Tyrrell: My “gruesome evening” with Jim Webb

posted at 12:18 pm on November 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

George Will’s Webb-bashing column is getting all the attention this morning for its dowdification of Webb’s exchange with Bush. Skip it; it’s dull and unfair. Instead, read R. Emmett Tyrrell’s frequently funny takedown of Webb in AmSpec. Unfair, perhaps, but vivaciously so:

In Webb the [Democrats] gained yet another very unpleasant person as a conspicuous member of the party hierarchy. He will not be easily obscured. Webb now takes his place with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Howard Dean, Al Gore, Jean-Francois Kerry, and so many other Democratic notables as a rebarbative blowhard with whom you would not want to share a gondola. Nor would a civilized American want to have any of these churlish cads to dinner or even as neighbors down the block. Just the other day one of Senator Clinton’s neighbors turned up with a gunshot wound. I would not be surprised if it were self-inflicted…

As it happens I did dine with Webb, sometime after his brief stint at the Department of the Navy. He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved, particularly his scruples against women in combat, though other of his references to women strike me as coarse. At any rate, I invited him to dinner for what turned out to be a gruesome evening. Webb is one of those people of whom it is said he is uncomfortable in his skin. At first I thought his discomfort might come from the fear he was going to have to pay his way. It was a classy eatery. I reassured him that he was my guest. I went on to make clear I considered him a fine writer. Nothing I said reassured him, not even my insistence that he have dessert. I left baffled. Most of the military men I have known are gents. Many writers are cads, but I thought a writer who had also served high up in the Reagan Administration might be civilized. After that dinner I never made the mistake of inviting him anywhere again.

He’s going to be “a vast source of amusement” in the Senate, says Tyrrell. I want him to look Harry Reid in the eye at the first meeting and say, “Look, pizza-face – Jim Webb doesn’t take orders from anyone.”


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Very few deliver verbal smackdowns like Tyrrell. He helped keep me sane during some of those joy-filled Clinton years.

JammieWearingFool on November 30, 2006 at 12:28 PM

“gruesome evening”

I was fearing more “turning his son upside down and putting his penis in is mouth” jokes that you were going to have to explain.

RightWinged on November 30, 2006 at 12:30 PM

Poor Lerch. He even gets it here:

I have said it before and I shall be saying it again, often politics is not a rational act. Increasingly, especially in the Democratic Party, it encourages behavior that is abnormal: politicians windsurfing to assure their constituencies that they are just like them or ranting to show how genuinely human they are.

JammieWearingFool on November 30, 2006 at 12:32 PM

I was fearing more “turning his son upside down and putting his penis in is mouth” jokes that you were going to have to explain.

What a horrid thing to say! How does such a thing have anything to do with Webb?!

frankj on November 30, 2006 at 12:42 PM

Pizzas feel indignant…

Entelechy on November 30, 2006 at 12:48 PM

I put this response to Webb’s churlish behavior yesterday on the other thread about it, but it had already moved to the Vault. So I’ll put it here:

After Webb said, “That’s between me and my boy,” Bush should have turned immediately to an assistant and said, “Get the Pentagon on the phone. Tell them to immediately discharge LCPL Webb from military service and send him home. Tell him his daddy doesn’t want him to be in Iraq anymore.” Then he should have smiled pleasantly at Webb, shaken his hand and said, “Now it’s between you and your boy.”

aero on November 30, 2006 at 12:48 PM

Ha! More Webb!! More Webb!! I think this guy is going to be one of my new favorites to mock.

He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved…

One should never say these words regarding Jim Webb.

I wonder if Flipper was Jim Webb’s favorite TV show as a kid?

Rosetta on November 30, 2006 at 12:49 PM

Jean-Francois Kerry. Interesting name.

Interesting story. It turns out that Webb is a what we expected: A typical unhinged liberal.

Ouabam on November 30, 2006 at 12:49 PM

Sounds like he tried to turn Bob upside down and….

Valiant on November 30, 2006 at 12:50 PM

Look, I really hope that we’re not stigmatizing putting penises in mouths. Because then the terrorists will have won.

