They’ve Chosen Sides

And they are with the poor little rich boys who made the financial mess:

A Republican majority in the Senate would “revisit” the Wall Street reform bill passed earlier this year, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Tuesday.

Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee who might become chairman under a GOP majority, suggested that Republicans might strip out elements of the bill most favored by President Obama and congressional Democrats if Republicans win control of Congress.

“The bill is so sweeping and such a game-changer in many ways that it’s incumbent upon us to revisit it,” Shelby said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Shelby had in part led the opposition to the Wall Street reform bill that finally passed Congress in July and was signed into law by President Obama. Revisiting that law, the Alabama Republican said, would start with oversight hearings and figuring out what elements need changing.

In particular, Shelby named the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as one of the most distasteful parts of the law. Obama named Elizabeth Warren, the former chairwoman of the board overseeing the Wall Street bailout program, to an appointed advisory position to help get that agency off the ground.

Yes, I understand the Democrats suck, and yes, there are a fair number of really bad Democrats (Ben Nelson, I’m looking at you). And maybe it has always been this way, and I have just woken up, but it sure seems like the choices between the two parties are as distinct as they have ever been. In one day, we have clear evidence that the Republicans are choosing to vote for bigotry over the rights of gays, bigotry extending opportunity to immigrants, and the big corporations over the consumer. Anyone who says there is no difference between the two parties needs their head examined and their driver’s license taken away.

If Democrats can not make the case, maybe the economy is the only thing that matters and we should just say to hell with elections and apportion seats in congress based on the unemployment rate.






132 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    And Shelby is defending what constituency, exactly?

    Is there a Wall Street I don’t know about in Coosa County?

    We’re through the looking glass….

  2. 2
    liberty60 says:

    This is the message I keep repeating- that whatever shortcomings Obama and the Dems have, the choice is as crystal clear as any I remember;
    The GOP is radicalized, led by religious zealots who think nothing of banning abortion and instituting Christianity as a state religion, who embrace the social Darwinism of IGMFU, and are openly attempting to destroy the civil society that was erected during the New Deal.

    Tryed to write this without being shrill, but honestly, its tough.

    Call, or better yet, join a local campaign and do canvassing, phone banking, and donate to any Act Blue or Democratic candidate you can find.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    A Republican majority in the Senate would “revisit” the Wall Street reform bill passed earlier this year, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Tuesday.

    I was listening to a podcast of the Bill Maher show, and someone made the point that in the old days (a couple of years ago), when a bill was passed, the opposition would say “that’s that” and move on. Now, under the guise of “taking back the country” from the un-American Democrats, the Republicans seem intent not just on obstruction, but on rolling back any laws they don’t like.

  4. 4
    meh says:

    Its not for lack of trying – it’s simply that you can’t boil down the nuance and complexity of the problems the administration, and congress by extension, are dealing with into 2-3 word soundbites. The GOP does that in reaction to the problems but the the bottom line is that they are lying about 99% of what they say. I was watching CSPAN the other day and had the volume down, my wife asked me what Boehner was talking about – without looking up I said, ” I dunno, he’s lying about something…” – She asked me how I knew he was lying, and yes drumroll, “because his lips are moving.” If the President can’t get the voters and the public in general pay attention to more than 5 mins at a time, we deserve the shit we get. The American public are a bunch of Junkies and the GOP is our drug. Until we hit rock-bottom, we ain’t gonna realize these douchebags are filling us full of hormones and drugs, taking our money, and beating us when we speak up (SWAT killing raids I’m looking at you – oh and dead guys in the Oakland subway, u too). So just go ahead and let Cantor, Pence, Boehner, and McConnell keep whispering the in the public’s ear…”If you really loved the USA you would let my wall street buddies film you in a double penetration gang-bang scene while we clean out your bank account…”

  5. 5
    Xenos says:

    @Brachiator: They are making promises they can’t keep. They might benefit from a peak in craziness, but two years is a lot of time for public opinion to cycle back around.

    It is ugly, but it can’t last. Famous last words, but true here.

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    And maybe it has always been this way, and I have just woken up

    I don’t think it has always been this way. Republicans have gotten more partisan and more ideological, I sometimes think unconsciously, as they’ve dragged the ‘center’ to the right, the press has followed them, and the Dems have followed the press. Shelby’s always been a hack, no matter what the letter after his name. Orrin Hatch, pre-blowjob, was actually capable of decency. Chuck Hagel and John Warner walked away rather than fight. Lugar and Snowe seem somewhat befuddled by the whole thing and don’t have the mettle to stop it, or even criticize it. The rest you can chalk up to varying and overlapping degrees of stupidity, cowardice and confusion (Hutchinson, Grassley, Voinavich).

  7. 7
    Joe Beese says:

    “They support big corporations over the consumer” is how you’re differentiating Republicans from Democrats?

    Really?

  8. 8
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Are Shelby’s remarks going to be turned into a commercial and given major air time in districts and states where Democratic incumbents are at risk? Cajoling disaffected liberals isn’t the problem here; it’s the fact that the Democratic Party seems to be clinically incapable of convincing the majority of the country that it has accomplished anything and/or that the alternative would be far, far worse. Both of those things are true, but the party establishment would rather bitch about Rachel Maddow’s lack of true-believerism than educate the voters.

  9. 9
    Mike G says:

    Shorter Shelby:
    The problem with the trillion-dollar bailout of my corporate hyenas was that it threw a small bone to protecting consumers from my corporate hyenas.

  10. 10
    cat48 says:

    Per Politico, Financials are giving Repub campaigns 2 to 1 and Health Insurance Co. are giving 8 to 1to Repubs. They told Politico HCR wasn’t that advantageous to them.

  11. 11
    Dork says:

    Uhm, I’m just a dork, but doesn’t “undoing” mean passing some new law outlawing a previous law? And doesn’t Obama hold the veto pen for all such stupid moves?

    What am I missing?

  12. 12
    GambitRF says:

    “The bill is so sweeping and such a game-changer in many ways that it’s incumbent upon us to revisit it,” Shelby said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

    Yes, changing the game called “Wall Street spits on the little people while it bets their 401k money on credit default swaps” was a horrible thing.

  13. 13

    I can’t wait for the tearful testimony from Wail Street fat cats. “I had to sell … one of my ten homes! Boo hoo hoo!”

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @Dork: Some of that can be done through the budgeting process. Don’t like some agency? Zero out its budget.

    dms

  15. 15
    ET says:

    I know Democrats and “progressives” like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but isn’t the idea of this popular elsewhere (except the banks)? Aren’t there a lot of people who think this is necessary.

    I know Shelby like most Republicans, do whatever their the Wall Street grifters want (not that there aren’t a lot of Democrats that don’t) but if it is popular especially with a large number of his constituents, many of whom get royally screwed by the financial sector on a host of issues, something to be a little more circumspect about?

  16. 16
    cleek says:

    @Dork:

    What am I missing?

    you need to get the GOP Logic Enhancement Service Pack. it’s what allows you to think that minimal control of the House and Senate is equivalent to total control of the government. you can see it in action anywhere wingnuts blog.

    it’s going to be fun watching them run into the brick wall of That Ain’t How It Works.

  17. 17
    liberty60 says:

    @Joe Beese:
    Yes, really.

    Do Democrats bend over for the corporations? Hell yes.

    AS MUCH AS THE REPUBLICANS?

    Hell no.

    This is why the shrugging of the shoulders-pox-on-both houses is so stoopidly self destructive.

    Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin both hit up corporate donors, but to say that they are exactly the same is , well, stoopid.

    Sorry, there is a time for self reflection and internal criticism of the DNC, but that time is called the primaries.

    Those are past, and it is time to do what it takes to stop the Republicans from “revisiting” the basic laws of fairness and justice.

  18. 18
    SP says:

    And Hucksterbee saying that they should repeal the preexisting condition protections of HCR- after all, we don’t let you buy home insurance after your house already burned down! Heh heh, he’s such a folksy guy.

  19. 19
    Bullsmith says:

    Both parties are basically pro-corporate and anti-worker these days. Both agree that justice must be strict for the little people, and maleable for the large. With all three branches of government in the hands of Democrats and a massive housing price crisis across the country, we got a program that felt banks need to be helped out with bad mortgages, but people can fricking go live in a box somewhere, long as the banks get paid. That’s HAMP, entirely funded and entirely within the President’s control and doing absolutely 100% nothing but helping the banks screw over anyone dumb enough to sign up. That’s ongoing.

    I really really think this is why the Dems have lost so much support. They’re supposed to be for jobs and fairness, and they’re really sort of not. Yes they acted to help people with pre-existing conditions and credit card problems, but they acted to help the insurance companies and banks exponentially more. After coining the political slogan Main Street versus Wall Street, they promptly left Main Street to fend for itself.

