Conservatives who bet heavy against the auto industry, and lost, take another unearned victory lap

Now that the work is done, conservatives decide to show up:

General Motors Co., state, and local officials are to visit the company’s Toledo Powertrain Plant on Tuesday where they are expected to announce plans to invest an additional $260 million and hire up to 400 additional employees to produce new fuel-efficient eight-speed transmissions for upcoming products.

Dan Akerson, GM’s chairman and chief executive officer, is expected to join Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the plant at 1455 West Alexis Rd. for the announcement, scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

I’m pleased that GM is hiring. But, it is deeply offensive to me that former FOX News personality and auto bailout opponent Ohio Governor John Kasich is busy scooping up the political reward for a risk he and the entire lock-step conservative chorus decided it was politically expedient not to take. They bet against the bailout. Now that it’s showing signs of success, they’re showing up to take credit. No risk, all reward.

Here’s Ohio’s own John Boehner on Obama’s decision to save the US auto industry:

“The pattern here is pretty clear,” House Minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. “Every time the president makes a so-called tough decision, it’s the American middle class that gets hit the hardest.”

It’s bad enough nonsensical strings of words like this went unchallenged at the time, but is anyone going to ask him about that statement, today? GM and Toledo, Mr. Boehner. Any comments on the “American middle class”?

I’m not alone in resenting this. Here’s a county chair in Ohio at the scene of Kasich’s last victory lap who said it better than I can:

“What people need to remember is that the Governor, and many of his Republican colleagues opposed the Obama Administration’s decision to bail out GM and save the American auto industry.”

“Yet, the very bailout that Gov. Kasich has stated that he was opposed to has insured that there is still a functioning GM plant in the Mahoning Valley for him to visit today. If the Governor had had his way, he wouldn’t be visiting a place where a hard working Ohioan can receive fair wages for an honest day’s work.”

The auto bailout was unpopular with the public. Obama did it anyway, because he knew that letting the US auto industry fail while the broader economy was in free-fall would hit this region so hard we wouldn’t be able to get back up. And, there was no political payoff or reward for accepting responsibility and making that decision, obviously. Governor Kasich (with the help of millions in free advertising from his former colleagues at FOX) won in Ohio.

It was a gutsy move. No one (including me) thought it had a snowball’s chance of succeeding even this far. Obama paid a heavy political price for making the decision and sticking with it. It is offensive that the same set of no-show conservatives, the same people who opposed him every step of the way, are now arriving just in time to collect the political paycheck they didn’t earn, on hard work they didn’t do.

“This is somewhere in between Baghdad and fixing the flood in Louisiana,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said, comparing the GM decision to major stumbles by former President George W. Bush. Obama “has decided to take this over. He now owns it.”

If only that were true, right?

185 replies
  1. 1
    Georgia Pig says:

    What I like about this, the OBL raid and a lot of other stuff happening under Obama is that Obama is gradually building up the idea that, hey, the Government can actually do shit without fucking it up. The “we do big things” is a winner. Let the Republicans take all the credit they want, they’re undermining their own bullshit by doing so.

  2. 2
    Jay in Oregon says:

    No risk, all reward.

    The conservative’s idea of how the Free Market(r) works…

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “This is somewhere in between Baghdad and fixing the flood in Louisiana,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said, comparing the GM decision to major stumbles by former President George W. Bush. Obama “has decided to take this over. He now owns it.”

    It’s amazing how, because it worked, Obama no longer owns it. John Kaisch apparently owns it now.

    The problem of course is that the collective American public has short term memory loss. No one remembers that Republicans were claiming the entire idea was doomed, and therefore it’s Obama’s idea and his albatross, but now that it’s been shown to have worked, it was their brilliant idea all along.

  4. 4
    piratedan says:

    well if the union had any sense, they’d have a bunch of signs that stated, thanks for saving our jobs Mr. President, up in the background for flavor, just a polite message to Gov. Kasich and his photo op

  5. 5
    danimal says:

    Willful ignorance like this makes me want to violate my personal non-violence ethic and punch a Beltway reporter in the neck. It’s a conspiracy of silence, and anyone who still believes the media is ‘liberal’ had better give a plausible explanation.

    They simply do not report on the gargantuan levels of BS spewed by the mainstream conservative movement. Until they do, conservatives will continue to lie, obscure or make idiotic statements/policies with impunity. Our nation deserves a press willing to tell the truth.

  6. 6
    Loneoak says:

    Where are all the Government Motors jokes now?

    Conservative humor is humorless.

  7. 7
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    You would think this is all politics as usual except talking to conservatives its clear they really do think the successful recover of GM shows that government aid doesn’t work. It’s like they adopted Underpants Gnome logic to their daily lives just to make their crazy ideology work.

  8. 8
    kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s amazing how, because it worked, Obama no longer owns it. John Kaisch apparently owns it now.

    There are statements like that from every paid hack and politician on the Right. They were literally lining up to give them to the waiting stenography corps.
    And why not? No one is ever going to call them on it. What’s the incentive here?

  9. 9
    piratedan says:

    this is the part of bipartisanship that the R’s can agree on, you pass legislation that works, we take credit for it… see both sides doing their jobs.

  10. 10
    ppcli says:

    @piratedan: Yes. And also, I don’t understand why the Obama people haven’t made absolutely sure that Obama is there at the ribbon cutting – Surrounded by zillions of American flags, plus a bunch of those Ohio state flags that have the stylized “O” that kind of looks like the Obama symbol*, and make a speech about how there was a low point, the government helped out, and now GM has turned it around, jobs, jobs, jobs, and they’re paying back the money, blah, blah.

    As if they were so traumatized by the political hit that they don’t want to return to rake in the benefits. C’mon guys – this is a winner for you! Take it!

    *I still treasure the Free Republic meltdown thread set off by an Obama speech photo from Ohio. “Unbelievable – the arrogance knows no bounds! Modifying our treasured American flag! [Much Yosemite Sam – like fulmination ensues…] followed by an “Um, guys – that’s the official Ohio state flag – here’s a pic.” followed by “Well, they are arrogant enough that they would have altered the flag if the Ohio state flag weren’t conveniently modified already…”

  11. 11
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Are the people of Ohio really stupid enough to fall for this? Because to me this seems to go well beyond the boundaries of the usual apathetic low info voters not paying attention and into willfully stubborn and pigheaded ignorance territory. Normally I don’t like to reach right away for the old “in a democracy people get the govt they deserve” chestnut, especially given our toxic news media, but this is pushing it.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    You know Kay, all this would be comical, if not for the fact that these two faced republicans never pay a price for their two faced bullshit. I know many folks here blame the media, but I mostly blame the white tribalism that is stronger than the obvious right wing duplicity. The media just senses that from it’s majority white audience, and doesn’t dare challenge it. It was the same with the stimulus, and about every other progressive legislation that wingnuts opposed but then took credit for back home. The constituent are the same, they just love to bash liberals, but at the same time lap up the benefits from our bills that help them. The only thing that will change that is a more diverse voting public with increased minority power. It is why the GOP fights tooth and nail against comp immigration reform. It is a loosing battle, in the end. But we are not yet at the end.

  13. 13
    Ash Can says:

    @piratedan:

    well if the union had any sense, they’d have a bunch of signs that stated, thanks for saving our jobs Mr. President, up in the background for flavor

    This. And I seem to recall that something like this did happen some months ago, that some union official got up to speak in front of a crowd and said something to the effect of “It’s nice that Congressman Horsesass decided to show up here today considering he voted against the bailout.” I may have the particulars wrong — it may have involved the stimulus instead — but I do recall such an instance.

    Hey, Kay, any chance of the local unions doing something like this?

  14. 14

    Too bad the auto workers didn’t surprise Kaisch with a big ol’ sign telling him to f off.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kay:

    There is no incentive. None. The incentive actually runs the other way. Be a good stenographer, and you will be personally rewarded, at least in the short term.

    Long term, you’re on your own.

    Every person for themselves.

    This is the way a civilization collapses.

  16. 16
    me says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m just surprised that they haven’t doubled down per standard procedure. I expected Norquist to say it’s something the Khmer Rouge would do.

  17. 17
    JCT says:

    It’s especially frustrating because the political ads write themselves — I’m sure there are tons of video clips with Kasich denouncing the auto bailout.

