Praying for fail

This is interesting. A Republican operative just sent Ben Smith an email admitting that Republicans hope the stimulus fails or that they can make hay out of some bullshit detail in it:

What if Son of the Return of TARP (or whatever name they’re giving this so-called recovery bill) doesn’t cause a rain of golden meteors and doesn’t create 25 million-bazillion new goodgreencollarhighpayingjobsforworkingAmericans? What if Obama gets stuck in the weeds defend all the left-wing crap shoved into this thing by his party? (Because you know in that with $50 million for the arts we’re gonna end up [unprintable] with a Federal Performance Art grant or some such nonsense.)

Obviously, Republicans hope that the economy is deep, deep in the shitter in 2010. That’s the only way they get back into power. They can’t stop the stimulus, all they can do is fuck around and try to score a few political points about contraceptives or “Federal Performance Art grant or some such nonsense” and then hope that the thing fails.

At this point, they’re actively rooting for millions of Americans to be out of work. They’re barely even pretending not to.

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109 replies
  1. 1
    Nick says:

    The style of that e-mail illustrates perfectly what complete assholes ‘Republican operatives’ are. It’s a depressing reality that these people will always be with us, despite decades of evidence that their ‘philosophy’ is bullshit, no matter how many nationwide trouncings they take at the polls. They simply lack the compassion gene, for want of a better way to put it. If it doesn’t ring their personal cash register or perpetuate their power, it doesn’t mean shit. My God how I hate them.

  2. 2
    Joshua Norton says:

    They can’t stop the stimulus, all they can do is fuck around and try to score a few political points about contraceptives or "Federal Performance Art grant or some such nonsense"

    Or the big liberal boogey man Midnight Basketball. Of course when faced with the same fiscal horror stories they start shoveling out money with the best of them.

    Their motto is "We’ve pretty much fucked things up for a long, long time to come and nobody can fix it. Might as well give us another chance and maybe we’ll stop calling people names."

    A little wordy, but they had to get all their talking points in.

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Obviously, Republicans hope that the economy is deep, deep in the shitter in 2010.

    They got no reason to support a stimulus. If they all supported it and it turned into sunshine and flowers, Democrats – and more importantly, Obama – would get all the credit.

    If they don’t support it and it fails to do anything meaningful or turns into a boondoggle, there’s a possible political upside for them.

  4. 4
    mogden says:

    I don’t have much hope for the stimulus, in fact I think it’s going to make things worse by getting the government deeper in debt. But the Republicans have so little credibility any more, all they can do is hope the Democrats blow it. They need to get some new ideas.

  5. 5
    pattonbt says:

    The Republicans know they have one shot at electoral success in the near term – the economy tanks hard and it doesnt turn around in the next 2 to 4 years. The blame for the stench of the ecnomic rot is, for now, put squarely on them and Bush and they need extended tough times for the populace to start shifting that blame to Obama.

    Problem is Obama is wildly popular right now and showing some pretty adult strains in his actions which is winning over more of the non-insane on the right. So if Obama wins, and the economy recovers, good night Republicans for the forseeable future.

    Sad thing for the Republicans (well not sad from my view) is that they really can not help themselves. They exist only for Terry Shiavo theatrics. Right now a cautious opposition approach is what would work best for them. A nice dose of STFU and work quietly for what they want. They are in essentially a lose small or lose big situation and they seem to want to lose big. To lose small would be to give Obama what he wants. Take the "we are in a time of national peril economically and we have bent over backwards to give the president what he wants, its not a long term blank check and we dont agree with it all, but we want to work with the president and see this through together" approach. It would show a rare, and needed for them, hint of maturity and compromise. It would also give them a small piece of the prize if it works.

    But we are talking Republicans here. I sense EPIC FAIL coming for them.

  6. 6
    Cain says:

    As I said numerous traitorous dogs.. Luckily we don’t have some wishy washy president.. We got a President with a fucking capital P.

    cain

  7. 7
    Joshua Norton says:

    But we are talking Republicans here. I sense EPIC FAIL coming for them.

    Oh no! Not the Epic Fail again!

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    Wow, that $50M for the arts could redecorate, what, 31 CEO offices?

    I think the GOP should shut down Congress over that $50M. Why, that’s almost .01% of the stimulus.

  9. 9
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The other two scenarios:

    They support it and it fails to turn the economy around. Republicans can’t afford any more credibility hits after the last eight years and they also can’t afford to be seen compromising Republican "principles" to work with Democrats on fixing the mess they won’t admit they made.

    They don’t support it and it turns into sunshine and flowers. Really, what are the chances of this happening? Even the fiercest advocates for massive stimulus spending acknowledge it has a real good chance of not working.

  10. 10
    Linkmeister says:

    Read the comments over at Smith’s place where he posted that mail. We’re all wacko libs and the stimulus isn’t a stimulus, it’s a government bailout or something.

    Man, the lack of critical thinking on exhibit there is terrifying.

  11. 11
    pattonbt says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I disagree with your first scenario. If they support it and it fails they can just blame their support on a desire to try it the dems way out of love for america and national unity. And then bash that failure over the heads of the dems from thence forward, also.

  12. 12
    Church Lady says:

    While there are many items Democrats want, and which are worth funding, currently crammed in the proposed stimulus bill, there are some that should be removed from the stimulus and put into a regular appropriations bill. I don’t think things like additional funding for the arts, money for resodding the national mall and the now removed contraceptive payment expansion have any place in this particular bill. They are items worthy of federal funds, but could only be laughingly labled as meaningful "economic stimulus".

