V irginia’s race for the U.S. Senate this year features two known commodities — Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine.
Former governors both — Mr. Allen also served one term in the Senate seat he now seeks to reclaim — the two men boast faces, and records, familiar to the Virginia electorate. As such, the campaign has all too often revolved around who did what, and to whom, way back when.
That, we suppose, is to be expected. But this battleground contest is, or should be, less about the past than about the future — and not just Virginia’s future, but that of America, which hangs in the balance.
Mr. Kaine said it himself last month at the candidates’ debate in McLean sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. “The last thing we should want to do,” he stated, “is look in the rear-view mirror.”
And so we won’t. This senatorial contest is about the future — where America is headed and how it can avert fiscal and economic calamity. That the Senate might serve as a firebreak plays no small role in this equation. Ditto the notion that this one race, between Messrs. Allen and Kaine, may well determine majority control of the chamber.
The choice in this campaign is clear. On the major issues of the day — jobs and the economy, the size of government and man’s relation to it, America’s future energy course, and political philosophy — George Allen wins.
Mr. Allen’s appeal lies in common-sense solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems, namely the economy, presented within a characteristic conservative framework. Much like GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Mr. Allen’s primary focus this election season is jobs. He wants to put Americans back to work again. The “best social program,” he says frequently, is a good job.
And how best to put America back to work after 43 months of unemployment at 8 percent, a number that dropped to 7.8 percent only in September. One key, Mr. Allen says, to reinvigorating the “entrepreneurial spirit of this country” is to dramatically reduce the tax on business, currently a “worst-in-the-world” 35 percent. To stimulate the economy and create jobs, he would cut this tax to a far more competitive 20 percent.
Secondly, Mr. Allen sees a nation “blessed with the most plentiful energy resources of any country on earth” — and sees no reason why these resources should remain shackled. “Unleashing” these “plentiful supplies of coal, natural gas, and oil,” in his mind, translates not only to more jobs for working Americans — which means economic growth and all the benefits derived from it — but also to less dependence on foreign sources of energy.
For Mr. Allen, reversal of America’s “counterproductive energy policies” starts right here in Virginia. On the first day of his Senate term, he says, he will introduce “a bill to allow Virginians to produce oil and natural gas off our coast and use the royalties for roads and transportation.”
The third prong of Mr. Allen’s restorative economic blueprint deals with regulation. He looks at ObamaCare, and its 2,000-plus pages of “costs, mandates, and uncertainties” and sees the work of an “overreaching, unaccountable federal government” — and a massive “impediment” to job creation and business expansion. His goal? To be the 51st vote in the Senate toward replacing ObamaCare with legislation providing families with market-based solutions, and companies with such sensible remedies as small-business insurance pools impervious to state lines.
George Allen knows how important this election is: It is the “most consequential,” he says, since 1980. This, perhaps, explains his laser-like focus on the bottom-line, kitchen-table issues that matter most to Virginians, and to Americans — jobs, taxes, energy production, and regulation.
For this reason, as well as for his instinctive conservatism, we endorse George Allen for U.S. Senate.