"Bipartisanship" is one of those buzzwords that proponents of a policy will invoke whenever possible. But a rush to demonstrate that the policy appeals across party lines can often obscure partisans' real motives in endorsing it.
Since former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist and Tom Daschle teamed up to endorse ObamaCare this week, plenty of media outlets have touted the "bipartisan" backing of the law.
Daschle is of course a Democrat so his support isn't as newsy as Frist's. But when a credentialed Republican, a former Senate GOP leader comes out in favor of a piece of landmark liberal legislation, the keen observer is a bit suspicious. Why the ideological shift? In Frist's case - and this fact has amazingly gone unmentioned in reports by MSNBC, NPR, and Politico - it seems to be due to his significant financial stake in ObamaCare's preservation.
Carrying his sermonizing from his MSNBC morning show to Politico, Joe Scarborough railed against inflammatory political rhetoric in his latest Politico column – but hit conservative talk while ignoring leftist vitriol.
Calling them out by name, as he did recently on his show "Morning Joe," Scarborough pleaded with conservatives that if they can't be civil out of righteousness, they could at least practice civility for the sake of the Republican Party. "It's time to grow up," he lectured the Right, specifically pundits Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
Of course, Scarborough made no criticism whatsoever of inflammatory rhetoric from the Left – such as his MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz, who in 2009 joked about ripping Dick Cheney's heart out and playing political football with it, nor from vicious left-wing dilettante Randi Rhodes, nor from Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida who called his 2010 Republican opponent "Taliban Dan."
During her 1PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell sympathized with exiting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, remarking that the California Democrat having to hand over the gavel to John Boehner in January has "got to be painful," but that Pelosi is "doing it with class."
Mitchell made the comments after talking to Politico's congressional bureau chief Martin Kady about a recent interview Pelosi conducted with the political website. Mitchell cited excerpts: "Pelosi says quote, 'I'm obviously devastated by the loss we had' but she also says she 'feels serene' and is already working on getting Democrats to win back the House, a tall order." Kady portrayed Pelosi as defiant: "I mean she's really still promoting the accomplishments of the Democratic congress, even the accomplishments that some believe, you know, may have cost her some seats in this House."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough slammed President Obama Tuesday for not standing up to Republicans but rather compromising over extending the Bush tax cuts. Scarborough called the tax cuts for millionaires "inefficient" and agreed with co-host Mika Brzezinski that the Republicans are "complete hypocrites" when it comes to dealing with the deficit.
The deal includes an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all income brackets, including millionaires. In return, the Democrats get the extension of unemployment benefits that they were pushing for.
"Ideologically, I've always voted for tax cuts," Scarborough claimed, recalling his tenure as a Republican congressman from Florida.
"But when we are this deep in debt, and we have this many people unemployed, and we need to get working class people back to work, I can't imagine a more inefficient way to spark a recovery than giving tax cuts to people like myself who will put it in the bank and feel better about myself because I'm saving some money."
In a Politico column written just before the deal was struck between the president and Republicans, Scarborough implored Obama to survey the situation and realize that he could still fight the GOP. Obama's concession, he argued, would be harmful to America.
During Tuesday's 1PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Andrea Mitchell highlighted a new poll from the left-wing pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood that claimed that voters do not trust Sarah Palin on so-called "women's health issues": "A new poll suggests that she may have a tough time getting voters to trust her on at least one front....54% of registered voters do not trust Palin on those issues."
Later in the same segment, deciding to get in a few more shots at Palin, Mitchell claimed that the former Alaska governor's new book, 'America by Heart,' had not appeared on the New York Times best seller list: "All of a sudden, Sarah Palin, with a new book, is not on the list....unless there was something wrong with my edition of The New York Times, she's not on it, with a book that's just come out." Well, apparently there was something wrong with the Times' Sunday December 5 best seller list, because its December 12 list had Palin's book debuting at number two behind George W. Bush's 'Decision Points.'
Chris Matthews on Friday made the absurd claim the "compassionate" Left is too soft on Republican wrongdoers, and that by contrast the Right puts it's "heel into the back of the guy's head when he's down."
The "Hardball" host - with a straight face no less - said this to guests Ron Reagan and Politico's Roger Simon with reference to how the "right-wing press played up [Charlie] Rangel's censure" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Wednesday called Republicans that are skeptical of man's role in global warming Luddites, referring to the 19th century movement in Great Britain that was opposed to changes associated with the Industrial Revolution.
