Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What Jim Webb Said

One of the things I've learned from all those Sunday school classes, is that we love our neighbors as ourselves. The sad thing in American society circa 2006, is that we have made a sport of hating that which is not like us. Conservatives see liberals as destroying American society as we know it and say horrible things about them (ie: Ann Coulter). Liberals think Conservatives are leading us to a theocracy or fascist state and say bad things about them (ie: Michael Moore). Five years after 9/11, liberals and conservatives can't see the other as a fellow American.

I've been reading some of the aftermath of a "conversation" between President Bush and Senator-Elect James Webb of Virginia. You can read the unofficial transcript, but let's just say it wasn't a pleasant chat. There are some who are glad that Webb sassed back at the President, faulting Bush for even asking about his son. One blogger even said that such an attitude might win over independents.

Before I say anything more, you should know I've not been a fan of the president. I think he has been incredibly incompetent and is in line for being on of the worst presidents in American history. That said, I don't think what Mr. Webb did was heoric or cool or whathaveyou. It was pretty petty and childish.

Yes, conservatives have been incredibly uncivil over the past few years and that includes the President. While such behavior might be deserved, it does nothing to further governing, unless all that governing means is stopping the other party's agenda.

Mr. Webb's comments might make people feel good, but what will it do to solve the problem in Iraq? Not a damn thing. But hey, he mouthed off the President, so that's all that matters.

I would love to see leaders disagree without being so disagreeable. I would love people to stop acting like children and work like adults. I'm not expecting that Mr. Webb pals around with Mr. Bush, heck I don't like the president. But I do expect that all elected leaders show some sense of civility around others, even those they may not like.

America faces some big issues and it need leaders from both parties to act like...well grown ups.


Catzmaw said...

How did Webb "sass" the president? He was asked a personal question, deflected it with a general answer which essentially warned Bush off of a very sensitive subject for Webb, and Bush virtually demanded that he answer. Seems to me the sass came from Bush, who said "I didn't ask you that. I asked how your boy is." This is a demand for an answer by a guy throwing his weight around. The Presidency does not bestow upon its holder the right to intrude into the personal life of another. Webb acted appropriately under the circumstances. What was Webb supposed to say? "My 'boy' is fine", when he knew his son had recently survived a battle in which three platoon members died? To Webb's way of thinking Bush is the one who put his son and those men in danger. He's not going to respond with a platitude, so he tries to avoid responding at all. Bush is a troglodyte.

Anonymous said...

Webb's answer is in keeping with his behavior throughout the campaign. He never talked about his son or tried to his son's deployment to garner sympathy or support. Bush's question was borderline inappropriate and certainly, after Webb tried to first answer in a more general, unpersonal way, Bush should've gotten the hint. It wouldn't be a story then.