David Kirkpatrick

February 5, 2010

Demand Question Time!

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:25 am

A new idea bumping around the blogosphere, and a good idea at that. The concept is to set up some formal or semi-formal exchange between the executive and legislative branches of government. Politics in D.C. is so dysfunctional right now Question Time would go a long ways toward breaking up some of the ossified Capital ways, and very possibly get government back on the track of actually solving problems and not trying to win the latest four hour news cycle.

Hit the link and check out the initial signatories — a strongly bipartisan and mixed ideological group. This is an idea whose time has come. An idea that might even be necessary right now. Once you hit the link be sure to sign the petition.

Here’s a take on the concept from 538’s Nate Silver:

As you may be aware, I’ve teamed up with a group of about 50 other thinkers, bloggers, insiders and outsiders to help promote the idea of Question Time — a regularly held, televised and webcasted forum in which the President would take questions from Members of the Congress, much as President Obama did with the Republican House delegation on January 29th and members of the Democratic Senate yesterday. This is truly a bipartisan endeavor, with everyone from Markos Moulitsas to Grover Norquist on board.You can sign our petition to Demand Question Time here, and follow us on twitter here.

And here’s more from the first link:

We live in a world that increasingly demands more dialogue than monologue. President Obama’s January 29th question-and-answer session with Republican leaders gave the public a remarkable window into the state of our union and governing process. It was riveting and educational. The exchanges were substantive, civil and candid. And in a rare break from our modern politics, sharp differences between elected leaders were on full public display without rancor or ridicule.

This was one of the best national political debates in many years. Citizens who watched the event were impressed, by many accounts. Journalists and commentators immediately responded by continuing the conversation of the ideas put forward by the president and his opponents — even the cable news cycle was disrupted for a day.

America could use more of this — an unfettered and public airing of political differences by our elected representatives. So we call on President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader John Boehner to hold these sessions regularly — and allow them to be broadcast and webcast live and without commercial interruption, sponsorship or intermediaries. We also urge the President and the Republican Senate caucus to follow suit. And we ask the President and the House and Senate caucuses of his own party to consider mounting similar direct question-and-answer sessions. We will ask future Presidents and Congresses to do the same.

December 1, 2009

Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson renounces the right

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:55 am

Not really too surprising given the overall tone of LGF the last year or so, but in a sense the right wing blogosphere lost something of a rock star with this announcement and ten part list of exactly why Johnson is no longer affiliated with right wing politics.

From the link:

And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.

I won’t be going over the cliff with them.

June 17, 2009

Protests continue in Iran

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:39 pm

From all accounts the ongoing election protests in Iran are relatively peaceful. I’ve read some accounts that make the situation out to be a game of reverse chicken where the first side to go openly violent will end up the loser. At this point I think it’s pretty clear the previous status quo has lost. Regardless the outcome, the legitimacy of the post-1979 government is either significantly reduced or possibly gone altogether.

From the link:

The protesters marched silently down a major thoroughfare, some holding photographs of the main opposition candidate in Friday’s vote, Mir Hussein Moussavi. Others lifted their bare hands high in the air, signifying their support for Mr. Moussavi with green ribbons tied around their wrists or holding their fingers in a victory sign.

The scope and description of the demonstration was provided by participants who were reached by telephone, as well as photographs taken participants and journalists despite warnings by the authorities against reporting on the event. All accredited in Iran have been ordered to remain in their offices.

It was the fifth day of unrest since election officials declared a landslide victory for the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This bit from the same link strikes me as patently ridiculous:

The Iranian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents American interests in Tehran, to complain of “interventionist” statements by American officials, state-run media reported.

If anything the White House is playing this very smoothly and not providing any fuel for “Great Satan influence” rhetoric from the Iranian government.

Of course some on the neocon right don’t see things quite like anyone else.

To wit (from a Robert Kagan op-ed):

It’s not that Obama preferred a victory by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He probably would have been happy to do business with Mir Hossein Mousavi, even if there was little reason to believe Mousavi would have pursued a different approach to the nuclear issue. But once Mousavi lost, however fairly or unfairly, Obama objectively had no use for him or his followers. If Obama appears to lend support to the Iranian opposition in any way, he will appear hostile to the regime, which is precisely what he hoped to avoid.

