(DC approaches mike. Press murmurs with anticipation.)
DC: Good morning. Thanks for coming to my ranch today. Great to see you all. It will be two weeks tomorrow since the launch of "Blogs for McCain's Opponent". As many of you know, we started this blog ring in the wake of the McCain-led "compromise" on judicial nominees. For me, it was simply the last straw. I am tired of Sen. McCain's masquerading as the voice of reason and the heir to the Reagan legacy. It is an insult to those of us who know better and know history.
With the foregoing said, I am not out to get the senator. I have said, in echoing Hugh Hewitt, that I believe that Sen. McCain is a "great American, a lousy senator, and a terrible Republican."
I think, too, that we've got to address this idea of the glorification of "centrism" or "moderation" head-on. Frankly, McCain and his ilk consistently parade around berating political opponents, particularly conservatives, as "extremists". How is this the voice of reason and moderation? Was Ronald Reagan an extremist? I liked most everything that Pres. Reagan did. Is Pres. Bush an extremist? He is less conservative than Pres. Reagan, yet those who support him are brandished as out-of-control theocratic ideologues by Sen. McCain and his kind -- presumably those who are supposedly above partisanship and ideology. It is insane.
FEC Representative: Sir, I am here ... on behalf of the campaign of Sen .. er, on behalf of McC ... sir, I am here to say that this must stop. This effort violates McCain-Feingold, and must be ...
DC: Excuse me, sir. But ...
DC: For the sake of all things, decent!! Nickie, watch out!!
(temporary interruption ... press throng reassembles)
Where was I? Yes, Well, McCain and his ilk have world views. However, they are just not that firmly held, or they are a combination of views held by the left and right. That is fine. Just be honest about it. Don't pretend like you don't have an agenda. More commonly, however, I find that moderate politicians appear to be squishy egomaniacs who mold to the whims of competing forces and/or public opinion to stay in power. Yes, I understand that this malady afflicts all in power. But the most-enlightened moderates seem to be the heaviest casualties.
These people are fundamentally disloyal to the people who have put them in their positions of power to which they desperately cling. Who does Sen. McCain think travelled all over the country, walked the streets, and donated the money to elect Pres. Bush and a Republican congress? It sure wasn't moderates. It was these "extremist" party loyalists, or "apparatchiks", as McCain likes to call them, who made this happen. These "blind partisans" made it happen for every one of those seven senators who voted with the Democrats to keep the judicial filibuster alive. Every one.
I am getting myself all worked up. Okay, I will take some questions. Yes, Nickie, glad you're alright ...
Nickie Goomba: Yes, Nicholas Goomba, Goomba News Network. DC, just wondering ... what is your favorite post of mine?
DC: That's a toughee, Nick. Liked the WH Party post a lot. I have loved all the stuff since you came back, but ... let's see ... probably my favorite since you came off the DL was this one. Yes, Laurie ...
Laurie Dhue: Laurie Dhue, FNC. Yes, DC ... ah, sir. Where ... Just ... Wait ... I'm composing ... Where do you see this "Blogs for McCain's Opponent" alliance going? What do you envision for it?
DC: Thanks, Laurie. It's a great question. We in this alliance value freedom and conservative principles, so I don't have rules or a bunch of posting requirements. Unlike Sen. McCain, I trust free expression of political ideas. As you recall, I laid out the idea and the vision here. In short, we are simply united in our efforts to promote the candidacy of whoever runs against Sen. McCain first in the 2008 presidential primary, and then after he is defeated ... for the Senate in 2010. That is, if the FCC will let us. As for me, there will be some fun posts mixed in with some serious pieces. For one thing, that we have to watch the FEC now ... in the United States of America ... to make sure that political speech on the internet stays free, is a travesty. You can thank Sen. McCain for that. Yes, you there ...
Keith Olbermann: So ... does this alliance mean (breathless) ... that possibly, you will join with some liberals (breathing harder) and support the WH candidacy of Sen. Clinton (panting ... getting glass of water)?
DC: No, Frank. I will not support Hillary Clinton under any circumstances. In fact, we have some "Blogs against Hillary" folks that are also on our roll. I would like to work with the Blogs against Hill group and build upon our common ground -- conservatism. To elaborate a bit, I will not participate in an effort to get Hillary elected in order to get back at McCain. In other words, I will not "go Perot". However, I fear that McCain will do just that in 2008, if the national security situation permits. Thus, I think we need to build momentum now and get the word out. If we do, we'll be fine.
Jane Skinner: DC, Jane Skinner, FNC. Would you comment on how the blog alliance is coming along so far? Are you pleased?
DC: Jane, I am thrilled with how we're going. We got started on May 24, and we've got 21 members, with basically no promo. And we've got some super blogs joining in. That gives you an idea of what's out there. Yes, you there, sir. You without the press pass on ... Yes, you.
