This is how realignment happens

Not with a bang but a whimper:

In terms of electoral realignments, the election of Barack Obama may rather most closely resemble the election of Richard Nixon. That’s not a bad thing, either.

Richard Nixon was the beginning of the conservative realignment.

[…]

Perhaps Barack Obama will not realize the desires and natural policy outcomes that derive from such a coalition. Indeed, he almost certainly will not and can not, any more than Nixon could have implemented the fully formed Reagan agenda back in 1971. But he has done much. And the next president elected by this coalition will do more, and the next one after that will do even more than the one that came before, until in 25 years, even a Republican president will be significantly more liberal than any Democrat in 2008. Conservatives understand this, even if only at a deep-seated level in the darkest fathoms of their collective angst.

This election, then, is about much more than Barack Obama. For conservatives, It’s about putting back in the genie’s bottle the coalition that the election of 2008 began to unleash. It’s about reverting America back to a time when the Nixon coalition was still comfortably in charge–whether it elected Republicans like Reagan or Democrats like Clinton.

This election may well be decided by the economy, and who knows how that will go. But keep your eye on the us-versus-them rhetoric of Republicans. The future of their party depends on their ability to moderate it. Because in 2020, a party that calls Latinos “wetbacks”, women “sluts”, and college graduates “snobs” won’t be viable.

Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.

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135 replies
  1. 1
    Origuy says:

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio has apparently gone Full Metal Birther. I tuned in for a minute to his press conference and someone was talking about the date stamp on Obama’s Selective Service form.

  2. 2
    Tonal Crow says:

    Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.

    Yeah, which is why you should edit “sluts” in “Because in 2020, a party that calls Latinos “wetbacks”, women “sluts”, and college graduates “snobs” won’t be viable” to “prostitutes” to reflect what Rush just said.

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    From your blog to g-d’s LGBTQ/latino/jewish/atheist/cthuluworshipping ear.

    aimai

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.

    Is that before or after liberals tear themselves apart because some candidate isn’t liberal enough?

  5. 5
    Redshift says:

    OT from a friend:

    Friend just reported having seen one of the GOP candidates referred to as Sick Rantorum. Gonna have to steal that.

  6. 6
    Maude says:

    I doubt they’ll get the Latino vote this year. The Repubs have been over the top offensive about them.
    I’ll be interested to see the number of women who vote Repub.

  7. 7
    Billy Beane says:

    Yawn, more idiotic dot connecting by DGE.

  8. 8
    Rick Massimo says:

    Oh, yeah, they know this. This is why so many of them are calling this election “the last chance” (Michele Bachmann was the most explicit, calling it “our last exit ramp as a nation”).

    It’s not just the demographics; it’s that they haven’t forgotten the Bill Kristol health-care memo.

    The ACA will fully kick in in 2014, and when in 2015 we’re not dying in the street and parading Grandma before the Death Panel and the doctors’ offices aren’t suddenly dirt-floored affairs with people bringing in goats to pay for services – when in fact things are rather a bit better than they used to be – they’ll have lost the battle for good.

  9. 9

    Two points:

    …that would be a mistake that overlooks one pivotal fact: devastating realignments don’t usually happen overnight, but rather slowly. FDR’s presidency was more the exception than the rule.

    Yep. And it wasn’t FDR’s election, per se, that led to the quick realignment, but the Democrats taking HUGE majorities in both the House and Senate.

    Richard Nixon’s forced resignation was the beginning of the conservative realignment.

    Because, ya know, elections ’68, ’70 and ’72 didn’t displace liberals or moderates from Congress.

  10. 10
    Tom Q says:

    I’ll amend this analysis a bit, and say that, in fact, Clinton’s election was the analogy to Nixon’s, right down to the three-way race and the fact that, to many of their base voters, they seemed to be more in the spirit of the dying coalition than the new. But they opened the door to a new alignment.

    And Obama, like Reagan, is the affirmation of that alignment, which I suspect will take many of Digby’s ilk hindsight to understand (just as those on the far right kept chanting “Let Reagan be Reagan” during his time in office, not appreciating how seriously he changed the debate in real time).

    Apart from that, I agree with the thrust of the post.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Billy Beane:

    And yet, you feel obligated to comment on it. Despite the fact that it’s ho-hum.

    You should join Veritas and go the way of Andrew Breitbart.

  12. 12
    Short Bus Bully says:

    This is a really great post if for no other reason than it reminds us all that progressives need to play long ball as we fight it out for each individual election. We have the odds in our favor for the long term and desperate flailings of our opponents are the best evidence of that.

    Let Obama be our Reagan. I’m down with that.

  13. 13
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Origuy: And of course, the full birther conspiracy is now convinced that the President had Andrew Breitbart murdered as a threat to Joe Arpaio.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    The election of ’74 saw a massive rejection of the GOP based on Nixon’s negative coattails. Both Houses of Congress had veto proof Dem majorities. Every last one of the Republicans who had voted against the Articles of Impeachment in committee before the Smoking Gun came out and caused them all to announce they’d vote in favor of the Articles on the House floor was sent packing.

  15. 15
    Billy Beane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Awww that is so kind of you. Keeping whispering those sweet nothings in my ear my most loyal little fuzzy groupie.

  16. 16

    This election, then, is about much more than Barack Obama.

    Yes! finally! Someone gets it.

    It is about much more than Barack Obama.

    It’s about me! And listening to me! And not taking me for granted! And not throwing me under the bus! And not slapping me in the face!

    Attention, finally, must be paid — to me!

  17. 17
    middlewest says:

    DOUGJ ALERT!
    William Slaletan is doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit.
    https://pay.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/qd5vw/im_will_saletan_a_correspondent_for_slate_i_write/

    He’s currently being heaped with praise for his courageous abortion writing.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    OK, is this some retro stuff from 70’s NatLamp?

  19. 19

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Because, ya know, elections ‘68, ‘70 and ‘72 didn’t displace liberals or moderates from Congress.

    Regional realignment — the one that created the modern GOP of the CSA — had that effect. Wasn’t ideological in intent, but was ideological in effect.

  20. 20

    @Villago Delenda Est: Lookit, politics isn’t about policy — it’s a form of self-expression.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @middlewest:

    Lord Salatan has never figured out that his “compromise” on abortion won’t fly, because the wingtards hate contraception, too. It’s never ever been about saving babies…it’s always been about punishing the sluts. Always.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    @Soonergrunt: Here’s hoping Mr. Grim continues to visit in 3’s.

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Indeed, he almost certainly will not and can not, any more than Nixon could have implemented the fully formed Reagan agenda back in 1971. But he has done much. And the next president elected by this coalition will do more, and the next one after that will do even more than the one that came before

    If Democrats would internalize this, and realize that this does not mean letting the president off the hook – yes, you’re still allowed to criticize him – we could get some major things done.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    DFH no.6 says:

    Yes, absolutely. Future realignment. In 25 years even a Republican… Next decade, etc..

    However, over the next six months Democratic spokespeople (many liberal, some not so much) at all levels, from local campaigns to various PACs and SuperPACs, to the largest media outlets, to the DNC, DSCC, all the way to the Obama campaign, need most particularly to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words vis-à-vis contraception.

