Tuesday, November 01, 2005

RNC Continues Dialogues With Bloggers

[Previously on this subject: Politicos Pay Attention to Blogs; Unprecedented: House Republicans Invite Bloggers; Hastert Blogs, Coburn Listens to Bloggers.]

[EDIT: Welcome Political Teen readers!]

[Great Roundup: Mark Coffey at Decision '08.]

The Republican National Committee keeps on continuing with its ever-important dialogue with conservative and moderate bloggers.
As a quick note, I'm going to mention again why it is so important.
It will be interesting to see if this type of activity [sic - communicating with bloggers and other constituents] continues, and to what extent. If this begins to become a trend (we've seen a small number of politicians pay attention to PorkBusters - but only after receiving notice), we may see a re-shaping of the political world as we know it. I think that whichever party truly latches on to the idea - not through paying lip service, but by truly paying attention to the blogosphere - will become far stronger, and fast. This should not be done irresponsibly, as has been done in the past by Presidents (and others) who too closely followed national polls. But the logical reasoning of bloggers, their analyses, and their sometimes ingenius ideas should not be ignored.
And they're not. Today, a number of bloggers talked with GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman and discussed Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito. Ankle Biting Pundits has a write-up here, including this interesting tidbit:
Mehlman starting out by extolling the virtues of Judge Alito's impressive biography and resume, which you can read here. After perusing it you get the impression that on paper, Judge Alito is even more qualified for the Supreme Court than was the brilliant and impressive John Roberts, and as Mehlman mentioned he is the most qualified nominee in 70 years.
While this immediately begs the question as to why he wasn't chosen before Roberts or Miers, the simple answer is that there will be major fights over his past decisions. His 15 years as a member of the 3rd Circuit will be discussed endlessly for well over a month - something Roberts, with just 2 years of experience, and Miers, with zero, did not and would not have faced.

[EDIT: I left this piece out earlier.] Instapundit makes an excellent point regarding John Fund's article in the Wall Street Journal today. Fund:

As President Bush prepares to make a new appointment to the Supreme Court, the lessons of the failed Miers nomination are still being absorbed.

One that deserves study is how a lightning-fast news cycle, a flat-footed defense and the growth of new media such as talk radio and blogs sank Ms. Miers's chances even before the megabuck special-interest groups could unload their first TV ad. Ms. Miers herself has told friends that she was astonished at how the Internet became a conveyor belt for skeptical mainstream media reports on her in addition to helping drive the debate.

It seems like the GOP is catching on. Ken Mehlman, who waited a week and a half to talk to bloggers last time around, had a conference call with Republican bloggers this afternoon.
And catching on fast. These conference calls are becoming more and more frequent, and with a large number of different bloggers - each with serious questions.

Other interesting tidbits from the conference call:
Erick Erickson from asked what strategy the White House has in place to ensure Alito isn't "mugged" by the Democrats between now and the hearings, as the seemed to be caught flatfooted in reacting to the criticism of Miers. Mehlman said Alito's already making courtesy calls on the Hill and that since Alito was unanimously confirmed in 1989, it's going to be really hard for the Dems to do that to him with a straight face. Mehlman also said the WH has an outreach strategy in place (like the conference call we're on) to hit key states and media markets to get out the message on Judge Alito.
Good, and pretty much the same thing many others have pointed out, including me.

Matt Margolis of Blogs for Bush writes:
Bulldog Pundit asked if the Senate Republicans would invoke the constitutional option if the Democrats filibustered. Mehlman said he is confident the Republican will if the Democrats do filibuster.
I still think the Democrats would be foolish to filibuster, as this seems to be a situation where the public would not back them. They also have minorities in the Senate and House, and Bush is the President for another 3 years. They might be a minority party for a while, and can't afford to not be able to filibuster.

Others on the call: Don Surber; Michelle Malkin; Tim Chapman of TownHall; John Hawkins from RightWingNews; Erick Erickson from RedState.

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