Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Toughest Interviewer: David Letterman?

This intriguing little piece crossed the Huffington Post the other day, and it took me until this morning to finally get around to reading it:
The enigmatic Tea Party movement softened its hardcore image with the recent appearance of Pam Stout, president of the Sandpoint, Idaho Tea Party Patriots, on the Late Show with David Letterman. Mrs. Stout is no doubt a sweet-hearted woman with growing concerns over the welfare of America, but her popularity as a political activist in the fragmented Tea Party movement has cast a spotlight upon common naivete rampant among many Tea Party groups.
Go fig. David Letterman explores and even mocks the Teabaggers, but does it in a respectful and ojective fashion.
I'm used to seeing Jon Stewart occasionally tossing a no-hitter with a conservative, when he's not busy sucking up for party invites or helping hawk a book. Stewart is well-read, smart and has a knack for connecting the dots for people who are deliberately ignoring the other side of their story.
I wasn't expecting David Letterman to be as accomplished. In fairness, he wasn't taking on a powerful celebrity who had clearly thought out his positions, but a poor retiree from South Dakota who had memorized a party line and bleated it back politely and passionately.
For example...well, let Mike Green do the heavy lifting here:

Letterman asked Stout to explain how a Tea Party president would've handled the financial crisis. She stated flatly:

"I think several businesses would've gone out of business. Car companies and the banks."

Stout acknowledged Letterman's rebuttal that nearly two million jobs may have been lost if the government had not stepped in (which was the basis of the bailout begged for by Republicans, including Dubya and then-presidential candidate John McCain). Ironically, the Tea Party's fundamental complaint today was reflected in a poll reported by Fox News that showed a mere 30 percent of American citizens supported Bush's Bailout plan in Sept. '08.

Senator John McCain was quite direct about Bush's Bailout when he spoke to a crowd of supporters in Scranton, PA on Sept. 22, 2008 (according to a report by a local CBS affiliate television station):

"Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person. This arrangement makes me deeply uncomfortable. We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight."

Senator McCain expressed that President Bush and Treasury Secretary had crafted a plan that was unprecedented in American history. The labels of "socialist" and "communist," however, would be reserved for the next president. Meanwhile, McCain openly stated the economic crisis was caused by "poor oversight."

If that's the case, who was overseeing whom? And did anything change, other than a bit of reshuffling the same deck of cards that built the economic house which currently requires all the propping it can get?

Letterman then joked that the two million jobs that Stout would have allowed to go by the board would have been picked up China.

Letterman really did a "props up" job in exposing the naivete of the Teabaggers, who in typical overreactive and emotional style, still haven't got it through their heads that this is America, and that there are bigger issues on the table than tax cuts.

And since I know a few conservatives read my blogposts and get this far, let me pose this question now: what if the Laffer curve, the darling of the Reagan set, is right and we've reached the bottom of the bell on the wrong end?

Recent history suggests that may be the case, since the economy took off in the nineties after Clinton raised taxes on the rich. Perhaps it is the Teabaggers who are the real communists, trying to keep us all in check by keeping the purse strings tight.

Go read the rest of Green's article. I tip my hat to David Letterman.