Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Welcoming Ben Domenech

He is Washington Post's newest blogger, a very conservative political writer. He is supposed to balance the neutral journalists in their stable. When the Post was questioned about this odd choice they answered like this:

I noted below that I'd asked the Post for its official explanation of the hiring of Domenech.

Now WashingtonPost.com's Opinions editor, Hal Straus, has sent some answers to our questions via a spokesman, Eric Easter. For your edification and enjoyment, here are the questions, followed by Straus's answers:

Question 1: Was the hiring of Ben Domenech motivated by a desire to placate right-wing critics upset with Dan Froomkin's frequent criticism of George Bush or upset with the recent Dana Milbank appearance poking fun at the shooting episode involving the vice president?

Straus: "When WP.com launched Opinions we said we wanted this new area to be about a variety of voices across a broad spectrum of political and cultural thought. Ben Domenech's Red America is simply another reflection of that effort.

"Ben Domenech brings an original and authentically conservative voice to the site's Opinions area, where we're committed to presenting the most provocative, informed and ideologically diverse policy debate on the web.

"He's an Internet pioneer, an accomplished writer and someone who is willing to challenge sloppy thinking even if, occasionally, he finds it on the GOP side of the aisle."

Question 2: Does WashingtonPost.com have any liberal bloggers who can act as a counterpart to Mr. Domenech?

Straus: "Washingtonpost.com hires writers for their ability to add something substantive to the national conversation. As best as possible, we look for that ability regardless of political labels."

Neat, isn't it? What a liberal blogger might add is not substantive enough?

Let's see what Domenech contributes to the national conversation:

This is a blog for the majority of Americans.

Since the election of 1992, the extreme political left has fought a losing battle. Their views on the economy, marriage, abortion, guns, the death penalty, health care, welfare, taxes, and a dozen other major domestic policy issues have been exposed as unpopular, unmarketable and unquestioned losers at the ballot box.

Democrats who have won major elections since 1992 have, with very few exceptions, been the ones who distanced themselves from the shrieking denizens of their increasingly extreme base, soft-pedaled their positions on divisive issues and adopted the rhetoric and positions of the right -- pro-free market, pro-business, pro-faith, tough on crime and strongly in favor of family values.


While the mainstream media has been slow to recognize the growth in conservative America, smart Democrats have not. Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Hillary Clinton are not alone in recognizing that the unhinged elements of their base, motivated by partisan rage, Michael Moore conspiracies and a pronounced feeling of victimhood have dragged down the Democratic Party for far too long. It's a political anchor apotheosized by the founders of leftist websites Daily Kos and MyDD, whose recently published book on political strategy and the Internet (an odd publication when one considers that DKos endorsed candidates are 0-19 in elections) opens with the sentence "Five years ago, the Republicans took over the government through nondemocratic means." Smart Democrats read this kind of rhetoric and recognize that if they continue to be the party of Howard Dean, the floor may be nonexistent.

I love this balance shit.

Added later: Check out what Domenech used to write a little earlier. Via Eschaton. This is getting very hilarious. Substantive addition, indeed. How does a twenty-four year old without any real experience get a plum appointment like that, hmmm?