Rep. Walter Jones, 20-year Republican of North Carolina, is one of America’s most courageous and honest politicians—putting him in a company that is virtually non-existent inside the beltway.
He originally was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War, but then he learned the facts, discovered the blatant lies the Cheney/Neocon cabal had used to sell it, and did the unthinkable. He broke with the Bush White House and became a relentless, informed, passionate and persuasive critic of not only the Iraq fiasco — but also the entire interventionist foreign policy of the War Party.
Not surprisingly, the latter went after him hammer and tong in his recent primary — a challenge almost unheard of for 20-year incumbent. The whole Bush White House crowd that destroyed the GOP commitment to fiscal discipline, bailed-out Wall Street and GM and launched disastrous wars of invasion and occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and countless lesser arenas joined the attack. The heavy artillery included the detestable Karl Rove, former Governor and RNC Chair Haley Barber and the War Party’s highly paid chief PR flack, Ari Fleischer.
But it was Neocon central that hauled out the big guns. Bill Kristol was so desperate to thwart the slowly rising anti-interventionist tide within the GOP that he even trotted out Sarah Palin to endorse Jones’s opponent. The latter, Taylor Griffin, is a former Washington lobbyist and PR hack—the very kind of beltway lifer that Palin made a short-lived career remonstrating against. But when it comes to perpetuating the Neocon grip on the GOP, the neocon bankroll speaks with a loud voice:
Paul’s fervent support is one reason why some National Security hawks poured money into the race to support Griffin in a district that is also home to the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune. The Emergency Committee for Israel, which is affiliated with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, spent six-figures running ads for Griffin against Jones, who has the support of the liberal J Street group.
Once he took up the campaign to reverse America’s unaffordable and counter-productive imperialist foreign policy, Rep. Jones did not hesitate to link it back to decades of Warfare State folly–reaching all the way back to LBJ’s calamity in Vietnam.
“Congress will not hold anyone to blame,” Jones recently said at an event for former Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) Young Americans for Liberty group in North Carolina. “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.”
Imagine that! Walter Jones is a conservative Congressman from western NC which is home to Fort Lejeune. He is also the son of a 26-year Democratic Congressman whom I served with in the House and whom I recall had no problem supporting Lyndon Johnson’s carnage in South East Asia.
Rep. Walter Jones Jr. won his primary yesterday, and with some margin to spare.
Hope springs eternal!
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.