Sunday, March 24, 2013

Annals of false equivalency

Michael Kranish at the Globe brings us a heartwarming story about the knife in Bob Dole's back placed there by Senate Republicans who refused to pass an innocuous international disabilities treaty because of their Tea Party constituents.  Oh wait, it turns out that, in fact, it's equally the Dem's fault!

Years earlier, McConnell had been in that 1989-90 session and often had followed Dole's moderate, bipartisan lead, voting for the ADA.

But McConnell, like his party, had become more conservative over the years, amplified by the creation of the Tea Party movement, and McConnell would famously say that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Democrats, too, became more partisan. Obama pushed through health care legislation without Republican support. Reid inserted himself into the presidential campaign, saying — without supplying any evidence — that GOP nominee Mitt Romney didn’t pay federal taxes for a decade.
The culture of Washington had shifted dramatically. In the Mitchell-Dole years, many members of Congress lived in the nation’s capital much of the year and socialized with colleagues in the other party. By the time of the 2012 session, fund-raising and home-state demands prompted many members to spend far less time in Washington.

Donald Ritchie, the Senate’s official historian, said some senators don’t have time to know their colleagues. “Someone will come into the room and will ask, ‘Who is that?’ Someone from across the aisle. They just don’t have the kind of opportunities they used to have,” Ritchie said. “One of the few times they get to see each other is when they are on the floor voting.”
Um, no.  Obama pushed through health care legislation that was designed in a Republican think tank and enacted by a Republican governor that couldn't find a single Republican vote in the Senate.  And Reid hurt somebody's feefees?

This is about a Republican Party that has gone insane.  All the false equivalency about "both sides are mean," doesn't change that fact.

The first public sign of trouble came shortly after Moran announced he was joining a bipartisan group of supporters. Word spread that the Tea Party wanted to stop treaties that its members viewed as threats to American sovereignty.
Fears of the jackbooted, blue helmeted UN thugs.

The Republican Party is in thrall to loons and the charlatans who lead them, as the story goes on to illustrate, but Kranish checked the box, "Both Sides Do It."

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