Talking to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Wednesday's Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge saw efforts to repeal ObamaCare as a political liability: "How risky a proposition is this for Republicans incoming now?" Schieffer dismissed it as, "a lot of shouting, hollering, and symbolic votes," adding, "we've got a couple of months before anything really serious is going to happen."
Wragge went on to cite liberal New York Times writer Matt Bai, who claimed Republicans had no real political mandate despite extensive victories in November: "Once you win, the human tendency is to credit the gravitational force of your own ideas, to assume that you made a more compelling and more substantive case than you actually did." Wragge asked Schieffer: "Is that what we may see in the early days from the Republican leadership here, do you think?"
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante warned that as President Obama returns from vacation, " the new Republican majority in the House is ready to pounce." Plante went on to declare that the House GOP "slammed" Obama by scheduling a vote to repeal "his signature health care bill" on January 12.
Plante parroted Democratic talking points denouncing the repeal effort: "Senate Democrats fired back in a letter, warning that to do so would be 'irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement.'" He then concluded: "Both sides know that the House vote is purely symbolic. With no chance that the Senate Democrats will agree to kill health care."
Monday's "Morning Joe" panel on MSNBC mocked the House Republicans' plan to vote to repeal President Obama's health care legislation in full. "Waste of time" and "meaningless legislative exercise" were some of the phrases used to describe the first announced GOP priority.
"It's going to take them fifteen minutes, they're going to vote to repeal it, and the Senate's not going to do it," explained co-host Joe Scarborough. "It is a meaningless legislative exercise, but you know what? The base will like it."
"Republicans in Washington are planning to waste some time. Is anyone surprised by that?" co-host Mika Brzezinski tersely introduced the segment in the 7 a.m. EDT news hour.
Both Scarborough and Brzezinski sarcastically mocked the plan. "Good for them. Thank you," Brzezinski spat. "You are big men," she derided the House Republicans. "You so tough," Scarborough chimed in, followed by Brzezinski making strange growling noises.
Reporting on Monday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes decried House Republicans attempting to repeal ObamaCare: "...they made it clear they'll try to use their 49-vote advantage to wipe out key Democratic legislation from 2010. Including the President's signature achievement, health care reform."
Following Cordes's report, co-host Erica Hill asked political analyst John Dickerson about the likelihood of repeal. After Dickerson explained that repeal could not pass, a relieved Hill declared: "So, folks who like it may not have to worry about it? Because there are certain provisions that have actually gone over well with a fair number of Americans. Things like keeping your adult children on you're insurance and of course those lifetime coverage limits." Dickerson agreed: "And new things that people will like are coming on line with the new year. Middle income seniors will see – get some relief in the prescription drug prices."
On Sunday's Face the Nation, substitute host Harry Smith dismissed GOP goals of "dismantling health care" as merely a "fool's errand."
Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Harry Smith grilled Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann on Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare: "One of the things the Tea Party has talked about is dismantling health care. And we're wondering if, in the end of the day, that ends up being a fool's errand...it will face a certain veto. Is it worth the effort to try to do?"
Bachmann defended the move and pointed out popular support for repeal: "ObamaCare will bankrupt the country. And so you've seen that the more the people learn about ObamaCare the less they like it. It's very costly, it's unwieldy. So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of ObamaCare. And you'll continue to see us make that fight because that's what the American people want us to do."
If Pres. Obama's signal fight in the coming year will be preserving ObamaCare, he can count on at least one ally in his struggle with Republicans: ABC News and in particular its Political Director, Amy Walter.
On GMA today, Walter issued a stern warning to Republicans who might have the audacity of hoping to repeal ObamaCare. The segment began with a montage of Republicans vowing to do so, including an oddly mocking replay of a Mitch McConnell moment.
Then Walter appeared and pronounced her admonition. View video after the jump.
For the last 17 years, ABC's medical editor, Dr. Tim Johnson, has hyped various forms of government-run health care. He continued that pattern on Tuesday's Good Morning America, promoting Barack Obama's 2010 law and ignoring the its unpopular aspects.
Talking to guest co-host Chris Cuomo, he enthused, "Many issues have already gone into effect and people like them." Johnson did allow that the bill was "controversial," However, he added, "But, there's many features in this bill, that if they go into effect, could help control costs and improve quality."
However, he didn't explain that the legislation as a whole remains unpopular. According to a new CNN poll, 54 percent oppose it. Also unmentioned was a Washington Post report that few Americans are signing up for a provision of the legislation allowing sick individuals to have their medical costs covered.
