Meet James Webb, whom Ds should nominate...
Here is a journalistic portrait of Webb, who has made his mark as war hero, bestselling author, secretary of the navy--the rare official who resigned on principle--senator and lifelong champion of veterans. Webb opposes Green enviro-nuts. Webb surely would agree with Charles Krauthammer that Team Obama's latest enviro-deal with China is insane. And he is an economic populist who has made income inequality his central political cause. Webb will surely run on this if his presidential campaign gets off the ground.
More hawkish than his fellow Ds on defense, though he opposed the Iraq war, Webb also splits with his party over affirmative action, exemplified in his brilliant 2010 WSJ op-ed demolishing the liberal justifications for racial spoils. (In a similar vein, a lawsuit filed by Asian students charging reverse discrimination at Harvard may gain traction with the federal courts.)
After noting that LBJ's original constitutional basis for affirmative action was based on the 13th amendment and the 1866 Civil Rights Act command that the federal government take action to eliminate "badges of slavery," Webb argued cogently that policies then moved past remediation to discrimination against whites. He notes as to the South:
The old South was a three-tiered society, with blacks and hard-put whites both dominated by white elites who manipulated racial tensions in order to retain power. At the height of slavery, in 1860, less than 5% of whites in the South owned slaves. The eminent black historian John Hope Franklin wrote that "fully three-fourths of the white people in the South had neither slaves nor an immediate economic interest in the maintenance of slavery."
The Civil War devastated the South, in human and economic terms. And from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the beginning of World War II, the region was a ravaged place, affecting black and white alike.
In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt created a national commission to study what he termed "the long and ironic history of the despoiling of this truly American section." At that time, most industries in the South were owned by companies outside the region. Of the South's 1.8 million sharecroppers, 1.2 million were white (a mirror of the population, which was 71% white). The illiteracy rate was five times that of the North-Central states and more than twice that of New England and the Middle Atlantic (despite the waves of European immigrants then flowing to those regions). The total endowments of all the colleges and universities in the South were less than the endowments of Harvard and Yale alone. The average schoolchild in the South had $25 a year spent on his or her education, compared to $141 for children in New York.
He added that whites are hardly a monolithic category, and that affirmative action thus should end.
Bottom Line. Jim Webb is out of step with his party's base. If somehow he were to win the nomination, which would require that Hillary self-destruct & Elizabeth Warren either do the same or not run--he could prove a formidable candidate come 2016. A President Webb could be expected to bargain with a Republican Congress, in ways the current Oval Office occupant has never seriously tried to do.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics