Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Senator Webb and Economic Populism

Billmon was the first commentator I saw who marveled at what the newly elected senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, has transformed himself into ... summed up in an op-ed Webb published in the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 15th. Because that paper isn't accessible on-line, I had to wait until the Webb essay became more widely available ... which it has, here.

We can only hope that Senator Webb quickly establishes himself as a leader among the Democrats in Washington, because he's talking the language that we've been waiting a long time for a Democrat to learn.

"A troubling arrogance is in the air among the nation's most fortunate," he writes, and gosh, ain't it amazing how apt that line is for our current highest elected official in the 5th Dist.? And this:
The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed.
The issues Webb highlights throughout his essay are getting dubbed "economic populism." There's not an entrenched Republican office-holder in the South who can't be un-entrenched by economic populism, and that goes doubly for Madam Foxx. The right candidate with that message could whittle down the 4 percent of her support that gets her to 50 ... just by opening his/her mouth.

Webb's going to be fun to watch. As will the Foxx, who's got to decide how to behave differently to a home county that roundly rejected her.

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