Repubs’ Job: Making Sure YOU Don’t Have One

(Jack Ohman via
Our political teams have also been busy this weekend, so here’s some links to tide you over between the Sports thread and the Dr. Who thread. Greg Sargent at the WaPo on “The Big Disconnect“:

Okay, we now have a fourth national poll revealing this striking disconnect: Americans strongly disapprove of Obama on the economy, and are deeply pessimistic that it will get any better — even as they strongly approve of the actual fiscal policies the President is championing.
The new New York Times poll finds that Obama’s numbers on the economy are awful. Only 34 percent approve of his handling of the economy. Only 40 percent approve of his handling of jobs. Seventy two percent think the country’s on the wrong track. A plurality thinks we’re heading into another recession. But the poll also finds that Obama’s new jobs plan, and the provisions within it, have clear public support…
What we’re seeing here, again, is more evidence that Republicans benefit from blocking policies Americans support. As long as the economy remains abysmal, the public is likely to strongly disapprove of Obama’s overall performance, even if Republicans are the ones blocking job-creation ideas the public itself thinks will reduce unemployment…
Is there a way out of this trap? Perhaps. As Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza noted the other day, the fact that the public still gives Obama’s individual policies high marks suggests that despite all the overall disapproval of Obama on the economy and jobs, the public is still prepared to hear him out on the topic. Even if things look very bleak right now, there’s still an opportunity for him win this battle, by getting some actual policies passed — they are popular, after all — or by driving home to the public who’s responsible for goverment paralysis in the face of the crisis.

Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly expands on the Republicans “Picking and Choosing on the American Jobs Act“:

… As David Axelrod put it this week, in reference to members of Congress, “We want them to act now on this package. We’re not in a negotiation to break up the package. It’s not an a la carte menu. It is a strategy to get this country moving.”
Yesterday, House GOP leaders sketched out a response in a new memo. Wouldn’t you know it, Republicans aren’t inclined to embrace the whole package, as is…
It’s quite a challenge for the House majority. On the one hand, they want to undercut the president, reject his relatively popular plan, undermine public confidence in political institutions, and hold the economy back until 2013. On the other hand, they don’t want to look like they’re doing any of this. Indeed, they’re being awfully polite, perhaps mindful of the public’s revulsion towards Capitol Hill lately.
So what are we left with? Republicans are largely on board with most of the president’s tax-cut plans. But that’s about it. Aid to state and local governments to prevent layoffs to teachers, police officers, and firefighters? Republicans find this unacceptable, despite strong public support. Funding for school construction and repair? Republicans find this unacceptable, too. In fact, the memo suggested this isn’t even an area the party considers open to negotiation. And, of course, the GOP refuses to consider tax increases on anyone at any time to pay for anything…
Taken together, we’re not getting a good look at Republicans approach “compromise” in the post debt-ceiling-fiasco era. They’re open to maybe cutting taxes if Obama asks nicely … and that’s about it.

If you’re curious about how the Greedy Old Perverts plan to thread this particular needle, Alex Pareene has alerted us to the shiny new catchphrase:

The Wall Street Journal today has a column by Hoover Institution fellow Paul E. Peterson reframing the concept of aid to cash-strapped states as a “blue-state bailout,” because “bailouts” are unpopular and it is more fun to imagine that Obama is rewarding his “most fervent supporters” with free money than it is to think that the president just wants to help big states avoid massive layoffs.
It is sort of brilliant. Just imagine how thrilled the memo-writers at Fox News must be to have this talking point. “Blue-state bailout.” “Federal money for healthcare and education” versus “blue-state bailout.” Which one makes you madder?
Peterson and co-author Daniel Nadler argue that the aid is a handout to liberals because of a study that shows that states with heavily unionized public-sector work forces pay slightly higher interest rates. Therefore, the aid money will … help these states more than it will help “red states,” which means that the aid to all states is actually only supposed to secretly help liberal states, QED. It’s dumb, but in an academic-sounding way, which is why it’s on the WSJ editorial page instead of RedState…
This is a brilliant new way of framing an issue that conservatives have been unable to make much headway on since Reagan found himself unable to slash state aid spending to the degree that he wanted to. The problem has always been that states need the money to do good things that people in those states want them to do. Conservatives can convince people that state aid is bad in the abstract, but Medicaid does actually need to be paid for, by someone. The Republican governors who lined up to beg President Bush not to slash Medicaid funding would probably reject the notion that they were requesting a “red state bailout,” but Republican governors tend to be more pragmatic than Republican members of Congress.
Keep your ears open, because I guarantee “blue-state bailout” will be a new and popular talking point from now on.

