Here's Thomas Roberts under S. E. Cupp's spell:
WOW. First of all, Thomas, despite this lapse you're a good reporter, a good professional (at least as of yesterday), so what gives? Did y'all receive another Steve Capus memo to cut Willard some slack, to be 'fair and balanced' to the Republican ratbastards and LIARS? Now that Capus's pal, according to the Beltway narrative, has wrapped up the GOP nomination, you must report his LIES and DISTORTIONS as if they're just another version of the truth. After all, that's a longstanding corporate MSM tradition."He could not get through a Republican primary today. Alicia, is this really a hollow argument? This is completely a different time, we all get that, the president closing the door on the new talks for a grand bargain where revenues, they were on the table, so can he make the case to Americans that he really can deliver on fixing the GRAND DEBT problem?"
But here's the thing, Thomas. There are only two ways to look at the President's specific assertions of fact. Either they're true or they're not. The President invited you, the media, to check it out for yourselves. Whether you accept his political rhetoric (I do) that the Ryan budget is "thinly veiled (one of my favorite lines, you're welcome Mr. President) Social Darwinism" (it is) either you accept the "math" or you don't. There's no middle weasel room. As for the destructive, draconian effect on people's lives, what's your term for it? S. E. mocked it as "apocalyptic." She said it was government "paternalism" — I thought we were supposed to be the "mommy party." But then S. E. can't fantasize about being Patricia Neal to the 'paternalistic' Gary Cooper (how Ayn Rand lived and wrote male-female relationships, as a battle of wills):
This PSA message for objectivists, S. E., is that as you reach retirement age, you're going to need Social Security and Medicare, just as freeloader Ayn Rand did, whether you like it or not. In fact, the only "tweak" to these programs I would support is an opt-out provision that might be called the "objectivist clause." But I kind of doubt there would be takers, beyond non-Randian billionaires with a conscience such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
Okay, that's S. E., who will be spouting her endearingly stupid Randian bromides mañana on the Alex Wags show, which should be fun on some level. Snap out of your stupor, Thomas, and listen up. Shakespeare's famous phrase from The Tempest (Act 2, Scene I) comes to mind — "... what's past is prologue" — in light of your mindlessly stupefying assertion: "[I]s (the President's) really a hollow argument? This is completely a different time, we all get that ..." Thomas, you may be a good reporter, but you're a lousy historian. Seriously. And this isn't only a disappointment, coming from you, but truly alarming, too. Seriously.
"What's past is prologue" means, essentially that what happened during a time in the past, not a "different time" in any significant way (politically and economically), sets the historical context for the present. We are at a historical crossroads. This is the crucible of the Age of Reagan, which, without the luminosity of its leading light, has become a dark, pessimistic, and dangerous manifestation of the extremist right. The decline of America, the death of the middle class, skyrocketing deficits, the "greed-is-good" venality of Wall Street, the rise of the Religious Right, yawning income inequality, the gutting of our manufacturing base, and the politics of personal destruction, ALL trace their beginnings to the election of Ronald Reagan.
So please, Thomas, don't insult our intelligence (the few of us who know the history) with the mindblowing ignorance of your statement that "this is completely a different time, we all get that ..." No, Thomas. It.is.not. And we should not "all get that." President Obama is right. The survival of the middle class is at stake. What kind of nation we will become is at stake. We have arrived at the very crucible of Reaganism as a governing philosophy. So Thomas, here's my advice for you:
Get your head out of your ass, and stop ogling S. E. Cupp. 'Kay?
PS — Your history is WRONG, Thomas, in other significant ways: (1) The President is not "closing the door" on new talks; he's asking Republicans to be reasonable, and you know it. (2) It's about jobs and growth, NOT the debt. "Fixing the GRAND DEBT problem" as you put it, is a manufactured Republican talking point, considering the political document known as the 'Ryan budget' EXPLODES THE DEBT. Shame on you, Thomas, for repeating GOP talking points.