The February 5 edition of Newsweek magazine’s "CW" section asserts that Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb "gives Dems testosterone." This sentiment was echoed on Tuesday’s edition of "Imus in the Morning" by Boston Herald columnist, Mike Barnicle. Barnicle described Webb as being "so terrific for this country and for the United States Senate because at any given time, he’s liable to reach across the aisle or reach across the desk in front of him and choke the person that he’s dealing with." Mr. Barnicle further portrayed Senator Webb as the savior of the Democratic Party, telling Don Imus Webb is the antidote to 25 years of liberals in the Democratic Party taking the party too far to the left.
The media has been infatuated with Senator Webb since he gave his rebuttal to President Bush’s State of the Union Address (click here and here for examples), yet few outlets have laid such lavish praise on the Freshman Democrat as Barnicle did today.
Barnicle also voiced displeasure at liberals in the Democratic Party giving the perception that the party is about gay marriage and abortion choice. He insisted, "the Democratic Party is War and Peace," and lamented that the party isn’t talking about giving more in the way of liberal government entitlements such as providing people with health care or providing people with college educations.
It is a shame that Mr. Imus did not follow up with a question about the cost of these additional entitlements he supports and how to pay for them. The government is struggling to pay its current entitlement obligations under Social Security and Medicare, and adding more government programs will only exacerbate the problem. How Senator Webb will solve these problems, Barnicle doesn’t say.
Transcript of the exchange that occurred at 8:37 follows:
Don Imus: "How did you like Jim Webb?"
Mike Barnicle: "Jim Webb -- Jim Webb is going -- he is such an original, and he is going to be so terrific for this country and for the United States Senate, because at any given time, he is liable to reach across the aisle, or reach across the desk in front of him and choke the person that he’s dealing with. He is reality brought to the United States Senate. He is a guy grounded in reality. His entire family has served this country for decades. His son, Jimmy, is with a Marine Recon unit right now as we speak in Iraq, and the idea -- not only Jim Webb, but Chuck Hagel from Nebraska, the idea that Dick Cheney that this paranoid, arrogant, and now thankfully frightened Vice President of the United States would hold what they say up to cheap partisanship, says so much about Cheney, says so much about these two guys and what they’ve done to this country and the war that they’ve inflicted on this country. Give me Jim Webb any day of the week over Dick Cheney."
Don Imus: "Even Frank Rich has fallen in love with the guy. Did you read Frank on Sunday?"
Mike Barnicle: "I did. I did. I did. That was a great piece that Frank Rich wrote on Sunday, and he’s correct. I mean–"
Don Imus: "I just, I read Anna Quindlen–"
Mike Barnicle: "Do you know what Webb is, Don? Webb is the antidote to 25 years of liberals in the Democratic party taking the party of my parents and my party when I was growing up before I became an independent newspaper columnist <laughs> taking the Democratic party so far left that people who need it don't recognize it, and have come to despise it. Most Democrats over the past 10, 15 years on a national stage, you stand up and you put a gun to their head and you say what are the top two or three issues that concern you as an activist, as a partisan, as an elected official in the Democratic Party? They say, oh, gay marriage, choice, stuff like that, but it's not, but that's not the Democratic party. The Democratic Party is war and peace. The Democratic Party is how to provide people with health care, how to provide people with college educations, how to help people, and not how to piss people off."