What He Said

Chait is pretty much correct. The only thing he does not touch on is the idiotic public option debate, where we all get to relive the joyous occasion of the screamers claiming Obama strangled the public option to death in the crib (JUST ASK JOE LIEBERMAN!) while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes.

And then in the magical thinking category, we get talks of a primary challenge. Good luck with that!

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512 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Go Matt Stoller!

  2. 2
    paradox says:

    I really miss the NFL.

  3. 3
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Don’t leave out Medicare for All, supported by nobody — at least in the Senate.

  4. 4
    Earl Butz says:

    But, but, but…BULLY PULPIT!

  5. 5
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “This is the Left, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
    Liberty/Valance 2012!

  6. 6
    boss bitch says:

    Ruh-roh!

  7. 7
    Derelict says:

    As maddening s it is that Democrats elected a man who is essentially a younger and thinner Ronald Reagan, the prospect of any of the current GOP field gaining the office is too horrible to contemplate.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    Liberal critics of Obama, just like conservative critics of Republican presidents, generally want both maximal partisan conflict and maximal legislative achievement. In the real world, those two things are often at odds. Hence the allure of magical thinking.

    Ahh, “magical thinking”. Thanks Cole.

  9. 9
    KCinDC says:

    Chait makes some good points, but this is flawed:

    Bush did have one episode where he tried to force through a major domestic reform against a Senate filibuster: his crusade to privatize Social Security. Just as liberals urge Obama to do today, Bush barnstormed the country, pounding his message and pressuring Democrats, whom he cast as obstructionists. The result? Nada, beyond the collapse of Bush’s popularity.

    The difference is that most of the things those on the left would want Obama to “barnstorm” about are things that are popular with the public. They’re not at all comparable to Social Security privatization, which was incredibly unpopular.

  10. 10
    Lolis says:

    @Derelict:

    Ha! Thanks for the laugh!!

  11. 11
    Kane says:

    Is it possible, through the magic of web, to track down the individual who first made the argument claiming that Obama was responsible for killing the public option? Do we know where this argument origniated? Do we even know if it was an original republican talking point to cause dissension ?

  12. 12
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes

    Magical thinking is greatly assisted by incantations.

    incantation, n.
    a. A formula used in ritual recitation; a verbal charm or spell.
    b. A conventionalized utterance repeated without thought or aptness; a formula – the pious incantations of the balloonbaggers.
    .
    .

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    Check out this Michael Berube piece: http://crookedtimber.org/2011/.....roduction/

    Could you get him to write here? He would be a perfect fit.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    @Kane: I think it was at FDL but I could be wrong about that.

  15. 15
    RossInDetroit says:

    the idiotic public option debate, where we all get to relive the joyous occasion of the screamers claiming Obama strangled the public option to death in the crib

    We were TOLD there would be ponies!
    (stamps foot)
    If I don’t get my pony I’m going to hold my breath until I turn blue and then you’ll be sorry!

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    Stoller:

    And then a senior politician, like, say, a Tom Harkin, would need to decide that he would want to encourage robust intra-party debate about the party’s future. Harkin could run as a “favorite son” of Iowa, and encourage people in the caucuses to send a message to the party and to Obama by choosing him.

    I can’t think of anything that would set this country on fire like a Tom Harkin candidacy.

  17. 17
    Valdivia says:

    Thank you John. I saw that piece yesterday and passed it around my circle of depressed Obot firends who cannot believe the idiocy of the discourse on our side, let alone the other side.

    I have been lurking mostly because politics has me so depressed I have been indulging my IG addiction and distracting myself that way.

    But I decided to venture widely today and read up and I am again flabbergasted. Political Wire has some quotes of the day yesterday and today that are so typical of the disrespect of the office of the President by the Republicans it makes me want to strangle and do physical violence to someone. Ugh. God. Shoot me now.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @KCinDC:

    The difference is that most of the things those on the left would want Obama to “barnstorm” about are things that are popular with the public. They’re not at all comparable to Social Security privatization, which was incredibly unpopular.

    Exactly. People use SS privatization as a bulwark against this argument. But they fail to grasp that SS is hugely popular across a wide spectrum.

  19. 19
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Bully pulpit in action: Bush’s SOTU in 2005 featured SS privatization:

    12. As you may know, one idea to address concerns with the Social Security system would allow people who retire in future decades to invest some of their Social Security taxes in the stock market and bonds, but would reduce the guaranteed benefits they get when they retire. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
    Good idea Bad idea No opinion

    2005 Feb 4-6 40 55 5
    2005 Jan 7-9 40 55 5

    Six months later it was polling at 38%.

    Politics is about policies for about 10-15% of us.

  20. 20
    Samara Morgan says:

    Hey Cole!
    check this out.
    Gadhafi regime and CIA cooperated on rendition of terror suspects, documents show

    TRIPOLI, Libya — The CIA and other Western intelligence agencies worked closely with the ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi, sharing tips and cooperating in handing over terror suspects for interrogation to a regime known to use torture, according to a trove of security documents discovered after the fall of Tripoli.
    __
    The revelations provide new details on the West’s efforts to turn Libya’s mercurial leader from foe to ally and provide an embarrassing example of the U.S. {ed. BUSH} administration’s collaboration with authoritarian regimes in the war on terror.

    pretty amusing take from the AP.
    i dont think Obama was trying to make Qaddafi into an ally.
    :)

  21. 21
    pablo says:

    The polls show that there WILL be a primary challenge, and it doesn’t look good!

  22. 22
    paradox says:

    My brain could be on left-tackle dives with Marcel Reece crushing a path for Michael Bush. Jerome Bettis smiles, seriously. But instead it’s this shit.

    [sigh] From what I can tell you from the bubbling cauldrons of FDL and the Great Orange Satan Obama promised the public option and then gave it away behind our backs, he was never serious. The pubic option was all the left could hope for in this disaster, I think that’s the real problem, we didn’t get it and someone has to pay, somehow. I guess.

    I tire of all this babble of horseshit, obviously. We’re really lost and I don’t have 10,000 characters to explain it to anyone or even care to, hardly. Obama is taking us nowhere, even in his glorious victory. Y’all can kiss my ass on how great this alleged leader is, nowhere is still nowhere.

    Play-action to Darren McFadden, they’re gonna use it in the playoffs, oh man….

  23. 23
    mk3872 says:

    Seems like the Democratic party is at risk of being overtaken by radical liberal elements just like the GOP has been over taken by right-wing tea party idiots.

    In that Salon piece the genius author said

    rescheduling of a jobs speech at the behest of Speaker Boehner

    was part of the proof that Obama needs to be challenged!

    He also said that Obama

    has obliterated the Democratic party

    !

    I do love the way that the 12% favorable Dems in Congress get none of the blame while the 42% approval Dem president gets blamed for everything.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    Might as well also point out that this is the way that our political system is meant to work. No one gets ponies.

  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @KCinDC: There aren’t many data points because Democrats don’t oppose a proposal just because a Republican president proposes it.

  26. 26
    Loviatar says:

    Wow, you guys are heavily into your denial phase.

    Obama/God can not fail he can only be failed and led by your great leader JC (short for John Cole not Jesus Christ, although the way you true believers slobber on his every word, you’d never know the difference) you will smite the unbeliever with your words of disdain and ridicule. After all JC has been right about everything since before Reagan, in fact he supported and voted for Bush the younger twice, so how much righter could he have been.

  27. 27
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @mk3872: It’s approximately 200 times easier to hate on one guy than on a House caucus, out of which most voters can come up with three names — and one of them is because of UFO’s?

    Just a guess.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattF:

    Might as well also point out that this is the way that our political system is meant to work. No one gets ponies.

    Bull shit. Some motherfucker is getting his fucking ponies.
    It just ain’t us.

  29. 29
    JWL says:

    The louder people scream about Obama being unfairly judged, the more inclined I am to think that he is in deep shit re-election wise.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Loviatar:

    After all JC has been right about everything since before Reagan, in fact he supported and voted for Bush the younger twice, so how much righter could he have been.

    He still reveres Uncle Reagan and that saint Jack Kemp as well.

  31. 31
    agrippa says:

    Just because something is written down in a book, magazine, newspaper, or a blog, that does not mean that I am going to believe it.
    There is a lot that is ‘put out’ that is not even plausible.

    If it does not make sense – is not logical or based upon fact, I do not believe it.

  32. 32
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Loviatar: Don’t worry — only the best prophets, the ones we remember, are reviled during their lifetimes, and have their ministries terminated by martyrdom.

    You’ll do marvelously.

  33. 33
    aisce says:

    @ davis x. machina

    “This is the Left, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

    your schtick is more tired than uncle clarence thomas. consider finding a new catchphrase.

    @ rossindetroit

    not “ponies,” though. fucking ponies. i’m shocked it took fifteen posts for that chestnut to be brought up. now we just need “poutrage” and “emobagger” to complete the set.

    what is it about the internet that drops peoples’ iqs 20 points?

  34. 34
    Jman says:

    Obama is an a-hole so put that in your BJ pipe and smoke it.

  35. 35
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @aisce: When it’s not an accurate description of the world, I’ll drop it.

    Until then, well, cleek’s got a twit filter and it’s a free country, and I can probably cope with the mental anguish.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @pablo: The problem is that if it were a Damon/Clooney ticket we’d have to wonder how long til they cleaned out Fort Knox with some improbable scheme. And a cast of characters.
    Oh man. I’m going to spend the next 60 seconds considering which character from the Oceans’ movies would be appointed to what roles in a Damon/Clooney admin.

  37. 37
    Another Bob says:

    Sure, liberals are always said to be wrong, whether it’s about not invading Iraq, not cutting taxes, not torturing prisoners, not violating constitutional rights on illegal search and seizure, not appointing Wall Street cronies to top cabinet/advisor positions, not validating Republican talking points about government debt and the need for fiscal austerity, etc, etc. Of course, they’ve been right about a majority of the critical issues in the past ten years, but if that’s the case, then of course they must be wrong about “political reality.” But just to make sure, let’s accuse them of “magical thinking” because that’s a great catch-all pejorative with which to high-handedly dismiss their concerns.

    Sure, just whistle past the grave yard and belittle the fact that more and more of the people who supported Obama last time are finding it harder and harder to work up any enthusiasm for him. Blaming the voters will surely be a winning electoral strategy for 2012. I think Obama and his supporters should double-down on the arrogant put-downs and “go big” with it.

  38. 38
    aisce says:

    seriously, this might be the dumbest thread in recent memory.

    “obama as traitor,” “obama as martyred prophet,” ponies, public option, primary, “john cole is a republican!”, “obama is a republican!”, more ponies, jonathan chait, salon, “tom harkin for president,” even more ponies, and a fucking oakland raiders fan.

    top notch work, everybody.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    George Clooney’s dad lost a congressional race in KY in 2004.

    At least W’s father won his Congressional race.

  40. 40
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Phyllipics vs panegyrics. We report, you decide.

    My take, FWIW, is that Obama will be on the losing end of a Carter/Reagan blowout as long as the Republican nominee doesn’t start campaigning in a Napoleon costume.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @aisce: “obama as martyred prophet,”

    If I wasn’t clear, it’s Lovitar who’s the prophet. Some day, there will be statues. You can’t be that right, when everyone else is that wrong, without an eventual reward.

  42. 42
    Marc says:

    Wow, a guy who blogged for Open Left, worked for Jon Corzine and Alan Grayson, and drafted Wesley Clark wants to primary Obama…

    I think this guarantees Obama will win a second, third, and fourth term.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    To the degree that there is, or was, a real debate about the public option, it was that the critics wanted Obama to bully-pulpit the public option in hopes of rallying the public to in turn rally their representatives for it; and, in their estimation, he didn’t try hard enough to do that.

    IMHO the biggest divide between “Obots” and “Firebaggers,” on issue after issue, is that Firebaggers believe that Obama doesn’t work to change politicians’ minds and votes, while Obots believe that politicians’ minds and votes are what they are regardless of what Obama might try. Whence arises the debate about the Bully Pulpit, that is, the merits of making a case to the people, irrespective of the votes of their representatives.

  44. 44
    superfly says:

    @Kane:

    New York Times and Huffington Post.

    As well as both Lieberman, as pointed out by John, and Blanche Lincoln, who says the same thing, but these aren’t good enough for John or anyone else here.

    Please stop pretending he did everything he could. He didn’t.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Valdivia says:

    threads like these are why I stay away.

  47. 47
    Loviatar says:

    The only thing he does not touch on is the idiotic public option debate, where we all get to relive the joyous occasion of the screamers claiming Obama strangled the public option to death in the crib (JUST ASK JOE LIEBERMAN!) while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes.

    .

    from a previous post via a Republican insider

    The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    From Chait:

    Obama’s image as a weakling and sellout on domestic issues

    Fuck Chait…and fuck anyone here (of any persuasion) who uses that argument.

    Yes there are some who would state that Obama is a weakling and sellout just like there are some who would state that Obama is perfect in all ways. Neither polar position represent a relatively large number of people – though they can be loud.

    Chait is trying to defend Obama by using as broad a brush as he can hold to disingenuously characterize a diverse group of folks (most of whom are very sincere and basically supportive of the president overall).

    Again, to be clear, Obama is our guy and he must be reelected. He can help us out with this by making some better decisions in the upcoming months.The President has a product to sell (his leadership cred). If he does a better job than the other guy, he won’t have to look for new digs til late 2016. The ball is in his court and it will really be a tough slog, but there are presidents who have faced worse and done well. In just 14 months we will know if he really is the leader we need him to be.

  49. 49
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    I have never met Napoleon
    But I plan to find the time
    I have never met Napoleon
    But I plan to find the time
    ‘Cause he looks so fine upon that hill
    They tell me he was lonely, he’s lonely still
    Those days are gone forever
    Over a long time ago, oh yeah

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob:

    not torturing prisoners

    Now, now. You have to admit, there hasn’t been an attack on the USA by a fire breathing dragon ridden by an offspring of Saladin since we started torturing people.
    Dirty hippy.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    I do still worry about the ninjas.

  52. 52
    Mark S. says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I don’t think so. I don’t see Perry getting many votes outside of the Confederacy and the deep red western states, and Romney might be the most inept politician I’ve ever seen. The rest of the field is too pathetic to spend much time thinking about.

    I could be completely wrong. I’m willing to bet a Coke on it.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia: Good to see you.
    You don’t have to reciprocate.

  54. 54
    Roy G says:

    All that’s missing from this bs apologism is ‘the fact is that we are a center-right nation now.’

    Seems like today’s Democrats are a company involved in a corporate takeover, where the name is used to sell new products. Oh yeah, it was our fault too when Al Gore wasn’t elected to the throne.

    Despite the pundits’ claims of realpolitik, it’s pretty damn easy to see that Obama has betrayed his 2008 grassroots supporters at every meaningful turn. As the previous corporate tool said, ‘Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, won’t get fooled again.’

    Don’t blame the victims for the ascendancy of the ‘business wing of the Democratic Party.’

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mark S.:

    and Romney might be the most inept politician I’ve ever seen.

    Romney is doing exactly what he should be doing. Except the decision to go to SC on Monday. That’s a mistake.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    Chait is trying to defend Obama by using as broad a brush as he can hold to disingenuously characterize a diverse group of folks

    Why do you think Cole agrees with him?

  57. 57
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    I thought the O-Zone was going to disappear due to fierce administration policies, but I am heartened that balloon-juice.com’s private O-Zone shall not perish from this earth.
    .
    .

  58. 58
    DaveA says:

    There are “never 50 votes, much less 60 votes” for anything in the Senate; unless, an issue is advocated and fought for. With this type of reasoning we would not have the Voting Rights Act,Civil Rights Act, or much of anything because self styled pragmatist would have dismissed them as “magical thinking”.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @Valdivia: When reasonable people stay away, the terrorists trolls win.

    Edit: this does feel more and more like FDL all the time, so I think the trolls must be winning.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: Yeah, a guy who worked as a professional Republican for 30 years isn’t a fan of a major Democratic legislative achievement. Go figure. The fact that he is critical of the current state of the Republican Party does not make him a Democratic ally.

  61. 61
    Napoleon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Firebaggers believe that Obama doesn’t work to change politicians’ minds and votes, while Obots believe that politicians’ minds and votes are what they are regardless of what Obama might try.

    Firebaggers may believe that but there is a wider group then them that take their general position (including me) for more nuanced reasons. One, long term unless the dems clearly distinguish themselves from rep positions, and they do not, long term they do not clearly set themselves up in opposition. So working very publicly for something like the public option (or pick your issue) may not win you any votes in the next 2 years, but in a longer window it clearly distinguishes the Dem brand.

    Two by never taking anything to the mat Obama’s opposition now will think there is absolutely nothing he will not cave on. The best thing he could have done at sometime, say, shortly after the passage of ACA would have been to draw a line in the sand on an issue no one thought he could win on and loose. Everyone would know that he would stand and fight and the fact it was an issue he could not win on, or was a long shot, would insulate him from looking like he caused the loss.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob: There’s an obvious and significant difference between being right on an issue and winning the political debate on that issue. I think it is obviously correct that it should not say “In God We Trust” on US currency. If a politician proposed a law to remove it, I would support that wholeheartedly. But I have no illusions that the right answer is the answer that would win out among the American public or among the ranks of American politicians, and I would respect that dumb politics and dumber politicians had made the right thing entirely unfeasible and, yes, unrealistic, making it a waste of time and energy to pursue.

    This is the kind of thing that’s frustrating about Krugman: sometimes the obvious best answer to a policy question really, truly, can’t ever happen, not because it’s not right, but because there are too many obstructions erected by those who are wrong to overcome. What you then do about that is the _beginning_ of the debate. Complaining that you know the right answer and it’s annoying to have to go through all these hoops to make it happen and that everyone else is too stupid to see it… doesn’t make it come to pass.

  63. 63
    Valdivia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Thanks! I am just trying to not have my head explode so early into the long weekend.

  64. 64
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):
    Ah, Steely Dan. Even their Burroughsian name was a tickle.

  65. 65
    boss bitch says:

    Looks like Chait hit a nerve.

  66. 66
    Valdivia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Hi! How are you? And thanks.

    I just feel like I don’t have the energy to get into the same discussion that has been going on forever when we should be focusing on the insanity on the other side. I feel like in the last month I just can’t get my head around anything. amateur iphone photography feels safer!

  67. 67
    NR says:

    @Kane: The fact that Obama killed the public option in a secret backroom deal was confirmed by Tom Daschle in his book about the health insurance reform process. But go on thinking that this is just a made-up talking point to cause dissension….

  68. 68
    trnc says:

    “… never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes.”

    A lot of bills don’t have enough votes to begin with. That’s what arm-twisting and negotiations are for. I’m fine with compromise and I didn’t really expect to get the public option, but I did expect it to be used as a starting point and a negotiating tool.

    Republicans don’t get elected because they have the best policies. They get elected because voters believe they stand for something, even when the voters disagree. I believe Obama should compromise, but not with himself first and not with repubs until he really goes after what he wants.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I know you’re making a rhetorical argument, but pick a subject that would actually improve peoples’ lives. Not the false wording on our currency.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: August is always the silly season. I know, I was born in August. Plus, Shark Week.

  71. 71
    Another Bob says:

    Hey, isn’t Jonathan Chait that “moderate liberal” who once made “the liberal case for war” in advocating the invasion of Iraq? Isn’t he the guy who almost incredibly said this about John McCain:

    the most popular and effective champion of the Democratic Party’s values isn’t Tom Daschle. It’s John McCain.

    Now there’s someone whose opinion I wouldn’t want to put too much faith in.

  72. 72
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @boss bitch:

    Looks like Chait hit a nerve.

    Exactly. And that nerve is in Mr. John Cole’s tingling leg.
    .
    .

  73. 73
    Alex S. says:

    Obama is just like Vince Vaughn! WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  74. 74
    Mark S. says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Romney is doing exactly what he should be doing.


    And he’s down by ten points to Goodhair
    . And when the Palins, Pauls and Bachmanns drop out, most of their supporters will not be going over to Romney.

    Mitt’s basically hoping that Perry self-destructs.

  75. 75
    Loviatar says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, a guy who worked as a professional Republican for 30 years isn’t a fan of a major Democratic legislative achievement.

    So because he worked for the other side makes him wrong on the facts. I on the other hand thought while he was wrong on the policy analysis he was right on the facts of the healthcare deal.
    .

    The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

    Please show me where in the highlighted area is he wrong on the facts of the healthcare deal.

  76. 76
    LosGatosCA says:

    Of course Jon and John gloss over the reappointment of Bernanke, leaving Fed appointments vacant, Obama left himself no options if the stimulus failed, and oh yeah ZOMG austerity catfood commissions – as small inconsequential details. They are not. These are the core of the economic management problem that Obama has.

    Like in sports, winning makes a team happy. In politics, economics keeps the score on a president and Obama is not only losing, he’s playing the game the losing way, which is by definition wrong.

    The average voter couldn’t care less about the public option, catfood commissions, or who does or does not chair or participate on the Fed. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see job creation stagnant, unemployment over 9%, the real unemployment/underemployment rate a great deal higher, while Obama PIVOTS to jobs for the (by public count) eighth time or so.

