Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not As Good As "Dewey Beats Truman," But-----

I know that lizards don't sweat, but the lizard-like James Carville did a lot of sweating in interviews following the Republican high tide last Tuesday. Interviewers, even liberals, couldn't resist asking Carville about his May 4, 2009 appearance on Good Morning America hawking his book 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation."

On Thursday of election week, Carville returned to the scene of the crime. Host and former Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos did not, of course, directly challenge Carville on his previous statements about the Democratic ascendancy. He lobbed softballs at the Gollum look-alike in order to give him a chance to spin his original statements. Statements such as: "These tea baggers, they turned everybody off. There were a bunch of like 75-year old cranky white guys mad at everything. It just couldn't have been a better event for the Democratic Party. I hope they come back and tea bag some more."

Unfortunately for Carville and his astute observation, they did exactly that. Carville had further prognosticated that "Every growing demographic is trending Democratic and I think we're probably on the verge of another 40-year era of party dominance here." Carville's forty-year dominance lasted exactly another fifteen months. He wasn't off by as much as Hitler and his 1000 Year Reich, but far enough off to bring a hint of embarrassment to a normal person. But Carville is not, well, normal.

Playing straight man to Carville, Stephanopoulos asked the following question: "But could could having Congress change hands be good for the President, good for the party in the long run?" Carville would have done well to have read Andrew Price's November 4 assessment here at Commentarama before answering. But he's not a big fan of our site. Then Stephanopoulos asked Carville about his double's appearance on Saturday Night Live saying: "Let them have the House. I mean, have you ever seen the House of Representatives? Good riddance. Have you ever seen the House? It's like a waiting room for jury duty. When you see the House on C-SPAN, it's like a family reunion that's only weird uncles."

Not sure whether that was an SNL player or actually Carville himself, Georgie said: "Well, you were joking there. But what does the House change actually mean?" Carville mixed his bravado, Cajun sentence structure, whirling dervish spinmeister logic and bizarre sense of humor into the answer: "Whatever side gets its, sort of, sea legs first and is able to adjust, it will be a really, really new reality in Washington will be more successful. There's some reasons why the White House can. It's more unified. It's easier to do. The Republicans are going to be spread. There's going to be so many things. I would like to announce my endorsement of Michele Bachmann for that position. I'd like to see her out there for sure."

I'm still trying to decipher that answer. But here's my best attempt: Despite overwhelming Republican numbers, if the Democrats get their sea legs first, they'll be running things in the House. The "House" somehow mystically includes "The White House." The Republicans are probably not going to agree among themselves on everything, so they're finished. The Walrus spoke of many things. And Carville thinks it's hilarious to suggest Michele Bachmann for "that position" (whatever position he's talking about). Now I understand why Bill Clinton relied so heavily on Carville's clarity and logic.

Having completely avoided the apocalyptic predictions of Carville's book, Stephanopoulos went on to ask Carville one final question about whether Carville saw any common ground between the majority Republicans and the minority Democrats. "Earmarks. The SALT treaty with Russia." (End of clarity) "I have no idea. The stuff that we've shown, school nutrition, or something, seems like small potatoes to me in the middle of a recession, with all of the problems we have. Maybe if they can find two or three small things they can agree on, it will come to something else. They're going to have to agree on a budget. Some things, the business of government has to go on. We were discussing yesterday, they're going to have to find agreement on this debt ceiling which is going to be a huge issues when it comes up."

I feel much enlightened by Carville's rapier intellect. And he accomplished one other thing that wasn't part of the interview. Now I know who ghost-wrote Michelle Obama's senior thesis at Princeton.

18 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

. . . and who said objectivity was dead at the networks. BTW isn't Carville a cranky old white guy himself?

Joel Farnham said...

I never can listen to Carville for longer than three minutes.

I am glad most of the Democrats read and believed him.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Carville does not own a mirror.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: If I were producing a movie about ignorant, whiny, backwoods, inbred morons (say, Deliverance II), I'd immediately cast Carville as the lead. Trailer park orators are not my favorite thing to listen to either.

