I’m the School Bully, the Classroom Cheat, the Nastiest Play Friend You Ever Could Meet

Kevin Drum* and Ezra Klein have been chatting about how Republicans negotiate. They seem to agree that it’s remarkable how Republicans have made raising taxes (on anyone whatsoever) in the service of a budget/debt ceiling deal seem unthinkable and extreme.

Ezra:

It is remarkable to watch how Republicans have taken tax increases, which have long been present in deficit-reduction deals and generally considered the equivalent of spending cuts, and turned them into something vastly more extreme and unthinkable. How unthinkable? Here’s a little game. Take almost any of the Republican leadership’s comments yesterday and substitute the words “bombing the moon” for the mention of taxes. See if the comments don’t just work, but in fact work a little better.

“We’ve known from the beginning that bombing the moon would be a poison pill to any debt-reduction proposal,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor. See? Or: “President Obama needs to decide between his goal of bombing the moon, or a bipartisan plan to address our deficit,” said McConnell and Sen. on Kyl in a joint statement. Or: “First of all, bombing the moon is going to destroy jobs,” said Speaker John Boehner. “Second, bombing the moon cannot pass the US House of Representatives — it’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen. And third, the American people don’t want us to bomb the moon.” …

But, see, I don’t think Republicans have made tax increases (at least on the rich, and possibly even on the middle class, if mild and targeted) seem extreme to most people. Ezra cites poll numbers that make this abundantly clear. And I think the walkouts on budget talks by Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, taken in isolation, make Republicans look intransigent, in a way that generally polls very, very badly. In isolation, it’s a bad political move. Voters, especially swing voters, regularly tell pollsters they want the parties to compromise and negotiate like grown-ups, not act like stubborn children.

The problem is, those same voters also think that if Democrats can’t somehow persuade Republicans to negotiate like grown-ups, then they’re equally at fault. So it’s a wash. And Republicans know it’s a wash. So there’s no downside for them in acting like stubborn children.

Now, if the mainstream media would even occasionally float the theory that perhaps, just perhaps, the Republican Party is sometimes a tad extreme and irrational, maybe the truth of what’s going on here would have a chance of sinking in with average voters. But it’s taboo to say that. (It is not, by contrast, taboo in the mass-audience right-wing media to say that Democrats are insane socialists/fascists/compulsive spenders/plotters of the overthrow of America as we know it. Far from it — it’s mandatory, and it’s said on a daily basis.)

So, as far as swing voters know, these negotiations are just like playground interactions between two children, one of whom is perhaps a bit less willing to share than the other, but both of whom are basically good kids. They don’t see the bullying for what it is, and they value it as no worse than the sulking the other kid does when (as always) he doesn’t get his way.

(X-posted.)

*Whoops, my mistake — it was Andy Kroll, not Kevin Drum.

104 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    Sigh.

    I can understand, if not condone, the Republican scorched earth fighting policies; it does bring results.

    But bringing down the entire idea of “public discourse” to the level of brawling drunken psychopaths; that I loathe them for, every day.

  2. 2

    Kevin Drum and Ezra Klein have been chatting about how Republicans negotiate.

    Perhaps we could get some professional hostage negotiators in on this thing?

    I do, however, disagree with this:

    So, as far as swing voters know, these negotiations are just like playground interactions between two children, one of whom is perhaps a bit less willing to share than the other, but both of whom are basically good kids. They don’t see the bullying for what it is, and they value it as no worse than the sulking the other kid does when (as always) he doesn’t get his way.

    Polls show the president has the upper hand here. GOP traitors (yeah, I called them that) don’t listen to the people at all. They have their meme, and they’re damned well going to go down with it.

    ETA: this goes for entitlements, abortion rights, etc. the list is long of things the GOP doesn’t care about public opinion on.

  3. 3
    Origuy says:

    Does the title mean that David Brooks is the deaf, dumb, and blind kid?

  4. 4
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    These ploys are always part of the Norquisting drown the gubmint in the bathtub. Everything *always* comes back to that basic goal. Raising taxes doesn’t help achieve that goal.

    I don’t know why everybody doesn’t constantly repeat this. I know why the traditional media stenographers never bring it up.

    We’re so fucked.

  5. 5
    drkrick says:

    So, as far as swing voters know, these negotiations are just like playground interactions between two children, one of whom is perhaps a bit less willing to share than the other, but both of whom are basically good bad kids.

    Fixed. That’s what “both sides do it” boils down to.

  6. 6
    kdaug says:

    they’re damned well going to go down with it.

    And may well take the rest of us with them.

  7. 7
    Montysano says:

    The problem is, those same voters also think that if Democrats can’t somehow persuade Republicans to negotiate like grown-ups, then they’re equally at fault.

    This may be more complex than it need be.

    The GOP/conservative portion of the country has apparently devolved into pure tribalism. In that model, My Tribe (no matter how bad it sucks) is always to be defended without question, and The Other is always to be opposed defeated destroyed eliminated. It’s a great model for a democracy/republic, amiright?

    Edit: Although I am seeing my conservative friends having some “Is this what I signed up for??” moments.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    Not to most people, just to their base, which is, frankly, stupid politics. If they do raise taxes, they’ve pissed off the base, and almost nobody else. And it’s a game they can’t possibly win. We’ve all seen the math – without tax increases the nation simply implodes. That’s the problem we have here in CA, where without revenue increases we’d have to close all of the prisons in the state, or all of the high schools. There’s no other solution other than borrowing – which raises revenue, for a steeper price than taxes.

    Ultimately that’s the decision here – either we raise taxes on the bond traders, or we borrow more and make the bond traders even wealthier – which is the GOP plan. That should be the Dem message right there.

  9. 9
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Polls show the president has the upper hand here. GOP traitors (yeah, I called them that) don’t listen to the people at all. They have their meme, and they’re damned well going to go down with it.

    The problem here is the same problem as with almost any policy these days: it doesn’t matter that the public likes the Dems’ policy proposals over the GOPs. Bar none, when push comes to shove, the GOP nearly always reaps the public opinion benefits and electoral benefits, because they 1) actually do something and succeed in getting their way, and 2) the Dems splinter so fucking much and end up having at least a 1/3 of the Dems going full bore in siding with the GOP to screw everyone over.