    Both parties need to quit their childish playing of politics and get to work crafting an economic stimulus bill that might actually stimulate the economy, open the credit markets back up and provide permanent jobs. Both parties need to find the stuff they can agree on, right now, get it in there, get it passed in both houses, and get it on Obama’s desk for signature. Like right now. Other wish list items can be saved for later.

  13. 13
    Brian J says:

    I agree with the comments that have been said about how this is political ploys disguised as theatrics. I’ve made the same comments myself. It’s sort of easy to take them at their word, because they insist on the same things no matter what the problem is, but next time they propose something like tax cuts, ask why they aren’t proposing a more fundamental reform of the tax system? Why aren’t they proposing something that would truly lift the burden off of those who can least shoulder it, would possibly simplify the system, and that would possibly enhance efficiency at the same time? If they are dead set against income taxes and/or investment taxes, why not draw up a proposal for consumption taxes? President Obama has shown a distinct willingness to listen to the other side, and if they doubt his sincerity, perhaps they could test it with moves like this. Of course, by not doing what I just described, they look incompetent and/or malicious.

  14. 14
    KDP says:

    I feel annoyed when people gripe about the NEA appropriations. I’ve had friends who benefited from NEA grants back. The grants allowed them to produce art and live modestly while doing so. Basically, the NEA grants gives jobs to artists so that they can do what they are trained for, rather than whatever temp job will pay the rent. The grants also ‘stimulated’ the local economy by paying artists money that was spent on rent, food, utilities, art supplies, clothing, etc. The getting-by jobs they were no longer working could go to someone else who needed to get by and was, perhaps, not able to make art.

    Some of the great public art from the 30s came to us courtesy of the WPA. Here’s a site with an itemized list of that artwork by state. Jackson Pollock, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Mark Rothko, and Willem deKooning were just a few of the artists who benefited from WPA projects. And here’s the government records site for those same works and the works of writers, theater, music that was produced through WPA projects. Would all of this art have existed if not for the WPA stimulus? Of course, perhaps we would have more and better art from that period if there had been no government funding for artists at that time, what do you think?

    And what’s wrong with a 6-12 month contract to resod the National Mall. The work needs to be done, and why not now? That’s jobs, folks. Granted it’s a short term contract so I’m sure the landscapers who can’t find work because the housing and property management markets have tanked would be happy to give up the opportunity to work on that project for the next year since it won’t be permanent work.

    I thought one point of the stimulus was to get people to work, so they’d spend money, so businesses could start producing again, which means those businesses can expand their payrolls, leading to full employment. Does it matter if the stop gap work is not permanent if it initiates the cycle of production again?

    So, Church Lady, while I respect your point, I do see things like NEA grants and resodding the National Mall as stimulus. I did agree that perhaps the funding for family planning was misplaced.

  15. 15
    tammanycall says:

    If this is the case then let’s pass a better bill with fewer – if any – Republican votes. If the GOP is hell bent giving Dems complete ownership of the stimulus, we should 86 every Republican tax break, and bring infrastructure spending WAY up. (Not Alaska’s, of course.) Let’s pass a bill we believe in, rather than one that will do.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    Not only does he want the stimulus to fail, did you notice how he talked up what it must do to succeed? Anything short of "golden meteors" will be portrayed as a failure. *Silver* meteors will be a failure.

  17. 17
    Church Lady says:

    I didn’t say that the NEA isn’t worthy of an expansion of federal funds, just that I don’t think that that money belongs in this particular bill. I’m not sure, but I think the rationale for increasing federal funding was that private donations are drying up and fed funds would be used to make up for the shortfall in private donations. Heck, I volunteer for two non-profits and I’m sure our donations will be down this year, and next year as well. It will be the same for all charitable organizations, I’m sure.

  18. 18
    MNPundit says:

    And Obama continues to cave….

  19. 19
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    In the Republican mind, America has to fail so they will succeed. It has always been this way but now they are openly stating it as fact. They have no ideas, nothing to offer us when we need it most. All they can do is sit around rubbing their grubby little hands together and hope for failure, it’s the only way they have left to ‘win’. They are totally bankrupt and bereft of ideas on how to win other than hope everyone else fails.

    With fellow citizens like these people, who needs enemies?

  20. 20
    tammanycall says:

    @Church Lady: Unless I’m mistaken, it’s the government providing "permanent jobs" that the Republicans would most object to. Things like temporary grants and contract work like resodding a mall, repairing a highway, building a fence – these are less objectionable and easier to get through.

  21. 21
    A la lanterne les aristos says:

    So, I guess back when they were screaming about how Democrats were secretly hoping for failure in Iraq their quibble was more of a stylistic complaint about the ‘secretly hoping‘ part rather than the supposed ‘hoping for failure‘?

  22. 22
    gwangung says:

    @Church Lady: Um, but I don’t think you’ve provided a rationale for not including the NEA. Thinking that they’re laughable reasons for stimulus is not the same as showing that they are. In a medium to medium large size metro area, arts economy are in the nine figure area (multiply that by fifty to 75 major metro areas).

    If that’s not large enough of an economic subsector to bother with, that’s one thing, but I’m not sure that it’s inherently laughable.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    Of course the Republicans want to remove arts funding. You don’t need art to live. The Republican plan is a series of collective farms where citizens will grow only enough food to live. Anything else is a waste.

  24. 24
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’m uncomfortable with this sort of argument. I prefer not to assume the worst of the base intentions of the opposition unless I have to. One of the things that irritated me on the other was side was Republicans saying liberals wanted us to loose in Iraq because that was the only way we had a chance of regaining power. It was a dumb argument, and offensive as well; just because you believe a certain course of action is insane and destructive doesn’t mean you want it to be. So I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here, especially since it doesn’t affect the substance of the arguments.

