Folding Like a Cheap Suit

Clowns:

With the economy rapidly weakening, some senior Democrats are having second thoughts about raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest families and are pressing party leaders to consider extending the full array of Bush administration tax cuts, at least through next year.

This rethinking comes barely a month after Democrats trumpeted plans to stage a high-stakes battle over taxes in the final weeks before the November congressional elections.

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire in December. Republicans are pushing to extend them all, while President Obama has forcefully argued that the country cannot afford to keep tax breaks on income over $250,000 a year for families and $200,000 a year for individuals.

But a growing cadre of Democrats – alarmed by evidence that the recovery is losing steam and fearful of wounding conservative Democrats in a tough election year – are advocating a plan that would permanently extend tax cuts benefiting the middle class while renewing breaks for the wealthy through 2011, senior Democratic aides said.

Awesome strategery, Democrats. Extend tax cuts that do nothing to stimulate the economy and de facto cede the argument about tax cuts helping the economy, get blamed for the deficit costs of those tax cuts as more evidence of the free-spending liberals, continue the growth in income inequality and the distribution of wealth concentrated at the top of the tiers, leave less money available to engage in worthy projects, and demoralize your base while throwing a bone to people who are NEVER EVER EVER going to vote for you.

I hate being a Democrat.






248 replies
  1. 1
    Paul in KY says:

    They fucking better not extend those tax cuts.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    hah! what a bunch of cowards.

    if i wanted bigger deficits and tax cuts for the rich, i’d vote GOP.

  3. 3
    shortstop says:

    I hate being a Democrat.

    It does beat you down. Sometimes you just want to curl up fetally and hum to yourself for about a 72-hour stretch, occasionally taking breaks to eat salty, fatty snacks and always ensuring that a furry animal is within petting range.

  4. 4
    Crashman says:

    This would be… um, a big fucking gigantic mistake.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    The Deficit! The Deficit! The Defici…
    /SCREEEEEECH!
    Tax Cuts! Tax Cuts! Tax Cuts!

    What I really want to see is how many Democrats vote for the cuts in ’10 that voted against them in ’01 and ’03. That’ll be fun.

  6. 6
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This really shouldn’t be hard. Just say, “My opponent is trying to play you for a fool. He talks about raising taxes as if it’s going to affect everyone. Resetting the highest marginal tax rate to the way it was under Bill Clinton _will only affect you if you make $250K or more_. From where I’m standing, when people are hurting, you don’t make a point of giving the few people who _already have_ money _more_ money. But he does. He wants to help people making $250K _more_ than he wants to help you. That’s not fair, and that’s not right.”

  7. 7
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    I’ll be out back drinking if anyone needs me for the next 2-6 years. Feel free to send me to detox when “some Senior Democrats” achieve a level of sentience at least on par with an earthworm.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    Obama administration officials and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, meanwhile, say they are determined to stay the course and still hoping to spend September and October on a debate that forces Republicans to defend expensive tax breaks for a tiny, wealthy minority.

  9. 9
    Wildcat12 says:

    If these are blue dogs, then I’m not worried. They will have the heaviest blow against them come November, and will fade back to obscurity.

    If more mainstream dems are thinking about this, then I’m worried. Because Dems never cease to amaze me how stupid they can be.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    WTF?

    But Democrats said it has gained momentum since economist Mark Zandi, a key adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), adopted that view during a presentation at a Democratic issues conference in California in mid-August.
    __
    Zandi, an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), later played an important role in designing Obama’s economic stimulus package, enacted by Congress last year.

    A ‘key adviser’ for Nancy Pelosi was a McCain campaign economic adviser?

    dms

  11. 11
    ChrisS says:

    Awesome. How about raising taxes on the wealthy and restoring basic assistance to local and county governments so that they don’t have to raise property taxes and tack on a boat load of fees to everything?

  12. 12
    Face says:

    and fearful of wounding conservative Democrats in a tough election year

    As if Joe Redneck is going to suddenly vote for the Soc’ialist-loving, fetus-eating, communistic wasteful-spending ass (Beck and Rush say so!) b/c they didnt raise taxes for rich people Joe doesnt’ even know.

  13. 13
    kth says:

    We can’t afford to extend unemployment benefits (which all the Republicans voted against), but we can afford a tax cut for the people who already have the most money? Dems, surely at least one of you can put these two facts together.

  14. 14
    Napoleon says:

    Un fucking believable.

  15. 15
    jwb says:

    Doubly good here is the fact that if the Dems extend the tax cuts for a year, then they get to own them. Watch the Goopers hammer them when they next expire. Yes, there is something seriously wrong with Dem strategists if they think this is in any respect a good political play or that it will help them with messaging. If they don’t want to increase net tax revenues, they would be far better off taking the money they get from letting the tax cuts on the rich expire and creating new tax cuts for the lower 90% in income.

  16. 16
    tomjones says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but I don’t think the argument is that extending the tax cuts will “stimulate” anything.

    It is the flip side of the Keynesian argument to increase spending in a downturn – you don’t raise taxes in a downturn. While cutting taxes is certainly not the most effective stimulus, raising taxes acts as a drag on growth.

    All that said: letting the cuts for the richest Americans expire probably wouldn’t have as much negative impact as Republicans pretend, since we’re just talking about removing money they are probably only putting into savings and not directly into the economy.

  17. 17
    NonyNony says:

    I hate being a Democrat.

    Yeah, it’s frustrating sometimes. But in this case this looks like conservative operators using the Post to advance their agenda (surprise) and not like it’s currently being pushed by anyone except conservative Democrats who were already pushing it.

    Watch this unsourced shit – especially in the Post. A good-sized chunk of stories in the WaPo are designed to manipulate Congress-critters towards Kaplan Inc.’s vested interests. Because the primary target audience for the WaPo are the politicians and their staff.

    If stories come out where politicians – or their staff – are willing to go on the record to present this stuff then it’s time to get mad. This is the WaPo pulling their usual attempts to shape the opinions of the politicians. The best thing you can do here is call your Democratic Congress-critter’s offices and tell them that this is a fucking stupid idea and you’re very, very concerned about them having a bailout for the wealthy.

    Especially you, John – you’ve got Rockefeller and that new guy in the Senate. Those are the guys who are going to go for something like this. Calling them up and giving their staff a (polite) earful might actually help.

  18. 18
    Frank says:

    There are so many examples of this. The Iraq vote was taken right before the 2002 election. An amazing number of Democrats spoke against the war but chickened out when it came time to vote. And their clueless House leader even joined Bush at the Rose Garden when he declared war.

    Or how about the idiotic vote on condemning Moveon.org’s ad? Just about half of the Democrats in Congress took the drastic step of condemning a private ad by a private organization. What made it even more appalling was that the organization was one their own. Can you imagine the GOP EVER condemning anything the NRA does?

    Or how about the community center/mosque? What the hell was Harry Reid and Howard Dean thinking? Or how about all (escept for one) of the NY Dems’ in Congress who came out against it.

    And now we have the tax cut for the wealthy issue. Keeping the tax cuts won’t help the economy. It instead will increase the deficit to unprecedented levels. And Obama will be blamed for it.

    There are so many examples where the Dems are not voting in my interest. And the GOP has been hijacked by hateful people who really could could be mistaken for the Taliban in their rhetoric. We need a third party in this country. I may still vote for the Dems since there currently is no real alternative. But what I will no longer do is contribute money.

  19. 19

    you know, about once a week i get an email from the democratic party urging me to give money or knock on doors. typically it comes after some stupid shit like this, and so I call them up and explain to them why the most I’m doing is casting a vote.

    I have no obligation to knock on doors or give money to a party that thinks I’m a fucking retard and treats me as if i am.

  20. 20
    jwb says:

    @dmsilev: And helped design the stimulus package??? Geez, if the Dems have been turning to people like this for advice, no wonder they have been shooting themselves in the foot at every opportunity!

  21. 21
    angler says:

    You said it cole.

    Met with local Dems last night on the fall campaign. The sentiment: stop the teabaggers, remind ourselves of what we’ve accomplished, brainstorming about what to tell Dems who are skeptical and want to bitch. Bottomline, more and better Democrats.

    Vote, phone, donate, door knock, but enthusiasm nonetheless is low.

    Develop hobbies outside of politics.

  22. 22
    Crashman says:

    @NonyNony: This is encouraging. Thank you. I never thought of it that way.

  23. 23
    Shalimar says:

    It’s all bullshit. The Dems who vote to extend the tax cuts won’t do it because they are scared or because they think it’s good politics. They will do it for the same reason that Republicans will, because the rich people and corporations who benefit from the tax cuts are the only people they really represent. All of the other excuses are just a smokescreen to do what they want to do anyway.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    @Frank:

    But what I will no longer do is contribute money.

    i was so happy to tell the tele-beggar who called last week, asking for money for the DNC, that i was done giving them money because they’re a bunch of pussies.

    i mean, i know that woman on the phone wasn’t a DNC staffer and that she has no control over anything the Dems do. but, hey, maybe there was a “memo” field next to my phone number on whatever dialer software she was using. and maybe that memo gets sent back to the DNC.

    i can dream.

  25. 25
    Libby says:

    Politics are so stupid in the last two weeks, it’s making me not care if my current illness kills me. In fact, I’m kind of wishing it would. Don’t know how much more I can take.

  26. 26
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Speechless.

    Seriously, if these tax cuts get extended, i’m out.

  27. 27
    steviez314 says:

    Don’t extend the tax cuts for the wealthy, and use that money instead to eliminate the employer payroll tax portion on all new hires (people unemployed at least 13 weeks) for the next year.

    God, see how easy this is?

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    throwing a bone to people who are NEVER EVER EVER going to vote for you

    It’s never about looking for a handful of votes. It’s always about securing large campaign contributions.

  29. 29
    Jinchi says:

    Before you go trashing the Democrats, I’ll point out that there isn’t a single Democrat named in that piece who advocates extending the Bush tax cuts. Zandi, as dmsilev points out, was advisor to John McCain, so no surprise that he advocates extending the cuts.

    And there are 3 Democrats (Podesta, Greenstein and Obama) who are on the record against it.

    I’m sure there are Blue Dogs who would love to do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s party strategy.

  30. 30
    JohnR says:

    Well, that’s been the problem since Reagan, really. The Democrats were always a disorganized bunch, but at least until then they generally had spines. Of course, until then, there were plenty of Republicans who weren’t rabid, insane pit raccoons. Every month it seems to be getting worse, and the downhill trend seems to be accelerating. It’s interesting living through a historical event like this, but I really wish it was a different time.

  31. 31
    Trinity says:

    Un-fucking-acceptable!

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jinchi: It is much easier to scream that the sky is falling.

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    @Jinchi:

    I’m sure there are Blue Dogs who would love it, but that doesn’t mean it’s party strategy.

