Politics, Virginia style

Which of the following are true?

a)  A Virginia Delegate accidently fired a handgun in his office  — where he hit a bullet-proof vest that happened to be hanging on the wall.

b) The Virginia Legislature passed bills to amend the state’s 230 year-old Bill of Rights to ban gay marriage.

c) Virginia Democratic activists are trying to recruit Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy to run for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

Answer:  All of the above.

I don’t know what to say about Jack Reid.

I’m just nauseated about the gay marriage bills.  They’re pure political posturing, since Virginia already has an "affirmation of marriage" law on the books. And the language is so sweeping, it’s quite possible that it could be used to throw out private contracts and designation of medical powers of attorneys on the grounds that they attempt to "approximate the effects of marriage."  I’m already a member of Equality Virginia, and they’ll be getting more of my money before November.

The Draft James Webb movement is interesting.  Webb is an opponent of the war in Iraq, and last week he published a very strong op-ed in the NY Times, slamming the "extremist Republican operatives" that have been consistently slandering the military records of anyone (McCain, Cleland, Kerry, Murtha) who opposes George W. Bush.  And he’d have the potential of reaching voters who ordinarily don’t vote Democratic.

I don’t know enough about either Webb (especially his views on domestic policy) or the only declared candidate so far — Harris Miller — to be signing up for either one, but I’ll definitely be tracking the race as it progresses.  I will say that I consider one of the points that Lowell at Raising Kaine lists as one of Webb’s pluses — that he lobbied for the addition of the three soldiers to the Vietnam memorial — a clear negative.  Webb was one of those who thought that Maya Lin’s design — which has become almost universally acclaimed — was "a mass grave" and a "gash of shame" and wanted something more traditionally heroic.  The addition of the statue didn’t destroy the Wall as Lin feared it would, but doesn’t add anything.   We’re not swimming in good candidates enough for me to write one off for his lousy aesthetic judgment, but it’s not a plus.

While I’m on the subject of Virginia politics, is anyone running against Jim Moran?  If the unions can’t come up with someone to even run against him, as one of the "CAFTA 15" (the 15 Ds who voted for CAFTA), then the labor movement is really dead.

8 Responses to “Politics, Virginia style”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Elizabeth – you absolutely impress me with the range of your interests, your analytical mind, and your writing ability. GREAT BLOG!

  2. dave s Says:

    Since one of the things I LIKE about Moran (and one of the reasons, besides defense, that I usually vote for national Reeps even though I vote for state-and-local Dems) is free trade, that doesn’t seem like the way to get to him, to me. How about the mortgage he took from MBNA and then voted for the predecessor of the bankruptcy bill? Or his ‘altercation’ with the eight-year-old? Or a personal life not much more attractive than Newt’s?
    It is a damned shame Kate Hanley’s husband’s illness deterred her from running against him. I don’t see anyone else on the horizon who could maybe threaten him. Maybe Fisette, but he withdrew last time – I don’t know why.
    One more thing, while I have a head of steam: Moran’s, and Wolfe’s, and Davis’ gerrymandered districts insulate each of them from any vulnerability to the other party, and more compact-and-contiguous (why the Hell does Moran have RESTON, for God’s sake?!) would force each of them to pay more attention to voters’ concerns.

  3. merseydotes Says:

    Thank you for raising those points, dave s. I think Moran is an embarassment. The MBNA loan in particular. Why he isn’t embroiled in a Bob Ney/Jack Abramoff type scandal eludes me.
    I’m generally a loyal Democrat but I have voted for no-name Republicans in the past two cycles because I think Moran is such an eyesore to the district.

  4. Fred Vincy Says:

    I hardly know enough about Webb to have a firm opinion, but there does seem to be a lot positive there. As for the soldiers, I would note: (a) I would give someone like him who served in Vietnam a fair bit of deference to feel however he wanted to about the memorial; (b) I recall my own reaction to Lin’s design at the time and, while I will readily admit that aesthetics is not my strength, I was pretty unimpressed; and (c) according to the post you link to, he also lobbied for inclusion of a black soldier among the three soldiers.

  5. Elizabeth (the other one) Says:

    Good heavens. And I read these things and turn to my husband and say… hun, we so can NOT ever move to Virginia. Not even for a little while.
    And he says, actually – we shouldn’t even be living in this country.
    It’s easy to give up, especially when you look at the ongoing assault on personal rights and freedoms, on expanding ignorance, on the evolution of the founding of nation tolerant of pluralism towards one where there is one right answer and it will be legalized.
    Thank you for always speaking the truths – and so eloquently.

  6. lentigogirl Says:

    I signed a petition at the library for a progressive running against Moran as an independent. I assume he hasn’t got the remotest shot. But after Andy Rosenberg’s well-funded primary campaign last go-round went down in falmes, there isn’t much prospect for another.
    But I’ve consistently voted for Moran in the general, and will again

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, I’ve voted for Moran in the general elections. Just wish we had a better choice, given what a safe D seat this is.
    Apparently Webb has said he isn’t running for Senate:

  8. Elizabeth Says:

    Whoops, apparently Webb *is* running after all.

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