Former CNBC Host Dylan Ratigan Switches to MSNBC; Bashes Social Issue Emphasis, GOP

Once upon a time, there was Dylan Ratigan, host of CNBC's "Fast Money," and co-host of that network's "Closing Bell." He was never partisan and willing to criticize both political parties in Washington, D.C. Now he seems to think Bristol Palin has taken Karl Rove's job as the sinister mastermind of Republican politics.

In late March 2009, Ratigan left CNBC for destinations unknown, but on May 6 it was announced he would begin hosting a show CNBC's sister network, MSNBC. Ratigan appeared on MSNBC's May 6 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," not only to preview his new show, but comment on Bristol Palin, daughter of former GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and her campaign promoting abstinence.

"The thing that really stands out to me with this, because the hypocrisy is obvious - it's as obvious as a closeted gay senator voting against gay marriage," Ratigan said. "There's a prevalence in politics of this type of behavior, unfortunately. That's why the conversations like the one we're now having exist."

However, Ratigan didn't stop making at analogies about the younger Palin's new initiative. He used her to criticize the Republican Party - as if some organ of the GOP had sent her out to advocate for a cause that would distract the public from important issues:

"More troubling to me than everything you've already pointed out, or additionally troubling to me is this as an indication of the agenda inside the Republican Party right now at a time when we're suffering such a systemic breakdown in health care, in our energy," Ratigan said. "You know those things and everybody in America knows those things. What's lost on me is why the Republicans own the platform for wasteful spending in America, instead hearken back three, four, five years ago for some polarizing social issue that they can create some sort of momentum around, when it is clear to the folks in Kansas that want to be with the Republicans - that the Republicans beyond gay marriage or an advocacy against teen pregnancy, which the last I checked is a 90/10 issue - they have yet to step up to the obvious, which is our systems in America are failing. Let us address the issue of the wasteful trillions that are pumping through the U.S. government."

Before Ratigan decides to tackle this subject on his new MSNBC program that is set to debut on June 29 and air weekdays from 9-11 a.m., he might want to go back and see what Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said about this same issue as it pertains to government spending. Earlier this year, during the stimulus debate, Pelosi came out front and said contraception, which was included in that legislation at the time, was good for the economy.

Also, Palin is not an advocate "against teen pregnancy." She advocates sexual abstinence for teens as the only fool-proof way to avoid teen pregnancy. Unfortunately, that's not "a 90/10 issue." And at any rate, he never elucidated any of this has to do with the Republican Party.

But Ratigan wasn't done. These social issues, he implied, were red herrings the GOP is using to draw attention away from the failure of capitalism.

"I think ultimately what it is, is a fear," Ratigan said. "You have a party that aligned itself with a very powerful community in the business community. Many of those constituents unfortunately were advocates of a system that has brought this country to a very difficult situation."

Ratigan backtracked somewhat before proceeding with that anti-Republican point. Wall Street banks have a history of donating to Democratic campaigns, including this previous election cycle. Still, he attacked the GOP for the round of bailouts that took place on former President George W. Bush's watch, completely ignoring the point that the bailout culture also began under a Democrat-controlled Congress.

"By the way, there are lots of - that's a two-party issue," Ratigan said. "That doesn't lay squarely at the hands of the Republicans, but the Republicans remember began the process of trying to deal with the crisis in America in general - cars, banks, we'll get to health care, and at the same time have no concept how to proceed, so they continue to refer to their 2005 playbook and say, ‘OK, we win on social issues.' So they keep trying to play a social issues card, when wasteful spending is wide open to them and I don't know why they don't take that."

Ratigan stuck to his point and continued to insist - without proof - that Bristol Palin was just a puppet of the Republican Party movement and that her situation was being used to advance party politics.

"Honestly, in fairness to Bristol Palin, I did a lot of stupid things when I was 17 or 18 years old," Ratigan said. "I don't think it's fair for you, me or anybody else to say, ‘Oh, what's Bristol Palin doing out there advocating this. That's not the question. The question is the Republican Party thinking presenting this young woman who has enough to deal with, with her obvious structure of her life, and to me it's an indication they don't know what to do."