This Wall Street Journal article today plays dumb on a rather epic scale regarding the GOP's almost universal refusal to support any initiative coming out of the White House.
The piece, which surveys the political landscape in the wake of Scott Brown's win, actually provides helpful background by noting that during the previous year Democrats have enjoyed larger margins in the U.S. senate than any party since right after Watergate. The Journal notes that, "recent presidents managed to pass sweeping bills with smaller majorities or even when their party was in the minority."
So what gives with Obama, the Journal article seems to ask. And that's where the playing dumb always begins. Because the Beltway press just refuses to report and comment candidly on what's been unfolding for the last 13 months.
From the Journal [emphasis added]:
But straight party-line votes are a relatively recent phenomenon in the Senate, historians say; interparty coalitions were long the norm.
In the 1960s, Democrats held sizeable super-majorities, culminating in 64 seats in 1968. But that included a deeply conservative faction of Southern Democrats who often voted with conservative Republicans, and bills often passed with bipartisan support and opposition.
Now, however, the majority party has to contend with a routine threat of a filibuster from the minority. "It's a relatively new story that it has become acceptable to filibuster everything in sight," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal Washington think tank.
Here's the word the Journal, like most Beltway outlets, steadfastly refuses to use when describing today's party line votes of no from the GOP: "unprecedented," which, of course, is the accurate term. Because we've simply never seen, in modern American history, a minority party that has decided to proudly oppose everything from the White House.
In the past, if a party had tried that, especially after a new president won an electoral landslide victory in November the way Obama did in 2008, that strategy would have been portrayed in the press as a radical form of obstructionism, and as being out of touch with mainstream politics. But today, the press pretends it's no big deal, like it's normal, and actually blames the White House, as reporters collectively scratch their heads trying to figure out why Obama can't secure GOP votes. Because gee, GOP leaders say they want to work with Democrats, so why won't Dems make it work?
The press plays dumb about the unprecedented obstructionism and then voilà! it's deemed "acceptable to filibuster everything in sight."
in 2009, the GOP adopted a risky and radical political strategy, but the press declined to describe it as either, which has only emboldened the GOP. (i.e. There's no political downside.) Instead, the press continues to pretend that what uber-partisan Republicans are doing it's normal, and then pins the blame on Obama for having failed to build a bipartisan coalition.
It's kind of like a trap, no?
It' seems like forever.
A year ago President George W. Bush left the White House. Since that time the unemployment has nearly doubled, the national deficit has tripled, government has grown in leaps and bounds, and the current president has blamed his predecessor for every problem he has encountered.
Wow, that is bad: unemployment doubled last year. No wonder voters are so angry!
Fact: When Bush left office, unemployment stood at 7.6 percent.
Fact: Unemployment today is not 15.2 percent, which means it hasn't "doubled." And it hasn't even "nearly doubled."
Fact: Hoft will never, ever correct his glaring error.
From the January 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
From Jim Hoft's January 21 Gateway Pundit post:
It seems like forever.
A year ago President George W. Bush left the White House. Since that time the unemployment has nearly doubled, the national deficit has tripled, government has grown in leaps and bounds, and the current president has blamed his predecessor for every problem he has encountered. President Obama even blamed George Bush for the Coakley loss yesterday in Massachusetts.
Don't expect to read anything this honest in the US papers...
George W. Bush liberated 60,000,000 Muslims from tyranny- More than any leader since World War II.
The Telegraph gives an honest review of the Bush years.
Jules Crittenden adds that it is also with tremendous grace that George Bush has accepted his designated role as villain, fall guy, punching bag.
Today again we thank President George W. Bush.
We learn from the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney that former Washington Times managing editor for digital Jeffrey Birnbaum is joining a Washington lobbying firm, BGR Group (known as Barbour, Griffith & Rogers), to head its PR division. Birnbaum -- who left his job in the recent WashTimes implosion -- will continue to write a column for the Times, as well as appear on Fox News as a contributor.
Given that, as Carney noted, BGR Group has numerous high-profile clients such as foreign governments, defense contractors, and pharmaceutical companies, this looks to us like a conflict of interest waiting to happen. Indeed, we've long documented TV talking heads and other conservatives not disclosing their financial interests in the causes they're speaking about.
The onus here is on both ends -- Birnbaum to disclose any conflicts of interest, and The Washington Times and Fox News to make sure he does.
(P.S. Given that Birnbaum left The Washington Post in August 2008 to work for the Times, it's absurd for Carney's headline to read, "Who else at the Washington Post is auditioning for a K Street job?" Just another example of the Examiner's right-wing bias, it appears.)
From The Fox Nation:
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his January 20 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From the Fox Nation, accessed on January 20:
Discredited Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart rallied his Big Journalism, Big Government and even Big Hollywood troops today to mark the one-year anniversary of Obama's inauguration by publishing not one, but eight separate paeans to former President George W. Bush.
Remember how great things were a year ago this time? Well, Breitbart's crew does.
The head honcho himself proclaims: "After the MSM's relentless assault, the President still stands proud." (Bear in mind, he's not talking about the current president, who is still standing proud after Breitbart's lame campaigns against him.) Breitbart writes:
[T]he simple fact was that media deliberately and malevolently sustained a false caricature of Bush in its pages and on its broadcasts in order to bog down the leader of the free world when he needed all the help he could get, and a time when the country was in great danger.
Again, he's not talking about now, or his own attacks on Obama.
The most absurd screed goes to J.S. Shapiro, who writes that "America betrayed President Bush." You see, America owes George W. Bush.
Here's the Twitter-ized version of the rest of the posts:
Bush was a fearless leader in perilous time who was hamstrung by attacks from Left and media. And Obama is now following the Bush doctrine.
Oh, and somehow "class died" the day Bush left office because he had been hated for eight years because he is "openly Pro-Life." (Gary Graham wins the award for the most incomprehensible ode.)