The Morning Joe Rebuttal For December 15th, 2009
1) If you can’t get Joe Lieberman on the show, At least you can get someone who outranks him. There is just one chair left to fill in the guest ascendancy as Vice President Joe Biden motorcaded through the show today and made most of America realize he should be doing this every week. This is a democracy, a democracy in a tough spot, the leaders both congressional and from the White House are missing a key advocate in their attempts at change by not bringing their agenda to the people in better connection with the new news cycle. The Morning Joe show is a first of its kind destination for this kind of governmental productivity and this citizen would like to see this kind of interaction commonplace.
2) Today is the first acknowledgement of reconciliation not by a guest but actually advocated by the host. Under the guise of “free advice for Democrats” the 900 pound guerilla in the health care debate has begun to swing wildly as it’s not just Lieberman, but a solid teaching moment of this show was the indication of the line of as little as four but as many as fourteen Senators behind him trying to profit at the wishbone. Now that you’ve arrived on reconciliation, you need to extend this thread further as quickly as possible or risk having to explain some key details forensically. Reconciliation has limits in its ability to legislate private industry. It is strictly a utility for items related to the budget, but that includes Medicare. You can open Medicare to 55 year olds but you can’t enact a law to prevent cancellation due to pre-existing conditions on a private insurer.
What follows that key definition is a portent of solutions that could’ve been vetted a long time ago, but we’re here now so let’s get to it. If you like the consensus of the show that its time to take the gloves off and get bloody with the do nothing congress, then maybe the reconciliation option should be a far reaching nuclear option that scares the masses into cooperation. How's this: make health care go forward without delay or else the reconciliation version will just be to remove the three words “at age 65” from existing Medicare. Or how’s this: split the bill in two, vote the non budget related provisions into law and use reconciliation to add in the 55 plus and the public option features unappealing to the 60 vote requirement. It’s there, and there will be new found respect for demands to get things done. I would go further and make the case that this is an important first step towards bipartisanship as it would make disciplined obstructionism like we see in the Republican caucuses less effective.
3) I was furiously looking up all of the elements of Christopher Hitchens rant trying to understand the cryptic humor. Between Wikipedia and the Huffington Post, I think I figured it out, but holy volatile pitchfork! I have sort've kept that guy in the esteemed column for a long time despite his penchant for juvenile dress downs like the one he bestowed on Joan Walsh on Hardball last year, which are outside of my boundaries for debate decorum. But you’re just not going to get that take on things anywhere else, so its worth putting up with just to get the goods. And after reading a transcript to understand the muted mumblings, he is the first person to come on the show and shine two very obvious lights: Palin=Opportunist and Taliban=Pakistani Guerillas. There was more, what ever happened to the Northern Alliance? Their leader was assassinated on September 10th, 2001. Hitchens claimed today that this was the Indian equivalent to the Pakistani Taliban there to provide balance in the region. We could sure use that group now.
It should be added that the last time Hitchens was on the show, Joe Scarborough had one of his “step away” segments he reserves to show up guests he deems too radical. He has done this to Matt Taibbi as well. I take it as a sign of growth that this tactic seems to have subsided a bit.
4) Honestly, I also thought that Joe Scarborough handled the “revisionism” quip from Chris Hayes pretty well. The debate still got cut off, the claim left unrefuted, but Hayes has proven his merit on his obviously progressive agenda, so it was less of a bluster response from JS, or worse, the apocalyptic “I’m Done” reserved for the Max Blumenthal's of the world.
I would like to see some path to having these things hashed out. The math can’t be left incomplete just because a charge is lobbed towards the host. It's about honesty, and you know what, honest people moved closer to full disclosure with what I witnessed today.
That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.