MATALIN’S MENDACITY…. CNN’s Mary Matalin’s latest contribution to the public discourse:
“As we all know, without boring our audience, reconciliation process was not made for what they are trying to use it here. No one is afraid of it. Go ahead and do it. The president’s notion that the people don’t understand what this is belied by the polls. They understand what it is. The majority vote is tyranny of the minority.”
There’s an inordinate amount of nonsense in these 61 words. But since it’s representative of the kind of rhetoric we’re hearing from more than a few shameless partisan hacks, let’s quickly take the three main points, one at a time.
Reconciliation wasn’t made for a situation like this? Actually, that’s backwards. Health care reform already passed the Senate with 60 votes. Lawmakers are considering some additional budget-related changes. Without boring Matalin, we all know that reconciliation exists for exactly the kind of circumstances Democrats are facing now. That’s not a matter of opinion; it’s just reality.
“People” understand the details of the Democratic policy? I wish that were true; it’s not. To be sure, thanks to a combination of a massive misinformation campaign, inadequate media coverage, and Americans’ easily-manipulated fears, reform proposals fare poorly in the polls. But there’s plenty of data that shows Democratic plans looking quite popular after respondents are told what’s actually in the legislation. Ironically, it’s Matalin’s argument, not the president’s, that is “belied by the polls.”
And finally, “The majority vote is tyranny of the minority”? I’m not sure what that means. In fact, I’m fairly certain that Mary Matalin doesn’t know what that means, either. If we give the GOP operative the benefit of the doubt, and assume she meant to say that majority rule is the “tyranny of the majority,” that’s still rather ridiculous. At what point does a majority-rule decision become tyrannical? Should we not approve anything unless the vote is unanimous, so as to prevent oppressive tyranny against those in opposition?
Is it me, or have Republican talking points taken on the air of desperation?