Although “classless behavior” and George Bush are interchangeable (groping the German Chancellor was just one of many Bush vulgarities), the descriptive was applied, oddly enough, to his interlocutor, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA). A “pathetic story of classless behavior” is how Webb’s recent retort to George Bush has been described by some. Reports the Washington Post:
“At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia’s newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn’t long before Bush found him.
‘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 theme.
‘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.”
Let’s rewind. You’d have to be a dedicated Bush bootlicker to misidentify the ignoble savage in this interaction.
Give Bush the benefit of the doubt and assume that, knowing Webb’s principled opposition to his invasion of Iraq, the president was still sincere in inquiring after Webb’s soldier son. (Bush is known as quite a spiteful and petulant man, so it’s not unreasonable to consider that he may also have been pushing Webb’s buttons.)
Webb then answered in a manner that comported with his convictions, yet still addressed Bush’s query politely (he was careful to call him “Mr. President”). What does the president do in response? He upbraids Webb and speaks down at him.
Append “boy” to end of “That’s not what I asked you,” and you get my drift ‘and Bush’s’ loud and clear.
Update: Here’s a likeminded appraisal of Jim Webb’s worth from Tom DiLorenzo, a man who has had the courage to take on a far more blood thirsty leader than Genghis Bush. My Mother, who doesn’t live on this continent, marveled the other day at how militaristic Americans are. That’s how foreigners experience us. Other American friends I have were aghast to learn that I think that, while Americans are very concerned about the well-being of fetuses, they are callous about the lives of fully formed human beings. Having experienced a couple of cultures during my life, that’s certainly been my abiding impression â€” there’s a glorification of death for the fatherland in the US. Scary.
Updated Again: It appears I was right. Being the bully he is, Bush was simply pushing Webb’s buttons. So reports ThinkProgress, which obtained its information from Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA):
“Bush was told that Webb’s son had a recent brush with death in Iraq and was warned to be ‘extra sensitive’ when talking to the Sen.-elect. ThinkProgress yesterday spoke with Moran’s office and confirmed the congressman’s statement, first reported by hcc in VA: Not only did Bush know about it, he was specifically briefed on the incident before meeting with Webb, and was cautioned to be extra sensitive in speaking with Webb about his son.”
I’ve always been a good judge of character. I don’t need to look into those beady, dead eyes to see the barren soul. A survey of Bush’s utterances and actions will suffice. Once again, Bush was being Bush.