Today's non-scandal about Dillard was a very interesting lesson for me about local politics and the blogosphere. I think the incredible speed with which the rumor was raised, debated, and quashed demostrates the power and importance of the blogosphere and the intelligence of the campaigns in picking up the debate and engaging the blogosphere directly. For the first time, I really think the freewheeling nature of the blogosphere needn't become politically correct while politicians can remain so.
I still see big problems and big opportunities this year and next. In retrospect, I think a more progressive Dem than Marsden probably could have won in 2005. I wasn't paying attention at the time; so, I won't opine on what occurred before Marsden was nominated. I do believe that Marsden being not as unacceptable to Republicans as a more progressive Dem would be, combined with Dillard's support for JMDD, helped the Republicans (probably led by Tom Davis) allow Marsden to run unopposed this November. This will hold down turnout and help JMDD.
There's a lot we can do, however, to counter this. Chap being Chap is our biggest weapon. We should act as if Chap needs all the help he can get. I don't know how anyone with a lick of sense who's paying attention can't prefer Chap to JMDD, but, greatly encouraged by Republicans, our fellow eligible voters aren't even registering, let alone voting.
We can even turn this to our advantage, though. Tom Davis thinks he can be elected to the U.S. Senate next year. He knows that to get the Republican nomination, he'll have to act even more like a typical Virginia Republican and not just another Fairfax County insider. We have to, and I think we can easily, make the case that JMDD is just a local version of Tom. A democracy hating, greedy phony who doesn't really care about representing us, doesn't really share our values, and, because she's been part of the problem for so long, has next to no chance of being part of our badly needed solutions.
Let's keep our eyes on the prizes and defeat JMDD this year and maybe we can easily capture both a House and Senate seat next year.