POLITICO Journalism

This blurb from Carrie Burdoff Brown is striking for a number of reasons.

If President Barack Obama at Thursday’s summit, like caps on malpractice awards or allowing insurers to sell across state lines. really wanted to show he’s serious about winning over Republicans on health care reform, he could offer up some key concessions

And if Republicans wanted to reciprocate, they could at least acknowledge the congressional scorekeepers are right – the Democratic plans cut the deficit in the long term and rein in health care costs.

Yglesias does a pretty thorough job pointing out the substantive ridiculousness of this; noting that Republicans agreeing not to lie, or lie less anyway, about Democratic bills isn’t a sufficient trade off for actual, substantive, concessions on policy. If Democrats are going to include Republican priorities everyone can agree to more or less in the bill, then Republicans are going to have to vote for the bill. If Republicans aren’t willing to do that, then there’s no reason Democrats should offer them anything.

For my part, I’d just like to note what this says about POLITICO. For one thing, the second paragraph just makes no sense. For one thing, Republicans aren’t claiming that “Congressional scorekeepers” are “wrong;” Lamar Alexander is not saying, “the CBO estimates that this proposal will lower premium costs, but my Republican colleagues and I don’t believe that, and have evidence to the contrary,” he’s just claiming the the CBO said premiums would go up. In other words, he’s lying. And Brown either won’t say as much, or she really just isn’t listening to what various officials are actually saying. Either way, it’s illustrative of a major problem with American political journalism that’s going to have to be fixed before we stand any real chance of ever addressing a major social problem.

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