Why do Republicans never seem to come out ahead politically when they go toe-to-toe with the Democrats? Part of the reason, at least, is that the press, to a greater extent than at any time in our history, is monolithically Democrat. The most important news organ is the Associated Press, whose articles appear in hundreds, or possibly thousands, of newspapers around the country. The AP pretends to be a neutral, just-the-facts information source, but it is nothing of the kind. While there are some good reporters at the AP, the overwhelming majority function, as to issues that are politically controversial, as advocates for the Democratic Party.
Tomorrow, the AP will cover the current spending standoff in an article that will appear across the country, likely in whatever newspaper you read. The AP’s piece, by Andrew Taylor, begins:
With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president’s health care law.
There you have it! Our government is “teetering,” but those dastardly Republicans have “vowed” to use an “otherwise routine” spending bill to “try to attack” Obamacare. It’s all their fault! Nowhere do the Democrats “vow,” nowhere do they violate “routine,” nowhere do they “attack” anything. So whatever is going on here, it evidently is the doing of Republicans.
Since the last government shutdown 17 years ago, temporary funding bills known as continuing resolutions have been noncontroversial, with neither party willing to chance a shutdown to achieve legislative goals it couldn’t otherwise win. But with health insurance exchanges set to open on Tuesday, tea-party Republicans are willing to take the risk in their drive to kill the health care law.
This is revisionist history; the truth is that “shutdowns” have been common over the years, usually precipitated by Congressional Democrats, and there have been several recent occasions when shutdowns have appeared imminent. But now, the AP tells us, it is “tea-party Republicans” who are “willing to take the risk.” What about Harry Reid and the Democrats? Are they “willing to take the risk”? Apparently they have nothing to do with it.
And what is the significance of the AP’s reference to “tea party Republicans”? The House passed its continuing resolution by 231-192, with 229 out of 231 Republicans voting in favor. (Two Democrats also voted for the House CR.) So are all Republicans “tea party Republicans”? Apparently so, yet the AP is obviously trying to make some kind of point with that description.
The AP now goes to a Democrat to explain what is happening:
“You’re going to shut down the government if you can’t prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Sure, that’s the idea. Republicans just want to stop people from getting health care. This is unbelievably stupid, but the AP presents it without comment.
The AP predicts that cooler heads will prevail, and Republicans will back down:
On the other hand, Democrats said the GOP’s bravado may fade as the deadline to avert a shutdown nears.
How about the Democrats’ bravado? Any chance that Harry Reid’s my-way-or-the-highway bravado might “fade as the deadline” nears? Of course not! The Democrats are just being reasonable.
A leading Senate GOP moderate called on her fellow Republicans to back down.
“I disagree with the strategy of linking Obamacare with the continuing functioning of government — a strategy that cannot possibly work,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
The AP doesn’t quote any Democrat calling on Harry Reid to back down. It would have been interesting to hear from one of the Democrats who voted with Republicans on the House’s CR.
The Senate was not scheduled to meet until midafternoon Monday, 10 hours before a shutdown would begin, and even some Republicans said privately they feared that Reid held the advantage in the fast-approaching end game.
Yes, because the Associated Press and other news organizations have stacked the deck in the Democrats’ favor. This is how the AP wraps up its story:
Tea party lawmakers in the House — egged on by Cruz —
There are those “tea party” lawmakers again, i.e., substantially all the Republicans, plus a couple of Democrats. The AP is trying to suggest something, but what? And how about the lawmakers being “egged on” by Ted Cruz? Is this a sly reference to Green Eggs and Ham? I think so. The AP reporter and his liberal friends will yuk it up over that one.
…forced GOP leaders to abandon an earlier plan to deliver a “clean” stopgap spending bill to the Senate and move the fight to another must-do measure looming in mid-October: a bill to increase the government’s borrowing cap to avert a market-rattling, first-ever default on U.S. obligations.
So the “tea party lawmakers” are someone other than “GOP leaders.” Moreover, those “GOP leaders” had a perfectly reasonable plan to approve a “clean” spending bill, until they were “forced” to do something crazy by the “tea party lawmakers.” The AP reports this not as speculation, or as a partisan interpretation by hostile Democrats, but as plain fact. A naive person reading the AP’s account would come away understanding that the Democrats’ position is perfectly normal, while Republicans are a bunch of crazies.
Why do Republicans come out on the short end whenever they stand up to the Democrats? The Associated Press is a big part of the explanation.