Monday, January 10, 2011

Craziest Pundit of the Day: David Gergen

Okay, let's start a Craziest Pundit of the Day series. (Given all the material, it was only a matter of time.) And let our inaugural winner be that smug, self-important advisor to so many presidents, David Gergen.


A short while ago, R.K. Barry, one of our fine co-bloggers, e-mailed me this:

Do you fucking believe that David Gergen just said on CNN that Democrats bear responsibility for the violent tone of political debate in America because their "mal-governance led to a citizens' revolt"? And of course John King sat there and said nothing. They are both assholes.

Have a good night. 

That hardly helps me to have a good night. David Gergen, sort of like David Broder, likes to position himself as an above-the-fray independent, but most of his punditry serves the right, including the Republican Party, by lending it media-sanctioned legitimacy. (Because the media, and particularly CNN, spins the lie that Gergen is non-partisan, legitimately, and utterly sound in his punditry.) And John King, of course, is nauseatingly Republican-friendly. (Think back to the glee he expressed back in November.)

This is among the stupidest things Gergen has ever said. What he is essentially saying, if we really get down to it, is that Democrats don't have a right to govern, that their authority is somehow illegitimate, that they shouldn't have done anything even with the White House and solid majorities in both houses of Congress.

And what, exactly, did they do? Pass health-care reform, which is supported (either the Affordable Care Act or a more progressive package of reforms) by a majority of the American people -- a reform package that a Republican, Mitt Romney, passed in Massachusetts and that, for the most part, Republicans themselves were in favour of back in the '90s as an alternative to "Hillarycare"? Pass an economic stimulus package that, owing to Republican objections, was much smaller than it should have been (but that still pulled the economy back from the brink)? Pass DADT repeal, supported not just by a majority of Americans but by military brass and a majority of those in uniform? Pass New Start with enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster? Pass bank and auto bailouts, which were actually quite centrist (and "Gergian") in their application? Etc., etc.

Oh, but all this somehow justifies a citizens' revolt of right-wing extremism? And somehow legitimizes acts of violence?

Democrats and those on the left generally certainly deserve some share of the blame for all the incendiary and violent political rhetoric that pollutes American political discourse -- Olbermann made that case himself -- but there's no way there's an even balance, or even anything close to it, between left and right.

And if you really think the Democrats are to blame, even indirectly, for what happened in Arizona on Saturday, you're a fucking idiot without a shred of credibility, no matter how much an enabling media establishment might prop you up.

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