Saturday, January 10, 2009

First Sarah Haskins, And Now Some Chris Hayes

First, I have to say that I'm not loving Keith Olbermann's suit and tie combination in the first video. I usually think he's a pretty snazzy dresser (I like the grey suit-white dress shirt-purple tie combo in the second video), or that he at least has a really good wardrobe supervisor. But that yellowy brown striped tie? Not of the good. Now, onto Chris Hayes, who seemed to be tripping over his own tongue.
I gotta say, I like anyone who juxtaposes "talking a lot of smack" with the word "capitulate" within a sentence. And I agree with both he and Keith Olbermann here. The Democrats won! Why are they then being oddly obstinate? Is it just something akin to the post-Christmas letdown that occurs in my house, where they were all excited for election day and are now grumpy and cranky and sleep-deprived while being overly sugared? Because I don't really remember Harry Reid standing up too often to President Bush. And while I agree with what Reid said, in that Senate Democrats need to work with Senate Republicans and that Reid doesn't work for Obama, I think it is kind of odd that he felt the need to state that outright, right now. And I do love Hayes' eye roll at Reid's assertion that he will be Majority leader until 2015.

I have to say, Democrats shot themselves in the foot with the whole Roland Burris thing, but that's really all I want to say about it; and I'm hoping that what with Jesse White signing the document certifying Burris' appointment, this will all fade away into one of those crazy but innocuous stories we all tell each other in a few years if the world has managed not to go to hell in a handbasket. But while I understand not wanting to look like limp noodles going back on a promise not to seat anyone appointed by a corrupt public official, I have to imagine that it would have been more politically expedient to have just quietly done that and allowed the story to fade away rather than to allow a continuation of coverage of this whole mess. And to think, this could have been spared if only the Illinois legislature had voted to hold a special election.

The second video, about Sanjay Gupta and the lack of accountability when someone gets something wrong in a socially acceptable way. I have no real opinion about the Gupta pick one way or the other, but I do enjoy the conversation about what frustrates the Left about this whole process.


Rebekah said...

I'm compelled to leave a comment before shutting down for the night, considering I just spent the last several hours glued to your blog reading everything since mid-October. I stumbled across it through a random Google search but was very quickly enamored by all the things I found in common with your writing- love of all things Joss Weadon, regular readership of, Bitch magazine, Keith Olberman and Jon Stewart, listening to the podcasts at work, views on marriage, and the great post on bisexuality among other things. Wow! You are definitely bookmarked and thanks for all the great content that had me hooked all evening.

mikhailbakunin said...

I know you don't care, but I'm going to have to go on a rant here . . .

I remember watching the Moore-Gupta debate and thinking that Gupta destroyed Moore. As I recall, Gupta admitted upfront that he had been wrong about one fact.

But the thrust of the debate was about Moore's insistence that single-payer was "free" health care, and Gupta arguing that the American people would ultimately have to pay for it with higher taxes.

It's almost impossible to argue with Gupta's point; still, Moore refused to budge. Even if a single-payer system did lower costs to the extent that Moore says it would, Americans would still have to pay higher taxes. But there's good reason to believe that a single-payer system wouldn't lower costs in the U.S. Medicare is probably the most inefficient and expensive bureaucracy out there. Right now, Medicare spending accounts for 4 percent of GDP. That's expected to triple to 12 percent by 2050.

Gupta also claimed that Moore was comparing facts from DIFFERENT reports - so the numbers Moore cites may be accurate, but the methodology is probably inconsistent. Moore just continued accuse Gupta of lying - and made all sorts of conspiratorial inferences about WHY Gupta was lying.

I don't really understand Chris Hayes's last point. If Moore is "demarcated" as being outside the norm, why was he invited to have such a high-profile debate with Gupta on Larry King?

petpluto said...

Rebekah - Thanks so much! I always love "meeting" another Joss Whedon fan!

Mikhailbakunin -
I know you don't care, but I'm going to have to go on a rant here . . .

Are you contending that I don't care if you rant, or that I don't care about the point you make when you rant? Because while I don't care if you rant - and sometimes enjoy it - I always care about the point you're making, though I rarely agree.

On the Gupta thing - I'm going to be quite honest and say that I don't remember the debate all that well, nor could I definitively say who won and who lost.

But I think Chris Hayes' point is not about exposure of a position, but about how the political establishment - and probably mainstream media - responds to and recognizes those outside the bounds of polite theories or discourse. I do think it isn't something that can be measured in any real way, but is a source of frustration for those whose voices aren't within the decided upon "conversation".

I kind of liken it to the argument against a woman who has gotten angry; she may have made some excellent points, but because she showed emotion she often gets relegated to just being another "angry woman" and is sometimes told that if she made her point without emotion she would be taken more seriously. It doesn't happen every time, but it does happen - and the result is frustration toward the whole process.

mikhailbakunin said...

But I think Chris Hayes' point is not about exposure of a position, but about how the political establishment - and probably mainstream media - responds to and recognizes those outside the bounds of polite theories or discourse.

I'm sympathetic to that point. I'd like to see more "marginal" voices enter into our political discourse. But I also want to see a more rational dialogue. I think those may be inconsistent demands on my part.

Also, it's difficult to determine which voices should be part of our national dialogue and which voices should be excluded therefrom. I have a feeling that if you applied Hayes's rule universally (that is, to conservatives as well as liberals), there would be some right-wing voices and ideas that Hayes would strongly object to legitimizing.

Maybe I'll actually write a blog post about this at some point . . . .

(By the way, I used the word "therefrom" mostly for comedic value.)