Duffleblog offers some comfort to the democrat bed-wetting liberal community.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada â€” Just hours after the Democratic Presidential debate was broadcast on CNN, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) made a solemn vow to not kill again if elected President, sources confirmed.
Webb, a former Marine officer and Secretary of the Navy, admitted his comments during the debate about the enemy who wounded him with a grenade not being around to tell about it were maybe â€œa bit too realâ€ for the liberal crowd, close associates of Webb told reporters.
Though Webb cautioned during a post-debate interview from his freshly-dug two-man fighting position that he had taken a manâ€™s life and wasnâ€™t afraid to do it again.
The 69-year-old tried to further explain his comments that drew shock during the debate: â€œLook, I know what it looks like when a .45 slug takes a manâ€™s brain and paints a Picasso with it,â€ he said, while miming brain matter exploding out of the back of his head.
He added: â€œIf you elect me President you wonâ€™t have to learn what it looks like too,â€ said the Vietnam war hero, as he began fashioning a necklace of human ears.
According to close associates, once heâ€™s elected as commander-in-chief, Webb plans to delegate future killing to subordinates since he understands that as a good leader, he needs to foster their development and give them a chance to kill for themselves.
Republican turncoat Jim Webb, who despite his Marine Corps and redneck backgrounds, who despite serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Adminstration, changed sides and ran for the Senate as a democrat opposing the War in Iraq, then in the Senate voted for Obamacare and everything else, all the rest of the way down the line with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, could be observed paying painfully for his treachery last night.
At last night’s “democrat”, read: Socialist Party Presidential Debate, Webb found himself largely ignored by moderator Anderson Cooper. Webb additionally had to pay the price for his infidelity by being obliged to publicly affirm all the sniveling left-wing poppycock that was meat-and-drink to his rivals.
Webb managed to equivocate on Gun Control simultaneously agreeing that we have not done a good job of keeping people “who should be kept from having guns” from obtaining firearms, while also defending the right of ordinary Americans to own guns to defend their families.
But equivocation could only go so far.
I admired Webb’s grit as he ate one very major toad, standing right up and faithfully saluting Affirmative Action and assuring America, right out loud, that African Americans were entitled to a specially-privileged national status on the basis of their history including Slavery and Jim Crow.
Webb is smart enough to know better, but he again carefully followed the Party line on Climate Change, declining to defend coal, citing his Senatorial support for alternative energy and proposing greater reliance on nuclear power.
Inevitably, in certain areas, especially on questions related to foreign policy and defense, Webb sounded like the only adult in the room, and he undoubtedly did himself some good with his answers in those areas.
But Webb finally really paid the price on one particular question.
The British newspaper Independent described the moment from the other side’s perspective.
Jim Webb was responsible for one of the most uncomfortable moments of the Democratic debate on Tuesday evening when his dark sense of humour failed to translate.
Webb served in the Marine infantry as a rifle platoon and company commander during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, and other military honours for bravery.
The former Virginia senator was asked to name the enemy he was most proud of making in his political career during the debate.
â€œIâ€™d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but heâ€™s not around right now to talk to,â€ he said slowly after the other four candidates gave their answers, his mouth gradually breaking into a grin.
A few members of the audience managed an uneasy chuckle, but Moderator Anderson Cooper was keen to move on from his answer and quickly redirected the debate towards closing statements.
How exquisitely painful it must have been to former US Marine Officer James Webb to deliver the kind of line which would have his rivals at a Republican debate laughing appreciatively and the audience leaping to their feet applauding him, yet which, at a democrat party debate, lands on the floor like a dead fish, embarrassing his interlocutors and simply making his intended audience uncomfortable.
Poor Webb! The real price he is obliged to pay for stabbing his own kind in the back, and joining with the enemy, is having to pretend to be one of them and having to endure associating with them.
James Webb ought to have been exactly the kind of candidate anyone of my political views would be eager to support, an Appalachian redneck who attended the Naval Academy and then served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, a war hero deservedly awarded the Nation’s second highest medal for valor, a former Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan Administration, an intellectual who published several decent novels. What was not to like?
