Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beware journalists turning conservatives into a circular firing squad

Legal Insurrection

The hot news today was a story at National Journal about how the Romney campaign supposedly was Declaring Cease Fire on Health Care:

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court health care ruling, the early conventional wisdom was that an unfavorable health care ruling at the court would be good for Republicans politically, even as it was a serious policy setback for conservatives. But that’s not shaping up to be the case. Mitt Romney, after giving a brief statement decrying the decision, has been virtually silent on criticizing the health care law. He’s been on vacation and his campaign has been giving off clear signals that it doesn’t want to make health care a major part of the election….

For an issue that’s supposedly potent against Democrats, Romney’s campaign is declaring a cease fire. This, even as the law polls unfavorably and it proved to be a motivating force for Republicans and disaffected independents in the 2010 midterms.

It’s becoming clear that Romney has decided to focus on the economy at the expense of everything else, even issues that could play to his political benefit….

Needless to say, the headline and verbiage inflamed many on the right side, but when I read the article, it looked like very little fact reporting and a lot of conclusions.

The “declaring a ceasefire” language was that of the author, not the Romney campaign, and the embedded hyperlink where those words appeared was to a Washington Post article about how Romney supposedly “sided” with Obama about whether the mandate was a tax (see my post yesterday).

The Romney campaign is denying any ceasefire, via Byron York:

So is the Romney campaign, in fact, declaring a “cease-fire” on Obamacare? No, no, no, says Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. “From our perspective, Obamacare has been and will continue to be a central issue in the campaign,” says Williams. “It presents voters with a bright line that divides the two candidates. Gov. Romney is going to repeal Obamacare and President Obama is going to keep it. There is a clear choice in November.”

I have been pretty strong in my criticism of the Obamacare decision, and during the primaries was pretty harsh on what Romneycare might mean for the general election.

But we don’t need concern trolling journalists sowing discord on the right. Don’t let them turn us into a circular firing squad.

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