That's a segment from last December, where Ezra Klein deconstructs the "both sides do it" myth with regard to Starbucks' campaign to write "Come Together" on customers' coffee cups. You remember that one, right? That was the campaign designed to encourage everyone to sidle up to the budget and tax reform table and sing Kumbaya.
It never stops our illustrious media outlets from trying that theme over and over again. As recently as Sunday, we had Candy Crowley pressuring Nancy Pelosi to "negotiate and compromise" over the debt ceiling and the tea party terrorists' ill-guided effort to defund the Affordable Care Act.
That 'both sides do it' campaign is bearing fruit. Via Pew Research:
If the federal government shuts down because Republicans and the Obama administration fail to agree on a budget, there will be plenty of blame to go around. About as many say they would blame the Republicans (39%) for such a standoff as say they would blame Obama (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.
This parallels the divided sentiment on the eve of the budget standoff in the spring of 2011, which was ultimately averted. But opinions are notably different today than they were during the budget battle of 1995. A November 1995 Washington Post/ABC News survey asked a similar question and found that 46% said a shutdown would mainly be the fault of the Republican Congress; just 27% said the bulk of the blame would fall on the Clinton administration.
The blame for any government shutdown should factually be laid at the feet of the Republicans. Factually.
It is a fact that Republicans spent their money and effort during the break stirring up support to hold the budget and even the debt ceiling hostage to stop the implementation of the Affordable care Act.
It is a fact that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, led by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund government at current levels while stripping funding away from the Affordable Care Act.
It is a fact that Republicans, and Republicans alone have said over and over again that they are committed to destroying the Affordable Care Act and are willing to not only shut down the government, but hold the debt ceiling hostage in order to do such a thing.
These are not theoretical. They are hard, cold, provable facts. How can it possibly be that over 50 percent of those polled would hold both sides responsible?
Answer? Questions like this one from Candy Crowley to Nancy Pelosi:
No chance you would agree to put it off as some are thinking of with the debt ceiling some Republicans are thinking why don't we attach a year long delay for people to sign up?
Crowley gives legitimacy to an idea that is entirely a Republican invention and then lays it at the feet of Pelosi to reject, giving viewers an impression that mean old Nancy Pelosi is the problem, not the lunatics who proposed such a thing in the first place. That will give her room to make the pronouncement that both sides are to blame.
Let's talk about the messaging machine on this one, too. We see Republicans repeating over and over again that they don't want a government shutdown and look over here! See, the House Republicans passed a budget resolution so it's totally not their fault. Here's a segment from MSNBC on Monday:
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