This was about as bad as Chris Matthews letting this wingnut Tea Partier Loesch come on his show as well and talk over Melissa Harris-Lacewell in one of the more horrid interview segments I've watched in a long time. Loesch was obviously extremely uninformed and rude and I'm really surprised Matthews didn't shut her down since she was talking over him as well.
Larry King apparently thinks Loesch and fellow Tea Partier and Libertarian Wayne Allyn Root deserved two segments on his show. The only good thing I can say about this interview is that talking about getting rid of Social Security didn't exactly endear these two with the 87 year old caller who managed to get in. He wasn't too happy with the Tea Party movement for looking like they'd be happy to see our government overthrown either.
Even Larry King looked a bit shocked at some of their rhetoric and tried to get them to admit that Social Security was put there because you're supposed to be your "brother's keeper" and asked if the Tea Partiers might "turn it back" (fat chance Larry). Loesch apparently has no care for how Social Security has evolved since it was first enacted and why with her arguments; and Root uses the excuse that the funds have been raided to say it should be privatized.
Of course it would never occur to either of these two nitwits that if you changed our tax laws and made this a less regressive tax you could fix some of the long term problems with it, that getting rid of it would immediately throw millions of senior citizens into abject poverty which might not go over so well with the general electorate even if you don't care about what that says about us as a society and your care for your fellow American, which these two obviously have no care for, and that if we had listened to genius George Bush who wanted to privatize it, the fund would have taken the same hit our stock market did due to Wall Street's deregulation and the games they were playing with the derivatives market. So maybe Mr. Root would not have done so well with his own $15,000. (Update: I should have also noted, the most anyone is paying right now in Social Security taxes is $6600 a year due to the $106,800 income cap. So Root pulled the $15,000 a year number out of his butt.) I know my 401K didn't look too good after the market crashed.
King said he'd definitely have both of them on again. Why don't you do us all a favor Larry and pass on that... please. Don't put them on again unless you're going to have someone credible on with them as well to rebut their nonsense. Given that CNN thinks Erick Erickson should be considered part of their "best political team on television" now I don't have much hope of that happening. They're content to be Fox-lite. Bringing these two on is just more proof they're doing their best to dumb down their viewers right along with ClusterFox and sadly the better part of our corporate media as well.
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
KING: Dana, what's the aim of the tea party?
DANA LOESCH, CO-FOUNDER, ST. LOUIS TEA PARTY: Hi, Larry. Thanks for having me on. The aim of the tea party is just to get our government back to its original intent when created by the founding fathers. We're supposed to have limited government individual liberty. It's not a Republican or Democrat or any kind of shill or shadow party. It's just a grassroots movement by people who are tired of seeing their government take excessive taxes, take their money, throw it away. That's what the tea party is about.
KING: But, Wayne, as last time I checked, Obama won the election. He ran on campaign platform, and he won on it. That goes back to the founding fathers.
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, LIBERTARIAN: You know, when I wrote my book, it was right after Obama had won the election and that title, you know, empowering the citizen revolution with god, guns, gambling and tax cuts, my book was about what I predicted. A citizen revolution from Obama's victory, I felt there'd be a coalition of conservatives, of disgruntled Republicans, of libertarians like me of blue dog Democrats, of taxpayers, small business people, of Christians, and most importantly of taxpayers and home schooled parents.
I think these are the groups that I found at the tea party rally. I speak at rallies all over the country. And those groups are angry. We want to take back our country, Larry. We believe there is an entitlement class.
KING: I know.
ROOT: And there's a taxpayer class, and we're standing up for the people that pay the taxes and the people that create the jobs. You can't keep raping us to give it to the entitlement class and think that the country will go on. It just can't go on, Larry.
KING: Dana, are you a little concerned about tea partiers who use the word terrorism when talking about the president?
LOESCH: I think perhaps that went -- that's maybe an adjective that is a little bit egregious. But there are things that they --
KING: A little bit?
LOESCH: I mean they do -- I mean they do have some valid concerns, though. I mean, we just saw this health care legislation go through. And I've mentioned it before. it's -- it completely disregarded the original intent of the commerce clause and the welfare clause and the constitution. I mean for the first time ever in American history just to exist in this country you have to purchase the product now. You have to purchase the insurance. And they can try to make it --
KING: No. Wait a minute. We have -- we had to pay social security. That was a socialist concept. Republicans voted against it.
LOESCH: I agree.
KING: Would anyone turn away social security now? Would you do away with it?
LOESCH: I would, yes.
KING: You would?
LOESCH: Yes, absolutely.
KING: Would do you away with it, Wayne?
ROOT: I'd certainly like to. At best, I do away with it because I could find better ways to spend and save my own $15,000 a year.
KING: If you would put it up for a vote in America, what do you think the vote would be on social security in America? Referenda.
ROOT: I think if you put it up for a vote, I think, a majority of people today would want to keep it. But they certainly would want to privatize a small portion of it. I personally think I could do better with my own $15,000 a year any day of the week and I'd like it to be mine. It's mine. So, I'd like to leave it to my kids and grandkids the way it stands now --
KING: That wasn't the purpose. When it began, the purpose was you are your brother's keeper, right?
