Sneaky feelings

Via FDL, Nooners and Joe Scar think Obama secretly wants and needs a Republican Congress:

I just don’t buy the idea that Obama is likely to lose in 2012, regardless of what approval ratings say, with all due respect to the Tim Pawlenty juggernaut. It’s hard for me to see how after 12+ months of full-bore LaRouche style freakosity, the public is going to want to a put a Republican in the White House. Because I could be wrong, but my guess is the 2012 Republican primary is going to make the townhalls look like meetings of the Bloomsbury group.

Also, I was surprised to learn that, like Ann Landers and Dear Abby, Cokie Roberts and Peggy Noonan are twin sisters.

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113 replies
  1. 1
    SpotWeld says:

    So, GOP 2012: Palin/Lord Humungus?

  2. 2
    REN says:

    They’ll probably have progressed to burning books by then.

  3. 3
    SGEW says:

    Wow, that is one hell of a new tag.

  4. 4
    SenyorDave says:

    I have to think anyone coming out of the Republican primaries will have to do some pandering to the lunatic fringe, which is probably 50% of the GOP these days. The winner will then have to convince the independentas that they were “just kidding”.

    Of course, Romney has spent his entire post-governor career saying just that.

  5. 5
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The predictive powers of pundits are not to be taken seriously. Remember, Fred Thompson was going to be a formidable candidate for the Republican primaries, the caretrolling about the Bradley effect etc etc.
    In fact they are like the NOT gate, opposite of what they say comes true.

  6. 6
    Derelict says:

    “Without a Republican Congress, he’s unlikely to enact an agenda that Americans can support.”

    Yep. The same way 70-odd percent of Americans show they’re against single-payer healthcare by telling pollsters they support it.

    C’mon–this is really grasping for ANY excuse to claim that American is STILL, despite all available evidence, a completely Republican country. For the moment, it’s not.

    But give clowns like these another four years and we may see it swing back to full-on insanity mode again.

  7. 7
    ellaesther says:

    I find it particularly interesting that these people seem to genuinely think that President Obama is being dragged left. I am apparently a bit more to the center of a lot of the people who hang out here on the Balloon Juice, and to my center-left eyes, it would seem that the POTUS is standing firmly in Center Field, unwilling to turn (much) toward his base (helloooo! We’re over herrrre!), or turn his back on the right that is fighting him every moment of every day.

    I am not yet ready to give him up as a lost cause, I am not yet ready to believe that there isn’t a plan, and I am still fairly confident that, in the end, the Obama Administration will have proved itself, time and again.

    But at this very moment in time? The Congress is “yankin’ him left”?

    There’s a reason I don’t usually watch these clips, apparently.

  8. 8
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    It’ll depend on the economy stupid. Not you Dougj, but what drives our politics except when it doesn’t, see 2000.

    The GOP is insane. And giving them several hundred million to prove it in campaign ads will do just that. Now, if there were the proverbial, “another Raygun” out there, things might be different,. But if there is, the wingers must be hiding them in the AEI basement till the election starts in another year of so.

    Right now Obama and the dems can’t prove a negative, that all the TARP, bailout money averted a calamity and right now we are sort of bouncing off the bottom of a deep recession. That will turn around by 2011 and new jobs should be made, and hopefully a little better ones that the Walmart jobs Bush championed after 2001.

    But that said, Obama has to do better than the average presnit with paler skin, so we shall see.

  9. 9
    ellaesther says:

    @SGEW: OH OH OH! And speaking of tags!!

    <urlhttp://wonkette.com/410783/this-idaho-governor-candidate-his-buddies-will-hunt-obama

    Nope, there is no undercurrent of casual, racist, violent political intent in the country — nope! Nothin’ to see here!

    (Sorry to thread jack. I got a little worked up).

  10. 10
    Comrade Jake says:

    I realize that Obama’s numbers are down, but aren’t the standard Republican’s in the absolute cellar?

  11. 11
    Calouste says:

    @SGEW:

    Wow, that is one hell of a new tag.

    What? The M-word?

  12. 12
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @SGEW:

    Wow, that is one hell of a new tag.

    I like it. And speaking of the H word, how about GOP, or Winger Hell as a tag. Seems fitting most of the time.

  13. 13
    Persia says:

    Now, if there were the proverbial, “another Raygun” out there

    You mean a great white hope?

  14. 14
    KG says:

    2012 is the watershed election, I think. Either the GOP gets serious again and runs someone credible, or the Dems have established a working majority for a generation. 2012 tells us if the realignment is real or not.

    Of course, this all assumes that the world doesn’t end at the end of the long count.

  15. 15
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I realize that Obama’s numbers are down, but aren’t the standard Republican’s in the absolute cellar?

    Yes, and this is what the howling wingers leave out of their recent cheers. They have only proved once again the political truism that going negative works, you lower your opponents poll numbers, at least for a while.

    But the price is lowering your own approval numbers that are harder to raise back in the long run because you don’t have the Bully Pulpit as dems do now.

  16. 16

    Also, I was surprised to learn that, like Ann Landers and Dear Abby, Cokie Roberts and Peggy Noonan are twin sisters.

    Kudos for the weapons grade snark. I’ll be laughing about that one all weekend.

  17. 17
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Persia:

    IOW”s, yes.

  18. 18
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OT: Where did Andrew Sullivan get his guest bloggers from this summer?
    I don’t remember his blog being so unreadable during absence, like it is right now.

  19. 19
    Rey says:

    Well, if the swine flu comes on strong enough to kill the millions of people that is predicted, the jobs prospects should be superb. Obama/Biden 2012-2016..

