We are the 99%

May 9, 2012

Yea, Both Sides Are At Fault. Right.

One of the great false media narratives about our course political discourse runs something like this - since both sides are hostile to the other, both sides are equally hostile to each other - journalistic "balance" is achieved by pointing out hostilities on both sides.  Media bias is then avoided since both sides are at fault.

But what if it isn't true?  What if both sides aren't equally at fault?

Thomas Mann and Norman Orenstein recently took issue with this narrative:
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
That being said, what sort of "Democrat balance" to this story could there be?
A monthly newsletter published by the Greene County Republican Committee in Virginia is raising eyebrows for including a column in its March edition that calls for an "armed revolution" if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term in November.
Here's the text:
We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.

An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.

An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.

In the coming days and weeks ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.

If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.

The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
Or this one?
Police are assigning extra security to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) after a Tea Party activist declared at a rally last week, “We have to kill the Claire Bear ladies and gentlemen.” The rally was hosted by the group Tea Party Express, which is endorsing McCaskill challenger Sarah Steelman (R), who was in attendance at the rally.
Back to Mann and Orenstein:
Democrats are hardly blameless, and they have their own extreme wing and their own predilection for hardball politics. But these tendencies do not routinely veer outside the normal bounds of robust politics. If anything, under the presidencies of Clinton and Obama, the Democrats have become more of a status-quo party. They are centrist protectors of government, reluctantly willing to revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits to maintain its central commitments in the face of fiscal pressures.

No doubt, Democrats were not exactly warm and fuzzy toward George W. Bush during his presidency. But recall that they worked hand in glove with the Republican president on the No Child Left Behind Act, provided crucial votes in the Senate for his tax cuts, joined with Republicans for all the steps taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and supplied the key votes for the Bush administration’s financial bailout at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. The difference is striking.
Yea.  The Democratic Party is the party of political compromise (and sometimes annoyingly so) and the Republican Party is the party of obstruction and (as evidence by our friends in Virginia and Missouri) armed revolution if it doesn't get its way.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Just to be fair, the Allen West remark referenced so prominently probably started out as a bad joke. As I understand it, the full context was that West said he knew of "78 to 81" who were communists because they are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I can understand the distinction between saying to someone "you are a communist" and "you call yourself a progressive, that practically like being a communist".

Otherwise I pretty much agree with your last paragraph. There are a fair number of times that Bill Maher, for example, makes me cringe. His unreserved endorsement of Obama's policy of assassinating terrorists even if they are American citizens without due process is not real consistent with what we use to think of as American values.