Some Sterling Analysis

I didn’t bother to stay up and watch last night’s trainwreck. It’s tough enough to click through the House maps this morning. That said, the message is obvious — it’s another disappointment from Obama:

Although I wonder just how bad it would have been if the White House didn’t do what White Houses always do and pretty much sit around and watch their Party lose, to preserve their precious Cult of the Leader? Changey.

Clearly, the biggest wave election since the 30’s could have been stopped by a little more bully pulpit.






117 replies
  1. 1
    Kevin says:

    I think the best “analysis” i keep seeing is about the stock market. Yesterday it was “Markets are up over business thinking that Republicans will take the house and senate”. Today I’ve already read “Markets pulled back as odds of Republicans taking the senate cooled”.

    I guess the markets are only effected politically by Republicans, everyone ignore the 4000 point gain they’ve made under Obama…

  2. 2
    Hal says:

    Aren’t House races local? How would Obama being all ragey and hulk like even remotely help?

  3. 3
    Keith says:

    If only Obama had spent the last week invading Iran, everyone would be happy…(except the Iranians)

  4. 4
    Guster says:

    While I agree, I also think you need to add ‘bully pulpit’ to the BJ lexicon as: “A completely fictive political conceit. Synonymous with ‘rainbows and unicorns’ and ‘moderate Republicans.'”

  5. 5
    Suck It Up! says:

    I have a feeling that if Grayson, Feingold and some other progressives hadn’t lost, no one would be blaming Obama. When blue dogs lose, its their own fault. when a lib loses, its Obama’s fault.

    Some more sterling analysis I’ve seen:

    1.Pelosi didn’t do investigations
    2. bipartisanship sunk Dems – the same bipartisanship that the vast majority of Americans say they like.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    The house will not fund health care or the financial regulation bill. The President has no choice but use the bully pulpit and campaign to get these bills funded.

  7. 7
    Maody says:

    Good analysis doesn’t exist when hidden money and 30 second info-follies rule the day in Dumbfuckistan. If it weren’t so cold, moving to Massachusettstan would be okay because of its blueness.

  8. 8
    Hal says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t think this is the end of the world? Yeah, I’m disappointed, but hardly devastated. I felt much worse when Kerry lost, and I didn’t even like Kerry as a candidate.

    Republicans have no ideas, other than saying no, and will offer up nothing that will improve the lives of Americans. The Senate sucks since those are 4-6 year appointments, but in the long run, I can’t help but see this as a short term win.

  9. 9
    Keith G says:

    There are reasons White Houses always do this. Note the great impact BHO had for Perriello . That’s not to say that President Obama shouldn’t at least try develop the behaviors of a progressive warrior. He should if he wants to be around in 2013.

  10. 10
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Keith G:

    you realize he already won one term.

  11. 11
    AB says:

    @Hal: It’s not the end of the world, though it is shitty to lose a lot of good reps in the House. But a lot of people are going to suffer from the kind of policies the Republicans plan on enacting (and not enacting), and that’s what really gets me about the election. So, no, not the end of the world, but things are hard enough already.

  12. 12
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The house will not fund health care or the financial regulation bill. The President has no choice but use the bully pulpit and campaign to get these bills funded.

    Which might help. Probably won’t help. Most likely make no difference whatsoever.

    The bully pulpit turns out on close examination to be about as real as re-aligning elections.

  13. 13
    stuckinred says:

    Same old shit. Whatever position one holds, the election proves they are right. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  14. 14
    bemused says:

    I wake up this morning to learn that Oberstar didn’t win and MN has lost control of both houses for the 1st time in 38 years. What a disaster. Dayton/Emmer vote so close they’re talking recount.
    After 8 years of Pawlenty, I was so hoping for a return to policies made MN such an outstanding state. Now this. I am in despair.
    Cravaack said in his celebratory speech that in MN and across the country, the “people” have spoken and let this be a warning to congress, you work for us.
    In MN, I guess we can kiss our public schools goodbye and forget about any Minnesotan in need.

  15. 15
    CJ says:

    … and the comments. Jesus. It’s just a right-wing concern troll hellscape over there. Just a shade whiter and it’s Hillbuzz.

    Sorry if I seem shocked. I haven’t read anything there besides TBogg in more than a year.

  16. 16
    shoutingattherain says:

    The grand Republican machine that roared in the 1980s and 1990s is sputtering into the 21st century, shuddering and clanking along as it runs on the fumes of failed ideology. Farewell, our once worthy opponent. Farewell. And good riddance.


    DKos
    Apr 19, 2009. Oops.

  17. 17
    Michael says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting the infusion of rich people cash into the economy, now that they’ve gotten their way on something. Surely they’ll now have some mercy on us untermensch and help out, now that we love them again, right?

  18. 18
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    It turned out as I figured it would, no real big surprises but some close scrapes. The word in the M$M will be that with the repubs in control of the House it means that from now on everything that goes wrong will be the fault of the senate and president.

    Wash, rinse, repeat. We deserve the government we voted for and we didn’t get much. Again.

  19. 19
    bayville says:

    Summary of Early Morning Obot Analysis:

    Country despises Repblicans

    Majority of Americans — either don’t know much about John Boehner or don’t like what they know of him.

    Naturally GOP wins 65 House seats; retake majority.

    Dems have less than 200 Congressional seats– first time in nearly a century.

    Repubs pickup seven Senate spots

    Write-in third party incumbent Sen wins in Alaska; Dem finishes third.

    Senate majority leader defeats unknown crazy woman in Nevada; Christine O’Donnell loses big!

    Obama rules! Liberal Purity trolls and Naderites are idiots

    Brilliant.

  20. 20
    WyldPirate says:

    Deny all you want, it won’t change facts.

