Monday, June 05, 2006

Why Does this Story Have Legs?

Dear President Bush,

Does Ken Mehlman, Republican Party Chair, have a brother high up in the Associated Press? For three days the AP ran this lead headline:

Prospective Democratic Chairs All Liberal: as Elections Loom, Group of Prospective Democratic Chairmen is Overwhelmingly Liberal

Admittedly the article was fair about the impact. It even quoted my old Representative Charlie Stenholm as saying any chairman would have to produce legislation that is middle of the road.

I did find one GOP lobbyist perspective puzzling. He said “The whole issue agenda would change. All the business and trade associations would find themselves on defense.” Given your party’s stand on healthcare, hospital trade associations are already very much on the defensive. Senator Chuck Grassley wrote a letter to the IRS Commissioner asking non profit community hospitals to get the same scrutiny as credit counseling agencies.

So who is pushing this story for multiple days and why? For those who just read the headlines, what impressions do they get? Might it be, should Democrats win in November, the liberal hoards will overrun Congress? If so, that would be far from the truth, but it would make Ken Mehlman happy.

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