Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... There were several noteworthy exchanges between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Christiane Amanpour on ABC's "This Week" earlier, but I was especially struck by their discussion of pending Senate races.

The host noted, for example, the Republican Senate primary in Delaware. McConnell replied:

"The Delaware primary was interesting."

Amanpour followed up by asking, "[W]hat is Christine O'Donnell's qualification for actually governing? What is Sharron Angle's actual qualification for governing?" McConnell replied:

"Well, they won the primary fair and square against real competition."

The host asked whether the Republican leader might be afraid that these extremist candidates' "some might say, bizarre statements, their sort of fringe quality might actually turn people off." Amanpour noted, in particular, Angle's talk of armed rebellion against the United States government. McConnell replied that it's Democrats who are "extreme."

The host tried one last time, asking if McConnell would agree that some of this year's fringe GOP candidates have made "bizarre" comments. The senator replied that the question might represent an "attack" on the judgment of primary voters.

I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place.

Steve Benen 12:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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um yeah, well he won a primary fair and square, what more is needed. I mean come on who needs knowledge or information when you "win"

Posted by: cmm on September 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Really, this is it in a nutshell-- the Republicans could care less about actually governing, this is all about winning. It's a game to them and they get off on "gaming the system".

It's grotesque.

Posted by: JCT on September 26, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mitch got where he is partly by being very careful in his public statements -- never be critical of a fellow Republican, even when that fellow is stark raving bonkers.

Plus, there's the whole pact w/Satan thing.

Posted by: Bat of Moon on September 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Grand Old Pig, Answer the question!
-----------
The host tried one last time, asking McConnell would agree that some of this year's fringe GOP candidates have made "bizarre" comments. The senator replied that the question might represent an "attack" on the judgment of primary voters.****

Or, maybe, just maybe, it might represent an inquiry into the judgment of the minority leader about some of the stmts that have been made in this election season. Can you do anything except deflect, dodge, and manipulate questions by implying that they imply something they don't? If McConnell put 1/2 as much energy into governing as he does in bullshitting and verbal dancing, he might actually accomplish something.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on September 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

sherry- did you even read the article that you referenced? It doesn't mention the democrats troubles. But like your average repub or conservative you just make up any old shit and puke it out. Kerry mentioned our problems referecing the whole country you fucking moron. And if you haven't been payig attention(which I'm certain is the case) the voters haven't been paying attention to reality. A whole lot of low info people are going to be pissed off to the max if some of these dildos get elected.

Posted by: Gandalf on September 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position because he's willing to stand tall in front of cameras, microphones and all of humanity and pull stuff out of his ass that doesn't make any sense, (when it isn't just flat out lying), but which doesn't give a millimeter of ground to any other perspective or possibility.

The the whole party has taken it to heart and all the scumbag teapublicans see that the way to the top is no no no no no no forever, and if ground is given even once, another naysayer with more intestinal fortitude will step into place.

McConnell sticks to the script. No waffle, no waver, and very little question among his teapubco peers that he's the best zombie for the job.

Posted by: burro on September 26, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place."

The system rewards clowns.

Posted by: Algernon on September 26, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

[Comments by this repeatedly-banned troll have been removed. --Moderators]

Posted by: sherry on September 26, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

She should have asked straight out if HE believed that armed insurrection against the government was appropriate or necessary, or if HE believed that humans and mice had been cloned and there are now mice in labs with functioning human brains. "Sen. a yes or no answer please." that's what I would have liked to have heard. If we waffled and gave some dodgy response she should have concluded with, "I'll take that as a 'yes'."

...and sherry you lost me when you channeled Sarah Palin, but thanks for your concern and angst.

Posted by: SaintZak on September 26, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

burro -- You nailed it.

Posted by: nemisten on September 26, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

In fairness to the chinless one, Angle is an actual contender and O'Donnell while an extreme long shot still has a better than zero chance of being elected, and both are popular with a noisy teabag base that would bombard his office with hate email and nasty phone calls if he disrespected their choices.