    I will never understand the complete and utter capitulation of our so-called 4th estate in this new age of entitlement. Talk about real “treason”.

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    let’s just hope the Dems (or at least Team Obama) are smart enough to capitalize on both the bailout’s success and the GOP’s opposition to that success.

    there’s three species of ads they can grow from this: “Dems ensured that GM stayed open and now look! Go Dems!” and “The GOP opposed helping GM to stay open! Boo GOP!” and, of course, the hybrids.

    in a perfect world, come Nov 2012, it would be impossible for anyone in the mid-west to know that the GOP wanted GM to fail and Obama didn’t.

  19. 19
    Bulworth says:

    I would expect Fox News Republicans to start characterizing the GM/Chrysler turnaround as George W. Bush’s doing, since the W admin did initiate some rejuvenation efforts late in ’08, and about how all on-board they were with it back then and because shut up that’s why.

  20. 20
    Judas Escargot says:

    It is offensive that the same set of no-show conservatives, the same people who opposed him every step of the way, are now arriving just in time to collect the political paycheck they didn’t earn, on hard work they didn’t do.

    They ain’t called “the Managerial Class” for nothin’.

  21. 21
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Would it be uncivil of me to point out that everybody knows a black soc!alist Muslim elitist cannot own anything and so it becomes the burden of the oppressed Republican white male to shoulder the credit for this policy and its reward?

  22. 22
    evinfuilt says:

    @Jay in Oregon:
    It’s all part of their strategy to privatize profit, and have public pay for the risk.

  23. 23
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    I have to disagree. As I say constantly, I stopped watching cable, but I did watch the auto industry “debate” and it was ludicrous. I used to flip between the channels. It was ALL negative. It was as one-sided as anything I’ve ever seen. My response most days was “WTF?”
    It was as if the news personalities had a personal beef with workers who make btwn 14 and 26 dollars an hour. They were offended by the very idea.

  24. 24
    Eric S. says:

    I read Overhaul a couple months back. If you are interested in the industry it’s a decent read. It really sticks it to the the auto industry execs.

  25. 25
    mr. whipple says:

    This post should include the ‘assholes’ tag.

  26. 26
    Yutsano says:

    @kay:

    It was as if the news personalities had a personal beef with workers who make btwn 14 and 26 dollars an hour. They were offended by the very idea.

    Of course Kay. If they were worth a damn they’d already be rich business school graduates or pundits like themselves. Otherwise proles should make nothing more than minimum wage. And they’re working on that sociallist idea as well.

  27. 27
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    And how many punditry political geniuses proclaimed that Obama was doing all this for political benefit?

    Obama jokes about it. He says (rightly) “everyone hated that decision”.

    Yeah, sure. It was all politics. Which is why we have a conservative governors in the whole rust belt region.

  28. 28
    Martin says:

    @Georgia Pig: Competence is a winning strategy.

  29. 29
    Scott P. says:

    The problem of course is that the collective American public has short term memory loss. No one remembers that Republicans were claiming the entire idea was doomed, and therefore it’s Obama’s idea and his albatross, but now that it’s been shown to have worked, it was their brilliant idea all along.

    I think the American people are smarter than you give them credit for.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    @mr. whipple: Pretty much every post here should include the ‘assholes’ tag. It’s sorta superfluous.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    Sure it’s one sided, the question is why?. I think it is simply catering to the white majority world view out of pure business mindset of competing for viewers. They have all seen the success of Fox providing catered news, and want some of what they got, or bigger viewer shares. And they don’t get it criticizing the GOP and it’s anti minority viewpoints.

    But whether the chicken or egg came first, we will, as you say, just have to agree to disagree

  32. 32
    mr. whipple says:

    Are the people of Ohio really stupid enough to fall for this?

    They were dumb enough to vote for Kasich, no?

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The interesting thing is, if a bad Republican idea is eventually adopted by a Democrat (see “Obamacare”), the Republicans reject that which they advocated only a few years earlier. Witness Mittens Rommney running from his own health care plan in MA…one that he introduced to the nation with great fanfare as his springboard to the Presidency.

    The MSM, or course, with all the intellectual integrity of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, doesn’t see the contradiction. They in fact go along with it and erase the past because that’s what the current short term bottom line demands, and they are all abject, willing slaves of corporate beancounters now, debasing themselves for their grossly inflated salaries.

    Most Americans seem to have short term memory loss…don’t even ask them to study actual history, because that’s what nerds and geeks do…actually finding out what worked and didn’t work in the past. No, we’re going to base our entire political philosophy on childish fantasy, and by that I don’t mean anything with orcs, phasers, or lightsabers in it.

  34. 34
    Jay C says:

    What cleek said @ #18: while it’s nice that a “county chair in Ohio” calls the GOP out on their bullshit over the GM “Bailout” – it would be a lot nicer if some slightly more prominent Democrat, like, oh, I dunno, President Obama? would do the same. And forcefully.

    But then, I guess, some Op-Ed asshole from the WaPo would get all bent out of shape over his “gloating”, so no dice….

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Yup. QED.

  36. 36
    Bulworth says:

    @Eric S.: Thanks. Been meaning to order it. Just did. As a result, Amazon.com gave me some other helpful hints of what I might also like to read. Their suggestions included this

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ.....d_i=507846

    I expected this to also be a book about the most recent auto bail out. Alas, it was written in….1995.

  37. 37
    mr. whipple says:

    @Martin: Good point!

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    The only thing that will change that is a more diverse voting public with increased minority power.

    I hate this argument because it’s passive.

    Honestly, in the history of the world has anything ever been that easy? “Wait ’till next cycle, when the better voters appear!”

    No, Stuck, never, is the answer :)

  39. 39
    SenyorDave says:

    @ppcli:

    I agree totally that Obama should be ther. Heads should roll if this is an oversight – it might be intentional, and they will wait till the election.

    The bailout of the auto companies should be a major election issue – the narrative that the GOP was against the bailout should be pushed like crazy.

  40. 40
    rikryah says:

    I haven’t forgotten that the GOP wanted the American Auto industry to FAIL.

    I agree that the President should be at the opening of every one of these plants, and comment in his remarks about all the GOPers who were AGAINST the bailout.

  41. 41
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    400 additional employees to produce new fuel-efficient eight-speed transmissions for upcoming products.

    but, but, but more efficient fuel standards will kill jobs!

  42. 42
    Bulworth says:

    But then, I guess, some Op-Ed asshole from the WaPo would get all bent out of shape over his “gloating”, so no dice….

    And our liberal media could trot out some hack from the W admin, like say Andy Card, to complain about how that soshialist Obama is taking too much credit for work W did and is acting too “proud”.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    @Jay C:

    I’m not defending Obama, per se, but if you follow one of the links he’s at a plant, doing just that.

    I don’t know shit about “messaging”, but he is trying.

  44. 44
    Napoleon says:

    Here’s a county chair in Ohio at the scene of Kasich’s last victory lap who said it better than I can:

    Dave Betres is not the Mahoning Co Dem Chair! Thats my hometown.

  45. 45
    khead says:

    The constituent are the same, they just love to bash liberals, but at the same time lap up the benefits from our bills that help them.

    This is why I love to read the paper from home: bdtonline.

    In the last year, the paper (and locals) has wanted Obama to get out of WV so folks can blow up whatever mountain mining companies would like…..

    …. but not before Obama does something about the price of gas, gives money for roads, keeps the heating funds for the poor, and makes sure every post office “up a holler” stays open indefinitely.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    When economic conditions are as bad as they’ve been, it opens up the public to believe all kinds of faux populist nonsense. The reason you have conservative governors is mostly because Obama passed the ACA and it was easy to demagogue before it started taking effect, and the historical loses in a mid term of a first term president always has. Those winger governors and legislatures know the trend and they are going all in to make draconian right wing changes before the pendulum swings back in a general election that is a completely different animal.

    We are seeing a better job market, and the numbers of approval of HCR are rising steadily as the law takes effect. It should be a different ballgame next election, but the fact is, no matter how good things improve under the dems and Obama, or how badly the wingnuts flounder and fail, or how awful their candidates will be, it will still be a very close election. That is pure tribalism, imho.

  47. 47
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    Sorry about that.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    Glad things are looking up in my old home area.