    Blue Dogs in the Senate control everything. doesn’t matter what the party wants.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Paul in KY:

    They fucking better not extend those tax cuts.

    Or what?

  35. 35
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Chicken Little is a ratfucker.

  36. 36
    Peter says:

    @cleek: Not so much. They control things in the senate in that they can block anything they want from going forward. They can prevent anything they don’t like from going through, those bastards. But in this case, the party doesn’t have to do anything. The tax cuts expire on their own. The Dogs have very little leverage in this situation.

  37. 37
    El Tiburon says:

    What the democrats and Obama should be pushing is to raise the tax rates back to pre-Reagan rates, perhaps closer to 45 to 50% for the top 1%.

    This is the debate we should be having. If the wealthy got the largesse during the good times, then they should get hit during the hard times. I won’t shed a tear when they have to sell their Caribbean island.

  38. 38
    Peter says:

    Who exactly are these Democrats?

    You get a million of these scare articles a day. They can’t be validated unless they name names, and they never do. Not even worth paying attention to.

  39. 39
    suzanne says:

    I had a whole (semi-) witty response typed out, but really my feelings on this issues can be summed up as: GODDAMNIT, have some integrity for once in your damn lives.

    I hate these people sometimes.

  40. 40
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @tomjones:

    you don’t raise taxes in a downturn. While cutting taxes is certainly not the most effective stimulus, raising taxes acts as a drag on growth.

    Not really. IIRC, Keynes doesn’t really discuss Taxes, he discusses Government Spending. The basics of the idea is that when the economy is down, the only entity with the *borrowing* power and ability to continue spending should do so to soften the downturn. I don’t recall tax policy coming into the equasion.

    Apparently, all the rich people are just hording money anyway, so taxes on them should have little to no affect on growth.

    Also, as we’ve learned in the last 3 years with the lowest tax rates on the rich and the largest downturn since the great depression, trickle down is a GD lie.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @General Stuck: I think it is reasonable to make a fuss about this, call congress-critters, write letters to editors, etc., but, until democrats other than the usual suspect Blue Dogs start going on record, people should not panic or decide that all the parties are the same and they should just play WoW and wait for the end of the world.

    Making a fuss, a reasonable fuss, will help stiffen the spines of dems who might come under pressure about this.

  42. 42
    cleek says:

    @Peter:

    The Dogs have very little leverage in this situation.

    they still have plenty of leverage.

    Blue Dog: extend the tax cuts
    Liberal: no. now let’s move on to the next bill.
    Blue Dog: i will not vote for your “next bill” unless you extend the tax cuts.
    Liberal: yes, master

  43. 43
    Jinchi says:

    Blue Dogs in the Senate control everything. doesn’t matter what the party wants.

    Blue Dogs can derail legislation by joining Republican filibusters. But they can’t pass anything and extending the tax cuts requires passing a law to do it. As we’ve seen, the Senate is best at doing nothing at all.

    I’d recommend telling your own Senators that you think this is a damned fool idea, but I’m not particularly worried this will pass.

  44. 44
    bkny says:

    gutless fucking cowards. everything they do only reinforces the republican meme.

    but i really like the democratic candidate whose platform is how he bravely stands up against the administration and their tax and spend policies.

  45. 45
    tomjones says:

    @shortstop: Yes, the only time anyone will again be proud or excited about being a Democrat is November of 2012, when they can attempt to vote Boehner out as Speaker of the House (and possibly McConnell as Senate Majority Leader).

    I did not include re-electing Pres. Obama there, since he will be primaried by daily kos.

  46. 46
    John S. says:

    This article is crap. It could have just as easily been written as:

    With the food supply rapidly diminishing, some senior Democrats are having second thoughts about a moratorium on eating live babies and are pressing party leaders to consider allowing infant consumption, at least through next year.

    I’ll believe both when I see it.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    You’d think it would be this easy. But you are forgetting that Democrats are pussies. When they’re not trying to outdo each other on who can play the best Republican.

    @Peter:

    Who exactly are these Democrats?
    __
    You get a million of these scare articles a day. They can’t be validated unless they name names, and they never do. Not even worth paying attention to.

    I thought the same thing. This is the equivalent of “Some say…” And the correct response is the equivalent of, “This thread is useless without photos.” If they aren’t producing names, it’s just churn to increase pageviews and get people riled up.

  48. 48
    Peter says:

    @cleek: Please cite instances where this has actually happened.

  49. 49
    tomjones says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: Those are good points, but surely in the extreme you can agree that, oh, raising the payroll tax on the poor will reduce the level of consumption and retard growth, hence acting as an anti-stimulus.

    You can just adjust up from here to some point where tax increases will not harm the recovery, and I agree (as I stated in my post) that it’s probably taxes on the rich.

  50. 50
    Jayackroyd says:

    @cleek

    @FlipYrWhig

    @bkny

    Eventually you have to consider the possibility that they are implementing the policies they want to implement. “Spineless” is a poor explanation for an incapacitated 59 seat Senate.

    Occam suggests a simpler explanation, that there is a DLC/Republican coalition that supports policies of less progressive tax regimes, and reductions in income transfers. Including, even, SS payments that have been prefunded.

    It’s a much simpler hypothesis than the “explanations” they have offered, or the idea that they are incapable of constructing messages like those offered in these threads.

    Harry Reid is neither stupid, nor spineless, nor unaware of how to get legislation through he wants to get through. Think back to FISA….

  51. 51
    Michael says:

    Name names.

  52. 52
    Peter says:

    @Violet: yeah. That’s why I get really annoyed when I see self-proclaimed progressive/liberal/Democrat/whatever activists chomping at the bit to bemoan what a bunch of filthy fucking traitors the Democrats are. All it accomplishes is furthering the absurd meme that the Democrats are no different from the Republicans, and if there’s low Dem turnout this election, that meme will be a pretty significant part of it.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry, an unsourced WAPO scree timed the day the long expected downward revised GDP numbers come out is nearing Monty Python territory. It is almost as farcical as believing dems are about to gut SS.

    But you are right, a righteous and measured fuss should be in order for the blogs. What the hell else we got to do.:-)

  54. 54
    John S. says:

    As always, CALL YOUR SENATORS.

    I just got off the phone with Bill Nelson’s office. They said he has not yet staked out a position on extending the Bush tax cuts, and I told them in no uncertain terms that if he was in favor of it, he has lost my vote.

    They sounded very happy to hear from someone who expressed that point of view, because as usual, the Tea Harpies living off the government teat have nothing better to do than watch Fox News and call politicians.

  55. 55
    Poopyman says:

    @NonyNony:
    When I first read Cole’s take I felt the way he did, but then:

    But in this case this looks like conservative operators using the Post to advance their agenda (surprise) and not like it’s currently being pushed by anyone except conservative Democrats who were already pushing it.

    Sounds exactly right. When you read the WaPo article you see “cadre of Democrats”, “some Democrats”, or just plain “Democrats”. the odds that this is purely made-up shit are high.

    Just the WaPo being the -new-old, unimproved WaPo.

  56. 56
    Suffern Ace says:

    Agree with the sentiment that “A Growing Cadre” is a rather nebulous thing to care about. They gave a presentation last month. The Post wants those tax cuts extended. It always has. The Post also wants Social Security Cut. It wouldn’t mind quoting anybody that tax cuts for the wealthy will save us.

    It seems to me that, no surprisingly, some Democrats want those tax cuts to be taken off the table as an issue. They are debating. That’s why you’re a Democrat. You belong to a broad coalition that debates things.

  57. 57
    jwb says:

    @Jayackroyd: And yet, even given all that, the Dems are still light years to the good of the Goopers. That’s what’s really depressing.

  58. 58
    OGLiberal says:

    Here’s my prediction. They won’t even start negotiations off at “expire them for only the top 5%”. They’ll start with “extend them for all brackets for 1 more year”. The GOP will scream that this isn’t enough. So Ben Nelson and Kent Conrad will negotiate with them and it will be changed to “extend them for 2-years”. This will pass out of committee. But the GOP still won’t be happy. And Ben and Kent and maybe even Lieberman will voice their concerns as well. They’ll dick around and not get anything done. The tax cuts will die a natural death via expiration for all tax brackets in early 2011. The new GOP-led House (and possibly Senate) will be seated soon after and their first order of business will be to pass a bill that extends the Bush tax cuts for all tax brackets permanently. They’ll claim they are coming to the rescue of the American worker who were screwed by the Democrats who let the tax cuts expire for everybody because of hyperpartisanship. They’ll get enough Blue Dogs (if there are any left in the House) and Ben, Kent, Lieberman, maybe Max, maybe folks like McCaskill to go along so that it passes through both houses. It then goes to Obama who can either sign the legislation and veto it. Of course, the GOP will say that if Obama vetoes it he will be screwing the little guy and going back on his campaign promise to not raise taxes for those under $250K. What do you think Obama will do at that point? I know what I think he’ll do. (note – I’m an Obama fan and not a fan of the Bush tax cuts)

    Mark my words…this is almost exactly what will happen. These cuts will be made permanent as early as February or March of next year. Did any of y’all think anything different would happen? I don’t mean 18-months ago when everything was dreamy – I mean when reality set in about 6-months ago or so.

  59. 59
    Poopyman says:

    Also, too, who is the audience for this article? Chances are it’s neither thee nor me. Chances are it’s designed to scare the more timid Dems in Congress. I have faith that Pelosi can hold her group together. Reid? Not so much.

  60. 60
    danimal says:

    @Corner Stone: Or I’m turning in my goddamned O-Bot badge.

    I’ll do ok in the new feudal economy, I’m a white male and the GOP overlords will look kindly upon me.

  61. 61
    Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim) says:

    I hate being a Democrat

    Me too. Except that for the last six years I’ve been able to say I HATED being a Democrat, after I gave up participating in this smoke and mirrors bullshit political system and became a spectator only.

    Life is much less stressful this way, and I don’t waste my time and vote constantly making up excuses for Dem behavior while pretending something will change.

    I recommend it highly. Our oligarchical masters will not yield to anything short of riots and physical force. I hope that comes, but I will leave it to those much younger than myself. Maybe I’ll provide lemonade.

  62. 62
    Peter says:

    @OGLiberal: That is an unbelievably cynical and frankly absurd prediction.

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    @Peter:
    that kind of deal making happens all the time. among other things, it’s why you get amendments which seemingly have nothing to do with the bill attached to major legislation; if a Senator has a vote somebody wants bad enough, it will come with a cost.

  64. 64
    ChrisWWW says:

    Are we honestly surprised that rich folks in Washington want to give themselves and their rich friends tax cuts?

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Poopyman: If Pelosi holds her people together, it will not matter if Reid cannot. The cuts expire unless legislation is passed. In this case, the do-nothing bias of the status quo is our friend.

