Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and shredded one of the show’s favorite Republican talking points. Sanders pushed back against the idea that President Obama has to agree with Republicans in order for things to get done.
Mika Brzezinski asked Sen. Sanders a question that was loaded with pro-Republican Beltway conventional wisdom, “Has the proposed anything that will address those two issues that will actually get through Congress, that will pass, that he can agree with Republicans on?
Sanders answered, “Well, the question is whether the Republicans will agree with the American people. The American people are very clear that we need to rebuilt our crumbling infrastructure, and if we do that we can create millions of decent paying jobs. The American people are pretty clear that college today is unaffordable, and that we need bold action to make it more affordable. So the issue is, can we rally the American people to stand up for the middle class rather than continue to give tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations?”
Sen. Sanders took issue with the premise it will be President Obama’s fault if nothing gets done. It is not Obama’s job to roll over and play dead because Republicans won a midterm election. Whether she realized it or not, Brzezinski asked Sanders a completely loaded question. The question was also based on the popular in the media Republican assumption that the 2014 election represented the will of the people, but President Obama’s rising popularity has already debunked this false assumption. The Vermont Independent wasn’t about to buy into the idea that the president will be to blame. He shifted the responsibility to where it belongs.
Now that Republicans control Congress, they are responsible for getting legislation passed. Boehner and McConnell have to shepherd legislation through Congress that the president will sign. The president’s responsibility is to do the right thing for the country, not rubber stamp the Republican agenda.
MSNBC is supposed to be the network that leans left, but they can’t be taken seriously by viewers when even the liberal member of their conservative morning show asks guests pro-Republican leaning questions. Morning Joe has seen its ratings plunge and has been losing ground to CNN for months. The fact is that MSNBC viewers don’t want to eat breakfast with Republican talking points. Even the questions on Morning Joe contain a built in GOP bias.
Bernie Sanders wasn’t playing along. He saw through the premise of the question and turned the tables. If the mainstream press doesn’t hold Republicans accountable, it is up to Democrats and congressional allies like Sen. Sanders to do their jobs for them.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association