    Obama didn’t sell what he did during the first half of his term. Part of it he couldn’t sell because it doesn’t sell worth shit. Saying we lost 3 million jobs with the stimulus and unemployment is 9.5% with the weak ass stimulus (from his weak ass economic team that help dismantled the protections under Clinton) underestimated what was needed and wasted his stimulus by giving it in the payroll instead of a check.

    This is piss-poor messaging.

    Health care was a disaster of messaging. It was mighty damned quite last august out of the Dems and it got taken out of their hands by the Tea Bagger blitz. It reminded me of exactly what happene3d to9 Kerry in Aug 04 with the Swift Boaters. He stood by incredulous that it was sticking thinking folks would come to their seneses.

    Obama did the same exact thing. Dems did the same thing. They acted pretty much like they couldn’t believe the American people were so stupid as to believe “death Panels” and “get between you and your doctor”

    Bush and his crew started pounding nearly out of the gate about Iraq having something to do with 9/11. It was repeated in every breath nearly every breath “Iraq-Al Qaeda, Iraq-Al Qaeda, WMDs,—-it was on an endless goddamned loop out of the Rethugs.

    What happened in the end? A majority of Americans believed Iraq attacked on 9/11. even in 2006 and they believed WMDs had been discovered in Iraq.

    Obama didn’t sell it–not because he couldn’t, because he underestimated the stupidity and gullibility of the American people. He allowed stupid shit to fester amongst the populace like Death Panel nonsense and like the tax cut non sense.

    I’ll be the first to concede that it may not be possible for Obama to combat the nonsense and craziness coming from both the Repigs along with the journalmalists piling on. We may be that far gone given that the press is part Rethug propaganda machine and part a bunch of idiots doing he said-she said journalism. I didn’t see the effort that should have been there, though.

  21. 21
    Keith G says:

    @Hal: No it’s not the end, but there is much to find troubling. To me, it is disconcerting that it is not enough to be right.

    And, not just right but demonstrably right on many policies. With no GOP help, Obama throws a lifeline to the auto industry, gives millions of workers breathing room, and then gets slapped down in the Midwest. These same communities, that are depending on unemployment assistance to keep the heat on in the winter, vote for politicians who think such aid is a huge mistake.

    What type of fairy land do my fellow Americans live in?

  22. 22
    Davis X. Machina says:

    A referendum on the economy — with U3 ~10% and U6 ~18%? And with a White Man In Hammersmith Palais black man in the White House?

    Why wouldn’t you pick the out party and give the points?

    Obama throws a lifeline to the auto industry, gives millions of workers breathing room, and then gets slapped down in the Midwest.

    Michgan > Obama > black guy > Detroit > Coyotes in the streets. Mayors going to jail. OMG! OMG!

    Lizard brain stuff, pure and simple. At least based on my one middle-aged, upper-middle class Democrat-but-not-this-time sister-in-law in Bloomfield Hills.

  23. 23
    mai naem says:

    I think they may redo the healthcare bill to make it even more unpopular and/or unworkable i.e. get rid of the mandate and the corporate chickensheet bluedawg senators will go along with a veto. I am too tired to do the numbers but I believe it’s a possibility with Repub gains and Lieberman, Nelson, McCaskill and Webb. I feel genuinely sorry for Pelosi because I think she was a good leader. Now we’re probably going to get Hoyer, who to me just comes off dripping smarm and sleaze.

  24. 24
    mclaren says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The house will not fund health care or the financial regulation bill.

    You speak as though the United States government consisted solely of the lower house of the legislative branch.

    The House can pass a budget which defunds both health care and the new financial regulation agency, but the senate will probably fund both. The two differing bills must then go to reconciliation. If the final bill still defunds those agencies, Obama can veto it — and Republicans do not have the votes to override a veto.

    The primary result of this election will be gridlock and lots of smoke and mirrors involving subpoenas and investigations of meaningless nonsense like Obama’s alleged Kenyan birth certificate. Like Whitewater, years will elapse and many millions will be spent on the investigations, producing nothing.

    That’s significant, since it means that instead of actually doing something, congress will spin its wheels as the economy worsens. The question then becomes: how will the public react?

    Will the public hold Obama responsible for lack of action to pass a new stimulus and get the economy moving? Or will they hold the Republican-dominated house responsible?

    I don’t know the answer. It’ll determine how the 2012 election swings. If, between now and late 2011, the economy takes another leg down and/or oil explodes in price to (say) $175 a barrel as Deutsche Bank analysts predict, that will change the entire game.

  25. 25
    bayville says:

    Summary of Early Morning Obot Analysis:

    Country despises Repblicans

    Majority of Americans—either don’t know much about John Boehner or don’t like what they know of him.

    Naturally GOP wins 65 House seats; retake majority.

    Dems have less than 200 Congressional seats—first time in nearly a century.

    Repubs pickup seven Senate spots

    Write-in third party incumbent Sen wins in Alaska; Dem finishes third.

    Senate majority leader defeats unknown crazy woman in Nevada; Christine O’Donnell loses big!

    Obama rules! Liberal Purity trolls and Naderites are idiots

    Brilliant.

  26. 26
    Maody says:

    Redistricting. Therein lies the rub.

  27. 27
    homerhk says:

    I thought the firebaggers wanted the dems to lose so that the whole system burns out under its own weight and a hamsherite phoenix representing a greenwaldian oasis rises out of the ashes.

    This is how I feel today: fuck ’em all. The totally un-compassionate conservatives, the idiot independents, the dickish democrats and the fucking fuckity firebaggers.

  28. 28
    WyldPirate says:

    @Hal:

    Republicans have no ideas, other than saying no, and will offer up nothing that will improve the lives of Americans

    No, but they have plenty of ideas that damage the American people, they implement them and then they avoid blame for the consequences.

    They can sell the bullshit they have or deflect the blame by ramping up the fear machine.

  29. 29
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Michael:

    No, No. Now they have to get back the senate and then they have to get the presidency and once we start a war with Iran then and only then will the rich unleash their riches.

  30. 30
    Michael says:

    I’m holding out for four things:

    1. The death of Rush Limbaugh, most likely to occur when his heart explodes in the middle of a rough trade sex session gone bad – they’ll find his bloated, putrid carcass in an opuent hotel room, nose stuffed in the asscrack of a dead underaged twink. He’ll have had his MI while snorting cocaine out of the same asscrack.

    2. The demise of Antonin Scalia, when his lower intestine leaps out and strangles him out of a fit of shame and loathing for what the guy did to redefine the word “asshole”.

    3. The demise of Clarence Thomas, brought about by autoerotic asphyxiation after a marathon viewing of “Buttmunch Girls III”.

    4. The commitment of Glenn Beck, after a particularly hilarious episode on air, when he throws feces at his chalkboard while screaming “Obama Ayers”.

    Only then will America be a better place.

  31. 31
    Anya says:

    Seeing the results from California and Massachusetts restored my sanity a bit. WTF is wrong with Minnesota. They had that clown Tim Pawlenty and they voted for republicans. Is Minnesota in a suicide mission?

  32. 32
    jwb says:

    @Kevin: Hah, yeah, well if the Goopers don’t extend the debt ceiling, we’ll see just how well the economy does.

  33. 33
    mai naem says:

    @Keith G: In the same world where they drive their medicare paid for scooter with thei rmedicare paid oxygen tank, with a sign saying “Git the Guvernmant Out of My Helthcaire”

  34. 34
    Bobbyk says:

    Clearly, the biggest wave election since the 30’s could have been stopped by a little more bully pulpit.

    Obviously not but seriously trying to do something about an effective unemployment rate of nearly 20% would have helped.

  35. 35
    J.W. Hamner says:

    The major model of “structural factors” suggested we’d lose 45 seats. We’ve lost at least 60. I think it’s fair to look around and try to figure out WTF happened… including Obama, though I agree that him giving another speech wasn’t the answer.

  36. 36
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bobbyk:

    Obviously not but seriously trying to do something about an effective unemployment rate of nearly 20%

    Oh, it was because of unemployment! And here I thought FDL was blaming the midterm results on the Cult of Dear Leader Obongo. How did I get that crazy idea?

  37. 37
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Anya:

    Glenn Beck, after a particularly hilarious episode on air, when he throws feces at his chalkboard while screaming “Obama Ayers”.

    And this will differ from his normal performance how exactly?

    The “commitment” threshold is different on the right, never forget. They called out “Crazy Town, end of the line” on that train miles back and everyone just stayed on board and kept going.

    Think of it as “On Beyond Zebra” for Republicans.

  38. 38

    Good morning folks. Sigh.

    Boehner is quoted as saying that the people have spoken etc.

    He is correct. The people have spoken. Lots and lots of people went to the polls and voted. The issues were explained repeatedly and in several different ways. I don’t think that “messaging” [god, what a word!] was the problem. I think that the people understood what happened and what was going on and have some idea about what will happen.

    The people knew what they were doing, they did what they wanted to do, and have achieved the result they wanted.

    The flip side of that fact is that now the people are responsible for the consequences of their choices and will have to live with these consequences.

    From where I am standing, it looks like the people wanted to swing to the right and they did. How far to the right? I’m not sure. But further than Goldwater conservatism certainly. Did they want to swing into ethnic and philosophical homogeneity? I’m not sure but I suspect that’s what a majority of the people wanted.

    Please feel free to disagree with me.

  39. 39
    BrYan says:

    It truly amazes me the dumbasses we have in this country. A guy at work, college educated, very bright about computers, I would call right-center, a gun advocate, says he hates the new healthcare law, hates the current system. The only thing acceptable to him, get this, wait for it, ……….

    is a system like Canada. So he’s going to vote Republican. These idiots deserve what they get.

  40. 40
    WyldPirate says:

    @mclaren:

    The House can pass a budget which defunds both health care and the new financial regulation agency, but the senate will probably fund both

    This is funny. Someone should call 911 for you because you’ve od’d on crack.

    We got Manchin in, who ran against health care. We still have many of the same Blue Dog Dem Senators. We got Liebershit the turncoat. We got Harry Reid back who is itching to “cooperate” with the crazies.

    Don’t count on HCR either not being funded or completely repealed.

  41. 41
    Jinchi says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    This has nothing to do with lizard brain, Democrats were going to lose Michigan. It’s been hit hardest by the recession. Unemployment is over 14%, 5 points worse than the national average. About 10% of the working population lost their jobs in the last 3 years, and their major industries are either dying or on life support. Obama threw them a life line, but that isn’t enough to overcome the level of misery in the state.

  42. 42
    WereBear says:

    @BrYan: I think half the problem is people not understanding what the heck is going on… but would never admit it.

    Because there is no explanation on how they vote FOR policies that will make their lives miserable. There just isn’t.

  43. 43
    Rommie says:

    I’m looking forward to the 2011 State of the Union address. Will the Tea bite its tongue? Will the POTUS say a few magic words, to make it harder for them to hold back?

    You know they’ll be told by their GOP colleagues to keep quiet – but it’s one of the big questions, will the Tea resent attempts to tell it what to do, or will it fall in line, now that actual power is in hand?

    Hell, maybe the GOP encourages them to speak their mind, so the Tea gets the backlash, and the Elephant gets to say “I told you so.”

  44. 44
    p.a. says:

    Per CNN, 60+% felt the economy is the main issue. What do the Talipublicans have to offer there? Nuttin’. Maybe if the White House finally understands that politics is as important as policy, they can mount a comeback over the next 2 years. Past history is not encouraging. Snide comments about ‘bully pulpits’ notwithstanding, Obama is not just President, he is also the leader of the Democratic Party. How many times has he had the ‘let’s work together’ stuff thrown back into his face by a party that seeks to undermine the very idea that he is American! And yet he is Charlie Brown every time, trying to kick the football. Last night (and the next 2 years) is the result.

