More Good News For John McCain!

Award winning Time columnist Mark Halperin is back in peak condition and cranking out teh stupid:

The entire Republican caucus, we now know, balked anyway. Time’s Mark Halperin, naturally, is blaming Obama. From this morning’s appearance on MSNBC:

“This is a really bad sign for Barack Obama to try to change Washington…. He needs bipartisan solutions. They went for it and they came up with zero…. [This] does not bode well for a future that is supposed to be post-partisan. […]

“[Obama] could have gone for centrist compromises. You can say to your own party, ‘Sorry, some of you liberals aren’t going to like it, but I am going to change this legislation radically to get a big centrist majority rather than an all-Democratic vote.’ He chose not to do that, that’s the exact path that George Bush took for most of his presidency with disastrous consequences for bipartisanship and solving big problems.”

It’s hard to overstate how foolish this analysis is.

Halperin believes, for reasons that are unclear, that the paramount goal was to win the support of lawmakers who were wrong and who were advocating bad ideas. It’s not about what works, or what would actually improve the economy in the midst of a serious recession. What really matters is “bipartisan solutions.” Why? Because Mark Halperin says so. Merit be damned — if Democrats liked the legislation and Republicans didn’t, it’s necessarily flawed.

For a trip down memory lane, here is Halperin declaring on This Week that when John McCain could not tell reporters how many houses he owned, it was… bad news for Democrats:

It just never stops. And you really have to watch that video to see how truly warped Halperin’s perception of the world is. I am still stunned that he sat there and said that the Obama campaign had “started” the negative attacks by noting that John McCain could not count his houses. Equally silly is the assertion that this was going to cause the Republicans to bring up Ayers and Rezko, because every knows they wouldn’t have brought that up otherwise.

The man is nuts.






53 replies
  1. 1
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    It’s a swing and a miss! Again. As usual.

    /yawn

    At least he is reliable. Reliably wrong. Like you said John, whatever they say it is the opposite. You need a mirror to translate these people.

  2. 2
    eyepaddle says:

    Is there any record–anywhere–of Mark Halperin being forced to confront his own special brand of stupid? I sear if he keeps being this wrong about everything he is danger of getting an opinion column in the NY Times.

  3. 3
    br says:

    I recall a campaign postmortem quoting David Axelrod to the effect of "If Mark Halperin says were losing, then we’re actually winning." Some things don’t change.

    Can anyone find me that link?

  4. 4
    Napoleon says:

    Halpen is almost certainly the single worst journalist in Washington, a town that is just teaming with morons in the media. I saw this story posted somewhere else and someone commented to it that Halpern had said that McCain "won" the week that the financial crisis hit and McCain was quoted that the economy was sound, and a bunch of other bad things happened to McCain that would have caused any other primate to score the week as a win for Obama.

  5. 5
    Catsy says:

    Is there really any remaining doubt at this point that Halperin is a knowing and willing shill, a yes-man hack who’s sold his integrity for a pat on the head?

  6. 6
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    Mark Halperin and Tom Friedman are twins separated at birth but united in dumbassedness.

  7. 7
    Napoleon says:

    @br:

    I think it was Pouffle (sp?) that said that, and I think it came from that opus Newsweek article that came out after the election.

  8. 8
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    br, here you go.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12......html?_r=1

    Three seconds on Google– come on now.

  9. 9
    Michael D. says:

    Sorry – not to hijack the thread, but I am watching Rob Blagojevich and

    WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?

    He’s just rambling…

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    "Centrist compromise" = "everything Republicans wanted, nothing Democrats wanted."

  11. 11

    Waaaah! Waaah! Obama isn’t kissing GOP butt!

  12. 12
    br says:

    Mazacote,

    Thanks! Apologies for my laziness…

  13. 13
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Catsy:

    I’d want to see some evidence that Halperin had integrity to sell in the first place.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    I saw this story posted somewhere else and someone commented to it that Halpern had said that McCain “won” the week that the financial crisis hit and McCain was quoted that the economy was sound, and a bunch of other bad things happened to McCain that would have caused any other primate to score the week as a win for Obama.

    I remember that. We discussed it here.

  15. 15
    J Royce says:

    the single worst journalist in Washington, a town that is just teaming with morons in the media.

