August 28, 2006
Not wanting to reward bad campaign behavior, I decided to skip Sen. George Allen's visit to Staunton on Friday. From all accounts, it was quite a "zoo" downtown, with Democrat activists dressed as a gorilla (as in "Macaca") and a banana. Very funny. Sen. Allen changed his itinerary to avoid that scene, so I wouldn't have seen him even if I had showed up. Just as well. The News Leader covered the day's events.
The visit by Allen even drew the attention of the Daily Kos, which is a veritable Mecca for the kind of kooks who think such costumed stunts mean anything. That blog quotes someone from Albemarle County who was put down by Allen at a Republican event last November, saying the guy was wearing a "sissy helmet." As a one-time serious bicycle rider who has always tried to play it safe on the road or on the trail, I take offense at that!
The former "Wonkette" Ana Marie Cox, guest blogging for Andrew Sullivan, predicts that Allen will lose. Frankly, I doubt it. Webb is most likely just a "stalking horse" for his old friend John McCain (thanks to Jose Rodriguez for the tip earlier this year), aiming to undermine the Virginia senator's stature before the 2008 presidential primaries get underway. Webb himself does not evince the seriousness of purpose that a truly bona fide candidate would exhibit, and his campaign only has token funding. For his part, Allen is smart enough to learn from his mistakes, even if he doesn't always convey such intelligence in public. The big question, however, is whether the Republican Party will grasp the danger of losing even more support from well-educated people if it fails to definitively renounce low-class trash talking politics.
The "Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act," a bill that was introduced by senators Tom Coburn and Barack Obama, is being held up by one of those quirky senatorial procedures. Under the Senate's informal customs, any one senator can hold up legislation, ostensibly to have more time to reflect on it. This is raising suspicions that someone in the Upper Chamber is trying to thwart any attempt to shed light on who is responsible for earmarked (pork barrel) appropriations. See Washington Times (via Instapundit). (The Washington Post has been curiously silent on this story.) One thing is for sure, those who are resisting reform in the appropriations process will cite national security as a justification for keeping such things out of the public eye.