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November 30, 2006

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clarice

Let's see the story begins with Webb accepting an invitation to a WH reception and admittedly trying to avoid the President.......It continues with him trying to politicize a conversation the President began with a conventional and kind personal question,"How's your boy?"

Will may have Dowdified the exchange a bit, but the fact remains --Webb is a standout boor in a city already increasingly distinguished by incivility.

If he hates the President this much, he should have politely declined the invitation.

Blue Neponset

Clarice,

Declining the invitation isn't a practical option. I don't understand how anyone thinks it is. As an analogy...If you dislike the President of the local Chamber of Commerce you don't then decide to swear off all Chamber of Commerce functions. You go to those things because it helps your business not to pay homage to the President. Webb went to that function because his job as a Senator required him to go. You can hate Webb as much as he hates Bush but you are being obtuse if you think Webb had much choice about attending the event.

PaulinAz

He can dislike him all he wants, but he should quit the pretension of "looking forward to working with the President and his Administration."

There was nothing rude about the question or the way it was asked. Would it really have killed him to just answer the question he was asked without turning it into some sort of political statement?

clarice

Blue, of course he could decline, citing a prior commitment. To go to the reception, avoid the president, pointedly refuse to have his photo taken with Bush and to respond to a civil question so rudely was far worse than declining.

Trust me on this..I can't imagine how anyone could be in this city so long and not be aware of the social conventions. He is a bull in a china shop and Althouse is right--he will be fodder for a lot of stories unless he mends his ways.

(If you have never seen "Advise and Consent", I suggest you get that old movie and watch it. Or read the book. Things have changed a great deal in D.C. in the decades since it was written, but not the social conventions so well-described there. )

Blue Neponset

Washington D.C. does not have its own social conventions. Anyone who thinks that has been there too long. This kind of thing happens every day in every part of the Country. If you have never had to attend a function hosted by someone you didn't like/respect then you are luckier than you know.

lurker

Actually, I did not see a problem with Bush's behavior. But I do condone Webb's attitude, response, and behavior. Webb's is most definitely a one-termer.

clarice

Wel, Blue, I must inform you you are wrong. For the same reason one addresses a sworn enemy as "The distinguished gentleman from..." on the floor of Congress or one refers to a political opponent as "my friend..", one does not attend a reception at the WH, avoid the president, refuse to take a photo with him, and then respond with political invective to a conventional and decent inquiry about one's child.

You sound like a member of what we call the "Dem fight club"..and I wish you the same success they had in the last election and will surely have in the next two years.

anonymous

Webb is a breadth of fresh air, imagine being invited to the White House, meeting the President and having the Commander in Chief inquire about one of his soldiers in the field, your son, fighting Americas war on terrorism.

Webb did what any Senator who met Lincoln, FDR, Truman or Eisenhower would do.

At least now we Virginias can look forward to many years of good relations between our Senator and the White House in order to get things accomplished that benefit our State!!

anonymous

Would Webb respond the same way to a John Kerry question about his son since Kerry actually voted for the war and Bush is simply implementing the national will as expressed by our representatives?

Blue Neponset

Yeah right, I have never had to pretend I like someone I do business with. That only happens in DC.

Also, anyone who calls the opposing political party the "sworn enemy" should think twice before accusing others of hyper-partisanship.

anonymous

Whether Webb likes it or not, his son volunteered to fight this war and is serving voluntarily in Iraq. He also voluntarily is serving as Bush with his CINC. Sounds like Webb has no trust in his sons decisions.

Unless, Kerry is right, and the son was too stupid or lazy and Daddy wouldn't bail him out, and he ended up stuck in Iraq.

Walter

Clarice,

Great comment. I was struck by the same point. If Webb wanted to avoid the symbology of appearing next to the President, he should also have considered avoiding the appearance at the White House.

After all, it isn't the first, second, third, or thirtieth time he's been to that building for a social/political function.

I'm afraid I cannot understand Blue's analogy to a Chamber of Commerce reception. If you can't appear friendly, you lose the respect you sought to keep by attending. Heck, I dislike my mayor, but I speak politely to her and shake her hand when I run into her at City Hall.

TexasToast

Oh puh-leeze Clarice.

