Ben Smith Tips Media’s Hand: Now That Obama’s Won, Health Care Debate Is Over
In a major feature piece at BuzzFeed Politics co-authored by Chief BenSmither, Ben Smith, and BenSmither-In-Training, Zeke Miller, the message has gone out to the media that "it's time to move on" past the health care debate.
This is #BenSmithing on steroids. It's also a partisan strategy, the very opposite of journalism. Openly requesting the media stop talking about one of the largest entitlements ever passed and one that is only getting started in its roll out is pretty brazen, even for a BenSmither like Ben Smith.
Of course Smith and company want us to move to past the health care debate. Obama won big yesterday, so let's freeze this discussion right where it is. What Smith is proposing is the journalistic equivalent of walking away from the poker game before good luck goes bad.
What Smith knows is going to happen in the coming days, though, and what he and his media pals fear most, is the kind of health care debate Obama can't win. Just as ObamaCare did in 2010, it will likely do again in 2012: motivate GOP voters like never before. But if the media stops talking about health care now, there won’t be a discussion about the half-trillion dollar Medicare cut, a historic tax increase on the middle class, the expansion of the IRS, and the profound drag this monstrosity will have on our already-shrinking economy. So….
Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen, you've been a great audience. Goodnight and drive safe.
Always walk off on a high note, right? Laughably, Smith tries to convince Romney he should do the same:
The substance of the ruling, meanwhile, while somewhat unexpected, has done little to change the underlying issue of the campaign — the state of the economy and joblessness — and has only clarified the left-right divide over the unpopular health care law. Republicans will now assure voters that the only way to repeal the law is to vote for them, an argument that may carry more weight in down-ballot races than for Romney, whose past support for the individual mandate muddles his message. Obama can claim the aura of a winner and will continue to sell the bill’s popular features.
But both campaigns, like the media, also have good reason to move on, as a slow summer week interrupted by the July 4 holiday approaches. For Obama, the health care measure’s abiding unpopularity means that he is, at best, mounting a spirited defense.
What this means is that we can expect to media to attempt to change the subject sometime next week, something we must not allow them to do.
The fresh wound of the ObamaCare victory in Congress created a GOP tsunami in 2010. Smith, the rest of the media, and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself) all know that yesterday's Supreme Court ruling creates another fresh ObamaCare wound just months away from an even bigger election. And now they will attempt to scab it over by changing the subject.
That leaves it up to the grassroots (you!), Team Romney and New Media to make sure that the wounds of this horrific attack on our liberties don't heal until after a 2012 reckoning.
But brace yourselves. The media will need to create something absurd and enormous to distract from health care and to attempt to throw Romney off his ObamaCare message.
And they will.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC