Home Virginia Politics Attention DPVA: Washington Capitals Fire Coach As Team Struggles

Attention DPVA: Washington Capitals Fire Coach As Team Struggles


In sports, it’s very common for teams on a losing streak to fire their managers. Whether that’s an effective course of action or not is hard to say, but the fact is, when the coach/manager isn’t able to win games, one way or the other, his job’s going to be at risk. It’s even more pressing when that coach/manager has “lost the locker room” and shows no signs of regaining it. The latest example is the Washington Cspitals:

Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday, two days after his team was humbled, 5-1, in Buffalo by an injury-depleted Sabres team that was without nine regulars.


In four-plus seasons behind the Capitals’ bench, Boudreau posted a regular season record of 201-88-40 in 329 regular season games, recently becoming the fastest coach to record 200 regular season victories.

But the team’s recent struggles, the decline in captain Alex Ovechkin’s play and repeated postseason failures forced General Manager George McPhee to make a change.

Now for my George Allen-style “sports as politics” metaphor. In the case of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA), as I pointed out recently, they’ve just suffered their third-straight disastrous season election — the 2009 Deeds debacle, the 2010 loss of three House of Representatives seats, and the 2011 loss of 7 House of Delegates seats and 2 State Senate seats. Yet, so far at least, there are no signs of any personnel changes at DPVA.

Now, to be fair here, all the problems Virginia Democrats are facing do not trace back to Brian Moran or to any one individual. However, right now it seems that the Democratic grassroots has largely lost faith in the ability of DPVA management to formulate – let alone execute! – a plan to turn around the disastrous situation we find ourselves in at the moment. That seems to cry out for a change in management, a change in approach, a change in skillsets, a change in chemistry, you name it. In the case of the Washington Capitals, they just fired a coach who had achieved great success, but simply was not demonstrating the ability to connect with his players or to turn around the team’s fortunes.

In the case of DPVA leadership, first and foremost Brian Moran, there is basically ZERO track record of success, at least going back to 2009 (and it’s hard to be impressed with the results in 2007, either), let alone a plan to turn things around. Which leads to one, obvious course of action to take. If the “powers that be” in the Virginia Democratic hierarchy can’t see that, then they’re not nearly as smart as Caps’ General Manager George McPhee.  

  • commentator1

    The Washington Post compared our state elections to elections in the Soviet Union because there were so many unopposed candidates and because of the Gerrymandered districts.

    The post didn’t call out the Democrats, but a lot of those unopposed races were because the Democrats didn’t run anyone. Are we at a point now where the districts are so manipulated that no one but the incumbent can win? Is that why some candidates are unopposed? Are we really becoming the Soviet Union?

  • Tom

    One of the most important items that will be discussed (in a public forum, no less) during the Strategic Forum & Work Groups session on Sat. is the Strategic Plan adopted in 2010.

    So why isn’t the 2010 Strategic Plan made available to all local committee chairs for further distribution to all committee members ? I can understand why the DPVA would not want to post the Strategic Plan on their publicly-accessible part of the web site, but there’s no legitimate reason I can think of that it wasn’t distributed to the membership as soon as it was adopted.

    I’ll try to obtain a paper copy of the Strategic Plan when I arrive at the meeting location, maybe also an electronic copy since I’ll have my laptop along with a 2 GB flash drive. Obviously, the 2010 Strategic Plan failed although the failures might have been because the party leadership failed to implement the critical elements of the plan.

    We’ve generated a large body of ideas here on BV that can be used to produce a very useful set of Strategic Plan revision proposals, but we have to know what is in the original Plan before we can figure out what needs to be revised in its entirety.

    Maybe some county committee chairs did receive a copy of the 2010 plan but for whatever reason(s) chose not to distribute it to other members.

    I’d like to see the 2010 Strategic Plan and proposed revisions from the Sat. Strategic Forum posted on a section of the DPVA web site that is accessible only by committee members who are given a password for access, similar the way some members are given password access to the VAN database. Then the entire review and revision process would be much more transparent and periodic revisions as needed could become much more efficient and timely. Plus we would have a tool for assessing how well (or poorly) those charged with implementation of the plan are performing.