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September 19, 2007

Overcoming My Blue DNA

Webb-Hurting

(click for most painful size)

This photo couldn’t be more instructive.

It went down my throat last night simultaneously with the news that the “bipartisan” Senate vote to balance (i.e. limit) troop deployments had gone down to defeat.  In the “fool-me-for-the-seventh, or-is-it-the-tenth-time?” hope that Reid and Company had finally conceived a workable approach for reigning in the President and the war hawks, the result — as is obvious here in Senator Webb’s case — was a real blow.

That’s where this gets interesting, however.

If this photo almost neurochemically induces a Democrat to feel for Jim Webb, isn’t it that same instinct that set up Jim and his bill in the first place?  In other words, what this photo seems to psychologically expose is the vulnerability, on the front end, and the emotional thrashing to the Dems on the back, of perpetually feeling they can reach out and touch someone.

I, for one, never again want to read, see or hear the phrase: “But we don’t have the votes.”  Like it is our job to override Cheney/Bush (and their uniformed finger puppets) rather than show them the boot(s), and then stonewall them with our simple majority?

So, while availing myself of this emotional image, I’m rallying my will to override my overly blue DNA.  Although I can feel the reflex rolling around in there, I’m decidedly not going to feel Jim’s pain.  Instead, I’m going to appreciate … no, relish the fact that Jimmy learned something yesterday — a hard lesson about what it’s like to seek compromise with people who feel nothing.



(image: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.  Washington.  September 10, 2007.  nytimes.com)

  • Mike

    …..I, for one, never again want to read, see or hear the phrase: “But we don’t have the votes.”……
    I, for another, feel the same way. Vote for what is right, not for what is expedient or safe. Let the demented clown veto it, then vote on it again and again.
    Supposedly none of these legislators were elected because of what anyone else thought or believed, but about what they as individuals believed and stood for, so their voting should be about what they believe, not what some other person or group believes.

  • PTate in FR

    Have I mentioned that I adore Jim Webb? He seems to be the real deal in a world of poseurs. The photo is a heart-rending portrait of someone who has been defeated. More than defeated, he was betrayed by a last-minute defection by Warner of Virgina.
    But I’m not following the BAG’s logic here. The Democrats don’t have the votes. That’s not a feeling, that’s not blue DNA, that’s a tragic fact. In what way did Webb learn a hard lesson? What compromise did he seek? He trusted that sleazebag John Warner, but his amendment wouldn’t have passed even with Warner’s support.
    Reading the news story that accompanies the photo, the Republicans closed ranks to defeat the amendment. If you look at the roll call, it’s hard to imagine anything more partisan. The 56 votes for the Webb amendment came from 50 Democrats and six Republicans. The 41 nays were cast by 40 Republicans and one Democrat, Joe Lieberman. 50 out of 51 Democrats supported the Webb amendment. I’m not sure how you override Bush & Cheney when the filibuster requires supermajorities to achieve legislation. The Republicans know they have this power, and they are using the threat of filibuster in historically unprecedented ways to obstruct what Americans wants.

  • http://leftistmoon.wordpress.com/ Wordsmith

    I almost started crying when I saw that picture of Jim Webb.
    I’m sick of that phrase as well. I’m also sick of these people acting like ‘we’, the people, don’t exist.
    -Kitt

  • lytom

    “The 41 nays were cast by 40 Republicans and one Democrat, Joe Lieberman. 50 out of 51 Democrats supported the Webb amendment.”
    I do not want to seem picky, but Joe Lie berman is no longer democrat, he ran for Lie berman Party for Connecticut. He certainly shows his true colors and allegiance.

  • Johanna

    Oh please save me the sympathy for Webb. If you have read any of his “novels” you know him to be a psycho with a strong, strong interest in sex with children. This was aired way too late for another democratic candidate to be put in his place. When some of the riper passages describing a father(!) performing oral sex on his toddler, were published, he explained that this wasn’t really sex. It’s some kind of esoteric practice of the far east. uh huh…..

