Via Andrew Sullivan, I have just seen (while still out of the country) the video of Webb at a Democratic rally in Virginia talking about the idea that 47% of Americans are "takers." It is no secret that Webb has disagreed frequently with the Obama administration and in many ways is an awkward cultural fit with today's Democratic party. But in speaking for the president and the party, in a crucial swing state, Webb displays the unconcealed moral indignation that, in a good way, has distinguished him through his political and literary career.
This is a theme straight out of Webb's heart and brain and soul. I remember hearing almost exactly the same views from him when we first met in the late 1970s. We sometimes think about campaigns as if they're all about positioning and micro-strategy and all the rest. But every now and then we see the genuine passions and principles that are at stake.
Exactly: don't forget, this election is about real people's lives, who will work every day to make them better (e.g., President Obama) and who will undoubtedly make them worse (Mitt Romney). As a friend of mine (a distinguished Vietnam Veteran) and I were discussing the other day, almost no military people are wealthy, nor would almost any of them benefit from Romney/Ryan policies, let alone their chickenhawk foreign policy views or their trickle-down economic policies. So why would any veteran vote for Romney/Ryan? It's an extremely difficult question to answer, especially when Romney views them as "takers" not "givers," and when Democrats like Jim Webb have fought for a modern-day GI Bill of Rights, robust veterans' benefits (e.g., health care), etc.
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