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November 28, 2011

Colin Powell: Two Groups Are Responsible For The Poisonous Tone in Washington-- The Tea Party, and the Media (For Featuring the Tea Party In Its Coverage)

Not mentioned: Democrats. Obama. Schumer. The Occupy movement.

Or the media, as bitterly partisan cheerleaders for more government spending.

The media's sole sin, in the eyes of Colin Powell, is that they are too goshdarn ratings-baiting, and are therefore driven to cover "extreme" movements like the Tea Party.

Note that while Powell makes an obligatory "fairness" reference to the extreme left, he goshdarn just can't seem to actually name a figure or group on the extreme left.

He only has eyes for the Tea Party, those scoundrels.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: What about this tone in the country right now? It's still very divisive. It's still very sort of brash, some say poisonous. I mean, you can barely get anything done on Capitol Hill, just behind me there. What needs to be done, to actually improve the tone and the ability of people to work together?

COLIN POWELL: The tone is not -- is not good right now, and our political system here in Washington, particularly up on The Hill -- Congress -- has become very, very tense in that two sides, Republicans and Democrats, are focusing more and more on their extreme left and extreme right. And we have to come back toward the center in order to compromise.

...

And so we have got to find a way to start coming back together. And let me say this directly.The media has to help us. The media loves this game, where everybody is on the extreme. It makes for great television. It makes for great chatter. It makes for great talk shows all day long with commentators commenting on commentators about the latest little mini-flap up on Capitol Hill.

So what we have to do is sort of take some of the heat out of our political life in terms of the coverage of it, so these folks can get to work quietly.

What he means is that the Professional Political Class should be free again to do what they've done for fifty years, which is ignore a very sizable chunk of the public -- a plurality, maybe, and, by some generous estimates, a majority -- and do what the media would like them to do, which is to spend more and more every year.

Jumbo Jogging Shrimp sent over this satirical poem from 1949.

1949poem.gif

Echoes the debate today, does it not?

Consider that the media constantly endeavors to paint the Tea Party as making some unreasonable, unprecedented demands of the politicians who represent it.

Is this true? Are the worries about creeping socialism, a bloated and evergrowing government constantly seeking to expand its spending and its privileges, the theft of tax money from the productive and the encouragement of sloth in the nonproductive new, unprecedented worries?

It would appear not.

Note that in the intervening years, government grew. And grew and grew and grew some more. And then, lately, grew at such a rate of speed as to cause the loss of the country's AAA credit rating.

Why would the basic temperament of the American citizen, which has always been concerned about government spending, recede as government grew to heretofore undreamt-of levels?

It must be noted that, as a first step, the Tea Party is not demanding the government shrink to 1949 levels. Or 1964 levels. Or 1971 levels. Or even 1983 levels.

What we're looking to do is get government back to the size it was in, say, 2007.

You know, when the Democrats controlled Congress.

Or, dare to dream, to 1998 levels, when Lord God of All That Is Good And Reasonable Bill Clinton was writing budgets.

Was the nation unreasonably callous and cruel in 1998? Were people starving in the streets?

No, of course not.

And yet the media, and its political arm, the Democratic Party, behave as if the Tea Party is suggesting a rollback to 1922, when in fact they're suggesting a rollback to the budgets of the Democrat's once and now again favorite president, Bill Clinton.



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posted by Ace at 08:18 AM

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