Obama’s policy now requires getting past the election controversies quickly so that he can soon begin negotiations with the reelected Ahmadinejad government.

And with this line of fantasy the neocons fade a little deeper back into history ready to be mothballed in think tanks for another 35 or so years.

Kagan’s outrageous op-ed was immediately countered by the blogosphere.

Here’s Matt Duss:

But I have to say, Mr. Kagan, your op-ed this morning is really beneath you. You can’t actually believe that President Obama is “siding with the Iranian regime” against the Iranian people, or that Obama’s outreach to Iran depends upon keeping hardliners in power, can you? You’re far too intelligent to buy the brutishly simplistic “realism” that you attempt to hang upon President Obama’s approach. These sorts of claims are better left to your friend and occasional co-author Bill Kristol, who uses his series of valuable journalistic perches (with which he inexplicably continues to be gifted) to launch an endless stream of comically transparent bad faith arguments. You’re better than that. You’re the smart neocon.

I wish the best of luck to the people of Iran. People who deserve the modern society denied them for many years. I’m disappointed, but no surprised, the neocon, pro-Israel right would attempt to inject U.S. politics into a situation that belongs to one Middle East nation, and one nation alone, at this time.

March 4, 2009

Okay, this might be the last …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:44 pm

… post about the Limbaugh-as-GOP-leader story because the ground is well-trodden by me and many, many others. The main reason I find it hard to stay away is sheer brain-dead tone-deafness of the fringe right commenting across the blogosphere.

I can completely understand the glee from the left on this topic because it’s almost a perfect storm of Rush’s outsized ego  meeting his clueless ditto-heads and completely playing into a stroke of political genius from the Democratic Party braintrust coupled with a whole lot of luck from a weak sauce GOP response to the tactic.

Let’s review a few facts — Rush has become the “party leader” of the GOP. The Democrats hoped for just this outcome from the 2008 election cycle. Sixteen percent of Americans would be more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Limbaugh. That’s his core support amongst the electorate — 16%. Forty six percent would be less likely to support such a candidate. That’s Rush’s level of visceral hate — the part of the electorate who would act against Rush over other considerations. And the GOP sees this as a winning move for both the party and Rush?

Here’s a very brief selection of comments from around the web that reflect just that belief:

Watching the Dhims provoking Rush reminds me of Hamas poking Israel with sticks, blissfully unaware of the beat down coming. Then when Israel got tired of the sticks and stones they simply began putting the smackdown on Hamas, whom of course complained that Israel was a bully.
I hope the Dhims are slow in learning the lesson so we can watch the inevitable disassembly of their attack structure by Mr. Limbaugh. GET ‘EM RUSH!!!

And:

The great thing about Rush is he can handle all of this criticism. You see, he doesn’t care about his poll numbers because he’s standing by what he believes to be true. Rush isn’t going to damage the republican party because once these Obama policies fail-and they will- who do you the public will look to? The republicans and Rush will have been the one to make it possible because he was sounding the alarm the entire time and he is the one putting pressure on republicans to stand their ground. Give’eml Rush.

And:

Rush took the democrats to the woodshed Saturday night at the CPAC conference and they are still smarting.

I wonder, what planet are these people living on? I have no doubt they are sincere, but sheer stupidity in absolutely ignoring facts on the ground is exactly why the GOP lost in 2008, will likely lose in 2010 and again in 2012. It will require a seachange in attitude and intellect to even have a modicum of hope for national electoral success.

February 15, 2009

The left/right blogosphere and the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:28 pm

This is merely a quick hit observation based on years of casual comment section scanning and not an in-depth critique. I read a lot of online material, and I try to read hyperpartisan blogs and the comments for both the left and the right. It always gets to a point where I just can’t stomach both sides at times, but I like to keep a proverbial finger on the pulse of both edges.

One thing really sticks out after taking in a good-sized sample over a variety of electoral conditions — who’s in power where, which party is beaten-down, which party is riding high, etc. The thing that really sticks out is taken broadly the left is actually interested in policy and governing with some ridicule of the right. On the other hand the right is mostly about “my team” and defining the left as “the enemy” and winning. Not governing, not debating policy, but just beating the left.