Reading it, followed by his 2008 A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America, I was persuaded that Jim Webb’s intention was to enter national politics as a second Andrew Jackson, that he was convinced that he had a role as a populist conservative champion of the values of rural working class America, that he intended to take on the liberal urban national elites on behalf of the same ordinary Americans among whom lay his own personal roots.
It seemed strange, then, that Webb proceeded to announce his intention to run as a democrat, challenging a conservative Republican incumbent, who was, at the time, one of the leading and most desirable conservative presidential prospects. It was not what anybody would call helpful to the conservative cause.
The next thing we knew, Webb went into attack mode, using an attempt by his opponent to mock the conniving presence of a Webb campaign agent filming him at one of his rallies to accuse George Allen of racism. Allen had referred to the opposition tracker of Indian extraction using a nonsense word, and Webb’s establishment media allies concocted an extravagantly implausible analysis of the word as an antique Moroccan slur applied to Negroes, imported into the Allen family’s customary parlance in Southern California by a mother of Shephardic Jewish ancestry.
This underhanded use of obviously false accusations of racism was pretty disgusting, particularly coming someone who would normally be expected to have good cause to fear being on the receiving end of similar accusations from the left.
James Webb proceeded to run for the Senate successfully, as an anti-war candidate no less, simultaneously waving around his Marine Corps son’s combat boots and insulting George W. Bush in public on the basis of his alleged grand indignation over the president’s sending his son into combat.
For a while, I entertained the hypothesis that all this villainy was perhaps merely the ruthless means by which Jim Webb meant to fight and claw his way into high office, and that once he had acquired a usable platform out would emerge the second incarnation of Old Hickory to turn the tables on the establishment and shake things up in Washington. They do train young men to be hard-nosed at Annapolis. The Marine Corps’s fighting techniques do not emphasize fair play for the enemy. Maybe Webb as just being a ruthless SOB for ultimately patriotic reasons. It seemed to me that a populist conservative democrat presidential contender would be a real game changer in national politics and the two party system as we know it could possibly never be the same. Maybe Webb would redeem himself in the end by challenging the current democrat party’s elite leftism and restoring the party of Jefferson and Jackson to its Southern libertarian and working class roots.
But then we saw James Webb the Senator. All the stuff in those books about “fighting” had nothing to do with Webb’s senatorial behavior. As Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid steered the ship of state hard left and opened wide the deficit sea valves, Senator James Henry Webb, Jr. representative of the Commonwealth of Virginia and of the Scots Irish culture of America faithfuly voted the left-wing party line every single time. Yes, Webb voted for the Porkulus. Yes, Webb voted for Obamacare. It seemed to me a pity that the democrats didn’t see their way clear to introduce a ban on handguns or a hunt ban, so we could watch good old Jim Webb vote with the democrat party on those, too.
In Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More, upon learning that his protege Richard Rich has been appointed Attorney General for Wales as a reward for betraying him by misquoting their private conversations, remarks, Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales? One might say much the same thing of Mr. Webb, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for one lousy six-year term in the Senate?
Some friends have been sending me links to Senator Webb’s Friday editorial in the Wall Street Journal urging America to move beyond policies institutionalizing racial privileges.
Before anybody starts taking James Webb seriously as a leader qualified to help us to move beyond the politics of race, he ought to remember that this is the same James Webb who has a Senate seat today because the leftwing media establishment constructed a fraudulent narrative accusing his opponent, a very popular Republican governor and at that point a serious contender for Republican presidential nomination, of manifesting racial prejudice against Hindus by supposedly employing an obscure francophone pejorative from the long-forgotten Belgian Congo.
Moe Lane understandably hopes that Webb’s latest move will cause him problems with his new allies and his new base.
Senator Webb seems to have forgotten that he has a â€˜Dâ€™ after his name these days, which effectively means that this entire article is thoughtcrime that will pretty much guarantee him a messy primary in 2012. Progressives do not appreciate thoughtcrime, particularly in their converts: they bought Jimmy Webb in 2006, and they expect their purchases to perform as expected.