  25. 25
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You’d think at least a couple of Republicans would be worried about their constituents’ well-being, rather than "political upside"…

    Why yes, me am from Bizarro World, why do you ask?

  26. 26

    try to score a few political points about contraceptives or “Federal Performance Art grant or some such nonsense”

    Yeah, who needs a grant for anyone else to do Federal Performance Art, anyhow? I mean, isn’t all this hissy fit the biggest, baddest and bestest Federal Performance Art you’ve ever seen in your life?

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    While there are many items Democrats want, and which are worth funding, currently crammed in the proposed stimulus bill, there are some that should be removed from the stimulus and put into a regular appropriations bill.

    At this point it would not surprise me that Democrats stuck them in at Obama’s request solely to be able to take them out later and leave Republicans hanging out without a life preserver.

    Meanwhile, the meat and potatoes waltz through unnoticed.

    It’s a political 3 card monte and the GOP are so damn sure they know where the ace of spades is hiding.

  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    Of course the Republicans want to remove arts funding. You don’t need art to live. The Republican plan is a series of collective farms where citizens will grow only enough food to live. Anything else is a waste.

    Wrong.

    Republicans know man can live on taxcuts alone.

  29. 29
    headpan says:

    I didn’t say that the NEA isn’t worthy of an expansion of federal funds, just that I don’t think that that money belongs in this particular bill.

    That’s not what KDP said. He/she said it created jobs for starving artists.

  30. 30
    demkat620 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yes, it is except the GOP still think they are running the game.

  31. 31
    headpan says:

    The Republican plan is a series of collective farms where citizens will grow only enough food to live barely subsist until they all die out through natural selection.

    Fixed

  32. 32
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The original stimulus package:

    If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing. J.M. Keynes, General Theory, Chapter 10.

  33. 33
    bedlam UK says:

    I’ve really been baffled by Obama’s actions these last few days, meeting with the Rethugs with lovely dinners, whilst not having the same with his own team.

    Letting the Rethugs dictate on the condom cash and such.

    I really hope that TenguPhule is correct and Obama has put these bits out with the plan of removing them, letting the important stuff get through.
    I hope he’s playing the Rethugs rather than playing up to them.

    In the spirit of Waynes World, they are definately ‘ not worthy’.

  34. 34
    R-Jud says:

    @headpan:

    The Republican plan is a series of collective farms where citizens will grow only enough food to barely subsist until they all die out through natural selection The Rapture.

    Fixed. It’s like Wikisnarkia around here, isn’t it?

  35. 35
    kay says:

    @bedlam UK:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Had Obama followed your advice he would be wandering around in the weeds right now.
    He has three main provisions he wants and a broad proportion al goal of tax cuts to spending. He’ll get that.
    Defending specifics is a trap, and, incidentally, not his job. I’m pleased he didn’t take the bait.
    Read the email at the top of the page. They wanted him in the weeds. They’re right, too. It might have worked.

  36. 36
    bob h says:

    At this point, they’re actively rooting for millions of Americans to be out of work. They’re barely even pretending not to.

    After all, they have steady jobs with good benefits, and their wealthy supporters have the wherewithal to ride out a Depression. The uneducated white rabble who underpin the Republican Party do not, however, but the leadership doesn’t really give a **** about them.

  37. 37
    linda says:

    oh come on … don’t you recall how outraged and disgusted the republicans were with the endless release of ig reports documenting the billions and billions in war profiteering booty, er, reconstruction aid, that went to kbrhalliburtonbechtelbushcheneycronies….

    nah, me neither.

  38. 38
    Trin says:

    @bedlam UK: After having closely followed Obama through the primaries in particular, this current course of action is really no surprise. He built an incredibly strong base of support with the appeal of his character, ideas, and the deep public distrust and disgust of the last 8 years. So now he pretty much has to play to the middle to keep his approval numbers so high. His moderate supporters just love what he is doing right now. He is walking his talk. He is reaching out to the other side. He appears to be standing above the fray. It reveals how much the opposition is playing pure politics. It is a smart political move that reinforces the themes he campaigned on. He is building trust with the weakest of his supporters and that trust will serve him well in future battles.

    He did not become our first African American President by not knowing how to play these games.

    He has one major advantage that the Rethuglicans will never have. Obama is actually OF the people and FOR the people. Do you honestly believe that when he became a community organizer he saw it as a path to the Presidency? This man knows what the people want and what they are hungry for in leadership.

    I think he is playing the Republicans like a fiddle. As Americans are struggling more and more each day President Obama is letting the Rethugs go out there and blow up the airways with negativity and posturing. I think it is going to blow up in their faces.

  39. 39

    Just as business as usual for the GOPers. What astounds me is that there are still so many deluded dead-enders who will defend them. Nothing is too over the top as long as it pisses off liberals.

  40. 40
    Napoleon says:

    I understand the logic that people put forward for why the Republicans are or should oppose Obama’s plans, but I really wonder if the logic is wrong. I agree that if Obama succeeds that the Reps are screwed, but the idea that the public will then turn to the Rep if he is not sucessful could be way off the mark. If they spend their time looking small, lacking any ideas other then the same ideas that got us hear, and seemingly unconcerned for the average person, I just don’t see the public then turning to them instead of sticking with the Dems so long as the Dems look like they really are giving it their best effort for the average person. So far the Rep have been doing everything possible to make themselves as unpalatable an alternative to the Dems as possible. I actually think the best thing they could do is go along and then if it doesn’t work out offer a plan at odds with the Dems.

