So much for Democrats heading into 2012 with a full head of steam. Looks like there might be concern among the party faithful that they need to raise their spirits.
Who better for that than Ed Schultz, the closest approximation you'll find on liberal radio and MSNBC to "motivational speaker" Matt Foley as portrayed by the late Chris Farley on "Saturday Night Live." (audio clips after page break)
On Schultz's radio show Friday, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., asked Schultz if he would speak to the House progressive caucus in January. Here's Schultz asking Moran to elaborate (audio) --
SCHULTZ: Where do they want me to be a keynote speaker?
MORAN (nonsensically): Yes they do.
SCHULTZ: Where's this at?
MORAN: I was supposed to ask you. Well, I'm going to be on the air (laughter) ... We want you to come to Baltimore Jan. 19th or 20th, anytime we can get you and we want you there to motivate the congressional progressives, Ed. We need you.
SCHULTZ: It's a done deal, I'm there!
MORAN: Thank you, my friend.
Question is, which Schultz will show up -- the one who has excoriated Democrats as "spineless weenies" or the one who claims Republicans "want to see you dead!"?
Schultz's acceptance of an invitation to speak at an event that could hardly be more partisan makes it all the more curious what he told a caller on his radio show yesterday. The caller, from Madison, Wisc., thanked Schultz for taking part in a rally on Nov. 19 in support of a recall effort targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker (audio) --
CALLER: I was surprised you weren't speaking, you and John (Nichols of The Nation magazine) but ...
SCHULTZ: I can't speak, I can't speak. No, look, NBC has got rules and regulations. I mean, I can go there and cover it, I can report on it, I can walk around and do and talk to people, but I cannot get up on the platform and speak.
Is there a scintilla of difference between that and the cheerleading you'll do for Democrats in January, Ed?