The more things change, the more they stay the same.
President Barack Obama’s first prime-time press conference was most remarkable for how he borrowed a page from his predecessor, refusing to accept follow-up questions. . . . Until Bush, presidents since Calvin Coolidge had allowed reporters to ask another question based upon the answer to the first question. Often that first answer is a dodge, an attempt to stick to a talking point or a scripted answer. Bush was obsessed with avoiding follow-up questions, knowing that it is an effective tool for getting him off script. In last night’s press conference, Obama cut off any attempt by reporters to follow up his answers to their questions. If he intends to maintain this Bush policy, reporters must work together and agree to ask the obvious follow-up to the previous question as they take their turns. Otherwise, these press conferences are nothing but one-sided speeches.
This is a new brand of politics.
And speaking of “post-partisan” politics, the reason they call themselves post-partisans is because they want to be able to label anyone who disagrees with them as partisans. As though partisan were a derogatory term.
Liberals have been playing this game for a long time. They were liberals (completely turning the meaning of the classical liberal on its head–turning it, in fact, so completely on its head that we now have to add the “classical” to liberal) who quit wanting to be liberals because liberal was turned into a bad word.
Now, some of them want to be called “progressives,” suggesting, obviously, that anyone who opposes them must be regressive or, at a minimum, merely running in place.
The rest call themselves post-partisans, after their messianic leader.
I’m happy with conservative or partisan or, if you prefer, regressive.
(h/t Scott L.)
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