Sunday, December 30, 2012

Elections are Supposed to Matter

I can't remember the last time I watched "Meet the Press."  And now I know why.  It's awful.

David Gregory, the moderator of the show, I used to think was a cut above the kind of corporate beltway reporter we've grown accustomed to the last several decades -- glib, superficial, completely lacking compassion for or understanding of people who have no bargaining power at work, whose job keeps him or her from homelessness and whose paycheck keeps shrinking. But I see no difference between David Gregory and any other facile shit bird who provides political opinions for the television networks.  His interview of Obama, who was competent and singularly unfiery, was peppered with petulant insinuations that the fiscal cliff impasse was somehow the fault of the White House. Why? Because in the end -- this is what I gleaned from watching the round table discussion following the interview -- it's all about results.  And if there are no results then the president cannot avoid responsibility because the president is afterall the president. This is what qualifies as expert analysis on the world's longest running television show. The round table consensus, kicked off by David Brooks, is that Obama is to blame, really, because he has not gone out of his way to engage all Republican points of view. This is known as false equivalence.  The corporate media treats both parties as equally culpable. Finally Doris Kearns Goodwin chimed in that Obama tried the "inside game" before and it didn't work; that's why he's going over the heads of congressional leadership now.

The point is that we're a democracy.  (We must try to believe this.) In democracies elections are supposed to matter. Obama won a historic election.The GOP lost -- Romney lost the presidential election; the Senate stayed Democrat despite ample predictions of a change in the majority; and while the GOP maintained control of the House, it lost seats there too.  Republicans refuse to acknowledge this, and this denial is sending us over the cliff.  In a democracy elections must matter.

At least Obama did a solid job explaining where we're at with two days left of the year. Either the Senate will cobble together a deal by this afternoon that both parties can agree on or Harry Reid will bring to a vote tomorrow a continuation of the Bush tax cuts for those who earn under $250,000 a year. Republicans must decide if their gerrymandering can keep them safe from voter wrath.

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