Introducing the Concept of Agenda

A good example of the questionable utility of political debates arose during the Congressional district 1 primary debate on WPRO, last night.  Only the most plugged in voters will have any inkling of what statements are true and which are spun to falsehood — let alone the context in which the facts were playing.
Trying to square his calls for bipartisan cooperation with his attempts to make his race about a “radical Republican agenda,” as moderator Bill Haberman put it, Congressman David Cicilline (D, RI) said:

The reality is that there are big differences between what the Republicans, led by the Tea Party, are trying to do to our country, and they have an agenda that is really reflected in the Paul Ryan budget passed in the House…

The political posturing is secondary to my purposes, here.  Rather, what’s interesting is the contrast with the Democrat-led Senate, which has not passed a budget since April 2009.  Such a budget would certainly include items that partisans could criticize; it would probably include items with which Cicilline did in fact go on to tar Republicans.
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