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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Will the Don-Don sink the Va. GOP?

Editor’s Notebook: Will the Don-Don sink the Va. GOP?

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More thoughtful members of the Virginia Republican infrastructure are probably quietly relieved that former President Trump is likely to be kept off Twitter and Facebook for the foreseeable future. Because every word he utters in public from now and Nov. 2 is going to be used by Democrats to try and sink the GOP’s comeback chances in the Old Dominion.

It started even as Terry McAuliffe was claiming the Democratic nomination for governor last week. He laid into Trump, probably because – absent Trump – things aren’t going superfantabulariffic for Democrats and their captain at the helm of the somewhat shaky ship of state, Joe Biden.

(Even The Washington Post has finally wised up that inflation is here, serving up an almost-banner headline across the top of the front page Saturday, and when that little bag of potato chips near the checkout stands at Giant zoomed from $1.49 to $1.99 in recent weeks, I stopped impulse-buying it. Giving them up is good for the health and even better for the pocketbook.)

Republicans need to be, in the phrase of Lindsey Graham, “Trump-plus” to win elections, and less fight-picking from Trump would help the party in this regard. (I’m on the former president’s e-mail list, and it sometimes seems his attacks are just completely random in nature.) And yet, expecting the Don-Don to tone it down would be like expecting some other national political figure to remember what day it is and what country he’s running (I kid, because I love ….). It’s rather a tall order to ask a 70-something to change old habits at this point in life.

The Republican nominating process resulted in a Virginia statewide ticket that looks more viable than some in recent gubernatorial-election years. Whether Donald Trump helps, or hurts, between now and Nov. 2 remains to be seen.

TALK ABOUT GRADING ON A CURVE: In its editorial last week, the Falls Church News-Press gave itself the task of assigning a letter grade to the performance of the Falls Church school system during the 2020-21 school year.

The verdict of the editorial? It was an A-plus kind of school year!

You’re thinking, this must be “A-plus” in an ironic, sarcastic use of the language. Kind of like when I give a speech and, after the fact, ask people, “on a scale of 9 to 10, how did I do?” (Except for gallows humor, self-deprecating humor is the best kind of humor there is…)

But nope. Apparently the newspaper truly believes the school system was as close to perfect as such an organization could come.

Yep, from a half-hearted (which is nicer than saying “half-assed”) return-to-school policy, to an ignore-the-public dash to rename schools willy-nilly, to a growing list of School Board members who have given up and are leaving (some in the middle of their terms), sounds like it was a wonderful, marvelous set of achievements.

(Now that’s an ironic, sarcastic use of language!)

A more, mmmmmmmm, realistic analysis was found just to the right of the editorial in a letter to the editor from Matt and Lora Ries, who argued the school system actually did very little to provide an education for its students over the past year. The result has been “education, social and mental crises” that may take a long time to recover from.

“We should strive for excellence rather than mediocrity,” the writers said, noting that praising Falls Church’s efforts by comparing them to the “dismal efforts in Arlington and Fairfax” is “just lowering the bar for everyone.”

I will say this for the News-Press; unlike some of the national media outlets on the same side (CNN, here’s looking at you), at least that newspaper provides a outlet for dissenting views. Good for them.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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  • Virginia Dept. of Elections

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