emails come in incessantly, an endless stream of
them. The fax machine spits out tit-for-tat around
the clock. No-plan plans, cheap tricks for sale,
work the intersections like strumpets at a gullible
Holsworth, the erstwhile political savant at VCU,
opined the other day that the whole affair seems to
be high-schoolish. He was being kind. This campaign
is an insult to high schoolers everywhere. But,
still, think high schoolers with $25 million to
spend. That buys a lot of breathlessness.
Flash! Bulletin! Kaine waxes Kilogore in NOVA
debate! Kilgore campaign pouts! Blames Russert for
exposing Kilgore’s hypocrisy, for exposing
thinking that is to leadership what junk bonds are
to gold certificates!)
on, I thought—I hoped—the campaigns would mature
through the summer—surely by Labor Day. But I was
wrong. The silly season of sign wars and accents
just turned sillier. The pandering on local taxes
that marked the early days seems, in retrospect,
like serious, gray-templed thinking now.
There is something wrong with this picture. There is
something wrong with this campaign for the
governorship of Virginia.
is a perversity that the candidate who is the
longest shot, the candidate least likely to win, the
candidate with no party backing, the candidate with
the least organization, the candidate with the least
money, the candidate denied participation in the
so-called debates—has, from the beginning, made
the most sense—to a lot of people.
state’s editorial writers say as much publicly.
Even some party stalwarts, Democrat and
Republican—especially those who know the realities
of governing—will privately tell you the same
thing--that H. Russell Potts, the Republican senator
from Winchester running as an unaffiliated
independent does just that—he makes the most
sense—on transportation, on education, on taxes.
is because of the tone and tenor of these two
campaigns—and the lack of substance to them.
is because we have talk of ‘lock boxes’ as a
remedy for our transportation woes, or worse,
‘bold’ transportation plans that make cold
fusion seem like a reasonable candidate for listing
on the stock exchange.
is because we have the major party candidates
belly-bumping each other over who is the mostest,
bestest duck hunter—or some such.
is because we have a hurricane of small thinking
swirling around a handful of dispossessed day
laborers in Herndon.
the gun thing: I own guns. I know guns. I hunt with
guns. (Already this dove season I have limited out
twice.) And I wouldn’t want to get into the woods
with either Kaine or Kilgore, thinking they were
carrying loaded ones.
the day laborer issue, a question for you:
provide, across this Commonwealth, maybe 200
comfortable, air conditioned offices wherein folks
can apply for and receive welfare benefits, but when
a few down-and-outers, human beings in a strange
land, wrapped in a strange, strange culture, show up
at a place—not with hands out—their calloused
hands—and all they want to do is work, all they
want to do is the bottom-feeding stuff we don’t
want to do, our studied response is to try to run
them out of town—or , as we say here in Meadows of
Dan, “Run’em off?”
on earth would we elect somebody to do an extremely
difficult job and then insist they come to work in a
straight jacket and hand-cuffs. Tell me. Why
would we do that?
tell you what I would support. If we could somehow
figure out a way to just lock-up these
campaigns—to get them off the TV and out of the
mailboxes, to take away their phone cards—then
I’d be all for that. And I’d say I’m in the
majority on this one. I think most of Virginia would.
September 19, 2005