The Circumstantial Case
Wednesday, September 27, 2006 :::
Many of my friends on the right side of the Virginia blog world are making the case that the recent attacks on George Allen are a co-ordinated attack. Chad posts this -- which for him is very strong stuff.
And there's probably something to it, at least if one connects the dots. Given that the Webb campaign cannot compete dollar-for-dollar with Allen, that Webb lacks Allen's campaign skills and network and that he is still an unknown quantity in some parts of the state, it makes perfect sense to try to exploit whatever gaps appear in Allen's armor and use the resultant free media to make the race competitive. That the means of exploiting said gaps appears tawdry, or just plain false, however, raises legitimate and disturbing questions about the character of those pushing the stories. And as they are pushed by campaign subordinates, those questions naturally reflect on the character of the campaign's leader, James Webb.
However, I believe that Harry Landers, in a comment to Chad's post, makes the point that needs to be restated: Allen opened the door to this with his undeniable gaffe at the Breakers and his subsequent fumbling response. Furthermore, the tactics were seeing employed in this race are hardly new. Yes, there was a whisper campaign against Mary Sue Terry. And yes, Allen and his cohorts exploited them to gain whatever edge they could against a seasoned, widely known and heavily financed candidate. Despicable behavior? Without question. And they support the notion that George Allen has a wide, deep and enduring mean streak.
There is nothing new under the sun, especially in politics. The only thing that has changed are the delivery mechanisms.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 9/27/2006