The Boomer Moynihan


Todd Purdom, the guy who so famously shivved McCain’s choice of Snomobile Snooki, has a new Vanity Fair article about “The Audacity of Nope“:

… He has gone from J.F.K. Democrat to Reagan Republican. From tavern owner’s son to packaging-and-plastics salesman and self-made millionaire. From hot-headed House freshman to a valued member of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s insurgent Republican team. After he lost that job, in the collapse of Gingrich’s reign, Boehner clawed his way back to power, building a reputation as a bipartisan deal-maker. In February 2006 he was elected the House majority leader—a job that suddenly turned into House minority leader when the G.O.P. lost Congress that fall. Ever since Obama took office, Boehner has been among the chief congressional architects of the Republicans’ “Hell, no!” strategy—their decision not to seek compromise but to attempt to block virtually all of the president’s major initiatives, from the economic-stimulus package to health-insurance overhaul to financial regulatory reform.
[…]
__
John Boehner wasn’t born a Republican. He became one the same way that thousands of other working-class Catholic men of his generation did: through hard work and the absorption of the shifting cultural and political values that culminated in Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. He is the second-oldest of 12 children (his brother Bob is 362 days older), nine boys and three girls born over a 20-year period to Earl and Mary Ann Boehner. He grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Reading, in a house that initially had only two bedrooms. His parents slept on a foldout couch in the living room. Jerry Vanden Eynden, a childhood friend, recalls that his most vivid memory of the Boehner household is of cloth diapers drying everywhere—on a clothesline outside in summer, and in the basement in winter. Earl Boehner ran Andy’s Café, a shot-and-a-beer bar in nearby Carthage. It specialized in sandwiches and plate lunches for truck drivers and hourly workers from a nearby Procter & Gamble plant. John worked there from the time he was old enough to push a broom, eventually holding every job in the place: bottle sorter, busboy, waiter, and finally bartender, learning, as he put it a couple of years ago, “to deal with every jackass that walks in the door.” Boehner attended the Sts. Peter and Paul parochial school, and then Archbishop Moeller High School, an all-boys college-prep program run by Marianist brothers…
__
Boehner served a brief stint in the Vietnam-era navy [ed: 8 weeks, according to Wikipedia], but was discharged because of his back problems. Working various part-time jobs, he put himself through Cincinnati’s Xavier University to become the first college graduate in his family in 1977. Soon after, he got a job working for Nucite Sales, a small company that sold injection-molded plastic products and packaging. The job involved plenty of schmoozing and long hours on the golf course, and when the owner died, Boehner bought the business from his widow. With his wife, Debbie, he moved into a classy community called Lakota Hills, where he ran for president of the homeowners’ association on a pledge to buy a golf course, and for the first time in his life he began paying attention to politics…
[…]
__
Boehner is, in the end, a most unlikely candidate to lead any kind of revolution. He is a traditionalist, and an institutionalist, and, Lord knows, he is anything but a fresh face. He is the captive of forces more powerful than himself, and he has evidenced a form of Stockholm syndrome, which his captors may or may not find convincing. The pitiful reality of contemporary Washington is that institutional perspective is in such short supply that anyone with even a smidgen of it might pass for having qualities of statesmanship. If John Boehner is a statesman, he’s one who starts from an unenviable position: neither the leader his party may really want nor the kind his country most needs.

It’s worth reading the whole article. Purdom has proven his mastery at reading the currents below the surface of this week’s Master DC Narrative Chart, illuminating the channels through which his subjects have navigated… and the hidden shoals and snags lurking to wreck them.

Never having been a Republican, I had not previously been exposed to much of the Boehner bio-mythologizing: the blue-collar Catholic bhoyo, scrapping his way out of an oversized family of undersized resources, glad-handing his teary-eyed way from parochial-school scholarship scuffler to Glengarry Glen Ross HOA-running “achiever” to canny Macduff lurking behind the arras to resist the usurping Kenyan regicide.

When I was growing up in the Bronx in the 1960s, the recently deceased Daniel Patrick Moynihan was our contemporary version of Finn McCool — not a demi-god like JFK, but a warrior and a schemer for “his people” against the cruelties and indifference of powerful outside forces. Danny Pat, ex-longshoreman, despite being a good Democrat, never held his pride so dear that he wouldn’t compromise with The Enemy, from LBJ (it wasn’t just ivory-tower DFHs who suspected Lyndon of a hand in Kennedy’s assassination) to Tricky Dick and Jerry the Klutz. But Moynihan always took great pride in being a capital-I Intellectual, a philosopher-scholar standing behind this year’s President like Aristotle behind Alexander. Being educated, well-read, capable of defending the side in the UN, writing books that would actually be discussed, not merely sold as vanity-press quasi-religious icons for willful illiterates to display in evidence of their tribal fealty — such things were important to the ambitious blue-collar Catholics of Moynihan’s generation.

Reading the recent spate of Boehner bios, Orange John seems to be working a lot of the same tropes for the next generation, the Pig-in-the-Python cohort of which I am a back-end member… but “intellectual”, for the ambitious modern politico, is an identifier only slightly less to be avoided than “pedophile”. Boehner might possibly concede a resemblance to Ulysses, the “cunning man” famed for his skill at trickery, er, strategy. But not if the guy playing him in the movie were some Hollywood lefty-liberal like Clooney, of course. Bad optics. And today, it’s all optics, only optics.

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155 replies
  1. 1
    D-Chance. says:

    John Boehner is orange. Also, Al Gore is fat.

    Glad to see liberals are on the same intellectual level as base consrrrrvatives, though.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    Annie Laurie: this looks great.

    Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Looks emailable too …

    Let the shivving begin.

  3. 3
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    If John Boehner is a statesman, he’s one who starts from an unenviable position: neither the leader his party may really want nor the kind his country most needs.

    Isn’t that also the description of Harry Reid?

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Interesting apology for hippie-punching (though he doesn’t use that word) from APA Guy @ DKos:

    … It was then that I realized that my desire for “compromise” and subsequent mocking of those I labeled “purity elements” was not only cruel and undue, but incredibly short-sighted and inaccurate.
    __
    I am a flawed person, like many who walk the Earth. However, I refuse to be a flawed person who does not admit fault and recognize the truth … and the truth is, Democrats who work to hold our party leaders to the principles and ideals that make us great should be celebrated, not mocked.

    Seemed like an appropriate thing to link to here at Balloon-Juice. Fodder for discussion/flame wars at any rate …

    .

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    On the upside, futures for Coco Butter should go through the roof.

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    He forgot where he came from. End of. That’s the unforgivable sin.

    It’s what made Reagan inexcusable long before he became President. And not-forgetting made Clinton tolerable even at his triangulating worst.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    OT – Was listening to NPR on the way home and they were interviewing Dan Coats who just won the Senate seat in Indiana. Whoever the interviewer was asked him about the filibuster and voting in the Senate and he said…wait for it…that bills should be brought to “an up or down vote.”

    Upperdown vote! Upperdown vote! It’s baaaack! You heard it here first, bitchez!

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    @JGabriel:

    Seemed like an appropriate thing to link to here at Balloon-Juice. Fodder for discussion/flame wars at any rate …

    Ideals and principles are really great, and I encourage their cultivation among the minority party folks who aren’t going to get much passed anyway.

    In the majority party, less so. I expect legislation first, and niceties later. I don’t think I ever said a bad word about Rahm Emmanuel for being a dick. But when Harry Reid let legislation rot in the Senate…

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    Seemed like an appropriate thing to link to here at Balloon-Juice. Fodder for discussion/flame wars at any rate

    nah, princess bride flame wars are going out of style. In comes the speaking ignorance to truth era. Our purity warriors will give the wingnuts a run for their money in that department.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    @Violet:

    Upperdown vote! Upperdown vote! It’s baaaack! You heard it here first, bitchez!

    Let’s see if Democrats have learned what obstruction gets you, or if they all just duck and nod and smile and completely capitulate.

  11. 11
    TooManyJens says:

    @Violet:

    Whoever the interviewer was asked him about the filibuster and voting in the Senate and he said…wait for it…that bills should be brought to “an up or down vote.”

