The day after the Congressional Budget Office announced that the new Republican healthcare bill would leave 24 million Americans without insurance and just days before Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban is to be implemented, Democrats in Congress found that their efforts were best spent trying to pass symbolic legislation against the tropes of “fake news,” and “alternate facts.”
While those buzzwords have been so misused that they no longer have any meaning at all, it was this specific language that a bill proposed by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) called for Congress to unifyingly oppose.
H. Res. 191 is titled “Opposing Fake News and Alternative Facts,” and calls for a symbolic vote to establish that the House is indeed against the official use of misinformation in Trump’s administration. If passed, the bill would call on the President to announce his support for the First Amendment and request that the press secretary might refrain from issuing “fake news.”
The bill lists a litany of instances in which the Trump administration, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Counselor Kellyanne Conway, outright lied to the press and the American people. But the bill didn’t say that they “lied,” or even “misinformed.”
The language of the bill itself is completely feckless and ineffective, urging the White House Press Secretary not to “issue fake news.”
You mean lies, don’t you? Why not just say lies? Misinformation? Untruths? Doubleplusungood news?
The only effective part of the legislation calls on members of the White House that do “offer alternative or inaccurate facts” to then retract those statements.
And yet by using such imprecise language, how could this legislation – if it were to ever pass – actually hold members of the White House to what they are calling for? For most people “fake news,” now means news that conflicts with their individual biases and world-view. If you use fake words, you’re likely going to get nothing more than fake responses from those in power.
Senator Sanders called Trump and his ilk liars because they are liars. If our Democratic legislators can’t call a spade a spade, and if they insist on wasting their time and ours with useless legislation while peoples very lives are being threatened, what good are they?
From pay-to-play corruption to the continued epidemic of opioid addiction; from the travel ban to millions losing their insurance – Democrats have plenty of important things to worry about. Democratic voters continue to be let down by their representatives, and this is sadly no exception.