Sit There And Take It, Round 2

Andrew responds that I am wrong, and the Democrats should not continue to attack the Chamber of Commerce for their failure to disclose and for their using foreign money because it sounds whiny and Reason’s Jacob Sullum noted that the NY Times reported that the Sierra Club also accepts foreign money.

Seriously.

The whining is coming from the Chamber, the DC pundit class, and Karl Rove, and when the Sierra Club spends 100 million dollars coordinating and funding deceitful and dishonest ads with the sole intent of putting one party in power, get back to me. And I’m simply flabbergasted that the Republicans can spend years attacking immigrants, Muslims, and everyone in between, but what gets the beltway class worked up about xenophobia is Democrats CORRECTLY pointing out that the Chamber and Republicans are using the money of billionaires and foreign multinationals to influence domestic elections.

And again, it is important to remember what Andrew thinks the Democrats should be using as an issue to win this election:

My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt.

I’m dying over here. Democrats- keep hitting them on the foreign money issue. When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.






228 replies
  1. 1
    kth says:

    I happen to think long-term fiscal trends are likely to result in pretty bad inflation. But until there’s a way to guarantee that the Republicans won’t squander any austerity gains on tax cuts and wars, attempts to reduce the deficit are like pissing in the wind, both fiscally and politically.

  2. 2
    Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim) says:

    Sullivan’s blog should be read and observed as a cultural/political artifact/examplar, not earnestly engaged.

    The guy is self evidently emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually messed up. I’ve been reading his blog since it began and all the evidence is there in the archives.

    So sayeth I.

  3. 3
    lol says:

    Dems need to keep their boot on the CoC’s neck.

  4. 4
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Campaign on ending long term debt?

    You’vegottobefuckingkiddingme. He sounds like Claire McCaskill trying to woo teatards and remains too stoopid to realize that those morans will never vote for her.

    Nobody except the teatards give a shit about long term debt.

    Again, why this guy’s opnions remains relevant here is beyond me.

    And yes, methinks the assholes on the other side doth protest too muchly, therefore, we should be pounding this into the ground.

    And

    Democrats believe in jobs for Americans.
    Republicans believe in jobs for China.

  5. 5
    Tom Hilton says:

    Is the Sierra Club running pro- or anti-candidate ads?

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Nobody except the teatards give a shit about long term debt.

    They don’t care about the debt, either. They care about spending on people other than them.

  7. 7
    Kryptik says:

    The problem, as I see it, is it feels like at least more individual candidates on our side agree more with Mr. Sullivan than with John and the facts. At least the top-down organizations we have seem to be figuring out things.

  8. 8
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @lol:

    Dems need to keep their boot on the CoC’s neck.

    They need to get it there first.

  9. 9
    TR says:

    @lol:

    Dems need to keep their boot on the CoC’s neck.

    Amen.

  10. 10

    @John Cole: They care about government debt the way they care about government overreach – that is to say, not at all, until it’s a Democrat in the White House.

  11. 11
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Andrew is an idiot.

    “Democrats- keep hitting them on the foreign
    money issue.”

    What he said.

  12. 12
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @That Other Mike:

    This.

  13. 13
    Maude says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:
    You know when the Repubs and the CoC start squealing, you are doing something right. People don’t like foreign money in campaigns.
    This is getting attention and Obama is good at keeping the pressure on.
    The Repubs wouldn’t change/reverse the tax benefit to companies going off shore to getting a tax benefit to companies coming here or staying here and getting a tax benefit. Some goober from the Repubs said that he was concerned about the multinational corporations.

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    what will happen:

    1. some Dems will half-heartedly go after the CoC over foreign cash.
    2. nobody will notice.
    3. the GOP will, in a giant and well-coordinated campaign, attack some very visible left-leaning targets (AFL-CIO, etc) for doing something similar.
    4. the press will pick up the GOP’s attack because that’s what the press does.
    5. the Dems, cowed by this attack, will force the AFL-CIO to change the ways it does campaigns.
    6. the CoC will laugh in its best Nelson Muntz voice.

  15. 15
    Ash Can says:

    Democrats- keep hitting them on the foreign money issue. When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.

    Reiterated, in bold and blockquote, because it bears reiteration, in bold and blockquote. Hopefully, no one in Democratic leadership is paying any attention to Andrew Sullivan.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    John Cole @ top:

    Democrats- keep hitting them on the foreign money issue. When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.

    Ding, ding, ding! Absolutely right. Dems need to keep hitting at it until this issue is well known. “Foreign governments are funding American elections!” “Really? That’s not right.” “It sure isn’t. And get this, the Chamber of Commerce is for it!”

  17. 17
    biff diggerence says:

    You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE!

  18. 18
    Mark says:

    I have periodically been in situations where someone makes a racist comment. When I or someone else call them out on it, the outcome is often that people aren’t mad at the person who made the racist comment, but at the person who called them out. Because they were intemperate in their speech. How rude to call out a racist!

    Same deal here.

  19. 19
    Ross Hershberger says:

    My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt.

    This is a great con for the GOP. It started with Reagan. It was clear when they lowered taxes and increased spending beyond income that they were creating conditions under which no Dem would ever be able to enact or expand a social program. It’s kinda brilliant if you can dodge the ‘big spender’ tag while expanding spending. Reagan and Bush both managed to pull that off.
    Now they can squander our resources like found money, but when a Dem wants something like HCR they fall back on Conservative principles that we can’t afford it.
    And it’s been working.

  20. 20
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    There are only two responses to Democratic criticisms of the GOP:

    1) Why are you so angry?
    2) Why don’t you stop whining?

    If you expect them to address the criticism on the merits of the critique or the facts at hand, you’re kidding yourself.

  21. 21
    Montysano says:

    @lol:

    Dems need to keep their boot on the CoC’s neck.

    And hope to achieve what result? As a result of the Citizens United ruling, the CoC’s behavior is now legal. We’re essentially asking the GOP/CoC to be a good sport and tell us something that they’re not required to divulge.

  22. 22

    Since we have no MSM that will be completely honest with us all [Democrats and Republicans], we have to search out clues about what reality is.

    And the clue in this case is that the Bad Guys are really complaining. We must be doing something right. Therefore, we gotta keep it up.

    This reminds me of the old USSR joke about eye-ear disease, where what the guy heard from press and media was different from what he saw around him.

    I guess we have degenerated to that point.

  23. 23
    soonergrunt says:

    @That Other Mike: this.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’ll bet you the Sierra Club will tell you where every dollar is coming from and where it is going.

  26. 26

    What too many people forget about Sullivan is that he never stopped being a conservative. He’s not a liberal and never has been, so it’s not particularly wise to take his suggestions about how to attack conservatives seriously. He just hated Bush and felt the Republicans had lost their minds. He seems to have backed off the latter a little recently, which tells you just how intellectually honest he is.

  27. 27
    Sloegin says:

    When one side plays politics and the other side “rises above all that”, the one playing politics wins.

    Sierra Club? Seriously? That’s the counter argument?

    Sully is an idiot on this one.

  28. 28
    soonergrunt says:

    @biff diggerence: Put down the crack pipe and the LSD likum tabs, and back away from the keyboard.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Kryptik: I guess maybe this is a big money gravy train for all politicians, not just the GOP. They do better than the Dems, but the Dems do better than citizens, so why rock the boat?

  31. 31
    Nick says:

    @Montysano:

    And hope to achieve what result

    Well, if this was a rational country, the end result would be an angry mob of voters electing into office politicians who will support legislation, amendments if need be, reversing Citizens United…or at least vote to pass the DISCLOSE Act.

  32. 32
    biff diggerence says:

    Dearest soonergrunt:

    Don’t be a pop culture retard.

    It’s a quote from “Network”.

    Tongue-in-Cheek post. Get it?

  33. 33
    debbie says:

    Also, Murdoch’s getting grief from his investors:

    http://marketplace.publicradio.....investors/

  34. 34
    JM says:

    OK, how many members of the CoC rely on government contracts?

    Kiss them goodbye.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    @Montysano: The whole point here is, the GOP and CoC aren’t the real audience for these complaints. The voters are the audience. At long last, the Dems have latched onto an issue that they can effectively hammer the GOP on in the eyes of the voters. And it’s working.

    Let’s hope they keep it up.

  36. 36
    carlos the dwarf says:

    The CoC’s actions are pretty frickin egregious, but it’s not an attack that’s going to resonate with voters. Effective attacks hit candidates on their strengths. Effective attacks point out that the Tea Party candidates are campaigning on cutting spending but can’t actually name any programs they want to cut. Attacking a third party for investing foreign money in American elections–that’s going to put independent voters to sleep.

