The populist outsider who really could beat Hillary Clinton (clue: it’s not Elizabeth Warren)

War hero Jim Webb has the right record to take on Hillary – and to widen the Democratic coalition

4 April 2015

9:00 AM

4 April 2015

9:00 AM

 Washington DC


Bored American reporters are pining for a Democratic primary challenger to step up against Hillary Clinton in 2016. We don’t like coronations. It’s not just cynical Republicans who cheered at ‘emailgate’ — the crisis Clinton faced after it emerged she had used a private account for her emails as Secretary of State. It makes matters more interesting, and moves the spotlight on to other, less celebrated politicians.

The media is consequently obsessed with the idea that Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat admired by Occupy Wall Street, can take on Hillary. The more logical opponent is Joe Biden, the Vice President. There’s also Bernie Sanders, self-described socialist senator from Vermont. But let us not overlook the most interesting potential challenger: former Virginia senator Jim Webb. He has already declared his interest in exploring a 2016 campaign. Compared with the rest of the Democratic field, his biography reads like Theodore Roosevelt’s.

A 1968 graduate of the US Naval Academy, where he was a varsity boxer, Webb fought as a marine in the Vietnam war. He was wounded twice, earning the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. Webb went on to collect a law degree from Georgetown, serve as counsel to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and be appointed defence secretary and secretary of the navy under Ronald Reagan. Not even the Reagan administration was tough enough on defence for him — Webb quit over potential cuts to the 600-ship navy. (‘I don’t think the navy was sorry to see him go,’ the President wrote in his diary.)

After leaving government, he won an Emmy TV award and wrote six bestselling novels. One of them, Fields of Fire, has been frequently listed among the best books about the Vietnam war. In 2000, Webb endorsed George W. Bush for president and fellow Republican George Allen for the US Senate.

Then came the Iraq war. In 2002, Webb came out against the conflict in an op-ed in the Washington Post. He argued the occupation would be more difficult than the invasion and that knocking off Saddam Hussein would remove a regional counterweight to Iran, all of which proved true. Webb lobbied Allen to vote against the Iraq war. Allen told Webb that he would vote with the President. Webb then decided he would run against them both.

While the war prompted Webb’s break with the Republican party, he had other issues that didn’t fit its platform. Webb was an economic populist, critical of corporations and worsening inequality. He was particularly concerned about the white working-class poor and the people of the Appalachians.

Despite a 2006 Democratic tide that washed away Republican majorities in both houses, Webb only narrowly defeated Allen. His six years in the Senate were marked by advocacy for veterans but were otherwise uneventful. The gruff loner appeared to find the chamber boring, disdaining fundraising and preferring to write books. He retired after a single term.

So what makes anyone think he will be a quality presidential contender? Let’s first compare him to the other non-Clintons who might have aspirations. The fact that Biden is not currently frontrunner suggests how little anyone takes the Vice President seriously, even within the Democratic party. He’s notoriously gaffe-prone. Warren would split the women’s vote with Clinton and isn’t much younger. According to one New Hampshire poll, she trails Clinton by 41 percentage points. Sanders is like an irascible ageing uncle in his rumpled suits. He could make an impression as a maverick figure in the Democratic primaries, but has technically spent most of his political career as an independent. And outside Vermont, avowed socialists do not go far in American politics.

Webb, on the other hand, is a fighter. He’s used to speaking to a very different constituency from the ones Democrats are used to: working-class whites and his ancestral Scots-Irish. Webb acknowledges these ‘original Jacksonians’ form ‘the core culture around which Red State America [the Republican base] has gathered and thrived’. And he thinks he can win these bedrock Republicans for his party. ‘I think this is where Democrats screw up, you know?’ Webb has told an interviewer. ‘I think that they have kind of unwittingly used this group, white working males, as a whipping post for a lot of their policies. And then when they react, they say they’re being racist.’ He has his finger on a real problem: while the Democrats attract a diverse coalition, 64 per cent of white men voted Republican in 2014 — an election the Democrats lost.

Elizabeth Warren isn’t better equipped to deal with this group than Hillary. She’s also revealed herself to be a much more limited populist. While she helped sink an Obama appointment who was too close to Wall Street and identified a potential bailout provision in a budget that the President otherwise favoured, she has also backed corporate welfare programmes like the taxpayer-funded US Export-Import Bank. And Warren, unlike Webb, has been hawkish on Iran. Foreign policy is a major vulnerability for Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Clinton lost the nomination last time because of her vote for the Iraq war, which Obama opposed. Well, Webb opposed it too.

In Virginia, Webb was able to transcend his cultural conservatism by convincing progressive activists he was a fighter who could beat Republicans. His campaign attracted substantial support from ‘net roots’ bloggers well to his left. Once elected, Webb patched things up with former Democratic rivals and voted a liberal line in the Senate. Webb could run against Hillary as a creature of Wall Street like her husband while also representing what Howard Dean once called the ‘Democratic wing of the Democratic party’ on foreign policy and civil liberties. He can stand with the President on negotiations with Iran while Clinton will already be looking to pivot to the general election. Yet Webb’s appeal beyond the party may be greater than Clinton’s. No less a conservative than Oliver North called him ‘a noble warrior’.

