The Good Lawrence and his unsavory twin!


The liberal world heads for the dumpster: Occasionally, the Good Lawrence makes an appearance in public. One such sighting occurred on The Channel after Obama’s address.

First, Chris Hayes engaged in some requisite snark with moderator Rachel Maddow. Theme: John McCain looked grumpy!

Then, Hayes discussed the idea that Obama might take executive action regarding climate change, thus bypassing a recalcitrant Congress. He said this might be huge:
MADDOW (2/12/13): [Obama] threatened to go it alone and do something on his own through executive action. How do you assess how significant those things were that he said he would do if Congress couldn’t get it done?

HAYES: So this is a huge, huge sleeper policy in climate policy right now, which is the Supreme Court has found the EPA has the power under the Clean Air Act right now to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act and what that means is that the EPA could, by itself, unilaterally put in essentially what would be a carbon regime, a cap and trade kind of regime. They would have to structure it differently, which means the executive has the authority right now to do the thing that the fossil fuel industry and conservatives and Republicans and many others have been fighting tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t happen.

What that means is that, though there is essentially very little political leverage in Congress to get a climate bill precisely because of Republican recalcitrance, it is the threat of unilateral action that now has some Republicans and some lobbyists on the Hill scurrying to try to cobble something together in Congress because they are worried about the president following through on that promise. I thought that was actually a really big deal in the speech, the kind of not-so-veiled threat to push the EPA forward on that.

MADDOW: That’s fascinating and it explains why we’re hearing so much from the president on the issue in speeches, because he’s trying to build public support from what he’s going to do, especially if he has to do it beyond the legislature. Chris Hayes, thank you so much. Excellent point! Really good to have you here on this.

HAYES: Thanks.
Rachel bought every word. According to her, Hayes had explained “why we’re hearing so much from the president on the issue in speeches.” Obama is trying to build support for the things he may do on his own.

At this point, Maddow asked Lawrence to share his views on the matter. “Nuts on that,” Good Lawrence said:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Lawrence O’Donnell, on that specific issue about the president potentially acting outside of Congress to accomplish pretty broad climate goals. What do you think the likelihood of that is? And what do you think the political impact will be?

O’DONNELL: I think it’s unlikely and it would provoke overriding legislation to revoke it if it did. And the reason the Senate never acted on the cap and trade bill, it didn’t even get to the point of Republicans. There were not Democratic votes. There weren’t 45 Democratic votes in the Senate for it. As long as you have Democratic senators from West Virginia, you don’t have Democrats on that kind of bill.

And so, it’s something that—I think everything Chris says is absolutely right and lobbyists are worried about it. It is something the president can use, but I don’t think he can convince Republicans that he really would go through with that, at the scale that Chris was suggesting is possible.
We can’t tell you what’s going to happen—but in our view, but that’s the good Lawrence! Good Lawrence worked in the Senate for years, at a very high level. He understands how the Congress works. He sometimes seems to enjoy shooting down happy talk on The Channel. Since no one else is inclined to do that, his conduct strikes us as constructive.

The Good Lawrence is rarely sighted, but when he appears, all the analysts cheer. This brings us to last night’s appearance by his unsavory twin, the very bad Lawrence.

Last night, Lawrence staged a long, ugly segment which showcased his deep-seated Crazy. He was extending a crazy segment from Monday night—a segment which was also quite ugly.

Lawrence has been this way for years—at least, Bad Lawrence has been. It’s amazing to think that the liberal world wants to go down this dumb, ugly road.

Last night, Lawrence was extremely dumb—and he was very ugly. That said, the pair of segments to which we refer went on for a very long time.

For that reason, we’ll have to review what he said tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that the liberal world wants to go down this dumb, ugly road.


  1. Maybe, Bob Somerby should just watch FoxNews!

  2. If Rachel "bought every word," then why did she bother to ask Lawrence his view of what Hayes had just said?

    Isn't that exactly the way broadcast media, centered as it always will be on the kind of generalist that Maddow is, is supposed to work? She asks one person his view, and gets a contrary view based on supplementary information from someone else. I guess not since it's Maddow. Why does this bear an uncanny resemblance to Republicans who effectively say, "If Obama's for it [even if I was, too, until 5 minutes ago], I'm against it?

  3. Equating Lawrence O'Donnell with liberalism - now that's extremely dumb.

  4. O'Donnell's not a liberal, he just plays one on TV. What does that say about a corporate media that plugs in a multi-purpose stooge like O'Donnell as a liberal voice? I see nothing to defend in that. Wasn't he once upon a time a Dubya guy? Lean Forward my ass.

  5. "[Obama] threatened to go it alone and do something on his own through executive action."

    I believe the correct response to such things is "talk's cheap". And getting devalued all the fucking time.