Ugly Media Spin

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Sep 26, 2008 1:02 PM
I just returned from KTLA television here in LA where I'm doing some political commentary this election season.
 
It's remarkable how some in the press are trying to "spin" the events of yesterday and today.  David Lazarus of The Los Angeles Times, an economic commentator on KTLA, argued that the House Republican objections had been nothing more than a ploy -- an opportunity to allow McCain to showcase his leadership skills by effectuating a deal.

That's cynicism for you.  What Lazarus obviously doesn't understand is that House and Senate Republicans are very different breeds.  And although a plan that doesn't rely at all on taxpayer money (the option many of us would prefer and that House Republicans originally proposed) won't produce sufficient capital quickly enough to address this crisis, there is nonetheless real merit in cutting the capital gains rate, for example, as House Republicans have suggested.  The more capital that's freed up for investment and lending,  the better.

Doubtless, John McCain realizes this.  He also realizes that it would be stupid and wrong to railroad legislators with whom he'll have to work if he becomes President.

But the idea that Harry Reid is propagating this morning -- that, somehow, a "deal" was derailed by the mere presence of John McCain -- is beyond dishonest.  In fact, if anyone injected presidential politics into the crisis it was Reid himself: First, he called for McCain's involvement; then called for McCain not to be involved (once he realized that Barack wanted to keep himself a million miles away from any of the hard work on this).

And finally, only a child (or Barack Obama, apparently) wouldn't realize that the two presidential nominees are some of the most indispensable parties at the table.  As they are the de facto leaders of the GOP and Democrats, their imprimatur is essential to others in their parties supporting the legislation.