Jim Webb

My God, He Didn't Even Kiss The Ring!

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The rock and roll response to Radley Balko's post about Sen.-elect James Webb and his minor tiff with the president gave some sense of the hackles that incident was raising. Sure enough, today comes George Will, a man whose mien could have made him a top-notch politeness guru if that 14th birthday copy of Reflections on the French Revolution had been replaced by Emily Post's Etiquette.

Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor. Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency. Webb's more gross offense was calculated rudeness toward another human being—one who, disregarding many hard things Webb had said about him during the campaign, asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another. When—if ever—Webb grows weary of admiring his new grandeur as a "leader" who carefully calibrates the "symbolic things" he does to convey messages, he might consider this: In a republic, people decline to be led by leaders who are insufferably full of themselves.

It's astounding, the genuflection that even a conservative like Will (who's been extremely critical of elements in the Roveified GOP) will still show to Bush. Radley nailed the humility of what Webb did, in turning down a chance to have himself photographed with the POTUS (although why would he, when he's got plenty of pics of himself with a successful president?). But, probably for fear of slip-sliding into the old "chickenhawk" argument, no one has been able to point out the morally embarrassing thing about Bush's meeting with Webb.

Two fathers are meeting. One dad is an ex-military man whose son is serving in a conflict that's lasted 3 years. The other dad is a military man who actually outranks dad #1 and is leading the army in said conflict. But his kids aren't serving, and probably never will. The dad with the kid who's fighting, right now, says that he wants to conflict to be over. The dad who's commanding the army snaps back at him "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?"

Really, who comes off as the loser in this meeting? We went from "George Bush is a regular guy you can have a beer with" to "I'm George Bush, bitch!" in pretty short order.

UPDATE: Greg Sargent points out something I missed—Will dishonestly edited Bush's part of the exchange to make him sound less pissy.

NEXT: December 2 Comes Like A Thief In The Night

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  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that Bush was the jerk in this exchange.

  2. Here we go again…

  3. “That’s not what I asked you?” Oy. Vey. The gracious thing for Bush to say would’ve been something like, “Well, let’s work to win and bring him home safe, then.” I mean, that statement would also get ripped on in the media, but you couldn’t accuse the man of being an asshole, to Webb, at least.

  4. Of course, Will omitted the pissy clause (“that’s not what I asked you”) in developing his useless civility column. What’s the answer, George? Bow ties?

  5. Also, isn’t it a little odd to ask “How’s your boy?” when you know he’s fighting a war?

    What’s Webb supposed to say? The polite answer is always “He’s doing great, thanks for asking” but that would have come across no less awkward than what actually was said.

  6. We went from “George Bush is a regular guy you can have a beer with” to “I’m George Bush, bitch!” in pretty short order.

    And, boy howdy, what ever happened to that “humble foreign policy” thing?

  7. How about a discussion on the Dems going back on their campaign promise to implement the entire 9/11 commissions proposals? I’d think that might be a little more important than re-heating this stupid pissing match between two assholes.

  8. Here’s my question: If Webb didn’t want his picture taken with Bush, then why did he go to the meeting in the first place? From what I understand, this was some kind of White House reception. Webb could have simply been a no-show and said he “preferred to be working for the people of Virginia” or something like that.

  9. In a republic, people decline to be led by leaders who are insufferably full of themselves.

    George Will ought to know that the sentence above is demonstrably – and laughably – false.

  10. David Weigel will now replace me in the phantom zone.

  11. Will also (dishonestly in my opinion) left out the “Mr. President” at the end of Webb’s initial response to intentionally make it seem as if Webb was being pissy from the very start. And WTF is this “Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency.” crap? What is so special about the fact that someone was able to get a plurality of people to vote for them? GFG.

  12. I suppose out of fairness we should at least consider the possibility that Webb intended to confront Bush (in some manner) in order to gain press as one of the few Democrats who stands up to the guy?

    In that case, Bush helped him with his “that’s not what I asked you” retort.

  13. “How about a discussion on the Dems going back on their campaign promise to implement the entire 9/11 commissions proposals? I’d think that might be a little more important than re-heating this stupid pissing match between two assholes.”

    Can’t argue with that. This officially become a stupid topic. I guess people get so vicous because it means so little. That said, why am I not shocked that Dave Weigal is siding with a Democratic Senator? I suppose it is not less suprising than me siding with Bush, but I of course at least have the decency to admit I am a partisian hack.

