A lot of great material continues to come out of the National Review, but there’s also an inability by some of their writers to get past their failure to defeat Donald Trump in the primaries. The post excerpted below is an example of how so many things over there have to be turned into a hit on Trump.
Setting the Trump Derangement Syndrome aside, the article is written by Jim Geraghty, who often writes good stuff. To his point in this particular piece about the public’s lack of interest in what lawmakers are doing — I’m not sure where to start. It’s kind of silly, frankly. He seems to imply that hard working Americans who have to bear the tax burden imposed on them because of Republicans’ (yes, Republicans’) government massive spending — are supposed to spend their free time tracking down the details of what their “productive” GOP elected officials are doing?
Geraghty gives an example of how the Republican House’s actions receive “a small fraction of the coverage that the Donald Trump-Paul Ryan summit received.”
Are Republican legislators really that insulated and out-of-touch? Or is it that voters hear exceptionally little about what Congress is actually doing? Doesn’t a preponderance of the evidence suggest the political press — following their audience — finds legislation boring? It doesn’t get clicks, it doesn’t get ratings.
Boo-hoo. It’s called the information war and our elected Republicans are mostly invisible men and women due to their own failures. It is their responsibility to spread the word about what they’re doing and quit blaming the media for not covering their blessed work. Maybe if spending and debt was being reduced, or taxes were being simplified they’d garner some coverage.
Here’s the part of Geraghty’s post I refer to — I’ve covered much of this GOP failure within these pages:
“Those Republicans in Washington never do anything!”
Actually, the House of Representatives spent last week passing 18 bills dealing with opioid addiction; the Senate passed one big comprehensive bill earlier.
The legislation that passed the House aims to fight the crisis in a number of ways, “including helping pregnant mothers who suffer from addiction, increasing access to naloxone (a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose), and creating a task force of patients, medical officials, advocacy groups, and federal agencies to establish guidelines for prescribing pain medication.”
The other bills would allow “patients to only partially fill opioid prescriptions, require the Food and Drug Administration to work with expert advisory committees before approving opioid products and drug labels and expand residential treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum opioid addicts.”
Maybe you think these are good ideas to address the country’s addiction problems, maybe you don’t; maybe you think this is a top priority, maybe you don’t. Democrats are complaining that these bills authorize funds but they don’t appropriate them — i.e., give the federal agencies permission to spend the funds this way, but don’t actually transfer the money. Republicans say funding will be addressed in the appropriations bills passed later this year. You can argue whether it’s better to address the issue with one big bill, the way the Senate did, or to consider each idea separately.
But it’s impossible to dispute the House’s action received a small fraction of the coverage that the Donald Trump-Paul Ryan summit received. And one of the biggest complaints revealed in the GOP primary is the argument from primary voters that Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t doing anything; they’re out-of-touch, they’re insulated, they have no idea about the kinds of problems that ordinary Americans face every day.
Are Republican legislators really that insulated and out-of-touch? Or is it that voters hear exceptionally little about what Congress is actually doing? Doesn’t a preponderance of the evidence suggest the political press — following their audience — finds legislation boring? It doesn’t get clicks, it doesn’t get ratings. It’s much more fun and interesting to debate, “Did Donald Trump pretend to be a fake personal spokesman back in the 1990s?” than to calculate how much funding you need to provide for postpartum opioid addiction programs in order to see a real change in the scale of the problem.
Read more: National Review
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