Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not Impressed with Glenn Nye

Since I split my time between Washington, DC and Hampton Roads, VA, I have been following the big political races of both areas.  Earlier, I wrote about an aspect of DC Mayor Adrian Fenty's loss to City Council Chair Vince Gray.  Now I want to focus attention on the House member who represents the area where I stay in Virginia, Glenn Nye.

I think that Glenn Nye is going to lose in the 2nd Congressional district. When I see his ads, I see a man who is trying desperately to appeal to people who did not vote for him.  It is true that the 2nd is a GOP leaning district.  But his term seems to have been catered to people who are not in his base, or even among the people who actually supported him in the last election.  His vote against health insurance reform is particularly damning, because whatever it was he told himself to justify his "no" vote, it will not suffice for the people in his district who had an expectation that he would support the President on health insurance reform.  As a result of this vote, and some others, Nye now has an unenthusiastic base.  Nye seems to have abandoned the people who put him in office, and now they are wondering what to do in November.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, Rep. Alan Grayson is poised to hold his seat, in another GOP leaning district.  Grayson has been an unapologetic Democrat.  He has shown himself to be for the Democratic base time and time again, and as a result, his constituents are eager to send him back to Washington.  Grayson shows that he has principles, that he listens to the people who actually supported him, and is fearless in the face of Republican chicanery.  Nye?  Not so much.  Nye looks like he is running scared.

What I've come to admire (begrudgingly) in GOP politicians is their willingness to say "fuck you" to those who don't agree with them, because they know that their supporters are looking for that strength (even though I think most of their principles are sketchy at best and dangerous at worst).  Rep. Grayson represents a similar bent on the Democratic side, and he is being rewarded for his authenticity.

There is nothing Glenn Nye can do to change his votes in the House, but I am more than confident that he, like many of his fellow "Blue Dog" Democrats, will not survive the onslaught of the likely mid-term election voter for this year (those who see Obama-Pelosi-Reid as a trifecta of evil, and long for President McCain).  Perhaps he will learn a lesson, if his loss comes to pass:  stick with the people who actually pulled the lever for you, not the people would never support you (remember that "D" is tied to your name).

UPDATE 09/29/10:  I wanted to make sure I posted this before anyone tried to suggest I was hiding facts.  The latest poll has Rep. Grayson now trailing his GOP challenger among likely voters.  Even with that said, my point about an energized base still holds.


Scott said...

Hey Free,
My own Congressman here in Virginia's 5th--Tom Perriello--is the very definition of a "vulnerable" incumbent. He's a Democrat swept in with the Obama wave in 'o8 (with a 700 vote margin of victory), in a generally conservative district that has been in GOP hands for 20 years.

The day of his election everybody--even his supporters--started calling him "One Term Tom."

But even though he has more reason than just about anybody in Congress to play to the right, he hasn't. He voted for health care reform and even supported the public option. He voted for cap-n-trade, he voted for financial reform.

He may not win in November (Nate Silver has him at an 80% chance of losing) but if that happens he will go out with dignity and integrity intact.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. There is no reason to support Nye in this election. I am NOT IMPRESSED with his time in Congress.

Look at this way. Why go out and work to re-elect someone that will never vote for progressive measures? If we work to re-elect him this time it will be even harder to run someone against him in a primary next time. Face it, we'd be stuck with him.

Better to use this opportunity to get rid of him and run someone better for the seat with a fresh start next time when they can 'ride the wave' again.

Most dems in our district are not only not willing to work for Nye, they are wondering 'why vote'. Some are actually breaking and voting for Rigell because of his jobs background or because he's donated vehicles to their church.

Either way, Nye is toast.

hscfree said...

@Scott: Hey man! Nice to see your name in the comments again. I did think of Perriello as a comparison, but I knew that he was polling behind. And even though supporters may have said "One Term Tom," they will have no problem voting for him. Oh, and his opponent, Rob Hurt, is a fellow Hampden-Sydney grad.

@Anon: Thanks for confirming what I suspected regarding Nye voters from '08. I will add though that it seems rather over the top to vote for Rigell, if you really are a Democrat. Rigell's hammering of Nye's votes with Pelosi, will be interesting to re-examine should Rigell get in with a Speaker Boehner (it hurt even to type that). I would lay money down that Rigell's voting record would be closer to 100%, but then, his supporters would want that, yet another lesson for Nye.