- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

When voters in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District go to the polls today, the choices could hardly be any clearer: incumbent Democrat Christopher Van Hollen, a doctrinaire liberal who has made his opposition to the liberation of Iraq a defining issue in his campaign; and Republican challenger Chuck Floyd, who stands with President Bush. Mr. Van Hollen, a freshman and back bencher, isn’t content to simply stake out a misguided isolationist position on the war. Instead, he has sometimes opted for petulant grandstanding that seems calculated to score a cheap political point against the war effort so he can send out a hard-hitting press release to his constituents.

Last year, Mr. Van Hollen voted against Mr. Bush’s request for $87 billion to support the troops, protesting Mr. Bush’s refusal to raise taxes. But, ill-considered as this vote was, it understates the depth of Mr. Van Hollen’s antiwar fervor — which is apparently too much for most of his fellow House Democrats to stomach. In March, for example, Mr. Van Hollen voted against a resolution, passed overwhelmingly by the House, which would have expressed support for the troops and affirmed that the United States and the world are safer now that Saddam Hussein has been removed from power. Mr. Van Hollen denounced the resolution as “deceitful” and complained that the House should have adopted an alternative measure that included convoluted language questioning whether the removal of Saddam Hussein has made the world safer. Mr. Van Hollen’s colleagues obviously disagreed, voting 327-93 in favor of the resolution. In fact, his fellow Democrats supported the measure by a 105-89 margin.

On the war — perhaps the defining issue in this year’s election — Chuck Floyd stands resolutely with Mr. Bush and offers the type of mature, adult leadership that the people of the 8th Congressional District deserve.

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