Amidst a decent article about the plight of those about to lose their unemployment insurance, The Washington Post’s Michael Fletcher makes the odd assertion that “The growing backlash against unemployment insurance has left the 99ers with few political advocates.” His very next sentence hints that this is mistaken: “President Obama, buffeted by GOP criticism of his economic policies as unemployment rates hover at their highest levels in 28 years, has been struggling to win support for renewing the extended jobless benefits.”
So the 99ers have at least one political advocate, who also happens to be the President of the United States. The Speaker of the House of Representatives also supports a UI extension, as do a majority of her colleagues. The Majority Leader of the United States Senate also supports a UI extension, as do a majority of his colleagues. That’s a lot of political advocates. The problem is that 41 GOP Senators and Ben Nelson are on the other side, and in the United States Senate 42 > 57. It doesn’t take the greatest journalist in the world to unearth this story “UI extension has many political advocates, but none of them are Republicans and so thanks to the filibuster it’s not happening.” But good reporting has little value if the written followup doesn’t spell out exactly what’s going on.