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Thursday, February 25, 2010
NewsBusters Misleads on Reconciliation
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 24 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay asserts that "the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones," stating:

In numerous reports on the status of health care negotiations in the Senate, prominent media outlets made sure to mention that Republicans used the so-called "nuclear option"--known in parliamentary terms as the budget reconciliation process--to overcome Democratic filibusters. But conspicuously absent are mentions of Democrats' unequivocal condemnations of reconciliation.

First, reconciliation is not the "nuclear option," despite attempts by Republicans to portray it as such.

Second, despite citing "Democrats' unequivocal condemnations of reconciliation," Markay provides no examples of such. The video he links to, which he claims shows how Democrats "were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago" shows no such thing. The video, compiled by right-wing website Naked Emperor News, obscures the fact that what the Democrats were criticizing was a 2005 Republican plan to change Senate rules and ban filibusters on judicial nominees -- which is what the "nuclear option" is -- and not reconciliation.

Reconciliation, by contrast, is a existing Senate procedure, which Markay seems to concede. But he conflates filibusters with reconciliation, failing to understand between an existing Senate procedure and an attempt to change Senate rules, which is what Republicans tried to do in 2005, Thus, Markay's complaint that CBS "not[ed] that Republicans have purportedly used reconciliation more often then Democrats--without mentioning the majority leader's about face" is meaningless; there is no "about face" because Reid was talking about two different things.

Markay concludes by complaining that the media, "far from serving as watchdogs, simply regurgitated Democratic talking points without a hint of criticism or analysis." That from someone who's regurgitating right-wing talking points without a hint of criticism or analysis.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 AM EST

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