Way To Go, Florida

Well done, folks:

When it comes to pursuing federal largess, most of the states that oppose the 2010 health care law have refused to let either principle or politics block their paths to the trough. If Washington is doling out dollars, Republican governors and legislators typically figure they might as well get their share.

Then there is Florida. Despite having the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, its second-highest rate of people without insurance and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year, the state has turned away scores of millions of dollars in grants made available under the Affordable Care Act. And it is not pursuing grants worth many millions more.

In recent months, either Gov. Rick Scott’s administration or the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes, curbing child abuse through in-home counseling and strengthening state regulation of health premiums. They have shunned money to help sign up eligible recipients for Medicare, educate teenagers on preventing pregnancy and plan for the health insurance exchanges that the law requires by 2014.

Lost in all the debate about Obama allegedly capitulating (or, if you agree with Glenn, wanting to give in), is what he has to work with. I really don’t understand how we are going to achieve progressive nirvana when half the country identifies as wingnut. And I’m not making that up:

Americans’ political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates — the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle ’90s.

That means that 77% of the country identifies with the politics of Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and everyone to the right of them. Now, other polling shows that people genuinely support “liberal” policies, only if they are not labeled liberal. Hell, the majority of the public wanted tax increases in the debt deal, but we know what happened there. Will any Republicans be punished by the public for refusing to raise taxes? Of course not. Will Obama be punished for violating the beliefs of 21% of the public? I’ve got a blogroll ready to crucify him right now.

I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them. Right now, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham are both screaming about the compromise, because serious people have some magical way to balance the budget without touching defense spending or raising taxes. One of these days they will tell us what that plan is.

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291 replies
  1. 1
    Samara Morgan says:

    ramadan kareem Cole.
    demographic evolution is going to solve the problem eventually.
    in the mean time, i agree with Ezra

    If the Joint Committee fails, the trigger begins cutting spending. If negotiations over taxes fail, the Bush tax cuts expire and revenues rise by $3.6 trillion. Neither scenario is anyone’s first choice on policy grounds. But you can get to both scenarios without Republicans explicitly conceding to higher taxes or Democrats explicitly conceding to entitlement cuts in the absence of higher taxes. Politically, that’s the lowest-common denominator, and that might mean it’s also the only deal the two parties can actually make. But that’s because it’s the only deal that doesn’t require, well, making a deal.

  2. 2
    zzyzx says:

    It’s obvious. Rush said the other day that cutting taxes always increases government revenues (I tuned in for 5 minutes and managed to catch that), so all we have to do is cut the tax rates to 0% and we’ll have infinite revenue to play with!

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them.

    Amen, and the wingers no it. The arrogance and sense of entitlement oozes out of them, and never more so that when they are proposing their mostest insane policies.

    It won’t change until either we have soup lines, or confirmation that baby jeevus was black or brown. The exploded heads with instantly produce a liberal majority.

  4. 4
    electricgrendel says:

    Bullshit. Most Americans are too fucking stupid to define “conservative” or “liberal.” You ask them to identify as one or the other and all the vast majority knows it hat they are told that liberals are icky and that conservatives win political fights. That’s the extent of their “party identification.”

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Markets are down. Is it really the poor manufacturing data, or are the rumors of a debt deal greatly exaggerated?

    I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them.

    When the people who tell the stories, i.e., the media, are hurt by these policies in the same way that average people are, then the story will change. Until then it’ll be the same. They’re rich, they write the stories, just like the victors write history books.

  6. 6
    Samara Morgan says:

    meep meep!

  7. 7
    Bill Murray says:

    The problem is that the conservative and moderate policies most Americans are thinking they are agreeing with are not actually the policies of the Republican party

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    Nixon had a secret plan to win in Vietnam, which turned out to be sending in more troops and bombing other countries. Romney’s secret plan is the Ryan Plan. Pawlenty’s secret plan is the Ryan plan plus a 5% annual GDP growth rate.

    It’s not like these are secret plans. They’re just not serious plans if balancing a budget is a goal.

  9. 9
    Nied says:

    Clearly we need to let Republicans win more elections, then the Democrats will be more liberal. It worked with Humphrey it worked with Carter, it worked with Gore and it will work with Obama.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    Americans’ political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

    Plz tattoo this on all self-appointed “progressives” who seem unable to comprehend why the Blackest Preznit of the Planet Earth can’t just pull a Picard and say “make it so”.

  11. 11
    NonyNony says:

    @electricgrendel:

    Most Americans are too fucking stupid to define “conservative” or “liberal.” You ask them to identify as one or the other and all the vast majority knows it hat they are told that liberals are icky and that conservatives win political fights. That’s the extent of their “party identification.”

    That’s some seriously elitist bullshit right there.

    Most folks in the US identify as “conservative” or “moderate” because those words mean things absent the larger political world. “Conservative” means that you don’t like to take risks and you want things to stay about the way they are. Moderate means exactly the same thing, except that you wouldn’t visibly freak out if your daughter started dating a black guy. (Or maybe updating for the 21st century you wouldn’t visibly freak out if your daughter started dating another woman).

    What does the word liberal mean absent politics? The word has become conflated with the word ‘libertine’ – if you are not a politically active person it’s not exactly a great word. Being too liberal with your spending means you’re shitty at budgeting. Being too liberal with your Facebook settings means you keep getting viruses.

    Words mean things and the majority of the country is not particularly politically active. Results from these polls are somewhat meaningless except that they tell you exactly why the Democratic Party has, for the last 30 years, been pulled to the right. Because that’s where they think the voters are.

  12. 12
    Jeffro says:

    How ’bout a little Queensryche about now?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNdOsL4Xe7Q

  13. 13
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @electricgrendel:

    But that’s the entire fucking point. Most of these people endorse nominally liberal policies, but when the rubber hits the road, they’ll tack onto anything labeled ‘conservative’ because of what tangibly amounts to a whole lot of hippie punching.

    This is why I’m pretty much given up. It’s becoming obvious that America has become utterly inpenetrable for anyone with any kind of liberal leaning. We’re fucked, the Tea Party’s won, and there’s nothing that’s gonna ever fucking change that, not as long as the whole fucking country fuels itself on beating on the fucking “liberals” and “hippies” because it makes them feel good.

  14. 14
    cathyx says:

    I didn’t see anywhere on that survey where those terms conservative, moderate and liberal were defined. I consider it an inaccurate survey without the definitions because everyone has their own definition for them.

  15. 15
    William Hurley says:

    Barak Millhouse Obama promises nirvana and delivers samsara.

    But, like a true member of the brahman caste, he demands more and more dana with each inspirational talk so that he can perpetuate his own individual quests.

    He’ll have a lot more time for those pursuits on Jan 22, 2013.

  16. 16
    Jennifer says:

    I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them.

    As I continue to be excoriated for pointing out, you CAN’T turn it around so long as those responsible for making stupid decisions are insulated from the consequences of their stupid decisions. You want people to stop electing them? Then you have to let them suffer the consequences of having elected them, preferably in a small enough dose that it doesn’t send the entire world into the crapper.

    This, repeated from below, may be part of the answer; maybe it won’t get “moderated” this time:

    @TooManyJens: Who cares if they had the authority to do it?

    Imagine the impact if Obama hadn’t squandered his prime-time address a few weeks ago and instead had said, “here’s how it will go down: either Congress sends me a clean debt ceiling increase, or I will instruct Treasury to pay our bills in the following order: first, debtholders, then federal employees, since slavery is still tacitly illegal. Lowest priority will be Social Security checks for those who live in districts represented by congressmen who are shirking their responsibility to pay our bills, and in this we are following the Republican House lead, who continue to insist that they won’t allow bills to be paid unless we cut off old peole’s spending money. This will give the old people who elected them, and their children and grandchildren, the opportunity to decide if they agree with the decisions being made for them by their employees in Congress. If they do not, they should let their employees know and tell them to stop dicking around and pass a clean debt ceiling increase. Next, they should question whether it’s really a good idea to send the dumbest and most irresponsible people in the country to Washington to represent their interests. Thank you, good night, and may God bless the United States of America.”

    Ok, there’s nothing illegal about making the threat, and you know damned good and well that rightwing media would be in a froth about it – it would get wall to wall ad infinitum repetition. And even if rwing media ran with a “it’s illegal and he can’t do it” message after the initial shock wore off, a good number of people wouldn’t get that message and they’d be flinging poop at their elected teabagger representatives nonstop until we had a debt ceiling increase. And they wouldn’t vote to send them back, either.

    The only way to win against a-holes is to either be a bigger a-hole or to get people to believe the bluff that you’re a bigger a-hole. Obama has been incredibly successful at getting people to believe he’s a huge wuss, and as we can see, that’s not an effective tactic against a-holes.

  17. 17

    Now, other polling shows that people genuinely support “liberal” policies, only if they are not labeled liberal. Hell, the majority of the public wanted tax increases in the debt deal, but we know what happened there. Will any Republicans be punished by the public for refusing to raise taxes? Of course not.

    I agree that we never see Republicans punished for taking unpopular stances. But that’s partially because we have a Democratic party unwilling to punish them for taking unpopular stances. The bully pulpit isn’t a magical fix-all, but it sure would be nice if we had someone out there on TV every day pointing out, like Fallows has been, that the debt was almost entirely created by the GOP, and that returning some marginal tax rates to where they were in the surplus days would be simple and popular.

    But we haven’t gotten that.

    The only way to win this game was not to play. When the GOP said, “hey, how about a hostage crisis over the debt ceiling? We promise to be every bit as cool, collected, and rational as we were in the health insurance reform debate!”, our proper response would have been, “everyone wants to raise the debt ceiling, we’ve always raised the debt ceiling, we’re going to raise the debt ceiling without any further negotiations.” Instead, we got, “GRAND BARGAIN TIME!”

    That was, obviously at the time, a bad idea. Tire rims and anthrax come to mind.

  18. 18
    The Moar You Know says:

    demographic evolution is going to solve the problem eventually.

    Hey! Reply button is back! Thank you John Cole! Thank you, John Cole’s awesome mom!

    @Samara Morgan: Disagree. Latinos are both authoritarian in outlook and conservative by nature. If (and I’ll admit this is a pretty big “if” at the moment) the GOP/Teahadis/Jerks can stop using Evil Mexicans as an electoral pinata then all bets are off – this won’t be a “center-right” country anymore, it’ll be a straight-up “right” country.

    May the status quo continue, at least as far as the GOPs urge to beat on the browns.

  19. 19
    Bulworth says:

    Then there is Florida. Despite having the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, its second-highest rate of people without insurance and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year, the state has turned away scores of millions of dollars in grants made available under the Affordable Care Act. And it is not pursuing grants worth many millions more.

    Teabagger government in action. Always willing to make other people suffer for Teabagger principles.

  20. 20

    In a world (or at least a right wing) where conservative values are dead, it’s darkly amusing that a decades-long PR campaign against the word “liberal” means that it’s more popular to choose the term “conservative.”

  21. 21
    Emma says:

    And it took 16 comments to go from “Florida is governed by an asshole” to “it’s all Obama’s fault.”

    This is what I learned in the past two months: progressives don’t want a constitutional government; they want a dictator who swings their way. Conservatives don’t mind blowing up the world if it gets them the feudal society they want. Between them are the rest of us.

    The rest of us are screwed.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    Right now, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham are both screaming about the compromise, because serious people have some magical way to balance the budget without touching defense spending or raising taxes. One of these days they will tell us what that plan is.

    It’s simply really, we just slash entitlements. They amount to our largest expenses. Therefore, we gut them. You’re looking at over $1 trillion / year that go into entitlements. Talk about a target rich environment.

    The trick, of course, is to claim you are defending entitlements while convincing Democrats to gut them for you. That’s what this whole happy dance around the Binding Non-Partisan Budget Committees is about. Republicans want to make Democrats hold the bag when entitlements are gutted. That’s when they truly win.

  23. 23
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Demographic evolution my ass. We’ve already seen the grand GOP vision on that which they’re already successfully charging through on the state-level. It’s called ‘Disenfranchisement’ and it’s succeeding like gang-busters because hey, anything to piss off the fucking Hippies. It’s not like they actually have any influence in this fucking country, but they damn well sure make a nice boogeyman to scare the fucking proles with!!

  24. 24
    Samara Morgan says:

    look.
    its going to pass because the teabaggers think they “won”.
    later….everyone will realize that Obama sneakily put revenue back into the discussion, where the six republican supercommittee members will have to CHOOSE between tax increases and defense cuts.
    then we shall see principles.
    :)
    let the baddies think they won.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    @Jennifer:

    he only way to win against a-holes is to either be a bigger a-hole or to get people to believe the bluff that you’re a bigger a-hole.

    That actually explains a lot about the current crop of assholes we’ve got running the government.

  26. 26
    Jennifer says:

    @Emma: You seem to believe the two are unrelated? If you hadn’t noticed, Florida sent Alan West and Marco Rubio to represent them in Congress. Yeah, there’s no connection there at all.

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    @zzyzx:

    I was actually shocked last night to hear the Your Money guy, Ali Velshi, on CNN throw out a challenge, “If anyone can provide me with research, not OPINION, that tax increases ‘kill jobs’, please send to me”. I don’t remember hearing any tv news reporter aside from Olbermann & the other less establishment media types demanding proof before like that. It’s commonly he said/she said.

  28. 28
    cleek says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    our proper response would have been, “everyone wants to raise the debt ceiling, we’ve always raised the debt ceiling, we’re going to raise the debt ceiling without any further negotiations.”

    and that was Obama’s first response. and then the GOP told him to eat a bag of dicks because they were gonna make an issue out of this, like it or not. and, since the President cannot dictate the bills that the House passes, here we are today.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    The only way to win against a-holes is to either be a bigger a-hole or to get people to believe the bluff that you’re a bigger a-hole. Obama has been incredibly successful at getting people to believe he’s a huge wuss, and as we can see, that’s not an effective tactic against a-holes.

    @Jennifer: Someone in the last thread posted the great scene from The Usual Suspects where Keyser Soze shoots his entire family rather than give the Hungarians trying to muscle in on his turf what they want.

    That’s the GOP right now.

    We need it to be Obama. And he is just not that kind of guy – I don’t hold it against him, I’m not either and wouldn’t want to be – but we need that kind of guy in office right now.

  30. 30
    Samara Morgan says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: ramadan mubarak Kryptik.
    In 2008 nonhispanic cauc beacme a minority in American children under five for the first time.
    As long as the GOP remains NHC white conservative christian, minorities and youth will not vote for their candidates.
    the American electorate was 90% NHC white in 1970, and 72% NHC cauc in 2008. 1/3 of NHC cauc traditionally vote liberal.
    so by 2021 when the 2008 event kids begin to age into the electorate, the 65-66% of the NHC vote that republicans traditionally get will no longer be enough.
    That is why 2012 is pretty much the last chance for the GOP to reclaim the WH.

  31. 31
    Mattminus says:

    I question the validity of the self identification. “Conservative” and “Liberal” are loaded terms. A lot of folks i know would self identify as “conservative” because thats the plan they’ve chosen for their 401k, or they smack their kids when they get out of line. It would have next to no connection to the actual ideologies.

    Hell, if you go with the common sense definition of “conservative” as risk averse, it would be a good reason not to vote for conservatives.

  32. 32
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Samara Morgan: Hush down. What this appears to be is a moderate democrat plan. Now I don’t like moderate Democrats, although I like them more than both liberal republicans (who I actually pity) and conservative yahoos, but this is what the moderate Dems who aren’t fiscal peacocks have sought. If you don’t tackle medicare, medicaid and defense, you can’t close the budget gap, even if the “tax breaks for the wealthy” and the sacrosant “Bush Tax Cuts for the Middle Class” expire.

  33. 33
    TK421 says:

    when half the country identifies as wingnut

    I didn’t know 41% counts as “half”. I must not have paid enough attention in calculus.

    That means that 77% of the country identifies with the politics of Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and everyone to the right of them.

    Really? Most of the country wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age?

    Look: if a large number of Americans don’t like liberalism, couldn’t that be at least partially because of the bad name given to it by people like Barack Obama?

    serious people have some magical way to balance the budget without touching defense spending or raising taxes. One of these days they will tell us what that plan is

    This is the third time I have linked to this video:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com.....twork.html

    There ARE ways to balance the budget without touching defense or raising taxes–and they are legal and Constitutional, and the president can do them without Congress. If a person refuses to acknowledge the existence of those ways, then they are being willfully ignorant.

  34. 34
    Samara Morgan says:

    @The Moar You Know: /yawn
    no we don’t.
    Obama’s got this.
    just watch.

  35. 35
    Bill Hicks says:

    Cole embarrasses himself yet again, no suprise there. Nevermind that some 80% of Americans opposes any cuts to Medicare and Social Security, Cole moves the goalposts again and talks about how only 20% of the country is liberal. Oh dear, what can poor, poor Obama do?!?

