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 :-)