Blowing It Up At The Austerity Bomb Range

Oh, this isn’t going to go over well with the usual suspects, but it’s going to be everywhere anyhow today.

Listen to top Democrats and Republicans talk on camera, and it sounds like they could not be further apart on a year-end tax-and-spending deal – a down payment on a $4 trillion grand bargain.

But behind the scenes, top officials who have been involved in the talks for many months say the contours of a deal – including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will likely contain — are starting to take shape.

Cut through the fog, and here’s what to expect: Taxes will go up just shy of $1.2 trillion — the middle ground of what President Barack Obama wants and what Republicans say they could stomach. Entitlement programs, mainly Medicare, will be cut by no less than $400 billion – and perhaps a lot more, to get Republicans to swallow those tax hikes. There will be at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and “war savings.” And any final deal will come not by a group effort but in a private deal between two men: Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The two men had what one insider described as a short, curt conversation Wednesday night — but the private lines of communications remain very much open.

The tax hikes on the rich are immediate.  The Medicare stuff is 10-20 years away, as far as Politico can tell.  That right there should tell you who’s winning this fight (and that’s if you believe this particular crew of Village Idiots, which is dubious at best) but I’m sure there’s going to be a holiday rush on scourges and flensing knives for the folks on the left anyhow.

So before you reach for that HE SOLD US OUT special, remember it’s Politico, in the Billiards Room, trying to Win The Morning(tm), and try to keep the blood off the floor.

180 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Oh, this will be good. /eyeroll

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    November 29, 2012 – a day which will live in outrage…

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    The only reasonable response to this outrage is secession.

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. Sounds like this might be a good day for me to finish my Christmas decorating and avoid the intrawebz completely.

  5. 5
    debbie says:

    I demand that the first entitlement program on the chopping block be the Congressional pension program.

  6. 6
    Biff Longbotham says:

    I’ll take this deal. It reminds me of the way Scheherazade avoided the chopping block.

  7. 7
    Loviatar says:

    .
    Hardcore leftist Bruce Bartlett

    The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.

    And this is why I don’t trust Obama. He has governed from what has historically been considered the right and his biggest cheerleaders are former Republicans, in any sane world he would be seen as the next iteration of Reagan.

    For this Democrat he is not be trusted he is to be tolerated only because the other options are so much worse.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie:

    I demand that the first entitlement program on the chopping block be the Congressional pension program.

    Said in snark, but we should start a drumbeat on this.

    Congress, and especially the Senate, is millionaire-land.

    These are supposed to be citizen-legislators.

    They don’t need to be an aristocracy with incomes and longterm benefits superior to that of their constituents, and that’s what they’ve become.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle:

    One of the provisions of Obamacare is that members of Congress must participate in Obamacare, and not in the federal employee health benefit program.

  10. 10
    danielx says:

    Actually it is a win, given that the Republican Party’s reason for existence at this time is to defend the interests of its most affluent backers. This is why they followed the Norquist line, no matter how much bloviating one hears about defending the middle class from rapacious moochers.

    We’ll hear a lot of howls about how a tax increase for the 1% is going to bring down the economy, because those folks paid for the kind of government they wanted over the last thirty years and pretty much got what they paid for. Government may not work very well for average Americans, but for Wall Street, multinationals and the 1% (and the 0.001% in particular) it works very well indeed.

  11. 11
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Of course, you put this up way too early in the a.m., Zandar. The full-on WORSE THAN BUSH trolls probably aren’t awake yet.

  12. 12
    Marc says:

    I’d prefer that we not make Congress even more of a millionaires club, thank you. The people affected by things like congressional salaries and health care are not the extremely rich folks who dominate the extreme right of the body.

  13. 13
    Marc says:

    We’re watching the problems the Republicans have with inflexible and arbitrary pledges like “never raise taxes.” I don’t think “never cut spending on entitlements, no matter what the money is spent on” is good policy. And the fact that this idea is being promoted by a bunch of nasty people who have been wrong about many things doesn’t make me fonder of it. I guess I never knew that “more money for Big Pharma” was in the liberal Bible.

  14. 14
    Zandar says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Really was more of an effort to warn the rest of you guys. I do care, you know.

  15. 15
    Bobby Thomson says:

    We’re watching the problems the Republicans have with inflexible and arbitrary pledges like “never raise taxes.” I don’t think “never cut spending on entitlements, no matter what the money is spent on” is good policy.

    And a little both sides do it idiocy to start the day.

    How about no cuts? Does that work for you?

    Fuck the fiscal cliff. Bring it and then let’s talk. The president doesn’t have to face another election and should be the last person to be conciliatory, but you go to battle with the leaders you have. Any way, he’s not the pressure point. Time to work on vulnerable Republicans and those Democrats from safe districts/states who are wobbly (looking at you Durbin).

  16. 16
    danielx says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They don’t need to be an aristocracy with incomes and longterm benefits superior to that of their constituents, and that’s what they’ve become.

    I like this idea. I really can’t see why our elected solons shouldn’t be at the mercy of our much-vaunted “best health care system in the world” just like the rest of us, nor yet why they have a pension plan that would be the envy of the average American. I thought pensions were such an outdated concept…

  17. 17
    Xenos says:

    @danielx: A decent chunk of the economy is organized around providing services to the 1%. These lawyers, realtors, luxury car dealers, financial intermediaries, restaurateurs, boat dealers and and such will ber very much affected if our economy should be de-distorted by routing a significant amount of surplus wealth to productive activity.

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    debbie:

    I demand that the first entitlement program on the chopping block be the Congressional pension program.

    I demand that Congressional salary increases be tied directly to the Social Security COLA. Then we’ll see how eager Conservative Congressional members are to make the COLA calculation more stringent.

    .

  19. 19
    Feudalism Now! says:

    He took our jeeerrrrbbbs! We should form a third party that espouses *True Liberal* values. We could call it the Blue Party or Blue-Yellow Party. This would show those Demoncrats where the path to true power lies. Maybe we could get Nader or Stein to run?

    If we want to move the Overton Defenestration Device to the left we better start building up a generational shift in local and state governments. The Teahadis accomplished this relatively quick, it will take longer to build up a progressive surge. Stop whining about Obummer and get in your Rep and Senators grill. Work to encourage left champions, no leaners. Push for Filibuster reform and repeal. Push for Eisenhower level tax rates for the wealthy. End oil subsidies, Monsanto graft and defense contractor foreign policy. The Tea Party nuts are pushing the opposite with unabated fervor.

  20. 20
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Zandar: Awww, thanks Z. I’ll expect DougJ or Cole to troll the blog later then. Hazmat suit engaged.

  21. 21
    Shalimar says:

    @danielx: Pensions are an outdated concept for those of us subject to the whims of Wall Street. Considering it’s popularity and productivity, if Congress were a private company it would have been bought out in an LBO by a company like KKR or Bain years ago and had it’s pension plan destroyed for the sake of streamlining profits.

  22. 22
    Peter says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    And a little both sides do it idiocy to start the day.
    Now, behold as I do exactly what you just described!

  23. 23
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Until I see what’s actually put before Congress I’m not forming an opinion.

  24. 24
    SteveinSC says:

    The problem with extending the retirement age is that yes we are living longer, but we are not living younger, longer. Extending the retirement age for SS is a canard, or maybe a ruptured duck. (That’s a pun Francais-Anglais.)

  25. 25
    Navigator says:

    Any Medicare cuts that won’t occur until 10-20 years out are, in effect, meaningless.

    Future Congresses will legislate year by year, and ignore past agreements.

    Immediate tax rate increases vs. cuts that will take place in the future context of however-much-closer-we-are-to-single-payer anyways would be a good deal.

  26. 26
    Dan says:

    @Loviatar: Reagan loved him some rights for gays and women, amirite? This is just colossally stupid.

  27. 27
    kay says:

    @Navigator:

    Any Medicare cuts that won’t occur until 10-20 years out are, in effect, meaningless.
    Future Congresses will legislate year by year, and ignore past agreements.

    Yup.

    See, the never-ending saga of…. The Doc Fix

  28. 28
    danielx says:

    @Xenos:

    A decent chunk of the economy is organized around providing services to the 1%. These lawyers, realtors, luxury car dealers, financial intermediaries, restaurateurs, boat dealers and and such will ber very much affected if our economy should be de-distorted by routing a significant amount of surplus wealth to productive activity.

