February 13, 2010

Boy could Katrina Vanden Heuvel have used some help on this panel on Larry King live. As much as I like Stephanie Miller and her radio show, she's not the best guest on any of these shows to be arguing policy about anything. The snark might work well for the radio show where she and her crew are going for the laughs, but it often doesn't add very much to countering conservative nonsense on these cable talking head shows like what we got from S.E. Cupp in this segment.

Larry King asks the panel what they think about Michelle Obama's interview the previous night and whether Congress will ever get a health care bill passed and S.E. Cupp apparently thinks we need to be listening to this kid for advice on the health care debate. Wingnut Wunderkind Jonathan Krohn seems like a natural phenomenon:

Everyone is either amazed and surprised or quietly appalled by young Jonathan Krohn, the then-13-year-old (he turned 14 on Sunday) who wowed the folks at the CPAC convention this weekend with his precocious-wingnut routine. He is indeed a startlingly poised young man.

But honestly, it seemed perfectly natural to me. After all, conservative thought (as it were) has always reflected the way a 13-year-old would view the world: like a highly dualistic, light-and-darkness morality fable, filled with heroic patriots and defenders of freedom contending against the slithering forces of puling liberal evil. Just ask Jonah Goldberg.

I'd say the young man has a nice career at NRO just waiting for him. Though you never can tell for sure what happens when a kid like this eventually gets a little taste of real life, either. Sometimes very interesting things happen.

I've been as big of a critic as anyone about what the Senate and Max Baucus did to the health care bill, but anyone who thinks we should be taking advice from some little 14 year old wingnut talking points machine deserves to be mocked endlessly. Given her debut at Tucker Carlson's right wing rag The Daily Caller which Digby summed up nicely here, I'm not at all shocked.

I don't want to give Tucker Carlson any traffic, so I won't add a link, but you can find this article by googling, I'm sure.It's written by a conservative writer named Cupp in Carlson's new online operation called the Tuckington Post (aka The Daily Caller.) It is a perfect example of the snotty, sophomoric humor in which Carlson has long specialized.

This is yet another in a long line of proudly obnoxious, conservative woman with chips on their shoulders the size of Alaska complaining that everyone hates them because they are so incredibly sexy and special. The main thing you need to know is that she loves God, hates liberals and likes to kill things, which makes her so awesomely cool that only the manliest of manly men will be able to handle her violent, macho, scotch-swilling womanliness. Read on...

Transcript via CNN below the fold.

KING: It's political time. The panel is Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of "The Nation," S.E. Cupp, senior writer "The Daily Caller" and daily columnist for the "New York Daily News," Stephanie Miller, radio talk show host, who moved east from LA, and Andrea Tantaros, Republican strategist and columnist. First, Michelle Obama was our guest on Tuesday. Here's what she had to say about health care and we'll get your comments.


KING: Do you think they'll get a health bill?

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: I think we don't have a choice. When we look at these statistics, we're spending billions of dollars on preventable diseases. And new health care legislation could go a long way to improving prevention, first and foremost. People have to have a pediatrician in order to get good information from their pediatrician. People have to be able to take their kids to well doctors visits to have all this information tracked.

We have to get this done. I'm hopeful that Congress will come together, that the American people will recognize that doing nothing is absolutely not an option.


KING: Ms. Katrina, what do you make of what she said?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, "THE NATION": I think this is a crisis in our country, Larry, the crisis of child obesity. One-third of all childhood obesity, one half of minority children. I think Michelle Obama has taken on the right crusade. It's -- she's doing it with, I think, humanity and dignity and trying to bring people together. But also understanding that there is a measure of the way we organize our life, the way food is subsidized is leading a lot of people to -- junk food is less expensive than healthy food.

KING: Is it a blight on our country to see that we don't have a better story in medicine?

S. E. CUPP, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I think she's right in that we need to get a better health care system. Where she's wrong is putting up this straw man argument that the people on the right don't want to have that happen. That's just not the case.

I was listening to Jonathan Krohn, 14-year-old wonder kid today, and he said we need to scrap both bills and start over. I think if a 14-year-old realizes we need to start from scratch, I think we should all listen up. This is a pragmatic approach.

KING: Stephanie?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Which 14-year-old is this?

CUPP: Jonathan Krohn.

MILLER: Ah. I don't think that anyone really thinks the Republicans, Larry, have engaged in any bipartisanship. They sent this ransom note to the president demanding all these things before they would even have this televised debate with him. I think they were afraid to show up for this debate because they were afraid the president would make them look like obstructionist jerks. I say if the ass hat fits, then go ahead and wear it.

KING: "Politico" has as story today, Andrea, headlined family feud. Apparently, Ms. Pelosi is at some odds with Obama. Do you see a rift there?

ANDREA TANTAROS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Absolutely. I think the rift has been in place for a very long time. Obama outsourced this bill to Pelosi and Reid. He should have taken the lead from the beginning, and now he has these two mill stones around his neck. You can blame Republicans all you want, but the deep divisions are within the Democratic party on this.

They could have passed this bill. They didn't have the votes because of these deep divisions. And so just blaming this on the Republicans and obstruction is an empty argument.

KING: Do Republicans want every American to be insured? Do they? Yes or no?

TANTAROS: Yes, but there's other ways to get people who are eligible for Medicaid on the roles now, without cutting 500 billion from Medicare. There are other things we can do. I don't think Republicans need to work with the president just because he's the president. If it's a bad bill, and Barack Obama is inviting them to the table, he's essentially saying, this thing is a stinker. The American people don't want it. Come help me take ownership of this stinker.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think he did need to draw lines in the sand, President Obama, earlier than he did. We shouldn't have had a Summer where Max Baucus was playing footsie with any Republican he could find. There have been too many compromises. The idea that Republicans have not been brought in is laughable.

The idea though -- there are divisions among the Democrats.

MILLER: I agree with both of them. The president needs to be a little less Erckel and a little more Shaft on this whole health care thing.

KING: We'll have Ms. Cupp comment on some of the things Vice President Biden said to me earlier this week right after this.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.