    I repeat: Some 80% of Americans opposes any cuts to Medicare and Social Security, yet Cole still wants us to believe Obama’s hands are tied.

    This is exactly why the Obamabot contingent is so embarrassing. They are uttterly shameless in their avoidance of the facts in their defenses of “dear leader”.

  36. 36
    betterneverthanever says:

    Is this political ideology survey dealing with active voters, or with the political ideology of the entire population? Because it makes sense if we are dealing with half the country, as in who votes, rather than the entire populace.

    I would imagine the entire populace of the US would be a lot more liberal than these stats are made out to be, but they are usually the disenfranchised voices that never get heard, and so are lost out of the debate. I really don’t believe that the US is as conservative as these polls say, just that a huge swath of the population isn’t even taken into account..

  37. 37
    cleek says:

    @TK421:

    Look: if a large number of Americans don’t like liberalism, couldn’t that be at least partially because of the bad name given to it by people like Barack Obama?

    um, i think you meant “Bill Clinton”

    Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle ‘90s.

  38. 38
    TK421 says:

    John, allow me to totally destroy your thesis that the election of Rick Scott means our country does not agree with liberal ideals:


    Rick Scott Approval Rating Woefully Low, But Florida Governor Keeps Promises

    July 13, TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In office just six months, Gov. Rick Scott has kept his campaign promises and then some: cutting corporate taxes, reducing the size of government, drug testing welfare recipients, making government workers pay into their pensions, and privatizing Medicaid.

    Yet the conservative Republican is one of the country’s least popular governors, with only 29 percent of voters saying in one recent nonpartisan poll that he’s doing a good job.

    Therefore, it is totally absurd to say that because Rick Scott is Florida’s governor, it’s okay for President Obama to govern as a conservative.

  39. 39

    @cleek: To which the proper response was, “suck on the 14th amendment, yet again, crazy white people.”

    Look, I’m still going to support & vote for Obama, I just think he misplayed this one. To play the game was to lose, because you can’t negotiate with irrational people; there were options that allowed us to get around the debt ceiling.

    Cole’s point that “it’s been clear from the start that the House Republicans were itching for an opportunity to hold a hostage” cuts in my direction, I think– the right wing has seen the apocalypse in its Left Behind & Turner Diaries books, and it knows that the apocalypse is good. They will bring crisis after crisis. They’re gonna win every time if we negotiate, because they’re always willing to press the button. So, the only way to win is not to play.

  40. 40
    Samara Morgan says:

    @TK421:

    If a person refuses to acknowledge the existence of those ways, then they are being willfully ignorant.

    or perhaps they are just unwilling to override the votes of half of America.

  41. 41
    TK421 says:

    @cleek:

    “I think you meant “Bill Clinton””

    Him too. NAFTA, welfare reform, an agreement to cut Social Security–Bill Clinton did a lot to destroy the Democratic Party’s reputation. However, after W, lots of people were willing to give the D party another chance, and Obama has destroyed that opportunity.

  42. 42
    Davis X. Machina says:

    [Scott] has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes… They [GOP lege] have shunned money to help sign up eligible recipients for Medicare

    Nationwide, the elderly (65 and older) voted +19 R (ABC +18, CNN) in the midterms. It would be interesting to see how that held in FL. If a key constituency wears a “Kick Me!” sign, kicking them is just constituency service.

  43. 43
    Samara Morgan says:

    @reflectionephemeral: but they didnt win.
    they just think they won.

  44. 44
    Clever moniker says:

    Political self-identification≠policy preferences.

  45. 45
    TK421 says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    To play the game was to lose, because you can’t negotiate with irrational people

    This is true, so President Obama should have taken steps to give himself leverage or defuse this situation entirely.

  46. 46
    Joseph Nobles says:

    OT: Good news on the health care front.

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.ne.....no-copays/

    Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.
    __
    The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual “well-woman” physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services.
    __
    “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

  47. 47
    celticdragonchick says:

    @electricgrendel:

    Bullshit. Most Americans are too fucking stupid to define “conservative” or “liberal.” You ask them to identify as one or the other and all the vast majority knows it hat they are told that liberals are icky and that conservatives win political fights. That’s the extent of their “party identification.”

    Yep. I have found more and more that “conservative” is a weird tribal self identification that is utterly disconnected from any actual sense of policy beyond “I got guns and I hate teh gays”.

  48. 48
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Jennifer

    Imagine the impact if Obama hadn’t squandered his prime-time address a few weeks ago and instead had said, “here’s how it will go down: either Congress sends me a clean debt ceiling increase, or I will instruct Treasury to pay our bills in the following order: first, debtholders, then federal employees, since slavery is still tacitly illegal. Lowest priority will be Social Security checks for those who live in districts represented by congressmen who are shirking their responsibility to pay our bills, and in this we are following the Republican House lead, who continue to insist that they won’t allow bills to be paid unless we cut off old peole’s spending money. This will give the old people who elected them, and their children and grandchildren, the opportunity to decide if they agree with the decisions being made for them by their employees in Congress. If they do not, they should let their employees know and tell them to stop dicking around and pass a clean debt ceiling increase. Next, they should question whether it’s really a good idea to send the dumbest and most irresponsible people in the country to Washington to represent their interests. Thank you, good night, and may God bless the United States of America.”

    This is fucking asinine. This was already happening in fucking April:

    With the fight over a spending bill settled (for now), another fight is brewing in Washington over raising the debt ceiling.
    __
    President Obama, who is advocating to raise the level at which the U.S. government is legally permitted to borrow, so as not to cause a default on payments, has said he wants to see a “clean” bill on the matter – one without attachments.
    __
    The leading Republicans in the House says no way.
    __
    On Saturday night House Speaker John Boehner declared, “The president says, ‘I want you to send me a clean bill.’ Guess what, Mr. President. Not a chance you’re going to get a clean bill.”
    __
    Boehner argued that “there’s no plan to deal with the debt we’re facing,” and that Republicans would not vote to increase the limit unless Democrats conceded something “really, really big.”

    You keep talking about these things like they didn’t happen in some fashion, and it is the height of absurdity.

  49. 49
    Tomjones says:

    Well, the problem is a Repuglican-controlled House. So the solution is to sit on our hands, punish Obama, and get a Republican president. Then…profit!

  50. 50
    zmulls says:

    Democracy in action. A sizable minority of fanatics, backed by a major “news” organization, managed to get a huge faction of people elected — partly by the enthusiasm of their followers, partly by the apathy and/or ignorance of more rational folks. And partly because of the traditional midterm turnout.

    Whatever the reason — they got elected.

    And that means they get to fight for what they believe, stupid and destructive and uninformed as they are. They were willing to get what they wanted via extortion — they were willing to let the entire country crash, even eager for it, believing that from the wreckage we could “reboot” America in their Galtian image, free from the socialist welfare state.

    There’s not a lot that rational and responsible people can do if stupid and destructive people get enough power, in the short term.

    According to the rules of a functioning democracy, voters should punish them in the next election. That’s the way it’s “supposed” to work. We’ll see. Some days I’m hopeful, some days I despair.

    But there’s a limit to how much one can do if the other side is insane and dangerous. I’m as frustrated and nauseous as anyone, but I can’t envision a magic solution where Obama would be able to stop a default and still get more than this.

    Not until voters say these people went too far……

  51. 51
    TK421 says:

    @Clever moniker:

    Political self-identification≠policy preferences.

    Nothing could be more true. For instance, I would never say “oh no, only 22% of the country are liberals! I guess that means we would have no support for preserving funding for public education!”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/145.....fense.aspx

  52. 52
    bemused says:

    People will say they are conservative or moderate or independent while very much in favor of SS, Medicare and a variety of government programs or services but conservative on other issues. Everyone interprets the labels from liberal to conservative in his/her own way. It’s kind of meaningless to poll on the labels alone without breaking them down as others have already pointed out. Meanwhile, here there is endless scrapping about who is an Obot or a Firebagger.

  53. 53
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Like it or not (not, in my case), we get the government we want by electing it. Whether or not people vote, this is what they say they want and this is what they get by voting (or not voting at all) for the people who will (or will not) do it. Crazy shit but as much as the manic progressives whine and moan, they are a distinct minority when compared to the number of people who identify as conservative.

    The far left wants a king, their king, to wave his magic wand and make shit happen for them. It ain’t happening, get over it.

    This is as good as it gets at this time because this is what the American people voted for. Hopefully, one day that will change.

  54. 54

    I’m sorry, but Obama bears responsibility. He has eyes and can discenr the political and cultural winds as wellas anyone, but he’s actually in a position of influence, unlike you and me. In a way, it’s actually good that he silences and folds so completely when witnessing the Galtian cronyism of Rick Scott and his ilk; he really has no governor (ahem) denouncing it since he’s embraced a barely lighter shade of the same mentality.

    He could and should be positioning himself as a strong alternative current to the conservative madness. Instead, he poses alternatedly as their enabler and their victim.

    He did achieve some things. But the US doesn’t need ‘decent’ right noe, it needs GREAT. If the current Obama had been elected in 2000, with a surplus in place and the Fox-Talk Radio propaganda axis still testing its engines, maybe this would work. Now? It boggles the mind.

    The bums will always lose, Lebowski.

  55. 55
    Libby says:

    1) There is no deal yet. Far as I can see the *compromise* could still fail.

    2) Even if it doesn’t fail, the capitulation appears to be more optical than actual. Sadly, optics matter with a low-info electorate. Obama is not going to get the Indys by appearing weak. They don’t care about specifics, they just want some macho swagger to identify with. O shouldn’t have drawn the line at long term extension and new revenues from corporate jet owners and then not clearly held to those terms in any compromise. But water under the bridge. Long time to election day and low-info voters will forget this crisis by the time the next 6 invented disasters play out.

    3)The reason progs can’t have nice things is they spend their time inventing clever hashtags, sniping at each other and bitching the President isn’t doing all the work for them.

    Teabaggers have more influence because they snipe at each other but they also band together to threaten the politicians and more importantly, SUCCESSFULLY primary the established pols. They got those crazy TP Congressman elected. Where were the progressive wins in 2010? And more importantly, where are the prog candidates they’re recruiting and promoting for 2012?

  56. 56
    Dave says:

    Don’t blame right wing crazies for liberalism’s failures. If liberalism has few people identifying with it, that is its own problem. If liberals can’t convince people that Florida Governor Fuckface isn’t horrific, that is liberalism’s problem.

    Liberalism might start winning hearts and minds by speaking its own name. Or it might stop making deals with crazy right wingers and start making deals with the public. It might issue demands, it might sell itself hard.

    But, liberals will never go for that sort of thing, because they’re “reality-based” and in “reality” you must always react to rightwing propositions.

    (Possible slogan for contemporary American liberalism: Always Be Reacting.)

    In the real world, though, nothing happens except through political wrangling. There must be winners and losers (liberals are not comfortable with that). This is why your reality-based community is so harrowing.

  57. 57
    TK421 says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    or perhaps they are just unwilling to override the votes of half of America.

    Remind me, again, when did the voters of America voted for a debt ceiling, or cuts to social programs, or a “super-congress”?

    Remind me when the voters of America voted down the President’s ability to have the government sell an exploding option or mint coins to pay for needed programs.

    This argument is a dead letter.

  58. 58
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Emma:

    And it took 16 comments to go from “Florida is governed by an asshole” to “it’s all Obama’s fault.”
    This is what I learned in the past two months: progressives don’t want a constitutional government; they want a dictator who swings their way. Conservatives don’t mind blowing up the world if it gets them the feudal society they want. Between them are the rest of us.

    Fuck that. I think most of us would settle for “effective” in place of a dictator. We are getting rolled every day by a GOP that gets what it wants, and we end up bent over a table with our panties down around our ankles. I am pretty damned sick of it, personally.

  59. 59
    Midnight Marauder says:

    I mean, this is really fucking easy to understand. A bunch of Democrats and “progressives” and liberals got all pissy in the leadup to the 2010 midterms, and subsequently, allowed a bunch of easily scared old white people to turn out and vote in droves for an agenda that EVERYONE knew would result in something like this.

    And so the name of the game now is to blame the President of the United States for the citizenry of this country not being engaged and resilient enough to go out there and fight to keep these radical assholes out of power?

    We deserve to fail as a country. We honestly do. This is fucking Clown City here today.

  60. 60
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    ”…and that Republicans would not vote to increase the limit unless Democrats conceded something “really, really big.”

    The desire to pass something bigger than a clean ceiling limit increase is one of the few bi-partisan things about this dog’s breakfast:

    The actual debt ceiling kicked on May 16.
    A clean increase vote failed on 31 May.
    It got 97 votes.
    There are 193 House Democrats.

  61. 61
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Suffern ACE: agreed!
    but a door has opened to increase revenues, which the teabaggers refused even to discuss.
    im just sad that juicers cant see the gamespace.
    there is no reason to go all emo and start cutting oneself.
    He’s got this.

    Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair!

  62. 62
    Jay B. says:

    I really don’t understand how we are going to achieve progressive nirvana when half the country identifies as wingnut. And I’m not making that up:

    First, “41%” isn’t half. It’s not even really close to half. It’s the exact ratio, actually, from which the Republicans got to run the Senate during Obama’s first two exciting years. Whatever else you want to take from it, it’s just to feel bad and to excuse pathetic governance from our “allies” in DC.

    And, naturally, the Democrats absolutely fucked their chance to make “conservatism” as popular as scabies, at the point where GW Bush ruined the world — and they decided to let him walk. And the banksters. And all the other scum-sucking criminals. Had they tied GW in with “conservatism” — and certainly, he’s still viewed with contempt — and put conservatism on trial every fucking day while they ran the House, a LOT more people wouldn’t think of themselves as conservative.

    Polls also show that the Tea Party is wildly unpopular. But again, it would actually take people pointing that out instead of supporting the austerity platform out of fear. But, I understand, you assholes need excuses.

    That’s why you can whine about Obama’s powerlessness while simultaneously crediting him with being a great wheeler and dealer (look at the budget deal, only 500 billion and Obama totally tricked them!).

    These cuts, any cuts, really, are wildly unpopular. They are simple to run against — check out how the Democrats, temporarily, had the GOP on the ropes after the Ryan Plan. But that vanished when the Democrats decided to embrace the pain anyway. One of the great self-inflicted wounds of the last 30 years.

    So blow “half” out your ass. The people, overwhelmingly, support SS, Medicare and Medicaid. They support clean air, clean water, less pollution, and the FDA. They don’t even hate unions.

    Hell, some, what 5, 8% of the respondents who support those things might think of themselves as “conservative”, because they seek to preserve the system and not up end it.

    Or just call 41% “half”, keep pointing to it for the manifest failures of the Democratic Party and talk about how liberals — despite supporting politically popular programs and politically popular stances — are the ones out of touch. Nice work, assholes.

  63. 63
    TK421 says:

    @Libby:

    The reason progs can’t have nice things is they spend their time bitching the President isn’t doing all the work for them.

    I don’t have the power to forgive debt held by the Federal Reserve, or mint coins to pay the government’s bills, so I’m puzzled by your insistence that I do so.

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Midnight Marauder: But I wasn’t paying attention to the issue then, so what happened then doesn’t matter.

  65. 65
    Jennifer says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Yes, it’s much less asinine to assume you can negotiate in good faith with people who possess none.

    As I said, people keep electing stupid and crazy because they’ve not yet paid the price for doing it. And they’ll keep electing stupid and crazy until they do pay a price for it. Playing nice doesn’t work and it doesn’t stop people from re-electing stupid and crazy. You know the functional definition of insanity as well as the rest of us do – yet your “solution” is to continue along as we have under the assumption that stupid and crazy will reform itself?

    And you call me “asinine” for noting that your plan is not much of one.

  66. 66
    Samara Morgan says:

    @TK421: Obama has said many times times he is the President of all the Americans.
    Do you have wingnut relatives?
    i do.
    you cannot explain logical fallacies to them.
    that sounds snobby and arrogant, but its true.
    its also true that the Founders did not make IQ a criteria for citizenship and voting.
    so Obama can’t either.

  67. 67
    AlphaLiberal says:

    The reason people identify as conservatives is because there are politicians out there advocating for the conservative position! (Including now, Barack Obama, promoting failed conservative economic dogma).

    Too few Democrats advocate for their positions or values. they are too timid and scared and too afraid to disagree with Republicans.

    So we have a very lopsided public discussion where Repugs push hard for their policies and the wet noodle Democrats cave in and run away.

    THAT is why the political dynamic is what it is. One side of the debate is not debating. WTF do you expect?!?!

  68. 68
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @TK421: “Remind me, again, when did the voters of America voted for a debt ceiling, or cuts to social programs, or a “super-congress”?”

    They voted for it at the last election. Did you miss it? If the people who voted for this survive the next election then you can surmise that everything is just peachy with the voters.

    :)

  69. 69
    TK421 says:

    @Jay B.:

    Good post.