Reporters who are fully convinced of ObamaCare's tremendous benefits are apt to play off the new law's unpopularity with voters to a failure of messaging. For all the news accounts that have done so, a piece in Sunday's Washington Post takes the cake.
Liberals have claimed that conservatives wage a war on "science," but when it comes to social liberalism, they are often at odds with scientific reality. For example, they will define a woman as "He" and a man as "She" if the person in question simply decides that's how they want to be addressed. Or, in Thursday's Washington Post, the words "reproductive care" are used, without quotes, to describe anti-reproductive actions like abortion and contraception. The ACLU is waging war on Catholic-owned hospitals, and Rob Stein began their publicity drive with this paragraph:
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked federal health officials to ensure that Catholic hospitals provide emergency reproductive care to pregnant women, saying the refusal by religiously affiliated hospitals to provide abortion and other services was becoming an increasing problem.
This matches the media template, in which abortion itself is never a social "problem" -- only the lack of "access" to it is a problem. There are no "liberals" in this piece, only "reproductive health advocates," which again is a factually inaccurate adjective:
As more hospitals have been taken over by Catholic hospital chains in recent years, reproductive health advocates have become increasingly concerned that fewer medical centers will provide abortion, contraception and other reproductive services.
Gordon Peterson on Friday asked either a staggeringly ignorant or intentionally provocative question.
On the most recent installment of PBS's "Inside Washington," the host queried his guests, "Why is it constitutional to require Americans to buy automobile insurance but un-Constitutional to force them to buy health insurance?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC's "Nightline" touted a PolitiFact story Thursday that rated the five biggest lies of 2010 in politics. The number one lie? Republicans calling the health care bill a "government takeover of health care."
When asked why the claim received the status of biggest lie of the year, PolitiFact.com editor Bill Adair answered that it was "so pervasive" and "just not true."
"It was so pervasive. It was said by the Republican leadership, by Republicans running for Congress, said by Republicans running for governor. And it's just not true. This is a plan that uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage."
While the bill does not constitute a single-payer health care system, the 2,200 pages of legislation nonetheless contain countless new rules and regulations enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services, among other federal institutions.
Time's Kate Pickert sees trouble on the horizon for ObamaCare with another federal judge hinting he may find the individual mandate provision of the legislation unconstitutional.
Pickert promises such a ruling by federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson "would be a second brutal court blow to the Obama Administration."
Nowhere in her brief December 16 blog post did Pickert entertain the notion that the individual mandate itself is a "brutal blow" to individual liberty or the notion of limited constitutional government.
New York Times writer David Leonhardt is not happy with a judge’s ruling a vital part of Obama-care – the individual insurance mandate – is unconstitutional. In his latest front-page “Economic Scene” column, “In Health Law, Old Arguments Get New Airing,” the paper’s neo-liberal conscience on economic matters compared conservative opposition to Obama-care not only to past opposition to Medicare, but to opposition to civil rights for black Americans.
“We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program,” said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, “one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
The health care law in question was Medicare, and the critic was Ronald Reagan. He made the leap from actor to political activist, almost 50 years ago, in part by opposing government-run health insurance for the elderly.
Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.
We’ve lived through a version of this story before, and not just with Medicare. Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed.
In an otherwise decent article in today's Washington Post, staffer Amy Goldstein suggested that the U.S. health insurance industry is ideologically conservative despite its support for the controversial and unconstitutional "individual mandate" provision of ObamaCare.
The debate over whether the mandate is essential does not split neatly along ideological lines. The insurance industry, a part of the health-care system that the White House has vilified, shares the administration's view that the mandate must accompany other insurance rules in the law.
Ed Schultz on Tuesday abruptly ended an interview with a Republican strategist when she accused him of lying to his audience about the significance of Monday's ruling striking down the Constitutionality of ObamaCare's mandate to buy health insurance.
When the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" said, "It’s not a big key element of the health care bill," sparks began to fly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law's "lowest level of popularity ever." But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”
The numbers weren't excluded because they arrived late. The Post poll numbers went up on the website yesterday at about 1 pm, under the headline “Health care opponents divided on repeal.” That obscured the numbers a bit, as Cohen found a “slim majority” (not a “clear majority”?) currently oppose ObamaCare:
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith seemed skeptical of the legal reasoning of a federal judge who ruled part of ObamaCare was unconstitutional: "The thing that he objects to most strenuously is this idea that everybody has to be insured. And the Republicans are jumping up and down, they're ready to have a party. Do you think they have a legal leg to stand on?"
