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Jim Webb, American Hero

He hates politics as much as you do

When Democratic Party presidential hopefuls were asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper to list the enemies they have made during their careers that they are most proud of, the only candidate who didn't include any fellow Americans was Jim Webb.

Webb—who, it should be noted, didn't exactly answer the question—explained that it was an enemy soldier who once threw a grenade and wounded him, a soldier who is no longer around. Jim Webb killed a Commie because Jim Webb loves America.

Many liberals on social media found this revelation sorta creepy. Yet there was probably a time when liberal voters would have been impressed by someone who served his country so valiantly. They might have seen promise in a candidate whose populist sensibilities could speak convincingly to the working class and to Southerners and whose appeal could be propelled by both idealism and realism. Webb might have been a formidable Democratic presidential candidate 15 years ago. Twenty-five years ago, he might have been a star. Today? He's a man completely out of touch with the philosophical temperament of his party.

Webb may have fought in a war against collectivist authoritarians, but today he's debating one—a less threatening socialist who regularly lectures thousands of excitable sycophants about the need for more coercion and redistribution. This would have been anathema even for Barack Obama in 2008. Bernie Sanders is not stigmatized by his ideology. Today there's almost no genuine philosophical daylight between Sanders' ideas and the professed positions of front-runner Hillary Clinton. Their disagreement is over what's achievable. Yet Beltway wisdom tells us that only one party has been radicalized in America. Democrats are the adults.

So there was Webb, listening to the former Baltimore mayor lecturing America about how to stop gun violence. There was the former secretary of state -- a product of nepotism, big money and cynical identity politics who's flipped on nearly every issue for expediency at some point in her public life—lecturing America about her experience. Lincoln Chafee is not the sort of guy who's going to be ready on day one. And there was the democratic socialist who plans to spend trillions of dollars on redistributive policies that have created misery and poverty around the world lecturing us about economics.

"I got a great deal of admiration and affection for Sen. Sanders," Webb retorted after one of the senator's diatribes about toppling the oligarchy. "But, Bernie, I don't think the revolution's going to come. And I don't think the Congress is going to pay for a lot of this stuff."

Maybe that's where Webb is wrong. The revolutionary candidate (even when you include Joe Biden) is polling at 24 percent.

So while the revolutionary candidate blamed the wealthy, Webb refused to engage in ugly pandering. He insisted that all lives matter when asked the loaded "black lives or all lives" question by a Facebook user. He refuses to offer sound bites that will please anyone on foreign policy. He's the only candidate to talk about abuses against privacy from the previous administration and point out that this president is also guilty of abuses of executive power. He was the only candidate on the stage in Las Vegas who did not selectively embrace the Constitution to make a point about some pet political issue.

Webb detests politics just like the rest of us. You can see it in his eyes. He hates campaigning. He doesn't like raising money. In the debate, Webb exhibited contempt for the bunkum that poured from mouths of people who can claim that climate change is the most pressing problem mankind faces. And I have little doubt he would have been similarly unimpressed by most of the platitudinous answers Republicans offered in their debates.

Now, Webb would be far more conservative than the GOP front-runner, but his moderate positions on tax policy, immigration and foreign affairs would make him just as disagreeable to most conservatives as he is to most liberals. He isn't exactly right for either party—not because of some triangulation or convenient moderation but because he's not an ideologue. He's also not a coward, as he's unwilling to say whatever his party demands in the pursuit of power.

In theory, these are all commendable traits. These, in fact, are the sorts of things voters are always pretending to look for in a candidate. In reality, this authenticity gets you to about 0.7 percent in the polls. Americans claim not to like the partisanship of Washington. What they mean is they dislike the other guy's partisanship. What it means for Jim Webb and candidates like him, serious people who deserve to be heard, is obscurity.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The libertarian case for Jim Webb? Maybe. Of the five, he would seem to be the best option for another Democrat in the White House. Harsanyi is right, though. For a party propping up an unsubtle cronyist and an unabashed socialist, he's about as far from a modern Democrat as they come.

  • Adans smith||

    At one time you could find several D's with views like Webb. The party is becoming a European socialist clone.

  • EndTheGOP||

    "I got a great deal of admiration and affection for Sen. Sanders," Webb retorted after one of the senator's diatribes about toppling the oligarchy. "But, Bernie, I don't think the revolution's going to come. And I don't think the Congress is going to pay for a lot of this stuff."

    Sorry Jim. The revolution is already here and has been for the last 75 years. Socialism/communism is chipping away at us one little peck at a time. We're at approximately the 50% mark now, give or take a few percentage points. And you can thank yourself for aiding in that revolution.

    Hillary will win in 2016 bringing the senate with her. She will nominate and receive 2 or 3 supreme court justices. After that we won't see another republican president for another 75 years, if ever.