All these assets in terms of appealing to regular voters will be liabilities with donors. Team Hillary will also press Webb on more conservative positions he’s taken in the past, such as on affirmative action and women in combat (he was against both). The Clintons know their opposition research and Webb has put many of his opinions in print.

But if it is a fight Hillary Clinton is looking for, who better than Jim Webb — author of Born Fighting, natch — to give it to her?

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

W. James Antle III is managing editor of the Daily Caller and author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped?

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • Marshal Phillips

    Despite his very commendable record of achievements, Jim Webb is utterly unknown to the vast majority of American voters. If Hillary and Jim both enter the primaries, then it would only enhance Hillary as she can debate the issues very well. He would make an excellent running mate for her should she win the primaries. Democrats would welcome him into the race as Hillary needs sparing partners in the debates. As far as Hillary’s use of a personal email account while Sec of State; Republican Colin Powell did the same thing when he was Sec of State. It was not against the law for either of them during their tenures. Both have turned in their emails to the State Dept which were work related. 55,000 pages in Hillary’s case.

    • WFB56

      When has Hillary ever debated any debating skills? Outside of the pages of the NY Times, nobody buys that.

      • Marshal Phillips

        Her colleagues, both Dem and Repub, in the US Senate respected her and her intelligent grasp of the issues while not always, of course, necessarily agreeing with her.

    • yak_disqus

      Actually, I would watch Terry McAuliffe. Jim Webb has a huge ego, but he has neither the money nor the backing for such a run.

  • CraigStrachan

    Yep. I donated to his exploratory committee the day it started exploring.

  • mikes2653

    Webb is very unlikely to be acceptable to Democratic primary voters, who are partisans of the cultural left – the aging hippies and yippies, government-employee union activists,blacks, Hispanics, LGBTQ(WXYZ…) and other members of the coalition of the disgruntled and aggrieved.

    He might do better in a general election, but first he’d have to win the nomination, and the above classes of people will determine who receives it.

    White voters, and particularly white working-class males, have deserted the Democrats, and Webb can’t bring them back. They know they are the scapegoats for everything the cultural left hates about American society, and also the people who will be expected to foot the bill for all the left’s programs. Prominent among those programs is the political marginalization of the white working class.

    • Marshal Phillips

      Today’s Democrats are socially liberal, progressive, educated, young and old who are increasingly turned off by the cultural wars of the Tea Party and Religious Right who scare mainstream liberals. Today Republican political rhetoric is anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-women, anti-choice, gay obsessed, pro war, torture, and unlimited $$$$$ for world military adventurism, indifferent to injustice, poverty, and universal health care, anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare, greedy, selfish, anti-immigrant, covertly racist, and very jealous of the president who happens to be black. It will be very difficult for today’s extremist GOP to win a national election given the advantage of the big states in the Electoral College votes..

      • WFB56

        So if any of your juvenille and incorrect characterisations of the Republicans were true, they obviously lost the 2014 elections for the Senate, the House, Gubernatorial races and state representatives races. However, the facts are that the Republicans dominated all of the above in a way that they haven’t since the 1920’s.

        I guess you and your ilk aren’t winning on any front.

        • Marshal Phillips

          GOP southern gerrymandering was largely responsible for the House control. Although the House was up, only a few Senate seats were up, not ALL. If you think in a national election Republicans dominate, why does Hillary Clinton continue to lead in ALL national polling? My views come as a former main street moderate country club Republican from the Midwest. My first presidential vote was for Nixon over JFK in 1960 because I liked Eisenhower (Nixon was Ike’s VP). Since that time I’ve seen the once Grand Old Party be taken over by religious nuts and Tea Party crazies. Today both Ike’s and Nixon’s policies of governance would be seen as flaming liberal by today’s GOP nuts and extremists.

          • WFB56

            Keep kidding yourself.

          • Marshal Phillips

            I’m neither a kid nor kiddding.

          • Verbatim

            Just an idiot, then!!

          • yak_disqus

            Marshal – I propose that the news sources you read and listen to have moved way, way, way to the left since 1960. I doubt you have read or heard anything that is honest and objective in a very long time.
            By my estimate you would be about 75 years young. Most midwestern papers stopped doing any independent reporting decades ago (they just echo what shows up on the AP Wire or Reuters) while most “big city” newspapers have shifted to an almost marxist stance on many issues.
            However, let me ask you this. Why do journos call it a “Red Scare” back in the day — when now Kremlin documents clearly show there were indeed many, many spies and collaborators afoot? Most journalists from 1960 wouldn’t or couldn’t get a Journalism degree in today’s PC college programs and would be weeded out by marxist professors early in the game.

          • Marshal Phillips

            My news sources are up to date: Google international news, the Economist, USA Today, Wall St Journal, NY Times, TV cable news left and right, and a variety of internet news, opinions, and blogs of all political stripes.
            Although born in the good ol’ Midwest of the USA, I’ve worked and lived in Los Angeles and Boston most of my adult life as well as having visited every state in the union either on business or visiting for tourism or staying with friends. I’ve traveled the world and have homes in South America and Hawaii.

          • Verbatim

            This is hilarious!!

