Norman Ornstein to the Press Corps: Stop Covering the GOP Fairly to Stop Their Success

Nothing says marginal extremism like holding the US House, most statehouses, most governorships, and a plurality of national party ID.

In today’s quasi-bipartisan inane ramblings, Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute want the Washington Press Corps to know the GOP is extremist, destroying the country, and they should all stop paying attention to the GOP or treating them with balance.

Nothing says marginal extremism like holding the US House, most statehouses, most governorships, and a plurality of national party ID.

Now, we know their target audience is the press corps because they write

Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?

This is a growing trend among left-wingers. They have not won the arguments. In fact, Ornstein and Mann take 1,998 words to make sure we know the left has been wholly unsuccessful in its agenda. So what Ornstein and Mann resort to in response is

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

It’s kind of like how they refused to compromise on their healthcare plan and insisted on parliamentary gimmicks to ram it through Congress, cooked the books to make it look like it would cut the deficit, chose to ignore facts not in dispute since Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations back in the 1700′s, and tried to paint their opposition as wanting to put women back in kitchens, blacks back in chains, and old people in the grave.

Oh wait . . . that’d be the Democrats who did that when they controlled Congress and the White House at or near filibuster proof levels for two years and did nothing to fix the economy, but chose instead to wreck private healthcare in America.

Ornstein and Mann are all upset at Allen West for comparing the Progressive Caucus in the House to the Communist Party — an accurate comparison considering how the groups are so closely aligned in their publicly stated agenda.

For 1,998 words, Ornstein and Mann chronicle Republican successes since 1994 and view it all as bad. The drive to reduce government is viewed as bad government. Republican ideas are viewed as unworthy of consideration or fair treatment by the press.

This, in fact, is the point to pay attention to in it all.

The American Press Corps leans left and does so objectively. Consider, in the past few years, the number of journalists who went to work for Barack Obama. Consider, in the past few years, the number of journalists who have moved from left-wing organizations into the mainstream or who have spouses who work for left-wing groups. I can think, offhand, of a number of very prominent journalists in Washington who are married to pro-abortion advocates, DNC and left-wing political operatives, etc. The press does lean left.

The way the press has tried to get around its biases is to state both positions as fairly as possible. Now, even so the press fails miserably often intentionally putting a female pro-abortion activist against a male pro-life activist even though there is a ready supply of female pro-life advocates ready to go on TV.

But the press takes the approach they ridicule Fox News for taking — being fair and balanced. Left-winger says X and cites these facts. Right-winger says Y and cites these facts. You decide. They’ll reveal their biases in who they use for those facts and how they give treatment to them.

Consequently, left-wingers are upset. Their ideas have been rather unsuccessful since around Ronald Reagan’s election and have been declining ever since. Now we’re starting to see a new trend in journalism.

First is the belief Ornstein and Mann peddle:

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

They cite a liberal’s research that conservatives think differently from liberals and make the blanket determination that the liberals’ “facts” are the real facts.

An example would be taxes. To the simple minded liberal, raising taxes increases revenue to the federal government in an amount capable of solving our debt problem. They ignore that cutting taxes can generate enough economic growth to generate new revenue into the treasury as we saw during the Reagan years. Liberals view the Reagan deficits as proof tax cuts don’t work and ignore the excess growth in government defense spending during the time.

Another example would be global warming. Conservatives and the American public at large have failed to buy into politically correct notions of global warming and the left views this as a terrible thing.

The list is pretty extensive and those are just two examples. Because conservatives have been so successful, Ornstein and Mann first must label them out of touch with facts and science and then do what the left has been trying since Barack Obama took office — silence dissent.

We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality. If the political dynamics of Washington are unlikely to change anytime soon, at least we should change the way that reality is portrayed to the public.

Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?

Also, stop lending legitimacy to Senate filibusters by treating a 60-vote hurdle as routine. The framers certainly didn’t intend it to be. Report individual senators’ abusive use of holds and identify every time the minority party uses a filibuster to kill a bill or nomination with majority support.

Look ahead to the likely consequences of voters’ choices in the November elections. How would the candidates govern? What could they accomplish? What differences can people expect from a unified Republican or Democratic government, or one divided between the parties?

It is a soft form of the liberal fascism about which I’ve been warning. The GOP must be painted as extremist by the press, their point of view must be painted as fringe, and they must be shut up because they are too damn successful.

The sad thing is, there are a number of Republican Leaders in Washington who agree and wish conservatives would just send them money, but otherwise shut up.

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