Libertarian Advocate said...

I wonder what profound karmic poison has saddled Mary Matalin's soul that she got saddled with Carville in this incarnation

Libertarian Advocate said...

sorry for the double usage of "Saddled" in my last post. I'm REALLY tired from a long day of leaf cleanup.

BevfromNYC said...

I was convinced many years ago that Matalin and Carville's child must be the One True AntiChrist. She has to be...

LawHawkRFD said...

Libertarian Advocate: I'm still trying to figure that one out. Talk about the odd couple. She seems like a pretty decent sort. Opposites attract, maybe?

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Yeek! I never thought of it that way. They don't have a kid named Damien, do they?

LawHawkRFD said...

LA: Frankly, I think Carville would be a double-saddle of trouble.

AndrewPrice said...

You know, I have to say that I think Carville could have been right if Obama knew what he was doing. He had provided a Clinton-like softer liberalism with a patriotic edge, we could have seriously been in trouble for generations... but he didn't. Now they are the ones on the verge of extinction.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I agree, but shouldn't the supposedly savvy Carville have recognized that Obama is a doctrinaire, self-important, arrogant, wannabe member of the intellectual left? I'm sure Carville knows the expression "a fish rots from the head down," and should have foreseen the damage Obama would do to America and to his own party.

Libertarian Advocate said...

LawHawk: I suspect that - more than anything else - Carville was "drunk" on the spiked cool-aid that yielded the 2006 & 2008 results.

In varying degrees, we are all subject to our own biases. Carville's biggest fault is that he is a fully vested "true-believer" in his ideology. I try as best I can to retain a healthy degree of skepticism about the leadership of both major parties. For me its much easier to do that with the Democrats. But I have no doubt at all that there are many in the Republican party leadership who are self-serving azzholes as well.

The other thing is that huge election swings, such as we saw in favor of the democrats in 2006 & 2008 and now in favor of the republicans, tends to delude the winning party's leadership into believing that they've been handed some kind of mandate to misbehave as they please.

I believe that the only solution is to remain as vigilantly objective as one can.

LawHawkRFD said...

Libertarian Advocate: Carville seems to be more objective when it comes close to home. He was highly critical of Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill. He was also instrumental in getting Clinton to triangulate after the 1994 Republican sweep. He must know that Obama is incapable of that. So my best guess is his recent babbling comes largely from wanting to remain a party loyalist while at the same time recognizing what a disaster this election was for Democrats.

I will always agree with anyone who advises constant vigilance. I particularly am with you on this one, lest we repeat the mistakes following 1994. This was a moderate-conservative vote on the part of independents and conservative Democrats. It was clearly a conservative vote among most Republicans. Those who would reinstate "compassionate conservatism" and government excesses will pay the price just two years from now. The Republicans have to keep the promises they made in 1994, but failed to deliver.

Patti said...

he made me blech on myself. and you know, it's common knowledge that different personalities attract, but i will never understand mary m. marrying this dude. the gulf between them politically is deep and wide, and if it were me (shiver) i'd want to beat his ass daily.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: The closest thing I can think of to watching Carville is watching a bad car crash. You know you shouldn't, it's going to make you sick, but you can't help yourself.

StanH said...

Ahh…the Cue ball! He loves to hear himself talk. A good way to think of Carville is the plurality king. In ’92 if it weren’t for Perot, Clinton would still be chasing skirts around Arkansas. Being a member of the ruling class means, never having to say you’re sorry. It’s as much fun listening to Carville, as fingernails across a chalkboard.

As far as Mary, that’s a real head scratcher, she’s very sharp, conservative, Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff for goodness sake. They got together as competitors in ’92, so the opposites attracts thing perhaps. However, not to be overly judgmental because I like Mary, it’s like consorting with the enemy. A little too much togetherness for two ideologies supposedly diametrically opposed to one another, go figure.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

Carvilles problem is his book is wrong either way.

If the democrats were to have remained in power the nation would not have made it 40 More Years....

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