Here’s a fun little task for a Sunday morning — find the most trope-ridden, “both sides do it”, “Washington is broken” analysis of the S&P downgrade. The big challenge is to find something worse than this piece by Doug Mataconis:
S&P didn’t just downgrade our debt, they downgraded our entire political system, and it’s hard to argue that they’re wrong in any of their conclusions. The past six weeks of debt ceiling negotiations, as well as earlier incidents such as the near government shutdown we experienced in April, the manner in which the Bush tax cuts were extended in December, the utter rejection of the rather reasonable recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and even the 2009 health care reform debate are all examples of the manner in which our political system has become dysfunctional even when it comes to the rather basic legislative duty of budgeting.
It’s obvious to all observers that the S&P could have just as easily downgraded our debt after the health care reform debate, because that bill was just the same as the debt crisis hostage taking.
Also, extra bonus points if you the post title is as bad as Doug’s: “S&P Debt Downgrade Leads To Same Old Washington Blame Game”. You know as soon as the word “blame” gets thrown around, its older, wiser counterpart, “accountability”, goes right out the window.
Is Cokie on “This Week”?
That is an automatic win.
Everyone knows that in a hostage crisis, the hostage is equally to blame.
They probably didn’t think of it then. I expect it to be a useful tool for controlling the country in the future though.
Villago Delenda Est
Oh, what utter unmitigated bullshit this is.
Most of the members of this fucking commission should have been paraded in tumbrels on the Mall before being dealt with accordingly. Cutting benefits to the people the programs are nominally created to serve in order to further enrich the skimmers on them is what Simpson-Bowles was all about.
Will nobody ever remember that even the Simpson-Bowles commission rejected the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission?
I don’t know if this counts as I’m sure someone already pointed it out but here is my former high school classmate.
Yep, I’m embarrassed. Every time he speaks, I’m embarrassed.
Mark “he’s a dick” Halperin is lecturing anyone on comity? These people are psychopaths.
“the blame game”
nothing enrages me like people who say this and think they are saying something wise. it’s the same kind of idiot who reacts to any analysis of how a situation went wrong by smugly saying “hindsight is 20-20”
@sb: No need to feel embarrassed. There is no one among us who didn’t have at least one moron in their high school class. Now, if he were a family member of yours…
Catlady wins the intertubes today.
You just don’t get it because you’re not Kool enough to be past all that partisan bullshit, man.
Seriously, Mataconis should long ago have single-handedly leveraged OTB into our prestigious “Monitor and Mock” category. He’s a clown.
And this is how it goes, create a fiscal crisis out of thin air, then blame the whole thing on “unpredictable” our politics. With the implication that we need a change to make things work again, with the knowledge that it is much easier to change a president, than change a congress.
The wingnuts tried the hostage taking strategy, but it was too easy to trace that back to republicans, so a faceless, seemingly detached from elected wingnuts private company, swaps places to keep the hostage crisis going.
With a black humor twist, as the same ratings agencies that allowed the economic crash of 2008 with phony ratings for the banksters and Wall Street greed merchants, is now making similar demands as wingers, of cut cut cut spending, in practical effect, setting itself up as some kind of shadow government agency dictating public policy for the American people.
You can’t make this shit up.
@sb: What a fucktard, seriously. Plenty of blame to go around, my white ass.
sorry forgot link, not awake yet. here it is
What’s worse is that the media complains about the “tired blame game” in politics, i.e., that each side blames the other, and never reflects upon their own tired blame game of lamenting how each side blames the other. And of course, as usual, they stop there. Much the same way as they run polls about how the public hates “Congress” and thinks they act like “children,” and then giggle about it. Um, have you considered that the public hates you and thinks _you_ act like children? It’s exactly this kind of faux world-weary bullshit that defines the contemporary media machine.
@harlana: There is plenty of blame to go around. It is just that it needs to go around to all the Republicans, not just a few.
“I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I’m blaming you.”
NPR’s coverage was so awful I turned it off and found I’d caught a case of conspiracyitis.
If you were part of a conservative cabal trying to take over America, of course infiltrating and capturing NPR would be a goal. Strategy, not accident.
@Three-nineteen: No, judging by how often Dean Baker points out that the Test Prep Daily made the same mistake.
This must be difficult for the media. Typically, a simple answer to a crisis is like a magnet to them. In this case the GOP caused a disaster all on their own. There’s voluminous clear evidence. But instead of reporting that they have to step back and pretend that it’s more complex than it looks.
@General Stuck: Good stuff, per usual.
From the same interview, Anthony Mason, earning some props:
Link to Thom Hartman pointing out that S&P report specifically blamed Rethugs for the downgrade and how botcasters didn’t bother to report: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Mainstream-Media-Ignores-S-by-Thom-Hartmann-110806-861.html
wrb @18 – I do beleive media are part of brainwashing psy-ops, including NPR.
I just need to figure out why I can’t see Reply button and everyone else can.
mix, we can google until our eyes cross but nothing is going to beat Mataconis. I especially liked the comments (including one from Mr. Cole).
Hover your mouse over the lower right corner of the post you want to reply to. “Reply” should ghostily appear.
On iPad, clicking the “link” text to the right of the commenter’s handle causes the “reply” button to appear in the RLC.
You know how republicans went after PBS funding? Maybe we should go after NPR’s.
Mataconis? isn’t that another word for baby’s first shit?
Villago Delenda Est
The “both sides do it” narrative must be maintained, at all costs.
