December 23, 2006
According to the Washington Post, Sen. John Warner is weighing the pros and cons of running for reelection in 2008, and it appears he is leaning toward seeking a sixth term. If so, it would great news for Virginia Republicans, who have been taking it on the chin in recent elections. If not, the likely Republican candidates to replace him would include outgoing Sen. George Allen, former Gov. Jim Gilmore, and Rep. Tom Davis. (I would prefer Davis.) Warner is 79 years old, but he seems to be in fine health. He campaigned very actively on behalf of George Allen, a gesture of party loyalty that Republicans should not forget. More importantly, he maintains a very active role in major political issues, such as judicial nominations (averting the "nuclear option," thus paving the way for Justices Roberts and Alito) and foreign policy (warning that time was running out in Iraq). He is just the kind of common-sense moderate conservative that drew me to the Republican Party in the mid-1990s. In 1996 Warner faced a stiff challenge from charismatic millionaire Mark Warner -- who went on to become governor in 2002 -- and the possibility of a rematch between the two Warners cannot be discounted.
I haven't seen Rep. Virgil Goode's statement on TV, or else I might have been more outraged by the crude way he pandered to xenophobic constituents. The more I read about what he said, however, the creepier and more bigoted he sounds, a big embarrassment to the Republican Party. Apparently he is oblivious to the [constitutional] ban on religious tests as a qualification for public office. After thinking it over, I would have to say that what he wrote and said was worse than Sen. Allen's "macaca" gaffe. Saturday's Washington Post has a background piece on Goode's ornery, defiant nature. Leftist bloggers are having a field day, of course, but Josh Marshall's initial reaction ironically lent Goode a tiny bit of credence by scoffing at the notion that we are menaced by Muslim immigrants. Of course, most of them are fine, decent, devout people, but even if only one in a thousand is hostile, that's something to worry about. Remember 9/11?