Do I sound entertained? Itâ€™s because I am: and I will enjoy every second that Jimmy Webb is broken on the wheel for relapsing into error like this. And do you know why I will enjoy every second? Because of â€˜macaca,â€™ thatâ€™s why. Jimmy Webb stood by and calmly, disinterestedly watched as his new owners flash-mobbed his opponent for supposed racism in the 2006 Senatorial election. He did that because Jimmy Webb wanted to be Senator so badly that he was willing to overlook precisely the hyper-emphasis of race that he complains about now; after all, it put him in office, and that was the important thing, right?
Smitty, at The Other McCain, additionally commented on Webb’s hypocrisy.
If you want to ensure artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes, Senator, remove the wrongheaded bureaucracy attempting to legislate fairness, and let the legal system handle the legitimate cases of illegal activity. The Oedipal drive for the nanny state teat will always drive Procrustean, bureaucratic outcomes until the Federalist mastectomy utterly nips the collectivist funbag from the body politic.
The tell in the editorial came earlier, as far as I could observe:
I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to Americaâ€™s economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.
Do we need to get into your voting record, Senator? Have you not essentially been a rubber stamp for every crypto-Marxist idea that Pelosi and Reid have excreted in this atrocious 111th Congress, unless Iâ€™ve missed something. Where is your editorial promising to caucus with the GOP, if necessary, to prevent some zombie Congress from going on a brain-eating Card Check, Cap-N-Trade, &c rampage after the election in November? Where are you on making sure weâ€™re approving Supreme Court justices who support and defend the Constitution, and donâ€™t feel some urge to treat it as free verse about which to emote? …
When you think of fairness, Senator Webb, does the macaca incident enter you conscience? In particular, was Ezra Klein and JournoList, or some equally spin-tastic predecessor, involved? Do you really think the whole mish-mash honorable, or was the macaca thing in the Washington Post just a cost of doing business to advance your ambitions?
But, no, your â€˜political careerâ€™ is what itâ€™s all about, yes? Reform in this country will take root when almost all have such, elected or otherwise, to the point the phrase is oxymoronic. Hereâ€™s the book: your thumb wrestling match with George Allen for the seat led you to run on the Democratic ticket. Fine. I hoped you might be a voice of reason to the Democratic caucus, USNA grad and Vietnam veteran and all. But, in the main, youâ€™ve consistently been a tool. Perhaps these strange masters of yours have subverted you totally.
James Webb comes from the South, served in the Marine Corps, and used to be a Republican. Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of Defense and later Secretary of the Navy. Nonetheless, when the Republican nomination to the Senate for Virginia was not available, Webb changed parties and ran as a democrat.
James Webb was on the boxing team at Annapolis. He understands the concept of fair play and why gentlemen in fair contests refrain from striking below the belt.
Some of us thought that, though he had acquired that Senate seat by unhanded means, Webb’s political manifesto, Born Fighting, signaled his ruthless determination to advance a new Jacksonian kind of politics, and thought Webb might find a way to redeem himself in office by defending the kind of ordinary Americans he proposed to represent in that book against Big Government, elitist rule, and special interests.
Well, that certainly didn’t happen.
In every case of the democrat Congress advancing the agenda of the extreme left, Jim Webb was there making up one of the necessary 60 Senate votes. When he voted for Obamacare, somebody should have sent him $3 worth of dimes.
Webb wrote an editorial expressing principles he conspicuously did not live, and any principles Webb may have are obviously for sale.
Virginia Senator Jim Webb wouldn’t sign on as Barack Obama’s running mate, but he’s willing to overlook the obvious major differences between Obama’s ultra-liberal positions and his own in order to endorse, and assure us that he trusts, Obama. He trusts Obama even to defend the Second Amendment, he says.
Our family tradition of hunting and shooting are a way of life to me, and no government will ever take that away. I am an NRA member and I know that my friend Barack Obama will protect our second amendment rights. So don’t be misled about Barack Obama…I trust him to protect our right to keep and bear arms.
On what possible basis, Senator Webb? Barack Obama has the most leftwing voting record of any senator. Obama scores to the left of socialist Bernie Saunders. His gun control record is impeccable. He’s a 100% supporter of Gun Control.
