Pundits and politicians are normally so slick that they can weasel their way out of even the most glaring of contradictions. "Depends on what the meaning of is, is," anyone? So it's particularly delicious, to use Noel Sheppard's trademark phrase, to see a talking head left absolutely cornered, babbling without response, when caught in the hypocrisy of a double-standard.
On today's Morning Joe, former Obama car czar Steve Rattner passed along the Obama admin line that negotiating with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling "is like negotiating with terrorists." With catlike quickness, Joe Scarborough pounced: "so you're saying Barack Obama was a terrorist in 2006 when he said he refused to raise the debt ceiling?" The cornered Rattner had no comeback, actually asking Mika Brzezinski of all people to "help me out here," then resorting to the lame "it's complicated" line. View the amusing video after the jump.
The panel all had a good chuckle at Rattner's expense. But Scarborough's point was made: Barack Obama is a fine practitioner of the art of situational ethics.
STEVE RATTNER: What the White House is saying are two complementary things. They are saying they will negotiate over the government shutdown and the continuing resolution which is the business in front of them now. The debt ceiling, it's like negotiating with terrorists.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You're saying Barack Obama was a terrorist in 2006 when he said he refused to raise the debt ceiling?
RATTNER: No. Help me out here, Mika.
SCARBOROUGH: It wasn't terrorism in 2006 when the president did it as senator but it is an act of terrorism now that he's a president? You have no answer to that, do you? No answer!
RATTNER: It's complicated.
SCARBOROUGH: Come on. Complicated?