  66. 66
    Peter says:

    @cleek: Please cite specific instances where this has happened. This specific scenario, not vague mentions of ‘deal making’. Of course deal-making happens, it happens in all politics. But we are not discussing deal-making, we are discussing Blue Dogs joining with Republicans to filibuster legislation, because the chamber isn’t doing anything on a totally unrelated issue.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    So Cole is making a kneejerk response to a news story calculated to anger certain readers ( both here and in the WAPO) to increase pageviews.

    Someone was asking about liberal blindspots.
    For the right, it is stories about gay marriage that get em frothing. For us it is stories about Democrats capitulating to the Republicans.

  68. 68
    cleek says:

    @Peter:

    …we are discussing Blue Dogs joining with Republicans to filibuster legislation, because the chamber isn’t doing anything on a totally unrelated issue.

    maybe you are. i’m pointing out that Blue Dogs have leverage simply because of the current makeup of the Senate. if they want to, they can use that leverage to get these tax cuts extended. i don’t know if they will, or if they want to. but regardless, they have considerable power.

  69. 69
    ChrisWWW says:

    @catclub:
    They aint just stories. See: Iraq War, Telecom Immunity, Torture, Iraq War escalation, Bush tax cuts, etc.

  70. 70
    Paul in KY says:

    cleek, if the vote for that monstrosity occurs before the Nov. vote, we’ll lose the Senate & the House (IMO).

    Pres. Truman said when you give people the choice between a fake Republican & a real Republican, they’ll go with the real one.

    I won’t (I’m a sucker, I guess) but the low info voters will.

  71. 71
    Kennedy says:

    Well clearly the best way to electoral success is to not act like a Democrat, but a Republican-lite. We ARE a center-right nation after all. Derr.

  72. 72

    ome senior Democrats are having second thoughts about raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest families and are pressing party leaders to consider extending the full array of Bush administration tax cuts, at least through next year.

    What could possibly go wrong?!! Brilliant!

    We lost the Bush tax cut battle when we agreed to call it a Bush tax cut. We could have called it a Republican tax increase passed in 2001 and 2003. But noooo……

  73. 73
    NonyNony says:

    @Crashman:

    @NonyNony: This is encouraging. Thank you. I never thought of it that way.

    Yeah I know. It used to be frustrating to no end to read stuff like this article and think “what the hell are these people thinking”. But after watching the media for the last few decades, stories like this start to stick out not as “reporting the news” but as “attempting to shift the narrative”.

    The WaPo is absolutely the worst for stuff like this, because they’re one of the most respected papers in the country and because they’re the paper that Democratic politicians and their staffs read daily.

    I honestly think that you can’t understand the politics of this country without understanding the media landscape – who owns what, what their interests are, who is reading/watching what. Once you take that into account – and apply it to every story you read – stories like this one start looking like obvious plants to get a narrative going.

    Plus Democrats are always ready to believe that Democratic politicians are getting ready to sell out their ideals and move to the right. So stories like this are sure to generate outrage aimed at Democrats rather than at the newspaper that is reporting anonymous rumors as some kind of fact.

  74. 74
    bkny says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    i actually agree with you. it’s not cowardice; these are regressive policies too many democrats support.

  75. 75
    jwb says:

    @Peter: It is unbelievably cynical, but not at all absurd—if the Goopers take over both the House and Senate. I don’t take either of those as foregone conclusions, though if the economic conditions continue to deteriorate and the Dems and the Administration continue the deer in the headlights routine as to what to do about it, it does become ever more likely. The political problem at the moment, I think, is that the Dems do not seem to have a clear plan for the economy and what they’ve done so far hasn’t been enough, so the public is tempted to let the goopers have a chance; but the public also recognizes that the goopers are batshit crazy. So do you vote for the wretched status quo or for the crazy? I’m hopeful that (1) the Dems starting next week will begin articulating a coherent plan for the economy and (2) people once in the ballot box will recognize that experimenting with batshit crazy probably isn’t a good idea.

  76. 76
    Peter says:

    @cleek: Your claim of leverage is based on a scenario that as far as I know (and apparently you, since you are unable to cite any instances of it) has never actually occurred.

  77. 77
    Shalimar says:

    @cleek: Peter is right, Blue Dogs have no leverage here. They may get enough votes to pass the bill, they may even exert enough leverage to get it voted on in both the House and Senate, but they aren’t going to get enough votes to make it veto-proof without Reid/Pelosi going along and it supposedly won’t get signed into law by Obama if it isn’t veto-proof. If the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are extended, the Blue Dogs won’t be the ones to blame.

  78. 78
    terraformer says:

    So, aside from a handful of democrats that we could mostly agree are “true democrats”, however that is defined, if this happens, can we honestly continue to think or believe that there is a difference between the two parties? While I generally do not use the phrase, this would be to me one of those ‘litmus test’ moments. If this happens, then what? Can we agree on some land, gather our friends and family, and secede into ‘progressivania’? Or do we continue to fight what appears for all intents and purposes to be a losing war?

  79. 79
    bmcchgo says:

    It will make me feel a little better just by typing this into comments what I’ve been thinking for weeks now – extend these tax cuts and pass up Elizabeth Warren and I AM F**KING OUT OH HERE!

  80. 80
    Peter says:

    @jwb: That’s an incredibly big ‘if’. And, god forbid and knock on wood a million times, if it did come to pass, we’re all completely fucked anyway, so outside of political ads I don’t see any point in dwelling on that speculation.

  81. 81
    Judas Escargot says:

    Blue Dog: extend the tax cuts
    Liberal: no. now let’s move on to the next bill.
    Blue Dog: i will not vote for your “next bill” unless you extend the tax cuts.
    Liberal: yes, master So I take it you’ll be funding your next election on your own, then?

    Fixed that for you. (Well, a boy can dream, anyway).

  82. 82
    Jinchi says:

    Democrats are always ready to believe that Democratic politicians are getting ready to sell out their ideals and move to the right

    I think this thread is proof of that. Makes you wonder why Democrats are less enthusiastic about voting this election than Republicans are.

  83. 83
    Jayackroyd says:

    @bkny:

    i actually agree with you. it’s not cowardice; these are regressive policies too many [elected] democrats support.

    fyt.

    The most infuriating thing about this is the policies advocated by the President and passed by the Senate are not supported by rank and file democrats.

    Moreover, the politics are dreadful. A populist from the left campaign would work really well. But that would require populist policies, which the administration does not support, even though they are also good public policy in this economic climate.

  84. 84
    OGLiberal says:

    @Peter: Perhaps. And it’s obviously not what I want to happen. And I’ll be out there voting for whatever Democrats I’m able to vote for this November. (my Dem congressmen is at no risk but I’ll be out there anyway) But check back with me in 6-months. Seriously, after seeing what has happened in the last 12-months do you think it’s that absurd? Remember, 12 Dem Senators voted for the original Bush tax cuts in 2001.

    I was hopeful up until about 3-weeks ago. Then I saw our nation lose it’s collective mind over a fucking community center and I realized that the Dems are going to get smacked this November. Those left behind will be scared shitless and Obama will cave in to demands to put on his Clinton and “move to the center” because his previous approach was just too darned liberal for this conservative nation of ours.

    Same shit, different day.

  85. 85
    slag says:

    @shortstop:

    It’s never about looking for a handful of votes. It’s always about securing large campaign contributions.

    Yup. This is the reason liberalism has such a hard time succeeding.

    We want money to not control everything. But money controls everything. And to gain enough control to make money stop controlling everything, we need a lot of money.

    Conservatives? They’re mostly fine with money controlling everything. So, they win.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bmcchgo: Serious question: Where would you go? Do you mean move to another country? Do you mean stop supporting Dems? Do you mean support a third party?

    If sensible people give up and taking their ball and go home, that leaves only the crazy people and the assholes on the playing field. How does that help anything?

  87. 87
    Jayackroyd says:

    @bmcchgo:

    It was HAMP for me….

    None of their excuses or explanations justify effing over homeowners in order to stretch out the foreclosure process.

    And now they have stopped offering them. Yes, they really are good with making the situation worse for homeowners underwater in order to strengthen bankster balance sheets.

    Off to see if the DraftSchweitzer blogspot page is gone…..

  88. 88
    WyldPirate says:

    John your paragraph describing the “strategery” is a summation of why it’s all over but the collapse.

    Even the “good guys” are fucked up. Tainted by the money spigot from the oligarchy.

    Nothing will fix us except a collapse, anarchy and revolution.

  89. 89
    slag says:

    @terraformer:

    So, aside from a handful of democrats that we could mostly agree are “true democrats”, however that is defined, if this happens, can we honestly continue to think or believe that there is a difference between the two parties?

    Tell you what. Why don’t you exercise your little brain and imagine what the last couple of years would have been like with Old Man McSame and Sideshow Sarah running the country and answer this question for yourself?

  90. 90

    Next year will be fun:

    Come now the investigations….

    “If President Barack Obama needed any more incentive to go all out for Democrats this fall, here it is: Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democratic allies if they win back the majority.

    “Everything from the microscopic – the New Black Panther party – to the massive –- think bailouts – is on the GOP to-do list, according to a half-dozen Republican aides interviewed by POLITICO.”

  91. 91
    Zandar says:

    Ahh, the ten step dance.

    1) Obama takes position.
    2) Progressives agree with position.
    3) Republicans oppose position.
    4) Villagers agree with Republicans.
    5) Democrats start to fold on position.
    6) Democrats offer “compromise position”
    7) Republicans reject compromise for their position or else.
    8) Democrats completely fold.
    9) Republicans get what they want.
    10) Progressives blame Obama.

    Repeat for the last 19 months.

    Wake me up in 2011 when our new Republican overlords have us pit fighting for unemployment checks on FOX.

  92. 92
    morzer says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    Somehow, I doubt that 6 years will be long enough. I think I shall buy a colossal amount of vodka and start watching documentaries about countries where they have political parties that aren’t just whores for predatory capitalism. After that, and a pot of coffee, I am going to start thinking about how we get the message out to the country and the jerkoffs in the Senate. We spend a lot of time on these threads lamenting that no-one listens – but we never seem to come up with any solutions. Why is that?

  93. 93
    cleek says:

    @Peter:
    let me just clarify what you’re having trouble with: are you arguing that no Senator has ever used his vote to bargain for goodies that other Senators probably wouldn’t want ? you want examples of Senators using their vote to get things that the party itself might not want ?

  94. 94
    Shalimar says:

    @OGLiberal:

    I’ll be out there voting for whatever Democrats I’m able to vote for this November.

    Lucky for you that your congressman isn’t Bobby Bright. I’ll vote for the asshole because the Republican running against him is supposedly as nutty as Bachmann and Angle, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if he died in a fire before election day.

