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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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