  20. 20
    ellaesther says:

    @ellaesther: Crap. I got worked up, AND appear to have failed to embed the link. I’ll do it without the URL tags, and y’all can cut and paste to read about the GOVERNOR OF IDAHO JOKING ABOUT ISSUING TAGS FOR OBAMA HUNTING.

    Ahem.

    http://wonkette.com/410783/thi.....hunt-obama

  21. 21
    ellaesther says:

    @ellaesther: Aaaand this time it embedded. Well, I’m stumped.

  22. 22
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    If nothing tragic happens, 2012 will give us a replay of the 1964 Goldwater vs. JFK election that we never got to see.

    pace Perlstein’s Gathering Storm, the dueling billboards back in 1964 had the slogans:

    “In your heart you know he’s right” (pro-Goldwater)
    vs.
    “In your guts you know he’s nuts” (anti-Goldwater)

    Allowing for a possible change in pronoun gender, that sounds about right for 2012, whoever the GOP nominee is. I’ll make a wild prediction that Obama wins re-election by 3 percentage points, 49-46.

  23. 23

    @schrodinger’s cat: Its been a few years since he’s taken this much time off so these guys have had more time than usual to irritate his readers.

  24. 24
    ellaesther says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: (I am so ashamed to admit that the reason I actually watched the clip [which I rarely do, because the whole getting-red-faced-furious-at-the-teevee-people thing is getting tiresome] was because I went: Waaaa? Seriously? They’re twins?)

  25. 25
    Napoleon says:

    @REN:

    I actually think they will be on to burning people as witchs by then, they are just that reactionary.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    I dont see the wave of Obamaniacs in 2012 to counter the sure tsunami of racists sure to flood the polls.

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    I don’t remember his blog being so unreadable during absence, like it is right now.

    It’s been horrendous. Patrick Appel and Chris Bojangles or whatever his name is are good. But Conor F and Hannah are just awful.

  28. 28
    Brian J says:

    Never say never, but really, who is likely to both survive a Republican primary unless it’s so splintered that the 2003 California Recall efforts look small by comparison and be acceptable to the public overall? I can’t think of anyone. Anyone who can win the primary outright most likely can’t win the general election, while anyone who can win the general almost certainly can’t win the primaries.

    Also, who expects Obama’s team to just roll over? These guys got a black guy whose middle name is Hussein to win North Carolina and Indiana.

    At this point, the question seems to be not if he will win, but by how much and what new states he’ll pick up. Or more interestingly, will he have a new runningmate, since Biden will probably not be running in 2016.

  29. 29
    Mike S says:

    That’s nothing compared to this, via Think Progress.

    Yesterday, Cynthia Tucker, a columnist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and frequent television pundit, argued that “John McCain could be the Senate’s new Ted Kennedy.” While acknowledging McCain has “bowed to the harsh nihilism that seems to be all that Republicans represent these days,” Tucker said there’s hope that McCain could embrace Kennedy’s “reputation for pragmatism.” Yesterday afternoon on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer amplified the emerging meme:

    I was talking earlier with some friends and I asked, who might emerge as the new Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate? You know who a lot of people think it might be? … That would be Senator McCain

  30. 30
    Alan says:

    These folks live in a fantasy world. Yeah, polls turn a bit due to incessant lying from the Right. But that doesn’t mean the country wants the GOP to have any power. The GOP is tainted and it’ll take years to wash the taint away. Hell, I was a Republican for 25 years and I don’t want that Party anywhere near power again.

  31. 31
    David Hunt says:

    I can’t play that piece with sound at work. Did they actually say that Obama “wants and needs” a Republican Congress? I can see a Republican making the argument that a Congress in opposition to the President is a good thing ( and therefore “needed”). I don’t agree with that line if the it’s assumed one of the Parties is the Republicans but I can see a case being made for it.

    What I want to know is on what planet have these people been living if they think that any President would want Congress to be controlled by another party. Just how idiotic do they think we are? That last is a rhetorical question.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    Did they actually say that Obama “wants and needs” a Republican Congress?

    They said he needs one, yes, that it will make him stronger. That was explicit

  33. 33
    SGEW says:

    @ellaesther:

    You remember this, right? The word for it is “eliminationist.”

    “Conservative” “humor” at its best.

    ha ha ha ha

  34. 34

    @ellaesther: It’s Friday. You probably need a refreshing cocktail and some very loud music to dance to in your living room.

  35. 35
    freelancer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I for one can’t for the
    “Single Guy pick-up artist ettiquette on the use of ‘the neg’ aka Negative Compliment Round-up.”

    These people fancy themselves as writers and thinkers.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Obama will increase his spread, but the scary thing will be that even if they pick a complete nut like Palin it will only be by a few points.

  37. 37
    schrodinger's cat says:

    DougJ says:

    But Conor F and Hannah are just awful.

    So smug and self satisfied with the self awareness of a dining room table.

  38. 38
    wasabi gasp says:

    I don’t see how an even dumber electorate benefits anybody.

  39. 39
    David Hunt says:

    @DougJ:

    Thanks, Doug. However, the part that really got me was the “wants” part. It seemed that you reported they had explicitly said Obama wanted a Republican Congress. I’m now getting the impression that this was sort of implied instead of explicitly started as “need” was. I can believe that.

  40. 40
    SGEW says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    I don’t see how an even dumber electorate benefits anybody.

    Well, it would be excellent news for Jo . . . oh, you know the rest.

