Americans expecting a serious discussion about the soon to be enacted stimulus plan certainly didn't find it on Sunday's "Meet the Press" which instead was sixty minutes of some of the most disgraceful Obama sycophancy since Chris Matthews bragged about getting a thrill up his leg when the Democrat presidential candidate spoke.
Virtually every time host David Gregory or any of his guests opened their mouths -- with the possible exception of the Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel -- one could close one's eyes and envision the words emanating from a member of the Adminstration and/or the president himself.
Consider first what the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson said:
In my opinion, you have to say that Obama is a winner this week because he got through an, a, a huge, complicated, almost $800 billion spending rescue bill in record time. I mean, this doesn't happen in Washington. And, and you know, sure, the beginning of an administration is the time when you really want to spend some political capital and, and, and, and those chips, but wow.
My goodness...but wow. Is that what qualifies as objective journalism today when commenting about a piece of legislation...but wow?
Sadly, that was just the beginning, for Gregory was next:
Frank Rich in, in the Times this morning talks about the fact that, yeah, in Washington and in the echo chamber a lot of people were writing him off, and yet he maintained his popularity around the country. Even though there was lagging support for the stimulus at points, when Obama was attached to it, it was still popular. John Harwood also writes this in his piece in the Times: "The bright spot for Mr. Obama is that the communications and social networking strengths he and his team demonstrated during the campaign may fit the task of preserving presidential initiative. ... `Leaders with projects and an electoral mandate keep people with them by mobilizing, educating, and persuading,' [Pollster Stan] Greenberg said. `It has actually been a long time since we've had a president with that kind of momentum that has carried through to pass major elements of the reform agenda.' With enactment of the stimulus package, `Obama will now have done this' in less than a month, Mr. Greenberg added.
But wow, David! Nice job quoting three liberals to show some Obama-loving. I mean, even Wikipedia acknowledges Greenberg as a Democratic pollster. As for Rich and Harwood, excuse me?
Yet, the best was still to come when the National Journal's Ron Brownstein acted like Obama had sent him a Valentine's Day present:
Yeah, , I think it's really kind of silly to compare the victory of the week and the bumps of the week. I mean, as Gene said, the magnitude of the--this bill was a presidency in a box. He achieved more of his aims in this single legislation than many presidents will achieve in an entire term. I mean, there is more new net public investment here on things the Democrats consider essential for long-term growth--like education, scientific research, alternative energy--than Bill Clinton was able to achieve in two terms.
He achieved more of his aims in this single legislation than many presidents will achieve in an entire term?
Excuse me, Ron, but if the aim is to get the economy going, won't we only know this has been achieved when the recovery comes? How can this be more than many presidents achieve in an entire term if it ends up failing?
In reality, the joy being expressed by these so-called journalists should make it quite clear that to them, stimulating the economy is secondary. Obama getting his way was the key.
Of course, no sixty minute Obama lovefest would be complete without a little Republican bashing. Check out this question Gregory posed to Obama senior adviser David Axelrod:
The opposition by Republicans; do you think this was principled opposition, or do you think this was a calculated effort on the part of the party to rebrand itself?
Gregory asked it again during the panel discussion:
Kim, do you--what do you think this GOP opposition was about? Do you think it was purely principled, or was there a calculation made at some point to say, "You know what, there is much to be gained here politically from being unified and opposing this president"?
Of course, there was no discussion during this program about whether the almost unanimous Democrat support for this bill "was purely principled" or a political calculation.
Furthermore, when Democrats bound together against former President George W. Bush's proposals, their motives were rarely suggested to be unprincipled political calculations by members of the news media.
Why should they? Democrats always vote on principle, don't they? Apparently so:
GREGORY: Gene, you wrote something about what Republicans were up to this week that was pretty tough. You wrote this, Republic on Tuesday: "Republicans are using this debate as a branding opportunity, positioning themselves as careful stewards of the public purse. This is absurd, given their record when they were in charge. It's also cynical. They know that some kind of stimulus will get passed anyway. If it works, they'll claim their principled intransigence made the plan better; if it doesn't, they'll say, `I told you so.'"
ROBINSON: Yeah, I'm, I'm sticking with that. I think, I think that's going to--I think that will happen. And I do think they use it as a branding opportunity. They used it to, to rally the Republican base not just on Capitol Hill, but, but in the country as well. You know, that's a smaller base, both on Capitol Hill and out in the country. And that's the essential problem. By, by kind of going with the, you know, low tax, low spending ideology that the party has hewn to for, for decades now, you get the base. But, but that's a shrinking base and you don't win elections.
Hmmm. You don't win elections by promising to cut taxes? Really? Well, Gene, why did presidential candidate Obama PROMISE TO CUT THE TAXES of 95 percent of Americans...hmmm? And, do you think he would have won if he campaigned on RAISING everyone's taxes...hmmm?
Would Clinton have won in 1993, Gene, if he campaigned on raising taxes rather than promising to cut those of the middle class...hmmm?
In fact, Gene, every president since Reagan campaigned on cutting taxes INCLUDING Obama. So, how do you declare this to be a losing strategy?
Of course, despite the historical inaccuracy Brownstein agreed with Robinson's untenable position:
You know, you don't even have to look back to make the point that Gene is making. During the Senate debate, 36 of the Senate Republicans voted for an alternative that would have cut taxes over the next decade by 2.5 trillion, reduced the top marginal rate to 25 percent. For John McCain to talk about--who voted for that alternative of a $2.5 trillion tax cut over the next decade--to talk about generational theft, I mean, pot, meet kettle. I mean, essentially the best argument that Obama--one of the best arguments, if not the best argument that Obama has in this debate at this point is that Republicans by and large are offering a continuation of the policies of President Bush. It is a tax cut-centered vision of how you revitalize the economy. And the reality is, I mean, if you want--I, I think if the Republicans want to bring a referendum to the country on whether to continue in the direction we have been in the last eight years, you know, we kind of had that election in 2008. And in many ways, I think that is the weakest position that they are offering. They are essentially saying to continue the same economic strategy as Obama says.
But wow! Wouldn't it just be awful to cut taxes by $2.5 trillion over the next ten years? After all, cutting taxes helped stimulate the economy under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton (once he finally caved to Congressional Republican pressure in 1997), and Bush.
Exactly which President has been successful at growing the economy with a radical increase in federal spending, Ron...hmmm?
Yet, the best example of how these so-called journalists appeared to be nothing more than Administration spokespersons came with Gregory's follow-up:
Right. Well, and, and, and, Kim, David Axelrod just said that Republicans are hypocrites for now saying--standing up and saying we should be stewards of, of our--not just the economy, but of our spending, and that we should be deficit hawks.