John King Illustrates the Absurd "Goldilocks Soup" Theory of the Mainstream Media
I have spent years mocking the Village press for their "Goldilocks" analysis of politics. Imagine what a surprise it was to hear this last night on Piers Morgan:
MORGAN:Has the battle made compromise a dirty word on Capitol Hill? Here to explain, my CNN colleague John King.
John, I've never it seen a more miserable reaction from almost everybody in the world to what is supposed to be a good deal.
JOHN KING, HOST, JOHN KING, USA: Well, Piers, I like to use the Goldilocks rule of politics. Is it too hot, is it too cold or is it just right? And you have this compromise. Is it just right because nobody loves it or is it just awful? And I think that's the question we're going to deal with going forward.
But there's no question, on the left in American politics, they think it cuts too much already and they're worried this new super committee will touch Social Security and Medicare, and they're mad President Obama didn't get a tax hike.
On the right, they think it doesn't cut enough. They're worried it could cut defense more in the super committee. And they're worried there's still a door open to tax increases.
So nobody loves it. Everybody calls it a down payment. What it does do is what you said. The president who lives in this house will not be the first American president to ever have this country go into default. Now we're going to have, though, another round of this debate over taxes and spending and the role of government with the super committee first, and then in the 2012 election campaign.
Make no mistake, this issue is not dying down.
MORGAN: No. I mean in it terms of the politics here, John, the real winners appear to be the Tea Party. Who else do you think can come out of this genuinely feeling it's been a good period for them?
KING: In an odd way, the president of the United States wins even though he loses. When I say loses, remember he said he wanted $4 trillion over 10 year deal. He got a little more than half that. He wanted this done one installment, raise the debt ceiling, he'll have to do two. The second one comes through that super committee.
He said it had to be balanced, and by that the president means tax increases. He didn't get tax increases in the first sweep. There's no guarantee he'll get tax increases in the second.
So he did not get what he said he wanted setting into this. In fact, what he signed he described pretty much as unfair just a week or so ago. And yet he does not default. He's not the president who gets that stain.
And look at all the other economic data, Piers. Unemployment, growth, consumer spending down confidence, consumer confidence down. The last thing this president needed as a candidate for reelection is another piece of turmoil in a very fragile recovery.
So the president wins even though he loses a bit.
Seriously, do we really need to wonder why the American people are confused? This sort of idiotic "analysis" sheds absolutely no light on the the politics, the policies or even the horse race. It's simply vacuous. And Morgan gave him an opening to at least discuss the Tea Party's refusal to take yes for an answer in spite of the huge policy win they just got. That, at least, would have been interesting.
But somehow, he had to find a bowl that was juuuust right, and so he came up with the silly idea that the President is a winner because he managed not to be the first president to bear "the stain" of default. I've rarely seen a bigger stretch.