  41. 41
    headpan says:

    R-Jud: indeed, except apparently I dunno how to work the strike-out button meself

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    Both parties need to quit their childish playing of politics and get to work crafting an economic stimulus bill that might actually stimulate the economy, open the credit markets back up and provide permanent jobs

    Fuck you, David Broder.

  43. 43
    Charity says:

    @bedlam UK: That’s what I think is going on. He’s pulling stuff that isn’t as essential in a stimulus bill for now. When the Repubs still aren’t happy — like not enough tax cuts, because anything less than 100% isn’t enough — Obama can say, "Look, I tried to compromise, and the Repubs weren’t having it."

    I just keep remembering that, every time during the campaign when I thought Obama was completely screwed and didn’t have a chance, he would just hang tight and it all worked out. As someone else commented (either here or on another blog) the Repubs are playing checkers, while Obama is playing chess.

  44. 44
    Samuel says:

    Obviously, Republicans hope that the economy is deep, deep in the shitter in 2010. That’s the only way they get back into power.

    Even if the stimulus fails, the GOP still won’t make any significant gains in 2010. The GOP rot is particularly deep. However, the above quote can be attributed to the Dems over the past 8 years. The Dems were just opposed to anything Bush did for politics sake, not for the sake of the country. Remember Harry Reid’s "this war is lost" proclamation, during the worst of the Iraq war? There’s a reason the Democrat-controlled congress has a 12% approval rating…or something like that.

    Political expediency is a trait shared by both parties.

  45. 45
    DougJ says:

    I prefer not to assume the worst of the base intentions of the opposition unless I have to.

    Me too. But it’s not an assumption when one of them has written an email saying that’s what their intentions are.

  46. 46
    kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It’s a political 3 card monte and the GOP are so damn sure they know where the ace of spades is hiding.

    He’s negotiating, he isn’t horse-trading, because he isn’t a member of Congress. He’s made a deliberate effort NOT to appear to be horse-trading, thank goodness.
    I’m reading these outraged screeds from Lefties about "Obama isn’t defending contraception or the arts!".
    Had he fallen for that we would be watching, this morning, Barack Obama, with his huge mandate and big goals, parrying attacks from lunatic House Republicans on cherry-picked examples of gubmint funded past debacles.
    He would lose on those specifics, take his eye off the big stuff, and he would have diminished his national role, all in one fell swoop.
    In the weeds.

  47. 47
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Reading over at RedNeckState and I saw the thread about Boehner/Boner telling the party to vote down the stimulus package. Some of the yahoos over there are saying that by opposing it now the Republicans come out looking good (and Obama/Democrats look bad) if it fails. "If" it fails. Not one person mentions what will happen if it doesn’t fail, nope.

    Those people don’t think any farther than ‘if it pisses a Democrat off then it must be good’ which plays into the hands of the corporate Republicans. What better way to get people to vote against their own interests than to make them think their ‘enemy’ is for it? All it takes is some very low information voters who will swallow whatever you say as long as you wrap it in the platitudes they want to hear.

    I think that covers about 30% of the population. Not exactly a winning coalition now, is it? Still too damn many though.

  48. 48
    Napoleon says:

    @DougJ:

    Is that in his column today? He is still pretending that it is not primarily the Reps who gum things up.

  49. 49
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    As someone else commented (either here or on another blog) the Repubs are playing checkers Candyland, while Obama is playing chess.

    Improved. ;)

  50. 50
    El Cid says:

    Hey, you know, fuck these assholes. The New Deal wasn’t run by a bunch of retarded drunk cavemen, so real men like Roosevelt who weren’t shitting their beds in fear of the Republicans made sure and fund art, yes, even publicly employing artists and theatrical groups, architects, and the like.

    These primitive, revanchist fuckers can take their hate and fear of government support for art that’s more creative than UV glow posters of eagles crying over 9/11 and shove it up their asses.

    God, but I absolutely despise these people.

  51. 51
    Napoleon says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    I was thinking more along the line of Chutes and Ladders.

  52. 52
    Samuel says:

    These primitive, revanchist fuckers can take their hate and fear of government support for art that’s more creative than UV glow posters of eagles crying over 9/11 and shove it up their asses.

    Shorter El Cid: Please somebody prosecute Cheney and Bush for imaginary "war-crimes" right away as I am a bitter leftist

  53. 53
    Josh Hueco says:

    We don’t need a pie script, we need a waterboard (oops, that ‘sprinkle water on’) script for trolls like Samuel.

  54. 54
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Napoleon:

    That works too. Or how about ‘the Repubs are playing marbles’?

    If they get mad then they can take their marbles and go home! ;)

  55. 55
    A Mom Anon says:

    I’m so over these dimwitted dipshits. I have yet to hear one Republican speak of an idea that WILL help. Tax cuts don’t count,I mean,if you’re unemployed,how the hell is that going to help? What this country needs is freaking jobs,like yesterday.

    I live in metro Atlanta. My husband has been out of work for 7 months. After 17 yrs with the same company,we took a well deserved vacation and THE DAY we got back he was let go. He has always worked,and there’s nothing out there in this area. I can’t even find a bottom level job in retail. A freaking tax cut doesn’t mean dick to me right now. We need jobs that will support families. Period. Until Republicans can deliver serious ideas on that,they need to STFU.

