Post at American Issue Project:
If there is anyone still scratching their head trying to understand why so many Americans are fed up with their government and are even marching on Washington, they should consider for a minute where the average American sees their government putting its time and resources. There are serious concerns about government overstepping and out-of-control spending, to be sure, but many of the problems people have with the government today are simply a matter of priorities.
The big legislation making news right now is that on the issue of health care. Most of those, on the right and the left, can agree that improvements can stand to be made to the health care system in America. There are serious issues over affordability of health insurance and treatment for many Americans. Unfortunately opposing sides can’t seem to agree on the best solution.
Beyond the merits of any particular type of action on health care, though, is whether this issue is the one of highest priority today. Americans are seeing the highest unemployment rates they have seen in decades. They are hearing pleas from our military in Afghanistan for more troops lest we risk losing the war there. They are seeing madmen around the world with nukes making noise on the world stage. Many people would rate those as higher priorities right now than the issue of health care.
Health care is at least a serious issue though. It is one that hits Americans not only in their pocketbooks, but affects their quality of life. The same cannot be said for some of the other issues consuming the White House lately.
A couple of weeks ago the big news was the all out effort the President made to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago. In mid-September the President held an event on the White House lawn to rally support for the Chicago games, and then he and the First Lady even flew to Copenhagen to make personal pitches in front of the International Olympics Committee. That effort was unsuccessful, but at least it was limited in time and resources. A new effort the White House has undertaken could last his entire term in office.
The White House communications director Anita Dunn’s declaration of war on Fox News could last for years and take up much more time and energy than the quick trip to Copenhagen. Dunn said that “Fox News often operates as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican party.” Dunn said the White House was going to treat Fox News “the way we would treat an opponent.” When I look at the way the White House has treated some of the country’s enemies lately I am not sure whether that is a good or a bad thing.
The amount of time and attention the war against Fox News is receiving is not limited to the communications director. Dunn said when the President goes on Fox he realizes it is “not a news organization at this point, he is going on to debate the opposition.” But when the President recently blitzed the Sunday morning shows, he pointedly skipped Fox.
Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, talked to Bill O’Reilly about the snub. Wallace said “there's kind of childishness or pettiness about it,” and “they are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.”
The President has personally made comments about not only the Fox News Channel, but about individual Fox personalities like Sean Hannity. When people see the President’s attention directed at a feud with a cable news channel, and even individual political commentators, it is no wonder so many people are asking if the President’s priorities are in order.