How does one apply the social conventions of "this town" to Dead Eye Dick Cheney's telling Senator Leahy to "F*** yourself" on the floor of the Senate? It's not exactly beating a Senator unconscious with a cane, but it is a bit further removed from polite conversation than "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."

anonymous

Hey Blue:

""We need to remember that the enemy here is George Bush.."
Howard Dean

You started it!

maryrose

Good manners are a must in Washington D.C. Decorum cannot be stressed enough. Today's headlines regarding the exchange is proof of that. Is this the hard-core image Webb wants to display from the get-go.? I hope not-it will be a long 6 years if this is going to be his modus operandi.

Geek, Esq.

Webb, quite simply, doesn't have any patience for bullsh!t. This will cause him some difficulties in a town built out of the stuff.

clarice

TT, I think what one whispers in private to an opponent and what one says publicly is the key.

(See my comment on TM's last post to see how a gentleman best plants a shiv.)

anonymous

TT sys: How does one apply the social conventions of "this town" to Dead Eye Dick Cheney's telling Senator Leahy to "F*** yourself.""

Not hard to figure out TT, Leahy was being a disingenuos liar and Cheney didn't want to play nice with a back stabbing B-llshitter. And as far as I know, Cheney didn't then go running to the press to give them an interview on how he stood up to the big bad Leahy.

Walter

TT,

I suppose, if I wanted to distinguish the two, I'd look to see if one occured at work in a heated conversation after Mr. Dead-eye was accused of corruption by Mr. Deadhead (actually a compliment in my book, but YMMV) and the other took place in the host's home at a party given by him.

But that's just me.

anonymous

Last time I checked, Webb and Bush hadn't been dealing with each other on a daily basis as a Senator and VP. This was Webbs first meeting with the Commander in Chief, his sons ultimate boss. Since when is the well being of the troops under his command none of the Commanders business??

Can Webb please explain why the Commander should not care about how his soldiers are doing?

Would James Webb, as President, tell parents of soldiers at war that come up to him and tell them how their son is doing....THAT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS?

Larry

"At least now we Virginias....." So sorry to tell you, Virginias, there is no Santa Claus. Webb's going to be the turd in the punchbowl.

Seems way mean to call Will's column "Dowdified". Although he's taken a turn to the left lately, his little toenail has more writing talent than an army of Dowds. "Men at Work", well outside his area of expertise, may be the best sports book ever.

anonymous

I guess Webb thinks their just cannon fodder and Commanders should have no concern for their well being.

hit and run

Leahy: "How's your girl doing?"
Cheney: "F$%& yourself."


Bush: "You write about child porn"
Webb: "I want them out of Iraq, Mr. President"

rrk

Any report of the exchange would blur the line between fact and fiction.

Attempting Tom's patented penetrating method of analysis, let's look at this.

Did the reporter hear the dialogue? No? Well, let's roll the tape, or at least have a look at the transcript. No? Hmmm.

I guess somebody would have had to tell the reporter what "happened", then. I wonder who?

In any case, I guess we have to treat this the way it's presented, as a straight story, don't we?

Well, I just went through the supermarket checkout last night, and I admit, I couldn't resist treating the leads shouting at me in line as straight stories...for two seconds. I admit it was fun.

Appalled Moderate

Webb's political response to a pleasentry probably ticked off Bush, who, at this point in his presidency, figures he's getting it from all sides. This wasn't the place for a remark like Webb's.

Washington is a little short on civility these days from both sides, and has been for a very long time. (Maybe it never was. The good old days, as I understand them, died some time in the 60s. Maybe they weren't so good.) But it is disturbing to see the tactics of Crossfire make its way to the White House receiving line.

SunnyDay

Webb is a boor. I did NOT vote for him. I think I'm going to have my own bumper sticker made, so I can proclaim it wherever I go. Maybe I can have it embroidered on my jeans.

Larry

"...the tactics of Crossfire..." Alas, I remember the days before Buchanan revealed his inner bigot and Kinsley went totally nuts. The discourse could get heated, but for the most part, remain in good humor. Sorta like JOM.

hit and run

SunnyDay: Webb is a boor


No, Webb is a total macaca.

There. I said it. You know you were thinking it. Every one of you.

Speaking truth to power. That's what I do.

hit and run

Larry:
remain in good humor. Sorta like JOM.

