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View From Here – 12/8

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) (C) talks to reporters with Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) (L) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) after they were elected to House Democratic leadership for the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jeffries was elected to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leader of the Democrats in the chamber next year, making him the first Black person to lead one of the two major parties in either chamber of Congress. Clark was elected whip and Aguilar was elected caucus chair for the 118th Congress. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By David Mark Greaves

Victoria Horsford Passes
As we go to press, we’ve learned of the passing of longtime columnist Victoria Horsford, whose page 4 column, What’s Going On, covering local, national, and international happenings, was an invaluable resource for the community and for the Our Time Press publishers. Victoria is irreplaceable. She will be missed.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries
Some years ago, I was on Lafayette Avenue across from the Magnolia Tree Earth Center and I was speaking with congressman Hakeem Jeffries about his appointment to the House Judiciary and Budget Committees. I said, “You’re, running with the big dogs now. Ryan and those guys.” He said, “Yeah, I may have to throw some Brooklyn on ‘em.” Well, he has done that. And now, as the Democratic Leader, he is one of the Big Dogs and the head of the pack, which includes Katherine Clark, as “whip” and Pete Aguilar as Democratic Caucus Chair. The first non-white-male leadership trio in the history of the House. They’ll have their work cut out for them working with a Republican majority determined not to be helpful.
Part of the macabre humor in watching the upcoming congress will be seeing the Republicans overreach, trying to send the nation down rabbit holes when it is already in a once-burned, twice-shy state of mind.
Given the chaos, this dynamic trio may be able to bring over some Republicans who were spooked a bit by the last election. If they can pull a couple of those rabbits out of the hat and still hold on to the progressives, they’ll be called back for an encore in 2024.

Senator Raphael Warnock
Jeffries fellow Brooklynite Senator Chuck Schumer will be having an easier go of it as Senate Majority Leader, with Senator Raphael Warnock winning reelection against the forged-in-hell candidacy of Herschel Walker. The thing about Walker that so grated the Black folks of Georgia was that he is a caricature of the kind of Black man that a kind of White person would enjoy. And unlike the comic, if misunderstood, genius of Mantan Moreland, who paved the way for Chris Rock and all the rest, the character Walker plays is real and reveled in by Republicans who know how they like their imagined Blacks, simple, morally inept, humorous and easily controlled.
Thankfully, Black and White Georgia showed they were better than that and rejected, if by a too-narrow margin, a candidacy that was an embarrassment to the state.