A Feature, Not a Bug

The Republican plan is working as intended:

The stock market fell sharply Thursday on intensifying investor fears about a slowdown in global economic growth and worries about Europe’s ongoing debt crisis, which is centered now on Italy and Spain.

As Japan intervened to weaken its currency and European stock markets turned negative across the board, United States stocks fell by around 2 percent in morning trading in New York.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 33.71, or 2.67 percent. The Dow was off 278.75, or 2.34 percent, to 11,617.69, and the Nasdaq was down 77.10 points, or 2.86 percent.

A fear haunting markets in the United States is that the economy may be heading for a double-dip recession. Although the fractious debt ceiling debate is now past, markets fear spending cuts and weaker economic data point to a weaker economy. The latest weekly jobless data Thursday again showed the economy was still fragile.

And for the delicate souls who claim this is just hyperbole, a quick review of the facts:

Appearing on CNBC this morning, presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked about this morning’s dismal jobs report and whether higher unemployment rates might help her chances of winning in 2012. “Does it strike you that as the unemployment rate goes up, your chances of winning office also go up?” host Carl Quintanilla asked. “Well, that could be. Again, I hope so,” Bachmann replied.

Grandpa Mitch:

Even with the country on the brink of default, the Senate’s highest ranking Republican says his “single most important” goal is to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told National Journal’s Major Garrett in October.

Pete Sessions:

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes. And these Taliban — I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying. I’m saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message.

The teahadists have one goal, and one goal only. Getting back in power. If crashing the economy has to happen, well so be it. Plus, given our worthless media and idiot populace, they can use additional economic strife as a pretext for further tax cuts, deregulation, and attacks on medicare and social security because we “can’t afford them.”

But, you know, Paul Krugman is shrill.

227 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    There’s a simple solution for this: non-whites and young people have to vote.

    Period.

    Otherwise older white fat (or fat-headed) people are going to steer this motherfucker into the mountain.

  2. 2
    fasteddie9318 says:

    You have to admire the sheer balls of these Wall Street motherfuckers to suddenly be all like, “Oooh, austerity? I don’t like the sound of that!”

  3. 3
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Two days ago, Fox was reporting that the markets were tanking because the cuts weren’t enough. It didn’t matter the facts that were pointed out here and other places that indicated that the banks were worried that there were cuts at all.

  4. 4
    OzoneR says:

    The teahadists have one goal, and one goal only. Getting back in power. If crashing the economy has to happen, well so be it. Plus, given our worthless media and idiot populace, they can use additional economic strife as a pretext for further tax cuts, deregulation, and attacks on medicare and social security because we “can’t afford them.”

    but they totally would have backed down if the country was on the brink of default and they totally would give in on the FAA bill if we shut down all air travel.

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    I want my cyanide in a diet coke.

    THE END IS NEAR! THE END IS NEAR!

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    Gee, you’d think all this Capitalist Fail would create a real opportunity for the far-left. Oh, that’s right, we don’t have one. I guess we will resume our national pastime of scapegoating poor people; it’s a good gig until the day comes when everyone is poor people.

    Maybe the forces that sent Ayn Rand into exile will one day boot the asses of her followers into exile as well.

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    A fear haunting markets in the United States is that the economy may be heading for a double-dip recession.

    Heading? We’re already in it.

  8. 8

    —I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying.

    We’re saying — um — well shit, I guess we are the Taliban.

  9. 9
    dr. bloor says:

    Not a Republican plan, John, it’s a Bipartisan plan brokered by a Democratic president. Facts is facts.

  10. 10
    GregB says:

    Pivot to depression!

  11. 11

    @General Stuck: I want my cyanide in a diet coke.

    Given enough deregulation, that may come to pass.

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    @BGinCHI: And if non-whites and young people are prevented from voting, they absolutely have the right to enforce their will by whatever means are necessary. If the Republicans don’t want to allow people to vote, they should not whine when those people take direct action.

  13. 13
    OzoneR says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Not a Republican plan, John, it’s a Bipartisan plan brokered by a Democratic president. Facts is facts.

    he wasn’t talking about the debt ceiling bill.

  14. 14
    Stillwater says:

    Conservatism can’t fail. Neither can libertarianism. If these policies to destroy government and markets don’t lead to better economic conditions for everyone, one thing’s for sure: it won’t be the conservatarian’s fault.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @dr. bloor: Also, too….The market would be up 500 points after the country defaulted.

  16. 16
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Cris (without an H): I’ll call Teapartyers and right-wing God botherers an unholy alliance that is the Taliban in the U.S. Absolutely.

    Not hyperbole. They’re the same damn thing.

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Our overlords are a little slow on the uptake. Forgive them for their short-sightedness.

  18. 18
    Served says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I don’t think we ever left the first dip, technically.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This entire “crisis” is, and has been, about one thing, and one thing only:

    The 2012 election. Politicians (on both sides) who are maneuvering to face the voters next year.

    The problem of course is, that then the cycle begins anew. The elections are all that matter, actually governing the country takes a back seat to the horse race.

  20. 20
    Served says:

    I guess at this point, Boomers are going to take the country with them when they die.

  21. 21
    blondie says:

    They aren’t even trying to whitewash it. They are proud hostage-takers.

    “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

    — Mitch McConnell
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ory_1.html

    h/t to Shakesville

  22. 22
    Mike Goetz says:

    I think it’s clear that the only way out of this starts with a political solution; the forces of inactivity have the advantage in a situation that screams for intervention.

    A political solution to the current stasis is necessary; not sufficient, but necessary.

    Vote for Democrats.

  23. 23
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Now would be an excellent time to privatize Social Security.

  24. 24
    OzoneR says:

    @Mike Goetz: It has to be asked.

    Who doesn’t think the 111th Congress was better and worth preserving now?

  25. 25
    RareSanity says:

    @dr. bloor:

    He’s talking about their “master plan” you dolt. You know the one that starts with opposing anything Obama or the Democrats propose, making sure that the economy does not “rebound” while a Democrat has the temerity to occupy the White House, and ending with them controlling the Presidency, all 535 seats in Congress, and the entire Supreme Court.

    That plan…

  26. 26
    Blue Neponset says:

    Well the good news is the Republicans will only have to do this for another year. I wonder what the republicans will call the stimulus bill that President Romney signs in Feb 2013. Any guesses?

  27. 27
    slag says:

    Their 2nd edition manifesto: DC, Year Zero: Shock and Awe Comes Home…to Roost!.

  28. 28
    Maude says:

    @Served:
    Nah, we can’t take it with us.

  29. 29
    Mike Goetz says:

    @blondie:

    Awfully nice of McConnell to admit that they were not going to shoot the hostage. Good luck on that tactic next time this comes us. Hostage-taking is a lot more effective when you are not holding a banana to the guy’s head.

  30. 30
    Bill Arnold says:

    Tea Party Recession. If it happens officially (or already has) then it will be or is the Tea Party Recession.
    Mechanisms? A full quarter of justified fear in the business community that the House Republicans might blow up the world economy for electoral gain, stalling hiring for a full quarter. An accurate perception that there is a very low likelihood that the House Republicans will allow any further stimulus.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    But I heard on NPR the American people are sick of all the childish “bickering” over the debt and the FAA!!

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @Blue Neponset: Tax cuts for american growth. hallelujah

  33. 33
    lawguy says:

    Yes, well I could worry more about the horse race aspect of the whole thing, if it wasn’t something that I saw from my little hole in East Nowheresville Ohio without six figured advisors.

    The Obama administration is I think truely the gang who couldn’t shoot straight.

    As far as the rest of it, I feel sorry for me and the people I know around me who are getting royaly screwed.

  34. 34
    ant says:

    It’s really cynical . Republicans are all, “look what dems are doing to the economy”.

    Obama’s all, “yup, just like your family is spending less, we need to cut social security. But only for the people who have been paying higher rates whilst we have low taxes on rich people, cause raygun is ma hero.”

    Meanwhile, Carey Mulligan and singer Marcus Mumford are reportedly engaged. Whoever in the fuck they are.

  35. 35

    Of course they aren’t the Taliban. They absolutely do not want any Sharia law around these parts.

    That would clash with their TalEvangical enact the bloodiest bits of the Bible law.

  36. 36
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    But hey, at least the luxury goods market is booming and the top folks are doing so well qsmto afford another yacht.

  37. 37
    lacp says:

    Rarely is the question asked, is our brokers learning?

  38. 38
    Mike Goetz says:

    @OzoneR:

    The entire “the worse, the better” crowd. The Leninists.

  39. 39
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I am curious how The Masters of the Universe are taking all this economic chaos created by their co-travelers? This is costing them the one thing they do care about – money. As some point the idea its better to live with the jackboot of socialism on your neck than die from a random shooting in Mogadishu.

  40. 40
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @JPL:

    Also, too….The market would be up 500 points after the country defaulted.

    The market doesn’t even mean anything. 40% of the trades are computers front-running the market, trying to siphon off penny movements. The rest of trading is so rife with insiderism and gimmickry, it should be considered a fool’s game.

  41. 41
    Han's Big Snark Solo says:

    Slightly OT, but also sorta relevant. Via Sullivan David From asks the following:

    “Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”

  42. 42
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Otherwise older white fat (or fat-headed) people are going to steer this motherfucker into the mountain.

    18+ R 65, and over, in the 2010 election.
    10+ R 65, and over, in the 2008 election.
    0+ R 65, and over, in the 2006 election.
    5+ R 65, and over, in the 2004 election.