  37. 37
    Shrillhouse says:

    Is Sully serious?

    The national debt? Is that what he thinks the average American is worried about? He should pick up a newspaper sometime.

    9.6% unemployment. A third of all homeowners in negative equity…Hello? Anybody in there???

  38. 38

    @biff diggerence: But when will the Dems get mad as hell, and not take it anymore?

  39. 39
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Campaign on ending the long-term debt.

    Because Clinton erased the deficit & started paying down the debt and Republicans loved him!

  40. 40
    Juicebagger says:

    Mark: Oh, I see you’ve met the Juicebagger indifference to Nick’s proud antisemitism, too. Well met, fellow traveller.

    – signed Rootless Cosmopolitan

  41. 41
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Ross Hershberger: I seem to remember in 2000 Democrats campaigning on debt reduction. Don’t really recall the right giving a shit about that then, and I don’t think they really give a shit about it now. They only raise the issue now because we’re in a cycle where we need Keynesian stimulus to fix the economy THEY broke.

    What the Dems need is fewer dishonest brokers on the right, because we’ve seen this before. We can come clean up the budget mess, and then the better budget situation calls for TAX CUTS, not debt reduction, when the GOP takes charge.

    On the other hand, since Americans seem to be completely unable to observe this pattern, maybe you are right. Maybe they should just go the GOP route and just lie about their priorities and policies.

  42. 42
    Montysano says:

    @biff diggerence:

    and YOU… WILL… ATONE!

    Nicely done, sir.

    I recently purchased the 30th anniversary edition of “Network” and have been inflicting it on my friends, causing them to weep, drink heavily, and curse me for making them watch it. Possibly the most prophetic movie ever made, and a damn fine film to boot.

  43. 43
    BGinCHI says:

    Sully’s just trying to distract everyone before his new book comes out: Tom Donohue and the Chamber of Commerce.

    In this one the Harry Potter character is a slimy old rich guy who fucks every hard working American out of their money in order to turn Hogwarts into Honduras.

  44. 44
    flukebucket says:

    @biff diggerence:

    It has always been one of my favorite tirades of all time.

  45. 45
    cat48 says:

    Ok, this is what he usually says when he brings this up. Notice he says “could even be”……..very Rovian:

    And thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, they are being helped along this year by special interest groups that are spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads — attacking folks like Patrick Murphy, attacking folks like Joe Sestak — just attacking people without ever disclosing who’s behind all these attack ads. You don’t know. It could be the oil industry. It could be the insurance industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose.

    Edit…Unbelievable that Chamber has the entire friggin town working for it/whining or whatever

  46. 46
    Jules says:

    God Sullivan pisses me off some days and this whole “don’t point out corruption because it makes you seem whiny” is a bullshit meme that is from the pit of hell.

    Here in Little Rock we’ve had a problem with the local CofC using their position to run down the public schools.
    Right, they are supposed to help bring businesses to the city but like to spend their time undermining the local school system.

    http://www.arktimes.com/arkans.....id=1262806

    http://www.arktimes.com/Arkans.....lr-schools

    Bastards.
    Plus they get $200,000 from the City of Little Rock for “promoting” the city.

  47. 47
    Mark says:

    @Juicebagger –

    Like Lisa Simpson when confronted by “Yahoo Serious” on a movie theater marquee, I read some words that I recognize in your comment, but I don’t understand how they go together.

  48. 48
    Kiril says:

    You know you hit them where it hurts when they squeal. When that happens, you don’t back off, you hit them harder the same way.

  49. 49
    Steve says:

    There’s really not a very big difference between what the Chamber of Commerce is doing and what Tom DeLay is being prosecuted for.

    Why do they keep claiming there’s “no evidence”? It has been established that foreign money goes into the CoC’s account. It has been established that they do their political spending from that same account. They keep demanding “evidence” that those foreign dollars are the same dollars that are being used to finance the political spending, but that’s how a bank account works. Money is fungible. You can’t trace the progress of a particular dollar bill through a bank account and say “oh, that dollar bill didn’t get used for political spending, it was some other dollar bill.”

    Once it is established that all the funds are commingled in a single bank account, the case is closed.

  50. 50
    Sue says:

    The foreign money aspect of this is important, but I hope everyone continues to hammer home the fact that it’s not just foreign money. The chamber is dipping into a huge pool of CORPORATION money, US and foreign, to influence elections all over the country.
    Also, I emailed the national website of the United Church of Christ a few weeks back asking if they had any position on the chamber activities, given that many churches join the local chamber of commerce. No reply. If churches in the chamber are common in your area, maybe you want to contact your national site too.

  51. 51
    tomvox1 says:

    Oh, Sully. How is anyone supposed to take you seriously when you say stupid shit like this:

    My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt.

    Um, no. Campaign on JOBS and and point out how the Right Wing takes foreign cash to help outsource American jobs by putting their ad dollars behind “business friendly” candidates.

    And no, no one really gives a shit about the debt. It’s just an all-purpose boogeyman that pops up when a Democrat is president and trying to, you know, help the middle class and the poor.

    One more toke over the line, Sweet Sully…

  52. 52
    Carnacki says:

    @biff diggerence:

    You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE!

    Should I atone for my non-galactic meddling first, or should I begin there?

  53. 53
    patrick II says:

    It seems the republicans have topped Hitler’s “big lie” strategy, which was to tell a lie so big and bald that people could not believe it was untrue.

    Republicans now use “big outrage” strategy. They perform an act so outrageous, despicable and contemptible, like selling the country and democracy out for money, that many people look right at it and cannot believe their eyes, and counterintuitively, defend the outrageous conduct, as they do the big lie, because it would be so hard to believe that your fellow Americans would be traitors.

    Calling the “big outrage” out is absolutely the correct and necessary thing to do not just for the democrats but anyone who is supposed to care about this country. Just don’t expect everyone else to get past their denial — and that denial is the underlying basis for the success of both the ‘big lie” and the “big outrage”.

  54. 54
    Jules says:

    Reason’s Jacob Sullum noted that the NY Times reported that the Sierra Club also accepts foreign money

    Over on Little Green Footballs they call that the Magical Balance Fairy…..

  55. 55
    martha says:

    I actually think that this is a serious issue that some Dems, as completely incompetent as they are at messaging, will be able to score with.

    The pigs are squealing, which means we’re scoring some hits. The louder they squeal, the more we’re getting closer to the target.

    Feingold hammered the child-molester-shielding Johnson during the second debate with this issue two nights ago very effectively. This issue works in states like WI.

    Basically, set up a boogeyman (FOREIGN CORPORATIONS) and hammer home the message of their evil doing, relentlessly (ARE BUYING OUR ELECTIONS), even if the evidence cannot be proven. And don’t stop.

  56. 56
    Suck It Up! says:

    @carlos the dwarf:

    We are not just trying to get the independent vote. A lot of Dem voters need to be reached. Independents are nothing but closet partisans anyway.

  57. 57
    BGinCHI says:

    The CofC’s Motto:

    Corporations are people too, and they DEMAND Representation Without Taxation.

  58. 58
    Montysano says:

    @Nick:

    Well, if this was a rational country, the end result would be an angry mob of voters

    Yesterday I caught a few minutes of Hannity, lying to his listeners as per usual (“TARP was payback to Wall Street for helping get Obama elected!” Srsly.). There are two possible scenarios here: 1) Consumers of wingnut propaganda really don’t know they’re being lied to, or B) They’re completely aware that they’re being lied to and are fine with it.

    I’m going with B), which is why we’re so completely fucked.

  59. 59
    GregB says:

    I hope that most left leaning and Democratic Party members will pull out of their memberships to the Chamber of Commies.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    As far as debt/deficit goes, this is something that the two wings of the Democratic party could actually be working together nicely on, presuming everyone actually believes what they profess to believe. Liberals can sketch out initiatives that stimulate the economy now and continue resonating into the future. “Deficit hawks” and “fiscal responsibility” mongers can sketch out long-term debt repayment and judicious spending cuts. Each can bring to the table their supposed strengths. This is how a coalition ought to work. I don’t think it’s been being done.

  61. 61
    someguy says:

    If people knew that the little storefront for the Chamber in their town was nothing but a tool of foreign business interests and the Republican Party, I suspect we’d be hearing about a rash of broken windows all over the U.S.

