Happy When America's Hurting, Gloomy When It Wins

Of course we all know that it's absolutely wrong and mean-spirited to suggest that anyone on the left could conceivably be unpatriotic [though an exception might be made for unrepentant terrorist friends of Barack Obama who accept from Vietnamese communists rings made from downed US planes.]  So while we won't be using the u-word here, two recent MSNBC shows offer a remarkable contrast. Let's compare Chris Matthews' giddy reaction to news of difficulties in the markets with Mika Brzezinski's gloom in begrudgingly discussing the Iraq surge's success.

View the video here.

The first portion of  the video is from the opening of Hardball of September 15th, the day when news was breaking of Lehman and Merrill Lynch's travails, and the DJIA had sunk over 500 points.  Matthews could hardly contain his glee, comparing McCain to Hoover, and declaring that because of the "terrible news" about the economy, "as of today, this is no longer an election about lipstick on pigs, misleading ads or how many houses a candidate owns. This is serious.  The economy is a real issue. With real consequences." Then there was today's discussion on Morning Joe of the surge's success.  Mika's pout—on view in the screencap—epitomizes her reaction.  I commend the entire video clip to your attention, but would focus on these exchanges.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let's look at the facts on the ground: Al-Qaeda in Iraq went from owning western Iraq [Anbar], where John  McCain actually said in 2006 it looks like we're going to lose western Iraq, we have to understand that and maybe focus on Baghdad. They went from that to driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out. They went from Baghdad neighborhoods being killing fields, where al-Sadr was the most powerful person in Baghdad.  When Petraeus and the surge came, he raced into Iran.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Let me—can I respond?

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, you can respond. But Mika, I just don't understand.  Don't be so doctrinaire on Iraq, where you can't shift and say maybe it was a mistake  in '03, maybe Bush made mistakes through '06, but don't be so ideological and doctrinaire that you can't admit that some amazing things have been done there by Petraeus.

BRZEZINSKI: No. I just look at the big picture: al-Qaeda has reconstituted itself elsewhere; we are not necessarily safer, and our military has been worn thin. So within all the things that you say, we have to look at the big picture and figure out do we have a safer situation, or are we roiling these areas into perhaps further conflicts down the road.

And a bit later, after Joe recounted an anecdote of how McCain took him aside before the surge began and told him to have confidence in Petraeus's extraordinary abilities to turn the situation around . . .

SCARBOROUGH: [McCain] was dead right when the rest of the world was wrong.

BRZEZINSKI: I still don't characterize it as a good situation. I characterize it as --

SCARBOROUGH: Why are you doing this?  Do you realize how silly you look doing this?  Your feet are in cement.

Foreign Policy Iraq Economy Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Vietnam Stock Market Banking/Finance MSNBC Hardball Morning Joe Video Mika Brzezinski David Petraeus Bill Ayers