Clearly missing the absurdity in his analogy, the "Hardball" host arrogantly stated (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Suggesting that Nicolle Wallace engaged in feline fisticuffs might be called sexist. But when Wallace actually accused Sarah Palin of seeking to "claw" critics, illustrating her assertion with a cat-like hand gesture, well . . .
It's no secret that Wallace is no fan of Sarah Palin. But the former Bush communications director and McCain campaign aide perhaps took things to another level with her attack on Palin on today's Morning Joe. Wallace was on to comment on Joe Scarborough's astonishing claim of yesterday, noted here, that "all" conservatives and talk radio hosts with whom he's spoken are harshly critical of Palin off the record, but are afraid to express their views publicly.
Wallace opined that if it ever looked as if Palin were close to copping the Republican presidential nomination, many GOP leaders who have to date been too timid to criticize her would step forward to expose Palin's putative shortcomings. In the course of propounding her theory, Wallace unleashed a hail of criticism of her own:
"Mistakes were made [by McCain in choosing Palin]."
"Her troubling deficiencies."
"Her incredible cynicism, her bitterness, her aggressive attempts to claw [makes clawing hand-gesture] anyone" who criticizes her.
Liberal internet publisher Arianna Huffington is being sued by two Democrat consultants for allegedly stealing their website idea.
Politico reported Monday evening the suit filed in New York State Supreme Court claims James Boyce and Peter Daou originally presented the idea for the Huffington Post to Huffington and her partner Ken Lerer, and the four made a handshake agreement to develop the website together (h/t NBer acaiguana):
MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.
With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation. MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday. His gig was short-lived however.
Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
Politico on Sunday featured two pieces at its website that make one wonder if Republican senator-elect Marco Rubio of Florida should be a strong contender for the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012.
Politico's Mike Allen on Monday told Laura Ingraham the only way to do a piece about what Washington insiders are really thinking is to get anonymous opinions from unnamed sources unwilling to go on the record.
Less than 24 hours later, New York Times columnist David Brooks showed Allen how wrong he is in an article about what Republicans are feeling heading into Tuesday's midterm elections complete with the names of those offering opinions:
Politico published another Sarah Palin hit piece on Sunday evening, and much like the last one, authors Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei couldn't find one disparaging source to actually go on the record with his or her negative opinions.
Grabbing the article hot off the presses, Fox News's Greta Van Susteren and her guest Palin trashed "all these brave" faceless people as well as the so-called journalists willing to write hit pieces without any named sources (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Mediaite):
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Politico's Jonathan Martin wrote a hit piece on former governor Sarah Palin leading Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to demand retractions of false sections in the article that involved them.
On Friday, Glenn Beck brought Palin on his radio program to assist him and his team in mocking Martin's claim that she frequently cancels interviews at the last minute and is "high maintenance" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t The Blaze):
Has anyone noticed a leftward tilt by Politico lately? More and more, the respected inside-the-beltway publication seems to be more aggressive in its tack with conservatives.
Here’s one such example: In the Oct. 21 issue of Politico, an article written by Jonathan Martin attacks former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her political activities and her dealings with other conservative leaders. One of Martin’s examples of Palin “wreaking havoc on the campaign trail” involved a disagreement with Fox News host Glenn Beck:
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin on Thursday demanded a retraction by Politico concerning statements made in Jonathan Martin's hit piece of the former Alaska Governor entitled "Hurricane Sarah."
In a Facebook posting, Levin said Martin's claim that Palin "backed out of planned interviews with conservative talk-show hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin the morning she was scheduled to talk to them" is "a flat out lie":
To the national establishment press, this appears to be another one of those "It's at the Politico, so we can ignore it" incidents.
Thursday night, before a debate with GOP opponent George Phillips, nine-term New York Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey "had a heated exchange with a local reporter ... that became physical." Quite physical, in fact, to the point where Hinchey "pushed ... (the reporter) backwards into Phillips himself."
Seems like pretty big news, doesn't it? Not based on the results of a Google News search on "Hinchey debate" (not in quotes) done at 8:30 this morning:
Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough is wondering if somebody should tell former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to "shut up," in his newest Politico column. In referencing a 1996 best-seller by David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf, "Tell Newt to Shut Up," the MSNBC host writes that "maybe it's time for someone to deliver that message again" in lieu of recent controversial soundbites from the former House Speaker.
Ironically, a cable news show host who has trouble thinking before speaking his mind is calling out his former colleague for making outlandish statements – as if Gingrich wasn't already infamous for those as House Speaker.
Scarborough's column is titled "Gingrich's Rhetoric Will Backfire," and the former Florida congressman spares nothing in attacking his former colleague for "political hate speech."