    Gosh, that’s terrible! Does that mean Larry Ellison will have to put up with a yacht that’s 300 feet long instead of 454 feet long? Oh, the humanity…

    Seriously, I could give a fat fuck about the hypothetical plight of any of the above purveyors of goods and services to the rich and shameless. From what I’ve read, those in the exosphere of the income pyramid will do what they must to keep up with the Rockefellers – or the Blankfeins, or the Thains, or the Mozilos – no matter what their tax rates are. They will have their toys, private schools, ridiculously large homes, and favorite hangouts and vacation spots no matter what they pay in taxes.

  29. 29
    Joel says:

    @Loviatar: Well, in a democracy, that’s how it works.

  30. 30
    Loviatar says:

    @Dan:

    Reagan loved him some rights for gays and women, amirite? This is just colossally stupid.

    That always the fallback position of the Obots when their bubble is pricked “well Reagan hated the gays and women” and Obama never did. So see they are different

    Your strawman statement about Reagan (someone who worked regularly for and with gays and women while in Hollywood) leaves no opportunity for the possibly that his views may have evolved with the times.

    Hmmm, where have I heard that statement about views evolving on gay marriage. It was pretty recently, wait its going to come to me, I know its probably some politically powerful person who made the statement but I just can’t put my finger on who it might have been. Do you have any idea who it might have been?

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I agree with you on this, but I would just like to approach it without believing everything anyone says, because negotiations aren’t like that. It’s puffery. It’s threats. It’s lobbying/advocacy disguised as “news”. This may be an accurate description of what’s going on or it may have been planted by someone who wants 400 billion in cuts and sees a benefit to saying publicly that it’s a done deal.

    Boehner will come out and say he got a great deal (“98% of what I wanted!”) no matter what he gets, because there is no way in hell he’s coming out and saying he got a lousy deal. No one would do that after a negotiation. Ever. So I don’t want to fall into the trap where we believe everything Republicans say, and nothing Democrats say.

    For myself, Politico = “Republicans say”, but that’s me.

  32. 32

    @Loviatar:
    No, Obama just plain does not resemble Reagan in policies or philosophy. Reagan built up the military massively, deregulated everything, and even when he raised taxes it was to shift the burden to the middle class. Oh, and he started the ‘cut the safety net everywhere’ schtick the Republicans love so much. This is all exactly the opposite both of what Obama has done and espoused. If Obama is old style Republican in policy, it is VERY old style Republican, pre-Reagan. I wouldn’t know enough to argue that point.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Ditto. We’ve heard this before, and the end result never matched the rumors.

  33. 33
    Loviatar says:

    @Joel:

    Well, in a democracy, that’s how it works

    No, thats not how democracy is supposed to work, it shouldn’t be a choice between the sane and the insane. We should have two sane parties; one positioned on the left and one positioned on the right, we currently have an insane party and a party of the right. For those like myself who feel that our choices have been eliminated by these circumstance having to tolerate a center right Obama because the opposition is insane is not a reason to be happy.

  34. 34
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Ditto. We’ve heard this before, and the end result never matched the rumors.

    We can confidently predict that many cans will be kicked down the road though.

  35. 35
    Peter says:

    @Loviatar:

    I can’t even begin to follow the twisted logic here. So because in your hypothetical Reagan’s views evolved on gay rights, and that’s the same word Obama used to describe his shift in position, Obama and Reagan are the same? What? That sits somewhere at the crossroads of ‘begging the question’ and ‘sheer incoherence’.

  36. 36
    fester says:

    As a liberal, I am much more concerned with service delivery of healthcare to people who need it then protecting rentier incomes. It is wicked easy to get 400 billion in federal medical spending cuts that do not harm recipients and btw accomplish other liberal ends:

    150 billion or so from PPaca by instituting a public option
    50 billion from PPAca (net) by expanding Mediciad eligibilty to 167% fpl( lower subsidy levels mainly as MA is way cheaper on a per unit basis than private insurance.
    150 billion from Medicare Part D by allowing 2 things: CMS to offer a public option based on the VA formulary and allowing Medicare to use its market power to negoatiate.
    50 Billion from Medicare a and B by allowing Medicare to buy DME from preferred regional suppliers at bulk discounts

    Who here would object to those savings?

    Details and policy matter

  37. 37
    1badbaba3 says:

    Blah, blah, blah Obots.

  38. 38
    Loviatar says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    No, Obama just plain does not resemble Reagan in policies or philosophy.

    A simple question, which will disprove this statement.

    Has anyone been prosecuted and/or jailed by the Obama administration for the massive amount of fraud that caused the 2007/2008 financial collapse?

    ———-

    OK, just on one more.

    Has anyone been prosecuted and/or jailed by the Obama administration for torture?

  39. 39
    japa21 says:

    @fester: There are a lot of ways to reduce spending on both Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits and you have pointed out just a few. And saving $400 billion over 10-20 years comes out to what, 20-40 billion per year? That is chickenfeed and that much is wasted every year.

    The problem is that the purists will yell just because Medicare or Medicaid are even mentioned without hearing a bit of reality. Oh, and having been in the medical insurance side of life for decades, I can tell you that Medicare tends to waste dollars by covering services that aren’t necessary. Or not covering some services, like a lot of home health care, that would actually save money by keeping people out of more costly care.

    And anybody who considers Obama center right isn’t worth listening to.

  40. 40
    lol says:

    @Peter:

    Reagan supported gay marriage much the same way he never raised taxes.

  41. 41
    Splitting Image says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    If Obama is old style Republican in policy, it is VERY old style Republican, pre-Reagan. I wouldn’t know enough to argue that point.

    Obama is arguably to the right of George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens. Possibly Dwight Eisenhower and Tom Dewey. That is in no way a convincing argument that Obama is a bad guy.

  42. 42
    gene108 says:

    @danielx:

    We’ll hear a lot of howls about how a tax increase for the 1% is going to bring down the economy, because those folks paid for the kind of government they wanted over the last thirty years

    What’s sadly tragic is that, when Reagan came to office the rich were surprised by the fact Reagan’s Administration let them do what they wanted.

    There was no precedent for it based on the other post-WW2 administrations.

    For example, the increase in M&A activity in the 1980’s would’ve probably been nixed by earlier administrations due to anti-trust considerations. Reagan’s Administration let those go through.

    This caught even the 1% off guard, but they quickly adapted and began to lobby to make sure the playing field became even more tilted towards their benefit.

  43. 43
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Until I see what’s actually put before Congress I’m not forming an opinion.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: 23 comments in before a sane poster appears.

    Hell of a site you’ve got here, Cole.

  44. 44
    Loviatar says:

    @japa21:

    And anybody who considers Obama center right isn’t worth listening to.

    MY god you people don’t know the frustration I feel when I see crap like this, the smugness of dismissal just oozes out past the ignorance.

    Bruce Bartlett

    In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.

    Please, please, please learn a little political history before you further embarrass yourself.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    If you think Obama’s a Republican in disguise, just ask yourself how many “old style” Republicans pushed for universal healthcare?

    Nixon? I guess he “tried”, but let it go, when the going got tough.

    Ford? Not really.

    Eisenhower? Not that I know of.

    I’m sorry but the first President to push through something approaching universal healthcare coverage, which has been a long standing goal of the Left isn’t a closeted right-winger in disguise.

    Obama’s playing the hand the politics of the times have dealt him, the same way Reagan initially tried to radically overhaul Social Security, but was rebuffed by a unanimous vote in the Senate against his original idea.

    He came back and worked out a compromise with Tip O’Neil to keep Social Security solvent for decades and Reagan then went around talking about how he’s going to be the biggest defender of Social Security ever.

  46. 46
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Loviatar:

    Hey firebagger, you forgot to mention DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNZZZZZZZZZZ!!

    You’re slipping.

  47. 47
    Loviatar says:

    @Splitting Image:

    Obama is arguably to the right of George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens. Possibly Dwight Eisenhower and Tom Dewey. That is in no way a convincing argument that Obama is a bad guy.

    Never said he was a “bad guy” just said he was not be trusted as his policy preferences are well to the right of what used to be considered core Democratic policies.

  48. 48
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Flensing knives? What the heck, Zandar? :-)

    But thanks for the heads up anyway. Ten years away from Medicare cuts is a long time and there will be chances to apply remedies before then.

    But we really do need to tax the rich.

  49. 49
    Lojasmo says:

    @Loviatar:

    A question cannot disprove a statement.

