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On The Cowardice Of Jim Webb

By Greg L | 28 March 2007 | US Senate | 12 Comments

The firestorm over the disgrace that is Jim Webb has actually begun to spawn in a very few corners of the Democratic Party a potentially useful debate regarding the Second Amendment. I’m actually happy to see that liberal orthodoxy hasn’t managed to run off the few remaining pockets of respect for the Constitution that might exist. So the gauntlet that Rule .303 throws down is gratefully accepted. Let’s talk about Jim Webb and the Second Amendment for a bit.

I’m glad that Jim Webb has a concealed carry permit. It must drive Nancy Pelosi absolutely nuts to constantly wonder if there’s a bulge in Webb’s waistband and to constantly interact with a colleague from her own party who clearly disagrees with her on a significant policy matter. Would this be enough to possibly demonstrate that gun owners aren’t all slack-jawed idiots only removed from a tragic incident by a temporary quirk of fate? Probably not, but it is great to see someone demonstrate an important liberty in an undeniable way and watch how uncomfortable that display is for many Democrats to ponder.

What is truly fascinating about this incident is what Jim Webb did when confronted. He denied. He clammed up. He left his staffer to rot in a DC jail until he was arraigned, and essentially blamed the whole thing on this convenient fall guy. What a schmuck! Now had Jim Webb actually demonstrated a modicum of Marine honor, he would have taken responsibility for the whole thing. If he were really a “born fighting” guy, he would have said that his moral convictions require that he defy unconstitutional laws and dare a prosecutor to try to arrest a sitting United States Senator who is willing to put his own butt on the line for principle. If he actually demonstrated Marine Corps values, he would have personally been there at the DC jail bailing his staffer out with his own credit card, taking him to a private dinner dinner at the Four Seasons or other appropriately swanky dining establishment, and then handed him $500 as he dropped him off in front of Camelot. But Jim Webb didn’t do anything of the sort. He acted like a complete coward, hung his Marine subordinate out to dry, and demonstrated the sort of leadership you’d rightly demote a Lance Corporal for exhibiting.

At the same time Democrats are decrying a recent court decision to overturn DC’s gun ban, and balked at the idea of taking legislative action on the issue when that was the political deal for DC to get a vote in Congress, here’s a Democrat that ends up inadvertently flaunting the very laws that the overwhelming majority of the party holds as religious dogma. The NRA didn’t do this, the vast right-wing conspiracy didn’t engineer this. Democrats did this on their own. At the same time they seem to us to be determined to strip every American of his right to have the means to effectively defend himself, one of their own not only adheres to the neanderthal position, but does so in a way that violates the law.

Oh, the irony. Forgive me for not shining a spotlight on this one. The elitist “do as I say, not as I do” liberal mentality has never been shown in such stark contrast as it has in this over the past few days. To make it even more stunning, this is accompanied by cowardice and duplicity by someone who was formerly the darling of the Democratic Party.

This actually won’t have much to do with the Second Amendment. No one has raised the issue that the federal government has no constitutional authority to disarm citizens on federal property. No Democrats have had their epiphany and used this incident as an example of just how inane many of our gun control laws are, and begin arguing for allowing for the greater exercise of constitutionally protected liberties. Democrats are hiding from the Second Amendment issue here. So if some Democrats expect Republicans to come to Jim Webb’s rescue arguing a Second Amendment issue, first he has to demonstrate he’s worthy of being defended by displaying somewhat more courage under fire than would be expected of a five year old girl, and second Democrats have to demonstrate that they’re interested in joining in the fight. Instead they cower, just as Jim Webb continues to do. Had he stood up for a moment on principle, I would have defended him, but his actions make it very comfortable for me to leave him twisting in the wind just as he has done with his employee.

So spare me the whining about how the NRA is too partisan. I agree, but it’s irrelevant. The central fact here is that Jim Webb, far from being “born fighting”, is a pathetic sissy. It’s one thing to symbolically don combat boots. It’s clearly a very different thing to live like those who wear them for real.

