Media blame game leads to U.S. bankruptcy

Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
Washington Post, 2012-04-27

[The bias here is evident everywhere,
from the title into the article itself.]

‘It’s Even Worse Than It Looks:
How the American Constitutional System Collided With
The New Politics of Extremism’
by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

By Robert G. Kaiser
Washington Post Book Review, published in Sunday Outlook, 2012-05-06

The title to this review in the Washington print editon of Sunday Outlook is:

How partisan Republicans bring America to its knees

[Here are some excerpts, interspersed with my comments.]

[House Speaker John] Boehner remembered
the political damage done in 1995
when [then House Speaker Newt] Gingrich
forced a shutdown of the federal government
in a spending dispute with Bill Clinton,

probably assuring Clinton’s 1996 reelection.

[Yes, I remember that episode.
While the public was surely right to be unhappy with the politicians
for refusing to compromise and keep the government running,
the media then (echoed by Kaiser now)
placed all the blame on the House Republicans, and in particular Speaker Gingrich,
for refusing to compromise and thus the shutdown.
They never said the two parties refusing to compromise were equally to blame,
let alone mirror their assignment of blame to one side
by blaming the Democrats for refusing to compromise.

After the media had placed blame on the Republicans,
public opinion polls showed that the public agreed with
that assignment of blame.
Would the public have made that choice without the media leading them?
Actually, probably so, but even so,
I believe it would have been more responsible for the media to have pointed out that
the failure to compromise was a failure on both sides.]

Mann and Ornstein quote Boehner from late 2010:
“We’re going to have to deal with [the debt ceiling] as adults.
Whether we like it or not,
the federal government has obligations,
and we have obligations on our part.”
Cantor disagreed.
When the new Republican House majority
convened at a Baltimore retreat in January, 2011,
“Cantor implored them to use the coming debt limit vote
as their golden opportunity.”
They quote Cantor in a story in The Post that revealed this episode:
“I’m urging you [Republican House members]
to look at a potential increase in the debt limit
as a leverage moment when . . .
President Obama will have to deal with us”
and accept deep spending cuts.


It is this willingness to put
perceived political advantage
ahead of
good government


[Wait a minute.
That is a totally one-sided assessment of blame.
The Democrats are the side of “good government”
while the Republicans are only motivated by “perceived political advantage”?
If that isn’t blatant media bias, I don’t know what is.]

[Kaiser’s bias, demonstrated above,
is rather typical of that of the commentariat
in the battles over reining in government spending
and thus avoiding the looming U.S. grave financial difficulties.
On the one hand,
the media has failed to point out adequately
the grave consequences of the unchecked rise in government spending.
On the other hand,
it constantly runs news stories that only argue for more government spending
This one-two media punch has been instrumental in the failure to rein in deficits.]

Five myths about the 112th Congress
By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
Washington Post (Sunday) Outlook, 2013-01-06

[Here, in an article in the Post Sunday Outlook (opinion) section,
Mann and Ornstein double down on their biased view of who is to blame
for America's economic problems.
Here is an excerpt:]

[Myth] 5. The 113th Congress will be as unproductive as the 112th.

There was not much in the 2012 election to suggest that
the deep pathologies in the American political system
have been ameliorated.
Republicans retained their majority in the House,
and the conference moved further to the right.
Moreover, the GOP demand for major spending cuts —
with the sequestration, continuing spending resolution and debt-limit deadlines looming in the next two months —
suggests that this will be another contentious “do-nothing” Congress.

[There you have it.
It’s all the GOPs fault!
Not a mention of the problem of unsustainable entitlements.
Not a mention that the obstinacy of the Democrats on entitlement reform
is half of the reason that the two sides cannot come to a compromise
(and, in my opinion, clearly the real problem).
If the two sides cannot agree, it’s all the Republicans fault!

If that isn’t manifest, prima facie bias, what is?
How on earth do these two members of the “elite”
have the reputation as centrists?]

McCain to Republicans: Forget about any more crazy debt ceiling hostage taking
By Greg Sargent
Washington Post "Plum Line" Blog, 2013-07-22

[Here is part of the final paragraph of this blog entry
(the emphasis is added):]

Today White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated that
the White House would not negotiate over the debt limit.
Yet all signs are that House conservatives are expecting the GOP leadership
to stage another confrontation over it.
The Compromise Caucus’s willingness to break with
the GOP’s party’s relentless obstructionism
has raised hopes among Dems that
there is a sizable bloc of Republicans that has had it with
their party’s unremitting hostility to basic governing compromises.

[Get that:
when the White House will not negotiate over the debt limit,
Sargent is fine with that,
but when Republicans refuse to concede to Democrats on the issue,
they are guilty of
“unremitting hostility to basic governing compromises.”

Why is the GOP guilty of “relentless obstructionism”
for demanding cuts in entitlements,
but the Dems not equally guilty for rejecting those cuts?
Why is it obstructionism to demand cuts,
but not obstructionism to reject cuts?]

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