Krauthammer: Media Love Reporting Nonexistent Civil War Between Republicans and Tea Party
As we've seen so far this year, the media on every vote that takes place in Congress love reporting about a supposed civil war between regular Republicans and members of the Tea Party.
Charles Krauthammer on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday night noted the press continue harping on this despite it not being the case (video follows with transcript and commentary):
COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST: Boehner could not have gotten it done without the Democrats, who held back to see how much he could produce, and that’s sort of a harbinger of things to come. Boehner does not have full control of his conference...
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: But the Democrats don't, either. Their split was even larger.
KING: He’s the Leader.
KRAUTHAMMER: Pelosi voted against it.
KING: It’s his House.
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: Theirs was larger, but it was controlled, as it were.
TOTENBERG: The interesting thing, I actually think we will have a government shutdown, probably not over the debt limit, but maybe in the fall. There is a certain amount of brinksmanship going on here, and especially I think by people who have not been through this. I think John Boehner completely understands that this would not be good for his Party, that the president tends to win these battles, and, but he may not be able to control his folks, and I, you know, I really thought last week we came perilously close to having a shutdown.
GORDON PETERSON, HOST: You were surprised there wasn’t a shutdown.
TOTENBERG: I was surprised.
KRAUTHAMMER: The media love the story line of the civil war among Republicans, between Tea Party and regulars, and they keep reporting it again and again – a civil war. It doesn't happen. But it won't stop them from reporting it as a future occurrence, until it happens.
First to Totenberg's point about the split in the Democrat party being "controlled," as Politico reported Thursday:
House Democratic leadership split yet again, this time on a vote to fund the government through September.
Hours Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voted "no," a few hours after she told reporters she felt "no ownership" over the deal. The No. 2 Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, voted for the spending bill.
The Sacramento Bee went further on Friday:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's power waned just a little bit more this week, the latest comedown for a 71-year-old politician who lost her gavel.
Some fellow Democrats are deserting her. She was absent from recent high-stakes negotiations that averted a government shutdown. Her chief deputy, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, seems primed for more prominent deal-making.
Even as the House on Thursday approved a major budget-cutting bill, Pelosi took herself out of the action.
"I feel no ownership of that, or responsibility to it," Pelosi said of the budget-cutting bill. [...]
"There are divisions in the (Democratic) caucus," said Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, "and I don't know that she's put a great deal of effort into dealing with those divisions."
Sound "controlled" to you?
As for Krauthammer's point about the media's fascination with a nonexistent civil war, he was spot on.
If one Republican doesn't vote with the majority, GOP-hating press are going to blame it on the Tea Party and Boehner's supposed lack of strength as Leader, and they're going to doing it regardless of whether or not it actually happens.
Meanwhile, divisions within the Democrat Party will be dishonestly depicted as "controlled."