Daily Caller and The Week columnist Matt Lewis appeared on MSNBC with Martin Bashir on Wednesday to discuss the Affordable Care Act’s roll-out and the lack of Republican alternative proposals to replace that law. Within minutes, the debate exploded as Lewis was accused of appealing to “white privilege” by Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson.
Bashir began by playing a clip of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) being grilled over a lack of an alternative GOP plan to replace the ACA. Lewis defended Cruz, saying that he was effectively representing his base and playing a smart political game by not taking the media’s focus off of the presently failing ACA roll-out.
Lewis conceded, though, that Republicans need to coalesce around a single ACA alternative in the coming days. “It’s not enough to say ‘Obamacare’s bad,’” he insisted. “You have to have a solution.”
Bashir insisted that it is not just health care reform, but that the GOP routinely has no alternative to Democratic proposals on a host of issues.
Dyson insisted that this reflexive opposition from Republicans to President Barack Obama’s initiatives was, as Oprah Winfrey recently suggested, due to his skin color.
“It took ten minutes – ten minutes to get to the race issue,” Lewis interjected. The pair exploded over Lewis’ suggestion that race was an inappropriate topic of debate on this issue.
“Don’t deploy the very principles of white privilege to silence a black man on the panel because you don’t want to talk about race,” Dyson shot back.
Chaos ensued. “You can’t talk about policy,” Lewis declared. “The only thing you have to talk about is race.”
Why a conservative would agree to get tag-teamed three-to-one on MSNBC I don’t know. Lewis lost the argument when he fell for the red herring, and then they hit him with the Big Shiny Race-Baiting Squirrel™.
A red-herring is something that “misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.” In this case the relevant and important issue is the clusterfuck we call Obamacare. The red herring is the demand for a proposed GOP alternative.
Obamacare stands or falls on its own merits. On it’s own merits, Obamacare is an egregiously bad idea. It needs to be repealed as soon as possible. Period. But that does not mean we don’t need healthcare reform.
What the Democrats want to do is shift the argument away from how hideous Obamacare is to a discussion comparing and contrasting Obamacare to some alternative proposal. Then instead of defending Obamacare they will attack the other proposal.
I guarantee you if that happens then the Democrats will win and the rest of us will lose.
The Big Shiny Race-Baiting Squirrel™ is a regular on MSNBC. He is kinda like the buxom female pickpocket’s assistant in the skimpy dress who is employed to distract your attention while Light-Fingered Larry steals your wallet. His contract runs for three more years, after which the execs at MSNBC hope to replace him with the Big Shiny War-On-Women Squirrel™ who performed so well for them during last year’s elections.
Squirrels and red herrings don’t work on everyone. Like the Jedi Mind Trick they only work on the weak-minded. On the other hand “weak-minded” is the MSNBC target demographic.