    Of all the bullshit culture war nonsense the fascists are spewing this election cycle, that has the greatest potential to bite them in the ass (mixing our metaphors here).

    Sure, we’re all over it on the blogs, and you see it every night on Rachel and Lawrence (once he got his head on straight) and Ed, but I don’t see it yet being pushed as it should otherwise.

    Conservatives handed us a huge gift with this stupid, retrograde shit that the vast majority of the country opposes. The professionals on the side of the angels need to make hay with it.

    Golden fucking opportunity.

  26. 26
    Linnaeus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    If Democrats would internalize this, and realize that this does not mean letting the president off the hook – yes, you’re still allowed to criticize him – we could get some major things done.

    Not just that, but develop the bench, too. That means paying more attention to local & state races.

  27. 27
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    It’s pretty obvious that the conservative movement as it exists in America is over. They are out of ideas, reduced to standing in the streets screaming “no ni**ers in MY White House!” while trying to find a white male that will break the 40% mark in November. And that ain’t happening.

    The teahadis and the other assorted lunatics are going to have to be driven into the wilderness in order for an effective opposition party to be able to exist. This will take time, and they’ll be losing more market share with each passing year.

    I wish the GOP luck in their endeavors, it’s going to be a long lonely decade for them.

  28. 28
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Linnaeus: Very good point.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Yet Nixon is the guy who had wage and price controls, created the EPA, and proposed health care reform that would be called outright socia1ist today.

    Nixon’s primary focus was not on domestic policy (unlike Reagan, who couldn’t wait to deregulate the Ferengi shitstains of Wall Street) but foreign policy, specifically, the isolation of the Soviet Union by making nice to China. “Only Nixon can go to China”, you know. Vietnam was for him the same sort of thorn in the side it was for LBJ, except to his foreign policy ambitions, whereas LBJ’s domestic policy ambitions were the casualty of endless strife in and about’Nam.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    So, what exactly is “this coalition?” I know what the modern conservative one is, I know what the old Democrat one was – what’s ours? Is it as simple as “women, young people and non-white people?”

  31. 31
    El Tiburon says:

    But he has done much. And the next president elected by this coalition will do more, and the next one after that will do even more than the one that came before, until in 25 years, even a Republican president will be significantly more liberal than any Democrat in 2008.

    Do more of what? And does the term “liberal” even mean what we think it should mean? Is Obama “liberal”?

    Liberal now means accepting war and indefinite detention and drone strikes and bailouts of Wall Street and ZERO accountability for those who tortured, lied us into war and destroyed the economy. Will anyone really care if Israel bombs Iran?

    So yeah, perhaps the next Republican President will be more liberal, if liberal is defined as “Not Being Batshit Crazy”.

    But what the liberals don’t have is a bunch of billionaires funding their causes; the mainstream media pushing their causes and so on.

    So, I don’t see it.

    So, yeah, usin

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity:

    while trying to find a white male that will break the 40% mark in November. And that ain’t happening.

    I’ll make you the same bet Thyme Zone welshed on in 2008. A $100 says any R nominee gets over 40% popular vote cast.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @Cassidy:
    Davy Jones, Andrew Breitbart and…?

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m still not sure why people keep just assuming all the demographic changes will just naturally evoke a capital D ethos at the voting booth.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    There are a few white veteran types who are sick and tired of seeing our military strength pissed away on moronic kill brown people wars.

    Also, too, the sacrifice of young men and women for the health of Dick Cheney’s cronies’ portfolios.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    Wait, did Whitney Houston lead the triad here? Or was she too soon to toss into the current mix?

  37. 37
    gaz says:

    @Billy Beane: You have a purty mouth

  38. 38
    Quincy says:

    @Tom Q: I’m more sympathetic to the original analogy, that Clinton’s Eisenhower and Obama’s Nixon. But that argument is ultimately unimportant, history isn’t going to repeat itself with a level of exactness that either of us can be proven correct. I think the ultimate point is sound, that liberalism in the U.S. is ascending and conservatism is on the decline. It reminds me of the quote from Robin’s book where William F. Buckley said if he were a young person today he’d be a liberal (he might’ve said soshulist, can’t remember) because that’s the side where there was potential for revolution or at least opposition to the status quo.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @Violet: Maybe a Rush or a Joe. There’s a whole list of them that would instantly make this world a better place if they were shuttled off to the next plane.

  40. 40

    @Linnaeus:

    That means paying more attention to local & state races.

    Smells too much like work.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Wait, did Whitney Houston lead the triad here?

    One could make the argument she was as destructive to society and overall societal discourse as anything put out by the other two.
    Personally, I’d take Michael Jordan as numero 3. That fucking Hitler stache has to fucking go.

  42. 42
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    @Corner Stone: I wouldn’t take it. I’m pretty sure that this election will be tighter than the last one.

    People like Tedious Numbnuts up here will find a Republican-funded Nader surrogate to maintain their holy purity and smug quota, and that will depress turnout on our side. Romney will depress the GOP more, but Dem share should work out somewhere around 51-52%.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Davy Jones was as destructive to society as Andrew Breitbart?

    OK, so “Daydream Believer” is earworming me into insanity right now, but really?

  44. 44

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m not saying that ’74 saw the right making gains, but it offered the impetus. Seeing that Nixon resigned in August, there wasn’t enough time for the right to turn the ship around before the midterms. But they had momentum going into the convention in ’76 fueled by the Nixon resignation, and gained more momentum coming out of the general elections that year.

    @Davis X. Machina:

    But it was realignment– those Dixiecrats had always been conservative, much more conservative than the Rockefeller wing of the GOP.

  45. 45

    @Chris:

    Is it as simple as “women, young people and non-white people?”

    Yes. That gets you to 40%.

  46. 46
    Linnaeus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m still not sure why people keep just assuming all the demographic changes will just naturally evoke a capital D ethos at the voting booth.

    Rick Perlstein recently wrote an article challenging that very notion.

    I don’t think the potential for GOP gains, particularly among younger voters, is as strong as Perlstein suspects, but I think it’s a decent cautionary tale.

  47. 47
    jibeaux says:

    @Corner Stone: I think it’s more like the demographic changes plus the continued insanity will evoke a capital-not-R ethos at the voting booth. Even long long ago far far away types such as Dubya knew to try to not actively piss off Latinos….

  48. 48

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): In spotty ways, yes. They weren’t social democrats, but they loved themselves some pork, and transfer payments to white people. So you could do business with them, sometimes. Coalition-building was easier in some ways. There were also goo-goo Republicans you could do business with. At the national level, things were more fissiparous.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Oh Hell yeah. The Monkees oeuvre? Their pathetic intro to lip synching? His guest spot on SpongeBob Squarepants where he sticks The Flying Dutchman in “Davy Jones Locker” ?
    Dude had it coming.

  50. 50
    Linnaeus says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Smells too much like work.

    Heh. It is. Hard to rustle up people to do vote chasing in the dark and pouring rain to try to help a good Democratic incumbent win a close election against a wingnut welfare teabagger in a semi-rural state legislative district (and ultimately fail, sadly), but that Democratic vote would have helped several things if we could have kept it.

