Acknowledging the (Recalcitrant) Elephant in the Room


(Walt Handelsman via GoComics.com)

Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly spells out the obvious, one more time:

Seven months after raising the specter of Republicans trying to hurt the economy on purpose, I can’t help but notice the “sabotage” question appears to be picking up some steam. Just this month, some high-profile, mainstream pundits have begun exploring the issue, and just this week, two of Congress’ most powerful Democrats broached the same subject.
__
Yesterday, Michael Tomasky went even further, arguing that Democrats should start “saying openly what has been clear for months or even years now — that as long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy.” Tomasky added this is “obvious.”
__
The point isn’t to question Republicans’ bizarre priorities or values; the point is to make economic argument clear to the public. Too many bemoan a vague “lack of political will” or “absence of leadership” as the reason so little gets done. Those people are wrong.
[…]
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Republicans said a payroll tax cut would help create jobs, and now they’re opposed to their own idea. Republicans said the Economic Development Administration is great for the economy, and now they’re opposed to that, too. Republicans have traditionally supported infrastructure investment, but the “infrastructure bank” idea appears likely to be killed by the GOP. Many Republicans endorsed the TANF Emergency Fund last year as an incredibly effective method of lowering unemployment, and the congressional GOP killed that, too.
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Republicans are blocking qualified Treasury Department nominees who could also be working on economic policy. Republicans are blocking qualified Federal Reserve nominees who could also help improve the economy, while demanding that the Fed do nothing to promote economic activity. The GOP is demanding that Congress and the White House agree to immediately take money out of the economy and eliminate public-sector jobs, even when conservative economists say that’s crazy. What’s more, these same Republican officials have made it abundantly clear that failure to give them the cuts they want would force them to crash the economy on purpose.
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And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”

There’s a metaphor, originally I think from Alcoholics Anonymous, that badly damaged, dysfunctional people / families / organizations limp along by “ignoring the elephant in the room“… the ‘elephant’ being the horrible truth (addiction, co-dependency, criminal activity) which can’t be treated until everyone stops pretending it doesn’t exist. And in a group situation, the pretence is usually at the behest of one domineering individual who forces their victims to buy into their pathology at whatever cost to the rest of the group.

The current GOP leadership has taken its pathology to the national level, and its members (with the complicity of most of the media) are holding us all hostage to the worst elements of political authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and economic piracy. We need to start talking out loud about the dead elephant in the room — the GOP doesn’t want to protect America, they just want to protect Republicans.






122 replies
  1. 1
    gbear says:

    I blame Obama.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    (with the complicity of most of the media)

    That Ruth Marcus column form a couple weeks back, when she had Paul Ryan admit that “of course we need to raise taxes, but I can’t say that”, is the best most recent example: They simply can not accept that the modern GOP really is what it presents itself to be. That been the case for at least twenty years now. And you find Ruth’s column by clicking on the “Left Leaning” tab at Wapo dot com

  3. 3
    Lurleen says:

    Here’s another example: Take laws that are intended to help protect women from 3rd party abusers and turn it into a cudgel to use on women who miscarry or birth a stillborn.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    And I bet you as soon as the Republicans get all the keys to the kingdom all of a sudden the deficit talk evaporates and unemployment magically disappears as the Galtian overlords decide to benevolently hire with their huge mounds of cash.

    Wait…you say that didn’t happen last time?

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but: Someone, off-the-record (like all sources in the story so far), is trying to defend David Prosser from allegations of choking Ann Walsh Bradley by accusing Bradley of attacking first. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online:

    But another source told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley attacked Prosser.
    __
    “She charged him with fists raised,” the source said.
    __
    Prosser “put his hands in a defensive posture,” the source said. “He blocked her.”
    __
    In doing so, the source said, he made contact with Bradley’s neck.

    Given Prosser’s already reported history of abusive and threatening language towards his female peers on the bench, it really doesn’t pass the smell test. I do wonder, though, what kind of sleazebag is actually willing to slur the victim in defense of a man who chokes a woman.

    ETA: Forgot link to JSOnline, added now.

    .

  6. 6
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    And just who put the elephant in the room in the first place? Voters who were either too complacent to GOTV, voters who were determined to “send the Democrats a message”, voters who were pissed that some Dems who held Congressional seats weren’t “pure” enough and needed to be taught some sort of lesson.

    The rethugs didn’t steal back control of the House—the voters gave it back. We had eight years to learn our lesson under Bush, and apparently some of the people who learned it in 2008 promptly forgot it in just 2 years.

  7. 7
    Donut says:

    At some point last summer, I guess around the time when Jim Bunning, of all people, single-handedly held up the unemployment benefits extension, I decided these GOPers were hell bent on driving the economy into the ditch, again. Why else would that guy at that time be the face of that effort, except to actively work at tearing the country apart and pit different groups against each other? But on top of that, everything they have done in the last two years-plus says to me they are not going to stop at economic pain. They want and crave and are driving towards a full-fledged civil war. Laugh all you want at that, but I’m afraid it’s true. They crave a redux of the 1860s. Duh, we are obviously not re-doing slavery, per se, but we sure as fuck are still fighting about all the other stuff that Amendments 13-26, or 27, I guess. Big time.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    I do wonder, though, what kind of sleazebag is actually willing to slur the victim in defense of a man who chokes a woman.