83 replies
  1. 1
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I want Republicans tried in a Nuremberg style session. The charge Crimes against the American People. I want a jury of single mothers and homeless vets. I want them sentenced to life in a max security prison, I want them to live under the fear of prison gangs. Oh well I will go back to reality and watch OSU-Miami and have a beer

  2. 2
    JGabriel says:

    Steve Benen (via Anne Laurie @ Top):

    Wouldn’t you know it, Republicans aren’t inclined to embrace the whole package …

    … which is ironic, since Republicans are usually all about embracing the package.


  3. 3
    mcmillan says:

    Anyone who tries to pull “blue state bailout” crap needs to be shown the data like that shown here

  4. 4
    Walter Friesen says:

    I’d like to think that Obama’s disapproval ratings don’t necessarily mean approval of Republicans. I disapprove heartily of many of Obama’s policies, and particularly his lack of cojones, but that doesn’t mean I’ll vote Republican in the next elections.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:


    Anyone who tries to pull “blue state bailout” crap needs to be shown the data like that shown here.

    I think we Democrats need to propose a Constitutional Amendment to protect state’s rights by ensuring that every state gets back in taxes every penny that it puts in and not one penny more.

    Yes, of course it would be terrible policy. I don’t want it to pass. I just want to make all the red-staters argue as to why they deserve the taxes collected from blue states.

    Fucking hypocrites.


  6. 6
    Thymezone says:

    Well the whole idea of the question “Do you approve of the President’s handling of the economy” is just nonsensical on its face. The president does not “handle” the economy. For that matter the government, in day to day terms, does not handle the economy. The question is really a referendum on the ecnomy itself, masquerading as a political question. The answer doesn’t mean anything other than whether the respondent likes the way the economy is going. The fact that the media treats this as politics tells you something about the media and nothing about what people think of the president.

    The fact that the public is receptive to sensible, if embarrassingly modest, measures to help the economy is heartening. But this is the same public that didn’t care to vote a year ago. The same public that elected a Vice President — twice — who said “deficits don’t matter.”

    So …. fixation on polls is for tv networks. Not really useful.

  7. 7
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:


    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is expected to seek a new base tax rate for the wealthy to ensure that millionaires pay at least at the same percentage as middle income taxpayers.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:


    The question is really a referendum on the ecnomy itself, masquerading as a political question. The answer doesn’t meany anything other than whether the respondent likes the way the economy is going.

    Yup. It’s also a number that’s more than likely going to be lower than Obama’s approval numbers, which itself is always picked from the lowest one available. Obama’s Gallup number has at least for the last six months run about five points below most others, so that’s the one the MSM runs with.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Obama’s Gallup number has at least for the last six months run about five points below most others …

    Really? Did Scott Rasmussen buy out Gallup?


  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Data? Data?? We don’t need no stinkin’ DATA!!


  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:


    The question is really a referendum on the ecnomy itself, masquerading as a political question. The answer doesn’t mean anything other than whether the respondent likes the way the economy is going. The fact that the media treats this as politics tells you something about the media and nothing about what people think of the president.

    I had to read this at least three times.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JGabriel: well, I don’t mean to sound like I’ve done a scientific study, but every time one of the networks or Quinnipiac releases a poll, his numbers are higher than Gallup’s, which TPM posts almost every day

  13. 13
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @efgoldman: My game is swell!

  14. 14
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You are getting better, then. Keep up the good work.

    edit: Wait a minute .. at least three? You didn’t count?

  15. 15

    @Corner Stone: What, dropping an ‘o’ from ‘economy’ throws you off that much?

  16. 16

    Meanwhile, after promising not too, serial spoiler Ralph Nader and Cornell West have decided that Obama must be primaried.

    Good luck with that….

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    @efgoldman: Both teams could win but the great arm of the NCAA will take those wins away. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day but will do it.

    To bad Congress doesn’t have someone to call them out for their lies.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:


    edit: Wait a minute .. at least three? You didn’t count?

    It had to be three at least, no more than five. The first few times I was wondering how anyone could possibly say that questions about the economy were not actually political referendums. Since politics is and always will be about who gets what slice of the pie.
    After three or so I realized it wouldn’t ever say anything different, but I read a couple more times hoping against hope the edit feature would save you from looking so foolish.

  19. 19
    Thymezone says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Can’t stop laughing. These two chowderheads think he should be primaried … but by somebody else. As yet unnamed.

    I know, how about Pat Paulsen? Or Harold Stassen?

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh, and Go Cocks!

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The group said Saturday it is seeking six “recognizable, articulate” candidates who would not mount serious challenges to Obama, but “rigorously debate his policy stands” on issues related to labor, poverty, foreign policy, civil rights and consumer protections.

    Good Lawd. They could just say they got nothin’ and move on.

  22. 22
    Dee Loralei says:

    Boomer Sooner!!!!

  23. 23
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Um, no point is too simple to be lost on you, still. How sad, no improvement after all these years.

