Political Animal


October 08, 2012 6:25 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Okay, for this federal holiday I’m calling it a day with a tenth post.

Hasn’t been much political news today, but here are some final items:

* TAP’s Paul Waldman excoriates the Sunday Shows. I just don’t watch ‘em, trying to avoid fury on the Sabbath.

* Yglesias profiles Pete Peterson’s lavishly funded campaign for a Grand Bargain during a potential lame-duck session of Congress.

* Trump promises, or should I say threatens, to live-tweet next presidential debate.

* Politico’s Gerstein says foreign policy “experts” across spectrum generally panned Romney’s big foreign policy speech. But he didn’t ask Jennifer Rubin!

* Virginian-Pilot reporter details trail of tears ex-felons must go through in Old Dominion to regain voting rights.

And in non-political news:

* Upcoming collection of letters from John Lennon touted as showing he wasn’t always nice and dreamy. Anyone surprised at that must have never listened to “How Do You Sleep,” on same album with “Imagine.”

Ouchy ouchy.

Back tomorrow in full force.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Hue and Cry on October 08, 2012 7:01 PM:

    It will be the biggest irony of my lifetime if the talking heads of MSNBC, to whom I have tuned in so much of my precious time day after day as kindred spirits, are the actual ruination of my Democratic president.
    Yeah, instead of fact-checking the lying Romney as part of the night's debate coverage, they piled on like they were Fox News. That means you Rachel, and you, Chris.
    These developments are downsizing the spirit.

    Only volunteering is saving this mind.

  • Joe Friday on October 08, 2012 8:39 PM:

    "TAPís Paul Waldman excoriates the Sunday Shows."

    I watched 'THIS WEEK' because Krugman was scheduled to appear.

    Watching Mary Matalin attempting to debate Paul on economics was HYSTERICAL ! She kept spouting RightWing gibberish and he kept citing facts and reality. She just repeatedly rolled her eyes.

  • Hue and Cry on October 08, 2012 8:57 PM:

    Agree--Paul Krugman was strong and relentless and Mary Matalin finally became more stymied, and was eventually marginalized. In the time that he had, he portrayed Romney as the liar that he is.
    I was hoping since it was a local station like ABC that many potential voters saw the show.

  • Anonymous on October 08, 2012 9:02 PM:

    BTW, in regards to the skyrocketing gasoline prices on the West Coast, sure the Richmond Chevron refinery caught on fire some months back and then a pipeline had to be shutdown, but THEN a power outage shutdown at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance ? How does an operation like that not have back-up power or access to multiple grids ?

    If you believe that the ExxonMobil refinery shudown due to lack of power, have I got a deal on a Rolex for YOU !

  • mudwall jackson on October 08, 2012 9:03 PM:

    i never watch the sunday shows. haven't for years. but i did catch a few minutes of this week this week. waldman nails the problem. it's the usual suspects spouting the predictable. either the people who put these shows together have no imagination (a distinct possibility) or they think they need the names to attract an audience.

    i caught the session with matalin, krugman et al, which was nothing but a shout fest. krugman seemed out of place. perhaps it was because he was the only one who wasn't a total hack.

  • Rose on October 08, 2012 9:19 PM:

    Can only say , wow to the song, never heard that Mr. Kilgore. Thanks!

  • Hue and Cry on October 08, 2012 9:29 PM:

    Here--Nate Silver will make us feel better: it favors the incumbent.

    And go out and volunteer for the campaign.
    Obama/Biden 2012
    Save Medicare
    Vote Democratic


  • Vera on October 08, 2012 9:49 PM:

    One of the commenters to Nate noted this:

    I am going to continue to challenge the validity of this Pew Poll. Here is more evidence:

    Regional breakdown of sample:

    White sample
    note the regional over sampling of the South

    Furthermore African Americans were only 10 percent whle whites represented 85 percent of the sample.
    Hispanics only represented 5 percent of the entire sample.

