Larry v. Liz

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Former West Wing executive producer Lawrence O’Donnell and Liz Cheney squared off on Good Morning America this morning.

Late Update: One point: I don’t have any objection to the cable nets carrying Cheney’s speech yesterday live. He’s still newsworthy, and the juxtaposition of his speech and Obama’s was dramatic if not quite momentous. But the idea that there’s now a debate in this country in which Obama and Cheney represent the two sides, as Chris Cuomo claims in the GMA segment, is simply wrong.

Those who subscribe to the Cheney view were marginalized even within the Bush Administration five years ago. They lost that debate. Obama, on the other hand, has taken, as should now be obvious, a much less forceful stance on these issues than many of his supporters had hoped. You might call it a more centrist position (though I’m resistant to that characterization for several reasons). But in any event, it’s not necessarily representative of the progressive point of view. Cheney is an outlier. He doesn’t represent “one side” of this debate. But if you frame it as a debate between Cheney’s extreme position and Obama’s very moderate position, you’ve suddenly dictated an outcome to this so-called debate that is considerably to the right of where the political center is right now on this issue.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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