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Bob Schieffer Reduces David Axelrod to Sputtering Nonsense

John on August 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

This clip is interesting in that it shows several things about the state of politics in Washington. Watch as much as you care to and then I’ll have a few points about it:

First, Bob Schieffer really goes after Axelrod here. It’s a very tough interview and you can see Axelrod struggling just to get through it. That said, Bob’s understanding of the reasons for the downgrade is simply wrong (at least as he’s stated it here). The contentious nature of the debate was certainly part of S&P’s reasoning, but only because it demonstrated to analysts that we were not going to be able to make progress on the underlying problem, i.e. our debt and especially our unfunded entitlements.

Second, contrary to Axelrod’s pre-scripted line, this was not a “Tea Party downgrade.” S&P made clear several times in the report that they were unhappy to see so much reluctance to deal with entitlements. That reluctance was certainly not coming from the Tea Party.

Third, that clip of Obama saying he’ll have this turned around in 3 years or be a one term President is priceless. I expect to see a campaign commercial using that come January. In response to it, you see Axelrod tap dancing for his life. All he has to offer, really, is a choice between “tax cuts for the rich” and “Do we want to invest…” which is to say more government spending. This is a preview of the coming election. It’s going to be class warfare on a scale we’ve never seen before. It’s all they’ve got.

Fourth, by the end of this interview Axelrod is grasping at anything to change the subject. He brings up the US Seals who were killed over the weekend as some kind of weird political metaphor. Not only is it awkward, it’s a bit disturbing that he would raise it in this context.

Remember, Schieffer’s question was whether things were going to get better between now and the election. Axelrod’s response is that we need to be more like the Seals who put aside party and work together. Huh? Doesn’t that sort of overlook the fact that the parties have different visions of what the mission should be?

In fact the parties very nearly have opposite visions at this point as Axelrod just got through saying, i.e. “tax cuts for the rich” or “Invest in…” So how are we supposed to put that aside and work together if we can’t agree what the goal is? Seriously, this has to be one of the stupidest, most insensitive answers Axelrod has ever given. He should be embarrassed.

Kudos to Bob Schieffer for putting together such a hard hitting interview. If the media continues to hit the administration this hard in the next 9 months, they are in deep trouble.

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