I imagine if Alvin Greene had any chance at all of beating DeMint in SC, that Harry Reid would be spewing similar nonsense on the Sunday talk shows.

Posted by: rip on September 26, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

I am curious about the end-game for Republicans. If winning is the only thing that matters, why even bother going on political chat shows? I think on one level the answer is clear - pretending they're serious and responsible. But ultimately, what's it all about?

The problem with nihilism is that it's immune to reason. You can't get McConnell to give a straight answer because nihilism preempts the logic of the transaction. This is true for many religious fanatics who discount the very notion that reason can bridge disagreements. Governance based on tribalized opposition to effective governance (i.e., empirically verifiable policies) approaches insanity. That's why we have to ask what the end-game really is here.

Posted by: walt on September 26, 2010 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

We have this arcane idea that good people rise to positions of power.

Since that is not generally the case, why not have looney tunes in government?

The Tea Party phenomenon can not easily be dismissed.

The sad fact is that too many of us are not aware of how stupid most of us are.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 26, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

"I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place."

He learned everything he know from watch Harry "Worthless" Reid.

Posted by: coloradoblue on September 26, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

McConnell: HE'S the guy who said, "Obama must come back to the center" isn't he?

Obama really won 'fair and square,' too but there's not a single Republican who treats him that way.

Posted by: jjm on September 26, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

As I posted earlier, the candidate is immaterial. Their staff, hand picked professionals, tell the dewy-eyed freshman when to jump, and how high.

Posted by: DAY on September 26, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Please call Pelosi's office re. a vote on the tax cuts. She is wavering. I have called her office twice as well as Reid, my congresspeople, and the DSCC. I have told them if you want money from me, then take a vote on the tax cuts.

Money talks!

Posted by: ted on September 26, 2010 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Best zombie for the job...

This is how you stonewall.
This is how you turn defense into offense.
Never admit a mistake. Never back down. Never eat the other guy's shit.

Compare and contrast: Not one Democrat Rep. is embracing the Affordable Health Care Act in the midterms. Not one. They've all ceded it to the Death Panels crowd. Meanwhile in the real world as of last week:

•New plans must offer free preventive care

•No dropping people from coverage when they get sick

•No lifetime limits on coverage

•Young people can remain on parents' insurance until age 26

•No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions

That's the real world.
In fact, that's a better real world...

Posted by: koreyel on September 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

" The senator [McConnell]replied that the question might represent an "attack" on the judgment of primary voters."

For the first time in his political career, Mitch the weasel, has got it right!

Posted by: Tom on September 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Compare and contrast: Not one Democrat Rep. is embracing the Affordable Health Care Act in the midterms. Not one. "

Not true. Gerry Connolly, Virginia 11th District, has. It's one of his talking points for canvassers.

Posted by: pol on September 26, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, Republicans are the only "Real" voters, so winning a Republican primary should be all the qualification you need.

Posted by: mcc on September 26, 2010 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

The heart and soul of the tea party movement is intimidation. That's why they're not especially concerned about knowledge or competence, and why mcconnell responded the way he did. if you can intimidate, you don't need knowledge or competence. And you can bet that is how they will govern if they get into office.

Posted by: Delcapslock on September 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

mcc beat me to it, that was exactly my point, all you need is to put an R beside your name, they all vote for the corporation position on everything anyway = the public = what public? - their constituency & platform is corporate welfare.

Posted by: js on September 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this the party that likes to tout the business experience of its candidates, since running a company is "obviously" the same as running a country?

Posted by: Bernard Gilroy on September 26, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot understand why the tea baggers, who are just about all the right age for social security & medicare, or not far off are backing the side that will demolish their benefits as soon as they are able. Perhaps they are all independently wealthy!!
They don't want no gummint welfare.

Posted by: joan on September 26, 2010 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Steve that McConnel is a clown, but I think he is being unfair in this case.

McConnel can't publicly agree with Amanpour that his party's primary voters screwed up by nominating several batshit crazy candidates. On the other hand, there isn't a lot he can say to defend them on the merits. So he is almost forced into making evasive references to the will of the voter's and trying to change the subject.