  62. 62
    Nick says:

    @tomvox1:

    Um, no. Campaign on JOBS and and point out how the Right Wing takes foreign cash to help outsource American jobs by putting their ad dollars behind “business friendly” candidates.

    But liberals do it too, and here’s a bunch of lies that sound plausible to prove it. Now that you think both parties are lying cheats, you should vote for us because we hate Muslims and Mexicans and love baby Jesus.

  63. 63
    Ripley says:

    Sullivan: 10 years of self-loathing passing as a political blog. Huzzah, mate! Now fuck off.

  64. 64
    Joshua says:

    I really cannot see how this is not a winning issue. Sullivan has been in the Beltway too long.

    Nobody outside of the Beltway wants foreign dollars influencing American elections. NOBODY. Not the teabags, not the hippies, nobody.

    Compare this to, say, “ending the debt”, which nobody outside OR inside the Beltway care about. It’s simply not an issue to even talk about, or even campaign about, because *nobody* cares about, not even the people who swear they do.

  65. 65
    Alwhite says:

    @Ash Can:

    Hopefully, no one in Democratic leadership is paying any attention to Andrew Sullivan.

    FIXED:
    Hopefully, no one is paying any attention to Andrew Sullivan.

    Seriously, why does anyone pay any attention to this lemon? Waiting for him to have an original, thoughtful or useful idea is like waiting for Godot.

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Montysano: Nah, they don’t know that they’re being lied to. What they _feel_, unshakably so, is that they’re being screwed, and someone out there is trying to come up with new ways of screwing them every day. Hannity et al just keep telling them it’s “the Democrats” and “the government,” and the causal mechanism is that they keep taking good people’s hard-earned money and either giving it away to lazy darkies and weirdos or just plain wasting it. Every story they tell is just another version of that. “TARP? It was all a Democrat plan to dole out money to rich people.” “Health care? It was all a Democrat plan to dole out money to poor people.” “ACORN? It was all a Democrat plan to take money from white people and give it to black people.” Etc., etc., etc.

    That audience knows, or feels, that the underlying truth of that statement is incontestable–Democrats in government keep taking your stuff, or taking away your chance to get stuff, while making it easier for other people to get more stuff without even working for it–and everything else is just quibbling over specifics.

  67. 67
    Nick says:

    @martha:

    Feingold hammered the child-molester-shielding Johnson during the second debate with this issue two nights ago very effectively

    and he’s still losing.

    Basically, set up a boogeyman (FOREIGN CORPORATIONS) and hammer home the message of their evil doing, relentlessly (ARE BUYING OUR ELECTIONS), even if the evidence cannot be proven. And don’t stop.

    won’t do anything if all people are hearing is “Desperate Democrats lie” which is even coming from people like Glenn Greenwald now over this.

  68. 68
    Ash Can says:

    @martha:

    even if the evidence cannot be proven

    And therein lies one of the best aspects of this whole approach. The CoC and GOP will whine up a storm, but they’re the only ones in possession of the evidence that supposedly would exonerate them. The only way they can clear themselves once and for all is to disclose their sources of funds, and they’ll be damned if they’ll do that. It reminds me of the plot of American Gigolo, in which the only way the gigolo could avoid being convicted of murder was for his girlfriend to admit under oath that she had cheated on her prominent muckety-muck husband and slept with said gigolo at the time the murder took place.

    The GOP and CoC are cornered. Let’s hope the Dems don’t let them off the hook.

  69. 69
    Don says:

    Personally I don’t get the big froth over foreign money but I never got it when it was a big bugaboo for the Republicans either. But I’m not the target of this noise.

    Really I am not sure I understand anybody’s big whackadoodle over foreign campaign money. You want to bring in non-US funds and spend them on what is 100% an American-benefiting product, media? Hells yea! Bring it!

    What’s the concern here, some nonsense Manchurian Candidate phony-ballony threat? Please. The ability of politicians to fuck me hard in service of their American-based corporate masters is FAR greater than what they could do if they were beholden to a foreign government.

  70. 70
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Glenndacious Greenwaldian (formerly tim):

    The guy is self evidently emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually messed up.

    Whenever I find myself eyerolling at a Sullivan post, I keep having to remind myself that his instincts/reflexes are still fundamentally British (in the old-school sense): Totally comfortable with a de facto aristocracy based on birth situation; Needlessly worshipful of longstanding institutions just because they are longstanding institutions (this would explain the allegiance to a Church that openly despises him); and not too concerned with things technical (because, after all, that’s why god created Scotsmen).

    Of course he’s not going to side with the Democrats on this: They’re “whining” against the Natural Order of Things which Must Be Conserved. How gauche, how working-class, how anti-Burkean.

    If you’re looking for a Jeffersonian conservatism, or the conservatism of a Teddy Roosevelt, you’re just not going to find it on his page.

  71. 71
    martha says:

    @Nick: Yes, but it’s tightening. It may be hopeless, but there’s still three weeks, so I’m not on suicide watch yet.

  72. 72
    Joe Beese says:

    Unsurprisingly, Mr. Cole fails to see the irony here.

    So soon Mr. Cole after tells gays to STFU because they won’t help Democrats win elections, Sully tells Mr. Cole to STFU because he, Cole, won’t help Democrats win elections.

    And Mr. Cole has what he likes to call “hurt fee fees” about it.

  73. 73
    Bulworth says:

    I happen to think long-term fiscal trends are likely to result in pretty bad inflation. But until there’s a way to guarantee that the Republicans won’t squander any austerity gains on tax cuts and wars, attempts to reduce the deficit are like pissing in the wind, both fiscally and politically.

    Yes.

    We about eliminated the debt around the year 2000. And look where that got us.

  74. 74
    redoubt says:

    I’m sure it’s already been pointed out that Al Gore might have an appropriate response to this, given what the GOP put him through.

  75. 75
    Juicebagger says:

    Mark: Oh, well then, here is another term whose nuance you will probably miss: useful idiot. As in “John Cole is a useful idiot for continuing to treat Andrew Sullivan as honest and meaningful.” Sullivan is the sort of person who would have applauded the timliness and efficiency of the train that would have taken him to the camps.

  76. 76
    martha says:

    @Ash Can: Yes, this is why it’s so perfectly…Rovian. It’s quite enjoyable to serve them a healthy portion of their own medicine. This falls squarely in the “be careful what you ask for” category. Blowback can be a real bitch.

  77. 77
    Mary G says:

    @John Cole: This. I am also worried about long term debt, but unless cuts in defense spending are at least as big as those on entitlements, I’m voting for the “free-spending” Democrats. The Chamber of Commerce is engaged in a full-out class war between the haves and the have-nots. They should be called out early and often.

    Here in California they have put on a full-court press for some guy named Mike Villines, who is running for insurance commissioner. This is usually an unexciting race, but the amount of money they are spending on it makes me want to send his opponent, Dave Jones, some money. If only I had some. I suspect it will affect the eventual implementation of the Affordable Care Act in favor of business owners against employees.

  78. 78
    Suck It Up! says:

    Sully is something else. He posted video of him on CNN saying Obama is an anti-gay employer and that he was betrayed by him on DADT then he follows up with a ” I still love him though” post.

    I’m slowly starting to sour on him, not because of his on and off affair with Obama, but because he’s sounding more irrational more frequently. He recently said:

    I was arguing last night with someone about Harry Reid. Sharron Angle is a nutcase, obviously. But if I were a Nevadan and had the vote (nearly there), I really don’t think I could vote for Harry Reid. He is everything I hate about Democrats: incapable of making an argument, a face so weak it changes depending on the way the wind is blowing, a voice so sad you think he’s a funeral director, a man whose appareance on television has never evinced any reaction from me but “where’s the remote?” I just couldn’t pull the lever for the guy. Sorry. So I won’t be surprised if the nutjob wins. And a tiny part of me will feel a pulse of intense pleasure to see him go down.

    There is wrong and there is just fucking stupid. So if people like Sullivan allow Repubs to get control and nothing else is done on gay rights for several years, would it be ok if a tiny part of me feels a pulse of intense pleasure?

  79. 79
    Michael D. says:

    @Ripley:

    Sullivan: 10 years of self-loathing

    What does this even mean?

  80. 80
    shortstop says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That was the most succinct summation of this mindset I’ve ever seen. Nicely done.

  81. 81
    TR says:

    @Joe Beese:

    And Mr. Cole has what he likes to call “hurt fee fees” about it.

