The Morning Joe Rebuttal for March 8th, 2010
1) Really a great job strengthening the lineup to go without Joe Scarborough today. In a first, Willie Geist moves to the JS chair with Mika still on set, and carefully walks the appropriate line between the features guy and the shows coordinator. Its sort of a role reversal where Mika gives up a lot of the coordination job and goes after the ideological high ground. This culminates in Willie leading the charge when Mika too runs off to other activity. In a word or two, it worked, surprisingly, and the show has even more tools to carry three hours than it did Friday.
This isn’t possible without 3 hours stints from Pat Buchanan and Norah O’Donnell. Mika appears comfortable and cognizant with this reality in that she actually hands off to Norah when she isn’t confident she will launch the best inquiry into a subject. I’m satisfied that will result in less meandering, because while it’s a 3 hour show, those 10 minute Youtube friendly segments can be a disaster without clutch questions early to define the debate.
Still, Pat isn’t Joe, and the show leans left when Joe is gone, but more than one viewpoint gets a consistent entry into most debates.
2) The Bai segment was particularly interesting in that it seems like we are really trying to find consensus on where progress will come from. We have spent time on lobbyists, the management of the Obama administration, and the irrationality of the voting population, but to sum up that it’s still the 535 guys in the legislature responsible for their own votes, legacy, response to voters, response to lobbyist, and behavior is an integration that seems not just appropriate, but next level consensus building.
We don’t often hear this type of guest defending the health industry’s right to affect legislation. Admittedly it was self-contrarian, but it’s still a refreshing bit of lucidity saying in a more advanced world there isn’t a ban on lobbying, just a realistic balance between progress and fairness that incorporates all stakeholders in a debate.
Information is so much more efficiently distributed at this point, that there is less of a threat that a politician can hide in a Berlusconi-esque world of effacing media. This process which drives the Fox News type outlets in our world, doesn’t take into account the Opencongress’ and the Wikipedia’s of the world that are fiercely bringing a C-Span type of information to a Google population.
In that kind of informational society, the voter is the editor. They can choose to listen to their ideology sermonized back to them, or they can seek out a lucid truth. They also are forced more and more to disclose on what basis did they come upon their ideology. Their church? Fox News? Jon Stewart? Rachel Maddow? Their union? Their husband or wife? Their employer? More and more, most of us prefer two or more sources and more and more of us prefer provable consensus. This probably stems from the instinctive knowledge that disinformation lives out in the open now more than ever, and before we invade Iraq again, we want to be sure we have access to our own Mr. X to double check the facts on the ground.
3) At risk of violating a principle that I hold in very high regard, the jinx rule, there has to be a little bit of optimism at this point that we are at the threshold of history. No, not because health care is about to pass, or that the Iraqi election is interesting, or that Pakistan is doing it’s part to turn extremism out, or that Iran is not able to effect trouble around it because of it’s domestic turmoil, or that even Mitt Romney is talking carbon tax. It’s the synthesis. The integration of those facts. Is there another 25 year hiatus from combat deployment coming? Will we have health services come to us? Will a fatwa against use of terrorism bring 96% of Islam into the global fold and progress the principle of an open global society?
Of course, there was some attempt to include financial reform in that today on the show. I’m definitely not there, but those other facts seem to be a drag on the ascent of the perception of the value of the gold Krugerrand today in the face of hollow financial reforms. The Euro isn’t ever going to be the same, the US financial reform is hollow, the Goldman’s of the world appear to have gotten away with it and don’t face any imminent clawback, which they clearly should.
But just using the Goldman example here, 9/11 perversely created a global war profiteer world that might be showing signs of subsiding, the health care bubble that currently artificially siphons money from sick people to Wall Street may be at it’s apex this winter and face a different set of prospects, and carbon emission has been an untaxed free for all for every American business for our entire history. Without those things, Goldman will have to find a new bubble to manipulate it’s proprietary siphon as a net result.
That one could say Haliburton is a stock that might have seen it’s best days, that Blue Cross will have to accept assigned risk patients at unprofitable premiums, and that Exxon and Sempra can’t cloud our skies while running green themed advertisements, those are the real set of benchmarks to underpin optimism today.
That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.