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Why the Republican Party Should Shut Itself Down Today, for the Good of the Country

Kevin Drum:

Boehner vs. Boehner: Now that the Republican caucus has apparently decided to unanimously oppose any reform of our financial system, House GOP leader John Boehner explains his party's objections to the final bill reported out of conference last week:

This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.

And here is Boehner's spokesman "explaining" what he meant:

It's clear Boehner is not minimizing the crisis America faced — he is pointing out that Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse.

So here's a question: do the standards of journalism require us to take this explanation at face value? I mean, it's obvious to a fourth grader what Boehner meant: he thinks there were only minor problems with the financial system before the crash, and we just don't need anything more than a few tweaks here and there to fix things up. He decidedly was minimizing the problems on Wall Street during the years that led up to the crisis.

But do we now have to pretend that's not what he meant simply because his press flack says that's not what he meant? Or can we act like adults and interpret his remark in the obvious way? Stay tuned for media reaction later today to find out.

Here is one off-the-record email in my archives from a journalist who watched the video of an interview with Boehner--a different interview--but who works for an organization that still requires not "objectivity" but rather "neutrality" from its reporters: