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May 27, 2012 7:06 AM   Subscribe

"You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil's water in Washington? Go for it. But just don't tell me how to fucking talk" - Jon Lovett responds to Lanny Davis, in the aftermath of the Corey Booker's comments defending private equity
posted by crayz (51 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, Jon Lovitz isn't as funny as he used to be.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 7:25 AM on May 27, 2012 [41 favorites]


I have no idea what Cory Booker was thinking when he timed his comments in such a colossally stupid way, except that he was putting his political future above all else at a time when making sure we get new Supreme Court justices should have been a higher priority than whatever the hell he thought he was doing, but I have a very clear idea of what Lanny Davis is thinking.

Fuck 'em both is currently what I'm thinking. I liked Lovett's response, even if it stemmed from a stupid little tweet. His infant formula links are combined and thus broken, but here's what he meant to refer to:

Lobbying fight over infant formula highlights budget gridlock
Lobbyist’s Client List Puts Him on the Defensive
posted by mediareport at 7:32 AM on May 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Everyone knows Lanny Davis. Except Mrs. Lanny Davis.
posted by Trurl at 7:35 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


(totally read that as Jon Lovitz too, The Man from Lardfork)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:47 AM on May 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


that was a very satisfying burn.
posted by percor at 7:50 AM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Name-calling is juvenile.

It's really offensive and mean-spirited to call someone "Lanny Davis" especially if they are trying to discuss issues. Even the worst and most foolish person shouldn't be compared to Lanny Davis. It's practically a Godwin. If Jon Lovett can't discuss someone without bashing them by calling them "Lanny Davis" he should find another vocation. It's way out of the bounds of civility to say that someone is Lanny Davis. We can have a discussion without such brutal and exaggerated name-calling. No one is as bad of a person as Lanny Davis and it is careless and callous to imply someone would stoop to such a low level. It's tantamount to calling someone "inhuman", so Jon Lovett should stop with such vicious attacks as calling someone a Lanny Davis.
posted by fuq at 8:01 AM on May 27, 2012 [29 favorites]


I've harbored a strong suspicion/dislike for Lanny Davis since his days as a shameless apologist for corrupt excesses of the Clinton Administration. Welcome to the club, Metafilter.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:11 AM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, please. As if it's been difficult to see what Davis has been for a long time.
posted by mediareport at 8:33 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


look, if we don't like this guy we can just vote him out of office at the next election ... oh, wait ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 AM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


You want to carry the Devil's water in Washington?

Is that what they're calling baby formula nowadays?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:58 AM on May 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does this mean Cory Booker isn't Batman? :(
posted by shakespeherian at 9:07 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Only if you ask the La Leche League, Sticky.
posted by dejah420 at 9:10 AM on May 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I see the rising of a new idiom...

"Dude ... Don't be such a Lanny Davis."

"Dude ... You totally went all Lanny Davis on that guy."

"Dude ... You've got some Lanny Davis on your shoe."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:28 AM on May 27, 2012


Acting!
posted by brundlefly at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Love it, Lovett.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:36 AM on May 27, 2012


"I Want 2 D-Bate Issues" should be on the next Prince album.
posted by jonp72 at 9:53 AM on May 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


I have no idea what Cory Booker was thinking when he timed his comments in such a colossally stupid way

I wonder
posted by munchingzombie at 9:58 AM on May 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Civility is the last refuge of politicians and lobbyists.

(If either of them complain that someone is not being civil to them, you can bet your last dollar that they've just been called out on something important.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:05 AM on May 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


What's the difference between Lanny Davis and a toaster? A toaster doesn't slowly degrade the democratic process by allowing money to distort political debates in ways that leave the American people profoundly distrustful of the media and their elected leaders.

Best. joke.ever.

And fuck all the big media that give ass-wipes like Lanny Davis continued credibility, allowing access to write blathering op-ed pieces.
posted by readery at 10:14 AM on May 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


And it wasn't even a very witty joke to begin with. Which is why political staff make poor humorists.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:17 AM on May 27, 2012


I have no idea what Cory Booker was thinking when he timed his comments in such a colossally stupid way,
No idea!? Really?


