Taking Requests

Ok, oh scolders, what is it you want us to be blogging about in lieu of discussing a certain Hockey Mom?

There are a number of commenters who have complained about the fact that we at OTB, especially Doug Mataconis and myself, post too frequently about a certain half-term governor/reality TV star/maybe candidate for the GOP nomination who-shall-not-be-named.

So to those (and whomever else would like to make a suggestion):  what is it that you would like us to be blogging about?  I can’t guarantee that I or my co-bloggers will respond to your requests, but maybe I/we will.

So, have at it:  what is it you would like me/us to write about the next time we have the urge to write about She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

And yes, while there is some sarcasm sprinkled over this post like so much fairy dust, I am sincerely curious.

Let the games begin…

FILED UNDER: US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    John Kasich’s amazing all white cabinet.

  2. Bleev K says:

    Don’t change anything!

  3. anjin-san says:

    More music posts. How about “your top 5 album picks”?

    Professional development – “what’s your power wardrobe?” “where the jobs are” & so on…

  4. michael reynolds says:

    More foreign policy, maybe some reviews of political books as Alex Knapp has started to do, maybe something occasionally about the intersection of politics and popular media. And of course if you have some bathing suit pictures of the chick from Modern Family . . .

  5. michael reynolds says:

    And one other thing; I’d appreciate some foundational stuff on the main bloggers: what you believe, why, how you got there, etc…

  6. Richard says:

    I don’t know. Ever since James Joyner took a break from writing, there has been a change in tone. This site used to be my choice for classical liberal commentary and a centrist perspective on events.

    I can’t ask you guys to change your political leanings, but perhaps you can change the tone of your articles to at least sound more reasonable.

    Joyner and Mankiw are some of my favourite commentators on the centre-right.

  7. @Richard:

    A sincere question, could you provide an example/elaboration of:

    but perhaps you can change the tone of your articles to at least sound more reasonable

  8. @Michael:

    Dave Shuler is specifically going to make an effort to increase the foreign policy blogging and I think the rest of us are interested in doing so as well.

    Can help you with the pic request, however.

  9. How about unicorns? You could, for instance, write about Twilight Sparkle, who abandoned the royal court of the Celestial Pony Realm so that she could live among the rural residents of Ponyville, eventually becoming their new leader.

  10. Conor Friedersdorf says:

    Gents,

    I’ve love to see you grapple with something I’ve been pondering. Sometimes when I blog a lot about Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin, I think to myself, in a way this is unfair to the right: I’m focusing on its least thoughtful voices.

    Other times I’ll write about Ross Douthat or David Frum, and grapple with what they have to say. But right-leaning readers complain that they aren’t really conservatives, while left leaning readers say, “Why should we grapple with their ideas? They have no influence. The choice in the real world is between us and Rush Limbaugh, not us and Ross Douthat.”

    Obviously it’s often possible to write without regard for who is a legitimate voice of a political or ideological coalition.

    Still, I think the question I’m getting at – perhaps poorly – is sometimes relevant, and I don’t have any good answers.

  11. anjin-san says:

    > change the tone of your articles to at least sound more reasonable.

    Show us an example of something that is unreasonable…

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***More music posts. How about “your top 5 album picks”?***Bring back the best song of the year contest, and start in the 20’s so Harry,Sam and John can join in

    ..

  13. epistorese says:

    Re: Conor’s comment

    Is it possible that the reason that Rush is the 800 pound gorilla is because everyone believes that he is? IF Palin, Limbaugh, and the like are “the legitimate voices” of conservatism, then conservatism is going the way of Lyndon La Rouche and his followers. It may take some time, but the result is inevitable. With that situation, bloggers owe it to the blogosphere to consider other voices–not as spokespersons for conservatism, but as voices that have ideas that deserve to be heard. Once upon a time–long, long ago, and in a galaxy far, far away–Rush Limbaugh may have been one of those voices, but he has spent his intellectual chi now and has nothing left to say no matter how many dittoheads still listen to him.

  14. Jay Tea says:

    A couple of suggestions.

    First, write something positive. Say something about a politician or a program or a policy you actually like. (I’m not so good with this one, either.) It’s a hell of a lot harder to defend something than attack.

    Secondly, in a related vein, try saying something nice about Palin. She’s hardly the embodiment of pure evil and is utterly without redemptive value. Hell, I’ve even been known to say something nice about Obama on occasion. (Although I did have to wash my mouth out with bleach after.)

    It’s hard to take too seriously the 95th edition of Palin’s political obituary, where each time the subject is how utterly irrelevant she is…

    J.

