Sen. Webb’s best moment yet.

For those who haven’t seen Sen. Jim Webb’s Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, I strongly encourage you to take five minutes to watch it. Sen. Lindsay Graham comes off very, very poorly, and Webb looks more senatorial than he ever has.

Graham looks like a fool next to Webb.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

26 replies on “Sen. Webb’s best moment yet.”

  1. It’s called “emotion.” Its the kind of thing we need in Washington. You might want to give it a try some time.

  2. Well, Ward, to be honest with you, we Democrats assembled last year and decided to elect Jim Webb in hopes of bringing the number of angry, unhinged elected officials in our party closer to the number of angry, unhinged elected officials in the Republican party.

    We still have a long way to go, but we’re hoping to close the gap even further in the coming election cycles.

    Mike Gravel 4 President!

  3. Unhinged? Seriously? I saw a couple of moments of frustration, sure. Maybe it had something to do with Graham’s nauseating and relentless politicking over an issue that is a life and death matter for real living and breathing people. “They go back because they’ve seen the face of the enemy…” Give me a break.

  4. While I supported what Webb had to say, I was sorry to see him sink to the level of bickering politician who had to get in his two cents relentlessly while Graham was talking. I saw this a lot when he debated Allen, and it comes down to rude interrupting. Then, when Graham did it back, Webb got all snarky with him. I’d like to see Webb stop this habit, as to me it makes him look like he can’t stand to let the other person talk at ALL, even if he’s got excellent counter-points to follow up with. Also, it’s damn hard to follow what ANYONE is saying when they are talking over each other.

  5. To put a fine point on it, the closest that Lindsay Graham has come to the sound of gunfire was lawyering from a desk at McIntire Air National Guard Station – South Carolina in 1991. He’s arguing troop welfare with the most highly decorated combat veteran of the 1968 United States Naval Academy.

  6. Lindsay Graham comes across as a petulant, rules-mongering, coward; and I am ashamed to live in a republic where that man can get elected and thrust human lifes into combat for bullshit reasons like corporate profit and personal greed.

  7. Right, Julia, because sitting back and relying on the politeness and decency of the Republicans to get your point in has served this country *so well*.

  8. I am glad to finally have someone in Congress who reflects the views of the vast majority of Americans about this insane war, as well as someone knowledgable and articulate in military matters.

  9. The man said he was “born fighting” and that’s just what he’s doing.

    Give’em hell.

  10. Webb got the better of the exchange. It wasn’t even close. Graham tried to filibuster him. It didn’t work.

    I liked Webb’s comment that “Lindsay’s had a tough month.” Sure, it was a jab, but a pretty playful one without malice. The only criticism I’d make of Webb was his statement about how we need to “bring people together and get a diplomatic solution.” That sounds pretty good and all, but I wish he’d put some meat on those bones. Without fleshing it out more, it’s just the same kind of emply rhetoric we’ve been hearing from both sides.

    Lastly, Webb showed a lot or restraint by not refering to his own Vietnam combat history as Graham baited him with the “have you ever been to Iraq?” herring. The difference between the way Webb dealt with it and the way John Kerry would have wasn’t lost on me.

  11. Watching Jim Webb in this appearance made my blood run hot again, after I thought it had started to cool off, given the performance of many Democrats on the subject of this stupid war.

    Passion is the ingredient we need in politics, and Jim Webb is one smart man that won’t take a bunch of political grandstanding from someone while the soldiers die needlessly and have shortages of equipment and the wrong body armor. Lindsay Graham needs to shut up about how many times he has been to Iraq, unless he plans to pick up a gun the next time he is there.

    Senator Webb, you are doing exactly what I helped elect you for. Good on you, and good on anyone who follows your lead.

  12. The turning point in this mini-debate was when Graham claimed that the reason soldiers continue to return to Iraq is because they support President Bush’s agenda. Polls show quite clearly that the opposite is more true, but it shows that Graham lacks a more fundamental knowledge about what drives people to serve in our military. (Graham consequently gives them far, far too little credit.) I’m glad our senator was willing to educate him, briefly, on that, though I doubt he listened.