Enrique on November 30, 2006 at 12:54 PM

F U Webb…If you can’t respect the President…you have no respect from anyone except lib dems…

Remember webbdumn…’Cowards cut and run…Marines stay and fight’

You people in VA will get what you deserve…a cut and run coward…

areseaoh on November 30, 2006 at 12:57 PM

First, it was an insult to say ‘how is your boy’. He should have said: ‘how is your son’. However, Bush is a ‘boy’, so its understandable.
Webb shoud have said: ‘how are your girls’……slutting around in Argentina when they could be driving humvees in Iraq.

LZVandy on November 30, 2006 at 1:04 PM

“Pizzas feel indignant… ”

Pizzas also question the timing. ;^)

georgej on November 30, 2006 at 1:08 PM

Webb shoud have said: ‘how are your girls’……slutting around in Argentina when they could be driving humvees in Iraq.

Classy.

Nuanced, even.

Slublog on November 30, 2006 at 1:09 PM

What a horrid thing to say! How does such a thing have anything to do with Webb?!

frankj on November 30, 2006 at 12:42 PM

I can safely assume that you’re messing with me, and you get the reference, right? And also the reference to a line in another of AP’s posts in which he had to explain the comment?

RightWinged on November 30, 2006 at 1:17 PM

Areo wrote:

After Webb said, “That’s between me and my boy,” Bush should have turned immediately to an assistant and said, “Get the Pentagon on the phone. Tell them to immediately discharge LCPL Webb from military service and send him home. Tell him his daddy doesn’t want him to be in Iraq anymore.” Then he should have smiled pleasantly at Webb, shaken his hand and said, “Now it’s between you and your boy.”

It would destroyed Webb as a politician claiming affinity with the military, once it got out.

On the other hand, Webb’s son is in the Marines as a rather low level enlisted marine, because he volunteered to be there. Using him as tool against his father would punish him for the actions and the statements of his father. That would be unfair.

georgej on November 30, 2006 at 1:17 PM

Bush is a ‘boy’, so its understandable.

Racist! I’m outraged!

John from WuzzaDem on November 30, 2006 at 1:21 PM

slutting around in Argentina

Where exactly in Argentina are they?

*logs on to Orbitz looking for next available flight*

natesnake on November 30, 2006 at 1:33 PM

All the Rednecks say “How’s your boy?” The 60 year old ladies at the gas station all say, “What can I get you sweetie?” whether it’s a 5 year girl or a 50 year old well driller.

What happened to the days when any friendly greeting from the President of the United States was a source of honor and pride?

Besides, it’s the Democrats who insist on calling men “boys” in a demeaning manner. (As in “War! It’s just boys fighting over their toys in the sandbox.”)

Webb should feel very cozy with his fellow Dems. Jabbing Jim Moran comes to mind …

naliaka on November 30, 2006 at 1:34 PM

First, it was an insult to say ‘how is your boy’. He should have said: ‘how is your son’. However, Bush is a ‘boy’, so its understandable.
Webb shoud have said: ‘how are your girls’……slutting around in Argentina when they could be driving humvees in Iraq.

LZVandy on November 30, 2006 at 1:04 PM

Thank goodness the Democrats will be restoring civility to our nation.

I thought the election results might cure BDS, but it’s actually gotten worse.

JammieWearingFool on November 30, 2006 at 1:43 PM

You people in VA will get what you deserve…a cut and run coward…

I suppose it’s childish of me to feel a need to respond to this, but what the hey. Bite me.

Defense Guy on November 30, 2006 at 1:49 PM

Hey, I didn’t vote for him. Why do I deserve this?

