For ourselves, we liked Margaret Carlsons know-it-all twofer the best. (Be sure to read the whole thing.) Good old Margaret! She knew all about what the Edwardses should do. For a bonus, she even explained what Hillary Clinton should have done in the late 1990s. Needless to say, John Edwards and Clinton turn out to be a pair of cold, phony fakes.
These are nasty, stupid people—transfer students from Salem Village. But then, theyre paid for these very traits. Read on; we have to learn how to describe this criminal class.
THE ONGOING WORK OF A CRIMINAL CLASS: Remember the key point: They simply dont care. On Saturday, the SEIU had the good sense to sponsor a Democratic forum on health care. Seven White House candidates took part, including the current front-runners. Karen Tumulty capably hosted the forum; at Swampland, she outed the rest of her cohort. I suspected that my colleagues in the press filing center weren't entirely thrilled at spending a Saturday in Las Vegas this way, she wrote. And she said her suspicions were confirmed when she received this e-mail:
E-MAIL TO TUMULTY (3/24/07)Poor babies! They didnt want to write about health care! In a later post, Tumulty said that her e-mailer had been kidding. But for Democrats, theres a long, painful history here: They didnt want to write about health care back in October 1999, when Gore and Bradley debated the subject—so they wrote about Gores funny clothing instead. (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/7/06.) And they didnt want to write about health care in October 2000, when Gore challenged Bush about the Patients Bill of Rights—so they talked about how funny it sounded when Gore said Dingell-Norwood. (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/1/06.) In that years first—and crucial—Bush-Gore debate, the longest exchange concerned the way Bush misstated his own prescription drug plan. But the press corps didnt want to talk about that, so they talked about Gores alleged sighing.
In the press file.
We have taken a vote.
We don't want to write about health care.
Please adjust accordingly.
[name withheld by Tumulty]
The history here is fairly clear; as a general matter, these people never want to write about health care—or about any serious topic. This time, they accessed their latest release as they fled, screaming, from their own inner tedium. Right at Swampland, Ana Marie Cox had already posted these musings:
COX (3/24/07): Shorter Hillary: YOU CAN TELL I CARE ABOUT HEALTH CARE BECAUSE I AM SHOUTING ALL THE TIME.No, you cant get dumber than that. But inane comments about Clintons manner of speaking are now the rage with this fatuous press corps. She drawls! No, she shouts! No, her voice is too screechy! Avoidance of substance has long been their dream. Cox employed the latest way to avoid.
She is in favor of universal health care (now) and thinks it could take as little as... eight years to get there. She did this weird thing where she walked around during the question time rather than sit and talk like a normal person. (Though now Kucinich is doing it, too. Uhm...) Also, apparently people are "drowning in paper," which sounds unpleasant.
She's more concrete than Obama but eerily LOUD.
STARR (8/20/06): By far the most outstanding performance at the 1996 Republican National Convention was that of Elizabeth Dole, wife of the presidential nominee.At the New York Times, Johnny Apple knew who would pay the price for this. Hillary Rodham Clinton is perhaps in the most difficult position of all, he wrote on August 25, because whatever she may do will inevitably be compared with the smash performance by Elizabeth Hanford Dole in her Oprah Winfrey role in San Diego.
With the aplomb of an Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Dole took a hand-held microphone and went down into the audience to talk about her husband and to talk with others who loved him.
NBC'S Tom Brokaw, normally not very sympathetic to anything Republicans say or do, breathlessly called it "a gold-medal performance."
Other network commentators were almost as effusive.
MATTHEWS (3/25/07): Once again, we put it to the Matthews Meter. If Hillary Clinton falters by this fall—this coming fall—will Gore get in?...Glo, you say he goes.What did Gore say about global warming? As usual, Borger stuck to his clothes. By the way, Gores tie was solid blue; there was absolutely nothing different about it. For all that you can tell from the tape, it may have been the exact same tie he wore at the first Bush-Gore debate. But so what? Borger was working off a script. Shes a clown and a fake—a propagandist.
BORGER: Yeah. (Nods head knowingly.) I think—I think he will. I think it was so wonderful to watch him on the Hill this week, looking very sporty—
[Fake, uproarious group laughter]
NORAH ODONNELL: Sporty!
