Monday, September 29, 2008

1960s Turn, Turn, Turn Becomes 2008s Spin, Spin, Spin

As The Byrds sang in the 1960s, Dear Gentle Reader(s), "There is a season;" and that season is upon us.  This time, however, it is a Spin, Spin, Spin season.

As an example, we might take The Gray Lady's self-flagellating decision to include right wing punditry in its op-ed pages.  Today, she presents "How McCain Wins" by that spinmeister William Kristol. The title is self-explanatory; the content would be risible, were it not for the gravity of the situation should McCain actually (heavens forfend!) win.

A paragraph for your contemplation:

McCain’s impetuous decision to return to Washington was right. The agreement announced early Sunday morning is better than Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s original proposal, and better than the deal the Democrats claimed was close on Thursday. Assuming the legislation passes soon, and assuming it reassures financial markets, McCain will be able to take some credit.

Now, doubtless the good senator will "take" credit, which will very likely be "given" to him in any circumstance by right wing pundits and sycophants, but whether or not he has earned any will always be subject for discussion, and, in any event, his decision to return and "suspend," already a virtual fib, doesn't pass the smell test for commendation.

Since not one word of the impending House Republican caucus "revolt" had been disseminated, it will always appear that Senator McCain's decision to go to Washington last Wednesday was based on the perception he could make points by seeming to lead the charge for quick passage of the rescue/bailout plan as of Wednesday morning.

Imagine the good senator's chagrin to arrive in D.C. and discover the impending revolt.  What to do?  Well, DGR(s), he did what he should've done--he sat in on the ill-advised photo-op on Thursday and said virtually nothing.  He added nothing to the debacle nor to the resulting debate.  On Friday he declared victory, packed up his campaign staff, and went on to Mississippi to a bit of a fruitless endeavor at the debate in Oxford.

Kristol discusses none of this.  His paragraph is one of ignoring the facts.  The first Paulson plan was defeated by a Democratic leadership and by them, and Republican senate leadership, amended.  That first amended plan was rejected by House Republicans; the ensuing negotiations produced an amorphous nod to the House Republicans, and the final plan will be debated today.  It remains to be seen if enough House Republican votes will be garnered to pass the bill (the Democratic majority is insisting that there be a bi-partisan buy-in).  In all of this back and forth, though, notice how much of a role McCain played--little to none.

Write on Billy Boy.  Spin on, Dick Cheney acolyte.  But know that your spin season is known.

Trust, but verify, Dear Gentle Reader(s).


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