    And with regards to the economy, they STILL somehow fucking swallow the GOP line time and time a fucking again. I mean, how do you explain a majority of the country full on firmly believing that the only way to stop our unemployment crisis now is MORE CUTS TO EVERYTHING?

    To wit: Chris Christie scored a major coup in getting the NJ Legs to pass his preferred policy in fucking over unions and workers here, because apparently, the Dems who voted for his bill had personal affections and connections to him pre-Governorship, rather than any actual connection to the policy.

    I’ve just plain fucking given up. The GOP has won, full bore. The only question is when we finally all fucking drown in the so-called rising tide.

  10. 10
    dan says:

    If tax increases are so unpopular and/or dangerous, then why don’t the Republicans let the Democrats and Obama commit suicide by raising taxes? Right?

  11. 11
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage #4

    I will borrow a phrase that I saw someone alluded to elsewhere, and found too clever not to use paraphrased:

    The GOP wants to shrink the gov’t until it’s small enough to fit into the American Woman’s uterus.

  12. 12
    JMG says:

    Again, we see that the thread reaction to disappointment and difficulty is overwhelmingly despair and surrender. Don’t people see that accusing Obama and the Dems in Congress of surrender bears some relationship to their own internal surrender whenever things get tough?

  13. 13
    Hungry Joe says:

    For decades, proto-wingers railed against Social Security and Medicare and entitlements in general, and got nowhere. Then they made a brilliant move: They began attacking taxes in general. Just taxes. Nobody likes paying taxes, right? People bought into the idea that they’re over-taxed, that their money is being squandered on Others. Taxes became so toxic that now
    it’s actually okay to go after entitlements, Social Security, Medicare, even infrastructure fer crissake, because they’re paid for with taxes. And the debt limit fight is holy because the Dems want to raise … taxes. Madness.

  14. 14
    c u n d gulag says:

    Nice “The Who” “Cousin Kevin” from “Tommy”reference!
    My favorite band of all time!
    With “Quadrophenia” my favorite album!!!

    But I think it’s more like ‘Cousin Kevin’ Conservative torturers meet MSM ‘Uncle Ernie,’ jerking us off every day:

    I’m your wicked Uncle Ernie
    I’m glad you won’t see or hear me
    As I fiddle about
    Fiddle about
    Fiddle about !

    Your mother left me here to mind you
    Now I’m doing what I want to
    Fiddling about
    Fiddling about
    Fiddle about!

    Down with the bedclothes
    Up with the nightshirt!
    Fiddle about
    Fiddle about
    Fiddle about !

    You won’t shout as I fiddle about
    Fiddle about
    Fiddle about
    Fiddle about !
    Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle.

    Oh, look, ANOTHER MISSING YOUNG BLONDE CHICK!!!
    And a Democratic Congressman’s weiner.

    Fiddle about…

    (Comment X-posted from NMMNB)

  15. 15
    Poopyman says:

    Baby Boy Blue tends to agree:

    It is negotiating, just good negotiating (and, on the other side, bad negotiating). People and the press should highlight what Republican negotiating is so people can judge, but it’s wrong to say it isn’t negotiating. “Give me everything I want” is negotiating when it works.

    The trick here, as always, is to cut through 20+ years of Republican propaganda. Otherwise you’ll be very shrill when you point out they’re threatening sedition (and possibly treason) and lying about it.

  16. 16
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I’m still mystified as to why Dems deal with this shit. I don’t even see any political reasons that make sense. The Republican Party has been the party of dishonest bullies since Nixon. Two generations of Goopers have been raised in that environment and they’re the ones who will dominate the party for the next 30-50 years. Nothing’s gonna change.

    They are trying to intentionally fuck us over while destroying national solvency…and as Kryptik said above, then shove the rest into a woman’s mommy parts.

    The Israelis have it right: never negotiate with terrorists. The whole debt ceiling flailex is a case in point: one party is holding the national economy hostage.

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    why don’t the Republicans let the Democrats and Obama commit suicide by raising taxes?

    Because the teabaggers are at least smart enough to know who is in charge of at least the House. And right now too many members of the House think raising any tax anywhere is akin to a satanic virgin sacrifice. True believers are always the hardest ones to contend with.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Eric Cantor (filling in for Cousin Kevin) needs to get the snot beat out of him.

  19. 19
    Montysano says:

    @ Snarxist #9

    I mean, how do you explain a majority of the country full on firmly believing that the only way to stop our unemployment crisis now is MORE CUTS TO EVERYTHING?

    Or a country where many members of this majority are old enough to remember a time when taxes were much higher, the economy was strong, and the average American was more prosperous.

    I’m like you; I’ve all but given up. Howard Beale was right.

  20. 20
    Napoleon says:

    Now, if the mainstream media would even occasionally float the theory that perhaps, just perhaps, the Republican Party is sometimes a tad extreme and irrational, maybe the truth of what’s going on here would have a chance of sinking in with average voters.

    This is actaully very simple. The MSM will point it out when the Dems repeatedly and loudly point it out. Unless they do she said/he said doesn’t exist and so they will not report the controversy. It is amazing the Dems have not figured this out.

  21. 21
    LM says:

    I think you’ve offered a perfect summation of the situation. And I think the left feeds this view on the part of swing voters. How many times have you seen progressives suggest Dems could/should stop “letting” Reps get away with it? That Dems just need to negotiate using the superior skills bloggers fancy they themselves possess?

  22. 22
    BTD says:

    At some point, Dems will have to say No to the Madman tactic if they want to change the result.

    I thought the ideal time was in December.

    Not seeing how the Dems escape on this one.

  23. 23
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I offer up a link previously floated here in the comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....dded#at=31

    Nothing’s changed since this was posted.

  24. 24
    Bulworth says:

    And I think the walkouts on budget talks by Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, taken in isolation, make Republicans look intransigent, in a way that generally polls very, very badly. In isolation, it’s a bad political move. Voters, especially swing voters, regularly tell pollsters they want the parties to compromise and negotiate like grown-ups, not act like stubborn children.

    IOKIYAR

  25. 25
    NR says:

    The problem is, those same voters also think that if Democrats can’t somehow persuade Republicans to negotiate like grown-ups, then they’re equally at fault.

