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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More fallout from the Hill Article on Signing Statements

I just had a quick phone chat with Jonathan E. Kaplan one of the authors of the article in the Hill on signing statements that used my reporting on Speaker Pelosi's bloggers conference call. He mentioned that my name and contact info were not readily available from the article he cited. I'm going to change that right now.

One issue this has brought up for me right away is how problematic the use of a "blog name" (ie. a name I chose five years ago as a community moniker at dailykos) becomes in a mainstream news article. Given how this has played out, I would have preferred that they would have either just used my name, Paul Delehanty, or the construction, "Paul Delehanty, who writes as kid oakland at dailykos.com," Either way, since this story is being picked up by a wide variety of news sources, it's pretty clear that whether it's FOXnews or the Feminist Majority Foundation, citing my reporting as "Kid Oakland" seems to me more of a distraction than anything else.

That being said, this article in the Hill has touched off a large amount of commentary on the right and the left. A small sample:

* Steven Benen at the Carpetbagger Report surveys the signing statements debate
* The Heritage Policy weblog takes a predictable approach.
* Dave Lindorff offers his take at CounterPunch
* The Mahablog covers the story in the context of the ongoing debate on the Iraq supplemental
* Finally, Mark Kilmer, at REDState launches into a tirade which concludes with a rhetorical flourish that, basically, countenances Congress using the power of the purse to thwart the President's runaway policy in Iraq.

What this brings home for me is that Speaker Pelosi engaged the blogs in a conference call precisely to kick up a broad and wide-ranging discussion on the Iraq Supplemental. Right-wing commentators have taken to characterizing this as Pelosi colluding with "left bloggers." Having been there and reported it as accurately as I could, I would have to disagree. The issue of signing statements is an active question for Democrats and Congress as a whole; Speaker Pelosi's response in the Q & A was just the beginning of, as you can see above, a much larger discussion. I don't remember which blogger asked the signing statements question...but imo it's only a good thing that they did...and that's precisely why the "more democracy" and "more openess" aspect of blogging is a good thing.

The broader the debate about the battle between Congress and the President on Iraq, the better.

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