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Covert Matters

Alexandria’s Dave Johnson for President

— I’m absenting myself from the national political conventions this year. There’s really no reason to listen and watch or attend in person. No drama there.

We know the candidates for the November election. While they babble away about the national debt and poverty and jobs, both sides are spending billions upon billions trying to convince a gullible public they have all the answers. Let them trot off to Florida or North Carolina.

The good news for every Alexandria citizen and voter — and there is a difference — the Washington Nationals are tearing up the National League and baseball fans can rejoice in the good fortune.

The outcome of the presidential nominations will not surprise anyone. The same hopefully holds true for the Nationals who are on the throes of winning division and league championships.

How thrilling it is to see Alexandria resident Davey Johnson, the manager, lead the team to exciting success and ridding the franchise of a longtime slogan, "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." That referred to the old team known as the Senators. The Nationals to be clear are in the senior circuit, known as the National League.

To be frank, this is the year of the most excitement for sports and political aficionados seen in decades.

Imagine, local Methodists are happy about their Methodist brother in the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.

How about that teenager playing in the outfield? He’s always hustling, hitting home runs and triples and creating his own cult of fanatics. That 19-year-old is setting the example whether he knows it or not that times are changing. Mormons can really play baseball and be successful.

This is the reason political wags will take a backseat to the sporting affairs at Nationals Park. It’s about time.

While the November festivities are important, the October events are going to be far more exciting.

It’s going to be more entertaining to watch and support the Nationals than listen to the talk and prattle of those hanging around the conventions and then have to watch all the commentators, Ad nauseum.

Since the presidential event is almost a religious event this year, it’s good to remember the words of the man on the $2 bill: “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all." — Thomas Jefferson of Monticello, who brought tomatoes to Charlottesville.

At the risk of a little cynicism, Baltimore’s sage said, "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right." The sage was H. L. Mencken. An Alabamian who had practice as a southerner of one party, said, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference” in the major parties.

It’s important to look back over your shoulder and find the wit and wisdom, particularly now. Remember, these are the good old days.

It might not be politically correct to mention the name of former President Herbert Hoover. He did love Virginia and fished often in the Rapidan River. He wasn’t credited with being witty.

Hoover, according to H. Allen Smith, said there ought to be a law under which every president should be allowed to hang two men every year without giving any reason or explanation. "Would two be enough?" a friend asked him. "Perhaps not, but I could get word to 20 or 30 that they were being considered for the honor."

I would imagine, too, that both the current occupant and the wannabe would like to have the option.

All of this brings me to Davey Johnson, the brilliant field manager of the Nationals. He's no stranger to the Old Dominion or World Championships. He won Carolina League titles in Lynchburg and then moved on to the Big Apple where he promptly won World Series and a distinguished career.

He's bringing honor and glory to the Nationals and Alexandria and envy for his leadership and wisdom.

Time to take the Alexandria water taxi across the Potomac to Nationals Park.