Let me be the first to admit that I only engage in bad humor.

hit and run

From the hotair link Tom added on:
He’s going to be “a vast source of amusement” in the Senate, says Tyrrell. I want him to look Harry Reid in the eye at the first meeting and say, “Look, pizza-face - Jim Webb doesn’t take orders from anyone.”


And I still want Webb to look John Kerry in the eye - and now also Charles Rangel - and say, "You wanna say that to my face?" in response to their publicly stated views of military personnel.

Larry

Hit, I didn't mean all the humor was good. :)

Larry

Oops! Sorry, Run. Didn't mean to leave you out.

Jim Miller

Tom - I'm not sure what you object to in Bush's behavior. Bush asked a conventional question and Webb got nasty. looking for a fight. What do you think Bush should have done at that point?

anonymous

"""Webb, quite simply, doesn't have any patience for bullsh!t."""

What CRAP!

Webb was the only one slinging the Bull.

He goes to the invited party at the White House, just to snub the guy who invited him.
Webb was pulling a complete BS. If he didn't want to talk to Bush, he could have stayed home.

Last time I checked, when you get an invite to someones house, you at least have the decency to meet them, shake their hand, thank them for the invitation, etc.

The idea that Webb is the one that doesn't stand for BS, is BS, he was the Bullshiiter
grand standing with the media.

maryrose

HandR
You are cracking me up today. I just laughed out loud in my office at work.
" Look pizza-face-Jim Webb doesn't take orders from anyone" and
"Jim Webb is a macaca"-classic comments for the day.
I still wonder minus the "macaca" comment how Allen would have fared in the election.

anonymous

Webb ought to be on his knees thanking Bush for sending his son to Iraq. If his son wasn't in the war, we would be talking about Senator Allen.

Webb could have kept his son out of the service or out of the war, but that wouldn't have gotten him a Senate seat. Perhaps Webb is exhibiting a bit of outward hostility that he should be using on himself.

Xrlq
Would James Webb, as President...

God save us if that ever happened.

anonymous

Funny, when Webb was asked about his son by Tim Russert or out on the campaign trail, he didn't get all huffy and mean about answering. He never said it was personal.

In fact, Bush probably was worried about Webbs sons' feet since Jim Webb wore his sons combat boots throughout the whole campaign.

Now Webb wants no one to ask about his son, after spending an entire campaign sticking his sons boots in our faces?

anonymous

"""Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, ... """

I guess the Secret Service won't be letting Webb have any private conversations with the President.

Jane

You know if I was invited to a reception with John Kerry and Ted Kennedy I'd have a hell of a time being any nicer than Webb, and I'm pretty sure I would feel compelled to go.

However, one would hope that better people than I get elected to the senate.

maryrose

"sticking his son's boots in our faces" Classic comment number 3. Hypocritical if you ask me. He can use his son's service during the campaign but not toanswer a polite inquiry of the President. Assign Webb Jr. to Baghdad until Webb apologises.

CAL

I have read the Will column and the TPM response. I was hard pressed to figure out the Dowdifying and had to go thru it again to see it.

Will is giving an overview of the conversation, not quoting it sentence for sentence and of the sentences he uses, he isn't altering any of them. I have read Maureen Dowd and George Will is no Maureen Dowd.

clarice

I wondered why the WaPo was working so hard to get this nutter elected. Now I know..lots of amusing stories in the wings.

Cecil Turner

Bush asked a conventional question and Webb got nasty. looking for a fight.

That's the way I see it, too. The idea that Webb was provoked by the question is hard to feature. Further, Will's "dowdification" is a shortened one-paragraph version of the incident (with a handy link in the middle to the longer). And if it's "journalistic dishonesty" for Will to leave out a clause in his quote, what should we call Sargent's leaving out the link in his?

Taranto was typically pithy:

We must admit, our reaction to this was mixed. On the one hand, is it really necessary for Webb to act like such a jerk? On the other hand, it's certainly going to be interesting to watch him on Capitol Hill for the next six years.

Jane

I have read Maureen Dowd and George Will is no Maureen Dowd.

Greatful for small favors.

Is there any woman on the planet more passive aggressive than Maureen Dowd?

SlimGuy

A commenter I read on another site suggest that President Bush should of said well since you won't tell me I guess tomorrow the Commander in Chief will have to put in a person to person call to your son to find out.

anonymous

Perhaps Bush could set his son up with some better housing, meals, R&R, etc. then the other troops.