    Barry Ritholtz has a nice analysis here

  45. 45
    WyldPirate says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I think that the people understood what happened and what was going on and have some idea about what will happen.
    The people knew what they were doing, they did what they wanted to do, and have achieved the result they wanted.

    I don’t think so.

    I heard somewhere last night–and this may not be true–that almost 1/4 of the turnout was voters over 65.

    These are the same nitwits who are riding around on their “free Hoverrounds” that go to Tea Bag rallies and scream “keep your “Government hands” off my Medicare”. They’re the same folks that combine a large percentage of Obama isn’t a citizen and is a Muslim crowd”.

    They’re old, they hate almost everything and for the most part they are blindingly stupid and easily manipulated–they were the Reagan Dems and they were the ones that benefitted most from the New Deal policies. They got their’s and they are quite happy to say “fuck you”.

  46. 46
    Jinchi says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    The major model of “structural factors” suggested we’d lose 45 seats.

    Plus or minus 20. Why is it that nobody believes in error bars or uncertainty estimates?

  47. 47
    cmorenc says:

    Should we celebrate (mildly) that in Alaska, the mildly odious Lisa Murkowski appears to have the upper-hand over the toxically odious Miller? (Given that Dem Scott McAdams never really had a chance given Alaska’s prevailing political environment, not this year anyway).?

    At least we should celebrate that with one hand clapping.

  48. 48
    Suck It Up! says:

    @p.a.:

    How many times has he had the ‘let’s work together’ stuff thrown back into his face by his own party that seeks to undermine the very idea that he is the President

    how do they say it? fix’d?

  49. 49
    gnomedad says:

    So do the repubs now have the votes for a lynching impeachment?

  50. 50
    WyldPirate says:

    @p.a.:

    How many times has he had the ‘let’s work together’ stuff thrown back into his face by a party that seeks to undermine the very idea that he is American! And yet he is Charlie Brown every time, trying to kick the football. Last night (and the next 2 years) is the result.

    This. And this is why he is going to get more of the same at a higher volume. They will also manage to avaid almost all of the blame for the gridlock that they impose.

    Then they will have help from President Obama. He is making noises that he supports the “austerity kick” that much of Europe is on. He is also making noises that he will work with the Rethugs. The result? Luck for Obama to do the worst single thing for the economy right now–make cuts and decrease spending.

    The Rethugs will have the idiots so fired up in 2012, they will probably be able to convince the American Sheeple to elect the Wasilla Snowbilly–or somone “just like them”.

  51. 51
    4tehlulz says:

    @Rommie: This is the most interesting thing to see in the next few months; will the GOP establishment have the balls to keep the Teahadists from throwing the country over the edge, or will they say fuck it and just lay down?

    The debt ceiling is what I’m thinking about specifically.

  52. 52
    Jinchi says:

    @p.a.:

    60+% felt the economy is the main issue. What do the Talipublicans have to offer there? Nuttin’. Maybe if the White House finally understands that politics is as important as policy, they can mount a comeback over the next 2 years.

    I’m going to give the voters credit on this one. I don’t think they’re voting on policy or ideology and I don’t think they care about the partisan bickering.

    They look at the economy and if it sucks, they decide to try something different. They may not know what the Republicans plan to do or even agree with it. Democrats are free to conclude that Congress should have passed a bigger stimulus. Blue dogs might think we should have given the Walton family a bigger tax cut. Republicans… Well I’ve got no idea what they really believe.

    In any case, it’s a kick in the ass to find a solution to the problem instead of playing political games. And it was mostly the blue dogs who got kicked to the curb this time, so you can’t really fault voters on that point. Maybe if BDs hadn’t started obsessing about the deficit right after the worst economic collapse in 70 years they’d still have their jobs.

  53. 53
    bemused says:

    @Anya:
    Looking at the rest of the country, MN isn’t the only state on a suicide mission.

  54. 54
    cleek says:

    Clearly, the biggest wave election since the 30’s could have been stopped by a little more bully pulpit.

    when 8 in ten people don’t know that taxes have been lowered under Obama, and when so many think that the deficit actually “exploded” under Bush’s last budget, and that TARP was an Obama program, and that our current unemployment is caused by businesses being “uncertain” about future legislation, and that we can save the budget by eliminating “waste”, there’s a strong case to be made that the President (or someone, but the President is a good choice) needed to get out there and inform voters – especially since the Dem Congresspeople didn’t seem to want to do it. people are alarmingly ignorant about the fundamental facts of the things they say concern them the most, and i didn’t see half as much effort as was needed to correct this.

    but this sneering anti-“bully pulpit” bullshit assumes that there is no way the President could have communicated to the public, to tell them the truth about the things they say they are concerned about – even though he remains relatively popular among Dems – the same Dems who didn’t go out and vote. and we’re not talking about the Senate here (who are a bunch of out of touch prima-donnas), we’re talking about individual voters.

    it’s truly baffling to me that the front pagers here seem to think that the President is incapable of influencing voters. how the fuck do you think he won in 08 ?

  55. 55
    liberal says:

    @p.a.:
    Yeah, BR has a good analysis there—short and to the point.

  56. 56
    WyldPirate says:

    @cleek:

    it’s truly baffling to me that the front pagers here seem to think that the President is incapable of influencing voters. how the fuck do you think he won in 08 ?

    Goddamn, that was good cleek. The whole thing was good.

    More excuses Obot’s, more excuses. Keep it up with the denial.

  57. 57
    liberal says:

    @bemused:

    After 8 years of Pawlenty, I was so hoping for a return to policies made MN such an outstanding state. Now this. I am in despair.

    I grew up in IA and always viewed MN as a progressive state. But it’s been obvious over the past two or three decades that it’s been moving to the right. And not just in the manner in which people superficially refer to the country moving to the right.

