Lies, damned lies and politics

The interviewer is Dana Bash. The interviewee is Harry Reid, former Senate Majority Leader in the United States. During the election in 2012, he helped lie Obama back into the White House by stating that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in ten years. And so, the other day this is what he said:

BASH: So no regrets about Mitt Romney, about the Koch Brothers. Some people have even called it McCarthyite.

REID: Well… [shrug] … they can call it whatever they want. Um … Romney didn’t win, did he?

This is how it works on the left in politics everywhere. There are the “intellectuals”, academics and journalists. And there are those who are on the receiving end of a pipeline of government money, some rich (crony capitalists and all) and most not so rich. Good governance is the farthest thing from their minds. With the media as slanted to the left as Pravda in the days of the Soviet Union, it is a generally winning combination. That the US is now a mess, and becoming less consequential every day, is no concern of theirs. Harry Reid speaks for them all. Admits he lied, but so what. Obama won and Romney didn’t.

And in Australia. You have the same combination of the left intellectual “elite”, who generally are anti-market, and the ALP/Green support base, who have little clue where the good things in life come from, other than knowing they aren’t getting their fair share. What’s cheaper electricity and a more reliable supply got to do with anything? If you can make ownership of poles and wires work for you, you can win government. Everybody at the top of the Labor Party knew Martin Ferguson was right. But had it not been for him and a few others, Labor might have won the election, just as Obama did in 2012.

In Australia, our media is not as slanted. You do get to hear both sides on most issues – although the ABC, being a public broadcaster and the most far left of the lot is a major distortion in our news and information flow. Under the Harry Reid Principle (or lack of principle), Martin Ferguson is being forced out of the Labor Party for telling an inconvenient truth. Truth in politics is what you can get away with.

Victoria’s union chiefs have unanimously called on Labor to expel Rudd-Gillard frontbencher Martin Ferguson from the party as anger rises over recent comments savaging the ALP and the trade union movement.

Mr Ferguson, a former ACTU president and federal resources minister, describes himself as “Labor to the bootstraps” despite now working as a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry and representing companies including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Woodside and BHP.

But a slew of recent political attacks by Mr Ferguson have sparked frustration and a strong push to turf out the former Labor heavyweight from the party.

Tensions spilled over this week, with Mr Ferguson publicly supporting the reinstatement of the hardline Australian Building and Construction Commission, claiming the militant construction union must be “brought to heel”.

He also accused NSW Labor leader Luke Foley of “rank opportunism” and “blatant scaremongering” in the run-up to Saturday’s state election. Mr Ferguson became the face of a NSW Liberal Party campaign ad, where he expresses disgust over his party’s anti-privatisation campaign. [Bolding added]

And where are we now? Labor might well have won had Ferguson not said what he said as publicly as he did. The entire east coast would have then had the same junk governments, and Tony Abbott would have had to go. An informed electorate is one thing; a perpetually deceitful and ignorant media class is quite another.

And I draw your attention to the implicit bias in the story which clearly implies that working for the resources sector and trying to control rogue unions is somehow against the Labor Party ethos. It may well be so, but it is not a winning combination for the long-term prosperity of this country.

A sordid and sinister story

More or less, along the right in the US there is general acceptance that the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, was beaten up by mobsters and is, as a result, leaving the Senate.

From the moment the story broke, many have been highly skeptical of Reid’s claim his injuries came from a home exercise accident. Most of this skepticism–based mostly on speculation and the gruesome nature of the injuries—led some to offer a version of an alternate theory that somebody beat up Senator Reid.

“It’s pretty obvious from the photographs that somebody beat the bejesus out of the soon-to-be former senator from Nevada. And yet the national media has uncritically swallowed the cover story that ‘exercise equipment’ was to blame for the loss of sight in the former majority leader’s right eye. Baloney,” Michael Walsh wrote at PJ Media.

Even Rush Limbaugh has bought into this:

Does anybody really believe that’s why Harry Reid is still bruised and is still wearing dark glasses, what, months after this accident with his exercise machine?

I don’t believe for a minute that whatever happened to Harry Reid has anything to do with an exercise machine unless somebody repeatedly threw him intoit. Harry Reid looks like and is acting like — and now with this announcement, behaving like — somebody who may have been beaten up. Nobody… I’ve never seen anybody have an accident with an exercise machine that ends up suffering symptoms much like Harry Reid’s for as long as Harry Reid has.

If it is generally believed that the Senate Majority Leader was hanging out with mobsters, who felt perfectly safe in beating him up with no consequences whatsoever, then the governance of the United States has fallen on some very dark times. This is not a cute bedtime tale, but a sordid and sinister story for which genuine answers ought to be sought.

Do Americans not worry about who is really running their country and on whose behalf? What parts of the way America is governed is governed to benefit people such as this? If there is serious truth to this rumour, you would think people would want to get to the bottom of it. That they do not, is more worrying than anything else, even the negotiating that is now going on in Iran.