    I am wondering, do people realize that corporations own the media? Is all this talk about the media "waking up" or being "morons" or "clueless" or "lazy" just some kind of savvy shorthand by people in the know–since it’s so obvious–or are these grasping excuses what people really think?

    I’d like to believe that people understand the difference between a car accident and being purposefully driven over, but I am really not sure.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    It’s bad for the country that Obama can’t get the votes of the people who fucked it up and were wrong about everything for the past 8 years.

    .

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    @br

    It’s all in Halperin’s Wiki. I put it there.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    It’s Obama’s fault that he did little to nothing to garner Republican support. Maybe if he allows a few Republicans to write half the bill, a few of them vote for it. It didn’t help that the bill contained a section about handing out condoms on the DC mall lawn.

  19. 19
    demkat620 says:

    @Michael D.:
    It’s a remake of the courtroom scene from Animal House.

  20. 20
    br says:

    @DougJ,

    That is hilarious! You truly are dedicated to the cause. How many hours a week do you devote to editing reporters’ wiki
    pages?

  21. 21
    Napoleon says:

    @DougJ:

    I just read his wiki. I love it!

  22. 22
    John S. says:

    I’d like to believe that people understand the difference between a car accident and being purposefully driven over, but I am really not sure.

    The MSM always reminded me of Plato’s allegory of the cave.

    Those fuckwits have been sitting in their cave staring at the wall for so long that they really cannot tell the difference between the shadows and the GOP puppets casting them.

  23. 23
    jrg says:

    I’m sure that house Republicans would not behave like obstructionists if it were not for Obama. It’s not like they have a history of it.

  24. 24
    Henk says:

    I see Halperin as a Blagojevich of journalism

  25. 25
    Maus says:

    I am wondering, do people realize that corporations own the media? Is all this talk about the media "waking up" or being "morons" or "clueless" or "lazy" just some kind of savvy shorthand by people in the know—since it’s so obvious—or are these grasping excuses what people really think?

    I’m fairly comfortable in my assigning blame to both individual members of the press and the general structure and top-down nature of the whorish media.

    Can’t pimp out slanted propaganda without the whores to sell it, J.

  26. 26
    trueconservative says:

    Halperin is right for the wrong reasons. This is a Republican victory in that they took a principled stand that mortgaging the future for dubious pork is no way to stimulate the economy. Fixing the economic future of America would involve Social Security and Medicare reform along with fiscal discipline. If we want quick stimulus now, corporate and income tax cuts are the ONLY proven method for fast injection of stimulus. Furthermore, they are 100% efficient as opposed idiocies like publicly funding losing ventures Amtrak. It’s late, but at least the Republicans have found their core values again.

  27. 27
    TR says:

    I think Mark Halperin and Bill Kristol have an ongoing bet to see who can be wrong the most often in their predictions.

  28. 28
    TR says:

    That Wiki entry is terrific. Nice work.

  29. 29
    JenJen says:

    I had the singular pleasure of spotting Mark Halperin tapping away on his laptop last fall, when I took my mom to go see Joe and Jill Biden at a rally.

    I yelled over to him, and he got this goofy grin on his face and waved at me. I think he thought maybe I was trying to pick him up. Oh noes!!

    Horrified when he started to walk over, all I could get out of my mouth was "Drudge rules your world!!" before getting the hell out of there. So now, I can’t ever think of Mark Halperin now without this memory, which haunts me. Asshole. :-)

  30. 30
    Waingro says:

    "I am wondering, do people realize that corporations own the media? …

    I’d like to believe that people understand the difference between a car accident and being purposefully driven over, but I am really not sure."

    This is why I’m not a fan of Brad DeLong’s "Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corp" schtick, because it’s patently obvious why the press corps sucks.

    The press sucks because the people that own the press want it to suck. MSM apologist like to say that they provide what the public wants but that’s bullshit. It’s perfectly possible to create interesting and engaging journalism while still informing the public. The focus on trivia and personality isn’t because Chris Matthews and Cokie Roberts are stupid ( although with Cokie…). Look at how Chuck Todd suddenly became asinine since becoming WH correspondent. Certain behaviors and thought patterns become internalized if people want to advance, which is why the beltway press happens to sound like each other.

