Somebody got on Tweety's bad side tonight... the Tea Party Express' Sal Russo. Joan Walsh didn't get a chance to say much during the segment but she has more here at Salon -- The skewering of Sal Russo:
Live by the Tea Party, die by the Tea Party. The GOP flack falls apart defending Michele Bachmann's slavery history
Poor Sal Russo. The Tea Party Express leader had a rough day. Booked on MSNBC's "Hardball" to discuss Michele Bachmann's upcoming State of the Union rebuttal, instead he found himself confronted by Bachmann's idiotic whitewash of American history in a speech in Iowa over the weekend.
Go read the rest for more on Bachmann's nonsense he was trying to defend, but I thought I'd share one more point she made during the interview and in her article about these astroturf teabaggers and who they really are.
It was hard to feel sorry for Russo, though: He's a mainstream Republican campaign consultant who's worked for everyone from Ronald Reagan to Christine Todd Whitman. He saw a future in the Tea Party, so he hitched his wagon to its "Express." His firm Russo Marsh and Associates paid itself millions for promoting the candidacies of Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle and Joe Miller -- three seats Republicans should have won but lost because Russo's candidates were crackpots. (Russo insists his firm does it for love, not money.) Now he's hyping Bachmann; it's the Tea Party Express that's sponsoring her speech opposite official GOP rebutter, Rising Star™ Paul Ryan. Maybe Russo is secretly working for the Democrats?
On "Hardball," I tried to meet Russo on his own terms and talk about the deficit. His former boss, Ronald Reagan, built up the largest peacetime budget deficit in history back in the day, and also signed the largest peacetime tax increase. Republican George W. Bush took over a $200 billion annual budget surplus left by Democrat Bill Clinton, and handed President Obama a $1.2 trillion annual deficit. Where was Russo's Tea Party movement when Republicans were looting the Treasury?
Nowhere to be found. Russo and his buddy Dick Armey and the rest of them didn't have a reason to be busing them to town halls when Republicans were busting the budget.