There is a man in Leesburg named Jacob Sprunger and the Times-Union owes him an apology.

Here’s the deal.

Somebody wrote a letter to the editor – published earlier this month – that was highly critical of the town of Leesburg. The letter was signed Jacob Sprunger and included his address and phone number.

Problem is, Jacob Sprunger didn’t write the letter.

Doug Jones sits on the town council at Leesburg. He told me that Sprunger is a very kind elderly gentleman who was appalled – and hurt – by the fact that his name appeared on that letter. Sprunger loves Leesburg.

Efforts are being made to try to determine who is responsible for the ruse. We removed the letter from our website.

The Times-Union regrets any inconvenience this episode created for Sprunger.


This is one of those glass half empty, glass half full times in politics, isn’t it?

By that I mean if you’re a supporter of President Donald Trump, you’re talking about job growth, 4-percent gross domestic product growth, tax cuts, wages and deregulation.

But if you’re a Never Trumper, you’re talking about Russian collusion, his former campaign manager who just got convicted of a bunch of felonies and his longtime attorney who is pleading guilty and implicating Trump in alleged campaign finance violations.

It’s a strange time in American politics. And it is, without question, the most polarized I have ever seen this nation.

And I have a bad feeling about what is to come. Seems to me that no matter what happens, it’s not going to end well.

If Democrats take over the House of Representatives in November, they will surely impeach President Trump. But even if Republicans manage to hold the majority, the acrimony and divisiveness will only intensify.

Another likely outcome is for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to bust Trump for something. He just gave the CFO of Trump’s organization immunity. What are the chances that in more than three decades of high-roller New York real estate deals, Trump remained squeaky clean?


No chance for positive outcomes.

I will say this about the Democrats. They are far better at driving a narrative than Republicans. (Of course, a majority of major news outlets and social media platforms have adopted their cause, so that helps.)

Take racism, please.

Democrats have pushed that narrative to the point where racism and conservatism have become synonymous.

A lot of this has to do with the obnoxious blatherings of President Trump to be sure. From the moment he announced his campaign and made his immigration comments about Mexico “not sending us their best,” it was off to the races.

Racist policies here, racist policies there. Racist comments here, racist comments there.

Anyone who hinted that, perhaps, we need more border security? Racist.

Anyone who hinted that, perhaps, we might want to do a little better job vetting the people who come into our country? Racist.

If you think government entitlement programs have become too bloated? Racist. (You’re out to hurt poor people, some of whom are not white.)

So the narrative goes. Pretty much anybody who is not a liberal is a racist.

Of course, that’s a false narrative, but that doesn’t really matter, now does it?

People get tired of being called racist, especially if they aren’t really racist. So these days, lots of people just keep their political leanings to themselves.

This just adds to the polarization of America. I think there’s a lot of pent up political anxiety out there.

I wonder how this will play out in the November election.

On, there was a story under the headline “Worst-case scenario for House GOP is 70-seat wipeout.”

Democratic enthusiasm and a GOP malaise surrounding President Trump have set the stage for a potentially devastating midterm election for the House Republican majority.

In a series of special elections mostly in reliably GOP districts, Democratic candidates have routinely outperformed Hillary Clinton’s share of the vote from 2016.

At the same time, Republican candidates have underperformed President Trump's vote share in all but two special elections.

If that pattern holds in November, the worst-case scenario for the GOP is a truly historic wipeout of as many as 72 House seats, according to The Hill’s analysis of special election results and congressional and presidential returns from 2016.

That’s the conventional wisdom, for sure. The media has been pushing the narrative of a “blue wave” for a while now.

That may well be the case.

Historically, the party of the president loses an average of 30 of seats in the first midterm following his election.

But the big question in my mind is whether the conventional wisdom will play out because politics in American these days is far from conventional.

I truly don’t know what to think.

It’s like I would have bet anybody two paychecks that Hillary Clinton was going to win the 2016 election.

I was dead wrong.

And some of the reason I was dead wrong are playing out today.

Like the fact that so many people are afraid to admit they’re Republican. If you ask them, they won’t say they’re voting Republican, but in the privacy of the voting booth, which button will they push?

Also, when media tell us over and over that Democrats will win, who is that motivating? Is that not telling Republicans they need to get off their hineys and vote?

How is that a motivator for Democrats?

The other thing that I find bizarre about this whole mess is that the president’s approval rating keeps plugging along in the mid- to high-40th percentile. At one point, it actually reached 50 percent a couple of weeks ago.

On Monday, Trump’s approval rating was 48 percent. On Aug. 20, 2010, President Barack Obama’s approval rating was 46 percent.

So even though a fair number of people won’t admit they like Trump, his approval rating is relatively strong.

Even more bizarre is the polling last week that showed – even as Trump is being painted daily as a racist – his approval numbers among blacks are rising. His support among blacks was 36 percent, up from 19 percent one year ago.

Bottom line?

I have no idea what’s going to happen in November. I just know its not going to be pretty either way.