Lawrence O’Donnell fans fear over Social Security

I think Lawrence O’Donnell just messed up with his Social Security segment as guest host on Countdown on Monday. If so, wow. And just ahead of his big MSNBC debut too. What do you think?

Notice his eagerness and interruptions in both of these interviews (the one above and below) — evidence that he really wanted to get his own “insight” out; and the way he went after Ashley Carson, the woman Alan Simpson insulted with the “310 million tits” remark, was striking.

The Carson interview starts in the clip above at the 3:50 mark, if you want to jump to it. The real poking starts at 6:20, where he claims that “for you” the “money will not be there.” She corrects him, of course, saying he’s not “factually correct.” But she shouldn’t have to; the man made his political bones with Moynihan on the Senate Finance committee! The rest of the interview is similarly revealing.

The performance continued in the second interview on the subject, with Ezra Klein. I don’t normally think of Ezra Klein as this far left-of-center, but he comes through here like a champ.

Is Lawrence O’Donnell to the right of Klein on Social Security? Surprised me.

I don’t think I heard this wrong. Here’s David Dayen on the same subject. His headline: “Lawrence O’Donnell is Dangerously Wrong About Social Security”.

Lawrence O’Donnell drank the Kool-Aid on Social Security a long time ago, probably from back when he worked for Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the 1990s. Last night he showed a consistent ability to swallow myths about the most successful social program in American history.

Dayen also agrees that the Klein interview was “even more absurd.”

O’Donnell seems dangerously close to deficit fear-mongering against “entitlement spending.” If so, that’s how they’ll kill Social Security, by spreading Dem cred on Conservative dreams. Take taxes off the table; dis-entitle the “entitled.”

I’m especially concerned here, since as I mentioned, O’Donnell will soon have his own show, with Rachel as his lead in. We’ll have to see, but this may not go well, at least on the Social Security front.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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