Mostly the discussion about the scandal surrounding Senator Webb’s aid’s arrest for trying to bring his gun into the Capitol has been about whether it is strange that Senator Webb feels it’s necessary to carry a gun around to defend himself.  Senator Webb has seized on the opportunity to prove himself a true Red Stater and highlight his love of guns and that he is a skilled marksman. 

Fair enough.  But the real scandal in my mind is his complete failure to defend his aid who seemingly was just doing his bidding when he was shlepping around the Senator’s gun.  This aid spent the night in a DC jail.  Dana Milbank discusses this angle in today’s Washington Post:

The senator was less forthcoming in his defense of Thompson. “He is going to be arraigned today,” Webb said. “I do not in any way want to prejudice his case and the situation that he’s involved in.”

Prejudice the case? But wasn’t it Webb’s gun that his aide was carrying for him?

Webb wouldn’t even acknowledge it was his gun. “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson,” he stipulated.

Webb had kind words for his aide — “a longtime friend” and “a fine individual” — but he seemed to be trying to cut Thompson loose as he spoke of the incident. “I find that what has happened with Phillip Thompson is enormously unfortunate,” Webb reported. “I was in New Orleans from last Friday until yesterday evening. I was not in town. I learned about this when I was in New Orleans.”

Upon reflection, Webb must have decided that he had been stinting in his defense of Thompson. An hour later, his office sent out an amended statement. “I can say with great confidence that this was an inadvertent mistake on his part,” the statement said. It was a little late for Lockup No. 1.

It seems that the Senator should be taking more responsibility for his part in this and doing more to defend his staffer, instead of trying to use the situation to score political points.