"These days, Newt Gingrich's modus operandi is to smear any public figure who fails to share his worldview," Scarborough writes. "His insults are so overblown and outrageous that after the rhetorical dust settles, the reputation most damaged is his own."
A September 29 Politico story identified liberal bloggers as the “professional left” President Obama, VP Joe Biden, White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, and WH spokesman Robert Gibbs have been complaining are kneecapping Obama and his agenda by their constant complaints.
Politico linked to a September 27 post by liberal blogger Peter Daou entitled, “How a handful of liberal bloggers are bringing down the Obama presidency.”
As Politico reported on Wednesday, during a gathering in a Richmond, Virginia home, President Obama "seemed to offer a ringing endorsement" of Daily Show host Jon Stewart holding a 'Rally to Restore Sanity' in Washington DC, supposedly as a way to allow moderate nonpartisan voices to be heard.
Obama declared: "...apparently he's going to host a rally called something like Americans in favor of a return to sanity....And his point was 70 percent of the people – it doesn't matter what political affiliation –70 percent of folks are just like you. They go about their business. They work hard every day. They're looking after their families. They don't go around calling people names. They don't make stuff up."
Stewart has claimed that the rally is nonpartisan and designed to promote moderation: "If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence... we couldn't. That's sort of the point." However, Obama's endorsement clearly demonstrates a decidedly liberal slant to the event. In addition, NewsBusters' Tim Graham earlier reported that the rally was being organized by two former aides to Bill Clinton.
Howard Kurtz on Sunday bashed Fox News personalities Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for calling Delaware's Democrat Senatorial candidate Chris Coons a Marxist.
Coons, while a student at Amherst College in 1985, wrote an autobiographical article for the school newspaper called "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist."
Despite Politico's Alex Isenstadt bringing this piece to light on May 3, Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" expressed dismay with the conclusion folks like Beck and Hannity have come to concerning its contents.
"It was a joke, a clear and obvious joke." said Kurtz. "That's also a good description of those who are passing off this ancient article as evidence of some communist past" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This announcement comes a few days after the Council on American-Islamic Relations proudly proclaimed that it would be giving Thomas a lifetime achievement award at its annual fundraising banquet in October.
The Committee's online invitation reads, "Join ADC for an evening to celebrate a woman with a lifetime of courage: The Great Helen Thomas":
Although the media took last week's announcement of comedian Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" like it was manna falling from heaven, some Democrats are concerned it could hurt them in the upcoming midterm elections.
Scheduling such an event on the Saturday before Election Day, when field operatives should be diligently working on Get Out The Vote efforts in their districts, could be tremendously counterproductive.
On the other hand, as Politico's Ben Smith noted Monday, there's already a big Democrat rally planned in October:
For almost two years, Sarah Palin has been complaining about media members making things up about her.
On Friday, one finally admitted it.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, Vanity Fair's October issue has a hit piece on its cover about the former Alaska governor that Palin-hating press members have been predictably fawning and gushing over.
Now, the Associated Press is reporting that the author, Michael Joseph Gross, has admitted making a mistake in his piece:
Ignoring the current political reality for wishful thinking of bygone days, Politico’sRichard Cohen wrote a nice bluff piece today for Democrat anti-life CO Rep. Diana DeGette, strongly pushing a bill to force taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. Such legislation would render mute the August 23 federal court ruling that federally funded escr violates federal law by killing that law.
Cohen has either not seen or is ignoring (would bet it's the latter) the August 27 Rasmussen poll that showed a stunning reversal of American thought on paying for escr.
While 17 mos. ago a slight majority (52%) supported President Obama’s now-enjoined executive order authorizing public-funded escr, 57% today oppose it. Now, only 1/3 of America (exactly: 33%) support what DeGette is pushing.
I’m sure DeGette knows about the poll but is attempting a bluff, wanting her shaky colleagues and leadership to think public-funded escr is in the bag and that it would be to their political benefit to have a hand in this done deal. From the article:
In a short item about a Democratic Governors Association election complaint about Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, the Associated Press's Julie Carr Smyth showed that she is willfully ignoring Buckeye State reality, or has been living a hermit's existence for the past few months.
In describing Kasich's standing against Democratic incumbent governor Ted Strickland, Smyth claimed that Kasich "is keeping pace with Strickland in polls and fundraising" (a picture of the relevant paragraph is here).
As you can see, that's sort of like a baseball writer claiming that "The Cincinnati Reds are keeping pace with the Chicago Cubs this year":