    They do know they didn’t win the Senate, right?

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @JGabriel: When I read that, my feeling was meh.

    I never wanted compromise, I just wanted shit to get done. And what I hated about the “purity elements” of the party was that they kept ignoring the struggles to accomplish anything, discarding the things that were getting done, and drowning out any celebration of the accomplishments.

    At the same time, I don’t these people had that much of an effect on the election. Possibly a little, but not enough to matter.

  13. 13
    KG says:

    I miss Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I always liked him. We need more like him today. Many, many more.

  14. 14
    KG says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I never wanted compromise, I just wanted shit to get done.

    Without supermajorities, you can’t really have one without the other.

  15. 15
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Purdom has proven his mastery at reading the currents below the surface of this week’s Master DC Narrative Chart, illuminating the channels through which his subjects have navigated… and the hidden shoals and snags lurking to wreck them.

    All of the sudden, I want to go play Minecraft.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    Hi fake crying jags aren’t any more convincing than Beck’s. And he has no sense of when they are believable and when they are not.

    His act needs practice for the general public to take him seriously.

    The Tea People will swallow anything. Their disbelief and skepticism is automatically suspended before any of these vaudeville acts even start. And the GOP wardheelers are paid to pretend to take it seriously.

    Is it true that there are ambitious Congressional GOPer who will try to take Johnny Bones down?

  17. 17
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    All of the sudden, I want to go play Minecraft.

    And I don’t.

    Hence the Minecraft gap.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    @TooManyJens:

    lordy, not only did they hold on to the senate, they increased their majority to 48 over a paltry 52 for dems. The Executive Branch will be moved into the House Basement, and the Judiciary Branch is now part of Wall Street, which was voted by proxy to Rulers of the Universe. Big realignment, not visible to the nekkid eye.

  19. 19
    JenJen says:

    Fun local anecdote: We lifelong Cincinnatians sure did guffaw loudly when a weepy John Boehner told his entirely phony “rags-to-riches” story on Election Night.

    Even the GOPers I know were chuckling. Mr. Boehner, we know you. We know your family. We knew you long before you became Speaker. You’re full of shit.

  20. 20
    DonkeyKong says:

    Reading the recent spate of Boehner bios, Orange John seems to be working a lot of the same tropes for the next generation, the Pig-in-the-Python cohort of which I am a back-end member… but “intellectual”, for the ambitious modern politico, is an identifier only slightly less to be avoided than “pedophile”.

    Wow, head shot at a thousand yards, nice.

  21. 21
    ThresherK says:

    Writing books that would actually be discussed, not merely sold as vanity-press quasi-religious icons for willful illiterates to display in evidence of their tribal fealty

    And somewhere along the line this happened.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Violet: The media has told me that the Senate needs 60 votes to pass anything.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jl:

    Is it true that there are ambitious Congressional GOPer who will try to take Johnny Bones down?

    Oh, yeah. I don’t have enough of a feel for their caucus to say who, but anybody who knows which members Joe Scarborough is friendly with does; that shot about Boehner’s social life a few months back didn’t come out of nowhere (pure recreational kremlinology, but that’s what I think).

  24. 24
    Paula says:

    @JGabriel:

    lol. Does he need a pad to kneel on in this act of contrition?

  25. 25
    gbear says:

    Is it true that there are ambitious Congressional GOPer who will try to take Johnny Bones down?

    Michele F. Bachmann is starting to make her moves.

  26. 26
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @KG: That’s what I meant to imply, if I didn’t. I didn’t want compromising for its own sake, but in order to get stuff done, I knew there would have to be some, especially with the group of Democrats in the Senate. Reid never had 60 members that he could always count on. If he’d manage to act like LBJ, the Blue Dogs these days could have been counted to vote against everything.

  27. 27
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    Not sure Finn McCool would be a good analogue to Moynihan: McCool made a fool of himself chasing after a younger woman, and then acted with spite when the younger woman preferred a younger man, letting the man die when he had the power to save him.

    And that’s even after getting the Salmon of Knowledge.

    Mind you, Cuchulain is even worse, killing both his son and his best friend.

    Lugh Lamh Fada let the Sons of Turenn die out of revenge even though they paid the wergild, even though, like Finn, he had the power to save them.

    The mythical Irish heroes seem either eejits or arseholes. There isn’t an Odysseus equivalent who’s smart and still manages not to be spiteful.

  28. 28
    JGabriel says:

    General Stuck:

    In comes the speaking ignorance to truth era. Our purity warriors will give the wingnuts a run for their money in that department.

    See, that’s what I’m talking about. I think our so-called “purity warriors” are on the same side as we are, and instead of mocking them and compromising with the GOP, maybe we should be doing it the other way around.

    I guess, when I see hippie-punching, I just tend to feel caught between the idealists and the pragmatists, thinking, “Hey, aren’t we on the same team? Shouldn’t we be trying to find a compromise amongst ourselves, rather than one-half going batshit and the other half trying to appease evil incarnate?”

    .

  29. 29
    sherifffruitfly says:

    The cartoon seems to be missing all the klansmen.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TooManyJens: along those lines, I keep seeing Palin treated as if she were a force in this election. The only two cases where she went against the establishment–O’Donnell and Miller–were big losers; three of her designated “mama grizzlies”–Fiorina, Angle and MacMahon–all lost. You’d think that would be relevant to the discussion. ETA: Also too, Ken Buck, who I don’t know if she endorsed in the primary, but she certainly campaigned for him after.
    It’s irritating from an MSM perspective, but it seems to have gone to her head. I’ve always said if she made a token run at ’12, it would just be for attention and money, but I think it’s really gone to her head and she thinks she can win.
    To which I say: Go, Sarah, go!

  31. 31
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:
    __

    All of the sudden, I want to go play Minecraft.

    The single most influential book in my life was Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, which I read for the first time at the age of eight. It’s still one of the best single-edition guides to American history & political culture, ever, combining not only some of Twain’s most trenchant commentary but the chapters Livvy deleted from Huckleberry Finn as “too incendiary”. My first exposure to ‘Southern Pride’, or as Twain called it, “the misbegotten Walter Scott cult”.

  32. 32

    Friend of mine from Ohio is of the same age as Boehner’s brother, went to high school with the Boehner kids. He sent me a scan of his 1968 high school yearbook that showed Boehener … he kinda looks the same as now.

    I have it but I can’t imagine what if anything I would do with it.

  33. 33
    mattH says:

    I miss Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I always liked him. We need more like him today. Many, many more.

    Ah, the original advocate of the Catfood Commission. Not everything he did was gold.

  34. 34
    Hob says:

    “Macduff lurking behind the arras”? Methinks you’re mixing your plays. [MACBETH & HAMLET SPOILERS:] Macduff attacks with a large army and kills the usurper in hand-to-hand combat. Polonius lurks behind an arras and gets stabbed to death by mistake.

  35. 35
    Paula says:

    @mattH:

    Mr. “culture of poverty” is making a comeback, didn’t you hear?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....verty.html

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel: Well, some of us don’t really question the underlying motives of the DFHs as being well-intentioned. Hell, I don’t even question the underlying motives of most republicans as being well-intentioned.

    With the right there’s a difference of policy (and of honesty) but with the left there’s a difference of tactics. I agree with liberal in the other thread that single payer is the right solution. But like the Donner Party heading for California, what price are you willing to pay to get there, or will you settle for Utah for a year until you can better secure the route there?

    But beyond that there’s a question of how far are you willing to go to define your position? Will you resort to calling the guy you need to sign whatever policy you are advocating a ‘corporatist whore’? Will you openly advocate for any compromise policy to fail – for him to fail electorally?

    That accomplishes nothing positive. It’s destruction to avenge disappointment. That’s not what reasonable adults do, and certainly not policy advocates.

  37. 37
    MattR says:

    @TooManyJens:

    They do know they didn’t win the Senate, right?

    Actually, the calls for up or down votes scare me. They are already setting the stage for when Reid does not want to bring the odious bills passed by the House to a vote in the Senate where they will have a strong chance of getting the necessary Democratic defections to pass (which then puts the entire political cost on Obama to veto it)

    (EDIT: OTOH, trading up or down votes on legislation for up or down votes on nominations might not be horrific)

  38. 38
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Hob:
    __

    “Macduff lurking behind the arras”? Methinks you’re mixing your plays. [MACBETH & HAMLET SPOILERS:] Macduff attacks with a large army and kills the usurper in hand-to-hand combat. Polonius lurks behind an arras and gets stabbed to death by mistake.

    I was trying for wry. Shakespeare’s Macduff is considered a tragic hero because he loses all that’s dear to him before manning up against the forces of evil; Polonius, on the other hand, is an ineffective windbag who manages to die comically after getting his kids murdered through his own half-arsed attempts at “statesmanship”. Our modern Republican “strategists” have more in common with Hamlet’s tutor, despite their delusions of impending kingship.

  39. 39
    Cris says:

    Clearly Jeff Danziger is the real racist, since he drew all those white people in the back seat.

  40. 40
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    I guess, when I see hippie-punching, I just tend to feel caught between the idealists and the pragmatists, thinking, “Hey, aren’t we on the same team?

    Then maybe you need to choose sides. We are in a war of sorts with the wingnuts for the heart and soul of this country, and do not have time for wasting on soothing hurt feelings in the ranks, by parsing the past into the nth fucking degree day in and day out, searching for what could have been. When we’ve won that war, if we win it, then the beatings will stop, and idealists can preach purity from the rooftops, if their purdy little selves desire.

    Or they can do it now, and we can commence pointless internecine flame war number 1,254. That seems what you are angling for on this thread. I’m done with it though, and will just peck out what I have to say, and get about the business of hammering wingers without mercy.

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    @MattR: Meh. Pelosi took care of that. There are 450 bills the House has already passed that the GOP filibustered in the Senate. Boehner can put his shit at the back of that line. Reid has an easy out if he’s willing to take it – up or down votes on everything queued up. It’ll be 2013 before they get to anything passed after 2010.

  42. 42
    gbear says:

    Maybe OT, but I left a comment on a local news blog about how much that northern MN was going to regret dumping Jim Oberstar. This was the reply I got from a (probably paid) troll named ‘Tim’:

    @gbear – You may be right, I don’t know much about Oberstar’s replacement or his plan to create jobs. But I do know that Abortions are part of Obamacare and that is why Oberstar lost.
    But in the end, the economy always follows morality. So a vote against Abortion will eventually lead to a better economy. Besides our nation in on the path to soon stop all Abortions. And we need the additional workers to pay the tax, social security, medicare, etc. So you should join the pro-life cause for the sake of funding entitlements.

    I’t just pointless to even argue. BJ is the only place left where I can stand to read the comments.

  43. 43
    JGabriel says:

    Martin:

    I agree with liberal in the other thread that single payer is the right solution. But like the Donner Party heading for California, what price are you willing to pay to get there, or will you settle for Utah for a year until you can better secure the route there?

    The Donner analogy is not accurate. We paid a pretty steep price for supporting civil rights in the 1960’s. I grew up after most of those battles, but I suspect it was worth it.

    So, the more accurate question is, was single-payer worth the kind of attacks and losses we took over civil rights?

    I think, yeah, maybe it might have been. Was it ever a possibility, even if we were willing to take those losses — there I’m not so sure.

    .

  44. 44
    Lysana says:

    True story or not, when I find out someone who was raised a Roman Catholic went Republican, especially working-class, I feel a bit betrayed. I’m only counted as one of theirs because they won’t drop me from their rolls without direct intervention, but the childhood left its marks. So Boehner just dropped even further in my estimation. He hasn’t hit Cheney-class hate, but I give him a year tops before he does.

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    Snomobile Snooki. Love it. Also, too.

  46. 46
    gwangung says:

    @gbear: OK, I give. Everybody I’ve argued with here at least makes sense. That…is just appalling. And impervious to reality.

  47. 47
    lamh32 says:

    Couple of Interesting post from TNC over at Atlantic:

    Toward a Populist Obama

    …I think I’m deeply uncomfortable with any sort of populism. No matter the target…it seems to require its leaders to say, “There’s nothing wrong with you America.”

    …the notion that Americans are pure, and what’s really wrong with this country, has everything to do with aliens–the media, the Muslim, the poor, the illegal, the rich, the elites–but nothing to do with the natives strikes me as comfort food.

    Moreover, it stands in direct opposition to much of the patriotic rhetoric we hear. If America is so mighty, if its people are so dynamic and great, how can it be that they are so often and so easily deluded? Perhaps repeatedly telling voters “You’re a good person. It’s not your fault.” is essential in politics. I don’t know. I voted for Obama precisely because I thought he would resist the call to Willie Lynch the people he’s supposed to be serving.

  48. 48
    freelancer says:

    @Cris:

    I just love the teatard gnawing on the dashboard.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gbear:

    This was the reply I got from a (probably paid) troll

    That capital A makes me think you’re dealing with the real thing. Drop them south a couple of states and you’re looking at most of my relatives, only they tend to talk about “Life”

  50. 50
    Sir Nose'D says:

    I grew up Catholic in a light blue collar household (school teacher and nurse for parents). Where the fuck is my leadership position?

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    General Stuck:

    Or they can do it now, and we can commence pointless internecine flame war number 1,254. That seems what you are angling for on this thread.

    Not really. I’m kind of glad it’s not going that route so far. I just thought the post from APA Guy was a good jumping off point for discussing a topic I find genuinely perplexing — which is why I don’t have anything to say yet that’s particularly sharp or clarifying.

    .

  52. 52
    MattR says:

    @Martin: Sorry. But the Republicans will scream about the will of the people and that the folks who voted for those bills were rejected by the country so they don’t count. The media will dutifully echo it and the end result will be some sort of compromise where all those bills queued up that Republicans have 51 votes to kill will get an up or down vote while the rest will be shelved.

    (EDIT: I also realized I don’t even know if what you are suggesting is procedurally and/or constitutionally possible. Seems there is something kinky about bringing bills passed by a previous session of the House up for a vote in the Senate. What would the statute of limitations be?)

  53. 53
    gbear says:

    @gwangung: Every news story on that blog (Minnesota Independent) winds up getting infested with comments from that guy and another one named Dennis. Every single story. It’s depraved.

    edit: I wish those guys would show up here. That would be entertaining.

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    Heh. I had no idea Jon Stewart’s brother was the COO of the NYSE. I bet there’s some fun thanksgiving conversation…

  55. 55
    gwangung says:

    The Donner analogy is not accurate. We paid a pretty steep price for supporting civil rights in the 1960’s. I grew up after most of those battles, but I suspect it was worth it.
    So, the more accurate question is, was single-payer worth the kind of attacks and losses we took over civil rights?
    I think, yeah, maybe it might have been. Was it ever a possibility, even if we were willing to take those losses — there I’m not so sure.

    Yeah, those are separate questions that tend to get treated as a single question, which, of course, isn’t useful. And any attempt to treat them separately gets dismissed too glibly, I think.

    Personally, I’ve ALWAYS been convinced that there’s been far too much heat over what are differences in tactics, not end-points (though this has been called smug self-righteousness). I’ve never thought differences in tactics was worth all the screaming, yelling and heat in debate (though I’ll admit that giving pokes in the eye to folks who thought it was has been a past time…).

  56. 56
    freelancer says:

    @gbear:

    Yes, because the people getting abortions would otherwise NEVER be using such entitlements such as Medicare, or Social Security or social safety nets like Medicaid or Unemployment or Food Stamps.

    Can’t argue with that logic.

  57. 57

    @lamh32:

    Ta-Nehisi Coates better be careful or he’ll get labeled a member of the “blame America first” crowd.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t the Teanuts been doing nothing BUT blaming America first for the past two years?

    Anyway, blaming America will get you nothing but trouble from the likes of Juan Wiliams now safely ensconced at Fox News.

