November 16, 2007

"What I Would Do If I Weren't So Wedded to the Side of All Things Good"

Justin Katz

It's a curious — somewhat humorous — thing to read a well-meaning and fair-minded progressive attempting to work his way around to advising the other side. Here's Ian Donnis:

One school of thought, popular among at least a few of the posters at Anchor Rising, is that the state's budget meltdown will cause dramatic and long-lasting consequences, possibly including a major political realignment in the Democrat-dominated General Assembly. Meanwhile, RI GOP chairman Giovanni Cicione embraces the rhetorical battle -- as demonstrated by his ProJo op-ed last Saturday -- and he talks a good game about plans to challenge legislative Dems in the 2008 election season.

At the same time, Republicans and their local supporters remain quick to blame Democrats, even though the RI GOP has proven utterly incapable of running an effective long-term strategy.

To blame Democrats for what? In a related Phoenix article of his, Donnis elaborates:

While incumbents certainly enjoy advantages, the Rhode Island GOP has played a leading role in its own marginalization. "The party does almost nothing to support its candidates," West says. "They provide very little in the way of financial support. They're so disorganized there isn't even a coherent platform around which they can rally." Yet instead of recognizing the failure of Republicans to run a competitive slate of legislative candidates in successive election cycles, many party supporters prefer, essentially, to whine about the ruling Democrats on Smith Hill. ...

But whose fault is it that only one party shows basic competence in running and supporting candidates? Since Republicans are seemingly unable to do this, are the Democrats supposed to run up the white flag, like a bunch of good sports?

Maybe he's right. Maybe we shouldn't complain about the Democrats. It could, you know, be our fault. We have been awfully short-tempered lately. We've even been late with dinner a night or two. We left the label on a can of carrots facing the wrong way, too. Maybe we should become more liberal, like the Chafees. Maybe we should put aside core differences among non-Democrats so that we can combine forces (and, I suppose, become more liberal). The Democrat General Assembly is a good leader, and it loves us very much.

Of course, some of us see a continuity (Donnis's word, in a different context) in the ideology that spans from same-sex marriage to welfare-statism to union co-option. Some of us think that the only way forward is to present a substantively different option that will likely not be palatable to our beaten local society until the pain of the status quo becomes unbearable.

Anchor Rising has hardly been an uncritical cheerleader of the state GOP, but we'll certainly not elevate our criticism thereof to a level at which blame for the coming collapse may be deflected from the dominant party to the ineffectual one.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I think the GOP can be more effective if we select the best of the DINOs and do a formal endorsement of their candidacy in the next election cycle. It will drive the "Lynch Mob" crazy!

I will research and provide a list, but I'm sure many of the Anchor Rising crowd knows who I mean.

Posted by: John at November 16, 2007 4:09 PM

Instead of making the Democrats crazy, you might be creating a target list.

Posted by: Jake at November 16, 2007 4:16 PM

John, the Lynch Mob already strongly backs most of the so-called DINOs, like Sue Menard, Ralph Mollis, Murphy, Montalbano, etc.
If you're Republican, do you really want to jump in bed with the likes of Menard (and her henchman John Dionne), Mollis, etc.? They're not just conservative. They're just the kind of corrupt officials you claim you're fighting against.

Posted by: rhody at November 16, 2007 5:22 PM

Donnis is right to an extent. If you put five Rhode Island Republicans in a room, the only thing that is agreed upon is that they don't like Democrats--oh, and that they like to bash one another more than they like to bash Democrats.

Carcieri is the only Republican holding a major elective office in the state today. And he wasn't even a Republican before he ran for governor.

The few GOP state legislator who have gotten elected have done so on their own.

So Donnis is right. Then again, no one can claim the RI GOP put RI into it current position.

Posted by: Anthony at November 16, 2007 5:47 PM

The tiny Rhode Island Republican party has run itself into the ground.
The overpowering Rhode Island Democratic party has run the state into the ground.
Now which will Ian Donnnis choose to write about?
Typical limpwristed liberal! lol
Ian let us know when/if you're going to write anything of weight and substance r/t this state's mounting problems.
Tis fluff!

Posted by: Tim at November 17, 2007 6:44 AM

Ian is as much a journalist as Paris Hilton is an actor.

Posted by: Mike at November 17, 2007 7:54 AM

Tim, I wrote a lengthy piece in June about the state's worsening budget situation with input from an equal number of prominent Dems and Republicans:

Mike, if you want to continue to make such churlish ad hominem critiques, perhaps you could demonstrate "the maturity" to identify yourself. Anchor folks -- Andrew, Justin, Marc, etc. -- any thoughts on this?

Posted by: Ian Donnis at November 17, 2007 10:50 AM

Thoughts on what? Mike?

Yes, I think his comment was churlish and useless. I've said that you're fair-minded in your approach, and I find your writing considered.

In general, I find it doesn't serve anybody's interest to make much of such silly attacks.

Posted by: Justin Katz at November 17, 2007 3:08 PM

But Ian, really, don't you find the almost complete silence of all factions in the RI Democratic Party in the face of a $600 million budget hole just a little bit strange?

Really, doesn't the near complete silence from Caprio, Roberts, Lynch, Lynch, Cicilline, Murphy, Montalbano, Montanaro, Walsh, Jerzyk, or (with a couple of minor exceptions) the poverty advocates bother you a bit?

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to your next big story on "Cornered by the Feds on One Side, and Economic Reality on the Other: What's a Good RI Dem to Do?"

Posted by: John at November 17, 2007 5:01 PM

Here is a clear-cut example of the professionalism of "journalist" Ian Donnis:
Yesterday, Ian posted a hit piece on Carcieri stating
"Carcieri reverses course on Cianci appearance

At 12:40 pm today, Governor Carcieri is slated make his first appearance on WPRO-AM's Buddy Cianci Show."

