November 21, 2013

It's happening, right before our eyes. The GOP assault will suck all the oxygen out of the room with their narrative on Obamacare, and a complicit media makes it possible. You would think the term "professional" journalism would imply some kind of standards, something more than the stenographic repetition of GOP talking points -- but you would of course be wrong. The same people with the "he said, she said" fetish are seemingly incapable of applying that same approach to the Affordable Care Act.

I was never happy about Obamacare, as you know. I wanted single payer. I figured this would be a clusterf*ck, and I was right. But in a time of widespread economic despair, Obamacare is an improvement and I'll take it. So I find myself in the odd position of fighting to protect something I never actually wanted in the first place. It infuriates me that the journalism profession to which I devoted two decades of my life brings neither perspective nor proportionate response to this important public discussion. They are mere purveyors of right-wing propaganda, and their heads should hang in shame.

Because the Republican goal is not to stop the act. They know it's already too late. Their goal is to destroy the Democratic brand in the 2014 mid-terms. Maybe Republicans should just start issuing paychecks to the news networks.

Finally, I will note (for the benefit of any "journalist" who might be reading) that Obamacare saved my life. Literally. You want to talk to a success story? Drop me a line:

WASHINGTON — The memo distributed to House Republicans this week was concise and blunt, listing talking points and marching orders: “Because of Obamacare, I Lost My Insurance.” “Obamacare Increases Health Care Costs.” “The Exchanges May Not Be Secure, Putting Personal Information at Risk.” “Continue Collecting Constituent Stories.”

The document, the product of a series of closed-door strategy sessions that began in mid-October, is part of an increasingly organized Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature legislative initiative. Republican strategists say that over the next several months, they intend to keep Democrats on their heels through a multilayered, sequenced assault.

The idea is to gather stories of people affected by the health care law — through social media, letters from constituents, or meetings during visits back home — and use them to open a line of attack, keep it going until it enters the public discourse and forces a response, then quickly pivot to the next topic.

For a House more used to disarray than methodical game plans, the success so far has been something of a surprise, even to the campaign’s organizers.

“Yeah, there is a method being followed here,” said Representative Michael C. Burgess, a Texas Republican involved in the effort, “but, really, these stories are creating themselves.”

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