Newsweek’s got a good profile of young Duncan D. Hunter’s “was already up the hill from the getgo” struggle to succeed his father, Duncan “Have the Military Nuke the Wildfires” Hunter in the 52nd Congressional District. Yours truly has another of his truly pithy lines quoted.
As I’ve written about Presidential politics, legacy can be a wonderful thing. Who’d have thought that, two hundred thirty one years after our revolution against the inherited powers of monarchy, the land of the common man should become so enamored with dynasties. Yeah, there were the Adams, the Roosevelts and the Kennedys but there seem to be more sons/daughters/wives/husbands of current or former politicians coming into politics everyday. One can see the same trend from Hollywood to Wall Street, by the way. As the Economist Magazine pointed out in 2005, in the land of opportunity, social mobility is actually more static than in what the right sees as an increasingly socialist Europe.
Enter our own dynasty-building with Hunter & Son. Daddy Duncan apparently wants to keep the family business in the family and give Duncan the Younger his seat in Congress–and a lot of Dad’s buds in D.C. are ponying up hefty payola to make this a reality (including $2300 from Donny “You go to campaign with the money you’ve got—thanks to your Dad’s connections” Rumsfeld).
My only question is how are the other three Republicans currently in the primary race going to frame their campaign against Hunter the Younger? (And this race will be Them against Him.) Will Santee Councilman Brian Jones try to convince voters that serving in war may be hell but serving on the Santee City Council has been a close second? Can businessman Ken “The Pool” King convince the 52nd District’s socially conservative voters that there are no atheists in either foxholes or swimming pools? Can Bob “The Other Businessman in the Race” Watkins show patriotic voters in that scarlet red district that experience meeting payrolls and balancing budgets ranks in the wild west world of East County is as much of a credential as dodging hand grenades and IEDs in Afghanistan?
My bet is, noooooo, they can’t. So that will leave them character assassination—the political equivalent of an unfriendly Al Qaeda visit—to try and lay Hunter the Warrior Congressman low. Now, you might think it unseemly for go-Hawks Republicans to attack the reputation and qualifications of a rival politician with a record of military service far superior to their own. Then again, that didn’t stop Karl Rove from savaging certified war hero John McCain in South Carolina (on behalf of certified war non-hero George W.) back in 2000. Nor did it keep Republicans from smearing triple amputee Vietnam war veteran/hero Max Cleland for being soft on terrorists when they defeated him in 2002.
So look forward to the three conservative, pro defense, flag mom and apple-pie Republicans to blast young Hunter for being a carpetbagging, inexperienced, undeserving neophyte trying to ride to office on his Daddy’s coattails (albeit, admittedly, in battle-stained combat boots.)
And, whomever the Republicans nominate for the 52nd, expect that candidate to blast the lone Democrat in the race, retired Navy Seal commander Mike Lumpkin, as an Osama-loving, America-hating, socialist Democrat intent on destroying the nation.
It’s all in the name of serving the public will, afterall.