ROOT: But, Larry, you got to realize that money is not there. Do you realize they said it was going to be in a lock box. But there is nothing there in the lock box but a bunch of IOUs from a bankrupt government. So that money is being like --
LOESCH: And it was established as a temporary program.
KING: Maybe tea partiers will turn it back.
ROOT: Interestingly enough, if you want to save social security, Larry, if you want to save it, the best way to save it is to make sure America doesn't go bankrupt. Universal health care is the best way to make sure that social security will not be there years from now.
KING: We'll be right back with more in the tea party. Don't go away.
KING: By the way, we fully realize this Tea Party story is a big one and we're going to follow it a lot on LARRY KING LIVE. Dana, the Tea Partiers say they're taking back the country. Taking it back how?
LOESCH: Taking it away from big government that is abusing its constitutional authority. And that's one of the things --
KING: How do you do it?
LOESCH: We need to get involved more locally. And I think that's one of the things that we haven't seen from conservatives. We haven't seen from independents. We haven't seen them getting involved locally as needed in the past four years. I think a lot of people were kind of asleep. Then they started waking up before this election. And that's where it needs to start.
All politics is local. People have to start locally. They have to get involved, whether it be in their precincts as committee men, whether it is in school boards, what have you. People have to go out there and get involved. They can't warm their hands by somebody else's fire. They actually have to practice what they preach and enact it in their own communities.
KING: Do you -- is it a problem, Wayne, when -- is it a problem when you question the patriotism of leaders who happen to have different political opinions than you?
ROOT: Well, I don't question patriotism. I actually question the legality of violating the Constitution. I question -- as an example, today was a great story in the newspaper that the 11 congressmen who claimed they were holding out against universal health care over abortion rights, Bart Stupak and his group, now suddenly got 3.4 billion dollars in earmarks suddenly after voting for universal health care.
Is this a game? Are we trading favors for billions of dollars? It's obvious to me that things go on every day, Larry, in the United States Congress that appear to me to be fraud. You're playing with the taxpayers' money. It's not their money to be giving away.
And the other thing I saw in the paper today is another reason why I think Tea Party is so popular, is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we're on the hook for as much as 300 billion dollars in more losses, in addition to the 120 billion they already lost. And I don't think capitalism means that government should give away the taxpayers' money to corporations. I think it's fraudulent to do that.
KING: Dana, are you concerned Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida said today that the Tea Party is principles based on anger and hatred.
LOESCH: I find it ironic coming from a man who made a television career for himself going on talk shows and going after women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and anyone else that doesn't fit in his stereotype of what a conservative woman should be.
KING: Philadelphia, hello? Philadelphia -- not anger?
CALLER: Yeah. It's not anger.
KING: Philadelphia, you're on.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: I can't believe what I'm seeing right now. OK?
CALLER: I think it's next to a conspiracy to overthrow the United States government. OK? That's what these people are trying to do. The election was made. Obama is our president.
KING: Do you have a question?
CALLER: Yes, why are they doing this? Who put them up to it? It's crazy. OK? I'm 87 years old. I served my country, OK? And when I watch this, I can't believe it. OK?
KING: All right. Wayne, how do you respond to that?
ROOT: I respond that Greece -- the country of Greece is the canary in the coal mine. It's pretty obvious to me that it's coming to America very soon. We've got an economic Armageddon on the way, Larry. And I'm trying to save my kids. I got four kids, all home schooled, ranging in age from two years old to 17 years old. And my daughter just got accepted at Stanford a couple days ago. That's the future of America. And the kind of debt Barack Obama is putting on her generation will kill the quality of life.
You cannot give away the taxpayers' money the way that Obama's been doing it or that George Bush did it, and expect our economy to survive. KING: But we are a government of representation, right? We elect representatives and they serve us in Congress. We can elect them. We can vote them out if we want. But we're not a pure democracy. We have representation who represent us.
KING: Would you agree with that, Dana?
KING: We are a republic.
LOESCH: We're all equal before the law.
ROOT: And no one is looking to overthrow the republic. We're just looking to throw the bums out.
LOESCH: Yes, we're just looking to uphold the Constitution. If you want to talk about, like the gentleman who called in, someone trying to overthrow the government, we're trying to uphold the Constitution against people who would try to abuse it via the examples that I gave earlier.
KING: The Constitution is interpreted by people. That's what we have a Supreme Court for, to interpret the Constitution. We do it all the time.
LOESCH: Yes. But it's not an -- it's not a living document. I mean the things that are --
KING: It's not?
LOESCH: The things in the Constitution don't ever go out of style. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion --
KING: Then how come it is amended?
LOESCH: It can be amended through process. But like with the Commerce Clause, it's been so butchered by people over the years, even back during the New Deal Era. That language has been so unbelievably butchered. The government is not supposed to oppressively regulate everything between states, as it's interpreted rights now with this legislation.
KING: OK. We just skimmed the surface. We'll have you both back. We're running out of time.