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Virginia Senator Jim Webb, one of the few remaining moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill, is royally ticked at the White House over its refusal to listen to his warnings regarding their approach to health care policy. RealClearPolitics’ David Paul Kuhn writes:
Jim Webb went to the White House last September. The Virginia senator was meeting with the president to discuss Guantanamo detainees. The conversation soon shifted to healthcare. “I told him this was going to be a disaster,” Webb recalls. “The president believed it was all going to work out.”
Democratic leaders broadly believed it was all going to work out. The stimulus, healthcare, cap and trade. Americans were to come around to the left side…
“I’ve been warning them,” Webb says, sighing, resting his chin on his hand. “I’ve been having discussions with our leadership ever since I’ve been up here. I decided to run as a Democrat because I happen to strongly believe in Jacksonian democracy. There needs to be one party that very clearly represents the interests of working people … I’m very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. Its evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people.”
Webb’s warnings went unheeded. The problem now is that, even as the White House expresses surprise at how significant the backlash was, there remains little sign the president or his staff are about to start listening.