The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Virginia: Jamie Radtke For U.S. Senate? George Allen Had Better Guard His Six

Posted on | March 18, 2011 | 5 Comments

by Smitty

Though only a Virginian for the past twelve years, it’s hard to avoid a passion for the country if you spend much time in the Commonwealth. Patriotic radiation coming from Mount Vernon, perhaps. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to see someone like Jamie Radtke appear on the scene and command attention.

Waking Up Is Hard To Do
The 2006 election of James Webb to the Senate was over three syllables uttered in August, which triggered 30 stories in the Washington Post within two months (!) and led to a vast 0.3% margin of triumph for Webb. Though I didn’t vote for the gentleman, I did harbor hopes that a Vietnam veteran and fellow Naval Academy grad would prove something other than a tool of those who’d put him in office. Rather a wash, overall.

Possibly my criticism of Senator Webb’s tenure has even been caustic. In any case, one hopes the door doesn’t impact Webb’s backside on exit.

But what of George Allen? On the one hand, it’s possible to lower the anti-elitist boom on the fellow:

By “mistakes,” Viguerie is referring to Allen’s voting record in the Senate. He voted for No Child Left Behind and President George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program. Radtke has said Allen’s voting record helped add $3.1 trillion to the national debt, including $90 billion in earmarks.

That all seems so long ago, way back in 2 BLF (Before Liberal Fascism), when I joined a growing cadre of Americans wondering if maybe the Ruling Class wasn’t driving the country off a cliff.

Is George Allen A Special Case?
Past the recreational egalitarian sentiment, there are indeed some things to admire about Senator Allen:

  • He sucked it up. He never, to my knowledge, has publicly complained about the blatant WaPo propaganda campaign in 2006. One admires winners over whiners.
  • He’s a team player. He has supported even the tough campaigns, where I got to meet him personally.
  • Experience is not a dis-qualifier. While the notion of staffing all of the elected positions in the Federal government via the Boston phone book makes a great thought experiment, it does help to have a few old goats around who at least know the rules of the Senate, plus maybe the location of one or two bodies.

Torpedo The Dams Anyway?
Despite the wisdom of retaining some experience, there is the notion that the GOP insiders are simply too compromised to be trusted, no matter how much fellow Virginia resident Dan Riehl springs to their defense.  Which brings us back to Ms. Radtke:

Another way Radtke is different from Allen is she’s likely to line up more with DeMint, Paul and Sens. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Mike Lee, Utah Republican. Allen’s critics say he’s more likely to play ball with the Republican leadership.

Radtke is also a staunch defender of grassroots activism, and believes in the power of the Tea Party movement. “Not just in Virginia, but everywhere, there is no doubt that I believe that our salvation depends on the grassroots movement,” Radtke said. “They will either continue to be committed and passionate and determined to keep their liberty and push government out of their lives or not. And, I believe that they are.”

Radtke has faith in the Tea Party’s ability to remain influential, adding that the two-year-old movement is “getting more sophisticated” and “learning what worked and didn’t work and improving upon that.” She thinks it’s funny, though, that so many “Republicans in Name Only,” or RINOs, are trying to attach themselves to the vibrant Tea Party movement. Radtke noted that Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, has appeared at several different Tea Party events as of late, and laughed about a new Virginia group, “Tea Party Patriots for George Allen.”

“We were going to start calling them TINOs, or ‘Tea Party in Name Only,’” Radtke joked. “That’s going to be our new nickname for them.”

The Old Guard Vs. The Young Turks
Moving to a conclusion, then, three points at least may apply:

  • The Old Guard has some ‘splainin’ to do. Just as Mitt has to answer the mail on RomneyCare, George Allen has to articulate the lessons he’s learned about the Ghosts of Legislation Past. And the explanations had better be good.
  • The budget for laurels has been cut. Every candidate should face a challenge in the primary. The Ruling Class, with its elitist sense of entitlement, can go to Old Europe. Once the primaries are done, then conservatives should get behind the victor with full support. Another Lisa Murkowski incident, like abortion, should be opposed.
  • Detail Counts. George Allen’s experience could best be deployed by going to the People That Know and getting real answers. What is the ground truth on entitlements, and what are the attainable things that can be done in the next administration? Experience could make George a Patriot In Fact (PIF) like Senator Jim DeMint, etc. in contrast to the RINOs who are “not good at getting things done, but, rather, talking about things as if they had been done,” to quote an old derelict I know.

As a Virginian, the historical bar is set high. Gov. McDonnell and AG Cuccinelli are carrying on a fine tradition. Radtke may well prove to ready to cruise at that altitude.  George Allen is by no means either out of the picture or sitting in the catbird seat.  Exciting times.

More at Bearing Drift.


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