At first glance, George Allen is the logical choice for the open Senate race in 2012. He is a fun-loving former Senator that never would have lost his seat in 2006 were it not for neo-conservatives and un-funded wars. On second glance, George Allen was one of the Republicans that became so focused on “terrorists” in an overseas desert, that he forgot about other principals and important American issues. Does George Allen deserve a second chance? No. He doesn’t. But if not George Allen, then who?
I was initially very skeptical of a “tea party” candidate running for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia. It is very difficult to trust an important political office to someone that has never held political office before. However, that is exactly where Virginians should get to. We can do better than George Allen.
George Allen was a successful Governor and Senator in the past. He was decently conservative and has high name recognition. He was someone I felt I could tolerate in the Senate. Overall, George Allen is a very likeable politician. Plus he has the best selling book, “what sports and politics have in common,” which although I haven’t gotten to read it yet, I am sure is very compelling.
But, this past week has given me an epiphany due to the debt ceiling debate. I look back at the last week of debt ceiling negotiations. Look at what happened. I look at where Senators that I look up to like Mike Lee and Rand Paul are and I looked at establishment Senators like Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid. I did not want this debt deal. But Mark Warner and Jim Webb from Virginia voted for it anyways. Would George Allen have voted differently? Recently, a George Allen supporter publicly claimed that he was “the original tea party candidate.” Its almost laughable. George Allen is a Republican copy of Mark Warner. Neither take unpopular stands but always follows leadership over a cliff. Both have moist pointer fingers from testing the direction the wind is blowing.
Do Virginians want another six years of George Allen? Would George Allen would have opposed Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid working in tandem with Obama to undercut the conservative wing of the House GOP? The answer is of course, yes, George Allen would follow Mitch McConnell wherever he would go. He is establishment through and through.
At this point, the Republican establishment is more harmful to our party than the Democrats or President Obama himself. If the House conservatives had been in charge last week, we would be in the middle of a debt ceiling show down right now and President Obama would have to give in and pull 10 democrat senators to vote for something akin to Cut, Cap, and Balance in order to save his re-election and his legacy.
George Allen along with other Establishment Neo-Con Republicans would have unequivocally, without a doubt gone along with the deal. He would have said what Paul Ryan said, that we got “two thirds of what we wanted.” He would’ve repeated what McConnell said, that “we aren’t going to let our nation default for the first time in blah, blah, blah…”, George Allen was the perfect establishment Republican. He had center-right views on education, spending, social issues, and defense. Actually, he was more of a hawk on defense which is very dangerous. We need conservatives on defense, not neo-conservatives. George Allen’s center right Republican views that got us into two unfunded wars, the patriot act, four debt ceiling increases, etc. This is what George Allen represents . Virginia should not have to go back to that, we can do better than George Allen and we can certainly do better than Tim Kaine who is more boring than Tim Pawlenty. We can do better.