Friday, June 09, 2006

It seems that I missed all the fireworks between the Webb and Miller campaigns while I was at work all day. Let me start off by saying that I am thoroughly dismayed and may abstain from this Tuesday’s primary. I was very pleased when Webb offered his apology to Miller for the rather insensitive and inappropriate cartoon. When I read that he apologized, I was all willing to forgive him and cast a vote for him on Tuesday. Webb could not just stop and move on to the next issue. He claims that Miller played the race card by distorting his views on affirmative action. This left the impression that the cartoon was some kind of payback.

Webb had so much potential, but has certainly proved that he has no clue on how to run a campaign. His overzealous army of bloggers from day one initiated a campaign of name calling and insults lobbed at Miller. They appear to now claim that this whole cartoon gaffe’s response was a well orchestrated conspiracy by the Miller camp. Are you kidding me? Bloggers have been covering this story about a week or so. People need to understand that reporters are regularly following the blogosphere – I think CNN has a segment every day now. So if you place an inappropriate cartoon on a blog you can bet it will eventually be picked up by someone. In this case, the Free Lance Star picked it up. I believe the extreme right-winger Shaun Kenney started writing about the whole Jewish angle when Webb called Miller the “anti-Christ of outsourcing,” during the Norfolk debate. I am certainly NO big fan of Kenney who resides in the Free Lance Star’s circulation area. The Free Lance Star appears to be the first paper to really cover this story and relied on experts in the field for their analysis. One expert contended that the cartoon was “replete with anti-Semitic stereotypes.” If various experts are contending that the cartoon contained such stereotypes, what are Miller and his camp to think? If people have a problem with Miller’s response to this insensitive cartoon, why don’t they call the experts and complain about the analysis?

This cartoon should never have been an issue, since Webb and his camp should have nipped this in the bud from day one. It seems to me that they should have issued some sort of statement, demanding that notlarrysabato.typepad.com remove this cartoon immediately. Since Webb’s name was on it authorizing it, this should have been quite simple. Not to mention that Webb’s own people seem to dominate and run that blog. Next, he should have fired the individual responsible for this cartoon immediately. The claim is that he was some young overeager volunteer. I took a second look at the cartoon and noticed that the person who signed it was “J Stanley.” I decided to do a quick web search using Google where I plugged in “Stanley VA Democrat.” Much to my surprise, at the bottom of the first page was a link to the Franklin Democratic Committee. I clicked on that link and was shocked. It appears that there is a Joe Stanley who is the chair of the Franklin Democratic Committee. I have no idea if this is the person who created the cartoon, but it surely is an interesting twist.

I have been saying throughout this post that the cartoon was very insensitive. In fact, the “anti-Semitic” claims aside, the rhetoric used and caricatures are simply in poor taste and the Webb camp should have stopped this from going out on that alone.

I realize that a lot of Webb supporters are angry over fliers distributed through the mail from Miller. Miller, in just about every flier, quoted Webb on things he has said in the past. I don’t see how that is the same as the cartoon. I can certainly see how negatives about Webb can be deduced by the various quotes. The cartoon seemed beyond anything that I’ve received from the Miller camp in this entire campaign.

The real losers in this whole debace are us Democrats in Virginia. Are combined goal should have been voting George Allen out of office. Now whoever wins this race will be damaged from this brutal Primary. I hope that whoever wins this Primary can repair and unite the Virginia Democratic Party, so we can all achieve what should be our main goal. That is beating George Allen in November!