Morning Joe this morning was a sight to see: Peggy Noonan interviewing a centrist Democrat and former Congressman Jason Altmire, whose book, "Dead Center" is tailor-made for the Morning Joe circle jerk. Both sides! Both Sides! Both Sides!
I won't make you suffer through the whole thing, just make sure you catch this bit at the 3:57 mark:
MIKE BARNICLE: A little more than 50 years ago we had life-altering culture changing legislation. Medicare, Medicaid, voting rights, civil rights. We all realize in reality none of that could happen today, but today in the Congress that you served in, how much of a negative influence, forget the extremes, how much of a negative influence with things like Twitter and Facebook?
Shorter Mike Barnicle:
Mitch McConnell and the Republicans routinely starve old people and the handicapped for a billionaire's tax cut. But how about the meanie tweets and Facebook haters on both sides, amirite?
The four most consistently promoted types of stories in the American political media this year show exactly how irreparably broken the American political media is.
First, OMFG can you believe what an unhinged, racist, con man President Stupid turned out to be? (from my local paper):
Michael Gerson: As the year ends, the moral authority of the presidency is in tatters
Second, OMFG can you believe how quickly and completely the entire Republican party has capitulated to this unhinged, racist, con man? (From Brother Charlie Pierce):
The Republican Party Has Bowed, Completely, to the Mad King
They're now running interference in the Russia probe and kissing the Trumpian ring.
Third, OMFG can you believe how completely the meathead Republican base have invested themselves in this unhinged, racist, con man? How flatly and automatically they reject factual reality, causality and even their own past as "fake news"? (from Politico):
Trump voters: We'd do it again
Among those who voted for the president, there are few regrets. But there are questions about whether he'll even finish his four-year term.
One year after the 2016 presidential election, the vast majority of Donald Trump voters have no regrets.
According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted on the eve of the first anniversary of Trump's historic election, 82 percent of those who say they supported Trump last year would vote for him again if they had to do it over...
And finally, fourth, OMFG, why do The Extremes On Both Sides refuse to compromise?
Because despite the self-evident truth of items one, two and three -- despite the fact that it is ontologically and epistemologically impossible to simultaneously believe that the Right has gone completely mad and that the Left is somehow equally to blame because it won't meet madness halfway -- the Beltway will not stop flogging this long-dead horse. Which is why any two-bit has-been with a lump of inedible prose to pimp can make it to the Big Time if they tart it up as scripture from the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.
So, in addition to everything else we must do, it will job of the Left in 2018 to make Both Siderism a joke.
To make it a shameful thing to have in your mouth.
To make Chuck Todd wince and gag on it every time Phil Griffin yanks on his leash, reminds him of what happened to David "I Haz a Podcast Now!" Gregory and whispers "Say it. Say it, goddamn it, or Hugh f*cking Hewitt will be in that chair next week" into his earpiece.
Because right now, the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It and its army well-heeled media evangelists is the only thing keeping the Right from keeling over dead: once that lie falls, the Party of Trump falls with it.
Which is why job of the Left in 2018 must be to relentlessly challenge Both Siderism everywhere, all the time.
I'm up for it.
How about you?
Post by Driftglass with a video assist from Frances Langum, h/t Heather