  14. Don’t worry george, baseball season is only 4 months away

  15. 1) Can we get another 200+ posts over a somewhat testy exchange between 2 guys at a party? I’m sure if we try hard enough we can be 1000x more testy than the two of them put together.

    2) Can somebody teach John how to spell “Weigel”?

    Oooh, spelling flame, that ought to up the testy quotient!

  16. Kill the thread! Kill the thread!!

  17. I’ve never understood people’s tendencies to post that a particular topic is stupid and/or a waste of time on said topic. The obvious question is, what does that say about you ‘wasting your time’ on it?

  18. thoreau,

    I’m appalled! Show some respect, why would be so deliberately rude to a fellow poster? It’s obvious you have a partisan axe to grind. If you didn’t want to participate in the two party slug fest, why did you show up? Of course to make some political anti-authoritarian grandstand!

  19. Rip-

    I like the forum and I generally like the group of people here, so I’m showing up to gently poke fun when a crowd that I enjoy gets stuck in a silly rut.

    I fully expect them to do the same when I get stuck in a silly rut.

  20. Bush should expect moments like that, and in the quiet of self contemplation, ask himself “WWLD?”

  21. Rip,

    You just wasted your time on a post complaining about people wasting their time on a topic they think is a waste of time.

  22. yes, yes, yes…GDub is an ass. And isn’t necessarily quick on his feet. However, regardless of this exchange, Webb is still a total jackass.

  23. I might have clicked on the previous thread, until I saw it had over 200 posts. Whenever I see that many comments, I know to move along, there’s nothing to see there.

  24. thoreau – I understand, it was obvious from your post that you weren’t essentially calling anyone ‘wasting their time’ on this subject stupid.

    jf – I didn’t complain, I just made an observation. For someone that thinks this is a stupid topic you sure seem interested in it.

  25. Will is right, Webb was being a calculated jerk.

    He could have skipped the meeting and made a big fuss about skipping it, just like the uber-Lefties do all of the time and be marginally less of a jerk, but he didn’t. He had to show up and be an ass.

    BTW, don’t give me any of that nonsense about the children of people serving or not (a close cousin to “sending their children to war”). I am a Major in the Reserves, my son is 23* and I can’t even send him to his room, much less to a war. I really wonder what sorts of homes people who spout that crap came from, other than homes that spouting crap was daily chatter.

    Bush was kind enough to ask the little snot how his kid was and the snot decided to use his kid for politics AGAIN.

    *He is 23, out of college, gainfully employed, on his own and supporting Defense as a contractor.

  26. I don’t think it’s a waste of time to say that the topic is a waste of time, or that it’s a waste of time to say that somebody else is wasting time by saying the topic is a waste of time.

    But saying that it’s a waste of time to say that it’s a waste of time to say that it’s a waste of time to say that the topic is a waste of time? That’s definitely a waste of time.

    I may need a diagram to decipher what I just wrote.

  27. 1. I once derived some pleasure from reading George Will, but he long ago turned into an old woman.

    2. Bush II will eventually be recognized by historians as one of the worst U.S. presidents.

    3. “That’s not what I asked you. How’s your boy?” is not necessarily pissy. (I’ve only read it; don’t know if there’s a recording of the exchange out there.) I can imagine it being said in an off-the-cuff, “c’mon let’s enjoy ourselves and not talk shop” manner.

  28. >I may need a diagram to decipher what I just wrote.

    Thoreau, I’m teaching a course in English grammar in the Winter Semester here at Wayne State–I’ll be glad to help.

  29. I sorta thought Webb was a bit of a dick. He had an agenda and took advantage of the Prez’s courtesy, a la Borat. True, the Prez was revealed to be an A-1 dick as well. But we already knew that.

    “How about a discussion on the Dems going back on their campaign promise to implement the entire 9/11 Commission’s proposals?”

    Oh, I’m sorry, did you buy into that? That was just some crap to seem strong on terror. It’s the Dem version of gay marriage amendments. Seriously, even if the Democrats weren’t full of crap, it would be impossible to implement every single proposal of any study.

  30. How about some indignation about George Will’s willful misrepresentation of that conversation?
    Half the truth is no different than half a lie, no?
    Oh, I didn’t realise, it was just an innocent, unintended slip by Mr. Will, for brevity, nothing else. And it makes no difference to his overall argument, does it now?

