November 29, 2006

The Bush-Webb encounter.

I wonder who reported this as verbatim dialogue (via Memeorandum):
“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.
And then there's the part where Webb supposedly could barely control his impulse to punch Bush in the face. Sources say.

ADDED: There's a lot of talk in the comments. I just want to say that I don't believe that Bush responded to Webb quite like that. I don't believe Webb was quite like that either. He sounds mental. I want to know who told the anecdote, because the whole thing is phrased strangely. It compliments neither man.

244 comments:

1 – 200 of 244   Newer›   Newest»
Tim said...

Gee, I wonder who reported that?

Classless.

Webb, as a former military officer, should know better - and does know better. This isn't going to help him, other than putting goodwill in the Kos Kidz Children of the Corn bank account for when he does something "inexplicably" conservative.

dave said...

Good for Webb.

Get used to it, brownshirts.

stealthlawprof said...

I'm with Tim. That was incredibly rude. Yet, the commenters at Wonkette are ecstatic, naming Webb everything from sexiest man in America to next President. I don't know that our constitutional republic is in permanent trouble. But this looks to be an ugly couple of years.

stealthlawprof said...

Thanks, Dave. Nice contribution to the ugliness. On cue, even.

Zeb Quinn said...

It's starting to materialize out of the ether: this whole switch parties and run for the senate thing was actually the first step towards running for president. That's what this is all about with Webb.

ntodd said...

Oh yes, how RUDE of the Plebe to not answer the Emperor's direct question to His satisfaction. We are not amused...

Freder Frederson said...

Incredibly rude? The president was the one being incredibly rude. He has no sense of political or diplomatic decorum and asks inappropriate questions and does inappropriate things all the time (e.g., making fun of blind reporters and trying to give the German chancellor a backrub).

It's not like they are old friends getting together at the White House to watch a football game.

Anonymous said...

How rude. I was going to ask whatever happened to respect for the office, but that's been going downhill since JFK days; I thought it had reached its nadir with Clinton's idiocies. I guess not.

If accurate, this encounter shows a nearly incredible level of tone-deafness on Webb's part. How does he hope to accomplish anything with such an adversarial attitude? I suppose Webb is now being hailed as "speaking truth to power" or something, but really all he did was behave like a petulant teen. Way to go, Jim! I'm sure all Virginians are so very proud to have elected you to the senate.

ntodd said...

Thanks, Dave. Nice contribution to the ugliness. On cue, even.

Boohoohoo. Gonna cry about Godwin's Law next?

It's starting to materialize out of the ether: this whole switch parties and run for the senate thing was actually the first step towards running for president. That's what this is all about with Webb.

Incredible ESP you have! Next, please tell us what Casey Sheehan would think about his mom's protest.

Knemon said...

"Get used to it, brownshirts."

Civility. Tolerance. Class.

ignacio said...

"Get used to it, brownshirts."

Thanks Dave. Nice to know that there's no such thing as having a sincerely held different opinion than you.

I guess you'd like to punch everyone in the face who disagrees with you on any issue. Women too, I assume, since you're here on a woman's blog.

Have a nice life.

ntodd said...

If accurate, this encounter shows a nearly incredible level of tone-deafness on Webb's part.

Oh right, and Bush has perfect pitch.

I s'pose you folks missed the whole deal about Americans (and Iraqis) wanting our troops out of Iraq. Perhaps Bush should listen to the answers he's being given, rather than being "bold and resolute" in asking the same wrong questions over and over.

Alpha Liberal said...

Bush is such a petulant, spoiled wastrel of a brast. He can't show the father of a soldier some respect, being rude to him as if Webb is Bush's subordinate, which he is not!

The urge to punch such a rude scoundrel is understandable but not something that should have been repeated.

Doyle said...

Lost in his stupidity and incompetence is the fact that Bush is also a major league asshole.

I see that Webb's answer was testy and nonresponsive to his question, but non-assholes (or people whose concern is genuine) let that go.

ntodd said...

I guess you'd like to punch everyone in the face who disagrees with you on any issue. Women too, I assume, since you're here on a woman's blog.

More phenomenal mind-reading skills. All based on the word 'brownshirt'. I am in awe.

Michael Farris said...

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

The smart thing for Bush to say would be: "So would I (first name), we just wanna make sure things are stable enough first," followed by a quick change of subject (or addressee).

But when has Bush _ever_ said the smart thing?
Webb's only rudeness was not deferring to the diplomatic and communicative incompetence of Bush.

Anonymous said...

The president was the one being incredibly rude.

Freder, you've got to be kidding. This was a private reception, not a press conference. Webb reportedly refused to stand in the receiving line -- he wouldn't even shake the president's hand. That's just juvenile, just as it was juvenile for Webb to interject divisive politics at a simple meet-and-greet. Like him or not, the president is the leader of our country and the Commander in Chief. I don't care what Webb's personal feelings are, he owes deference to the office and should be mature enough to act like an adult when meeting the single most power person on the planet.

mrschip said...

" on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House"

I'm curious, was this during a formal meeting or a meet in the hall type of thing.

It sounded like Bush was asking a sincere question and Webb tried to turn it into politcal hay. And when the President of the United States didn't turn red-faced and stammer an apology, reiterating his question, Webb turned ugly.

MadisonMan said...

There is something missing in the reporting, and that would be context. Was this supposed to be just small talk on the President's part? Genuine interest in the son's welfare?

The spinmeisters are certainly out in full force, however.

Doyle said...

How rude. I was going to ask whatever happened to respect for the office...

What a slavish mentality Bush followers have.

This is the guy who told the country that it was necessary to invade Iraq, which we now know was not the case.

If he wanted to express his concern, fine, but when he gets a short answer from the father of a marine over there, he should STFU.

Webb showed more respect than Bush deserves.

reader_iam said...

The return of nTodd! Who still doesn't get why some people not like such words "brownshirts" tossed at them and therefore defends it. Sheesh.

****

I think Michael Farris' first two paragraphs are right on, in depicting the conversation as it should have gone.

The article says "echoing a campaign theme." Well, it seems to me that it is ALSO expressing what is no doubt Webbs ACTUAL feelings with regard to his son, in response to the President's direct question about said son.

I mean, President Bush asked. Even the president doesn't get to micromanage the answers to questions he spontaneously decides to ask.

In any case, mountain out of a molehill. I hope we (I mean the nation, not this thread) don't waste too much time on this. In the relative scheme of things, it strikes me as a little thing.

Bissage said...

So, which lion ended up on top?

Freder Frederson said...

I don't care what Webb's personal feelings are, he owes deference to the office and should be mature enough to act like an adult when meeting the single most power person on the planet.

Webb obviously didn't want to discuss his son's personal state with the president. Common courtesy and etiquette in a such a situation demands that you do not ask the question twice if the person asked the question chooses not to answer or attempts to change the subject. Bush was being incredibly rude by not taking the hint that Webb did not want to discuss the subject with him, yet continued to pursue the subject.

You are incredibly socially inept, aren't you?

The Jerk said...

Like him or not, the president is the leader of our country and the Commander in Chief. I don't care what Webb's personal feelings are, he owes deference to the office and should be mature enough to act like an adult when meeting the single most power person on the planet.

Indeed. This lese majeste cannot stand! To the stocks with this Webb scoundrel!

Doyle said...

If Bush had a shred of decency, he wouldn't be able to make eye contact with Jim Webb, let alone demand direct answers about his son.

paul a'barge said...

asks inappropriate questions

The President is the Commander in Chief of Webb's son.

Webb's a pig. He's just indulging in that Scot-Irish "can't keep my mouth shut" bombast that he so eloquently celebrates.

David said...

I wonder what Webb's son had to say on the subject! That is the real story.

What is it about Pennsylvania's Murtha and Virginia's Webb? I would expect a little more support for the President considering the unscheduled landing of one of the hijacked planes into a Pennsylvania field.

So much for the Pennsylvania KEYSTONE State! Virginia IS FOR LOVERS rings hollow unless commitment is no longer valued.

Doyle said...

The President is the Commander in Chief of Webb's son.

...which gives him (military) authority over Webb's son, not Webb.

Too Many Jims said...

To those who think that Webb (or President Bush for that matter) was classless in the reported encounter, it of course assumes that the dialogue is, verbatim, as reported. I suspect there was more to the conversation.

Mike said...

"Webb supposedly could barely control his impulse to punch Bush in the face."

Too bad he didn't. I'm guessing it would be hard to vote on bills from jail.

tjl said...

"Incredible ESP you have! Next, please tell us what Casey Sheehan would think about his mom's protest."

It doesn't take ESP to answer that one.

