TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads
Good morning to everyone and welcome to yet another tragicomically undercaffeinated romp through America's Sunday Morning Chat Shows About The Political Horserace. My name is Jason. Today, it seems we're going to get a little "Herb" Cain, a little Chris Christie speculation Better catch that bandwagon before it joins all the other overhyped memes of the past few years like "Congress Will Surely Put Aside Their Differences Of Opinion On The Long Term Policy Trajectory Of The United States To Solve The Unemployment Crisis" and "Don't Worry, This Is America, Surely The People Who Destroyed The Economy Will Be Held Responsible."
Shall we? Let us.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
So, Herman Cain is back only a few weeks from that time Chris Wallace asked him a bunch of reasonable questions about his "9-9-9" plan, only to get some hilariously stonewall answers. But back then, he was a nobody. Now, we're living in a Herman Cain bubble. I would still ask, "Seriously, you still don't want to explain this math or tell me the names of the people who worked on this with?" But we'll see how this goes!
Cain says that his recent success shows that "the voice of the people is much stronger than the voice of the media." Ha, ha! Sure! That's why there's no more unemployment and the foreclosure crisis has been solved! The vox populi is on such a hot streak, straight up gettin' heard, having its way, that it was getting pretty bored. So it was laying up in the cut last week and it thought to itself, "Voice of the people, we ought to do something stone cold crazy, like, I don't know...let's make Herman Cain a frontrunner, for some reason!" And Ka-Blow! That's where we're at!
Cain also says that "message is more powerful than money." Ha, ha. I'm sure that all those Super PACs are just going to use those millions of dollars to hire semioticians.
How is Herman Cain doing, money-wise? Somewhat better than they've done last quarter, he doesn't have a firm number yet. So, he'll take that new money and use it to polish his message -- which hasn't changed in months.
Cain gets to be asked about Chris Christie, and Cain says that Christie is "too liberal" to be the 2012 candidate for the GOP. That's bracingly honest -- your establishment types would have said something like, "Listen, Chris Christie is a talented guy and if he got in the race, it'd be great."
Oh, and we might as well get you up to speed with today's big story about Rick Perry, from the Washington Post:
In the early years of his political career, Rick Perry began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at his family’s secluded West Texas hunting camp, a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.
“Niggerhead,” it read.
Ranchers who once grazed cattle on the 1,070-acre parcel on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River called it by that name well before Perry and his father, Ray, began hunting there in the early 1980s. There is no definitive account of when the rock first appeared on the property. In an earlier time, the name on the rock was often given to mountains and creeks and rock outcroppings across the country. Over the years, civil rights groups and government agencies have had some success changing those and other racially offensive names that dotted the nation’s maps.
But the name of this particular parcel did not change for years after it became associated with Rick Perry, first as a private citizen, then as a state official and finally as Texas governor. Some locals still call it that. As recently as this summer, the slablike rock — lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint — remained by the gated entrance to the camp.
When asked last week, Perry said the word on the rock is an “offensive name that has no place in the modern world.”
But how, when or whether he dealt with it when he was using the property is less clear and adds a dimension to the emerging biography of Perry, who quickly moved into the top tier of Republican presidential candidates when he entered the race in August.
Cain is asked about this whole sad West Texas mess. "That's just very insensitive. That is a vile negative word, and for him to leave it there...and I hear that they've painted over it, is just plain insensitive."
Now we will talk about the 9-9-9 Plan. Wallace suggests that it has a connection to his poll success, but Wallace wants to plumb the mysteries. He points out that the Christian Science Monitor's reported that the rich pay a lot less under this plan while the poor and middle class see their taxes go up. Cain says, "Well, I don't know the assumptions that they've used," but, he says, when you do an analysis using Cain's assumptions, things work out much different.
