Under the headline “Lawmakers Aiming to Increase Civility,” the New York Times (1/17/11)reports from the front lines of theimproved, post-Tucsonpolitical climate:
And the House speaker, John A. Boehner, used the phrase ”job-destroying” instead of “job-killing” in reference to the Democrats’ healthcare overhaul in a speech to colleagues on Saturday–a subtle but pointed shift in tone, though not in substance.
Change is in the air!
On a serious note, this would suggest a shift from a mean-sounding,unsupported-by-the-factsattack on one’s opponents to a slightly less mean-sounding, still fact-free attack on the Democrats and the Obama White House. As Dean Baker wrote at his Beat the Press blog today (1/18/11), many reports quote Republican politicians saying the new healthcare law is going to destroy jobs–without any suggestion that they should provide compelling evidence that this is in fact true.
Baker points to an AP “fact check” piece that does a good job of setting the evidence down–and showing that the Republicans have very little going for them. As he put it on Saturday:
In principle, reporters have the time to investigate allegations like the claim that the healthcare bill is costing jobs. Readers, on the other hand, do not. If the Republicans can make an untrue assertion and simply have it passed along as a credible statement because reporters do not do their jobs, then we should expect them to make even stronger statements. Perhaps we will soon be reading accusations from Republicans that President Obama and the Democrats are baby killers. After all, given the current practice of the national media, they would likely just pass the charge along as a reasonable statement about events in the world.