    The pundits can play small ball on technical political issues all they want. Obama clearly does not have his heart in the progressive agenda nor the jobs agenda he barely pays attention to – how else can the reluctantly dragged intermittent pivot to jobs be explained.

    He’s a mediocre moderate Republican who duped the electorate in 2008. That’s fine with me. When he loses in 2012 it will be because he’s a mediocre moderate Republican who won’t be able to dupe the electorate again.

    If I was on Obama’s team, this anecdote would be the motivating factor for me in 2012, the lesson of 2008. From fivethirtyeight (before the NYTiimes):

    “So a canvasser goes to a woman’s door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she’s planning to vote for. She isn’t sure, has to ask her husband who she’s voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, “We’re votin’ for the nigger!”

    Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: “We’re voting for the nigger.”

    The neon-blaring message of this anecdote isn’t racism or tolerance. It’s that even racists were voting for jobs, economic fairness. The fact that Obama has to constantly ‘pivot back’ to this agenda simply shows his extreme misunderstanding of his mandate and the key to his own re-election.

    No matter how many ‘moderate Democratic’ pundits find excuses for his actions the excuses will not be pulling the lever in 2012.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @DaveA: The era during which civil rights legislation was passed has gone, though. Back then, the idea behind Congress was that multiple sides would debate over how best to solve an issue facing the nation, haggle it out, and arrive at a solution. Conservatives would propose conservative ideas, and liberals would propose liberal ideas. But that’s not what we have now. Conservatives don’t want to enact conservative ideas. They don’t want to enact anything except tax cuts and the occasional restriction on abortion. They wouldn’t advocate for a “conservative” education bill, or immigration bill, or what have you; they don’t advocate for much of anything. That’s a new development. No one has had the combination of shamelessness and cojones to try it before. Obama hasn’t solved it, true. But LBJ and FDR wouldn’t have been able to do it either.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch:

    Looks like Chait hit a nerve.

    Yes, people here usually take bullshit lying down.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mark S.:

    Mitt’s basically hoping that Perry self-destructs.

    And Perry will do exactly that.
    And Romney will be the sane choice left standing.

  80. 80
    gogol's wife says:

    @Valdivia:
    Me too. I may stay away for good one of these days. Somehow news will filter through to me without the NYTimes or the sewer this place has become (I hope temporarily).

  81. 81
    John Cole says:

    He still reveres Uncle Reagan and that saint Jack Kemp as well.

    I’m glad I read the comments here so I can learn what I think.

  82. 82
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    big grin! Shark week. Forgot about that.
    Also. Too. It’s September. Is it over yet? :)

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob:

    Hey, isn’t Jonathan Chait that “moderate liberal” who once made “the liberal case for war” in advocating the invasion of Iraq?

    Why do you think Cole agrees with him?

  84. 84
    aisce says:

    i still can’t believe anybody gives a shit about anything jonathan chait or some salon guy who wants tom harkin to primary the president have to say about anything.

    jonathan chait and matt stoller?! geez, no wonder the “left” leaning media is beyond hopeless. you could find more political credibility on a random street corner. the only way it could get any worse if it was a debate between lanny davis and bitch queen hamsher with james carville moderating.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Don’t you amigo?
    Don’t you still feel the sunny optimism Reagan endowed you with? And Jack Kemp was such a stalwart of equality based on the letter he wrote his grandkids after Obama was elected.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: Terms like “rank capitulation” and “craven surrender” aren’t facts. They are expressions of opinion. As far as facts go, don’t CBO predictions contradict the idea that the ACA will be a “budget buster?” Just because the guy is right about the inner workings of the GOP doesn’t not make him right about other things.

  87. 87
    AhabTRuler says:

    FP trolls gotta troll?

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Two less trivial cases (although secularism isn’t trivial to many people’s lives, either, but, conceding the point)…

    I think much tighter gun control would improve people’s lives, and dispensing with the idea of “marriage” as anything other than a contract between two or more consenting adults would improve people’s lives. But I’m also rather sure that the politics would run wickedly against my views on those, so I don’t get terribly upset when politicians don’t try to make them happen.

  89. 89
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    hope you don’t go away for good though. I lurk and read and enjoy when the place feels alive with wit, which still happens. I just feel despondent enough that I don’t need the cloud brigade telling me how Obama is Carter and worse than Bush on a daily basis. One thing is to be realistic another is to actively cheer with glee for the end of the republic.

    For news I go to bennen. I get my news there without the apocalyptic manicprogressive tinge.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: There is a jobs speech next week.

  91. 91
    Mino says:

    This damn sure isn’t your grandfathers’ Democratic Party. I’m not sure if it should even be called that anymore.

    See the old Philadelphia Inquirer’s articles on Reaganomics. Well, now we’re experiencing it on steroids.

    Bill Clinton (another Republican lite) gave us NAFTA, deregulation of the markets and “the end of Welfare as we know it.” Welfare to Work–well, where are the jobs and would that have anything to do with one-quarter of our children going hungry. Of course those DFHs said there would be a problem if the economy took a downturn in the future, but what do they know?

    And now, I just shake my head. And wait for the Tar Sands pipeline to be approved.

  92. 92
    boss bitch says:

    @Another Bob:

    You know, the left takes their orders and talking points from a boat load of people who have been wrong on very BIG things. And you guys don’t hesitate to cite a comment from a Republican, who are consistently wrong, when it supports your argument.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: “Mollifying” insurers and pharmaceutical companies was the price for stopping them from killing the bill, like they did last time. Don’t you remember the Harry and Louise bullshit?

  94. 94
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yes hopefully that will put an end to the August sillies, I am not betting on it though!

  95. 95
    Loviatar says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    In your rush to denounce the terms “rank capitulation” and “craven surrender” you seem to have skipped over showing how he is wrong on these two facts of the healthcare deal.

    no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

    Please try again.

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: You think sanity is an advantage when Republicans pick a champion?

  97. 97
    numbskull says:

    @beltane: I agree that Berube would be a good fit here as every once in a while he writes utter crap. But usually he’s pretty good. In this instance, his essay is complete and utter crap.

    The left did NOT stay home for the 2010 elections. Left-leaning independents DID stay home.

    If you want to go all real-politik on what lefties should and shouldn’t do, maybe you should start with the actual data. Admittedly, exit polling and similar exercises are imprecise, but they’re more than you centrist weenies have to support blaming the left for the 2010 debacle.

    —-

    And just to piss you off further, here are some comments stolen in toto from the Crooked Timber post. No doubt the “Fair Use” police will come after me for sharing:

    JRoth 09.03.11 at 8:20 pm
    Comment 11 is right, frankly. MB’s 7 is just crap. Absolute crap. I voted in the midterm. Atrios voted in the midterm. Krugman voted in the midterm. I”m pretty damn sure that John Emerson voted in the midterm.

    You know who didn’t vote in the midterm? Dem-leaning independents who saw jack-shit in actual improvements in their lives between January 2009 and November 2010. Maybe if the smart, realist center-left Dems to whom we all owe blood fealty hadn’t spent fully half of the time between the inauguration and the midterm pivoting from jobs to deficit reduction – which, just to be crystal clear, is objectively the stupidest possible priority they could have had – then hoi polloi would have been excited enough to come out and vote for them in November, 2010.

    They shit the bed, we told them not to shit the bed, and now they spend all their energy scolding us for having shit the bed. Fuck them, and fuck you for furthering their bullshit.

    14
    JRoth 09.03.11 at 8:26 pm
    And let me add: if the claim is that the so-called Professional Left failed not to vote, but to be enthusiastic workers for Team D, then that’s an incredibly stupid claim. You don’t get people to work for you by shitting on them. The Obama administration made a conscious decision to publicly shit on the Professional Left. Fine. That’s a political calculation – they bet that they’d gain more votes among centrists (or whoever) than they’d lose among the Professional Left. As I said, I don’t think there’s any evidence whatsoever that the Professional Left failed to show up in voting booths last fall. But if they failed to knock on doors, to man phone banks, to give big bucks, well that’s part of the political calculus. And one that, evidently, Team O completely got wrong.

    But, again, Prof Berube (whom I like and whose blog I miss) is here to sneer at the shat-upon for failing to work harder for the shitters. It’s not just insulting; it shows a complete misunderstanding of politics.

  98. 98
    Mark S. says:

    @Undeadpundit:

    Fudgepacker friendly Cole

    Fuck off and die. Or stay dead.

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Valdivia:

    Yes hopefully that will put an end to the August sillies, I am not betting on it though!

    It won’t. It will be a mishegoss of bipartisanship. It will not satisfy anyone.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It will last one more presidential election. Not saying anything about 2016.
    But this round? Romney 2012.

  101. 101
    Kane says:

    @NR:

    The fact that Obama killed the public option in a secret backroom deal was confirmed by Tom Daschle in his book…

    From the very link that you provide:

    The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. -Tom Daschle

  102. 102
    beltane says:

    Can someone please rid us of undeadpundit?

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: Is the fact that there is no single-payer system and no negotiation of drug prices? Or is the “fact” that the first was done “to mollify the insurers” and the second “surrender to Big Pharma”? Because the “fact” is not a fact.

    (This, incidentally, is what I’ve seen Greenwald do repeatedly: he slides from facts to interpretations of those facts, then points back to the facts as the substantiation of his interpretation.)

  104. 104
    Sam Houston says:

    Primary challenge an incumbent? Go on now. Tell another!

    Really. You need a little button next to the post that plays a rim-shot sound.

  105. 105
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And you don’t think the circumstances have changed in 16 years so that we could have gotten true Universal Healthcare passed (not an expanded Insurance scheme)

    I mean dammm we’ve got JC calling himself a Democrat. Isn’t that an indication of circumstances changing or is JC not really a Democrat and is just blowing smoke up Democrats ass.

    Which one is it, has circumstances changed or not.

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mino:

    This damn sure isn’t your grandfathers’ Democratic Party.

    I don’t know how old you are, but my grandfather’s Democratic Party included Boss Daley, Sam Earvin, and Strom Thurmond. My Democratic Party, whether I like it or not, includes Mark “Young Earth” Pryor, Ben Nelson, Dianne Feinstein, Claire McCaskill and Max Baucus. It included until very recently Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, Bart Stupak and Joe Lieberman.

  107. 107
    Hal says:

    According to the Salon article, Barack Obama has “ruined the Democratic Party.” Of course he has. Clinton (who was in bed with the Republican agenda far more than Obama) didn’t. Not Carter. LBJ? Nope. It was Obama.

    And I love the fact that the entire article talks of primary challenges, without a single mention of how it would surely fail.

  108. 108
    Kjd says:

    Can’t wait to hear how Congress forced Obama to cancel the EPA’s ozone rules even though he really, really want to implement a policy based on science and the public good.

    We DFH’s never understand 11 dimensional chess.

  109. 109
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Obama also didn’t support the public option in the election and I believed him on that, but whatever.

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @numbskull:

    You know who didn’t vote in the midterm? Dem-leaning independents who saw jack-shit in actual improvements in their lives between January 2009 and November 2010.

    Um, that’s one theory, I guess. The other theory is that the people who stayed home were the ones who cared more about Brand Obama than about the local Democratic franchise, resulting in a 2010 electorate that looked much like the 2006 electorate. Which was pretty much what had been predicted all along as a risk of Obama’s move to capture new voters, young voters, and infrequent voters. Democrats got “shellacked” because Obama wasn’t on the ballot, and older whiter Republicans turned out like never before. I think the causality built into the quoted comment — Democratic-leaning independents got mad about Obama’s record and decided to punish him by punishing their local candidates — is a serious stretch.

  111. 111
    Yutsano says:

    @Undeadpundit:

    A post from Fudgepacker friendly Cole

    I know you’re just D-erf sockpuppeting, but fuck off with your homophobic insults. And get your fucking ass banned again.

    @Loviatar:

    And you don’t think the circumstances have changed in 16 years so that we could have gotten true Universal Healthcare passed (not an expanded Insurance scheme)

    No country has gone directly from a for-profit health care system to single payer all at once. EVER. There has always been a transitional reform in the middle while the single payer system could get established. Study history please.

  112. 112
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    that the first was done “to mollify the insurers”

    so you agree; the fact that we have an expanded Insurance scheme and not UHC is due to backroom negotiations with the Insurance industry and not due to the claims by JC and the Obots that there were never 50, much less 60 votes for UHC.

    second “surrender to Big Pharma”? Because the “fact” is not a fact.

    so please explain to me your fact of why we do not have government negotiation of drug prices.

  113. 113
    jprfrog says:

    How happy will all the left Obama-bashers be when Rick Perry has access to the nuclear codes? When the Christofascists are marching down the street singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”?

    I grew up in a household where voting for the lesser evil was considered a moral failing. I’ve changed (i.e. grown old and to some extent, I hope, grown up).

    It happened before I was born, but I do remember extensive reading informing me that in the early 30’s in Germany, following the instructions of the pathological Stalin, German Communists enthusiastically attacked the German Center (i. e. the “Social fascists”) from the left as the Nazis did from the right, “reasoning” that fascism was the last stage that imperialist capitalism had to go through before the collapse that would lead “inevitably” to communism. Thus “Nach Hitler, uns!” After Hitler, us. There was only the little matter of world war (and the Holocaust on the side) to go through first. And even without nukes these guys managed to kill 60 million people!

    Rick Perry may not (yet) be Hitler, but believe me, there is a real one out there slouching toward Bethlehem…we just don’t know who he is yet.

    I think it is too late, anyway, but I do wish these “infantile leftists” (Lenin’s apt term) would grow up a little, or at all.

    You want to primary Obama? great. Who do you suggest? Ralph Nader?

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar:

    And you don’t think the circumstances have changed in 16 years so that we could have gotten true Universal Healthcare passed (not an expanded Insurance scheme)

    No, they haven’t, and I say that without a moment’s hesitation.

  115. 115
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: disagree.

    Perry/Palin 2012

    Wanna know WHY she gave that speech?
    She ax Perry for the VP slot and he said no.
    That is why it wasnt a direct frag of him.
    But she is gunna frag him if he doesnt take her onboard.
    Its a dilemma– Perry believes in the polls that say she cant win, and that she’d be a drag on the ticket– she doesnt believe in polls.
    She is running for the VP slot. She just made a veiled threat to take Perry down if he doesnt take her on board.
    sheez got the power.

    NRO POLL
    Who is the better conservative standard-bearer?Palin 78 %
    Perry 22 %
    42,886 votes

    Move/counter-move.
    Can’t wait to see what happens next.

    gentlemen, place your bets!

  116. 116
    aisce says:

    @ kjd

    it’s actually simple, dumbass. the number of votes for legislatively restricting the epa’s ability to regulate emissions > 60 in the senate. the democratic caucus was divided.

    so, now we have a choice. we can either tell those dems to pound sand, pass the regulations over their protestations, and make harry reid stand in the way of a bipartisan epa bill coming to the senate floor while the senators go on television and complain about the “president’s regulations” hurting american job creators. an epa bill that the republicans would surely expand to cover more regulatory actions the epa has taken. all this division at a time when major decisions are required on long term spending and taxes, a job creation package has to be bandied about and politicked on, and party unity is at its most critical.

    or, you can table the initiative until the next mandated scientific review period. oh noes, the ozones will surely destroy us all in the next 18 months! we’ll never make it!

    it’s called a tactical retreat. they happen. move on.

  117. 117
    gogol's wife says:

    @Valdivia:

    I’m sure I’ll continue to lurk. It’s been like this before and then gotten good again. I agree with you about all the energy they put into slagging Obama, when the future of the country is at stake! Any of the GOP presidential candidates will make ANY gripe anyone has about Obama look like incredible nitpicking. Obama is the guy holding his finger in the dike, and we’re kicking him in the pants instead of helping.

  118. 118
    wrb says:

    @boss bitch:

    Looks like Chait hit a nerve.

    They do seem agitated, don’t they.

    A whole lotta unforced rationalizing going down.

    Fun to watch.

  119. 119
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    So you also don’t believe JC and the other recent converts are really Democrats.

    Glad to see you agree with me on that subject, now lets work on getting them out of the party and getting the party back to actually fighting for Democratic ideals.

  120. 120
    Yutsano says:

    @Loviatar:

    now lets work on getting them out of the party

    Yes because purity worked so well last time!

  121. 121
    John Cole says:

    Glad to see you agree with me on that subject, now lets work on getting them out of the party and getting the party back to actually fighting for Democratic ideals.

    Electoral victory through getting rid of the unbelievers! Once you are pure, then you will achieve greatness!

  122. 122
    Mino says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I must be the age of your grandfather. Say what you will about machine politics, they supported working people and their elected people were answerable.
    And as for corruption, the greedheads of this generation have given it a whole new dimension.

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: I’m going to bookmark this post for the next time someone gloriously and exultantly pies me.

  124. 124
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: I am not saying that those facts are incorrect. I do think that the characterization of those facts as capitulation or surrender is not accurate.

  125. 125
    mk3872 says:

    The genius Salon article that John linked to claims that Obama “obliterated the Democractic party”!

    Too funny … don’t tell the voters and pollsters that just showed Dems leading in the generic ballot for 2012, shhhhh!

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kjd:

    Can’t wait to hear how Congress forced Obama to cancel the EPA’s ozone rules even though he really, really want to implement a policy based on science and the public good.

    He was lobbied! Lobbied!

    Which all by itself suggests there is a mechanism for a president to bargain for votes on needed subjects.

  127. 127
    RalfW says:

    Geeze the comment thread on Chait’s NYT piece is ugly. The worm has turned.

    I really need to get my passport and affairs in order. Is there some particular part of planet earth that is less likely to be contaminated by the mushroom clouds that will rise up from the middle east when Sec’y of State Bachmann pushes the button per President Perry’s glorious end-of-days orders?

  128. 128
    NR says:

    @Kane: Yes, Daschle “clarified” his remarks, no doubt after being contacted by the White House. But it doesn’t change what he wrote in his book.

    In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

    This was also documented in the New York Times. Obama cut a back room deal to kill the public option, just like his back room deal to kill drug reimportation.

  129. 129
    mk3872 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Because Americans cannot name their own representatives means that national syndicated columnists like Salon’s should just blame the president? Riiiiiight …

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan:
    Palin will never again be the VP on any presidential ticket.

  131. 131
    Valdivia says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    exactly. My feelings.

  132. 132
    Loviatar says:

    @Yutsano: / @John Cole:

    Never said anything about purity.

    What I don’t like are so called former Republicans who after having their party taken from them by the crazies they fostered then coming to my party and destroying it based upon so called changing circumstances and pragmatism.

    Go away JC and fellow coverts, go back and fight for your party, our country needs rational Republican and Democratic parties, not a crazy Republican party and a Republican lite party.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @NR: Daschle got the shit kicked out of him for that.
    “Scalded cat” is a good metaphor for how he reacted.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: I don’t know why you think I’ve said anything that indicates agreement with you on the public option fight. There I think that conservative and business-friendly Democrats like Lieberman, Bayh, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson, and more, refused to support the public option because they really, truly believe that the federal government should not be in that business. I disagree with them. I’m confident Obama disagrees with them. But if they said, Include a public option and we bolt, and this whole year of discussing reforming health care goes up in flames, you need to grit your teeth and accept that their stupid preference is going to carry the day. Same thing goes with Stupak and the pro-life Democrats in the House. Like I said before, I honestly don’t think that there are ways to make _Democratic_ fucksticks choose the better policy if they decide through ignorance, stupidity, stubbornness, or spite that they’re just not having it.

    I do believe that many aspects of the bill were crafted to coopt the special interests who killed the Clinton attempt, including the individual mandate (for insurers) and probably even the lack of price negotiation (for pharmaceutical companies). But I wouldn’t deem those to be “craven,” because doing them kept the whole effort alive, and not doing them would have doomed it, again.

    Reforming health care gores a lot of oxen and upsets a lot of apple-carts, and while some of them are malevolent, like insurance companies, others are less so, like doctors, and so anything that succeeds in running that gauntlet is going to come out worse for wear. The fact that Obama and Congressional Democrats got the thing done, as ugly as both the process and the results may have been, is something I don’t want to diminish by second-guessing what could have been way better.

  135. 135
    SensesFail says:

    From Chait:

    The most common hallmark of the left’s magical thinking is a failure to recognize that Congress is a separate, coequal branch of government consisting of members whose goals may differ from the president’s.

    This.

  136. 136
    Loviatar says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am not saying that those facts are incorrect. I do think that the characterization of those facts as capitulation or surrender is not accurate.

    If not capitulation or surrender, what would you call them?

  137. 137
    TheWorstPersonInTheWorld says:

    What’s this? A post from Fudgepacker friendly Cole that I actually agree with…

    BLOGMEISTER: TEMP BAN PLEASE.

    Thank you.

  138. 138
    CT Voter says:

    @gogol’s wife: I lurk, and wait, and I fully agree with your comment.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    FP trolls gotta troll?

    Yeah, this is a classic Cole. He links to someone who uses “magical thinking” in their analysis.
    And Matt Stoller, for goodness sake? That was the cherry on top.