    America’s on a crazy tangent. The Republicans just go farther and farther and farther right, and the Dems slip into whatever space they’ve just voided.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    @Xenos:

    They are making promises they can’t keep. They might benefit from a peak in craziness, but two years is a lot of time for public opinion to cycle back around.

    People hoping for things to passively cycle back around are deluding themselves. Republicans saw how futile and destructive it was to stop the government back when Newt was Speaker, and yet they are all in again for more of the same. And the GOP is relentless in their message that the only legitimate government of the United States is one in which conservative Republicans are in charge.

    It is ugly, but it can’t last.

    It can always get uglier, and it will. I don’t think anyone really predicted how durable lies and slanders against Obama would be, and now the lies are expanding into open displays of bigotry not only against Obama, but towards gays and Muslims.

    And the tea party folks have been whipped into such a frenzy that they don’t care whether their ideas (or lack of ideas) will help or hurt the country. Look at them, actively supporting tax cuts for rich people who despise them.

  22. 22
    Jager says:

    I see McConnel in the Senate cloakroom with Christine O’Donnell and she’s stamping her foot and screaming “you’re not the boss of me”, while Jim Demint and Richard Shelby look sheepish and confused. While this is going on, Rand Paul and the Miller asshole from Alaska are introducing legislation on the Senate floor to repeal Social Security.

  23. 23
    Q says:

    They can “strip away” and “revisit” as much as they want — but as far as I recall, there’s this little thing called the veto, and I’m pretty sure the Republicans won’t be occupying the White House in 2011.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    There’s always been a “What’s good for big business is good for America” faction in the Republican party, what’s different now is that there are no (as in zero) Republican liberals and ‘countable on one hand’ Republican moderates.

  25. 25
    4jkb4ia says:

    John, I hope you looked at the internals from the PPP poll. Feingold is supported by 80% of liberals and 58% of moderates. He is also doing well with Democrats and Obama voters. It is independents who have about the same ratio supporting Johnson as all voters. This appears to be compelling evidence that manic progressives are not the problem as much as general ornery desire to throw out all bums.

  26. 26
    jl says:

    I think the consumer protection agency is not just for fairness and social justice, it can also play a role in prevention of outright fraud. For some reason, there has not been much attention given in national politics to the outright fraud that was involved in a lot of the financing during the housing boom. A lot of the fraud was perpetrated, and I think most of it at least initiated by lenders and mortgage companies.

    Not sure why our political overlords have been trying to sweep the widespread fraud under the rug, but I think that they have been doing just that.

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    Of course they’ve chosen sides which is why it so necessary to get every Democrat who holds a high profile position to get their butt in front of the press – including department heads and governors.

    Flood the signature national programs and publications. When they are saturated move to big market local and then move on from there – get the Secretary of Commerce to Toledo.

    Talk emphatically about Shelby, Corker, and Mitchell. Explain their plans and what they will do to the middle class.

    Many of us has said this early and often, but this crop of Dems just don’t seem to like to get out ahead of the curve on messaging.

    Too bad.

  28. 28
    Stillwater says:

    @fasteddie9318: the Democratic Party seems to be clinically incapable of convincing the majority of the country that it has accomplished anything and/or that the alternative would be far, far worse.

    Is it the fault of the Democratic party, or is it in the ‘majority of the country‘?

  29. 29
    Koz says:

    “If Democrats can not make the case, maybe the economy is the only thing that matters and we should just say to hell with elections and apportion seats in congress based on the unemployment rate.”

    That would so much better than ever considering voting for a Democrat.

  30. 30
    NR says:

    @liberty60: “Do Democrats bend over for the corporations?

    Hell yes.

    AS MUCH AS THE REPUBLICANS?

    Hell no.”

    Um, the Republicans never passed a law requiring every American to give money to private corporations, so the Democrats are arguably more corporatist than they’ve ever been.

  31. 31
    Sarcastro says:

    A distinct choice between bad and worse is hardly enthusing.

    If we have no choice, we have no power.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    At least one Dem is running on the fact that the Republicans want to repeal Wall Street reform, and she’s also pointing out her opponent’s funding sources. Patty Murray.

    Of course the broadcast media are bending over backwards for Rossi and pimping every new Rasmussen poll.

  33. 33
    Napoleon says:

    @Q:

    They can “strip away” and “revisit” as much as they want—but as far as I recall, there’s this little thing called the veto,

    True enough, but what if they put a partial repeal in with, say, funding for the troops or something Obama thinks he should not veto for other reasons?

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: Replace Mitchell with (Mitch) McConnell.

  35. 35
    John Cole says:

    @Sarcastro:

    A distinct choice between bad and worse is hardly enthusing.

    Go for worse, then.

    I’ve never met so many people who, given the choice between losing a toe and losing a leg opt instead to shoot themselves in the head.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    Scrapping part of Fin. Reg. may get companies to spend some of the 1.8 trillion in cash they are sitting on.

    Wall Street hates it and will spend whatever it takes for however long it takes to undo the law.

    There are businesses that will refuse to hire to make sure Obama will not get re-elected in 2012, because he called them bad names like “fat cats” and passed health care reform and financial regulation, which changed the rules a lot.

    The rich have won the class war. We must just humbly serve our corporate masters for whatever crumbs they drop our way.

    P.S. After seeing how the powerful can push legislators, the media, and everything else around, I marvel at how anti-trust laws, the FDA, labor laws, etc. were passed against the wishes of big business earlier in the 20th century.

  37. 37
    Joe Beese says:

    there is a time for self reflection and internal criticism of the DNC, but that time is called the primaries

    The last successful primary challenge to a Democratic Senator that I can recall was Lamont over Lieberman. Obama worked to make sure that Leiberman kept his committee chairmanships. (Contrast with McConnell punting Murkowski.)

    Let’s face it. “The other guys are even worse” is the only thing the Democrats can run on. And people wonder about this mysterious “intensity gap”?

  38. 38

    @John Cole: Brilliant!

    Is this what living near malls gets you? Incessant whining about the choices and then petulant refusal to shop any not?

    I don’t get people not realizing that refusal to make a choice… still gets you one.

  39. 39
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John Cole:

    Come on, Cole. It’s Joe Beese. He is the go-to example for rank idiocy and being a know-nothing.

    You can do better than that.

  40. 40
    Sly says:

    The GOP didn’t participate in any meaningful way in the construction of the bill. Wouldn’t revisiting it imply that they actually visited it in the first place?

  41. 41
    john b says:

    there was a post on ezra klein the other day about the rise of “gingrich republicans” in the senate (ie senators who started out in the house during the time of gingrich) and that they pretty account for the huge shift in partisanship in the senate.

    ah here it is

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    @cleek:

    it’s going to be fun watching them run into the brick wall of That Ain’t How It Works.

    When they do, they’ll squeal like stuck pigs and demand that the will of the voters be recognized. Then they’ll shut down Congress completely, let the whole country burn, and blame the Democrats for all the trouble. The Republicans will whine, the Democrats will cower, and a “compromise” will be struck. That’s how the game works.

    I really don’t enjoy being held hostage to the whims of the minority. But apparently you can’t get Democrats to turn out to the polls unless you’ve got John McCain holding a Sarah Palin to the country’s head.

  43. 43
    bloodstar says:

    Come on people, I’m a frakking card carrying, donating Libertarian, and I’m very likely to vote straight ticket Democrat this election. Principles be damned, at some point I have to say, ‘the Democrats may suck from my view, but they’re not living in Bat Country.’

    Look, bitch and moan all you want but take a deep breath and take a step back and ask yourself if you truely honestly think that things will be just as good/bad if you let the Republicans in power and reward the nativists, racists, and fear mongers. Do you really think Obama can survive 2 years of even more extreme obstructionists? Do you really think America will be just as good under President Gingrich or Palin?

    Really?

  44. 44
    mr. whipple says:

    I’ve never met so many people who, given the choice between losing a toe and losing a leg opt instead to shoot themselves in the head.

    You must not have been paying attention in 2000, because this was the exact same logic of the Nadirite.

    Are Shelby’s remarks going to be turned into a commercial and given major air time in districts and states where Democratic incumbents are at risk?

    I have yet to see or hear one Dem commercial. For months the radio has been constant with the GOP/anti-government commercials, so much so I know them by heart. Now that the gop has defined the Democrats, and the Democrats have yet to define the GOP, I’m thinking they are keeping their powder dry until November 10th or so.

  45. 45
    eemom says:

    1. OMFG. “Enthusing” is not a word. Neither is “enthused,” but there’s only so much bastardization of the English language I can take before I go full metal Second Amendment.

    2. When I saw this post I first thought, ok, cue another 400+ flame war……then I thought, NAH, surely not even on THIS blog could there be anybody insane enough, in September 2010, to disagree that there’s a fucking DIFFERENCE between the two parties.

