I’m Not Disheartened, I’m Pissed

The Politico, attempting to stir up liberal angst, informs me that the “Budget Deal Leaves Liberals Disheartened”:

The $38.5 billion deal brokered between Republicans and President Barack Obama on Friday night may have resolved the immediate threat of a government shutdown. But it didn’t take long for many liberal Democrats to begin to realize that there might be not much cause for celebration in the substance of that deal.

In the final hours before the federal government was to run out of money April 8, Democrats homed in on attempts by Republicans to pass anti-abortion policy riders that would defund women’s health programs and Planned Parenthood. But soon after the deal was struck, Democrats turned back to a debate not about where to cut, but whether there should be cuts at all – and who should bear the brunt of the burden.

I’m not disheartened, I’m pissed. I honestly don’t know what exactly the Dems are supposed to do. I expect we will lose more in the upcoming months on the debt cap and the next budget- this sort of was predictable when the Republicans took the house. They clearly don’t care if they shut down the government, they don’t care who they hurt, and they are not going to stop doing what they do. They haven’t exactly been subtle about their goals, so I sent the Democrats money and voted for them in the last election. Not enough other people did, the Republicans won, and this is what logically comes next.

I’m not wringing my hands over the President’s statement afterwards, because no one in America paid attention to it, either. Only those of us who obsessively follow politics probably even heard a live commentary from Obama at midnight on Friday. Most sane people were in bed, or out on the town, or spooning their loved one, or something. They weren’t up listening to whatever platitudes the WH was offering, trying to put the best spin on a shitty situation.

This is just proof to me that I need to help raise more money, volunteer more time, and walk more precincts in 2012. It isn’t disheartening or demoralizing, it’s motivating.

And btw, we’ve talked about the Ryan plan to gut medicare and medicaid and give the proceeds to the rich while feeding the warpig, and it is important to recognize this is not some one-off. This is what they want. They are also coming for your pension, they are after your social security, they want to destroy your union so you can not organize against them, they will go after your minimum wage next, they want to get rid of the EPA so their donors can pollute your water, air, land, and food and not have to worry about being punished, they want to deregulate Wall Street more so they can screw you again and not face any consequences, they want to tell you what you can do with your body, and they are spending lots of time and money making it harder and harder for you to vote. The Ryan plan isn’t an isolated incident, it was just shots fired on another front. If you are disheartened by the budget deal the other night, which is one small skirmish in a big war, you probably should just give up and go buy yourself a ton of lube.






350 replies
  1. 1

    I expect we will lose more in the upcoming months on the debt cap and the next budget- this sort of was predictable when the Republicans took the house.

    Thank you!

    Where do these people come from, who think that the Democrats can lose an entire house of Congress in the last election, but not see any significant domestic spending cuts from the budget passed when Democrats had giant majorities, as long as they bargain right?

    Get a clue! This is what happens when the Republicans capture the house that needs to initiate all spending bills – through a complex, mysterious process, those spending bills become more Republican! No, really!

  2. 2
    OzoneR says:

    I see you’re new to the whole “liberal” experience.

  3. 3
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Only those of us who obsessively follow politics probably even heard a live commentary from Obama at midnight on Friday.

    If you follow this thinking to its logical conclusion, there’s no reason for this post to exist at all because who gives a shit about Politico? Are they really capable of “stirring up liberal angst?”

  4. 4
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    I need to help raise more money, volunteer more time, and walk more precincts in 2012.

    me tooooo!
    Obama needs a cool billion to ward off the Citizens United pouring corporate megabucks into tv advertising with subliminals suggesting Obama is a Kenyan muslim socialist.
    We are still living in Distributed Jesusland until the demographic goes off.
    I was a lil disappointed (ok, a lot disappointed) in humanitarian interventionism as doctrine, but hey, ima shelve my crits until after November 2012.
    Everything might change after O doesnt need to worry about the peckerhead/teabagger/jesushumper voters.
    That is why I dont get WATBs like Freddie.

  5. 5
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    moderation :(
    i didnt even have have any links.

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    I’m disheartened and I’m mad. I don’t think that anything is going to change for the better any time soon, and I’m generally or usually an optimistic type of person. When times are like this, for me it’s best to focus more locally, meaning focus more on friends, family and my local town.

  7. 7
    OzoneR says:

    @joe from Lowell: Also keep in mind the GOP House majority is their largest since 1946.

    Of course this is going to mean more right wing legislation. That’s predictable.

    We lost, deal with it and move on.

  8. 8
    E.D. Kain says:

    John,

    I disagree. I think this is the beginning of a long ideological retreat.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/erikka.....n-economy/

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t support Obama, but support doesn’t equal free pass.

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It will never be inaccurate to title an article “[Blank] leaves liberals disheartened.” That’s what we do. Every victory is provisional and every loss devastating. At a certain point we start to factor that into the way we respond to the news, because the alternative is just constant unproductive despair.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If you’re not disheartened, you’re not a liberal.

    When you come out of the box with a political philosophy based on the perfectibility of man, you’re just asking for trouble. Because he isn’t perfectible.

  11. 11
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Obama needs a cool billion to ward off the Citizens United pouring corporate megabucks into tv advertising with subliminals suggesting Obama is a Kenyan muslim socialist.
    We are still living in Distributed Jesusland until the demographic timer goes off.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    I would like to see some of Obama’s subordinates saying undiplomatic things about the Republicans. I mean, yeah, go ahead, hurt their feelings. And I’m not just suggesting that because it would make me feel good… Remember what happened when little Newt was dissed back in the ’90’s? It’s time for some thoughtful contempt.

  13. 13
    scav says:

    Ideological retreat? Don’t confuse the leader with the purpose, goals or ideals: that really is rather a tell.

  14. 14
    inventor says:

    This sort of clear-eyed rational thinking will not go unpunished.

    Cenk and Jane have told us what we think. Only a corporate shill Obamabot sellout would think otherwise.

  15. 15

    I posted this on an earlier thread, but it bears repeating: Pen1s Navy (aka Dick Armey) has his hand so far up the Tea Party organizational ass it’s not funny. He’s an oligarch’s best friend. No way they’re not raising the debt ceiling.

  16. 16
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I think this is the beginning of a long ideological retreat.

    Beginning? There’s been an “ideological retreat” ongoing for at least 40 years. IMHO Obama might not contest it as much as we’d like, but he doesn’t accelerate it either.

  17. 17

    I especially like the people who’ve spent two years holding forth on how Obama doesn’t negotiate right, but rather, opens up with a “reasonable middle” offer, against an extreme Republican offer, and then settles for something in between those two – that is, halfway between the middle and extreme conservatism. Allegedly, this is what happened with the ACA and the ARRA. He should come out with an opening bid way off to the left, and get negotiated to something in the middle.

    So, this time, in the face of the Republicans taking the House, Obama comes out with a budget proposal that increases domestic discretionary spending by $40 billion. Increases it, by $40 billion, from the budget passed by the Democrats when they had huge majorities in both houses.

    And what’s the response from the genius negotiation critics? Why, to use the very strength of his opening bid – the very thing they said he should do – to denounce him more, saying he got “negotiated down” by $78.5 billion.

    If he’d come in with a budget that was $200 billion higher from last year, these people would be jumping off cliffs over Obama “losing” $238 billion.

  18. 18
    OzoneR says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t support Obama, but support doesn’t equal free pass.

    I really honestly think the President was forced to play with the cards he was dealt and played it best he can. You’re right, it is the beginning of a long ideological retreat, but Obama can’t stop it, or perhaps he even caused it, by even trying to implement some evidence of a progressive agenda. We’re moving backwards because that’s the direction people seem to want to go

    We overwatered the plant.

  19. 19
    Trentrunner says:

    It’s morning here, the birds are chirping, and the sun glints and dapples, so it’s just as good a time as any for our daily helping:

    Andrew Sullivan is a cunty git.

  20. 20
    OzoneR says:

    @MattF:

    I would like to see some of Obama’s subordinates saying undiplomatic things about the Republicans. I mean, yeah, go ahead, hurt their feelings.

    They have and they do.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t support Obama, but support doesn’t equal free pass.

    WTF does that even mean?

  22. 22
    E.D. Kain says:

    @FlipYrWhig: the problem is that now he’s helping tell the GOP’s story for them.

  23. 23

    @OzoneR:

    We’re moving backwards because that’s the direction people seem to want to go…We overwatered the plant.

    Nonsense. It’s the economy, stupid. If there was a real ideological shift going on, the Tea Party and the Republicans wouldn’t be so unpopular.

    The Republicans are grabbing everything they can before the 2012 elections. The public is not behind them.

  24. 24
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    But I did see a shout out to that boutique script soCIALÏSt

  25. 25
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: lol
    Come to invite us for another walk in the Free Market Fantasy Forest?
    Or just link whoring again?

    Like I said, I think I’ll wait to crit Obama until December 2012.
    What democrats during Clinton used to call the Bubba vote is deforming Obama’s policy positions until after the election, and the bankstahs are going dump a shit-tonne of cash into terebi to scam the bubbas into giving the invisble hand of the free market a do over.
    Like I said, we are all still living in Distributed Jesus until the demographic timer goes off.
    tick…tick….tick…

  26. 26
    Donut says:

    I have absolutely zero practical political organizing experience, but it seems to me that the wave of grassroots action coming out of the Midwest, especially WI is what our side needs to focus on. Yeah, these cuts are bad, paricularly on the macro economic level…but they are a fraction of the budget in the end. I kind of feel like a lot of the budget and debt stuff is a distraction. Yes, a distraction that can’t be ignored, but there are better or perhaps more productive places for liberals to put our time, money, energy, etc. If we can transfer some of this energy out of WI into other issues- especially campaign finance reform – then we will really be cooking with gas. Or something. Half baked thoughts but just throwing it out there.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @joe from Lowell: Exactly. The Republicans aren’t popular in the least. They win because they don’t typically engage in stupid internecine warfare that depresses party turnout and turns off the rest of the country.

  28. 28
    Joe Beese says:

    I blame Jane Hamsher Glenn Greenwald Ralph Nader pony-wishers Andrew Sullivan.

    God bless you, Mr. Cole. Now whip out that checkbook.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joe from Lowell: I don’t share that particular analysis, joe. Once it became clear that there were going to be cuts — once the Republicans took over with the budget undone — the debate became about how steep the cuts would be, and the whole thing was fought on a playing field where $63B was the Republican side, and the Democratic side was never “zero,” it was rapidly $33B and then nudged upwards. But that, as any number of people have pointed out, simply reflects that The Middle wasn’t ever going to satisfy Republicans, who’d rather walk away and let the shutdown happen than meet in the middle.

    I don’t know why so many people in the blogosphere decided that “Negotiating 101” means that you and your negotiating partner start out with equally implausible bids and then meet roughly at the midpoint. That’s not what happens. If you’re trying to buy a house and the other guy decides he’s not taking less than $300K and is willing to pull it off the market if he doesn’t get it, it doesn’t matter if you start at $275K or $1.

    And in this case there’s only one house, and if you can’t buy it from him he’s going to start shooting out the windows and pissing on the carpets, and you’re going to have to live in it at some point.

  30. 30
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Baud:

    WTF does that even mean?

    its the same thing as saying the free market is not free. Meaningless glibertarian bullshytt.
    just level your wand at him and shout….. Riddikkulous!

  31. 31

    @Joe Beese:
    And a hearty fuck you too, Joe Beese.

  32. 32
    sgrAstar says:

    Preach it, John!

  33. 33

    there isn’t a lot we can do to actually negotiate in congress itself, the gop will win there. what we could be doing more is taking the case to the folks who stay more or less on pissed the government as a whole, disengaged, or are otherwise low information.

    we need to stick what the gop is doing in their craw.we aren’t going to make them active or engaged, we have to get something that is small enough to get through….we know we will lose in washington, when the gop knows they will lose in washington, they make the battle ground every where else…

    we need to suffer for making mainstreet sad, which we hate to do, which tells them we don’t care….but we need to stick this shit where it belongs, on the corporate led, and lock step loyal gop. let them know that a vote for a con anywhere is a vote for the whole con agenda.

    because they vote straight party, for all intents, it is.

  34. 34
    Bruce S says:

    Thanks for this – while it’s absolutely essential to critique the Dems and hold feets to fires, it’s stupid to get “disheartened” because the GOP is who we think they are and the President has been sucked into the game, as if we imagined this wasn’t the deal. I’m extremely “disheartened” by OFA, I must say – because they totally dropped the ball and lost an opportunity to maintain momentum that was lost to the crazies of the Tea Party after ’08 – and I’m also not going to be giving much of my dollars to the Obama campaign, so much as to congressional candidates who are decent, because that’s where we hold the line or not.

    I’ll work hard during the election, make calls etc, but I feel like Obama has cast his lot such that it doesn’t merit the same kind of commitment and certainly not the expectations I felt toward him starting back in ’07. More than the President – because I know good people get eaten alive in that office – I’m not impressed with the “team” starting with the Larry Summers sojourn and now absolutely including Axelrod and Plouffe who used the “organizing” rhetoric and Obama’s biography to package a campaign operation that, frankly, gave no more of a shit about building a grass-roots movement beyond their election concerns than the DNC ever has. It’s up to us…as ever.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    he’s helping tell the GOP’s story for them.

    Bill Clinton said “the era of big government is over.” It’s hard to have an “ideological retreat” any starker than that. “Telling the GOP’s story” by putting a happy face on a losing hand isn’t ideological, though. It’s PR. Retraining the public not to like the idea of “tightening the government’s belt” is a _colossal_ undertaking. The fact that people don’t really get Keynesian economics is an important failing of The Liberal Agenda, but fixing that isn’t going to be done anytime soon.

  36. 36
    Keith G says:

    They clearly don’t care if they shut down the government, they don’t care who they hurt, and they are not going to stop doing what they do.

    Ah, but here is where the new generation of Democrats fall into a ditch.

    People are going to be hurt no. matter. what. In the last go round, I read commenters here say things like, “A shut down will hurt us as our household depends an a government salary.”

    So?

    There are millions of your fellow citizens already being hurt by the (in)actions of this government and most of them are among the most vulnerable. How many folks typing on blogs have to sit for hours in an E R waiting room whenever a common childhood illness strikes one of their children?

    If the frame is “We can’t force the GOP to ….. because people will be hurt” then guess what, we have already lost. The conservatives have already been rewarded for their behavior. Expecting things to get better though random chance or minimal effort is rather fucking stupid.

  37. 37

    @Donut: Half-baked, maybe, but spot-on.

    Budget fights aren’t about numbers. They’re about values. There just happens to be a particularly concrete demonstration of those values.

    Liberals should be critiquing these cuts in terms of a vision, a set of values. Not talking about numbers or, fer chrissakes, process.

  38. 38
    wasabi gasp says:

    Barack Obama is riding away on your new bicycle.

  39. 39
    NoFortunateSon says:

    John, I read much more than I write here, but if I may offer you some advice: save your sanity and ignore The Drudgeico.

  40. 40
    OzoneR says:

    I will speak freely if I may.

    I come from a small town called Madison, Indiana. And though I’ve lived in New York City since my city-raised Italian-American fiancee moved me here after we graduated from Ball State (Go Cardinals), I go home often and am always talking to mom, dad, my uncle, my brother in Louisville and my cousins

    Southeastern Indiana is one of the “We’re Democrats, but we’re really not” areas. My family and my neighbors voted for Hillary because she wasn’t a scary black man from Chicago. As one person back home told me “Obama will be for the blacks (he used the “n” world instead), at least Hillary is one of us.”

    Some voted for her even though they had no intention of voting for her in the general, they figured a Democrat would win, and they did not want that Kenyan Muslim Socialist in the White House.

    Now, many of these people ended up voting for Obama reluctantly because Sarah Palin scared the shit out of them, but they were never excited for him, nor ever will be, and the waited for the first “liberal” thing to pounce. For some that was the stimulus, for most it was HCR, which to them was an attempt to steal healthcare from older white people and give it to black welfare mothers on the South Side of Chicago.

    They ousted our Blue Dog congressman Baron Hill because he wasn’t Blue Doggy enough (though I suspect some of that was Bloomington’s no-shows). My uncle, who was a Democratic precinct captain in Versailles, where he gave me my first weekend job when I was 17, forcing me to drive an hour back and forth every Saturday, tell me that 2010 was the first time he ever voted for a Republican for Congress because Baron Hill “wouldn’t stand up to that liburl!”

