Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation, appeared a bit befuddled Friday night when he sat in for Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show.
First, here's Hayes talking about former West Virginia governor Joe Manchin, who was elected last fall to represent the state in the Senate (audio) --
HAYES: If you've heard of Joe Manchin, it's probably for one of three reasons. Perhaps you live in West Virginia. Mr. Manchin was the very popular governor of the great state of West Virginia and is now the state's junior senator after replacing the late senator Robert Byrd last year. Or if you followed this show closely last year, you might remember Mr. Manchin for his no vote heard 'round the world. The senator voted against repealing don't ask, don't tell. If neither of those biographical facts about Joe Manchin ring a bell, this one might. He approved and paid for what just might be the single greatest political ad of the 2010 election cycle --
The ad is then played (and can be seen here), with Manchin carrying a hunting rifle and saying this --
MANCHIN: I'm Joe Manchin, I approved this ad, because I'll always defend West Virginia. As your senator I'll protect our Second Amendment rights. That's why the NRA endorsed me. I'll take on Washington and this administration to get the federal government off of our backs and out of our pockets. I'll cut federal spending and I'll repeal the bad parts of Obamacare. I sued EPA and I'll take dead aim at the cap and trade bill. 'Cause it's bad for West Virginia.
Just after Manchin says he'll take "dead aim," he is seen firing the rifle and hitting a target that reads, "Cap and Trade Bill." Hayes responds to the ad by saying this --
HAYES: Every time I watch that ad, I want to whisper, Joe, dude, the bill's already dead! You don't have to shoot it!
Here's Hayes bringing up cap and trade again minutes later while talking with New York Times energy reporter Matthew Wald about the coal industry, and after Wald described energy companies as entrenched and influential wherever they are situated (audio) --
HAYES: So if that is the case, no one goes against their local energy company and there's coal extraction in a lot more states than West Virginia, I know when I was in Illinois covering coal there, President Obama when a senator from Illinois was a proponent of clean coal because coal interests matter in Illinois.
HAYES: What does that mean for the big issue for coal which is a cap and trade, that bill that Joe Manchin so bravely put a bullet through.
WALD: Well, we're not going to get that bill anyway.
You remember, like you were just saying ...
Chris, dude!, regardless of whether cap and trade is actually dead, you don't have to shoot yourself in the foot.