The polls consistently show that Republicans are getting blamed for the government shutdown. Furthermore, the GOP cause for shutting down the government – undermining Obamacare – is not popular either. So what’s a “no spin” pundit on Fox News to do? Blame the media! But in a discussion with the Tea Party shutdown "it" guy, Ted Cruz, O’Reilly used the media as a foil to reveal how Cruz’ phony Obamacare/Affordable Care Act showdown is failing.
O’Reilly acknowledged that Americans oppose the shutdown and that a new poll found Democrats have a 9-point lead in a generic House ballot. National Journal described that as “a historically wide edge, despite the structural advantages that make a Democratic takeover of the House unlikely.”
Still, Republicans are likely to be nervous. And it seems there’s nothing that soothes conservative nerves like pounding on a scapegoat. So, O’Reilly to the rescue!
Some pundits believe that number reflects how the Obamacare shutdown mess is being reported.
The fact is, O’Reilly doesn’t support the shutdown, either, as he almost immediately hinted when he said, “Once again, Talking Points believes a compromise should be accepted.”
Then, O’Reilly brought on Cruz. If you’re a regular O’Reilly watcher, you can tell that he’s not a big Cruz fan. His showcasing of Rep. Peter King’s withering criticisms of Cruz, was one such indicator. But O’Reilly is nothing if not wily. So he cleverly used the media as a vehicle to urge Cruz to look out for something beyond his pocketbook and 2016 campaign.
First, O’Reilly prodded Cruz to accept O’Reilly’s proposed Obamacare compromise (to delay the individual mandate for a year and revisit it again before the midterm elections – with the unstated hope that Republicans can then use it against Democrats to regain control of the Senate).
Cruz trapped himself with what he clearly thought was his own cleverness. When O’Reilly asked if he’d go for that compromise, Cruz said O’Reilly was “exactly right.” But, after launching an attack on President Obama for granting some exemptions to Obamacare, the millionaire, elitist Cruz – who apparently gets a Cadillac health insurance plan from his bankster wife – looked into the camera with his most sincere face and said, “This fight is really about the hard-working American families get treated the same. Or is there a special rule for the ruling class in Washington?”
Either Mr. Ruling Class Cruz actually believes that shutting down the government and depriving “hard-working American families” of government services and access to health insurance is looking out for them – or he’s a skilled liar. I’ll let you decide.
To his credit, I don’t think O’Reilly bought it. “I’m gonna take that as a ‘yes,’” O’Reilly said, referring to his compromise offer. At that point, Cruz began to waffle to get out of the corner he had just painted himself into. Cruz tried to make Senator Harry Reid look like the unreasonable, uncompromising ones and trotted out that GOP/Fox News chestnut/canard about President Obama talking to Iran and not Republicans.
O’Reilly interrupted, saying, “The reality is, that one side is being perceived by the American public, if you believe the polls, as the reasonable side. So what I suggest to you and the Republican party is that you take this compromise.
But Cruz has an agenda and it’s not about getting the government running or even helping Republicans overall. “You’re listening to the American people,” Cruz said, before attacking Senator Harry Reid as not doing so. But again, Cruz trapped himself. Because if he really thought O’Reilly was speaking for “the American people,” why didn’t he just adopt the proposal?
Rather than calling out Cruz directly on his baloney, O’Reilly put it on the press. He urged Cruz and House Republican Speaker John Boehner to do a press conference. “You gotta break it down and make it easier so that the press …can’t interpret your position. You see? That’s what’s happening!”
Cruz feinted, saying that the press will “always …repeat the White House’s talking points.”
“But you gotta sell it, Senator," O'Reilly pressed. "You gotta sell it to the folks who are watching football, dancing, singing, juggling, texting …You got to sell it! Or the polls will go against you. And that’s the reality of the country in which we live.”
But Cruz only cared about his next show-boating (and likely coffers-enriching) attack on Democrats, which is to fund the federal government incrementally – except Obamacare. This time, Cruz’ sincere face went with some claptrap about wanting to fund those parts of the federal government President Obama named as priorities: national parks, border patrol, the Smithsonian museums, etc.
Which O’Reilly, again to his credit, called out. “That’s a clever way – you know you’re on The Factor tonight – that’s a clever way of saying, ‘We’ll fund everything but Obamacare.’ ‘Cause that’s what you want to do in the first place.” O’Reilly looked very amused at Cruz’ disingenuousness, adding, “So it’s kind of a backdoor deal, Senator. I admire the strategy but I know what you’re doing.”
“But listen, it’s not quite,” Cruz insisted, before trapping himself again. He again played the “Harry Reid wants a shutdown card.” But O’Reilly shot it down again: “Yeah, ‘cause he thinks he’s gonna win and the Democratic party is going to do better next year. He thinks he’s going to beat you. …The polls haven’t caught up to you yet. The polls still say, most of the folks are blaming Republicans. So I think you guys should do some P.R. here.” Or to put it another way: Harry Reid and the Democrats are winning.
Fortunately for Cruz haters, he’s not about to take O'Reilly's advice. In fact, he seemed wedded to the funding stunt that O'Reilly ridiculed. “We need to listen to the American people and we need to fix this train wreck that is Obamacare,” Cruz said.
Apparently, Cruz is either unwilling or unable to listen to the American people he keeps claiming to champion. Because they have made it clear they don’t agree with his tactics or his goal. So either he’s clueless – or he’s quite the liar.
I’ll report and let you decide.
Yeah. That must be why the NBC Nightly News last night (10/1) had Chuck Todd interviewing two TEABAGGERS and no Democrats (much less the President) about the shutdown and why they supported the shutdown. Because the “press” just repeats the WH talking points. (And not the least bit like how FoxNoise always repeats GOP/teabagger talking points.)
