I should have my head examined. Mental illness is the only explanation that I can think of for why I ever watch 60 Minutes — but most especially last night when the first segment was a Scott Pelley interview with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Now I’ll admit, these two did a fine job of embarrassing themselves. But mostly, it just provided an opportunity for these two bozos to state their talking points without fear of harassment. And there were all kinds of things they had to say that are, at best, total distortions — the kind of things you normally have to be a committed Fox News viewer to see. And 60 Minutes, as usual, was there to comfort the comfortable.
The interview started with the two Republican leaders expressing their dismay that Obama didn’t come to the State of the Union address with cap in hand. McConnell noted that Obama seemed like he was campaigning for a third term. Later in the segment, Boehner bemoaned the fact that Obama offered no olive branch, “I can tell you, we’re interested in working with him!” I’m curious just what these guys think that Obama would have gotten by showing up as a naughty boy who’d been caught. Because we know what happened in 2011, after the Democrats lost the House, when Obama did reach out to the Republicans. We came incredibly close to breaching the Debt Ceiling and only avoided it with, by far, the worst policy of the Obama years: savage cuts to government spending.
Boehner did most of the talking. He seemed like he really needed a cigarette. And he pushed the Republicans’ newest lie: the Democrats are responsible for income inequality. This came after Pelley asked if Obama shouldn’t get credit for the improving economy. As far as I can tell, he shouldn’t get credit for the improving economy, but he should get credit for increasing inequality. He’s like the opposite of God: when something good happens, he gets no credit; when something bad happens, he gets all the blame.
So why is it that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer? Well, they weren’t willing to talk about how it was all due to the rich being over-taxed. But they did use the second standard Republican Economic Solution for Everything ™: regulation. But the only regulation that Boehner could think of was Obamacare. It, apparently, is the reason that the economy is getting more unequal. Or something.
There is a further discussion of Obamacare, which is part of the internet extras at the link above. Pelley actually pushed back against the Republican leaders — especially on the fact that they have no ideas for what they are going to replace it with. But eventually, Boehner was allowed to go on about what the Republicans want to do. Regular readers of this site should be able to list everything that Boehner said because it is the same list they always have, none of which lower healthcare costs: buy insurance across state lines (all insurers would run to the least regulated state and provide useless coverage) and tort reform (wouldn’t lower costs because doctors don’t actually over-treat because of insurance concerns). He didn’t mention high deductible plans, but maybe they just cut that. He did mention allowing small employers to group together. But Obamacare not only does that for small employers, but for everyone. And the Republicans hate it. At the beginning he mentioned “allowing states to create their own exchanges.” I assume this is just a new talking point to push King v Burwell.
The whole thing was totally disingenuous. At one point, Pelley did a lot of heavy lifting by allowing the two to dump all over Harry Reid for not allowing some of the crazy bills coming out of the House to have a vote in the Senate. This was somehow wrong, but the idea of sending a whole bunch of crazy bills to the president for his veto was just how the system works. Like I said, these two bozos dig their own graves just by talking. But most people don’t know much about this stuff. And instead of countering them as Mike Wallace would have done decades ago, 60 Minutes is just fine to let lies transmit to televisions all over the nation. Because who’s to say what is true? Certainly not Scott Pelley! He lives in a world full of fairies and elves, where you can have all the candy you want: the postmodern world where reality is whatever you say it is. Sadly, I don’t live in that world. If I did, 60 Minutes would have been canceled long ago, and the Republican leaders would have committed seppuku for the great shame they have brought to their families and their nation.