  51. 51
    handy says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Best comment so far:

    If Breitbart was threatening The President that is terrorism. In America we deal with Terrorists. Good job guys.

    (ETA: comment to the story that is)

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Given that the current generation is no more inclined to bother to read history than mine (late boomer) was, I’m afraid we’ll contend in vain against stupidity along with the Gods themselves.

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @middlewest:
    Jezus, I literally threw up a little reading some of those fawning questions and the even more nauseatingly humblebrag responses. “An pregnancy is a human being growing inside another human being! How neat is that!”

    aimai

  54. 54

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Sounds like Tea Partiers.

    Okay, off to work, in case you’re expecting any further replies.

  55. 55
    El Tiburon says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    Let Obama be our Reagan. I’m down with that

    How do you figure? Reagan was red meat for the Conservative base. He set forth an agenda (started admittedly in part by Carter) to turn this country to the hard-right. Yes, it was helpful that rational and sane Republicans still existed.

    Has Obama turned this nation to the left? Has Obama shot-down the deficit mania or the need to bail-out Wall Street? Has he shot down any right-wing meme that we all live under now? Is he out supporting unions are discussing the need to INCREASE benefits for those on food stamps or social security?

    Again: I don’t see it.

  56. 56
    WyldPirate says:

    Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.

    Why? The country’s politicians have moved steadily to the right trying to capture the “middle-ground” left by the march to crazy town by the rightards.

    And yeah, even Obama has done it. Although the Dems have stayed pretty much the same, Obama is the more “conservative” than any of the Democrats elected to the Presidency in the past 60 years.

    Maddow–“They went that-a-way”

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @El Tiburon: And a lot of Republicans were wondering what the hell Nixon and Reagan were up to. Nixon created the EPA, and Reagain raised taxes 7 times. But they were the beginnings of the realignment over the last 40 years.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @jibeaux: GWB and Rove actually got one thing right, and tried to not overtly piss Latino(et al) voters off.
    And they almost got rumbled for it.
    And then the R party had a smashing victory in 2010. Due to turnout. Not potential voters. People who actually come out to vote. For years now the nominal vote total has declared a clear one sided victory for nominal D candidates due to potential D voters. We’ve had the “demographics” in place for some time.

  59. 59
    Quincy says:

    If this majority coalition is going to be effective and durable, somebody will eventually need to serve as an effective spokesperson for economic liberalism. That’s one of the reasons why I reject changing the analogy to Obama=Reagan. Right now we are expecting a majority coalition of people who are turned off by Republican bigotry, as opposed to anything close to a majority coalition of people who consciously support liberal economic policies. We need to do a lot of work on that latter point.

  60. 60
    Brachiator says:

    Because in 2020, a party that calls Latinos “wetbacks”, women “sluts”, and college graduates “snobs” won’t be viable.

    That’s odd. They are certainly viable now. They don’t appear to care about ratcheting up their rhetoric. And they still have a majority in the House, and are winning at the state level (helped by some redistricting juggling).

    Talking about what you are dead solid certain will happen in 2016 or 2020 really doesn’t mean much. We see what the Republicans have done, and will keep doing, unless you actually elect more Democrats.

  61. 61
    Origuy says:

    @aimai: An egg is a chicken growing inside a shell that came out of a chicken! How neat is that!

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Linnaeus: We’re political junkies here, but most potential voters need an actual reason to vote. We can scream about that but it is what it is.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Indeed. If you don’t get out the vote of the demographic inclined to support you, it counts for zilch.

    Difference between 2008 and 2010, right there.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    JPL says:

    OT…Is this just a ploy that the racist judge in Montana is using to save his job??
    http://www.statesman.com/news/.....09418.html

  66. 66
    zach says:

    In November 2008 everyone said the GOP had to turn back or face huge losses against such a popular President. In November 2010, everyone said that GOP gains were so large and the economic situation so hopeless that Democrats had no chance of coming back. GOP success in 1994 spelled doom for Clinton. In 2006, George Bush and John McCain nearly granted citizenship to 10 million illegal aliens. These sorts of changes don’t actually take hold unless you actually follow up your win with success in office (and luck out with things going your way that you can’t control). The Reagan realignment required a ton of work to build a movement that’s still the most unstoppable force in politics.

    Do Democrats actually have something to tell people that’s more attractive than “I’ll cut your taxes and get the government off your back and everybody wins?” That’s the logic that’s kept Republicans and centrist Democrats in control for 30 years, occasionally being bounced out of the White House and the House of Reps but keeping enough folks in the Senate to stop anything really lasting and meaningful. American politics are a global joke because of it. It’s toxic and I wish Democrats would come up with a coherent strategy to attack this logic — Obama’s “on-your-own” rhetoric is a good start. The GOP might be bogged down for a few cycles with people not wanting to associate w/ its racism and homophobia, but they’ll respond by flipping on some social issues and continuing their bogus promises and it’ll work again. Permanent majorities don’t happen in a 2-party system, and it’s shortsighted to think that the GOP won’t ever turn around.

  67. 67
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    It’s the rare Balloon Juice double douche thread!

    El Tiburon
    WyldPirate

    Two in a row! Do I win some kind of prize?

  68. 68
    slightly-peeved says:

    @57: Obama’s started to make that case in the 2012 campaign. See how much he’s talked about people paying their fair share and people looking after one another. I believe this is a conscious effort to start undoing the damage republicans have done to economic liberalism.

  69. 69
    colby says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Reagan was red meat for the Conservative base.

    No. He is NOW, but while he was in office, he inspired quite a few columns about how he wasn’t a true conservative and how he was abandoning the movement. By ’84 the money was coming in fast enough that most Republicans shut up about his tax hikes, his acceptance of immigration, and his pursuit of a nuclear-free world, but they were considered major conservative heterodoxies akin to Obama’s push to rein in the debt or hesitance to curtail executive power.

    Has Obama turned this nation to the left?

    Yes. Obama’s HCR plan, which passed in 2010, goes far beyond what even Howard Dean was proposing in 2004. His economic stimulus plan is larger than Clinton’s was by a factor of at least 5. He has systematically given LGBT Americans more changes to claim their equal rights, whereas all Clinton could manage was a humiliating compromise on letting them work ONE type of job. He’s re-regulated Wall Street; Bill Clinton signed one of the bills de-regulating it.

    And if anything, the general consensus is that Obama didn’t do enough. And that may be true! The country hasn’t moved to the left? Are you kidding me? The country is moving to the left so fast Obama can’t even keep up with it.

  70. 70
    Anoniminous says:

    @Linnaeus:

    …develop the [Democratic] bench, too. That means paying more attention to local & state races.

    This.

    CongressCritters get all the press but a LOT of actual government happens at the state and county level.

  71. 71
    colby says:

    The point of the demographic changes isn’t that the emerging Latinos, young people, etc. will vote automatically for Democrats. It’s that they aren’t going to be as persuaded by Nativism, hippie punching, etc. Eventually- and sooner than we think- the Republicans will adapt. But honestly, Repubicans minus the hippie punching and nativism are barely recognizeable as such.