    You are correct about one thing Jim. Congress "isn't going to pay for a lot of this stuff."

    IT'S ALL OVER FOLKS! And the socialists won.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Young people with dictionaries and foreigners to whom "liberal" means neolibertarian derive no benefit from the conservative habit of calling closet socialists "liberals." Conservatives hate freedom, so to them it makes perfect sense to group any who pretend to favor it in the same camp with the communists. Conservatives hate communists because communism is a rival religion that does not worship the Baby Jesus, and because communists are more consistently altruistic than conservatives. What's wrong with using the correct terminology? Looter conveys the meaning, as does "closet socialist," parasite, freeloader, drone or useless and unproductive hand.

  • MacDaddy81||

    Communists more altruistic than Christians? It took them less than a century to rack up 100+ million deaths, something it Islam, Christianity and Hinduism combined a lot longer. It isn't altruism to want to steal other people's stuff.

  • VicRattlehead||

    wait altruism isn't about theft and murder?

  • cartoonasaurus||

    I am so altruistic, I ate a baby…

  • ||

    Danny Chung.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It was a pretty awkward way to insert his military service into the debate.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Jim Webb strikes me as a guy who I have some pretty strong disagreements with in a party of terrible people. If he were the candidate, given the state of the GOP primary races, I'd have to honestly consider voting for a Democrat for President for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, given the state of the Democratic party, I'm pretty safe from having to face that conundrum.

  • wareagle||

    I find it odd that a guy who did something that troops do during times of war is being lambasted for it. And by people in the same party that includes John Kerry who, in case you forgot, served in Vietnam, too.

  • EndTheGOP||

    wareagle -- Yeah but the but difference being, John Kerry didn't actually 'fight' in Vietnam. Hanging out in your hooch all day smoking pot doesn't really constitute "serving" in my book.

  • Mike M.||

    Words can't describe how much I miss the JFK type democrats. The ones who believed in basic fairness and equality, but still loved the country at the same time. It looks to me like Webb might be the last one left in the party.

    In a sane country, the presidential race would be between someone like Rand Paul on the republican side and Jim Webb on the democratic side. Instead, we end up with scum like Bush and Obama.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Yep.

  • EndTheGOP||

    Amen

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    If it was between Rand Paul and Jim Webb I would have a really hard decision to make. I do like Rand Paul but he's not libertarian enough. I like Webb on the surface, but because of how far left the Dems have shifted I'm not generally inclined to trust them very much. Unfortunately I'm not going to get decent candidates from both parties. Instead it will likely be Clinton and Trump.

  • Free Society||

    He isn't exactly right for either party—not because of some triangulation or convenient moderation but because he's not an ideologue.

    Ideologues aren't a bad thing as long as we're talking about a very narrow band of ideologies.

  • SezWhom||

    Ideolgue+ideology=idiot

  • Johnny B||

    I guess everyone has forgotten the "how's your boy?" exchange with W. Webb didn't have much class in that exchange.

  • Homple||

    I remember that one and have looked at him as an un-serious showoff ever since. If he dislikes politics so much, why is he playing at it?

  • ULOST||

    And as a democrat no less. He must like the politics of personal destruction focus. What a joke.

  • BioBehavioral_View||

    Debate? What Debate?

    The sham-debate on an CNN was merely a showcase for Hillary Clinton to spar with Bernie Sanders as to who would punish producers more for producing and reward loafers more voting to live instead of working to live. In the end, it was becoming a mutual admiration-society of two between the quasi-Marxist Sanders — a caricature of an old-time, Jewish Communist from New York City — and the ageing acolyte of the late, Jewish rabble-rouser, Saul Alinsky, Clinton.

    Meanwhile, despite his protests, the only Democrat on stage who represented anything resembling traditional American ideals and values, Jim Webb, effectively was shut out by the prissy so-called moderator, Anderson Cooper, who even lectured Webb for complaining that he was being given such short shrift.

    Perhaps, the most interesting feature of the sham was the inconsiderate, unfair treatment neo-liberals give to each other. Perhaps the most important message was to American Jews of The Right — Be On Guard! This nation is a declining nation on fire — a fire set by arsonists of The Left with a vastly disproportionate prominence of Jews as symbolized by Sanders and the ghost of Alinsky. Stating such well-known facts is not anti-Semitic but rather a concerned warning.

    See “The Jewish Question?” at ...
    http://nationonfire.com/category/context/ .

  • Sevo||

    Nice little racist blog you got there.

  • Scottzilla||

    Oh! He saved the "I'm not anti-semetic", for the end. Nice touch.

  • CatoTheYounger||

    Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman were all Jews. You are preaching to the wrong crowd, bub.