  15. Gerry W. says:

    epistorese,

    I used to listen to Limbaugh and at one time he had a TV program and he had the goods on Clinton in video. However, he lost me when he did not bring up the shenanigans of Bush. Today, they all sound the same from Palin to Hannity to Limbaugh. Tax cuts, cut spending, gun rights, the constitution, and God and country. I had used to think that republicans was a party of economics, but they are just a party of ideology. I have talked many times on globalization, and it is globalization that is our biggest problem and it has to change the way we do things now and into the future if we want to preserve the middle class. The republicans are back in the dark ages as well as the democrats.

  16. @Jay Tea:

    Do you see any irony in bringing up Palin and wanting a specific type of Palin post when you are one of the ones who complain about the Palin posts? 😉

    Also, to this:

    It’s hard to take too seriously the 95th edition of Palin’s political obituary, where each time the subject is how utterly irrelevant she is…

    I really don’t think that I have ever declared her dead politically (save in the ultimate sense that she will not win the presidency) and I have never, to my recollection, declared her irrelevant.

    I really don’t want to turn this into another Palin thread, but I would like criticism to actually be on target.

  17. Jay Tea says:

    Steven, you wrote your piece referring to both your and Doug’s predilection for Palin pieces, lumping them together. So my comment was not aimed exclusively at you, but the collective OTB authorship. And I will also confess to a bit of hyperbole there — discounting this article, your front page has no less than nine articles that have “Palin” in the title:

    Sarah Palin Testing The Waters In Iowa? Republicans Getting Nervous?
    Doug Mataconis

    New Poll Numbers: Huckabee-Romney-Palin Top the GOP, Obama at 54%
    Steven L. Taylor

    Sarah Palin Unfavorables Reach Critical Mass
    James Joyner

    Sarah Palin Responds To The Response Over Her Response To The Arizona Shootings
    Doug Mataconis

    Poll: Obama Gets High Marks For Arizona Response, Sarah Palin Bombs With The Public
    Doug Mataconis

    Diagnosing The Odd Relationship Between Sarah Palin And The Media
    Doug Mataconis

    Kristol on Palin’s Speech (and Hume on her Presidential Ambitions)
    Steven L. Taylor

    Poll Shows Palin Speech Helped Her Image (or Did it?)
    Steven L. Taylor

    ALL of which are negative towards Palin. Even the first one, where Doug’s subtitle is “Despite a bad week and a half, there are still signs that Sarah Palin is at least looking at a run for the White House in 2012. Which may be why some Republicans seem to be getting worried about her.”

    So yeah, I exaggerated a little, for humorous intent. But it was solidly based on reality — the reality you and your colleagues have created.

    Deliberate or not, that’s how you’ve set it up. Don’t complain when your readers note the high number of anti-Palin stories and comment on it.

    J.

  18. Smooth Jazz says:

    “There are a number of commenters who have complained about the fact that we at OTB, especially Doug Mataconis and myself, post too frequently about a certain half-term governor/reality TV star/maybe candidate for the GOP nomination who-shall-not-be-named.”

    More balanced polling data and your balanced assessment of that polling. As I just indicated on a another thread, all I see here is superficial analysis of Pro Obama polls, and why all that indicates he is a shoo in for 2012. Unless you guys are completely in the tank for Obama, I don’t understand why you buy all the Pro Obama media polls – without pointing out to your readers the possibility that the media is trying to push a “message” (ie that Obama is unstoppable.)

    I am NOT suggesting that polls that generally which do not have a pro Obama slant, like the Rasmussen & Gallup Daily polls, are correct either. Moreover, polls this far out often don’t mean much – except in the case of candidates who we know cannot possibly win in 2012. But a more critical look at these pro Obama polls, their hokey Dem heavy samples and the like, would be something that would be informative.

  19. @Jay Tea:

    I fail to understand how a story about how Palin is one of three GOP candidates in the double-digits is “negative.” You are going to have to explain that one to me.

    My position on her Tucson-related speech, which is the subject of two of my posts above (as well as several of the others) are accurate insofar as the speech she gave was a missed opportunity and has not helped her public image. Sometimes “negative” is also true.

    However, I will point out that in an open invitation to raise topics other than Palin to discuss, you are bringing up Palin, which rather blunts your criticism that we have too many Palin posts.

  20. DMan says:

    I’d like a front page guest post by Smooth Jazz detailing the methodology and bias of different polls. Maybe you could get a response post from Nate Silver.

