'Both Sides Meme' in the Super Committee

Paul Krugman predicted that “both sides” would be blamed if the Super Committee failed to come up with a deal.

He was right.

Yep, the Democrats on the committee are being targeted with equal blame as the Republicans even though the Republicans refused to allow equal parts tax increases and spending cuts — this, of course, would be a fair deal. Instead, the Republicans insisted on a hugely lopsided deal with spending cuts far outweighing tax hikes.

Ezra:

According to the supercommittee’s Democrats, the Republicans just offered a deal that paired $542.7 billion in spending cuts with $3 billion in tax increases. So the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases is approximately 180:1, and 214:1 if you count interest savings.

So when the Democrats rightfully resist being bullied around with an incredibly unfair deal, they’re blamed as much as the Republicans.

Your liberal media at work. Blame the Democrats for not allowing themselves (and the American people) to be bulldozed by the Republicans.

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  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    “Your liberal media at work. Blame the Democrats for not allowing themselves (and the American people) to be bulldozed by the Republicans.” Pull quote!

  • http://twitter.com/SugaRazor Razor

    The media sucks, that’s no surprise, but this is exactly why Americans are fed up with congress and say things like “I don’t care about politics” or “vote them all out!” because nothing can get done.

    Yes it’s the GOP’s fault, no the media will never report it that way, but people are just tired of this bullshit. This is so stupid and as long as we’re in the never-ending election cycle, it will never change.

    • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

      Which is also the wrong attitude to have. Voting people out of their jobs just because they’ve been there for a while isn’t a valid reason. It’s how we wound up with a bunch of teabaggers who don’t understand how Congress works. It’s up to the voter to do research on their representatives’ capability, but they usually love their guy and blame everyone else. When I look at Boehner’s FB page, not only am I stunned at the idiotic reasons people give for supporting him, I’m also flabbergasted at the idiotic reasons people give for disagreeing with him. When you have a lazy, uneducated, willfully ignorant electorate kept dunderheaded by the mercurial media, this is the result.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        While I completely agree with you that the American people need to be more active and educated participants and that the MSM is horrible at actually being balanced (or doing their job in a real way)….aren’t we as liberals being far to idealistic to expect this to change any time soon? What we’re wanting is a major shift in values for the American people and a power shift within the MSM….and there’s only two ways that can happen, through Revolution or through a long term widely distributed marketing* campaign which will take generations to have any effect at all. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do something to counteract the dumbing down of America or the MSM’s biases but I am saying that when we demand those changes right now and we as individuals take no action, then we are being completely unrealistic. We need to use the rightwing’s own methods against them and we need to be patient.

        (*note, I am using this term loosely and this is what conservatards have done and they have succeeded in pushing their agenda so that it now dominates all political discussion in the U.S.)

        • http://rob.yurkowski.net/ Rob Yurkowski

          To this, I’d reply two things:

          First, it’s not actually a major shift in American Values. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that roughly only 20% of Americans are Republicans (fewer yet are Democrats, in truth). The rest is all the middle, and the job is convincing them which way to vote each election. The thing is most of them tend to be relatively centre-left when they’re asked on an issue-by-issue matter, but for varying reasons, prefer to remain ‘independent’ or even ambivalent.

          Many of these voters (obviously, I’m generalizing) tend to make massive judgments based on things that progressives think shouldn’t matter—looks, hearsay, popularity. In these cases, President Obama’s doing well. He’s a solid family man, he’s got good narrative, and he comes across as trustworthy.

          Second, it’s easy to come up with a narrative about the MSM hating Liberals, but it’s simply not the case. It’s all about money—people who watch TV for their news tend to be more conservative, and more viewers means more advertising dollars. There are some networks that appear to have a marginally liberal bent, but this is only because there’s money to be found in that, too. If everyone are simply stopped watching Rachel Maddow, for instance, MSNBC would veer harder to the right than Tiger Woods being chased by a Swedish woman. They have to; they’re competing with FOX for advertisers.

          I don’t blame them at all for it, since for most of the journalists, it’s all about keeping their jobs—a noble goal during these times, I’d say. It’s frustrating, but by the same token, I don’t think ‘fixing’ television or print media is necessarily the solution. Where possible, we should promote alternatives, sure… but frankly, the right wing controls the lion’s share of that media, and it’s simply not possible to penetrate that market.

          There are several things we should do, then:

          - Promote objective national media outlets like Mother Jones and TNR, and donate where possible;
          - Ponder on viral strategies to convince independents that they are most similar to Dems, best served by Dems, to vote Dem in the upcoming elections, and to stay Dem afterward;
          - Encourage party leadership to more actively train and prep candidates and crews for elections, aiming to connect with middle-of-the-road voters who might be more reticent to support a liberal agenda they’ve had repeatedly likened to socialism.
          - Support, applaud, and echo the brilliant things that the President accomplishes. When we criticize, say ‘what you’ve done was good — here’s what’s next.’ Jon Chait had a brilliant article on incrementalism today, and it ought to be required reading: http://nymag.com/news/politics/liberals-jonathan-chait-2011-11/

          I used to stress out over the GOP’s dominance, too, and its relative extremity. As we get closer to the 2012 election, I’m less worried. They’re so extreme because they’ve been allowed to be—they could still win elections with their level of extremity. Now, I think they’ve gone to far, and if we execute properly, they’ll have a hard time winning an election this time and in 2016. That’s plenty of time to pass legislation that benefits this middle segment, and that’s not something so easily forgotten. For each election the GOP loses, they’ll either have to try dirtier tricks or will have to shift leftward to try and grab a bigger chunk of these independent votes. At this point, a dirty trick only nets you so many votes.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            I think your ideas are good ones but I still think we could be competitive in TV journalism.

