All Hail the #DickWhisperer

Is our Milbank learning? Dan Balz, in the WaPo:

No one expected Campaign 2012 to be positive or uplifting. The country’s problems are too severe and the battle lines between Republicans and Democrats have been hardened by almost four years of conflict between the White House and Congress.

But what is most striking about the campaign at this point is not just the negativity or the sheer volume of attack ads raining down on voters in the swing states. It is the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back. The other guy does it, so we’re going to do it too.

Fucking cry me a river. Dana Milbank, of all people, deals with this crap:

Forgive me, but I’m not prepared to join this walk down Great Umbrage Street just yet. Yes, it’s ugly out there. But is this worse than four years ago, when Obama was accused by the GOP vice presidential nominee of “palling around with terrorists”? Or eight years ago, when Democratic nominee John Kerry was accused of falsifying his Vietnam War record?

What’s different this time is that the Democrats are employing the same harsh tactics that have been used against them for so long, with so much success. They have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked, and Obama’s campaign is giving as good as it gets — and then some.

Balz is correct when he observes that the “most striking” element of the campaign is “the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back.” In large part, this is because the Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves.

Bending over and being beaten up by bullies has done nothing. At long last, Democrats are growing a spine and fighting back.

Yes, it’s giving the “reasonable Republicans” who provide rhetorical cover for the lunatic Christianist and Randian fanatics fits, but hey- maybe it’s time to own what your party has become?






154 replies
  1. 1
    Rommie says:

    I just read something that Grandpa McCain wants Biden off his lawn, and thinks the President should fire him for Hillary. That should be plenty enough reason to let the Joementum continue if he’s already got Abe Simpson yelling at clouds.

  2. 2
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why the Dem tactics are so “out there.”

    If there’s nothing to the tax return flap, Romney could easily defang it by releasing 4-5 years of returns.

    The “killing Medicare” argument about the Ryan plan has the advantage of being true. Giving elderly people vouchers and asking them to play the insurance market is fucking nuts with a capital FUCKING NUTS.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    Despite the media’s constant bleating of “both sides do it”, most of them have never actually witnessed both sides doing it. The sight of Democrats fighting back and even getting in a few first punches must be very jarring for the poor dears. I wish David Broder were alive to tsk-tsk us.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    The minions of the white-hating, American-hating Kenyan-born Communist Muslim narcissist Negro in our White House are being mean and unfair! Shocking, just shocking.

  5. 5
    Richard says:

    The media’s message to Obama and the Democrats:
    Please be civil to lying sacks of shit.

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I like(d) Al Gore and John Kerry, a lot. But Gore and his team reacted to every Maureen Dowd column as if she were the voice of the heartland, and I think Kerry wrote off the Swfit Boaters because he thought his friends in the MSM, and GOP ‘friends’ like McCain, would defend him.

    @Rommie: I’m not sure, but I think he was just responding to what Palin said. He really is a sad old coot. I’m sure Biden still considers John a pal.

  7. 7
    Valdivia says:

    Another excellent piece along the same lines is this by Capeheart. I posted on the previous thread but it might get lost in the nazis-socialist fight and it’s worth a read so I am reposting here.

  8. 8
    Quincy says:

    Good for Milbank. Between Chuck Todd today and Soledad O’Brien all week, the media, while still loathsome, is having its best election cycle in a while. I’ll even give Wolf a little credit for taking DSW to task when she was trying to obfuscate.

  9. 9
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves.

    One difference: The Democrats are telling the truth.

  10. 10
    Richard says:

    @beltane:

    David Broder’s angel is no doubt awaiting the day when he can again feast on Karl Rove’s quail in some cabin in the sky.

  11. 11
    The Ithacan says:

    Bean bag politics is not.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, the Rethugs are now being confronted with the truth about their fucked up, neo-feudal agenda.

    Boo hoo hoo.

    Suffer, maggots. We’re going to drive you back under the slimy rocks you crawled up from, Bircher filth.

  13. 13
    Richard says:

    Funny how the “liberal” media seems to be populated almost entirely by concern trolls.

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    2010 was an object lesson too. The Republicans spent millions telling seniors that Obama had cut Medicare – the same crap Romney has been going with the last couple days, if you hadn’t noticed – and the Democratic response was basically, “Uh, Obamacare? Never heard of it.” This campaign is going to prove who Medicare’s true enemies are.

  15. 15
    dp says:

    The notion of the Obama campaign’s “dirtiness” is rank bullshit.

    I’m trying to determine if there is a single Romney ad currently running that isn’t based on a blatant lie. So far, the answer is no.

  16. 16
    mai naem says:

    About motherfcuking time. I love Robert Gibbs. I love Stephanie Cutter. I love Joe Biden. I want Gibbs to smack Romney and Ryan upside the head once and have them come back and have Cutter come in punch their lights out and then have them slumbering out into consciousness and have Biden ram a baseball up their ass. Wow, uhm, I guess I’m being a little too descriptive here. I do mean of the above like a Roadrunner cartoon kind of way.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    It is the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back. The other guy does it, so we’re going to do it too.

    Two words: Citizens United.

    All those mounds of greenbacks make it eminently affordable to go to the tainted well more early and more often.

  18. 18
    Redshift says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    One difference: The Democrats are telling the truth.

    Yep. Steve Benen had a good post today about how the Villagers are getting the vapors over the campaigns being “mean,” apparently because that actually is something that “both sides do,” so it lets them ignore the fact that one side is blatantly and repeatedly lying.

    …many voters watching at home were probably fooled too … in part because many in media are uncomfortable running headlines that read, “Romney Caught Lying About Welfare,” even when that’s exactly what happened.

  19. 19
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Something happened to the Democrats. Or to Obama. They decided to fight.

    It might take several years for all the facts to come out but I think it might stem from the incident in which an agreement was painfully hammered out with the Republicans in the house [regarding budget or something] and then the Republicans just flat reneged on the agreement. If these characters aren’t going to honor their own agreements, why bother with compromise, etc.? If they have no honor, don’t try to work with them, try to defeat them.

    I was shocked that the Republicans wouldn’t keep their agreements and I may be projecting that feeling on Obama & Co. So you might not want to agree with me.

  20. 20
    dead existentialist says:

    Gah! How the Dems can be accused of doing the bullshit that the right does is beyond me. I understand tilting the narrative to one’s advantage, but out right lying and making shit up is beyond even the American political pale.

    We have one side (the Dems) making an argument that “x is not y” while the other side (Repubs) is arguing that “blue is green.” WTF?

    I’m an Independent. I almost always vote for Democrats because they are the only option that the Republicans have left me. I have voted for the third party candidate in the presidential election as a weak protest vote (I also live in a very red area), but this time I’m firmly behind the President. If we lose this election, I personally will be one of the fucked.)

    As the nutjobbers on the right have been saying: This is the election of a lifetime.*

    *And I thought the same when Reagan won, but this time is different: We can turn back the tide that rolled in with that jack-a-nape.

  21. 21
    Ash Can says:

    Credit to Milbank where credit is due, but I wouldn’t use the terms “reckless” or “unfair” here for either side. Romney and his campaign are telling lies and blowing racial dogwhistles civil-defense sirens, and Obama and his campaign are calling them out on it. Period. Nothing reckless about it — both sides know exactly what they’re doing. And there’s nothing “unfair” about it, exactly, either. I suppose lying could be considered “unfair” in some broad sense, but why be a shrinking violet about it? Call it what it is — just plain fucking unacceptable.

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    I’ve said before, when attempting to diagnose the state of affairs, where somewhere along the way when the country needed a whipping post, the Dem party held up its hand. Though maybe, with an assist from Reagan.

    If it is true that the dem party is the mommie party, and republicans are the daddy party, well then, it is now woman on top, sending waves of the vapors up one side and down the pol player class.

    Somebody had to turn the other cheek and take the abuse from republicans behaving badly, and that became the working model of dysfunction for all concerned.

    Well Obama has had enough of that shit, and democrats are following him, past the pearl clutching folks like Dan Balz that is to be expected, as is the wails and knashing of teeth by republicans, and especially their nominee. Not to mention the battalions of the DC consulting class democrats, afraid of their own shadows, pumping out GOP light crapola and advice to not anger the wingnuts, lest they get mad and shit. And cut those dems out of the money grubbing.

    It is so uncommon to see democrats come down off the self imposed high horse, to ground level of politicking with an attitude of shoot and ask questions later. Not backing up, nor apologizing for breaking the script that has solidified into a “that’s the way it has always been done” mentality, with dems in a permanent defensive crouch between fear of press and the anger of the white majority party. And that is changing, not a minute too soon, and seating arrangements at the alters of liberal sacrifice, are being reassigned. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  23. 23
    azlib says:

    Wow, Dana Milbank. That is certainly a surprise.

  24. 24
    Hill Dweller says:

    The Republicans entire campaign is essentially the black guy didn’t clean up our mess quick enough and/or he is stealing something from you. They also want everyone to forget their repeated attempts to shut down the government, intentionally default the debt, and layoff every public sector worker possible in the states they controlled.

  25. 25
    Anonne says:

    Milbank still screws it up. He posits the professional centrist foil of “both sides do it.” What is out of bounds and what both sides are not doing is lying out the wazoo and making shit up out of whole cloth. Democrats are hammering them with the truth, however ugly it is.

  26. 26
    Unsympathetic says:

    I’ve always wondered when the Democrats would finally accept that the absolute only way to beat Rethuglicans these days is to do what Repigs think they’re good at – but do it better.

    In short, f* the f*ing f*ers.

  27. 27
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Quincy: I no longer have cable. What did Chuck Todd do today?

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    The Republicans simply have no idea how to deal with Democrats who fight back. They’re whining and whining and all anyone is doing is laughing at them. It’s delicious.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    @mai naem:

    I do mean of the above like a Roadrunner cartoon kind of way.

    Actually, that’s perfect. The Roadrunner would always just happily run over the Coyote’s sorry ass, right after the Coyote had blown himself up or dropped a piano on himself. Such is Campaign 2012.

  30. 30
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    I think a big difference is that former candidates like Gore and Kerry grew up during a time when Republicans and Democrats worked together in Congress, didn’t attack each other personally, so on, and so forth. OTOH, Obama became an adult during the 80’s – ya’ know, welfare queens, Dukakis is a pussy because he doesn’t want to kill his wife, and so on.

    Now, he hasn’t been perfect (see his first two years or so in office), but Obama knows deep down that most of the GOP caucus aren’t made up of good people. Kerry and Gore believed that they were.

  31. 31
    rda909 says:

    Dana Milbank wrote the same scribbles basically as Blue Balz, just with a little different set-up. Milbank of course concludes with a “both sides do it” lie, about Democrats/President Obama being “reckless and unfair” too, by golly! No evidence needs to be presented. It’s just the way it is, now shut up you silly liberals. Milbank is as bad as any of them.

  32. 32
    Cacti says:

    The media is accustomed to Republicans being the abusive husband, and Democrats being the submissive battered wife of our political discourse.

