Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

MSM assesses cons of one-party rule, but only when Democrats are in charge

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Originally published on on Thu, 11/06/2008 – 12:57pm

When you are in the middle of a large park with jumbotrons blaring cable news coverage, you think you heard something seriously wrong, but in the crowd and moment, it got lost.

But as it turns out, Campbell Brown’s mistake was worse than I thought, and perhaps was the most hilarious moment of the coverage from Election Night.

One key point, especially when preparing for a night where once again, the same party controls the White House and both houses in Congress, would be to remember recent times where that was true.

Campbell Brown: And for those people who have been worried about the possibility of one party controlling Congress and the White House, the last president to do that was?

John King: That was Bill Clinton and-

Campbell Brown: -Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton had Democrats in the House and the Senate?

John King: Very briefly.

Campbell Brown. Very briefly. It didn’t go so well.

John King: No it didn’t.

In the crowd, we were debating whether they were talking just the Democratic Party or either party. If it was just the Democrats, Brown would be wrong and King would be right. Turns out they meant overall, and they both were wrong.

As those who suffered massively under the “care” of George W. Bush know all too well, Republicans controlled every thing (including the Supreme Court) from 2001 until Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party in 2001, and from 2003 to 2007.

But we really shouldn’t be surprised. Are you really surprised that two highly paid, corporate MSM figures would “forget” this period from 2001, 2003-2007?

In the 2002 Senate race, control of the Senate was a huge campaign issue. Even though Tom Daschle was the Senate Majority Leader, his razor-thin margin was Jeffords.

But it was clear that control could go either way. Did the corporate MSM express concern in 2002 that one party might have control of all the major branches of government? No. Why not? Because this was about Republicans.

In that 2002 race, four seats shifted power. The one Democratic Party gain was Arkansas Attorney General Mark Pryor defeating Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR).

The GOP gained three seats to put them on top. In fact, two Democrats literally lost their seats in the month of November. Independent Dean Barkley (yes, the Independent in the 2008 Senate race with Al Franken and Sen. Norm Coleman) took office on November 4, replacing the late Paul Wellstone following the fatal plane crash. And Jim Talent, who defeated Jean Carnahan, widow of Mel Carnahan, took office on November 25, since Carnahan could only serve until the vote was certified (unless she won) due to the 17th Amendment.

So was there analysis on how things went with the Republicans all in charge from 2003 to 2007? No. Was there talk about how the Democratic-controlled Congress has done, even though the margin in the House was small and literally Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and there was a Republican president? Plenty of that.

And why didn’t things “go well” for the Democrats between 1993 and 1995? Perhaps there were slipups, but it remains the only presidency that didn’t get a honeymoon from the MSM. A contested bitter narrowly “won” fight in 2000 — that president got a huge honeymoon; the one that got 370 electoral votes in 1992 – no honeymoon.

If CNN and the other corporate MSM repeaters want to pretend they are unbiased, perhaps they might want to note the huge unemployment numbers, financial destruction, and other damage attributable to in part the dominance of one-party rule in 2001 and 2003-2007. And they should also note that most Americans would take the ramifications of one-party rule from 1993-1995 over the period from 2003-2007.

Campbell Brown is a little younger than I am. She grew up in the same time period, and was in journalism, like me, when Clinton was elected. Yet she couldn’t remember Clinton has a Democratic House and Senate, and couldn’t factor in the Contract “with” America.

I knew the last three times that both parties had control of the White House and Congress, and I know whether they were “good” or “bad.” Yet, my paycheck is a lot smaller than Brown’s or King’s. This is one of the many reasons why the alternative media remains a necessary cog in the news cycle.


Written by democracysoup

November 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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