FWIW I have never understood the self-congratulatory pride some people take in claiming that static should be exclusively practiced for ages. If you so please, go ahead, but why imply that other approaches are inferior?
Just to be clear, my teachers have me do static practice of various kinds as a regular part of our training, and I enjoy it very much. I do not understand why flowing or free training must be postponed until the tea leaves read auspiciously.
If there are dojos where static training is never employed at all, I can't imagine that being a very good idea either, and if that's what Lee and James are decrying then I agree.
It seems like the internal power folks draw from Chinese martial arts a concept of "soaking in" ki through a certain kind of practice, and perhaps the kihon training is a way to do that same type of thing, just without solo work and putting the mind in charge and things.
So I am not really criticizing the approach that James and Lee are advocating, I just disagree with the idea that this is "O Sensei's Aikido" (at best it is Saito Sensei's aikido?) and I really don't think you are going to win any arguments about martial effectiveness taking that approach. I also think its an "Aiki-jutsu-budo" approach moreso than a style that focuses on timing, flow, and using atemi to get people to move.