  72. 72
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity: Some kind of eye bleach?

  73. 73
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @Brachiator:

    How are they “winning at the state level” in 2012? There have not been any state elections recently that I am aware of.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @ Colby # 68:

    I’m afraid what you said will fall on deaf ears, but thank you.

  75. 75
    colby says:

    @Baud: Yeah, I don’t do it to convince ’em, I do it because I’m sick in the head.

  76. 76
    Linnaeus says:

    @Anoniminous:

    This.

    CongressCritters get all the press but a LOT of actual government happens at the state and county level.

    Yep. This was something I knew in the abstract, but I understood it a lot better once I starting working on, for example, environmental management issues.

  77. 77
    Mino says:

    Republicans had a ball bullying Sebelius about contraception today in her House Testimony today.

    …contraception reduces the number of babies and this reduces health costs, doesn’t it, Ms. Secretary, etc, etc. It does look like The Handmaiden’s Tale is required reading among House Republicans. Guess they think they have the solution to their demographic problems.

  78. 78
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @WyldPirate: I find her chart to be kind of bogus in that regard. He undid some of the conservative things that Clinton did, and he got healthcare reform through. As much as I admire Clinton’s attempt at HCR, if you can’t get something passed, it shouldn’t count as much.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    That’s odd. They are certainly viable now. They don’t appear to care about ratcheting up their rhetoric. And they still have a majority in the House, and are winning at the state level (helped by some redistricting juggling).

    I have a hunch about that, but I don’t have a whole lot of supporting evidence just yet. I suspect that internal polling is showing the GOP that they’re not only losing independents, they’re in grave danger of having the evangelicals not bother to vote in November. They know that they’re alienating everyone else, but if they can’t even get the 27 percenters to show up, they’re in for the most humiliating loss since Mondale’s in 1984, and they’re desperate to avoid that.

    Again, it’s just a feeling I have, but the public polling is showing some quite interesting results right now. That’s why they’re doubling down and desperately trying to push things through NOW NOW NOW! They know they won’t have a chance after November.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis:

    How are they “winning at the state level” in 2012? There have not been any state elections recently that I am aware of.

    I was referring to the various governors who are busily attempting to pass anti union, anti gay, anti woman legislation, along with the Latino bashing.

    Meanwhile, moderate rep David Dreier is the latest to decide not to seek re-election. He really had no choice, since redistricting essentially eliminated his safe seat.

    Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), a foot soldier in the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions who found himself politically drawn out of power amid the rising tide of the tea party, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of the year.
    __
    Dreier became the latest casualty in the decennial redistricting process that has pushed more than 20 House members into retirement, many of them longtime lawmakers, giving way to a new generation with a more partisan and confrontational style….
    __
    Some incumbents moved to other districts near their homes, while others are involved in their first competitive race in years. Dreier’s 26th Congressional District, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains north and east of Los Angeles, was carved up in such a fashion that there was no political haven nearby, just heavily Democratic districts in every direction….
    __
    Before Dreier’s announcement, five other longtime California House members had said they would not seek reelection in November; another said he would run for San Diego mayor instead, and the rush to the gates began early last year when Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) announced her immediate resignation to lead a think tank.
    __
    By this year’s end, those eight lawmakers together will have accumulated more than 180 years of congressional experience.
    __
    Nationally, redistricting is spurring a large number of retirements; 21 House members have decided to retire from politics, according to the Casualty List blog maintained by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

    You win at the state level, before any election, if you weed out candidates, restrict who can vote, obstruct in any way you can, and make moderate Republicans either fear you or bail out.

    You write about what supposedly will happen in 2020. In 2004, were you and others writing that state governors would fall all over themselves to pass laws sanctioning violation of women’s bodies or asserting that employers should be able to decide what health insurance their employees could have, based on the owner’s moral preferences?

  81. 81
    Gregory says:

    Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.

    Oh, well, it was a nice idea while it lasted.

  82. 82
    gex says:

    @Linnaeus: I think we haven’t seen any indication that the straight white men of Christian descent that prefer the GOP have any interest in getting along with the rest of us. I don’t honestly see them changing their minds about that because this has only ever been about helping them feel good about themselves because they are better than everyone else. That’s why the revolutionary talk. They’d rather go down swinging than give up their supremacy.

    We just have to appoint a more left Democrat to captain one team, a more right Democrat to captain another team and then we pick teams to restock the two party system.

  83. 83
    gex says:

    @Origuy: Anything that interferes with the fertilization of that chicken egg is unGodly. The food industry has a lot of sinning to answer for.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne: RE: That’s odd. They are certainly viable now. They don’t appear to care about ratcheting up their rhetoric. And they still have a majority in the House, and are winning at the state level (helped by some redistricting juggling).

    I have a hunch about that, but I don’t have a whole lot of supporting evidence just yet. I suspect that internal polling is showing the GOP that they’re not only losing independents, they’re in grave danger of having the evangelicals not bother to vote in November. They know that they’re alienating everyone else, but if they can’t even get the 27 percenters to show up, they’re in for the most humiliating loss since Mondale’s in 1984, and they’re desperate to avoid that.

    Dubya taught the Republicans that you don’t need a mandate to wield power. They control the House, where the budget begins, and they are happy to obstruct in the Senate in order to secure concessions. Win or lose, they keep pushing their goals.

    I noted in an earlier post that in California, the Republicans happily kicked David Dreier to the curb. There is no guarantee that a Tea Party person will win his seat, but the Republicans don’t care.

    Again, it’s just a feeling I have, but the public polling is showing some quite interesting results right now. That’s why they’re doubling down and desperately trying to push things through NOW NOW NOW! They know they won’t have a chance after November.

    If the Democrats don’t win back the Congress, the Republicans will still be poised to block or dismantle Democratic Party policies. And the Republicans will still be responsible for passing or obstructing the 2012 budget.

    By the way, now that Dreier is no longer running for office, I wonder whether he will clear up those questions about his personal life?

    Permanent majorities don’t happen in a 2-party system, and it’s shortsighted to think that the GOP won’t ever turn around.

    Amen.

  85. 85
    El Tiburon says:

    @colby:

    No. He is NOW, but while he was in office, he inspired quite a few columns about how he wasn’t a true conservative and how he was abandoning the movement.

    Fair enough. But for the times, Reagan was pretty extreme. Of course he would be extremely moderate now. Which is my point. The term liberalism, as used in this context of this entire post, what does it even mean anymore?

    Yes. Obama’s HCR plan, which passed in 2010, goes far beyond what even Howard Dean was proposing in 2004.

    And? Howard Dean is really no liberal either. He is(was) a moderate at best. Obama’s HCR plan is based upon a conservative idea. While it improves the current system, I don’t think it alters the paradigm. Perhaps it is too early to tell and in the coming decades it will truly be a liberal/progressive system.

    His economic stimulus plan is larger than Clinton’s was by a factor of at least 5.

    WTF? Who cares? Did Clinton face the same kind of economic catastrophe Obama did? By all rational accounts, it was too small by half. Again, my problem with Obama is he didn’t get out in front enough to challenge the orthodoxy. You know, Grand Bargain and all.

