Skip to comments.Big Mo for Putting C-SPAN Cameras on 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks
Posted on 12/07/2012 9:44:58 AM PST by lbryce
If there is such a thing as a "tipping point" for proposals in the public policy arena, opening the "fiscal cliff" talks to C-SPAN cameras may have passed it.
Two days after the election, I wrote in this space that putting the cameras in the room with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner was the only way for the public to know who is serious and who is still playing politics. Shining the light would also be more likely to force a genuine compromise.
That column got a tepid response. So I fired off another missive repeating the suggestion here last week. It's become clear this time around that others who are much smarter than I are thinking the same thing.
Like Grover Norquist, already famous as the political Machiavelli of supply-side economics thanks to his anti-tax hike pledge signed by virtually every influential Republican figure of the past two decades.
Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday, Norquist said Obama "should get in a room with C-SPAN cameras there and negotiate. ... Let's have the cameras there. If the Republicans are being reasonable, we'll see that. If they aren't, we'll see that."
This wasn't the first time Norquist has spoken in favor of letting the sun shine in on the professional politicians; he and I have been on the same page on these issues for a long time.
But until fairly recently, that page was a lonely place to be for those of a Right cast of mind. Transparency and accountability in government weren't high priorities for too many Washington conservatives.
That began changing in a big way in 2006, thanks to the Internet, Tom Coburn and, perhaps ironically, Barack Obama. Coburn and Obama co-sponsored the Federal Funding Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006, aka "Coburn-Obama," which was signed by President George W. Bush.
Coburn-Obama mandated establishment of the first-ever official website -- USASpending.gov -- that put most federal spending within a few mouse clicks for anybody with Internet access. The site isn't perfect, but it's helped fuel a growing citizen journalism movement on the Right.
Coburn-Obama also has helped propel a growing awareness on the Right of the crucial importance of transparency and accountability. Steadily growing legions of conservatives understand now that Big Government and Big Transparency are perpetual enemies.
That recognition is seen in the response to the notion of putting C-SPAN cameras in the fiscal cliff talks. John Fund, an influential opinion journalist on the Right, lauded the idea, both for its intrinsic merits and because "secret talks allow the White House to avoid having the Congressional Budget Office score its proposals and reveal them to be as phony as the last Obama budget, which not a single Democrat in the Senate voted for."
Similarly, as U.S. News & World Report's Peter Roff noted, the idea is getting traction among groups like the Conservative Action Project, a consortium of activists headed by former Attorney General Ed Meese.
It's also fascinating watching prominent journalists responding to the idea. When Norquist delivered his comments, for example, NBC's David Gregory instantly scoffed, saying, "That's not going to happen, you know that."
Gregory has a surprisingly closed mind for a man in his profession, but his cynicism makes it easy to imagine hearing his exact words in response to predictions in 2007 that Obama would be elected president in 2008, in 1988 that the Berlin Wall would ever come down or in 1993 that Democrats would lose control of Congress for the first time in more than 40 years.
Think he said the same thing a few years ago about predictions that someday soon more people would get their news from the Internet than from ABC, CBS and NBC?
So, while the idea of C-Span pointing its cameras right off the precipice and into the abyss, taking note of who it was careening over the end sounds like a great idea, but we've heard this one before and it's nowhere nearly as great as it seems.
Cspan in congress is no better than the camera on you at your local intersection. No one wants to be seen or caught out of step with the light..
In this case, out of step with the overall strategy of capitulation to the powers of transition. Transition from freedom, liberty and capitalism. A few who were elected solely to run the red light will, but number so few as to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Aren’t I awful. I hate being pessimistic, but it is what it is.
>>Arent I awful. I hate being pessimistic, but it is what it is.
It isn’t pessimism. The pieces are finally in place:
a Marxist leader with the skin tone to deflect all criticism,
his shadowy masters who put him there,
an opposition is appears defiant but is ready to capitulate,
a media is the willing accomplice,
widespread monitoring methods and law enforcement who are willing to do anything for the regime to keep their paychecks,
a population who are comfortable enough to not risk it by rebelling.
an economy that is teetering on the brink and will plunge the middle class into poverty soon
For the Marxists, the time is NOW. This is the culmination of a 70 year old chess game and our side has been thinking that we’re playing checkers. Obama and Boehner will play out the charade until January. Then, Americans will get a dose of reality. Fortunately, the looter class will feel the pain too, and they don’t have the skills or work ethic to be valuable to a collectivist economy. Once their usefulness has ended, they will be dealt with by the very same people they put into office.
cameras in the room with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner was the only way for the public to know who is serious
I know who is seriou and who is not without the camera’s.
Hint: It isn’t Boehner.
Quite frankly, does anybody really want to watch Bonehead bend over
in front of Obama, if ya know what I mean?
I would say this...cameras keep political figures honest and focused on not saying anything terribly stupid...unless you are Joe Biden. So there’s a limit to this.
What they do...is you simply view raw footage, is avoid getting dimwits at MSNBC or CNN or ABC into the act of explaining things to you. You view the comments....make your own analysis, and move on...no need for experts to tell you something of a half-true nature.
The one other point to this....they are all using numbers and statistics that probably are fictional in nature....so just viewing some idiot talking about $50 billion of this, or $200 billion of that...doesn’t really mean much of anything to anyone. Now, if you said that $600k was spent on forty government folks attending a four-star hotel-spa deal...we can grasp that pretty easily and determine they ought to be fired.