MSNBC's Cenk Uygur and Two Liberal Journos Mock the Ryan Plan and the 'Jokester' GOP Debate Field

On his MSNBC talk show Friday night, Cenk Uygur mocked the Republican presidential debate as a "joke" and a collection of nobodies, since Speaker John Boehner didn't watch it live: "He spent his night at a steak house, 'with a bottle of Cabernet and a few cigarettes.' Sounds like an average night for Boehner, swilling that Cabernet all night." Classy.  Uygur then turned to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank and MSNBC political analyst (and former Newsweek reporter) Richard Wolffe. Wolffe called the Paul Ryan Medicare plan "their longest suicide note in political history. And watching Republicans explain how they were for it before they were against it is just going to be wonderful to watch for all of us." Uygur began with Milbank:

CENK UYGUR: Herman Cain, is he for real? You know that focus group? Only one person out of I believe 29 was in favor of Cain going in. All 29 came out in favor of Cain afterwards.

DANA MILBANK: Well, now, full disclosure, Cenk, I`m completely in the tank for Herman Cain after last night. [Laughter] That was an astounding performance. I like to say, the whole debate, do you remember the old movie, "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead"? So, now, we have, you know, first the mom leaves, then the babysitter dies and then the children are just left to fend for themselves. And that’s what it was.

And, you know, I mean, we all make jokes about Herman Cain, who is he? Well, who are any of these guys? I mean, nobody in this field even the, you know, mortally wounded Mitt Romney, the, you know, the Godfather of ObamaCare is really in practice a viable candidate. So, who’s to say that Herman Cain cannot become the front-runner?

UYGUR: Richard, are the president’s enemies his best friends?

RICHARD WOLFFE: Well, let’s just look at this composition here. Because, you know, if you were Ron Paul, the frontrunner clearly in this field, you would be worried about Cain, nipping at your heels there, doubling up from two to four maybe or trebling to six, based on the Luntz piece of it. And more importantly, who’s going to be the rodeo clown when they actually have ten people up on stage and some of them could actually win the nomination? So, I think the whole party has to worry about who’s playing what role here. Because Tim Pawlenty is going to have lots of competition for the dull, respectable slot, and now it’s just massively overpopulated in the jokester. [Sic]

UYGUR: Well, listen, I love any discussion of Tim Pawlenty. Because I think he’s the most overhyped candidate possibly of my life. You know, this guy has never scored above, what, maybe I think he had four percent in one of the polls? But generally, he’s run one or two percent, he gets clowned last night by Herman Cain, Dana, I mean, did he do more damage by being in the debate and not shining?

MILBANK: I have to think so. I mean, the idea was that he was going to be the only grownup in the room. But the problem is, he gets Gary Johnson, this guy who’s nobody’s heard of, used to be the governor of New Mexico, who wants, you know, legalized drugs and prostitution, gets just as much time as Tim Pawlenty. So, I mean, the worst moment of the night was when poor Pawlenty is saying, I’m sorry, it was a mistake, I should never have supported cap-and-trade, so he’s groveling and apologizing rather than scoring points. So, I think he was definitely, you know, the guys who didn’t show up definitely made the right move.

Milbank doesn't seem to realize that "groveling and apologizing" for supporting a big energy-taxing scheme would be the right move if you wanted any conservatives to vote for you. As for Pawlenty lowering himself to getting as much time as Gov. Gary Johnson, one could have said the same about Obama standing next to Dennis Kucinich.

With all the same predictive flair on MSNBC that saw GOP disaster in 2010, Uygur saw disaster around the corner for the GOP in 2012:

UYGUR: So, when you put that together with a weak field, Richard, and by the way, Donald Trump just got kicked out of a NASCAR event. He was supposed to do the lead car and they said, we don’t want you here. I’m sorry, it was an Indy car, I should say. When you put all that together, God! It looks like a disaster at this point at least for the Republicans, doesn’t it?

WOLFFE: Well, it’s early but the disaster is yet to unfold. Look, the Ryan budget which they hailed as being courageous is going be their longest suicide note in political history. And watching Republicans explain how they were for it before they were against it is just going to be wonderful to watch for all of us. And never mind Donald Trump, the sort of the comedic effects of the pretzel shapes there, they’re going to turn themselves into is going to be the spectacle of the next year.

UYGUR: You know, Dana, I never quite believed that President Obama was doing the rope-a-dope strategy where he brings the Republicans in by agreeing with them, and agreeing with them, and then they overreach. But if he was, I guess this was it, right? I mean, they really overreached with Medicare. And if at any time there’s time for a knockout punch after a long bout of rope-a- dope, it looks like this would be it, right?

MILBANK: It looks that way. I mean, and I think, it’s you know, better to be lucky than to be good in this game of politics. I suspect the president, it was less of, yes, they were trying to smoke the Republicans out to do this, but they couldn’t have possibly guessed that it would work out this way. So it’s definitely worked out to their advantage, fragmented the field further, and, you know, I mean, but if Ron Paul can get cheers for legalizing heroin, perhaps he can, you know, get boost, some cheers for this Medicare plan.

UYGUR: I think legalizing heroin is far more popular. I mean that literally. I bet if you did polling out of it, you’d see.

Legalizing heroin would be "far more popular" than Paul Ryan's plan. That's considered serious political analysis on MSNBC.

Perhaps some viewers watching this would wonder why someone like Cenk Uygur would mock this first GOP gathering as a collection of obscurities and nobodies. This is quite something from a man who is apparently an equivalent "nobody," since when you go to MSNBC.com, there's no mention of him or his show next to all the other evening shows at the top.

Then if you look for Cenk by clicking on "msnbc tv," you'd usually see 14 MSNBC personalities -- but no Cenk. Then, on that page, scroll down for video, and there's a long list of programs -- but not Cenk's. For those who've never heard of this 6 pm weeknight talk show, It's called "MSNBC Live," just as if Cenk is a faceless place-holder.

Then if you scroll down again to where the page lists a "Program Schedule," its Monday-through-Friday list begins with Way Too Early at 5:30 am, and on down to Hardball at 5 pm and Hardball at 7 pm...Wait! Uygur has The Invisible Show! Perhaps that's a better title than that bland MSNBC Live business.
 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis