Are They Growing a Spine?

Maybe a little one:

Steny Hoyer, the number two in the House Dem leadership, told Democrats at a caucus meeting this morning that they would get to vote this year on just extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, a senior Dem aide tells me, signaling support for a confrontational move towards the GOP that liberals have been pushing.

Asked if Democrats would definitely get a chance to hold this vote, the senior aide responded: “Definitely.”

Hoyer’s declaration comes as Democrats have been debating the way forward on the Bush tax cuts, and another aide tells me that “more than half” of the Dem caucus supports this course of action.

Then comes this news:

Representatives for Democratic majority leader Harry Reid and top White House officials committed to bringing “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to a vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act before the end of the year at a meeting Wednesday evening with stakeholder groups.

“The officials told the groups that Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama are committed to moving forward on repeal by bringing the National Defense Authorization Act — the bill to which ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal is attached — to the floor in the lame-duck session after the Thanksgiving recess,” read a joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and the Center for American Progress, which all had a presence at the meeting.

Is our Democrats learning? Or are they just trying to get our hopes up again so they can fail in the most spectacular way possible?

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90 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    Is our Democrats learning? Or are they just trying to get our hopes up again so they can fail in the most spectacular way possible?

    I’ll take door number 2.

  2. 2
    fourlegsgood says:

    I think Harry Reid came back to the senate with a real story to tell: Stand up to these clowns and you can beat them.

    Stand down, cave, or look weak and they’ll run you over.

  3. 3
    stuckinred says:

    Let’s see if president McCain’s head explodes when the teabaggers try to take away his toys! Maybe that will be the opening needed.

  4. 4
    Poopyman says:

    It does concern me a little as to what they’ll do when the Republicans jump out and say “BOO!”, as they surely will.

  5. 5
    david mizner says:

    And Lieberman says he has the votes to repeal DADT, though there are apparently procedural roadblocks.

    Saw this at Daily Kos.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....dont-tell/

  6. 6
    El Tiburon says:

    Is our Democrats learning?

    I pray that soon Democrats will live peacefully with fish.

    But seriously Charlie Brown, do we need to go over “Lucy and the football” trick yet again?

    But I do appreciate your sunny optimism.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    Just read this, and it has Nancy veto stamp written all over it.

    And in the meantime

    Congressman Mike Pence, Sen. Jim DeMint Introduce Legislation To Make Bush-Era Tax Cuts Permanent

    Like I been sayin’, none of the Bush tax cuts will get extended, looks like. There is absolute zero atmosphere of anything resembling compromise on the horizon, for anything. But we shall see if the senate grows a spine of sorts next year.

    And from our Republicans loves the ladies, long as “they are barefoot and in the kitchen” files

    Senate Republicans voted unanimously Wednesday against a bill that would work to ensure fair pay for women, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The vote was 58-41.

    Break out the yaw yaws, and USA foam finger number one sign. It’s going to be a cold rough ride for the foreseeable future, in the Idiocracy

  8. 8
    danimal says:

    I’ve wanted the entirety of the Bush tax regime repealed, or, if politically necessary, to maintain the middle class rates as Obama has proposed. DADT repeal will pass if handled with a deft hand; hardball politics probably won’t work as well as senatorial ass-kissing. But, by all means, both issues need to be brought up for a vote and the Dems will succeed if they maintain the courage of their convictions.

    The GOP does not have the high ground in either fight, and it’s time that the Dems find their spine.

    Here’s a thought from my cynical side. I’m wondering if a one-year continuation of the upper income tax rates may be a political poison pill for the GOP. They would be forced by their wealthy base to push for continuing them next year with the 2012 primaries just heating up. Enormous amounts of political capital would be spent by their candidates on behalf of the top 2%. It could be a way to clearly define the GOP in the eyes of the average apathetic voter just prior to the 2012 election season.

  9. 9
    Joe Beese says:

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said that the demands for a fair amendment process were simply cover for efforts by Mr. McCain and others to block repeal of the policy. “This is not about how many amendments are we going to do, or how long we are going to debate,” Ms. Shaheen said. “This is about those who oppose this policy wanting to kill it and taking every opportunity they can and using the Senate rules to do that. That’s exactly what is going on.”

    If you think the Republicans are going to give Obama a legislative victory on an issue that is pissing off liberal voters, you are out of your goddamned mind.

  10. 10
    Marmot says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But seriously Charlie Brown, do we need to go over “Lucy and the football” trick yet again?

    No, that’s where the Republicans pretend like they’re going to be reasonable, then pull a fast one — like the planned tax cut meeting with Obama that suddenly didn’t fit into the Repubs’ schedule.

    If this is going to be a let-down, it’ll be more like the public option, where the Dems say they’re really in favor of doing something, but never really get around to it, privately admitting they just aren’t into it. There must be a cartoon metaphor … something with Wily E. Coyote?

  11. 11
    PWL says:

    Well, we ARE talking about Harry Reid–the Neville Chamberlain of the U.S. Senate. The man who caved on the tax cuts. So expect another cave soon.

  12. 12
    Tom Levenson says:

    Learning, I think, and I’m going to believe that as long as I can because I just don’t want to wake up screaming every night for the next (n) years.

  13. 13
    JohnR says:

    hopes up/fail spectacularly. The bigger the hopes are, the harder they’ll fall. See, I’m impressed as all-get-out that the Democrats are even taking baby steps towards talking tough. Based on the last 30 years of evidence, though, I have to figure that the tough talk will last only until the mean old Republicans give them a wedgie or a nurple or something equally heinous. Then the inevitable “Sto-o-o-o-o-o-op it!”s, and the stifled sobs and the running to the bathrooms to mutter furious, complicated plans of vengeance…

  14. 14
    PurpleGirl says:

    Well, today they voted on a fast-tracked unemployment benefits extension of another 3 months (still no new tier 5, though). Being fast-tracked so as to avoid debate and the Republicans calling for the measure to be paid for, it needed a 2/3 vote for approval. It went down 258 yays to 154 nays, with 10 Dems voting against it.

    People are so screwed.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    I wish they had learned this a year ago.

  16. 16
    Captain Haddock says:

    I will withhold opinion until they hold the actual votes.

  17. 17
    A Duck says:

    Tom Levenson: Go with the lobotomy, it’s more reliable.

  18. 18
    Pangloss says:

    @Joe Beese:

    If you think the Republicans are going to give Obama a legislative victory on an issue that is pissing off liberal voters, you are out of your goddamned mind.

    Bingo. It’s going to be two years of prevent defense, blitzing our quarterback, and running out the clock.

  19. 19
    stuckinred says:

    @PurpleGirl: Why would they not, they are benefiting from the pain?

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @fourlegsgood:

    I think Harry Reid came back to the senate with a real story to tell: Stand up to these clowns and you can beat them I don’t have to worry about re-election until 2016.

    FTFY.

  21. 21
    Chyron HR says:

    Representatives for Democratic majority leader Harry Reid and top White House officials committed to bringing “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to a vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act before the end of the year at a meeting Wednesday evening with stakeholder groups.

    And here I thought the Senate was just going to just cut off every penny of fudning for the billion-dollar war machine.

    (In case you couldn’t tell, Marge, I was being sarcastic.)

  22. 22
    soonergrunt says:

    this is never going to happen as long as Harry Reid is the majority leader in the senate

  23. 23
    soonergrunt says:

    this is never going to happen as long as Harry Reid is the majority leader in the senate

  24. 24
    mds says:

    Three-month unemployment benefit extension failed in the House. But it was brought up as a suspension, which needed 2/3 to pass in order to avoid frivolous amendments and motions to recommit. I suppose it was nice to get a bunch of those who will soon be running the House on record yet again as hating unemployed people, but … they’ll still be running the House. I don’t know if the bill will be brought back up through normal channels, but Republicans have even more incentive than usual to drag the process out, since it will never be seen again come January.

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    That is true. However, they held the vote and it was (mainly) the GOPers who voted it down. When the unemployed no longer have any money and are in the streets, they will, hopefully, know who to blame. That’s 10% of working adults, in the streets, homeless and with no food. Which means we’re at “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” time. Maybe that will finally wake up the assholes who hate the GOP but vote for them anyway.

  26. 26
    PurpleGirl says:

    @stuckinred: Well in two weeks, I’m unemployed two years and fighting eviction. It’s an issue that is very close to me. I want to know who those Dems were, as well as the 23 House members who didn’t vote.