  140. 140
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: BET ME!!!!!!!

    right now she is flirting with a third party run if Perry wont take her on.
    what do you think scares the GOP more?

    if we see her switch to attacking Perry by name then we will know she got dissed.
    she usta dig Perry, they had a mutual admiration pact that if one ran the other wouldn’t.
    watch for a seachange in her speechifying about him.

  141. 141
    wrb says:

    @numbskull:

    You know who didn’t vote in the midterm? Dem-leaning independents who saw

    Obama described over and over again as a “failure, lost cause, feckless, spineless” and who saw his accomplishments repetedly misrepresented and denigrated by the Huffington Post and those very bloggers you cite, and believed them, so their huge enthusiasm was drained away.

    How different it would have been if every victory was celebrated, and every constraint explained.

    Baggers had a not insubstantial effect on the ’10 election and are doing their best to have a bigger one in ’12.

    If betting, I’d put my money on them carrying the day and giving us President Perry, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

  142. 142
    cat48 says:

    Like in sports, winning makes a team happy.

    This is not true in the Dem coalition. I used to believe that, but I was proven wrong last December when DADT passed & part of the coalition did not celebrate. They sarcastically complained that it had taken too long & should have been done on the first day after Inauguration. Team not “happy!”

  143. 143
    John Cole says:

    @TheWorstPersonInTheWorld: I banned him earlier. It’s DERF.

  144. 144
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Everything in politics is over-determined. There are way more causes than even possible effects. The cause-effect ratio is worse than the signal-noise ratio.

  145. 145
    boss bitch says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The denials and screechings are all over the the blogospere honey.

  146. 146
    NR says:

    @Yutsano: People can only disagree with so many aspects of our platform before they no longer fit into our big tent. Before their presence does more harm than good. Would you support Michelle Bachmann if she called herself a Democrat? At this point, I truly think you would.

    Labeling yourself with a (D) behind your name is completely meaningless if you don’t support the most basic tenets of the party platform. We are the party of the little guy. The party that says that working people should be able to maintain a decent standard of living. The party of equality and economic justice.

    The fact is that Obama is to the right of Nixon when it comes to the most important issue of our time–economic power, and who should have it. Obama is a Third Wayer who won’t initiate any change without the approval of Wall Street and the corporate fat cats. He has completely accepted that they are in charge, and he has no problem with this whatsoever.

    Every week, Obama adopts another Republican meme as his own. This week it was “Environmental regulations are getting in the way of job creation.” The week before it was “Public employees need to make more sacrifice.” What will it be next week?

    The 2012 election is going to be between the establishment Republican candidate (Obama) and the crazy Tea Party wackjob. And guess what? That’s not good enough for some people.

  147. 147
    Sly says:

    As maddening s it is that Democrats elected a man who is essentially a younger and thinner Ronald Reagan

    __

    There are “never 50 votes, much less 60 votes” for anything in the Senate; unless, an issue is advocated and fought for. With this type of reasoning we would not have the Voting Rights Act,Civil Rights Act, or much of anything because self styled pragmatist would have dismissed them as “magical thinking”.

    __

    Obama/God can not fail he can only be failed and led by your great leader JC (short for John Cole not Jesus Christ, although the way you true believers slobber on his every word, you’d never know the difference) you will smite the unbeliever with your words of disdain and ridicule.

    Exhibits 789-C, 789-D, and 789-E for why evil will always triumph: because good is dumb.

  148. 148
    Sly says:

    As maddening s it is that Democrats elected a man who is essentially a younger and thinner Ronald Reagan

    __

    There are “never 50 votes, much less 60 votes” for anything in the Senate; unless, an issue is advocated and fought for. With this type of reasoning we would not have the Voting Rights Act,Civil Rights Act, or much of anything because self styled pragmatist would have dismissed them as “magical thinking”.

    __

    Obama/God can not fail he can only be failed and led by your great leader JC (short for John Cole not Jesus Christ, although the way you true believers slobber on his every word, you’d never know the difference) you will smite the unbeliever with your words of disdain and ridicule.

    Exhibits 789-C, 789-D, and 789-E for why evil will always triumph: because good is dumb.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: See Flip’s comment at 134. It appears to me that you believe that there was a way to get a broader bill through Congress. I would be interested in hearing specifics on how it would have been done. Oh, just for the record, I am a lifelong Democrat and I come from a family that has been, with few exceptions, left of center for generations.

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: Half or less of the Democratic party is liberal. The other half or more is “moderate,” including a suite of views that probably were better-suited to liberal Republicans in the 1960s and ’70s. (And that’s without even mentioning the kind of Sunbelt Democrat that is barely even liberal by Nelson Rockefeller standards — think of Phil Bredesen or Steve Beshear or Mike Beebe. There are millions of them who are deep-dyed Democrats, for generations, without an iota of social liberalism, and maybe a smidge of populism on a good day.)

    But that’s Democrats. The other half of the country is very conservative, and at least half of _that_ is hyperconservative bordering on fascist.

    Maybe it wasn’t always this way, but the liberal Democrats need the woulda-been-liberal-Republicans-who-are-now-Democrats to build majorities. No majority, no policy. The Liberal Party would be a viable part of a multi-party system, because they’d probably reliably capture 30% of the vote, but in a two-party system, the converts have a lot of pull. Drum them out and the results would be horrific. They’re not great now, because the more conservative half of the party waters down all the ideas you and I like. But they would be _vastly_ worse.

  151. 151

    Jesus Christ Matt Stoller is a fucking joke. And I say that as someone who isn’t all that happy about a number of decisions Obama could have made differently about the economy and probably would vote for someone different in a Democratic primary. But for fuck’s sake, has Stoller looked at a damned opinion poll lately? Obama is immensely popular with Democrats, so where does Stoller think the votes to mount a challenge to him are going to come from?

    Leftists like Stoller are jas as out of touch with reality as anyone in the conservative movement.

  152. 152
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch: Screech, denial, screech.
    Yeah, that makes sense. Wevs.

    Tell you what. How about I post something stating the peoples view is nothing more than a Republican infiltration to split the Democratic party? Think that would get a few screeching denials? Would it make it more or less true?

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    And I say that as someone who isn’t all that happy about a number of decisions Obama could have made differently about the economy and probably would vote for someone different in a Democratic primary.

    Firebagger!!

  154. 154
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t know why you think I’ve said anything that indicates agreement with you on the public option fight…

    So tell me which one is it; Obama didn’t have 60 votes or that this was an 11th dimensional chess negotiation ploy. Because the Obots story out of the healthcare deal keep changing depending on the circumstances. If I was a more cynical person I would say you Obots are just lying and saying what ever needs to be said to get everyone to buy the fact that your guy got played on the healthcare deal.

  155. 155
    NR says:

    @wrb: Bullshit. The 2010 election results were the completely predictable result of a shitty economy.

    The need to blame someone else for Obama’s failures is getting really fucking sad.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: I’m more than happy to bet you, if I thought you’d actually pay up.
    Name it. Let’s do this.
    Palin will not be on the Republican ticket for 2012. Period.

  157. 157
    Valdivia says:

    @Sly:

    can I kiss you?

    @wrb:

    and you?

  158. 158
  159. 159
    wrb says:

    @NR:

    Magical thinking in the cause of denial

  160. 160
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    Baggers had a not insubstantial effect on the ‘10 election and are doing their best to have a bigger one in ‘12.

    God. This stupid zombie fucking lie again.
    Yeah, Ed Schultz cost the D’s the House in 2010.

  161. 161
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m going to bookmark this post for the next time someone gloriously and exultantly pies me.

    But what if they do it secretly?

  162. 162
    NR says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Obama is immensely popular with Democrats, so where does Stoller think the votes to mount a challenge to him are going to come from?

    Actually, he’s down to the 70s among liberal Democrats, and lower still among Democrats in general.

    But you’re right, there isn’t going to be a primary challenge. It’s too late at this point.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: Every exit poll proves you are incorrect. Deal with it, apologist.

  164. 164

    @NR:

    Saying Obama is to the right of Nixon on economics is actually pretty telling, though probably not how you mean it to be. In reality, Nixon didn’t much care for domestic policy matters (besides having monetary policy loosened prior to the 1972 election anyway) and basically went along with whatever Congress wanted to while he dealt with foreign policy. The real rub here is that Congress was substantially more progressive in Nixon’s term than it is today.

  165. 165
    sdhays says:

    My disappointment with the President hasn’t been because of his failures to get things done; I know that Congress is full of idiots and weasels and there’s only so much he can do. I had high hopes for him when it came to explaining the budget deficit, etc. because he seemed to reject simplistic rhetorical framing and was pretty good at explaining complex topics. Instead, he started using the Republican talking points.

    Maybe that’s the key to getting him reelected; I hope so. But when our media is so crappy and the President’s opposition so toxic, can we afford having the President simply give in to simplistic and stupid economic “principles”? Our national discussion is so restrictingly narrow, we’re turning blue. And not of the patriotic hue.

  166. 166
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    Mountaineer open thread soon come?

  167. 167

    @Loviatar:

    What’s changing? There clearly weren’t 60 votes for the public option, unless you’re the guy who’s finally figured out how it is that Lieberman, Nelson, Bayh, Landrieu, etc. were going to be coerced into supporting it.

  168. 168
    dogwood says:

    I wish Democrats would get off the idea that there is some federal jobs program that the President can pass. It’s all well and good to see the TeaParty takeover of the House as a disaster, but the real disaster of 2010 was the Republican takeover of critical swing state legislatures and governorships. Bad jobs numbers right now are a result of Republican governors and legislatures deliberately driving up the unemployment rate because they know the blame will fall on the White House. I doubt many voters in Fla., Ohio, Mich., Wis. or Penn. know that billions of federal dollars were turned down by these traitors. None of those governors is up for reelection in ’12 so if you think they’d take any type of federal stimulus for a infrastructure/jobs program you’re delusional. Guys like Rick Scott were supported because he agreed to the deal. He could line his pocket all he wanted in turn for delivering Fla.’s electoral votes in 2012.

  169. 169
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: They never do. It’s like a victory scream. They can’t help but trumpet how they’ve won, once and for all.

  170. 170
    John Cole says:

    @Loviatar:

    What I don’t like are so called former Republicans who after having their party taken from them by the crazies they fostered then coming to my party and destroying it based upon so called changing circumstances and pragmatism.

    It’s not your fucking party. It’s OUR party. Hell, I’m going on my 5th or sixth year as a Democrat. I’m pro-choice, anti-death penalty, against the war on drugs, pro gay marriage, in favor of gutting defense spending, in favor of increasing taxes, and on and on. WTF makes you think I would have a home in the GOP?

    The fact that I’m capable of recognizing Obama is hamstrung by reality doesn’t make me a bad Democrat. The fact that you think FIGHTING and losing battles is somehow more effective and noble than cutting deals and winning is your problem, not mine.

    And yes, there is magical thinking on the left. Hell, you don’t have to look any farther than last weeks two minutes of Obama hate because the AG and someone in the administration were pressuring Schniederman in NY to drop his case against the banksters. The very same manic progressives who’ve spent the last 3 years screaming about the bully pulpit and asking “Why doesn’t Obama just tell people to do stuff” didn’t seem to notice that Schniederman said fuck you to Holder and the other clown. They were too busy cheering him for standing up to Obama. It didn’t once fucking register that “Hey- maybe Obama can’t just tell people to do shit!”

    But all that was forgotten, as you look to Cornerstone and the rest of the morons, who quickly cycled through “OBAMA IS A PUSSY BECAUSE HE MOVED HIS SPEECH” and then latched onto betrayal of the Ozone regulations. And when someone gets around to figuring out maybe those regulations were problematic, don’t worry- the purity first crowd will be flaming Obama for something else. Maybe not ending gay marriage SIMPLY USING THE POWER OF THE BULLY PULPIT. Or not passing AN ELEVENTY TRILLION DOLLAR JOBS ACT!

    But yeah. I’m the fucking problem, and everything will be fixed if the only people left in the Democratic party are Kucinich, Hamsher, Cornerstone, and Loviator. Then we will win!

  171. 171
    NR says:

    @wrb: There’s no thinking more magical than thinking that firebaggers caused the crushing Democratic defeat last year. You wouldn’t know reality if it came up and slapped you in the face.

  172. 172
    burnspbesq says:

    @Derelict:

    As maddening s it is that Democrats elected a man who is essentially a younger and thinner Ronald Reagan

    Seek immediate medical help for your mental condition.

  173. 173
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Every exit poll proves you are incorrect. Deal with it, apologist.

    Bullshit.

    It is impossible for exit polls to prove any such thing, Deal with it, co-father of the Perry era.

  174. 174
    AAA Bonds says:

    The magical thinking I see here comes from Chait and the rest of the chorus: a Panglossian belief that not only was everything done to support liberal ideas by someone who didn’t even support them in his campaign promises, but that America will suddenly realize this and thank him for it in November no matter how low Obama’s poll numbers go.

    Certainly Chait acknowledges that the left is finally becoming a real problem for the pro-DLC orthodoxy. Overall, that’s a good thing, and I’m happy about the trend.

    Personally, I am just worried about the practical aspect – that is, if Perry ends up with the nod, and Obama isn’t popular enough to win, then we risk a new Dark Age across the entire globe.

  175. 175
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: OK, I’ll explain my views once again. He didn’t have 60 votes on the public option, which is one part of the HCR effort (for that matter, the part that came closest to happening and remained in the bill the longest).

    _Other parts_ of the HCR effort were IMHO crafted to sideline resistance from the powerful players who ruined Clinton’s HCR.

    Is this really so difficult to follow?

    I mean, you’re indicating a belief that universal health care was just about to happen and totally would have if Obama hadn’t stopped it, even though getting the final handful of votes from the foot-draggers and troublemakers was unbelievably arduous, and you think _I’m_ the one coming up with fantasies and excuses?

  176. 176
    Keith Beacham says:

    Michael Berube at Crooked Timber nails it.

  177. 177
    Kane says:

    @NR: So basically, Obama uderstood that the existence of enough votes to pass the public option was nil. And yet, the Senate Finance Committee and the White House still managed to convince hospitals to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years. All based on the notion that they wouldn’t seek a public option that they didn’t have the votes for in the first place.

    That’s some sweet back room political maneuvering.

  178. 178
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NR:

    Actually, he’s down to the 70s among liberal Democrats, and lower still among Democrats in general.

    So, according to you (google suggests you’re using Rasmussen’s numbers?), he’s more popular with liberal Democrats than with “Democrats in general” (Rasmussen calls them “Conservative Democrats), and in your opinion that’s because he hasn’t been liberal enough?

  179. 179
    eemom says:

    “They’re always showing the same old movie on this channel.” — Ethel Mertz

  180. 180
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Reading comprehension seems to be a problem with Obots.

    I never said anything about a liberal Democratic party, shit I used to be considered a moderate Democrat. What I said was a party that believed and fought for Democratic ideals. I don’t see that in the recent converts, what I see now is a party that believes in the God of pragmatism. Pragmatism is all good and well when your negotiating partner is also willing to be pragmatic, but its not an ideal when your negotiating partners ideal is “Bipartisanship is another name for date rape.”.

    I blame that on the corporatist and the recent converts. I can deal with the corporatist we’ve always had them, what I can’t deal with is the recent converts who are really still Republicans. With them added to the party they give the corporatist the overwhelming upper hand within the party and drags it too far past the middle into Republican lite territory.

    Like I said go away and fight your crazy cousins for your old party.

  181. 181
    wrb says:

    @NR:

    When the firebagging memes have come to pervade both the web and the MSM?

    Low information will tell you that they understand that Obama has been week and has been rolled. Which is utter bullshit. He got far more from the cards he held than anyone could expect. It is entirely a the creation of thousands of firebaggers and Pumas, slaving away to give us a salutary Perry experience.

  182. 182
    boss bitch says:

    @NR: @Corner Stone:

    So Obama is weak, spineless and can’t control his party but he is able to intimidate Tom Daschle who had nothing to lose if he didn’t walk back his comment in the book? by the way, I think Tom Daschle meets the criteria of people we shouldn’t listen to because they’ve been wrong before or has ties to the industry – any industry. amirite? You believe what you want to hear of course. barney frank said Obama did not kill the public option. Does that make you think twice? nah.

    keep your memes straight people. You have little credibility left.

  183. 183
    boss bitch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Obama has always been more popular with liberal Dems. Something the left never seems to acknowledge.

  184. 184

    @John Cole:

    The fact that I’m capable of recognizing Obama is hamstrung by reality doesn’t make me a bad Democrat.

    Meh, no one forced him to reappoint conservative Republican Ben Bernanke to the most important economic policy job in the world. No one forced him to fail to defend his other appointments on the Federal Reserve board. No one forced him to embrace the full out economic illiteracy of the debt scare mongrels.

    There’s a lot of constraints Obama has faced in terms of passing legislation, but beyond that he seems to both not appreciate the depths of the unemployment problem (or at least didn’t in 2010) and genuinely some very bad views on the economy. The ACA and ARRA were good, as were a number of other things that have happened in his first term, but his overall record on economic policy just in terms of things he can control is atrocious. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  185. 185
    eemom says:

    Cornerstone and the rest of the morons

    good name for a grunge band

  186. 186
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @sdhays:

    I had high hopes for him when it came to explaining the budget deficit, etc. because he seemed to reject simplistic rhetorical framing and was pretty good at explaining complex topics. Instead, he started using the Republican talking points.

    Typically when he does this he proceeds to redirect them. This is especially IMHO true of his deployment of the “household analogy.” But bear in mind that a rather large chunk of the _Democratic_ party adheres to views that match up with “Republican talking points,” and that some of what he’s doing reflects tailoring a message to Democrats-who-are-not-liberals.

  187. 187
    Unabogie says:

    I’d like to flesh this thought out more, but has anyone noticed the disconnect between saying that the Democrats need to improve their “messaging” while at the the same time railing against being asked to “clap louder?”. I mean, what is messaging if not the repeating of slogans in order to fool people. It MUST be slightly dishonest to work. You have to boil down complex issues into simple catch phrases and ignore the policy implications. This is what Republicans do so well. They work like advertisers. They present themselves as the happy purple pill and you should “ask your doctor about Republitrol”.

    But the thing they do after they create their slogans is amplify them even if they know they are spouting bullshit. They CLAP LOUDER. They do exactly what liberals say they will never, ever do. So how can Democrats improve their messaging if the people most willing to support that messaging refuse to amplify it? Who’s really at fault here? If Democrats refuse to rename the ACA with something snappy and tell all their friends how great it is, then by definition they are not engaging in “messaging”. Don’t people see how the GOP does their magic?

  188. 188
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    But all that was forgotten, as you look to Cornerstone and the rest of the morons, who quickly cycled through “OBAMA IS A PUSSY BECAUSE HE MOVED HIS SPEECH

    Please cite one comment from me about the speech issue/non-issue.
    If you can, I will never comment here again.
    If you can’t, I expect an apology.

  189. 189
    Mark S. says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    so where does Stoller think the votes to mount a challenge to him are going to come from?

    Tom Harkin. Geez, read more carefully.

  190. 190
    Hal says:

    @boss bitch:

    Obama has always been more popular with liberal Dems. Something the left never seems to acknowledge.

    These are the same people who say (hope) Obama is losing the black vote…

  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch:

    So Obama is weak, spineless

    bitch, I have never, ever said Obama was weak or spineless.
    Ever.
    Get your fucking talking points down or shut the fuck up.

  192. 192
    Corner Stone says:

    Cole, please release my comment quoting your “puzzy” formulation out of moderation. And I expect an apology shortly.

    ETA, thanks.

  193. 193
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar:

    I never said anything about a liberal Democratic party, shit I used to be considered a moderate Democrat.

    Well, I’ve never ever been a moderate Democrat, and I don’t appreciate how people like you have been fucking up _my_ party for generations. But I understand that it’s important to suppress that contempt because there aren’t enough people like me to win elections in America, so I have the misfortune of having to abide slippery “moderates” like you getting cooties all over my beliefs, you know, the real ones everyone should have.

  194. 194
    boss bitch says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Tell you what. How about I post something stating the peoples view is nothing more than a Republican infiltration to split the Democratic party? Think that would get a few screeching denials? Would it make it more or less true?

    screeching denials? nah. laughter? Hell yeah! LOL!!

    Chait is spot on. Hell, he should change the title to: What The Left Doesn’t Know About Politics

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: That’s just stupid. Poll after poll indicate record consistent levels of Democratic turn out.
    You’re a fool.

  196. 196
    Anya says:

    @Valdivia: They are so depressingly myopic. Lately, every thread ends in an endless attack on the President. It’s specially depressing when FPers accuse the President of selling out for campaign cash (DougJ), or because of a promise from corporation not to spend money on attack ads against him (Ann Laurie), without a scintilla of evidence. At this rate, by the time we get to 2012 election our side is demoralized and the President wounded from all the attacks he’s sustaining from his own side.

  197. 197
    dogwood says:

    @NR:

    The fact is that Obama is to the right of Nixon when it comes to the most important issue of our time—economic power, and who should have it.

