Democrats and Republicans last night were equally confused at the tone and demeanor of Jim Webb, a former U.S. Senator and currently one of the guys that is still in the Democratic Primary for some reason. His numbers are atrocious and his general dislike of campaigning on this scale (also, his total lack of name recognition) have done irreparable harm to the campaign.
However, did you hear what he had to say last night? My God, he should be sixth or seventh in the Republican polls (possibly higher, but he did say something about supporting allowing immigrants to enroll in Obamacare or some such).
Jim Webb is pro-fossil fuel, pro-nuclear energy, pro-gun, and he believes the Chinese are one of the biggest national security threats to America. And, he bragged on a Democratic debate stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, about killing an enemy combatant – and a communist to boot. If it weren’t his tax and immigration policies, he’d be a hell of a conservative.
David Harsanyi at The Federalist puts it like this:
Now, Webb would be far more conservative than the GOP frontrunner, but his moderate positions on tax policy, immigration, and foreign affairs would make him just disagreeable to most conservatives as he is to most liberals. He isn’t exactly right for either party—not because of some triangulation or convenient moderation, but because he’s not an ideologue. He’s also not a coward, as he’s unwilling to say whatever his party demands in the pursuit of power.
In theory, these are all commendable traits. These, in fact, are the sort of things voters are always pretending to look for in a candidate. In reality, this authenticity gets you to around 0.7 percent in the polls. Americans claim not to like the partisanship of Washington. What they mean is they dislike the other guy’s partisanship. What it means for candidates like Jim Webb, serious people who deserve to be heard, is obscurity.
Jim Webb is certainly not the ideal Republican candidate, but his outright hatred of the politics of today and what the Democratic Party has become makes him a man in the wrong era. Webb is a presidential candidate for the party that nominated and elected JFK. Imagine if that Democratic Party was around today. It would be Webb’s race to lose.
But, that Democratic Party is long gone. It has been replaced by the Socialist Wing of the Democratic Party, and has no chance at this rate of correcting the ship.
Republicans, maybe we should forgive Webb and invite him back.