  95. 95
    Chad N Freude says:

    Well, if the tax cuts are not extended, it might not be possible for Gov. Meg Whitman and Sen. Carly Fiorina to recoup the money were forced to spend to buy their election. This would be a terrible hardship for these brave women who want only to rescue the voters of California from the cutbacks in essential services due to the unconscionably high state and federal tax rates by lowering the tax rates to generate more revenue to restore the essential services.

  96. 96
    OGLiberal says:

    @jwb: I don’t even think the GOP has to win the Senate in order for it to be “not absurd”. Just take about 6 seats, which appears to be a reality. Remember, Nelson, Lieberman, Conrad, Baucus – they’ll be some of the folks left behind and they are just the type of Senators to throw in the support with the GOP on something like this. Nelson and Baucus voted for the original Bush tax cuts. So did Landrieu and Tim Johnson and they’ll still be there as well.

  97. 97
    cleek says:

    @Shalimar:

    Blue Dogs have no leverage here. They may get enough votes to pass the bill, they may even exert enough leverage to get it voted on in both the House and Senate

    your first sentence disagrees with your second sentence.

  98. 98
    rootless_e says:

    @Jinchi: People love to fall for those transparent MSM attempts to set the debate terms. But why?

  99. 99
    Shalimar says:

    @morzer: Because the other side spends billions of dollars getting their messages heard and it’s hard to even remotely compete with that without violence. And most if not all of us aren’t violent people.

  100. 100
    NonyNony says:

    @Jinchi:

    I think this thread is proof of that. Makes you wonder why Democrats are less enthusiastic about voting this election than Republicans are.

    Well, no, it doesn’t make me wonder. Democrats are always less enthusiastic about voting when Democratic politicians are in power than they are when Republicans are in power. Typically the reverse is also true, though we had an anomalous few years there during W’s tenure because of 9/11 and the wars.

    But people voting when their bloc is out of power are generally voting for the prospective of “something better” that exists in their heads, while people voting when their bloc is in power are generally voting to maintain the status quo of reality. The first group is almost always going to be more motivated than the second.

    But the “Democrats betraying their voters” narrative is an old one. It goes back at least to the 60s when the Democratic party was ripped in half over Vietnam and Civil Rights. It may go back farther than that. So writing stories that play into that narrative groove means that people have a tendency to “turn off” their critical thinking abilities because the story “fits” with how they expect the world to work. So they don’t question whether there’s any meat to the story because on its face it seems like such an obvious and reasonable thing to believe that the lack of factual support doesn’t hit until you really slow down and think about it.

  101. 101
    ruemara says:

    If I’m not seeing names for these “senior Democrats” then I’m calling ratfucking. Sorry. It’s too close to an election and I can’t help being frustrated at the flailing, panic struck attitude of every damn blog and democratic community at every thing printed, posted, rumored etc etc. I can’t stand it. Give me a target or quit wasting my energy.

  102. 102

    “fearful of wounding conservative Democrats in a tough election year”

    Yeah, because if there’s one theme I’m hearing from those Wal-Mart populist teabagging meetings, it’s that the government isn’t doing enough to benefit the wealthy. That’s the sneaky wedge issue the GOP has been using to get people to vote against their self-interest.

    Seriously, where do they find these people? Obviously half the Democrats just want to make life easier for them-wealthy-selves and their wealthy donors, so drop the pretense and change the name to Republicans, Jr.

  103. 103
    rickstersherpa says:

    The message would be: “these folks want to cut your social security benefits and college aid to your kids so they can cut their taxes on their already humongous incomes and fortunes.”

    Its really that simple, but unfortunately most of the professional Democratic politicians in Congress have come of age in a period of time where they assume reflexively the assume the crouch position. Also, unlike the previous generation, were were raised New Deal Liberals, this group (elected from 1974- 2008) has, for the most part, always seem their “act” a reaction against and denial of that heritage. And to a great extent they are almost as much corporate shills as the Republicans and they really don’t beleive in the principal of social insurance and creating programs that create more social mobility and improve the infrastructure of the country at large.

    I found this on Angry Bear, which about says it all;

    “What Simpson’s comments revealed more broadly was a profound contempt for the lower 98%, those who might end up reliant in whole or even in part on Social Security. Because ‘310 million’ takes in everybody, in Simpson’s world anyone who ever did, is, or will ever rely on Social Security is just a Randite ‘parasite’ or at best ‘dependent farm animal’ and you can bet it is a long time since Simpson read Timothy 1:18: “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” and clearly he glossed over the even more famous admonition “Honor thy Father and they Mother”. For Simpson workers are suckling pigs and seniors are ‘Greedy Geezers’.

    Naturally the Simpson remarks sparked large and heated discussions in the blogosphere including my old, old stomping grounds at dKos including one by commenter bink Time for Obama to Shut Down the SS Commission which sparked a long and ongoing comment thread with some vigorous participation by me. In the course of that conversation some people pushed back in defending Obama by noting that it wasn’t formally just a Social Security Commission, instead it was focused on deficit reduction generally and was formally known as the Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Commission, and that moreover both current commissioners and people around Peter G Peterson, who clearly was the inspiration for applying the BRAC Commission model to deficit reduction, were on record supporting defense cuts and tax increases, meaning that nobody was really in the tank, and that everything was on the table. But how does the Commission seem to be defining ‘defense cuts’ and ‘tax increases’ and how does that relate to Simpson’s open contempt for the ‘lesser people’ sucking away at those ‘310 million tits’. Well some discussion under the fold.

    First as to defense cuts. Given the requirement for a 14-4 minimum vote for any recommendation to come out of the Commission major cuts in defense acquisition were never likely to make the cut, the six Republican Congressional members should have been enough to prevent anymore than tinkering on that front. But seemingly to make sure Obama named Republican David Cote, CEO of major defense contractor Honeywell, and he, understanding that nothing could be seen to be a total sacred cow, came up with an ingenious idea to have defense cuts while avoiding cancellation of current and future weapons program cuts: you just stick it to the troops. I’ll let TPM take it up from here: Source: Debt Commission Fights Over Freezing Military Pay, Slashing Benefits

    A source familiar with the proceedings of the working group on discretionary spending tells TPM that some commissioners, including one military contractor, would prefer to save money by freezing military pay and scaling back benefits, rather than by eliminating waste in defense contracting.
    The source said that different members of the commission come down on different sides of the issue. The discussion group is led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), whose primary aim is trimming fat on the contractor side, but, according to the source, David Cote, the Honeywell CEO who was appointed to the panel by President Obama, is pushing to find savings elsewhere.

    “Coburn raised concerns about all of the cost overruns and redundant weapons system,” the source told TPM. “Cote made excuses for it all.”

    According to the source, Cote and other members, including the commission’s co-chair Alan Simpson, are focusing instead on “freezing military pay, making military people pay for their health care.”
    So Simpson’s ‘310 million’ was not just a misquote, it not only includes all those working civilians whose retirement will be based on Social Security, it also includes all those military people relying on military retirement. And since retirement pay is formulaically based on final military pay, the Commission can save $100s of billion off the back end, to say nothing of requiring service persons and retirees to kick in more for their health care. And all without taking a penny from the bottom line of Honeywell or Raytheon. But plenty of ‘shared sacrifice’ for the lower 98%”

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2.....ry+Bear%29

    People are angry about what is happening in their lives. And as Matt Tabbai states today, there is now a large organized media to make sure they get angry at the weak, the poor, the Black, the Brown, the Muslim, and the President, and who make boatloads of money while doing so.

  104. 104
    Shalimar says:

    @cleek: Do we not remember our cartoon jingles? There is more to a bill becoming a law than getting passed by both houses of Congress.

  105. 105
    morzer says:

    @Shalimar:

    So you favor the pre-emptive surrender approach? What’s the point, if we all just collapse like the Senate Democrats?

  106. 106
    LGRooney says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It is the United States of America, not “of Earth.” There are options and people have been exercising those options for all of history. I’m not going to trap my son’s future in some guilt about leaving behind a concentration of idiocy. Unless we can have a massive civic upheaval over the stupidity that is this country’s leadership (and given the extent to which that stupidity extends to the public – since they have sat silently by while the propagandists for the wealthy have overtaken our national discourse – it is highly unlikely), the choice is narrowed.

  107. 107
    ruemara says:

    @morzer: done something is much harder and takes actual work. Like if you’re in a district with these asses, why isn’t your asshole rep on speed dial and you have a ream of labels printed up for easy, fast asshole ripping on a regular basis. It’s cathartic and you can organize a party with friends to do it.

  108. 108
    benjoya says:

    @Frank:

    how about all (escept for one) of the NY Dems’ in Congress who came out against it.

    nadler (in whose district the project is), rangel and maloney all came out in support of the project. that’s 3.

  109. 109
    The Moar You Know says:

    With the economy rapidly weakening, some senior Democrats are having second thoughts about raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest families and are pressing party leaders to consider extending the full array of Bush administration tax cuts, at least through next year.

    Any excuse will do. This is what these folks have wanted to do all along. They’ll wave the flag of the “faltering economy” this time. If that wasn’t the case, it would be something else.

    The uber-wealthy really don’t want those tax cuts extended. They’ll find a way to get what they want.

  110. 110
    morzer says:

    @ruemara:

    Alright. So, how do we take that model and make it national?

  111. 111

    I wish I knew how to quit you, Democratic party, but I keep coming back no matter how many times you break my heart.

  112. 112

    @NonyNony:

    Good points, also in #100.

    While “turning off” critical thinking is dangerous, doesn’t it say something about the current landscape that such crass capitulation by Democrats is about what everyone is expecting? It may fit a preestablished narrative, but the narrative got preestablished by occurring so many times.

  113. 113
    Frank Chow says:

    Race to the bottom here we go!

  114. 114
    cleek says:

    @Shalimar:
    of course.

    still, i’m not feeling very confident that Obama wouldn’t sign the extension, if such a bill came his way. i don’t see a lot of willingness to anger the rich coming from the WH.

  115. 115
    Shalimar says:

    @morzer: If you want to shoot a few rich people, go ahead. The Koch brothers should be at the top of the list along with Limbaugh, Beck and a few other enablers. Or, we can keep calling congresscritters and saying “please, please, please don’t fuck me so hard this time.” The only other option is trying to fund a grassroots push to get the message out to people that they’re being bamboozled by culture wars and wedge issues into giving all of their money and power to the richest of the rich.

  116. 116
    Kryptik says:

    Honestly…is there any incentive to be a Democrat anymore, when half your party seems to think its policies are the evilest thing ever and want us to become more like Republicans?

    God, fuck all….

  117. 117
    Tsulagi says:

    Folding Like a Cheap Suit

    If only they had that much resistance. Generally there’s something good to be said about consistency, but…

    continue the growth in income inequality and the distribution of wealth concentrated at the top of the tiers, leave less money available to engage in worthy projects, and demoralize your base while throwing a bone to people who are NEVER EVER EVER going to vote for you.