    BTW Kay, Ever run into Linda Howe (my cousin) while doing work for Lucas County Democrats?

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    it will still be a very close election.

    I think so, too. I get “tribalism” I just don’t want to go too far down the road of blaming voters, if we’re trying to persuade voters. Which we are. I would assume.

  50. 50
    Napoleon says:

    @kay:

    Betres, or me being from the Y-Town area? I am a proud ex-Y-towner!

  51. 51
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    I hate this argument because it’s passive.

    It’s not really an argument, but more a detached analysis of the reality. That doesn’t mean dems don’t try to fight it, but just acknowledges what they are up against. I stand by the need for more minority voting power as being the only real way to change incompetent greedy republicans being a viable party electorally. And only electing dems when wingnuts screw things up so bad they have no other choice. this has been going on for decades, even when the media was really more fair and balanced.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    Heck, they still oppose it now.

    That’s the beauty of opposing the bailout. If it fails, you were right; if it succeeds, more money and jobs for your constituents. It’s the Pascal’s Wager of politics.

  53. 53
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @kay: I keep trying to find that line between blaming voters and having them get the fucking plank out of their eye. I haven’t found it yet.

  54. 54
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    I just don’t want to go too far down the road of blaming voters, if we’re trying to persuade voters. Which we are. I would assume.

    We are trying to persuade something like 10 to 15 of the voting public that are true swing voters and open to voting dem or republican. I don’t think any dem has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the vote of 40 to 45 percent of the self described repubs. Even if they ran a lamp post with an R on it.

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @General Stuck:

    I stand by the need for more minority voting power as being the only real way to change incompetent greedy republicans being a viable party electorally.

    Although, eventually, the GOP’ll find a way around it. They’ll open their doors to this or that “minority” demographic, the same way they eventually did to Jews and Catholics, and find themselves new, more restricted scapegoats.

    Actually smashing the GOP and that form of politics for good, that’d be something. But no one’s yet figured out how.

  56. 56

    @piratedan:

    they ought to do something to fuck up the photo op, because other wise it will be used in kasich re-election ads to show how he created jobs.

  57. 57
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Reposting because I used the naughty soc!alist word and entered commenter purgatory. Probably deserved it.

    Would it be uncivil of me to point out that everybody knows a black soc!alist Muslim elitist cannot own anything and so it becomes the burden of the oppressed Republican white male to shoulder the creditburden for this policy and its reward?

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    Little mini-lesson in what our legislators really know:

    Congress is currently holding a hearing with the various cell companies regarding user location tracking. Schumer, who I’m a fan of, just asked why DUI checkpoint apps aren’t being pulled from some app stores. The response was that the apps are often using checkpoint locations as published by the police department, and Schumer questioned why a police department might do that and doubted it was an honest answer.

    Unfortunately for Schumer, DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional in about a dozen states, and most other states require that checkpoint locations are published prior to being set up. Many states consider checkpoints to be something in the vein of an unwarranted search since the checkpoints check everyone (normally to administer a DUI test the driver needs to have violated some ordinance.) It has been a long civil liberties battle that citizens be able to know if they are going to be subject to such an inspection. The checkpoint apps are not only legal, but sort of the intended outcome of the various state laws and lawsuit results.

  59. 59
    Rhoda says:

    The President can’t be at the opening of every one of these plants; but state party officials, democrat congressional folks, and democratic pundits could bang the drum every damn time they’re on TV that the credit for every single one of those jobs belongs to Barack Obama and only Barack Obama.

    I doubt the President is sweating this because Team Obama has the tape on all the Republicans opposing this and how he went there alone; that ad will be run in 2012. So will the one about how your kid is on your insurance until he’s 26 because of Barack Obama…and a host of other things that Republicans oppose.

    The myopia within the MSM that because they don’t talk about the shit he’s gotten done it doesn’t matter and it all comes down to the price of gas in 2012 is so offensively stupid; I don’t know what to think about media in this country. A lot of 2012 is about gas and the jobs number; but even with that Harry Reid proved you gotta have someone to bring something to the table and voters will listen if you scare the bejebbus out of them and I’m certain the administration is prepared to do that.

    Hell, it worked for Bush in ’04.

  60. 60

    IS FEATURE NOT BUG

    Gah. How many times do I have to keep telling you people this?

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    And Sheldon Whitehouse (who I also like) is asking Apple and Google if they would inform customers if there was a data breach like Sony had. CA state law (both companies are HQ in CA) on this is very clear – they must do so immediately, and there’s a whole process for how. If they have individual contact information, they must contact you individually. If not, they have to make reasonable efforts to notify including taking out ads in papers or running TV spots in those regions where users were affected. They need to disclose exactly what information was compromised and pay for the cost of users to clean up credit reports etc.

    The rise of the ‘free credit report’ sites is tied to the CA law. Their business model is to get people to normally use their site for free and build up a customer base, and then when they suffer a problem like Sony and you need some additional service, the bill goes to the company that fucked up.

    Surely these senators know about the CA law. I know they’re building up the congressional record here, but surely they could have gotten more useful information out on this, possibly to support a similar federal law.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    You’d think the campaign ads would write themselves. But then, the networks would refuse to run them, wouldn’t they?

    So it’s cheaper, and easier, to run them on Youtube & let them go viral. Look how much mileage The Daily Show got out of their segments where Republicans piously invoked 911 and then voted against First Responders getting medical care.

    I believe it was devastating.

  63. 63
    Elie says:

    I believe that people know this is one of Obama’s successes. I think that slowly but surely, he is building this kind of positive momentum in the way he does it best and is his pattern that we should all recognize. No Drama. People see it — even his enemies and it drives them wild.

    Obama doesn’t care that he personally gets credit. Trust me, GM knows as do many other constituencies that benefited. Are they all going to scream his praises? No.

    I think that Obama does not want to make respect for the effectiveness of government as some big deal. He wants that government is quietly competent. It serves that purpose to have Republican or right wing political leaders to take credit because it does the same thing — builds the case for competent government. Every right winger that praises and takes credit for anything he does while head of this administration just makes his job that much easier.

    Of course the Repubs will still lie and still try to have it both ways, next pointing out how awful government is… but they are truly undermining their own position. If Obama purposely tried to show them up, he would just distance them from the success he wants them to ultimately own and be a part of — despite themselves. Will these people ever tout the importance and relevance of government? Probably not, but it doesnt matter — the reality is self perpetuating if we can quietly assert it without making a big deal of it.

    At least that is my belief — though I can honestly see the value of the concerns posted here.

  64. 64
    PWL says:

    Well, it’s like this: A Democrat can never do anything right, even when they do something right.

    I’ve always had two takes on the Repub opposition to the bailout: either they were so dense as to believe the the Holy gospel of the Free Market was the only way to go, the evidence before them notwithstanding, and they were willing to plunge the country into economic Holocaust rather than admit the failure of their doctrine….

    Or they knew that since the bailout would pass with Democratic votes, they cold afford to posture and bray against it, knowing it would go through.

    They could avoid taking the responsibility for making the hard decisions, could afford to keep trumpeting the True Republicans Faith to their constituents (thus ensuring their return to office, by confirming their belief in magical thinking)–and as we see, they will now take credit for what they did not take responsibility for…

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    Right. I always get this picture of people (us?) yelling “tribalist!” at “them” and running away, though :)

    Remember how birthers started talking in that incomprehensible secret language? We have to use our normal words.

  66. 66
    Martin says:

    @kay:

    Remember how birthers started talking in that incomprehensible secret language? We have to use our normal words.

    I’m not sure that calling them all assholes is going to win them over, though. They seem quite insistent on being referred to by the incomprehensible secret labels.

  67. 67
    boss bitch says:

    @ppcli:

    Yes. And also, I don’t understand why the Obama people haven’t made absolutely sure that Obama is there at the ribbon cutting – Surrounded by zillions of American flags, plus a bunch of those Ohio state flags that have the stylized “O” that kind of looks like the Obama symbol*, and make a speech about how there was a low point, the government helped out, and now GM has turned it around, jobs, jobs, jobs, and they’re paying back the money, blah, blah.

    Obama tours these types of factories all the time and indeed does remind them who kept them open. While there aren’t a bunch of flags and fan fare, it makes the local news, and the workers love it.

