Monday, February 27, 2006

Conservatives pretend that only Democrats oppose the President

As reported in the New York Times, from the very beginning the concern in Congress about the deal by Dubai Ports World to manage six American ports was bipartisan.

Representative Peter T. King of New York was in a room packed with reporters last week, complaining that the White House had jeopardized national security by contracting with an Arab-owned company to manage terminals in six American ports, when he felt his cellphone vibrate. It was Representative J. Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House.

Mr. King, like Mr. Hastert a Republican, finished talking and hurriedly returned the call, expecting the speaker, who has never broken with President Bush on a major issue, to chastise him. "And before I said anything," Mr. King recalled, "he said, 'You don't have to tell me what a bad deal it is: you and I are on the same page.' "

Then why are Fox News and conservative columnists describing the opposition as if it were from Democrats alone?

Charles Krauthammer writes:
The Democrats, in particular, are in full cry, gleeful to at last get to the right of George Bush on an issue of national security.
Gleeful, and shamelessly hypocritical.

Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that congressional Democrats are "hoping for an election-year chance to appear more hawkish than the president on national security," in "pushing legislation to block" a proposal to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities.

Carl Cameron then presented a video clip of Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) saying
"We will introduce next week in Congress -- Congress is out of session this week -- a resolution of disapproval." and then a video clip of another Democrat, leaving the viewer with the impression that the "we" in Rep. Harman's quotes referred to the Democrats.
But the quote was from a statement in which Harman promised to introduce legislation calling on the Bush administration to reconsider the ports takeover jointly with Republican Sen. Susan Collins (ME) and, in fact, the "we" in the Harman clip referred to Collins.

Media Matters reports
Despite ascribing political motives to Democrats who oppose the port deal, Cameron did not question the motives of Republicans who oppose the takeover or who are calling for hearings on the matter.

The Inside Dope blog has it right when he says of Fox News, Up is down, black is white. When Democrats oppose the President it is purely political posturing but the Republicans who take the same stand are expressing genuine concern.

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