If We Wait For the DPVA, We Lose

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

by Dan Sullivan

Our faith in Virginians and Americans should be renewed by the results of the elections yesterday. The wave of popular fear may be ebbing. Though the Virginia outcome could be better, our progressive ship is not on the shoals. However, we cannot stand idle while the DPVA finds its voice.Elaine and her commenters have outlined many positive aspects of elections across America yesterday. There are other indicators that the Republicans and the Tea Party have overplayed their hands. Anecdotally, phone bank volunteers in campaigns noted that they often heard complaints about the tone of calls from the other side and the over-the-top rhetoric. And there is a trend back toward discussions of local issues away from the divisive and sometimes irrelevant national debate.
Until this fall, Sinclair Communications in the Norfolk market featured two all day, all night, wall-to-wall radio talk-fests featuring almost exclusive drum beating for "conservative ideas." But a few weeks ago one station, was completely transformed and the other broadly reformatted. Gone are Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz (both completely from the market), and others. One former talk-radio station is now Funny 850, almost exclusively comedy with some time for sports shows smattered here and there. On the other station, WNIS, local talk programming has been expanded from a low of 3 hours daily to 6. Based upon the volume of callers, it appears a successful venture. The much hailed "free market" seems to have discounted appeals to fear, hate, and loathing.
Right now is the time to be pressing our case hard, making our voices heard across Virginia. But there is no DPVA strategy to develop, maintain, and reinforce a message; to call out the Virginia Republicans for their obfuscation and downright fabricated accomplishments (see Bob McDonnell); to remind us and everyone what we stand for. The frustration expressed by Peter Rousselot is commonly held; just look at the comments to his diary. For some time there has been no consistent message or spokesperson at all. So it is important that we speak out here and wherever we can until the DPVA regains a voice and begins to represent Virginia Democrats rather than Virginia Democratic office holders.