Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, July 13, 2015

So, former US Sen Jim Webb...Problem?

The entry of former US Senator from VA Jim Webb to the Democratic primary race actually had me a little jazzed as far as foreign policy goes. I think he's articulate and reasonable on foreign policy issues, and makes the Democratic primary debate about more than just the economic front. He's serious and in my opinion--a "non-stupid". But there is just a little hitch about how he entered the 2016 Primary:

“I believe we can bring a different tone to the Democratic party,” Webb told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “You’re right, the party has moved way far to the left. That’s not my Democratic Party in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula.”

Webb pointed to poor whites in the Appalachia section of Southwestern Virginia who lack medical care and said, “These are people who have been forgotten by both parties and I think they need a voice.” Sanders’ surge is driven largely by college-educated whites, who were also the core support base for Warren.
Now, I am totally down with getting more people access to healthcare--which has been why I have supported the ACA. And if there is a tweak that gets the poor folks in Appalachia covered, that would tickle me blue (part of my family moved east from the SW PA hills), But I find it a lot more likely that the Democratic party would try to find that solution than, you know, the other guys. I don't think the fault is that the Democratic Party moved "too left"--it's that we're negotiating anymore with the hard right. So the language that says that the Democratic party has "moved way too far to the left" leaves me cold. If he wants to campaign with a (D) after his name, that approach is puzzling.

Now I do know that it echoes Ronald Reagan's claim that the "Democratic Party left him". But Reagan came to that epiphany as a well-paid Hollywood actor and left the Democratic Party. He said that as a Republican. Sen. Webb purports to say that and then run on the Democratic ticket. One could ell develop feelings about that. Because as a part of "the Left", I might like to know in exactly what ways the current-day party is "too left". And I might also like to know, in our current discourse, how getting more access to health care is managed in a way that isn't "too left" for some, but "just right" for most.

Otherwise, I might accuse him of pandering to middle class whites without an actual plan.


Yastreblyansky said...

Given his history as Marine lieutentant, Reagan cabinet appointee, and 2000 campaigner for George Allen in Virginia before he finally settled down into the Democrats in 2006, he's going to have to do a lot more than make some anti-war noises before I'll look at him. In the 2004 op-ed where he accused George W. Bush of committing "the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory" he still couldn't bring himself to endorse Kerry for president because of Kerry's Winter Soldier work after he came home from Vietnam. And you don't need a white male Virginian president to get medical care to Appalachian white people in Virginia, you just need Democrats in the state legislature to back the Medicaid expansion that is part of the ACA. Which will help a lot of black people too, though Webb doesn't seem to think that's of interest.

Vixen Strangely said...

At some point, his positions looks awfully strategic, which is exactly which his pose implies his position should not be--authenticitude! It starts to look like he picked a berth on the SS Democrat for the wrong reasons.

mikey said...

Webb has precisely zero chance of getting the Nomination. Just as Sanders can energize the Left Wing of the Democratic party at the expense of the center, Webb can energize the Right Wing of the Democratic Party at the expense of the base. So yeah - if he has something useful to say on foreign policy or veterans affairs, his voice will be welcome in the campaign, just as Sanders voice on economics and social justice is welcome. The nominee will be Hillary Clinton (barring health issues or the like), so unless you just really like pretending there's an exciting horse race underway, meh, wake me next August when things get interesting. THAT'S when the Jeb! vs. Hillary story will get compelling.

In the meantime, Jim Webb's first novel, 'Fields of Fire' is just incredible. Nothing I can say here can truly convey how powerful and intimate it is. If you want to know what it was like to be a Marine in a rifle company in Vietnam in 1969, you'll never do any better than that book. If you haven't read it, along with Larry Heinemann's 'Close Quarters' and Karl Marlantes's 'Matterhorn', you really owe it to yourself to go back and get them...