            Also, your statement “…MSNBC would veer harder to the right than Tiger Woods being chased by a Swedish woman” was fantastic!

  • GN

    Thanks so much for writing about this. The false equivalencies have been going on for quite some time and indeed, have confused the public and kept the GOP leadership from being held fully accountable for their actions. For all of the drama, angst, and fury taking place, if people were able to simply focus and vote the GOP out of the House and Senate in significant number, we’d be a long way towards sanity.

  • dildenusa

    No soup from the souper committee. Thanks to the democrats at least the homeless kitchen still has some soup.

    The tea party republics have no shame. I watched Gopher Nosetwist on CBS 60 Minutes last night.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389006n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

    What an ass. All his life he was nothing but a political sycophant who came up with a gimmick to make himself wealthy. Please Gopher, go back into your hole. The idea that we will return to 1900 when the federal budget was 8% of GDP is a joke. What about state budgets? When people have no access to health care the state will be picking up the tab and will need to raise taxes to cover massive debts from caring for mega millions of unemployed. Then What? These tea party republics can’t see past their own noses. In fact they are cutting off their noses to spite their face. If they have their way we won’t return to just 1900, we will go back to 1300 when 99% of the people lived in abject poverty and 1% lived in opulent luxury. When you have that kind of socioeconomic disparity, the only goal of the 1% is to keep the 99% where they are. The idea that the 1% create jobs that will pull the 99% out of abject poverty is ridiculous.

    Oh yeah, after the Bubonic Plague killed off one thid of Europe’s population between 1347 and 1350, it took well over 100 years for Europe to recover economically and the feudal system was dead. So what does that tell you? Maybe things won’t repeat because we know much more about the spread of disease, but when the system collapsed it took 1 percenters as well as 99 percenters. Maybe not as many but the 1 percenters get hurt too.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      dilde, it all comes down to a failure to look at the big picture or plan for the long term. A terminal fault of the rich and greedy. They’re getting as much as they can as quick as they can and be damned the consequences.

      In re: your statement, “we will go back to 1300″, there was a great joke on “Wait Wait….Don’t tell me!” One of the comedians when predicting what news we will hear this week said (loosely quoting here):

      “The super-committee will unveil a time travel machine but the two sides won’t be able to agree on how to use it. The Democrats would like to go back a few years before the Bush tax cuts were put in place. The Republicans would like to a little further back…..to before the Enlightenment.”

      What made it so funny was that it was so damn spot on (and so are you).

      • dildenusa

        “The super-committee will unveil a time travel machine but the two sides won’t be able to agree on how to use it. The Democrats would like to go back a few years before the Bush tax cuts were put in place. The Republicans would like to a little further back…..to before the Enlightenment.”

        I didn’t hear that one but it’s a good one. There is no past and there is no future. There is only here and now. But in order for here and now to exist tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, one needs to plan. Just as an individual needs to have a plan, society must have a plan. Abandoning the foundations of modern society to “the free market” and not have some kind of plan to make sure people who get left behind through no fault of their own and don’t suffer is the epitome of ignorance. To say that if someone is suffering it is their own fault, so I can close my eyes and walk away because “there for the grace of GOD go I” is a cop out.

        I don’t buy the idea that the Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers caused the extinction of animals like the Wooly Mammoth and Wooly Rhinocerous. It would have been very foolish of them to just willy nilly kill off their dinner even if it took a few hundred years to do so. I believe that climate change and certain kinds of random events also had something to do with mass extinctions. The idea that primitive = ignorant is plainly false but we have allowed ignorance in all its harmful disguises to lead us down the garden path.

  • villemar

    And that mentality is exploited by scumbags like Greenwald and Hamsher.

    • Scopedog

      Agreed.

  • http://twitter.com/sherifffruitfly SheriffFruitfly

    This happens with the assistance of the Professional Left, who collectively blame Democrats every bit as loudly and mendaciously as teabaggers.

    With no force pushing the opposite direction from the Professional Left, it is perfectly unsurprising that Democrats would get blamed in the media.

    Notice that the Professional Left spent the entire run-up to today pre-emptively blaming Democrats for “caving”.

    • Scopedog

      Sadly, what you said is very true….and it’s been the case for a while now.

      Seriously, with the PL, who needs enemies?

  • D_C_Wilson

    Democrats: We won’t agree to spending cuts unless to tax increases are also included in the mix.

    Republicans: We won’t agree to any tax increases under any circumstances.

    Yes, clearly, “both sides” are refusing to compromise.