  58. 58

    This just hit my e-mail box:

    “Senate Democrats facing tough re-elections in 2012 want Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to return as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to current and former Senate aides….”

  59. 59
    Nancyboy says:

    @Martin: 450? Maybe it’s time for Reid to kill the filibuster for the 112th and start ratifying!

  60. 60
    MattR says:

    @gbear: I think that comment is a rorschach test and the way each person translates it to English says something about their inner psyche.

    (Edited for claity, I hope)

  61. 61
    NobodySpecial says:

    @General Stuck:

    Or they can do it now, and we can commence pointless internecine flame war number 1,254. That seems what you are angling for on this thread. I’m done with it though, and will just peck out what I have to say, and get about the business of hammering wingers without mercy.

    So, in other words, you’re going to start trolling at FreeRepublic instead of here? Good to know.

  62. 62

    And for your afternoon Schadenfreude, here’s a C-SPAN video of Mort Kondracke (Roll Call and a Fox News contributor) calling Sarah Palin a joke and blaming her for the GOPs Senate loss.

    I’m sure he won’t be asked back.

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    Adding:

    General Stuck:

    I’m done with it though, and will just peck out what I have to say, and get about the business of hammering wingers without mercy.

    That’s kind of my point, to the extent that I have one. I enjoy hammering wingers. (Oh gross, get your mind out of the gutter. I would never sleep with a GOPer. Not into hate sex.)

    But I’m puzzled when we turn on our own side just because they’re a little to the left of wherever we are on centrist/liberal/sociaIist/commie gradation scale.

    .

  64. 64

    Amazingly (or not) Rush today was urging Bohner and gang to not compromise on any of their principals because (wait for it) “winners do not compromise only losers compromise” Wait? What? So the last two fucking years didn’t happen? I almost drove my car into a ditch.

  65. 65
    mattH says:

    @Paula: Well fuck me. I figured this might be dead. Plus ça change…

  66. 66
    lamh32 says:

    Here’s another TNC post continuing on his earlier populism post.

    Populism Cont.

    …Let me not presume to read the collective brain of white America. Perhaps race would not matter. But I doubt that Obama, being a black man, is eager to find out. In the broadest sense, becoming a corporate Negro means accepting certain limits. Frankly, I would not bet on the consistent returns of any black man who regularly employed anger in a room full of white people.
    Granted it’s been decades, but I think Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis are still instructive here.

  67. 67
    Chris says:

    I know quite a few working class Catholics, not one of whom wouldn’t be disgusted at the association with Boehner.

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    jl:

    Is it true that there are ambitious Congressional GOPer who will try to take Johnny Bones down?

    Probably not. So far it looks like Boehner and Cantor are both safe for Speaker and Majority leader, respectively.

    The number 3 slot, Conference Chair, looks to be turning into a free-for-all though.

    .

  69. 69
    lamh32 says:

    Here’s the Chris Orr quote TNC

    “Calm Black Man

    “[Obama’s] composed, borderline uptight demeanor allayed white anxiety about his race; and, less self-evident but no less real, his being black saved him from the nerd purgatory of Adlai Stevensonism. Nor is this racial/temperamental balancing act a particularly novel one: think, again, of Colin Powell (prior to Obama, the most broadly popular black political figure in the country) or such breakthrough cultural figures as Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, and Nat King Cole.

    Even when Obama has been at his cucumber-coolest–and has earned abuse from the left and center for it–figures on the right have aggressively tried to hang the “angry black man” label on him. A June editorial in The Washington Times (entitled, bluntly enough, “Angry Man Obama”) cited his “tough guy” persona and “bullying undercurrent” and tied him to Spike Lee. A year ago, Rush Limbaugh described the school-bus beating of a white student by black students as typical of “Obama’s America”; in the run-up to the midterms, Glenn Beck accused the president of “inciting people.” The idea that Obama is driven by fury is prevalent enough on the right that Dinesh D’Souza could take it as a given in the title of his Amazon bestseller The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Idiotic though it may be, this is not a narrative the president wants to fuel

    Appeals to populism and displays of anger are not, of course, the same thing. But they’re not unrelated, either, particularly in the current political environment. Indeed, if anything, the mainstream Obama critiques along these lines have tended to emphasize personality over policy.”

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel:

    So, the more accurate question is, was single-payer worth the kind of attacks and losses we took over civil rights?
    I think, yeah, maybe it might have been. Was it ever a possibility, even if we were willing to take those losses — there I’m not so sure.

    But you compromised on civil rights. You may not remember it that way, but you did. There were lots of things left out of it. The voting rights act came a year later. Fair housing 4 years later. Employment discrimination didn’t get tidied up until 25 years later. You fought hard for what you could get, but what you desired wasn’t achieved until many, many years later. Each step was progress and long overdue.

    And civil rights didn’t come at a direct cost to many people. How many people’s job were directly related to the function of discrimination? But single payer is a whole other animal. There are millions of people employed in the health insurance industry that would lose their jobs. There are cost issues in the health care industry that would shift radically – for the better, sure, but even change for the better in these cases requires time for people to prepare for them. Was single payer defeated? Not entirely. HI still has it. MA will probably go the final step. Several other states are considering legislation. You get a few of the big ones there – CA and NY and a few others, and the step to federal single payer is a pretty short trip – plus you have a lot of states demanding it so they aren’t paying extra in federal spending for the stragglers.

    Civil rights just didn’t have that kind of dynamic going on. Economic issues and rights are wholly different animals.

  71. 71
    AhabTRuler says:

    @mattH: Yeah, the best part was when he concern-trolled the Chi-com influence in the inner cities. Good times!

  72. 72

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    ush today was urging Bohner and gang to not compromise on any of their principals because (wait for it) “winners do not compromise only losers compromise”

    It’s Republican rules, mate.

  73. 73
    ice9 says:

    Fine work, but Ford was no klutz. He was a D-1 football player and a scratch golfer. He was probably the best athlete ever to occupy the White House. Your enemies grab one isolated incident and boom–a permanent premise. You’d think the poor guy was born in Kenya like Obama.

    ice9

  74. 74
    Paula says:

    @Martin:

    But you compromised on civil rights. You may not remember it that way, but you did. There were lots of things left out of it.

    No matter how many times one may bring up this kind of actual history-based argument, there continues to be the myth of a magical moment in time when progressive legislation passed wholesale without compromise and without complaint because leaders were strong and stouthearted and used the bully pulpit.

  75. 75
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Paula: That myth is mostly promulgated not by those who are pushing for more progress, but the ones who are pushing for less as a device to attack the other side in this debate.

    Single payer WAS the goal, but there were plenty of other, larger intermediate steps that were proposed and immediately plowed over, including Medicare for all. The mythology of the ‘ponies and unicorns’ that Conservadems and their trollish counterparts have been using here on BJ was used more as a device to convince people that Nothing Could Be Done than as any kind of device to actually debate whether we could have taken a bigger step then we actually did.

  76. 76
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Martin:

    Meh. Pelosi took care of that. There are 450 bills the House has already passed that the GOP filibustered in the Senate. Boehner can put his shit at the back of that line. Reid has an easy out if he’s willing to take it – up or down votes on everything queued up. It’ll be 2013 before they get to anything passed after 2010.

    Incorrect. Those bills die on January 3rd. Harry Reid can slow roll by bringing up all of the confirmation votes, but bills must be passed in the same Congress they are introduced.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    That myth is mostly promulgated not by those who are pushing for more progress, but the ones who are pushing for less as a device to attack the other side in this debate.

    I guess we’re back to Rorsach and Rashomon, because that’s the exact opposite of my impression. Perhaps my favorite moment of all these flame wars was a Salon commenter who posted, in righteous Obama-bashing dudgeon “You know if Bill Clinton were President, we’d have gotten a better bill.”

  78. 78
    DBer says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    That myth is mostly promulgated not by those who are pushing for more progress, but the ones who are pushing for less as a device to attack the other side in this debate.

    Um, excuse me, No. The ones who thought all Harry Reid needed to do was threaten Joe Lieberman to get him to vote for whatever they wanted promulgated that myth.

