June 15, 2016

So why would CNN bring on a former Congressman turned right wing radio host to open his pie hole about whether Obama is Presidential or not? (No, really.)

Because....this former Congressman is hosting a new TV show...on CNN. (No, really.)

Is pimping some conspiracy theory summer-replacement reality show beneath what is claimed to be an international standard for television news?

Apparently not.

Before I post the transcript, allow me to remind you of THE RULES for conservative commentators when it is patently obvious that the sh*t has hit the fan, as, for instance, when your party's presumptive nominee for President exposes his bottom to all the world and shows off a full-color fascist tramp stamp.

These rules are from Driftglass, and they are a very helpful guide when you are watching a conservative on a day when the news for their party is very very bad for their side, for instance when the very popular and totally legitimate President Gives-No-More-F*cks hands your party a completely deserved ass-whoopin on live coast-to-coast TV:

  1. You are not going to talk about the past. Particularly any successes the Democrats have had cleaning up Republican messes, like getting Osama Bin Laden. Never happened.
  2. Pretend that national security and top secret military operations actually don't exist under Obama, at all. If you have not HEARD about his plans to beat ISIS, it's not because they are classified, silly! If you haven't read about it in Drudge, then Obama has no military secrets and no plan, or he would have told the Freedom Caucus all about it, for freedom.
  3. You are going to project any "dividing America" talk onto Obama. Bonus points if you can sigh heavily and appear to be charging the President with "dividing America" more in sorrow than anger.
  4. You are not going to make any noises about how Donald Trump is the logical culmination of 30 plus years of conservative media pooping into the skulls of the stupidest and most racist voters on Planet Earth.


5. When anyone asks anything tricksy about the past, aggressively deploy Conservative Deflector Strategy Number One --

Both Sides! Both Sides! Both Sides!

-- and then immediately shift the subject from Yesterday to Tomorrow.

As I have already written ad nauseum, the "Both Sides" lie is the biggest Big Lie in American politics. There isn't even a close second. It is the fool-proof escape route for every Conservative douchebag from Dick Cheney to Joe Scarborough to Andrew Sullivan to your Crazy Uncle Liberty. It is the lifeboat every one of them uses to duck accountability every time another one of their toxic fairy tales goes up in smoke.

And until their "Both Sides Do It" escape pod is blown out of the sky once and for all, this is the way things will continue to be.

Let's observe how Mike Rogers deploys these rules of engagement. It really is fascinating.

Partial transcript of the prostitution interview, emphasis added by me, and full transcript at CNN:

JAKE TAPPER: Let's bring in Mike Rogers, former Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He's also host of the CNN series "DECLASSIFIED," which debuts on Sunday night.

Congressman, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.


TAPPER: So, so many unprecedented things to discuss, but let's start with the notion of President Obama standing in the East Room blasting the Republican presidential nominee, presumptive nominee, basically suggesting that he's a threat to the nation. Do you have an issue with him doing that to begin with?

ROGERS: I think this -- he walks into the same territory that Donald Trump does when he makes these broad, sweeping claims about a complete ban on Muslims, and I think he's kind of necked that down to temporarily banning Muslims from countries where they are in trouble, Syria, other places. So, he's narrowed that down.

But having the president of the United States engage in this debate I think is not helpful, by the way.

TAPPER: Is not helpful to whom?

ROGERS: To the country. This is clearly designed to divide us.

This was the moment, I thought, could be a real moment for the president. We have the most tragic terrorist attack on the country since 9/11. And we have had a series of them, Chattanooga. We have had San Bernardino. Now we have Orlando. We had the Fort Hood shoot.

There has been a series and pattern here. This was a chance for the president to try to bring us together. I think he's so focused on this presidential campaign, he lets himself go. I just don't think it looked presidential. I don't think it was the right tactic for the president.

TAPPER: Well, I think the president's point, just based on talking to some of his aides, was that he thinks that Donald Trump's rhetoric is actually pushing people into the arms of ISIS to become jihadists, to become self-radicalized, terrorists, homegrown, so that's why he did it. You don't think that's a concern?

ROGERS: Listen, I think these folks are -- they have a lot of other drivers on their sheet. Donald Trump is not one of them.

... I wish the president would have come out and been commander in chief, not campaigner in chief today.

TAPPER: I want to play some sound of President Obama talking about his reluctance to use the term radical Islam. Take a listen.


OBAMA: What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?


TAPPER: I don't have a problem calling it radical Islamic terrorism, but, then again, I'm not the leader of the free world. Is there an issue that you have with him not using the term or with George W. Bush before him not using the term?

ROGERS: I think the problem here and I think what Republicans see in this particular case is not necessarily the words. I think that's the focal point. That's what they talk about to describe what is lack of policy in Syria and Western Iraq. So, it's not the terms that so much bother me. It's the fact that he really has not -- through this incrementalism, press release policy in Syria and the Middle East trying to make sure that we have a policy to dismantle it. He's called for its eradication. He's called for this disruption. He's called for the defeat of ISIS, but we don't see concrete plans.

And I think that's where this divide in the national security community that -- by the way, it's Republicans and Democrats as well -- where there is not a coherent policy that our allies in the region, our Sunni Arab partners understand clearly the Shia relationships we have don't understand, and that's where we get this confusion.

I think people focus on the fact that he won't say radical Islam, but the real problem is the philosophy behind his not wanting to use the term has resulted in some bad policy decisions in the Middle East.

TAPPER: All right, former Congressman, former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers, thanks so much for joining us.

I only have one question for Mike Rogers:

Where's your "Mission Accomplished" banner?

Can you help us out?

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