When explaining why Democrats lost so decisively in the 2014 midterms, Nancy Pelosi blamed the distractions of Ebola and ISIS for taking voters away from the real issues of the day. Of course, if those events had done anything but make Democrats look like poor choices for the country’s leadership, it might have been a different story. But instead, they exposed how dangerous it is to leave leftist ideologues in charge of national security. While I doubt either of the two events had much effect on the election results, I can’t agree that they were “distractions.”
Over at Talking Points Memo, a writer named Caitlin MacNeal is still blowing the “distraction” horn on Republicans. According to her, conservatives ignored the “news of the day” all year in favor of their own “pet scandals.” But once again, I have to take issue with classifying these noteworthy events and scandals as distractions. And if conservative commentators and lawmakers gave them more than their fair share of coverage, it’s only because the mainstream media refused to cover them at all.
The List, Please
MacNeal throws Benghazi, Jonathan Gruber, the Veterans Administration scandal, and the border crisis into the same boat – issues that conservatives use to distract voters from the important news. Of course, what is “important news” is entirely decided by institutions like the New York Times, NBC, and other left wing media outlets, so it’s not quite so cut and dry. I might question whether the death of a robber was really worth two solid months of wall-to-wall coverage, but hey, that’s just me.
I would love to know what important news was being overlooked while conservatives expressed their concerns about the “distractions” MacNeal listed. It’s essential that we wring our hands over a few terrorists getting rough treatment from the CIA, but it’s out of bounds to question whether American lives could have been saved in Libya two years ago? We can’t go a day without getting an update on the Bill Cosby accusations, but it’s inappropriate to show some outrage over Gruber? The border crisis…the border crisis? That’s national security, you insipid joke of a columnist!
No, these aren’t distractions. Distractions are Oscar Pistorius, the shameless ratings spectacle that surrounded the search for Malaysian Airlines MH370, Donald Sterling, Ray Rice, and the morsel-by-morsel celebrity gossip that came from the Sony hack. And that’s not to say that those shouldn’t have been considered news. But if you’re going to decide which is important between Sterling’s mild racism and the stunning admission that Obamacare was pushed through on lies and intentional confusion, well, the answer is obvious.
Obvious to us vindictive, scheming conservatives, anyway.