Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

15 February, 2007

I think George Will is mocking him

And if I'm right, Will's fluff piece on 2008 fringe candidate Duncan Hunter is a brazen violation of Reagan's Eleventh Commandment.

If I'm wrong, on the other hand, I'm hard-pressed to explain this:
In 1969, [Hunter] dropped out of college, joined the Army and was sent to Vietnam. From there he mailed his pay to a friend who purchased for him an island in Idaho's Snake River, where Duncan farmed after his discharge. Then another friend said a San Diego law school would admit him without a college degree. In 1980, he was a lawyer with a storefront office in San Diego's Hispanic community when his father walked in and told him he could be a congressman. Never mind, his father said, that this district was only 29 percent Republican. Reagan was at the top of the ticket.

Okay... the standard "honorable service in Vietnam" meme. The small farmer bit can go a long way with rural voters... got it. Things get a little screwy once we get to law school. Are we to believe that Will, with Oxford and Princeton in his academic pedigree, is extolling the virtues of a man who got a law degree from a fourth tier law school willing to accept anyone who could pony up the cash, baccalaureate or no? Doesn't this narrative seem more "grifter-esque" than "presidential?"
Duncan says his Baptist minister, respecting the separation of church and state, told parishioners they should vote for the Reagan of their choice. They distributed 400,000 Duncan brochures. Today, Duncan Hunter is in his 14th term representing eastern San Diego County.

Cute. A blatant violation of the church's tax-exempt status, but cute nonetheless.
"For some candidates," Hunter says, "the conservative constituency is an inconvenience. For me, it is my hope." He hopes to be seen as the most conservative Republican candidate, as he understands conservatism. He is pro-life, an expert on defense issues, a hawk on border security (he authored the legislation that mandates 854 miles of fences across the major southern border routes used by smugglers of narcotics and people) and a skeptic about free trade.

Ah, a paleocon in the Pat Buchanan mold. In other words, a whole lot of nativist bigotry spiced with a dash of "batshit insane."
He says he has $300,000 "in pledges," a sum that could be a rounding error in the McCain campaign's accounts. But he says, "I kind of know what I stand for" so "I don't need consultants, and that saves a lot of money." He has produced some commercials -- just talking to the camera -- for $200.

Well, that inspires confidence. He "kind of" knows what he stands for, and he's running a media operation that makes Dennis Kucinich's PR mill look downright sophisticated.

Maybe Will is bucking for a place in history, hoping his column will be read by an aging Drew Carey as a voiceover in Ken Burns' 20-part PBS series, Presidential Nomination Also-rans. I suspect, however, that Will is just having a larf at this "burly, rumpled political product's" expense.

And for good reason.

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