In a post I published earlier today I largely dismissed the implied message of a Huffington Post article that seemed to suggest that being a Civil War re-enactor is a bad thing. The real question is whether John W. Douglass is a Neo-Confederate: I don't think he is, so enough about that.
I think John W. Douglass' weakness as a candidate comes from an entirely different Douglass character trait: his tendency to change his positions and opinions to reflect those of whomever he happens to be speaking to at the moment. As recently as May of last year, John W. Douglass was going about Virginia's 10th Congressional District promoting himself as a "conservative Democrat," and saying he was the ideal candidate to challenge Republican Frank Wolf. Now Douglass has morphed himself into a "progressive Democrat" and he's claiming to be a good choice to take on Robert Hurt. Which is it; conservative or progressive? No one in the mainstream media has called out Douglass on this inconsistency.
Last year Douglass was an inside-the-beltway Washington power player ready to take down Frank Wolf. Less than a year later, he's just a simple grape farmer from the rural 5th District, thanks to some unfortunate redistricting.
How flexible is John W. Douglass' spine? Douglass recently made the trip down from Fauquier for a campaign event in Charlottesville. While in Charlottesville, Douglass sat down for an interview with the redoubtable Libertarian blogger Rick Sincere. Moments later, he's pandering to Libertarians.
Perhaps it is just one of the hazards of working as a lobbyist in Washington, DC: you learn to skew your message to your audience of the moment without regard to maintaining long term consistency or integrity. It remains to be seen what Douglass' next Zelig-like transformation will be. The conservative-progressive-libertarian Democrat must be getting at least a little confused by now. I know I am.