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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Spanberger doesn’t want to be collateral damage

Editor’s Notebook: Spanberger doesn’t want to be collateral damage

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Stories of shipwrecks are replete with tales of those bobbing in the water only to be doomed when the big ship makes that final plunge beneath the waves, creating suction that draws everything in the vicinity down with it.

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-7th) currently is treading water, feeling the tug of suction as the S.S. Biden tries to right itself despite self-inflicted damage (and some bad timing) as it works to stay afloat in stormy seas. She may, in all likelihood, be the most imperiled Virginia Democrat of 2022.

Late last week, Spanberger was one of those members of Congress who asked the Biden administration to back away from changes to immigration policy that seemingly would send yet more people pouring across the border into the U.S., essentially unchallenged.


Spanberger’s parents obviously did not raise a dummy: Inflation and an out-of-control border are likely to be the issues that sink Democrats in swing districts this fall. This particular Democrat is trying to stay out in front of the situation lest she be collateral damage.

Will it work? If the past few months have proved anything, it’s that the Biden administration seldom seems to miss an opportunity to make things worse for itself. (Appeal the court ruling on airline masking? Yet another politically dumb decision. Let it go and move on, you ding-dongs.)

In a sense I’m kind of rooting for Spanberger, if only because she’s finding herself being pulled under the waves but is doing what she can to bob to the surface in hopes of rescue.

Will it work? Not unless the Biden folks can get their act together, quickly. But at least she’s giving it her all. Gotta admire that.

BACK TO THE STREETCAR BATTLE: Stuck in a kitchen drawer with information about my about-to-be-replaced, 17-year-old dishwasher was, of all things, a copy of the April 3, 2013, Arlington Connection newspaper.

And within said edition was an article on the Columbia Pike streetcar. “Streetcar: Desire or Disaster?” was the headline, which as Connection attempts a wordplay go, wasn’t quite that bad.

The article, by Michael Lee Pope, was evenhanded, and via its yellowing pages took us back to those days when opponents to the streetcar were the Davids fighting the Goliaths. About 18 months later, the Davids won the fight.

The article quotes then-and-now County Board member and noted streetcar opponent Libby Garvey, paraphrasing thusly: “She says a bus-rapid-transit system would give [the Columbia Pike corridor] all the benefits of a streetcar system at 20 percent of the price.”

Here we are nine years later, and the Pike has neither a streetcar nor a bus-rapid-transit system. Red-headed stepchild, indeed.

DEVOTEES OF THE ART OF THESPIS BACK ON THE STAGE: It’s been good to see a lot of community items coming in for publication related to student-theater productions at local high schools.

Get out and support them, community. Some high-school theater is quite good.

– Scott McCaffrey

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