Pete Stark, Laff Riot? Crawford Calls Him 'Court Jester'

October 19th, 2007 7:42 AM
Did I miss the joke? Was there something funny about what Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said on the floor of the House, claiming that President Bush sends our soldiers to Iraq to get their heads blown off for his amusement? Craig Crawford can apparently see some humor in it.

Crawford appeared on today's "Morning Joe," and while the MSNBC political analyst certainly didn't approve Stark's statement, he did try to soft-pedal it, smilingly portraying it as just one more outburst from a congressional scamp.

View video here.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Craig, I'm just curious, if you're the Democratic party, do you go and give Pete Stark a big, warm bear hug or do you tell him to apologize?

CRAIG CRAWFORD: Oh, you know, Pete Stark's like Old Faithful. This guy erupts on a pretty regular basis over the years. I think a lot of Democrats are used to this and just kind of roll their eyes and let it, just move on [.org?]
Joe returned to the subject after rolling the tape of Stark's statement on the House floor:
Republicans sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war on children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if he can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement
SCARBOROUGH: So, the president wants troops's heads to be blown off for his amusement. The Democrats may be used to it, but what do you think about Middle America?

CRAWFORD [the photo captures Craig's mirthful reaction to Stark' statement] : Oh, I think this will hit that one pretty hard. I think this is not something that Democrats obviously would want out there, but Pete Stark is sort of a court jester, you know that, you served there.
Crawford then promptly changed the subject: "He's always, he talks about spending money, his plan for healthcare is put everybody on Medicare. I think we'll just gave to borrow more money from the Chinese to do that."

Now, it's true that Stark has a history of making crude and vulgar statements. As per Wikipedia:
  • Stark called then Republican congresswoman Nancy Johnson a "whore" of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Called United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Wade Sullivan, an African American, "a disgrace to his race".
  • Declared that conservative former California state welfare director Eloise Anderson would "kill children if she had her way" because she opposed particular policy proposals.
  • Called fellow Congressman Scott McInnis a "little wimp" and a "little fruitcake" and challenged him to a fight during a Ways and Means Committee meeting.
But again, where's the humor in any of this? Would Crawford and his MSM brethren depict a Republican with a history of making similar statements as a harmless "court jester," or would we have endless MSM navel-gazing deploring "the debasement of our political culture," culminating in calls for for the offender's resignation?