Bad Behavior in the Political World

At a post-election White House reception, President Bush spotted Senator-elect James Webb of Virginia, and according to The Washington Post, the president asked Webb about his son, a Marine corporal serving in Iraq.

"How's your boy?" said Mr. Bush.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq," answered Mr. Webb.

"That's not what I asked you," the president replied. "How's your boy?"

Webb shot back, "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President."

Now that was rude on Webb's part. The president, knowing Webb's anti-war sentiments, went out of his way to engage the senator-elect about his son. That was a nice gesture, was it not?

Webb took the occasion to politic. That was inappropriate, especially at the White House. And then he turned disrespectful.

Now, we've invited Senator-elect Webb on "The Factor" to talk it over, but so far, he has not accepted. But I will say this directly to him: It's fine to dissent from the Iraq War and to believe the president is wrong to wage it. Dissent is honorable. However, in a meeting like that, there should be respect for the office of the presidency. You made a mistake, Mr. Webb, in not being gracious.

Webb is not some guy in the street, some angry partisan. He's representing the Commonwealth of Virginia and he should know better. Predictably, Bush-hating columnist Paul Krugman applauded Webb's action. Krugman epitomizes the far-left movement in this country, which spouts vitriol all day long.

But clear-thinking Americans realize that disrespecting people with whom you disagree is now out of control. Over the weekend, a caller to C-SPAN said this to former President Jimmy Carter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But more importantly, I find it to be vile, because you're black is heart. It's heart because you're an anti-Semite. And let me explain why I think you're a bigot, a racist, and an anti-Semite.

C-SPAN HOST: No, I think, caller, that the name calling is enough.


It is enough. That caller was totally out of line.

"Talking Points" disagrees with President Carter's world view, but I still respect his service and condemn that kind of activity that you just heard.

We're all living in very dangerous times, and attacking people personally gets us no where. Keep it on the issues and report those issues fairly.

My respect for Senator-elect Webb, a decorated veteran, a former Secretary of the Navy, has declined. He was wrong. He should admit it.

And that's the Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

If you think things are bad on Capitol Hill... Let's go down to Mexico City, where incoming President Felipe Calderon was about to take his oath of office.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish)


First of all, I want to thank everybody who showed up at the Barnes & Noble in Clifton, New Jersey, on Saturday. I signed about 1,000 "Culture Warriors." Thank you all very much.

On next Saturday, December 9, I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Carle Place, Rhode Island, my old stomping grounds. Details on It is a ticketed event. Tickets are free, though. Check it out.

While I was signing all those books, apparently the new James Bond was telling the Web site that he wants a gay scene in the next Bond film. Daniel Craig is quoted as saying, "Why not, I think in this day and age fans would accept it."

Why not? Let me count the ways. What would Sean Connery say? How would the Bond girls process that? And straight guys everywhere. Well, they would be confused.

However, anything could happen, but there is no truth to the rumor that the next James Bond movie will be called, "From Key West with Love". That, of course, would be ridiculous.

—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on Send your comments to: