Oh come on, it was must see TV! First McConnell sits across from David Gregory with the same tired old talking points, then Senator John Kerry coming out with the exception to the rule in American political debate. He told it like it is.
SEN. KERRY: I think it's critical for people to understand what the Republican--how bankrupt, how fundamentally reckless their position is and has been. And the fact is--I mean, let me go a little bigger here for a minute. Our country is challenged economically as never before. You know, people talk about American exceptionalism and how there's sort of this automatic for America. Yes, we are exceptional, but we're exceptional when we do exceptional things, when we behave exceptionally. We're not doing that today. We're locked down into a gridlock status where other countries are racing by us. I'll give you an example. Over the next 20 years, $600 billion is going to be invested in green technology and green energy. New jobs. New jobs that could be for Americans. Ninety percent of that investment's going to be in other countries, David.
If you were out Christmas shopping today and you could use a pick me up...
John Kerry was on fire and not just the Democratic message but a clear explanation of the opposition. It was very nice to see some of the old debating skills and a little bit of Democratic fight on such a popular show.
David Gregory has been riding every Republican hard about "being both a deficit hawk and wanting to give the rich a tax break." His fire has been dying down lately because of compromising messages. He seemed to have almost given up last week when he had Dick Durban on to prove those points and instead had the man apologizing for Democratic values.
I don't think anyone can blame David Gregory for not understanding where the President stands on tax cuts for the rich but unlike most interviews with Democrats, after questioning John Kerry, this was his answer.
SEN. KERRY: Well, let me tell you what the president is fighting for, and appropriately. And, and first of all, the president's not caving. The president insisted that we have the votes that we had yesterday so that America could see what the Republicans are fighting for, and they could see what we're fighting for. His preferred position is $250,000. Give every American a tax cut up to say, $250,000, but don't, don't put money back into the pockets of people who may never invest it in the United States. I mean, if you're earning more than $1 million a year, you--you're--that investment, when, when you give that tax cut, you get about a 30 cent return on the dollar given. If you give unemployment insurance, you get $1.60 back on the dollar that you put in. There are multiplier effects that are a reality of our economic laws. The Republicans are ignoring them...
David Gregory was not lobbing any softballs and John Kerry just kept getting better and better, a positive economic message compared with the Republicans negativity.
SEN. KERRY: Here's what the president is doing. The president is fighting to get unemployment insurance that they have held hostage. This is the point. People need to focus in America. The Republicans have been willing to hold unemployment insurance hostage to this bonus tax cut that has the least impact and adds to the deficit. And the phony recklessness of their position is this, they've said for months, "We can't give you unemployment compensation because it's unpaid for and it will add to the deficit." But yesterday they were willing to vote for a $4 trillion increase that wipes out everything the debt commission is doing, in order to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people. Now, the president's prepared to compromise to get unemployment insurance, to get the work for pay tax cut, to get a child care credit tax cut, to get additional tax cuts that go to average people and will create jobs. But he wants to do more than that, and this is the most important difference between us and them. The Republican agenda is tax cut and cut spending. We cannot cut our way to competition with these other countries. If we're going to be a great power, if we're going to project in the world, if we're going to put America back to work and be part of the $6 trillion market that is the new energy market of the future with six billion users, we need to invest in America's future.
MR. GREGORY: All right.
SEN. KERRY: And the president is fighting to get an infrastructure development effort in America so we regrow our own country. He's fighting for an energy policy that they fought against all last year and delayed and delayed and delayed, even though we made compromise after compromise. And I know that because I was negotiating it. And we need R and D, we need science, technology, engineering, math. We need to kick America into gear. This is our Sputnik moment. We've sort of seen Sputnik going across the sky, but we've done nothing similar to what we did...
For me it was like the "Restoration of Democratic Pride" edition of Meet The Press and a discussion that was a needed shot in the arm for voters too. It sounded like a Democrat standing up to a Republican. It also sounded like the Republicans will win their tax cuts for the rich but at least John Kerry is putting up his dukes.
Be nice if all the Democrats on the Hill give John Kerry credit and repeat his words to other media outlets the way I'm sure the Republicans will be repeating McConnell's spin and his victory claim. Made me sick when McConnell was talking about being "optimistic we'll be able to come together" but John Kerry summing it up as blackmail was fighting words.