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Election 2008: Conservative Netroots

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Erick Erickson
Managing Editor, RedState
Thursday, September 4, 2008; 12:00 PM

Erick Erickson, managing editor of conservative group blog RedState, was online live from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at noon ET to discuss Republicans' online efforts during the 2008 election and his work at the convention.

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A transcript follows.

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Harrisburg, Pa.: Gov. Palin wins most deserved credit for raising a child with Downs syndrome, but many conservatives have favored reducing spending on public services for people with disabilities. How can conservatives assure people with disabilities that there the services they need will be funded?

Erick Erickson: I think the GOP needs to come up with some policy proposals. If you talk to a lot of conservatives, they are still upset the current President ran on the issue of adoption and never did anything with it. I think Palin can shape the policy effectively and publicly.

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Red State: One of the things that I found unsettling last night was the repeated condescension towards Obama's time as a "community organizer." That came across as pretty desperate to me, to essentially ridicule a person's efforts at the community/local level. How did you feel about it?

washingtonpost.com: Community Organizers Deserve Respect (RedState, Sept. 4)

Erick Erickson: I think that this would not have come up had the Obama campaign not first ridiculed Governor Palin for being mayor of Wasilla. The Obama campaign chose to fight on that turf, comparing his "community organizer" background to her as Mayor. I have to tell you, being a city councilman, I think Palin is right. There is nothing tougher than municipal politics.

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Claverack, N.Y.: There are two pieces of conventional wisdom floating out there: one, that the GOP won in 2004 with a "turn out the base" strategy, and two, that that strategy can't win in 2008 because the GOP base isn't big enough anymore. Do you agree? If not, why?

Erick Erickson: I would have to agree and disagree. LOL.

I agree that the base is smaller in 2008 than in 2004. I would disagree that it cannot be done again because the base is mostly smaller due to disenchantment with the GOP.

I think the Palin pick can re-enchant the base and expand the base of voters, thereby increasing the GOP turnout models. Already we're seeing the number of voters identifying themselves with the GOP going back up.

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Austin, Texas: I understand that Schmidt's attack on the tabloids and mainstream media is an attempt to tie the mainstream media to the tabloids in people's minds and thus discredit any bad news that might come out about Palin as a smear campaign. That said, isn't it dangerous for him to give the mainstream media a reason to report a story it probably would have left alone otherwise? Furthermore, given the Enquirer's recent triumph in the field of who slept with whom, won't a lot of folks think "hmm, well they got it right with Edwards"?

Erick Erickson: I think the media has crossed a line with Sarah Palin. For the first time in a while, most of the significant campaign rumors started in the media and flowed to blogs, instead of the other way around.

Take, for example, the rumor that Palin might leave the ticket. That started with pundits on television. The media kept up the speculation and it flowed to blogs.

Now CNN is reporting the Enquirer story. The media is saying, "hey, they got it right with Edwards, so let's report this" despite having ignored the Edwards story. The story is, I'm confident not true.

If you want an example of how low the media has descended, consider this: yesterday CNN anchors openly pondered whether John McCain was checking out Governor Palin's butt.

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U.S.: I noticed that there was no mention of George W. Bush or Richard B. Cheney last night. I understand this is about the future, but it seems kind of strange. The GOP talking points can be a bit much. Also, what happened to the hunt for Osama bin Laden?

Erick Erickson: Yes, the GOP is doing its best to move beyond Bush and Cheney. Honestly, though it is not frequently reported, much of the GOP base, though they hold Bush and Cheney in high regard, is tired of the administration and ready to move on.

As for OBL, the hunt, I'd think, continues in secret, but OBL is so marginalized now, there are bigger fish to fry in the war.

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Philadelphia: Your web site published a very reasoned questioning of the Palin candidacy this weekend, but the warning seems to have fallen on deaf ears among those on the right. Are you concerned that Sarah Barracuda's negative tone and mocking sarcasm will backfire among the thinking segment of the broad electorate, just as Spiro Agnew's attacks on the lefties and the news media only hastened the decline and fall of the Nixon administration? Who among the conservative right will sound the alarm while there's still time to persuade Palin to withdraw for the good of her family and the party?

Erick Erickson:90% of the base loved the speech and though the jabs were right on the money. There are a few sour grapes out there who wanted *their* guy to get the nod. They'll either keep being bitter or move on to embrace Palin like the rest of us have.

