Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Populism Takes A Fall

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for March 2nd, 2010


1) Bravo for Harold Ford Jr. He could have been another in a long line of New York enigmas, but saw that as his fate in time to not have it unfold that way. It’s not a clean break, as is evidenced in the tough worded Gillibrand campaign reaction, but a break nonetheless, and possibly accomplished something for the people in the process. If there is any merit to the competitive force creating a necessary edge in the Gillibrand camp theory, her camp has really run with it.

It doesn’t get any easier, with Mort Zuckerman attempting to be Mike Bloomberg II, ‘this time the US Senate is toast’. That message has some merit. I think the way to Mort’s achillies heel is his prone-ness to distractions like the perpetual Israel crusade. It might show that Mort is human and subject to having complexities dilute functionality like the rest of us.

But Harold, although he was still in that bad guy Robocop mode this morning, is back and has a bright future probably in Washington as part of the inevitable revamping of the Obama administration. That seems like an obvious move, but don’t take that as any support from the middle for such a move, as he would represent the wrong side in the Wall Street checks and balances conversation. And didn’t the wrong side just win another battle against the people’s business yesterday with the poaching of another senior Treasury executive by the lobby community. And didn’t exultant lobbyists issue a press release about how they own that much more of the White House as a result?

4 straight administrations poached by Cypress?

2) Melissa Harris-Lacewell will need to learn that it’s not nice to use those pesky articulate facts and comprehensive strategies of popular division to unseat Joe Scarborough as the people’s non wedge Republican. I mean cat’s in Utah reacted like an earthquake was imminent as the defensiveness bubbled out of Scarborough’s every pore.

Lets line this up so the record is straight.

Mr. Scarborough trots out a populist friendly concept that wedge issues get in the way of vetting leadership qualities. That people use a person’s stance on Abortion to decide their vote rather than whether they might be effective at the complex business of running government.

Melissa comes back with the national strategy by the Republican party in the south spanning 3 decades to use those issues to separate middle class southern whites from their own economic well being using the church and abortion as the chisel.

Mr. Scarborough at this point annexes the conversation like the US annexed Hawaii, claiming even a gay couple would prioritize the economy over their equality, oops. I couldn’t have shone a light on the hypocrisy better myself. But wait there's more, Mr. Scarborough pressed forward that too much focus on social issues is the likely cause of the Post-Katrina governmental failure. That’s a nice way of saying it’s your own fault, you victims with convictions.

Let’s not mince words here, I agree with the premise of Mr. Scarborough’s argument, that we should look past wedge issues and choose the leader most capable of governing, a task beyond the complexity comprehension of most Americans. However, trust is an issue. Whether it’s Senate versus the House or Joe Scarborough and Mitt Romney making campaign promises, there is not enough faith in words to believe that the resultant action won’t be erosion of Roe v. Wade and an ignoring of American women’s strong support of the principles of the Supreme Court decision, once the pols are in office and drunk with power. So unless you want to make a legally enforceable written contract with the women of the United States, or the gay married couples of the United States or with Charles Darwin, forgive the American people for not believing in your ability to separate yourself from this issue. Forgive the American people for deciphering the code of “it’s not a federal issue” as a mantra of repeal Roe v. Wade.

And that jab by Harold about Melissa’s support of the health care bill being in contradiction of women’s reproductive rights is all the proof you need that unless it’s in writing, governing in spite of the wedge issue becomes impossible.

3) Senator Jim Bunning is doing the Democratic party a favor. He is poster-izing hypocrisy, obstructionism, and by the fact that he follows Alabama Senator Shelby so closely in a transparently self serving move, he shows the entire Republican party as lockstep in opposing progress or governing, all for political gain.

There is no doubt that the fundamental point that Bunning is opportuning upon is relevant. We can't afford to keep charging things on the governments credit card. But you need to have decided that when you were in power to be valid. And the fact that dime store pundits across the country can name 5 points of outright playing both sides of an issue out of political convenience just can’t bode well for a party trying to represent itself as a better manager.

Although early on, it was a watershed moment for Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough came out on the right side of this issue, but left little doubt that he knew there were repercussions of joining the chorus of loud bipartisan criticisms of what is essentially the current central strategy of the Republican party. You will look great in the next "Don't Obey" poster, sir.

You know that the RNC is furious with Bunning (and Shelby). This is the equivalent of the Harry Reid quote factory from a few months ago. It gives people with some momentum a pause. But there is a problem here that these guys want to retire, some of them are already starting their great twilight, and the RNC has zero ability to control the Decemberist Senators, and there are a lot of them.

Thats all for today, see you tomorrow.

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