    Not sure whether it’s changing demographics or what.

  58. 58
    terraformer says:

    @cleek:

    This.

  59. 59
    bemused says:

    @BrYan:
    Oy. Head. Bang. Dumbasses like your co-worker may be intelligent enough but only utilize a tiny portion of their brains.

  60. 60
    Blue Neponset says:

    Can you guys stop with the firebagger nonsense? To me it smacks of triangulation and/or nutpicking. Sure, Obama isn’t as horrible as the firebaggers make him out to be. How could he be? The truth is, though, the Prez fucked up pretty good during the last two years. A 65 seat loss in the house is an historical cluster fuck. No one reading this right now will live to see another bloodbath like that. (this is not hyberbole)

    Maybe apportioning some blame to the leader of the party that lost 65 seats in the House and should have lost 10 seats in the Senate is called for the day after such a defeat? Focusing on a bunch of Hillary supporters the day after seems like denial to me. YMMV.

    (ETA: What Cleek said!)

  61. 61
    cleek says:

    @cleek:
    edit:

    and when so many think that the deficit actually “exploded” under Bush’s last budget

    should be:

    and when so many think that the deficit, which, actually “exploded” under Bush’s last budget, is something Obama created

  62. 62
    debit says:

    @liberal: What’s odd to me is that I have Somali clients who told me flat out they are voting straight R because they don’t like paying payroll taxes (which local government has little to do with but they don’t get it). I wonder how they’d feel if they knew the Tea Party loving GOP hates and fears them.

    I mean seriously. Emmer and ilk would probably set up a task force to figure out how to send all of ’em back to Somalia.

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @liberal: I think in large part it is ignorance; look at how many Tea Partiers whine about how “California used to be the land of opportunity” when it was liberal policies who made it that way.

    When I hear things like people not knowing Obama cut their taxes; I despair. If they can’t keep track of their own money, how do they breathe on their own.

  64. 64
    mcd410x says:

    Shocking! People have opinions!

    The only thing better than people bitching about their leaders is people bitching about people bitching about their leaders.

    21st century literature: read it, learn it, live it.

  65. 65
    mcd410x says:

    @WereBear: People look at things like this: 5, 8, 3. And they completely panic. We’re No. 1!! (at not understanding math)

  66. 66
    bemused says:

    @liberal:
    This morning my husband was wondering about the demographics of Minnesotans who voted like this. I’d like to see that breakdown.

  67. 67
    Keith G says:

    @cleek: There are real limits to the power of the bully pulpit. That said, Obama came nowhere close to finding what those limits are.

  68. 68
    Yossarian says:

    “it’s truly baffling to me that the front pagers here seem to think that the President is incapable of influencing voters. how the fuck do you think he won in 08 ?”

    Er, for the same reason the Republicans won this year — the economy sucked?

  69. 69
    mk3872 says:

    Proof again that FDL is nothing more than a full-of-shit bunch of group-hugging whiners.

    That is absolute BS. Obama was out there in full force for the past month campaigning for every single Dem who actually WANTED him there.

  70. 70
    debit says:

    @mk3872: And yet the narrative was “Obama quietly campaigns from White House”. That was an actual AP headline last week.

  71. 71
    Suck It Up! says:

    @cleek:

    He is not capable of doing it by himself!!! The media won’t do it, the Dems in congress won’t do it, and his “base” won’t do it. The GOP message machine works because it comes from many fronts. Over on this side were are expecting Obama to go on the stage by himself. always.

    Obama has given prime time addresses and speeches listing his accomplishments. If these people don’t know then they are just morons. Sorry, I know there are plenty of low-info voters but those stats just prove plain stupidity.

  72. 72
    cleek says:

    @Keith G:
    exactly.

    i didn’t intend to imply he could sway everyone (he didn’t win with 100% of the vote, after all). but i feel that there was a huge opportunity to address ignorance, and he (and the rest of his lame-ass party) did not come close to doing that.

  73. 73
    Suck It Up! says:

    how the fuck do you think he won in 08 ?

    You mean when he didn’t have to run the country and had all the time in the world to campaign 5-6 days a week for almost two years?

  74. 74
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Keith G:

    could you tell us what those limits are?

  75. 75
    Nick says:

    Congressman Anthony Weiner only won by 18 when he usually wins by 35, and lost more than a quarter of Democrats in his district, because he didn’t use the bully pulpit.

  76. 76
    ToucanSam says:

    @CJ:

    I haven’t been there in a while and I was shocked at the Hillbuzzish vibe as well.

    Jane Hamsher went trolling for right-wing donations at the Wall Street Journal yesterday by backing “a diversity of voices in the primary process as a sign of a healthy democracy.”

    But Obots should get it through their thick skullfs that she has absolutely never, never, never called for Obama to be primaried. While Obama’s a progressive faillure, firedoggers have racked up huge progressive victories mostly ln their minds.

  77. 77
    Nick says:

    @cleek:

    how the fuck do you think he won in 08 ?

    he a lot less hostile media in 08, cleek

  78. 78
    Jeff says:

    Early comment on one of those threads–“Pelosi set the stage for this election when she took impeachment off the table in 2006”–is all you need to know about how unbelievably stupid they are.

  79. 79
    Jeff says:

    Also, Pat Murphy obviously lost because he wasn’t strong enough on DADT.

  80. 80
    Nick says:

    @Jeff: Alan Grayson lost because he didn’t support a robust public option and really make it known that he wanted true healthcare reform, and Russ Feingold lost because he is weenie on civil liberties.

    Oh, and Virg Benero didn’t win the governor’s race because he wasn’t sufficiently pro-labor

    oh, yeah, I forget…Debbie Halvorson would have won if she ran an ad attacking her opponent on Social Security so hard that Rachel Maddow would feature it on her show as an example of how Democrats should be campaigning.