    Uncle Tim still doesn’t care for Obama, but he likes him a little more now than he did last year, but when I try to tell him that Indiana’s problems could be fixed with more spending on jobs and taxing the rich, he tells me “you’ve been living in New York too long”

    I know some of you live in places like Southeastern Indiana, so maybe you see what I saw, but what I see in President Obama is a man who can govern brilliantly under today’s political conventional wisdom, but is completely powerless to change the CW, and the lack of power is completely not his fault.

    I don’t know if anyone can, Hillary wouldn’t have gotten the support of many of my kinspeople in Madison had she been running against a credible white male candidate.

    I do now that progressives like us share a significant portion of the Democratic Party with people like my uncle, and the big difference is we’ll never vote for a Republican, he will and has. Sure we’ll threaten to vote third party, and sometimes will, but he’ll actually switch sides. That gives him the upper hand.

  41. 41
    Donut says:

    Just reading over some of the comments, I understand why people are bummed but I just hope this is a short-lived hangover. There is too much to fight for (at least that’s how I feel) to wallow in self-pity. I’m with Cole on this notion of digging in our heels and working harder and smarter. Fuck the Dem party leadership, including Obama, on this. We have to move forward with the understanding that they will always sell us out and we have to go through/around/over them. Again, I’ve mo clue how to make that happen, but I do know that the energy in WI is where we are learning some valuable lessons.

  42. 42
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: bullshytt.
    The bubba vote has a specific gravity that is deforming Obama’s policy positions. Proof, the teatards took the House.
    I’m do my best to see he gets reelected and then crit him if I dont like what he does.
    @Keith G:

    There are millions of your fellow citizens already being hurt by the (in)actions of this government and most of them are among the most vulnerable.

    remember who put them there.

  43. 43
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Right across the OECD countries, and since the late 70’s, even in Scandinavia, the ideological retreat is broad, now 40 years old, and conducted by parties of the left and right.

    In the face of the oil-shock-generated inflation of the ’70’s, governments, left and right, refused to admit that there was any macroeconomic imperative except fighting inflation. Persistent high unemployment, especially involuntary part-time employemnt, right across Europe, under governments left and right, right through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, with some regional and temporal variations, to be sure. Sweden bailed on the Meidner plan, Labour bailed on Clause Four, Mitterand and Fabius privatized with a near-Thatcherite zeal.

    It’s a secular trend.

  44. 44
    OzoneR says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    the problem is that now he’s helping tell the GOP’s story for them.

    the story’s already been told.

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: So because people are already being hurt, there’s no reason to care about additional people being hurt? Is this the standard you apply to, say, Bradley Manning?

  46. 46
    Joe Beese says:

    “Expecting things to get better though random chance or minimal effort voting for Democrats again is rather fucking stupid”

    FTFY.

    Or maybe our Hermione has the right idea. Save the criticisms until after Obama is re-elected… and then hold his feet to the fire! He’ll have to take the progressives into account then!

  47. 47
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    No, joe is right. By offering a budget expansion under the pretend “Win the Future” plan, Obama saved a good $10-15B in the end. Which I assume was the goal.

    The Republicans wanted to cut $100B just for the sake of cutting $100B. But that’s impossible if you don’t take it from defense spending or Medicare. There’d be almost no government left in terms of total programs.

    So the Republicans had to find a different way to massage the truth on the numbers. And so the WH had a free, pseudo $40B on the table to help them on their way.

    Of course, none of this really matters since the store was always meant to be given away. That’s the point. It wasn’t a negotiation. It was a tactical retreat from the beginning. The administration insists on lying about the necessity of budget cuts for political purposes. Because they’re bitchass politicians, and that’s what bitchass politicians do. They spend all their time searching for ways to look good while doing bad.

  48. 48

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Once it became clear that there were going to be cuts—once the Republicans took over with the budget undone—the debate became about how steep the cuts would be, and the whole thing was fought on a playing field where $63B was the Republican side, and the Democratic side was never “zero,” it was rapidly $33B and then nudged upwards.

    But that’s not true.

    Obama submitted a budget with $40 billion in increases. You can look it up. He actually submitted that to Congress, in black and white, as an official act of office.

    Similarly, you can look up what the Republicans’ original proposal was: $100 billion. The Republicans had come down to $50 billion in cuts before the Democrats had moved at all, and when they did, Obama came out with a figure of $6 billion in cuts.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    Oh for christ sakes must we have this discussion again? I’m a die hard democrat and I’m disheartened and disgusted. I know I have to work even harder for Obama and the Dems this time around and I don’t see them as helping me do my job. I don’t see the kind of public capitulation to Republican language as helping me go door to door and explain democratic strategy. The british lost at dunkirque but won the war for explaining what had happened. They turned disaster into propaganda triumph. I am stuck with a party that turns Republican attacks into Republican successes because of inept bargaining, catastrophically stupid framing, and poor messaging. I’m angry, frightened, and alienated just at the time my party is appealing to me for more money and more foot soldiering.

    Of course I’m going to step up my game, of course I have to fight harder. But Its discouraging to feel that I’m doing it against a headwind of bad public decisionmaking at the top level. This is a perennial problem in all campaigns: they decide on their “message” and they demand that their supporters take that message to the people. Well, I can’t help it, I think Obama and the Dems messaging and their actions are pathetically ill conceived and worse defended. And I anticipate a whole lot of trouble getting non political voters up and out of their defensive crouch to fight for Obama when as far as they can see he’s doing nothign but fighting a rearguard action, clumsily, to prevent people who are fucking nuts from destroying everything. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to make the fight over the debt ceiling or the budget less of a total fuckup.

    aimai

  50. 50
    OzoneR says:

    @Keith G: You have to be willing to hurt people to win. Democrats aren’t willing to do that. I consider it a positive personality trait, but it doesn’t help in negotiations.

  51. 51
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @FlipYrWhig: what I really find far more effective in banishing freemarket boggarts is to level your wand at them and cry do you believe in the innovation of the market?
    He is just trying to get you in range to inject you with the Glibertarian Reasonableness Poison he secrets through the hidden fangs in his mouth.

  52. 52
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Davis, I can’t speak for all liberals and thank deity of choice for that. But for me, it’s working toward improvement of life in general for the majority of people, which I believe also results in improvement for me. I don’t believe in the “perfectability of man” (or of woman, for that matter). Conservatives, in general, seem to be rather mean-spirited and selfish, so they assume that everyone else is, too. They also have a tendency to throw up their hands and to insist that whatever a current situation is, that nothing can be done to change it.

    But I don’t think that most liberals are working to make things perfect, just to improve things.

  53. 53
    Napoleon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    If you’re trying to buy a house and the other guy decides he’s not taking less than $300K and is willing to pull it off the market if he doesn’t get it, it doesn’t matter if you start at $275K or $1.

    I disagree. I think the dynamics is that you would have to add the following to the end of that sentence “After which pulling it off the market they learn that the house will automatically loose $10,000 a month in value and less people are going to buy what you are selling”.

    What they are doing only works if they know Obama will blink, which he does. In order to reverse this we need a President with the balls to the next time a hostage is taken from him is to shoot and kill that hostage.

    Obama is the worst president when it comes to negotiations in my entire life. He is going to get killed in the debt limit negotiations since no one believes he has any spine.

  54. 54
    OzoneR says:

    @aimai:

    The british lost at dunkirque but won the war for explaining what had happened.

    I think the fact that Hitler turned on the Russians and we got directly involved had a little more to do with it

  55. 55
    Johnny B says:

    While I agree we need to volunteer more and raise more money, it seems increasingly likely that we will see Medicare converted into a voucher program. That’s because we already created another voucher program–the Affordable Health Care Act. If the Republicans agree to have all the restrictions on health insurance companies under AHCA apply to the new senior citizen voucher program, I expect that will be enough for a Grand Bargain. Of course, such a Grand Bargain will keep traditional Medicare in place for those 55 and older–at which point the GOP will switch gears and work up a lot of public anger over “greedy” senior citizens who are getting “expensive” traditional Medicare benefits. That’s when the Teahadists over 65 will learn they’ve been had.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Keith G:

    Expecting things to get better though random chance or minimal effort is rather fucking stupid.

    No, I expect things to get better when Democrats win elections. The two years when the Democrats controlled the government, the debate in this country was about how much to increase public investment and how much to regulate Wall Street and big business, and how best to provide things like health care to everyone. They didn’t go as far as some (including me) would like in some areas, but it was the right ground to be on. But I guess too many other Americans just didn’t feel as I do.

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Wolfdaughter: Tactically, if you’re a political party founded on the premise that people, however lovely taken one at a time, are shits in the aggregate, and build on that premise, you begin every campaign cycle half a lap ahead of the other guy.

  58. 58
    MikeBoyScout says:

    This is just proof to me that I need to help raise more money, volunteer more time, and walk more precincts in 2012. It isn’t disheartening or demoralizing, it’s motivating.

    Really?
    It is kind of proof to me that we’re f**ked.
    President Obama has never struck me as intellectually challenged the way Reid has. In fact, I’d say that he is right up there in intellectual candle power with WJC, which means he’s one of the brightest presidents in my 50 years.

    President Obama is also a rather good speaker; a potentially awesome user of the bully pulpit.

    What I see John is a Democratic party and its leader unable or unwilling to talk effectively about our real economic problem – UNEMPLOYMENT, and continually willing to be rolled (ala Great Britain et al) down the reduce the deficit horse shit path.

    It is not like information about our UNEMPLOYMENT problem is hard to come by. Paul Krugman writes about the problem 3 days per week.

    The average Josephine does not need me knocking on her door, writing her e-mails, or giving another $10 to the DNC.
    Our people need leaders with the courage to say F**K You to those who would put their lives and the lives of their children at greater risk so that bondholders (like me) live happier ever after.

    Our people need a journalistic class which goes shrill with facts and data every time clowns try to propogandize us.

    This most recent collapse is proof to me that unless and until we get people in the Congress and White House that see themselves in the pocket of those making $50k or less per year and who are willing to f**k over everyone making over $200k per year to benefit the majority, that I should better spend my time and efforts making sure I got mine.
    Cuz that’s the way this country chooses to work, and has been working since St. Ronnie brought in his voodoo ponies.

    Call it the audacity of hopelessness.

  59. 59
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @aimai:

    inept bargaining, catastrophically stupid framing, and poor messaging.

    wallah. Obama FUCKING PASSED HCR you WATB.
    We are still living in Distributed Jesusland until the demographic timer goes off.
    Don’t believe me? Look at the midterms and the House.

    A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.
    Niccolo Machiavelli

    The bubbas are IMMUNE to reason and messaging and framing.
    WTF do you not get about that?

  60. 60
    Donut says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Right on – values is exactly right and I think coming fights over Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid provide great opportunity for liberal critique. Hell, Cole has been all over it, already, as have others with a megaphone.

  61. 61

    @Joe Beese:

    “Expecting things to get better though random chance or minimal effort voting for Democrats again is rather fucking stupid”

    Writing this comment while in the midst of bemoaning these budget cuts is rather fucking stupid.

    OMG, this is $38.5 billion lower than the budget the Democrats passed! That’s an awful, dispiriting cut! It’s very important and harmful, the cut from the budget the Democrats passed. So, therefore, it doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by Democrats or Republicans.

    I hereby coin a new adjective, “beese,” to describe logic like this. IE, “Eating a whole cheesecake because you feel bad about your weight is a particularly beese way to handle the situation.”

  62. 62
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “Obama is the worst president when it comes to negotiations in my entire life. He is going to get killed in the debt limit negotiations since no one believes he has any spine.”

    At one crucial moment in the game of chicken over a looming shutdown of the United States government, President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, faced off in the Oval Office. Mr. Boehner, a Republican heavily outnumbered in the room by Democrats, was demanding a provision to restrict financing to Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. Mr. Obama would not budge.

    __

    “Nope. Zero,” the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. “Nope. Zero,” Mr. Obama repeated. “John, this is it.” A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. “It was just like an awkward, ‘O.K., well, what do you do now?’ “

    __

    That meeting broke without an agreement.

    Source.

  63. 63
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I like the economic argument. I have just simply associated it with a popular backlash against “street theater” and collective protest, which managed to diminish the potential power of left populism. Conservatives triangulated against it with the “law and order” angle, and then liberals triangulated against it with technocracy and efficiency.

  64. 64
    Raenelle says:

    I’m not pissed. I’m not disheartened. This is what I expected.

    I remember my Marxist-Leninist friends in the 60s telling me that liberals will sell you out. I’m a really slow learner, apparently only capable of grasping maybe one lesson a decade. So, while I heard them, I didn’t understand. Now I do.

    I am no longer interesting in fighting capitalism; I only hope to side-step its ravages. Or, as they used to say in the 60s, turn on, tune in and drop out.

  65. 65
    Lolis says:

    Fuck Kristof. We have to add him to the hacks who called Ryan’s plan brave and doesn’t say it plans to end Medicare as we know it. He does say his plan doesn’t reduce the deficit long-term, so why the fuck is it brave?

    When the media has spent all of its energy pushing this deficits meme it is no wonder the president starts spouting off RW talking points which have become CW talking points.

    We still don’t really know how badly we got screwed or not screwed till we see the numbers breakdowns. Pardon me, for waiting to freak the fuck out till then.

  66. 66
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @MikeBoyScout: the journos are just fight promoters now…they have to pretend there are two equal sides in any debate.
    its the invisible hand of the market in action.
    No one pays to see a one sided match.

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    By offering a budget expansion under the pretend “Win the Future” plan

    Maybe I’m getting the timeline mixed up, but I thought that was next year’s budget, and the fight that just ended was over this year’s.

  68. 68
    OzoneR says:

    @Napoleon:

    In order to reverse this we need a President with the balls to the next time a hostage is taken from him is to shoot and kill that hostage.

    Democrats will NEVER vote for a such a person. The end.

  69. 69
    bystander says:

    Here’s what I don’t get:

    They weren’t up listening to whatever platitudes the WH was offering, trying to put the best spin on a shitty situation.

    Why should/why does the WH need to/insist on putting the best spin on a shitty situation? And, why ought that to be accepted by those who want to support the Democrats, in spite of themselves and the Democrats?

  70. 70
    Ana Gama says:

    And btw, we’ve talked about the Ryan plan to gut medicare and medicaid and give the proceeds to the rich while feeding the warpig, and it is important to recognize this is not some one-off. This is what they want.

    Exactly! And that is why we really need to start calling it what it is: The GOP MANIFESTO.

    Seriously.

  71. 71
    eemom says:

    I’m disheartened as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.

  72. 72
    Lolis says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Yes, Obama and Democrats did draw a line in the sand. For women, for the environment and other regulatory bodies, from what I understand. That is a good thing.

  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Napoleon:

    “After which pulling it off the market they learn that the house will automatically loose $10,000 a month in value and less people are going to buy what you are selling”.

    They don’t care about that, though. They’d rather have the house fall apart around them than sell it for less than their price. Or at least that’s the worry, and I tend to find it believable.

  74. 74
    Quiddity says:

    @E.D. Kain: I agree. Obama, like Bill Clinton, is a DLC/blue-dog Democrat. Better than a Republican, for sure, but not a liberal, despite the fervent wishes of many here.

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    @OzoneR:

    I come from a small town called Madison, Indiana.

    Sir. You are an accused Nick. How do you plead?

  76. 76
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Lolis: But they — especially Obama — don’t draw lines in the sand. And when they do, they give them up at a first push. Don’t you read the comments here? Get with the program.

  77. 77
    StringonaStick says:

    The govt shutdown drama shortpiece is/was exactly that: drama to keep us watching the puppet while the action happens elsewhere.

    I spent yesterday afternoon at a presentation by 2 of the Catfood Commission participants (Simpson and Rivlin), plus fr.Sen. Gary Hart and Mary Macguineas. This was organized by my 2 Senators (Bennet and Udall). It is obvious that what all sides in the elected class want killed as it now exists is Medicare (due to Boomers and ever-increasing costs), SS is not nearly as high on the target list.