    The problem with the question is that it hangs the word “president” on the question when the answer has nothing to do with the president. The president doesn’t run the economy, and just takes blame or credit because a flaccid media and lazy public say so. The point was crystal clear, which is probably why you didn’t get it.

    If I had attached a picture of a car crash, maybe. Or a coupon for a free bag of pork rinds.

  24. 24
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Corner Stone: Navy is beating them in the 4th.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    Love it when my Cocks drive right up the middle for a score.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thymezone: Sure he does. Look at Bush Sr. Dude got hung out to dry for…the economy.
    Have you really sunk this low?

    ETA, why do you think people keep quoting election stats with a certain U3 rate?

  27. 27
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Corner Stone: The Middies!

  28. 28
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    So, when did you start believing that you had more than one Cock?

  29. 29
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    Cocks back in front

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): Cocks strike back!

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thymezone: My Cocks surround you.

  32. 32
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yes, his policies took full effect about 4-5 years after his actions. That’s about the same amount of time it takes the public to catch on to the policy things. Unfortunately, by that time, the word “president” might refer to some other guy. See what I mean?

    Never mind.

  33. 33
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Could you please point them away from me?

    I would prefer that you did that before one of them goes off.

  34. 34
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    And the Illini take the lead into the locker room!

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thymezone: That was too late to save him then, eh?
    Funny how that ’92 non-referendum referendum on GHWB seemed to refer his ass to the sideline.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: you must be so proud. What was SCar. ranked?

  37. 37
    OzoneR says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I want a jury of single mothers and homeless vets.

    they’d probably acquit

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:


    you must be so proud. What was SCar. ranked?

    I don’t know. But I’ll guess higher than Georgia?

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: He raised taxes and he pledged no new taxes.

  40. 40
    karen marie says:

    I’d like to see further breakdown of the question, like how many are unhappy with the president’s handling of the economy because he has given up too much to Republicans and how many think he hasn’t given up enough.

    But of course that would interfere with the Mouse Circus narrative, so they’ll never report that breakdown.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: Cute but didn’t know we were talking about GA.

  42. 42
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Like I said, never mind. I think politics is not your cup of tea. Have you ever thought about taxidermy? That’s a nice quiet line of work. No confusing conversations or anything. Totally nonverbal. Each morning you can sit down with a dead raccoon and go, “So, what did Joe Scarborough say this morning?”

    You’ll thank me for this advice someday.

  43. 43
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @JPL: 10

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thymezone: I get you didn’t know what you were talking about. It’s cool.

  45. 45
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @JPL: You are being baited, anyone who doesn’t know where a team is ranked is no fan. It’s all about saying cock.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    @Walter Friesen:

    I’d like to think that Obama’s disapproval ratings don’t necessarily mean approval of Republicans

    It’s more an overall sense of frustration.

    Even with approval ratings in the 40s, the President towers over Congress, whose approval rating is 13%.

  47. 47
    Thymezone says:

    Balloon Juice gets polled.

    Q: Are you glad Obama got a healthcare reform bill done? Are you glad to see that it’s having good effects already, with a lot more to come?

    A: I guess.

    Q: Are you glad Obama got Osama Bin Laden?

    A: I guess.

    Q: Do you support wrapping up our military involvement in Iraq, and gradual drawdown in Afghanistan, even if it is taking a long time?

    A: Mostly.

    Q: Are you glad Obama got DADT retired?

    A: I suppose.

    Q: Are you glad Obama got as big a stimulus bill as he could get and got it into effect despite the fact that it wasn’t perfect? Saved a lot of jobs?

    A: I guess so.

    Q: Are you happy that Obama saved the American auto industry from unstructured bankruptcy and kept away a major hit to the economy at a really vulnerable time?

    A: Kind of.

    Q: So how do like the way Obama is doing his job?

    A: He sucks.

    Q: Did you vote in 2010?

    A: Why bother?

  48. 48
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    4th and 2 on the five and Navy holds em, they are down 3 with 5 to go.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): Of course I was baiting her. I’m a master at it.

  50. 50
    Thymezone says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Well, you are almost right. It’s you who didn’t know what I was talking about, but who’s quibbling? It’s not like that hasn’t happened five hundred times before!

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): I know what SCar is ranked but my question is whether or not they can hold onto that ranking with their performance. I’m cheering for SCar btw. They are on espn3 online.

    edit..cornerstone needs to read my

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    OK.. I can understand that Navy has nothing to lose but that was still gutsy.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    Amazing pressure throw by Navy QB.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    What a motor Clowney has!

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    Done! Cocks come out on top!

  56. 56
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    not gonna happen

  57. 57
    Thymezone says:

    Okay, CS, I am leaving you to your cocks. Gotta run. Hope your team wins.