Doyle said...

I'm guessing it would be hard to vote on bills from jail.

Great point!

Joe said...

Once again, everyone's reaction to this is based on their political predisposition. I think Webb's response lacks even the most basic element of humanity. What kind of response is that, when someone asks about the welfare of your child? Webb and the like minded on this thread simply have no respect whatsoever for a difference of opinion on Iraq, and probably on any other issue as well. There is no one as close minded and dogmatic as a leftist.

Anonymous said...

If Webb walks around with so much anger that he cannot answer a simple polite query about his son, who is under Bush's command, without turning it into an ugly political incident, then he is not acting like a professional.

He was not elected to the Senate to treat Bush like one of the Kos Kidz would.

Bush went out of his way to engage Webb, to break the ice. Obviously he did not realize the man was avoiding him because of anger issues.

The campaign is over. He is supposed to be an adult in his new job.

ntodd said...

The return of nTodd! Who still doesn't get why some people not like such words "brownshirts" tossed at them and therefore defends it. Sheesh.

Hohoho! Look at somebody who still doesn't get why they're called 'brownshirts'! Maybe if you took time off from your Bush worship, you'd figure it out...

NSC said...

Good for Webb.

Get used to it, brownshirts.


I am afraid it is you and your ilk that are wearing the brownshirts, Dave.

I have no doubt that the President's inquiry was sincere and heartfelt and is another example of how he actually cares about the troops - even one who is the son of a classless political enemy.

The same people calling Bush rude and an asshole over this would be saying the same thing if he had not asked about Webb's son. Only then he would have been an uncaring rude asshole.

I assume that Webb's son has more class than his father and would have treated the President with the respect the office deserves.

Respect, unfortunately, is not something many liberals are familiar with these days though.

Oh yes, my guess is Bush would have laid Webb out if he had swung - then the Secret Service could have cleaned up the mess.

George said...

What year is this?

1859?

Or later?

As someone once said, "Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained...It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged."

Doyle said...

There is no one as close minded and dogmatic as a leftist.

Stay the course.

ntodd said...

He was not elected to the Senate to treat Bush like one of the Kos Kidz would.

That's right! He was elected to meekly answer whatever question the Dauphin deigns to direct his way. How dare he reframe things? Next, he'll be acting like the Senate is a co-equal branch of government! The horror...

Pogo said...

Well doyle and dave and ntodd, your responses are pretty much as I expected. Worthelss pissantry.

I don't doubt Webb's sincerity that he cannot stand Bush. He was elected however to get things done. An inability to cross the aisle and work with an opponent speaks poorly of him. I suspect he'll have similar difficulty in his own party, as disagreement means distance to Mr. Webb.

What's more, he's harmed his own son. Imagine how he must be reacting when his compatriots know that his Dad snubbed the President, their commander.

And this kind of grade school antagonism, this endless punchiness, is what I thought might resolve a bit after the Democrats beat the GOP. But no, it's worse. Divisive and ugly in victory, and divisive and ugly in defeat: the New Democrats.

Doyle said...

The same people calling Bush rude and an asshole over this would be saying the same thing if he had not asked about Webb's son.

It's not that he asked about Webb's son, it's that, when he didn't get "Jolly good sir and thanks very much for asking!" for a response, he was a bully about it.

ntodd said...

Well doyle and dave and ntodd, your responses are pretty much as I expected. Worthelss pissantry.

How rude of you!

What's more, he's harmed his own son. Imagine how he must be reacting when his compatriots know that his Dad snubbed the President, their commander.

Why imagine when you can read their minds? C'mon, you can do it1

Henry said...

Sources say that Bush was ready to pull a drop-kick on Webb, just for looking at him funny, but stopped himself at the last moment.

Good grief this is unimportant stuff. Bush tried to start a conversation. Webb rebuffed him. Bush rebuffed back. Big deal.

Alpha Liberal said...

The conservatives here are glossing over Bush's fundamental rudeness. He asks a question. He gets an answer. he doesn't like an answer and snaps at a member of the another co-equal branch of government, and father of a soldier (unlike Bush).

OK. If conservatives really think this is acceptable behavior it points up the incredible boorishness of modern con's.

As far as the whole punching thing, it strikes me as a figure of speech that got exageeratted in the reteling.

ntodd said...

Good grief this is unimportant stuff. Bush tried to start a conversation. Webb rebuffed him. Bush rebuffed back. Big deal.

NONONO! This perfectly encapsulates how corrupt and incivil the Democrat Party is, and how they clearly will not be able to govern starting in January, and will lose the Congress and get slaughtered in the 2008 Presidential campaign.

The New Democrats, ruder than the Old Democrats. Get used to being a minority party again, loosers!

FatOllie said...

If the conversation is as reported, it doesn't require ESP to figure out who provided the direct quotes. It surely wasn't the junior Bush.

"Classless" and "rude" are adjectives more appropriately attached to our fearless leader -- the one who sought out Webb so that he could needle him about the fact that his son is in Iraq and there's not a damned thing that Webb can do about it.

Fatmouse said...

Liberals continue to be unable to separate the private from the political, and that's a damn shame. A simple "hi, how's the family?" is now a trigger for political bloviation to begin.

Sigh. It's like that article in the SF Chronicle a while back about how liberals are finding it unpalatable to even associate with people who lean right. Not that the righties are quoting Limbaugh all the time or waving guns around, it's just that the left can't stand the notion of talking with disgusting people who vote Republican any more than normal people would want to hang out with a child molester.

Fatmouse said...

Oh, and it's also funny how the left has convinced itself that they are so utterly powerless underneath the hell of the Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy that petty acts of spite are greeted with cheers and applause for being so "brave."

Anonymous said...

There is something missing in the reporting, and that would be context. Was this supposed to be just small talk on the President's part?

It was a meet-and-greet.
The Hill reported: At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election...

The WaPo article also quotes Webb as trotting out No offense to the institution of the presidency as if that excuses the fact that he was childish, even before the verbal sparring. Refusing to stand in a receiving line to shake the president's hand has to be among the most idiotic "protests" ever.

You are incredibly socially inept, aren't you?

Classic! Of course not. But then again, on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Don't fall into the trap of assuming you know anything about anyone participating in an online conversation.

ntodd said...

Liberals continue to be unable to separate the private from the political, and that's a damn shame. A simple "hi, how's the family?" is now a trigger for political bloviation to begin.

Because dog knows expressing that you'd like your son to come home from a quagmire isn't a personal thing, and they should just shut up and answer the question as expected.

The Drill SGT said...

I was struck by the wonkette tone, or lack of it:

"2007 is going to be awesome.
Really, just imagine Reagan’s secretary of the Navy and the new senator from Virginia killing the junior Bush with his own hands
"

Alpha Liberal said...

The Wash Post has a different telling of the encounter where Bush upbraided a parent of a soldier sering in Bush's War.

"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.

This is in keeping with other accounts where Bush has been highly rude to family members of soldiers when those family members won't march in lockstep to Our Leader's Great and Victorious themes.

Doyle said...

A simple "hi, how's the family?" is now a trigger for political bloviation

Except Bush's question was more like "How's your son who's fighting the war I started on false pretenses and have no intention of ending even though it's a worsening disaster? You better say 'fine' goddamnit!"

ntodd said...

Refusing to stand in a receiving line to shake the president's hand has to be among the most idiotic "protests" ever.

Indeed, the most idiotic. EVER. Protests should only be something big, like lighting yourself on fire or something. Otherwise people should simply behave.

But then again, on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

Not true.

SteveR said...

Webb's anger and lack of civility speak for themselves. Had the Democrats offered the voting public anyone better than Bush in 2000 and especially 2004, none of these problems would exist.

So this continual Bush is a stupid, insensitive, jerk outlook is only pointing out your own failure not Bush's.

Never too impressed when someone's basic instinct is to want to slug someone.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Everyone is getting all huffy over hearsay reports of a conversation that may or may not have occured as represented. Do you think the original reporter may have put his own personal spin on it? Hmmmm.

Screenshots or it didn't happen (as the young people who play video games say). Put up or shut up as we old farts say. Proof.

NSC said...

It's not that he asked about Webb's son, it's that, when he didn't get "Jolly good sir and thanks very much for asking!" for a response, he was a bully about it.

Had Webb responded with "He is doing fine, Mr President, but as you know I want him and his fellow Marines home soon" then that would have been a good, respectful answer.

The fact that Webb ignored the question about his son and only spoke a political response is what generated the President's retort.

At any rate, the whole thing is much ado about nothing. Liberals see Bush as the bad guy (surprise, surprise) and conservatives see Webb as the villain.