    This is only the case because the Democrats have made “bipartisanship” their most important goal for the last two and a half years. If they were willing to stand up and fight the Republicans, then Republican intransigence would look like exactly what it is–unreasonable overreaching on behalf of the richest Americans. But because the Democrats have been banging the “bipartisan” drum for so long, the public sees it as a failure on their part when they can’t achieve the bipartisanship they so desperately want.

    The Democrats dug their own grave here.

  26. 26
    PeakVT says:

    Kevin Drum and blah blah blah

    That’s a post by Andy Kroll, actually, not Drum.

  27. 27
    Larv says:

    Okay, “bombing the moon” should definitely be a new tag to indicate republican fauxtrage.

  28. 28
    cleek says:

    negotiations? bah.

    DeMint says: anyone who votes for a debit limit increase, regardless of what else is attached, will be out of the GOP.

    now that’s some fundamentalist teahadism !

  29. 29
    NR says:

    At some point, Dems will have to say No to the Madman tactic if they want to change the result.

    Don’t hold your breath. If past performance is anything to go by, we’re going to see the Democrats come out of these negotiations agreeing to “reasonable and sensible cuts” to social programs, and lots of people here will praise it as a great progressive victory.

  30. 30
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Hungry Joe

    The unintended (Because I don’t think that they’re that smart) brilliance of the GOP’s rendering taxation as toxic is that they’ve managed to conflate such things as doing away with oil company subsidies, or killing the tax incentives for moving jobs offshore, or taxing investment income at realistic rates, as “raising taxes.” The longer that this goes on the less government will be able to use taxation to encourage some things and to discourage others – in other words: render the government powerless to change things for the better then bitch that it doesn’t change things for the better.

  31. 31
    Stefan says:

    The problem is, those same voters also think that if Democrats can’t somehow persuade Republicans to negotiate like grown-ups, then they’re equally at fault. So it’s a wash. And Republicans know it’s a wash. So there’s no downside for them in acting like stubborn children.

    This reminds me of a great scene in the 2006 movie “The Last King of Scotland” when Idi Amin (Forrest Whittaker) is berating his British adviser Dr. Garrigan (James McAvoy).

    Idi Amin: I want you to tell me what to do.

    Nicholas Garrigan: You want ME to tell YOU what to do?

    Idi Amin: Yes, you are my advisor. You are the only one I can trust in here. You should have told me not to throw the Asians out, in the first place.

    Nicholas Garrigan (with an increasingly hysterical tone): Wha…? I DID! I DID tell you not to!

    Idi Amin: Ah, but you did not persuade me, Nicholas. You did not persuade me!

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    Or a country where many members of this majority are old enough to remember a time when taxes were much higher, the economy was strong, and the average white American was more prosperous.

    You left out a word. One that I think makes a world of difference. I had that conversation with my mom just after Obama won election. She was talking about how things had changed and I pointed out that the America she remembers had successfully segregated away all of the social problems they didn’t want to deal with. The generations before hers stuffed all of this shit into a drawer and pretended it didn’t exist and now we’re working through the trouble of cleaning it all up, but her prosperous America was a white America, and was certainly not all of America.

    (I should note that I’m generalizing a bit – not just black/white but also gay/straight, muslim/protestant, etc. It was a WASP world back then.)

  33. 33
    gene108 says:

    @Martin

    Not to most people, just to their base, which is, frankly, stupid politics.

    Their base votes. Voter turn out wins elections. When 50% of the country doesn’t vote, if you can get the 27% crazification folks, i.e. 54% of the voting public, to go to the polls, Republicans win.

    What the public wants and what voters want are not the same thing. Too much of public doesn’t vote.

  34. 34
    Larv says:

    NR

    This is only the case because the Democrats have made “bipartisanship” their most important goal for the last two and a half years. If they were willing to stand up and fight the Republicans, then Republican intransigence would look like exactly what it is—unreasonable overreaching on behalf of the richest Americans the Republicans and media would have painted them as intransigent, unreasonable, tax-and-spend Democrats.

    Fixed. Seriously, how do you imagine this would have worked?

  35. 35

    Napoleon:
    I think you are not only wrong, you are the opposite of right. Until the MSM is willing to present the parties as anything other than equally juvenile contestants in a high school prom queen contest, you can scream blue in the face and it will only be covered when the MSM can twist it to their purpose. Probably that purpose being ‘look, the Dem rhetoric is just as angry, so the Republicans must be being reasonable!’

    I have some small hope in all of this. The MSM is living in its own little castle on a cloud with no connection to reality. But because they have no connection to reality, they do not define the opinion of America the way they think they do. Maybe they’ve muddied the waters about who intends what or what policies are connected to other policies, but no army of talking heads has made the US people interested in cutting Medicare. As long as the Republicans are loudly in favor of destroying services everyone depends on, they’re still going to hurt for this.

    But you can trust the morning talk shows to tell us that it will be Good News For John McCain every step along the way.

  36. 36
    ppcli says:

    I realize that even after nearly 30 years living in this country there are certain things I just don’t get. This is no doubt one of them. But for the life of me I don’t see how at this point the Democrats couldn’t prevail with a carefully crafted, coordinated message of “we’ve all agreed that we need to pay down our debt and reduce our deficit. There is no way to do this without raising taxes. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying to you or believes in magic.”

    You can use the misleading rhetorical tricks the Republicans love, like household analogies: “The Republicans think that when you have a credit card dept you should just make the minimum payment every month. People who have actually run a household budget know that is a recipe for disaster.”

    Or you can highlight things that give you the rhetorical high ground when you defend them: “Americans take care of their neighbors. The flood [hurricane/etc.] which has just wiped out [small city in Republican state] is an example of that. We need to respond and rebuild. Now Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor say we shouldn’t use national resources to help our stricken neighbors, who have seen the destruction of what they’ve worked so honestly and hard to build. Mitt Romney even called it “immoral” to help. Well, that is a difference in our parties. I say it would be immoral not to lend a helping hand up. (etc.)”

    And so on. But I’ll be the first to admit. I speak American as a second language.

  37. 37
    slag says:

    Take almost any of the Republican leadership’s comments yesterday and substitute the words “bombing the moon” for the mention of taxes.

