George W. Bush
You would think that the establishment press and the rest of the opposition to Donald Trump's administration might be able to capitalize substantively (shrieking fundraising letters don't count as "substance") on Kellyanne Conway's shaky reference to "alternative facts" about a week ago. (She should have said, "I have different, more defensible estimates than you do," because she did.) So far they can't, and they seem unable to help themselves. When they run into facts they don't like, they suppress them and seek out — you guessed it — weak or false alternative facts to fit their narrative.
“The most important development of the last half-century in American politics,” believes New York magazine’s Chait, is “the Republican Party’s embrace of movement conservative ideology.” In a Thursday post, Chait cited six books, none of which was written by a conservative, that “help elucidate” this phenomenon. Among Chait’s choices: E.J. Dionne’s Why the Right Went Wrong; Richard Hofstadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought (“scathingly dispatches a powerful right-wing idea that was destined to endure: the notion that the free market is a perfectly just mechanism for rewarding value and punishing failure”); and Paul Krugman’s Peddling Prosperity (“a powerful critique of supply-side economics…which Krugman aptly dispatches as simply crankery lacking any grounding in serious economic theory”).
MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews was a living, breathing edition of Notable Quotables on Inauguration Day, offering takes ranging from joking about Mussolini and former President George W. Bush hugging Supreme Court justices to this now-infamous quip that President Trump’s speech was “Hitlerian.”
The front of the New York Times Arts section featured an exhaustive report on the controversy over the world-famous Rockettes performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration: “Still Kicking, but No Longer Silent.” The text box was harsh to Trump for ruining an American tradition: “A Trump Inauguration Casualty: The Silent, Smiling Rockettes."
On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday, panelist Van Jones claimed that Trump didn’t deserve Obama’s “silence” after he leaves office, because Trump was going to undo every good thing Obama did as President. “Obama came in to fix things that W. broke. Trump is coming in to break things that Obama fixed,” Jones asserted.
Millions of Americans will celebrate Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, but the vast majority of journalists probably won’t be among them — and it’s not their scrupulous “objectivity,” or a unique aversion to Trump’s personal style, that keeps them from joining the party. Reviewing the media’s inauguration coverage since 1989 finds that incoming Republican presidents receive little of the worshipful coverage that’s accompanied the ascension of Democratic presidents. Instead, journalists measure new presidents using their standard liberal yardstick.
On Friday morning, Rob Bluey at the Daily Signal caught this monstrosity from The Atlantic, which published reader responses to who they consider to be the “worst leader of all time” and, not surprisingly, the responders named former Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan -- alongside murderous dictators Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot -- as well as the incompetent British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
Donald Trump found himself in the crosshairs of NBC’s The Carmichael Show on Sunday night. But then again, so did Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. In fact, if this episode was meant to resemble a political smack down, it was more of a “Three Stooges” type smack down, where everyone took an open-handed swat.
Judging by Nicolle Wallace's performance on today's With All Due Respect, it looks like establishment Republicans are going full bore against Ted Cruz. Here was Wallace talking about her personal experience with Ted Cruz: "I worked with him on the [2000 Bush/Gore] recount in Florida, and the recount was sort of ground zero for the biggest egos in both parties in the whole country, and he rose to the top in terms of hubris and egomania."
Co-host John Heilemann was flabbergasted: "you're saying that among all of your colleagues in the recount effort, that he was the biggest ego? Is that really what I heard you say? Wow! That is an incredible thing to say."
Say, Tom, maybe you could lead a movement to retroactively impeach George W. Bush . . . On today's Morning Joe, Tom Brokaw, downplayed the significance of Benghazi, suggesting instead that what we really needed was "a big congressional investigation about the decision to go to war in the first place in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist."
Brokaw also underlined that more lives were lost in terrorist attacks on the US Marine barracks in Lebanon, the USS Cole and Khobar Towers than in Benghazi. Brokaw made a point to mention that the attack on the Marine barracks happened during Ronald Reagan's presidency, but failed to disclose that the USS Cole and Khobar Towers attacks happened during the presidency of Hillary Clinton's husband. Simple slip by Brokaw, no doubt.
Andrea Mitchell had the chance to ask John Kerry, on live national TV, any question she wanted about the Iran deal. She could, for example, have confronted him over the lifting of the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes that were included as a nice little parting gift to Iran.
Instead, in a moment of media malpractice, Mitchell lobbed up the mushiest of softballs on today's Morning Joe, asking Kerry "what that moment meant to you" when at the final negotiation meeting, he reminisced about going to Vietnam as a 22-year old "and that you never wanted to go to war without having exhausted the diplomacy." A shame Andrea and John weren't in the same room so they could have exchanged a heartfelt hug.
It's easy for people--with the possible exception of Jeb Bush--to say that they would not have supported the invasion of Iraq knowing what we know now about WMD there.
But Chris Matthews took things a foolish step further on this evening's Hardball, actually claiming that "there was no intelligence they had a weapon. Never was." Really? So Hillary, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy et al. were collective fabricators when they issued dire warnings, based on the intelligence they had seen, about Saddam's WMD?