Political Animal

Blog

July 04, 2011 8:00 AM The Three Amigos are it again

By Steve Benen

It’s no doubt difficult for the Sunday shows’ bookers and producers to find high-profile guests on a holiday weekend, but I’m not sure who benefits from the same old trio repeating the same old lines.

Three American senators visiting Kabul said Sunday they were worried that President Obama’s planned withdrawal of 33,000 American troops by September 2012 could undermine Afghan morale, embolden the insurgency and hamper efforts to defeat the Taliban.

The senators — John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham — said that they were heartened by the progress of Afghan security forces, but concerned that Mr. Obama’s withdrawal plan could deplete American military strength before dealing a decisive blow to the Taliban, especially in the east. That part of the country is a haven for the Afghan and Pakistani wings of the Taliban and affiliates of Al Qaeda.

“I believe that the planned drawdown is an unnecessary risk,” said Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, adding that no military leader had spoken in favor of the timetable.

Of course he does.

McCain, Lieberman, and Graham want U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, want the Obama administration to be more confrontational towards Iran, and want President Obama to pursue “regime change” in Libya.

In other words, McCain, Lieberman, and Graham said all of the things they were expected to say, and which we’ve heard them say many, many times.

The question for me, then, is why the Three Amigos had to dominate the Sunday shows on yet another weekend. Indeed, it was another shutout for Democratic members of Congress on the Sunday shows — Graham and Lieberman were on “Fox News Sunday,” McCain was on “State of the Union,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was also on “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” and while there was one Democratic governor (Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick) and a Democratic big-city mayor (Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles) on “Face the Nation,” congressional Dems were left out again.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

Post a comment
  • c u n d gulag on July 04, 2011 8:09 AM:

    I prefer to call them 'Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.'
    With Leiberman as 'Nod.'

    Or, "Three Three Blind Mice."

    The "Three Stooges" were too great to make fun of.

  • JMG on July 04, 2011 8:09 AM:

    Once again, Steve, you ignore the basic principle of TV interview shows. The Three Amigos get asked to be on these shows a lot because bookers know they are always available and always say yes when asked, even on the Fourth of July weekend when even U.S. Senators usually have something better to do.
    I honestly believe that if McCain and Lieberman didn't get to be on TV every other Sunday morning, they might harm themselves.

  • Danp on July 04, 2011 8:10 AM:

    If it's the day of our lord, it must be time for the three blind chickenhawks.

  • c u n d gulag on July 04, 2011 8:55 AM:

    JMG,
    "I honestly believe that if McCain and Lieberman didn't get to be on TV every other Sunday morning, they might harm themselves."


    Can we test that theory out?

  • kevo on July 04, 2011 9:24 AM:

    Sunday TV watchers, if not of the sport-event-type, are merely part of the conservative echo-chamber!

    Can we all say "feedback loop" - there we go, I knew we could! -Kevo

  • ComradeAnon on July 04, 2011 9:32 AM:

    "In other words, McCain, Lieberman, and Graham said all of the things they were expected to say,.." Expected? Don't you mean told or paid? Let's not overlook the contributions of others.

  • Mr Serf Man on July 04, 2011 9:38 AM:

    "McCain, Lieberman, and Graham want U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely"
    What's the matter with you people.
    Do you have any Idea how much money the military suppliers and contractors contribute to to my reelection campaign?
    Why the economy in my district will come to a standstill if we don't keep these wars going.

    There made it easy for you.

    The best government money can buy.

  • Doug N on July 04, 2011 11:40 AM:

    Why is it an all Republican Sunday show lineup? I would bet that the executives who run things don't want their taxes raised. Greed and corruption are running true to form.

  • Merrimarr on July 04, 2011 1:14 PM:

    Steve, I hope Washington Monthly is paying you time-and-a-half to watch these Sunday shows! They are PAINFUL to watch. Thank you for submitting yourself to this abuse.

  • TCinLA on July 04, 2011 4:06 PM:

    They're not "the three amigos." They're the three blind mice.

  • Doug on July 04, 2011 5:33 PM:

    It's gonna be painful in after November 2012, all these shows will have a reduced pool of Republicans (I include Leiberman) to draw from.
    However will they manage? Whovever will care?

  • SF on July 04, 2011 6:07 PM:

    Steve, You are terrific, astonishingly capable and productive, and I love this site. That said, you ask this question every week and seem to find the endless replay of these guys on the Sunday shows endlessly inexplicable.

    Here's the answer: the same Republican hack stooges show up every week because the media is corporate owned, and the Villager "reporters" have been promoted to "pundits" which means, literally, that they don't report anymore. Period. Democrats are not allowed onto these shows at all, or rarely, or only in token Blue Dog visage, because -- although they are not perfect, and D.C. is a corrupting swamp full of campaign "donation" blandishments -- they are once in a while given to challenging the Establishment. C.f., Alan Grayson, Anthony Weiner before he went public with his sad and pathetic loneliness and personal excesses, Sherrod Brown, Nancy Pelosi (most of the time), and others. Oh, and Bernie Sanders, whose lower case d democratic heart beats strong.

    And the corporate owners do not like challenge or questions.

  • Schtick on July 04, 2011 7:19 PM:

    SF on July 04, 2011 6:07 PM:
    And the corporate owners do not like challenge or questions.

    Correction....corporate owners do not like brains....


    crapcha....dismissals whican....are you really gonna go? YAY!

  • mr.irony on July 05, 2011 5:34 AM:

    Americans Broadly Favor Obama's Afghanistan Pullout Plan - Gallup 6/29/11

    no wonder mccain lost..


  • Cantank on July 05, 2011 8:01 AM:

    Why is the military supposed to have a public position on the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan? Last I remember, the Commander in Chief was supposed to make that decision, and that Lieberman and McCain, at least were denied that opportunity by the American people. So I assume they don't think anyone else should be worthy?

  •  
  •  
  •