08/18/2006 09:24 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Jim Webb: Hero, Leader, Straight Talk Patriot, Senator

A bold prediction: Jim Webb will be elected
United States Senator from Virginia in the
election shocker of 2006.

A brief word about George Allen. I had never
heard the word Macaca until it came out of the
mouth of the incumbent Senator from Virginia.
And I am even willing to give him the benefit
of the doubt that he didn't exactly say it, or
didn't mean it, or didn't know exactly what he
meant by it. Whatever.

Senator Allen said something that was far, far
worse than that. He pointed to an American of
Indian descent, and said: welcome to America.
This is the kind of tactic that has no place in
America, the idea of demeaning and ridiculing
the Americanism of a fellow American, whether
the color of his skin is the same as mine, or

Jim Webb has been at war with bands of
brothers and sisters of all races, colors, creeds,
backgrounds and descents and this kind of
politics would never occur to him. His America
is our America, the real America, and the true
America, which is a large house with many
rooms, a large family with many members,
from diverse backgrounds, all worthy of respect
and honor.

Jim Webb's Virginia is the Virginia of Mark
Warner, who governed with integrity and
competence, who showed respect for political
supporters and opponents alike, and who won
huge victories by bringing many of the best
people into government, and bringing out the
best in people.

Jim Webb will enter the Senate with some of
the most awesome qualifications of any new
Senator ever elected, and will be a major
national figure from his very first day.

He was an authentic hero in war: interested
parties should read the book The Song of
the Nightingale which chronicles Webb along
with John McCain and other peers.

Jim Webb has been a major author of brilliant
works that tell the stories of war. And trust me,
in an age when national security is the front
burner issue:

If I were surrounded by terrorists with guns and missiles aimed at my
head, I would be rather be alone with one Jim Webb than twenty George
Allens or a hundred Dick Cheneys.

If I were asked who should make the decisions about war and peace, I
would rather it be someone who has been there, done that, in combat and
as Secretary of the Navy rather than those who view war as political
weapons, dinner party fun, or big talk at neocon seminars.

The Senate could have used Jim Webb's voice,
experience and judgment in 2002 when he was
warning about the perils of an Iraq War. The
country could have used Jim Webb's fierce
devotion to our troops and military families for
all these years when too few fought the fight
in the Congress for armor, bandages, helmets
and health care for our vets and troops.

George Allen is certainly not the best that our
national democracy has to offer, and sadly, in
truth, he is not the worst either as reprehensible
as his recent comments were. But Jim Webb
is the best of America, courage, honor, straight
talk, judgment, experience, and integrity.

Jim Webb possesses that gift that is so rare in our democracy today: the
willingness and the daring to challenge our people to be better and
braver, and to reject those who pander to fear,
division, and smallness.

George Allen may sneer at someone with the
words "welcome to America." The voters will
make a statement to that kind of politics that
says: welcome to the modern Virginia, and to
the fighting Marine who talks straight, welcome
to the United States Senate.