    Amazing that even at my advanced age, I can still have these moments of naivete.

  46. 46
    Captain Goto says:

    As someone has already pointed out above…until the great mass of independents and affiliated-but-don’t-give-two-fucks decide to vote based on something more substantive than “my life sucks now, so why vote for the party (nominally) in power?”, we can punch hippies until the cows come home, and half of the Congress is *still* gonna get handed off to a bunch of authoritarian fuck-faced assholes.

    If you are in charge of the party*, and you want your GOTV to be effective and enthusiastic, then throw your GOTV folks a frickin’ bone. Stand up for them. For FSM’s sake, stop with the “professional left” horseshit.

    And if (as the party leaders) you think you can do without effective GOTV, then you sure as fuck better have something better in your pocket than what you’re putting on the table so far.

    This sucks.

  47. 47
    eemom says:

    Um, the Republicans never passed a law requiring every American to give money to private corporations, so the Democrats are arguably more corporatist than they’ve ever been.

    Exhibits B-Z.

  48. 48
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Hell, the ink was barely dry on the conference report before Boehner was ranting on and on about how they should repeal the bill. You’d think that one of the top Republicans saying that we shouldn’t attempt to fix the gaping holes that led to the Great Recession would be telling enough. Of course, he’s also one of those morons who thinks Fannie and Freddie were to blame…

  49. 49
    MikeJ says:

    @eemom: Recheck your OED. Those are perfectly cromulent words.

  50. 50
    Redshift says:

    @Brachiator:

    Republicans saw how futile and destructive it was to stop the government back when Newt was Speaker, and yet they are all in again for more of the same.

    And there are people who lived through the Bush Administration who are making the argument just like in 2000 that maybe it will be better if the GOP wins because “people will see how bad it is” and vote Democratic forevermore.

    Sigh.

  51. 51
    jimBOB says:

    [maybe] we should just say to hell with elections and apportion seats in congress based on the unemployment rate.

    I’ve heard worse ideas. At least it would focus attention on something relevant, as opposed to witchcraft or flagburning or the imagined sins of ACORN.

  52. 52
    freelancer says:

    @John Cole:

    I’ve never met so many people who, given the choice between losing a toe and losing a leg opt instead to shoot themselves in the head.

    Boy, you said it, Chewie.

  53. 53
    MattF says:

    @MikeJ

    Of interest to note that, according to the OED, the etymology of ‘enthuse’ is “An ignorant back-formation from ENTHUSIASM”

  54. 54

    my new mantra is “the democrats are useless, but the republicans are harmful.”

    that’s what it boils down to.

  55. 55
    bemused says:

    @John Cole:
    Good one.
    I’m sick of the bitching too. Dems resemble Keystone Kops more often than I can stomach but I sure don’t want to open the doors wide open to the insane asylum maximum security floor patients.

  56. 56
    Redshift says:

    @gene108:

    There are businesses that will refuse to hire to make sure Obama will not get re-elected in 2012, because he called them bad names like “fat cats” and passed health care reform and financial regulation, which changed the rules a lot.

    No there aren’t. This is no more true than the disastrous effects that are moaned about in lobbying TV ads whenever some new legislation is in the works, despite the fact that the disastrous effects they moaned about the previous time never happened.

    There are businesses which aren’t hiring because of lack of demand, and it’s politically convenient for them to echo the GOP line that it’s because of Obama regulations and taxes and such. If the demand recovers, any business that spends the next two years refusing to hire and expand out of spite will be deservedly screwed. If any business owners are stupid enough to do that, it won’t be enough to be a blip in the economic statistics.

  57. 57
    NR says:

    @John Cole: People who you talk to here aren’t who you need to worry about. The following are words from someone at yesterday’s Obama town hall. Although she didn’t say she was going to vote Republican, she expressed the frustration of a large segment of the population out there. This wasn’t a “firebagger,” this was a middle-aged, middle-class African American woman:

    “Quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people. And I’m waiting, sir. I’m waiting. I — I don’t feel it yet … Is this my new reality?”

    The Dems ignore people like her at their own risk.

    And btw, I don’t think she was satisfied with Obama’s answer. I know I wasn’t.

  58. 58
    Zifnab says:

    @mr. whipple:

    You must not have been paying attention in 2000, because this was the exact same logic of the Nadirite.

    Oh bullshit. The joke about the Nadirites was that they honestly didn’t feel like they had a voice. I voted for Nadar in 2000, and again in 2004, because I live in fucking Texas. As far as the electoral college is concerned, I’ve been voting straight ticket Republican since the Nixon Administration.

    And when you set aside the massive voter intimidation happening in Ohio and Florida and the Brooks Brothers Riots and the SCOTUS-decided vote count halt, then yeah, the couple thousand Nadar voters could have really swung the election assuming they didn’t all said “Fuck you, two party system” and stayed home.

    But there are so many problems in this country stretching back for so long, are you really going to make Ralph fucking Nadar your whipping boy? Fuck you.

  59. 59
    daveNYC says:

    True enough, but what if they put a partial repeal in with, say, funding for the troops or something Obama thinks he should not veto for other reasons?

    Hell, most of the stuff that Democrats like actually require funding. There’s nothing to stop a Republican congress from just not writing any checks. It’d even let them get a little wankfest in over how they’re being deficit hawks or some such crap.

    Worst part is, I work for a big bank. It’d actually be advantageous for me if regulations were stripped away and Wall Street was given one last chance to get its bubble on. There’d probably be a lot of hiring, big bonuses, coke and hookers all around. Of course all this would be at the expense of the rest of the economy, and within five years it’d implode and probably crush everything. But damnit, if the rest of the country seems dead set on being this fucking stupid, why the hell should I continue to care?

  60. 60
    Allison W. says:

    @NR:

    who said firebaggers were all white?

    wasn’t she a cfo of a company and two kids in private school? at least that’s what I read.

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    @Zifnab: I can spell the name of every candidate I ever voted for, even Dukakis.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NR: Is there an answer that you would find satisfactory?

  63. 63
    Allison W. says:

    @mr. whipple:

    what do you mean you haven’t seen one dem commercial? do you mean the candidates in your state?

  64. 64
    jonas says:

    @NR: Not quite. The Republicans just pass a thousand little laws, mostly under the guise of “efficiency” and “privatisation” — but also under the general graft and malfeasance that tends to proliferate when they’re in charge (see KBR; Blackwater) — with the end goal in mind to eventually just have all tax dollars routed to companies with connections to the Republican party.

    The main problem with the ACA as Republicans see it is that it is a massive expansion of government that has the potential to help minorities and other undeserving poor people without adequately enriching their buddies. This cannot stand.

  65. 65

    @Bullsmith:

    With all three branches of government in the hands of Democrats

    Lolwut?

  66. 66
    TuiMel says:

    I’m no Obot, but I got mugged by reality when I went home for vacation and encountered the unhinged conservative rage of my brother. It rocked me back on my heels and helped me focus on avoiding making “perfect” the enemy of the “better than what we would have otherwise.”

    For those of you who think sitting on your thumbs or making meaningless protest votes are the way to go, how did 2001 through 2008 work out for you? I am frustrated that the Dems have enabled the creation of Presidents Lieberman, Nelson, Snow, et al, but why punish the enabler over the culprits? I don’t get it. If you were merely cutting off your own nose to spite your own face, it would be one thing. But, it seems you want to spite the faces of those who are more or less with you and trying to advance the ball.

  67. 67

    @Joe Beese:

    sestak versus specter. and sestak is a lot better than specter.

  68. 68
    Joe Beese says:

    sestak versus specter

    Ah, yes… I forgot that Specter was a “Democrat”.

  69. 69
    eemom says:

    @MattF:

    precisely. This is yet another example of the OED poobahs caving to popular pressure and allowing bastardizations that achieve a sufficient degree of popular usage to become recognized words. The acceptance of “access” as a verb is a well-known example. If they’ve done it for “enthused” I’m sure “incentivize” can’t be far behind. UGH.

    P*ssies.

  70. 70
    cat48 says:

    @NR: In an after interview, she told the press she supports the president 100%, per First Read.

  71. 71
    Teri says:

    I don’t know if you have seen this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0vCgMRX0o
    The Elizabeth Warren New Sheriff rap video. My son sent it to me, he’s 15. His friends are mad as hell at us “grown” ups for screwing up things and is pissed we can’t see the “truth”….

  72. 72
    Cris says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Clearly he’s thinking of the House and Senate as distinct branches, which is kind of understandable. And I guess the high court is a Motown act.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Ah, yes. let’s go back to speaking the English of Chaucer. No, that was polluted by Norman French; how about Beowulf era Old English?