  50. 50
    Loviatar says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Hey firebagger, you forgot to mention DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNZZZZZZZZZZ!!

    I thought mentioning the fact that Obama is continuing to protect the Bush torturers was sufficient condemnation.

    I’m glad to seem you get some joy in identifying additional ways in which Obama has failed to adhere to core American principles. Keep up the good work.

  51. 51
    kc says:

    So our new line is it’s OK to agree to Medicare cuts, because future Congresses will fix it? Hahaha, good luck with that.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Are we really doing this all over again? Well, if so, I will simply say, yet again, that the only kind of cuts that ought to be in any way problematic to die-hard liberals are BENEFIT CUTS. (Beyond that, IMHO there are ways to cut the money that goes to care and service for beneficiaries without actually harming their well-being, e.g. swapping generics for brand-name drugs.). It is possible to cut THE MEDICARE PROGRAM without cutting MEDICARE BENEFITS. It’s not a hard thing to keep separate, but for some reason people enjoy confusing them. If you can cut the program without cutting benefits, you should do that, like, yesterday.

    As I’ve mentioned dozens of times, if the Pentagon were spending $200 on each screwdriver, and someone decided to switch the contract so that they were buying each for $2, it would be idiotic to react to that as a “defense cut,” would it not? It would be an intelligent way to spend less money on something. If there are intelligent ways to spend less money in the contest of Medicare, bring them the fuck on.

  53. 53
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Well, which era? Core Democratic values used to be that slavery was cool, so he’s well to the left of that? Yes, I’m well aware of Dixiecrats, etc. The point being, I’m not sure these values you speak of have ever been “core” Democratic values. The Democratic Party has never been a liberal party. It has had liberal champions and championed liberal causes, but you speak as if it we used to be some sort of hardcore leftist group before the corporate money came rolling in and that’s not true.

    As with all things, politics and people are complicated. President Obama is not a liberal, but he has stood for liberal policies. It can’t be said enough that the perfect is the enemy of the good. I’d rather take small victories to the left than losing any day of the week. The problem is that people want their principles validated right now. Well, too bad. That’s not how things work. Women and minorities didn’t get thier equal rights right now, and in some cases we’re still fighitng those battles. I think your expectations don’t include reality.

  54. 54
    Loviatar says:

    @Lojasmo:

    The answer can. Since you won’t I will.

    Has anyone been prosecuted and/or jailed by the Obama administration for the massive amount of fraud that caused the 2007/2008 financial collapse?

    NO Similar to what Reagan did during the Savings & Loan crisis Obama has spent more time protecting Wall Street than he has spent prosecuting Wall Street.

    .
    .

    Has anyone been prosecuted and/or jailed by the Obama administration for torture?

    NO let me know when the first one occurs.

    ———-
    Democrats used to fight and protect the middle class and the poor against the predations of the financiers. That no longer seems to be the case.

    Democrats used to be the ones to say no, we believe in an ideal, Republicans were the ones of the ends justify the means. That no linger seems to be the case.

    ———-

    The Democratic party is now a center right party and its leader is a center right president.

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: unfortunately, politicians don’t get graded against what Used To Be. Otherwise we might as well say that Obama isn’t a real Democrat because he doesn’t believe in silver coinage.

  56. 56
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @japa21: I can see Fox and RW wurlitzer screaming how Obama cuts Medicare for the old people “DEATH PANELS”, than taxes on the rich. The president will get skewered like Bush did on Social Security privatization. Doesn’t matter if the the cuts are 10-20 years down the road, the GOP will win more seats in 2014, bank on it.

  57. 57

    @Loviatar:
    The first was not illegal. It was not fraud. It SHOULD have been fraud, but the deregulation of the last thirty years made it all legal. Fun, huh?

    The second is also not illegal, thanks to congress retroactively approving everything Bush did with veto-proof majorities.

    And neither of these things has anything to do with Reagan’s positions. The facts still do not support your ‘Reagan Republican’ description.

  58. 58
    Loviatar says:

    @Cassidy:

    Well, which era? Core Democratic values used to be that slavery was cool, so he’s well to the left of that?

    Niiice strawman.

    Why don’t I make it simple for you and pick the defying action of the 20th century that has shaped core Democratic and Republican principles for the past 50 years.

    Civil Rights Act of 1964

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: they already spent the last election caterwauling about $700 billion in “Medicare cuts,” which Democrats did a lousy job of countering, and they _still_ lost.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: here’s the trouble with your analysis, though. As a consequence of that exact law, and exactly as predicted, Southerners who were both racists and populists started migrating away from the Democratic Party. Over time, they lost their populism, and the racism stayed. And hence class-based liberalism has much less support than it used to.

  61. 61
    1badbaba3 says:

    You lost, Dude. Get over it.

  62. 62
    Cermet says:

    @Loviatar: We all know raygun was pro-choice. See, no difference.

  63. 63
    kay says:

    @kc:

    So our new line is it’s OK to agree to Medicare cuts, because future Congresses will fix it? Hahaha, good luck with that.

    No, not at all. The reality is, though, they have put in cuts to provider reimbursements in the past and they simply overrode them the moment they actually became “cuts”:

    Today’s problem is a result of yesterday’s budget panacea – a 1997 deficit reduction law that called for setting Medicare physician payment rates through a formula based on economic growth and known as the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR). For the first few years, Medicare expenditures did not exceed the target and doctors received modest pay increases. But in 2002, doctors reacted with fury when they came in for a 4.8 percent pay cut. Every year since, Congress has staved off the scheduled cuts.

    You have to fold that in as an unknown if you want to live in reality-world.

  64. 64
    Jumpin' Jack Flash says:

    I’m sure there’s going to be a holiday rush on scourges and flensing knives for the folks on the left anyhow

    That’s OK, though. Pressure from the left is important, even when it is overwrought. Obama needs it, in fact.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @kc:

    You have to admit we have a for-profit health care system coupled with a public payment program (Medicare). It isn’t just Medicare beneficiaries and public funds. There’s profit in there, in the middle.

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: It’s not a strawman at all. You stated that President Obama is “well to the right of what used to be considered core Democratic policies”. At one point in time, “core” Democratic values are the exact opposite of your later example, except that even then my reference couldn’t be applicable as a “core” value, because it really only applied to Souther Democrats. My point is that “core” Democratic values have always changed over time and been flexible, being that we’re a large mix of many different interests. My assertion is still that your recollection of the party as some sort of liberal movement is not grounded in any kind of fact. It has never been a liberal party. It has been the more liberal party and has championed some liberal causes, but your rose-tinted nostalgia is misplaced.

  67. 67
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @dr. bloor: The only reasonable response to this outrage is secession to vote for Republicans, more in sorrow than in anger, because we silly non-ponyprogs need to be taught a lesson.

    fixt

  68. 68
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Loviatar: Your strawman statement about Reagan (someone who worked regularly for and with gays and women while in Hollywood) leaves no opportunity for the possibly that his views may have evolved with the times.

    When in Hollywood, Reagan was in a union. Therefore, he was good to unions.

  69. 69
    the Conster says:

    @Cassidy:

    Core Democratic values = FDR, minus that little internment thing.

  70. 70
    Loviatar says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The first was not illegal. It was not fraud. It SHOULD have been fraud, but the deregulation of the last thirty years made it all legal. Fun, huh?

    Pick a Bank, any Bank. Google Banks, close your eyes and click on any link on the page and I will guarantee you they committed at a minimum some type of mortgage fraud during the years 2000-2007. This does not even speculate on the actions of the Too Big To Fails during this same time frame.

    The Obama administration has chosen to not find illegal actions, thats a big difference from saying that nothing illegal occurred.

    ———

    The second is also not illegal, thanks to congress retroactively approving everything Bush did with veto-proof majorities.

    For a long time I had a soliloquy written in my head describing how what Congress did wasn’t legal and yada, yada yada, but then I realized for me it all came down to We Need to Look Forward as Opposed to Looking Back”

    Again a choice made by Obama to not pursue obvious wrongdoing.

    ——

    What do these two things have in common with Reagan, not much, but every time I point out that Obama governs and puts forward policies similar to what the last sane Republican president would put out the Obots go crazy trying to differentiate him from Reagan.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Actually, Obama is more like daddy Bush in governance style and policies buts its more fun to get the Obots wound up with Reagan. Shhh don’t tell anyone.

