David Kirkpatrick

February 16, 2009

Politics, critique and this blog

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:13 pm

I’ve been pretty tough on the GOP over the last couple of weeks and it’s disappointing. With Obama’s election and the Democratic clean-sweep of November I was looking forward to pushing back against the new establishment and challengeing areas where I didn’t like the direction they were taking the nation. And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to touch on — right now some of the more insidious provisions stuck in the stimulus package come to mind.

The problem is the GOP is acting so stupidly and pathetically as a minority party, it’s impossible for me to stay off the topic. Right now for me the GOP is a festering wound with a scab I can’t help but pick at repeatedly. And I’ll have to admit there’s some morbid fascination watching a political party completely implode. I don’t wish this for the Republican Party, but I’m not kidding when I write it could be coming to an effective end as a national political force.

When you have party mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh wishing for insta-failure for Obama’s administration instead of hoping America gets back on economic track and becomes the great nation it has always been once again; when you have minority whip Eric Cantor reliving those glory years of Gingrichism instead of working within the current political climate to improve our nation; when you have has-been punchline Ken Starr making pronouncements about Obmama’s potential Supreme Court nominee fights; and when you have the far-right bloc of the party trying to oust the three Senators who voted for the stimulus package for being RINOs, you don’t have any hope for a ruling coalition.

February 15, 2009

Ken Starr opens mouth and expels gas

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:14 am

Why is Starr even given a mic to embarass himself with?

From the link:

Kenneth W. Starr has a warning for the Obama administration: what goes around comes around.

During a speech yesterday in Boston, Starr told a group of attorneys that President Barack Obama could face an uphill battle over his Supreme Court nominees because as a senator he opposed two of George W. Bush’s Supreme Court picks, Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Starr’s message: elephants don’t forget.

The former independent counsel during Bill Clinton’s Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals, Starr said an aging Supreme Court meant that Obama could be able to name perhaps two or more nominees to the high court. And that could lead to a showdown with Senate Republicans who were livid with Democratslike Obama who filibustered and voted against the Bush picks.

Er, leaving Obama’s actions as a senator aside, if I were part of the GOP braintrust I’d put Ken Starr in deep mothballs. I certainly wouldn’t want to remind the public of the GOP’s cockblocking Clinton at every turn and actually moving forward with a failed impeachment effort.

Taking a longer view I’m betting history sees the last sixteen, and probably an even longer block of time, as the dark ages of the GOP. That is, if the party doesn’t completely implode which is still a very real possibility. Right now you have pundits, the right-wing blogosphere and the far right bloc looking to unseat the three Republican Senators who voted for the stimulus plan. Slick move there — it’s always a good idea to force your party into an even larger minority position at the ballot box.

History will see this period as the dark ages of the GOP because the party is purely obstructionist, partisan and hypocritical.

Partisan because every move the GOP has made over the last two presidential terms, and now the beginning of a third is to promote the GOP. Even if that means putting party over the nation. The voters have recognized that fact and if nothing changes in tone and action, the GOP may find itself in a very compromised position as an ongoing concern.

Obstructionist? See the Clinton years with the inane impeachment dog-and-pony show and the treatment offered the Democrats during the early Bush years when the GOP had the White House, Senate and House.

And hypocritical is the worst sin of all. The “small government” party spent taxpayers money like they controlled the printing press and ran up gigantic deficits to saddle the next several generations of Americans. A lot of the think tank ideas that finally went into practice under Bush 43 clearly should have remained in the filing cabinet.

The GOP coalition is in complete shambles and having a washed-up player in a failed farce making public statements isn’t going to help solve any of the many problems facing the party.

After the election I feared, and made the dark prediction, the GOP would continue to marginalize itself through a hard right-wing turn. The Palinistas were, and still are, very, very bitter. Bitter enough to bite their own noses off to spite the electorate that utterly rejected them.

That is the lesson the GOP needs to learn — the electorate has rejected them and demographics look very dismal indeed for any hope of a comeback unless drastic steps are taken. I’m not seeing those drastic steps.

I’ve contributed to NewMajority.com, and I like a lot of what I’m reading there, but I don’t see any real answers to the core problems right now. Culture11, another great new blog of conservative thought went belly-up recently. Former right wing blogosphere powerhouse Pajamas Media changed their business model to some ridiculous and soon-to-fail two-bit version of TMZ for politics. Joe the Plumber is their “star.” That’s all that needs to be said there.

I hope whatever new party rises from the ashes of the still burning brightly GOP corpse gets back to civil liberties, small government and personal responsibility. I’m not holding my breath — well, except when I keep voting Democrat because the GOP if full of folly, fools and fecklessness.

March 6, 2008

Clinton staff mental meltdown

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:01 pm

After a successful series of votes on Tuesday it looked like Team Clinton was gaining steam and some media traction.

Then this happens.

From the Politico link:

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, taking the campaign a bit meta on a conference call today, attacked Obama for attacking Clinton, and compared him to a notorious Clinton foe.

“When Senator Obama was confronted with questions over whether he was ready to be Commander-in-Chief and steward of the economy, he chose not to address those questions, but to attack Senator Clinton,” Wolfson said. “I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president.”

Here’s the Obama campaign response from the same link:

UPDATE: Obama spokesman Bill Burton responds:

It is absurd that after weeks of badgering the media to ‘vet’ Senator Obama, the Clinton campaign believes that they should be held to an entirely different standard. We don’t believe that expecting candidates for the presidency to disclose their tax returns somehow constitutes Ken Starr-tactics, but the kind of transparency and accountability that Americans are looking for and that’s been missing in Washington for far too long. And if Senator Clinton doesn’t think that the Republicans will ask these very same questions, then she’s not as ready to go toe-to-toe with John McCain as she claims.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I doubt anyone is going to look favorably on the Clinton campaign bringing up Kenneth Starr in any capacity. And to compare Obama to Starr is so ridiculous, it would be laughable if weren’t so pathetic.

I see some real blowback with this line of attack. I’m betting the Obama campaign feels like they were just handed a two-by-four full of nails to use and batter Clinton with for a few media cycles.

For more on Clinton’s refusal to turn over tax returns, particularly these last few years of rapid wealth growth and interesting business deals from Bill, check out Sullivan’s take at the Daily Dish.