All’s fair in love and class warfare, so it really wasn’t much of a surprise when Republicans reacted to President Obama’s criticism of Representative Paul Ryan’s Medicare-killing, rich-enriching budget plan last week with cries of “insult” and “partisanship.” (See Jon Stewart on the GOP’s fainting-couch fragilities here.)
But do you, as I do, still expect—like a dim-witted whack-a-mole—that the non-Fox mainstream media will refrain from automatically repeating right-wing talking points? Well, whack!—’cause the MSM is just about certain that the core of this story is what Obama is doing to the handsome young Ryan, and not what corporate lobbyists, Tea Party stalwarts, most GOPs, some Dems, Ryan and maybe Obama himself (depending on how much he caves) are about to do to the poor and middle class.
That was on Thursday. On Friday, the Morning Joe crew devoted another sixteen-minute segment to the issue of Republican hurt feelings.
“To say that they’re not American in their proposal, I think, crosses a line,” said the sour-faced Mark Halperin. Scarborough again worried that if a Republican president had said the same thing with Nancy Pelosi sitting in the front row, “not only would the leftwing blogosphere go crazy, the news networks would go crazy, the New York Times would go crazy, the Washington Post would go crazy.”
Of course, the closest Obama came to calling anything “un-American” was when he said the Republican “vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.” That’s not name-calling; that’s an accurate assessment and, from Obama at least, long overdue.
As for the news media going “crazy,” well, they haven’t exactly been driving themselves crazy trying to defend Obama against ridiculous charges that he wasn’t even born in America. (CNN recently ran a segment that let “you decide” whether Trump’s birther rants are valid.) Any more than they went crazy defending Democrats nine years ago on the charge of being un-American if they so much as thought about opposing two GOP-led foreign wars, at least one of which was based on a big fat lie.
On Morning Joe, though, Mika Brzezinski put her finger on it, asking, “Are the Republicans a bunch of little babies in diapers?” Halperin, perhaps fearing suddenly being thought very, very young, eventually offered: “Let me say one thing positive thing about the president…. This is not just politics. He believes it’s totally outrageous to balance the budget on the backs of the middle-class and [he added, after Mika interjected the word] the poor, while giving tax cuts, more tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.”
Well, duh, Mika more or less replied. “I believe it’s OK to say that if you believe it.” (Let’s give Mika some credit. All too often she makes cutesy faces and lets Joe walk all over her, but she’s been standing taller lately, recently telling the boys, who were chuckling over what a birther boob that Donald Trump had become, “I think this promotes hate, and this brings us back, and I thought we had gotten past this.”)
Meanwhile, on the ostensibly strenuously nonpartisan CNN, straight news “Talk Back” host Carol Costello broached the same Obama vs. Ryan story but, again, only after posing it in right-wing language. “Is class warfare the right political fight?” Costello asked, inviting viewers to answer on Facebook.
Actually, almost everyone who replied on Facebook was decades ahead of her, as they overwhelmingly saw this as a case of Republican corporate class warfare waged on the rest of us. As one commenter put it, “The question is fundamentally flawed because it already adjudges pejoratively the statements and plan of the president as class warfare.”
When will the Dems stop beating their death panels?