  81. 81
    JMY says:

    I don’t think this is the fault of messaging. Because if you have not gotten it through your thick skull that Republicans and to a certain extent – conservative Democrats, don’t give a damn about improving the economy and have done everything they can to undermine and prevent the Dems and the Prez from implementing their agenda, then your a big fucking idiot. Period. I’ve heard Obama explain how badly Republicans suck. Dems explain how they suck. The fact of the matter is, a majority of Americans want that.

  82. 82
    Nick says:

    from Brian Beutler at TPM

    The Democrats’ freshman class included five progressives — Alan Grayson, Tom Perriello, Carol Shea-Porter, Mary Jo Kilroy, and John Hall — from competitive districts who didn’t dart to the center at the first sign of danger. Their candidacies were litmus tests for whether conviction politics could help Democrats survive an anti-Democratic election. All of them lost.

    Spin that hippies.

  83. 83
    JMY says:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....026451.php

    Just read that and tell me people aren’t idiots.

  84. 84
    wasabi gasp says:

    The message is clear. It’s time to whittle the federal government down to nothing but national security. Let the blue states throw all their elite incomes away on their own bullshit social security/medicare/education programs, while the red states nourish their starving freedoms by applying amazing new advancements in beef jerky technologies to rape babies.

  85. 85
    Keith G says:

    @Suck It Up!: Oh man, Suck….need to walk to work (greenie that I am) in a few, but:

    It depends on the person and the times. I used to totally mock GOP presidents for their relentless message control. Remember the blue back drops with the phrase of the day behind any GOP prez as he addressed whomever?

    Ya see, it’s not a fucking one time speech thing. It is an hour by hour campaign of extraordinary, yet very often subtle, effort to create the overall message. I hate like hell that it has to be done, but it sure seems like it is what a leader of this very strange place must do.

  86. 86
    Scott de B. says:

    @shoutingattherain:

    I think that assessment was pretty much right. I don’t see the Republicans as any more coherent than in 2008. And they are a far cry from the 1980s and 1990s. This may be an Indian summer for them, but it won’t last.

  87. 87
    Scott de B. says:

    Obama didn’t sell it—not because he couldn’t, because he underestimated the stupidity and gullibility of the American people.

    So if Obama only believed the American people were stupid and gullible, they would respect him? Wha?

    Or is this some variation on Bill Kristol’s “There are different truths for different kinds of people”?

  88. 88
    Scott de B. says:

    but this sneering anti-”bully pulpit” bullshit assumes that there is no way the President could have communicated to the public, to tell them the truth about the things they say they are concerned about – even though he remains relatively popular among Dems – the same Dems who didn’t go out and vote.

    And Obama remains popular among independent voters, who also didn’t go out to vote in the numbers that the Republicans did.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek:

    this sneering anti-”bully pulpit” bullshit assumes that there is no way the President could have communicated to the public

    Thing is, he fucking well DID communicate to The Public. Unfortunately, as everyone feared going back to 2008, the people he energized _for his campaign_ don’t really have the same degree of enthusiasm for down-ticket races. The part of the public that likes him, and to whom he communicates well, didn’t vote as energetically as the part of the public that doesn’t like him. That’s it. I don’t think it requires a complicated explanation.

  90. 90
    Blue Neponset says:

    So if Obama only believed the American people were stupid and gullible, they would respect him? Wha?

    This is why I hate the Democratic Party sometimes. The Republicans for all their evilness see opportunity everywhere. They want to “legally” torture prisoners so they get Bybee and Yoo to write a memo. The R’s want to start a war in Iraq so they ride the 9/11fear train and convince the public that Iraq is a direct threat to the US. The GOP wants to cut rich people taxes in the middle of two wars so they get the nation discussing whether or not tax cuts pay for themselves. Righties hate HCR so they find a way to talk about death panels for a month and swing the whole debate. The Repubs get schelacked in teh 2008 election so they rebrand themselves as the “Tea Party”.

    I hate to sound like a fortune cookie but…great opportunity comes from a great crisis. When are the Democrats going to figure this out. We have a nation of people bullshit at the banks and the financial sector and somehow the Republicans managed to tap into that anger and ride it to a once in a century win in the House.

    Yet here we are the day after and still Democrats are asking what Obama could have done. Anyone who asks that has no imagination and a short memory.

  91. 91
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Jinchi:

    Given error bars, 60 seats is on the extreme end of the distribution. It’s fair to acknowledge that and wonder why that could be. It’s not like “structural factors” explain 90% of the variance.

  92. 92
    Scott de B. says:

    Given error bars, 60 seats is on the extreme end of the distribution. It’s fair to acknowledge that and wonder why that could be.

    It doesn’t work like that. If you say structural factors predict a 45 seat swing plus or minus 20 seats, you can’t, after the fact, take the 60 seat swing as somehow invalidating the prediction.

  93. 93
    jinxtigr says:

    The tactical question is, what do we locally do to protect ourselves and those we care about from the apocalyptic scenario the teabaggers expect and vote to ward off?

    Because we figured out, “hey, the shit they vote for is actually producing the scary world they most fear, with starving violent bestial looters attacking them in their beds, and workers uprising and striking and shutting the whole thing down”, and we thought we could make them stop voting for policies that ruin the damn country and produce the desperation that incubates the wingnut nightmares.

    And we have not been succeeding in this. These people believe things that are not true, they vote on what they know, what they know is controlled by billionaire sociopaths and foreign corporations and Wall Street bankers and we haven’t stopped that. We may be totally outflanked by the mechanisms of real power as they exist today.

    It’s strongly localized- I’m in Vermont and we just re-elected Leahy and have a Soc1alist Senator who’s had our back for years, and though we had a huge geriatric turnout it didn’t translate into fascist revolution this time. Kentucky? Hah. Dark and bloody ground indeed.

