Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan and the Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift got into quite a heated debate about the government shutdown on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday.
At one point, Buchanan said Obama “wants to maximize the pain in order to maximize his political gain…It is a sinister and sadistic tactic” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Will average Americans feel the shutdown effects, Eleanor Clift?
ELEANOR CLIFT, DAILY BEAST: Absolutely. You know, people who are trying to get into clinical trials can’t get into clinical trials. That’s been suspended. You have blood drives being canceled because people are furloughed, they’re not there. People are not getting their paychecks. This has lots of ripple effects, and not always from people that we hear from.
And the Republicans have started a very cynical approach passing bills, or trying to pass bills that will reopen areas of government where they’re feeling the heat. And, the Democrats…
PAT BUCHANAN: No, that’s outrageous, Eleanor.
CLIFT: …the Democrats are holding, it’s not outrageous. You don’t get to pick and choose your…
BUCHANAN: They asked, you’ve talked, let me talk a second.
CLIFT: I get to finish a sentence.
BUCHANAN: Well, look, the National Institute of Health has a cancer treatment program for children, and the Republicans tried to open it up, and Harry Reid said “No,”
MCLAUGHLIN: He said, “Why would I want to do that? Why would I want to do that?”
BUCHANAN: He wants to maximize the pain in order to maximize his political gain. That is exactly what Obama is doing. It is a sinister and sadistic tactic.
MCLAUGHLIN: Raw and crude politics.
BUCHANAN: It really is when you’re doing it.
Imagine for a moment the House was controlled by Democrats that had just proposed NIH funding, and a Republican Senate and President said no.
The media outrage would be extraordinary.
But because the press will support anything Barack Obama and Harry Reid want, they're actually defending this "sinister and sadistic tactic."
And Clift is right there with them.
Color me very unsurprised.