  21. c.red says:

    As one of the people that mentioned the lack of topics lately I should put something out here:

    I like Dave Schuler’s Foreign Desk idea, and while Dave has excellent posts other opinions/ commentary would be welcome as well. There is a fairly major state visit going on with China right now that I don’t recall getting a major post. There have been some excellent discussions here in the past regarding US/China relations. Speaking of China, I think I saw somewhere that they may be getting a major aircraft carrier soon and did test a stealth fighter recently. Earthquake in Pakistan, Floods in Brazil. US relexing travel restrictions to Cuba. On-going stuff about European Union… Tunisia, Southern Sudan.

    Domestically we have a possible rupture in the Republican party regarding cutting the budget and – I see there is an article I haven’t had a chance to read yet on that one. A major bomb threat averted in Washington. Any number of educational initiatives through out the country that I would think would get a glance and a mention. Perhaps I missed it, but no real analysis beyond ‘they did this’ regarding the House repealing Healthcare…

    I would also echo the call to put stuff out there that isn’t as topical but interests you… I seem to remember a very interesting discussion on the difference between single malts and blends several weeks ago. And over the last several years any number of relaxed one off articles of that nature… I may not recall those very well, but they have promoted a sense of community here and the uncontroversial stuff often shows how similar the habits some of the more contentious readers actually are.

    Again, I realize this is purely voluntary on all the authors part and I support the format. I have not said thank you recently for an excellent on-going efforts to all the authors, particularly to James Joyner for maintaining this site.

  22. tom p says:

    I second c.red and also liked Jay’s request to…

    >>>First, write something positive. Say something about a politician or a program or a policy you actually like. <<<

    He's right about defense is harder to play than offense

  23. Gerry W. says:

    I also want to commend James Joyner and all the others for maintaining this website.

    Of note. I see Jeff Immelt will be on the board in the White House. Seems like GE will and has been having their fingers in the cookie jar.

  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    Bristol Palin, please.

  25. Franklin says:

    1) Geert Wilders
    2) Criminal Justice Reform
    3) NFL playoffs?

  26. Jay Tea says:

    OK, Steven, I’ll grant you that one. (Especially after reading the first few comments… *wince*)

    But you gotta grant me the other eight.

    Personally, I like reading the Palin-bashing pieces. They are so danged fun to kick around. She really does live in some people’s heads (coughDOUGcough), and it’s fun to watch them just lose it over her. I wish I’d first come up with the term “Palinoia,” because it really does capture the situation.

    J.

  27. john says:

    It’s not that Doug makes too many Palin posts, it’s just that *they’re all the same*!

  28. Richard says:

    Well, I was a bit surprised that authors here were so quick to jump on Palin’s targets as inspiring the Tucson shooting.

    Steven Taylor posted the initial Palin “Target” Graphic post and said “You can draw your own conclusions”. Selectively taking the most negative parts of one person and solely presenting that is disingenuous. If I juxtapose two pieces of possibly loosely connected events and ask you to draw your own conclusions, I am subtly imposing my own perspective and thought process on you by only giving you the information to make that connection and to never question it. Fox News and conservative commentators are just as guilty of doing this.

    Another time is in the article “Credit Where Credit is Due on GOP Promises” where even a supposedly positive article on Republican accomplishments is prefixed by “we at OTB have noted the GOP’s less than stellar record on fiscal issues in this first (partial) week”. That is a clearly partisan meme being propagated here (without citations no less).

    Contrast that to James Joyner who likes to hedge his answers to one side while arguing the merits of the other (https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/gun-control-and-the-tuscon-shooting/)

    “I’m not a 2nd Amendment absolutist.”
    “But I’ve never understood the “assault weapon” rationale.”

    Then in “Whites Leaving Democratic Party”, a piece that can very easily descend into bashing the Democrats, James instead makes forecasts about the demographic reality and changes in the political landscape. Perhaps the article can be taken as a chastising warning to Republicans not to ignore political reality.

    James will readily admit arguments of merit of the other side while arguing his own beliefs on technical merits alone. He disapproves of ad hominem attacks. All in all, I’ve never had the sense from James that he tries to sell his own political leanings on another person. Perhaps I can categorize him as nonpartisan and technocratic in his disposition, and that is the type of tone I prefer.

  29. Well, I was a bit surprised that authors here were so quick to jump on Palin’s targets as inspiring the Tucson shooting.

    Steven Taylor posted the initial Palin “Target” Graphic post and said “You can draw your own conclusions”.

    This is an interesting take. I posted the graphic because it was being talked about on TV. I offered no commentary and sincerely stated “Several people (on Twitter and in various comments here at OTB) have mentioned a graphic associated with Sarah Palin’s PAC that had Gabriel Giffords’ district in the crosshairs. While it has been taken down from the website, here it is for posterity’s sake. You can draw your own conclusions:”

    This strike me as the very essence of (if I may) “we report and you decide” and yet, you seem to be suggesting that my doing so was not posting information and then allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions, but rather was blaming Palin.