    It’s a stand against the Professional Left. Those fuckers have said some meanie things directed at us. We yearn for some fluffing love from Professional Teabaggers, and we’re not gonna stop until we get it. Yes we can. It’s 11D chess.

  118. 118
    Stillwater says:

    @John Cole at top: I hate being a Democrat.

    Just call yourself a ‘reasonable conservative’. That’s what the party has become, after all – reasonably conservative.

  119. 119

    @morzer:

    Pick up and move to areas where there are competitive races on the ballot?

    It’s unlikely many people could make that sacrifice. But the Free State Project shows that on the libertarian side, there are people willing to do this.

  120. 120
    morzer says:

    @Shalimar:

    OK. But how do we make that grassroots push effective, more than a one shot elect a nice guy and go home kind of thing? That’s the problem I see here. We keep thinking of winning the one-off battle, and we don’t recognize that the other side, fucked-up, corrupt and evil as they are, keep fighting 365/24/7. If we really believe in our ideals, why don’t we find a way to do that?

  121. 121
    Shalimar says:

    @cleek: I’m not confident that Obama will stick to his current opposition either. But that would be on Obama, not the Blue Dogs. It only passes if he wants it to.

  122. 122
    ruemara says:

    @morzer: I say, organize your friends, outreach here, there, everywhere you can. Where’s Tim? I post regularly on FB things for my lefty friends to do. If I get 2 out of 10, I’m having a pretty decent day. It’s annoying, because we do agree on so much, but the base isn’t motivated because some are disaffected but some are just kinda lazy.

  123. 123
    morzer says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:

    Sure, but that’s not a solution for the vast majority of people, and in any case I am sure the other side would figure out a way to counter it. My question remains: we all lament that we can’t get our message across, and some of our Democratic politicians have developed some serious spinal deficiencies and a permanent legs open posture. Fine. How do we consistently apply a national message to provide corrective therapy?

  124. 124
    Nick says:

    @Peter:

    Who exactly are these Democrats?

    They don’t exist. They’re a figment of the Washington Post’s imagination. Look how they say “a growing cadre of Democrats concerned about the recovery” as if tax cuts are needed for recovery. the Post is trying to create a political narrative like they were doing with Social Security. Don’t fall for it.

  125. 125
    john smallberries says:

    I follow the path of the sensei, in that I can no longer align myself with the insanity that the Republican party. But it is shit like this that makes me sure that I will never be a Democrat. The party is just jelly.

    Having said that, while I have little use for the Democrats, I have grown to hate Republicans with a white hot passion.

  126. 126
    Frank says:

    @benjoya:

    I stand corrected. There are 3 instead of 1. It is still disgusting and deplorable. How about Wiener? We know he has passion and can speak. Where is he? It is embarrassing to watch.

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    A populist from the left campaign would work really well.

    That always seems like a compelling vision to me, but a lot of people support a lot of things until they’re told that they’re “liberal” or “from the left,” at which point they reject them. I think Democrats should try to do more of the libertarian-populist-ish fusion a la Schweitzer, Tester, Webb, but that’s not really “populist from the left.”

    But in general I don’t understand why it’s helpful or stimulating to imagine that Obama Really Wants Bad Things, and it’s all going according to plan, bwahahahah — rather than judging that, as usual, some Democratic politicians are barely even Democrats, and there are more of them than ever because we have a large majority, and they make life difficult for liberals because they’re not liberals, and because the Republicans who would replace them are so godawful that they can hijack all the big plans and dick around with them. They are dopey _and_ they have a strong bargaining position, which is why they’re very hard to budge, and if Obama tried to slap them down they’d only act _worse_.

    I don’t think my viewpoint is one of those “If only the czar knew” things. I think it describes the way Democratic politicians _consistently_ handle major issues, regardless of who the president is or what he wants.

  128. 128

    @Shalimar:

    The problem with grassroots pushes is that they so quickly are dwarfed by corporate messaging — and that was true even before Citizens United.

    What if we concentrated resources on primary races against one or two of these jerks?

    Or even in general elections. I’m not generally a “not a dime’s worth of difference” believer, but in the case of Democrats pushing for tax cuts for the wealthy, how much more DINO can you get?

  129. 129
    Stillwater says:

    @The Moar You Know: The uber-wealthy really don’t want those tax cuts extended.

    And how many Dem CCers are uber-wealthy? And how many in the circles they run with? They could vote on principle (Goddamit!) or they could vote from a more personal interest.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John S.:

    They sounded very happy to hear from someone who expressed that point of view, because as usual, the Tea Harpies living off the government teat have nothing better to do than watch Fox News and call politicians.

    QFT. If you wonder why Democratic politicians are running scared and thinking about making stupid choices, it’s because they’re getting hundreds of calls from teatards every day and that’s making them think that that’s what their constituents want.

    We really need to get our HCR phone bank back up and start calling our reps and senators every day to remind them that the Fox News watchers who are flooding their lines will not actually vote for them.

  131. 131
    Shalimar says:

    @morzer: There are other ways to live ideals than pissing into the wind of national politics. Find a good local cause whether it is political or otherwise and donate your time and resources.

    Because they aren’t going to do a bit of good nationally against all of the Koch money unless you have an innovative idea that no one else has been trying. As you pointed out earlier, there haven’t been any of those around here lately. All we do is bitch, and occasionally call a few congresspersons to make ourselves feel like we’re doing something.

  132. 132
    Frank says:

    @Nick:

    They don’t exist. They’re a figment of the Washington Post’s imagination. Look how they say “a growing cadre of Democrats concerned about the recovery” as if tax cuts are needed for recovery. the Post is trying to create a political narrative like they were doing with Social Security. Don’t fall for it.

    I would believe you if it wasn’t for the fact that this has happened so many times before. I saw it happen during the Iraq war for example. Why would this be any different? It is not like the Dems have any credibility in terms of standing for something.

  133. 133
    lacp says:

    I don’t believe it – well over 100 comments and no one has pointed out that THIS IS ALL GOOD NEWS FOR SARAH PALIN?

  134. 134
    NobodySpecial says:

    On this one, I actually agree with Nick.

    And you people are all running around like Chicken Little.

    You’ve already ceded the House AND the Senate without a shot being fired, because someone said ‘tax cut’?

    Fuck you. Work harder or go home and die.

  135. 135

    @morzer:

    I share your frustration. Just trying to brainstorm big-picture ways around the resource limitations.

    The real answer is, there’s probably not a fucking thing any of us can do but try to avoid bankrupting ourselves. And if you’re so inclined, pray.

  136. 136
    Nick says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    A populist from the left campaign would work really well.

    Which, of course, is why Virg Bennero is sailing his way into the Michigan Governor’s mansion.

  137. 137
    morzer says:

    @Shalimar:

    But if we give up on the national level, we’ve lost the big battle without a shot fired. That’s where the narratives are made. The question is: how do we drive our own narrative? We don’t have to lie and threaten violence to do this, but we do need to stand for what we believe in, or the uncommitted voters will conclude we don’t have anything to offer.

  138. 138
    Alice Blue says:

    I can see that I’m going to have to lay in a huge supply of likker for this election season. I’m not talking about the good stuff either–I’m talking Mad Dog 20/20, Golden Grain and that vodka that comes in a plastic bottle.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:

    Yeah, because if there’s one theme I’m hearing from those Wal-Mart populist teabagging meetings, it’s that the government isn’t doing enough to benefit the wealthy.

    Well, what these politicians are afraid of is giving an opening to a Republican attack ad about how “Democrat John Q. Senator voted to raise taxes by $X billion,” because they know that many people who vote are going to get faked out by that phrasing and think that means _raising rates across the board_.

    Which is why I always want the counterpunch to be that Republicans think you’re not smart enough to tell the difference; then go on to explain what the difference is. I think it would be pretty effective, because it’s not just No I Won’t vs. Yes You Will, it’s They’re Trying to Trick You.

  141. 141
    catclub says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:
    “But the Free State Project shows that on the libertarian side, there are people willing to do this. ”

    Or at least people who SAY they are willing to do it.

  142. 142
    Alwhite says:

    Welcome to the club John! This is just a variation on the theme firebaggers have been howling for months and for basically the same reason. Adopt the Republican story line, give up bargaining power before negotiations and cede common sense approaches to settle on bad ones.

    Yet, as so many here are so fond of reminding everyone – it would be worse if the Republican’s get back in power.

  143. 143
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    I would believe you if it wasn’t for the fact that this has happened so many times before.

    What that the media sets a narrative that takes hold until Democrats fold? Yeah that happens a lot.

    You see the point of this is the put the Democrats in a position where they’ve lost the argument before it even started. That’s what happened with Iraq.

    Having said that, deficit concerns aside, I’m not against the idea of giving the rich another year of tax cuts if it makes the middle class cuts permanent.

  144. 144
    morzer says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:

    Well, there might be something to be said for “Praise the Lord and pass the ammo.” That said, what stops us from developing some national means of getting the message across? We don’t have Foreign Overseas Xtremist News, but are we really unable to come up some other way?

  145. 145
    Stillwater says:

    @morzer: ….collapse like the Senate Democrats?

    This should become a new colloquialism – eg, ‘After surrendering an early touchdown, they just collapsed like the Senate Democrats’.

  146. 146
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic: Calling your Reps and Senators. Canvassing. Harassing your friends and neighbors into voting. Donating. Volunteering. Any and all of the above.

    The Teatards don’t look this good right now solely because of the grip Republicans have on the MSM’s windpipe.

  147. 147

    @Nick:

    I’m new to Michigan politics. Is that sarcastic or literal?

  148. 148
    morzer says:

    @Alice Blue:

    Plastic bottles are good for you. I heard that from Rush himself.

  149. 149
    NonyNony says:

    @Frank:

    I would believe you if it wasn’t for the fact that this has happened so many times before. I saw it happen during the Iraq war for example. Why would this be any different? It is not like the Dems have any credibility in terms of standing for something.

    Again, if you have a Democratic representative in Congress call them and tell them that you’re worried about this. That is the best thing you can do right now. Tell them you read a story in the WaPo about this and you want to know where they stand. And, more importantly, you want THEM to know where YOU stand and that it pisses you off that they’re thinking about re-upping this idea that was stupid when Bush proposed it in the first place.

    As was mentioned above, generally their offices get flooded by people outraged from the right, because the right knows how to work the refs to get shit done. They need to know that there are Democrats who would be fucking outraged by this who live in their state/district because many of the conservative Dems often have no clue.

  150. 150
    tworivers says:

    Why can’t the Dems go with something along the lines of what Reich proposed?

