Wednesday, November 29, 2006


From the latest column by George Will, as published at (boldface mine):

... Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.

Wednesday's Washington Post reported that at a White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb "tried to avoid President Bush," refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president. When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "I'd like to get them (sic) out of Iraq." When the president again asked, "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy." ...

A lot of you already know where I'm going with this, but for those who don't, here's the Washington Post story Will is quoting (again, boldface mine):

..."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....

Will just edits Bush's rude, infantile, snappish rebuke right out of the record.

And after that he goes on to call Webb a "boor," while characterizing Bush as someone who "asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another."

There's more. Will harrumphs about Webb's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed -- not just the economic populism, but the prose style. Misused words! And class anger! Oh, it's all simply de trop. Webb is just not our kind, Muffy.

You want boorish, George? Well, in honor of Webb's Scots-Irish roots, let me just say: Pog mo thoin, George. Tha thu 'nad fhaighean. You're lan dhen cac, you tolla-thon.


(Apologies: That last link is unsuitable for work visually as well as verbally, assuming you get the sidebar ads I seem to be getting.)


UPDATE: I naively hoped that The Washington Post might not let Will get away with this utterly dishonest editing of the Bush-Webb exchange, but here's the WaPo version of Will's column, and the deceit is still there. What a disgrace.


UPDATE: If it's true that, "As President Bush is well aware, a couple of weeks before this dinner the tank riding next to [Webb's son] Jimmy's in Iraq was under fire and three marines died," then Bush's boorishness was even worse than usual.


UPDATE: Oh, and let's not forget:

(From the front matter of the paperback edition of Webb's Lost Soldiers, via Amazon Reader.)

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