    Nixon faced huge Democratic majorities in Congress and he went along with much of their domestic policy because he didn’t really care about domestic policy.

  198. 198
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar:

    With them added to the party they give the corporatist the overwhelming upper hand within the party and drags it too far past the middle into Republican lite territory.

    True. It sucks. But unless you like losing every election 26%-74%, you deal with it, because the unfiltered Republican party the converts left is a cross between a doomsday cult and a pickpocket ring.

  199. 199
    aisce says:

    @ kjd

    and if the epa was truly independent of all other branches of government, they could do what they want and pass the new regulations.

    there’s a difference between the white house being the corrupted actor in the walkback, or the white house being forced to represent (as titular head of the democratic party) a group of corrupted actors in congress. when even sherrod brown and carl levin are willing to go to bat for big coal, it’s simply not a fight you take when the economy is shit and you need party unity to stay afloat.

  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    and then latched onto betrayal of the Ozone regulations.

    And I only said I hoped Obama secured future votes for this.
    That’s all.
    Geesh Cole, you’re a really sensitive flower when someone points out how much you still admire Uncle Reagan.
    At least try and stay close to the actual comments made.

  201. 201
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch: Or maybe, “What the 13% Don’t Know About Politics” ?

  202. 202
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Poll after poll indicate record consistent levels of Democratic turn out.

    Obama came in with overwhelming enthusiasm. Instead of nurturing it and building it, the emoprogs did everything they could to kill it. So they got it down from something extraordinary to something average by 2010.

    Quite an accomplishment.

    Don’t make with the false humility, you guys aren’t powerless.

  203. 203
    Hal says:

    @Anya:

    At this rate, by the time we get to 2012 election our side is demoralized and the President wounded from all the attacks he’s sustaining from his own side

    This is one of my fundamental issues with Dems and Obama. I wish people would as enthusiastically criticize and go after Repubs as some do Obama. I’m all for going after the Pres when you disagree, but it seems to me that folks think we can do this non stop for 3 years and 9 months, and then in the last 3 months turn around and say “Oh, but don’t forget to vote for Obama!”

    But then again, if Obama loses, Perry will when, the country will finally see the Republican Party for what it is, and we’ll all live happily ever after! Pizza for everyone!!

  204. 204
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Unabogie:

    but has anyone noticed the disconnect between saying that the Democrats need to improve their “messaging” while at the the same time railing against being asked to “clap louder?”.

    Yes. It’s because most of the people who complain about “messaging” are actually complaining about policy, and what they want is a policy that makes its own message, thereby ruling out the suggestion that it’s all flimflam. If Democrats all wanted the same things and talked the same way, yes, that would be convenient. But it’s not like that.

  205. 205
    Another Bob says:

    Perhaps if the Obots would only punch the hippies harder they could really lock-in that Obama 2012 victory. Clearly more desperate, flailing apologies and pejorative-laced anti-firebagger diatribes are needed to make the hippies finally see the truth. Typically, Obama himself is just a helpless spectator to the disenchantment among many of his former supporters. It’s just “political reality” that Obama himself can’t be held responsible for that.

  206. 206
    NR says:

    @wrb: Dude, you just admitted that there is no data out there that could disprove your belief. That’s the very definition of magical thinking.

  207. 207
    NR says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Liberal Democrats are the ones who worked the hardest to get Obama elected, and so therefore, they have the most invested in Obama. That’s why they will be the very last ones to abandon him, no matter how far to the right he goes (the constant whining about “firebaggers” notwithstanding).

  208. 208
    Mino says:

    The electorate has been gyrating for three cycles. Tea baggers are getting more insane. DFH are getting more insane. Could it be because things are going deeper in the shitter and everbody knows it. And all they are hearing is “Suck it up’ fom both sides.

    I suspect they will keep gyrating until the Republicans have restricted voting enough to have their permanant majority. Things might get a little radical when they act to keep it, though.

  209. 209
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    Don’t make with the false humility, you guys aren’t powerless.

    Are you really saying that drop off from a presidential year election to a midterm election is due to some nebulous group with a couple hundred thousand COMBINED members?
    Get a grip.

  210. 210
    patrick II says:

    @Yutsano:
    Taiwan, 1995. Read a little history yourself.

    Taiwan went from a system that covered 59% of the population to a single-payer system that covers 99% of the population for about the same cost.

    …the The Taiwanese National Health Insurance bill was passed in July 1994. The Bureau of National Health Insurance began operating in January 1995, and the plan was launched a mere two months later.

    link

  211. 211
    NR says:

    @boss bitch:

    So Obama is weak, spineless and can’t control his party

    Obama isn’t weak. He is getting exactly what he wants–Republican policy.

  212. 212
    superfly says:

    @Kane:

    You keep ignoring inconvenient facts, such as it was dealt away in 2009, yet he kept going on and on about how much he supported it.

    For me, and others but I won’t pretend to speak for all critics, this is the core of the problem. Had he truly fought and lost, I could accept it.

    He didn’t, and the pattern repeats itself regularly. You and others either fail to or refuse to understand the actual criticism.

  213. 213
    Loviatar says:

    @NR:

    It’s not your fucking party. It’s OUR party. It’s not your fucking party. It’s OUR party. Hell, I’m going on my 5th or sixth year as a Democrat…

    And how many years did you spend as a Republican fostering the likes of Bush 2, Palin, Bachamman, etc. so you don’t get to play the whole I’ve been a Democrat for X years card.

    Now to the bulk of you rant.

    As far as you being welcome within today’s republican party, isn’t it you and your similar converts always claiming it wouldn’t be easy to change the country. Well wouldn’t be a hell of a lot easier if both parties were populated by rational people instead of fighting for your party you ran and came here. Again I don’t want you here, go away and fight for what you believe in the party that could use your help.

    There seems to be this perception that I dislike JC and the recent converts, I don’t. I dislike what there doing to the Democratic party, I dislike that by the fact that they have abandoned the Republican party they are harming the country. By staying in the Democratic party and pushing it further to the right (whether due to pragmatism, corporatism centrism it doesn’t matter) you are actually making the situation worse. By fighting for your beliefs within your old party you will moderate them and help bring the country away from the edge. Staying within the Democratic party just harms us all.

    I Miss Republicans

  214. 214
    Emma says:

    I’ve decided I’m sitting this one out. I plan to vote for Obama, might even drop a little cash his way. And then, if our super-liberal brethren succeed in re-electing a Republican and sending the country into religious right territory, I am going to make sure me and mine are protected.

    I’m tired.

  215. 215
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @wrb: Eh, I don’t think that’s what happened. Liberal enthusiasm tends to wane whenever Democrats try to make policy, because the process always provides a stark reminder that the Democrats en masse don’t really agree with full-bore liberalism, so everything drifts to the midpoint of the Democratic caucus, which liberals don’t appreciate because it seems so obvious that liberalism is better than the alternative and it’s their turn, dammit! I’ve seen it happen under Clinton and Obama, and although Carter was a bit before my time, it surely happened then. When Republicans are in power, the liberal-left spectrum consolidates again, due to shared abhorrence of whatever the Republicans want to try.

  216. 216
    Brian R. says:

    Yes, Obama is a moderate Republican the same way a steakhouse patron is a moderate vegan.

    Fucking idiots.

  217. 217
    wrb says:

    @NR:
    No I didn’t.

    I said the data you point to can’t support your claim.

    Exit polls taken of those who voted don’t speak to why those who didn’t, didn’t. There is certainly plenty of antidotal evidence of people who accepted the emoprog distortions announcing they were going to sit it out or giving citing emoprog arguments as the reason they had lost enthusiasm. And such comments can be found everywhere.

    Doubtless someone has studied those who lost enthusiasm, unfortunately there is no group not subject to the relentless attacks to which to compare them.

    Hell, I lost enthusiasm during a period when I was just skimming the headlines on Huff Po. Then I started reading the articles and found every damn one told a story more positive and subtle that the headline described. That shit was effective.

  218. 218
    different church-lady says:

    Scanning the comments I’m going to guess that roughly half the people who pipe up here never actually read any of the linked articles under discussion.

  219. 219
    different church-lady says:

    @wrb:

    …a period when I was just skimming the headlines on Huff Po. Then I started reading the articles and found every damn one told a story more positive and subtle that the headline described.

    Ah, so I’m not the only one who noticed that.

  220. 220
    Loviatar says:

    @191 – FlipYrWhig:

    See you and I can come to agreement on something:
    .

    You’re a Dirty Fucking Hippie who doesn’t understand reality and I’m a corporatist pig.
    .

    Now lets get together and kick the fucking crypto-Republicans out of our party so we can go back to agreeing on things.

  221. 221
    NR says:

    @Brian R.:

    Yes, Obama is a moderate Republican the same way a steakhouse patron is a moderate vegan.

    You’re right. He’s not that moderate.

  222. 222
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    Liberal Democrats are the ones who worked the hardest to get Obama elected

    Do you mean in the Anyone But Clinton days, or in the general election, or sometime else? I feel like that statement is true, but I wonder about when that sense of “ownership” arose.

  223. 223
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @boss bitch: ‘Morons, Martyrs, And Ratfuckers’

  224. 224
    Corner Stone says:

    @Emma:

    And then, if our super-liberal brethren succeed in re-electing a Republican

    ?

  225. 225
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @different church-lady: Well, I haven’t read CHait’s piece but I’ve been reading his blog and I don’t think I’m going to be surprised when I finally get around to it, as to Stoller’s piece, life is too short.

    On a kind of related note: Did Obama not invite Joan Walsh to a party? She’s really been bottom-feeding to get her PUMA and fire-bagger screeds for the last month or so. Is it some kind of internet sweeps week and she wants hits to show advertisers?

  226. 226
    Kane says:

    @Another Bob: Firebaggers flatter themselves in portraying themselves as hippies. Being a hippie was and is, always and forever, about connectedness. It’s about how we are all in this together.

    Firebaggers don’t get that. In their minds, they are victims. They don’t want to change the world, they simply want the world to change for them.

  227. 227
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    Exit polls taken of those who voted don’t speak to why those who didn’t, didn’t.

    No, exit polls tell us who voted. Not some mythical story about “emoprogger” influence on people who didn’t show up.
    And exit polls tell us that turn out was consistent for D’s in a midterm.

  228. 228
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    On a kind of related note: Did Obama not invite Joan Walsh to a party? She’s really been bottom-feeding to get her PUMA and fire-bagger screeds for the last month or so.

    Yeah, if you’ve been reading ABL and her coterie’s twitter feeds.
    In reality, Joan Walsh is the same as she’s been for a number of years.

  229. 229
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @John Cole: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, man. If Perry doesn’t self-destruct before the GOP primaries are over, its going to be a fun ride going into next November. I, for one, can’t wait for the Firebaggers to try saying ‘not a dime’s worth of difference’ with a straight face.

    Well, maybe Lovitar can, if he/she can find Perry the same gay friends Reagan had.

  230. 230
    Svensker says:

    It sure as heck seems like O is turning out to be the ‘black Jimmy Carter”. I remember the Carter years very well and the feeling of impotence and anger. Lotta discontent.

    Whether it’s “his fault” or not, he seems to have acquired the aura of a weakling and that is never good. People don’t like weakness. It scares them and makes them turn on the perceived weakling.

    The question concerned Dems should be asking themselves now is what to do about it. Screaming about it or threatening to primary him if he doesn’t man up don’t seem very effective options, but maybe that’s just me.

    Also @Loviatar: I say bite me. As a former libertarian/Repub (and my little hubby, too), I’m way to the left of most liberals I know.

  231. 231
    eemom says:

    uh oh Cole, Hamsher goon “Blue Texan” is gettin medieval on yore ass.

  232. 232
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: I think I’d say that I was a flaming lefty ideologically who got mugged by “electability” and then moved to the South. Whatever I might want out of politics, I know I’m lucky to get anything in the damn ballpark. And everyone who abandons the right wing of the right-wing party makes it harder for them to build the right-wing republic of their fevered dreams. So I’m not that concerned that the ragtag alliance includes hedge-fund kids and corporate lawyers along with the teachers, the Teamsters, the hippies, and the queers, because we’re gonna need all the help we can get.

  233. 233
    kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    But why would that be a budget buster? What budget are you talking about?

    Medicaid? Medicare? Those are single-payer systems, and they existed well before the PPACA.

    What part of the PPACA “busts” the federal budget? The insurance subsidies? The expansion of Medicaid?

    The most-recent congressional analysis had the PPACA paying for itself. Your argument now is that the legislation is too expensive, re: the federal budget? What part of it? Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges or changes to Medicare? Can you be more specific?

    Or is the complaint that the PPACA won’t bring down the COST of health care? Medicare hasn’t either, nor has Medicaid.

  234. 234
    different church-lady says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    I, for one, can’t wait for the Firebaggers to try saying ‘not a dime’s worth of difference’ with a straight face bright red with incoherent rage.

    Here a FTFY, there FTFY, everywhere a FTFY FTFY…

  235. 235
    NR says:

    @Corner Stone: You’re wasting your time. wrb has his belief, and no amount of facts are going to change it. Magical thinking at its finest.

  236. 236
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    I, for one, can’t wait for the Firebaggers to try saying ‘not a dime’s worth of difference’ with a straight face.

    What if they actually say, “Neither is morally or politically acceptable”?
    .
    .

  237. 237
    Loviatar says:

    @228 – Svensker:

    I say bite me. As a former libertarian/Repub (and my little hubby, too), I’m way to the left of most liberals I know.

    .

    In other words you’re a chickenshit who allowed crazy people to chase you out of your party.
    .

    Again, why aren’t you in the Republican party fighting for your beliefs?

  238. 238
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m talking about the general election, though there was certainly a very committed group of liberals that supported Obama in the primaries as well.

    Also, “ownership” is a loaded term that I’d rather not use for a variety of reasons. Suffice it to say that liberals have the most invested in Obama as compared to any other ideological group, and so they will be the last to abandon him.

  239. 239
    Kane says:

    @superfly:

    You keep ignoring inconvenient facts, such as it was dealt away in 2009, yet he kept going on and on about how much he supported it.

    Can he not continue to support the public option in principle, while also working to achieve what is possible?

  240. 240
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: None of the people BlueTexan mentions as “mattering” have a vote in the Senate.

  241. 241
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Brien Jackson: Is Ben Bernanke really a Republican? I’ve heard this everywhere, but I’ve never seen any evidence other than Bush appointing him, and he doesn’t seem to be linked to the Chicago school of economics.

  242. 242
    Mino says:

    The number of uninsured Americans in 2014 might swamp the program.

  243. 243

    @cat48:

    That was truly bizarre. Not only was DADT repealed, we had the START treaty being signed, unemployment benefits continuing for millions….

    And yet all some wanted to do was bitch about why did it take soooooo fucking long to repeal DADT and about how Obama screwed us over with the 2-year Bush tax cut extension.

    Some on the Left cannot look at Obama’s achievements and see a long list of good to great things that rival what LBJ and FDR did. They can only bitch about a handful of things that are not really Obama’s fault and can be blamed on Congress’s actions.

  244. 244
    LosGatosCA says:

    He might be a Republican, or maybe he’s a closet liberal:

    “In June 2005, Bernanke was named Chairman of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers”

    But I’m guessing, he really is a Republican.

  245. 245
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kane:

    Can he not continue to support the public option in principle, while also working to achieve what is possible?

    Alas, otherwise sensible people have been pretending not to know the difference (and hear the explanation) for years now.

  246. 246
    kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    Actually, the only thing has slowed the growth in Medicare spending (if that’s the Republican operative’s point: I can’t tell) IS the PPACA, because it contains a credible threat to cut payments to providers (the IPAB).

    Medicare Advantage didn’t work. Legislation to slow cost increases didn’t work. The PPACA seems to be the only thing that did work, in terms of Medicare spending. So far, anyway. We’ll have to see if the trend continues.

    Did the Republican operative mention any of that? Because it’s true. Medicare spending has slowed since the passage of the PPACA. Providers say (but what do they know, right?) that they’re anticipating having to find value within the system, because the PPACA is going to force them to do that eventually anyway.

    Perhaps the Republican operative can expand on that GOP talking point he’s selling. I need some details. Sounds like bullshit to me.

    Far from a “budget buster” it’s the first time in ages we’re going in the right direction, as far as spending on health care.

  247. 247
    Corner Stone says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    That was truly bizarre. Not only was DADT repealed, we had the START treaty being signed, unemployment benefits continuing for millions….

    The deal to extend the Bush Tax Cuts was a horrible mistake.

  248. 248
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: ‘How did the 2000 election work out for you?’

  249. 249
    Corner Stone says:

    @LosGatosCA: Did GWB appoint any person to anything that wasn’t a Republican? I’m asking.

  250. 250
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Marc McKenzie: _And_, let’s not forget, when it looked like DADT repeal was going down to defeat because Reid refused to remove it from the defense bill that was then filibustered (I hope I’m getting the chain of events right!), the leading voices of the prog-o-sphere did _not_ give Democrats credit for drawing a line in the sand and refusing to cave, they instead continued to complain that it hadn’t gone their way. To me, that was rather instructive about just how hollow the “I just want to see him fight for something!” outbursts really are.

  251. 251
    Another Bob says:

    @Kane

    Firebaggers flatter themselves in portraying themselves as hippies. Being a hippie was and is, always and forever, about connectedness. It’s about how we are all in this together.

    Just be honest: a “firebagger” is anyone who expresses discontent with Obama and thereby provokes the ire of an Obama supporter. It doesn’t matter whether they ever read FDL or not, or who they voted for in the last election, or whether their concerns are legitimate or not. I think Obama supporters are deluding themselves if they think that Obama himself is not the major party responsible for the growing disenchantment among people who supported him and voted for him in the last election. It’s like you’re making Obama out to be some kind of helpless victim. Team Obama chose this approach, and if they can’t even rally their natural allies behind them at a time like this, it’s their own damn fault.

  252. 252
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    So it’s the subsidies that are the budget buster? Within the exchanges? Or do you mean the Medicaid expansion? You can’t mean Medicare, because the PPACA saves money on Medicare.

    Is that what we’re worried about now? Swamping the program?

  253. 253
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: I’m glad you changed this. You little bitch.

  254. 254
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: Fucking Norm Mineta gets no regard, no regard at all.

  255. 255
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Corner Stone: Can dish it but can’t take it, huh? That explains quite a bit right there.

  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob:

    Just be honest: a “firebagger” is anyone who expresses discontent with Obama and thereby provokes the ire of an Obama supporter.

    It’s devolved to “emoprogger” or some shit like that. By the time elections come round next year it will be something like, “Elementary school rapists baggers”.

  257. 257

    @NR:

    Dude, what are you smoking?

    I mean, you’re either high off your ass or you must’ve been born yesterday. And judging from your earlier comments, I’m going to have to reject the second, because no one can get that fucking stupid in only twenty-four hours.

    Here’s this thought to think on, if your brain cells can handle it:

    If, as you claim, Obama is a Republican….then why the fuck are the Republicans doing everything in their goddamned power to ruin him? Can you answer this question? Can you?

    As much as I loathe them, the Republicans always stand behind their President and always give that President whatever he wants. But they have done nothing but block and throw monkey wrenches into Obama’s plans, and they have ushered in a level of disrespect never seen before.

    Must’ve something to do with the man’s skin color, but if you mention that, oh, you’re wrong and you’re just dragging race into this!

    If Obama is a Republican, then either a) the Republicans are not aware of it or b) you just uttered the most idiotic meme in modern history. My money’s on b).

  258. 258
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Bring it chunkie.

  259. 259
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: True. Norm Mineta sounds like a cashier at a grocery store or something.
    Who was he again?

  260. 260
    Lolis says:

    @Loviatar:

    Anyone with larger than a pea brain would know that John Cole is a big flaming liberal. He is anti-Libyan invtervention, anti-war and on the right side on social/economic issues. What specific issues do you have to indict him as a Republican? Is it just that he does not condemn Obama as much as you?

  261. 261
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    None of the people BlueTexan mentions as “mattering” have a vote in the Senate.

    Here is what Chait wrote –

    At the time, Obama’s $800 billion stimulus was seen by Congress, pundits and business leaders — that is to say, just about everybody who mattered — as mind-bogglingly large.

    Chait was certainly allowing that those who BlueTexan mentioned as “mattering” actually mattered, don’t you think? Based on Chait’s own words?
    .
    .

  262. 262

    @Sly:

    Or “good” just has its head jammed up its ass. Hard to see much.

  263. 263
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m sorry, I have better things to do. Don’t you have Perry campaign stuff to work on, anyways?

  264. 264
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: You’re the little bitch who changed it.

  265. 265
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Yeah, um. I have worked for Democratic candidates of all colors and skin types. Including Obama and recently Bill White in TX.
    Have you ever spent a dollar on a white guy?

  266. 266

    @Corner Stone:

    Unfortunately (or fortunately), it was the only way we were able to get those other things.

    It was a bitter pill to swallow, no doubt, but at the end of 2012, the Bush Tax cuts will be gone. A lot of people were not happy about the tax cuts, but my beef was that they never looked at what was gained….which was quite a few important things like DADT, START, and the unemployment extension, among others.