    The one difference I heard btw Rivlin and Ryan is that at least Rivlin’s plan would let you purchase Medicare coverage at age 65 with your voucher (in addition to anything your friendly health insurance co would like to offer you). What has them all in a tizzy is medical care cost containment, something that we here all know can be most easily achieved with (1) Medicare, and/or (2) Single Payer for all; cost savings ain’t gonna happen with insurance companies other than by “corporate death panel” means. While they panel participants looked very serious and congratulated all who attended for their “common sense”, it is obvious to me that the biggest hole in their argument is still allowing health insurance companies to be part of the cost containment solution.

    At least the one citizen who stood up and stated that she was for the Ryan plan because “it is the only one that will work” got a noticable groan from the audience, and a carefully worded “no, I won’t vote for that” via Blackberry from Sen. Bennet, which got the first bit of applause – and it was loud applause.

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bystander:

    Why should/why does the WH need to/insist on putting the best spin on a shitty situation?

    Is this a serious question? Does the coach who just lost the Super Bowl ever say, “You know what this means? This whole season was a failure.” No, they all say, “I’m proud of this group of guys, and we did our best.”

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Come on, everyone knows a true leader wallows in self-pity.

  80. 80
    OzoneR says:

    @bystander:

    Why should/why does the WH need to/insist on putting the best spin on a shitty situation?

    Because that’s what human beings do?

  81. 81
    OzoneR says:

    @eemom: I don’t know who this Nick person is, and I really don’t care, but he certainly made that Corner Stone dude obsessed with him.

  82. 82
    cleek says:

    clap clap. clappity clap.
    a fine one, JC.

  83. 83
    OzoneR says:

    @Lolis:

    Yes, Obama and Democrats did draw a line in the sand. For women, for the environment and other regulatory bodies, from what I understand. That is a good thing.

    Scream at me all you want, but I probably wouldn’t think twice about throwing Planned Parenthood under the bus to save a few thousand jobs.

  84. 84
    MBunge says:

    @Napoleon: I disagree. I think the dynamics is that you would have to add the following to the end of that sentence “After which pulling it off the market they learn that the house will automatically loose $10,000 a month in value and less people are going to buy what you are selling”.

    What they are doing only works if they know Obama will blink, which he does. In order to reverse this we need a President with the balls to the next time a hostage is taken from him is to shoot and kill that hostage.

    Obama is the worst president when it comes to negotiations in my entire life. He is going to get killed in the debt limit negotiations since no one believes he has any spine.

    And this is pretty much exactly what drives me up the wall about a certain breed of Obama critics.

    1. Totally unrealistic expectations. How exactly could Obama have done to the GOP what you’re suggesting in this analogy? Hold the line and force the government to shut down only to eventually agree to a budget deal that STILL includes billions of dollars of cuts? ‘Cause budget cuts became unavoidable after the GOP took the House.

    2. A complete and total disregard for the practical implications of their desired tactics. “Shoot the hostage” indeed.

    3. Obama achieved meaningful health care reform doing it his way. Even if you don’t like his reform, you damn well ought to realize that it’s better than anything Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton or any other Democrat has achieved on the issue in a couple of generations. But no, Obama sucks in negotiations because he doesn’t turn it into dick measuring contests like Bush and Rove did.

    Mike

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Quiddity: Does being A Liberal President ever survive contact with the world of non-liberal politicians on both sides who obstruct and deform anything undilutedly liberal that comes before them? There aren’t enough liberal politicians in power to make full-bore liberal policy happen. Is that Obama’s fault? Hardly. 2008 was a high-water mark for Democrats, but not all Democrats are liberal, and thus every liberal step was necessarily compromised from the start just to build consensus. And now there’s even fewer Democrats. I don’t think you can just wave that away and name it, tauntingly, that Obama isn’t a liberal.

  86. 86
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @66 Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Absolutely. With very few exceptions I neither read nor watch ’em anymore. Unfortunately the majority of We the People do. We have been and continue to be bamboozled by the Villagers, but our President does not need to accept that. My frustration with Obama and the DNC is that they seem far more attached to bipartisan unicorns than politics and policy which delivers; delivers to the kind of people that Barrack and Michelle grew up with. Cripes! They’ll demonize him no matter what he does or does not do, why not grow a pair and fight back?

  87. 87
    spark says:

    Obama is our Nixon: a president who nominally belongs to one party, serves the agenda for the other, and is abused by partisans of the opposite party-whose agenda he actually serves–as an example of extremism.

    Liberal youth in 1972 called Nixon a “fascist”.

    We need to recapture our own party, just like the TOP did in the 60s.

  88. 88
    Elia Isquire says:

    One of the worst things about this whole mess is that David Plouffe has been reduced to such gibberish as calling the cuts both historic and draconian.

    Our infallible message guru, stricken. :(

  89. 89
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Quiddity: false. Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist. EDK is, however, a gobsmackingly obvious freemarket boggart.
    Rule 25 from the glibertarian spellbook.

    Rule 25: When speaking to liberals make it about Obama. Sow doubt about Obama. Is he a real liberal? Is he a closet conservative (Sully says this) Divide Obama from his base. Shake their faith in him.

  90. 90
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzoneR: And this is why ‘liberal’ is given, in the thesaurus, as a synonym for the rarer ‘fissiparous’.

    (Not really, but ben’ trovato)

  91. 91

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    what I really find far more effective in banishing freemarket boggarts is to level your wand at them and cry do you believe in the innovation of the market?

    Me too!

    I like to follow it up by quoting Lee Iacocca telling Congress in 1969 that, if they pass auto safety regulation there will be no automobile manufacturing industry in the United States by 1975.

  92. 92
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They’re one and the same in terms of strategy. The WH had three paths to choose from after the last Congress couldn’t pass its budget:

    1. Call for across the board spending cuts. The GOP plan.

    2. Call for a net spending freeze, but shift spending away from cut areas to education/regulation/infrastructure/etc.

    3. Call for expanded spending in education, R&D, energy, and health care.

    Obviously, the wise choice was #3. Which is what they did.

    But it was still done under the framework of guaranteed broad spending cuts in the end. The strategy was to do harm to the country rather than risk losing the rhetorical battle over government spending. So it was tactically competent, but strategically harmful. Giving the country the austerity they think they want, and then running away from whatever consequences ensue.

  93. 93
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Did anyone mention that there are people in Congress calling themselves Democrats? Who conceivably have a role in all of this tsimmis?

  94. 94
    4jkb4ia says:

    @aimai:

    Thank you. I am disheartened because Private Planegate may not have blown over by the time I have to start knocking on doors and making phone calls, not so much by what the national Dems are doing. Team Obama certainly doesn’t have to have Missouri.

    I am also pissed that I saw some skeptical tweets from Bowers and Natasha Chart both but memeorandum saw fit to lead with this worthless Politico story and nobody knows anything about this deal except for the DC abortion part.

  95. 95
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @spark: bullshytt, troll.
    I banish thee to the Glibertarian Hell of Forbes Magazine!
    expelliarimus!

  96. 96
    kdaug says:

    So is all of this Seven Mountains shit?

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek: Louder, please.

  98. 98
    Joe Beese says:

    So, therefore, it doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by Democrats or Republicans.

    Republicans didn’t control the Catfood Commission. Obama single-handedly summoned it into being and hand-picked its members on the basis of their long-standing commitment to slashing Social Security. So when Obama extended made effectively permanent the Bush tax cuts, the “Those mean old Republicans made him do it!” rang rather hollow.

    Likewise, even if you insist on believing that the mean old Republicans made Obama kneel before Zod on this budget deal, why is he going on TV to boast about it? Does the Republican controlled Congress also have power over his public speeches?

    I notice that the Obots also try to blame Congress for Obama’s collapse on a civilian trial for Mohammed – even though he pledged to continue military tribunals before they ever voted.

    If I were you, I would hope that Republicans keep that majority. Without that convenient (though transparent) excuse, you might actually have to admit how badly you got suckered in 2008.

  99. 99

    @bystander:

    Why should/why does the WH need to/insist on putting the best spin on a shitty situation?

    Because the Republicans won the House.

    And, why ought that to be accepted by those who want to support the Democrats, in spite of themselves and the Democrats?

    Because we understand how the government works.

  100. 100
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @4jkb4ia: actually Reid and Obama did the Right Thing by calling attention to the riders on the EPA and Planned Parenthood. That hurt Boner by yanking the fiscal responsibilty mask off the teabaggers. We all know they are socons, the greater America is spoofed.

  101. 101
    O.G. says:

    I am a realist.

    Obama got as good of a deal as the circumstances allowed. Two pair will not beat three of a kind.

    In the upcoming debt limit poker game, Obama we will be sitting with the cards. There is no way the GOP paymasters allow a default.

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Thank you, this, and all other internet traditions of agreement that I am not aware of.I would add that a lot of what we too often attribute to political cowardice or greed is actually due to simple stupidity. I don’t believe Claire McCaskill or Jim Webb or Evan Bayh understand budget issues and macroeconomics any better than your uncle who lives on SS and Medicare and thinks Obama raised his taxes.

  103. 103
    lacp says:

    Nice warm day here in Philadelphia, though a bit overcast. The Phillies will be playing Atlanta around 1:30, and some of my buddies want to go to the taproom to watch. I’m going to join them. And you know what? Not one of us will make a single fucking reference to this stupid-ass budget deal.

  104. 104
    OzoneR says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Republicans didn’t control the Catfood Commission. Obama single-handedly summoned it into being and hand-picked its members on the basis of their long-standing commitment to slashing Social Security. So when Obama extended made effectively permanent the Bush tax cuts, the “Those mean old Republicans made him do it!” rang rather hollow.

    The catfood commission wanted to get rid of the Bush tax cuts you moron

    I notice that the Obots also try to blame Congress for Obama’s collapse on a civilian trial for Mohammed – even though he pledged to continue military tribunals before they ever voted.

    He didn’t pledge to try KSM that way until Congress tried his hands

    Stop rewriting history because you don’t like the guy, it just makes you look even more like an asshole.

  105. 105

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They’d rather have the house fall apart around them than sell it for less than their price. Or at least that’s the worry, and I tend to find it believable.

    I don’t buy it. The Republicans were scared as hell about getting the blame for the shutdown over the past week. Their mouthpieces were out trying to pre-emptively blame the Dems, while the Dems kept talking about that rally where the teabaggers chanted “Shut it down.”

  106. 106
    Valdivia says:

    What is disheartening is reading this thread full of Obama is a Republican comments. Really? After what we just saw from the House people think he is just like them? Just wow.

    I’m sure all the people here who want Obama to ‘kill the hostage’ will be very happy when the world economy collapses when we default on our debt.

    Can’t even read anymore. Loved John’s comment and fully support it.
    Ozone–loved your comments.

  107. 107
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @eemom:

    Yesterday he said he was from Connecticut.

    And this:

    You’re right, it is the beginning of a long ideological retreat, but Obama can’t stop it, or perhaps he even caused it, by even trying to implement some evidence of a progressive agenda. We’re moving backwards because that’s the direction people seem to want to go
    __
    We overwatered the plant.

    Is the Nick-iest quote in the world. We overwatered the plant. All hope is lost. Progressivism is a failure. Center right nation. I cut myself at night. The press is a right-wing, Jewish conspiracy. Center right nation.

  108. 108
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Joe Beese: I suspect you are an invertor-dementor.
    Are you unaware of Distributed Jesusland and localized mob rule in the electorate?
    Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist–he does what he can, when he can, where he can.

    A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
    Niccolo Machiavelli

    Did you even read what Cole said?
    If you are a liberal, i’d stow your WATB pissing and moaning until after the election.
    Obama is the best chance we have got to keep conservatives from taking this country straight to hell.
    If they can’t can’t have it, they are going to try to burn it down.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia:

    What is disheartening is reading this thread full of Obama is a Republican comments. Really?

    This thread is approx 90% pro-Obama.

  110. 110
    NobodySpecial says:

    @lacp: Stop being reasonable. Remember where you are!

  111. 111
    Scott P. says:

    I remember my Marxist-Leninist friends in the 60s telling me that liberals will sell you out. I’m a really slow learner, apparently only capable of grasping maybe one lesson a decade. So, while I heard them, I didn’t understand. Now I do.

    If there’s one thing history has taught us over the last 50 years, it’s that the Marxists were right about everything. /sarcasm

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @lacp:

    And you know what? Not one of us will make a single fucking reference to this stupid-ass budget deal.

    Does this speak more to the budget, or to your friends?

  113. 113
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    nobody knows anything about this deal except for the DC abortion part.

    This was the White House press release on the deal, giving department level descriptions of the planned cuts.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog.....udget-deal

    So that’s apparently the best the deal can be spun.

  114. 114
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Valdivia:

    this thread full of Obama is a Republican comments

    nah, just EDK and the people that got bitten.

  115. 115
    4jkb4ia says:

    And the prospect of being stuck with Todd Akin is very real at this time, which does directly affect me. (Akin isn’t formally in yet. My dad met him when he was running for the first time and his impression was that Akin was overwhelmingly “Christian”. Understand that my dad did some work for Jim Talent in the primary when he was running for the first time, so evangelical support doesn’t faze him unduly.)

    I would venture to say that OzoneR is smarter than Nick.

  116. 116
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Oh golly.

    Let me explain, if I can.

    As has been noted, the safety net is under attack. The GOP wants it diminished to a mere shadow of what we have known, and they are making righteous progress toward that goal.

    One of the ways that they make this progress is to get the Democratic leadership to continually cede ground. Conventional wisdom in place now was unimaginable eight years ago.

    My supposition is that a present day, toe to toe fight with the GOP will be hurtful, but fewer people well sustain less damage than iof we allow the current trends to continue into the future.

  117. 117
    MikeBoyScout says:

    John & all BJ-ers, I gotta run, but I’ll leave you with this….

    There exists a significant plurality of people in our country like us. We are at least equal in numbers to the teabagging branded right wing nutjobs.

    We can see what rationally needs to be done and see even more clearly what should not be done (e.g. Invade Iraq, Tax Cut extensions, Abolishing Medicare/SS…).

    The Democratic Party as currently constituted and run will not lead and execute in the direction we want.

    If you want to organize and take this country in the political direction for your benefit you can spend the next umpteen years trying to get the Democratic Party on track (maybe we’ll get someone like Dean, or maybe we’ll get a Clinton with Mark Penn), or you can organize a party whose principles and operating procedures align to your own.

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting….

  118. 118
    OzoneR says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Yesterday he said he was from Connecticut.

    Pretty sure I never said that.

    Oh I see, we’re just going to go ahead and make shit up so you and Corner can pretend I’m this Nick dude.

    Oddly enough, I have family from Connecticut too, but I’m from Indiana.

  119. 119
    NobodySpecial says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    I would venture to say that OzoneR is smarter than Nick.

    I would venture to agree, given that I would normally venture to say that several varieties of rubber chicken are smarter than Nick.

  120. 120

    @Joe Beese:

    Obama single-handedly summoned it into being and hand-picked its members on the basis of their long-standing commitment to slashing Social Security.

    Then he must have done a terrible job, because the commission couldn’t even issue recommendations. Funny, for a group whose ideas Obama supposedly supports, he’s been awfully silent about them.

    As some of us predicted.

    I notice that the Obots also try to blame Congress for Obama’s collapse on a civilian trial for Mohammed – even though he pledged to continue military tribunals before they ever voted.

    Once again, you don’t get to make up your own facts. There is nobody reading this who doesn’t remember Obama and Holder trying to get KSM tried in federal court in NYC, and Congress voting almost unanimously to block him.

    So when Obama extended made effectively permanent the Bush tax cuts

    Um, no, you don’t get to make up your own facts.

    Likewise, even if you insist on believing that the mean old Republicans made Obama kneel before Zod on this budget deal, why is he going on TV to boast about it?

    Because it’s the politically smart thin to do, to use this deal to shore up his standing with moderates, and not look like he got rolled. What’s he going to do, go on TV and talk about how he’s so weak that he had to give in to the GOP?

    If I were you, I would…

    no write such idiotic, easily-refuted things.

  121. 121
    lacp says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, we can control neither how Congress votes nor how well Cole Hamels pitches, but I personally think he’s more fun to watch.

  122. 122
    Dan. says:

    “[F]eeding the warpig”
    New tag suggestion?

    Or, from Dave X.’s link, “Nope. Zero.”?
    Simply because the more the Republicans act in this psychopathic way – not sociopathic, as there is glee, anger, and delight involved in their actions – the more terrified I get (Stephen King’s definition from “On Writing” of ‘terrified’). And no- this deal is utter bullshit. But it could have been a total surrender, instead of null victory.

