The Topic That Never Ends

Here’s another take on the eternal topic of Obama’s skill as a negotiator, this time from Nate Silver:

This time, it is only members of Congress who will come before voters again. Given the lack of certainly in how the public reacts to economic crises in Congressional elections, the aesthetics of the debt-ceiling endgame could matter a great deal. Minting a platinum coin, especially if it proved to be less effective at staving off financial panic than its advocates hoped, could look like a clumsy power grab by the White House, perhaps allowing the G.O.P. to stave off blame for the economic harm that ensued.

The White House’s stated refusal to consider the platinum coin has been described as a capitulation by some liberals, but it is actually the more aggressive negotiating posture. It implies that Mr. Obama thinks the G.O.P. will swerve first – or will only damage itself if Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling. That threat was less credible when a debt default might have wrecked Mr. Obama’s chances at a second term.

In addition to the debt ceiling, this is also relevant to gun safety. According to the Times, Obama is going to throw down a major piece of gun safety legislation, which will probably fail in the House. That’s bad news if you want to do something about guns now. It’s good news if you’re playing a long game, where the point of the next year or two is to show that the intransigent House is what’s keeping us from making any progress.

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98 replies
  1. 1
    libarbarian says:

    show that the intransigent House is what’s keeping us from making any progress.

    Maybe both of you overestimate the intelligence and moral sense of the American people.

  2. 2
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    where the point of the next year or two is to show that the intransigent House is what’s keeping us from making any progress.

    Except both sides do it. Both sides are to blame. Mean Reid and Bitch Pelosi act like dictators; Pelosi’s not really in powe…shut up, that’s how.

    And gerrymandering has incentivized the House baggers to be even less negotiable, not more, due to primary candidate fears.

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    And a newly minted Wingnut Congressman from Texas has promised impeachment if Obama dares pass any gun regulations.

    To which I say: Bring it on you fools.

  4. 4
    Figs says:

    I don’t understand why Obama didn’t start out the year demanding a clean debt ceiling bill since we’ve already hit the debt ceiling.

    He should be making speeches demanding this, telling the nation that Treasury is having to resort to almost-unprecedented accounting gimmicks to keep the country from defaulting on its obligations.

    But we’re just going to wait until a week before the absolute deadline, like before, and legislation is going to get passed like 15 minutes after the absolute drop-dead point, like before.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    I’d donate to an ad campaign featuring responsible gun owners wanting more gun control laws.

    @redshirt: this..

  6. 6
    elisabeth says:

    @Figs:
    I figure that in a couple of weeks POTUS will start mentioning that the olds and vets won’t get their March checks. They’ll sit up and notice then.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    I’m with you and Nate Silver, mm. As fun as it is to game out things like the platinum coin, Obama is doing the right thing. The public already is poised to blame the GOPers for any budgetary/debt fiascos, based on the latest polling. The polling also supports some very common sense gun control measures, by huge margins. The near sheriff is playing the long game here and I am hopeful about his strategy.

    Maybe I’m a dupe (I’m sure all the firebaggers here think so), but I think he’s in a strong position and betting aggressively. Not what you usually get from a second term president, but I’m sure happy to see it.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    The repubs think that Obama can tell the Treasury which bills to pay. Since everything is computerized, how many techs would it take to write new programs and at what cost? hmmmm

  9. 9
    Paul says:

    @Figs:

    I don’t understand why Obama didn’t start out the year demanding a clean debt ceiling bill since we’ve already hit the debt ceiling.

    He did.

    He should be making speeches demanding this, telling the nation that Treasury is having to resort to almost-unprecedented accounting gimmicks to keep the country from defaulting on its obligations.

    He has done this.

  10. 10
    Hill Dweller says:

    @elisabeth:

    I figure that in a couple of weeks POTUS will start mentioning that the olds and vets won’t get their March checks.

    The President said that yesterday. He also pointed out the Republican hostage taking is currently hurting the economy.

  11. 11
    Cassidy says:

    @Figs: Because silly, it takes time to sell us out, throw us under the bus, and slap us in the face a few times.

