It's always interesting when people in the “mainstream” press catch up to something conservatives and Republicans have known for a long time.
That was the case when Chris Frates, an investigative correspondent at the Cable News Network, reported on Friday that "Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the ObamaCare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.”
Ed Schultz took a dive off the deep end on Saturday’s The Ed Show, claiming that Social Security is a “cheap” program that “has never contributed one penny to the deficit.” The bombastic MSNBC host also blasted Republicans who support partially privatizing Social Security, arguing those lawmakers just want to “get their hands on the money.”
Schultz echoed similar arguments made by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who suggested that Social Security doesn’t contribute a “penny” or a “dime” to the national deficit. Both Democrats’ claims were challenged by fact-checking organizations, including PolitiFact, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, and FactCheck.org. And while the term "cheap" is relatively subjective, few would argue that Social Security – which takes up one-fifth of the federal budget – is "cheap."
In his The Plum Line op-ed on page A19 today, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent saw the presence of "relatively conservative Democrats Mark Begich (Alaska) and Jon Tester (Mont.)" on a letter by Senate Democrats blasting the Komen Foundation for withdrawing grants to Planned Parenthood as "testament to how broad the opposition to this decision has become."
But a few keystrokes on a search engine reveal Sargent's journalistic and intellectual laziness. Both Begich and Tester drew 100% approval ratings for 2011 from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Both senators drew 100% approval ratings in the 2012 Planned Parenthood action guide. Tester has received endorsements from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood and, in a photo I've attached below the page break, is shown smiling widely in a photo taken at the 39th annual NARAL Dinner (via TheHill.com) held on January 26. Tester is pictured with NARAL president Nancy Keenan (center) and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney (right).
Maybe it was late and a rough night for the Democratic Party that caused this strange line of questioning and it was just the best way MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews could deal with it.
On MSNBC’s Election Night coverage in the midst of a Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives and with several U.S. Senate races still pending, Matthews deviated from the subject matter and asked Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, about the merits of former GOP vice-presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s 2012 presidential candidacy.