James Webb for Senate in VA?
by Carl Nyberg, Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 07:05:31 PM EDT
James Webb is about as un-Democrat as a Republican can be, but I guess he's a staunch oponent of the Iraq War.
Webb and I crossed paths a few times.
The first time was when Webb was invited to speak by one of the midshipmen organizations. He was given permission to speak on the condition that he didn't voice his objections to women being at USNA.
Webb was a trooper and kept up his end of the deal during his prepared remarks, but then there was a Q&A. And some midshipman asked him about women at the Naval Academy. (Webb's views were infamous enough that female midshipmen threw bras in the trees the night before he came to protest. And if you didn't suspect already, midshipmen aren't exactly predisposed to protest.)
Webb answered the question truthfully. I expect he would have considered it dishonest not to answer it directly.
Of course the administration wasn't happy with Webb. The deputy commandant Al Konetzni, a Polish Catholic guy from NYC, with liberal political sympathies supposedly call James Webb an "asshole." Konetzni didn't do it in front of the midshipmen, but it was common knowledge. Again, Webb brought out a fairly extreme reaction.
A couple weeks later President Reagan nominated the "asshole" to be Secretary of the Navy. Webb wanted to get even with the muckity-mucks at USNA so he had two change-of-command ceremonies. One was at the Pentagon and one was at USNA with the entire brigade of midshipmen getting choreographed. It wasn't enough to do the ceremony we had to practice it too.
IIRC Webb didn't stay SECNAV long, but he did come to USNA again for a football game.
One of my classmates, Karin, wanted to tweak him about women at the Naval Academy. I already had a crush on Karin, but this made her a goddess in my eyes.
Karin went over to the section where Webb was sitting. She pushed her way through the sycophants and hangers-on. When she got to Webb, she asked him to sign her hat. There's a fair bit of significance that goes along with the hats for midshipmen, but they are also the part of the uniform that is most different between genders.
Webb couldn't refuse Karin and he signed her hat. She made her point that women were at the Naval Academy and Webb had to acknowledge it.
Part of me is tickled that Webb might run as a Democrat. It sorta shows how topsy-turvy Bush has made the world. Webb is a hard-core Right Winger.
But part of me says, "hey, wait a minute. Karin lives in Virginia. I'll bet she'd make a helluva a U.S. Senator."
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