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.