    The 2008 election was the first time in at least 40 years that 60+ voters didn’t vote for the presidential candidate who ultimately won.

    I wonder what happened in 2008?

  43. 43
    lawguy says:

    @Mike Goetz: Yes that has worked so well so far. I voted for democrats and they did nothing, why should I continue to vote for a party that has set its goal of improving from being second rate bag men for the wealthy to being first rate bag men for the wealthy?

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Blue Neponset says:

    @JPL: I think we will actually see a real live stimulus bill in Feb 2013 when Romney wins the WH. The people who run the Republican Party don’t smoke the teaparty crack they just sell it. They will borrow and spend all they can to turn around the economy. Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 did exactly this, and Romney will to. The Repub PTB will just market it as something else.

  46. 46
    aisce says:

    what derf bait.

    and didn’t some of you live through the fucking 70s? so you realize that it is possible to live through a shitty, but not calamitous, economy without psychological crisis?

    yes, 2011 is a bad year. it sucks. our economy is a stagnant mess. we’ve been here before. there’s an infinite amount of possibilities between “end of the world depression 2.0” and roaring hypergrowth. we’re in one of them. things might get better. or we might drag along the bottom for a few more years. or a hurricane in houston could knock us into a recession. none of you know. so stop being such fucking doomers. and stop trying to make everything about the president.

  47. 47
    OzoneR says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I wonder what happened in 2008?

    Obama didn’t use the bully pulpit?

  48. 48
    Davis X. Machina says:

    They will borrow and spend all they can to turn around the economy

    An attack on Iran will be very, very expensive. And stimulative. I would send Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton up the Hill to whip the vote.

  49. 49
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @lawguy
    Cause you are an idiot if you think the Republicans are better. You like Christian Fascism?

    Let me guess, in 2000 you probably thought there was no difference between Gore and Bush.

  50. 50
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @OzoneR: It got dark out.

  51. 51
    barath says:

    So as much as I want to agree that this week’s market downturn is related to the debt ceiling nonsense, it really isn’t that related.

    There are a lot of converging factors that have been converging for a few months and are now taking their toll. The main issue for now and going forward will be Europe, and the real question is whether they will contain the mess or whether it’ll be Lehman Brothers part 2 at some point this year.

    The only silver lining is that we’re not going to get any growth here until oil prices come down, and a speculative undershoot due to a market panic is likely to drive oil down to the $60-70/bbl range where it doesn’t hurt our economy, and therefore gives us a little room to grow.

    That is, Italy and Spain may hold the keys to the 2012 election.

  52. 52
    BGinCHI says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: The Oracle at Delphi was always a tough read.

    Just ask Oedipus.

  53. 53
    The Moar You Know says:

    Lieberman has decided he’ll help out, and reallocate money from Social Security and Medicare to make sure the Pentagon doesn’t get any budget cuts.

    Defense fatcats appreciate the hard work, Joe. Check’s in the mail.

  54. 54
    Mike Goetz says:

    @lawguy:

    They did not do nothing. You should continue to vote for them because it is the only chance of getting any activity out of the government. Probably half-measures, but maybe enough to just steer away from the mountain.

    To quote Full Metal Jacket: “The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive.” The Democrats are the only people now who can even tell the difference between life and death.

  55. 55
    RareSanity says:

    @lawguy:

    Yes that has worked so well so far. I voted for democrats and they did nothing, why should I continue to vote for a party that has set its goal of improving from being second rate bag men for the wealthy to being first rate bag men for the wealthy?

    You’re right. The Republicans will have this whole mess cleaned up lickity-split!

    You do understand that, people like you and the Tea Partiers, are different sides of the same coin, right?

    “Things aren’t exactly like I want it! Fuck it! If I can’t have my way, then let’s just burn this muthafucka down!”

  56. 56

    @aisce: and didn’t some of you live through the fucking 70s? so you realize that it is possible to live through a shitty, but not calamitous, economy without psychological crisis?

    But is it possible to live through a shitty economy without then electing Reagan?

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @The Moar You Know:Not a new story, he’s always been Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-United Technologies [Hartford] and General Dynamics [New London])

  58. 58
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Hey, my calendar says 2011, but my Krugman Beard Index says 1937.
    What gives?

  59. 59
    Derf says:

    Let me just fix that forest from the trees malfunction of yours John Galt Cole.

    http://www.google.ca//finance?.....q=INDEXDJX:.DJI&ntsp=0

    There, that makes a bit more sense eh? Btw, that absolute bottom is pretty much bang on Obama’s inauguration day. Go figure eh?

  60. 60
    kt says:

    Just curious. Why are stock prices considered “economic indicators?” Beyond the initial sale, companies derive exactly zero capital from subsequent sales of a share. Stock fluctuations contribute nothing towards actual job creation or innovation, so who gives a crap about these “investors?” Apple is a very strong, healthy company and is sitting on $76 billion in cash, but today, their stock has dropped 5 percent. Apple has made no announcements to warrant this drop, it’s pure emotion on the part of investors. This notion that people who buy and sell stocks are “investors” and that we should care about their fortunes is completely ridiculous.

  61. 61
    dobrojutro says:

    1k points in 10 days – can we call it the tea bagger crash of 2011 from now on?

  62. 62

    @lawguy: Ralph Nader used to say “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” The correct response is “but it’s still lesser.” Yep, establishment Democrats suck. Work to replace them with ones that suck less, because you’ll never stand a chance of getting what you want out of Establishment Republicans.

    Or as Molly Ivins said, in the primaries vote your heart, in the general vote your brain.

  63. 63
    Violet says:

    So let’s see…in 2008 the economy is in shambles, Democrats are elected, and things get a bit better. 2010, economy not great but better than 2008, Republicans elected and the economy tanks again. Look what happens when Republicans are elected.

    Is there any way to make this a talking point in the 2012 elections?

  64. 64
    GregB says:

    Digby has a link from the RNC that declares President Obama is the one who offered billions in cuts to Medicare.

    Advantage GOP.

  65. 65
    BGinCHI says:

    @kt: Because shut up, that’s why.

    /MSM, with parties to go to

  66. 66
    lacp says:

    @barath: Unfortunately europroblems appear to be in the hands of the Old World version of wingnuts – they’ve already put the blocks to Greece, with Italy and Spain lined up next. We could face a full economic collapse even without a push from the Teabaggers.

    And even though I’m a lefty, I’m under no illusion that such a collapse would lead to the Glorious Proletarian Revolution. Given the way people here in the US of A self-identify politically, we’d be a whole lot more likely to see Francisco Franco v2.0.

  67. 67
    Mike Goetz says:

    @Derf:

    It certainly does help to take the long view. I think inducing despair, and with it, resignation, is the entire Republican strategy. It seems to be working with some.

  68. 68
    Alex S. says:

    Back in 2008, right after the crash, I made a comment on Nate Silver’s blog and speculated that it would take up to 15 years until the Dow would surpass the old record (about 14.500). After all, that’s what it took after the Great Depression. The quick recovery of 2009 seemed to prove me wrong, but we’re getting there… The stimulus bill just prevented the total collapse that would have followed if Hooverism had ruled in 2008. But the fundamentals are still bad. Wealth inequality, an elite in blissful isolation, a broken political system, ripple effects and homemade problems in Europe and Japan, dwindling oil reserves…
    The Dow Jones exploded from 1980-1999, and then, suddenly, merely oscillated between 10000 and 12000 during the Bush administration only to break out of this range at the very end of the Bush bubble. You just can’t grow an economy without letting the masses profit from it. Rich people may get richer and GDP might increase on paper, but if you don’t take the other 80% of the country with you it’s not stable.

  69. 69
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Davis X. Machina: My guess is they will accuse the “previous administration” of gutting the military and spend buku bucks on defense. We will also get that missile shield that is so important to our great nation’s defense. They will cut the shit out of social programs and/or medicare and social security so the budget isn’t hit too badly but those will be back loaded so they only affect the long term. Make no mistake, we will get a stimulus bill if there is an R in the White House in 2013.

  70. 70
    OzoneR says:

    @lawguy:

    I voted for democrats and they did nothing

    Are you really going to say “they did nothing” from 2009-2011?

    We just had a fight over whether or not Elizabeth Warren should be appointed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by a Democratic Congress and championed by a Democratic President you voted for. That’s “nothing” to you? If that was “nothing,” then why did we argue over who should run it? Why did we argue over protecting it from Republicans?

    I can go on.

    The problem isn’t Democrat, the problem is people like you are so melodramatic that when they try to do something, and often succeed, and then lose elections anyway, you pretend it never happened so you can live in your fantasy that the people will rally behind true progressive change.

  71. 71
    danimal says:

    On the bright side, if our side wins in 2013, the lost years of 2011-2012 will mean there is plenty of opportunity to quickly introduce stimulus into the economy. Then perhaps we can get up enough speed to fly out of this swirling mess.

    (The lost year hypothesis assumes the GOP ties up all possible forms of economic stimulus for the next 16 months or so, a pretty safe bet if you ask me.)

  72. 72
    Samara Morgan says:

    LOL
    the teabaggers arent Talibs.

    you think they were butthurt about being called terrorists?
    they are Team Reaver.

    The GOP made them, and the GOP owns them.
    and i think this is what is going to happen to the GOP.

  73. 73
    Derf says:

    I am so gonna LMAO at Captain Doom John Galt Cole and post endlessly about it when the Dow goes back up in the coming months and you people have moved on to the next shiny object.