  68. 68
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    “The pattern here is pretty clear,” House Minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. “Every time the president makes a so-called tough decision, it’s the American middle class that gets hit the hardest.”

    Right-wing projection. Again.

  69. 69
    WereBear says:

    @PWL: willing to plunge the country into economic Holocaust rather than admit the failure of their doctrine

    I would not put it past them; faith is not just a religious concept.

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @Martin:

    I think (maybe delusion) that I can still put myself in mental space of the non-politically obsessed.

    So I laughed so hard at the first birther billboard, which asked “Where’s the birth certificate?” Remember that?

    I would not know what that meant driving by. I would think I needed to locate mine, like in a PSA.

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    @kay: Yeah, they do devolve into their own secret code. Dems do as well, remember back to the days when you couldn’t get through DKos comments without at least one LIHOP/MIHOP reference. Pretty much any insider group does that.

    But yes, speaking in plain terms is important to reach the 90% of registered voters that are not aware of all internet traditions.

  72. 72
    agrippa says:

    The elction will be close. 45% of the voting public, nationwide, can be relied upon to vote GOP no matter what. The relative fatuity of the particular politician running for office is not imortant.

    The GOP only needs 5%+ more to win an election.

    Tribalism has a lot to do with it; there are a lot of whites who will not give Obama – or any other Democrat credit for anything.

    The bailout of the auto industry was necessary. I expect that Kasich knewit; and, he knew that Obama was going to do it. It was very easy for him to be against it. Also, he knew that there was no political cost, at that time. Later on, there might be. Kasich bets that there will not be.

  73. 73
    El Tiburon says:

    The auto bailout was unpopular with the public.

    I don’t remember it this way, but oh well.

    Bailing out industries that put people to work I am on board with, especially if there are some strings attached.

    Maybe I will rethink it when the time comes, but I just have a hard time even considering buying a US automobile. I don’t have much faith in them. My Infiniti QX4 has given me 8 years and over 120,000 miles with little to no problems. My previous 3 US vehicles: 2 Ford Explorers and a GMC Jimmy – not so much.

  74. 74
    JenJen says:

    @ppcli:

    *I still treasure the Free Republic meltdown thread set off by an Obama speech photo from Ohio. “Unbelievable – the arrogance knows no bounds! Modifying our treasured American flag!

    So do I, my friend, so do I. Not sure if you’re a Buckeye too, but it was especially hilarious to us, to watch the meltdown in real-time. :-)

    Oh, and Kay? I know you’re involved, and so just have to tell you that the Repeal SB5 efforts are astounding, and you and everyone working so hard on the petition front are doing an amazing job. Went to a terrific petition-signing-n-cocktails event last Friday night here in Cincy at the Northside Tavern. Place was packed, asses to elbows. They had to send someone to print off more petition sheets.

  75. 75
    cleek says:

    with Dems like these, who needs the GOP ?

  76. 76
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m not sure I could have faith in a truck named “Jimmy”

  77. 77
    artem1s says:

    considering that it is GM’s event it’s not surprising Kasich is there taking credit. Remember the CEO’s and Directors of of Big Auto threatened to claim bankruptcy mainly to get out of paying for the health care and pensions of all those union workers. They got what they wanted out of the hostage negotiations for the most part but I doubt they will forget being sent back to Michigan with their hats in their hands after the first go ’round cause they decided to all show up in the company private jets and limos. Their end game was to get their share of the handouts and simultaneously drive the last nail in the coffins of the UAW. If it was politically bad for the President, so be it even better. I sure they all picked up their checks in DC and turned right around and wrote out a big fat campaign contribution to Kasich’s campaign. Anything to destroy the unions.

    So I doubt seriously GM’s marketing department checked the President’s schedule before making up their guest list.

  78. 78
    Martin says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I don’t remember it this way, but oh well.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/0.....kers_poll/

    The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted by telephone on Dec. 1-2 with nearly 1,100 people, showed that 61% of those surveyed oppose government assistance for the major U.S. automakers.
    __

    __
    But Wednesday’s poll suggests that Americans believe bailing out the Big Three is a bad idea.
    __
    A full 70% of respondents indicated that a bailout is unfair to taxpayers.

    That wasn’t an uncommon poll. Very few polls showed support for the plan. Most showed mild to strong opposition to it.

    That your memory on this is backward doesn’t really come as a shock. You seem to place far more value on what voters should want rather than what they do want. And from that seems to spring your irritation with Obama. In this case, Obama actually did what voters should have wanted, rather than what they voiced, and that doesn’t fit with your narrative.

  79. 79
    goblue72 says:

    @General Stuck: Sadly true. Speaks to possibly why national elections are generally so close and maybe why it always comes down to those mythical swing voters – that band of the electorate that doesn’t vote or identify tribally. The flip side of which is that they tend to be the same slice of the electorate that doesn’t pay attention to anything until Labor Day and is generally the most uninformed.

  80. 80
    MarkJ says:

    @Judas Escargot: That about sums it up in one sentence. Brilliant!

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    @El Tiburon: Oh, and my Honda was made in Ohio. There are lots of ways to buy American.

  82. 82
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    Pardon if someone has already said this, but isn’t it a good idea, as election season begins, to get these assholes taking credit on record and drubbing them with it throughout the campaign?

    I could probably put together an effective ad right now just cobbling together youtube clips of Republicans first refusing Federal aid and then beam at ribbon cutting ceremonies.

  83. 83
    dollared says:

    @kay: Amen! Let’s all be clear. This is Obama’s fault, top to bottom. He fucked the unions on the deal, he didn’t take the equity he should have, and he’s been afraid to rub the Republicans’ face in their failure to support American industry.

    It should have been the top line story in the 2010 elections, and only persistent, coordinated, loud, simplistic chanting by every Democrat north of the Ohio River could have gotten it there. Instead my native Wisconisn voted out Russ Feingold and voted in those sociopaths because “Republicans know how to create jobs.”

    Really. How in the hell can you blame the media when Obama caused this disaster with his timidity and failure to support the midwestern candidates?

    And no, I have no conspiracy theories or any theories at all about this. I just don’t get why they laid down and let 2010 happen, and literally millions of Americans will have poorer and more insecure lives as a result.

  84. 84
    Culture of Truth says:

    and he’s been afraid

    his timidity

    some memes will never, never die

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @dollared:

    Really. How in the hell can you blame the media when Obama caused this disaster with his timidity and failure to support the midwestern candidates?

    I think you misread what I said. I don’t blame Obama for 2010 in the midwest. I think that’s a profoundly uninformed opinion, and it’s contradicted by some easily verified facts.

    By “support candidates in the midwest” do you mean travel to midwestern states and campaign? Because he did that. I know because I went to a huge campaign rally in Ohio. If Obama doesn’t appear around a particular candidate I think a reasonable assumption is they made a cold, hard calculation that he 1. won’t help or 2. will hurt. I never, ever thought Obama was a “timid” person and I still don’t.
    I go back to this a lot, but I can’t help it. I’m increasingly puzzled by this insistence that Obama is somehow not a “real” Democrat. That he’s somehow working against some mythical “other” version of the Democratic Party,that exists apart from him.
    I don’t know what it’s based on.

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Just to be clear, that isn’t what I wrote. I don’t believe that. I believe something close to the opposite of that, actually.

  87. 87
    Linnaeus says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Bailing out industries that put people to work I am on board with, especially if there are some strings attached.

    Maybe I will rethink it when the time comes, but I just have a hard time even considering buying a US automobile. I don’t have much faith in them. My Infiniti QX4 has given me 8 years and over 120,000 miles with little to no problems. My previous 3 US vehicles: 2 Ford Explorers and a GMC Jimmy – not so much.

    Keep in mind that the Japanese automakers with operations in the US also supported the bailout, even though they were already getting aid from their own government. The main reason is that all of the automakers are connected to the same supply chain, i.e. suppliers make parts for multiple auto companies. A sudden crash of three major automakers would have taken down a lot of suppliers as well, many of which are the sole producers of certain very specialized parts. That would have seriously disrupted production of cars even in factories run by non-US-based automakers.

  88. 88
    stuckinred says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): Hmm., public appearances aren’t “on the record”?

