I want to say something about the Second Battle of the World War II Memorial, which was the subject of much fuss over the weekend.
I don't know! I mean, one could call it hypocritical, but that doesn't seem to me at least to capture the full meaning of what's going on here.
The reason I bring it up is because I think we've reached the three-times-is-a-trend point. The other two: Republicans running mainly against the part of the ACA that they actually supported (that is the Medicare cuts); and sequestration, which they blame on Barack Obama pretty much every minute that they aren't insisting on it continuing. One might also include the Ryan/GOP position on Simpson-Bowles, which was that it was absolutely essential for the nation that Obama support Simpson-Bowles (which Ryan and most of the party opposed).
We need a name for it because it's proving quite difficult for the press to cover this sort of thing. After all, it's not easy! House Republicans really did just spend two weeks talking nonstop about the horrors of shutting down the government (okay, selected pieces of it, and mostly war memorials, but still). The press can't simply ignore that. But covering it without explaining the context doesn't work, either.
This is surely related to the David Roberts notion of "post-truth" -- the idea that politicians have discovered that spin, rather than putting policy arguments in the best possible light, can be entirely divorced from the actual policy positions it is designed to support. I suppose what I'm describing is a particular type of post-truth maneuver. It's also related to one of my continuing themes, which is that the way that the GOP-aligned partisan press works has made Republican politicians incredibly lazy, since they know that Fox News and the rest of them will fully buy into whatever talking points they come up with.
Important caution: I'm not arguing that all of this "matters" in the sense of successfully manipulating public opinion. As we've seen in the shutdown fight, the First and Second Battles of the World War II Memorial, as big as those triumphs must have seemed for Fox News watchers, haven't prevented a complete polling disaster over the shutdown for the GOP. All I'm saying is that then the ("neutral") press covers this stuff, it needs better language for it so that readers and viewers can actually be informed about what's going on.