The rush to pass health care reform has been slowed by mostly just criticisms of an overly ambitious, almost incomprehensible bill, that could well lead to health care rationing as it also breaks the bank. When they thought they could shove this boondoggle down out throats with little opposition, Obama and Congressional leaders said they wanted votes by the August recess. It didn’t happen. And now, who are Congressional leaders blaming? The media! From the story:
Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday blamed Capitol Hill media for setting an August deadline for health reform and Republicans for blocking the bill’s progress. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Conference Secretary Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also acknowledged that critics will “pour it on” during the coming August recess and they plan to respond in kind. Reid said reporters created a fictitious deadline of a successful vote by the August recess, and downplayed the fact that the chamber won’t meet that mark. “That is a deadline that you created,” Reid told a group of about 75 reporters. “It’s not like we don’t have a product. Significant progress has been made … The mere fact that this wasn’t done by last Friday or by five o’clock doesn’t mean we’re not going to get a quality product.”
What kind of leadership is this? I think the media has much about which to be contrite. They have generally abdicated their crucial role of, to use one my most disliked cliches–“speaking truth to power,” by being reflexive cheerleaders for all things Obama, especially including this health care bill (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell even saying that people who oppose the bill not “knowing what’s good for them.”)
But the “problem” of a more deliberate process instead of a stampede–I see it as a virtue–is not the fault (or to the credit) of the media. That meme won’t spin. Our memories are not that short.