No, Brian Williams, it is NOT the job of the Democratic Party to "bring the country together" as Republicans race-war and Trump-worship while handing our democracy over to the Russians.
November 23, 2019

In case you missed it, this exchange between Brian Williams and Chris Hayes, BEFORE the Democratic Debate, is worth watching.

Brian Williams wants to portray Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, particularly, as engaging in what he calls a "traveling purity test" within the Democratic Party. And as usual, it is the responsibility of the Democratic Party to "unite the country," and not engage in anger politics. Meanwhile the Republican Party bends over Putin to excuse Donald Trump for every event of his so-called presidency.

It's understandable that Chris Hayes has an MSNBC corporate lane out of which he must not turn, but he pushed back against Brian Williams's lecturing with the best indictment of Republicans I've heard recently. Worth your time:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Chris Hayes, did the hearings today -- do this political party that's going to be on display tonight, do they do it a favor? And here's what I mean, an online ad came out today for Kamala Harris. And the people who commented on it and said they liked it seem to like it because they say it's most important to beat this guy. The party is getting the rap deservedly so for becoming this traveling purity test. Would a day like today force a stage like this one to coalesce around a message of "we've got to beat this guy?"

CHRIS HAYES: I'm not sure. I think the priorities are there. What I think ends up happening in these debates, first of all, debates are focused on disagreement almost by definition. And people are choosing right now.

What I think you'll see tonight, and this keeps happening every time you move the split-screen from the Trump administration and impeachment and everything to the Democratic primary is that what I found exhausting almost a sort of personal visceral level is all of the bad faith and all of the special pleading. And we all have to pretend all these people are as stupid as they're pretending to be about what are the obvious sets of facts in front of them. It's so much bad faith about what is here. They could stipulate the facts and say, "it's bad but not impeachable." There's routes they could go that say "Donald Trump is not an anti-corruption crusader that's focused on one entity." So you go from this bad faith cult of personality and big agreements to people broadly in the same coalition about big issues and the about things like 'the pace of change tolerable in health care versus problems in the status quo.' About 'how much you should tax people at the top of the income bracket and whether that will be effective.' Those are the most basic substantive questions of politics that used to feature much more centrally in the discursive life of the nation when those were more of the fights we were having rather than this insane gaslighting vapid tornado that goes on around the whims of Donald Trump and the party that is so sort of loyal to him. We could have debates about that across the ideological spectrum, but that's not what's happening right now.

I only have one question for Chris Hayes: WHY must WE "pretend all these people are as stupid as they're pretending to be about what are the obvious sets of facts in front of them"? I think I know, and the reason is embodied in your colleague Brian Williams.

In a perfect world, any Manhattan-based cable news anchor opening his pie hole to ask "why won't Democrats bring the country together" would be forced (with their bosses) to live with six or seven Trump voters for a weekend, while a streaming loop of all of Devin Nunes' opening statements from this week played on a big screen back to back for 36 hours straight. I suspect that's the best way to de-program that ridiculous "Democrats must bring the country together" nonsense from the airwaves.

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