Walter Jones’s War--How the Tarheel legislator became his party’s conscience
The American Conservative, by W. JAMES ANTLE III, January 9, 2014
In a Capitol filled with bloviating self-promoters, Walter Jones is a soft-spoken Southern gentleman. But even though he has all the quiet charm of a sleepy country town, the ten-term North Carolina Republican is quite capable of righteous indignation.
“Congress will not hold anyone to blame,” Jones, now 70, said of
Eastern wars while speaking to Young American for Liberty
in Raleigh last
February. “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the
Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.”
Since he was first elected as part of the “Republican Revolution” in 1994, Jones—whose father Walter Sr. was a congressman before him—has been one of the most conservative members of Congress. He is staunchly pro-life. He worries about the military circumscribing chaplains’ right to pray in Jesus’ name.
Not mincing any words, Jones calls Obamacare a “disaster,” which he has repeatedly voted to defund and repeal. He even opposed big government when it was offered up by Republican presidents, voting against the Medicare prescription-drug benefit and No Child Left Behind. He has scored a perfect 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union four times, missing it twice more by just one vote.
But Jones might be best known for his strong turn against the foreign policy of George W. Bush. Representing a military-heavy district that includes the U.S. Marine Corps’
Lejeune, Jones voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. When France opposed
the Iraq War, he led the crusade to rename french fries “freedom fries” on
congressional menus in protest.