Well, once again, the press is doing a hell of a job lying about how government functions. This time, it’s trying to sell the super committee’s failure as a “bi-partisan.” Don’t kid yourself—it’s not. I don’t know when these people are going to figure out that the Republican party has no interest in doing the business of the American people, but I sure as hell am not going to be holding my breath. Hannity’s an idiot. Maybe he’ll do it.
Now, if we simply had the Republican Party of say, the 1980’s, when at least some Republicans thought for themselves, we would’ve had a deficit reduction package, probably would’ve passed Obama’s job bill in its entirety, and our country would’ve been a lot better off. Unfortunately, we don’t. What we’ve got now is a bunch of self-serving assholes.
The simple fact is, that this Republican Party is incapable of any compromise, and they don’t give a damn about the American economy. I’m reminded of the scene in “30 Days of Night” when the woman cries out for help, “Please God!” and the head vampire leans down to her and says, “God?” He looks up to the sky for a moment, then looks back at the woman and says, basically what the Republican Party’s philosophy on helping people is: “No God.” And then they devour her. Like vampires, all the Cons want is to to find enough blood to make it through to the next election, so they can return to Washington to feed off of the lobbyists. This, for those that know me, is why I like garlic so much: it offers protection against vampires AND Republicans. And it’s fucking delicious.
Anyway, ever since Obama was elected, the Republicans decided that they had one strategy, and one strategy only, and that was to see him fail. It doesn’t matter to Republicans if Americans lose jobs, if the economy hemorrhages, or if the most vulnerable in our society are put in danger. They don’t give a damn, as long as it looks like Obama is failing as a President, and it has never been so clear as during this debt debacle. What drives me crazy is that the press can’t put this together. I mean, telling this story doesn’t involve much inference or speculation.
Want proof? The Democrats in the super committee offered a deficit reduction package that would’ve significantly decreased Social Security and Medicare benefits—all they asked was that those cuts be tied to some increases in revenue. The split was something like 70% cuts to 30% revenue, but no, that wasn’t enough for the Republicans (Obama offered them 85/15 earlier this summer, but instead of taking a great deal, Boehner walked away from it like a spoiled child). For them it is always all or nothing. So why does the press insist on placing equal blame on both parties?
I mean, look, if someone offers me a deal where I get 85% of my demands met, and I don’t take it, I’m either a) the biggest fucking idiot in the world, b) I have an ulterior motive, or c) all of the above. The story isn’t a difficult one to tell: one party is willing to work in a bi-partisan way, and the other wouldn’t compromise on the issue if it meant saving their mother’s life. The story shouldn’t be, “bi-partisan talks failed today in Washington.” The story should be, “The Republican party has failed to negotiate in good faith to come up with a solution, AND are a bunch of no-good lousy bastards.”
The question then, is why does the press refuse to report the truth, and why is it that so many Americans still somehow miraculously believe that the Republican Party has their best interests at heart? No, it’s not simply a lack of intelligence, although a survey came out today showing that watching Fox News actually makes you dumber (1). Unfortunately, it’s denial, and irresponsibility—for the press it may simply be capitalism. They don’t want to offend readers or viewers, so they just split the difference and to hell with the actual facts.
Perhaps some of it is sensationalism. I know our hometown paper, the Oregonian, is guilty of that. Two weeks ago they publish an article, with a headline stating that, “Clackamas County Leans Right” and then included a graph on the same page showing that voter registration for Democrats in the county had gone up, and that indeed, now there were more Democrats in the county than Republicans. I’m sorry, but that is just plain fucking absurd. Whoever approved that story should be forced to watch “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” to see what a mistake looks like. That’s just one reason why I get so pissed when I see those idiot drivers with the bumper sticker that says, “I don’t trust the liberal media.” What liberal media? There isn’t one! Oh, and you listen to Limbaugh and support the Cons, but you don’t mind receiving your Medicare and Social Security, do you, you old crusty asshole!
But back to sensationalism. This week the Oregonian, and the rest of the Oregon Press, decided to make a huge fucking deal about the fact that PERS, our state retirement system, was paying former Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti about $41,000 a month in retirement benefits. This was then used as an indictment against the entire system, despite the fact (mentioned in the same article) that the vast majority of beneficiaries receive less than $36,000 a year, and that the mean benefit per month was $2,300. HOLY FUCKING SHIT I’M OUTRAGED, THAT IS SO GODDAMN…wait. The average is $2,300 a month? And only 17.6% of PERS retirees earn more than $50,000 a year? What the hell’s wrong with that? Shit, I hope I can retire with more of a pension than that…that’ll barely cover the cost of the drugs to keep my liver functioning. (2)
Of course, the story was again repeated by the local television news, only this time they left the average out. They only mentioned that Mike Bellotti was making a shitload of money off of PERS. Who’s fault is that anyway? The University of Oregon’s, that’s who. It’s not the fault of teachers, firemen, police, or any other public employees, and I can pretty much guarantee you that no union public employee is receiving much more than about $50,000 a year. It’s only when we pay the egregious salaries one would see in the private sector that anyone could get close to getting what Belloti rakes in per month. But the story just implies that public workers are greedy and rich. Nice lie liberal press…nice…lie.