Criticism of the Manhattan-Beltway media elite is growing again, and this time not about a particular story, but about general cluelessness about what the country is feeling/thinking about recent events, in particular three: Dr. Gruber’s videos, the “discovery” of the Lerner emails and the president’s unlawful executive amnesty.
About the first two, there is no debate. Those are factual “discoveries” which either have been or haven’t been covered adequately by the MSM. Most of my audience don’t think they have been covered adequately.
The third issue, the president’s executive order, has two layers: a policy layer and a question of the Constitution’s division of powers. Most of my audience disagrees with the policy of allowing most illegal aliens to remain in the country but aren’t exercised about it in the way that MSM thinks they are. Quite a few in my audience, including me, would by contrast write a law rather broader in its regularization off the illegal population. I suspect that, if combined with a long, strong, double-sided fence that ran at least half the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, I’d be voting for a permission slip for 95% of all those in the country illegally to stay as long as they’d like, with no path to citizenship. It is an important and interesting debate –“what ought to be done about those in the country illegally”– but there is no debate among my audience on how it should be done. In this respect there is agreement: It must be done by the Article I Congress passing a bill which the Article II president either accepts our vetoes, and if the latter, which the Artile I Congress can then either accept or override. Thus was welfare reform accomplished in the 1990s, and Obamacare in 2010. It is how all laws are passed in the United States.
Until Thursday night.
My audience does not believe –nor do I– that what the presider is doing is “prosecutorial discretion” because he is not merely choosing not to prosecute unlawful border crossers or visa-overstays but is purporting to grant work permits. He is purporting to have the authority to permit people to work legally whom the law says are not permitted to work legally. This is not “prosecutorial discretion.” Nor is it remotely like what past presidents have done who acted to allow relatively small groups of illegals to remain in the aftermath of the sweeping 1986 amnesty law, or for whom circumstances at home presented an enormous an immediate danger. There are talking points to the contrary, but no arguments. Far from there being an “aftermath” in which to act, the Congress has specifically refused the president’s request for a law, and the amnesty is general, not limited to a country or a category of people. It is wholly different in kind, cope and legitimacy than everything that has gone before it.
So against this backdrop of Dr. Gruber’s cynical statements and the “finding” of emails allegedly lost forever and not found until after the election, the coverage of the president’s immigration lawlessness has been wildly biased in favor of the president, as has been the actual non-coverage of Dr. Gruber and, I suspect, will be the non-coverage of the “discovery” of the emails.
A huge credibility gap has thus developed between a lot of the country, which just decisively rejected the president, and the MSM which protects him and pretends that his positions have merit. Jonah Goldberg made a statement on Special Report with Bret Baier about Grubergate –and I read his statement on air to Chuck Todd yesterday– that perfectly sums up all that has gone off the rails with the MSM in the weeks since the election:
In a lot of ways, this spectacle represents not just everything’s that’s wrong with the Obama administration, it’s everything wrong with liberalism and a lot that’s wrong with America itself.
You’ve got this guy who is pretending to be an objective independent analyst, who’s got huge amounts of skin in the game in terms of money he can make off of consulting fees, but also of the prestige being involved and the speeches he could do which haven’t been tallied into these numbers — anyway, it’s millions of dollars – being touted around through a transmission belt of liberal journalists, who all are all pretending to be objective analysts too, quoting each other, reaffirming each other, all with the help of the White House which went along with this soup to nuts – a process which this guy says was all about lies and misleading the American people. And then when caught about it, the same administration tries to dismiss him as if he was just some sort of random White House intruder. The whole thing stinks.
What Jonah’s critique points to again is a badly damaged set of information receptors and analytical abilities within the Beltway-Manhattan media elites. MSM simply lacks people who will objectively report what is going on –many simply don’t understand it, aren’t smart enough to read broadly or beyond their gossipy websites– and who are easily misled by White House narrative and DNC taking points even after that White House and those talking points were decisively repudiated two weeks ago! Read my conversation with Todd about this critique when it is posted here and recognize that a few people inside the Beltway get the growing gap, but not many. More importantly watch all the Sunday shows tomorrow to see if even one guest is booked and given time who connects all these dots and who speaks –clearly, calmly, rationally– about the president’s extraordinary lawlessness and the cynicism of it combined with the cynicism of Gruber and the deeply suspicious loss and “discovery” of the Lerner emails.
The “crisis” in America is a lawless president, supported in 95% of his actions by a Manhattan-Beltway media elite that is either tone-deaf to the country or contemptuous of it, and which cannot break out of its #ThisTown arrogance long enough to realize that the president is simply lying to them about what he can or cannot do as president. The thin veneer of lefty law professors and reliable Beltway pundits willing to trade on stupid analogies and obviously defective precedents doesn’t change a thing. They are all complicit in the charade.
Some are speculating that Hillary has made an enormous error in signing on instantly to the president’s diktat, and I agree. But the echo chamber is so enormously loud she never considered for a moment not doing it, and now she is stuck applauding an act so wildly unconstitutional that the president himself is the best witness against its constitutionality. If the Sunday Shows are really about the news of the week, they will begin with this basic story –did the president have the authority to do what he did?– and they will begin that segment with the president’s 20+ “I can’t do that,” and their panels will include the severest but also most reasonable and articulate critics of the action.
As for the DC GOP: Bravo. No crazy impeachment talk, no sputtering or angry shouting. None. The “More in sadness than in anger” tone was the right key to strike and hold and they did. Nor will the coming Congressional agenda shift. It ought to begin in January with a repudiation of any dangerous deal done with the Iranians and a reimposition of sanctions on that lawless rogue regime –an almost certainly veto proof law– followed by an embargo of judicial nominees and perhaps more than just judicial nominees until the president revokes his unconstitutional order. That is a constitutional response to an unconstitutional act, one that will keep the key issue alive, even as the GOP works on a fence bill and other provisions contingent upon completion of the fence.
What November 4 showed is that the country isn’t fooled by the coverage of the president’s talking points or the MSM’s deeply unhinged coverage of them. The DC GOP should act confident that the old media guardians are well and truly down and out and not just in ratings, but in influence. It is annoying to see the alleged refs call every play for the president’s team, until you realize they aren’t the refs anymore. They are spectators who ran on to the field who annoy everyone.