Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why Senator Jim Webb MUST Be Obama's Running Mate

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York SHOULD be Senator Obama's running mate for President of the United States in 2008. That said, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia MUST be the Senator from Illinois' running mate. Ironically, Clinton's carefully embroidered labor-Reagan Democrat coalition has made Webb's paleoconish bona fides all the more invaluable to Obama even as her chances of snagging enough superdelegates evaporates altogether.

Obama has a problem with white working class Reagan-Democrat males. And labor. What he wrought in Wisconsin and Virginia has been coopted almost entirely by the scrappy Clinton in Pennsylvania. But an Obama-Webb ticket could solidify a Progressive-Paleocon alliance that has a strong possibility of becoming the American foreign policy paradigm for a generation. And for the past generation or so (with the possible exception of Reagan, occasionally, rhetorically), Jacksonian Democrats of the Jim Webb variety have been all but marginal figures in the conversation of international relations. A conversation between the Liberal Internationalists, as exemplified by Obama, and the Jacksonian Democrat wing, as exemplified by Webb, would be a welcome change in an almost entirely "Realist" domination of American foreign policy. It was, in part, that realism that invoked the neoconservative counterreaction post-911, after the attack on the twin towers revealed the inherent moral poverty of Realpolitik.

Finally, Webb would bolster the perceived ethereality of Barack Obama, so attractive to idealistic intellectuals, but so exposed by Senator Clinton in Ohio and Pennsylvania. "Whoever wins the Reagan Democrats," intoned the Archie Bunkerish Pat Buchanan, founder of The American Conservative, on The McLaughlin Group, "wins this election." He's correct. Are there yawning chasms of difference between the brie-eating, Volvo-driving, Upper-West-Side-of-Manhattan Lib Internationalists and the steak-and-potatoes munching, non-ironic Budweiser slurping, Jacksonians? Sure. But both sides speak with one voice when it came to opposing this goddam stupid Iraq War, and both sides are unified on the subject of taking a hard line on restructuring trade deficits and talking tough on human rights with the Mandarins of Beijing.

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