Why I Oughtta'...

The junior senator from Virginia is already living up to expectations:

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.


"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Webb later said he "wanted to slug" Bush for his tone.  He then added that he didn't run for the senate to get a picture of himself with the president hanging on his wall. 

Amen to that.  Washington's version of the "ego wall" isn't degrees, awards, and newspaper clippings, but a collage of photos of one's self with people who wield political power, in descending order.  So that pic of you with Clinton at the MS fund raiser goes at the top.  The one with Rep. One-Termer at the bottom.  My general impression after seven years in this town is that there's a direct correlation between the size of one's ego wall and the overall loathesomeness of his personality.

Webb's economic populism leaves a lot to be desired.  But otherwise, I can't help but like the guy.  Not only did he refuse a photo with the most powerful man in the world, he sassed him, too.  Props, senator.

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  • ||

    "Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall."

    Then, WTF was he doing there?

  • ed||

    Yeah, why did he go?

  • ||

    I think he is just being a jackass. If he really hates the President that much, then Charles and Ed are right, why did he go in the first place? Moreover, if he is there why does scoring points about Iraq prevent him from being polite? Why couldn't he have just said, "He is doing really well, but I am worried about him and I think we need to get him and those serving with him out of Iraq as soon as we can."? It is possible to make a point to someoen withtout being a complete and total asshole about it.

    "Webb's economic populism leaves a lot to be desired. But otherwise, I can't help but like the guy."

    That pretty much sums up the Reason staff these days. "We hate Bush so much that we can't help but like a guy who wants to enact every damaging nanny state economic policy we profess to be against. But we are not sell outs or anything."

  • ||

    "Then, WTF was he doing there?"



    Allow me to posit a similar scenario: you've just landed a primo job, along with a bunch of other recent grads. But the chairman of the board is a real cocksucker. If the company held a reception, and everyone else was going to be there, would you avoid the whole shebang just to avoid that one cocksucker? Did it occur to either of you that there were other people at this reception that Webb might want to converse with?

    Or is "getting your picture taken" and "standing in the presidential receiving line" the only things that happen at these receptions? Somehow I doubt that's true.

    A third possibility, however remote, is that Webb orchestrated this whole scenario to make a point. But I doubt that, given that he could not have known what Bush would say to him.

  • ||

    "But otherwise, I can't help but like the guy."

    Why? Because ill mannered prigs are so lovable? Oh, that's right, the enemy of my enemy....

    This reminds me of another Reason writer's ode to Nagin.

    Beat it.

  • ||

    "That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

    He should have slugged him.

  • ||

    "Did it occur to either of you that there were other people at this reception that Webb might want to converse with?"

    Yeah, as a sitting U.S. Senator I am sure he has such a huge problem getting people to return his phone calls. Further, it is not like skipping the event and making some statement about it wouldn't have made him a hero among nutroots. Sometimes events just show your character; like the guy yells at the waiter who drops his drink. I can't see any other explanation for this other than that Webb is a pompus ass.

  • ||

    Ooooh! That's so cool and adolescent.

  • ||

    Well, Radley, if being a prig and getting publicity were not so easy to do these days -- especially when the target is President Bush -- then it might actually be that Webb is a true "Maverick". But it seems that perhaps Webb is just the person he has come across as being: a bully. And a mean one at that...watch as this neo-military man self destructs within the year and the people of Virginia will have to put up with him being their senator for another five years after that...what a mistake they made.

  • ||

    He's in the middle of a god damn war zone, you asshole. How do you think he is?

    Shocked, SHOCKED, I am to discover that conservatarians think the help should hold their tongues around the massah.

    Got a lot of kids in Iraq, John? No?

  • ||

    "That pretty much sums up the Reason staff these days. "We hate Bush so much that we can't help but like a guy who wants to enact every damaging nanny state economic policy we profess to be against. But we are not sell outs or anything."



    Oh, please, John...get a fucking grip. There's more to Webb than his economic principles...there's plenty else to like, not just his Bush-bashing. Or should we oppose Webb altogether, just because we disagree with some of his policies?

    Oh, but I forgot...this is John, the ol' "I can't wait to pounce on any instance of any Reason contributor saying anything good about a Democrat, and then just call them Bush-bashers" standard. Any time Dave Weigel isn't "sufficiently" critical of Democrats, or, god forbid, actually offers praise of one, you hop out of the fucking bushes and yell GOTCHA! Dude, wtf?

    "Moreover, if he is there why does scoring points about Iraq prevent him from being polite? Why couldn't he have just said, "He is doing really well, but I am worried about him and I think we need to get him and those serving with him out of Iraq as soon as we can."? It is possible to make a point to someoen withtout being a complete and total asshole about it."



    You've got to earn respect, John, and, personally, other than being elected to a certain governmental office, I haven't seen too many things that Bush has done to garner respect. Indeed, quite the opposite.

    This fucking country, and its obsession with the executive, has elevated the president to the status of king, at least in the general mythos (said mythos is creeping into reality with all these "absolute executive power" episodes). He's another man, like you and me, not some god among peasants. And if he hasn't earned respect, then he does not deserve it.

  • ||

    "That pretty much sums up the Reason staff these days."

    I, for one, have no idea how this rag can claim the mantel "Reason".

  • ||

    The speed with which Bush defenders line up to repeat the talking point of the day suggests that the White House is terrified of the PR problem this is about to become.

  • Ashish George||

    Evan's right. And John's cheap shot at the Reason staff is ludicrous. Libertarians sometimes complain about getting tagged as "Republicans who like to smoke pot" or some such, but if this administration's policies DIDN'T push them toward different allies, they really wouldn't have much right to be hostile to that meme.

    Besides, the content of the magazine is still critical of "damaging nanny state economic policy", and it's only a GOP-tinged fideism that could make one think Reason is morphing into The Nation.

  • ||

    Joe,

    Don't let GOP lackeys like John speak for anyone else. He's just bitter because the republican party has fallen out of favor with libertarians, and so now he whines like a little girl every time any of them say anything good about a democrat, or bad about a republican.

  • ed||

    Perhaps Webb is just pissed off that his Marine son ended up in an actual war.

  • ||

    Moreover, if he is there why does scoring points about Iraq prevent him from being polite? Why couldn't he have just said, "He is doing really well, but I am worried about him and I think we need to get him and those serving with him out of Iraq as soon as we can."?

    First of all, where was Webb not polite?? In fact it was Bush who was rude with his "I didn't ask you that" remark. Real class there. You'd think that a man who has his son in harm's way would be given a little more respect when he offers his opinion that he wants his son home. And when did talking to the president mean you only get to talk about what the president directly asks you about?? The president doesn't get to decide how Webb is going to respond to his questions. This is a president who is so isolated from any detractors that they should use any and all opportunities to voice differing opinions

    Furthermore, its his son. Why should Webb have to hold his tongue?? If I had a child in Iraq and the man who fucking sent him there under false pretenses asked me how he was doing I would absolutely say something to the effect of: "Not as good as he would be if he wasn't stuck in the middle of a foreign civil war that your policies created".

    It is possible to make a point to someoen withtout being a complete and total asshole about it.

    Really?? You should try it sometime, then.

    That pretty much sums up the Reason staff these days. "We hate Bush so much that we can't help but like a guy who wants to enact every damaging nanny state economic policy we profess to be against. But we are not sell outs or anything."

    Shorter John:
    WHAAAAAAA!!!! Why doesn't Reason's priorities line up with mine and the GOP's??? REASON SUCKS!! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

  • ||

    Can anybody think of another reason, besides wanting to score a political point, that a parent would tell the president he wants his boy to come home from a war?

    Any at all? Anyone?

  • ||

    Pretty much every position he holds is repulsively anti-liberty and xenophobic, but hey, he talked back to Bush. Sad that this is what passes for laudable.

  • ||

    From John:

    "Moreover, if he is there why does scoring points about Iraq prevent him from being polite? Why couldn't he have just said, 'He is doing really well, but I am worried about him and I think we need to get him and those serving with him out of Iraq as soon as we can.'?"

    From the story:

    "'I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,' Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme."

    How different is what he said from what you proposed he say? They seem very similar to me. Both versions seem polite enough to me.

    If you're going to take Webb to task for something nitpicky, I think wondering aloud why he was at the reception anyway is plenty.

  • Radley Balko||

    Who initiated the rudeness, here?

    The president asked Webb about his son, who is fighting in Iraq, a war Webb opposes.

    Like any parent, he says he'd like to have his son back home.

    Bush responds with, "That's not what I asked you."

    Seems awfully curt a response to someone whose son, thanks to Bush, is in harm's way, doesn't it?

    I'd have wanted to slug him, too. And yeah, I'll admit it. I have a soft spot for people who aren't easily romanced and awed by political power.

  • ||

    "Allow me to posit a similar scenario: you've just landed a primo job, along with a bunch of other recent grads. But the chairman of the board is a real cocksucker. If the company held a reception, and everyone else was going to be there, would you avoid the whole shebang just to avoid that one cocksucker? Did it occur to either of you that there were other people at this reception that Webb might want to converse with? "

    Anyone with experience in corporate America will tell you that only the stupidest person alive would disrespect the company chairnain while attending their new hire orientation.

