While The Political Universe is Focusing on Hillary’s Implosion Last Night, I Caught a few Minutes of Herr Olbermann’s Mash of a Show
Obviously Olbermann knew his msnbc was going to get stepped on by the msnbc Demo debate that was to follow him. But, he did a segment on Giuliani with Arianna as his guest that was …. well, vacuous and vapid would be kind descriptions of their exchange.
First, there was head-scratcher:
OLBERMANN: A year before the election and Rudy Giuliani is already publicly contending the Democrats are willing to invite Osama bin Laden to the White House to negotiate. Sure they are, buster.
OLBERMANN: And having lambasted his Democratic counterparts on Iraq, Giuliani proceeded to attack them for proposing diplomacy with Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: It‘s not like this happy, romantic world in which, you know, we‘ll negotiate with this one and we‘ll negotiate with that one and there will be no pre-conditions and we‘ll invite Ahmadinejad to the White House and we‘ll invite [ASSAD][see Update] to the White House. I mean, Hillary and Obama are kind of debating you know whether to invite them to the inauguration or the inaugural ball.
OLBERMANN: Arianna Huffington, founder of huffingtonpost.com, author of “On Becoming Fearless,” Arianna, thanks for your time tonight.
OLBERMANN: Let me first talk to you about technique there. He misrepresents the positions of Clinton and Edwards about Iran and he takes one leap away from engagement, suddenly—it‘s negotiation. And all of a sudden it‘s no longer negotiation, now he‘s leap over to inviting terrorists to the White House. The kind word for this rhetorical advice is hyperbole. The least kind one is Giuliani is lying. How does this continue to happen?
HUFFINGTON: Well, he‘s lying and also every day he reveals more and more of himself. And you can see that he really has the soul of a thug and the disposition of a tyrant. It really proves the famous saying by Jimmy Brazlen (ph) when he said that Giuliani is a small man with the search for a balcony. You can see that every day with what he says, there is no technique that implies some type of rationality. This is pure savageness (ph), pure testosterone again and again. And what is amazing to me, Keith, that there hasn‘t been any uproar. If that was a Democrat saying that they—there would have been demand every for an apology that there would have been an emergency session of Congress and resolution condemning such remarks. Remember, after all John McCain said that Moveon should leave the country, should be thrown out of the country because they called General Petraeus – “General betray us.” And here is Giuliani daring to insult his Democratic opponents by saying that they would invite Osama bin Laden to the White House? That is really something which should not be accepted.
Huh? Are Olbermann and Huffington the only two people in the world who don’t understand the use of hyperbole and ridicule in politics? Didn’t they see the set up where Giuliani made fun of the fact that Clinton/Edwards are being unrealistic in their world view of our enemies? NO ONE in either party would seriously suggest that any GOP candidate would really claim Hillary or Edwards intended to invite OBL to the WH.
HuffPuff does the same thing with McCain’s statement about MoveOn and the Petreaus ad. He’s in a small VFW hall in NH just a day or two after the Ad ran in the NYT, and in a clear pique of anger, he says “Move.On out to be thrown out of this country, my friends.” How an “.Org” and its couple million members can be “thrown out of the country” isn’t something that HuffPuff dwells on when seemingly expressing her genuine concern for the their continued residency.
But it got worse:
OLBERMANN: The Petraeus thing looks like a high T compared to what Giuliani said. But you can see through the haze on this and understand why Giuliani would think aligning himself with Bush about Iran or the so-called “War on Terror would help him in the campaign. But I‘m missing something here when we are at a stage in polling where more Americans say they believe in ghost than believe President Bush is doing a good job about Iraq. What is the upside of trying to marry himself to Bush about Iraq specifically?
HUFFINGTON: You know, Keith, I think that Giuliani has believed his own myth that somehow being tough means being tough with the Iraqis – means being tough everywhere. If as though he‘s writing that S on his chest and has the dust from the twin towers on his head and that‘s the myth is he portraying. And with the small minority of Americans, the Republican base, it‘s working. He‘s kind of channeling Rush Limbaugh, he‘s making the lunatic fringe mainstream. And I am, again, I‘m going to blame the media for not challenging that kind of approach.
OLBERMANN: I‘m doing what I can but apparently I‘m alone out here.
Listen, the “Washington Post” reported something that is of value in this sense that Mr. Giuliani is still working part time at a security consulting firm even though he had promised to leave it in April and that it continued to pay for his security until June. Is he in trouble with Federal Election laws?
HUFFINGTON: Well, he is in trouble with Federal Election laws but probably by the time they work their way through this sort of procedures of the Federal Election laws, who knows when it is going to catch up with him. The question is he should be in trouble with the voters. He should be in trouble, again, with the media because he lied. He said he was going to leave the company. He didn‘t leave the company. And, in fact, he is now trying to say that he forgot or to defend himself in some way when there is really no defense. He thinks he is above the law, above relations, really a law unto himself.
OLBERMANN: Just a quick thought on this. Has it reached a level yet where we should be considering examining whether or not this is compulsive lying that there is something endemic to him? Or this specific purpose driven lies?
HUFFINGTON: But that was driven I don‘t know, it‘s like if you look at what he said about his company. What he said in his latest ad about socialized medicine. And what he‘s saying about Iraq having the potential to have nuclear weapons, all these things, I mean, there is a pattern here which is really disturbing.
OLBERMANN: Arianna Huffington, the founder and editor of Huffington post.com. As always, great thanks you for coming in.
HUFFINGTON: Thank you.
1. Here’s what Giuliani said about leaving the firm:
“Because the firm represents many security interests, some of which might have business before the federal government, Giuliani faced questions about his continuing employment there. He announced in April that he planned to leave the firm to concentrate entirely on the campaign.
“I’m largely out of it, and I’m pretty much going to be out of it at some point pretty soon,” he told reporters on April 4 while campaigning in South Carolina…..
During an interview in June with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Giuliani said that he was spending no more than 10 percent of his time doing work for the firm while he was campaigning and that he planned to take a leave of absence.”
“I would have thought during the general election, but it seems to me nowadays, with all these things moving up, probably sometime during the primaries,” Giuliani said about the timing of his leaving. “But right now I’d say I’m 95 percent campaigning, maybe 5 to 10 percent trying to settle up last-minute things.”
Hard to find a “lie” in there.
But, other than this one “issue”, is there anything said by HuffPuff that amounts to a substantive point about Giuliani other than her armchair psychiatry?
When you put these kinds of lame efforts by Dems up against the specter of a very brittle and unlikeable Hillary that we saw last night, the idea of watching him go at her hammer and tong over the course of an hour in a Presidential debate makes me smile.
Update: Just off the presses is a new poll from Pew Research Center showing Hillary beating Rudy handly, 51-43, winning in the south and other unusual places.
Note, however, that this is a poll of registered voters.
Here is an explanation of why that is important. Consider the issues in this link juxtaposed against the groups among whom Hillary leads.