L’Esprit De l’Escalier*

Wonkette is reporting that The Hill’s Congress Blog is reporting and the Washington Post is reporting that during a private post-election reception at the White House for the new batch of freshmen members of Congress a couple weeks ago things got a bit chilly quick between Presididn’t Duhbya and narrowly victorious Senator-Elect James Webb of Virginia.

According to the Post the exchange went like this:

“How’s your boy?” Bush asked, refering to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

The Hill states that an unidentified source said that for as coldly as it ended, Webb got pretty hot under the collar:

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

I’m certainly glad and relieved that it didn’t come to blows, and frankly as pleased as I am about the election of Webb and every other Republican’t-replacing Dem and how it’s made BushCo. squirm, is it too much to ask for Webb just to know when to hold ’em for a cotton-pickin’ second? Going into a reception and spouting “bring-’em-home” at the first inopportunity strikes me as a weeee bit amateurish.

Webb would’ve been better served telling Duhbya that his son is making the best of a tough situation and leaving it at that. But in the presence of such a lack of decorum, after Georgie snapped back at his response what Webb should have said was, “Mr. Bush, you don’t care about my son or getting out of Iraq. So spare me.”

* The French phrase “L’esprit de l’escalier” literally translates to “the spirit of the staircase,” and can refer to the perfect spirited response you think up after a conversation or argument has ended.
This explanation was adapted from the excellent blog The Wit Of The Staircase.