There can be no honest reporting on American politics unless and until you folks in the political press as one acknowledge what the Republicans are up to.
It's an easy and straight-forward thing to do. You start by taking them at their word. They mean everything they say about shredding the social safety net, ending all entitlements---that includes Social Security and Medicare. Not reforming. Ending---cutting taxes on the rich to next to nothing, deregulating everything except the private behavior of the poor and women of all classes except the rich, outlawing---not restricting, making it a crime---abortion, privatizing every function of government in order to increase the opportunity for rich investors to get richer, and basically handing whatever's left of government services over to the states where they can be controlled by the local rich white male conservative elite.
They tell you and anybody who will listen they want to do those things and whenever and wherever they hold power they pass laws that will get those things done.
When they can, they undo things.
The rest of their effort and energy goes into preventing Democrats, all Democrats, but chiefly the one in the White House, from doing anything they deem "liberal".
That would be anything that does the least bit of good for anybody who isn't a member of the rich white male conservative elite, costs the elite money and power, and doesn't serve the elite's main interest which is acquiring more money and more power.
This isn't a revelation. They say this stuff all the time. They promise to do what they are in fact doing on the campaign trail. They introduce and pass legislation whose intended consequences are clearly stated.
The people who run the political press corps are loathe to report this because they're afraid it would not be balanced reporting.
They don't want to be accused of taking the Democrats' side.
But it's only taking the Democrats' side if you think the Republican side is wrong on the face of it. If you think unflinching obstructionism is wrong. If you think taking the country back to where the South was at the turn if the 20th Century is wrong. Republicans don't think any of that is wrong. Why should they complain if you report it? How is it taking sides if you report what one side says is their side of things?
Because it all sounds bad?
It sounds like something most people don't want.
It sounds like it would be bad for people and the country.
Well, if it sounds bad, then maybe it is bad.
That can be determined.
Determining it is called journalism.
And if you determine it's bad, then you should report that.
Balance and objectivity and honesty require you to.
You wouldn't report that a tornado blew through town, leveling whole blocks and leaving hundreds injured, homeless, and dead but some town officials argue that's a good thing.
The Republicans are that tornado.
People live and die because of what politicians do.
That's why reporting on politics as if it's a sport is depraved!
The Republicans are doing things that hurt people. They are doing it on purpose and while stating it as their goal. Hurting people is intrinsic to their politics. It serves their purposes. It serves their interests. It makes them feel good.
Do your jobs.
Oh, you want to but you can't because Hillary won't talk to you? She won't answer your trivial questions about personality and process and ginned up pseudo-scandals and explain why you don't like her?
Cry me a river.
Every Republican running for President is promising to hurt people.
Every one of them is promising to take health insurance away from millions of people which means taking away their health care. It means leaving them to get sick, lose their jobs, go bankrupt, lose their homes, lose their lives! People die from not being able to go to the doctor or buy medicine.
Every one of them is promising to one way or another limit and take away women's rights to control their own bodies, health, economic lives, autonomy, and personal agency. Every one is promising to do all they can to prevent and undo marriage equality and find ways to let bigots discriminate legally.
Every one of them is promising to kick as many brown people out of the country as they can match jackboots to backsides and keep out twice as many more.
Every one of them is promising to take more benefits and aid away from the poor and unfortunate and increase the burdens of not having been born rich or remained lucky while increasing the benefits of already benefiting from having more money than God.
Every one of them is promising to end Medicare and Social Security. Yes, they are. Look at their plans for "saving" and "reforming" both. They all boil down to making sure neither will exist in any truly useful or helpful form for anyone now under 50 when they need them.
Every Republican is promising to do nothing about climate change which means letting the parts of the country that aren't going to dry up and burn and blow away drown under rising seas.
Every one of them is promising to do what he or she can to take us back into war in the Middle East, against ISIS, Iran, Syria, Islamofascists everywhere, or any combination of the above. Every one, that is, except Rand Paul, who is actually promising nothing about what he'll do about the Middle East as President. He's just making vaguely anti-war noises. The rest of them though are clear: they are looking forward to making a lot of people over there dead.
Basically, all of them are promising to do from the White House what Republicans are doing and trying to do in Congress and the state legislatures.
And every one is lying about what they're promising, adding to whatever destructive promise they make that they're not really saying what they're saying, they don't really intend what they sound like their intending, and even if they do what they're promising to do by some miracle the opposite will actually happen. The poor will get rich. Social Security will be saved. Health insurance will become affordable for all and even the poorest of us will be able to buy gold plated policies.
The climate will heal itself. Individual liberty will expand. Peace will reign on earth.
That's what they're up to. Report on that.
Do your fucking jobs!
Political reporters: You have no guaranteed “role.” That’s a fiction you and your colleagues created to keep the game the same every four years so you don’t have to go to school on how to be useful and powerful in the election system as it evolves. The fiction works if you can get the right people to believe it, but when they clearly don’t care about your “role in the process” how are you going to make ’em care? Got a plan for that?
Read his whole post at PressThink, Campaign reporters: you are granted no “role in the process.” It is your powers against theirs.