Also, This FPP was a little confusing. I couldn't figure out why John Lovetiz would be denfeding Obama so soon afterranting about Obama over some moronic tax nonsense (Specifically, he didn't understand the whole 'getting paid through capital gains and paying a super-low tax rate' thing)
posted by delmoi at 10:32 AM on May 27, 2012


I have no idea what Cory Booker was thinking when he timed his comments in such a colossally stupid way, except that he was putting his political future above all else at a time when making sure we get new Supreme Court justices should have been a higher priority than whatever the hell he thought he was doing, but I have a very clear idea of what Lanny Davis is thinking.

I think he was trying to make a principled stand about the state of public discourse in the United States. Cory Booker's good people, I think it kind of sucks that so many people are throwing him under the bus just because his conscience is stronger than his partisanship. Getting new Supreme Court Justices are important, but at what cost?
posted by corb at 10:34 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, Jon Lovitz isn't as funny as he used to be.

This is all just sour grapes from Larry Davis.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:38 AM on May 27, 2012


jonp72: Shouldn't it be "i want 2 db8 issuez"?
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:46 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Getting new Supreme Court Justices are important, but at what cost?

At any cost.
posted by incessant at 10:47 AM on May 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


munchingzombie's link "I wonder" takes you to a page that documents Booker's receipt of capmpaign contributions from Bain.

That is an important link, munchingzombie. Just thought I'd add the context in case anyone skipped over it.
posted by salishsea at 11:03 AM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think he was trying to make a principled stand about the state of public discourse in the United States. Cory Booker's good people, I think it kind of sucks that so many people are throwing him under the bus just because his conscience is stronger than his partisanship. Getting new Supreme Court Justices are important, but at what cost?
posted by corb at 12:34 PM on May 27 [+] [!]


We need ironic favorites.
posted by goethean at 11:05 AM on May 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


As is delmoi's by the way...
posted by salishsea at 11:06 AM on May 27, 2012


Also, everyone has known that Lanny Davis was a super-sleaze for a long time. The interesting news is Booker's trying to defend Bain. Especially so soon after he was getting a lot of positive press for Literally running into a burning building and saving a woman's life

Also, Deval Patrick was also out there defending Bain Capital. I guess Bain is an MA company. But still.

I think what you're really seeing how the democratic party isn't able to make a strong rhetorical argument about how the republicans are the party of the big banks, which everyone hates because they're funded by those same banks. And it isn't a "they could do it but it would be hypocritical" thing, they can't do it because they can't afford to piss them off.

So actually rather then going after wall street and private equity in a "general" way, they are trying to limit their arguments to Bain and Mitt Romney alone. But the problem is, what Romney did there wasn't any different then any other PE firm. And some of the companies he managed did do well, such as Staples, apparently. It's hard to make the argument that Bain was uniquely bad if Private Equity itself isn't bad, or at least not good for society.
I have no idea what Cory Booker was thinking when he timed his comments in such a colossally stupid way, except that he was putting his political future above all else at a time when making sure we get new Supreme Court justices should have been a higher priority than
Here's the thing though: Why should he, personally, care about the supreme court? He's obviously someone who's well plugged into the big financial industry donors. Why would he care about the court having a pro-corporate stance? Maybe he, personally, is for it? In fact, if he gets bored with politics he end up being a CEO some day.

And he's not a woman, so why should he (personally) worry about Abortion?

It's entirely possible that Booker sincerely believes all that corporations are awesome nonsense. In fact, according to Joe Scarborough "Most Democrats, who fund the democratic party agree with Cory Booker and not Barack Obama"

A lot of people seem to think that the Democratic party is actually a left-wing party. They are liberal on a lot of social issues, because their major donors are liberal on social issues. But it when it comes to economic issues they are basically a moderate to right-wing party in terms of the leadership and what they actually end up doing. I mean, yeah there are people like Dennis Kucinich up there (I'd mention Bernie Sanders, but he's not actually a democrat. He's a Socialist, he just caucuses with them)
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2012 [18 favorites]


Er, I was going to say: Just because there are some outspoken liberals in the caucus, the party leadership is very much in the Cory Booker mold. In fact, So is Obama actually. The only reason he's going after a single private equity guy is because that private equity guy is running against him.
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why should he, personally, care about the supreme court? He's obviously someone who's well plugged into the big financial industry donors. Why would he care about the court having a pro-corporate stance? Maybe he, personally, is for it? In fact, if he gets bored with politics he end up being a CEO some day.

