Sunday, March 26, 2006

Another Close Election in Ohio

George Will covers the coming Brown/Dewine confrontation.

"Brown, a political lifer, was elected to the state Legislature a year after graduating from Yale. He ran statewide at age 29, becoming secretary of state, and has been elected to the U.S. House seven times. DeWine, after four terms in the House, won a Senate seat in a Republican's dream year, 1994. But now fate has dealt him a ghastly hand.

.......Brown, whose career voting record is, according to the American Conservative Union, more liberal than another Cleveland area congressman, Dennis Kucinich, makes scant concession to conservatism, cultural or economic. He opposes bans on same sex marriage (DeWine also opposed the ban that Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed in 2004), human cloning and partial-birth abortion. But he does favor a line-item veto and a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. That amendment, which would constitutionalize fiscal policy, is a terrible idea but a convenient gesture by Brown, who knows it is going nowhere. Besides, in 1992 his district was one of the nation's strongest for Ross Perot, giving him 27 percent.

Brown is a harbinger of a momentous, and ominous, aspect of the 2008 presidential election: For the first time in living memory, one of the major parties -- Brown's -- will be essentially hostile to free trade, the foundation of today's prosperity. The Democratic Party's protectionism operates under the dissimulating label of ``fair trade."

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