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  1. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 28 Mar 2007 at 8:56 pm:
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    Furthermore, Webb has not signed on as a cosponsor of S. 1001, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. So far, 41 senators have signed on as cosponsors of the bill including Democrats Max Baucus (MT), Jon Tester (MT), and Ben Nelson (NE). No Jim Webb. I guess the people of the District of Columbia aren’t good enough for the same right that Jim Webb abuses. Virtucon contributor Jim Rittinger called Webb’s office and asked him to cosponsor this bill. He was told Webb would not be doing so. Hypocrisy, thy name is Jim “Thinskin” Webb (D-WashPo).


  2. NoVA Scout said on 28 Mar 2007 at 9:38 pm:
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    Point 1: It’s clear that Thompson’s and Webb’s legal advisors are hovering over Webb’s statements. As a gunowner, I’m pleased that Webb (not my candidate, but a substantive guy nonetheless) is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Whatever he said or didn’t say about the Thompson incident is litigation maneuvering for Thompson. Point 2: I have no small problem thinking of a combat-decorated, wounded in combat Marine as a “pathetic sissy”, Greg. That’s liberal-talk. If we want to have a policy disagreement with the man, fine. But let’s grant him his due as a warrior for the Nation. If anyone here in the blogosphere with a better combat record wants to call Webb a sissy, I’ll listen (with some skepticism). But since most of us consider ourselves strong conservatives, I recommend against impugning the courage of Marine combat veterans. I don’t really care what their politics are at this juncture. They paid dues not only for themselves, but for a lot of us. I’ll fetch water for even the most Leninist/Trotsky-ite among them with a smile and a “thank-you for your service, sir.” And Webb is a considerable way from being a radical leftist.

  3. Chris said on 28 Mar 2007 at 10:52 pm:
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    “If we want to have a policy disagreement with the man, fine. But let’s grant him his due as a warrior for the Nation”

    THAT is liberal-talk.

    While Greg’s language is provocative, his point stands. While Webb mugged for the cameras and proclaimed his love for the second amendment, he sure was mum on the fate of his friend who spent his birthday in leg irons. Being a war hero doesn’t exempt you from the sharpest criticisms, and given what his campaign did to George Allen I don’t have one ounce of sympathy for him. He completely threw Thompson under the bus and apparently was attmepting to score political points with 2nd amendment voters. I’m not impugning his “courage,” I’m questioning his judgement as a senator who represents all of us. Being a war hero doesn’t make him infallable, and if it does it looks like the Webb campaign was more succesful than I thought.

    As it is, your notion that we should “thank him for his service” and do nothing else is ridiculous. Webb has commited a grevious blunder that reflects on the state he represents, and at its worst he left a LOADED gun in a bag and has let a loyal friend take the fall for his blunder while he grins it up for the cameras. Being a war hero doesn’t exempt you from being a terrible senator and freedom of speech dictates that all of us get to blast Webb however much we like.

  4. Greg L said on 28 Mar 2007 at 11:07 pm:
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    This isn’t about policy disagreement. I suspect that if Webb ever delivered on his supposed support for the Second Amendment, I’d be right there with him. This is about his character, which is shown in spades by him abandoning his staff member to sit in a crappy DC jail while he incomprehensibly denied any involvement in the incident and denied giving him the gun.

    Leadership is in part about protecting your people. Jim Webb left his people in the lurch and ran away from his involvement in this incident. I am stunned that anyone would attempt to defend such utterly reprehensible behavior.

    If he’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I guess his support is about as strong as his support for his employees. When it’s convenient, he’s “strong”. When it’s not, he runs away like the coward that he is.

  5. Spank That Donkey said on 29 Mar 2007 at 12:18 am:
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    Didn’t Webb go to DC to Change the Way we do business and or culture of DC? Didn’t he campaign as a different kind of politician, or not a politician at all?

    Greg, You are dead on! Webb is cowering at the DC culture.. if this were truly a mistake, he would have the courage to ‘give the facts of the matter’ and rail for change in the draconian DC gun laws….

    He is a phony…. Great Post You should put this post in a separate category, like a Gregism….

    Good Classic blogging! Bully! (Lowell, that mean’s Right On! in Teddy language)

  6. freedom said on 29 Mar 2007 at 7:49 am:
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    Couldn’t agree with you more, Greg….and you too, “Spank.” A “hero in war” turns “sissy” when it comes to supporting his baggage carrier. Perhaps it’s time for him to take off his boots in favor of well-earned silk slippers.

    …brave enough to “take a publicity shot” at the President, but when it comes to supporting one of his own employees in the heat of battle, a limp-livered wuss!!