  41. 41
    freelancer says:

    @DougJ:

    It’s been horrendous. Patrick Appel and Chris Bojangles or whatever his name is are good. But Conor F and Hannah are just awful.

    It’s funny, because we know Sully’s interns lurk here once in a while, so there’s a pretty odd chance Pat and Chris are scrolling the threads too since you and Cole regularly credit or provide updates based on commenters.

  42. 42
    El Cid says:

    The main chance I see Republicans having is if the Democratic Party gives in to the Senate Finance types who want to make ‘health care reform’ into an insurance industry deregulating bailout giveaway which utterly screws over citizens and makes us all pay more for less.

    If Democrats are stupid enough to do that, which isn’t necessarily what will happen unless we all let it, then they not only can lose, they will. No matter how crazy and awful Republicans have been. Either that or just nobody will vote and it’ll be decided by the Randall Terry share of the vote.

  43. 43
    ellaesther says:

    @SGEW: Sigh, God bless my naive heart, I do remember that, and yet somehow thought that governors, etc, would be wiser than that.

    I stand correctly. No: I slump in my chair, a hankie clutched to my chest, corrected.

    The “best” part of it is this:

    “Late update: Rammell tweeted today about the controversy. ‘Obama hunting tags was just a joke! Everyone knows Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue tags in Washington D.C.,’ he wrote.”

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....hp?ref=fpb

  44. 44
    jcricket says:

    Did anyone read the wikipedia entry for Cokie Roberts. Her birth name is apparently “Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs”. I am not kidding.

    But she’s one of the normal folks. Just keep walking… keep walking.

  45. 45
    ellaesther says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Yes, yes! This is what I need! I don’t generally drink, but honest to goodness, for a very long list of reasons, after this week? What I need this afternoon is an icy G & T!

    Stat!

  46. 46
    Mark S. says:

    @Alan:

    Hell, I was a Republican for 25 years and I don’t want that Party anywhere near power again.

    How many people here used to be Republicans, and what pushed you over the edge? For me, it was the Iraq War: I couldn’t believe how intellectually dishonest it was.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    EnderWiggin says:

    Because you see, Clinton was only good because of Newt and the Republican Revolution of 92. And this is a center right country, and all these policies are extreme left wing and blah blah blah.

    It sounds reasonable when they use the 2006 Congress / Bush comparison, but actually knowing a but more that the average cable news viewer lets you see through the crap.

    OT: Interesting PBS / CBC video comparing Canadian and US health care systems. Nice to see a balanced report that actually points out how bad the Canadian system is, without pretending that the US system isn’t even worse still.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  49. 49
    leinie says:

    @ellaesther:

    Small correction there – the Gov. of Idaho, Butch Otter, didn’t say that about the tags. That Rammell guy is some kind of wingnut whackadoodle likely to run against Butch in the primary.

    I have no love for Butch, but he isn’t the idiot who implied it was open season on the prez.

  50. 50
    DougJ says:

    I’m now getting the impression that this was sort of implied instead of explicitly started as “need” was.

    Yes, that’s right.

  51. 51
    gopher2b says:

    No one could possibly know one way or the other right now. It’s the economy, stupid.

  52. 52
    David Hunt says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    “I don’t see how an even dumber electorate benefits anybody.”

    I do. A dumber electorate is going to tend to support the side with the simpler, more easy to understand, platform. Republicans are good at condensing their positions to talking points. And that doesn’t even take into account that if you’re willing to outright lie, you don’t have to use much in the way of nuance. Just think of saying your opponent “pals around with terrorists” as opposed to explaining Obama’s casual relationship with Bill Ayers and why he isn’t a terrorist. A dumber electorate is a better environment for this sort of thing. Of course so is a media environment where the media wants to report sensational versus true and is unwilling to call out even the most obvious lies.

  53. 53
    ellaesther says:

    @leinie: OH MY GOD THANK GOD!

    As the Grand Panjandrum has kindly pointed out, it is the end of the week and I am in need of a cool drink and some loud music. I have been a few beats behind all afternoon. Oh thank you so much for pointing that small rather sizable error out to me!

    …Though I will admit that it saddens me that in the current atmosphere, it seemed entirely likely that a sitting governor could say such a thing, and my tired mind just went ahead and made the leap. How bad is it that I’m all “Oh thank God it wasn’t the governor, just someone RUNNING for governor?” Oy.

    Back to the cold drink, I think!

  54. 54
    gopher2b says:

    @Mark S.:

    I wasn’t against the Iraq war in the beginning. I knew they were lying about the reason but didn’t really care because I thought the experiment was worth it (I was wrong).

    What finally broke this camel’s back was Katrina. That was the point I fully understood how incompetent they were. An American city is obliterated and they: (1) don’t care because its predominantly black, (2) lied about the situation on the ground, (3) handled it terribly, (4) blamed it on the Mayor because he refused to use school buses. I just couldn’t take it anymore and it forced me to question everything else.

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The GOP is tainted and it’ll take years to wash the taint away.

    People may not be in a rush to vote Republican, but they will certainly vote not-Democrat, and that means Republican-by-default. Watch how every 10 days or so there’s another Dem Senate seat that suddenly comes up competitive — there was bad polling for Gillibrand; then Lincoln’s tied against two nobodies, now it’s Reid’s numbers that stink. November 2010 a long way away, and all of this will change, but the ground is not solid beneath our feet, people…

  56. 56
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Napoleon:

    Obama will increase his spread, but the scary thing will be that even if they pick a complete nut like Palin it will only be by a few points.

