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Lawrence O'Donnell is an idiot, but I repeat myself.

I had been meaning to write on this earlier today but I spent a good chunk of the day writing on a different topic that I will put up in a post in a few minutes, and then there was snow to shovel, you know how it goes.

On January 19, 2011, I had the misfortune of catching a small section of Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC. He was discussing a new poll out with that other Washington sage Chuck Todd. I think their take home was something on the order of shooting a Congress member now and then is good for Obama's approval ratings. If I were a Congress member listening to these two, I would be concerned, just saying.

There sometimes is a single comment that captures the essence of the person. In Lawrence O'Donnell's case it came at the 00.08.35 mark in his broadcast when he turned to how people rated Obama on the right-left spectrum:

And my favorite people in america, the 11% who think barack obama is a conservative, let's ignore them for the purposes of adult analysis of this poll.

My bold. Here we see O'Donnell for the Versailles courtier journalist he is. How indeed could anyone consider Obama a conservative just because he embraced and expanded Bush's whole policy agenda, the war on terror, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, domestic surveillance, his unreserved corporatism, the war on the base, his freezing out of all liberals and progressives from his Administration, his use of the state secrets defense, his war on whistleblowers and wikileaks, the extension of the Bush tax cuts, his cuts to Medicare, his ongoing schemes to cut Social Security? Heck, even Dick Cheney recently had praise for him. If that doesn't scream socialist, what does?

But this is what we get from Lawrence O'Donnell. Don't look at anything like substance. Just look at polls that your insipid Conventional Wisdom and misinforming narratives help create.

Dick Cheney would relentlessly repeat that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Eventually something like 69% of the public believed it. If Cheney had been a Democrat, Lawrence O'Donnell would have been laughing at all those non-Serious, non-adults, who thought his claims were bogus.

O'Donnell plays the typical Villager game of mistaking numbers for reality, at least when those numbers favor his own views. Of course the other side of this is that when the numbers don't jibe with his positions, then he will talk about how "real" leaders don't govern by polls, they do what is "right".

Returning though to his performance last night, it got me thinking of how O'Donnell might react to various moments in history if he had been there. I can see him saying, "Hey, Galileo, what's up with that guy?" "Darwin, you may have descended from an ape but I didn't." "Einstein says space is bent. I'll tell you who's bent and it's not space." Of course, the difference between these O'Donnells and the real one is that the real one is daily exposed to the evidence of who Obama is and has been now for 2 to 3 years. Ostensibly, he is paid big bucks to at least see the obvious. Unfortunately, the truth is much more along the lines of Upton Sinclair's perennially insightful maxim:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it

O'Donnell gets the big money not to see the obvious, and he doesn't see it with a vengeance.

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

and thought the same thing. Why are we childish just because we're part of the 11%? That number's going to rise awfully quickly if we get cuts in SS and Medicare.

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

in the shooting incident.. which of course was horrific... was this young man, disturbed as he was... tried to get answers/help from his congresscritter - always called centrist blue dog.. and like nearly everyone i know... he couldn't get help or even direct answers after years of trying. It's no wonder more people don't explode in various ways over the in your face or form letter non responsive leadership we have today.

There were many triggers in this kids head which don't push many of the rest of us over an edge, but deserved much more attention as to reasons why our country/leadership is so effed up today. Of course we are never allowed to look at real reasons why, lest we be deemed blamers of the victim. The fact so many Blue Dogs lost their ass last time around.. suggests in bizarrely ironic ways... people get it.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

tried to get answers/help from his congresscritter - always called centrist blue dog.. and like nearly everyone i know... he couldn't get help or even direct answers after years of trying

Do you happen to know what those questions were that he wanted answers/help for? Was it the problem with the currency or grammar issues?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

... who claims to be a "socialist" ... he pulls that crazymaking assertion out huffily when anyone calls him out for his own conservatism or disdain for the real liberals. It buys him time I suppose, as people's jaws hit the floor ... O'Donnell is a big fat CRONY in the Beltway, getting crony-er and more egotistical every second.

I stopped watching him. I forget the tipping point. Probably the healthcare bullshit. Profound disrespect for people with real conscience. The so-called non-pragmatics.

Thanks for your voice on my last blog, btw. Meant a lot. I didn't have a scanner and I typed all those book quotations cuz I thought they were so enlightening and it took most of my night, the reading and then the typing. When I went to correct a punctuation upon posting within one minute the strident hysteria was upon me. I felt the impact of being at the end of a profound and tragic and merciless collective fist. My efforts smeared and trashed. Can't control comments, I know, but I felt tasered and that the blog would repel others to explore. But that is also about many readers here, too. I took heart from your comment.

I guess I was experiencing what Mearshimer had written about. I got my Exhibit A I guess. Wasn't girded for it, though.

So much wisdom in that Sinclair quote:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it

It also works with "communal cronyism" instead of salary, sadly.

Re MSNBC, it broke my heart when Rachel started to really swig the kool-aid and turned Obamabot. She is a Dem "operative". AN OPERATIVE as is LAWRENCE O'DONNELL. Disinformation, anyone? Moral indignation when convenient, bull-slinging or omission most of the time. Keith's removal, those pens are gonna get even smaller. I witnessed Keith reining it in, too, sadly, but his leash wasn't as short as the others and look what happened.

I pay a lot of attention to the sponsors of the Newshour, too. Propaganda comes in all packages. Just cuz things are said rationally and quietly, doesn't mean they shouldn't be challenged. One tipping point was Judy Woodruff letting Carol Browner announce most of the oil was now gone from the Gulf. Woodruff's voice was incredulous, but she stayed unchallenging and polite to Obama's puppet liar.

And now using the "more civility" code, more bullshit will go unchallenged. More legitimate outrage will be drained away from confronting the shameless and soulless.