Radio talk show host Ed Schultz has taken all he can take and he can’t takes no more. On Anderson Cooper 360 yesterday, he blew up when PNACer Cliff May, Director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, suggested that the left wants us to lose in Iraq as a way to teach the US a lesson on the evils of imperialism.
MAY: Yeah, I think also on some of the left wing blogs, Obama is taking some hits. But this does move him to the center and look, I want to put the…I’m not a big fan of his, but I’m going to put the best spin on it, which is that he understands the situation…fairly…well. Certainly better than the Daily Kos does and some of those on the left who would like to see America defeated in Iraq as a demonstration exercise that US power can never, never be used for good.
SCHULTZ: That I am…whoa, whoa! That is absolutely outrageous! That is outrageous for you to say people on the left want to lose in Iraq. I’m not going to sit here and listen to that. This is the Fourth of July, we are Americans, we don’t believe in fighting in Iraq the way we are doing. We are depleting our resources. That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous.
I totally agree with the analysis below. Democrats, Liberals, Progressives…however the left is defined… we need to stop arguing against absurd statements. We need to set the frame, not argue against the right-wing frame. It is time for us to set the tone:
Now this kind of cheap shot with no foundation infuriates me as much as it does Schultz, and his anger is certainly understandable and justified. But this is where I have to split from Big Ed and suggest that we on the left have to get a whole lot smarter about these kind of appearances. The key to these kind of exchanges is not to get angry, but to rob them of their framing and put them on the defensive. May’s assertion is absurd on its face, so put that back in his lap and ask him to prove it–name these mythical leftists. And then ask him how he defines “winning” in Iraq. I mean, you have a signatory to the infamous PNAC letter to Clinton recommending that he take out Saddam, how well have any of their premises turned out in reality? Don’t dignify this guy who has been on the wrong side of every argument by accepting his frame, Ed. Show him for the chump he is.
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