Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Kevin Drum Wants To Know

Where oh where the Left's TV-ready pugilists are:
... I'm not here to pile on Krugman. Scarborough has years of experience as both politician and TV host, and he knows all the tricks of the trade. Most of us don't. This obviously just isn't Krugman's sweet spot.
But I'm more interested in my friend's final question: who do we have on the left who's got the real-world debating skills to take on someone like Scarborough? Who's on our television A-team? Not folks who can win technical debating points, but folks who can rabble-rouse with the best of them and hold their own against slick carnival barkers like Scarborough? Jared Bernstein seems to do OK in the lion's den of Larry Kudlow's show. Who else?
Longer answer: Like so many of the weakness on the Left, it comes down to a problem of infrastructre and money. See, being able to verbally punching someone into next week is not a skill set that most workaday jobs demand or reward, nor it something you just pick in your spare time, like speaking Portugese or learning to juggle. It requires time, practice, discipline and a weird, interdisciplinary knowledge base and we have almost nothing in the way of a training system designed to produce such talent on the Left. No farm team. No career lattice. No investment in an incentive structure designed to impart the art of the verbal squared circle, of telling a story fast and tight and not groaning under the weight of a hundred charts and footnotes, of always looking for the jugular.  To toughen and teach and move 'em up to the point where they can

get in the ring with anyone.

Shorter answer: Right here, baby. Right here :-)


mbarnato said...

Kindly Doc Maddow is the only one who comes to mind at the moment...

Fritz Strand said...

How about Olbermann?

starskeptic said...

"Shorter answer: Right here, baby. Right here :-)"
-Throw your name in the hat - a real one...

squatlo said...

Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Bill Maher, Chris Matthews... There's no shortage of brilliant lefties who are great on their feet. The problem isn't a lack of progressive warriors, but a willingness on anyone's part to get down in the mud with idiots from the right. You can't have a true battle of wits if one party comes to the game with half an arsenal...

Anonymous said...

Bernie Sanders can unleash a mean actual filibuster too.

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

The misogynistic twits Olbermann, Maher, and Matthews can pass for leftists in this country.


Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Oh, and has Tweety Matthews's fawning over Commander Codpiece been forgotten already?

And Captcha needs to use brighter pictures of house numbers. The first pic was too dark.

Pinkamena Panic said...

@squatlo: Tweety Matthews? Leftist? In what universe?

And the problem isn't that we're unwilling to get dirty, it's that an entire cottage industry exists to wait until we do before lecturing us on why it's wrong to do so.

Anonymous said...

Howard Dean is scrappy , will not back down rr

Rehctaw said...

Driftglass in a Lucha Libre Wrestling mask? The media would never go for it.
The pitch that might be made is that you, as just the average "fringe" lefty, can give the Punditry All-Stars 15 rounds of made-for-tv ratings gold.

Though I'm not sure how his health is faring these days, I'd love to see Phil Donahue get a little of his due from the media model that was stolen from him. I think he'd win easily.

Somebody needs to drag the debate away from the inane framing that has become the norm and keep it there long enough to embarrass the shills back under their rocks.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's a major part of the problem, and I'm also putting this on the "where are the liberals?" post.

Conservatives, including apostate conservatives, ex-conservatives, and centrist conservatives, know that the truly conservative base does not listen to anything but conservative media. "Real" conservatives "know" that the media is saturated in a liberal bias, or in the tank with the Big Bad Socialist Gubmint, or controlled by Zionist Jews pushing Sharia Law, or Reptilians, or whatthefuckever.

To the "where are the Liberals?", I think some talented liberals don't bother because it won't matter. IT HAS BEEN DONE! Remember Pres. Obama's speech to the Republican caucus? And how he utterly destroyed them? How many conservatives saw that? Or did they see Bohener and Cantor whining that "He lectured us!". Remember Stewart vs. O'Reily? How many conservatives do you think watched that?

Conservatives don't want to have any rude bumps with reality, or Socialism, or Sharia Law, or Reptilian mind control waves. So, they don't watch. They get the recap and synopsis from Fox or Red State. Rachel Maddow could debate with Rush Limbaugh himself, and make him have a coronary on stage. All that would be known by the conservative masses is that Maddow was bushing her socialist militant-homosexual Liberalism. And that she has short hair and a "mannish physique".

Andrew Sullivan is playing the same game, and that is shared by the ex-conservatives. He knows that other conservatives who are repulsed by the extreme crazy still do not touch the "Liberal Media". So, like David Brooks, he and is free to re-write his own history. They all know that no-one will fact check him, and the base to which he is trying to appeal will not trust conflicting facts from a "Liberal" source.


Anonymous said...

Laura Flanders
Chris Hayes
Joy Reid
Rachel Maddow
Randi Rhodes
Alan Grayson
Bernie Sanders
Bill McKibbens
Nina Turner (OH Sen)
Phil Donahue
Bill Moyers
Karen Finney
Jan Schiakowsky

But these folks have actual worthwhile work to do.