Reality Is Clearly On The Obama Payroll

I’m sure the wingers are already trying to unskew this one

President Obama starts his second term with a clear upper hand over GOP leaders on issues from guns to immigration that are likely to dominate the year, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll finds. On the legislation rated most urgent — cutting the budget deficit — even a majority of Republican voters endorse Obama’s approach of seeking tax hikes as well as spending cuts.

The survey underscores the quandary for the GOP as it debates the party’s message in the wake of disappointing losses last November for the White House and in the Senate.

Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.

Ouch.  I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.  They can’t even find their usual 27% anymore.  And yeah, I’m aware that if Americans think cutting the deficit right now is our most urgent priority over firearms, climate change, and immigration, we need to get that unskewed real damn fast.  We’ve got far bigger issues than the GOP brand meltdown here.

There is bipartisan agreement on this: Dealing with the budget deficit is urgent.

That’s a change. When Obama took office in 2009, during a cascading financial crisis, Americans put deficit reduction in the middle of a list of policy goals in a Pew poll. Now it has risen near the top. Seven of 10 Americans (including not only 81% of Republicans but also 65% of Democrats) say it is essential for the president and Congress to enact major deficit legislation this year.

Just 4% say nothing needs to be done within the next few years.

Umm, two-thirds of Democrats say we need a grand bargain this year to reduce the deficit?  Eff austerity.  We’re taking ourselves out here, guys.

234 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Long term deficit reduction doesn’t have to mean austerity, at least in theory.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    To add, the continuing fight over the deficit is causing more problems than the deficit itself.

  3. 3
    rob! says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    I know you don’t really mean that, but…ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKING MIND?

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    Not me. Nope. Nope. Nope. I hope they find a floor below 0 percent and their headquarters is dismantled brick by brick and the ground underneath it salted so nothing grows there. I will not be satisfied until Republican is an epithet one wouldn’t wish on one’s worst enemy.

    Also, too, like the GOP gives a shit what the public wants. The public doesn’t pay for their reelection campaigns, the public can eat shit and die for all they care.

  5. 5

    Not to be a pessimist, but how many ‘independents’ are there that vote GOP anyway?

    Because I know a hell of a lot of wingnuts who would say that they’re not Republicans, but are libertarians or tea party types that still vote straight GOP every time anyway.

  6. 6
    jibeaux says:

    @Comrade Dread: There are a lot. It was noticed about the polling in the last election, with Fox types saying “but Obama can’t win unless he gets x% of independents, no one’s ever won without x% of independents!” He never got up to x% of supposed independents,51% or whatever it was, because it includes a larger portion of righties than it ever has, but you might remember that he won anyway. They’re thinking the country is about 45% Dem 45% Repub 10% other, and it isn’t. I saw it in comments EVERYWHERE — “this poll is so bogus, the sample’s only 32% Republican!” Homeslice (do the kids still say homeslice), how many of you do you think there ARE?

  7. 7
    White Trash Liberal says:

    The reason why such a large number of those polled want a deficit deal is because of the various pitfalls if no compromise is found: default, sequestration, etc.

    It isn’t that Americans woke up to fearing the deficit. It’s fearing the consequences of brinksmanship.

  8. 8
    Lurking Canadian says:

    At least the media types can take comfort in the fact that they can still sway public opinion. Their steady drumbeat that the deficit is the Worst Thing Ever seems to have had the desired effect.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    spoken like a bleeding heart librul…

    gotta give it to the rw worlitzer nosie machine for making the deficit top priority. fucking emmessem enablers.

  10. 10
    sherparick says:

    Pete Petersen’s 30-year campaign, now joined by CEOs and Joe Scarborugh, have basically created the illusion that “the deficit” is the cause of our current economic malaise. You have guys like this coming on national TV and stating as follows: Rudolph Penner, the former Congressional Budget Office director who shared the panel with Ornstein, raised the bidding by asserting that since the 2012 election, “It’s gotten even worse than it looked when the book was named It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.” But he placed a bit more blame on Democrats, saying their “intransigence” on cutting entitlements and that of interest groups such as AARP, “puts them about on their own 5-yard line.”

    http://www.govexec.com/federal.....x#comments

    The fact that cutting social security and Medicare are genuinely unpopular and will inflict hardship (and unneccessary illness, suffering, and death when we think of denied or limited medical care) no longer registers with the VSPs of the Washington/New York ruling class.

