Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
When Rightwing think tanks like AEI and Brookings come out and say this, you know we are in serious trouble.
This is, specifically, an impassioned plea to the press to do their fucking jobs.
I like that they specifically address the common media tactic of "both sides did it" or false equivalency or the "the Left says X and the Right says Y so the truth must be in the middle!" without bothering to, y'know, actually fact check or figure out the truth.
If I say water is a liquid and you say water is superheated plasma, the truth is not in the middle. You are just wrong. This can happen. It does in fact happen all the time, despite what the media say.
The modern Republican party has given up any pretense at caring about governing America. They want power. They want to beat the Democrats. And they don't want any taxes. That's it. Good governance or doing what is right is no longer part of their operating instructions.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.
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We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story. But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality. If the political dynamics of Washington are unlikely to change anytime soon, at least we should change the way that reality is portrayed to the public.
Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?
Also, stop lending legitimacy to Senate filibusters by treating a 60-vote hurdle as routine. The framers certainly didn’t intend it to be. Report individual senators’ abusive use of holds and identify every time the minority party uses a filibuster to kill a bill or nomination with majority support.
Look ahead to the likely consequences of voters’ choices in the November elections. How would the candidates govern? What could they accomplish? What differences can people expect from a unified Republican or Democratic government, or one divided between the parties?
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