    I just don’t see Obama increasing his percentage total from 2008. It is always easier to run as the challenger than as the incumbent when things are sucky (in which case the qualities of the challenger are more or less irrelevant to the outcome as the election is really a referendum on the incumbent’s performance. I don’t expect happy days to be here again as quickly as 2012. The economy may bottom out and start growing anemically before then, but the structural factors dragging down growth are huge right now, so we aren’t going to see anything like 1990s rates of growth in the next decade, which is what most people will expect when the recession is declared “over”.

    And by no means will the clean up in aisle W be over, and everything that is wrong with the country (including the war in Afghanistan) will be all Obama’s fault so far as low-info voters are concerned, since their historical memory seems to have a half life of about 2 years. Obama has invested a lot both politically and fiscally in preventing the Great Depression II, but in American politics you don’t get credit for preventing things which didn’t happen.

    So I’m guessing that between Independents going “meh” and the progressive left being pissed off about Obama’s various compromises, Obama will lose about 4 points off of his 2008 totals from a combination of less support from the middle and less enthusiasm from the left.

    The GOP on the other hand can depend on a baseline of about 46-47 percent in a presidential election no matter how crazy they get – just look at McCain-Palin – there is no way on the merits that ticket should have polled more than Goldwater did in ’64, but they did, such is our world today and with a big helping heap of thanks to the news media. I’m guessing they lose about a percent point or so off of that 2008 total to third party candidate(s) that are even farther right than the GOP nominee. Put that together, and I come up with 49 (D) – 46 (R) with about 5 percent in the alternate universe of the Naderites and Glenn Beck fans.

    The only substantial modifier I can see to this scenario is if voting turnout percent rises amongst Hispanics compared with 2008 – if they turn out as a larger percentage of the electorate than in 2008 that will be Obama’s ace in the hole since the GOP appears to have burned their bridges on that score.

  57. 57
    gopher2b says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Honestly, I think you will see the House turn the other way and Dems will lose seats in the Senate. There is no way the economy turns around in 18 months. The “people” will take it out on incumbents which means dems. This is the worst economy in 60 plus years and everyone expects the government to turn it around in 12 months. Not goin happen.

  58. 58
    KG says:

    @Mark S.: I’m still technically a Republican, only because I’ve not bothered to change my political registration to Decline to State (I will be doing that once I move). But for me, it was the torture, the borrow and spend politics (I told my dad (a stalwart libertarian-leaning Republican) a few years ago, “you know, if the choices are borrow and spend or tax and spend, I think I’ll go with tax and spend”), the with us or against us foreign policy, the complete and total lack of an after war plan for Afghanistan or Iraq, the glib statements about attacking other countries, the unrestrained growth of the federal government (NCLB and DHS). With the exception of torture, I could live with one or two of these, much like I lived with the social conservatives even though I’m damn near libertine when it comes to social policies. So torture was what really did it for me, even with out it, the rest probably would have been enough.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    there was bad polling for Gillibrand;

    That was against another Democrat. The chances that Democrats will retain that Senate seat are about the same as the chances that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    Nooners and Joe Scar think Obama secretly wants and needs a Republican Congress

    I’m fairly sure Baucus and the Blue Dunces want a Republican Congress. Because that’s what were going to get unless they get out of the way.

  61. 61
    Bender says:

    “Sneaky Feelings”

    Elvis Costello, from “My Aim Is True.” Backed by Clover for that first record, which included members of Huey Lewis’ News. Which is still hard to believe…

    Also, no one said Obama secretly wants a GOP Congress, just that it would help him if that’s the way it turned out, like they said that it helped Bush to have a Democratic Congress (though no one would say Bush secretly wanted one).

  62. 62
    steve s says:

    “I just don’t buy the idea that Obama is likely to lose in 2012, regardless of what approval ratings say, with all due respect to the Tim Pawlenty juggernaut. It’s hard for me to see how after 12+ months of full-bore LaRouche style freakosity, the public is going to want to a put a Republican in the White House. Because I could be wrong, but my guess is the 2012 Republican primary is going to make the townhalls look like meetings of the Bloomsbury group.”

    The best predictor of presidential elections is the economy. And having just gone through a big recession, I expect the business cycle to have turned back to strong growth well before 2012. So at this point I think Obama is a shoo-in.

    Secondly, the GOP tends not to nominate the numb-nut candidates like Tancredo, Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer. Lots more Rush and Fox could change that, but that’s not been the pattern so far. So I don’t expect Palin’ll get nominated. I hope so, but I don’t expect it. I expect Huckabee or Petraeus, and I expect they’ll lose 56-44, based on a graph I made of the % of the popular vote the GOP candidate’s received over the last 40 years. (data available here: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/ )

  63. 63
    EnderWiggin says:

    @Mark S.:

    The Internet started it for me in 1999. The ability to quickly research just about anything caused me issues, mostly that everything I believed was apparently made up nonsense. I still managed to pretend I was correct and voted for Bush the first time.

    2001 was the cut off for me. I think a combo of Iraq and Bush in general was too much and reality broke through the nonsense.

  64. 64

    @Mark S.:

    How many people here used to be Republicans, and what pushed you over the edge?

    For me, it was a combination of things: the aftermath of the First Gulf War, and realizing that an intellectual+atheist+bisexual wasn’t going to be welcome within the bounds of the Massachusetts GOP, never mind nationally. Operation Rescue’s ‘Summer of Mercy’ in Wichita sealed the deal.

  65. 65
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    People may not be in a rush to vote Republican, but they will certainly vote not-Democrat, and that means Republican-by-default.

    Isn’t this just a fancy way of saying that people will forget the GOP taint in ’10?

