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John Gibson and Ed Gillespie - how's that for balanced?

Reported by Chrish - May 10, 2006

On The Big Story today a video of Nancy Pelosi and Tim Russert on Meet the Press was shown, where Pelosi said that while impeachment was not what the Democrats are about, if that's where the facts take you, it is still on the table. Gibson's response? "Rrrright." He wonders if talk like that is going to hurt her party's chances in November, and who better to ask for an objective analysis than Ed Gillespie, former head of the Republican National Committee.

Gibson actually made some points for the Democrats while posing his questions to Gillespie, but that just allowed Gillespie to reiterate his pre-rehearsed talking points about the Democratic party. His mantra today (five times) was that Democrats plan to investigate, impeach, and impose higher taxes. The only substantive thing he got from Pelosi's appearance on MTP was that Democrats will not run a deficit or cut spending, so they must be planning to raise taxes. This is meant to scare the average viewer, many of whom have not only not seen a substantial decrease in their federal income taxes but have simultaneously seen increases in state, local, and property taxes (not to mention tuitions, energy costs, and food prices.)

Gillespie also revisits (and revisits and revisits - drill, drill, drill) the tired old talking points that Democrats don't have a positive agenda, they are driven by hatred and only want to oppose Bush.

(Personal rant: My prim Republican mom said for years that I only thought (behaved, dressed, hair-styled, lol) as I did to be contrary to her and she sincerely believed I would grow out of this rebelliousness and be just like her. Turns out I wasn't, I'm not, and I won't - not because I'm wayward but because I'm my own person. When Republicans say their opponents are just hateful or spiteful it is demeaning to their intellect, but so emblematic of that "strict father figure" frame associated with their governing style.)

Gibson momentarily defended Pelosi, saying that commentator John Dickerson said she actually laid out a program, four or five points, but then stepped in the hole when she brought up the possibility of impeachment, and asked Gillespie if that fear motivate your voters?

Gillespie says that a big streak of Democrats are motivated by hatred, and brings out the third talking point: Republicans and "a lot" of Independents don't want Congress spending time on impeachment, they want them working on improving schools, keep jobs going strong, win the war in Iraq, and the "war on terror." He claims that the Republican Congressional takeover in 1994 was not motivated just by opposition to healthcare reform or the record tax increase (which Nancy Pelosi voted for) , people voted for the ten bills that Republicans promised they would consider on the floor. Democrats, he says again, don't have such a plan so they resort to things like investigation and impeachment.

Gibson asked if the Republicans (Rove, Mehlman) going around telling voters that if Democrats win the House back in November they will impeach is not the same tactic they've accused Democrats of - they have no other agenda so just oppose what the other side stands for? This was a challenging question, unlike the usual softballs. Of course, Gillespie said NO, it's not the same because the Democrats are going around saying themselves that they want to impeach Bush - John Conyers would be head of the House Judiciary Committee and look at his website! In a stunning moment of hypocrisy Gillespie said that

"People care about policies and don't want to see Congress engaged in that kind of, uh that kind of uh personal assault on a sitting president ."
Too bad he didn't get that when the Republican Congress impeached Bill Clinton who was sitting at a 62% approval rating, double Bush's current (sinking) number.

Again he says Democrats don't have a positive policy agenda and robotically repeats the drill: Republicans will keep economy strong by reducing taxes, making sure "we" have a free and stable Iraq, reduce energy prices, ...

Gibson had to cut him off to end the segment and I think he looked a little sorry for poor Gillespie, desperately spinning that which can no longer be spun.

Gillespie said a total of six times that Democrats don't have a positive policy to offer, which is a bald-faced lie. The DNC agenda includes

Keeping America safe at home: That's why we led the fight to create the Department of Homeland Security and continue to fight to ensure that our ports, nuclear and chemical plants, and other sensitive facilities are secured against attack.

Maintaining/improving strength overseas: Democrats believe that strong international alliances are the cornerstone of our foreign policy. The threat from international terrorism and rogue states requires a new era of alliances led by the United States, based on mutual respect and shared vision

Honoring Our Troops, Veterans, and Their Families: Democrats believe we must support our troops by modernizing our military to that it better meets the threats of the 21st century. We need to make sure we never send them to war without telling them the reasons they are being sent, giving them clear goals, supplying them with the best equipment available to keep them safe, and keeping our commitments to them when they return from war.

A strong economy: Expanding economic opportunity. Democrats believe that the most effective means of increasing opportunity for our families is a high quality, good paying job. We are committed to expanding economic opportunity to all Americans and creating the new jobs of the future.

Fiscal responsibility. The Democratic Party believes in balanced budgets and paying down our national debt, while Republicans continue to put huge burdens on future generations by borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from foreign nations.

The list goes on: Secure retirement. World-class education. Affordable health-care. Honest government. Election reform. Protecting the environment. Re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act.

Yesterday on ABC Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean outlined the Democratic Party's agenda for real change. Gillespie must have been memorizing his talking points and missed it.

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