  89. 89
    Emma says:

    Culture of Truth: Amen. Not even after he has, again and again, shown that he gets things done.

    Did anyone here think that in a little over two years, the Navy would go from “the world will end if we let gays serve openly” to “chaplains are being trained to handle civil unions”? Or from “I’m not much interested in Bin Laden” to “got the bastard”?

    But never mind. The meme will live forever.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dollared: Did those midwestern candidates want Obama to campaign for them?

  91. 91
    Culture of Truth says:

    @kay: Yes, you were were very clear, I think.

  92. 92
    Barry says:

    @kay: “It was as if the news personalities had a personal beef with workers who make btwn 14 and 26 dollars an hour. They were offended by the very idea.”

    As somebody said, people earning $250K per year aren’t rich, but people earning $50K/year are.

    The basic plan of the right is to imiserate the majority of the American people. And their biggest asset is the half of the American people who are juuuuuuuuuuuust fine with the trashing of somebody who makes a bit less than they do, since they’re lower, and deserve to be hammered. Or are the wrong type of people, and deserve to be hammered.

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Martin:

    You seem to place far more value on what voters should want rather than what they do want. And from that seems to spring your irritation with Obama.

    That’s as good a short summary of firebagger anti-Obamism (see also@dollared: ) as I’ve seen.

  94. 94
    dollared says:

    @kay: Why don’t people think Obama is a Democrat? Because he does not vigorously advocate for the Middle Class. He does not rule out Social Security cuts. He talks shared values about once per quarter, in carefully vague speech. He doesn’t go to poor neighborhoods and talk about Medicaid cuts killing children.

    Sure, he’s a DLC Democrat. Most of them are genuinely nice, caring people, but they are sellouts. They will let children die in order to fund tax breaks for technology companies. I”m surrounded by those folks on the West Coast. They are Rockefeller Republicans who have only the Democratic Party to hang with.

    But a real Democrat? A real advocate for a healthy population and a healthy, mixed economy? Please. “Alan Simpson” mean anything to you?

  95. 95
    kay says:

    @dollared:

    It bothers me, in terms of his being the party leader, which he, ya know is, because it seems to be an inability to accept that he is.
    It’s bothered me since the primary. I hear it a lot, and I’m not able to discern what it means or where it comes from. I’m not feigning ignorance, or implying anything. I honestly don’t know what it’s about.
    You’re elected President, you’re also the leader of your respective political party. Boom. Done. No further questions.
    There isn’t a “Democratic Party” and then “Barack Obama”. He’s IN the Democratic Party. Member in good standing, I would say, being President, and all. Wouldn’t your assumption be that he’s trying to get Democrats elected? Why would you think otherwise?

  96. 96
    dollared says:

    And Please, where were the nonstop ads about Democrats saving the auto industry and Republicans advocating 30% unemployment in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin? That election was a gift to the Republicans.

  97. 97
    kay says:

    @dollared:

    To me, you sound just like the conservatives who said Bush wasn’t a “real” Republican. He sure looked like one to me.
    I mostly just deal with what is.
    “The Democratic Party” isn’t a mysterious entity. It’s the sum of parts, and all the people in it are the parts.

  98. 98
    daverave says:

    @danimal:

    just call them what they are… newsholes.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    @dollared:

    I don’t know the answer to that, and I hate after-the-loss tactics discussions, so I will go now and leave that to someone else:)

  100. 100
    Culture of Truth says:

    Has Obama ruled out letting children die to fund the Alan Simpson project? I think not.

  101. 101
    slag says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Very much agreed. Nicely stated, Martin.

    ETA Although I do think Kthug is right about not blaming the tax cuts for the wealthy on the voters. For the most part, I do think that comes from monied interests that have a lot of sway in Congress and in the White House, which knows it has to deal with Congress.

  102. 102

    @Elie: Outstanding take on this, kudos.

  103. 103
    Gravenstone says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel):

    I could probably put together an effective ad right now just cobbling together youtube clips of Republicans first refusing Federal aid and then beam at ribbon cutting ceremonies.

    Other way around. Show them gratuitously taking credit, then show them vociferously attacking the idea when implemented. Cements the hypocrisy pretty clearly. And yes, that sort of commercial should be standard against any and all Republicans in the coming election.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    In one of the last threads I took part in at Eschaton, the subject of Virginia’s hard-right governor and AG came to a sort of “What’s the matter with Virginia?” discussion. One of the hardest-core PUMAs there opined that it was Obama’s fault, because he “sat on his hands” during the VA election. This morning I read that McConnell has 62% approval in VA and is considered a front-runner for the 2012 Veep slot. I’m no statistician but I think that means that a sizable chunk of people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 think a hard-right, Christianist, Confederate apologist is doing a dandy job.

    What turned the so-called swing voters against Obama and the Dems was 1) the economy still sucked 2) a vague notion fueled by Reasonable and Very Serious People that Obama had “overreached”, and the auto bail-out was, in the minds of low-information, non-ideogical voters, part of that mythological overreach.

  105. 105
    nepat says:

    If only it had been the limousine industry in need of a bailout. Or golf carts. Republicans would have been all over it.

  106. 106
    Poopyman says:

    Well, that didn’t take long. Kay’s been referenced.

  107. 107
    BGinCHI says:

    Kay, nice shout-out by Benen:

    http://www.angryblacklady.com/.....-chart.jpg

    Great post. I’d like to go three rounds with Kasich. Come on John, I’m just li’l old English Professor….

  108. 108
    ppcli says:

    @JenJen: “Not sure if you’re a Buckeye too”

    Go Blue!

  109. 109

    And let’s not forget the reverse scenario: Right Wing freaks out over emergency alert plan GOP initiated:

    Following the announcement of a new national emergency alert system that will alert the public to significant emergencies via mobile phone messages, right-wing media have attacked the plan, claiming that it will allow “Dear Leader Obama To Send You Text Messages.” But the plan was implemented as a result of legislation introduced by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 2006 and accompanied by an executive order signed by President Bush.

    Once again: anything a Democrat does is of course evil because it came from a Democrat! Same thing done by a Republican is WONDERFUL.

  110. 110
    dollared says:

    @kay: When I said this was 100% Obama’s fault, I am saying he is head of the party and he is doing a mediocre job at best. I think he continues to worry more about what the Village thinks than what it takes to win the future.

    My point is that sis approach is objectively wrong for the health of the party and the constituencies that depend on the success of the party in elections. A quick synopsis is the effectiveness of Tim Kaine versus Howard Dean.

    The 2010 losses are on President Obama, as head of the party. If you bail out the entire auto industry, in the face of clear, vocal, outrageous Republican opposition, and then lose the next election in Michigan, you are incompetent. Period. End of story. There’s no blowjob, there’s no war, there’s no unanticipated event. There’s just failure to shove all of John Boehners opposition up his behind until he exploded.

    It’s all because he thinks he’s chairman of the US instead of the leader of a party that represents 200 million Americans and their needs.

  111. 111
    BGinCHI says:

    @dollared: Dems are so fucking afraid to make mistakes that they constantly miss the opportunity to trumpet successes and to shove GOP bad ideas where they belong.

    Hey Dems, you don’t have to play hardball every single second, but how about once in a while? Are you paying attention to your opposition? They are fucking crazy.

    Don’t become like them; destroy them.

    /end rant

  112. 112
    Emma says:

    Dollared: He is the chairman of the United States. Stupid, I know, but guess what: he has to think of everyone.

    And this? The 2010 losses are on President Obama, as head of the party. If you bail out the entire auto industry, in the face of clear, vocal, outrageous Republican opposition, and then lose the next election in Michigan, you are incompetent. Period. End of story. You don’t think he’s President, you think he’s God. He could force every Democrat who decided to sit it out to go vote. He could force every Blue Dog to obey him. He could convince the 27% that they would vote for him. He could fix everything else that was going wrong in the economy.

    God save me from the idealists.

  113. 113
    dollared says:

    @Elie: That is a recipe for failure. Pure and simple. Women sleep with jerks. Grandstanders get promotions at work. Politicians who seize any rhetorical advantage and who appear to be on the offensive win elections.

    You are just positing the nice guy lower syndrome. I deeply, deeply wish you were right, and you may be right about Obama’s strategy, but Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida have all proved what a loser it is.