  58. 58
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @JPL: Won’t matter if they win.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): Do you have on the FSU game? A player just got smacked.

  60. 60
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @JPL: I’m watching my Illini play ASU on the big picture and various games on the small but I’m concentrating on my team.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:


    Okay, CS, I am leaving you to your cocks. Gotta run

    Hey! That’s what my ex-wife said!

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: They aren’t losing points by winning. Even ugly.

  63. 63
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    Rankings don’t mean diddly shit in September.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thymezone: One more question that may be germane to your hypothetical:
    “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

    Now, if that isn’t a political referendum on the economy I’m not sure what is.

    See also, “It’s the economy, stupid!” and, “It’s morning in America!”

  65. 65
    russ says:

    My president has pushed his hater’s so far to the right and they have been getting comfortable there and the haters are branded by there positions and when he moves left they will try to move left as well. There is only one problem. It’s gonna be difficult trying to drag 27% of the voters along as well.

    what’s that saying about a rented mule?

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: The hopey, changey thing Sarah says will hurt Obama’s chances unless unemployment goes down. Since the repubs put party first, that is not gonna happen.

  67. 67

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): that is some funny shit, the onion gets me every time…millionaires paying middle class tax rates. hahahaha

  68. 68
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    Damn, the Illini d is playing great and then the punt returned loses the ball in the lights and gives it back!

  69. 69
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:


  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: You’re stepping in to a different argument. But WTS, there isn’t a lot of rhetoric that will change the political landscape between now and Nov ’12.
    I get that you want to paint this argument a certain way, and that Thymezone is an idiot, but U3 of 9%+ and U6 of 16%+ is a real fucking problem for the Democrats.
    Saying that these facts are so does not make me want them to be true.

  71. 71
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @Corner Stone: You wait 2 hours for that?

  72. 72
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    3d and 28 and FSU scores a 56 yard TD to tie.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred): I went to get foodstuffs. Sue me.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    Boomer Sooners in a bit of a spot, what what?

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    Ouch. Nasty catch.

  76. 76
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    Rankings mean plenty out here. You’re not going to see many people jump from the bottom to #1 even if the guys at the top stumble and fall, and unless the guys decided to be the favorites really stumble and fall, polls will usually be more forgiving of your failures if you started at the top then if you were at the bottom or started completely unranked.

  77. 77
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: out here, where, you in space?

  78. 78
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    Fuck, the OK running back is a walk on!

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    Ok, OK has some breathing room.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    How bout Miami choking out OSU?

    Sorry Keith G

  81. 81
    fuckwit says:



    Jeezus fuck, can’t these assholes do anything except spin and spew out bullshit and talking points and catchphrases? Can they do anything except analyze poll numbers and focus groups and cynically game the goddamned system?

    It’s like lying is a sport to them.

    If America gets as fed up with this bullshit as I am, then there will be a tidal-wave election next year, and the Rethug party– followed by huge fetid chunks of the corporate-owned blow dog Democratic party too– are toast.

  82. 82
    RalfW says:

    The answer is “Lets talk about all the red state handouts that are going on, [Sean/Joe/TV f*ckwad of your choice]. Red states get huge handouts over what they pay in. Blue states don’t. So lets talk about tax fairness [dickwad]. Minnesota pays in a dollar for each 72 cents it gets back, so that Mississippi, Alabama, 9name 1-2 other red states) can subsidize their so-called low-tax lifestyle. Dozens of other blue states are in this wrong-headed subsidy game. You want to talk about bailouts, but I’m here to tell you the red state handouts have to end. Now.”

    That would wake up abut 20 GOP governors, pronto. They’d be on the blower to DC to tell the GOP meme-makers to STFU.

    If the dems can stay on message on this.

  83. 83
    Dan Carmell says:

    I like this blog and read it daily, among others. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch TV or read certain other blogs, but who are these “manic progressives” and “emoprogs” the you and ABL keep ranting about?

    I am myself a “disaffected liberal”. I don’t like some of our President’s policies, but I admire the man himself, the dignity he has restored to the office, and the face he presents to the world of who America is. I understand that the president can’t do everything I want him to do. But he has also missed some easy shots, IMO. Nonetheless, of course I will be voting for him in November 2011.

    I can want him and his administration to be further left, more progressive and daring, but also understand why he can’t do so all the time–but be disappointed that he all too often seems to align with convention wisdom that is not helpful to a better society and better politics. Let me just mention the Obama administration’s record with civil liberties–not good, not much better than Bush’s and anyone who denies that is fooling themselves.

    Again, I disagree with our President, but respect him. I want to push him further left, toward the promise of his days as a community activist. Does that make me an emoprog or some other dread thing?

    You and ABL may want to consider whether you yourselves aren’t contributing to this split.

    Dan Carmell
    Oakland, California

Comments are closed.