    Any evidence to back that up? Looks to me like Cole isn’t crying about Sullivan’s stance, but laughing at him in bewilderment.

    And so am I.

  82. 82
    cat48 says:

    @Don:

    He covers the American corporations in the speech, too along with oil, & banksters so now everyone will be mad; but it’s the “foreign” part the got the media, Rove, Chamber’s attn.

  83. 83
    Shade Tail says:

    @Montysano #21:

    And hope to achieve what result? As a result of the Citizens United ruling, the CoC’s behavior is now legal. We’re essentially asking the GOP/CoC to be a good sport and tell us something that they’re not required to divulge.

    No, we’re not asking the GOP/CoC to do anything. We’re using them as a lever to flip the election. By making sure people know what they’re up to, we convince them to vote against those fuckers. And this kind of election strategy has a long and noble history. There are plenty of things that were perfectly legal that have been used to outrage the voters. Slavery, Jim Crow, filthy meat packing plants, the list goes on and on.

    This isn’t about pushing the GOP/CoC to do what we want, this is about *beating* them.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Yes, Joe, we get it. Everything Cole says or does is bad. Thank you for letting us know.

  85. 85
    Mark says:

    @Juicebagger: Nah, I just don’t know who Nick is. Context!

    But I agree about Sullivan. Although he would probably change his mind about the train’s efficiency once he got to the camp, then waffle about whether he should be changing his mind.

  86. 86
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Sue: Not that I disagree, but I think the corporate angle is less effective. The right has convinced their followers that corporate greed serves the greater good. To them, that’s just a sales pitch for the candidate.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Bulworth says:

    @Suck It Up!: Yeah, I didn’t get Sully’s point here either. He didn’t offer any substantive critique of Reid; just that Reid has a sad voice and reminds him of a funeral director. That was it.

  89. 89
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Montysano:

    Yesterday I caught a few minutes of Hannity, lying to his listeners as per usual (“TARP was payback to Wall Street for helping get Obama elected!” Srsly.).

    The law Bush signed was payback for Obama winning an election that hadn’t happened yet? This can mean only one thing: Wall Street has a MF-ing Hot Tub Time Machine! Should make their gaming the system easier.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bulworth: It makes more sense if you’re a masochist. Reid doesn’t make Sullivan feel anything. Angle makes him feel delicious pain.

  91. 91
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Joe Beese:

    You’re as dumb as a Palin.

  92. 92
    John Cole says:

    @Joe Beese: I am convinced you are Just Some Fuckhead attempting to be a funny troll. You don’t even make any sense.

  93. 93
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Corporations are people too, and they DEMAND Representation Without Taxation.

    The ideal world which the Chamber of Commerce Nero (i.e. people who are sitting on a huge fucking pile of cash while the economy burns) would like to take us to is one where corporations have all the rights of a citizen and none of the responsibilities and public obligations, whereas ordinary people have all the the responsibilities and obligations but none of the rights.

    As for Sully and his friends, they may think they are playing at being defict hawks, but they are really nothing more than birds up on a wire:


    I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
    I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
    Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
    We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
    And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
    They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
    You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
    All the way down the telegraph road

  94. 94
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Sullivan is right on the money. Who can forget the 2000 general election where the Clinton-era budgetary surplus swept Al Gore to the presidency and put solid Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate?

    Right.

    The Republicans have already hung a ‘Kick Me’ sign on the Dems, Sullivan and the punditocracy want them to keep wearing it.

  95. 95
    jl says:

    I think the foreign contributions issue should be an opening to discuss the broader issue or transparency under our brave new world of campaign finance.

    Another difference I see, listening and seeing many miserable to stupid campaign commercials is that the Sierra Club is not shy about saying that the Sierra Club paid for an an ad.

    I notice a lot of ads being funded by ‘acoalitionofconcernedcitizensemployersandbigcorpsofunknownprovenanceandwhateverwhohavelottamoney’

    Which I do not like.

    Most of the new mystery money ads suck. I wonder who is so ignorant and clueless as to pay any attention at all.

  96. 96
    Nick says:

    @Joshua:

    I really cannot see how this is not a winning issue.

    Easy, A coalition of Republicans and the professional left turn around and say “Gee Democrats, you’re guilty of this too” people predetermined to hate skeptical of all politicians believe it without the need of proof, the media propagates it and presents “both sides,” the issue is neutered.

  97. 97
    Montysano says:

    @Joshua:

    Nobody outside of the Beltway wants foreign dollars influencing American elections. NOBODY. Not the teabags, not the hippies, nobody.

    But when it comes out of Hannity’s mouth, it sounds something like this: “They’re trying to stifle free speech!! They’re trying to shut you up!!”

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    The law Bush signed was payback for Obama winning an election that hadn’t happened yet?

    Hence my general dispair.

  98. 98
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: That’s total bullshit. You can see the originating IPs.

    Asshole.

  99. 99
    Shade Tail says:

    @Barb (formerly gex) #86:

    Not that I disagree, but I think the corporate angle is less effective. The right has convinced their followers that corporate greed serves the greater good. To them, that’s just a sales pitch for the candidate.

    Sure, for the right-wing Faux “News” viewers. But no intelligent democratic strategy targets those assholes. They’re never going to vote democratic no matter what. This strategy targets everyone else, who can and (according to the polls) *do* have reservations about huge anonymous money buying our democracy.

  100. 100
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Montysano: @Nick: A widespread belief that all politicians are liars is of inestimable utility to a politician.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    chopper says:

    yeah, the dems should run on ‘ending the long-term debt’. that’s a winner.

  103. 103
    rumpole says:

    @carnacki:
    Brilliant.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Nick: Show me an issue that someone won’t try to do that with. This one is good; it appears to have struck a nerve, so, I say, keep hammering on it until it stops working. It’s less than three weeks to the election and we seem to have an issue that resonates. Let’s not over think it.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Proxy. So there.

  106. 106
    Montysano says:

    Howard Beale:

    Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers. This tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world. And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people.

  107. 107
    jl says:

    The Chamber of Commerce ads also need to be attacked as a pack of lies and misleading BS. Not only that, but a systematic and consistent pack of lies and misleading BS. So systematic and consistent that it maybe just might be intentionally lies and BS.

    Rove, Chamber ads widely debunked as false or misleading
    Greg Sargent, The Plum Line blog

    Here’s something important that’s getting lost in the firefight over the money funding the ads by the U.S. Chamber and Karl Rove’s groups: Many of the ads themselves have been debunked by independent fact checkers as false, grossly misleading, or marred with distortions.

    I’ve compiled a list below, and the totality is striking. Thus far the media focus has understandably been on the flap over the White House’s foreign money charges. But there’s another big part of the story that’s going undercovered: The scope of the dishonesty and distortion that’s flowing from the conservative side of this debate

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....ebunk.html

    I don’t have time right now to read all the comments, so apologies if some one already pointed this out.

  108. 108
    eemom says:

    but but but……..Robert Gibbs! Howard Dean! Hyyyyyyppppppoccccccriiiiissssssyyyyyyy! Have you people no SHAME?

    What is necessary is for Robert Gibbs to apologize publically to the CoC and resign.

    Then, sir, at long last, we shall have some sense of DECENCY.

  109. 109
    Nick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Show me an issue that someone won’t try to do that with.

    There isn’t one, which is why I don’t think there’s a such things as a “winning issue” for Democrats.

    I say, keep hammering on it until it stops working.

    I agree, I don’t think it’ll work, but its the best we got.

  110. 110
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: John fabricates a lie and one of his little suckups swoops in with the “evidence”. Nicely done, douchebag.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    lol, oh noes the indignation!

  112. 112
    John S. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Aww, do you need a fainting couch you delicate flower?

  113. 113
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Dude. It was a joke.

    You spend all your time trying to tweak me, I poke back and you flip out.

    Have a xanax.

  114. 114
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Bite me. Have you considered learning how to take a joke?

  115. 115
    Paul L. says:

    spends 100 million dollars coordinating and funding deceitful and dishonest ads with the sole intent of putting one party in power,

    Sound like what the Unions have been doing.

    Time again for the Chamberpots to move the Goalposts on the criteria of why the Chamber of Commerce should disclose their list of Donors. But progressive groups like the Center For American Progress/Media Matters, Moveon.org and Sierra Club do not have to be as transparent.

    Gets Foreign Donations.
    Runs TV/Radio/Newspaper Ads
    Amount of Money Spent.
    Progressive “believe” the Ads are “deceitful and dishonest” smears/Swiftboating.