I do agree with one thing though - this whole incident has probably made Webb's son very uncomfortable. I feel for the guy.

Pogo said...

ntodd and doyle show us all how base, lame, childish and wholly obstructive the New Democrats can be.

I've met 6th-graders with more composure. Victory hasn't brought any sense to you, it's deepended your myopia and anger.

So go on, stamp your feet, punch wildly, and mouse-roar some more. You won, you deserve to act like drunken footballers.

MadisonMan said...

Joan, the context I was more interested in would be -- what was Bush asking the other newly elected? Was he inquiring about their families as well?

This whole report seems distinctly odd to me. Odd in that so much is missing.

troutjacki said...

Most people are missing the most important elemement in this story. Let me translate Webb's comment that "that is between me and my son".

That is a pretty good indication that the younger Webb and his father have parted company on this issue. Like most Marines, he undoubtedly supports the mission. If he agreed with his father I am sure Senator-elect Webb would have produced the correspondence either during the campaign or at the time of the confrontation.

I repeat my warning to Webb supporters. He is a loose cannon and you, like everybody else who has encounter Jim Webb, will get badly burned by him.

RogerA said...

does anyone know if this story is true? Just asking.

Doyle said...

Had the Democrats offered the voting public anyone better than Bush in 2000 and especially 2004,

Ah yes the laziest form of Bush apology.

A) Gore did win the popular vote in 2000.

B) Kerry was an admittedly poor candidate but I can't control what every American thinks.

If people realized earlier how horrible Bush was, they would have put up with the windsurfing Frenchman. Remember that was 51-49 too.

Patrick J. Shea said...

Webb should have answered in the first instance: "He's in harm's way, Mr. President."

I can't claim Webb acted appropriately by refusing to shake Bush's hand, but the sheer peevishness of the president's response certainly didn't diminish the caricature of arrogance and maladroitness that Bush seems so richly to deserve.

tcd said...

Drill SGT, I was struck by that wonkette quote too. I'd say it's every liberal's wet dream.

Shanna said...

I think they both acted badly.

Bush was perfectly polite, asking about Webb's son, but I wasn't happy with Webbs response or Bush's response to Webb.

Try again, politicians.

J. Peden said...

Perhaps Webb thought Bush was referring to that "boy" Webb wrote of in one of his novels?

Seriously, the incident sounds most like fba gossip. But I'm going to watch Olberman tonight just to be sure.

reader_iam said...

I think this statement is supposed to include me and my comment: There is no one as close minded and dogmatic as a leftist.

I know this one is in response to me: Maybe if you took time off from your Bush worship, you'd figure it out...

LOL.

Try again, oh misguided ones.

SteveR said...

Doyle, I'm not offering a Bush apology, I'm telling you that criticizing Bush only exposes your own failures.

Last time I checked, popular votes don't count. At least according to the Constitution.

Freder Frederson said...

Classic! Of course not.

I deduced this from the fact that you think it is perfectly acceptable to ask a near stranger at, what amounts to a business meeting, a personal question, and when he/she refuses to answer the question or changes the subject, continue to pursue the issue.

Joan at business meeting to person from another branch she doesn't know very well: "I heard you had cancer, how's that going?"

Cancer patient: "They have lots of amazing treatments for cancer nowadays."

Joan: "That's not what I asked, how are your cancer treatments going?"

Cancer patient: "None of your fucking business!"

Joan (hurt) thinks to herself: "That was rude"

reader_iam said...

The story is weird, the encounter was weird, it's all a bunch of Washington weirdness.

It would be interesting to know who told the anecdote: Who benefits?

FatOllie said...

As to the truth of the story and whether it is or is not "hearsay," the Washington Post says:

"Webb [...] in an interview yesterday [...] confirmed the exchange between him and Bush."

If one of the participants provides the dialog, it's not hearsay; it might not be accurate, but it's not hearsay. Of course, the Post does not say that Webb provided the dialog, but if he was speaking to the Post about the conversation, either he provided it or declined to correct it. In either case, it's fair to credit Webb.

NSC said...

A) Gore did win the popular vote in 2000.

And yet Gore is still not the President. Nor will he ever be. So could you guys take the Gore/Lieberman bumper stickers (and the Kerry/Edwards ones too) off your cars, please?

B) Kerry was an admittedly poor candidate but I can't control what every American thinks.

So many smart-ass retorts, so little time.

Mack said...

I'd say Bush's first comment was friendly, Webb's response was confrontational, and Bush's response was hostile, if that's how it happened. Sounds plausible to me, though. It's not like Cheney was above telling Pat Leahy to f-ck himself.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Webb should have answered in the first instance: "He's in harm's way, Mr. President."

That would have been good. Then Bush could have answered, "Of course he's in harm's way. He's a Marine, for Christ's sake."

Freder Frederson said...

Like most Marines, he undoubtedly supports the mission. If he agreed with his father I am sure Senator-elect Webb would have produced the correspondence either during the campaign or at the time of the confrontation.

Wow, what a steaming pile of bullshit. It assumes all kinds of things and a politicization of an active duty member of the military that anyone who has been in the military would abhor.

The Drill SGT said...

MadisonMan said...
Joan, the context I was more interested in would be -- what was Bush asking the other newly elected? Was he inquiring about their families as well?


I read the basic Bush question as an attempt to be polite on a personal level with Webb.

I can imagine that with other new members (w/o known sons in Iraq), the polite chat question would have been:

"How are you doing getting settled into your new job?"


"How does your spouse like Washington?"

"How bout those Skins?"

"we gonna have much snow this winter?"

etc
etc

polite ice breaking talk in a group that was mostly Dems.

NSC said...

I deduced this from the fact that you think it is perfectly acceptable to ask a near stranger at, what amounts to a business meeting, a personal question, and when he/she refuses to answer the question or changes the subject, continue to pursue the issue.

Bush is the Commander in Chief of our armed forces and thus it was perfectly natural for him to ask this question of a man who has a son serving in those armed forces.

Again, had he not asked, I could see Webb telling the media that Bush was an uncaring SOB for not asking.

Doyle said...

Nor will he ever be.

How have your electoral predictions gone recently?

So could you guys take the Gore/Lieberman bumper stickers (and the Kerry/Edwards ones too) off your cars, please?

I don't have a car, but if I did I'd be disinclined to take them off now. "Don't blame me, I voted for..."

So many smart-ass retorts, so little time.

Take all the time you need.

ntodd said...

ntodd and doyle show us all how base, lame, childish and wholly obstructive the New Democrats can be.

I'm not a Democrat.

I know this one is in response to me: Maybe if you took time off from your Bush worship, you'd figure it out...

LOL.

Try again, oh misguided ones.


LOL. Perhaps you don't worship Bush, my bad. Your getting worked up about 'brownshirts' sure sounded silly and in character.

NSC said...

How have your electoral predictions gone recently?

Pretty well, actually. I predicted the Dems would take Congress, and might just take the Senate.

And I confidently predict that Al Gore will never, ever, ever, be President. Nor will John Kerry - but you knew that.

Freder Frederson said...

Bush is the Commander in Chief of our armed forces and thus it was perfectly natural for him to ask this question of a man who has a son serving in those armed forces.

And once the question was asked and not answered, it should have been dropped by the president and the subject changed. That is what etiquette and good manners demands.

Patrick J. Shea said...

To Paul Z--

That sort of response would have been in keeping with the caricature, sure, but I can't believe Bush would have said that. He seems to be able to show empathy when what's going on in Iraq is personalized to the individual case. He may be a bumbler, but he's still human.

If Webb had honestly invoked his worry and concern for his son rather than making a political point, he may have tapped into that humanity instead of flipping the president's blinders-on-full-power switch.

David said...

Doyle;

By your own admission Bush won with a small majority. At that time one puts away differences of opinion and supports the choice of the majority.

I suppose, in your world, the electoral college is subordinate to the popular vote whenever your side loses. Of course your lawyers were poised to attack the voting process until the numbers came in favorable to democrats. So much for Diebold problems! So much for the a strong voting system.

For people like you, power is all. The well-being and health of the country is a distant second as you pervert freedom of speech for your ignoble ends.

Which is what Webb did to his son!
DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY keeps Webbs' son focused on what is important in a volunteer military. Webb has lost his way, like Murtha, Rangle, and others. They have been changed by the politics of Washington instead of changing the politics of Washington.

Webb could not speak for his son and that is why he said what he did. Webb's son has been betrayed by his father as surely as Sheehan's son was betrayed by her.

Doyle said...

I knew about Kerry having no chance, yes :-)

Gore I think could take the general but may not beat (or even take on) Hillary in the primary.