    He has systematically given LGBT Americans more changes to claim their equal rights, whereas all Clinton could manage was a humiliating compromise on letting them work ONE type of job.

    Again, Obama has not been the most forceful advocate for gay marriage. His DOJ even used some heinous Bush-era reasons for fighting for DOMA. It seems more that Obama has been pulled into the LGBT fight than being its forceful leader.

    He’s re-regulated Wall Street; Bill Clinton signed one of the bills de-regulating it.

    Coke spit! If by re-regulating it you mean steeper parking fines, then okay. No, it is more of “Look forward, not backwards” regarding Wall Street.

  86. 86
    Short Bus Bully says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Obama is Reagan in the sense that he gives incredible speeches, he connects with his audience, etc. in a way that no other candidate since Clinton has been able to do. That counts for a LOT in politics and is an increasingly rare commodity (See: Romney, Mittens).

    If you just want to compare policy positions to have some “No True Scotsman” contest than be my guest but that’s not at all what I was talking about.

  87. 87
    El Tiburon says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    And a lot of Republicans were wondering what the hell Nixon and Reagan were up to. Nixon created the EPA, and Reagain raised taxes 7 times. But they were the beginnings of the realignment over the last 40 years.

    Sure, but, as I mentioned, what else was being born about the time of Nixon? You have the infamous Powell memo and the birthing of right-wing think tanks funded by Big Money. You had a concerted effort by a lot of powerful forces to shape and mold future politicians and the rhetoric. “Liberal” remember, is now a dirty word.

    My point is, and no one seems to care to address it: what does liberal even mean? A recent poll showed a majority of Democrats are ok with Gitmo, drone attacks and so on.

    AND: will we even care if we ok Israel bombing Iran? Do we even care we seem to be carrying out a covert war against Iran as we speak?

    Seems to me that if anything is having a real impact, it is the OWS movement IN SPITE of Obama.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @colby: Good Sweet Christ, are fucking serious?

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    My point is, and no one seems to care to address it: what does liberal even mean?

    Do you want to indulge in philosophical noodling or do you want to see the nation governed? Elect liberals who reflect your values.

    A recent poll showed a majority of Democrats are ok with Gitmo, drone attacks and so on.

    Sadly, people care more about jobs and the economy than foreign policy. Even liberals.

    AND: will we even care if we ok Israel bombing Iran?

    Phony question. What are you going to do if Israel unilaterally attacks Iran?

    By the way, do you care that North Korea may have stepped back from its insane hostiiities in order to feed their people? Isn’t this a victory for liberal values? Or would you prefer that conservative saber rattling, or worse, continue?

    Do we even care we seem to be carrying out a covert war against Iran as we speak?

    The sanctions are pretty overt? Would you prefer that they all be lifted?

    Seems to me that if anything is having a real impact, it is the OWS movement IN SPITE of Obama.

    No, here you are just making shit up.

  90. 90
    El Tiburon says:

    @goethean:

    Obama may join Washington, Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the short list of American presidents who, thanks both to their own leadership and the fortuitous timing of their elections, presided over the refounding of the United States. Yes, he can.

    Of course this was written in Nov. of 2008. The proof is in the pudding: Obama is not a transformational leader.

    Whereas FDR said, in referring to Captains of Industry, “They hate me and I Welcome their hatred.”
    Obama just hires the same retreads who got us into this mess from the Clinton years, gives them a nice bailout, and has the DOJ look the other way. The Republicans have admitted they are waging war on him, the Democrats and the American people, yet all Obama can muster is weak compromise after weak compromise.

  91. 91
    Catsy says:

    @El Tiburon: That weak appeaser Obama. What the fuck has he done?

    Keep fucking that rat, Sparky. Who knows; maybe eventually you’ll be able to marry it.

  92. 92
    El Tiburon says:

    @Brachiator:

    Do you want to indulge in philosophical noodling or do you want to see the nation governed? Elect liberals who reflect your values.

    I do what I can do. I voted for Lloyd Doggett. I live in Texas. According to you (I presume) Obama is a liberal. So maybe we need to adjust that definition. But, in other words, simply accept what we have become and be cool with it.

    Sadly, people care more about jobs and the economy than foreign policy. Even liberals.

    Hmmm…is the argument here we can’t care about foreign policy for the worry Obama may not get re-elected? How are these two mutually exclusive? Can’t I care about a job and also care that we are not killing innocent women and children?

    By the way, do you care that North Korea may have stepped back from its insane hostiiities in order to feed their people? Isn’t this a victory for liberal values? Or would you prefer that conservative saber rattling, or worse, continue?

    I’m sure there is a cohesive point hidden within this statement itching to come out. So, crazy North Korea can step back from its insane hostilities, but the Oh So Sane USA can’t do the same? You do understand we are still spending billions for war while more Americans sink into poverty?

    The sanctions are pretty overt? Would you prefer that they all be lifted?

    The murder of Iranian nuclear scientists is not. And yes, I think the sanctions should be lifted. Yes, I think Obama should do as he pledged and have dialogue with the Iranians. And I think he should make it extremely clear that we will not tolerate any military action by Israel against Iran.

    No, here you are just making shit up.

    How do you figure? OWS is less than a year old, yet it is having an impact on the national discourse. Who the fuck ever even heard of the 99 vs. 1 percent? What impact did Obama have?

  93. 93
    El Tiburon says:

    @Catsy:

    That weak appeaser Obama.

    Awesome. The very first one was Lily Ledbetter. Hey, I’ve always given Obama credit for Lily Ledbetter.

    Look, I don’t really blame Obama. I admit I saw more in the man than there really was. It is our political system. No true liberal/progressive can probably ever be elected.

    But you have to admit, many of the major items Obama campaigned on, he turned his back on them as quickly as he could. From holding telecoms accountable for illegal spying to being transparent and on down the line.

    I know it does not matter to people like you that we have accountability for the torturers and the war-mongerers and those who wrecked our economy and so many lives. I understand this. All you care about is hanging on to that health insurance or making sure you get a job paying $11/hr with no benefits. I get it. And I’m not saying these things are not important. But if you think Obama has turned this country in a new direction from that of GWB, I have to ask, how? Lily Ledbetter ain’t gettin’ it done.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    If the Democrats don’t win back the Congress, the Republicans will still be poised to block or dismantle Democratic Party policies. And the Republicans will still be responsible for passing or obstructing the 2012 budget.

    But that’s what I think the internal polling is showing — I don’t think Republicans are at all confident of keeping the House, or any of their state majorities that are up for grabs this year. That’s why the overreach is happening so fast right now — they’re on a deadline and they don’t have the luxury of waiting for next term.

  95. 95
    colby says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But for the times, Reagan was pretty extreme.

    Not really. As governor of CA, he raised taxes, publicly opposed anti-gay ballot props, and signed a bill allowing abortion. He was kind of the opposite of Romney- extreme in demeanor, but fairly conciliatory in policy. And by ’80, even his demeanor wasn’t extreme, as he’d found that “Grampa Ronnie” sweet spot.

    Howard Dean is really no liberal either.

