Senator Jim Webb's Rebuttal to Bush's State of The Union Address: Said Much More in Fraction of the Time

I haven't always been a huge fan of Republican-turned-Democrat, intrigue writer-turned-politico James Webb of Virginia. But I respected what he has said about the Iraq war and his son's participation in it, I certainly respected his defeat of that quite terrible George "macaca" Allen in November, and when it came to his rebuttal of Bush last night: top drawer!

My favorite spots from Webb's speech, in order of appreciation (the (WaPo has the full text here.

Yes, Yes, yes!

    The president took us into this war recklessly.

    He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War; the chief of staff of the Army; two former commanding generals of Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq; the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs.

    We are now as a nation held hostage to the predictable -- and predicted -- disarray that has followed.

    The war's costs to our nation have been staggering: financially; the damage to our reputation around the world; the lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism; and especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

    The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought. Nor does the majority of our military. Nor does the majority of Congress.

    We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism, not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong, regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.


    Tonight we're calling on this president to take similar action in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.
    When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits.But these benefits are not being fairly shared.

    When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did. Today, it's nearly 400 times.

    In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

    Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world.

    Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along with them.

    In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table.