          • Marshal Phillips

            Childish name calling isn’t persuasive.

      • Moa

        Today’s Democrats are hard-Left fascists who increasingly interfere with every aspect of citizen’s lives. These same Democrats also favor abolishing Constitutional protections for US citizen’s liberties while favoring illegal aliens.

        This is why the Democrats were beaten up in 2010 and why they were absolutely slaughtered in a massive swing to the Right in 2014.

        As long as you think it is all due to ‘gerrymandering’ you will continue to lose. The average US citizen sees the Democratic Party as the Party of control freaks and those that hate existing US citizens except for a few favored identity groups – with Muslims now trumping feminists, homosexuals and African Americans (or even Africans, as the disgraceful treatment of Ayaan Hersi Ali by the Left has shown).

        If you keep up with the delusions, Marshal, you will also lose the Presidency. It is amazing the US military has not yet mutinied, Obama seems absolutely *hated* by the military – with good cause since Obama seems determined to drive all the best military men out with deliberate control freak social engineering. Obama is absolutely destroying the Democratic Party’s chances even worse than Jimmy Carter’s abysmal term did (Jimmy Carter turned the country Conservative for twenty years; and Obama is doing the same). You can deny this, but that is how most of the US citizens that voted last time around sees it – and how the Rest of the World also sees it.

        Step away from the Looking Glass and start listening to what those outside your clique say.

        • Marshal Phillips

          When you use “fascists” you lost me because I just read Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of II Duce by Christopher Hibbert and The Doctrine of Fascism by Benito Mussolini for a history project. You might brush up on actual facts, evidence, information, and knowledge before you throw around childish slurs. The rest of your post is more of the same. My “clique” is We the People.

          • yak_disqus

            Marshal, while well-read you are insulated from the practical realities many “average” Americans face.
            Fascism is when… a lady in Indiana has to close down her pizza parlor because of death threats from people who don’t like her religion or politics.
            Fascism is when… churches have to close or sell facilities because they will be fined for not agreeing with the government
            Fascism is when… The Little Sisters of the Poor are being faced with paying for abortions they see as life-ending or ending their mission.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Fascism didn’t shut down the pizza parlor in Indiana. Her own intolerance shut it down from a reaction from the free market forces; NOTHING whatsoever to do with government. But she has collected a considerable sum of money from supporters. I don’t condone threats or violence and condemn them all all sides. Gays are also the object of death threats, bashings, bullying, violence, and worse. That’s not fascism either; that’s discrimination. The ironic thing about the pizza joint is that no one has pizza for weddings, gay or otherwise. She made a completely gratuitous public remark about gay weddings and her pizza; and the internet erupted. Not unusual these days over politics and religion and sex etc.It’s called freedom of expression.But death threats do cross the line and should be condemned which they have been by gays and straights alike.

          • Moa

            Her own intolerance shut it down from a reaction from the free market forces;

            So unless she agrees 100% with your Orwellian redefinition of marriage then she is “intolerant”?

            It is you that is completely intolerant. You are against Diversity of Opinion.

            You are trying to force your Orwellian thought-crimes on people who have the temerity to hold the view of marriage from a mere three years ago (that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama endorsed) that marriage is between one man and one woman. It is not between two men, nor between three woman, a donkey and and transgender. It is not between an amorphous group of people who come and go. The fact you think it could be is purely because you have been indoctrinated to believe that unless you follow the Statist Collectivist agenda 100% then you would be “intolerant”. That really shows a lack of critical thinking on your part.

            The campaign against the pizza parlor was orchestrated by the intolerant Left. “All thought crime must be punished, ruthlessly” – and you go along with this. Well, the saying is right, “Inside every Leftists there is a totalitarian screaming to get out”. This is indeed your position. You are the enemy of all Free Men, especially Free Thinking men.

            A few days later and now we have seen the actual reaction of the Free Market. Citizens have responded with donations of one million dollars to the pizza parlor. They are sick of your Orwellian redefinition of marriage and your totalitarian State interference in their daily lives. The days of the Left in America are becoming numbered. The actual “We the People” are starting to speak, and they HATE you sanctimonious control freaks speaking for them.

          • Moa

            The economics definition of Fascism is:
            “The means of Production remain in Private Hands while the Fruits of Production are controlled by the State”.

            This is a Far Left ideology. Which is why Mussolini’s Fascist party was a splinter of the Italian Socialist party. Surely you understand this.

            The Extreme Left ideology is Communism, which is defined thus:
            “The Means of Production are controlled by the State and the Fruits of Production are controlled by the State”.

            The Far Left National Socialists and Extreme Left Communists were rivals for domination of Europe. They were in no way opposites as popular (but incorrect) disinformation asserts.

            Here is the only political spectrum that actually matters, which shows State Power versus Individual Liberty (these are, in fact, opposites; and increase in one necessarily decreases the other):


            The rest of your post is more of the same. My “clique” is We the People.

            That’s what you think. But you are, sadly, delusional. Because you fail to understand the true nature of fascism, and seem oblivious to its modern camouflage (as the Orwellian “anti-fascism”) you actually advance the agenda of the fascists in your posts.

            I’m trying to open your eyes, because at the moment you are completely in The Matrix.

