View From the Editor’s Desk: Liz, Bill Bolling, 5th District, Finland v Putin, a Nashville Farewell
It was a stormy weekend over much of the Commonwealth including the Shenandoah Valley with rain chances continuing today. It’s moisture for the growing things; the dry months will be here soon enough.
Another racist mass shooting over the weekend brought a bluntly honest assessment this morning from Congresswoman Liz Cheney who wrote: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.” My admiration for her steel backbone continues as she shores up the corner of the GOP tent that represents principles, adherence to the Constitution, and truth in leadership. They do not come much braver than Liz.
A post in Bearing Drift today by former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling looks into an area of politics most elected Republicans these days will not touch – honesty and truth in the public venue – and he joins Rep. Cheney in being honored members in that tiny club.
I first met Bill Bolling two decades ago at a GOP gathering at Rowe’s Restaurant in Staunton. A Richmond area state senator who had spent four years on the Hanover County Board of Supervisors followed by almost a decade in the state senate, he was planning to run for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
There was something in what he said that I liked. He was gregarious, made eye contact with everyone in the room, and had a huge smile on his face while sharing his thoughts and goals in politics. That friendliness had a way of pulling people together. The election was still over a year (or maybe it was two) away so he was laying the groundwork while visiting around the Commonwealth to meet statewide voters and GOP leaders.
That began a long relationship with Bill and Jean Ann Bolling. For that election, local Bolling supporters held a meet-and-greet fundraiser in Augusta County that raised thousands of dollars and brought out a hundred people for a food-laden evening. He won the 2005 GOP primary and went on to win the general election in November. He was reelected four years later.
Bill doesn’t hold public office these days although the GOP could certainly use someone with his experience and understanding of leadership. He has become somewhat of a sage elder of the party (although he’s not that much of an “elder” except to the 20-somethings out there who think anyone over 40 is old as dirt). He’s a down-to-earth guy. If you want the truth, Bill will give it to you, sometimes blunter than you may wish to hear it, but he’s honest with you. And I’ve got to say he has one of the kindest wives I’ve ever met in my years in politics.
Today Bill has a post of his weekend thoughts that reflects his honesty (and in politics honesty doesn’t advance you up the ladder; indeed, it usually gets you kicked in the teeth while the more ruthless players leave a footprint on your back as they grasp the next rung on the ladder).
The Republican Party would be in much better shape if we had elected leaders with the character to say out loud what they say in the back rooms to their colleagues and friends. Here’s a tip of the hat to former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling who has not strayed from his principles nor changed his tune to accommodate political expedition. Sadly, in today’s GOP that is rare indeed.
This Saturday, May 21, will see Republican delegates from the 5th Congressional District converging on Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville to elect their congressional candidate for the November general election. Incumbent Bob Good continues to stand against Ukraine, voting against bills to provide help, after the unprovoked war from Russia rained hell down on their neighbor.
Perhaps former Air Force Colonel Dan Moy, who is challenging for the Republican nomination, better understands since he spent 27 years in the military and realizes that the chess board of Europe that includes Ukraine, located next door to Europe, needs to be protected. World War II showed how war in that part of the world affects us here in America.
Perhaps Good should talk with the leaders in Finland who have decided it’s prudent to join NATO to protect their border after Russia attacked Ukraine and continues to bomb the smithereens out of civilian areas because right now it appears that Republican Good doesn’t support NATO. Or doesn’t know history. Or both.
Speaking of Finland and NATO, I found it ironic that Russian President Putin, who is shocked – shocked, I tell you – that neighbor Finland wants to join NATO to avoid a similar fate as Ukraine, again directed a threat: “President Vladimir Putin has already warned his Finnish counterpart on Saturday that relations would be ‘negatively affected.’ ”
Who is Putin to threaten Finland for being proactive after watching Russia’s destruction of areas of Ukraine (not to mention all the other invasions during his reign)? In the words of Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö when asked if Finland applying to join NATO would provoke Putin, “My response would be that you caused this. Look at the mirror.”
The life of Naomi Judd was celebrated last night in Nashville at the iconic Ryman Auditorium. For almost 90 minutes the star-studded memorial that was carried live on CMT remembered the music and legacy of The Judds with thoughts from Naomi’s daughters, husband, and friends, including music from Wynonna who announced she would continue with the tour scheduled for September and October 2022. It closed out with Wynonna on stage singing the unifying theme, “Love Can Build a Bridge,” with a gospel choir and the audience. You don’t have to be a big country music fan to have appreciated The Judds.
These are just a few of my thoughts on this rainy Monday. Be well….
Today’s view: Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (photo by me)