  114. 114
    JC says:

    The gap between actual reality and political reality – I wish I knew how to close this gap, and demand an accountability for Rethugs.

    The list of hypocrisy:

    Deficits deficits deficits! – oh, but no raising taxes, in fact, let’s lower them on the wealthy, some more. Let’s continue unfunded wars. Oh, and we voted for a more expensive drug option for seniors, that is unfunded.
    Financial companies almost bankrupt the US – demand accountability – it’s government interfering with the free market.
    Death panels! Then turn around and kill Medicare.
    Recovery Act bad! Then turn around and claim ownership of the benefits.
    Bailout of auto companies bad! But the bailout works, turn around and take credit.
    Get attacked on 9-11. Let’s invade Iraq! We don’t really care about OBL anyway. OBL gotten on Obama’s watch? Why does he take so much credit? (Never mind that whole Mission Accomplished, fighter flight suit on Bush)

    Drill baby drill! Truth is this makes no difference at all, in the energy picture.

    And they all got elected again, preaching the same policies that drove us into a ditch in 2008.

    The gap between reality and political reality espoused by Republicans, is just astonishing. And how they escape accountability, is all kinds of frustrating.

  115. 115
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Great post Kay.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dollared:

    You should probably talk to some Michiganders about Jennifer Granholm before you decide it’s All Obama’s Fault. Michigan Democrats shot themselves in the foot before the bailout even happened.

  117. 117
    cleek says:

    @dollared:

    I think he continues to worry more about what the Village thinks than what it takes to win the future.

    and you think this … based on what?

  118. 118
    mr. whipple says:

    Really. How in the hell can you blame the media when Obama caused this disaster with his timidity and failure to support the midwestern candidates?

    That’s just a retarded statement. Obama must have been in Ohio 8 times in just the last two months leading up to the midterms, let alone all the other visits since his election. And Biden was in Ohio a lot, too.

  119. 119
    Niques says:

    @Gravenstone: Better yet, split screen.

  120. 120
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Joe Beese II: The Dollaring: Christ, this is getting old.

  121. 121
    negative 1 says:

    @Martin: I’m sure Whitehouse knows it, he used to be our attorney general.

  122. 122
    Elie says:

    @dollared:

    Pessimism and cynicism are not a strategy. You can’t plan any actions from the place you are. “He’s bad, he’s bad, he’s wrong” is not a strategy but just a reaction that provides no learning and nothing to build from.

    There are many examples of success using positive, affirmative and low key action oriented approaches. From the rescue of GM to taking care of OBL to many others, this administration has demonstrated that quiet diligence works. Showboat, no. Screaming and dissing the opposition does what exactly? Yeah, you should be able to show your values and uphold them, but the empty kind of show off crap the republicans pull all the time? NO! And why would we want to mimick that crap?

    Man, you are entitled to your opinion, but you have attracted more attention on this thread than your negative ideas warrant. I say, “get lost” – but only in the most polite way.

  123. 123
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Gravenstone: Yes, much better that way around.

    @stuckinred: Yes. That was my point, if it wasn’t clear.

  124. 124
    stuckinred says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): It probably was to anyone who isn’t stupid! :(

  125. 125
    Catsy says:

    @dollared: This comment of yours is remarkably lacking in things we like to call “facts”.

    Obama “doesn’t vigorously advocate for the middle class”? He’s a “DLC Democrat”? Uh, what? Have you ever actually listened to a speech by the man? Or bothered to familiarize yourself with his accomplishments so far in office?

    President Obama isn’t as progressive as I’d like, but the argument you’re advancing is utterly divorced from reality. Try getting less of your “news” from FDL.

  126. 126
    Uloborus says:

    @dollared:
    Weird. I’m quite sure I saw a major speech where Obama got up and said that cutting SS, Medicare, or Medicaid would be disastrous. He said that he’s all for ‘shared sacrifice’, as long as that means ‘rich people need to start paying more taxes’. He went on rather a long time and vehemently about rich people needing to pay more taxes. I recall being told that he would endorse Simpson’s plan by… people like you. Then I recall him nodding politely to Simpson and refuting everything Simpson proposed on national television.

    The ‘Obama is a DINO’ memes are utterly contrary to the facts.

  127. 127
    JenJen says:

    @ppcli: Pffffffft.

    But, Let’s Go Red Wings!!

  128. 128
    cintibud says:

    Just to throw this in – a major, THE major IMO reason Kasich won was that the Ohio Dems turned their back on the energetic and enterprising Jennifer Brunner and backed the incredible invisible man, Lee Fischer to run for Ohio’s open Senate seat. Since Fischer was invisible – I never saw a TV ad for him and I was far from alone, the very well financed Kasich and Rob Portmann tagged teamed Strickland with attack add after attack add. It’s a real testament to Strickland that even after being battered on two fronts he almost pulled off the upset.

  129. 129
    Culture of Truth says:

    If a politician is a grown up and loses an election, the first person they need blame is themsleves. Period. End of story.

  130. 130
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @stuckinred: Don’t beat yourself up, dog. It’s 90 degrees down there (89 up here). The heat’ll slow down and baffle the little grey cells sometimes.

  131. 131
    kay says:

    @dollared:

    he is doing a mediocre job at best.

    We disagree. Compare him to a modern President. I can’t work with these “mediocre job” blanket statements.

    Compared to whom? Compared to what? 2002? 2004? 2006? Clinton’s effort in the midterms of his Presidency? Your own personal tactical plan? I don’t even know what the measure is, let alone whether he doesn’t meet it.

    You said you wanted Obama to “support” Democrats in the midwest. He did that. We lost.

  132. 132
    dollared says:

    @Uloborus: actually, no, he didn’t say that. He said nice things about how we should share the pain. But since he was elected, he has never said SS or Medicare or Medicaid is off limits.

    I have no objection to his policies. I object to his negotiation strategy and lack of true advocacy. And his 2010 political strategy (hide).

  133. 133
    gene108 says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Dems are so fucking afraid to make mistakes that they constantly miss the opportunity to trumpet successes and to shove GOP bad ideas where they belong.

    I disagree.

    Democrats just lack a core ideology. Elected Democrats are all over the place, in terms of where they line up on social and economic issues.

    This makes picking a Party wide position and fighting from it harder.

    The bright side is you probably won’t see too many Democrats running away from what they did, while in office, like the Republican Presidential candidates are doing and have done.

    Don’t become like them; destroy them.

    The problem with the peaceful transfer of power, in our form of government, makes destroying your opposition hard. McCain’s still in the Senate, rather than getting executed in public, which is the sort of thing you’d really have to do to have sweeping reforms.

  134. 134
    Uloborus says:

    @dollared:
    So your objection is that he just doesn’t say things the way you want? Since that’s entirely about your personal preference, I guess I can’t dispute it. But do understand that for that same reason it’s an unimportant objection to me.

    As for the 2010 election, look into election patterning. It’s counterintuitive and brain twisting, but when you spend two years kicking legislative ass like Obama did, you immediately lose the next election. You’ve pissed off your enemies enough that they vote heavily, but your own people feel there’s nothing to get excited about. It should work the opposite way. But it doesn’t. Between that and standard midterm backlash, I think it’s a testament to the utter failure of the Tea Party movement that the Democrats kept the Senate.

  135. 135
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @dollared: So, Obama’s political instincts aren’t up to snuff? Everything he’s done since the convention speech in 2004 would seem to contradict that.

  136. 136
    BGinCHI says:

    @gene108: It was a rant, so yeah, it was not a policy statement.

    Just unreasonably angry at GOP fucked-upness.

    Some days it just feels like an insane world that we have to argue with and against these idiots.

  137. 137
    mr. whipple says:

    The problem with the peaceful transfer of power, in our form of government, makes destroying your opposition hard.

    We’ve had the two party system since forever, and no one on either side has been able to ‘destroy’ the opposition.

    This is how the armchair activists want it done: send out daddy Obama to fight for them and beat up those bad, bad Republicans. So when Obama fails to destroy them, the armchair warrior can say Obama is ‘weak and ‘timid’.

  138. 138
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Some days it just feels like an insane world that we have to argue with and against these idiots.