  27. 27
    CalD says:

    It’s kind of a win-win for Democrats. If they can’t break the inevitable Republican filibuster they still pick brownie points from the left for the attempt and they get to badmouth Republicans for raising taxes on the middle class. But if by some miracle they can manage to scrape together 60 votes in the senate to bring it to a vote, even better.

  28. 28
    cat48 says:

    You forgot the START treaty & The Dream Act the prez has req also be done by end of session.

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. The chances of the Democrats developing parliamentary-style party discipline are approximately equal to the chances of Pittsburgh and Baltimore meeting in next year’s World Series.

  30. 30
    stuckinred says:

    @PurpleGirl: Count Johns Barrow without even looking.

  31. 31
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Pangloss:

    It’s going to be two years of prevent defense, blitzing our quarterback, and running out the clock

    This is certainly the strategy they’ve been telegraphing– but in this game, there’s some molten lava creeping onto the playing field as time passes. Given two ongoing wars and any number of continuing (or looming) crises, I don’t think that do-nothing for two years is a real option for them.

    The Big Question is, does The GOP know this?

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    Meanwhile, at the insane asylum, President Demented prepares his Doomsday Device of Freedom.

    Which is DeMint’s real target. The earmarks ban is just the first step toward what he hopes will be a radical downsizing of the federal government. That means slashing taxes and spending, repealing the Obama health care law, turning education policy over to the states and gradually dismantling safety-net programs like Social Security and Medicare. All would be blows against what DeMint calls creeping socialism in the U.S. He warns that they will require some rough tactics in the new Congress. “I’m blasting rock, and it’s hard to be graceful,” he says with a chuckle. But some Republicans aren’t laughing. They worry that DeMint’s platform is not the stuff of national majorities, that he and his band of emboldened insurgents might overreach and scare off all but the most hard-core conservative voters.

    Earmarks were just the appetizer for the

    DeMint Promises Fight Over Debt Limit
    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) tells Time that “we’re going to have to force a showdown with the president” on raising the debt limit when the vote comes early next year.

    He added: “I’ve been fighting spending since I’ve been in Congress, so I don’t feel a responsibility to vote for an increase in the debt limit. These clowns who have been voting for more spending… They’re going to have to step up to the plate and vote for it.”

    Big BOOM

    If this shit doesn’t get dem congress critters attention and piques a fighting spirit, then nothing will, and we are doomed. Demint and his tea tard apostates from nihilistic hell may be crazy, but they also could well be the fire lit under slacker democrats asses.

  33. 33
    PurpleGirl says:

    (I didn’t have permission to edit my last comment)

    Tomorrow was the day the bill needed to be passed by. Congress is out all next week, with two remaining days before December 1st.

  34. 34
    flukebucket says:

    I choose “fail in the most spectacular way possible”

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think all of the “spineless” talk amounts to a lot of people finding reasons to overread factoids and anonymously-sourced insider nonsense as Teh Worst Calamity Evar!@1one.

  36. 36
    singfoom says:

    Easy to answer. Does the idea make sense? Is it common sense? Will it help Democratic political futures? Will it help the masses of us more than the rich donors? If the answer to 2 or more of these questions is yes, then then Democrats will not support it in large enough numbers.

    And Republicans will fight it as hard as they can. That $370,000 taxcut for the wealthy will trickle down to us, just wait….

    /I want logical policy legislated for optimal outcomes.
    //Which means I want a pony. :(

  37. 37

    Harry Reid wouldn’t know what a spine was if you beat him half-to-death with a skeleton from a cadaver.

  38. 38
    danimal says:

    I really wonder if all the ‘progressives’ commenting on the internets aren’t really working to depress liberals from a sweatshop on K Street, paid for by corporate dollars. I know the pace of progress is frustratingly slow, but the quitters and the negativists have really got to STFU and get out of the way. Are you trying to depress Dems? And don’t give me the ‘Obama this’ or ‘Reid that’ crap when the posting clearly shows indications that they are trying to do the right thing.

    Reward good behavior, or at least stop trying to kill it in its cradle.

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    Just as soon as David Broder’s next column appears complaining that the Dems are hereby sabotaging Bipartisanship Big Love I’m sure the Dems will reverse course.

  40. 40
    singfoom says:

    @danimal: You, sir, can kindly STFU. When I see good behavior, I will reward it. Until then, I will bitch at the bad behavior I see.