  56. 56
    Xenos says:

    Even marbles involves a degree of strategic planning. The best description of the GOP now is Keno, where they declare their lucky numbers every few minutes and pray that they eventually hit.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    Shorter El Cid: Please somebody prosecute Cheney and Bush for imaginary "war-crimes" right away as I am a bitter leftist

    You people really are afraid, aren’t you? Sucking on Ronald Reagan’s ass for 30 years made you think it tastes like ice cream, didn’t it?

    I’m not a bitter leftist. But I do become bitter at how a bunch of brainless chickenshits who strutted around and beat their chests about how manly they were on defense and security (a) allowed the biggest ever attack on our soil and then went on to pretend that this fact made them better able to KeepUsSafe; (b) made it acceptable to publicly brag about how much they peed their pants on 9/11 and continue to pee their pants every day in fear that a Mooozlim is gonna touch ’em in their special place; and (c) completely trashed the economy for the last 30 years, with far too much Democratic collaboration.

    I also hate the right wing for their permanent dedication to cowardice and stupidity. They’re afraid of science, they’re afraid of art, they’re afraid of boobies, they’re afraid of teh gheys, I mean, you name it, and there’s a right winger peeing his pants in the corner and demanding we see his urine-stained pants as some sign of manliness.

    But bitter? No, not after America finally got tired of Reagan’s bullshit, though it took ’em 30 years to shake off the negro-hating right’s Southern Strategy, and as a native and lifelong Southerner, nothing makes me happier.

  58. 58
    Napoleon says:

    @Conservatively Liberal: While we are at it lets hope that the chess Obama is playing is Mr. Spocks 3-D version.

  59. 59
    Scott says:

    The New Deal wasn’t run by a bunch of retarded drunk cavemen, so real men like Roosevelt who weren’t shitting their beds in fear of the Republicans made sure and fund art, yes, even publicly employing artists and theatrical groups, architects, and the like.

    What he said.

  60. 60
    Samuel says:

    Sucking on Ronald Reagan’s ass for 30 years

    fear that a Mooozlim is gonna touch ‘em in their special place

    his urine-stained pants as some sign of manliness.

    Have some er, (ahem)…"issues" dontcha? Your bloviating just proves my point further.

  61. 61
    TheFountainHead says:

    I think what this really all comes down to, is that we keep referring to it as a huge stimulus package, and Republicans are scared to death of all packages. Especially those bigger than their own.

  62. 62
    Charity says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    I live in metro Atlanta. My husband has been out of work for 7 months. After 17 yrs with the same company,we took a well deserved vacation and THE DAY we got back he was let go. He has always worked,and there’s nothing out there in this area. I can’t even find a bottom level job in retail. A freaking tax cut doesn’t mean dick to me right now. We need jobs that will support families. Period. Until Republicans can deliver serious ideas on that,they need to STFU.

    MomAnon, this totally sucks, and I hope you and your husband find something soon.

    According to Bl00mberg News this morning:

    Steve Forbes, chief executive officer of Forbes Inc., told CNBC that U.S. President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package is a wasted effort.

    Forbes said a stable dollar is more vital to the economy than a spending package.

    So do you care about a stable dollar or stimulus? Again, I can’t STAND these fuckers throwing out the good because it’s not perfect. Maybe the stimulus WON’T fix everything — or anything — but isn’t it better than nothing??? Steve Forbes should STFD and STFU.

  63. 63
    El Cid says:

    Samuel: Does my merry use of bad words annoy you? Aw, more right wing pre-adolescents who hope that quoting rules of high school debate clubs really makes them right.

    This is a blog, douchebag. People come here for their own entertainment. If you want to carry on an open-mic discussion at Starbucks of the latest Sean Hannity ‘book’, no one’s stopping you.

    I’m sorry you’re interpreting my own astonishment at the stupidness and cowardness of the American right as "issues", but then, you’re used to eating plates of shit and assuming that the disgusted reaction of those around you means that they have "issues".

  64. 64
    TheFountainHead says:

    Your bloviating just proves my point further.

    O gawds! Epic intertron tradishun fail!

    L2troll!

    In all seriousness though folks, what’s it take to get a decent troll around here.

  65. 65
    KevOH says:

    It seems unamerican to hope the President fails. As much as I disagreed with Bush and his administration from day 1, I never hoped they would fail!

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    It seems unamerican to hope the President fails. As much as I disagreed with Bush and his administration from day 1, I never hoped they would fail!

    I admire the sentiment in the statement.

    But if your neighbor started building a scaffold that soon was teetering higher than his house and you ask him what he’s doing, and he says he’s building a ladder to the Moon, what do you say?

    Do you hope he succeeds? Is the rational conclusion that he will fail some sort of moral let-down for your neighbor?

  67. 67
    Brian J says:

    I’m uncomfortable with this sort of argument. I prefer not to assume the worst of the base intentions of the opposition unless I have to. One of the things that irritated me on the other was side was Republicans saying liberals wanted us to loose in Iraq because that was the only way we had a chance of regaining power. It was a dumb argument, and offensive as well; just because you believe a certain course of action is insane and destructive doesn’t mean you want it to be.

    I understand where you are coming from, but I think there’s more to this sort of argument than you are willing to let on. For instance, earlier this week or later last week, Matt Yglesias made a comment about Boehner’s ability to find the least defensible argument and focus on that. He was talking about the Republican leader’s opposition to federal money used to shore up state and local governments, who may be forced to cut back because of balanced budget laws among other things. This sort of spending is, as Yglesias and others noted, the least controversial form of stimulus. Pretty much everyone who supports the idea of a stimulus package agrees that this is a necessary component, yet Boehner’s against it. Perhaps he’s an anomaly amongst Republicans, but how likely is that?