    So that’s what that “CHA” on the moon stands for: Cold Hard Austerity.

  38. 38
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I think the walkouts on budget talks by Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, taken in isolation, make Republicans look intransigent, in a way that generally polls very, very badly.

    I agree. If Boehner works out a deal, most people will give him the credit and Cantor will look like an idiot. An idiot to most people, maybe not the fire breathers in the tea party, but the majority of the public.

  39. 39
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @30 – Dennis. This. The return message to Cantor et. al. should be that eliminating subsidies, like for the oil companies, is cutting spending, not increasing taxes.

    OT, I had the opportunity to meet Matt Herron, photographer for SNCC and the Southern Documentary Project, today.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    I speak American as a second language.

    I’d agree you come from a sane country until you guys handed Harper a majority on a silver platter. I did see that Layton is giving him heartburn though so that’s kinda sweet.

  41. 41
    Observer says:

    maybe the truth of what’s going on here would have a chance of sinking in with average voters. But it’s taboo to say that.

    But that’s *not* what’s going on here.

    Once again, if the Dems don’t negotiate and complain about something it’s not because they’re dumb it’s more likely because they actually agree but want to be seen by you as if they disagree.

    For example, if Obama didn’t want to cut spending himself he would have simply said we’re not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling and he wouldn’t have signed the tax cut deal. The kind of person who can win the POTUS as a junior first term senator while getting hammered about his pastor’s “anti american” remarks and who can launch a war in Libya by ignoring the opinions of both the Attorney General and OLC isn’t some weak kneed wuss who doesn’t know how to get what he wants.

  42. 42
    Darius says:

    Andrew Sullivan unloads on Cantor and the Republicans:

    Increasingly, Americans and the markets have every reason to feel scared shitless. The controlling faction in the Republican House is a faction that is not so much anti-debt as anti-government. If they have to choose between tackling the debt and raising even some revenues (while cutting spending dramtically), they will choose to push the US into default. Such a default would risk destroying the savings of Americans, make the debt far far worse, spark a double-dip recession, and throw countless people out of work and make those in work radically less financially secure. Even those of us who have saved for retirement by buying unglamorous bonds could see our financial future wiped out by these maniacs on a mission. That is the kind of small-c conservatism these Savonarolans want to penalize.

    This is brinksmanship with all of our lives, our money, our core financial stability and future growth. It is an outrageously reckless way to run a government. And Cantor’s refusal to take any personal responsibility for the result of these talks is of a piece with the record of this shallow, callow fanatic who has the gall to call himself a conservative, even as he launches a wrecking ball at the very fabric of the American and global economy.

  43. 43
    The Dangerman says:

    Test post (i.e, FYWP)

  44. 44
    PeakVT says:

    @ppcli – the problem is that Democrats aren’t unified on a lot of things. The party is a coalition. It’s hard to create a unified front against the Republicans when there is somebody like Lieberman or Nelson or Baucus who is willing and eager to grandstand for the sake of their own interests, whatever they might be.

    Nobody has found a permanent solution to this problem. Maybe there isn’t one.

  45. 45

    ppcli:
    Again, I tend to blame the media on this. And not just the MSM, but the More-Liberal-Than-Thou alternative media that is supposed to be on our side. What you just said WAS Obama’s debt speech. That was what he said. I particularly enjoyed that he defined ‘shared sacrifice’ as the rich needing to pay more taxes.

    Before the speech was even over the TV talking heads were more interested in who he’d been rude to and the blogs were explaining how this was an endorsement of Simpson-Bowles.

    Maybe the Democrats have a problem with messaging, but it’s hard to tell because they’re being asked to tap dance up a waterfall.

  46. 46
    terraformer says:

    JMG:

    Problem is, the going is always rough. Given that, why should we not spotlight surrender?

  47. 47
    You Don't Say says:

    FYI: Kevin Drum is on vacation and that’s Andy Kroll filling in for him. Please update your post.

  48. 48
    gbear says:

    Now if only this republican gamesmanship wasn’t also being played out in damn near every state in the country, the middle class might have actually stood a chance at surviving. As it is, we’re doomed at every level.

  49. 49
    cleek says:

    he would have simply said we’re not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling

    yeah, he did say that, months ago. the GOP laughed.

  50. 50
    Nemesis says:

    The goopers are afraid of Norquists threat to primary anyone who votes in favor of any tax increase.

  51. 51
    NR says:

    Once again, if the Dems don’t negotiate and complain about something it’s not because they’re dumb it’s more likely because they actually agree but want to be seen by you as if they disagree.

    Yep. For the past two and a half years, the Democrats have been using the Republicans as the Bad Cop so that they can play the Good Cop and come to the nation’s rescue.

    But what people forget is that the Good Cop and the Bad Cop are working for the same person, and it ain’t you.

  52. 52
    Thoughtcrime says:

    ppcli @ 36.

    It sounds like you speak the American that defines patriotism as caring and fighting for the rights and welfare of your fellow American citizens, rather than unlimited power and profits for multinational corporations.

  53. 53

    Observer:
    I agree. It’s not hard to see what Obama wants. Given a budget negotiation where adding revenue was flatly impossible, he got a deal where the cuts were smaller than rounding errors. And he got a massive extension of unemployment insurance and got DADT repealed and yes, it’s completely reasonable to think that he didn’t give a rat’s ass about reversing the tax cuts compared to what he received. And he got a massive package of regulations for the medical industry, so presumably he wants those. And he never endorsed, negotiated for, or got cuts in the social safety net, so plainly he doesn’t want those. And we can take it on face value that he thinks the debt could be a problem and should be fixed by raising taxes and controlling spiraling health care costs and cutting the military. I’d say the man’s desires are an open book.

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Nobody has found a permanent solution to this problem. Maybe there isn’t one.

    FDRarmtwistingbullypulpitGreatCommunicator
    primarychallengeJFKfiresidechatsReagancomm
    itteechairstrippingHSTnuclearoptionLBJexecuti
    veorderWJCrecessappointments is all.

    And Bush got everything he wanted.

    Do try and keep up.

