On Morning Joe today John Meacham, Joe Conason, and, later, Tavis Smiley were the guests on the first segment. Scarborough and co. had to first get the Rich Perry-bashing out of the way and establish Mitt Romney as the valid candidate. Then there was talk about the 9/11 memorial and the bipartisan moment between Bush and Obama. Tavis Smiley ruined Scarborough's bipartisan reverie by saying Bush lied to the American people about WMDs and Iraq. A big argument ensued with Smiley backing off the "lied" comment but maintaining that the Bush administration misled the country. Scarborough rightfully recalled Democrat complicity in the focus on Sadam Hussein and Iraq as a terrorist threat. They all missed the fundamental issues.
First, this President-centered analysis of 9/11 and post 9/11 is misleading in itself. Bush's reactions after 9/11 were motivated by the unknown and information he received from intelligence around the world. Responding to 9/11 is something that everyone can understand, but being in Iraq and Afghanistan ten years later is a systemic failure.
The 9/11 memorial is not about Bush or Obama, but about an attack that many private citizens felt and experienced and responded to in many different ways. The only ones worth mentioning are the ones who actually did the hard work of dealing with the tragedy upclose. If anything, 9/11 speaks to the spirit of the American people, not to bipartisan relations between two Presidents.
Scarborough represents a growing center in politics which desires cooperation in the political realm to get things done -- strong leadership from DC. This center has been shifted far enough in a statist direction to satsify the establishment -- the status quo allows sufficient government intervention so that government can now centrally control if they smartly manage public opinion. The criticism of Obama right now from the center and the Left is that he's hit a lull in management and planning, but, after his speech, the center and left are coming around and pushing Obama forward to take charge and follow through. It's Obama's style to pretend he's responding to what the public desires, and not that pretension is that the public wants government to intervene in the economy even more than they have. It's a game of perception and manipulation -- this adminsitration knows nothing else -- they assume they have to fool the public to get what they want.
Those further to the Left like Smiley want Obama to become more publically radical, pushing the progressive agenda more vigorously, but Obama knows that the "center" is now sufficient to move forward, plus he has to get reelected. With a growing opposition forming among independents, Obama has to be careful that he doesn't push too far Left too fast.
The narrative going forward is that it's time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to further consolidate the center and protect the status quo by investing in the economy, making America competitive with China, making the rich pay their fair share and creating jobs. In the statist world of the political realm, this is no time for radical moves to the Left or the Right, therfore, Perry must be destroyed, along with the Tea Party, then advancements in healthcare and financial regulation and environmental regulation must be protected -- after the next election, more statist advancements can be made, but for now it's about consolidating the center which has shifted further Left despite efforts in the private realm to stop government encroachment.
The center is the new illusion of wise compromise and responsible government action. The center expects to drag the far Left and far Right along, or marginalize them so they are ineffective. 2012 will be an interesting election year.