Joe and Gene mangle the government shutdown: It was once widely said that facts were stubborn things.
Those days are widely gone. Consider Joe Scarborough's puzzling performance on today's Morning Joe.
Speaking with Noah Rothman, Scarborough had already given the false impression that Democrats achieved the extension of CHIP funding as a result of the weekend's three-day shutdown.
Rothman seemed a bit confused by what Joe had said. In reply to an oration by Rothman, Joe offered this thoroughly puzzling statement:
SCARBOROUGH (1/23/18): You say [Democrats] lost something. They got CHIP funding, right?To watch this conversation, click here, move ahead to the 7-minute mark.
If I'm a Demorat, and of course I’m not—but God knows I’m sounding more like one every morning—if I’m a Democrat, and I went back to my town hall meeting and they said, ‘You backed down,’ I would say, 'I did what? I did what? I guaranteed, by standing up to Donald Trump and making sure he was out of this process, I guaranteed CHIP funding. I guaranteed, by my fighting—you’re telling me that a three-day shutdown wasn’t worth guaranteeing health care for millions and millions of the truly disadvantaged children?'
That’s a win for Democrats if they know how to spin it the right way.
Joe seemed badly confused. In fact, the CHIP extension had been agreed to before the shutdown began. When Democrats voted for the shutdown last Friday, they were voting against the same six-year CHIP extension which got approved three days later.
It was DACA they were fighting for. They already had agreement on CHIP.
By now, it seemed that Joe didn't know what happened. Soon, he repeated himself, speaking to Gene Robinson:
SCARBOROUGH: Gene Robinson, if Democrats are smart enough to know how to fight, and right now that is a question we don't have an answer to, but if they're smart enough to fight, they will go home and say, "Damn right I shut down the government for three days. And in those three days Republicans caved, and now we have health care for little children who didn't have health care before our government shutdown. We win, they lose."Poor Gene! His host's statement completely jumbled what had actually happened. How does a "cable news" guest handle something like that?
Luckily, Robinson knew exactly what to do! He plowed ahead, pretending that Scarborough's statement was perfectly accurate!
Cover the children's eyes and ears. You don't want them to know about this yet:
ROBINSON (continuing directly): Exactly. The six years of CHIP funding is the one really big concrete thing Democrats got out of this. And frankly, with all respect, to say they lost the narrative while gaining the essential thing they were fighting for is kind of ridiculous...As you can see if you watch the tape, Robinson went on from there, making matters even worse. But you get the basic idea.
So it goes among this misfiring upper-end caste. Last Wednesday night, Our Own Rhodes Scholar opened her show by telling viewers that Republicans could pass their proposed finding measure with their own Senate votes. She announced that they didn't need a single Democratic vote!
That statement was crazily wrong. This morning, Scarborough and Robinson told their viewers that Democrats were fighting for CHIP funding last Friday, and that they succeeding when the GOP folded over the weekend.
Who or what are these life forms? From where have these apparent life forms come? What explains their way of life? What explains their puzzling presence among us?