            Here’s a book you may profit greatly from:
            “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism”, Lt Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa

            Or, I suggest you go and listen to Yuri Bezmenov on YouTube. The videos are old and poor quality, but they explain EXACTLY how the Left is working today (and tricking people like you to advance their individual-crushing agenda).

            childish slurs

            Stop being prissy. Your self-image needs to be shocked because it is divergent from reality. You are assisting the rise of Statist Collectivism because you have been indoctrinated by its propaganda. You are blind to the actual rise of fasicsm through the disinformation. And the true anti-fascists of the Individualist political Right are being demonized by the real fascists and communists. Wise up and stop falling for (and advancing) the advance of Statist totalitarianism and the lies it uses as camouflage.

          • Marshal Phillips

            That’s a lot of venom wildly thrown about. My political and ethical beliefs are firmly grounded in the liberal ideas of the Scottish and French Enlightenment which resulted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others.

          • Moa

            That’s a lot of venom wildly thrown about.

            Pointing out you are wrong using references is hardly venom – and I’m treating you with kid gloves compared to how you Lefties deliberately destroy the livelihoods and family businesses of anyone who doesn’t conform to your fascist Cultural Marxist Political Correctness.

            My political and ethical beliefs are firmly grounded in the liberal ideas of the Scottish and French Enlightenment which resulted in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

            I understand that is your belief. Unfortunately, that not how you ACT.

            It’s like you know the saying (mis-)attributed to Voltaire

            I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

            but completely fail to act on it.

            One does not have to agree with Christians to recognize that marriage is their tradition, and they have a right to oppose the Left’s unilateral totalitarian redefinition of what marriage is (especially since it is painfully obvious to any half-sentient being that the aim of the Left is to destroy the institution by making it meaningless, as Leftist ‘thinkers’ have said they intend to do for over half a century).

            You also seem to fail to recognize that the Constitution deals with the fact that the Government cannot discriminate against homosexuals – but the Constitutional protections of the First Amendment means the Government cannot impose its Statist Collectivist agenda on the citizenry if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

            Furthermore, the Federal Government should not be in the business of marriage at all, for either hetero nor homosexuals. It is a power that individual States are supposed to have – but once again the Feds usurp power they’re not supposed to have, in order to progress their particular political agenda.

            US is hardly a fascist state; if anything it’s more akin to an oligarchy of wealth with too much money spent on the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex, which General and President Dwight Eisenhower sternly warned us about.

            Man, you are so easily distracted by the Marxist “look at the squirrel” deceptions. The Political-Entitlement Complex sucks up four times as much money as the military – and unlike the dependency-plantation entitlement scam the military is actually a core function of a modern government. Although, of course, the Constitution prohibits a standing army – but given the nature of modern warfare (my own former profession being military aviation) it is impossible to generate the requisite technical skill levels without having long-term professionals.

            Eisenhower was right in making a warning. But the interesting thing is how the meme is repeated – because the disinformation campaign that is designed to disarm the Leader of the Free World.

            This same disinformation campaign makes people like you who intend to do good, but coopts them into advancing the evil of Statist Collectivism.

            You really ought to read that book “Disinformation” by Lt Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa and watch Yuri Bezmenov in YouTube. The seeds planted in the West are not intended to make society stronger.

            My political heroes continue to be Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. My very first vote was for Richard Nixon in 1960 against JFK because I Liked Ike (Nixon was Ike’s VP).

            Good for you. But you need to walk the walk. Stop advancing the intolerance of the Statist Collectivists who disguise their fascism under the false banner of “tolerance” (which is demonstrably intolerant to those who stand in the way of the Collectivist agenda).

            You need to make your actions match those of your heroes – which is to oppose the growth of the Individual-crushing Big State no matter what lies it clothes itself in.

          • Marshal Phillips

            More venom and childish insults reflect back on you.
            Your stream of personal attacks and partisan boiler plate buzz words tells the tale.
            I hardly need your “help” in understanding politics in America.

          • Verbatim

            Go back and look at your earlier posting where you accuse others of being Fascist.

            I’m bored now.

          • Marshal Phillips

            You’re the one who has used the fascist word from your very first posting with your accusations of fascism used like a child calling others names.

        • yak_disqus

          And the millennials? Our young men in witnessing Obama’s administration are becoming so much more conservative than anyone can imagine. They are saying the system is rigged against them — and if they work hard, whatever they work for will be promptly taken away and given to someone else.
          So I don;t think Obama is going to turn the country conservative for 20 years. More like 30 or 40 or even 50.

          • Marshal Phillips

            The Constitution protects religious liberty and freedom of association. But it contains, no god, no established religion, and no religious test for public office. No churches have been shut down for praying, singing, fellowship, feeding the poor, and loving their neighbors.
            Millennials? They are much more tolerant of gays than the older generation and more liberal than their grandparents.
            Obama’s popularity among We the People generally is four times higher than the Tea Party GOP Congress.

          • Moa

            Millennials? They are much more tolerant of gays than the older generation and more liberal than their grandparents.

            No one cares about gays. No one. Only a small number of social conservative care about homosexuality per-se. But a massive swath of people who have no problem with gays doing whatever they want in the privacy of their homes does have a problem with the Orwellian redefinition of marriage, where it goes beyond gays and affects everyone else.

            Of course, you need to defend the strawman argument your masters have given you through the media. If you ever stopped to look at the Big Picture you would understand that the rest of the citizenry actually have a point. You must keep your blinkers on and defend your masters as they grow the State and march toward their authoritarian socialist utopia.

            Obama’s popularity among We the People generally is four times higher than the Tea Party GOP Congress.

            LOL. How delusional can you be? The whole World had high hopes for Obama. Huge numbers turned out for Obama when he first talked at the Brandenburg Gate, for example. But by the time he came back to speak a second time the Germans had worked him out, and almost no one turned up. This was amazing to see.

            In the 2014 elections Obama was so toxic for Democrats running for Senate that the candidates begged Obama not to make an appearance to endorse them. Even so, the Democrats were completely slaughtered at the polls, with the absolutely massive swing to the Right. Because your indoctrination is so thorough, and you lack the ability to analyze objectively, you put this down to gerrymandering. Thus you are completely blind to what really happened and why (which means you are unable to change similar results in the future, until you do).

            Put down the Kool Aid, Marshal. Obama is hated around the World. The Egyptians are trying to get him and Amabssador Patterson tried for terrorism in their continued efforts in aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. He is hated so much that no one followed his call to illegally bomb Syria. He is hated so much that everyone ignores him at G20 meetings – watch what happens when leaders are in his presence. The Israelis hate him. The Europeans don’t trust him and see him as weak. The Iranians, Russians, North Koreans, Islamists treat Obama’s shameful weakness with utter contempt. Most people don’t care what he has to say.

            Except for you, Marshal, You appear to be the slow learner – because your indoctrination and inability to reason objectively is making you blind. This is sad. You can do better. You just have to ***listen*** objectively to what people are trying to tell you, without projecting your own prejudices on to their statements. Use the Scientific Method (which necessitates looking at counter evidence objectively) and you will free your mind.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Actual polls show that younger people accept gays approaching 80% because they have gay friends; and actual polls show Obama’s popularity 4 times higher than the Tea Party Congress.

          • Moa

            Actual polls show that younger people accept gays approaching 80% because they have gay friends

            Gays are 1% of the population. Most people don’t have gay close friends.

            What young people are is increasingly anti-authoritarian and increasingly libertarian. So with gays they are, “Whatever man, just don’t tell me what to do”. That does not bode well for you Big State control freaks. Hence, you must disenfranchise existing citizens by importing future voters. That is why Obama is doing what he is doing, and why Barbara Roche of Labour did the same thing in England – to bring in permanent Leftist political majorities through immigration. Given a choice between the traditional cultures of the West (which the Left despises) and Big State socialism they have opted for the latter. Now everyone else will pay for the Left’s insatiable lust for POWER.

            and actual polls show Obama’s popularity 4 times higher than the Tea Party Congress.

            “Popularity”? outside of high-school what does that word actually mean?

            Polls consistently put a majority of US citizens as thinking Obama is doing a bad job. Only the “low-information voters” seem to think otherwise.

            Here is Tsar Obama’s job approval from a mutlitude of polls – and more people think he’s doing a bad job than those that think he’s doing good:

            The citizens consider Obama to be doing a bad job with the economy:

            And Obama’s approvals on Foreign Policy are worse even than President GW Bush:


            But please keep posting. Our British and International friends that are reading this post need to keep seeing just how delusional you loonie Lefties are, and how you are such strangers to reason you are that when you actually meet some, you cannot break through your indoctrination.

            So please keep posting. It is hilarious.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Gays (GLBT) are more than 1% according to many authorities. Do your homework. If you’re not gay you know someone who is, perhaps in your own family or among your friends and colleagues or in your own neighborhood or community. In the latest Pew Poll a majority of people like gays more than they do fundamentalist evangelicals.

          • Moa

            “according to many authorities”
            Spoken like a true slave. You never checked the facts for yourself. Like a usual Leftie hypocrite you demand others “do their homework” when it is you who has failed to do yours.

            More specifically, 1.8 percent of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 percent as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual.


            This is a tiny proportion of the population (compared to their noise). We could quible over whether it was 1.4% or 1.8% or 2.0% but the reality is still the same. Young people have a different attitude toward gays not because they support the Cultural Marxist agenda of destroying the traditional family and marriage, but because they are libertarian in learning and its all a big “meh” to them.

            What is interesting about the young is how they have re-appropriated the word “gay” to mean “prima donna” or “stupid”, after homosexuals had earlier grabbed the word. “Your arguments so far have been quite gay”.

            In the latest Pew Poll a majority of people like gays more than they do fundamentalist evangelicals.

            And I’m sure they prefer gays to Muslim jihadis too. Your point is stupid. It just shows you have no actual argument so have to dredge up off-topic strawmen.

