UPDATE: For his statement, Halperin has been suspended.
“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers,” in a statement by MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines. “We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.”
A “high level of discourse” from the network which employs Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz? Please.
ORIGINAL: Could his language have been a little better? Sure. But this morning, MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin issued forth an accurate characterization of the demeanor and substance of the President’s press conference yesterday.
Halperin said Obama was a “dick.”
And then he apologized.
Maybe calling the president a dick is a little strong. Unless the president in question is Richard Nixon, in which case it’s innocuous.
But Halperin’s “absolute” apology was unnecessary and craven.
He could have said “let’s call him a jerk rather than a dick” and left it at that.
To apologize in the manner he did was to repudiate the assessment of Obama’s behavior inherent in the initial statement, and that assessment was spot on.
After all, what did Obama say yesterday? Well, he went after corporate jet owners six times as though tax breaks for the corporate jet industry make a difference in the budget deficit. Those breaks make for a $300 million “tax expenditure” annually, which is less than one tenth of one percent of the deficit. And that’s worth a full-court press demonization?
Only a dick would say something so ridiculous.
Obama also equated Congressional objections to his flouting of the War Powers Act, which happens to be the law of the land, to making Qaddafi a “cause celebre.” That level of demogoguery and deceit is the exclusive province of dicks.
Let’s see, what else. Oh, then there was this business of telling Congress that they should work through the 4th of July on the debt limit negotiations.
“They’re in one week, they’re out one week. And then they’re saying, Obama has got to step in. You need to be here. I’ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done.”
How many fundraisers has this guy done? 30? And how many rounds of golf? He sent Joe Biden to negotiate on the debt limit, for Pete’s sake.
For disingenuity, Obama’s a dick.
Y’know what I’m starting to think? I’m starting to think that maybe the Republicans ought to give Obama exactly what he wants. He wants to soak the rich and suspend tax breaks? Fine. Have a vote in the House on everything Obama wants, with all of the new taxes expiring on Dec. 31, 2012. And then have every House Republican vote “present” on the bill. The Democrats will have to pass the thing. And let Harry Reid ram those new taxes through the Senate. In return, gouge them for draconian budget cuts; $500-750 billion worth.
And when federal revenues don’t move an inch in a year, because economic activity grinds to a halt as investors and other folks capable of creating jobs sit on the sidelines rather than pay Obama’s taxes, Boehner and Cantor and McConnell and all the GOP presidential candidates can say “I told you so, dick.”
One of the big problems the Republicans have in negotiating with Obama is that these guys actually care about the country. They’re trying to implement good policies and they’re trying to stand on principle. It would have been nice if these guys had such a backbone when Bush was president and they were a majority prior to the 2006 elections; they might never have lost their majority in the first place.
But while caring about the country is admirable, it puts you at a disadvantage when the other guy is only trying to win the next news cycle. Obama doesn’t care about America, he doesn’t even like America. He proved that when he went on his Apology Tour, and ever since then we’ve seen him go after one group of “villains” after another – doctors, bankers, Wall Street, the coal industry, now people who ride on corporate jets. All Obama cares about is getting re-elected so he can continue to “fundamentally transform” the country. And why would you want to “fundamentally transform” something you love?
So when Obama’s goal is to demonize you in an effort to get elected, and when his acolytes at media shops like MSNBC, where Halperin doesn’t feel comfortable in calling a dick a dick without groveling, equate disagreement with Obama’s policies to “divisiveness,” trying to stand for the future of the country is a loser’s game. You’re right, of course, but you’re not going to get any benefit from being right.
Maybe the thing to do is get out of the way and let this guy turn the economy into Zimbabwe in time for the 2012 elections. The damage on those tax hikes he wants can easily be undone in January of 2013 when there are lots more Republicans in the House and Senate and when Obama is off building his presidential library at Cabrini Green or wherever.
Of course, there’s another angle to this. Namely, if the House GOP members sat on the sidelines on a tax vote, would the Democrats actually be able to carry a vote for tax hikes? I’m not so sure. I’m especially not so sure a tax hike would pass in the Senate. And if Obama’s dickish rhetoric on taxes were to actually fail in a Senate vote as a result of Democrat opposition, well…if that’s not the end of his presidency I’d hate to see what is.
It stinks when patriotism is a political liability. But when you’ve got a dick for a president, maybe the thing to do is to let his dickishness ruin him.