Jim Webb always seemed out of place in the modern Democratic party. A war hero, a defender of the Confederate flag, and a former member of the Reagan Administration, there never seemed to be home for him in a Democratic Party that seems utterly determined to define itself as a coalition of profiteering SJW's and NGO employees, government workers, and anti-White minorities.
Thus, the conventional wisdom about Webb is he was simply a relic of the bygone Jeffersonian/Jacksonian Democratic Party, left behind in the Brave New World of identity obsessed leftist politics.
Scott Greer at the Daily Caller observes:
It might be one of the most cliched sayings in politics, but Jim Webb would be exactly right in stating that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party — the Democratic Party left him.Webb has expressed his opposition to racial preferences for every group except blacks, forthrightly defended gun rights at the last Democratic debate, and triggered the Left when he said the enemy he was most "proud" of was a Communist soldier he killed in Vietnam.
On Tuesday, the former Virginia senator announced his withdrawal from his party’s primary due to its abandonment of “millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans.” He further said, “I fully accept that my views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and the nominating base of the Democratic Party...”
[T]he DNC is fully committed to identity-based grievance politics where every interest group tries to prove how America somehow victimized it. Clearly, Webb is not on board with that agenda.
[Of course there's no place for Jim Webb in the Democratic Party, October 21, 2015]
Still, for years, the American Right has been waiting for Jim Webb to show his "true face"and champion some kind of idiosyncratic platform of economic populism, foreign policy restraint, and opposition to left wing identity politics. After all, Webb's entry into politics was mostly inspired by his opposition to George W. Bush's Iraq War, a motivation which can't help but appeal to libertarians, nationalists, anti-inteventionists, and everyone else who involuntarily sneers at the mention of the hated "neocons." And with Webb's background, many right wingers can't help but read what they want into him.
However, as Dave Weigel notes, Webb was a fairly conventional Democrat when he was in the Senate. And whatever his personal views, when push came to shove, he voted with the party of Sanders, Clinton, Obama, and Al Sharpton.
During President Obama's first term, Webb provided reliable votes for the Democratic agenda, breaking only when his vote was not necessary for passage (or would not have saved a doomed bill)...Now, Weigel says Webb is "embracing the narrative of an old-school populist left behind by liberals." But there's one problem with all of this—Webb's current position on immigration is indistinguishable from any other Democrat's. During the last debate, Webb supported illegal immigrants receiving health care and a pathway to citizenship for illegals (i.e. amnesty).
During his 2016 bid, nothing Webb said was outside the Democratic mainstream. He backed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline; so did key labor unions. He moved from criticism of gay marriage and a comprehensive immigration bill to (grudging) acceptance.
[In defeat, Jim Webb gets strange new Republican respect, Washington Post, October 20, 2015]
It bears repeating that you simply can't be an economic populist and be an advocate for amnesty. There is simply no more regressive policy than mass immigration, which is precisely why it is so fanatically supported by globalist plutocrats and their pets like Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina.
What's more, Webb (who has an Asian wife who fled the Communist takeover of Vietnam) seems to be appealing to an old fashioned sense of American identity where race is not recognized per se but we all still identify and take pride in the implicitly White American past. We might call it love for that country which had been created by the Historic American Nation. But there is no longer a constituency for this.
As we've seen with the rise of Black Lives Matter, the concept of White Privilege, and the lucrative career of Professional Victim, non-Whites have nothing to gain economically or socially from "assimilation" into a larger "American" identity. Even Asians, the "model minority," are trying to hitch a ride on the grievance gravy train instead of actually having to take real jobs and produce things like gross racist Whites. Those Whites who insist on pretending race doesn't exist or that Whites don't have collective interests or a real identity are simply suckers or worse. All the flag waving and appeals to an American past won't change that reality.
Of course, there is a way Webb's vision of an traditional America people of all people can take pride in can still exist. It can be a reality, as it once was, if there is a core culture and ethnicity people are expected to assimilate to. But thanks to mass immigration, which, for all intents and purposes, Webb supports, that core culture has been abolished.
American conservatives are a cheap date. Let someone mention some platitude about the military or patriotism, and millions of right wingers will convince themselves that this person is on our side. Conservatives and even the Alt-Right has been doing this for years, even though Webb hasn't done much to show he is worthy of their support.
If Webb does run as an independent, he has no more room for excuses. He needs to stand up for immigration patriotism. Otherwise, it doesn't matter how many excellent books he writes or tributes he offers to the Lost Cause or the Scots-Irish. He'll just another pro-amnesty shill, a tool of the same interests behind the likes of Paul Ryan. He's just be one more person who lent his strength and voice to dispossessing and destroying his own people.