Friday, November 12, 2010

Smarter Than The Average Bear or Op Ed Writer


I guess we live in a country where - if you write for 'venerable' organizations like the Washington Post - you must smarter than the average bear.

In his November 12, 2010, WaPo column, Dana Milbank chalks up another day to punditoria arrogance, stupidity and revisionism.

"Democrats in the House are set to keep the same three leaders - Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn - who led them to their historic wipeout. This is the preschool-soccer theory of accountability: Nobody keeps score and everybody gets a trophy. The fallen House speaker seems to speak for a number of her colleagues when she says she has "no regrets" about the past two years."

and the inanity continues if you care to read.

First of all - I have had plenty of issues with Pelosi & Company with the things she they done ("impeachment is off the table") and haven't done ("impeachment is off the table"), but I believe she has been a pretty decent Speaker considering everything that has been tossed at her and her lieutenants.  They have had the obstructionist GOP (who would vote down a cure to cancer), the DINO Blue Dogs (who would sell their mother out), a President who has failed (yes I will use failed) to take stands, fight the GOP and follow through on many of his pledges and finally a media cheering for her demise.

Yes it was a pretty overwhelming wipeout.  But I can guarantee Mr. Milbank that NOT ONE person who voted on November 8th (except in CA-8) gave a rat's ass about Nancy Pelosi (or Stoyer or Clyburn).  I would bet over 50% of the country has no idea who the Speaker of the House is!  I would also bet well over 50% of the country has no clue whom their own House Rep is.  I live in deep blue 'sophisticated' Manhattan - where over 80% of registered voters are Democrats.  I know several people who have no idea who their Representative is (Carolyn Maloney) and there are many who still think Hillary Clinton is still our Senator!

When people voted last week - they voted against Obama - period.  They went into the booth (or 'private voting area' that we now have) and filled in straight Republican.  They could have been voting for Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun for all they cared - it was a repudiation on Obama.  Less than 0.1% of the voting public went in to the polls and chose their Rep based on the actions of Pelosi or Stoyer.  Many of them may have actually benefited from House actions - but that didn't matter.  It was Obama they were repudiating and Pelosi was the indirect victim.

Then again Pelosi isn't as hot as Palin - so maybe that was the reason she was booted.

To say that those three led the House to an historic wipeout is disingenuous and another sign of a lazy writer.  The House and the Dems suffered because of the weakness of Obama, the weakness of the economy, the obstruction and great marketing of the Republicans, Fox News & Propaganda Inc., the Citizens United decision and the media's elevation of the teabaggers to lofty levels (without bothering to call them out for the racists and greedmongers they really are).  Sure the Democrats made major blunders and have the spine of a squid - but not one voter pulled the lever (an old school term - there are no more levers) based on the leadership of Pelosi.

Milbank knows this, the media knows this - but telling the real story requires work and probably doesn't sell a lot of columns or get you on TV.

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