    The FACTS are irrelevant to you people.

  79. 79
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @NobodySpecial: Uhm, Medicare for all is single-payer. That’s not an intermediate step; it’s the whole thing.

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain how a public option could have passed, given the gymnastics required just to get the bill passed that we have. It’s impossible to settle a hypothetical, but the evidence we have is stacked highly in favor of the proposition that we got pretty much everything that we could.

  80. 80
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Hence my use of the word ‘mostly’. There’s idiots on both sides of that debate, you know.

  81. 81
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    Well, first of all, except for some issues mostly in the national defense/civil liberties arena, the idealists really aren’t any more left than I am. Especially on social issues of about any sort, I am only a notch or two out from marxist, I suspect. And on social wedge issues and personal freedom in that venue, a bonafide libertarian, and near anarchist.

    The problem has always been about process, and in some cases the idealists adopting fairly scorched earth critique of Obama and dems in congress, and sometimes including right wing memes to frame their disputes.

    We, or us, pragmatics, as you say, and I am one as far as allowing for compromise and the workings of sausage making, at least, simply object to the level and degree and largely style of dissent from the left. Not over issue ideology by and large, and that fact gets lost and contracted into having different, or greatly different policy preference, when it isn’t the case.

    Being progressive is accepting progress after all, at least a significant degree of progress, and for the life of me, I cannot see or fathom that despite it’s flaws, that the HCR bill
    does not meet that progressive standard. And the truth is, the HCR is what set this internal warring off, though other things are part of it. And it was not the pragmatics who jumped the dem/Obama ship, it was many of the so called progressives, or idealists who first directed their fire onto us.

    That is okay, jumping ship, and taking up opposition to Obama, and let”s be clear, what we have witnessed on this blog and a lot of the netroots, is well beyond the pale of acceptable dissent to still claim some loyalty, and is in fact flagrant opposition to the dem president and his administration.

    And now the wingers have come back from the dead, and I have no intention of wasting any more time than I can help fighting about the stimulus, or HCR, or any other water under the bridge, and will try like hell, to not get myself dragged into that morass of emo bullshit. But instead focus on fighting the GOP and their apostate armies from teatardville.

  82. 82
    NobodySpecial says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Uhm, Medicare for all is single-payer. That’s not an intermediate step; it’s the whole thing.

    As it was proposed, you had to ‘buy in’ in order to get it if you didn’t qualify previously. Obviously, that doesn’t immediately help the lower class ‘younger’ folks who couldn’t afford the buy in, which is why I described it as an intermediate step.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Seems there is something kinky about bringing bills passed by a previous session of the House up for a vote in the Senate. What would the statute of limitations be?

    I’m pretty sure that any legislation passed by the House that’s still stalled out in the Senate will automatically die at the end of the congressional session, so it gets passed before the new Congress is sworn in in January, or it dies. I don’t have any links, though, because I’m at work.

  84. 84
    Paula says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Same here. Many of the “trolls” NobodySpecial calls out specifically raised issues about the “conservadems” who stalled and parried on the health care vote — saying that the anger ought to be directed at them and towards educating their constituents or building constituencies in their states that would lean more liberal.

    But they were called “apologists” for Obama, and the troo progressives ™ are now saying that the Dems’ loss was because he’s been so weak when in reality the majority of Dems in the House and Senate voted for the big bills he wanted. Instead, Obama gets the blame for the stupid shit that the likes of Ben Nelson and Max Baucus performed to weaken the bills being discussed.

  85. 85
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. J. Michael Neal answered it. And I just realized I typod hinky as kinky. Gives that sentence a very different meaning.

    @Paula:

    Instead, Obama gets the blame for the stupid shit that the likes of Ben Nelson and Max Baucus performed to weaken the bills being discussed.

    To be accurate, I think they blame Obama for allowing Nelson and Baucus to do the things they did (regardless of whether or not Obama had the power to influence them)

  86. 86
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    As it was proposed, you had to ‘buy in’ in order to get it if you didn’t qualify previously. Obviously, that doesn’t immediately help the lower class ‘younger’ folks who couldn’t afford the buy in, which is why I described it as an intermediate step.

    That’s single payer. There is one (1) entity paying the doctors: Medicare. That’s what it is. The method for buying in doesn’t matter, because that’s not what it is describing. It does away with all of the other insurance companies.

    And, frankly, the argument that people would still have to pay is pretty weak, because no matter what you do, someone is going to have to pay for it. It doesn’t appear magically. Requiring you to pay the premium out of your pocket and giving subsidies is the exact same thing as paying for it with a progressive income tax. It’s less efficient, but it’s the same thing.

  87. 87
    quaint irene says:

    They do know they didn’t win the Senate, right

    Today I was listening to one of the few non-wingnut talk radio stations, and the guy used the phrase, ‘now that the Republicans are in charge..”

    Excuse me? We have a Democratic prez for two more years, a majority in the Senate. How exactly does that make the Repubs ‘in charge?’

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paula:

    No matter how many times one may bring up this kind of actual history-based argument, there continues to be the myth of a magical moment in time when progressive legislation passed wholesale without compromise and without complaint because leaders were strong and stouthearted and used the bully pulpit.

    A lot of the compromises that were made are ones people would be unwilling to live with today. FDR got the New Deal passed by refusing to support legislation that would have made lynching a federal crime.

    Imagine for one moment what would have happened if Obama had passed a $2 trillion stimulus, but agreed not to pass a DADT repeal in order to get the necessary Republican votes. That actually would be less odious than what FDR did to get the New Deal passed since DADT is employment discrimination and not dragging people out of their homes and setting them on fire, but the screaming on the left never would have stopped.

    The compromises that were acceptable in the 1930s and 1960s are no longer acceptable to us. That’s an advance, but it also limits our options.

  89. 89
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Paula:

    Same here. Many of the “trolls” NobodySpecial calls out specifically raised issues about the “conservadems” who stalled and parried on the health care vote—saying that the anger ought to be directed at them and towards educating their constituents or building constituencies in their states that would lean more liberal.

    I’m sure they did, which is why Halter made such a strong challenge against Lincoln. Unfortunately, neither Nelson or Baucus was up for reelection this cycle, therefore they couldn’t be pushed by a primary challenge. And many of those same conservadems decided that Nothing Could Be Done by challenging Lincoln from the left and decried the idea of putting money and time into trying to primary Lincoln because Arkansas was guaranteed to go red in the election.

    As I’ve said before, hopefully the new regime will realize that putting Blue Dogs in charge of the major committees will continue to sabotage Democratic legislation and avoid doing that in the future.

  90. 90
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    (regardless of whether or not Obama had the power to influence them)

    Well … considering that Obama was not particularly popular in the states they represented, I don’t see how making your distinction somehow invalidates the point. Mostly because, as I understand it, their presence as committee leaders and/or policy kingpins had a lot to do with 1) their seniority and 2) their status within Congress and w/ the MSM as the only people who could “bridge the gap” with Republicans, which specifically involved giving the impression that they were willing to buck the rest of the Democratic party.

    Neither of which Obama could have mitigated in any substantial way.

  91. 91
    Bob L says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Excellent, that didn’t take Rush two days to start pouring gasoline on the fire. As this Vanity Fair article points out Boehner needs to compromise to get the legislation passed to keep his majority, but the GOP purity trolls will fight that to the death Boehner is screwed, even if he was some 11th dimension political chess master he’s in trouble because his base is bat shit nuts. The Dems could utterly capitulate to Boehner on some culture war issue and the base would still be outraged because Boehner “compromised” by dealing with the enemy.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @NobodySpecial: No, it was limited to only those over 50. Basically it was offered as a transitional public option. It was a good idea, but Lieberman bailed out when Aetna started shrieking at him.

