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Monday, March 20, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Not achieving Mount Rushmore status quite yet

Editor’s Notebook: Not achieving Mount Rushmore status quite yet

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This is not me speaking today, mind you, but me channeling the views of some of Arlington’s more seasoned political leaders who were on hand for last week’s Arlington County Democratic Committee kickoffs for the two open seats on the County Board.

Let’s just say those of venerable stature who spoke to me off the record (that’s when we have the most fun, as we’re all too old to give a crap) weren’t entirely enthralled by the three contenders that have thus far launched bids to replace two-term-and-out-ers Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey.

J.D. Spain has the biggest community résumé, certainly sufficient to be running for County Board, but some Democrats are not happy at all with how the NAACP under his leadership clashed with the party. Those wounds have not healed, and anyone who believes the residue won’t play a part in the upcoming race doesn’t know how this kabuki dance that is Arlington elections really works.


And among those who have been around a long time that I chatted with, the names of relative newcomers Jonathan Dromgoole and Maureen Coffey either were not known at all, or did not rise to the “they’ve paid their civic dues enough to seek running for office” level that seasoned politicians are wont to expect. Long-timers like some steak with their sizzle.

There will be one or two more candidates, perhaps, and maybe a surprise or two, before the Democratic field gets settled en route to the June primary. So expect some twists and turns along with additional options on the table.

And remember, this is just me channeling the thoughts of others. I look forward to covering the field; I get paid the same — and not nearly enough, all things considered — no matter who runs.

WHO’S GASLIGHTING WHOM? Yours truly toodled in to work this morning listening to day two of a feud between WMAL radio’s right-leaning morning hosts and a mid-level staffer for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, over the issue of … gas stoves?

Yep, gas stoves.

Maybe you’ve been following it, probably you haven’t, but the station and some other right-wing-y outlets spent yesterday pummeling Beyer and some others members of Congress seemingly putting pressure on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to consider a potential ban on future sales of gas stoves. Even Fox’s Harris Faulkner — who takes crap from nobody — took some shots at the letter yesterday in the noontime hour.

(Sigh: $30+ trillion in federal debt that will never be able to be repaid, China on the march, etc., etc., and Congress is worried about this kind of thing? Jesus, Mary and Joseph: priorities, people, priorities….)

Anyhoo, guess there was some social-media back and forth on the subject between one of the WMAL hosts and the deputy chief of staff for Beyer overnight, which led to the station again bringing up the matter this morning. (One more aside: “deputy chief of staff” seems a bit over the top for a member of Congress to require. A case of job-title aggrandizement, perhaps.)

Anyhoo again, I have no dog in this fight. I’m good with gas or electric. But it’s never a good thing for a member of Congress to wake up on a morning when (a) a staffer becomes the focal-point of a controversy, and (b) the staff seems more interested in a battling it out on social media than letting the matter quietly drop and moving on.

It seldom is smart to engage in an unnecessary tinkling match with the media. We’re petty, vindictive little sh*ts and have long memories, after all 🙂

– Scott

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