    Via DKos here’s Reich:

    Democrats should propose eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income, and making up the revenue loss by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000. This would give the economy an immediate boost by adding to the paychecks of just about every working American. 80 percent of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. And because lower-income people would get most of the benefit, it’s likely to be spent.

    “Call it the People’s Tax Cut, and let Republicans explain why they’re against it.”

  151. 151
    morzer says:

    @Stillwater:

    We could even shorten it to “Their D just went totally Senate Dem in the fourth quarter, giving up three easy touchdowns”.

  152. 152
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Which is why I always want the counterpunch to be that Republicans think you’re not smart enough to tell the difference; then go on to explain what the difference is. I think it would be pretty effective,

    Like they say; when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

  153. 153

    @NobodySpecial:

    “Calling your Reps and Senators. ”

    I’m registered to vote in one of the most backward, pro-Republican states in the country. When I call my Senators with facts, I end up getting hung up on. No matter how nobly civic-minded that may feel, it’s a horrible waste of time.

    So should liberals in fascist states should call other people’s Reps and Senators?

    To be fair, some of your other suggestions are good. Donations cross state lines. Volunteering might, depending on the geography of it. Volunteering for one day on the Obama campaign 200 miles and two states away was a great experience for me; are there Dem Congressional candidates willing to facilitate that?[edited]

  154. 154
    Jamie says:

    sigh…something about one group of millionaires arguing with another group of millionaires about the appropriate tax level on millionaires isn’t gonna end well for the non-millionaires in the population

  155. 155
    Frank says:

    @Nick:

    Having said that, deficit concerns aside, I’m not against the idea of giving the rich another year of tax cuts if it makes the middle class cuts permanent.

    Well, we have to agree to disagree. I don’t think you can make anybody’s tax cuts permanent with the deficit being as high as it is. We are already taxed lower than most, if not all, of the rest of the western world.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:

    While “turning off” critical thinking is dangerous, doesn’t it say something about the current landscape that such crass capitulation by Democrats is about what everyone is expecting? It may fit a preestablished narrative, but the narrative got preestablished by occurring so many times.

    Welcome to the self-fulfilling prophecy. Once liberals decide that the Democrats are going to collapse because they always collapse, they don’t bother to call or write their representatives. That means that the only people the reps are hearing from are the teatards with too much time on their hands. That means that they think the teatards represent the thinking of the majority of their constituents. That means they vote the way they think their constituents want, because no one bothered to call or write in expressing the opposite point of view.

    Yes, we all have lives and jobs and we don’t have as much time on our hands to make those calls and write those letters and e-mails as the teatards do. It’s still worth the effort, because if you don’t tell your reps what you think, they have no idea what you think. They’re not fucking mind readers.

  157. 157
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    they’re getting hundreds of calls from teatards every day

    I totally agree that this is conservatism’s killer app. They have cultivated a broad network of people who bitch loudly _at someone who could do something about it_. Our network bitches loudly at each other. (I myself do it for hours a goddamn day, serving no useful purpose.) That’s Jane Hamsher’s one saving grace, that she attempts to influence what’s actually happening in politics.

  158. 158
    Nick says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic: Sarcastic…Bennero is running a left populist campaign against a moderate Republican and it isn’t going anywhere, because no one (except for the “base”) is paying attention to him.

  159. 159
    Frank says:

    @NonyNony:

    Good point. I will make my call shortly.

  160. 160
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick:

    when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    That’s why the first part is a counterattack–“They must think you’re stupid”–and the explanation comes later.

  161. 161
    Shalimar says:

    @morzer: Sure, if we can manage to get 10 million people standing at the same time for something. The media ignored hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters in Washington and New York as if they didn’t exist. So not only do we have no impact individually, but even a relatively huge number of people has to be focused just to keep the spotlight for a moment. I will continue going along when people come up with good ideas, but my expectations aren’t high.

  162. 162
    morzer says:

    @Jamie:

    The Lion shall lie down with the Lamb, but only the Lion will wake up in the morning.

  163. 163
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic: You can do that, too. And yes, bitch to yours, just like I’m gonna get hung up on by Dandy Don Manzullo’s bunch. You think the teatards don’t call Dick Durbin or Nancy Pelosi?

    The best way to keep Republicans from never ever having to shift their ground is by not bitching when they stick to this nonsense.

  164. 164
    birthmarker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s what they want. Our complete and total discouragement.

    I am on the “consider the source” side here. Not that the fool dems won’t fall for it anyway.

    Slightly OT but pertinent. Here’s HuffPost’s current front page story title.

    “Out With the Old War, In With the Older War.”

    Here’s the title of the actual AP story it links to.

    “Obama Iraq Speech to Signal Shift to Afghan Focus.”

    See the difference? One implies leadership, the other incites unhappiness about Obama in those of us who support Obama but oppose the war. HP does this ALL THE TIME.

    Everyone going to HP sees this headline. HP has a huge readership. HuffPost very much feeds our discouragement as dems.

    BTW, the AP story goes on to quote Mitch McConnell.

    Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said Obama had essentially adopted George W. Bush’s strategy for gradually winding down the conflict. (In Iraq. My edit.)

    McConnell said “the president (Obama) should be commended for ignoring his own campaign rhetoric.”

    This is absurd and doesn’t support the facts. Obama campaigned on pulling out of Iraq and stabilizing Afghanistan. AP’s acknowledgment of the silliness of McConnell’s statement?

    Iraq has long been a partisan flashpoint, and the run-up to the fall congressional campaign continued the pattern.

    It’s not a lie! It’s just a partisan flashpoint!

    We are going to political war with the media we have, not the media we wish we had.

  165. 165
    morzer says:

    @Shalimar:

    Actually, my point would be not just to get people to stand up, but find a way to get the fact that they stood up across. Think of it as our own anti-lame-stream media strategy.

  166. 166
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    I don’t think you can make anybody’s tax cuts permanent with the deficit being as high as it is. We are already taxed lower than most, if not all, of the rest of the western world.

    you’re never going to win that argument Frank, even the firebagger Krugman-loving Dean cultists I know think their taxes are too high.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic:

    Did you mean to say that liberals in fascist states should call other people’s Reps and Senators?

    That’s actually not a bad idea. You think all of the teatards calling my rep here in California are actually in my district? Half of them probably aren’t even in my state.

  168. 168
    NobodySpecial says:

    @birthmarker: Nota Bene:

    Huffpost is not a liberal source for news. Arianna Huffington is not the friend of liberals. Spread that word far and wide.

  169. 169
    rootless_e says:

    Note that in 1938, the highly popular FDR ran on a strong pro-New Deal program and lost seats.

    Wishful thinking! If only the Democrats made strong statements that appealed to me, other members of the 7% of the Democratic primary vote who supported Kucinich would suddenly be a majority!

  170. 170
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Alwhite:

    This is just a variation on the theme firebaggers have been howling for months and for basically the same reason. Adopt the Republican story line, give up bargaining power before negotiations and cede common sense approaches to settle on bad ones.

    The firebagger line is that Obama and all Democrats are in league to do this, happily and deliberately. The alternative is that _some_ Democrats do this happily and deliberately, enough that it makes it impossible for the rest to do anything else.

  171. 171
    Paul in KY says:

    Equal Opportunity Cynic, you must be in Kentucky!

  172. 172
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rootless_e: I don’t care anymore! I hate him! I hate him!

    Did he call? Why didn’t he call?

  173. 173
    Shinobi says:

    We’re fucked.

    I guess I really do need to learn how to garden. I wish beekeeping were a reasonable urban hobby.

  174. 174
    NobodySpecial says:

    One simple bit of activism any of you can do without leaving your chair: Get on your Facebook.

    If you have a Con Rep/Senator, be sure and post that they are gonna raise your taxes because they don’t want to vote on keeping the tax cuts for 98% of us. Tell em to call their Rep/Senator and have them DO THEIR JOB.

    If you have a BlueDoggy, be sure and post the same thing.

    If you have a solid Blue Rep/Sen, be sure and post that you sure are glad they want to extend the tax cuts for 98% of the population, and you hope the mean old Republicans don’t block a vote.

    If each of you has even 10 friends, and you convince one to go with us on this, that can be a hell of a lot of people.

  175. 175
    terraformer says:

    @slag:

    Tell you what. Why don’t you exercise your little brain and imagine what the last couple of years would have been like with Old Man McSame and Sideshow Sarah running the country and answer this question for yourself?

    My little brain was attempting to perceive a larger picture, that a death-by-a-thousand cuts (i.e., supporting those proclaim to, but do not, support us) or a death by sudden onslaught (i.e., McCain/Palin) is still, you know, death.

    But please, enlighten us with a contrary theme emanating from a ginormous cerebrum.

  176. 176
    ruemara says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    This. It’s as simple as making contact. And if you can make some face time in their offices, do it too.

  177. 177
    Death Panel Truck says:

    I hate being a Democrat.

    Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy, John. It takes a good bit of self-loathing to be a Democrat these days.

  178. 178
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Oh, and whisky, John. A whole lot of whisky.

  179. 179
    Peter says:

    @cleek: No, of joining filibusters on totally unrelated legislation for that purpose. There is a difference between blocking an appointee because you’re butthurt about Canadian lumber (random example), and filibustering legislation on the same issue. One is a hell of a lot more public and embarrassing than they other, especially since for blocking appointees you don’t even have to put your name next to it, officially.

    @Nick: That was my point.

  180. 180
    Kryptik says:

    I find myself sadly cynical as far as the virtue of actually making voices heard to the leaders, if only because it seems like the impression is that, with all numbers even, the Teatards get afforded all credibility, while the leaders go out of their way to hippie punch anyone coming from the left side.

  181. 181
    Death Panel Truck says:

    When it gets really bad, John, I go sit in a dark corner somewhere and hum the theme to Mannix for as long as it takes for serenity to return.

  182. 182

    @Paul in KY:

    Worse than Kentucky. But I actually have left to pursue educational opportunities in another less conservative state, so I might just change my registration. And even if I don’t, the Congressional offices are probably not going to ask where I’m registered, just for my address.

  183. 183
    rootless_e says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sam Seder – is that you?

  184. 184
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rootless_e: :D

  185. 185
    Alan in SF says:

    Clearly “some Democrats” and “some senior administration officials” are clueless sellouts, but it’s worth noting that the Post got through this entire article without naming or quoting a single Democrat who supported their premise (i.e., extending tax cuts for the rich).

  186. 186

    With the economy rapidly weakening, some senior Democrats are having second thoughts about raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest families and are pressing party leaders to consider extending the full array of Bush administration tax cuts, at least through next year.

    Okay, to any Democratic leaders who may read this post.

