On today's Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan gathered his loyalist liberal media friends to deride Sarah Palin's recent speech to investors in Hong Kong, wherein she made the observation that government programs often create new problems, which are then tackled by eager politicians with what else but even more government programs.
First, in the interest of fairness, it must be noted that the guest from the Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, Vickie Ward, barely uttered a word in the entirety of the segment.
That's because she was laughing.
Here's what caused Ward's giggle-fit:
RATIGAN: I want to go to Andy Barr at Politico. Palin on health reform. This one made a little bit less sense. But I feel like it's very indicative, Andy, of certain aspects of right-wing talking points which look to demonize the government inherently, as opposed to looking at government as a tool that can either be abused, misused, or screwed up. Right? And so that rhetoric is evident here. [reading] 'It's common sense that government attempts to solve problems like the health care problem will just create new problems.' Now, forget the nonsensical aspect of that.
At that, the panel collapsed into laughter. Now the obvious question arises: Putting aside the rhetorically unfortunate construction of that line, is Palin correct? And of course, Ratigan went with the obvious question:
RATIGAN: If you look at where the Republicans - Vickie, please! - If you look at where the Republicans get themselves into trouble, whether it's in indicting Obama, Andy, for the bailout which he didn't do because he was not President at the time the bailout was constructed. He's, yes, guilty of perpetuating it, but as somebody who was covering it last fall, he wasn't the President. How is it the Republicans are able to get away, not with rhetoric, but rhetoric that is openly wrong?
Or, you could go with a gratuitous partisan slam. Note to Dylan Ratigan, riding a rhetorical rocket to the left of Keith Olbermann didn't help David Shuster keep his job either.
But I digress.
Anyone with access to Google's search engine can find out the federal government's record in administering massive bureaucracies. There are the conservatives' favorite punching-bags such as Social Security (going bankrupt), Medicare (bankrupt), Medicaid (bankrupt); and there are also other, less obvious examples of federal forays into monopolistic behavior such as the Department of Education - which, so far, has given American schoolchildren a sub-par system for a greater price than anyone else in the world pays.
What is the point of all that, you might ask? Simply put, when the [federal] government attempts to solve a problem as large as health care, it generally creates more problems than the [federal] government anticipates creating. Thus, as Ratigan engages in nakedly partisan combat (responding to self-defined partisan talking points on behalf of an unnamed opposition within a two-party system), he is biased, intellectually dishonest, and ultimately incorrect.
As the ultimate in empty-headed media rhetoric, Ratigan should not, therefore, throw stones.