Or so says the BBC’s US President editor (the title “North America editor” bears no resemblance to the job he actually does: at best, his job title should be something like “political editor”, which he was for Newsnight a few years ago) when giving you White House propaganda disguised as analysis.
You can already guess where this is going, no?
The Republicans’ rather huffy letter to US President Barack Obama made me think of a glorious moment in Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln.
The letter, signed by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, among others, says there has been a “status quo” election “in which both you and the Republican majority in the House were re-elected”.
They are claiming that this means the American people expect both the victors of the recent election to “come together on a fair middle ground”.
What a curious concept, eh? The House of Representatives and representational voting actually mean something? LOL.
It is reasonable to assume the White House see things rather more like Mrs Lincoln.
Her moment occurs at a White House reception when the president’s wife holds up a long reception line to give Thaddeus Stephens, a Republican leader in the House of Representatives, an almighty ear-bashing.
I cannot remember the exact words, but the gist of it is: “My husband is loved by the people, known to the people, he’s just been re-elected, and you are nobody – now just back off.”
Yes, just like our defenders of the indefensible implied after the election, l’état, c’est Lui. Votes for anyone but the President are worthless, and anyone who voted for their Representative to Congress should simply ignore the meaning of the term “representative”. In other words, screw you if you did not vote for Him and still think you voted for anything that matters. This is no longer a Constitutional Republic but is now a kingdom. I make no comment on how Mardell’s behavior resembles that of a wife defending her husband.
Mr Obama is betting that most Americans will feel the re-election of the president carries more moral weight than the re-election of the House.
Most, or just the small majority He won? Semantics mavens can parse this to the end of time, but the fact remains that the President won with less votes than in 2008.
He has been on Twitter repeating his demand for tax rises for the rich, opposition to deep cuts in education budgets, and so on.
Everything he has done has been about political positioning, not serious negotiating.
I’m glad Mardell has admitted this. The question is, why doesn’t He have to negotiate? Bill Clinton had to reach across the aisle after winning his second term. Why is this President exempt? What happened to all that desire for bi-partisanship and working together he’s been telling us for the last two years that the country really wants? I know, I know: we should work together so He gets His way. That’s why Mardell views the first two years of The Obamessiah Administration with its Democrat super-majority where they rammed legislation through without a single Republican vote as “a golden age”.
That has further outraged the prickly Republicans, who write of their shock that when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner went to see them he proposed a plan that was in their view “neither balanced nor realistic”.
“Huffy”. “Prickly”. The Republicans earn Mardell’s scorn, but the equally stubborn and angry President doesn’t get labeled. Even though Mardell knows exactly what He’s doing, as he will reveal later on.
So, they have countered by backing a plan – already passed by the House – to cut healthcare for the future elderly and food stamps for the poor.
Oh, no! Hurting grannies and the sainted poor! Is that it, though? Is that really all there is to the evil Republicans’ plans? Mardell seems to think that’s a fair summation. Of course, it’s pure spin and not fair at all, but that’s irrelevant to the foreign bureau of the White House press office.
Here’s some reality. By the way, the President’s Plan For Us also cuts $400 billion in Medicare – “healthcare for the future elderly” – over 10 years, and the President’s refusal to address trimming entitlements of any kind – Social Security, “food stamps for the poor”, etc. – is really just kicking the can down the road. Again. The Republicans plan (an earlier incarnation of which Mardell described as “hardline”) is not so far off from proposals from the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was ordered by the President Himself. Which He then blew off because He really had no intention of doing anything other than continue to spend. The Republicans’ plan, on the other hand, intends to cut $600 billion from Medicare, but partly by raising the age at which people enroll. Not exactly how Mardell portrays it. Cutting other entitlements will actually amount to linking it to a metric which will keep costs from rising so much. Once again, the BBC defines a freeze or a lower increase as a “cut”. It’s dishonest, partisan language, but that’s the BBC’s US President editor for you.
There’s a lot more to it than simply cutting support for the poorest and most vulnerable Yet that’s all Mardell sees, all he wants you to know.
And never mind the $700+ billion that ObamaCare is going to take from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for all the new bureaucracy, exchanges, new anti-depression programs, and the like. Forbes has analyzed it as having a 15 -1 cuts to new benefits ratio, which shows just how dishonest Mardell is being here. That’s already a done deal, so we can actually say that the President Himself is going to take $1.1 billion and more away from the poorest and most vulnerable, whereas if Romney had won, thus assuming ObamaCare gets repealed (or watered way down), and the Republicans’ budget more or less gets passed, the damage done to the poorest and most vulnerable would be reduced by two thirds. But never mind all that, as you’re meant to think that only nasty Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable for the ideological reason that the government shouldn’t do anything for anyone (see here and here).
I’m not here to debate which side is right or wrong. I’m illustrating how dishonest and partisan Mardell is being.
They demand a response and serious negotiation. Mr Obama, a more aggressive president than in his first term, is manoeuvring them where he wants them, by getting under their skin.
This is nothing short of an outright lie. In fact, the President Himself said He would not release a plan until the Republicans did first. Which is rather bizarre considering that they passed a budget in the House twice in the last two years, whereas He’s never gotten one out of the gate (the Stimulus spending spree doesn’t count). Now that they’ve done so, it’s the height of dishonesty to claim that they “demand a response”. They’re only asking for what He promised. Mardell is simply presenting a false representation of the facts. It’s also very curious that the man the BBC expects you to trust most on US issues doesn’t see anything odd in the President refusing to offer a budget when we’ve all know for two years what the Republicans want.
He is claiming the public label of the man who wants tax cuts for everybody, forcing them to champion deep spending cuts. This is not yet about doing a deal – it is about defining how a deal is seen, when it is done.
In other words, the President’s true goal is not to fix the economy but to destroy the Republican Party. And Mardell has no criticism to offer, not even the slightest frown in His direction. All his scorn is reserved for his beloved Obamessiah’s enemies.
Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.