    It’s far more probable that he’s a typical representation of Republican mindset. So either he’s ludicrously ignorant of something very basic that even the most casual observers as well as the most prominent economists support, or he’s against something that would be effective as a matter of politics. Take your pick, but either way, his side doesn’t come away looking so good.

  68. 68
    aimai says:

    ((((hugs)))) El Cid! Preach it. No one who has watched the right wing fucking their Reagan Blow Up Doll for the last umpteen years disagrees with your analysis. In fact, I’d say you were damned restrained. The keyboard won’t even accept what I’d type.

    aimai

  69. 69
    Comrade Jake says:

    All I know is that just now, on GMA, the "expert" Matt Lauer interviewed on the stimulus bill is Bill Kristol. WTF?

    Kristol was crowing about how he urged Republicans to oppose the bill a few weeks ago in the Weekly Standard. He’s so friggin original, that bozo.

  70. 70
    Andrew says:

    They got no reason to support a stimulus. If they all supported it and it turned into sunshine and flowers, Democrats – and more importantly, Obama – would get all the credit. If they don’t support it and it fails to do anything meaningful or turns into a boondoggle, there’s a possible political upside for them.

    Here’s a reason – because they want to fix the economy and help the Americans they were elected to help?

    I guess not.

  71. 71
    Punchy says:

    Not one person mentions what will happen if it doesn’t fail, nope.

    It’s gunna fail. I’m not even an economist, and I know this. Unemployment is much, much worse than the government will acknowledge, IMO.

  72. 72
    Comrade Jake says:

    The one thing I’m not sure Republicans have anticipated here is that this bill will create jobs in a good number of states. How many is unclear, but you sort of assume there’ll be some overlap with the districts they represent. So they’re setting themselves up as being portrayed as against job creation in 2010. I’m not sure these guys are capable of playing checkers, much less chess.

  73. 73
    TheFountainHead says:

    It’s gunna fail. I’m not even an economist, and I know this. Unemployment is much, much worse than the government will acknowledge, IMO.

    That might be true, the walls of the well we’ve fallen down may be too steep and slippery, but that’s no reason to stop trying to find a way out.

  74. 74
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    "I live in metro Atlanta. My husband has been out of work for 7 months. After 17 yrs with the same company,we took a well deserved vacation and THE DAY we got back he was let go. He has always worked,and there’s nothing out there in this area. I can’t even find a bottom level job in retail. A freaking tax cut doesn’t mean dick to me right now. We need jobs that will support families. Period. Until Republicans can deliver serious ideas on that,they need to STFU."

    Jesus, I’m sorry for you. Hang in there. Retail has high turnover. If you keep applying, sooner or later something’s going to open up. Right now, a lot of the stores are tightening their belts, laying off the seasonal help. But as the full-time and part-time people get terminated/quit/do whatever the Hell, they’re going to start combing through their applications and looking for replacements.

    Retail is brutal, though. I had to work overnights at Walmart last year and the year before. To ensure a retail position, you often have to sacrifice sleep and health. I still work a retail job on the weekends, but I’m probably just a couple of bad months away from getting laid off and having to go right back to Walmart overnights. (My full-time gig is as an attorney, believe it or not. The economy’s hurting us, too. One or two of my friends have already been laid off from suffering firms.)

    Was the economy always this bad? I’m only 30, so after college it’s fair to say I’ve only been in the work force for the Bush years. My father tells me that when he was growing up, pre-Reagan, you could actually find work in factories whenever you needed it- part time, full time, whatever, paying decent and liveable wages. I don’t know if that’s a tall tale or not, but I do know that our country is starting to relive John Steinbeck novels. That makes me less queasy than angry, though. I’d write what I think about people voting Republican after this, but I’ll spare you the 30-paragraph tirade of obscenities.

  75. 75
    headpan says:

    the right wing fucking their Reagan Blow Up Doll

    aimai, you should get a trademark for that analogy!

  76. 76
    robertdsc says:

    After this, it’s time to scratch all the tax cuts and do some real work. If the Republicans bitch, so fucking what. We’re falling apart and tax cuts won’t help.

  77. 77
    headpan says:

    Scruffy, having worked in the legal field for many years, I can tell you I have never seen large, regional defense firms laying off lots of people, but that’s what is happening now. It’s just another symptom of this failed economy. Your dad was not exaggerating, btw. Believe it or not, people used to get benefits back in the day also. The tragedy is that we did not have to end up this way. The majority of the blame sits primarly on the shoulders of repubes and their leadership. The more they whine about tax cuts, the more I despise them, more and more, every day. You lost. MAJOR. Deal with it, and let’s get the job done. Otherwise, STFU, sit down and behave like reasonable adults. Jeebus, they are one disgusting bunch of cry-babies.

  78. 78
    Brian J says:

    All I know is that just now, on GMA, the "expert" Matt Lauer interviewed on the stimulus bill is Bill Kristol. WTF?

    Kristol was crowing about how he urged Republicans to oppose the bill a few weeks ago in the Weekly Standard. He’s so friggin original, that bozo.

    I find that incredible. There’s really no group of five or so well known economists that they could have on stand by to comment on the package? Hell, New York City alone has Columbia, NYU, Fordham, and the entire CUNY system. WTF?

    Anyway, if Kristol is opposing this, this must mean that the stimulus package is going to work wonders for the economy and ensure Democratic electoral success in the next two elections…right?