    I’m inclined to agree. And the fact is, he was the furthest left-edge of the possible candidates in 2004. Obama’s law outlefts him, and there is still a strong argument that it’s not enough. That’s strong leftward movement in the country.

    I don’t think it alters the paradigm.

    I think it’s going to be a long, painful process, but that there’s quite a bit in there that has incredible potential, such as Sebelius’ power to experiment with other systems than fee-for-service, the market forces the exchanges will put on insurers, and the gradual, but undeniable move away from an employer-based system. Certainly hard to tell right now. Certainly a lot of chance for it to all blow up. But it’s well to the left of what we could have gotten in 2004, and the fact that the real consensus is that it’s fine or too conservative tells you a lot about how this country has changed.

    By all rational accounts, it was too small by half.

    Yes, you’re again making my point. Obama pushed through a Keynesian economic measure that dwarfed anything like it before, and there’s still a strong argument that it wasn’t enough. The country has moved left.

    Again, my problem with Obama is he didn’t get out in front enough to challenge the orthodoxy.

    Except on the stimulus, he did. During transition, people were talking about a $250 billion stimulus as if it were a fantasy. Obama tripled that. I agree it still wasn’t enough, but at the size it was, it was still an incredible system shock (which is why Congress has been unwilling to do any further stimulus since then). So, the argument has gone from “Can we even do $250 billion?” to “Was $850 billion enough?” That’s movement to the left.

    Again, Obama has not been the most forceful advocate for gay marriage.

    Never said he was- and whether he is or not is immaterial to my point. My point is, the last time we had a President who even talked a good game on gay rights, the most he could accomplish was DADT…while letting DOMA through. Obama’s repealed DADT, set up dozens of new benefits for gay couples, and stopped defending DOMA. I’d rather he just come out for gay marriage and be done with it, too. But the fact is, we went from a President who passed DADT and DOMA to a President who repealed one and has instructed the DOJ to stop defending the other…and yes, he’s still behind the curve on gay rights. Country, leftward.

    Coke spit! If by re-regulating it you mean steeper parking fines, then okay.

    So, your response is “nuh uh”?

    MILK SNORT! WTF!? LOLZ, REALLY? AND?

    This is exactly as convincing as you’re coming across, dude.

  96. 96
    colby says:

    @Corner Stone: GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING, DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK! SNOT ROCKET!

  97. 97
    colby says:

    Okay, I apologize, this is a blast. I totally see why you guys only respond with exclamations of incredulous questions. I shouldn’t have made fun.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    Ah, El Tib back on his hobbyhorse that if Obama couldn’t do in 2 years what it took FDR 12 years to do, it’s OBAMA FAIL!

    Though I do love how El Tib disappears little things from FDR’s history like the race-based internment of US citizens and the blocking of federal anti-lynching laws in his eagerness to lionize FDR’s perfection. FDR accomplished what he did by bowing to racists and doing everything they asked him to do, including keeping WPA projects segregated.

    FDR said he “welcomed the hatred” of bankers on one hand and stole the property of innocent Japanese-Americans with the other, but this makes him a hero in El Tib’s eyes. Funny, that.

  99. 99
    colby says:

    @Mnemosyne: FDR also “welcomed their hatred” but put most of them on the recovery boards he set up (and later, the wartime production boards). For land’s sake, he put Joe Kennedy in at the SEC.

    Which is not to say that we should demonize FDR. We should just recognize that even our most admired Presidents and politicians have had some major failings, and maybe adjust our expectations.

  100. 100
    Frank says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But if you think Obama has turned this country in a new direction from that of GWB, I have to ask, how?

    Oh, I think you can ask just about any foreigner and they will tell you there is world of difference now that Obama is in power. Have you been abroad while Bush was President and now that Obama is President? Our country is more popular again.

    If Bush had still been President we most likely would already have attacked Iran.

    Obama (unlike Bush) tried to close Gitmo. It is not his fault that the rest of Democratic party seems to be in favor of breaking the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    Finally, health care reform has the potential to be huge depending on how it is implemented etc. Carter/Clinton etc all failed on this issue as I’m sure you are aware of.

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @colby: I just question your repeated assertion that the country has moved leftward over the last 20+ years because Obama supported a Republican plan for health care. Howard Dean was the most leftward D candidate on 2004 and Clinton, some 20 years ago almost, couldn’t get LGBT rights through Congress.
    The things you are citing don’t go very far in your assertions.

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I do what I can do. I voted for Lloyd Doggett. I live in Texas. According to you (I presume) Obama is a liberal. So maybe we need to adjust that definition. But, in other words, simply accept what we have become and be cool with it.

    We have probably been over this before. The only meaningful choice you have, right now, today, is to see Obama re-elected, along with whatever liberals suit your fancy to strengthen his hand or shift his direction. Unless, you somehow think that a Romney or Santorum would magically reflect your desires and values.

    Hmmm…is the argument here we can’t care about foreign policy for the worry Obama may not get re-elected? How are these two mutually exclusive? Can’t I care about a job and also care that we are not killing innocent women and children?

    It’s not all about you. I said, and say again, that a lot of people who identify as liberal care more about their safety and economic prosperity than they care about foreign affairs. I also didn’t say that this is the way things should be.

    As an aside, I note that many liberals don’t really care that innocent women and children die; they just don’t want Americans pulling the trigger.

    RE: By the way, do you care that North Korea may have stepped back from its insane hostiiities in order to feed their people? Isn’t this a victory for liberal values? Or would you prefer that conservative saber rattling, or worse, continue?

    I’m sure there is a cohesive point hidden within this statement itching to come out. So, crazy North Korea can step back from its insane hostilities, but the Oh So Sane USA can’t do the same? You do understand we are still spending billions for war while more Americans sink into poverty?

    Thank you for this. You cannot acknowledge that the Obama Administration clearly worked hard to give North Korea room to drop their previous bellicose stand. Instead, you try to dance around what is plainly in front of you. What a weak and obvious dodge.

    The murder of Iranian nuclear scientists is not.

    You got some proof that the US killed the scientist?

    And I think he should make it extremely clear that we will not tolerate any military action by Israel against Iran.

    What would you have the US do if Israel attacks Iran? Wag a finger?

    By the way, should the US do anything more than wag a finger at Syria while the rulers there murder their own people? Do you not care about the innocents there who are being mowed down?

    RE: No, here you are just making shit up.

    How do you figure? OWS is less than a year old, yet it is having an impact on the national discourse. Who the fuck ever even heard of the 99 vs. 1 percent? What impact did Obama have?

    Hmm. Impact on national discourse. Except for debate and navel gazing, any policy change is going to have to depend on elected officials.

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    If the country has moved so far leftward then why are we watching the candidate who will win 55+ million votes back the Blunt Amendment.

  104. 104
    colby says:

    @Corner Stone: SWEET JESUS IN A SMOKING BIRCH TREEE CANOE YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

    Nah, the evidence for my point backs it up pretty damn well, actually (all this, and I’m humble, too). We’ve gone from having the only guy with a serious HCR plan not even winning the primary to a guy PASSING a more liberal HCR plan and being correctly told that it wasn’t left enough. That’s clear evidence that the country has moved left.

