Pretty Much This

Sullivan basically sums it all up- the Republicans are just dicks:

What we’ve observed these past two years is a political party that knows nothing but scorched earth tactics, cannot begin to see any merits in the other party’s arguments, refuses to compromise one inch on anything, and has sought from the very beginning to do nothing but destroy the Obama presidency. I see no other coherent message or strategy since 2008. Just opposition to everything, zero support for a president grappling with a recession their own party did much to precipitate, and facing a fiscal crisis the GOP alone made far worse with their spending in the Bush-Cheney years. There is not a scintilla of responsibility for their past; not a sliver of good will for a duly elected president. Worse, figures like Cantor and McCain actively seek to back foreign governments against the duly elected president of their own country, and seek to repeal the signature policy achievement of Obama’s first two years, universal healthcare.

Expect it to continue. They’ve paid not price, the media is wholly uninterested in calling them on it, and the corporate powers that decide these things are thrilled. The Republicans were just rewarded with a massive victory in the midterms, and our President, as much as I love him, seems intent on avoiding conflict to the point of being a one-term punchline.

Not to go all Eeyore on you, but I’ve about abandoned all hope with the news the Democrats are going to cave on taxes. I’m astounded that they are going to fuck this up. Literally, they have to do nothing and the tax cuts expire. It will take actual work to fuck this up, but they are going to pull it off. Why they won’t listen to folks like Kos, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then craft their own tax policy and dare the GOP to vote against it is beyond me.

I thought maybe after being the GOP’s prison bitch for the last two years, the administration would come out swinging and put up a fight. Instead, it looks like they intend to shiv their supporters.

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141 replies
  1. 1
    jl says:

    If Cole switched back, he could brag about being a winner. Just a thought. Trying to find a bright spot in the situation, I guess.

  2. 2
    The Moar You Know says:

    The Dems are still buying the argument that there is bipartisanship to be had.

    I don’t consider myself very bright, but I figured out three months into the Reign of Terror that is the Obama Administration that the Republicans had a plan, and the plan was “no”.

    The Dems still haven’t figured it out, even after being told directly, by the Republicans, that the answer was going to be “no” to anything and everything they asked for.

    WTF is going on? Nobody is this stupid. Nobody.

  3. 3
    JonathanW says:

    We haven’t had an open thread lately, so I’ll dump this good news here.

    “Illinois Senate approves civil unions, measure heads to Quinn”

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribun.....asure.html

  4. 4
    Sasha says:

    Like I said in another thread, the current jeremiads and hand-wringing are almost identical to those when HCR faltered. And Obama came through.

    I’m assuming that wasn’t a one-shot deal with him.

  5. 5
    MikeTheZ says:

    @The Moar You Know: Apparently either Obama is actually dumber than Dubya, or he’s simply wholly paid for by the corporate interests that own our supposed “democracy.”

  6. 6
    Nick says:

    I’ve about abandoned all hope with the news the Democrats are going to cave on taxes.

    I’m sorry, when did this new break, because last I heard, the President himself shot down Chuck Schumer’s deal to increase the extension to people making $1 million and middle class tax cuts will be on the House floor tomorrow.

    Did some pundit speculate today?

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Also, too, from the IOIYAR files, Ensign skates:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....ensign/?hp

    How long before Vitter is made honorary coach of a women’s gymnastics team?

  8. 8
    Captain Haddock says:

    Makes sense. Since the Democrats are such pussies its a perfect match. Two party system and all that good stuff.

  9. 9
    Marmot says:

    Welcome to the party. But it’s been like this for longer than 2 years. Hell, I remember Clinton going all free-trade and reinventing government with more private contracting and cutting back on Sarbanes-Oxley cuz that would “modernize” our financial regulations.

    Art of the possible, my ass.

  10. 10
    DonkeyKong says:

    C’mon, don’t think of it as falling past the 17th floor, think of flying with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair!

    The next few years look different then Reagan and Bush, different than the 1994 takeover or W. We’ve canabalized all of our post war equity.

    Over the weekend at a BBQ some friends of mine and I spoke of staying or leaving the country. No jokes, no jest, just a very straight forward conversation.

    We came to a conclusion the Obama as smart as he is just isnt very bright. Fucking sad.

  11. 11
    Mike M says:

    Remember Firebaggers wishing for ponies? That was so fucking hilarious.

  12. 12
    Mr Furious says:

    Not to go all Eeyore on you, but I’ve about abandoned all hope with the news the Democrats are going to cave on taxes. I’m astounded that they are going to fuck this up. Literally, they have to do nothing and the tax cuts expire. It will take actual work to fuck this up, but they are going to pull it off. Why they won’t listen to folks like Kos, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then craft their own tax policy and dare the GOP to vote against it is beyond me.

    Well, think about it. Probably every single member of Congress personally benefits from an extension of the over-$250,000 tax cuts. And ALL of their benefactors surely do.

    An extension—even for Dems—is a feature, not a bug. It’s horrendous long-term politics and even worse policy, but they’re in it for the “now.”

  13. 13
    Lolis says:

    This is the most politically stupid thing Obama has done. It is also bad policy. It shows him to be a complete deficit peacock, a total fraud. I don’t think the White House has any idea how much they are fucking this one up. I have had so many people write to tell me how upset they are by this. I also have a friend whose husband’s unemployment expired. They have two kids. My friend earns the same as me, a measly 32 K a year. Try raising a family of four on that. Yes the Republicans suck, but Democrats have had options to fight back. They have chosen not to use any of them. Fuck them all. They have proven they only fight for themselves.

  14. 14
    suzanne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    WTF is going on? Nobody is this stupid. Nobody.

    I don’t get it, either. The man was the editor of the Harvard Law Review (not a legacy, either), and he still hasn’t figured out how to deal with the playground bullies? No smart person is this stupid. He has to have something up his sleeve.

  15. 15
    RinaX says:

    @Nick:

    I don’t know, I come home, and people are all mad over some deal that I can’t find any details on, and no one seems to care that the House is actually going to hold a vote tomorrow on the middle class tax cuts.

    Apparently the Republicans are still assholes, but really, why should that fact be setting off all this drama?

  16. 16
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Marmot:

    cutting back on Sarbanes-Oxley

    Not that Clinton didn’t have us all fisted by the invisible hand, but he would still have had a hard time cutting back a law that was passed in 2002. Maybe you’re thinking of Glass-Steagall, which was effectively repealed under his leadership.

  17. 17

    @Mr Furious: Actually, there is only two members of the Senate that won’t. Bernie Sanders(at least I think he won’t) and Russ Feingold(I know he won’t). I don’t know anything about the House.

  18. 18
    Marmot says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The Dems are still buying the argument that there is bipartisanship to be had.

    Impossible though it seems, it must be true! Who could possibly be this incredibly stupid? And how could you find enough of these stupids to fill a room? Do they actually think they’re governing another country?

  19. 19
    Merkin says:

    @RinaX:

    I don’t know, I come home, and people are all mad over some deal that I can’t find any details on, and no one seems to care that the House is actually going to hold a vote tomorrow on the middle class tax cuts.

    It’s called an echo chamber. Dems are wimps, so everything is framed in that point of view. Anything that doesn’t fit that meme, such as

    1.) House to hold votes on middle class tax cuts tomorrow
    2.) Obama refusing to budge on a deal for tax cuts for the rich
    3.) Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York introducing bills to repeal popular parts of HCR so to force Republicans to come out against him…or be hypocrites. (he called it the HIPA-CRIT Act)
    4.) OFA taking to social networking sites to move supporters for DADT repeal and DREAM Act.

    all these things are ignored, because it shows some Democrats are fighting.

    ruins the meme.

