Remember what I wrote in the Bobblehead thread about the development of conventional wisdom? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Example #2,349,876 of why the "liberal media" meme is absolutely without any basis of fact and that the conservatives in Washington (and their enablers in the media) are working hard to create the conventional wisdom of the failures of the Obama presidency.
Don't get me wrong, the Obama presidency has not been without issues. But that's not what Candy Crowley wants to focus on. She simply wants to have both sides complain about ethereal notions of Obama's leadership. She had a willing player in Rick Santorum, naturally. So Santorum was allowed to spin every single question into a failure of Obama's leadership without interruption or clarification.
But then there's Howard Dean.
Crowley may have thought Dean would be another willing player. After all, he has criticized Obamacare before as a weak solution to the healthcare crisis. He's also criticized President Obama's leadership and priorities. So maybe it wasn't unreasonable to expect that Dean would be happy to play along with the conservative campaign to smear the President.
But Howard Dean is not Candy Crowley's monkey and he wasn't playing.
Crowley wasn't interested in the realities of fixing the Obamacare site, nor whether millions of Americans would be finally able to sign up for health insurance. What she wanted--and what she interrupted Howard Dean in an attempt to get--was Dean to trash Obama's leadership because of rough rollout of the website. The man has three years left in office and damnit, we need to write him off as a failure NOW.
CROWLEY: Governor, to pick up on sort of the broader point from Senator Santorum, and that is that there has been this unease that has…that started you know, probably earlier than the launch of the website, but nonetheless, has continued. I want to show you a CNN/ORC poll, This is that “good track/bad track” how-well-do-you-think-things-are-going-in-the-country-today question. And right now, 59 percent think things are going badly. Now that is up from September; it is nine points above April. So there has been this steady deterioration for how people feel about the direction of this country is going, people no longer see President Obama…I think only 40 percent of people see President Obama as able to kind of run the government. Is there that kind of lasting damage? That’s certainly what Senator Santorum is talking about.
I'm going to break in here to provide you with the abovementioned CNN/ORC poll (.pdf file). I know it will not surprise you to know that President Obama's leadership was not part of the questions asked, but rather some amorphous understanding of economic happiness and direction of the country. Could it be that people are unhappy because of the growing economic inequality where the 1 percent keep benefitting and more and more of the middle class are slipping into the lower class and economic insecurity? Could it be that people are unhappy with the gridlock and kabuki theater of Congress? Or maybe they're suspicious of the direction the country is taking because of the (gasp!) clear bias and lack of journalism of the mainstream corporate media, so much so that they can no longer trust the veracity of what's being reported? It's hard to tell from the questions, but don't let that stop Candy Crowley from turning this into a "Let's bury Obama's legacy now!" question.
DEAN: No, I think there’s no evidence for that at all. Again, I think that’s right wing talking points against this president. They’ve – from day one when he got in there---they’ve tried to undermine him as a human being. I think that’s a…you know, it’s not a tactic that is good for the country. So, my view is…
CROWLEY: Governor, it’s true that you had
DEAN: …the fact that the president just got…
CROWLEY: It’s true that you had reservation…you didn’t like this when it first rolled out, right?
Again, I gotta break in. Did you catch it? Dean dismisses this as the adoption of right wing talking points to create conventional wisdom and Candy Crowley interrupts him and asks him a leading question (listen to her emphasis on the word "right") to get him back on the bash-Obama track. He actually tells her that it's a tactic that is hurting the country, but she doggedly keeps pursuing it. Rick Santorum was allowed to speak uninterrupted to lay the foundation for the meme, but when Dean differs from it, Crowley needs to make him stop. Pathetic. But Howard Dean isn't about to let Crowley use him to further conservative conventional wisdom:
DEAN: No, look, this is not…this is not, from my point of view, an ideal plan. But this is what passed in Congress. And this is the law. And Romney did something very similar in Massachusetts and it’s worked very well, so who am I to say the court…the Supreme Court and the Congress of the United States is wrong all the time? I think we ought to make this thing work. It’s the law, it can work. Mitt Romney proved that it did work in Massachusetts where 98.5 percent of all Massachusetts citizens have health insurance. I fail to see this has anything to do with the president’s competence, other than the procurement process, which has been screwed up for many years, long before this president ever got in office. So I lose my patience with this nonsense. And I do believe that the facts are gonna be determined by what happens on the ground. And I think in three months from now, a lot of people will have health insurance and a lot more people will be happy with all of it.
Ladies and gentlemen, your "liberal media" at work.