    That’s because there is no functioning leftist party in the country anymore. What you have is a rightwing party and a fascist right wing party. So debate consists of putative liberals making a case for reasonable rightwing plans to people that just wanna blow up decades of social progress.

    This is why I laugh when I hear the steely-eyed realists accusing the rest of us of not understanding the concept of political compromise. There is no compromise. I have $0 dollars and you have $10 dollars. You give me $5 so now we both have $5 dollars. Thank you for compromising with me. What, you didn’t compromise, you just gave me $5? You clearly don’t understand the concept of political compromise.

    It will get crazier and crazier until their is again an actual leftist party to balance out the right side. In the meantime, there’s no reason to complain about something we aren’t willing to address.

  139. 139
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    But since he was elected, he has never said SS or Medicare or Medicaid is off limits.

    You must have missed the state of the union last jan. Saying things are not off limits is just tactical politics with the wingnuts. If you listen to Obama, any major cuts or bennie changes is most certainly off limits. As is tinkering with the government insurance nature of it, or in any way privatizing it from within.

    You on concern troll duty today?

  140. 140
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @mr. whipple: Tell that to a Whig.

  141. 141
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Uloborus:

    As for the 2010 election, look into election patterning. It’s counterintuitive and brain twisting, but when you spend two years kicking legislative ass like Obama did, you immediately lose the next election. You’ve pissed off your enemies enough that they vote heavily, but your own people feel there’s nothing to get excited about. It should work the opposite way. But it doesn’t. Between that and standard midterm backlash, I think it’s a testament to the utter failure of the Tea Party movement that the Democrats kept the Senate.

    The Tea Party cost the GOP some Senate seats, but they seemed to do a bang-up job of wiping out the Blue Dogs in the House.

    The big voter motivator in 2010 was fear of Obama’s agenda. I hope the big motivator in 2012 will be fear of the GOP’s agenda.

  142. 142
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mr. whipple: Yup.For Dollared and his/her ilk, no President will ever live up to President Jed Bartlett, or Howard Dean, who deftly steers the ship of state to a land of Liberal Triumph, with only enough opposition as the script written by Aaron Sorkin, or Dollared, requires for Drama. It pretty much all comes back to Martin’s comment above@Martin: , whether you’re looking at the electorate and political system we have, or the one you wish we had

  143. 143
    Uloborus says:

    @General Stuck:
    I thought he was quite clear that he wants it phrased exactly that way. That merely arguing vehemently against cutting SS and Medicare and Medicaid wasn’t enough, nor was neutering the GOP’s best attempt to do so. He wants Obama to say ‘I refuse to discuss changes to SS or Medicare or Medicaid’. I don’t see why the rest of us should care about the exact phrasing dollared wants, but it seems to be important to him.

    My best guess as to the reasoning behind this is that a lot of liberals seem to believe that if you so much as mention a GOP talking point, even to refute it, the GOP has won.

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @…now I try to be amused:

    I hope the big motivator in 2012 will be fear of the GOP’s agenda.

    The generic ballot measure is back to even. That’s a pretty quick swing of the pendulum in less than six months, I think

  145. 145
    mr. whipple says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s just fucking childish. I’ve had enough with whiner ninnies that want daddy to fight for them and spend their days crying about it on the internet.

    There’s a million ways, large and small, to make a difference in the world. It’s so much easier to cry on the internet someone like Obama isn’t giving it to you. Fuck that.

  146. 146
    Groucho48 says:

    You know, it bothers me more that apparently no member of the Obama Administration was there.

  147. 147
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Might be too late for this thread, but I’m arguing with someone about GM on another forum, and he pulled this article out: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05.....2gret.html saying that it doesn’t matter because GM repaid its loans with government money. Am I missing something here? How should I respond?

  148. 148
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    JC @ #114:

    Deficits deficits deficits! – oh, but no raising taxes, in fact, let’s lower them on the wealthy, some more. Let’s continue unfunded wars. Oh, and we voted for a more expensive drug option for seniors, that is unfunded.

    I had posted this on an open thread last night:

    Something finally clicked with me tonight with regard to some of the messes that Obama has had to clean up in the wake of the Republicans’ disastrous turn at the rudder.
    __
    It seems like “tax cuts, two unfunded wars and Medicare Part D” seem to be the triumvirate of things most often invoked.
    __
    Tax cuts and two unfunded wars are one thing, but Medicare Part D … God bless the fuckers for bringing that to pass, unfunded or not. I don’t give a good God damn how it affected the deficit. My parents would be (more) broke without it, and in an ironic way, within that largesse lay the seeds of the Ryan plan’s doom – the seeds of any substantial change to Medicare’s doom, really, unless you’re talking about expanding it. The Republicans have found that it’s much easier to giveth than to taketh away.
    __
    I know it was just a naked, shallow pander for votes, but by GOD if that won’t end up being the gimmick that just keeps on giving and giving and giving.

  149. 149
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    If it helps, that’s not an article — it’s an editorial. One worthy of the Wall Street Journal, even.

  150. 150
    dollared says:

    @Uloborus: I know, saint Obama doesn’t make any mistakes.

    However, he is supposed to be smart. The first rule of debate -whether it be actual debate, arguing with your mother or fighting tooth and nail politics – is don’t concede your opponent’s premises.

    He continually gives the enemy cover for the War on the Middle Class by conflating all debt and not isolating SS. And his stupid, fucking debt trolling is going to kill several hundred thousand children because it will take two decades to restore Medicaid funding. Not to mention the millions of children that will have lower health and income outcomes – and higher rates of criminality – because his debt trolling will result in WIC, housing, child care subsidy, welfare, and remedial education support.

    On top of that, sis party so fucked up the 2010 elections at the state level that the people of the midwest will pay for literally generations – their school systems are being defunded, they are losing the right to organize and vote, and they are losing the ability to fund their governments with supermajority provisions.

    These are real issues with real consequences. And you want to make excuses for incompetence. Why? Poooooo liddle baby Barry was powerless? Then why did we elect somebody who was powerless?

  151. 151
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @dollared: Despite the best efforts of others on this thread you don’t seem to be getting the message but I think I can help:

    Everything you say is wrong. And you are a bonehead.

    Now is that clear?

  152. 152
    dollared says:

    @General Stuck: Your link is just plain wrong, and your argument is flawed. Refusing to affirmatively say “I support cutting SS” is not the same as saying “no cuts to SS!”

    And Fred Hiatt knows what “Everything is on the table” means.

  153. 153
    dollared says:

    @Uloborus: I’m not talking about Congress. The local elections were a disaster. The Repub.Governors’ committee and Kochs knew what they were doing. When are we going to have leadership that has, well, a strategy?

  154. 154
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @dollared: Even blandly uncontroversial statements like the blueness of the sky or the furriness of kittens. In your mouth their their validity would come in to question. That’s how wrong you are about stuff.

  155. 155
    stormhit says:

    @dollared:

    Your fantasy doesn’t factor in that your strategy never would have worked in Michigan because all the national Republicans from the state supported the bailout. Most local ones did too. You can’t make some damning theoretical argument when your opponent happens to agree with you.

  156. 156
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    Refusing to affirmatively say “I support cutting SS” is not the same as saying “no cuts to SS!”

    WTF? does this even mean. Are you drunk? I’ve read all of you’re comments on this thread, and remarkably, have found nothing right in any of them.

  157. 157
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @dollared: Actual hazards in the world must present a particular difficulty for you. Like stoplights and cans of stuff under the sink with a skull and crossed bones on the label. We can only pray that those who love you keep you out of harm’s way because thinking is clearly is not your métier.

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dollared:

    These are real issues with real consequences. And you want to make excuses for incompetence. Why? Poooooo liddle baby Barry was powerless? Then why did we elect somebody who was powerless?

    What we’re trying to get across to you is that Obama is not the all-powerful God you seem to think he is. You seem to think he could solve all of our problems with a wave of his hand, and yet he chooses not to, so therefore it’s all his fault. It couldn’t possibly be Jennifer Grantholm’s fault, or Russ Feingold’s fault, or the fault of the other Democrats who decided it would be a really great idea to say they were going to oppose all of the president’s programs if they were re-elected.

    You may be confused by the difference between “responsibility” and “fault.” Obama ultimately has the responsibility for what happened in the midterm elections, but that doesn’t mean that what happened is directly his fault. If your child throws a baseball through the neighbor’s window, you are responsible for fixing the damage, but no one is going to claim that you, personally, threw the ball.