  66. 66
    BB says:

    HRH Noonan drives me up a friggin’ wall. I can sit through a full hour of Hannity, but this woman makes me batty. Different types, I guess.

    She’s really been pushing this lie hard the past month or so. And what’s making me crazy (in this case) is that no one, on ABC, on MSNBC or anywhere has pushed back on it. IIRC, Welfare reform is the only major legislative change that happened from ’95 on. The rest of the decade was about treading water.

    These were not the glory days of bipartisan cooperation. Gingrich shut down the government because of an unglamorous airplane seat. They impeached a President for a BJ. I suppose that someone who worked so closely with Reagan must come pre-packaged with a remarkable ability to form and spew such twisted myths.

    Noonan can concern troll all she wants. 2010 is not 1994. Unless the bottom really, really falls out, the Democrats will retain Congress, even if seats are lost on the margins. Peggy can just go weep into her dry martini.

  67. 67
    EnderWiggin says:

    @EnderWiggin:

    I wonder if that all hadn’t happened, would crazy rants like this work for me.

    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2.....-oligarhy/

    Beck’s rants actually appeal to people. Seriously, if someone in the street was going on like this, you would probably call the police. And they would take him to the mental ward.

  68. 68
    freelancer says:

    Benen $-quote on last night’s Beck show:

    Towards the end of the show, after scrawling on a variety of boards and pieces of paper, Beck summarized his key observation. On a chalkboard, Beck had written the words, “Obama,” “Left Internationalist,” “Graft,” “ACORN Style Organizations,” “Revolution,” and “Hidden Agenda.” If you circle some of the first letters of these important words, Beck says, it spells “OLIGARH.” Beck told his viewers there’s only one letter missing. If you’re thinking that letter is “c,” you’re not medicated enough to understand Beck’s show.

    Wow. Just wow.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Geoduck says:

    As others have said, it depends on how bad the economy (still) is at election time. And the fundamental structural cracks have not gone away, they’ve just been temporarily papered over. Obama could easily lose in 2012, no matter what frothing nutcase the GOP props up against him.

  71. 71
    Max says:

    We’re only 7 months in. A little to early to write his political obit, don’t you think?

    I happen to agree with what Bill Clinton said, in that once Health Care is passed, Obama’s approval numbers will go up. As Obama said, one way to keep your approval high is to not do anything. There’s a cost to doing something.

    Barring some major unforseen event, I see Obama getting elected and turning Arizona and Missouri blue.

  72. 72
    Max says:

    @Max: P.S. Didn’t we hear last year that the Dems were split and the PUMA’s, etal were going to turn the election in McCain’s favor. The media loves this meme, but it doesn’t mean its real.

  73. 73
    Ann B. Nonymous says:

    I’m wondering if Sullivan’s health is okay. It’s August and I suppose he’s taking his extended six weeks of European-style vacation that actual Americans don’t get, but his drive-by posts sound a little… elegiac?

    And defensive, too. Another apologia pro merda sua about The Bell Curve. That paragon of intellectual honesty, Charles Murray!

    Seems to me Sully is telling future generations that he himself wasn’t racist, just extremely gullible and a poor judge of character.

  74. 74
    Interrobang says:

    Nice to see a balanced report that actually points out how bad the Canadian system is, without pretending that the US system isn’t even worse still.

    The Canadian system is bad? Coulda fooled me, and I live here. Shit, man, if what I’ve got is what you consider “bad,” I’d love to have what you consider “good,” whatever that would be.

  75. 75
    Mark S. says:

    @steve s:

    Is Petraeus considering running? Is he even a Republican?

  76. 76
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I am not a big fan of the Democrats but the anti-science stance of the Republican party, just completely turns me off, that and pandering to the religious conservatives.

  77. 77
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @steve s:

    I expect the business cycle to have turned back to strong growth well before 2012.

    Just out of curiosity (not being sarcastic here), on what basis do you project more than say 1.0 percent annual GDP growth in the next 3 years? What sector of the economy is going to provide that growth and what is going to drive it?

    IIRC past periods of strong growth have either featured a substantial lowering of interest rates (but we are already close to ZIRP now), a large deficit financed fiscal stimulus (we already shot that bolt this year and appear to be near the limits of our capacity to borrow more without sending interest rates up), large tax cuts (same problem – how do you borrow to finance them), or an exansion in construction (i.e. RRE and CRE – but it looks like it will take at least 5 years to work off existing inventory and home ownership rates are shrinking, see CalcRisk for details).

    I get that in the long run Obama’s plan is to generate growth out of new economic sectors such as clean energy oriented manufacturing, but absent the sort of structural changes that took place in the economy during WW2, I don’t see that change happening in a mere 3 years.

  78. 78
    YellowJournalism says:

    Anyone remember the “30 Helens Agree” sketch from The Kids in the Hall? I think these guys need to start up their own focus group called “30 Assholes Agree”.

  79. 79
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mark S.:

    How many people here used to be Republicans, and what pushed you over the edge? For me, it was the Iraq War: I couldn’t believe how intellectually dishonest it was.

    I don’t think I was ever registered as a republican, because I didn’t do primaries, but i did vote for GWB at least once. I was also on the other side when the iraq war started (when I first came across BJ). What turned me over? It might have been katrina, also schiavo, and the lies began to come clearly into daylight. I think it was just the preponderance of bullshit that kept piling up. At some point, I just said, enough. These fuckers don’t care about anyone but their own damned selves.

    That was about the same time I lost my religion, and just about for the same reason.