  55. 55

    Their base votes. Voter turn out wins elections. When 50% of the country doesn’t vote, if you can get the 27% crazification folks, i.e. 54% of the voting public, to go to the polls, Republicans win.
    __
    What the public wants and what voters want are not the same thing. Too much of public doesn’t vote.

    some countries have mandatory voting requirements. just sayin’ i could be down with that. If you want to be a citizen, act like one.

  56. 56
    slag says:

    some countries have mandatory voting requirements. just sayin’ i could be down with that. If you want to be a citizen, act like one.

    I prefer starting with making election day a holiday.

  57. 57
    JGabriel says:

    You know, SteveM, that bomb the moon example works even better if you change it to nuking Newt Gingrich:

    “We’ve known from the beginning that nuking Newt Gingrich would be a poison pill to any debt-reduction proposal,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor. See? Or: “President Obama needs to decide between his goal of nuking Newt Gingrich, or a bipartisan plan to address our deficit,” said McConnell and Sen. Kyl in a joint statement. Or: “First of all, nuking Newt Gingrich is going to destroy jobs,” said Speaker John Boehner. “Second, nuking Newt Gingrich cannot pass the US House of Representatives—it’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen. And third, the American people don’t want us to nuke Newt Gingrich.”

    Well, okay, maybe the American people do want us nuke Newt Gingrich, but the rest works pretty well…

    .

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @ppcli

    Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying to you or believes in magic.”

    For better or worse, I think you can substitute magic with faith / religion / dogma and you’ve pretty much summed up right-wingers. They’ve taken the belief that tax cuts always solve economic problems as a matter of faith and the facts that say otherwise be damned.

    Or you can highlight things that give you the rhetorical high ground when you defend them: “Americans take care of their neighbors. The flood [hurricane/etc.] which has just wiped out [small city in Republican state] is an example of that. We need to respond and rebuild.

    Ethnic diversity in America is a great thing for our culture. It also creates another class of people: Them or They. They (or Them) are not Us and are therefore taking Our money and wasting it. They are not Our neighbors.

    There’s a two pronged problem you can’t really get around, unless you are really really awful, like Bush, Jr. and that’s the faith people have in the power of the free-market and miracle that tax cuts always produce and the fact people in this country are bigoted.

    The Republicans have created the faith of the power of tax cuts and deregulation. Republicans feed the bigotry of a large section of this country. When Republicans talk about cutting Federal spending it will hurt Them, so it will be O.K. for Us.

  59. 59
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Why GOP walked on debt ceiling talks:

    Per TPM:

    Additionally, Van Hollen said, Democrats were proposing to phase out tax deductions and certain credits for people making more than $500,000 a year. These would be paired with a reduction in the tax burden on lower earners, by eliminating existing limitations on their deductions. “Folks with over $500,000, we’re going to phase out your deductions and some of your tax credit,” Van Hollen said.

  60. 60
    ppcli says:

    Yutsano at 40.
    True – though when I learned to speak Franglish I did it during the Trudeau régime, when even the Conservatives sounded like Bernie Sanders. Things have changed some.

    Though I’m worried about the amount of damage that Harper can do with a majority for five years, the election says more about the way votes were split than about national sentiment. The Conservatives only got 37.65% of the overall vote, much less than the combined Liberal-NDP-Bloc, and anyone who voted Liberal-NDP-Bloc would have preferred one of the other two to the Liberals. (My mother would have voted for Duceppe over Harper in a straight “Choose the PM” vote, and she is an Anglo in Ontario!)

  61. 61
    Davis X. Machina says:

    (My mother would have voted for Duceppe over Harper in a straight “Choose the PM” vote, and she is an Anglo in Ontario!)

    Ouch. That’s bad. (Not your mom, but as a statement re Harper.)

  62. 62
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    As far as voting goes, we’re also getting the wonderful “voter fraud” legislation going on state-level nearly all across the country as well. And it’s probably gonna damn well succeed, because fuck, who’s gonna stop ’em now?

    Took a little longer than expected, but hey, looks like Karl Rove and friends might get that vaunted Permanent Majority soon. All it took was permanently fucking over the country and then being handed the keys to it anyway. Oh, and a totally fucking useless Democratic party that may as well be toothless in the face of the giant unmoving monolith of votes that is the GOP.

  63. 63

    Additionally, Van Hollen said, Democrats were proposing to phase out tax deductions and certain credits for people making more than $500,000 a year. These would be paired with a reduction in the tax burden on lower earners, by eliminating existing limitations on their deductions. “Folks with over $500,000, we’re going to phase out your deductions and some of your tax credit,” Van Hollen said.

    You know, I would gladly pay a few dollars more in taxes to be in that bracket. Fuckers.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    For better or worse, I think you can substitute magic with faith / religion / dogma and you’ve pretty much summed up right-wingers. They’ve taken the belief that tax cuts always solve economic problems as a matter of faith and the facts that say otherwise be damned.

    Yep. As someone here once parodied, “I used to be awkward in social situations, but the Republicans gave me a tax cut, and I haven’t had a touch in months! How have tax cuts helped you?”

  65. 65
    Davis X. Machina says:

    All it took was permanently fucking over the country and then being handed the keys to it anyway.

    The Tories ran on a platform of “We’ll give it to you harder than either of the other parties. We know just what will make a recession worse –and we’ll do it! You can hold us to that promise.” and got within the length of Nick Clegg’s ego of a Commons majority.

    This ‘democracy’ thing is a very mixed bag.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    Ethnic diversity in America is a great thing for our culture. It also creates another class of people: Them or They. They (or Them) are not Us and are therefore taking Our money and wasting it. They are not Our neighbors.

    Another yep.

    All those welfare states created in the twentieth century? Lot of it was in populations that were mostly ethnically homogeneous, and thus had enough solidarity between them that you could create a safety net. Soshulism for white people, as it were.

    As liberals have pointed out many times, in the U.S, that solidarity started falling apart the minute the welfare state started covering black people in large numbers. And in Europe, while the welfare state is still popular and legitimate, plenty of the anti-immigrant bitching takes exactly the same shape as Nixon/Reagan-era welfare queen rhetoric.

  67. 67
    Martin says:

    This is no doubt one of them. But for the life of me I don’t see how at this point the Democrats couldn’t prevail with a carefully crafted, coordinated message of “we’ve all agreed that we need to pay down our debt and reduce our deficit. There is no way to do this without raising taxes. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying to you or believes in magic.”

