Who’s Classless Now?

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By now, most people have heard about the exchange between George W. Bush and newly elected Congressman Jim Webb of Virginia. To refresh your memory: At a White House reception, Bush asked Webb, “How’s your boy?”, referring to the Congressman’s son Jimmy, who is serving in Iraq. “I’d like to get them out of there,” Webb replied, and Bush said “I didn’t ask you that, I asked how’s he doing.”

“That’s between me and my boy,” was Webb’s final statement to Bush. Webb, not known for verbal niceties, was immediately attacked by the press. George Will called him a boor, Bill O’Reilly called him “rude” and “disrespectful,” and The National Review called him “classless.”

Here is the rest of the story, according to Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia: Jimmy Webb was recently standing next to a vehicle in Iraq that was blown up. All three Marines in the vehicle were killed. Before the reception, Bush was briefed on the young Webb’s close call, and was also warned to be extra sensitive in discussing him with his father.

So there you are. Just imagine if Bush hadn’t been warned.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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