  123. 123

    @Joe Beese: Oh, btw, all that handwaving and subject-changing only draws attention to your inability to muster any sort of a rebuttal to the comment you were allegedly replying to:

    Writing this comment while in the midst of bemoaning these budget cuts is rather fucking stupid.

    OMG, this is $38.5 billion lower than the budget the Democrats passed! That’s an awful, dispiriting cut! It’s very important and harmful, the cut from the budget the Democrats passed. So, therefore, it doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by Democrats or Republicans.

  124. 124
    OzoneR says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Third Party..WOOHOO, let’s change the world with our 24% of the vote!

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    I used to be in a barbershop quartet in Skokie, Illinois. The baritone was this guy named Kip Diskin, big fat guy, I mean, like, orca fat. He was so stressed in the morning…

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    @OzoneR: What gets me is that these people think that they have the organizational skills to actually run an entire political party.

  127. 127
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzoneR: Laugh if you must, but that 24%’s large enough to sort-of-govern, provided you find another, larger party, and sell out everything you stand for in exchange for a few cabinet posts and symbolic votes.

    I believe we progressives should, nay, must, embrace the Nick Clegg model.

  128. 128
    4jkb4ia says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    You said it. I did not, although it was tempting.

  129. 129

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    If you are a liberal, i’d stow your WATB pissing and moaning until after the election.

    He’s not a liberal. He despised liberals and liberalism.

    He’s a Marxist dinosaur who thinks “worse is better” and will do everything he can to weaken the “ameliorationist” liberals in order to had power to the right-wing, because then the proletariat will rise up and everyone will have jobs cleaning up the rainbows that the unicorns poop out.

  130. 130
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Thanks!

    (They weren’t able to double research funding. That’s great /s. Maybe that is an example of asking for more than you know you will get.)

  131. 131
    Lolis says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Thanks for posting that. So the White House did avoid the draconian cuts to Head Start and Pell grants that Rs were going for. Most of the cuts seem like they will have a small impact on jobs, which is what all of us here care about.

  132. 132

    @Keith G:

    One of the ways that they make this progress is to get the Democratic leadership to continually cede ground. Conventional wisdom in place now was unimaginable eight years ago.

    If you look at the Republican takeover of the House, and its consequent policy implications, as indicative of a trend that can be expected to continue, then your analysis makes sense.

    If, on the other hand, you look at it as a temporary setback, brought about by a bad economy during the midterm elections, within the ongoing demographic and ideological turn towards the Democrats, then it makes sense for Obama to just ride out the rough patch.

  133. 133

    @MikeBoyScout:

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting….

    …that your Andersonite/Naderite fantasies will do anything but set back your cause is insanity.

    In 1968, you people voted for Pigasus, and we got Nixon instead of Hubert Humphrey. And yet, you keep doing the same thing over and over.

  134. 134
    Elia Isquire says:

    Can I hit the brakes on this thread for a second and ask when it became CW that Democrats should make their messaging decisions based off of what old, white people in Indiana think? I honestly laughed at that one.

    OTOH, Republicans have done remarkably well by tailoring their rhetoric towards young female minorities in NYC.

  135. 135
    OzoneR says:

    @Davis X. Machina: In New York, it already exists, it’s called the Working Families Party.

  136. 136
    bystander says:

    Thanks to FlipYrWhig for the sports analogy, OzoneR for the psychology tutorial, and joe from Lowell for because that’s just the way it is.

    It was a good faith question, and I’m going to assume that these were good faith answers. Regrettably, I don’t see how any of them will inch us forward on our way to Win The Future.

    aimai, thanks for this:

    The british lost at dunkirque but won the war for explaining what had happened. They turned disaster into propaganda triumph. I am stuck with a party that turns Republican attacks into Republican successes because of inept bargaining, catastrophically stupid framing, and poor messaging.

  137. 137
    Joe Beese says:

    your inability to muster any sort of a rebuttal to the comment you were allegedly replying to:

    I wasn’t rebutting that comment because I still don’t understand what it’s saying. [In general, you make the mistake of believing that I am as focused on your comments as you appear to be on mine.]

    But let’s keep things simple. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in getting The Democrat re-elected. Because the fucking he’s given you in this term is but a taste of no-lube ass-reaming he would give you in his second. And you’ll have richly deserved every “bipartisan” inch of it.

  138. 138
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Can I hit the brakes on this thread for a second and ask when it became CW that Democrats should make their messaging decisions based off of what old, white people in Indiana think?

    Dec. 11, 1816.

    Of course you can ignore them and just base your messaging off of white liberals in cities and minorities and hope you win…in 2035.

  139. 139
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @ 123 OzoneR:

    Has it occurred to you that your snarky comment about “Third Party” assumes a first and second exist?
    And if you or anyone is exited, enthused and happy with what either the First or Second parties are offering, then they should not consider any alternative.

    My point is that after 30+ years of working for the lesser of 2 evils, and clapping for DLC type candidates maybe time and effort could be better expended for an effect equal to or greater than what we have thus far.

    ps. As an owner/wearer of an “I voted for Obama and all I got was this HISTORIC VICTORY on Health Care” t-shirt, there is more that I expected.

  140. 140

    @bystander:

    Regrettably, I don’t see how any of them will inch us forward on our way to Win The Future.

    The Republicans just won a big election, and took over the House. Sometimes, you have to play defense.

  141. 141
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR: Very, very silly.

    Oh please. Indiana is an especially conservative state. Blood red in many respects. It’s not representative of the whole country for one thing and for another your whole theory is based off of the assumption that the pool of voters we have right now is inflexible. The fact that Obama is President in and of itself shows how silly this kind of Reagan Democrat PTSD thinking can be.

  142. 142
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @OzoneR:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2521881

    You’re just some other New Yorker who bitches about his family/living situation, hates democracy, and incessantly parrots center-right nation memes. WATFO.

  143. 143
    pluege says:

    I honestly don’t know what exactly the Dems are supposed to do.

    Surely you jest? there is a whole narrative out there for dems that they refuse to embrace because most of them – especially obama are already plutocrats or are plutocrat-wannabes and protecters. The narrative includes:

    * tax the rich
    * eliminate corporate welfare
    * stop engaging in foreign adventures
    * social security is in no financial difficulty at all for at least the next 30 years
    * none of the republican plans control medical costs

    Instead the obama-led dems only embrace republican crap about deficits and entitlements while they throw money at the rich.

  144. 144
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @joe from Lowell: still the best game in town.
    I don’t think anyone will know what Obama really is until after the 2012 election.

    But don’t mind me…stick with your ideological purity and you can ride that conservative express straight to hell.
    It sure is never going to get to Cooltown.

  145. 145
    OzoneR says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    My point is that after 30+ years of working for the lesser of 2 evils, and clapping for DLC type candidates maybe time and effort could be better expended for an effect equal to or greater than what we have thus far.

    you tried that…in 1968, 1980 and 2000, and it didn’t work.

    Every decade and a half or so you try that and it fails, what’s the definition of insanity?

    there is more that I expected.

    I apologize for your delusions of grandeur, but if you expected more from what was the most successful two years in six decades, you need a reality check.

  146. 146

    @Joe Beese:

    I wasn’t rebutting that comment because I still don’t understand what it’s saying.

    I believe you!

    You are quite a bit dimmer than everyone else here.

    See, Joe, I don’t write things to convince you. I rebut your arguments so that people other than you can see how laughably weak they are.

    And seriously, I’m begging you here: enough with the gay sex metaphors. There are bars where you can meet the perfect guy in any mid-sized city in America. Go blow off some steam there, instead of working in interracial gay sex imagery into the comment threads of this blog.

  147. 147
    OzoneR says:

    @Bob Loblaw: I have a sister living in Fairfield, Connecticut, whose house I lived in for six months while I was looking for a place in the city after I moved here from Indiana with my fiancee.

    Is there anything else you want to know about my life?

  148. 148
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzoneR: You’ve got the possibility of a fusion ticket in NY. It might be the only state where that’s possible.

  149. 149
    Stillwater says:

    @E.D. Kain: EDK, your whole argument in that linked post makes no sense. As a matter of pure description, the Democrats agreed, with the GOP, to cut spending (38bill off the previous budget). The simple fact of having agreed to this represents, in your mind, a significant break from closely held Democratic principles in favor of austerity.

    But where’s the actual evidence for this, except the datum that they agreed to spending cuts? The basic realities of political power shifts resulting from the ’10 elections mean that Democrats can’t enact their preferred legislation. Do you really believe that in the absence of GOP recalcitrance the Dems would have of their own volition proposed and enacted budgetary spending cuts?

    Only if you have evidence for that belief does your post even make any sense.

  150. 150
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @pluege: again, let us consider the art of the possible.
    the bubba vote is still 50% of the country, and they are immune to anything but demagoguery, dog whistle race baiting and IQ-baiting.

    What is with the sudden infestation of glibertarian driveby trolls?
    Is Cole linked somewhere?

  151. 151
    E.D. Kain says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I agree that Clinton’s statement was a retreat as well. I think Klein does a good job explaining why it worked out okay for Clinton but won’t work as well with unemployment as high as it is.

    Look I blame the GOP 100% for threats of a shutdown. But I think Democrats should have drawn a line in the sand. Give the Tea Party what it wants. When people realize the actual good the government is doing maybe the conversation will shift – absence makes the heart grow fonder, ya dig?

  152. 152
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Oh please. Indiana is an especially conservative stat

    where I grew up was the blue part of the state until recently. It was Lee Hamilton’s Congressional district.

  153. 153
    Elia Isquire says:

    2009-2010 more successful than ’64-’65. Wow.

    to the post above: who cares? i used to live in the most liberal part of orange county, CA. it was still orange county and it still would’ve been moronic for the democrats to build their strategy based around appealing to voters that are patently not their constituency.

  154. 154

    @MikeBoyScout:

    My point is that after 30+ years of working for the lesser of 2 evils, and clapping for DLC type candidates maybe time and effort could be better expended for an effect equal to or greater than what we have thus far.

    Help me out here: can you please name for me a single “greater effect” brought about by a progressive third-party presidential candidate? Going back a nice, round century gets you to 1911.

  155. 155
    OzoneR says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Except the WFP just cross endorses whoever the Democrat is and has very few, if any, lines in the sand.

    They used HCR last year as a line in the sand, but not a public option.

    their line in the sand is essentially Obama’s agenda.

  156. 156
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Stillwater: Democrats still control the senate and the White House. You’re saying that because they lost the House, now they should capitulate to the GOP’s budget preferences?

  157. 157
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    2009-2010 more successful than ‘64-’65. Wow.

    64-65 was two different Congresses.

  158. 158

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I don’t understand what you’re saying, and I suspect you didn’t understand me, either.

  159. 159
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Stillwater: wallah…that was excellent.
    /sideways smile
    You sound like the old stilgar.

  160. 160
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Quiddity: I think he’s too pragmatic for his own good. And really, my major concern here is not even the deal struck – it’s the concession to the Republican narrative.

    Democrats and liberals need their own goddamned narrative if they want to change the course of debate.

  161. 161
    OzoneR says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    When people realize the actual good the government is doing maybe the conversation will shift

    That didn’t work in 1995, Clinton won the argument but the debate still moved to the right, even with the government shutdown

  162. 162
    Yutsano says:

    @E.D. Kain: What choice is there? All budget bills originate in the House. The Senate just either agrees or says try again.

  163. 163
    Joe Beese says:

    And seriously, I’m begging you here: enough with the gay sex metaphors.

    Now that’s unfair.

    I was just imitating the lexicon of our host. My attempt to speak in a language that, if he is correct, you will be able to understand.

    But if the terminology is offensive to you, I’ll gladly rephrase it…

    If Obama is re-elected, prepare to have your ability to blame his numerous betrayals on the Republican bogeyman taxed to its utmost.

  164. 164
    OzoneR says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Democrats and liberals need their own goddamned narrative if they want to change the course of debate.

    They also need someone a third of the country doesn’t think was born in fucking Kenya.

  165. 165
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR: you said the two most successful years, not the most successful congress. but whatever. this is not a worthwhile exercise for either of us.

  166. 166
    PIGL says:

    @Baud: and perhaps also because when in power they pursue policies that their voters actually support. Instead of policies that the other’s voters support.

    Not a complex strategy, you’d think. Of course that presumes that the party leadership supports their own party rather than their own power.

    In the Replicans case, it seems the two are never in contradiction. For the Democatic party, it the seems the are always in contradiction.

  167. 167
    Judas Escargot says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Democrats still control the senate and the White House. You’re saying that because they lost the House, now they should capitulate to the GOP’s budget preferences?

    Seeing as the House holds the purse strings (pesky Constitution), it was either that or a shutdown.

    What would you have Obama and the Senate Dems do, exactly?

    Active voice, please.

  168. 168
    Baud says:

    @E.D. Kain: While the control the Senate, they lost 7 seats, and their caucus includes Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and other conservative Dems. And they have to work with the GOP to govern, unfortunate as the situation is. And all this focus on the Democrats simply diminishes GOP’s accountability for actually pushing for these cuts.

  169. 169

    @E.D. Kain:

    You’re saying that because they lost the House, now they should capitulate to the GOP’s budget preferences?

    The GOP’s budget preference was for $100 billion in cuts from last year’s budget.

    Why is the GOP moving the $61.5 billion from their position, while the Democrats move $38.5 billion from theirs, a capitulation for the Democrats?

  170. 170
    JAHILL10 says:

    If you want to talk about adding parties to the system start chatting up your reasonable Republican friends about starting an independent conservative party. People who fall into that Bush I camp: conservative, but not insane. Split THEIR voting block, not ours. (I know, I know, where can you find a sane conservative?)

  171. 171
    Kathy says:

    Sarah Palin’s words keep running through my head. “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya?”

  172. 172
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: no you assclown. He is saying that Obama is doing everything he can in the current environment.
    Your glibertarian spells do not work here, boggart.
    We see right through them.
    hmmm….where have i heard this before? Oh yeah….its the liberals FAULT because they didnt pass a budget when they had the majority.
    and more armchair quarterbacking? Obama should have let the teatards shut down the government?
    riddikkulous!

    are all those glibertarian driveby trolls just your sockpuppets?
    they sound kinda like you.

  173. 173
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @E.D. Kain: Budgets must originate in the House. The House is controlled by sociopathic morons. This limits the quality of the budget proposals that will see the light of day.

  174. 174
    Stillwater says:

    @E.D. Kain: I’m not making any argument at all regarding what they ‘should’ have done. But your suggesting that the failure to draw a line in the sand = desire to enact austerity measures. I don’t see that following.

  175. 175
    Baud says:

    @OzoneR: If you have to go back 45 years, then 2010-11 was still a pretty successful Congress.

  176. 176
    Keith says:

    I love this blog and I generally love the comments as well. Although the discussion is often heated and sometimes infuriating, these are mostly the folks I’d like to go to a school board meeting with or get together to clean up the river or depend on as reliable public spirited neighbors. But throughout this thread the discordant, obnoxious, infantile voice has been Hermione. Hermione; I’m calling you names because all you DO is call other people names. Please pop in a binky, play with you Harry Potter action figures and let the grown-ups discuss complex, difficult things in peace. Thank you.

  177. 177
    OzoneR says:

    @PIGL:

    perhaps also because when in power they pursue policies that their voters actually support. Instead of policies that the other’s voters support.

    Yeah, because Democrats don’t support ending recession, equal pay, more regulations on Wall Street, repealing DADT, extended unemployment benefits, investing in clean energy, infrastructure programs like high-speed rail.

    The lefty emo bullshit needs to stop.

  178. 178
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Democrats and liberals need their own goddamned narrative if they want to change the course of debate.

    no, we just need a slightly different electorate.
    tick…..tick….tick….

    or…..the republicans could… you kno……STOP LYING

  179. 179
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Keith: I only call people names that deserve it.
    Why don’t you take a walk in EDK’s Free Market Fantasy Forest and cool off?

  180. 180
    E.D. Kain says:

    @pluege: Yes, this. Exactly.

  181. 181
    JAHILL10 says:

    @E.D. Kain: I like how we are allowing the libertarian, free market solutions guy to troll us about developing the Democratic/liberal narrative.
    Obama has several times spoken about what the role of government is and should be in the lives of Americans. Rachel Maddow has gushed about these full-throated defenses of the role of government. That most of the Democratic members of congress are too chickenshit to get up and run with this narrative is not his fault. They are all more afraid of losing their seats than striking a clear ideological pose.