Anything to make Daddy happy.

maryrose

Jane:
Maureen Dowd passive-aggressive?
I say aggressive-aggressive. She definitely needs a man to vent her frustrations on. She considers herself the bee's knees when it comes to journalistic opinion writing. You now have to pay to read her. I think I'll pass.

hit and run

Jim Webb wore his sons combat boots throughout the whole campaign.

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

"them" = "boots"?

Florence Schmieg

In addition to just plain crappy manners, Webb also acted like a sore winner. He won't be an interesting, funny character for the next 6 years. He will be a total jerk.

anonymous

IF I WERE PRESIDENT:

Today the Pentagon announces the first re-deployment of a troop serving in Iraq. Corporal Webb has been moved to a three year tour in OK-EEE-NAWW-WHAA.

The rest of his unit will remain to perform their sworn duties.

Terrye

What is it with Democratic Senators threatening to punch Bush? Didn't Landreaux from LA do the same thing when someone pointed out to her that there were buses under water in New Orleans? The details escape me but it is interesting to note how violent these people are.

I bet Webb's son really appreciates this old man using him like this. First he uses him on the campaign trail and then he uses him when he is looking for an excuse to behave like a bad child. What is next? Will he suggest the guy desert under fire? Go AWOL?

anonymous

During the entire campaign, we never heard once what his son thinks or believes about the war.

Wonder how our watch dog press missed that??

Appalled Moderate

It's a little hard to evaluate Bush's response to Webb, because you can't hear the tone. His response of "That isn't the question" could have been in a nasty tone. At the end of a long day, that might even have been unerstandable.

The problem is that Bush would have been better served mumbling another pleasentry and moving on, and making sure Webb is never invited to a function ever again.

Civility, an underrated virtue in Washington and comment sections, is important, because, invariably, something more important than your likes and dislikes may require you to work with a political opponent to serve the Republic properly. It's going to be hard to do that if you have been throwing personal slights at somebody, and the other fellow has been returning them.

Patton

I have no problem with Webb honestly oposing the war, but he ought to do it on his own argument, not use his son as a symbol to blunt any criticism of his position.

He also should take Congressmen to task since the voted for and have funded the war.

Perhaps the Democrats knew he couldn't intellectually argue his position because he never could actually state a firm position. So he relied on wearing the combat boots, holding them over his head for the crowd, and mentioning his family and how ONE was missing at every speech/function.

Jane

Maureen Dowd passive-aggressive?

Well you are probably right. The passive stuff is in that anger toward men, which leaks out all over the place. In my office today we were laughing about lesbians who are like that. At least they aren't trying to find men to date. I can only imagine the conflict Ms. Dowd embodies.

maryrose

Terrye:
Very good point. Yes it was Landrieu who threatened President Bush. She and Webb need to learn to stop burning bridges when down the road you just might need that person to declare a state of emergency in the state you represent in Congress. Louisiana got their money but continued to whine and complain about it. Mississippi pulled up their bootstraps and started rebuilding. I mean is there any real comparison between Haley Barbour and Babineau as far as effectiveness and getting things done? Warner will now be Bush's go to man while Webb languishes in the jr. status role with no real power in Washington.

Patton

It is cutomary for ALL new Senators to have their picture taken with the President, for histories sake if for nothing else.

There is a radio personality in Richmond that every time he is going to say 'Jim Webb' it is substituted with Forrest Gump saying "Lieutenant Dan!"

Perhaps Bush should just pose with a cut out character of Forrest Gump and label it Jim Webb for the history books.

clarice

He won by saying virtually nothing in the campaign and letting the WaPo do it for him. He's theirs now. Maybe we should call him the Senator from the Post.

SunnyDay

During the entire campaign, we never heard once what his son thinks or believes about the war.

Wonder how our watch dog press missed that??

If they can go after Allen's elderly mother, they could certainly find a way to interview Webb's marine son.

AFA Bush retaliating somehow - that won't happen. I imagine he *was* impatient with the fat-a$$Ed, pie-faced jerk, and his hyper-politics, but he will probably just let it go.

maryrose, Warner's gonna have his hands full. Maybe he could pull rank on Webb? ;)


hit and run

Patton:
not use his son as a symbol to blunt any criticism of his position.

Webb: "You will respect my absolute moral authoritah!"

