See Extreme Liberal’s post on Halperin’s history – here
So, MSNBC suspended Mark Halperin after he revealed his inner Teabagger by calling the President a “dick”.
Could anyone – anyone?! – explain to me why they now have him back on, regularly, as a supposed impartial analyst on President Obama? (Today, for example, he shared his expert opinion that the President is DOOMED!)
Are they serious?
If you’d like to ask MSNBC why they are still using this creep, you’ll find their contact details at What is Working (here)
Here’s what Steve Benen had to say at the time: …. If you can watch the video, note how Halperin, ostensibly one of the nation’s most influential pundits, was smiling, with a smug satisfaction. It wasn’t a word he just blurted out in the heat of a larger discussion – Halperin thought about it….
….There are a couple of angles to keep in mind here. The first is that Halperin’s credibility as an objective observer of political events has long been dubious, at best, but this morning’s little stunt should remove all doubt. In candor, I don’t much care that Halperin sides with the right over the left, and takes cheap shots at Democrats. I care that Halperin is presented to the public as a neutral, even-handed expert, when that’s plainly not the case. To this extent, the “dick” comment only helps bring an end to a thin pretense.
… If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick”.
What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.
Alex Pareene (June 2011): …. I don’t care what Halperin calls Barack Obama. But for the record, President Obama did not really act like a dick yesterday, which is unsurprising, because Mark Halperin is a horrible political analyst who is wrong about everything….
This is a great excuse for MSNBC to fire Halperin, though! I mean if they won’t fire him for being incompetent at understanding and explaining politics they now have an opportunity to fire him for being disrespectful and vulgar.
Being a professional observer of the “horse race” is bad enough, but Halperin doesn’t even understand the horse-race element of politics. He fails at being a hack. He’s too dumb to correctly parrot conventional wisdom. He is pretty sure Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are 2012 front-runners. He thought “suspending his campaign” to fix the economy and not knowing how many houses he has were both huge messaging victories for John McCain. He wrote a book about how to win in 2008 that predicted everything Hillary did, but in his world it all worked. He thought Bush’s political comeback would come any day now throughout the entirety of the years 2006-2008. He can’t interpret polls or see through the spin of GOP consultants who are much smarter than he….
So this indefinite suspension is a nice first step, but I bet it won’t be long before they allow him to come crawling back into Mika and Joe’s little parlor of inanity. (And will Joe get in trouble for egging him on? Does Joe get in trouble for anything?)
Alex Pareene (Salon): Rick Perry is running for president, probably…..POLITICO, the arbiter of such things, declares Perry electable!
…. The Wall Street Journal sums up the Perry message: He is the things Republicans like about Michele Bachmann plus the things some human somewhere theoretically likes about Mitt Romney …. CBS News says Perry is an immediate front-runner because he’s more palatable than Bachmann…
The GOP “establishment” prefers this evangelical nitwit with fringe tendencies to that evangelical nitwit with fringe tendencies, sure. This Dominionist purposefully evoking some of the most radical far-right movements and ideas of the last 200 years is so much more electable than this other one!
I mean, Rick Perry may be a neo-Confederate sympathizer with a recurring tendency to bring up secession, but he doesn’t look as weird in a photograph as Bachmann does, I guess.
Perry’s flirtations with neo-Confederate organizations and symbols – ably documented by Justin Elliott – are so extraordinarily reprehensible that it should immediately and permanently disqualify him from being taken seriously for national office. The Confederacy was not a bunch of generally well-meaning dudes who went a little too far, it was a gang of racist traitors who launched a bloody war to defend a monstrously unjust institution. Having neo-Confederate sympathies in America should be equivalent to supporting the reconstituted Fascist party in Italy, or worse. It should not be considered something that 50 percent of the nation should be willing to look past, or even embrace.
And if that embracing happens it’ll be in part because of a press that won’t explicitly describe a disgusting sentimental attachment to a racist, brutal regime of oppression as anything other than an acceptable ploy to pick up Southern white support.
This, of course, is not even mentioning the time Rick Perry f**king killed an innocent person …. This is the new front-runner, the man who doesn’t care that he killed an innocent person. Whee!
Natasha Lennard (Salon): Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in stressing his opposition to “out of control Washington spending,” disagrees with federal subsidies to the agriculture industry. But this wasn’t always so. In fact, as a farmer himself, he embraced federal agriculture programs and personally benefited from farm subsidies to the tune of $80,000.
