Tue, 11 December 2012
We kicked off with a shout-out to the #saveMI protests today, then launched into a well-rounded morning, with multiple approaches to an emerging theme: the traditional media's ubiquitous false equivalence story. First, it was Greg Dworkin's turn to discuss the difficulties in finding solutions to the Fiscal Thingy, given new polling that suggests that outside of raising taxes on the wealthy, Americans seem unable to agree on just where to turn for savings or additional revenue. Even so, an awful lot of Republicans seem mostly unwilling to give ground on that one area where everyone else is in agreement, and that's bad news for Republicans in Congress trying to find their way on this. In fact, there's a split between their leadership, which has to have an eye on the bigger picture, and the rank-and-file, who are more necessarily bound up in what their own increasingly insulated constituencies are saying. Could that split result in a real fight over Boehner's Speakership? Well, not if the plot to oust him doesn't pay closer attention to procedural realities, according to UVA Prof. Jeffrey Jenkins! From there, it was time for a daily dose of filibuster reform discussion, this time focused on the strange, mythical view many appear to be taking of the old "Gang of 14" agreement. Contrary to the legend, the Gang's agreement didn't take the "nuclear option" off the table. It very purposefully left it there, in plain and threatening view. And that's what made their agreement work! Finally, a quick look at media narratives on what passes for "bold" solutions to the Fiscal Thingy and other problems, and how that relates to what Dan Froomkin called the mainstream press's "bungling" of "the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign."