In Iowa, It's Vampire Weekend v. Gabby Giffords: Who'd House Dems Prefer to Head Ticket?

2014-02-03-BothSidesNowLogoPlaincolhirescopy1.jpgVanden Heuvel explains her ardor for Bernie while Cooke still thinks it'll be Marco. What a country -- an old Jewish socialist against a young Cuban neo-con? But after Obama, nothing's impossible. Panel agrees on one thing -- that Trump is entertaining, ignorant and an ugly disgrace.
01/31/2016 09:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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By Mark Green

Vanden Heuvel explains her ardor for Bernie while Cooke still thinks it'll be Marco. What a country -- an old Jewish socialist against a young Cuban neo-con? But after Obama, nothing's impossible. Panel agrees on one thing -- that Trump is entertaining, ignorant and an ugly disgrace.

On Iowa - Ds. We listen to what is in effect Hillary's anthem -- Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" -- as Charles explains why his GOP prefers Sanders be the nominee: "She's dishonest but closer to the center. Sander's is no communist nor even socialist but he looks his age and can be seen as your crazy left-wing uncle."

Katrina, whose Nation magazine has endorsed Sanders, won't say who Democrats would likely prefer at the top of their ticket this Fall and doesn't bite at questions assuming that Nixonian Republicans would Horton-ize her guy in the Fall. "Let's not police the possible," she says, noting that whoever the Democratic nominee will be able to unify her/his party against opponents who seem to be itching to start WWIII.

And they disagree also about Obama's thumb-on-the-scale favoritism toward Hillary. Katrina notes that he's also "said nice things about Sanders" while Charles responds that "while he's not very popular nationally, he's extremely popular among Democrats and is the sitting president." He and Host agree that this might be seen later as the only exogenous variable putting her over the top.

O'Malley's biggest regret probably? Getting in late when only room for Sanders to rally anti-establishment populists. Clinton's? Taking those Goldman fees. Sanders? We couldn't think of any. Win or lose, he's had a huge impact, like a politically shrewd Occupy Wall Street.

Host: The show is taped before, A) the New York Times endorsement of Clinton as "one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history", B) Hillary's concluding ad showing a consistency and "authenticity" over 30 years on children as Bernie has shown on income inequality", and C) a final release of emails re-raising questions about her honesty and judgment. It would be amazing if the ruling of an Obama federal judge, Rudolph Contreras, that she release traunches of emails over a series of months ending up the Friday before Iowa, made the difference in sinking a Clinton.

On Iowa - Rs. The panel agrees that last-minute jockeying and multiple charges of "lying" make it hard to predict who will edge out whom. But there's a consensus that Trump's candidacy is awful for the country, democracy and the GOP and probably will fail in a General Election since he's already offended a majority of Americans one way or the other. Katrina deplores his ugly attacks on Megyn Kelly ("bimbo" and "lightweight") and objects to Charles saying he's like a child having a tantrum "as insulting to children."

So how did one of the two major parties get this close to nominating a combination of Beale, Bulworth and Bunker? Was it Fox, right-wing talk radio, the media generally, a base Base? Both blame the general media for so disproportionately playing up Trump while Charles asds that GOP leaders have grown apart from their political base. Katrina and the Host marvel at one of his New York Values -- a masterful shock-jock personality in the Billy Martin/John McEnroe tradition.

Host: speaking of a candidate being disqualified, as Rubio said of Clinton over her emails, what of Rubio self-disqualifying after saying that in any conflict, he'd chose his god over his country and a fetus over a mother? Which is fine if you're in the clergy but not in the White House having taken the oath of office.

Planned Parenthood winning in Texas was as predictable as the Warriors losing a home game..."didn't see that coming." There's no holding back the glee at how PP, after being cleared by eight prior investigations, is exonerated by a Texas grand jury impaneled by a Republican AG, which then indicts the pro-life videographers for lying to get a fake drivers ID and trying, mirable dictu, to sell body parts. Will this reversal change the GOP War on PP, if not War on Women? All agree no since they are so far along in this crusade. But it's all over but the shouting,

Bloomberg in '16? There's agreement he'll be a "no." First the Host reveals that, based on the nearly $100 a person he spent in 2001 to defeat a quite dapper Democrat, he'd need to spend $12 billion of his fortune in 2016 to win a three way race. No one thinks it'll happen even if somehow the major parties nominate Trump and Sanders. Not to mention that, if he actually won, he'd be 86 when he completed his third term as president!