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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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An Open Letter to Senator Webb
Dear Senator Webb:

First, let me say that it makes me grin from ear to ear to be able to address you by that title. You fought well, and you fought fairly, and you won. Congratulations! You made Virginia a battleground state again. You made me feel that my vote actually counted. Thank you.

I am not a Democrat. I consider myself an independent moderate and centrist. But I voted for you in the primary because you also were far more moderate and centrist than Miller. I was happy to see you win the primary, happy to support you, happy to vote for you. Now you've won.

But I'd like to interject a note of caution: You don't have a mandate. You won by a very slim margin. You could play the sort of winner-take-all politics that is all too common these days, but I think you would be unwise to. You have people to win over. Bridges to build. How well you do this will largely determine whether you keep your seat in 2012... but it is also the right thing to do. The moderate and centrist thing to do.

And I want you to carry that moderation to the Senate. Be a voice of reason, of compromise. Some in your party will want to take revenge, to get back at the GOP for their shameful tactics over the last years. This would be a wasteful and destructive course to take. Do what you can to stop it.

You have your work cut out for you. Iraq bids fair to become another Vietnam. The Administration's policies since 9/11 have made us less safe, not more. The budget deficit is spiralling. Our standing as a nation is declining.

There is much else that concerns me. Our state elected you, that's right- but a majority of Virginia voters approved an amendment designed to take rights away from people. This amendment was at least partially crafted to help Allen defeat you. It was born in cynicism, fostered by people who hate the First Amendment, and voted in by people acting out of ignorance, fear, and bigotry. I voted against it, and will work to overturn it. I hope you will, too.

The next six years will be tough, but your slogan- "Born Fighting!" makes me think you are up to it.

Best wishes from your constituent,
Hugh Eckert

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Very well put. I hope, and believe, that he and others in the Democratic party will follow your advice and won't misuse this new found power.

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