October 16, 2006
In a gratifying display of party unity, Sen. John Warner addressed the voters of Virginia in support of his junior colleague Sen. George Allen during a two-minute televised address this evening. (Video available at georgeallen.com.) Warner stressed that our country's security is at stake in these elections, in a very sober and sincere tone. To counteract the mistaken impression that voting for Republican candidates means blind affirmation of the Bush administration policies, he reminded everyone of his own independent, critical stance on the Iraq war issue. Sen. Warner deserves huge credit for playing the difficult dual roles of wise elder statesman and party loyalist. Left-liberal cartoonists and op-ed writers have recently been hyping the false notion that any time President Bush or other Republican leader talks about the threat posed by Islamic terrorists, it constitutes "fear-mongering." Sorry, folks, there really is a threat out there, and a strategic retreat as advocated by John Murtha and Jim Webb would only make things worse.
The big headline in Sunday's Washington Post proclaimed "Allen and Webb in Virtual Tie," almost as if they were relishing the prospect of a Webb victory. A degree of skepticism toward the putatively "objective" polls published in the mainstream media is certainly warranted, but the polls showing Tim Kaine ahead of Jerry Kilgore almost one year ago turned out to be accurate. My doubts were misplaced.
Glenn Reynolds had an unusally long and thoughtful post on Saturday: "A GOP PRE-MORTEM" began by citing the gloom John Hinderaker and other conservative bloggers about recent poll numbers, and then listed these warning signs of policy failure by the Republicans: (Dates are blog links to my take on each of those events as they happened.)
I share Glenn's libertarian leanings to some extent, but I take religious and social issues more seriously than he does. Sadly, there are indications of the gloom he expresses even here in rock-solid "red state" Virginia. Well, at least some of us did our level best to speak out on these and other issues where the Republicans have stumbled over and over again. (In retrospect, I should have been more critical of the way those first two issues were handled.) For some reason, the party leadership seems utterly deaf to such concerns. Stay tuned for "the perfect storm" of bitter recriminations...
West Virginia is traditionally a Democrat state, and the only Republican member of congress at present is Shelley Moore Capito. It speaks volumes that her radio campaign ads (broadcast here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia) take pains to criticize President Bush over the immigration issue. Good for her!