Independemic: False equivalency in the media

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Forgive us for repeating an obvious sentiment, but Thomas Friedman is a dolt. That’s Thomas Friedman the centrist New York Times columnist, who just this week was tagged by blogger Duncan Black as “the one true w–er of the decade.” Friedman then set about to prove Black right with an editorial proclaiming the virtues of “shared sacrifice” that also managed to ignore the realities of Washington compromise: One party won’t do it.

On Tuesday, Friedman lauded Democrat President Barack Obama for his “significant achievements” and “solid job stemming the economic crisis he inherited.” Arguing that “this election has to be about those hard choices” such as “serious fiscal, tax and entitlement reform,” Friedman also criticized Republicans like Mitt Romney for their “ludicrous opposition to any tax hikes.”

So far, so good. But he then surmises that what this country needs most of all is for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president as an Independent!

Friedman suffers from what we’ll call the “independemic”: The pervasive belief among news pundits that consensus must necessarily be found in the middle. Of course, Republicans have veered sharply to the right in recent years, while Democrats have mostly stayed put, shifting the center to extreme degrees. But the independemicists don’t mind: To them, the middle is a virtue in and of itself.

Friedman concedes that “the rich should pay higher taxes” yet he faults Obama for pushing the Buffett tax, “a clever campaign gambit.” In doing so, he simultaneously argues that we must reform the tax code by raising rates on the wealthy and that it’s bad for the president to do so. Presumably billionaire Bloomberg has a better solution? Good luck convincing the right.

Now, our complaints with Mr. Obama are legion, but Friedman’s false equivalency misses the mark: Only one party has become completely ideologically opposed to making the “hard choices” America needs. Democrats, inept as they are, have signalled a willingness to cut spending; Republicans, on the other hand, won’t budge an inch on taxes.

In politics, compromise is a must. But with the Republican party turning increasingly and stubbornly to the right, the center simply cannot hold.

Dogged

Daily Caller writer Jim Treacher brought attention to a quote from President Barack Obama’s pre-Oval Office book “Dreams from My Father” Tuesday night wherein he described his youth in Indonesia. “I learned how to eat small, green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher) and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).” Obama was just a young boy at the time, but all’s fair in love and war — and considering Democrats’ focus on Mitt Romney’s Seamus the dog story, conservatives gloated with glee. We present some of Twitter fallout:

“Mango Lassie #ObamaDogRecipes” @dhume01
   
“German Shephard’s Pie #ObamaDogRecipes” @stevenbadger
   
“Chinese Chow Chow Mein #Obamadogrecipes”@CynthiaCHeath
   
“Snickerpoodles #ObamaDogRecipes” @jimmiebjr
   
“Pugs in a Blanket #ObamaDogRecipes”@HeyTammyBruce
   
“Great Danishes #ObamaDogRecipes” @JodiStephens
   
“Beagles with cream cheese #ObamaDogRecipes”@TheNewJenn
   
“Eggs rover easy #ObamaDogRecipes @foxnation
   
“Pup Tarts #ObamaDogRecipes” @Libertarian_ish
   
“What ever happened to the Blue Dog Democrats? #ObamaDogRecipes” @joshkaib
   
“Obama is now referring to Romney putting the dog on the roof as Meals on Wheels. #ObamaDogRecipes”@MichaelBerrySho

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



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