    A member of the Tribe has been attacked. Therefore member of the Tribe must be defended at all costs. The person doing the attacking could give a shit if they’re bald-faced lying, they are merely defending their Tribe.

  9. 9
    cat48 says:

    Looks like Executive Power can be reined in if illegal immigrants are involved, from The Hill:

    The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is crafting a bill that would temporarily freeze the Obama administration’s power to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

    The measure is in response to a memo issued by the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week that approved a broader breadth of discretion for agency officials when considering whether to deport someone through the Secure Communities program.

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who is sponsoring the legislation, blasted the memo. He said that under the new guidelines ICE agents could defer the deportations of “millions of deportable illegal and criminal immigrants.”

    “The Obama administration cannot continue to pick and choose which laws it will enforce,” said Smith in a statement. “It is outrageous that they have put illegal immigrants and their liberal political base ahead of the American people.”

    Smith’s bill is expected to be introduced soon, according to a committee aide.

    The ICE memo comes in the wake of recent attempts by President Obama to push forward with a revamping of the country’s immigration laws. Republicans on Capitol Hill have broadly indicated their opposition to the Democrat-led efforts, with some calling for a more secure U.S.-Mexico border before immigration talks can begin. Immigration reform is widely regarded as having little chance of passing in the divided 112th Congress.

    The Secure Communities program allows for ICE to check the immigration status of people arrested by law enforcement agencies throughout the country by sharing a fingerprint database. Critics of the program say that it focuses on deporting people for minor offenses, such as traffic violations, and in some cases breaks families apart.

    Under the guidelines set forward by the ICE memo, agents could opt to defer on a case-by-case basis the deportation of people in the country illegally who have committed minor crimes or have extraordinary circumstances, such as students who would have been able to gain legal status under the DREAM Act, which stalled in the last Congress.

  10. 10

    Benen is shrill. So is Anne Laurie. Besides, both sides do it. And it’s the President’s fault for failing to lead by showing bipartisanship.

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    that badly damaged, dysfunctional people / families / organizations limp along by

    What are you talkin’ bout? I ain’t got a problem!

  12. 12
    MonkeyBoy says:

    There’s a metaphor, originally I think from Alcoholics Anonymous, that badly damaged, dysfunctional people / families / organizations limp along by “ignoring the elephant in the room“…

    The elephant metaphor itself has a much longer history than that, but as a “lifestyle choice” metaphor you could be right about AA.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    The current GOP leadership has taken its pathology to the national level, and its members (with the complicity of most of the media) are holding us all hostage to the worst elements of political authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and economic piracy. We need to start talking out loud about the dead elephant in the room—the GOP doesn’t want to protect America, they just want to protect Republicans.

    Who the hell is “we”?
    If anyone read that “harshest of criticisms by Durbin and Schumer” they probably walked away scratching their head about WTF they were actually accusing.
    If some of our elected leaders can’t be bothered to state it in clear language, then who do we think is going to get it that hasn’t already grokked it?

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    The ongoing rehabilitation of the Republican Brand hasn’t helped any of us differentiate.

  15. 15
    Donut says:

    I meant to say, but we sure as fuck are still fighting about all the other stuff that Amendments 13-26, or 27, were meant to change, I guess. Big time.

    iPhone version of Safari is weird some times.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    “millions of deportable illegal and criminal immigrants.”

    He spelled college graduates and military veterans wrong.

  17. 17
    Lolis says:

    It is hard to remember sometimes that there is no moment where his political opponents are not looking to destroy and sabotage President Obama, even if they have to take the whole country down with him. But this is why I try to cut him some slack because I can’t imagine being in that position and I can’t think of any politician who would be doing a better job.

  18. 18

    I say we primary him! that will make things better /snark

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    I can’t imagine being in that position and I can’t think of any politician who would be doing a better job.

    The sad part is they would be doing this with a white President, though probably with less vitriol. But the fact that the President is near just sets them even more against him.

  20. 20
    Donut says:

    It is hard to remember sometimes that there is no moment where his political opponents are not looking to destroy and sabotage President Obama, even if they have to take the whole country down with him

    All due respect, but I think something of the opposite is actually true. They want nothing less than to radically alter and undo the country the US became in the 20th century. They have to ruin a Democratic president and the entire economy in order to do it. Honestly, I think it’s just a little easier for them to do this work, what with a black dude in the White House.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    “She charged him with fists raised,” the source said.
    Prosser “put his hands in a defensive posture,” the source said. “He blocked her.”

    Next we’ll be hearing that she viciously headbutted his fist.

  22. 22
    Keith G says:

    Well, since Weiner has been deflated, who on the Dem side has the balls to make this case? Pelosy?

    I am sorry, but a Weinerless caucus is just too impotant.

    Seriously:

    The current GOP leadership has taken its pathology to the national level, and its members (with the complicity of most of the media) are holding us all hostage..

