FAA SHUTDOWN — THE WAR OF OPINIONS

Congress Forces Partial Shutdown Of FAA, Leaves Thousands Without Pay

by Jennifer Bendery, Huffington Post

That is Ms. Bendery’s headline at the HuffPo. How would you read it?

Is it news? No, the FAA is not shut down either partially or fully and no one has been left without pay. Okay, let’s give a little poetic license and allow that Jennifer may have meant Congress May Force Shutdown…; then would it be news? No, it would be opinion.

Another journalist might say Harry Reid Forces Shutdown… or President Obama Forces Shutdown…, all equally plausible opinions. The Republican House won’t budge (yet), Harry Reid won’t allow the bill passed in the House to clear the Senate and Obama says he would veto it anyhow. So who would be the responsible party if some air traffic controllers were to become furloughed as a result of the impasse? It would be, and forever remain, a matter of opinion.

The parties in Washington are fighting a war over public opinion. In that sense, the Republicans are fighting on their opponent’s home turf. Democrat’s, good ones and bad, have always been the masters at appealing to fears and emotions. They are the wordmasters and words are what shape public opinion.

The Republicans are not the problem. The Republicans are the solution to the problem. (How did you like that one? I channeled Reagan for it.) Or as Walter Cronkite would never say, “It’s the Democrats, stupid!”

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