CNN's Piers Morgan likes to cast himself as an outsider, but he is in many ways a classic Villager, since he shares the Beltway's relentless fetish with "bipartisanship" and "centrism".
Of course, this has for many years just been a cover for allowing right-wingers to lie, distort, smear and bully relentlessly, all in the name of "bipartisanship", while demanding that liberals apologize abjectly for any pushback deemed too uncivil. It's allowed GOP operatives like Grover Norquist to manipulate the media narrative so that anything other than right-wing orthodoxy is derided and dismissed -- even when right-wing orthodoxy is just certifiably insane.
Thus we had Norquist on Morgan's CNN show the other day, playing the same game -- but this time, it became clear that right-wing insanity on the debt ceiling is becoming too much even for Villagers to handle. This time, Morgan -- in a rare display of principle -- actually tried to call Norquist out on the right's ongoing and egregious violations of the Village's standards for fairness and bipartisanship in this debate, particularly their insistence on blaming Obama and Democrats for an economic mess created by conservative misgovernance.
Morgan tried to get Norquist to say just how much responsibility Republicans might have for our current economic miseries, and couldn't get an honest answer. Instead, Norquist veered into a classic piece of misdirection from the guy who once was quoted saying that "bipartisanship is a form of date rape":
NORQUIST: We need to get away from partisan politics.
MORGAN: Why don't we -- let's put it all in the mix.
NORQUIST: And solve the problem.
MORGAN: Let's put it all in the mix. All in the mix, everything taken into account, percentage of the current crisis down to Republican decisions versus Democrat. Give me a percentage.
NORQUIST: Well, OK, the Republicans have put forward a budget under Ryan cut $6 trillion out of the Obama budget. Obama has accepted none of that so he's 100 percent responsible.
MORGAN: So President Obama is 100 percent responsible for our current financial crisis.
NORQUIST: For the failure -- for the failure to get our -- get out spending down.
MORGAN: Isn't your answer exactly what the problem is? For you to sit there and just look me straight in the eye down this camera and say President Obama is 100 percent responsible for the financial crisis in America, it's obviously complete hogwash.
And that kind of partisan opinion is what is preventing any kind of sensible deal, a strategy being achieved, isn't it?
All Norquist could answer was to say that, yeah, Bush spent too much, but Obama has just put the pedal to the metal, blah blah blah. Never any acknowledgment that the meltdown occurred on Bush's watch, and as a result of Bush's policies, which were in fact broadly supported by conservative Republicans like Norquist throughout his tenure and which were never opposed by any conservative faction with any pull. Policies which, in fact, Republicans now propose as the solution to the same economic disaster they actually created.
It was a classic display of right-wing insanity. And it's only going to get worse.