Back Channels: The vast legions of the better off

Posted: September 10, 2012

The following MSNBC special report is brought to you by the Democratic National Committee.

Rachel: Last week, commentators on Fox News, the world's only biased media outlet, were all atwitter over supporters of President Obama who couldn't answer this simple question: Is the country better off now than it was four years ago?

At MSNBC, we're all about simple. And we're here to help you, the viewer, understand the No. 1 issue of the day: how truly wonderful Barack Obama is.

Your thoughts, Chris?

Chris: Wha . . .? Uh . . . Tingle.

Rachel: Thank you, Chris.

Let's go to our expert analysts for answers to the question of the day. Al?

Al: Rachel, let's start right here in Charlotte, with the person who has worked side by side with President Barack Obama in saving the country from the evil Re- PUG-licans. Roll that tape.

Joe Biden: Is the country better? Hold on, let me check the card they gave me. 'VPOTUS, answer all questions with, No comment. And no ad-libbing. POTUS.' All right, then, no comment. But, hell, let me ad-lib a sec. I'm better off. Can you believe I get paid for this? It's like y'all have literally unchained me from the Senate.

Rachel: Thank you, Al. Now, to Washington, epicenter of better-ness. Ed?

Ed: Rachel, let's start with the 1,600 public school kids in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Now, the Obama haters would say that the president and his allies in Congress have been relentless in trying to kill this program. That's a misstatement, which is to say they aren't giving the DNC's side of this.

In fact, Obama is trying to prepare these kids for the real world. Automatically renewing funding would make things too easy for these kids and their families. Let them sweat a little, grow up. Of course, the GOP ruined that by restoring the program, but Obama is targeting it again in the 2013 budget.


Rachel: A real teachable moment for those little tykes, Ed. They have their whole lives to sign up for entitlements in Obama's America. What's the rush? Chris?

Chris: Wha . . . Martians . . . Rep-p-p-ub . . ..

Rachel: You're spraying, Chris. Here's a wipe.

Ed, what about government workers? Are they better off?

Ed: Well, Rachel, as the president says, we're not where we need to be. But he's doing his best to find ways to cheer a beleaguered workforce.

Take the General Services Administration. Not very glamorous work - heck, who even knows what they do? - but still dedicated public employees. They deserve a break. And they got one, an $800,000 Las Vegas party with commemorative coins, clowns, and a mind reader. Of course, the GOP threw a fit. They hate when people are better off.

And, hey, how about those CIA agents the Justice Department has been investigating for three years? Well, that's over now. Sure, they were investigated already and cleared before Eric Holder became attorney general, but technically you'd have to say they're better off now. You know those folks are chanting, "Four more years!"


Rachel: That's great, Ed. President Obama has truly touched so many lives.

What about outside the Beltway? Chris?

Chris: Wha . . . Republicans . . . racists . . ..

Rachel: Totally with you on that well-reasoned argument, Chris.

Joe? Mika?

Joe: Hi, Rachel. I'm coming to you live from a Starbucks in the middle of Kansas, where the baristas all say they are better off with the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline. It had the potential to bring all kinds of jobs to this area, and who can hang out at Starbucks when they've got a real job? Plus, all the noise, the construction equipment. So, some very happy joe-slingers here. Stop me if I've said this about Ronald Reagan before . . ..

Rachel: Mika?

Mika: Thanks, Rachel. Well, as you know, I don't talk to any actual Americans, because I wouldn't be able to stop myself from rolling my eyes at the simplistic things they say. So I polled a panel of like-minded journalists here in Manhattan, serious people who consult daily with Obama administration officials, and the list we've come up with about who's better off is just endless. And, let me add, the access the administration has provided for this project is unprecedented. Truly.

Rachel: The most open administration ever. Let's hear more.

Mika: Where do I begin? At home, think Solyndra executives who didn't have to waste their own money in a risky venture. They're better off. Remember Cash for Clunkers, getting a government check for trading in your vehicle? The 1 percenters who plunk down $40,000 for a Volt who get cash back from grateful green taxpayers? The people who sell camping gear to Occupiers whose stuff keeps getting stolen or confiscated? Those talented designers who year after year update the Recovery Summer websites?

Overseas, there are happy Brazilians after the president's failed bid to bring the next Olympic Games to Chicago. Better-armed drug lords thanks to the administration's Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. A Nobel committee that no longer has to base prizes on actual accomplishments. By the way, watch for Laureate 2.0. All kinds of potential and flexibility in a second term with no worries about reelection.

Contact Kevin Ferris at 215-854-5305 or

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