Recently, Fairfax County Board Chairman, Gerry Connolly (also the Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District) was involved in a hit and run case. Connolly acknowledges that he hit the car of a pregnant woman while driving in the Tyson’s Corner area and drove away. Connolly opted for a hearing before a judge rather than trial by jury. The judge found Connolly not guilty because he had been convinced that, “Connolly’s] position and his duties have caused him to be oblivious to what is going on in his car.” Many jurisdictions are passing laws to disallow driving while engaging in such distracting activities as talking on cell phones. Should a new law be passed in Virginia to prohibit Driving While a Very Important Politician (DWVIP) in order to keep menaces like Connolly off the road? We count on teenagers to preform stressful tasks like yielding the right of way. Connolly is too stressed and distracted to abide by traffic laws but he wants to be our voice on such issues as economic growth, national security, energy independence, and dealing with illegal immigration, just to name a few. I don’t think the motorists of Fairfax or Connolly himself can safely allow him to shoulder such a burden.
Connolly’s behavior does shed some light on his political positions. He promises an immediate “phased withdrawal” from Iraq. I think he’s trying to appear centrist by calling for a moderate retreat (we’ll lose the game one quarter at a time). Is it a surprise that a guy who does not feel bound by his responsibilities as a driver also dos not want to fulfill our responsibility to the people of the fledgling democracy in Iraq to keep the troop presence necessary to maintain the success of the surge and keep Iran and Al Qaeda in check.