Independent, For President

Jim Webb will hold a press conference tomorrow at the National Press Club to talk about the possibility of running as an independent instead of a Democrat.

That makes sense. He's been a Republican during the Reagan era, and a Democrat as a Senator. Although he is perfectly correct that he's running on a Jacksonian platform that stands at the root of the Democratic party, the current party is so far to the left that it can't see him.

This is made clear by the SNL skit about the Democratic debate. It mocks Webb as having demanded time to answer questions, and then when presented with tough questions having "passed."

In fact, both of the questions they asked him were asked during the debate. Far from passing, though, Webb gave nuanced and correct answers -- the sort of answers one would expect from a scholar and statesmen of his impressive background. Progressives often claim that they would like intellectual, nuanced thought in politicians. Clearly, they haven't the ear to hear it.

Unfortunately, the Democratic party has gone so far from its roots that it may not be salvageable. In any event, Webb remains -- in my opinion, of course -- head and shoulders the most qualified candidate running in either party. There simply is no one else in the field who approaches his qualifications. Not as a potential commander in chief, not as a scholar, not as a diplomat -- not even the former Secretary of State, whose diplomatic accomplishments are none so impressive as his leading the effort to normalize relations with Vietnam after the war. With all due respect to former Secretary Clinton, she may have done more, but none of it worked out very well. There's nothing in her record to suggest she knows how to make peace or to make war, to pen scholarship or effective legislation. Sen. Sanders and Webb clearly share a warm friendship in spite of intense philosophical and political differences, which speaks very well of both men. Sanders is nevertheless likewise a man who has not shown that he can make either peace or war. Webb has excelled in both.

Among his Republican competitors, the two young Senators show a lot of promise. Nevertheless, they lack seasoning as yet. Dr. Carson is a very decent man of great accomplishment in his field, but it is absolutely no insult to say that his experience as a statesman pales in comparison to Webb's. Fiorina has a better record in business, and has made some decent initial moves, but it is again no insult to point out that she is a novice in the matters she would have to handle as President. The others I am not seriously considering.


raven said...

Despite the fact I think Sanders is a nutcase socialist, and would never vote for him, I still hold respect for him, because unlike many others, he does not pretend to be something he is not. If a politician is willing to deceive voters about his core intentions, then how can he ever be trusted?
I will read more about Webb, opinions vary widely, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on his qualifications. His running as an independent only helps me vote for him as I despise the Democrat party for its roles in increasing socialism, abortion, and other policies of envy and jealousy. I still have reservations however due to at least his vote on the ACA.


douglas said...

Lifetime Scoring on Senatorial votes from Freedomworks- 13%, Clinton actually did better by them slightly at 15% (Not that I agree with everything they want, but it's a convenient benchmark).
League of Conservation Voters- 81%, only one point lower than Hillary's 82% (again, just a convenient benchmark).

He talks the talk, much of which I like, but he votes as the Democrat machine likes. I care more about actions than words, though I care much for words, but particularly when the correspond to actions.

Really, if he runs, he gives potential crossover voters from the Democrat party who aren't socialists a place to go, rather than possibly voting republican a la the 'Reagan Democrats'. This will only help put Hillary (if she's still unindicted) in the White House.

What good is that, for us or for Jim Webb?

douglas said...
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Dad29 said...

Yes. While Grim's take on Webb the man is correct, Webb the Senator did everything in his power to demolish his own reputation. Here's the question; did he lose courage when he took the oath as a Senator? Or was that the real Jim Webb voting?

Texan99 said...

As long as we're supporting wild-eyed long shots, I'll stick with Cruz.

Grim said...

It sounds today as if he is merely shuttering his Democratic party campaign, and not (at least not yet) launching an independent bid.

I don't care about his Freedomworks scorecard particularly. They're not a group I follow -- I don't know how much I agree with them about anything. (My current congressfolk have 87%, 83%, and 68% -- all conservative Georgia Republicans -- so I can't tell from that just what it is that FWs is measuring.) As the debate pointed out, Webb had an "A" rating from the NRA.

But he isn't running for Congress this time. He's running for President. It's a very different set of duties, with less power to make law (at least if you take the separation of powers in the Constitution seriously, which he seems to do) and much more responsibility for foreign policy. He's a very sensible candidate on the issues that the Presidency is designed to handle.

Not that it may matter, since it may be that he's dropping out of the race today. It is remarkable that this year all the best candidates have been the very first ones eliminated -- in addition to Webb, Govs. Walker and Perry were the first to go on the Republican side. We seem to be winnowing the field in the wrong direction, and in both parties.

douglas said...

What Freedom Works believes or likes in a Congress member is irrelevant so long as they have consistency in the way they rate one Senator vs. another. That's why I also used, as an example, League of Conservation Voters- a pro-environmentalist rating site. It's the comparison that's telling, not the specifics of what issues they looked at. Webb was effectively not different from Hillary in his voting. Perhaps on certain issues he would vary from her- guns for instance- but otherwise? Apparently not enough to satisfy me that he's really an alternative to the leftist Democrats. The Democrats acceptance that he votes contrary to them on occasion on an issue like guns could have more to do with electability in the local races, at least as far as the Democrat Party is concerned. If he's been willing to work so closely with them up till now, I cannot at such an important time give him the benefit of the doubt because he is a man of proven honor. Washington does things to people. He's been there a good while now. I wish it were otherwise.

Dad29 said...

Don't take the Walker thing too badly. He wasn't that great--and I'm from Wisconsin and voted for him each time.

douglas said...

Is it just me, or is the fact that just days before Hillary testifies to the Beghazi committee, Webb pulls out, and then Joe declares he's not running the day before? Does this make political sense at all? Why not at least wait to see if she might be severely or even perhaps mortally wounded (politically) at the testimony, just in case, Doesn't that make much more political sense?

Grim said...

I think Webb's stand-down is a point of honor. The mockery of his military service doesn't just insult him, it insults the nature of military service, and therefore all of his brethren in arms and the institution of the Marine Corps. If he is the man I think he is, he wouldn't accept the nomination if it were offered to him now.

As for Biden, I think he was a stalking horse. He kept wealthy Democratic donors from backing anyone besides Clinton until it was too late, and then announced he wasn't going to run.