Goode as Gone

Virgil Goode, the five term US Congressman from Virginia's 5th district who gained some notoriety when he made a stink about an incoming Congressman taking the oath of office using the Quran (apparently he didn't care that the incoming Congressman was Muslim, thus making it much more sensible to use the Koran than the Bible), has probably lost his reelection bid.  The margin is so slim that he's going to demand a recount, but if the count holds up then it will give Virginia more Democrats in Congress than Republicans, a stunning turn of events considering Goode had a 30 point edge in the polls as recently as August and the Republicans entered the election with an 8-3 edge in Congressional seats.

I'm not sure exactly why Goode lost, but I'm sure the economy had more than a little to do with it, especially when Goode continued running ads based on a fear-based campaign strategy straight out of Lee Atwater's playbook.  Well, whatever the reason I'm sure some of the media are going to miss some of the gems that came out of Goode's mouth or pen.  I'll share a couple below.

First, from a letter to constituents about that Muslim Congressman taking the oath on the Quran, who by the way was born and raised in the U.S.:

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take
the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I
do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim
Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that
district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil
Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims
elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop
illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the
diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing
many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that
in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States
if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are
necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United
States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.

From a letter to USA Today defending his letter to constituents:

Immigration is arguably the most important
issue facing the country today. At least 12 million immigrants are here
illegally. And diversity visas, a program initiated in 1990 to grant
visas to people from countries that had low U.S. immigration at that
time, are bringing in 50,000 a year from various parts of the world,
including the Middle East.

Let us remember that we were not
attacked by a nation on 9/11; we were attacked by extremists who acted
in the name of the Islamic religion. I believe that if we do not stop
illegal immigration totally, reduce legal immigration and end diversity
visas, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable to infiltration by those who
want to mold the United States into the image of their religion, rather
than working within the Judeo-Christian principles that have made us a
beacon for freedom-loving persons around the world.

I wonder if anyone ever pointed out that a lot of illegal immigrants are Christian?  Is a legal Christian immigrant preferable to an illegal Muslim immigrant?  Oh, and as for our Judeo-Christian principles being a beacon I'd like to point out to the good ex-Congressman that many people, including the people we celebrate every Thanksgiving, came to America to escape religious persecution and to practice the religion of their choice without fear.  There's nothing exclusive to Judeo-Christian tradition about it.

What truly kills me about people like Goode is that they seem to not realize that by imposing their religious values on the entire populace they open the door for someone else with other religious values to do the same at a later date.  They also don't seem to see the hypocrisy of our country celebrating non-secular governments in the Middle East, and taking position that Islamic regimes like Iran's are bad and simultaneously calling for government policies at home to be based on Judeo-Christian values. In other words non-secular is good for the rest of the world, but not for the United States.

Of course the cynic in me thinks that this was a policy of convenience for Goode, a red-meat issue that he figured he could use to fire up his conservative base.  Unfortunately for him I think his opponent did a good job of painting him as a political opportunist who's vote was for sale and by implication who's policies were for show only. I'll end this with the ad that his opponent ran that some observers think put the stake in the Goode campaign's heart:

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