Posts Tagged ‘Debate’

On Non-Substantive Critiques, or, stop arguing like a jerk.

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 5.13 pm

If you watched the 2013 Oscars last night (I didn’t), you know that the surprise presenter for the Best Picture award was First Lady Michelle Obama, and she wore a pretty dress. The presentation was broadcast live from the White House.

If you read about the political reaction this morning (I did), you know that a lot of people were extremely upset.

Writes Washington Post Right Turn columnist Jennifer Rubin,

Now the first lady feels entitled, with military personnel as props, to intrude on other forms of entertaining (this time for the benefit of the Hollywood glitterati who so lavishly paid for her husband’s election). I’m sure the left will holler that once again conservatives are being grouchy and have it in for the Obamas….

No one, it seems, gets within a mile of the White House with any sense of restraint.

On Twitter, likewise, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And, of course, the ever scandal-mongering Breitbart.com commented that Michelle Obama’s appearance was “just obscene, and rather frightening in what it suggests about how low we have fallen as a nation.” Mrs. Obama, it seems, ruined the Oscars.

Now, there is ample room to criticize the personality cult that surrounds the White House, and the Breitbart post kind of went in that direction. The President is not our national dad or the “boss of the country,” as some have bizarrely suggested, and a healthy cut-back in the celebrity that the Oval Office brings is much overdue. America often maintains an obsession with the presidency which isn’t conducive to reasoned critiques of any administration’s policies.

But I’m pretty sure that most of the criticism of the First Lady’s appearance is not coming from a position of principle. After all, our last First Lady, Laura Bush, made an Oscar appearance in 2002 in a pre-recourded short, and I recall no such virtuous outrage. And Reagan himself sent a taped appearance to the Oscars in 1981.

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Questions I’d Submit for the Next GOP Debate

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 9.58 pm

The cool folks at DC Decoder are rounding up short sets of questions/expectations/hopes for the next GOP debate from a handful of political bloggers.  I’m not totally sure what the end goal is, but it sounds like a sweet idea.  They were kind enough to ask me to participate, and these are the questions I submitted:

  • If you support a strong defense, do you want to keep our military spread thin in 130 nations and more than 650 bases worldwide?
  • If you claim to adhere to the Constitution, do you support undeclared by Congress — and therefore unconstitutional — wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and arguably Pakistan and Somalia?
  • If you claim to adhere to the Bill of Rights — notably the Fourth Amendment — do you support the PATRIOT Act?
  • If you are a fiscal conservative, name two specific spending cuts you would support immediately as president and estimate the amount each would save per year.
  • If you affirm the Declaration of Independence, please explain why the freedom to pursue happiness excludes recreational drug use which does not interfere with anyone else’s liberty, person, or property.
  • If you are pro-life, please explain if your principles extend to unborn Iraqi and Afghan children. If not, explain why not.
  • If you consider yourself a Christian, please quote any Bible passages you are aware of in which we might find Jesus changing people’s morality through legislation, keeping in mind that Jesus himself states that he supersedes the law of the Old Testament.