Thursday, October 12, 2006

The weirdest point in Monday night's Webb/Allen debate - which, for a forty-five minute debate, had a surprising number of weird points - came when Webb attacked Allen's limited foreign affairs experience by asking a question about the Senkaku Islands.

I dislike Allen as much as [more than] the next guy, but that seemed a bit underhanded. On the one hand, yeah, he should know what's going on in the world. But on the other hand, he's running for the Senate, not the Oval Office (yet). And the Senkaku Islands are - relatively speaking - small fish in a big pond (I'm hardly a foreign policy expert, but I'm fairly well educated, and I wouldn't have known where the Senkaku Islands are if Webb hadn't told me). Webb was clearly trying to get Allen back for the Craney Island debacle from a little while ago, and I can understand that. But I don't think there's anyone, including George Allen and his staff, who would argue that between George Allen and Jim Webb, Allen's the foreign policy expert. So how does this help Jim Webb? I guess the best-case scenario is that the voters say to themselves, "Gosh, Allen doesn't know anything about foreign policy, but Webb does, so I guess I'll vote for Webb." But all things considered, I think the far more likely result is that the voters say to themselves, "Self,* I have two things to say. First, Jim Webb is an asshole for sandbagging George Allen that way. And second, I don't care about foreign policy."

* - This is what each voter says to him- or herself, hence the singular.

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