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    @NR:

    Amen NR. When I heard the woman, my heart sank, for her, for Democrats, for all of us.

    Technocratic leadership can have its place, but Americans still feel better with a sleeves rolled up, in your face, retail style of politics.

    If Obama had found a way to nurture and tap into his inner Theodore Roosevelt I am thinking that folks like this woman could still feel disappointed at outcomes, but feel energized about the upcoming fight.

    In a perfect world, Cole would be right, in that it’s each of our individual duty to make logical political decisions and then go vote. But that is not the way humans usually act. We are less emotionally stable than we would like to think and more of us use emotional cues to prompt behavior than John would like to acknowledge.

  75. 75
    Cris says:

    @eemom: The OED lost me when they canonized “google.”

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @Redshift:
    RE: Republicans saw how futile and destructive it was to stop the government back when Newt was Speaker, and yet they are all in again for more of the same.

    And there are people who lived through the Bush Administration who are making the argument just like in 2000 that maybe it will be better if the GOP wins because “people will see how bad it is” and vote Democratic forevermore.

    And this is as dumbass as the people who say, “it doesn’t matter if we do nothing and lose in 2010 or 2012 or even 2016, because eventually the Great Demographic Shift will rise up and vote Democratic forevermore.”

  77. 77
    goblue72 says:

    Apparently, we’d all have been in a world no different than the one we are in now if the Republicans were in charge. Because that’s the logic of “Democrats are no different.”

    So, in this imaginary, no different world, with the GOP in charge, we would have expanded healthcare to tens of millions of working class Americans.

    Also, in this imaginary, no different world, student loans would have been reformed to end private companies like Sallie Mae from sucking at the government’s teat.

    Further, imaginary, no different world, financial regualtion would have been passed.

    And in other news, in this imaginary, no different world, a $700B stimlus bill would have been passed that included taking gas-guzzling cars off the road, weatherizing millions of homes, and expanding the alternative power industry more significantly than any time since the Carter administration.

    Also, in this imaginary, no different world, bazillions of TARP funds would have been creatively repurposed to save America’s auto manufacturing industry and the thousands (millions?) of good paying, union jobs that go with. Also, too, the UAW would have been provided an ownership stake in the auto companies.

    And my guess is, in this imaginary, no different world, we’d also have gotten some lesser, but overall good things done, like making it easier for women to sue their bosses over unequal pay, or two female left of center Supreme Court justices would have been appointed, or we’d have drawn down on combat troops in Iraq.

  78. 78
    gex says:

    @Xenos: Unfortunately, letting them steer the car for a while means we’ll be on whichever path they set us on, which we likely won’t be able to leave (see wars, torture, state secrets, illegal wiretapping…)

    Sigh.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Teri: I appreciate the sentiment, but that’s just plain bad.

  80. 80
    gex says:

    @Joe Beese: The correction would be

    They support throwing a few crumbs to consumers to fend off the guillotines.

  81. 81

    What president do they suppose is going to sign these revisionist measures? Not the current one. And they won’t have a veto proof position in congress. So this is all just theatrical bullshit.

    How long are the people going to stand by while jobs are scarce and housing is in the toilet and watch these fuckheads play political music on their fiddles, while Rome burns?

    In what fantasyland does this idiotic strategy accomplish anything for them?

    Americans are hurting, and these people think that offering up a slate of opposition to masturbation, repeal of needed reforms, investigations and government paralysis to a worried populace is going to further their political interests in 2012? Midterm election politics is local, but presidential elections are electoral. This is starting to look like a prequel to a repeat of the 1948 election:

    T

    he 80th Congress played into Truman’s hands, delivering very little in the way of substantive legislation during this time. The GOP’s lack of action in the “turnip” session of Congress allowed Truman to continue his attacks on the “do-nothing” Republican-controlled Congress. Truman simply ignored the fact that Dewey’s policies were considerably more liberal than most of his fellow Republicans, and instead he concentrated his fire against what he characterized as the conservative, obstructionist tendencies of the unpopular 80th Congress.

    Heh. If you think congress is unpopular now, wait until the potatoheads have been running it for two years.

  82. 82
    MattF says:

    @eemom

    Too late. ‘Incentivize’ is already there, in all its glory. The earliest attested usage is dated June 1968, quoted from the Guardian (no less).

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Aw c’mon. Are you telling me you don’t cringe when you hear a word like “incentivize”?

  84. 84
    gex says:

    @gene108: Well, it got a lot worse during the Great Depression, and there was no Fox News.

  85. 85
    Allison W. says:

    @cat48:

    go figure. you can criticize him while supporting him. it blows my mind.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I’m not saying that, but the language is an ever changing thing. Some new or newish words are cool, others not so much. The vibrancy of the language depends on it.

  87. 87
    eemom says:

    @MattF:

    oh well. We’re fucked as a nation, guess we might as well speak a fucked up language.

    I still say the OEDsters are p*ssies for allowing it to happen, however.

    ETA @Omnes: but there’s a difference between NEW words and bastardized versions of old ones.

  88. 88
    mr. whipple says:

    @Allison W.: Yes.

    @Zifnab:

    Fuck you, back. It’s the exact same thing the Nadirites were saying in 2000, no difference between the parties and that it didn’t matter one way or the other. Or, in the worst case, that maybe the village needed to be burned to save it.

  89. 89
    Catsy says:

    @WereBear (itouch):

    I don’t get people not realizing that refusal to make a choice… still gets you one.

    This. A motherfucking million times this.

    You don’t get to refuse to choose who you’re going to support in this or any other election. If you don’t vote, you are still making a choice–you’re simply making the choice to abdicate your choice to someone else.

    To paraphrase Heinlein, there will always be someone worse that is worth voting against. Don’t like the Democrats? I don’t blame you–I’m not that happy with them as a whole myself. But I guaran-fucking-tee you that you will like the Republicans worse, and that is the choice before you.

    You get one or the other. You do not get “none of the above”.

    And if you are so blinded by the purity of your devotion to one issue or another that you’re incapable of seeing just how much apocalyptically worse the GOP alternative really is, then you are too fucking stupid to vote anyway.

  90. 90
    gex says:

    @eemom: Where is this pristine, unadulterated form of English that has been sullied by us sloppy speakers? People MAKE language, we aren’t governed by it. Was communication achieved? Yes? Then why be a stickler for an arbitrary rule just because you can? Can I dangle prepositions on this blog? Split infinitives?

  91. 91
    Surly Duff says:

    @NR:

    “Quite frankly, I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people. And I’m waiting, sir. I’m waiting. I—I don’t feel it yet … Is this my new reality?”

    Just because someone can string together a complete sentence does not mean that they made a good argument. Frankly, that entire statement is just a long-winded whine. What can be addressed? How can anyone counter such pathetic incoherence? I undertand that she may FEEL disappointed, but without providing concrete examples of why she is disappointed while ignoring any and all efforts made during the last two years means that she is ignoring reality. Read it again and try to argue that she says something relevant or actionable. Hell, I don’t think she actually says ANYTHING.AT.ALL.

    Honestly, this example doesn’t demonstrate a rational claim for why the government failed its citizens, instead it illustrates how vapid and weak people’s grasp of government. Argue that the government did not accomplish things that were promised. Argue that things that were done were not done well. But argue something.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Keith G:

    Amen NR. When I heard the woman, my heart sank, for her, for Democrats, for all of us.
    __
    Technocratic leadership can have its place, but Americans still feel better with a sleeves rolled up, in your face, retail style of politics.
    __
    If Obama had found a way to nurture and tap into his inner Theodore Roosevelt I am thinking that folks like this woman could still feel disappointed at outcomes, but feel energized about the upcoming fight.

    About that…

    Still in support: By the way, the woman who made the statement about being “exhausted,” Velma Hart, later said she was “100%” in support of the president. However, per the New York Post: “She complained that [Obama] didn’t say whether these tough times are a ‘new reality’ or just temporary. ‘He didn’t answer that,’ she said. ‘That was the heart of my question. Like most Americans, fear is starting to take hold, anxiety is taking hold. You can have all the hope in the world, but it has to be backed by action. It’s been a long time since I had to make decisions about grocery purchases.” The White House might be a little disappointed by all the attention these questioners are getting, but realize that this was the first time in some time where real people directly questioned the president in a setting that wasn’t a rally or even a White House-controlled event. These folks gave voice to what we’re seeing in polls. What will be interesting is how this affects the president’s own psyche. It’s one thing to read or hear about it; it’s another to come face-to-face without the filter of the media or staff.