  • ||

    "And a mean one at that...watch as this neo-military man self destructs within the year and the people of Virginia will have to put up with him being their senator for another five years after that...what a mistake they made.



    BWAH HA HA! Right, because warmonger racist nannystate puritan asshole Allen was SUCH a better choice.

    Are you fucking high?

  • ||

    Timmy,

    Good thing Senators don't serve at the will of the President, then, or Webb's actions would have been stupid.

  • ||

    "Got a lot of kids in Iraq, John? No?"

    No Joe I don't have any children but I have a lot of friends there and very well may be back there again this summer. I am sure my father would have never acted like that if someone had asked him the same question about me.

    Good to see the KOS brigade has shown up. As far as Webb's economic policies, lets look at what the Dem Congress wants to do

    1. Raise the minimum wage.

    2. "[F]orce companies to provide more and clearer details of CEO pay, devise policies to recapture incentive pay if earnings are later restated, and require shareholder approval of 'golden parachute' payments to dismissed executives."

    3. "[S]low the flood of imports and rethink the pacts that President Bush has been negotiating to lower trade barriers."

    4. "[R]equire employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards asking for representation instead of secret-ballot votes."

    5. "[L]et at least some of Mr. Bush's income-tax cuts expire in 2010 or roll them back--including "[ r]aising the top two tax rates, now 33% and 35%" and raising the top (15%) capital gains tax rate.

    6. Enlarging the earned-income tax credit

    7. "[O]ffer eligible dislocated workers up to half the difference between weekly earnings at their old and new jobs, up to $10,000 a year"

    8. "Allowing businesses with up to 100 employees tax credits to buy [health] insurance through a government-sponsored pool modeled on the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan, which gives federal workers a choice of private health insurance plans"

    9. A "'universal 401(k)' to which employees, employers and, in some cases, the government would contribute, a cousin to the private accounts Mr. Bush wanted to carve out of Social Security.

    10. "[D]oing more to help Americans pay for college, including making up to $12,000 a year in college tuition tax-deductible ... [snip] as well as cutting interest rates on student loans and increasing the maximum Pell Grant for low-income students to $5,100 from $4,050."

    11. "[M]ore government support of Pre-K education." [Boldface added]

    Please explain how any of that is libertarian? It is precisly the stuff that Reason claims to be against but of course they can't help but like the people who endorse it.

    "Furthermore, its his son. Why should Webb have to hold his tongue?? "

    You are right, having an opinion gives you the right to be an asshole. You and Joe prove that on Reason every single day.

  • ||

    "
    Anyone with experience in corporate America will tell you that only the stupidest person alive would disrespect the company chairnain while attending their new hire orientation."



    Luckily, this scenario is slightly different in that Bush is not Webb's boss...we are.

  • ||

    Evan!,

    I use the term "conservatarian" for the purpose of differentiating people of the John/Glenn Reynolds persuasion from actual libertarians - not for the purpose of conflating them.

    Conservatarians aren't libertarians, they just play libertarians on the internets. Actual libertarians don't feel, or feign, outrage when someone fails to fall to his knees in front of a government official.

  • ||

    I have a soft spot for people who aren't easily romanced and awed by political power.

    In this case, specifically, other people's political power. I'm sure he's got no attraction to said power when he's the one wielding it.

  • ||

    "Good to see the KOS brigade has shown up."

    Nice projection, conservatarian. To our never-before-seen, Bush-defending friends, welcome! This is just like the thread after Zell Miller's speech.

  • ||

    If there's a prize for most self-righteous posting here, how come joe got an email about it but I didn't?

  • ||

    Aside from the war, which libertarian ideas has Webb promoted?

  • ||

    Well, a parent might tell the president he wants his boy to come home from war, BECAUSE HE WANTS HIS BOY TO COME HOME FROM WAR.

    Now to get on my soapbox for a second, that is the problem with you Republicans. You think everything has to be political, meaning so one party can win and the other party will lose. Some of us are just supporting policies and speaking our mind without a grand political agenda. Its the same reason that so many Republicans and the conservative media lined up to support such clearly flawed Bush policies. Because they thought that if they didn't, the Democrats would "win." Well guess what, the Democrats did win because the rest of us realized we can't trust anything said by a party that puts power over policy.

  • ||

    You are right, having an opinion gives you the right to be an asshole. You and Joe prove that on Reason every single day.

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha

    This coming from a man whose every comment on this site is based on nothing more than his own preconceived notions, stereotypes and liberal boogeymen in his head!! You really area a clown.

    As others have pointed out as well, Little Johnnny-boy -- Bush was the asshole not Webb. Webb wasn't impolite in anyway (unless your ilk consider speaking frankly to the president impolite)

  • ||

    Joe,

    It is called civility and class. I can think of lots of Democrats in the past, people like Tip O'Neil or Hubert Humphrey who had boatloads of it. Now, the politics is the personal and you show your colors by seeing how big of a juvenile jerk you can be. I thought the guy who accused Clinton accused Clinton of letting U.S. soldiers die in Somalia was ass and I think Webb is an ass. You can write it off to partisanship if you want, but that is not the case.

  • ||

    Damn, John, you're all over the place. Should we be hatin' on Webb because he was supposedly rude to the almighty Prez-o-dent? Or should we be hatin' on him because his party's economic policies aren't libertarian? Or both? I just can't decide!

    And, by the way, you, of all people, have NO room to chastise anyone else for being an asshole. It was your assholish first comment that got this party started. Joe might be an asshole sometimes, but he's got nothing on you in that category. At least he has the ability to have a civil conversation...something you seem woefully unable to accomplish, judging by you animus and rudeness on pretty much every comment you make here.

  • ||

    "I have a soft spot for people who aren't easily romanced and awed by political power."

    Yeah, Senators want nothing to do with political power.

    "He's in the middle of a god damn war zone, you asshole. How do you think he is?"

    That's nice. That's how I respond when people ask about my family, whether they're in a war zone, have cancer, went bankrupt, whatever. Nothing says asshole like asking about your loved ones.

    "That's not what I asked you"

    I'll admit it. I have a soft spot for people who aren't easily romanced and awed by political power.

  • ||

    "At least he has the ability to have a civil conversation...something you seem woefully unable to accomplish, judging by you animus and rudeness on pretty much every comment you make here."

    Oh you are highly civil, there Evan. I don't why it is so hard for you people to admit it was a lousy thing to say. Is there anything that someone does to express distain for the war that you people wouldn't justify? The bottomline is that you don't like Bush and Webb could have taken a shit in the Lincoln bedroom and you would be on here talking about what a wonderful act is was.

  • ||

    "It is called civility and class. I can think of lots of Democrats in the past, people like Tip O'Neil or Hubert Humphrey who had boatloads of it."



    Obviously, George W. Bush doesn't have any class or civility, given his response to Webb's answer. "That's not what I asked you!", said the almighty, referring to to Webb's son who is currently fighting in the almighty's war. So, again, who is the one who lacks "civility and class" here?

  • ||

    Webb is definitely a one-termer.

    Even if you detest the guy you have to deal with, you smile and make nice, because you HAVE to deal with him. You don't serve your own interests or the interests of your constituents by this kind of grandstanding.

    [In a small way, it's much like Rumsfeld's "old Europe" crack in the lead up to the invasion.

  • Ashish George||

    "Aside from the war, which libertarian ideas has Webb promoted?"

    Webb was against Virginia's anti-gay marriage amendment and pro-choice.

  • ||

    I just think it's good that someone told Bush something he didn't want to hear. That doofus surrounds himself with yes-men and then wonders why his popularity ratings suck. Or maybe he doesn't because he doesn't follow the news. Whatever.

    I don't have to like any of Webb's policies to like the fact that he told Bush off. Bush is a horrible president.

    Why is any of this difficult to understand? Am I to think Webb has many, if any, policy agreements with libertarian thought? Hell no, he's a Dem, but at least we've got possible gridlock in Washington now, which is about the only hope a libertarian seems to have these days. (My only fear is that both parties are seeing how fed-up people are with their leadership and are huddling behind closed doors to try and make sure they stay in power, but I'll take my tinfoil hat off now.)

    Anyway, I can dislike both of them, can't I?

  • ||

    I don't why it is so hard for you people to admit it was a lousy thing to say

    Uhmmm...because it wasn't?

    The bottom line is that you love Bush so much that no matter what he does you can't bring yourself criticize him for anything. He could literally start killing puppies and you would be here talking about how the puppies were enemy combatants and posed a risk to National Security.

  • ||

    "That's not what I asked you!", said the almighty, referring to to Webb's son who is currently fighting in the almighty's war. So, again, who is the one who lacks "civility and class" here?"

    According to you Bush is the devil incarnate, how does one person's incivlity justify another. Further, I don't think that response was that bad. I would have to here a tap of it to hear the tone voice. If Bush yelled at the guy "that is not what I asked you!!!" then maybe you have a point. If he said it in a reasonable tone of voice, then all he was saying was "I don't want to talk politics I would just like to know how your son is" and it was a perfectly legitimate response.

  • ||

    "He could literally start killing puppies and you would be here talking about how the puppies were enemy combatants and posed a risk to National Security"

    I could give you about a million criticisms of Bush. But he is fortunately that he has enemies that manage to be worse, which is no mean feat.