    The media loves a fight if only those who supposed to fight for us would join the fray.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The sad part is they would be doing this with a white President,

    Hell, look what they did to Clinton, even before he stepped on his own dick, and that’s when there were still Republicans like Roth and old man Chaffee, and without Fox News.

    (Does anyone know where the Sunday show guests are regularly posted?)

  24. 24
    ML says:

    Obama’s beau ideal of a president is Ronald Reagan.

    Name me one democratic president Obama has as consistently lauded.

    The president has refused to call out the GOP because he is sympathetic to its agenda. Sympathetic, in a circa-1980 what would-then-have passed as a moderate-republicantype of way.

    “You don’t have to wear a brown shirt to be a fascist”.

  25. 25
    Poopyman says:

    The word “sedition” should be used more often, given what would surely happen in this country if a debt default tanks the economy.

  26. 26
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    The other elephant in the room is that the news media is broken – more concerned about access, adverts and promoting false equivalence than about reporting the news. How do you get the word out that the Republicans are bent on sabotage if the news media won’t touch the story?

  27. 27
    boss bitch says:

    I am sorry, but a Weinerless caucus is just too impotant.

    Please tell me what exactly did Weiner accomplish all those times he was preaching to the choir or in a shouting match with Megyn Kelly? How many votes did he muster up for anything? Impotent my ass. Weiner wasn’t a part of any caucus. Lesser known Democrats have been doing the work while he posed for the cameras.

  28. 28
    steve says:

    Next we’ll be hearing that she viciously headbutted his fist.

    back when i used to drink more the ground very often, and brutally, assaulted my face.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    @ML No.

  30. 30
    boss bitch says:

    Obama’s beau ideal of a president is Ronald Reagan

    rehashing Clinton talking points from the primaries? Obama praised Reagan’s political style a few times, mentions how he worked with Democrats to do a couple of things and you folks label him Obama’s hero?

    this why the left is not taken seriously.

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    rehashing Clinton talking points from the primaries? Obama praised Reagan’s political style a few times,

    He also said something to the effect of “Reagan changed the way people think about government”. I think that’s true. Reagan (and Nixon, and Vietnam, and god knows what else) convinced a whole lot of people that government is their enemy, rather than their tool.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    Jim @ 23…Halperin’s The Page has it
    Meet the Press: Chris Christie, Sen. Reed, Sen. Webb

    Face the Nation: Rep. Bachmann

    Fox News Sunday: Rep. Bachmann; Sen. Kyl

    State of the Union: Reps. Pelosi, Rogers; Sen. DeMint

    This Week: Sen. McConnell; Rep. Clyburn

    Read more: http://thepage.time.com/#ixzz1QLCx3059

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    BTW the NYTimes has a story on Prosser now..link
    Nothing new, it does not mention that he accidentally grabbed her neck or that her neck was in the way.

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    @ bitch Everything before “Seriously” was written in sarcastic jest. Hence, “Seriously”.

    Having noted that, Democrats do suck at messaging – even the leadership.

    The GOP will coalesce around a message and repeat it morning noon and night. Even GOPers who do not believe will swollow hard and talk the talk. That is the way that parties who want to push an agenda operate.

  35. 35
    Shade Tail says:

    ML:

    The president has refused to call out the GOP because he is sympathetic to its agenda. Sympathetic, in a circa-1980 what would-then-have passed as a moderate-republicantype of way.

    I’m guessing you’re white. That’s the only reason I can think of why you don’t understand the actual reason why a successful black man tends not to “call out” people in a predominately white environment.

  36. 36
    RL says:

    I know I’m going to get jumped on with both feet for saying this, but… :
    What ML said times a thousand.

  37. 37
    kd bart says:

    Of course the MSM ignores it. I was watching Tweety’s show a couple of weeks ago and they were discussing what Obama can do to stimulate the economy. Not once did they acknowledge the obvious that no matter what he wants to do, the Republican majority in the House will just say no.

  38. 38
    piratedan says:

    Republicans – The Stepford Wives Party, nice to see some OTHER national voices finally awakening to what many of us have noticed six months in. This isn’t about ideology, methodology or any other ology… there’s a NEAR in the White House and the goal is to get him out of there no matter what lies have to be said or how many people they have to screw over in order to make it happen. It’s government by temper tantrum.

  39. 39
    PanAmerican says:

    Starting to see chatter that Hugo Chavez died this AM.

  40. 40
    boss bitch says:

    Democrats do suck at messaging – even the leadership.

    truly I’m sick of seeing this statement. Dem messaging works when they all agree on an issue like “Mediscare”. However we have a party filled with people who pride themselves on going up against leadership or the Dem platform.

    I’m also sick of this statement because there must be some explanation for why Obama is so popular despite what Americans think of his performance on the economy, or why the public agrees with him on so many of the issues. Hell after almost 3 years in office the majority still blame Bush for the economy. Something he’s doing or saying has gotten through. Cable and blog chatter seldom reflects what people believe.

    I personally wish the Dems would call out the media to their faces in interviews and during press conferences, but I’ve seen how bitter and defensive they get when Obama does it – yes he’s done it.