  20. 20
    Zandar says:

    Obama’s not stupid.

    The people surrounding him and giving him advice, on the other hand…

  21. 21
    Marmot says:

    @The Other Chuck: Oops. Glass-Steagall is indeed what I was thinking. All the hypenated things are in the same category in my mind.

  22. 22
    Captain Haddock says:

    @Marmot:

    They aren’t stupid – they are doing what they have been paid to do – cave.

  23. 23
    Zandar says:

    And really, in the end, this is Harry Reid’s problem.

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    Heck, I knew Republicans were mindless name-calling scorched earth dicks back when Sully was one of them.

  25. 25
    JC says:

    Cole,

    You are right about:

    a. Rethugs being the party of NO – and getting rewarded for it.
    b. Rethugs are dicks.
    c. Your suggestion I buy. Or better yet, let them expire.

    But again, I think you are wrong on saying “Obama won’t cave to the ‘extend tax cuts for all’ crowd. He himself, as was said above, shot down the millionaire tax raise suggestion from Shumer. If he didn’t go there, why would he say extend for all is OK?

    But I could be wrong.

  26. 26
    Merkin says:

    @JC:

    But I could be wrong.

    He’s going to have to cave, because there’s no way the Senate is going to pass anything that doesn’t extend tax cuts for the rich.

    and it’s not like anyone on the left is going to help the Democrats get that through.

    Basically liberals are preparing for the inevitable. they know it’s a battle they can’t win, and its frustrating because they should win it, so they need someone to blame. Obama is the punching bag.

  27. 27
    Paula says:

    @Merkin: But, don’t forget, the Progressive Blogosphere provides a sane, reality-based alternative to MSM drivel.

  28. 28
    Lee from NC says:

    @Sasha:

    I give more credit to Nancy Pelosi for that. As I recall, Obama wanted a “cooling off” period after Scott Brown was elected in Mass. It was Pelosi who rounded everyone up, chewed their asses, and got them back to work. Not Obama.

  29. 29
    Sasha says:

    Just occurred to me:

    Assuming that the current House passes a middle-class tax cut bill, the Democrats theoretically won’t need a single Republican vote for it to pass in the Senate.

    Reconciliation, bitches.

    :)

  30. 30
    DaBomb says:

    @RinaX: You have missed out on all of the fun. And all of the faux outrage.

  31. 31
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’m astounded that they are going to fuck this up. Literally, they have to do nothing and the tax cuts expire. It will take actual work to fuck this up, but they are going to pull it off.

    __
    Trying to look on the bright side, the Republicans are so arrogant and so intent on going for everything, they might make it impossible for Democrats to compromise with them. When they hear Democrats will temporarily extend the tax cuts for the rich, they might come back with, no, we will veto anything that does not extend them permanently.

  32. 32
    Merkin says:

    @Lee from NC:

    I give more credit to Nancy Pelosi for that. As I recall, Obama wanted a “cooling off” period after Scott Brown was elected in Mass. It was Pelosi who rounded everyone up, chewed their asses, and got them back to work. Not Obama.

    Well, yes and no. There was a “cooling off” period after Scott Brown won. They didn’t touch HCR for a few weeks after that.

    It was Pelosi who ultimately deserved top credit for HCR. I think the President even designed it that way.

  33. 33
    John W. says:

    Remember that Rouse used to be Tom Daschle’s guy, the 101st Senator.

    That’s where you’ve seen this before: White House tactics from the people who brought you the opposition to the Iraq war.

    And just as successful may I add.

    (Edit: There are some who loved Obama and blamed Rahm. I’m not one of those people. Obama is complicit – very much so. But let’s face it, these are the same BS tactics used by Daschle before Iraq that accomplished nothing. It’s politics run by idiots, and obama’s a moron for not seeing it, especially since his entire career was built off of seeing the Iraq war for what it was when the Senate did not).

  34. 34
    John S. says:

    This feels so much like when Cole was despairing over the demise of HCR, and we all know how THAT turned out.

    I for one hope John’s instincts are right wrong again.

  35. 35
    Sasha says:

    @Lee from NC:

    Obama could have easily caved there and insisted on passing some weak tea, but he didn’t.

    He also went before Congress and the American people in primetime and helped turn the imminent stampede of Democrat desertion around.

    He deserves no small amount of credit for HCR. Ditto Pelosi.

  36. 36
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Just a question for everyone on the let-them-expire-and-then-pass-new-ones train: Do you really think that the Republicans would suffer more than Obama? I could see that working in a world where everyone cared about governing and funding a government responsibly, but since everyone expects their taxes to be low, government be damned, would Obama just get blamed for raising everyone’s taxes?

  37. 37
    JC says:

    Merkin,

    First off, if true about the Senate – what the hell is WRONG with those people??? They are DEMOCRATS, right??? Polling is on their side, people are on their side, populism is on their side – what the hell??

    But if true, I still don’t think Obama CAN, is the thing. Between letting tax cuts expire, and extending them for everyone – if that is the choice – it fundamentally betrays everything about being for the middle class, everything that he spoke about over the last 4 years, everything he was stood for, and that the party has stood for.

    It’s one thing when the Rethuglicans brassily enable the looting of the lower and middle class by the plutocracy.

    When Democrats do it, when they have a – now ending – biggest democratic majority in a generation – what is the point?

  38. 38
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Nick:

    I’m sorry, when did this new break, because last I heard, the President himself shot down Chuck Schumer’s deal to increase the extension to people making $1 million and middle class tax cuts will be on the House floor tomorrow.

    I don’t know what it is either. I’m willing to see what’s actually going to happen before abandoning all hope.

  39. 39
    Merkin says:

    @Sasha:

    Reconciliation, bitches.

    there’s no reconciliation rules in the budget for it this year. They can’t use it.

  40. 40
    Lev says:

    I think part of the problem is that about half the staff left the White House even before the Midterms.

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    @Merkin:
    I keep thinking that the UI is something that Obama wants to get passed. Too many people are going to suffer from the Repubs cruelty on trying to block it.
    It’s easy to say Obama should fight with the Repubs. If someone’s benefits are about to run out, does a fighting Obama help them? The blogs might stand and clap, but the one without benefits is going to be wondering how to pay the rent.

  42. 42
    Merkin says:

    @JC:

    When Democrats do it, when they have a – now ending – biggest democratic majority in a generation – what is the point?

    Democrats wouldn’t be doing it. Republicans would. That’s why my #1 priority is GETTING RID OF THE GODDAMN FILIBUSTER.

    Without out, we’d be in a far different situation.

  43. 43
    Sasha says:

    My theory (I hope correct):

    Obama and Reid have already rounded up 50 members of their caucus to vote for the incipient House tax bill, and are ready to pass via reconciliation.

    If I’m right . . . tricksy hobbitses. :)

  44. 44
    lol says:

    If the Professional Left wants to make themselves useful, I think a new tactic for TV show appearance might be to attack the media itself.

    On CNN with some nutjob closet case homophobe from the AFA? Go after Anderson Cooper for giving a platform who wants to institute a final solution for gays.

    On MSNBC with some Texan birther? Chew Scarborough out for giving them a bullhorn to broadcast transparently racist rhetoric.

    Of course, that might jeopardize future TV appearances… so we’ll never see anything from Hamsher or Sirota that’ll rock the boat. They’ll just continue to dutifully play the “Even some Democrats agree with Republicans…” stooge for the media.

