The competition has been fierce this week to discern which comment by every B-list Bush apologist's favorite "Democrat" takes the title of Most Revoltingly Stupid Joe Klein Comment of All Time. Project Runway has nothing on the drama heating up in our comments section, just a few more bugle beads and bloomers.
From week to week people like Atrios and Media Matters do a very good job of pointing out the all-Republican, all-the-time composition of most TV news shows. Many in our comments section often wonder "where are the Democrats?" like they have anything to do with it.
The person who gets the coveted slot of "token Democrat" is usually of the Joe Klein ilk. We then get a break from Republicans endlessly repeating GOP talking points to hear a self-professed Democrat endlessly repeating GOP talking points. It's not like the Democrats are telling the bookers "sorry, I'm too busy." This guy gets the air time.
And what does he do with it? Here are tonight's entries for "Joe Klein: In His Own Words:"
19. "One can only imagine the Republican wrath and utter ridicule—the Rush Limbaugh fulminations—if, say, John Kerry had proposed a similar policy: Let's pin our Middle East hopes on the statesmanship of Hizballah and Hamas. But that is where the democratic idealism of the Bush Doctrine has led us. If the President turns out to be right—and let's hope he is—a century's worth of woolly-headed liberal dreamers will be vindicated. And he will surely deserve that woolliest of all peace prizes, the Nobel."Remember not only to vote by number, but to vigorously lobby for your choice because the winner of the best Klein snark in the comments section will also receive The Charles P. Pierce Award for Excellence in Klein Snark (to be awarded by Charles P. Pierce himself) and will also win a copy of the DVD of Action.
20. "I bow to nobody in my disdain for bloggers. You know, they're all opinions and very little information." (video here)
21. "And I've got to say, Bob, that, you know, usually at this - at this stage of a campaign, with a whole big field of a lot of candidates, you know, it's easy to look on them as a bunch of dwarfs or buffoons, but the Democrats have some really serious and substantive and - and effective candidates out there. Of course, there's another whole brigade of buffoons that are led by Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley-Braun, none of whom really have a chance to become president, and - and are kind of cluttering up the stage at this point, but there - there are some good, serious candidates out there, too."
22. The Democrats have for the last 10 or 15 years blatantly, shamelessly demagogued this issue. They've offered nothing positive on Social Security or on Medicare or on Medicaid, and it's time for them to compromise here. It's also time for the Republicans to compromise here. One area where you might see, you know, some--one possibility is the old Washington standby, the demonstration project. We might try privatization for some younger, you know, Social Security recipients--not recipients but, you know, contributors, or we might try it in a city or a couple of places. We haven't--we don't know how it's going to work."
23. "But these concerns pale before the importance of the program. It would have been a scandal if the NSA had not been using these tools to track down the bad guys. There is evidence that the information harvested helped foil several plots and disrupt al-Qaeda operations.There is no such thing as a pure political product. The two existing political parties are amalgams of passion and sanity, traditional liberalism and conservatism. Those who win the presidency create harmonic majorities by plausibly balancing these strains."
24. "In less than a second, less time than it takes to tell," Dick Cheney mused last week, his quail-hunting expedition had gone "from what is a very happy, pleasant day with great friends in a beautiful part of the country, doing something I love—to, my gosh, I've shot my friend. I've never experienced anything quite like that before." It was perhaps the most eloquent, emotionally unguarded moment from the notoriously buttoned-up Vice President. He seemed stunned, uncertain for once. And the haunted look in his eyes reminded me of what soldiers in Vietnam used to call the Thousand-Yard Stare—the paralytic shock that comes from seeing the impact that even low-caliber weaponry can have on human flesh.
25. "I've never seen George Bush lose a debate. He is a brilliant minimalist.
26. "And then there is her husband, a one-man supermarket tabloid. A few weeks ago, the New York Post ran a photo of Bill Clinton leaving a local restaurant with an attractive woman, and the political-elite gossip hounds went berserk."
27. "Look, this is a debate we're going to have in this country. And the rules may well change and they maybe should change. But to do it in the way that this has been done, to send the message that we're sending, you cannot guarantee me that we're not creating more militants, more -- and more problems for ourselves."
28. "If Lee does hook large black audiences, there's a chance the message they take from the film will increase racial tensions in the city. If they react violently--which can't be ruled out--the candidate with the most to lose will be David Dinkins."
Now is your chance to do to Joe what he does to us every time he opens his mouth. Don't waste it.
First night semi-final round
Second night semi-final round