Monday, December 19, 2005

Woolsey and Nation: integrity is the difference

I recently wrote about how the Press Democrat uses news stories, editorials, and columnists to influence public opinion. Chris Coursey’s column today may be another example. (12/19/05, “Iraq provides dividing line in 6th District”)

Coursey wrote,

Conventional wisdom says that voters don't decide whom to send to Congress based on foreign policy. But in this election, with Iraq dominating the national debate and the war providing a clear difference between two Democratic candidates in a safely Democratic district, this issue will stand out in the campaign.

The clearest difference between Rep. Lynn Woolsey and the man who wants to replace her, Assemblyman Joe Nation, is their view of Iraq.”

The “clear difference” Coursey identified is that Woolsey has argued for months that we should get out of Iraq now. By contrast, Nation says we should get out in a year, or maybe two.

Coursey wrote,

The Democrat from San Rafael walks a fine line on the issue. He says he has felt ‘from Day 1’ that the invasion of Iraq was wrong; in fact he calls it ‘the biggest foreign policy blunder in my lifetime.’

In fact, the clearest difference between Woolsey and Nation is she’s the Sixth District Representative, and he isn’t. Nation’s Iraq policy is about the March 2006 primary election, not the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

He says he opposed the war, like Woolsey. And like President Bush, he says we can’t leave until we win:

’If we don't succeed in Iraq, this country's credibility will be shot,’ Nation says.

He defines ‘success’ as a self-governed Iraq in which all factions are represented in government, with a reduction of the now-daily violence and ‘respect for the rule of law.’

If Nation has any real support at all, it’s probably pretty much the same interests who backed SR Mayor Mike Martini’s quixotic race against Woolsey in 2002. A few months later he became Executive Director of the Sonoma County Alliance, the regional developer/business lobby.

Martini was the antithesis of all that Woolsey stands for to local voters.

So Nation is running as a guy who’s just like Woolsey—except that he disagrees with her on today’s most divisive issue: the war in Iraq.

And unlike Woolsey, he stands squarely on both sides of that issue: he’s against the war, and he’s against pulling out ‘til we win!

Forget Coursey’s campaign rhetoric.

The clearest difference between Lynn Woolsey and Joe Nation is her integrity.


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