IMITATIONS OF LIFE: Lawrence O'Donnell flips on Mitt!


Pure propaganda prevails: Watching Lawrence on Monday night, the analysts had to laugh.

It's true! As a general matter, Ronna McDaniel has been a nightmare as head of the RNC. But there was Lawrence, of all people, praising her uncle, Senator Mitt Romney, while mocking McDaniel for having flipped concerning her uncle's greatness. 

Lawrence offered the remarks shown below. The analysts chose to laugh—perhaps more accurately, to shift uneasily on their benches as they issued mordant chuckles:

LAWRENCE (2/7/22): The chair of the Republican Party had to change her name for Donald Trump.

Ronna McDaniel climbed her way to the top of the Republican Party by trading on her famous Republican name that included two Republican candidates for president...

Of course, Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee for president in 2012 when Ronna McDaniel proudly called herself "Ronna Romney McDaniel." She did not want to walk into any room with her married name masking the fact that she is Mitt Romney`s niece.

So she was "Ronna Romney McDaniel" until Donald Trump rose to power and displayed his public hatred of Mitt Romney, whereupon Ronna Romney McDaniel became "Ronna McDaniel."

The analysts shifted uncomfortably on their benches. They couldn't help thinking of the way Hillary Clinton had changed her name, at least two separate times, to serve political ends. 

They displayed discomfort when our most performative feminist went after McDaniel's name change. But they laughed out loud at the very idea that Lawrence, of all the corporate multimillionaire clowns, was effusively praising Senator Romney, Ronna McDaniel's uncle.

McDaniel has flipped on her uncle, Mitt Romney? What about Lawrence himself? He had engaged in astonishingly stupid behavior back when Romney was running for president, repeatedly trashing the basics of the candidate's Mormon faith. He'd even adopted his tough-guy, blue-collar Boston Dorchester accent as he angrily challenged one of Romney's sons to meet him for a (literal) fight.

(Lawrence is one of those people for whom Catholic belief makes perfect sense while Mormon belief does not. You pretty much can't get dumber than that, but our own tribal icons will try.)

If memory serves, that lunatic invitation to fight was the last of the famous meltdowns Lawrence has staged on MSNBC's air. If memory serves, he had to make a formal apology about this manifest act of lunacy, though you'll have to look that up yourself. 

At this older-but-wiser site, we no longer waste our tome providing such pointless services

At any rate, no one has been weirder about the Romneys than our own Lawrence has. But on Monday night, there he was, criticizing McDaniel for flipping on Mitt even as he himself was flipping on Mitt in the most obvious way.

That was the comic relief; suddenly, Mitt qualified as Lawrence's hero because of something he'd said. In that way, Lawrence's discomfiting attack on McDaniel for changing her name provided the comical underbelly to the astonishing wave of propagandization which has swept across our failing blue tribe over the past five days.

The propagandization was general on blue tribe cable last night. We cringed at the behavior of John Berman and Van Jones on CNN. Later, the analysts screamed as they watched Lawrence continue the onslaught.

They wept as they watched the transparently phony showmanship performed by Chris Hayes.

(People will do a lot of things to retain those multimillion dollar jobs. We first stated that point decades ago, while discussing the idiocy of Brian Kilmeade on Fox.)

Last night, the propagandization was general over our own "cable news." Tomorrow, we'll show you some of what was said. 

For today, we'll focus on a news report from the top of page A1 of this morning's New York Times. The propaganda is astonishing there, as it is elsewhere today in both the Washington Post and in today's New York Times.

In print editions, the news report appears at the top of the New York Times' front page. The report was written by Weisman and Karni. Inexcusably, they start like this:

WEISMAN AND KARNI (2/9/22): Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, pushed back hard on Tuesday against the Republican Party’s censure of Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and its characterization of the Jan. 6 riot as “legitimate political discourse,” saying the riot was a “violent insurrection.”

Say what? Has "the Republican Party" (i.e., the RNC) characterized the January 6 riot as "legitimate political discourse?"

That's what Weisman and Karni say at the start of this morning's report. Last night, our own tribe's beloved corporate stars clung to that claim in much the way a drowning multimillionaire corporate cadre might cling to the edge of a raft they'd taken from their yacht's drowning hands.

That said, is it true? Has "the Republican Party" (actually, the RNC) characterized the January 6 riot as "legitimate political discourse?" All the clowns said so last night--all the clowns from Berman and Jones right on through Lawrence and Hayes. 

(At 11, we were disappointed to see Chris Jansing follow suit.)

Everybody said it last night—but has [the RNC] actually done that? Atop this morning's front page, the New York Times flatly states that as a fact—but is the claim factually accurate?

Last Saturday morning, the same paper trafficked a similar claim, also on page A1. Starting with the headline, the journalism was inexcusably poor, even then—but check that report's fourth and fifth paragraphs:

G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’

The Republican Party on Friday officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and events that led to it “legitimate political discourse,” and rebuked two lawmakers in the party who have been most outspoken in condemning the deadly riot and the role of Donald J. Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled it.

The Republican National Committee’s voice vote to censure Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City culminated more than a year of vacillation, which started with party leaders condemning the Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s conduct, then shifted to downplaying and denying it.