    I sure hope none of you idiots are stock investors. If you are I got news for you. You’re doing it wrong.

  74. 74

    @Violet: Is there any way to make this a talking point in the 2012 elections?

    No. Sorry.

  75. 75
    Stillwater says:

    @GregB: Digby’s quest to destroy Obama had done more to destroy Obama than the GOP’s quest to destroy Obama.

  76. 76
    GregB says:

    @lacp:

    You don’t have faith that Caligula Silvio Berlusconi will be able to do right by the Italian people?

    For shame.

  77. 77
    Maude says:

    @kt:
    You are right.
    Apple stock dropping could be due to them giving snacks with a higher nutritional content to their offshored child workers

  78. 78
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @lawguy:

    I voted for democrats and they did nothing

    Gawd, that is such a tiring line. They did also sorts of stuff. They just didn’t do it exactly as you wanted. The question is: Are you willing to settle for less getting done if you don’t vote for Democrats, because you’ll be lucky if the Republicans don’t repeal everything when they take office.

  79. 79
    Sly says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    But is it possible to live through a shitty economy without then electing Reagan?

    I suppose it mostly depends on who, if anyone, gets to play Ted Kennedy and John Anderson this time around.

  80. 80
    barath says:

    @lacp:

    And even though I’m a lefty, I’m under no illusion that such a collapse would lead to the Glorious Proletarian Revolution. Given the way people here in the US of A self-identify politically, we’d be a whole lot more likely to see Francisco Franco v2.0.

    I agree – a full market crash ala 2008 isn’t something that we could recover from by next year. However, a European-driven market weakness without any particular new downside news from here or Asia might allow for us to be at a comparative advantage, at least for a little while.

    I may be harping on this, but oil prices really do limit economic growth these days – it’s pretty much guaranteed that the economy enters stall speed (2% or less GDP growth) once oil prices (WTI) exceed around $90/bbl. They did so late last year, and since then the economy has floundered. Due to geological fundamentals (i.e. the world is producing roughly as much oil as it ever will), this dynamic isn’t going to change, so we’ll at best see a few quarters of growth at a time from here on out. My hope is that those few quarters will be during 2012.

  81. 81
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Krugman’s latest post this morning is calling for something to be done.
    What utter communist nonsense.
    First, we’re pivoting to jobs as he speaks.
    Second, with expansion thru contraction all will get better in the long run.
    Third, union thugs ruined the golden economy of GWB.
    Fourth, . . .

  82. 82
    Alex S. says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Yes, also, sometimes you vote for people and they lose (like the Democrats in 2010).

  83. 83
    jl says:

    Some ideas from David Dayan at FDL on what Obama can do, without Congress, to increase stimulus spending.

    ” There are plenty of things that the executive branch can do – power they’ve had since they came into office – to boost jobs. They have $80-$100 billion in unused TARP funds that could be put to productive use, including at least $40 billion dedicated for housing. They could use Fannie and Freddie much more aggressively than this renting idea, creating a kind of modern-day HOLC to buy up homes. They could use authorized programs like TALF to give aid to states or fund infrastructure projects. They could use monetary policy to force bank reserves into the lending sphere; at the very least they could fill the slots on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, at least one of which has been vacant since the beginning of the Obama Presidency. They could get any of the $30 billion small business lending fund out into the economy. They could use Treasury to legitimately punish China for manipulating their currency. ”

    White House Has Several Unused Options When It Comes to Jobs
    David Dayen Thursday August 4, 2011
    http://news.firedoglake.com/20.....s-to-jobs/

    I bolded the idea about using Freddie and Fannie Mae to create a modern version of the Great Depression era HOLC. Probably because I am vain, and said at the outset of the financial panic that modern day HOLC would be useful.

    Dayan’s suggestion about creating a modern day HOLC is a tad vague, isn’t it? I wonder how far the executive branch could implement such a scheme without Congressional approval.

    The only good news is that the labor market is still going sideways, as per initial unemployment reports. I hope labor market can hold up under the contraction, though I don’t see why it should for more than a couple of quarters. We will see.

  84. 84

    @Stillwater: I’m not sure whether you’re saying Digby is some kind of firebagging political powerhouse, or the GOP is as powerless as a blogger who doesn’t even have her own domain name.

  85. 85
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Stillwater:

    Digby’s quest to destroy Obama had done more to destroy Obama than the GOP’s quest to destroy Obama.

    Is it possible we’re exaggerating digby’s influence just a touch?

  86. 86
    chopper says:

    @barath:

    if oil drops to 60$/bbl, it will likely be commensurate with demand destruction from a global economic downturn. supply hasn’t been increasing to meet increasing demand for years now.

    i agree that the market’s downturn is not debt ceiling related. the eurozone has been slowly shitting itself for a while and is going to be a huge drag. we have our own problems, namely goopers are freezing up the government’s ability to pump money into the economy and we’re still hovering uncomfortably close to the same liquidity trap that was lurking behind us in 2008. the fed can act unilaterally if it wants, but two rounds of QE haven’t done much but staunch the bleeding and our bond owners are pissed about it, and the recent bullshit over the debt ceiling just adds to their growing belief that america’s credit and bond market is becoming a clown show.

    i’ve been saying for a while that we were going back into recession this year. not a minority opinion and certainly not that prescient; it just has looked like crap for a while.

  87. 87

    @barath: I may be harping on this, but oil prices really do limit economic growth these days – it’s pretty much guaranteed that the economy enters stall speed (2% or less GDP growth) once oil prices (WTI) exceed around $90/bbl.

    Oh, well that sheds light on a solution then.

    DRILL BABY DRILL

  88. 88
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Alex S.: Yeah, that’s the biggest thing that’s annoying about people like lawguy. Instead of having to convince people like him to vote, we should be going after the people who didn’t vote in 2010 and convince them to never make that mistake again.

  89. 89
    Dexter says:

    @barath:

    I may be harping on this, but oil prices really do limit economic growth these days – it’s pretty much guaranteed that the economy enters stall speed (2% or less GDP growth) once oil prices (WTI) exceed around $90/bbl.

    Crude is down by 4% or so today and below $90/bbl for the first time this year. Quite a few people on the internet postulate that it may actually go down to $70-ish which seems to be the consensus “fair price”. If that happens, this will definitely help the GDP.

  90. 90
    Zagloba says:

    @Stillwater: Digby’s quest to destroy Obama had done more to destroy Obama than the GOP’s quest to destroy Obama.

    You mean digby’s quest to hold her own party as accountable as she holds the opposition? Yeah, real quixotic that.

  91. 91

    Oh, gah. One of my conservative commenters posted this link to all the scary government-power-grab parts of the healthcare reform law (in comments on this thread), except it’s so horribly slanted and skewed, just pieces of sentences and things like “the secretary of health shall…” and nothing else. And I do a Google search and find out the people sending it out are a think tank founded by Newt Gingrich.

    FAIL.

  92. 92
    chopper says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “the great thing about this gun, joe, is that it passes through all known metal detectors. that’s cause it’s made out of butter.”

  93. 93
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Blue Neponset: I agree. Basically, I expect that this debt reduction negotiation supercommittee will not be able to gather the votes and that the cuts to medicare and defense will be what comes out of it. Those cuts to defense will be in 2013 and after and won’t actually do anything to military readiness, but will be promoted as having already taken place. Decimated by a 6% cut over 10 years that hasn’t taken place yet, those cuts will be restored and then a few hundred billion annually will be added to make up for some “shortfall” that the weak dems (who have never met a defense bill they wouldn’t provide votes for either) have left behind. Who know? By 2012 there might even be a “bomber gap” scare that needs to be filled where the US only has 75% of the world’s long range strategic bombers, but the “correct” share should be 95%.

  94. 94
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Dexter: Or at least take some of the sting out of a weaker more export-friendly dollar….

  95. 95

    Oh, gah. One of my conservative commenters posted this link to all the scary government-power-grab parts of healthcare reform (in comments on this thread), except it’s so horribly slanted and skewed, just pieces of sentences and things like “the secretary of health shall…” and nothing else. And I do a Google search and find out the people sending it out are a think tank founded by Newt Gingrich.

    FAIL.

  96. 96
    barath says:

    @chopper:

    if oil drops to 60$/bbl, it will likely be commensurate with demand destruction from a global economic downturn. supply hasn’t been increasing to meet increasing demand for years now.

    Generally that’s true, though it may also happen due to a huge drop in the Euro due to some of the PIIGS leaving the Eurozone. If that were to happen, oil priced in USD would drop quite a bit without there necessarily being the same sort of slow-moving major downturn we saw in 2008.

    the fed can act unilaterally if it wants, but two rounds of QE haven’t done much but staunch the bleeding and our bond owners are pissed about it, and the recent bullshit over the debt ceiling just adds to their growing belief that america’s credit and bond market is becoming a clown show.

    You’re right that QE didn’t do much. However, the bond market is very clearly not pissed about it, since interest rates on US Treasuries haven’t spiked (and due to the current market downturn, are actually headed quite a bit lower).

  97. 97
    Alex S. says:

    @Dexter:

    Funny… about 2 months ago, in spite of his own gloomy economic forecast, Paul Krugman said that the then-present oil price of $100/barrel was correct and that there was no speculation. That price of $70/barrel sounded right to me then, and now.

  98. 98
    General Stuck says:

    Are we dead yet?

  99. 99
    JGabriel says:

    Just want to remind people that — at 11,700 — the DJIA is still more than 45% higher than it was when when Obama took office on January 20, 2009 (7949.09).