    The idea was to carve off the riskier population from the insurers to get their buy-in for other aspects of the bill. That created two problems:

    1) It would get people used to straight-up Medicare which would threaten Medicare Advantage plans, which they mostly sell to people who are transitioning off of group policies with the same company.
    2) In order for insurers to get the benefits they wanted, they would have needed to be able to refuse policies to people over 50. Basically, they wanted anyone with a condition out of their pool. That would have blown up Medicare costs, which ran against the primary goals of ACA, and it would have violated many state laws that prevent insurers from discriminating based on age (which is why those ‘we’re not going to sell policies to kids’ actions aren’t going to get very far). Congress was uneasy carving out an exception on insurance discrimination. And even if they held the insurers to the line, they would have jacked up rates, made Medicare look like a great deal, and Medicare still would have been screwed.

    There were other challenges there but these could have been overcome – but they were a bit ugly. When Lieberman bailed out, the idea died.

    People forget that the only way ACA could work is if it lowered entitlement costs. If you can’t do a Medicare buy-in and ultimately save money, it’s a dead plan. That problem needed to be solved in pretty much every instance. That was impossible to accomplish for single-payer, and even public option was very hard to make work.

  93. 93
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin:

    But you compromised on civil rights. You may not remember it that way, but you did.

    Yeah, we did, in 1957. And then we got a lot more in ’64, and again in ’68.

    I’m not arguing against compromise* or incrementalism. Both have clearly provided successes over the years.

    I’m arguing against attacking people on our own side, largely because I don’t get it. We sometimes attack people who are only marginally to our left, or want the same things as us but are simply more impatient, with the same ferocity as we attack the GOP, who want to turn America into a Randian hell-state.

    Martin:

    With the right there’s a difference of policy (and of honesty) but with the left there’s a difference of tactics.

    Exactly. And I agree with Gwangung on that point:

    I’ve never thought differences in tactics was worth all the screaming, yelling and heat in debate.

    *Yeah, I did criticize compromising with the GOP above (#28), but meant it in the context of choosing to get our own books in order by working out the compromises on our side first. That was probably unclear, and having made it clearer, maybe it’s still too naive: tactical disagreements are always going to persist, after all, and we have to move on despite them if we want to pass legislation. So, you have a point there.

    .

    .

  94. 94
    CA Doc says:

    @General Stuck
    Thank you for that.
    There is a very real danger that if we get distracted over the next 2 years having these arguments all over again, the Republicans will happily take advantage of that and roll back what progress we’ve made. Especially when it comes to HCR. They quite blatantly told us that today.

  95. 95
    NobodySpecial says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    And, frankly, the argument that people would still have to pay is pretty weak, because no matter what you do, someone is going to have to pay for it. It doesn’t appear magically. Requiring you to pay the premium out of your pocket and giving subsidies is the exact same thing as paying for it with a progressive income tax. It’s less efficient, but it’s the same thing.

    But the point is that not everyone would be carried by Medicare immediately, therefore it isn’t single-payer for all Americans, which is the goal. Then you can make the argument that paying a small tax every week out of your paycheck is easier on the middle class than trying to carve out several thousand dollars all at once, and you build on that argument.

    Instead, now, we have a bill that no one can explain in less than thirty minutes that has most of it’s provisions not coming into play until AFTER the next election.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    I’m arguing against attacking people on our own side, largely because I don’t get it. We sometimes attack people who are only marginally to our left, or want the same things as us but are simply more impatient, with the same ferocity as we attack the GOP, who want to turn America into a Randian hell-state.

    Did you miss all of the people posting on here who insist that Obama is a bigoted homophobe because the DADT repeal legislation that Obama supported hasn’t passed the Senate yet?

    Pot, take a look at the kettle. You will see a certain resemblance.

  97. 97
    gwangung says:

    @JGabriel: I find this ironic because ive said this before, to folks, before fire bagger was coined.

    And I think pragmatists used the term hippie punching inn an ironic manner, tweaking people for bringing the fire and brimstone for tacticalmdifferences.

    Like I said, ironic.

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin:

    And civil rights didn’t come at a direct cost to many people. How many people’s job were directly related to the function of discrimination?

    Actually, quite a lot. You don’t enforce Jim Crow without, well, enforcers.

    .

  99. 99
    Paula says:

    @JGabriel:

    Oh, ok, so I merely imagined that the level of rhetoric in here has been lowered on a regular basis precisely because SO MANY SO-CALLED OBOTS specifically argue for incremental change — they are called bigots, corporate shills, sellouts, the “Nothing Can Be Done” crowd, apologists, etc.

  100. 100
    Martin says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Thanks for the correction. Not sure how that fact escaped me.

  101. 101
    WereBear says:

    Yes, the Tea Party crowd are a bunch of low attention span whiners, but that doesn’t matter. They do what they are told, they say what they are told, and they will come up with a good reason for all of it. One that satisfies them, anyway.

    The people who expected something from their vote besides spiteful gratification? I think they will be disappointed. I hope they remember it.

  102. 102
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel: Well, they weren’t specifically employed as enforcers. I thought in most cases they were bored cops.

  103. 103
    MattR says:

    @Paula: The point I was trying to make was that your original phrasing “Instead, Obama gets the blame for the stupid shit that the likes of Ben Nelson and Max Baucus performed to weaken the bills being discussed.” implies that people did not recognize that Nelson and Baucus did things to weaken the bill (instead they think it was what Obama wanted). I don’t think that is the case. I think that those people understand what Nelson and Baucus did, they just think the president has the power to bully or bypass them (as Bush did)

  104. 104
  105. 105
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Martin:

    No, it was limited to only those over 50. Basically it was offered as a transitional public option. It was a good idea, but Lieberman bailed out when Aetna started shrieking at him.

    Thanks, I’d forgotten about the over-50 requirement. And yeah, it proves my point as an ‘intermediate step’ on the road to single-payer. It was also one that I thought could have gotten done while Kennedy was alive, except Baucus was busy killing the Obama plan in committee.

    I don’t know if Baucus runs in 2014, so we need to start identifying the next Democrat to run there if he doesn’t, or a good primary challenger if he does.

  106. 106
    lamh32 says:

    Pet peeves, when white people ask me to explain some shit that went down in the “ghetto” (Antoine Dotson) anyone??
    Well I think it’s about time for white people to have to claim shit like this and explain it to me:
    “The Blood Of Jesus Against Obama”

  107. 107
    JGabriel says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Did you miss all of the people posting on here who insist that Obama is a bigoted homophobe because the DADT repeal legislation that Obama supported hasn’t passed the Senate yet?

    I guess I did. I know there are complaints that it hasn’t passed yet, and I sympathize, but yeah I missed people calling a homophobe over that. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, and I’m not saying the “purity warriors” are always calm, loving, bunnies.

    In fact, I don’t get it when they do it either.

    I’m just addressing the topic here, because here is where I comment most often, and where the people are whom I most enjoy discussing these things with.

    .

  108. 108
    NobodySpecial says:

    @lamh32: I’d explain that sign with this wiki entry.

  109. 109
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin: Systematically excluding blacks from programs and benefits available to whites surely required administrative and bureaucratic enforcers, in addition to the local police officers who provided the physical force to back it up.

    .

  110. 110
    MikeJ says:

    @JGabriel: I don’t know that it took extra people above and beyond the number need to simply administer those benefits to whites. In fact, it probably took fewer, what with there being fewer people being served. It takes very, very few people to refuse to do something.

  111. 111
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Politifact says that the $200 million figure for each day of Obama’s visit to India comes from a SINGLE SOURCE: an Indian newspaper.

    This is where the idiotic right-wing meme Wurlitzer gets goddamn dangerous – that newspaper is inflating every stat it can to lord it up over Pakistan, I guarantee you that. And now it is front page news here in America, threatening to damage Obama’s talks with India about the impending withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is OF COURSE why every conservative is slamming Obama about the Indian trip. It has nothing to do with slamming Obama’s waste and everything to do with sandbagging July 2011. There needs to be an adult in charge of this new Republican party and he or she needs to stifle the lunatic fringe, stat.

