I am not entirely sure that a delay of the DTV transition is a good thing, but I know a political reality when I see it. With too many viewers likely to experience serious television viewing disruption, the smart politician takes some prudent steps to avoid blame. Hence the unanimous Senate vote to delay the transition until June. But the House Leadership, eager to give Obama and the Ds their first “defeat,” felt otherwise. They managed to muster a cadre of the faithful to vote against the passage of the Senate bill in the House “on suspension,” meaning without debate and requiring a 2/3rds majority.
It’s largely a symbolic gesture, since the Ds can always bring the bill up through the usual processes. And, for the majority of the country who are not hardcore GOP “we hate Obama and want him to fail no matter what this does to the country or even us personally,” it reenforces the perception that the Rs would much rather play games than get stuff done. Still, Republicans and various news outlets are all about how this marks Obama’s first “defeat.”
I look forward, therefore, to future news stories such as this:
Washington — House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and senior Republican members of the House of Representatives suffered serious head injuries today after slamming their heads repeatedly into a wall until they fell unconscious. The strange behavior began when Obama suggested he would introduce legislation that would have made it illegal to slam your head into a wall until you fall unconscious.
Conservative pundits praised Boehner and his colleagues for “sticking to their principles” and “refusing to cave.” “If Obama and his socialist comrades in Congress outlaw giving yourself a concussion, they’ll take our guns away next!” Warned Rush Limbaugh. Other media analysts questioned whether this “head banger rebellion” marked a turn around in the Republican’s fading fortunes. “If Obama can’t get bipartisan support for not injuring yourself, you have to ask what sort of influence he really has,” said Brit Hume.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed sympathy for her Republican colleagues and wished them a speedy recovery. However, a source close to the Speaker reported that — when conferring with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — Pelosi giggled and said: “Next week, let’s get them to eat dung beetles.”
Stay tuned . . . .
At this point, anybody who is anybody has seen the friggin’ DTV ads. So if Bubba wakes up with snow on his screen whose fault is it? You and I both know that there is always a component of the body politic that won’t do anything till it is staring them in the face.
Put it all together. The delay would only be for 4 months. Will they have the expanded converter coupons on the street before it expires? Since the bill providing the funding has not even reached the Senate floor, I kind of doubt it. So other than a political CYA the delay would accomplish nothing. Even the Telcos would not be impressed. They would like the delay be a year or more. Saves them capital expenditure in a recession.
Just another view.
JohnMc, I wasn’t addressing substance of the delay. Point of fact, I’m not entirely sure delay is worth it (a point on which I hope to post soon), but in fairness to delay advocates, it isn’t just people not paying attention. It is about getting call in centers and other support set up, as well as digesting the info from early turn off areas such as Hawaii.
And the DTV delay bill contains a provision funding the coupon program.
No, I was referring to what Nate Silver at 538.com called the Republican Death Spiral, http://www.fivethirtyeight….,
which — after years of watching the Democratic Death Spiral, I am finding amusing.
I can see that the more clue-challenged among us will be annoyed by the DTV transition, whether it happens next month, June, or whenever. I just don’t see how that translates into fewer votes for Republicans. It’s sure to happen before the House campaign season really gets rolling next year. Everyone (especially those people who haven’t gotten their TV setup updated yet) will have forgotten who voted how and when, especially for a procedural thing rather than an actual up-or-down vote. There’s a reason this thing was scheduled for the first February in a congressional term in the first place. If we get to August of 2010 and it still hasn’t happened, I’m sure that the House Republicans will change their minds.
It’s not just the “clue-challenged”. The whole transition is not going well. Early adopters find themselves left high & dry as TV stations switch around which frequencies are being used for what, at what power levels.
for one early adopter’s complaints.