At the same time newspapers are stepping up their game to hold Donald Trump accountable for his growing number of gaffes, scandals and outright crimes, they're putting in the extra effort to wipe the slate clean for the GOP.
Recently, Republicans have taken to complaining that the mean ol' liberal press isn't being fair when they describe this current Congress's lack of legislative victories. Reporting on this, on June 3rd, the AP (republished by The Washington Post) wrote:
[Republican Rep. Tom] Cole argued that Republicans have not gotten the credit they deserve to date for what they have accomplished: voting to overturn a series of Obama regulations, as well as reaching compromise last month on spending legislation for the remainder of the 2017 budget year that included a big increase for defense. The biggest bright spot for the party and for Trump remains Senate confirmation in early April of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose elevation goes far to placate conservatives frustrated with inaction on other fronts.
Did you catch that? You'd be forgiven if you missed it because it was just glossed right over and that's the point. If you weren't paying attention for the last 16 months, you'd have no idea that the "elevation" of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court only occurred because Republicans literally stole his seat. Here's how that paragraph should be written:
The biggest bright spot for the party and for Trump remains the highly controversial Senate confirmation in early April of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to a seat Republicans refused to let President Obama fill for 11 months. Requiring a historically atypical rewriting of congressional rules, Gorsuch's elevation goes far to placate conservatives frustrated with inaction on other fronts.
If you find my version to be prejudicial against Republicans, I'd like to point out that by not mentioning in any way how Gorsuch got his seat, the AP is prejudicing the reader to accept him as legitimate when he clearly is not. I can accurately describe a husband beating his wife to a pulp as "a marital disagreement" but that doesn't make it acceptable.
And yet, here it is again two days later:
In Congress, Trump’s ambitions to pass a health-care overhaul and tax changes have been stymied by party infighting and growing nervousness about the potential political cost, especially in the more moderate Senate. The only major legislative accomplishment so far has been the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, which came in April after bypassing a Democratic blockade.
"Bypassing a Democratic blockade" is such a nice way of sanitizing the brazen theft of a Supreme Court seat. I think it's safe to assume that this will be the way we're told to think about the taint of Gorsuch on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court going forward. Our media is so desperately addicted to appearing unbiased at all costs that they are manifestly incapable of holding Republicans accountable for anything they do. This is why the right spent the last 4 decades hammering the "liberal" press into submission; a referee that's afraid to appear in the tank for one side will give the other a free pass on even the most outrageous behavior.
The whitewashing of Gorsuch matters beyond the damage his presence does to the Court, it's a sign that about 5 seconds after Donald Trump leaves the White House for the final time (in handcuffs or otherwise), the press will spill barrels of ink absolving Republicans and Republican voters of all of the damage their actions have inflicted on the nation. Every terrible thing done by Republicans under his "leadership" will be Trump's fault and his alone. The damage done to Obamacare, the economy, our international standing, public education, and more will be because of Trump and not at all the responsibility of the party that enthusiastically supported his Cabinet picks and policies.
We will hear nonstop descriptions of how Republicans were uneasy with Trump but hear little to nothing about how they went along with his agenda anyway. We will be told that his voters felt they had no other choice because something something "Hillary's emails" and the hordes of screaming animals wearing red "Make America Great Again" hats while baying for the blood of liberals were some kind of temporary insanity. Or better still, they never really existed and we shouldn't blame all Republican voters for the actions of a paltry few.
The rebranding of the far right as the "Tea Party" was the greatest political scam in American history and the "liberal" media was all too willing to aid and abet. We cannot let them do this to us again. It's great that the press is finally acting with long-missing integrity when it comes to Trump and speaking truth to power no matter how angry power gets; now we have to demand they apply those same standards to Republicans or the next monster the right elects might be the last.
There are 517 days left to the 2018 elections.
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