  182. 182
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzoneR:

    The lefty emo bullshit needs to stop.

    You can’t win, OzoneR. If you strike me down, I shall become more needy than you could possibly imagine.

  183. 183
    Maude says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    One thing that is usually forgotten is that Obama went a long way in the first two years of removing the damage that Bill Clinton did to the social contract and the freedoms given to Wall Street.
    The Republicans are trying to get rid of the ACA and Finreg.
    The Republicans would have loved Obama to panic, get all pouty and act like a Republican.
    Obama had told Republican Congressional leaders that he would not sign a budget based upon idealogical elements.
    He takes stands quietly and he was very effective with this. Most of the drama took place behind closed doors.
    The government didn’t shut down.
    The EPA is still standing.
    PP does basic health checks for both men and women. It is still here.
    The idealogical crap was tossed into the garbage and the Republicans didn’t get what they wanted.

    Edit, sentence restructure into English.

  184. 184
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @E.D. Kain: In other words, shut it down?

  185. 185
    Elia Isquire says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Haha.

    @JAHILL10: Yeah! What right does ED have to share an opinion? He’s not in the tribe! Burn him! Burn the witch!

  186. 186
    Keith G says:

    @joe from Lowell: The Dems were making many, many concessions before 2010 or even 2008.

    It’s a temporary setback only if one considers two decades temporary.

  187. 187
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Joe Beese: i don’t know….the bubba vote is deforming the electoral landscape right now. Post election Obama in 2012 may be a wholly differrent creature.
    He’s our best chance to avoid the wholesale destruction of America at this point.
    Like Cole said, ima put my shoulder to his wheel.

  188. 188

    Barack Obama is such a terrible negotiator that, when the House of Representatives went from Democrat to Republican, the Pentagon Budget got cut by $16 billion.

  189. 189
  190. 190
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @JAHILL10:

    I like how we are allowing the libertarian, free market solutions guy to troll us about developing the Democratic/liberal narrative.

    win.
    But this is right out of the glibertarian playbook. They all concern troll Obama like mad on everything.

  191. 191
    JAHILL10 says:

    @Elia Isquire: Forgive me. We must in future entertain every concern troll as though their bait comes from the sincerest desire to help, lest we be accused of tribalism.

  192. 192

    @Keith G:

    It’s a temporary setback only if one considers two decades temporary.

    And it’s only two decades if you pretend that January 2007-December 2010 never happened.

    Seriously, you consider the Financial Reform bill to be a continuation of the Wall Street Deregulation of the 1990s?

    You consider the repeal of DADT to be a continuation of the adoption of DADT?

    If you want to argue that the Obama/Pelosi years were the aberration in an ongoing trend that dates back to, say, 1980 (or 1972), have at it. I disagree, and think that the Pelosi/Obama years to date are a reversal of the decades before them, but I suppose a reasonable case can be made for the opposite.

    However, what you cannot do is look at what the Democratic Congress and Democratic president did in 2009-2010 and claim that they were furthering the policies of the late-Clinton/Gingrich years and the Bush/Delay years.

  193. 193
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Burn him!

    Nah…. just send him back to the Glibertarian Hell he came from.
    Do you see where Cole screwed up the conversion mythology on EDK?
    He didn’t make him renounce.

    EDK! Do you renounce Satan the Invisible Hand of the Market and All Its Works?

    so now all EDK does here is concern troll Obama and stealth pimp the free market.
    /sadface

  194. 194
    Elia Isquire says:

    @JAHILL10: Well, better that than paranoia that we’re being infiltrated by saboteurs who only pretend to care about Obama’s presidency but in truth have determined Balloon Juice is the best place to concern troll and thus destroy the party from within.

  195. 195
    alwhite says:

    I’m not disheartened by the budget deal.
    .
    I am disheartened by the American voters electing Reagan despite hating his policies and then reelecting him when they saw he meant what he said. I’m disheartened that the Democrats then did the worst thing possible, the added to the payroll tax burden of working people to hide the damage being done.
    I am disheartened by the fact that the worst sort of politics allowed Poppa to occupy the White House and never being seriously questioned about his involvement in so many underhanded deals.
    I was heartened when Clinton won and immediately moved to repair so much of the fiscal damage. But the Dems abandoned him on health care and gave Newt a huge victory. I was disheartened to watch as Newt bargained with Dems to damage the social safety net badly.
    Lets not even discuss the theft of election of 2k.
    Then it all ran down hill from there for 8 years with Dems standing aside when they didn’t actively join in the orgy of destruction.
    The current joke of a Dem President was just the giant drop from hope to hopelessness. If we can’t do better this close to all the bad examples and voters are anxious to return to those thrilling days disheartened passed long ago.
    I don’t think we really need lube any more the path is so well traveled it would be pointless.

  196. 196
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    People have a very inflated opinion of themselves.

    Between the paranoia of insidious blog destroyers and the ridiculous narrative that people shouldn’t criticize the President until after he’s reelected because it might “dampen enthusiasm,” I wonder when these fucking idiots forgot that they’re posting anonymously on a blog called Balloon Juice.

  197. 197
    JAHILL10 says:

    @Elia Isquire: I never called him an infiltrator (hardly likely since he used to be a front page poster!) I am just suggesting his concern does not come from a sincere place. And I’ll continue to think that until he starts offering solutions instead of concerns. As for your “destroy the party from within” business, that must be the little friend in YOUR pocket talking. I never said any such thing.

  198. 198
    Lee Hartmann says:

    Folding on the tax cuts in December set the stage for this mess. That was a point where Obama could just have said, “veto”, and there was no way the Rethugs cold get around that. No need for Congressional Dems either.

    I generally think DiFi isn’t worth a warm pitcher of spit; that said, when she is asked what is wanted from the White House, and she simply says, “Leadership”, perhaps that tells you something.

    In the prologue to “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama wrote: “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” I wish he would become a little less of a blank screen.

    Now sit back and enjoy what happens next with the debt ceiling. Do any of you seriously believe that there won’t be another round of brinksmanship and further ceding of ground by the Ds? Where does it stop? The R’s think of O as weak – David Stockman said that he will “fold like a lawn chair”.

  199. 199
    OzoneR says:

    @JAHILL10:

    They are all more afraid of losing their seats than striking a clear ideological pose.

    They’re supposed to be afraid of losing their seats, that how a democracy should work, not that we necessarily are one, but the fact that they have to choose between winning or doing the right thing indicates the problem is bigger than the politicians.

    Spineless politicians are a symptom, not a cause.

  200. 200
    The Raven says:

    I honestly don’t know what exactly the Dems are supposed to do.

    Get out there & start talking up real Keynsianism. Remind people how of Hoover’s failure in 1930, and FDR’s budget balancing in 1937. Criticize the investment banks for gross malfeasance, the mortgage banks for fraud, and the health insurance companies for price-gouging.

    Get out there & start talking environmentalism. Start talking science. Start talking jobs. Start talking union. Start talking women’s rights. Start talking freedom and equality–remember those?

    Investigate the Koch Brothers. Investigate ALEC.

    Stop lying to the public. Stop telling people it’s really OK when no way it is. Stop making deals with the devil.

    Without these things–without some positive program and the will to advocate it–“raise more money, volunteer more time, and walk more precincts in 2012” will at best keep matters as they are, and matters as they are are pretty grim. I don’t believe the Tea Party Republicans can sustain their fever pitch of madness, even with ALEC/Koch funding. They are losing credibility with the public, and they will not regain it. But without some realistic, compassionate alternative there will be no change, except from the currents of history.

  201. 201
    sherifffruitfly says:

    This post is why I read this blog.

  202. 202
    Elia Isquire says:

    @Bob Loblaw: The odd thing about the “dampen enthusiasm” argument is that, generally, it comes from the same people who deny a correlation between milquetoast Dem policies and anemic Dem turnout. (I don’t buy either argument, fwiw.)

  203. 203
    OzoneR says:

    @Lee Hartmann:

    That was a point where Obama could just have said, “veto”, and there was no way the Rethugs cold get around that.

    um, yeah they can. They can let the taxes expire and sit back and watch the public go “my taxes went up, oh, of course, the Democrats were in power” and reap the benefits while Democrats try desperately to blame it on the party on one believes will raise their taxes.

  204. 204
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    Get out there & start talking up real Keynsianism. Remind people how of Hoover’s failure in 1930, and FDR’s budget balancing in 1937. Criticize the investment banks for gross malfeasance, the mortgage banks for fraud, and the health insurance companies for price-gouging.

    you’ve just gotten too complicated for a good 45% of the country.

  205. 205
    Maude says:

    @E.D. Kain:
    Part of the Ryan plan was to cut food stamps and Medicaid.
    Wake up and get into reality. This isn’t some distant intellectual exercise. We are talking about someone or a lot of someones going hungry and not having a regular doctor with regular medical attention.
    You want to tell little tots why they can’t have enough to eat when they see all of that food in the supermarket? You want to explain to that same child why he or she has to be sick a lot and well, sorry, you don’t have money so you can’t get medicine?

  206. 206
    Elia Isquire says:

    @JAHILL10: I might have maybe been taking liberties with the record there, but I didn’t (and still don’t) know how else to interpret the idea that he’s insincere. Essentially that implies he has ulterior motives, no?

  207. 207

    […] going to echo John Cole on this […]

  208. 208
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Ozone & joe from Lowell,

    Thank-you for trolling me. I always view that as an amusing honor, but…

    I don’t know you folks and you certainly don’t know me. So how about we stipulate that and you cease and desist with assuming i’ve ever supported a 3rd party candidate or think that any of them were worth supporting, and i’ll stop thinking that your abilities to comment are limitted to silly clown car strawmen?

    Unless either of you ard the proud owners of fully functional time machines, changing the past is not an option worth discussion.
    Talking about & doing something in the present is.

  209. 209
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Elia Isquire: wallah EDK is still a front pager. He doesn’t want “to destroy from within”.
    He just wants to sow doubts about Obama (concern trolling) and get a do over for the same anti-empirical free market solutions that nearly destroyed our economy and our education system.
    @JAHILL10:

    I am just suggesting his concern does not come from a sincere place.

    On Obama EDK is a classic concern troll. This is obvious. On free market solutions, EDK wants a do over. Like the rest of the conservative/libertarians.

  210. 210
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    So John, I see you are back to your Dem Establishment ass-kissing, excuse-making personae today. While I don’t admire this particular personality, your schizophrenia ensures that a more likable, reasonable version of you will soon emerge. While I wait…

    And btw, we’ve talked about the Ryan plan to gut medicare and medicaid and give the proceeds to the rich while feeding the warpig, and it is important to recognize this is not some one-off. This is what they want. They are also coming for your pension, they are after your social security, they want to destroy your union so you can not organize against them, they will go after your minimum wage next, they want to get rid of the EPA so their donors can pollute your water, air, land, and food and not have to worry about being punished, they want to deregulate Wall Street more so they can screw you again and not face any consequences, they want to tell you what you can do with your body, and they are spending lots of time and money making it harder and harder for you to vote. The Ryan plan isn’t an isolated incident, it was just shots fired on another front.

    Please tell me why your beloved president refuses to make a speech containing something like the above paragraph, instead of taking credit for the cuts he so weinie-like conceded to the Repukes?

    Obama is an ass.

  211. 211
    OzoneR says:

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    Please tell me why your beloved president refuses to make a speech containing something like the above paragraph, instead of taking credit for the cuts he so weinie-like conceded to the Repukes?

    Because the Ryan plan just came out last week and Obama’s been focused on THIS year’s budget. Give him a chance to fucking breathe.

    God, get over your hate for him.

  212. 212
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Bob Loblaw: no one is saying Obama is immune from crits. We are saying people like Freddie that are not going to vote for him because of some policy position are retards.
    And I’m saying the post-election Obama may be very different than the pre-election one.

  213. 213
    NR says:

    You are missing the larger problem, John. That problem is that Obama never even tries to make the case for the progressive argument. Never. He has totally abandoned the things that he campaigned on. In about 6 months, when he starts making those fancy speeches again, what types of things do you think he will start promising? How can anybody believe the empty words that he will say? Will you believe him this time when he promises no more tax breaks for the rich? How about a public health care plan?

    2008 gave us a great candidate with a great platform and 2009-2010 showed us that the Democrats had no interest in doing what the platform said.

    And now, Obama is looking at cutting Medicare and Medicaid:

    WASHINGTON — President Obama will lay out new plans this week to reduce the federal deficit in part by seeking cuts to government programs for seniors and the poor, a top political adviser said Sunday, adding that Americans expect both sides to work together.

    “You’re going to have to look at Medicare and Medicaid and see what kind of savings you can get,” Obama adviser David Plouffe said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    I can’t wait for people here to start defending these cuts. Should be entertaining, at least.

  214. 214
    Elia Isquire says:

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    1. Needs 1 billion dollars to win reelection; big money boyz want cuts

    2. Polling shows that the independents he lost in 2010 love the belt-tightening metaphor and talk of cuts b/c they’re economic illiterates and think that cuts = job growth

  215. 215
    OzoneR says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    I don’t know you folks and you certainly don’t know me. So how about we stipulate that and you cease and desist with assuming i’ve ever supported a 3rd party candidate or think that any of them were worth supporting, and i’ll stop thinking that your abilities to comment are limitted to silly clown car strawmen?

    No

  216. 216
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Elia Isquire: you really dont recognize EDK as a classic concern troll on Obama?
    /facepalm

  217. 217
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    He has totally abandoned the things that he campaigned on.

    bipartisan cooperation?

  218. 218
    General Stuck says:

    Obama came to office with the American House in shambles to an extent not seen since the Great Depression. He has been dealing with one economic crisis after another, largely from the mess the wingnuts made over a span of 30 years and on steroids the last 8 with Bush.

    With an economy reported to be near collapse and a world wide economic calamity resting on a razors edge. All sorts of self appointed geniuses gave him shit he was doing it wrong, including me with his hiring of weasels Geihtner and Summers, both of whom I despise and mistrust with abandon.

    Now we have several months of solid job production and signs for more to be created with weekly layoffs consistently under 400,000. And liberals are pounding the table he is doin it wrong still. And what about the Narrative? And he says nice things about the wingnuts, and, oh my gawd, compromises in a democracy.

    I didn’t vote for a dem to move any Overton Window right now, but just not to let the house completely crumble and maybe put a few bricks back up that the wingnuts smashed down. So Obama talks about debt reduction, and tries to outmaneuver the winges who want to kill progress and progressivism dead as Franco, every day, all day. Maybe he gives up too much, or maybe just enough, , idiots on blogs are not my go to on these matters.

    You might think so, but the swing voters who run our elections do not. And look at the overall economy, and current job situation, and tell me you know someone who could have done better with what was handed them. Let me drink your milkshake, all of it.

  219. 219
    The Raven says:

    @OzoneR: “too complicated for a good 45% of the country”

    Mmmm, perhaps. Certainly in those words. But no-one’s tried since FDR, so who knows? Perhaps the case can be made. One thing for sure, the Dem leadership isn’t even trying: they are following rather than leading.

    & a big part of the reason for that seems to be that Obama still believes the arrogant elitist lies of Chicago school, who were some of his teachers, and their current despair, denial, and anger are influencing his economic policy-making.

  220. 220
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    That problem is that Obama never even tries to make the case for the progressive argument. Never.

    Yes, he does, and he has, and is ignored until he loses an argument, at which point people like you pop in and said he never fought in the first place.

    You’re like Allied reinforcements who land in Burma a year after the battle and pretend the battle never happened in the first place.

  221. 221
    Elia Isquire says:

    @General Stuck: I’m down with most of this except when you skip over 8 years of Clinton and around 14 (or whatever; don’t want to look it up) of a Democratic congress.

    Also this narrative fails to acknowledge that O & co. significantly underestimated how bad the recession was going to be.

    Overall agree with you, tho.

  222. 222

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:
    Good freakin Gawd just STFU already with your relentless EDK stalker hate. You’re wrong on history, wrong on WAI, and wrong on the Bell Curve. And your pathetic, juvenile EDK hate is just sad, pathetic nonsense. Just shut up already.

    whew. that felt good.

  223. 223
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    But no-one’s tried since FDR, so who knows?

    a lot of people have tried, from RFK to George McGovern to Ted Kennedy to Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean.

