It took me a while to figure this one out but I think I have and it's a doozy. If you go back and look at several of President Barack Obama's speeches the last week or so, he's continuously said that he has spent the last 2 years getting beat up for being too liberal and not engaging the Republicans enough, and that the fight between him and the Democrats is "the public option all over again". Of course this is false. He invited the Republican leadership to the White House before he invited the Democratic leadership. He sided with the Republicans on off-shore drilling, lack of a public option and even whether there would be terror trials in civilian court. He's bowed to their every whim almost. I mean, has anyone noticed that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is still open? Certainly it seems like the media has forgotten it.
So why in the world is Barack Obama repeating a GOP talking point that he's not worked with them enough when it's clearly not true? Let me digress a bit.
I spent a good part of my time on Twitter this weekend arguing with people who claim that "government isn't the answer, free market is!". And I ran across a couple of interesting arguments from that side of the spectrum. One is "The free market can do better than the government." and (quoting one Tweep) "I'd rather having a private sector health inspector than a government one" (and yes, I pointed out to him the futility of letting a company contract it's own health inspectors). Then one of my Tweeps said this.
I can't let you or any other angry dem say that Obama's worked more w/ the GOP than his base. I KNOW that's bogus #TopProg
Again, not true (on 2 fronts as I'm not a Democrat) but this person is a reasonable person and knows it's not true. And then one more thing happened this weekend and it all fell into place. Quoting from a Politico article on John Boehner's interview on CBS's 60 Minutes:
In an interview with Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” for broadcast Sunday night on CBS, Boehner said Obama showed him “disrespect” by calling him a hostage-taker.
And it triggered something in my brain and damn if I didn't catch it. The GOP has worked the refs again! The term comes from sports. A coach or an athlete will constantly complain to a referee about his unfairness in hopes of getting more favorable rulings. Supposedly the ref in question would think "Well, I don't want to appear biased so..." get it?
The conservative movement did this to great effect to convince the American public that there is a "liberal media bias" over the last 30 years or so. However, there isn't a liberal bias, in fact almost all studies of the subject find that the news media usually comes from center to right.
And so they've done it again! In fact they've been so successful in making Obama look like a raging liberal that even he's believing it now! Remember that little luncheon that Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eddie Haskell...er, I mean Eric Cantor, had with President Obama a couple weeks ago? And when the meeting ended and both sides were in front of cameras away from each other President Obama said how pleasant it was and how productive it was. In fact, again from Politico:
“This is the beginning of a new relationship with leaders in the House and the Senate,” Gibbs told reporters. “I think this is the beginning of a longer-term conversation. I do not expect that we’ll come out, after an hour or an hour and a half, and have full agreement on this. I think — I hope — there’s agreement on the notion of how important it is to get this done by the end of the year.”
But Eric Cantor sticks to the party line. At 3:19:
While he's quoting Obama he's clearly also re-enforcing the talking point that the GOP wants you to know, that Obama doesn't work with the Republicans in the Congress.
Two of the people I debated on Twitter who said they wanted private health inspectors have bought the GOP line that it's regulation that drove jobs out of the country and not tax breaks for companies that did so.
Here's what the GOP version of "working with Democrats" looks like:
Stop buying the conservative spin people. You're the ref. They are working you.
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