    Now here’s where I think the real problem surfaces, which is the voting population in this country not paying enough attention to issues of great importance, and the White House not doing enough to tout their accomplishments over the past 20 months in avenues outside of the traditional media. I thought President Obama’s answer was pretty on the money in terms of responding to this woman’s claims about her “new reality,” and walking her through some of the major improvements Democrats have made so far:

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Part of what we did over the last year and a half is make sure that billions of dollars that were going to subsidize financial service industries under the federal student loan programs are now going to be going directly to students so that millions more students are going to be able to get loans and grants and similar scholarships to go to college.
    __
    Now that’s going to have an impact on a whole bunch of kids out there, including maybe yours.
    __
    If you have a credit card, which I assume you do.
    __
    AUDIENCE MEMBER: No.
    __
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: See, now you’re showing how responsible you are. But if you have a mortgage or a credit card or any kind of financial dealings out there, as a consequence of the changes we made, the credit card companies can’t increase your interest rate without notifying you and they can’t increase your interest rate on your previous balances. In terms of getting a mortgage, you can’t have a mortgage broker steer you to a mortgage that ultimately is going to cost you more money because maybe they’re getting a financial incentive to do so. Those things are now against the law.
    __
    So there are a whole host of protections in there.
    __
    You are a parent who has children. If your child, heaven forbid, had a pre-existing condition, before I took office you were out of luck in terms of being able to get health insurance for that child.
    __
    Now insurance companies have to give you health insurance for that child. And by the way, that health insurance company can’t drop you if you get sick.
    __
    So there are a whole host of things that we’ve put in place that do make your life better. But, the bottom line is, if your 401(k) is still down substantially from where it was a while back, if you haven’t seen a raise in a long time, if your home value went down, depending on where you live, all those things still make you feel like, gosh, I’m treading water.
    __
    And so my goal here is not to try to convince you that everything’s where it needs to be. It’s not. That’s why I ran for president. But what I am saying is that we’re moving in the right direction. And if we are able to keep our eye on our long-term goal, which is making sure that every family out there, if they’re middle class, that they can, you know, pay their bills, have the security of health insurance, retire with dignity and respect, send their kids to college, if they’re not yet in the middle class, but there are ladders there to get into the middle class if people work hard, get an education and apply their selves, that’s our goal, that’s the America we believe in, and I believe we are on track to do that.

    It can’t all be up to him and the White House. The citizenry of this country needs to step up its game and become legitimately involve in carrying out their civic duties.

  94. 94
    Hugin & Munin says:

    gex: eemom wants to have all Turks transgressors against the English language shot in the head.

  95. 95
    gene108 says:

    @Redshift:

    That’s what people tell me anyway. I think part of its true. For whatever reason big business, especially Wall Street, is genuinely pissed off at Obama.

    I do believe a 2,000+ page financial regulation bill would cause some hesitation in decision making, until it was implemented, but I think there’s a sense of entitlement from the Wall Street crowd that takes something rational and morphs it into Fin. Reg. being the same as Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

    @gex: Fox News and the lack of a liberal network are major factors. I was talking to my brother, who doesn’t spend any time on blogs, and he didn’t know what liberals wanted or if there was a liberal agenda. He was pissy because Obama made some big changes to business. Talking with him was like listening to CNBC. He was mirroring CNBC talking points.

    There’s no way for liberals to compete with conservatives in the media, unless some mutli-billionaire plunks down millions – willing to stick with magazines, newspapers, etc., which lose money every year – in order to push their political POV onto the masses. Unfortunately, pro-labor, pro-little guy views aren’t often adopted by billionaires. They don’t amass that kind of wealth by being beholden to altruistic impulses.

  96. 96
    Bokonon says:

    Kaching, kaching.

    That’s the sound of the GOP shaking Wall Street’s money tree.

    Kaching, kaching.

    Want to play at carving up the new financial reform laws? Then you gotta pay.

    Kaching …

  97. 97
    Joe Beese says:

    But I guaran-fucking-tee you that you will like the Republicans worse, and that is the choice before you.

    To paraphrase Hunter Thompson: George W. Bush never let me down. Neither will President Palin – to use the current boogeyman of choice. She won’t campaign on a public option and then mock me to rich donors for having believed her. She’ll stab me from the front – rather than the back.

    It’s not like this “lesser evil” theory is untried. For decades now, you’ve been voting with pinched noses for Democrats. The result is that the party’s idea of a reasonable centrist is now authorizing the execution of American citizens without trial.

    The teabaggers may be ignorant racist assholes – but they’re successfully moving their party in the direction they want it to go and you’re not.

  98. 98

    I wonder how many hits I could get if I set up “beatdickshelbytodeath.com”. It would be a simple website with a simple Flash app that would allow you to select a blunt instrument and hit a cartoon of Richard Shelby with it. The more you hit, the more he bleeds and screams. While you’re hitting him a voice encourages you by saying things like “He deserves it!”, “You’re doing God’s work” and “The only good white southern conservative is a dead, white southern conservative!” Every once in a while Lloyd Blankfein’s head would pop up and you could beat on him too.

  99. 99
    gene108 says:

    the White House not doing enough to tout their accomplishments over the past 20 months in avenues outside of the traditional media.

    No Democrat or liberal for the past 30 years has figured out how to get over the right-wing noise machine.

    Mondale didn’t.

    Even after Democrats had huge electoral gains in 1982, and the likes of Mondale led Reagan in mock polls in the 1983, no one in the media crafted a narrative that Reagan was a failed President, because unemployment dropped from 10% to 7%-8%, by 1984 and so he was hailed as a savior.

    Dukakis, after having a significant early lead against Bush, Sr., got overrun by it.

    Clinton sort of got around it in 1992, but some of it may have been Perot siphoning off disgruntled would-be Bush, Sr. voters, but Clinton got buried under it for the rest of his Presidency, with regards to all the “gates”, that shaped the narrative for the 2000 election.

    Gore couldn’t get around it, despite the best economy in modern history.

    President Obama sort of dodged some of it for most people, but that was a confluence of evidently failed Republican policies, after eight years of Republican rule and all the spin in the world couldn’t hide Bush, Jr.’s incompetence from 75% of the people for eight years.

    Of course there are 25% of the people, who believed Bush & Co. were doing a good job and these nut-jobs are vocal and have spent the last 20 months spinning conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. These theories don’t stick with the rest of the 75%, but as long as you aren’t saying something crazier than Obama’s born in Kenya, you can get away with a good bit of character assassination against him now.

    The moral of the story is the other side built a powerful media empire to control the information voters get. Some of it was deliberate, like Mellon-Scaife or Rev. Moon, starting up their magazines and newspapers, while some of it was pure serendipity, since no one could’ve foreseen an Australian media owner buying up 20th Century Fox, starting a 4th broadcast network and then launching Fox News.

    For example, Republican Congressman openly tout on talking-head shows how President Obama hasn’t tried to govern in a bi-partisan way, how his policies (thought not him personally) are socialist, etc.

    Anyway you slice it Democrats are outgunned on the media front. The only thing helping Democrats is every few years Republicans seem to get enough power to screw things up badly enough for people to vote Democratic.

  100. 100
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Joe Beese:

    To paraphrase Hunter Thompson: George W. Bush never let me down. Neither will President Palin – to use the current boogeyman of choice. She won’t campaign on a public option and then mock me to rich donors for having believed her. She’ll stab me from the front – rather than the back.

    Seriously, what the fuck? Given the choice between someone who tells you up front that they’ll fuck you long, hard and good, and someone who promises high but doesn’t quite deliver, you’d rather go for the former? I’d like to think we’re talking to a rational person here, but that’s pretty difficult as long as you can’t demonstrate the ability to do basic qualitative utility analysis.

  101. 101
    eemom says:

    @gex:

    well, I always have thought the rule against split infinitives was kinda stupid….

  102. 102
    eemom says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I’d click on it. I don’t like violence in general but I am really wishing it on Shelby and his ilk. All of them.

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    For decades now, you’ve been voting with pinched noses for Democrats.

    I was pretty excited to vote for Clinton in 1992 and 1996. He was a very good President.

    I was excited to vote for President Obama in 2008.

    I’m not always holding my nose and voting.

  104. 104
    Bullsmith says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Ooops, sloppy posting on my part. I meant to say the executive and legislative branches, the SCOTUS is clearly not in any way under democratic control. I’m not sure it’s even sane anymore.

    Sure, yes, in many ways it’s ridiculous to equate the Republicans with the Democrats. At the same time the economy is in real, genuine crisis, it is the issue of the time, and Obama’s chosen faces on that issue are Ben B and Timmy G. That’s not meaningful change from Bush’s team, in terms of the Fed, it’s no change at all. Just like with torture, Obama decided to protect the crooks first and that’s a very legitimate reason to be pissed off and disappointed. It’s got nothing to do with the Republicans. Yes letting the Republicans in is worse, but arguing that because the Republicans are so bad, the Democrats shouldn’t be accountable at all is just aping the way the Republicans went so wrong. Dissent is not only reasonable in a democracy, it’s necessary. As is accountability. Neither party has any interest in either, sadly.

