Ran into one of my favorite old politicians today, Chip Woodrum, the smart, funny, accomplished former General Assembly member from Roanoke that the Republicans ran off with their hateful style of politics.
Chip was always a hail-fellow-well-met whose notion of service had a good bit more to do with serving Virginians than getting elected. Of course, one of the first things the Repubs did when they took over the General Assembly and got to draw district lines was to put Chip and Dick Cranwell, another monumentally effective legislator, in the same district. Dick declined to run against his old friend and soon afterward, Chip lost his taste for this foul-smelling game of politics of destruction. The Roanoke Valley has never recovered from their loss at about the same time Vic Thomas was also retiring. Their accomplishments are legendary. Since then, they're not even worth a line of agate in a box score.
So this morning, Chip's talking about finding somebody to run for the vile Morgan Griffith's (pictured) seat from Salem and he says the Dems are damned if they do/damned if they don't on this one because of redistricting. The way Chip tells it, if this Greg Habeeb character wins (he's a Griffith-style Republican with some outlandish abortion notions) the election to fill the seat, then the Republicans get it outright. If a Democrat wins, the Repubs will have the opportunity of redrawing the district lines so he lives outside the lines and loses the seat. Simple politics. And that's why we hate it so.
By the way, Chip tells me this Habeeb fellow believes there should be no abortion starting "from the moment of conception" for anybody for any reason. I'm not sure Habeeb knows this, but medical professionals agree there is no single "moment of conception." It is a process and can't be narrowed to a moment or an hour. I'm wondering if "moment of conception" can include the gleam in daddy's eye when he sees mama in her jammies under Habeeb's definition.
But, hell, that makes as much sense as the other platform planks these guys run on: no taxes, plenty of war, guns for everybody, death to those who break the state's laws, support tobacco 'cause it means jobs (all the deaths are acceptable as collateral damage). That would be the "pro-life" platform.
Chip's opinion of Habeeb: "I'm sure he's a good lawyer." Take that as you will.
(The following comment is from Tom Barger:
"I have enjoyed meeting a class act like Dick Cranwell at various events. This redistricting is foreordained because of loss of population in the 9th. Common sense would say...Salem is a sister city of Roanoke. But people of Salem were confounded by the bombardment of TV ads for the 9th and 6th districts. They couldn't even vote on their own future! Even Griffith, if he was in town on election day, (doubtful) couldn't any more vote than I could, because Goodlatte was the only candidate. That's gerrymandering for you. This may mean that Salemites can only wait two years to vote Boucher back in as representation of their interests. I approve if Salem joined Blacksburg, but only if Boucher brought his tech investment interests to Salem.
"Habeeb. No one has heard of him. But we have no Democratic party here. Maybe we can find someone in Blacksburg to run against him. Or Tyson's Corner. What difference does it make to live amongst your own constituents, judge School Board candidates or pay local tax bite? Rove and Cheney had a long history of flying in carpetbagger candidates to run against Boucher. Even Ollie North of Fairfax. Don't ask for common sense or shame when it comes to right wing politics.
"Salem is a rock solid GOP white community, but social red flag issues do not resonate here, esp. abortion. Habeeb needs to vote straight coal corporations, problem is, no coal business here. Unless you want to bring the inland port. ")