  79. 79
    David says:

    Headline from Redstate:

    The GOP Should Make the Democrats Own this “Stimulus” and Every Other Failed Policy They Want to Implement

    http://www.redstate.com/jeff_e.....implement/

  80. 80
    Reverend Dennis says:

    My father tells me that when he was growing up, pre-Reagan, you could actually find work in factories whenever you needed it- part time, full time, whatever, paying decent and liveable wages. I don’t know if that’s a tall tale or not, but I do know that our country is starting to relive John Steinbeck novels.

    No one could have anticipated that the offshoring of every American industry, save autos, would result in Americans being unable to find work.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Napoleon says:

    My full-time gig is as an attorney, believe it or not. The economy’s hurting us, too. One or two of my friends have already been laid off from suffering firms.

    My firm just laid off 2 of the 7 attorneys we have.

    My father tells me that when he was growing up, pre-Reagan, you could actually find work in factories whenever you needed it- part time, full time, whatever, paying decent and livable wages.

    I am 47 and grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and before Black Monday
    not only could you find the work but if you were college age you could get a great summer job as the union members took their summer vacation and the mills needed bodies to make up for them being out. You could come from a working class family and if you were not afraid of hard dirty work you could pick up what you needed in the summer to pay for college.

  83. 83
    cleek says:

    not supporting the president in a time of war?

    that’s a hanging.

  84. 84
    headpan says:

    I think Trin’s analysis is right on the money. Obama is one smart cookie. I sold him short in the past and while I often disagree with the method, he has continued to surprise me (pleasantly) with the end result.

  85. 85
    Napoleon says:

    @Reverend Dennis:

    No one could have anticipated that the offshoring of every American industry, save autos, would result in Americans being unable to find work.

    Your right, no one could have anticipated it, especially not as early as 1988.

    I still have that book sitting on shelf at home.

  86. 86
    SpotWeld says:

    I’m a little unclear on the numbers, but are Republicans derailing this stimulus package because of issues they have with expenditures that amount to something like 1% of the total?

    They are happy with letting the economy fall further into the crapper over 1% of the expendatures?

  87. 87
    Punchy says:

    No one who has watched the right wing fucking their Reagan Blow Up Doll

    Gawd I love this website.

  88. 88
    jrg says:

    I love how Republicans get in a twist over $50 million for the arts. How many millions did Ken Starr spend sniffing around Clenis’ underwear drawer? 90 million? How many trillions have we spent in Iraq?

  89. 89
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Napoleon, I hope Obama is playing a game of 5D chess. I want him to kick Spock’s ass.

    Also too, ubetcha.

    Awww, did lil’ Sammy git hiz feelins hert? Suck it up while we enjoy the view.

  90. 90
    gex says:

    @KDP:

    The work needs to be done, and why not now?

    The additional benefit, of course, is that labor and materials are cheaper right now. If we have to spend it anyhow, we get the added bonus of doing it for a smaller cost now, while getting stimulus spending at the same time.

  91. 91
    Josh Hueco says:

    @jrg:

    I love how Republicans get in a twist over $50 million for the arts…How many trillions have we spent in Iraq?

    It’s all about playing the culture war card to rev up the Hootervillian base…one…more…time.

  92. 92
    El Cid says:

    It’s all about playing the culture war card to rev up the Hootervillian base…one…more…time.

    I’m all for the GOP clinging to the base. It worked pretty well for the rest of us in 2006 and 2008.

  93. 93
    Persia says:

    I thought one point of the stimulus was to get people to work, so they’d spend money, so businesses could start producing again, which means those businesses can expand their payrolls, leading to full employment. Does it matter if the stop gap work is not permanent if it initiates the cycle of production again?

    So, Church Lady, while I respect your point, I do see things like NEA grants and resodding the National Mall as stimulus. I did agree that perhaps the funding for family planning was misplaced.

    NPR reported yesterday that one of the reasons the NEA was put in the stimulus package is that they had a ‘ready to go’ process for getting grant money to people and organizations– and therefore a good short-term stimulus. I’ll note as well that traditional ‘infrastructure’ projects– like roads, bridges, or resodding the national Mall– benefit men more than women, as more men work in those industries. Non-infrastructure funding is needed if women, half or more or the work force, are going to be working too.

    Secondly, I think the family planning funding should be there, for one simple reason: Paying for a pregnancy through Medicaid (and the kids that come after!) is a hell of a lot more expensive than covering birth control. It’s a good place to save government money, which is probably why the Republicans hate it.

  94. 94
    gex says:

    @bedlam UK: In all honesty, Obama is showing his base his commitment through his actions. He’s center-left. He is holding firm on some extremely important issues and providing a template for Democrats on how to deal with the GOP when they refuse to be serious.

    He never stoops to their level nor does he bow to their pressure. He continues to treat them like adults and take them at their word ("bipartisan", "compromise"). But he will not sacrifice what he truly believes is essential, and he will call their obstreperousness (great word I stole from some other commenter) for what it is.

    But he treats them like adults. He has them to dinner. He listens to them and gives them an opportunity to contribute. What better way is there to demonstrate to the rest of America that they don’t really want to participate in governing like adults. The left will continue to pull from the left, but overall I am very happy with everything he’s done and *the way he has done it*.

  95. 95
    DougJ says:

    @Napoleon

    No, there’s no Broder column today. I assume he’ll write something like that tomorrow or Sunday when his columns come out.

  96. 96
    georgia pig says:

    Obama seems to be playing this about right. People keep referring to Bush’s failures, but in terms of political maneuvering, Bush was wildly successful. It was his performance in governance that was a failure and eventually screwed the Republicans.