    Team Obama isn’t having any of that shit, and the media is clucking because it upsets the narrative. The narrative is their reason for being. All stories must be in service of the narrative and that Obama fellow keeps upsetting them.

    Educated non-whites from Chicago aren’t supposed to be elected POTUS. And they’re certainly not supposed to call rich, white, blue bloods out on their bullshit.

  33. 33
    Not Sure says:

    My response to them: How’s it taste, motherfucker? They’re good at dishing it out, but when they have to take even a little bit of it, they cry like Cartman when Kyle halfassedly punches him in the arm.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @Cacti:

    The media is accustomed to Republicans being the abusive husband, and Democrats being the submissive battered wife of our political discourse.
    __
    Team Obama isn’t having any of that shit, and the media is clucking because it upsets the narrative. The narrative is their reason for being. All stories must be in service of the narrative and that Obama fellow keeps upsetting them.

    Obama told everyone how he works, way back in 2008. You have to watch until the end, but it’s worth it.

  35. 35
    redshirt says:

    @Not Sure: Yes. In so many ways the Republican party is like Eric Cartman. Especially being the gigantic wimp when pushed back.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @Anonne:

    Democrats are hammering them with the truth, however ugly it is.

    As a great Democrat once said: “I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s hell.”

    Given that the right has become so extreme, they’re essentially a proto-fascist movement, we need more Harry Trumans and Lyndon Johnsons.

  37. 37
    Trentrunner says:

    @Not Sure: I prefer to think of Romney as Scott Tenorman. Cartmann/Obama’s brewing up some delicious chili for Romney…

    How do you like your Chili, Mitt?

  38. 38
    Cacti says:

    @Not Sure:

    My response to them: How’s it taste, motherfucker? They’re good at dishing it out, but when they have to take even a little bit of it, they cry like Cartman when Kyle halfassedly punches him in the arm.

    And they’re yelping like kicked dogs because the truth is being told about them in a forceful way.

    If “both sides” really played like the Republicans, the Obama camp would be planting a story about how Mitt Romney avoided service in Vietnam because he was gay, or how Paul Ryan embraced Ayn Rand because he was sodomized as an altar boy and became bitter with the Catholic Church.

  39. 39
    majii says:

    I’m 100% behind the president and democrats. I’ve watched republicans lie, piss over everything, leave a mess, and walk away from it for over 30 years now, and I’m sick of it. It is absolutely necessary for the president to go at the republicans hard because they have a lot of money and are running lie-filled ads in swing states. The president can use his big platform to fight the lies and smears. I’m glad we’re finally fighting back. It’s past the time that we did. At some point in time, everybody gets tired of being forced to put up with sh*t that others throw at them. Also, someone needs to give Romney a huge dose of STFU as a remedy for his habitual lying and whining.

  40. 40
    mamayaga says:

    Coming into this election, in those long dark teatime of the soul moments, I’ve been fearful that we would see the same dynamic as in 2010, with the party that yells the loudest and lies the most sweeping the boards with only feeble resistance from their opposition and a wink and a nod from the press. I still get those moments when it seems Mitt is going to get away with a whopper and the arbiters of our discourse just look around madly for some equivalent outrage from O, rather than calling Mitt on his lies.

    However, with the pushback we’ve seen recently from a few of the Village denizens when a Repub blatantly lies to their faces, I get hopeful that we might reach a tipping point where the meme about this race flips it from “both sides do it” to “what a pathetic lying doofus Mitt is.” Call it the Al Gore effect, when the Village decides it’s cool to pile on, and point and snicker, and from then on it really doesn’t make any difference what the object of their scorn says or does.

  41. 41
    iriedc says:

    Folks are giving Mr Milbank mote credit than he’s due. Republicans “reckless and unfair”?: yes and yes. Democrats “reckless and unfair”?: barely and no.
    I’ll consider changing my answer when Mr. Romney is forced to issue his long form birth certificate while a duly elected sitting President and Commander-in-Chief at wartime.

  42. 42
    Brian R. says:

    The irony here is that the Beltway media has been insisting for years that, all evidence to the contrary, when it comes to dirty politics and cheap shots, “both sides do it.” (Right, because I can immediately think of the Democratic version of the Willie Horton ad, or Swift Boating.)

    But now that the Democrats are fighting back — fairly, mind you — they whine that both sides are really doing it.

  43. 43
    iriedc says:

    Adding To comment above… Mr. Romney will never be President. (FYWP edit function)

  44. 44
    piratedan says:

    who knows, maybe these guys will realize that the next best thing that sells papers to an election horse race is a scandal, sure as shit there are plenty of breadcrumbs that Ryan and Romney have left laying about after they ordered room service, trashed the place and stuck us with the bill to be worth investigating. If only some asshat/columnist could escape from their own myopic DC event horizon and actually do a bit of footwork. These guys are just like Nixon, they think that power and wealth should be sufficient shielding against any actual investigation into what they’ve actually done in their careers.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    @iriedc: I was about to hope that you never have cause to change your opinion.

  46. 46
    Quincy says:

    @Comrade Mary: I think ThinkProgress has a clip. During an interview the Iowa governor tried promulgating the lie about Obama removing welfare work requirements and Todd called him out pretty good. Not sure he used the word” lie” but otherwise pushed back petty hard.

  47. 47
    Lockewasright says:

    Could someone please explain the title to me?

  48. 48
    suzanne says:

    LMMFAO. These cudlips are even more delicate, crazy, and sensitive than matoko_chan. Slightly more coherent, though.

