Rest in Peace to Our Friend, Fellow Blogger and Progressive Warrior Teddy Goodson

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    I just wanted to pass along the news I received a little while ago from Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax) that our friend Teddy Goodson passed away yesterday after a long illness (she had moved to Texas in September 2013, I believe for health reasons and to be closer to her family). According to Del. Bulova, there will be a service in late August. Here’s some video of Teddy from March 6, 2011, as she accepts the Fred Silverthorne Community Service Award at the 11th Congressional District Awards Luncheon at Vespucci’s in Fairfax City, Virginia. A well-deserved honor. As Teddy wrote at the time:

    I didn’t become a Democrat because I like stuffing envelopes or phone banking. In 2004 I left the Republicans and became a Democrat because of ideas and values—- I despised what the Republican Party was becoming, and felt the Democrats generally had better ideas and values.

    As it happens, though, I also have found that elected Democrats do not always honor those ideas and values once they are in office and engaging in the give-and-take of politics, nor do they always listen to the ideas from their “base,” (which tends to cling to those Democratic values and ideas). We, the so-called base, or grassroots, is too often taken for granted by our Establishment leaders…Time for that to change, folks.

    For those of us who knew Teddy Goodson well (I first met her in 2005, during the Kaine-Kilgore race, when I was told – by Sam Penney, if I recall correctly – that someone named “Teddy Goodson” – a woman, not a  man, I’d soon find out – would be a great addition to the blog!), that’s vintage Teddy Goodson right there. If you’re interested in reading a lot more of what Teddy had to say, here’s a link to her Blue Virginia diaries, and here’s one to her comments. Also, click here for Teddy’s posts on Raising Kaine/RK. The first time she posted it was On Limousine Liberals, Cadillac Conservatives, and Four-Letter Words, which began: “Oh joy.  As a former, long-time Republican, I have received yet another campaign letter from Jerry Kilgore, begging for my financial support in the race for Governor of Virginia. Of course, since I am no longer a Republican (by the way, the party left me, I didn’t leave the party!), I’m not interested. But even if I were still a Republican, this letter would be a turnoff.  What a nonsensical mishmash!” Again, that’s Teddy to a “T,” who morphed from a Republican, hopefully of the progressive variety (yes, there used to be such a thing as a “Progressive Republican,” including my hero – and Teddy’s – President Teddy Roosevelt) to a progressive warrior. And no, you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of that warrior, but you most certainly DID want to be on her side of any battle!

    Another classic Teddy Goodson post was Ex-Republican at Democratic Boot Camp, about which she wrote: “I knew instantly I was NOT in a staid Republican gathering, as I did not see even one coiffed and manicured, mascara-tipped lady; even one self-important stuffed shirt of any kind, sucking up to more important stuffed shirts. In contrast, I saw a magnificent cross section of today’s America — all colors, all ages, all kinds of dress (except no buttoned-down shirts).”

    Anyway, there’s a lot more to say about Teddy Goodson, and I’m sure that many of us will say it, but for now, I mostly just wanted to pass on the sad, albeit not unexpected, news.

    • With Tim Kaine.

      With Del. David Bulova on 9/28/13.

      With Rep. Gerry Connolly on 12/8/12.

      At a Democratic fundraiser in September 2011:

      At a fourth of July parade in 2010.

    • teacherken

      I always delighted in and learned from her insights

    • Peter Rousselot

      Teddy was a fearless force of nature. She called ’em like she saw ’em no matter whose ox might be gored. She was a brilliant analyst of the political scene. Those of us who knew her learned a lot.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I have missed Teddy’s insights since she moved. So sorry to hear that she’s passed away.  

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      I loved Teddy’s spirit.  A relative latecomer to Democratic politics, she showed many of us “vets” what commitment, dedication and sheer indefatigable effort looked like.  She didn’t just stuff envelopes.  That is true.   But she did just a bit if everything a volunteer might.  And she out-canvassed most Dems her junior.  Her essays were well thought out and so well written.  Her passion for ideas was unmistakable. Since I lived far from NOVA (and live even even further since my move to NC), I missed much of what NOVA Dems got to enjoy about Teddy.   I never met her in person. But she and I did talk on the on the phone a bit.  Not often enough.  At first when she moved to TX, I thought, “Oh, no!  Not there!  To Rick Perry-ville.” Ad now I think maybe TX will turn out Blue after all.  She likely didn’t have the health to accomplish that herself.  But it will be perfect that she was there as that state moved bluer…RIP, Dear Teddy. We will really miss you.

    • Dan Sullivan

      I found Teddy quite an interesting character. She always surprised me with insights that struck home. But a most pleasant surprise was meeting her face to face for the first time at the Veterans and Military Families Caucus organizational meeting Joe Harmon put together in Richmond. This was one complex and accomplished person.

      Someone needs to step up and take her place, carrying on her work and honoring her accomplishments and memory.  

    • kindler

      …as teenagers typing in their PJs, I remember my enchantment the day I saw Teddy’s diary on Raising Kaine reminiscing about her childhood — during WWII!

      Yet she always showed so much more energy, wit, spirit and commitment than many people half her age.  A true fighter who never failed to speak her mind, she also never failed to charm everyone around her.  

      She showed us all how to lead by standing up for what you believe in —  strongly, straightforwardly but gracefully.  I’ve missed her since she left Virginia, and now I’ll miss her even more.  

      But I sure won’t forget about her.  Rest in peace, Teddy.

    • Sam Penney

      I remember reading her first email to me back in 2005 and thinking that we absolutely had to get her on the front page of RK.  That email, which contained much of what became the “Limousine Liberals” post that got so much positive feedback, was just one of many examples of what an eloquent and passionate fighter she was for our values.