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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tea Party truths

Tucked amid the cheerleading, the Tea Party Newsletter offers a rare piece of honest reporting about the reality behind the Washington brinkmanship.
Hard-bargaining Congressional Tea Party Republicans are rolling the dice in a high-stakes gamble — holding fast to their balanced budget vows in a daring debt-ceiling showdown that could gain them major clout in the next election or cost them big-time if they are blamed for a government shutdown or an economic crash, experts said yesterday.
One of the reasons we have come to the edge of this fiscal cliff is the persistence of the "on the one hand, on the other hand" journalism model that tries to present "facts" even when one side or another is speaking lies.

The Herald, which abandoned objectivity a long time ago, is unencumbered by those outmoded standards as it preaches to its base. So it can offer a refreshingly honest look at what is behind the partisanship that's actually splitting a Republican Party that has refused to accept yes for an answer.
“They’re walking a tricky tightrope between satisfying the voters who elected them and doing what’s best for the federal government,” said GOP consultant Michael Dennehy, noting that many Republicans with strong Tea Party support promised to reduce the nation’s debt when they were elected last year. “The people who elected them last year want certain safeguards in place.”
What's still missing from this and all other analyses is an acknowledgment of the shocking lack of awareness of basic constitutional law among Tea Party extremists. That includes the fact it take two legislative branches and an executive to make a law.

But where the ignorance (or arrogance) is most pronounced is in the rump caucus' insistence on including the balanced budget amendment gimmick into the House-passed bill. Aside from the fact the independent Senate has already rejected it once, the Tea Partiers seem to be unaware it takes a two-thirds vote in each branch and approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures for the amendment to take affect.

Put that reality together with the GOP preference to stretch the debate (and uncertainty) out with a two-step process and it becomes clear how politically driven the fight is.

If only the media would include those facts into the important background and context that should accompany every news story.

But like the proverbial broken clock, even the Herald gets it right occasionally.

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