  45. 45
    slag says:

    @Merkin:

    It’s called an echo chamber. Dems are wimps, so everything is framed in that point of view.

    I’m actually with you here.

    Plus, there’s this:

    President Barack Obama will not be allowing new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least seven years, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday.

    Bowing to corporate masters again, eh? Oh wait, this is bowing to the awesome power of the environmental lobby. Either way it’s got to be bowing. Got to be. There’s no other conceivable explanation.

  46. 46
    RinaX says:

    @DaBomb:

    It’s also curious that the demise of the so-called Cat-Food Commission is generating just as much outrage, because apparently it wasn’t completely stocked with corporate sellouts willing to push the insanity of the deficit hawks who were more or less sidelined for a lot of the year by this. I would think it being dunzo in the morning would be a good thing, but, Obama sucks because it’s…dunzo?

  47. 47
    Sasha says:

    @Merkin:

    My understanding about reconciliation is that, so long as anything budgetary that would increase the deficit sunsets within 10 years, all it requires is a majority vote.

    How am I mistaken here? Isn’t this pretty much how the Bush cuts got passed?

  48. 48
    BGinCHI says:

    OK, what am I missing?

    Lame duck Congress says it’s middle class tax cuts only or no deal.

    GOP: No Deal!

    New year, new Congress, the GOP has to start a bill in the House for tax cuts. They propose cutting for everyone. Can’t pass the Senate, so either the GOP House has to compromise or no tax cuts for anyone.

    GOP owns a shit sandwich and Obama clamors for middle class tax cuts that never reach him.

    Win.

  49. 49
    Merkin says:

    @Sasha:

    My understanding about reconciliation is that, so long as anything budgetary that would increase the deficit sunsets within 10 years, all it requires is a majority vote.

    correct, but the rules need to be written in advance of the year’s budget. The rules for reconciliation were written long before HCR was considered so that reconciliation was always a viable option to pass the bill. That didn’t happen here. Back in Spring, there was talk that they would write reconciliation rules for an education reform bill, but they never did.

    Plus in order for a reconciliation bill to be passed, it must first be passed by the House and the bill being considered tomorrow in the House is not a reconciliation bill.

    The only real hope is that the House passes the bill tomorrow and it goes to the Senate and the Senate takes up that bill, not one that raises taxes on the rich and Republicans feel compelled to vote for it anyway. That won’t happen because the GOP will gladly obstruct tax cuts for the middle class and will not get a lick of blame for it because their 46% of lemmings will blame Obama for the GOP obstruction and the media will demand Obama give in. Even today the White House has been slamming the Republicans over it and it fell on deaf ears.

  50. 50
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Prediction:
    Sully, having arrived at a strong, sensible conclusion that American governance suffers from deep flaws between its tradition-laden past and the modern era will…erect multiple posts full of Brooksian quotes and High Broderisms that wax philosophical without offering a solution.
    And to the editors of the Atlantic, I will work for less money that he does…

  51. 51
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Zandar:

    And really, in the end, this is Harry Reid’s problem.

    Harry Reid has a lot of fucking problems right now:

    In what amounts to an epic constitutionality #fail, Senate Democrats may have blown their chances to see their food safety bill signed into law.
    __
    The U.S. constitution requires that any revenue-raising bill must originate in the House of Representatives. To honor this provision, the Senate often finds a discarded old House bill, strips it bare, and uses it as a “shell” and passes it back to the House.
    __
    They somehow forgot to do that this time.
    __
    Now House and Senate Democratic leaders are scrambling to figure out some procedural hocus-pocus that will allow them each to pass identical pieces of legislation before they leave for the holidays.
    __
    At his press conference this morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer could barely contain his frustration.
    __
    “Unfortunately, [the Senate] passed a bill which is not consistent with the Constitution of the United States, so we are going to have to figure out how to do that consistent with the constitutional requirement that revenue bills start in the House,” Hoyer said.

  52. 52
    someone says:

    So Sullivan has finally entered the 1980’s? Good for him.

    Although I would have been pleased to have been proven wrong, this is exactly what I expected from Obama and this thanksgiving I have been so happy that I voted for Nader instead. Democrats truly have the politicians they deserve. Obama can enact policies to the right of Reagan and still count on the votes of those who self-identify as Democrats. It’s a con so perfect it deserves admiration.

  53. 53
    Andrew says:

    I think people are overcomplicating what’s going on.

    Here’s the situation: either Dems can concede a temporary extension of ALL the cuts, including cuts for the wealthy, or they can refuse and let all the tax cuts expire. They could then try and introduce middle-class tax cuts only in the new Congress, but there’s a very high likelihood that would get filibustered and blocked.

    Most progressives – including a lot of non-FDL types – are hoping for the second outcome, figuring that if the GOP filibusters, then even if the middle-class cuts expire, Dems could paint Republicans as the intransigent ones.

    Obama clearly feels that getting the middle-class cuts definitively extended is the biggest priority, ahead of any political fight. Opting to let them expire would mean taxes probably WOULD go up for everybody.

    Now, on substance, I completely agree with the non-cavers. Let the damn things expire. Ultimately, I think a big political fight would be good for Obama and for Democrats, and if no new cut can be agreed to, that’s not a bad thing from a fiscal point of view.

    But Obama clearly believes differently.

  54. 54
    Rhoda says:

    Listen, the point where they could have “Obama” taxes was before the elections.

    In January, the House belongs to the Republicans.

    That is it. THEY get to decide on the tax issue. THEY get to set up what goes before POTUS.

    So between now and then; we need to get the middle class tax cuts done and if it taxes extending the rest for two years; fine. Because otherwise they’re going to make us eat a bigger shit sandwich to fix the middle class issue and then run against Obama & DEMS in ’12 when he vetoes the really insane shit.

  55. 55
    pragmatism says:

    besides a pat on the head from broder, what exactly does this magical bipartisanship bring anyone?

    do i know what rhetorical means?

  56. 56
    Nick says:

    @Andrew:

    I think a big political fight would be good for Obama and for Democrats, and if no new cut can be agreed to, that’s not a bad thing from a fiscal point of view.

    I believe differently. Republicans will simply never be blamed for taxes going up. The President will. Simple as that.

    And i actually want them all to expire, but I recognize it’s political suicide.

  57. 57
    Bilgeman says:

    @Lee from NC:

    And see how well THAT worked out on November 2nd?

    Pelosi didn’t hear the warning, said “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”, and ran right smack onto the electoral reef!

    Frilliant!

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Sasha: For some reason I thought reconciliation could only be used for one bill. Not sure why I thought that.
    In any event, your theory banks on the House passing the MC bill. Which is not at all likely since they will do it in the manner where no amendments can be offered and will need 2/3rds majority instead of simple majority.

  59. 59
    WyldPirate says:

    John Cole calls the administration the…

    …”GOP’s prison bitch for the last two years”,

    Dayum, JC. Better watch out. General Stuck will be calling you a “pig ignorant cracker”. ;)

    This thread should be really interesting.

  60. 60
    Concerned Citizen says:

    This is the 2nd time in the last couple days I’ve seen Eeyore used in a negative way. Eeyore was the smart one. Tigger was an irresponsible jerk.

    Here’s a good article:

    http://www.smilepolitely.com/sports/be_eeyore/

  61. 61
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    Oh, Sullivan said something. Thank you for the valuable information.

  62. 62

    Well, according to Hoyer, the House is voting on middle-class tax cuts tomorrow.

  63. 63
    DaBomb says:

    @RinaX: The catfood commission crap was what is…crap.