  80. 80
    robertdsc says:

    I think he’d love a Republican Congress. He’d sign anything they give him with a glad heart.

  81. 81
    David Hunt says:

    I was never a Republican, but I’ve never been a formal member of any political party. I’ve always sat down and tried to tried to figure out which presidential candidate would be better. Since ’92 it’s usually gone something like, “Well I surely don’t want the kind of Supreme Court Justice that [Republican Candidate] would pick, so the Democrat gets my vote.” A friend of mine convinced me that few really lasting influences that a President could have was there appointment of Justices, and that’s usually been my deciding factor. On the down side, I live in Texas so I know that voting for a Democrat will have no effect on the election. That’s why I’m in favor of changing the system to giving the election to the guy who gets the most votes in the popular election. It could even be done without amending the Constitution. Appollogies for my lack of html skills

    http://articles.latimes.com/20...../me-vote31

  82. 82
    geg6 says:

    What really burns me about people talking about Obama’s and the Dems numbers dropping is that they aren’t very honest about where the drops are coming from. As the GOS showed today, it’s mainly from Dems who are pissed about the lack of spine displayed by both the prez and congresscritters. If they give any evidence of a spine, say by passing a health care reform bill with a public option, I’d venture those numbers will shoot back up into 60% territory again in no time.

    As for Nooners and the Scar…well, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

  83. 83
    YellowJournalism says:

    @freelancer: I watched a little of that last night. It’s kind of weird that Beck is accusing Obama of starting some kind of citizen militia while encouraging some kind of citizen militia. (And, of course, it’s all based on something Beck is taking way out of context, I’m sure.)

  84. 84
    parksideq says:

    @El Cid: Not to get carried away, but this is how realignment happen.

  85. 85
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    Beck and context are not even in the same dimension.

  86. 86
    Napoleon says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Incumbents almost always win or loose big. Bush was a total outlier. Personally I think it is more likely that Obama gets creamed instead of winning more narrowly then before.

    Regardless I thing 2 things have to happen for him to win 1) people have to feel things are turning around in the economy and 2) a real solid healthcare bill is passed (not that BS that Conrad, Baucus and Cooper seem to be behind) to give people a feeling that the Dems stand behind them.

    A PS to my second point that I have seen nearly no one bring up, and that is the way I understand it none of the plans that have any serious chance of passing kick in until after the Presidential reelection, which leaves open the door to no matter how good the bill is and how much people will eventually like it come reelection the Rep could have convinced everyone it is the end of the world without the voters having any real life experience to contradict it.

  87. 87
    wasabi gasp says:

    @David Hunt: The cheers of wheel-grabbing window lickers on the short bus will be short-lived.

  88. 88
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Ann B. Nonymous:

    Re: Sully. Thanks for that link. Reminds me again why I can’t stand the man:

    I should say I am second to few in admiring Murray’s work. I risked my entire career to bring his brilliant book, The Bell Curve, into the bounds of respectable conversation because I believe his intellectual honesty is self-evident, even if you believe he is wrong about everything. His work debunking the claims of welfarism is central to understanding the best conservative critique of the liberal entitlement state.

    I know people say he’s right about torture. BFD. Greenwald is right about torture too. If you want right on torture, read him and stop giving Sully’s Tory ass any page views. Ditto Nico Pitney on Iran.

  89. 89
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Napoleon:

    I should say I am second to few in admiring Murray’s work. I risked my entire career to bring his brilliant book, The Bell Curve, into the bounds of respectable conversation because I believe his intellectual honesty is self-evident, even if you believe he is wrong about everything. His work debunking the claims of welfarism is central to understanding the best conservative critique of the liberal entitlement state.

    Yes. None of the plans currently being considered come into effect until 2013. Nice job, Congress.

  90. 90

    This clip blows my mind. Two seemingly-intelligent people without a clue between them. Comparing Obama to George Bush? That is like comparing a dolphin to a goldfish.

    When will conservatives realize they have NO ideas, no solutions, and nothing to offer?

  91. 91
    Legalize says:

    “How many people here used to be Republicans, and what pushed you over the edge? For me, it was the Iraq War: I couldn’t believe how intellectually dishonest it was.”

    For me it was getting past the age of 16. Seriously, the GOP platform made sense and I could spout it as well as anyone when I was a child. It was only upon growing up and seeing the way of the world outside my parents’ backyard that I realized that conservatism is very definition of The Big Lie. Upon this realization, it hit me like a ton of bricks that the only people who could vote Republican are either extremely stupid, greedy and / or dishonest. Nothing I’ve seen since has disabused me of this realization. The older I get, the more convinced I am of the banal evil that is conservatism.

  92. 92
    El Cid says:

    The opposite of what I wrote earlier, and staggeringly a lot of Democratic politicians fail to see it, is that if they can get themselves to pass decent health care reform which noticeably improves the lives of the vast majority, then the GOP is toast.

    It’s like they have a clear choice between a lavish, 5 course meal for free as long as they walk through an entryway where people will yell at them for 10 seconds, and a pile of hot dog buns filled with big, stinky turds, accompanied by big signs saying “THESE ARE TURDS,” and collectively they still can’t bring themselves to decide which dining option they wish to choose, ’cause there’s some guy out front promising to give them $10 if they eat the turds.

  93. 93
    Keifus says:

    Cokie Roberts and Peggy Noonan are twin sisters

    Very good. I have suspected this for a long time.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: From the Sully block:

    I risked my entire career to bring his brilliant book, The Bell Curve, into the bounds of respectable conversation because I believe his intellectual honesty is self-evident, even if you believe he is wrong about everything.

