During the election, some Virginia Republicans confused Jim Webb with his supporters. Senator-elect Webb is a conservative Democrat. The man was a Republican until just a few years ago. His most vocal supporters consist largely of liberal Democrats, and this gave some people on the far left and far right the impression that he is a liberal Democrat.
Anybody expecting Senator-elect Webb to be a standard bearer for liberal values will be sorely disappointed. He will cast votes that will incense liberals. He will oppose good federal programs because there simply isn’t the money to pay for them. He will support expanded military spending in times of peace. Presumed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will no doubt have a tough time keeping Webb in line. He is, as he once said, “not a person who wears a bridle well.”
However, anybody who expects Senator-elect Webb to be a principled, moderate, thoughtful, independent-minded thinker will be very pleased. Anybody who wants Virginia to be the only state in the union with two former Secretaries of the Navy representing it in the Senate as vocal supporters of Oceana and all of our military facilities will be thrilled.
Bitter former supporters of Senator Allen would do well to take the next couple of months to take a few deep breaths, recognize that their assessment of Webb has not been entirely rational, open their minds, start treating Senator-elect Webb with the respect that’s due to his office, and then watch him in action in Washington. (That’s the same process that liberal Democrats may need to go through round about April.)
Open-minded Virginians have a real treat waiting for them in the form of Senator-elect Jim Webb.