  49. 49

    I welcome the change.

    Politics has always been an ugly, brutal affair.

    To me, the push to take the “high road” always seemed artificial. I still suspect that it is largely pushed by rich assholes who want to see suckers lose.

    The history of American politics is not pretty. Let’s not pretend to be better than that. It doesn’t win elections.

    We should never be afraid to play rough.

  50. 50
    Hill Dweller says:

    @mamayaga: Any actual journalism committed by the Village is welcome. That said, I’d love to see a more high profile journalist point out Willard’s obvious attempt to stoke racial tensions by implying Obama is stealing money from welfare and Medicare to give to the blahs.

  51. 51

    @Lockewasright: A pundit (I’m guessing Milibank, based on the post) once whispered “He’s a dick” to the person sitting next to them. It was caught on a live mic on teh teevee, much to his embarrassment.

  52. 52
    Mike says:

    Balz is correct when he observes that the “most striking” element of the campaign is “the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back.” In large part, this is because the Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves.

    And now, it’s the GOP who’s whining… and man are they whining! I’ve never seen them whine like this before!

  53. 53
    Culture of Truth says:

    Voters love nice and guys and wimps.

    Wait, what?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    theBuhjaysus says:

    After TeePaw insulted Soledad Obrian today by asking her if she spoke English for calling BS on the whole “Obama stole 700 billion from Medicare lie(was that meme rolled out to coincide with the Ryan announcement?), that she would have asked “Tim do you actually have testicles or are you just a dickless fook?

  56. 56
    Culture of Truth says:

    “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They put one o’ your guys in the hospital, you put one o’ there’s in the morgue! That’s the Chicago way!”

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @danah gaz (fka gaz): The exact phrase was “You’re such a dick” to Nico Pitney.

  58. 58

    @Bobby Thomson: Ahh. The details escaped me.

    The meme “DickWhisperer” didn’t, though so I suppose I remember the stuff worth remembering. That is so lulzy. =) I almost feel bad for Milibank. Almost.

  59. 59
    Lit3Bolt says:

    James Joyner:

    B-b-but I’ve quietly said in paragraph 16 how utterly uncouth and unsporting these accusations of TREASON against Obama are to me in my neutral and objective political science article entitled, “Are Republican Attacks Against Obama Working?” Therefore, I disavow any and all responsibility for the political party which I provide intellectual legitimacy and cover for.

  60. 60
    porkypine says:

    @beltane: good gawd, anything but that. next you’ll pining for a visit from the ghost of Timmeh.

  61. 61
    Vr says:

    Aside from the real damage that the Republicans have inflicted on Democrats for decades with their negative campaigning. Not to mention the bitch slap effect: well the accusations might be false, but the Democrat’s reaction it them proves they’re not strong enough to lead.

    Another positive aspect of the unremittingly tough campaign style Obama has taken, is that it’s allowed Obama to lead Romney like a bull to a red cape into trap and stumble after stumble. Just watching Romney you can tell he’s really is offended, and at least some aspects of his responses are about reprisal not calculated political response — which brings out the absolute worst in in his public presentation.

  62. 62
    iriedc says:

    @scav: I hear ya! He won’t.

  63. 63
    meander says:

    It is not yet a no-holds barred battle. Neither the Democrats nor any credible surrogates have gone after Romney’s religion.

    Of course, the GOP went after Obama’s one-time preacher and continue to attack his religious identity with fusillades of lies.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @piratedan:

    maybe these guys will realize that the next best thing that sells papers to an election horse race is a scandal,

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now. The horse race narrative isn’t working. Mitt is hiding things. Ryan is a dud. The media is starting to figure it out. A scandal, especially one that breaks near the convention, would be gold for ratings.

  65. 65
    Mark S. says:

    @Violet:

    The horse race narrative isn’t working.

    I wonder if it has to do with 90% of the country having already made up their minds on who they’re voting for. Or maybe people are just sick of two years of wall-to-wall presidential election coverage.

  66. 66
    Mike in NC says:

    Dan Balz and Richard Cohen were separated at birth and purchased by the WaPo at a great deal.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Mark S.: I don’t think so. The election in 2008 was riveting, from the primaries all the way through to November. The media played up the horse race narrative and people followed along avidly.

    This time it just isn’t working. Maybe they’re tired of the election, but I think it’s because Mitt is such a terrible candidate. He just can’t get traction and the more people learn about him, the less they like him. And President Obama is fighting back, so the usual Dems-as-punching-bags narrative is upended.

    If the media want ratings for this election, they’ll need to look elsewhere. Mitt has served up a bunch of issues that would make delicious scandals. Some enterprising reporter will look.

  68. 68

    @Linda Featheringill:
    Campaign season started. Speak softly and carry a big stick. During the process of governance it was most useful for Obama to speak softly and play nice. It kept him popular and got us the most out of tense negotiations, some of them hostage negotiations.

    Now it is campaign season, and it’s time for the big stick.

  69. 69
    Mark S. says:

    @Violet:

    I’m actually surprised no one’s leaked a tax return or two.

    What’s infuriating is they’ve got a great story: under Ryan’s budget, Mitt would pay less than 1% in income taxes. I would ask both of those clowns whether they think that’s at all fair every chance I got.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    Way OT, but too funny.

    Noted Arsenal supporter and all-round ass Piers Morgan lost his shit on Twitter when it was announced that van Persie was going to Manchester United. A couple of ManU players got on his case, and then Usain Bolt (of all people) piled on. Priceless.

    http://www.sbnation.com/soccer.....itter-rant

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Jamey says:

    @Rommie: I like the way Snrub thinks! Let’s let the guy who green-lighted Caribou Barbie tell Obama who his next Veep should be…

  73. 73
    suzanne says:

    @Mark S.:

    I’m actually surprised no one’s leaked a tax return or two.

