Allen and Webb on Meet the Press

This morning George Allen and Jim Webb, in their run for U.S. Senator from Virginia, debated on Meet the Press.

This debate will be rebroadcast, and for those Virginia voters who missed it, I strongly recommend that you catch this rebroadcast tonight at 10:00PM on NBC – regardless of your political persuasion.

George Allen mentioned in the debate that Iraqis have had four national elections with 70% turnout and in the face of the personal threat that such participation entailed. At our last Virginia election we had an embarrassing turnout of 3 ½% of registered voters (and as an aside, administering this election cost my county of Chesterfield $80,000 – and only 3,000 votes were cast).

I did disagree with Allen’s remark that the Iraqis are “like babies” in that they must be nurtured into democracy and in the running of their country. Iraq is part of a civilization that goes back thousands of years, and until our invasion, had administrative professionals who were capable of managing the infrastructure of the country. I submit that the issue is resolution of internecine violence and hatred that has also existed over a long period of time and which will most likely exist for a long time into the future. And which will have to eventually be settled regionally.

In the high minded remarks both candidates made to their commitment to women’s rights and African-American rights, as a gay person I kept substituting “gay and lesbian rights” in my mind for every assertion they made, and wonder how far these candidates are actually willing to go to support gay civil rights -- such statements, that bias towards women is “demeaning, and disrespectful”, and that we are "the land of opportunity” and that all should be included as “part of team America”. Webb does support civil unions and does oppose the marriage amendment, as opposed to Allen who supports the amendment and does not support even civil unions or gay marriage. One area where Allen seems to differ from George Bush who has indicated he could support civil unions.


I'm Not Emeril said…
And then you have the odd duck like myself. A conservative Republican who has no problem with "civil unions" or their heterosexual equivalent, "common law" marriages, and is against the marriage amendment. But I do believe in the first sentence in the marriage amendment.
Bill Garnett said…
To: I'm not emeril

Thank you for your comment. I too could live with that moderate position.

And I strongly feel that the ability of liberals and conservatives to reach out for a common sense moderate position of this issue and on many others would be in the interest of America.

Voices today are far too strident and far too divisive and both prevent solutions to our common problems and lead to us being less competitive as a nation in an increasingly competitive world.

Now if only Virginia could move to a more moderate center and away from the excesses of the political extremes. Perhaps if the religious right part of the Republican Party would become less righteous and more moral; and the kooky extremes of the left were to be to become more pragmatic. More voices like yours sure would help.

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