And you wouldn't be asking the second question were Palin a man.

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Philadelphia: President Bush at first wanted to get to the facts of how leaked confidential information, and now he has commuted the sentence of the person found guilty of doing this. This appears to a contradiction that requires explanation. Do you see a contradiction? If so, what do you see as the explanation?

Erick Erickson: The investigation into Scooter Libby was a partisan witch hunt. He was finally convicted of a charge that did not cause the original investigation. In fact, the original investigation found that no one had broken the law in revealing Valerie Plame's identity.

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Princeton, NJ: On the previous chat, Paul Kane said: "I don't think having a 17-year-old pregnant daughter makes her a hypocrite." It's not having the pregnant daughter that makes her a hypocrite, it's all the pious statements about morality, about waiting until marriage, and about only funding abstinence programs. It's Dan Quayle damming Murphy Brown. It's statements about her daughter's "choice" when she wants to deny others "choice." It's saying you are "pro-life" when study after study shows that making abortions illegal does not reduce the abortion rate, it just kills more woman who have to get back-alley abortions. It's refusing to support measures that do reduce abortions, like condoms, birth control, sex education and Planned Parenthood. That's where the hypocrisy lies.

Erick Erickson: I don't think there is hypocrisy there at all.

The pregnancy was a mistake. It's one that the family will live with.

As to your statements on abortion, birth control, etc. I believe you are substituting your values systems for facts as much as you'd accuse the side opposite of doing the same. Much like global warming, it is hard to take one's world view and separate it from the facts.

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There is nothing tougher than municipal politics: It's tougher than being President?! How big was your town? Small-town governance is nothing at all like national governance.

Erick Erickson: Good question and I should clarify: the politics are tougher at the municipal and county level.

At the national level, politics really is not that personal. At the municipal level, it very much is. If she can thrive there, she can thrive in Washington.

As for the Presidency being tougher, being mayor and Governor is a heck of a lot harder than being a community organizer of one of one hundred senators.

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Fall Church, Va.: I was very disappointed that Gov. Palin did not make a single mention of defending the sanctity of marriage and human life in her speech. This was the first real speech I have seen of hers and I expected much much more after what has been said about her.

Erick Erickson: I think the campaign only had so much they could do. Her life is an example of living day to day honoring marriage and life. We should not think that just because a line was not uttered, it is not believed.

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Arlington, Va.:"There are bigger fish to fry in the war." Care to elaborate? Didn't think so.

Erick Erickson: Well, we have Afghanistan, we have Iraq, we have ongoing covert efforts in Africa, we have intelligence issues in South America. All of these involve serious, significant threats.

OBL is dead already or in a cave hiding.

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Arlington, VA: Erickson says: "If you want an example of how low the media has descended, consider this: yesterday CNN anchors openly pondered whether John McCain was checking out Gov. Palin's butt." Maybe if McCain wasn't offering up his wife for a biker's wet T-shirt contest, this wouldn't come up.

Erick Erickson: yes it would.

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Larry: What did you think of Huckabee's speech? I thought it was awesome, as usual.

Erick Erickson: Compare and contrast Huck with Rudy, for example.

Both deviated significantly from their prepared remarks. Huck came off natural. Rudy came off halting.

It was a terrific speech. The crowd loved it. But he needs to get a new story. The desk story has been used too much.

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In fact, the original investigation found that no one had broken the law in revealing Valerie Plame's identity.: Absolutely false. The prosecutor said that he could not determine if a law had been broken because of all the lies he had been told. Look it up.

Erick Erickson: We could go back and forth on this, but Richard Armitage told Robert Novak and the prosecutor did not charge him. Plame was not, at the time, covert.

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Bridgewater, Mass.: Hey, that was nothing -- the "loyal opposition" of the Serbian parliament devoted its opening session yesterday to ritual curses and traditional incantations against their president (of the opposite party, obviously): May his limbs wither, may his seed dry up, may the sun never warm him, etc. ... I thought we were supposed to be able to expect some red meat from this moose-hunter?

Erick Erickson: If you listen to the left, there was too much red meat last night.

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Washington: Speaking of media crossing the line, did the Fox analyst who wondered if the Obama's fist bump was a "terrorist fist jab" cross the line? Can we agree that this sludge goes both ways and get back to what's really important?