    Just remind any Republicans gloating or concern trolling about the market, that their last president, George W. Bush, left it at 7949 — which leaves GOP’ers in no position to criticize.

    .

  100. 100
    Madeline says:

    @Violet: I don’t really understand why republicans think a lousy economy and unemployment is going to be such a boon for them in 2012. Shoot, they ran on precisely those two things in 2010 and immediately proceeded to make things worse, not better. Who’s going to believe them in 2012?

    Yeah, I know.
    /pollyanna

  101. 101
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Southern Beale: Did you point out that there is no “Secretary of Health” and that that should start making him/her suspicious?

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    Levenson bait! In which Chait hands McMegan her pink salty derriere on her the recession’s the Dem’s fault post.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath.....an-mcardle

  103. 103
    OzoneR says:

    @Zagloba:

    You mean digby’s quest to hold her own party as accountable as she holds the opposition?

    and we wonder why the media is so good at convincing people “both sides do it”

  104. 104
    pamelabrown says:

    @Davis X. Machina: What happened in 2008 is that minorities and youth voted in record numbers. Which is why the republican state governors/legislatures are going after unions and enacting voter suppression laws: so 2008 can’t happen again.

  105. 105
    Stillwater says:

    @fasteddie9318: Oh sure. But I think the point still holds.

    ETA: the distinction is that attacks by the GOP ought to be unpersuasive to Democrats. Digby attacks Obama from within the party, so to speak, and that makes her campaign even more effective. Have you been out in wider blogotopia? Her views are the cornerstone of almost every crazed conspiracy-based attack on Obama.

  106. 106
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @trollhattan: Inter-magazine sniping, or did Chait find the jar Marty Peretz used to keep his balls in?

  107. 107
    Mike M says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    Very inspiring. Best of luck in 2012

  108. 108
    Jay B. says:

    @Stillwater: Digby’s quest to destroy Obama had done more to destroy Obama than the GOP’s quest to destroy Obama.

    Yeah, the “unrealistic left” are the melodramatic ones.

    I wonder what would have happened if, say, Obama and the rest of the useless Democratic Establishment would have worked toward a stronger stimulus package, faster ramp downs of Iraq (which now won’t even be this year), an exit strategy from Afghanistan, a stronger foreclosure package and at least a couple of major bankster prosecution cases.

    It’s all digby’s fault!!!11!

  109. 109
    Zagloba says:

    @OzoneR: and we wonder why the media is so good at convincing people “both sides do it”

    There are two differences between Democratic and Republican politicians. The first is that Democrats are typically elected on the promise of making government work for the people, while Republicans are elected on the premise that government never works. The second is that sometimes the Democrats don’t deliver.

  110. 110
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Stillwater: So, “digby’s quest to destroy Obama” hasn’t actually “done more to destroy Obama than the GOP’s quest to destroy Obama,” but that’s central to your point that it has. Am I getting the gist?

    @OzoneR: Is it “my party right or wrong” then?

  111. 111
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @pamelabrown: True, but’s it’s the party tilt that interests me.

  112. 112
    John Weiss says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Invading Iran a stimulus to our economy?! Two and a half little wars didn’t do the trick, did they?

    I hope you’re just snarkin’.

  113. 113
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Stillwater:

    ….

    I must have missed where Digby was on tv most hours of the day slamming Obama from the left with slavish punditry agreeing and tuttutting Obama for being so ignorant of the left.

    Cripes, are we really going to be going full bore on ‘Blame the progressives for everything’ mode? Christ, I seethe at firebaggers as well, but good god, it’s like people are attributing Tea Party-esque influence to them which is ridiculous on its face.

  114. 114
    Stillwater says:

    @Jay B.: It’s all digby’s fault11!

    The policies and procedures employed by Democrats are they’re own ‘fault’.

    The firebaggery that interprets normal politics as a secret cabal to destroy liberal institutions is very much the product of Digby’s deluded obsessions.

  115. 115
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @John Weiss: It’s like qualitative easing. Sometimes you just need that third round.

  116. 116
    jaleh says:

    In the meantime GM’s earnings climb 98%:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08.....gs.html?hp

  117. 117
    Stillwater says:

    @fasteddie9318: No. You interpreted me exactly backwards. GOP attacks on Obama ought to be ineffectual in chaniging Democrat’s views of him. Digby’s attack actually have changed people’s view of him. So she is actually more effective than the GOP in creating a negative view of Obama.

  118. 118
    pamelabrown says:

    @Davis X. Machina: re: “party tilt”…I dunno, maybe old white racists?

  119. 119
    Nick says:

    What’s so frustrating about Obama is that all this is true, he knows it is true, yet he refuses to come out swinging against these fools at the risk of appearing impolitic, or disappointing the ghost of Lincoln, or something.

  120. 120
    wrb says:

    @Zagloba: @Zagloba:

    The first is that Democrats are typically elected on the promise of making government work for the people, while Republicans are elected on the premise that government never works.

    So when government doesn’t work Republicans gain, even if they caused the failure, because their philosophy and analysis are validated.

    And they seem to have figured this out.

    Ugly situation.

  121. 121
    WyldPirate says:

    @RareSanity:

    You do understand that, people like you and the Tea Partiers, are different sides of the same coin, right?
    __
    “Things aren’t exactly like I want it! Fuck it! If I can’t have my way, then let’s just burn this muthafucka down!”

    What i want to know is what do you silly fuckers that keep up this constant stream of excuses that is the EPIC FAIL and Capitulation of Obama and the Democratic Party to a bunch of terrorists is going to gain for the nation? A slower march into the poorhouse for all but about 5% of the population?

    The Rethuglicans are not going to stop with their hostage taking and death threats until their bluff is called. And evidently,”No balls” Obama and the the limp-dick Democratic Party is not going to stop moving to the right of center during the course of their capitulation.

    Doing the same thing over and over–in the case of Obama being a shit negotiator and treating the Rethuglicans as reasonable people–and expecting a different result is insanity.

  122. 122
    Djur says:

    McMegan[‘s] pink salty derriere

    Please… please don’t.

  123. 123
    Rabble Arouser says:

    OT, but did anyone see this? Fun times ahead, I’m sure…

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    There’s a simple solution for this: non-whites and young people have to vote. A bloody purge of the Crazy Republicans from the system.

    Fixed that for you.

    An orgy of violence would be simple.

    Voting and education, that’s the hard one.

  125. 125
    chopper says:

    @barath:

    Generally that’s true, though it may also happen due to a huge drop in the Euro due to some of the PIIGS leaving the Eurozone. If that were to happen, oil priced in USD would drop quite a bit without there necessarily being the same sort of slow-moving major downturn we saw in 2008.

    i don’t even want to think about the world-wide impact of some of the PIIGS leaving the eurozone. ugh.

  126. 126
    Stillwater says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Maybe the claim was hyperbolic, or could be interpreted that way. I think the point stands: Digby and her accolytes deny observable evidence to sustain the view that Obama and the Dems are actively pursuing policies to dismantle liberal institutions in collusion with the GOP, becuase they share the same policy goals. There is no evidence of this. None.

  127. 127
    cleek says:

    @Stillwater:

    that makes her campaign even more effective

    effective at what? getting Dems to hate Obama?

    fuckload of good that’s going to accomplish.

  128. 128
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Stillwater:

    Yeah, funny thing is I’m still not seeing how this makes her more effective in destroying Obama than the GOP is. Yeah, she’s attacking from inside the party. But the GOP is essentially the only one getting all the gold, so to speak. Attacks from the left play well within the blogosphere, but since when has it actually done jack all to influence the actual politics or policy, considering the rapid right-wing shift in fucking everything these days?

  129. 129
    Stillwater says:

    @cleek: I don’t understand your comment. Elaborate?

  130. 130
    JC says:

    The Brooks Brothers Mafia has thrown Obama, the Democratic party, and the nation, against the wall, because THEY WANT THE POWER.

    And so they tank the economy. And they won’t be called out by the media for it.

    Pretty simple, really.

    It really is all in the game.

  131. 131
    cleek says:

    @WyldPirate:

    The Rethuglicans are not going to stop with their hostage taking and death threats until their bluff is called.

    it’s not a bluff. they no-shit ferreals do actually control half of the legislature.

  132. 132
    Paul in KY says:

    @GregB: Always believe what the RNC says. Always.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    and post endlessly about it when the Dow goes back up in the coming months and you people have moved on to the next shiny object.

    I have dibs on Derf’s ribs when it comes time to eat the rich.

  134. 134
    Stillwater says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: since when has it actually done jack all to influence the actual politics or policy

    Ah. Good. I see the distinction. She isn’t changing policy one whit. What she is doing is fosteing a destructive myth that ultimately will effect policy insofar as people are less inclined to support democrats based on her false statements.

    There is plenty of reasons to not support democrats that don’t require conspiracy theories and fabrications. Those views I certainly respect.

  135. 135
    chopper says:

    @barath:

    also:

    You’re right that QE didn’t do much. However, the bond market is very clearly not pissed about it, since interest rates on US Treasuries haven’t spiked (and due to the current market downturn, are actually headed quite a bit lower).

    our overseas bond buyers are pissed tho, primarily china. they’ve been bitching about QE since we started the first round. rates are very low still, in good part due to the fed’s policy of threatening to buy up bonds by the shit-ton whenever rates even look like they’ll go up to help us finance the recovery. we’ll have to see whether the fed has the werewithal for another round tho. that might mix things up a bit.

