the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
Judging by Google News search results, journalists seeking a name for the February 12 primary in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are breaking in favor of alliteration:
I prefer “Chesapeake primary” myself, because it covers the widest area. The vast majority of voters in tomorrow’s primary are not in the DC area. Besides, I don’t want my brother’s head to explode.
At least the odious name “Beltway primary” is losing badly.
Regardless of what you call it, if you’re a registered Democrat in DC or Maryland, or a registered voter of any sort in Virginia, make sure you get to the polls tomorrow. It’s not often that those of us outside the early states actually get a say in who our presidential candidate is, so let’s make the most of it. And if you’re having trouble deciding, the correct answer is Barack Obama!
I should have posted this last week, but for local residents not yet registered to vote, time is running out if you want to participate in the presidential primary. In both Virginia and DC, Monday, January 14, is the deadline for registering to vote in the February 12 presidential primary election. For information, see the Virginia State Board of Elections or the DC Board of Elections and Ethics.
Maryland residents have until Tuesday, January 22, to register for their primary, which is also February 12 (see the Maryland State Board of Elections). The Maryland primary covers other races in addition to president. For example, Democrats in the 4th Congressional District will be deciding whether the progressive Donna Edwards will unseat the more conservative Rep. Al Wynn, so if you live in that district make sure you’re registered even if you think the presidential nomination will already have been decided by the time you get a chance to vote.
Our just-inside-the-Beltway friends at Alexandria Drinking Liberally are moving a little farther inside, to Arlington. No word yet on a name change, but they may be considering “Northern Virginia Drinking Liberally” (though that could cause problems down the line if another NoVa chapter emerges).
The new location is Capitol City Brewing Company, 2700 S. Quincy St, in Shirlington. They’ll continue meeting on Thursday nights, like the Dupont Circle chapter. Subscribe to their e-mail list to keep up-to-date on their events.
By the way, there are currently three DL chapters in the slowly bluening state of Virginia. The others are in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
I’d like to apologize for that whole gay marriage ban thing.
I’d also like to pre-emptively apologize for Allen not being ridden out of Washington on a rail. I hope I’m wrong about this one.
There are 18 days left until the election, and lots of opportunities to help the Democrats retake the House and the Senate and bring a bit of sanity to government. Things are looking good now, but we can’t afford to be complacent. I don’t want to be sitting around after the election goes badly, wishing I’d done more.
Jim Webb’s campaign to unseat Virginia’s Sen. George Allen is one of the critical races, and Generation Webb (an outreach campaign for young voters) has plenty of Metro-accessible events in the next days and weeks, starting tonight:
Yesterday the Washington Post endorsed Frank Wolf, the Republican Congressman representing Virginia’s 10th District (which encompasses McLean and Manassas and areas to the west). I didn’t get a chance to respond immediately, since I was out most of the day volunteering for Wolf’s opponent, Judy Feder, but today I sent this letter to the editor:
I was disappointed to see the Post endorse Rep. Frank Wolf for reelection [”Mr. Wolf’s Diligence,” Oct. 14], especially since the editorial described him as someone who is “more than a party-line Republican” and has a “zeal for human rights.”
Rep. Wolf’s political independence and concern for human rights were nowhere in evidence on Sept. 29 when he voted for the Military Commissions Act, which gives the president free rein to define “torture” however he wishes; allows use of evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and immunizes senior U.S. officials from prosecution for war crimes committed before passage of the act. In addition, any prohibitions of prisoner abuse contained in the act are made meaningless by its elimination of habeas corpus rights for detainees. If detainees are unable to bring their cases to court, then even innocent prisoners can be held indefinitely and subjected to outrageous treatment with no means of bringing the abuses to light or remedying them.
Seven House Republicans chose to break with the president and their party and oppose this shameful legislation because they cared about human rights and the principles the United States stands for. Rep. Wolf was not among them. What does that say about his commitment to human rights?
If you share my feelings about the Post’s endorsement, please write your own letter to the editor right away (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, home address, and home and work phone). The more letters (different letters, not copies of mine) they get on the subject, the more likely it is they’ll publish one. Letters from people in the 10th District would be especially good. If you need some ideas, try the New York Times editorial on the Military Commissions Act, which calls it “a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts”, or Amnesty International’s analysis.
Update (17 Oct): Not that it matters much, but the Washington Times joins in with an endorsement titled “Frank Wolf, defender of human rights”.
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