The Democratic primary in 2008 will be like the NBA's western conference ca. 2002, where the battle for the nomination is the de facto general election.

Anonymous said...

How are your skanky daughter doing in South America, Mr. president?

ntodd said...

He seems to be able to show empathy when what's going on in Iraq is personalized to the individual case. He may be a bumbler, but he's still human.

Judging from every story I've read about his "empathy", it's a *show*, and many people pick up on that. And the fact that whatever he shows doesn't translate into actually paying attention to the will of the People shows a lot more...

ntodd said...

Webb's son has been betrayed by his father as surely as Sheehan's son was betrayed by her.

This is mind-bogglingly ignorant.

troutjacki said...

Freder:

You said: "Wow, what a steaming pile of bullshit. It assumes all kinds of things and a politicization of an active duty member of the military that anyone who has been in the military would abhor."


No, it is based on personal experience as a career member of the professional defense/intelligence military and civil service. I work in the Pentagon and know a lot of Marines. Support for the war in your mind is political. Marines, and members of the other services, don't view it that way. They view succeeding in the mission as a duty. You obviously haven't had much contact with members of the today's armed forces to understand that.

Service members write some pretty blunt things to their parents about the conditions of service especially when their fathers are combat veterans themselves. Webb is a politician and if his son complained about being in Iraq, he would have produced the letter.

I know a lot about Jim Webbs personality. I was on OPNAV staff when he was SECNAV. I knew his EA quite well and I guarantee that he would have no compunction about using a letter from his son that was critical of the war. That in and of itself is a strong indicator that his son disagrees with his father.

Doyle said...

The well-being and health of the country is a distant second as you pervert freedom of speech for your ignoble ends.

This is a bit strong, I think.

It's not just that I want people like Webb, McCaskill, Rangel, and Conyers to have political power, it's that they share my views on what is best for the country. How do I benefit from their power otherwise?

At a minimum, theirs are certainly closer to my views than those of the president and his largely likeminded and/or obedient congressional majority.

Is it January yet?

Pogo said...

ntodd said "I'm not a Democrat."

Further Left then, eh?
Communist? Anarchist? Faux-libertarian? North Korean? Jihadist? Green? Red? Pink? Or, given your love of the 'brownshirt' tag, a National Socialist?

I'm on pins n' needles.

paul a'barge said...

..which gives him (military) authority over Webb's son, not Webb.

Which provides at least one explanation of why Bush would ask about someone under his command.

Don't be a pig like Webb. It'll only ride your shoulder for the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

I am seeing all of these references to Bush being Webb's son's commander-in-chief and I cannot help but wonder why it isn't Webb asking Bush how his son is. As a commander you are supposed to know the condition and well-being of the troops under your command. So why doesn't Bush already know how PFC Webb is doing. He is responsible for that Marine's well-being.

At least, that it is how I was trained to officer.

ntodd said...

Further Left then, eh?
Communist? Anarchist? Faux-libertarian? North Korean? Jihadist? Green? Red? Pink? Or, given your love of the 'brownshirt' tag, a National Socialist?

I'm on pins n' needles.


Independent. I don't like parties at all, and I happen to vote for many different candidates, including...Republicans.

Patrick J. Shea said...

ntodd--

You give the president way too much credit. He's not that good an actor. When he chokes up nearly every time he talks about soldiers' loved ones who suffer worry or loss, it's not an act. He couldn't pull that off. It's his honest emotion. The disconnect is that he's so sure of himself and his cause that he doesn't let that empathy impact his decision making.

Don't get me wrong, there are causes worthy of this kind of sacrifice, in spite of the pain -- this one might even have been worth it had it been sold honestly and executed competently.

Murph said...

What a load of crap - both Bush and Webb are gentlemen and I'd make a substantial bet this alleged incident never took place.

The Kos Kids and their juvenile fellow travelers must be smoking the lawn clippings again.

When all is said and done I expect Senator-elect Webb will deny this episode happened simply because he’s a decent man – he may have policy differences with President Bush but Jim Webb is a seasoned political pro who doesn’t allow his public policy positions to affect how he behaves toward anyone on a personal level.

Too bad some of his so-called supporters aren’t as grown up.

Bissage said...

There's been some resort to sheer speculation in the comments, so I have come forward to tell what really happened. I was there. I saw and heard it all:

BUSH: “Hey, you see that ‘Borat’ movie yet?

WEBB: “No way, man. He split up Pam and Kid Rock.”

BUSH: “Yeah, bummer. That Tommy Lee’s a tough act to follow.”

WEBB: “You take that back, man!”

BUSH: “Wha, . . .”

WEBB: “That was uncalled for, man.”

(Webb storms off.)

BUSH: “Hey, Bill, can you come over here with some of that hand sanitizer stuff?

Alpha Liberal said...

The rudest thing of all this is that Bush started a war on false pretenses, the warmonger crowd shouted down and insulted people who raised concerns about the false pretenses before the war.

Now this war has created bloody chaos, we are spending near to a half trillion dollars on it, our military is all messed up, Osama bin LAden is still out there schemeing, Bush has screwed it up tremendously and the right wing is incensed that a father of a soildier in harm's way is not properly puckering up for the guy who created the whole fiasco?

I can understand Webb having an attitude about Bush! Bush has made the country less safe by invading a country that did not attack us. Apparently, Bush just wanted to show up the old man.

Really, conservatives have no shame! This war is immoral and wrong. For such a posturing, moralistic crowd, you seem to have a very flexible definition of morality when it applies to your political party.

J. Peden said...

"'Webb's son has been betrayed by his father as surely as Sheehan's son was betrayed by her.'

This is mind-bogglingly ignorant."
ntodd

Right, as everyone knows, it's always the sons who betray the parents, not the converse. "Every story I've read" says this. [ntodd]

Shanna said...

I deduced this from the fact that you think it is perfectly acceptable to ask a near stranger at, what amounts to a business meeting, a personal question
Since when is “how’s the fam” a personal question? I do agree, Freder, that he should have dropped it when Webb wouldn’t answer. Of course, we still don’t know how accurate the transcript is. To me, the exact wording and tone would mean a lot here.
I repeat my warning to Webb supporters. He is a loose cannon and you, like everybody else who has encounter Jim Webb, will get badly burned by him.
Unfortunately this seems likely. We’ll see, though.
Webb should have answered in the first instance: "He's in harm's way, Mr. President."….Then Bush could have answered, "Of course he's in harm's way. He's a Marine, for Christ's sake."
Hee. I wish politicians would talk like that more often.

Fatmouse said...

"How are your skanky daughter doing in South America, Mr. president?"

Good point, spinoza. Were some freshman dem congressman to walk up to Bush and ask this exact question, the left side of the blogosphere would rush to demand he be the next presidential candidate for such incredible heroism.

John Stewart would play the clip of the incident over and over again while his studio audience cheered and appluaded with joy.

Jennifer said...

This comments thread has to be one of the most ridiculous exchanges this blog has ever seen.

RogerA said...

Looks like its going to a productive next two years filled with the spirit of bipartisanship yada, yada, yada as we confront the nation's pressing problems.

ntodd said...

Right, as everyone knows, it's always the sons who betray the parents, not the converse. "Every story I've read" says this. [ntodd]

Way to miss the point and make it into a strawman. Here's a match...

AJ Lynch said...

If the shoe were on the other foot- let's say it was a Swift Boat Member who supposedly acted this way towards Kerry at an official and formal gathering. What would the blogosphere and MSM reaction have been?

That is how all of us should measure whether the alleged behavior was over the line.

mjc said...

Webb sounds "mental?" Why does responding in kind to a petulant prick -- Bush -- make him sound "mental?"

Fatmouse said...

Applauded, even.

Oh, and Alpha Lib, Afghanistan didn't attack us. Nor did Bosnia. Nor Iraq during the first war.

ntodd said...

Looks like its going to a productive next two years filled with the spirit of bipartisanship yada, yada, yada as we confront the nation's pressing problems.

Sorry that single-party rule didn't work out.

"Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."

Pogo said...

Alpha Liberal, do you have that answer in a Word file, so you can cut and paste it at aill, ad nauseum? Jesus Christ on roller skates, man, give it a rest.

And AJ Lynch, that comparison would have been true if and only if JFKerry had been elected President. (At least he's still got the hat.)

I mean no disrespect.

J. Peden said...

"Way to miss the point and make it into a strawman. Here's a match..."
ntodd

Torch yourself, O Holy One.

ntodd said...

Oh, and Alpha Lib, Afghanistan didn't attack us. Nor did Bosnia. Nor Iraq during the first war.

