This morning’s lead item on NPR’s newscast was the House’s failure to pass an extension of certain provisions of the Patriot Act. From the very first sentence, it was described as a setback for House Republicans, a failure of party unity that calls into question blah blah blah.
Then at the very end they said (I’m paraphrasing), “The Obama administration says an extension is critical in the fight against terror . . .” So why wasn’t it a setback for Obama, portending a serious split in the Democratic party?
OK, never mind, I know the answer . . .
UPDATE: NPR could also have spun the vote as a breakdown in the spirit of bipartisanship caused by hard-line left-wing elements within the Democratic party, or even done a “strange new respect” angle about welcome signs of moderation among the Republicans. And they might have mentioned that the renewal was brought up under a rule requiring a two-thirds majority, and fell just short of that threshold (it will be reintroduced under normal rules requiring a simple majority and is expected to pass easily). But they didn’t. When it comes to politics, NPR basically has only two stories: GOP Evil and GOP Fail.
On the other hand, NRO’s Bob Costa gives basically the same interpretation as NPR, and he’s sharper than I’ll ever be, so perhaps there’s something in it. But I still don’t understand how, when a bill that Obama wants is rejected because Democrats vote heavily against it, it’s the Republicans’ fault.