It’s really no wonder why the GOP is flailing right now. When the other side of the aisle is defined as the enemy and not a partner you agree to disagree with while getting the job of government done, there is no politics happening.

And when there’s no reason to debate policy because that is handed to you from down on high — or very, very low and banal as the case may be right now — there’s no reason or room for debate. If you push against any aspect of the party line you’re branded a RINO and money flows for your ouster in the next electoral cycle.

This concept for a political party serves no purpose but to prune away to reduce the aspostate, but doesn’t allow for new growth. This is easily seen in today’s GOP. It’s a true electoral minority and growing smaller every day.

Demographics do not favor any hope of a resurgence under the current platform. The Latin vote? What little was there was is gone for a generation at the very least and most likely much longer. The youth vote? See the incumbent in Pennsylvania Avenue and ask yourself which party is the generation of first-time voter and almost voting teens going to support. Obama won the youth vote overwhelmingly — very overwhelmingly like a two-to-one ratio — and probably has won those hearts and minds for a long, long time.

September 26, 2008

McCain’s campaign is flailing

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:24 am

That’s a word I’m reading a lot around the blogosphere right now. Flailing. As in how a drowning person reacts before finally sinking to their death.

What a gift to the Obama camp this week.

To put McCain’s campaign strategy into a football metaphor, the Palin pick was a hail mary pass to salvage a lost game. That toss was returned by the opponent for a pick six. Now further behind McCain tosses another hail mary pass from an even worse position on the scoreboard and game clock. That pass hasn’t landed, but there’s a lot of opposition jerseys around and his receiver slipped down a few yards back.

This is what McCain “suspended” his campaign for? Really?

From the link:

Senator John McCain had intended to ride back into Washington on Thursday as a leader who had put aside presidential politics to help broker a solution to the financial crisis. Instead he found himself in the midst of a remarkable partisan showdown, lacking a clear public message for how to bring it to an end.

At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting.

Now that’s some leadership.

Update — From Ambinder:

The CW in Washington this morning is that McCain’s suggestion for the grand, high-stakes summit meeting was the very thing that caused all of Washington to explode.

True, there was no “deal” — House Republicans were always balking and Speaker Pelosi really wanted House Republicans to pair with House Democrats.

But McCain’s presence in Washington gave voice to House Republicans, deliberately, if Minority Leader Boehner was somehow in cahoots with McCain. That’s not likely — the House caucus never trusted McCain and White House credibility among the GOP is ZERO. Indeed, maybe McCain feels privately duped by Boehner.

September 13, 2008

I’ve read a few prescient …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:15 am

… posts on this subject around the blogosphere (with a nice summation here from a Daily Dish reader).

The subject? McCain has completely seized the narrative of the election right now with the full complicity of the leftist blogs.

I just checked out the Daily Kos to see how that played out and found the first headline, “McCain Distorts and Twists on Taxes, Says Obama.”

Number one leads with McCain’s name. The next three are the usual “diary rescue,” etc. along with a hurricane update.

Number five is titled, “Oh Yeah. He’s A Maverick, All Right.” All McCain, no Obama.

Not long ago everyone — including me — was commenting on how all the left blogs were focused on Obama and all the right blogs were, too. Right now the calculus has completely flipped. McCain owns the electronic media cycle.

Things are getting very interesting. And the left may well be paving a road to their own personal hell. And no Nader to blame this time around.

Personally I’d love to see Obama in office, if nothing else to help break up the farce that is today’s GOP, but if I were the Democratic candidate I’m sure I would be at the point of thinking, “With friends like these …”

March 6, 2008

The Issue, a blog “newspaper”

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:38 pm

I received mail from the editor of The Issue yesterday. ReadWriteWeb called the site “a newspaper for the blogosphere.” If you’re not familiar with The Issue, hit the link and check it out. As they put it, The Issue’s editors “act as a human filter to the unregulated blogosphere.”

I’ll let the site speak for itself via the “about” page:

What Is The Issue?
The Issue is a non-partisan blog newspaper that provides a window to an emerging world of diverse and informed opinions. We cull the blogosphere for its wise insights, probing analyses, and diverse perspectives, drawing together a borderless newspaper. By combining the democratization and diversity of new media with the format and editorial standards of traditional news, we hope to offer a hybrid news source that provides the best of both worlds.