            You are a slave Marshal. You are working to increase the power of the fascist Big State. In the movie 1984 it is you in front of the screens of Big Brother who is chanting with the indoctrinated sheep. Everything you have written on these forums works to advance the agenda of Statist Collectivism and against individual liberty. We can see this, but it appears you can not. It would be amusing if it were not for the sad fact that your idiocy imperils the liberty of others.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Childish name calling isn’t persuasive. The fact remains gays are mainstream and we don’t know exactly how many GLBT citizens there really are. But if you’re not gay you know someone who is. I’m a slave to Jeffersonian Constitutionalism. I believe in America’s democratic republic under a Constitution. Our founders were liberals who were influenced by the ideas of the Scottish and French Enlightenment.

          • Moa

            Jefferson is what would be called a “Classical Liberal”. He was against the Big State. Today, he would be called a Tea Party Conservative who are also against the Big State.

            Jefferson would resist the State dictating whether you are for or against gay marriage. It is simply not the State’s business as to who gets married to whom – and having the State enforce one view is anti-Jeffersonian.

            The fact you think you are somehow “liberal” is completely hilarious. You gloat at a lynch mob destroying a pizzeria because they hold a viewpoint you do not – that makes you the ENEMY of Free Men.

            A true (classic) liberal understands that there can be people for or against any position. The people who are for the unilateral redefinition of marriage have to make their case (and tried to in California where the majority of citizens rejected the change). The people who are against the redefinition of marriage also get to start their case, but since marriage is currently defined on their terms they don’t need nearly as strong a case.

            What is clear is that using the State for FORCE a particular view through legal punishments is the anti-thesis of Jeffersonian democracy. That is why you are completely delusional. You think you are for liberty and tolerance when you are actively working against them.

            Liberty means the citizens get to decide whether they want to redefine marriage or not. Not the State.

            Tolerance means citizens can express their views for or against the redefinition of marriage, without reprisals from the totalitarian thugs of the Left or the superstitious social conservatives.

            You defend neither Liberty nor Tolerance – although the sociopaths manipulating you claim you are working for both. You seem quite detached from the reality of what you are enabling.

          • Marshal Phillips

            I remain a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist. Our democratic republic has three co-equal branches of government with the Supreme Court interpreting our laws. It is what it is. Watch the Supreme Court validate same sex marriage equality sometime this spring using the Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. We the People elect our representatives which in the US Senate advises and consents to the president’s appointment the Supreme Court justices.

          • Moa

            I remain a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist.

            Completely, utterly and ridiculuously FALSE.

            Which part of the Constitutional framework gives the Federal Government the power to define and regulate marriage?

            Which part of the Constitutional framework gives the Federal Government the power to ***compel*** citizens to act in contravention of their First Amendment liberties?

            The Equal Protection and Due Process clauses affect the Government’s treatment of its subjects, …, citizens. It does nothing to affect citizens treatment of each other.

            Watch the Supreme Court validate same sex marriage equality sometime this spring using the Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses

            The Supreme Court cannot create new law, neither can it abrogate laws such as the First Amendment – which was designed by the Founding Fathers to stop the exact tyrannical Government behavior you are cheerleading.

            The Federal Government has no power to compel citizens to act in contravention of their First Amendment – particularly since the Federal Government does not define nor regulate marriage.

            This is an usurpation of power. A real Jeffersonian Constitutionalists would know this. You are a fraud.

            We the People elect our representatives which in the US Senate advises and consents to the president’s appointment the Supreme Court justices.

            Yes, but irrelevant for the purposes of this debate. The Supreme Court does not make law. Neither does the President (although through his “Pen and his Phone” massive usurpation of power he is doing just that).

            The Congress makes the law. And do you think the Congress will allow this Orwellian redefinition of marriage? I don’t think so.

            Look at USA vs Windsor for a case example. It is up to the States to define marriage. Not up to the Federal Government. This is very clear. What is not allowed is un-Constitutional discrimination BY THE GOVERNMENT (nothing to stop citizens regulating their own lives). That is a completely separate issue.

            And with the usurpation of power of the Federal Government and its un-Constitutional action in compelling citizens to act in violation of their religious beliefs will undoubtedly result in a ruling that overturns the earlier ruling – especially as Progressive Supreme Court Judges are replaced in the coming years.

            For a “Jeffersonian Constitutionalist” you don’t seem to understand that the US is supposed to be a FEDERAL Republic where the balance of power is maintained between We the People, States, and Federal Government. Your support of the Federal Government (which has been captured by the Statist Collectivist career bureaucracies) is completely against the intent of Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers.

            You can cry all you like, but We the People of voting age have consistently rejected the unilateral redefinition of marriage.

            But what you are not smart enough to see is that gay marriage is a “look at the squirrel” ploy designed to distract the dim-witted. Meanwhile the Statist Collectivists get on with destroying real Constitutional rights while they distract you with unimportant invented pseudo-rights (like the “right” to “not be offended”).

            Say, as a Jeffersonian”, how many personal firearms do you own under your Second Amendment rights?

          • Marshal Phillips

            I am a gun owner; Supreme Court has affirmed the right of citizens to own firearms in McDonald v City of Chicago.
            In the last 4 times that gay marriage equality was on the ballot in state initiatives (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington) equality won. We the People have evolved on gay equality.
            Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia established Constitution’s jurisdiction over marriage; this has recently been reasserted in the California Prop 8 case as well as United States v. Windsor. Scores of cases in lower district and appellate federal courts will culminate in a ruling on marriage very soon.