Wallace makes what will be the closest he comes to an "#occupywallstreet" oration, pointing out that the income tax is the most favorable to the poor, while the sales tax is the most regressive. "If you flatten the most progressive tax and introduce the most regressive tax, doesn't this work to the benefit of the rich and the detriment of the poor?" Cain's answer is basically, 'ONLY IF YOU USE MATH!' and 'SOMETHING ABOUT THE PAYROLL TAX.'
"It gets the government out of the business of picking winners and losers," he says. 9-9-9 basically says, "THE RICH WIN, LET'S SHUT DOWN THIS BUSINESS."
The 9-9-9 plan also requires a 2/3rds vote to raise taxes ever again, so welcome to California.
Wallace asks if it's really a good thing for Herman Cain to call black voters "brainwashed." Cain says, well, one-third of the black voters are "thinking for themselves." The rest go get bent, I suppose. And Obama is history's greatest devil for giving a rousing speech before the Congressional Black Caucus.
Wallace asks if it's not fair to say that black voters have just made up their minds, like he made up his mind. Cain says that they are brainwashed, because "anecdotally" when he tries to give black voters a copy of his 9-9-9 plan, they don't take it, because they know he's conservative, and won't even look at it. Or maybe they have heard about this plan and don't like it? And using that logic, isn't everyone who doesn't read about the 9-9-9 Plan brainwashed?
I think that if a black person doesn't want to take your 9-9-9 Plan brochure, maybe that black person is saying, "No, you go throw that in the trash yourself."
"How can they make up their mind against something when they don't even read it?" asks Cain. Dude! Black people: they got wi-fi now! They're allowed to watch television and visit your website!
Now Cain is saying that he believes in the internet, in that he has a chance at being the nominee for president.
Also, Cain says that when he called Ron Paul a "grumpy old man" on the Tonight Show, he was just relaying what other people say about Paul. He called Rick Santorum "stressed," which is honestly hilarious and very true. That guy looks like he's forging diamonds with the over-pressured folds of his lower alimentary canal at these debates. Ha, ha, that's funny so screw it, go ahead and vote for Herman Cain, I don't even care anymore.
Cain also wants to change the song "Hail To The Chief," because of marketing. "It won't be hip-hop, I might put some gospel beats into it." I was sort of hoping
Chris Wallace essentially tells Cain that he likes interviewing him because he is at least a real human being and not a tightly wound sheep's bowel of insecurities and phoniness, like every other politician he has to interview, every single day, until the moment he either quits or dies.
Now we are going to talk about the woes of the business world from Fred Smith, who is the CEO of Federal Express, and Robert Johnson, who runs Black Entertainment Television. This should all be really damned simple. Smith and Johnson -- the two most generically named CEOs in the world, should basically say, "Yeah, corporate profits have never been better than they are under the Obama administration, and if my company isn't succeeding, it's probably because I'm a blithering incompetent, so maybe you should spend more of your journalism on covering people who aren't doing super-awesome in this environment and less time pointing cameras at rich people with insecurities?"
Somehow, I don't think it's going to go like that!
Smith says the economy is "slow" but not entering a recession, and the federal government sucks. He hates our trade policies, and taxes, and regulations. And also probably the fact that the government runs a "postal service!"
Johnson says that American business has "not gotten soft" and the problem is that "we have a political cold war." That gives me the opportunity to stick in a video from Janelle Monae, one of the best things to happen to America and rock music in the past decade, and who has out-innovated both of these men:
Smith doesn't immediately second Muhtar Kent's line that it's easier to do business in China than it is the United States, blandly saying that he only wishes there weren't so many challenges to doing business here. Johnson is asked to respond to Ted Leonsis' whining about "class warfare" in his blog -- Johnson says that Obama has to "recalibrate his message" to become a message that's a whole lot more flattering to rich people. I think Ted Leonsis should "recalibrate his message" where he's doing a lot less whining and a lot more shutting the f**k up and bringing Washington a Stanley Cup or even marginally competent basketball, because that's his job. You don't see the guy who runs the NBA World Champion team bitching about "class warfare," do you?
