Home/Daniel Larison/Jim Webb, Sophisticated Reactionary!

Jim Webb, Sophisticated Reactionary!

Here George Allen–former governor, favorite of the conservative movement, and one-term Republican senator of no particular distinction–is being challenged by the most sophisticated right-wing reactionary to run on a Democratic ticket since Grover Cleveland. ~Andrew Ferguson, The Weekly Standard

Via Ross Douthat

I don’t know what exactly is reactionary about Grover Cleveland.  He was, after all, a solid gold standard man, then the rallying cry of the progressive party of the time (and, like all progressives, their economics were injurious to the farmer and small property-holder), though he had plenty of redeeming features (especially his anti-imperialism).  But comparison with Grover Cleveland is not a bad thing; he was probably the last Democratic President who took the Constitution seriously and believed that it actually had something to do with how a President should govern, and he opposed the annexation of Hawaii.  If there were more Jim Webb Democrats around, well, the Democrats might start to resemble the party of my great-great grandfathers.  This article sums up in this one paragraph why Allen’s traditional conservative voters should be thrilled to have an alternative like Webb on the ballot.  If Webb wants to do well in southwest Virginia and the Southside, he would make sure that everyone sees the quote from Born Fighting that Mr. Ferguson quotes at the start of the article.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles