I’m a big fan of the straight political prognosticators, those who try to predict results in House and Senate races. To some extent, they’ve been superseded by Nate Silver, but I still find Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato quite useful. However, it’s time to admit that Stu Rothenberg is a Republican first and a reporter/prognosticator second. You may remember his strange contortions about NY-20 (all quotes below via GOS). On February 6, he wrote:
Gillibrand won the seat in 2006 by defeating a tainted incumbent, but she cruised to reelection last cycle in the traditionally Republican district.
Without her incumbency, Democrats will have a tough time holding the seat. The national political environment hasn’t improved all that much for Republicans, but they quickly rallied behind the candidacy of state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R), who already represents an important part of the congressional district. Meanwhile, Democrats took longer to choose their candidate, and finally landed on venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D), a wealthy, first-time candidate […]
After the election, he wrote:
[T]hink what this election would have been like for Republicans if it had occurred last November. Murphy would have buried Tedisco by 6, 8 or maybe 10 points.
The absence of George W. Bush as a factor in this race helped Tedisco, and it suggests that while Republicans certainly haven’t turned the page on the past eight years and still have plenty of damage to repair, they have hit the bottom and are starting to bounce back. That is good news for the GOP.
Now, he’s got his panties in a twist over teh librul bias of Tweety:
For those of us who enjoy following politics and are interested in the news, there are fewer and fewer options on television. The Sunday shows and PBS programming – “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” for example – remain, and there are a handful of others worth watching elsewhere (e.g., “Morning Joe” on MSNBC is fun, informative and thoughtful, and CNN and C-SPAN have their moments). But too often, caricature and vitriol have replaced reporting and analysis.[…..]
Chris Matthews is a smart, politically astute observer of politics, but my last appearance convinced me that “Hardball” has evolved from a straight political news program with quality guests to one that has more in common with its network’s prime-time slant. Like most of the evening programming on MSNBC and the Fox News Channel, “Hardball” has become a partisan, heavily ideological sledgehammer clearly intended to beat up one party and one point of view.
In fairness, he goes on to criticize Fox as well. He’ll end up there soon, though.
The career trajectory of Michael Barone should be instructive here.
Update. More from Stu, via the comments:
Republicans have found the soft underbelly of the administration of President Barack Obama, and her name is Nancy Pelosi.[….]
Politics is about creating enemies, about demonizing opponents. That’s what Democrats have done to Vice President Dick Cheney and conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh..
The Other Steve
Chris Matthews does suck though. You have to give him credit for that.
Although what’s interesting is that from the 1990s until maybe 2006, Matthews was ideologically Republican and beat up Democrats at every opportunity and Stu didn’t complain at all about that.
kommrade reproductive vigor
That tells you everything you need to know and then some. Also.
Morning Joe is simply unwatchable by even the mildly informed.
@SimplyOn: But it’s must-see-tv for the strongly misinformed.
Bill E Pilgrim
Why is everyone suddenly completely out of touch with reality except ME?
Famous last words of those losing their last grip on reality.
No, Stu, actually Matthews is a complete pushover for Republicans and the fact that even he’s started to see them as having gone completely off the edge of the fringe should really, really tell you something.
Capital idea. Send all of these empty-headed GOP ass-kissers to Fox, and then build a moat around the place.
Seeing these people committing a daily seppuku with Occam’s razor, I feel somehow more comfortable with our own political class.
They are reassuringly boring (yes, I am of a staid mind).
The recent elections for the european representatives were so uninteresting the only memorable moment of the campaign was an altercation between a 1968-leftist (OUR kind of leftist, the kind who would provoke spontaneous combustion in a Republican by its mere presence) turned ecologist and a complete milquetoast of a centrist (again, OUR kind of centrist, so a raging communist by US standards)
and it was memorable because we just don’t have this sort of things.
Whatever you do, don’t fix the ( R ) after Tedisco.
That’s a feature not a bug.
Fixed to be in accordance with all Internet traditions.
Where do you live?
When the dense as osmium Matthews, a known Bush crusher and GOP lickspittle, can figure out that the wingnuts are actually…well…nuts, then I have to say that he might actually be observing reality for once in his life.
Rothenberg, if he hadn’t proven this multiple time over his career already, outs himself as the largest tool in the box simply by stating the ridiculous proposition that “Morning Joe” is in any way fun, informative, or thoughtful. Unless he thinks it’s some kind of giant spoof satire of a show, that is.
The Other Steve
Oh how sweet. Apple came out with iTunes 8.2.
and now I get to once again download every fricking thing from my desktop to my iPod.
Could Apple suck less? Please?
Send all of these empty-headed GOP ass-kissers to Fox, and then
build a moat around the placelaunch a couple of UAV strikes.
zoe kentucky in pittsburgh
Scarborough’s show was barely watchable before the election– it was funny to watch Scarborough make an ass of himself sometimes. However, it has quickly graduated to I’d-rather-get-a-root-canal-than-watch-it territory. It’s like watching a clique of people who think they’re wordly and fabulous make (unfunny) inside jokes and say whatever pops into their heads, facts and actual information be damned. Seriously, it’s a roundtable of insider idiots and exemplifies MSM as “the village.” It’s pathetic.
Was Rothenberg stoned the other 986 times he went on the show? Because ,to my recollection, Matthews has never been politically astute. If you want to know the voting patterns of dead Pennsylvania Catholics, he’s the guy to see. Other than that, it’s the Conventional Wisdom non-stop. With spittle.
FTW. Don’t bother with FOX dude, head over to Comedy Central. With sensibilities like this, this moran would definitely give Stewart and Colbert a run for their ducats.
Ya know, just as self-described conservatives have a difficult time discerning the satirical intent of The Colbert Report (cf.), I wonder if certain Villagers have some sort of cognitive difficulty in comprehending the sincerity of shows such as Morning Joe.
Then again, maybe we’re mistaken, and Rothenberg is in on the secret that the entire right-wing noise machine is, indeed, the most elaborate performance art piece in human history.
[This theory, developed during the early days of the McCain campaign, is becoming ever more convincing these days, no?]
I’m French. The leftist-turned-green may have a measure of notoriety as Daniel Cohn-Bendit, while centrist François Bayrou is probably completely obscure outside our country (not that he is much more memorable inside…).
Edited to correct an even more hideous mangling of the English language than usual for me.
I guess Stu baby is upset that the Batshitcrazyrightwingblowhard-to-progressive ratio on the show that evening was only 8 to 1 rather than the usual 10 to 1.
One of my closest colleagues is a Frenchmen turned New Yorker. He’s quite frightened by Sarkozy (and didn’t mind Chirac). What’s your take on this?
Speaking of “Morning Schmoe,” he decided to take on Jon Stewart for the recent slam about Starbucks’ sponsorship of Joe’s program.
Apparently, Schmoe never learned the lesson from the Jimmy Creemer/CNBC takedown.
Roll the tape.
Bill E Pilgrim
I’ll be curious to see Sebastian’s answer but everyone I know here feels the same way. Or perhaps hatred is a better word than fear. In France I mean. I don’t vote here but I’ve lived here since a few years after Chirac was elected.
That was very funny.
Let me get this straight. Stu is crying salty tears about “caricature and vitriol” two weeks after stating the following:
Bill E Pilgrim
Man you think they’d learn. The proverbial battle of wits with an unarmed man, versus one loaded to the teeth.
The whole: “Sarcasm? So they were saying they hate the stuff??” thing was classic Stewart skewering, right to the heart of things.
"Fair and Balanced" Dave
It’s an extremely lame criticism, IMO. Olbermann can be overly bombastic at times, but he has never resorted to the kind of eliminationist rhetoric spouted incessantly by the likes of Hannity, O’Reilly, and Beck on Faux News.
Jim D. Adkisson, the man who confessed to shooting and killing two people in a Unitarian church in Knoxville, TN last year, was an avid reader of books by Hannity, Savage, and O’Reilly. The police found a letter in Adkisson’s house whose words could have been lifted straight from a Fox News broadcast and Adkisson included a list of people he wanted to kill that was lifted straight from Bernard Goldberg’s book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.
Bill O’Reilly repeatedly ranted against the late Dr. George Tiller calling him “Tiller the baby killer” and comparing him to people like Josef Mengele. O’Reilly’s rhetoric is almost identical to the statements of Scott Roeder, the man charged with assassinating Dr. Tiller last week.
For decades now, we’ve been bombarded on the radio airwaves and cable news channels with rhetoric equating liberal and progressive ideas with treason or worse. There has been nothing comparable coming from the scant few liberals on radio or cable.
As left-leaning, my take on Sarkozy will most probably be biased. I tend to call him “Napoleon the Shorter”. He is undoubtedly brilliant and a hard worker, but ambitious beyond loyalty. He has changed several times and without qualms his professed opinions, to the point of turning almost socialist at the beginning of the financial crisis.
It’s pragmatical, and efficient since it strips the opposition of a voice, but governing takes at least a bit of personal convictions, in my opinion. Besides, he is extremely impatient and vain, something that doesn’t play well in our political structure.
In a way, France’s Fith Republic is a strong but somehow hidden Presidential regime where the Prime Minister is a relay for the President’s decisions which he endorses as his own, thus taking the heat when they prove unpopular. But Sarkozy hates to delegate and seems to reject the very idea of someone even barely looking as having more authority than he does. So Prime Minister François Fillon is a complete useless joke and everyone knows that every decision comes from the president. Not exactly the best thing for his poll numbers.
My insane rambling on France’s politics is in moderation. I never would have guessed my opinions on our President had an effect on male impotence.
Edit: ah, alright. Rereading it, I used the dreaded soc i alist word. So much for my barely-nascent-and-already-shot-down celebrity as a political pundit.
He’ll have to do better than that. Nancy Pelosi isn’t a member of the Obama administration. She’s not in any way associated with the executive branch. I guess Stu missed the episode of Schoolhouse Rock that covered the three separate branches of government.
A moat of shit: A shit moat if you will.
During the 2000 campaign, Rothenberg and Charlie Cook were on CNN discussing the two candidates’ release of their financial info. Al Gore had all his money in muni bonds, the same approach that won Alan Greenspan near constant praise for his Cato-like refusal to have even the appearance of impropriety. Rothenberg smirked and noted that Al Gore had missed out on the greatest bull market in history. “Wouldn’t want him as a financial adviser!”. Judy Woodruff and Charlie Cook found this tres witty.
So, Rothenberg blames George Bailey for the shitty attitude of Mister Potter?
Hard to believe that anyone with an IQ above that of your average brick could make such a statement isn’t it?
@Sebastien: There were a couple of “interesting” things in the Euro elections outside of France, like a member of the BNP being elected in England, and Sinn Fein winning the poll in Northern Ireland, both firsts, and the former being rather disturbing.
But I do agree that she is a weak link as is Harry Reid. Those two will not be able to get Democratic folks in line and often will give in to the republicans. Perhaps Nevada can take care of the Reid problem.
I noted before, but the Iranian elections seem really really interesting. I see some parallels with ours, although it’s more of the John Kerry vs George Bush variety. But young people there are very energized. The whole “I see a white light surrounding me” critique on mr. nutso is pretty funny since they apparently have the same attitude in regards to political leaders being a bit too pious. Iranian wingnuts are the same as american wingnuts! Perhaps we can increase the circle of our mockery? :-)
Dougj, a post on iranian elections! Please!!
What should I say?
Um.. give me some time. I’ll get ya something.. I have an Iranian friend who sometimes passes stuff along to me. He’s creating a website to get people to the voting polls (From canada no less) Gonna make me work for it huh? :-)
He’s typing up a summary of what’s been going on. I’ll pass it along when he’s done.
Instead of calling it “Morning Joe,” wouldn’t it be more fitting to call it “Morning Starbucks?” It’s not news. It’s an infomercial for overpriced coffee.
Oh, and boycott Starbucks!
No – Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh have done it to themselves.
More and more I am at odds to where to go for early morning news lately. It’s getting more idiotic every day.
Like that “Morning Starbucks” – a winner!
The other day Morning Joe and his idiots announced, without debate, that there were “no successful companies that were unionized” in America. These morons did not have even have the brains to contemplate that they were owned by the very successful, very unionized General Electric. It would have been so cool for them to have been jumped by their lighting crew afterwards in a dark, unionized alley.
No need for that. Their coffee sucks.
Merci de vos opinions. Vous ecrivez en anglais tres bien! Mes apologies, je n’ai pas une alphabete avec d’accents.
For those of you who don’t read French: Thanks for your opinions. You write very well in English! I apologize; I don’t have a character set with accents.
And Sebastien, s’il vous plait, corrigez-moi!