NPR sounded like National Democrat Radio again on Friday as Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep interviewed House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. It was extremely reminiscent of Inskeep's regular puffball interviews with President Obama, as Jeffries is clearly trying to project that same fake-moderation, and Inskeep is trying to help.
Like good Democrats, NPR was projecting the biggest issue in Congress is the Republicans attempting to use their leverage in debt-ceiling negotiations to put any restraint on government spending. So the NPR headline is the DNC headline: "Hakeem Jeffries says Democrats won't pay a 'ransom note' to GOP over debt ceiling."
Republicans are like the people who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. This was the primary topic. Inskeep briefly mentions "Jeffries has to deal with a House speaker he fiercely criticized for objecting to the 2020 election result," and never mentions the election-denial record of Jeffries.
As recipients of federal largesse, no one should imagine NPR would do anything other than campaign against fiscal conservatives. Jeffries can bluster we're not going to be lectured about fiscal responsibility," and Inskeep never puts a number on the massive size of recent deficits. He merely notes that Jeffries is right that 25 percent of the national debt was incurred under Trump -- like Democrats weren't supporting all of it, and wanting more.
STEVE INSKEEP: Republicans think they have leverage, and they use that word. They think they have leverage because they are refusing to raise the debt limit unless you give concessions. What leverage, if any, do you have to force them off that?
HAKEEM JEFFRIES: Understand that when Republicans say they have leverage, what they are threatening to do is catastrophic.
INSKEEP: But what's your leverage to push them off that?
JEFFRIES: Our leverage is the debt ceiling has consistently been raised for the last 100 years. And we should not and will not default today. That is the mainstream position. That's the position that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell holds.
The "mainstream" is to keep spending willy-nilly until we're a Third World country. At the very least, Inskeep noted that President Obama compromised in 2011 and agreed to some "long-term restraints," which doesn't mean much in the long scheme of the national debt. Then Jeffries drags out the "We are not going to pay a ransom note to extremists in the other party," and Inskeep seems to bring up Thelma and Louise:
INSKEEP: Are you saying never? You'd say to Republicans, "Drive the car off the cliff. We are not going to grab the wheel."
JEFFRIES: We're not going to let the car go off the cliff, even though there are people who are willing to do it, to try to blow up Social Security and Medicare.
INSKEEP: Republicans have denied they want to blow up Social Security or Medicare, although it's unclear what they would cut. [Start with NPR.]
JEFFRIES: No. We cannot pay that ransom note. And we will find a vehicle, legislatively. We will be able to, at the end of the day, convince a handful of reasonable Republicans in the House to do what the business community throughout America have suggested needs to be done, what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes needs to be done, what Wall Street says needs to be done, which is to make sure we pay America's bills that have already been incurred.
This tells you once again that the one-time supply-side Reaganites at the Chamber of Commerce no longer care about fiscal conservatism, and now endorse big-spending House Democrats routinely. Because to them and NPR, Democrats (and helpful McConnell) are the "reasonable" people in the "mainstream."