Why do the Dems get a pass on the “shutdown?”


Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, October 18, 2013.

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With respect to the just concluded government “shutdown” and the battle over raising the debt ceiling I will concede that in the final analysis, our own junior senator Ted Cruz, and by extension the Republicans in Congress, probably misplayed their hand. But I will only concede that point if critics of the GOP will concede that tactics notwithstanding, there were principled arguments being advanced.

Call Cruz’s 21-hour talk-a-thon in the Senate grandstanding and playing to the base if you want. It was undoubtedly both of those things. Did Senator Cruz harm the GOP “brand?” All available evidence suggests that he did. The mainstream media is awash in stories to that specific point.

But in the media’s (enthusiastic) enumeration of the foibles of the Republicans, where is the equally valid criticism that the Democrats have coming? And particularly, why so much examination of the politics with no concurrent examination of the policy?

There is much speculation and discussion in the media as to how the past two weeks have damaged GOP chances of regaining control of the Senate and retaining control of the House.

But what about where we stand as a nation? What about Obamacare? What about the $17 trillion debt? What about structural deficits near $1 trillion annually? What about the entitlement state? What about the fact that the Congress has not produced a budget in over three years? What about the Federal Reserve conjuring $85 billion every month out of thin air under the euphemism of “quantitative easing,” which is simply an uptown way of saying ‘printing money?’

These are all serious issues about which those who voted the GOP into the majority in the House are deeply concerned and about which Democrats are, by all appearances, inexplicably sanguine.

If the occasion of congressional authorization of spending and borrowing isn’t the proper time to discuss and debate these matters, when is the proper time?

If journalism were functioning in America, the reporting would go beyond the ‘gotcha’ politics of the moment and would drill down into the actual substance of what separates the parties. (Hint: it’s not GOP racial animus toward the president.)

Obamacare is one example. It is day-by-day revealing itself to be even worse than Republicans warned that it would be. Trying to keep it from becoming irretrievably entrenched is a principled effort from the perspective of Republicans irrespective of the political optics – particularly when those very optics are distorted by a derelict media.

Entitlements constitute another example. In 1965, the U.S. poverty rate stood at 16 percent. Forty eight years later, despite trillions of dollars spent on programs born or expanded under Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty,” – and in the now ominous presence of a $17 trillion national debt – America’s poverty rate stands today at 16 percent.

Not only is it fair to question the wisdom of spending borrowed money on programs that produce exactly no result in a half a century of trying, to not do so would be an unforgivable abdication.

The most appropriate time to pose such questions is when you are being asked to authorize even more borrowing. For anyone to suggest otherwise – as the Democrats emphatically have done – is intellectually dishonest.

At the end of this most recent debacle, the Republicans are taking their licks but the Democrats are getting a pass.

The country, and even the Democratic Party, would be the better for it if someone in the mainstream media would ask the question, “What would lead the Republicans to dig in so hard as to cause themselves pain?”

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. C M Solomon says:

    It is a real shame when Statesmen like Cruz and his supporters, who are willing to defend the Rights of the People to be “free” from the Washington Leviathan, are condemned and smothered by the Establishment Republicans, the surrender caucus whose loyalty to the Constitution and the American people is without substance or long term effect. That is why the Cruz message didn’t penetrate the Fortress of Mainstream Washington: Media, Press, Democrat and Republican Parties, Crony Capitalists, Polls by Propagandists, and Political Consultants.

    The Washington Mainstream is a closed society that is a bureaucratic perpetual motion machine that HATES any opposition that doesn’t bow to their Excellency. The measure of the Cruz effectiveness in the country at large is the degree of HATRED from the self appointed Mainstream judges that targeted him. Cruz gets an A+ from me anytime he gets an F- from the incestuous Mainstream poltroons that rule Washington. Much to our benefit, the Cruz effort exposed the Conservatives In Name Only (CINO) whose façade was melted away by the white hot heat of true loyalty to the Constitution and limited government that we demand. The Washington Mainstream Fortress and its members were completely exposed.

    This is why I weep anytime well-meaning Conservatives fall for the debauchery of the Mainstream megaphone of lies and distortions such as happened the last few weeks. I don’t think the American people bought the snake oil. It was way too hysterical. If there was brand damage to the GOP is was due to their self-inflicted incoherence and lack of conviction to defend the freedoms of us who toil outside the Mainstream Fortress.

  2. C M Solomon says:

    This is my answer to the question, directly. Why do the Dems get a pass on the “shutdown?”

    Answer: The TRUTH by loud proclamation by the so called-opposition (the RINO Washington big government worshiping Republicans) is weak to non-existent. They would rather lick the rear-ends of the Washington elite and maintain their position at the cocktail parties than lick their wounds from combat with the Socialist Democrat propaganda machine. The only bruise the Republicans suffer is on their toe from kicking the can down the road, again. Furthermore, the “wonnaby in charge Republicans” see their road to success in the fawning praise from their mainstream buddies in the media and from the moderate Democrats willing to pass them a few crumbs of credit for being “reasonable”.

    The plunge into national bankruptcy and health care dispensed by a bureaucracy and by the IRS continues unabated.

  3. Shared Prosperity says:

    Mr. Gleiser,

    The reason “the Democrats are getting a pass” (in your opinion) is answered in your observation: “If journalism were functioning in America, the reporting would go beyond the ‘gotcha’ politics of the moment, etc.” I disagree; journalism is, in fact, functioning properly.

    Those journalists who fervently believe in a fairness oriented society where equality can be more equitably achieved by setting up a system of Shared Prosperity enforced by government regulations are simply using their “freedom of the press” to persuade the American people of their convictions. What is wrong with that?

    Journalism is an effective tool to educate Americans that we are now, and have been for decades, a “collective society” in which prosperity must be shared to be sustained. Everything including tax law, environmental law, and now, the new health care law is a testimony of our society that has supported a view different from yours.

    It is not the obligation of journalists to be “fair and objective” using your standards or opinions. If a contrary opinion is held by the opposition, it is the OPPOSITION’S obligation to make their case to the American people.

    The vast majority of journalists do not share your Conservative point of view. Please stop blaming them for being advocates of what they believe in. Literary license (distortion of fact for the sake of the effect gained) has always been used by journalists to engage in what you call: “gotcha politics.” Your type of journalistic “fairness” is a fantasy that will never happen.

  4. Brian Eggerman says:

    Okay, here’s the deal. I will acknowledge and decry the Democrats lack of “fiscal responsibility” if you will do something about your pink and purple flying unicorns that keep leaving those huge gumdrops all over my lawn.
    In other words, if your prerequisite for honest political dialogue is to indulge your fantasies, I suppose I’m willing to give it a go, but I must insist on making it a two way street.
    Of course, before I can engage in such an exercise I will have to take a moment to clear my mind of the reality of the situation. Excuse me a moment….
    (Let’s see. I’ve been in the workforce 35 years now, a period spanning six presidencies. Of those six, only one has managed a balanced budget, even running a small surplus, and he was a Democrat.
    In that same time, one president tripled the national debt and another quadrupled it. These were both Republicans.)
    Wow! You may be onto something here. Once you’ve purged your mind of all those pesky facts, a whole new world opens up. Darn those fiscally irresponsible Democrats!
    Now, about those furshlugginer unicorns…….

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