    We’ve gone from a President passing DADT and DOMA to a President who has repealed one and is trying to torpedo the other in the federal courts, and he is correctly told that he’s not going far enough. Clear leftward movement.

    There’s really no way to describe it. These are policies that were once electoral detriments because they were too far to the left… and are now electoral detriments because they’re too far to the right. If you don’t see that that’s evidence of a leftward drift in this country, well, then I kinda think you’re letting your conclusions shade your analysis of the evidence.

  105. 105
    lol says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And of course, the liberals of the day thought FDR was a traitor and insufficiently liberal.

    In 15 years, the firebaggers of today will be singing Obama’s praises and pretending they always backed him.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @colby:

    Which is not to say that we should demonize FDR. We should just recognize that even our most admired Presidents and politicians have had some major failings, and maybe adjust our expectations.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, FDR is one of my heroes, but I don’t have any illusions about how he got done what he got done, unlike some people who want to whitewash (ahem) the past and pretend that no one had to sacrifice anything for FDR’s agenda.

  107. 107
    El Tiburon says:

    @Brachiator:

    The only meaningful choice you have, right now, today, is to see Obama re-elected, along with whatever liberals suit your fancy to strengthen his hand or shift his direction.

    Wait, do you think I don’t want Obama re-elected? Do you construe my fierce criticism as evidence that I want a Republican? So, we can’t criticize Dear Leader? Can’t I criticize and still pull the correct lever?

    As an aside, I note that many liberals don’t really care that innocent women and children die; they just don’t want Americans pulling the trigger.

    True enough. But it is chilling to realize that a majority of Americans just don’t care.

    Thank you for this. You cannot acknowledge that the Obama Administration clearly worked hard to give North Korea room to drop their previous bellicose stand.

    What are you talking about? Do you have a link or some information you would care to share? It seems to me (and this is pure, rank speculation coming directly from my a-hole) that all we did was let the Old Man die and allow, presumably, cooler heads prevail. Hey, if I’m wrong then I’m wrong.

    What would you have the US do if Israel attacks Iran? Wag a finger?

    Seriously, this is all you got? We can slap sanctions on every fucking country in the world except Israel? I know I know: I’m being so woefully naive and ignorant. Israel calls the shots. We don’t. Just ’cause we are their ultimate protector, we must bow to them. There I go again living in a world that simply cannot exist.

    By the way, should the US do anything more than wag a finger at Syria while the rulers there murder their own people? Do you not care about the innocents there who are being mowed down?

    Why aren’t we doing more in Syria? Why so fast in Libya but not Syria? Are we limited by other geopolitical actors? Russia? China? I don’t know what I would do. I don’t think invading another country is the best answer. Did we arm Syria? Are they killing their citizens with US bombs and bullets?

    Except for debate and navel gazing, any policy change is going to have to depend on elected officials.

    No shit Sherlock. And when you have Republicans talking about income disparity, do you credit Obama? Or OWS? Remember, it is called OCCUPY WALL STEET. You know, a protest against WALL STREET. Whereas the only occupying at the White House is BY Wall Street in the Obama administration.

  108. 108
    colby says:

    @Corner Stone: You mean the thing that lost today?

    Also, too, I don’t think Mitt Romney really has his finger on the pulse of the nation, though if he does, it makes what Obama’s been able to do pretty fucking impressive.

  109. 109
    lol says:

    @colby:

    This is also a good time to point out what actually moves the Overton Window: policy being enacted.

    It’s not “framing” or whatever rhetorical circle jerk the emo-left believes will magically make single payer a reality.

  110. 110
    El Tiburon says:

    @Frank:
    Yes, we are more popular than under Bush. But I think that is changing, no?

    We may still be at war with Iran. Do you hear the saber rattling going on?

    Regarding Gitmo, Obama also signed legislation ratifying indefinite detention. So, you got that.

    ACA – again, this was a conservative blue-print. I hope to eat crow on this one day. I understand and appreciate the positive effects it is having and more on the way. But I just don’t think it really addressed the major issues with our current system. If over the years it leads to more, better change, then good.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lol:

    In 15 years, the firebaggers of today will be singing Obama’s praises and pretending they always backed him.

    … and castigating his “inferior” replacement the same way they castigate Obama for not living up to the liberal ideals of Bill “DLC” Clinton.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Wait, do you think I don’t want Obama re-elected?

    Dude, everything you ever post here very clearly communicates that you do not want Obama re-elected. I don’t know how else you can reconcile your constant cries that he’s a murdering war criminal who’s using the power of the law to oppress US citizens.

    If you really believe that shit, how could you possibly in good conscience call for a murdering war criminal’s re-election, much less vote for him?

  113. 113
    colby says:

    And just to pre-but this possible line of argument before I coward it up for the night, you can’t have it both ways, y’know? If you think Obama really did not do things as far to the left as he could have, then you can’t say we’re all that conservative of a country. Now, I think that Obama could have gone further left on a lot of things, and should have on a good number of things. But if I’m wrong, and Obama did not have room to the left because this country is so woefully conservative, then that actually makes what he DID do more impressive.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @colby: THIS IS SOME IMPRESSIVE DOUBLE SPEAK.

  115. 115
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    FDR said he “welcomed the hatred” of bankers on one hand and stole the property of innocent Japanese-Americans with the other, but this makes him a hero in El Tib’s eyes. Funny, that.

    Look,I know you get antsy when sniffing glue, but I sure would like to know where I said FDR was a hero of mine. I was responding to another comment regarding Lincoln, FDR and Washington. Hey, Jefferson owned slaves so fuck him, right?

    I know how excited you get when constructing one of your little straw men, but my point was that the Republicans have literally declared war on this President; the working class, gays and women. I ain’t saying Obama is going all Chamberlain and shit, but it sure would be nice to see him fight back with as much piss and vinegar as he could muster.

  116. 116
    lol says:

    @El Tiburon:

    What do you care about more? Policy getting passed or seeing the President “fight” (whatever the fuck that means)?

  117. 117
    colby says:

    @El Tiburon:

    again, this was a conservative blue-print

    I just want to point out real quick that this is a little bit more of a “factoid” than a “fact”. While the Heritage Foundation and Bob Dole did support something similar to the ACA in ’94, it was well understood at the time to be a tactical move. It was a way for the Republicans to say, “See, we have our OWN health care plan, and it’s very moderate with several things liberals would like. You don’t have to just accept Clinton’s plan!” It was not a genuine plan they had any intention of following up on (proof in the pudding: they did not put the bill up for a vote in ’95).

    Similarly, Chuck Grassley said he’d be open to single payer back in 2010. When President Cory Booker Jr. proposed single payer in 2056, I hope we’re not calling it a conservative plan, too.

  118. 118
    El Tiburon says:

    @colby:

    Not really. As governor of CA, he raised taxes, publicly opposed anti-gay ballot props, and signed a bill allowing abortion.

    So what? Back in the day these were really not even controversial topics. He did a lot of extreme things in office from deregulation to massive tax cuts and so on.

    Yes, you’re again making my point. Obama pushed through a Keynesian economic measure that dwarfed anything like it before, and there’s still a strong argument that it wasn’t enough. The country has moved left.