    There’s nothing to win here. There’s no election, so the voters have no say. The GOP clearly doesn’t care about public opinion, so why fight in the sphere of public opinion if there’s nothing to win there? All it’s going to do it make some disaffected bloggers feel like they’re winning ‘something’, and honestly, who gives a shit about them.

    The message needs to wait until next year, when there’s something to actually vote for. Until then, let the GOP twist themselves tighter and tighter within their own ideology and then use that to expose fault lines within the party, at a time when it matters.

    I think BTD is right that the time to fight was last December, but the time to message was last summer/fall when elections were on the line. Not sure it would have made a huge difference, though, given the anemic turnout from the left and moderates.

  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    This is brinksmanship with all of our lives, our money, our core financial stability and future growth. It is an outrageously reckless way to run a government.

    So this is what it takes to get a Tory Fag to growl at the dick which feeds him.

    Too little. Too late. Burn with the rest of them Sully!

  69. 69
    ppcli says:

    Edit: ppcli at 60
    “would have preferred one of the other two to the Liberals” should have read “would have preferred one of the other two to the Conservatives”.

  70. 70
    Calouste says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    These ploys are always part of the Norquisting drown the gubmint in the bathtub.

    I read that as Norquisling, which, come to think of it, is actually amazingly appriopriate. Maybe we should start referring to any representative who has signed the Club for Growth pledge as a Norquisling.

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    I prefer starting with making election day a holiday.

    Why? So everyone can take monday off as well, take a 4 day weekend and be out of the district on election day?

    Elections are designed to be hard. Let me vote on my phone anywhere the week leading up to the election. Bundle in some other useful governmental stuff in the activity like letting me adjust my W4 or whatever or voting on where some discretionary dollars might be spent, and turnout will improve massively.

  72. 72
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Davis X. Machina

    Per TPM

    Not loud enough.

  73. 73
    ppcli says:

    Martin at 67: Yes, I agree with you about that. There is something to be said for letting the GOP straightjacket themselves tighter, and lay out more exposure. (For example by letting Cantor slam disaster relief and Romney call it “immoral”.) And, on occasion, I do get the sense that Obama and his people are making remarks that suggest this is their long-term strategy. We’ll see.

  74. 74
    Chris says:

    Martin at 67: Yes, I agree with you about that. There is something to be said for letting the GOP straightjacket themselves tighter, and lay out more exposure. (For example by letting Cantor slam disaster relief and Romney call it “immoral”.) And, on occasion, I do get the sense that Obama and his people are making remarks that suggest this is their long-term strategy. We’ll see.

    They certainly rope-a-doped Donald Trump nicely enough. Let him blather on about birth certificates for long enough, then release the long form. Then just for good measure, invite him to dinner, laugh at his face on national television for an entire evening, and then catch Osama Bin Laden.

    If something like that could be done to the Republicans in government, I for one would be appreciative.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    Same crap is occurring in the California legislature, with the end of the fiscal year approaching on the 30th.

    Speaking to the Sacramento Press Club, Conway said she has made it clear to Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez that her phone lines are open.
    __
    “We told him, he knows this, that we’re willing to work with him on a budget that does not raise taxes but still could have bipartisan support,” the Tulare Republican said.

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capito.....z1QDa9lxky

    To summarize: so long as there is no tax increase, or continuation of any existing tax set to expire, or suspension of an existing tax shelter, which would really be a tax increase because we say so; not now, not tomorrow, not ever; so long as we get our way for the rest of time, we can be “bipartisan.” And anybody who says anything different is a liar.

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Larv, @NR: Republican rhetoric in 2010 was very heavy with descriptions of mean Democrats “ramming [X] down our throats.” What that is is a statement that Democrats _were_ intransigent, that they were _too_ partisan, that they _weren’t_ bipartisan enough. You and I know that’s bullshit, and that the biggest problem (from a liberal-left standpoint) is that Democrats give Republicans and conservative ideas TOO MUCH play. But that’s the story they told, and people bought it.

    Being too willing to compromise hurts Democrats. Being less willing to compromise would hurt Democrats _worse_. And Democrats disagree too much on policy to present a united front.

    IMHO the missing piece is a rhetorical strategy that paints Republicans as uncooperative, uncompromising, and petulant, without coming across as whining “No fair!” That’s why my favorite idea has long been to try a variation on “Republicans are lying to us” or “Republicans must think we’re all pretty stupid.” Then follow that up by establishing that diversity of opinion among Democrats is a strength, and thus a policy on which Democrats agree is already ideologically bipartisan as well as being sensible, practical, and technocratic.

    It wouldn’t solve the issue that plagues the blogosphere, where the big problem is that liberals and lefties don’t get their voices heard and don’t win internecine struggles. But it might help a bigger tent Democratic party to roll back Republican malevolence, and that’s IMHO much more important right now.

  77. 77
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Although I am not a FOX viewer, I may be deeply misinformed… I thought the mainstream media was all liberal and stuff! Are not most journalists educated? Wouldn’t most of them have at least a B.A. If they’re educated and presumably liberal, why would they be failing to report this foolishness of the Republicans? Is it because they are bowing to their bosses/corporate overlords? Or, hey, maybe the MSM isn’t as liberal as we’ve been led to believe!

  78. 78
    Zagloba says:

    ppcli: Yes, I agree with you about that. There is something to be said for letting the GOP straightjacket themselves tighter, and lay out more exposure. (For example by letting Cantor slam disaster relief and Romney call it “immoral”.) And, on occasion, I do get the sense that Obama and his people are making remarks that suggest this is their long-term strategy. We’ll see.

    It takes more than a day to create a message. It takes more than a day to generate a narrative. Everyone was gushing over how the Democrats came out publicly — just once, mind you — saying that the Republicans were trying to undercut the wellbeing of the country.

    Well, they said it once, and it vanished into the ether. They have learned nothing. And the public has learned nothing either.

    Motherfucking narratives, how do they work?

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    I prefer starting with making election day a holiday.

    Here’s my brilliant idea. It’s brilliant, I tell you!