And he's not a woman, so why should he (personally) worry about Abortion?


what
posted by incessant at 11:15 AM on May 27, 2012


what
The question is why would Cory Booker, personally, care about who the next supreme court nominees are? Or why would he care more about it then his own political career?
posted by delmoi at 11:17 AM on May 27, 2012


Also, everyone has known that Lanny Davis was a super-sleaze for a long time.

No, they don't. Most people have never heard of Lanny Davis, and that's a big problem. The people who bend and twist the truth set the agendas and control the media are largely unknown to the average voters who are influenced by them. Most of the general public really does not know how sophisticated, extensive and expensive is the effort to convince them to vote against their own interests.
posted by tommyD at 11:18 AM on May 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


The question is why would Cory Booker, personally, care about who the next supreme court nominees are? Or why would he care more about it then his own political career?

That's like asking why do I care if gay people can get married even though I'm not gay.
posted by incessant at 11:19 AM on May 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Getting new Supreme Court Justices are important, but at what cost?

Yeah, it's more like "Getting your funding base secure for you first run for statewide office is important, but at what cost?"

And I almost linked to that Young Turks video myself, corb, but was torn between that one and this one featuring Cory palling around with Chris Christie at the New Jersey equivalent of the White House Correspondents Dinner. You can say "he was trying to make a principled stand about the state of public discourse in the United States" as much as it helps you sleep at night, but here's the thing: I'm not objecting to the fact that anyone running for statewide office at Booker's level has to solidify support from entrenched business interests.

I'm strongly objecting to the fact that Cory Booker's particular way of paying dues to those interests at this moment in time demonstrated a clearly idiotic political calculus - a weighing of the pluses and minuses of his personal ambition, the current climate, the future of the USA and his own, shining new contribution to the debate - that demonstrates....well, that he's a fucking idiot.

Believe me, I'm as disappointed as anyone at that; the dude seemed smart and I was hopeful. Not anymore.

But don't try to tell me it wasn't a serious fumble.
posted by mediareport at 11:37 AM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not objecting to the fact that anyone running for statewide office at Booker's level has to solidify support from entrenched business interests.

Well, you know what I mean. I'm not objecting to that here, now.
posted by mediareport at 11:42 AM on May 27, 2012


That's like asking why do I care if gay people can get married even though I'm not gay.

Because gay people getting married hurts all marriages.
posted by scalefree at 11:56 AM on May 27, 2012


OK, this should clear things up --

"That's like asking why do I support gay marriage even though I'm not gay."
posted by incessant at 11:58 AM on May 27, 2012


Lovett is a smarmy entitled rich bastard. As for Booker, reasonable people should be able to easily see that he takes money from Wall Street and evalute what he says accordingly. However, we don't live in an age of reason; we live in an age of ignorance.
posted by UseyurBrain at 12:01 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this silliness is what it takes to distract people from what Bain does and how Romney would conduct economic policy, it's working. Kudos to the media and the pundits.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:53 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because gay people getting married hurts all marriages.
posted by scalefree at 7:56 PM on May 27 [+] [!]


This was rhetorical, right scalefree?
posted by jaduncan at 1:10 PM on May 27, 2012


Meanwhile, the "funny" Jon Lovitz is apparently off drinking from the same tea as wingnuts Victoria Jackson and Dennis Miller.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:07 PM on May 27, 2012


Meanwhile, the "funny" Jon Lovitz is apparently off drinking from the same tea as wingnuts Victoria Jackson and Dennis Miller.