Erick Erickson: yes, that did cross the line.

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Princeton, N.J.: Last night I heard the phrase "winning the war" over and over. I still do not understand what McCain and Palin mean by "winning." What is their objective? Switzerland on the Tigris? A theological oligarchy like Iran, but more friendly to us? Three or four or 20 ethnically cleansed mini-states? Either of the second two seem a lot more probable than the first. More importantly, how can we tell when we have "won"? When the 5 million refugees can go home? When the Christians open up their stores again? When ethnic cleansing in Kirkuk stops and the Kurds give up their quest for a "Greater Kurdistan"? When there is plentiful electricity and drinking water? When most people have jobs? What can I look for to know the madness is over?

Erick Erickson: That one is above my pay grade. ;)

Seriously, I think a stabilized Iraq would be a key to winning and we are very close to having that.

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Seattle: On the idea of sound policy ideas: The convention so far seems to be saying that they will change Washington, but not how. There's an emphasis on McCain's past, but not a lot about where he's going to go in the future. Will that change tonight, or will the focus still be "McCain was a POW and Obama's a liberal"?

Erick Erickson: Kind of like the Democrat convention. I think the point of this, so far, is to point out that McCain has been a real reformer and chose a real reformer as his running mate. Obama, on the other had, chose a guy who's been in the Senate longer than McCain.

I would expect McCain to get into some substance, but rarely do conventions get used as forums for 30 point plans.

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Bristow, Va.: A link to your Web site was not working for this story -- did the teleprompter break during Sarah Palin's speech last night? If so, was the rest off the cuff, or from text in front of her?

Erick Erickson: According to the McCain campaign, during Governor Palin's speech, the teleprompter continued scrolling during applause lines, causing her to be behind where the speech was on screen.

As a result, she had to rely on her notes and memory to find her placing. That's also why, if you look at the prepared text, there are some deviations in lines and stopping points in the speech.

It was not off cuff. But it was notes plus memory.

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Washington: How does the GOP plan to answer the documented fact that Sarah Palin actively sought and celebrated receipt of federal funding for obvious pork-barrel projects, both as mayor and governor?

Erick Erickson: That one is going to be interesting to see. I would say, though, that the campaign could make a good point by comparing and contrasting Palin as mayor with the other candidates. She was, when getting earmarks, taking care of the interests of her community as mayor -- funding was available, so she got it.

It's not like she was spending millions to study fruit flies in France.

But I expect the campaign to mostly take it back to John McCain's record. He, after all, will be calling the shots on that issue.

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Duh: Palin couldn't make a comment about defending the sanctity of marriage because her daughter didn't honor the sanctity of marriage, and she'd be caught in more hypocrisy!

Erick Erickson: Nonsense. The great thing about your comment is how is shows how significantly worried the left is about this pick. If the best you guys can do is scream about her hypocrisy over someone else's decision, you are really up a creek.

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Re: Afghanistan: Thank you for mentioning Afghanistan ... I just wish someone at the convention would. Have you heard it mentioned by any of the speakers? I'm missing some of the earlier stuff (pre-8 p.m.-ish, EST).

Erick Erickson: I think it has been mentioned. I would not be surprised if McCain mentioned it tonight.

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Washington: So, by the Republican's definition, John McCain has had virtually no executive experience, and zero in the past several decades. Are you aware of any discussion of reversing the order of the ticket?

Erick Erickson: Only among the die-hard conservatives.

I have said for months that both Obama and McCain need a governor on the ticket with them. The experiences really are significantly different.

But more importantly, for right now, the way a campaign is run is different for a legislator and an executive because an executive understands that when s/he snaps a finger, the order won't get done ASAP. In the Senate, the order gets done immediately.

Senators don't deal well the bureaucracy they impose on others, and that hurts them in the campaign.

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You said "As for the Presidency being tougher, being mayor and Governor is a heck of a lot harder than being a community organizer of one of one hundred senators.": Beating one of the most recognizable people on the planet (and the spouse of an ex-president to boot) for the nomination is pretty tough, too.

Erick Erickson: Amen.

