Thanksgiving leftovers: Political odds and ends

THE ODD DOMINION

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Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon from Springfield who had a surprisingly good run in his bid for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat. Photo by DentedLens Photography. Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon from Springfield who had a surprisingly good run in his bid for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat. Photo by DentedLens Photography.

Believe us, we’ve been following Virginia’s electoral ebb and flow long enough to know that late November is a political dead zone. The polls are shuttered, the voting machines have been put away for another year, and everyone wants to just take off and enjoy the holidays. Sure, a few nuggets of real news might emerge (Mark Warner isn’t running for governor! George Allen isn’t running for anything—ever again!), but for the most part, the stretch between Turkey Day and New Year’s is, in the memorable words of Reagan-era EPA chief Anne Burford, a big nothingburger.

But you know what? We like it that way! After all, with no real news to report, we can sit back, sip our cranberry juice cocktail, and highlight the silliest political stories around. To wit:

Stupid is as stupid does. To be honest, we could fill each and every Odd Dominion with nothing but idiotic quotes by halfwit politicians. But we simply couldn’t let the latest brain-dead vitriol spewed by state GOP treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds pass without comment. Following President Obama’s re-election, FitzSimmonds (a close ally and former employee of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli) took to his Facebook page to opine “When Obama is 90 years old and he dies and goes to Hell, he is going to say ‘This is all Bush’s fault’.” Making matters worse, when asked to comment on this offensive missive by the Virginian-Pilot, Fitz-
Simmonds replied, “I don’t really see anything inappropriate about it.” To which we can only say, when Bob FitzSimmonds dies and his body slowly decomposes into so much ripe compost, those clods of fetid earth will still have more common sense than FitzSimmonds does now.

Plate tectonics. Smart-aleck motorists and wordplay enthusiasts rejoice! In case you haven’t heard, a Chesapeake Circuit Court judge has ruled that Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles cannot simply censor any personalized license plate that it finds distasteful. At issue was an Iraq War vet’s vanity plate that read “ICUHAJI” (“haji” is a borderline offensive term that some military personnel use when referring to Arab combatants). Although the plate was issued in 2007, a recent complaint was lodged when someone noticed that it was paired with a bumper sticker that read “God bless our troops, especially our snipers.” But Judge John W. Brown disagreed with the DMV’s decision to revoke the plate, stating that the agency had to judge all vanity plates from a “viewpoint-neutral” stance. Now, we certainly do not condone racist or culturally offensive language of any type, but we sincerely hope that this decision retroactively vindicates the morbid wit who added the phrase “EAT THE” to his “Kids First” license plate, and thus allows his awesome piece of automotive art back on the road.

The time is meow. Finally, no roundup of recent electoral ephemera would be complete without mentioning the amazing career of Hank the Cat, an unassuming 13-pound Maine Coon from Springfield who, according to his owner-slash-campaign manager, received more than 7,000 write-in votes for Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat. Think about it: Hank received over half as many votes as Virgil Goode did in his presidential run, even though one of them is an ornery, intemperate creature with a wild mane and a brain the size of a walnut. The other, of course, is a cat.

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