As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Valerie Jarrett @NetrootsNation

Baratunde Thurston starts off with "Wikipedia describes your office as..." This is an online media conference, isn't it?

Jarrett is trying to describe what she does, and frankly I still don't much understand it. Sounds sort of like she's a gatekeeper at the White House.

...So, Jarrett says that the reason Obama ran for President is that he wanted to move away from the nasty tone in Washington. And here we are, with a nastier tone than ever. You really cannot just tsk-tsk and demand other people to "be nice." She is correct that there have been literally thousands of health care town hall meetings where civil discussion has taken place, but the media is more interested in the yelling and screaming. But surely they should have known that in the White House beforehand. They waged a campaign with the same media focusing on the same ticky-tack bullshit. The media have not been a legitimate arbiter of political debate in as long as anyone can remember. Expecting civility and some Republic of Solon where the merit of ideas rules is simply nonsensical.

My attention is waning with this interview, because it's pretty fluffy. The only thing close to breaking news is the line she just said, "The President wants the public option," but that's not necessarily a blanket statement and a dodge from the question about whether he would veto a bill without it (which he clearly will not).

...On the question about repealing DADT and DOMA, Jarrett commits to repeal (we've heard weasel words like "change" in the past), but she says that the DoJ was in an untenable position of having to defend DOMA, when that's not true and certainly does not justify the hostile brief put out there.

This is getting a bit more heated, as Baratunde challenges the President on civil liberties issues. Jarrett has the kind of robotic responses to all of this, the "we have to balance defending our country and keeping people safe" responses, the "we're only six months in" stuff. This could have been printed out as a script weeks ago.

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