  • jeffm8||

    "And there was the democratic socialist who plans to spend trillions of dollars on redistributive policies that have created misery and poverty around the world lecturing us about economics."

    Many European countries that have implemented Bernie's ideas decades ago, would disagree with this hackneyed sentence.

  • MacDaddy81||

    You mean Greece, Italy, Portugal, and the rest that are on the brink of ruin? Or the Communist bloc that ruined most of Eastern Europe?

  • Christophe||

    It's only called socialism when it works, silly. When it fails, we call it "Look over there!".

  • VicRattlehead||

    No silly, when it fails they stamp their feet and call it capitalism

  • Suellington||

    I think the ejit means a country like say, Sweden. You know the good socialism, with lots of blondes, not the icky one with massive piles of human bodies. Lefties love to point out a small, white, monoculture that only recently started letting in some immigrants as the paragon of good socialism. Never mind that Sweden is more free market oriented in many respects than the US, and is really more of an example of a welfare state country than a socialist one. They were a complete basket case economically until the mid 1800's when they embraced classical liberal economics and reaped enormous successes, gaining some of the world's highest standards of living by the mid 1900's. Then they took a leftward turn for several decades and started to see their economy take the hit. They have finally figured it out and started ro significantly roll back the top tax rates and more egregious welfare practices. Socialism works nowhere it has been tried.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Don't forget the massive oil reserves. When a country with the population of a large US city sits on massive oil reserves, you can get away with all sorts of economic folly.

  • jeffm8||

    I don't think you understand what the word socialism means. However, this is exactly what I expect from the hyperbolic and quick to make a fallacious argument from Reason commenters. Arguing against social safety nets, and arguing for supply side economics? ROFL

  • Suellington||

    I picked your favorite example of successful socialism. Maybe we could go on to discuss some other examples. How about Vemezuela? The toilet paper line starts around the corner.

  • VicRattlehead||

    The word and the application of socialism mean 2 wildly different things. the word means that the means of production is in the hands of the workers and the economy is cooperatively managed. In actual application the means of production never leaves the hands of the state, the state then completely manages the economy in whatever fashion it feels like because there is no one who will refuse to produce because they want to maintain a standard of living so they go along with the takeover, then there are pockets of those who would rather die than go along with the theft of their nation by oligarchs, these resisters will be executed by the mechanisms of the state as they will no doubt be labeled as "terrorists" the bodies will pile up and people like jeffm8 will be applauding the brave efforts of the (Sturmfhurers, Stasi, etc. etc.) in protecting the good "socialists"
    who initiated the aggression in the first place by advocating a system of mindless violence and theft.
    Yeah Jeff i think we understand what socialism means, do you?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Disclosure? I have a long family history of serving in the armed forces and would have myself were it not for DADT, and currently I work in a civilian position supporting the war-fighter.

    So I'm not put off by what Webb did in the slightest. Frankly, it's my job to make sure that in the future the same thing can be done more effectively, efficiently, and with fewer American casualties.

    What bothers me is that he took *glee* in it. I'm fully on board with being proud of *saving* a life. But *taking* a life should be seen as a grim necessity, not something to be proud of or to look forward to. That just sounds like bloodlust to me.

    None of which matters, of course. I live in California, so by the time the primaries get here it'll all be over but the crying.

  • ULOST||

    What, he doesn't get to take pride in his work.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Obviously he does and I'm not sure how you'd draw the conclusion that I think he doesn't from anything I said.

  • The Last American Hero||

    John McCain is a hero as well. A lousy politician with some truly horrible ideas about the role of government, but a man who acted heroically in a time of kinetic military action. There are heroic firemen who probably have silly ideas about government as well. Courage under trying circumstances doesn't mean somebody would make a good president.

  • Barnstormer||

    Well said, Last.

  • ULOST||

    Awkward indeed. Not as smooth as John F'n Kerry, "I'm John Kerry and I am reporting for duty."

    Webb should have said, I'm Jim Webb and I won't hesitate to waste an enemy with a grenade. Then they will all know he is the alpha dog.

  • VicRattlehead||

    he is the alpha dog of the Dtards, unfortunately the competition is whose the best beta

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    His hair is perfect.

  • CatoTheYounger||

    It certainly beats Trump's.

  • XM||

    "The enemy that I'm most proud to have made is Republicans"

    Former SECRETARY OF STATE Hillary Clinton.

    ISIS - "what are we, chopped liver?"

  • edrebber||

    Jim Webb wrote graphic novels depicting explicit acts of incest and pedophilia. Webb is a scumbag.

  • CatoTheYounger||

    Mike Gravel anyone?

    Or is it too early?

  • ||

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  • ||

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do...... ✹✹✹✹✹✹ www.buzznews99.com

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