It must also be why, on Monday night, NBC’s medical correspondent, Nancy Snyderman, showed an “interview” with HHS Secretary Sibelius that looked incredibly doctored. Snyderman would ask a fairly lengthy question and Sibelius would get one sentence (and you could just about see how her response was cut off before she could go into any detail). What was worse about this “interview” was the fact that there was no on-air direction to “go to the website for the full interview” (a common practice for most other stories). The basic gist of the “interview” was that Sibelius and the HHS were solely responsible for “all the confusion” about the ACA. Interesting how Dr Snyderman didn’t consider that the media (including herself and her own network) might have had some culpability since they were pretty lax in giving any real coverage about what the ACA would and wouldn’t do, especially in the week leading up to the ACA’s going into full effect.
Cruz is just looking for another scapegoat to cover his own pathetic ass. As for O’Reilly, I’m not giving him any points here. If his guest had been a Democrat pulling the same kind of shenanigans to lead the Dems into shutting down the government, you just know that O’Reilly wouldn’t have, as Ellen wrote, “put it on the press.” A Dem would’ve been skewered and given a verbal lashing—even if O’Reilly didn’t have any real personal dislike for the person (as he allegedly has towards Cruz).
Rep. King of New York is not a fan of Rafael. His recent smackdown of him earned King a barrage of death threats from Rafael’s supporters. Hold the bus! We thought these Tea Pots were pro-life, pro-Christian, and responsible gun owners?
The Tea Pots are the American version of Al Qaeda. Bent on self destruction of the United States of America.
O’Reilly did call Cruz on his intransigence, but he also made it clear that he agreed with Cruz’ position – that the ACA should be gutted by any means possible. O’Reilly just disagrees with Cruz’ tactics, which sounds like a standard iteration of the non-extreme version of the right wing position being held by Fox News, right wing radio and the GOP.
Cruz is frantically hanging on to the idea that somehow he can save face in this debacle if he never personally votes to end the problem. This is the same approach being taken by most of the hard right GOP congresspeople talking to Fox. Their intention is to continue to vote in a negative fashion so they can campaign on their intransigence later. In Cruz’ case, I now believe he’s positioning himself for a post-Senate career on Fox News, probably in the weekend Huckabee slot.
O’Reilly, on the other hand, is trying to sound like a reasonable guy in the middle of the road. And he’s not. He’s playing this just as sneaky as he did last week. Note that O’Reilly is calling for compromise – but only on GOP terms. O’Reilly’s idea of compromise has not changed since he first brought it up, even in the face of the GOP taking huge damage for shutting everything down. If everyone did O’Reilly’s idea, we’d see a situation where the ACA would essentially be delayed for another year – since most people would avoid dealing with any of it if they weren’t mandated to do so. We’d also see a situation where the program would go billions into debt due to losing the medical device tax as part of the great “compromise”. The GOP would then campaign on how expensive the ACA is, and would extend the delay to past the 2014 midterms. If they got their way completely, they would take the Senate and then, finally repeal the whole thing. It’s a long con, and to beat it, supporters of the ACA have to stay two steps ahead of the games that the GOP is playing.
The real compromise that needs to be reached is more likely going to be that the GOP will be forced to allow a clean CR to get a vote in the House. This will be followed by a clean increase in the Debt Ceiling, metered to carry past the midterms. Only after THAT will there be some conference committees in the House and Senate to discuss amendments to the ACA – and that assumes that the GOP really is ready to discuss amendments rather than just destroying the law. I believe that a bunch of the more extreme right wing GOP congresspeople may be facing primary challenges from the center, particularly if this standoff lasts another two to three weeks. And that may not be a bad thing.
The hard right really does need to be held accountable. They have spent five years acting like angry children, simply because they hated the President the people elected in 2008. This wasn’t a matter where the election in either 08 or 12 was in dispute, as was the case with Bush. This wasn’t a case where you had a recount showing that John McCain or Mitt Romney had actually won the crucial state involved, as was documented in late 2001 with Al Gore winning Florida in 2000 by the slimmest of margins. This was a case where the voters clearly decided they wanted Barack Obama to be their President, and the hard right simply couldn’t stomach it.
I also find it interesting that the hard right is also trying to play the game of saying that bad laws and bad judicial decisions can still be undone by Congress as part of their duty. That’s true, but we’re not talking about laws allowing slavery or the Dred Scott decision. We’re not talking about prohibition. We’re talking about an attempt to make health care affordable for millions of people who don’t have any coverage. I have issues with the ACA myself – I’m disappointed that President Obama caved on the public option. But I believe that we’ll get there within a few years and we’ll finally wind up with the Single Payer system that works in Canada and in much of the world, and this whole issue will finally be ended. Until then, the ACA will serve as a beginning step – at least acknowledging the severity of the problem.
I read someone noting correctly yesterday that the GOP’s fear about the ACA isn’t that it will hurt the country or generate problems. If they really thought that, they would get out of the way, let it go into effect and then campaign against the Democrats who supported it. It would be the best bit of politicking they could have done in the past 20 years. The real fear of the GOP is actually that it will become much more popular among Americans, essentially becoming a third wing of the major services of government, buttressing Medicare. Once people realize that the sky doesn’t fall with it, and that they can have coverage and go to a doctor without being bankrupted by one illness or problem, all the hysteria will fade – except of course for the Alex Jones crowd. Which will have exactly the opposite effect for the GOP – they’ll look silly for having opposed it, and their only recourse will be to continue to rail against “entitlements”. But that’s the corner into which they have backed themselves.
A lot can change in a year and with memories very short with most of the America public and the money that will pouring in that will bombard the airwaves with ads in the swing districts I really do wonder if what we’re seeing today will matter to turn things around and put an end to this right wing Tea Party madness.