Poor Mickey Kaus. He’s the liberal intellectual (not an oxymoron — he’s the last known living “liberal intellectual”) lefties on TV are usually stealing from, but now that this welfare reform maven has concluded that Romney’s welfare ad is basically correct, liberals refuse to acknowledge his existence.
The non-Fox media have formed a solid front in denouncing Romney’s welfare ad for daring to point out that Obama has gutted the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform bill.
The New York Times claims that Romney’s ad “falsely” charges Obama with eliminating work requirements. CNN rates the ad “false.” Underemployed hack Howard Fineman says Romney’s ad “is just flat out wrong on the facts” and “that every fair analyst, every fact checker” has said it’s “just factually wrong.”
When a campaign ad induces this much hysteria, you know Romney has struck gold. On closer examination, it turns out that by “every fair analyst,” Fineman means a bunch of liberals quoting one another.
This is how the media’s “fact checkers” operate when it comes to a Republican campaign ad. One not very well-informed person (or a heavily biased person) announces that Romney’s welfare ad is false, and the rest of the herd quote him, without anyone ever bothering to examine the facts, much less citing anyone who knows what he’s talking about.
It is striking that everyone who actually knows something about the 1996 welfare reform law says that Romney’s ad is accurate.
One of the principal authors of the 1996 welfare reform, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, and Douglas Besharov, who advised Hillary Clinton on the 1996 welfare reform law, say Romney’s ad is accurate.
Andrew Grossman, also of Heritage, produced something the MSM “fact checkers” avoid: a specific and detailed explanation of how the new waivers will allow states to evade the work requirements.
Even Ron Haskins, one of the reform bill’s authors now at the liberal Brookings Institution — cited far and wide for “blasting” Romney’s ad — doesn’t deny the Obama administration plans to waive the work requirements. He just says he supports waivers for “job training.” That’s not disputing the accuracy of Romney’s ads.
A lot of Americans don’t support waiving the work requirements, even for “job training.” Mitt Romney thinks they should know that that’s what Obama is doing.
And liberal Kaus — whom liberal hacks are usually plagiarizing from — has written a series of blog posts explaining in detail why the Times is wrong and Romney’s ad is not incorrect. True, he says the ad is “oversimplified,” but I think most people grasp that a 30-second ad will not provide the lush analytical detail of a Kausfiles blog posting.
We know liberals are reading Kausfiles; why aren’t they stealing from him this time?
As Kaus explains, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius has interpreted the welfare law to allow her to waive work requirements “subject only to her opinion” as to what will serve the purposes of the law.
By viewing the work requirements as optional, subject to her waiver, Kaus says, the law has been “altered dramatically”: “Old system: Congress writes the requirements, which are … requirements. New system: Sebelius does what she wants — but, hey, you can trust her!”
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