Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paint The Target Orange

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 9th, 2010


1) Morning Joe did a great job of presenting a diverse news program today and avoiding Koran-gate as an overwhelming force. It did get some high altitude observations here and there, but Mika made some pretty stringent requirements for how the show was not going to get sucked into a self perpetuating publicity stunt as a unwitting enabler.

They get it, I wish they would’ve gotten it during their plagues that overwhelmed them previously like Professor Gates, Reverend Wright, the ground zero muslim center, or the other 25 cover up assisting noise makers that Morning Joe helped blow completely out of proportion. The golden rule is if you talk about it, you might as well be burning a Koran yourself.

Mika seems to have circled in on this logic without fully realizing why. Here’s hoping that she will connect the dots and be the person to discover how to filter stunts from news. The amount of good that can be done by the program if it could properly filter out white noise and junk would be exponentially higher.

2) It’s not lost on anyone that Joe Scarborough ducked a major embarrassment today when he did not engage Ezra Klein on Social Security. Ezra is not alone in his finding that the real demagoguery belongs to those who call Social Security a doomed entitlement that needs to be stopped in the interest of America’s solvency.

The demagoguery claim is really simple, and Ezra Klein made it, and the Washington Post printed it: going after Social Security is the path of preying on the weakest amongst us because the antagonist himself is in fact too weak, or is motivated otherwise, to go after the segments of the government’s fiscal problems that need it more. You need to fix Medicare more, and you need to understand that Medicare is an entitlement whose subscriber base is going to grow whether the country adopts single payer or continues the horrific systemic disassembly into chaos it paths to currently. Same for the $700 billion defense budget. Same for the $2 billion a week wars. Same for the amalgamated subsidies, earmarks and sweetheart contracts that came in with teaser coverages but now at maturity cost the taxpayer a premium for less service whether its $578 million dollar schools, sugar and corn subsidies, or tax credits for business engaged in outsourcing our economy.

The problem is that there is collectively zero spine in our current form of government to fight those necessary battles, so what’s left of that group just goes after the weakest among us like a bad episode of Survivor. Joe Scarborough, promised to have Ezra Klein back at some point to have that discussion, probably on a day that is hosted by Willie Geist.

Just to finish the thought on the growth of the Medicare subscriber base. Sure in the hypothetical world of single payer in America it will grow. That is not what I’m talking about. Sooner or later the 50 million Americans that are currently uninsured will all grow into some form of qualification for Medicare. You may believe that the new Health Care reform will insure more Americans, but the morass of remaining fiefdoms like the state monopolies and the wrist slap punitives of not insuring people with preexisting conditions will continue to allow maneuvers that create uninsured citizens everywhere. And those people will walk into hospitals, and hospitals will find way to get Medicare reimbursement for them. Its similar to a back door draft in our wars. The private health insurers are still motivated to not insure the same 50 million citizens they didn’t insure last year, and you can bet they are quick at work finding ways to not cover them.

It’s something the Republicans simply don’t understand. You don’t have the option to not provide health care to people. I know it’s a deep concept, but until you start the conversation ready to admit that 100% of the population is going to get medical care if they seek it, you continue to throw useless histrionics at the problem.

The only real conversation you can have about Medicare is cost control. The industry paid you dearly to not have that conversation, so you opportuned elsewhere. Can anyone tell me the pro Social Security lobby budget? I know AARP will be up in arms when Social Security gets demagogued, but financially they are a flea in comparison to the combined forces of the health care interests.

So go ahead Joe Scarborough, tell us all how you want seniors to cut their entitlements first and those other problems can go on. I can’t wait.

3) One thing that Scarborough got right: Phil Griffin is panicking right now because he gave Lawrence O’Donnell his own show. That performance today was nearly on par with Joaquin Phoenix’s rap movie.

That dress down of Richard Trumpka was disgusting. The guy who has previously gone jugular on Marc Thiessen, Paul Cantor, Phil Musser and a cast of others can’t wait to have everyone whom he feels needs a good screaming at on his own show. The new show should be titled:

“When Crazy Larry Attacks”

I really am a fan of the in control version of Lawrence. His ability to find saliency on complex political issues leads the way whenever he is on Morning Joe. He is less effective in his various fill-in hosting jobs because the structure leads him to the bent version of himself that stops all debate and starts heaping vitriol.

That in control version comes from the framework of being a moderate foil to the combination of Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan. Those guys need a moderate foil. Especially Joe Scarborough due to his penchant for projecting wishful thinking on the likelihood of outcomes.

Take today, Boehner is too much of an unknown to be targeted in the Obama speech in Ohio. Pat Buchanan: “Targeting Downward” , Joe Scarborough “no national traction”. But wait Ezra Klein “it was in Boehner’s home state”, Tina Brown “Obama should call these do nothings out and forcefully” John Heilman “ditto on the ‘good to see Obama fighting” and Chuck Todd “they do need a target for their message” and O’Donnell: well, O’Donnell didn’t have a take because it was the Crazy Larry version and he was busy doing the Joaquin thing. But only Buchanan and Scarborough roped off the negative critique and presented it as obvious doctrine.

I am pretty sure it’s incumbent on the Obama administration to point out the cast of nobodies voters are about to put in charge of the legislature. I understand voter anger about the economy, about alienation of the white middle of America viewing a leadership that includes an African American, a woman, and Harry Reid. But as they go the other way with a tidal wave force they have to know these guys they’re putting in are known shoplifters and they are about to finish the pilfering they started under George W. Bush.

There’s a reason why there is no visible leader of the Republican party: no one wants to be the mug shot when their disingenuity is found out. That’s why John Boehner seems like Roland Burris right now. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for Boehner who’s career path should’ve topped out a long time ago.

But don’t expect Pat or Joe to figure that out for you, they’re busy trying to sell a script.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Nice job. Obviously the Dems need a personal foil, and pointing out that the immature teenage-types running the Republican Party (who have shown no inkling of an idea other than "No Taxes" and "The Budget(Social Security/Welfare/fill in your boogeyman here) must be cut" (just not MY earmarks or favorite defense contractors) are not an option is not "punching down".
    As for Ezra, I can't read Scarborough's mind but it did apear he was ducking the issue. Great Catch.