Afghanistan did not attack us, but the argument was that they harbored the people who did (not something I accept as justification, actually). Bosnia (presumably you mean Serbia?) didn't attack us, but NATO asked for our assistance since it was something our European allies were concerned about (stability and all that)--I'll note there were no US casualties, fewer than a thousand dead Serbians, and the objectives were achieved (though I'll note it was nonviolent action that finally took Milosevic down).

RogerA said...

bipartisanship = date rape! Interesting formulation; and you are quite right about the single party thing which is one reason why the republicans lost the congress in my opinion. Fortunately for the republic, the democratic majority is quite small and certainly neither cloture nor veto proof. So single party rule sucks, bipartisanship is date rape, and we are left with, precisely what? immobilisme? thats fine with me--I got my medicare and social security; screw all the rest of you young uns! (sarcasm off)

J. Peden said...

Pogo, alpha liberal jus be practicing up for his acceptance speech before the Pack-o-Parrots, Kos beware.

bearbee said...

I'll note there were no US casualties, fewer than a thousand dead Serbians..........

Plus a few dead Chinese which will not be forgotton.

ntodd said...

Torch yourself, O Holy One.

Can't today. Busy.

ntodd said...

I'll note there were no US casualties, fewer than a thousand dead Serbians..........

Plus a few dead Chinese which will not be forgotton.


Yes, that has completely harmed our relations with China. Who could forget the Sino-US War?

LarryK said...

Dave, Feder, Alpha et al - you need a history lesson. Jim Webb is as close to an actual brownshirt as we're likely to see in an elected US official. He genuinely admires the Confederate South, has a "blood and soil" worldview and a passionate attachment to a single ethnic group (his own). If you actually knew anything about the far right that you despise, you would recognize these tell-tale signs. Jim Webb is a Scots-Irish, Protestant version of Pat Buchanan.

He is also destined to be a train wreck in the clubby confines of the US Senate. From all appearances, he is a petulant, thin-skinned twerp. He reportedly tolerates little dissent from his own views and doesn't work well with others. In two years, max, he will be universally reviled by members of both parties. He has as much chance of being on the next Democratic ticket as Harris Wofford. It's far more likely that he'll leave the Senate after a single term rather than face defeat in a re-election bid, bitching and moaning as he walks out the door.

Anonymous said...

That sort of response would have been in keeping with the caricature, sure, but I can't believe Bush would have said that. He seems to be able to show empathy when what's going on in Iraq is personalized to the individual case.

The empathy gene was long ago bred out of the Bush Crime Family.

anselm said...

"How are your daughters?"

Such a response would have been classic. Oh no, not loaded at all, just like the original question.

But not really. It should have been a non-event, but the conversation went south after the first question, and both men behaved somewhat gracelessly.

But consider that both men are strecthed pretty thin, Bush probably more so (I admit). They're not superhuman, yawn.

Also, as Ann suggests, a little skepticism about the precise dialogue is in order. Even if we are getting the verbatim transcript of the conversation, keep in mind that there about 38 different ways to say "good morning", each one with a distinct meaning behind it.

El Presidente said...

Winner for the worst comment thread ever.

I am begining to feel like I'm in the audience of the Jerry Springer show.

Freder Frederson said...

Support for the war in your mind is political. Marines, and members of the other services, don't view it that way. They view succeeding in the mission as a duty.

And whether or not a military member believes it is his duty to perform the task assigned to him to the best of his ability, they still have opinions on the wisdom of the war and political opinions about the civilian leadership of the country.

In their professional capacity, especially at the Pentagon, they need to keep those opinions to themselves or confine them to their off-duty hours among personal friends. The further from the "flagpole" you get though, the more you are going to hear political opinions stated. Whether or not James Webb's son supports the war, the president, or disagrees with his father's stance on the war is really beside the point. James Webb did not raise his son's opinion of the war as an issue in the campaign. For you to assume it is contrary to his father's is simply wrong and contrafactual. Need I remind you that one of the most outspoken critics of the war is a retired Marine Corps General (Anthony Zinni). My Father-in-Law, a retired career marine who served two tours in Vietnam (E-9 and O-3 from battlefield commission in Vietnam), a lifelong Republican who voted for Bush twice, is no fan of this war either. Either is my wife, an O-4 in the Army, who also voted for Bush twice, has done two tours in Kuwait and will probably be going to either Afghanistan or Iraq next summer.

So for you to speak for all marines or all military is simply wrong. Doing your duty and thinking what you are asked to do is misguided but doing it anyway (which is actually the definition of duty and honor--it's no great sacrifice to do something you truly believe in) are two entirely different things.

Anonymous said...

Freder, your little scenario demonstrating my supposed cluelessness shows you are just as tone-deaf as Webb, and you have to have done this on purpose.

As a cancer patient myself, I know it is completely inappropriate to broach the subject of treatment to someone who has not raised the topic himself with me beforehand. Many people simply don't want to talk about such an intensely personal experience, and rightly so.

That you further suppose that I would contradict a patient regarding his own treatment is totally insane. If you're thinking that Bush's retort to Webb was on the same level, I simply can't see it.

The fact that Jim Webb's son is a Marine is in the public record. Asking after the son is a courtesy, similar to asking, "How is your family settling in," to someone who has just moved. We have no indication of the tone of voice Bush used in his "That's not what I said," reply: all the reports say "Bush said," with no descriptors. If Bush was snippy, OK, uncalled for. But if Bush was gently trying to steer the conversation away from politicking and back towards small talk, that would make all the difference in the world.

Murph: When all is said and done I expect Senator-elect Webb will deny this episode happened simply because he’s a decent man

No such luck, I'm afraid. Webb has already been interviewed by the WaPo on this and confirms the incident took place.

Elizabeth said...

BDS-Bush Devotion Syndrome--raises its ugly head. Bush couldn't possibly have been rude. And if he was, well, respect the office for goodness sake. It's those Kos kidz fault! It's commies! It's Bush haters! We must be deferential to the President! This one, anyway.

Al Maviva said...

Hey, funny seeing all these lefties standing up for a NeoCon* like Webb.

I'm inclined to set up a 10x10 board (like a superbowl pool) and sell squares, into which all the senators' names will go. 100 senators, 100 squares, buy a square for $10. If the senator in that square is the first guy Webb punches out, you win $500. (The other half goes to charity - my booze fund). I know, it should be only 99 other senators, but if Webb is crazy enough to talk about punching out the President, I figure he's no worse than 7:2 to punch himself out at some point in the next two years, probably in open session.

*Neo-Con = NeoConfederate.

Anonymous said...

John Stewart would play the clip of the incident over and over again

That is pretty ignorant to consider Jon Stewart a partisan hack. He is equally dismissive of idiocy from both parties. Being out of power completely means Democrats have had few chances to provide him with material.

Alpha Liberal said...

Colin Powell came out this morning and called the Iraq War mess a Civil War. He said the Bushies should face facts and call it what it is.

But, noooo..... they want to save face! That's more important than dealing with reality rather than their fantasy world.

If my boy was there and the petulant prick was bossing me around, I'd be much more incensed than Webb was. It must be painful seeing your sons life be so casually played with by a meglomaniac.

Earth to wingers: Your invasion and occupation of Iraq has made things worse and more dangerous. If you had an ounce of integrity yuo'd admit your grave (literally grave) mistakes that have led to tens of thoussands of people dead. Pro-life, my ass.

Someone said:
Oh, and Alpha Lib, Afghanistan didn't attack us. Nor did Bosnia. Nor Iraq during the first war.
Yeah, I know. I was around. They harbored and protected the people who attacked us. Thats why I and the overwhelmingly majority of libs supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

But bush let Osama bin Laden go in Tora Bora. He refused requests for more troops, sent in mercenaries and started planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq before the job was done.

Why haven't we caught Osama bin Laden yet? Bush has played right into OBL's hands!

Freder Frederson said...

Jim Webb is a Scots-Irish, Protestant version of Pat Buchanan.

Yeah well, Bush is a ultra-rich, Northeast establishment, WASP frat boy who went to expensive prep schools and got into Yale on a legacy admission. Yet, the right buys into the Texas god ol' boy schtick that he is a self made oil man right out of the oil patch and off the ranch. All he has to his name is a bunch of failed businesses that his daddy's friends bailed him out of and now he is here to screw up the world (and it looks like his daddy's friends are going to try and bail him out again).

He also has two party-girl daughters who apparently, even with all his connections, he could only get one into Yale. How freaking embarrassing is it when you are causing so much chaos in a country, the U.S. embassy asks you politely but firmly to pack your things and go.

knoxgirl said...

El Presidente said...
Winner for the worst comment thread ever.