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San Jose, Calif.: Listening to the GOP's incessant whining about the press reminds me of the Utah Jazz in the 1998 Finals -- while the Jazz kept complaining like babies to the refs, the Bulls kept playing. After the first few games of the series, I was rooting for the Bulls because I couldn't take the Jazz's whining anymore. I'm a swing voter, and the GOP hasn't shown me anything except that they are great at reminding me of Karl Malone and Jerry Sloan.

Erick Erickson: Hahahaha. Maybe a good point. But don't forget a portion of the complaints play for the base.

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Seriously, I think a stabilized Iraq would be a key to winning and we are very close to having that.: What does "stabilized" mean, and how do I tell when we get it?

Erick Erickson: That one really is above my pay grade. Sorry.

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Lack of Diversity?: Why are the delegates to the GOP so overwhelmingly old white people? My wife and I (we are black) caught the tail end of Palin's speech, but every time the camera's spanned the audience, we laughed at the lack of diversity out there. Not only were there not any black people or Hispanics, we marveled about how the delegations appeared to even lack young (30-something) white people. Where were those groups, or are they not part of the GOP big tent of 2008?

washingtonpost.com: In a More Diverse America, A Mostly White Convention (Post, Sept. 4)

Erick Erickson: This is the whitest convention.

A friend the other day commented, "Who says the GOP is the party of the old white guy? Just look around, it's the party of the old white woman."

But, and honestly, can you really blame black Americans for wanting to support Barack Obama? This is historic. It is a milestone. There has been a female veep pick before. There has never been a black Presidential nominee.

I cannot fault black voters for wanting to embrace Obama. And I know a number of black Republicans who are, because of what Obama means to our American history. It is a compelling story.

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Daily Kos or Malkin?: Erick, early this week the news focused on Daily Kos as the source for the Palin baby rumors, but the rumor was in a little diary lost in the bowels of Kos. I first saw the story Sunday morning at Michelle's site, and again that afternoon. In all Malkin had the story front-paged four times in less than 24 hours. Do you think the McCain team realized that one of the most effective ways of dealing with unexpected news was to make it news, and then beat up Kos and the media for being unfair (not that there is anything wrong with that)?

Erick Erickson: I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but keep the timeline in mind: the New York Times referenced the story as did MSNBC because Michelle Malkin put it up the first time.

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Stewartstown, Pa.: You said "the pregnancy was a mistake." You act like it was a "mistake" in the sense of getting the wrong answer on a test. The "mistake" was caused by behavior that Palin and other religious conservatives consider immoral. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that when people they don't like (Bill Clinton, for example) engage in sexual behavior they think is wrong, they act like the person is horrible, but when one of their own does something similar, they say it's no big deal. That's what people are taking issue with.

Erick Erickson: You people really are disconnected from the majority of American society.

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Atlanta: The question about community organizer is this: What did he organize? Who did he organize? Nothing has ever been written except that he was a "community organizer." Many people just want to know what that means. Who paid him? Where did his paycheck come from, or was it volunteer? If a volunteer, how was he supporting himself? If not, did he believe in what he was doing, or was it just for a paycheck (chances are the pay was miniscule, so yes, he probably believed what he was doing). Was he effective? If so, why isn't anyone out there telling us about it?

Erick Erickson: Look for an October surprise on this issue.

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Wait: Rove said Kaine was inappropriate as vice president because being mayor of Richmond doesn't count as experience because it's too small (200,000 people) ... but being mayor of Wasilla is great experience even though it's only 5,000 people?

Erick Erickson: I never heard Karl say anything like that.

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Raleigh, N.C.: In response to a question from Philadelphia, you said: "And you wouldn't be asking the second question were Palin a man." I think it's safe to say that, were Palin a man, she would not be on the ticket.

Erick Erickson: Not true. He wanted Lieberman or Jindal. He couldn't have Lieberman, so he wanted Jindal.

Jindal said no.

Palin is the only other young reformer who has fought her party on corruption issues with Jindal out of the running. In hind sight she makes perfect sense.

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San Francisco: You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own "facts." Plame was covert. Maybe you need to go check with Patrick Fitzgerald again so you don't keep repeating a lie.

Erick Erickson: We'll have to disagree, but you're wrong.

That's also one reason Plame's federal case was just thrown out.

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Poplar Bluff, Mo.: Win or lose, will Gov. Palin be the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2012?

Erick Erickson: Probably not. There are others who covet it desperately and she won't get a free ride to the nomination.

