Four Pieces of Common Sense, a Soldier’s Mother, and a Great Laugh Line

The front page of the RTD’s Commentary section this Sunday is given over to a question-and-answer section with Senate candidates George Allen and Jim Webb.

Mostly boilerplate stuff there, though I’m impressed with Webb’s consistent focus on social inequality as a critical issue, and his willingness to associate himself with “Jacksonian democracy”–that is, the working class.

Even more interesting, however, are four bits of common sense which crop up throughout the rest of the section. The first three are letters to the editor:

Adele MacLean (of the Partnership for Smarter Growth) has a letter talking about the need for building communities oriented around people, not cars.

Vietnam veteran Robert T.E. Nash responds to a previous letter-writer who had questioned the patriotism of critics of the Iraq war, saying an intelligent patriot would have favored focusing resources on catching Osama Bin Laden rather than going into Iraq.

Fairfax resident Peter Banks criticizes clergy who are lobbying for the (anti-gay) marriage amendment by invoking George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights and its legacy of toleration.

Fourth, the RTD itself picks up some bonus points for good sense in critiquing plans to market a dashboard figure mocking the Prophet Muhammed. (Sadly, however, I fear the paper’s decision to further publicize the availability of such a figure will persuade some percentage of its readers to go and pick one up.)

The most moving item in the RTD today, however, is a letter from a local mother of a soldier in the Iraq War. Donna Shell describes how inadequate equipment caused needless loss of life in her son’s unit, and goes onto call the war a “$300 billion fiasco.” Shell says she’s voting for Jim Webb, and if the Webb campaign has any sense at all they’ll get in touch with her and see if she might want to join him on the campaign trail.

It’s a shame, by the way, that Shell’s letter was run beneath the generic, misleading headline “Issues, Candidates Dominate Debate.” This was a letter primarily about Iraq and should have been labeled as such.

Finally, a great laugh line from the paper today: Ross MacKenzie, amidst a column opposing any tax increases to address transportation problems in northern Virginia, manages to refer to Tim Kaine as a “leftist governor.” Engels, Luxemburg, Chavez, Kaine… you see the pattern, don’t you?

Published in: on October 8, 2006 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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