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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Campaign About Issues? Bring It On!

I have to confess that I missed George Allen’s two-minute commercial yesterday. And today I was too busy at work to play it back on my computer even though it was available on line. And the sound’s out on my home computer. So I haven’t seen it at all and can’t comment directly on it.

But from what I’ve read and gathered, Allen surrounded himself with all the accouterments of a politician, the lovely and smiling wife, the picture of his father and the football helmet to remind Virginians that, yes, he’s that George Allen, Jr., son of the beloved Redskins coach.

He also admitted that some of his recent problems he brought on himself. Just the proper touch of humility. And he called the racist charges “baseless.”

What amused me most, though, was Allen’s plea to get back on issues.

Let’s face it, you don’t hire people like Dick Wadhams, Chris LaCivita, Paul Galanti, and the rest of the Swiftboat crew so that you can run a clean issue-oriented campaign. That’s not what they do and if Allen hired them to stay on issues and not character assassination he would have been wasting his money.

He hired them exactly to do character assassination. And if the situation had been reversed and they had found dirt about Jim Webb they would have been sanctimoniously telling the reporters and public that character counts.

It does. Theirs are the values voters, after all. And guess what?

Hate is not a Virginia value.

Hatred of blacks, women, Jews, immigrants, and gays is not a family value and it’s not what Virginians do.

On the other hand, Allen better be careful what he wishes for because if this campaign actually becomes about issues, Jim Webb will be even stronger in the polls and with voters than he is now.

In Virginia, as in the nation as a whole, people are dissatisfied with the way the war in Iraq is going. Most people no longer feel it was worth it to go over there. And more and more people are coming to realize that fighting in Iraq is not necessarily making us more secure at home. It’s not necessary to be in Iraq to fight terrorism and defend our own borders. Especially with the recent revelations from Bob Woodwards’ new book, State of Denial, voters are aware that they’ve been lied to by the Bush Administration on all counts. All Webb needs to do is point out that George Allen has supported Bush 97% of the time. George Allen is not a leader and he’s wrong on the issues.

George Allen is wrong on Iraq and national security. He also has voted against raising the minimum wage. He would vote for Social Security privatization, to continue tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of the population, and against programs that help the middle class and poor. If you want economic justice, peace and prosperity, George Allen is not your man. But Jim Webb is.

Make the campaign about the issues. Please. Bring it on!

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