  • ||

    John, Rush and O'Reily would then attack those of us that wanted Bush to stop killing puppies by alleging that we "are not supporting the war on terror."

  • Go Pack Chris||

    I've now come to the conclusion that all civility is dead. I guess in my ripe age of 36 I'm just a square---A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect. Even if you don't like the man, the office deserves the respect. We sit on this stupid blog shooting our mouths off, while real men/women make difficult decisions about running a country. You'll excuse me if I think the POTUS deserves a smile and hand-shake. The fine Congressman's son joined a volunteer army. Perhaps the person he should be pissed at is him.

  • ||

    According to you Bush is the devil incarnate

    No Johnny -- according to YOU all who don't pray to the alter of Bush think Bush is the devil incarnate. Just another example of you not being able to separate reality from the caricatures in your head.

  • ||

    "I've now come to the conclusion that all civility is dead. I guess in my ripe age of 36 I'm just a square---A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect. Even if you don't like the man, the office deserves the respect."

    You just don't get it Chris. This is the devil Bush. Webb should have spit in his face. Take it from Evan, Chicago Tom, and Joe, when it comes to Bush we don't need no stinking civility, the offending party is always Bush and extemism in the pursuit of Bush hatred is no vice!!

  • ||

    "No Johnny -- according to YOU all who don't pray to the alter of Bush think Bush is the devil incarnate. Just another example of you not being able to separate reality from the caricatures in your head."

    I am sorry the truth hurts so bad Tom.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Webb was against Virginia's anti-gay marriage amendment and pro-choice.

    He's also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. In general, he seems to be socially tolerant in a way that extends to people on both sides of the so-called culture war. That's a real breath of fresh air.

    And does anyone here doubt that if this were a case of Bush snubbing, say, Dan Rather, virtually all the people bashing Webb here would rush to cheer the president?

  • ||

    That's just what this pres needs, Chris, is more ass-kissing. Great.

    And if you'll recall, the whole reason we went into Iraq never materialised. Hell, I'd probably have joined if not for the fact that it was a war started under completely false pretenses.

    I would be proud of my child if they were fighting in a necessary and just war. The war in Iraq is neither of those things.

  • ||

    My level of civility is a matching response to your initial animus and rudeness. You want a civil discussion? Perhaps you should think before you post something as asinine as your original comment.

    I readily admit that "that's not what I asked you" was a "lousy thing to say" to someone whose son is currently fighting in is war. If you want me to admit that Webb should have responded to that horribly rude statement with some asskissing and brown-nosing, I won't.

    "Is there anything that someone does to express distain for the war that you people wouldn't justify?"



    Oh, please. Talk about hyperbole, John...there is a line, to be sure, but responding to Bush's asshole statement with a brush-off, in my opinion, doesn't cross that line.

    But, hey, way to try to steer the argument into hypothetical nowhere land, and further obscure what was really said. But your acts are futile, because we're still here, still in reality, and Webb's response to Bush's rudeness was certainly justified, whether or not I like Bush.

    "The bottomline is that you don't like Bush and Webb could have taken a shit in the Lincoln bedroom and you would be on here talking about what a wonderful act is was."



    Here's a tip: take your false "bottom line" and shove it up your...no, I won't. Just because you invent some "bottom line" doesn't make it remotely true. Yes, I dislike Bush and his policies and his hubris and his rudeness to Webb. But that's neither here nor there. Just as you are hating on Webb because you love Bush and his wonderful party...it has no bearing on the actual reality of the situation.

  • ||

    "I, for one, have no idea how this rag can claim the mantel "Reason"."

    I just snuck a peek at the clock on the mantle(!): glory be, its.....

    MARTINI TIME!

  • ||

    A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect.

    How exactly did Senator Webb "disrespect" Bush?? By giving him an honest answer? You know if Webb would have insulted him or ignored him or walked away from him I could see the validity of the "disrespect" comments. But telling the President

    You'll excuse me if I think the POTUS deserves a smile and hand-shake. The fine Congressman's son joined a volunteer army. Perhaps the person he should be pissed at is him.

    Or maybe the person who is misusing the volunteer army deserves some ire??

    Pardon me, but when did it become "disrespectful" and "insulting" to tell someone who has presided over a failing war effort for 3 years that they would like their kids to come home?

    Some people have a warped understanding of the word respect.

  • Ashish George||

    "I've now come to the conclusion that all civility is dead. I guess in my ripe age of 36 I'm just a square---A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect. Even if you don't like the man, the office deserves the respect. We sit on this stupid blog shooting our mouths off, while real men/women make difficult decisions about running a country. You'll excuse me if I think the POTUS deserves a smile and hand-shake. The fine Congressman's son joined a volunteer army. Perhaps the person he should be pissed at is him."

    Respect belongs to individuals, not offices. We judge persons based on their morals, their attitudes, their virtues, and most importantly their actions. The presidency in the abstract has none of those properties on which we make judgments.

  • Go Pack Chris||

    Oh John, spare me the "kill them all and let God sort it out crap". Grow up I'm not fan of the man, but he doesn't deserve to have his face spit in. That's how we disagree in this day and age?? Perhaps it's time for your afternoon nap?

  • ||

    "Just because you invent some "bottom line" doesn't make it remotely true. Yes, I dislike Bush and his policies and his hubris and his rudeness to Webb. But that's neither here nor there. Just as you are hating on Webb because you love Bush and his wonderful party...it has no bearing on the actual reality of the situation."

    If you ever on here could list one thing Bush ever did that you don't have a fit about or one thing his political opponents ever did that you object to, you might have a point. But of course you can't. It is like pulling teeth. I fail to see why its so hard to say, "I don't like Bush, but Webb needs to grow up and act like an adult. Bush is still the President and it does no good not to be civil."

  • Go Pack Chris||

    George, i'm not saying you have to hump him. I'm saying he deserves a hand shake.
    what is wrong with you people?

  • ||

    Chris,

    I was being ironic. I agree with you. Sorry you misunderstood.

  • ||

    John writes: " I can't see any other explanation for this other than that Webb is a pompus ass."

    Maybe, but then Bush is the neocons' useful idiot who's responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of people, all in a tragic blunder based on fantasy and self-delusion.

    I think Webb's still standing on a moral high ground that looks a bit like Everest.

  • ||

    "I'm saying he deserves a hand shake. "

    Shake the hand of a torturer?

  • ||

    John,

    You have as much right to lecture me about class and civility as a dog has to lecture thoreau on partical physics.

    "Aside from the war, which libertarian ideas has Webb promoted?"

    Aside from the war, what claims of Webb's libertarian-friendliness has anyone ever made?

    "Nothing says asshole like asking about your loved ones." Actually, nothing says asshole like snapping 'That's not what I asked you' at a dad for saying he wants his son to come home from the war.

    John wrote: "Is there anything that someone does to express distain for the war that you people wouldn't justify?" Just so nobody forgets, the outrageous breach of etiquette that we're supposed to deplore Webb for commiting was to say, ""I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President." That's it. Apparently, you're not allowed to express such a thought about your son to George Bush.

  • ||

    First of all Joe, kicking you and Tom and Evan's sorry asses around on some stupid blog thread is not exactly the same as how you act at an official function as a U.S. senator elect. Second, what Webb did is not the end of the world, it just means he acted like a jerk. The point is that since he agrees with you, it kills you to have to admit that. Again, I suppose you didn't have a problem with the people (there were at least two I can remember) who confronted Clinton in public about Samalia and Kobar Towers? There is a time and a place for everything and this wasn't it.

  • ||

    I am sorry the truth hurts so bad Tom.

    What truth John? You seem to be allergic to the truth. You make up shit. I for one have never called Bush the devil or even called him evil....yet you seem to attribute to me those beliefs. Somehow that is "the truth" in your warped little world? You pull shit out of your ass and attribute it to people and then claim to be a truth teller??

    You republicans are a funny lot. I've never met a bigger bunch of sleazy liars and hyppocrites in my life.

    You talk of civility while insulting and making shit up about people. You talk of class while at the same time acting like a classless jackass and mocking people for what you think they think.

    You know most people around these parts -- even though I don't agree with them on many / most things, I would love to sit around with and discuss / debate things and maybe even have a few drinks....but not you....you're a despicable and dishonest person. I wouldn't piss on your head if it were on fire.

  • ||

    Aresen writes: "Even if you detest the guy you have to deal with, you smile and make nice, because you HAVE to deal with him. You don't serve your own interests or the interests of your constituents by this kind of grandstanding."

    I doubt Webb, as a first-term Senator, will be dealing much with Bush directly. And Bush will only be around for the next two years, anyway.

  • ||

    Dumbest thread ever.

    Pissing match between partisans.

    joe and John, take it outside.

    Mr. Balko, with all due respect, better luck with your next blog entry. This post is nothing but a litmus test for partisans.

    Bush and Webb are both pricks is the exchange. Who cares?

  • ||

    Yet another never-before-seen conservative commenter - GOPAC Chris, apparently, writes:
    "I've now come to the conclusion that all civility is dead. I guess in my ripe age of 36 I'm just a square---A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect."

