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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Into The Politico Arena

As you know, I've expressed my doubts about Politico.  But the reality is that Politico is one of the major internet news sources and will be for the foreseeable future.

While my prior criticisms applied to Politico's news operations, I also was frustrated that whenever I read the political debates which took place at Politico's Arena, the political voice represented by this blog was not being heard.

For better or worse, I contacted Politico and requested contributor status at the Arena, and such request was granted.

So starting today, I will chime in on some  -- but not all -- of the issues being debated at the Arena.  These are not the equivalent of blog posts, but really just quick takes on an issue.

My first contribution today was on the issue of whether Republicans should be suspicious of the "mixed seating" proposals for the State of the Union address.  Here is what I wrote:
For two years, legitimate opposition to Democratic policies, particularly Obamacare, was met with false accusations of hate speech and violence. Senior Democratic politicians (Chuck Schumer referring to Scott Brown) used the pejorative "teabagger," peaceful protesters were called un-American, and the entire tea party movement was labeled racist, all in the cause of passing the Democratic legislative agenda. Even at last year's State of the Union, President Obama attacked the Supreme Court decision Citizens United by falsely characterizing the nature of the decision, causing Democratic politicians to leap to their feet around the justices and clap loudly just feet from the justices.

Having accomplished many of their legislative goals the past two years through such partisanship and lack of legislative civility, it rings hollow for Democrats now to call for mixed seating at the State of the Union. While I'm sure some politicians make such a request in good faith, Republicans are right to be distrustful and to view the new call for civility primarily as a tactic to consolidate what has been accomplished.
How did I do, and more importantly, was I right to enter the Arena?

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  1. You are right to enter the Arena. Progressives must be opposed on every front, regardless of size. Abandoning the field to them has given them unwarranted power.

    Sham apologies to CNN for the military references.

  2. Yes, Prof. you were spot on regarding the 'mixed seating' scam the Dems/Libs are pulling. It is extremely dis-hearting to see Reps falling in line. We're in dire need of Rep Congressmen with actual backbones. Believe this scam is a perfect illustration of Rush Limbaugh's thesis, that at its base level the US Congress is really the 'cool' kids [Dems] and the 'Dweebs' [Reps] trying for popularity. Sad!!

  3. I think you were generous and tempered in your criticism.

  4. Your blogging success is the all the proof anyone needs for you to be considered as a forward thinking voice for commonsense conservatism.

    Without getting mushy, I'm proud of you. Please keep interjecting and pushing the fake boundries with your opinions, on the web and elsewhere.

  5. Professor! Your influence grows. The political discourse will be all the better for it. This makes my day.

  6. You have a lot of energy! Every effort, great and small to fight off the fantasy based centralization of our world is good work for 'The Times They Are a-Changin'

    I was reading today and came across an interesting essay on politics and science fiction. Tragically, these days much science is fiction. But I also remember Robert A. Heinlein, the great and influential science fiction writer of my youth, so influential to a number of generations, who "repeatedly integrated recognizable social themes: The importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress non-conformist thought"

    The essay is here:
    Is Science Fiction Getting More Conservative?


    Two quotes jumped out at me.

    From the master Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game:


    “Back when I cared,” he continued, “most of the writers of my generation were so extremely leftist in their formal opinions, and so extremely elitist in their practices, that it would be difficult to discern where they actually stood on anything. It’s as if the entire Tsarist aristocracy fervently preached Bolshevism even as they oppressed their peasants. But that view is based on observations back in the mid-1980s. Since then, my only exposure to their views has been the general boycott of mine. In short,” he said, “I’m their Devil, but I have no idea who their God is anymore.”

    From Tom Kratman


    “In any case,” Kratman concluded, “nobody converts anybody; we, as a society, are way past that. Right and left don’t share basic assumptions, don’t use the same words with the same meanings, and generally just talk past each other.”

  7. I think you did and said the right thing. It's kind of like being a commenter at someone else's blog except that you have stature. I'm not always sure why I comment or whether it accomplishes anything.

    But for an accomplished blogger entering into a liberal echo chamber to introduce a new voice is a big positive for our side. It may be the only place where many of these people ever get to hear our side.

  8. Yes. If you have an opinion that's not being shown and you think it should - jump in. Good luck being heard over the babble there, though.
    BTW - linked your Palin rant. Nice job of speaking the truth. I'll be back to see what else you have to say.

  9. As long as your comments are left as is and not edited, I think it was a great idea. I used to read their blog, but it was so biased that I stopped. Good luck.

  10. Excellent! I'm thankful we have you to articulate and defend our points of view. Thank you!

  11. I'd say your take on the seating arrangements for the SOTU is right. Imus interviewed Anthony Weiner this morning. Weiner said he specifically requested to be seated next to his nemesis, Peter King, on the Republican side. Why? Because according to Weiner, King hasn't been right about anything since the 1980s. And he wants to be seated next to King on the Republican side so that when he's constantly jumping up and down giving standing ovations, it will irritate the Republicans sitting all around him. That's his contribution to the new civility.

  12. Wow. I read the comments over at the Arena. I'm amazed at how many supposed "experts" have no clue about our side of the issues (or are they ignoring it?). How can we have discussion if we do not even acknowledge a differing point of view? The comments were insulting, immature, and definitely uncivil. It's discouraging. @Maggot...Weiner's comment astounds me.

  13. I think it's a good move on your part and I give some credit to Politico for doing it. I'll look forward to reading your contributions.

  14. "How did I do, and more importantly, was I right to enter the Arena?"

    You did great! I read politico. You will be a great voice in that Arena.