  12. 12
    Robin G. says:

    I honestly don’t understand what the professional left is upset about. Isn’t this EXACTLY the tactical approach they (and I) have been hoping Obama would take with the GOP?

  13. 13
    Ash Can says:

    @Figs: Huh? He’s been demanding a clean bill for weeks (at least), and reiterated everything you want him to say just yesterday in his press conference. It’s not his fault if people don’t pay attention to him when he speaks.

  14. 14
    mistermix says:

    @geg6: I actually thought the platinum coin was an OK (not great) idea, but I’m coming to see why Obama did what he did.

    One thing I always did believe about the platty is that it wouldn’t have stopped obstruction. There are plenty of ways to obstruct other than the debt ceiling.

  15. 15
    Paul says:

    @Cassidy:

    Because silly, it takes time to sell us out, throw us under the bus, and slap us in the face a few times.

    Yes, just like Obama did with Gitmo. Oh wait, that was so called “progressive” senators such as Bernie Sanders and Klobuchar that sold us out.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s not his fault if people the MSM don’t pay attention to him when he speaks.

    Adjusted fer accuracy.

  17. 17
    mistermix says:

    @Robin G.: There is a lot of incoherence about the powers of the President out there. The platty appealed to the notion that Obama has power to fix everything, which feeds into one of the main critiques of Obama from certain parts of the left – that he could fix everything and chooses not to.

  18. 18
    Alex S. says:

    Off-topic: You’d guess that Andrew Sullivan would support every public person coming out of the closet, because it raises visiblity and such… well, not this time. Here he is slamming Jodie Foster for …I don’t know… I think it’s his misogyny showing.

  19. 19
    aimai says:

    @Figs:

    He did. Just because it wasn’t covered properly doesn’t mean he didn’t state exactly what he wanted. And all the real players know that is what he is demanding. And, although you might not know it, that’s what will probably happen–the house will send a cluttered “dirty” bill and the Senate will strip it out and send it back to the house and then we will see another showdown. In fact this is exactly what underlay the intransigence of the Republicans during the fight over the fiscal cliff–the republicans knew that the vote that gets one kind of bill through the house might look theoretically favorable to the lunatic fringe but that a whole lot can get stripped out in conference. They were petrified that Boehner would bring them something to vote on that they would vote through, the senate would tinker with it, and boehner would pass it back through the house with democratic votes.

  20. 20
    redshirt says:

    There are some broad trends shaping up for the 2014 battle – obviously this tax/debt issue is hot right now; right on its heels will be gun regulations; right after and into 2014 will be immigration reform.

    All big issues where the Republicans are vulnerable, even in the South to a degree. I like how this is shaping up – especially given the hints of backbones from the Dems these days.

    No more compromise with these monsters. Lets fight, and see what the voters say in 2014.

    Also, OFA? Get yourself in the game this time.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    Here’s Dana Milbank’s lede at Kaplan:

    Obama’s forceful approach may be good politics. But he could use a bit more warmth.

    Facepalm, headdesk, etc.

  22. 22
    elisabeth says:

    @Hill Dweller:
    Good for him. He’s ahead of my schedule. :)

    Maybe on February 1st he’ll mention that’s the last check unless …

  23. 23
    Nylund says:

    @libarbarian:

    Maybe both of you overestimate the intelligence and moral sense of the American people.

    Granted, the 27% will always remain crazy, but don’t underestimate the other 73%.

  24. 24
    Face says:

    Looks like Nate Silver has a book to sell.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @Betty Cracker: Holy Jeebus fuck. Fuck you with a rusty farm implement Dick Whisperer.

  26. 26
    Emma says:

    @Alex S.: If it’s a woman, he hates it. Unless it’s Nanny Maggie, of course. The man has issues.

  27. 27
    Paul says:

    @Nylund:

    Granted, the 27% will always remain crazy, but don’t underestimate the other 73%.

    As I recall the vast majority of the 73% that shouldn’t be underestimated, were very much in favor of the disastrous Iraq war back in 2003.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Alex S.: I’m kind of astonished Sully thinks Foster was in the closet until 2007. Catch up, Sully!

