Weekend Watchdog Wrap-Up

Bill Scher

It’s another 0-for-3 Sunday for the Watchdog, as the Sunday shows fail to recognize who is impeding bipartisan sentiment to end the Iraq occupation.

On CBS’ Face The Nation, Bob Schieffer sought to be “fair and balanced” by spreading blame for obstructionism in his question to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

Last week you made a very big show of trying to force a vote to begin bringing the troops home from Iraq. You brought in cots, ordered pizza, forced senators to stay all night for a marathon debate on the war. The Republicans finally blocked a vote on that. But now you have blocked consideration of Republican proposals to bring new pressures on the president to change his strategy. Why?

Schieffer’s characterization of those “Republican proposals” is highly misleading, because they would not force the president to change strategy. They would only give political cover to conservatives who want to distance themselves from the president, but without mandating any significant changes.

(Further, Reid responded that he offered to allow up-or-down votes on all Iraq proposals, if the conservative minority did not filibuster the ones they did not support.)

Schieffer’s question fed the mainstream media narrative that the obstruction to change in Iraq policy is the fault of partisanship by the Senate leadership, when in fact, it is directly the fault of the filibustering conservative minority.

Over on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Kit Bond, R-MO, was not asked about his myriad of obstructions over the past six months, and if they would harm the political fortunes of his party.

And on NBC’s Meet The Press, conservative pundit David Brooks was allowed to continue the fiction, without challenge, that: “There are 30 Republican senators who are desperate to get away from President Bush. They’ve been pushed back toward President Bush by, one, Harry Reid making this more partisan…”.

In fact, these senators are supporting proposals that would allow Bush to continue his failed strategy (long championed by Brooks) in Iraq. While increased public pressure, sparked by Reid last week, has already begun to move Republicans to end their obstruction.

Comments