Sunday, November 09, 2014

TV: The Littlest League on Basic Cable

We don't make sports analogies.  As women who don't really give a damn about sports, we're aware that there are many men and women who don't care.  As women who watched aghast as Jane Fonda, during her Ted Turner years, did the 'Tomahawk Chop' at a sports stadium, we think a lot of people should self-check before acting like they know anything about sports.

We don't pretend to know sports but we do believe we have some limited understanding of sportsmanship and concepts like "good sport."  As we understand it, at the end of the game, there's a winner and a loser and both need to show appreciation for the sport, the competition and one another.

Sore losers and sore (or ungrateful) winners are not hallmarks of good play in the sports arena.

So do we have that right?

We ask because of all the nonsense that was on display Tuesday and in all the days that followed.

For any not aware, Tuesday was an election day in the United States.

The mid-term elections -- so-called because they come in the middle of a four-year presidential term.

Because the office of president is not up for vote, the mid-terms have lower turn out then the four year elections where Americans select -- with or without 'help' from the Supreme Court -- a president.

Mid-terms are also traditionally seen as a response on the presidency.

So if a house of Congress switches from Republican or Democrat or from Democrat to Republican, that is seen as newsworthy and reflective of how people view the president.

In the immediate time period ahead of the November 4th  election (October 27th thru November 2nd) found Barack Obama's presidential job approval rating at 42% according to Gallup.  Gallup helpfully also noted that the average for presidents at this time in their second term during the modern era (1938 thru this year) is 53%.

So going into the elections, Barack was polling low.

He'd been polling low for some time now.

It wasn't a surprise and most Democrats running weighed carefully whether they wanted his 'help' or not with a number deciding no.

Kay Hagan wanted his help.  The US Senator from North Carolina wanted his last minute, week before the election, radio spot where he endorsed her and he also recorded an audio message that was played to unsuspecting people who, possibly confused by their caller i.d., picked up their phones.

The result?

Jim Morrill (Charlotte Observer) explains, "Hagan won in 2008 with the help of then-President-elect Barack Obama and lost six years later in large part because of him.  [Incoming US Senator Thom] Tillis tied Hagan to Obama at every turn and tapped voters' frustration with the administration and Democratic leadership."

That's possible and plausible.

Morrill is a reporter so he knows to stay factual.

Sadly, so many others do not.

Knobby-kneed, turkey-necked and looking like she was all messed up on 'ludes and coming down (hard) a day after the elections, Katrina vanden Heuvel insisted on MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes that the election results -- with Democrats losing control of the Senate to Republicans -- were a result of "the dissing of a president."

vanden Heuvel never looks more homely and post-middle aged than when she attempts to talk like people thirty to forty years younger than she is.

But her remarks would have been disturbing regardless of whether or not the post-menopausal, hooked nose pundit had attempted to act her own age or that of Taylor Swift.

Along with winning control of the Senate, Republicans increased their number in the House of Representatives,

With that taking place, there were all sort of explanations and possibilities to explore.

Leave it to Katrina to offer the ultimate in crazy.

If Democrats, Katrina insisted, had stuck with the unpopular Barack, they would have done better.

Does anyone really believe that if Katrina were on the Titanic, she'd be going down with the ship?

Of course not.  You picture Katty desperately shoving people out of her way, madly kicking children aside, as she rushed to the life rafts.

But there she was on Chris Hayes' show, clenching and unclenching her knobby knees in a sign of sexual frustration as she offered her half-baked lies (even Katty can't believe her own crazy).

The lies were repeated often on MSNBC.

Anyone with a pulse knew the Dems would lose Tuesday night, the only question was by how much.

There was no question as to what 'news' network to watch though: MSNBC.

If you wanted to see the crazy run free, MSNBC was finally Must See TV.

On Friday, journalist Cokie Roberts had finally had enough of the lie that Democratic candidates were harmed by avoiding Barack and pointed out, on Morning Joe, that he did, in fact, go "to states and campaigned for candidates."

Huckster Al Sharpton immediately attempted to distract from this reality by proposing a 'theory' almost as crazy as vanden Heuvel's:  The losses were a Clinton defeat.

According to Huckster Al, the electorate was recoiling from the Clintons.

Some sort of delayed reaction to a 1992 Bill Clinton victory?  Or his 1996 victory?

In passing, Huckster Al offered, the sole bit of truth to leave his lips in years, "I think we're Obama obsessed."

Al certainly is.

And MSNBC should change its slogan from "Lean Forward" to "We've Got The Crazy."

Election night, Rachel Maddow proved that early on.