    No one’s WON since FDR.

  224. 224
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven: and that will all happen after the election. Right now the country is still 50% bubba…. and all that anti-america truthsay just pisses them off. Its why we can’t leave A-stan until after the election either.
    @Maude: bravura!

  225. 225
    Rick Taylor says:

    I honestly don’t know what exactly the Dems are supposed to do. I expect we will lose more in the upcoming months on the debt cap and the next budget

    I don’t think the Democrats should compromise on raising the debt cap. I can understand compromising on the budget when they have a majority on the house, but telling us, do what we want or we will destroy the good credit of the U.S. is just extortion. We should stand firm, and leave it to Republicans who understand what this will do to reign in their own side.

  226. 226
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @OzoneR:

    Because the Ryan plan just came out last week and Obama’s been focused on THIS year’s budget. Give him a chance to fucking breathe.

    Hey fool. I have a secret to tell you. Obama gave a little speech the other night after the Republicans kicked his ass again. It would ahve taken 30 seconds to throw john’s paragraph into his schpiel.

    Instead, he took credit for the biggest cuts in history or some such horseshit. the republican cuts. he took credit for them.

    it is funny that you fool-tools always act like poor barack is just always SO exhausted and busy and has no time to say or do anything progressive. You are an enabler/excuse maker.

  227. 227
    OzoneR says:

    @Rick Taylor: What makes the debt ceiling harder is the tea party actually has the country in that argument.

  228. 228
    OzoneR says:

    @Tim, Interrupted: Which has nothing to do with FY2011 budget.

    I get it, you have an irrational hatred of Obama, maybe you need to control that before you start posting rambling comments.

  229. 229
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR:

    a lot of people have tried, from RFK to George McGovern to Ted Kennedy to Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean.

    This is classic.

  230. 230
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire: What, suddenly these people didn’t fight for progressive policies anymore?

    Are they now conservatives because we need to believe that anyone who make those arguments will always win?

  231. 231
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: you too.
    you really dont recognize EDK as a classic concern troll on Obama?
    /facepalm

    Of course i hate him. I HATE all those lying freemarket fucktards that fucked America over in the name of the free market. I HATE that 1% of the population owns 24% of the wealth. I HATE that 25% of american preschoolers live below the poverty line. I HATE what is going on in A-stan. I HATE that free market education solutions like NCLB have put America in third world standing in math and science.
    And especially I HATE idiots like you that are all ready to let EDK and his free market homies have a do over.

  232. 232
    Elia Isquire says:

    No, you’re right. If you advocate for higher rates of taxation or to withdraw from unpopular, expensive and immoral wars, you’re going to get shot in the head because this is a center-right nation.

  233. 233
    Keith G says:

    @joe from Lowell: You seem to be positing that I claim no victories for the good side. No such thing!! There have been good things going on.

    DADT was great, and long over due and had the added virtue the reflecting the strong will of most of the people.

    However, Wall Street reform was weak enough tea as to be barely worth being called reform and little has been done to help working class home owners who are under water. Almost as bad, has been the missing national (Deomcratic) political leadership in the anti union fights.

    If things have gone so swimingly for progressive causes why are so many sane voices(Cole, Benen. Klein, Drum etc.) being raised in concerns about both what has just happened and the next budget battles?

    Obama wins battles be giving ground. It’s our ground he is giving and I am a bit worried we might be running out of it.

  234. 234
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @OzoneR: Has anyone told you you are cute? No?

  235. 235
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “Now we have several months of solid job production and signs for more to be created with weekly layoffs consistently under 400,000.”

    I’m sorry, no, this is false hope. Look at Brad Delong’s employment/population chart. Read Robert Reich on the kind of jobs that are being created: “The big news isn’t jobs. It’s wages.”

    By the way, the Institute for New Economic Thinking is having a conference at the symbolically important location of Bretton Woods today. If as Keynes said, “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else,” this may be the most important news of the week.

  236. 236
    bystander says:

    @OzoneR:

    So, your point is that FDR won the White House on that message, and George McGovern to Ted Kennedy to Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean failed to win the White House on that message? Or is it that George McGovern to Ted Kennedy to Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean didn’t have the advantage of the White House from which to deliver the message as FDR might have?

  237. 237
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    No, you’re right. If you advocate for higher rates of taxation or to withdraw from unpopular, expensive and immoral wars, you’re going to get shot in the head because this is a center-right nation.

    Howard Dean didn’t get shot in the head, neither did Bill Bradley nor Walter Mondale, nor George McGovern. They just lost, just like RFK would’ve done at the convention had he not been shot.

  238. 238
    Suck It Up! says:

    @EDK: when I first heard you were changing your party/ideas/thinking so to speak I thought to leave a warning that you should be careful not to swing too far over this way. I didn’t bother but I see that I should have because you have swung way over into what some people call “firebagger” land. It disappoints me that you have taken on some of their bullshit talking points that ‘Obama is a Republican’ or that we are ‘giving him a free pass’. I thought you’d be smarter than that but somehow you got caught up in the lazy thinking and default analysis that the left spews every day.

  239. 239
    OzoneR says:

    @bystander:

    So, your point is that FDR won the White House on that message, and George McGovern to Ted Kennedy to Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean failed to win the White House on that message?

    yes, if you put it that way.

    What i was saying is that the message has been used by Democrats to not avail for decades, and it was only when they stopped using it that thy actually won. Perhaps that was a coincidence, but it doesn’t bode well for anyone who wants to get elected by doing that.

  240. 240
    Joe Beese says:

    Instead, he took credit for the biggest cuts in history or some such horseshit. the republican cuts. he took credit for them.

    The Republicans made him do that!

    (no, that won’t work…)

    He’s putting the best face on a bad situation!

    Ha ha, yes! 11-dimensional chess, bitchez! The more Republican he acts, the more it proves the brilliance of his chessplaying!

  241. 241
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Elia Isquire: you wont get shot in the head. But the bubbas sure won’t vote for you.

  242. 242
    neal peart says:

    Geddy, Alex and I agree John Cole is fucking shrill.

  243. 243
    The Raven says:

    @OzoneR:

    a lot of people have tried […] no one’s WON since FDR.

    & FDR won because there was a depression, with huge unemployment and people being thrown out of their homes, and because the early Keynesians had a positive program which worked. Perhaps it is time, again.

  244. 244
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Suck It Up!: lol.
    troll.
    I think the juicers see that EDK is concern trolling Obama here.
    classic glibertarianism.

  245. 245
    JAHILL10 says:

    @General Stuck: This, this, a thousand times this. And for those predicting a right wing utopia forever and ever because of the latest budget dust up, just look at the numbers: The recent AP-GfK poll for instance. The Republicans have lost the independents of the nation because of this wingnutty bullshit, aided and abetted by the overreaching governors from hell (WI, OH, IN, FL). Why do you think the candidates for the Republican nomination are hanging back? They don’t want to have to directly associate themselves with any of these hostage taking showdowns. It’s our job to hang it around their necks and drown them with it.
    She said sweetly…

  246. 246
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Joe Beese: joe is also concern trolling. I think the proof of O’s chess game will come when he is reelected.

  247. 247
    Corner Stone says:

    I think we should wait til after the 2012 elections when President Obama will have an R House and an R Senate.
    That’ll be when he’ll really shine!

  248. 248

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:
    Call me a cudlip, you adolescent little witch. You come on and spew NONSENSE continuously, despite being called out on your shit by the likes of Omnes, and you expect better? fuck that shit, you little weasel. You are no better than a troll. in fact, you are worse. at least mclaren posts in coherent sentences. You, otoh, are all WAI, WEC, OODA, Distributed Jesusland bullshit.

    and you clog up threads with your EDK hate. Fuck you. Our EDK is learning, which is WAAYYYY THE FUCK more than i can say for your happy ass.

    If the future of the democratic/progressive movement is fucktards like you, i want nothing of it.

  249. 249
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    FDR won because there was a depression, with huge unemployment and people being thrown out of their homes, and because the early Keynesians had a positive program which worked. Perhaps it is time, again.

    Well John Edwards sure didn’t get anywhere with it either, and neither did Democratic candidates in 2010 using it like Alan Grayson, Paul Hodes, Virg Benero, Bill Halter, Jennifer Bruner, Joe Sestak, Tom Barret, Alex Sink or Jack Conway. You’re not going to have much luck convincing Democrats to an argument that has proved to fail extensively since the 1930s is suddenly going to work now, especially after last November.

    and like I said earlier, you’re going to have an easier time if the guy making the argument isn’t someone a third of the country thinks isn’t qualified to make it in the first place. You’re going to have to reach people who won’t listen to a word coming out of Obama’s mouth. Roosevelt didn’t have that problem.

  250. 250
    The Raven says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: “that will all happen after the election”

    It was supposed to happen after the last election. That was the “hope and change” that most Americans voted for. Unh-unh. Until the Democratic leadership abandons the economics of poverty and aristocracy, it will not be done.

  251. 251
    Corner Stone says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Why do you think the candidates for the Republican nomination are hanging back? They don’t want to have to directly associate themselves with any of these hostage taking showdowns.

    They’re raising money under the table without FEC rules being applied.

  252. 252
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck:

    You might think so, but the swing voters who run our elections do not.

    Interesting metric. Sometimes the swing voters are very wrong.

    But you are right in that compromise is essential and as soon as I see Democratic battle plans that focus on making Republicans compromise on how we treat the poor and the undereducated and the left out, I will feel a whole lot better.

    As I said above, Obama tries to win by ceding ground and maybe he does have a grand unified strategy for bringing about much needed progressive changes. If you find out, please let me know.

  253. 253
    The Raven says:

    @OzoneR: “You’re not going to have much luck convincing Democrats to an argument that has proved to fail extensively since the 1930s is suddenly going to work now, especially after last November.”

    Then it is time to start working on changing the thinking of the public. Because this is the counsel of despair.

  254. 254
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR: How is it that you became so wise as to know the true counterfactuals of history? I’m just trying to figure out how it is that one can not only be so in-touch with Real America but also know what would’ve happened if RFK hadn’t been shot. Or what about MLK? What about Lincoln — or is that too far back?

    Is this something you learn when growing up in Real America with Democratic base voters, y’know, the ones who call Obama a nigger?

    Oh god you’re citing Sestak for this? I worked on his campaign and he most certainly DID NOT lose b/c he didn’t sound enough like Blanche Lincoln. Why would someone devote this much time to trolling a messageboard with his best Harold Ford Jr impression?

  255. 255
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @246 Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    I think the proof of O’s chess game will come when he is reelected.

    I thought the rooting for teams winning and losing games was confined to Cole’s Steeler posts and those annoying European Soccer posts. :-)

  256. 256
    JAHILL10 says:

    @Corner Stone: Maybe, but did you notice Ms. Crazy-Eyes Bachmann go all squeamish when push came to shove and it looked like there might actually be a government shutdown over allowing women to have access to Pap smears? When you can’t get the nuttiest of the nutty candidates on your crazy train, it proves that someone has been reading the polls.

  257. 257
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @neal peart: why is BJ getting a driveby troll infestation? Are you all coming over from that wretched hive of glibertarian scum and villany at Forbes?
    Did EDK link John’s post over there?

  258. 258
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    @OzoneR:

    I get it, you have an irrational hatred of Obama

    Typical. All opposition to Obama’s corporatist presidency must be attacked as irrational and coming from an emotional place of “hatred.”

    I don’t hate anyone, tool. Especially the O, who is not worthy of it should I choose to bestow it.

    as for your non sequitur “point,” babble on…

  259. 259
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    Sometimes the swing voters are very wrong.

    They are wrong, to a significant degree. But they are never wrong when they pull the D lever on election day.

    The trick is giving them just enough, for their short attention span, to think you think they are right,

    I’m not sure what that degree is, but I know it should not have much to do with bitching about optics, rather than substance. We won’t really know about that substance until the battles are over. The one we have had recently was only a probing of lines, or not much more than that.

  260. 260
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven: yeah, but it didnt. do I really have to quote machiavelli for you again?
    Do you think HCR was nothing?
    I was pretty impressed.

  261. 261
    dogwood says:

    @OzoneR:
    You are so right. All this talk about narrative is interesting. When it comes to the narrative in this country, liberals are always fighting an uphill battle. Suspicion and mistrust of government are as old as the republic. Liberals have the policy right but always screw up the politics. What I so often hear from many posters here, and places like Kos and Firedoglake is that they want the president to “fight” the republicans. Change his rhetoric, “man-up” as Sharon Angle would say. They don’t like the president using what they call “republican framing” in his language, yet they describe the president in the exact same language that republicans use on a daily basis. Why don’t the critics who want the president to fight republicans, start fighting republicans themselves?

  262. 262
    4jkb4ia says:

    @OzoneR:

    OK, NOW this sounds like Nick. And I ought to be shot for coming back to this thread.

    Bill Halter is a particularly poor example because Obama came out and campaigned for Blanche Lincoln.

    Related point: When everything passes on a party-line vote, your personal beliefs mean less than what the president is going to support because voters know that if something is important enough to the president, you will have to be there. Even when Russ Feingold campaigned relentlessly on being independent and threw a tantrum over Dodd-Frank, voters were willing to believe that a nonpolitician could be more independent.

    More tangentially related point: MA voters seem to believe that Scott Brown is actually independent.

  263. 263
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven:

    it is time to start working on changing the thinking of the public.

    dude. you CAN’T change the bubbas. They are impervious to reason. 70% of them think Obama was born in Kenya and is a sekrut muslim.
    We have to let O be his social justice ninja self, and let the lardboi bubbas lumber around raging about the deficit….for a while.

    @MikeBoyScout: actually im both Team Obama AND Team Jacob. Dig furries.
    ;)

  264. 264
    General Stuck says:

    As I said above, Obama tries to win by ceding ground and maybe he does have a grand unified strategy for bringing about much needed progressive changes. If you find out, please let me know.

    This is a valid kind of negotiation. I wouldn’t call it ceding ground so much as making a pre emptive offer and let your opponent counter offer. Whether that is better than doing it the other way around, I don’t really know because I’ve never been president dealing with a House of Reps run by crazy people. But in the past, I don’t see Obama going much further than his first offer. And certainly not giving up the ranch, at least imo. Thus far

  265. 265
    Corner Stone says:

    HCR / ACA full implementation may never see the light of day. They have until 2014 to keep taking it hostage for everything else on their list.

  266. 266
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elia Isquire: Sestak is one of his favorite boogeymen. It’s supposed to prove something, or something.

  267. 267
    bystander says:

    @OzoneR:

    Okay. I had to “freshen” my recollection of the historical timeline. FDR was elected at the height of the depression in 1933. Hoover preceded him. Which prompted me to recall a piece by Kevin Baker in Harper’s; Barack Hoover Obama, thumbnailed by Ken Silverstein [since the piece by Baker requires a subscription].

    So, I may be getting a little ahead of myself since I don’t believe we’ve seen the bottom of our current depression, and E.D. Kain is correct to be concerned about enforcing economic austerity given the status of our current “recovery.” Perhaps Obama is our present-day Hoover; Hoover’s party affiliation notwithstanding. I’d like to think an FDR might follow Obama, but unless something truly amazing happens with the electorate and the Democratic Party, I don’t hope for such. It’s more likely that our economic circumstance will have to become dramatically worse, first. Unfortunately, I can well imagine that one, and I’m not sure Obama isn’t setting the stage for it.

  268. 268
    4jkb4ia says:

    So if they can believe that about Scott Brown and he is stunningly popular, despite making me cringe whenever he opens his mouth, anyone who wants to go with a standard populist narrative has to understand that an anti-Washington narrative is competing with their message, or simply talking about jobs and American exceptionalism every day the way Roy Blunt, who can hardly run against Washington, did. Elizabeth Warren is the only person coming to mind right now who can meld those.

  269. 269
    Elia Isquire says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s already getting tedious but for a while there he was one of the better trolls I’ve come across lately. His arguments are so weird and specious–with a goal post on a rocket-powered skateboard–that there’s a twisted cleverness to it all. For a time…

  270. 270
    bystander says:

    Ah. Too many links = moderation. Will maybe look back later today.

  271. 271
    OzoneR says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    Bill Halter is a particularly poor example because Obama came out and campaigned for Blanche Lincoln.