    In fact, I might even say something bad when good behavior isn’t good enough and I think a more optimal outcome was achieveable. Oh noes! I hurt librulz feelings! There’s only so many times one can be fooled before coming bitter…

    And you’ll take my bitterness (and guns) away from my cold, dead hands…

  41. 41
    cleek says:

    i’m gonna go with : gets close, then a Blue Dog kills it.

  42. 42
    Evan says:

    The Bush tax cuts were for the rich. If we’re talking about the middle-class tax cuts, those are called the Obama tax cuts.

  43. 43
    danimal says:

    @singfoom – Ok, I’m out of here. But rest assured, conservative victories spring directly from your attitude and behaviors. Adios.

  44. 44
    General Stuck says:

    @danimal: I suspect it’s several flavors of nabobism. Many of them are former Clinton supporters, or were and then became soft Obama supporters when he won the nomination, others are way far left non dems posing as such to slam the system they never believed in, regardless of who is running it, and then there are destructive little asswipes, acting out childhood rages and other personality disorders, through the political scene via the new internet media, that affords little censorship and full anonymity from a distance.

    The rest are just persnikity souls by nature, I suspect.

    That’s my take

  45. 45
    aimai says:

    @danimal:
    danimal, what makes you think that we aren’t, by and large, exactly the people who “reward good behavior” and write and phone our reps etc…etc…etc… I know I am. And that’s why, like a lot of people here, I’m even more cynical. I have a very good dem rep (Capuano) and an ok one (Kerry) and a terrible Republican Senator (Brown) and I can assure you that all three have told me one thing and done another many, many, times. So I’ve called up to cheer on some initiative only to have it fail, and even fail because my guy didn’t fight for it.

    People like to kibbitiz–they like to talk strategy and they are actually pretty damned well informed about it.

    aimai

  46. 46
    superking says:

    I’ll vote for spectacular fail.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Evan:

    If we’re talking about the middle-class tax cuts, those are called the Obama tax cuts.

    Let’s see if we can somehow convince the Republicans to use that terminology. We just have to convince them that it’ll somehow make Obama look bad to have middle class tax cuts associated with him. More likely, they’ll try calling the end of the upper bracket tax cut the “Obama tax hike”.

  48. 48
    MoZeu says:

    I fully expect this to happen, and I agree with Evan that it is time to start calling these the “Obama tax cuts.”

  49. 49
    MoZeu says:

    I fully expect this to happen, and I agree with Evan that it is time to start calling these the “Obama tax cuts.”

  50. 50
    Sister Machine Gun of Quite Harmony says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Wait… did you just blame the Republicans for their actions, instead of Obama?! Good for you!

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: Don’t discount another factor: how easy it is to act hardcore on the internet.

    Actually, one of the things that’s fun about this place is that I believe most of the people who say they’re upset about political developments are _actually_ upset. On DailyKos, I think a large chunk of the people who talk about how outraged they are and how uncompromising all politicians should be are just trying to get their comments rec’d.

  52. 52
    singfoom says:

    @danimal: Yes, because I said I expected the Dems to cave on this based on prior experience, it will happen.

    Come on. That’s just silly. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to be cynical about the efforts of the Congressional Democrats based on their behavior over the last couple years.

    But you know what, if they do cave and pass both tax cuts instead of fighting, please come here and blame me. I will take said blame, because everyone read my cynical comment and either became a political recluse or just offed themselves….

    Again, while prior behavior is *NEVER* a perfect predictor of future behavior, there are certain patterns one can observe.

    Would you rather have people offer false praise instead of honest cynical skepticism?

  53. 53
    fourlegsgood says:

    You guys are more gloom and doom than a bunch of firebaggers.

    C’mon, cowboy up or something. Sheesh.

  54. 54
    jon says:

    Neither of those reports can possibly be true, as I read just last week on various left-leaning blogs that the President had caved on both taxes and the DADT vote. How dare the betrayal be betrayed! Shame on… someone or other!

    I wonder how it will be his fault if either one fails in the House and/or Senate, when he’s been stuck in the Executive Branch waiting for those guys to get something to him? My guess? Rahm. It will now be Rahm’s fault for leaving too soon, and Obama’s fault for accepting his resignation or something.

  55. 55
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Prediction: they will fuck it up.

    I mean, come on, how many times have we been down this road.

  56. 56
    Tim says:

    When it comes to the Dems, talk is very cheap.

