NBC continues to lead the way in belittling any and all Republican attempts to stand up to President Obama. On Sunday’s Today, David Gregory rehashed the common left-wing talking point that Republicans are opposing Obama at every turn merely for the sake of being obstructionist.
Commenting on Republican opposition to the Chuck Hagel nomination, Gregory said, “There’s no question that this looks to be similar to what people are criticizing Republicans for doing on the economy or on spending, on these various battles they’ve had over the debt, which is just trying to jam the president up.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Lester Holt seemed baffled that Republicans would oppose a member of their party, wondering, "Chuck Hagel is a fellow Republican, yet Republicans standing against his nomination here. I think we’re used to Republicans standing up against the president. Why in this case when it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll eventually get through?"
Considering Hagel's attacks on George W. Bush, his opposition to the Iraq war and his questionable comments about Israel, it's silly to consider him just another Republican.
Gregory attempted to wrap his bias in “what people are criticizing Republicans for doing,” but we can be reasonably certain of his opinion on the matter. After all, he did not acknowledge that Republicans may have valid reasons for opposing the president on certain issues. Yes, Republicans oppose most of Obama’s economic measures, but that’s because they believe his policies would be bad for the economy. They have resisted Obama’s efforts to increase spending and raise the debt ceiling because they believe such efforts would bankrupt the country.
Regarding Chuck Hagel, Republicans have legitimate concerns about some of Hagel’s past statements on Israel, Iran, and the Iraqi troop surge. These are not efforts to “jam the president up.” This is a political party fulfilling its deliberative role in the democratic process. In the mind of David Gregory and many other journalists, Republicans should just roll over and let Obama take the country wherever he wants to take it. Any efforts to question the president, to ask if his policies may not be best for the nation, are seen as petty politics. But that is how our democracy works. Constitutionally mandated checks and balances ensure that the president cannot do whatever he wants with no opposition.
Unfortunately, David Gregory cannot appreciate democratic deliberation when it interferes with Barack Obama’s left-wing agenda.
Below is a full transcript of the segment:
LESTER HOLT: Chuck Hagel is a fellow Republican, yet Republicans standing against his nomination here. I think we’re used to Republicans standing up against the president. Why in this case when it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll eventually get through?
DAVID GREGORY: A lot of Republicans don't like him. Don’t take my word for it, that’s what John McCain said on Thursday, saying that there is a lot of ill-will among Republicans over Hagel’s criticism of President Bush and Iraq and the surge and all the rest. And as a result, they’re jamming him up. I don’t think it ultimately keeps him from being defense secretary but it does weaken him as well as his own performance at his confirmation hearing, which left a lot of people in the White House disappointed as well.
HOLT: And there is some discussion that this delay might allow his opponents to develop more ammunition against him. Does the White House have reason to be concerned on that level?
GREGORY: You know, it's a question I’ll ask Dennis McDonough, the president’s chief of staff, when he’s on the program this morning. There are some additional speeches that Republicans did not have access to that they think may show certain points of view about Israel that are damaging to Hagel’s chances. The view inside the White House is that these are just other attempts to move the goalpost and to delay him when there’s a recognition that ultimately he’ll be confirmed.
HOLT: And in terms of image, Republicans have been looking at their image right now. Are there some Republicans who are questioning the wisdom of choosing this particular battle?
GREGORY: Well, there are enough Republicans that simply don't like Hagel, don't like what he represents, don't like the message that the president is sending by choosing him that they’re willing, apparently, to take the hit on this. Because there’s no question that this looks to be similar to what people are criticizing Republicans for doing on the economy or on spending, on these various battles they’ve had over the debt, which is just trying to jam the president up.