Monday, July 24, 2006

Tough Guys

National Review's "Sixers" blog, dedicated to the midterm elections has a series of increasingly hysterical posts from Greg Pollowitz about a debate in Virginia between James Webb and George Allen, Jr. If Pollowitz is an indication, Webb has rightwingers running scared. At times Pollowitz can't make up his mind -- Webb is either parroting Democratic talking points or revealing himself as too cozy with Republicans. Pollowitz frets on behalf of the far left because Webb indicates that he would support some Republican judges:
Webb’s stance on Alito, however, is what should be looked at by Democrats. He was very careful at the debate to say that he didn’t have enough information to know if he would or would not vote for Alito.He said he would have voted to filibuster, but not on the merits of Alito. He would have filibustered only because he felt Democrats on the judiciary committee were not given enough information. As we all know, that line of thought was total and utter nonsense. But, let’s say for the moment that Ted Kennedy was given more information on Alito and Princeton, etc. Would Alito have failed confirmation? Highly unlikely. Webb is dodging big time here.

I don't often give advice to Democrats, but as a general rule they should use caution when taking advice from a one of the other side's partisans. I can easily see why leftwingers would root for and support a cultural (but not social) conservative like James Webb. His campaign offers a decent chance to pick up a seat for their side in a conservative state and take out a potential Republican presidential candidate. Webb is to the right of Joe Lieberman, but on the big issue of the day Webb is closer to the left; and he hasn't carried water for the Bush administration.

Pollowitz's last post on the Webb/Allen debate is of an email from a peeved Northern Virginia reader:
I live in Northern Virginia and see Jim Webb yard signs everywhere, and I am struck but how disgustingly cynical they are. This is supposed to be the Dem's anti-war candidate, yet what do his yard signs say? "Born Fighting." That to me is a deeply cynical take on the electorate: that we want a tough guy and he needs to fashion himself as one even though his stated policy positions place him squarely among the cut-and-run crowd. It is appalling.

But in the People's Republic of Alexandria, VA, it doesn't matter who runs or on what issues: so long as a candidate is "agin" President Bush, that candidate will do well in our land of the knee-jerk Left.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Webb would have the slogan "Born Fighting" on his signs since he wrote a book a few years ago called Born Fighting. The emailer is wrong that Webb is "fashion[ing]" himself as a tough guy. Among the political/intellectual/talking head class, Webb is one of the few genuine tough guys. He's a heavily decorated Marine who boxed at the Naval Academy. And Pollowitz's correspondent should pay more attention; the phony tough guy in that race is George Allen, Jr. And the "cut-and-run crowd" is brimming with "tough guys."

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