Just Call Out Their Name - Lauer, Russert Singin' in Dems' Defense On Terror
Winter, spring, summer or fall,
All you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend. - James Taylor, 'You've Got a Friend'
Was it an interview, or a benefit concert - 'Dem-Aid'? Matt Lauer and Tim Russert got a one-day headstart this morning on the Today show's traditional Friday music-on-the-mall. In the course of their conversation, Matt and Tim went karaoke on us, the duo belting out a heartfelt rendition of 'You've Got a Friend' to their buddies in the Democratic party.
Yesterday, President Bush announced that 14 heavyweight terrorists, including presumed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had been transfered to Guantanamo. President Bush is now calling on Congress to promptly pass legislation establishing war tribunals for the trial of the accused terrorists. The news creates a terrible bind for Democrats, forced to agree with the president on an element of the war on terror. The depth of the Dems' dilemma was evidenced by a clip Today played of Nancy Pelosi having to admit, if grudgingly, that she was "very pleased" by the news of the transfer and impending trials.
Before even a note was sounded, Today had set the stage with the graphic on display here, writing off the president's move as "the politics of terror." And once he chimed in, Lauer lost no time in playing the president's move as sheer political calculation.
Lauer: "Let's talk about the timing of this. The Supreme Court handed the administration a defeat on this subject back in June, so several months ago. The president any time in the last couple of months could have made this announcement. Why did he wait until now?"
Russert was happy to sing along: "Or he could have done it on November 8th, the day after the mid-term elections. But the political and legislative calendar is front and center there's no doubt about it. This was important politically for the president because it focuses the conversation on September 11th and not Iraq. And you heard Kelly, the Congress must deal with this issue. And so for the next three weeks the president will be saying where is the bill? Where is the bill? Where are my war tribunals?"
Lauer even 'helpfully' sung a line of defense for the Dems: "If you are a Member of Congress, you will say you could have given us months to discuss this. You've now given us three weeks!"
Matt invited us to hum along with those poor Dems, put in the terrible position of doing something right on terror: "So put yourself in the position of a Democratic lawmaker today, Tim [which shouldn't be too hard for the former senior aide to Mario Cuomo]. If that woman or that man stands up and says I am opposed to this, I don't want to discuss this, I want more time, they're going to be seen or painted by the administration and Republicans as weak on national security."
Right on key, Tim crooned back: "Precisely. And that's the attempt over the next three weeks."
If the sky above the Dems should turn dark and full of clouds, and that old north wind should begin to blow, the MSM will be there. Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?