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Strange Bedfellows: Damning Daschle

Two pundits from opposite ends of the spectrum join forces to hammer Tom Daschle.

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Glenn Greenwald and Michelle Malkin are about as ideologically divergent as two pundits can be. Full-throated culture warriors, Greenwald and Malkin are dominant voices of the ever-clashing respective left and right of the blogosphere. Yet the two have joined, if momentarily, in opposition to Tom Daschle, Obama's failed nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Daschle retains "unrivaled ties" to the White House as well as "highly paid" work lobby for health care providers. Both bloggers pounced.

What is striking is not simply that Greenwalk and Malkin are perhaps the two loudest voices criticizing Daschle, but that both draw the same three conclusions from this weekend's Times story.

  • Daschle Shouldn't Influence White House  Glenn Greenwald condemned Daschle's involvement in drafting policy "The co-op plan which Daschle is advocating to Obama and which the White House and Senate Democrats are now leaning towards 'happens to dovetail with the interests of many [Daschle's] clients, like the insurance giant UnitedHealth and the Tennessee Hospital Association.' What a weird coincidence; it's like those companies won a Bingo game."

    Michelle Malkin considered Daschle an indictment of "back-scratching and Beltway business as usual" in Obama's White House. "Daschle is just another privileged Corporate Shill for Hope and Change," she wrote. "Like I always say: When government grows, corruption flows. And both Democrat and Republican Beltway creatures are guilty of providing the fertilizer."
  • Daschle-Inspired Bill No Good  Greenwald, who advocated for a public option, said the health care bill was on its way to becoming "nothing more than a glorified bailout of the insurance and drug industries, which is exactly what will happen if 50 million people are forced by law to buy their products with no cost-control mechanism but ample government subsidies." Greenwald called a bill without the public option "nothing but a gigantic gift to the health insurance industry."

    Malkin agreed, citing a Los Angeles Times report on the impact that the currently planned reform would have on insurance companies. Summarising, she wrote, "Health insurers respond to Obamacare negotiations: 'It’s a bonanza!'"
  • Obama-Friendly Media Buries Story  Greenwald wrote, "There's an intense race underway to see who will be crowned the Bob Woodward of the Obama administration -- the sycophantic media pet who will be given access and scoops in exchange for as acting as subservient water-carrier for the White House." Greenwald criticized several high-profile liberal pundits for taking Obama's side on dumping the public option, including Jonathan Alter and Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, and Time's Joe Klein.

    Malkin has been a vociferous critic of the mainstream media, which she considered an outright ally of the Obama White House. They work together, according to Malkin, to create "Obamacare/MSM theater" that promotes Obama's health care reform. "The Democrats’ government health care takeover plans are flailing," she wrote. "What to do? What to do? Enlist every willing MSM lackey, of course."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.