David Broder might be gone, but I think after this week, between his performance on Morning Joe playing the false equivalency game and now his excusing of Paul Ryan's lies in an extremely lame rebuttal to Newt Gingrich and Carly Fiorina's hackery on this Sunday's Meet the Press -- we can rightfully crown Tom Brokaw the new king of High Broderism.
Or at least the king for this week. There are too many others out there lined up to regularly take his place among the beltway Villagers in the media. Apparently lying your ass off for an entire speech to the point where everyone knows your hair's on fire whether they want to admit it or not is now "overreaching."
I wish Brokaw's hackery was the worst thing about this steaming pile of poo on Meet the Press this week, but sadly it was not. The entire show was just a tragedy and not a single liberal on the panel to counter wingnuts. Just blathering Villagers in the form of Gregory, Brokaw, Thomas Friedman and Doris Kearns Goodwin who all did their part to just muddy the waters.
Transcript below the fold.
GREGORY: But on the other side of that, Speaker Gingrich, you-- you were quoted in a book talking on election night, hours after the president’s inauguration, laying a foundation with other Republicans about how to block the president’s agenda. That’s not exactly a down payment on-- on bipartisanship in Washington.
GINGRICH: You know, this is-- but this is one of the great myths to this city. The president got the stimulus plan he wanted with no elected official having read it. He got every single dollar, every single power. The President rams through Obamacare, the largest change in the size of government in modern times, got it done. The-- the reason people say he didn’t get anything done is it is failing. I mean, Liberals can’t get up and say, gee, we passed everything we wanted to under-- under the Democratic House and Democratic Senate, and in 2010, we were repudiated and by the way, none of it worked. So-- so it’s just not the (cross talk).
FRIEDMAN: I don’t think you can say the stimulus hasn’t worked. I think that the-- the book is still very much out to that. And-- and we just, in fact, have a new book by Michael Greenwald from TIME magazine marking just the opposite and health care hasn’t been implemented yet. So I think in fairness you can’t simply say everything he did was fair.
FIORINA: But I think what is absolutely fair is to say that President Obama, for two years, had a Democratic-controlled Senate and a democratically controlled House. So it wasn’t a question of Republican intransigence. They didn’t have the power to stand in his way. In 2010, he lost control of the House. He retains control of the Senate. It is President Obama and his administration, who have failed to put forward a budget that even members of their own party can support. What I find so curious about this line of reasoning, from President Obama and his administration is, it makes him look small. Is he really saying that he is only as powerful as Congressman Ryan? I don’t think that’s what the American people expect of their president. I think they expect their president to lead, to rise above. And he has manifestly not done that. I think what’s going to be interesting, whatever you think of the Republican convention, I personally think Clint Eastwood was a mistake before he came out. What I think the Republicans did was offer a performance-based critique of Obama. Here’s what hasn’t worked. Here’s what we think will work. I think what’s going to be interesting about the Democratic convention is, is it a performance-based defense? Is it an idea-based program going forward? Or is it a bunch of adjectives which is what they’ve been majoring on recently. Adjectives like, mean and out-of-touch, and extreme--usually more adjectives means less ideas.
BROKAW: One of the problems I have, in fact, was though-- was that, Carly, with all due respect, was that for example, Congressman Ryan overreached a couple of times and got caught in those overreaches. The Janesville plant, for example, which was closed in ‘08, they ended up blaming it on President Obama.
FIORINA: President never overreached in his rhetoric.
BROKAW: And-- and the-- and the cuts in Medicare, which were very similar to what he had in mind, taking on the President for not invoking Simpson-Bowles, which I agree with him on that. I think the president made a mistake in not playing up front Simpson-Bowles. He was a member of Simpson-Bowles, and he voted against him, went on the floor and said it’s not a good idea to do it. So I think that’s a problem for the Republicans in overreaching. They can make a very good case about the last four years, but when they overreach, then the next day’s stories are all about the course corrections that have to be made. And I think it-- it goes to their credibility some. And I think the American people are out there looking to say, I don’t know which of these guys to believe, which is going to make those debates all the more important.
FRIEDMAN: I would have a lot more, you know, willingness to listen to some of the critiques if one speaker that was there in Tampa stood up said you know, we had a hand in this deficit.
FRIEDMAN: We had a president who for eight years, launched two wars, which is the first time in our history we did not pay for it with a tax increase but with a tax cut, passed a Medicare, you know, Drug Benefit Bill that we could not afford. We are in this situation, ladies and gentlemen, because we Republicans, and Democrats, okay, have-- there was not an iota, history started the day Obama was elected.
GREGORY: And Doris, you had the only person who talked about bipartisan compromise was Chris Christie…
GREGORY: …who said we can and we should achieve bipartisan compromise while still adhering to our conservative principles but no real-- this is what I thought was important. Given everything we’re talking about, there was no road map for how we get there. Because, we’ve-- we’ve heard about changing the culture in Washington from two presidents, both of whom have failed. No road map of actually how you go and do the blocking and tacking-- tackling of getting there.
GOODWIN: And I’m not sure either candidate knows how to break that bipartisan problem that we have right now. I think, however, there was a roadmap for Obama’s acceptance speech in the reference that Mister Romney made to Neil Armstrong. And I think you talked about this earlier. Neil Armstrong, as the emblematic notion of an entrepreneur who got to the Moon, it’s just the opposite.
It was government investment, and then followed by private innovation. And that’s really what’s in the stimulus bill. I mean it may be that it didn’t produce the jobs we wanted but it did invest in education, it did invest in energy. And a lot of those projects worked. All we know about Solyndra, Mister Obama has not made a good apology, not an apology, a defense of what he actually did, what the health care bill did, what the Dodd-Frank has done and he has to come out full throttle. If he doesn’t believe in the government investment, he has to defend government and defend investment as a down payment for the future and say if I’m elected it will go much more forward in this direction. But if he doesn’t do it, people can’t do it for him. It’s up to him.