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And so the name of the game now is to blame the President of the United States for the citizenry of this country not being engaged and resilient enough to go out there and fight to keep these radical assholes out of power?

    It was the president who put Medicare and Social Security on the table, not the Teabaggers. He was the one who failed to take legal steps to give himself leverage. He was the one who, naively and foolishly, didn’t take care of the debt ceiling prior to now because he was just sure in his heart that Republicans would do the responsible thing and not hold the country hostage.

    Voters deserve blame for none of those massive shortcomings.

  70. 70

    The problem for Obama and Democrats is that these right-wing governors are going to make their citizens’ lives miserable, then blame Obama and Democrats for it. And, if the 2010 midterm elections are any guide, they have a good chance of getting away with it. Neither the president nor more than a handful of Democrats are willing to focus blame on the right-wingers, the corporate press/media is committed to, at best, a ‘both sides’ characterization, and the American public is too lazy and too ignorant to figure it out for themselves.

  71. 71
    R. Porrofatto says:

    At this point, conservatism is no longer an ideology, it’s a pathology. For the right-wing, destructive action is now stated policy, and spreading ruin for all but the very wealthy is strategic.

  72. 72
    TK421 says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    The reason people identify as conservatives is because there are politicians out there advocating for the conservative position!

    Thank you.

  73. 73
    AlphaLiberal says:

    This is complete and offensive bullshit. Many progressives are active and fighting the right. The President does not like to sully himself with fights and prefers to cave in and then shine his halo:

    The reason progs can’t have nice things is they spend their time bitching the President isn’t doing all the work for them.

    Don’t fucking blame us. We are working, we worked on his campaign and helped him get elected. Since then he has had more negative things to say about his liberal/progressive backers than he has about the Republicans.

    Democrats need to stop acting like capitulation and running away are smart strategies. It is not. It is dumb.

  74. 74
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Suffern ACE@

    Hush down. What this appears to be is a moderate democrat plan. Now

    Kind of fells that way from I read. The telling part is its from the Senate and not the Teabagged crazed House – I can’t imagine any of those 84 senators who are allegedly going to vote for it will let any of their sacred cows be sacrificed to the gods of austerity.

    But we will see when it gets signed into law.

  75. 75
    ppcli says:

    @zzyzx:

    It’s obvious. Rush said the other day that cutting taxes always increases government revenues (I tuned in for 5 minutes and managed to catch that), so all we have to do is cut the tax rates to 0% and we’ll have infinite revenue to play with!

    I’m surprised Rush hasn’t thought of an even better idea: if we give federal matching funds to the rich (Job Creators (TM)) – that is, for every dollar someone earns over a million per year, we give them another dollar – then we’ll have an even bigger infinite pool of cash. To go to war with.

  76. 76
    Jay B. says:

    I mean, this is really fucking easy to understand. A bunch of Democrats and “progressives” and liberals got all pissy in the leadup to the 2010 midterms, and subsequently, allowed a bunch of easily scared old white people to turn out and vote in droves for an agenda that EVERYONE knew would result in something like this.

    Go fuck yourself. That is, in fact, NOT how it went. Liberals and progressives went out and supported and voted these fucking weakass douchebags. Look at the polling assshole. It was the fabled lamb “independents” which went, like the elderly, to the GOP — in no small part because the idiots decided to go small on stimulus (ensuring the economy would be treading water) and starting offering up Medicare cuts. That’s the reality.

    2010 was not liberals’ fault. Unless you consider the elected officials in the Democratic Party liberals.

  77. 77
    AlphaLiberal says:

    Paul Krugman sums it up nicely:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....have-done/

    Think about the history here; think about all the misjudgments, all the reasons this administration has come up with not to act — not to act against the bankers, not to act on taxes, and down the line. Think of the colossal misjudgment over Republican intentions on debt. Why, at this point, should anyone trust these people when they say that they did all they could?

    Can you ever imagine Barack Obama ever saying anything like this, from FDR? Not at all. He must despise FDR for being so strongly spoken and disagreeing with the radical right.

  78. 78
    TK421 says:

    @James E. Powell:

    The problem for Obama and Democrats is that these right-wing governors are going to make their citizens’ lives miserable, then blame Obama and Democrats for it.

    Oh, how unjust that would be!

    July 22, 2011 — Remarks by the President

    “Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. ”

    If the Republicans win the votes of the elderly in 2012 by portraying Obama as a threat to them, I will just cry over the unfairness of it all.

  79. 79
    Nied says:

    @Libby:

    3)The reason progs can’t have nice things is they spend their time inventing clever hashtags, sniping at each other and bitching the President isn’t doing all the work for them.
    Teabaggers have more influence because they snipe at each other but they also band together to threaten the politicians and more importantly, SUCCESSFULLY primary the established pols. They got those crazy TP Congressman elected. Where were the progressive wins in 2010? And more importantly, where are the prog candidates they’re recruiting and promoting for 2012?

    Indeed how did primarying Lieberman go? Or Blanche Lincoln? Hell if the former had gone right or not at all we would be talking about the new lowered Medicare eligibility age in the ACA instead of discussing the possibility of raising it. Until progressives get better at that kind of thing we’re only going to see things continue to lurch rightwards (helped along by the conviction that the moral of the old “make me do it” story means pouting and staying home until the One True Progressive™ runs).

  80. 80
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    ppcli @

    I’m surprised Rush hasn’t thought of an even better idea: if we give federal matching funds to the rich (Job Creators™) – that is, for every dollar someone earns over a million per year, we give them another dollar – then we’ll have an even bigger infinite pool of cash. To go to war with.

    and remember we learned in the banking crises that the rich have delicate and easy hurt feelings! Obama should personally deliver these matching fun checks to The Job Creators(tm) along with a formal written apology from the government of the United States of America for ever had taxed them in the first place.

  81. 81
    TK421 says:

    And it took 16 comments to go from “Florida is governed by an asshole” to “it’s all Obama’s fault.”

    I don’t know why people thought this thread was about President Obama…since it took the thread’s creator a whopping ten words to mention President Obama.

  82. 82
    AlphaLiberal says:

    2010 was not liberals’ fault. Unless you consider the elected officials in the Democratic Party liberals.

    Amen! We knew they would blame us after they fucked it up. I was out there knocking doors, I gave money. Then, the power elite within the Dem Party screwed the pooch and they blame us.

    We told them to pay attention to unemployment and they didn’t listen to us. We told them to include the debt ceiling when Obama extended the Bush tax cuts — and they didn’t listen to us. And on and on it goes.

    Obama won’t criticize Republicans but he will dump all kinds of crap on us. I can’t stand it.

    Fuck them. What a bunch of assholes. Let them get their money from Wall Street and buy the election. They keep demanding our time and money at election time and then turn around and break faith with us — and insult us.

  83. 83
    debg says:

    Don’t forget Rick Scott’s weekend gathering CELEBRATING 4 new anti-choice bills he’s signed into law.

  84. 84
    celticdragonchick says:

    This is just nine kinds of awesome. War crimes enabler Marc Thiessen is bragging:

    Tea Partyers should recognize just how much Obama and the Democrats caved: $2 trillion in spending cuts. No tax increases. A new precedent that debt-limit hikes must be accompanied by equal or greater cuts in spending. And the potential for a balanced budget in 10 years. That the Tea Party accomplished all this in just six months — at a time when the GOP controls one-half of one-third of the federal government — is remarkable.</blockquote>

    Of course, we are helpless. For some reason.

  85. 85
    AlphaLiberal says:

    Teabaggers have more influence because they snipe at each other but they also band together to threaten the politicians and more importantly, SUCCESSFULLY primary the established pols.

    Yes. Time to start recruiting some candidates to primary some sellout Democrats. Withdraw support from those who throw us under the bus.

  86. 86
    Emma says:

    @celticdragonchick: Really? The president that extended health care benefits to millions of Americans, presided over the dismantling of not only DOMA and DADT but a number of other anti-gay mandates, saved the domestic car industry (AND got the loan money back), sent hundred of millions of dollars to the states as infrastructure expenditure — all while battling a Congress filled with nuts who hate everything about him and will do anything to stop him — that’s the ineffective guy?

    You know the joke used to be that conservatives had done lost their minds. It seems we’ll need another asylum to stash the progressives.

  87. 87
    karen marie says:

    FL Governor Scott refuses ACA federal funds, health coverage gets worse, voters are told new health care law is the cause, they scream for repeal.

    Nice scam he’s got going.

  88. 88
    jheartney says:

    Obama is the Democrats’ McClellan; we’re still looking for our Grant.

  89. 89
    Jay B. says:

    Where were the progressive wins in 2010?

    The Tea Party has corporate backers, in case you’re too stupid to know that. The progressives on the other hand have to fight losers like you in the party and then they have to fight Republicans. It’s very very much worth doing. And it’s happening, still, when your entire leadership backs ineffective, stupid policies and half-measures in a recession, “progressive wins” are going to be tough to come by. It’s pretty difficult to come up with a rationale to run as a Democrat when it solely consists of “we aren’t Republicans”.

  90. 90
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Jennifer

    Yes, it’s much less asinine to assume you can negotiate in good faith with people who possess none.

    That’s why you don’t let those crazy motherfuckers get elected in the first place. It’s a really basic point. If you know these people are repugnant and incapable of operating in good faith, then you NEVER let them get their hands on the levers of power. EVER. No matter how shitty you think the other team is.

    As I said, people keep electing stupid and crazy because they’ve not yet paid the price for doing it. And they’ll keep electing stupid and crazy until they do pay a price for it. Playing nice doesn’t work and it doesn’t stop people from re-electing stupid and crazy. You know the functional definition of insanity as well as the rest of us do – yet your “solution” is to continue along as we have under the assumption that stupid and crazy will reform itself?

    I think people have paid a pretty fucking serious price in years well before this for electing Republicans. And no matter what those clowns do, the world can rely on the Left kneecaping their own agenda and the players on their own team, subsequently letting these crazy motherfuckers get off scot free. Because the Left NEVER trains it firepower consistently on the real villains. We always have to find someone on our own side who is somehow worse than our greatest known enemy. There’s a reason why people run away from policies once they have a “liberal” label attached to them. That’s because liberals have been a bunch of self-immolating morons who don’t know how to put together a strategy that actually results in advancing their agenda while demonizing the correct people. The reason people on the Left are so angry right now is that this deal is the result of a self-inflicted wound known as “voter apathy during the 2010 midterms.”

    Yeah, we did this to ourselves.

    And you call me “asinine” for noting that your plan is not much of one.

    You don’t even fucking understand my plan.

  91. 91
    Thoughtcrime says:

    The problem is that liberals keep bringing knives to a circular firing squad.

  92. 92
    AlphaLiberal says:

    The so-called “Job Creators™” should be sued for breach of contract and failure to deliver. Where are the jobs?

    To Durbin’s credit, he eloquently made that argument, which should be made from the White House — but will not be.

  93. 93
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    Yes. Time to start recruiting some candidates to primary some sellout Democrats. Withdraw support from those who throw us under the bus.

    I hear Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson are available.

  94. 94
    JGabriel says:

    Gallup:

    Americans’ political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative …

    It never ceases to amaze me that 2/5 of the country willingly, voluntarily, self identifies as raging idiots.

    .

  95. 95
    AlphaLiberal says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Casualties of Obama’s feckless politics.

  96. 96
    hstram says:

    While most of the commentators here wouldn’t be able to even begin to formulate an argument without extensive use of red herrings, it’s depressing to see Cole put up straw men like this, so casually..
    “I really don’t understand how we are going to achieve progressive nirvana when half the country identifies as wingnut…”
    His obvious point is not a bad one – ie too many nutjobs for anything really positive to get done. However the idea that anyone – ever – thought Obama would bring about “progressive nirvana” is absurd.
    Instead of progressive nirvana, how about simply not unleashing the drones, killing thousands in new wars everywhere? how about actually doing something re the worst crisis humanity has faced, climate change? how about utilizing basic keynesian (capitalist) economic policy when dealing with the worst global economic crisis since the depression? how about not torturing, not setting up black sites, around the world? how about having trials for everyone arrested? how about not spying on the citizenry and increasing the war on whistle blowers? how about not supporting wingnut logic at almost every turn?

    progressive nirvana. give me a goddamn break.

  97. 97
    AlphaLiberal says:

    @Emma:

    Obama supported DOMA and opposed repeal of DADT until the people dragged him to do it.

    And THAT is the lesson. That we must remain true to our values and oppose anyone, even Obama or Reid or Pelosi, when they support bad policies.

    Now we have all the Obama loyalists out there insulting us and telling us to march in lockstep behind Obama. Well, that’s a very failed plan.

  98. 98
    TK421 says:

    @Emma:

    “Really? The president that extended health care benefits to millions of Americans”

    People don’t like Obama’s health care reform plan. They don’t want to be forced to by health insurance, so it’s no wonder Obamacare was a drag on the Democratic ticket.

    “presided over the dismantling of not only DOMA and DADT ”

    DOMA is still in place. DADT was struck down because a gay rights group sued the government, forcing it to act, and anyway troops are still being discharged under it.

    “sent hundred of millions of dollars to the states as infrastructure expenditure”

    Not nearly enough, unfortunately, and now he is leading the charge to cut government spending by at least as much as he ever increased it.

    “all while battling a Congress filled with nuts who hate everything about him and will do anything to stop him”

    Is that why we attacked Libya, escalated in Afghanistan, drastically expanded offshore oil-drilling and mountaintop coal-mining, jailed whistle-blowers while ignoring torturers, and held secret military trials for terrorism suspects–because of Congress?

  99. 99
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @AlphaLiberal: Is Grover paying you per post or per inanity?

  100. 100
    cleek says:

    i suppose it doesn’t matter that the public likes Obama better vs Boehner in every single category, when polled about this situation. he’s still the evil destroyer of liberalism. right? he’s still the guy who is going to turn people away in droves, right?

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    You don’t even fucking understand my plan.

    Your plan seems to be “don’t let Republicans or Independents vote for the Republican candidate”.
    Because contra to your repeated zombie lie, Democratic turnout in 2010 was consistent for a mid-term. IOW, we turned out just as expected.

  102. 102
    Jay B. says:

    The reason people on the Left are so angry right now is that this deal is the result of a self-inflicted wound known as “voter apathy during the 2010 midterms.”

    Again. That’s bullshit. It’s FUCKING WRONG. Just because “some people on the Internet” say it, doesn’t make it true. Liberals and progressives came out in the usual numbers. The GOP was energized. The independents and older voters broke GOP.

  103. 103
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Republican politicians only have to worry about attacks from the left and being wingy enough for their teabaggers. Democrats have to worry about attacks from the left, the Republicans and the teabaggers.

    Gee, I wonder why Democrats can’t easily win elections? Maybe it’s because their ‘base’ is a bunch of stupid fucks who couldn’t get a real progressive elected if their lives depended on it?

    If the foo shits, wear it, and boy are the manic progressives covered in ‘it’.

  104. 104
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Go fuck yourself. That is, in fact, NOT how it went. Liberals and progressives went out and supported and voted these fucking weakass douchebags. Look at the polling assshole. It was the fabled lamb “independents” which went, like the elderly, to the GOP —in no small part because the idiots decided to go small on stimulus (ensuring the economy would be treading water) and starting offering up Medicare cuts. That’s the reality.

    And you clowns have been running around screaming about how the President is so terrible and orchestrating capitulation after capitulation. And meanwhile, instead of educating anyone about the victories he presided over (because, yeah, we had a lot of fucking victories between 2008-2010), you just keep yelling about shit sandwiches, and all of a sudden, we now have a GOP Suicide Squad running the House of Representatives willing to blow up the global economy.

    Yeah, really great strategy there. Fucking clowns.

    I mean, look at you in that very post. “WAAAAAHHHHH! THE STIMULUS WAS TOO SMALL! WAAAAAHHH” You just can’t say “yeah, it may not have been ideal, but it resulted in a lot of great things and staved off the economic devastation many states are currently experiencing, resulting in them laying off public-sector workers like it’s going out of style.” Nope, can’t say that shit at all.

    It’s a fucking farce on this side of the fence. We deserve to lose to these clowns. We are abysmal at acknowledging and supporting our victories.

    We deserved to lose the 2010 midterms. And this deal is the direct result of that.

  105. 105
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There’s a lot of overthinking around these parts lately. How did we get here? It seems kind of easy to understand to me. What happened was that “liberal” was demonized between about 1968 and 1998, and _even Democratic politicians_ realized that they had a better shot adopting pro-business and anti-“Big Government” positions than speaking up loudly as liberals for liberals. This didn’t _just_ happen, it happened via the efforts of “New Democrats” and the DLC in the ’80s and ’90s. And Clinton showed it was a winning strategy. So by now there is a mass of elected Democrats, and politically-aware Democratic voters, who actually believe in rolling back the role of the government in the world of business, and actually believe that the government does too much and what it does is inefficient, and love balanced budgets as much as other generations of Democrats loved civil liberties. Maybe Obama’s one of them. What’s for sure is that Obama has to _deal with_ dozens of them: the Democrats who are not liberal. And even for an Obama who was a Progressive Demigod, it’d be a tall order to bring them around to progressive policy solutions. They don’t believe in them — IMHO through a mixture of misunderstanding and cowardice, but it’s hard to fix that. By Virginia standards, Mark Warner is a flaming liberal.

