Saturday, June 24, 2006

Webb chose not to pose

In today’s Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman writes on Jim Webb’s statement about a proposal by Sen. John F. Kerry, to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within a year, in “Webb Opposes Withdrawal Plan For U.S. Troops.”

“Virginia Democratic Senate candidate James Webb said Friday that he would have voted against a proposal by Sen. John F. Kerry to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within a year...”

“...‘James H. Webb Jr. is not only trying to have it both ways on Iraq, he has taken three or more contradictory and vacillating positions,’ said Dick Wadhams, Allen’s campaign manager, in a statement. ‘If you disagree with something James H. Webb Jr. says about Iraq, just wait a few hours, and he’ll change his position.’”

“Well ... isn’t that special?” as Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character used to say on Saturday Night Live.

Yep, Mr. Wadhams gets paid the big bucks as a campaign consultant for such original material. By the time we get to November, how many times do you think we’ll have heard the stale term “flip-flopper” fall out of his rent-a-mouth?

In the summer of 2006, a big part of the Democrats’ problem with the war in Iraq, as an issue, is something that was also a big problem in the fall of 2002. That's when President George Bush buffaloed most of them into giving him the blank check authority he's been cashing in ever since. Sadly, the Democratic Party lacked leadership in 2002, on matters of war and piece. Today it's still a problem.

So, Jim Webb is saying he can help provide that leadership, if he is elected. Sounds good to me. I think he’s saying the Democrats need a new senator who is an authentic military expert.

It surely helped when the Dems had Georgia's Sam Nunn in the Senate, to ask tough questions at crucial times. Webb seems to be saying that all of America’s military/diplomatic experts weren’t in favor of launching the war in Iraq. It wasn't so much a matter of being willing, as it was being smart.

Yet, the White House scoffed at anyone who questioned its plan, anyone and everyone. It was going to be a "cakewalk," Bush’s experts with no military experience promised then. Now those same failed experts -- some might call them “swindlers” -- speak less of cakewalks, and more of flip-floppers.

Webb seems to be saying that some of America’s military/diplomatic experts, today, aren’t happy with the Bush Defense Department’s swaggering style, nor with its dangerous incompetence.

If Webb says he just doesn’t like artificial timetables for withdrawal, that’s OK by me.

My support of him says I trust Jim Webb to do the right thing for America’s military personnel, and its best overall interests, in matters of war and peace. I’m not going to ask him to support a bill he doesn’t like, simply to create a little news story to harass Bush. And, to me, that’s most of what Kerry's measure was.

It was a pose Webb chose wisely not to strike. That's leadership, regardless of what Wadhams might like you to believe.

Bottom Line: I have to wonder if either Bush's yes-man, Sen. George Allen, or his hired gun, Wadhams, has ever had such a thing as an original thought. So-o, who's doing their thinking? Uh, oh, could it be ... Satan?


spankthatdonkey said...

James Webb is "ducking the issue", and it's his issue!!!

The Church Lady was great, good call on the humor!!

Wadhams wouldn't have anything to talk about if it wasn't there... and it's there (Webb break dancing on Iraq)

Vivian J. Paige said...

Loved The Church Lady reference ;)

F.T. Rea said...


People who call a man a flip-flopper simply because he adjusts to reality, as it presents itself at any given moment, are playing a schoolyard game. It’s a transparent name-calling game that does the discussion no good.

In 1876, if you had been riding with George Bush, er, I mean Gen. George Custer, would you have called a guy a flip-flopper to try to get out of the way of an incoming arrow? Tomorrow, if you were on a sinking boat, would you try to stop passengers from getting into the inflatable dinghy?

When important news comes in, information that contradicts what you thought/hoped was true, you cannot ignore that fresh info and expect good things to happen.

In matters of less importance than war, pretending that it’s sissified to be willing to change directions, no matter what, can be forgiven. Ignoring reality cannot be tolerated, when it comes to sending other peoples’ kids into a war you started.

So, can you dig this? Iraq has not been a "cakewalk." The citizens did not welcome us as liberators, with flowers, and all that other baloney we were fed. There’s terrible problem in Iraq that is not getting better because we’re there. It is getting worse. And, it is costing a lot of money.

America’s failed policy in Iraq is making the world more dangerous all the time, because it is a huge propaganda tool for Osama bin Laden and his ilk.

Still, I agree with Webb that an arbitrary deadline to pullout is a bad idea. I don’t want to limit the options of the military, as long as they’re there. What we need to hear is the new plan, a plan that defines the mission today. The old plan is obsolete.

That’s not politics, that’s reality.

Stomp Allen said...

Right on! Great post.

spankthatdonkey said...

You guys disagree that we should have invaded Iraq to start with (Webb, SLANTblog MSM etc), and you are completely invested in "downing" the effort, no matter what "new good information" comes out of it...

I think that is a fair statement, I didn't notice a lot of cheering with the demise of Zarqawi.. a lot of ink/electrons, but it drifted towards the negative as usual.

You use the Custer example, because we all know the history of that battle, but we do not know the outcome of this war, and in retrospect what if you guys decide that, yeah, we should have invaded Iraq, it was in our best interests to fight terrorists with actual combat soldiers some place else, free millions of people, and empower their women,(the real key to moderating politics and religion in the Middle East), Syria is out of Lebanon, Libya gave up their WMD program, Iran knows we mean business with 140K troops on their doorstep.

These are all good things, and if a Democrat President had set them in motion, he would be a hero!!!

Hey, I think you guys are biased :-)