    I will believe it, and extend credit where due, when I see it.

  57. 57
    singfoom says:

    @BombIranForChrist: @Tim:

    Hey guys, I don’t think you received the memo. We have to act excited to watch the Charlie Brown/Lucy game or otherwise we’re contributing to conservative victories. danimal said!
    /snark off

    I agree with both of you. This should be easy. I will believe it when I see them vote to extend only the middle class taxcuts and not waffle and extend both.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    I mean, come on, how many times have we been down this road.

    Not much. If you measure what has happened against an all or nothing idealist wish list, then you may have a case. Those of us living in reality measure success from the imperfect end product coming out of a 3 co equal branch democratic system of government, and in that realm, you absolutely have no case, save for maybe a misdemeanor or three.

    pathological grade pessimism, is in fact, pathological.

  59. 59
    karen marie says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Phew! I’m so relieved! I guess I was mistaken in my impression that Congressional Democrats had whiffed on every important piece of legislation in the last two years, plus.

  60. 60
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @danimal: Ah, yes. The sweet sweet Tinkerbell strategy. Everyone must simply clap louder and wonderful things will come to life.

  61. 61
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    @Evan: How about “the Pelosi tax cuts” or “the Obama-Pelosi tax cuts”? After the way Pelosi was maligned during the midterms, I think that would be a suitable albatross to hang around the new Speaker’s neck.

  62. 62
    karen marie says:

    @singfoom: LOL!

    You know they’re going to extend the high-end tax cuts “temporarily,” if only to give Republicans further opportunity to screech about “uncertainty” created by the “temporary” extension and that “Democrats want to raise your taxes.”

    That’s the way Congressional Democrats roll, dontcha know!

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Just let ’em all freaking expire. It isn’t like we aren’t going to get nonstop magical deficit reducing tax cutting bills for the next two years starting in January. Obama can sign the ones he likes.

  64. 64
    singfoom says:

    @General Stuck: Stuck, you have a point, but it’s a bit of a broad brush. Sure, that list of accomplishments at the DCCC is a great list.

    Good for them for accomplishing those things. Some of those accomplishments are less than sterling though, when one considers the larger context.

    Let’s take the Wall Street Reform accomplishment. Sure, they made it a little safer, but with fraudclosure about to implode and the banks are going to be on the line for billions and billions more, I think it is reasonable and within reality to not really accept that as an ‘accomplishment’.

    I am not, as Danimal claims, trying to bring everyone down with gloom and doom, but again and again on the big issues, I don’t see anyone fighting for common sense.

    I understand that perfect can be the enemy of the good, but there’s a balance to that equation and too much compromise, especially pre-emptive compromise to bring around those not even interested in compromise leaves a sour taste in one’s gut.

    But again, I still think that we should follow the rule of law and prosecute the previous administration for their crimes. So that makes me a pony wanting firebagger…right?

  65. 65
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @karen marie:

    I guess I was mistaken in my impression that Congressional Democrats had whiffed on every important piece of legislation in the last two years, plus.

    You are mistaken. Senate Democrats whiffed. House Democrats had their moments of flailing, but I don’t think they “whiffed.” And in any event I think some of what people tend to count as whiffing — like DADT — hasn’t actually been finished yet.

  66. 66
    TooManyJens says:

    Twitter tells me that a staffer for John Ensign just said he will vote for DADT repeal after the Pentagon’s report comes out (um, no pun intended) on December 1.

    http://twitter.com/LauraKMM/st.....3641495552

    followed by:

    http://twitter.com/LauraKMM/st.....7253372928

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chyron HR:

    And here I thought the Senate was just going to just cut off every penny of fudning for the billion-dollar war machine.

    That’s really the trick: the Democrats have to figure out if the Republicans are going to shoot the hostages (let the military budget lapse) so they can get their way.

    If they’re smart (I know, I know), they’ll call the Republicans’ bluff and let the defense budget expire. It’ll suck for a whole lot of accountants at the DoD to scramble to come up with money, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do. The problem with nihilists is that they don’t actually want anything, so they’re impossible to negotiate with.

  68. 68
    Alex says:

    Is our Democrats learning? Or are they just trying to get our hopes up again so they can fail in the most spectacular way possible?