    I think you need to explain that one to me a bit further.

    Indeed, the main thing that I said on the subject of political blame was: Let’s Take the Politics of the Giffords Shooting Slowly and the only reference to Palin in that post was:

    I have already seen Tweets about Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and the Tea Party and potential linkages, in terms of rhetoric, to the shooting. Not only is this not the time, such linkages are pure speculation at the moment (not to mention the fairness of such connections are dubious).

    So, where exactly was I ” jump[ing] on Palin’s targets as inspiring the Tucson shooting”?

    The next thing I said on this topic was to comment that “surveyor’s symbol” explanation was ridiculous (and it was) and that Palin missed an opportunity to be gracious even in the face of unfair accusations.

  30. Another time is in the article “Credit Where Credit is Due on GOP Promises” where even a supposedly positive article on Republican accomplishments is prefixed by “we at OTB have noted the GOP’s less than stellar record on fiscal issues in this first (partial) week”. That is a clearly partisan meme being propagated here (without citations no less).

    How is that a “partisan meme”? No, I did not link to the other OTB posts in question (something I try to do, but I assumed that people would have read the other posts). The reference was to Boehner not having an answer to the question “what will you cut?” and the fact that they had already stepped back on their promises to cut X amount in the first year.

    Nothing partisan about that, as they are both simple facts.

  31. And on that latter point, criticizing the fiscal policies of the GOP would be what kind of partisan meme? What is one actually wants to see real and serious attention to fiscal issues? What party would that make one a part of?

    The thing is, it is possible to criticize a party or a politician and not automatically be in favor of the other party because politics is not as binary as many of us think that it is. To criticize the 1 is not automatically be a 0.

  32. Dustin says:

    I think this comment thread proves what was already evident, it’s not really the number of Palin posts people that is making people complain, rather it’s that they don’t like that you’re not fawning over her. More fawning equals less complaining from the gallery.

    However, that said, Palin is comparable to the Britney Spears of the political world. Just as we didn’t need to have cameras following Britney Spears to Starbucks, we don’t really need commentary from Sarah Palin on every topic, but worse yet, commentary from everyone about said commentary. This will continue for some time however I fear, as long she stays relavant to the discussion of 2012.

  33. john personna says:

    More Glenn Beck! JK.

    “Why can’t we have spending cuts” all day every day would be the most productive.

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    LEAVE BRITNEY AND SARA ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. john personna says:

    Funny. I made my Neck joke before seeing “shoot them in the head” – will that get less play than Nazis?

  36. john personna says:

    Darn phone, Beck not Neck

  37. An Interested Party says:

    “This will continue for some time however I fear, as long she stays relavant to the discussion of 2012.”

    Perhaps if the Republican field wasn’t so incredibly lacking, she wouldn’t be getting so much attention…

  38. Steve Plunk says:

    The economy. We are living in an economic upheaval unprecedented in our lifetimes.

    Energy. The single most important part of the economy after labor.

    Unfunded state and municipal pensions. The bomb that could destroy our way of life.

    Education. The thing that might be our salvation if we do it right (which we have not).

    Abuses of government power. The undermining of our democracy and economy.

    That’s five for starters.

  39. RW Rogers says:

    Write about whatever interests you. If you and the other two major contributors here want to continue writing about Palin over and over, and over, again, it is fine with me. Not that most of the seemingly voluminous posts about Palin published here have added much to the sum of knowledge much less insight, but “Whatever floats your boat” works for me as far as blogging is concerned. AFAIAC, Palin’s act, and the antics of those who fear and adore her, got tired long ago, but I understand that’s just my opinion and I imagine your site statistics tell a different story.

    While I think that Steve Plunk gave you some interesting suggestions, most of them require much more thought and research than the average Palin piece. Besides, there’s nothing worse than feeling forced to write (for free) about something that doesn’t really interest you just because some are complaining about what does.

  40. anjin-san says:

    Steven.

    The game plan here is pretty simple. The Palinites want to put you on the defensive. Since you are a reasonable person, you are trying to use reason on them. I don’t think it will work. The thing with reason is it takes two reasonable people to tango…

  41. Steve Plunk says:

    anjin, Palin is boring. It’s like picking up a People Magazine around here at times. It’s not about putting anyone on the defensive but about getting past tabloid passions.

  42. 1. Ron Paul
    2. Gary Johnson