May 12, 2020

Chuck Todd and Katy Tur gave us yet another reason to pronounce most Beltway media worse than useless today while interviewing Republican Senator Mike Braun from Indiana. In discussing the COVID-19 pandemic, the more than 80,000 citizens killed by it, and the selfish priority the GOP is placing on "opening up" the states before ANY of these things is under control, Tur asked Sen. Braun about his thoughts on our social safety net.

He responded in classic Republican style: the GOP hates Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and this global tragedy is just the catalyst they need to burn them to the ground, even though tens of millions of rely on them for health care, housing, and food. What do hard-hitting, insightful journalists like Tur and Todd do?

Nothing. Move on to the next question.

TUR: Senator, has this made you rethink the social safety net in this country, the social contract we have? Do we need to rework how we go about our regular business?

BRAUN: I think so. And I'm one of the most outspoken critics of structural deficits we've got. And probably two-thirds of that is driven by the programs that everybody likes, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We have to have an honest discussion, can we keep those healthy? The Medicare trust fund gets completely depleted here in six years. I'm gonna talk about that kinda stuff, because, you're right. This is just a catalyst, in my opinion, to kinda relook the whole way we've been doing things over the last few decades. And it's going to take some tough choices and some discipline to actually fix it. Very little political will I've seen here since I've been here.

TODD: And Senator, very quickly, the House is going to have their bill. How soon do you want the Senate to put up a response?

Now, I'm no journalist, but I do have synapses that fire, and I would want a few follow-up questions answered, if I were them. Let's see, I don't know, how about:

  • Why do you think, as you yourself say, "everybody likes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?"
  • Do you think people who have paid into these programs deserve to get what they've been promised out of them?
  • Do you think the government has any responsibility at all to take care of the basic needs of our vulnerable population?
  • Do YOU, YOURSELF draw a Social Security check, since you're 66 years old?
  • How many people in the state of Indiana receive assistance from these three programs?
  • How would you explain to them that you think that assistance should be sacrificed to reduce the deficit?
  • Are you willing to personally deliver the news to your constituents that their meager benefits will be cut? Not all of them? How about 100 of them? 25 of them? Sit down with 25 of them and explain it to them? Are you willing to do that, Sen. Braun?
  • Are you willing to cough up a wee bit more in taxes on that $35 million you have to help offset the deficit to keep it from the backs of the poor?
  • Why would you chose a moment when this nation is absolutely at its weakest to cut down the few reliable avenues of subsistence for the poorest among us?
  • What does that say about your priorities, Senator?

I could go on, but it's almost dinnertime, here. And again, I'm not paid to be a journalist. But god almighty, Katy Tur and Chuck Todd sure as sh*t are, and all they do is sit there, tee up vapid questions for Republicans and shrug their shoulders and move on to the next question when these GOP @ssholes answer in the most cruel and despicable way possible.

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