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    Seven of 10 Americans (including not only 81% of Republicans but also 65% of Democrats) say it is essential for the president and Congress to enact major deficit legislation this year

    If you ask the right question in the right way, you get the answer you want.

    Ask people to say which of the following legislation should be essential to be passed this year, read a list, and when you mention “deficit” they probably say yes.

    Start breaking that down, and offering people more info on the options and more ability to shape a response, and the game ends.

    But since We All Know that Our Biggest Priority Ever whenever there’s a Democratic President is cutt’n the deffsit, It Shall Be So.

  12. 12
    Anya says:

    Umm, two-thirds of Democrats say we need a grand bargain this year to reduce the deficit? Eff austerity. We’re taking ourselves out here, guys.

    Hate to say it, but the President and the Dems are partly to blame for this. They’ve made a tactical error in embracing the meme that deficit was a major priority in the middle of a fucking recession.

  13. 13
    the lost puppy says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    To quote Greta Garbo in Ninotchka, “Suppress it”

  14. 14
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.

    Odd, considering that 38% voted for Romney. And how does that jibe with the House majority? People may not identify as Republicans, but they still seem to vote for the buggers.

    Could it be that some of the Republicans polled didn’t want to be identified with the team that lost the presidency twice in a row?

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @sherparick:

    Pete Petersen’s 30-year campaign, now joined by CEOs and Joe Scarborugh

    I’m so, so sick of them. For God’s sake. Have the courage of your convictions, lobbyists and pundits (but I repeat myself). Sell the actual product.

    They want to privatize Social Security. Sell that. Stop selling everything around that. They’re just maddening to listen to; blah, blah, blah. Cut to the fucking chase already.

    It’s impossible to have a “debate” if one side won’t admit their objective. I just have no respect for this tactic, this torrent of words. It’s slimy.

  16. 16
    cintibud says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    The reason why such a large number of those polled want a deficit deal is because of the various pitfalls if no compromise is found: default, sequestration, etc.

    It isn’t that Americans woke up to fearing the deficit. It’s fearing the consequences of brinksmanship.

    Great point. I think this is being overlooked. In this case there is cause for optimism as I think it’s clear to these folks who is driving the brinkmanship.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Actually, on a national basis, republicans got fewer votes than dems in House races. A testament to hyper gerrymandering from the wingnuts at the state leg level.

  18. 18
    Guess Who's Back says:

    The more crises Congress creates the less and less time they have for the Obama Agenda.

  19. 19
    Guess Who's Back says:

    iamback@gmail.comongress creates the less and less time they have for the Obama Agenda…

  20. 20
    maurinsky says:

    I think a lot of people are just innumerate and don’t understand macroeconomics, so they personalize the deficit to be the kind of debt that they might carry – a mortgage, or a student loan, something that feels like a monkey on your back.

    I remember the deficit being an issue touted by the Dems in the early 80s. I was a teenager, and I thought there couldn’t be anything worse than carrying that kind of debt around, but at the time, the Republicans didn’t care about the deficit because it was an outgrowth of the work of St. Reagan.

  21. 21
    artem1s says:

    I would love to know what the actual question was on the deficit. I would honestly say that I believe reversing the course on how we view tax revenue is crucial in solving our long term economic problems (AKA the deficit). And I think there is a window of opportunity to get tax reform that benefits the 99% passed and it probably won’t last long. So yea, I can see most Democrats responding to a push poll on deficit spending that makes it look like they favor austerity. But I’m not buying that many Dems are willing to see a compromise on Medicaid, Medicare or SS benefits.

  22. 22
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @General Stuck:

    Thanks for clearing that one up. It suggests that we need to do some smart, targeted work on state legislatures going forward. That will be a long slog and I’m not confident that there’s enough interest at the top levels of he party to do it.

  23. 23
    General Stuck says:

    @Anya:

    They’ve made a tactical error in embracing the meme that deficit was a major priority in the middle of a fucking recession.

