Monday, January 18, 2010

At Last, We’ve Found That Defeat We’ve Been Begging For

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for January 18th, 2010


1) I think the show is evolving, and it’s almost sinister how it’s Bob Schrum and Chris Matthews defining the cascading implosion of the Obama agenda rather than a gloatcast from the right. We learned no less than 5 previously unseen factors today. Credit that to the depth of the attempt by the show to go as far as possible to understand the situation on that ground in Massachusetts. We learned that Brown owned the small towns, that those towns were Dems voting for him, we learned that the inside polls called the race for Brown last Thursday based on bellwether analysis, we learned that Coakley is the worst candidate in recent memory, we learned the only hope possible is from missing analysis of gender tendencies with a female candidate learned from the New Hampshire primary, and finally we learned that the disorganization we commented on Friday, actually grew within the Democratic party over the weekend. This growth was best exemplified by another vain use of a Presidential appearance after the insiders called the election Thursday. Copenhagen redux.

Now I typically write this column before I read the competing blogs on the item. So as I idolize the purity that is the Howard Dean version of governing, I am going to guess that he couldn’t be happier about this. Howard Dean hates the health care bill, hates the chances of conference fixing all the cancer in the bill, and loves the fact that we will now have to probably use reconciliation to make a health care mandate happen, and that simplified version of health care that qualifies for reconciliation would do more in 200 pages than the current 2600 pages accomplishes in righting the ship. Go Machiavelli.

{now with more, 3:19pm}

2) The great ironies today are as plentiful as corn in a cornfield. That Coakley is likely a better Senator than Brown, reverse of the two candidates in campaign effectiveness. That it’s Kennedy’s Senate seat that could likely be the death knell for legislature borne healthcare, a second time. That Obama is a great campaigner and unable to effectively govern, amplifying the Coakley phenomenon through reverse example. That a state with near universal health coverage gets to deny the same coverage for the other 49 states so it doesn’t face higher taxes for something it already has.

How does the average citizen feel empowered anywhere in this story? How is it possible that the stripping away of the last vestiges of 'for the people' occur 365 days to the exact day that the supposed reversing candidate was sworn in? One of the words in that landmark sales job in the 2008 campaign was hope. The nation looks at this result and is reading the fine print looking for any protection under the lemon law. The Massachusetts vote has a lot of hopelessness built into it.

3) The finest point of a show that was great for it’s coverage of minute changes in the same exact 3 stories it was covering on Friday, was that this is now the third consecutive President who came to office on a change and outsider mandate and got a full comeuppance. This President is only lucky in that he didn’t get it as quick as George W. Bush and for the same terrible reasons.

On the surface this is a very negative position for that same American citizen to be in. The insiders in Washington can’t be defeated. Mike Barnicle can listen to a Tom Brokaw story about Bank of American being the agent of death in the west coast mortgage trenches, yet remain at a safe distance from the real plight of vast segments of the population while living off of BofA spoils and writing as if he was in those trenches. It’s a gift, really. The worst thing that he could do here is make a call and fix that person’s foreclosure so in that singular moment he has removed himself from the stream of guilt. It’s not Mike Barnicle’s fault that person is in foreclosure while he and Harold Ford pull 7 digit benefit from the bank that’s manipulating foreclosure markets as dynamically as possible for profit. But until we say enough and declare war on loopholes that allow this false populism conflict of interest, we are just being whispered to in our time of dying.

You may not get why, but this is a statement of hope. I am eternally optimistic that we actually need to bottom out to get to the pitchforks and ‘never again’ part of the story. The worst thing I’ve heard in the last decade is how lucky we were that tanks weren’t rolling in the streets surrounding the 2000 Gore election. That was a veiled threat more than a comfort to those of us who witnessed this ‘alternatively’ to the corporate news show version of events.

We need to progress past the current state of affairs where reform is unattainable, and that candidates who threaten the profitability of the shadow elite in the country are beaten into submission or systematically prevented from gaining power. It may take 51 state and federal bankruptcies, and some Achilles heel searches, but I’m optimistic that politicians and corporations will fear citizens again in my lifetime, similar to the fear that the French citizenry can achieve, only bigger, better and healthier.

I think I’ll go move more of my money to a credit union now.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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