  41. 41
    Brian R. says:

    More important — US-Mexico is tied 2-2 at the half.

  42. 42
    Anya says:

    Comrade Scrutinizer @6 ~~ You forgot about old white voters, who were scared of the black man in the whitehouse.

  43. 43
    nancydarling says:

    Who the hell are ML and RL? And why are they posting here?

  44. 44
    Valdivia says:

    @39 PanAmericam

    Where? Cause there had been rumours earlier this week that he was much sicker in Havana than what the govt had said. But no one knew exactly where he was…

  45. 45
    Brian R. says:

    I have no idea who they are, but I wish they’d pass whatever it is they’re smoking.

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    CNN just had an article that had a flurry of tweets after a 12 day silence. Not really evidence one way or the other about El Jefe’s condition.

  47. 47
    RL says:

    @nancydarling

    I’m posting here because I’m a regular reader with an opinion. What’s your reason? Cheers.

  48. 48
    Valdivia says:

    I take these rumors with huge grains of salt. But I have heard repeatedly this week from people connected to Cuba that his stay there was not going well. So who knows.

    At least if he died there no one can say the US killed him.

  49. 49
    Citizen_X says:

    nancydarling@43: a) Idiots. b) Because they’re idiots. SATSQ.

    Oh, I’m sorry, I completely forgot about how the Republicans swore to make Reagan a one-term president if they had to destroy the economy to do it. My bad! Obama is totes JUST LIKE REAGAN, and all Republicans today secretly love him for it.

  50. 50
    Brian R. says:

    At least if he died there no one can say the US killed him.

    Are you serious? There are people in this very thread insisting Obama is a secret fascist who actually idolizes Ronald Reagan.

    If there’s an idiotic thing to be said, rest assured an idiot will say it.

  51. 51
    redheadedfemme says:

    They’re probably (to use a favorite AmericaBlog accusation) “paid trolls.”

    Y’all ought to visit that site sometime. It’s a hothouse circle jerk of “Obama izzz evvvvullllll!”

  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brian R.:

    We need more possession, and more pressure on Mexico’s midfield. If we let them continue to put balls behind our defense for Hernandez and dos Santos to run onto, we’re going to get shredded.

  53. 53
    Brian R. says:

    Agreed, burnspbesq.

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see what Adu’s brought to the game, but our backfield is a mess.

    ETA: Godfuckingdammit.

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    And just like that.

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    They’re probably (to use a favorite AmericaBlog accusation) “paid trolls.”

    Hmm…it may be time to do some identity hardening around here. Put up yer Facebook pages folks!

    Oh wait…I don’t have anything like that. So I guess I’m just fucked huh?

  56. 56
    RL says:

    Whoever is paying trolls, please let me know. I got laid off 2 years ago and could really use the work.

  57. 57
    James E. Powell says:

    The “just say no Republicans” ought to have been the theme of the 2010 midterms. But for some reason, the president and the Democratic congressional leadership did not want to criticize Republicans. I guess they were afraid of hurting Snowe’s or Collins’s feelings.

    My recollection of the Reagan days is that when Democrats balked at what he wanted to do, he and his party took the message to the public that the president wanted to get things done and the Democrats were in the way. Public outcry softened Democratic resistance.

    If Obama does admire Reagan’s skills, he ought to try to imitate that way Reagan had of explaining what he wanted to do in simple terms. I think everyone would agree that the phrase “putting people back to work” would resonate. It hasn’t happened with tax cuts, so the government has to take action. It’s been done before, and it worked. Let’s do it again. Why isn’t that the battle cry? Why do we, instead, have to talk about the deficit and the debt ceiling?

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    James @ 57… When the President was first elected, the press criticized him for being on the air to much. Unfortunately, he is in a no win situation.

    EDIT..I don’t remember Reagan getting the same treatment.

  59. 59
    JGabriel says:

    JPL:

    BTW the NYTimes has a story on Prosser now..link
    Nothing new…

    Actually, there is one new addition. Prosser wasn’t commenting on the charge earlier; now he’s denying it calling it “false”:

    “Once there’s a proper review of this matter, and the facts surrounding it are made clear, the anonymous claim made to the media will be proven false,” Justice Prosser said in a statement he released late Saturday. “Until then, I will refrain from further public comment.”

    It’s kind of a hedging denial. What does he mean by, “the facts surrounding it”? Sounds like Prosser is saying he did choke Bradley, but, once it’s reviewed, he’s sure everyone will agree she deserved it?

    .

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @James E. Powell

    If Obama does admire Reagan’s skills, he ought to try to imitate that way Reagan had of explaining what he wanted to do in simple terms.

    The GOP can do this because they have a network of people who will spread the message far and wide. There is no such messaging infrastructure on the left side of the political spectrum.

  61. 61
    srv says:

    Obama’s beau ideal of a president is Ronald Reagan.

    So ignorant on so many levels.

    Obama’s model is to stick just the right of Nixon – the last liberal president.