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    The White House’s stated refusal to consider the platinum coin has been described as a capitulation by some liberals, but it is actually the more aggressive negotiating posture.

    QFT, and the people who don’t get it — the same ones who continually complain about him caving — just gobsmack me. He’s drawn the line in the sand and he’s not budging. What do people want him to do, cave now and give the GOP some cover? I’d say I don’t understand it, but I suspect I do.

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Betty Cracker: Should he hand out teddy bears to the bath salt caucus and may be some candy. Seeing as they are petulant children.

  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    OT: Crazy guy does really crazy things.

    News at 11. Man bites dog.

  32. 32
    Alex S. says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    If Obama walked on water he could use a bit more humility.

  33. 33
    redshirt says:

    @Alex S.: What, Obama doesn’t get wet like the rest of us? How arrogant!

  34. 34
    Figs says:

    @Ash Can: Apologies for not being sufficiently clear. Of course you’re right, he has said this. I just have kept feeling like there should be some way for him to “bully pulpit” this thing up. It’s likely wishful thinking stemming from my frustration that this is even an issue. There’s probably nothing more he could do. God forbid Two and a Half Men gets preempted for an Oval Office address.

  35. 35
    aimai says:

    @JPL:

    I got hammered by Corner Stone for pointing out that since more and more guns are held by fewer and fewer people the real stakeholders for gun ownership are shrinking and, definitionally, getting older. This is actually a real problem for people with young families because a not insignificant proportion of the Fox News/Altecocker generation are buying guns just at the point when they are less capable and interested in handling them safely. Not only are (many) gun owners becoming older but the number and type of guns they are owning are becoming more dangerous to their own family members. Lots of people who are dealing with elderly parents, senile dementia, divorce, alcoholism discuss their anxiety about dealing with “grandpa’s guns” or “ptsd uncle’s guns” precisely because they have small children and family holiday visits can become a nightmare of trying to figure out if “grandpa’s” house has not only been babyproofed but the *&^% guns have been put away.

    The intersection of gun fetishism and all the other ills of american society is very dangerous and people kind of know it with half their brains, while the other half–the ideological and selfish part–refuses to acknowledge it.

    I’d like to see a PSA that consists of older white gun owners after the school shooting talking about how they revisited the safety of their own gun ownership after the shootings: do they really need assault rifles? do they really need sixty different guns? Are their own children at risk from careless handling/storage? There should be spots with people who had guns stolen and used in crimes, and guns “borrowed” by relatives and used in crimes. I’d also like to see interviews with people in the UK who are hunters after the mass school shooting and the change in laws there. I’d like to see people talk reasonably about how the sky doesn’t fall when the laws change.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @Punchy: I’m troubled by the fact that this guy is a parent. Someone that messed up shouldn’t be in a position to mess kids up.

    (And PS, I think you need to close a link tag on your comment; it spills over onto the reply button.)

  37. 37
    Alex S. says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yes, he says she never came out until 2007, but Foster said that she came out to those she actually met, i.e. those who are close to her. That doesn’t include Sullivan so he couldn’t really know and it’s no big deal, but instead, he says that Foster is lying.

  38. 38
    Ash Can says:

    @Figs: But how can he “bully pulpit” this? It’s not in his hands, and he doesn’t want it to be — he’s isolating the House Republicans and forcing them to do their job. He’s basically saying to them “pay your bills” over and over again. There isn’t a whole lot more he can (or should) do.

  39. 39
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Alex S.: My coworkers are shocked that people were shocked when she announced she was a lettuce-bean. Apparently this news has been the worst kept secret in Hollywood for several years.

  40. 40

    @Nylund:

    They were all getting pissed off on twitter yesterday because they missed the end of The Price is Right thanks to his speech. No I’m not kidding.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:

    @Alex S.:

    I think the real question about Foster is the fact one of her first big jobs was her being topless (in a T.V. commercial, no less!) and since then why has she refused to do nudity?