    But it was explained on this blog by two other commenters why it was created to begin with(they had information to back-up) and how pretty much nothing would come of it.

    PBO had to appease some congressmen fee-fees about the deficit.

    Didn’t get the outrage on that either.

  64. 64
    Steve says:

    Obama wants to make 80% of the Bush tax cuts permanent. This has been his position ever since the campaign. Republicans, of course, insist on 100%.

    Schumer wants to compromise on 90%. These are the actual numbers, more or less: Obama’s plan would add $3.2 trillion of debt over the next 10 years, Schumer’s plan would add $3.6 trillion, the GOP would add $4 trillion.

    Personally I think the number should probably be something less than 80%, but there’s no constituency in Washington for that view. Regardless, even though 80% is better policy than 90%, I really can’t get worked up over the difference to the point where 80% is acceptable but 90% is a treasonous betrayal of mom and apple pie. The argument is no longer about anything real.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    Not to go all Eeyore on you, but I’ve about abandoned all hope with the news the Democrats are going to cave on taxes. I’m astounded that they are going to fuck this up. Literally, they have to do nothing and the tax cuts expire. It will take actual work to fuck this up, but they are going to pull it off. Why they won’t listen to folks like Kos, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then craft their own tax policy and dare the GOP to vote against it is beyond me.

    The Democrats have let themselves be backed up against the wall. It’s not just the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. There are 2010 tax issues that must be resolved. Because this must be done, the Democrats have to give in one some issues.

    It’s bad. It’s real bad

    Here it is the first of December and I cannot answer that question for my clients who would like to plan their year-end transactions and anticipate their financial needs. I’m not referring to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts that expire at year end 2010; those can wait until next year. I’m referring to the fact that Congress has not managed to honor the promise made early this year to address some very basic provisions that expired at the end of 2009 affecting millions of middle and lower income families. This list includes the deduction that educators claim for their expenses, the additional deduction for real property taxes for individuals who claim the standard deduction, deductions for tuition, fees and expenses, and deductions for state and local sales taxes. Over 25 million people, many of whom are lower income working families, may be impacted by these individual extenders, and I believe the majority are not prepared or possibly even capable of paying the additional tax they will face with the loss of these benefits.
    __
    Failure to address the Alternative Minimum Tax for 2010 places 21 million taxpayers at risk of owing more because the exemption amounts has dropped by $25,750 from the level it was for 2009 and the non-refundable personal credits are not allowed against it this year….
    __
    But there is another side to the slowness of Congress to act with regard to finalizing the tax rates and rules that affect 2010 returns: IRS is not able to program their computers, approve and disseminate correct forms and prepare taxpayers and the tax preparation industry for this coming filing season. Congress’ failure to act causes the entire system to come under stress, resulting in taxpayer and IRS planning and processing errors, refund delays, and potentially millions of otherwise compliant taxpayers finding they owe additional tax for 2010.

    Once again, the largely uninformed news media has focused solely on the easily explainable battle over the Bush tax cuts, while largely ignoring the larger picture.

    And yeah, Congress has already screwed you over on the estate tax. Don’t ask.

  66. 66
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I have always thought the comparison between Obama and Jimmy Carter was preposterous, but I am starting to have my doubts …

    Apparently, Obama wants to be primaried. He wants the Democratic Party to launch into an official, full blown Civil War. All so that he can have at least the chance of sharing warm fee fees with Orrin Hatch?

    WTF is wrong with this guy? Is he mental?

  67. 67
    WyldPirate says:

    @Sasha:

    Reconciliation, bitches.

    Damn. You know, you’re right. I hadn’t considered this.

    The question is, can they get eight dems to hang with them?.

    Hopefully Harry and Barry can find their balls.

  68. 68
    Marmot says:

    @Nick:

    I believe differently. Republicans will simply never be blamed for taxes going up. The President will. Simple as that.

    I’ll believe this when Dems actually try for once to consistently label Republicans obstructors.

    I could easily be ignorant on this, but have they ever done so?

  69. 69
    RinaX says:

    @Andrew:

    I’d love to see them expire as well. Unfortunately, this absolutely would be seen by the average person as a tax hike, and that’s without any GOP spin. People only notice when stuff gets taken away from them. Say what you want, the President recognized this from the beginning, which is why he’s been talking about this all year, and tried to push the House for a vote prior to the election. You can talk all you want about this merely being a return to Clinton-era rates, but all people will know is that they got a tax break last year that they’re not getting anymore, and their gratitude at that moment is going to be who gives it back to them.

  70. 70
    azlib says:

    I suspect the Kos strategy is not in the cards because there is likely the votes in the next Senate to pass all the tax cuts even for millionaires. Nelson and Lieberman will vote that way and I suspect there are a few others. And getting 40 Dems to fillibuster such a bill will be difficult.

  71. 71
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Sasha:

    Oh for fuck’s sake. After months of handwringing and hysteria, Obama, with great pomp and flourish, signed Bob Dole’s health care plan into law, the one the Republicans now consider to be soshulist and which the Supreme Court will probably declare unconstitutional. And the only reason we even got that was because Nancy Pelosi stuck to her guns and fought for reconciliation while Rahmbo was urging the President to scrap the whole thing after the Coakley fiasco.

    People compare where Obama is today to where Reagan was in 1982. I was alive then. I don’t recall Reagan engaging in a lot of piteous mewling about how he was wrong and the Democrats were right and about how henceforth he would reach out to them and start governing as a liberal.

    Two years ago, I fully backed Obama over Hillary but honestly thought they would be about the same as President. In retrospect, what a terrible insult to Hillary that was to compare her to this miserable coward.

  72. 72
    Citizen Alan says:

    @DonkeyKong:

    Over the weekend at a BBQ some friends of mine and I spoke of staying or leaving the country. No jokes, no jest, just a very straight forward conversation.

    The only reason I’m still here is because I promised my mom that I wouldn’t move overseas while my dad is still alive because she was afraid the stress of it would be bad for his heart. (He’ll be 80 in three weeks.)

  73. 73
    Nick says:

    @Marmot:

    I’ll believe this when Dems actually try for once to consistently label Republicans obstructors.

    President Obama tore into the Republican opposition on Capitol Hill Wednesday, blaming the GOP for what he called politically motivated opposition on virtually every issue.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-0.....M:POLITICS

    Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said the August recess is at risk because of Republican obstruction of Wall Street reform and executive branch nominees.
    Durbin told reporters Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned his colleagues this week during a private meeting of the possibility of working over the August recess, when the Senate generally leaves Washington for a month.Durbin said Senate Democrats plan to pass the Wall Street reform bill and a package of extenders, such as a year-long extension of unemployment insurance and a freeze in proposed cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments, by Memorial Day.
    But Republican delaying tactics have jeopardized that schedule. A legislative backlog would threaten floor time for a comprehensive energy and climate change bill and immigration reform this summer.
    “At this point he has told us to be careful about the first week and if this continues, it may extend into more of the August recess, which we all value as a time to be with our families,” Durbin said of the likelihood of working into the August recess.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/se.....for-summer

    President Obama tried Monday to portray the Senate’s vote on financial regulation as a simple, black and white case of Republicans blocking needed progress on Wall Street reform.
    But not many lawmakers – even those who voted to move forward Monday and those who want to vote for the bill – were buying the argument. And in fact, one Democrat joined with Republicans to vote against the motion to move to debate.
    The White House shot out a statement from Obama soon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, failed to attract the 60 votes necessary to move forward with debate of the bill. The bill fell short by a count of 57-to-41.
    “I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans voted in a block against allowing a public debate on Wall Street reform to begin,” Obama’s statement said.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04.....z16uJa49Ey