…. when Perry was running for the state’s agriculture commissioner position in 1990, he had strong words about the farm subsidies that had helped his 40 acre farm:
“I’ve participated in the program as a producer. My neighbors participate. I know what would happen to rural areas of Texas if these programs were discontinued. I do not support such an action,” Perry then said.
In the mid-1990s, however, Perry began to oppose the agriculture programs. Now he is firmly opposed even to federal support for using grain such as corn in the production of ethanol…
Columbia Journalism Review: Our nomination for this week’s bogus Times trend story is in the national section under the headline, “Murmurs on Left of a Primary Challenge to Obama.” Its author, political writer and analyst Matt Bai, writes that disappointed liberals, spurred by the president’s compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts, among other compromises and failures, are calling for—or at least “murmuring” among themselves about—a primary challenger to take on the president in the lead-up to 2012. The evidence? A trio of liberal columns. Yep, as the rule goes, “three’s a trend.”
….And that’s pretty much all that’s offered to support the rather sensational headline and a lede which claims the latest compromise “is bound to intensify a debate that has been bubbling up on liberal blogs and e-mail lists in recent weeks—whether or not the president who embodied ‘hope and change’ in 2008 should face a primary challenge in 2012.” Well, after an uncritical reading of this article, maybe.
Salon (Alex Pareene): Matt Bai has written — and the New York Times has published! — the most pointless piece of fantastical political “analysis” since … the last Matt Bai piece, I guess. The idea is that there is serious talk among liberals of supporting a primary challenge against Barack Obama, and the only problem with the otherwise flawless story is that that it is not true, and so it is a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.
While Matt Bai and his editors would certainly welcome a serious primary campaign against the president, because it would be fun to report on, the fact is that Bai has built this entire piece around some blog posts. You know you’re reading a really great piece of professional political analysis when the thesis is refuted in the first sentence of the second paragraph. “The idea seems to have little momentum for now,” Bai explains, but then for some reason he continued writing instead of shutting down his MacBook Air and going outside for a nice walk or something….
….As Steve Kornacki explained this morning, Barack Obama’s coalition still loves him and he’s in fine shape for reelection.
Of course, Matt Bai is not a complete idiot. He knows full well that a credible primary challenge from the left is very unlikely. He just wrote this piece because he thinks it would be totally awesome if that did happen. It is like a writer for the Times Science section turning in a piece headlined, “Maybe aliens will give us Warp Drive technology next year, that would be cool.” Save it for your Tumblr, Matt.
Matt Bai of the New York Times sees “murmurs” of a primary challenge against President Obama after he cut a deal with congressional Republicans to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy for two years in exchange for a 13-month unemployment extension, a payroll tax cut and other tax breaks designed to stimulate job growth.
As angry as some liberals are, there isn’t a lot of there there — the article quotes two Huffington Post blogs, a Washington Post op-ed and the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who said he isn’t advocating a primary challenge.
Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano said he “may or may not” support Barack Obama’s reelection, but he’s not known for holding his tongue. Moreover, Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) said the same thing over the summer. It’s just talk.
Meanwhile, President Obama has an 80 percent approval rating among self-identified liberals, and liberal icons like Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Howard Dean have unequivocally said they won’t challenge him.
CBS: A column in the New York Times today headlined “Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama” is generating buzz about whether the president could face a serious challenge from within his own party in his reelection bid in 2012.
The reality, however, is that such a challenge is extremely unlikely.
…there is a difference between the liberal blogosphere and pundit class – what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls the “professional left” – and the liberal base overall. According to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 90 percent of blacks still approve of the president, as do 82 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of liberals. It would seem to be very difficult to mount a successful challenge from the left in light of these numbers.
Add to that the fact that there is no plausible and interested challenger out there – no figure like Ted Kennedy, who challenged (and weakened) Jimmy Carter. Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, perhaps the two most viable options, say they aren’t doing it; Dean said he “is absolutely, categorically not running in 2012,” while Feingold’s spokesman said the Wisconsin Democrat “has no interest in challenging President Obama in 2012.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich has also ruled out a run.
Indeed, the Times column is pretty thin on evidence that there is momentum building for a primary challenge: It points to Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, former Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. confident Clarence B. Jones and American Prospect co-editor Robert Kuttner. With all due respect to these men, that does not constitute a groundswell of support for a primary challenge.
…despite the juicy Times headline – Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.