Here’s Jack Ross over at the Mitrailleuse:

The taxonomy by which the DC establishment made sense of the Democratic victory that year [2006] on the strength of antiwar sentiment was both confusing and misleading, perhaps deliberately so – red-state Democrats who won opposing the war and the Bush economic agenda, in many cases with strong labor movement credentials, represented the triumph of “centrism” as resurrected by the absolutely wonderful Rahm Emanuel. This has persisted into discussions of the coming election, with Webb not infrequently described as prospectively running to Hillary’s right.

It is downright bizarre that Jim Webb should be seen by anyone as the second coming of the Democratic Leadership Council … it would be difficult to devise a record and platform whose substance was more diametrically opposed to that of Bill Clinton in 1992. …

Why so little love then for Jim Webb?  In addition to his positions outlined above, it cannot be emphasized too strongly that in every public statement he has shown himself to be a perfectly conventional down-the-line liberal on the key culture war questions of abortion and gay marriage.  That being the case, one can only conclude that resistance to Webb by any principled progressive who wishes to deprive Hillary Clinton of the Democratic nomination is motivated by rank cultural prejudice, no more no less. The recent essay in this connection by Jackson Lears in the London Review of Books is a must read; what better indictment can there be of the identity politics idolatry of contemporary liberalism than that the allegedly presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is a woman just a couple of shades to the left of Joe Lieberman, for practically no other reason than that she’s a woman?


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