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Washington: Sen. Obama is on Fox news tonight -- how do you think this will play out? Of course O'Reilly will bring up Gov. Palin speech last night...

Erick Erickson: I think it will work extremely well for Senator Obama, but will play for the media, not for new voters. The people watching O'Reilly won't be voting for Obama.

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San Francisco: Senator McCain pledged to run a respectful campaign based on the issues; now his campaign manager says issues don't matter, and all we get are personal attacks. The Democrats took shots at McCain last week, but were careful to respect his office and refer to him as "Sen. McCain." The Republicans did not extend the same courtesy, dropping the "senator" from "Sen. Obama." Your no doubt intentional reference to the Democratic convention as the "Democrat convention" is part of the same pettiness and mendacity.

Erick Erickson: I think this race has become a referendum on Barack Obama as the next Presidency so the campaign will make it about him.

In the process, they'll contrast with him on the issues.

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Re: Local Politics as Tough: You're probably right that local politics tend to more no-holds-barred, and that those politicians tend to have to watch out more closely for their constituents. However, doesn't this create tension between the "reformer" Palin and the Palin who fired people and sought earmarks?

Erick Erickson: Potentially, but I think it goes back to municipal politics being a brass knuckles business. She fired people who wouldn't cooperate on the reform express.

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Washington: Attorney General Gonzales's mishandling of classified information about two of the most sensitive, most classified counterterrorism programs -- big deal or not big deal?

Erick Erickson: Alberto Gonzales and Condi Rice are probably two of the worst cabinet secretaries to ever be appointed in the history of the Republic.

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What Karl said:"I never heard Karl say anything like that." You should have watched "The Daily Show" last night -- captured in all its glory.

Erick Erickson: Much appreciated. I will.

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Austin, Texas:"Now CNN is reporting the Enquirer story. The media is saying, 'hey, they got it right with Edwards, so let's report this' despite having ignored the Edwards story. The story is, I'm confident, not true."

Wait just a minute -- nobody in the mainstream media reported this story until the campaign trashed it in a statement and lumped the mainstream media in with them. That's a fact. It wasn't just reporters asking questions and the campaign saying "we're not going to dignify tabloid reports with a response," it was an actual response in the form of a campaign statement e-mailed to reporters by Steve Schmidt.

Since when did what the campaign says on the record become off-limits? It's almost as if Schmidt does not understand (or selectively chooses to ignore) the very big difference between reportage -- the act of asking questions to find out what there is to be reported -- and the actual publication of stories. Reportage by the mainstream media is done in the background until a story is ready for publication. On blogs and for some diarrhea-of-the-mouth pundits, it is done publicly, -- but because they're not reporters, I think it would be unfair to call that reportage.

Erick Erickson: You and I will disagree on some of this, but keep in mind that a good portion of this plays out well with the base of the GOP that already thinks the media is out to get them.

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My Favorite Part: When Romney said "throw out the Washington big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin." Er, duh, conservative Republican George Bush has been president for nearly eight years.

Erick Erickson: GWB has also been big government.

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Bethesda, Md.: Why did Jindal turn down the vice presidential slot?

Erick Erickson: He thought it'd be bad form to have just been elected Governor of Louisiana and then immediately jump into a Vice Presidential campaign. He *wanted* to be Governor. Veep? Not so much.

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Evanston, Ill.: Hey Erick, I am a political junky, but I apparently missed Jindal declining the vice presidency. Where was that reported? Thanks.

Erick Erickson: You'll need to google it. I know it from the Governor's office myself, but it has been reported in the media.

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Follow-Up to Diversity...: You answered the Black/Hispanic question, but why the lack of young (thirtysomething) white people? My wife and I didn't see any of them either. Where were the College Republicans, young Chamber of Commerce members, young GOP staff members, etc.? The image of the GOP came across as old, and with John McCain at the top at 770-something, it only solidifies that image.

Erick Erickson: John McCain does not resonate so well with the college demographic. I expect the youth vote to be energized by Palin though.

Likewise, you've got to keep in mind, that most delegates are long time party activists and not necessarily reflective of the base. It takes years of involvement to get a slot as a delegate to the convention.

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Bethesda, Md.: Where is Dick Cheney during this convention?

Erick Erickson: The undisclosed location getting ready for his hunting trip with Sarah Palin.