    So it becomes a tactical question. Can we take advantage of some of the teabagger belief system to gut them? I’m thinking, these people hate and try to refuse government help. Can we for instance make legislation where all states net zero on federal money? That would help California survive, and benefit a number of blue states, and a number of red states would be mortally wounded by this. If they are run by teabaggers they’re capable of voting for such ‘lack of federal assistance’ and we’re gonna need the money to ride out the depression.

    If that works, red states which take unusually heavy federal handouts and charity will starve more, and liberal states which give this charity to the Southerners will have to keep their filthy handouts for purposes like buying steaks for their own minorities, causing their own economies to be more resilient.

    This is not rocket science, people. It’s very basic simple economics and understanding of cultural issues. If the Confederacy is determined to refight the civil war and try to conquer the Union again, maybe we shouldn’t be taking massive federal money and propping them up with goddamn handouts just because they are ‘Americans’.

    The neat thing is, you can use their cultural conditioning against them. Southern honor culture rebels aggressively against things like indebtedness, yet these people are taking huge federal money because the corrupt Republicans are not entirely stupid and have arranged to quietly do so. If you asked most Tea Partiers how much their state gives in taxes to support black welfare recipients in California, they’d probably say they gave LOTS and they were furious about it, when in fact it’s the black welfare recipients subsidizing the teabaggers.

    So put out a ‘zero federal cashflow’ proposal to take advantage of this sense that the money is going OUT of the teabagger state, rather than IN- and if they insist on attacking us electorally with ignorance and bad policy, we attack back economically and make them actually live their ideology.

    Tea Party leaders will actually do this. The Republicans weren’t dumb enough to.

  94. 94
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Scott de B.:

    I’m not saying the prediction is invalid, but all outcomes are not equally likely even if it falls within the margin of error of said prediction. This is stats 101.

  95. 95
    Socraticsilence says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Its funny how Obama is to blame and yet he remains more popular than Congress (as a whole or by party splits).

  96. 96
    horseDave says:

    To counter the “Why its not the end of the World” comment.

    There were very few Dems who would speak out on our corporate overlords. Due to the unprecedented amount of “Citizen United” money there are now none (Grayson, Feingold). Who will speak now. My rep Donna Edwards MD04 might as she won by %84 but those defeats will silence any dissent IMO. The Citizens United ruling will mark the day that the US went from a democracy to a corporate empire. Check your Roman history to see how well that worked.

  97. 97
    Socraticsilence says:

    @shoutingattherain:

    I can’t help but think 2010-2016 are essentially the last gasps of a dying party- I mean look it seems bleak right now but the underlying demographic facts remain- barring a permanent shift in the white electorate Presidential year elections are going to favor Dems on an almost permanent basis starting in 2020.

  98. 98
    Socraticsilence says:

    @horseDave:

    I’m sorry you really think its Citizen’s United that swung Grayson’s district- he had more ads and harder hitting ads than his opponent. For Feingold it may have been a difference maker but his funding problems were exacerbated by his unwillingness to accept DSCC funding.

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Socraticsilence: Yeah, but like with cell phones not being polled, we’ve been hearing about this fateful demographic shift for a long time now, and it hasn’t happened yet.

  100. 100
    Persia says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I don’t think that “messaging” [god, what a word!] was the problem

    But we had no message. The Dems message was basically, ‘gee, it’s getting better, mostly, so why change?’

  101. 101
    Hob says:

    @Blue Neponset: “A 65 seat loss in the house is an historical cluster fuck. No one reading this right now will live to see another bloodbath like that”

    So a loss of 65 seats is a historical, once-in-a-lifetime clusterfuck, but a loss of 56 seats in 1994 is just one of those things? Either the human lifespan (or attention span) has been drastically reduced, or you’re saying a difference of 9 seats out of 435 is the definition of a bloodbath.

    I’m not saying last night didn’t well and truly suck elephant balls, but seriously, does no one remember the Clinton/Gingrich years? And that was when there was way less of a reason for people to be mad at the ruling party.

  102. 102
    JenJen says:

    @cleek: What cleek said.

  103. 103
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Hob:

    I’m not saying last night didn’t well and truly suck elephant balls, but seriously, does no one remember the Clinton/Gingrich years? And that was when there was way less of a reason for people to be mad at the ruling party.

    What is your point?

  104. 104
    Tim says:

    Lord, you Obots are pathetic.

    Your poor wittle pwesident just can’t do anything about anything…cuz, well, evewyone is so darn mean…

  105. 105
    horseDave says:

    @Socraticsilence:

    No need to feel sorry, I’m only repeating (parroting) what I’ve read regarding Grayson’s district. It was my understanding that the largest portion of corporate money went to defeat Grayson of all the house contests. I did not follow his campaign very closely although I did give money.

    I am trying to understand why the Dems lost progressives like Feingold and Grayson. I can somewhat understand Grayson as his district is not particularly blue. As you said the demographics point to a future with Democrats yet at the moment the corporate schills have the momentum. Too many people even some of my relatives vote against their interest.

  106. 106
    Hob says:

    @Blue Neponset: I might ask the same of you. You weren’t content to say that this really sucked and that the Democrats should change their approach. You had to say this:

    A 65 seat loss in the house is an historical cluster fuck. No one reading this right now will live to see another bloodbath like that. (this is not hyberbole)

    Actually it is hyperbole, unless you think either (a) 1994 was more than a generation ago or (b) 56 seats is not at all the same kind of bloodbath as 65 seats, even though we lost the Senate then too. And that’s when the economy wasn’t in the shitter; but the Republicans still managed to bullshit everyone into thinking they had to be rescued from a liberal nightmare.

    So my point is that this has happened before, and not all that long ago, and I see no reason to think we won’t live to see it happen again… unless we’re just not going to live very long, in which case feel free to say “I told you so”.

  107. 107
    lol says:

    Grayson is what happens when you let bloggers like his chief advisor Matt Stoller drive the bus.