    It’s funny but this is the exact same defense both Cole and DougJ give when people challenge why they even bother reading Sullivan.
    It’s achingly similar to the “because I believe his intellectual honesty is self-evident, even if you believe he is wrong about everything.”
    But in Murray’s case, as well as Sullivan’s, it’s stunningly obvious that neither is capable of intellectual honesty, and are merely just wrong about everything.

  95. 95
    Anne Laurie says:

    @ellaesther:

    to my center-left eyes, it would seem that the POTUS is standing firmly in Center Field, unwilling to turn (much) toward his base (helloooo! We’re over herrrre!), or turn his back on the right that is fighting him every moment of every day.

    Heck, I wouldn’t turn my back on those people, either. They’re like wounded sewer rats — you want them where you can see them!

    Although, watching that clip, I have to wonder if there’s a liberal mole in the Faux-News basement — Pegeen and Shameless are yattering their one-handed fantasies of a “center right” nation, and the video shows some of the
    fifty thousand people at Senator Kennedy’s wake. (Of course Hannity would say they just came to make sure he was really dead.)

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    “How many people here used to be Republicans, and what pushed you over the edge? ”

    Was never a Republican, mainly due to household economics (and lack thereof), but thankfully did have a couple friends in my early teens who were indoctrinated in The Big Lie by their families. Just being around them and usually their dads, made it all seem so damn hateful and spiteful. It was clear to me pretty early that GOP=IGMFU.

  97. 97
    gbear says:

    ..with all due respect to the Tim Pawlenty juggernaut..

    AHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!!

    HEHEHEHEHHEHEHEHEHEH!

    HAHAHAHHH.

    Heheh….oh, that hurt my sides.

  98. 98
    El Cid says:

    Those crowds were forced to the Ted Kennedy observances by SEIU and ACORN with their secret T-shirts.

  99. 99
    geg6 says:

    Actually, what we all need is a senator or two to come up with this kind of passion on the topic of health care reform and perhaps something might turn:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  100. 100
    jl says:

    My understanding is that the Bloomsbury group were a pretty sarcastic bunch, and their meetings could get rough, so I don’t know about that.

  101. 101
    Demo Woman says:

    The republicans are going to run Huckabee and Pawlenty. Sarah quit her post which will be brought up often and I don’t think she’ll survive the debates. I know she’s home cracking the books but I’m not sure that will be enough.

  102. 102
    Tom Q says:

    Chiming in late, but…the Scarborough/Noonan formulation is based, like most things that come out of pundits’ mouths, on what they see most recently in the rear-view mirror. (Remember: these are the people who told us we’d have a super-close presidential race last year, because it had happened in ’00 and ’04) They recall the post-’94 Clinton, and Reagan with a Dem house (never mind that, Dixiecrats included, it was majority-conservative), contrast that with the disaster that was all-GOP Bush 2, and make a grand pronouncement. What could possibly contradict their thesis? Oh, right…12 years of FDR.

    Extra points off Noonan, who pretends to be an analyst but of course deep down is a GOP cheerleader. She was all over TV from the earliest days of the Clinton administration telling us he was a certain one-termer. Funny, I don’t remember her ever talking about how good it would have been for Bush to lose Congress.

    I’m with the brighter-side folk on 2012. I believe the economy will have recovered by then, and the GOP will still be nuts. I also agree that, if health care is successfully passed this year (hardly a given, but I remain an optimist), that it will create for Obama the profile of the sort of president (charismatic, enacting significant change) who is always re-elected (both Roosevelts, Reagan). And the burgeoning demographics on our side of the aisle make it entirely likely he wins by Ike/Stevenson II margins or better. He’ll probably fall short of the highest levels thanks to the slow-dying racist demographics, specifically in the South and Appalachian Valley, but in the Electoral College, he’ll likely top 400 with ease. (If the economy remains jobless through 2012 and health care totally collapses, I’ll obviously recalibrate. But I don’t think even Dems are dumb enough to let either happen)

  103. 103
    JGabriel says:

    Tom Q:

    Remember: these are the people who told us we’d have a super-close presidential race last year, because it had happened in ‘00 and ‘04 …

    Given the choices, Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin, a 52.9% to 45.6% win is far closer than it would have been in a society that valued sanity and competency over partisanship.

    .

  104. 104
    DougJ says:

    My understanding is that the Bloomsbury group were a pretty sarcastic bunch, and their meetings could get rough, so I don’t know about that.

    Did they bring guns to the meetings?

  105. 105
    Anne Laurie says:

    @KG:

    Of course, this all assumes that the world doesn’t end at the end of the long count.

    If the GOP wins in 2012, it will be one of the signs that the end of the Mayan calendar cycle really does indicate the end of the world.

    As for the Media Village Idiots’ hope that John McCain will replace Kennedy… well, nobody knew better than Teddy that redemption, as Holy Mother Church tells us, is always possible. Perhaps Teddy will appear to McCain as Marley did to Scrooge, and with equally sanguine results. If McCain walks into the Senate and starts working to pass a health care reform bill worthy of his late friend’s name, I will be one of the first to applaud him… assuming the shock doesn’t kill me.

  106. 106
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Incumbents almost always win or loose big. Bush was a total outlier.

    Incumbents have never been black men held to a totally different standard than all their predecessors.

  107. 107
    Rob Lll says:

    I’ve always been left-of-center myself, but over the past couple of decades I’ve observed a remarkable evolution in my dad — ex-naval officer, fiscal conservative, small businessman, military history buff, and a Republican for several decades. We had endless fights over politics when I was a teenager but nowadays we’re almost always on the same page.

