If anyone thought Andrea Mitchell's mid-day show on MSNBC couldn't get much worse, well, Chris Cillizza just proved that theory to be wrong this Friday while filling in for Mitchell. The man apparently has an extreme aversion to any type of confrontation even though he considers himself a "journalist".
He allowed Grover Norquist, John Sununu and Tom Ridge to all appear on the same show without one ounce of push back against any of the B.S. any of them were spouting and heaven forbid questioning any of them on whether they had their facts right during their interviews. Normally we've got to wait for David Gregory and his cohorts on Sundays for that many really horrible interviews all packed into one show.
Cillizza brought on former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu to discuss the Mitt Romney campaign and allowed the man a good deal of fact-free unchallenged air time and ended the segment by lauding him as the “godfather of New Hampshire Republican politics.”
He allowed Sununu to get away with pushing for austerity measures with no acknowledgment that taxes on upper earners and corporations are the lowest they've been in decades and with no acknowledgment of the income disparity in the United States.
Cillizza painted Herman Cain and Rick Perry's tax plans as either credible or equitable and not something that will just milk the poor for the benefit of the rich and make the problems we have now with income disparity worse and not better.
He allowed Sununu to paint Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility, claiming that they're concerned about “the size of government”, never mind the fact that it was Republicans and not Democrats who have brought us such bloated government agencies as the Department of Homeland Security and who don't care how out of control government spending gets as long as it's going to their friends who are private contractors, and that “government spending” is lining one of their campaign contributors' pockets in the private sector.
Cillizza also allowed Sununu to tell the lie that most working Americans and not just rich white men are living longer (they're not) and therefore we must up the retirement age and make everyone who does some kind of physical labor for a living literally have to work until they drop dead if they're able -- with no push back from Chris. And he let him tell the zombie lie that the Social Security Trust Fund is broke (which it's not), therefore the kids out there who would still like to have that benefit when they retire must allow the Republicans to
reform privatize Social Security and put the fate of their retirements in the hands of Wall Street.
He then wrapped things up by allowing Sununu to claim that seniors who are now receiving Medicare benefits would somehow do better if left to the private sector to shop for their own insurance. Heaven forbid anyone remind one of these liars that we'd all be better off with Medicare for all since the overhead is so much lower than private insurance.
CILLIZZA: Governor Romney is putting out his plan as we speak about the economy. Can you tell us the big, broad, points in here. We've seen Herman Cain with the 9-9-9 plan. We've seen Rick Perry proposing a flat tax. Is there boldness in Mitt Romney's economic plan and if so, what is it?
SUNUNU: Well, it's a smart plan and it understands that deficits do matter. That you can't do anything, you can't cut taxes until you cut spending. So what Governor Romney is proposing, first of all is making sure we know we have to get rid of programs that aren't working. Secondly he understands the states are more efficient than the federal government in dealing with a lot of these issues, so we ought to block grant some of the major expenditures that the states have responsibility for, back down to the states.
And number three we ought to recognize that we've let the bureaucracy get too big and we ought to start cutting back on the size of the federal government and using attrition and other techniques at reducing the size of the number of employees in the federal government.
But he's also willing to take on the hard issues. He knows that the entitlement programs are critical and one of the things he's proposing, recognizing that in current times American workers are working a lot longer than they used to, is harmonizing the retirement age for example with Social Security and when people are actually retiring. And so, increase the retirement age, very, very slowly for the youngest of people that are on Social Security, making sure that you protect those that are on it, or about to be on it in the short period of time.
And the last point is recognizing that the best thing that you can do for Medicare is to make it responsible for being competitive with the kinds of plans that are offered in the private sector.
CILLIZZA: Governor, you've been in politics, or out of politics a little bit, but still in politics for a very long time and...
SUNUNU: For the last twenty years.
CILLIZZA: Not that long! You know the politics of this. You mention entitlement reform. You mention Medicare. These are things that Democrats have fought tooth and nail and I would say after the 2004 election with George Bush and Social Security have fought successfully. How if you were Mitt Romney or a supporter of Mitt Romney do you sell entitlement reform to a country that has been, so far at least resistant to it?
SUNUNU: The most important message we can give is to the young people of America, that if we let the Obama strategy of letting these things blow up, if we let the Democratic strategy of ignoring responsibility, the younger people in America are the ones who are going to get nailed. If there is no Social Security program, that is worse than having one that is fixed, that is adjusted and that is made whole, so that when it comes their turn to start receiving some of these benefits, the program is still there.
There is no group in America that has had it talked to it more than the young people of America by Obama. He laid it into them with Obama-care, forcing them to buy health insurance and ponying up $2000-3000 under the mandated program, ignoring Social Security is sticking it to them in their older age. And the deficits that he has built up, the multi-trillion dollar deficits is adding a huge tax load to them for the rest of their life.
Never mind that “Obama-care” or The Affordable Care Act was modeled after Mitten's health care plan. Never mind that the individual mandate was a Republican idea. Never mind that Bush broke the bank and it looks like the deficit was caused by the Obama administration to anyone not paying attention, because he finally made them put the wars on the books.
And never mind that destroying Social Security and still protecting it for those now on the program is a complete contradiction and he's really talking about is here privatizing Social Security, which will actually destroy it.
Cillizza had lots of respect for Sununu at the end of the segment, calling him an "elder statesman" and treating him as some wise man or political sage anyone watching should respect as well. Apparently he doesn't share that same respect for his viewers. Looks like he'll fit in quite nicely with the rest of MSNBC's daytime lineup if they decide to hire him.