Monday, December 06, 2010

The Buck Stops With ... Speaker Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly "very unhappy" with the imminent deal to be struck between the Capitulator-in-Chief and spineless Senate Democrats with the Republican minority on extending tax cuts for the rich. This House has to ratify anything the Senate agrees to. Capitulating to Republican demands is nothing for the President compared to real negotiations with Speaker Pelosi to convince her to go along with his craven deal. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on that wall?

In the meantime, Chris Matthews hosted another disgraceful gabfest with fellow elitist insiders making self-serving arguments about all the smart reasons THEIR tax cuts should be retained. This guy's bullshit knows no limit (beginning with a rehash of the "every man a king" elitist myth using as an example the ONLY country in the developed world, Great Britain, whose upward mobility is worse than the U.S.*; then citing a partisan "outlier" Gallup poll released on the cusp of the tax debate with bogus figures to make his bogus point; calling the NY Daily News a "liberal" publication; this the newspaper owned by plutocrat Mort Zuckerman, last seen on MSNBC's Ed Show whining about how mean Obama was to the rich; the newspaper that endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 passes for "liberal" in Chris's head) not to speak of the glaring omission in his AIDS day comment of the Catholic Church's backward and destructive role in 40 years of the AIDS epidemic, only now in the 21st century stepping into the 20th with the Pope saying, Oh okay maybe we were wrong to oppose condoms to prevent AIDS — Chris Matthews's bullshit in these representative examples encapsulates much of what is wrong with the media today.

One of his early promos, which echoed an email of mine, is that news and commentary should be about educating the viewer. Sadly, the teaching moments are few and far between. As for "yelling from their gut and calling people names," as usual Matthews has it all wrong. The model isn't Ralph Kramden, it's Harry Truman. And you cannot anticipate what's going to happen will redound to the President and the Democrats' disadvantage. That's intellectually dishonest, and it results in paralysis of analysis. Guess what, Chris. The other alternative is that Republicans back down, that the American people rally round a President with backbone who is willing to fight for them on principle. Hmm, let's see, what's the teachable example? Ah, the election of 1948 in which Harry Truman vetoed a slew of Republican bills, then ran against the "do-nothing Congress" to win the greatest presidential electoral upset in history.

 Who are YOU, Mr. Matthews, to claim the economy is going to Hell if the President doesn't cave? Where did you get your economics degree? Are you a smarter economist than Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, whose column today is "LET'S NOT MAKE A DEAL?" How about David Stockman, Reagan's former budget director, a conservative who said the other night on Olbermann's show the President should quite simply wield the veto pen and USE IT. In announcing this craven compromise the President struck the right TONE once the horses had left the barn. As if addressing Krugman directly, the President said two million unemployed losing their benefits at the end of the month "is not an abstraction." That's powerful argument if one believes the President fought as hard as he could for the unemployed. For him to come out at the 11th hour and say it, just doesn't cut it.

Mr. Obama should have done this from the very beginning to exact a price from Republicans instead of schmoozing the bastards with dinner at the White House then during a sit-down with Colin Powell breezily dismissing the "negotiations" as posturing for a deal that had already been worked out. At least the President sounded a little bit pissed at the Republicans for working him over like a piƱata. Well, golly gee-whiz.

One more thing, Chris. Your emphasis on the liberal bloggers taking a 'machismo' line is OFFENSIVE to those of us who feel strongly about this and, unlike you, take principled and not self-serving positions. So why don't you take your tax cut for millionaires, Mr. Matthews, and go on a two-month safari to Africa. It's winter now and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens will be wanting for shelter and enough to feed their families. Better yet, do us a favor, and take a three-month safari. You can afford it.
*A CAP study of 2006 found that:
By international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility… Among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States.

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