  136. 136
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    I wonder what would have happened if, say, Obama and the rest of the useless Democratic Establishment would have worked toward a stronger stimulus package,

    We would’ve gotten the same stimulus package, or perhaps slightly better, but inadequate because months later, with the economy worse than it was, and a public immediately angry at the political stalemate and a left pissed that, in the end, they didn’t get what they wanted.

  137. 137
    WereBear says:

    @Zagloba: There are two differences between Democratic and Republican politicians. The first is that Democrats are typically elected on the promise of making government work for the people, while Republicans are elected on the premise that government never works. The second is that sometimes the Democrats don’t deliver.

    I love that! May I quote it on my Facebook page?

  138. 138
    Ron says:

    so the markets don’t like austerity and we’re fucked. “Hoocoodanode!”

  139. 139
    John Weiss says:

    @General Stuck: How would one know?

  140. 140
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Stillwater:

    No. You interpreted me exactly backwards. GOP attacks on Obama ought to be ineffectual in chaniging Democrat’s views of him. Digby’s attack actually have changed people’s view of him. So she is actually more effective than the GOP in creating a negative view of Obama.

    Obama has upwards of 90% support among liberals depending on the day and the poll, and digby runs a blogspot blog. Obama’s numbers are down primarily among people who don’t read digby or anybody who links to her.

  141. 141
    OzoneR says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Is it “my party right or wrong” then?

    If this is a war, yes.

  142. 142
    wrb says:

    @WyldPirate:

    you silly fuckers that keep up this constant stream of excuses that is the EPIC FAIL and Capitulation of Obama and the Democratic Party to a bunch of terrorists

    Nutty.

    It wasn’t a capitulation. They had the votes.

    How do you see your alternative, victorious scenario playing out?

  143. 143
    OzoneR says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Obama’s numbers are down primarily among people who don’t read digby or anybody who links to her.

    then I guess his problem isn’t that he isn’t liberal enough.

  144. 144
    Bullsmith says:

    There’s no evidence that Obama has signed into law bills that are the realization of GOP policy wet dreams? How about raising the threshold where the estate tax kicks in while simultaneously slashing the tax rate? Passed by a Democratic House, Senate and President.

    But no, of course what’s really wrong with the Democrats isn’t them governing from the right and ignoring the policies they campaigned on (end Iraq, restore taxes on the rich, restore the rule of law for torturers and bankers, to name a few obvious ones) it’s that lefty bloggers can’t see the ENORMOUS VALUE of the Democrats being in office while these policies are enacted. It’s all Digby’s fault. If the left just clapped harder jobs would sprout from the dead like Tinkerbell, right?

    The excuses are pathetic. The wealth of nation is being transferred into the hands of the few. That is happening even quicker today than it was under Bush. Explain it however you want, but it’s hard to see how the Democratic far-left base, which unlike it’s far-right counterpart has been completely ignored by the party that claims to represent it, is really to blame for Obama’s tarnished reputation. The right worships their base, the left shits on theirs. Clearly the only answer is for the leftist base to learn to appreciate the refuse with which they have been blessed.

  145. 145
    chopper says:

    @wrb:

    ever watched “my little pony” on TV?

  146. 146

    @JC: But not the responsibility. Or anything but a very specific set of consequences.

    Details, that’s where cunning plots to rule the world get tricksy.

  147. 147
    OzoneR says:

    @Bullsmith:

    But no, of course what’s really wrong with the Democrats isn’t them governing from the right and ignoring the policies they campaigned on (end Iraq, restore taxes on the rich, restore the rule of law for torturers and bankers, to name a few obvious ones)

    No, they didn’t end the Iraq war at all, which is why we won’t be there in a few more months.

  148. 148
    Stillwater says:

    @fasteddie9318: I think you’re taking my comment as implying that Digby has more power than than she in fact does. No, on that score we agree.

    Here’s my point in a nutshell: is ‘Obama’s worse than Bush’ firebaggery a real phenomenon, even if very limited? If so, is it constructive or destructive wrt Democrats achieving their short term goals? If it’s destructive, then it definitionally has more effect on the Dem party than GOP criticism would, since GOP criticism – being partisan – would be rejected out of hand.

  149. 149
    Jay B. says:

    @Stillwater:

    The firebaggery that interprets normal politics as a secret cabal to destroy liberal institutions is very much the product of Digby’s deluded obsessions.

    That’s WAY more delusional, literally either insane or the stupidest thing I’ll read today, than anything Digby has ever written. First, there’s nothing secret about it. You’d have to literally be the dumbest person in America not to see that both parties largely exist for the benefit of big business and the wealthy. I don’t see how that’s even controversial. The disparity between rich and poor has been skyrocketing, tax rates on individuals are lower than they were in the Clinton years and are largely non-existent for some of the largest corporations in the world. Liberal institutions, let’s say Social Security and Medicare, are very much on the ropes. Reid and Pelosi seem committed to fighting any clawbacks, but certainly the President is open to them. And, of course, Reid is willing to appoint corporate stooges to the single-most undemocratic institution we’ve been able to develop since the poll tax, the “Super Congress” which will almost certainly be divided up between 2 House liberals, deficit peacocks like Kent Conrad — who has come out in favor of “entitlement reform” — and 6 insane Republicans.

    Doesn’t that seem like a “cabal” to you? It’s the literal definition.
    And it was supported by Democrats and Republicans.

    What liberal institution don’t you think is under siege? Planned Parenthood? Progressive taxation? Social programs?

    Democrats are giving more than lip service (which would be stupid enough) to austerity, despite overwhelming public support for job creation. How is this not profoundly anti-democratic? How is this not the work of a sociopathic elite pounding our country into dust? Sure it’s the GOP, but it’s also a non-insubstantial number of Democrats. Probably a majority of them.

    We’re fucked. And it is because we don’t have a real opposition party. We have a cult and a corporate party.

  150. 150
    Stillwater says:

    @Bullsmith: You refuted your own argument when you wrote:

    Passed by a Democratic House, Senate and President.

    If it’s the result of full Democratic Party support, then it’s a Democratic initiative, not an Obama initiative.

  151. 151
    OzoneR says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Yeah, funny thing is I’m still not seeing how this makes her more effective in destroying Obama than the GOP is.

    Sitting idly by and watching him get his ass kicked because they didn’t get their pony.

    Yes, they should be defending him and the party from the right, rather than sitting around saying “oh look how they’re beating him up now by lying and saying he cut Medicare. That’s his own fault.”

    If he expanded Medicare, they’d be saying the same shit.

    I saw Rachel Maddow on MTP once during the healthcare debate when she said “the President’s base probably would prefer single payer” and then went forward and defended, with rigorousness, the bill with no public option.

    “I want something stronger, but I’ll be Goddamn if I’m going to let you destroy what little we have,” is what the left should do, but it doesn’t make him come to orgasm, its not filled with hope and faith and dreams of a utopia where men hold hands and skip, so they won’t.

  152. 152
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    Democrats are giving more than lip service (which would be stupid enough) to austerity, despite overwhelming public support for job creation.

    the public support for job creation does not mean they’re opposed to austerity. Many people think, and have always thought, austerity leads to more jobs. (see: Nassau County, NY this week) and if you think Obama could change that with a bunch of good speeches about spending, you need to spend more time with the people who think this and look at the ones he did make in early 2009.

  153. 153
    Jay B. says:

    @OzoneR:

    No, they didn’t end the Iraq war at all, which is why we won’t be there in a few more months.

    You really believe that? Sucker.

  154. 154
    Rick Taylor says:

    Yup. It’s “Elect a Republican President, or the economy gets it.”

  155. 155
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    You really believe that? Sucker.

    don’t have to “believe it,” you can see it for yourself.

  156. 156
    Bullsmith says:

    @ Stillwater

    Abosultely it is Democratic politics I’m complaining about. I only single out Obama because he’s the President of the United States, a uniquely powerful position but in terms of embracing policies and rhetoric that are a direct betrayal of what used to be Democratic Party values- fair deals for workers, fair tax code, government as a force of good, notably as a creator of jobs during a severe recession- I wouldn’t pretend to particularly single out Obama. The whole party has lost it’s way, he just happens to be the one guy in a position to change direction. It was his choice of a campaign slogan, after all. If he’d run on “protecting the status quo including all Bush’s major policies” that would at least be a true statement.

    To another poster, as for all American soldiers being home from Iraq next year, that’s hilarious! Even if it were true, the Dems ran on ending the Iraq war in 2006 and won landslides. How could I possibly see extending the war for 6 more years as a failure to deliver on those promises?

  157. 157
    trollhattan says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Inter-magazine sniping, or did Chait find the jar Marty Peretz used to keep his balls in?

    Wouldn’t that be something?

    I think Chait and Benen have been especially good through this whole hostage-taking thingie. Unlike me, they’re not easily distracted by shiny things and managed to stay focused on substance.

  158. 158
    Stillwater says:

    @Jay B.: If she limited herself to merely describing the corrupting role money plays in politics, you’re correct, I wouldn’t have an argument. Btw, that’s a perfectly rational institutional analysis of political decision-making that I fully accept. And on its own terms, there is no need to go beyond the barest of facts to explain why policy decisions are made as they are. But that’s not what she does.

    Instead, she implies nefarious intentions which go beyond the institutional analysis to the actors – that they are actively supporting the demise of all things liberal in support of the plutocrats. Which is simply inconsistent with the evidence.