    Endemic, all-encompassing distortions, misrepresentations, lies, half-truths, whatever the audience will bear. Agenda-driven and unashamedly so. Most everybody does it.
    Damn them all!

    EoR

  31. “George Bush is a regular guy you can have a beer with”

    Boy, that would be awkward.

    “So, George…I guess this means you’re drinking again… Does Laura know?”

  32. Pardon me if I missed something, but who, precisely, is giving us the text of the conversation? Bush sucks, yes, but using Webb’s version of the conversation, which of course is self-serving, is a little silly. . .if that’s where this came from, anyway.

  33. Here’s a thought: Bush isn’t running again. Maybe he doesn’t give a shit about being polite anymore. Personally, I wish they’d all stop being so polite and say what they really think. Not only would it be a refreshing change, but it would be entertaining, and that’s the most important thing.

  34. Rip,

    I was only making a joke. And I also never called the topic stupid, I said the pissing match between Webb and Bush was stupid.

  35. I’m not an unthinking advocate of good old boy culture and I think this incident is only revealing for the way people on both sides have latched onto it for their own purposes.*

    That said, any institution works because of a certain amount of tongue-biting and insincere collegiality. My distinguished colleague may in fact be an incompetent ex-traffic court judge promoted despite his 8th grade education by the local machine. But it’s really not my place, as a senator from half way across the continent, to bring that up in the middle of a debate on food safety regulations. If you’re going to have to play The Last Honest Man every time you get in a social situation, you’re going to find yourself isolated and ineffective very quickly.

    Compare Webb’s self-dramatizing behavior with, say, Russ Feingold, who clearly holds views out of step with 70 or 80% of his colleagues, and must be equally aghast at many of theirs– yet is widely respected as a decent, stand-up guy. That wouldn’t happen if he screamed “You don’t care about poor children and I do!” at his colleagues every time he ran into them in the cafeteria.

    * And interpreted to their own ends– a lot hinges on whether Bush “snapped” (as you have it here) “That’s not what I asked you” or more genially tried to steer the subject away from politics and back to family matters, a time-honored pol’s device…

  36. Pro Libertate:

    I believe it is attributed to someone close enough to overhear the exchange.
    But please enlighten me. Why do you think Mr. Webb is lying when there is no evidence of him having lied previously, while I suppose you would not maintain the same to be true for Mr. Bush?

  37. jf – ok, my misunderstanding, though I wasn’t originally talking about you in particular. I don’t think it’s a stupid topic either, I think it highlights Bush’s childishness pretty well.

  38. When a person’s credibility is in question–when his recollection is self-serving, for instance–I’m not going to start jumping up and down with glee about the truthfulness of his statements. . .or their accuracy. Even if Webb is trying to be honest, it is human nature to recall things in your favor. And I generally distrust politicians, anyway. Don’t you?

    In any event, this kind of thing is nothing more than noise. Bush is a bad president because of things he has done, not because he’s a twerp.

  39. At the very least, reviving this topic in a new thread today will lessen the chance of either thread dominating my all time favorite thread.

    As yesterday, I willingly submit to General Zod on this topic.

  40. Zod requires only submission. Your willingness is irrelevant.

  41. Webb should have taken a bite out of a roll, then said while chewing, “Hey, Bushie, the irony is that if they’d just get the insurgents to stop this shit, we’d be able to get out of there.” That would have been the intelligent & polite thing to do.

  42. If I’m Bush and we’re having a get-acquainted social get-together, I’m a little pissed too if somebody breaks the implicit rules of the gathering to start lobbying me and spouting campaign sound-bites.

    So: Webb is a jerk. Bush gets dinged for letting the jerk get under his skin. And Will is Miss Manners without the looks or the personality.

  43. In a republic, people decline to be led by leaders who are insufferably full of themselves.

    More like “insufficiently” full of themselves.

  44. None of us was there. Without an audio transcript and preferably video we are at the mercy of partisan reportage. Somebody get a wooden stake and kill this already.

  45. Webb is a jerk, but pushing Bush to retort with something stupid is always fun and entertaining to me. It merely reinforces my understanding of Bush as the dimmest bulb to ever light the presidency.

    I agree that congress should give up the pretense of courtesy and start public brawls just likein Parliment. It would be more entertaining and more honest. Public should give up hope that their congressmen are any wiser or better equiped to govern, than say, a public school janitor.