  116. 116
    Justin says:

    I suppose I should write in when I agree with you as well:

    Campaigning primarily on “ending the deficit” is quite possibly the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard. Ever.

  117. 117
    Shade Tail says:

    @Omnes Omnibus #114:

    Of course he hasn’t. It’s never occurred to him and it never will, because he’s just a self-important douchebag. Self-important anythings can’t take any kidding, because you are expected to take them as seriously as they take themselves.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Paul L.: You’re a bit of a wally, aren’t you?

  119. 119
    lamh32 says:

    Have ya’ll seen this yet! This is OT, but damn good for Joy & Whoopi!!! BillO is a bigot!!

    Updated w Video: O’Reilly blames all Muslims for 9/11; Joy and Whoopi walk off set

  120. 120
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: No, I don’t spend all my time trying to tweak you. It just seems that way because you say a lot of stupid shit.

  121. 121
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Promising to halve the national debt by, say, 2024 is bound to motivate voters who are out of patience, out of hope, out of a job, out of a home, out of luck and out of optimism.

    Not.

  122. 122
    chopper says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    No, I don’t spend all my time trying to tweak you

    finally, your daily masturbation break starts to pay off.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    @Paul L.: Nonsense. The GOP has gotten substantial union support in the past. Recently, because the GOP has decided that all union members of any description are one of their scapegoats and have declared open season on labor of any and all description, that unions have overwhelmingly supported the Democratic party.

    And I support disclosure of contributors to ad campaigns for all interest groups, left or right. So you are wrong there too, at least concerning this liberal’s opinion. I do not care whether the Sierra Club or Chamber of Commerce like the idea or not, they should be forced to disclose their contributors, at least their large contributors.

  124. 124
    chopper says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    yeah, this isn’t exactly a country known for it’s patience. obama’s even said that straight up. ‘we’ll cut the debt over 15 years’ is not a great election strategy on it’s own.

    likewise, the national debt is one of those issues that the GOP always seems to have the home-court advantage on.

  125. 125
    John Bird says:

    The Chamber is an pro-tax-loophole, pro-big-business lobby that has long maintained its mask of small-business interests, and believes itself immune to criticism. Similarly, the Republicans have come to view the Chamber as a reliable source of campaign cash that they will never be criticized for accepting.

    So of course both of them are squealing. Music to my ears.

  126. 126
    Zifnab says:

    @Paul L.: Except the Unions are required to disclose membership and aren’t allowed international funding or unlimited contributions.

    So, with the exception of everything we’ve complaining about, yes they are exactly the same thing Duke Lacross Mike Nifong Blarghal!

  127. 127
    John S. says:

    Why does anyone bother with Paul L.? His blog is called “Kingdom of Idiots”. Guess who is the King.

  128. 128
    Steeplejack says:

    @biff diggerence:

    Maybe you went a little too “inside baseball” there, sport. Not everyone remembers every obscure line from every 30-year-old movie.

    Usually, when there’s a communication failure, it’s not the audience’s fault.

  129. 129
    biff diggerence says:

    @Montysano:

    Yes. It predicted our present state quite accurately.

  130. 130
    TomP says:

    Excelletn post. You are absolutely right. Foreign money and offshoring jobs are intertwined. People get that.

  131. 131
    Ripley says:

    @Michael D.:

    Monday was Sully’s tenth anniversary as an online pundit. EVERYBODY was invited to the get-together… oh, wait, not so much, sorry.

    Seriously, even the estimable Steve Benen gave him a shout for being influential.

    As for the self-loathing part, self-evident, I believe. Gay Catholic Conservative. Yeesh.

  132. 132
    ChrisS says:

    The democrats ran on continuing deficit-free budgets, paying down the national debt, and repaying the social security trust fund in 2000.

    That went over like a fart in church.

    Fuck Andrew Sullivan. The deficit is code.

  133. 133
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ChrisS: “Lockbox.”

  134. 134
    Zifnab says:

    @chopper:

    likewise, the national debt is one of those issues that the GOP always seems to have the home-court advantage on.

    The party in power inevitably gets hammered on the national debt. Conservatives abandoned Bush in ’92 and abandoned the GOP in general in ’06 and ’08 over the out of control spending issues. So people do care.

    Spending will be tolerated so long as the public feels like it is getting results. Military spending is tolerated because Americans honestly believe that $700 billion / year is keeping us safer. Social Security is tolerated because old people get a check in the mail ever month, and you can’t argue with that. Medicare is tolerated for the same reasons.

    The GOP doesn’t have the home-court advantage on the national debt. But they are completely shameless when fighting over it. And they are always all over the media, whining and hand wringing and lying their asses off.

  135. 135
    Koz says:

    “When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.”

    You are doing something right. You’re losing. Raging on the Chamber of Commerce, yeah there’s a winner.

  136. 136
    ChrisS says:

    @Steeplejack:
    Not really an obscure line. It gets tossed around quite a bit.

  137. 137
    biff diggerence says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Could be.

    But one has to assume that anyone posting on a present-day political blog would have a modicum of media savvy.

    Knowledge of a Lumet film made in 1976 that predicted “Fox News” would be a prerequisite.

  138. 138
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Koz:

    Raging on the Chamber of Commerce, yeah there’s a winner.

    Pointing out that foreign interests may very well be influencing US elections by using the CoC as a conduit for funds is the winner.

  139. 139
    chopper says:

    @Zifnab:

    they are always all over the media, whining and hand wringing and lying their asses off.

    that’s what i call ‘the homecourt advantage’.

    people in this country associate the dems with spending. even if it’s good spending. obama and the dems have added a lot to the national debt these last two years, it’s hard for them to campaign on ending the debt. they can get all wonky about it, cutting healthcare costs etc etc, but people don’t get nuance. they think ‘obama’s a big spender’.

  140. 140
    ChrisS says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Exactly, I remember a young republican tottering around the office imitating Al Gore saying “it’s a lockbox,” pretty much daily. He’s a full-on tea partyier now. Which is pretty much all I need to know about the tea party. It’s the GOP rebranding, which they seem do every other election cycle depending on which way the winds are blowing.

  141. 141
    cleek says:

    Sully says:

    My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt.

    that’s a loser.

    but two sentences later, he says:

    Call the GOP out on its fiscal record and its current refusal to specify what they’ll cut.

    that’s a winner.

  142. 142
    chopper says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    the big winner is saying that many of these companies are taking our jobs away and taking them overseas. whether you can prove it or not, it’s a solid meme.

  143. 143
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    I don’t understand why Republicans should worry about disclosing to the American People which Muslims fund their political campaigns and co-own their Fox television network.

  144. 144
    liberal says:

    @Zifnab:

    Military spending is tolerated because Americans honestly believe that $700 billion / year is keeping us safer.

    I don’t think that’s the only, or even most important, causal factor.

    First, there’s the “jobs in every District” factor.

    Second, your average American has no idea what fraction of the budget goes to the military. IIRC in the 80s or 90s there were polls asking what Uncle Sam spends the most money on: foreign aid, welfare, “defense”. I think a majority or plurality said (in order of increasing expenditure) defense, welfare, foreign aid, when in fact of course that’s exactly backwards.

  145. 145
    Alex S. says:

    Glad I took his blog off my reading list. It’s more an interesting psychological study than a source of information or intelligent commentary.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I had the same thought. Sully says Reid isn’t sexy enough.

  146. 146
    Martin says:

    @Mark: If you call them a racist, you’re attacking their motives. If you say the statement is racist, you’re attacking their actions. These are very different things, and will get different reactions.

    Democrats need to attack the actions of the CoC. “This kind of political funding is inappropriate” without attacking the motives of the CoC. We all know the motives, but if you make it about motives, you get in an unwinnable fight.

    We can debate what are appropriate ways to fund campaigns. The public already has a fairly clear consensus on that, and the CoC is running against that consensus. But you won’t find much support for the idea that the CoC is an evil organization, which is what attacking their motives will devolve into.

    It’s a subtle, but important, distinction – and one I don’t think Sully is getting, and one that the GOP is smart enough to recognize and try and shift Democrats call for fair funding of elections into an attack on business. Dems need to carefully stay on the right side of the line, and then aggressively counter the GOP efforts to shift the debate.

  147. 147
    cat48 says:

    presents “both sides,” the issue is neutered.

    Tapper & Todd both have interviewed the Chamber VP & after the CoC’s carping, & explaining their side; they both pushed back that a lot of people want to know who the actual corp’s are whether their foreign or not. Then they accused Obama of nondisclosure in 2008 & Todd said not true……..good interview for a Villager.

  148. 148
    liberal says:

    @chopper:

    even if it’s good spending. obama and the dems have added a lot to the national debt these last two years, it’s hard for them to campaign on ending the debt.

    I thought most of the increase in the deficit was due to declining revenues, which in turn was due to the Bush Depression.

  149. 149
    liberal says:

    @Martin:

    But you won’t find much support for the idea that the CoC is an evil organization, which is what attacking their motives will devolve into.

    IMHO you have it exactly backwards. Attack their motives enough, and you’ll generate support for the claim that the CoC is an evil organization.

  150. 150
    Karmakin says:

    Saying that the deficit is “code” isn’t quite correct. It’s a tool. It’s a tool that’s used to prevent progressive governments from setting policy that will increase wages.

    It’s all about the wages, and keeping them down.

  151. 151
    Paula says:

    @Alex S.:

    [Never mind. Too easy.]

  152. 152
    Zifnab says:

    @chopper:

    that’s what i call ‘the homecourt advantage’.

    Then Republicans have the home court advantage on everything.

  153. 153
    liberal says:

    @Martin:

    If you call them a racist, you’re attacking their motives. If you say the statement is racist, you’re attacking their actions. These are very different things, and will get different reactions.

    Depends on the situation of course, but in many cases it’s because the audience was more disturbed by the calling out of the racist than they were discomforted by the racist remarks. Not clear what can be done in that case.

    Similarly, if every attack on nefarious “pro-business” organizations can be easily foiled by rightists screaming “You’re attacking business!” then we might as well throw in the towel.

  154. 154
    Comrade Mary says:

    @John Cole: John, Joe Beese is real, not a sock puppet, and has a presence in other parts of the web under the same name.

  155. 155
    Martin says:

    @liberal: Yeah, there’s been a minimal increase in long-term spending.

    Most of the deficit came from 3 places:

    1) Bush tax cuts which reduced the tax burden on the one population that wasn’t affected by the economy – the rich. Middle class tax revenues have collapsed and Bush gave away the upper class ones.
    2) Obama folding Iraq and Afghanistan back into the budget.
    3) TARP and stimulus spending. Both temporary.

    Adding pressure to this is the expanding cost of Medicare/Medicaid. The bad economy has shoved millions more people onto Medicaid and unemployment is paid out of the same payroll tax pool, and those expenditures are up as well while payroll receipts are way down because payroll taxes aren’t collected on income over $106,800.

    In every area, the economic collapse of the middle class guts the core of government revenues while the unaffected upper class is afforded tax breaks that prevent their revenues from offsetting some of those losses.

    Outside of temporary spending and mandatory entitlement spending, Obama has actually cut long-term discretionary government spending, but those other areas are so large as to swamp the gains he’s made.

  156. 156
    Comrade Mary says:

    @John Cole: Whoops! OK, got it.

    I’m not real, though. Complete AI construct, me.

  157. 157
    Jules says:

    When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.

    This.

  158. 158
    cat48 says:

    Predictable!

    Glenn Beck asks listeners to give Chamber its biggest fundraising day ever http://bit.ly/cNN06G
    2 minutes ago via twitterfeed Favorite Retweet Reply

  159. 159
    Scott P. says:

    Conservatives abandoned Bush in ‘92 and abandoned the GOP in general in ‘06 and ‘08 over the out of control spending issues.

    Some conservatives abandoned Bush in ’92 because he raised taxes, which reduced the deficit. Some abandoned the GOP in ’06 and ’08 because they were a bunch of fucking loons.

  160. 160
    Zifnab says:

    @liberal: You had that one yahoo the other day asking for a super laser anti-missile system for the low-low price of $20 billion. People won’t blink at that number if they honestly believe $20 billion will prevent any missile from ever reaching our shores. It’s considered money well spent.

    Likewise, the trillion we dropped in Iraq and Afghanistan is regularly defended with the claim that we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. Those who defend the wars generally argue it’s keeping us safe, price be damned.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks the military isn’t our biggest budget item. That info nugget gets batted around the interwebs so often it’s practically cliche.

  161. 161
    jacy says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Joe Beese is real, not a sock puppet, and has a presence in other parts of the web under the same name.

    Do he say the same thing everywhere he goes? That lone thought in his head must get awful lonely bouncing around in there. And the ricochet must be deafening.

  162. 162
    Bob L says:

    When Reason magazine is concern trolling for their corporate masters, the Chamber is whining, and Rove is pissed, you are doing something right.

    But if they are pissed Rove, Reason and the Chamber of Commerce will never vote for a Democrat!

  163. 163
    Cat Lady says:

    @cat48:

    Now there’s no question that Sully’s full of shit. Would Glenn Beck ever ask his followers to pay more in taxes to help retire the debt? Keep up the pressure Dems and make Beck cry. That’s the soft underbelly you’re poking there.

  164. 164
    Steeplejack says:

    @ChrisS:

    Not really an obscure line. It gets tossed around quite a bit.

    Well, not here. Not ever, according to Google.

    @biff diggerence:

    But one has to assume that anyone posting on a present-day political blog would have a modicum of media savvy.

    And what is the “media savvy” demonstrated by recognizing one cheesy rant from an old Hollywooden clunker? Or throwing it verbatim into the present discussion as if it adds something substantive? At this point Network is a tired, hoary cliché. We get it. You could have just given us the IMDB link and spared us the Cheeto dust.

  165. 165
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Zifnab: $20B in space lasers is hard-headed realism. $3M to study “bear DNA” is an offensive waste of hard-earned ‘Merikin money. HTH.

  166. 166
    kay says:

    I still can’t decide if this is a good tactic, but I think people really, really understand transparency.

    Who are the donors? How can anyone rationally evaluate the “speaker” (or respond) if they don’t know who they are?

    When Target Stores jumped into the political arena, their customers were able to respond to that. Political speech engendered more political “speech”. They took their business elsewhere, which is absolutely an option they have, and is a form of political speech. It was effective, too.

    But people can’t do that in this case if they don’t know who the speakers are.

    You’d have to have millions of dollars to counter the Chamber’s political speech. What if I don’t have it? What if I want to use the political tool I have (as an individual) and boycott or write letters or picket in opposition to the Chamber’s political message? I can’t do it.

  167. 167
    chopper says:

    @liberal:

    the stimulus wasn’t hay. and obama wants another stimulus, more infrastructure spending. even though that should have long-term good effects, it’s still spending money and it’s kinda hard to reconcile the two with voters who want nothing more than a simple sound bite.

    don’t get me wrong, bush lumped more onto the debt than anyone. course, bush aint runnin this year.

  168. 168
    chopper says:

    @Zifnab:

    in this country, on most issues, they do most of the time. just watch TV sometime.

  169. 169
    Koz says:

    “Pointing out that foreign interests may very well be influencing US elections by using the CoC as a conduit for funds is the winner.”

    Oh, bullshit. The Demo’s have controlled every branch of government for two years and still can’t express a coherent thought on unemployment, debt, or lack of growth in the economy. But, the Chamber of Commerce? That’s furrin’ influence right there Cletus.

    That’ll make up for everything.

  170. 170
    chopper says:

    @Koz:

    Oh, bullshit. The Demo’s have controlled every branch of government for two years

    you’re an idiot.

  171. 171
    liberal says:

    @Karmakin:

    It’s a tool that’s used to prevent progressive governments from setting policy that will increase wages.

    Yes and no.

    It’s certainly thought of that way. But you can easily create complete “progressive” government budget scenarios where the deficit is much lower.

  172. 172
    liberal says:

    @Koz:

    The Demo’s have controlled every branch of government for two years…

    The Supreme Court was controlled by the Democrats?

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Koz:

    Wait, the Democrats haven’t completely fixed the 8-year-long clusterfuck they inherited from Bush within two years?

    Well, I can see why you want to put the Republicans back in power. After all, if Democrats can’t clean up Republican messes in 1/4th the time it took to create those messes, you may as well just hand the dynamite back to the Republicans and let them finish the job.

  174. 174
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Suck It Up!: This gay says yes. Don’t understand self-hating gays that support religious and political institutions that damage us all. Go ahead and feel a bit of pleasure at his expense.

  175. 175
    liberal says:

    @chopper:
    Actually, IMHO Bush had relatively little to do with it.

    Clearly the biggest public enemy is Greenspan.