Pat

Jim Webbs son is 24, but is a lance corporal (E-3). Which if anything like my service, he would have had to have joined the Marine Corps after the War on terror began.
I made E-4 in under 4 years.

And as of today, Webb isn't even a Senator, he's a civilian, entitled to nothing.

Terrye

Well Webb's son could always quit the Marines. Dad would have to find something else to use on his next campaign, but no point in staying if Daddy does not support the mission.

Threatening to deck someone is kind of childish. I wonder what Webb would have said if Bush has said: Don't let the Secret Service stop you big man, give it your best shot.

The truth is the Democrats spent the 90's threatening to kick Saddam's butt and now they are spending this decade threatening to kick Bush's. I doubt Bush has much to worry about considering how fast they went belly up for the Butcher of Baghdad.

I remember a cover some magazine back in 98, I think it was Time. There was Clinton all big and bad calling out Saddam. Now to hear these guys tell it Saddam and Bill were good buds and all was sweetness and light in the Arab world until Bush [boo hiss] came along and turned that kite flying paradise into Hell on Earth.

You know what they say, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. And Webb's mind is really really really big. Or something.

maryrose

Webb has committed a social gaffe and even the msm sees it as news. Once again President Bush emerges as the person with more class and a better set of manners. I guess they do learn the social graces at Yale. Too bad Webb has revealed his truly obnoxious side and certainly doesn't show the reputed Virginian social charm or hospitality. Remember any woman in Northern Virginia who voted for him - he considers you a second class citizen . Unfit to serve and subject to the glass ceiling. Webb needs a personal mamager -bad. Even Hillary didn't muff up her entrance into the Senate. I don't think Webb will get another photo-op opportunity with the prez. If Bush signs any legislation Webb will be cut out of the picture.
Bush's revenge-Kiss Webb on the head at the State of the Union.

hit and run

Bush's revenge-Kiss Webb on the head at the State of the Union.

ROTFLBSAOTP!!!

Now that's good. Brava!

anonymous

Interesting FACT:

Jim Webbs son actually dropped out of Penn State in October 2004 to instead enlist as an enlisted man, vice graduating from college and getting a job or becoming an officer.

So, certainly Jim Webbs son KNEW he would most likely go to Iraq having enlisted in Marine infantry 1 1/2 years AFTER the war in Iraq began.

Sounds a little fishy to me...

SunnyDay

Interesting...

Terrye

Tyrrell does an interesting oped on this. I just think Webb acted like an ass. If the Cin C were a Democrat it would never have happened. Just partisan bad behavior.

hit and run

Tom, why did you put Maureen Dowd in a Jim Webb story?

You have forced my hand.

Everyone, stop reading. Skip this post. Those with tender sensibilities, especially. Or even normal sensibilities for that matter.

If you are still reading, you do so at your own risk.

You have been warned.

It is not too late to turn back.

I beg you.

This is not a joking matter. Well, it is, but the joke is not in good taste. It is repulsive and vile.

Please. For the love of all that is good and decent. Stop now.





Anyway...

What's the difference between Jim Webb and Maureen Dowd?

Well, Jim Webb tried to pull a cunning stunt. While Maureen Dowd is a....

I'm sorry. I can't go through with it.

I should be banned.

But it's Tom's fault for bringing those two together. And yours for reading. I warned you.

SunnyDay

re "fishy" - what are the chances that there is something about the father son relationship that would make an innocuous question something else entirely - even if that's just in Daddy Webb's mind.

hmmmmm. fun thought anyway. I know, I'm evil. I admit it.

anonymous

Well, let's see..since we are speculating.

Why would his son wait to enlist until October? If his second year of college ended in June/July, why wait until October to sign up? Was Dad thinking of running for Senate? When?

Why enlist as a ground pounder in the Marine Corp? That is the single most likely service and job to get you assigned to Iraq.

If dad was so opposed, how could he not see his sons decisions would GAURANTEE to place him on the ground in Iraq within the next three deployment cycles?

Then Jim Webb spends the entire campaign acting as if he was just unlucky that his son ended up serving in Iraq. He had to have known, in Oct 2004 that his son was GAURANTEED to be in Iraq by the time of the
election campaign.

clarice

Maybe they don't get along or at least have different opinions. According to the report when Bush asked him about his son, Webb's response was ,"I want THEM home." Not responsive ..