  106. 106
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Its hilarious that in a thread that specifically details just How We Got Here, that its turned into yet another ODS derpfest. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  107. 107
    TK421 says:

    @JGabriel:

    It never ceases to amaze me that 2/5 of the country willingly, voluntarily, self identifies as raging idiots.

    I understand your frustration. But go up to some of that 41% and ask them “did you support TARP? do you want to cut Medicare? should the United States blow up innocent people with drones?” and you just might find they aren’t as idiotic as you think.

    What is an idiotic opinion, frankly, is excusing bad governance because 41% of the country identifies itself as “conservative”.

  108. 108
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Again. That’s bullshit. It’s FUCKING WRONG. Just because “some people on the Internet” say it, doesn’t make it true. Liberals and progressives came out in the usual numbers. The GOP was energized. The independents and older voters broke GOP.

    Let me break this down for you, since you missed it in your own post.

    Liberals and progressives came out in the usual numbers.

    The GOP was energized.

    Way to go, liberals and progressives. How did the “usual numbers” work out for us?

    Yeah, it was a self-inflicted wound.

  109. 109
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Emma:

    Really? The president that extended health care benefits to millions of Americans, presided over the dismantling of not only DOMA and DADT but a number of other anti-gay mandates, saved the domestic car industry (AND got the loan money back), sent hundred of millions of dollars to the states as infrastructure expenditure—all while battling a Congress filled with nuts who hate everything about him and will do anything to stop him—that’s the ineffective guy?

    Somewhere along the way, he also allowed the opposition to succesfullyportray his policies as, well, whatever they liked. He managed to get things through congress (sometimes), but he neglected to bother with the “messaging” or “optics” part of setting policy. The GOP was entirely happy to fill that void…and that is an entirely self inflicted wound. Bush did not make that mistake. Everything he did was relentlessly and thouroughly propagandized.

    Don’t like that word? We progressivess rely on better policies to sell themselves, right?

    Bullshit. It doesn’t work that way in the real world, and neither has the President’s insistance on trying to be the “adult in the room”.

    If it isn’t working, then something else has to be done. Right now, we are losing in the political realm and the public perception realm. That means that whatever the President is doing is, ergo, ineffective.

  110. 110
    TK421 says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Republican politicians only have to worry about attacks from the left and being wingy enough for their teabaggers. Democrats have to worry about attacks from the left, the Republicans and the teabaggers.

    In other words, Republicans have an advantage because they only get attacked by the left and the right, while Democrats get attacked by the left and the right, an insurmountable obstacle.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @TK421:

    Is that why we attacked Libya, escalated in Afghanistan, drastically expanded offshore oil-drilling and mountaintop coal-mining, jailed whistle-blowers while ignoring torturers, and held secret military trials for terrorism suspects—because of Congress?

    You forgot the ramped up pace of deportations. Always a hit with Democratic voters.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    Yes. Time to start recruiting some candidates to primary some sellout Democrats. Withdraw support from those who throw us under the bus.

    Something tells me this will result in a lot of primary candidates losing 79-21.

  113. 113
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Looking back at the ’06 and’08 elections — first the disgust with an unpopular war and an unpopular plan to privatize SS, then the fourteen-year itch and the near-destruction of the world’s financial system — and taken together that got us the present president, and the Senate and House that went out in January.

    There is a colorable case that this as left, or almost as left, as this country goes, for a while at least.

    And you know, I almost don’t want to think about the circumstances necessary to get a ‘real’ liberal elected. I suspect they’re not all that different from the circumstances necessary to get a Man on Horseback. It’s a coin-toss which one of those you would get, too.

  114. 114
    TK421 says:

    Its hilarious that in a thread that specifically details just How We Got Here, that its turned into yet another ODS derpfest. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    See post #81.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jay B.:

    The independents and older voters broke GOP.

    That you got right. But it wasn’t because the stimulus was too small or a lack of a public option. It was because Karl Rove and David Broder told them Obama had overreached and gone too far to the left

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think your analysis needs to at least contemplate the rise of Big Money in politics, used both as a reward and a cudgel.

  117. 117
    TK421 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You forgot the ramped up pace of deportations. Always a hit with Democratic voters.

    Yes, but Latinos aren’t an important voting bloc.

    Kidding, of course.

  118. 118
    cleek says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It was because Karl Rove and David Broder told them Obama had overreached and gone too far to the left

    the fact that the Dems got wiped-the-fuck-out in the 2010 elections hints at a similar message. via Drum: Obama knows the lefty base is too small so he has to go after independents, and independents are the people who gave the teabaggers their win.

  119. 119
    Zifnab says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    They keep demanding our time and money at election time and then turn around and break faith with us—and insult us.

    Yeah. Health care reform. DADT repeal. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Frank-Dodd financial reform. Kagan and Sotomayer on the SCOTUS bench.

    WTF is your problem, Liberal Democrats? Why do you keep pissing in my oatmeal and telling me to eat up?

    Count my money and time out in the primaries. Let the Wall Street goons bankroll Congress. Count my money and time out in the general. Republicans and Democrats are identical. I am never campaigning for those moderate, sane, compromising, progressive politicians again. They’re just like the Tea Party but WORSE.

  120. 120
    ed drone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    its also true that the Founders did not make IQ a criteria for citizenship and voting.

    A woman remarked to Adlai Stevenson, then running for President, “You have all of the intelligent people voting for you.”

    Stevenson replied, “Unfortunately, Madam, I need a majority.”

    Le plus ca change, etc.

    Ed

  121. 121
    TK421 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    But it wasn’t because the stimulus was too small or a lack of a public option. It was because Karl Rove and David Broder told them Obama had overreached and gone too far to the left

    This isn’t difficult. When things are going terribly, voters vote against the incumbent party. Most people don’t care what Karl Rove has to say; if the Democratic Party couldn’t get Joe Voter a job after two years of controlling two branches of the federal government, he is going to express his anger by voting against them.

  122. 122
    Zifnab says:

    @cleek:

    the fact that the Dems got wiped-the-fuck-out in the 2010 elections sent a similar message.

    This repeatedly gets me. Republicans won big in ’10, campaigning on “Save the Medicare!” and “Democrats are taxing and spending!”

    So ’11 rolls around and what do Democrats do? They fight like mad to protect Medicare while they engage in debt reduction politics and float only high-income tax increases as policy options.

    Gee, it’s almost as though Democrats are doing EXACTLY WHAT THE VOTERS TOLD THEM TO DO.

  123. 123
    RGuy says:

    Either way, we’re screwed. It’s hard to see how things are going to get better over the next couple of years unless by some miracle the tea party gets voted out in 2012.

  124. 124
    Jay B. says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Shorter everything you say:

    I was wrong, but technically correct if you omit obvious reality (and skip the part about Independents voting Republican). And clap louder!

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TK421:

    Most people don’t care what Karl Rove has to say;

    RIght. TV advertising has no effect on swing voters. That’s why people like Rove spend millions of dollars on it in every election cycle.

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    There is a colorable case that this as left, or almost as left, as this country goes, for a while at least.

    I would posit we as a nation are still enthrall to the ramped up War on Terror mentality. That influence, IMO has served to push the national mindset as far right as any policies, successful or unsuccessful.

  127. 127
    Linnaeus says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I tend to agree with this analysis. There’s other factors involved as to why we are where we are now, but we can’t overlook the fact that the Democratic Party – or at least a significant portion of it – embraced neoliberalism. They didn’t do this in a vacuum, of course, but created a kind of feedback mechanism subsequently.

  128. 128
    Thoughtcrime says:

    This is just like “Cowboys and Aliens”, except for the part where the humans stopped all their infighting and banded together to defeat their horrendous common enemy.

  129. 129
    Jay B. says:

    But it wasn’t because the stimulus was too small or a lack of a public option.

    So, to sum up, the Democrats lost because of what mean old people like Karl Rove and David Broder said and not the shitty economy and the empirical reality people experience. Got it.

  130. 130
    eemom says:

    do my eyes deceive me? Did the thread really get this long with NOBODY commenting on the GG “Obama Is a Diabolical Genius” shitfest?

  131. 131
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Zifnab:

    Gee, it’s almost as though Democrats are doing EXACTLY WHAT THE VOTERS TOLD THEM TO DO.

    Yes, and we will get plastered for doing it anyway if we do not spend every last dollar tying the teatards to the Ryan Bill vote.

  132. 132
    sparky says:

    i disagree that the wingnuttery is lost in the debate.* it is front and center; after all it is their “ideas” (loosely speaking) that have won the day. the real problem is that when the Democratic Party decided to get in bed with Wall St. (see, e.g., Clinton, W. and Obama, B.) it self-castrated. there is no effective ideological pushback because the Ds have to toe the line of banksters. that’s why there are arguments on one side and on the other, nothing.** that’s also why the poll numbers don’t really mean anything. Ds simply do not have a coherent political ideology promulgated by anyone in a position of power, so why would anyone claim to be aligned with a non-ideology?***

    ultimately, a different mindset/fundraising scheme is going to have to seize control of the Democratic Party, or some new party will have to organize and effectively co-opt the Ds. if not, eventually the entire country will identify as conservative for there will be (read: is) no coherent alternative.

    as for ideas, here is an example of an easy argument that you will NEVER hear from the D establishment: fairness. americans love the idea that they are fair-minded. take ownership of the notion of fairness and at least you have a point to argue.

    *poll results like this are meaningless because they decouple ideology from a specific policy, which is, or was, the product of an ideology. that said, the people who think demographics are going to save them will be in for a rude awakening, if only because by that time there will be no Democratic party or there will be no difference between the two parties.

    **because there are literally no arguments emanating from the D establishment, it doesn’t matter that TeaParty ideas are silly, discredited and churlish. the D retreat created a vacuum and crud rushed in.

    ***having one might threaten the Wall St. spigot, and at the end of the day, that’s more important than policy, at least to the professionals.

    edited for (i hope) clarity

  133. 133
    Judas Escargot says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    @Samara Morgan: Disagree. Latinos are both authoritarian in outlook and conservative by nature.

    Yeah, this.

    The evangelical sects have made vast inroads into this community, also, too: If I had a dollar for every “Jesus te ama” or equivalent bumper sticker I saw on my daily commute, my mortgage would be paid off.

    Not sure why everyone assumes that’s going to be a liberal voting bloc.

  134. 134
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jay B.:

    the Democrats lost because of what mean old people like Karl Rove and David Broder said and not the shitty economy and the empirical reality people experience.

    It’s not either/or. Rove and Broder told them, effectively, the economy was shitty because Obama was too far left (Rove), hadn’t reached out to Republicans (Broder). Can you name one candidate who lost for opposing/shrinking the stimulus?

  135. 135
    cleek says:

    @eemom:
    gg’s not worth arguing over, IMO.

  136. 136
    Yutsano says:

    @TK421: Be better than this please.

    People don’t like Obama’s health care reform plan. They don’t want to be forced to by health insurance, so it’s no wonder Obamacare was a drag on the Democratic ticket.

    If you poll the components individually, ACA is wildly popular. Even the individual mandate. Which a single-payer system also is.

    DOMA is still in place. DADT was struck down because a gay rights group sued the government, forcing it to act, and anyway troops are still being discharged under it.

    The DOMA part is true, but is getting closer to history. You’re totally making shit up about DADT. A Federal court cannot compel Congress into any action period. And DADT discharges were halted when Gates assumed the authority to sign off on them. And by the way the certification happened too.

    You don’t do yourself a service by being dishonest.

  137. 137
    Jay B. says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Not sure why everyone assumes that’s going to be a liberal voting bloc.

    In response to this piece of idiocy:

    @The Moar You Know:

    @Samara Morgan: Disagree. Latinos are both authoritarian in outlook and conservative by nature.

    Authoritarian in outlook? Conservative by nature?

    Jesus fucking Christ. If I were a Latino, I might be a wee bit offended by these racist generalities.

  138. 138
    TK421 says:

    @Zifnab:

    “Health care reform”

    Most people don’t like Obama’s health care reform. One can agree or disagree with this feeling, but don’t pretend it isn’t there.

    “The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act”

    A good thing, but a footnote when the job market is at its worst point since the Great Depression.

    “Frank-Dodd financial reform”

    A largely toothless law. It hasn’t changed anything.

    “Kagan and Sotomayer on the SCOTUS bench”

    Putting a Latino on the Supreme Court is a good way to get Latino votes–but deporting more Latinos than even W is a better way to lose them.

  139. 139

    @cleek:

    Obama knows the lefty base is too small so he has to go after independents, and independents are the people who gave the teabaggers their win.

    This is bullshit. Independents, aka Apathetics, don’t turn out in big numbers in midterm elections.

    The right-wing turned out because they always do. They are organized, energized and managed by a right-wing media matrix.

    The left-wing isn’t too small to influence congressional elections; they are gerrymandered out of the swing districts.

  140. 140
    Jay B. says:

    It’s not either/or. Rove and Broder told them, effectively, the economy was shitty because Obama was too far left (Rove), hadn’t reached out to Republicans (Broder).

    ?

    People didn’t need to read Broder or listen to Rove to know the economy was shitty. It was the GOP’s goal to keep the economy shitty and the Democrats played half-ass, per usual, to ensure it.

    Let’s put it this way, if the Democrats had passed a huge stimulus, and unemployment was down to about 7 or so going into the midterms, it wouldn’t have mattered what Karl Rove said or David Broder (!) wrote. That’s pretty obvious.

  141. 141
    gwangung says:

    ultimately, a different mindset/fundraising scheme is going to have to seize control of the Democratic Party, or some new party will have to organize and effectively co-opt the Ds.

    The efforts to do either are identical. Relying on or blaming leaders is useless and irrelevant. Given that Congressional progressives are less than 33% of Democratic Congressfolks and 22% of the population identify as liberal, anything that does NOT include massive grassroots work is useless and counter productive.

    And I think that applies to all, whether you’re a hippie puncher or a more-progressive-than-thou type.

  142. 142
    TK421 says:

    @Yutsano:

    If you poll the components individually, ACA is wildly popular. Even the individual mandate. Which a single-payer system also is.

    First, most of the individual components are popular–but the mandate is not. For instance:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....repeal.php

    A majority opposes repealing it, but that doesn’t mean they will rush out to vote for the party that enacted it.

    And single-payer isn’t an individual mandate. Everyone is covered. Period. No farther action needed.

  143. 143
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Obama has said many times times he is the President of all the Americans.

    Well maybe he shouldn’t have! God knows that fucking pig Bush was never interested in being President for the people that didn’t vote for him, and God knows that whichever Republican replaces Obama (whether in 2012 or 2016) won’t give a shit about representing non-Republicans then, either. So maybe if Obama would stop begging for affection from the people who despise him and wish to destroy him, perhaps he wouldn’t be inviting comparisons to Neville Fucking Chamberlain!

  144. 144
    TK421 says:

    @Yutsano:

    A Federal court cannot compel Congress into any action period.

    Good thing I didn’t say that was what happened. What DID happen was DADT suffered a defeat in court, so the Pentagon went to Congress and said “please do something about this, so we can handle it on our schedule instead of the court’s.” While Congress doesn’t care what you or I want, they do care what the Department of Defense wants.

    Discharges Continue Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

    Administrative separation board hearings proceeding and discharges are continuing under DADT, and since the passage of the repeal act the Air Force has confirmed three discharges and one resignation related to 10 U.S.C. 654 in 2011

  145. 145
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Jay B.:

    Jesus fucking Christ. If I were a Latino, I might be a wee bit offended by these racist generalities.

    I was generalizing working-class Catholics and evangelicals– not exactly known as liberal demographics. The fact that the up-and-coming numbers within that bloc just happen to be Latino is historical/geographical accident.

    IMO it’s more racist to assume those are all going to be liberal Democratic voters, just because they happen to be a little browner than the current crop of working class voters.

  146. 146
    Stefan says:

    I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them.

    There is no way to turn this around. We simply need to start over…under the sea.

    Homer: [fearfully] Marge? Kids? Everything’s going to be just fine. Now go upstairs, and pack your bags…we’re going to start a new life…under the sea.

    [calypso music starts]

    [Homer dances with fish as Lisa plays a seahorse saxophone,
    Marge a squid harp, and Bart the xylophone clams]

    Homer: [eats a dancing fish, sings] Under the sea, under the sea, there’ll be no accusations, just friendly crustaceans, Under the sea!
    [eats a line of seahorses, grabs an escaping one]
    [eats a live crab as though it were a shrimp]
    [eats a pair of dancing fish, then a snail who tries to escape]
    [stands there with fish skeletons floating about]

    Marge: Homer, that’s your solution to everything: to move under the sea. It’s not going to happen!

