The liberal media are on a full-court press to make the entire GOP presidential candidate field look hapless and unelectable.
Doing his part Friday was New York magazine's John Heilemann who on "The Chris Matthews Show" said the Obama campaign thinks their guy has "more talent in his little finger than any of these Republicans" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday's Hardball Chris Matthews, who devoted much of last week's shows to Egypt, got caught up on some conservative bashing as he mocked those who attended CPAC as "zany" and likened the conference to a "carnival act." The MSNBC host, joined by fellow liberals David Corn of Mother Jones magazine and Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, led the show by describing the event as a "right wing jamboree that puts the zany in the same room as the zanier."
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Thursday's Today show, challenged former Minnesota Republican Governor and potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty for daring to call Barack Obama a fiscal "chicken" as she (citing his Democratic successor Mark Dayton) accused him of not being a fiscal conservative. After Vieira initially questioned if Pawlenty had the requisite "star quality" to run for President, she then threw the words of the current Democratic governor of Minnesota in his face, as seen in the following question:
VIEIRA: Let's talk about, you know you're a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative and you criticized the President after his State of the Union Address. You basically called him a chicken, that's the word you used, for failing to address real fiscal issues in this country. But your successor in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton, has criticized you for leaving a $6.2 billion deficit. Last night in his State of the State Address, he said that he was left with a horrendous fiscal mess and state agencies poorly managed. So what makes you better-equipped to run the nation's economy, if you left your own house in such disarray?
For his part, Pawlenty responded that the Cato Institute had just given him a grade of "A" for his financial stewardship of Minnesota, to which Vieira followed up by asking if the GOP was in need of reconciliation because of the Tea Party's demands for "even more severe budget cuts."
Anyone who’s read Big Hollywood for any period of time knows I’m no Jon Stewart fan. On his best days, I find him smug and disingenuous. “But he attacks the Left!”, my friends tell me. Yeah, when they’re not liberal enough or like the ACLU taking a righteous case every now and again, as cover so people will say, “But he attacks the Left!” Sorry, no sale here, and Stewart’s increasingly strange obsession with controlling the way we speak only confirms that decision.
Stewart’s unnatural preoccupation with regulating speech, especially political speech, is not only borderline un-American, but you can tell he loses sleep over the frustration he feels when people don’t speak the way he thinks they should. The best example of this occurred just a few months ago at his anti-Beck “Rally to Restore Sanity.” In order to point his sanctimonious finger at the rest of us and wag it like the Church Lady so he could tell everyone else how they should and should not conduct themselves, he puts on this HUGE rally in DC. I’m sorry, but this is not normal behavior.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Friday parroted Democratic talking points while interviewing Governor Tim Pawlenty about the tea party movement. The potential presidential candidate mentioned the victory of several GOP women on Tuesday, prompting Stephanopoulos to pounce: "You didn't mention Sharron Angle, who's going to be the Senate candidate up against Harry Reid." [Audio available here.]
After playing a clip of the Nevada Republican saying there's "no such thing" as too conservative, Stephanopoulos listed several of Angle's positions and derided, "Are you concerned that some of your new candidates, especially those who have been backed by the Tea Party, may make it harder to win those seats in November?"
UPDATE: Later in today's show, a clip [displayed after the jump] was played of an interview from months ago in which Scarborough unequivocally put it to Sestak that he had been offered the Secretary of the Navy position, and Sestak seems to confirm it. So much so that after watching the clip, today's guest Jeffrey Sachs, an ardent Obama fan, had to laughingly admit that, yes, Sestak had been offered the Navy job
Does Chuck Todd understand the difference between offering, in return for a candidate's agreement to drop out of a race, a big federal job with its salary and perks, versus offering to support someone's possible future political campaign? Apparently not. For the NBC Political Director and chief White House correspondent this morning equated the Obama admin's apparent offer of a top job to Joe Sestak with Dick Cheney's reported offer to support Tim Pawlenty in a subsequent gubernatorial run if he would get out of a Senate primary against Norm Coleman. H/t reader Ray R.
Let's make this clear: offering a federal job which is within the offerer's power of appointment, in order to influence someone is a crime. Offering political support in a possible future race is neither illegal nor wrong: it is simply politics. But Todd shockingly equated the two during the course of a spirited conversation with Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe.
Viewers are encouraged to watch the extended clip, but here's the the crucial segment:
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts on Tuesday pressed Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to account for the "tone" of conservatives and Republicans following the passage of health care legislation. Speaking of protests in Washington over the weekend, she complained, "And some things that didn't help, and I don't know if you agree or not, the tone, the tone that it took."
Guest co-host Bill Weir uttered similar disapproval of the "vitriol." He talked to White House senior advisor David Axelrod and worried, "How do you regard this white-hot anger we heard yesterday?" Weir also opined that some Americans are "violently opposed" to the legislation.
We've seen the likes of Time Magazine, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and Newsweek link the Joe Stack airplane attack to the conservative movement. But in an interesting twist, a political blogger for The Nation has inexplicably linked Stack to several players at the recent CPAC convention - including Tim Pawlenty, Scott Brown, and most notably Glenn Beck.
