Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, C'mon (Try Harder, Partisan Spinners)

Bipartisan edition. I usually have been complaining about lazy GOP spin, but today I'm annoyed at both sides...

Item One:
Club for Growth tells Senate R's to oppose Mel Watts's nom to lead FHFA: "It is entirely inappropriate for a politician to fill this role"
Really? Seems to me it's absolutely a good idea for a politician to head up the FHFA. At any rate, it seems to me that this principle (which I only noticed today, but it's been kicking around since...oh, probably since five minutes after Watt was nominated) couldn't be much phonier.

But on the other hand...

Item Two (and, sorry, this came over email but I can't find a link):

The Ways and Means Committee Democrats were complaining this morning that the hearing today on ACA implementation is hypocritical because Republicans apparently waited seven months to hold a hearing on Medicare Part D implementation.

This is a mild example of why "hypocrisy" is such a useless accusation. Yes, absolutely correct: we should judge Republican Members of Congress harshly for acting as Bush cheerleaders (and, not to forget, petty grifters) back when Hastert was Speaker. So what? Tough oversight hearings are absolutely appropriate. They would be appropriate even if everything was going reasonably well, at least on the surface; it's even more necessary given that things have gone badly.

Ways and Means Democrats shouldn't be complaining about the hearing; they should be asking aggressive questions. After all, the bottom line for Democrats (substantively and for electoral politics) is to get the exchanges working well; that matters a lot more than the spin game, and pressure from fellow Democrats will help make it happen.

Hey, Press shops: step up your game!

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