    Obama seems to have learned from that, and is taking it to a new level. Notice how he comes out of the meeting with house republicans, talks about the cordial conversation but acknowledges "major philosophical differences" exist? This is heightening the contrasts without calling them traitors. He’s reinforcing that republicans are not just arguing details, but are actually philosophically opposed to helping people that are suffering. He’s turning the Bush "with us or against us" approach back on them, but in a far more subtle and potentially effective manner. The difference is that, instead of insinuating bad intent (the hamhanded Bush approach to people opposing the war), he’s showing that their quest for ideological purity blinds them to the suffering of the american worker.

  97. 97
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @headpan:

    "Scruffy, having worked in the legal field for many years, I can tell you I have never seen large, regional defense firms laying off lots of people, but that’s what is happening now. It’s just another symptom of this failed economy. Your dad was not exaggerating, btw. Believe it or not, people used to get benefits back in the day also. The tragedy is that we did not have to end up this way. The majority of the blame sits primarly on the shoulders of repubes and their leadership. The more they whine about tax cuts, the more I despise them, more and more, every day. You lost. MAJOR. Deal with it, and let’s get the job done. Otherwise, STFU, sit down and behave like reasonable adults. Jeebus, they are one disgusting bunch of cry-babies."

    I remember not caring about loans during law school either. I figured, lawyers always have work, I can always pay it off. If things get really bad, though, the student loans are the first bill to default on.

    Fucking Republicans. When I was a kid, my Dad told me he’d always be behind me. I asked him, "What if I vote Republican?" He answered, "Then I’ll be 300 yards behind you, with a rifle." Now I know why.

    @Napoleon:

    "I am 47 and grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and before Black Monday not only could you find the work but if you were college age you could get a great summer job as the union members took their summer vacation and the mills needed bodies to make up for them being out. You could come from a working class family and if you were not afraid of hard dirty work you could pick up what you needed in the summer to pay for college."

    Exactly what my Dad told me. There’s a Chrysler plant in my home town which is now shutting down.

    It’s odd, being young. I vaguely remember belonging to something called "the middle class" in childhood. But my entire adult life, I’ve been working my ass off just to escape homelessness. Somehow, it seemed like it was a bit more comfortable before. Thank you for the corroboration!

    @Reverend Dennis:

    "No one could have anticipated that the offshoring of every American industry, save autos, would result in Americans being unable to find work."

    My recollection from childhood is that jobs were a big problem even under Reagan. No one could have predicted that every time a Republican took the White House, the American job situation would go straight to shit.

  98. 98
    headpan says:

    georgia pig: agreed, the general public will "get" this, if not now, pretty soon down the road as their American Dreams evaporate wholesale – I hope. I really think he knows what he is doing (again, hope)

  99. 99
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    @georgia pig:

    "He’s reinforcing that republicans are not just arguing details, but are actually philosophically opposed to helping people that are suffering. He’s turning the Bush "with us or against us" approach back on them, but in a far more subtle and potentially effective manner. The difference is that, instead of insinuating bad intent (the hamhanded Bush approach to people opposing the war), he’s showing that their quest for ideological purity blinds them to the suffering of the american worker."

    "The era of personal responsibility" = "Fuck you, Jack, I’ve got mine."

  100. 100
    gex says:

    @Brian J:

    There’s really no group of five or so well known economists that they could have on stand by to comment on the package? Hell, New York City alone has Columbia, NYU, Fordham, and the entire CUNY system. WTF?

    You act as though their goal was to educate and inform, not advance the right’s agenda.

  101. 101
    Jen R says:

    Shorter El Cid:

    Samuel is not aware of all internet traditions.

    (Seriously, why is "shorter" so hard for some people?)

  102. 102
    gex says:

    @Napoleon: That’s the part that gets me. I’ve had countless baby boomers tell me about how they could earn in the summer what it cost to go to college. Meanwhile I’m tens of thousands of dollars in debt for my degree, facing the same starting salaries as they received 30 years ago. Oh, and houses don’t go for $35K anymore. Of course, there aren’t really any jobs right now anyhow.

    Why anyone thought the right’s economic policies were in any way good for America is beyond me.

  103. 103
    Napoleon says:

    @gex:

    And I didn’t even mention that the mill workers that the college kids replaced, at least those that were maxed out on seniority, would get something like 6 or 8 weeks off. Back then almost everyone got real vacation time that they actually took, like the French do today (or actually pretty much everyone else in the developed world).

  104. 104
    KevOH says:

    @El Cid: There exists a HUGE range of possible outcomes between failure and success. Not wishing for failure is not equivalent to wishing for success. Failure is disastrous! (and often so is success … when looking back at the last 8 years).

  105. 105
    El Cid says:

    @KevOH: Que? Mande? Como?

  106. 106
    Reverend Dennis says:

    @Napoleon:
    I was still an El Monte job-shop machinist (Machinists know just what that means) back in ’88 and the writing was on the wall before then. The shop owners were all getting excited about the fact that you could get the work done overseas for half price, bid the job at made-in-America rates and pocket the difference. I stayed in machining just long enough to turn my computer hobby into a career in IT.
    Ironically enough, it didn’t take the folks overseas very long to realize that they could bid the work directly and cut out the shop owners.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    AnneLaurie says:

    Or how about ‘the Repubs are playing marbles’? If they get mad then they can take their marbles and go home! ;)

    Nope — their current behavior confirms the suspicion that the Republicans lost all their marbles many, many years ago.

  109. 109
    Thomas says:

    The strategy seems familiar. It reminds me of a party that hoped to win power–won power!–hoping the US would lose a war.

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