View From the Editor’s Desk #1
It’s late July. We have emerged from our Covid caves after months of isolation and working from home and closed schools and parents teaching children at home. Families are on vacation … school is on summer break … Americans have taken deep maskless breaths as we all wait to see what is next on the pandemic front.
Here at Bearing Drift our writers are enjoying this summer of returning to pre-Covid reality. You may notice less posts, and that’s because families are spending time together … those delayed vacations are taking place … and everyone is generally enjoying a slower pace.
Let’s face it. The past 18 months have been tense and draining. All seem to have experienced loss during this very divisive time whether it was friends or family.
Now we face an upsurge in the Covid delta variant that is sweeping across areas of the nation with the unvaccinated making up 99.5 percent of mostly preventable Covid deaths. No one wants to see everything lock down again.
My entire family, from the twenty-somethings to the retired folks, received vaccinations as soon as they were eligible. After losing a dear family member, we wanted to do our part to protect ourselves as well as America where we have free vaccines for everyone. Here in the Shenandoah Valley, Augusta Health, the local hospital that inoculated thousands during Covid vaccine clinics in the spring, is taking Covid vaccines into the community with their “Vax the Valley” program. It couldn’t get much easier.
I wanted to take a moment to remember Doug Mataconis who recently passed away (Doug Update outsidethebeltway.com) He was an attorney who spent years in the Virginia blogosphere writing for Outside the Beltway and could rumble with the best of them. When he dropped out of sight a while back, those of us who wrote alongside him wondered what had happened … and then he reappeared briefly this spring before once again disappearing. The next thing we heard was that he had passed away, and not much more is known. RIP, Doug.
Sunday brought news that Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger had agreed to join Republican Rep. Liz Cheney on the 1/6 Select Committee at the invitation of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Kinzinger is an Iraq War vet who continues to serve in the Air National Guard. His agreement to serve on the committee is indeed good news because we cannot simply act as if that violent attack on the nation’s Capitol did not happen.
In responding to his decision to answer the call, Rep. Kinzinger said, “Let me be clear, I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution – and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.”
Rep. Kinzinger and Cheney are staunch conservatives in the sense of what the party said they stood for before 2015. In today’s toxic GOP where anyone who disagrees is often run out of the party, these are two brave Republicans. History will remember those who stood up for what is right.
The first 1/6 Select Committee meeting will be Tuesday with testimony from four officers of the Capitol and Metropolitan police departments who were involved in the hand-to-hand combat with Trump supporters on January 6. Those include Officers Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn who have been vocal about that day.
Meanwhile, the Olympics are taking place in Tokyo during the next two weeks so just about everyone I know is tuned in to cheer on our athletes. Go, USA!