    The Health and Human Services secretary also charged that the Republicans are trying to block progress on health care reform.
    “Unfortunately, we’ve seen an example, just last week, about what the politics of obstruction look like,” Sebelius said, adding that Democrats sponsored legislation that passed in the House and Senate to extend a freeze on Medicare physician fee schedules through the end of March – a hot topic for doctors at the conference who could face a 21 percent cut in payments if the freeze is lifted.
    Until Monday, the bill — which also extends funding for other programs, including unemployment benefits — had been stalled in the Senate because of the opposition of Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who opposed it because it will add to the deficit. Bunning released his hold on the bill on Tuesday, and the Senate passed it Tuesday night.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/62167

    On a call with reporters this afternoon, Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) lauded the extension but bashed Republicans for holding up the bill and causing the loss of benefits for 2.5 million Americans. Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, also participated in the call, explaining the economics of the unemployment insurance extension.
    Reed stressed the importance of having Carte Goodwin sworn in as Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-W.Va.) replacement. (Byrd passed away at the end of June at the age of 92, and Goodwin will provide Senate Democrats with the crucial 60th vote for cloture.) “Tomorrow, after our new colleague from West Virginia is sworn in, we will have an opportunity to vote for a bill to extend a lifeline to millions of Americans,” he said, noting, “Historically, even under [the presidency of] George W. Bush, extending unemployment insurance was a bipartisan endeavor. Congress never declined to do so” with joblessness above 7 percent.
    Reed also argued that Republicans have “cavalierly dismissed [the need to offset] tax cuts for the wealthy” while insisting on paying for unemployment benefits. “We’ve got to be able to provide for people who have worked their whole life,” he said, so that Democrats can “get on with the business of creating jobs.”

    http://washingtonindependent.c.....-extension

    Nonetheless, Obama sought to increase pressure on Republicans Monday, appearing in the White House Rose Garden to press his election-year message that the GOP is blocking financial help to struggling Americans.
    “A partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief,” Obama said.
    Obama appeared with a trio of unemployed Americans to demonstrate the personal toll of legislative inaction. Senate Republicans, citing concerns about deficit spending, have invoked the filibuster three times to block passage of an aid bill.

    http://articles.latimes.com/20.....s-20100720

    believe it now?

  74. 74
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Sasha:

    What are you talking about? There will be no reconciliation bills in the coming year. The House refused to pass the legislation that would allow for reconciliation two or three months ago. No budget will pass in 2011 unless it has 60 votes in the Senate. You know, unless the Senate Dems abolish the filibuster. I think the planet getting hit by a killer asteroid is more probable, myself.

  75. 75
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    And the only reason we even got that was because Nancy Pelosi stuck to her guns and fought for reconciliation while Rahmbo was urging the President to scrap the whole thing after the Coakley fiasco.

    Actually that’s not true, though not surprising you’re lying. HCR was not passed via reconciliation, it was FIXED via reconciliation. Rahm wanted him to go smaller, not scrap the whole thing.

  76. 76
    alwhite says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I am Eeyore but this administration and the current iteration of what passes for the Democratic Party make Eeyore an optimist.

  77. 77
    Andrew says:

    @RinaX:

    Well my point is just that it’s not THAT hard to see Obama’s point of view on this. I disagree with it, but everybody’s acting totally perplexed like his actions are completely unjustified. They’re not, if you’re prioritizing an extension of the sub-$250K cuts over a political fight that you have only 50/50 odds of winning.

    Again, I don’t agree with it, and would like to see Kos’ strategy tried. But I can admit it’s not without considerable risk and that all the cuts may expire. I’m fine with that, but Obama may not be.

  78. 78
    wmd says:

    let the Bush tax cuts Deficit Increases expire

    Can we start to use this framing?

    It seems to me to be full of win.

  79. 79
    D'Angelo says:

    In retrospect, what a terrible insult to Hillary that was to compare her to this miserable coward.

    Yes, we should have gone with the bozo who couldn’t fucking do math, who surrounded herself with some of the most piously racist and incompetent handlers in the recent history of the Democratic Primary, and who sold Democrats out to FOX Newz, Bill Kristol, Glenn Reynolds, and whoever the fuck else would hear her dying pleas as Obama sewed up the nomination.

    I, for one, know exactly what the health care bill would’ve looked like if we got President Clinton. Non-fucking-existent. Mark Penn or whoever would’ve told her that all she had to do to get it passed was get 40 votes in the Senate or something, and that would’ve been that.

    Anyone with buyer’s remorse wanting Hillary is a fucking troll.

  80. 80

    There’s so much hyperbole flying here I feel giddy.

  81. 81
    Citizen Alan says:

    @RinaX:

    Because there never should have been a fucking catfood commission in the first place! Congress voted it down last January, so that should have been the end of it. But no, Obama just had to have his catfood commission, so he went out of his way to appoint a bunch of assholes who would mau-mau the very existence of the safety net just in time for the election. I wonder if that’s when the decision was made that Paul Ryan would run unopposed on a platform of destroying Social Security, even though he was from a district with a Democratic edge in voter registration.

  82. 82
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Obama just had to have his catfood commission

    Actually no, the Senate had to have his catfood commission. It was a deal struck to get the stimulus passed.

  83. 83
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Nick:

    And i actually want them all to expire, but I recognize it’s political suicide.

    Is it? Even if the Bush tax cuts sunset completely, most of the people who will complain the loudest are all so brick-stupid that they already think that Obama raised their taxes last year when he actually reduced them in the stimulus bill. If they’re going to whine about their taxes going up anyway, let their taxes go up and give’em something to whine about!

  84. 84
    Joe Beese says:

    @Mike M:

    Remember Firebaggers wishing for ponies? That was so fucking hilarious.

    I never thought Mr. Cole would become a pony-wisher.

    He didn’t even use the “OBAMA SOLD US OUT” tag.

  85. 85
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Bilgeman:

    Riiiight, Because if, on top of everything else that happened last year, if HCR had failed to pass by one vote, the Democrats would be sitting pretty right now.

  86. 86
    Nick says:

    @D’Angelo:

    I, for one, know exactly what the health care bill would’ve looked like if we got President Clinton. Non-fucking-existent. Mark Penn or whoever would’ve told her that all she had to do to get it passed was get 40 votes in the Senate or something, and that would’ve been that.

    Actually Hillary said she would tackle HCR in increments over 8 years. I think that was a better strategy, but I don’t fault Obama for going the hard way. A shame so many do.

  87. 87
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Concerned Citizen:

    Eh. According to the Tao of Pooh, Eeyore was a metaphor for bitter cynics who never accomplish anything nor achieve any happiness because they prefer to sit on the sidelines and bitch. YMMV.

  88. 88
    Bob L says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    People compare where Obama is today to where Reagan was in 1982. I was alive then. I don’t recall Reagan engaging in a lot of piteous mewling about how he was wrong and the Democrats were right and about how henceforth he would reach out to them and start governing as a liberal.

    Reagan spent a lot of time singing kumba with the Dems and a lot of the Right was pissed at him. They aren’t kidding when they say Reagan would be chased out of the GOP today.

  89. 89
    Nick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    if HCR had failed to pass by one vote, the Democrats would be sitting pretty right now.