    The problem with the press is not stupidity or laziness. That’s like complaining that the Head On commercials are annoying- no shit, the ads are supposed to be annoying so you remember them. The people who own the press produce that exact product that they want.

  31. 31

    You had to hear the entire Very Serious Person Mark Halperin exposition live. The fact that no one challenged his idiotic assertion makes you wonder if they listen to each other or are they just waiting for the person to finish so they can start talking. How slow are some of the dumb bastards? The short bus sure is full when it picks up the kids for the ride to the morning shows.

    Jesus I wouldn’t have Halperin as my wife if we were cell mates in prison. (How’s that for a Dick Armey rip off? BTW doesn’t that name–Dick Armey–sound like a pseudonym for a bad porn version of a James Bond villain? Dick Armey does Pussy Galore! )

  32. 32
    J Royce says:

    Maus: Can’t pimp out slanted propaganda without the whores to sell it, J.

    Agreed.


    John S. Those fuckwits have been sitting in their cave staring at the wall for so long that they really cannot tell the difference between the shadows and the GOP puppets casting them.

    So you believe that the "fuckwits"–ie, corporate journalists I’m guessing–really wish to see the truth but cannot?

    Does that make sense? If I owned a large ownership interest in media enterprise (and was a corrupt asshole) I would be damned sure that they only said things in my interest. Yes it would have to be covert, they are the "public airwaves" after all, but my special Journalists ™ would be singing for their supper or not getting any.

    This is only common sense … right? I would not allow my Journalists ™ to ever get a "clue" or see any truth I didn’t want them to. Those who gave me trouble would be out. And I would howl about the Librul Media all day, while pushing enough crappy programming to give that lie some evidence.

    It is ridiculous to have Corporate owned media, imo, for just this reason. But I have doubts that most Americans can really line this up and understand it. Okay, not so much doubt as terrified near-certainty.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s hard to overstate how foolish this analysis is.

    Hard? Try impossible.

  34. 34
    J Royce says:

    Waingro: The press sucks because the people that own the press want it to suck.

    Exactly.

    The Grand Pajandrum: "The fact that no one challenged his idiotic assertion makes you wonder if they listen to each other or are they just waiting for the person to finish so they can start talking. How slow are some of the dumb bastards? The short bus sure is full…"

    See, this is what I’m talking about. I will refrain from insisting that short bus has a seat with your name on it, because maybe you’re just being too charitable to our utterly sold-out Court Media.

    Their jobs DEPEND upon benefiting their Corporate owners. The Repubs are owned and operated by the Corporations, along with many Dems. Put it together and it spells P R O P A G A N D A.

  35. 35
    John S. says:

    So you believe that the "fuckwits"—ie, corporate journalists I’m guessing—really wish to see the truth but cannot?

    That isn’t the point of the Platonic cave.

    They have no concept of truth, so there is no way for them to desire it. As the allegory goes, the prisoners (journalists) mistake appearance for reality. They think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) are real but they would know nothing of the real causes of the shadows. They think what they are doing is journalism, but it’s merely a shadow of journalism being cast by the puppeteers in the GOP. And because they are chained inside the cave that is the bubble of the beltway media, they are incapable of knowing any better.

    The only way for them to see the truth is to become unchained and free enough to turn their heads around and see the source of the shadows. The trouble with that is the chains are primarily made of corporate money, and it tends to be VERY difficult for people to slip those bonds. Look at the products in your home, the things you consume…we are ALL bound by the same chains, just some to more of an extent than others.

  36. 36
    Tony J says:

    BTW doesn’t that name—Dick Armey—sound like a pseudonym for a bad porn version of a James Bond villain?

    It’s also useful shorthand for the Red State Stroke Farce.

  37. 37
    Waingro says:

    "I would not allow my Journalists™ to ever get a "clue" or see any truth I didn’t want them to. Those who gave me trouble would be out."

    This is the important aspect. Any journalist with a shot at obtaining a prominent MSM slot is most likely someone who has thoroughly absorbed ruling class values, which is why Harvard and other Ivies dominate the press corps. Occasionally you’ll get climbers like Peggy Noonan and Chris Matthews, but they’re outliers. McArdle and Yglesias have advanced in part because they have that pedigree. Now, Yglesias has the advantage of actually being quite smart, but you can see the paternalistic, neo-liberal in him pop out too often.