Smith directed that question to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who used the softball setup to declare: "I think the law is sound, and when Eric Cantor on the Republican side says, 'Let's repeal ObamaCare,' he wants to repeal the protection Americans want against the discrimination against them for pre-existing conditions. I think that's a losing political position."
In late October, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) visited Media Research Center headquarters for a studio interview with CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey to discuss his state's lawsuit challenging the so-called individual mandate within ObamaCare that would require Americans, under penalty of federal law, to purchase health insurance.
Yesterday a federal District Court judge in the 4th Circuit ruled that provision unconstitutional.
It's time for America's youth to buckle up and take a rough ride on Reality Highway. For the past two years, President Obama has promised our children the moon, stars, rainbows, unicorns and universal health care for all. But the White House Santa's cradle-to-grave entitlement mandates are a spectacularly predictable bust.
Don't take it from me. Take it from Obamacare's own biggest cheerleaders.
There are times when one has to think the Manhattan building that is the home of the New York Times doesn't have any windows, doesn't have any television sets, and doesn't have any doors that allow employees to venture out and actually see what's happening in America beyond the walls of 620 Eighth Avenue.
Consider that after the impact the Tea Party has had on our nation's politics the past 20 months, and the historic elections that just took place on November 2, Times columnist Tom Friedman actually thinks Americans aren't interested in reducing the federal deficit but are instead yearning for higher taxes and greater government spending:
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes appeared on a panel discussion on “The Role of Minority Party in Congress” held at the Wilson International Center for Scholars on Monday, and outlined four liberal complaints against Republicans for not sufficiently accommodating Barack Obama early in his presidency (when they were distinctly the minority party and rather powerless) on his allegedly moderate measures like health reform and financial regulation.
Blaming Republicans for Obama’s woes ignores the fact that the Democrats had just won huge filibuster-proof majorities in 2008. The party controlled the Senate by a 60-40 margin and the House of Representatives by a health 257-178. And conservatives would argue that Obama’s claims of bipartisanship were severely overstated and amounted to trying to pick off individual Republicans to get on board with his sweeping liberal agenda on stimulus and health care “reform,” instead of reaching out to the Republican caucus as a whole with more moderate and modest proposals.
Talking on the panel Monday, aired by C-SPAN, about the need for political accommodation in Congress, Calmes took “the risk of sounding like I’m expressing an opinion" in her closing remarks, about an hour and ten minutes into the discussion:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Krugman tries to clarify what he said.
Although he was likely taking a swipe at former governor Sarah Palin with the reference, Paul Krugman on Sunday recommended "death panels" as a means of helping to balance the federal budget.
In a Roundtable discussion on ABC's "This Week," the New York Times columnist said of what recently came out of the President's deficit commission, "Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Michael Cooper’s lead story in the National section of the New York Times on Saturday, "Debunking the Myths of the Midterm," offered up four alleged myths downplaying the import of the Republican takeover of the House and big gains in the Senate. The first four of Cooper's five "myths" centered around the idea that the Republican victory and Democratic defeat of 2010 had been overstated (the fifth was a paragraph of throwaway humor headlined “The Pundits Have a Clue” while arguing the opposite).
Every election develops its own mythology, usually before the official results are even certified, and this week’s was no different. And like all mythology, the narrative that is being woven around the midterm elections by Bulfinches from both parties is a blend of history, facts and, yes, myths.
But the four partisan myths Cooper tried to knock down were all ones that made Republicans look strong.
“Return to the Republican Fold” (Cooper denied it.) “The Sweeping Mandate” (No way.) “The Lost Youth Vote” (Not so fast.) “A Disaster for the President” (Not necessarily.)
I take no great pleasure in having been correct in predicting Barack Obama's reaction to his Tuesday "shellacking." To borrow his terminology, he is wired not to hear the American people's opposition to his radical agenda, as painfully demonstrated in his postelection news conference.
Unhappily, Obama's answers showed even deeper intransigence than I had thought he would be willing to reveal. He is every bit as committed to his destructive agenda as he was Nov. 1 and, despite his claims, is not looking for "common ground."
He said that every election "is a reminder that in our democracy, power rests not with those of us in elected office, but with the people we have the privilege to serve." But if anyone needs to be reminded of that, it is he, because he crammed through Obamacare and other offensive agenda items against the express will of the people.
For the second time in two weeks, a devout liberal exposed just how little Bill Maher actually knows about politics.
When the "Real Time" host arrogantly told his guests that people voted for Republicans this past Tuesday because President Obama "didn't back the public option" during the healthcare reform debate, Time's Fareed Zakaria marvelously informed the comedian just how wrong he was (video follows with transcript and commentary):