  62. 62
    Brian R. says:

    Christ, so close.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    JGabriel It had been reported that she asked him to leave so it’s likely she arose to show him the door. It’s not everyday you see accidental choking but when he called the other justice a bitch, he said she deserved it.

  64. 64
    Anya says:

    @PanAmerican ~~ probably a hoax. I wouldn’t put it past Chaves to spread such a rumor. Since US has enough distractions (economic challenges, 3 wars, a major party filled with lunatics and an upcoming national election), no one had any time to spear for Chavez. And for an attention whore like Chaves, that’s intolerable, so this might be his way of getting into international news.

  65. 65
    piratedan says:

    well then RL and ML, if the President is “secretly” supportive of the “R” agenda, then why do we continue to have the 24 hour network of hate unless its really a secret conservative stimulus program to keep people who are known to lean to the right gainfully employed and how come our secret enabler hasn’t signed into law all of those nifty new laws that the new Congress has passed? You mean to tell me that the Dems in the Senate, that august body of concern trolls themselves, are the real reason that we haven’t experienced Republigeddon? It’s all due to the stalwart intestinal fortitude of Harry Reid?

    because, that’s what you’re implying…. now you may have an opinion, but I believe under any kind of scrutiny, that particular sentiment means that you should seek help immediately because you’ve had a psychotic break from reality.

  66. 66
    cat48 says:

    If Obama ever gets the Debt Level raised, he may turn into Truman b/c no one has passed a jobs bill yet. The repubs did run on jobs, jobs, jobs.

  67. 67
    PanAmerican says:

    Valdivia: WikiLeaks Argentina. Grain of salt and all that.

  68. 68
    Keith G says:

    @b bitch

    However we have a party filled with people who pride themselves on going up against leadership or the Dem platform.

    Which means we suck at messaging whether you are sick of seeing this statement or not. Proudful rebels are quaint in their way, but political parties exist for a reason. PR/spin/propaganda/outreach whatever you want to call it is a big part of what a successful political party does.

    Example: Tim Kaine was a messaging black whole (thanks Obama), but Debbie Wasserman Shultz has underwhelmed me as well. After her victory tour, the last time I noticed her was two weeks ago criticizing Weiner. All well and good, but he is/was a Democrat.

    I personally wish the Dems would call out the media to their faces in interviews and during press conferences, but I’ve seen how bitter and defensive they get when Obama does it – yes he’s done it.

    So, GOP/media pushback means we stop and cower? I figured we were made of sterner stuff.

  69. 69
    priscianusjr says:

    Citizen_X@49

    Obama is totes JUST LIKE REAGAN, and all Republicans today secretly love him for it.

    They act crazy in order to make Obama look moderate while he advances their actual agenda. This takes the heat off him. Haven’t you noticed how often he plays golf with Bohner?
    I guess I have to say that is snark.

  70. 70
    RL says:

    @piratedan
    No one said “secretly.” Maybe you’re just a big fan of “quotation marks.” ML also didn’t say Obama supports the “R” agenda of today. Moderate Republican of the early 80s variety. Maybe you can’t “read.”

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Baud says:

    US is toast.

    edit: re: soccer

  73. 73
    Brian R. says:

    Ugh.

  74. 74
    Valdivia says:

    question–is there a reason adding a website to the reply info will start disappearing my comments? cause I posted 3 or 4 and they all went down the black hole…

  75. 75
    PanAmerican says:

    Bob Bradley joining the ranks of the unemployed.

  76. 76
    Keith G says:

    @James E. Powell

    If Obama does admire Reagan’s skills, he ought to try to imitate that way Reagan had of explaining what he wanted to do in simple terms.

    But that can never happen. It’s too hard. The media. Also, too.

  77. 77
    piratedan says:

    @RL LOL, okay, you’re a rebounder, just checking as to what type of troll you are. Thanks for the edification.

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Valdivia- Same thing happened to me a while ago, link to TPM, by which I did use Dianne Feinstein as an example how the Democratic Party includes a lot of people who are always ready, seemingly eager, to undermine the national party. Baucus, Webb, Conrad, Landrieu. Lincoln is gone, Lieberman fading, but there is never any shortage of them.

  79. 79
    Valdivia says:

    @Jim 78

    could you fix it? I use chrome.

  80. 80
    cat48 says:

    The only time that congress critter Dems come on TV is when they want to whine about Obama. They were excellent with the Medicare messaging. I wish they would do that with a Jobs Bill of some type.

  81. 81
    MikeJ says:

    The only time that congress critter Dems come on TV is when they want to whine about Obama.

    In the past they got on TV by complaining about Clinton. Before that, Teddy got on TV by complaining about Carter.

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim 78
    could you fix it? I use chrome.

    Nope, it just vanished (Safari)

  83. 83
    Valdivia says:

    thanks Jim. I guess I will have to live without linking to my instagram page :(

  84. 84
    Kane says:

    An appropriate analogy of the current situation in Washington is that of a bitter divorce, where one of the parties is perfectly happy and content with destroying himself and everything around him as long as it destroys the hated spouse as well. If the actions also happen to hurt the kids in the process, so be it. The objective of hurting the spouse overrides all other considerations.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    Keith G

    But that can never happen. It’s too hard. The media. Also, too.