  159. 159
    Sharl says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:
    You got me curious too. I’m not an economist – not even close – but tried some searching in the archives of a few economists I generally do trust. Neither Krugman nor Dean Baker appears to have responded to that Morgenson post at the time. Sen. Grassley (R-IA) apparently loved it, though, given how much he appears to have amplified it at the time.

    Looking down this Google results page shows a lot of URLs of known wingnuts and ayntards.

    The answer may be – and remember IANAE – that even those who supported this initiative knew what a big risk* it was, so couldn’t support such a leap into the unknown with the normal tools of predictive economic models, which of course only would work on what is predictable. So they stayed silent. [*Dunno, maybe the economic equivalent of sending a party of Navy SEALS deep into an unwelcoming country? Mitigate the risk in your planning as much as possible, then leap into the void to do what needs doing.]

    As far as GM paying back the gov with taxpayer money; yeah, I can actually see that being true. The thing is, though, those still-employed folks are still taxpayers, and not recipients of taxpayer funded unemployment and food stamps. Without seeing actual numbers or trusted analysis, sounds to me like a risk that payed off, at least for now.

    ** ** **

    On a completely separate note, that hilarious parody Jane Corwin site (janecorwin.org) is down – according to its owner (his FB), huge traffic crashed the site, and all the websites hosted under that owner’s account are currently suspended.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sharl:

    I was puzzled by the reference to the payment coming from a taxpayer-financed “escrow account” so that somehow the payment was paid for by taxpayers. As far as I know, that’s not how escrow works.

  161. 161
    plynch22 says:

    Obama will call them all out on this in the heat of the campaign. Believe me: What else is he going to talk about in Ohio and Indiana and Michigan? He saved the American auto industry, and the workers know it. No need to thump his chest right now. This is an easy issue to campaign on, and even to cut 30-second commercials on. Throw up a few clips of Boehner or Kasich saying Government Motors and “it’s not worth it” and then a clip of Obama saying it’s vital and then some clips of Obama shaking hands at the factory gate and smiling. Boom: you win the midwest. Because people know the truth on this one. He gambled and he won — again. Republicans got nothing on this issue.

  162. 162
    Dollared says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): Yes, the sky is blue. Yes, Obama campaigned in Ohio and Wisconsin. No, nobody in DC paid for ads pointing out that Ohio and Wisconsin Republicans wanted to destroy the US auto industry, and that Democrats saved the Midwest.

    The national democrats did nothing to help the locals. And the locals are still being outflanked, outmaneuvered, outorganized and outspent. And yes, out-strategized.

    Now, which of these statements are the equivalent of saying the sun rises in the west?

  163. 163
    Dollared says:

    @Mnemosyne: Are you kidding?

    Obama had choices. He and his political leadership made poor choices. I’ll say it again: Yes, Obama campaigned in Ohio and Wisconsin. No, nobody in DC paid for ads pointing out that Ohio and Wisconsin Republicans wanted to destroy the US auto industry, and that Democrats saved the Midwest.

    The national democrats did nothing to help the locals. And the locals are still being outflanked, outmaneuvered, outorganized and outspent. And yes, out-strategized.

    And Obama is the leader of the party. QED.

  164. 164
    Dollared says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): Oh Tish, you spoke French!

  165. 165
    Dollared says:

    @plynch22: That’s my point. He didn’t do it in 2010, why should anyone expect that the Dems do it in 2011? Why does everyone project their hopes on this guy?

  166. 166
    Dollared says:

    @stormhit: Because party affiliation is meaningless? Wow. Just wow.

  167. 167
    Dollared says:

    @cleek: Deficit commission. Alan fucking Simpson. Larry fucking Sommers. Kissing up to Bobo.

  168. 168
    Dollared says:

    @General Stuck: You are that stupid? I’ll try, more slowly:

    1. When I said that Obama refuses to declare SS off limits, you said I was wrong and linked. The headline at the link is: Obama refuses to endorse cuts to SS” Here is some key text from the article:

    Administration officials cautioned that Obama is not necessarily taking benefit cuts off the table. They said his vision for deficit reduction will become clearer with the release of his 2012 budget request in mid-February and in the months beyond, as both parties test the limits for compromise.

    2. Here is a leetle, tiny logic lesson for you: If I refuse to say whether or not I will do A, I am NOT saying that “I will not do A.”

    3. So your link proves my point, not yours.

    Jeebus. Kay points out Republican hypocrisy. I point out that Obama and the entire Democratic Party has failed to make their case. You all jump all over me, because I am ill-informed, insane, whatever. And of course, it’s the media’s fault for not pointing out the hypocrisy.

    So we’re all helpless and by God we hate Republicans and the media. But neither we nor Our President have made any mistakes.

    What a bunch of fucking losers.

  169. 169
  170. 170
    General Stuck says:

    @Dollared:

    But neither we nor Our President have made any mistakes.

    Yawn, go away dumbass troll

  171. 171
    Dollared says:

    @Elie: What have I said that is pessemistic or cynical? I am saying that with a better strategy and a stronger rhetorical and marketing approach, the 2010 disaster in the Midwest could have been prevented.

    To point out that better tactics could have been used is not cynical or pessemistic. To point out that you don’t win through sheer competence is not cynical.

    You are being naive and self-defeating. I want your values and mine to win. You think that you are in some sort of contest of virtue. I am telling you that we must win dirty, vigorous political contests to win the power to be competent. Ask Walter Mondale how well your approach has worked.

    Jeebus.

  172. 172
    General Stuck says:

    @Dollared:

    , because I am ill-informed, insane, whatever.

    Could be any of the above, or you are just doing some lame parody spoofing. Either way, you’re a colossal boor.

  173. 173
    Dollared says:

    @kay: Oh. I guess you’re just not that interested in politics. I love your posts, but each one makes me think “how can we make sure that this disaster doesn’t happen again?” And the only answer is to win local and national elections. So tactics matter.

  174. 174
    gwangung says:

    What have I said that is pessemistic or cynical? I am saying that with a better strategy and a stronger rhetorical and marketing approach, the 2010 disaster in the Midwest could have been prevented.

    That’s what you believe. That’s not necessarily what would have happened, given the margins, given that the Dem turnout was not depressed.

    And what you thought happened wasn’t necessarily what actually happened, as have been pointed out to you.

  175. 175
    Dollared says:

    @General Stuck: Ah, the General. Lose the argument, start with the name calling.

  176. 176
    gwangung says:

    @Dollared: Hm. Careful. People might think you’re projecting.

  177. 177
    Dollared says:

    @gwangung: Yes, this is a matter of opinion. We’ll never know because what I am suggesting was not tried. I push it because I hope we learn and do better. Thanks for being civil.

  178. 178
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Dollared: Haha. Stuck called you a name. That means you suck. Sorry you had to do all that typing for nothing.

  179. 179
    dollared says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hee hee. He is on our team, but otherwise it’s the exact same experience as arguing with a wingnut.

  180. 180
    Yutsano says:

    @gwangung: Did you duck after typing that? Just curious.

  181. 181
    urbanmeemaw says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: yes.

  182. 182
    General Stuck says:

    @Dollared:

    Ah, the General. Lose the argument, start with the name calling.

    @Dollared:

    You are that stupid? I’ll try, more slowly:

    What a bunch of fucking losers.

    you have the self awareness of a fuckhead. My parakeet could out debate you with one claw tied behind his back. Boorish Moron, it’s not a name call when it’s true.

  183. 183
    dollared says:

    @General Stuck: Then explain how your link supported your assertion. Kind Sir.

  184. 184
    General Stuck says:

    @dollared:

    content deleted due to pointless nature in feeding the troll.

  185. 185
    General Stuck says:

    My link was to pre leaked parts of Obama’s SOTU and what he would say. Things Like this, which he did say in his SOTU and expounded further upon not making any big changes to medicare.

    The direction of Obama’s speech became apparent over the weekend, when the White House informed Democratic lawmakers and advocates for the elderly that he would not endorse the commission’s recommendation to raise the retirement age and make other cuts to Social Security – the single largest federal program.

    @General Stuck:

Comments are closed.