    Edited to remove garbling.

  159. 159
    Jay B. says:

    the public support for job creation does not mean they’re opposed to austerity. Many people think, and have always thought, austerity leads to more jobs. (see: Nassau County, NY this week) and if you think Obama could change that with a bunch of good speeches about spending, you need to spend more time with the people who think this and look at the ones he did make in early 2009.

    No, I think he could have changed it with enacting better policies. There’s really nothing to persuade you of course. Because everything Obama has done is as perfect as it could have been done. If Obama did it, it was the right thing to do. QED.

    For the past six months he and the Democrats talked about belt-tightening. Not about jobs. They agreed with the GOP, not offered a better way out. They are either inept or in agreement. You make the call.

  160. 160
    Montysano says:

    @Served:

    I don’t think we ever left the first dip, technically.

    I think the first dip was really a depression, but it was masked by spending, QEs, and other Fed fuckery.

  161. 161
    Rick Taylor says:

    Digby’s attack actually have changed people’s view of him. So she is actually more effective than the GOP in creating a negative view of Obama.

    __
    Among a small section of liberals, yes. But while she may have effected my opinion, I’m still going to vote for him, obviously. And if you only read her comments, you’d think she was a great Obama apologist.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    Jay B. says:

    @Stillwater:

    Instead, she implies nefarious intentions which go beyond the institutional analysis to the actors – that they are actively supporting the demise of all things liberal in support of the plutocrats. Which is simply inconsistent with the evidence.

    So all of this upward distribution of wealth is happening in a vacuum? Who gives a shit if it’s “nefarious” or not? The actual policies that Democrats and Republicans are supporting and enacting are crippling the poor and gutting the middle class. Are you really that sensitive to criticism?

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    I think we will actually see a real live stimulus bill in Feb 2013 when Romney wins the WH.

    Awww, look, Blue still thinks the Republicans are going to save us all. Ain’t it cute?

    Completely fucking delusional, but awfully cute.

  165. 165
    WyldPirate says:

    @chopper:

    chopper, put on your ducnce cap go back to eating your bag of salted dicks.

    You’re more intelligible when your mouth is full….

  166. 166
    Derf says:

    @aisce: A Fucking Men!

    I think Captain Doom John Galt Cole knows full well what he is doing. Concern trolling Dems/Obama like a good little Greenwald lemming!

  167. 167
    NR says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Obama has upwards of 90% support among liberals depending on the day and the poll, and digby runs a blogspot blog. Obama’s numbers are down primarily among people who don’t read digby or anybody who links to her.

    Yep. The worst part is that Obama and the Democrats have lost the huge advantage they had with young voters. Crushed hope is an ugly, alienating thing.

  168. 168
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    No, I think he could have changed it with enacting better policies.

    which he was going to get enacted how? Why would Republicans and conservative Dems help him enact better policies when the public agrees with THEM.

    For the past six months he and the Democrats talked about belt-tightening. Not about jobs. They agreed with the GOP, not offered a better way out.

    They offered a better way out for two years, the people said they didn’t want to take it.

    But nothing I say will convince you otherwise. If only Obama could stand up and say what he actually did say for two years, people will magically change the opinions they’ve had for decades and agree with him. Or perhaps if he can wave a magic wand and “enact better policies” somehow.

  169. 169
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bullsmith:

    it’s hard to see how the Democratic far-left base, which unlike it’s far-right counterpart has been completely ignored by the party that claims to represent it, is really to blame for Obama’s tarnished reputation. The right worships their base, the left shits on theirs.

    Because the “far-left” actually isn’t the base of the Democratic party. It’s a niche group. The right doesn’t “worship” the people who want to go back on the gold standard. I’m not sure there _is_ a “base” of the Democratic party, at least in grand ideological terms. Atheists probably skew towards voting for Democrats, but the Democrats don’t cater to atheist priorities, and yet you tend not to see atheists threatening to withhold their precious votes to send a message.

  170. 170
    OzoneR says:

    @WyldPirate:

    The Rethugs are domestic terrorists—plain and simple. they are raping and pillaging the country and the Dems are just standing by or laying down and doing their imitation of a live speed bump.

    Then get a gun and kill them.

    I’m serious, if they’re terrorists, they should be die. Otherwise, stop.

  171. 171
    NR says:

    @WyldPirate: Obama has committed himself to job-destroying austerity policies. Whether it’s because he actually agrees with those policies or because he sees it as his duty to be taken as a Very Serious Person in Washington doesn’t really matter.

    And now he’s going to “pivot.” I guess the theory is that now he’s going to TALK about jobs, now that he’s ensured that there’s nothing he can DO about jobs.

    But the real reason that Obama’s going to lose is because liberals are saying mean things about him on blogs.

  172. 172
    Stillwater says:

    @Jay B.: Of course it’s happening. The question is why it’s happening. On Digby’s view, it’s because (say) Obama is secretly in collusion
    with the plutocrats and merely playing an elaborate game of Kabuki politics with his GOP ‘opponents’, and all the haggling and bickering and staged-hostage taking is merely a show to fool the unwashed into thinking the system still works for them when the agreemennt was made long ago. I don’t see any evidence for this at all – zero – except that policy favors the wealthy. And a purely institutional analysis accounts for that. But that’s endemic to the party as a whole, and Congress in it’s entirely.

    So why focus all the hatred and blame-assignment on Obama when the real problem here is institutional?

  173. 173
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    I guess the theory is that now he’s going to TALK about jobs, now that he’s ensured that there’s nothing he can DO about jobs.

    I’m sorry, isn’t that what liberals wanted him to do if he couldn’t get anything done? TALK about jobs?

  174. 174
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay B.:

    No, I think he could have changed it with enacting better policies. There’s really nothing to persuade you of course.

    So, this “enacting better policies,” is this the sort of thing that can be done when the party that ostensibly supports the president doesn’t uniformly endorse those policies, on the one hand, and the party that opposes the president has sworn to deny and obstruct him by any means necessary, on the other?

  175. 175
    OzoneR says:

    @Stillwater: .

    On Digby’s view, it’s because (say) Obama is secretly in collusion
    with the plutocrats and merely playing an elaborate game of Kabuki politics with his GOP ‘opponents’, and all the haggling and bickering and staged-hostage taking is merely a show to fool the unwashed into thinking the system still works for them when the agreemennt was made long ago.

    This is a major problem with the left. They can’t see how their own cynicism hurts their own arguments

    “Government is full of corrupt rich people only concerned about their jobs and lining their pockets- but they should totally be in charge of our healthcare system and education.”

    Can’t imagine why that wouldn’t sell.

  176. 176
    Derf says:

    @Mike Goetz: John Galt Cole is a willing participant in the Republican strategy of divide and conquer.

    Every time you see a gloomy post from the likes of Cole or one of the sock puppets on that orange site etc., every time that happens people like Rove crack a smile.

  177. 177
    boss bitch says:

    @GregB:

    Digby has a link from the RNC that declares President Obama is the one who offered billions in cuts to Medicare.

    Advantage GOP.

    Advantage GOP? Democrats have a written plan and recorded votes that show Republicans want to destroy the big three. They’ve had radio ads, robocalls, and used it to win a blood red district. Republicans post something on their site and bam, they win?

  178. 178
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzoneR: The goalposts are always on a carousel. Why doesn’t he use the bully pulpit? All he does is talk. If he can’t do anything why doesn’t he at least make the case? The way he makes the case is wrong. And the calliope plays on.

  179. 179
    chopper says:

    @WyldPirate:

    put on your ducnce cap

    jesus, you’re a buffoon.

  180. 180
    Alex S. says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The goalposts are always on a carousel

    Haha!

  181. 181
    boss bitch says:

    @OzoneR:

    I’m sorry, isn’t that what liberals wanted him to do if he couldn’t get anything done? TALK about jobs?

    yes, but Obama has now ENSURED that he can’t do anything.

  182. 182
    Chrisd says:

    If Obama did it, it was the right thing to do. QED.

    This.

    Granted, there was the same but-his-hands-are-tied! apologia during Clinton’s triangulations, but even the diehard FOB’s didn’t pretend that was anything more than cynical political survival, let alone some kind of sublime strategy.

    The mental gymnastics required to sustain Obama’s ongoing 11th-dimensional chessgame have no parallel in my long political memory. I’ve certainly never read of anything approaching it in the past. There are many otherwise reasonably intelligent people on this site who cannot concede a single tactical error on Obama’s part. That is insane. Christ, even Bush fanatics didn’t waste as much brain glucose defending their leader. They at least conceded their worship was grounded in faith and not reason.

  183. 183
    Stillwater says:

    @Jay B.: The actual policies that Democrats and Republicans are supporting and enacting are crippling the poor and gutting the middle class. Are you really that sensitive to criticism?

    I’m not sensitive to criticism. Folks around here will surely confirm that I’m no Obot (in fact, you ought to know that, if you’ve read any of my comments). But your supposition here is two-fold: that Dems = Repubs, which is simply false on it’s face. And two, that changing the dynamic of enacting legislation that is crippling to the poor can be accomplished by merely voicing displeasure at Democrats and threatening to withhold votes.

    Furthermore, unwarranted cynicism about politics will surely only exacerbate the problem. And creating transparently false explanations for what is obviously a straightforward institutional and political problem is a form of unwarranted cynicism.

