Sunday, January 06, 2013

Upside-Down Government by Losers

Sunday morning TV is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope: Diminutive figures jockey for attention while bloviating about big issues.

Mitch McConnell, with his thinned-out Senate minority, trumpets that raising taxes “is finished. Over. Completed. That’s behind us.”

After demolishing Susan Rice, John McCain’s Amigo Lindsey Graham zeroes in on Chuck Hagel’s possible nomination as Secretary of Defense, branding it an “in your face selection.”

Despite public outcry for gun control after Newtown, GOP lawmakers show up to defend NRA crazy talk about armed schools.

Call it Government by Losers, the relentless effort of a minority beaten at the ballot box to dictate the national agenda to a decisively reelected President with continuing wall-to-wall intransigence on everything.

Parsing this kind of Tea Party persistence would be redundant, but both the President and the media must reassess their roles in keeping alive such false equivalence in debating the American future.

As the second term starts, Barack Obama has to wrestle with his “reasonable” nature in the face of irrationality that hobbled his first four years and find ways to move ahead unilaterally when possible or to rally voters full-throatedly when necessary (as he learned after the first Romney debate).

The media with its mandate of objectivity and fairness has even harder choices. Aside from the blatant one-sidedness of Fox and MSNBC, is it enough to seek false balance with mindless GOP talking points to offset intelligent analysis?

At what point does equal treatment of flat-earth proponents become pandering to them?

It’s of small comfort to see Simpson and Bowles in cameo appearances while partisan hacks dominate TV screens. If journalists are going to be branded a liberal media elite no matter what they do, isn’t it time that some start earning that mindless contempt by recognizing their own role in skewing public opinion to the advantage of their attackers?

If crazy keeps getting equal time, we are all headed in that direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say that in all the years I've been reading Connecting.the.Dots that I have never disagreed with anything you wrote. That is weird. I even disagree with my wife sometimes and in the 49 plus years we've been married I can honestly say she almost always disagrees with me. (:-)