Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Yesterday, I wrote about RedState's incredible claim that Harry Reid was to blame for Sen. Bunning's repeated objections to unanimous consent to pass a bill that would, among other things, extend unemployment benefits.

Fortunately for RedState, it appears that attention has been diverted from that incredible claim and focused on what is, upon closer inspection, a trivial tangent.

RedState's hogan is telling everyone who will listen that Bunning's stunt is not a filibuster:
[A]s is increasingly well known to those who actually are capable of comprehension, Senator Jim Bunning - for the simple reason he wishes it to be paid for - is objecting to a repeated unanimous consent request by Senate Democrats to call up and pass a bill that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits, transportation funding, medicare reimbursement, COBRA subsidies and other expenditures to the tune of another $10 billion or so. . . . A filibuster is one of two things. One, an actual filibuster where a Senator gets control of the Senate floor and will yield only for a question while continuing to speak, thereby delaying consideration of a measure. . . . Two, a “filibuster” under Rule 22 of the Standing Rules of the Senate whereby debate is continuous unless “cloture” is filed to shut off debate on a measure under consideration and the vote is 3/5ths or more of the Senate.
Bunning's maneuver, therefore, is clearly not a filibuster, according to hogan.

Media Matters' Ben Dimiero, however, claims to have caught the bloggers at RedState in a contradiction:
An hour ago, I published a post pointing out that a RedState blogger attacked media outlets referring to Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-KY) move to block legislation that would extend unemployment benefits as a "filibuster." The blogger -- Hogan -- called them "freaking idiots" not "capable of comprehension" and lacking "rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Senate." Only problem is, RedState Editor Erick Erickson made the "filibuster" claim at least twice.
So, the bloggers at RedState have attached different terms to Bunning's maneuver, even though they are abusing their liberal opponents for calling it a filibuster. Now, here's my question for Dimiero: why should I give a shit?

Maybe Dimiero thinks he has to care about this because RedState appears to care about it. But what difference does it make what this thing is called? For all intents and purposes, Bunning's little maneuver had the same effect as a filibuster, so does it really matter whether we call it a filibuster or not?

Perhaps the folks at RedState care about this because conservatives, like the leaders of the totalitarian state of Oceania in George Orwell's 1984, know the power of language. Fox "News" knows. They call reconciliation "the nuclear option" even when it plainly is not, because they know, as the propaganda arm of the Republican party, that what you call something can effect what people think about it. So perhaps RedState bloggers believe that the allegedly liberal media is calling this a filibuster because they want to turn people against it, as if cutting off innocent peoples' unemployment benefits wasn't already a good enough reason to be against it.

But I think RedState has other motives. Think about it. This issue not only diverts attention away from their ridiculous attempt to blame Sen. Reid and helps them wage their Newspeak-style propaganda campaign, it also gives them an excuse to abuse those who disagree with them and thus throw more red meat to their ravenous readers. Feeding at the trough, indeed.

If you want to combat organizations like RedState and Fox "News," it is a good idea to focus on the things that matter and not be distracted by all the trivial nonsense they'd like you to waste your time discussing.

Doubleplusungood, Media Matters. Focus your energy on the important stuff.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson