In a fit of partisan pique, national Republican leaders like RNC chairman Reince Priebus are whipping up a "lynch mob" against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that threatens the soldier's right to due process.
That's the latest Obama-shielding spin hitting the airwaves on MSNBC courtesy of NationalMemo.com editor-in-chief Joe Conason, who made such a charge on the June 5 edition of The Reid Report towards the conclusion of a segment with host Joy Reid and Salon.com's Joan Walsh. The relevant transcript appears below the page break [Listen to MP3 audio here; Watch the video below the page break]:
The Reid Report
June 5, 2014
2:38 p.m. Eastern; 46 seconds
JOE CONASON, referring to harsh Obama critics who previously complained Obama didn't do enough to get Bergdahl released: It's mindless, it's sort of Manchurian candidate behavior on the right, and what it tells you is, there's not much hope of persuading anybody in that, whatever it is, 28 percent of the population that lockssteps with that nonsense, okay? You can't get to them. Because they are programmed to, and they hate the president, I will say. And it's quite irrational.
But what's important is to try to show the rest of the public what is going on with this. And you're absolutely right. There is a similarity [to the right's criticism of President Clinton]. I'll tell you what it really is: the president was reelected just like Bill Clinton. He kicked the butt of their candidate. And they don't like that, okay? Along with a host of other things they don't like about him, which are all things that I like about him. But, you know, that's the real problem here. And they can't let it go.
2:40 p.m. Eastern; 53 seconds
JOAN WALSH: ...[T]his is just a rush to judgment without the facts, with very few countervailing forces. And I think the president was quite rightly dismissive of this rage and this orchestrated rage. At least he did the right thing. Kind of can't believe that he's being criticized for saving a soldier and is just not having it, and I kind of like that today.
JOE CONASON: Joy, it's an outrage, okay, that the Republican Party in a coordinated way has cooked up a lynch mob against an American soldier. Okay. I don't care what he did. It's up to the Pentagon to discover what he did, in a judicial proceeding that they will oversee, not Reince Priebus, not any of his minions or stooges. That is, it's an outrage that they're doing that to a soldier. I don't blame, as you said, the soldiers who are angry at Bowe Bergdahl. Maybe they have the best reason in the world. This is not the right way to do this.
JOY REID: Yeah. A little due process. That is what we're looking for.