Salon's Joan Walsh: 'Unlike With Obama, People Who Criticized Bush Had Coherent Reasons'

I've said for years it takes an amazing amount of rationalizations to be a liberal these days.

On Tuesday's "Hardball," Salon editor Joan Walsh demonstrated perfectly what I mean (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Can’t they hear themselves in the echo chamber of B.S. they live in that the minute the guy did the opposite of what he said he did, he should have done, they would have attacked that. It’s just automatic criticism. Your thoughts, Joan.

Before we get to Walsh's absurd response, what Matthews and his guests including the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman were discussing were comments some of the possible Republican presidential candidates have been making concerning Barack Obama and Libya that may not have been consistent with previous positions that they've made in the past.

For his part, Matthews was, as typical, playing the conveniently ignorant shill who despite having worked for a politician before and in his current capacity as a professional commentator for decades has suddenly forgotten how politics work.

As the "Hardball" host knows full well except when it's employed by politicians he despises, the modus operandi of a potential challenger to an incumbent is to criticize everything he or she says or does. You don't get anywhere by agreeing with your opponent.

That Matthews is pleading ignorance to this is of course not at all surprising as after saying in November 2008 that it was his job to make Obama's presidency a success, he has made it clear in recent months that he will do everything within his power to get him reelected.

With that, let's see what Walsh had to say:

JOAN WALSH, SALON: Well, it’s so shallow, too. You know? And that is what you’re saying, Chris. It doesn’t matter. If something different happened, they would have a different principle. So they’re not, they’re not applying any kind of coherent principle of foreign policy or of domestic policy. They’re just looking for opportunities to cheap shot the President. The people who were criticizing Bush had a coherent, had coherent reasons to criticize him. It wasn’t like that. There was coherence to the point of view, where as here, I think you’re exactly right. They would just be trashing him whatever he did, and it feels that way. It feels cheap, it feels shallow.

That warrants repeating: "The people who were criticizing Bush had a coherent, had coherent reasons to criticize him. It wasn’t like that. There was coherence to the point of view."


I guess Walsh has forgotten the term "Bush Derangement Syndrome" which was originally coined by Charles Krauthammer in December 2003:

Bush Derangement Syndrome: the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush.

Now, I cannot testify to Howard Dean's sanity before this campaign, but five terms as governor by a man with no visible tics and no history of involuntary confinement is pretty good evidence of a normal mental status. When he avers, however, that ``the most interesting'' theory as to why the president is ``suppressing'' the 9/11 report is that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance, it's time to check on thorazine supplies.

When Rep. Cynthia McKinney first broached this idea before the 2002 primary election, it was considered so nutty it helped make her former Rep. McKinney. Today the Democratic presidential front-runner professes agnosticism as to whether the president of the United States was tipped off about 9/11 by the Saudis, and it goes unnoticed. The virus is spreading.

The virus indeed spread. Let's recall that folks on the Left blamed Bush for among other things:

  • A recession that began less than two months after he took office as a result of the explosion of the tech bubble the year before
  • The attacks on 9/11 despite them taking years to plan
  • The Enron scandal
  • "Outing" Valerie Plame
  • Rising oil and gas prices
  • Hurricane Katrina including poorly maintained dikes
  • Tornado response in Kansas
  • The 2008 financial crisis despite the major culprits being the Financial Service Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 both enacted before he was inaugurated
  • Our current budget deficit despite the last budget he created with a Republican Congress in 2007 having produced a relatively tiny $160 billion shortfall and him being out of office for 26 months.

Of course, this is only a short list. So pervasive was BDS that there's even a Wikipedia page devoted to it.

Sadly, this malady continues today as Matthews himself in January blamed the Egypt riots on Bush. New York Times columnist Frank Rich blamed last year's BP oil spill on the former President as well.

I guess this is what Walsh would consider "coherent."

2012 Presidential Hardball MSNBC Joan Walsh
Noel Sheppard's picture

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