  105. 105
    Catsy says:

    @Joe Beese:

    To paraphrase Hunter Thompson: George W. Bush never let me down. Neither will President Palin – to use the current boogeyman of choice. She won’t campaign on a public option and then mock me to rich donors for having believed her. She’ll stab me from the front – rather than the back.

    So let me see if I have this straight. You would prefer someone who is guaranteed to enact destructive policies over someone who may not deliver every constructive policy he promises?

    I appear to owe an apology here. I had been under the impression that you were one of the many uninformed, low-information voters most in need of Democratic outreach in order to educate you about everything that has been accomplished in the past few years, someone who simply doesn’t understand how government works and cares passionately about particular issues.

    This impression was mistaken. If you really believe what I’ve quoted above, you’re simply a fool whose stupidity is breaktaking in its breadth and depth, whose opinions about the political process contain nothing of worth and leave any reader stupider than they were before having your words inflicted on them.

    If you really want to see progressive policies enacted, the very best thing that you could do for your cause and country is to unplug your computer from the internet and never return.

  106. 106

    I keep seeing this “progressive protest vote” bullshit and wondering what world you people are living in. The problem is not activists staying home, the problem is ordinary voters not voting. That is always a problem in mid-terms and primaries and if ordinary people are not happy it gets worse. This is what needs to be countered – not pointless bitching at a tiny sliver of electorate called protest activists.

    Mis-directed anger doesn’t address what ails turnout, if anything it simply alienates the actual allies. Ordinary voters need to think there is a point in voting in this election. “Not as bad as” or “they’re really worse” doesn’t move them, this “teach America a lesson” horseshit isn’t the problem. Painting the actual loons as loons will work in a couple elections, but not where there isn’t actually crazy rhetoric to use. That is where you need to have something to counterpose to the GOP bullshit and that means running on your goddam accomplishments and that includes the HCR. Yes, the Democrats let the GOP shape the argument but there isn’t a hell of a lot of choice at this point.

    Yeah, there are real stakes in this election – but whining about “firebaggers” on this blog or even in the press does nothing to lay out the stakes in terms that will get ordinary voters to give a shit. That’s harder and a lot less fun than hippie punching, but you either want to win or play stupid games.

  107. 107
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @gene108:

    P.S. After seeing how the powerful can push legislators, the media, and everything else around, I marvel at how anti-trust laws, the FDA, labor laws, etc. were passed against the wishes of big business earlier in the 20th century.

    The difference is, 100-120 years ago there were people who were willing to give their lives to blow shit up and kill rich people. We haven’t gotten there yet. When the 21st cen equivalent of the circa 1900 anarchists and communists start showing up and doing some real damage, that’s when reform will become acceptable to our top 2 percent overlords. And not a day sooner.

  108. 108

    @Chuck Butcher:

    you either want to win or play stupid games.

    That horseshoe toss was settled a long time ago here, BJ is game territory all the way.

    But of course, you are quite right. I just posted this to another venue:

    Those of us who grew up in Arizona in the days when nutjob Ev Meacham would run for governor every two years understand this reality: Even a complete lunatic can accidentally get elected if people don’t get out and vote. The Meacham governorship wounded our state, and it was entirely preventable. Now America is in danger of being wounded by fools and nutjobs running for high office and winning primaries thanks to disturbingly low voter turnouts (Christine O’Donnell won nomination in Delaware with 16% of registered Republicans voting for her). Sure, she is a nutty rightwinger in a strong Dem state, and sure, she is in big trouble for mishandling of campaign funds. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that she, or people like her, can’t win in a general election.The reality of politics is that people who think they are “independent” are sitting on fences while very radical, dangerous people and ideas are advancing thanks mostly to the fact that voters are not going to the polls. If voters turn out in big numbers, Democrats stand the best chance of benefiting and gaining or holding important seats in congress and statehouses. This is an important election. Let’s be clear, this is not a contest between tweedle dum and tweedle dee. It’s a contest between us, and people who really want to repeal the 20th century. That’s their agenda. And that’s a step backward we can’t afford to take.

    Well, we will see what happens. Horse, lead, water, drink. Etc.

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @Joe Beese:

    To paraphrase Hunter Thompson: George W. Bush never let me down. Neither will President Palin – to use the current boogeyman of choice. She won’t campaign on a public option and then mock me to rich donors for having believed her. She’ll stab me from the front – rather than the back.

    And this is what you want, for yourself, for the country, and for all your fellow citizens?

    And does this mean that you are going to vote for Palin and for your nearest tea bagger?

    Or is it that your life is so wonderful that you will be insulated while others drown?

    We really need a thread where people pony up and openly declare, “I’m a progressive or liberal or centrist or something and I openly declare my support for bigotry, racism and scapegoating because it doesn’t make any difference and if I can’t have it pure I don’t want anything at all.”

    @Bullsmith:

    Yes letting the Republicans in is worse, but arguing that because the Republicans are so bad, the Democrats shouldn’t be accountable at all is just aping the way the Republicans went so wrong.

    I have no idea what this means. Exactly how do you propose making Democrats accountable?

    There is a serious disconnect here. As far as I can tell, liberal frustration and tea bagger anger are determined to achieve the same result, the maximum amount of misery for the American people.

  110. 110

    @Brachiator:

    No, you appear to be wrong. I will say the same thing I said to Chuck Butcher just above:

    Let’s be clear, this is not a contest between tweedle dum and tweedle dee. It’s a contest between us, and people who really want to repeal the 20th century. That’s their agenda. And that’s a step backward we can’t afford to take.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio:

    No, you appear to be wrong. I will say the same thing I said to Chuck Butcher just above.

    Either you have not read my posts in this thread, or you meant to direct this comment to someone else.

  112. 112
    Keith G says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    It can’t all be up to him and the White House. The citizenry of this country needs to step up its game and become legitimately involve in carrying out their civic duties.

    I hear ya and as a former hs gov teacher, I agree, in part.

    But that’s bit like Ford thinking that it doesn’t need to build complex and expensive marketing programs as, “if the consumer wants a car, it’s his/her duty to do the research to find what models are being offered.”

    The Rethugs never over estimate the intelligence of potential voters and they seem to spend considerable time being sure that there are multiple streams of “information” that motivate voters.

  113. 113

    @Brachiator:

    I am directing my blast at what you said here:

    As far as I can tell, liberal frustration and tea bagger anger are determined to achieve the same result, the maximum amount of misery for the American people.

    If you meant this as written, then I just don’t agree. If you meant something else, which I suspect is the case, you might want to rewrite it. If you are suggesting that “liberal frustration” is the equivalent of the mind farts of insane people, because they are both negative political forces, then you are wrong. The liberal frustration can be cured in five minutes, by getting the frustrated voter to the polls. There is no cure for Tea Party insanity.

    Frustration and apathy are repairable. Insanity is forever.

    You can canvas frustrated liberal voters and encourage them to vote for Dems. You can’t canvas Tea Party voters and encourage them to do anything worthwhile. That’s a big and important difference.

  114. 114

    @Brachiator:

    As far as I can tell, liberal frustration

    OK, insist on being stupid. The problem is not liberals, the problem is people who wouldn’t label themselves as liberal or progressive not coming out to vote. They are voters who go Democratic when they care and they go that way because of some mild sense of fairness and they’re easily scared away or bored.

    You mistake political electoral terms for what you think, the base isn’t made up of activists – it is the people who would ordinarily vote for you. Activist numbers tend to be fairly close, even in heavily D or R states. The base includes quite a few low intensity voters, their level of “give a shit” is just enough to bring them out ordinarily. That base can be crucial in low turn-out elections because the so-called independents are least likely to vote and least predictable in such an election.

    You cannot base your thinking on the 08 election, Obama and Presidency and the situation re:GWB and economics created something out of the ordinary. This is the politics of mid-terms with an unhappy electorate and that unhappiness is generic in nature. High turn out almost always favors Democrats – see GOP efforts to suppress votes. But you want to go after a chimera.

  115. 115
    les says:

    @jl:

    It’s part of Noonan’s walk away policy. The Bushies actively prevented state atty. generals from prosecuting mortgage fraud, in the name of glorious capitalism. We can’t look back.

  116. 116
    Brachiator says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio:

    The liberal frustration can be cured in five minutes, by getting the frustrated voter to the polls. There is no cure for Tea Party insanity.

    If the frustrated don’t get to the polls and pull the lever, the effect is the same. Otherwise, there is not much point arguing over this issue.

    @Chuck Butcher:

    The problem is not liberals, the problem is people who wouldn’t label themselves as liberal or progressive not coming out to vote. Don’t get hung up on the label. I don’t care if you call it Heechee frustration.