Has Jon Lovitz recently attached to a Jon Voight project? Because that rant sure sounds like it.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:32 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, they don't. Most people have never heard of Lanny Davis, and that's a big problem. The people who bend and twist the truth set the agendas and control the media are largely unknown to the average voters who are influenced by them.
Well, I was thinking, most people who know who he is know he's an ubersleaze, he became kind of well known as one of Hillary's surrogates during the darker days of her campaign, so I kind of think a lot of Obama supporters might have "gotten to know" him. But mostly I was thinking of people who follow politics online, rather then on TV. If he's on TV a lot, people might know who he is without knowing his history.

If you look at someone like Hillary Rosen, she's a high powered lobbyist who took on BP as a client during the middle of the oil spill. You also might remember her as the chairman of the RIAA during the Napster era. If you know about her based on what she's actually done, you probably wouldn't like her much. But if you watch CNN you'd see her all the time listed as a "democratic strategist" and arguing the "liberal" side against some conservatives.

So if Lanny is on TV a lot like Rosen, you might be right.
That's like asking why do I care if gay people can get married even though I'm not gay.
Well, it's not like asking why you care, it's asking why some random person who happens to be would Democrat care. There are lots of people in the world who don't care about gay marriage and lots of people who are actually against it. In fact, remember: up until a few weeks ago Obama was "officially" against gay marriage, in the last election all of the major democratic candidates presidential candidates were "officially" against it in their platforms.


I don't really know that much about Cory Booker's politics in general other then that he's a democrat and that he's a major proponent of school reform. He's actually the guy who convinced Zuckerburg to donate $100m to his school system. Apparently he's also managed to raise another $40m from private foundations to help. That's a very unusual situation in this country, by far.

Also the school reform stuff tends to be associated with the more "conservative" side, against teachers unions and for more private enterprise involvement with schools.

So from his perspective, these private companies and rich individuals have actually done a lot, not just for his campaign efforts, but for the actual people in his city. So he may actually believe what he's saying here. Although obviously his ability to raise funds is a key part of what he's saying.

Now, I'm sure Cory Booker is pro choice (and I'm sure he's for gay marriage). There is a difference between being 'for' something and caring a lot about that thing. Other then abortion, a lot of what people worry about now with SCOTUS is it's pro-corporate slant. But there's no reason to think Booker is worried about that at all. And abortion for him may be a minor, unimportant issue. Certainly, worrying about the supreme court would be a minor issue for him compared to getting more rich people to help fund his school district.
a weighing of the pluses and minuses of his personal ambition, the current climate, the future of the USA and his own, shining new contribution to the debate - that demonstrates....well, that he's a fucking idiot.
Well, the comment seems to have backfired, so you could certainly argue it wasn't well thought out even from a personal ambition thing, at least in the short term. Now we're all talking about how he's a corporate whore, rather then how he (for example) saved some lady from a burning building.

But problem here is the assumption that because he did something that you think is going to hurt Obama and thus will be problematic w.r.t SCOTUS that he's "stupid". I think that's actually one of the big problems people have when thinking about the democrats in general. It's almost like a mental block. People continuously assume that any time they do something that's contrary to what people think the democrats should be for, they assume it's because they're "stupid".

But Cory Booker is clearly a really smart guy. He didn't say that stuff because he has the same goals and priorities that you do, and is just too dumb to figure out the best way to go about achieving them, he said that stuff because he has different goals and priorities then you do.

---
I actually do kind of think that trying to attack Romney, specifically on his record at Bain without trying to do any 'collateral damage' to the rest of wall street is going to be rhetorically difficult. I think an argument that, you know there are a lot of problems with the way high finance works in this country, and Romney was a part of that at Bain and therefore don't vote for him would be compelling. You could say it was a "typical 'wall street' player", and the important point was that you would be trying to claim that his loyalty going forward would be to wallstreet and the big banks. This has the benefit of almost certainly being true.

