Apparently, you don't have to know anything about politics to write about politics for the Washington Post

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

More Perry Bacon:

Baltimore: The filibuster is out of control. Why should 40 Republicans get to veto what the majority wants? Do you think we'll ever get filibuster reform? It wasn't always like this -- filibusters used to be rare.

Perry Bacon Jr.: The Democrats filibustered lots and lots of things from 2003 to 2007.

Bacon's questioner is right. Filibusters used to be much more rare. It's hard to believe it's even possible that a Washington Post political reporter would be unaware of this basic fact. And yet, here we are, with Bacon pretending there's nothing unusual about the Republicans' use of the filibuster.

Then another questioner (who apparently reads this blog) noted that last week Bacon wrote "I think we may have misstated the strength of the opposition to the public option in the first place" and asked Bacon to explain why the media got it wrong. Here's Bacon's response:

Perry Bacon Jr.: I'm skeptical of polling on issues as complicated as the public option that I think I fairly complicated. I'm still convinced the most energy around that issue is conservatives opposed it, as opposed to liberals backing it. Polls often don't influence what Congress does because polls don't reflect intensity, who is calling offices, etc. I think the big thing here was not the polls, but the intensity of the public option supporters in Nevada, as they pressed Harry Reid on this issue.

I'm sorry, but ... Huh? Bacon said (last week) he and the rest of the media overstated the strength of opposition to the public option. Asked to explain how and why that happened, he says he's skeptical of polling, that he's "still convinced the most energy around that issue is conservatives opposed it," then says "the big thing here was ... The intensity of the public option supporters in Nevada." Not only is that seemingly random and contradictory, it doesn't have anything to do with the question.

More Bacon:

The candidates Democrats recruited in 2006 and 2008 are pro-life and pro-gun

Uh-huh:

Following the November 7 [2006] midterm elections, Media Matters for America examined the policy positions of those Democratic House candidates who, as of the morning of November 8, had defeated Republican incumbents or been elected to open seats previously held by Republicans.

...

Only five of the 27 candidates describe themselves as "pro-life."

And finally:

Connecticut, born and bred: How come none of you ace political reporters are asking Joe Lieberman a very simple and obvious question - why is he against the public option when polls clearly show that more than 60 percent of Connecticut residents support it? Aren't elected officials supposed to represent the beliefs of their constituents? We ain't Texas - start listening to us Joe, or in 3 years I guarantee that you'll be out of office.

Perry Bacon Jr.: Well, Connecticut, lots of poeple [sic] there didn't like the Iraq War, and Lieberman still has his seat. I take him at his word he thinks the public option is bad public policy.

Why would you do that? Lieberman's stated reasons for opposing the public option appear to be bunk. Why would a reporter think it's appropriate to take "at his word" a politician whose words seem to be at odds with reality?

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Perry Bacon Jr.
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