At this point, I guess I’m more sad and disappointed about Jim Webb than anything else. I mean, this was a guy who inspired many of us – including many PROGRESSIVES – back in 2006 to go all out for his U.S. Senate campaign. And yeah, I’m still glad I co-founded the “Draft James Webb” movement and that I quit my GS-15 government job to work for his campaign, etc, etc., even given what Webb’s become today.
Why? At least three reasons: 1) We beat George Allen and, in the process, took back the U.S. Senate; 2) It was an amazing experience, one of the most exciting and wild/crazy campaigns I can remember, let alone the first one that I was a part of; and 3) I met a ton of people, including folks who I am friends with to this day.
Having said all that, today’s version of Jim Webb is simply appalling. Case in point: see below for audio of Webb’s interview this morning on Trumpster/far-right talk radio (the “John Fredericks Show”), which mostly was Webb spewing propaganda about how great offshore oil drilling supposedly is, without of course mentioning the huge environmental downsides, including the urgent need to combat disastrous man-made global warming by getting off of fossil fuels ASAP, not INCREASING our dependence on fossil fuels. Apparently, a smart man like Jim Webb can’t wrap his brain around this concept.
Of course, Webb’s always had a major blind spot on energy/enviro issues, such as when he pushed to roll back an Obama-era EPA rule limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants; or when he spoke at a pro-coal-industry “astroturf” rally, at which Webb declared “we are not going to let EPA regulate coal out of business” and said that “we need to get our support behind the Rockefeller amendment” (to gut EPA enforcement powers); or when he argued for the environmentally disastrous Keystone XL pipeline; or when he became a “national co-chairman for Explore Offshore USA, a project of the American Petroleum Institute.” Note that last one – Webb is now a paid (presumably well-paid) flack for the American Petroleum Institute. So in that context, I guess it’s not that surprising that Webb would be going around the country pushing the oil and gas industry’s propaganda, even it trashes the planet for current and future generations. OK, so Webb doesn’t just make me sad and disappointed, he also makes me angry.
As if that’s not all bad enough – and it is! – Webb also apparently supported/voted for Donald Trump, actually publishing an article on January 17, 2017 (while many of us were busy getting ready to march by the millions against Trump!) called “The Promise of Donald Trump,” in which Webb laughably claimed that Trump “is positioned to bring two much-needed adjustments to our governing process.” How much of this is Webb’s bitterness that his own presidential ambitions went nowhere in the Democratic Party vs. some other motivation? Hard to say, but regardless of the reasoning, it’s inexcusable.
P.S. Also worth noting: in the Trumpster radio interview, Webb says he doesn’t know if he’ll get back in the “political fray” (riiiight) and claims that while the Khashoggi murder was “disturbing,” that “we don’t really know the facts.” Uhhh…seriously? We don’t know enough facts to be 99.999% certain who ordered this and who carried it out? Alrighty!