Welcome to this weeks edition of The Daily Banter mail bag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez answer readers questions on the Democrat's tactics against the Republicans in Congress, whether we think Nancy Grace should be exiled to North Korea and how Mitt Romney is basically, well, screwed.
After seeing this graph showing the dozens of votes the 112th Congress has held on repealing the ACA, while the President's Jobs Act has had but a single vote (failed due to filibuster), I got to wondering... Why isn't The Jobs Act, or lots of variations on the Jobs Act also brought up for a vote by Democrats over and over and over as well? Wouldn't that paint a picture of a recalcitrant Republican Congress (you know, the guys who have that laser focus on "jobs, jobs, jobs") refusing to lift a finger to try and turn this economy around? - Kurt Basham
Bob: I think the Democrats have done just that. They've brought up dozens of measures regarding job creation, knowing they would fail due to Republican filibusters. The problem is: tree, falling, forest, sound, etc...? They suck eggs when it comes to messaging. Or, generously, they try to be great messengers but the traditional press is hesitant to give them access for fear of feeding the false "liberal media bias" meme on the right. It's hard to root for such a hapless, fumbly group of politicians, but they really try. Mostly they're really hindered by their own ineptitude, not to mention a much more powerful right-wing media strategy.
Chez:This question sounds like it involves some actual knowledge of how government works, which means it's going to be a lot harder for me to bullshit like I've done on all essay questions since high school. I genuinely don't know. The Democrats are pussies? That work? Sounds good to me. Next question.
Ben: Hi Kurt, I think the Democrats are doing exactly what you outline, and to a certain degree it is working. Obama in particular is getting quite effective at portraying the Republicans as obstructionist loons bent on preventing progress on the economy or jobs. The Democrats were incredibly slow to catch on to this tactic and lost a lot of ground, but I think you're going to see a lot more of it in the future.
I'm trying to come up with an appropriate punishment for Nancy Grace for her behavior over the mother who set herself on fire. I'm thinking exile in North Korea for 30 years as a minimum. Seriously, where does she get off? Why the hell does CNN continue to employ her? She's a serious liability who is culpable on a certain level for at least two suicides now. Is there anyway to get rid of this woman? She may get ratings but she's a classless troll who should not be taken seriously by any self respecting establishment.
Chez: You're preaching to the choir on that one. I've been complaining about Nancy Grace for years and it hasn't done much good. It's honestly one of the most mystifying questions in all of cable news: how the hell Nancy Grace still has a forum on an ostensibly respectable news network. She's a vile, unscrupulous monster who peddles self-serving exploitation disguised as righteous indignation. She's a bully and in some ways a more malignant victimizer than any of the supposed criminals she plays judge of and jury for night after night. And maybe that's the answer. I think the only hope for finally driving her from the airwaves before she destroys yet another life or embarrasses CNN another six times with her utter contempt for journalistic ethics is to have Nancy Grace take on Nancy Grace on her show. Wouldn't that be something: Nancy Grace devoting hours and hours or airtime to hammering away at Nancy Grace; a woman who's now been implicated in two deaths; who regularly flouts any standard of decency, morality or humanity, all in the name of making herself filthy rich; who believe that she has the right to sit in judgment over cases that haven't yet been decided or have already ruled on justly, trying separately and passing sentence on those involved in the court of public opinion; who subverts the real justice system over and over again using one of the most powerful weapons the world has ever seen: a televised forum. Maybe Nancy Grace could bring Nancy Grace on her show for an interview, slap a clever nickname on her like "Tot Mom" or "Vodka Mom," piling on and eviscerating her until she feels so guilty for being a despicable, reckless bottom-feeder that Nancy Grace actually takes her own life. I'd watch that show.
Ben: I wrote about this earlier in the week - I concur completely. I'd like to see Nancy Grace exiled to internet obscurity like Glenn Beck. As much as I'd like her to go to North Korea, I actually think irrelevance in her own country would be a worse punishment. She's a vile human being who deliberately interferes with the justice system by injecting her childish and emotional opinions in highly sensitive cases that should be off limits to media pundits. I understand she gets ratings and pulls in $$$ for CNN, but she's a serious liability from an image and brand perspective and I'm completely baffled as to why she's still on air.
Bob: CNN continues to pay her because she brings the numbers. Whatever you and I might think about Nancy Grace, there's a considerable viewership that loves the angry crime drama -- the outraged investigator. If I had my druthers, I would fire her and form a committee of other cable news executives designed to keep her from polluting our judicial, political and cultural systems. However, if she was a stand-up comic and made an unfunny and obnoxious rape joke, she really ought to be left alone (deliberate dig at my friend Chez and his Tosh opinion).
Hey guys, strategy question: If you were Romney, would you try to appeal to the center in the election or just stick to the base? Read Ben Cohen's article on Romney embracing Dick Cheney and think he's right. If he doesn't pick Rubio there's really no point in trying to get Latinos. What do you think?
Ben: Interesting point Rob. I really don't know what Romney should do - he has an incredibly difficult task ahead despite having the benefit of a pretty awful economy. Any strategy he chooses has very serious drawbacks, and this is a direct result of his utter lack of personality. If he goes to the center, the base won't come out hard for him. If he goes to the base, Latinos and the middle will run for the hills. I think he's basically screwed unless the economy really falls apart. As I said in my article, I think he might be going for the base. Saddling up to Dick Cheney shows Romney's team doesn't have a huge amount of confidence in their ability to attract the center, and it may be an indication of their strategy going forwards. I could be wrong, and politicians can change tactics in the blink of an eye, but that's my guess.
Bob: If I was a Republican, I would be clamoring for the moderate undecideds in the middle. Hell, George W. Bush knew this in 2000 and he sold himself as a "compassionate conservative" (aka. moderate). But the tail is wagging the GOP dog these days and a small faction of loud oldsters (the tea party) and a more sizable faction of loud oldsters (talk radio and Fox News) is controlling the party through intimidation and 24/7 badgering. So Romney has to pander to the base or else -- mainly because he, like many Republicans, believes that loudness equals size. It doesn't the size -- the real political pay off -- is in the middle. President Obama knows this. Mitt Romney, in true spastic, jittery, undisciplined form, doesn't. And good for us.
Chez: I don't envy Romney because if he's anything but batshit crazy the base will castigate him for it. It's already happening, with conservative media -- the new seat of power on the right -- blasting Romney for not being enough of a wild-eyed, lunatic zealot. The unfortunate thing, though, is that he obviously has to appeal to the center at least a little to win the general election. You're right -- he's not going to lock down minorities unless he has one hell of a parlor trick up his sleeve. If nothing else, the balancing act should be interesting to watch. Then again, if the GOP is successful in some of its voter suppression efforts, maybe winning the middle won't be as important.
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