Suppose you show up one fine Sunday morning to the table ready to trade empty bromides and anecdotes and idiotic assertions with your colleagues --
David Brooks: Head Start is not a successful program.-- only to find that other people very unfairly showed up with a few facts facts and figures.
Unless you learn to exit the discussion...the David Brooks way.
David Brooks: All of these realities are true.So take a lesson, kids. Meaningless phrases, enigmatically uttered, can mean the difference between starving under a bridge and living in fine mansion.
Earlier in the David Gregory asked Senator-Presumptive from New Jersey, Cory Booker, the following:
So take it to Washington. If you're a senator, how would you forge compromise in modern-day Washington over the tension of spending restraint and necessary improvements to lessen inequality?And just for a passing second, I let my imagination drift over to The Better Universe. For a split-second I thought, C'mon, Cory! You're going to win this one in a walk anyway so just this one time, take a tiny risk and be one of those leaders you claim to admire by daring to speak aloud some urgent, contemporary truth that every sentient being in the United States already quietly knows. And the urgent, contemporary truth that we are not allowed to talk of openly today is that the GOP is has gone mad. Our hard, taboo truth today is that unless the Party of Lincoln uncrazies and unbigots and unLuddites themselves in some very substantial way, it's going to be damn near impossible to get a damn thing done.
But of course that was never going to happen because people who say things like that don't get to be on Meet the Press.
Cory Booker: Because we're stuck in that anti-King stance. Where again, hate divides. Where I simply think we are in a zero-sum gain. If your side wins, my side loses. When we saw a spirit in this country that needs to be rekindled, it's forget about a Republican or Democrat, right/left. We need to stop pulling right/left and start figuring out ways to go forward. And I believe that American people need to start demanding this from their politicians again.Sigh.
Later, on the same, decrepit teevee show, that squirrely little guy who rules the swamp-kingdom of Louisiana said this:
Ever the hard-nosed journo, Mr. Gregory follows up this radical threat from Piyush Jindal with the following:...So I don't know why we would take any option off the table. I don't think this president or the Democrats are going to want to shut down the government. That's a false choice. That's a threat coming from them. I think Republicans should use every tactic, every option we can to repeal and replace Obamacare.David Gregory: Well, what would the impact of shutting down the government mean?Governor Bobby Jindal: Again, look, I think this is a false threat from the other side. I don't think you have to shut down the government to repeal and replace Obamacare. But I don't think Republicans should be taking options off the table. I think we should be fighting to defund it. The reality is-- is that let's have that debate. I don't think Republicans should be negotiating with ourselves and saying, "We're not going to do this, we're not going to do that." Let's look at every option and get rid of Obamacare.
I've just got a few seconds left, but I want to ask you as well, first Indian American governor, we have a picture of you going to Disneyland, where else? As a kid, your American dream has been realized. What does it mean to you as a newer generation of politician?Okay then.
As they taught me in Extortion 101, threats only works when youze makes it clear that youze are willing to make good on your threats, preferably with all dead-eyed menace of Canino in The Big Sleep:
Sadly, the Dire Warning which Governor Jindal is trying to issue -- that President Obama must gut Obamacare or the GOP will blow up the economy -- is considerably undercut by the fact that he delivers it with all the unequivocal fearlessness of a drunk teenager lighting a bag of dog poo on the White House porch, ringing the bell and then scampering his pissy little self away to hide in the "The Democrats made me do it!" rose bushes.
Having seen the Mouse Circus lurch on past once again, still stuck wagon-wheel-deep in its own dusty ruts, I now know no more than it knew yesterday.
Except, of course, that all of these realities are true.