A Masterpiece of the False Equivalence Genre

Take it away, NYT:

Nominees at all levels of Washington’s bureaucracy — 117 of them in all, including cabinet secretaries, judges and members of obscure oversight boards — are facing delays. Just last week, the Senate confirmed David Medine, the president’s choice to lead the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The time between his nomination and confirmation was 510 days. Every Republican voted no.

The shrinking number of senators from both parties who are willing to cross the aisle and the growing appeal of adding a “no” vote on a presidential nominee to a political résuméhave contributed to the slowdown.


This doesn’t even make sense. Precisely how are Democrats supposed to cross the aisle and vote for a Democratic president’s nominees? Are Democrats supposed to vote for Republican … what, Obamacare repeals, in order to prove to Republicans that they’re willing to cross the aisle, so that Republicans can cross the aisle on other things, because common courtesy is binding right now, and doing something nice and generous for others totally means the other person will always and forever do something nice for you, because that’s how that always works.

Bending over backwards to make sure nobody gets upset at a story that seems to place blame on anyone produces a story that blames everyone, and therefore the reader gets the impression that this is all just a big impossible mess with no solution because everybody in Washington is such an intractible asshole. Therefore the reader assumes that there are no solutions, except maybe to not elect assholes, but that is hard because everyone is an asshole.

The implicit message in a story like this, to the readers, is DON’T GET UP FROM YOUR CHAIR. Don’t bother. Both parties are equally bad in this. Everyone’s complicit. There’s nothing you can do. Don’t look at this and say, hmm, if only one party wasn’t filibustering the nominees of another party’s elected president. Both sides need to cross the aisle, even if Democrats are already on the side they need to be on to do what they said they were going to do. Don’t look at this and see a solution, which is to really reform the filibuster, quit electing immature and egomaniacal douchebags, and properly call out nonsense as it’s seen. Don’t look at this and see answers. Everything’s hopeless. Don’t bother.


One thought on “A Masterpiece of the False Equivalence Genre

  1. Not just “give up,” but most importantly, “don’t even look,” or “quit paying attention.” There’s work to be done, but it isn’t for you and it isn’t for your benefit. If we can get you to despair, and give up altogether, the factions who are still working the system can do so with full legality and without any of that niggling interference from you meddling kids.

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