    How does this mean the country has moved left? And remember, a lot of that stimulus was tax cuts.

    So, your response is “nuh uh”?

    MILK SNORT! WTF!? LOLZ, REALLY? AND?

    This is exactly as convincing as you’re coming across, dude.

    So tell me how Obama has re-regulated Wall Street? It’s funny just to say.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But that’s what I think the internal polling is showing—I don’t think Republicans are at all confident of keeping the House, or any of their state majorities that are up for grabs this year. That’s why the overreach is happening so fast right now—they’re on a deadline and they don’t have the luxury of waiting for next term.

    OK, I see what you are saying. But posters here think that there is a deadline, or some certainty that the Republicans are going to fade away or be dumped by future generations. This is by no means a sure thing.

    But even here, the Republicans have convinced themselves that they are the only legitimate political party. They act this way when they are the majority. They act this way when they are in the minority. They obstructed Clinton. They dismantled every liberal program they could under Bush and Cheney. They are obstructing Obama. They don’t overreach. This is their standard operating procedure.

    And they show no signs of giving up or changing how they work. No matter what polls show.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Look,I know you get antsy when sniffing glue, but I sure would like to know where I said FDR was a hero of mine.

    Yes, since you’re continuously comparing Obama to FDR to Obama’s detriment, I can’t imagine why I would think you think highly of FDR and think poorly of Obama.

    I ain’t saying Obama is going all Chamberlain and shit, but it sure would be nice to see him fight back with as much piss and vinegar as he could muster.

    As long as you ignore that FDR only fought back against the easiest target at the time — the banksters — and left a whole bunch of other people twisting in the wind, I suppose you can compare the two and decide that FDR was full of “piss and vinegar” and Obama wasn’t.

    It sure would have been nice for FDR to use some of that “piss and vinegar” to defend civil rights for African-Americans and Japanese-Americans, wouldn’t it? But they were hard to defend, and the banksters were easy to attack, so they were FDR’s target.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So tell me how Obama has re-regulated Wall Street?

    He hasn’t. Can you say “GOP Obstructionism?”

    Get a clear Democratic majority into the Congress.

  122. 122
    colby says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, what you are saying really is.

    Listen, I know you’re not actually having trouble comprehending this. We have policies that, in the recent history, were considered too far to the left to pass. Now, those policies have passed or been expanded on, and we complain that they’re too moderate. This is obvious evidence of a leftward move in this country, and your inability to say anything besides “NUH UH!” and “ORWELL!” is really only helping make my case.

  123. 123
    Jeremy says:

    @El Tiburon

    Dude you are all over the place with your arguments. You clearly don’t understand political history and the movements which affected it. Reagan was governor from the late 60’s to the 70’s when the grassroots conservative movement was gaining steam and growing in influence. Social issues were coming into the forefront and Americans were warming to less government and lower taxes. So for you to say that Reagan betraying Conservative dogma as governor and at times as President shows you have no clue what you are talking about.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, some people here seem to have missed the point of the article, which is that Obama parallels Nixon, not Reagan, in that he may be the beginning of the re-alignment. Nixon did all kinds of “liberal” things like creating the EPA, but his election was the beginning of the sharp turn to the right that came to fruition with Reagan.

  125. 125
    colby says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Back in the day these were really not even controversial topics.

    Yeah, that’s my point. Reagan was not a controversial, extreme figure outside of Democratic circles.

    How does this mean the country has moved left?

    Obama pushed through a policy that was far more liberal than anything that came before, and it is considered not liberal enough. This is becoming one of those “none are so blind” moments.

  126. 126
    colby says:

    So tell me how Obama has re-regulated Wall Street?

    It’s called Dodd-Frank and the CFPA, and if you had any decent argument against it, you would have said THAT instead of “LOLZ, RLY? HICCUP!”

  127. 127
    colby says:

    (Which is not, again, to say that Dodd-Frank is perfect, or even nearly enough. That’s not the point, no matter how desperately you need it to be to have a leg to stand on. The point is, we had four Presidents in a row who each AFFIRMATIVELY DEREGULATED the financial sector of this country. At the time, they were all lauded for it, and 3 of them won re-election. Now, for the first time in 30+ years, we have a President who has re-regulated Wall Street, and everyone agrees that he has not regulated it enough, and it may cost him in his next election. We’ve gone from deregulation not hurting someone’s re-election chances (if not actively HELPING them) to insufficient regulation hurting them. This is clear leftward movement, if you want to see it or not).

  128. 128
    Jeremy says:

    @Brachiator
    \Sorry but both of you are wrong on this one. Obama did re-regulate the financial industry and that was through Wall Street reform which imposed the toughest regulations on the industry since the Great Depression. The Volcker rule has similarities to Glass Stegall which was repealed in the late 90’s. Also the administration set new regulations for Derivatives and banned a number of financial practices, increased all of the capitalization standards, created a Consumer watchdog agency with teeth, and new powers to all of the agencies including the FDIC to shutdown and liquidate Banks that pose a risk to the economy, a clawback rule that gives regulators power to take bank executives/ board member pay, stock options,etc. They also have to write a living will out to regulators before they engage in derivatives trading. Also new powers by the CFTC to impose limits on speculation on Futures/ derivatives. And other regulations are there that I didn’t mention. You can say it may not be enough but Wall Street has been fighting these new regulations tooth and nail and that’s why the industry is backing republicans to get rid of it.

  129. 129
    colby says:

    Alright guys, I’m off for the night. But just to be fair, I’ll assume that the next time you guys said “SNORT, REALLY?” and “NUH UH, BIG BROTHER!” it finally convinced me that this country is further to the right than it was when no gay people could get married or serve openly in the military, we did not have national health care plan, we couldn’t pass a Keynesian stimulus plan during a recession, and we continuously de-regulated Wall Street. I’M SOLD!

  130. 130
    Jeremy says:

    Liberals in FDR’s time said that the Wall Street Regulations he put in place were not enough. I read an article in New York magazine talking about the castration of Wall Street and how the banks are down sizing and lowering pay and bonuses and taking less risk and increasing capitalization because of the new regulations from Dodd Frank that are being implemented. Wall street executives have been complaining and are mad at Obama but some on the left are in denial of that fact.

  131. 131
    WeeBey says:

    Th fucking stupid is strong on this thread.

  132. 132
    Jim says:

    “Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.”

    Alas, I despair that liberals are not capable of this.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @colby: DOMA is still in place, DADT repeal is a solid win, we don’t have a national health care plan we have a national insurance plan, and what do you think Clinton did coming into office after Bush I ?
    Colby, you keep saying things, IN CAPS, but you’re not making your argument.

    Also, too, I hate to break this to you but Reagan was indeed considered an extremist loon, in his time, by people other than just Democrats.

  134. 134
    Bill D. says:

    “Over the next decade, liberals need to nail conservatives’ feet to the floor and force-feed them their words.”

    More like over the next 30 years. Turn conservative into an embarrassing word like liberal is for so many.

  135. 135
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Brachiator:

    People left of center have been thinking there’s a deadline since the ’60s. No wonder they’re so easily discouraged.

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