Straying from my normal subject of the economy, I would like to address possibly the worst case of that which is wrong with the political “reporting/commentary” so prevalent on television today.
The popularity of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” is widely held to be Joe Scarborough’s mix of good ole boy, Republican conservatism juxtaposed by the erudite gravitas of Mika Brzezinski. Joe, as evidenced daily, feels that he and he alone is the reason behind the shows success. Scarborough, the two-minute(actually six-year) congressman from the 1st district of Florida is mercurial in mood swings and quite often, condescending to anyone who dares stray from his own beliefs, such that they are. Despite Mr. Scarborough’s obsessive preoccupation with himself and his frequent displays of narcissistic personality disorder, “Morning Joe” is successful primarily due to the perception that the show seeks to provide the audience with a balanced approach to political matters of the day.
Also despite Mr. Scarborough’s frequent tantrums, he assumes that his audience doesn’t notice his overbearing and frequently rude, misogynistic treatment of his co-host, Mika Brzezinski, daughter of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski….or simply doesn’t care.
As a regular viewer who is in daily contact with other MSNBC regular viewers via www.rentadrone.tv/msnbc-live-rockinroosters, and the chat room provided thereon, Mr. Scarborough, I will tell you right now…..we do care and we think you are a major asshat.
Mr. Scarborough’s boorish and disrespectful treatment of his co-host is hardly a singular characteristic. He routinely dismisses any of his guest’s opinions, regardless of their superior knowledge, expertise or gravitas.
The reason for my out-of-character “anti-Joe” rant today is primarily due to a particularly egregious display of egomania from Mr. Scarborough today. During the live show of November 22, 2011, Mr. Scarborough, while watching from home due to sinus surgery, just could not allow a comment made by former Democratic congressman from Tennessee, Harold Ford, regarding Grover Norquist, to go unpunished. In Mr. Scarborough’s all-to-familiar, loud, screeching, tantrum-of-the-day, he called into his show to unload his customary barrage of immature, inaccurate, and overbearing condescensions on anyone speaking the truth about Mr. Norquist.
Mr. Scarborough took exception with the notion that had been advanced by several members of the todays panel, that Grover Norquist had played a large role in the failure of the Budget Battle in general, and the so-called Super-committee in particular, to strike any kind of budgetary deals that would have allayed the need to make drastic budget cuts across the entire spectrum of the Congressional budget as provided in the debt ceiling crisis of this past August. As you may recall, the Tea Party members of the Republican Party very nearly cause the United Stated to default on its existing obligations in order to placate Mr. Norquist’s now-infamous “Pledge.”
Mr. Scarborough, as is his modus operandi, preceded his partisan rant with his normal, disingenuous claim that he routinely equally scolds Democrats and Republicans when he deems that they have erred, which is laughable were it not so sincerely believed by Mr. Scarborough.
Afterwards, he went on to say that Grover Norquist has no “special power” over the Republicans and, as usual, simply shouted down anyone who dared to try and disagree. Of course, anyone with even a modicum of political integrity knows that Mr. Norquist is one of, if not the most powerful driver of Republican politics today outside of the Koch brothers; billionaires who have apparently made it their cause in life to take down the two-party system of politics in America.
Mr. Norquist’s power stems from an insidious means of controlling the Republicans’ primary mantra of never raising taxes on the rich and wealthy in the U.S…. The distinction between rich and wealthy being that the rich work for the wealthy, and the wealthy do not work at all.
Mr. Norquist’s weapon of power is a simple pledge with which he blackmails every Republican Congressperson. The pledge state that the Republican will never raise taxes of any kind on the American taxpayer. Regardless or necessity, logic or advisability, should a Republican who has signed the pledge vote to raise taxes in any way, or refuse to sign the pledge, Mr. Norquist’s powerful lobby group, Americans for Tax Reform, will run a Republican challenger to the offender in the next election cycle. Thus providing the blackmail impetus of forcing the offender to deplete campaign contributions and weakening the offender’s ability to fight of a Democratic challenger….quite a big stick.
The stick whose effectiveness that Joe Scarborough either naively, or unintelligently tried to dispute when calling in to rudely and loudly dismiss by berating Mika and the panel’s members.
It is certainly understandable that Mr. Scarborough would react in such a way given his penchant for self-importance and the probability that Mr. Norquist has his hand squarely up Mr. Scarborough’s ass as well as currently serving Republican congress people.
What Mr. Scarborough is too stupid or too scared to admit is that Mr. Norquist is mad with power and everyone EXCEPT apparently Mr. Scarborough understands.
Now then, on to Mr. Norquist.
He who has bullied and coerced nearly every Republicans in Congress to swear they’ll never raise taxes, and he says he’s ready to enforce it. If that pledge plunges the federal budget and world’s economy into ruin, then so be it. What Little Grover wants, Little Grover gets.
Here’s why. Right now, the Super Committee’s failure to do its job and present a modicum of necessary debt reductions threatens to kick yet another support out from under the global house of cards we laughingly call and promote as the premier form of political systems–democracy.
The magic number that supposedly solves all our budgetary problems is $4 trillion in revenues, program cuts, or both — a magic number the Republican members of the Super Committee were never going to even attempt. Republicans insist the nation’s lowest tax rates in 50 years are too high. Democrats refuse to preside over what amounts to national suicide.
The national interest? Pfffft. Who cares?
What the Republicans are really saying of course is that they’re afraid of Little Grover and what he calls raising taxes. Not because Little Grover won’t have a fit if they defy him. He will. But because Republicans can solve this crisis — and come out of it looking like heroes — just by keeping their word and letting the so-called “temporary” Bush tax cuts expire — which is what they promised when they were passed.
And if they don’t — they won’t — Democrats can hammer them on the fact that Republicans broke their word, have little honor, and chose disaster over upsetting Little Grover.
All the Republicans really have to do is allow the “temporary” Bush tax cuts to expire in 2012. This in itself would produce, more or less, the magical $4 trillion, and it’s Little Grover’s definition of raising taxes that’s preventing the Republicans from honoring their word. Master Norquist, you see, says that allowing said cuts to expire as promised is raising taxes, and he stands ready and willing to demolish any Republican who says or does otherwise.
Of course facts have no place in this matter, so it’s a very small step to say — as many are right now — that Master Nordquist and his friends at Koch Industries are deliberately destroying the Republican Party — not to mention the nation — because they see no reason to be men of honor themselves.
Let every Democrat running for office use these lines as their mantras, and they’ve got useful weapons that could knock back the right wing for a generation: Your kids are hungry because Republicans broke their word; the Republican’s “honor” meant nothing to them; Republicans are afraid of Little Grover.
The bonus: If the Democrats use it, the logic stands a fair chance of breaking Little Grover’s stranglehold on a Republican Party that used to be considered the very guardians of fiscal prudence. Certainly, the GOP will blame him for the result.
Nothing’s at stake if Democrats don’t use it but our future. And all it’ll take to use it is a little fortitude — testicular or otherwise. Of course, that seems to have also been in short supply recently in Democratic precincts.
But fear not. If Little Grover feels he doesn’t have enough of the cards in the deck stacked in his favor, he can always call up Little Joey Scarborough to do some on-the-air bullying for him.