Although he should have a little bit of latitude as a news columnist for the Washington Post over, say, an ostensibly objective staff reporter, Dana Milbank made abundantly clear on the Thursday edition if PoliticsNation that he has a complete disregard for any sense of fairness or objectivity.
Milbank blasted Republican senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and other as “children,” telling MSNBC host Al Sharpton he should just accept the need to “be patient” with them, sounding like someone counseling an exasperated mother trying to discipline her toddler.
Referencing Cruz’s assertion that new conservative leaders are the “children of Reagan,” Milbank sneered:
As children, we sometimes have to give them time to get around to this point of view.
This “point of view” was based on Sharpton’s recommendation that Republicans “restrategize” and “push this kind of wow – far right, very, very ugly rhetoric to the background of the party.”
The sound bites Sharpton played before the segment featured Paul questioning Obama’s “moral authority” and Rubio asserting he will continue to try and repeal ObamaCare. I’m not sure what’s so “far right” or “very, very ugly” about either claim, but it seems like Sharpton is letting his hard-left views – which he probably considers moderate – cloud his judgment.
The host later happily agreed with Milbank’s snide comments, responding:
Well, I guess I have to be patient, Dana. But my mother was a little more stern with raising her children.
Milbank has been unashamed about bashing Republicans as of late, and something about being a guest on Sharpton’s program seems to bring out the worst of Milbank’s blatant partisanship. It’s sad to think this man represents one of the nation’s most widely-circulated newspapers.
Of course, Milbank wasn’t the only liberal guest on Sharpton’s program. As we know, the PoliticsNation host loves to parade out an all-star lineup of left-wing commentators daily, and MSNBC’s Krystal Ball was no exception. Ball, in her segment with Milbank, began the discussion by reaffirming her strong Democratic ties:
And I've got to tell you, as a Democrat hoping that we do take back some seats in the House, I hope they keep it up because they are so out of touch with what the American people think about this president. It's the same mistake that they made in 2012 in the election, thinking that the entire American population hated this president and suspected the worst of him just like they do, and it's a total mistake.
As the Lean Forward network continues to boost a progressive, Republican-bashing lineup, you can be pretty sure it will continue its free fall off the ratings cliff.
See the relevant transcript below:
6:07 p.m. Eastern
AL SHARPTON: Now, talking about Republicans – Krystal, the new generation of Republican leaders certainly aren’t toning down their rhetoric. Listen to this. [Videos of Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio play.]
SEN. RAND PAUL: Nobody questions his legal authority but I think he's really losing the moral authority to lead this nation.
SEN. TED CRUZ: I think President Obama is the most radical president we've ever seen.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: In the months to come, I'm really going to focus of repealing ObamaCare. [End of video.]
SHARPTON: They seem to be just as out there in terms of rhetoric and charges as the Tea Party group that we see go off to the wild, wild yonder in this last cycle.
KRYSTAL BALL: And I've got to tell you, as a Democrat hoping that we do take back some seats in the House, I hope they keep it up because they are so out of touch with what the American people think about this president. It's the same mistake that they made in 2012 in the election, thinking that the entire American population hated this president and suspected the worst of him just like they do, and it's a total mistake. The thing that Americans are focused on – and a new Quinnipiac poll underscores this – is the economy. They are not as concerned about these small scandals that the Republicans have been so focused on. They are certainly not interested in a thirty-eighth vote to repeal ObamaCare. They want to see actual governance. Our government working together, and none of those guys that you just showed has any interest in that.
SHARPTON: You know, Dana, you would think as Krystal says that, that after the election of 2012 where it was clear, she stated, that the American public was not where they were in their opinion of the president or the style that the Tea Party types, that the far right was coming that they would restrategize and come back with another strategy or that the more moderate Republicans would take charge. But it doesn't seem like they either can or they are willing to take charge and kind of push this kind of wow far right very, very ugly rhetoric to the background of the party.
DANA MILBANK: Well, be patient, Reverend. As Ted Cruz says, these are children of Reagan. As children, we sometimes have to give them time to get around to this point of view. The party has said what needs to be done. It did its own autopsy. It said what direction it needs to go. And the problem is, you can't control people like Rubio, people like Rand Paul, people like Cruz because they are not answering to the electorate at large. They are answering to a small sliver of it in terms of that Tea Party base in very red states. So, you know, the president's popularity has remained relatively high and, as long as the economy continues to improve as it has been, that popularity is not going to be dipping no matter what these guys are saying.
SHARPTON: Well, I guess I have to be patient, Dana. But my mother was a little more stern with raising her children. Krystal and Dana, thank you both for your time.
MILBANK [laughing]: Spare the rod, spoil the child. Thanks.
BALL: Thank you, Reverend.