    Anyone who does not pull the lever for the Democrats in the mid term elections, and in 2012 is letting the equivalent of the American Taliban get a leg up in American society.

    You cannot base your thinking on the 08 election, Obama and Presidency and the situation re:GWB and economics created something out of the ordinary. This is the politics of mid-terms with an unhappy electorate and that unhappiness is generic in nature.

    Hewing to conventional wisdom may help insure Defeat for the Democrats. The “politics of the midterm” is creating an opportunity for the tea baggers and their puppet masters.

    Much of the discussion here reminds me of the recent Swedish elections. Somehow, when no one was looking, when everyone was expecting some variation of the usual, something very unusual happened:

    Elections on Sunday gave an anti-immigration party its first parliamentary seats and deprived the governing coalition of its majority, plunging the country into rare political instability.
    __
    Meanwhile the Social Democrats, architects of the modern Swedish state and one of Europe’s most successful political parties, recorded their worst performance since World War I.

    This hasn’t entirely toppled the Swedish government yet, but a nation that was proud of its tradition of tolerance is now rocked by open displays of racism and exclusion.

    Isn’t it fortunate that we don’t have any of this kind of thing here?

  117. 117

    If the frustrated don’t get to the polls and pull the lever, the effect is the same.

    Brilliantly argued. You have discovered that if good voters don’t vote, bad things can happen.

    And this is exactly the same as having bad voters voting for certifiable lunatics … or being certifiable lunatics. Because they are the same thing.

    Hey, you win. I can’t argue with this kind of logic. I say we just fucking give up and move to Canada.

  118. 118
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Keith G:

    I hear ya and as a former hs gov teacher, I agree, in part.
    __
    But that’s bit like Ford thinking that it doesn’t need to build complex and expensive marketing programs as, “if the consumer wants a car, it’s his/her duty to do the research to find what models are being offered.”
    __

    I understand this comparison, really, but I don’t think it’s the same at all. Whereas the choice to purchase a car (and specifically, a particular type of car) is a luxury that often requires time and research to make an appropriate decision and is not a necessary component of participating in this society (of course that depends on where you live, to a degree), voting is a fundamental responsibility that is expected and required of all citizens involved in this bustling democracy of ours. You don’t have the same freedom to pass on buying a Ford or Toyota that you do with opting not to vote.

    We are all aware that there is a glut of information out there in this new digital age available for people to dive into and explore pressing issues with a greater independence than ever before. But we are also equally aware that more people in this country care about what’s going with the latest season of American Idol or Jersey Shore than they do the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus, TARP, and Financial Regulation. Now, this is due in large part to the fact that there are sizable and vested interests in this country who have made it their mission to confuse, frustrate, and disillusion the American public into believing that they play no meaningful role in our political system and all of their efforts to fight for change have been, and will continue to be, for naught. This gets at what you were talking about in your other statement:

    The Rethugs never over estimate the intelligence of potential voters and they seem to spend considerable time being sure that there are multiple streams of “information” that motivate voters.

    Yes, there need to be concerted efforts to point out that Republicans are lying liars who always lie, but similarly, people have to start plugging in and paying attention to what’s happening in this country. We may not have the government we deserve, but as a society, we damn sure have gotten the government we’ve earned over the years, because not enough people care or are invested in what’s happening to this country.

  119. 119
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @mr. whipple:

    I have yet to see or hear one Dem commercial. For months the radio has been constant with the GOP/anti-government commercials, so much so I know them by heart. Now that the gop has defined the Democrats, and the Democrats have yet to define the GOP, I’m thinking they are keeping their powder dry until November 10th or so.

    The only Democratic ads I’ve seen to date have been Pat Quinn’s attack ads against Brady. Nothing in the IL Senate race, nothing during the week I visited my folks in NW PA (while pro-Republican or pro-Toomey ads aired non-stop), and certainly no national TV ads. There is one “pro-Democratic Party” ad that runs sometimes on our liberal talk radio station, but that’s it. I honestly thought I hadn’t seen any ads because when I watch any network TV it tends to be something I’ve recorded and so I FF through the commercials, but maybe it really just is that the Democrats are this fucking dumb.

  120. 120
    Bullsmith says:

    @Brachiator:

    In this case I’m just talking about at least holding people accountalbe rhetorically if nothing else. There seems to be a logic at play that pointing out one’s enormous unhappiness with the actions of Democrats is somehow doing the work of the Republicans or, worse, is unacceptable because the Republicans are so bad. Bullshit. I’m not suggesting working for Republicans, voting for Republicans or withholding a vote for even a pretty lousy candidate. I’m saying the country’s in serious trouble and the fact that the Republicans are actively making things worse makes it all the more important the Democrats mind the store with some kind of honesty. It’s a democracy and they campaigned on things and when they do the exact opposite it deserves to be pointed out.

    I’m specifically arguing against the idea that people are disappointed with Obama or (much moreso in my case) the congress for irrational reasons, and especially the idea that the Republicans going crazy is some kind of excuse for bad actions by the Democrats.

    If I were persuaded that the major bills they’ve passed are really good, I’d be a lot more sympathetic to some of the arguments in this thread saying the criticism is unfounded, but I’m not. I wish I were. God I want to believe that. I wish had faith in Mitt Romney’s health care plan or Tim Geithner’s Wall Street regulation. But I see corporate structures that have been exposed as nakedly predatory, to the point of fraudulent in both those industries, and after receiving the double-barelled mandate of huge majorities and, in the financial sector, openly exposed fraud and failed business practices, those industries are pretty much unchanged. Same untouchable corporate masters, same 100% captive Americans who need things like doctors and houses to get by, and can’t get them without health insurance and banks and so are being slowly bled to death by said profiteers. Maybe I’m a fool to feel more than let down with what passed, but god damn it, forcing everyone to buy health insurance from companies that have been proven to be dishonest and to actively work to keep the maximum amount of care out the hands of the actually sick is a tough pill to swallow.

    I’m blown away by the ability to pass health care, but the more the Democrats leave a broken system in place (tax benefits to offshoring jobs, anyone?) the more cynical I become about how that came about and what was actually passed. And the more I think that it needs to be pointed out that just cause some bills passed doesn’t mean the big problems are fixed. Health insurance bills are going up, not down. Income inequality is growing, not shrinking and yet how many Democrats are treating cutting benefits as more reasonable than raising taxes? This isn’t the perfect being the enemy of the good, its bad government.

    Some in this thread blame a failure of communication and they may be right. Maybe these big bills aren’t a few good things bought through unacceptable giveaways to those who own the political system, but myself I think it’s a failure to live up to the key, one-word promise the current administration chose to embody: change.

    What has really changed in America? On Health care they delivered a major change, but it was pretty much entirely the one implemented by a Republican who came pretty close to being the Republican nominee. In some ways not major change at all. Fin Reg sounds like change but is it? iSure a couple of fraudulent credit card scams got shut down, but the whole industry remains unchanged. Seriously the changes to student loans and teaser rates are net goods, but what do they really have to do with what triggered TARP? Enormous enormous fraud was committed and no one has been held accountable. But hey, they can’t up your interest rate without telling you any more. Still going to up it of course, but now you know! An entire industry suckered unqualifed buyers into drowing in debt, and then suckered honest investors into buying it as bond-quality AAA funds. That’s criminal, that’s outright, deliberate massive fraud. The perpetrators are fully exposed as are their victims from a their bonuses are bigger than ever. Torturers can’t be prosecuted but whistleblowers can. Those who twisted the law to enable it now teach law and judge it in court. To counter that the Dems have……….? Christ no wonder everyone’s angry.

    Look, I fully concede the point that voting for Democrats will get you Democrats instead of Republicans and that’s important, in cases like Scotus vitally so, in cases like Blanche Lincoln less so. But just as it’s important to point out who the Republicans are and what they say they’re going to do, it is also important to point out what the Democrats are doing and you don’t have to be a bitter lefty to notice they’re doing things behind close doors that they won’t accurately describe or defend in public. So doing that is one little way of holding them accountable.

    Enough. Sorry. I’ll shut up for a good long while, promise.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @DonBelacquaDelPurgatorio:
    RE: If the frustrated don’t get to the polls and pull the lever, the effect is the same.

    Brilliantly argued. You have discovered that if good voters don’t vote, bad things can happen.

    I just love it when posters pull a quote out of context. Over the past few days, people have been arguing the reasonableness of their frustration, passivity, and the frustration and passivity of previously energized voters.

    And there are people here arguing that Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter, that some variation of the same old same old will just keep creeping along. Others even lean to the idiotic fantasy that if things do get bad, voters will wake up and rise up and … do something. Or maybe nothing.

    And then we have you, so anxious to distinguish the bad Republicans from the frustrated Democrats. Fine. I’m with Dante, who consigned to the Vestibule of Hell those who refused to choose sides in the war between Lucifer and God.

