Queen of the Desert
Monday, August 07, 2006 :::
Another item from yesterday's incredibly shrinking Times-Dispatch was Jeff Schapiro's latest Sunday sermon on how that Darn George Allen just isn't as conservative as he lets on. In fact, he may actually be a nanny-state Liberal in cowboy boots:
In July, he introduced legislation requiring drain covers for all swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs. Allen said his proposal won't put too big a dent in people's wallets. Covers cost about $30, he said, and can reduce drain pressure that can cause drownings.
AND LAST YEAR, Allen proposed mandating manufacturers of antifreeze to add to their product flavoring that makes it taste bad, thus preventing poisoning of pets and children.
You've got to believe that the Old George Allen might sneer at such ideas, arguing they needlessly substitute governmental paternalism for parental guidance; that Washington ends up doing -- and doing badly -- a job that should fall to mom and pop.
Of course mom and pop should be on these jobs. And while Schapiro does give Allen the benefit of the doubt going in to this column - noting that "head-fakes" and "flip-flops" are par for the political course, that does not stop him from grasping his keyboard with both hands and swinging it madly in Allen's direction.
That said, and cherry picking aside, Schapiro does have a point. Would Gov. Allen have pushed for such legislation, let alone accepted such federal mandates?
But these two incidents do allow Schapiro the opportunity to revisit a few old Allen quotes on seat belts, helmet laws, federal education aid and more that, to the statist ear, sound a lot like heresy.
So, are we to believe that George Allen is really a big government nanny in Jeffersonian drag? While that image may quicken the heart beats of political scribes in newsrooms across the Commonwealth, it's probably a stretch.
And even if it might be true around the egdes, it still won't help the floundering Webb campaign, though that's probably not this particular column's aim.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 8/07/2006