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.