    Once again, the shocking misbehavior that has so shaken this gentleman's world is the expression of the following two quotes:

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," and "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

    "The fine Congressman's son joined a volunteer army. Perhaps the person he should be pissed at is him." Yeah, the troops are responsible for the mess they're in!

  • Go Pack Chris||

    Now for a serious question. What is up with the hot chick in the Santa outfit that keeps popping up on my screen? The one with the hot rack?

    I'm civil towards presidents, not hot chicks.

  • ||

    "should have spit in his face...the pursuit of Bush hatred..."

    Would you like me to paste the "offending" quotes again, dear?

  • ||

    John, wait...you actually think you're "kicking our asses" here? Your main argument has fallen on its face. Bush was the rude one, and Webb responded in kind. End of story. All you can do now is delve into personal attacks regarding how much, hypothetically, we'd do to justify bush bashing. Meanwhile, with several small exceptions, everyone else here has proven your wrongness on this issue.

    Methinks 'tis you who is getting a kicking of the ass.

  • ed||

    Oooh, the hysteria! The invective!
    Better than Jerry Springer!
    Peanuts! Getcher peanuts heeyahh!
    Ice cold beeyah heeyah!

  • B||

    Flyover,

    That was a lot of reading for someone who is disgusted by this whole thread. Does the Taliban have a gun to your head to make you read this?

    John, you are wrong.

  • ||

    "joe and John, take it outside."

    God, that is a funny thought.

    Before I hurt Joe and Tom's delicate feelings anymore, again, there is a big difference between kicking you two around on here and an official function. The fact that you won't admit that proves my point that there is little Webb could have done that would have offended your sensibilities because he is on your side.

  • ||

    People in the government and the Congress should try to be dicks to Bush as much as possible. He seems to have so many people around him trying to make sure that he never has a bad day that he's kept in a cloud of unreality. Keeping him from bad news and dissent has probably further magnified his own inherent stupidity.

  • ||

    "John, wait...you actually think you're "kicking our asses" here? Your main argument has fallen on its face."

    Is that 21st Century Internet speak for "Na Na Na!!" You are right about one thing, I need to stop letting you and Joe bring out my worst instincts, regardless of how fun it is to get you two going.

  • ||

    Evan!,

    "John, wait...you actually think you're "kicking our asses" here?"

    Apparently, John thinks that our argument is on its last legs. It's last throes, as it were.

    "All you can do now is delve into personal attacks regarding how much, hypothetically, we'd do to justify bush bashing." Actually, he can also try to change the subject to Webb's economic policies. But that doesn't seem to have worked very well, either.

  • ||

    "People in the government and the Congress should try to be dicks to Bush as much as possible."

    He has the kind of personality that it would probably push him to do something truly nuts.

    I say do it! Set phasers to "Maximum Offense".

  • ||

    "Before I hurt Joe and Tom's delicate feelings anymore, again, there is a big difference between kicking you two around on here and an official function."

    OK, I guess I DO have to paste them again.

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."

    "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

    If you were that civil, John, you wouldn't be such an objection of derision.

  • ||

    GFG, he even referred to Bush as "Mr. President", it isn't like he told him to go fuck himself or anything.........

  • ||

    People in the government and the Congress should try to be dicks to Bush as much as possible. He seems to have so many people around him trying to make sure that he never has a bad day that he's kept in a cloud of unreality. Keeping him from bad news and dissent has probably further magnified his own inherent stupidity.

    Careful FinFangFoom -- you are perilously close to being labeled a Bush hater who thinks he is the devil by pointing out reality.

    You wouldn't want Little Johnny to cyber-kick your ass like he did joe's and mine.

  • wingnutx||

    He's in the middle of a god damn war zone, you asshole. How do you think he is?

    People in Iraq are in any number of different states of being. It's a valid question.

    For example, the guy playing with routers in an air-conditioned trailer is not the same as the guy who just got his dick shot off by a sniper.

    Most of the poeple there are fine at any given time, if a bit bored and homesick.

  • Andy R||

    Why did he go? Maybe because he got to look the President of the United States in the eye and tell him to bring his boy home from war. There are worse reasons.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    And does anyone here doubt that if this were a case of Bush snubbing, say, Dan Rather, virtually all the people bashing Webb here would rush to cheer the president?

    Actually, it was Rather's public rudeness to Richard Nixon that will forever endear him to me however low an opinion I came to have of him afterwards. However, I enjoy rudeness to a president more from a private citizen than from a fellow elected weasel. Rudeness from a private citizen toward an elected official is more than permissable, it is one's patriotic duty.

    Truth be told, they should probably both have behaved better.

  • ||

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

    How about answering, "I'd like to too, but we have to get the job done."

    Or "Why don't we talk about how to do that and leave Iraq a stable country some time."

    Instead it's:

    "That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

    In a spot like this someone in Bush's position needs to take the high road. He seems utterly incapable of doing so.

    Taking the high road wins political points even with your opponents. Instead Bush has squandered every bit of "political capital" he has gotten hold of.

    I'm seeing Bush slowly committing political suicide.

  • ||

    To paraphrase Bill Hicks, i'd rather pay the extra nickel in taxes than see more American boys die for a bull shit cause in Iraq?

    Not that I try and reconcile all my views with libertarianism, but what's more libertarian than opposing social engineering with the US Armed Forces?

    Also, I don't feel supporting Webb here is partisan, its more, I don't know, moral, seeing as he does have a child in harms way because the man asking him about him happened to have put him there for no good reason.

  • ||

    "You are right about one thing, I need to stop letting you and Joe bring out my worst instincts, regardless of how fun it is to get you two going."

    Oh, that's rich! Now it's our fault that you're an asshole? Even though your very first post in this thread was directed at Reason, and, coincidentally enough, was extremely assholish and uncivil?

    Please. Be a man, take responsibility for your own actions.

  • ||

    Tom Joe,

    Maybe we need to start a radio show or something. You two are too much. I laugh at this stuff and I think you two really get mad. If you would bother to read my posts, I admit that if Bush said "that is not what I asked you" some vindictive tone than you may have a point about Bush, but even so Bush being a jerk doesn't justify Webb being a jerk. Give me a break "I wanted to slug him" That bullshit doens't pass the gigle test. That is just Webb playing to people like you two. Again, I fail to see why it is so hard for you two to admit that Webb was rude and should get over himself.

  • ||

    Whoa, hey, just a joke, folks!

    I really had you going, didn't I? You thought I was really mad? Ho, ho, ho, you didn't know I was kidding, did you?

    Man, you guys need to stop taking everything so seriously!

    Whatever you say, John.

  • ||

    Yeah Joe,

    Don't give yourself or something over a blog thread. Really. It is not a joke in that you and Tom and Evan are completely full of shit. If you think I am admiting you are right, then read again.

  • ||

    "Seems awfully curt a response to someone whose son, thanks to Bush"

    Thanks to Bush? Was the draft re-instated and nobody told me?

    The kid volunteered for the Marine Corps. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure everyone who does so is well aware of what it is the Marine Corps does. His job is to be in harm's way, if not in Iraq then somewhere else. I salute him for it.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Of course, it isn't as though Bush doesn't have children in dangerous overseas situations, too.

  • ||

    In the interest of killing this thread,

    John, you just believe that because you SHEEPLE will always follow the DICKTATOR in BUSHITLER'S AMERIKKKA.

    Note that the S in BUSHITLER is like the SS symbol. I am sorry I am not able to replicate the exact style and tone of such a post, but I have some grammar and spelling skills left.

  • wingnutx||

    I don't think either of them responded particularly gracefully.

  • ||

    "John, you just believe that because you SHEEPLE will always follow the DICKTATOR in BUSHITLER'S AMERIKKKA. "

    Bush is Hitler, that is why he stole that election this November. Those Republicans will never give up power!!

  • ||

    Again, I fail to see why it is so hard for you two to admit that Webb was rude and should get over himself.

    Because he wasn't. You can keep saying it all you want....but that won't make it so.

    And despite your "well it depends on the tone" comments -- why is it so hard for you to admit that the tone is insignificant and the response was pedantic?? That is the type of response that a spoiled kid would give when he is forced to hear something he doesn't want to hear. It's also quite typical of a president who is so insulated from reality and dissenting voices that his temper flares whenever he is presented with opinions that do not line up with his.

    I fail to see why it is so hard for you to admit that Bush was rude and should get over himself.

  • ||

    I'm not sure how anybody can claim to know whether either of these two guys was being rude without actually hearing the tone of the conversation and, preferably, seeing their facial expressions as well. It's entertaining to see you all so worked up over it, though.

    But even if Webb was being rude (and maybe he was), Bush ought to be savvy enough to realize that the better part of valor would be to simply thank the man for his son's service and express a similar desire to see our troops home.

  • thoreau||

    You know, the somewhat testy remarks between these two guys at a party are quite tame compared with a typical blog thread about a topic like, say, testy remarks between two guys at a party.

    My only regret is that neither of them mentioned corn syrup. That would have made for a much more interesting exchange!

  • ||

    BUSHITLER lost KONTROL thie THYME. That's why he's building his secret NEOKONAZI base in PARAGAY. BUSHITLERSTROESSNER will bring WAR to the WORLD.

  • ||

    "tone is insignificant and the response was pedantic??"