Smith thinks that the corporate tax rates need to be lowered, and that entitlements need to be cut.
Ha, ha, hilariously, he says that entitlements can either be cut through "rationing and regulation" or by "market forces and means testing." Then he says that Paul Ryan has the right plan! That plan? Rationing and regulation. He literally hands you a Medicare chit and says "Good luck, this gets less valuable and purchases less health care with every passing year."
Johnson says "we're in a political cold war" but I probably can't put another Janelle Monae clip in here.
Would these two fire Obama? Neither go that far. Johnson says that Obama needs to bring people together. Smith says that Obama should give into his instincts and work on corporate tax reform. Remember, like I said up front, corporations are doing so well in terms of profits under this administration. So if you're having profit problems I feel bad for you, son, you've not ninety-nine problems but the White House ain't one.
Okay, let's get to panelling, with Brit Hume, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol, and Juan Williams. Hooray, the old gang is back together!
And Anwar Al-Awlaki is dead, which Hume says is a big victory in the war on terror and credit should be given to the president. Seriously, give him credit, now, because he has a secret list of people who he is apparently allowed to kill with drones and you do not want to be on it! (Yes, I know, you have "Constitutional protections.")
Wallace actually gets into this, with Bill Kristol, and Kristol naturally is not uncomfortable about this, "I think the President has the better side of this argument."
"Assassination," Wallace says, "that's not what I'd call it." Sure! You know, call it something like "mandated previously unforeseen death juxtaposition." Williams says that there should be a "set standard for determining the due process of these things." Hume freaks out: THIS GUY WAS AN ENEMY COMMANDER IN A WAR BLAH BLAH. Hey! Chill out, Humidor! All Williams is saying is that there should be a "set standard." As in, you can if you want develop a standard that makes this clear and legal if you want to, but at the moment nobody seems to want to.
Kristol says that he'll give Obama credit for being aggressive in pursuing the war on terror, though we may be using too many drones! Not leaving as many living terrorists to torture!
Oh, and hey, just so we're clear, I associate myself fully with what Spencer Ackerman says here: "And before you play this card: F*** Anwar al-Awlaki and f*** Samir Khan. I'm delighted that they're now discovering, for all eternity, how massively wrong their little conspiracy theory masquerading as religious injunction was. This isn't about them. This is about principle."
In other panel opinions, Bill Kristol thinks that we'll know "within a week" if Chris Christie will run for President. Within a week? Brother, he'd best be coming on teevee TODAY to announce his intent to run, because the Iowa Caucus just got moved up a month and he is running far behind the rest of the field in terms of organization! Kristol says that Christie WILL GET IN. This is his moment! This is his time! And Mitt Romney, he is "just doing okay."
Williams says, "I feel that this could be a repeat of the Rick Perry situation." DING DONG. AND JUAN WILLIAMS WINS THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY MORNING PANEL AWARD.
Hume says "With all due respect to Bill, the people chasing after Christie remind me of a pack of dogs chasing a car who don't know what they'll do with it if they catch it." YES! But sorry, I already gave the award to Juan. (You can probably just take it from him, though, he's very easily intimidated! Hume and Liasson both note that it's hard to go from a standing start to being up to speed with a presidential run. "There's like a debate every week," Hume says. I know, Brit! Make it stop!
Kristol says that Cain has a "bold big reform agenda." Does he? His "reform agenda" is literally: "there are problems and something should do something about them and I'll find some people to help me plan some stuff!"
Williams says that polls indicate that voters are warming to the White House's class war arguments, and so now Brit Hume hates polls. That will change as soon as they return to confirming his biases, though, so don't worry. (That's when Juan Williams will hate those polls!)
THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW
Today, Chris Matthews is cold-chilling with John Heilemann, Rana Foroohar, Nia-Malika Henderson, and David Ignatius.