    Yeah, yeah puberty and all that stuff…but still…inquiring minds want to know…

  42. 42
    Figs says:

    @Ash Can: And like I said, upon reflection, you’re probably right. I was having a fantasy that he could bring public pressure to bear on those people, but that’s probably not terribly realistic.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Robin G.: it is, but they don’t trust that he really means it, because in their minds he always capitulates and is intent on savaging the welfare state, so everything he does will always confirm both of those impressions, regardless of what he actually does, because NEXT TIME, slap in the bus, under the face, cat floes and ice food.

  44. 44
    JoyfulA says:

    @Yutsano: Obama warning about Social Security and Vets’ checks was the lead story on my Comcast opening page this morning.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But he could use a bit more warmth.

    I think it fits in very well with the last question at his presser yesterday about why he doesn’t socialize. The man has become some sort of loner, who shuns hanging out with people the Washington press corp.

    Sure it maybe good politics, but it makes the press corp sad.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Figs: Of course, he has been bringing public pressure. It would be nice if he could bring so much public pressure that the crisis would already be over by now, but that’s the nature of playing chicken.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @aimai: This was an issue I dealt with in real life. My dad is a gun nut, and I grew up around a dozen or so unsecured, loaded weapons. I told my dad he would never have an unsupervised visit with his grandchild until he purchased and used a gun safe, which he did. But he thinks I’m being a silly liberal ninny since, after all, I didn’t blow my own head off as a child. Le sigh.

  48. 48
    Joel says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: It’s a slow process, yet things are improving on that front.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Its really sad. I don’t even read the comment threads at Kos anymore because its like reading a paranoid’s screed about something. Whatever Obama does is either a cover for his real evil intentions or an expression of his real evil intentions. And he’s considered so damned bad at hiding his “real evil” intentions that he telegraphs them with a series of blinks and gestures which are stored up and pored over–“remember the time he said he thought Reagan had fundamentally changed our country? That’s proof that he wants to be Reagan!” Everything is magnified and remembered and grieved over.

    Bush was always given the benefit of the doubt by his voters–when he ordered people tortured it was “ok because its not something he wanted to do, but something he had to do.” In fact Jon Stewart had a whole riff on this “Its not something we would do, its something we did.” His presumed intentions were taken to be good, so his actions were not understood as evil. In Obama’s case its exactly the reverse–his presumed intentions are thought to be evil, so even his good acts are dismissed as meaningless or too small or a feint to deceive us.

  50. 50
    IowaOldLady says:

    I hear my representative, Bruce Braley, is considering challenging Terry Brandstad for governor. I don’t know what to cheer for. I’d like him as governor but I also want him in the House.

  51. 51
    Tone in DC says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Damn. Our national situation isn’t more important than some people bidding on home appliances, vacations and Oldsmobiles.

    That is really sad. Especially as that game show is on five days a week.

  52. 52
    aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Something I would like is to see collected gun violence, negligent discharge, accidental discharge, and theft of gun statistics collected and published (I know the Republicans blocked that but it needs to be either unblocked or reauthorized or we have to do it publicly by crowd sourcing). We really need something like an AIDS quilt for gun victims that will bring to public attention just what is going on. And we need a sustained campaign of ridicule to make gun owners who just own for frivilous reasons to look and feel as embarrassed as they should be. People who own guns because it makes them feel good–as opposed to having a legitimate reason–can be swayed by popular opinion. We know that because they already are followers of popular opinion since they are (generally speaking) simply doing what their friends and neighbors are doing.

  53. 53
    gopher2b says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I don’t understand how they are watching the Price is Right when all they do is work so hard to pay all those taxes that everyone on welfare uses to buy drugs.

  54. 54
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: I think that tendency meshes with an otherwise commendable anti-authoritarian tendency to produce an encompassing sense that The Man is always about to screw you, so if you ever find yourself trusting it/him, you’re a patsy, quietist, running-dog, etc.

  55. 55
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think it’s more like ‘Wait and see’, at least for me. I watch behaviors more than I listen to words.

  56. 56
    Culture of Truth says:

    Minting a platinum coin, especially if it proved to be less effective at staving off financial panic than its advocates hoped, could look like a clumsy power grab by the White House, perhaps allowing the G.O.P. to stave off blame for the economic harm that ensued.

