Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where Is The Howitzer?

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for July 6th, 2010


1) Opportunism is the art of taking anything that impacts the middle class and making it some sort of ‘call to action’ to make that middle class vote in a way that benefits the barons of the status quo.

While it was Afghanistan today, it was also Wall Street and the donation revolt. It has also been the dearth of coverage of the oil spill so as not to upset the corporate advertising base of NBC. It has also been the health care debate.

In each case there was a back room talk. It was a coaching of how to frame a discussion where you’re the good guy, and the other guy is the bad guy, out of things that should be apolitical unless you have a genuine take. This is how a leech finds nutrients for life, not how a leader defines a national role.

First off, Michael Steel is nearing the status of Dan Quayle, the biggest idiot anyone could name who got a job way above god’s pay grade for him. Second, whether Steele has a point or not is beside the point, he wasn’t trying to teach a point, he was trying to teach opportunism. Those on the show who were trying to find the merit in Steele’s original argument, Pat Buchanan, were actually abandoned by Steele himself, because knowing he was just trying to teach how to profit from any political point, but not make a political point, Steele had already backtracked.

2) I am not as obsessed with the human cost of war in Afghanistan as Mike Barnicle. The armed forces are there by choice. In your life’s journey you decide at some point whether you would like to be a warrior and you pursue that path. It’s what you want to do. It is not a free choice. The risk of being a warrior is the honorable death of a warrior. These American kids in middle Asia are not victims. They are attempting to ascend to a level of enlightenment that they chose. If we had a draft, it would be different, these kids that were there because they had sworn to bear arms for their nation, but had not chosen the path of a warrior, would be victims.

I don’t want to get into victims of what, that discussion has been made by this column perpetually. But the size of the force we employ is indicative of the fact that there are many in this great land that heed a calling unto themselves to be our Army.

We might be doing some disservice to this segment of the population by not equipping them with all of the weapons and political will that they deserve, but overall, and especially in Iraq, they were given the ultimate chance to turn the campaign into a victory rather than have disinterested parties extract them for the opportunism mentioned in #1 above.

In Afghanistan, the disproportionate nature of the campaign is disconcerting, but at the end of the day, I am more concerned that the political will that handcuffs the soldier in the field is costing us the chance to finally solve an enormous global problem. No one wants to colonize Afghanistan, we just want the region to stop being a vacuum of lawlessness that exports tragedy and suffering to the rest of the planet.

Our guys on the ground want to be there, they want to finish the job, they want to prove the pundits irrelevant, and we owe them latitude towards accomplishment.

3) It’s a light week, the holiday shortened week, the forced vacation foisted upon Joe Scarborough, the innocuous repeat segments, we’re not gonna solve any problems in the next four days. Unfortunately, the problems are surrounding us, and we have to be equipped to connect them with solutions even when the lights are barely on.

Mika and Mike are perfectly qualified to make that connection, but just watching today, there will need to be an infusion of will. What are you going to do to make the powers feel forced to respond? It’s certainly not with a 3 hour long roast of Michael Steel.

I think the show needs a fire-breather to helm during the Scarborough vacation days. Not a pundit, not someone at great odds with Scarborough’s version of things, but someone who can make a credible statement on current events that antagonizes it’s subject to the point of engagement.

Whether it’s Buchanan’s niche, Halperin’s understated style, Mika’s prioritization issues, Mike’s resistance to engagement, none of the cast put into this had enough fight to bring the nation’s issues to the nation the way the Morning Joe subscriber has grown accustomed.

Lawrence O’Donnell got his own show on MSNBC recently, Spitzer went to CNN, and Hayes or Stein rep another brand. Oh I miss Lawrence, although he has lost it, an act Joe Conason just channeled last week, enough to wonder if he could last through a morning without a ray gun. But in the absence of any of the solutions that starts with the show’s absent host, and continues through a complete absence of lucid conservative moderates, you have to understand that it’s a light news week in part because your big gun is out of commission.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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