MARK TWAINS INEFFECTUAL MOB! Maddow ginormously bungled the shutdown. But thats how its done on our side: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2011
The New York Times profile in cowardice: When Gail Collins gets something pretty much right, we give credit here at the HOWLER. And good lord! If were willing to grade on a curve, the high lady earned a fairly high grade for last Saturdays column.
After a bit of silly-bill foofaw, Collins debunked three of Donald Trumps ongoing claims about Obamas deeply troubling birth. Example:
Trump has paraded all about, telling millions of voters that Obamas paternal grandmother once said she was present at his birthat his birth, which took place in Kenya. This claim is perfect garbage, but Trump just keeps pimping on.
Collins shot it down. She also addressed Trumps claim (though weakly) that Obama wont present his birth certificate. And she shot down Trumps repellently stupid claim that no one remembers Obama, or has any photographs, from his early years. Regarding this point, she quoted Trump as he lied in Suzanne Malveauxs face:
But Trump did say that, on various occasions, speaking to millions of people.
According to Collins, he has even said that Bill Ayers wrote Obamas autobiography. Truly, there is no limit to the places this slimy man will go.
(Remember when this press corps pretended to be troubled by Al Gores alleged lying? By the lies they themselves had dreamed up?)
On CNN, Malveaux did an excellent job, confronting Trump with reams of information, challenging him again and again. But the silence of the New York Times editorial board constitutes a major profile in cowardiceand a very public lesson in the way our journalism works.
Donald Trump is doing vast harm to our political culture. He is disinforming millions of gullible voters, thus heightening our destructive tribal divides. Hes baldly lying, through his teeth; he continues this repellent conduct in the face of all contradiction. But his hometown newspaper is too polite to offer back-talk to such a great man, much as it has rarely dared contradict its billionaire mayor.
Elsewhere, big pundits say how much they like Donald Trump as they tamely, deferentially challenge him about his disgraceful misconduct.
Barbara Walters wont give the facts to her viewers, who got disinformed by this vile, slimy man. And inside the Times High Gotham aerie, Andrew Rosenthals timorous gang trembles and quakes, like the bunch of vassals they are. But then, they have behaved this way for a long time.
By the way, why doesnt Charlie Rose challenge Mayor Bloomberg a bit more robustly? Remember the way he rolled over for Wendy Kopp? For our five-part report on perhaps the worst interview ever, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/16/08.
More on those questions to follow. But life can be good on the TV machine if you have a billion bucks. Especially in High Upper Gotham, the vassals tend to defer.
PART ONETHE DUMBEST EVER LET LOOSE (permalink): Who won, who lost Fridays budget agreement?
All around the liberal world, liberals agreed that the GOP, and John Boehner, had pretty much kicked major aspic. We wouldnt necessarily say that ourselves, given the situations basic dynamics. But thats how a string of major liberals seemed to see itand it would be hard to claim that Boehner and the GOP lost.
Major liberals gave credit to Boehner for a serious win:
In TPMs headline account of the deal, Benjy Sarlin tipped his hat to Boehners skillful performance. Boehner's avoidance of a shutdownwhile still securing significantly more cuts than his party originally demanded from Democratsis by any standard an impressive feat of political agility, Sarlin judged.
Ezra Klein also praised the skill of Boehners performance. Boehner, of course, could afford to speak plainly. Hed not just won the negotiation but had proven himself in his first major test as speaker of the House, Klein judged on his blog at the Washington Post. Ezra also offered this: There is good reason to think that Boehner will be a much more formidable opponent for Obama than Gingrich was for Clinton.