    Oooo…ouch…
    Yes, it’s amazing how people like boss bitch et al don’t seem to understand how simple they sound.

  86. 86
    burnspbesq says:

    Not happy about the result, but ladies and jellybeans, you just saw the goal of the year.

  87. 87
    burnspbesq says:

    Always a lot of turning points in every game, but you really have to wonder if this one would have been different if the gutless Salvadoran ref had sent off Moreno for what was obviously a deliberate kick to Adu’s head.

  88. 88
    Yutsano says:

    C’mon Burnsy, blaming the ref is the territory of scoundrels. As is always true in any athletic competition, it is always a combination of bad decisions and forced and unforced errors.

  89. 89
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    I am a firm believer in the theory that bad calls even out in the long run. US vs. Mexico is the sole exception. Those fuckers get every call. Name one big call that has ever gone against Mexico. And no, the sending off in the 2002 World Cup doesn’t count. That came was already over when I-forget-who-it-was laid out Cobi Jones.

    ETA: just so we’re clear: are you saying don’t whine about calls as a general proposition, or are you saying that the offense didn’t warrant a sending off?

  90. 90
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    As I tell my 10 year old, if you’re letting the officiating decide the game, you didn’t do enough to win it. You should never put yourself in a situation where the ref/umpire can win or lose the game for you.

  91. 91
    Yutsano says:

    are you saying don’t whine about calls as a general proposition

    As a general proposition. When one is biased, one tends to look at fortune that goes their way as favorable and fortune that goes against them as incorrect. And no I’m not innocent of the sin either.

    EDIT: What Patricia said above. Refs should be neutral arbiters, but we know that’s impossible with humans. But blaming one call absolves all the other errors that contributed to the loss.

  92. 92
    drkrick says:

    It’s kind of a hedging denial. What does he mean by, “the facts surrounding it”? Sounds like Prosser is saying he did choke Bradley, but, once it’s reviewed, he’s sure everyone will agree she deserved it?

    Look what she made him do?

  93. 93

    @James E. Powell:

    If Obama does admire Reagan’s skills, he ought to try to imitate that way Reagan had of explaining what he wanted to do in simple terms.

    So you think he should lie a lot more? Because for all his reputation as “the great communicator”, most of the stuff Reagan used to make the Democrats look bad was made up from whole cloth. Some of his zombie lies are still eating brains on the Internet today.

  94. 94
    cynn says:

    And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”

    That’s all I need to know about these pigs.

  95. 95
    AAA Bonds says:

    To be fair, they did say they were going to mount a “Taliban-style insurgency”.

  96. 96
    AAA Bonds says:

    I mean, they straight up warned y’all that they would destabilize the country to take the Democrats out of power, within weeks of the election.

  97. 97
    Non-Existent Patricia says:

    I think the right using Reagan some champion of their ideals is silly. At heart, Reagan was not an uncaring person. I think was in David Stockman’s “Triumph of Politics” where he described meeting with a group of people who were devastated by some disaster (I can’t remember the exact circumstances, Patricia +5?) and Reagan walked saying,”We should do something to help these people,” and his staff decided he should not be allowed to meet actual people hurting because he always wanted to do something to help them. Point being, Republicans today have no problem seeing what their policies actually do to people and trying to double down. That’s not say Reagan wasn’t the face of the movement and wasn’t out there spouting lies, but when confronted with real living breathing human beings, his response to was to want to help. I don’t think that’s true of the W era Republicans.

    Edited: because I’m an idiot and the first sentence made no sense.
    Patricia + more than 5 apparently

  98. 98
    cynn says:

    AAA bonds, if you are replying to me, I never saw anything so incendiary.

  99. 99
    JGabriel says:

    burnspbesq:

    Name one big call that has ever gone against Mexico.

    Not sure who the refs were, if anyone, but Mexico really didn’t make out all that well in the Mexican-American War or the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

    .

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I don’t think it was so obviously a “big call blown”–more like a non-call. The ref was far away from that near-collision, and it was only in the slo-mo replay that it became obvious that the Mexican let his boot linger against Adu’s head. Possibly misfeasance (on the ref’s part), but not malfeasance.

    Agree that Dos Santos’s goal was a thing of sublime beauty.

  101. 101
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @cynn

    And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”

    That’s all I need to know about these pigs.

    That is an insult to pigs, you swine.

  102. 102
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    JGabriel: That was back in the days when the ref was always British, so you should expect the calls to hose someone brown. Really, I think all of the world’s problems today can be traced back to the Brits and fairly blamed on them.

    Before them, it was the Romans.

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    Gosh, the only thing the Dems could do to undercut the growing understanding that the R’s are children and would gladly blow up the economy to try and tank Obama would be to join the R’s in cutting Medicare.

    Hmmm…

  104. 104

    The elephant metaphor itself has a much longer history than that, but as a “lifestyle choice” metaphor you could be right about AA.

    It might be, but I’d first heard it in a clinical setting, it was attributed to a child (though I suspect it might be a clinician developing the child’s thoughts) saying that the family problems were like “having an elephant in the living room that nobody talks about”.

