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October 25, 2013

Epistemic Closure Alert, Joan Walsh Edition

If Ms. Walsh weren't so gosh-darned obliging, the Editorial Staff would have to make this sort of thing up:

Every time I’m ready to blame President Obama for his political troubles, and yes, he deserves some blame, there’s a story like the one about Rep. Pete Sessions telling the president, to his face, “I can’t even stand to look at you.” (The White House is now saying this story is based on a misunderstanding. Stay tuned.) I can’t even stand to enumerate the ways in which this president has been insulted in ways unknown to white presidents, Sessions aside.

Every time Walsh starts to believe that the man we hired in 2008 to run the country just *might* be partially responsible for the way the country is run, along comes another sensational bit of unsubstantiated (and apparently untraceable) gossip:

The disputed story - first shared publicly on his campaign Facebook page by the Senate’s number two Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois - that an unidentified senior House Republican Leader during negotiations over the debt ceiling and partial government shutdown told President Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you” made its way from the White House to the Senate via White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, sources tell CNN.

Nabors told the story to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Durbin, and the two other Senate Democratic leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, on Tuesday October 15, sources tell CNN. Reid then told the story to the entire Senate Democratic caucus, sources in the room at the time tell CNN, identifying the House Republican leader as Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, who denies the story. Durbin posted it on his campaign Facebook page without mentioning Sessions' name.

Sessions isn’t the only one who denies it; on Wednesday when White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about it at his daily briefing and said “I looked into it and spoke with somebody who was in the meeting and it did not happen.”

The statement upset Senate Democrats, since they had heard the story from the White House’s Nabors and the White House was now accusing Durbin of sharing an untruthful story. Durbin did not back down. “Senator Durbin stands by his comments,” said Max Gleischman, a spokesman for Durbin, on Wednesday.

On Thursday a White House official accepted some blame for the story, saying, “While the quote attributed to a Republican lawmaker in the House GOP meeting with the President is not accurate, there was a miscommunication when the White House read out that meeting to Senate Democrats, and we regret the misunderstanding.”

If only we could find out where this slanderous story came from. Or more importantly, we'd learn why the aptly-named
Dick Durbin is using an incident he didn't witness (and which the White House says didn't even happen) to raise money
:

Durbin expressed his outrage on Facebook early this week, saying a Republican congressman meeting with Obama about the shutdown told the president: "I cannot even stand to look at you."

Unfortunately for Durbin, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he looked into Durbin's story, even spoke to someone at the meeting, and told reporters the presidential face was not dishonored.

"It did not happen," Carney said.

That seems clear enough.

And it would have started to fade away, except we learned Thursday that Durbin had sent out a fundraising letter. The senior senator from Illinois cited the apparent outrage to Obama's face, but suggested he'd feel a lot better if Democrats sent him $16.

In his fundraising pitch, Durbin writes:

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'I cannot even stand to look at you'?"

A few paragraphs down he writes "Please, click here to send my campaign $16 — one dollar for every day of the reckless and irresponsible Republican Shutdown — or whatever you can afford."

That's right, Durbin was so upset that President Obama's face was disrespected — by a Republican who the White House says does not exist — that Durbin is willing to take 16 bucks.

Sixteen bucks to assuage a mythical insult to a president's face? How noble is that?

Gee. It's almost as though Senator Durbin doesn't trust the White House. Never fear - we're sure every effort will be spared to get to the bottom of this deplorable incident.

Posted by Cassandra at October 25, 2013 08:05 AM

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Comments

We shall waste no time in looking into this matter.

Posted by: Barack Obama at October 25, 2013 10:38 AM

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You are holding a gun to the head of the American People'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You are an arsonist'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You are a schoolyard bully'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You have a bomb strapped to your chest'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You have a bomb strapped to your chest'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You are hostage takers'?"

"Let me ask you: What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said, 'You are domestic enemies we've taken an oath to defend against'?"

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 25, 2013 10:45 AM

Foolish Tea Party Terrorist. Why do you hate America so?

If you were as smart and patriotic as I am, you'd understand the following things:

1. Criticism of a Republican president by Democrats is invariably motivated by sincere and well thought out convictions.

Criticism of a Democratic president by Republicans is invariably motivated by racism. Or rabid. America-hating partisanship.

2. When Republicans call Democrats mean names, it's hate speech that must be stopped before it results in violence.

When Democrats call Republicans mean names, it's an accurate description of the GOP. Because Republicans actually ARE terrorists/arsonists/murderers/rapists/kidnappers. And there's no danger of fomenting violence because only conservatives are ever violent. So there.

3. When a Republican administration circles the wagons, it's a coverup.

When a Democratic administration circles the wagons, it's an admirable display of message discipline.

Posted by: The Aptly-Named Dick Durbin at October 25, 2013 11:05 AM

I can't even begin to decide who's more likely of being engaged in a bald-faced lie as among Durbin, Carney, and Obama.

All I can say is, I can't stand either to look at him or to listen to him. He forfeited my respectful attention a long time ago. There's not even any point in hearing him so that I can predict what he might do next; there's no connection. He might as well be mute.

If this be racism, make the most of it.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 25, 2013 12:42 PM

If there is life in any any political truth it is most vitally found in Illinois. No place on earth incubates more venal moron liars – and of the highest quality. In no state in the Union is venal moron liar a stipulation for seeking political office. Five of the previous nine Governors have been indicted – four convicted; which, in fact, gives evidence to the sorry state of our prosecutorial offices. When, in a thoroughly Democratic state, an honest, by many sworn accounts, Democrat ran against the corrupt Republican (and at the time already under investigation) – the Republican won.

The Illinois Pantheon
moron extraordinaire: Rod Blagojevic
liar magnum cum laude: Barry Obama
venality: our last jailbird executive – George Ryan (R)

Posted by: George Pal at October 25, 2013 02:44 PM

Frankly, I can't stand to even look at him either.

Posted by: spd rdr at October 25, 2013 04:09 PM

Goddamn liars lie; surprise!
They to us, they lie to each other, and if they do it long enough and well enough, they start lying to themselves (Slick Willie).

BZ to both YAG & the 'name shifter' for their comments.

Hi Tex, the progs want to equate policy disagreements w/ racism, which is very, very wrong on many levels. Most of the locals here appear to either have military backgrounds, or been associated w/ it. My military experience was an excellent reinforcement for my prior view; people should be judged by their behavior, all else is window dressing.

Hi George,
Wile Illinois politics really is awful, I respectfully question whether it's any worse than DC.

Very Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at October 25, 2013 10:01 PM

Frankly, I can't stand to even look at him either.

I can stand to look at him. He's a little goofy looking but not that bad to look at. What I can't stand listening is to him. What comes out of his mouth, the constant put downs and contempt for anyone who doesn't toe the lines he draws in the sand.

He's just so petty, and I'm embarrassed every time he opens his mouth.

My blood pressure goes up about 20 points every time I hear him bloviating when I'm flipping through the radio stations during my commute.

Posted by: Cass at October 26, 2013 07:52 AM

Frankly, I can't stand to even look at him either.

I can stand to look at him. He's a little goofy looking but not that bad to look at. What I can't stand listening is to him. What comes out of his mouth, the constant put downs and contempt for anyone who doesn't toe the lines he draws in the sand.

He's just so petty, and I'm embarrassed every time he opens his mouth.

My blood pressure goes up about 20 points every time I hear him bloviating when I'm flipping through the radio stations during my commute.

Posted by: Cas1s at October 26, 2013 07:53 AM