    It would seem this is so. Or, they could have defused a possible potent GOP pol weapon by engaging on the debt in a bait and switch half ass way. The Debt, and deficit, is one of the easiest of entities to demagogue, because the public lacks political and economic acumen on a national level that lends itself to be mislead on. Folks respond in a pavlovian manner to spending more than is in the bank, because that is how their personal finances work. The two really aren’t comparable, but perception mostly rules the roost in politics.

    Obama has given the public an impression he sees a problem and is doing something about it, when he is mostly just talking about doing something about it. With the knowledge that immediate austerity is a bad idea right now. This is why he maintains such a high approval overall, even though voters are not happy with the economy. They think Obama gets it , and is working on it, and that is enough for now.

  24. 24
    VOR says:

    We need to look at the details of that poll. Sure, only 22% say they are Republicans, but how many identify as “conservative”, “libertarian”, or “Tea Party”?

  25. 25
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    The TeaTards was a response to the GOP having a toxic brand after GW “who?” Bush.

    But of course, they had to be folded into the rest of the pack for 2012, and after the TeaTards had shown that they were just as toxic as the rest of the GOP, and more unhinged as well.

    So now it’s time for ANOTHER rebranding, to find out if the media and the public are smart enough and paying enough attention to follow the pea-brain agenda as it shuffles from under one cup to another.

    They have to get the fresh coat of paint on the turd in time to crank up the cranks for the 2014 midterms; expect some weird new groups to pop up soon.

  26. 26
    LGRooney says:

    So, the majority of Americans think we should raise taxes on the wealthy. And, a majority thinks the debt needs to be tackled. Putting two and two together… carry the… nothing… equals… Obama’s right. It’s almost as if the public doesn’t want austerity and wants the rich to pay their share so government can continue to function and they don’t believe the economic propagandists who tell them that higher taxes on the rich will do more harm than good. Go figure.

    I forgot whether it was here or on TPM (I think the letter), last week after SoTU, where the writer summarized the response as something like the GOP is pissed off that Obama is pushing policies the public want.

  27. 27
    Mark S. says:

    Only 19% say that nothing should be done about climate change. The media sure like to portray that issue as evenly divided. I wonder why.

    Of course, support for climate change legislation would undoubtedly fall once it came to actually doing something, since some of it would be unpleasant. However, that’s a lot different than how the issue is presented in the media, namely does it even exist.

  28. 28
    Waynski says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    At least the media types can take comfort in the fact that they can still sway public opinion. Their steady drumbeat that the deficit is the Worst Thing Ever seems to have had the desired effect.

    This. It’s why I don’t watch Morning Dolt anymore. Every. Effing. Morning. The deficit. The deficit. The deficit! I also think a lot of people are getting some of this crap from their bosses. The Pete Peterson campaign to steal our earned benefits and give them to Wall Street is getting some traction with all these CEOs and other business types droning on constantly about the deficit. We’ve only got one guy at the New York Times swimming against the tide. Sigh.

  29. 29
    Tim Connor says:

    I’ll feel bad for the GOP when it is extinct. Not before. In its current form, it constitutes a clear and present danger to the republic.

  30. 30
    the lost puppy says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    I’m sick of hearing about “tough cuts” as if that indicates some sort of bravery on the part of Dems.

    Oh yeh, it’ll be “tuff” – on the wrong people.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    @VOR:

    Sure, only 22% say they are Republicans, but how many identify as “conservative”, “libertarian”, or “Tea Party”?

    Doesn’t matter. It is just one poll, but hints toward a political shift as once loyal tribe members, may not be such loyal votes for the GOP. It was the first sign the country was making a right turn in 1980, that lasted 30 years give or take. When folks were reticent to id with the dem party, and especially as liberal. Republicans are locked into a purity feedback loop that is burning off their brand as something that fewer folks want to associate with. These folks will remain conservative in their world view, but are signaling a willingness to look elsewhere for how to vote going forward.

  32. 32
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Anya:

    Obama and the rest of the Democrats passsed the largest spending bill in the nation’s history right after he took office and paid a political price for it because concern over deficits/the debt is nothing new. They have not tried to balance the budget. What they have “embraced” is Keynesian economics which calls for stimulative spending during recessions, but not eternally mounting debt regardless of the state of the economy. Sure, they could have just come out and said nobody cares about the deficit, which I’ve been assured of, and ignored the politics of deficits/debt but that would have been stupid.