Leslie Savan wastes little time delving into despicable comparisons from the onset with the title to her rant:
Glenn Beck Dodges Incoming Plane at CPAC
From there, the associations to Stack stretch ever further. Savan somehow manages to draw parallels between Pawlenty's comment about taking a 9-iron to big government, and the attack (emphasis mine throughout):
"Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty strained to hit a Southern-sheriff note of populist threat by suggesting, rather oddly, that conservatives were cuckolded wives who, like Tiger Woods's spouse, should "take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country!"--thereby managing to invoke both the wall of shattered glass windows at the Echelon Building and the marital troubles that may have contributed to Stack's anger."
It would seem the term ‘metaphor' is beyond the writer's grasp.
Next up is an out of context quote from Scott Brown:
That makes no difference to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough, who see a new "litmus test" for the GOP developing out of the New York 23rd Congressional District special election.
Scarborough, appearing with Mitchell on MSNBC shortly after 1:15 p.m. EST, slammed potential 2012 presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) for arguing earlier today on his "Morning Joe" program that there's no room in the GOP for what may be called "Dede Scozzafava Republicans" who are far [left] afield from the Republican mainstream.
Emboldened by his keen sense of omniscience, left-wing radio host Ed Schultz argued with a caller who dared criticize Schultz's command of the facts.
"There isn't anything I say on television or radio that I can't back up," Schultz claimed on Friday (click here for audio). "Anything."
All of his next radio show later, on Monday, Schultz demonstrated the flimsiness of this boast when he tossed out an assertion just as dubious, about Tim Pawlenty (here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: This is a guy who was a governor in Minnesota where a bridge fell down and killed 13 people and he didn't want to build another one. I mean, this guy, he didn't, he was against, they hadn't raised a sales tax on gas in that state in some 25 years. And he was against that. And the extra money was going to go to infrastructure because the people of Minnesota wanted to make sure that they had better roads and bridges and they took it upon themselves and of course they had enough votes for an override.
"Most people in their right-thinking mind know that the Tenth Amendment is a bunch of baloney." [audio available here]
That according to brilliant constitutional scholar MSNBC's David "biased in favor of facts" Shuster, who matter-of-factly insists the "general welfare" clause in Article 1 of the Constitution "unambiguously authorizes" social welfare spending like "social security, Medicare, veterans' care, etc."
Shuster made his comments today shortly after 4:30 p.m. EDT in reaction to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who recently suggested that Tenth Amendment grounds could be a means of opposing as unconstitutional certain Democratic health care proposals.
Regardless of their actions on the stimulus plan, Republican governors are always wrong, at least according to MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow.
The ardently earnest Maddow demonstrated this on consecutive nights this week, first on Tuesday when Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was one of her guests.
Maddow described how GOP governors are split on whether to accept money for their states from the stimulus plan. Some, such as Charlie Crist of Florida and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, want the funding while others, including Sarah Palin of Alaska and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, are "vociferously opposed to the stimulus bill," Maddow said.
If a media personality is to attack a political figure for lack of experience one would expect this person to get the facts correct. That is what Diane Sawyer failed to do on the August 28 edition of "Good Morning America." After guest Minnesota Governor and potential McCain running mate Tim Pawlenty noted Barack Obama’s lack of experience, Sawyer sought to level the playing field claiming Pawlenty, as a possible vice presidential candidate, has "only been governor for two years."
On the air, Pawlenty corrected Sawyer reminding her that he has actually been a governor for six years. Sawyer immediately retracted telling the Minnesota governor "thanks for correcting me there. I in meant to say six years and thank you for the truth squad there on your own."
Earlier in the interview when questioning about McCain’s potential running mate Sawyer asked "do you think in your view that the vice presidential choice for John McCain must be pro-life?" Oddly, the mainstream media never seems to question Democrats if their vice presidential choice "must be pro-choice."
Chris Matthews liked the pick of longtime Senator Joe Biden for Barack Obama but the prospect of John McCain picking a veep, of similar voltage on the Republican side, like Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, caused Matthews to yawn: "not interesting."
Of a potential Pawlenty pick, the "Hardball" host, during MSNBC's live coverage of the Democratic Convention on Wednesday night, described it this way: "It's like two little puddles of water coming together. There is no splash. There is no news." Matthews trumpted Tom Ridge, however, as "a spectacular choice if you want spectacle," but regretted:
Pat [Buchanan] is probably right knowing the Republican Party. You would have the, the Tony Perkins of world and the Focus on the Family people and he knows the rich list of those people who would immediately rebel. It would be like the Dixiecrats walking out.
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann charged that the "endless war and endless spending" had "crippled our ability to repair or just check our infrastructure," as he hosted Air America's Rachel Maddow in a discussion blaming the Minneapolis bridge collapse on Iraq war spending and unwillingness by conservatives to raise taxes. Olbermann quoted Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar's charge of "messed up priorities" and New York Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's labeling of bridge collapse victims as "almost victims of war" because "perpetual war depletes the funds available to maintain our infrastructure." Maddow charged that America is "paying this incredible deadly price for a brand of American conservatism that hates and demeans government." (Transcript follows)