  13. I don’t think either of them came off particularly well in this clip. Then again, I’ve not had much previous exposure to Senators Webb or Graham, so my bar may be set differently. They seemed like typical snippy politicians trying to upstage each other’s rhetoric, constantly interrupting and dismissing each other.

  14. With 1:50 to go (YouTube counts down, rather than up), it becomes especially clear that Graham is simply talking to keep Webb from talking, when he drones on, looking down at the table: “Let ’em win. Let ’em win. They wanna win. Let ’em win.” That’s when Webb asks, annoyed, “May I speak?” And fair enough — Graham’s purpose at that point was not to get a message across but, rather, to prevent Webb from getting his message across.

  15. Oh, Lindsey Graham knows that, Waldo. It just doesn’t suit his purposes at the moment. Graham’s a very smart guy. He’s also an snake that ought to be watched more closely. People, with their empty-headed admiration of his veneer of civility, don’t seem to appreciate the damage that he’s done (and will do, unchecked).

  16. @ Bubby:

    Wingtips, eh? That’s pretty good. On the other hand, forgive me if I don’t place much stock in the desire of Iran & Syria to be regional peace partners.

  17. Who are we fighting?

    About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

    Sunday Los Angeles Times

  18. Ward,

    Yeah, well, that’s what I want from him. Someone who really gives a damn about our soldiers, marines and sailors and won’t sit aside and let guys like Lindsay Graham use them as political props while crapping all over them. Somebody mad enough about the piss-poor treatment of these people who have given their whole lives over to their country that he’s not even going to pretend otherwise.

    I forget, what percentage of Americans said they were in favor of the current direction this country is taking as of the last Gallup poll? Something under 20%, as I recall. America is pissed off. America is angry and unhinged. Jim Webb just happens to be the only man in Washington who really represents us.

    Right now you have the makings out there for the biggest populist wave to hit American politics in decades. Remember when the GOP had a monopoly on the ‘angry white male’ back in the early 90’s? Kiss that era goodbye. Jim Webb is bringing those guys back home to the Democratic Party. Only he’s not giving the finger to blacks, gays and women the way that conservative talk radio did. In fact, it turns out that the new issues of the ‘angry white male’ are pretty much the same as for most of these other groups. Economic justice and getting the hell out of Iraq already.

    In conclusion: Jim Webb for President!

  19. I wish I hadn’t had to wait six months to say it and really mean it, but I’m proud I voted for that man. Now I can say that I did more than just vote against Allen; I voted for this.

  20. I remember a fellow Midshipman posing the “If you could vote for anyone for President, whom would it be?” hypothetical to me at Annapolis back in the late 1980’s. My answer was “James Webb.”

    Webb was a Republican back then, as was I. (Reagan had appointed him Secretary of the Navy shortly before my Academy matriculation.) Times and political parties (!) have changed amazingly in the intervening 20 years, but “James Webb” is still my answer to that question.

    I attended his now-legendary (in Academy circles) Forrestal Lecture in 1987. It makes quite a read:

    One statement rings resoundingly: “Throughout your life, you will judge yourself against two harsh and often painful standards: Did you get the job done? How many people did it cost?”

    Many in the Senate try to answer those two questions, often flippantly, and typically employing political rhetoric and dubious statistics for one or both.

    Few, however, appear to engage in the critical self-judgement to which Webb speaks. And, to me, that’s what sets him apart from most of the Senate; that’s what makes men like James Webb national treasures.

  21. How did Webb not bring up his son? That’s gotta be tough not to do.

    And I’d like to see someone outline Graham’s family’s tradition of fighting for the country since the Revolutionary War (not that mine has, but i didn’t say it has on national TV). Webb makes a good point about why soldiers go back to fighting. And it’s not out of an oath of loyalty to the President and his politics.

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