Jennifer said...
This comments thread has to be one of the most ridiculous exchanges this blog has ever seen.


agree

Alpha Liberal said...

Wehn will the Iraq War backers come to their senses and own up to the terrible mess they have made of the MidEast? Some have!

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said yesterday “that unless the Bush administration admits that the war in Iraq is a ‘failure,’ it will never develop a strategy to leave the country successfully.”

Oh! And look! The war is becoming regional!

”Using money, weapons or its oil power, Saudi Arabia will intervene to prevent Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias from massacring Iraqi Sunni Muslims once the United States begins pulling out of Iraq, a security adviser to the Saudi government said on Wednesday.”

Why any parent with offspring in the middle of this cauldron should just kiss the President's ring!

Do you even listen to yourselves? Do you graps how badlyy this thing has gone? or are you too busy trying to sound "tough"?

NSC said...

Wehn will the Iraq War backers come to their senses and own up to the terrible mess they have made of the MidEast? Some have!

The MidEast was not a terrible mess before the Iraq War? LOL

Elizabeth said...

knoxgirl, agreed. It's a thread full of stupidity.

Alpha Liberal said...

Nothing like it is after six years of the Cheney-Bush Administration. If you can't see the difference, well, your vision needs addressing. We have thousands dying, death squads roaming Bagdad, regional conflicts growing, the breakup of Iraq looking mroe likely, and the US mired down somneone else's Civil War.

But you guys will defend Bush to the end! Including Althouse!

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, this is pointless. At worst: we find two acerbic politicians who don't like each other. Big whoop.

LarryK said...

Freder-

Witty and informative retort. The point is that Jim Webb is in fact more of a Far Right figure (like the Far Right, he opposes the Iraq war)than any elected Republican, who several on this thread have referred to collectively as "brownshirts." I'll retract this claim if you can name a single elected Republican whose political philosophy is in fact more similar to the Nazis - whose beliefs (like Webb's) were founded firmly in blood and soil, martial exaltation, and ethnic resentment. Look at him closely and it's clear that Webb is a pretty repellant dude - and I say that as someone who admires his fiction.

And the last I checked, Bush's party animal daughters were working for Unicef - seems pretty admirable to me.

Al Maviva - great idea! I'm sure the idea of taking him out will cross McCain's mind, although he's too self disciplined to do it.

Doyle said...

At worst: we find two acerbic politicians who don't like each other.

I agree with this, and the earlier charactization that Webb rebuffed Bush and then Bush rebuffed back.

What I can't handle is people like Joan who were shocked and dismayed by Webb's uppitiness, and it appears Ann falls in this category.

I find Seven Machos's "no big deal" assessment, as well as the ever highminded knoxgirl's objections to this thread as a whole quite reassuring, because it means most everyone can see that Bush comes off looking worse.

vegetius said...

Yipesss!!!!!!!!!! Who let the kids out of school early. Did Cultural Anthropology 103 get cancelled today (hence all the trolls)? Extra caffeine in the coffee at the Student Union?

Richard Dolan said...

Ann (and many in this thread) say that they doubt that the exchange occurred as reported. In today's WaPo, however, the reporter quotes the same exchange with Bush as Ann does and then says that Webb himself confirmed it:

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."

The article goes on to say that the White House refused to comment, because they regarded the reception as a private affair welcoming newly elected members of Congress.

Salamandyr said...

There's a case for saying that Bush's rebuttal was rude, but "How's your Kid?"?

Webb was a jerk for turning a polite inquiry into an opportunity for partisan dick-waving. Bush's response to it isn't going to win any awards from the Miss Manners School of Charm and Influence, but that doesn't change the fact that he was the one putting forth the olive branch, only to have it knocked out of his hand by Webb.

It'll be an interesting 2 years indeed.

troutjacki said...

Freder:

Who said I was speaking for all Marines? I am speaking as a father. I am also speaking as someone who has worked closely for Webb. It is very clear that his son doesn't agree with his father because Webb would have been quite public about it. Why do you find it difficult to believe that a son would disagree with his father on something like this?

Your dislike for the war and for the President is coloring your take on this alleged event just as my personal knowledge of what the attitude in the building is and my past association with Webb colors mine. However, I would say that since I have worked for him my view is probably much closer to the truth then yours.

LarryK is right on with his assessment of Webb's politics. As discussed on this blog, at a minimum Webb showed a willingness to exploit anti-Semitism in both the Democratic primary and the general election. In Born Fighting he also made a clear disparaging comparison between the fighting virtues of the Scots-Irish and Jews. Webb is a nativist and an isolationist. These are hallmarks of a "blood and soil" mentality. If Webb stays a Democrat he will represent the traditional Klu Klux Klan Southern Democrat that formed the backbone of the Democratic Party from the election of Woodrow Wilson through the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Shanna said...

He also has two party-girl daughters who apparently, even with all his connections, he could only get one into Yale.

This is pretty weak, attacking the mans daughters who never did anything except get caught drinking Margaritas at 20 (a perfectly normal thing to do and hardly the definition of a "party animal"). Also, only ONE of them got into Yale. I mean, come on.

This thread got tacky awfully fast.

Knemon said...

"Bosnia (presumably you mean Serbia?) didn't attack us"

We bombed (the Serb-controlled parts of) Bosnia, too.

*

Lotsa Saddam nostalgia on this thread.

Glory days
In the blink of a Sunni's eye
Glory days
Don't let them pass you by ...

The Jerk said...

troutjacki wins the prize for most ridiculous comment. "Because Webb has never said that his son agrees with him, we must conclude that his son disagrees with him."

Cedarford said...

Freder Frederson - He also has two party-girl daughters who apparently, even with all his connections, he could only get one into Yale. How freaking embarrassing is it when you are causing so much chaos in a country, the U.S. embassy asks you politely but firmly to pack your things and go.

I have always thought that mean-spirited partisans or celebrity stalkers that attack their target through their family or close friends are a particularly ugly, cowardly, and classless breed of human being, Freder.

If the family or close friends of the target are "not in the game", Freder, they should not be attacked. It is clear the only goal of such criticism is to inflict emotional harm on the family or close friend and through them, emotional harm on the true target.

It does appear to be far more frequent in the Hard Left..but then again...they are the heirs of the people that packed whole families off to die in Siberia for the presumed political sins of one person.

It's despicable, Freder.

BTW- Little in your allegations are true, not that it matters.

troutjacki said...

Jerk:

You show yourself to fit your name. I said tht it looks like a father son disaggreement for a number of reasons not the least that ever indication is that the men and women serving in Iraq support the mission. But the crux of my argument is that I have personal experience with Webb when I was on OPNAV staff and I know the kind of person he is. If he had a letter from his son that backed up his own views it would have been up front in his campaign for the Senate.

Sons and Fathers often disagree. That may be hard for you understand but of course you are a jerk.

LarryK said...

Troutjacki - thanks for the confirmation about Webb's politics. Your first hand experience with the guy obviously matters and trumps the views of know-nothings like Freder.

It's amazing that Webb is such a hero for the left (at least for now) considering that he is such a reactionary. Obviously, for the left, like for Vince Lombardi, winning is the only thing that matters.

Doyle said...

Sure, with his opposition to Iraq and vehement condemnation of corporate pillaging and the growing income gap in his WSJ editorial, Webb is clearly a Republican in disguise.

The Exalted said...



Joan said...
The president was the one being incredibly rude.

Freder, you've got to be kidding. This was a private reception, not a press conference. Webb reportedly refused to stand in the receiving line -- he wouldn't even shake the president's hand


the president said that if the democrats won the terrorists would win -- if you were a victorious democrat, would you be inclined to shake that man's hand?

Knemon said...

Doyle, he said Webb's a reactionary, not a Republican.

Alpha Liberal said...

Good point, Exalted.

Also, it never ceases to amaze me that the "Support the Troops" crowd won't hesitate to attack them or their families if they criticize Bush.

If someone's son is in a combat zone, you treat him with respect and sympathy. Not as Bush did, demanding a deferential answer.

Bush cannot respect disagreeing views.

troutjacki said...

Exalted:

You said: "the president said that if the democrats won the terrorists would win -- if you were a victorious democrat, would you be inclined to shake that man's hand? "

Perhaps you missed the news. The terrorists and their enablers in Syria and Iran are gloating about the Democrats winning. They seemn to agree with the President.

vegetius said...

Webb in 1997:
"I cannot conjure up an ounce of respect for Bill Clinton when it comes to the military. Every time I see him salute a Marine, it infuriates me. I don't think Bill Clinton cares one iota about what happens in a military unit."
Oh how times have changed.
Remember now?? Yes, the same Webb.
Via Powerline

Garage Mahal said...

