Keith Olbermann returned to the broadcasting world last night with his usual vigour and dry wit. Responding to a clip in which John McCain asks "What would Ronald Reagan say?" Olbermann dryly responds "Nothing, he's dead. He was a lousy President." It is quite clear that Olbermann isn't dead and his first programme promises more of the Olbermann that we all came to depend on to keep us reasonably sane. A trusted source that many of us have missed over the past six or so months since MSNBC abruptly shut him down.
Olbermann asks the questions that we all want answers to such as "Why isn't Thomas Clarence out of a job when his wife has taken political contributions from a Texas real estate tycoon?" Olbermann also provides us with comic moments when he wryly states that Rush Limbaugh has admitted that "his opinions are available to the highest bidder." All that and more, including The Worst Person in the World's segment which features Sarah Palin's new trademark name and image in third place (right where she belongs as she will never be a winner) informing us that the idea of Sarah Palin educating anyone is, of course, idiotic.
President Obama did not escape Olbermann's attention when he zeroed in on the legitimacy of the present conflict in Libya and whether or not the War Powers Act needs to be applied in relation to the present situation that the USA is involved in. Olbermann drew parallels between the Bush administration "cherrypicking of legal positions to support the enhanced interrogation regime. AKA torture" and the fact that President Obama
"rejected the views of both the Pentagon's general counsel and the acting head of the justice departments department of legal counsel when the insisted that the US was in legal hostilities that would require the War Powers Act be applied. Instead the President sought legal advice from his White House Counsel and the State Departments legal advisor both of whom said hostilities were not at issue and neither was the War Powers Act."
He went on to quote a poll sponsored by The Hill which supports the view that most American people are tired of wars and are not concerned about whether or not they are legal. Olbermann stressing that he wants to "set aside the rightness or wrongness of getting involved in Libya" brought on Michael Moore as his first guest to discuss "why President Obama is doing it this way rather than through Congress?" Moore believes that it is the easiest way of doing it and that most modern day presidents believe that they have a right as the Commander in Chief to send in planes to bomb countries as they so wish so there is no need to go to Congress.
Recognising the fact that President Obama, if he had argued his case before Congress, would have likely had its support Olbermann and Moore seem confused as to why he had not done so. I think that President Obama wanted to avoid the suggestion that he has involved the USA in another actual war when his campaign promises were about ending wars, not starting them. Regardless, this is a fascinating discourse and I encourage you to listen to the entire interview which concludes that President Obama's motivations for being involved in Libya were good ones whilst Bush's motivations for the war on terror were essentially bad ones.
During the broadcast Olbermann outlines in a Special Comment what the purpose of the new programme is. Olbermann states
"This is to be a newscast of contextualisation that is to be presented with a viewpoint that the weakest citizen of this country is more important than the strongest corporation. That the nation is losing its independence through the malfeasance of one political party and the timidity of another, and that even though you and I should not have to be the last line of defense apparently we are so we damm well better start being it."
I can't think of a better way to end this post, so I will simply echo Michael Moore's sentiments. It's good to have you back Keith.