    Journalist aren’t told what to say because that’s not necessary. If they were the type to think, write or say inconvenient things, they wouldn’t be hired in the first place.

  38. 38
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Mr. Halperin is looking out for number one: himself.

    Do you know why most t.v. morons are always spouting GOP talking points, especially harping on the Bush tax cuts? I am reminded of the Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts" , where Robert Underdonk Terwilliger (R-Springfield) faced off against Joseph ‘Diamond Joe’ Quimby (D-Springfield) in a mayoral election. As Krusty The Clown enters the voting booth, he utters the foundation of what I like to call ‘Krusty Konservatism’:

    Well, he framed me for armed robbery, but man, I’m aching for that upper-class tax cut.

    The media may be ‘liberal’, but most media hacks have only one concern, and it’s not ‘telling the truth’. It’s making thier own wallets fatter. And if they have to go on the tele and make asses out of themselves in the process? I imagine the paycheck eases those concerns.

  39. 39
    reality-based says:

    oh fer Christ’s SAKE! Will you people grow up? Eight-year-olds easily accept that there is no Santa – yet True Conservatives will NEVER let go of the Conservative Binky that all problems can be solved by tax cuts.

    First off – as John pointed out earlier – we have had EIGHT YEARS of massive ill-advised tax from Bush. Surplus? We need a tax cut. Deficit? We need a tax cut. 9/11? We need a tax cut. War? Put it on the credit card, let’s have another tax cut.

    Meanwhile, job creation has lagged for the past eight years. Bill Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, and created 2.9 million new jobs per year of his presidency.

    George Bush cut taxes, ran up massive deficits and created 375,000 new jobs per year of his presidency – not even enough to keep up with population growth.

    And after eight years of this foolishness – more tax cuts, fewer jobs – with declining employment and declining wages for all but the top one percent; with huge deficits and a crashing economy – what do you true believers want?

    More Tax Cuts. But Not for Poor People – for rich people and Businesses. Again.

    Evidence be damned, History be damned, the mess right in front of your face be damned – you want tax cuts, because with you folks, it’s an article of faith – not reason.

    Grow up.

  40. 40
    joe from Lowell says:

    "This opens the door for them to bring up Reverend Wright, to bring up Tony Rezko…"

    Bring.

    It.

    On.

    From now on, when we hear these threats (we’re going to talk about "Earth in the Balance!" We’re going to talk about Reverend Wright!) the response needs to be "Bring it on."

  41. 41
    Tony J says:

    Though to be fair, Eric the Wrong wanted to go with Army of Lovers for his band of brave Wolverines!, but the damned Euroweenies had got there first.

    I particularly love "For the ancient Greek army of 150 homosexual couples, see Sacred Band of Thebes.". It’s just a pity he had to plump for the plain old vanilla-Americana brand of homo-erotic paramilitarism.

    +3 Dark Bitters, by the way.

  42. 42
    Waingro says:

    "The fact that no one challenged his idiotic assertion makes you wonder if they listen to each other or are they just waiting for the person to finish so they can start talking. How slow are some of the dumb bastards?"

    I think the most apt analogy to describe our court ‘intellectual’ class is that they have a weird form of ‘pseudo-autism’.

    "The French students who drew a connection between contemporary economics and autism have made one of the more profound observations of our time. Technically, the kind of autism exhibited by leading economists – and (although the students did not note it) leaders in politics and media – is called higher functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. … Key to the Asperger style of politics and media is the constant repetition of thought patterns and the imperviousness of the practitioners’ thinking to outside fact or argument. The technical name for this is perseveration which has been defined as "the persistent repetition of a response after cessation of the causative stimuli; for example, the repetition of a correct answer to one question as the answer to succeeding questions," an almost perfect description of what regularly occurs on your average Sunday talk show."

  43. 43
    CT says:

    @John: Actually, that discussion you linked to was a different occasion when McCain tripped over himself all week and was still declared the winner by Halperin. The other famous time was when the stock market cratered in Sept., with McCain repeating his "fundamentals" line in the midst of the crash. Its hard to keep it all straight, I know.

    I would pay cash money for any TV host to run a highlight reel of Halperin’s follies the next time he’s on, then turn to him and say "Mark, with your track record, why should we give any creedence to anything you say? Get the f*ck off my set."

