It was a big day on the Sunday talk shows, with ongoing scary threats from Syrian refugees, and of course a Presidential election a mere 14 months away.
As usual, ABC's This Week is most worried about threats, with Martha Raddatz saying “ISIS could embed with those refugees, creating a jihadi pipeline,” and asking Retired General Allen quote, “They call it a national security threat. Do you agree?” Not getting the answer she wanted, she just asked again, “But is it a potential national security threat?”
Congressman McCaul was more helpful, saying letting in Syrian refugees “could be a very reckless and dangerous policy.” McCaul also said the Syrian refugees are “I believe the result of a failed foreign policy in Syria with the inability to remove Assad from power.”
Chuck Todd of Meet the Press, agrees the U.S. should take control of Syria, asking “The Syria policy of this administration – is it a failure?” When his guest pointed out it's not the fault of the U.S. that Syria is in the midst of a rebellion against a dictator, Todd said “we understand the root cause, but it seems like every response the US has tried,” under Bush or Obama, “nothing seems to work” and “do we just throw up our hands and say forget, let them sort it out, and walk away?”
When his guest pointed out the problem is Assad, Todd pounced on the chance for another war, asking, “should “our focus should be on regime change with Assad first, then focus on ISIS?” and editorialized after the interview was over, “If we can solve the Syria problem, maybe we can solve this migrant problem”
Of course, the big topic is the Presidential race, which has over 20 boring candidates who are actually running, and exciting ones, like Joe Biden, who are not.
Ben Carson was on ABC, where Martha Raddatz asked him tough questions about his great popularity, such as “Did you ever expect to be in this position? And “polls in Iowa show that people actually like you better, think you're honest and trustworthy, have the right temperament.”
Dr. Carson, the restrained and sensible candidate, responded by saying we are in “very perilous times,” and “Our country is in grave danger. And if we don't begin to change our direction and change our attitude, I think we may not survive into the future.”
Jon Dickerson of Face the Nation was also hard-hitting with Carson, asking:
“What do you make about your position in the polls?”
“You have highest number of people donating to your campaign of any of the Republican candidates.”
“why is it important for a president to have humility?”
“Donald Trump, is he humble enough to be president?”
“Are you too nice to be president?”
Donald Trump, who is a busy man, called into Face the Nation, where Dickerson pushed him to endorse pundits' ideas of reform, such as mandated term limits and a balanced budget, but Trump would only say “the biggest reform to get competent people in office,” and “if you look at places like China, they have superstars at their positions,” and “I have created a tremendous company. I have some of the greatest assets in the world.” and “I'm not saying that to brag.”
He also said “I come out with my plan in about three weeks. It could be sooner than that. We have an amazing tax plan.” unquote
Bernie Sanders was on Meet The Press, where Todd thought he was being original by focusing on foreign affairs, although ABC already did that. Todd confronted Sanders only favoring use of military force for humanitarian reasons, and was immediately corrected by Sanders, who supported the war in Afghanistan to get bin Laden, forcing Todd to apologize.
Low-polling Chris Christie, who presides over one the worst performing states in the country and whose administration is facing multiple criminal investigations, came on to say President Barack Obama supports lawlessness, and Mayor Bill de Blasio disregards human life.
But the most absurd moments came during analysis of the Presidential race. The pundits have their narrative and their sticking to it. Cecilia Vega likes to put it, “The reality is” people think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy, and “the reality is” Clinton people are nervous. Clinton is trying to be more spontaneous, Joe Biden is real, and could run, and could win, but on the other hand, “a lot of people are wondering whether he could actually pull this off if he does decide to jump in,” and as Martha Raddatz said, “the e-mail problem is not going away” and “They want her to be more authentic, and “was that a humble Donald Trump that I saw?”
Meanwhile, on CBS, discussing Clinton, Biden, and the other candidates, panelists, used the words “authentic” or “authenticity” not twice, not ten times, or 15, but 24 times. And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.