    Just saying…

  267. 267
    Mino says:

    @kay: Well, the program was designed to pay for itself. Indeed Medicare Advantage savings were to apply to the new system, but the numbers for the subsidies could have been serioiusly underestimated. Not to mention how much the individual states were supposed to pick up. They are having their own economic problems.
    And if the Supremes weigh in on the madate, all bets are off.

  268. 268
    Valdivia says:

    @Anya:

    this. It’s actually good to see that I am not alone in feeling this way.

  269. 269
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    ‘How did the 2000 election work out for you?’

    I notice that you deliberately chose to evade my question, balloonemo. Here it is again – What if they actually say, “Neither is morally or politically acceptable”?

    What is your answer to this question?
    .
    .

  270. 270
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I know it’s OT and Dog-bites-man, but look at this fucking Sunday line-up

    Face the Nation: Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman
    Fox News Sunday: Dick Cheney
    State of the Union: Sen. DeMint, Sen. Lieberman, Rep. Rogers, James Hoffa
    This Week: DeMint
    Meet the Press: Rep. Maxine Waters, Tom Friedman, Mark McKinnon, Paul Gigot, Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Lieberman as “balance” to Jim Fucking DeMint, and that’s one of the fairer and balanceder lineups. Beam me the fuck up.

  271. 271
    Corner Stone says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    but at the end of 2012, the Bush Tax cuts will be gone

    HAHAHAHAHA!!
    [choke]…[choke]

    Yeah, not so much. Those cuts will still be here.

  272. 272
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: The Sheriff only wants to elect one person.
    He couldn’t give a shit less about the rest of the ticket.

  273. 273
    Valdivia says:

    @Anya:

    this many times. but it’s good to see that there’s a few of us who feel this way.

  274. 274
    NR says:

    @Marc McKenzie: Or c) The current group of Republicans have gone crazy. Bill Maher said it best: The Democrats moved to the right, and the Republicans moved to the nut house.

    Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the ACA, is virtually identical to what the Republicans proposed to reform health care back in 1994. The fact that today’s Republicans didn’t support it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a Republican bill.

    Like I said: In 2012, Obama will be the establishment Republican candidate, and someone else (probably Perry) will be the Tea Party candidate. That’s the electoral paradigm we’re faced with.

  275. 275
    Kane says:

    @Another Bob:

    Just be honest: a “firebagger” is anyone who expresses discontent with Obama and thereby provokes the ire of an Obama supporter.

    Just be honest: the so called “firebaggers” are first and foremost victims. Their discontent has very little to do with Obama, he’s simply the means for their victimhood. If Obama didn’t exist, they would have to invent him.

  276. 276
    Valdivia says:

    @Unabogie:

    thank you. needed to be said.

  277. 277
    dogwood says:

    @Svensker:

    It sure as heck seems like O is turning out to be the ‘black Jimmy Carter”.

    Oh wow. Now there’s a phrase straight from the Limbaugh lexicon. People who want the president to fight for core liberal values, yet repeat or ignore this kind of bigoted crap are hypocrites.

  278. 278
    NR says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    It was a bitter pill to swallow, no doubt, but at the end of 2012, the Bush Tax cuts will be gone.

    It baffles me that there are still people who believe this. The tax cuts were supposed to expire at the end of 2010 and they didn’t. What makes you think that 2012 will be any different?

  279. 279
    Sharl says:

    @Mark S.:
    Yaaay Tom Harkin! Bee pollen for everyone!

    I mostly like Harkin, fwiw. But as the links show, even the good guys/gals, unlike me*, ain’t perfect. [*But I’m too good to sully my reputation running for office. I shall therefore continue to drive policy (beep-beep!) by commenting on blogs. I totally rawk!]

  280. 280
    Corner Stone says:

    @Corner Stone: Hey Cole. You going to man up like a Democrat and admit you were wrong, or weasel out like a Republican and say, “well, other things said on different threads!”.
    C’mon. You going to man up or not?

  281. 281
    Chandler W. says:

    You are correct about this whole ozonegate.

    Problem is that the average person does not investigate or do any critical thinking.

    All most people do is whine and repeat the crap they read on lefty blogs.

    I am sure the primary Obama people will suffer with the rest of us under more Rublican rule.

  282. 282
    Sly says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    Or “good” just has its head jammed up its ass. Hard to see much.

    I usually don’t make a distinction between dumbness in a strict sense of the word and mere functional dumbness, both because its usually immaterial to the specific dumbness under discussion and that the material outcomes of various kinds of dumbness are usually symmetrical. Ignorance of relevant facts, the poor ability to distinguish relevant from irrelevant facts, and the the poor ability to draw rational conclusions from relevant facts all often produce the same result.

  283. 283
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kane:

    If Obama didn’t exist, they would have to invent him.

    Nah, they transfer their hatred pretty easily to whichever Democrat is actually in the unfortunate position of having achieved some political power in the Real World. Remember when Cindy Sheehan was our only hope against closet Republican Darth Pelosi?

  284. 284
    Sly says:

    @Chandler W.:

    I am sure the primary Obama people will suffer with the rest of us under more Rublican rule.

    But they’ll feel better as political consumers, at least until they have to go through a bankruptcy proceeding, and that’s all that matters.

  285. 285
    Svensker says:

    @Loviatar:

    OK. I think I’ll go talk to the wall now, get some higher quality discussion.

  286. 286
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Corner Stone:

    The Sheriff only wants to elect one person. He couldn’t give a shit less about the rest of the ticket.

    Yes, the Cult of Personality is strong in that one.
    .
    .

  287. 287
    Sly says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am sure the primary Obama people will suffer with the rest of us under more Rublican rule.

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Norman Thomas!

  288. 288
    Shade Tail says:

    Not surprisingly, every troll who whined and screamed about Chait being wrong never actually rebut anything he wrote. Not one single word. They just whimpered and cried about generalities, called him names, and basically acted like brats who were told they actually had to take responsibility for themselves.

    In other words, they acted like precisely the kind of self-centered magical thinkers Chait was criticizing.

  289. 289
    Svensker says:

    @dogwood:

    What, wut? Why is this bigoted? And why I am a hypocrite?

    I like Obama, but I’m afraid he’s got on the wrong side of the curve, much like Carter did. If you don’t see that happening, then explain to me the fights that break out right here about the guy — most between people who voted for him.

    There’s a problem and whether it’s simply perception or whether in fact Obama is not a good leader, the end result is he is being made to look weak. Do you disagree with that?

    My question is what to do about it. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist seems ostrich-like.

    But if calling me names makes everything better, well, that’s certainly a low cost solution.

  290. 290
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    I’m not talking about the Medicare Advantage savings. That’s not a health care cost. It’s an insurance cost. It was baked in.

    The rate of spending increases in Medicare have dropped w/the ACA. Payments. Real money. We’ll see if it continues, but if it does, it will be the first cost-control mechanism in Medicare spending (increases) to succeed in slowing spending on health care in 20 years. Legislation failed, because Congress simply over-rides their own legislation, and offers more and more money. The “free market” failed (Medicare Advantage). It’s not like they were starting from scratch. They know what failed.

    If they figure out how to deliver health care more efficiently in Medicare +Medicaid, it’ll have benefits across the board, because Medicare + Medicaid is huge. There is no bigger buyer of health care services.

    You can hate the health care reform law. Fine. But calling it a “budget buster” simply isn’t true.

  291. 291
    cleek says:

    @Chandler W.:

    I am sure the primary Obama people will suffer with the rest of us under more Rublican rule.

    nah, for the full-time pure progressive pony party poutrage patrol, being able to sit back and complain about how evil The Other Guys are is much more lucrative and less potentially compromising than having to defend an imperfect ally. don’t need to admit that life isn’t black and white and that our government runs on compromise and that getting 75% of what you want is not exactly the same as getting -75% of what you want.

  292. 292
    Corner Stone says:

    @Shade Tail: When someone uses “magical thinking” as a determinative description, what is there to refute?

  293. 293
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Nah, they transfer their hatred pretty easily to whichever Democrat is actually in the unfortunate position of having achieved some political power in the Real World.

    Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to transfer your hatred of progressives and progressive policies to hatred of Republicans and Republican policies? Or is that not pretty easy for you?

    Remember when Cindy Sheehan was our only hope against closet Republican Darth Pelosi?

    Yes, I do. Cindy Sheehan said, “You don’t work for Haliburton, you work for US” while Nancy Pelosi said, “Impeachment is off the table.” Feel free to correct me if I misquoted anyone.
    .
    .

  294. 294
    dogwood says:

    @Svensker:

    OK. I think I’ll go talk to the wall now, get some higher quality discussion.

    If “Black Jimmy Carter” is your idea of higher quality discussion then you and the wall should do just fine.

  295. 295
    Another Bob says:

    @Kane

    Just be honest: the so called “firebaggers” are first and foremost victims.

    You know, I’m confused about who these “firebaggers” really are. Do they exist in the real world, or are they like unicorns to Obots, i.e. a whimsical fantasy to enhance the joys of magical thinking? Maybe what we need is a field guide to the different sub-species of progressives — firebaggers, hippies, emo-progs, “Elementary school rapists baggers” (h/t Corner Stone) — so we can be more precise about who they are, how many there are, and why anyone should give a shit about such silly classifications. Again, do any of you guys consider that it might be largely Team Obama’s own fault if they chose a policy/electoral strategy that alienates large swathes of their base?

  296. 296
    gogol's wife says:

    @cleek:

    Right. The (seems to me simple) concept of “defending an imperfect ally” is just like something from Mars to them — they can’t process it. And I’m not just talking about commenters here, I mean the entire “librul” media, including Krugman.

  297. 297
    dogwood says:

    @Svensker:

    I don’t care if you think Obama is weak and want to compare him to Jimmy Carter who was also perceived as weak. But what does “Black” have to do with it? That was Republican language from the get-go. And yes it’s bigoted. Why would you use a term coined by Rush Limbaugh?

  298. 298
    The Raven says:

    At the time, Obama’s $800 billion stimulus was seen by Congress, pundits and business leaders — that is to say, just about everybody who mattered — as mind-bogglingly large. News reports invariably described it as “huge,” “massive” or other terms suggesting it was unrealistically large, even kind of pornographic.

    Let’s see, who thought it was too small: Brad Delong, Dean Baker, James Galbraith and, of course, Paul Krugman.

    Being right, I guess, means you don’t matter.

    Seriously, why can our leaders not listen to competent advisors?

  299. 299
    dave™© says:

    Nice to know that when the occasion calls for it, Cole is still a fucking moron.

  300. 300
    Mino says:

    @kay: I don’t hate it. I’d like it to work. It’s the best thing we are apt to get for a long time.
    But when the calculations were made, they never expected that the economy would be in this kind of shape and be unlikely to improve much in the near term.
    States (at least Texas)are actively working to decrease their Medicaid rolls.

  301. 301
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    When someone practices magical thinking, what is there to follow?

    “Obama has failed because he hasn’t enacted this thing I and all that is good want!”

    The Republicans in the House and the Democrats in the Senate don’t want it.

    Only they can enact it. If they do, Obama can sign it. How is he supposed to enact it?

    “MAGIC!”

    How has he failed?

    “Not enough MAGIC!”

    How could he have enacted what you want?

    “I WANT IT!”

  302. 302
    Svensker says:

    @dogwood:

    Snap!

  303. 303
    Svensker says:

    @dogwood:

    Wait, Obama isn’t black? Saying he’s black is bigoted? His race had nothing to do with his election and subsequent events? Really? Also, too, Rush Limbaugh coined “black”?

    Well, is it OK if I say he’s the “new Jimmy Carter”?

  304. 304
    boss bitch says:

    @LosGatosCA:

    “In June 2005, Bernanke was named Chairman of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers”

    But I’m guessing, he really is a Republican.

    Wow. A pretty persuasive argument there. You should be a lawyer…..or not.

  305. 305
    zoot says:

    while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes.

    a) there were 50 votes, but even if they were a few short,
    b) POTUS and titular head of the party is supposed to lead – like he does so well for republican ideas like cutting social security and medicare, cutting $trillions in programs that help people and NOTHING FOR CORPORATE WELFARE INCLUDING THE BLOATED MILITARY, not allowing generic drugs, further restricting women’s right to pay for abortion through PRIVATE insurance, not closing Guantanamo, continuing state’s secrets’ abuses, escalating wars, and on and on.

    What a pathetic obama A**-licker you are cole.

  306. 306
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @The Raven:

    Being right, I guess, means you don’t matter.

    Pretty much. In a sane political world, Paul Krugman would occupy the place in our punditocracy that David Broder had, but the sad fact is he has less influence on our discourse than “Suck-On-This” Friedman, probably less than Cokie Roberts or David Gregory.

  307. 307
    wrb says:

    @The Raven:

    I think if you read carefully, what he was talking about was not who mattered in some sort of ultimate sense, but about who mattered when it came to gathering the votes to pass an actual bill.

  308. 308
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    Obama has failed because he hasn’t enacted this thing I and all that is good want!

    Get a grip homeboy.
    People of the D persuasion voted in normal amounts given historical perspectives.
    If you thought they were going to go ahistorical and vote at levels seen in presidential elections then that’s your problem.
    If you can find any peer cited review that determines causality for the “lower” D turnout in 2010, then please cite it.
    Otherwise, you are engaging in “magical thinking”.

  309. 309
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @wrb:

    I think if you read carefully, what he was talking about was not who mattered in some sort of ultimate sense, but about who mattered when it came to gathering the votes to pass an actual bill.

    Were you reading carefully the actual words that Chait wrote – “Congress, pundits and business leaders — that is to say, just about everybody who mattered”? Because they’ve been quoted upthread at least twice.
    .
    .

  310. 310
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Never Forget(r)(tm) – President Obama didn’t actually say those exact words in that exact order during the campaign.
    .
    .

  311. 311
    NR says:

    @Another Bob:

    Again, do any of you guys consider that it might be largely Team Obama’s own fault if they chose a policy/electoral strategy that alienates large swathes of their base?

    Don’t be silly. Obama can’t fail, he can only be failed. Get with the program.

  312. 312
    rikyrah says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    good comment, Samara.

    interesting view of Caribou Barbie and her intentions.

    yes, Governor Good Hair…choose Caribou Barbie.

    remind folks once again why they didn’t trust Country Last in having that woman a step away from the nuclear codes.

  313. 313
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Can dish it but can’t take it, huh? That explains quite a bit right there.

    Still waiting chunky. Any time you got something to say.

  314. 314
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    The federal government will do what the federal government has always done. They’ll threaten to withhold funds from states that don’t comply with federal law. You just saw it in the PP/abortion battle, in Indiana.
    A governor’s JOB is to whine about unfunded mandates. His JOB is to insist he can’t afford whatever the federal government is compelling him or her to do. None of this is new. For some reason, with the health care law, the ordinary tussle between states and the federal government (which has nothing whatsoever to do with state’s rights) is portrayed as this new and terrifying thing in media and on liberal blogs. It’s not.
    I have to tell you, the fear behind this endless game of what might happen just bugs me. I have lost patience with it. Liberals cannot insist they are fighters and want fighters and then jump like scared rabbits at every remote possibility something will go wrong.
    Of course something will go wrong. Of course we’ll have to fight for each and every provision.
    It’s a huge and complicated piece of legislation. Parts won’t work. Courts will screw with other parts. Conservatives will threaten to cut off funding for other parts. Neither I, nor any other human being, can give you a ten year or twenty year assurance or guarantee.
    When has this shit not happened? Conservatives are opposing Democratic legsislation? Do tell. That’s unprecedented.
    Why is this new and terrifying? What’s with the fear in each and every one of these “if that, then this” arguments?
    It’s corrosive. It kills forward motion.

  315. 315
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And you walk into the light, free of all responsibility, yet important too, delightful in your imagination, the wailing behind you unheard, the suffering unfelt.

  316. 316
    Corner Stone says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s funny how you stepped off after this.

  317. 317
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    And you walk into the light, free of all responsibility, yet important too, delightful in your imagination, the wailing behind you unheard, the suffering unfelt

    Are you preparing a sermon, or some emoprogger rock lyrics?
    I don’t even know what this means.

  318. 318
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t even know what this means.

    That’s not new.

    Work on it.

  319. 319
    Mino says:

    @kay: I have to tell you, the fear behind this endless game of what might happen just bugs me.
    Excuse me, I did not wish to be too Pollyanna-ish about the actual numbers who could take advantage of the program.

  320. 320
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    States (at least Texas)are actively working to decrease their Medicaid rolls.

    That was also true with the last vast expansion of Medicaid: the S-CHIP program. For some reason, liberals were able to deal with that possibility w/out completely losing their shit. Now it’s OMG, Rick Perry says he won’t pay for Medicaid!
    Perry would have said that if unemployment were at 5.6% It’s what they do. They oppose programs for poor people, in good times and in bad. No shit. When have they ever said any different?
    Bush vetoed S-CHIP. It wasn’t that long ago. Democrats brought it up the next time they were in power, and Obama signed it. Will S-CHIP be around in 30 years? I have no fucking idea. I live with that incredible uncertainty, and somehow sleep at night.

  321. 321
    cleek says:

    @zoot:
    so, “lead” is now a synonym for “performs unspecified magical act”.

    not closing Guantanamo

    LOL

  322. 322
    dogwood says:

    @Svensker:

    Wait, Obama isn’t black? Saying he’s black is bigoted? His race had nothing to do with his election and subsequent events? Really? Also, too, Rush Limbaugh coined “black”?
    Well, is it OK if I say he’s the “new Jimmy Carter”?

    You may call the president whatever you like. When Rush uses the term “Black Jimmy Carter” he’s reinforcing to his listeners their negative views of both Blacks and Jimmy Carter. He could have simply called him the new JC, but he’s well aware that if you add “Black” you double the negative perception among his devoted, and yes, bigoted fans. Your reply to me would be typical of what Limbaugh would say if anyone called him on it. But if you like the term, go ahead and use it. I’m obviously the only one bothered by it so what the hell.

  323. 323
    cleek says:

    @kay:
    I have to tell you, the fear behind this endless game of what

    might happen just bugs me. I have lost patience with it. Liberals cannot insist they are fighters and want fighters and then jump like scared rabbits at every remote possibility something will go wrong.

    these peopel aren’t liberals. they’re armchair pundits who didn’t bother learning how US politics and government actually works before they committed themselves to screaming about it. so, everything looks like a sell-out and corruption and THE WORST THING EVER ! BETRAYAL !, when the simple fact is, what’s happening is how it always happens, they just don’t understand what they’re looking at.

    they’re dilettantes, angry that they don’t understand the rules, and have found an audience of people who love to hear them complain.

    it’s the stupid feeding the ignorant.

  324. 324
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    I just want there to be less fear in these discussions. I think it clouds judgment. For example. When a lobbyist for providers says that providers will stop taking Medicare patients if they aren’t paid “X”, does that threat make any sense?
    Given that Medicare beneficiaries are the biggest users of health care?
    Really? Providers are going to turn down all Medicare patients? Half the health care facilities in the country would close down. Critical care facilities would be all but empty. Medicare has a lot of marketplace clout. Providers are not necessarily in the driver’s seat here. Why are we pretending it doesn’t? Why are we pretending the for-profit health care industry can simply decline to treat their biggest (guaranteed) revenue/patient source if they’re pressured to bring down costs? I don’t think they can do that. I think they need Medicare patients as much as Medicare patients needs them.

  325. 325
    Another Bob says:

    @NR

    Don’t be silly. Obama can’t fail, he can only be failed. Get with the program.

    All along, I’ve been thinking that I was a pretty middle-of-the-road liberal who voted for Clinton and then chose Gore over Nader. But what if it turns out to be like “The Sixth Sense” where I find out at the end of the movie that I was an “emo-bagger” all along? It gives me chills just to think about.

  326. 326
    WaterGirl says:

    @Valdivia: Late getting back to the thread, so I don’t know if you’ll see this. I am well, but having a bit of withdrawal symptoms for the balloon juice I love. For me, this is my safe place to get news without feeling beat up by it all, and of course the pet threads, wit, etc. I have hardly been here for the past week or so because it doesn’t take long for me to feel like the BJ is being sucked into a black hole of discouragement.

    I am of the Elizabeth Warren school of thinking. i loved her answer to a question that seemed aimed at trying to elicit criticism of Obama:

    I am saving all the rocks in my pocket for Republicans.

    I wish we could see a bit more of that from democrats between now and 2012.

  327. 327
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Kind of like that mavericky ubetcha goodness that led you to vote for McCain/Palin?

    How cute… You Texans are soooo cute!

  328. 328
    Yutsano says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I am saving all the rocks in my pocket for Republicans

    This is stoled. I hope she does take the plunge for Senate. I’ll work my tail off for her since my Senator will win easily.

  329. 329
    Mino says:

    I live with that incredible uncertainty, and somehow sleep at night.
    OTT a little, I think.
    Far from a “budget buster” it’s the first time in ages we’re going in the right direction, as far as spending on health care.
    Oh, just the numbers, I guess. Well, that’s easy enough to do. Nobody goes to the doctor. Problem fixed.

