Who's being 'extreme' here?

In debt debate, media perpetuate myth of intractable Republicans

Never have the news media or the news makers been more disingenuous.

If the Democrats who control the White House and Senate and the Republicans who control the House can't agree on a deal to raise the nation's debt limit by Aug. 2, it will most assuredly be the fault of only one of the parties, in the "mainstream" media's view: the Republicans.

And, of course, the Tea Party. CNN's Fareed Zakaria over the weekend lamented the rise of the conservative movement, noting that "many people" -- the media love to use "many people" as cover for "here's what I think" -- are pointing fingers at the Tea Party, blaming them for the loggerheads in Washington.

"Why has the Tea Party become so prominent?" he asked plaintively. "Why is it able to dominate Washington?"

Well, perhaps because their concern for the country's financial future won the election last year, Mr. Zakaria. Maybe they're right that the country is headed off a financial cliff. And maybe a lot of folks agree: Your own CNN poll last week said 66 percent of Americans agree with the House Republican Cut, Cap and Balance Act -- including 63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents -- in which "Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved."

It's interesting that leftists in the media ignore the will of the people -- and then try to blame one side completely in a disagreement.

Let's turn this around for Fareed: Why are Democrats so opposed to badly needed spending cuts, Mr. Zakaria? If Tea Party balanced-budget dogma is to blame for the debt impasse in your eyes, isn't it just possible that others could see the left-wing soak-the-rich hysteria as the problem?

Moreover, consider: For two years now, Democrats in the House, and now the Senate, have failed to produce a federal budget. Just haven't even tried to write one. The Democratic president wrote a budget that was literally a joke: It earned not one vote in the Senate. Not one.

And yet, Mr. Obama tries to pretend as if he's the adult in the room, that he's the responsible budget-cutter. That's another joke.

He's hanging the country up precariously on a hook, making world markets and ordinary Americans jittery, to press his ideologically rigid view that the half of Americans who pay all the income taxes in this country aren't paying their fair share!

You want to talk "extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving," Mr. Zakaria? Talk about the president.

Mr. Obama tried to make this about corporate jet owners, when he knows the real problem in the federal budget is untold trillions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid promises we've made that we can't keep. He tries to claim the Republicans are walking away from talks, when sources say what is really happening is that he keeps changing the terms he'll accept (from $800 billion in new revenues to $1.2 trillion).

Have you noticed that the Republicans are the only ones that have put forth a plan? Where is the president's plan? For anything ?

The federal government is on track to consume its host: Historically around 18 percent of the economy, the federal government has grown to about 25 percent. Even Cut, Cap and Balance would allow it to remain at about 20 percent.

It's just the responsible thing to do -- for today and for future generations.

The Washington Post reported Monday that a Republican aide wrote this in an e-mail: "The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no."

Yet, perversely, the "mainstream" media are bent on tarring Republicans as irresponsible and, by extension, the plurality of Americans who put them there.

Sadly enough, it just may work.

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