Who would have thought that Howard Dean would come off looking like the relatively statesmanlike DNC Chair? Dean has acknowledged that Chris Wallace was "tough but fair" in his questioning of Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Dean's DNC predecessor Terry McAuliffe, with all the class and dignity for which he's known, has attacked Wallace as a Republican "tool," suggesting along the way that Tucker Carlson must be on drugs.
McAuliffe was a guest on Carlson's MSNBC show this afternoon. Tucker touched things off with this observation:
"It's interesting to see the attack machine cranked up again. I notice you're trying to paint Chris Wallace as some sort of right-wing lunatic. I don't think Chris Wallace is a right-winger for one thing. He had Donald Rumsfeld on his show, I'm not here to defend Fox I'm just telling the truth, and he gave Rumsfeld a hard time on 9-11 too. Why is that every time someone calls the Clinton people to account, they all of a sudden start screaming 'you're a right-winger, you're part of the conspiracy against us'? Why can't they evaluate criticism on its own terms?"
"I know Chris Wallace, I have appeared on the Fox Sunday show many times with Chris Wallace. Let me be crystal clear: Roger Ailes pays his paycheck. He is a tool of the Republican party. . . He is what he is, and let's not deceive ourselves."
Carlson: "You know what? That's just McCarthyism. That's so low."
McAuliffe: "It's McCarthyism? You've got your bow-tie on too tight today, Tucker."
Carlson: "I'm not wearing a bow tie, man."
McAuliffe, getting in a swipe at Carlson's short-lived Dancing With The Stars appearance: "You're out in California taking a little dance step so you're not wearing a bow tie anymore?"
Carlson: "It's embarrassing. I'm serious . . . If somebody says something, why don't you just say that's either reasonable or unreasonable, and here's why. Why is it always a personal attack against the motives of the person asking the question? Why is that your style. That's what children do. You're not a child."
McAuliffe: "You must be from outer space, or you're out in California taking some hallucinogenic drugs. You're telling me about Fox - from the day Bill Clinton became president it was one accusation after another, always some little two-bit thing, so please don't talk to me about Fox and Bill Clinton. You have no credibility saying it. If you wnat to go back a the history of Fox and Bill Clinton. They are a tool of the Republican party, which is fine. I still go on their shows."
Class guy, that Terry.
It bears considering that McAuliffe is the consummate 'Clintonista' - Bill's hand-picked man as DNC Chair. If he's out there slinging this 'Republican tool' line, it is surely with the blessing - if not at the express instruction - of the Clintons.