          • Moa

            It won’t happen in Texas, nor many of the Red States (which are increasing in number). Only in loony Left land. But this is excellent, as the crazies will fail to have families (which is why the Government is bringing in illegals in the US and Europe, due to the demographic decline). The Red states will eventually outbreed you loons (this is not very hard, given the 60 million unborn you loons have slaughtered already since Roe vs Wade).

            Here are three very simple yes/no questions for you, since you lack perspective:

            1) If a filmmaker is approached with a project to create a gay pornography project, is it discrimination if the filmmaker refuses?

            2) Does the Federal Government have the power to force the filmmaker to make the project?

            3) Is the Government acting in accordance with the Founding Father’s wishes if it forces the filmmaker to make the project? would Thomas Jefferson say, “Good job Federal Government, you FORCE that citizen to do your will, that you’ve just changed your mind about”.

            pro-top: making a gay pornographic movie is morally equivalent to filming a gay wedding for some people. If the precedent is set that the Government can force citizens to do one then there is no legal difference between making them do the other (or something else equally vile).

            Of course as a fascist, you don’t understand this, which is why you help the destruction of protections for citizens against the capricious enforcement by Government.

          • Marshal Phillips

            The US Supreme Court will rule on marriage equality; life will go on.
            We the People will adjust to the ruling the same as we adjusted to other cultural changes like equal education for blacks, new rights for women, and outlawing covenants against selling property to Jews.
            Film making, porn (straight or gay) or just regular film making, is a very different classification than providing goods and services like food, flowers, and photos under general business licensees. I worked in mainstream Hollywood studios for most of my adult life on family and general audience entertainment projects. No one “forces” anyone to work on film projects.
            Taking photos of gay couples is just a common business providing a service and photos. Nothing stops a Christian from attending church, praying, singing, helping the poor and loving the neighbors just for taking photos. His religious liberty remains intact. Does he vet all his clients of their “sins” or just his gay clients? Aren’t all sins equal; aren’t we all sinners? Gays are now accepted without discrimination in many Christian churches.
            I have studied fascism in high school civics, fascism in college political science, and fascism in law school constitutional law class. I have read Italian political history, Benito Mussolini’s book, and other books on the fascist period in Italy. I know very well what fascism is and isn’t.

          • Moa

            I noticed you slyly did not answer the three simple, yes/no questions. Instead you made up some nonsense when reality today shows that people are being forced to violate their beliefs right now due to the Left’s fascist imposition of its view on everyone else,

            Here are the questions again, a simple yes or no will suffice:

            1) If a filmmaker is approached with a project to create a gay pornography project, is it discrimination if the filmmaker refuses?

            2) Does the Federal Government have the power to force the filmmaker to make the project?

            3) Is the Government acting in accordance with the Founding Father’s wishes if it forces the filmmaker to make the project? would Thomas Jefferson say, “Good job Federal Government, you FORCE that citizen to do your will, that you’ve just changed your mind about”.

            I have studied fascism in high school civics, fascism in college political science, and fascism in law school constitutional law class. I have read Italian political history, Benito Mussolini’s book, and other books on the fascist period in Italy. I know very well what fascism is and isn’t.

            That’s a rubbish ‘argument’. You are saying you have learned nothing more nuanced than high school. It seems that way.

            I’ll take Stanford Economics Professor Thomas Sowell’s explanation of the definition of fascism:

            “Thomas Sowell – Obama’s Failed Economic Policies” [5 mins]

            It turns out that you agree with the fascist agenda. Are you claiming to know more about the economic system called Fascism than a lauded Standford professor? LOL!

            As Evan Sayet explains, EVERYTHING you Leftists believe in was taught to you in kindergarten, and you have a no more nuanced view of the World than your first indoctrinations (don’t hit! share! play nicely! everyone is a winner! and other assorted denials of the real world).

            His religious liberty remains intact.

            What flavor is the Kool Aid on your planet? We have activist judges fining people for not wanting to partake in gay weddings (even if they give normal service to everyone, including gays, at all other times) and you are denying that this is happening.

            I would ask why you deny the fascist growth of the State. But I know why, and I know you do not. You have been marinated so long in the propaganda me asking you to see it is like asking a fish about the water he has spent his whole sodden life in.

            “Yuri Bezmenov (former kgb) Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society” [63 mins]

            I always did find lawyers to be rather limited in their thinking, preferring to bs with sophistry rather than open minded objective and scientific thinking.

          • Verbatim

            You need to read a book called “Democracy in Decline” by Professor James Allan. He outlines very forensically how democratic majoritarian decision-making is frequently overturned by the courts. I am not in favour of such anti-democratic actions. Oligarchs in control.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Basic constitutional rights cannot be voted on by a majority. That’s for the constitutional courts to decide in the finality.
            But in the last four times gay marriage was on state initiatives (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington) the voters side with the gays. We the People as well as constitutional courts are evolving on the gays.

          • Verbatim

            You can invoke all the liberals you like; the spirit of the Constitution as framed by Jefferson did not anticipate or validate tiny minority groups determining public policy. That would be like the tail wagging the dog.

