The Candidates Debate
Sunday, September 17, 2006 :::
So the Allen/Webb debate on "Meet the Press" is over.
During the first half hour, Mrs. Leahy and I watched what was a tough but fair exchange between two men who have markedly different views on the most pressing issue of the day, the War. That does not me we learned anything new or anything particularly profound. But it was the sort of discussion that ought to happen far more often.
It was in the second half that the wheels came off both men's little red campaign wagons.
As I've heard or read much of the material that was covered (women in the military, macaca, flags, nooses, and the like), the responses were somewhat interesting to me in that neither man seemed exactly to cover himself in glory. In his heart, Jim Webb still clings to the old conservative notion that women have no place in combat or leadership roles. He didn't like the idea then and doesn't like it now.
And George Allen does not regret those confederate flags or that noose in his law office. That's who he was (and may still be).
But the most interesting reactions came from Mrs. Leahy, who hasn't followed the race, or its twists and turns to date.
She was appalled by both men.
To paraphrase (I'm not sure how to do justice to the acid that dripped from her remarks), she said that Virginia has a choice between a sexist and a racist who both love chewing tobacco. It makes Virginia look totally backwards. We don't even have a real choice.
She is now taking out her disgust on a patch of periwinkle.
God help it.
But one jaw-dropping remark both set us to wondering. It came from Jim Webb, when he said a female helicopter pilot in Afghanistan gave him "the ride of his life."
A double entendre. On a Sunday.
It's time to go paint.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 9/17/2006