    Homer: Not with that attitude!

  147. 147
    Bostondreams says:

    @TK421:

    Remind me, again, when did the voters of America voted for a debt ceiling, or cuts to social programs, or a “super-congress”?

    When they voted in 2010 for Tea Party Republicans.

  148. 148
    Valdivia says:

    Simply have to stay away from this kind of insane rending of clothing. And outsource me hearty what you said to @Midnight Marauder.

  149. 149
    TK421 says:

    @Zifnab:

    So ‘11 rolls around and what do Democrats do? They fight like mad to protect Medicare while they engage in debt reduction politics and float only high-income tax increases as policy options.

    July 22, 2011–Remarks by the President

    “We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.”

  150. 150
    ppcli says:

    @Zifnab:

    This repeatedly gets me. Republicans won big in ‘10, campaigning on “Save the Medicare!” and “Democrats are taxing and spending!”
    So ‘11 rolls around and what do Democrats do? They fight like mad to protect Medicare while they engage in debt reduction politics and float only high-income tax increases as policy options.
    Gee, it’s almost as though Democrats are doing EXACTLY WHAT THE VOTERS TOLD THEM TO DO.

    I don’t disagree entirely with what you’re saying here. But I do remember something about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” too. Good times, those.

  151. 151
    chopper says:

    @TK421:

    yeah, it totes makes sense to go all ODS because the post’s author sarcastically pointed out that people blame obama for everything. but he mentioned obama! that means it’s open season!

    hey, i just used the word ‘season’. so maybe you should try to hijack the thread over your favorite pink himalayan salt. go ahead, the seal is broken. hey, ‘seal’. anyone want to talk about lupus?

  152. 152
    Loviatar says:

    Lost in all the debate about Obama allegedly capitulating (or, if you agree with Glenn, wanting to give in), is what he has to work with. I really don’t understand how we are going to achieve progressive nirvana when half the country identifies as wingnut. And I’m not making that up:

    The thing that always gets me about shit like this is the framework of OMG its too hard the TPers want to destroy the country.

    Sack up Obots there are always someone out there who wants to destroy the country. Shit LBJ got the Civil Rights law passed in the face of outright racist threatening to destroy the country and with the knowledge that he had irreparably harmed the Democratic party, but he got it done!!!

    Next time you talk about liberals being naive and not stepping up, look in the mirror for the real wusses. We know what the cost is and we’re willing to pay it for a better long term future, you, you’re just willing to go along to get along.

  153. 153
    Citizen Alan says:

    @AlphaLiberal:

    Can you ever imagine Barack Obama ever saying anything like this, from FDR? Not at all. He must despise FDR for being so strongly spoken and disagreeing with the radical right.

    And cue Mnemosyne to show up sputtering in a histrionic rage “But what about the Japanese internment camps!?!?!?” in 5… 4… 3… 2…

  154. 154
    TK421 says:

    @Bostondreams:

    When they voted in 2010 for Tea Party Republicans.

    How many Americans did that in 2010? 80%? 90%? Yeah, Obama would be an awful guy to defy them, wouldn’t he?

  155. 155
    Don says:

    The Tea Party has corporate backers, in case you’re too stupid to know that.

    I wonder if that’s going to be “had” now. Clearly some of these folks won’t be honest politicians and stay bought. I suspect, come the next primaries, we’re going to see a lot of corporate money dumped on republicans who will be well-behaved cogs rather than play economy chicken like this.

  156. 156
    TK421 says:

    @chopper:

    Are the posts I’ve written directly quoting President Obama deranged? Because if they are, I don’t frankly think I deserve all the blame.

  157. 157
    Zifnab says:

    @TK421:

    Most people don’t like Obama’s health care reform.

    Most people love the health reform until they find out it’s Obama’s health reform. Then opinion breaks on party lines. I didn’t see any parents complaining about being able to keep their kids on health care till they were 26. I haven’t seen serious grassroots push-back against rescission policies.

    The only truly unpopular aspects are a) the insurance mandate and b) lack of public option.

    “The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act”
    A good thing, but a footnote when the job market is at its worst point since the Great Depression.

    So we’re playing the “it doesn’t count” card? :-p

    “Frank-Dodd financial reform”
    A largely toothless law. It hasn’t changed anything.

    Yet. It’s been delayed by the Republicans when they refused to allow votes on a director. Again, saying “Democrats have failed because of Republican obstructionism” seems a bit silly.

    “Kagan and Sotomayer on the SCOTUS bench”
    Putting a Latino on the Supreme Court is a good way to get Latino votes—but deporting more Latinos than even W is a better way to lose them.

    I was more referring to their voting records. When so many important SCOTUS decisions break down 5-4, pretending like the SCOTUS doesn’t matter is the very height of foolishness. Justice Kennedy is the last man standing between a nominally sane judiciary and full-on wingnut madness. Every strong Justice Obama seats is another bulwark in the defense of the Constitution. If you’re ready to blow off Sotomayer like she’s some token liberal for the bench, you’re missing a much bigger picture.

  158. 158
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Let’s put it this way, if the Democrats had passed a huge stimulus, and unemployment was down to about 7 or so going into the midterms,

    and if I won a $60 million power ball, I’d be in the Swiss Alps right now. Karl Rove has access to lots of money and knows how to spend it effectively. It would be nice if this were not true. It would be nice if Paul Krugman had more (even as much) influence in the political media, and thus in the country, as David Brooks. It would be nice if Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill had a better understanding of economics. I think we can all agree on a whole lot of “ifs”.

  159. 159
    chopper says:

    @TK421:

    i thought this was about florida and rick scott. or are we all tacitly agreeing that he can get away with murder because you want to argue about the president instead?

  160. 160
    TK421 says:

    I don’t know how conservative the Latino community in America is as a whole, but two thirds of them voted for Obama in 2008. Two thirds!

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/10.....-hispanics

    Perhaps demonizing them by stationing the National Guard at the southern border will reduce that number in 2012? Just a thought.

  161. 161
    Jay B. says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    I was generalizing working-class Catholics and evangelicals— not exactly known as liberal demographics.

    Right.

    From an older, circa 2007 Pew Study:

    The prayer breakfast offers a vivid illustration of the growing presence and increasing political influence of Latino evangelicals, who now make up some 15% of the rapidly expanding Hispanic population in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center. That survey also shows that among eligible Latino voters, evangelicals are twice as likely as Latino Catholics to identify with the Republican Party (37% vs. 17%). Latino evangelicals also are far more likely than Latino Catholics to describe themselves as conservative (46% vs. 31%).

    So, Only 31% of Latino Catholics identify as conservative. And even the evangelicals ID with the GOP at less than 40%.

    Neither of these stats puts them in the “authoritarian” camp, no matter how many caudillos the other guy who wrote about this is dreaming about.

    Beyond that, the African-American example is instructive. The GOP has written them off, even though I’m sure that a large number would consider themselves “evangelical” or “conservative” in some way.

    What both examples show is the opportunity for economic liberalism, it’s just too bad we don’t have a party for that anymore.

  162. 162
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The die has been cast, fearless internet warriors. Now that we’ve got job-killing austerity measures just about settled for at least six months, it’s time to pivot to jobs and the economy. Let’s get started on this right now. Everyone together, “Nothing can be done!”

  163. 163
    chopper says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    hey, FDR was strong. he very strongly put the japanese in prison camps, he very strongly turned away jews fleeing the holocaust, and he very strongly compromised with republicans and southern democrats to make sure social security was only available to white people.

    my kinda guy!

  164. 164
    Jewish Steel says:

    @cleek:

    i suppose it doesn’t matter that the public likes Obama better vs Boehner in every single category, when polled about this situation. he’s still the evil destroyer of liberalism. right? he’s still the guy who is going to turn people away in droves, right?

    Next you’re going to tell us it’s all just a big popularity contest. So where does my revenge fantasy fit in to your ‘electoral politics?’

  165. 165
    TK421 says:

    @chopper:

    i thought this was about florida and rick scott. or are we all tacitly agreeing that he can get away with murder because you want to argue about the president instead?

    At the risk of repeating myself: what was the tenth word the originator of this thread wrote?

    This thread isn’t “about Florida and Rick Scott”. It’s about how we can’t expect anything better from Obama because Rick Scott was elected governor of Florida (unless I’m misinterpreting). Of course, I’ve already demolished that talking point anyway, so everything else is just commentary.

  166. 166
    chopper says:

    @Zifnab:

    If you’re ready to blow off Sotomayer like she’s some token liberal for the bench, you’re missing a much bigger picture.

    shit, read kagan’s last dissent. truly a thing to behold. moar of her please.

  167. 167
    Jim Pharo says:

    John, you say you don’t know how to turn things around. I think the truth is that we don’t — at least not until we sustain catastrophic losses.

    People are hopeful beings. People tend to believe what they want to believe. This leads to most people thinking things are going to get better before too long. Thing is, reality gets a vote, so to speak. And right now, that reality looks a lot like we are in a permanent cycle of ever-rightward drift toward a plutocracy in which most people will experience falling life expectancy, falling quality of life, falling lifestyles, falling education rates, and falling birth rates.

    I think the game is up and the other side has won. What we are in the process of building is a long-term resistance movement, not any kind of political opposition. If Obama’s betrayal of progressive values shows, there’s no politician who is ever going to champion our values.

  168. 168
    grandpajohn says:

    Will Obama be punished for violating the beliefs of 21% of the public? I’ve got a blogroll ready to crucify him right now.

    I don’t know how to turn this around. We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them. Right now, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham are both screaming about the compromise, because serious people have some magical way to balance the budget without touching defense spending or raising taxes.

    This is why my wife religiously plays the lotteries. She wants to win enough to buy an island somewhere remote and move the whole extended family away from the batshit insanity here in supposedly the worlds greatest country, Especially since we live in the center of it insanity that is, South Carolina

  169. 169
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Nied:

    Indeed how did primarying Lieberman go? Or Blanche Lincoln?

    In both those instances, progressives launched primaries against turncoat DINOs who then squeaked out victories after the DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT including OBAMA HIMSELF rallied around the incumbent and against the insurgent! And your using those as examples of how the Progressives can’t do anything right? Good grief!

    Things like this are why I often despise the Democratic establishment and their cultists here and at other blogs. Third party runs are bad because they just throw the election to the GOP, so people who want a more progressive party should work within the system and run in primaries. But if they run in primaries and gain traction against the incumbent, they should get knee-capped by the establishment. Oh, and it’s also bad to even organize people to call DINOs and demand that they act like better democrats, because that makes you “fucking retarded.” Honestly, if Joe Lieberman had run unopposed as a Democrat and won, do you think he would be any better? And if the Lady Blanche, Duchess of Wal-Mart had run unopposed, do you think she would have done any better than 40% against Boozman in a red state during an anti-incumbent year?

  170. 170
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Jay B.:

    Beyond that, the African-American example is instructive. The GOP has written them off, even though I’m sure that a large number would consider themselves “evangelical” or “conservative” in some way.

    True: Though I think it’s wrong for the left to assume that the AA vote will always, automatically trend their way for all time, also. Voters are fickle. They can also tell when someone isn’t going to “fight for them” like they implied they would.

    What both examples show is the opportunity for economic liberalism, it’s just too bad we don’t have a party for that anymore.

    You’ll get no argument from me on either of these points.

  171. 171
    TK421 says:

    @Zifnab:

    “Most people love the health reform until they find out it’s Obama’s health reform. ”

    I totally disagree. Nothing more to say about that.

    “I didn’t see any parents complaining about being able to keep their kids on health care till they were 26. ”

    And we won’t ever see that, either. Too bad that is a small minority of voters anyway, and adults younger than 26 are the absolute last people who need health care coverage. So that’s not a strong enough bloc to win an election.

    “Yet. It’s been delayed by the Republicans when they refused to allow votes on a director. ”

    President Obama could have appointed whoever he wanted as director when the Consumer Protection Bureau was formed, and he could have recess-appointed anyone since then. Instead he didn’t choose the best person for the job, Elizabeth Warren. Yet another unforced error.

    As for why Dodd-Frank is a paper tiger, see (of all places) The Daily Show:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....ank-update

    “When so many important SCOTUS decisions break down 5-4, pretending like the SCOTUS doesn’t matter is the very height of foolishness.”

    Okay–what is the Democratic party doing to mitigate some of those terrible Supreme Court decisions, like Citizens United? Assuming they want to, that is.

  172. 172
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    As much as it depresses me, this is where I am at this point. I’ve given up any fucking hope in this political process at all. It really feels like it’s become completely fucking impenetrable for anyone reasonably left of center, to where it’s nearly fucking impossible to convince anyone of the left-side of things unless they were already there, yet people fall fucking head over heels for the Tea Party line because it ‘sounds nice’ and ‘makes sense’ even when it’s based on total fucking bullshit.

    There’s no fucking win left anymore. We’ve FAILED. The GOP, the Tea Party, they own the entire fucking country now. What’s the goddamn point in fighting anymore when the more you fight, the more everyone fucking hates you?

  173. 173
    TK421 says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    If Obama’s betrayal of progressive values shows, there’s no politician who is ever going to champion our values.

    Wow, is that an overstatement. There are plenty of champions of our values. Look at the brave people in Wisconsin. Look at the protesters in Ohio doing much the same thing.

  174. 174
    ericblair says:

    @sparky:

    as for ideas, here is an example of an easy argument that you will NEVER hear from the D establishment: fairness. americans love the idea that they are fair-minded. take ownership of the notion of fairness and at least you have a point to argue.

    I don’t think so, because it’s too easy to manipulate. Wingers think that it’s not fair to give their hard-earned money to young bucks driving Cadillacs and eating T-bones, or that affirmative action exists. People can be extremely blind to the advantages they have been given, and everything else given to others is therefore unfair. Some people will always benefit more than others from a social safety net, and that can be spun as unfair.

  175. 175
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Liberalism’s / Progressivism’s problems are three-fold (all the folds that would fit between my skinny cheeks): 1) it is concerned with helping people who generally don’t do a heck of a lot to help themselves politically. Liberalism would prevail if the people whom it purportedly benefits (the poor, students, the working-class) would actually vote in higher percentages relative to their populations than they typically do now. 2) It advocates rational decision-making in an environment of easy emotional manipulation. Everyone hates know-it-alls, and it’s hard to believe something that’s not intuitive or lizard-brain based. And 3)it has been the status quo, economically, even with all the tinkering, for 70 years. It’s easier to destroy than maintain. Ergo… hello 1930’s! Except I think we’re on the wrong side of the Atlantic this go-round.

  176. 176
    grandpajohn says:

    @cathyx:

    I didn’t see anywhere on that survey where those terms conservative, moderate and liberal were defined. I consider it an inaccurate survey without the definitions because everyone has their own definition for them.

    Which thereby will give the results desired which is the reason they were not defined

  177. 177
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    Guh….whatever I’m in moderation for, I’ll just play it safe and say ‘this’.

    I’m pretty much gone. Again, what’s the point in fighting if the more you fight, the more you not only lose, but the more everyone hates you to the point of marginalizing you even more than before? It’s all just become too impenetrable for me to believe there’s any hope left.

  178. 178

    We’ve got crazy people running things, and a public that keeps electing them.

    John,
    I cannot help but question the above assertion. Insanity, or “craziness”, is behaviors characterized by abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. If in fact 77% of the American people disagree with far left ideals and policies, would not that make the 21% that identify with the far left the “crazy” people as they are the deviants from the norm?

    Additionally, polls like this are total bunk. I am fiscally VERY conservative. I want small, responsible, as I see it, government that is forced to keep it’s sticky fingers out of my wallet except for the bare essentials. Conversely, I could be easily considered a social moderate to liberal. Mostly that social liberalism stems from my core conservative ideal that can be summed thus, “Stay out of my life.” This “Stay Out” doctrine applies to the government, do-gooders who want to “help” me, and myself in relation to other people.

    Having said that, where would I fall on that graph?

  179. 179
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    And meanwhile, instead of educating anyone about the victories he presided over (because, yeah, we had a lot of fucking victories between 2008-2010)

    My mind reels at the thought of going up to someone who lives in constant terror of losing his job or becoming homeless because the Democrats have apparently decided that 9% unemployment is “acceptable” and saying to him: “Turn that frown upside down, little trooper! Don’t you know that Obama has repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Also, LILY LEDBETTER! Now get out there and vote Democrat so the next two years can go just as well as the last two have!”

  180. 180
    TK421 says:

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you want people to vote for you, give ’em some nice juicy red meat. If you want John Jobless to vote for you, don’t tell him that women will now have to be paid as much as men–give him a job! “Sonia Sotomayor wrote a great opinion” won’t win you many votes–and it won’t win you anywhere close to enough votes to make up for threatening Social Security or spending money on drone strikes while closing schools.

