It’s time for ABC News to put a libertarian in the White Houseby Stephen Gordon
On June 24th, to be specific. And the obvious libertarian’s name is John Stossel.
For those not following the story, ABC News has announced the following:
During the discussion from the East Room, President Obama will answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News. ABC’s medical editor Dr. Timothy Johnson will also take part.
“Good Morning America” and “World News” will originate from the White House next Wednesday and the conversation will continue later on Nightline.
This has prompted criticism from the Republican National Committee.
“Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party’s views to those of the President’s to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented,” responded Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay. “Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party’s opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.
ABC News says it welcomes “thoughtful” and “diverse” voices on its White House health care special.
Why not include ABC 20/20 anchor John Stossel? I have confirmed that he has not been asked to be a part of the programming.
When it comes to thoughtful and diverse perspectives on freedom, government, and the marketplace, no one matches Stossel.
Allahpundit asked: “Michelle: Will libertarian John Stossel be part of ABC’s Obama infomercial?” His answer: “Good question, especially given his history of covering the issue. The answer, I’m guessing, is no, since ABC seems intent on excluding representatives of alternative viewpoints even if lip service ends up being paid to those viewpoints in the questions that are asked of The One.”
In addition to McKay, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is having a conniption fit.
“The liberal special interests have clearly learned from their missteps the last time they tried to force Americans into a socialized health care system — the abysmal failure of the Clinton Administration’s ‘HillaryCare,’” Steele wrote. “That’s why their friends at ABC News will be promoting Obamacare at virtually every opportunity, from ‘Good Morning America’ to ‘Nightline,’ and reach from ABC News’ websites all the way to the White House’s East Room.”
In my article, one of the reasons I suggested that a libertarian should be engaged in the debate is that Republican leaders have lost any credibility on the issue.
For starters, I agree with ABC’s position that Republican Party leadership should not be engaged in the debate, albeit for a different reason. The Republican leadership recently lobbied for and supported the largest government intervention into the health care marketplace with Medicare Part D. They aren’t qualified to act as the spokepersons for the opposition. Like a pack of hyenas battling over a dead carcass, one could easily argue that GOP leaders — along with the AMA, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry — wish to engage in the debate to ensure they get their proper share of the spoils.
In another example, Karl Rove just “used an example of socialized medicine he helped to promote to illustrate why Democratic socialized medicine is bad, but Republican socialized medicine is good.” Additionally, senior Republicans are more concerned about quibbling over the details and making adjustments to their speaking points than for making arguments based on principles. Senior Republicans seem happy with ObamaCare Lite, so long their preferred benefactors are the ones who get the benefit of the taxpayers’ dollar.
When libertarians take to the stage, they are typically critical of both major parties. Just from recent television appearances of writers on this site, Jason Pye told Neil Cavuto that he rejects the notion that there may be no groundswell of popular support at recent Tea Parties. “I think, honestly, that conservatives and Republicans were thrown out of office because they forgot their values,” said Pye. “They forgot what they believed in.”
“Newt Gingrich could be one of these two tea bags, because he likes his tea bags sweetened, let’s say, with TARP funding,” I recently stated on the Rachel Maddow Show. “And this other one could be Mike Huckabee. We call him Tax Hike Mike in my circles because he likes his tea bag with tax increases.
Additionally, Stossel is on top of his game when it comes to health care reform. After I asked Stossel an ObamaCare question on this program, Judge Andrew Napolitano responded: “Your argument is so logical. It’s pure Economics 101.”
The way I see it, ABC News can make one of three choices right now:
- They can continue on their current path and receive a considerable amount of just criticism for some time to come.
- They can provide a balance of ObamaCare and ObamaCare Lite by including senior GOP leaders. As their lack of new and alternative ideas has already caused voters to reject them in 2006 and 2008, this seems a fairly moronic idea.
- They could throw in the only real and the only principled opposition to ObamaCare by including libertarians in the debate.
On June 25th, we’ll all know just how serious ABC News is about “looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue.”