So, we're in an economic downturn, Chris Matthews hears, and this sets up some sort of tension, somehow, between Barack Obama, who is the President, currently holding the flaming bag of poop, and Chris Christie, who's tendency to yell at people for no good reason and put those clips on YouTube are, for the purposes of this morning's discussion, going to be allowed to be treated as visionary leadership.
Meanwhile, "the youngs" are hunkering down and everyone else is not spending money. "Macy's is gone, they're not taking vacations," says Foroohar, who is gonna have her mind blown when she visits her first tent city!
Heilemann says that Obama should have never talked optimistically about the recovery, and that now they are "finally talking the way they should have been talking." I sort of felt the same way every time Christina Romer came on one of these Sunday shows. She talked like someone who'd stared so long at the bright side that her corneas were burnt to a crisp.
Ignatius, "people aren't investing, people are risk-averse," says Ignatius, who says that what we need is a dose of "confidence" and "animal spirits." Dude, David, wake up. You are reading from "Obama White House Economic Playbook, 2009-10."
Henderson says that Obama needs to "acknowledge the pain" and yet be a "happy warrior" about it. "He needs to strike a balance and not blame himself too much" about the economy. Yeah, man. That Obama, always heaping blame upon himself. How many times have I said, "Take off that hairshirt, Barack!"
Heilemann says that the country needs "to undertake a long-term strategy" for capitol development, which wow, sounds like it would be totally awesome. Who can argue against "long term capital development?" No one! Well...maybe someone -- say, a whole political party of people who are more concerned about short-term gains in political power, which they can obtain by obstructing every attempt at setting some sort of long-term economic strategy? But I'm sure that Heilemann will tell us if such a party exists, in America. Because I have this crazy feeling that as soon as Obama say, "WTF guys, let's have some long term capital development!" there's going to be nothing but unanimous votes in the House and Senate. He can call the bill the "Sign Here If You Want America To Be EVEN AWESOMER In A Few Years Act of 2011."
The Matthews Meter says that they think Obama should be "realistic" and not "optimistic" and again, Chris Christie yelling on YouTube is apparently "realism." Ignatius says that people need to be more confident, because then we'd just start building factories. At those factories, they would build special containers, to hold our confidence! Henderson says that Bill Clinton was much better at explaining the economy to people, and Matthews agrees. THE DREAM OF THE NINETIES IS ALIVE
IN PORTLAND ON THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW!
Chris Matthews asks if the Republican candidates will, in the 2012 race, "paint a darker picture of the economy than the President." Is this a question to which he really needs an answer? "I've been wrestling with this guys...it's been keeping me up nights...is there any chance that the GOP nominee will run on the platform that everything is great and Obama is totally the best?"
The panel, in so many words, says, "Yes, Chris. Jesus." (David Ignatius apparently holds out hope that the economy will magically get better in the next year.)
Is Chris Christie too fat to run for President? That is something the panel is going to discuss, now. My wife responds to the question by saying, "Uhm...have you seen a picture of Taft?!" (The show then shows everyone a picture of Taft.) But Matthews says that late night comedians may make fun of him, because late night comedians are well known for enforcing our strict codes of dignity.
Then Chris Matthews calls Christie "an unmade bed." We are through the looking-glass, people!
Can Mitt Romney become as big a yell monster on YouTube as Chris Christie? That is what Matthews wants to know. Heilemann says that Romney isn't someone who elites like, because he may be competent and handsome and have the exact background they insist their candidates need to have (business, a term as governor), he lacks that necessary intangible ingredient that they also feel like they have to have and so they are searching for someone other than Romney because they don't want to "settle."
Henderson says Christie is the "anti-Obama" because "he looks like he hangs out in a pizza shop" and "Obama likes arugula" and that's the sort of comment you get from someone in advance stages of "I have never ever ever considered the world beyond the Beltway and am content to speak in bullshit cliches for the rest of my life" disease.