    Ed elli a me: “Questo misero modo
    tegnon l’anime triste di coloro
    che visser sanza ‘nfamia e sanza lodo.
    Mischiate sono a quel cattivo coro
    de li angeli che non furon ribelli
    né fur fedeli a Dio, ma per sé fuoro.
    __
    And he to me: ‘This miserable state is borne
    by the wretched souls of those who lived
    without disgrace yet without praise.
    ‘They intermingle with that wicked band
    of angels, not rebellious and not faithful
    to God, who held themselves apart.
    __
    Mercy and justice hold them in contempt.
    Let us not speak of them — look and pass by.’

    Which side are you on?

  122. 122
    daverave says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    My wife, who is in the insurance industry, told me yesterday that Blue Cross of California is no longer writing health insurance for people under 18 years of age, with or without pre-existing conditions, period. This is how they are dealing with this aspect of HCR, at least for now. Kids under 18 years of age can still get insured under their parents’ plan but cannot be individually insured. You would think that this would be a desirable class of customers, as they tend to be the healthiest, but the HCR mandate has Blue Cross running the other way entirely. Great system we’ve got going, huh?

  123. 123

    @Brachiator:

    Don’t get hung up on the label

    OK, I understand – words don’t mean anything other than what you want them to at any given moment. So I’m to take it that the focus of your attention isn’t where you said it was but we’re to just guess? If you expect to focus an argument on a voter group it would be a damned good idea to focus it on them and not some other group.

    As for Sweden, what the fuck does that have to do with anything? This isn’t 08 and playing at it being 08 will guarantee you failure. You can call noting that low turn out mid-terms aren’t high turn out Pres elections CW then maybe you need to reconsider your disdain for CW. If the Ds can’t manage turnout then they’re screwed because the GOP has already gotten it going.

    I’m supposed to take it seriously that you’ve noted people not voting D means the GOP wins? Gee, no shit.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Bullsmith:

    Enough. Sorry. I’ll shut up for a good long while, promise.

    First of all, thank you for taking the time to post this. I see your point. I may not agree. Hell, I don’t agree. But I asked a question, and you came back with an eloquent reply.

    In this case I’m just talking about at least holding people accountalbe rhetorically if nothing else….I’m specifically arguing against the idea that people are disappointed with Obama or (much moreso in my case) the congress for irrational reasons, and especially the idea that the Republicans going crazy is some kind of excuse for bad actions by the Democrats.

    I don’t think that all the disappointment is irrational. Nursing the disappointment is irrational. And a waste of time. People act as though the imperfect legislation passed was not opposed. Even stranger, people act as though the legislation cannot be improved (see the history of Social Security for an easy corrective).

    And yeah, some Democrats are complicit with Republicans in seeking to restore the dominance of the oligarchy in America. Others are worn out, lazy, stupid, eager to yield, something they did so well during the Bush presidency. So we need better Democrats and Obama needs to toughen up, focus, do something better, smarter, more ruthlessly political.

    But it’s not Either/Or. It’s Both/And.

    The Republicans are not crazy. They are vile. Much like BP, they drilled deep and tapped into a well of bigotry, which has leaked out onto the social landscape. And much like BP, they mistakenly believe that they can contain the spill and direct the flow of hatred. This has always been a miscalculation.

    It’s not just politics as usual, a mid-course correction. The stakes are higher. What used to be a fringe, what used to be said in private, what used to be couched in metaphor and indirect language, has now become a mainstream flowering of hatred. The tea party is now the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and here you find people saying that we don’t need Muslims in the military, or America, that “gay sex” should be outlawed, that Latinos who are citizens should not be.

    You have posters here bemoaning the continuation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Meanwhile, the tea baggers are simply saying, “Don’t Be.”

    I realize now that it’s been a while since most Americans have seen naked bigotry, Jim Crow Laws, loyalty oaths. It’s been a while since you’ve seen large numbers of people fired because they refuse to name names or go along with an angry mob. We’ve evolved. We’ve learned our lessons. We’ve become more sensitive.

    People assured me that the hostility toward Obama would pass, that the birther controversy would fade away, that America would become so used to gays that gay marriage would be just around the corner.

    Instead, the fear, anger and hatred has smoldered and grown; it has been nurtured by professionals. Even Karl Rove has had to sign onto the Tea Bag Express.

    Republican Party leaders realize that if they purge all moderates (liberal Republicans were cut loose a long time ago) and if they get some tea party hacks into Congress, they will have a core of rigid opposition to the Democrats that they never have to worry about. The crazy and the racism is a bonus. Or so they figure.

    But Democratic voters need to deal with this now. You might not get another chance. And then, disappointment will be the least of your worries.

  125. 125
    Bill Murray says:

    At least some of you have real choices. I get to choose between

    1. the woman who doesn’t support equal rights for gays, didn’t support the health insurance bill, didn’t support the financial regulation bill, didn’t support changing the bankruptcy and credit card laws (well the new ones she supported the changes that made them better for the companies), didn’t support the minimum wage increase and probably some others I forgot, or

    2. the Republican woman.

    Woo Hoo! another year of voting for evil. I’m so excited. The local democrats usually run as pro-business moderates

  126. 126
    chaseyourtail says:

    If Democrats can not make the case, maybe the economy is the only thing that matters and we should just say to hell with elections and apportion seats in congress based on the unemployment rate.

    Yes John, but how can they make a case about anything to the intellectually lazy/willfully ignorant. Yes, the Dems have a message problem but at some point it falls on the brain dead American electorate to wake the fuck up. At this point in history, the choice is extremely obvious and if Americans (after all this country went through with Bush) are still going to abstain from voting or vote Republican then there’s really no hope for them. Their imbecility and inaction will be the death of us all.

    I can’t stand people who don’t vote. There’s no excuse for such abject laziness at this time in history. I’ve just about had it with a friend of mine who never bothers to vote, ever. She has plenty of time for Facebook mind you, but no time whatsoever to go to the polls or even send in an absentee ballot. I’ve known her for a long time (since we were kids) and she has never voted in her life. When we were younger it didn’t bother me as much because, well I didn’t really get it. But we are mature women now and the fact that she’s still too apathetic to bother voting makes me sick. I’ve tried to encourage her but she just gets irritated and refuses to continue the conversation. She even has a young child. Can’t she even vote for her kid’s sake, if not for her own? I know I’m on a rant here but it’s gotten to the point that I feel I can’t be friends with someone with this kind of mentality. It truly bothers me that much.

  127. 127
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @daverave:

    My wife, who is in the insurance industry, told me yesterday that Blue Cross of California is no longer writing health insurance for people under 18 years of age, with or without pre-existing conditions, period. This is how they are dealing with this aspect of HCR, at least for now. Kids under 18 years of age can still get insured under their parents’ plan but cannot be individually insured. You would think that this would be a desirable class of customers, as they tend to be the healthiest, but the HCR mandate has Blue Cross running the other way entirely. Great system we’ve got going, huh?

    Well, good thing the fine legislature of California is on top of the issue, right?

    Anthem Blue Cross, California’s largest health insurer, announced that it would suspend sales of new child-only policies beginning September 23.
    __
    That is the day that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) takes effect.
    __
    Anthem’s announcement follows the Legislature’s recent approval of AB 2244 (Mike Feuer- D42), legislation on the Governor’s desk that phases-in critical provisions of PPACA.
    __
    The bill prohibits insurers selling individual market policies in California from refusing to sell or renew coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions. It also requires insurers to issue policies to kids whose parents seek coverage during open enrollment periods and allows parents to renew those policies.
    __
    If the Governor signs AB 2244, Anthem would be banned from the individual market in California for five years if it stops selling new child-only policies.

    If you live in California, I encourage you to make some calls to ensure this legislation gets passed. Also, be sure to vote for Jerry Brown in November.

    Great system we’ve got going, huh?

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Ah, I was wondering why suddenly I was hearing Blue Cross/Anthem commercials about how deeply they really care about all of us. That’s always the prelude.

  129. 129
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @chaseyourtail:

    I know I’m on a rant here but it’s gotten to the point that I feel I can’t be friends with someone with this kind of mentality. It truly bothers me that much.

    It should bother you that much, especially if she ever has the audacity to complain about the country around her going to shit while she doesn’t fulfill her most basic obligation as a citizen.

  130. 130
    John Bird says:

    Sure is going to suck when we get that ‘tweaking’ and ‘improving’ that is supposedly in store for the lackluster bills that have been passed . . .

    . . . from the Republicans.

  131. 131
    John Bird says:

    You have posters here bemoaning the continuation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Meanwhile, the tea baggers are simply saying, “Don’t Be.”

    Discrimination or murder? It’s up to you, that’s the power of democracy!

  132. 132

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