My latest here in POLITICO on the GOP crackup, with my collaborator Scot Faulkner.
My second installment at POLITICO co-authored with my friend and conservative veteran Scot Faulkner, on the total disappearance of anything resembling a conservative movement or conservative leadership. Scot and I share different political viewpoints, but have been coming together to address what we both view as a failure of governance on the national scale.
Posted in Conservatism, Media Criticism, tagged Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Buckley, Conservatives, Fox News, Liberalism, Mitt Romney, POLITICO, Republicans, rhetoric on November 13, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
In the aftermath of the trouncing last Tuesday, some in the media and on the Right are finally beginning to examine the consequences of the conservative echo chamber. I’ve had friends who have been part of the conservative movement for decades complaining to me about this for years, and the chickens are — yes — finally coming home to roost. How far we’ve come from the days when an editor named William F. Buckley Jr. used media, like National Review and Firing Line (a program broadcast on PBS) to provide a forum for informed debate and exchange of ideas.
Insightful analysis here from POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin, and a personal portrait of one loyal GOPer’s personal bubble-bursting experience in the Post. And for reference, Bill Maher has been talking about this (with a literal bubble as a prop) for years.
My piece published on POLITICO today, taking a further look at how the GOP ticket’s response to the Akin “legitimate rape” blowup reflects a broader rhetorical strategy of avoidance and evasion — a denial of categories in law and language. Paul Ryan (and Todd Akin) favored creating new categories of “forcible” or “legitimate” rape; on the other hand, Mitt and Ann Romney talk about “paying all of our taxes” while carefully avoiding the category “income,” as in income taxes.
None of this is wording happens by accident…
My small contribution today to POLITICO’s forum on the legacy of Dennis Kucinich, who lost his primary bid last night to Marcy Kaptur. I frequently interviewed Kucinich during the Iraq War period, when he was active of course as one of the fiercest opponents of the Bush administration.
Among Kucinich’s unorthodox strategies at the time was scheduling a poetry slam for members of Congress, almost eight years ago to the day. I covered this event for CQ and recall it fondly; it also marked the first time those venerable pages included a news story written in rhyme. Hence I included a farewell haiku on POLITICO, though I’m not sure how many people will catch the 5-7-5!
Here is my original Kucinich verse, from 2003:
There were two MC’s from Ohio
Kucinich and Kaptur by name
They’re not for the war
As they say on the floor
In rhetoric hot and aflame.
To bolster their passionate pleading
On Wednesday they called in some friends
To Longworth we ran
For a poetry slam
And all the transcendence it lends.
Here’s W.S. Merwin, Pulitzer winner
Reading Ogres and speaking his mind
He says Bush “deceives”
With immoral motives
And now we’re in one awful bind.
Kucinich reads Yeats’ Second Coming
“The center cannot hold.”
John Conyers gets raucous, says “let’s form a caucus”
Poetry’s good for the soul!
My thoughts today in POLITICO on Sen. Olympia Snowe’s surprise decision to not seek re-election. Snowe said that in her view, the political process is fundamentally broken and suggests there is simply no room left for moderates in the Senate GOP.
I was privileged to interview her many times while writing for Congressional Quarterly during the Iraq War, when she was one of only a handful of Republicans who dared to raise questions about Bush administration policies. She was a diligent, intelligent, and independent legislator, and will be missed.