Matthews says that Romney is robotic and that "no one would accuse Chris Christie of being a robot." No one would accuse Mitt Romney of being a "gaseous sack of acrimony and internalized upper class grievances" either, but the campaign season is young!
Ignatius assures us that he saw Chris Christie "ignite a conference." Oh, man! We should beam that keynote at that conference into space, to let the Tralfamadorians have a taste of who we are. "Yeah, that's right, space creatures! We will KILL IT at conferences, so you best step off!"
I am pretty sure that anyone who watched this show today got a lot dumber.
Here are the things that Chris Matthews apparently does not know. Heilemann says that Florida is going to move its primary up and this is good for Mitt Romney. (It's also very bad for anyone who wants to jump in late, like Christie, who they've been talking about this past half-hour, but no one's smart enough to mention this.) Foroohar says that people need to start paying attention to what's going on in Turkey. Henderson says we're going to be hearing a lot more from Ann Romney. (Should we pay attention to Turkey or Ann Romney? So many choices!) Ignatius needs to read our story on the Supercommittee's trigger cuts.
Will Obama's supporters keep up the morale? Heilemann says maybe, Foroohar says probably, Henderson says no, and Ignatius says that Romney will make people love Obama again.
MEET THE PRESS
Oh, man. This is going to be horse-race nonsense on steroids. We're going to begin with Deval Patrick and Bob McDonnell, whose practical missions involve a lot of very parochial matters that concern mainly people from Massachusetts and people from Virginia, respectively, attempt to embody the two great warring national ideas. Let's commence the blither!
Is the President against the wall? Is this going to be a "titanic struggle?" (That's the term David Axelrod used, adding, "I firmly believe we are on the right side." If you're on the right side of a titanic struggle, you are an iceberg, I guess?) Patrick says that Obama is not "taking anything for granted," and is "on the side of a government that helps people help themselves" and that the voters will agree. He is on everybody's side! Democrat, Republican, wizards from Hufflepuff AND wizards from Slytherin!
McDonnell says this election about jobs and economic development and spending and debts and the Democrats are on the wrong side. But are the GOP candidates too extreme? He says no, they are talking "about the kitchen table issues that people really care about." Like the HPV vaccine! (Also, the American people don't care about the deficits.)
Deval Patrick says that he's doing a great job growing jobs, but acknowledges that Virginia is the leading state. I give some points to Massachusetts because they don't benefit from the built in protections Northern Virginia gets from being a wealthy region adjacent to the federal government.
McDonnell says that the administration is anti-business. He hates businesses so much! So much! These record profits are just the product of so much concentrated animosity from the White House, man!
"Look at Dodd-Frank!" McDonnell says, implying that it's really ruining the economy. It could ruin the economy, but not in the way McDonnell wants you to believe (that is, that Dodd-Frank is a toothsome regulatory monster that terrifies people with the way it's such a good watchdog of the financial sector). Here's some real-talk:
A year after Congress passed a landmark law intended to tame the excesses that produced the financial crisis, some experts contend that a crucial vulnerability remains: The largest financial institutions are still so enormous that their failure could again bring the financial system to the brink of disaster.
The passage of the Dodd-Frank law has sowed a perception of safety that has spawned a dangerous complacency, they add.
"The next crisis will happen sooner rather than later," said Anat Admati, a professor of finance and economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. "We're not safer and there's still a lot of systemic risks in large banks and in the financial sector overall."
A central aim of the law, known as the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was to undercut the assumption that some institutions are so big that their potential failure could again force the government to rescue them, rather than allow their troubles to trigger another crisis. The very perception that the government stands ready to rescue the largest banks tends to be construed by the markets as a government insurance policy -- one that encourages the executives at such institutions to take bigger risks.
But on the first anniversary of the act’s passage, the nation's largest banks boast larger holdings than ever. Their political clout is on the rise, say experts, and the government regulators who are supposed to be looking out for the next wave of reckless speculation are starved of cash. Meanwhile, stalwart banking industry allies in Congress are seeking to crimp the authority of the regulators on multiple fronts.
