Michael Grunwald: GOP’s Up-is-Downism Puts News Reporters in an Awkward Position

Great post by Time’s Michael Grunwald (the whole thing is worth reading):

It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan. It’s even more amazing to see them pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more than three weeks old.

…The next fight is likely to involve the $200 billion worth of stimulus that Obama included in his recycled fiscal cliff plan that somehow didn’t exist before Election Day. I’ve taken a rather keen interest in the topic of stimulus, so I’ll be interested to see how this is covered. Keynesian stimulus used to be uncontroversial in Washington; every 2008 presidential candidate had a stimulus plan, and Mitt Romney’s was the largest. But in early 2009, when Obama began pushing his $787 billion stimulus plan, the GOP began describing stimulus as an assault on free enterprise—even though House Republicans (including Paul Ryan) voted for a $715 billion stimulus alternative that was virtually indistinguishable from Obama’s socialist version. The current Republican position seems to be that the fiscal cliff’s instant austerity would destroy the economy, which is odd after four years of Republican clamoring for austerity, and that the cliff’s military spending cuts in particular would kill jobs, which is even odder after four years of Republican insistence that government spending can’t create jobs.

…Whatever. I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

  1. #1 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 1, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    The President’s Budget says Medicare spending needs to be cut.
    Ezekiel Emmanuel says Medicare spending needs to be cut.
    Anyone who has studies US healthcare says Medicare needs to be cut.
    This is not some Republican fetish. It is arithmetic. If we don’t spend less then we will have no country.

    Read the President’s Budget.

  2. #2 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 1, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    It is clear from reading this “article” that Mr. Grunwald has no idea what “Keynesianism” means. He also seem to be completely unfamiliar with US economic history. To use his phrase, this is total “irresponsible reporting”. There should be some level of expectation that a “reporter” should have some passing familiarity with the subject on which he reports. This seems not to be the case with TIME. Mr. Grunwald uses terms he doesn’t understand and makes completely false statements of history.

  3. #3 by cav - FAT checker on December 1, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    Two comments in and already FUBAR.

    I give.

  4. #4 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 1, 2012 - 6:12 pm

    History and expertise too tough to handle?

  5. #5 by Richard Warnick on December 1, 2012 - 6:29 pm

    It’s true, both major political parties want to cut Medicare, one of the most popular government programs ever, so they don’t have to raise taxes on the rich and/or do something to lower health-care costs (e.g. single-payer). One small problem: how can they sell it to the voters so we don’t start holding mass rallies on Pennsylvania Avenue?

  6. #6 by cav - FAT checker on December 1, 2012 - 7:02 pm

    What’s hard to handle is your and nearly everyone else’s disregard of the fact that congressional republicans sank so much when they refused to allow such programs to demand bidding power in the acquisition of drugs. And that’s just one. They’re so hell bent on bad-rapping Socialismism, they won’t even allow it’s correct spelling.

    And you can stick your ‘History’ and ‘expertise’ where the sun don’t shine.

  7. #7 by Larry Bergan on December 1, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    Political media on the right resembles a bad acid trip, but much weirder. Michael nails it.

  8. #8 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 1, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    “congressional republicans sank so much when they refused to allow such programs to demand bidding power in the acquisition of drugs.”
    The Dems in control of Congress did not change that in Obamacare. It lives in despite Obamacare and Democratic reform. Can you handle that fact?

  9. #9 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 1, 2012 - 9:10 pm

    Can you handle this fact:
    http://www.salon.com/2009/08/10/pharma/

  10. #10 by cav - FAT checker on December 1, 2012 - 11:17 pm

    Humbug! I just get grumpier as I go along. Thanks a lot! Yer getting coal.

  11. #11 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 9:33 am

    Maybe you could bring your astuteness, your expertise to bear on why hedge fund speculation and private equity leveraged buyouts across the entire healthcare sector, are never mentioned.

    We now know corporate conglomerates are leveraging their power against politcs and economics. Perhaps a clearer view of the whole of it might reveal a way to counter it. It’s quite clear senators and congress folks are part of that problem.
    what do you suggest?

  12. #12 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 9:37 am

    Another round of “Shame on you” by the Republicans. This time by Orrin.

    “What [Obama] proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the American people—a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on, billions of dollars in new stimulus spending and an unlimited, unchecked authority to borrow from the Chinese,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in Saturday’s weekly GOP address.

    “Maybe I missed it but I don’t recall him asking for any of that during the presidential campaign. These ideas are so radical that they have already been rejected on a bipartisan basis by Congress.”

    Orrin, how much does the tax increase compare with letting the Bush tax cuts expire?