    I don't think so. The tone is everything. Bush may have been rude, but like most conversations it comes down to tone and context. Even if you admit for the sake of argument that he was, that doesn't let Webb off the hook or make him anymore likable.

  • ||

    "But even if Webb was being rude (and maybe he was), Bush ought to be savvy enough to realize that the better part of valor would be to simply thank the man for his son's service and express a similar desire to see our troops home."

    You are exaclty right. Bush is usually a little brighter than that and is known to be very good one on one. I am surprised he didn't do just that. He must have been off his game that day.

  • wingnutx||

    "I'm not sure how anybody can claim to know whether either of these two guys was being rude without actually hearing the tone of the conversation"

    Very true.

  • ||

    Actually, John, it's pretty well known that Bush is an asshole to anyone that disagrees with him. Even many of his cheerleaders in Republican punditry have admitted as much. Why can't you just admit it and move on?

  • ||

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."

    "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

    Why can't I admit that Webb was being rude, and should get over himself? Because neither of the above comments can be remotely classified as rude, and because they depict a man who hasn't "gotten over" the well-being of his son, rather than himself.

    Webb's "rudeness" appears to be that he rebuffed Bush's attempt to establish a buddy-buddy relationship. No nickname for him!

  • ||

    BUSHITLERSTROESSNER will use (nic)PARAGAY to spread FRANKENKROPS & KOWS to the WHOLE WORLD. ALL KROPS and LIEVSTOK will be PROGRAMMED to PRODUCE KORN SYRUP and TRANSFATS and FLORIDA-ATION. HE wILL rULE over an OBESE WORLD of PROTOFLORIDIANS! THAT IS BUSHITLERSTROESSNER's Plan for the ameriKKKa WORLD.

  • ||

    "Actually, John, it's pretty well known that Bush is an asshole to anyone that disagrees with him."

    Oh Really? That is not what I have always read. In both 2000 and 2004 his enemies accused him of charming the press into unfairly positive coverage. This is the guy who watched movies with Ted Kennedy while he let him run education policy. I have never read that Bush is anything but charming in person. Even the people who don't like him admit that.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    My only regret is that neither of them mentioned corn syrup. That would have made for a much more interesting exchange!

    Mmmmmmmmm... can there ever be too much HFCS in a food product? I think not!

  • ||

    "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President,"

    That is rude as hell. What does that even mean? Someone asks you how your son is doing and your response is basically "none of your business". That is a lousy thing to say. You just say he is doing fine and move on.

  • ||

    What is this, fucking wimbledon? Since when did we start caring about couth? Why am I refering to you guys as we? Who am I

  • ||

    John, I curse you for the simple fact that I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of agreeing strongly with joe.

  • ||

    Sorry Rimfax,

    I will try to make it up to. I promise. I guess at heart I am a company man. I loath Jimmy Carter more than probably anyone on earth, but I met the guy I was very polite. He is still an ex-President.

  • ||

    I can't wait for the Democratic congress to take over so that they can start imposing their brand of big government and Reason's new honeymoon with the left can end already.

  • ||

    "Reason's new honeymoon with the left"

    Waiter!

  • ||

    I think Webb is great. Remember Truman, who said he would punch in the nose people who made fun of his daughter? Its called authenticity. Webb is true to his feelings, and his feeling was to punch Bush in the face. I thought Bush was supposed to represent such manly, kick ass men?
    Remember when Cheney told Leahy to "F" off? I hope he tries with Webb...

  • ||

    John,

    Peggy Noonan, for one, has written on more than one occasion of Bush's advisors being asking "how many weeks on the shit list?" just for disagreeing with him in front of people. And that's just one example, there are many of him getting snippy with people when they don't respond to him in the way he wants them too.

    This, actually, would be another example of that attitude as well.

  • ||

    Why I Oughtta'...

    ...and I WILL oughtta'!

  • ||

    This thread had better not exceed my all-time favorite. This is not nearly as fun.

  • ||

    Rip,

    Now that you say that, I remember those Noonan articles. But those are his advisors, he usually is all charms around his advasaries, which Webb would be one.

  • ||

    BUSHITLERSTROESSNER's aMeRiNiKKKParagWAY demands that you stop this thread.

  • ||

    Highnumber

    I missed out on that thread. Frankly I don't like Santorum or other's people's children so I probably would have been agreeing with Joe and Tom that the picture was funny as hell.

  • ||

    Good for Webb. Civility should be reserved for funerals (except for Cheney's).

  • ||

    Ok Ed,

    Fair enough, but is that civility for your side or everyone? If civility has no place I guess you wouldn't have had a problem with Bush telling Webb "it is too bad defeatists like you want to cut your son off at the knees"? Afterall civility is for funerals.

  • ||

    "That is rude as hell. What does that even mean?"

    It means he doesn't feel like discussing personal matters with this stranger. It means he wants to keep their relationship professional, instead of acting all back-slappy. You're using "rude" to mean "not actively purusing friendship." Not everyone has to be Dubya's buddy.

    " Remember Truman, who said he would punch in the nose people who made fun of his daughter? Its called authenticity."

    Wait a minute, I thought authenticity was when a kid from southern California dressed up in cowbody boots and spit tobacco juice during public events while flying a revel flag. (Yup, still afterglowing.)

  • ||

    That is rude as hell.

    Yeah, so what?

    What does that even mean?

    It means "My family is not a subject I have any desire to discuss with you, so do not proceed with this line of conversation any further."

    Someone asks you how your son is doing and your response is basically "none of your business".

    And when it is "none of their business," this is neither wrong nor incorrect.

    That is a lousy thing to say.

    Sorry; when someone is a louse to you, you are free to be a louse back. Webb said something basically neutral, Bush got pushy about it, so Webb pushed back. It's all very simple.

    After all, if the office of the President deserves respectful behavior, the office of a Senator deserves some as well. They are both elected representatives of the will of the People (or at least they are supposed to be).

    Certainly it might offend the fawning courtiers, but there is no reason to be Miss Manners in this situation. After all, I thought one of traits in the conservatives admired was speaking your mind and not being politically correct or overly polite. Now you're breaking out the smelling salts? Please.

  • ||

    That is rude as hell. What does that even mean? Someone asks you how your son is doing and your response is basically "none of your business". That is a lousy thing to say. You just say he is doing fine and move on.

    I would agree if this was his initial response to the president's query. But it wasn't. It was in response to the President's pedantic "that isn't what I asked you" comment.

    I am not going to fault Webb for responding, in kind, to a president who tried to put Webb in his place. Just like I don't think joe or Evan are being dicks when they respond to you in the mannwe which you talk to / about others.

    If Webb would have responded to Bush's "how's your son" with "that's between me and my son" I would be the first one to agree that it was rude an uncalled for. But that isn;t the case....that statement was in response to Bush's hissy fit about being forced to hear something he doesn't like to hear...dissent.

    What is it with the GOPers and being able to dish it out but not take it? The Clintons were called rapists and murderers and liars and crooks and no one on the right even flinched or was worried about lack civility and the downward spiral of public discourse. Yet here someone tells the president to bring the troops home and you people rush to condemn someone for speaking truth to power. Weird.

    I don't remember you getting your panties in a bunch over Cheney telling Leahy to go fuck himself...and that was truly "rude" -- much worse than anything Webb or Bush said. Funny how your standards are different depending on which side of the aisle is doing the talking.

  • ||

    " Remember Truman, who said he would punch in the nose people who made fun of his daughter? Its called authenticity."

    If Bush was making fun of his son, you would have apoint, but he wasn't. It is Kerry and Rangle who insult servicemenbers not Bush.

    "Wait a minute, I thought authenticity was when a kid from southern California dressed up in cowbody boots and spit tobacco juice during public events while flying a revel flag. (Yup, still afterglowing.)"

    If you are looking for me to defend Allen before or after the election you have come to the wrong place. He is a complete phony. Unfortuenatly, after this "I wanted to slug him" bullshit, it looks like Webb might be just
    as big of one.

  • ed||

    Reason's new honeymoon with the left

    It's not so much a honeymoon with the left as a divorce with the right, which leaves Reason applauding dutifully from a third-row seat at The Daily Show. A shame that sarcasm has replaced the optimism that was once a hallmark of Reason's editorial philosophy.

  • ||

    "The kid volunteered for the Marine Corps. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure everyone who does so is well aware of what it is the Marine Corps does. His job is to be in harm's way, if not in Iraq then somewhere else. I salute him for it."

    Yes, he enlisted voluntarily.

    But most people do that believing their Commander in Chieft won't send them on a hopeless, dangerous, unplanned mission to capture the big Rock Candy Mountain. Oh, sorry, that should be "a hopeless, dangerous, unplanned mission to turn Iraq into a model of Democracy so that freedom will sweep across the Middle East leaving a bunch of happy US-friendly nations selling cheap oil."

  • ||

    "I don't remember you getting your panties in a bunch over Cheney telling Leahy to go fuck himself...and that was truly "rude" -- much worse than anything Webb or Bush said. Funny how your standards are different depending on which side of the aisle is doing the talking."

