RachelWatch: Genial but not Credible

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Today: Rachel chats with Senator Amy Klobuchar and takes Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Phillips to the woodshed.

Smells Like Team Spirit

Well. It only took the Democrats 11 months to notice that they have some legislative power. I’m excited that they’re thinking about using it! (Hint: To use it, you have to do more than think about it, Democrats. Step lively!)

A very nearly recovered Rachel started us off with the news that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) came out in favor of a public option with her game face on.

Rachel gave us a look at the numbers for getting health care reform through and then Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – Minnesota) gave us a couple of scarier numbers.

Whoa. Someone Actually Did Stay Classy.

Rachel showed a clip of President Obama in New Orleans defending Governor Bobby Jindal (R) when the crowd started booing at the mention of Jindal’s name.

To clarify, Obama didn’t pretend he couldn’t hear the booing, he didn’t subtly encourage it, and he didn’t work in a dig. He said something nice about a political opponent, made a self-deprecating joke, and moved on.

I was impressed. I would have at least brought up the volcano monitoring thing.

Sen. Johnny Iselin Lives!

Rachel filled us in on a scandal so dumb that I couldn’t type this segment all in one go because my fingers kept absorbing the stupid and abandoning the keyboard to go play with matches or try to watch that Jeff Dunham show.

Essentially, four House Republicans are working under the premise that all Muslims are evil and must be conspiring against the United States any time they, you know, do things.

An unusually bubbly Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post dropped in to make fun of the great swathes of dumbness involved and then note that, yeah, it’s also appallingly racist, so let’s nip this one in the bud.

Jiffy Populism

Get ready for a great big plate of awesome with some awesome on the side and, because the server thinks you’re cute, some free awesome for dessert.

Do not skip the dessert. You are about to see Rachel deliver a pummeling.

Tim Phillips, still of Americans for Prosperity and still the owner of a terrifying fake smile, made the mistake of coming back on the show and using soundbite tactics instead of actual facts when Rachel asked him questions.

I can’t help but notice that Phillips used the same technique that Rick Berman used of consciously making his face completely blank while being asked questions, lest he reveal anything or accidentally let his long, forked tongue dart out.

He also uses the standard far-right tactic of immediately claiming deeply wounded victimhood when called on his bullpuckey — like when he claimed Rachel “vilified and demeaned” the leaders of Americans for Prosperity by pointing out that they are rich and politically connected.

But my favorite realization is that Phillips uses the beauty pageant Interview Portion technique: Learn four or five vague, good-sounding sentences, get to one of them as quickly as possible no matter what the question is, and keep repeating it if you are outmatched and start to panic.

Way to go ovaries to the wall, Rachel. My goodness.

Go ahead and take a break to towel off. I’ll be over here, watching that last clip again.

I wonder what went through Phillip’s head when Rachel brought up his sleazeorama Max Cleland smear ad or his involvement in the revolting Marianas lobbying.

It must have been like having the Ghost of Christmas Past show up. Only Scrooge still wants to make sure Tiny Tim doesn’t get a dime off the $300 Bob Cratchit’s insurance company is charging him for that crutch.

Life During Wartime

Rachel reported on another round of devastating Taliban attacks in Pakistan and noted that the situation will always be tangled with the issue of how to handle Afghanistan, perhaps with more of an emphasis on the word ‘always’ than we’d all like.

Rachel turned to Dexter Filkins of The New York Times to shed a little light on the subject, but it’s not the kind of light that actually brightens your day.

Go ahead and watch that second Phillips clip again if you need to. You’ve earned it.

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