Monday, July 19, 2010

Levitated By The Reporting Of The Day

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for July 19th, 2010


1) You could say it was the rest of a weekend, or that parts of the show that were struggling showed signs of correcting their challenged areas, but the solid performance and sweeping coverage of issues today was a direct result of simply being there to point at some damn fine journalism occurring elsewhere.

Again, it’s the format, where Dana Priest can get a double segment at the top of the hour to go over her groundbreaking article in the Washington Post. Nowhere else can that kind of magnified coverage and roundtable be had on the day of issue.

The other part of this that seemed like an evolving program was that the cast got out of the way of the story as opposed to trying to own it. This reveals a deftness that might not have existed with Joe Scarborough on the set. We have commented previously both ways on this issue, that Scarborough has too heavy a hand, especially on intelligence issues, to stand aside to journalistic endeavor, and also that sometimes his manner of revealing is necessary and without it the story goes by unchecked. This was the former, although we will never know if I’m right. We only know that a Mika-chaired roundtable came to the story with a sophistication that recognized where the journalists were, and where the analysts were.

2) Part two of the progress had to do with the Charlie Melancon interview. There was a real depth to the analysis on why Louisiana is misunderstood on it’s honest disapproval of any drilling moratorium.

There was a great point missed in the interview, that the local reliance on the oil business should put the burden on the disaster not on the oil companies, who need to do what they do, but on the US Government and any department of which is responsible for preventing the necessary work from being done unsafely. The equation that the Federal Government is key to the sustainability of this industry should be a model for a lot of the trouble facing America right now. It’s not that business is bad, nor that it should get a free reign, but that regulation with an eye towards true sustainability and credibility is so necessary that it is likely the most important growth center for government currently.

Listen to the Charles Blow accreditation of the Louisiana position. They need this work, and while it’s easy to criminalize BP, that is short term thinking and we will need to find a way to remove reckless action in an absence of rules and enforcement before we can generally expect different outcomes.

3) Is Biden cheerleading? Probably. But I believe that a Democratic shocker is a very possible outcome in the mid term elections. The message that Democrats have is so completely the high ground, that it actually plays to Obama’s style of 4th quarter heroics. Now the downside of this theory is that this is yet another first time through for a new President who has shown a clear ability to fall flat. History may not be fairly analyzed here where we talk about the mid term elections of the great modern Presidents being backlash driven.

No matter which version is dominantly correct, it has to be said that ‘first time through’ for a President who was never a Vice President is ultimately a factor in why so many of these first mid term elections go so poorly. Yea there is backlash, but why is there backlash? Because while Obama is getting the big things done, he is befuddled by the little things, seemingly on a daily basis. That is the sign of those oft-mentioned ‘speed of the game’ issues. He isn’t the only one to fall victim. And the American voter is proving to be ultimately one dimensional in their quick read of events. These are bad omens.

But the likelihood of the Democratic shocker is bolstered by a couple of very important events: the holding of the high ground and the ability to paint the accurate negative message around the do-nothing Republicans, and the continued underestimation of Nancy Pelosi. What do you need to win? Money, manifesto, rectitude. John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi? One of them has it all, the other maybe one, maybe one and a half on a good day with ample sunshine.

That is a referendum of such disproportion that it could ultimately sway some stuff unexpectedly.

That is all for today, see you tomorrow.

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