    The White House’s stated refusal to consider the platinum coin has been described as a capitulation by some liberals, but it is actually the more aggressive negotiating posture.

    This is what I’ve been saying. The GOP is trying to goad Obama into doing something with terrible optics instead of putting the focus on their outrageous behavior. Obama will do future generations a huge favor by standing up to them. Time to nip this craziness in the bud.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): well, I think there’s a difference between “I like what I hear so far, but we’ll see how it turns out” and “I don’t trust what I hear, it’s bound to turn out disastrously.” And there are A LOT of people who fancy themselves “left” who have gotten to that latter option since 2008.

  58. 58
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They’re just bracing themselves. What I don’t care for is when he hits a silver vein and the complaint is about the lack of gold.

  59. 59
    Culture of Truth says:

    I think he may do an Oval Office address when the time is right. But first he has to apply ever increasing gentle but firm pressure, especially on the non loonies. Also he’s got the Inauguration and State of the Union

  60. 60
    Culture of Truth says:

    In one sense the coin is a badass move, but it’s not as badass or effective as getting the GOP to fold, again.

  61. 61
    celticdragonchick says:

    @aimai:

    the real stakeholders for gun ownership are shrinking and, definitionally, getting older.

    The number of households that own a gun has shrunk since the 1970s. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the average age of gun owners has changed since then.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Dana “The Dick Whisperer” Milbank: poster boy for everything wrong with the MSM, perfect example of Village vermin.

  63. 63
    ruemara says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by the untapped expertise of people who have never held office and their fans. It fills entire sections of the internet. It would be nice if we could recognize our tendency to adore opinions that reinforce what we believe, but the same reasons why the right wing can’t see that, are exactly why the left wing can’t see it too.

  64. 64
    El Tiburon says:

    One of the problems with Obama is I don’t think he has it in him to go for the kill.

    Recall the movie “The Contender” Jeff Bridges plays the President and he totally bitch-slaps Gary Oldman in an awesome double-cross of sorts. Bridges character not only went for blood, but for total annihilation of Oldman’s character but chopped him into chum and tossed him out to sea.

    Imagine President Obama with the knowledge or the ability to totally destroy the Republican party, he would simply not do it. He refuses to wage war on these fuckers who are not only waging war on him, but on the entire country.

  65. 65
    JohnK says:

    I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but the most important thing for Obama now is to get the gavel back to Nancy Smash. Every single thing that allows the ass hat republicans to show their true colors is helping achieve that goal. If Obama wants to do something good for the country, for the less fortunate and for his legacy, win back the house.

  66. 66
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ruemara: How are you this morning? Feeling any better?

  67. 67
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Imagine President Obama with the knowledge or the ability to totally destroy the Republican party

    Imagine he didn’t have them around for comparison/contrast. They make him look good, why would he get rid of them?

  68. 68
    hitchhiker says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    They were all getting pissed off on twitter yesterday because they missed the end of The Price is Right thanks to his speech

    That does not compute. The Venn diagram of twitter-users and Price is Right fans has an intersection? (frowns to self)

    As far as the platinum coin, there was no way, not ever. Two reasons — one is the long game one, which is that the Rs must be brought to do their job or be exposed as the reckless, undisciplined gang of half-wits they are. Boehner can pass the debt ceiling, just as he could pass the tax hikes, by bringing it up for a vote and letting the Democrats be the majority. He doesn’t want to, but it’s the right thing and he’ll eventually do it.

    The other reason is that it turns the conversation into silliness for the great majority of headline-only readers. Every time I heard that idea, I pictured my family in the northern midwest, and I knew their reaction would just be flat disgust, and that the more someone tried to explain, the more contemptuous they would be. The coin would be the president playing on the R field, not standing off to the side and pointing out that they’re on the wrong field, playing a dangerous game of their own, and they can’t figure out which end helps them score anyway. He would be crazy to mess up that visual, no matter what Krugman says.

  69. 69
    xian says:

    @elisabeth: also, tax refunds

  70. 70
    Joel says:

    The only thing Jodie Foster has to be ashamed of is her friendship with Mel Gibson.

