

I was at an American Legion post in Norwalk CT the other summer. I did not see any anti military men there.

I served with lots of folks from up north.

The USA is not regional anymore. Maybe up to about 25-30 years ago.
People move all around. Most folks shop at the same big box retailers, use the same brands, and the same banks.

James of Bon Air said...

LL has lost it. The DOD reports as much and if you look at the recruiting draws from the military the NE is the worst region which is saying something given you have cities like NYC and Boston. The numbers are as a percentage of population.

By the lucks, you are incorrect that the majority of the weapons systems are made in the NE, they are by far made in California and even Virginia which both rank at the top of defense spending procurement.

TC Robinson said...

Bob Goodlatte was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts

James said...

TC- Thanks for the heads up. Yet another one....add them to the list Alter.