  7. John Light said on 29 Mar 2007 at 10:06 am:
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    Just a VERY few famous War Vets in history I have issues with:

    Gen. Sherman, Corporal Adolph Hitler, PFC Lee Harvey Oswald, and former Marine officer Jim Webb (ok, how come it is SOOO difficult to find his RANK when he was in the Marines???).

    So, does being a vet give you a free pass? Absolutely not. Heck, I have issues with John McCain - I do salute HIS honorable service and admire him to no end for his survival in the POW camps, but just as we ALL are sick and tired of HIS war stories (yes John, we have heard that one before), so are we sick of Jim Webb and the antics he pulls on others.

    The election of Jim Webb WAS a temper-tantrum by the voters - the Conservatives stayed home and the Liberals came out in force. If not for Allen’s missteps, Webb NEVER would have had a chance. So far, Jim continues to NOT impress me. Mr. Webb, it’s time to ACT LIKE THE MARINE YOU ONCE WERE. So much for Semper Fi :-(

  8. The Ward View » Friday Whine and Cheese: Not a good week for Lt. Dan (Senator said on 30 Mar 2007 at 10:48 am:
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    […] Black Velvet Bruce Li: On the Cowardice of Jim Webb […]

  9. Jackson Landers said on 30 Mar 2007 at 1:41 pm:
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    Let me ask you; what do you think that Thompson’s lawyer would have wanted both Thompson and Webb to do right away? What would any good attorney want both of these guy’s to do for Thompson’s sake?

    That’s right, he’d tell them both to shut their mouths to whatever extent possible while he sorts out what’s what.

    There was nothing that Webb could have done to get him out of jail a minute earlier. It’s not as if saying ‘hey, I think it might have been my pistol’ would have made the bail hearing happen a minute sooner. Rather, he did exactly what Thompson’s lawyer obviously wanted him to do. Webb had no idea what gun that was. Hell, neither do we. All of these guys involved have a bunch of firearms. The last thing that is going to be good for Thompson is for Webb to start jumping to conclusions and inventing a story about what happened to Thompson when he hadn’t even been able to talk to him yet.

    Maybe it would have looked really good if Webb gave some big speech where he said what he thought probably happened. But if you think about it for a minute, common sense tells us that it probably would have hurt Thompson in the long run. Better to really be a friend to Thompson than to showboat over it.

    My posts over at Rule .303 to which I think you are referring are not intended to be explanations of this whole thing with Webb’s aide. I hope that you didn’t get that impression. Rather, this matter brought some things to the surface about this division among 2nd Amendment advocates that I had been pondering for a long time. Here I am watching Democratic gun owners trashing Republican gun owners for their party’s faults and Republican gun owners trashing Democratic gun owners for their party’s faults. And this is all in conversations about gun ownership where we all agree about the fundamentals. It’s idiotic. Webb aside, I think that it is absolutely essential for a unified 2nd Amendment rights community to be forged in which we leave all of the other political crap at the door when firearms come up. The rest of the time, fire at will.

  10. freedom said on 30 Mar 2007 at 8:13 pm:
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    but wait…it was Webb’s gun that the aide got caught with…Webb knew (and if he didn’t, he should have) and the handler knew it, no doubt. Wouldn’t it have been more admirable for Senator Webb, a man of position, a VN war hero, a man of significant power to have stood up like a man, accepted responsibility and let the legal mess…whatever it might be…sort itself out in the morning? I think so; Senator Webb chose the low road.

  11. freedom said on 31 Mar 2007 at 7:45 pm:
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    So, Jackson, you think Webb took the “high road” and did the admirable thing as a boss? …following the advice of a lawyer who told him to keep his mouth shut and let the slob in jail take the heat? It’s a sad day when the advice of a lawyer to “shut your mouth and keep your head low” replaces integrity and responsibility toward an employee — particularly in the case of a US Senator.

  12. TCO said on 6 Apr 2007 at 3:16 pm:
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    Is it possible that the brouhaha was deliberate? To make Webb seem more moderate or more acceptable in the Old Dominion?

    I really can’t see him doing that though. I don’t 100% buy into the mythos of Webb from A SENSE OF HONOR. But the man I heard in the debates would not stage a charade or leave someone to hang out and dry. I want to learn more, before I judge.

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