    I have been desperately hoping that Julian Assange gets on this shit. I STILL think that Mitt is underreporting his income in order to reduce how much he tithes, and knows that if THAT came out, not only would he lose a lot of church-goer votes, it would diminish his standing in the LDS Church.

  74. 74
    GregB says:

    I have invested heavily in fainting couch, pearl and smelling salts futures.

    The GOP is turning into Mrs. Thurston “Lovey” Howell as we read and write.

  75. 75
    Mark S. says:

    @suzanne:

    That might very well be why he won’t release them. I’m not sure non-Mormons would care, but I bet that would royally piss off Mormons. I’d be really curious how the Mormons I know would react, since they make less that 1% of what Romney makes in a year.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  76. 76
    Waynski says:

    @Violet: Well, and I’m not one to talk (+ whatever), but Sununu seems like he’s bucked himself up with a few scotches before going on the TVees. Good on ya Soledad!

  77. 77
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: Julian is busy hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy from the British cops and WikiLeaks has been pretty much useless without his influence. And as far as what’s in the returns, it has to be more toxic than mere church hypocrisy.

    PS: he’d HAVE to have an in willing to risk their neck in order to get any info like that. Breaking into the main IRS database is virtually impossible otherwise.

  78. 78
    Little Boots says:

    they’re just doing their job, for the 1 percent.

    but increasingly, nobody cares.

    nobody.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What are the biggest Oh So Mean lines by Democrats this time, trying for a moment to see them through Beltway pundit eyes?

    “Never worked a day in her life”
    “Paid no taxes for ten years”
    Suggesting that a guy who worked for a company Bain took over, then went bust, lost his wife because he lost his insurance

    Is that it?

    I mean, I know I’m a partisan, but it seems like a thin case.

  80. 80

    @Mark S.: Maybe he invested in the Warren Jeffs child brothel.

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mark S.:

    It’s certainly not going to be anyone from the IRS. Unauthorized disclosure of return information is a felony, and there have been a number of successful prosecutions.

    It’s unlikely that either PwC or Ropes & Gray would leak. They don’t have enough liability insurance to cover the lawsuit that Mitt would file, and the damage to their reputation and market position would be incalculable and irreparable.

    A hack is always a possibility. There have been several TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) reports over the years that have been critical of the IRS on data-security issues.

    @suzanne:

    Mr. Assange is otherwise occupied right now, and I’m inclined to think that the average Anon is smart enough to realize that hacking the IRS is not worth the downside risk.

  82. 82
    Little Boots says:

    and someone should tell Romney, asshole Republican is bearable, whiny Republican … never.

  83. 83
    Waynski says:

    @Not Sure: This is more like Cartman getting revenge on Scott Henneman, and it’s fucking beautiful.

  84. 84
    Calouste says:

    @burnspbesq: What a fake supporter that Piers is. Gunners don’t give a shit about ManUre. Spurs, those are their real rivals.

  85. 85
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    The computers in Martinsburg are so old that anybody outside the IRS who ever understood how they work is senile or dead.

  86. 86
    Little Boots says:

    @burnspbesq:

    geekiest sentence ever, on this site at least.

  87. 87

    @Yutsano: He may not be in that embassy for much longer….

  88. 88
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: You know they’re shutting them down August 31st right? And yeah, I’d love to see the hacker who has any sort of working relationship with COBOL. Martinsburg had to have been Byrd’s doing, nothing else comes close to making sense.

  89. 89
    Martin says:

    Well, my Republican mom is having a wee bit of a freakout. She didn’t really know much about Ryan other than he was the so-called Budget Wonk™, so she was generally supportive of him as a nominee.

    Then she learned about his first budget, and his SS plan, and started to think Romney made a mistake.

    Then she learned about his views on abortion and so on, and is now in a relative panic.

    She’s a Republican, but she’s socially pretty liberal – has always been pro-choice, is pro-gay-marriage, etc. Mainly she’s a Republican because her view of Democrats is stuck in the 70s. I’m not sure this will be enough to break her, but it might be close. She didn’t care for Romney to begin with. I’m going to push this pretty hard, I think.

  90. 90
    Little Boots says:

    could everyone please, this weekend, contact their Republican Mom and explain this whole, damn thing.

    I know I will.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    No way. Does that mean that the guys who make spare parts are going to get furloughed? What museum is getting all the antiques?

    That pretty much makes September 4 the scariest day in the history of tax administration. I can imagine a couple of thousand ways that the cutover could go way wrong.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @Yutsano: We just added a new COBOL programmer position. I cannot express how depressing that is.

  93. 93
    suzanne says:

    @Mark S.: I think evangelical Christians who are already distrustful of Mormons would absolutely most certainly care. And I think it would be very harmful for the LDS Church if it turned out that Rmoney wasn’t tithing on his gross income when so many families who struggle to get by are doing so, considering that he’s a bishop. Lots of Mormons are pissed about tithing going to pay for the City Creek Center, and finding out that their dude was gaming the system would piss them off, but if the Church knew and didn’t excommunicate him, they could have a major shitstorm on their hands.

  94. 94
    Martin says:

    @Little Boots: I think it helped that I didn’t break the news to her. I’ll pile way the fuck on, but I think it helped to hear it first from Fox news and other sources.

  95. 95
    suzanne says:

    @burnspbesq: Maybe hack Romney’s computers rather than the IRS’s?

