August, 22nd 2007

Walter B Jones headed for trouble

– Liz Mair

Readers will know that NC Rep. Walter B. Jones is not exactly my favorite guy. My problems with him really come down to bad votes on economic issues earlier this year, more than his position on the war (I disagree with Jones on his war position, but I'm not as gung-ho a war backer as, say, the guys on RedState-- basically, I'd just like to win and ideally not leave Iraq in a position where we have to go back to deal with a regional war in a year or something).

In any event, back in July, I ran a video interview with Joe McLaughlin, the guy who's going to primary Walter B Jones-- and it appears that Mr. McLaughlin is a man who's earning more attention by the minute. Today, Politico has a piece up about him, and his challenge to Jones. Choice excerpt:

Jones' politics have become increasingly at odds with a Republican party that he believes has lost its moorings. Although he voted to authorize the war in Iraq, he has since become one of its most vociferous opponents.

He was one of only two House Republicans to vote against expanding the scope of the administration's anti-terrorist surveillance program. And he thinks Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is downright incompetent, and believes vice-presidential aide Scooter Libby should have served some jail time - "at least for a day or two."

Those are fighting words in an unabashedly pro-Bush district that gave the president 68 percent of the vote in 2004. Supporting the troops here means supporting their mission, regardless of national approval rates for the war's handling.

This is Jones' biggest problem: ultimately, if you don't represent the views of the people who elected you, you probably shouldn't be serving them. That will be the issue in this race. Watch it closely-- it could get interesting.


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