Posted by Liz @ 9:50 pm on May 27th 2010

James Webb: Still a Jackass

Color me completely not shocked that Senator Webb voted against the DADT repeal in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

I see no reason to pre-empt the process that our senior Defense Department leaders put into motion, and I am concerned that many members of the military would view such a move as disrespectful to the importance of their roles in this process.

Of course he doesn’t and, oh by the way? Bull. Shit. Bullshit. As a non-mind reader, I am not usually one to question the motivations of others, but Webb has a history of opposing people other than straight males joining the military. Yes, I’m once again referencing Women Can’t Fight , a chauvinistic masterpiece based on the premise that “Man must be more aggressive in order to perpetuate the human race” and “Where in this country can someone go to find out if he is a man?”. It was written years ago, in 1979, but Webb’s continual reference to rape and his concern that “Many women appear to be having problems with their sexuality,” is still relevant. There is a sense of paranoid phallic belligerence about the article and about the attitude that produced such an article. Over and over, he talks about the detriment of feminizing the military, he wonders “What kind of a woman would seek out the Academy routine?”

He’s a Senator with a big, fat D after his name now, so he can’t really come out and say it like he used to. However, anyone who posits “The Hall, which houses 4,000 males and 300 females, is a horny woman’s dream,” probably thinks it’s a horny gay man’s dream too. As for the lesbians. . . well, he never thought they should be allowed to serve in the first place.

Bullshit. Webb knows that the military is not in the habit of polling its members before changing a policy. This is an excuse; a coward’s way to perpetrate prejudice without having to come out of the closet as a sexually obsessed bigot.


  1. I’m sort of dualistic here. On the one hand, I think your criticism here is absolutely warranted. I can’t argue with any of it. Webb strikes me as exactly the sort of guy you fear he is, and any power he gets over military personnel issues is going to reflect that.

    At the same time, he’s also the single Democrat that has absolutely no qualms, not a whit, about advocating for things that would make any other Dem knock their knees for fear of being labeled “soft” on something. On the basis of his championing of prison reform alone, he’s in my “that guy’s alright” book.

    Big negative points for his DADT vote though. And part of the double-edged sword about him is exactly the sort of thing that makes him a huge “get” for an issue like prison reform also makes him a huge “get” for a nay vote on DADT repeal.

    Comment by Brad — 5/27/2010 @ 11:44 pm

  2. Anti-DADT, pro-prison reform…clearly, the guy has a hangup with homosexual intercourse in any context or location.

    Comment by Rojas — 5/28/2010 @ 1:13 am

  3. I don’t think it is possible for a USNA grad to view Webb through from an objective position. His very person is an emotionally charged subject. A Sense Of Honor was damn near required reading, he was a highly controversial professor there, and even had his swearing in ceremony to become SecNav at Annapolis. He casts a shadow. I can look back at something like A Sense Of Honor, a book I loved, and now recognize it as a rather blatant defense of extreme hazing combined with some slimy anti-academia populism. His entire adult life up until he ran on a Democratic ticket has been about, well, manliness. This trick he has pulled with DADT is entirely in character with his adult history, and too cute by half. It is his respect for the opinions of the troops that prevent him from voting for overturning DADT. Smooth move politically, but what a bunch of BS. Would his respect for the troops precluded his support for racial integration. Would it have support support for denying women any role in the military other than administrative secretaries? Oh wait, we know the answer to that last one because he was so vocal on that subject while serving at a military fucking organization. I guess respect for the troops didnt extend to the women that he was teaching, much less to the chain of command for whom he was ostensibly working. I like Webb’s position on prison reform. I find it brave. This DADT thing? Cowardly. And Bull Shit.

    Comment by Jack — 5/29/2010 @ 10:53 pm

  4. Yeah, I don’t even try to view Webb objectively, obviously. I also, obvioiusly, like his position on prison reform

    I will give him this, Webb is an effective, evocative writer. Reading A Sense of Honor was such a visceral experience. He got Bancroft down perfectly. I could smell the place while I was reading the book – that Annapolis-in-the-summer, sweating-profusely-in-new-white-works smell.

    Comment by Liz — 6/1/2010 @ 4:38 pm

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