  71. 71
    xian says:

    @Robin G.: yeah, but… uh, it’s too little too late, and also “see bully pulpit was real!” and… he’s doing it wrong, plus PLATINUM COIN!!

  72. 72
    xian says:

    @Betty Cracker: punditry is easy. there’s a downside to every position a politician or leader can take, and no penalty for wildly inconsistent criticisms (hence “the view from nowhere,” see also David Brooks) from whatever vantage draws blood.

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m cautiously better. Morning headache and eyeache are in what I consider the so far, so good zone, so I am happily getting ready to go to work.

  74. 74
    Mike E says:

    I love all the white’splainin’ being done to the president right now. Please proceed, smart people.

  75. 75
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Joel:

    The only thing Jodie Foster has to be ashamed of is her friendship with Mel Gibson.

    Loyalty to one’s friends, even when they have become self destructive or said something egregious is usually supposed to be a good thing. A friendship is often the one thing that can bring a person back from the proverbial edge.

    Robert Downey Jr is also a close friend of Mel Gibson. Back when Air America was filming amid the drug and booze heyday of Downey’s career, Mel Gibson was the only person that stuck by him and actually paid the insurance cost out of pocket for Downey to be in the film.

    I can’t imagine why Mel said the things that he said. However, I certainly don’t want to second guess why some people choose to be loyal to a long time friend even after he has made serious mistakes.

  76. 76
    NA says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Are you offering this as a serious argument, or a subtle joke?

  77. 77
    ruemara says:

    @NA: That’s not a joke, NA. That’s El Tiburon’s whole raison d’etre on this blog.

  78. 78
    liberal says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “I like what I hear so far, but we’ll see how it turns out”

    Yeah, well, that’s about where I am.

  79. 79
    Fred Fnord says:

    Oh please. Do you think people remember what happened in 2012 and early 2013 when it comes time for the 2014 elections?

    The Republicans will claim that the President is not negotiating or playing fair or being bipartisan, and the President will claim that the Republicans are standing in the way of getting anything accomplished, and the press will play the ‘both sides do it’ card and the people will look and see that nothing of substance got accomplished in the last six months (of course, since it’s an election year) and shrug and say ‘meh’, just like they always do.

    The only real wild card is some Republicans saying what they actually believe again, as with the rape comments.

  80. 80
    xian says:

    @El Tiburon: oh why won’t Obama be a real tough mofo president like those ones in the movies!?

  81. 81
    AnonPhenom says:

    “The White House’s stated refusal…is actually the more aggressive negotiating posture.”

    If this is true, then Digby’s constant refrain that ‘anything the White House gives up is something they want to give up and not something they are being forced to give up’ will be held TRUE. (chained CPI, increase Medicare age, etc…)
    The coin would be an end run around such concessions even if it doesn’t help with midterm elections.

  82. 82
    AnonPhenom says:

    “The White House’s stated refusal…is actually the more aggressive negotiating posture.”

    If this is true, then Digby’s constant refrain that ‘anything the White House gives up is something they want to give up and not something they are being forced to give up’ will be held TRUE. (chained CPI, increase Medicare age, etc…)
    The coin would be an end run around such concessions even if it doesn’t help with midterm elections.

  83. 83
    gocart mozart says:

    @elisabeth:
    I think he mentioned that yesterday.

  84. 84
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    show that the intransigent House is what’s keeping us from making any progress.

    The whining and massive amount of wingnut butthurt that comes from doing this shows that it’s a pretty good strategy.

  85. 85
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    One of the problems with Obama is I don’t think he has it in him to go for the kill.

    You are comparing a situation in a fictional scenario in a movie to one in real life.

    Think about that for a second …

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    What if Obama has the Treasury issue a trillion dollar semi-automatic rifle?

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @AnonPhenom:

    If this is true, then Digby’s constant refrain that ‘anything the White House gives up is something they want to give up and not something they are being forced to give up’ will be held TRUE. (chained CPI, increase Medicare age, etc…). The coin would be an end run around such concessions even if it doesn’t help with midterm elections.