  112. 112
    JGabriel says:

    @General Stuck:

    That is okay, jumping ship, and taking up opposition to Obama, and let’’s be clear, what we have witnessed on this blog and a lot of the netroots, is well beyond the pale of acceptable dissent to still claim some loyalty, and is in fact flagrant opposition to the dem president and his administration.
    __
    And now the wingers have come back from the dead, and I have no intention of wasting any more time than I can help fighting about the stimulus, or HCR, or any other water under the bridge, and will try like hell, to not get myself dragged into that morass of emo bullshit. But instead focus on fighting the GOP and their apostate armies from teatardville.

    Fair enough. I get that. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

    .

  113. 113
    Paula says:

    @MattR:

    I don’t think that is the case. I think that those people understand what Nelson and Baucus did, they just think the president has the power to bully or bypass them (as Bush did)

    Well, I guess it depends on what you think “bullying” will get you in this case — a PO or a Democratic caucus that’s even more scared off by what appears to be “bullying” tactics from a Democratic president.

    And it depends on whether you think the MSM will embrace a “tough guy” Democrat or vilify him for, oh I don’t know, “overreaching”.

    And whether either of these things will help or hurt in the next presidential election.

    In any case, most of how people “quantify” this bully pulpit involves Bush jr. taking full advantage of memes already thoroughly embraced by mainstream America: our right to use violence to defend ourselves, our right to make money, our right to be around people who live and worship exactly like us, our right not to have to give shit away to people who haven’t earned it, the right to be free of government control. He’s not unique in his ideas — just the extremity to which they were applied that produced our current state of rhetorical and governmental morass.

    Single-payer is not part of this model. Neither is a trillion in stimulus money (just ask the cadre of historians who insist that the New Deal was still a bad idea). Giving money to the working/poor has always been taboo, as witnessed by the obsession with blaming individuals for economic failures. Before Obama and Baucus, before Hillary Clinton, and even before Nixon, Ted Kennedy, and Harry Truman, there were certain myths of American meritocracy that limited the rhetorical ground that they could cover.

    I’m sorry if advocates online don’t understand basic American history that they think it was a simple matter of “bullying” or “bypassing”.

  114. 114

    @lamh32:

    White people do not have to explain that shit, that shit was posted by a black guy who famously called Obama “a long legged Mack Daddy” he is a black preacher who has a serious hatred of POTUS, he famously claimed to have “indicted” “tried” and “convicted” him for treason (as well as Columbia University) the man is insane, he is truly and utterly insane. Please do not tar white people with the insane rantings of a black preacher.

  115. 115
    Suck It Up! says:

    @lamh32:

    thanks for the links!

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Instead, now, we have a bill that no one can explain in less than thirty minutes that has most of it’s provisions not coming into play until AFTER the next election.

    Our healthcare system is not simple or easy to explain. It’s a morass of for-profit and non-profit insurance companies, healthcare providers, hospitals and doctors all competing for the same slice of the pie.

    Sometimes complex problems require complex solutions. “Medicare for all” sounds great, but how do you implement it with so many doctors refusing to accept Medicare patients? What do you do with the 1 million people who used to process insurance claims and are now unemployed? Are all for-profit healthcare companies banned, like the company my husband works for that provides in-home health services? Does he automatically become a federal employee? How do you handle the doctors who are $200,000 in debt but now are only going to get a $50,000 government salary? Is the system run on a centralized basis like the NHS, or do you run it like Canada and let each state run their own system?

    And even calling the NHS totally centralized is a misnomer: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each have their own NHS system. It’s easy to say “single payer,” but “single payer” means something completely different in every country that has it.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MattR:

    To be accurate, I think they blame Obama for allowing Nelson and Baucus to do the things they did (regardless of whether or not Obama had the power to influence them)

    Incidentally, this is the same logic used for Saddam Hussein and Zarqawi: because he didn’t _prevent_ him from acting badly within his territory, he might as well be _responsible_ for his acting badly within his territory, even if that territory is beyond the reach of his sovereign power.

    @MattR:

    I think that those people understand what Nelson and Baucus did, they just think the president has the power to bully or bypass them (as Bush did)

    Bush had a nifty trick, which was to link what he wanted to national strength and patriotism. When he could play it that way, conservative Democrats crumbled. When Bush wanted something that couldn’t be viewed readily through that lens, even the conservative Democrats were much less likely to crumble. (Except on lower taxes, because conservative Democrats genuinely like those too.)

    And Democrats under Bush were very nervous about being painted as obstructionists and getting stern lectures from the media for being sore losers who wouldn’t obey the will of the people by allowing up-or-down votes. (See how easily the rhetoric comes back?) But Republicans under Obama decided that they didn’t at all care about that: like Oliver North, they would just stick out their chests and say that they did what they did out of patriotic civic ardor. And it worked. Bastards.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    The Tea Party = Miscreant Recreants

  119. 119
    Chris G says:

    @NobodySpecial: Brian Schwietzer’s term as governor ends in 2012. Though I’d rather see him run for president in 2016 than the Senate in 2014.

  120. 120

    Until the US takes the stance that a universal health system is the law then the country will continue to devolve into a slave state. You cannot deny health care to your citizens, the basic tenant of government is to provide health care. That is basically it. If the government does not provide health care then the populous is a nation of slaves. I do not understand how people do not comprehend this.

  121. 121
    El Cid says:

    It’s obvious stuff, but I’ll just steal Krugman:

    The Fake Scandals Begin
    __
    One of the things those of us who remember the 90s really don’t miss is the parade of fake scandals — the endless investigations into alleged White House misdeeds (140 hours of sworn testimony into allegations that the Clintons had misused their Christmas card list).
    __
    And it’s starting again: a huge fake uproar over allegations of outrageous spending on Obama’s India trip.
    __
    This is going to be awful. What will be even worse is watching the Very Serious People fall for it.
    __
    Update: No matter how bad you think it’s going to be, it’s actually worse:

    The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged “scientific fraud” behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.

    Krugman’s right.

    The entire establishmentarian press and the punditariat will once again happily follow each one of these fake stories, treating the right wing’s deceitful, fraudulent claims as serious matters of investigating dangerous nefarious activities.

    It will at least be interesting to watch Chris Matthews eagerly embracing the horse-shit to be followed by Keith and Rachel pointing out how it’s all horse-shit.

    [I hope they also investigate who’s behind the Amero, the ACORN-mafia-narcotrafficker connections, the problem of Satanists in the White House, Michelle Obama’s ties to Big Organic trying to stop our children from eating nutritious frozen chicken nuggets, and more.]

  122. 122
    bemused says:

    @gbear:
    “But in the end, the economy always follows morality”. Ha,ha. The poor sap was unintentionally right…wall street, banksters, fatcat ceos, legislators…. Many of those folks are of the God shines upon the rich flock.

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris G: What has Schweitzer been doing lately? I remember him as a hero of Kos (and Sirota?), somebody who fit the mold of the partisan-Democrat-if-not-orthodox-liberal they took from Dean ’04. But I haven’t been hearing his name at all for years, it seems like.

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bemused:

    “But in the end, the economy always follows morality”

    Bernard Mandeville had this nailed quite to the contrary in 1714: The Fable of the Bees, Or, Private Vices, Public Benefits. In other words, sin is good for business, and dirty money feeds the economic engine just as well as the clean stuff.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    I’m just addressing the topic here, because here is where I comment most often, and where the people are whom I most enjoy discussing these things with.

    Fair enough. I think a big part of the problem is that we all got into a habit of attacking our opponents’ motives during the 8 years of Bush, and it’s a hard habit to break when suddenly your “opponents” are people who want the same thing you do but disagree about the best way to get it. And once you start the cycle of attack/counterattack, it’s difficult to stop it.

  126. 126
    General Stuck says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    This is America, and it is a guaranteed right to go down with the ship of individual freedumb, which applied to our health care system of profit before care, means an acquired dystopia will likely be required for us to figure out that we are all in the same health care boat, and that the plutocrats practicing their individual freedumb to fleece every last single cent out of a for profit freedumb system, before the internationally known result of profiteering from a moral hazard vital service, at least in modern western world economies, will drag that national boat with everyone on board. down to whale shit on the bottom of the motherfucking sea.