  96. 96
    Little Boots says:

    @Martin:

    you may be right.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    @Martin:

    I got an A in my COBOL course; can I apply?

    Of course, that was in 1976, but who’s counting.

  98. 98
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: Same here. If I mention it she’ll never hear it no matter who repeats it. I know she’s hearing how bad R&R are because every few things my dad will ask me if I know about some horrible thing they’ve done.

  99. 99
    Little Boots says:

    @burnspbesq:

    some companies. still.

  100. 100
    Little Boots says:

    100? awesome.

  101. 101
    Little Boots says:

    what the hell is this? eschaton?

    wake up, everyone.

    adele demands it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwuLj33YyPk

  102. 102
    Amir Khalid says:

    @burnspbesq:
    In somewhat more sombre football news, the medicos have advised Fabrice Muamba that a comeback is not on.

  103. 103
    freelancer says:

    @suzanne:

    Have I mentioned lately how funny and awesome you can be?

  104. 104
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: As far as I know everything goes dark the morning of the 31st. And I do mean everything. They’re even debating whether they want to keep us running just to tell folks “Can’t help you, call back Tuesday” or not. I’ve pretty much decided no matter what I’m bailing out on that day because even if they don’t allow the time it will still be ridiculous.

    @suzanne: You’d be better off hacking his accountants. Which come to think of it would be much easier and much less traceable. I highly doubt Willard keeps a copy on his iPad.

  105. 105
    Little Boots says:

    john, you changed. how many of your old colleagues will change, do you think?

  106. 106
    Little Boots says:

    The once proud Republican Party has become such a sick joke, but I think most will cling to it, sadly.

    still, every new voter is repulsed. I think that will carry Obama back into the White House.

    but we need congress, and there the gun nuts and fetus obsessives and general freaks can cause real damage.

  107. 107
    Elizabelle says:

    Did any of you have the misfortune to catch Brian Williams on The Daily Show tonight?

    He couldn’t decry Biden enough — the horror, the horror of this campaign, and Stewart was right there with him, spewing the false equivalency and clutching pearls.

    Couldn’t grab the remote fast enough.

  108. 108
    Little Boots says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’ve learned to skip most of the interviews, Brian Williams in particular.

  109. 109
    Little Boots says:

    And Stewart was kind of sadly “balanced” tonight.

  110. 110
    Elizabelle says:

    @Little Boots:

    You are wiser than I.

  111. 111
    g says:

    Christ almighty were these people in a coma during the Republican primary? The fucking Republican field were literally calling Obama the Anti-Christ, for Godsake. Now they’re whining because Obama calls out Romney for not showing is tax returns?

  112. 112
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Sad about Muamba, but he’s alive, and that’s pretty remarkable.

  113. 113
    Little Boots says:

    John, I don’t think you are always honest.

  114. 114
    Little Boots says:

    @g:

    yeah, you gotta pretty much discount everything every Republican says about their motives.

    they’re the original unreliable narrator.

  115. 115
    Yutsano says:

    @g: Death of bipartisanship! Shrill! Uncivil even! Why do you make the ghost of David Broder cry??

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: Is it even true that Biden was speaking before a predominantly black audience?

    Brian Williams, incidentally, is a terrible news person. He has solid comic timing and would be a decent all-purpose entertainer, but he knows nothing about anything, and I would like him to go away.

  117. 117
    Little Boots says:

    I think everyone’s holding back.

    Emote.

    throw it out there. it’s 1:30 in the morning, and nobody cares.

    just say it.

  118. 118
    Little Boots says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think he was, but so what? it was entirely true, and entirely okay for him to say it.

  119. 119
    Little Boots says:

    just for that, and all your foolishness, numa:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puVmKfCwb4M

  120. 120
    Little Boots says:

    whatever happened to omnes?

  121. 121
    burnspbesq says:

    Well, I guess it’s comforting to know that the US doesn’t have a monopoly on political parties that are too stupid to live.

    If I’m understanding this correctly, there is a newly elected PRI senator, who represents Michoacan, who has been seen tooling around in a Porsche … With Nuevo Leon plates.

    http://www.elnorte.com/libre/o.....ta=elnorte

  122. 122
    Elizabelle says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Wow, I didn’t even know the audience was allegedly a factor in this manufactured outrage. All I’ve heard are 30-45 second Biden soundbites, and they sound true.

    “Chains?” The GOP doesn’t want a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; they can’t shovel enough to banks and credit card companies.

    Incidentally, I am sorry about the loss of your cat. Hadn’t been on a thread in real time with you since you mentioned it.

    Pets are the best.

    PPS: agree with your assessment of Williams. Does have elegant comic timing.

    But they’re paying him too much, and he’s become a wanker for his class.

  123. 123
    Little Boots says:

    @burnspbesq:

    yeah, that must suck.

  124. 124
    Martin says:

    Sorry, but Biden fucked up. Nothing the GOPs haven’t said themselves, but he shouldn’t have said it. Minor, because it’s not a pattern of speech on his part, unlike the GOP, and the media are making a mountain out of it because there’s a double standard here.

  125. 125
    Little Boots says:

    @Martin:

    nobody will care, unless the left decides this is yet another opportunity to flaggelate itself.

    numa to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y7aVx8oZ4s

  126. 126
    Little Boots says:

    the site that should be up all night.

    oh well.