    I stopped voting for Republicans not because of social issues, but because they ****ing ran the country into a ditch, pissed on the Constitution, jumped into two unfunded wars without end, were generally corporate shills who would rather see a poor kid starve than raise taxes on the rich back to even Reagan administration levels, grew government for no reason and wanted to get involved in our personal family issues, and generally seemed completely incapable of rational debate, admission of error, and learning from mistakes.

    Being a former conservative, I despise the rampant stupidity, sell out to Wall St., and general ideals that make up the modern GOP.

    In short, I hate the Republican party now and will never cast another ballot for them in the near (and probably long term) future.

    The more you start to look like Republicans, the more I start to see you and your party through the same lens.

    Grow a pair, or lose more voters and wonder how you managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

    That is all.

  187. 187
    Kryptik says:

    @Alan in SF:

    The problem here is that, regardless of the actual identities, and stature of these people, it’s already ‘reported’, and at this point, it’s usually only inevitable that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Because Democratic politicians are weakkneed fucknuts like that.

  188. 188
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I just called Feingold and Kohl. I said I read in the WP that some senior dems were considering extending the tax cuts. I said that, first, I hoped it wasn’t true, second, if it was true, I certainly hoped that they were not a part of it because I respected them and knew that they had way too much sense to be involved in something that dumb.

  189. 189
    Allison W. says:

    The repulican tea party has 400 million dollars to throw at the mid-term elections (outside groups, etc.) so I suggest that Democrats of all stripes donate (if you have and want), GOTV and contact your reps to make sure that you are paying attention.

  190. 190
    Alan in SF says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    As a Firebagger, I would say our actual line is that the Obama Administration’s policy is the Obama Administration’s policy. But you do make a good point — the Democratic party includes a bunch of worthless corporate hacks and some of the best people in government, while the Republican party includes a bunch of worthless corporate hacks and some of the worst people in government.

  191. 191
    Poopyman says:

    @Shinobi:

    I wish beekeeping were a reasonable urban hobby.

    You can.

    (I can’t believe where that link goes. :^) )

  192. 192
    birthmarker says:

    @Southern Beale: Go read the full article that this Politico summary links to.

    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....41506.html

    I am not a good linker, so if this trashes, catch the article from Southern Beale above. Clinton all over again. If you liked Filegate, Whitewater, Fostergate, Travelgate, Paulagate and impeachment, prepare to be thrilled. And they will do it! It is already being planned.

    This is why I don’t vote for republicans, ever, anywhere, and never will. This is why I don’t understand why ANYONE can support these people. The scorched earth policy of destruction of any and every dem.

    If your own ideas are so great, why can’t they stand on their own merit? Why must people disagreeing with you be destroyed?

    This is the sort of thing I wish EDK would address. How can one support a party that does this sort of thing? Justify, please.

  193. 193
    Stillwater says:

    @morzer: Hah! Exactly!!

    “This is the fifth game they’ve gone Senate Dem. Where’s the leadership on this club? The veterans need to STEP UP!”

  194. 194
    rootless_e says:

    This is a great example of how the MSM can set the agenda for both DC dems and the netroots.

    Easy as pie.

  195. 195
    Alan in SF says:

    @Kryptik:

    Agreed. Just wanted to give a shout-out to bad journalism and the cowardice of whichever Dems are supposedly advancing this line.

  196. 196
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    Simply put, I don’t believe this report. Mark Zandi is

    a key adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.),

    AND

    an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.),

    AND

    Obama administration officials and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, meanwhile, say they are determined to stay the course ….

    It’s incoherent Village rubbish, looks like sprung fully-formed out of Zandi’s head.

  197. 197
    Alan in SF says:

    @Poopyman: I have a friend who was a beekeeper. He said it was the worst job he ever had.

  198. 198
    PTirebiter says:

    @Shinobi: What is it with liberals and beekeeping? Its always had some weird appeal for me as well. Maybe its a Sherlock Holmes thing.

  199. 199
    slag says:

    @terraformer:

    My little brain was attempting to perceive a larger picture, that a death-by-a-thousand cuts (i.e., supporting those proclaim to, but do not, support us) or a death by sudden onslaught (i.e., McCain/Palin) is still, you know, death.

    Do you honestly believe what you’re saying? Honestly? Because, if so, you’re truly helpless. I hope the Liberal Rapture takes really good care of you.

  200. 200
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PTirebiter: I was swarmed by hornets while backpacking on Isle Royale as an 8 y/o. Bees, wasps, hornets all freak me out. I am cool with honey; just won’t be involved in producing it.

  201. 201
    NobodySpecial says:

    Called Durbin’s office. Told his staffer that if he’s REALLY the #2 in the Senate, he needs to get these Blue Dogs in line, because if the legislation gets filibustered, I’ll blame him equally when my tax cut goes away. (I’ll be voting for him again, but no sense in giving the staffer the wrong idea.)

    I also told him that he needs to get these Blue Dogs to stop being scared of Teatards. he laughed at ‘Teatard’.

  202. 202
    JD Rhoades says:

    I hate being a Democrat.

    Me too…

    http://tinyurl.com/2bhn539

  203. 203
    lol says:

    Meanwhile at GOS, they’re getting ready to primary Obama.

  204. 204
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JD Rhoades: Righteous rant.

  205. 205
    NobodySpecial says:

    So, called Manzullo’s DC office. Got a lot of dodging. Put up this post on FB:

    If you live around here, Don Manzullo hasn’t taken a position on the Democratic plan to keep the Bush tax cuts for 98% of us. If you want him to help keep the tax cuts, tell him to vote for the extension when it comes to the House floor.
    ..
    815-394-1231, or fax him at 815-394-3930.

    Youse guys should do the same thing. Really.

  206. 206
    Frank says:

    @Nick:

    you’re never going to win that argument Frank, even the firebagger Krugman-loving Dean cultists I know think their taxes are too high.

    How can the taxes be too high when our spending is even higher? Makes no sense.

    If they they think their taxes are too high, then what spending do they want to cut?

  207. 207
    bcinaz says:

    I hate being a Democrat too.

    Yes, President Obama has accomplished a helluva lot, however most of it has been by getting rid of the stuff Dems voted for to appease those of extreme ill will, and by stealth. He has not shown the leadership I had hoped for, especially in the face of such vile hatred from the right.

    Really, it’s not possible that things could get worse if everybody started to behave more like Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner and less like Ben Nelson. And maybe it would have the effect of firing up the base and closing the enthusiasm gap.

  208. 208
    Frank says:

    @lol:

    Meanwhile at GOS, they’re getting ready to primary Obama.

    How predictable! Obama and Geithner are the ones that have been against making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. Has anybody at GOS ever heard of the senate? Kucinich could be Prez and he would still have to deal the senate.

  209. 209
    PTirebiter says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Without ever having had any bad experiences, the sight of a single wasp still flips my wig.

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kryptik:

    I find myself sadly cynical as far as the virtue of actually making voices heard to the leaders, if only because it seems like the impression is that, with all numbers even, the Teatards get afforded all credibility, while the leaders go out of their way to hippie punch anyone coming from the left side.

    Gee, I can’t imagine why they would do that if they’re convinced their constituents are teatards who hate hippies.

    Seriously, dude. Nut. Up. This isn’t beanbag. If you let yourself get freaked out by the propaganda the other side is feeding the press, you’ve already lost.

  211. 211
    Et Tu Brutus? says:

    It is a bitter pill to swallow. One I’ve been gagging on for the last couple of months; how the hell could the Dims be so, er, dim? It’s the economy, stupid- which is totally fragged for the Dim base. Hate to say it, but they deserve to lose their majority for displaying such, er, dimness.

  212. 212
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who wants to punch James Carville in his smug fucking face.

    If you love the Democratic Party so much, James, stop undermining it at every opportunity.

  213. 213
    b-psycho says:

    This is why taxation should be based on how much benefit you get from the existence of the government, and not straight income.

    Think about it: wealthy people tend to have a fuckton of property, investments & whatnot. Fraud, terrorism, squatters, environmental disasters…that shit costs a lot to fight off. The rest of us, meanwhile, generally don’t encounter gov’t beyond the DMV, or looking at the tax lines of our paychecks and grocery receipts — that is, unless we’re getting dragged from our cars and whooped by some degenerate asshole with a badge.

    The day that someone stood up in congress and articulated just how much shit the rich get at a discount simply because an organization exists that claims a monopoly on “legitimate” use of force, I would cheer. And then a monkey would fly from my ass.

  214. 214
    WereBear says:

    @morzer: Ironically, I figure it is because most lefties have a life; there are people they care about, to care for; there’s a job to keep or one to hunt down, there even occasional hedonistic pursuits like a movie or night out.

    The opposition are insane. They have plenty of time and plenty of redfaced anger. No one wants to hang around them; they don’t know how to have a good time that does not involve fantasy, or actual, curb stomping.

    It sucks to be actually normal in terms of fanatical devotion and ruthless efficiency…

  215. 215
    morzer says:

    @Stillwater:

    You wouldn’t be a Detroit Lions fan, by any chance?

  216. 216
    slag says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    @JD Rhoades: Righteous rant.

    Totally.

    And after reading it, I’m now pissed off at John Cole for his defeatist attitude. He needs to be rallying the troops. Giving out phone numbers for people to call and bitch at their representatives (like some commenters have been doing). In other words, he should be doing something besides folding like a cheap suit.

  217. 217
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Is there a reason I cannot post links?

  218. 218
    birthmarker says:

    @PTirebiter: That’s probably the worst response. Some of the stinging bugs are actually aggressive, and calmness is better. Watch out for wasps and yellow jackets. They attack if riled up or swatted at. Just step away from the vicinity.

    But dirt daubers are harmless, though they look like stinging wasps.

    Funny story-I got stung multiple times by two wasps that went up my pants! (I never saw them, just started getting stung.) My neighbors were in their front yard so I couldn’t just pull my pants off. It hurt for a few minutes…

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @b-psycho: I really like your idea… someone has to have worked out how much the average person in various demographic groups and tiers of income actually receives in services and other benefits from the government.

  220. 220
    neil says:

    Welcome to our pain, John. I hate being a Democrat too. If I wasn’t so afraid of what Republicans have become, I’d drop them like a bad habit.

  221. 221
    mds says:

    Note that in 1938, the highly popular FDR ran on a strong pro-New Deal program and lost seats.

    (1) Technically, FDR didn’t run on anything in 1938. This is often rather relevant for midterm elections, and was certainly true for Roosevelt.

    (2) He and his party also ran on a strong pro-New Deal program in 1932, 1934, and 1936. How’d that work out for them?

    (3) In 1937, FDR started listening to his conservative Treasury Secretary about how it was time for austerity, whether the economy was fully recovered or not. This led to the recession of 1937-38. Could provoking another recession by buying into conservative claptrap about the deficit have possibly played a tiny role in the 1938 electoral setback?