  127. 127
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Chris G: Possible, but I’d want to see him raise his profile somehow in that intervening four years to be a viable contender, and I don’t see how he does it without being a VP selection from Obama.

  128. 128
    Ash Can says:

    @ice9: It was Jerry Ford’s bad luck that he was president in the wake of the Watergate investigation. Every journalist on the face of the earth wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein, and digging for dirt — any kind of dirt — became every reporter’s raffle ticket to stardom (and big bucks). As a result, much more was made of Ford’s bumping his head on the plane door and slipping on the stairs than was necessary. I’m not sorry for voting for Jimmy Carter, who was a much better president than modern history portrays him, but I am sorry for laughing at Ford for what were actually perfectly meaningless missteps.

  129. 129
    Elie says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    One of the wisest comments on this thread

  130. 130
    Elie says:

    @General Stuck:

    Wow man.

    Is “freedumb” your own coinage.

    If so, melikee

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh32:Easy to explain. Some people are moronic assholes. I do have to say that, while I know all of the words on that sign, it makes no sense to me. Finally, I am not taking ownership of those people; they probably hate me almost as much as they hate you (but clearly they don’t hate either of us as much as they hate Obama).

  132. 132
    JGabriel says:

    @Ash Can:

    As a result, much more was made of Ford’s bumping his head on the plane door and slipping on the stairs than was necessary.

    That probably had more to do with Chevy Chase and SNL than journalism.

    .

  133. 133
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JGabriel: Wasn’t carter attacked by a rabbit? I think the press might have a penchant for focusing on buffoonery that just continues.

  134. 134
    jake the snake says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    He forgot where he came from. End of. That’s the unforgivable sin. It’s what made Reagan inexcusable long before he became President. And not-forgetting made Clinton tolerable even at his triangulating worst.

    This!
    One of my favorite things about Johnny Cash is that he never forgot where he came from.

  135. 135
    slag says:

    @Anne Laurie: I like it. Although in this case, I would have gone with Much Ado’s Dogberry. A self-confirmed ass with delusions of grandeur who only succeeds because his adversaries get wasted.

  136. 136
    General Stuck says:

    No world leader will match George Bush Sr., puking in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister. It remains the high Sushi bar for comic excellence while presidenting.

  137. 137
    Ash Can says:

    People, don’t say that Boehner has forgotten where he’s from. Tell it like it is : He’s patently ignoring where he’s from. One might even say that he’s ashamed of where he’s from.

  138. 138
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: Was Ford the first president who was on the receiving end of the coverage of “gaffes”–some offhand remark or minor incident being mined for deep significance? It seems to me like plenty of people hated and mocked Johnson and Nixon, but it was informed by serious policy stuff, not his taste in mustard or his cardigan sweater or his likelihood of tripping or how he threw a baseball.

    (Now that I think of it, I feel like I’ve heard that phenomenon traced to the David Broder story about Edmund Muskie crying in New Hampshire in 1972.)

  139. 139
    Ailuridae says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s all pretty garbled. NHS isn’t single payer – it is socialized medicine with doctors as employees of the government. Canada is the classic single payers system but the doctors are not public employees.

    And where exactly are you getting the idea that expanding Medicare would force doctors to be government employees or make 50K a year? An average family physician in Canada clears 200K a year. I know a lot of VA doctors here and they all lead exceptionally comfortable lives/

    Here’s the thing about health care. It is bankrupting the country and the driver is doctor pay and provider compensation. The current path is unsustainable and the medical community is either going to have to do one of two things: either eliminate the supply constraint that drives their incredibly inflated wages or accept some wage and cost controls. There isn’t another way out of it. The question is whether the medical community will wisen up before the rest of the country shows up with the pitchforks and shot guns.

  140. 140
    timb says:

    @JenJen: Jen, they must have been poor to send all 12 kids to public school!

    Interestingly enough, I wonder what else was happening in Southern Ohio in the late 70’s which could explain Boehner’s transition? Simply put, even WKRP noticed Cincinnati didn’t like intergration. I’m doubting the Boehner family did either, by which I accuse of tribalism., not racism.

    Funny thing is, the make-up Arthur Carlson wore in that City Council debate made him the same color as the future Speaker

  141. 141
    timb says:

    @Ailuridae: No way. A specialist needs two to three vacation homes AND a boat. It’s what they deserve

  142. 142
    timb says:

    @JGabriel: fun fact, which seems lost on the all or nothing ideologues, is that Democrats started fighting and winning the Civil Rights battle in ’55 and it took almost ten years and a dead JFK to pass the 1964 bill and the 1965 VRA, the two most sweeping and wonderful pieces of legislation. 9 years from breaking the first filibuster to winning passage of a real bill.

    You were never gonna get single payer from this Congress or this President and they negotiated the public option early on. But, within the decade, as people learn there are death panels, that their own health care won’t change, etc, we will get a bill commensurate with the rest of the world. You can’t get everything at first, but it will happen

  143. 143
    Nick says:

    And where exactly are you getting the idea that expanding Medicare would force doctors to be government employees or make 50K a year?

    For Medicare for All to work, they need to change their reimbursement rates and that would make the whole system more expensive.

    The only real solution is to create an NHS style system.

  144. 144
    joel hanes says:

    > Ford

    Pardoned Nixon, thus establishing the “too big a player to pay the price” / “look forward not back” precedent that allowed the treason of Iran Contra to go unpunished and gave us Cheney/Bush 43/Rumsfeld and Iraq.

    Never to foget; never to forgive.

  145. 145
    Ailuridae says:

    @Nick:

    NHS style systems are obviously cheaper than the alternatives but the system in any industrialized nation besides the US does a better job with coverage and cost control than the US system does. Its unclear to me that a system like NHS is necessary given the success of Canada’s system.

    But to the point I was making – even in our closest analogue to the NHS, the excellent VA healthcare system or to the most likely final end goal – a system like Canada’s doctors make excellent, comfortable livings. The notion that end result of going towards either system would mean graduating doctors that make 50K with 200K in debt is absurd.

  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @Ailuridae:
    We won’t show up with pitch forks and shot guns. There aren’t enough liberals with that much fight, not against the current police and possible use of military force against protesters. And I don’t expect the conservatives to actually be able to hurt anyone with misspelled signs. And if they do show up with guns they are going to use them against their own best interest. And shoot us. As for any privileged community to wise up and not think only of their own short term self interest, I don’t see that any time soon.

  147. 147
    Ailuridae says:

    @timb:

    My friend who is a radiologist at the VA clears 200K a year and there is no way he works more than 2200 hours a year. And because of sovereign immunity he doesn’t have any malpractice insurance.

  148. 148
    Nick says:

    @Ailuridae:

    The notion that end result of going towards either system would mean graduating doctors that make 50K with 200K in debt is absurd.

    I’d be fine with doctors making 50k-200k if it mean everyone can afford healthcare.

  149. 149
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    OMG another of Annie Laurie’s ridiculously long quotes.

    Just don’t have the patience to read it all. Let me know how it all turns out in the morning.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ailuridae:

    But to the point I was making – even in our closest analogue to the NHS, the excellent VA healthcare system or to the most likely final end goal – a system like Canada’s doctors make excellent, comfortable livings.

    US undergraduate students currently graduate with an average $30,000 student loan debt. For medical students, it’s more like $150,000.

    How much is the average student loan debt in Canada?

  151. 151
    catclub says:

    @gbear:
    that reminds me of the ‘quiverful’ evangelical christian families.

    in a disturbing way.

  152. 152
    Batocchio says:

    Anne Laurie, style points for mentioning Finn McCool.

  153. 153
    Marlowe says:

    Ahem — It’s Todd Purdum, not Purdom …

  154. 154
    timb says:

    @Ailuridae: Son of a bitch! My clients are well-served by this newer version of the VA (and they get their medical records for free), so I’m glad for it and I am aware you get what you pay for, but physician compensation in this country is unbelievably out of whack

  155. 155
    timb says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is also fixable. And, hoenstly, how many years does one have to make 250,000/year to pay off 150,000 in student loans?

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