Sunday, April 30, 2006

Disconcerting

Now, I'm the first to admit that I am a partisan hack, and that I'm not afraid to get my hands a little dirty when it comes to dealing with those of another party. Of course, I always do this in as ethical way as possible, and there is something that has always bugged me. Something that both parties do. And the current U.S. Senate race is a perfect example.

Now, I am all for attacking George Allen for campaigning for President during a Senate race. If he wants to run for Senate, he should, you know, try to spend some time in Virginia. He is running for Senate and President at the same time, and both Jim Webb and Harris Miller are perfectly right in attacking him for it.

But, there's a fine distinction.

Yes, criticizing Allen in this case is fine. But it comes dangerously close to criticizing a politician for generally having higher aspirations. We famously have seen it in the case of Senator Clinton, who, from the start, has been accused of using the Senate as a stepping stone for the Presidency. Locally, some people were grumbling about David Toscano, saying he had higher aspirations. And, hypothetically, if Mark Warner had been able to run for re-election in 2005, you know his Presidential aspirations would have been a major issue.

Unlike Allen, who is running for two offices at once, Toscano was going to be our Delegate, and that's it. Of course he didn't rule out running for higher office, but he politely declined to indulge in that kind of speculation. In 2005, he was all about the House of Delegates, and so far, he has made us proud there.
But Del. Toscano does seem to have higher aspirations and this seems to annoy some people. Delegate Toscano has ably filled the shoes of his predecessor, but he shouldn't be expected to copy Delegate Van Yahres' career. It should be expected that any politician won't stick around. And we should appreciate it.

When Delegate Toscano moves on, that gives us an opportunity to get more blood involved in local politics. After Toscano has made his contribution, could be not benefit by having a fresh perspective (especially since that will almost certainly be a Democratic perspective)? Could we not benefit by having you blood fill in the lower ranks when other politicians move up the ladder? And frankly, wouldn't it be stupid to be against potentially having an attorney general or governor from right here in CVille? And for us local Dems, we know a certain delegate from the 58th does plan to go places. Wouldn't it be great to have Mr. Toscano stop him in his tracks?

George Allen running for President while he runs for Senate is inexcusable. But, criticizing a politician for aspiring to higher office has always been a pet peeve of mine.

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