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Born fighting - for what?

Peggy Noonan's column yesterday was ostensibly about James Webb, Reagan's former Navy Secretary who has changed parties to run for the Senate in Virginia as a Democrat. He won the primary in spite of being heavily outspent, but Noonan cuts to the heart of the matter as she usually does:
Mr. Webb has interesting and important things to say about the war, and we'll find out if that is the No. 1 issue in Virginia, and how Virginians come down on it, in the coming months. But in terms of domestic policy, of all other nonwar policy, he sounds to me like Nancy Pelosi with medals.


She also mentions, in passing, that the main problem with the Democrats is that they no longer have a Great Idea, something to motivate people to get out and vote for them. Oh, sure, they're against the war in Iraq, but the votes this week in the Senate and the House show that despite all the rage of the "netroots"/KosKidz crowd, they know that coming out firmly against the war will cost them politically. They're also for bigger government (the better to dish out pork and patronage for their allies in AFSCME) but that doesn't sell well these days either. As much as people yak about how great Europe is, you don't see too many folks actually moving there, not even the ones who promised us they would in 2004, the lying beggars.

Webb may well defeat George Allen in the fall, although I have my doubts that Webb's combat boots are any more reflective of Virginia than Allen's cowboy boots. In the end, Jim Webb's biggest problem is not his own stands on issues, but rather the people he'll have to associate with if he wins - and don't think Allen's not smart enough to wrap the likes of Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Pat Leahy and Teddy Kennedy around Webb's neck. The Democrats were the first to find a way to tie local political races to what was going on in Washington, but the GOP learned that lesson well and applied it with a vengeance in 1994. I think it'll be a close race this fall, despite all the money Allen can bring to bear, but I don't see Jim Webb being sworn in as the junior senator from Virginia next January. Which is too bad, in a way, because the Senate needs more standup guys like him, but at this point the nation needs more Democrats in the Senate like it needs another 9/11. Which is pretty much what we'd get if we put the likes of Boxer, Kennedy and Leahy in charge.