    Not sure about #2. I’d probably pick Reagan, since FIRE sector dereg started in earnest on his watch, and he was one of the biggest “the market will fix everything” promotors.

  176. 176
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @chopper: ‘The control of government’ is over-rated when to the man in the street the government itself is just another competing special interest.

  177. 177
    liberal says:

    @kay:

    Who are the donors? How can anyone rationally evaluate the “speaker” (or respond) if they don’t know who they are?

    Well, honestly, in a purely rational world, it doesn’t really matter who the donors are; it only matters what claims are presented. But since political ads don’t deal with evidence-backed claims, who the donors are is important.

    Of course, in a truly rational world, no one would pay attention to those dumbass ads anyway.

  178. 178
    Joe Beese says:

    Yes, for the record, I am not Just Some Fuckhead. (Well, at least not that Fuckhead.) And I bitch about Obama under that name in several places.

    However, I generally confine my teasing of Mr. Cole to his own web site.

  179. 179
    Koz says:

    “Wait, the Democrats haven’t completely fixed the 8-year-long clusterfuck they inherited from Bush within two years?”

    Fix the economy? That would be great, but failing that it would be nice to see some progress.

    And failing that, it would be nice to have the Demo establishment level with us about what they see the problems to be and what they’ll do to fix it. Instead President Obama outsources that and checks out to play golf and watch ESPN.

    Oh, wait a minute, I forgot: the CoC is controlled by dem furriners. Carry on.

  180. 180
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Koz:

    Bullshit indeed.
    First, you’re overlooking the fact that Democratic control of the House and Senate is completely unlike Republican control of same. If the Dems were able to get the lockstep voting that Republicans do then your statement would be an indictment of the Democrats. As it is, the Dems are as they have been since I can remember. You either put up with it or work to change it.

    Second, the Dems certainly haven’t had anything like control of SCOTUS since I can remember. SCOTUS is a branch of government and the Citizens United decision is having a huge effect on US electoral politics.

    Third, you’re saying that ‘Cletus’ won’t respond with raised hackles at the notion of foreign money influencing US politics. I think that you’re wrong. The mistrust of foreigners so carefully cultivated by the GOP can be turned against them on this one.

  181. 181
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Nick: If you had fewer scruples, you could be running a Republican campaign right now.

  182. 182
    chopper says:

    @liberal:

    well, two wars may not have been on the books, but they have to end up on the pile eventually.

    either way, my whole point isn’t that the dems don’t have an argument towards the debt. it just isn’t a big winner for them. the democrats’ policy towards the deficit and the long-term debt is nuanced and that doesn’t work well in this country.

    what i like about the CoC bit is, if you make it about outsourcing companies it’s a dynamite meme. short, sweet and brutal.

  183. 183
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    …and he’s still losing.

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

  184. 184
    KG says:

    you know, in a campaign, you can actually do more than one thing at a time. you can actually go after them for foreign/corporate money, you can go after them for being unserious about the debt/deficit, you can go after them for their record when they were in power, you can go after them for obstructing everything and being the party of “hell no”, and you can put them on the spot about what parts of “Obamacare” they are actually going to try and repeal. You can do all of those things, at the same bloody time, its not like this is a fucking board game where you get one move to do one thing and then the next player gets to move. I don’t see why this has to be an either/or thing.

  185. 185
    liberal says:

    @chopper:
    My point about the cause of the “Bush Depression” is that it’s mainly due to a credit bubble. What was the credit bubble due to? IMHO lax regulation of FIRE.

    I think the Dems would likely have gone into Afghanistan, but clearly Iraq was Bush’s baby. But the losses due to the Iraq mess are probably still quite a bit less than those due to the credit bubble.

  186. 186
    liberal says:

    @Nick:
    But under your reasoning, any tactic the Dems use can be neutered.

  187. 187
    chopper says:

    @KG:

    because not all arguments are equally effective. if the dude’s got a glass jaw you don’t spread your punches out all over.

  188. 188
    Michael says:

    Sun Tsu for dummies:

    When your opponent says you are barking up the wrong tree, get a ladder.

  189. 189
    Barb (formerly gex) says:

    @Comrade Mary: I don’t believe you. You fail the reverse Turing test.

  190. 190
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: Nah. You just missed this one. That’s all.
    I’ve never even seen the movie Network and I knew what the rant was.

  191. 191
    neil says:

    I doubt anyone ever lost an election ignoring the wisdom of Andrew Sullivan.

  192. 192
    kay says:

    @liberal:

    It does matter, though, in a practical, not legal way. The speaker matters a lot.

    You’re telling me you don’t do any analysis when you’re presented with information? Anyone speaking is presumptively 1. credible and 2. disinterested?

    That may be true in some uber-rational hypothetical world, but I don’t think that’s true in real life, one person to another, let alone in advertising.

    They don’t have enough information to evaluate the Chamber’s claims. They can’t even find the information, if they seek it, because they don’t who the speaker is.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Koz:

    And failing that, it would be nice to have the Demo establishment level with us about what they see the problems to be and what they’ll do to fix it. Instead President Obama outsources that and checks out to play golf and watch ESPN.

    Well, at least you’re not even trying to pretend to be an angry progressive anymore since you’ve apparently missed, oh, every single speech Obama has given in the past three months, his infrastructure plan, and all of his weekly internet addresses.

    The fact that the president hasn’t personally come to your door, sat down in your living room, and explained this all to you using a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t mean he’s not talking about it. It means that you’re sticking your fingers in your ears and shrieking, “LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

  194. 194
    DonkeyKong says:

    Can BalloonJuice start handing out awards like Sully does?

    The Andrew Sullivan Award for authentic mendacious stupidity rendered after gazing into his fucking cracked Oakshott snowglobe he’s always slobbering about.

    Please, please, pretty please!

  195. 195
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    I have no problem with calling it “foreign money” when there’s US corporate money too. US multinational corporations might as well be foreign, as they are loyal to no nation.

  196. 196
    pattonbt says:

    My 2 cents is this “how is this a losing issue?” It may not provide short term benefits (swing the upcoming election). But just keep repeating it like a tic. Just like “tax and spend”. Keep saying “foreign owned” and then plug your fingers in your ears and raise your voice like a child throwing a tantrum when questioned. Because the win in that is is that the foreign money is there and they wont (and dont have to) disclose it. So just keep tarring them for what they are – paid spokesmen for foreign interests.

  197. 197
    daveNYC says:

    Call the GOP out on its fiscal record and its current refusal to specify what they’ll cut.

    Good luck with that. They’ll throw out lines about cutting waste and making things more efficient. Then they’ll target the NEA and furrin aid, and the people will eat it up. Never mind that doing even that much would shave about a buck-fifty off of the debt.

  198. 198
    Paris says:

    Corporations and the CoC can spend unlimited amounts of money because now its considered free speech. (corporations=people, $$=speech). But more free speech to counter that speech is out of bounds?

  199. 199
    Montysano says:

    @cat48:

    Glenn Beck asks listeners to give Chamber its biggest fundraising day ever

    The very first comment: “Voter fraud! Black Panthers! SEIU!!” Yeah…. call me back when the Black Panthers start shipping jobs to China. Please alert me when SEIU drops a cool $50M to influence an election. Idiots.

  200. 200
    KG says:

    @chopper: right, but not all arguments are equally effective with the same voters. Argument A might be more effective with you than it is with me. Argument B might be more effective with me than it is with you. Argument C might be lost on both of us but might swing someone else. And finally, the totality of the circumstances might be enough to swing another voter.

    To use your analogy, sure, the guy might have a glass jaw, but if he’s keeping his hands up, then you’re not going to get a clean shot. So you work the body to tire him out so he drops his hands a bit. Then you go for the glass jaw. Unless you’re Tyson or Ali in their primes, one punch won’t be enough to knock a guy down.

  201. 201
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Joe, you can’t reason with these barking mad dogs.

  202. 202

    Republican’s foreign funded attack ads reveals Republicans as frauds.

    And right-wingers are pissing themselves that that fact might get traction.

    And so right-wingers like Andrew Sullivan try to change the subject, mute the attack, and try to push Dems into being more right-wing than those that claim they are the right-wing.

    As Hershberger noted above, Republicans increased the US debt and then blamed it on Dems.

    Republicans have gotten away with Big-lies like that for 30+ years.

    Hammer Republicans with the truth and right-wingers and their enablers (Halperin, Tapper, Schieffer, et. al.) squeal like stuck pigs.