This post is on Ian's blog:

Yesterday's appearance was NOT Carcieri's first on Cianci's show. He had appeared a few days earlier. Podcasts of both appearances of the governor are available free on the WPRO website:

Ian's capabilities as a journalist can only be scorned when he posts as "fact" slanderous information on the state's highest elected official which can readily be seen to be lies by the most casual of internet users who hasn't spent a day in journalism school.
Donnis is a far-left polemicist who, in his unquenched thirst to promote the candidacy of Providence's corrupt mayor will ignore every bit of scandal and corrupption in his regime, to wit:
1. The doubling of the unfunded pension liability.
2. The crushing property tax increases and proliferation of boarded up
houses-unseen for 15 years.
3. The quiet cover-up of the Marcus Huffman case. A child molestor
left on the police force to rape another teen. Previously CONVICTED of
assault-he was not legally able to possess a firearm. The mayor and
his $200,000 police chief (another East Side Jew-how's that for
diversity-LOL) nonetheless left him on the force to continue his
sexual predation.
4. The pathetic blaming of the Head Start implosion on a mayor who
left office over 5 years earler.
5. The upcoming federal corruption trial of the mayor's brother on
charges of conspiring with yet more of the mayor's corrupt cops.
6. The "retirement" of the notorious John Simmons. A whole 4 years on
the job and he is getting a FULL PENSION, with lifetime COLA's.
7. The complete failure of the public schools as every East Side
hypocrite who "supports the public schools" demonstrates that support
by sending their own kids to private schools.

The only thing I can say positive about this "journalist" is that unlike hypocrite "free speech lover" Matt Jerzyk he has not (yet) banned me from his blog. Otherwise, as a journalist, he is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. He has as much credibility as Kate Brewster or Grace Diaz. Perhaps, with same touch of Leftist Insanity that puts four-times bankrupt on House Finance Ian will one day head the Brown Journalism program?

Posted by: Mike at November 17, 2007 8:35 PM

The last sentence above should read "four-times bankrupt Joe Almeida"

Posted by: Mike at November 17, 2007 8:40 PM

Let the Blame The Media game begin!

Posted by: rhpdy at November 17, 2007 9:43 PM


Very disappointing how you run to all the usual suspects. Kate Brewster? Darrell West? Bob Walsh? Is there a master list of talking head Democrats you media Democrats use Ian? We see the same names also frequently quoted by the media Democrats at the Projo even though Brewster, Walsh and West aren't elected officials and have little if any little impact on anything. Ian there are so many ground breaking/news making things for you to write about in Rhode Island. Why aren't you?


Couldn't have said it better myself. Rhode Island is such a target rich environment for the media yet vast tracks of this state's political and governmental turf is left unscathed by our 'journalism' community. Only one conclusion to draw, they're very protective of their own. lol


Ian's whinefest about the governor talking by phone with Cianci is nothing new. (Personally find the Attorney General sitting in studio with the convicted felon much more offensive but hey that's me)
There is wild jealousy among many in the media towards talk radio. Same in the union community. Read Charlie Bakst column this morning. Can't you picture George Nee and Charlie running around with cartoon in hand? A hilarious visual! Their jealousy has them acting out as 3 year olds. The talk radio medium goes up the union arse sideways because they don't and can't control it in any way shape or form. The union dog is so threatened by talk they've attempted (and failed miserably) to get some of Dan Yorke's commercial sponsors to pull out. Always remember that Democrats love freedom of speech much the same way they love people of color and quality education. The term 'lip service' comes to mind immediately doesn't it? lol
Talk radio goes up the arse of other media because there is big money in it for the talkers as opposed to their much lesser paid old media brethren in print but more importantly because old media (print and tv) can't control the message anymore. Why does it bother other media so much (and it does) when the governor of this state routinely uses the radio airways to speak directly to the people who elected him? Why? Because old media likes to mold and shape and cut and paste "quotes" from elected officials so they can control the flavor and color of the message through their writing.
Talk radio removes their control.
That's why guys like Don Carcieri love the talk medium so much and will go on any show regardless of the political agenda of the hosts. There is no greater union wanker and Democratic party tool in the media than Scott McKay of the Projo. The governor has sat and done radio interviews with McKay on NPR. Why? Because the governor's voice and his words come directly from him and can't be shaped and molded and edited by the likes of Ian Donnis or Kathy Gregg or Scott McKay when in print form.

Posted by: Tim at November 18, 2007 9:09 AM

"Really, doesn't the near complete silence from Caprio, Roberts, Lynch,"

Small correction, John. Far from being silent, the Attorney General's response to the news of our dire fiscal problems has been to chuck us the bird by hiring two experienced campaign consultants at taxpayer expense, thereby also expanding the meaning of the term, "incumbent advantage".

Posted by: Monique at November 18, 2007 12:36 PM

If Carcieri hadn't said earlier that he wouldn't be talking to Buddy, this wouldn't even be an issue. Ian would not be able to call shenanigans on The Don if he hadn't made such a big deal of donning the white hat and pronouncing himself above talking to a convicted felon on-air. The Don done painted himself into a corner here.

Posted by: rhody at November 19, 2007 12:28 PM

He never said he "wouldn't" go on the show. He said "probably not" which is another way of saying "maybe".
With such a weak grasp of Logic 101 you should be teaching in our failed Soviet schools.

Posted by: Mike at November 19, 2007 8:20 PM

Parse if you'd like, Mike. Governor Whitehorse gave every indication he was above talking to Buddy, but then again, he is the ultimate arbiter of morals in Rhode Island, and you, I and Bishop Tobin are not.

Posted by: rhody at November 20, 2007 12:24 PM
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