  13. #13 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 9:43 am

    We shouldn’t let ourselves short circuit our own thought processes by assuming that someone else is more intelligent or more knowledgeable just because they say so, or are in a position of authority. Dog know how they got there.

  14. #14 by Larry Bergan on December 2, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Orrin was/is installed.

    Can’t prove a thing. :(

  15. #15 by Larry Bergan on December 2, 2012 - 11:42 am

    Try to get Orrin to talk against Cheney’s war profiteering.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    Orrin will NEVER talk to un-friendly media. Doesn’t have to.

  16. #16 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 2, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    “what do you suggest?”
    Don’t vote for people who want more power in their hands. More government and more reliance on government means those in government have more power and less for you. So voting for more government is voting against you.

  17. #17 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    The Repub’s version of what FDR said. Sterling Ronald said it publicly.

  18. #18 by The only here qualified on this topic on December 2, 2012 - 2:18 pm

    Ezra Klein:

    “At the end of the day, there is one federal government. It raises a certain amount of money, engages in a certain amount of spending, and a dollar it uses for one purpose is a dollar that it cannot use for another purpose….. They (SS and Medicare) are not separate in any serious way.”

  19. #19 by Larry Bergan on December 2, 2012 - 3:49 pm

    cav:

    Thanks for that video, even if if turns the world downside-up.

    After all; you don’t want grandma breaking in to your house to steal your stereo.

  20. #20 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 5:54 pm

    I can just wwatch it over and over again. And to think Reagan is so admired by our present chief of state.

  21. #21 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    I can just watch it over and over again. And to think Reagan is so admired by our present President.

  22. #23 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 9:08 pm

    If one time one of your ilk addressed the issue of slavery’s input into the Social Security Trust Fund vis a vis the sacrifices made by slaves and the other economically and politically dis-empowered, in building this ‘great’ nation – how, despite their not inputting into it, as citizens, they now, no less than any middle class white, need that ‘safety net’. How, war profiteers, and CEOs who have really done nothing but essentially set-up very destructive ways of making more and more, while contributing only grudgingly, don’t seem to be able to bend their skills to anything but enhancing their own position.

    Yea, let’s hear from ERIC SCHURENBERG, of The Fiscal Times. He who has all the imagination. All the compassion. All the money.

  23. #24 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 2, 2012 - 9:18 pm

    There is no trust fund. It doesn’t exist.

    What does slavery have to do with Social Security?

    What does any of your post have to do with anything?

    You sound like Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now.

  24. #25 by cav - FAT checker on December 2, 2012 - 9:19 pm

    Go fuck yourself.

  25. #26 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 3, 2012 - 7:25 am

    Writes notes in file about expressing anger and hostility.

  26. #27 by cav - FAT checker on December 3, 2012 - 7:58 am

    To: Delusions of grandeur

    With a rusty chain-saw. Sideways

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/03

  27. #28 by cav - FAT checker on December 3, 2012 - 8:18 am

    Battle of the media meme proponents: (in response to my psyco-analyst’s comment #9) – of course FYYFF.

    “He would also cut spending by about $400 billion, through such measures as giving Medicare the ability to bargain for lower drug prices.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/03-3

  28. #29 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 3, 2012 - 8:24 am

    I’d be happy if they cut drug prices. I hope he does it. Why are we looking at Obama’s 5th year in office to just propose it and only as part of some other negotiation? Why not just get it done since it is the right thing to do? Why not get it done 4 years ago? Why not part of Obamacare? When is he going to repeal the tax on pacemakers and insulin pumps?

  29. #30 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 3, 2012 - 8:36 am

    Cav,
    Your link in #27 is unconvincing. It is an emotional rant which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It focuses on the US’s wealth gap relative to other countries and pins a lot of the blame on the tax code and in particular the capital gains treatment.

    Under this logic, those other countries which have a lower wealth gap must have high capital gains tax rates, right?

    Well, this turns out not to be true.

    Under this logic, the US must have a less progressive tax code than other countries.

    Well, this turns out not to be true.

    So this piece is a conclusion in search of evidence. The bad part is that the evidence doesn’t support the conclusion, but the author doesn’t let that get in his way. I mean, he FEELS it so it must be so.

    Paul Buchheit has numerous publications in Cognitive Science, with an emphasis on language development. He has founded several websites that promote awareness of critical global issues among Chicago colleges and high schools. His PhD in Computer Science.

    I don’t see any experience, background or expertise in tax policy, economics or pretty much anything else other than computer science and language development.

  30. #31 by cav on December 3, 2012 - 9:14 am

    And convincing your silly, self-righteous eminence is a worthwhile goal just why? Because?

  31. #32 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 3, 2012 - 10:21 am

    You tell me.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: