Newsweek Inadvertently Exposes Hapless Dems

January 24th, 2007 12:34 PM

In a fit of rapture over newly elected Democrat Jim Webb, going so far as to speculate that he might be presidential ticket material for team D, Newsweek's Johnathan Alter left the lede at the bottom of this piece. Too bad those who might appreciate it most will likely never get to the bottom of Alter's little Webb romance.

A Powerful Response
Jim Webb tore up his party's playbook—and helped point the Democrats in a new direction.

Alter also failed to point out that a poll Webb used to claim the military doesn't support the war actually favors increasing troop numbers, as proposed by Bush - that item at bottom.

You can almost hear Alter's breathing grow heavy as he pants his way through a half dozen longish paragraphs on the heroic and suddenly presidential Jim Webb. Unfortunately, perhaps lost in admiration, Alter made the critical error of allowing just a bit of reality to slip in at the end.

Could this help land Webb on the 2008 ticket? Maybe, though he was a stiff and unsmiling candidate in Virginia and he's been married three times. The problem with the populist theme is that Democrats have no real remedies for the effects of globalization on the middle class. And they are not yet entirely clear on what should be done in Iraq. But at a minimum, Jim Webb offered a timely reminder that great political parties can recover if they strike the right tone.

Four years into a war they've practically opposed from the start and still no alternate plan. Ten or perhaps twenty years into globalization, and again the Democrats have no plan. But don't worry America, they may have finally found the right tone? How grand!

Tone is great if you're an musician, but eight years of Clinton sounding the right tone while America drifted lackadaisically through an increasingly economically challenging and militarily dangerous world didn't get the job done. And despite his inability to control his slobbering over Webb, even Alter was forced to admit that the Democrats who have been running everything in America down for 6 years have absolutely nothing to offer America as an alternative for running America at all: not the right tone, not even a plan.

No wonder Alter buried his lede at the end.

Alter also might have pointed out that his new Webb flame turns out to be something of an obfuscater when it comes to the truth. He claimed a majority of the military doesn't support the effort in Iraq, that's untrue.

Almost half of those responding think we need more troops in Iraq than we have there now.

Either way, Webb's claim is false based upon the disclaimer with the poll.

The results should not be read as representative of the military as a whole;

Pity that with age Webb has turned into one of the spineless types he denounced in his youth, going so far as to protest amnesty for draft dodgers during Vietnam. Like most, I've heard old soldiers never die. I guess it's possible that some who don't fade away, simply lose their nerve.

The majority of the American people never truly bought the antiwar movement’s logic. While it is correct to say many wearied of an ineffective national strategy as the war dragged on, they never stopped supporting the actual goals for which the United States and South Vietnam fought. As late as September 1972, a Harris survey indicated overwhelming support for continued bombing of North Vietnam – 55 percent to 32 percent – and for mining North Vietnamese harbors – 64 percent to 22 percent. By a margin of 74 percent to 11 percent, those polled also agreed that “it is important that South Vietnam not fall into the control of the communists.”