Update: Greg Sargent at Plumline notes that even Joe Scarborough presses Cantor over Barton keeping his job. Scarborough is pretty forthright in questioning Cantor and even uses somewhat harsh, for morning tv, language:
I’ve written before that I have very little respect for Scarborough, and he’s only criticizing Cantor over Barton because it’s bad for his party, but at least he’s facing reality.
Original post: Yesterday, Fox ‘News’ morning host Gretchen Carlson announced that, while ‘presidenting is hard,’ hosting a tv show is just as tough.
Media Matters Eric Boehlert asks whether Fox is approaching a tipping point over its attacks on Obama over seemingly every single thing, including the Gulf oil spill, which is inducing it into a full throated, though highly unpopular, defense of the multi national oil corporation that is threatening the region’s habitats and economies for generations to come:
Fox News is programmed for Obama dead-enders, that much is clear. They’re the radical minority of political hyper-partisans who hold as a matter of faith that Obama is a Manchurian candidate. It’s not just that Obama was born in Kenya and isn’t truly of this country, or culture, and that his policies are misguided and wrong for America. It runs much deeper. It’s that Obama ran for the Oval Office with the explicit plan to ruin America from within once he was elected. He ran for president in order to destroy this country by stripping it of its freedoms and liberties and transforming the United States into some sort of socialist or communist outpost.
That’s how far out on the ledge Fox News now operates. And FYI, if you view the world from that demented perspective, it probably does look like BP got jobbed. (Just like of course the Clinton White House sold nuclear secrets to China during the `90s; Democratic presidents are a treasonous bunch.)
As I said, the dead-enders represent a radical minority. And yet they have an entire right-wing media complex set up explicitly to whet their Obama-hating appetite. There is no thought put into the rhetoric anymore, or their partisan jousting. Instead, the content revolves around a very simple premise: If Obama did it, it’s wrong. Not just wrong. More like, if Obama did it, it’s evil and dangerous and ghastly and un-American.
So the stimulus bill was evil and un-American. Bailing out GM and Chrysler was evil and un-American. Passing health care reform, of course, was evil and un-America.
But securing $20 billion from BP to pay for the cleanup and to compensate working Americans for the damage done to their livelihoods. That was evil and un-American?
According to Fox News it was.
Joe Barton, Rand Paul and Sharon Angle are at the vanguard of the rigthwing Republican meltdown. Even now, in summer when most people don’t pay much attention to politics, especially in a midterm year, they are getting unfavorable attention and their numbers are suffering, although Barton appears to be in no real danger. But it’s not just their own numbers and images that are being hurt by their extremism, hence their exile to media Siberia.
But as the elections near and immigration reform is variously brought to the fore of pubic discourse, the rightwing Republicans face a tough dilemma. They not only need to continue stoking their extremist base, they are on audio and video tape doing so in the past. They also need to appeal to more moderate voters who are repulsed by what they see as dangerous demagoguery.
The appeals the rightwing Republicans need to make to the two different demographics are mutually exclusive: as they cater to one group, they anger and repel the other.