    Since I don't have a hotline informing you every time something bothers me, it makes sense you wouldn't have. Cheney should not have said that and he got roasted in the media about it, as he should have. He certainly wasn't help up as some kind of hero or lauded onthe pages of Reason as being "a guy I can't help but like". Last I heard Leahy was about as anti-libertarian as they came. Certainly Reason would want people to be incivil to him.

  • ||

    Hey John,

    If a judge paroled a 26-year-old violent rapist, who moved in next door to you, how would you answer that judge when he asked, "How's your daughter?" at a function? I'll just point out that your family chose to buy a house on that block a few years before Judge Dipshit was appointed to the bench.

    Jim Webb feels that George Bush has needlessly endangered his son, and he has a good reason to think so.

  • ||

    Chicago Tom writes: "I am not going to fault Webb for responding, in kind, to a president who tried to put Webb in his place."

    Basically, Bush responded as if Webb was an Army private, not a Senator.

  • ||

    If civility has no place I guess you wouldn't have had a problem with Bush telling Webb "it is too bad defeatists like you want to cut your son off at the knees"?

    Well not really. Webb didn't insult Bush. That response would be a direct insult. Webb didn't engage in name calling...but its pretty indicative of you to equate telling the C-in-C that we should bring our boys home with using a disparaging remark ("defeatist") directed at someone. It pretty SOP from your side -- ignore the substance and personally attack the messenger. That's what you do on these threads and that's what the GOPers do in government.

    But even that answer would have been better than than his "that's not what I asked you" remark. But if his past ad-libbing power is any indication, I would wager the slow witted Bush wouldn't be able to come up with a line like that fast enough.

  • ||

    "Jim Webb feels that George Bush has needlessly endangered his son, and he has a good reason to think so."

    First, I would love to know what his son thinks. Second, to compare the supporting the war to supporting rape is rediculous. Shockingly Joe, reasonable people can differ about things and not everyone who disagrees with you about the War is evil.

  • ||

    I guess at the end of the day, Webb should never voice any disagreement with the President and otherwise support everything BUSHI-, um Bush does, because otherwise the President might get upset.

  • ||

    "to compare the supporting the war to supporting rape is rediculous."

    I didn't compare supporting the war to supporting rape; I compared it to supporting parole.

  • ||

    Further, if Webb is that angry at Bush, whey did he come in the first place? It goes right back to the first post on this thread, if Webb really feels that way, why not stay home rather than going there and being a jerk?

  • ||

    If Bush wants to be treated like the Queen, he should at least wear a nice, understated dress.

  • ||

    Has anyone noticed that Bush asked Webb about his son, and Webb answered with "them" not "him" out of Iraq? This explains a little better Bush's response.

    An equally contrary, yet less odd-sounding response from Webb would have been "He'd be a lot better if he was home from Iraq."

  • ||

    Since I don't have a hotline informing you every time something bothers me, it makes sense you wouldn't have

    This is the best you can offer? Johnny, I've been reading and commenting around these parts for a little while now and I remember the HnR thread about Cheney's go fuck yourself...and I seem to remember an absense of outrage from you. (it's not like you weren't posting on other threads at the time)

    Maybe you were outraged, but I guess you only publicly post about it when it's directed toward Democrats.

  • ||

    "Further, if Webb is that angry at Bush, whey did he come in the first place? It goes right back to the first post on this thread, if Webb really feels that way, why not stay home rather than going there and being a jerk?"

    Because it was an official event, related to his job. You think I wanted to go to every Holiday Party I ever sipped luke-warm cider with someone named "Bev" at?

  • ||

    If Webb has said up front "I can't stand Bush and that bastard is going to get my son killed and therefore I am not going to the Whitehouse." I would think he was a nut, but would have to respect him for having principles.

  • ||

    Further, if Webb is that angry at Bush, whey did he come in the first place?

    This was answered upthread. It wasn't a let's fellate Bush party....it was a reception for freshman members of Congress...maybe he wanted to interact with the adults that were there instead of baby Bush ??

  • ||

    "But most people do that believing their Commander in Chieft won't send them on a hopeless, dangerous, unplanned mission to capture the big Rock Candy Mountain."

    Yes, because such silly little excursions by the Marine Corps have been such rarities throughout recent and past history.

    Webb's son is in harms way because he joined the Marines, period. His dad, the president and anybody else can go screw themselves if they want to make that decision a political football. Personal responsibility.

  • ||

    So, let me get this straight, it is rude to tell someone that you disagree with them in politics in person, especially if your job is to decide what policies the nation will follow.

    This is exactly what the Founder's wanted.

  • ||

    "Because it was an official event, related to his job. "

    He is a Senator. If he refused to go to the Whitehouse, he would have immediately become your favorite Senator.

    Tom,

    Why I was not all over the REason pages about Cheney, I can't tell you. Perhaps, my life intruded. More importantly, I don't remember Reason celibrating him for it. So I guess only Democrats can be rude in Reason world?

  • ||

    The Iraq War certainly is silly, and it is an excursion, but it most certainly is not little.

    We're not talking about a continuation of the Dominican-Lebanese-Grenadian-Panamanian "splendid little wars" to flex our muscles when there is a small matter to deal with. The decision to go to invade, occupy, govern, and remake Iraq was one of the most momentous in our nation's history.

    "You decided to get in the cab" is a legitimate response to a complaint of a peculiar odor, but not to a complaint that the cabbie drove off a bridge.

  • ||

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President" does not equal "Fuck you, Leahy."

  • ||

    "You decided to get in the cab" is a legitimate response to a complaint of a peculiar odor, but not to a complaint that the cabbie drove off a bridge."

    You take the oath, you take the oath. Short of launching a coup to overthrow the U.S. government or an individual order to murder someone, if you are in you are along for the ride. When you start talking about soldiers as victims of the government, you are a thin line away from the "they were stabbed in the back" line of reasoning. That is a road to nowhere. Civilians run the military and are answerable to the voters for how they do so not the military.

  • ||

    Actually, it was "Go fuck yourself."

  • ||

    "If Bush wants to be treated like the Queen, he should at least wear a nice, understated dress."

    The winner!

  • ||

    "You take the oath, you take the oath. Short of launching a coup to overthrow the U.S. government or an individual order to murder someone, if you are in you are along for the ride...Civilians run the military and are answerable to the voters for how they do so not the military."

    That's right; military personnel live and die, without recourse, based on the decisions made by the President.

    This doesn't make diminish his responsibility for them; it increases it.

  • ||

    "If Bush wants to be treated like the Queen, he should at least wear a nice, understated dress."

    That is true. Bush can't complain about this. Too bad if someone is rude to him. My only point is that Webb can't complain when someone else calls him a jerk.

  • ||

    Perhaps, my life intruded.

    Perhaps. Or perhaps you're just a sad hyppocrite. Either way, please spare us all your lecturing about civility and rudeness until you are willing to hold your side to the same standards that you demand the other side to abide by.

    I don't remember Reason celibrating him for it. So I guess only Democrats can be rude in Reason world?

    What does this even mean??

    H-N-R had a post about the fact that it happened (I don't recall it being celebratory or chiding)...so i don't really know what kind of conclusions you can rationally draw about the "Reason world" (whatever that is)

  • ||

    So when elected political leaders espouse the idea that the troops should be brought home, that is just a smidgen shy of a Beer Hall Putsch?

  • ||

    The fact that people in the military put their lives in the President's hands doesn't make it any less important that he behave responsibly with that power; it makes it more important.

  • ||

    "Perhaps, my life intruded."

    That'd be a first. I picture you at home every day in front of multiple monitors, hitting refresh on 35 different threads and replying with righteous fury. But yeah, maybe you had something else going on that day.

    - "John, come to bed!"

    - "Dammit woman, there's a war on!"

  • ||

    Ehn.

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," isn't exactly a tearful answer to Bush's question about his son (unless his son's suddenly royalty) - it's a declaration of "Screw your false camaraderie, I ain't your friend." Rude and cold, but no partisan here has a leg to stand on to criticize him - and it's probably far more sincere (since he has a son in harm's way) than most angry posturing we see here.

    Bush could have responded more suavely. In his shoes, I would have opted for a respectful, solemn acknowledgment-without-agreement like, "Fair enough, Mr. Webb," followed by either, "How is your son?" if Webb seemed disarmed or a simple, "Best wishes to your son," followed by leaving alone the guy who didn't want to talk to him in the first place. But...to be blunt, Bush gave a fair, if impolite, response back to someone who responded coldly to pleasantries. Petty, but less than outrageous.

    Two people with no reason to like each other and every reason to oppose each other were just a bit frosty towards each other. Way overblown by partisans trying to spin it in their favor.

  • ||

    I don't remember Reason celibrating him for it. So I guess only Democrats can be rude in Reason world?

    What does this even mean??


    It means that we have a whole Reason post on here talking about what a great guy Webb is for doing this (despite the fact that he supports economic policies that are anathema to Reason) yet Reason certainly wouldn't have claimed that Cheney was a good guy for telling Lehey to go fuck off, even though Lehey stands for pretty much everything that Reason claims to be against. Why is Webb so great and Cheney not?

    "The fact that people in the military put their lives in the President's hands doesn't make it any less important that he behave responsibly with that power; it makes it more important."

    Can't argue with you there. The rub of course is what is behaving "responsibly". But that is a different thread.

