"The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat."
So astonishingly wrote CBS News political director John Dickerson at Slate Friday evening in a piece astonishingly titled "Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party."
When it comes to the Washington press corps, it seems journalists have two modes: garden variety liberal bias and rah-rah, fist-pumping Obama boosterism. The cover of today's Express tabloid exhibits both.
"Obama Draws the Line on Guns," exults the headline on the front of the January 17 Washington Post-published tabloid. The photoshopped image accompanying the headline is an upturned fountain pen from which a wisp of smoke is curling. [view the image below the page break]
In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.
Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
CNN’s Candy Crowley asked a question of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on State of the Union Sunday that should have all American wage earners quaking in their boots.
“Do you think that taxes have been raised enough on the wealthy?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward took a ridiculous swipe at the Tea Party Sunday.
Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Woodward said, "We'll see if the White House is going to realize it's much better to have a Speaker Boehner with that mindset than somebody from the Tea Party or the more extreme right which would just lay down and, you know, let the country burn" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on Neil Cavuto's prime-time show on Fox Business on Thursday night to discuss how the media rained down critiques of House Speaker John Boehner for delaying more federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. Cavuto said they tried to turn Boehner into "Satan" as the New York Daily News ran the headline "STABBED IN THE BACK: N.Y. pols blast Sandy betrayer Boehner."
This bias in favor of ever more federal subsidies reminded Graham of the old Daily News headline: "Ford to City: Drop Dead." (Video and transcript below)
Needing 214 votes (of the 427 lawmakers who voted) to win reelection to the speakership on January 3, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) handily beat his closest opponent, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the office, 220-192. Boehner did see a smattering of dissenting votes in his conference, but no serious challenger within his conference came close to depriving the Speaker of a majority on the first ballot.
Despite these facts, however, today's Washington Post blared on page A4 that "Boehner narrowly wins 2nd term as House speaker." "12 of most conservative Republicans staged rebellion against him," the subheadline for Paul Kane's story insisted melodramatically. The Ohio Republican "was narrowly reelected speaker... giving him a another [sic] chance to lead the chamber -- a task that has been difficult for him over the past two years," staffer Paul Kane began his 14-paragraph story.
95% of the House Republican caucus reelected John Boehner as Speaker of the House on Thursday, but the 12 dissenting Republicans attracted intense coverage in the New York Times, including a front-page story saying the vote foretold "turmoil and division" in the new Congress.
By contrast, there was only scattered coverage when 19 members of the Democratic caucus refused to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker in January 2011, after the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. (The cases aren't quite parallel, as Pelosi was certain to lose her role as Speaker of the House in the newly elected Republican-majority House of 2011, while Boehner was expected to retain his position as head of the Republican-majority House in 2013.)
Despite John Boehner receiving overwhelming support from the Republican caucus to be reelected as Speaker of the House, NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell hyped dissension in the ranks on Friday's NBC Today: "After a turbulent few weeks of setbacks that had cast doubt on his power and influence, a dozen rebellious conservatives turned against him, but Boehner had enough votes."
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, O'Donnell proclaimed: "John Boehner's path to a second term as Speaker of the House has been rocky. But there was no challenge, only a handful of conservatives voted against him." That morning, Today co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed a "civil war" among Republicans over a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) made news earlier this week when he allegedly told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "Go f--k yourself."
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno commented on this Thursday saying of Reid, "Doesn't he look like a guy who heard that a lot in high school? Usually followed by a wedgie then getting stuffed in a locker?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Two years ago when 10 percent of congressional Democrats cast protest votes rather than vote for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, Politico's Jonathan Allen -- who, you may recall had rejoined the paper after a brief stint working for Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- and John Bresnahan dutifully gave readers a story chock full of pro-Pelosi spin, seeking to communicate that Pelosi had little to worry about in the long run from the protest votes.
Fast forward to January 3, 2013, when five percent of House Republicans failed to vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be speaker of the House in the 113th Congress. Covering the story this afternoon, Bresnahan and colleague Jake Sherman sought to simultaneously argue that Boehner faced an uphill struggle to hold on to power and that he never really had a credible challenge to the speakership in the first place (emphasis mine):
After House Speaker Boehner pulled a vote for Hurricane Sandy aid on Tuesday, CNN gave a microphone to outraged politicians who bashed the House GOP for not voting on the relief bill that Senate Democrats loaded with pork.
CNN gave two interviews to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) airing his grievances against fellow Republicans, and anchor Don Lemon interviewed three Democrats who wanted the relief bill passed: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).