The Washington Spin Game is Designed to Mislead Americans
Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 3, 2010
Democrats are calling the Reconciliation procedure they will use to finalize their health care reform bill a “Simple Majority”. Republicans are calling it the “Nuclear Option”. Neither is correct. A simple majority is how Congress passes legislation, because they have no filibuster rule. The Senate uses a simple majority only once they have voted to end debate, which requires sixty votes. Reconciliation is a budgetary amendment process, and the “Nuclear Option” has never been used, but would change Senate rules, making filibusters illegal in the Senate.
These are just the most recent examples of the spin game that is played in Washington. My God, to write a comprehensive list of all the spin coming out of Washington in the last five years would take five years. I recall the days of “warmongers”, “tax-and-spenders”, “racists”, and “bleeding-heart liberals”. These are the names Democrats and Republicans give to each other. None of them are wholly true, and some of them are patently false. But, they seem to develop a life of their own after a while.
Just this last summer, we were privy to all sorts of spin, like “death panels”, “socialized medicine”, “corporate shill”, and recently, “Wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry”. Oh, yeah! Don’t forget the “government TAKEOVER of health care!”. In fact, this health care debate has put the spin of the two parties into sharper focus than ever, misleading more Americans than ever, and causing greater division than ever. Again, so much of it is just made-up spin, designed to make one side’s efforts appear saintly and the other side’s appear hellish.
Who is the victim in all of this? It is the American citizen, most of whom do not have the time or maybe the inclination to follow the legislative process closely, and who rely on soundbites and the mainstream media for their daily news brief. People who get their news only from the MSM are inundated with spin and almost nothing more. Talk Radio, MSNBC, and Fox News are about as partisan as you can get, and relying on these sources alone will lead just about any citizen to know about a quarter of the truth, and the rest will be spin-related garbage.
Spin is very robust, too, and it grows within a culture. It’s difficult for me to find a discussion where spin is not present; usually the person I am talking with will revert to Party talking points (spin), and then I spend ninety-nine percent of the time disproving those spin-induced points. This happens on both sides, but the trouble is, there is more than two sides to America. We aren’t a Republican nation, nor are we a Democratic nation. We aren’t even a right-leaning or left leaning nation. Most people I know have conflicting views about a great many issues. One person may be pro-gun but also pro-choice, while another might be the opposite. The only constant is that both Parties would say “that’s impossible, you can’t be pro-gun and pro-choice at the same time!” Wanna bet? I know people who are.
This spin game has caused, and is causing an irreparable rift in America. The Right and Left are at opposite poles (and seem to like it there), and the struggle is for everyone in the middle, where incidentally, most Americans reside. Where else would you put someone who was pro-gun and pro-choice, or anti-socialism and pro-social security? The national conversation has devolved into a dysfunctional family holiday, where the two sides shout as loudly as they can without solving a single thing. Usually, it is the people stuck in between that get hurt.
It’s hard to discover the truth when the party you support uses terminology like “wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry” or “socialist”. That’s because this type of language is designed to grab your attention and make you afraid of the other side. In the health care debate, the Republicans have used death panels, socialized medicine, government takeover and a whole host of phrases designed to scare a freedom- loving people. Democrats have used words like obstructionist, corporate shill, and fascist to scare their base and the middle.
What bothers me the most is when citizens start using this crap. Especially against me, because I know it’s crap. American ought to know it’s crap, too, good for nothing but causing arguments and misleading people. Spin that uses words to hide the negative aspects of legislation or methods is just as heinous. In the end, it’s all used to distract people from the truth, something that America is lacking, and I blame our politicians for this, but also the media, who plays right along, because dysfunctionality sells.
If you want to debate me, get rid of the spin, or I’ll use my spin on you, and we’ll get nowhere. I’m not a socialist and you are not a fascist. I’m not a corporate schill and you are not a commie. Can we at least start there? Do you realize that the person you are debating is the same as you? That this person has an internal conversation going on just like you? That calling him stupid hurts him, just as him calling you an ass hurts you? Where does it get you? Tell me…where?
Don’t follow the examples of our leaders, who should have that title stripped from them until they grow up. It’s time that the grown ups, America’s citizens, spanked our elected officials and told them to behave. Telling half-truths or spin is the same as lying.
At least, that’s what we teach our kids.