SunnyDay

Not responsive

Yeah - and then "none of your business"

Has anyone ever asked Webb about his son, and gotten an answer?

lonetown

I for one can see alot of delight in a quirly, curmudgeonly kind of Senator but then why go to the affair? Barak Obama famously skipped it.

Just write FU on the invite and be done with it.

As it is he sounds defensive and paranoid. Kind of a douche bag, with the sour taste.

lurker
Oh puh-leeze Clarice.

How does one apply the social conventions of "this town" to Dead Eye Dick Cheney's telling Senator Leahy to "F*** yourself" on the floor of the Senate? It's not exactly beating a Senator unconscious with a cane, but it is a bit further removed from polite conversation than "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."

Senator Patrick Leahy deserved it. He's a leaking a**hole.

MayBee

It's a little hard to evaluate Bush's response to Webb, because you can't hear the tone.

Well, that and we only know Webb's version of Bush's response. People have been known to alter another person's words when they are angry with them.

MayBee

"F*** yourself" on the floor of the Senate?

It's obviously what Webb wanted to say, so he should have just said it. It would have been better than acting as if how his son is doing is private business between him and his son.

Sue

H&R,

You are so baaad!

:grin:

anonymous

The more you think about it, the more you see Webb is completely disengenious.

He knows perfectly well his son set himself up to go to Iraq, and he also knows that his sons deployment will be over long before our committment to Iraq is over

The whole poor me with the poor son who got stuck going to Iraq is a sad ploy for votes. A campaign concoction to win an election.

If Webb really had any balls, he would have been straight with the public and said, Look, my son despereatly wanted to go serve in Iraq, he thought the mission was a good and honorable one; but I have a different view.

Sadly, it may just be Dad's winning the election and turning Congress over to the cut and run crowd, that will embolden the terrorists and end up getting his son killed.

anonymous

Jim Webbs' son is the ONLY person responsible for him being in Iraq today...period.

Patrick R. Sullivan

As for George Will 'dowdifying', his version of the exchange probably came from W himself, while the WaPo's clearly came from Webb. Whatever version is correct, Webb is a jerk.

Why doesn't Webb punch Charlie Rangel or John Kerry for insulting his son's choice of career.

MayBee

If Webb really had any balls, he would have been straight with the public and said, Look, my son despereatly wanted to go serve in Iraq, he thought the mission was a good and honorable one; but I have a different view.

Great point.
It is entirely reasonable and expected that parents have a different feeling about their kids enlisting and going off to war than the kids do. Parents are generally more protective of their children (even the grown ones!) than those children want them to be.

anonymous

It is ironic that Webb thinks we need to sit down and talked to the leaders of North Korea and Iran to work out our differences, yet he can't even have a polite conversation with the leader of his own country.

But to be fair, I guess Bush is the only tyrannical dictator of the bunch.

anonymous

Webb is now claiming Bush set him up?

I guess Bush also got Webbs best friends to reveal this:
WAPO:
Even his good friends question whether he has the temperament to serve in Congress.

"It's no secret that I'm not a person who wears a bridle well," he once said....

Hmm, perhaps Bush should send him a bridle
engraved with: "PROPERTY OF HARRY REID",
to lighten the mood.

maryrose

anonymous:
"Bush should send him a bridle engraved with Property of Harry Reid to lighten the mood"
good one!
Webb has been an asshat-shades of Kerry...

Pofarmer

telling Senator Leahy to "F*** yourself"

As I recall, he had it comin. Kind of refreshing, actually.

Jane

Telling someone to F-off is a lot less rude than what Webb did - and a lot more disrespectful in my book. My book of course doesn't get easily offended by profanity.

richard mcenroe

Webb is showing real promise of going down in the history books as Murtha the Younger...

dick

Mary Rose,

Hillary did not do all that well when she went into the senate. After all she was the only one of the whole New York delegation in the Senate and the House who refused to meet with the police and fire representatives who went to DC to testify after 9/11. She was too busy finishing up her book to spare the time to meet with those heroes. I think she is just a slightly more civil version of Webb and since I don't think she is very civil, that tells you what I think of Webb.

tommy higbee

It seems everyone interprets the exchange differently. But to me it looks like Bush tries to ask a human, personal question: How's your boy?

Then Webb responds with a campaign slogan about wanting to bring all the boys back home.

