Look, we know that Thomas Jefferson set a pretty high bar, oratory-wise, for Virginia’s vote-chasers. And so we certainly don’t expect every single utterance from our elected officials to reach the prosaic level of the Declaration of Independence (or even “A Summary View of the Rights of British America”). But come on, people! Whatever proud rhetorical tradition the Old Dominion once had, it has fallen into such sad disrepair as of late that the most notable recent quotation from a Virginia politician was George Allen’s career-ending “Let’s give a welcome to Macaca, here!”
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that we no longer dare hope for any sort of soaring rhetoric or timeless wisdom from our homegrown politicos. No, when we see a Virginia politician standing behind a lectern these days, we instinctively cover our ears and hum like an 8-year-old ignoring his nagging parents.
Unfortunately, it seems like we just haven’t been able to hum loudly enough to block out the recent string of misfires, malapropisms and mendacity issuing forth from the Commonwealth’s political brain trust.
Top on our list of ill-considered outbursts is a recent stand-up routine by U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, who was taped giving a pep talk to a crowd of Fairfax County Democrats. (What is it with Virginia politicians and their inability to spot video cameras?) Stressing the importance of an upcoming election for county chair, Connolly joked, “It’s really important to tell every Democrat we know this election is on Tuesday, February 3, and to tell every Republican we know that this election is on Tuesday, February 10.”
Stop it, Ger—you’re killing us! Jeez, if there’s anything funnier than devious voter suppression tactics, we sure don’t know what it is.
But at least Connolly’s lame attempt at comedy can be printed in a family newspaper, unlike the string of invectives that his fellow Rep. Jim Moran reportedly hurled at Capitol Hill police officers when they refused, for security reasons, to let his wife into the Capitol Building following President Obama’s inauguration. According to the National Review Online (an admittedly biased source), Moran was so incensed that he stormed out of his office, shouted, “Is this the one?,” and then proceeded to indignantly berate the officer for his impertinence. Boy, with that kind of temperament, we’re sure that Moran’s brother Brian can’t wait to get him out on the stump to scare up votes (literally) for his gubernatorial run.
Finally, on a less abusive note, we just have to mention our favorite Odd coinage of the week, which came from the usually smooth-talkin’ mouth of U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor. Speaking after a meet-and-greet with President Obama, Cantor loudly (and proudly) proclaimed that any stimulus spending should be “focused like a razor” on job creation.
Um, Rep. Cantor? We hate to break this to you, but razors are usually associated with cutting things, not increasing them.
But then, maybe we misheard him—we were, after all, humming as loud as we possibly could at the time.