    To repeat:

    The international Chamber of Commerce Secrets takes foreign money which is being used to help Republican politicians.

  203. 203
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    But under your reasoning, any tactic the Dems use can be neutered.

    yes

  204. 204
    Koz says:

    “The fact that the president hasn’t personally come to your door, sat down in your living room, and explained this all to you using a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t mean he’s not talking about it.”

    Oh he talks about it all the time there’s no doubt about that. He just doesn’t say anything while his lips are moving.

    “I have program. I pass bill. I create jobs.” That’s it, over and over again, and back to ESPN. It just doesn’t cut it, among economists, politicos or the public at large.

    Finally, I can promise you that I’ve never pretended to be an angry progressive.

  205. 205
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Koz: I am sorry that you are disappointed by the President. What could he do to assuage your feelings of disappointment? And what’s up with the ESPN thing?

  206. 206
    liberal says:

    @Nick:
    Then you’re a nihilist. Why bother commenting about “what to do?” in that case? Might as well just pursue your favorite vice and let the world go to hell.

  207. 207
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Koz: Obama hasn’t done enough because the Republicans have pulled all kinds of bullshit preventing him from doing more. That’s the answer. Ask a Republican. It’s their actual plan. They’re proud of it. It’s like the kitchen staff putting a hair in someone’s food, then laughing at the waiter for serving food with a hair in it.

  208. 208
    liberal says:

    @kay:

    You’re telling me you don’t do any analysis when you’re presented with information? Anyone speaking is presumptively 1. credible and 2. disinterested?

    Very interesting issue.

    I’m sure you know about the logical fallacy of argument ad hominem. Any attempt to discredit an opponent based on something like who they are, even their past tendencies, is ad hominem.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean such arguments are wrong, only that they’re not useful in logical proof. I think your basic point is exactly the way I think about it, though I’ve chosen to flesh it out in this way:

    Usually in investigating these issues, we have limited time and limited access to data. (Less limited access than say 50 years ago, but of course still limited.) Furthermore, we don’t need a standard of logical proof, but rather a statistical one satisfies.

    Under those observations, “argument ad hominem” in some sense becomes legitimate. In the sense, “Yes, just because Rush Limbaugh said it doesn’t mean it’s ipso facto wrong, but it’s strong statistical evidence that it is indeed wrong.”

    I’m used to arguing about stuff on USENET, where appeals to “who’s the donor” will get you knocked with a logical fallacy accusation. But of course in the real world things like “who benefits?” are useful ways of looking at things.

  209. 209
    liberal says:

    @Koz:

    It just doesn’t cut it, among economists, …

    LOL. You mean the group of professionals who, despite the definition of their profession, couldn’t see (*) an $8T housing bubble when it was right in front of their nose?

    ——————-
    (*) Or were paid to pretend not to see.

  210. 210
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They’re proud of it. It’s like the kitchen staff putting a hair in someone’s food, then laughing at the waiter for serving food with a hair in it.

    IOW, Obama is serving whatever Republicans cook up? :)

  211. 211
    Kyle says:

    Republican’s foreign funded attack ads reveals Republicans as frauds.

    This is the kind of hard-hitting we need.

    After spending the summer demonizing Muslims, I’d love to see the Repigs fall flat on their ass with the revelation that they’re rolling in Arab money. Though the teabaggers never seem to give a shit about the behavior of members of their tribe of the smug; holding people to moral standards is just a rhetorical weapon to be hypocritically wielded against your enemies.

    The ‘librul media’ could never get interested in tracking the millions in Middle-Eastern oil dollars illicitly funneled into Bush’s campaigns.

  212. 212
    Nick says:

    @liberal

    :Then you’re a nihilist. Why bother commenting about “what to do?” in that case? Might as well just pursue your favorite vice and let the world go to hell.

    I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m saying don’t expect electoral success for it.

  213. 213
    benintn says:

    I think the messaging from the Democrats hits on so many positive levels, it’s just a no-brainer to keep doing it. We have 1) attack on foreign money influencing American elections (patriotism), 2) attack on annoying ads from anonymous sources (STFU stupid Republicans), 3) attack on the economic inequalities that are hurting our economy (economic argument), and 4) attack on those who would rather win elections than solve problems (pragmatic argument). Anonymous corporate-funded groups running ads against Democrats is the epitome of what’s wrong with the Republicans, and demonstrates why they shouldn’t be elected. Finally, in closing, I’ll note that this is an argument that rallies the base because it creates an “us versus the machine” populism that Democrats need this fall.

  214. 214
    Randy P says:

    @Koz:
    Have you noticed exactly WHY the Senate is getting a reputation as the place good bills go to die?

    Would you really describe that as a legislative body that the Democrats control?

    So long as we have “secret holds” and silent filibusters and all that other arcane parliamentary machinery which allows a minority party to prevent legislation from ever reaching the floor, the Democrats will NOT be in control the Senate.

    They can pass legislation when it gets to a vote. But that is a small fraction of the legislation that has been sent to the Senate.

  215. 215
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @benintn:

    …this is an argument that rallies the base because it creates an “us versus the machine” populism that Democrats need this fall.

    The Republicans have been doing this forever, only they invent machines like the all-powerful ACORN that are against “us”. It’s about time we called out a real machine.

  216. 216
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let’s take a random spin through Calculated Risk today:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog......ly-in.html

    http://www.calculatedriskblog......ms_14.html

    http://www.calculatedriskblog......sions.html

    This administration has failed to develop any sort of coherent economic policy going forward beyond staring at their shoes and hoping the problems go away soon. It’s been a stunning lack of vision that’s rhetorically compromised the administration into near disrepair.

  217. 217
    benintn says:

    Forcing the GOP to defend the claim about foreign donations just repeats the issue again and again … i.e., anonymous outside groups with shadowy funding are spending millions of dollars on our elections.

  218. 218
    chopper says:

    @KG:

    yeah, but this is a case of a dude with a glass jaw and bad defense. the money shtick on its own isn’t gonna resonate so much with voters, but the ‘omg foreign companies and outsourcing’ angle is good, and i’m betting it polls through the roof.

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Republicans don’t believe this restaurant should even be open.

  220. 220
    Nick says:

    @…now I try to be amused:

    only they invent machines like the all-powerful ACORN that are against “us”.

    Republicans do it, the media has a debate over whether or not the lie is true enough, Democrats do it and they get called shrill liars who are desperate

  221. 221
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Paris:

    I’ve yet to hear a believable explanation/rationalization of why Corporate Persons don’t have to divulge their contributions to 501(c)’s, but *I*, a private citizen, do.

    I thought that right-wingers believed that there are no such things as privacy rights granted by the Constitution?

    (Yeah yeah, only a fool expects consistency from that camp… but normally there’s at least a rationalization for why “this case is different”).

  222. 222
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob Loblaw: I was asking Koz what his/her specific disappointments were. Koz had not been particularly clear. In all fairness, as much as I tend to disagree with you, you have been quite up front about your areas of disagreement. It makes it hard to know how, or whether, to respond to someone if you don’t know what it is they find problematic.

  223. 223
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t think it’s much of a case-by-case thing. I think that’s a silly internet-obsessed mindset, to think exclusively in tactics and single turning points. The problem(s) with the Obama administration will boil down to some economic topic for >90% of people when you get right to it.

  224. 224
    HyperIon says:

    @Michael D. asked:

    What does this even mean?

    Oh, Michael, you are seek meaning on the intertubes?
    That way lies madness.
    Just make a snarky comment and move to the next thread.

  225. 225
    HyperIon says:

    @Steeplejack wrote:

    Not everyone remembers every obscure line from every 30-year-old movie.

    Those who do not remember (film) history are doomed to repeat it?

  226. 226
    Chris says:

    Just another vote against taking political advice from a conservative. Especially one who claims that it’d be really smart for Democrats to run on deficit reduction.

    Take that shit back to your original party, Sullivan. I hear they really give a fuck about it now, just like they did from 2001-2008.

  227. 227
    AxelFoley says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    So if people like Sullivan allow Repubs to get control and nothing else is done on gay rights for several years, would it be ok if a tiny part of me feels a pulse of intense pleasure?

    A part of me feels this way every time I read a DADT post on DKos saying who the President betrayed gays because the DOJ upholds the law of the land.

    Yeah, let those GOP scum get control of Congress. DADT will be the least of your concerns.

  228. 228
    brantl says:

    A. Sullivan’s an idiot. Plain and simple.

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