  • jtfromBC

    An awareness of history and context are always important considerations when attempting to evaluate an authors literary works.
    Webb defended his fiction work, saying that “the duty of a writer is to illuminate [his] surroundings”. He said that the scene involving the man and his son was based upon an incident in a Bangkok slum that he witnessed as a journalist[68] and that it was “not a sexual act” [69] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_United_States_Senate_election,_2006#_note 43 A brief review of Jim
    A brief reviews of Webb’s novels from leading corporate medias literary commentators. http://www.youtube.com/watchv=SdEtGaY831w&mode=related&search=

  • margaret

    The Democrats made a mistake by crowing, beforehand, how clever they were, politically, to be offering this way of forcing troop reduction, while attempting to make the Republicans ashamed to vote against the troops. They should have just sprung it on them and not placed themselves open to this cruel rebuff. And they shouldn’t be afraid of filibuster. Allow the Republicans to reveal, in front of the cameras, how morally bankrupt they are.
    Oh, and by the way, my Republican friend is disgusted and wants the war to end, wants the Estate tax back, and, overall, is beginning to sound like a Democrat! Hoo Ha!

  • 124C41+

    Read Larry Heinemann on Jim Webb in
    ‘Black Virgin Mountain’ (2005)

  • jmac

    Today’s papers are reporting the vote was “a failure to bring home the troops” instead of a failure to balance troop deployments. If the roles were reversed, Republicans would have made sure the headlines stated the vote hurt the troops.
    The same tactic is true of Republicans blocking the vote. They screamed “up or down vote” when Democratics used the same procedure as the minority. Not a peep about “up or down” vote when Republicans block the legislation.
    But a district judge and state representative here in Texas just switched to the Democratic party. So something’s
    working.

  • jtfromBC

    124C41+ “Read Larry Heinemann on Jim Webb in ‘Black Virgin Mountain’ (2005)
    I read an extract online but I’m no wiser for it. Had I interest in war stories from Vietnam or elsewhere I might have read ‘Virgin Mountain’ until I came across this review by Chris Hedges. I am unable to find reviews of Jim Webbs books by him but I suspect they would have undergone a similar critical analysis. I accept that Heinemann and Webb are both writers of some literary merit and leave it at that. (This was a point I was attempting to convey to Joanna)
    “And yet despite what appear to be noble intentions, he has written a thin and often tiresome piece of travel writing, capped with a bizarre spiritual epiphany that bears no relation to the rest of the narrative. ”Black Virgin Mountain” illustrates, because of what it does not say, the emotional maiming that comes from war. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/books/review/28HEDGESL.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/V/Veterans&pagewanted=print
    Harsh criticism indeed, but from one whose opinions two weeks after GWB “Mission Accomplished” speech’ resulted in “An editorial in The Wall Street Journal denounced Hedges for his anti-war stance. The New York Times issued Hedges a formal reprimand after the address for “public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper’s impartiality.” Hedges left the paper not long after this incident to write books and teach” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hedges
    great moniker by the way

  • margaret

    There was only one headline which stated the truth of what happened in the Senate, it was from the Christian Science Monitor, today:
    “http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0921/p01s01-uspo.htm”
    and the headline was
    No move to cut US troops
    Senate Republicans defeat a measure to enforce rest periods between deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.
    The article and the headline place the blame where it belongs.

  • Johanna

    Webb and Pelosi both went out of their way to get photo ops of themselves punking Bush (hers was at the correspondents’ dinner, and his at a white house event). It’s not a coincidence that people who seek to ENACT something before cameras are the ones who are unable to actually accomplish it.

  • jtfromBC

    Joanna,
    I couldn’t agree more after watching Bush enact his ‘Mission Accomplished’ charade, codpiece and all.

  • Johanna

    Wasn’t aware that act came with a codpiece. We really need more, not less suspicion in our political life; more, not less cynicism.

  • jtfromBC
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