    I’m not really concerned about where the Democrats would be sitting. Then again, I think no matter what they did last year, they’d still be in the same position right now.

    i’m more concerned with the children who have access to healthcare despite preexisting conditions, or the college grads who get to stay on their parents plans while their first jobs screw them out of benefits.

    For that, I gladly sacrifice the majority.

  90. 90
    D'Angelo says:

    @Nick:

    So like I said. Non-fucking-existent.

  91. 91
    Joe Beese says:

    Actually Hillary said she would tackle HCR in increments over 8 years.

    Wasn’t meant to be, I guess.

    Instead, she found her calling in stealing diplomats’ credit card numbers.

  92. 92
    Nick says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Instead, she found her calling in stealing diplomats’ credit card numbers.

    I can’t wait to see how the PUMAs react to lefties wanting her to resign.

    I should pay MyDD a visit.

  93. 93

    Did I mention I hate hyperbole?

  94. 94
    Joe Beese says:

    @Nick:

    I can’t wait to see how the PUMAs react to lefties wanting her to resign.

    I paid my first visit in a long time to our old friend Agent Flowbee to get his take on the subject:

    … every single cable that leaves Washington, DC carries the name of the Secretary of State (or the acting Secretary). 99.9% of these cables are not written by nor reviewed by the Secretary. She is too damn busy to get bogged down in that kind of detail.

    But Anglachel is the prizewinner:

    My guess is the remnants of Cheney’s operation at State and in the military (potentially with help from the CIA and key news reporters) providing carefully selected stuff to an operation all too happy to tell the “truth”, no matter how distorted, misleading, or lacking in context that alleged “truth” is.

  95. 95
    Rick Taylor says:

    Actually no, the Senate had to have his catfood commission. It was a deal struck to get the stimulus passed.

    __
    I didn’t know that. That makes me feel a bit better if we actually got something for it.

  96. 96
    Rick Taylor says:

    Did I mention I hate hyperbole?

    __
    I hate hyperbole with the heat of the fire of a billion suns!

  97. 97
    D'Angelo says:

    @Nick:

    Melissa McEwan has essentially blamed Obama. And Robert Gibbs.

  98. 98
    D'Angelo says:

    @Nick:

    Melissa McEwan has essentially blamed Obama. And Robert Gibbs.

  99. 99
    jcricket says:

    I guess I’m not understanding how us dirty blog commenter types get it but elected Dems do not.

    If you vote with Republicans, you will fuck up the US and get voted out of office in favor of a real Republican b/c your base will stay home and you’re not right-wing enough for actual Republicans.

    If you dick around, you will fuck up the US and get voted out of office b/c your base will stay home and no one likes people that don’t accomplish jack shit.

    If you attempt to compromise with Republicans they will ignore you, leading to situation #2.

    If, on the other hand, you vote like a Democrat, you may actually win a few battles, and things might actually get better, and your base might be excited enough to vote for you.

    You can’t stop the other side no matter how much you try – so might as well play to your own base. Even if you lose, at least you tried.

  100. 100
    danielx says:

    John:

    It’s taken you this long to figure this out? There was never any chance/hope of bipartisanship – there are too many Republican voters who don’t regard any nonrepublican president as legitimate, much less a smart nigger from Chicago. The fact that he is blackblackBLACK and smart just made things worse. The Repub leadership was smart enough to channel that rage – they at least pay lip service to their base, unlike the Dems, who treat their base like a used condom the morning after (an election). For good reason, from a legislator’s viewpoint – how the hell can you take positions that might cost your campaign contributors money and still hope to get re-elected, much less suck up some of that fine corporate board or lobbyist boodle after you leave office? Good god, you might actually have to go back to Elmira or Spokane or Muncie or Cedar Falls and practice law or something! In the reality-based world, Obama is a member in good standing of the money party/Village/establishment – chrissakes, editor of the Harvard Law Review, how established can you get – and a centrist Democrat. Problem there is that today’s centrist Democrat is about where a liberal Republican was thirty years ago. St. Ronald of Reagan or Richard Nixon would have a hard time getting the Republican nomination these days; they’d be dismissed as hopelessly liberal no matter how much they twinkled or snarled. The Dems could nominate Jesus and he’d get beaten like a red headed stepchild – turn the other cheek, bullshit, and what’s all this nonsense about who his father is, anyway? Where’s his birth certificate?

    Folks, realize this – it’s about the fuckin’ money, and it ain’t gonna change – ever.

    All the nonsense about socialism and the like is camouflage for the fact that the money party does not want to give up one penny of its ill-gotten gains or power – period. You can classify the money party as Wall Street, the defense industry, or whoever – they want to keep what they have and they want more, and they are not particularly concerned about who has to die for that to happen, either. The current ravings about socialism amount to a “clap louder” effort to cover up the fact that right at the moment this whole capitalism thing isn’t working real well except for a very limited number of people at the top. Yes, the Republicans will have to throw some bones to their social issues base – every American has a right to possess and use fully automatic weapons, fuck yeah! – but that’s what all this shit is about. “Our” legislators are bought and paid for, Republicans and Democrats alike. They make rational economic decisions for themselves, no matter what madness that ultimately leads to, just the same as the country’s corporations made the same rational decisions in shipping American manufacturing overseas and gutting the working class. Every economic balloon/boom since 1980 has been an effort to paper over the fact that for the bulk of the country, things are sliding backwards economically. Obama made some timid efforts, but he wants to retain that good standing of his too, so he wasn’t going to do anything to really upset the gravy train, not to mention that he was trying to keep the whole damned train from running off the tracks. Plus which, at base, he wants to live – and there are plenty of folks out there who think he’s an Islamofascistmooslimsocialist at best and the fucking devil at worst (did I mention he’s black?) and that It Would Be A Good Thing if he went away, one way or another. It may have escaped your notice, but political figures who promise, threaten or deliver major social/economic change in this country frequently end up as the guest of honor at elaborate funerals.

    Even those faint hearted efforts were probably doomed to fail, because – particularly since the Citizens United decision – the Republicans are a lot better at motivating people with fear than the Democrats are at motivating people with hope, and they’ve got and always will have more money to transmit their message. The Republican theme runs like this – “the Democrats are going to take your money and give it to brown people”. It appeals to people’s self interest – emphasis on self – and it works. Never mind that people are and have been getting screwed six ways from Sunday by those cough**GoldmanSachs**cough who have money falling from every bodily orifice, the threat is increased taxes, deficits and government regulation! W’s two wars, $500 billion Medicare expansion, initial $700 billion bailout and the largest expansion of intrusive government in generations? Never heard of it. None of this is news, nor is the fact that – again – it works. I recommend a search for the “Bush-Belly Sneetches”, produced by the genius of Driftglass, to see how this works.

    Realize this too – the Republicans are better at emotion based politics than the Democrats are, because the Democrats are too fact based, too polite to call bullshit, and maybe most importantly, too invested in the Washington DC rice bowl to risk upsetting it. That’s not going to change either.

    Obama compromised and temporized with people who were never going to negotiate in good faith, because it wasn’t in their personal interest to do so. To complete the circle, it should be a surprise to no one – John Cole, Andrew Sullivan, David Frum, David fucking Broder or anyone else – that the Republicans aren’t going to compromise or bargain even when it’s in the country’s best interest. Why should they? They’ve already got people like the apocryphal eighty year old woman on Medicare and Social Security who says “what have the Democrats ever done for me?” voting for them. Why should they give a fiddler’s fuck about the country’s best interests, when the voters don’t even know what’s in their own best interests?

