Another day, another dopey, misleading, GOP-friendly Politico article

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Today's headline:

President Obama distances himself from Nancy Pelosi

Boy, that sounds bad for Democrats, right? If it were true, sure. But the article never backs up the claim [emphasis added]:

Ahead of his own town hall Tuesday, President Barack Obama sought to distance himself from charges by Democratic congressional leaders that boisterous health care dissent is "un-American," with his spokesman saying that the protests are a part of American life.

Yet Obama could be in for similar disruptions as he takes the health care road-show to Portsmouth, N.H., where both sides are gearing up for a vigorous session. But his spokesman pushed back against the comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer by saying that Obama is ready for whatever comes Tuesday.

But is that really what happened? In their USA Today opinion column, Pelosi and Hoyer wrote that, "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades."

And guess what? The White House agreed:

"I think there's actually a pretty long tradition of people shouting at politicians in America. The President thinks that if people want to come and have a spirited debate about health care, a real vigorous conversation about it, that's a part of the American tradition and he encourages that," Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said.

"Now, if you just want to come to a town hall so that you can disrupt and so that you can scream over another person, he doesn't think that that's productive. And as a country, we've been able to make progress when people actually talk out what our problems are, not try to shout each other down," Burton said.

I'm pretty sure any fifth grader could figure out what's going on here. But not, apparently, editors at Politico. Obama's spokesman clearly, and with hesitation, condemned forming mini-mobs in order to purposefully disrupt town hall forms. Just like Pelosi condemned it.

So how is that "pushing back" against Pelosi?

The fact that the White House spoke up in favor of having a "spirited debate about health care" doesn't cut it because, of course, Pelosi has never complained about a "spirited debate." (She never claimed that was "un-American.") She denounced mini-mobs and so did the White House.

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