From Monday night's Massachusetts senate debate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, here's another example of why David Gregory should not be moderating any more debates, ever. He used the debate to push his own agenda and his fetish with the now defunct Simpson-Bowles "plan" that isn't really a plan, since it never made it out of the committee.
Paul Krugman explained again last week why the likes of Gregory and his fellow Villagers pushing for austerity is so destructive if our politicians take their advice:
I ask that question because we already know what Mr. Obama will face if re-elected: a clamor from Beltway insiders demanding that he immediately return to his failed political strategy of 2011, in which he made a Grand Bargain over the budget deficit his overriding priority. Now is the time, he’ll be told, to fix America’s entitlement problem once and for all. There will be calls — as there were at the time of the Democratic National Convention — for him to officially endorse Simpson-Bowles, the budget proposal issued by the co-chairmen of his deficit commission (although never accepted by the commission as a whole).
And Mr. Obama should just say no, for three reasons.
First, despite years of dire warnings from people like, well, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, we are not facing any kind of fiscal crisis. Indeed, U.S. borrowing costs are at historic lows, with investors actually willing to pay the government for the privilege of owning inflation-protected bonds. So reducing the budget deficit just isn’t the top priority for America at the moment; creating jobs is. For now, the administration’s political capital should be devoted to passing something like last year’s American Jobs Act and providing effective mortgage debt relief. [...]
Finally, despite the bizarre reverence it inspires in Beltway insiders — the same people, by the way, who assured us that Paul Ryan was a brave truth-teller — the fact is that Simpson-Bowles is a really bad plan, one that would undermine some key pieces of our safety net. And if a re-elected president were to endorse it, he would be betraying the trust of the voters who returned him to office.
And here's more from a couple of others who share my disgust with Gregory's pathetic performance as moderator. First from Charles Pierce -- Warren/Brown II — Out of the Ring and into the Classroom of National Ideas, Advantage: Professor:
There was a general consensus on several issues as we all filed out of Tsongas Arena on Monday night. The first was that incumbent U.S. Senator Scott Brown had done a little better than he'd done in his first debate with challenger Elizabeth Warren in that he dialed the essential dickitude of his essential personality back to about a six. The second was that Warren was not quite as good as she had been the first time around, although she finished very strongly. The third, and by far the most solidly held, consensus was that moderator David Gregory should be flogged through the streets for wasting everyone's time.
The Dancin' Master promised that the evening would be held "Meet The Press-style" and, alas, he delivered. (I kept waiting for John McCain to wander onto the stage out of pure reflex.) Gregory made such a terrible dog's breakfast of the his job that his performance can best be summed up by a question he asked late in the proceedings. "We've only got a few minutes left, so I'd like to touch on some other issues. The war in Afghanistan..." [...]