  • ||

    Perhaps, my life intruded."

    That'd be a first. I picture you at home every day in front of multiple monitors, hitting refresh on 35 different threads and replying with righteous fury. But yeah, maybe you had something else going on that day.

    - "John, come to bed!"

    - "Dammit woman, there's a war on


    Now that is damned funny.

  • ||

    "we have a whole Reason post on here talking about what a great guy Webb is for doing this (despite the fact that he supports economic policies that are anathema to Reason)"

    Right, because, um, uh, since we disagree with Webb's economic policies, anything he does is wrong. Man, I sho'nuff love that logic of yours, John! I leave for an hour and a half, and when I return, you're still trying obfuscate the issue by pointing out Webb's economic stance. Dude, what is wrong with you?

    "yet Reason certainly wouldn't have claimed that Cheney was a good guy for telling Lehey to go fuck off, even though Lehey stands for pretty much everything that Reason claims to be against. Why is Webb so great and Cheney not?"

    Perhaps it is because Webb isn't an evil crooked piece of shit like Cheney. Webb has redeeming qualities, dispite his faults. Cheney, not.

    Furthermore, a brand new senator standing up to the President's rudeness WRT his son isn't exactly the same thing as the Vice President telling a congressman to fuck off because of some petty disagreement. But nice try. The more obfuscation, the better, I always say...

    You're almost home, John. Just a little more obfuscation, and we'll have forgotten all about Webb's remarks. Why not bring up Kramergate? How about Mel Gibson's comments? Anything else?

  • ||

    "The fact that people in the military put their lives in the President's hands doesn't make it any less important that he behave responsibly with that power; it makes it more important."

    I agree, but that doesn't change the fact that he's in harms way "thanks to Bush" is an absurdity coming from a political ideology that values personal responsibility. "Marines get shot at" has been true since the day the Marine Corps was started. Webb's son put _himself_ in harm's way, and I frankly am grateful for his decision to do so, and equally grateful that neither George Bush nor his dad could make that decision for him.

  • ||

    Given the size of this thread I thought it was about religion. Oh wait, it is. ;)

  • ||

    The amount of personal attacks over this issue, on this board, is amazing. A lot of passion.

    I wish people were this passionate about the debate of going to war instead of how Webb responded to Bush and vice-versa. We would be better off.

    Webb's answer was not rude by any standard. A lot of people in general, and politicians in particular, don't properly answer a question. That doesn't make it rude.

    Bush's reply was rude. Bush could have said ""all Americans want him home, but how's he doing?" Or something to that effect. To say "That's not what I asked" is a rude way of "checking" the person that didn't answer properly. Bush can be a very snappy, not too nice of a person. Being he is getting his ass handed to him by everyone in the country, except his wife and dog about Iraq, he's getting touchy about the subject.

    By the day, the picture in Iraq is getting uglier and uglier, failure is becoming more and more real. As this happens Bush is going to get more and more, shall I say, sensitive about the issue.

  • ||

    "
    I agree, but that doesn't change the fact that he's in harms way "thanks to Bush" is an absurdity coming from a political ideology that values personal responsibility. "Marines get shot at" has been true since the day the Marine Corps was started. Webb's son put _himself_ in harm's way, and I frankly am grateful for his decision to do so, and equally grateful that neither George Bush nor his dad could make that decision for him."



    This is basically a relativist application with regards to the validity of military conflicts...something that is simply wrong and dangerous. Surely, he is getting shot at because of his decision to join the military, but that doesn't mean that all military conflicts are created equal, or that the men and women who have come home from Iraq in bodybags and wheelchairs would necessarily have befallen the same fate if BushCo had made a different, better decision. It's not a zero-sum game, and Bush certainly bears a portion of the responsibility for the harm that has befallen our soldiers.

  • ||

    I wish people were this passionate about the debate of going to war instead of how Webb responded to Bush and vice-versa.

    You should have seen this place three years ago.

  • ||

    Eric beat me to it. It's not like the debates over going to war were tame by any means...

  • Bryan||

    Remind me, who won those debates again?

  • ||

    One point in the posturing of both sides.

    Wholly aside from Webb's grievance about his son being in Iraq and Bush having the right to send him there...

    What does Webb's son think about it? We might never know, but I'm wary about either side trying to present him as a sacrificial victim or a guy presumably happy with his lot (or with no reason to complain).

  • ||

    Remind me, who won those debates again?

    And that has anything to do with how tame the debates were?

  • ||

    "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," isn't exactly a tearful answer to Bush's question about his son (unless his son's suddenly royalty) - it's a declaration of "Screw your false camaraderie, I ain't your friend."

    This is true, however it was hardly an inappropriate answer. The President was well aware of the what he was doing, coming up to a guy who vocally opposes his war policy and asking him about his son in Iraq. It was a tweak, a little verbal jab along the lines of "That's right bitch, your boy's in Iraq under my chain of command." The fact that he followed up to Webb's initial response with the you-will-bow-to-the-will-of-Zod statement of "That's not what I asked you." clearly shows this.

    Bush is hardly an innocent victim of rudeness here -- this is the kind of thing he's good at (one of the few things), this verbal dueling. He puts people in place with nicknames and ballsy comments like this. All you have to do is look at the record to see this.

    If nothing else, Webb deserves kudos for recognizing this and not falling for it.

  • ||

    Again,

    "I agree, but that doesn't change the fact that he's in harms way "thanks to Bush" is an absurdity coming from a political ideology that values personal responsibility."

    There is no plausible argument that the decision to send Jim Webb's son to Iraq is the young Mr. Webb's personal responsibility.

    It young Mr. Webb were in danger because of a truly important mission, I suspect that the elder Mr. Webb would feel quite differently towards Mr. Bush. It is a shame when good men suffer for their country's defense. It is an outrage when they suffer because of a politician's foolishness and pride.

  • ||

    Sons of Jor-El, you will kneel before Zod and end this thread.

  • ||

    This is true, however it was hardly an inappropriate answer.

    Didn't say it wasn't.

    The President was well aware of the what he was doing, coming up to a guy who vocally opposes his war policy and asking him about his son in Iraq. It was a tweak, a little verbal jab along the lines of "That's right bitch, your boy's in Iraq under my chain of command."

    People really have to make up their mind as to whether Bush is a slow-witted goon who can't talk or a deft wielder of precise verbal stilettos.

    In pretty much any context, "How's your son?" is a solicitous, even chummy overture. If Webb was trying to go, "Have to get up early, paper-boy! In your face!", he'd be lamely exploiting his son in Iraq to score a point on a political enemy.

    I don't think he was.

  • ||

    "This is true, however it was hardly an inappropriate answer."

    Didn't say it wasn't.

    I meant to say "I didn't say it was an inappropriate answer." I just thought it was a bit rude. Sometimes rudeness is appropriate.

  • ||

    All this projecting. Am I the only one who thinks that this is no big deal? So, he was asked a question by the president. And he answered it in the way he thought was proper. The president didn't thinks so, and let him know. He then responds with a comment that clearly indicates he is not a happy camper. I don't think president Bush is tearing up over it, do you? In fact, the WhiteHouse refused to elaborate on the conversation. They disagree on Iraq. So what? They will duke it out in the public forum of ideas and the world will keep turning. I think.

  • ||

    "It young Mr. Webb were in danger because of a truly important mission"

    Like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Serbia, Somalia, Kuwait, Grenada, Iran, Vietnam, South Korea...

    Who gets to decide what missions are and aren't "truly important?" More to the point, it doesn't change the fact that he'd be in harm's way whether the mission was "truly important" or not. It wasn't "thanks to Bush" that he's in harms way, it's thanks to his own decision to volunteer for a group that has consistently put itself in harms way over and over again for the entirety of its existence; for good causes and not so good causes.

    It isn't young Webb's responsibility that Iraq is a mess, but it is his responsibilty that he's somewhere in harm's way because, as a Marine, that's the job he's paid to do.

  • ||

    When speaking to the president, anything short of "Fuck you, dimwit" is polite as long as "Mister President" begins or ends the sentence. He's the people's servant, not their master.

    What I have written below is rude.

    I've mentioned this before, but for a guy who says he went to both law and b-school (or was it that he has a grad degree in econ?) John is a lousy speller.

    I think he made a claim once that he was a bad typist, or maybe had some learning disability that caused mistakes like "rediculous" and "celibrate."

    I say he's just a pimply 19 year old college Republican at a crappy state college. That would certainly account for the spelling. The politics, too. And now that I consider it, the pathetic need to be accepted.

    Now, everyone drinks.

  • ||

    Just to further stir up the pot.

    Reason magazine's post on the Dick Cheney - Pat Leahy dustup:

    "Cheney Gets Served" by Jesse Walker - July 20, 2004.

  • ||

    People really have to make up their mind as to whether Bush is a slow-witted goon who can't talk or a deft wielder of precise verbal stilettos.

    For the record, I do not think Bush is a slow-witted goon. He's incompetent at leading big projects, full of hubris, and deaf to thing that he doesn't agree with, but hardly slow-witted. In any event it's a moot point, because you can be very good at some things and very bad at other things, so it's not an either/or proposition.

    In pretty much any context, "How's your son?" is a solicitous, even chummy overture.

