Friday, December 11, 2009

Whiny Republicans Can't Handle the Truth

It’s been a few days since Senator Harry Reid made some comments on the Senate floor that became news. From an Associated Press story as reported by the Denver Post

Pace of health care debate draws slavery comparison

WASHINGTON — On and off the Senate floor, the health care debate has become intensely political.

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, demanded an apology from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday after Reid criticized those favoring a slower, more incremental approach to health care.

"You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right. In this country, there were those who . . . dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough' — about slavery," Reid said.

Steele said if Reid won't apologize, "Democrats must immediately reconsider his fitness to lead them."

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, said, "Today's feigned outrage is nothing but a ploy to distract from the fact they (Republicans) have no plan to lower the cost of health care, stop insurance-company abuses or protect Medicare."
The story is interesting because it could have had three different headlines:
--Whiny Republicans Can’t Handle the Truth
--Associated Press Promotes Anti-Republican Culture
--Senate Majority Leader: “Republican Racists Don’t Want Women to Vote”

The Denver Post chose the first headline. It is not what actually was printed, but you can sense it from the story. They might have used the last headline, but that level of clarity would have been uncomfortable for the editors. The idea is to promote anti-Republican themes while appearing to be non-partisan.

I would like to focus on the middle headline.

I’m writing this four days after the fact. I had wanted to see how the story played in the news media, and had expected the Denver Post to publish the characterization as news and then follow with some type of factual analysis appearing in the Opinion Section of the paper, just to provide balance.

My wait was in vain. The Denver Post chose not to publish any editorial response or even a Letter to the Editor. The news item is simply presented as another story of how Republicans “whine” when they are faced with the truth.

But is the story an accurate portrayal of “Truth”? Senator Reid’s remarks are shown in this YouTube clip from C-SPAN 2, brought to us in a post on the PowerLine Blog by John Hinderaker:

The pertinent remarks begin at 1:20 into the video, and finish at 2:08. In case the link to the video is removed, here is a transcript of Senator Reid’s comments from the 1:20 point:

"But instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: 'slow down, stop everything. Let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, let’s wait. Things aren't bad enough.'"

"When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote. Some insisted they simply slow down. ‘There will be a better day to do that. Today isn't quite right.’”

"When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."
 (That last sentence is a reference to the late Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond's famous 1957 filibuster. Interestingly, Senator Thurmond switched parties from Democrat to Republican seven years later at the age of 60.)

Senator Reid is characterizing Republicans as being racists who don't want women to vote. The Denver Post does not challenge this characterization, preferring to note the incident as a political squabble with an outraged Republican making an accusation, and a spokesman for Senator Reid dispatching the accusation as groundless.

End of story.

But there is much more to the “squabble”. There is a story based on the leader of the United States Senate teaching Americans to hate Republicans based upon revisions in historical facts. There is also a story based upon the practice of journalism in our anti-Republican culture. Neither of these stories is of interest to the Denver Post.

However, to paraphrase (with poetic license) a saying from the 20th century, “You may not be interested in the Truth, but the Truth is interested in you.”

What the Denver Post is "not interested in" is the following:

--The Democratic Party, under the leadership of Jefferson Davis, helped the Southern States secede from the Union in 1861 to preserve the institution of slavery. The Civil War ensued, but luckily the leadership of Abraham Lincoln prevailed and slavery was abolished in the United States. President Lincoln, in case you missed it, was a Republican.

--The Democratic Party, in 1919, had 54% of its Senators vote for women’s suffrage. Unfortunately, an amendment to the United States Constitution requires a two-thirds majority. How did the amendment get passed? 82% of Republicans voted for it, and the amendment passed with two more votes than needed. Senator Reid, who is well-versed in vote counting, knows that the 19th amendment would not have passed if it was solely dependent on the support of "twenty enlightened Democrats" in the Senate.

--The Democratic Party, in the 1960s, was fully invested in segregation. Senator Reid knows that leaders such as George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Orval Faubus were not Republicans.

The story in the Denver Post could have been presented in a couple of different ways, but the one chosen helps perpetuate our anti-Republican culture. The technique is not as severe as the techniques used by Hamas to promote anti-Semitism in the Middle East, but there certainly are similarities.

A prominent similarity is the lack of concern for truth.

1 comment:

  1. The perversity and anti-historicity of Harry Reid's speech is pretty completely described by your note above.

    The irony is that the trend of history is toward more freedom, not less. And the Democrats are consistently on the side of less freedom, including this horrible abortion of a healthcare bill.