    Have the federal government administer all elections on even cycles – those with national components – online. They would also run the state and local components on the same ballot – registrars would need to upload their ballot data and could download voting data for their region. Anyone who votes would get a tax credit in exchange for helping run the country. We save money by moving the process off of paper/machine systems. We get added security because anyone with a proper tax id could vote, you could vote from anywhere and you’d get a single ballot for where your tax id is registered and no way to vote twice. Voters get a tax cut, nonvoters pay for the system. It’s the opposite of a poll tax.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ Martin / 67:

    The GOP clearly doesn’t care about public opinion

    This, to me, is the kernel of the whole problem with contemporary politics. Republicans decided that they no longer particularly cared what the public might think about any individual issue. That totally quashes the usual way to handle things when a politician does something you, Joe Constituent, object to: call their office, hold a rally, sign a petition, etc. _Democrats_ get nervous about that stuff, sometimes. But Republicans _don’t_. They just figure — this is the McConnell strategy — we’ll block everything, fling poo everywhere, and dare the voters to vote us out, knowing that we have a floor of like 45% _whatever_ we do because of sheer tribalism.

    That’s why Bully Pulpiteering doesn’t work. The public gets riled up, harasses Republicans, pulsates with rage. And then what? Bupkes. Republicans don’t give a shit. They’ll wait for the next election and you can take it out on them then… but they’ve got at worst a coin-flip shot at winning anyway, entirely irrespective of the worst things they can do.

    Quite a racket.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    To summarize: so long as there is no tax increase, or continuation of any existing tax set to expire, or suspension of an existing tax shelter, which would really be a tax increase because we say so; not now, not tomorrow, not ever; so long as we get our way for the rest of time, we can be “bipartisan.” And anybody who says anything different is a liar.

    Given that the GOP has been reliably losing seats in the state for the last decade, do you think that tactic is working or failing?

  82. 82
    b-psycho says:

    These ploys are always part of the Norquisting drown the gubmint in the bathtub. Everything always comes back to that basic goal. Raising taxes doesn’t help achieve that goal.

    Actually, if Norquist had done some reading, he’d realize raising taxes actually does help it. The Cato Institute (seriously) looked at “Starve the beast” and concluded it had the opposite effect. Twice.

    It’s not a shock that spending that isn’t sufficiently paid for seems like a discount. Neither is supply-side absolutists completely ignoring this, since it points at a demand-side explanation.

  83. 83
    4jkb4ia says:

    From what I saw of it, this guest blogging stint has been a rousing success.

  84. 84
    Will says:

    “And I think the walkouts on budget talks by Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, taken in isolation, make Republicans look intransigent, in a way that generally polls very, very badly. In isolation, it’s a bad political move. Voters, especially swing voters, regularly tell pollsters they want the parties to compromise and negotiate like grown-ups, not act like stubborn children.”

    What I don’t understand is why we aren’t seeing the president, or Biden, or any of the other negotiators for the Dems coming out and saying something like this: “Mr. Cantor has abandoned the negotiations. He has walked out. We are not walking out. We are still here, working for the American people. We urge Mr. Cantor, and all of the Republican leadership, to come back and continue working with us. The American people expect no less.”

    Why is that so hard for them to do?

  85. 85
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Origuy:

    Does the title mean that David Brooks is the deaf, dumb, and blind kid?

    The deaf, dumb and blind kid reached enlightenment, plus he was never deliberately ignorant, so no, I doubt it.

  86. 86
    karen marie says:

    @Montysano (#19): I’ve seen the movie, recently, and Howard Beale was not right. Max Schumacher was right. Howard Beale was a tool.

  87. 87

    Will:
    Because every person making this demand has a different exact language that they want, so no matter what they choose to say almost everyone thinks they did it wrong? At least you’re not demanding they say ‘Go ahead, shoot! I dare you!’ Remember, we’re armchair quarterbacking from the drips and drabs and rumors of a prolonged and lengthy negotiation taking place between a bunch of different arrogant, slightly crazy people who all know each other well. I go about as far as ‘Insulting people to their face who you need to make a deal with is stupid’ and stop there. I’m probably being too arrogant thinking I understand what’s going on even that much.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    85.Tonal Crow

    @Origuy:
    __
    Does the title mean that David Brooks is the deaf, dumb, and blind kid?
    __
    The deaf, dumb and blind kid reached enlightenment, plus he was never deliberately ignorant, so no, I doubt it.

    Brooks is clearly the Acid Queen. Without the gams, also, too.

  89. 89
    Martin says:

    Why is that so hard for them to do?

    Because their goal is to pass the budget, not escalate a rhetorical war. Again, if the GOP doesn’t listen to public opinion, what’s the point of making the job of actually solving the problem even harder?

    Obama called this situation way back in 2009 when he told Republicans in the House:

    So all I’m saying is, we’ve gotta close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. I’m not suggesting that we’re gonna agree on everything, whether it’s on health care or energy or what have you. But if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me. The fact is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable with your own base in your own party. You’ve given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you’ve told your constituents is this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s gonna destroy America.

    The GOP is backing themselves into a corner where they can’t actually solve these problems without getting killed in the next election. If Dems push them deeper into that corner, the result isn’t going to be better policies, just more intransigence – and sooner or later the GOP won’t back down and really fuck us over. Truly, this is the problem negotiating with hostage takers – once you show up with the gun, you KNOW you’re facing prison time if you back down. Once you shoot that first hostage, you KNOW you’re life in prison. Why would you back down then? Your best case scenario is already pretty horrible. You’re suggesting that the Dems rhetorically go after the GOP and suggest they’ve already shot that first hostage. How does that help actually resolve the situation? Yeah, it might help in the next election, but if the GOP blows up the economy, is that the right bargain to make?

  90. 90
    ppcli says:

    @Origuy:

    Does the title mean that David Brooks is the deaf, dumb, and blind kid?

    I seriously doubt that David Brooks could play a mean pinball.

  91. 91
    mjd55 says:

    I believe that Florida Independents are getting it that the GOP are only interested in the wealthy and their tax cuts. Gov. Scott and our corrupt GOP in Tallahassee have given us a quick lesson.

