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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: The ‘Sultan of Swat’ principle of legislating

Editor’s Notebook: The ‘Sultan of Swat’ principle of legislating

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In chatting with an insider yesterday, it was noted that a certain local delegate had introduced a lot of bills that, given the House of Delegates’ Republican majority, seemed to be getting tossed in the recycle bin at an alarming rate this session.

Fair enough, but perhaps, I noted, this legislator was, unknowing, pursuing the Babe Ruth principle of politics.

Many people remember that the Bambino had 715 home runs in his storied career. But he also struck out 1,330 times.

(If you want to go by Hank Aaron, who in my estimation was the last real home-run champ, the figures are 755 home runs and 1,402 strikeouts, so roughly in the same proportion.)


In other words, if you swing for the fences, you’re occasionally going to strike out. Or not so occasionally.

Then again, nobody wants to go down in political history as the equivalent of Reggie Jackson, the all-time strikeout leader (2,597).

THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER: One of our circulation people (there’s an inside joke there but I’ll just leave it at that) noted that he/she was placing a paper on a doorstep in McLean when a feller walked out and said to keep it. He didn’t like the Sun Gazette, he said, because he didn’t agree with our editorials.

In the words of our president: C’mon, man!

I don’t agree with editorials or other expressed viewpoints in a lot of media outlets (Falls Church News-Press, here’s looking at you, kid…), but I still read them. It’s called being a well-rounded, nuanced consumer of news. And I am definitely well-rounded. Rubenesque, even 🙂

Anyway, this is just another excuse to trot out my favorite Gilda Radner routine, her song “Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals” with the famous line that I call my own: “If they don’t love it, they can shove it; frankly I don’t care.”

Warning: It comes with adult language, so don’t click if you’re not emotionally prepared. But it is hilarious. Gilda was the best!

-Scott McCaffrey

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