Tag Archives: Republicans

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska Explains Why The News Media is Not The Enemy

I thought this was worth the tedious process of transcribing from a DVR.

On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper today, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska countered President Trump’s abuse of the news media.

I thought some of Sasse’s points are worth recording.

Sasse: “There’s an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right citizens have to argue about that and complain about that and [versus] trying to weaponize distrust.”

Shortly thereafter:

“The reality is journalism is really going to change a lot more in the digital era and we have a risk of getting to a place where we don’t have shared public facts. A republic will not work if we don’t have shared facts. I’m the third most conservative guy in the senate by voting record, but I sit in Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s desk on the floor of the U.S. Senate on purpose because he’s the author of that famous quote, that you’re entitled to your own opinions but you’re not entitled to your own facts. The only way the republic can work is if we come together and we defend each other’s rights to say things that we differ about, we defend each other’s rights to publish journalism and pieces and things that we then want to argue about. I agree with the president that there is a lot of crappy journalism out there. Jake, I think you would agree, that there’s a whole bunch of clickbait  out there in the world right now.

Tapper: “Sure, of course.”

Sasse: “Barriers to entry to new journalism are going to go down, down, down, [Tapper grimaces] and so it is going to be possible, in the next 3 and 5 and 10 years, for people to surround themselves only with echo chambers and silos of people that already believe only what they believe. That’s a recipe for a new kind of tribalism, and America won’t work if we do that. So we need to come together, as a people, and reteach our kids what the First Amendment is about, and it’s not helpful to call the press the enemy of the American people….”

I think we already have “echo chambers and silos of people” and “a new kind of tribalism.”

A bit later, Sasse said:

“The problem we have right now—and I’ll pull up here, but—we’re hollowing out local community and neighborhoods. Some of that’s massive economic change. But at the same time we’re politicizing our national conversations so that the only community a lot of people have is what they project onto Republican and Democratic parties. These parties are pretty bankrupt intellectually. They’re not interesting enough to put your grand hopes and dreams on. We need a recovery of the local and the neighborly.”

You can watch a video of the entire interview here.

‘Whisper campaigns’ and rumors and gossip | TwistedSpeech.com

Are Republican voters in Missouri really capable of being motivated by anti-Semitic sentiments?

via ‘Whisper campaigns’ and rumors and gossip | TwistedSpeech.com.

William F. Buckley Jr. wanted to lift the Cuban trade embargo: My day at the Firing Line taping

Kristi and I went to Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., on July 20, 1998, to attend the taping of a Firing Line Debate.

The debate, with eight panelists, was entitled, “Resolved: That the U.S. Should Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo.”

The eminent William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review and an intellectual leader of conservatism in the U.S., was on the affirmative side. Notice that: Buckley supported lifting the embargo.

The great Michael Kinsley was the moderator. Kristi and I were his fans (if not always his compatriots) from his time on CNN’s older form of “Crossfire.” At the time of the debate, he was editor of Slate.

Obviously, this experience with Firing Line comes to mind because President Obama has moved to normalize relations with Cuba — for stated reasons quite similar to Buckely’s reasons.

That remains true even if Obama’s move might differ in details from Buckley’s support for an end to the trade embargo. (I admit I haven’t analyzed real or imagined differences in the details.)

Obama, at today’s press conference, said, “I don’t anticipate overnight changes. But what I know deep in my bones is that if you’ve done the same thing for 50 years and nothing’s changed, you should try something different if you want a different outcome…”

Buckley, in 1998, after describing his opponents’ claims that the U.S. embargo will change Cuba, offered a deep, sonorous, “When?

In July 1998, and certainly before, the embargo’s failure was obvious to Buckley.

(I recalled a few personal details from that day in a blog post published shortly after Buckley’s death in 2008.)

So as some Republicans lash-out at Obama’s decision, with the notable exception of Sen. Rand Paul, they should recall William F. Buckley’s position and realize Obama made a decision that, in spirit if not in details, had some support among conservative and libertarian intellectuals.

House Tea Party Caucus: traitors to their alleged cause of liberty

According to Forbes magazine:

CISPA, or the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act, passed the House yesterday. The bill is full of problematic intrusions into individual privacy and online liberty, and yet those members of the House who associate themselves with limited government were largely responsible for its passage.

Reason magazine reports:

The complete roll call shows 206 Republicans voting for the bill, 28 against. Democrats went 42 to 140 in the opposite direction. The Republican No column includes some fairly libertarian-friendly names, including Amash, McClintock and Rohrabacher (who also this week earned the honor of being bannedby vile Afghan kleptocrat Hamid Karzai). Voting for the legislation were great libertarian nopes Ryan, Flake and Duncan. The name Paul shows up in the not-voting lineup.

TechDirt.com reports:

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change … to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Those clowns in the House Tea Party Caucus should no longer be trusted. This is a complete violation of trust and betrayal of principle.

Sweeping Generalization Alert: Republicans are attacking ‘women’

Republicans are attacking “women” because no woman freely chose to be Roman Catholic and no woman freely chose to oppose the use of contraception. “Women” always support government mandates on insurance coverage for contraception. Furthermore, no “woman” is a Republican.

That is all. Have a swell Thursday.

‘The dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking rich’

“The rich are a class of clones, an elite cabal of likeminded individuals, an assembly bonded in groupthink, a gaggle of Republican gangsters. Therefore, George Soros isn’t rich.” Read the rest here.