  71. 71
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar:

    I will guarantee you they committed at a minimum some type of mortgage fraud during the years 2000-2007.

    If you got proof, man, throw it out there. I’d love to see those fuckers prosecuted. As it stands, no evidence, no crime.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @the Conster: Just to clarify it’s not Ming the Merciless?

  73. 73
    redshirt says:

    Firebaggers suck. Obots rule.

  74. 74
    Loviatar says:

    @Cassidy:

    It’s not a strawman at all.

    It is a strawman because you chose to blithely ignore the defying action of the 20th century that changed and has continued to change both parties from that point forward.

    For a discussion on the current governance and policies of the Democratic and Republican parties an honest participant would have used the post civil rights era for their talking points. You choose to begin your talking points with “the Democrats were the party of slavery…” In my mind that equals strawman.

  75. 75
    Loviatar says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’ll leave it with this:

    They got Al Capone on tax evasion.

  76. 76
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @kay: I agree.

  77. 77
    LAC says:

    @Loviatar: Looks like it is time for hemp sandal brigade to get in here and start their patented brand of “back in my day when I was protesting about a tree, covered in peace sign stickers and a megaphone, there were real liberals” blathering. Politico does its Aunt Bea gossip form of reporting, and already we got the vapors starting and trolls slathering up for another round of purity politics.

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Just because it’s in your mind doesn’t make it fact or accurate. In my mind, anyone who uses the word journey to describe their metaphysical movement through life should be drawn and quartered while roasted over a pile Chicken Soup for (blank) Soul books.

    And I’ll leave you with this. Al Capone got away with murder because no one could prove it.

  79. 79
    Loviatar says:

    @LAC:

    Looks like it is time for hemp sandal brigade to get in here and start their patented brand of “back in my day when I was protesting about a tree, covered in peace sign stickers and a megaphone, there were real liberals” blathering.

    It amuses me when people like you write/say things like that and yet somewhere along the line you’ll end up saying the DFHs was right. Why don’t you surprise yourself this once and agree with the DFHs from the beginning

  80. 80
    Loviatar says:

    @Cassidy:

    And I’ll leave you with this. Al Capone got away with murder because no one could prove it.

    But he died in jail.

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Your point? So did Cameron Todd Willingham.

  82. 82
    Comrade Jake says:

    Shorter thread: WORSE THAN BUSH!

  83. 83
    redshirt says:

    I remain pure in my Purity Cloak.

  84. 84
    Cassidy says:

    @redshirt: But do you have a Bag of Holding?

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @Loviatar: For tax evasion. You’re welcome.

  86. 86
    Brachiator says:

    @Loviatar:

    And this is why I don’t trust Obama. He has governed from what has historically been considered the right and his biggest cheerleaders are former Republicans, in any sane world he would be seen as the next iteration of Reagan.

    This is what makes the times so interesting. There are people who wake up in the morning wondering how they will pay their bills, feed their kids, or just find a freaking job.

    And then there are people like you and this Bartlett fool who pull out their hand made special secret devices designed to measure whether Obama is left, center-left, or center-right, to sixteenth decimal levels of precision.

    Nobody in the real world cares about shit like this. Nobody.

    For this Democrat he is not be trusted he is to be tolerated only because the other options are so much worse.

    Who are the mythical superior lefties who could do better? Where are they hiding? Under a floorboard in the Senate?

    The Democratic party is now a center right party and its leader is a center right president.

    And so? Find your party of purity or support actual lefty politicians with actual workable poclicies within the Democratic Party.

    So, all your posts here come down to the notion that Obama should not be trusted because he fails your political standards. Who gives a shit?

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Don’t you get it? He’s DISAPPOINTED!! We had the chance to elect a true progressive like Dr Jill Stein and we blew it! Now we might as well just declare ourselves a fascist state and salute Obama as our next dictator.

  88. 88
    LAC says:

    @Loviatar: As soon as DFH’s like yourself get something right, like than earth is not flat and oh yes, we really showed Obama in 2010, I will be sure to do that. But since it is politics and governing and not cyber scolding, I imagine that surprise will be on the shelf for a while.

  89. 89
    redshirt says:

    @Cassidy: It’s empty, yet full of promise.

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    Nobody in the real world cares about shit like this. Nobody.

    With all due respect, that’s idiotic.

    People care, or should care, about political leader’s policy preferences. And it’s a commonplace empirical fact that those policy preferences can mostly (if not entirely) be laid down on a single-dimensional, “left-to-right” political spectrum.

  91. 91
    aimai says:

    @Loviatar:

    So, wait, if zzombie reagan had lived to be 130 he would be a great centrist president?

    aimai

  92. 92
    spatula says:

    Now DougJ has Zandar doing the concern troll shuffle. Linking to fucking Politico no less.

    Thanks for the laugh Zandar. All total bullshit but didn’t stop you from linking to politico anyways.

    Maybe Cole should rename this backwoods swamp blog the left-wing-concern-troll.com

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    @Loviatar: No offense, you have a right to believe whatever you believe, but you’re getting worked up about an opinion in The American Conservative? Who gives a fuck? The shit they say has exactly what bearing on a free-thinking progressive who checks their facts? Look, if it makes you mad and now OBUMMER IS WORSE THAN BUSH, REAGAN PART 3, whatever, fine. But you’re going to find that very few voices on the left or center are going to agree with you. On the right, 90% of those people will laugh you off the internets.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The first was not illegal. It was not fraud. It SHOULD have been fraud, but the deregulation of the last thirty years made it all legal. Fun, huh?

    No, it made most of it legal. Not all of it.

    The notion that we’ve gotten as many criminal convictions as we could have in the aftermath of one of the greatest financial bubbles of all time (even given the weaknesses in the law, which you rightfully point out) is laughable.

  95. 95
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    People care, or should care, about political leader’s policy preferences.

    Typical bullshit, blind to the difference in policy preference, and governing in a democracy. And conflating the two into a patently false meme that Obama is personally on the center right.

    And it’s a commonplace empirical fact that those policy preferences can mostly (if not entirely) be laid down on a single-dimensional, “left-to-right” political spectrum.

    Of course, that spectrum as defined by the firebaggers. LOL. Troll on Obi Wan.

  96. 96
    liberal says:

    @fester:

    As a liberal, I am much more concerned with service delivery of healthcare to people who need it then protecting rentier incomes.

    Yeah…the sad thing is that rent is perhaps greater in the medical sector itself than in the medical insurance industry, yet most people only focus on the latter.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LAC:

    Looks like it is time for hemp sandal brigade to get in here and start their patented brand of “back in my day when I was protesting about a tree, covered in peace sign stickers and a megaphone, there were real liberals” blathering.

    The funniest part, of course, is that Loviator was born in the 1980s and doesn’t actually remember anything Reagan did or any of his policies, so he’s going by what he’s been told Reagan was like without having any actual memory of, say, Iran-Contra or “bombing will begin in 5 minutes” or “the most frightening words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

    The only people who can claim that Obama and Reagan have the same policies are the ones who don’t actually remember what Reagan’s policies were.

  98. 98
    Loviatar says:

    @Brachiator:

    And then there are people like you and this Bartlett fool who pull out their hand made special secret devices designed to measure whether Obama is left, center-left, or center-right, to sixteenth decimal levels of precision.

    I care because instead of single payer we have Obamacare. Thats the difference between a center right and a center left president.

    Is that real world enough for you.

  99. 99
    Loviatar says:

    @Brachiator:

    Who are the mythical superior lefties who could do better? Where are they hiding? Under a floorboard in the Senate?

    Since the daddy Bush years the Democratic party has had centrist leadership, what has been its accomplishments.

    – They dismantled the financial regulatory structure thereby leading directly to the economic collapse of 2007.

    – They consistently assisted with the piecemeal rollback of the social safety net, beginning with welfare and continuing now with attacks on Medicaid, Medicare and possibly Social Security.

    – They’ve allowed Unions to be decimated and denigrated to the point where they are no longer a counterbalance to corporations. The result is a rise in income inequality not seen since the 1920s.

    – They’ve allowed corporations to achieve power over government not seen since the Roosevelt administration (Teddy Roosevelt).

    – They were leading participants in the Iraq war, the Bush Torture regime, the creation of a security state so hostile to civil rights that we had not seen its equal since WW2.

    .
    Do you want me to continue, because I have whole lot more on things you guys fucked up over the last 30+ years.

