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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Friday-Sunday, December 1-3, 2006
How's Your Boy?
PRESIDENT BUSH: How's your boy?
SENATOR-ELECT JAMES WEBB (DEMOCRAT-VA): I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President.
BUSH: That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?
WEBB: That's between me and my boy, Mr. President.
Does anyone else feel a little chill? The best thing you could say about that exchange is that, at least, Bush didn't use the word "macaca".
James Webb was the one newly elected Senator (or Congressman) who refused to take the obligatory picture with the President this week. The above exchange happened after the presidential snub at a dinner for all of the "newbies" to the DC scene.
I hear some spattering that Republicans want Webb to apologize to President Bush for "dissin'" him. I hear that some Democrats want Bush to apologize to Senator-Elect Webb for his apparent lack of sincerity or empathy. My bet is that this was just an exchange between a man (Bush) who had asked that same question of dozens of mothers and fathers of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and a serious-minded man (Webb) who wasn't awed by the man who holds the most powerful job in the world (at least for now).
Just imagine that you have a child overseas in a violent, war-torn environment where both sides are trying to kill him. Now imagine that the President of the United States comes up to you and asks "How's your boy?" What will you say? I bet it wouldn't be "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President."
President Bush has a bunch of permanent scripts in his mind. When he asks a parent of a soldier a question such as, "How's your boy?", the only answer he expects to hear is "Fine, sir." What Webb did was to throw Bush off his game as he deviated from the script. I'm sure that this is what the President expected:
BUSH: How's your boy?
WEBB: Fine, sir.
BUSH: Good. Glad to hear it.
Anyone who has ever met or listened to James Webb would know that this man, the Vietnam war hero and former Republican, who was President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Navy; the man who wore his son's combat boots all during the campaign, doesn't play games. He might not be the guy that the far left wanted as their new Democratic Senator from Virginia, but he certainly is the guy I would have wanted had I lived ad voted in Virginia this year. Just about very picture taken of Webb seems to show a scowl. And if that scowl is the result of his wanting to get his child home, safe, from Iraq by getting all of the sons and daughters of America back from Iraq, well then, that's just fine with me.
"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall."
Be careful of what you say about Vice President Dick Cheney, though, Mr. Webb. With his hunting habits, he might want your head on his wall as a trophy instead of a picture.
"No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with (President Bush) and his administration. (But) leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."
The only one showing "offense to the institution of the presidency" is the president himself, Mr. Webb. It is President Bush who has shown a real distaste for the Constitution and the founding fathers' intentions; and it is The President who has abandoned his responsibilities and duties in favor of a small "base" of "haves and have mores" to create not only International wars around the globe but class and religious wars right here at home. No one knows the initial goal of the Bush wars, but no one could doubt those who are benefiting the most and those who are suffering the most.
Since the Bush wars began, monetarily speaking that "base", which includes the war profiteering GOP contributors Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater, just to name a few, have seen their coffers rise and their investors get richer. It's the middle class and poorer classes who make up the overwhelming majority of the military "boots on the ground" which have suffered the most, not just monetarily, but in blood.
The election of Jim Webb and mush of the new Democratic majority is the direct result of the American people finally realizing that "goal".
It's simple: Webb's goal is to bring the troops home. It's funny how a those who have served in our nation's battles are the ones who see how things really are. Rep. Jack Murtha (DEMOCRAT-PA), Webb and former Secretary of State Colin Powell come to mind, just to name a few. And it is those who avoided war who are calling our war heroes "cowards", like Rep. Jean Schmidt (REPUBLICAN-OH), or making the wrong decisions over and over and over again, like President Bush, VP Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the whole, now lame-duck GOP majority in both the House and the Senate.
This past week, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to meet with President Bush because of the threats by Iraq's Shiites, who got him elected. A leaked White House memo from National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley to President Bush which questioned al-Maliki's ability as Iraq's leader was the catalyst.. Of course, this memo was delivered to President Bush just one day prior to Bush's calling -al-Maliki "the right guy". By the way, this memo, supposedly classified, was released by a White House source. That's the reason that the Bushies aren't screaming and yelling about The New York Times and their lack of Patriotism.
This week we're going to be looking at the Iraq Advisory Board's recommendations on how to get out of the Bush-created quagmire. Most think that it will suggest removal of all troops by 2008, which echoes John Kerry's words of 1971, "How do you tell a man he's the last man to die for a mistake?"
I look forward to seeing the necessary havoc James Webb will create on the floor of the Senate. There can be no doubt that this man will not be a "back bencher".
"There are no senators who have that everyday anxiety that he has as a dad with a youngster on the front lines. That gives him gravitas and credibility on this issue. People in the Senate, I'm sure, will agree with him or disagree with him on issue to issue. But they won't doubt that he's coming at it from a real sense of duty."
-Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine (DEMOCRAT)
That's "duty" to the American people, not to a base that should be called "the have-enoughs".
"He is not a backslapper,"
That's too bad. Clearly some DC insiders need a "Kick me Here" sign on their backs.
A Note from a Friend from Camp Wellstone
Hey Noah - we were in the candidate track together at the Wellstone Training a year or so ago, and I wanted to let everyone know about one of our own - Barbara McIlvaine Smith - who just got elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature by a handful of votes, putting the democrats in the majority.
I thought you might still have the list of fellow class alums.
They're all on the Note from a Madman list. Congratulations, Rep. Smith! -NG
I have the honor of being on the committee to raise $5,000,000 for a monument to “George W. Bush” and would like to request your help.
We originally planned to carve his likeness on Mt. Rushmore. Unfortunately, there was not enough room for two more faces.
We then decided to erect a statue in the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame. But we were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, or beside Richard Nixon, who never told the “truth,” since GW Bush could never tell the difference.
We've finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Republican of them all.
You may well ask why Mr. Columbus was the greatest Republican of them all? Well, he left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else's money.
Thank you for anything you can contribute.
“George W. Bush, Monument Committee”
P.S. The Committee has raised *$1.16* so far.
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