  181. 181
    Libby says:

    Sorry. I got distracted by Twitter. And I don’t have a reply button in Chrome and not going to use IE to get one, so let me reply generally.

    The reason TPs won and Grayson and Feingold lost is message discipline. Way it looked to me was Progs spent more time tearing down Obama, fighting with each other and making rude jokes about stupid con candidates than they did building up the prog candidates they did have. Crazy cons attack the other side more than they do each other.

    Which is not to suggest the left should become like the con zombies, nor that criticism isn’t useful or shouldn’t be done at all, but there’s only so many hours in a day. Think about how many posts you saw mocking Palin, or Rand Paul, or whatever nutcase con versus how many you saw praising Feingold or Sanders or whichever Dem speaks out for good policy. Case on point, just this week Rep. Jerrold Nadler spoke out for more spending and against cuts. Nobody talking about in comment sections and social media. Far as I know, only me and Steve M. blogged about it. We’re not big enough to shift the narrative alone.

    We all have a choice on what to focus on. It seems to focusing more on building up good Dems could only help. Also, too, a little mockery is fun and good release but IMO too much only solidfies the wingnut support for the nutcakes. If we hate and mock them, then they defend — and vote — for them. YMMV.

  182. 182
    TK421 says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    or “hey Jose, sorry for deporting your wife, but at least it will be easier for you to get out from under that credit card debt!”

    or “hey Mary, sorry your husband got his leg blown off in Afghanistan, but I’m this close to appointing a CFPB head!”

    or “hey Grandpa Bill, you might have to cut down to two meals a day, but at least it will be easier for you to get out from under that credit card debt!”

  183. 183
    LanceThruster says:

    I think the polling is manipulated whenever it needs to be. The same way TPTB can manipulate news by inserting planted stories can easily be done with polling.

    That coupled with the fact that we are collectively a nation of blockheads and lemmings (and the manipulated #’s means that those not wanting to “buck the trend” that appears to be present go along too).

  184. 184
    Bob Ewing says:

    It’s a miracle that even 21% of the population identifies as liberal. How can someone self identify as a liberal when there is no one at the top who displays true, deep in the wood, liberal principles – – only big talk, followed by bigger surrender. How can anyone look to any of the nominally Democratic liberals in Washington as a role model when it seems there is literally no solid core to their beliefs. The right wing of the Republican party (and please spare me the bull of calling them Tea Partiers as if there is a separate beast) is crazy, and I don’t want to emulate them, but at least those they elected are capable of drawing a line in the sand. Who does that on the Democratic side. Probably only Bernie Sanders, and he’s an Independent.

  185. 185
    Libby says:

    Also, too Rick Scott is a evil monster and I hope I live long enough to see him get his karmic kickback.

  186. 186
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think we can all agree that “turning it around” requires more than giving in to Republicans over and over. That shouldn’t be controversial, right?

  187. 187
    Corner Stone says:

    @Libby:

    The reason TPs won and Grayson and Feingold lost is message discipline.

    Grayson lost because he rode the 2008 wave into office in a significantly +R district. In 2010 the anti-incumbent wave combined with the natural conservative tendency of the district got him tossed. By any measure he shouldn’t have ever been in that office.
    Feingold lost to an extreme self-funder combined with FSM only knows how many secretly funded last minute ad buys from Big Money.

  188. 188
    Thoughtcrime says:

    We can turn this around if we tackle immigration reform.

    Open our borders to the strongest liberal voting bloc: the Norwegians.

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think we can all agree that “turning it around” requires more than giving in to Republicans over and over.

    Based on Cole’s incontrovertible stats, it would seem “turning it around” mainly entails further tailoring the D message to match the 77% more closely.
    I’m not sure what else he could be trying to say.

  190. 190
    gene108 says:

    @cleek:

    um, i think you meant “Bill Clinton”

    Liberal became a dirty word, from what I remember, in 1988, when Bush, Sr. successfully branded Dukakis “a card carrying member of the ACLU” and Dukakis didn’t do squat to defend himself.

    I mean, if liberals like Mondale and Dukakis, hadn’t gotten steamrolled in the 1980’s, I think there’d be a stronger demand for good old fashioned liberalism of the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s.

    Clinton to his credit, though not acknowledged by liberals, did start out swinging for the biggest liberal, non-Republican/Conservative, parts of his agenda right out of the gates.

    He raised taxes to address budget deficits and got it passed without a single Republican vote. He tried to create a universal health care system that ended in disaster for his Administration. He tried to allow gays to openly serve in the military, but had to settle for a compromise with DADT, which at least no longer made it 100% impossible for gays to be in the military, whether they were in or out of the closet.

    Anyway, most Americans have no idea what government actually does. I bet most folks in areas around Heath Shuler’s district in Appalachia don’t like “big government”, but enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Interstates that run through there.

    I think that’s the bigger problem in beating conservatives; educating voters so they understand how they benefit from government services.

    Conservatives have done a good job in demonizing government programs, by making it seem that most of it goes to “those guys”, who are “lazy” and are abusing the system.

    Back when Democrats had a strangle hold on the House, people remembered how government programs helped them or their parents through the Great Depression or go to college or a host of other things.

    I personally want to propose destroying everything built with Federal money, so all the states rights right-wingers can rejoice in the fiscal restraint it will compel on D.C.

    Boom goes the Blue Ridge Parkway. Boom goes the damns in the Tennessee Valley. Boom goes the levies on the Mississippi. Boom goes the Interstate system.

  191. 191
    Jay B. says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Fair enough. My problem with your initial post wasn’t quite you, but rather the basic agreement of the “authoritarian, conservative” mindset of Latinos. Which was an entirely rectally-sourced factoid by someone else.

  192. 192
    nastybrutishntall says:

    An anti-hyperventilation remedy from TPM

    The President kept revenues on the table, did not touch the sunset provisions in the Bush tax cuts, ensured that military cuts keep the GOP honest, protected Medicare by adding in only provider cuts in the trigger, made the reduction apparently enough to stave off a debt downgrade, got the debt ceiling raised, wounded Boehner by demonstrating to the world that he is controlled by the Tea Party caucus, took out the requirement that a BBA be passed and sent to the states and got the extension through 2012? What exactly is wrong with this deal?

    My thoughts exactly. President Obama was given a shit sandwich by the voters last fall, and he’s stuffed it in his pocket, raided the pantry and came up with some kind of stale bread-heel thing with some dried out cheese and a mushy tomato that he’s giving to us instead. But he smells bad, so even though we’re starving, we swear we won’t eat it. But we will, and by the end of the day when we’re hungry again we’ll be asking him if he can maybe please find us another one.

  193. 193
    gene108 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Feingold lost to an extreme self-funder combined with FSM only knows how many secretly funded last minute ad buys from Big Money.

    Anti-incumbent wave didn’t help him either.

  194. 194
    Libby says:

    Cornerstone, thinking Grayson also lost because his in your face style mostly appeals to young lefties. Loud and rude doesn’t usually win over leaners.

    Agree on Feingold, but isn’t the only antidote to that, that we have is to pushback with our collective voice. How many posts/comments did you see pumping up his candidacy? Granted I don’t get around the nets as much as I used to, but I didn’t see many outside of those occassionally noting that he was getting trounced in the polls.

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @Libby:

    How many posts/comments did you see pumping up his candidacy? Granted I don’t get around the nets as much as I used to, but I didn’t see many outside of those occassionally noting that he was getting trounced in the polls.

    Well, if you read any comments about Feingold here at BJ you would have seen him slagged relentlessly for having a modicum of principles.

  196. 196
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    Whether or not people’s preferred policies actually echo the terms ‘Conservative’, ‘Moderate’, or ‘Liberal’, the fact is they vote based on how they self-identify. Again, liberals think they are magically going to get their preferred policies enacted when majorities clearly vote against their preferred candidates. Over and over and over again. You guys were cheering to the skies when Libermann lost the primary. Then the liberal candidate lost the general election… in a deep blue state. If true liberals keep losing time after time in liberal states, what on earth makes you think they will have the numbers to influence policy? They won’t and they don’t. That is because liberals on the ground, basically you people, have failed to convince the public (your neighbors, your families, your coworkers, etc) that liberal candidates will do good things for America. The president could shout from the bully pulpit until he lost his voice, it does no good if it falls on deaf ears. It is up to the true believers to bring in the converts, all across America. That there is anemic support for liberal candidates is your failure. YOU.

  197. 197
    NR says:

    @Midnight Marauder: You’re a fucking idiot. The Dems lost in 2010 because the economy sucked, full stop. And the economy sucked because the Dems refused to do what tons of economists and progressives told them was necessary to make it better.

    For all the cries about ODS around here, there’s a much more prevalent problem–PDS (Progressive Derangement Syndrome). For all the need to demonize progressives around here for not clapping loudly enough, the simple fact is that if the Dems had listened to us from the beginning, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re currently in.

  198. 198
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, if you read any comments about Feingold here at BJ you would have seen him slagged relentlessly for having a modicum of principles.

    Feingold was mean to the President.

  199. 199
    Libby says:

    I think that’s the bigger problem in beating conservatives; educating voters so they understand how they benefit from government services.

    Conservatives have done a good job in demonizing government programs, by making it seem that most of it goes to “those guys”, who are “lazy” and are abusing the system.

    Agree. Thinking the biggest problem is Dems/libs/progs explain in many words. We try to appeal to logic and the rational mind. GOPers appeal to the lizard mind with bumper sticker slogans that mean the opposite of what they’re going to do, but it resonates with low-info voters, who outnumber the engaged electorate greatly.

  200. 200
    Libby says:

    Well, if you read any comments about Feingold here at BJ you would have seen him slagged relentlessly for having a modicum of principles.

    Feingold was mean to the President.

    Kind of makes my point. Our inherent weakness as liberals/progs is we don’t do lockstep. We like to argue and we fight each other.

    Don’t think we want to become lockstep zombies, but also thinking a little more balance in where we spend our energy couldn’t hurt.

  201. 201
    Dennis SGMM says:

    When Obama took office unemployment/underemployment were already above historic norms, people were losing their homes and more people were afraid that they lose theirs. In 2010 unemployment/underemployment were both higher and foreclosures accelerated. Period. Combine those hard facts with the historical tendency for the party in power to lose seats in a mid-term and the results of 2010 were a foregone conclusion. It wasn’t the hippies and it wasn’t Republican money that beat us in 2010, it was the economy and history.

    Coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’. Maybe if Obama’s economic team hadn’t been made up of people who felt that what’s good for Wall Street is good for America he might have been persuaded not to squander his first few months in office on a mediocre health care bill and laughable fin reg. Maybe not; Presidents want to do Big Things and the nuts and bolts of creating a comprehensive top-to-bottom strategy to really deal with joblessness may have been less attractive than trying to slay dragons.

    Obama is not without his accomplishments. The next election will determine whether or not what the things that he’s accomplished matter that much to independents and swing voters – or even to ordinary Democrats.

  202. 202
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @nastybrutishntall:

    Thanks for the snippet of a rational take on this. I think this thread could use more:

    The GOP came out of this looking unreasonable–I’ve been getting E-mail messages from friends saying they are back with the Democrats because the Tea Party is “destroying this country.” Nate Silver tweeted last week that local conservative talk radio in Kansas was filled with callers attacking the Tea Party! The Wall Street Journal ran two editorials which called the GOP delusional and “childish.” The vaunted GOP message discipline broke down–I read stories all over the “inside baseball” papers here in DC where GOP House members went on the record after the Friday vote wondering out loud if the party had been damaged! I don’t know if you noticed, but John Boehner spent last week negotiating with himself. No new proposals came out from the Dem side, but he produced two proposals, one of which he had to pull after he didn’t have votes. A congressional Dem staffer told me his dad, an urban Catholic who voted for Nixon over Kennedy and has always voted Republican suddenly thinks the GOP is out to lunch and supports the President.

    Hey, we all hate the pain, but this is an ongoing process. They are going to try this again with a government shutdown. When that happens, I’m pretty sure that the country will be resoundingly against a repeat of these types of hijinks.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....?ref=fpblg

  203. 203
    Chris says:

    I mean, if liberals like Mondale and Dukakis, hadn’t gotten steamrolled in the 1980’s, I think there’d be a stronger demand for good old fashioned liberalism of the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s.

    And liberals got steamrolled in the 1980s (more honestly since 1968) because of one thing: race. A ton of voters who’d enthusiastically and happily supported the New Deal, maybe even the Great Society, certainly things like highways and electrification of the South, were so pissed off that liberal politicians were actually paying attention to someone else as well rather than them exclusively, that they went over to the GOP and have hated liberals ever since.

    I’m always bewildered when a debate like this turns into a Find The Liberal Who Stabbed Us In The Back argument. Hey, it’s the centrists and the establishment Dems’ fault, they betrayed us. No, it’s the Professional Left, THEY just whine too much! Or maybe it’s because Dukakis and Mondale weren’t manly enough back in the eighties. Or maybe it’s this obscure legislative maneuver that should have been done sooner, or later, or given more attention in the media, or whatnot.

    Okay, there’s some truth to all of that, probably, but I seriously doubt if any it’s the root problem. The root problem race (or more generally “identity”). Sometime in the late 1960s, a bunch of people decided that liberals were giving too much attention to the lazy, nasty Others, and a bunch of other people became receptive to that rhetoric. IMO, that’s still the driving force behind most conservative and a ton of centrist voters. That does far more to explain liberalism’ failures than Obama’s lack of spine or Krugman’s similarity to an old woman or whatever Dukakis did or didn’t do, IMO.

  204. 204
    MikeBoyScout says:

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    Learn it. Your ancestors migrated here. A better place is right up the road.

  205. 205
    Tim Connor says:

    The attached reference article suggests that a lot of people like “professed” Democratic policies, but do not trust Democrats to deliver.

    Make all the excuses you want, but Obama has only exacerbated that problem.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07.....&_r=1

    Yglesias summarizes his thoughts on the article here:

    http://thinkprogress.org/ygles.....e-dilemma/

  206. 206
    Bullsmith says:

    Tea Party got most of what they wanted, if not all. Democrats got nothing. By claiming victory on principles like “the lowest level of spending since Eisenhower” they are espousing openly conservative, Republican values. Hell, Obama is specifically preferring the America of 1950 to today. Not exactly “progressive.”

    Whether Obama is incompetent or helpless or conservative, the result is the same. Without control of either the White House or the Senate, the Republicans control the government. Whaterver the reasons, three years in Obama’s administration is a failure of historical proportions for the Democratic party. Blame the libs or the Republicans all you want, I personally thought the office of President included responsibility for the laws you sign. The Senate is equally complicit. Pelosi, to her credit, attempted to represent the values Democrats claim to represent.

  207. 207
    kay says:

    has rejected grants aimed at moving long-term care patients into their homes,

    That’s no surprise. After all, he is a criminal. Medicare fraud.

    Rick Scott doesn’t want an experimental program where people who need long term care remain in their homes (rather than a nursing home) because that cuts into nursing home profits.

    Can we just move right to the grand jury?

    His entire private sector career was grounded in stealing money meant for Medicare recipients and he’s the governor of Florida. This isn’t going to end well. God knows how much he’s hauled off already.

  208. 208
    Jay B. says:

    @Thoughtcrime:

    Hey, we all hate the pain, but this is an ongoing process. They are going to try this again with a government shutdown. When that happens, I’m pretty sure that the country will be resoundingly against a repeat of these types of hijinks.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Next time! Keep your powder dry!

    American history’s worst bill just passed. A halfway competent party with halfway visionary leaders could have won this battle last year, before the fucking mid-terms which were sure to be brutal if the economy still sucked.

    Bush and the GOP should have been put on trial. The Democrats should have politicized the shit out of the conservative vision of America and offered a better, more inclusive one. FAIL. Total and utter fail.

    Now you believe what TPM is saying about voters giving a shit about “these kinds of hijinks?” Holy fuck.

  209. 209
    Valdivia says:

    @nastybrutishntall:

    this exactly, I mean did anyone here think the elections last fall would have NO consequences? No one is dancing in happiness but the insistence that Obama had to act as if he had all branches of govt with him is just hallucinatory to me.

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    And cue Mnemosyne to show up sputtering in a histrionic rage “But what about the Japanese internment camps?!?” in 5… 4… 3… 2…

    Gosh, why on earth would I constantly be pointing out that FDR was only able to make his advances by capitulating to racists, not only by letting Japanese-American citizens be interned during the war, but also by actively discriminating against African-Americans in the New Deal? And leaving the majority of African-American workers out of Social Security? And by quietly killing federal anti-lynching laws to keep Southern Democrats on his side? It couldn’t possibly be because the sainted FDR was making compromises that would be unacceptable to people on the left today, could it?