So Bush tries to get past the politics and back to the personal question: How's your boy.

And Webb answers back with, basically: None of your business.

Now, you can read Bush's repetition as being ugly, but it looks more like he's refusing to take the political bait and trying to be friendly. Which fits the tenor of the event, which is to try to become friendly with the new Senators in the interests of being able to work with them later.

And I'm sorry, but even if people are only asking the question to be polite, you don't answer a question like that with "None of your business." If you really don't want to talk about it, you answer, "Fine," and either change the subject or say, "I'd rather not talk about it."

In short -- since I've already been long -- you can read Bush's side of the exchange as either nice or nasty, depending on actual tone of voice. But Webb's side of it is pretty much rude and nasty any way you slice it. The only way to justify Webb's rudeness is to argue that Bush provoked it, and you can't really make that claim just by reading this conversation.

hit and run

Hi Sue!

H&R,

You are so baaad!

:grin:

OK, I feigned the regrets at that joke. Well, feigned regrets at it being tasteless. I really do regret it - I regret wasting it on Dowd. Pelosi would have been a better use for it.

hit and run

richard mcenroe:
Webb is showing real promise of going down in the history books as Murtha the Younger...

I was going to write something similar yesterday. Murtha has to be sweatin' bullets these days. Pushed aside for Steny for house leadership and now be relegated to back seat status as the "former hawk" who makes a fool of himself.

He better better get to work if he wants to earn my efforts at mockery. I don't do 2nd class buffoons.

(Although, since I just expressed my regrets at wasting a joke on Dowd, I suppose I do do 3rd class buffoons)

TexasToast

Tommy H

Think of it this way. Webb's son, who is 24?, is in Iraq getting shot at. Bush's daughters, who are 24?, are in Buenos Aires tearin' up the town. "How's your boy?" is "... one concerned parent to another?" It might be just as easily be construed as "...sucker!".

It's absurd to assert that the words of the President of the United States about this war or its participants are mere social byplay. All of Bush's words have a political result - that is part of the nature of the beast. Bush probably intended to show his "concern" at putting Webb's "boy" in harms way while it is abundantly clear that he has every intention of keeping him and other "boys" and "girls" like him in harms way until we achieve some sort of undefined "victory". When Webb refused to follow the script, Bush got mad - "Thats not what I asked you".

Webb could have phrased his refusal to talk about it more politely, I suppose, but I suspect the President wouldn't what to hear what Webb's "boy" really thinks.

Lurker et al

I see, rudeness is A-OK if its directed at "bad" people. Thanks for setting me straight.

hit and run

TT:
but I suspect the President wouldn't what to hear what Webb's "boy" really thinks.

Maybe you're right. Afterall, Bush's question wasn't "What does your boy think?"

But, why would you assume that what Webb's son thinks would be something Bush wouldn't want to hear? Because you think it would be critical of Bush? The war?

Do you think this because surely Webb's son would hold views similar to his dad's? Is their any evidence of what his views are? Evidence more recent than whatever we can infer from the fact and timing of his enlistment, that is (which may not be much).

Soreback

Well, I guess one thing is clear about Webb. The women of Northern Virginia may have elected him as Virginia's senator, but he will only be representing himself. And now that Senator Warner is in the minority party, they'd better forget about federal help for their road situation or any other problem they have.

Sue

Webb could have phrased his refusal to talk about it more politely, I suppose, but I suspect the President wouldn't what to hear what Webb's "boy" really thinks.

Great, now you are a mind reader. Have you wondered why Webb's boy had to enlist? No other career choice? Not educated enough? Needed the gi bill to pay for college? No. Scratch that. Even if his father wasn't wealthy enough to pay for his college education, he enlisted 5 months after graduating college. Maybe you could channel his 'boy' up and tell us why he chose the Marine Corp? I would be interested and since mind reading seems to be your specialty...

TexasToast

Well, Sue, he may be a gung ho as you suggest - or he may actually think that hew has a duty to his country, even if he disagrees with its policies. Neither of us has any way of knowing, of course, but I'll side with the angels and go with the second.

lurker

We actually do know where he stands. I think he will disappoint you, TT.

boris

The angels don't cut and run. Pretty safe bet that Webb's son is less concerned with "policy disagreement" than winning.

hit and run

Or getting his boots back!

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