  15. The seating arrangements are to enable the visuals to appear that the entire congress is standing and applauding. As soon as the images are captured, the Democrats will immediately forget the placecards and begin selling the "President Obama united Congress when he said _____."

    (Funny, I wrote that, then went over and saw that Christina Pelosi, just below your post, comes right out and admits it: "The best picture our leaders can present is a united United States" and "The speech (and rebuttals) [are] televised to show..", and finally the punch line: "Sitting in silent civility...."

    The idea is that the Dems on each side of a Rep will be able to keep everyone on script: sitting until told to stand, and silent until told to clap.

    Thank you for your courage in speaking your mind. I don't read Politico so I can't comment except to say that it's always right to speak up in any political forum (and yes, that does include the floor of the House).

  16. Good that you've entered the arena, but Politico needs about thirty more such voices to be more than a blip in the endless flock of bien-pensant leftists.

    You'll need to make the lead sentence an executive summary, too, so that the liberals reading down the list (as I did, but with reversed hopes) will not recoil before reaching your conclusion.

  17. Of course you should enter the fray and your comments are exactly correct. By the looks of things over at The Arena, it's populated by Democratic operatives, though. I wonder how many people really read much of it once they get the way the wind blows there.

  18. Definitely right to jump in the arena. It's good to get another viewpoint, sort of like CK in WaPo (the only reason to read that paper these days).

    I was asked to contribute to a completely sprog blog-thing that was presented as "all spectrums" of political thought, and checked it out before I agreed (which I did not), and I'm glad I did. It was a horror show of inarticulate, hate-filled leftist word soup. When I mentioned this failing of the blog-thing to the person who'd contacted me assuring me they were left, right, and center, he said that none of the conservatives he contacted would post there . . . because they were "afraid" of "being challenged." Uh huh. I just said that it didn't look like a good forum for me and wished him well. Being challenged? By what? Brain-dead sprogs tippy tapping out "RAAAACIST!!"? No, thank you.

    Politico is not on that level. You did the right thing. :)

  19. Is that "Arena" as in bull, or gladiator, or some other blood sport? Most of the contributors speak in codes, the same codes, which appear widely and previously agreed and to have the purpose of sequestering what they are really doing behind verbal walls that pretend of erudition. Some are downright catty, or perhaps better, fishy: poachers in any case. The purpose of most seems to be verbal violence, as in spinning around with a discus or swishing around a slingshot in preparation for release at a target, some pre-demonized individual and group. This isn't the profile of "substantive discussion" (one of their codes). Sounds more like a fish making itself attractive to draw food within striking distance. Age of Aquarius, perhaps, that's what they meant back then (*Hair*).

  20. I thought your post was spot on. I gave up on Politico and am not familiar with The Arena (I will be now), but, the thought of the Professor in an arena conjured up some interesting visuals. And, yes, a cape and a bull were involved.

  21. As usual, your comments were right on. When I heard that they wanted to sit together this time around, I thought that was a very immature thing to suggest. Further, it's absolutely meaningless. So it sounds just about right coming from them.

  22. Politico's Arena meant nothing to me before I read here that you had contributed; I then accessed Arena: as a result I can assure you that they will go on meaning nothing to me. I mean really, talk about irrelevant! Surely there are more important issues to be discussed? Next thing you know, they'll debate whether they should be holding hands when they sit together as they used to in playschool. In answer to your question, though, I would say that you need to pick your dais, to be focused on the issues that matter, and not re-active as the GOP and TP increasingly are. You know as well as I do that he who writes the Minutes, controls the Agenda.

  23. Arena meant nothing to me before and will, after having read it because of you, continue to mean nothing to me. I mean really, talk about a non-issue! They'll be debating next whether they should hold hands when sitting together as they did when they were at playschool. Don't play their game, Bill, they are setting the Agenda and both the GOP and the TP are re-actively responding to every jibe - don't acknowledge them by replying .... and the TP were doing so well when they started.

  24. If there was ever even one moment of doubt about the the leftward and, in addition, shameful drift of Politico, just check out the "Op-Ed" they just published, one penned by U.S. Representative Alsee Hastings, (D-23d), a disgraced former federal judge (appointed by Jimmy Carter), who was indicted in 1981 for accepting a $150,000.00 bribe in a case before him.

    While the criminal case against him fell apart (when the primary witness against him, his co-conspirator William Borders, suddenly refused to testify), federal Judge Hastings was thereafter impeached in 1988 by the House of Representatives, (413-3) and subsequently convicted by the United States Senate (69 - 26) in 1989, arising out of those same circumstances. He was thus removed from the bench, and while the Senate had the option of permanently disqualifying him from ever holding any federal office again, they for some reason declined to do so.

    He was at that time only the 6th federal judge so removed in disgrace during the entire history of the United States.

    In 1992, the brazen Mr. Hastings ran for Congress in a newly created district, a highly gerrimandered 23d district in south-central Florida, including the I-95 corridor beach areas of Boynton, Delray and Pompano, plus a swath of three different counties south and mostly east of Lake Okeechobee. And there he has stayed.

    Now the "distinguished" Mr. Hastings, has taken to the Op-Ed pages of Politico with an opinion piece pointing the finger at others, in which he has joined that long line of left-wing prevaricators falsely alleging that political rhetoric drove Jerad Loughner to go on his wild shooting spree in Arizona.

    But Hastings did not make his claim before any evidence was in, as did some others. He made the false charge after a considerable body of evidence had been advanced demonstrating that no such thing had happened.

    But that didn't stop Politico from printing the obvious lie.

    As Hastings asserted:

    "Giffords was shot — and six others tragically murdered — in part because our violent political expression inspired a mentally unstable person, who had preposterously easy access to previously banned weapons."