I don’t think it matters that much in the end, of who claims who caused the ratings downgrade. And while it is unclear how much of a problem a single rating agency can be for America’s economic health, if it turns out that the action causes interest rates to increase for average voters, then Obama will get blamed for it. That is just how that works, and always has. Regardless of messaging and truthful claims that just one side caused this mess. The GOP side. The sitting president gets the blame, and credit, of good or bad economic conditions.
@Kathleen: But Hartman isn’t really right about this, unfortunately. If you read the whole report from S&P (it’s not that long), you’ll see that it’s very big on poxing both houses. The specific mention of republicans is only about S&P’s assumption that the Bush tax cuts will be extended:
The whole S&P report is here.
Adding: On reflection, I’d like to enter the S&P downgrade itself in the both-sides-do-it contest. Meta, I know.
Villago Delenda Est
For me, hovering the mouse cursor over text reveals the “reply” button, this with Chrome.
@Villago Delenda Est:
That’s what the Simpson-Bowles PowerPoint presentation that they gave to the press to undermine the commission’s real report was all about. The actual report has stuff in it like “we need single payer healthcare” and “let’s raise the cap on the FICA tax to $250K.”
It’s just so frustrating to me how many people thought that the B&S PowerPoint presentation was the actual report. I know that that’s what B&S meant to do, but it still makes me angry how many people on the left just assume that the PowerPoint presentation accurately represented the final report in any way.
This is how you know downgrade was a political move: everyone is reacting to it like it’s a political move.
This reminds me of when the wife is at home feeling a little cranky and under-the-weather, and her husband bursts in, with a mean drunk on and demands that she strip and bend over. She says, “not tonight, no way.” He grabs her, beats her, strips her and ties her naked to the bed. He goes out to the garage, gets a can of gasoline and proceeds to splash it all around the bedroom. Then he pulls out his zippo and says to his wife, “either you ask me to shove my cock up your asshole, or I’m gonna bur this whole house down with you and me in it, bitch!” Sobbing, she acquiesces to his demand and says, “pleeeease fuck my asshole.” He obliges her.
Really when you look at it, this whole thing could’ve been avoided if she’d just said OK to him when he first staggered in. BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME.
Thanks, everyone, for your reply tips. I must admist I’m rather tech challenged (and knowledge challenged about many other things!) but I still can’t see “Reply”. Not sure if I need to download different browser. I’m wondering if my browser (Internet Explorer) is the problem.
@tweez: Good grief. Any chance you could find another way to express your opinion?
It’s the so-called “Liberal Media” afraid to call out the conservatives it supposedly despises so much!
tweez is obviously a libertarian.
ETA: and a Randian too!
It’s been that way for a long time. Over a year ago, I had to stop listening to “Wait, Wait, Don’t tell Me” they were so anti-Obama.
Music and a few of the kind of “indie” documentary shows are it for NPR.
@Kathleen: Did you clear your cache? Otherwise, yes, get another browser. Firefox and Chrome are both easy to install.
Sorry, you can’t win the Intertubes by calling someone a psychopath or a sociopath. This happens approximately every 42nd post from a liberal who is exasperated over something a conservative bonehead says or does.
And you know who else was a psychopath?
Damn, I came here for political commentary and got a giant boner instead!
Jay in Oregon
Doug Mataconis, level 85 pundit
Mistermix, I am above the partisan blame game, because I blame both parties and have come to the shocking conclusion that Washington is broken.
And you fail to mention my proposed solutions to this gripping problem, which include simple things like reforming the entire US tax code and political system while I carry water for Rep—-ERrr, I mean to say that both sides of course are equally to blame for politics as usual.
That is why I am going to sit here and write articles saying “both sides do it” until someone in Washington notices and starts catering to me and my crypto-conservative-“independent” movement.
Also you did not denounce Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Skeletor sufficiently in your post so it’s clear you are a vile partisan and I refuse to take you seriously, thus saving me the trouble of any intellectual engagement where I might be proven wrong.
holy shit, it works!
y’all should read tweez’s harry potter fan fiction. so much rape…
I agree Stuck. But what are we going to do? These fuckers have just ramped up the hostage taking to a new level and actually trying to dictate to the system… its a coup d’etat attempt nevertheless — a one more time since the last effort kinda didn’t quite work enough…
I am furious and want to start thinking about what we as citizens can do — how do we make these folks step back? This is the most naked power grab than I can even think of as a comparison.
That is absolutely right — and they (NPR) also don’t see a dime of my money.
I think that the S&P report’s seeming to blame republicans is just to cover their tracks. Its entirely a political move meant to influence the political system, and for that reason it ranks to me as totally inappropriate and an attempt to usurp power. We must figure a way to fight it tooth and nail but am at a loss atm on what would be most effective. We don’t elect these people and they are invisible to any overt process we have — making this an extremely dangerous precedent. What next — they don’t like the result of an election and weigh in to threaten the credit rating of a state or the federal government? What is next? The grounds for the decision is outrageous on its face and should not be accepted!!!
Huh? When did this happen? I haven’t listened in a while, but I thought that they were pretty much nonpartisan mockers of celebrities and politicians.
I’d like to contribute some substance to this discussion but I am utterly bewitched by Cat Power at the moment.
Would it be wrong for everyone to troll Mataconis’s posts at OTB with denunciations of Al Sharpton?
Sigh. Yes, I suppose it would be. But the man is a clown.
I really hate Cat Power.