  330. 330
    GregB says:

    I am unwilling to draw any conclusions on this whole matter until I hear what Bob Shrum has to say.

  331. 331
    Corner Stone says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I voted for Hills. It’s always been for Hills. I luff her.
    What’s you’re fucking problem, oldboi?

  332. 332
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I I voted for Hills. It’s always been for Hills

    makes sense now.

    Twisted, but makes sense.

  333. 333
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: Hmmmm…WAI Hills…I loves me some low cognitive IQ subspecies blah blah Hills…

  334. 334
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: You and Odious Humanity are on the same plane of thought.
    Congrats!

  335. 335
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    330 makes less sense after your edit

  336. 336
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: God. Go back to advocating for tax cuts.

  337. 337
    virag says:

    @Corner Stone:

    shitloads of ponies, all right. all of ’em live in just a very few zipcodes, though.

  338. 338
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: You. voted. for. her?

  339. 339
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: I love Hills. You got a problem with that?
    Think about it.

  340. 340
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: You clearly do.

  341. 341
    eemom says:

    @Keith G:

    she’s the only woman he’s ever loved.

    It’s a Mommy thing.

  342. 342
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb: Mmmm…cankles…

  343. 343
    virag says:

    it’s pretty simple: obama is not really a pussy, he just looks like one when he follows his (lack of) principles. the hopey changey stuff is hard, and obama never had any interest in that sort of effort. the status quo and a 2-term presidency are good enough for him.

  344. 344
    LT says:

    Congressional Republicans pursued a strategy of denying Obama support for any major element of his agenda, on the correct assumption that this would make it less popular and help the party win the 2010 elections.

    That is idiocy. The 2010 elections went the way they did because a black guy got elected and a racist Tea Party got people excited to go vote for racist idiots. End of story.

    And this is hilarious. This is Chait’s (and Cole’s I guess) argument against the Left’s “magical lthinking”:

    Moreover, Republican opposition has proved immune even to persistent and successful attempts by Obama to mobilize public opinion. Americans overwhelmingly favor deficit reduction that includes both spending and taxes and favor higher taxes on the rich in particular. Obama even made a series of crusading speeches on this theme. The result? Nada.

    Does Chait and John Cole actually believe this crap about how the Bush tax cuts fiasco went down? You can argue this about the public option if you like, but you cannot do it with the Bush tax cuts. That was played wrongly every fucking step of the way.

  345. 345
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Like you have kids. A shriveled and hateful soul like you? Shit.
    Because if you did then maybe you could imagine the mother’s of the Palestinian babies you have no problem seeing dying.

  346. 346
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    With as much fear and angst as the slowly phased in PPACA has caused, I cannot imagine if they had done something truly disruptive and radical re: the for-profit health care system, something that (immediately) affected people’s employer-provided health insurance. People might have had nervous breakdowns, and stopped functioning completely. This might be all we can handle, honestly.

  347. 347
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: No prob. She would have been a great nominee. I just supported the other person. No regrets, but just a bit of concern creeping in.

    Does that make me an emoprog?

    I hate the fucking bastards who use terms like that btw.

    Sorry if that seems harsh, but I am just over the squalid level of intellectual acuity it takes to continually puff up one’s own insecure arguments by applying such labels to others.

    Maybe I shouldn’t call them fucking bastards.

    Would douche nozzles be okay?

    slight edit

  348. 348
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb: You’re flailing now.

  349. 349
    Barney says:

    A question: could reconciliation have been used to extend middle income tax cuts, but let higher income tax cuts expire? It would, after all, have been a budget matter; and if Bush passed his tax cuts through reconciliation, then surely extending some of them could happen through reconciliation too?

  350. 350
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: Take whatever action you need to.

  351. 351
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    I grow weary of the “The votes weren’t there!” refrain. “The votes” are not an immutable law of nature. Rather, they are a set of variables in play. Some of those variables are particularly, um variable — feckless bribe-mongers like Landrieu come to mind. Some might have been swayed by, say, holding a committee chairmanship Changing those variables in favor of the policy that the President prefers is the job of people like Rahm.

    Perhaps there was no combination of goodies and threats that could have swayed enough votes in the Senate to get a reasonably helpful health care bill — i.e., one with a public option or at least negotiation of drug prices –passed. Perhaps there were. We’ll never know because it was not tried. The evidence is rather overwhelming that getting legislation passed that can be referred to as “health care reform,” rather than achieving policy aims.

    Which brings me to: @FlipYrWhig:

    “I do believe that many aspects of the bill were crafted to coopt the special interests who killed the Clinton attempt, including the individual mandate (for insurers) and probably even the lack of price negotiation (for pharmaceutical companies). But I wouldn’t deem those to be ‘craven,’ because doing them kept the whole effort alive, and not doing them would have doomed it, again.”

    This, however, raises the question: “If the bill could not be passed without giving away the store to insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, was it actually worth the effort?” The final product does little good other than provide subsidized private insurance for some folks who can’t afford it. That’s not nothing, mind you, but it came at huge costs: The subsidized private insurance is still too costly, and the costs are shifted to the Treasury, thereby providing an overly expensive subsidy to private insurers much like Medicare Part III, which of course continues to be overly costly due to the failure to do anything to rein in pharmaceutical costs borne by the government and by those paying insurance without the government’s help. By co-opting the very interests that need to take a haircut if our irrational system for delivering health care services is to be reformed, it merely props up an unsustainable system.

  352. 352
    Mino says:

    Cobra subsidies just bit the dust, so you might think future subsidies might be at risk.

  353. 353
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    you wanna go there again? Really?

    In that case you’ll have to stop whining your butthurt over Cole until you settle the score with your own long past due apologies, starting with the one you’ve owed me since the BBC proved you were full of shit about the flotilla people.

  354. 354
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: What is going on? Why are some here so likely to repay even mild, well considered concerns about Obama such pettiness?

    And now I see that some are beginning to build in a “stab in the back” creepiness into what they say:

    And then, if our super-liberal brethren succeed in re-electing a Republican

    Weird and sad.

  355. 355
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Shit. I watched those videos and read those links.
    There ain’t a god damned thing evident to prove your claims.
    Fuck you, you hateful old crone.

  356. 356
    virag says:

    sweet jesus, chait and cole are gettin’ the bitch slapped out of ’em all over the interwebs. (i get that the mild center is very comfortable and that the warm loving embrace of a big daddy, whether it’s obama or ronny raygun, makes some people feel like a happy little puppy, and that fuzzy puppy gets growly when people laugh at big daddy.)

  357. 357
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sure thing

    Without an injection of somewhere between $1T and $2T per year for the next couple of years a fuck of a lot of kids will be living in cardboard boxes and losing their chance of ever having an education, and people will be dying from foreclosure-induced stress, and toothaches.

    Of course, not all will be affected, some will continue to be able to continue masturbating over their keyboards.

    But, imagining that you did care about those other people, what strategy might actually result in the injection of that money? Be creative, but it must work, you must be able to describe how it will come into being, step by step, without using magic steps.

  358. 358
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Yeah. You munch on the bones of those dead you fucking scumbag.
    They were delivering aid and supplies and the Israeli Govt dropped paras on board in full dark to stop them.
    Fuck you, you monster.

  359. 359
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    you’re a liar, plain and simple.

    I do, however, LOVE that you’re modeling yourself on toko-loko by calling me a crone. Desperate flailing much?

    Childish as she is, toko has one advantage you sorely lack: a thick skin. It is always so VERY obvious when someone has gotten under your tissue-thin one.

  360. 360
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: Well, my first task would have not been extending the Bush Tax Cuts, and depriving the Federal Govt of that revenue.

  361. 361
    Mino says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield: This.

    Passing legislation is not the goal. Solving the problem is the goal.

    Driving down the goverment’s cost in the market seems to have been the goal. Getting people healthcare–not so much.

  362. 362
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @eemom:

    In that case you’ll have to stop whining your butthurt over Cole until you settle the score with your own long past due apologies, starting with the one you’ve owed me since the BBC

    Stop right there. I know a little about BBC and if you just relax and take it slowly, there will be no butthurt. In fact, just the opposite, according to Ginni.
    .
    .

  363. 363
    kay says:

    Mino, of course they are at risk. Everything is at risk, always.
    I still do not understand why every liberal argument has to be fear-based.

  364. 364
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: You are completely in the wrong here. Period.
    The people on board had no defense against Israeli Para with fully auto weapons.
    Tell us they did. Please. They had semi-auto? They had grenades? They had flash bangs? They had body armor?
    Come on, tell us what they had to defend themselves.

  365. 365
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    rant on, sicko liar.

    Like you give a shit about Palestinian babies, or anybody else except your own pathetic self.

  366. 366
    Mino says:

    Except Bernie Sanders, to his everlasting credit.

  367. 367
    srv says:

    Cheney comes out for Hitlery.

    Let’s now have a thread comparing hippies to Dick.

  368. 368
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Laughable coming from a pro-Palestinian baby killer like you.

  369. 369
    Corner Stone says:

    Munch munch munch

  370. 370
    Jeebus effin'... says:

    Okay, let’s tally up the last three years:

  371. 371
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “gotcha last” is all you got, so be my guest, loser.

  372. 372
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Munch munch munch.

  373. 373
    Corner Stone says:

    I fucking love that Atrios is slapping Jon Chait’s balls on this pathetic article.
    I’m sure that will give Flip some third party wood or something.
    But Cole, you’re a fucking moron.

  374. 374
    Corner Stone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And I expect an apology shortly.

    Any day now John Galt Cole.

  375. 375
    Mino says:

    I still do not understand why every liberal argument has to be fear-based.


    Generalize much?
    Oh, you mean…
    Vote for Obama; Rick Perry will eat yur first born.
    Sorry, but you walked into that.

    Well, hell, the italicized are reversed. How did I do that?

  376. 376
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @Mino:
    Yeah, and it’s not even going to do a very good job at that. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that from 2015-19, national health expenditures will grow at a rate of 6.7% — compared to the 6.8% that it projected without the PPACA. And that’s if everything goes to plan. Handing the exchanges over to states run by a bunch of lunatics does not seem to have been a particularly forward-thinking strategy.

  377. 377
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield: I’d rather prop up a rotten system than let it crash in the hopes that a better one will emerge. The problem with HCR, and why it never worked before, is that everyone hates their insurance company but no one wants to lose their coverage. So you have to come up with more and more roundabout ways not to freak out the people you’re trying to help. A lot of politics is like that. I know that the mortgage interest deduction is lousy policy, but if someone tries to take it away, I’m going to throw a hypersonic tantrum, because I bought this house with that policy in mind and I don’t have extra money lying around to make up for the shift.

  378. 378
    boss bitch says:

    Hillary would have been a better president. Dick Cheney just said she would have been easier to work with.

    Can’t beat that endorsement.

  379. 379
    kay says:

    Mino, the GOP House cut Sanders’ CHC funding.
    It’s at risk.
    It will always be at risk, as long as there is a GOP.
    Should we sell that fear, or sell the health centers?
    Which approach would be more productive, given that we want more health centers?

  380. 380
    Jeebus effin'... says:

    Okay, let’s tally up the last three years:

    Liberals wanted a big, wasteful, intrusive government HCR bill; pragmatic insiders wanted a technically complex bill operating mainly through mechanisms that people didn’t like (the mandate) or didn’t understand (the exchanges) and in any event don’t come online until 2014…

    Liberals wanted a big, bloated kitchen-sink of a stimulus bill; pragmatic insiders insisted that $700 bn was all they could pass (at the same time as $425 bn in state-level budget cuts, btw)…

    Liberals (at least the wonkier ones) wanted Treasury to make capital injections in exchange for equity stakes in failing investment banks (cough cough, BofA and Citi); pragmatic insiders insisted on stress tests and using TARP funds to lift toxic assets from the banks’ balance sheets…

    Pragmatic insiders won all three of those fights, and not one of those judgments looks particularly deft now. But you’re probably right: It’s all liberals fault, again.

    Hey, after Bush and Iraq and the ’04 primaries and Dean’s 50-state strategy, we’re plenty used to getting shat on. But come on: You do realize that this routine has gotten pretty ridiculous, right?

  381. 381
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag:

    i get that the mild center is very comfortable and that the warm loving embrace of a big daddy

    I also get that the interwebs are full of big-talking wannabe tough guys who desperately want to prove how cool they turned out to be and egg each other on to higher and higher heights of fake “lefty” outrage.

  382. 382
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @kay:

    I still do not understand why every liberal argument has to be fear-based.

    What kind of argument states that there will be downside whatsoever by not adopting its recommendations? And if there is no downside to be “feared” then why make the argument?
    .
    .

  383. 383
    empty says:

    @Another Bob: And when Jon Chait was arguing for invading Iraq, John Cole was with him then as well. Great minds, and all that.

  384. 384
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sebastian Dangerfield:

    Some of those variables are particularly, um variable—feckless bribe-mongers like Landrieu come to mind. Some might have been swayed by, say, holding a committee chairmanship

    They did that. They offered Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu specific perks. Then the prog-o-sphere whined about _that_ too. The prog-o-sphere only accepts one tactic: the stick. No carrot is ever defensible.

  385. 385
    Corner Stone says:

    @empty:

    And when Jon Chait was arguing for invading Iraq, John Cole was with him then as well. Great minds, and all that.

    Yep, Cole’s political acumen is legendary.

  386. 386
    Mino says:

    @kay: Well, the House cut it. Contrary to what some say, I know that the Senate must sign off, too, for it to pass.

    Why don’t you believe me when I say I want HCR to work? I’m just trying to be realistic about it. Why do you think that is fear mongering?

  387. 387
    boss bitch says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yep, Cole’s political acumen is legendary.

    that’s lame. even for you.

  388. 388
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @boss bitch:

    Hillary would have been a better president. Dick Cheney just said she would have been easier to work with. Can’t beat that endorsement.

    Yes, Dick Cheney is well known for the accuracy of his predictions, as well as for his refusal to make self-serving comments for public consumption. Can’t beat your endorsement of his skills in these areas.

    Also too, President Obama said that his savvy businessman friends on Wall Street totally deserved their bonuses after their total business fail in the American version of the free market economy.
    .
    .

  389. 389
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek:

    they’re dilettantes, angry that they don’t understand the rules, and have found an audience of people who love to hear them complain.

    I don’t think that’s quite it. But it’s definitely a lot of people completely enraptured by the idea of “toughness” and confidence and who imagine themselves as people who can scare a whole room into nervous quiet with a squint and a clenched-teeth “Fuck You.” And on the internet, that’s who they’ve pretended to become. In the meatworld, they’re a lot of squeaky-voiced ectomorphs like Adam Green, Markos Moulitsas, and David Sirota.

  390. 390
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch: What the fuck you got to say about it? Fuck you.

  391. 391
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jeebus effin’…: You do realize that the 50-state strategy involved electing a hell of a lot of conservative Democrats, I hope, and was engineered by the guy who specifically said he wanted the Democratic party to be the party for guys with Confederate flag stickers on their pickups. That wasn’t a liberal strategy at all. It was a successful strategy for Democrats, but as a strategy for _liberals_, it only fit the bill insofar as a coalition between moderate-to-conservative Democrats and liberal Democrats is good for liberals, which I believe, but the rest of your statements suggest you don’t.

  392. 392
    Corner Stone says:

    @boss bitch:

    Hillary would have been a better president. Dick Cheney just said she would have been easier to work with.
    __
    Can’t beat that endorsement.

    So you’re taking a Cheney endorsement when it suits you, eh?
    Sounds about right for you.

  393. 393
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I fucking love that Atrios is slapping Jon Chait’s balls on this pathetic article.

    Calling him “Wanker of the Day” and linking to a pointless FDL post? I wonder how long Chait will be pissing blood after such a vigorous internet thrashing.

  394. 394
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @boss bitch: I’m tempted to revisit some of my old favorite PUMA blogs to see if they’re trumpeting this as proof they were right all along

  395. 395
    cleek says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    we have a winner

  396. 396
    Jeebus effin'... says:

    @JohnCole:

    The fact that I’m capable of recognizing Obama is hamstrung by reality doesn’t make me a bad Democrat. The fact that you think FIGHTING and losing battles is somehow more effective and noble than cutting deals and winning is your problem, not mine.

    Sigh. There are two ideas in here that are actually really worth unpacking and talking through, but they’re wrapped up pretty tightly in some emotional rhetoric.

    Let’s take the second one first. It’s easy to dismiss more ambitious/liberal Democrats of being blind to practical constraints. It’s a real and legitimate concern. The problem with it is that it’s a seductive rationalization for some bad habits, particularly settling for easy but insufficient victories in battles that don’t wind up to winning the whole war. Maybe the administration’s liberal critics really are unwilling to pick battles that can be won; it seems to me equally plausible, though, that the administration is afraid of any battle that might be lost.

    This feeds into the larger point: Anyone who dismisses any and all criticism of the president from the left side as evidence of this kind of blindness is really just being obnoxious. There’s a cult of savviness that infects a lot of American political commentary, to its detriment, that goes along the lines of “well, these people won an election, so they must be very smart when it comes to politics, therefore whatever decisions they make must be informed by highly sophisticated understanding of the political realities.” Surely sometimes that is true, perhaps even a lot of the time; I’ll be the first to admit that most of the people working in the White House are very smart, likely far smarter than I am. So they’re probably making a lot of these calls right.

    But play out the whole game in your head and see if that logic makes sense. Obama swept into office with the biggest congressional majorities since what, the post-Watergate election? Two years later, that majority was lost in another historic wave election, and the Fed is now predicting 9% unemployment at the end of 2012—a statistic that is entirely inconsistent with Barack Obama being reelected.

    Does that make sense? That with those numbers, the Obama Administration really did all that it could—just in order to face almost certain electoral defeat? Take into account all the intangible advantages, too (Obama’s personal approval ratings; favorable contrast with his immediate predecessor; perception that the size of the nation’s challenges were great and requiring serious effort; a legislative opposition that made their tactics immediately clear), and the implication of that view seems really, really depressing: It seems to imply that the American political system is actually incapable of resolving problems on the scale of durable health care reform or the present economic slump. Which is terrifying, because those problems are really clear-and-present-danger kind of things, the sorts of thing that if you don’t solve them, the country kind of doesn’t have a long-term future.

    I mean, maybe you’re right, and these are hard questions. Maybe the administration did the most it possibly could. But it’s kind of dishonest not to report that conclusion in full: “The Obama administration did everything that was possible, namely entrench a decade- or decades-long depression and tinker with the health care industry but largely fail to arrest the rate by which it is bankrupting the country.”

  397. 397
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s just as “awesome” as Cole claiming it as gospel.
    I know you have a problem seeing the difference. It’s ok.

  398. 398
    J says:

    @Another Bob: All praise to this and other comments, Another Bob. To the extent I understand what a ‘firebagger’ is supposed to be, I seriously doubt whether there are more than a tiny handful of people who answer to the description of the firebaggers who are routinely denounced on this blog.

  399. 399
    cleek says:

    the self-proclaimed liberal base is gonna love President Perry. they’re gonna be able to whine and cry and wail and moan for 24*365*4 hours. that’ll prove how liberal they really are.

  400. 400
    Jeebus effin'... says:

    @FlipYrWhig (#389)

    Ehh… fair point, and maybe I should have left that example out. I’m a fan of Howard Dean, though, and still sore about all the collective eyerolling he got in ’06 for the strategy by the same people taking credit for it in ’07 (okay, that was just Carville, but still).

    And say it did lead to conservative Dems getting elected (they aren’t our problem anymore, that’s for sure). A priori, it doesn’t seem that given these two possibilities:

    A) 51% majority comprised of all stout liberals, or
    B) 55% majority comprised of 51% stout liberals and 4% conservative Dems

    … that (B) is really worse. It might lead to suboptimal outcomes, but it kind of depends on what you choose to do with that legislative majority, not with inherent constraints of the majority itself. Which strikes me as Rahm Emmanuel’s problem and not Pelosi’s or Dean’s.

  401. 401
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek:

    we have a winner

    Oh thank God!

  402. 402
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek:

    the self-proclaimed liberal base is gonna love President Perry. they’re gonna be able to whine and cry and wail and moan for 24*365*4 hours. that’ll prove how liberal they really are.

    I’m sure you’d find some way to rationalize His choices. It’s what you’re best at.

  403. 403
    NR says:

    @cleek: Actually, it’s looking more and more like Obama is the one who really wants a President Perry. After all, he’s the one acting in a way that’s most likely to give us that outcome.

  404. 404
    cleek says:

    @Jeebus effin’…:

    Does that make sense? That with those numbers, the Obama Administration really did all that it could—-just in order to face almost certain electoral defeat?

    sounds more like it might have done more than it could. maybe the public wasn’t ready for so much of what he did.

    think of what liberals would be saying if the parties were reversed. they’d be calling 2010 “backlash”.

    yes, i realize that doesn’t fit the self-proclaimed liberal base’s preferred narrative (you know, the one where Obama is weak and ineffectual and that’s why people turned on him despite a rather historic run of legislative accomplishments).