On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

After the vote, party leaders rushed to clarify that language, saying it was never meant to apply to rioters who violently stormed the Capitol in Mr. Trump’s name.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line,” Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, said in a statement. “They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.”

That journalism was inexcusably poor. Right in its opening paragraph—right in its front-page headline!—the Times was saying that "the Republican Party" (the RNC) had officially said that the Capitol riot was “legitimate political discourse.” 

That was an inexcusably shaky claim. But even then, the Times was willing to quote McDaniel and cite others, in paragraphs 4 and 5, as she and they explicitly denied that claim. 

In this morning's inexcusable report, McDaniel's denial is gone. The propagandization is total. 

According to various experts, failing tribes have nothing to offer acolytes except for propaganda of such obvious kinds. Much later in today's report, Weisman and Karni even present this howler:

WEISMAN AND KARNI (2/9/22): “Republicans have been very clear, we condemn the violence on Jan. 6. We also condemn the violence in 2020 as violent criminals attacked federal buildings including parts of Washington, D.C.,” said Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, equating racial justice protests with the deadly assault on the Capitol. She added that “we believe the Jan. 6 commission is political theater about punishing partisan opponents.”

In the quoted statement, the routinely horrendous Stefanik became the ten millionth Republican to say that the GOP condemns the violence of January 6.

Still, the journalism in that paragraph is astonishing too. Like about a million others by now, Stefanik was referring to types of looting and arson from the summer of 2020, not to "racial justice protests." Sadly, we've reached the point where journalists at the New York Times just won't stop doing things like that.

In that pitiful paraphrase, the propagandization by the stars of our dying tribe has basically become total. You can't get more false than that.

Tomorrow, we'll look at some of porridge fed to us on "cable news" last night. We'll also look at the text of the RNC's official statement—the text in which the RNC supposedly said that the violent attack on the Capitol was "legitimate political discourse."

Again and again and again and again, McDaniel and others have said that isn't what the RNC actually meant—and it certainly isn't something the RNC explicitly said. People like Berman and Jones and Lawrence and Hayes weren't willing to tell you that last night. This morning, the Times may be even worse.

By now, our "journalists" are desperate for product to serve us, for product to soothe our souls. This is the way societies die, with progressive ideals going first.

Meanwhile, there was Lawrence on Monday night, flipping hard—swooning, almost—in favor of Mitt Romney. 

Once, he actually challenged Romney's son to a literal fight. He'd adopted his stupid Dorchester accent to do it.

That was propaganda then. Today, there's little but propaganda and its rules in the gruesome imitations of journalism produced by our corporate stars. 

These people aren't willing to tell you the truth. Their imitations of journalism are sad imitations of life.

Tomorrow. Something you've basically never been shown—the RNC's actual text!


  1. "The propagandization was general on blue tribe cable last night."

    Meh. Every night, dear Bob.

    Every night and every day. 24x7, for decades now.

    Otherwise, as always: thank you, dear Bob, for documenting this teeny-tiny minor portion of the latest liberal atrocities...

    Oh, and by the way: the least worst new network informs us that "nearly 40 Republican lawmakers are calling on President Biden, 79, to take a cognitive test, following the example set by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump."

    We're guessing there's not a word in your dembot media. Does it make you upset, dear Bob? ...because we remember it bothered you greatly a couple of years ago...

    1. Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.

      Bwahahaha!!! You must be so proud.

  2. The republican party has used this tactic for ages. Make an outrageous statement, but leave a back door to establish plausible deniability. But by then the damage is done. The trumpies will be convinced "their" republican party supports the rioters and they won't pay any attention to the "clarification". Why do you fall for it, Bob?

    1. This post is merely a request the facts about the tactic/clarification be reported accurately.

    2. Good catch Unknown, but this time it’s not really a back door. It’s a ploy, that will only fool the likes of Bob, whose real aim is to fool others.

  3. "They couldn't help thinking of the way Hillary Clinton had changed her name, at least two separate times, to serve political ends. "

    Here we see more of Somerby's trademark dislike of Hillary, as he takes a snipe at her (and she isn't even running for anything this time).

    First, McDaniel changed her name for political gain when she retained her Romney association, and again when she dropped it because of Trump's dislike of Romney. Hillary didn't add Rodham for political reasons, but for feminist ones, to maintain a distinct work identity separate from Bill Clinton by retaining her maiden name. Second, she dropped it in order to distance herself from feminism and move more to the center socially speaking. She ALWAYS HAD the name Clinton, she had already been first lady as a Clinton, and she had established her own political identity, so dropping Rodham prevented voters from mistaking who she was. She didn't borrow any glory by addeding a name as Ronna did, nor did she avoid any political association by dropped her maiden name.

    Somerby misses the very different motivations involved in the two different women's choices. Hillary's choices were arguably not political at all. But Somerby is clueless about what name choices mean to women and certainly has no idea about feminist implications of keeping one's original name in the early 70s.