    You get a lot of really satisfying rhetoric followed by a 20 point defeat. Pretty much the perfect example of the “I’d rather go down screaming than accomplish anything” mentality that dominates the Professional Left.

  108. 108

    So much analysis. So much wrong!

    Everybody keeps pointing to their favorite ponies and stating, “if only Obama would have petted this pony more often and with a more vigorous stroking technique, Democrats would have done better.”

    No.

    Despite what the Firebaggers say, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid passed a lot of pretty great stuff. Pretty great stuff can also be scary because it’s new and different. Could the pretty great stuff have been even awesomer? As always, yes, IF Republicans weren’t such total douchebags.

    I will take pretty great stuff (that had a possibility of passing and did) over super awesome great stuff that could never pass. I will also definitely take the pretty great stuff over whatever the beltline Pony of the Day is.

    I see a lot of pointing to the economy. That’s historically correct and correct today too. But I’m glad Obama didn’t spend the last two years primping a new stimulus pony. It could even have had sparkles, braided hair, and an “I love you” tatoo on its leg, but it never would have passed!

    I think this shows really good leadership and a true commitment to this country for Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. They walked in knowing how much they were truly fucking themselves in the next election or two, but did the stuff they did anyway, because it was the right thing to do.

    Like it or not, that’s how American politics works. Good stuff happens. When it does, there’s a backlash from entrenched interests and fear. Shit, there was a major backlash against social security (there still is today)! But it’s in no danger of going away because even conservative Americans rely on it. The same will be true for much of what was passed in the last two years.

    Relish in the liberalism of the last two years. It will be back. Fear can’t last forever.

  109. 109
    Peter says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It should be pointed out that demographic shifts take a long-ass time to complete due to, you know, human lifespan.

  110. 110
    the farmer says:

    If Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson had used their bully pulpits they would be sanding in the winners circle today!

    (this has been another public service fail narrative announcement from the Jane Hamquist Fire Bag Flake Cult of Personality Cult)

    [/ponies]

    *

  111. 111
    4jkb4ia says:

    If it’s FDL, there is no need to write anything that dumb. Jane can simply write, “I said that Rahm was going to destroy the Democratic Party back in January/the spring.” That contradicts “The White House sat on its hands”. Measured by intensity of campaigning, the White House did not sit on its hands.

  112. 112
    4jkb4ia says:

    Attaturk wrote it. Faith in humanity somewhat restored.

  113. 113
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @cleek: FIREBAGGER!!!!!! PUMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess you want to primary Obama now because you didn’t get your pony.

    /fapfapfapfap

  114. 114

    2008: Obama, a black man, won the presidency on progressive principles.

    The Republicans were dead after the worst presidency in decades, maybe ever.

    Obama went right on security, center-right on economics, and bipartisany on governance.

    2010: The Republicans were resurrected.

    mistermix Lesson: Continue diluting the Democratic brand, and continue to avoid leading.

  115. 115
    Triassic Sands says:

    There is a huge difference between blaming Obama (for example, for Feingold’s loss) and acknowledging that Obama has done an extremely poor job of leading the Democratic Party, educating the public about vital issues and legislation, and being an effective counterweight to the Republicans.

    It is idiotic for lefties to blame Obama for individual electoral losses. Those losses are attributable to lots of things — I prefer the fickleness and general stupidity of Americans in most cases– and many of the losses are rooted in the poor economy and the traditional losses suffered by the incumbent party.

    It is equally idiotic to try to pretend that none of the bad things that are happening in this country today are attributable, at least in part, to Obama’s failings.

    To the frustration of many, Obama went overboard trying to mollify Republicans. He willingly traded away legislative points without a peep and got nothing in return. Worse, his efforts earned him nothing among the general populace and media. Today, he is widely criticized for making no effort to reach bipartisan agreement with the GOP. It isn’t his fault that the media and people are either corrupt or moronic, but neither is this a sudden, unforeseeable occurrence.

    It makes no sense to blame Obama for things beyond his control or that he clearly isn’t guilty of — and regrettably that is happening. Neither does it make sense to continue to pretend that Obama hasn’t made a lot of unnecessary mistakes for which he alone is responsible.

    Obama’s legislative record is impressive, but there is more to being an effective president than just getting legislation passed. Obama’s biggest failure may have been as a communicator. He really does appear to be unable to connect with tens of millions of Americans. I don’t envy him the task, because I think those Americans are largely mindless, fickle twits. However, being an effective president requires that finding a way to connect with those people, and Obama hasn’t.

    Somehow, Democrats took one of the most vital issues in America, health care, and passed legislation that is widely disliked by the very people it is designed to help. On the one hand, it is fair to say, screw those people, if they’re that stupid, they’ll get what they deserve. The problem is that a lot of people who don’t deserve “it” get screwed at the same time. Obama’s efforts to sell HCR to the American people were pathetic. He has to take responsibility for such a monumental screw up. Trying to blame others, may make some of us feel better about Obama, but it doesn’t do anything to recognize very real shortcomings and the need to address them.

    I have been frustrated, even angered, by the way Obama has been treated by the media. On the other hand, I don’t like many of Obama’s policies, I think he has no idea how to lead a political party, and I am afraid he is headed toward a single term. His greatest asset is the Republican Party.

    At this point, I’d say Obama’s best, perhaps only, chance of winning in 2012 depends on the Republicans nominating someone who is virtually unelectable — a repeat of the 2010 Nevada senate race.

    One thing is certain, internecine fighting, name calling, and snark are not going to help fix any of the problems we face today.

  116. 116
    gerry says:

    It’s interesting that you all (Juicers) think the best messenger for the liberal agenda, Obama, would have been useless in a more aggressive sales campaign. The man got himself elected with righteous rhetoric and then left the stage. Why exactly would the bully pulpit have been ineffective?

  117. 117
    Nathanael says:

    Oh, realigning elections are *very* real.

    Last one was 1860 I believe.

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