Leonard Cohen is on the road performing again.  Although I’ve been aware of Leonard Cohen and some of his music for years, it is only of late that I’ve become a true aficionado.  He is brilliant.  In a seemingly sychronistic way I was today presented with both a New York Times piece on Cohen (On the Road, For Reasons Both Practical and Spiritual) and an invitation from a local Washington DC club to buy tickets to his Washington performance.  Cohen is a master poet and musician with a “golden voice”.  He has also had a profound influence on a generation of musicians.  At 74 there may not be many more opportunities to see this musical giant.   For those of you interested, the tour dates and locations can be found here.   

There have been a couple of comments of late of which I want to make readers aware.  They can be found here and here.  Additional comments are welcome. 

Special thanks to MW of the Divided We Stand, United We Fall weblog for making note of What Should Be in a recent posting of eclectic smaller blogs.  I’ve not done enough to spread the word about What Should Be and so my readership is undoubtedly smaller than it could be.  Finding the time to work–necessary for income–and to write and network the blog has been challenging.  Again,  thanks MW for the mention.

I submitted my resignation this week to the District of Columbia Republican Committee.  It was time.  Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Chairman Robert Kabel.

This letter is to inform you of my decision to resign from the District of Columbia Republican Committee effective immediately.  It is a result of the Republican Party’s continued drift to the right.  It is no longer a party that represents my political views and I do not see the party changing, as it will eventually need to do, in the next decade.  Should it win nationally again in the decade I fear it will be because the Democrats have failed and not because the party has reformed and moderated from its present extremism.  With the Democrats apparently following the British Labour Party’s strategy of actively moving to the center and Republicans continuing to move right, I think the Democrats have a good chance of governing for the next decade or more in the U.S.

The local party has long sought to build its membership in the District.  This will not happen as long as the party is associated with the national party as closely as it is.  To increase our local membership we in the DCRC would have to break radically from the national party in terms of policy.  We appear unwilling to do so.  That so many of our key leadership supported Gov. Romney for president this year convinces me that the Republican Party in the District will not be willing to make the changes necessary in order to grow significantly in the years ahead.

I was also deeply disappointed in the local party’s support of Patrick Mara for DC Council.  Just because a candidate is Republican doesn’t mean he or she is worthy of support.  Mara’s primary campaign, funded as heavily as it was by non-Republican and even non-District of Columbia special interests, was despicable.  That we rushed to support him after the primary when it was clear he could not win and that only Carol Schwartz could was further evidence of the degree to which the DCRC is heading down a wrong and futile path.

In closing, I attach a column by Charlie Cook that was published in the National Journal on January 17, 2009.  It expresses well the concerns I have with the party.  I am convinced the party is going to have to follow a path similar to that followed by the Conservative Party in Britain in order to learn some necessary lessons.  There, it has take them over a decade to learn that they will not win again unless they change.  They have finally changed.  I fear that my Republican Party will need to learn that lesson as well if it is to win again or at least deserve to win again.

 At this juncture I will remain a Republican although I reserve the option of registering as an Independent should the Democratic Party fail under President Obama and an unreformed Republican Party appears likely to win either the Presidency or control of Congress.  In that case, it is my view that the only way out for the country will be electing significant numbers of independents who could moderate the extremes of the existing two parties.  America is a centrist country and the path forward will be one where ideology and party identification are secondary to solving our country’s daunting problems. 

It is my intent to continue to enunciate my perspective on politics on my daily personal blog, What Should Be

Best of luck with your efforts to reform the Republican Party and build membership in the District of Columbia. 


In my posting on Friday I promised more today on President Bush and his Thursday address to the nation.  It’s turned into being a more complicated a piece, one to which I cannot do justice this weekend in the time I have available, with guests in town for the inauguration.  I hope I can find the time to complete it tomorrow.  In the meantime let me communicate in this abbreviated roundup that the crowds and the excitement are indeed both building in Washington in advance of Tuesday’s inauguration.  Crowds were heavy around town yesterday and last night as we ventured out to some of the Washington neighborhoods.  The concert at the Lincoln Memorial will begin in two hours as I write this and there’s a possibility my guests and I will trek over to take a look.  It’s just over a mile from my home and should be a pleasant walk.  The weather has warmed somewhat from Friday’s chill.  We also have dinner reservations tonight in Georgetown and I hope we can get there without encountering chaos on the roads.

I am excited about the next few days.  I am glad of my decision to stick around town.  It will be a historic day if only for the unprecedented crowds and excitement attendant to this particular inauguration of this particular president. 

To close the loop on a story I began I few weeks ago when I suggested that a friend, John Berry, might become Secretary of Interior, here’s the latest.  As we know, John did not get the nod at Interior with Senator Salazar, a Westerner clearly possessing more clout as a sitting U.S. Senator than did an unelected Mr. Berry, got the nomination.  Now, according to a report in today’s Washington Post “In The Loop” column, John Berry is to soon become the director of the Office of Personnel Management.  Don’t count John out at Interior yet, however.  Senator Salazar is unlikely to stay Secretary for an entire eight years and John is showing in taking this appointment that he is a very good team player.  To leave his dream job as the director of the National Zoo to take on responsibility for federal government personnel is an action above and beyond.  With his experience working with his mentor, Congressman Steny Hoyer, for so many years John knows federal personnel issues and will be outstanding in the role.  Here’s hoping that this work and sacrifice pays dividends in many ways. 

I suspect that this weblog will be quiet for a few days as I leave town for the holidays.  I’m flying to snowy New Hampshire this evening for a few days and I suspect I’m not going to have a wireless internet connection, the time, or the inclination to do much writing.  I hope I’ll be back to posting by Monday December 29.  I wish everyone the most joyous of holidays.

Kevin Bliss  

Where do you stand on the political spectrum?  Left, Right, Authoritarian, Libertarian? 

Thanks to MW at the Divided We Stand weblog, I was introduced to a test designed to determine where one stands on the political spectrum.  Unlike most such tests, this one isn’t just focused on left-right but also adds the dimension of authoritarian, libertarian.  The test is by the group Political Compass and can be found here.  Take the test and let me know where you stand.  Try as I might I’ve been unable to paste a copy of my graph into this posting.  By way of description, I am dead in the center (left-right) and 4 1/2 boxes down on the authoritarian-libertarian scale.  My libertarian bent probably explains my historical inclination to support GOP candidates, otherwise it seems I’m about as center (left-right) as it’s possible to be.   

In remembrance of all who have died that we might live in freedom.  In particular I remember my great uncle, H.D. Cheeseman, who died at the age of 22 in August of 1918 and lies buried in the Fouquescourt British Cemetery in France.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae

There is a blurb in the New York Times today under the heading “The Caucus” entitled Casting Blame, by Name.  It talks about the video that has hit the country, apparently, by storm.  I received my personalized copy yesterday, from my sister.  (Thank you by the way for giving my email address to one of my least favorite organizations.  It was probably worth it just to see it, however.)  According to the Times article, as of yesterday, “more than 9.7 million people had sent a version of the video to a friend, relative or acquaintance.”  This all began on October 22.  So, here is my video.  Order one up yourself for a close friend or relative.


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