I’ve had enough. Really. Enough. I’ve tried so hard not to write about this shutdown thing, not to even think about it. But it’s not working. Every day, it’s some new idiocy. The latest, Florida Republican Congressman Dennis Ross, telling us the GOP can’t back down now because of “pride.”
Really, if it weren’t so damn serious, it’d even be funny, downright hilarious.
Ross says it’s all pride now, not even about Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, which an awful lot of Americans don’t seem to know. Funny how branding works, isn’t it?
I don’t know if Ross is right that the ACA isn’t the problem anymore — I seriously doubt it, Obamacare being the big symbol for Obama himself, and the right’s complete failure at bringing down a Democratic president, particularly a black one. But he is right about this:
Republicans have to realize how many significant gains we’ve made over the last three years, and we have, not only in cutting spending but in really turning the tide on other things.
The right has tried so hard to make a meme about of “Obama will negotiate with Syria, Russia and Iran, but he won’t negotiate with Congress,” and that one sentence from Ross illustrates the lie. The last three years have been nothing but negotiation, with Obama and the Democrats giving up and giving up and giving up just to appease Republicans who couldn’t come close to winning the Oval Office.
Oh yes, they have a majority in the House. But that has much more to do with Republican state legislatures redrawing congressional districts than anything else. Overall, Democrats polled ahead of the GOP by nearly 1.5 million votes in House races in 2012 and still couldn’t take the majority. That was by design.
But you won’t hear about that in the news, and you won’t hear any counter to Republican claims about the health care bill, even the most outrageous ones. Like, for example, death panels, which didn’t die with the Republican presidential hopes in 2008 and still live out there in the hinterlands.
You won’t be hearing that as millions of Americans check out how the Affordable Care Act will affect their health care costs, they’re finding it looks pretty damn good. I’m going to get a much better policy than the one my (Republican) state assigned to me for about the same money I’m paying now. A friend is going to see $200-$300 less on his monthly bills.
You will hear the outrageous news that the administration outsourced the building of the ACA web site to *shock* Canadians, and that some web site expert we’ve never heard of says the problem with that web site isn’t the millions of people trying to access it — it’s *shock* bad web design.
Why’s that? Well, I can’t even venture a guess about the rationale, but what’s happened is that my illustrious colleagues in the cable news business have traded in their fedoras with the press pass in the head band for cushy (and overpaid) jobs as mere stenographers. And they’re not even hiding it.
You may have heard about Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s political director. Speaking with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell about what the American people know about the ACA, Todd blamed Obama himself for all the misinformation:
But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it. They don’t repeat the other stuff because they haven’t even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, ‘Well, it’s you folks’ fault in the media.’ No, it’s the President of the United States’ fault for not selling it.
Really? It’s the president’s job to “sell” his “message” — to the freaking media? I don’t think so. I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard Obama explain the ACA over and over again. Where I don’t hear it is on cable news. Instead, I hear Republicans say outrageous statement X, and Democrats say no, X isn’t true, Y is. But then it’s too late. X is already out there, followed by a denial. That means X is out there twice, as both X and not-X. What are people going to remember? X. Followed by crickets from the supposed adults in the room. We’re all Fox News now — we report tell you what they said, you decide (whether it’s true). Far be it for “journalists” like Todd to sort it out and explain it.
Another NBC journo, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory, said it in even plainer language:
I think there are a lot of critics who think that … if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you’re a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn’t do our job. I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role.
It’s not our role. Again, really? Then what exactly is “our role”? If it’s just to tell Americans what people say, Twitter can handle that. Hell, any 12 year old could.
But we have a liberal media. Right? Yeah, right.
If we really had a liberal media, it would be saying it was about damn time the Democrats and Obama used the spine they were born with and stood up to the 2-year-olds running the House of Representatives. They would be pointing out on a daily basis that if House Speaker John Boehner allowed a vote on a clean continuing resolution (which, incidentally, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said just last month would be a victory for Republicans), it would pass and there would be no shutdown. But he won’t do that. He won’t do that because it would pass, and the ultra-conservative bloc would be pissed. And he might lose his speaker’s job.
If we really had a liberal media, the truth wouldn’t be out there. It would be right in front of us, where we couldn’t ignore it.
Update: Of course, Nick Kristof would tell the truth, and call on his colleagues to do the same. Read it here.