Sunday, October 24, 2010
New Yorker Piece Looks at Perriello the Lonely Hero
Tom Perriello (above), the 5th District Congressman who is scratching and clawing against a Republican empty suit/empty head to retain his seat, has become the poster child for what a 2010 Democrat ought to be, but most often isn't.
He is a man of principle, courage, determination and political savvy and he doesn't have his party's moral or financial support, as George Packer points out in a scorching New Yorker piece here. Packer says the Republican plan in race after race is to return to the George Bush II philosophy of wrecking government so Democrats can get elected amid the wreckage and then Republicans can blame them for the destruction, which is exactly what is happening. Cut taxes, de-regulate everything, do absolutely nothing to support good ideas because if Dems get credit, Repubs get sent to the woodshed. As Packer points out, that's not just bad government, it borders on treason.
Perriello, properly credits his party and his administration with passing a monumentally important (but still not fully sufficient) health care bill and various economic stimulus packages to try to rectify some of Bush's disasters. The health care bill is far from perfect, but the health care system is an absolute farce and any bill is better than none. The Dems have done a lot right in the past two years, but they refuse to take credit for it in the heat of Republican rhetoric that begins with the demonized Nancy Polosi's name linked to every candidate--including Rick Boucher in the 9th, who has so little in common with her that they might be different species.
In any case, Perriello, who had such strong party support two years ago, is on his own. My guess is that he's better than his party and my sincere hope is that he shows all of us--in winning--that we are smarter than it appears.
(Photo: Richmond Times-Dispatch.)