Senator Jim Webb, The Anti-Pat Buchanan
For some reason my mind connects Pat Buchanan with Senator James Webb, not unlike how chiaroscuro in Renaissance paintings employ shadow to add greater dimensionality to the whole composition. Both Scots-Irish, Webb and Buchanan are quite similar -- and yet they are as different as lightness and dark.
Pat Buchanan has made several quixotic runs for the American Presidency. Though primarily of the writing class, Buchanan sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996 and won Perot's Reform Party nomination in 2000. He lost all those races, though proved to be a spoiler in '92, winning 1/3rd the Republican vote, pushing the Republican party platform that year to the right, and helping unseat George Herbert Walker Bush, 41, out of office. Buchanan almost became Ambassador to Apartheid South Africa --!-- and was former communications director to Ronald Reagan. Webb, far more realistic and politically successful of the two, is also of the writing class. Unlike Buchanan, however, he moved with political modesty from Secretary of the Navy under Reagan to -- decades later -- the United States Senate in the Democrat Party.
Dark Pat Buchanan, that rare childless Roman Catholic, is a Nativist that received a deferment in Vietnam; the light Jim Webb's son fought in Iraq's Anbar province. An internationalist who actually served in the army, Webb married a Vietnamese-American. Webb, a healthy and integrated personality, took on and defeated John McCain on the G.I. Bill in his maiden year in the United States Senate. He is also chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee. Pat Buchanan mines the lower depths of the American psyche fortnightly releasing xenophobic books. While Jim Webb speaks to the aspirations of honest working-class whites, Pat Buchanan stokes the resentments of the Reagan Democrats.
Senator Webb recently engaged the secretive Myanmar government in talks, furthering the cause of diplomacy and in the process offering millions of people a glimmer of hope. While there, Webb secured the release of American prisoner John Yettaw from the military junta ruling that country. Pat Buchanan took it upon himself to defend John Demjanjuk. An Hyperion to a satyr (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment0.
Pat Buchanan often calls Webb his old friend. But closer to home, Webb is actually what Pat Buchanan might have become had he evolved further, conquered his inner demons and been open to the diversity of life beyond his the narrow linits of his ethnicity and closed network-of-kin. Amconmag, the paleoconservative Bible co-founded by Buchanan raves about Webb, even though he's a Democrat. Takimag, another paleoconservative online destination, asks: "What the Hell Happened to Jim? — James Webb Talks Like Pat Buchanan, Votes Like Harry Reid" The better question which ought to be asked is: What happened to pat Buchanan? And why does he have a nationally-syndicated column and face time on MSNBC?