Carol Platt Liebau: Caught in a Webb

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Caught in a Webb

Mark my words: The Democrats are going to be sorry they have to put up with James Webb, who, judging from the linked piece, is something of a jerk (and even worse for the Democrats, seems to believe that he can write his own playbook).

It's remarkable to me that he would treat the President of the United States with such rudeness. Regrettably, such behavior is to be expected, perhaps, from long haired, self-righteous erstwhile hippies, but one would hope for something a bit better from a newly elected U.S. senator.

In fact, one would hope for something better from just about anyone. Back in early 1994, when I lived in D.C., I used to walk on the Mall. One morning, I ran into none other than Bill Clinton, taking a jog in all his short-shorted glory. "Good morning, there," said the President, with the over-familiarity displayed by a lot of men who pride themselves on having a "way with women."

Trust me -- I had little use for Bill Clinton, believing then -- as I believe now -- that he was a pot-smoking, draft-dodging, womanizing liar. But he was still the President of the United States. And so, when he greeted me and wished me a pleasant day, I said, "Good morning, Mr. President" and wished him a good day, as well.

It's a matter of respecting the office, if not its current occupant. What is it that a then-27 year old understood that Senator-elect James Webb just doesn't get?

3 Comments:

Blogger Brian Busse said...

Seeing that Jim Webb was putting in time dodging bullets in Vietnam while W was dodging responsibility in TX, I'd say that he has earned the right to say anthing he wants in a private conversation. Given the current circumstances, perhaps Jim Webb isn't the one that doesn't "get" it.

10:27 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Carol, I'd drop this. I'd drop th so-called "angst" if I were you - or George Will, for that matter.

These were not merely "two dads" talking. This was one father (Webb) who sees the fate of his son as directly and inextricably linked to the actions of the other (Bush).

To be blunt, there's no good way to see your son in a war that you don't agree with. There's also no good way to talk to the person who ultimately controls the fate of said son.

If Webb says, "I'd like for him to get home," Bush could have responded, "yes, I understand. We're working on that. But really, how is he?"

Moreover, recall the whole Anthrax scare. A reporter asked Bush, have you been tested? "I don't have it." But have you been tested? "I don't have it." Bush of all people has some nerve to harp on others for not being straight.

Moreover, if Webb is rude for not directly answering a question, then everyone who ever passed the Green Room, Russert's studio, and 90% of Washington functions are similarly rude. Even among friends, I myself have a hard time getting a straight answer around there.

Bush's beration of Webb about not being straight, especially when he ultimately does control Webb's fate, is especially disingenuous.

Again Carol (and George Will if you're reading), I'd drop it.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Sorry guys, you're off base. As a soldier, Webb should realize that you respect the rank if not the man. Whether you like it or not, Bush is doing what he feels is right and necessary. No one has come up with anything that proves his motives are dishonorable. No one can explain why his level of service forty years ago matters to what he's doing today. Frankly, the guy's telling of the tale, which has changed a bit as I understand it, is a low class story like what you'd hear in high school. "Yeah, I came this close to smackin' 'im." It's done to impress. It's lame. Given the circumstances, classy men understand that one never earns the right to be a jerk.

11:08 PM  

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