Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Monuments in Bothsiderism

Just a little more NPR, and a note on poor Cokie Roberts, who's been demoted for her courage in coming out to denounce the Trump, because God forbid NPR should ever suggest that one side in an electoral contest is better than other in objective reality, as opposed to public opinion standings; and must now be identified by the network as a non-journalist; they stopped calling her a "news analyst" some years ago, but now she has to share her Monday morning spot with some explicitly partisan hack, who on this Monday was a Trump supporter from the (gasp!) open rightwing propaganda vehicle Washington Times, Charlie Hurt. Bob Edwards wept.

This woman, the child of not one but two New Deal Democrat congresspersons and an uncloseted feminist (if of a pretty weak-tea variety, writing pop history focusing on women but always choosing her heroines from those who were married to Great Men, as if to mark her "moderation" with this territorial modesty), has been running from accusations of partisanship for a lifetime, but the dreadful taint has finally caught up with her.

Nevertheless she keeps performing the same routine she's always done, clicking her tongue with disapproval at those who are uncivil enough to suggest the Republicans are wrong about matters of fact and policy, and focused on those "damaging" stories that lurk "out there" to defeat Democrats, which can have a very odd effect juxtaposed with a partner recognizing his function as that of defending Republican indefensibility: a kind of "heads I lose, tails you win" melancholy.

I won't fisk the whole thing here, but the concluding statements give a good idea of the flavor, coming just after Hurt has been trying to justify the Trump's claim that he's going to get all the coal miners their jobs back even though economic conditions, not policy, make it clear it won't happen. Hurt, trying to put a happy face on it, explodes with such idiocy that Steve can't help laughing, and Roberts has to push herself in fairly aggressively to make it clear that "her" side isn't ahead:
INSKEEP: Everybody - every candidate says they want people to go to work. No - go - finish your thought. Finish your thought.

HURT: But - in - Republicans have made all these promises about foreign trade, about, you know, free trade, they call it. And it has absolutely devastated, whether it's the coal miners or the furniture manufacturers or the textile manufacturers. It has been absolutely devastating. And none of the benefits that have been promised them by Republicans have, you know, come to fruition. And so I do think that - I don't know if you can bring all these jobs back or not. But I don't think that - I've always felt like a great bumper sticker for Donald Trump could be - you can't screw it up any worse.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) OK. Well, Charlie Hurt...

ROBERTS: But Hillary Clinton supporters are worried that she might not be able to answer all of that. And there's a lot of concern in the Democratic Party about going forward.

INSKEEP: All right, thanks very much, Cokie Roberts and Charlie Hurt of the Washington Times.

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