    But here we see that Somerby cannot avoid a potshot at Hillary. What liberal derides his own nominee for president, even when it was so urgent to beat Trump? None. And now we see hints of the animosity lurking in Somerby's psyche. There is no political motive in this situation, but Somerby sees one (or manufactures one in his own mind) in order to say something bad about her. And this his been tiresome when she was a candidate, and is even more tiresome now that she is out of the public eye. And this kind of shit is why women of both parties have a harder time in politics than men.

    1. "They" refers to Somerby's made-up analysts. He shifts his opinions off onto others whenever he can. Heaven forbid he should ever take responsibility for his own statements. In this case, we all know that Somerby's hangups over women are his own problem, not any fictitious analysts, not any poet or songwriter either. His.

  4. "They displayed discomfort when our most performative feminist went after McDaniel's name change. "

    Somerby says this right after knocking Hillary, but Hillary hasn't said anything about Ronna McDaniel's name change. Who is Somerby referring to her as the most performative feminist? Is it supposed to be Maddow, or is he calling Lawrence O'Donnell our most performative feminist?

    1. Anon at 11:24…..another good catch, let’s hope it’s merely very sloppy work and not hitting the bottle.

  5. "In that pitiful paraphrase, the propagandization by the stars of our dying tribe has basically become total. You can't get more false than that."

    This is how I feel about Somerby's invocation of some very performative but unnamed feminist who supposedly has attacked Ronna McDaniel over her name. I similarly do not think it is Somerby's place to tell us who our feminists are, performative or not. When I hear the word feminist, I don't think of any cable news host.

    But the sheer dishonest of Somerby's incompete pejorative labeling of someone unspeificed, as if that were all he needs to do to tar the left with a swear word such as feminist. Lazy and incompetent.

  6. “But on Monday night, there he was, criticizing McDaniel for flipping on Mitt even as he himself was flipping on Mitt in the most obvious way.”

    There is no evidence of O’Donnell “flipping on Mitt.”

    This is what O’Donnell said about Romney:

    “Mitt Romney said the right thing. “

    “once again, Senator Mitt Romney stands almost alone among Republicans, elective Republicans, current elected Republicans and opposition to the most recent public display of insanity by the Republican Party.”

    That hardly sounds as though “Mitt qualified as Lawrence's hero because of something he'd said.”

    Far from it.

    And he can be right about Ronna McDaniel regardless of his former “meltdowns” (an irrelevant thing for Somerby to bring up, although it serves to ridicule O’Donnell) and regardless of Somerby’s antipathy towards O’Donnell.

    1. Bob was talking about the 2012 election and the things that O'Donell said about Romney back then.

  7. “It could not have been a more inappropriate message, …so far from accurate as to shock and to make people wonder what we're thinking."

    Spoken by Mitt Romney about the RNC censure. Is he a liberal clown? What could lead him to make these comments? What about Cheney and Kinzinger?

    While Trump is dangling pardons for those arrested for crimes on Jan 6, the RNC issues its statement. There was no mention of who was being persecuted by the Jan 6 committee, nor no mention of denouncing the violence that day.

    One wonders how Republicans like Stefanik can claim they denounce the Jan 6 violence, but then also denounce the committee and its two GOP members trying to investigate the causes and the people responsible for that violence.

    The age old tactic of saying one thing and then afterwards claiming that isn’t what you meant is called “equivocation”, and Somerby gives life and support to it here.

    The implication of the original RNC statement was clear, clear enough that it passed unchanged with unanimous assent.

    But Somerby is demanding a passive liberal party that accepts this duplicity without a word. So much for informing the public about tactics being used by the disingenuous elites of the Other party, and so much for investigating the events of that day and those leading up to it, at least as far as Republicans are concerned.

    1. He's not asking that you accept anything. Just that the incident be reported fully and accurately.

    2. That is bs. That isn’t at all what he is asking. The statement and it’s so-called “clarification” were fully reported and the texts of both are publicly available. The important extra step of pointing out the duplicitousness of the tactic goes above and beyond the mere passive reporting of texts that are publicly available. Somerby denounces this.

    3. If Bob wanted our media to report things fully and accurately, he would be questioning why they call the former President "Donald Trump" and not "self-admitted sexual predator Donald Trump" in their news reports.

    4. It's not the world's fault you can't understand. It would make sense if you disagreed.

  8. If the Republicans hadn’t said it ( Bob’s hopelessly shakey contention) they wouldn’t have had to walk it back in the examples Bob gives.
    If Bob wants to give the Republicans a full pass for the walk back, that’s not surprising. He’s a full grown adult with a horrible sense of judgement. The more he name calls, generally, the shakier the claim he is trying to pass off.
    There were some interesting moments on MSNBC last night, including a disagreement on the Crumbly case. Bob cuts right to a familiar grudge.

  9. We should also note President Trump has gone far beyond “legitimate political discourse.” He has claimed there was no violence, that those who were arrested are being treated unfairly, etc…..

    1. Did Trump really claim there was no violence? Sounds like one of those aforementioned novelized tales.

    2. A claim those who were arrested are being treated unfairly is completely fair. Don't forget, not everyone advocates for censorship the way you do.

    3. 9:27,
      The entire Right does. Should we dismiss what "the Others" think, because you don't agree?