    The principle of mathematical induction suggests the latter.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @singfoom: Are you coming at these questions from that standpoint of an activist whose goal is to push as hard as possible for everything you want? Or are you taking into account that pushing hard and so forth inevitably runs up against powerful forces of inertia that make your “common sense” standard not likely to hold up?

    You’re holding out for “accomplishments” that pass an _extremely_ high standard. Legislation doesn’t happen that way. Legislation that transpires through the actions of a body that includes {ETA} not only Republicans but {end ETA} a large number of _Democrats_ who actively don’t want any of what you want isn’t going to reach those heights.

    Taking actually-existing conditions into account, you’re either going to get small victories that leave a lot undone, or you’re going to get nothing. You can either feel sour and dissatisfied about that… or you can say, “At least it’s moving the needle in the right direction, and I’m going to count that as a win, because that’s as much win as will happen until there is a Congressional majority comprised of not just Democrats, but _progressive_ Democrats, and that ain’t happening for a long, long time.”

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The problem with nihilists is that they don’t actually want anything, so they’re impossible to negotiate with.

    This.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The problem with nihilists is that they don’t actually want anything, so they’re impossible to negotiate with.

    Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Soc ialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

  72. 72
    General Stuck says:

    @singfoom:

    But again, I still think that we should follow the rule of law and prosecute the previous administration for their crimes. So that makes me a pony wanting firebagger…right?

    No, wanting it is fine, so do I, maybe even more than you. But it is not like prosecuting the local crack dealer. In a perfect world, it likely should be, but the world is not perfect. And besides, there is more than one way to skin skunks, and the Obama DOJ is active in finding out what happened, under the radar, as we speak. So the game is not yet up on that.

    I have no problem with active criticism that is measured and relative, and not scorched earth all day, every day. And always in the accompaniment of continued active support. I don’t look down on those who see it different and feel the need to not respect this formula, but I will oppose them politically, vigorously , because they oppose what I support, and that is a dem POTUS in lieu of a republican one.

    Just the facts of life, and not personal, at least personal as initiated by me. I will oppose them just like I oppose the republicans. This is a zero sum proposition, and there is little room for sentimentality because folks are more or less aligned on the issues, especially these days.

    Because, that is only half the equation, and the lessor half, at that. The first half is getting dems elected and wingnuts not elected. After that comes the second part, imho. Or, do not if possible damage the prospects of the first half, for sake of the second half, unless dems are so bad, it seems pointless. And don’t do it even then, because a wingnut is always standing by to eat your brain. My link to dem accomplishments should make it easy to sort this out. Notwithstanding some degree of overlap and symbiotic effect of both halves.

  73. 73
    jcricket says:

    The problem with nihilists is that they don’t actually want anything, so they’re impossible to negotiate with.

    I have recently taken to realizing that the Republicans are the embodiment of the party described by George Orwell in 1984.

    The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power…
    Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”

    At this point I have two slivers of hope:

    1) GOP overreach leads to public repudiation. As we’ve seen with this election, that’s only a temporary setback.

    2) Dems realize that whether they win or lose elections has little to do with how much they “cooperate” with the GOP and everything to do with whether the policies they enact actually help people.

    In other words, when you’re in charge, you might as well go for it. It might not work out (in terms of electoral success), but if you’re fundamentally right, then it’s the right thing to do, and will probably lead to long-term success in all senses of the word.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: Right. There’s a difference between what we _want_ and what we _expect_ to see happen. I’m basically too cynical to have much hope that too many things I actively want will actually happen in politics. So, given that, I tend to be pretty sanguine about getting anything even slightly like it.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @singfoom:

    @danimal: You, sir, can kindly STFU.

    What singfoom said, but without the “kindly”.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Once I realized that I was a fairly flawed human person, and that that condition is like, normal, it defused the anger that went with the natural cynicism of expecting those humans to be anything other than imperfect, even elected high ranking government officials. Long as they make an honest effort, I will roll my eyes and shake my head, but will not judge an honest effort as though it were less than that. When that honest effort delivers less than progress, or is outright malevolent, we have elections to change the players.

    I think dems have done okay, maybe B minus that past couple of years, but now the game has changed, and we start a new round of truth or consequence.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    Is our Democrats learning?

    I’m hopeful I will be proven wrong on the tax cuts.
    But at this point I still see the most likely scenario ending up where if an M-C only tax cut is proposed it will fail in the Senate. Then in the next Congress the R House will propose to extend all tax cuts. That will pass the Senate and the President will sign it.

