I find that in retirement I am developing a pretty serious MSNBC addiction. It's not the evening lineup, which I resent for making me a little embarrassed sometimes of my own opinions, the way they land back in my lap wrapped in yards of ribbon and loopy bows. Plus just tonight, or maybe it was yesterday, I heard Chris Matthews, describing a play in the Alabama-Auburn game, speak of a quarterback lofting the ball across "two lines of scrimmage." What the hell? I think he was referring to Auburn's "jump pass" touchdown, which wasn't even thrown by the quarterback. Does he think the goal line is a "line of scrimmage" too? Maybe he's more knowledgeable on Robert Kennedy, about whom he has penned a recently published book. Speaking of which: enough of the on-air book advertisements by the on-air personalities who are making use of their on-air fame to sell a lot of probably mediocre books. Lawrence O'Donnell, you're another offender.
But during the day, once Morning Joe is over, the network is a great companion while one prosecutes the household chores. More than once I've had to shut off the dust buster in the expectation that Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle might be about to interrupt someone about one-fifth of the way through their palpably memorized pastiche of bullshit. "You can't just come on tv and lie!" I remember Ali complaining to one of Trump's shoe-shiners. Alas, you could say that Sarah Sanders proves daily that you can do just that--or at least you could if the "daily press briefing" was aptly named. I was watching the day before Thanksgiving, unless it was the Tuesday before, when Sanders started out by saying she was thankful for her faith and her family and then made all the reporters preface their question with a similar disquisition. To my alarm and their own humiliation, the hardened White House press corps played along, and even though I was a thousand miles away the air became so humid with pieties that I could hardly think to hope someone might say she was thankful for Robert Mueller. (No dice.)
It is, however, MSNBC's house Republicans who intrigue me most, and none more than Nicolle Wallace, who has worked for W, Jeb, John McCain, and perhaps other objects of my contempt. Actually, McCain I could respect if he hadn't plucked Sarah Palin from obscurity, which may have been the triggering event for where we are today since it got Republicans used to the concept that no one isn't qualified. Anyway, Wallace now has her own show at three o'clock, and I can tell you that, even though I have to get the kids from the bus at 3:45, I see enough to know that she is indignant. At first I thought it might be an act--I'm sure the pay is good, MSNBC is obviously getting millions from Peloton--but no one could act like that. She may be more revulsed by Trump than I am and her horror appears to be flipping other switches. Yesterday she had on John Podhoretz, who was singing the praises of Mitch McConnell. Cutting him off in order to get to a commercial, Wallace quipped that viewers had now heard from McConnell's "one-man fan club." Zing! Was it she or someone else who pointed out that the Christians of Alabama are apparently appalled by same-sex lovers but ambivalent about a 30-something assistant DA who trolls the mall for teen-aged girls? Not to mention that he was twice kicked off the state supreme court for defying court orders. A real conservative hero! It makes sense that Wallace, an actual conservative, should revile him, and it's a relief nowadays when anything relating to our politics makes sense.