Friday, October 17, 2014


Here's an utterly unsurprising headline from The Hill: "GOP Blasts Obama Ebola Czar Pick." Tweets are quoted:

There's absolutely no one, doctor or otherwise -- or at least there's no one apart from movement-conservative Republicans like Ben Carson -- who actually would have been acceptable to the GOP. And yet when the appointment was announced, the voice of the mainstream, CNN, greeted the news as if the entire Beltway would stand up and cheer:
Klain is highly regarded at the White House as a good manager with excellent relationships both in the administration and on Capitol Hill. His supervision of the allocation of funds in the stimulus act -- at the time and incredible and complicated government undertaking -- is respected in Washington. He does not have any extensive background in health care but the job is regarded as a managerial challenge.
Tell us the truth, dammit. Find a bland, neutral way to say that Republicans are always gunning for the president and would howl in outrage at any choice for this position. Saying that isn't being partisan -- it's reporting incontrovertible facts.

The public needs to know this. It's misleading to portray the Republican Party as a mild, reasonable, slow-to-anger political organization whose members just happen to squeal like stuck pigs in unison every six hours or so because Obama does outrageous things precisely that often. The president has made plenty of mistakes, and naming Klain could, for all I know, be one of them (though if his job is managing bureaucracies, with the medical expertise left to others, maybe he is a fine pick) -- but the political story of our time is the Republican Party's attempt to neutralize a Democratic presidency by making it incapable of functioning. There is no issue on which Republicans will ever rally behind the president (no, not even Secret Service protection; Republican concern for the president's safety were merely a means through which to criticize his administration). Implying that Republicans will ever accept anything Obama does is like implying that ISIS might give up beheading people if enough parents plead. Don't say something like that just to be evenhanded, because what's more important is that it's not true.


Victor said...

The MSM can't sell a political horserace if they acknowledge that one of the horses is a rabid and broken-down nag.

aimai said...

Christ why didn't Obama appoint the guy he wanted to name as Surgeon General?

Steve M. said...

Maybe he thinks the guy will get approved eventually, in which case the president is still awfully naive.

Ken_L said...

Seems to me Obama should be thoroughly criticised for making an unnecessary appointment that just helps whip up the extraordinary panic about this non-crisis. If the CDC is incapable of handling Ebola, what's the use of it? Setting up another chain of command just confuses responsibility and adds to bureaucratic inefficiency.

Unsalted Sinner said...

If Obama developed a vaccine for ebola, Republicans would call it an outrageous attack on an innocent virus.