    And here this was going to be a SHORT rant. I will now climb down off my soapbox, which George Will would be the first to tell you is the very same thing as the News Corporation, and apply certain psychic analgesics to lower my blood pressure. A elitist beverage like a veddy dry Absolut martini is sounding about right, since my local watering hole is out of both Macallen and Black Bush at the moment….

  101. 101
    Paula says:

    @D’Angelo: LOL-tastic.

  102. 102
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Nick:

    the college grads who get to stay on their parents plans while their first jobs screw them out of benefits.

    Ah, the continued joys of twenty first century America. I love how the second half of that sentence will never, ever be addressed politically, and is just taken as a given instead.

    Still, we’ve now upgraded from a system that could previously be described as a national disgrace to one that is merely internationally sub-average (except in cost, natch). And progress marches on.

  103. 103

    You know what? Fuck Sullivan. He’s been carrying water for the fucken republicans for fucken years, and only *now* he realizes this is what they’re made of? They’ve been pulling this same shit for fucken decades. Fuck Sullivan.

  104. 104
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Nick:

    the college grads who get to stay on their parents plans while their first jobs screw them out of benefits.

    Ah, the continued joys of twenty first century America. I love how the second half of that sentence will never, ever be addressed politically, and is just taken as a given instead.

    Still, we’ve now upgraded from a system that could previously be described as a national disgrace to one that is merely internationally sub-average (except in cost, natch). And progress marches on.

  105. 105

    Didn’t the 08-10 congress vote pretty much along party lines? Both sides of the aisle.
    Didn’t the president hold a ceremonial meeting with the opposition on Health Care and go through the motions, having already had his mind made up?
    Wasn’t that “scorched earth?”
    He pretty much paid the price for that politically, no?

  106. 106
    Nick says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Still, we’ve now upgraded from a system that could previously be described as a national disgrace to one that is merely internationally sub-average (except in cost, natch). And progress marches on.

    I’m sorry, what was it supposed to do?

  107. 107
    Nick says:

    @jcricket:

    If, on the other hand, you vote like a Democrat, you may actually win a few battles, and things might actually get better, and your base might be excited enough to vote for you.

    Tell that to Russ Feingold
    Tell that to Alan Grayson
    Tell that to Mark Schauer
    Tell that to Mary Jo Kilroy
    Tell that to Tom Periello
    Tell that to Ron Klein
    Tell that to Patrick Murphy
    Tell that to John Hall
    Tell that to Dan Maffei
    Tell that to Carol Shea-Porter
    Tell that to Jim Oberstar
    Tell that to Debbie Halvorson
    Tell that to Phil Hare
    Tell that to Dina Titus

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick: People lose elections.

  109. 109
    cat48 says:

    All this Obama bashing is interesting since the Senate is a separate branch of government. I want to know why the Senate will not nuke the filibuster. The GOP WOULD NOT take a sissy letter from the Dems that says we’re filibustering. This has happened before & Trent Lott said “Alrighty, then! We’ll nuke the fucken filibuster!” When do the Dems who just can’t bring themselves to change any rules at all and get all emo when they’re asked about it, have to take responsibility for the Branch of Govt these assholes run? I’ve had it with this impotent act from these grown men & women! Either respond with the Force you’re attacked with or QUIT! They’re useless! Obama is NOT THEIR DADDY! He’s the Fucking President! Time for the Senate to pull up their MANPANTS & NUKE THE FILIBUSTER! They control the Senate for at least 2 more years as it stands. They could institute new rules at the beginning of the New Congress in January 2011 when new rules are adopted!

    All in Wikipedia//they don’t have to let this stand!!

  110. 110
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    People lose elections.

    Yes, whether your try to excite the base or not apparently.

  111. 111
    MJ says:

    @Sasha:

    Thank you for this!

    I am cranky, broke, unemployed, home w/ the flu rt now and +1 from cough medicine so please forgive me for being a little blunt.. But what in the Sam Hill is responsible for all of the “slow singing & flower bringing” that’s been going on here today and throughout the professional and unprofessional left?

    Why on earth, at the first rumors of difficulty (put out by the “totally agenda less” MSM), do folks on our side start proclaiming that, “Oh noes, Blackety Baracky has failed us all again”?

    Here are the facts as I see them folks, for nigh on 2 years Mr. Obama has worked tirelessly to push our old jalopy of a country out of a deep crevasse and away from total disaster on several occasions. There have been some obvious missteps spots along the way. Nevertheless, it seems pretty clear that President Obama has mademuch more progress w/ trade-in much more progress on this old American hoopty – than all of the Slurpee-sippers, sh!t-stirrers & blog-seat drivers have given him credit for.

    If that is true, then why aren’t we giving this man and his administration even the slightest bit of respect, or benefit of the doubt that they are capable of handling the present situation?

    I know I’m in mortal danger of mixing up 1 too many figures of speech here, but watching this public freak-out, on BJ of all places, is like watching the hometown crowd booing Jordan based on some inane announcer’s observation that he missed a couple free throws during the first half on the game.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Jesus fucking Christ on a cracker, how in the hell can any group of presumably educated individuals be as completely incompetent as the Democratic Senate Caucus?

  114. 114
    priscianus jr says:

    @Rick Taylor: I’m sorry, when did this new break, because last I heard, the President himself shot down Chuck Schumer’s deal to increase the extension to people making $1 million and middle class tax cuts will be on the House floor tomorrow.

    Rick and Nick — Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.
    Seems like people are going apeshit over the recommendations of the Catfood Commission too. But what is that, other than spin at this point?

  115. 115
    No One of Consequence says:

    @You Don’t Say:

    Bwhahahhaaaa. I think I wet ’em…

    – NOoC

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @priscianus jr: I have no ever-loving mother-fucking idea what got up people’s asses today. Nothing happened. Republicans said that they were going to be dicks. And this, somehow, is all Obama’s fault. John bought it too. What? I mean, what? Where did it come from? What are you reading? What the fucking fucktastic fuck-on-a-stick are people reacting to? It’s baffling.

  117. 117
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Nick:

    Exactly what I said it did. I’m not really trying to disparage the bill, just the self-righteous posturing that its passage in the year 2009, after being thoroughly lapped by a good three dozen other countries on the topic for decades now, is some sort of grand, earthshaking accomplishment for humanity.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    People aren’t handling the post-midterm disappointment with much stoicism, I’m afraid.

  118. 118
    Bilgeman says:

    @Nick:

    How very noble of you!

    And for MY part, I am perfectly happy to have you sacrifice the majority.

    See, you’re babbling this nonsense about “kids with pre-existing conditions having access to health care”, (which beggars the question of “How? via the individual mandate on their parents?”), whereas I am more concerned with the kids who have health care now through their parents’ work who will NOT have health care…or heat…or a house to live in…or food, when their parents lose their jobs, (thanks to the policies of “your majority” and the Alleged Hawaiian Puddin’head of the United States).

    By the way…did the broad who “had to wear her dead sister’s false teeth” ever get a new pair of choppers?

    Pretty odd how THAT little “Kuwaiti Baby Incubators” piece of moonbat propaganda went right down the Memory Hole, huh?

  119. 119
    M. Bouffant says:

    I just wish Sullivan would stop undercutting his arguments/conclusions/whatever w/ this kind of self-righteous crap, four paragraphs in:

    This is not conservatism, properly understood, a disposition that respects the institutions and traditions of government, that can give as well as take, that seeks the national interest before partisan concerns, and that respects both the other branches of government and seeks to work with them. These people are not conservatives in this core civilized sense; they are partisan vandals.

    “Conservatism, properly understood,” my ass.