    I’m also hopeful on the DADT revelations. Hope that goes well, but I never trust an R Senator until their vote has been made and recorded.

  78. 78
    Maody says:

    Harry Reid often makes me feel like we live in Vichy, France – *BUT* think were’d we be if Angle had won. I take that back. Lieberman comes to mind. No, no wait… um. Off to feed self and cat. :sigh:

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m also hopeful on the DADT revelations.

    DADT seems like a place where the Republicans have good cover for giving in. On the one hand, they can claim they were pushed into it by the evil Democrats holding our brave soldiers hostage. On the other hand, they can claim that repeal had the backing of the Pentagon brass, so they were just doing as the military itself thought was best.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Roger Moore: Yup. That degree of cover is, IMHO, why it was good strategy to embed DADT within the defense bill _and_ allow the study of the effects of DADT to unfold on the military’s time. (Remember when the study was being derided as an excuse for the military to say that servicepeople were so dead-set against changing the policy for it to change?) But the outcome is still uncertain, so I don’t want to get my hopes up just yet.

  81. 81
    Tim I says:

    Cole, you are really pissing me off lately. This ‘grow a spine’ shit is totally stale. Maybe you should ‘throw yourself under a bus’ or go ‘jump the fucking shark’.

  82. 82
    Nick says:

    Lisa Murkowski said she’d vote for DADT repeal.

  83. 83

    Stupid question (maybe not): where’s the 60th vote going to come from? or is one (or both) of these exempt somehow from fillibuster?

    i like backbone, but i also hate whining about ineffectualness after a good stand fails due to shitty senate and the myth that dems can force a “reading from the phonebook” style fillibuster (they cant as there are easier ways to fillibuster now).

  84. 84
    General Stuck says:

    @Nick:

    Senate Republicans may well now have their own Joe Lieberman.

  85. 85
    Kenneth Almquist says:

    “[Republicans] would be forced by their wealthy base to push for continuing them next year with the 2012 primaries just heating up. Enormous amounts of political capital would be spent by their candidates on behalf of the top 2%. It could be a way to clearly define the GOP in the eyes of the average apathetic voter just prior to the 2012 election season”

    And the top 2% will give them lots of money to run ads saying that the Republicans are fighting for lower taxes while the Democrats are pushing for higher taxes.

    My view was that the Democrats should attempt to pass the extension of the Bush tax cuts for people making under $250,000 before the election. I thought that either “we just gave everybody a tax cut[1]” or “Republicans are filibustering a tax cut” would play fairly well with the electorate, but Democrats in close races felt otherwise, and since their seats were on the line I assume that they studied the question more carefully than I did.

    [1] Under the Obama proposal, people making more than $250,000 would pay lower taxes than under current law because they would pay less tax on the portion of their income that is under $250,000.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kenneth Almquist:

    I thought that either “we just gave everybody a tax cut[1]” or “Republicans are filibustering a tax cut” would play fairly well with the electorate, but Democrats in close races felt otherwise, and since their seats were on the line I assume that they studied the question more carefully than I did.

    I suspect most of the congresscritters saying that were Blue Dogs. Half of that House caucus just got wiped out in the Republican wave, so their say-so isn’t going to be quite as important anymore.

  87. 87
    pattonbt says:

    I’m betting on the following:

    1) All tax cuts extended 2 years (boo),
    2) No DADT repeal (boo),
    3) START gets begrudgingly done (yay),
    4) START is the last thing that gets done and it will be used to show the example that R’s really aren’t that bad after all “see we compromise!” (boo)

    Of course my betting track record is piss poor. So there’s that.

  88. 88
    pattonbt says:

    @jcricket:

    GOP overreach leads to public repudiation refudiation

    Fixed for proper Teabag prose.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tim I:

    Cole, you are really pissing me off lately. This ‘grow a spine’ shit is totally stale. Maybe you should ‘throw yourself under a bus’ or go ‘jump the fucking shark’.

    Agreed! He should totally get back ‘in the veal pen’.

  90. 90
    Elli Davis says:

    Actually, I promote the tax cuts expiring for wealthy only citizens. I can not encourage, but I consider on the idea that letting the tax cuts expire for everyone would continue on the long way towards reducing the deficit.

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