Posted by: tanstaafl on September 26, 2010 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place.

Easily explained. But first you have to stop thinking of him as a clown. The word to use is "puppet." And any puppet will rise if the right person is pulling the strings.

I hope this has been helpful.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on September 26, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

McConnell's (mealy-mouthed) answers are much like Colbert's schtick "the market has spoken". It doesn't matter that consumers (voters) are idiots, they are always right.

Did I mention I got in a rude glare at good ol' Mitch while in DC a couple of weeks ago. Yes, he saw me, we walked right past each other in a narrow hallway in the Capitol.

Posted by: Hannah on September 26, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK
I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place.
True enough. But as a Dem, I've occasionally wondered the same thing about Harry Reid. Posted by: A Texian Observer on September 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

From what I understand, Mitch made his bones by being a terrific Republican bag man acquiring campaign donations. The hypocracy from that lipless weasel, well, that's just additional frosting on his cake.

Posted by: sparrow on September 26, 2010 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place.

Lipids float

Using an oft referred phrase; this has been yet another easy answers to easy questions session.

Posted by: Kevin (not the famous one) on September 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to make a really smart comment about the rise of O'Connell but then I read Kevin's comment. Nothing beats "lipids float" ...!

Posted by: pw on September 26, 2010 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I did not watch Amanpour this am, but I understand she let McConnell get away with saying that social security was unfunded, Crooks and Liars has a link to the original report - by Kent Conrad, specifically saying that Bush was going to raid social security to give his tax cuts in 2001, the fund was generating a huge surplus at that time.

Posted by: js on September 26, 2010 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

How did he arise to such prominence?!!

It should be obvious. He's slippery as a worm.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on September 26, 2010 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place."

Amen.

I also wonder how the Republicans can continue to campaign (successfully, to some extent) on policy that is proven not to have worked for two consecutive terms of them being in power (e.g. cutting taxes on the wealthy creates jobs and reduces the deficit).

Posted by: smike on September 26, 2010 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

McConnell rose to the top of Republican Senators because s**t floats.

Posted by: Larry McD on September 26, 2010 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

When Amanpour or any other MSM interviewer has a prominent politician or candidate on the air, it never fails that at the point of being able to expose the blatant hypocrisy and ignorance of said interviewee, they back off. Some have said that it is because they may lose access in the future. Well, when the security and freedom of the USA is at stake, that should be a risk worth taking. Obviously, that is not the purpose of the media. They are there to make money for their owners (I believe that slaves may have been treated similarly) and if losing a prime subject for future shows is at stake, you protect your backside. I used to have respect for Ms. Amanpour, but she has risen too high too remain edgy and objective. Too bad.

Posted by: st john on September 26, 2010 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Saw the interview this morning. What's screwed up is the media isn't aggressive enough in holding their feet to the fire on mazking them answer the original question. Journalists on these shows are going to have to reformat their shows where it is more important to beat them over the head with the same question 100 times if they have to, rather than move on because they want to try to get in as many questions as they can. Rightwingers answer questions with questions. It's the oldest dodge in the buisness, but yet the media still goes along with it, because apparently they have deemed themselves more important by simply asking the question rather than sticking with a question until it is answered. These politicos know that the journalist has a strict time frame in which to conduct the interview, and they use it to their advantage. If I were conducting that interview, I would have had only three questions, and would have set his segment at 15 minutes. He wouldn't have been able to weasel his way out by answering my question with a question, because I would have made sure the time wasn't on his side. You would think somebody would have figured this out by now.

Posted by: Bob on September 27, 2010 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

"I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place."

He was drafted?

Posted by: Hawkeye on September 27, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Saw the interview this morning. What's screwed up is the media isn't aggressive enough in holding their feet to the fire on making them answer the original question.
Well of course they don't, they can't afford to lose access to the inside the beltway cocktail parties can they?

Posted by: grandpajohn on September 27, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

"I often wonder how a clown like Mitch McConnell rose to such a prominent position in the first place."
He was born with the ability to openly lie without blinking or sweating

Posted by: grandpajohn on September 27, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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