As Colorado was deciding their US Senator next year, and for five more after that, would be Cory Gardner, Rachel could be found insisting to Chris Matthews (still MSNBC's only celebrity) that Gardner may have won the seat but he lost the race. Democrats, she insisted, "win the argument even if they lose the race."  Since the only 'argument' was whether Democrat Mark Udall would be re-elected or not, in what world does that make sense?

Only in the world of MSNBC which found a sour puss looking Mike Barnicle declaring, day after the election on Morning Joe, that MSNBC favorite Martha Coakley might have won her race for governor (she lost to Republican Charlie Baker) if only Boston Mayor Thomas Meninos had not passed away.

Meninos did pass away October 30th but, in March of this year, he announced his cancer had spread and, October 23rd, he announced he was refusing additional treatments for the cancer.  His death was not unexpected and if it threw Coakley's campaign for a loop, that doesn't speak well to her staff.

By the way, whose death are we blaming for her 2010 US Senate loss to Scott Brown?

Attempting to find the bright side to defeat even before Rachel Maddow did, Joy Reid declared Tuesday afternoon, while voting was still going on, that good news in the (expected) Republican wins was "the overreach [by Republicans] would make it easier [for Democrats] to rebound two years later."

The voting had not even ended but already Joy Reid could see an overreach as a fact and not a possibility.

If MSNBC personalities had to be bound by facts, how would they be able to float to the moon and beyond while spouting one lunatic fantasy after another?

Maddow was the consummate fool on election night -- even going so far as to demonstrate she didn't know what a ringing cell phone sounded like when Tom Brokaw's phone went off in the middle of a discussion and, as Brokaw wondered if it was his phone, Maddow insisted it wasn't and that it was "something ambient."

Maybe she meant to say she'd taken Ambien -- which slows the brain activity and would explain her performance on election night.

We noted her earlier "argument" nonsense.

She may have been referring to reproductive rights.

One take-away some are trying to impose -- George Stephanopoulos floated it election night on ABC -- is that 'women's issues' were too pronounced.

The sexists ran with this constantly in the aftermath of the election.

'Identity politics' -- which used to cover race and gender but now just appears to mean gender since racism is not tolerated in Democratic ranks, though sexism is still advanced -- were the problem.

Tired Ralph Nader roused himself enough to write another useless column where he explained to the Democrats that they could have won if they'd abandoned women and focused on class issues or whatever -- Nader's mind is going but no one's supposed to notice.

We hope the election was not a rejection of women's issues.

For the record, we are firmly pro-choice but abortion is hardly the staring and ending point of women's issues.

In fact, considering that Clint Eastwood, Scott DesJarlais, Chris Huhne and Ahmed Raofi have all reportedly forced women to have an abortion, we're not even sure you can call abortion a "woman's issue."  And since all but Raofi are Republicans, we're not even sure you can call abortion a Democratic Party issue.

But if others want to make that argument, fine, let them.

We won't be Nader and write the same tired column over and over where we bend facts to try to insist our pet causes are the way to salvation.

We noted a lot of people doing that and doing another thing.

Insisting the issues proved our side (the left) was winning.

They did this, pundits, by stressing ballot measures.

It looked like so much sour grapes.

In fact, it looked worse than that, it looked deeply stupid.

When was the last time an election was about issues?  (We know, we'll get back to it.)

In this country, the media reduces elections to personalities.

So why not acknowledge the Republican win for what it was: Better, more personable candidates.

Again, in sports, we thought, you're supposed to be gracious in defeat and in victory.

The Republicans had some good candidates.

Good on the issues?

Mia Love's issues are largely unknown.  She was a 'fish out of water' to the media that didn't care what she stood for (if they even knew).  And she was a personable and strong campaigner.  Are you surprised she won, really?

Along with being unable to say, "Good game," our side wanted to resort to quack theories.

Leave it to Leslie Savant to insist, at The Nation, that the election results were the result of voter suppression or fraud or, she knows it's something, maybe the cute little girl in the photo that runs with her 'report' was threatening would be voters?

The sour grapes and petty tantrums didn't speak of good sportsmanship to us.

Maybe the real problem was explained as Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning and pundit Howard Fineman declared on MSNBC, "The Dems have to re-invent themselves all over again, the Obama era is over."

The Obama era is over.

It's death was marked earlier this year when Barack began sending US troops back into Iraq.

The last time an issue mattered in the elections?

The 2006 mid-terms.  Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.  Going into the elections, the Republicans held both houses of Congress.  The public disgust with the ongoing Iraq War led them to turn both houses of Congress over to the Democrats.  They came into power because of the Iraq War.

As did Barack two years later.

So as he re-started another wave of the ongoing war and as Democrats in Congress failed to oppose him, it was only fitting that they lost control of the Senate.

We're not saying this is what motivated voters.

We are saying karma is a many-splendored thing.

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