I am so used to the Morning Joe regulars shining the shoes of conservatives that this moment almost escaped me.
Sen. John Thune has been making the rounds this morning, talking about how Democrats and Republicans have to dial back the rhetoric (always making sure to refer to the "Democrat" party, of course), and he'd just given a similar speech to Mika when she threw the discussion to Mike Barnicle.
Barnicle took the ball and ran with it. He started out buttering the guy up.
"So, Senator, I don't want to get you in trouble, but you have actually seen you smiling, laughing, hanging around with Democrats," he began.
"Oh, boy," Thune chuckled.
"You were friendly with them. I've actually seen that with my own eyes," he said. Then he went in for the kill.
"So in the spirit of what you just indicated, that everything should start and the basis of going forward should be on an individual basis, reaching across the aisle, or however you want to frame it up, my question to you is: In terms of bipartisanship, in terms of openness, in terms of a welcoming manner, there is a health care bill now being drawn up in the United States Senate, largely by the majority," he said.
"Nobody knows what's in this bill. How about trying to open the doors and start to, like, get together by telling us what's in this bill?"
You could see Thune wilt, although he recovered with some meaningless boilerplate babble.
"Well, I think that that will happen, Mike, when we actually have a bill. Right now, it is discussions. It's policy options. We're, i think, getting to the point where we'll start reducing this to legislative language, at which point it will be obviously openly shared," he said.
"But I think with respect to that issue, there's been so much discussion over the past decade. It's not like any of us are unfamiliar with what the issues are. Obviously, we would welcome Democrat participation in this." (Hey, John, maybe you could start by using the word "Democratic" instead of Newt Gingrich's code word?)
"I don't think we're going to get that. I know that they feel that not only there weren't Republicans that helped them when this was passed a few years ago (Hey John, don't be shy! It wasn't just a sin of omission! How about the numerous lawsuits and methodical defunding of the ACA?), but I think they also see this as a political opportunity and advantage to them."
An opportunity that your party is handing to them by putting your donors and special interests ahead of everyday Americans. But you go on with your bad self, Senator!