Saturday, February 20, 2010

There they go again

This from the AP (my italics):

"Yet passing anything but a very modest bill would likely mean using special budget rules that let Democrats override Republicans in the Senate with a simple majority. Using the budget route — called reconciliation — to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills probably would enrage Republicans. "

How will we notice any difference if the PTR is enraged? How can that possibly be an argument for or against any policy, strategy or tactic? If the PTR will give V votes for the Dems healthcare reform, and we multiply by the enragement factor E, then we get the equation (0)(V) = 0. Why does the AP write such claptrap?

Also, what the AP write calls a "simple majority" is what is known in most democracies as, simply, a majority. The filibuster is not a law of nature; it isn't a law of anything -- not even a Senate law. It simply means that someone says that they'll continue talking until shut up by a cloture vote. Why doesn't the AP point out that allowing this to go unchallenged is undemocratic, especially in an intrinsically undemocratic chamber of government (viz.: the Senate).

As more and more newspapers eliminate their own reporting and depend on the AP we will get more and more issues framed by this kind of superficial pop-phraseology. But even staff writers for well-respected newspapers are sometimes guilty: see my related blog on one writer's use of the term "moderates."

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