Bozell Column: The Hate-GOP Machine
The latest polls show the people are not happy with President Obama's handling of budget matters, but Republicans look even worse. And yet, while the GOP delivers one idea after another, Obama has offered nothing, instead just attacking, attacking, attacking, blaming everyone but himself in utter denial of the reality that no man on the face of this Earth is more responsible for our debt catastrophe than he.
Why then is the public blaming Republicans more? It is because of the ceaseless, shameless and oftentimes utterly dishonest attacks on them coming from Obama's media hit men. A day doesn't go by without a leftist "news" media outrage. They come in all shapes, too.
First, there is the asinine. Think MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski. There she was broadsiding the Republicans for having refused Obama's proposal. "I think the Republicans look stupid and mean," she declared. "This is stupid. This is a no-brainer in terms of a deal. This is a no-brainer, and they look mean, and they look difficult, and they're going to lose this." But what is "this"? What was Obama's proposal? There was none, just nebulous language about the "wealthy" needing to pay their "fair share," of "revenue," which in the English language means a massive tax hike, which the GOP, correctly, rejects.
There is the inaccurate. MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts loudly complains that the party of the "super-rich" is to blame. "We haven't had tax increases over the last 10 years. We've had a recession; we've had two wars to fight. Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?"
That's almost exactly upside down. The Tax Foundation has estimated that the top 1 percent pays 38 percent of the entire income-tax burden, and the top 5 percent pays 58 percent. The bottom 50 percent pays nothing in federal tax. With these numbers, it could be argued that the bottom 50 percent has a chokehold on the top 5 percent.
There is the "I've lost all sense of sanity and class" crowd, and yes, we're talking Chris Matthews here. On "Hardball," Joan Walsh of Salon.com said the Republican resistance to new taxes is "deadly and it's wrong and it's hostage-taking, and you shouldn't negotiate with hostage-takers." Matthews had a chance to step in with a gentle, "Whoa, cowgirl." Instead it just carried him away, and he could only add: "I agree.
It's terrorism!" A pundit who looks at the debt talks and sees deadly terrorism doesn't need a math class. He needs psychological help.
There is the obsequious. Obama is painted as the perfectly reasonable negotiator who has bent over backward. NBC's Matt Lauer wants to know, "Where is the shared sacrifice going to come from on the Republican side?" CBS's Bob Schieffer insists Obama talks compromise, but "I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that's their negotiating posture."
No one, but no one in the media (outside of Fox News, of course) is calling this double-talking president of ours on the carpet. This president who now tells us we must raise taxes to save the Republic is the same president who just seven months ago was telling us that everyone agrees the worst thing one could do during a crisis is raise taxes. Republicans agreed then and hold to that position now. That makes them unreasonable, unbalanced.
And where did this sudden spurt of media fiscal discipline come from, anyway? Where were they when America needed someone to ask Obama, Pelosi and Reid how they were going to pay for TARP? Where were the media demanding to know where the trillion bucks for the anti-stimulus program was coming from? How about the trillion for Obamacare?
They went along for the ride on all these budget-busting disasters. And now they have the temerity to lecture us on fiscal discipline?
There is the oblivious. Some journalists refuse to acknowledge that spending has soared under Obama. When Grover Norquist factually noted Obama's binge, CNN anchor Ali Velshi erupted in protest. "Wait a minute! 'He created with his spending'? You didn't just suggest that our budget problem is because of President Obama, did you, Grover?" Norquist said yes, he wasn't kidding. Velshi dismissed this concept as unreasonable: "OK, we're going to pass by that question because that's an unreasonable position."
In round numbers: In fewer than four years, Obama has increased the debt by $4 trillion. He proposes we raise it another $2.3 trillion. This makes Obama responsible for almost half the debt of the United States. But it is "unreasonable" to say so.
The leftist news media aren't coming to this debate to be an honest broker. They're just trying to break one side apart, and never mind that it's their vision that is driving us right over a cliff.