    It’s a bit too cute, a bit too “out of the mouths of babes!” for me to take too seriously, but that specific metaphor – a family studiously ignoring something *big* and *obvious* is something that resonates.

    Although I’d argue that this is not so much the fault of the Republicans as it is of the media, which has chosen to let them get away with this. Reward bad behavior, and you get bad behavior.

  105. 105
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Brian R.:

    If there’s an idiotic thing to be said, rest assured an idiot will say it.

    That’s one thing our country has no shortage of: fucking idiots. We really don’t have much of a chance of avoiding a disaster with the number of idiots we have on both the left and the right. With the media consolidation into the hands of the rich and powerful, many of them mega-corporations, nobody is going to get the truth about anything.

    The rich and powerful want a compliant populace and making everyone poor will give them exactly what they want. When much of the cash and power are in their hands, they know that everyone will have to come to them on bended knee to get anything to be able to survive.

    Shorter version: We are fucked.

    @Yutsano:

    No identity hardening needed here, just mock and ridicule them endlessly. I don’t give a shit what side they say they are on, if I can’t look them in the eye when they spout their bullshit then it isn’t worth taking seriously. Ratfucker or manic progressive, there’s not a whit of difference between them on the internet. They both want the same thing; to get Obama out of office.

    IMO, known and confirmed manic progressives are the teabaggers of our side. They are kneecapping the left in the name of progressive purity and that’s just fine with them.

    Fuck them all, they are the friends of the enemy.

  106. 106
    tam1MI says:

    No identity hardening needed here, just mock and ridicule them endlessly.

    Yes, that will be just the ticket to get them to come to the polls in 2012 in the way they didn’t in 2010.

  107. 107
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @tam1MI:

    Why the fuck worry about convincing ratfuckers and manic progressives to go to the polls? They are just going to vote against Obama and any insufficiently pure Democrat. That and they are faceless, nameless entities who just might not be what they are trying to make you think they are.

    Talk about a fucking idiot. Bingo!

  108. 108
    Sheesh says:

    Tam #106,

    Who gives a shit what they do? Let them vote for Nader. If they aren’t ‘on-side’, so what? That’s their choice. How about we help all the average people in the Democratic base that get disenfranchised every cycle to GOTV instead.

    Until we abolish the Electoral College (lol), a vote against a Democrat is a vote for a Republican. The lesser of “two evils” is still a moral choice, really. One outcome represents more harm to more people.

  109. 109
    Pat says:

    The Democrats have been quite the enablers these past 2.5 years with Harry Reid and the new senate rule of everything that is of importance to the average citizen needing 60 votes to pass.

    THAT WAS NOT THE CASE WHEN BUSH WAS PRESIDENT.

    That is why, more than ever, this country needs a third political party – a progressive party that is truly FOR THE PEOPLE.

  110. 110
    Uriel says:

    @Pat

    Sorry, for a second there, I had a response up suggesting that I agreed with your sentiments in this post- however, that was when your sentiments consisted of the far more sensible “bbbbbbbbbbbbb.”

    Now this new stuff you’re spouting- sorry, that doesn’t make a lick of sense. Should have stuck with the original.

  111. 111
    Sheesh says:

    If there was a progressive party candidate in a three way race for president in 2012 against a Democrat and a Republican what do you think the outcome will be?

    What year do you think it will be when a three way race including a Democrat, a Progressive, and a Republican results in the Progressive scoring even one states’ EC votes? Provide the evidence that leads to your answer. If you want national election reform, you may concede the point and say that instead.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    The answer is to shoot, skin and eat the elephant.

  113. 113
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Uriel:

    Don’t stomp on it, it’s a firebagger! You’ll get shit all over your shoe.

  114. 114
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The answer is to shoot, skin and burn the remains of the elephant.

    Fix’t. I don’t eat shit.

  115. 115
    bob h says:

    If you are executing God’s will, if your mission is divinely inspired, as Republicans believe, then driving the country into the ditch in behalf of a return to long-term Republican control is something you don’t think twice about.

  116. 116
    Sly says:

    This is all a bit too simplistic, and ignores the constituency aspect of politics.

    The economy is a vast array of interconnecting parts, each with a different set of short-term incentives and varying reserves of political capital to work the rules to their favor. Its divisible into political constituencies just like everything else, and the GOP is plainly responding to the short-term incentives of their major economic constituents: creditors. To the GOP, creditors are the economy.

    These are firms that are currently sitting on reserves of capital reaching near to two trillion dollars because they have no short-term incentive to invest in expanding productive capacity (i.e. lending money to businesses for hiring people). There is no incentive for this because demand for goods and services has been shrinking, evidenced by the reduction in consumer spending.

    And this is contributing to a broader problem of “cash hoarding” that we’ve been looking at since the recession began: The only thing companies seem comfortable spending money on are things that reduce short and medium-term production costs (new types of equipment, etc), and so corporate liquid assets are at their highest percentage of total assets since the 1960s.

