In attacking conservative policies, the left has a fundamental problem: Many either don’t understand the policies they are criticizing or they insist on misrepresenting them. When they get caught, it gets ugly. Watch Democratic National chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.):
Ouch. This is what happens in the echo chamber when you never speak to people with whom you disagree or feel compelled to check your facts.
But the DNC chief is not alone. Earlier this month Right Turn, followed by two think tanks, debunked the Tax Policy Center study saying Romney’s tax policy is ”impossible.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes:
It isn’t easy being the intellectual frontmen for President Obama’s re-election campaign, as the boys at the Brookings-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center are discovering. Their ballyhooed study of Mitt Romney’s tax plan looks worse with each new examination.
Mr. Romney’s tax plan would cut income tax rates across the board by 20%, while cutting loopholes that mostly benefit those in the highest income classes. The Tax Policy Center claims it is “mathematically impossible” to finance the rate cut without jacking up taxes by $86 billion on the middle class and poor. Mr. Obama has jumped on the study to support his claims that Mr. Romney would raise taxes, though the Republican has proposed no such thing. (See “The Romney Hood Fairy Tale,” August 8.)
The study’s biggest distortion is its raw assertion that Mr. Romney would refuse to close certain loopholes. In the appendix, the Tax Policy Center lists, among others, two giant tax deductions that it says would go untouched: the exclusion of interest on tax-exempt municipal bonds, and the exclusion of interest on life insurance savings. The study claims that Mr. Romney won’t close these because they are incentives for saving and investment.
But President Obama’s spin squad don’t come up for air, and are determined to keep restating the same inaccurate analysis of Mitt Romney’s tax plan.
You do wonder why the left can’t accurately state what its opponents have actually proposed and then argue the pros and cons of those proposals. It suggests either intellectual laziness or wariness of actually engaging on the merits.
This of course is the great danger that Rep. Paul Ryan poses to Obama and his surrogates. There is no one better on the details of policy and better able to correct and debunk the other side’s misstatements. Remember how he shredded Obamacare, looking the president straight in the eye?
With a compliant media Democrats have gotten used to getting by on platitudes and false accusations. Romney and Ryan have the ability to challenges those talking points. And, judging from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer dissection of Wasserman Schultz, some in the media have figured out how to do it as well. Will Democrats raise their game and be more honest in characterizing the policies to which they object? Stay tuned.