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OP-ED: City needs Tim Day on Council
May 11, 2012Posted by on
More than a century and a half ago, Ivan Turgenev explained that individuals tended to be either Hamlet or Don Quixote. A Hamlet, for all his intelligence, is too stuck on himself to do much good in the world. Even if there were threatening giants, Hamlet is too glibly ironic to fight them. At the other extreme is Don Quixote. As opposed to the self-centered Hamlet, Quixote selflessly throws himself into battle, even if he’s only tilting at windmills. In all the best senses of the character, Tim Day is a Quixote, and we are honored to endorse him for D.C. Council.
Every nonconformist is said to march to the beat of a different drummer, but Day will see your nonconformity and raise you two more. A Republican in a Democratic town, gay and black in the party known for being straight and white, an accountant in a land of lawyers and lobbyists—he has worn out enough drummers that he deserves his own marching band.
When he first ran for the Council in 2010, most people told him that it was quixotic. Who could take down Harry Thomas Jr., son of three-term Council member Harry Thomas Sr., and who had outraised all his challengers 10 to one? But Day was used to thankless tasks. As an accountant, Day knew that Thomas had liabilities. Further, Day had the two greatest assets one can have: the truth and the courage to tell it when it was unpopular. Despite getting trash literally thrown at him and having to clean up vandalism done to his home, Day stood his ground. He patiently laid out the case that his opponent was a crook, but Harry Thomas Jr. comfortably won the election.
Plenty of people would have been content to go back to daily life after such a defeat. But Day continued to raise questions about Harry Thomas’s earmarks for his nonprofit, Team Thomas, which seemed to be a slush fund. The accountant was right: upon federal investigation (which might never have happened but for Tim Day’s persistence), it turns out the Harry Thomas Jr. was using city funds not to help poor children play sports but to buy himself an Audi, among other toys.
Now that Harry Thomas Jr. has resigned in disgrace, pled guilty to felonies, and is trying to wrangle a nicer prison cell, it is clear that Tim Day, once mocked for tilting at windmills, has actually killed a giant.
In a divided field, Day stands out for his command of the issues. The Washington Post, which would not normally notice if a Democrat grew fangs and started sucking blood out of taxpayers, looked at the field and endorsed Day. The Victory Fund has put its support behind him as well with an endorsement.
We at Log Cabin Republicans are proud of Tim Day not simply because he’s a member of our chapter, but because he’s a good man. We could use an accountant on the
Council. He’d be at once an asset to the taxpayers of D.C. and a liability to Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown and the other denizens of the Wilson Building — an unassisted double play. Don Quixote may kill another giant if he wins in Ward Five. We heartily endorse Tim Day.