I watch the MSNBC show "Morning Joe" most mornings.
It's not very much like most MSNBC programming, which consists of liberal but reasonable talk shows, and prison and predator shows.
"Morning Joe, hosted by Joe Scarborough, is one of the few places where you can find a reasonable conservative Republican view about things.
I find this refreshing. Most of the time.
I try not to get very political around here very often, but this situation in Wisconsin has raised the hackles.
Primarily because these reasonable Republicans, like Scarborough, Pat Buchanan and Mike Barnicle (actually, I don't know what he is. Certainly not reasonable. Certainly an idiot, so let's not count him) have expressed themselves as being on the fence about the protests in Madison.
They are pretty close to echoing the talking points generated by the snake oil salesmen at Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck, but with a little more apparent thoughtfulness.
You hear things like " Maybe they really are broke in Wisconsin. They've got to cut something".
This was on Friday.
The unions have since acceded to the budget demands and it's clear that this has been about Union-busting all along.
On Monday, the thoughtful Republicans were saying "Well, I guess we were wrong about that."
And you'd hear "Who says public sector employees should have unions?"
Who says they shouldn't?
Or "The Governor won the election. So he has a mandate,"
He got 52% of the vote, In 2000, George W. Bush got 49% of the vote and thought HE had a mandate.
Obama did a lot better and nobody gave him a mandate about anything.
And now the polls show that 52% of the electorate is now against what the Governor is attempting.
He won the election because he probably outspent his opponent three-to-one on advertising.
Pretty good mandate.
Or "Kids have to stay home from school because the teachers are out there protesting".
I can't imagine the kids learning any more than they could possibly learn by what's going on with the protesting.
Or "The Democrats are cowards by hiding out in Illinois while the Republicans are working in the arena of Democracy".
Nobody is working harder than those Democrats for the people who elected them.
What's the difference where they're doing their work?
I think it's time for reasonable Republicans to adhere to what Bill Maher calls "New Rules".
Here goes: If you consider yourself a reasonable, thoughtful Republican, and if Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck says something, and you find yourself agreeing with any of them, for whatever reason, you must carefully examine yourself, with an MRI if necessary, because you are wrong.
Don't even bother to question it.
You'll find it will save you a huge amount of unnecessary thoughtfulness.
My new book, "Mark Rothman's Essays", ones that were culled from the blog and are no longer there, is available for purchase.Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."