Perhaps you missed the news. The terrorists and their enablers in Syria and Iran are gloating about the Democrats winning. They seemn to agree with the President.

Just like the terrorists were ramping up violence before the elections?

Don't kid yourself, the entire world was celebrating.

Doyle said...

Oh how times have changed.

How so? Has he recanted this statement?

Via Powerline

Shocker.

troutjacki said...

Garage:

At least the terrorist know what they are celebrating.

Doyle said...

If the terrorists didn't jump off a cliff, would you?

Also, this logic implies that most Americans are pro-terrorist. They are, after all, anti-Bush and pro-Democratic Congress. How can this be?

Might not the alternative explanation, that the Hannities and Rushes now speak only for a few million dead-enders in their last throes, be more likely?

Garage Mahal said...

Troutjacki

Where would the terrorists get the idea that Democrats would be soft on terror? And wouldn't the purveyors of this idea be guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy? Worse yet, putting our troops in harms way?

The Jerk said...

If he had a letter from his son that backed up his own views it would have been up front in his campaign for the Senate.

Of course, this assumes without foundation that if his son agreed with him on Iraq he would have written a letter about it. A little long on speculation and short on logic, but then you are a trout.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
troutjacki said...

Doyle:

You want a serious answer? Here is one. There is a big difference between what the voters thought they voted for and what they actually got. No less a liberal commentator then Michael Kinsley wrote an article in the WaPo on election day that started off with the line "If you haven't voted yet, don't read this columen." In his OPED, Kinsley wrote that after reading what the Democratic Party's progarm was that he must conclude that the Democrats are everthing the Republican claimed about them in both foreign and domestic policy.

The MSM which still dominates the information that the general electorate uses to make decisions did yeoman work in disguising what the Democrats really want.

You want more evidence of this, well here is another example from the WaPo. Their ombudsman confided on the Sunday before the election that the Post had been unfair to George Allen. She wasn't apologizing, she was gloating that the Post successfully smeared George Allen. The fact is if the Webb ran as a Republican and Allen a Democrat we would have heard all about Webb's anti-Semitism and nativism.

So no, the Public isn't pro-terrorists but the Pelosi-Conyers-Kennedy wing is.

troutjacki said...

Doyle:

You want a serious answer? Here is one. There is a big difference between what the voters thought they voted for and what they actually got. No less a liberal commentator then Michael Kinsley wrote an article in the WaPo on election day that started off with the line "If you haven't voted yet, don't read this columen." In his OPED, Kinsley wrote that after reading what the Democratic Party's progarm was that he must conclude that the Democrats are everthing the Republican claimed about them in both foreign and domestic policy.

The MSM which still dominates the information that the general electorate uses to make decisions did yeoman work in disguising what the Democrats really want.

You want more evidence of this, well here is another example from the WaPo. Their ombudsman confided on the Sunday before the election that the Post had been unfair to George Allen. She wasn't apologizing, she was gloating that the Post successfully smeared George Allen. The fact is if the Webb ran as a Republican and Allen a Democrat we would have heard all about Webb's anti-Semitism and nativism.

So no, the Public isn't pro-terrorists but the Pelosi-Conyers-Kennedy wing is.

Alpha Liberal said...

tourjackie:
The terrorists and their enablers in Syria and Iran are gloating about the Democrats winning. They seemn to agree with the President.

Really? And do you believe evrything that the terrorists tell you? It was funny watching conservatives brandish terorirst propaganda and taking it all at face value, demanding US politicians jump to address it.

Meanwhile Bush's Iraq disaster isa great gift to al Qaeda, making us look brutal and stupid and as if we're going after their oil, as they said. AQ ranks have swelled.

The Exalted said...

attention troutjacki:

the president equated support for his political opponents with support for our terrorist enemies. as have you. neither is acceptable in a civil discourse.

however, it is rather unhinged to think 55% of americans support the terrorists (the percentage democratic senate candidates got in the aggregate).

The Jerk said...

Good thing we have folks like troutjacki who are smarter than the American sheeple and can see through the vast MSM conspiracy.

troutjacki said...

Jerk:

Let's do a thought experiment. The son of a prominent public figure who is running for office is against the mission he to which he is assigned. As it turns out his father is also opposed to said mission. Does the son:

(a) not write his father, who himself was a marine;

(b)write his father and tell him everything is ok;

or

(c) Write his father and tell him how bad things are.

(d) he is too illiterate to write anything; (the likely answer from Kerry or Rangel)

If your answer is anything but (c) not only are you a jerk but you are a fool as well.

As I said, I worked for Webb. I know what he is like and I know that he would use a letter from his son to back up his point during the campaign.

Like most lefties, you don't have a firm grasp on reality.

Knemon said...

"it is rather unhinged to think 55% of americans support the terrorists (the percentage democratic senate candidates got in the aggregate)."

It's unhinged to think any (significant number of) Americans support them ... but 55% of VOTERS picked Republicans, not of the public.

Per usual, the majority of the American people chose not to vote. Probably wise, when faced with Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich, Round Four.

Knemon said...

oops, read "Democrats" for "Republicans" in that last one.

Freder Frederson said...

It does appear to be far more frequent in the Hard Left..but then again...they are the heirs of the people that packed whole families off to die in Siberia for the presumed political sins of one person.

I've got a name for you--Chelsea Clinton. The Bush daughters are adults, Chelsea wasn't. The Bush daughters have embarrassed themselves, their father, and this country numerous times (remember their speech at the convention), including most recently in Argentina (where the Embassy did indeed advise them it would be better if they went home), Chelsea never did. They are classless, boorish, spoiled children or a classless, boorish man-child.

And you accuse the "hard left" of picking on family members.

troutjacki said...

Exalted:

Nice liberal meme but meaningless. One of the reasons that 55% of the American people Democratic for the Senate is that the Democrats ran virtually unapposed in New York and California. Control of Congress fell to about 70,000 votes in the House and less then 20000 in the Senate.

I guess Michael Kinsley and WaPo are just Republican shills.

Answer me this, if Webb were a Republican and Allen the Democrat do you think that the Post would have overlooked his anti-Semitic attacks on Harris Miller and George Allen. You know they would be right on the story. The Post never mentioned the Harris Attack and gave scant coverage to the Webb campaign's anti-Semitic antics.

Freder Frederson said...

If your answer is anything but (c) not only are you a jerk but you are a fool as well.

How about

(e) Webb's son is an active duty member (an officer I believe) of the U.S. armed forces. He is prohibited by law and his code of conduct from actively participating in political campaign or publicly criticizing his chain of command or the commander-in-chief. His father, who is also a much-decorated military veteran, is well aware of this, and no matter how low an opinion a former subordinate of his has of him, he knows better, and has more respect for the Marine Corps and his son, than to make his son's personal opinions about the war in Iraq an issue in his campaign.

The Jerk said...

How about (e) doesn't write letters to his father; or (f) writes letters about his day-to-day life but doesn't take a position on the rightness or wrongness of the war.

Is it really your position that every single soldier who may not think the war was the greatest idea has expressed that thought in a letter to his parents?

I have no idea what Webb's son thinks of the war, and neither do you. Try again when you have more than speculation and your personal opinion of Webb to back up your ridiculous claims.

Garage Mahal said...

Troutjacki

Think of it this way. Not one single Democrat incumbent lost a seat in the house, senate, or governorship. All those millions, for nothing.

But then again, what do I know. You're a mind-reader like Althouse, so tell us what else you "just know" about Jim Webb.

Shanna said...

It does appear to be far more frequent in the Hard Left..but then again...they are the heirs of the people that packed whole families off to die in Siberia for the presumed political sins of one person.
I've got a name for you--Chelsea Clinton. The Bush daughters are adults, Chelsea wasn't.

Freder, what Republicans at the time criticized Chelsea Clinton? All I remember is Saturday Night Live and the general media(although I was little older than Chelsea at the time so it's possible I missed something).

Also, it is my understand that Clinton told the media to back off and they did.

Harkonnendog said...

Bush asked him how his son was. That isn't rude. Webb tried to turn it into a political debate. That was rude. Bush declined to turn it into a political debate, and again asked Webb how his son was, to express concern about his son's welfare. And Webb, in return, was an asshole.

You leftists have let your hatred of Bush warp your every perception.

Harkonnendog said...

also, it is hard to know Bush's tone. he could have said what he said any number of ways. he COULD have been rude, or he could have been cool. he may have been genuinely concerned. hard to say.

Revenant said...

I don't see what the big deal is. Webb acted like a jerk, but he's been acting like a jerk since back when he was a Republican.

