"Era of civility off
to rude start"
By Jim Terp
December 02, 2006
To Whom It May Concern,
I found Dan Thomasson's column "Era of civility off to a
rude start" to be in and off itself highly inappropriate.
A few points.
First, Senator Elect Jim Webb is a highly decorated Marine and
veteran of the Vietnam war. For his service he received the
military's second highest honor, the Navy Cross. Senator Elect
Webb has been a vocal critic of this war dating back to a period
before the Iraq invasion (including having written a prescient
op-ed piece in the Sept. 4, 2002 edition of the Washington Post).
This is a man who has put his life on the line for what he believes
and for his country. His son, Lance Corporal Jimmy Webb has
been in the middle of a war zone for the past couple months.
During the recent election campaign, Senator Elect Webb refrained
from talking about his son while on the campaign trail, because
he did not feel it was appropriate. He has stated that his experience
is no different than that of any other parent with a child in
a combat zone. He has declined to discuss this matter with Tim
Russert on Meet the Press as recently
Second, while the Senator Elect did refuse to stand in a reception
line with the president, and declined the opportunity to have
his photograph taken with the president; he did respond respectfully
to the president's questions after the president had sought him
out. A full copy of the exchange as reported in the Washington
Post and other newspapers is as follows:
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son,
a Marine serving in Iraq.
"I'd like to get them
out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign
"That's not what I asked
you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"
"That's between me and
my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation
on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
The President's comment "That's
not what I asked" is what provoked the Senator Elect. Keep
in mind, the Senator Elect has a son in a war zone. Either the
president is clueless about what war zones are like, or he is
trying to tweak a parent of a soldier for reasons that only people
inside Washington, DC can understand. Neither explanation, in
my view, is appropriate coming from a commander-in-chief. I
believe the Senator Elect showed tremendous restraint in simply
ending the conversation and walking away.
Received December 01, 2006 - Published December 02, 2006
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
Dan K. Thomasson: Era
of civility off to rude start - In the spirit of cooperation
pledged by both sides to tackle Iraq and other major problems,
the newly elected senator from Virginia already has "dissed"
the president of the United States in the White House and made
it clear he will be his own man no matter what his Democratic
colleagues want. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006
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