And Obama isn’t only endorsed by you, he’s endorsed by the Brady Campaign.
Senators Barack Obama and Joseph Biden know that we make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons in this country. They know that our weak gun laws have too many loopholes, which lead to over 30,000 deaths and 70,000 injuries from guns every year.
“Senators Obama and Biden know that we can reduce those deaths and injuries from guns by strengthening our Brady background check system, getting military-style assault weapons off our streets, and giving law enforcement more tools to stop the trafficking of illegal guns.
But the National Rifle Association, to which both Senator Webb and I belong, says Obama would be “the most anti-gun president in American history.” The NRA notes:
Obama voted to ban hundreds of rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and sport shooting
(Illinois Senate, SB 1195, 3/13/03)
Obama endorsed a ban on all handguns
(Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization general candidate questionnaire, 9/9/96, Politico, 03/31/08)
Obama voted to allow the prosecution of people who use a firearm for self-defense in their homes
(Illinois Senate, S.B. 2165, vote 20, 3/25/04)
Obama supported increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent
(Chicago Defender, 12/13/99)
Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting
(United States Senate, S. 397, vote 217, 7/29/05)
Obama opposes Right-to-Carry laws
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 4/2/08, Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04)
Jim Webb’s word to gun owners and Virginians clearly is not worth very much. He really has become a democrat. Shame on Webb.
Marc Ambinder says that Jim Webb will not be forwarding his tax returns to Obama campaign headquarters.
Last week, members of the team gave Sen. James Webb of VA a list of what they needed to begin their investigation of his background and career. Webb refused, telling them that he did not want to be considered for the position.
In a statement today, Webb disclosed that he had “communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and this country. Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Vice President.”
A Democrat close to Webb confirms that a request for documents preceded his declaration to the Obama campaign. The Democrat said that Webb did not want to relive the vigors of a campaign so soon after his election to the Senate.
Webb’s statement suggests that Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, the two leaders of the team, had received instructions from Sen. Obama to vet a number of finalists, including Webb.
In general, candidates who are asked to provide information ranging from references to tax returns have been promoted to the next round by the nominee himself. Because the vetting takes lots of time, nominees tend to ask for vets of only those under serious consideration.
This kind of report always leaves more uncertainty than it dispels.
Perhaps Webb is simply being coy, and may yet be persuaded. Or maybe Obama just isn’t inclined to try balancing his ticket with someone so different from the democrat party mainstream as Webb, and Webb is explaining to the press just how sour those grapes really are.
If Jim Webb is so determined not to run for VP, how come he published this May the second personal political manifesto he’s produced in under three years, titled: A Time to Fight?
Personally, I think Webb could help Obama a lot in regions and with constituencies otherwise completely out of reach, but I’m not sure that I believe that they could work together. It would be entertaining though to see the democrat nutroots go ballistic over the choice of Webb, so I’ll be sorry if it doesn’t happen.
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.
Barack Obama must be giving very serious consideration to Virginia Senator James Webb for his Vice Presidential running mate.
Talk about balancing the ticket.
Webb is a Southern redneck, and a former Marine Corps officer and genuine (not like John Kerry) war hero who received the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor. Webb is also a former Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan.
With Webb, Obama has a chance to match McCain’s war record and stronger defense policy background. He also becomes able to make a strong play for precisely the white, working class, and rural constituencies where he himself is weakest.
Selecting Webb, of course, would be fraught with ironies. It seems highly doubtful that the two men could stand each other, and the combination of their personal images would be just a tad incongruous, kind of like the late Bayard Rustin running for president with John Wayne as his running mate.
Webb has moved startlingly to the left since suddenly launching his electoral political career by running over the broken body of Republican George Allen into a Senate seat for Virginia. There is reason to wonder if Webb’s apparent ideological conversion is the result of a third marriage to a youthful wife of Asian background whose political philosophy is now in ascendance in the Webb household or whether Webb has been being cynical and insincere in pursuit of still higher office.
Webb’s Born Fighting, a history of the Scots Irish published in 2005 just as he was commencing his political career, contained enough political asides to read like a version of Mein Kampf written by Pat Buchanan.