BeachBaby on November 30, 2006 at 2:26 PM

I foresee the day when Webby smarts off to Reid or Schumer. Fur will be a flyin’

Webby the chump boy.

darwin on November 30, 2006 at 2:26 PM

areseaoh on November 30, 2006 at 12:57 PM

You people in VA will get what you deserve…a cut and run coward…

Not trying to defend Webb in anything but I think coward may be a bit of hyperbole. As to the fine folks in VA getting what they deserve, you might want to know that Webb won by 9,000 votes out of 2.5 million cast. Not exactly a landslide. And as one of those who voted for the losing candidate I can’t say I got what I deserve. And it certainly was not native born Virgnians that elected that SOB. It was the liberal “come heres” from New Jersey, Massachusetts and any other lib fiefdom who settled in the Peoples Republic of Northern Virginia that elected him

sdd on November 30, 2006 at 2:31 PM

I can’t believe I’m going to defend this buffoon in any manner, but…

It would be hard to characterize Jim Webb as a coward by anyone’s standards. A Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts during four years of service, much of it in Vietnam. He resigned his position as Secretary of the Navy in 1988 in refusal to acquiesce to Congress’ desire to reduce Naval operating forces.

Somewhere along the way, his mind has turned, and he has become a Kerry/Kennedy clone politically. That’s too bad, but it doesn’t make him a coward.

Freelancer on November 30, 2006 at 3:20 PM

“…a rebarbative blowhard with whom you would not want to share a gondola.”

Good writer, this Tyrrell.

…I would’ve said “share a cab”, although the cadence of “gondola” is more mellifluous.

Either way, consider it stolen.

Puritan1648 on November 30, 2006 at 4:09 PM

Look, I really hope that we’re not stigmatizing putting penises in mouths. Because then the terrorists will have won. — Enrique

…in some respects, this sort of takes the edge off of terrorism, then.

Exactly *WHICH* southeast or east Asian culture is it where putting penises in mouths is an acceptible substitute for a handshake?

“Oh, Tran! You got an A in Math!” *FLIP* *LEWINSKY*

Puritan1648 on November 30, 2006 at 4:14 PM

Either way, consider it stolen.

Puritan1648 on November 30, 2006 at 4:09 PM

That’s quite a collection you have there…

Jaibones on November 30, 2006 at 4:36 PM

LZVandy,

I have a childhood friend who went to Vanderbilt. He ended up becoming a whiny, dyspeptic, leftist schwanzlicka, too. Must be in the water.

Jaibones on November 30, 2006 at 4:38 PM

That’s quite a collection you have there… — Jaibones

…and that’s only the ones I’m admitting to….

Puritan1648 on November 30, 2006 at 5:02 PM

LZVandy,

I have a childhood friend who went to Vanderbilt. He ended up becoming a whiny, dyspeptic, leftist schwanzlicka, too. Must be in the water.

Jaibones on November 30, 2006 at 4:38 PM

Oh there’s something in the water. I lived in Nashville for about 5 years (until moving back home to VT this summer) and worked security part time at a bar that was frequented by Vandy kids, Thursdays in particular.

There was one night, one of these little shits did something that we were asking him to leave, and his silver spoon up his ass prevented him from just calmly leaving… he started talking shit and got a little physical, and wound up getting his ass tossed out on the sidewalk. For whatever reason this idiot didn’t let up so we restrained him and held him until the police got there. The whole time he’s shouting at us how he’s a law student, etc. etc. (you get the picture). Somehow, a shock to him, being a “law student” didn’t keep the cuffs off him that night.

RightWinged on December 1, 2006 at 12:46 AM

If memory serves, LZVandy’s handle comes from Landing Zone Vandegrift, rather than Vanderbilt University. But it’s always nice to hear stories about snotty college punks getting their asses kicked.

ReubenJCogburn on December 1, 2006 at 2:41 AM

But it’s always nice to hear stories about snotty college punks getting their asses kicked.

ReubenJCogburn on December 1, 2006 at 2:41 AM

Seriously, they are unimaginable douche bags. So many of them stopped just short of saying “do you know who my dad is!?”

RightWinged on December 1, 2006 at 7:36 AM

Ok. So this guy claims he had a gruesome evening with Webb. Perhaps I am missing something–what did he do or say that was so gruesome? Or is it enough to just report it was “gruesome”?

honora on December 1, 2006 at 8:28 AM