.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Thursday, November 30, 2006

DC pundits vs. the American People

Once in awhile, Josh Marshall just hits the nail on the head with impunity. This piece is one of those moments:

It really does seem as though the cardinals of DC punditry are constitutionally incapable of believing that George W. Bush has ever -- in the real sense -- gotten anything wrong or that they, the Washington establishment, has gotten anything wrong over the last six years.

I don't like to use such words but I can only think to call the denial and buck-passing sickening. I can't think of another word that captures the gut reaction.

Sickening, that's a strong word coming from Josh who is not known for peddling easy outrage. Is it merited? Take a look at this passage Marshall quotes from a recent Roll Call piece by beltway "cardinal" Mort Kondracke:

President Bush bet his presidency — and America’s world leadership — on the war in Iraq. Tragically, it looks as though he bit off more than the American people were willing to chew.

The U.S. is failing in Iraq. Bush’s policy was repudiated by the American people in the last election. And now America’s enemies and rivals are pressing their advantage...

Sickening is not a word I would use for that passage however apt. Chilling is more like it.

There's something sinister going on here. President Bush has never had a problem claiming a mandate from any previous election, no matter how narrow his or his party's victory. 2006, however, was not like 2000, 2002 or 2004. The 2006 election was clear cut.

Now it seems the DC pundit class is joining this president in casually repudiating the will of the American electorate when it doesn't suit them. Lacking any "mandate" for staying the course in Iraq, these pundits now join the president in blaming the American voters for demanding a change of course in 2006. According to Kondracke, it's not just Democrats who are "emboldening terrorists" anymore...it's the American voters themselves.

Something stinks here. The solution, however, is simple: a dose of outside the beltway common sense.

The American public made two clear demands with this election.

a) the voters called for a change of leadership in Washington
b) the voters called for a change of course in Iraq

If the DC pundit class wants to side with the President in turning a deaf ear to these two clarion calls, they can make their bed and join the president. In doing so, however, they will be rejecting the clearest mandate in American politics in over a decade.

The 110th Congress will rightly have a different perogative. The Constitution and the the will of the American voters gives this Congress the power and obligation to follow the dual mandate of 2006 election: a change of course in Iraq and a change of leadership in Washington.

From anywhere but the most oblivious desks in DC it's clear that "Beltway Pundits + Bush" versus "Congress + the American Voters" is a battle that one side is destined to lose.

Big time.


  • at the core of it is a contempt for the most fundamental aspect of democratic government, namely that every citizen has an equal right to choose a government which represents them and their political values and aspirations, regardless of their station in life.

    neither bush nor the DC elite (nor the NYC or LA media elite, for that matter) respect this principle, in word or in deed. they believe that they know better, that their access, their power, their networking, and their special insight from their eyries of insiderhood qualify them to rule the benighted masses for their (our) own good.

    they have no humility, and refuse to question themselves or the omniscience of their lofty station. this is why they are not only utterly out of touch with popular sentiment in this country and the world, but also one of the main reasons why they continue to botch their own plans, blinded to reality as they are by their smug self-confidence in the infallibility of inside scoops and connections.

    such an attitude in any individual would be abrasive and obnoxious. but when paired with significant power, it is downright corrosive to democracy itself.

    By Blogger 無名 - wu ming, at 11:27 PM  

  • I hope people are listening, brother.

    DC needs to get out of the business of commenting, critiquing, blaming, spinning, and analyzing the implications of the country's problems, and get into the business of acting, doing and solving.

    Everyone is on the sideline because no one wants to jump into the fight. And these aren't even real fights, like the fights faced by 140,000 Americans and millions of Iraqis every day.

    Actions speak louder than words, and the current administration has done nothing but talk. The election shows the American people finally get that. Enough said.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 AM  

  • I confess, I don't read any of the Big Shot pundits. Really, why would anyone read them? They have no political experience, so why should I trust their judgement? Oh, you live in DC? Well, that and $1200 will get you a weekend with Jeff Gannon, friend.

    I look at them the same way I look at msuic critics. Gee, you've never played in a band but you're somehow capable of telling Me what's good and what's not good? Get a real job, ya dirty wannabe...

    The question that begs an answer is, 'If you're so smart, why don't you run for office?'

    Yet, they whine about blogs and the netroots. As if we regular folk with access to the internets should do no mroe than look at naked ladies, play daytrader, and shop for the best deal on mortgages and used cars.

    God, average people voicing their opinions and voting... in America! Who woulda thunk it?

    Ah, k/o... Mingus in my headphones and another fine post from you. Life is good. Thanks, brother!

    By Anonymous ripley, at 7:23 PM  

  • the pundits have got it all wrong.

    forget mccain.

    forget guiliani.

    dare i say, forget mitt.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  

  • the pundits have got it all wrong.

    forget mccain.

    forget guiliani.

    dare i say, forget mitt.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home