    ———-

    What was accomplished when “lefty” Democrats led the party:

    How about Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Civil Rights, Environmental protection, less income inequality.

    NO INSTITUTIONALIZED TORTURE

    So shut your f$%@ing mouth and don’t come at me on what can we leftys do.

    Remember we’re DFHs and we’re always, always end up being right.

  100. 100
    Loviatar says:

    @Brachiator:

    So, all your posts here come down to the notion that Obama should not be trusted because he fails your political standards

    Obama can’t be trusted because his policies are not Democratic policies they are 1990 era Republican policies.

    I didn’t like the policies when George H. W. Bush tried to foist them on me in the 90s, what the hell makes you think I’d like now. Maybe for you its enough that the metro sexual black man with the funny sounding middle name and D next to his last name asked, thats not a good enough reason for me to accept piss poor policies.

  101. 101
    Loviatar says:

    @Brachiator:

    Who gives a shit?

    You did in 2010.

  102. 102
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar:

    instead of single payer we have Obamacare. Thats the difference between a center right and a center left president.

    Oh FFS, not this again. I want you, right now, to list exactly who would have voted for Single Payer and prove to us it would have passed. I want names. All of them. Show me that they total up to a majority in the House and 60+ votes in the Senate to break a filibuster.

  103. 103
    redshirt says:

    @Cassidy: Here’s the only name you need: Bully Pulpit

    If only Obama had talked from his Bully Pulpit, we’d have Unicorns.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    Don’t you get it? He’s DISAPPOINTED!! We had the chance to elect a true progressive like Dr Jill Stein and we blew it! Now we might as well just declare ourselves a fascist state and salute Obama as our next dictator.

    Yep. But his (or her) expressions of disappointment are so infantile.

    And let’s see. Jill Stein got 445,247 votes for 0.35% in the election. This might be the purity nut threshold.

    @liberal:

    People care, or should care, about political leader’s policy preferences. And it’s a commonplace empirical fact that those policy preferences can mostly (if not entirely) be laid down on a single-dimensional, “left-to-right” political spectrum.

    With all due respect, horseshit.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about “policy preferences.” I do care about actual, substantive policy, law, submitted legislation, approved legislation. I also care about effective governance.

    The fantasy that political labels are both determinative and substantive reminds me of Shakespeare’s mockery of pointlessly minute distinctions of drama categories:

    The best actors in the world, either for tragedy,
    comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,
    historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-
    comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or
    poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor
    Plautus too light.

    As a related aside, it is amazing how the current film Lincoln explodes the childish notion that politicians must be ideologically pure or rigidly lashed to their “policy preferences” in order to get great things done. And that’s a historical empirical fact.

  105. 105
    gene108 says:

    I wish I could troll-hard like Loviator’s done. Frankly speaking, I am jealous.

  106. 106
    Loviatar says:

    @Cassidy:

    Show me that they total up to a majority in the House and 60+ votes in the Senate to break a filibuster./blockquote>

    Raising taxes on the wealthy; Show me that they total up to a majority in the House and 60+ votes in the Senate to break a filibuster.

    ———-

    Yet what did Obama do yesterday, the day before that and what is he doing today?

    He is fighting for something he believes in, something he wants to accomplish within his next term. Will he, don’t know but he is trying, no one can tell me he did the same with single payer healthcare. That was given away to the insurance companies before he even sat down with Congress.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @redshirt: Heh.

    I’m absolutely serious, though. I want one of these purity minded uber-liberals to grace us with some facts and show me exactly how single payer would have passed. Show me the names and numbers or shut the f*** up.

  108. 108
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Uh uh, son. Show me the names and numbers of how single payer would have passed or shut the f*** up. We’re past semantics, now. Show your work.

  109. 109
    Xantar says:

    @redshirt:

    I thought you also need “arm twisting”?

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    @Loviatar:

    RE: Who gives a shit?

    You did in 2010.

    Not true, but thank’s for trying.

    I didn’t like the policies when George H. W. Bush tried to foist them on me in the 90s, what the hell makes you think I’d like now

    It’s not all about you.

    So shut your f$%@ing mouth and don’t come at me on what can we leftys do. Remember we’re DFHs and we’re always, always end up being right.

    As an aside, actual hippies came late to the party. And to say that hippies have always been right is stupid and meaningless. But I acknowledge the contemporary shorthand for lefties in general, even though it smacks of a false mastubatory fantasy.

    But you evade my question. You keep rattling on about how Obama has disappointed you. Who are the current lefty politicians who are doing good, effective work, and how are you going to get more of them?

    Otherwise, you are much the same as a conservative wingnut. The only difference is the direction of your obstructionism.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loviatar:

    NO INSTITUTIONALIZED TORTURE

    Uh, what do you think lynching was, a cheery walk in the park? FDR opposed federal anti-lynching laws so he could get the New Deal passed.

    But, hey, lynching people wasn’t torture, so it was A-OK for FDR to close his eyes and let it go unprosecuted.

  112. 112
    Loviatar says:

    @Loviatar:

    How the fuck do I show a counter-factual? tell me and you’ll be the first in history to accomplish that fact.

    What I can tell you is Obama negotiated away any chance of a single payer program when he met with the insurance companies prior to meeting with Congress.

    Obama & Health Care: The Straight Story
    .
    .
    ———-
    .
    .
    For all you Bully Pulpit scoffers you want to see how its done, you want to see a Bully Pulpit being used; turn on you news, turn up the radio, Google Obama and tax rates over $250,000. Hmmm quite a few unicorns out there.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loviatar:

    Please point to any country with a universal healthcare system that switched from a for-profit to a single-payer system with a single piece of legislation. Just one. We’ll wait here while you find one.

    (Hint: Great Britain is not one of them. Nor is France. Or Canada. Or Germany. Or Japan. Or Switzerland. But there must be one out there, right?)

  114. 114
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: All I hear is “whah, whah, whah”. So basically, you can’t prove your assertion, you just know it and feel it…just like all the wingers?

  115. 115
    Loviatar says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Uh, what do you think lynching was, a cheery walk in the park? FDR opposed federal anti-lynching laws so he could get the New Deal passed.

    And this is why you can’t have and honest discussion with an Obot, they’re almost as bad as a Republican.

    I will stipulate right now that somewhere, sometime, probably even happening now a DFH is doing something immoral and bad.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Pssst, Democrats used to be the pro slavery party. Don’t tell anyone.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Pssst, FDR threw black people under the bus to get progressive polices passed.

    ———–

    Again when discussing current Democratic and Republican governance and policies, anything that occurred prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while important doesn’t have the same impact and relevance as whats occurred to the parties since the act was passed.

  116. 116
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Loviatar: So how long should he have spun his wheels on a single payer and losing political capital and momentum before moving on?

    The difference with raising taxes is that Obama has the recent election results PLUS the additional leverage of the “fiscal cliff”.

  117. 117
    NR says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    The president doesn’t have to face another election and should be the last person to be conciliatory, but you go to battle with the leaders you have. Any way, he’s not the pressure point. Time to work on vulnerable Republicans and those Democrats from safe districts/states who are wobbly (looking at you Durbin).

    That’s incredibly naive. If the president cuts a deal with the Republicans, the Democratic party will follow. They have proven that again and again.

  118. 118
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Loviator, I salute you.

    Both for your pearls of wisdom, though cast before Obot swine, and for your tenacity.

    And is that DougJ trolling under my old nym Spatula?

    I accept your tribute!

  119. 119
    Bruce S says:

    Jesus Christ this is a pathetic thread.

    Kay – as usual – makes far more sense than most. But she’s still positing quite a gamble. It’s obvious the cost of Medicare has to come down over time. That’s fundamental as a long-term problem. But this “problem” with Medicare isn’t about “Medicare.” It’s systemic – and attempting to come up with a way to “fix” health care costs broadly in the context of negotiations with crazy people over an essential and unrelated tax hike is a testimony to just how broken and stupid our politics are. It also has to be said that anyone who glibly attack folks who think it’s crucial to protest generic cuts in “entitlements” is one sorry sonofabitch if they’re a “Democrat.” Too bad that so much Balloon Juice discourse is reduced to this crap “Obots vs. Firebaggers” idiocy. Or, in certain threads, tends to be “Obamacentric.” It’s childish.