    Except for Ron Paul. That man is a god. Go Ron go!!

  46. “How’s your boy?”

    “I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President”

    In fact that is not what Bush asked him. Bush asked him how is son was, everyone already fucking knows that Webb opposed the Iraq war and wants to get the troops home. Does he think Bush is a retard that doesn’t know anything about whats going on in domestic politics(don’t answer that).

    In my opinion it was a dick move first by Webb. Now if you are one of those people who puts alot of stake in speaking truth to power no matter what the circumstance then maybe that was the correct response by Webb. He shouldn’t be surprised when his lack of courtesy is responded to in kind though. And let’s be honest, both of them are probably assholes. I mean it takes a certain amount of assholishness to think “hey, I have failed at every business venture I’ve ever tried, I should be President!” or ” hey, I write racist, misogynistic soft core porn novels for pedophiles, I should be a US Senator!”.

    In any case I’d imagine that Webb was just angling for Bush to grab him by the ankle, pick him up and put his……oh, forget it.

  47. Message to the dishonest Mr. Will:

    In a republic, people decline to listen to self-styled media gasbags who are insufferably full of themselves.

    You want to make a point, make it with fact — don’t doctor quotes and remove the items that would make your guy look bad.

    In fact that is not what Bush asked him

    So anyone who doesn’t limit his words to what Bush directly asks is an asshole? Good to know

    I’m a little pissed too if somebody breaks the implicit rules of the gathering to start lobbying me and spouting campaign sound-bites

    Or maybe he genuinely wants his son and his comrades home from this disaster and isn’t too worried about (alleged) implicit rules. Also, do you have a source that there are these implicit rules?? Or are you just assuming that because that makes you feel better about your position?

  48. In a republic, people decline to be led by leaders who are insufferably full of themselves.

    I’d rather be full of myself, making my own decisions, than anything else in the world.

    As far as the Webb/Bush thing goes: Bush is fucking up, big time, but while I could see why you would want to take the opportunities to do everything you can to stop that, especially when your son is involved, I have to feel some sympathy for Bush. You know he’s got to hear that stuff about the troops all the time, and he’s clearly made his mind up. I feel like it’s kind of like going up to a smoker and saying “You know those are bad for you, right?” Tell me something I don’t know.

  49. “So anyone who doesn’t limit his words to what Bush directly asks is an asshole? Good to know”

    Of course not. Context my friend. It’s a, supposedly, friendly meet and greet at which time Webb throws out a comment that is essentially an attempt to start an argument at an inappropriate time. That said Bush certainly could have done what I would have done and just shrugged his shoulders and said “OK Dude we’re working on it” and wandered away. His inherant assholishness compelled him to answer differently. It’s politics they are all a bunch of power hungry, phony, dickheads and trying to figure out which one of them is the bigger asshole is like trying to figure out which hemorroid you’d like to have removed first.

  50. I don’t think it’s a waste of time to say that the topic is a waste of time, or that it’s a waste of time to say that somebody else is wasting time by saying the topic is a waste of time.

    But saying that it’s a waste of time to say that it’s a waste of time to say that it’s a waste of time to say that the topic is a waste of time? That’s definitely a waste of time.

    I may need a diagram to decipher what I just wrote.

    You must have been wasted just to write that…

  51. When a person’s credibility is in question–when his recollection is self-serving, for instance–I’m not going to start jumping up and down with glee about the truthfulness of his statements. . .or their accuracy. Even if Webb is trying to be honest, it is human nature to recall things in your favor. And I generally distrust politicians, anyway. Don’t you?

    Excellent point, Pro L.

    I know I’m offending Zod by keeping this thread alive, but IMHO this was a calculated poltical stunt by Webb. He was looking for an opportunity to stick it to Bush, in order to keep his name in the WaPo and make the anti-war crowd happy.

    I would guess he did so because he’s going to vote to rubber stamp the President’s proposals for Iraq next year, and he wants to lessen the blow.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Within 2 years, Webb will become Reason’s most hated Senator.

  52. When someone you neither like nor respect comes up to you at a social occasion and attempts to shmooze you, decorum does not require you to be friendly or deferential. You are required to be civil, and the phrases “I’d like to bring them home, Mr. President” and even, “That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President” are both perfectly civil – quite a bit more than, “That’s not what I asked you.”