    Nah, talking about the unacceptable compromises that FDR made must be a total non sequitur when talking about the equally unacceptable compromises that Obama is making, because clearly allowing African-Americans to continue being murdered with impunity in the South was much less morally sketchy than signing legislation to prevent gay and lesbian servicemembers from being kicked out of the military.

  211. 211
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Chris: Well said. I suspect that even if race doesn’t play a conscious role (I think there is a strong subconscious racial unease that goes well beyond the scope of the panicked Tea Partiers). In the same timeframe there was the parallel development that made “government” the enemy in the minds of huge portions of the country. I think it was Perlstein who said that Nixon made Reagan possible, and we’re still dealing with that.

  212. 212
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Bullsmith: Ok, please fill in the blanks for me. The Teabaggers wanted default. They didn’t get it. They wanted Medicare, SS, Medicaid slashed. Didn’t get it. Wanted another default fight in 6 mos. Didn’t get it. Wanted taxes forever lower. Tax cuts still set to expire. Wanted to show the world that they were crazy MF’s and willing to do anything…Ok, so they got one. What did I miss?

  213. 213
    cleek says:

    @Jay B.:

    American history’s worst bill just passed.

    perspective: it’s what you’ve completely lost.

  214. 214
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    The next election will determine whether or not what the things that he’s accomplished matter that much to independents and swing voters – or even to ordinary Democrats.

    Actually, the next election will determine whether the Professional Left sapped the will of Democrats causing Obama to lose his re-election bid. Or it will determine that liberals, progressives and the Professional Left are irrelevant to the business of governing.
    So either way, most powerful ratfucking monolith ever or least significant group of whiny pony-rainbow-fucking scum.

  215. 215
    Danny says:

    @Bullsmith:

    Tea Party got most of what they wanted, if not all. Democrats got nothing. By claiming victory on principles like “the lowest level of spending since Eisenhower” they are espousing openly conservative, Republican values. Hell, Obama is specifically preferring the America of 1950 to today. Not exactly “progressive.”

    He’s pitching a turd-sandwitch to the potential voters who are most likely to enjoy it – the middle. That buys him room to accomodate you in the future.

    And while it is a “era of big government is over” type statement it’s a much more narrow and double-edged one than the one Clinton floated.

    Saying that “after this deal, Federal Spending will be at the lowest level since Eisenhower” begs the question if maybe it’s too low. Is it gonna be reasonable to ask for more cuts, when we’re already gonna be at the lowest level since Eisenhower? Is it reasonable to refuse tax hikes on the rich, corporate jets, oil companies for the third time straight, to threaten to shut down government yet again in favor of cutting the federal budget – which is already at the lowest since Eisenhower.

    That’s framing a future policy battle, but you’re not getting that, and the reason you ain’t getting that is because you are fully committed to assuming bad faith from the President.

    (Not that we are gonna be at the lowest levels since Eisenhower now. Presumably discretionary spending as a part of GDP – domestic and defense – would be at the end of the ten years)

  216. 216
    Chris says:

    Gosh, why on earth would I constantly be pointing out that FDR was only able to make his advances by capitulating to racists, not only by letting Japanese-American citizens be interned during the war, but also by actively discriminating against African-Americans in the New Deal? And leaving the majority of African-American workers out of Social Security? And by quietly killing federal anti-lynching laws to keep Southern Democrats on his side? It couldn’t possibly be because the sainted FDR was making compromises that would be unacceptable to people on the left today, could it?

    All true –

    It’s an unpleasant but real fact that we only managed to pass the New Deal reforms by siding with the racists against the elites, and conversely passed civil rights by siding with the elites against the racists (most Republicans voted for the CRA and VRA, although those were much more tamed elites than what we’ve usually had to work with).

    Since the 1970s, the racists and the elitists have firmly been on the same side. I suspect LBJ and people like him saw it coming, but decided to bet that liberalism would manage to sustain itself and eventually regain the upper hand without having to sell its soul to either of its enemies – once time had caused the race-based hysterics to settle down.

    I’m still waiting to see it; sure hope he was right.

  217. 217
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Jay B.: “American history’s worst bill just passed.” Right. I also thought it was terrible when they cancelled “My So Called Life.” But after crying on the phone I felt better.

  218. 218
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chris:

    The root problem race (or more generally “identity”). Sometime in the late 1960s, a bunch of people decided that liberals were giving too much attention to the lazy, nasty Others, and a bunch of other people became receptive to that rhetoric. IMO, that’s still the driving force behind most conservative and a ton of centrist voters. That does far more to explain liberalism’ failures than Obama’s lack of spine or Krugman’s similarity to an old woman or whatever Dukakis did or didn’t do, IMO.

    I would probably say “otherness” rather than specifically race, because IMHO the dread arises from not only black people but Latinos, women, gays and lesbians, Muslims, atheists, and more. But, yes, by and large The Problem is that there are millions of people out there who feel like their own lives are difficult and made _more_ difficult by The Government, and yet, they’re constantly told, there are other millions of people out there being coddled and protected by The Government, and that’s just not fair.

    Thus you get “moderate” Democrats who emphasize cutbacks and efficiency (keeping The Others from getting a free ride), Republicans who emphasize cutbacks and cutting off the freeloaders (punishing The Others), and pretty much no one who emphasizes redistribution or economic justice… except a handful in what Andrew Sullivan would call “the decadent enclaves on the coasts.”

  219. 219
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny:

    That’s framing a future policy battle, but you’re not getting that, and the reason you ain’t getting that is because you are fully committed to assuming bad faith from the President.

    Framing a future policy battle.

    Just wanted to see how that sounded a couple times. Thanks.

  220. 220
    Jay B. says:

    @cleek:

    You are right. Calling a bill conceived in secret in response to a ginned-up crisis led by hostage-takers that adds a “Super Congress” and triggered cuts in addition to regular cuts in the middle of a terrible economy the worst in American history is just hyperbole.

  221. 221
    NR says:

    @Danny:

    He’s pitching a turd-sandwitch to the potential voters who are most likely to enjoy it – the middle. That buys him room to accomodate you in the future.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    (deep breath)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yes, next time Obama will pay attention to progressives. Next time. Really. No, seriously. He will.

  222. 222
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You don’t really like it, but you like the feeling of having it in your mouth?

  223. 223
    Danny says:

    @NR:

    High sarcasm and bad faith towards your fellow travellers: winning since 1968.

  224. 224
    NR says:

    @Danny: Oh, and in case you missed it, Obama’s numbers are tanking with independents. It looks like the vaunted “middle” isn’t as impressed with his “Grand Bargain” as you seem to think they are.

  225. 225
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay B.:

    A halfway competent party with halfway visionary leaders could have won this battle last year

    Except that party’s candidates _pleaded_ not to fight that battle that way. Including Boxer and Feingold. They didn’t want to have to campaign on the justice of raising taxes on rich people. It looked like a good plan to us. It didn’t to them. Oh well. Seems like actual Democratic politicos see and do things according to conventional wisdom and their minds are hard to change. Even with good arguments. Even with good arguments that have a good shot at winning. It’s kind of a problem.

  226. 226
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny:

    You don’t really like it, but you like the feeling of having it in your mouth?

    I like the sensuous feel of shaping my mouth to form the words and then vocalize them.

  227. 227
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: We’ve got it coming to us one way or another. Which is why I’d like to see a viable third party on the left. The steely-eyed centrists have pretty much captured the Democratic party with help from disaffected Republicans like everyone on this site.

    When the teatards finally implode and the smoke clears, they’ll firmly anchor the right side of the political spectrum. Then there’ll be a left alternative for those that are tired of trying the same failed Republican policies over and over.

  228. 228
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    American history’s worst bill just passed.

    Huh? Despite your histrionics, “American history’s worst bill” hasn’t even been voted on yet. There might be a vote in the House this afternoon, but it hasn’t been scheduled yet, and there’s still no assurance that Republicans in the Senate won’t filibuster it.

  229. 229
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m glad I could contribute to that sensation, but let’s keep it at this, ok? Let’s not spoil it.

    I dont want to float any crazy ideas, but is there any chance whatsoever to get one of you guys to consider any proposition that would require some measure of benevolence on Obamas part, or are they all ludicrous a priori at this point?

  230. 230
    cleek says:

    @Jay B.:
    you’re right, a debt reduction bill is far worse than the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Fugitive Slave Act, Prohibition, the DMCA, USA PATRIOT, etc..

    cuts in spending are far worse than making it legal for someone to walk up to you, declare that you are their property, and then receive the full support of law enforcement to deliver you into slavery.

    a bill conceived in secret

    most bills are written “in secret”, because they’re written by committees and brought to Congress in nearly complete form. except for bills like the DMCA, of course, which was written by movie studio, cable TV, publishing, and record company lawyers then given to Congress to rubber-stamp, which they did. which Clinton then signed.

  231. 231
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The steely-eyed centrists have pretty much captured the Democratic party with help from disaffected Republicans like everyone on this site.

    I’m more than a little interested to see what happens to the steely eyed centrists on this site when Obama is no longer running for office. My guess is a good 2/3rds of them will never be heard from again, either here or in a voting booth. A significant chunk will return to voting Republican, probably without any degree of shame whatsoever. The last few stragglers I’m holding out hope for in the event they look back and wonder what the fuck they were thinking. But more than likely they’ll just call themselves Independent and say they vote “for the best person!”.

  232. 232
    Danny says:

    @NR:

    That’s neither here, nor there. I’d expect you guys to have a grasp of rethorics101 given how Jane & Friends are on about messaging and framing.

    Of course, once you’ve decided once and for all that the opposition is evil and our team is just as evil, then there’s really not much left to consider in the world, is there?

  233. 233
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Third party runs are bad because they just throw the election to the GOP, so people who want a more progressive party should work within the system and run in primaries. But if they run in primaries and gain traction against the incumbent, they should get knee-capped by the establishment.

    Um, they _should_ get knee-capped by the establishment… and still win if they actually have support. Rand Paul was disfavored by the Republican establishment and still won both the primary and the general. Overcoming establishment opposition is how you earn your bones. It made total practical sense for “the establishment” to back Lincoln over Halter. A genuine insurgent candidate wouldn’t bellyache about that, he’d wear it like a badge of honor. That’s what Joe Miller did. Then he lost. (Thank God, because he may be the nation’s most arrogant douchebag other than Dane Cook.)

    I like primary challenges, but part of what makes them gratifying is how difficult they are to pull off. Pull it off and you become an actual outsider who doesn’t have to toe the party line. The result is great. Getting to that point is _supposed to be_ hard.

  234. 234
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny: Is there any chance you will discontinue engaging in the 11-D Chess explanation for all outcomes?

  235. 235
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Actually, the next election will determine whether the Professional Left sapped the will of Democrats causing Obama to lose his re-election bid.

    Oh that devilish Professional Left; a Fifth Column hiding under the beds of voters everywhere in order to sap and impurify the Democrats’ precious bodily fluids.

    Give me a break. Obama started with a bad hand. It appears that some of the decisions that he made did little or nothing to mitigate it. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Blaming the nebulous Professional Left for the electoral outcomes of his decisions, and those of Congressional Democrats, does nothing to advance the cause of the Democratic party. As long as you can pin failure on a non-existent cause then failure will continue to be excused.

  236. 236
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s a relief.

    you’re right, a debt reduction bill is far worse than the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Fugitive Slave Act, Prohibition, the DMCA, USA PATRIOT, etc..

    The Patriot Act that Obama and most Democrats fully support? It’s just a security bill. But yes, you got me on the Fugitive Slave Act.

    Still, this “debt reduction” is the Depression Enabling Act.

  237. 237
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m more than a little interested to see what happens to the steely eyed centrists on this site when Obama is no longer running for office.

    I’m more than a little interested to see what happens to everyone else when Obama is no longer running for office. Will Obama still be the Dolchstosse-o-matic, or will someone else claim the title? There tends to be a kind of Banquo’s ghost effect, where the last guy who actually won something is always haunting the great liberal feast.

  238. 238
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And the emo-proggers will go get their payoff from Grover for a job well done, then head home to mommys basement to smoke grass while beating their wife?

  239. 239
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s not 11-dimensional chess if I – a simpleton – can walk through the moves in one sentence. “Obama says fed spending under the new plan will soon be the lowest since Eisenhower, any further is too low and it’s gonna hurt seniors and working americans and therefore the richest americans must contribute with something.”. The end.

  240. 240
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    where the last guy who actually won something is always haunting the great liberal feast.

    Even moreso, the candidate who (for whatever reason) didn’t make it to the big chair, is the Real Liberal who would have effortlessly overcome all obstacles, from Bobby Kennedy to Mario Cuomo to “Dr” Dean to Hillary Clinton

  241. 241
    NR says:

    @Danny:

    That’s neither here, nor there.

    Um, no. You said that the whole point of this grand “compromise” was to please the middle, so polling data that directly refutes that is most certainly on point.

    And one more thing:

    and the reason you ain’t getting that is because you are fully committed to assuming bad faith from the President.

    We don’t have to assume anything. We have a two and a half year track record to go by. And in those two and a half years, Obama has consistently gone out of his way to ignore the left and give in to the right. The idea that this time, this time, it’s finally going to be different is, quite frankly, laughable.

  242. 242
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    As long as you can pin failure on a non-existent cause then failure will continue to be excused.

    The failure of Democrats to be more liberal is caused by the relative lack of liberals in the populace. That’s it. The failure of Democrats to use _framing_ and _rhetoric_ that better suit liberal tastes is a different question. The failure of liberals at making more liberals is a different question. Let’s try not to mix them up.

  243. 243
    NR says:

    @Danny:

    And the emo-proggers will go get their payoff from Grover for a job well done,

    Funny you mention Grover. Here’s what he had to say about the deal.

    Shortly after President Obama took to the air and urged both houses of congress to pass the newly thrashed-out debt deal, Norquist tweeted: “Real spending cuts. No tax hike. Gang of Six said it could not be done. 1982, 1990 are now bad memories we learned from. Onward.”

    Keep clapping!

  244. 244

    @Bullsmith:

    Tea Party got most of what they wanted, if not all. Democrats got nothing.

    Dems got the debt ceiling raised. Is that not what you wanted?

  245. 245
    Danny says:

    @NR:

    No I said the point of the Presidents choice of words when selling the deal that was negotiated was intended to do that. That’s a trivial observation, right? He sure as hell isn’t pitching to progressives with that particular line.

    Wrt to the his record prior to this deal: thats bullshit. Looking at post-1968 he’s got a stellar record.

  246. 246

    @Bullsmith:
    Also The President does not have to deal with this again before the election. If this all came up again right before the election, it would be very bad for his re-election campaign.

  247. 247
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny:

    I – a simpleton – can walk through the moves in one sentence. “Obama says fed spending under the new plan will soon be the lowest since Eisenhower, any further is too low and it’s gonna hurt seniors and working americans and therefore the richest americans must contribute with something.”. The end.

    Au contraire mon amigo, that is not “The end” of what I was referring to, and you dang well know it.

    That’s framing a future policy battle, but you’re not getting that

    That is, indeed, the source for my reference to your 11-D Chess explanation.

  248. 248

    @Danny:

    begs the question if maybe it’s too low.

    Is such a thing really possible? I mean really, what is “too low?”

  249. 249
    Danny says:

    @NR:

    Well I’m already on the record saying its a shitty deal, so once again irrelevant.

    We got a 39-61% breakdown of defense cuts-domestic cuts and there’s no way considering that anything else than losing 4-6, iow not good enough.

    We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of committee before concluding that there will be no new revenues whatsoever. If it’s the trigger outcome we’re gonna be looking at an additional 50-50% breakdown in domestic cuts-defense cuts

  250. 250
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The failure of Democrats to be more liberal is caused by the relative lack of liberals in the populace. That’s it. The failure of Democrats to use framing and rhetoric that better suit liberal tastes is a different question. The failure of liberals at making more liberals is a different question. Let’s try not to mix them up.

    This is going to take a while to unpack.

  251. 251
    Danny says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    We wont know until we get there obviously. But we’ll always try to argue that this now here is too low, but when does the public agree?

    One proposition is that “the lowest since Eisenhower is low enough” and presumably Obama is about to offer it.

  252. 252
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny: I would imagine they would continue advocating for policies other than recycled Republican ideas, thoughts and rhetoric.
    Fools that they are.

  253. 253
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Planning ahead? Everything that would require Obama to plan ahead is now 11-dimensional chess theory?

  254. 254
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But you guys only ever offer assertions, sarcasm and 11-dimensional trolling so what are us meek, earnest Obots to do with something like that? They’re advocating republican policies? Well thats false. What else is there to say?

  255. 255
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Blaming the nebulous Professional Left for the electoral outcomes of his decisions, and those of Congressional Democrats, does nothing to advance the cause of the Democratic party. As long as you can pin failure on a non-existent cause then failure will continue to be excused.