  184. 184
    Bruce S says:

    Haven’t read all of the comments in recent threads so this has probably been noted:

    http://titanicsailsatdawn.blog.....rbole.html

    Mitch McConnell: “…some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

    If Joe Biden didn’t say “terrorist” he obviously should have, just as an acknowledgment of…uh…you know – Reality!

  185. 185
    JC says:

    All this talk about Digby is, of course, because she called the play last December, and was right, and prior to that, she called the play on the December deal, prior to it, and also was right.

    If her predictive analysis has been right about what has ACTUALLY OCCURRED, then her reasoning about that analysis – namely that Obama IS a liberal, but is also in cahoots with the 1 percenters, or, a neo-liberal.

    So we get the ACA, which even in the elites world, needs to happen, or the government goes completely bankrupt.

    We get advancement on women’s right, on gay rights – all of which don’t really conflict with a liberal 1 percenters agenda.

    If you break up the interests, into 4 parties, rather than two – the authoritarian conservatives, the 1% conservatives, the progressive liberals, and the 1% liberals, I think these things make more sense.

    Obama is VERY CLEARLY LIBERAL. And has advance the liberal agenda, in a multitude of ways. Saying he is ‘selling out liberalism’ is obviously false, and stupid.

    Now, in terms of bringing to heel the big financiers? In terms of ‘bending the wealth pie’, back to more the middle class, and the lower class?

    Obama’s appointments of Geithner, Bernanke, mitigated against this. Daley and all the neo-liberals he is surrounded by now, seem to mitigate against this.

    BUT – most of the Democrats ARE WORSE on this score. So knowing that, what is Obama to do? Durbin I think, said, “(big banks) own the place.”

    What do you do, given that this is the case?

  186. 186
    boss bitch says:

    For the past six months he and the Democrats talked about belt-tightening. Not about jobs. They agreed with the GOP, not offered a better way out.

    that’s not true. Dems have introduced jobs bills and they get shot down all the time by Republicans. Obama goes on the road and talks with local people and local media about jobs. Nancy Pelosi gave a press conference about the economy but Weiner’s dick was more important. Democrats talk about jobs, the media ignores them amd the topic.

  187. 187
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay B.:

    For the past six months he and the Democrats talked about belt-tightening.

    Yeah, it’s so weird how Republicans get elected all over the country, along with a historic majority in the House, and stupid politicians think that people actually voted for those policies.

    If only Obama had your magical mind-reading powers so he could divine what people really wanted even if they said they wanted something else.

  188. 188
    Turgidson says:

    This post also needs the “I Can’t Believe We’re Losing to these People” and “Good News For Conservatives” tags.

  189. 189
    wrb says:

    @Jay B.:

    For the past six months he and the Democrats talked about belt-tightening. Not about jobs. They agreed with the GOP, not offered a better way out. They are either inept or in agreement. You make the call.

    There is a third possibility: that what they have done is as good a strategy for creating jobs as is possible in view of the obstacles out there, or at least he believes it is, and that creating jobs is the primary concern.t
    Right or wrong, The public has bought the heavily-promoted story that Obama has been a wild and wasteful spender and his “porkulus” hasn’t done any good. He needed to weaken this perception if he was to create a space in which job creation might be possible, and if the White House is to be kept out of Republican hands.

    Back-loaded spending cuts won’t cost jobs now, could be good if they reduce the money going to the military and medical industrial complex, and could both create the political space for job creation and make a president Ryan Bachman less likely.

    I’m convinced the public and the media are wrong about porkulus, but they are what we’ve got.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chrisd:

    There are many otherwise reasonably intelligent people on this site who cannot concede a single tactical error on Obama’s part.

    I would be a lot more willing to concede tactical errors if I didn’t have to deal with the swarms of conspiracy theorists here who insist that they weren’t tactical errors at all but were part of Obama’s deep-seated and conspiratorial plan to throw the game to the Republicans the whole time.

    When you’re dealing with nutty conspiracy theorists, conceding even the smallest point only validates their conspiracy theory, which is something I wish some of the halfway sane Obama opponents would remember every once in a while. When you buy into the Tea Party’s positions, even from the left, you’ve just handed them ammunition to use against you.

  191. 191
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @OzoneR:

    then I guess his problem isn’t that he isn’t liberal enough.

    No, it’s that he can’t sell liberalism to the electorate. But, hell, neither can any of the rest of the Democrats.

  192. 192
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Chrisd: i dunno….i think Obama is exploitive and opportunistic.
    Ekshually its just retardicans and teabaggers and the lower IQ gradient of liberals that can’t see the gamespace.
    Which are you?

  193. 193
    Blue Neponset says:

    @NR:

    But the real reason that Obama’s going to lose is because liberals are saying mean things about him on blogs.

    Digby is all powerful! Ignore her at your peril next Democratic President.

  194. 194
    OzoneR says:

    @Chrisd:

    There are many otherwise reasonably intelligent people on this site who cannot concede a single tactical error on Obama’s part.

    I can concede many errors, I’m just not telling them to you.

    I’ll tell you one error though…running for President.

  195. 195
    Samara Morgan says:

    @boss bitch: its not just media– its the conservative base. Because of red/blue genetics, fact-blocking, backfire effect in conservatives, and Right Wing Authority tendency, its simply impossible to correct.
    the media are just free marketeers– they give the market what it will pay for.

  196. 196
    Jay B. says:

    So, this “enacting better policies,” is this the sort of thing that can be done when the party that ostensibly supports the president doesn’t uniformly endorse those policies, on the one hand, and the party that opposes the president has sworn to deny and obstruct him by any means necessary, on the other?

    That and the President doesn’t actually support what I would think would be better policies either. Which is kind of Digbys point, something lost entirely on Stillwater. He can’t be a “moderate” and support the liberal project. He can’t pack his economic team with living, breathing plutocrats and still be innocent of not being able to support liberal economic policies. There’s nothing secret about it. As you constantly point out, when you aren’t making excuses for his limp responses to political challenges, he’s not a liberal, doesn’t care about things liberals care about and doesn’t support liberal economic policy — which, IMO, would be a more successful policy. So I criticize him for it.

    “Government is full of corrupt rich people only concerned about their jobs and lining their pockets- but they should totally be in charge of our healthcare system and education.”

    Can’t imagine why that wouldn’t sell.

    Both things can be true, you are just too hopelessly confused to understand otherwise. It’s the basis for the logic of capitalism after all. In this case, self-interest = votes instead of ‘profit’. The trouble is that, whereas in the past, “honest graft” was a particularly Democratic thing — kickbacks in exchange for roads, and jobs and etc. — it was also helpful to people overall.

    That was distributing wealth down, while being corrupt and concerned about their jobs. It built machines and cities. And yes, morally, it was bad.

    Now it’s all in the service of capital and campaign contributions. Not actual voters. So we don’t even get the crumbs. In a sane system, the government would control health care because, like Medicare and Medicaid, it would be politically popular. That would equal votes. And education too. Democrats who support teachers unions are doing so, at least in part, because of the threat the union poses if they don’t support you.

    I think Americans take for granted that politicians are self-serving and corrupt, they can also understand that government — as a much larger entity than simply politicians — can deliver good programs that help people.

    But since Democrats like yourself believe in politicians more than politics, you can’t understand the critique.

  197. 197
    OzoneR says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    No, it’s that he can’t sell liberalism to the electorate.

    The black guy who barely got the nomination of his own party, and lost the primary vote, can’t sell liberalism to a country full of white people who have derided liberalism for the past 40 years.

    I’m dumbfounded. hoocoodanode?

  198. 198
    Samara Morgan says:

    All.
    Why does anyone think that Obama will lose?
    The conservitards still don’t have a candidate.

    ramadan kareem!

    im sry i was so cross yest.
    i had a better breakfast today.
    ;)

  199. 199
    Blue Neponset says:

    @boss bitch:

    Democrats talk about jobs, the media ignores them amd the topic.

    That is convenient excuse for not getting much done. The wingnuts got around that exact same problem by using direct mail. Google ‘Richard Viguerie’ if you don’t believe me. But only the firebaggers would have the temerity to suggest Democrats be as creating as the Republicans when it comes to messaging.

  200. 200
    Jay B. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    More pathetic excuses.

    Yeah, it’s so weird how Republicans get elected all over the country, along with a historic majority in the House, and stupid politicians think that people actually voted for those policies.

    Do you really not remember the ads they ran against Obama’s cuts to Medicare? Or are you simply being obtuse? The GOP suckered the Democrats, got them to vote their way and then attacked them for it. And thus, 65+ voted Republican +18. Not really confusing. Only to those people who’s entire case is built on not understanding it.

    If only Obama had your magical mind-reading powers so he could divine what people really wanted even if they said they wanted something else.

    They wanted jobs. That’s what every single fucking poll said. That and no cuts to Medicare. Obama and the Democrats chose a half-assed “centrist” approach to “change”, they didn’t deliver — ACA was too confusing and stupidly constructed, stimulus was too small and there was no overall jobs package. Thus, the GOP was voted in. It’s not mind-reading. It’s cause and effect. It was easily predictable and the results were, in fact, predicted.

  201. 201
    Chrisd says:

    I would be a lot more willing to concede tactical errors if I didn’t have to deal with the swarms of conspiracy theorists here who insist that they weren’t tactical errors at all but were part of Obama’s deep-seated and conspiratorial plan to throw the game to the Republicans the whole time…

    How does making Obama infallible silence the conspiracy theorists? Does one fiction cancel the other? I’d be less bothered by conspiracy theorists than the gap between what you’re selling and what the voters lying eyes are telling them.