    The Washington Courtier Class, of which George Will is a leading member, are the only ones who would find Webb’s behavior inappropriate. Chilly? Yes. Unfriendly? Yes. But you know what? You’re allowed to be chilly and unfriendly to people, if you do it in a civil manner. We don’t kiss rings in this country, and the royalists who go by the ironic name of “Republicans” are just demonstrating, by their continued insistence that everyone love and defer to King George, that they are deeply out of touch with how real people think and behave.

  53. He was looking for an opportunity to stick it to Bush

    He may have been, but that is pretty much what we Virginians voted him into office to do. Upsetting George Will is just gravy.

    As I have mentioned before, Webb always looks he is about to get into a fight. It’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why he won.

  54. joe, points taken. But what about Andrew’s question? If Webb didn’t want his picture taken with Bush, then why did he go to the meeting in the first place? From what I understand, this was some kind of White House reception. Webb could have simply been a no-show and said he “preferred to be working for the people of Virginia” or something like that.

    It seems to me that it is equally possible that Webb went to the event hoping to have a chance to upbraid Bush, or at least deliver “the cut direct” to him. However big an asshole our Mispronounciator-In-Chief may be, that sort of behavior from Webb would put him in the same class.

    FTR, I’m a fan of Webb, the author. I sometimes think he plans to act as he pleases, and if that makes him a one-termer, hey, there’s a novel in it.

    Kevin

  55. George Will is a pompous, hypocritical blowhard that is only only right and never wrong. Oh, I left out liar too.

  56. It’s Zod, not “God.”

    And end this thread, or I shall throw police flashers at you until you succumb to my will!

  57. “Radley nailed the humility of what Webb did, in turning down a chance to have himself photographed with the POTUS (although why would he, when he’s got plenty of pics of himself with a successful president?”

    Just as one can’t make a silk purse form a sow’s ear, a humble man can never be made out of an asshole.

  58. The wheels of society are greased by civilized and polite interactions. Much of it may well be a facade but that old saw about not gathering honey if you kick the got dam beehive over is still valid.

    If Webb wanted to do so, he could have easily responded to GWB’s question with a two word answer Fine, thanks and walked away. Had he done that I could see the praise for avoiding the politics of the presidential photo op.

    Instead he chose the sound bite.

    That is nothing but posturing, spin, and politics, no better or worse than GWB’s petulant response.

  59. So: Webb is a jerk. Bush gets dinged for letting the jerk get under his skin. And Will is Miss Manners without the looks or the personality.

    Perfect, just perfect. That’s why I like you RC.

  60. Radley was being silly when he asserted that a U.S. Senator should be given props for, as Radley described, “sassing” “the most powerful man in the world”. Like I stated in the other thread, if Bush’s gardener had spoken like Webb, that would show some large stones. Webb is just another egomaniacal politician, like Bush.

    If Webb holds Bush in such contempt that he avoids contact with him at a social function, then Webb is just being a typical political phony when he accepts an invitation from Bush to attend said social function. Some like joe have suggested that a U.S. Senator is compelled to attend such an event for professional reasons, which is simply ridiculous. If Webb wants to make a serious statement against U.S. policy, it would have been more honorable for him to lead a demonstration in Lafayette Park while the social event was taking place.

    Having said that, Bush is a jerk as well, which is pretty much the default position of anybody who has large ambitions to be President or Senator. Why anyone would expect otherwise of people who have a great desire to rule 300 million people is beyond me.

    Let it also be noted again that Webb’s son is not a child, but rather an adult who enlisted when the invasion of Iraq was well underway. This doesn’t invalidate Webb the father’s critique of policy, of course, but let’s avoid the impression that Webb the son was duped into risking his life against his will, for a policy he was ignorant of, however anybody views the wisdom of said policy.

  61. You guys are missing something when you speculate that Webb went in their trying to start something. From the leading paragraph of most articles about the incident:

    “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.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/28/AR2006112801582.html

  62. “Let it also be noted again that Webb’s son is not a child, but rather an adult who enlisted when the invasion of Iraq was well underway.”

    And before the WMD case collapsed, and before the Saddam/bin Laden case collapsed, and before the appalling irresponsibility of the failure to plan became apparent.

    Let’s not pretend that there haven’t been certain enlightening developments over the past couple of years.

  63. …… Webb went in their trying to start something……..

    Of course he was trying to start something. Look at the photos. Pretty hard to miss the ten foot long red and black jumper cables dangling from his neck.

