The Morning Joe Rebuttal for Friday April 18th, 2014
A seasoned MJ cast at the 7am Eastern block attempted to dissect the Bundy Militia story, and forgot or misrepresented about half of it, but still felt strongly enough to draw conclusions on all fronts.
Harry Reid labeled the groups that showed up heavily armed to the media saturated melee as ‘domestic terrorists’, and Nicole Wallace was put in the difficult position of toeing the GOP line of apologizing for them and attacking Reid’s assertion. If you were to take Wallace’s factual analysis to its core precepts, you have to accept that the federal government showed up suddenly with a one million dollar land use bill, and then began armed enforcement action, and that there is a segment of society that has a serious disdain for federalism, to the point of denying its viability as the ultimate governing authority of the United States as imposed by it’s citizens and constitution. OK, she didn’t put those high minded buzz cornerstones in her descriptives, but that's just it, you have to fall short and live in vagaries, otherwise illogic beams down on you. You can say they have a ‘deep distrust’ of ‘all things federal’, and that it’s OK to bear arms in this situation because ‘the government was armed’, but it simply belies the principles of organized society.
Of course John Heilemann attacked the armed civilian response analysis, which is entirely accurate, but no one could move the conversation one dimensional analysis further, as it pertained to Wallace’s tenuous platform defense.
Barnicle smartly read a definition of terrorism, but two well respected journalists took unbelievably placebic opposition.
David Gregory, still smarting from an awkward back story about Pulitzer Prizes being awarded to people he thought should be charged for espionage, said calling the militia response ‘terrorism’ probably needed to be thought out more. ‘Thought out more’ is actually what happened. Missing fact number one that the panel simply could not rise to in analysis: the President directly ordered the de-escalation. This is in step with his foreign policy pattern in similar decisions not to strike Syria or send arms to Ukraine (more on this later). The President and his team including the FBI and ATF, groups immeasurably harmed by the Branch Davidian disaster, have showed an evolution in response: stand down and take good notes. It is a dare, the President to the militias, as indicated by Harry Reid, ‘we are going to enforce the law, and now we are better prepared to quietly interdict all incoming armed militia response before it can dangerously assemble’. The rule of law will preside, and the likelihood for a first response cataclysm has been for the time being averted.
Eugene Robinson, similarly missing the integral analysis of this event, called it a civil matter that the courts could decide as is prevalent in our higher order society. Hey Gene, the 5 o’clock train left at 5, and it’s 7. The civil matter was decided long ago, and this is more like Ruby Ridge than we’re allowing. The civil matter, and this speaks to Nicole’s fundamental misrepresentation, has been decided appropriately (admittedly, that’s a guess given the asymmetry of the current judiciary) over a long amount of time. The rancher Bundy refused to acknowledge the existence of a federal government, that million dollar accumulation of land use charges accrued over 20 years and was always billed. Bundy attempted to make the payments to the county he resides in, in keeping with his anti-federalist views, but the county couldn't accept the money on the federal government's behalf, in hindsight, I believe our President would ask for a more clever adaptation at this spot in the future, although that’s plausibly unrealistic, and/or, coddling a misanthrope. To attempt to label the current events as a civil matter is to grant some level of immunity to 20 years of willful violation of court orders and that’s not a civil matter. What good is civil law if it’s not enforceable?
Nicole Wallace, when she tries to paint a picture of a sudden one million dollar bill, is being mischievous. If I we’re a representative of the GOP, that is the last thing I would ever want to do as it stands on the very last tethers of credibility, driven into the margins by marginal belief sets treated as absolutes and defended with mischievous semantics across all topics.
This discussion imploded at this point and never recovered. Wallace: ‘It’s not like he was getting monthly bills”, Truth: yes he was. Wallace: ‘I don’t see any guns’, Video: guns. Barnicle: ‘there is a very disturbing segment of the population’, Truth: that was also on the 5 o’clock train you and Gene missed, those people have been around forever, but they seem to really bubble up when there’s a Democratic President.
The ultimate 5 facts short conclusion was attempted by Gregory as he trotted out the right versus left analysis to try and sum up the differences exasperated in this situation. These warring parties are both margins on the right. The militias are obvious, but what we aren’t talking about is that the agencies participating in the enforcement. That conglomerate, both local federal agents and local law enforcement, is by no means some Obama ‘hope and change’ army. Those people are the law enforcement right. The US Attorney for the State of Nevada is a Republican. If Nicole is the person representing the right in this discussion, the bickering parties are in essence two of her small toes ready to fight each other with guns. The Democrats are at best in a position to referee the event, and Harry Reid is right in calling out the militia as ‘domestic terrorists’ and portraying the situation as a ridiculous escalation of gun toting immatures aggravated by not getting their way. These are the people who blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The administration knows this and is positioning itself to regulate this and any ensuing action to the fullest of it’s abilities.
We are simultaneously monitoring the Ukraine, and in a stunning parallel, its a story with separatists with guns at odds with their government. Lots of differences to be sure, but the US has to handle its domestic efforts in manner that allows it credibility at the table of that international affair with a ton of similar elements.
Having complex arguments on the fly is the recipe for Morning Joe. Unfortunately the tendency towards unprepared analysis is prevalent. Hard to say if anyone could do it better than these highly qualified people, but I suspect that both John Heilemann and Eugene Robinson wish for a more effective presentation of the whole situation in retrospect. I clearly have the advantage of DVR multiple viewing playback and prepared response, so it’s not a fair counterpoint, except that the truth has to be advanced. John and Gene would want that.