Friday, May 05, 2017


Via Scott Lemieux, here's CNN's Chris Cillizza harrumphing about what he describes as "31 seconds of the healthcare vote that shows why people hate politics":
When House Republicans secured their 216th "yes" on the American Health Care Act Thursday, Democrats immediately began taunting their across-the-aisle rivals.

"Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye," Democrats sang at Republicans. A few Democrats even waved goodbye.

The implication was obvious: Democrats believed many Republicans had just cost themselves their political careers by voting for an overhaul of Obamacare.

And the DC political class wonders why people hate them.

I understand that Democrats not only didn't like the way this bill was passed -- without any estimates on what it might cost or how many people might lose coverage as a result -- but also believed the policies contained in it would leave the country and its people considerably worse off.
That is a worthy conversation to have. But, that's not what Democrats were doing. Instead, they were jeering and mocking their colleagues....

That's a very bad thing for the long-term health of our democracy.
Cillizza is scandalized.

Now here's Cillizza less than a week ago, clearly not scandalized:
Donald Trump is the best troll in all of politics

President Trump did what he does best on Friday afternoon in a speech to the National Rifle Association: He trolled other politicians.

"I have a feeling that in the next election you're going to be swamped with candidates," Trump told the crowd. "You'll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you'll say 'No sir. No ma'am, perhaps ma'am. It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA that I can tell you."

("Pocahontas" is Trump's derogatory nickname for Warren who faced a major controversy when she ran for the Senate in 2012 over whether she had Native American roots.)

... [Trump] is one part performer, one part provocateur and one part politician -- and probably in that order of importance. He likes to, in the parlance of the Internet, troll people -- go after a point of perceived weakness or insecurity relentlessly and without remorse.

And he's incredibly good at it.

... He loves the barbs, the reaction, the aftermath. It's what makes him go at some level, what he truly enjoys about politics. It's also when he is at his best, the closest representation of the person 60+ million people voted for -- a brash, unapologetic pot-stirrer who doesn't care what anyone thinks of him.
No finger-wagging. No tut-tutting. No high-minded despair for the fragile state of America's civic life.

So, to sum up:

Yesterday, Democrats mocked Republican House members (in conscious imitation of House Republicans in 1993, who taunted Democrat Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky after she cast the deciding vote for a Bill Clinton budget that raised taxes). Cillizza was appalled. He expressed serious concerns about the state of the nation.

A week ago, in a high-profile speech, Trump directed a racial slur at Elizabeth Warren (as he habitually does). Cillizza's response: Damn, Trump's good at this, isn't he?

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