  405. 405
    J says:

    @Jeebus effin’…: Well said! It’s hard to see how your sentiments, which are like those of most people I know, can be dismissed as the ravings of an out of touch utopian who will brook no compromise and will always make the better the enemy of the good.

  406. 406
    NR says:

    @cleek:

    sounds more like it might have done more than it could. maybe the public wasn’t ready for so much of what he did.

    The public wanted a health care bill that was significantly to the left of what Obama gave us. The public wanted the Bush tax cuts for the rich ended, not extended.

    The idea that the 2010 elections happened because Obama forced too much liberal policy on the country is a right-wing meme with no basis in reality. So I guess it’s not surprising to see it parroted here.

  407. 407
    Corner Stone says:

    @NR:

    The idea that the 2010 elections happened because Obama forced too much liberal policy on the country is a right-wing meme with no basis in reality. So I guess it’s not surprising to see it parroted here.

    Only by those with a need to rationalize away decisions made.
    Ouch.

  408. 408
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The public wanted a health care bill that was significantly to the left of what Obama gave us.

    Then there must be dozens of examples of Congresscritters and Senators who lost in 2010 for opposing that bill, and/or dragging it to the right. Could you point to them? Or, one of them?

  409. 409
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They did that. They offered Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu specific perks. Then the prog-o-sphere whined about that too. The prog-o-sphere only accepts one tactic: the stick. No carrot is ever defensible.

    With respect (and with apologies for the sentence fragments in my hastily scribbled comment), they did not offer these sweeteners in aid of a good health care bill, they offered them at the end of the process to get Nelson and Landrieu to vote for the POS Wellpoint wish-list that emerged from Baucus’s shop. Which is to say they wasted the bribes that they ended up having to pay regardless. Nelson and Landrieu were not holding out because of any principles, they just decided to play Queen for a Day. I don’t think that demonstrates that they could not have been convinced to vote for a better bill (with the very same bribes). Of course, no pressure was brought to bear on Lieberman, which is a crying shame.

    I’m definitely not saying that it’s clear that a substantially more progressive bill could have been accomplished. I remain agnostic on that front. But I’m quite sure that that wasn’t tried. And, if the choice truly was between enacting the PPACA in the form it took — with the massive, draining expenditure of political capital it involved — and not taking on that fight, I think it was not worth taking on. Getting even incremental reform right is critical.

    Earlier, you offer what I believe to be a false dilemma–i.e., “I’d rather prop up a rotten system than let it crash in the hopes that a better one will emerge.” There is a world of possibilities between the PPACA and “letting the system crash.” And, given the meager projected cost-savings, I don’t think that the PPACA comes close to avoiding the eventual crash in any event. Even if all goes to plan, the projected slowing of health-care expenditure growth is extremely modest. The PPACA largely just shifts those costs around (much of it in the form of paying out tax money to private insurance giants). Indeed, although I may have been too oblique, my comment was intended to suggest that propping up an unsustainable system is bound to have the opposite result (cf. propping up the banksters).

  410. 410
    wrb says:

    @Jeebus effin’…:

    sigh

    Sounding rather full of yourself there.

    But I’d rather not unpack it.

    The worms wriggling on the surface are plenty creepy.

  411. 411
    NR says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: As I said previously: The 2010 election results were the predictable result of a shitty economy.

    Doesn’t change the fact that poll after poll showed that the public wanted more progressive policy than what Obama gave us.

  412. 412
    wrb says:

    @NR:

    You have no responsibility, you never have, you never will, you may skip and twirl.

    Because contemplating the alternative might be painful.

    If you cared about those hurt.

  413. 413
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    Minos, I think relentless and unceasing negativity is bad politics. I love community health centers. I relied on one, once, for a pregnancy. I will never forget it.
    Can you tell me why liberals aren’t selling the massive increase in funding for CHC that’s contained within the PPACA?
    Do we want less funding? Less public support? Is that it?
    If Republicans had passed a bill that put health centers in underserved communities, they would be celebrating that thing, and selling it 24/7.
    The PPACA is the biggest expansion of a public health program since S-CHIP (the Medicaid portions). That ALONE should make it a no-brainer for liberals.
    Want more of that? Don’t trash it. Take the wins in the bill and build on them. Hate the exchanges? Fine.
    Sell the liberal parts. Make them less “at risk” by making them popular with the public.

  414. 414
    the fenian says:

    Come on, John. Chait’s bit about how “everybody” thought the stimulus was “mindbogglingly huge” is mindbogglingly stupid.

  415. 415
    NR says:

    @wrb: And now I see that you’re not only detached from reality, but from coherence as well. Okay then.

  416. 416
    Mino says:

    @kay: Frankly, in today’s environment, I think they are afraid to bring up the subject for fear it will get more Republican attention. After all, we almost had Medicare buy-in, if Leiberman hadn’t realized liberals were excited about it. It’s amazing how openly petty everything has become and how unembarrassed anyone is by it.
    But you know, Americans have proven over and over again, that fear is an effective goad.

  417. 417
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mino:

    After all, we almost had Medicare buy-in, if Leiberman hadn’t realized liberals were excited about it.

    Eh, I doubt it. If Lieberman hadn’t killed it, one of the others would have.

  418. 418
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    Hah! Maybe. We worked on S-CHIP expansion locally. We made calls and such. I followed the ups and downs, the hair-raising veto, the whole drama.
    It was considered this huge win for liberals, at the time. A big expansion of a public health care program, ie: Medicaid. Most kids in the US had access to health care.
    Imagine my surprise, then, when 3 years later a further massive expansion of Medicaid is considered a brutal loss?
    Medicaid sucks now? We better tell all those parents and children who got it through S-CHIP expansion. In 2006, we were selling it as a wonderful program for middle class families. Which it is. People love S-CHIP.
    Medicaid itself polls well. Remember when the media personalities were shocked when the poll came out that MOST people know someone on Medicaid and they value the program? That’s because none of THEM know someone on Medicaid :)
    Anyway, nice to go around on this with you. Have a good rest of the weekend.

  419. 419
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: Dude, you’re twirling out into drunken Stuck space now.
    Wow.
    If English isn’t your first language that’s cool and all but your last few posts have been really creepy.

  420. 420
    dogwood says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, my first task would have not been extending the Bush Tax Cuts, and depriving the Federal Govt of that revenue.

    Fair enough. So were you willing to give up the repeal of DADT, the Start Treaty, and extended unemployment insurance to reach that outcome?

  421. 421
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes. “One of the others”. The un named “others”. Who would’ve killed it. Because of course.

  422. 422
    Mino says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, by that time, they were tag-teaming, weren’t they.

  423. 423
    Corner Stone says:

    @dogwood:

    So were you willing to give up the repeal of DADT, the Start Treaty, and extended unemployment insurance to reach that outcome?

    You’re making an argument in isolation. But, WTS, DADT hasn’t been implemented to date, no one gives a fucking shit about START, and UI was not extended for the 99’ers in any event.

  424. 424
    doofus says:

    I am not very smart. I read all 420 comments on this wreck of a thread and lost 20 IQ points. I’ll be off drooling in a corner if anybody needs me.

  425. 425
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    In all fairness, you can’t spell “EXECRABLE GRIFTER” without “ABL”.
    .
    .

  426. 426
    LT says:

    And yes, there is magical thinking on the left. Hell, you don’t have to look any farther than last weeks two minutes of Obama hate because the AG and someone in the administration were pressuring Schniederman in NY to drop his case against the banksters. The very same manic progressives who’ve spent the last 3 years screaming about the bully pulpit and asking “Why doesn’t Obama just tell people to do stuff” didn’t seem to notice that Schniederman said fuck you to Holder and the other clown. They were too busy cheering him for standing up to Obama. It didn’t once fucking register that “Hey- maybe Obama can’t just tell people to do shit!”

    That is so wrongheaded. The bully pulpit isn’t about telling people to do stuff. Especially not AGs. That’s just nuts. (I see that you’ve equated it higher up inthe paragraph, but it still makes no sense.)

  427. 427
    Corner Stone says:

    @doofus: Nobody will. But thanks.

  428. 428
    kay says:

    We also sold Medicad expansion as a huge and benefocial thing in 2006, with S CHIP expansion.
    Now, suddenly Medicaid sucks and is meaningless.
    Which is incoherent and nonsensical.
    It was progressive policy in 2006. Why is it bad in 2011?

  429. 429
    dogwood says:

    @NR:

    Doesn’t change the fact that poll after poll showed that the public wanted more progressive policy than what Obama gave us.

    Congress makes the laws. And your repeated reference to poll after poll is misleading. Roughly 20% of voters are ideological voters. Another share are party loyalists, followed by sign of the times voters, the no issue content voters and the single issue crowd. . Outside of the ideological group and the single issue folks, the other groups do not vote based on policy preferences. I wish they did, but they don’t.

  430. 430
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Grifters gotta grift. And shit.

  431. 431
    LT says:

    A missing part of this discussion is how John and so many others have turned “They didn’t have the 60 votes needed!” into reality. The unprecedented – hugely – use of the invisible filibuster tactic needed to be hammered with a baseball bat, publicly and loudly, until it was dead. But it wasn’t. It was simply accepted by the Obama squad and saying “They don’t have the 60 votes!” became so normal that John can write it without even noticing how awful it is.

    I remember an article that showed a bunch of Bush votes – really controversial votes – that were passed with 51, 52, 54, votes.

  432. 432
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Perhaps English isn’t you first language.

    Put less playfully: you deny responsibility for the damage you do.

    as, to locate the previous imagery, a vaguer hippy chick might, who based her self-conception on a few snapshots of Izzie Duncan, dancing while dressed in sheets.

  433. 433
    Yutsano says:

    I just came over to peek at the thread count. Carry on.

  434. 434
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: Argle bargle mcargle!! Booyah mcboo!!

    Nobody knows what you’re talking about tax cut boy. And maybe you should change the “you” to “your”.

  435. 435
    Mino says:

    @kay: I think the polls have shook them up. Insanity is looking better than the present course to a lot of voters.
    And if Obama presents a government-subsidized intern program as his jobs program, batshit won’t describe it.

  436. 436
    LT says:

    @DaveA:

    There are “never 50 votes, much less 60 votes” for anything in the Senate; unless, an issue is advocated and fought for. With this type of reasoning we would not have the Voting Rights Act,Civil Rights Act, or much of anything because self styled pragmatist would have dismissed them as “magical thinking”.

    Damn right.

  437. 437
    dogwood says:

    @LT:

    I remember an article that showed a bunch of Bush votes – really controversial votes – that were passed with 51, 52, 54, votes.

    Oh for heaven’s sake. You don’t need 60 votes to pass a bill; you only need a simple majority. You need 60 votes to end debate and bring the bill to the floor. Of course Bush got bills passed with a simple majority, because Dems. didn’t filibuster every bill. It has been common practice until recently for a Senator to vote for cloture and then vote against the bill when it comes to the floor. Those days are gone. If engaged Democrats are really this clueless about the process then there’s really a problem in America.

  438. 438
    Mino says:

    And the Senate has had opportunities to fix the situation. That only required 51 votes. Wonder why they haven’t?

  439. 439
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @dogwood:
    Bush’s tax cut package, a hugely controversial piece of legislation, was passed through reconciliation by a simple majority.

  440. 440
    LT says:

    @dogwood: You’re right – the Bush vote thing passing makes no sense. I’m sorry about that.

    The point I was trying to make still stands. They should have fought the inviisble filibuster much more aggressively, and the call for “They didn’t have 60 votes!” should not be part of normal argument.

  441. 441
    J says:

    @dogwood: This post has got to be one of the worst examples of selective quotation I’ve ever seen. Most of LT’s post (@428) is about the filibuster, how disgraceful it’s routinization by the Republicans is and how it was a major failing on the part of Obama and the dems not to make a big issue of this change. If you don’t think that there is anything Obama and the dems could have done, say so, but don’t pretend (“Oh for heaven’s sake”) that LT doesn’t realize that the filibuster is the problem.

  442. 442
    The Oracle says:

    All of this is so much talk, folks.

    Capitalism is ultimately unsustainable because to increase demand through a consumer society furthers resource depletion and in turn global warming, as some of those resources are turned into dangerous carbons. To save the planet and the ecosystem, we must kill capitalism. Perhaps the US economic crisis is a blessing in disguise.

  443. 443
    J says:

    @LT: I think you’re too quick to apologize. Sure it makes sense. In the context of your original post it shows that before the incredibly recent and all too complacently accepted all filibuster all the time strategy of the Republicans, bills–controversial ones–frequently passed with slim majorities.

  444. 444
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:
    It is your amazing and radical denial of responsibility for anything you do or say that I find both interesting, and worthy of mockery.

    You are important, yet have no effect, (exit polls prove it!)

    So you deserve no blame.

    What a blissful state.

  445. 445
    LT says:

    @J: Thanks. It was a dumb thing for me to add the Bush votes without mentioning htat they didn’t face filibusters, so it’s alright.

  446. 446
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: I want some of what you’re mainlining.

  447. 447
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Corner Stone:

    @wrb: I want some of what you’re mainlining.

    Corner, I advise you as a friend to NEVER ask for what Ginni is smoking.
    .
    .

  448. 448
    CaliCat says:

    Chait points out that liberals don’t understand that there are three seperate, coequal branches of govenment. He’s not being facetious or using hyperole. HE MEANS THIS LITERALLY.

    The PL and firebaggers really are this dumb.

  449. 449
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Now you’re just being selfish. Puff, puff, give!

  450. 450
    Corner Stone says:

    @CaliCat: Wow. Who knew this hyperole tidbit?

  451. 451
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT:

    The unprecedented – hugely – use of the invisible filibuster tactic needed to be hammered with a baseball bat, publicly and loudly, until it was dead.

    You know who likes filibusters and doesn’t want to give them up? Nearly all senators. They don’t want to hammer it with a baseball bat, because they like it, and want to be able to use it later. Even if they don’t use it later because by the time it happens they’ve rediscovered that it’s uncivil for a Democrat to thwart a Republican, the point is, they’re not giving it up. That’s the problem with this analysis. Obama could highlight all kinds of things going wrong in the Congress. But a lot of the people acting most counterproductively in Congress are Democrats. And when Obama refers to “Washington” and “Congress,” the prog-o-sphere gets mad about that too, even though it’s true, and the problem isn’t only Republicans, the problem is also Democrats who abet Republicans procedurally and ideologically.

  452. 452
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You know who likes filibusters and doesn’t want to give them up? Nearly all senators. They don’t want to hammer it with a baseball bat, because they like it, and want to be able to use it later.

    that never – ever – stopped a politician from attacking something.

  453. 453
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Corner Stone:

    Now you’re just being selfish. Puff, puff, give!

    No, no, and no. You see, she’s smoking a fine BBC – a Big, Black… Cigar. Now, eemom was asking about getting a pull on that, on another thread, though…
    .
    .

  454. 454
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And when Obama refers to “Washington” and “Congress,” the prog-o-sphere gets mad about that too

    Jesus christ. Are you serious? He’s a Dem. He actually is on one of the teams. That is just fucking stupid beyond measure.

  455. 455
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @J:

    before the incredibly recent and all too complacently accepted all filibuster all the time strategy of the Republicans, bills—controversial ones—frequently passed with slim majorities.

    True. And that’s because conservative Democrats get cold feet about filibustering when they could actually do it (remember the whole Gang of 14 thing?) because Republicans start stomping their little feet about the need for Up Or Down Votes, so they don’t do it. But they also like the idea of having the power to do it for some kind of cataclysmic future event, so they don’t want to give it up. I agree that the abuse of the filibuster is an under-appreciated reason why politics has gotten so stupid and frustrating, but I also understand that senators are not in the habit of giving up their superpowers, which is why structural reforms are both imperative and virtually impossible.

  456. 456
    jacksmith says:

    REALITY!!

    ( http://my.firedoglake.com/ifli.....alth-care/ )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculator.....lator.html )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )

    START NOW!

    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.

    Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

    Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  457. 457
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And the Repub use of teh filibuster was absolutely unprecedented. The dems had never done that. So there would be no contradiction or cross purposes in going after that.

  458. 458
    LT says:

    And not to fucking mention what this does to the image and actual power of the EPA.

  459. 459

    […] John Cole: Chait is pretty much correct. The only thing he does not touch on is the idiotic public option debate, where we all get to relive the joyous occasion of the screamers claiming Obama strangled the public option to death in the crib (JUST ASK JOE LIEBERMAN!) while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes. […]

  460. 460
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What argument are you actually making here?

  461. 461
    Corner Stone says:

    @LT: Don’t worry about the EPA. After Obama is re-elected he will totally 1UP the EPA to like green wizard status and shit.

  462. 462
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: Wait. So you know that one of the reasons why Obama policies have been worse than they could have been is the influence of people like Ben Nelson, and I know that too, and we also both know that reducing the influence of Ben Nelson would be a great thing, but Obama isn’t allowed to make a structural critique about broken process, even though the process is clearly broken. That’s surreal.

    Republicans have done unprecedented things in the service of obstructing Obama. That is true. But Obama has also been sandbagged and undercut repeatedly by Democrats, from Bart Stupak to Heath Shuler to Claire McCaskill to Ben Nelson and that’s naming only a tiny handful. I think it’s absolutely fair to say that “Washington” and “Congress” are fucking up. That includes things like failing to reform internal and structural matters like the filibuster and “holds.” Obama doesn’t enumerate those things as problems with “Washington” and “Congress,” but I don’t doubt he’s thinking about them.

  463. 463
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, yeah, there is that.

    And all these fuckers going “In 2013″… like they know that reelection is a done deal. Brilliant.

  464. 464
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT:

    So there would be no contradiction or cross purposes in going after that.

    Who is the subject of the verb in your statement? Is Obama supposed to go after that, or are Democrats supposed to go after that? Either way, the reason why is the same, and it’s that there’s not enough support for structural reforms of senators’ powers, as we saw when various proposals to change filibuster rules and supermajority requirements were repeatedly defeated. A better-functioning political system wouldn’t have these stupid features in it. But when the task becomes taking the stupid features _out_, suddenly defenders come out of the woodwork.

  465. 465
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think it’s absolutely fair to say that “Washington” and “Congress” are fucking up.

    Absolutely fucking wrong. 100% wrong. He is the LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Are you fucking serious? I honest to god can not believe you are saying this.

  466. 466
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: As usual my argument is that something stupid that currently exists in politics usually turns out to have a lot of defenders, so instead of wanking over how it’s stupid, it would behoove us to figure out ways of overcoming those defenders. I mean, the whole notion of the senate is stupid to begin with, and the filibuster is just asinine, much less the silent filibuster. For that matter, the whole idea that Washington DC doesn’t have representatives in Congress is ludicrous. So what’s the thing to do with our perceptions that these things are stupid? Congratulate ourselves for how long ago or how quickly we realized the stupidity? Or try to figure out ways to reverse them, knowing that being right is no guarantee of getting our way?

    Way too much of the blogosphere is dedicated to things that might as well be saying “Frist” on the old, non-insane FDL: you try to be the fastest one to declare how much something sucks. Great. How do we un-suck it, though? Millions of people reading thousands of blogs, and how many ever even attempt to get to that point? Extremely few.

  467. 467
    licensed to kill time says:

    what a goddamned exhausting thread to read.

    best thing about it was the little picture of pie in UCT’s last comment – very cool, cleek!

  468. 468
    LosGatosCA says:

    @boss bitch:

    You might need to replace your sarcasm detector. If you have one.

  469. 469
    cleek says:

    @NR:
    if you pray hard enough, maybe your wish will come true.

  470. 470
    cleek says:

    @licensed to kill time:
    :)
    glad you liked it. it’s my favorite, too.

  471. 471
    Kane says:

    @Another Bob:

    Perhaps if the Obots would only punch the hippies harder they could really lock-in that Obama 2012 victory. Clearly more desperate, flailing apologies and pejorative-laced anti-firebagger diatribes are needed to make the hippies finally see the truth.

    @Another Bob:

    Just be honest: a “firebagger” is anyone who expresses discontent with Obama and thereby provokes the ire of an Obama supporter.

    @Another Bob:

    You know, I’m confused about who these “firebaggers” really are. Do they exist in the real world, or are they like unicorns to Obots, i.e. a whimsical fantasy to enhance the joys of magical thinking? Maybe what we need is a field guide to the different sub-species of progressives—firebaggers, hippies, emo-progs, “Elementary school rapists baggers” (h/t Corner Stone)—so we can be more precise about who they are, how many there are, and why anyone should give a shit about such silly classifications.

    @Another Bob:

    All along, I’ve been thinking that I was a pretty middle-of-the-road liberal who voted for Clinton and then chose Gore over Nader. But what if it turns out to be like “The Sixth Sense” where I find out at the end of the movie that I was an “emo-bagger” all along?

    Do you see what you did there?

  472. 472
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: He’s the leader of a Democratic party that, as we’ve hashed out repeatedly on post after post, thread after thread, fucks with him at every opportunity. He _does_ call out Republicans. He also, and in my view rightly, calls out the process. And that’s exactly what we’re talking about here. The process blows. It seems kind of weird for you to rule that out of bounds.

