Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Reasonable Criticism

On "All Things Considered" on NPR yesterday, they interviewed South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint and asked him about the withdrawal of Daschle and Killefer from their nominations and if it was an embarrasment for the Obama administration. He was actually very fair in his assessment and, contra Limbaugh, he expressed support for what the administration is trying to do.

DeMint could have been full of it, just playing politics, but since I am so critical of Republicans I think it is only fair to point out when they are reasonable and fair in the criticisms and don't act like huge douche bags. DeMint's interview yesterday was an example of reasoned and fair political discourse and it should be applauded.

I don't know if you can hear it online, but it was on the 2/3/2009 episode.


At 1:25 PM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

At 6:38 PM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

I didn't have time to post more earlier.

I had an altogether opposite reaction to this interview: De Mint annoyed me, and I found his rhetoric extremely partisan.

Breaking it down, here's how I summarize & respond to his points:

* Too bad for Tom, but necessary to not further tarnish Obama's "credibility"

Note the "... promises of change and hope that we had ..." Not juvenile pot-shots?

* Large amount of unpaid taxes, it's a serious issue

Agreed. Fine.

* Big amount + Geithner = more critical issue

"I think a lot of people are saying, 'these people want us to pay more taxes, and they aren't willing to pay taxes themselves'".

Really? Who? And, indeed, Obama's current plans do not include "more taxes" for most people ... and what's the point again? This is a facile "big taxes" quip disguised as constructive criticism.

* Not about Tom, about Obama's leadership.

De Mint and I agree on that (see my earlier comment).

But then the "good old boy appropriators" ... ah, it isn't an interview with a Republican if we don't get to hear "tax and spend democrats" somehow. Who was talking about "appropriators" again?

* Returning to government after being (sort of) a lobbyist "feels wrong".

Actually, the question annoyed me more than the answer. "Hey Robert, can you set me up a good one?"

* Lobbyist bad, Obama hypocrite.

I agree with De Mint (and you) on this as well, I just have a pet peeve with ridiculously vague criticisms like "put people AROUND him who have been very INVOLVED in the lobbying COMMUNITY."

How about: "He's had some kind of relationship with organisms that somehow have something to do with things we don't like."

* Geithner was "rushed through" before "opposition could build".

Oooo, this one steamed me. How slow is congress, anyway ... because I've been hearing about the whole Geithner thing for quite a while. How much time do they need to "build opposition"?

Plus, the implication is that Geithner could never have made it through if the administration and the controlling dems in congress hadn't crammed him down their throats. That just isn't even remotely believable. It's another facile implication with no basis that is just meant to manipulate the listener.

* Senate dems are tight-nit and would have stuck together and confirmed Daschle.

Says the member of a party that literally did not permit a SINGLE break in ranks over the stimulus package (in the House, even).

And, let's face it, we might all be annoyed about Daschle and have legitimate beefs about his nomination, but clearly the world would not have ended had he been confirmed. Certainly he's capable and qualified. This response offered nothing constructive, it was just, "Man, if he hadn't have withdrawn, those partisan democrats would have foisted one big one off on us!"

Yes, I feeling very ornery of late -- it's not you.


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