Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Plain Dealer Endorsed Rob Portman Votes To Hurt Ohioans On Healthcare

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (PD) has done nothing to atone for its shameful removal of a video in 2014 showing Gov. John Kasich acting like a petulant, spoiled teenager instead of the adult in the room by capitulating to political pressure from Team Kasich. Now the shrinking paper by Lake Erie finds itself in another embarrassing dilemma of its own making.

On Tuesday, junior Ohio Senator Rob Portman voted to essentially repeal the Affordable Care Act by voting to proceed with floor debate on a bill that would gut or kill Obamacare for tens of millions. The paper up north apparently forgot all the laudatory rhetoric it used to complement the 60-year old "commonsense conservative" from Cincinnati when it endorsed Portman instead of former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

Fifty Senate Republicans, including Sen. Portman, acted like kamikaze pilots trying to sink Obamacare instead of thoughtful, commonsense lawmakers looking out for the best interests of their constituents. The bill Portman did not object to will hurt tens of millions across the nation and maybe a million or more Ohioans poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

In their silly editorial dinging Portman for his vote, which enabled Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote, the PD had the gall to say to Mr. Portman, "You let us down."
"Sen. Rob Portman cast the wrong vote Tuesday in supporting a hasty, politically motivated effort to allow Senate debate and, presumably, a vote on one or a series of ill-considered, narrowly partisan measures likely to devastate health care in Ohio," said the tired paper whose constant support of Cleveland's powerful ruling corporate oligarchy is now embarrassing.
Really? But it was just last year when the PD gushed on Portman, sucking up to the silver-haired human waffle in an endorsement article that said, "Portman has the proven ability, understanding and energy to help Ohio citizens and businesses prosper and to do his part to make the U.S. Senate a place where competence, not churlish partisanship, matters most."
The only thing Sen. Portman proves he has the ability to do is misunderstand policy on issues critical to Ohio and Ohioans and kowtow to the partisan interests of his own political party.
"It's hard to believe Strickland could make a difference in the Senate," the PD wrote about a Democrat governor who made a huge difference as the Great Recession rolled over Ohio, and who would have made another huge difference had he moved to the Senate to defuse the ticking time bomb that Republicans want to exploded as soon as possible.
Writing about the PD's soft treatment of Cleveland Mayor Frank, Ohio's senior and leading independent reporter, Roldo Bartimole, who has reported on inside Cleveland politics for scores of years, said the Plain Dealer has played a supporting role in promoting the interests of downtown corporate players over neighborhoods. What Mr. Bartimole said about the paper's cozy relationship with Cleveland's mighty can equally apply to its dopey treatment of Portman.
"The PD Editorial section, free to express opinions and uninhibited to voice criticism, appears docile and weak. Not up to the job. Columnists—unbound from the strictures of normal balanced reportage—likewise appear feeble or preoccupied with less essential coverage."
Sen. Portman not only voted to proceed to discuss the Better Care Reconciliation Act, but he wasn't among the nine Republican senators who voted no on the bill itself.
American Bridge President Jessica Mackler released the following statement after Republicans in the Senate voted with Donald Trump to take healthcare from millions of Americans:
“Every Republican in Washington will own this plan to gut healthcare for the American people in order to cut taxes for the rich. Pushing this reckless plan, while exempting themselves from the pain they plan to inflict upon the country, just to give the scandal-plagued President a poisoned political ‘win’ is a gross display of misplaced priorities, and the country isn’t going to stand for it. Today Republicans chose to ignore the country’s overwhelming opposition to Trumpcare, and the consequences will be felt by every Republican running for Senate or House in 2018 — and for years to come.”
Ted Strickland got clobbered last year, and the PD's reporting, or lack thereof, helped Portman clinch a second term shortly after voting stopped.

You reap what you sow, it's said, and the PD has sowed seeds of discontent for Ohio when it gave Portman a pass last year. Sen. Portman will continue to hurt Buckeyes and Ohio's economy and its future, so don't look for the PD and other Ohio media that became part of the pro-Portman herd to find their journalistic spine anytime soon.
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