Jim Webb campaigned as a war hero and his own man, impervious to pressure from special interests and demands from the political machine. Although I honor his military service and bravery, much like John McCain, heroic service during war time does not necessarily translate to heroic service in politics.
In spite of the very clear message from his constituents that they wanted no part of TARP, Stimulii, Bailouts, SCHIP, the confirmation of Eric Holder, Cash for Clunkers, Spending Freeze, School vouchers and Obamacare, Webb always surrendered his professed convictions and voted with this guy every single time on the major issues.
But post-election Webb is seeing the handwriting on the wall and he’s doubling back, asserting that he quietly warned leadership that they were treading on thin ice with voters.
“I’ve been warning them,” Webb says, sighing, resting his chin on his hand. “I’ve been having discussions with our leadership ever since I’ve been up here. I decided to run as a Democrat because I happen to strongly believe in Jacksonian democracy. There needs to be one party that very clearly represents the interests of working people … I’m very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. Its evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people.”
I recall going to the Code Red Rally against Obamacare at the Senate on Dec. 15th of last year to meet with Webb’s Chief of Staff. There were 20-30 of us in the hallway in front of his office waiting for our audience, when along ambles Jim Webb reading a document. When he got about 50 feet away he glanced up, saw us there and did a quick exit into the nearest door. The courageous Senator wanted no part of facing his constituents then and meekly joined his Party to vote in favor of Obamacare on Christmas Eve.
The time for hiding is over as the 2012 campaign started a week ago tomorrow. It will do you no good to tell the voters that you were warning your leadership. That was the time to show the courage of your convictions. Either you don’t have any or you simply failed.
Update from Pajamas Media:
Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), a former Republican, rode a Democratic wave to a narrow victory in 2006, but PPP found Webb trailing former Senator George Allen (R-VA) in a rematch.
This sounds like a set up by the Democrat leaning PPP. They’d love nothing more than to dance the Macaca again. Sorry, but George Allen is my last choice to run against Webb.