At Salon, Steve Kornacki took readers through the ins and outs of Boehners two-month effort. He never explicitly cited the solons skill, but the judgment was rather plainly implied. And over at the Washington Monthly, even the reliably sycophantic Steve Benen gave kudos to the other teams effort. Benen noted the success Republicans had in setting the terms of this debate early on, after which they never looked back. In a second post, Benen noted the size of the GOP win:
Benen was partly wrong about that very weak hand, of course. On Wednesday, April 6, a new Gallup poll had 45 percent of respondents saying that Obama and the Democrats in Congress do not go far enough in their proposals to cut federal spending. Only 15 percent said they were going too far; the GOPs proposed spending cuts produced substantially better numbers. But at sites like Benens, liberals are only allowed to hear a few unpleasant facts at one time.
On balance, liberals seemed to feel that the GOP had kicked the Democrats ascots. In particular, the skill of Boehners performance was widely described. This must have come as a shock to liberals who watch MSNBCespecially to those who watch Rachel Maddow, one of the most incompetent political analysts ever let loose on TV.
How do liberals and Democrats manage to get their aspirations kicked so routinely? Well be asking that question all week, critiquing a string of major liberal players and liberal sectors in the process. But for today, lets start with the utterly hapless Maddow, who has spent the past two months explaining how incredibly bad Boehner is at his job.
John Boehner is bad at his job? Look whos talking, our analysts have often said as Maddow kept pushing this line for us rubes, basing her ridiculous judgments on the silliest matters possible.
The whole thing started on Tuesday evening, February 15. Maddow hadnt been cosmically wrong for a couple of days, and her palms were beginning to itch. Right at the start of that evenings program, she introduced a major new themea theme she would extend through the next several weeks.
As usual, the Beltway press was refusing to tell you the truth. In this case, the Beltway press just wouldnt explain how bad Boehner is at his job:
Poor Rachel! She and her hopelessly numb-nutted staff had been bollixed about this matter for weeks! John Boehner was really bad at his joband the Beltway press wouldnt say it! And boy Howdy, Boehner was reeeeelly bad at his job! He was this bad, in fact:
Needless to say, the darling child didnt want to sound rude.
What made Maddow think that Boehner was outstandingly bad at his job? The poor child cited a string of trivial mattersthe type of inconsequential nonsense which grabs the attention of Beltway pundits and know-nothing tribal enthusiasts. Here are three of the troubling examples this hapless incompetent cited:
Remember the Constitution-reading? Maddow asked. We can now answer: Of course not! Nobody does! But no matter! Citing strings of piffle and palaver, Our Own Rhodes Scholar delivered an utterly silly judgment: Republicans have been in control of the House for about a month and a half nowand it has been one disaster after another. It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month and a half for John Boehner.
Ezra Klein appeared as guest analyst. Skillfully, he worked his way around most of the nonsense with which Maddow had littered the field.
The next night, the nonsense continued, dumbing us liberals down in the process. Again, Maddow led the program with a long segment about Boehners astounding incompetence. Soon, she was using a secret decoder ring to help explain his latest big mistake:
What was Boehners latest mistakethe disastrous mistake that inspired our darling child to use her secret decoder ring? People! Boehner had said that Republican budget proposals might require the loss of some federal jobs! Boehners statement, as shown on tape: Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. Were broke. Its time for us to get serious about how were spending the nations money.
That statement sounded crazy to Maddowand so, as political ingénues do, she assumed that it would sound crazy to average voters. If you are not part of the conservative movement, if youre not in on the way they talk to each other in their media, this probably makes no sense, she foolishly said, once again showing her cluelessness about the views, values, understandings and instincts of the American public.
At any rate, this became Boehners latest big political mistake. For the second straight night, Maddow began her program with this pleasing new theme.