    Not sure what the exact definition of this is, but climb off the high horse, Andrew:

    The degeneracy has been building for a long time. It is just the stench of it right now that overwhelms the nostrils.

  120. 120

    […] off, Andrew. And you, too, John Cole. If the GOP is as bad as you say, that only means the Democrats are […]

  121. 121
    Gus says:

    Eventually it will occur to you, it’s not incompetence, it’s complicity.

  122. 122
    Sleeping Dog says:

    John, welcome to the realization that Obama is an empty suit. That his MO is to begin every negotiation at the point he believes should lead to an agreement and then when the goal posts get moved he chases them like a dog after a car.

  123. 123
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    My wife and I are seriously considering it.

  124. 124
    danielx says:

    @Gus: NIcely said, and much more succinct than me.

  125. 125
    jcricket says:

    @Nick: Way to not get the point. I said “might”- there’s no guarantees in life or politics.

    But do you seriously think any of those people would be elected if they voted with Republicans? Or acted more Republican? Or rolled over some more?

    Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop larger electoral forces, but while you’re in charge, fucking act like it – it’s the only thing with any hope of keeping you elected, and more importantly, have some courage of your own convictions.

    I’m proud of most of the people on your list, and they should be proud of themselves. They voted for ACA. They probably voted to end DADT, or for strong financial reforms, and so on. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

    If not for the dicking around of wishy-washy asswipe Democrats in the supposed middle we’d have a ton more accomplishments to point to. Perhaps it wouldn’t have netted us any more seats, but it would have made life better in this country and it would be something we could eventually use to propel us back to power.

    Or do you have some other suggestion?

  126. 126
    Karen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    When did you start saying he’s an empty suit, the minute after he won? It’s one thing to be pro Hillary Clinton. It’s a whole other thing to be nasty about it. Do the world a favor and grow yourself a heart.

  127. 127
    Nick says:

    @jcricket:

    But do you seriously think any of those people would be elected if they voted with Republicans? Or acted more Republican? Or rolled over some more?

    Some might, most won’t. Alan Grayson probably wouldn’t have lost by 20 though. He won 89,000 less votes this year than in 2008. That’s a drop of more than half. If Grayson couldn’t get the base out, then who could?

  128. 128
    Nick says:

    @jcricket:

    I’m proud of most of the people on your list, and they should be proud of themselves. They voted for ACA. They probably voted to end DADT, or for strong financial reforms, and so on. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

    I’m not NOT proud of them. I don’t regret that they got elected. I regret that they lost. They have nothing to be ashamed of, and they’re not ashamed. Dan Maffei’s concession speech was very inspiring. They have no regrets, neither do I.

    But my point was, for the most part, really doesn’t matter whether you’re a Blue Dog or a Progressive, it doesn’t make a lick of difference when votes are counted. They either win or lose depending on the partisan lean of the district. Most would’ve lost as Blue Dogs just as they lost as progressives.

  129. 129
    Jason Stokes says:

    Et tu John?

    Welcome to the firebagger axis of the jilted, Mr Cole. Not many Balloon Juice bloggers left to flip, now…

  130. 130
    Johnny Pez says:

    More cowbell bipartisanship!

  131. 131
    daveinboca says:

    The cuntishness of Demonrat whines. But Dickish fits better for the high-pitched homo whine that enables Randy Andy the Sodhole actually to break glassware and crockery with its intensity. He appears to believe that the GOP is ‘dickish,’ [Jon Stewart used the same word tonight in his increasingly feckless and Yiddish-laced monologues] because it dares to oppose the worst bill ever foisted on the American people with 2600 pages and zero hours of committee time nor debate. The Dems are now trying to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate after whining for years that the GOP was going to do so. When will Yglesias and Sullivan link arms in a master plan to sink the American Dream for once and for all, with Paul Krugman as economic advisor to closely monitor and counsel concerning next steps?

    Of course, Andy dreams of dicks rather than the female counterpart. But his dreams of crawling up Sarah Palin’s vulva into her womb to await rebirth as her son seem to be pushing Andy the Spermburper into a new edgy form of borderline personality disorder. Psychiatrists are awaiting to discover what Freud only thought existed in dreams, a not so immaculate reconception of a catamite from a healthy female mother of five. Ought to be fascinating.

  132. 132
    Johnny Pez says:

    @daveinboca:

    Doug? Is that you, Doug?

  133. 133
    bob h says:

    I don’t understand why letting the Bush cuts expire for all, then blaming the Republicans’ zealotry and contempt for average Americans for the situation is not good politics

  134. 134
    Pococurante says:

    @ornery curmudgeon:

    Oh, Sullivan said something. Thank you for the valuable information.

    “It’s getting him to shut up that’s the problem.” /shrek

  135. 135
    MBunge says:

    “Why they won’t listen to folks like Kos, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then craft their own tax policy and dare the GOP to vote against it is beyond me.”

    Because the actually care what happens to the country and aren’t willing to risk seeing what a tax increase at this moment will do to the U.S. economy? The next election isn’t for two years, which is an awful long time to subject the public to higher taxes in the hope of political victory.

    Now, why the Dems weren’t smart enough to vote on the Bush tax cuts BEFORE the election…you got me there.

    Mike

  136. 136
    4jkb4ia says:

    Not to excuse the Democrats in Congress for not having a plan when they could see the Republican House takeover coming, but if they let the Bush tax cuts expire now, we have learned from the food safety bill that tax legislation has to start in the House. So the Republicans control the starting point for any tax cut bill after January.

  137. 137
    4jkb4ia says:

    I will probably have to say this again somewhere else, but Barack Obama was my sister’s state senator. This is my sister who was working on an MPP at the time, currently works for the CBO on transportation, and is perfectly capable of being disgusted at the general cluelessness in the federal government. My sister thought that Barack Obama was wonderful and happily supported him during the primary. Since commenters here are smart enough to figure out where this MPP was, this cannot be evidence that Obama is progressive. But it is evidence that he is not an empty suit. Drew Westen also is willing to say that Obama is a very bright guy who got scared.

    (And my sister had Rod Blagojevich figured out. Voted for him with her nose held all the way. People who actually live in Chicago don’t believe the “Chicago pol” smear.)

    (Shorter version of this comment: The University of Chicago does not hire anyone who has squash between his ears. He could be green with red breath, to borrow a phrase from Miles Davis, it doesn’t matter.)

  138. 138
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Merkin:
    I don’t think it was ignored. I think it was Greg Sargent who wrote that the vote will show that only the middle class tax cuts are not practicable with both houses.

  139. 139
    4jkb4ia says:

    I read Kos’s post. The problem with this is that we know what Obama’s view on this is, and have for months/years–let the Bush tax cuts expire for over $250,000. So a modification of this can be
    a) a tax raise on the middle class
    b) a caving to the Republicans in some form
    c) something that reframes the tax system in some broader way. Once again, the Republicans and Republican/teabagger base can never have enough tax cuts so being dared to vote to raise taxes on anyone is meaningless without cutting some of the evil spending.

  140. 140
  141. 141
    Karen says:

    @daveinboca:

    The cuntishness of Demonrat whines. But Dickish fits better for the high-pitched homo whine that enables Randy Andy the Sodhole actually to break glassware and crockery with its intensity. He appears to believe that the GOP is ‘dickish,’ [Jon Stewart used the same word tonight in his increasingly feckless and Yiddish-laced monologues]

    Okay you hate Jews and Gays and women.

    Here’s some Yiddish for you:

    Putz! or in your case putzeleh because yours is real real small.

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