I wish people would "look at Dodd-Frank," but if they did, it wouldn't actually lend credibility of McDonnell's point of view.
Patrick twists a knife, noting that the Affordable Care Act is "based on what we do in Massachusetts...it's been a wild success."
McDonnell says "it's hard to say" is Chris Christie will get in, "but whoever's going to get in needs to get in immediately." That's exactly right. He's pretty optimistic about the current field. Remember, McDonnell is one of the few GOP elites that's long been comfortable with Mitt Romney as a frontrunner.
Patrick says that Christie is "one of his favorites," but out comes that little knife again: "I think that unemployment is higher in New Jersey than the national average, so there's some unfinished work, in terms of the case he'll want to make."
O'Donnell doesn't think Obama will carry Virginia in 2012, and I'd say that's correct. He demurs on whether he'd be a V.P. candidate. Patrick says that Red Sox fans are awesome people. It's just a full range of substantive questions today.
Panel Time! Today we have Peggy Noonan and E.J. Dionne and Mike Murphy and Xavier Becerra...from the Super Committee!
Is Chris Christie in or out? Because Saturday Night Live is making jokes about it! Murphy says that he has no idea, but "his gut" says he won't. "If I were him, I'd promise all those New York money guys to each put $50 million into a super-committee" -- pretty sure he means Super PAC -- "or leave me alone." Oh, man! Wouldn't it be awesome if he asked them to do that and they did and instead of Christie using to run for President he helped people who lost their jobs or homes get some food? I think about these sorts of things when I hear stuff like, "Obama and McCain combined spent a billion dollars on the 2008 election." I mean -- A BILLION DOLLARS WAS SPENT ON THAT THING? Does no one just have an idea that sells itself when you put it out there? Y'all realize that this is millions and millions of dollars spend on high-tech turd polish, right?
Noonan says that Christie would find out if he could relate to the 2012 Republican base, which she describes as "restive and primal," which is Noonan-ese for "crazy like an ashcan full of rabid possums." (This is what ol' Jon Huntsman is learning!)
Becerra: "Whether it's suicide or running for President, you better be ready." I gather he believes this is some sort of profound statement?
Murphy says the early primary season is like "The Lost Weekend," except Ray Milland is also freezing to death in Sioux City in December because of something the Florida GOP did. "We're about ten days away from locking the field," Murphy says, adding that in the end it will probably come down to Romney or Perry.
"There is a desire in America that's not being addressed," says Gregory. Yes! A desire for jobs, right? Or economic equality? Justice? Health care? People being held responsible for destroying the economy? An end to pointless wars?
No, Peggy Noonan says it's "hunger for leadership," and also Pringles. No, kidding! America is in some vague existential fugue state and needs a beacon to feel special again.
Dionne says, "As far as I can tell, rich people are doing fine under Obama." Glad someone noticed!
OMG, would you like to watch a video of David Gregory talking to Bill Richardson, on the internet? Because you can have that, if, for some reason, you want that. (Maybe you are close to killing yourself and need an extra push? Remember, as Becerra says, "Whether it's suicide or running for President, you better be ready."
There are more Hispanic voters in many swing states in 2012. Murphy says, "We got to do better with those voters. The good news is that they are swing voters. The bad news is, if we have an ax fight over immigration in the Republican primary, we're going to do ourselves a lot of harm."
What about Sarah Palin? (SPOILER ALERT: She's not running for President.) But the show needs to talk about her anyway, because if they didn't, their brains might start working.
Don't read into this, but the moment Meet The Press started playing the clip of Palin on Fox, my cats started yowling and fighting and running around in a blind feline panic.
Dionne says she's not running for President. Noonan says she's not even important to the 2012 race. Murphy says that Mitt Romney would probably love to see her run, because she'd cut into Rick Perry's support and deliver Iowa. (Perry, he says, would like to see Christie return the favor in New Hampshire.)