I guess if you're the kind of person who's impressed with somebody "standing up" to the President then you'll likely be impressed by Webb, too. Personally, the fact that millions of people have been openly and publically insulting and snubbing our Presidents since long before I was born makes me a lot less impressed with those sorts of juvenile antics.

AJ Lynch said...

WOW - 170 or so comments. This is sure a hot-button topic. If the report is accurate, Webb was way out of line. And his son did volunteer right? I wonder what his son and his fellow Marines truly think of his father's behavior- hell it's reminiscent of idiot parents fighting at their kids games.

And you know this type of behavior could occur everyday in Congress- is that what Americans want to see?

I was curious and supportive of Webb's candidacy but some thought he would be a lose cannon. Guess I was wrong again.

The Exalted said...

@trout,

the post gave no coverage to "webb's anti-semitic attacks" because they don't exist, except for in your head.

to the extent webb received more favorable coverage, its because he came across as authentic, while allen is an obvious big phoney, and a bully to boot. remember "the liberal media"'s great swoon over mccain in 2000? they love nothing better than a candidate who seems authentic. these candidates, in 2006, were webb and tester.

@shana,

he is probably referring to rush limbaugh, who memorably compared a thirteen year old chelsea clinton to a dog, yet somehow retained his post as a respectable member of the right-wing media.

paul a'barge said...

it is hard to know Bush's tone

No, it's not. I've met the man, and
1) he doesn't have a mean bone in his body and
2) he's not a weenie, so if you're going to insult him, he's not likely to wither.

Webb, on the other hand, is a known pig. The man wallows in his bully-hood-ness. He writes entire articles promoting the virtue of Scot-Irish antagonism. People may call that philosophical. I call it an anger management problem.

Webb knows what he's doing... preening for the DHIMMIcRAT nutroots and the liberal media.

Democrats. Sigh. They can't seem to manage a pair of cojones and common decency at the same time ... with them, it's all about one or the other.

paul a'barge said...

George Mahal:
Where would the terrorists get the idea that Democrats would be soft on terror?

Unnhhh, why don't you ask them? Or better yet, read in the various media, old and new, the coverage of for whom the terrorists were pulling.

Hint: DHIMMIcRATs.

ntodd said...

Must be the 'civility' I hear so much about:

"Saw your posts on Althouse. You're a dick. You think anyone who doesn't hate Bush worships him. Get over yourself."

The Jerk said...

No, it's not. I've met the man, and
1) he doesn't have a mean bone in his body and
2) he's not a weenie, so if you're going to insult him, he's not likely to wither


or perhaps you're just easy to fool.

The Duck Goose said...

NTodd is shockingly incivil. I hope he gets run over by a bus!

The Duck Goose said...

No, it's not. I've met the man, and
1) he doesn't have a mean bone in his body and
2) he's not a weenie, so if you're going to insult him, he's not likely to wither.


Exactly! "Dubya" is famous for his willingness to answer any question at any time from any audience. It's been his "trademark" for his whole administration. I think that is very sexy.

Revenant said...

or perhaps you're just easy to fool.

Well, Bush "fooled" the Texas Democrats for years, then, because they thought he was an extremely personable guy too. That's the general impression of just about everyone who actually knows the man. The ones convinced he must be mean and evil are the ones who see him only as a symbol of ideas they hate.

Anonymous said...

dave said...

Good for Webb.

Get used to it, brownshirts.

Dave, great comment and very funny.

Alpha Liberal said...

Exactly! "Dubya" is famous for his willingness to answer any question at any time from any audience. It's been his "trademark" for his whole administration. I think that is very sexy.

Oh for the love of beans! Bush's crowds are always carefully controlled to only include supporters. They have ejected people who disagree with him time and time again.

Really, you shouldn't drink the Kool Aid!

Anonymous said...

What I can't handle is people like Joan who were shocked and dismayed by Webb's uppitiness

I was neither shocked nor dismayed. This "incident" wasn't surprising at all, actually, because of prevailing attitudes towards the president and the presidency in some quarters. I think it's obvious that Webb is deficient in common courtesy and I don't see that as something to be lionized.

If Webb cares so little for the office of the president, and by extension, the government of this country, why did he run for senator? As I said before, I'm sure a lot of VA voters are wondering just what they signed up for in voting for Webb.

The Duck Goose said...

The ones convinced he must be mean and evil are the ones who see him only as a symbol of ideas they hate.

"Dubya" is Love spelled backwards. He is even sexier than the Pope!

ntodd said...

I'm sure a lot of VA voters are wondering just what they signed up for in voting for Webb.

Another mind reader, but clearly a significantly higher level than all the others because you can know what multiple voters are thinking! You should take your act on the road: you'd be bigger than David Blaine!

ntodd said...

Hmmm...

A lot of people think Jim Webb may have overreacted to the President Bush when he asked about his son Jimmy at a recent White House function.

I've gotten a tip on the background to this confrontation, and it appears that Webb may have under reacted.

As President Bush is well aware, a couple of weeks before this dinner the tank riding next to Jimmy's in Iraq was under fire and three marines died.

My sources are telling me that the way President Bush approached Webb with his tone, it appeared he was asking the question of how Jimmy was doing in a mocking manner, while he was certainly aware of the tragedy that had hit his unit a few weeks earlier.

Revenant said...

My sources are telling me that the way President Bush approached Webb with his tone, it appeared he was asking the question of how Jimmy was doing in a mocking manner, while he was certainly aware of the tragedy that had hit his unit a few weeks earlier

Boy, you've really got to be a victim of BDS to interpret the question that way. Normally, when a person you know is aware of something bad happening to your son asks how your son is doing, you interpret that as a polite way of asking after your son's well-being. My brother in law suffered some medical problems recently. If someone aware of that asked me "how's he doing" I wouldn't think "you bastard! you're mocking his pain!" and yearn to punch the guy in the nose.

The again, Webb's got a short temper and a huge ego, so maybe he WOULD see it that way.

David said...

troutjacki;

You have been vindicated already. I can hardly wait to see who Webb blames for the radiation poisoning on the British Planes! How many people are they looking for who may have been exposed to radiation?
1000's?

What a shock to learn that there really are WMD's floating around out there! One dead Russian on Polonium and who knows how many were subjected to it during transport.

Before this is over, Webb will wish he had a picture of himself with Bush!

Hang in there troutjacki!

ntodd said...

Boy, you've really got to be a victim of BDS to interpret the question that way.

Depends on the tone, which was the point.

Normally, when a person you know is aware of something bad happening to your son asks how your son is doing, you interpret that as a polite way of asking after your son's well-being.

Normally, yes. Given his history, Bush is not normal.

madawaskan said...

OK I was thinking if I was a reporter I would like to know what Webb's son thought. Then I thought holy crap I would hate to put the kid in that kind of a position.

But you know who didn't give a damn about that?


Dear Ole Dad.

Webb was said to walk around campaigning in his son's "boots" or carrying them around.

Has a touch of oppurtunism to it-doesn't it?

Shanna said...

I don't think it's reasonable to interpret a simple question about Webb's son in a nefarious manner.

he is probably referring to rush limbaugh, who memorably compared a thirteen year old chelsea clinton to a dog, yet somehow retained his post as a respectable member of the right-wing media.

Ahhh. OK. Rush again? Really? He didn't pack up and quit his job in shame, anymore than Saturday Night Live shut down their show.

It would suck to be thrust into the public eye at 13. It's not a kind age.

ntodd said...

Webb was said to walk around campaigning in his son's "boots" or carrying them around.

Nice passive, ambiguous construction. Any citations? From what I've seen, Webb didn't parade his son's service around at all.

Jacob said...

Just as an FYI Webb's son has a blog

So if you're looking for his opinions on things, that'd probably be a good place to start.

Derve said...

Interesting Jacob...

The Marine son lists his religion as Catholic.

... if that's Sen. Webb's son's blog.

The Duck Goose said...

I agree. It's disgusting how so many people just assume that Webb has any idea about his own son's actual opinions. That is so arrogant!

Kyle said...

Guess I'll do the summing up vis a vis the Bush-Webb exchange:

Bush deserves no respect. So he gets none.

Nice when things work out like that.

madawaskan said...

Well hell he's a Steeler fan. Gad-this season has stunk.

No- a professional military man stays apolitical for a parent to use that for political gain be it Webb or Sheehan it smacks of oppurtunism.

Seems like Webb takes every chance to twist it to his gain-even during "small talk".

Look I hate Webb for his opinion on women in military schools. Not if they should be operational, on the front lines-yada yada.

Period.

End of discussion.

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