    And, FWIW, Bruce Bartlett’s point is about how successful the right has been in shifting political discourse to a different “center” – it’s not about Obama. Clinton more explicitly reflected this same shift. Obama is the best President in my lifetime – but he’s not our Savior and Democrats have to take responsibility for the amount of political leverage he’s got. Gay marriage advocates and Dream Kids didn’t get the President to take their side publicly by wishing and hoping or attempting to read his mind. It’s kind of creepy that a “political blog” indulges itself in the kind of recycled, emotionally-driven crap that seemed, frankly, the entire point of stirring this nearly empty pot by posting this drivel in the spirit of throwing a bone to a dog.

  120. 120
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: @Ted & Hellen: I repeat, I want one of you purity minded uber-liberals to grace us with some facts and show me exactly how single payer would have passed. Show me the names and numbers or shut the f*** up. We are beyond semantics. What you feel in your heart and what you just know to be true is not important. Show. Your. Work.

  121. 121
    Ted & Hellen says:

    It’s clarifying to read all the standard personal insults and obfuscating chaf, which I’m so accustomed to, being feebly hurled at Loviator.

    Bots got nothing.

    I see Cassidy’s hard at work again today doing nothing while the boss is out of town. Career!

  122. 122
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Short version is you can’t. Understood. That’s what I figured. Don’t let those pesky facts sully your feelings.

    Hell, I’d be doing nothing today regardless of location. I finished my tasks last week. Again, you got something you want to say, or are you going to keep trying this mealy mouthed chickenshit passive agressive nonsense? Honestly, you wear chickenshit well and it does suit you.

  123. 123
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    Show. Your. Work.

    We’ve been thru this a hundred times, but I’ll play again: THAT. IS. OBAMA’S. JOB.

    I have a job. I run my own business. When Obama shows up and does that for ME, I’ll take care of the White House.

    Also too: I didn’t vote for the man. Making excuses for him is YOUR job. Since your “real” job apparently doesn’t require any effort on your part, you’re always available here to do just that!

  124. 124
    Bruce S says:

    Incidentally, while I share the admiration stated above – can’t remember who said it – for Obama’s tenacity in successfully passing a near-universal health care scheme, the oft-noted fact that it took the form of a Heritage Foundation proposal is testimony to just how “right-wing” Obama’s strategy has to be. The irony, of course, is that even this didn’t have any impact on our contemporary, radically-devolved GOP. In this context, I can’t raise any of this cynical ire for folks who criticize Obama from the Left. Given how tenacious and loud the rightwing crazies are, we need more. He needs more…

    (I’ll also say that while I essentially support Obama’s drone strategy, I’d be pretty disturbed if there were no dissenting voices among “peaceniks.” We can’t have any policy this fraught with potential for abuse and inherently problematic go without testing and contention from critics.)

  125. 125
    NR says:

    @LAC: Please. This is just the latest pebble on the mountain of evidence that many Democrats, including President Obama, want a Grand Bargain that will cut the social safety net. I’ll remind you that Obama tried to pass just such a deal during the last round of fiscal negotiations. I could show you the mountain, but you’d just find a way not to see it.

  126. 126
    Loviatar says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    So how long should he have spun his wheels on a single payer and losing political capital and momentum before moving on?

    As I said above I’m not going to try and prove a counter-factual.
    .
    .
    ——–
    .
    .

    The difference with raising taxes is that Obama has the recent election results PLUS the additional leverage of the “fiscal cliff”.

    – In 2008 Obama had just been elected with more votes that any other American president EVER.

    – In 2008 the Senate consisted of 58 members who caucused consistently with the Democrats and for awhile they had as many as 60 members.

    – In 2008 the House of Representatives consisted of 256 members who caucused consistently with the Democrats.

    So the Democrats had control of all three branches of government, momentum from defeating a party and a president that had led us into two wars and the worst recession since the great depression, and yet our greatest claim is that we got a 1989 Heritage Foundation healthcare plan created for the Republican party passed.
    .
    .
    ————-
    .
    .
    I’ll repeat myself,

    Despite controlling all three branches of government, the Democratic Party’s major accomplishment for Obama’s first term is that they passed into law a 1989 Heritage Foundation healthcare plan created for the Republican party.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loviatar:

    Again when discussing current Democratic and Republican governance and policies, anything that occurred prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while important doesn’t have the same impact and relevance as whats occurred to the parties since the act was passed.

    Great, so we can talk about the immense waste of life and resources that was the Vietnam War, which Johnson pursued partially so he could get enough conservatives on his side to let him pass his Great Society legislation.

    No torture or war crimes going on there, so we can talk about how Johnson was our greatest president ever, right?

    Also, if you’re going to try and enforce some kind of “no talking about stuff pre-1964,” you’ll have to drop Social Security from your talking points since that was passed by FDR. You can’t tout Social Security on the one hand and insist that we’re not allowed to talk about the methods by which FDR got Social Security passed on the other hand.

  128. 128
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: That’s fine. I get it. You don’t have the intellectual ability to back up any of your arguments. It’s a good thing you’re busy doing those caricature paintings I can find on any boardwalk for $5 a pop. You’re obviously incapable of anything else.

  129. 129
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: So…you can’t back up your assertion with any kind of facts? Color me surprised.

  130. 130
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    lol. You’re pathetic.

    It would kill you to know what Cole paid for his painting.

    My boardwalk caricatures are filling my bank account just fine, thanks, and I love doing them, so I think I’ll KEEP doing them.

    And you keep playing on the Internet when your “boss is out of town” because all of your “tasks” are done, “son.”

    Sounds like you’re a real entrepreneur/ go getter.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bruce S:

    Gay marriage advocates and Dream Kids didn’t get the President to take their side publicly by wishing and hoping or attempting to read his mind.

    This is true. What they did was organize and pressure both Congress and the President in both public and private to support their goals. They promised things like, oh, higher voting turnout by their groups if only Democrats and the President would support their goals. And given that Latino turnout hit record highs this year, I think we can safely say that they were able to deliver on their promises.

    Now contrast that with people like Loviatar, who insist that they won’t lift a finger until they’re handed everything they want on a silver platter. They’re not willing to actually go out and lobby their congressman or join an organization that lobbies for what they want. They insist that sitting on their couch on Election Day will totally show Democrats that they have to court their votes.

    Frankly, the most destructive decision the DFH’s of the 1960s and 1970s made was to turn their backs on electoral politics and decide that they could get the legislation they wanted passed by forming outside pressure groups. Conservatives, unfortunately, knew better and realized that if they could control the legislatures, they could ignore any outside pressure groups and do whatever they wanted because you can only pass legislation if you control the legislators.

    Now liberals are trying to fight back from that 40-year-old strategy, and way too many people on the left still don’t understand that we got to this point by refusing to participate in electoral politics. They still think we can form a bunch of outside groups and use moral suasion to convince, say, Paul Ryan that cutting Medicare/Medicaid is a bad thing.

  132. 132
    Bruce S says:

    @Loviatar:

    Despite controlling all three branches of government, the Democratic Party’s major accomplishment for Obama’s first term is that they passed into law a 1989 Heritage Foundation healthcare plan created for the Republican party.

    True and horribly ironic – but you’re leaving out the most important piece of context – which actually goes back to validate Bruce Bartlett’s POV. The actually-existing “conservative movement” three decades later lambasted this extremely modest proposal as “socialism.”

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It would kill you to know what Cole paid for his painting.

    Thomas Kinkade, “the painter of light,” was the greatest artist of the 20th century — after all, people paid millions of dollars for his paintings, so that proves that they’re better than any old Picasso or Chagall. Did those guys earn $53 million in just 8 years? I don’t think so.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I’m still waiting for Loviatar to give us all the name of a country that switched from a for-profit health system to a single-payer system in a single piece of legislation. There must be one out there somewhere, right? Or is that one of those American Exceptionalism things where just because no other country has ever done it, there’s no reason it couldn’t have been done by the US because we’re the greatest country in the world and better than all of those other guys who slowly transitioned from one system to the other over a series of decades? USA! USA! USA!

  135. 135
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I’m not real worried about what Cole paid. He’s got no obligations, but pets, and money to burn. Whatever it is, you overcharged for that velvet wall painting pile of shit, but whatever. I’ll take the flea market discount if I want some black light equivalent.

    Speaking of go getter, weren’t you the one saying you couldn’t cut it in your profession anymore? It was just too hard for you and you had a sad?