  64. Assuming any of this is true (I’m beginning to have my doubts)

    If Webb had really wanted a sound bite, he could have replied “My son is doing fine, but he’d be better if he and his fellow Marines were back home.” It both answers the question and gets Webb’s point across.

    RC Dean is right.

  65. Zod will get you for that, TWC.

  66. Joe, let us also not assume that Webb the son is a moron, and thus was ignorant of the reality that nearly every U.S. President has been dishonest in the run-up to nearly every war the U.S. has participated in. No, this doesn’t excuse any dishonesty on Bush’s part, but let’s not assign stupidity to Webb the son’s character.

  67. “Let it also be noted again that Webb’s son is not a child, but rather an adult who enlisted when the invasion of Iraq was well underway.”

    Yes, let’s note this twice. Jim Webb has no right to want his son out of harm’s way because his son enlisted. Every person who has joined the Army since 2003 has been an ardent supporter of the Iraq War.

  68. Lamar, let’s also note that to imply that someone has made an assertion that was not in fact made, especially when, in fact, the person has made a statment precisely to the opposite, is dishonest behavior.

  69. Captain H, no doubt, but I’m already missing from Zod’s Christmas card list.

    Lamar, I think all of those things are independent of one another. Sure, Webb wants his kid out of harm’s way. Sure, many are questioning the wisdom of GWB’s war. But, it is also true that there is no conscription and one of the major downsides of military service is getting sent to a hot zone. Another downside is having the war run by idiots or politicians or public opinion polls like Viet Nam was.

  70. So, wait… why, exactly, is “I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” a poor answer to the question?

    If I ask a coworker how their child is, and they say “Well, I wish they would graduate college already” or “I wish they were in a safer part of the world” or anything else, I’d probably take it in stride and understand the meaning to be “I’m worried about him.”

    In fact, I remember asking a friend of mine who had a son in Iraq how he was doing, and the answer usually involved a)how much danger he was in and b) when he was expected home. To his father, being in danger WAS how he was doing.

    It may not be a literal answer to how they are doing, but it’s not an inappropriate one.

  71. Anyone read Will decrying Cheney’s lack of civility when he told Senator whatshisname to go f@c% himself?

  72. “the person has made a statment precisely to the opposite, is dishonest behavior.”

    I don’t know how much I was implying anything given that your post is just a few column inches above mine. I did bungle it a bit, though.

  73. Matt: Anyone read Will decrying Cheney’s lack of civility when he told Senator whatshisname to go f@c% himself?

    In Will’s defense, if this comment has him all light-headed and saying “Oh, I do declare, I feel faint. Mercy me, I have the vapors!” then Cheney’s comment probably incapacitated him for weeks.

  74. Don’t care whether Webb was an ass or not. I’m just thrilled that somebody was rude to a President. I’m heartened every time I hear about an American who hasn’t bought into our culture of President worship. The President should be a mere chief executive, not a king, emperor, or god.

  75. I gather Webb has long had a reputation for being a stiff-necked prick.

    On the other hand . . . George Bush deserves no respect. And in this case he got none. So sometimes things work out.

    Or, to put things in my most earnest, heartfelt, cards-on-the-table liberal manner. George Bush started a stupid fucking war on false pretenses, and Jim Webb’s son is risking his life in that war. Why should Webb be polite to that lying jerk?

    Any American who gets facetime with George Bush should feel free to ream him out for betraying our country’s trust. It’s just that Webb is one of the few to have the arrogance and self-righteousness to even make a gesture in that direction. Kind of paradoxical, that in this case arrogance is needed to unleash right behavior. But such is the case, and I suppose Mike Laursen’s cult of the presidency is the reason why.

  76. Mike,

    I finished the 8th grade in 1976, when will you?

  77. Matt,
    Bush should have told Webb to go fuck himself when he decided to go jerk at the encounter.

    Not my style of reminding people that they are from Boston, but the same thing.

  78. I’m curious: was anyone’s opinion of Dubya actually altered by this delightful little anecdote?
    Seems to me everyone is walking away with exactly what they brought to the table…

  79. Yes, let’s note this twice. Jim Webb has no right to want his son out of harm’s way because his son enlisted. Every person who has joined the Army since 2003 has been an ardent supporter of the Iraq War.

    Now that Jim Webb has been elected, I guess he now has Fortunate Son*!

    *with apologies to CCR

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