            But you’re a hypocrite, finally. I’ll bet you squealed like a stuck pig during the financial crisis of 2008 and complained bitterly about greedy minorities running the USA!!!

            You cannot pick and choose your minorities; it’s all or nothing.

          • Verbatim

            I find identity politics goes against just about everything I believe in with regards to democracy. Affirmative action and pressure groups are the tactics of self-interested oligarchs who want the world shaped according to the way they see it – which is incontrovertibly NOT what the majority wants. The majority are still hard-working and decent folks who just want to raise their families in a decent and safe society. Few care about minority issues, unless they themselves belong to that particular minority.

          • Verbatim

            I know somebody with Parkinson’s Disease too – this doesn’t make me an activist either or or against sufferers.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Contrast and compare Obama’s favorability ratings with the Tea Party Congress.

          • Moa

            When did the Tea Party take over Congress? Establishment Republicans control the Congress in 2015, and they are nearly as badly Big State as your fascist “Democratic” Party.

          • Marshal Phillips

            The Tea Party Congress is proud of its takeover and even prouder when it shut down the government.
            You have no idea what fascism is.

          • Moa

            The Tea Party Congress is proud of its takeover and even prouder when it shut down the government.

            For someone who talks about the Constitution you don’t seem to know that the Power of the Purse was built in by design – and the Congress did what it was supposed to do.

            You really don’t understand any of things you talk about, do you?

            You have no idea what fascism is.

            Again, it is you who has no idea – which is why you are enabling fascism. I’ve already given the definition from economics.

          • Verbatim

            Whereas you seem to have a very good idea – hence your comments about “popularity”. I presume from this that you are a supporter of Fascism!

          • Verbatim

            You finally are like the Emperor without clothes: popularity does not a great leader make – now or ever in the past. Remember how “popular” Hitler was???

          • Verbatim

            With the American penchant for “celebrity” I’m not at all surprised by Obama’s “popularity”. A pensioner on a motorized scooter would be ‘popular’ in the USA if enough people felt sorry for him/her.

          • Verbatim

            Tolerant!!?? If ever there was mis-used word it’s “tolerance”. It is actually an extremely negative word; for example, I TOLERATE illness and death because there isn’t a single thing I can do about it – but to suggest it’s because I ‘accept’ it is risible. I wouldn’t want to accept either and I despise sickness and death, but I tolerate sickness because I am UNABLE to do anything about it. If it were INTOLERABLE I’d kill myself (as many people do.)

          • Marshal Phillips

            Your post is a bit extreme.
            check out the the word tolerance: http://www.onelook.com

        • PeterK10

          Excellent response to Marshal Philips. Just look at the list of adjectives he uses to describe himself and his ilk: socially liberal, progressive, educated. They are the same intellectual wunderkinds who elected the abysmal Hussein Obama…twice. These people are about as progressive as saffron-robed Hari Krishnans who have smoked too much weed.

    • WFB56

      You underestimate the Democrat base’s lust for power over you and me. Lots of people can “hold their noses” and vote for someone they think will be a winner if the alternative is oblivion.

      • Marshal Phillips

        Today’s winner appears to be Hillary Clinton if her past and current polling continues, and she runs and wins the Dem nomination.

        • WFB56

          Undoubtedly you made the same prediction in 2006.

          • Marshal Phillips

            I made no predictions in 2006.
            Hillary’s polls in ALL polls, even Fox News and Wall St Journal, show she continues to have double digit leads over GOP contenders.

          • WFB56

            “Polls have been remarkably accurate”. Another falsehood to add to your list. The polls last year showed the race was neck and neck right up until polling day and then when the actual polls were in, a landslide.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Nate Silver was correct in his polling as well as almost all the others. Check them out; all of them.
            And BTW in the over all total vote count for the House, Dems had more aggregate votes than Repubs; it was the gerrymandering that gave them the wins. And in the upcoming national presidential election, only about a dozen states will be in serious contest. Dems begin with a base of 242 Electoral College votes in the bag, so to speak, out of 270 needed for a win. Stay tuned.

    • rarey4

      Webb almost punched W. in the mouth.

      Hippies love the guy.

      • Marshal Phillips

        Hippies are known for their peaceful ways: peace & love, man.

        • rarey4

          Even they have their limits and there’s not a county in America that didn’t lose a son to W.’s moronic war.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Webb is very unlikely to be acceptable to Democratic primary voters, who are partisans of the cultural left..”

      Aye. He could very well win a general election but never a Democratic primary. Shame really…

  • WFB56

    Unusual that the Specator has something interesting to say about US politics, perhaps a sign of good things to come?

  • Ard Vark

    In a related article, we see some of the serious conflicts arising from Common Core: http://bit.ly/1oWQ2rY

  • facts

    great article!

  • Peter Bering

    Noone should care. US Presidential elections are among the most unimportant elections to the world. The US federal regime, including President and Senate, is TIGHTLY controlled by lobby and money and will do whatever the powers that be tell them all the way. No matter “republican” or “democrat”. Everything is decided in SMALL circles.

  • Burrrrrr

    “Marine” and “Secretary of the Navy” are proper nouns. I respectfully request a correction.