    Nice deflection, though, “son”. You’re not very sharp and your clumsy attempts at insulting me, especially with my kind of ego, is pretty amatuer. I’ve been called worse by much better people. It’s still obvious that you are unable to 1) have an honest debate, 2) support your positions, and 3) pathetically start flinging insults when called on your bloviating bullshit.

  136. 136
    Bruce S says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I agree with your essential point. Not sure about the last line. We DO, in fact, need more “outside groups” because the Democratic Party itself isn’t a vehicle for issue campaigns or “social movement.” What most disturbs me right now about the best of the “outside groups” – in California we have The Courage Campaign, or what Van Jones appears to be trying to do nationally – is that they replicate a better version of the Move On model and are extremely internet-based. If we’re a “reality-based community”, I think we need to have folks actually get together in in “reality” and build some authentic community. A lot of that happened in the context of the Obama campaign – especially the first one – and then got dropped. At least that’s my experience. Also, the critique about the ’60s is valid, but also I have to say that if you weren’t there – with the transition from the civil rights movement to escalation in Vietnam – it’s almost impossible to understand such a rapid devolution into political nihilism and despair. Among other things, a series of high-profile (to say the least) political assassinations contributed much of what in retrospect appears quite crazy.

  137. 137
    Loviatar says:

    @Bruce S:

    True and horribly ironic – but you’re leaving out the most important piece of context – which actually goes back to validate Bruce Bartlett’s POV. The actually-existing “conservative movement” three decades later lambasted this extremely modest proposal as “socialism.”

    DING, DING, DING, DING, DING we have a winner.

    And the current Democratic party is refusing to accept that they’ve now become the equivalent of the 1990 Republican party. Pointing that out gets you denigrated as a firebagger.

  138. 138
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Still waiting.

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:

    @Loviatar:

    I care because instead of single payer we have Obamacare. Thats the difference between a center right and a center left president. Is that real world enough for you.

    Oh, please. Single payer is the fetish of the faux progressive.

    Single payer is supposedly health care Nirvana. Strange, isnt’ it that most countries with universal health care do not have single payer systems. What is it that real countries with real programs know that you don’t know?

  140. 140
    NobodySpecial says:

    Obama isn’t Reagan.

    Obama roughly equates more to John B. Anderson.

    That said, John B. Anderson was a Republican at that time.

    Bruce Bartlett makes an excellent point about how far the center has shifted right in America.

    And the usual suspects here at BJ prove why it’s so hard to move left from that new center.

  141. 141
    Bruce S says:

    @Loviatar:

    And the current Democratic party is refusing to accept that they’ve now become the equivalent of the 1990 Republican party. Pointing that out gets you denigrated as a firebagger.

    I’ve been called a Firebagger here by a couple of idiots – or an “Obama-hater”, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. So I get that bit. But, no, the current Democratic party isn’t “the equivalent” of the 1990 Democratic Party. The 1990 Republican Party contained the seeds of what they have become. The current Democratic Party has a lot of “seeds” to return to a more authentically liberal politics and move the country, incrementally no doubt, back to a more rational “center.” It’s possible to learn and change. Mostly, people have to get involved and progressives institutions have to be built and strengthened. This is really all about the respective “bases” of each party, and what that might imply for their future and potential for new directions. I think that this has already started. Howard Dean gave impetus to this. And the Obama election and re-election has been part of it, whatever flaws in the President’s policies. But the responsibility isn’t on him. It’s on the base, to reclaim a more coherent narrative and not wallow in “progressive impotence.”

  142. 142
    Loviatar says:

    @Brachiator:
    .
    .

    Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.

    Single payer is supposedly health care Nirvana. Strange, isnt’ it that most countries with universal health care do not have single payer systems. What is it that real countries with real programs know that you don’t know?

    For a progressive Single Payer was never the goal, it was always the compromise position, Universal healthcare was the true goal.

  143. 143
    LAC says:

    @NR: Oh, I see the mountain. It is covered in shit and you are on top with your flag. If you, Bloviator, and Ted beats Helen want to meet somewhere and jerk each other off while “Where have all flowers gone” plays in the background, be my guest. Frankly, your purity whining puts no food on the table, no clothes on people’s back and no job creation. I would rather be an Obot than an assbot listing all the ways Obama hurt my feewings…

  144. 144
    Loviatar says:

    @Bruce S:

    I agree with most of what you’ve said, however I’m going to disagree with the following.

    The current Democratic Party has a lot of “seeds” to return to a more authentically liberal politics and move the country, incrementally no doubt, back to a more rational “center.” It’s possible to learn and change.

    My belief (strictly anecdotal and personal) is that the Democratic party is no longer a liberal party and on certain issues it can’t even be considered a centrist party. I believe they can’t and won’t return to ever being the liberal party. I believe that in the future Democrats will be the conservative party and Republicans will be the “radical” party.

    In my opinion traditional “liberalism” as a political force and as a standard and framework for a political party will be dead for the foreseeable future. Liberal accompaniments going forward will have to achieved through the courts not through the various legislatures.

    The sad thing is it was killed by a combination of Republican attacks, centrist compliance and liberal self satisfaction (we just knew we won).

  145. 145
    Cassidy says:

    @Loviatar: Still waiting.

  146. 146
    General Stuck says:

    So before you reach for that HE SOLD US OUT special, remember it’s Politico, in the Billiards Room, trying to Win The Morning™, and try to keep the blood off the floor.

    Brilliant turn of phrase, Zandar!

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: Well, yeah. The question has always been how to get there, hasn’t it? It isn’t as though the people who support Obamacare see it as the be all end all of health care reform.

    I, for one, see it as a useful step – one that establishes in people’s minds that they have a right to healthcare. To me, that is worth a lot. YMMV.

  148. 148
    Peter says:

    @Loviatar: What on earth? Single Payer isn’t a fallback position from Universal Healthcare, it’s a method of achieving it. Those two things don’t even sit on the same number line. You just make less and less sense the longer this thread goes on.

  149. 149
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    Whatever it is, you overcharged for that velvet wall painting pile of shit, but whatever. I’ll take the flea market discount if I want some black light equivalent.

    omg…lol

  150. 150
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    pathetically start flinging insults when called on your bloviating bullshit.

    omg…lol

    Pot/kettle

  151. 151
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    Still waiting.

    Of course you are…you have nothing else to do.

    Does your boss know you sit around working the intertrons not doing a damn thing constructive when she/he is out of town?

    Career!

  152. 152
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I would gladly be the WORST artist of any period of time in return for millions of dollars.

    Your disdain is just icing on the cake.

    Also icing: Knowing that if I was an Obot you would be clamoring for one of my pieces. :D

  153. 153
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Peter: he’s more concerned with seeing himself as a poor embattled soul, one of the last lonely few of a dying tribe, than he is interested in, you know, how to fucking do anything in American politics with the electorate we have now. There are a lot of people like this in the blogosphere. There is also some number of people who watch “Brickleberry” and laugh. It is a much greater number.

  154. 154
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It’s always like that with the Loviatars of the world. To them, it wouldn’t count, if Neil Armstrong had taken the bus to the moon.

  155. 155
    Heliopause says:

    That right there should tell you who’s winning this fight

    The Right scored a TKO a long time ago by virtue of this “fight” existing at all. Our focus now should be on minimizing the damage.

  156. 156
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Shouldn’t you be doing some more black light velvet? Do you not have any flea markets in your area to hawk your wares fleece the tasteless?

    And of course, I’m still waiting for you and Loviator to actually provide some facts to back your assertions. I won’t hold my breath as I know you can’t. You’re a lightweight, son. You’re not even spunky enough to be punching above your weight. Seriously. Stop trying to be witty, and failing miserably, and actually produce some real information, some factual support for your positions. First time for everything.

  157. 157
    eemom says:

    There is something oddly comforting about the utter predictability with which this thread devolved into a shit slinging fest in precisely the same manner as the preceding infinity zillion threads before it on the same or a similar topic and involving exactly the same people — and how, albeit sporadically, it is still going on 9 hours later.

    Srsly. It’s been like a warm blankie clicking back every now and then throughout the day.

  158. 158
    Cassidy says:

    @eemom: It’s something to break up the boredom.

  159. 159
    Cassidy says:

    @eemom: PLus, it could have easily been a debate with substance, Ted Kincade and Loviator refuse to support thier positions. But they just feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel it, so it’s right or something or other.

  160. 160
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Loviatar: So with the numbers, you should be able to explain why the much more progressive house version of health care reform wasn’t immediately passed by the Senate, right? Or is it your position that Obama, and not folks like Liberman, Nelson, etc. was the one that turned the House version on its head?

  161. 161
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    Well, you must have missed Bruce S’s enlightened commentary on the state of grace, or lack there of, for sublime discourse on this callow and brutish blog. I got a little teary from the inspired prose. But still.

    OBAMA ROCKS!!

    You can quote me on that.

  162. 162
    Brachiator says:

    @Loviatar:

    For a progressive Single Payer was never the goal, it was always the compromise position, Universal healthcare was the true goal.

    You have achieved a perfect moment of Absolute Ignorance.

    You conflate a health care system, universal healthcare, with one of many payment methods, single payer.

    And yes, for many progressives, single payer is Nirvana. There is an infamous Bill Moyer’s Journal in which Moyer and his guess go on and on about why the US does not have a single payer system. But never once during the entire program do they define single payer, specify exactly what they would like to see, or explain why it would be effective. It’s all “it must be good because we’re progressives and we have blessed it.”

    I’m done. Have a nice day.

    @eemom:

    There is something oddly comforting about the utter predictability with which this thread devolved into a shit slinging fest…

    It is, of course, an InterNets tradition. And what’s that in your hand, ready to be flung?

  163. 163
    huckster says:

    I am disappointed that this thread has failed to reach 200 posts. People are getting mighty slack around here.

  164. 164
    Brachiator says:

    @Bruce S:

    I agree with your essential point. Not sure about the last line. We DO, in fact, need more “outside groups” because the Democratic Party itself isn’t a vehicle for issue campaigns or “social movement.”

    So, here’s a question. The Tea Party People, ginned up with the help of Faux News and staked with oligarch money, ultimately got people elected to Congress. And despite the fact that they have recently been losing elections, they still wield enormous power in Congress and form a reliable obstructionist wing who refuse to even talk to the Democrats.

    And yet you want to sing the praises of “outside groups.” How are you going to go from the social movement phase to new legislation if you cannot elect people to Congress? I certainly would not say that these groups are unnecessary, but, I don’t see how you get from point A to point B.

  165. 165
    Bruce S says:

    @Brachiator:

    Walking and chewing gum at the same time? The Tea Party got where they did by FIRST raising some hell…although they are a complicated example for many reasons – those you mention, as well as the racial and “crazy” factors. We have a tougher job. But I don’t see any example in American history where anything worth doing got done simply by relying on political parties. Or by rejecting electoral politics.

  166. 166

    And on the eleventeenth day, the FSM directed Cleek to make the pie filter. And it was good.

  167. 167
    Bruce S says:

    @Bruce S:

    “But, no, the current Democratic party isn’t “the equivalent” of the 1990 Democratic Party.”

    Sorry – that should have read: “isn’t ‘the equivalent’ of the 1990 Republican Party..”

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Bruce S:

    Walking and chewing gum at the same time? The Tea Party got where they did by FIRST raising some hell…

    Disagree with you here. The initial “hell” they raised was phony publicity stunts, underwritten by Fox News and conservative weasel pundits. And rather than simply relying on politicians to deliver on campaign promises, as religious fundamentalists had long done, the Tea Party was always about getting its fanatics elected to Congress.

    But I don’t see any example in American history where anything worth doing got done simply by relying on political parties. Or by rejecting electoral politics.

    You’re joking, right? Or maybe I am not understanding what you are trying to say. And I certainly have no idea what you mean by “rejecting electoral politics.”

    And I did not say that things get done simply by relying on political parties.

  169. 169
    Bruce S says:

    Brachiator – the Tea Party was a mixed bag. There was definitely a populist grass-roots aspect to it. Of course it was ginned up by FOX News. And I wouldn’t disagree that some of them had an electoral strategy. But that’s what “walking and chewing gum” refers to.

    As for the last comment about my “joking”, I don’t understand what your point is. I’m referring to American History 101, in which progress has been achieved by a combination of social movements and electoral politics. The electoral politics always trails. This is pretty elementary.

  170. 170
    redshirt says:

    Firebaggers are like political hipsters.

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @Bruce S:

    As for the last comment about my “joking”, I don’t understand what your point is. I’m referring to American History 101, in which progress has been achieved by a combination of social movements and electoral politics

    Got it. You are over-emphasizing the role of social movements and de-emphasizing politics. This has little to do with history, and more about your personal preferences.

    The goal of the Tea Party was to have influence in Congress.

    Where, right now, today, is the equivalent liberal social movement seeking to get more liberals elected to Congress? What are the new issues driving them? The Tea Party targeted politicians they wanted removed, and put up candidates they wanted to see installed. This is a well worn, strategy. It lay at the heart of the Prohibition movement when it went beyond grand standing publicity stunts such as busting saloons.

    What’s the liberal equivalent? Why wasn’t there more follow-up to get liberals elected in the wake of Obama’s 2008 victory? What are you waiting for? Why the apparent reluctance to get to even what you see as the other part of the “combination,” the electoral politics?

  172. 172
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s old-line Marxist bullshit. A lot of aging lefties can’t get past it because they’re not really conscious of it. These “movements” are just supposed to spring up and do the heavy lifting so that they themselves don’t have to—”Historical Laws” yada, yada: Voilà! Utopia. If it doesn’t happen, “sellouts” like Obama are throwing their sabots in the gears. You know, “wreckers”.

  173. 173
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    Speaking of go getter, weren’t you the one saying you couldn’t cut it in your profession anymore? It was just too hard for you and you had a sad?

    No don’t think so but thanks for your faux concern.

  174. 174
    pattonbt says:

    @Loviatar: I’d say they are 1950’s republican policies. Minus the racism / classism.

  175. 175
    pattonbt says:

    @Loviatar: Then whats your fucking point you moran? You just basically killed yourself here. Every politician has had to make compromises on moral and ethical stances. Every single fucking one. Yet you keep refering to some mythical time when the Democratic party was some purity party. Never ever was. Never ever will be.

    I hate to break this to you but NO political party or assemblage of more than one person will ever be able to implement a system to perfectly fit your wants and desires Princess. None. Nada. Zip.

    It is and always will be the lesser of two evils (or three or four evils). Sure, Obama’s not the most leftist lefty in the world, but neither was the Democrtaic party at any time in its known history. But he’s had more core Democratic party lefislative gains than any other Democrat in decades. Decades. Sure, Obamacare isnt the best healhcare option in the world, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the status quo was and, hopefully, a baby step towards an even better, more equitable system.

    Dont ask dont tell, gone. And on and on.

    God youre an insufferable douche.

  176. 176
    pattonbt says:

    @Ted & Hellen: So basically, in your opinion, Obama can do anything he wants, but doesn’t because he’s not a “true progressive”. Just to clue you in on how the US works, no matter how much the Republicans try and complain Obama is a dictator, he isn’t. Domestically, the President is not the daddy, he is equal in the branches with the only excess power being the veto.

    So Obama has to get cut some slack on ability to control domestic legislation given the, you know, actual environment he has presided in. Any other belief is infantile.

    I honestly would like to know how single payer would have gotten through. Seriously.

    It basically looked like Obamacare or nothing. I’ll take Obamacare with a smile on my face of those are the options.

  177. 177
    pattonbt says:

    @Loviatar: And yet one of the people you are counting is Lieberman who said absolutely NO to single payer (and need we we remind you of Nelson, Landrieu, etc.). Come one now, 60 votes for single payer in the senate, where were they? Ever?

  178. 178
    pattonbt says:

    @Loviatar: Never was a liberal party. Thats what every one is trying to get through your thick skull. Never in the Democratic Party’s history was it top to bottom “liberal”. They may have had liberal positions on policies shifting over time, but in every year of its existence it also had non-liberal positions (and politicians) to boot. Remove yourself from fantasy-land and then people will start to engage with you like you arent a melodramtic douche.

  179. 179
    pattonbt says:

    @huckster: I’m trying (late to the thread and bored at work before heading off for the weekend).

  180. 180
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @pattonbt: Basically what happened is that the old-school Southern Democrats faded away throughout the 1990s (people like Heflin and Hollings, who weren’t liberal) and were replaced by DLC-style pro-business Democrats (like Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu, who also weren’t liberal). There’s always been a conservative presence among Democrats. It used to be possible to cajole them into doing decent things by dishing out favors and “pork.” But the ideological winds shifted, and now the way to get them to do decent things is to promise that you’ll spend less money doing decent things.

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