    I’m not saying that he should _only_ say that “Washington” is at fault. I’m saying it doesn’t bother me a bit to say _both_ that Republicans are at fault, and the fucked-up institutions and procedures that both parties contributed to building are _also_ at fault. “Congress” really does suck, and no one would have a better story to tell about that than a liberal Democratic member of the House between 2009 and 2011, who watched a squishy risk-averse Senate ruled _by the same party_ piss all over everything they did.

    And, frankly, if Senate Democrats are going to keep dragging their feet and singing from ten different hymnals and generally making Obama’s life difficult, I think they deserve to get slapped with a little guilt-by-association as cogs in a fucked-up wheel called “Congress.”

  473. 473
    cleek says:

    @Mino:

    I think the polls have shook them up. Insanity is looking better than the present course to a lot of voters.

    roughly half of all people are of below average intelligence.

  474. 474
    J says:

    @FlipYrWhig: V. likely, though I’m not sure, and it might have been worth a try,

    In any case, I think the point that LT (to whose cause I seem to be rallying tonight) was making was that they–the Dems–failed by not screaming bloody murder about the misuse, abuse, excessive unprecedented use–call it what you will–of the filibuster. Though I’d favor reform reducing the power of the filibuster or, perhaps, even eliminating it, it’s not necessarily inconsistent to hold that (a) there should be a right to filibuster (b) it should be exercised rarely and in extreme cases. Correct me if I’m wrong, but ancient (i.e., about three years ago) CW used to be that the fear of public opprobrium would keep the parties from abusing the filibuster. Well we all know what became of that. And if the Republicans deserve the lion’s share of the blame, the failure of Obama and the Dems to make an issue of it is maddening. As we debate about how to divide the blame between the Republicans, on the one hand, and Obama and the Dems, on the other, and how to divide their share between the latter two, we mustn’t forget the ladies and gentlemen of the press whose complete incapacity to do their job or worse has shielded the Republicans’ shameless abuse of the filibuster, among so many other malefactions, from public view.

  475. 475
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Your argument is something stupid.
    Thanks.

  476. 476
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek:

    roughly half of all people are of below average intelligence.

    Including you cleek.

  477. 477
    Corner Stone says:

    @LosGatosCA: She only has one mode. Boss Bitch term any commenter adverse Obama.

  478. 478
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: “From you! I learned from watching you!”

  479. 479
    licensed to kill time says:

    @cleek: That little pic made me laugh out loud :)

    I resisted your pie filter for a long time because I thought just scrollin’ by was good enough. But I gotta say, some threads just taste better with pie!

  480. 480
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And, frankly, if Senate Democrats are going to keep dragging their feet and singing from ten different hymnals and generally making Obama’s life difficult, I think they deserve to get slapped with a little guilt-by-association as cogs in a fucked-up wheel called “Congress.”

    I agree with this. But not by Obama, publicly. Ever.

  481. 481
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Now that is some classic shit. Kudos.

    [woman opens door to inner closet to reveal man on the floor with a bottle]
    Man: I ain’t got a problem!
    Woman: Just look at yoself!
    Man: I can quit any time!

  482. 482
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @J: But, here’s the thing: “Obama and the Dems” are not a single interest. Anyone who likes the idea of a government being able to legislate and a majority of that legislature being able to govern should, I agree, want to do something about the filibuster. (As I recall Obama mentioned it specifically, at least once near the end of a press conference, but I can’t remember how long ago that happened.) But, as Adlai Stevenson said when told that he had the votes of all thinking people, we need a majority. Then the question becomes, how do you get someone as irksome as Ben Nelson, who enjoys the power he has arising from the filibuster, to give up that power — especially to help out a president who may be from his party but whose views he doesn’t particularly embrace, and whose career will be over sooner than his own? That’s a hard sell. And lofty thinking about better serving the public interest isn’t going to do it.

  483. 483
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @FlipYrWhig:

    He’s the leader of a Democratic party that, as we’ve hashed out repeatedly on post after post, thread after thread, fucks with him at every opportunity.

    Yah, he vas shtabbed in ze back!

    (Completely unlike the way he has treated progressives, liberals, and Democrats. Completely.)
    .
    .

  484. 484
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: I may be projecting a bit, but I think when Obama is picking on “Washington” and “Congress” he’s voicing frustration _with Democrats_, and I like when he does that, especially because his instincts are to be so diplomatic. Yeah, in terms of morale and esprit de corps (sp?) it’s not ideal, but it’s true: so many elected Democrats are just wholly unhelpful. And yet the alternative is so much worse. Bleargh.

  485. 485
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Um, I don’t know why I’m bothering to engage this, but for anyone else’s benefit, IMHO the Democrats who fuck with Obama most significantly are the conservative Democrats especially in the Senate. I was not referring to “firebaggers” or “The Left.”

  486. 486
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    You crazy-ass white firebagger devils need to step back and give President Obama majorities in the House and Senate, and THEN YOU’LL SEE how progressive he is underneath all the internecine squabbling and real-politik capitulations and kow-towing he has been forced to make by Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell. Then you won’t even have to hold his feet to the firebags – you’ll have to hold your breath in awe of this Great and Good Man. C’mon, GET REAL – before it’s too late – and you shall surely reap what you sow!
    .
    .

  487. 487
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @FlipYrWhig:

    IMHO the Democrats who fuck with Obama most significantly are the conservative Democrats especially in the Senate.

    Thanks for the clarification. I concur.
    .
    .

  488. 488
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Uncle Clarence Thomas, there are some days I love you.

  489. 489
    J says:

    @FlipYrWhig: To be sure, but neither are the Dems a single interest group, and Obama and (a lot of) the Dems could have made a big noise. I don’t doubt that O and individual Dems made a little noise now and then, but nothing that isn’t repeated endlessly, constantly driven home, shouted from the rooftops and so on is going to make an impression. If I remember rightly, Ben Nelson is not only in favor of upholding the sacred right to filibuster, but the swine also sometimes voted with Republican against cloture. But though his support and that of others like him might be needed to ‘do something’ about the filbuster if by that you mean, as I think you do, change the rules, surely concerted efforts by other democrats including the president to make a big stink over the routine use of the filibuster were possible without his cooperation. I think my point stands, that in a very short span a tactic that had been relatively rare was transformed by the Republicans into a means to bring the work of the legislative branch to a screaming halt–Mike Lofgren’s comparison of Republican behavior to that of you know which party in the waning days of the Weimar Republic is telling and apt–without paying a price. And a good part of the reason they were able to get away with it is that people who should have been doing their all to make them pay a price by and large sat on their hands.

  490. 490
    NR says:

    @cleek: You mean Obama’s wish.

  491. 491
    dogwood says:

    I remember Dems. like Tester and Manchin voting against cloture on the Dream Act. What’s the point of that? They could have easily voted against the bill when it came to the floor, and if some opponent tried to saddle them with favoring illegal immigration – call them liars. Run an ad with a clip from CSPAN showing your vote against the bill. Let your opponent try to explain cloture to low information voters in a 30 sec. ad. If these guys think their cloture votes on the Dream Act are election deal breakers, then they’re already doomed.

  492. 492
    Mino says:

    @cleek: Did you happen to read the thread that preceeded this one? The one about financial stress causing illness, physical and mental. Suicide on the uptick. But you would call that stupidity, I guess. Weak minds, and all that.

  493. 493
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @J:

    surely concerted efforts by other democrats including the president to make a big stink over the routine use of the filibuster were possible without his cooperation.

    Fair enough, but if the big stink results in stories where a few key Democrats say that they don’t want to mess with the filibuster, then the whole big stink strategy fizzles out, because it becomes clear it’s a complaint that has no possibility of resolution. It’s hard to sustain that. There was actually a boomlet about Senate procedural reforms — was it around the time of the seating of the newly elected Senate in 2009? — with a modicum of media penetration, even, but none of the proposals won out, and then it was gone. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to try to make more of a fuss about it, but I’m not surprised it hasn’t been.

    @dogwood: But that’s just it. When you’re dealing with Democrats you end up with a lot of people who do seemingly inexplicable things in order to pursue what they see as their own self-interest. My point is that finding a way to change that is tremendously difficult. They _could_ do what you suggest, but they won’t. They like it better this other way, even if that way is kind of stupid or too cute by half or overthought or even self-defeating. How do we overcome that? That’s where the “better Democrats” part of the original DailyKos “more and better Democrats” slogan comes in. But improving Democrats is going to take one hell of a captive breeding program.

  494. 494
    dogwood says:

    @J:

    I don’t doubt that O and individual Dems made a little noise now and then, but nothing that isn’t repeated endlessly, constantly driven home, shouted from the rooftops and so on is going to make an impression.

    The problem with repeating this endlessly, is that it is an issue that doesn’t lend itself to sound bites or 30 sec. ads. I taught Government for 35 years and when I’d start to explain the filibuster students’ eyes would glaze over. I’d be surprised if 5% of American voters know what a filibuster is. Democrats need to play the Republican game. Find a catchy handle for filibuster, ignore the nuance and hammer the hell out of it. Most low information voters would think it wrong not to allow Senators to even vote on bills. If I were an incumbent Dem. I’d let the voters know that Reps. won’t let the Senate vote on a jobs bill. Turn their language back on them. Demand an “up or down” vote on jobs.

  495. 495
    The Raven says:

    Shorter Chait, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration: “Hoocodanode.”

  496. 496
    Mino says:

    Democratic Senators wouldn’t even return the filibuster to what it was originally. I think most would respect that. But oh, no, too much like work.

  497. 497
    Another Bob says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas

    You crazy-ass white firebagger devils need to step back and give President Obama majorities in the House and Senate, and THEN YOU’LL SEE how progressive he is underneath all the internecine squabbling and real-politik capitulations and kow-towing he has been forced to make by Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell.

    Come on now. You know that even with a filibuster-proof majority that didn’t include Joe Lieberman, Obama would still be forced by “political reality” to defer to the stain on the seat cushion where Joe Lieberman used to sit.

  498. 498
    boss bitch says:

    @LosGatosCA:

    You might need to replace your sarcasm detector. If you have one.

    I have a snark detector. If I had seen this on another site or my twitter feed I would know immediately that it was snark. This is Balloon Juice. Its front pagers are rational people. some of the readers here – not so much. Besides, I don’t know your comment history here so…..

  499. 499
    test says:

    @KC

    The difference is that most of the things those on the left would want Obama to “barnstorm” about are things that are popular with the public. They’re not at all comparable to Social Security privatization, which was incredibly unpopular.

  500. 500
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Raven:

    Shorter Chait, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration: “Hoocodanode.”

    Too perfect.

  501. 501
    Test says:

    @KC

    The difference is that most of the things those on the left would want Obama to “barnstorm” about are things that are popular with the public. They’re not at all comparable to Social Security privatization, which was incredibly unpopular.

    That’s a common misconception — that “the public” is monolithic. Popularity is not absolute; national popularity does not necessarily translate into local popularity. It’s also a common misconception that our government is directly democratic. If it were, national popularity would be paramount. But, we don’t have a direct-democratic system. We have a representative democracy.

    If more people understood these dynamics, they would understand why the policy outcomes have often looked the way they have.

    Like it or not, Democrats from Arkansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Montana, West Virginia, Virginia, Missouri, etc., have a say in the process. What’s popular nationally, or perhaps more accurately, what runs up the tally in Democratic bastions nationally, doesn’t always play the same way in those areas.

  502. 502
    SFAW says:

    Its front pagers are rational people.

    On what evidence is this “thought” based?

  503. 503
    SFAW says:

    If more people understood these dynamics, they would understand why the policy outcomes have often looked the way they have.

    If more people understood that it’s not just them damn Lieberal New Yorkers (et al.) favoring liberal (or near-liberal) policies, we’d get fewer patronizing comments like this.

    Although rumor has it that when the Repubs take over Legislatures in all 50 states in 2012, the gerrymandering to create 27 Congressional districts of 95-plus-percent-liberal voters. Because “everyone” knows that the other districts will reflect true popular sentiment. Even if there are only 173 voters in those non-liberal districts.

    Oh, but Tip O’Neill said “All politics is local”, so you must be right. I sit corrected.

  504. 504
  505. 505
    SFAW says:

    I don’t know if I should be saddened or incredibly concerned …

    You should probably be grateful that someone had the temerity to call you on your recycled pap, which apparently passes for deep political “thought” in your neck of the woods.

    Although more of the electorate self-identifies as “conservative”, data have shown, repeatedly, that the positions they favor are more liberal than conservative. But the demonization of LLLLLLLLLLLiberals over the past 30+ years has likely led many to respond in the same way the press has – by being afraid that they’ll be called “liberal”. Just because the 27-percenters control the Congressional debate doesn’t mean that they are promulgating policies desired by the majority (or at least plurality) of voters in their own district (or state).

    “Fundamental aspect”? The only “fundamental aspect” is that 95 percent of elected officials will respond to the loudest screamers. (OK, so I’m exaggerating, a little.) The last two years, that’s been the TeaBaggers and their ilk.

  506. 506
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    [I]mproving Democrats is going to take one hell of a captive breeding program.

    +∞
    This really is the nub of the problem, isn’t it? There appear to be two not-mutually-exclusive strategies that make some sense (as opposed to third-party pipe dreams): (1) activists mobilize in large numbers at the gritty, not-terribly glamorous precinct level to promote more progressive candidates (although where they will come from is an anterior problem with no easy solution, as is the problem of mobilizing activists in places like, say, Nebraska), and (b) the Act Blue/Kos/and, yes, FDL model of harnessing small contributions to try to keep any such candidates afloat. This is, of course, a long twilight struggle, and, alas, it’s likely an increasingly futile one in a post-Citizens United world.

    This remains, I think, the best bet, though it’s not a very good bet at all. Working against it are, among other things, a party establishment that does not want to change, a terrible media environment that has yet to be fully pierced by the awesome force of teh internet citizen journalists, and the rising tsunami of corporate “independent” spending. (On this score, I have to count the de-mobilization of OFA as one of the biggest missed opportunities of the Obama presidency.)

    As unattractive as the work-from-the-bottom route is, I suppose it beats waiting around for the force majeure of the depression, the attendant cratering of state and federal revenues, and resultant civil strife to generate a realignment or replacement of the Democratic Party, as there’s no guarantee that any such realignment or replacement would be in a more progressive direction. (For an example of the collapse of an overextended, over-militarized empire that has run its course, followed by painful upheaval and devolution into kelptocratic mafioso-one-party-police state, see entry under Soviet Union, End of.)

    This rather depressing reality makes me sympathetic to Matt Stoller’s frustration — if not with his loopy prescription (if only we had Tom Harkin “shaping the debate” in a contested primary, everyone would see the light!). At all events, I’m quite sure that refraining from criticizing the administration for coming up way short in the policy department (starting too low on a stimulus package, bargaining down and trading away a third of that too-low number for useless tax breaks to win one lousy Republican vote; PPACA; HAMP; embracing Summersism; the disastrous “pivot” to cutting deficit spending only to re-“pivot” to jobs at a point where it’s clear nothing will be done) — and buying into Republican thinking on matters ranging from Teh Deficit (the U.S. Government is just like a family; we must tighten our belt!) to regulations (OMG, “regulatory uncertainty” is killing jobs!) — is not any part of the way forward.

  507. 507
    SFAW says:

    Sebastian –
    Thank you.

  508. 508
    Test says:

    @SFAW

    You should probably be grateful that someone had the temerity to call you on your recycled pap, which apparently passes for deep political “thought” in your neck of the woods.

    Right. I should be absolutely elated and oh so grateful that someone inclined to such statements of self-aggrandizement and rancor would have the “temerity” to set me straight. Thank you kind sir or madam!

    Please do get over yourself.

    Again, I’m not sure what your issue is with my noting that we have a representative democracy and that our political process is inclined to operate rather consistently with that system, but maybe you should figure out why that is so offensive to you.

    And “recycled pap?” Forgive me for being amused that you would lob such criticism while making your trite America-is-secretly-liberal-but-afraid-to-admit-it assertion. Is that the “deep political thought” of which you speak? If so, I’ll stick to my “recycled pap.”

    Regardless, it seems you’ve completely missed the entire point of my initial, ostensibly uncontroversial comment, which is that how these issues play/poll in individual states and districts is of greater concern for members of Congress than how popular they are nationally.

    Yes, it’s a basic, Politics-101, point. But simplicity and veracity aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, and in this instance, they absolutely aren’t.

    By the way, questions of America’s national political bent (e.g., the national polls of ideology) are an orthogonal issue that have no immediate bearing on how individuals represent their districts.

    National opinion/issues polls may be insightful, but they are not determinative and are less consequential than more localized gauges. Once again, that’s my primary point here.

  509. 509
    SFAW says:

    Right. I should be absolutely elated and oh so grateful that someone inclined to such statements of self-aggrandizement and rancor would have the “temerity” to set me straight. Thank you kind sir or madam! Please do get over yourself.

    An ad hominem response does not impart validity to your argument. Plus, you’re apparently a Republican, what with your projection and all.

    Is that the “deep political thought” of which you speak? If so, I’ll stick to my “recycled pap.”

    I certainly make no claim to be a deep political thinker. But compared to your pap – which is what it was – I’m the Mariana Trench.

    Yes, we get it that Congressmen/women aren’t necessarily guided by national polling numbers. And that Bob Drinan’s district may hold slightly views from Bob Dornan’s. Yes, we know that the Blue Dogs can be even more pernicious than some Repub Reps. Yes, we know that it’s not a “direct democracy”. In fact, most children know that. So what’s your damn point, other than repeating useless bits of “wisdom”?

    National opinion/issues polls may be insightful, but they are not determinative and are less consequential than more localized gauges.

    Yes, and scoring more points than your opponent generally means you’ll win the game. But how does your pap add to any discussion here? I mean, other than getting me to respond, so that the count is past 500.

    On a more serious note: neither is the be-all-and-end-all, and, amazingly enough, it’s difficult to have widely disparate results, unless the sampled population is cherry-picked. In other words, unless you have a small number of heavily-populated districts in which the population is exclusively liberal, thus putting only conservatives in the remaining districts, there will be a rough correlation between national and local numbers.

    Once again, that’s my primary point here.

    You claim you had a point. I claim that you merely regurgitated about as simplistic a talking point as we’ve heard here for awhile.

    Now please go back to PowerLine or RedStoat or whencever you came, because they’re at about the same level as you, vis-a-vis political thought.

    Or, as an alternative: write something that shows you’re smarter than a third grader.

  510. 510
    SFAW says:

    Right. I should be absolutely elated and oh so grateful that someone inclined to such statements of self-aggrandizement and rancor would have the “temerity” to set me straight. Thank you kind sir or madam! Please do get over yourself.

    And just as a parting shot: your “response” here is kinda sorta incoherent – “self-aggrandizement”? “Rancor”? “Get over yourself”? Playing the drama queen victim may be your normal modus operandi, but it’s better suited to someone like Sarah Palin, and not really the preferred BJ style.

  511. 511
    Test says:

    @SFAW

    I’m sorry you don’t understand the reason I made my first comment. If you can’t figure it out based on what I wrote initially in response to the comment to which I linked (and stated several times subsequently while conversing with you), then I can’t make you understand. I mean that in the kindest way possible — just so you don’t think I’m launching “ad hominem” assaults at you. Perish the thought!

    Yes, we get it that Congressmen/women aren’t necessarily guided by national polling numbers.

    Now that all the other stuff’s out of the way, thanks for — in the midst of your ironically ad hominem discourse on how my comment was somehow “ad hominem” — finally acknowledging my uncontroversial point.

    And with that, I do declare that I’m off to exercise my apparently newfound “drama queen victim” skills.

    Peace be unto you.

  512. 512
    SFAW says:

    I’m sorry you don’t understand the reason I made my first comment. If you can’t figure it out based on what I wrote initially in response to the comment to which I linked (and stated several times subsequently while conversing with you), then I can’t make you understand.

    I understood, and still understand, amazingly enough.

    But whether I understand sufficiently well for you to be satisfied is immaterial. It’s also immaterial whether you are able to discern whether I understand – the answer appears to be that you are not, but I doubt I will lose any sleep over it. However, your reply to KC’s point was borderline-useless, and though you’re playing the “you just don’t unnerstand” card, the fact remains that you wrote some pap, have tried to back-justify it, and still are no closer to addressing KC’s point. “The public isn’t monolithic” does nothing to address whether Obama should barnstorm, nor whether there is/isn’t widespread support for the particular programs being discussed.

    And no matter how many times you’ve tried to come up with a witty riposte, you still haven’t addressed the stunningly subtle idea that, gee whiz, if it’s widely popular nationally, then it’s highly unlikely that it’s unpopular in all the myriad “local” districts. You dance/talk around it, but all you keep doing is saying “you just don’t unnerstand”, in increasingly foolish modes. As the kids say: whatever.

    Peace be unto you.

    Clue be unto you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole: Chait is pretty much correct. The only thing he does not touch on is the idiotic public option debate, where we all get to relive the joyous occasion of the screamers claiming Obama strangled the public option to death in the crib (JUST ASK JOE LIEBERMAN!) while never once grappling with the fact that there were never 50, much less 60 votes. […]

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