    New PPL Florida poll:

    In the survey, 40% of registered voters said Gov. Rick Scott’s actions have made them less inclined to back the GOP presidential nominee next year, versus 26% who said his actions had made it more likely they’d vote Republican in 2012. An additional 34% said Scott has had no impact on whether or not they’ll support a Republican candidate.

    A key finding within those results is that almost one in five (18%) of respondents who said they disapproved of President Obama’s job performance said they were still shying away from supporting a Republican alternative because of their dissatisfaction with Scott. Further, 45% of all independent voters said they were less inclined to vote for the GOP nominee after seeing Scott’s policies in action, versus only 18% who said Scott had made them more keen to vote against Obama next year.

  92. 92
    Tonal Crow says:

    Is the debt limit constitutional? Once Congress appropriates money per Art.I s.9 cl.7, has it also implicitly authorized borrowing any shortfall under Art.I s.8 cl.2? Does the Art.I s.8 cl.1 power to “pay the Debts…of the United States” also imply a duty to pay those debts? How about when viewed in light of Art.VI s.1’s acknowledgment of a duty to pay debts incurred under the Articles of Confederation?

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ppcli: Maybe he got a lot of practice on pinball machines in the lobbies of Applebee’s(es?).

  94. 94
    mjd55 says:

    Regarding the above PPP poll, one third of Florida voters are registered Independent so their vote is crucial in general elections. Here’s the TPM article: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....lorida.php

  95. 95
    Timothy Trollenschlongen (formerly Tim, Interrupted) says:

    Bottom line: As a progressive/liberal bulwark against the insane/fanatic Republican party, and for whatever mysterious reasons all of his enablers would love to proffer, Mr. Obama IS NOT GETTING THE FUCKING JOB DONE.

    He needs to be replaced with a president with balls or ovaries to get the job done fearlessly and with whatever the fuck it takes.

  96. 96

    What are you smoking, Tim? Obama’s getting the job done like a mofo. The GOP went into full bore total obstructionism before he even took office, and despite that we’ve got the ACA, finreg, DADT repealed, a buttload of less front page crap, and he took them to the cleaners on the last budget negotiation. I’m quite happy that he talks softly, because he carries a big stick.

  97. 97
    Zagloba says:

    Frankensteinbeck:…and he took them to the cleaners on the last budget negotiation.

    What? How is extending the Bush tax cuts taking them to the cleaners???

  98. 98
    BlueDWarrior says:

    I’m pretty sure what the Republicans are angling for is anything that perpetuates the gridlock.

    They would be perfectly fine with a Democratic Party that did nothing except argue against them louder if it still resulted in status-quo.

    The thing we need to be working on is making sure that the fact the Republican office-holders are by and large either a) politically retarded, b) (in)formal employees of multi-national corporations, or c) both is known by at least 50%+1 of all regularly voting persons, at least.

    Having better Democrats solves some of that above issue, but we musn’t forget how much the media being all about the he-said/she-said/he-said-again is screwing it all up.

  99. 99
    Larv says:

    Tim

    He needs to be replaced with a president with balls or ovaries to get the job done fearlessly and with whatever the fuck it takes.

    Because obviously that’s all it would take. Republican obstructionism? A media terrified of being accused of liberal bias? A shitty (inherited) economy? Feh, we just need balls and fearlessness! Wolverines!

  100. 100
    Elie says:

    Psychologically, we are back at the Civil War and the issues around free vs slave states in the American West. We know how THAT ended up. The then Democrats pushed it till they broke the union, seceding, bringing doom to themselves and much suffering to this country. They never let go of that approach to their beliefs/values: My way only — no negotiation. As Martin states upthread, Obama is negotiating with hostage takers who at key points, up the ante. The game is not tit for tat, but winner takes all and there can only be one winner in their view.

    This whole model for political leadership that is at the heart of the Republicans and their sympathizers just has no room to escape. Its the doom day model that abhors the give and take of democratic, representative governance. For some reason, a certain proportion of white people just seem to like this sort of thing and do not see themselves, or the southern rebels, as traitors to the value of fairness or democratic, representive governance. In their minds they are entitled to completely have it only their way and they have given themselves permission to coerce this any way they can. Why? Cause if they lose this, they know this approach to leadership is dead and that they will be forced to actually bow to representative governance with earned power and representation. They know, given that, that they would be the minority, that their values would literally be voted out. So they will go far — very far…

    I still have hope, however, that there may be a little corner of sanity somewhere in their leadership. Don’t ask me where, but I hope so, anyway.

  101. 101
    Will says:

    @ Frankensteinbeck

    “I go about as far as ‘Insulting people to their face who you need to make a deal with is stupid’ and stop there.”

    The point is taken. But that’s why I limited my proposed statement to simply a statement of facts. What is insulting to Cantor about pointing out that he has decided to no longer participate, and that the Dems are still participating? I mean, hell, Cantor’s practically going around bragging about it anyway.

    @ Martin

    “You’re suggesting that the Dems rhetorically go after the GOP and suggest they’ve already shot that first hostage. “

    If Cantor considers someone pointing out the realities of his behavior the same as “going after” him, he is an even bigger crybaby than I thought. But you may be right about that.

  102. 102
    Elie says:

    I also think that some of the fake progressives (or whatevers) making the absurb argument that Obama needs balls and to bully the Republicans into submission are just stupid. Plain the fuck stupid. Not worth talking to kind of stupid. I recommend Colon Health, a new homeopathic product that will unplug all that backed up poison that is making your brains like liquid manure. Either that or tapping that product for better use in growing vegetables down on the farm. Something useful.

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @ Elie –

    Cause if they lose this, they know this approach to leadership is dead and that they will be forced to actually bow to representative governance with earned power and representation. They know, given that, that they would be the minority, that their values would literally be voted out.

    William F. Buckley’s opinion of how to react to that problem:

    “The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal — is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.

    National Review believes that the South’s premises are correct. If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be, though undemocratic, enlightened. It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority. Sometimes it becomes impossible to assert the will of a minority, in which case it must give way; and the society will regress; sometimes the numerical minority cannot prevail except by violence: then it must determine whether the prevalence of its will is worth the terrible price of violence.”

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    What? How is extending the Bush tax cuts taking them to the cleaners???

    That wasn’t the last budget negotiation.

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