Murphy says that with "a good debate coach, some time and proper modern pharmaceuticals, he could have a really good debate comeback and then everything will change again" for Rick Perry. Hey, they don't have to be proper pharmaceuticals for things to get interesting at a debate! I'd like to see these candidates debate each other while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms! (Gary Johnson would win.)
Dionne says that Obama is "starting to find his voice," whatever that means, but his problem has been that he's continually sought accommodations with the GOP instead of coming up with his own plans and arguing for them, until now. Becerra says that the slogan should be "Yes We Can But Will The Other Side Help Make It Happen." He says that we'd have this jobs bill passed if it weren't for the Senate filibuster, which seems pretty optimistic.
Noonan says that "a leader leads" and that Obama's problem has been that he has neither inspired the GOP to follow or scared them into doing so. Gregory doesn't think Obama has made an effort incorporating GOP ideas. THE ENTIRE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS A GOP IDEA. As Becerra points out, the Jobs bill is full of GOP ideas. The stimulus package was actually TOO FULL of non-stimulative tax cuts. So, if Noonan says Obama's choices are "please the GOP or scare them," that leaves "scare them." Here's why they aren't scared:
"Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban...And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."
--Representative Pete Sessions, R-Tex.
Sessions said that they'd revert to "insurgent" mode if the GOP didn't get enough of what they wanted. But the Obama administration always opened with accommodations! So, seeing that it was easy enough to extract concessions, the GOP naturally figured, "If the worst thing is that we get to pass stuff we like, why not just oppose everything." And here we are. Scare the GOP? If you can imagine yourself as an insurgency, then you can't be terrified all that easily.
Noonan says that the best strategy for Obama on the debt ceiling fight was simply to immediately cave in to all GOP demands: "I may be the only person left who says the President should have just said yes to make a spending cut the size of the debt ceiling raise. Let it go, don't fight on that field. Don't make a nervous country more nervous; let it go." But no president has ever had to make that kind of deal on raising the debt ceiling! Raising the debt ceiling is just an acknowledgement that Congress spent money and you will pay it! Do you want to know how many times Mitt Romney and Rick Perry want to be able to just raise the debt ceiling, cleanly, without a fuss, if they become president? The answer is "LOTS OF TIMES." (We would also accept "ALWAYS.")
David Gregory: "I want to get a question in on national security." Dude, this is YOUR SHOW. Just ask. Stop asking permission!
Gregory also wants to know the implications of Florida's decision to move up its primary. Why can't he just REPORT ON THE IMPLICATIONS. Are they not obvious? Why does he need to ask Mike Murphy about it? Also, maybe ten minutes ago, on this show called "Meet The Press" that David Gregory hosts, Mike Murphy said: "The legal rules, though, that dictate the process, the Florida primary's filing day is all coming up quick. So we're about ten days away from locking the field, and then we're going to have still a month or two of turbulence, and then people start making real decisions." So, maybe he should pay attention?
Murphy touts Josh Putnam's website "FrontloadingHQ," which is, indeed, one of the best sources for information on the ins and outs of the process, so I'm glad Murphy got to answer the question he already answered. Our own Mark Blumenthal turned me on to it a few months ago, and I'll personally attest to the fact that Putnam is a gentleman and a scholar in all the best senses of those words. Go support his great works!
And finally, Meet The Press does that segment of the program where they report on their own program, which I love because now Meet The Press is just a fifty minute show, and I can start watching football.
Well, okay everyone, that's another Sunday morning crossed off our bucket list. Thanks for joining me. I hope all of you have a wonderful week.
[The Sunday Morning Liveblog will return next week, sorry! In the meanwhile, do you want to see something totally delightful? I mean, this will make the whimsical part of your brain sort of say "SQUEEE!" with joy. Check out this video on the physics of Slinkies. Go feel like something in this world is brand new!]