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Monday, September 20, 2021
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Parsing last night’s candidate forum

Editor’s Notebook: Parsing last night’s candidate forum

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Not a bad showing by the three Arlington County Board independents running against incumbent Democrat Takis Karantonis, as campaign season kicked off with the Committee of 100 debate last night.

Audrey Clement, Mike Cantwell and Adam Theo presented themselves well and followed kindly Uncle Scotty’s advice getting out the knives and thrusting away at the Democratic oligarchy running the county. From housing to virtue signaling, the incumbents sliced and diced at the policies and proclivities of current County Board fivesome, as represented in the debate by Karantonis.

Will it work? Nah. My guess is the three challengers will split up 42 percent of the vote among them. Karantonis will employ the traditional Arlington Democratic tactic of rope-a-dope – let the challengers pummel away all they want and wait it out for the public to follow the Democratic sample ballot, giving him victory.

Anyway, that’s the prevailing theory. We shall see. Perhaps it would be different if Arlington’s leadership had approved the instant-runoff/ranked-choice voting method. But given that such a method is only likely to hurt the Democratic power base, one wonders if that will ever be enacted. As we saw with the redistricting commission constitutional amendment, Democrats frequently talk the talk about “good government” — until it impacts them. Then, radio silence or outright opposition.

On the School Board front, Democratic endorsee Mary Kadera was her usual well-prepared self. She sometimes comes off as a walking and talking term paper, but one can’t doubt her sincerity. (One does wonder if, once on the board, she will be co-opted by some of the other members into their factions, or if she emerges as her own power base and starts co-opting some of the others into her orbit. Time will tell.)

And as for School Board candidate “Major” Mike Webb, who was a no-show at the debate? To borrow the words of our dazed and confused president: “C’mon man.”

ALWAYS GOOD TO SLEEP ON IT FIRST: I waited until this morning to provide that instant-analysis above. Always good to sleep it over and ruminate on things, even if, in the immortal words of the late and great Bobby Lewis, you end up spending the night “Tossin’ and Turnin’”:

STICK TO YOUR CANCER COLUMNS, KENNY – POLITICS IS MY TURF: The Connection Newspapers’ columnist-in-the-classifieds, Kenneth Lourie, has been regaling us for years (more than 10, surely) of his battles with cancer and other problems.

Occasionally, however, his columns go off on tangents. Sometimes that is healthy (who wants to keep hearing about cancer every … single … week …?). But sometimes, like this week, it’s not so good.

This column leads off by noting that Mr. Lourie watches a lot of TV. (It would kill you to crack open a book now and then?) And when the commercials come on, he often finds them to be right-wing political ads by groups like the NRA.

Mr. Lourie is not a fan of them. (He notes he doesn’t want to censor anyone, but if only they would disappear of their own volition, one presumes he would be happy.)

He definitely is not watching the same channels I am. The old-people TV stations I tune into are plastered day and night with commercials for reverse mortgages and Medicare supplements, with the likes of Tom Selleck, Joe Namath and Jimmie J.J. Walker as pitchmen. Political ads never appear. And it seems hard to believe right-wing ads would show up on left-wing news channels.

Second, and this is part of my all-too-often refrain of “swim in your own lane,” nobody wants to get political commentary from a person whose columns usually focus on his own medical travails. So let’s all just stick to what we do best. I’ll stay out of columns on cancer if Mr. Lourie stays out of columns on politics. Fair enough?

  • Scott McCaffrey
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