    This Poll is definitely skewed to favor Mitt Romney. That is my charge. Does anyone want to challenge it?

  • Neil B on October 08, 2012 9:56 PM:

    Yeah, speaking of fact-checking R-money, ironically good piece excoriating and explaining that Romney didn't really win that debate, from one of the few honest Fox commentators (likely from his PBS background):


    Mitt got lots of flack over that tax cut statement, but how many wonks got him over the pure lie over tax deduction for outsourcing? It's not a special extra loophole, but your costs moving operations and jobs are deductible like any other. Mitt said get a new accountant, even though he's probably used that deduction many times.

    Note also Gingrich's prescient statement, "You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest."

  • James E. Powell on October 08, 2012 9:57 PM:

    The problem with good arguments made on Sunday talk shows is that everyone who watches those shows already knows for whom they are going to vote. They do not see the exchanges in a neutral way; many of them may have thought that Matalin bravely stood up to that know-it-all socialist with a beard. They don't understand the economy, so they are not going to understand arguments about it either.

  • Vera on October 08, 2012 10:12 PM:

    Ultimately it will win out that Romney just lies too much


  • Spread the word on October 08, 2012 10:15 PM:

  • JackD on October 08, 2012 10:22 PM:

    Talk about herd instinct! Ed Schultz began fulminating about Obama being a wimp and the rest of the crew (even Chris Hayes) got sucked in. Schultz is a loose cannon who rarely thinks before he speaks. The last time he pissed me off with his knee jerk reaction to events was when he accused Jay Cutler of being a wimp for going out of the playoff game with an injury. "Play with pain", shrieked Ed the everyman. Turned out Cutler had a serious injury. Apologies from Ed? Not in this lifetime. Obama didn't have good stage presence, I agree, but he did rebut the bullshit. Nobody listened.

  • martin on October 08, 2012 10:33 PM:

    If you enjoyed "How Do You Sleep" you'll love this



  • Hue and Cry on October 08, 2012 10:38 PM:

    Jack--that is what has me frazzled and ruined. They sat there as a panel with impulsive acting out instead of solid, helpful analysis.
    I thought their teams behind the scenes should have used that 90 minutes to check the facts and lies that Mitt Romeny spewed out all night.
    They did that at the conventions, but st the debate they must've been partying hardy with Steve Schmidt, their Republican panelist. I thought Schmidt seemed to intimidate Chris Hayes. I could be wrong.
    I can hardly watch them now. I feel betrayed.
    And poll changes in Romney's favor were linked to the media reaction post-debate. They WERE frickin' hysterical.
    I spent a lot of time glued to MSNBC this year.

  • mitt debates mitt on October 08, 2012 10:49 PM:

  • emjayay on October 09, 2012 1:48 AM:

    I'm so pissed off I can't sleep. Obama got blitzkrieged with lies and laid down and took it in the first debate. Based on that, Romney has continued the bullshit blitzkrieg on foreign policy. All very convincing if you don't know much about world affairs and politics and Romney's actual positions.

    I keep imagining with great specificy what Obama could say in further debates, but at the same time I know Obama, as I've said many times, sands down all the edges and resorts to inoffensive generalites in every situation. He just inherently doesn't want to be the angry black guy. Not that the Tea Party types don't see him as an n...... who doesn't belong there as president. That's how he's succeeded in his whole life.

    He should look at FDR, in a similar situation. He was dealing with similar problems, although in a very different age. And he was a rich white guy. He made it work with a Scotty dog and and a rakish cigarette holder and a smart and upbeat attitude while lampooning the opposition.

    I'm very afraid that Obama will continue to be bland and inoffensive in further debates. Americans tend to go for those who throw some punches. In good cheer of course. I keep writing the comments instead of going to sleep.

    The immediate future of the country is at stake. If nothing else, two or three Supreme Court justices are going to go. Does anyone reading this want Scalia II and Thomas II and Tom Coburne replacing Ruth Bader Ginsberg?