Bill O'Reilly is smoking some strong stuff today. His whole Talking Points Memo segment was full of magic. Black, ugly magic. Here are the highlights of his seven minute economic acid trip with some reality checkpoints along the way:
- Standard & Poor's downgrade basically says there is no confidence in the federal government's management of the economy. While that's true, they were a little more specific than that. This morning's pre-dawn (west coast time) conference call with them had a few more details. I was listening. Evidently BillO wasn't. Key (and major) point: S&P does not believe Bush Tax Cuts will expire. Clearly that is not the fault of the "federal government." It is the fault of the Republicans.
- The Democratic Party will not admit that its big spending agenda has driven the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Again, see point number one. This is not a spending problem. It's a revenue problem. Period.
- Only far-left zealots are going to buy that the tea party is the cause of the economic chaos. Wow. That's some strong stuff there. Let's first correct the record. The tea party IS the Republican Party. There is no difference. They are one and the same. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to point number two. Polls and people. As our own Jon Perr clearly demonstrates, it is entirely the Republican Party aka the tea party's doing. Entirely. But just in case there is still doubt, let's have a look at Michele Bachmann, presidential candidate and chairwoman of the Congressional "tea party" caucus, saying that she would not, under any circumstances raise the debt ceiling and would welcome a default, a talking point echoed by every Fox talker on the planet, including Neil Cavuto. Of course, now that we have not defaulted but Republican intransigence has caused a credit downgrade, it's all President Obama's fault.
But you know, numbers don't lie. And unless Republicans have suddenly morphed into a bunch of far-left zealots, BillO is just wrong, because a majority of Republicans also believe revenues must be part of deficit reduction, and without those revenues, there's chaos. So there you go. There's TeaPublicans and left-wing zealots with nothing in between.
- We don't have any money for massive government spending projects. I once again refer readers to the first bullet point. There isn't money because there isn't revenues. Raising revenues fixes that.
- Americans are largely furious, because we have no control over our own economic futures due to Washington failing us. I will speak for me and those around me on this one. I am largely furious, because Republicans do not care if I live, die, have a roof over my head, have a job, or if my children get an education. So yeah. I'm pretty furious but it has nothing to do with "Washington failing us." It has everything to do with a group of oligarchs deciding they do not care to share their wealth and their chosen handmaidens carrying out those wishes.
- Talking Points did not believe that U.S. credit would be downgraded and two big institutions have held the AAA rating. And this matters, why? Who gives a rip what BillO thinks? Well, other than Fox viewers, of course. What does that blowhard's opinion have to do with anything?
What I find most disturbing about Bill O'Reilly's magical acid trip is not that he lies. He always lies. No, what's most disturbing is that he is simply summarizing Fox News' meme o' the day, which is that Republicans are not the problem. Washington is. As if there is some weird gradient of separation between the whackjobs who say things on their network and the ones in Congress casting votes.