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The dictionary defines a debate as "a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal;" implicit in that definition is the opportunity for each side to present its argument.
So why do we continue to call the juggernaut that is government-run health care a "debate?"
"Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called a last-minute, pre-emptive strike on Wednesday with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday."
It seems that Mr B doesn't like the idea that "the other side" may have some valid points to make; after all, "we won." Still, one can at least understand, if not condone, this kind of political grandstanding: after all, politics is very much a contact sport, and the Republicans have the opportunity to fight back in the court of public opinion.
Or do they?
"On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care ... exclude opposing voices on the debate."
This is unprecedented. A primetime news conference, sure, but even there, the press at least has the opportunity to question. But this is simply Pravda-in-English. Advocates of government-run health care should be embarassed - indeed, appalled - that their arguments are so weak that they can't stand to be questioned. And anyone who still believes that our media is an independent institution needs a reality check. Apparently, ABC now stands for "All Barack's Cheerleaders."
I certainly hope that folks will change the channel.
[Thanks to reader Tom T for the Drudge tip]
PILING ON DEPT [6-17-09]: It never occurred to me that the term "free press" meant that media folks would actually work for free:
How much would a 30- or 60-second primetime spot normally bring in? Hundreds of thousands of dollars? More? And that's being purposely turned away in favor of scoring political points? Where are the ABC shareholders on this? Heck, where are the Disney shareholders on this?
The pro-government-healthcare folks are so afraid of the light of day, and an open, honest debate on the merits, that they're actually putting their investor's money where their own mouths are.