  127. 127
    Martin says:

    I have to sing praises of my locale. My son is taking a summer filmmaking course – free through his high school. Well, he starts high school next month. The course is amazing – we went to an open house tonight. The kids are learning filmmaking using pro equipment. They make 6 short films. His group of 3 students did a documentary shoot at my office and the 3 of them (the oldest was 15) showed up with one of these. The program has about 20 of them for student to check out, plus additional equipment including steadicams, booms, trolleys, lights, even car mounts, plus setups for doing live broadcasts. They’re learning how to do the editing, directing, writing, lighting, special effects, the works. They have 3 film festivals during the year. Students submit works in various categories and they’re judged, screened, and awards given out.

    I’m just blown away at the scope of what they have for public high school students, and the quality of the work they’re producing. I had no idea. We don’t even have a program that nice at the university.

  128. 128
    Pen says:

    @Martin: Here’s the way I see it: If the only people who say you fucked up are your political opponents and the Betway Media… you didn’t fuck up.

  129. 129
    Martin says:

    @Little Boots: Yeah, I don’t think Dems should criticize Biden for the comments, but I don’t see any reason to defend them either. He shouldn’t have said it, meant nothing of it, move on.

  130. 130
    Avattoir says:

    @Richard: Please assure us all that’s not intended as some sort of metaphor.

  131. 131
    Dream On says:

    Too bad Obama and most Democrats don’t apply that rough & tumble campaign attitude to actually legislating. They specialize in backing down in that regard.

  132. 132

    @Dream On:
    I have never understood the strength of this false narrative. It was false from the start. Obama’s legislative successes before 2010 were amazing, historic both in quantity and quality. Presidents have tried and failed to obtain the health coverage extension of the ACA for a hundred years, and that’s without the extensive regulatory system attached. With a House in the solid grip of a GOP not merely obsessed with obstruction but actually eager to drive the country into default, the end result of the debt and budget negotiations was status quo with large military cuts. This ongoing ‘Obama backs down’ narrative is counterfactual, but eerily persistent. Is it simply being punch drunk from Bush’s success in getting what he wanted, items that were outrageous even though his success rate was spotty?

  133. 133
    Tyro says:

    @Martin: I disagree. Since Biden’s comments weren’t any kind of offense, if someone attacks them, the appropriate response is to nuke the accuser from space, to make it clear not to pull that kind of crap. A person attacking Biden’s comments is inherently trying to bullshit the public over nothing, and the proper response is to discourage that behavior with extreme prejudice.

    Any idiot who tries to pull that crap with me complaining about Biden’s comments gets the full on attack for acting like a morally vacuous idiot.

  134. 134
    TS says:

    @Mike:

    And now, it’s the GOP who’s whining… and man are they whining! I’ve never seen them whine like this before!

    Comes from the Sarah Palin book of “poor me” – you mustn’t have listened to her.

  135. 135
    Spike says:

    @Richard:

    feast on Karl Rove’s quail

    Is that what the kids call it these days?

  136. 136
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Richard: Right on (to use an old phrase), Richard! Why is the truth uncivil, but lying your ass off considered polite?

  137. 137
    Bruce S says:

    Meahnwhile, Romney doubles down on the lying but with an extra twist borrowed from Dems in years past – WHINING! That’s certainly going to change the impression that’s taken hold of him as a desperate, dodging little chameleon.

    Incidentally, this might be the first presidential campaign I can remember where the top-line candidate is very much in danger of being overshadowed by his Veep pick both on image and driving the debate. McCain had major problems with Palin among GOP & wingnut base, but no one in the media ever suggested she had more gravitas than he did. With Ryan, his name is all over what’s become the central issue of the campaign.

  138. 138
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Question: Were the Democrats always as wimpy as they were in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles?

  139. 139
    McJulie says:

    @Pen:

    Here’s the way I see it: If the only people who say you fucked up are your political opponents and the Betway Media… you didn’t fuck up.

    Quoted for truth.

    I think in the past Democrats were too easily intimidated by this kind of thing — oh, you made your case too strongly, you said the wrong word, you ought to be embarrassed. And they would GET embarrassed, and “moderate” the message.

    If those days are over, I’m happy.

  140. 140
    McJulie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Were the Democrats always as wimpy as they were in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles?

    I don’t know. Oddly, even though I’ve been voting in presidential campaigns since 1984, I don’t really remember having a sense of the campaign process until Clinton’s second term.

    In 2000, I saw part of the problem as Gore’s attempt to distance himself from Clinton — he accepted the right wing post-Lewinsky frame that Clinton was unpopular, when in reality, he was only unpopular among people who wouldn’t vote for Gore anyway. There was also the inexplicable media love for W and disdain for Gore, which is covered pretty well in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. I don’t know if you could call that “wimpiness” exactly.

    Anyway, Gore didn’t technically lose, except by declaration of Supreme Court.

    Then 9/11 happened. That was really when Democrats started acting like kicked puppies and abused spouses. I think 2004 was still haunted by the 9/11 effect.

  141. 141
    McJulie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Were the Democrats always as wimpy as they were in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles?

    I don’t know. Oddly, even though I’ve been voting in presidential campaigns since 1984, I don’t really remember having a sense of the campaign process until Clinton’s second term.

    In 2000, I saw part of the problem as Gore’s attempt to distance himself from Clinton — he accepted the right wing post-Lewinsky frame that Clinton was unpopular, when in reality, he was only unpopular among people who wouldn’t vote for Gore anyway. There was also the inexplicable media love for W and disdain for Gore, which is covered pretty well in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. I don’t know if you could call that “wimpiness” exactly.

    Anyway, Gore didn’t technically lose, except by declaration of Supreme Court.

