Last week, MSNBC political reporter Chuck Todd made some utterances about how it’s not his job to critique falsehoods about Obamacare, but, instead, it’s the president’s job to criticize Republicans–at which point, Todd will dutifully regurgitate the administration talking points. Todd was rightly criticized as being a stenographer (which is an insult to stenographers; they care about their jobs and have considerable self-discipline). And that he-said/she-said reporting is harmful, whether it be food stamps, the fetal pain nontroversy, or climate change (of course, there’s the old standby of creationism).
If we had a political press corps that took their jobs half as seriously as sports reporters, that saw their mission, in part, to accurately inform readers and viewers about the world, then assailing Todd would be enough. Shaming works with well-adjusted adults.
But that is not the political press corps we have. Instead, we have a press corps that is composed of babbling sycophants and emotionally-stunted man- (and woman)-children who are getting their revenge for being picked on in high school. These emotionally-stunted idiots need to be led around by the nose and will only respond to conflict (as opposed to suffering). So the Republicans do need to be called on their hypocrisy about Obamacare (as flawed and incomplete as it is).
Hypocrisy? Yes, hypocrisy (boldface mine):
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) helped sponsor Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) bill to defund healthcare reform. While Moran has attacked the law and called it a failure, he proudly appeared at a publicity event to promote the groundbreaking of a $4.7 million expansion of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas last August. At the event, where Moran held a ceremonial shovel, the senator heaped praise the community center for helping provide comprehensive care, noting “even the most conservative politician…ought to be in favor of community health centers.” Though he did not acknowledge the source of the construction money, the $4.7 million came completely from Affordable Care Act discretionary spending.
(There’s more at the link).
What Obama should have done is shown up unannounced at the groundbreaking ceremony and asked why he opposed the legislation that provided this health center. If that’s too aggressive for Obama, he should have held a press conference the next day at the site, and made it clear that without the ACA (‘Obamacare’), many people in Senator Moran’s state would not have access to affordable medical care. And you do this every time a Republican has one of these events. Either they stop taking credit or they stop playing games*. Besides, the babbling halfwits love conflict, and it’s an easy story, even for them, to grasp.
One of the great failures of governance of our time has been the inability and unwillingness of the political press corps to hold conservatives accountable, allowing them, in this case, to bash Obamacare all the while gaining political benefits from it. Yes, a responsible press corps would hold them accountable, but you work with the press corps you have, not the press corps you wish you had (to use a phrase).
Republicans try to have it both ways on many issues. Set up a situation where even the Chuck Todds can’t ignore the hypocrisy.
*If they say they like community healthcare centers, just not the ACA, then rush some legislation to the floor (might even want to have it in your pocket) and force them to take a vote on that.