During a discussion of Chuck Schumer's promise to block Trump's Supreme Court nominations unless they are as moderate as say, Merrick Garland, CNN demonstrated how media moves the bar for Democrats as compared to Republicans.
Let's start with a couple of premises. First, Republicans shamelessly blocked Judge Merrick Garland's confirmation to the Supreme Court for no other reason than the political advantage it gave them during the election. They held Scalia's seat open to Republican voters like the golden egg waiting to be claimed. Most importantly, they paid no political price for doing so. None whatsoever.
In fact, their strategy to obstruct everything for eight years generally paid off for them. They recovered the House, the Senate and now the White House, all in the name of "taking their country back" by refusing to govern for eight full years.
Watch what happens in this segment on CNN. There is no mention of the reward to Republicans for their obstruction, but God forbid Democrats should do the same thing and for stronger reasons, like not putting a hard-right ideologue on the Supreme Court.
Jeff Zeleny comes right out of the gate with his cautionary tale to Dems.
"The reality here is that there are ten Democrats from states that Donald Trump won. We can't say that enough," he warned.
"The reality is a lot of these Democrats are in tough seats and do not want to be seen as obstructionists, they do not want to be painted as obstructionists," he continued.
And why would they worry about that, you might ask? After all, Republicans weren't painted with the "obstructionist" brush by media at all. Nay, instead it was all about how Obama didn't reach out to them, didn't extend a hand across the aisle, despite the fact that he actually did do those things to no avail.
Apparently when Democrats fight it's all about the appearance of a fight, not a real fight.
"It's about the fight. The Dems want to show they have fight after the loss they had.", Zeleny said. "I hear you what you're saying but at the same time when people are talking about they don't want to be seen as obstructionists they also want to look like the party is forceful and fighting and a time of activism."
"I'm hearing it everywhere especially when it comes to the Supreme Court and other positions that Donald Trump has appointed."
Actually, it's not about the appearance of a fight. It IS a fight. And it's one we have to keep having over and over and over again. Yes, Democrats are at a disadvantage because philosophically, we believe good government helps people and doesn't hurt them. But we aren't living in times of good government. We're living with hard right ideologues with fascistic inclinations.
The double standard here is fascinating to me. When Republicans obstruct, they're simply "opposing." When Democrats do it, they're just putting on a show but fear will ultimately prevail and they'll cave.
Media sets those narratives instead of simply reporting what's going on. It's high time for that to change in these dangerous times.