    In pretty much any context, but not in every context, and that's the point. Webb is clearly an impassioned opponent to the war. The President knows this. A question like "How's your son?" could be chummy, but when a guy responds like Webb did and you push the point, then you are not trying to be chummy. Then you are trying to pull the old Alpha-male thing on an opponent.

    Again, I think it's pretty clear from the record that Bush is very good at the verbal put-down. This was clearly an attempt at that.

  • ||

    Oh, great! Now we've got a War On Terrier, too?

  • ||

    I'm with General Zod.

  • ||

    Radley, it seems to me there's a difference between

    >"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,"< [what Webb said]

    and

    >Like any parent, he says he'd like to have his son back home.< [your paraphrase]

    Italics added. Not that Bush's side of the conversation was so great, but the turn toward petty rudeness began with Webb.

  • ||

    According to the will of General Zod, I will desist.

  • ||

    "It isn't young Webb's responsibility that Iraq is a mess, but it is his responsibilty that he's somewhere in harm's way because, as a Marine, that's the job he's paid to do."

    The younger Webb may have chosen to become a marine, but it's Bush's job to choose very wisely where he's going to send the Marines and not start a war based on misinformation/lies and then keep the war up just to save face.

  • ||

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is no big deal?

    No.

  • ||

    Look, what these guys said to each other is no big deal, but if you hold someone in such contempt that you won't be photographed with him, then you also have no business accepting a social invitation from that person. That's just being a phony (gee, what a shocking thing for someone egomaniacal enough to run for Senator or President!), and the notion that United States Senator really can't fail to attend one of these endless social functions, for fear or missing the networking opportunity, is just stupid. It is also pretty dumb to give props to a U.S. Senator for sassing "the most powerful man in the world". Now, if Bush's gardener had said this to him , THAT would be a stand-up guy!

    Webb would have been more honorable if he had led an anti-war protest across the street in the park.

  • ||

    Regarding poor LCpl Webb's decision to join the Marines, I'd be interested to know his date of enlistment. Because I'm pretty sure it was during or after the decision was taken to invade Iraq, meaning that he knew full well that the US was planning to invade Iraq.

    More importantly, his Sainted Father who opposed the war knew full well that the US was planning to invade Iraq when his son enlisted. It would be interesting to find out what he told his son at the time.

    A Lance Corporal in the Marines is a junior enlisted man. Most LCpl's worth their salt are promoted to corporal within four years of enlisting. Based on this reasoning, LCpl Webb enlisted -- at the earliest -- in late 2002 or early 2003. Hardly an innocent victim, as some would suggest.

    Oh, and I have always predicted that Libertarians such as Mr. Balko are going to be sorely disappointed with Senator Webb. Heck, even gun owners like me are already seeing signs of betrayal; Webb appears to be backing away from his promise to support repealing concealed carry in National Parks.

  • ||

    What Senator Webb did showed a complete lack of class and lack of temperament. What the President asked was just a friendly make conversation type of question and was just designed to show some interest in Webb's family.

    When someone asks how are you doing? Normally, you don't go on a rant about how awful your day has been.

    Furthermore, Webb's son enlisted after the war in Iraq was already in progress. He enlisted in a war which his father was opposed to and he knew the risks involved. While like any father he would like his son out of harm's way, he has absolute no right to be indignant about his son fighting in Iraq when that was what his son signed up to do.

    I also don't appreciate the fact that Webb campaigned as someone who was going to try and represent Virginia in a bi-partisan way and he already wrongly insulted the President.

  • ||

    John
    Yeah, he didn't insult Webb's son, he just put him in danger over a foolish, arrogant ill-informed Crusade. Nothing to get agitated against, eh?
    Webb's been against the war from the get-go. He actually knows something about being in a war, unlike many of the neocons who coaxed us into this mess. Guess what, Webb's not the only one mad at Bush. The public is too: we are tired of him reverting to folksy gosh shucks how's your son when he should have had the intellectual insight and courage to actually look into what he was getting other people's sons into.
    The main concern of John and some others is Heavens-to-Betsy Reason is being soft on the Dems and hard on the Republicans. But perhaps it is not Reason who has moved: they consistently support economic conservatism (I should know, I don't but still subscribe to the mag, I have to read articles like the one praising the Club for Growth and Conservatice REpublican Study Group in last weeks issue [oh for the lovely laissez-faire days of Dickens]). What has probably happened is that the GOP is the one that has left REason: the Democrats want to tell your local bar it can't serve you fattening wings or let you smoke; the GOP wants to tell you what to do in the bedroom for pete's sake. This does not include their nutty Science Bad, Fundamentalism good orientation. It's getting increasingly hard to be educated and like the GOP...

  • ||

    Again,

    'Who gets to decide what missions are and aren't "truly important?"'

    Each and every one of us.

    "More to the point, it doesn't change the fact that he'd be in harm's way whether the mission was "truly important" or not."

    OK, I'll repeat myself. Having your son in harm's way for an important purpose is sad and frightening, but having him in harm's way for no good reason at all is infuriating, and curse on those who put him there.

    "People really have to make up their mind as to whether Bush is a slow-witted goon who can't talk or a deft wielder of precise verbal stilettos."

    Ah, yes, because Kool Kids and bullies are always known for their intelligence.

    And we see the chickenhawk brigade insulting "poor LCpl Webb." Typical.

  • ||

    Joe, Webb's son put himself in harm's way. He enlisted in the Marines after the war in Iraq had already started and after people including his father were becoming very critical of it.

  • ||

    Haven't read the whole thread, but would it be fair to summarize it as mostly repetitions on the question of who's ruder, Repulicans or Democrats?

  • ||

    "Joe, Webb's son put himself in harm's way."

    OK, I'll repeat myself a third time: having our son put in harm's way as a marine in a good and important cause is frightening and sad, but having him put in harm's way over a gigantic nothing, and kept there merely so an arrogant president doesn't have to admit his mistake, is disgusting.

    Is this really that hard a concept, or is it so unanswerable than you people just pretend not to have seen it?

  • Gil||

    I think Bush tried to say the most positive thing he could think of (inquire about Webb's son's welfare, indicating that he remembered a fact about Webb and making a polite inquiry about it), and got pissed off when he got a campaign sound-bite instead of a responsive, polite, answer.

    I appreciate smartass disrespect for authority as much as anyone, but I can't say there was much to admire about Webb's responses.

    But, in any case, can we all just agree that they're both probably jerks who don't deserve any more respect and politeness than they got in this exchange?

  • The Important Thing||

    Balko "can't help but like" a fucking nazi.

    Party bootlicking is normal from Weigel and Sanchez, but...

    It rubs off, apparently.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, as I enjoy having thralls, I must destroy all of you that posted after my last post. Except you highnumber, you get to be Ruler of Australia.

  • ed||

    Corn dogs! Getcher corn dogs here!
    Cotton candy!
    See the One-eyed Libertarian! Ten cents!
    See the Midget Democrat! One night only!
    Watch the President battle it out in a winner-take-all cage match with the unseated Bad Boy of the Senate: Jim "The Knife" Webb!
    Peanuts! Hot roasted peanuts!

  • ||

    I think Will Allen's comment was the one I agree with the most.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Or maybe the person who is misusing the volunteer army deserves some ire??

    Small complaint:

    Congress approved the misues whole-heartedly.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    A person who thinks that the President of the United States deserves some basic respect.

    Democrats complained about the same thing when Clinton was being attacked on the perjury thing.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    But most people do that believing their Commander in Chieft won't send them on a hopeless, dangerous, unplanned mission to capture the big Rock Candy Mountain.

    Congressionally approved.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    I wish people were this passionate about the debate of going to war instead of how Webb responded to Bush and vice-versa. We would be better off.

    'People' like Congress?

  • ||

    I found it refreshing to see someone stand up to King George, the smirking, beligerent, spoiled bastard. It sure didn't take much to penetrate his thin skin, did it? Nice to see him taken down a notch, even if only for the moment. Thanks, Mr. Webb!

  • Mike G||

    Just what we need, another senator who thinks he's cock of the walk. They've been missing that in Washington.

  • Rabbi Fetus||

    Ok, look. Let's solve this. I will be Congressman of Vagina and we'll have cheese parties with President Wakadoody. Webb's son will stay in Iraq, John will be my wifey and I will give Mike G a circumsion over dinner.

    Everyone happy? La Chayem!

  • ||

    "People really have to make up their mind as to whether Bush is a slow-witted goon who can't talk or a deft wielder of precise verbal stilettos."

    Ah, yes, because Kool Kids and bullies are always known for their intelligence.

    Hey, I'm not the one making the claim that Bush was engaging in cunning psychological warfare - or was even trying to bully anyone by asking "How's your kid?". Take it up with that guy.

  • ||

    I think we can now honestly say, without hyperbole, Jim Webb is the greatest hero in the annuls of American - nay, human - history...

  • JimWebb||

    I agree Baron

  • ||

    Props to my pops for what he did. It's none of the president's biz how I'm doing. If he wants to know he can call my unit. Furthermore, he should really ask about some of my friends who are sitting in the ICU of a burn unit in San Antonio Texas. By the way my Date of enlistment is Feb 21, 2005.

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