Washington Post endorses James Webb
Mr. Webb, a fine writer, remains in many ways a political work in progress. His impressionistic grasp of domestic policy generally and his passing acquaintance with Virginia issues in particular reflect his meager experience in electoral politics. His diagnosis of America's widening disparities in wealth and income is on the mark, but his fuzzy-headed attacks on free trade are the wrong prescription. As a candidate, Mr. Webb has had a steep learning curve; to his credit, he has acknowledged it.
Mr. Allen lacks any comparable independent-mindedness. He has spent his time in the Senate in lock step with the Bush administration, embracing tax cuts that have imperiled the nation's fiscal health; subsidies for oil and gas companies that hardly needed the help; prisoner detention policies that have undercut America's image abroad; and restrictions on embryonic stem cell research despite its medical potential.
At the same time, Mr. Allen has accomplished little for his state's most dynamic region, Northern Virginia. Other Republican members of Virginia's congressional delegation -- Sen. John W. Warner and Reps. Thomas M. Davis III and Frank R. Wolf -- have played vital roles in advancing transit and other priorities while Mr. Allen was busy grooming himself for a possible 2008 presidential race.
Virginians deserve better and more enlightened representation. Mr. Webb offers that hope.