Senator Webb responds to Mr. Bush’s blather….

The new Senator from Virginia James Webb gives the democratic, and no that’s not a mistake, response to the latest bag of hot air, spin and lies from our Dear Leader President.

Note: the bold is by me.

Good evening.

I’m Senator Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown – an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

It would not be possible in this short amount of time to actually rebut the President’s message, nor would it be useful. Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.

Further, this is the seventh time the President has mentioned energy independence in his state of the union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party. We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the President and his party to bring about these changes.

There are two areas where our respective parties have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes to address them tonight. The first relates to how we see the health of our economy – how we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are properly shared among all Americans. The second regards our foreign policy – how we might bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it’s almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it’s nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along with them.

In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.

In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy – that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.

And under the leadership of the new Democratic Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House just passed a minimum wage increase, the first in ten years, and the Senate will soon follow. We’ve introduced a broad legislative package designed to regain the trust of the American people. We’ve established a tone of cooperation and consensus that extends beyond party lines. We’re working to get the right things done, for the right people and for the right reasons.

With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.

I want to share with all of you a picture that I have carried with me for more than 50 years. This is my father, when he was a young Air Force captain, flying cargo planes during the Berlin Airlift. He sent us the picture from Germany, as we waited for him, back here at home. When I was a small boy, I used to take the picture to bed with me every night, because for more than three years my father was deployed, unable to live with us full-time, serving overseas or in bases where there was no family housing. I still keep it, to remind me of the sacrifices that my mother and others had to make, over and over again, as my father gladly served our country. I was proud to follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in Vietnam. My brother did as well, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot. My son has joined the tradition, now serving as an infantry Marine in Iraq.

Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues – those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death – we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm’s way.

We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us – sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed.

The war’s costs to our nation have been staggering. Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism. And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq’s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.

On both of these vital issues, our economy and our national security, it falls upon those of us in elected office to take action.

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves “as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other.” And he did something about it.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. “When comes the end?” asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
Thank you for listening. And God bless America.

And should The Cretin-in-the-White House fail to take action as Senator Webb advises I, and I hope you, will be right behind the Senator as he shows Mr. Bush the way. It’s our way now Mr. President, not because we have a majority in both Houses of Congress, no it’s our way or the highway for you because…

We, Senator Webb and the progressives who elected him, are right about what’s right for America and you are wrong.


9 Responses to Senator Webb responds to Mr. Bush’s blather….

  1. tekstone says:

    Great response from Sen. Webb! Moving, inspiring and right on the mark! Our domestic socio-economic imablance and a wrong and wasteful war: two of the most important issues of our day.

    Right on, Senator! And right on, Citizen: we are certainly behind Mr. Webb and what he has laid out in this response to the Preznit’s SOTU. Show him the way!

  2. catzmaw says:

    You guys should also be aware that in-between attending committee hearings, preparing his speech, and tearing Condi Rice a new one last week Jim Webb trotted out a new PAC called It’s stated purpose is to “to help reorient our national security posture, bring fairness back to our economic system, and develop greater accountability in government.”

    Webb was known and described as the “conservative former Republican anti-war candidate” when running for the Senate, but nothing could be farther from the truth. He is no one-note orchestra and is every bit as serious about the state of this nation’s economic system as he is about his opposition to the war. His book Born Fighting, written long before he was drafted to run for the Senate, contains many passages in the last chapters outlining his sense that the middle and lower classes are being left behind by an increasingly prosperous elite of fatcats and CEOs.

    Webb threw out the speech written for him by the Democratic leadership and wrote his own and it resonates with the themes found in his earlier writings. This guy doesn’t kowtow to anybody. He’s started a spine transplant on the Democrats and thrown down a gauntlet to the Bush Administration. I think they’d better go along with him or get out of the way.

  3. Mick says:

    He even wrote it all himself. Liberals are sthooo smart.

  4. A.Citizen says:

    Sheesh Mich yer pathetic.

    To label what you are doing as a ‘comment’ is to do a disservice to the English language.

    Can’t you do a little better?

  5. Mick says:

    Are you impressed with the Hillary/Obama show? That’s your progressive ticket. For the next year, the mass media will be making it look like a debate. Then the Democrat machine will set it up for the followers, Hillary for prez and Obama for VP so that your progressive party will get 95 percent of African Americans to vote for Hillary.

  6. tekstone says:

    actually you apparently-ignorant individual, the Hillary/Obama show as you call it is a fabrication of your right-wing, corporate media… not the Democrats or Liberals. the real Progressive action is in the Edwards, Gore, Dean, Webb and Kucinich camps.

    you right-wingers are so delusional you can’t see the forest for the make-believe liberal trees your minds make up.

    isn’t it convenient that ignorant asses (and i’m not intending to call Mick here an ass specifically – i am generalizing) have such a large support group to help them cope with thier intellectual deficiencies? that would be the right-wing: media, politicians, think-tanks, corporatists and military/industrial complex.

    it’s also pretty funny how this Mick guy feels threatened by a strategy to “get 95 percent” of the African American vote… pulling the race card so early, dude?

  7. Mick says:

    Progressives are for Edwards?

    By Don Carrington
    RALEIGH – Presidential candidate John Edwards and his family recently moved into what county tax officials say is the most valuable home in Orange County. The house, which includes a recreational building attached to the main living quarters, also is probably the largest in the county.
    “The Edwardses” rambling structure sits in the middle of a 102-acre estate on Old Greensboro Road west of Chapel Hill. The heavily wooded site and winding driveway ensure that the home is not visible from the road. “No Trespassing” signs discourage passersby from venturing past the gate.
    Don Knight, Orange County building plans examiner, told CJ that, including the recreational building, the Edwardses’ home would be one of the largest in Orange County.
    Knight approved the building plans that showed the Edwards home totaling 28,200 square feet of connected space. The main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet.
    The main house is all on one level except for a 600-square-foot bedroom and bath area above the guest garage.
    The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”
    Edwards was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2004 and a former N.C. senator.

  8. tekstone says:

    a perfect example of a right-winger not seeing the forest for the make-believe liberal trees your minds make up.

    in this case: you think that Progressives being rich is a bad thing. Well, you are dead wrong on that.

    the problem is not in having money, it is in the heartless greed in the spirits of the right-wingers. those in the right wing don’t want to share the national wealth with others; they don’t want to make the rules more fair so that everyone can have an opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life; they don’t want to share a single cent of ‘their own’ money to help those that need it… or even the community at large.

    i love seeing liberals with lots of money and power, because i know that they will use their influence to help everyone through passing fair tax laws, universal health care, educational and vocational assistance and training, overseeing politicians and corporate executives to make sure they don’t break the rules for their own benefit, etc.

    a poor jerk like me cannot change the nation’s laws and make life for all Americans better. those rich liberals, however, can do exactly that.

    and they will. . . despite your crying about it.

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