On the other hand the argument that Bain or Romney were uniquely awful in the realm of private equity seems like a hard case to make. The steel company that everyone talks about closed after Romney left. Romney's side will say that if you are going to blame Romney for companies that failed after he left, then he also gets credit for the success of other companies he helped run, including Staples and some other companies that have apparently created hundreds of thousands of jobs over the years. So it becomes an argument about minutia and minor details of which jobs were created when and who gets credit, with lots of points on either side, rather then an argument about the broad criticism of the financial industry and Romney's loyalty to it.

In fact, I kind of think the Obama team actually hopes to imply the first argument by making the second, without being obvious enough about it to piss off their donors. And it I think there's enough people who agree with it that can probably work, so long as you remind voters that Romney was PE guy, it should be good enough. It's actually like a liberal dog-whistle: The argument is really just a way to point out to people that Romney is a "wallstreet guy" But, I think it's a weaker form of the argument, and I think it shows how Obama might end up being weaker in the election then he should be.

And more importantly it shows how hamstrung the democrats are due to the fact that they're just as much funded by bankers as the republicans.
posted by delmoi at 7:16 PM on May 27, 2012


Huh, apparently Booker is also America's Sexiest Mayor
posted by delmoi at 7:18 PM on May 27, 2012


he said that stuff because he has different goals and priorities then you do.

Yes thank you so much for pointing that out that's something I've never once considered that someone I disagree with has different goals and priorities than me.

Let's try this one more time, delmoi:

I disagree with his goals and priorities. Is that clear enough? I think he (and everyone) should give a shit about SCOTUS. I think he should give a shit about abortion rights. I think he should give a shit about personal freedoms. I think he should give a shit about gay marriage. I think he should give a shit about entitlements and taxation and money in politics and Jesus Christ do you really want me to go on because I think I've made my point.
posted by incessant at 7:40 PM on May 27, 2012


Let's try this one more time, delmoi: I disagree with his goals and priorities.
Okay. My initial post you replied to with "what" though wasn't saying why he should care about those things, but asking why assume that he does care about those things. It's entirely possible that he doesn't care that much about those things and isn't that worried, personally, about SCOTUS appointments.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 PM on May 27, 2012


That's like asking why do I care if gay people can get married even though I'm not gay.

And indeed, you know what? Some people don't care about gay people getting married because they aren't gay. I believe the question to which you are responding is alleging that Cory Booker is like that.

If you make the question, "why do I care if gay people can get married even though I'm not gay and I can (or think I can) trade off between aiding gay people and aiding my career", then the subtle dig at Booker in the question might become more apparent.
posted by kenko at 11:23 PM on May 27, 2012


I believe the question to which you are responding is alleging that Cory Booker is like that.
Er, to be clear I was talking about Cory Booker and Abortion, specifically with respect to the supreme court. My point was that Booker might worry more about pleasing rich donors then whether or not Romeny is in the white-house and making SCOTUS appointments that might be bad for Roe v. Wade down the line.

The really odd thing, though is that Booker is also raising money, a lot of money from rich people for Newark's schools. $100m from Zuckerburg, and he's trying to raise another $100 million dollars. So that puts him a really unusual situation. Even if he was totally "pure of heart" he could be weighing things like whether he'll be able to get $X million from Y. and pay for better teachers and upgraded schools in his own city against whether or not a mild criticism of Obama might cause Romney to win.

(Plus, let's be honest here: what are the odds that Booker's words would have convinced anyone to vote for Romney anyway? People are criticizing him more for disloyalty, but especially for being a corporate sellout then for actual damage he might have done to Obama)
posted by delmoi at 6:23 AM on May 28, 2012


Plus, let's be honest here: what are the odds that Booker's words would have convinced anyone to vote for Romney anyway?

Well, he did give the Romney campaign a huge sound bite to use in its attempt to paint Obama as some sort of left-wing radical.

"Even his own party called President Obama's attack on the free market 'nauseating'..." (Cue The Internationale)
posted by steambadger at 7:43 AM on May 29, 2012


This was rhetorical, right scalefree?

Sarcasm does not transmit well over electrons, it seems. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by scalefree at 6:45 PM on May 29, 2012


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