Like drinking from a firehose

That’s what the last few months have felt like. It has been overwhelming.

The sh!tshow that is the state of our national politics accounts for much of it. It is impossible to ignore the daily hourly minute-by-minute avalanche of stuff coming out of Washington. Yes, Donald Trump has been a disaster, but so has the Republican-controlled Congress. With few exceptions, it is clear that party matters more to them than our country. And that makes me sad – and angry. Part of the problem is – of course – redistricting. The other part seems to be a lack of ethics.

Then we have the happenings in Virginia. I’m watching Democrats tear each other apart over whom to support in the gubernatorial and LG contests. Bottom line for me: either Ralph Northam or Tom Perriello will be a better governor for us than Ed Gillespie. (Sorry, Frank Wagner. You picked the wrong year to run. As for Corey Stewart – I’m really glad I left the Shad Planking before your Confederate flag flyover.)

As for LG, I’m more concerned about the possible loss of that contest in November than I am about which candidate is black (Justin Fairfax) or female (Susan Platt).  (Sorry, Gene Rossi.) Somehow, I don’t see that being the deciding factor in the general election. And for me, it isn’t the deciding factor right now, either.

Thank goodness for AG Mark Herring!

(By the way, I met the Republican AG candidate, John Adams, at the Shad Planking. When I told him that I would be voting for my friend, Mark, he was polite and said he understood my support. A little civility goes a long way, you know.)

Getting far too little coverage is the House of Delegates elections, particularly the nominating contests. Hell, there’s one in my own district – the 83rd – and I’ve not heard a peep about/from the candidates! I count seven such races in Hampton Roads (districts 21, 64, 81, 83, 84, 89, and 92), with all except the 84th being included in the June 13th primary. (The Democratic nominee in the 84th will be chosen at a convention on May 20.) The 64th and the 89th are for open seats; in each case, the incumbent is not running for re-election.

And, of course, there are local contests as well. Four of the five constitutional offices – Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff, Commissioner of the Revenue, and Treasurer – are on the ballot this year in cities across Virginia. (The counties hold their elections for these in two years, along with the Clerk of Court, the fifth constitutional office. The latest schedule of elections can be found here.)

I’m glad to see so many people getting involved. But it’s probably even harder to keep up now than every before. (Yes, I have a day job. Don’t even get me started on what’s happening in higher ed.)

One thing that has happened is an increase in people contributing to the ACLU. Like other units across the country, the state organization – ACLU of Virginia – has seen a surge in memberships. This month, ACLU-VA is holding a series of member forums in regions across the state.  The ones in Hampton Roads will be held 5/18 in Norfolk and 5/24 in Newport News. As a member of the board, I’d urge you to consider joining us for one of the forums to get a better understanding of what the ACLU actually does and to learn some tips on how you can engage. There is no cost to attend but space is limited so register soon (registration link is at the bottom of this page).

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