David Kirkpatrick

September 25, 2009

Right wing bloggers vote for most influential GOPers

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:26 pm

And it takes nine slots to get to the first elected official — Jim DeMint. Sarah Palin clocks in at number two behind Rush Limbaugh.

There really is no mystery why the GOP is becoming so marginalized. Angry volume and right wing media exposure do not mean legislative or electoral success.

To illustrate the marginalization consider this:

In 1987 comedian David Brenner bombed in syndication with about 2.5 million viewers at midnight — which is roughly what Fox, the leading network for political talk shows, averages in prime time.

(Hat tip: NewMajority)

April 13, 2009

Sully pegs the right

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:08 pm

And sadly, he pretty much nails the sorry state of almost all things on the right-wing.

From the link:

And it suggests that the right is returning to its 1950s roots – kooks, cranks, disaffected and paranoid gun-nuts, born-again culture-warriors, Birchers, book-burners, and black helicpoter worriers.

April 5, 2009

The Tea Party phenomenon

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:35 pm

Here’s some talking points from the Heritage Foundation for any Tea Partiers out there.

A sample from the link:

  • Lower Taxes: Senator Jim DeMint’s “American Option” would have reduced business taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent to spur rapid growth in wages, jobs and business incomes. It also would have permanently repealed the Alternative Minimum Tax and reduced the individual tax rate to three levels—10, 15, and 25 percent—giving Americans more of their own money to fuel the economy and increasing disposable income for an average family of four by up to $4,500 by 2013.
  • On the whole, I’m just not getting the Tea Party movement. It doesn’t seem to be gaining much actual attention outside the blogosphere and the usual right wing hangouts. All in all the movement seems fairly fragmentary and largely comprised of angry cranks with a few opportunists thrown in for good measure.

    The odds of the activity adding positively to the national dialog on this economic crisis is near zero. Overall the public supports Obama right now and is offering him the chance to solve these problems. The public is also pinning the crisis on the Bush 43 administration for the most part. I doubt the Tea Party movement will do anything to change public opinion.

    To give examples of the fractured nature of Tea Partiers you need look no further than the comments on the linked site.

    Here’s a small taste:

    • “Some Tea Party organizers are making a huge mistake by making this about President Obama. This is about all our legislators who are not listening and following the constitution.”
    • “‘organizers are making a huge mistake by making this about President Obama’ Wrong! It is in fact “ALL” about this Marxist ideologue.”
    • “While the media will make our rallies out to be against the President, they are not and should not. We need to protest against the coup d’etat that took place on Jan. 21st. The battles began over a year before that and culminate in November.”
    • “The problems we currently face are because of Government in General. Not political parties.”

    This movement is all over the map — it’s not about Obama, it is about Obama, it’s about government. Sheesh. And “the coup d’etat” on January 21st? Really? What planet are these people living on and how exactly are these comments going to persuade the average American to take them seriously? Seriously.

    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 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.

    Rush Limbaugh, traitor

    Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:57 am

    Rooting for the president to fail less than a month into his first term is simply rooting for America to fail. The people overwhelmingly voted Obama into office. Democracy spoke and Rush’s “team” got their asses handed to them. His response? Crying like a baby and hoping, wishing, for failure. Not unlike the mad child who wants everyone to just die.

    The rabid base might like this, but I think the general public has had enough of right-wing crap. I’m guessing if a Democrat were spouting off like he repeatedly has, Rush would be screaming “treason” at the top of his lungs.

    He’s a hypocritical fool and always has been, but rarely quite this naked about it. I’ve always thought Rush played purely for ratings. He might believe some of the bullshit he throws out there, and he probably doesn’t believe some of it. It’s all merely a tool for ratings.

    I do think at this point he is hurting the GOP. If his voice is the main voice of the Republican Party as the media and party members have said, the GOP is in a sorrier place than even I have opined about. And I’ve been pretty tough on the party since McCain chose Palin as a running mate.

    From the link:

    Rush Limbaugh caused a bit of a stir about a month ago, when he told his audience, “I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope [President Obama] succeeds.’ … I hope Obama fails. Somebody’s gotta say it.”

    The right-wing host went on a similar tirade yesterday when talking about the economic recovery package: “I want everything he’s doing to fail… I want the stimulus package to fail…. I do not want this to succeed.”

    Limbaugh is, without ambiguity, rooting for failure. In the midst of an economic crisis, Limbaugh quite openly admitted that if Obama’s economic policies are successful, it would undermine the talk-show host’s worldview. As such, Limbaugh wants desperately to see more Americans suffer, more workers unemployed, more businesses close up shop. The key here is philosophy — if government spending can stimulate the economy, as it always does, then the right is wrong. Limbaugh would much prefer a suffering nation than a reevaluation of conservative ideas.

    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.

    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.

    December 3, 2008

    Jonah Goldberg is an idiot

    Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:51 pm

    I know the bloggy left has all sort of names for Goldberg, but he really is just that stupid. It’s embarassing for the right punditry of the US that he has any mouthpiece, much less a national one. A scion of the feeble-minded right.

    This is just indicitive of his worthless dribbling.

    From the link (via the Daily Dish):

    After a vote in which a minority of two or three percent were denied civil equality under the law and in which many thousands of couples had their legal marriages voided, Jonah Goldberg thinks the real victims are Mormons:

    It’s just that Mormons are the most vulnerable of the culturally conservative religious denominations and therefore the easiest targets for an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.

    He cites an ad campaign that wasn’t sanctioned by the No On 8 campaign, and summarizes the wave of peaceful protests by tens of thousands across the country by picking a few of the worst incidents of the fringes as a way to discredit the civil rights movement. He cannot in any way substantiate the notion that the marriage movement amounts to “an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.”

    October 14, 2008

    Buckleyism, RIP

    Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:08 pm

    First one of the lions of modern conservative though, and founder of the National Review, Bill Buckley passed on this February.

    Now the very magazine founded by Bill Buckley has unceremoniously booted his son, Chris, for openly endorsing Obama. One of the strongest suits of Bill Buckley’s brand of conservatism was openness to ideas and iconoclastic thought.

    The very magazine he founded is becoming filled with intellectual weakness and toadyism. The very vestiges of a dying philosophy.

    Who’s next? David Frum?

    From the second link:

    My father in his day endorsed a number of liberal Democrats for high office, including Allard K. Lowenstein and Joe Lieberman. One of his closest friends on earth was John Kenneth Galbraith. In 1969, Pup wrote a widely-remarked upon column saying that it was time America had a black president. (I hasten to aver here that I did not endorse Senator Obama because he is black. Surely voting for someone on that basis is as racist as not voting for him for the same reason.) 

    My point, simply, is that William F. Buckley held to rigorous standards, and if those were met by members of the other side rather than by his own camp, he said as much. My father was also unpredictable, which tends to keep things fresh and lively and on-their-feet. He came out for legalization of drugs once he decided that the war on drugs was largely counterproductive. Hardly a conservative position. Finally, and hardly least, he was fun. God, he was fun. He liked to mix it up.  

    So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.

    While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case. 

    So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me. 

    Thanks, anyway, for the memories, and here’s to happier days and with any luck, a bit less fresh hell.