    The Professional Left is directly responsible for why we are where we are now. With a little urging from more engaged Democratic activists, a lot of Democratic voters wouldn’t have decided to stay home and turn out in record low numbers in 2010.
    The pissy and lazy emo-progs with blogs who didn’t get their fucking pony engaged in a massive media blitz, buying air time in WI, FL, OH, IN, MI and NC, along with some really nasty push polling calls that just confused the hell outta some Democratic voters. In other locations there’ve been reports that the PLO (Professional Left Operatives), went so far as to phone jam some D calling banks and there was a whisper I caught they even had stealth teams flattening tires for the vans that went to communities to give rides to the polls.
    So, sir, I reject your unhinged screed and its basis. There is indeed a monolithic force for evil working at the leftest most edge of D politics. Otherwise, we’d need to determine if there may be another cause. And we can’t have that.

  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    @Danny:

    They’re advocating republican policies? Well thats false. What else is there to say?

    A health care plan based on a Heritage blueprint? A tax structure straight from AEI?
    Belt tightening? Spending cuts? No new revenue? Confidence for businesses?

  257. 257
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The Professional Left is directly responsible for why we are where we are now.

    Is Ralph Nader part of the Professional Left?

  258. 258
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Corner Stone:
    You don’t know what you’re talking about. Google the number of people reading political blogs and you will find out just how few voters read blogs – let alone pay attention to the “Professional Left.” I’ve participated in Democratic GOTV efforts beginning in the Sixties. You’re full of crap. It’s been an uphill battle since the Eighties (Particularly in my district CA-26) but I will never stop calling out Dems when they have, to my mind, fucked up.
    If you feel that liberals/progressive are undermining the Democrats the Democrats then you’re barking up the wrong tree. The Democrats are undermining the Democrats. Live it or live with it.

  259. 259
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Corner Stone is being tongue-in-cheek. He does that sometimes. Helps keep his tongue from straying elsewhere.

  260. 260
    Chrisd says:

    So either way, most powerful ratfucking monolith ever or least significant group of whiny pony-rainbow-fucking scum.

    Oh, oh, please make it the latter! That way, I can work for Democrats to the extent they work for me and not worry about 2012, because the steely-eyed centrists have TOTALLY GOT THIS.

  261. 261
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Thank you for helping me to understand.

    Corner Stone, if you read this please accept my apology. The deep-dyed understanding that neither political party is worth a fuck has left me a bit unhinged.

  262. 262
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Google the number of people reading political blogs and you will find out just how few voters read blogs – let alone pay attention to the “Professional Left.”

    That is indeed what the PLO wants you to believe, but they’ve quite stealthily hidden their true page counts from the prying eyes of the Google. I have it on good authority, never mind the source, that the once disparate emo-prog blogs pooled their massive multi-million dollar revenue driving sites, under Citizens United, and have leveraged their well known media assets to amass a billion dollars to fight President Obama’s re-election bid. “Dollar for Dollar, We Will Holler!” is their cri de couer.
    The PLO has been recruiting, and dropping battle hardened, well trained keyboardist mercs to sit on steely eyed centrist blogs at all hours of the day. Just ruthlessly rebutting the cries of “The Only Adult!” and “He’s Got This!” with petty thread hijacking rejoinders. All in an effort to get the most diehard to throw up their hands and give up. And by all accounts it was these same tactics that threw the House to Republicans in 2010. Ergo, the record low turnout on the Democratic side.
    Undoubtedly, these devilish liberal fiends will spare no expense to drive down D voter enthusiasm again in 2012.
    President Obama just doesn’t know who he was messing with.

  263. 263
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Jane Hamsher is pure evil you know.
    And more powerful than the glaciers that carved the Grand Canyon.

  264. 264
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Man, I’ve got a whole series of these queued up!
    I can’t help myself Dennis. I’m not right, in the head.

  265. 265
    Patrick says:

    Someone needs to poll people on what they actually believe, not on these loaded bullshit labels that don’t mean anything tangible anymore. I bet if you polled people along the lines of identifying their actual support for policies like “do you support tax cuts for the wealthy?”, “do you believe in a strong public education system”, and “do you support wiretapping of American citizens?”, there will be a lot more surprised self-identified moderates and a few surprised self-identified conservatives.

    And yeah, I understand that this is borderline push polling. I happen to believe that anything asking people who have no connection to the things that make their lives better to self-identify as conservative/moderate/liberal is also push polling.

  266. 266
    Danny says:

    @Corner Stone:

    A health care plan based on a Heritage blueprint?

    Did the Heritage plan extend Medicaid to ~10 million poor americans in fact to everyone below 133% of poverty? Did it tax the rich to pay for subsidies to everyone on the individual market making below 44k$/person & yr?

    Then it was progressive policy. Taxing the rich to pay for stuff for the poor and middle class is the essence of progressive policy.

    Does it cover everyone? No. Does it provide Health Care as effectively, with as good cost control as Single Payer? No. Is it progressive policy? Yes.

    A tax structure straight from AEI?

    With the tax-structure of 2008 as baseline, the present tax-structure is more progressive, as a factual matter. Is it good? No. Is it much better? No. is it a little better? Yes.

    Crucially: has Obama advocated it? Never. That’s a lie. In fact he has repeatedly advocated for moving towards a more progressive tax structure.

    Belt tightening?

    Using those words in a speech after republicans had already forced the issue is not “advocacy”. Crucially, you never heard Obama talk “belt-tightening” in the years 2008-2010. You heard it after the midterms when we got “shellacked” – 7, – 70 by guys running on belt-tightening and deficit reduction who have proposed a plan to dismantle medicare.

    Spending cuts? No new revenue?

    Now you’re taking the policy outcome of this – for us – bad deal and pretending that Obama advocated it.

    But what am I supposed to say to you? We’re supposed to be on the same team, but you’re perfectly happy to just lie me straight in the face. Obama advocated “No new revenues”?

    Why should I not be offended, when I don’t just go around saying any fucking untrue shit that pops into my mind because I’m disappointed, and then apparently we’re allowed to do and say whatever the fuck we want?

  267. 267

    @Danny: But is “The lowest since Eisenhower” not in itself to high? I would say it is indeed still to high. There are many places in the federal budget we could cut, and I mean to the bone, or even eliminate and not touch the arts of defense that are necessary (I admit there is a lot of fat there, especially in procurement)with minimal cuts to entitlement, though I would advocate cutting there as well. Just because we can afford it, does not mean we should.

  268. 268
    Danny says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    Look, I just got bored of this snark / sarcasm shit in high school and I dont mix it with politics. I’ll take what people say at face value. On the off chance that you’re being earnest, I don’t agree.

  269. 269

    @Danny:

    I am not being snarky, or a least not trying to be.I mean exactly what I said. Perhaps I should frame it this way: Why do you think we need that level or spending, or more, and where?

    BTW: Above I said arts of defense, I meant parts off defense. Dang typos.

  270. 270
    Danny says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    Whats your point? Or, hanging around here you already know the progressive case for not cutting spending.

  271. 271

    I haven’t hung out here in a while, or my own blog, beyond the odd post here and there, for several months. I would like an honest position, if you care to provide it. Having been out of the loop, I would like to see how, if at all, the position has shifted or the reasoning has changed.

    I do not troll, well not usually and never here. I just choose to not argue/debate/talk in an echo chamber, so I come here, usually, to see what the other side says. You guys occasionally have point I can agree with or a good idea, and I like to hear them. I also happen to like this blog because the readership here is by and large better informed and more high minded rather than kool-aid swilling reflex libs. BJ’s readership at least thinks, just not like I do.

  272. 272
    Danny says:

    Well sure, here it is: Pretty much everything the government does in the US today is stuff that private enterprise doesn’t do at all, or does very poorly. In fact that was the reason people supported legislating all that stuff in the first place. That’s the macro argument.

  273. 273
    gerry says:

    It is so wrong of people to be disappointed with Obama. There are so many other prominent voices to teach the public why they should support liberal causes. And let us not forget that bully pulpit=bullshit.

  274. 274

    @Danny:
    I think there is something specious about your argument. The government does many things that could be better done through private industry not only better, but usually cheaper. I would also posit that by and large if it is not being done privately, there is little to no need to do it at all. There are of course exceptions such as national defense, law enforcement, etc.

    Beyond that, why does it need to be done at the federal level. If it simply must be done, and done by government, would it not be better done at a state or lower level to target the needs of the people requiring the service in that area, rather than a blanket on size fits none federal program.

  275. 275
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Sort of. The failure of Democrats to endorse more liberal policy IS due to the relative lack of liberals in the population, which is directly due to the failure of liberals to make more liberals. So, they aren’t really separate issues.

  276. 276
    Danny says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    Well it was the macro case. But a more narrow claim is that as a general rule (with a few exceptions) government does stuff that – at the time government started doing it – no one else was doing, or else they were doing it poorly.

    What are a few of your favorite examples of fairly large policies that were enacted to fulfill a need that was already sufficiently provided for by private enterprise?

    (I admit that this is yet poor proof of the claim that “Pretty much everything the government does in the US today is stuff that private enterprise doesn’t do at all, or does very poorly”. But that’s a very hard statement to prove so lets leave that aside for awhile.)

    The proposition for starters is thus only that at the time when they were first implemented those policies fulfilled a need that was not sufficiently provided for by any other actor.

    Do you agree so far?

  277. 277
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    RWE,

    Lots of people SAY the private sector could do those things better and cheaper, and lots of times this proves to be absolutely false. (ie Medicare advantage, partial privatization of California’s energy market, privatization of parts of the military, etc). Sometimes, the private sector can do things better. In my short life, I’ve seen more examples of them failing than succeeding.

    Some things are better done at the federal, rather than local level, because the federal government has the barginning power to drive down costs for tax payers. Further, things being done at the federal level means uniform rules, regs, and implimentation. That is better for businesses which operate across state lines.

  278. 278

    @Danny:
    Fair enough on the macro case, but generalities suck, and a case can not be made upon them.

    Having said that, there are cases to be made for your contention. The highway system is a good example of your point. Very few states, only Massachusetts I think, were building a massive high speed road system.

    But how is this:
    The department of education: Students were being educated long before the feds stepped in. In fact the Department of Education has not educated a single student anywhere at anytime.

    Department of energy: How many megawatts have they produced?

    EPA: By and large nobody was doing this when they were created, but now every state has their own version and so the feds could drop their agency and let the states handle most, if not all, of this.

    FEMA: Disaster management was done long before the feds decided it needed to be done by them.

    Amtrak: There were railroad companies moving passengers long before the feds took it over and made the trains late and the fares cost near as much as air travel.

    DEA: Well a different agency was covering it, did we really need another?

    CDC: Plenty of private agencies were/are doing research on infectious diseases.

    I have to go to the doc and will check back on the smartphone when I get a second, but there are a few examples. Beyond those, I could cut the hell out of government, especially the feds, without touching entitlements, though I would want to get to those too.

  279. 279

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I just saw your comment. I will read and get back to you after the doc.

  280. 280
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    I don’t have time to answer all of these, but here is a few:

    Department of energy: TVA does produce a lot of energy, and it only exits because the private sector didn’t think it was worth its while to produce energy for hillbillies. Now, the area is developed.. thanks to TVA. Also, the department of energy maintains our nuclear arsenal. Think the private sector should be doing that??

    CDC: They don’t just do research, they stop outbreaks. They shut down contaminated food producers once the source of the dead bacteria or poison is discovered. They keep people alive, and they need the power of the government to do that. Doing research is part of that mission, as sometimes they have something thrown at them that hasn’t been seen before, like AIDS.

    Amtrak: So where are those private companies? There isn’t a law against them entering the market. They aren’t excluded from the market by the presence of Amtrak. If they wanted to, they could offer service and compete with Amtrak at any time. Except they aren’t, because the private sector is failing to provide them.

  281. 281
    sneezy says:

    @NonyNony:

    “Conservative” means that you don’t like to take risks and you want things to stay about the way they are.

    I don’t think that’s at all what the word means in contemporary American politics.

    For example, the self-identified “conservatives” who want to “take [their] country back!” aren’t advocating for things staying the way they are.

    And the self-identified “conservatives” in Congress who have been blocking a debt-ceiling raise are not demonstrating their reluctance to take risks.

  282. 282
    Danny says:

    @Right Wing Extreme:

    But now you’re arguing the merits of states rights, and that’s not arguing the anti-thesis of progressivism. It may be the case that progressives in the US is aiming to solve perceived “problems” on a federal level. But if a state government does something then that’s still “government” doing it, and that’s what progressives support and libertarians oppose.

    Libertariania != States Rights.
    Libertariania == Federal Government at bare minimum; State Government at bare minimum.

    Department of Education – You have to first accept the proposition that every child has a right to a good education, or alternatively that it is in the countrys interest that every child receives a good education, according to some measure. Then the Department of Education is meant to solve the problem of ensuring and facilitating that every child gets a roughly equivalent education.

    EPA – You have to accept the proposition that private enterprise and economic activity from the start of the industrial era has been capable of and consistently has been causing severe and often lasting harm to common resources like air, water, nature etc. through smog, pollution, radioactive leaks, AGW, etc. Arguing that there are State agencys is arguing Federalism. There’s a discussion to be had there, but as stated, State Government is government too.

    FEMA: Is pretty much disaster insurance. Once again we have the federalist issue rather than an argument on the merits – or lack – of progressivism. Because no business model could hold the resources available on standby all year long waiting for disaster to strike and turn a profit imho. What FEMA does is that all states split up the costs between each other disregarding which state used up the resources this particular year. (Thats a pretty good deal for red states btw)

    DEA: Blame the Hippie dope-fiends and Richard Nixon. But presumably if all US law enforcement was consolidated in the same agency that would be less effective. It isnt a question with relevance to the usefulness of Government really whether the DEA and the ATF should be one agency or two agencies. The relevant question is should government be doing this at all?

    The others were adressed by Sister Machine, so I’ll spare my fingers a bit for now…

  283. 283
    Right Wing Extreme says:

    DaDanny,

  284. 284
    Danny says:

    RiRiRight Wing Extreme…

    Did the hamsters get you? :)

  285. 285
    jefft452 says:

    “The government does many things that could be better done through private industry not only better, but usually cheaper.”

    Im sure there may be examples, but would you agree that:

    private industry does many things that could be better done through The government not only better, but usually cheaper?

    For example, compare WW2, when the soldiers had “KP” to prepare food, Fule was delivered by army trucks/drivers and the SeaBees could build an entire airfield in the middle of the Pacific with the incompetence and cost over-rund of private contractor in Iraq

    “…would it not be better done at a state or lower level to target the needs of the people requiring the service in that area, rather than a blanket on size fits none federal program”

    Why would it?

    On my way home from work, the Feds are responsible for plowing the snow on I95, the state plows the road between my exit and my street, and the town does my street

    I haven’t noticed that my town s more efficient then the state, or the state better then the feds, quite the opposite really

  286. 286
    jefft452 says:

    “But is “The lowest since Eisenhower” not in itself to high?.”

    No, life in America was great under Ike

  287. 287
    jefft452 says:

    “There are of course exceptions such as national defense, law enforcement, etc..”

    Why are these “of course” exceptions?

    We didn’t have an “FBI” for most of our history, and Fed Marshals were a tiny group of people who enforced laws in unorganized territories.
    Montana is a state now, why cant it do its own enforcement

    At the battle of Gettysburg, that vast majority of “Federal” troops were actually State troops. The US Army was only 8 battalions
    The “original intent of the founding fathers” was that the Federal gov would have to beg the states for troops to fight its wars
    And the constitution doesn’t give Congress any more authority to pay a soldier then it does to pay a canal digger or road worker

  288. 288
    El Cid says:

    More local government is just as likely to lead to cellular authoritarianism and more localized government failure as to increased liberty and efficiency.

  289. 289
    Cain says:

    @TK421:

    I didn’t know 41% counts as “half”. I must not have paid enough attention in calculus.

    Even if you did, you actually learn that stuff in statistics and arithmetic.

    We use calculus to find areas in 2d and 3d space.

  290. 290
    Taobhan says:

    Christ, it’s the same old crap! How many times do we have to go through this? If you put a survey in front of a typical American and ask him/her to choose a label, a majority of them are going to choose “conservative” over “liberal.” Why? Because the label “liberal” has been stigmatized over the years by the right wing. In the minds of average Americans, it means people who take your hard-earned money and give it to lazy, worthless people who don’t belong to your tribe. These same Americans can’t begin to comprehend how they are the beneficiaries of the accumulated “liberal” policies/programs since the 1930s! If you go through the list of “liberal” benefits they receive, they WANT TO KEEP ALMOST ALL of them. They just don’t want the pinhead, pointy-head, fuzzy-head, bleeding-heart “liberal” tag applied to them. We need to stop this “survey” nonsense because it isn’t helping. If the Republicans re-take the government and start dismantling all these programs, like Social Security, you’ll see a lot of Americans start screaming. Right now, these Americans want only “lazy, shiftless no-goods” lose their benefits but none of their own benefits!

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