Framing the Dialogue

AP – Dems = Good, GOP = Bad

There are far too many examples of lame-stream media outlets subtle and more often overt characterization of GOP as greedy corporate shills while Democrats are looking to save the world.

Part 1: The latest example is regarding Michelle Obama’s foray into the business of public school lunch programs. I am not sure where in the Constitution that the federal government has the authority to tell some local school district what to do about school lunches, but according to the way the Associated Press tells it,

“House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier lunches…Republicans say the rules are too costly.”

I am not sure where to start. First of all the way I understand the situation is that school districts are complaining to everybody that the new rules will be too costly. Republicans are responding to constituents’ complaints. Secondly, if your school takes money from the federal government for lunch programs tough luck to you and you’ll have to do whatever big brother tells you when you take his money. Thirdly, have you ever heard the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink?” There have been numerous studies that show many students will simply throw away the healthier foods if they don’t want to eat it. Can brown bag inspectors be far down the road? Finally, perhaps the main Republican points are that Obama is spending too much money and expansively increasing the size of the federal government at the expense of local authority as preferred by out founders.

Part 2: There has been much ballyhoo about raising the debt limit so that Obama can keep spending our money, sorry “investing in our future” at a record pace. Regardless of the situation with the debt ceiling, the party in power always is in favor of raising the ceiling while the party out of power is against it. Even a current proponent of raising the debt ceiling argued persuasively against it when Bush called for it during his second term. Yep Obama was against it before he was for it.

It is now interesting in that neither party has full power (funny how that “balance of power” really works) do they both need each other yet still want to pin the problems on each other. The Democrats are fretting that should we not raise the ceiling all that is America will come crashing down. The Republicans want to bundle raising of the ceiling with substantial cuts in spending. The Democrats wanted a simple vote to raise the debt ceiling while the GOP wanted spending cuts attached. When the GOP finally gave in to the vote as requested by Obama and the Democrats and it was soundly defeated the Associated Press reported,

Vote staged by GOP as part of push for more spending cuts…House Republicans dealt defeat to their own proposal for a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit.” [emphasis added]

This story casts little doubt that Obama and the Democrats and Republicans watch the poll numbers closely. Three months ago the Republicans would never have brought this to a vote, but the polls are showing that more and more Americans are angry at the out-of-control spending in Washington. There is no doubt in my mind that the GOP wanted to get on record who wants real government reform and the measure overwhelmingly was defeated as Democrats crossed the aisle to vote against the measure. I guess that this was “staged” to some extent, but this was the vote that Obama and the Democrats wanted. Even the Community-Organizer-In-Chief kept a safe distance to “avoid taking sides” in the debate. It’s funny how often he sits on the fence. If only we could have seen some indication of that from his actions earlier in his political career!

As is typical of this kind of reporting, the real facts are found closer to the end of the article.

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