We take the way-back machine and dial up this week in 1961, a hard-to-believe 60 years ago.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee was scheduled to hold its springtime soiree, the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, in early April, and organizers were expecting a whopping 70 members of the new Kennedy administration and top Democratic leaders to be part of the large crowd on hand.
No JFK, alas, as he was preoccupied with things like running the country. But a lot of members of his new team were going to be in the mix.
The new administration seemed to be taking over during a time of improving economic conditions, as that same edition of the Northern Virginia Sun reported that the employment picture across the local area has “brightened considerably” over the past month or so.
And for those looking for some entertainment not of the political variety, the same edition reports that Judy Garland would be performing at Constitution Hall over the weekend.
DON’T BE SO SMUG (THAT’S MY JOB): Virginia Republicans have been making hay (and perhaps taking it a bit too far) over the school-reopening (or perhaps school-non-reopening) debacle, but in conversations with elected Democrats, they don’t seem so concerned.
The response always seems to be, “the kids are going to be back in school in November, so it’ll be a non-factor.”
I would question the wisdom of that retort, as people, if prodded the right way, will certainly remember the lackadaisical attitude of local school leaders to getting (my trademark phrase in 3, 2, 1….) student asses back in classes.
It is not necessarily going to sway a huge number of votes to the Republicans, but you never know how little things cause big impacts – one day, a kid is tinkling into the ocean off the west coast of Africa, thus disrupting the climate/weather equilibrium ever so slightly, and a two weeks later, a Category 5 hurricane blasts its way into the Gulf of Mexico. (Quoting the late country crooner Joe Diffie: Cause and effect, chain of events, all of the chaos makes perfect sense.)
Back to the main topic, one wonders if in fact school officialdom will be able to get kids back in class – all of them, five days a week – by fall. We’re already hearing bleatings suggesting administrators think it possibly an impossibility.
And if that’s the case, boy-howdy, this will be a political Category 5 hurricane in statewide and legislative races across Virginia. (That is called connecting the dots from an earlier paragraph!)
The possibility of kids stuck behind computers at home for a third school year (!) may be why some elected Democrats are, once again, getting nervous about the situation. And it’s always smart politics to be a little nervous, just in case.
- Scott McCaffrey