What’s more repulsive and disturbing than to watch Senator Ted Cruz try to take down the government, sabotage a piece of legislation that was upheld by the Supreme Court, take away Americans’ access to universal health insurance – and then wrap himself in a populist American flag at the same time that he enjoys a Cadillac health insurance plan c/o his Wall Street wife? Watching “Great American” Sean Hannity slobber over Cruz’ efforts night after night on Fox News.
In a follow up to his slobberfest before Cruz’ faux filibuster, Hannity boasted about an “exclusive” post-faux filibuster interview. It featured such hard-hitting questions as “How ya holding up?” In case there was any doubt about the coziness between Cruz and Fox, he told us that after he took a nap, got up and made a sandwich, “First thing I did is watch Hannity, and then watch Greta.”
Hannity kept the lovelight going: “I lost a lot of sleep myself this week, but for a good cause. And I was amazed at your abilily – how lucid and fluid and articulate you were and you didn’t seem to miss a beat.”
Oh, and, in case you care, we also got the details about how Cruz avoided having to go to the bathroom.
But at least those were (presumably) honest exchanges. Just about everything else Cruz said was not. He continued pretending Americans want him to keep working to defund Obamacare when, in fact, they definitely do not.
Cruz also continued his dishonest call for Senate Republicans to “stand together” and defund Obamacare. Even as he almost surely knew that a) his measure would fail (which it did, 79-19) and, more importantly, even if it had succeeded, Obamacare will not be defunded.
Nevertheless, Cruz declared in Part two of his lengthy Hannity backpat, “The truth is on our side.”
Later, Cruz told his BFF, “What we’re doing is fundamentally immoral.”
He was talking about the deficit (while ignoring how it’s shrinking). But Cruz spoke more truth than he probably meant to let on.
What makes all of this a little sick is that Fox News has been trying to use the current situation to tilt the debate in a really sneaky way. At the extreme end of this curve, you have Hannity openly cheering Cruz on for his obstruction and Cavuto happily citing untrue talking points. But then on O’Reilly, you have Bill sagely intoning that there are extremists on both sides and the best course would be for President Obama to negotiate with the right wingers and for them to find a compromise in the middle – say, by delaying the ACA for another year. Notice what O’Reilly just did there? He’s pretending that the middle of the road here is to give the GOP some of what they want by gutting or delaying the ACA long enough to give the right wing time to find another way to kill it before it goes into effect. That’s not the middle of the road. That’s midway up the far right part of the road! Middle of the road would be what several Democrats have suggested – let the GOP make positive suggestions of adjustments that can be made, and the Congress can act accordingly, as they do with all such laws. But that’s not what the right wing wants. They are desperate to keep the law from being implemented, even though it’s already funded and will go into effect whether they like it or not.
O’Reilly’s supposedly “balanced” approach ignores that the Democrats have repeatedly attempted to work on the ACA with the GOP, during the period of its drafting through to the present day. The GOP responded not with honest efforts to work on the law but instead with every bit of obstruction and stalling they could muster. Again, as Anthony Weiner correctly noted in 2009, the GOP’s intent was to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct so they could delay, delay, delay. And the purpose of that was to prevent the law from being passed and/or enacted. So they could say with authority during an election campaign that President Obama had failed even when it came to the signature legislation he’d promised to get passed. Now that he’s succeeded in getting a modified version of it through, the GOP seems almost suicidal in its fervor to kill the law after the fact. O’Reilly’s “balanced” solution just gives the GOP support and ammunition in their attempts to chip away at it and get rid of it.
Even smarmier was the approach taken by Greta van Susteren in her Friday night interviews with Cruz and Michelle Bachmann. At one point, van Susteren actually pondered aloud why Harry Reid didn’t congratulate Cruz for bogarting the microphone for 21 hours. Somehow, Reid is considered “uncivil” by van Susteren for expressing the truth – that Cruz wasted 21 hours of the Senate’s time on his showboat, to no avail. I’m hoping that Ellen has preserved that moment from Greta’s show – it’s one that actually got me to laugh out loud. And again, it’s a subtle attempt to tip the discussion into the right wing side of the road. In this world, somehow the options range from the far far right wing approach of just killing the law completely by repealing it to just the far right wing approach of trying to cut off its funding. And frankly, the idea of Michelle Bachmann as a reasonable party here is almost as laughable as the notion of Harry Reid being uncivil.
Rep. Peter King (NY-R) tells Rafael to shut his mouth.
The Stop Hannity Express wants all the masses to read this golden gem. Hugh’s little wayward son won’t bring this up, but the Express will.
The GOP Civil War is reaching new heights! Call out the National Guards! This one will be even nastier!
Hannocchio goes where the wind blows. If the far, far right masses hated Rafael, this aging cafeteria Catholic, would not bromance him for fear of backlash.
Grab that bucket of popcorn and a drink. The curtain is beginning to open and the show is about to begin.
NOTE TO HANNITY
We can imagine the words your fellow Irishman, King calls you.