    And then I’ll wake up next to my wife, Morgan Fairchild.

  44. 44
    J Royce says:

    John S. says: "The only way for them to see the truth is to become unchained and free enough to turn their heads around and see the source of the shadows. The trouble with that is the chains are primarily made of corporate money, and it tends to be VERY difficult for people to slip those bonds."

    You are being too charitable in my view, John S. If these Journalists (TM) ever do slip their bonds and turn around to see the source of the shadows … they are going to be fired. And they know it. So the only ones left are good stooges for the Corporate line by process of elimination.

    It is not difficult to slip the chains: it is, however, impossible to slip those chains without losing their careers. It’s a self-restraining thing.

    The problem comes, imo, when people make excuses for the media like "clueless" and "lazy" or whatever, and sift tea leaves trying to parse media reaction as if it has meaning. It doesn’t: They are CORPORATE. It can be predicted, and also controlled, if people will see it.

    Corporate control of media historically leads to something very nasty. I guess we’ve seen that first hand in our own country now … but I wonder if people took the lesson.

  45. 45
    J Royce says:

    Waingro: Technically, the kind of autism exhibited by leading economists – and (although the students did not note it) leaders in politics and media – is called higher functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

    Well, it is something all right. I don’t mind just terming it "Rich Man’s Disease" and accepting that wealth corrupts by giving one an attitude of superiority.

    Seems to me the big fight of all times in history is Rich against the Poor, whatever form it takes. Certainly the wealthy of all eras begin to exhibit the same narcissistic pathology towards those less financially fortunate.

    Interesting that it can be studied as autism, but people on the site today are being more generous than I’m feeling. The guillotine is a known cure for this particular presentation of the malady, whatever it is. Jail time is also a worthy prescription.

    /soapbox … thanks for the discussion

  46. 46
    AhabTRuler says:

    The fact that he grew up in Bethesda, MD, and attended Walt Whitman HS makes things a great deal clearer to me.

  47. 47
    Jay B. says:

    If we want quick stimulus now, corporate and income tax cuts are the ONLY proven method for fast injection of stimulus.

    Wrong in about a trillion different ways. Congrats, trueconservative, spoof troll.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    John S. says:

    It is not difficult to slip the chains

    Sorry, but this is a load of bullshit.

    Do you drive a car? Own any electronics? How about your clothes? What about the food you eat? Do you use any personal hygiene products?

    If you answered YES to any of these questions, you should realize that you are also bound by the chains of corporate money. Nearly ALL of these products come from corporations that peddle various agendas, all of which have one goal: To keep you buying their products. Sure, some corporations have less nefarious agendas than others, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that Whole Foods or the newest purveyor of solar-powered hemp vehicles ISN’T looking to slip their chain on you.

    Unless you live on a farm, grow your own food, make your own clothes, soap, etc. and produce your own renewable energy, you’re a fucking prisoner in the cave just like the rest of us. Remember that before you go mouthing more cheap and easy platitudes (from a computer manufactured by a corporation and with access to the Internet provided by another corporation) about how easy it is to slip the chains of corporate money.

    The more you allow those chains to be shackled to you, the harder it gets to live without them. And when you’re a beltway journalist with unprecedented access to many things, a fat paycheck and a comfy lifestyle with the ability to shape public perception – it’s even MORE difficult to break those heavy chains.

    So like I said, they don’t know what the truth is because they’ve been staring at the shadows for so long and because their chains are particularly thick and heavy, there is very little likelihood of them casting them off to turn around and see reality any time soon.

    Corporate control of media historically leads to something very nasty.

    Now extrapolate that thought to corporate control of our country. And here we are.

  50. 50
    gil mann says:

    all I could get out of my mouth was "Drudge rules your world!!" before getting the hell out of there

    As soon as they implement workable VR tech, the second thing I’m gonna do is give Jenjen a high five.

  51. 51
    bago says:

    @John S.: Would you rather have the government control the media?

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    If these Journalists™ ever do slip their bonds and turn around to see the source of the shadows … they are going to be fired. And they know it.

    Case in point: Ashleigh Banfield.

  53. 53
    lutton says:

    make it interesting: have Blago appoint the replacement. It’s like poltical russian roulette!

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