BORGER: —not looking like a senator, you know? He's wearing a checked shirt and a, sort of a different kind of a tie.
BORGER (continuing directly): I'm not one of you—the Democrats, most of them, welcomed him like the returning prophet—Its hard to know where to begin with this ugly conduct. But since Borger wasnt present at the Gore hearing—and we were—lets start with Sundays mendacious claims about Clintons eyes and smile.
BORGER: —except for one: Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Did you watch her eyes?
BORGER: I did.
MATTHEWS: When she was—weren't those dead peoples eyes? That was the coldest look. No phony smile, nothing.
BORGER: It was not—let's just not say it was not welcoming your old friend.
MATTHEWS: Good to see you, Al.
BORGER: Great to see you, Al, good to have you in the same room. And by the way, did you invent the Internet, too? I don't think so.
MATTHEWS: Would he get in [the presidential race] with Hillary leading?This groups capacity for projection is astounding. After all, it wasnt the Clintons who said Gore invented the Internet; it was them, the mainstream press corps! And it wasnt the Clintons who beat Gore in Campaign 2000; it was them, the mainstream press corps, with their nasty, two-year War Against Gore—the war good careerists can never acknowledge. But so what? On Sunday, they imagined Clinton mocking Gore about the Net—and they said that Gore doesnt want to run for the White House because the Clintons will play so dirty! But then, these are nasty, evil people. They exist to destroy your democracy. They are paid to dismantle your lives.
MATTHEWS: Boy, that's a—that's one I'm not sure of. I don't think he wants to get beaten by the Clintons again.
STENGEL: Well, that's—
STENGEL: We've reported that he's very afraid of getting in, because he knows exactly how low the Clintons can fight.
STENGEL: And he just doesn't want to go through with that again.
MATTHEWS: Oh, thank you for putting it that way, Richard!
SHUSTER (3/21/07): It was of course great political theater today, Chris....Really—too funny! Exhibit A for Clintons hatred was the fact that she talked about Gores ideas! And just like that, a cold, nasty man launched his typical hate speech:
And then there was Hillary Clinton and there is no sort of secret in Washington that Hillary Clinton and Al Gore don`t like each other very much. And it was noteworthy, Chris, that Hillary Clinton was all business. She sort of said welcome to the vice president—
MATTHEWS: She doesnt like him, does she?
SHUSTER: No, and she immediately launched into talking about his ideas.
MATTHEWS (continuing directly): Look at those eyes! Look at the cold eyes that shes giving him, look at that cold look!We were back to the bath-tub ring, Matthews favorite real-time insult! (During Campaign 2000, he called Gore the bath-tub ring more than 40 times.) The following night, this disordered man was wondering about Gore once again:
SHUSTER: And at one point she did say, you know, your ideas are exciting, this proposal is very interesting, but there was nothing personally warm at all in the interaction between Hillary and Al Gore.
MATTHEWS: Gore thinks that the Clintons screwed him, they humiliated the White House, they humiliated the party because of the president`s misbehavior. And Hillary got off scot-free, in fact, she benefitted as a victim, she looked like the poor victim of her husband`s misbehavior, whereas Gore looked like, you know, he was the bathtub ring left over by Clinton.
MATTHEWS (3/22/07): Welcome back to Hardball. We`re joined now by Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Michael Feldman, a former adviser to Al Gore. By the way, is Al Gore sharpening up his political blade now? Hes up there on the Hill. Is he going to lose some weight and make his move, or—As a matter of fact, Gore only ran twice. Matthews may have been thinking of the number of times he has lied about Gore in the past.
FELDMAN: You`re obsessed with his weight, Chris!
MATTHEWS: Because he weighs—he`s Raymond Burr!
FELDMAN: I thought he looked fantastic yesterday.
MATTHEWS: OK, Im just asking.
FELDMAN: He is—hes sharpening his blade for a campaign, but its a campaign about an issue, Chris, not a campaign for president.
MATTHEWS: OK. I guess Im just at that street level of thinking that a politician might want to be president or something. What would made me think of that? He only ran 400 times!
