The Civility Squad
Paul Mirengoff says Webb's disrespectful. He also said Democrats are insane and "just plain weird."Webb has gotta be doing something right.
R. Emmett "Bill Clinton is a drug smuggler" Tyrrell, Jr., says Webb is "very unpleasant."
George Will thinks Webb's a "a subtraction from the city's civility" and that the senator-elect is, in his political writing "too busy for accuracy." Will, however, has never apologized for or retracted his blatant smearing of Gen. Wesley Clark during the 2004 presidential campaign.
For more, see here, here, here, here, here and here.
Update: As Jason Zengerle notes, Peggy Noonan sides with Webb.
The latest example of a lack of grace in Washington is the exchange between Jim Webb and President Bush at a White House Christmas party. Mr. Webb did not want to pose with the president and so didn't join the picture line. Fair enough, everyone feels silly on a picture line. Mr. Bush approached him later and asked after his son, a Marine. Mr. Webb said he'd like his son back from Iraq. Mr. Bush then, according to the Washington Post, said: "That's not what I asked you. How's your son?" Mr. Webb replied that's between him and his son.Why wouldn't Webb take a picture with the President? the Civility Squad asks. ("(N)o one told him he would have to display the picture anywhere," writes R. Emmett "Mr. Etiquette" Tyrell, Jr., in the story linked above.) Here's Will Ferrell's reason and I think it's a good one. In explaining why he's turned down two invitations to perform his Bush impersonation at the White House, he said, "In both cases, I especially did not want to do the inevitable photo op afterwards where we are all holding hands. That would have been a gesture of support."
For this Mr. Webb has been roundly criticized. And on reading the exchange I thought it had the sound of the rattling little aggressions of our day, but not on Mr. Webb's side. Imagine Lincoln saying, in such circumstances, "That's not what I asked you." Or JFK. Or Gerald Ford!