There is nothing I dislike more than our current crop of Republican leaders. But a close second are the Washington Elite Punditry. Whether it is Peggy Noonan or Maureen Dowd, Brit Hume or Alan Colmes, Paul Begala or Mary Matalin…I can’t stand any of them. And I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way. How can anybody like Cokie Roberts, for example? Or George Will? Wolf Blitzer is the biggest tool I’ve ever seen. Chris Matthews is the worst kind of suck-up. Donna Brazile? James Carville? Pat Buchanan? What’s to like?
That’s why I find articles like Jim VandeHei’s today so distasteful.
VandeHei sees everything through the eyes of a Washington insider. And he sees the resignation of Andy Card as some kind of victory for the elite snobs that make it their job to advise Bush how to best implement his torture, his rendition, his crackdown on civil liberties, and his unholy war in a more palatable form.
Look at this crap:
Through one full term and the first year of the second, a signature of this administration was the indifference — even contempt — it showed for the capital’s political and media culture, and for the endless flow of commentary and unsolicited advice that its inhabitants deliver daily to all presidents….
…the Card move is only the latest sign that — with his presidency under the stress of low public approval ratings, an unpopular war and a stalled legislative agenda — Bush is more often deferring to the expectations of Washington conventional wisdom.
This is such crap. Let’s be realistic. Andy Card is stepping down for one of two reasons. Either he is burnt out after serving the second longest term as chief-of-staff in our nation’s history, or there is some shithammer about to drop out of Fitzgerald’s office. Bush didn’t fire his ass because he did a bad job on Katrina or the ports or to satisfy Peggy Noonan and the other nattering nabobs. But don’t tell it to insider pundits.
Bush’s fatal mistake, Podesta said, was going too far in the direction of avoiding, if not alienating, important people in Washington. “You have to tip your hat enough to the chattering class so they don’t spend every day thinking about how to flay you,” Podesta said.
What’s sad about Podesta’s comment is that he seems to think it is true that the press is looking to flay Bush at every opportunity. What goddamn world is he living in? I am the one that wakes up each day looking for several new angles to flay Bush and Bushism. My enemies are the knucklehead suck-up news junkies that parade across my television set each day talking absolute nonsense and garbage…the DC cocktail set that says things like, “sometimes it glimmers with this man, our president, that kind of sunny nobility.”
Bullshit doesn’t glimmer. Neither does torture. When Lou Dobbs wakes up each day trying to figure out how to throw the President in the Hague rather than fetishizing about hispanic hordes, then I’ll be with Podesta on the need for the President to be more deferential to the chattering class.
Andrea Mitchell, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Matt Cooper, Judy Miller, and every other journalist that covered for Rove and Libby throughtout 2004 can go jump in the Potomac for all I care…or for all Bush cares.
If there is one decent quality about Bush it is his recognition of what vile rats the DC punditocracy are. He treats them with more respect than they deserve. And they return the favor with stuff like this (from May 9, 2003, HARDBALL):
MATTHEWS: We have a visual while we’re looking here. In Hollywood, they say how did you get the part. I fit the costume. You know, it’s an old joke in Hollywood. I fit the costume…
MATTHEWS: … because they have the — this guy fits the costume, doesn’t he?
MATTHEWS: I mean Bill Clinton — do you think they had jump-suits in Bill Clinton’s size?
MATTHEWS: Just asking.
NOONAN: Oh, well, Bill Clinton used — you remember Bill Clinton landed on the Theodore Roosevelt back about 1993 or ’94 and he was in his bomber jacket. Do you know what I mean? It was lots of show business then.
The key with Bush, however, is that, you know, he seems like one of these guys and one of these gals because he’s just like them. He’s a regular American male. He also…
I’ve got to tell you what I think — can I tell what you I think the key to the great landing on the aircraft carrier was?
MATTHEWS: That’s why you’re here, Peggy.
NOONAN: All right. This is what I think it was. It wasn’t just it was showy, it was showbiz, it was “Top Gun,” it was Tom Cruise’s suit, it was all that wonderful stuff. It’s that the American president not only put himself in harm’s way going to see American troopers, but he showed them by coming in on that ship I trust you.
MATTHEWS: A little risk. Just a little bit of risk.
NOONAN: It wasn’t just risk. It was trust. It was faith. You’re going to take care of me. You’re going to hit that second trap, the third trap, or the fourth. I’m safe in your hands. It was a compliment, you know.
MATTHEWS: Even a daytime carrier landing is tricky.
NOONAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean it’s taking a chance. I’ll tell you one of the ways you know you’ve gotten a little old? If I’d been in the White House now I would have told them don’t do that, that’s a bridge too far, you’ve got to be crazy, and, instead, it turned out to be, I think, one of the brilliant moments…
MATTHEWS: It’s like knowing to bring…
NOONAN: … indelible political moments.
MATTHEWS: … a meg — to bring a bullhorn to ground zero on September 14, not to bring a mic. It’s that little difference. If he’d had a mic there, if he was like Wayne Newton with a mic or some show-business guy, he would have looked like a lounge act.
NOONAN: Barney Rubble.
MATTHEWS: Because he had that bullhorn, he was a guy like them. We’ll be talking more…
NOONAN: He was a guy with his arm around the…
MATTHEWS: … about this accoutrements of…
NOONAN: … other firemen.
MATTHEWS: … greatness with Peggy Noonan, an expert at the verbal discussing the pictorial.
Card’s Departure Seen as a Sign President Hears Words of Critics, By Jim VandeHei.
Critics? What critics?
“Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs …”
Here’s another priceless exchange from May 2003. Tweety and a convicted felon yuck it up and make fools of themselves.
MATTHEWS: Well, I think we now know the Democratic Party talking points for this week. G. Gordon Liddy’s a radio talk-show host and author of the book “When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country.”
Gordon, my buddy, thanks for joining us.
I’m now giving you a shooting gallery of opportunity here.
G. GORDON LIDDY: Yes, you are.
MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?
LIDDY: Well, I — in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man.
And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know — and I’ve worn those because I parachute — and it makes the best of his manly characteristic.
You go run those — run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count — they’re all liars. Check that out.
I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.
MATTHEWS: You know, it’s funny. I shouldn’t talk about ratings. I don’t always pay attention to them, but last night was a riot because, at the very time Henry Waxman was on — and I do respect him on legislative issues — he was on blasting away, and these pictures were showing last night, and everybody’s tuning in to see these pictures again.
LIDDY: That’s right.
MATTHEWS: And I’ve got to say why do the Democrats, as you say, want to keep advertising this guy’s greatest moment?
LIDDY: Look, he’s — he’s coming across as a — well, as women would call in on my show saying, what a stud, you know, and then guy — they’re seeing him out there with his flight suit, and he’s — and they know he’s an F-105 fighter jock. I mean it’s just great.
Why would Bush have to do anything to improve his press coverage?