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My Two Cents: Jim Webb’s Departure from (Democratic) Politics

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by KathyinBlacksburg

In 2006 Jim Webb was an unlikely Democratic candidate for US Senate. But many of us enthusiastically supported him in his populist Virginia campaign. Indeed, some progressive bloggers encouraged him to run. And the progressive blogosphere, along with many other Democrats, worked hard to elect him. But Jim Webb just wasn’t into being in the US Senate and wouldn’t run for reelection. Though at the time he had some worthy ideas, he lacked the tenacity to bring his ideas to fruition. Instead of staying in the US Senate to fight back and shame the other side into working with him on reform of Veteran’s programs, for example, he gave up. He was forward thinking in criminal justice reform, but didn’t care enough about that to stay and fight for it either.

This leads me to wonder, “Why on earth would he possibly assume we would support him again?” And yet in his arrogance, he apparently did assume that. Moreover he barely campaigned, raised little money (he hates that anyway), and was not otherwise acting like a candidate. This combines with his discomfort of and dislike for campaigning. (He’s not a people person.) But he expected that we consider him serious anyway.

When he got somewhat less time than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton during the Democratic so-called debate, this usually disgruntled man became even more disgruntled. As a result, much of the real Jim Webb shown through. But oblivious of how he came across, Jim Webb didn’t see the end of his campaign. It couldn’t possibly be his fault. Instead, Webb only saw the end of his relationship with the Democratic Party. Now he’s talking about running as an independent.

This reverse visionary, who now has few new ideas — but defends the Confederate flag, ignores the urgency of climate change, and even now supports big coal — is living in a backward-facing dream world. But it’s the Democrats’ fault that he hasn’t done well in the polls, fundraising, etc.? I have my own issues with the DNC Chair, but Webb cannot seriously blame her or others for his tanked campaign.

Jim Webb was a hero in war. He served as Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, but evidently couldn’t stay with that job very long either. He has a distinguished writing career. However, he lacks the ability to work with others to get things done in Washington. Though I wish him well personally, I won’t say good luck to him as an independent candidate. I hope he fails spectacularly at that. He’s certainly been a spectacular failure as a Democrat.