When compromise doesn’t cut it

Pundits may herald the recent capitulation of legislators and  President Barack Obama on a deal to raise the debt ceiling as a moment of great populist triumph in Washington, D.C. A win for the American people. A compromise that acts as token of a new era, ushering in civility and bipartisanship in a place devoid of both.
But they are simply wrong. This âÄúcrisisâÄù is the product of writers and reporters who fear being labeled as part of the liberal media and thus report both sides evenly. It is the product of an incoherent connection between the debt ceiling (paying for spending already authorized by Congress) and a massive deficit which is the result of two wars, the costly and ineffective Bush tax cuts, and safety net programs that need to be bolstered, not dismantled, to operate most efficiently.
No, it is not the case that both sides rolled up their sleeves and worked out a compromise for the American people. This is a case of a small minority on the fringe of American politics dictating policy through a megaphone granted to them by media that finds their three corner hats and homemade posters sexy.
If journalists started reporting policy, not politics, Congress would start talking policy and stop contriving stunts. LetâÄôs have two parties who are about nitty-gritty policy which allows for different perspectives but doesnâÄôt treat both sides as equal if they are not. If news outlets show that this deal is not a compromise, but rather Democrats folding to pressure from the ultra-right, then maybe our legislators in Washington, D.C., could get back to talking about debt, jobs and the economy instead of wasting our time and theirs on the symbolic stuff that seems to make the front page of newspapers of record and 24-hour news channels.