    WTF are you talking about? Obama is not giving up anything to anyone and his refusing to negotiate on the debt limit does not prove whining Digby correct about anything. As far as I can see, she has gotten nothing about this president correct. Not one single thing over the course of five years now. Digby and her whining are more than irrelevant in this case.

  88. 88
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tonybrown74: Well, remember that sequence in the Simpsons where Lisa is President and Bart is in charge of “keeping it real?” That’s why Obama’s insularity is a problem…

  89. 89
    Aimai says:

    @celticdragonchick: Everyone is getting older. Are guns something that prevent their owners from aging? The actual hunting population is aging and being replaced, as gun owners, by a smaller number of suburban wannabes who own guns for fun. They, too, will age.

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    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    “What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.”
    “China still cool! You pay later!”

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    de stijl says:

    To improve his negotiation skills, Obama needs to scour the land – half-collapsed subway tunnels, outhouses, destroyed robot factories, etc. – for copies of Tales From A Junktown Jerky Vendor and then read them.

    He’ll get twice the benefit if he takes the Educated perk.

  92. 92

    @Figs:

    Apologies for not being sufficiently clear. Of course you’re right, he has said this. I just have kept feeling like there should be some way for him to “bully pulpit” this thing up. It’s likely wishful thinking stemming from my frustration that this is even an issue. There’s probably nothing more he could do. God forbid Two and a Half Men gets preempted for an Oval Office address.

    You mean like his 2nd Inaugural Address and the State of the Union?

    Fucking relax. It’s coming.

  93. 93
    El Caganer says:

    I like the platinum coin and 14th Amendment stuff as much as the next person, but wouldn’t going one of those routes exacerbate a problem we already have, namely, too much power concentrated in the executive branch? If those are ruled out, then I think the President is completely right to insist that Congress do its job.

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    @celticdragonchick:

    Loyalty to one’s friends, even when they have become self destructive or said something egregious is usually supposed to be a good thing. A friendship is often the one thing that can bring a person back from the proverbial edge.

    Robert Downey Jr is also a close friend of Mel Gibson. Back when Air America was filming amid the drug and booze heyday of Downey’s career, Mel Gibson was the only person that stuck by him and actually paid the insurance cost out of pocket for Downey to be in the film.

    I can’t imagine why Mel said the things that he said. However, I certainly don’t want to second guess why some people choose to be loyal to a long time friend even after he has made serious mistakes.

    Or, you know, they could be a bunch of equally clueless enablers who don’t have the fortitude to cut an obviously noxious human being out of their lives.

    This idea that real friendship means you have to stand by someone’s side and accept their racist, xenophobic, misogynistic behavior–WHICH THEY CLEARLY HAVE NO INTEREST IN CHANGING–is fucking asinine.

    You’re not a friend at that point. You are straight up enabling dysfunction.

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    xian says:

    @El Caganer: we could probably write the headlines at GOS and FDL and The Glenn if Obama “overreached” that way

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    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Please, FSM on High, let that be snark!

    Because, if El Tiburon is actually being serious, I don’t think I could deal …

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    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    I got hammered by Corner Stone for pointing out that since more and more guns are held by fewer and fewer people the real stakeholders for gun ownership are shrinking and, definitionally, getting older.

    Um, no. You made biased and sweeping accusations and when asked for data points you refused to provide them. Repeatedly, you condemned a whole category of people and made completely unprovable assertions and conclusions you then stated as facts, or something to base an argument on.
    I simply asked for some factual backup, which has been fairly standard for this blog for some time. You repeatedly refused, but continued this pattern and threw in name calling.
    Until you can back up your assertions/conclusions you are nothing more than a gun thread troll.

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    Joel says:

    @celticdragonchick: If Gibson only said sick, disgusting shit once. But, he went and did it again. And then he started making a name for himself in terms of saying horrible shit. But even before then, he wasn’t shy about saying fucked up shit.

    Then of course, he beat his girlfriend and admitted it on tape.

    Sorry, but Mel Gibson is a racist, homophobic, antisemitic, domestic abusing piece of shit. Just because he’s famous doesn’t change shit. At some point you drop your piece of shit friends.

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