Friday, December 01, 2006

Webb v. Bush: Who Swung First?

The big debate, spurred by George Will's obtuse column, over whether incoming Sen. Jim Webb was rude to Pres. Bush in their exchange about Iraq, ignores the fact that Bush was rude first.

As Will put it, Bush merely "asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another." If that were the case, Will would be right: Webb would have been rude.

But Will is wrong. Bush is not "one parent" asking a "civil and caring question." Bush is the man who put Webb's son in harm's way. If one parent who had put another parent's son in a dangerous situation then approached that parent to inquire about how the son was doing in that dangerous situation, the natural response of ANY parent would be what Webb's instincts told him to do: Belt him in the face.

The reason Bush asked this question is not that he is civil and/or caring (does anyone really still think either?) but that he is a bully. It was a bully's question because Bush instinctively understood that he could ask it safely behind the protection of the same office he abused to put Webb's son in jeopardy.

Anyone who gets Bush should understand the following: Bush was testing Webb. Bush was pushing Webb to see how much deference the presidency would buy him.

He got his answer.

2 comments:

Hayes Dent said...

Will is right. Why can't people simply be civil to one another? All of you are so angry, it's incredible. While I wasnt a "bigshot" in the military like Webb, I fought in the first Desert Storm and because of that had a the priviledge of attending a recent Veterans Day ceremony at the White House and had the opportunity to meet incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Neither of us acted like Webb and tried to make some "statement" in a social setting. Instead, we had a very pleasant conversation and I wished her the best of luck in her new job. Webb was (and still is) trying to make political hay of this...just be decent and act the way I hope you were taught as a child.

LanceThruster said...

Thank you for your service Hayes. I understand the rationale for etiquette and decorum, but it gets to a point where it's like holding one's tongue in the antebellum South. There's times when making a principled statement is essential, not just some form of posturing.

For instance, if I ever had the chance to meet Justice Scalia, I feel the proper response would be to spit at (not on) his feet and walk away. But that's just me.

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