Dan Rather: Mr. Cutter, Dan Rather, CB ... er ... 60 Minutes II, er, reporter-at-large. I have been doing some investigating and have come up with a troubling bit of information that I would like for you to address. First, the strange timing of yesterday's Instalaunch in advance of today's press conference, and after you had delayed the presser one day, has a lot of us wondering ... is Glenn Reynolds plotting with you to subvert the Federal Election Commission and McCain-Feingold? Here, I have documents that were faxed to me yesterday that indicate that Prof. Reynolds was actually trying to promote McCain's opponent. Do you have a comment, sir?
DC: Mr. Rather, I know it is unfortunate timing from your perspective, but I assure you ... it was just happenstance. Providence, Rather. Yes, Charles ...
Little Green Footballs: DC, I can see from here that the documents that Mr. Rather just referenced are fake.
DC: Thanks again, Charles. Yes, Brigitte.
Brigitte Quinn: Yes, DC, Brigitte Quinn, FNC. What seems to have set you on this course is the recent Senate compromise on judicial nominees. Could you comment on the compromise and also your view of some of the individual senators involved?
DC: You are right on, Brig. How come Fox asks all the best questions at these things? Amazing. Well, re: the compromise. Some argued that it was needed to "get the Senate moving". This is a joke. The Demos filibustered John Bolton before the week was out. My main problem with the compromise is that it is anti-majoritarian, as are the courts. Such maneuvers are the only way that liberals and moderates can enact their agendas. Pres. Bush won the election, and he won it in part by telling the country to send more Republican senators so that he could appoint conservative judges. Here we go again. More attempts by non-conservatives to undo election results.
Interesting. If they really have so much clout with the people, then they should win some elections.
Regarding the individual senators, I see a slew of personal political calculations at work (i.e, McCain jockeying for position with Sen. Frist, Lindsay Graham jockeying for position on the USS McCain ... red state Demos trying to assuage conservative voters, such as Nelson, Pryor, and Landrieu ... and blue state Republicans such as the Maine senators doing the same) This was not an effort to save the Senate ... or the republic, as Sen. Byrd blustered. Yes, sir ... you. Yes, the one who looks like George McFly. Yes ...
Michael Kinsley: Michael Kinsley, Los Angeles Times. Sir, you seem to have a problem with centrism or moderates in general. This seems to be a ideological witch hunt, a crusade if you will, on your part to rid the body politic of those who think carefully about issues and are not so rigid in their views of how the world or politics should operate. Your comments?
DC: Well, George, that is a loaded question. I would note that people like you in the MSM think centrism is just grand. And just why do you like it so? Because the MSM is dominated by centrists? Don't insult our intelligence. That's why the overwhelming majority of you voted for Kerry, and Terry Moran recently admitted to a pervasive anti-military bias in the MSM.
And you like centrism because the efforts of McCain and his ilk generally help the Democrats. That's a fact. The Republicans have a governing majority, and but for McCain, et al. standing in the way, then things would be moving and shaking in Washington.
On a more philosophical level, many "moderates" or "centrists" seem to assume not only that the left and right are not completely correct, but that they (in particular, the right) is just wrong. And then magically, these sages divine the truth by navigating a course equidistant between Scylla and Charybdis. Ah, but you can't define yourself by looking to others.
Indeed, life requires us to make stands on our own. Where is the compromise with al Qaeda? Some would say that the approaches advocated by the left and right are diametrically opposed, and I agree. One has been right, and the other has been wrong. To go half-way can not be the answer. On many key issues, moderates take an ostensibly popular postion between the two "dangerous" extremes, and in effect do nothing. Some examples? "I am in favor of traditional marriage, but I will do nothing to advance this position ... I support the troops ... I oppose abortion, but it is really a private matter." They say everything and nothing, all at once.
Here's the punch line: Many don't know what they believe, or they are still finding out. And they begrudge those of us who have opinions and brand us as "extremists", particularly if religious faith informs these opinions. I see you look puzzled. Yes, my buddy Jess.
Jess: DC, do you have any advice for me, a certified centrist?
DC: Yes, Jess. To keep your liberal friends happy, just mouth vicious ad hominem attacks, i.e, "Bush is a chimp." You know the drill. Plus, mindless praise of leftist icons is good, as well, i.e., "I think Krugman was fair to that criminal Bushhitler in his column." As for conservatives, just be yourself and you'll be fine. Now, that's interesting, isn't it? When you figure out why this is so ... voila, you'll be right-of-center.
So ... wrestle with the issues of the day in good faith (as you, Jeremy, and my other so-called "centrist" friend JulieB do, and you'll be fine. Enjoy the ride. Keep checkin' in. Okay, last question ... Yes, Patty.
Patty Ann Brown: DC, since Sen. McCain is a war hero, doesn't that make you a bit awkward going after him?
DC: No. I am after his record as a senator. And frankly, what he did in Viet Nam is not relevant to his political career now. I am tired of politicians wearing service to the nation, which is a privilege, as a campaign button.
I am out of here. I got a plane to catch.
Send me more questions and comments, if you wish.