Free Markets, Free People


Media: Your Friendly Moral Interpreters

Just to make sure you knew how horribly indecent Republicans were, Dana Milbank leads the charge against Sen. Coburn in the Washington Post today:

Going into Monday morning’s crucial Senate vote on health-care legislation, Republican chances for defeating the bill had come down to a last, macabre hope. They needed one Democratic senator to die — or at least become incapacitated.

At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon — nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation’s passage — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. “What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight,” he said. “That’s what they ought to pray.”

It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads — but without his vote, Democrats wouldn’t have the 60 they needed.

While Dana and his media brethren certainly have difficulty escaping that conclusion, a more fair-minded and disinterested party might take note that the historic snowfall over the weekend, which caused local and federal government offices to close, is a more likely catalyst to Coburn’s prayer request. But fairness was not on Dana’s mind. Quite to the opposite, he attempted to draw a false equivalence to the tirade unleashed by Sen. Whitehouse at ObamaCare dissenters:

But Democrats weren’t in the best position to take the high road Sunday evening. One of their own members, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) had just delivered an overwrought jeremiad comparing the Republicans to Nazis on Kristallnacht, lynch mobs of the South, and bloodthirsty crowds of the French Revolution.

“Too many colleagues are embarked on a desperate, no-holds-barred mission of propaganda, obstruction and fear,” he said. “History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees.” Assuming the role of Old Testament prophet, Whitehouse promised a “day of judgment” and a “day of reckoning” for Republicans.

For some strange reason, while referring to Whitehouse’s comments as “ugly”, Milbank forgot to include the following tasty selections of hate:

“Voting ‘no’ and hiding from the vote are the same result. Those of us on the floor see it. It was clear the three of them who did not cast their yes votes until all 60 Senate votes had been tallied and it was clear that the result was a foregone conclusion. And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president.

They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.”

Seemingly the conclusions of that statement escaped Dana.

Never fear, however, as our intrepid journalist manages to balance the ugliness and comes to this inescapable conclusion:

The day’s ugly words [from Sen. Whitehouse] were a fitting finale for the whole sorry health-care debate of 2009. Democrats have finally — and after jettisoning any trace of government-run health care while swallowing new abortion restrictions — found their way to success; the overnight vote proves they have the numbers to prevail in the remaining votes this week. But it certainly wasn’t pretty.

Senate Democratic leaders made the bill fit their fiscal requirements with a series of budgetary gimmicks, and even then the final cost estimate didn’t instill confidence. The Congressional Budget Office sent lawmakers a letter on Sunday saying it goofed and overstated the cost savings from the bill by half a trillion dollars. Then there were the goodies given out to buy the votes of Democratic holdouts, most notably Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), who got a “Cornhusker kickback” in the form of an extra $100 million in Medicaid payments for his state. On the Senate floor Saturday, Republicans forced Democrats into the embarrassing position of objecting to similar payouts to the other 49 states.

But all of that put together wasn’t quite as noxious as the two sentences that escaped Coburn’s lips on the Senate floor.

Don’t you feel all informed now? Good thing for us insufficiently nuanced Americans that we have the likes of Dana Milbank to help us keep score as to who is ugliest amongst our Senate representatives. Otherwise, we might have all these wonderful conclusions escaping us as easily as those “noxious” words escaped Sen. Coburn’s lips. Instead, we might be tempted to pay more attention to blatantly ugly slurs that drip like venom from the mouths of our ObamaCare heroes. And we can’t have that now, can we?

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7 Responses to Media: Your Friendly Moral Interpreters

  • Robert Byrd? Hmmm, wasn’t he an enthusiastic Kleagle at one time? For the edification of those under the age of 50, a Kleagle is a recruiter for the KKK. So not only was Byrd a member of the KKK, he was actively involved in increasing their ranks. Did Milbank mention that?

    • “Robert Byrd? Hmmm, wasn’t he an enthusiastic Kleagle at one time?”

      Yep – head of the KKK in West Virginia. What a nice guy, eh? And, don’t forget: a couple of years ago he said something about “white n*ggers.” On tv no less.

      When Byrdydoo croaks, get ready for the tears and handwringing – not like that for Waterman Ted Kennedy, but a real tearjerker parade nevertheless. And it will be ill-making. But what can you expect from the Demmies, who have no soul, no brains, no conscience, and no ideas?

  • This sort of thing is why I increasingly believe that elections don’t have much consequence: no matter which party holds the majority in Congress or has its man sitting in the Oval Office, MiniTru has considerable power to set the agenda, control the debate, and determine the outcome.  In this case, I believe that Millbank’s goal wasn’t just to dig at Coburn but rather to add to the fiction that it is GOP obstructionism that is the only problem with this bill.  Yessir, if that nasty ol’ minority hadn’t obstructed things, the bill - which everybody but racist birthers want… or would if Fox News and the GOP wasn’t filling their heads with LIES – would have passed by now.  Never mind that Dingy Harry, desperate to get all of HIS OWN CAUCUS on board, has been passing out money to senators like a sugar daddy in a room full of his favorite whores; the ONLY reason that this hasn’t passed yet is partisan, hateful GOP hacks like Coburn.

    Let’s assume that the GOP reaps the benefits of democrat suicide and wins both houses in ’10.  Guess who will be banging hard on them to be “bipartisan”, to reach out to the president, and will gleefully report on anything that disparages them?  Guess who the GOP leadership will be desperate to placate in a (vain) effort to avoid becoming a target of MiniTru’s de facto opposition research and campaign commercials?

    MiniTru.

    What to do?

  • “can’t make the vote tonight”.
    Ah, NEW code phrases.  I love code phrases.

    “Vinny, I need you to pay Capuzi a visit, it’s very very important.  I need you to arrange things so Capuzi can’t make the vote tonight… you understand?”
    Or
    “All right men, we’re going ashore in an hour, and we all know those NAZI bastards are going to do their best to see to it that we can’t make the vote tonight.”

    How about -
    ” That was my dad, it’s…Uncle Mike.  (sniff) Poor uncle Mike…he (sniff)….he…he won’t make the vote tonight!”

  • Monsieur Milbank, French arse that he is, must still be stinging from being tossed like a wet doll off of MSDNC.

    He has never been known for being anything but a liberal doof, and he never fails to live up to that reputation.

  • Hey, it doesn’t have to be the grand wizard who passes away. Any of the 60 would suit me just fine ;)

    Oooooh, I’m a terrible person, I know :)

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