BARBARA BOXER (3/21/07): Senator Clinton, you've been very patient. Thanks you.Huh! Clinton was so cold to Gore (who she hates, of course) that she suggested bringing him back for more sessions! As youll see below, she restated this suggestion as she finished her questions. Schuster, of course, forgot to say this. Most likely, he didnt know. He did know the shape of His Master's script. Like a puppy, he arfed it out faithfully.
CLINTON: Thank you very much. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful, and I want to thank Vice President Gore for taking his time to come back here to the Senate.
And perhaps, Madame Chairman, we could indulge upon him in the future to meet with those of us on both sides of the aisle who are interested in this issue, to perhaps go into some even greater detail on some of your proposals.
And of course I want to welcome Mrs. Gore as well.
CLINTON (continuing directly): I wanted to just ask for some further clarification on a couple of your proposals, which I find extremely intriguing. The first—to follow up on Senator Alexander, if there were a carbon-based tax, would there be a need for an economy-wide cap and trade system?
GORE: They are not either/or. We can do both. I am in favor of both. Many people discuss cap and trade and a CO2 tax, revenue-neutral CO2 tax swapping for employment taxes as if you have to pick one. As a practical political matter, there would be some people who would say only one of the above. I think the most effective approach is to do both.
CLINTON: Well, I would really appreciate, then, perhaps some clarification and additional information on your view as to how that worked—
GORE: All right.
CLINTON: —because of course there is a seeming either/or choice that people are presenting: either a cap and trade system, some of the advocates of which seem to think that it will be voluntary, which I find to be totally unacceptable. If it is mandatory economy-wide or sector-wide, I agree completely with you it needs to be economy-wide. But without the implementation and enforcement provisions being very well thought out, I'm afraid we will continue to just sort of move along at a slow pace.
Secondly, the Connie Mae proposal is also one that I also find very exciting, actually. I have worked with the City of Rochester and the surrounding county of Monroe County in New York to come up with a "green-print" using the advice and the expertise of the Green Building Council and, in effect, to try to encourage and incentivize contractors and engineers and architects and others to begin to think more green, and to use the technology and the efficiency standards.
How would the Connie Mae process work? Are you suggesting we actually create a federally chartered entity? And then what would its mission be precisely?
GORE: Yeah. A Carbon Neutral Mortgage Association that would, in the manner of Fannie Mae, take on these instruments that embody the expenditures not for the whole home, not for the whole building, but just for those expenditures that are directly related to the sharp—to the increasing energy efficiency.
Typically, homebuilders will look at what amount of insulation is going to make the home attractive in the marketplace, and they'll meet a standard that clears the market, but they won't go to the point where it really is energy—the most energy efficient home because it raises the purchase price.
Okay, this Connie—this national mortgage association could identify an increment that takes where the market has settled the price now, add the amount that reaches all the way to the maximum energy efficiency. The extra amount is put into an instrument that is amortized by the savings in the energy bills over the succeeding years. And they can bundle those with all of the other mortgage instruments that are in the market that year and they're tradeable commodities.
CLINTON: Well, I think that's a terrific idea, Mr. Vice President.
GORE: Thank you.
CLINTON: And would that also include the price of more energy-efficient appliances so that builders would be incentivized to use those in new homebuilding?
GORE: Not as it's currently designed. There's no reason why—I mean I think that structural features of the home are generally looked at in a different way from the appliances that come with the home. Some builders include them, some don't. And I'm not an expert on that. I see no reason why you could not also include extra-efficient appliance standards in that. I would have to think about it, but I don't see why you couldn't.
CLINTON: Well, in response to Senator Bond's questions which you didn't really get a chance to respond to, about the little girl with the two coats, isn't it also the case that if we went on a more targeted approach toward weatherization, efficiency, perhaps that little girl wouldn't need two coats even with current prices because the savings could be realized and the affordability of the energy costs could be decreased?
GORE: I think that's an excellent point, and I'll include that in the response for the record. (Chuckles.)
CLINTON: Again, I really want to thank the vice president. I want to thank the chairman for inviting Vice President Gore. And again, if we could perhaps indulge him with some additional time in the future, I think it could be very helpful.
GORE: Thank you.
CLINTON: Thank you.