Ben Buchwalter

Time to Fight

It has become apparent that Obama is losing the communications battle over the economic stimulus package that the White House is trying to “strong arm” through Congress. A bill was approved by the House with no Republican support, and the version now being discussed in the Senate could fail without 60 votes, which would require the GOP’s assistance.

The reason for this shift, as Politico reports, is simple. Die hard executive vs. legislative politics was new to the Obama team. But the GOP was incredibly comfortable grasping at straws to scream “Bloody Murder!” about wasteful spending. The strategy “required two simple steps: scream pork, call Rush Limbaugh.”

That’s not to say that criticisms of the stimulus are all ill-founded. Pro Publica, an online nonprofit publication, has delved deep into the legislative language to highlight the bill’s inconsistencies and misguided spending.

But the fact is, the stimulus is not losing the public opinion war (as Rasmussen reports) because of legislative minutiae. The GOP is simply outfighting the Democrats. Last week, Think Progress reported that Congressional Republicans are outnumbering Democrats 2-1 on cable news programs. (To its credit, FOX News was the most equitable).

This statistic is unsettling, but its not simply the fault of CNN and MSNBC. In fact, much of the fault lies with Congressional Democrats and Obama’s ethos of bipartisanship. It’s time for Obama and Congressional Democrats to show their teeth and fight to get a workable economic stimulus passed. 


1 Comment so far
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Could the Republican/Democrat TV disparity arise out of the fact that Democrats are embarrassed by the bill, and they don’t want to be tied to it? I’ve never found Democrats to be shrinking violets when it came to cable news networks — except when they fear the policy they support is a political loser. I agree that Republicans are outfighting the Democrats at the moment. That could be because that the Democrats don’t have a winning argument.

Comment by Marque

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