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Monday, September 08, 2014


Can -- should -- former Virginia senator Jim Webb challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination?

I would prefer Elizabeth Warren. If she hops in, I'm in. But hop she (probably) won't.

As for Webb...
He seems an improbable candidate. He has taken illiberal positions, was President Ronald Reagan's Navy secretary, has few relationships within the Democratic Party, and has no serious fundraising network.

What he does possess is a long-held and forceful opposition to U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya, and potentially Syria, as well as solid anti-Wall Street credentials. In Democratic primaries, these may be Clinton's greatest impediments to rallying a hard-core activist base.
Clinton recently said she disagreed with Obama's decision not to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Webb warns that the Syrian opposition includes not only elements friendly to the U.S., but also the radical Islamic State forces that have wreaked mayhem there and in Iraq, murdering thousands and beheading two American journalists. Syria, he has warned, is "Lebanon on steroids."
There are forces in this country -- and it remains an open question whether Clinton stands with those forces -- who seek to use public outrage against ISIS as an excuse to bring down Bashar Assad of Syria. (Let me repeat the truth which our media doesn't want you to hear: Assad did not create ISIS. We created ISIS as a means of bringing down Assad.)

Right now, Obama is putting together a plan to bring down ISIS over a period of three years. Although many readers may feel that ISIS is so vile as to justify war, a careful reading of the afore-linked NYT story indicates that the main target is Bashar Assad.
The official nonetheless expressed confidence that the countries would eventually come around to taking the fight into Syria, in part, he said, because “there’s really no other alternative.”
As a regular reader of Cannonfire said in a comment on Marcy Wheeler's site:
Only 3 years such a bargain, it might cheaper and with less death to stop arming and funding them.
Webb will not try to topple Assad under the pretext of battling ISIS. Webb has a solid history of seeing right through that kind of bullshit.

Some feminist readers, and some non-white readers, will score me for favoring a white male over a woman or a non-caucasian. That's understandable. The Dems should have nominated a woman for president ages and ages ago. At this point, many liberals would feel more comfortable if Webb were a female, or a person of color, or both. (How do you think he'd look in a sari or a kimono? Just spitballing, here...)

Although I think of myself as pro-woman, I am also anti-war. The latter consideration outweighs the former -- or, perhaps, derives from the former. Our wars tend to make life miserable for many, many women -- and for many, many people who are not white.

Although some feminists theorize that all women are peaceful by nature, history tells us otherwise. As many have noted, and as I've discovered personally, female supporters of Israel are usually the most stridently insane advocates of genocide. (The horrifying case of Joan Rivers provides us with an excellent example -- and let's not even talk about Pam Geller.) I'm not going to vote for a bellicose individual simply because that person was born female.

If Webb's in, I'm in.

As for Hillary: She was quite admirable in 2008. What the hell has happened to her?
What's happened to Hillary? What happens to all of them? Paul Simon, Kucinich, Dean, Conyers. Blackmail? Got a better answer?

The data-hoovering ops have the intel advantage that blackmail opportunities can extend to family members as well. Was (for a hypothetical example) Nancy Pelosi approached with the suggestion that her favorite nephew might not get into Harvard Law School if certain information were to leak? The information doesn't even have to be real. In my own personal experience, it's almost impossible to defeat a rumor that's a total lie, while one based on a partial truth can at least be explained.
I don't think that a women hating racist toad can beat Hillary Clinton. I used to live in Virginia, and in addition to being a woman hating racist toad, Webb is the laziest candidate I ever supported. During his US Senate race he averaged fewer that four events a week. Webb wants enough buzz to get himself a show on CNN. That is what this is about. It is not about anything else.
I think it's subtler and simpler than that. I think politicians of necessity exist in a world where the war peddlers control the conversation. If they don't want to be left out of the conversation, they can't stray far from the underlying presumptions.
Thanks J

Anon, I look at webb as wanting to stay in the light to sell another book. Nothing more and nothing less. I had some hope for him but once in the big seat he was happy but nothing ever came from him other than words. Not that words aren't pretty;)
I recall the things said in 2006 about Webb's alleged misogyny. He would not do anything anti-woman in terms of policy, and that is what matters. He apparently wrote some now embarrassing shit about women in combat back in the 1970s, and he has also written some even weirder shit in his novels.

I don't care.

I hope that most women will understand the value of a military hero who GENUINELY detests war. And American women need a president who will truly fight for greater income equality.

We could all benefit from a president who is against globalization.

Hillary's main accomplishment as Secretary of State was whipping up MORE free trade agreements all around the world!
Didn't he beat the shit out of Oliver North back in Naval Academy days? That's worth a vote, right there.

And his novel "A Sense of Honor" is quite good.

Though on the downside, Webb is terrible on tv.
Is Webb against globalization? because he voted for all those crazy trade agreements that came up while he was in the Senate.
Before commenting you should read the wikipedia page on James Webb

It Webb gets the nomination he will not win the presidency. If the Republicans win in 2016 they will change the election laws so that Democrats will never again (at least until 2032) win the Presidency or majority in the House and Senate.

You think that page makes Webb unelectable? Ridiculous. He
s unassailably pro gun rights, and wants stronger immigration laws. Those things may make him unpopular with many Dems, but his positions align with the majority. He attempted to defund the Iran war, tried to revamp the prison system, wants a more level economic playing field: These things are either popular or can be "sold" to the public by someone of his sort. The fact that he sells economic fairness by calling himself a "redneck" is a huge plus. In fact, that's exactly the approach we need.
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