On Thursday night, the big fun continued in Rachels Playhouse. For the record, this is the night when Maddow started her program with a ridiculous, weird, incoherent account of the state of Wisconsins budget situation. (Maddow: Im here to report that there is nothing wrong in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is fine. Wisconsin is great, actually! Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsins finances, Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year.) Maddow kept repeating an inaccurate claim (Wisconsin started the year on track to have a budget surplus); in general, she presented an incoherent, bungled account of the states budget situation. (Politifact would score her account as False, while making one error itself.) But soon, Maddow was teasing another segment about Boehners latest big blunder:
After the teasing was done, the liberal worlds latest primal incompetent began detailing the evenings indictment. The summary sounded like this:
Dont worryas usual, Maddow was simply snarking about Boehner being crazy like a fox. Heres how the foolishness went:
The latest sign of Boehners incompetence was the fact that he had used the phrase Read my lips in a throw-away comment about the GOPs determination to cut federal spending. (Boehner: Read my lips: Were going to cut spending. Thanks.) Now that the GOP has cut federal spending, we might be able to see how stupid it was for Maddow to seize on this insignificant turn of phrase, in precisely the way Americas Big Dumb Pundits have been doing for decades now. Today, in the wake of the budget deal, no one on earth remembers the fact that Boehner once said, Read my lips. Nor was there ever any sign that voters found the phrase troubling. But so what? Maddows abused liberal viewers were forced to sit through a long, unintelligent history explaining why the phrase read my lips is famous in American politicsexplaining why Boehner was incomparably dumb to let such a phrase pass his lips.
Regarding Maddows silly snark about Boehner being crazy like a fox: She described the way Boehner was allowing House members to propose amendments to this spending bill they are considering right nowthis stopgap spending bill. Snarkily, Maddow suggested this would produce such a procedural disaster that it must be part of the GOPs plan to force a government shutdown!
Too conspiratorial? she snarked at the end of the segment. And then, the screen went to black.
Maddows performance was the latest embarrassmentthe latest display of the sheer incompetence driving herself and her staff. On Friday evening, February 18, she drove this theme for the fourth straight night, but now she added a new aspectthe claim that Republicans were obviously planning to force a government shutdown. This theme has of course turned out to be wrong; the GOP has agreed to a spending bill without creating a shutdown. But along the way, Maddow didnt fail to share a laugh about Boehners numb nuts with a reliable guest, Gene Robinson.
Robinson was also impressed by how poorly Boehner was functioning. The pair shared a good cleansing laugh at the other tribes comical bumbling:
Do you think Boehner has ever regretted allowing amendments or using that phrase? In such ways, the liberal world gets dumbed all the way to the ground.
Maddow continued her clowning about Boehners incompetence for the next two weeks. On Wednesday, March 2, she did a long segment on the topic which was almost spectacular in its dumbness, almost feral in its silly immaturity. Two of her teases:
That Friday, Maddow gave us our latest embarrassing look at the embarrassing way her staff functions. As a courtesy, well let that one go.
Meanwhile, lets be fair. By now, it was becoming fairly clear that Boehner was kicking Obamas asparagus in the unfolding budget fight, or that he was doing something that looked a lot like that. Maddow thus abandoned her John Boehner is a hopeless incompetent theme, without ever telling viewers that the hypothesis had perhaps been disproven. But when it comes to domestic politics, Rachel Maddow isnt happy unless shes getting something ginormously wrong. Last Tuesday, she introduced her latest theme, seeming to state it with absolute certainty, as she persistently does.
First, she offered a bungled complaint about the Beltway press coverage of this potential budget shutdowna bungled account built on a flat misstatement about something published at Slate. Then, she offered a long, inane pseudo-argument, resulting in her latest bungled certainty. The GOP is seeking a shutdown, the child self-assuredly said:
In that segment, Maddow noted that Boehner had been repeatedly moving the goal postsand that Democrats had been agreeing to everything he demands. Presumably, it no longer made sensed to laugh and snark about how bad Boehner is at his job. So Maddow introduced a new theme. She said the goal of all this conduct is the shutdown itself.
Three nights later, the GOP agreed to a deal, avoiding a government shutdown.
Can we talk? When it comes to domestic politics, Rachel Maddow is as incompetent as anyone ever let loose on TVsorry, on the TV machine thingy. But then, we liberals have swallowed a lot of incompetence down through these many years.
More on this pitiful topic all week. On Friday, well look at Twains lynch mobthe pitiful mob which couldnt lynch straight, the mob which was so ineffectual.