    Then 9/11 happened. That was really when Democrats started acting like kicked puppies and abused spouses. I think 2004 was still haunted by the 9/11 effect.

  142. 142
    hep kitty says:

    @McJulie:

    I think 2004 was still haunted by the 9/11 effect.

    Yes it was, it absolutely was. It’s taken them 8 years to grow some semblance of a spine. Romney/Ryan, are making it pretty damned easy.

  143. 143

    Aaaawww poor Mittens haz a sad. That must account for why they had all that rain in NH yesterday.

  144. 144
    hep kitty says:

    With regard to Dem spinelessness in 2004, Howard Dean was taken down by his own party for opposing the Iraq war. An otherwise viable candidate with no baggage. And they have thanklessly used his model for raising money and engaging volunteers ever since, while relegating him to the dustbin. And you would have thought the Obama campaign came up with every bit of this stuff.

    Nobody ever talked about Kerry’s support for the Iraq war against the backdrop of his service in and subsequent criticisms of the Vietnam war. He voted for, essentially, the same thing, only in the Middle East.

    Also, Nancy Pelosi said “impeachment off the table” and clutched pearls when MoveOn took out an admittedly poorly done ad in the Times.

    So much consternation and royal indignation over the teeniest criticism from anyone. I will always remember being called unpatriotic and having my own party slap duct tape over my mouth. It makes me sick to think about it. I lost complete respect for them but of course, I cast the proper vote for someone I really couldn’t stand in the end.

  145. 145
    Catsy says:

    @suzanne:

    I have been desperately hoping that Julian Assange gets on this shit.

    Oh hell, HELL no.

    I can’t think of many things that would be a more effective distraction from what’s in Romney’s tax returns than if someone illegally leaked them. It would instantly turn Romney into the victim, and taint any attacks based on the leaks.

    That goes double if WikiLeaks or Assange is involved.

  146. 146
    Beauzeaux says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Reminds me of two Harry Truman moments.

    Reporters said that Republicans were complaining about his campaign. HST said

    If they stop lying about us, we’ll stop telling the truth about them.

    and

    Republicans complain about me giving them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.

  147. 147
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OTB should be on the blogs we mock list. Their Broder impression is not fooling anyone.

  148. 148
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Catsy: Yeah, I think you’re exactly right about that. It hadn’t occurred to me until you said it but the “Assange = foreign socialist America hater” skree would be loud enough to shatter crystal. They’d point out that even-the-liberal-fascist Obama considers Assange an international criminal (which makes him the perfect dirty-tricks bagman irresponsible not to speculate).

    The perfect leaker would be a Mormon IRS staffer who felt compelled by God and Country to show the world Mitt’s tax returns. Eh, it could happen.

  149. 149
    AA+ Bonds says:

    What’s different this time is that the Democrats are employing the same harsh tactics that have been used against them for so long, with so much success. They have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked, and Obama’s campaign is giving as good as it gets — and then some.

    Wow it sure is motherfucking mysterious how that happens during the last few months of a campaign and then just goes away later when it would cost political capital, every time

  150. 150
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    They’d point out that even-the-liberal-fascist Obama considers Assange an international criminal

    I think you pointed that out, right here

  151. 151
    mclaren says:

    Payback is a bitch.

    I’ve been calling for this for well over 7 years since I started posting at Balloon Juice. And all the “expert” hardcore “wired in behind the beltway” politics aficianados fell all over themselves explaining why “getting nasty just doesn’t work” and “you can’t fight fire with fire” and “Demcorats don’t have the mighty wurlitzer like the Republicans do” and blah blah woof woof.

    Blow it out yer arse. The way you deal with a bully is when he socks you, haul off and break his nose and put him down. The bully doesn’t bother you after that.

    Weakness if the face of a bully invites escalation, eventually leading to atrocities like dousing the victim in kerosene and setting him on fire.

    I only hope Obama governs the way he’s campaigning right now. If he does, the Republicans will wilt and shrivel up and crawl into a corner like whipped dogs and ask him in a quavering whimper how they can compromise on his legislative agenda and actually get something done next congressional session.

  152. 152
    mclaren says:

    Payback is a bitch.

    I’ve been calling for this for well over 7 years since I started posting at Balloon Juice. And all the “expert” hardcore “wired in behind the beltway” politics aficianados fell all over themselves explaining why “getting nasty just doesn’t work” and “you can’t fight fire with fire” and “Demcorats don’t have the mighty wurlitzer like the Republicans do” and blah blah woof woof.

    Blow it out yer arse. The way you deal with a bully is when he socks you, haul off and break his nose and put him down. The bully doesn’t bother you after that.

    Weakness if the face of a bully invites escalation, eventually leading to atrocities like dousing the victim in kerosene and setting him on fire.

    I only hope Obama governs the way he’s campaigning right now. If he does, the Republicans will wilt and shrivel up and crawl into a corner like whipped dogs and ask him in a quavering whimper how they can compromise on his legislative agenda and actually get something done next congressional session.

  153. 153
    mclaren says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    This time around, since we look we’re heading into another recession and Europe is heaving up at the bow and sinking like the Titanic and China is on the skids economically speaking, if Obama succeeds in cranking up populist outrage against the Innumeracy Twins and the Party of Zombie-Eyed Granny Starvers to a high enough fever pitch, it could cost Obama political capital if he doesn’t follow through on his populist economic campaign rhetoric once he gets re-elected.

    Hey…we can hope. Ya never know.

  154. 154
    mclaren says:

    @Beauzeaux:

    Bingo. Obama is channeling Truman’s 1948 campaign against the “do-nothing 98th congress.” Smart move.

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