Rep. Eric Swalwell appearing with Tucker
Carlson on Fox News in January.
Take it from me, Rep. Eric Swalwell typically responds to tough questioning by fleeing the scene in order to avoid confrontations with his allegedly political sins. Knowing this, it seems highly peculiar that Swalwell continually agrees to appear on Tucker Carlson's Fox News program in what amounts to every time an embarrassing pummeling at the hands of the conservative talk show host.
As many have noticed in recent weeks, Swalwell has been a cable news talking head on an almost daily basis. On more friendly turf, such as Thursday on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Swalwell is confident and sharp with his repeated criticisms of President Trump and his alleged ties to Russia.
But Swalwell's appearances with Carlson are excruciating to watch. For one, he's on Carlson's home field and the conservative firebrand's obvious intention is to put the heat on the liberal congressman from California. But it's Carlson's deliver that puts Swalwell at a distinct disadvantage. In at least the last three appearances, Carlson repeatedly scoffs at Swalwell's answers. He pesters him. He belittles and snickers at his answers before, for apparently no reason other to further diminish Swalwell, blurts out an emasculating cackle.
(Below: Swalwell on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Jan. 28.)
It's clear Swalwell's interest in appearing on Fox News in the past has been not to provide a liberal perspective for the network's conservative viewers but to play to his Tri Valley moderate to conservative cohorts in his district. (Remember it was the Tea Party that ostensibly carried him past Pete Stark in 2012) The performances also help burnish a bipartisan resume for his future political aspirations. Strangely, though, videos of Swalwell's humiliating appearances on Carlson's program are highlighted for constituents on his Facebook page. This is akin to the Golden State Warriors' social media department continually reposting video of its Game 7 loss last year in the NBA Finals.
(Below: Swalwell on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Jan. 6.)
In the meantime, Swalwell's appearances with Carlson are hurting the entire left side of the political spectrum. That's because Swalwell is unwittingly providing Carlson with an example of liberal buffoonery. Carlson's line of questioning is to shove Swalwell into a box that he can never escape. For example, during an appearance shortly after Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, Carlson changed the direction of questioning to hector Swalwell over whether abortion is immoral. Swalwell stammered and attempted to release himself from Carlson's head lock, but couldn't, before get into another entanglement over Trump's Muslim ban. In both cases and others, Swalwell just chuckled while Carlson continued to slap him around.
This exchange came after Carlson somewhat unfairly pegged Swalwell as a hypocrite for asserting in a tweet one year ago that previous Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland deserved a confirmation hearing while also stating recently that Democrats should vigorously oppose Gorsuch's nomination.
While it's not clear why Swalwell likes to appear on Carlson's show, he should stop for the sake of the entire Democratic Party, if not an entirely bad look for himself. Because think of how he appears in the eyes of a Trump supporter sitting in his plush recliner. What do you think that person is thinking while watching Swalwell's cowering performances? Odds are it's a swig of Coors from a "Make America Great Again" beer koozie followed by a hearty "Typical libtard!"