Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sen. Jim Webb: Sick jerk

It appears that General Wesley "Burnside" Clark (see below post) has unintentionally taken himself out of consideration to be Barack Obama's vice presidential pick.

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) is a considered a top contender for that spot on the ticket. Yesterday Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran, put himself into the fray. The Hill's Briefing Room Blog has more:

Webb, a Barack Obama supporter, was on MSNBC's "Countdown" to talk about his G.I. Bill to increase education benefits for returning veterans which is now law. Webb criticized both McCain and President Bush for not supporting the bill. Then, unprompted, Webb weighed in on the debate over retired Gen. Wesley Clark's remark that "riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down" isn't "a qualification to be president."

"I think what we really need to work on over the next four, five months, and it goes back to the speech that Sen. Obama gave [Monday] and this little fight that I've been watching and that is, we need to make sure that we take politics out of service," Webb said. "People don't serve their country for political issues."

He continued: "And John McCain's my long-time friend, if that is one area that I would ask him to calm down on, it`s that, don't be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all the people in the military support them because they don't, any more than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War. Let's get the politics out of the military, take care of our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas."

Webb's Senate office must have gotten a lot of fiery e-mails, because this afternoon his office issued a statement about the senator's MSNBC appearance:

"Senator Webb has never, and would never, demean the service of anyone who has stepped forward to serve our country. To the contrary, he was calling on those on all sides of the debate to refrain from implying that their political views are representative of the military writ large," wrote Webb's press secretary, Kimberly Hunter.

Real Clear Politics adds this thoughtful paragraph:

Although McCain has never claimed to speak for all the military, he has certainly made his Vietnam experience a major part of his campaign. However, Webb's comment about getting "politics out of the military" is disingenuous coming from him. After all, it was Webb who campaigned throughout Virginia with the boots of his soldier son as a symbol of his opposition to the war.

Now if Webb does get the Obama veep slot, he'll have to answer for this bizarre passage from his 2001 novel Lost Soldiers:

A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy's penis in his mouth.


Stop The ACLU has some more of Webb's prose that shouldn't be brought up at the dinner table--unless you're dining at a strip club or a brothel.

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