Though he ran for the Senate as anti-war liberal, the Webb who speaks in Born Fighting is populist, nativist, and protectionist. In essence, that Webb is every bit as much an ethnically aggrieved and partisan member of some hypothetical Trinity Evangelical Church of Hillbilly Snake-Handling as the loudest and noisiest whitey-denouncing, racist-US-Government-accusing member of Barack Obama’s Trinity Evangelical Church of Black Nationalist Liberation Theology in Chicago.
If Obama goes with Webb, it will be amusing to watch, at the very least.
I mention all this, because I was noticing this morning that efforts are afoot on the political left to scuttle such a mesalliance.
Authorities dropped charges Friday against an aide to Virginia Sen. Jim Webb who carried a loaded gun into the U.S. Capitol complex.
“After reviewing and analyzing all of the evidence in the case, we do not believe the essential elements of the crime of carrying a pistol without a license can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor, top prosecutor in the District of Columbia, said in a short statement.
Well and good, readers probably think.
But Mr. Taylor and the Associated Press are overlooking the fact the Second Circuit struck down the District’s gun law in Parker v. District of Columbia on March 9th. Mr. Thompson was arrested on March 26th.
Charges have been dropped, but you can rest assured that thousands of dollars in defense legal fees were accrued. (Let’s hope Jim Webb is paying them.)
And a record of Mr. Thompson’s arrest and his fingerprints have been retained by the FBI.
Dana Milbank skewers a well-deserving Senator James Webb for preeningly displaying his gun-owning credentials at a news conference (for the benefit of Old Dominion constituents), while carefully dissociating himself from any responsibility for his aide Phillip Thompson’s arrest for entering the Capitol with a briefcase containing Webb’s loaded 9mm pistol.
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” (Webb) announced, wearing the sort of baggy suit that made it hard to tell for sure if he was packing heat. “I have had a permit to carry a weapon in Virginia for a long time, and I believe that it’s important for me personally and for a lot of people in the situation that I am in — to be able to defend myself and my family.”
If Webb seemed to be enjoying the moment a bit too much, that’s probably because a Virginia politician has never lost an election for loving guns too much. But Phillip Thompson, who carried the weapon, derived rather less pleasure from the incident.
Thompson — a.k.a. “Lockup No. 1” — spent 28 hours in the slammer after walking into the Russell building Monday morning with a gun and two loaded magazines in his briefcase. Two hours after Webb’s performance in front of the cameras, Thompson — sandwiched between drug cases and domestic disputes — made his appearance in the foul-smelling arraignment room at D.C. Superior Court. He had a 5 o’clock shadow and a new pair of leg irons to accessorize his rumpled business suit. Ordered to stand in a box marked off with frayed duct tape, he must have been too stunned to answer when the judge asked if he understood the charges.
“You have to answer, sir,” the judge told the silent defendant. “Do you understand?”
“Yes,” he said quietly.
Could it have been any worse? Well, consider that Monday was Thompson’s 45th birthday.
A court employee handed out copies of the complaint as reporters rushed from the arraignment room to chase Thompson. His fancy Virginia lawyer, unfamiliar with the bowels of the courthouse, led the defendant out the wrong exit — forcing him to walk several blocks to a parking garage, surrounded all the way by TV cameras and reporters.
“Who gave you the gun?”
“Was it a big mistake?”
“What are you going to do now?”…
The lawyer, Richard Gardiner, answered for his client. “No comment. . . . He’s not gonna have any comment. . . . He’s not making any comment, on the advice of his attorney.” Thompson, Gardiner and an unidentified third man gave the cameras yet another shot when they emerged from the garage in a BMW with Virginia plates.
The complaint laid out Thompson’s version of events: “The defendant stated that he was in possession of a pistol and two magazines belonging to Senator Jim Webb. The defendant further stated that he inadvertently left the gun that he was safekeeping from the previous days.” Webb may be pleased to know that, according to the complaint, “the weapon was test fired and is operable.”
