Friday, December 7, 2012

Jake Tapper Gives Cover To The Hostage Takers

Oy vey. With the whole debt ceiling thing once again taking center stage, I was wondering which beltway simian would be the first to try and spread some of the culpability to Obama, and it seems the winner was ABC's Jake Tapper:

Somebody shoot me.

Tapper attempts to wag his finger at Jay Carney and Obama by pointing out that Obama himself voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator, therefore he's just as much of an economic terrorist as Boehner and the House Republicans are right now, so let's dismantle medicare already.

This probably would have been a great point if it wasn't for one minor little detail. As Carney pointed out, the critical distinction between what Obama did and what House Republicans are doing (again) is that when Obama did it, there was no worry about the U.S. going into default. Obama and the Democrats didn't control the Senate during the time, whereas House Republicans DO control the House right now. That's kind of an important aspect to keep in mind. It's like comparing a guy who says he's going to rob a bank but spends the day staying at home, watching T.V. to a guy who says he's going to a rob a bank who happens to already be in the bank with a loaded gun pointed at the teller. Only one of them can be reasonably criticized for attempting to actually rob the bank.

In fairness, I did feel that Tapper brought up a somewhat legitimate point towards the end where he asked if it was basically okay to fuck around with these type of votes if you're not actually creating any real danger.

I've been following politics for a long time and one of the things you learn is that congressman vote for or against a lot of things just simply for show. With the raising of the debt ceiling, prior to last year, it was one of those things that was going to be passed, simply cause it HAD to pass. To not let it pass would be to welcome disaster. And it was exactly because everybody knew it was going to get passed that it allowed some congresscritters (usually the minority party) to make some inane, useless symbolic vote to show that they're taking a principled stance against whatever. Which is one of the reasons why we need to get rid of having a vote requirement for the debt ceiling altogether (the other being that keeping this around for Republicans to dick around with is like handing a shotgun to a two year old).

Having said all that, Tapper still needs to understand context, and all this idiotic example of false equivalence does is muddy up the debate when the country (and the world) really can't afford to do. So to summarize: in the past, both Republicans AND Democrats have voted against raising the debt ceiling, but it's only recently that the people who are refusing to do just that are the people that would actually have an effect in making the country default. It's not that hard, Jake.

And I just have to ask once more, why the fuck is this NOT the biggest scandal of our generation again?

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