Sunday, March 07, 2010

Why Can't the Press Stop Orrin Hatch from Lying?

Steve Benen, Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, and good many others have made the point over and over and over: as things stand right now -- in fact,as they have been since Christmas -- no "reconciliation bill" is needed to pass comprehensive health care reform. All it takes is for a bare majority in the House of Representatives to pass the bill.

A "super-majority" of Senators already passed late last year. If and when the House agrees, it goes straight to Obama's desk for signature.

What is up for debate now is whether the already-passed Senate bill is better than the Nothing proposed by Republicans, and whether the House will pass it if the Senate leadership promises separate legislation to amend the health reform act once it has been signed into law. That kind of bill is the one which would likely be taken up in reconciliation, as so many were during the Bush and Reagan years, particularly. That bill, which has yet to be written, would be relatively small, discrete, and limited in scope.

So, how is it that pseudo-journalist David Gregory can sit there hosting "Meet the Press" and let Orrin Hatch shamelessly lie without calling him on it?

Benen goes over the incontestable facts one more time:
1. Democrats aren't trying to pass health care legislation using the Senate's reconciliation rules. Reconciliation would be used for a budget fix, which is why reconciliation exists.

2. "Sweeping" social legislation has already passed on "a totally partisan vote." If Democrats "get their way"? Democrats already got their way -- health care reform passed the Senate on a 60-to-39 vote in December, with zero GOP votes. Hatch was there; he should probably remember. It was "a totally partisan vote" because Republicans refused to negotiate in good faith, and rejected ideas they claimed to support.

3. Hatch supported reconciliation many times, on legislation large and small, including bills related to health care. His incessant whining on the subject is disingenuous and demonstrably false.

Hatch isn't some rookie; he's been in the Senate nearly as long as I've been alive. And yet, he can't seem to bring himself to even try to tell the truth about the basics, a habit that seems to get him more appearances on national television, instead of fewer.
Gregory should be deeply ashamed of himself. No -- more than that. NBC ought to fire his ass.

Not even a cub reporter interviewing a local coach for the Hometown Homily would have a job if he allowed him lie as shamelessly as Hatch lies to the viewers of Meet the Press.

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