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Sunday's Theme O'The Week: Both Sides!

Every channel, every show. All of them were singing the Both Sides song.
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On the eve of the midterm elections, the prevailing theme was predictably "both sides."

Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer opened his rant by saying, "Congress hasn't done anything in years, yet these midterm elections will be the most expensive in history, just like the last one, $4 billion this time around. That's billion with a B."

Those pesky billionaires. Buying a couple of Supreme Court decisions and then running with them. Remember 2010, when Democrats were too pure to do that? Yeah, me too. So this time Democrats have rounded up as much as they can from as many as possible to compete. And this is Schieffer's pronouncement:

I'm not blaming it on Republicans or Democrats. I'm blaming it on Republicans and Democrats, who have turned what used to be an amateur sport into a professional business, where the jobs that volunteers used to do for free have been outsourced to professionals. That's also unique to politics, outsourcing something you were getting free to someone who will charge you for it and in the process winding up with an inferior product, a government that remains in permanent gridlock.

Suddenly Schieffer forgot what things were like in 2008-2010, when Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus bill, Dodd-Frank and more. Those were the days when things got done, but now it's both sides! Billionaire bucks for ALL!

Then we have Matthew Dowd over on ABC, who sets the stage this way:

In 2004, Karl Rove predicted there was a permanent realignment for the Republicans. 2006, Democrats win the election, 2008, Barack Obama, they win this big election, predict realignment, 2010, they lose a series of elections. 2012, Barack Obama has reset the country. The demographics are going to say Republicans can't win.

But wait, all isn't lost, Republicans, because Both Sides!

And now the Republicans are facing a great night. What is clear to me is even though those seem mixed, the voters are sending a clear signal in all this. They're just tired of the way Washington operates, both D and R.


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If they knew the truth about how Washington operates right now, they'd just be sick unto death of the R piece of that equation. But our lazy Beltway press chants "both sides" so often it's become a rallying cry intended to drown out pesky facts about it being One Side.

Back to CBS, for another chorus, this time courtesy of Peggy Noonan:

But both parties have to figure out, we saw it this year more than ever, what they stand for, where they stand, I'm hopeful they're evolving. But they don't look so good at the moment.

Gee, what a surprise! Both parties don't look so good at the moment because one has been given a complete pass while the other one gets painted with all the Republican cynicism. How did that happen?

And now we come back around to Rand Paul and Chuck Todd. Paul made sure he was seen on three of the Sunday shows because he's not running for President in 2016. Sure he's not. There's so much fail in this small quote.

PAUL: The gridlock in Washington has largely been from the Democrats, who haven't allowed any legislation to come forward in the Senate. So, I think if we win, you will see legislation passed and you will see legislation sent to the desk of the president.

CHUCK TODD:

You know, a lot of Democrats would say House Republicans, you know, and Ted Cruz, and some other people were responsible for the government shutdown. So, both parties share the blame here. But I want to ask you something about something you said the other day in Michigan. You said, "Remember Domino's Pizza?" This was about the Republican brand. "They admitted, 'Hey, our pizza crust sucks.' The Republican Party brand sucks," you said, "and, so, people don't want to be a Republican. And for 80 years, African Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans. Why? Because of perception. The problem is the perception is that no one in the Republican Party cares." So, you're admitting you have a brand problem. How do you fix the brand problem before 2016, if that's the case?

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No, Chuck. Both parties do NOT share the blame. One party has filibustered the hell out of literally everything. One party shut down the government. One party has used the Affordable Care Act like a cudgel to beat Americans into submission. One. Not both.

But then, it's all fine because really, it's all a branding problem.

Gawd. Chuck, that's not journalist talk, it's PR talk. Just rebrand, sort of like Blackwater did and it'll all be good.

Never mind that Republican policies do nothing for the average American because really, it's just branding.

Are we just doomed to repeat the Both Sides Song over and over again while one side tanks the nation for decades to come? Rather than answer that obviously rhetorical question, I'll close with a quote from Driftglass' classic post back in July:

If it were 1860, Shuck Todd would be whining that rumors of slave state secession were nothing but a fundraising trick by the Lincoln campaign. If it were 1930, he would be reporting that the whole idea of a "Great Depression" was just a gimmick to drive down Herbert Hoover's poll numbers. But it's 2014, and so we find Chuckles contractually and ideologically committed to pretending in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary that this is one more "Both Sides" issue rather face the fact that the GOP is now owned and operated by people who would use the Statue of Liberty to sodomize Mount Rushmore if they thought it would bring Barack Obama down.

No, my little press darlings. It's most definitely not Both Sides. It's One Side, and One Side Only. Let Uncle Drifty educate you (or re-educate you) about the history of what has led to this outbreak of BothSiderism:

The short history of modern American politics is as follows:

Conservatives poison the public well with paranoia, bigotry and plain bugfuck insanity while sabotaging the government on purpose to gain political and economic advantage.

Liberals point out that poisoning the public well and sabotaging the government are, y'know. bad things.

Centrists clutch their pearls until their palms bleed, and then blame their stigmata on both sides being equally unreasonable and mean.

That is all.

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