    So the myopia of corporate culture dictates, for creditors, that even the mere specter of inflation is the enemy because it diminishes the value of liquid assets. What maintains or increases the value of liquid assets are, obviously, policies that maintain or increase the value of money (like a contraction of Federal spending). The solution that creditors have adopted is, to put it bluntly, killing everyone. Including, eventually, the creditors themselves.

    The fact that a constant canard of the right is that “the government is just printing money and this is destroying the value of the dollar” shouldn’t really come as a surprise, then, because they’re merely reacting to the demands of their constituents.

  117. 117
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Sly:

    Businesses, banks and the wealthy have been playing Monopoly: Death match Edition. What they don’t seem to understand is that in this ‘game’, the winner will also be the loser.

    We need more jobs to reduce unemployment and they need customers to buy stuff, increasing demand which would necessitate hiring more people to sell that stuff. We need better paying jobs to give people more money to spend and they are loathe to part with even a wooden nickel of their precious hoard of cash. It’s a stalemate and the only chance of breaking it is to have the government step in and make the rich and powerful part with some of their cash so they can stimulate the economy, create jobs and get things going again. Problem is that the rich own our government so that isn’t going to happen.

    All I can see is the disaster that is looming large over our country, ready to drop down on us any day. The Repubs like to refer to the rich as “job creators” but the rich aren’t going to create a single job unless they can make money off of it. No demand, no jobs, end of story. Tax cuts for the rich will only give them more money and that’s the last damned thing they need.

    Like I said above, we’re fucked and IMO that’s exactly what the Republicans want. Sometimes I think that we need to let the Repubs take over again so once and for all we can go into the shitter, get it over with and leave them holding the bag. They want to regain power so bad but we all know what will happen to us if they do. They seem to think that they can solve all of our problems if only they can give the rich everything they want. We know that if they regain power then it’s probably game over for the whole mess.

    The ‘system’ is broken. Maybe beyond repair. When shit gets this bad there is usually a major war shortly afterward. This time it may be a civil war, not a world war.

  118. 118
    slightly_peeved says:

    a progressive party that is truly FOR THE PEOPLE.

    In the US, that’s a contradiction in terms. I think that if you want to advance progressive causes in the US, you have to deal with the people before the party.

  119. 119
    pluege says:

    with the complicity of most of the media)

    “the media” is a co-conspirator if not even the mastermind. not only are raving degenerate republicans given national prominence and unlimited access to espouse their puke without challenge and with fluffing (e.g., ‘oh how brilliant and serious is paul ryan’), but all contrary opinions, progressives, extreme lefties (due equal time to the insane extreme right getting so much prominence and not even being called what it is – extreme), and mostly even the corportist democrats are panned by US media. Literally every person and thought left of center-right is denigrated, scoffed at, and ignored. It is the media that treats center-right as radical left and nothing else even exists in the public sphere.

    A democracy CAN NOT function with a vastly misinformed electorate. US Corporate media has worked overtime and single-mindedly since they forced the dolt reagan on us to make sure the US electorate IS misinformed. And to what end? Why exactly the end we are achieving: a plutocracy, a modern feudal state laced with Orwellian 1984 unreality with a tiny percent of the population owning nearly all of the nation’s wealth, stealing form the labors of the masses, while the masses fight among themselves about stupid traps the plutocrats have laid for them like gay marriage and abortion rights.

    a handful of media mob families own the means from which Americans receive nearly all of their information about the country, politics, the world. It is long, LONG past time to breakup Big Media before there is literally nothing left of pre-reagan US and sanity in the political realm.

  120. 120
    clestes says:

    Absolutely right on! Well said and should be repeated over and over again. They got the House on the jobs mantra and have yet to deliver a single jobs package. They are forcing social issues down the throats of states with republican control and pissing off the people of that state. Just look at FL. That crook Rick Scott is going to give it to Obama in 2012. Jeb has to be pissed off….

  121. 121
    El Cid says:

    Reagan’s reputation as “the great communicator” referred to the slavering over him by the political and punditariat classes, not the general public, who generally disagreed with his views and programs.

    Voting for him didn’t mean he communicated everything well.

    George W. Bush was a far more successful Republican leader than Reagan ever was — after all, under Bush Jr., Republicans finally captured every single branch of the federal government and most state governments.

    Democrats lost more because they blew their own feet off, for reasons which vary according to which Democrats wanted what changes.

  122. 122
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    kd bart:

    I was watching Tweety’s show a couple of weeks ago and they were discussing what Obama can do to stimulate the economy.

    Not what Congress could do. Not what various state legislatures or governors could do. No, apparently only Barack fucking HUSSEIN Obama can do anything to stimulate the economy.

    I don’t know if it’s because of television or other mass media, fallout from the Cold War and our non-stop military adventurism of the 20th century, or if it’s just our innate desire for a strong daddy figure who can just make all the scary shit go away, but we’ve been gradually investing more power and authority in the Executive than is healthy. Shit, at least a quarter of the commenters here are pissed off that Obama isn’t governing like some kind of liberal dictator and just doing shit regardless of Congress.

    It’s Congress that’s supposed to run the show, not the President.

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