And how does Webb feel about the whole thing? Hard to say. Gardiner wouldn’t say who had retained him to represent Thompson. Webb himself, after calling the news conference to discuss the matter, then said he couldn’t talk about it. …
Webb, an expert marksman, was happy to discuss why he carries a concealed weapon. “Since 9/11, for people who are in government, I think in general there has been an agreement that it’s more — a more dangerous time,” he said. “If you look at people in the executive branch . . . there is not that kind of protection available to people in the legislative branch. We are required to defend ourselves, and I choose to do so.”
Webb even hinted that he ignores the District law requiring handguns to be registered. Asked if he considered himself above D.C. law, he said: “I’m not going to comment in any level in terms of how I provide for my own security,” he said.
The senator was less forthcoming in his defense of Thompson. “He is going to be arraigned today,” Webb said. “I do not in any way want to prejudice his case and the situation that he’s involved in.”
Prejudice the case? But wasn’t it Webb’s gun that his aide was carrying for him?
Webb wouldn’t even acknowledge it was his gun. “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson,” he stipulated.
Webb had kind words for his aide — “a longtime friend” and “a fine individual” — but he seemed to be trying to cut Thompson loose as he spoke of the incident. “I find that what has happened with Phillip Thompson is enormously unfortunate,” Webb reported. “I was in New Orleans from last Friday until yesterday evening. I was not in town. I learned about this when I was in New Orleans.”
Upon reflection, Webb must have decided that he had been stinting in his defense of Thompson. An hour later, his office sent out an amended statement. “I can say with great confidence that this was an inadvertent mistake on his part,” the statement said. It was a little late for Lockup No. 1.
What a man!
My dad used to say there is a certain recognizable type of marine, who translates Semper Fidelis as “Pull the ladder up, Captain, I’m on board!”
Gun laws are often written in such a way as to criminalize “possession” when possession consists of merely holding somebody else’s legally owned gun in one’s hand briefly. In this case, the possession was a senator’s pistol in a briefcase being carried by an aide.
U.S. Capitol Police arrested a top aide to Sen. Jim Webb on Monday after he tried to enter a Senate office building carrying a loaded pistol and two fully loaded magazines that belonged to the senator.
Phillip Thompson sent a bag through the X-ray machine at Russell Senate Office Building, where Webb’s office is located. It detected the weapon and Capitol Police say they determined that Thompson didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington, D.C. Thompson was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.
A senior Democratic aide said Webb gave the bag that contained the gun to Thompson when the aide drove the senator to the airport. Thompson said he forgot it was in the bag when he took it into the office building.
Michael Gerson takes Virginia’s wordsmith Senator Jim Webb out behind the shed over his democrat rebuttal speech last night:
The Democratic response by Virginia Sen. James Webb was also memorable, in a different way. Whenever a politician puts out to the media that he has thrown away the speechwriters’ draft and written the remarks himself (as Webb did), it is often a sign of approaching mediocrity. This was worse. Senator Webb made liberal use of clichés: the middle class is “the backbone” of the country, which is losing its “place at the table.” I am not even sure there is a literary term for a mixed metaphor that crosses two clichés. And Senator Webb’s logic was as incoherent as his language (the two are often related). No “precipitous withdrawal”—but retreat “in short order.” Fight the war on terror vigorously—except where the terrorists have chosen to fight it. It is, perhaps, a good thing that James Webb earned a job as senator. As a speechwriter he would starve.
But Joshua Stanton supplies the rebuttal speech Jim Webb should have given.
My fellow Americans, We have have a long and glorious history that I join you in celebrating here tonight. Let me share with you this deguerrotype of my great great great great grandfather, a penniless drunkard and street-corner pugilist who sat in a Dublin jail, until he was paroled and came to Virginia in 1724, just in time to join in the massacre of the peaceful Massapequasimolie Indians. I would hope you draw strength from this tomorrow when you return to your janitorial duties, brooding about the hour when you will rise up against the robber barons of the beef trust, but none of you are likely to have understood those historical references anyway.
But let me get to the real reason we are here, besides your mandate to disband the Mark Foley Man-Boy Love Association: to change course in Iraq. I know a lot about changing course because I was the Navy Secretary in my young Republican days, when I was one of the people my most enthusiastic supporters would ordinarily revile.