Perhaps it’s not so bad. Maybe the voters of eastern Henrico are more sensible than we are giving them credit for. Sure, they just re-elected Joe Morrissey, he of the long and diverse rap sheet, the same Joe Morrissey now serving a sentence for taking indecent liberties with a 17 year old. They re-elected…him.
But, consider this. How many times have you sat around thinking about politicians and the idea comes into your head, “that scum-bag ought to be in jail!” Well, in Joe’s case, his constituents don’t have to worry about him because he’s already in jail. There won’t be any long legal battles the next time he punches somebody’s lights out outside of some bar in The Fan. The next time he swindles a little old lady out of her life savings, there won’t be any costly trial or prolonged, embarrassing drama-fest. They’ll just add it on to his existing sentence. So, when you think about it, re-electing Morrissey is quite efficient.
To my out of state readers, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for the tawdry freak show that Virginia politics has become. We Virginians used to pride ourselves on our historical legacy. We are after all the Mother of Presidents. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, John Marshall, Patrick Henry, George Wythe, Robert E. Lee, all hailed from the Old Dominion. But in two short weeks we have sent a Governor to prison, elected a State Delegate who is already in prison, and are close to naming a street after a former Delegate who served nine years in prison for being a drug dealer. Our cultural and political evolution has taken a disturbing detour from the sublime to the ridiculous. Our current Governor’s resume lists his most shining pre-election accomplishment as being President Clinton’s greatest fund raiser. I mean, sure…George Washington may have commanded a rag tag insurgent army to victory against the world’s greatest military power, and granted, Thomas Jefferson may have written the Declaration of Independence and all, but can they really compare with a man who figured out a way to turn the Lincoln bedroom into the most profitable bed and breakfast in America?Yes, things have certainly changed here in the Commonwealth. While we may have once been called the Mother of Presidents, now we’re more like the Shady Uncle of Presidents.