Monday, September 11, 2006

The Big Question: What is Mark Kennedy thinking?

Posted by Craig Westover | 1:13 PM |  

In response to Eric Black of the Strib, DFL U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar, and Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald granted interviews to the Big Question (Black‘s Blog) about their Social Security positions. Black writes --
I asked for an interview with Republican Mark Kennedy and he declined. Through his spokester, Heidi Frederickson, he said that he will not grant further interviews to the Big Question because I have not been fair enough to him nor tough enough on Klobuchar.
Ahh -- we need a senator with the wisdom of Jesse Ventura.

I can’t fault Kennedy for not wanting to appear in a biased forum. I don’t respond to every lefty blogger that criticizes my columns simply becasue in most cases the level of conversation has proven not worth my time. And if Kennedy feels that way about Eric Black, then he’s justified in not responding. He is also, however, showing poor judgment.

Sure, Eric Black has a liberal bias, but he is also one of the few liberal writers that expresses that bias in a constructive manner. He knows what he believes and that’s what he judges against. His criticisms have value in that they raise issues a conservative ought to be able to address. Refuting Black’s criticism is not the same as simply countering misrepresentations or facing an endless barrage of irrelevant sniping. Black offers the kinds of criticism that forces conservatives to examine and actually defend their positions.

If a senate candidate can’t stand toe-to-toe with Eric Black, can we expect him to “fight for us in Washington”?

In a back-handed way, this is a complement to Eric Black. The blogosphere suffers from a dearth of good liberal commentary. It ought to be encouraged when it exists. Whatever Kennedy’s plan, it would benefit from Black’s scrutiny.