WERE ALL GAIL COLLINS NOW: Simpering, purring and diddling a nation, Gail Collins is back at it today. But lets give credit where credit is due. At least she doesnt pretend that shes upset with all the hypocrisy:
COLLINS (7/2/09): An Affair To Remember
Before everyone finishes piling on Gov. Mark Sanford, let me say that all of us in New York were happy to learn that he has been scheduling his assignations in our state.
Trust us: Collins will finish piling on Sanford about the time the cow jumps the moon. This mornings effort represents her third straight column on the governors love life. She and her simpering role model, Dowd, have together devoted five straight columns to this aggressive self-diddling.
Nothing else exists for these ladiesonly the governors affair.
But then, why should progressives complain about this? Yesterday, Our Own Josh Marshall sat himself down; thought long and hard; and began to philosophize for young liberal readers. Josh had given a great deal of thought to an important topic:
MARSHALL (7/1/09): JUST GO BE WITH HER!
In part two of his leave-no-rock-unturned interview with the Associated Press, Mark Sanford says that at least he will "be able to die knowing I had met my soul mate, as David [Kurtz] noted below. And if thats not enough, he says that for all the grief his affair has caused, that if the affair means he can never run for president (think the ship's sort of sailed on that one), that it will have been worth it.
I know there are a lot of people who are genuinely questioning Sanford's sanity at this pointwhen you put together the furtive trips and the endless new revelations. But am I the only one who thinks that he appears to be deeply in love with this woman and should just go be with her?
Josh rarely presents his own thoughts any more, except for the occasional haiku assembled from snark (click this). When he did to decide to expound on a topic, this was the topic he chose.
But then, were all Gail Collins now! Which brings us around to Ed Schultz, a fellow who still almost isnt.
On last nights Ed Show, Shultz had finally seen enough. Hed seen enough of the people with cancer who cant get coverage in this countrypeople like Debby Smith, 53, who spoke with Obama at yesterdays health care forum. Schultz has been discussing health care every night, though not effectively (keep reading). On MSNBC, this is allowed in the 6 PM slot, before the audience builds.
Last night, he finally issued a challengea challenge to Republican senators. Please come to Toronto, he finally said. Lets see how the Canadians do it! In the process, he referred to the Debbiespeople like Debby Smith:
SCHULTZ (7/1/09): I want to know how many Senate Republicans have gone on a field trip for health care to find out how other countries do it.
Now, we know they go to Iraq for fact-finding missions. We know they go to Afghanistan. They do foreign relations type stuff. What about health care? You know that I can go to LaGuardia Airport, 20 minutes from here, and I can be in Toronto in one hour, arguably the best, the best health care system on the face of the earth in single-payer.
Has any Republican senator gone to Toronto to find out the real story about the long lines, and people not being able to get the services they want when they need them? Or are there a bunch of Debbies up there? There must be a bunch of Debbies up there, the way the Republicans talk about health care. Heck, theyve got all the answers!
Tonight, on this program, I am challenging any Republican senator to come with me, to come with the steel workers, to come with the Service Employees Union. Lets go to Canada...
Lets go up there and find out what the hell is really going on up there! Because somehow, theyve figured it out and we havent been able to figure it out. But you know what? We spend twice as much money on health care than they do!
Good God! In passing, he even mentioned the difference in per capita health care spending! Though he said it so quickly, and in such truncated form, that it likely flew by without notice.
Please come to Toronto, Schultz said. Lets fly to Torontoit takes an hourand learn about their health care system! But in that statement, you saw the soul of pseudo-progressive failure on this issue.
Schultz, you see, is a major progressive. Hes a long-time talk radio host, from the northern tier of the country. A few years ago, Democratic Party leadership helped him advance to his current national platform.
And yet, even at this late date, Ed Schultz doesnt know squat about Canadian health care! A bit later on last nights program, he interviewed Nancy Barto, a Republican state legislator from Arizona who opposes Obamas health care proposals. In particular, Schultz explained, Barto has helped put a constitutional amendment on the 2010 ballot that would ban nationalizing health care in that state.
Schultz wanted to know why she did that. And sure enough! In a very familiar exchange, Barto left Schultz for dead:
BARTO: We are interested in health care reform, but were not interested in what is being discussed seriously in Congress. We want to protect ourselves against it.
SCHULTZ: Well, the discussion is to get everybody covered. Now if the people of ArizonaIm sure theres millions there that dont have insurance What are they going to do to get it if theres not a public option, if they cant afford it?
BARTO: Well, like I said, Ed, we are interested in many options. When people have the freedom to choose their own health care, and the right, which this act will guarantee, to have that health care provided in the state, there will be options.
SCHULTZ: Whats so dangerous about a public option? Whats so dangerous about offering up something that people dont have right now?
BARTO: Well, Americans are too smart to accept another huge government program, because they have seen what we have already had and how it doesnt work and how it does ration care. They have seen what other nations have been going through with their 900,000 people on a waiting list in Britain waiting for care, 25,000 Swedes waiting for heart surgery.
SCHULTZ: Thats why I got to do a field trip. I got to go find out about all this stuff.
Fifteen years after the failure of Bill Clintons health plan, this leading progressive has now decided to find out about all this stuff. Ed Schultz broadcast from Fargo for years. But he still doesnt know how to respond to standard critiques of Canadian health care, such as the one made by Barto.
But dont worry! He plans to go now!
In that completely pathetic exchange, you see the Potemkin heart and soul of Americas progressive pseudo-movement.
Pseudo-progressivespeople like Schultzhave been too dumb, too lazy, too uninvolved to assemble even the simplest facts and frameworks for arguing health care. Last nights exchange was quite typical:
Barto knew what objections to raise. Schultz had no idea how to respond.
And our own brilliant Marshall was pondering hardabout who Mark Sanford should live with.
Yesterday, we asked a simple question: Has anyone ever dumbed himself down to the extent that Josh Marshall has? Later that day, he gave you his answer:
Were all Gail Collins now.
The very latest from Neverland: Are we all Gail Collins now? Above, we described Schultz as someone who still almost isnt. To his credit, he does discuss health care every night. Or at least, he pretends.
But lets be frank: Were all Gail Collins.
Schultz opened his program with health care last nightwith his standard noisy thundering. But then, about twelve minutes in, the gentleman offered what follows. COBRA is a law which lets some people maintain health coverage after they leave a job:
SCHULTZ: I speak for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their health care! And this COBRA thing is a fraud! That`s what COBRA is. Its a fraud.
You ever see the expenses of COBRA? So well just let theyou know what were going to do? Were going to let the Bush agenda just continue on with 40 great Americans in the United States Senate!
Lets go to Toronto! Lets do a field trip! Lets find out if anybody wants to go get the real story!
Coming up, the King of Pop is outselling "The King! Michael Jacksons sales have now overtaken Elvis. This story is changing by the minute.
Well have the very latest from Neverland, next.
Speaking for millions of Americans who have lost their health care, Schultz promised the very latest from Neverland, next. In fact, he did two segments about Michael Jackson, and another on Mark Sanfords love life.
Barto came on the program laterand left Ed Schultz for dead.