  202. 202
    NR says:

    @OzoneR: Obama’s campaign was, if not “left,” certainly left of center.

    The run to the right came after he was elected. Immediately after, actually, given his cabinet picks.

  203. 203
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay B.: I understand the critique. Unlike you I also realize that the critique doesn’t change what’s happening.

    As you constantly point out, when you aren’t making excuses for his limp responses to political challenges, he’s not a liberal, doesn’t care about things liberals care about and doesn’t support liberal economic policy

    I have never once said anything of the kind.

    I think he’s a liberal who is forced to deal with a Democratic party that is less than half liberal and a Republican party that has decided to deny him as many victories as possible. Even if your “critique” were true in every respect, you have no prescriptions for what’s to be done, you have no ideas about how to steer something better through hostile territory, and you have nothing to offer except for leftier-than-thou smuggery of a particularly unctuous grad-school variety.

  204. 204
    OzoneR says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    The wingnuts got around that exact same problem by using direct mail.

    progressives do direct mail all the time. My family in Indiana got shit from MoveOn and the ACLU all the time, they constantly ask me if I tell them to stop, like I have any control over it.

  205. 205
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay B.:

    They wanted jobs.

    Yes, the public wants “jobs.” That does not mean that they believe that the way to get jobs is to spend money. What if they believe that the way “jobs” happen is huge, slashing tax cuts? Because that’s probably what they do believe. Just because they want something that government spending can provide does not mean that they support the government spending money to provide it.

  206. 206
    Chrisd says:

    I can concede many errors, I’m just not telling them to you.

    Hey, please, do what you want. Speaking for myself only, of course, once I doubt the good faith of a commenter, I stop reading them.

    Now, you can take your game to all those who can still be bothered to read your shit.

  207. 207
    Bruce S says:

    #185 – JC – August 4, 2011 | 2:33 pm

    Dude – you are trying to hold more than a single idea in your head at the same time. That just doesn’t work for a lot of folks. You’ll end up marginalizing yourself in a lot of the heated discussions here. You don’t want to become totally irrelevant, do you?

  208. 208
    dollared says:

    @Felinious Wench: No, they are the upper class and the Catholic Church in Latin America. We are a banana republic

  209. 209
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    Do you really not remember the ads they ran against Obama’s cuts to Medicare? Or are you simply being obtuse? The GOP suckered the Democrats, got them to vote their way and then attacked them for it. And thus, 65+ voted Republican +18. Not really confusing.

    so why did they vote McCain +10 in 2008? Did Obama cut Medicare as a Senator?

  210. 210
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    They wanted jobs.

    In the Nassau County vote on Tuesday, one voter was quoted as saying “I’m voting no, because this county can’t afford to spend anymore money, we need jobs, not reckless spending.”

    That’s how people think Jay.

  211. 211
    OzoneR says:

    @Chrisd:

    Speaking for myself only, of course, once I doubt the good faith of a commenter, I stop reading them.

    kthxbye

  212. 212
    wrb says:

    @OzoneR:

    I will take any bet that not one of the teatards had a clue as to what was actually in that thing before they voted, and Boehner (redundant?) didn’t either, and neither does one single member of our FAIL press.

    I’ve been hearing almost verbatim versions of that everywhere. Some people need to get out more.

  213. 213
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzoneR:

    we need jobs, not reckless spending.

    I really want media people to press on the implicit economic theory behind statements like this. I’d like to know the spectrum of answers to the open-ended question, “What should the government do to revive the job market?” The orthodox Keynesian answer is, “Hire people to do stuff, duh.” Seems obvious. But I don’t think that’s even close to a majority opinion. I think the majority opinion would be that the government should cut taxes on businesses, who would then hire more workers. And, sad to say, I think when people who don’t follow politics all that closely wonder why “the government” isn’t “creating jobs,” that’s what they’re thinking. They are _not_ wishing that the government would spend more money on stuff. I think their wishes are wrong, but being right doesn’t make them change their minds or vote for different politicians.

  214. 214
    Bruce S says:

    And thus, 65+ voted Republican +18. Not really confusing.

    so why did they vote McCain +10 in 2008? Did Obama cut Medicare as a Senator?

    That’s a near doubling of the margin…plus McCain, even with the baggage of Palin on board, didn’t run as a Tea Party Republican. No surprise that a margin of mostly white oldsters would vote for the old white guy. The only important issue as regards health care isn’t “Medicare” but bringing down costs system-wide. That’s what liberals need to put on the table. Anything framed in terms of “Medicare” – which is the most cost-effective health insurance we’ve got, outside of the fully-socialized VHA – is the wrong discussion of what is, in context, not even close to “the problem.”

  215. 215
    Bruce S says:

    They are not wishing that the government would spend more money on stuff.

    Both the unions and the Chamber of Commerce agree on an infrastructure bank. Well-targeted government investments, rather than “stuff”, is a political winner. Unless tax cuts are tied directly to hiring – like payroll tax “holidays” or some sharing of training and initial hiring costs – it’s a bullshit proposal. Corporations are sitting on tons of cash – trillions.

  216. 216
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bruce S:

    The only important issue as regards health care isn’t “Medicare” but bringing down costs system-wide.

    That’s a good point, but aren’t most of the government’s levers and pulleys for bringing down health care costs embedded within… Medicare?

  217. 217
    wrb says:

    I think the majority opinion would be that the government should cut taxes on businesses, who would then hire more workers. And, sad to say, I think when people who don’t follow politics all that closely wonder why “the government” isn’t “creating jobs,” that’s what they’re thinking. They are not wishing that the government would spend more money on stuff. I think their wishes are wrong, but being right doesn’t make them change their minds or vote for different politicians.

    And this is a huge danger for Democrats. Democrats think it is obvious that Republicans are blocking them from creating jobs, but a lot of the public is going to accept Republican arguments that Democrats did nothing, when they could have been creating jobs using the method in which Republicans and the public have faith.

  218. 218
    OzoneR says:

    @Bruce S:

    Both the unions and the Chamber of Commerce agree on an infrastructure bank.

    Even the Chambers of Commerce are more fucking sane than the idiot public

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bruce S:

    Well-targeted government investments, rather than “stuff”, is a political winner.

    Up until the point when it’s derided as “pork” and “wasteful spending” and “socia1ism.” We need to work on getting Republican hardliners to appreciate the virtue of “government investments” all over again. It used to be self-evident: this bill provides for a new building in your district. But the Republican rank-and-file has been crusading zealously against the whole premise for a few years now, and that needs to turn back around. I seriously think there are plenty of Republican office-holders for whom conservative ideology has become more important even than honest-to-Mammon local self-interest, i.e., bringing home the bacon.

  220. 220
    Zagloba says:

    @WereBear: I love that! May I quote it on my Facebook page?

    I assume you’ve just gone ahead already? This is the internet, ganking is obligatory.

  221. 221
    OzoneR says:

    @Bruce S:

    The only important issue as regards health care isn’t “Medicare” but bringing down costs system-wide. That’s what liberals need to put on the table.

    that’s the debate we had during HCR

  222. 222
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @wrb:

    Democrats think it is obvious that Republicans are blocking them from creating jobs, but a lot of the public is going to accept Republican arguments that Democrats did nothing, when they could have been creating jobs using the method in which Republicans and the public have faith.

    +1. We need a robust defense of the basic Keynesian premise that when there is high unemployment, the government steps in and makes work by investing in projects, especially those with lasting benefits (e.g., infrastructure). IMHO most of the energy that goes into lashing Obama for having the stimulus be “too small” would be much better spent explaining how stimulus worked, should work, and will work again. Instead, I fear, people hear that the stimulus “failed” from both right and left critics, making an even steeper uphill climb for stimulative/Keynesian arguments.

  223. 223
    Duckest Fuckingway: Ask not for whom the Duck Fucks. . . says:

    Chrisd: Then WTF are you arguing with OzoneNick for?

  224. 224
    OzoneR says:

    @Bruce S:

    Well-targeted government investments, rather than “stuff”, is a political winner.

    Nassau County was voting on whether or not to build a new Islanders arena, a minor league baseball stadium, and a commercial center. 4,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs. Chamber of Commerce endorsed it. Delta Airlines were talking about moving its New York operations HQ from Manhattan to Nassau. It would have only cost the taxpayers an extra $40 a year.

    They voted no 57%-43%.

    Is it really a political winner?

  225. 225
    les says:

    @Bullsmith:

    Explain it however you want, but it’s hard to see how the Democratic far-left base, which unlike it’s far-right counterpart has been completely ignored by the party that claims to represent it, is really to blame for Obama’s tarnished reputation.

    Here’s your problem; when did the Democratic party claim to represent the far-left, or even the moderate left? Fer fuck’s sake, there isn’t a far-left politician by any name at the national level, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders; and I don’t know any prominent state level types either. If you actually thought Obama ran as far-left, don’t bogart that joint, bro.

  226. 226
    Zagloba says:

    @OzoneR: Nassau County … voted no 57%-43%.

    Nassau’s a bunch of NIMBYs. Then again, they aren’t the only ones.

  227. 227
    OzoneR says:

    @Zagloba:

    Nassau’s a bunch of NIMBYs. Then again, they aren’t the only ones.

    Part of my point…The people of Nassau County weren’t willing to spend more tax dollars and be inconvenienced so the unemployed can have jobs.

    Why do we think the rest of the country, which is far more conservative than Nassau County, will.

Comments are closed.