21 Jun 2008

The Democrats’ Logical Play, But…

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James Webb campaigning vigorously

Barack Obama has pop star appeal in the urban community of fashion, but his exotic background, his far-left liberalism, and his glib and polished Ivy League diction win few admirers in rural and working class America. Running as a peacenik against a war hero like John McCain also leaves Obama with deep vulnerabilities on national defense.

First-term Virginia Senator James Webb is bound to seem like a godsend to democrat strategists. A redneck, Marine war hero, and former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, Webb has everything Obama lacks from Southern appeal to obvious masculinity.

The Wall Street Journal seems to be the venue selected for a serious “Webb for VP” trial balloon.

There’s not much doubt that Webb would do a lot to strengthen an Obama ticket, but the Webb ploy also raises serious questions: Would the democrat party activist nutroots base actually put up with it, or would they openly revolt? Even as a turncoat democrat and antiwar Senator, Webb’s personality, lifestyle, and very being represent everything calculated to offend your typical urbanista liberal.

And, even if Obama and the party backroom mechanics can successfully get the MoveOn.org wing to shut up and sit still for Webb, they have to ask themselves: Can they really control a person as willful and belligerent as Webb? Is Webb liable to challenge President Obama one fine day on foreign or domestic policy?

Even more frightening a question for democrats ought to be, will they have perhaps created their own Nemesis if they make James H. Webb into a national figure, and logical presidential candidate?

The post-1968 democrat party has had very limited national success, being a captive of its leftwing radical activist base, whose politics are simply unsalable at a national level. What would be the consequences of the rise of very different kind of democrat leader, one with a lot more resemblance to Andrew Jackson than to Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton? If I were a leftwing democrat, I’d find it all pretty scary.


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