Virginia Senator Jim Webb announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election in 2012, after serving only one term. I'm sure this is due to my two blog postings on him. No, I can't take credit for this; the credit goes to the Democrat Party.
Senator Webb was a moderate who antagonized the left wing liberals who control the Democrat Party. He graduated from the Naval Academy and was a Marine in Vietnam. He served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and as Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration. As a Senator, he was a strong supporter of the military and veterans, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and critical of what he called "overly permissive immigration policies." Webb once famously remarked, while he was a Senator, that a rich minority kid from Northern Virginia should not be given preference in college admission over a poor white kid from Southwest Virginia, a position which enraged the Liberals but for which I was tempted to vote for him, regardless of his other positions.
As you can see, Webb was a moderate, but there is no place for moderates in the Democrat Party of today, so he is on his way out.
Yes, moderates do have a hard time of it in the Democrat Party. Just ask Joe Lieberman, who was in effect drummed out of the Democrat Party for supporting the war in Iraq while President Bush was in office. Other than his support for the Iraq war, he was almost entirely an orthodox liberal. But for this one transgression, he was challenged in the Democrat primary and lost. He became an Independent and won re-election anyway. He caucused with the Democrats, but even so they were thereafter cold to him. He has also announced he will not seek re-election.
Prior to the election last November, there were 54 so-called "blue dog" Democrats in the House of Representatives; now there are 26. Blue dogs are Democrats who are more conservative than most Democrats. Blue Dogs have an agenda which protects the interests of the vulnerable while also respecting traditional cultural values and keeping taxes low. The are called "blue dogs" because someone once said that the extreme liberals in the Democrat Party were choking them blue. The remaining blue dogs are ostracized within the Democrat Party, and Nancy Pelosi would no doubt git rid of them if she could.
My parents never voted for anyone other than a Democrat in their entire lives. But the Democrat Party of their day was nothing like the Democrat Party of today. In today's Democrat Party, if you don't tow the extreme left wing line of Obama/Reid/Pelosi, you are personna non grata. You might be allowed to hang around with the Democrats if you want, but you will not be accepted or welcomed, and certainly not embraced.You may even be targeted for defeat in the next election if the extreme liberal Democrat leadership thinks they can get you out and replaced by a more rigidly liberal ideologue.