Virginia Senate Race

The Club for Growth is wasting no time. It has already issued a press release denouncing Tom Davis:

Before Tom Davis even entered Congress, he was already to the left of his Republican colleagues, telling the Wall Street Journal that spending cuts “may get out of control” (12/19/94).   Unfortunately, little changed over his thirteen years in Congress.   His record is riddled with anti-growth votes, from his support for out-of-control government spending, his fondness for increased government regulation, and his bristling hostility for political free speech and property rights….

"Tom Davis has one of the most economically liberal records among Republicans in the House,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey.   “Since Republican voters in Virginia are decidedly economic conservatives, it’s hard to see how Davis could win a statewide primary.”

Do I sense a Draft George Allen movement brewing?

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Craig’s Right to an Attorney

In addition to everything that has already been said about the Larry Craig incident, one thing that is perhaps most shocking to me is how stupidly he has behaved throughout this whole process. Craig knew that the Idaho Statesman was already doing extensive reporting about his sexuality (whether this was good journalism or not is another matter), but I’m baffled as to why, given the scrutiny he was under, he’d go out solicit sex in a public restroom. Even if you were to go to extraordinary lengths to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t seeking sex in the bathroom, as a U.S. Senator who believed he was wrongly accused of a crime, it is absolutely stunning that he would waive his right to an attorney.

RE: Sept. 6

As I wrote yesterday, I think that it’s crucial that when Fred makes the official announcement next Thursday, his campaign also declares his intention to participate in the Sept. 27 debate. This will not only help deflect criticism for skipping the Sept. 5 debate in New Hampshire, it will also make him look more decisive, and create the impression that now that he’s finally in the race, he’s in it for real. He needs to be proactive. He cannot afford to have his roll out hampered by weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he stories regarding his participation in debates.

CORRECTION: I just corrected this post because it appears that the Dartmouth debate that was originally scheduled for Sept. 27 has been postponed for an indefinite time period (if one takes place at all). While I was on vacation last week, Dartmouth announced that, “At present, there are no firm plans for a Republican candidates debate. The College had hoped to host such a debate on Sept. 27, but that currently appears unlikely. However, efforts to establish such a debate at Dartmouth are ongoing.” There is, in fact, a Travis Smiley candidate forum scheduled for Sept. 27 on PBS to take place at Morgan State in Baltimore. I was working off on outdated press release that referenced the Sept. 27 debate. I apologize for the confusion.

Amanpour Goes Fishing for Jewish Terrorists

In the NY Sun, Heather Robinson has a takedown of CNN’s “God’s Warriors”–a three part series hosted by Christiane Amanpour. Three parts, of course, because out of some self-imposed fairness doctrine, CNN wouldn’t dare do something on Muslim extremists without needing to find Christian and Jewish extremists to add “balance” to the program. Of course, creating that “balance” often means going to extraordinary lengths:

Next comes “Jewish Settlers Turn to Terror,” in which she interviews a settler who has been in an Israeli prison for many years for perpetrating terrorism against Arabs. As the director of Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, Andrea Levin, put it, “Because Jewish terrorism is practically nonexistent, [Amanpour] had to go back to the 1980s to find a Jewish [terrorist] underground.”

Since a significant portion of the segment is devoted to Jewish terrorism, one could get the impression that it is somewhat common, instead of a freakishly rare phenomenon that, when it occurs, is almost universally condemned by Jews worldwide.

The next time a Jewish terrorist kills thousands of American civilians by flying an airplane into an office building screaming “Moses is Great!” let me know. Until then, I’m glad I was on vacation and missed Amanpour’s report.

Musharraf’s Deal

Pervez Musharraf has struck a deal to give up his military post in order to be able to run for another term as president. It will also mean that the exiled former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, can return to the country to run for prime minister. There are also upcoming parliamentary elections that are expected to produce a legislative body less supportive of Musharraf. From a U.S. policy perspective, this could avoid the worst case scenario of Musharraf losing power, but it reinforces how vulnerable he actually is. What worries me is that it seems that U.S. policy toward Pakistan has been entirely built around Musharraf, but it’s increasingly important to begin to think of strategies for dealing with the country in a post-Musharaff era. He may hang on for now, but he won’t be there forever.

UPDATE: A Musharraf spokesman now saying that no deal has been struck.