    If people wanted a progressive champion and they don’t see Obama as that progressive champion, this shouldn’t have been an issue.

  272. 272
    JAHILL10 says:

    I’d bet all of what little I own that ACA survives to 2014. That’s not to say that the House isn’t going to go after it hammer and tongs. But the Repubs would have to put something on the table that bends the cost curve and covers the same number of people. Ryan’s “serious” plan doesn’t even come close and since all these battles are being couched in terms of cutting costs…Pelosi just has to do what she did in 2005. Call it the Medicare privatization bill and let that serious proposal die a serious death.

  273. 273
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    I’m just trying to figure out how it is that one can not only be so in-touch with Real America but also know what would’ve happened if RFK hadn’t been shot.

    Humphrey already had enough delegates to win the nomination when RFK was shot.

  274. 274
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Why? How does that put you ahead? I don’t agree.

  275. 275
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    Then it is time to start working on changing the thinking of the public.

    I agree with you. I don’t think Obama is the one to do this, and not because he’s not a fighter or whatever, but because he’s, quite frankly, black and a politician. At least a third, if not more, of the country looks at him and without hearing a word thinks “whatever he says is bullshit”

  276. 276
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    WARNING CONCERN TROLL ALERT WARNING
    lookie lookie…. EDK goes fullfrontal at Forbes

    I’m sorry, but if you plan on giving the Democrats a free pass just because they’ve done some good things…well I don’t know what to say. They’ve also:
    __
    Kept in place the worst education policies of GW Bush.
    Kept many of the architects of financial collapse in the inner circle of the administration.
    Started a third Mid-East war.
    __
    Just to name a few…

  277. 277
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G:

    But you are right in that compromise is essential and as soon as I see Democratic battle plans that focus on making Republicans compromise on how we treat the poor and the undereducated and the left out, I will feel a whole lot better.

    Republicans think to compromise is to lose. That’s not what Democrats think. It’s true of the elected officials, and it’s true of the voters. There’s an apparently widespread belief out there that a Democratic party that acted as intransigent as Republicans do would be more effective and more popular. I HIGHLY doubt that. The ass-kicking Democratic party of blogosphere fantasy would gratify immensely people like us, and disgust a big chunk of Democrats as well as actual independents. They would say, “I’m tired of all the partisan bickering. Why can’t both sides just work together?” And that’s how we got change-the-tone Bush, and that’s how we got–after change-the-tone Bush wore out his welcome–change-the-tone Obama. It runs deep. For Democrats to win national elections, and even most statewide ones, they have to talk about working together and finding common ground.

    Republicans get to be assholes, because Republican voters like assholes. Democrats don’t get to be assholes, because Democratic voters don’t like assholes. It’s not complicated.

  278. 278
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR: Right, right. And back in 1968 it was all about winning delegates, of course. It’s not like there were back-room deals at every convention that decided who the real nominee would be; and it’s not like after winning CA RFK was going to have union support as well as the youth/anti-war movement, holding togther/revitalizing the New Deal coalition for at least one more ’round. Nope! After McGovern’s stunning capture of the nomination in ’64 due to widespread reforms of the primary process (because of the violence at the 1960 convention, of course) this baby was all sewed up; the people had spoken–and they wanted Humphmentum!

  279. 279
    dogwood says:

    @Tim, Interrupted: Wow, the President is not worthy of your hatred. And you call Obama an “ass.” Go join the Tea Party, you’re obviously literate; you could help them spell check their hateful signs.

  280. 280
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @bystander:

    and E.D. Kain is correct to be concerned

    WARNING CONCERN TROLL ALERT WARNING

    why are some of you retards still falling for this crap?
    he just came over here to whore for linkage.
    sheesh.

  281. 281
    dogwood says:

    @FlipYrWhig: BINGO!

  282. 282
    OzoneR says:

    @Elia Isquire: The only way RFK was going to win is if he won Eugene McCarthy’s delegates at the convention. There were only two primaries left after California; Illinois and New York, where McCarthy and RFK were splitting the anti-war vote and Humphrey was expected to come out on top in both.

    RFK’s own campaign manager said he had almost no chance of winning even after California because most of McCarthy’s delegates were all going to Humphrey one way or another.

  283. 283
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Our EDK is learning

    no he issssssnnnnnttttt

    I’m sorry, but if you plan on giving the Democrats a free pass just because they’ve done some good things…well I don’t know what to say. They’ve also:
    __
    Kept in place the worst education policies of GW Bush.
    Kept many of the architects of financial collapse in the inner circle of the administration.
    Started a third Mid-East war.
    __
    Just to name a few…

    “our” EDK. now ain’t that sweet.
    any other juicers wanna own this free market fucktard?

  284. 284
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bystander:

    E.D. Kain is correct to be concerned about enforcing economic austerity given the status of our current “recovery.”

    Yes, he’s correct. But what’s supposed to be done about it, given that Republicans won the majority in the House and demanded cuts (that would damage the economy) at the risk of shutting down the government (which would damage the economy), a shutdown which in order to end it would require… agreeing to a package of cuts (that would damage the economy)? Every pathway leads to damaging the economy. Obama decided to bargain over how to cushion the blow, because it was already evident that the blow was coming.

    In policy terms, this is madness, making cuts instead of Keynesian pump-priming. But that’s an argument that’s been being lost for 40 years, and, as Davis X. Machina was pointing out earlier, not only in the USA but in Europe too.

    We need better policy, and we need a means to _produce_ that better policy. The problem is that there are way too many incentives for members of the one party that _could_ produce that better policy to instead run against doing too much. Solving that is a generational undertaking. And we have current problems that need to be addressed in the meantime, and an array of “solutions” that range from half-assed to cataclysmic. Harm reduction is in order. That’s what Obama does.

  285. 285
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    If the future of the democratic/progressive movement is fucktards like you, i want nothing of it

    Hope you are happy at the LoOG and Forbes then.
    What do you not understand about this?
    you really dont recognize EDK as a classic concern troll on Obama?
    /facepalm
    __
    Of course i hate him. I HATE all those lying freemarket fucktards that fucked America over in the name of the free market. I HATE that 1% of the population owns 24% of the wealth. I HATE that 25% of american preschoolers live below the poverty line. I HATE what is going on in A-stan. I HATE that free market education solutions like NCLB have put America in third world standing in math and science.
    And especially I HATE idiots like you that are all ready to let EDK and his free market homies have a do over.

    Allow me to explain Distributed Jesusland to you.
    It came from a debate with Dr. Manzi at TAS.
    Here is the post.
    We discussed it at TAS cuz Sully doesn’t allow comments.

  286. 286
    4jkb4ia says:

    @OzoneR:
    First of all, the Obama ads were targeted at black voters, were on black radio, etc. I don’t have to say myself that definitions of progressive might vary across race. I’ve got TNC and Al Giordano to say that in a clearly nonracist manner.

    Second of all, it should be easy to google HuffPo and see what Obama said in the ad. Obama said that Lincoln had stood up to Wall Street and to insurance companies. And at the time of the primary Lincoln was hanging tough with her derivatives proposal. I forgot that because I was trying to emphasize a Lincoln Chafee-type scenario where you remain popular enough to win statewide but what your party stands for dooms you for national office.

  287. 287
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Thank you for sharing this. Sure, it’s putting a positive spin on what is not a good situation. But all you people who keep posting that there’s no difference between Repubs and Dems, or that the Dems gave away the total farm, follow the link that Bob gave and see what they DID manage to save. All good things. It wasn’t one-sided.

  288. 288
    The Raven says:

    @OzoneR: “I don’t think Obama is the one to do this, and not because he’s not a fighter or whatever, but because he’s, quite frankly, black and a politician.”

    I have been writing “the Democratic leadership” in all my posts in this thread. Really. Go back and take a look. It is something very much like monarchism to focus on the Presidency alone. Winning the Presidency is not the goal of US electoral politics–it’s the prize near the end of a round of the game. RFK, McGovern, and all did not win the Presidency, yet still made huge changes in the policies of the USA.

    Right now I look towards the House Democrats, a minority but predominantly liberal. It is possible that these people will become the leaders of the next major liberal movement in the USA.

    The Presidency, though, is the bully pulpit: the President is the one elected official who can command the attention of the press and the public. Obama could have used the bully pulpit to that end in our multiple crises, and I do fault him for not doing so.

  289. 289

    I agree with Dave Roberts of Grist, that we (progressives, greens, whatever) need to put some fear in the conservative pro-corporate side of the Democratic party to pull the party to the left. If we can sharpen the differences in the parties for the American people to discern we will be rewarded.

    http://www.grist.org/article/2.....challenges

  290. 290

    I agree with Dave Roberts of Grist, that we (progressives, greens, whatever) need to put some fear in the conservative pro-corporate side of the Democratic party to pull the party to the left. If we can sharpen the differences in the parties for the American people to discern we will be rewarded.

    http://www.grist.org/article/2.....challenges

  291. 291
    OzoneR says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    First of all, the Obama ads were targeted at black voters, were on black radio, etc. I don’t have to say myself that definitions of progressive might vary across race. I’ve got TNC and Al Giordano to say that in a clearly nonracist manner

    Democrats might have a different opinion about what constitutes a progressive? Imagine that.

    Unless you’re making the argument that Lincoln won because he coopted Halter’s progressives stances, which might be true, you’re making my point for me. That Democratic voters were satisfied with moderate over progressive.

    And if she did co-opt Halter’s progressive campaign, what the hell happened in the general election?

  292. 292
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    the President is the one elected official who can command the attention of the press and the public. Obama could have used the bully pulpit to that end in our multiple crises, and I do fault him for not doing so.

    Obama doesn’t have a bully pulpit for the reasons I mentioned. Despite his office.

    Not to mention NBC wouldn’t cut out of a football game to cover his response to Giffords’ shooting, A CBS affiliate in Florida interrupted his Libya speech for a commercial and ABC wouldn’t carry it unless it was planned before Dancing With The Stars.

    Sorry, but he doesn’t have a bully pulpit.

  293. 293
    NR says:

    @OzoneR: No, he doesn’t. After this latest budget battle, Obama walked out there and praised the Republicans for being reasonable even after they repeatedly threatened to shut down the government. And he gave no indication that he would put up a fight the next time the Republicans demand a round of painful cuts in exchange for something (such as the debt limit increase).

    Obama doesn’t fight, except when he’s fighting against the left.

  294. 294
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I hope your view is correct. We shall see all too soon.

  295. 295
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    After this latest budget battle, Obama walked out there and praised the Republicans for being reasonable even after they repeatedly threatened to shut down the government.

    After a battle, the fighters shake hands? Wow, that’s shocking.

    and during the battle, he told them all to grow up.

    With all the bullshit the left gives him, ignoring his fighting, faulting him for losses beyond his control and generally being absent during big battles, he’d better be kicking their asses.

  296. 296
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Harm reduction is in order. That’s what Obama does. yes. this. It is actually consistant with with what the Framers built into the constitution, slow gradual change, and no extreme oscillations. All Obama can do right now is harm reduction.
    The composition of the electorate is changing.
    Bush would have been a fine president to shepherd the conservatives into the sunset. But 911 happened. Bush would never have been reelected without being a wartime president.
    So now we have to wait on the demographic timer to smooth out the electorate.

  297. 297
    4jkb4ia says:

    Seriously, if the Evil Inclination can keep me here when I really thought I could do something with the house today, its work here is done.

  298. 298

    […] Ditto John Cole: Last week’s budget nonsense was not grounds for being disheartened. It was, however, grounds […]

  299. 299
    uptown says:

    I’ll be working to elect more and better democrats. The House is ours for the re-taking, and there are plenty of state and local elections that matter. So if you’re pissed at our national leadership (or lack of), there are plenty of places that you can work your anger off.

    Politics is a long term endeavor.

  300. 300
    The Raven says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: “Do you think HCR was nothing?”

    It doesn’t matter if there was a good long-term strategy for the war, if it was lost in the short term.

    And, I’ve been consistently writing about “the Democratic leadership.” This focus on the Presidency, as though it were a throne, seems to me profoundly undemocratic thinking.

  301. 301
    The Raven says:

    @NR: “Obama doesn’t fight, except when he’s fighting against the left.”

    His Supreme Court and Cabinet appointments are actually pretty good. Perhaps he is channeling George McClellan–a too-cautious strategist who was good at long-term planning. The Union army could not have won their war without McClellan’s work of training and equipping, but it took Grant and Sherman to lead the battles.

  302. 302
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Thank you for sharing this. Sure, it’s putting a positive spin on what is not a good situation. But all you people who keep posting that there’s no difference between Repubs and Dems, or that the Dems gave away the total farm, follow the link that Bob gave and see what they DID manage to save. All good things. It wasn’t one-sided.@Joe Beese:

  303. 303
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven:

    This focus on the Presidency, as though it were a throne, seems to me profoundly undemocratic thinking.

    well….i was countering EDK’s concern trolling on Obama. But you have a point.

    It doesn’t matter if there was a good long-term strategy for the war, if it was lost in the short term.

    HCR is slow death for the GOP. They know this, and that is why they fought frantically against it.
    Obama deliberately did it first because he had political capital from the election, and still it was not easy.
    It was a calculated strategy, the repubs threw everything they had against it, and couldn’t stop it.
    It is very similiar to the passage of the civil rights act.
    I do not think they can repeal it, and every fight to defund parts of it is an oppo for the Obama Administration to explain it on terebi.
    I think it was a great strat.
    ;)

  304. 304
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Nobody here has a crystal ball on the future. But I disagree with you re likely outcomes. I think that if Obama is re-elected, his second term will show him working harder and more pointedly for progressive causes. He’s already done quite a bit, for very little recognition.

    His first instinct is to compromise, yes, but since he won’t have to worry about being elected again, I think we’ll see maybe a finger of a glove come off.

    And no, that doesn’t mean that I worship Obama, or that I approve of everything he’s done. But I do recognize that he’s accomplished some positive things and that he’s the best we’ve got right now.

    BTW, looking at the Repubs and how they’ve behaved in the last few months, I am baffled that anyone continues to claim that there’s no difference between the parties.

  305. 305
    4jkb4ia says:

    @OzoneR:

    You started out by saying that populist arguments don’t win. This was a very narrow primary where populist arguments did help to win. And they were not made by the candidate herself in the context of the Obama ads. A similar thing happened with Sestak and Specter. Sestak was able to build trust in a primary that he would support what you described as a populist agenda.

    Part of the reason that the netroots supported Halter was that they lost nothing by doing so and could gain something. Lincoln was completely toast. You do not come back from the kind of approval ratings she had with the general electorate. A better test of whether populist arguments work is a fresh face or someone like Tester who used them to win in 2006 but is on the line now.

    White vs. black on the issue of progressivism is probably different from fights between firebaggers and Obots. Firebaggers and Obots want the same things in the end but have differences about loudness and tone and how much you can get. Simply by example Adam Serwer and She Who I Will Call Marcy Wheeler Here are genuinely friends because the same things are genuinely important to them. The differences are ones of tone. But as Michael Kazin showed, white populism has historically been a thing that whistles past race even when, like the CIO, it stands for things that would benefit blacks as part of “everybody”. And as a result blacks have been wary of it. Kazin wrapped up his book in part by referring to Jesse Jackson in 1988. Jackson talked about people who “worked every day”, but he couldn’t summon the producer ethic that American populism had always had. In the idea of “winning the future” there is a kernel of that producer ethic in the idea of good and sustainable jobs.

  306. 306
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    This is a political blog, last time I checked. Not an issue advocate blog in the full sense. That means all progress is weighed against public perception of reality being better or worse than it was, which also includes the substance of the situation moving in a progressive direction. You are, as ideologues are wont to do, arguing against the ideal and declaring the clear progress in a positive direction is a “false hope”. I am tired of responding to this kind of dogma. Are you a progressive, or not. If you are, and Reich does state progress, then fucking start acting like one. Rather than the propaganda minister of the FDL crowd. jeebus.

  307. 307
    GaBuck says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    yes. This.

    Where do these people think all that money goes?

  308. 308
    4jkb4ia says:

    If 86% of the populace likes you personally, you do have something of a bully pulpit, even if your approval ratings are much lower. Hovering around 50% approval is decent. This is not George W. where the country had tuned him out because of incompetence. This is persuasion skills case by case.

