On Thursday’s Morning Joe, political analyst Mark Halperin called President Barack Obama a “dick” for the President’s press conference where he ridiculed Republican’s for the delay in getting a budget deal done. The President compared the conservatives to his daughters saying that Sasha and Malia don’t wait until the last minute to get their homework done because the girls have the good sense to get their work completed in a timely fashion and that the congress should do what’s necessary to work out a compromise on the budget before the United States government defaults on its debt instead of going on vacation with a deadline looming.
Arguably Mr. Obama was rather condescending. He pointed a damning finger at his political opponents and used his unique position as President to bring attention to their foot dragging on something a lot of people feel is very serious. He did what any politician would do when trying to force an unwilling opponent to compromise more than he or she or they might wish, he took his argument to the public. Mr. Obama may not do it as much as others, but as a politician, he can be expected to participate in the blame game just like any other politician.
For Mr. Halperin to label the President with such a slur for doing what politicians do is truly “dick” behavior. In an attempt to explain himself for his rather unique critique as a supposedly respected political analyst, Mr. Halperin says that Mr. Obama was not being helpful to the negotiating process and was merely playing to his political base. Just think of the audacity of a politician like the President trying to show the people most likely to vote for him in an upcoming election that he can be trusted to fight for their political beliefs in this budget showdown.
So if it is true that Mr. Obama is acting like a “dick”, the where is Mr. Halperin’s condemnation of the conservatives for acting like “dicks” as well? Don’t conservatives deserve the same label for trying to play to their own political base? Or does Mr. Halperin feel that conservative political leaders are trying to appeal to the President’s base and liberals everywhere when they make their announcements that any attempt to increase revenue into the treasury is a non-starter? Where was Mr. Halperin when Republican Majority Whip Eric Cantor walked out of budget negotiations? Was Mr. Cantor a “dick” for his grandstanding to the approval of his conservative base?
It is my guess that Mr. Halperin is being very biased in his judgment of what makes a “dick” and what is responsible political theatrics. And I do believe that when he referred to the President as a “dick”, the conservative Mr. Halperin was doing what he could to appeal to his own conservative base. I might be wrong, but I do believe a lot of conservatives approve of Mr. Obama being called a “dick”. But such a label really does nothing to help move things along. So if Mr. Halperin was judged by his own standards, maybe it would be fair to say that Mr. Halperin was just being a “dick”.
In response to Mr. Halperin’s remark, MSNBC has announced that Mr. Halperin will be suspended indefinitely. Liberals will applaud the response while conservatives will cry foul. It’s no different than when Mr. Halperin called Mr. Obama a “dick”. Conservatives applauded the assessment while liberals cried foul. But that’s no different than when the President said conservatives act like irresponsible children who know that their homework assignment is coming due. Liberals will applaud and conservatives will moan. Just like when a conservative negotiator walks out of a budget meeting. Conservatives applaud while liberals howl in protest. And on and on it goes.
The bottom line is that the way things are going we all can be considered acting like “dicks”. We are a country of “dicks” run be a political system that encourages people to act like “dicks”. We are all part of this “members” only club. Mr. Halperin may have been right in his assessment of Mr. Obama, but unfortunately it appears that he was totally off the mark in his assessment of just about everything else in the world of politics. Instead of acting like a responsible political analyst with a bias for their own political leanings and letting the “dick” behavior happen, Mr. Halperin made the choice to show his own “dick”-like behavior.
A fourth woman has come forward to admit her participation in the texting scandal surrounding embattled New York House Representative Anthony Weiner. The situation is truly unfortunate. Not because Mr. Weiner, once considered an up and coming star in the Democratic Party, participated in some gravely inappropriate behavior. What makes this so sordid is the fact that when busted, Mr. Weiner took to lying about it like a duck takes to water. My twitter account was hacked! I can’t say for sure if it was me or not! This is all just a political attack by enemies! There needs to be an investigation to see who’s doing this! In the end, threatened with irrefutable evidence to prove Mr. Weiner’s guilt, the man tearfully admits the truth and apologizes to everybody. Once his house of cards crashed his first priority was to say how sorry he was for his lack of prudence. But his second priority was to tell people that he wasn’t about to quit his job.
As an employee of the people, Mr. Weiner really should think about rethinking his decision to stay and fight to keep his job. His desire to stay in his position of power is a natural one. 99 times out of a hundred, any time a politician is caught red handed with his or her hand in the proverbial cookie jar the first reaction is to offer an apology and to act like all we have to do is to go back to business as normal. But the bigger problem is that instead of going ahead and getting in the bed he made for himself, Mr. Weiner slipped into a hard core mode of public deception. He went on all the talk shows to blame everybody and anybody, accusing anyone and everyone for essentially what was the truth. After it was revealed that he had thrown a great deal of his good judgment out the window, he reached for any shred of personal integrity that may have remained and gave it the boot as well. Instead of facing the music, Mr. Weiner doubled down and gave even more energy to the opinion that he does not deserve the trust of his constituents.
Not too long ago I was confronted with my own lack of character. I am still learning to cope with my own lack of discretion. And while the revelation of what I had done was truly painful, I do believe it would have been considerably more painful if I continued to hide my wrongs with even more wrongs. If I can use an analogy, it’s a lot like how one responds to a minor traffic violation. If you get caught for speeding or for running a light, you pull over when you see the police lights behind you and accept your ticket. That’s the right thing to do. You’re busted! The last thing you want to do is put your foot on the gas and try to avoid one minor traffic violation by throwing caution to the wind and intentionally making more traffic violations. There is a very slim change you might get away. But the far greater inevitability is that you will get caught. And instead of thinking about the welfare of others who might be sharing the street with you, you’re willing to risk the safety of the public for your own selfish gain. And then to add insult to public injury, when you are eventually stopped we learn that you are in fact a cop, trusted with the safety of the public. The rabbit hole you just fell down winds up being the Grand Canyon. And if that’s not enough, you want to tell everybody that you’re sorry and have no plans of leaving your cop job as if it’s just business as usual.
If we were only talking about another politician with a penchant for the typical distasteful behavior of abusing the public’s trust, that’s one thing. But to augment that behavior with the outright, brazen shamelessness of high profile deception is a bit inexcusable. And it doesn’t matter who else did it. We’re not here to talk about how Louisiana Senator David Vitter got off or how Nevada Senator John Ensign dodged a bullet. We should learn to stop with the rather ridiculous notion that because somebody escaped punishment in the past we now have lost the moral grounds to shed light on this situation. What happened then really doesn’t apply to the now. And just think, if we handle this situation appropriately, we might be able to set precedence for how we handle such behavior in the future. We have to start dealing with these politicians somewhere.
The way Mr. Weiner handled this whole ordeal is awfully telling. The man didn’t hesitate to go where every politician should fear to tread, brazen lying and accusing everyone else of deceit when the truth is so easily verified. Mr. Weiner should have simply come clean when he was confronted with who he was. Instead, he tried to run from himself by embracing the very behavior that got him into trouble in the first place. A man who embraces duplicity on such a public scale to avoid his duplicity on such a private matter, simply cannot be relied on to do what’s right for the public’s welfare. Mr. Weiner should reconsider his desire to stay at his job and show the world he really does care about the greater good.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Glenn Beck’s Last Day
Glenn Beck’s last day on the air is today!
Wednesday, June 18, 2011
The Factually Inaccurate
The factually inaccurate’s coming! The factually inaccurate’s coming!