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Tuckahoe, N.Y.: Who are the heavy hitters behind McCain? Who would be the Cheneys, Addingtons, Rices, etc., if he were elected? Are there any neoconservatives in potential positions of power? What group is "in power" with Bush that is going to be "out" with McCain?

Erick Erickson: The Rumsfelds of the world and Cheneys will be out with Bush. The young party reformers will come in with McCain.

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Fair's fair...: I'm a liberal, and I think much of the reporting we've seen on Gov Palin and her family has been unfair, sexist and disgusting ... but I have to ask, if Obama had a pregnant unmarried teenage daughter, would Fox and the right-of-center blogosphere have taken the same "it's a private matter" approach that they're pushing now? I don't think so -- let's just agree that there's plenty of slime on both side.

Erick Erickson: There is plenty of slime on both sides. As for me, the story would still be off limits. They aren't running for office.

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The Nielsen Families : We're all on fire here, for and against the governor of Alaska, but what about the average Joe? The TV ratings on the convention, to date, are pretty bad -- worse than those for the Democrats -- and tonight McCain is up against the Giants/Skins game and Obama vs. Bill-O. Are they worried that this convention is being held in secret, except for the tabloid coverage of the governor's interesting family life?

Erick Erickson: It would not be a bad thing for lots of people to have seen Palin last night and few see McCain tonight.

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Seattle: Mitt Romney, after blasting the media, blasted the elite northeasterners, and then said that McCain would change Washington from liberal to conservative. First, a millionaire Massachusetts governor is kinda the definition of elite northeastern, but also, hasn't Washington been under conservative control for at least six of the past eight years?

Erick Erickson: It wasn't the greatest speech Mitt has ever given.

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St. Louis: After tonight's town-hall, folksy, fiery speech from The Man Who Would Be King, do you really think the biggest battle is a referendum on Obama/Biden, and do you believe that Palin can survive the paparazzi-style inquisition to possibly make a tiny difference in what shapes up to be a nail-biter of an election? Are your toss-up states Missouri, Ohio, Florida and Colorado and/or Georgia?

Erick Erickson: I think it will continue to be an Obama referendum and I think Palin will continue to impress.

I agree with your swings, but take out Florida and Georgia. Add Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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Life and Marriage:"I think the campaign only had so much they could do." Palin not mentioning right to life or marriage being between a man and a woman because "they could only do so much" is a lame excuse. These are the overriding social issues of our time. She's a phony.

Erick Erickson: I suspect you are to the left of Palin if you are that adamant that she needed to say something, given her background.

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2012: Look, I like Huckabee, but he ain't gonna win. The rest are duds, except for Romney who turned himself into a dud in 2008. If he can't come back, it's Palin's race in a much better Electoral College map for the GOP.

Erick Erickson: I'd support her. But there is Jindal too.

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Erick Erickson: Alberto Gonzales and Condi Rice are probably two of the worst cabinet secretaries to ever be appointed in the history of the Republic.: Wow. Agree or disagree with them as individuals, you've just trashed two high-profile minorities of the Republican Bush administration. I guess you weren't counting on their votes anyway.

Erick Erickson: Objectively, he was a terrible AG and the Russian expert at State has failed to really deal effectively with Russia.

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Big government liberals: So, your hero GW Bush turned out to be a spender of drunken sailor proportions, as did your other hero Reagan; the only fiscally responsible president in the past quarter-century was the hated Bill Clinton. Maybe you guys are doing something wrong?

Erick Erickson: Reagan did what had to be done to kill the USSR. Clinton would have been a bigger spender but for the GOP take over of Congress. Remember the government shutdown?

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Seattle: What's your reaction to Peggy Noonan's open-mic incident? As a blogger, does it upset you that she -- and other newspaper people -- tend to look down on bloggers, but she writes something she disagrees with and gets paid more money for it than (I presume) you make?

Erick Erickson: I think she probably needed to be more careful. She's a friend and great person entitled to her own view -- a view that many people share with her, though I disagree with her.

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As for me, the story would still be off limits.: I agree. So we all agree that my sex life, and reproductive choices are my private business, not that of politicians?

Erick Erickson: Absolutely. But then your reproductive choices, if it boils down to abortion, affects another living person, so it can't really be just about you.

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