    I think (2) and (3) might be a wee bit more relevant a historical lesson than repeated concern troll horseshit about how liberal = Kucinich, firebaggers think Bush tax cuts should be made permanent, etc, etc.

  222. 222
    Jose Padilla says:

    This is basically a “Democrats are in disarray” article, something the Post tuns about once a month.

  223. 223
    Stillwater says:

    @morzer: You wouldn’t be a Detroit Lions fan, by any chance?

    I think the Lions have been Nadered (no hope of winning) for a long time, whereas my team – the Broncos – have repeatedly SenDemed games and even seasons recently. It’s this tendency to collapse when front-running that keeps me from being a loyal fan. Much like my feelings about the Democratic party.

  224. 224
    NonyNony says:

    @slag:

    I’m now pissed off at John Cole for his defeatist attitude. He needs to be rallying the troops.

    Being pissed at John is not a useful thing – he’s a blogger. It really isn’t his job to be a leader of a movement. It’s his “job” to make smartass comments on his blog for the amusement of his readers. Which he does day in and day out to varying degrees of success. (Or maybe “success” since we’re talking about a “job”). If John Cole is a Democratic leader at this point that needs to be “rallying the troops” the Democrats are even more fucked than I think they are (no offense meant to John, since I do love the blog).

    I can see being pissed off at our political leaders who are so wrapped up in this dynamic that they don’t even know that they should be pushing back against it. But even there, getting mad at most of them is counterproductive because they are trapped in the bubble.

    What is productive is getting mad at the bubble itself – the only way to pop the damn thing is to get vocal about what you want and get a critical mass behind you. Make it impossible for the critters in Congress to miss what you want them to hear. Call them. Get sympathetic neighbors to do likewise. Start a petition. Rightwingers do this kind of shit all the time and, yeah, each individual piece feels insignificant. But it isn’t – it all contributes to the noise that the elected rep hears every day. Every bit helps.

  225. 225
    Elizabelle says:

    Did you notice there is not a single named source for these “Democrats?”

    Only sourced quotes are Mark Zandi and Pelosi’s spokesman.

    Complete anonymity. Why?

    Further, note the lead sentence: (1) “rapidly weakening” economy, (2) “raising taxes” on “wealthy families”, (3) finally we get to letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

    We need tax revenue to fund a fully operating civil society. Taxes pay for public services that we all depend on, particularly in times of need.

    We do not want to be Mexico.

    Is it so hard for the Democrats to say that?

  226. 226
    Mr Furious says:

    @Nick:

    They don’t exist. They’re a figment of the Washington Post’s imagination.

    They don’t exist YET.

    This story / meme is the seed*. Which will now be picked up and watered by the rest of the media, and before you know it plenty of Democrats will be tripping over themselves to take exactly this position when faced with the question “Are you in favor of raising taxes on Americans heading into a double dip recession?”

    * see also: cover fire.

  227. 227
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @terraformer:

    can we honestly continue to think or believe that there is a difference between the two parties?

    If the GOP were in charge, there is no fucking way that healthcare reform would have been discussed, let alone passed.
    There would have been no moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

    We would not be pulling combat troops out of Iraq right now. We would very likely be bombing the shit out of Iran right now.

    You seem to think that the Democrats and Republicans are both centrist parties with a little leaning towards one side or the other; that may have been true at some point, but the current GOP is a hardline right-wing party.

  228. 228
    slag says:

    @NonyNony: I mostly agree. But it’s everyone’s job to be rallying the troops. Not just those who get paid to do it. And if you’re going to complain about Democratic leadership folding like a cheap suit, you probably shouldn’t, yourself, be folding like a cheap suit in the process. You should be saying, “Fuck this, I’m going to use what little influence I have to help make these assholes do their damn jobs.” Otherwise, how are you not just a part of the problem?

  229. 229
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    If they they think their taxes are too high, then what spending do they want to cut?

    they basically want to gut the Pentagon.

  230. 230
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay in Oregon: I think everyone has been slow to realize that the Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative clashes we’re used to seeing happen in US politics… they all moved into what is now the Democratic party. The party that calls itself Republican now is not part of any policy debate. They don’t do policy, _even conservative policy_. All they want is tax cuts and grandstanding on culture wars. “The Democrats” don’t have their act together because it’s nominally one party but ideologically both of the old ones, fused.

  231. 231
    morzer says:

    @Stillwater:

    Try being a Dolphins fan in recent years. 1971-1985 we ruled the AFC East. Since then, the upstart Patsies have enjoyed a repulsive glory. But this too shall pass. Sooner or later Sauron Belichick will give up his Ring…..

  232. 232

    “The Democrats” don’t have their act together because it’s nominally one party but ideologically both of the old ones, fused.

    Hmm … interesting thought. I’ll have to chew on that for a while. There may be some truth to that. But then again, the Democratic Party has always been a big tent, with its moderate and more liberal wings. I’m not educated enough on political history to say whether we were able to forge compromises and get shit done in the past or if there have always been these intra-party battles.

  233. 233

    Sounds like this might be wishful thinking from Drudgico:

    http://news.firedoglake.com/20.....-the-rich/

  234. 234
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s actually not a bad idea. You think all of the teatards calling my rep here in California are actually in my district? Half of them probably aren’t even in my state.

    I live in Jan Schakowsky’s district. I never call her about anything because she always, and I do mean always as far as I remember*, votes the way I want her to. I spend my “call your rep” time calling other people’s reps.

    I don’t lie and say I’m in their districts; I just don’t mention my place of residence. And it’s very rare that they ask.

    *Yes, I do know how lucky I am in that regard.

  235. 235
    shortstop says:

    @shortstop: I take that back. I did make a lot of encouraging “Keep wielding that riding crop, Madam Deputy Whip; we got your back” calls during the healthcare bill trauma.

  236. 236
    AxelFoley says:

    @tomjones:

    I did not include re-electing Pres. Obama there, since he will be primaried by daily kos.

    LOL, you saw that shit, too?

  237. 237
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Southern Beale: IMHO it’s because Republicans used to try to do things with the government. They were conservative things, like requiring welfare recipients to work more hours and such, but at least they were attempting to sketch out a solution–even a bad one–to a public problem. But the McConnell approach is to say, there’s one solution to all problems, and it’s lower taxes, and there’s nothing else we should even bother talking about.

    It goes back to the famous John Cole quip–I hope I’m getting this right–about two people deciding what to have for dinner, and one wants Chinese and the other wants tire rims and anthrax. We keep thinking that the dynamic between Democrats and Republicans is like one person really wanting Chinese and the other person really wanting Italian. It’s not. It’s one person really wanting Chinese and the other person not only not wanting any food, but being able to stop the first one from eating at all.

  238. 238
    Gus says:

    Did it ever occur to those of you who are Democrats that a lot of Democratic politicians will happily support tax cuts for the rich and are happy to have an excuse to vote for extending the cuts? When Democrats show time after time that they will do the wrong thing, the simplest explanation is they want to do the wrong thing, they’re just duping us with rhetoric.

  239. 239
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gus: You’re playing a shell game with who “they” are. _Some_ Democrats certainly do what you describe. Others do not. You are technically correct that, thus, Democrats do it; but _not all_ Democrats. It’s when railing at some bad Democrats becomes railing at all Democrats for being bad that we’re getting into the same kind of logical fallacy that drives comments about how, obviously, Muslims attacked the US on 9/11.

  240. 240
    JC says:

    Just read this.

    ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME???

    Seriously, these corporate a&&hole dems are REALLY working my last nerve, as are these Corporate Rethugs.

    It’s such a joke. Deficit humbug, I guess??

    Idiots and jerks and suckholes imbibing that corporate gravy train money, right up their bungholes.

    It’s a winning issue!!!

    We don’t have a party representing regular people, I know this, but I keep getting shocked by it…

  241. 241
    Stillwater says:

    @Gus: When Democrats show time after time that they will do the wrong thing, the simplest explanation is they want to do the wrong thing, they’re just duping us with rhetoric.

    (Whispering) I agree, but you gotta hold these kinda views pretty close to the vest here at BJ unless you like flame wars.

  242. 242
    rootless_e says:

    @mds: Oh la di da. “Technically” no less.

    The first new deal was weak tea indeed and FDR actually ran on the platform of balancing the budget in 1932.

    Actually this is a good summary of the 1938 election

    http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.....dnt-do-it/

    Other than having the history all wrong and being a pompous idiot, you did well.

    Here’s FDR accepting the nomination

    I know something of taxes. For three long years I have been going up and down this country preaching that Government–Federal and State and local–costs too much. I shall not stop that preaching. As an immediate program of action we must abolish useless offices. We must eliminate unnecessary functions of Government–functions, in fact, that are not definitely essential to the continuance of Government. We must merge, we must consolidate subdivisions of Government, and, like the private citizen, give up luxuries which we can no longer afford.

    #
    By our example at Washington itself, we shall have the opportunity of pointing the way of economy to local government, for let us remember well that out of every tax dollar in the average State in this Nation, 40 cents enter the treasury in Washington, D. C., 10 or 12 cents only go to the State capitals, and 48 cents are consumed by the costs of local government in counties and cities and towns.

    #
    I propose to you, my friends, and through you, that Government of all kinds, big and little, be made solvent and that the example be set by the President of the United States and his Cabinet.

  243. 243
    mds says:

    Hmm, that’s me set straight. Leave aside that the linked post itself notes that Roosevelt won big in 1932 and 1936 on his liberal promises and achievements, however incremental they had been at first. Leave aside that Professor Rauchway’s explanation omits the effect of an austerity-induced recession on a midterm election, the reception to FDR’s 1937 attempt at court packing, etc. The message that rootless_e would apparently have us take home is that Democrats should beware of being “too liberal” … because FDR wasn’t able to beat the Dixiecrats. Yeah, if only Democrats had taken this advice to heart in 1964. Sheesh, never mind the “concern” part of “concern troll.” Technically.

  244. 244
    The Truffle says:

    The article doesn’t name any senior Democrats. Funny, that.

  245. 245
    chaseyourtail says:

    John, you really need to stop with this defeatist nonsense. And don’t paint all Democrats by the same brush. Yes, some of them are horrible and should be kicked out of the party. But many of them are wonderful, hard working public servants who make me really proud of my party. So knock it off.

  246. 246
    bob h says:

    One imagines a scenario in which letting the cuts expire is continuously postponed year after year, something that is talked about adnauseum but never done.

  247. 247
    sparky says:

    @Jayackroyd: well, yes.

    never having been much of a party person myself, i find it unfortunate that so many people (here and elsewhere) tie themselves into knots defending the indefensible.

    ever wonder why the Ds don’t engage in fire-breathing rhetoric on a national level? it’s because their true masters would not stand for it. you elect them, but they don’t represent you.

  248. 248
    lee Mellick says:

    NAME THEM, DAMMIT

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