The Corner

Elections

Good Riddance, Valerie Plame

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson poses at the 36th American film festival in Deauville, France, September 9, 2010. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

In a week full of bad news, the defeat of Valerie Plame in a New Mexico Democratic congressional primary is easily overlooked. Had Plame won, she would have had a good chance of winning the seat, as the 3rd District is pretty heavily Democratic-leaning, scoring a D+8 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

In September 2017, Plame attracted considerable criticism for tweeting out a link to an article headlined, “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” The article’s sub-headline asked, “Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?” The article declared:

For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison — translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”

(The article also contended that Bill Kristol was setting policy in the Trump administration, once again illustrating the long-overdue need for mandatory drug testing in the foreign-policy journalism world.)

A short time later, she backtracked: “OK folks, look, I messed up. I skimmed this piece, zeroed in on the neocon criticism, and shared it without seeing and considering the rest.”

She repeated an urban legend about dancing Israelis sighted after 9/11 and an article touting “Israeli fingerprints all over the place” in the investigation of the worst terror attack in American history. She shared an article entitled “Why I Still Dislike Israel” that laments the “Israel Lobby electing and controlling a malleable congress [sic] and increasingly even officials at state and local levels.”

Plame’s campaign ads were misleading, much like the movie made about her.

The winning Democratic nominee, Teresa Leger Fernandez, is unlikely to win cheers from many conservatives. But at least Leger Fernandez has lived in the district a long time, isn’t an anti-Semite, and isn’t trying to leverage receding status as a political celebrity into elected office. Name recognition and appearances on television are poor preparation for leadership in government. The country didn’t need Michael Avenatti running for president, George Papadopoulos or Cenk Uygur running for Congress, or Corey Lewandowski running for Senate.

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