We finally got rid of Bloody Bill Kristol on Fox, but now he's been cropping up on every network from CNN, to MSNBC, to NBC, to ABC, to CBS. Why? Did they all decide that they were somehow missing out by not having him on the air to lie to the public unchallenged day in and day out when he was working for Fox?
CBS' John Dickerson proved himself to be just as feckless a host as Face the Nation regular, Bob Schieffer, when he allowed Kristol to pretend that Republicans have some "new" alternative to the Affordable Care Act coming, and that Rep. Paul Ryan is just waiting to unveil it to the public right after the new year.
I guess it was expecting too much of Dickerson to ask Kristol why the public should believe that some "new" plan by Ryan is going to be any different than his "old" plans, since we've heard this song and dance before. Year after year we're told that the Republicans are rolling out some bold new plan to win over new voters, and year after year, it's the same old agenda wrapped up in some pretty new packaging.
And we all know what their "alternative" to the ACA is already -- buying insurance across state lines and "torte reform."
Meet the new plan. Same as the old plan. Kristol knows full well the Republicans aren't going to offer anything new at the start of the year, but that's not going to stop him from lying about it as long as he's allowed air time on our television networks with hosts who sound like they're reading straight from Republican press releases.
Transcript via CBS below the fold.
DICKERSON: Bill Kristol, I want to talk to you about the politics of this. On the one hand, Republicans have benefited enormously from these troubles. On the other hand, Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, makes the point that you -- you know, you can't beat something with nothing. And so do Republicans have to, kind of, say, here's what in fact we want to do on health care?
KRISTOL: Yeah, they do. But I think, to be fair, Republicans have benefited mostly from the substance of Obamacare. I mean, what's the big issue been for the last three or four weeks that Republicans have been hammering and a lot of individuals have been hammering? If you want -- "If you like your plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep it." That doesn't change.
The website could work perfectly and 5 million people have lost their plans or are being shoved into inferior plans (inaudible). So I think that problem -- I mean, the website in that respect is a bit of distraction. We'll see how well it's been fixed. I think it's a good example of why you don't want government to do these things.
I think, if the private sector -- if a bunch of private companies were competing, as they are, which I think Aetna and Cigna and those guys -- they would pay a price if the website crashed and people would go to another company. That doesn't happen with the government, which is why government shouldn't run big chunks of our economy like health care.
And Republicans do need a -- they have some positive alternatives, but they need to highlight them more and, I think, need to advance them more. I think Paul Ryan will introduce a pretty big set of Republican alternatives -- not one giant bill, but let's adjust Medicare, Medicaid, the individual market, the corporate market. And I think he'll -- he'll introduce something, probably right after the new year, or at least lay out the principles of it, so people can say with more comfort and, I think, more truth that Republicans do have a positive reform agenda in health care.