  309. 309
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @GaBuck: no. if the government had shut down the EPA and Toxic Waste inspection would have been shut down.
    EDK’s freemarket homies could have had a week or longer of freemarket dumping biohazard into the ocean.
    Not to cavalierly ignore all the suffering peasants that would miss a paycheck or two (like you and Concern Troll EDK), every day of shut down lowers the GNP by some percent.
    But why talk to you?
    You are either an EDK sockpuppet or a driveby troll from Forbes or the LoOG.

  310. 310
    Elia Isquire says:

    @OzoneR: He said he had no chance of winning the most delegates. McCarthy would’ve in all likelihood given him his and the poo-bahs would’ve pressured Humphrey. There’s no way of knowing either way but at the very least there’s an equal chance he would’ve as there was that he wouldn’t. You are full of it.

  311. 311
    4jkb4ia says:

    WHOA! Tiger has stormed into a tie for the lead with Schwartzel and McIlroy! For those interested.

  312. 312
    dogwood says:

    I get a headache every time someone starts the “bully pulpit” criticism. That’s MS media conventional wisdom talk. The bully pulpit is useless unless you have a posse to back you up. Reagan wasn’t a better communicator than Obama, but when he spoke the troops fell in line. Democratic presidents govern alone. Clinton triangulated, sure. He learned his lesson in the first 2 years when he had a Dem. congress and got nowhere. Obama was much more effective than Cllnton in the first two years in terms of actually passing decent legislation. I don’t think this is about poll numbers either; Obama’s job rating is decent, and his personal favorability is sky high. Republicans defend their president’s policies, honor, character, wife, children and dog with lockstep zeal. Democrats get around to having their president’s back when he is impeached. Before that, he’s on his own.

  313. 313
    General Stuck says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    And of all those approving of Obama and liking him, none more so than self described liberal democrats, who have given the thumbs up to his job performance the highest in history for a dem president, and rock solid consistent in the 85 to 90 percentile range according Gallup’s monthly survey. Since day one.

    So we have a passel of pol wizards that call themselves progressives, when they don’t acknowledge progress, and some kind of movement, or “the Base” when they are maybe the base of the base, at bast.

    People are disappointed as individuals, and expresse those disappointments as individuals, that is fine, but don’t blow smoke up my ass that you don’t represent any more than that, simply because all of them, seemingly, are always on the internet.

  314. 314
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Wolfdaughter:

    I am baffled that anyone continues to claim that there’s no difference between the parties.

    I think this is an excellent comment. I suppose I’m an obot, but I was also disappointed in the application of Humanitarian Interventionism in Libya, and I voiced that.
    But to dishonestly call it a “third war in the ME” like EDK just did is beyond the pale for me. It is a ginormous difference in scale.
    I loathe that both sides doooooo eeeeet mantra with the fire of a thousand suns.

  315. 315
    NR says:

    @OzoneR: You really don’t get it. It’s not “shaking hands,” Obama is celebrating the Republican victory. And that is incredibly damaging to the progressive cause. Paul Krugman says it best:

    Ezra Klein gets this right, I think: it’s one thing for Obama to decide that it was better to give in to Republican hostage-taking than draw a line in the sand; it’s another for him to celebrate the result. Yet that’s just what he did. More than that, he has now completely accepted the Republican frame that spending cuts right now are what America needs.

    Apparently he also agrees with them that Medicare and Medicaid cuts are what America needs, too.

  316. 316
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @NR: these driveby trolls are getting boring.
    so repetitive.
    hey, EDK!
    Obama is teflon and you are glue
    What slides off of him sticks onto you.
    ;)

  317. 317
    General Stuck says:

    Thankfully, Obama is not president of the blogosphere, or punditsphere, or anything other than the United States of America, as it should be. Deal with it.

  318. 318
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @General Stuck:

    That is bar none the stupidest, most vapid, and child-minded thing said in this thread. And with eighty or so of the posts belonging to Hermione_chan, that is saying something.

  319. 319
    The Raven says:

    @OzoneR: “Obama doesn’t have a bully pulpit for the reasons I mentioned.”

    With the Presidency, and access to the best media people in the world, the Democrats can’t get the press to get the word out?

  320. 320
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven:

    With the Presidency, and access to the best media people in the world, the Democrats can’t get the press to get the word out?

    getting the word out doesn’t count with bubba. he aint gonna believe anything that black muslim kenyan soshulist watermelon eating porch monkey says anyways.
    See? That is where you are wrong about calling out the Obama admin.
    Bubba only cares about Obama.

  321. 321
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Bob Loblaw: could you please respond to an individual post so I know WTF you are talking about?
    Because I don’t know if you are saying EDK is NOT a freemarket fucktard or that EDK is NOT concern trolling Obama.
    How do I know which position of yours to deconstruct?
    Is Kain “Your” EDK too?
    awww…that is so sweet.

  322. 322
    The Raven says:

    @General Stuck: “That means all progress is weighed against public perception of reality being better or worse than it was, which also includes the substance of the situation moving in a progressive direction”

    People are still out of work, and losing their homes. Kraw, might just be a problem of perception.

    “Reich does state progress”

    What you are doing is like declaring the end of winter because there has been one sort-of warm day. Here’s what Reich said: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 192,000 new jobs in Februrary (220,000 new jobs in the private sector and a drop in government employment), and a drop in the overall unemployment rate from 9 to 8.9 percent. To get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent [more or less full employment] by 2014 we’d need over 300,000 new jobs a month, every month, between now and then.”

    Did you look at the emp/pop chart? There’s no upward trend, nothing that looks like it’s going to create 300,000 jobs/month consistently for the next three years. No-one honest can find an upward trend without substantial government intervention–stimulus. Business isn’t hiring because people aren’t buying, and people aren’t buying because most of them are up to their eyebrows in debt and concerned about future income. Many are out of work. Things are perhaps a bit better on the business side, but only a bit.

    And, if the Tea Party depressus continues, things are going to get a whole lot worse.

    “…ideologues…”

    Got nothing to do with ideology. We corvids are at good at recognizing dead things.

  323. 323
    General Stuck says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Thank you loblaw. But such complements will not get you any special treatment. And let me expound on the thought.

    Obama is not just the president of blue states, but purple states, AND GET THIS – Red States, also too. If you can’t wrap your head around the basic principle I am stating, then I would suggest you go back to your civics studies for citizenship for a refresher. It has always been that way in this country, and our system lends the rank partisanship and ideological warfare mostly to congress, and the individual constituencies they represent.

    Presidents have always tried to stay above that fray to some degree, even Bush, and even Bush mouthing some platitudes about his friends and biparisanship on the other side of the isle. The best way for Obama to be a certain one termer, is to go all rambo libtard warrior right now. Bush got away with it to a degree, due to the lingering shocks of 9-11. He got reelected, but paid dearly his second term with the public.

    There are gaps in your knowledge of the nuances of our politics, loblaw, that lends you to saying idiot things, then getting hostile and lashing out. I think you may have potential, but that is all right now on politics in this country.

  324. 324
    OzoneR says:

    @NR: I like Paul Krugman because he says the right stuff, but he lives in a political elitist bubble. He acts like there’s no country outside New York City.

  325. 325
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    With the Presidency, and access to the best media people in the world, the Democrats can’t get the press to get the word out?

    Oh c’mon, access to the best media people in the world? Who?!?!

  326. 326
    dogwood says:

    @The Raven:
    As I said earlier, the Democrats don’t have a “word” to get out. There isn’t any real conservative bias in most of the MSM. They just want good TV. When a Republican pres. uses the bully pulpit, his congresscritters and pundits fan out all over the TV and support him, a few Dems. will push back, and there will always be a blue dog or two willing to agree with the pres. That’s pretty good tv. But when a dem. president uses the pulpit, the republicans uniformly disagree and scads of liberal pundits and elected officials trash him as well, that’s better tv. Democrats see themselves as independent contractors; Republicans don’t. The irony here is that liberal party members behave like it’s everyone for himself, and conservative party members are much more willing to sacrifice for the group.

  327. 327
    NR says:

    @OzoneR: Krugman has been anything but elitist when it comes to budget matters. The political elites all agree that we need to cut spending. Krugman has been arguing against that, saying the government should focus on creating jobs instead.

  328. 328
    General Stuck says:

    @The Raven:

    Talking to you is like talking to a rock. Yes, that is a dead thing. Can you recognize it? And here is a Benen post with graph on job growth under Obama. And yes, the trend is upward. And no it is not ideal, but last month is well over the 150 thousand mark needed to match population growth. That’s progress, Mr. progressive.

    And really, is kind of like, way fucking better than the 700 thousand in job losses when Obama took office. And guess what, with the Too small stimulus. Reich and Krugman are Clintonistas that campaigned for Hillary. I like them both and think they both are smart. But when they start talking about Obama, the stench of sour grapes permeates, and I stop reading at that point. I don’t know what folks like you are getting at, whether it is making a case for a primary candidate, or just general whinging. But you never did answer my question of anyone you think could do a better job. Here is another chance to answer.

  329. 329
    The Raven says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: “getting the word out doesn’t count with bubba. he aint gonna believe anything that black muslim kenyan soshulist watermelon eating porch monkey says anyways.”

    Could be you’re right. On the other hand, people have been persuaded in Wisconsin. Bubba, after all, didn’t know that Obama was a Kenyan Muslim socialist until he was told repeatedly. Might be he (it mostly is he, isn’t it?) could forget if he was told something else.

    Opinion polling is slippery. People after all didn’t know Obama was a Kenyan Muslim socialist until they were told repeatedly. A lot of answers on polls seem to be random–when people are asked a few years later, they have different opinions. (See Converse, passim. You like to read, right? Read Converse, Converse knows something.) So some views aren’t held deeply, and sometimes people change them.

    If the Obama administration had delivered on employment and housing I think this whole argument might be moot. Well–without any further finger-pointing, because I honestly don’t know if the best politicos in the world could have delivered–that wasn’t what happened. So people are running around like ants in hill stirred by a stick, looking for something to do. I think we progressives have something to offer them. But we’ve got to get it out there, show that we really believe in it, and deliver the goods.

    …and the computer is running out of battery, and the laundry is calling… To be continued, maybe.

  330. 330
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    Krugman has been anything but elitist when it comes to budget matters. The political elites all agree that we need to cut spending. Krugman has been arguing against that, saying the government should focus on creating jobs instead.

    Krugman’s positions aren’t elitist, but he has no idea how to talk to anyone except the NYT audience. He acts like everyone reads the Op-Ed section of his newspaper.

  331. 331
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    why not grow a pair and fight back?

    because the country is still 50% bubba.

  332. 332
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzoneR: If one is writing an opinion column for the NYT, wouldn’t it make sense to write it for the people who read the paper?

  333. 333
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Raven: i disagree. Because of birtherism. The GOP elites have been trying to suppress birtherism for one year, CPAC to CPAC. It can’t be done. There are more birthers than ever. That is why Huck and Trump are throwing in with them.

    Obamas support has to be grass roots, like WI, because the electorate is still 50% bubba.

  334. 334
    OzoneR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If one is writing an opinion column for the NYT, wouldn’t it make sense to write it for the people who read the paper?

    sure, except he’s criticizing the President for not repeating what he says in his column to people in the Midwest. Krugman can’t speak to them and neither can Obama.

    Find me Heath Shuler with Nancy Pelosi’s political positions.

  335. 335
    General Stuck says:

    And as far as THE TYPES of jobs, or whether they are decent ones, this is an excerpt from last months BLS report

    Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March (+17,000). Job gains were
    concentrated in two durable goods industries–fabricated metal products (+8,000)
    and machinery (+5,000). Employment in durable goods manufacturing has risen by
    243,000 since its most recent low in December 2009.

    In March, employment in mining increased by 14,000, with much of the gain occurring
    in support activities for mining (+9,000).

    This has been the case with mostly increasing manufacturing jobs during the Obama Recovery. When if you recall, during the job increases under Bush, manufacturing jobs were lost about every month, with declarations from experts being for good, not to return.

  336. 336
    OzoneR says:

    @The Raven:

    people have been persuaded in Wisconsin.

    Not by Obama. That’s the difference. People can be persuaded, I don’t disagree there, but Obama can’t do it. Many unions in Wisconsin wanted Obama to stay out of their battles because they were afraid by him getting involved, they would lose a chunk of their support immediately. “Oh HE’S against it? Then I must be wrong”

    My issue is that we’re focusing too much on a President who has an extreme handicap when it comes to changing the trajectory of public opinion. Let him govern and lets find someone else to do the trajectory changing.

  337. 337
    GaBuck says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    I agree. Why talk to me at all as I have no interest in your opinion?

  338. 338
    dogwood says:

    @General Stuck:
    In any organization there’s always a small group who would rather be right than get anything done. I’m a true blue liberal who got over being angry and disappointed years ago. It’s a waste of time. Single payer will happen eventually after we try other approaches first. That’s just how change happens here. It will come too late for some, and that’s disturbing, but the alternative of doing nothing unless it’s what I want from the outset is unacceptable and harmful to more people in the end. I’m convinced the “let’s primary, impeach, not vote for Obama” crowd don’t see politics as the art of the possible, but as some sort of vehicle for self-validation. They want the president to validate their feelings and tell them they are right. They want him to talk like they do. That’s why so many of these people supported John Edwards, an ex-blue dog Senator with a voting record to the right of every other candidate in the field.

  339. 339
    dogwood says:

    @OzoneR:
    Wow. Why are people so afraid of the “birther, seekret muslin” crowd? They’re hard core Republicans. I’m sure Obama stayed out of Wisconsin because he wasn’t needed, not because he’s hated. If he’d have showed up anywhere near Madison, or gave some big speech, it would have been about him. He’s a spotlight stealer and the spotlight in Wisconsin needed to stay on the people protesting. Sheesh.

  340. 340
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @GaBuck: because you are either a driveby troll or an EDK sockpuppet. No sentient liberal agrees with freemarket fucktards.

  341. 341
    OzoneR says:

    @dogwood:

    Wow. Why are people so afraid of the “birther, seekret muslin” crowd? They’re hard core Republicans.

    Because when you have a third of the country who is part of the crazy crowd and at least another third who believes crazy should be treated seriously, you’re stuck

  342. 342
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’m loving the number of people who continue claiming that nothing can be done agreeing with m_c.

  343. 343
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @NobodySpecial: we aren’t saying nothing can be done. We are saying O is doing what he can.

  344. 344
    lol says:

    It’s awesome to find out the Firebagger solution to the budget crisis was ‘Shoot the hostage’. Especially since this time, workers would *not* have received back pay.

    You know who else thinks they stand to gain politically from a government shutdown and doesn’t give a shit about the effect on actual people?

    The Tea Party.

  345. 345

    Oh look, it’s the thread about “Some Democrats think this is the best deal that was available, or at least close enough that it can be reasonably described as such. Others think the Dems should’ve held out for more. Portions of each camp think the other camp is stupid for holding such a belief” again. Reminds me of that joke about people standing around the bar yelling out numbers and laughing. I propose that we call this one #44.

    I am fascinated to see that m_c comes down to the right of EDK on this, though. heh.

  346. 346
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lol: For that matter, when governments say “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” they lie. There’s always a discussion via back channels. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” belongs in the same bag as “Torture is a good idea to stop a ticking time-bomb.” Both are wholly fantastical displays of callous machismo.

  347. 347
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @johnny walker: No way, man, it’d be stupid and naive to call it #44. It’s #17 and don’t you forget it!

  348. 348
    OzoneR says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    I’m loving the number of people who continue claiming that nothing can be done agreeing with m_c.

    I don’t think anyone is saying nothing can be done. I think what we’re saying is no one at the moment can do what needs to be done.

  349. 349

    @OzoneR:

    I’m confused on what the actual, real-world, non-massively-hair-splitting difference is. ‘No man, I’m not saying I’m helpless! I’m just saying I can’t do anything about my situation until someone comes along and fixes it for me!’

    Please elucidate.

  350. 350
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @johnny walker:

    I am fascinated to see that m_c comes down to the right of EDK on this, though. heh.

    bullshytt. crawl out of the scotch bottle, troll.

    EDK: I believe in free markets

    That freemarket fucktard is part of the glibertarian grifter posse that nearly destroyed our country with the econopalypse that ate americas jobs.
    Posted in: Assholes, Free Markets Solve Everything, Glibertarianism
    Posted in: Free Markets Solve Everything, Fuck The Middle-Class, Fuck The Poor

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