    I even witnessed the exact moment the transformation began — we were driving down to LA to visit family in 1992 and listening to the Republican national convention when Pat Buchanan came on and gave his infamous “culture war” speech. I’ll never forget the expression on my father’s face – he looked physically ill. Obviously the crazies had been around in the Republican party for some time, but I think for a lot of people that speech was the moment when they really got front-and-center. He still went on to vote for Bush Sr. and Dole, but by the time 2000 rolled was really souring on the GOP brand (think he abstained that round). The whole Religious Right thing was just too much.

    The definitive break came with the invasion of Iraq, which he opposed vehemently. As a lifelong student of history, he really despised the glib, superficial mindset GWB brought to the whole affair, remarking “when you start a war, the consequences are forever”. He even went down and joined in an anti-war demonstration that was marching past his office one day. If you’d told me back in high school that my dad would be participating in an anti-war march, I’d have laughed in your face.

  108. 108

    […] course, don’t we all want to be buffoons and throw temper tantrums when we don’t get our way eve…? ANything else would be unpatriotic, like Obama and the liberals. Via FDL, Nooners and Joe Scar […]

  109. 109
    mclaren says:

    A lot of people here seem to think if Obama and the Demos don’t get their policies through, then the voters will somehow magically ignore all the insanity of the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs and the Sarah Palins and the lineup of primar presidential candidates last year denying evolution, and they’ll vote Republican.

    Folks…I don’t think so.

    There’s a level of craziness you just don’t want to get near. Ask yourself — what are the Republicans offering? What policies do they have to offer?

    Economically, here’s the policy: “Nothing. I offer nothing.” — The Godfather Part II

    Health care? “This is my offer to you: nothing.” — The Goffather Part II

    Ending the war in Afghanistan? Rebuilding America?

    Nothing. The Republicans have nothing. Zero. No proposals.

    Voters are going to go for that? Really?

    The Repulicans have reach a level of lunacy that involves a guy advertising hunting licenses for liberals. That’s their policy.

    At the end of the day, voters can be deluded or stupid but they’re not going to vote for hunting licenses for liberals. Voters need something to vote for. And the Republicans have nothing. Absolutely nothing. They’re out of ideas. They’re intellectually bankrupt. Every idea the Repubs ever had, we’ve tried, and they all failed. So now they’ve got nothing. Cut taxes, deregulate, we’ve heard all that, we’ve tried all that for 30 years. And it’s gotten us California and Detroit and St. Louis and New Orleans and Baltimore.

    The voters may be angry or cynical or full of resentment, but they still need to vote for something. The Republicans have nothing. Zero.

    Until that changes, only the hard-core 27% of crazies will be voting Republican for president. The Alan Keyes crowd. The Glenn Beck fans. The James Dobson followers.

    That’s not an electorate, that’s a cult.

  110. 110
    SixStringFanatic says:

    Damn, mclaren, that was fantastic.

  111. 111
    daveinboca says:

    Given the zany gibberish in the porculus package and the [unread] 1200 pp. of ObamaCare nuttiness, it’s easy for sane independents and the 35+% of conservatives to suddenly oppose the Pelosi/Reid/Obama incompetence in a rapid fashion. Like Jimmy Carter in ’76, Obama is losing no time in demonstrating his own political inexperience.

    Republicans & Blue Dogs will probably control the House in 2010 and the WH is up for grabs in 2012. The cult mclaren is talking about are the tax cheats like Rangel, Geithers, Sebelius, etc. who are in charge of raising taxes for the rest of us while cheating on their own. Thatcher was right:

    “Socialism works fine until it runs out of other people’s money.”

  112. 112
    Bender says:

    Cut taxes, deregulate, we’ve heard all that, we’ve tried all that for 30 years. And it’s gotten us California and Detroit and St. Louis and New Orleans and Baltimore.

    You name some of the most Democrat-run enclaves of the US, note how they’re failing…and blame Republican tax cuts for it without mentioning any causal link at all.

    Brilliant analysis. Now, I’m going to step back into reality while you continue to live in Bizarro-world.

  113. 113

    @DougJ

    My understanding is that the Bloomsbury group were a pretty sarcastic bunch, and their meetings could get rough, so I don’t know about that.
    Did they bring guns to the meetings?

    Well noooooo, but Virginia Woolf *was* a dab hand with a shank and really liked to fuck people up with broken bottles, skills she learned working at a seedy lesbian bar in Slough and John Maynard Keynes, well John Maynard Keynes was a real fightin’ economist. Keynes wasn’t one of these candy-assed academics, he had to a fightin’ economist because back in the 1920s London was a tough town. After the armistice in 1918 the British tried to go back to the status quo antebellum, however World War I had undermined the comfortable certainties and the British Empire was entering into the early years of its terminal decline. Against the resulting chaos, hidden where possible by brave attempts to reassert the comfortable certainties of yesteryear and when not hidden, bravely ignored, behavior that would have been unthinkable before the war was not only accepted, but was often condoned. One such behavior involved merciless bare-knuckled boxing matches between academics from Cambridge and Oxford. The object of these matches was not only to demonstrate pugilistic superiority, preferably by savagely beating your opponent into painful unconsciousness, but to also demonstrate rhetorical dominance while doing so. Keynes was the victor in 73 such matches against other economists, 18 of which were called before the third round because of the severe and brutal damage, both rhetorical and physical he had inflicted upon his opponents.

    Oh, and E.M. Forster once shot a man in Greenwich, just to watch him die.

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