  33. 33
    Elizabelle says:

    @Waynski:

    I wonder if we should clue MSNBC in on why we have stopped watching Morning Joe.

    For me, his fulsome embrace of “deficit reduction over all” means the TV is off in the morning. Too early for that much stupid.

    I used to watch a little bit, idly. No longer.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    The TeaTards was a response to the GOP having a toxic brand after GW “who?” Bush. racist backlash against the election of the first non-white President.

    Fix’t.

  35. 35
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    The reason why such a large number of those polled want a deficit deal is because of the various pitfalls if no compromise is found: default, sequestration, etc.

    So much this. The way to avoid the sequester is to have a deficit deal worked out. People very much want to avoid the sequester. Forget the media; I’ve been hearing since New Year’s Day about memos circulated at the various federal agencies explaining the preparations the agency is making for the sequester, how many will have to be laid off, how many will have their hours cut back, etc., etc., etc. They want to stop hearing about doomsday from their friends and family.

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    So much this. The way to avoid the sequester is to have a deficit deal worked out. People very much want to avoid the sequester.

    Congress wants it too – the pols who comprise it just don’t want to have their fingerprints on any compromise deal. If they could vote anonymously then they’d pass a bill within hours. As things stand, I’m confident that they’ll figure out a way to keep kicking that can down the road.

  37. 37
    David in NY says:

    Don’t feel bad for Republicans. They’ve won the message war: The deficit must be eliminated NOW!.

    Would be nice if Democrats, starting with Obama, would disagree with this, but nooo …

  38. 38
    El Caganer says:

    Seven out of ten want deficit reduction? Hmmm. Maybe Mencken was right.

  39. 39
    Lawnguylander says:

    @White Trash Liberal: @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Why people want a deal may often be wrongheaded, but it doesn’t mean we should not take steps to reduce the long term debt. Are we in favor of ever growing defense budgets, favorable tax treatment of capital gains over earned income and the current low tax rates on high earners? How about keeping such a low cap on taxable SS income? There are so many liberal priorities that would contribute to debt reduction if enacted and are more popular than what the Pete Petersons want that it’s insane not to attack the debt issue on liberal terms. Every time some Republican wants to cut taxes on the rich I would like to see some good old fashioned deficit hysteria released on their crooked asses but if you’re going to treat debt as nothing to worry about you’ve preemptively surrendered. The conservative media is not the only reason the debate is predominately on Republican terms. That’s why the lame response to Simpson Bowles is so infuriating. Who’s got Jan Schakowsky’s back on this?

  40. 40
    Mark S. says:

    I think a lot of you are giving the American public too much credit. People always think deficits are bad. They are bad for families so they must be bad for the federal government. It’s not like most people understand the finer points of Keynesian economics.

  41. 41
    Waynski says:

    @Elizabelle: We probably should voice our displeasure about Squint to the powers that be, but I think it will fall on deaf ears. The only opinion that matters to TV execs is Mr. Neilson’s. As long they’re selling ads against his bloviating austerity BS and Mika’s pretty, nodding-in-approval head, he’ll be on the air.

  42. 42
    Librarian says:

    I’ll believe that the GOP is on the brink of extinction when they start losing some state and local elections and losing control of state legislatures, especially in the blue states. Until then I think I’ll refrain from popping open the champagne bottles, thank you very much.

  43. 43
    dr. bloor says:

    Umm, two-thirds of Democrats say we need a grand bargain this year to reduce the deficit? Eff austerity. We’re taking ourselves out here, guys.

    This is why “Party Identity” as a metric is a sack of shit. Don’t look at what people call themselves, look at the policies they support.

    Long way to go, people.

  44. 44
    sb says:

    Was job creation a choice? Because I think most believe that should take precedent over the deficit.

  45. 45
    Mandalay says:

    @Zandar

    Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.

    Heh.

    Yesterday morning SteveM’s FP post here insisted that the Republican brand is still not box-office poison, or even close.

    It seems that an awful lot has happened in the past 24 hours.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    And as further testament to fear, some of the usual rats are jumping the Nutter Cutter. Giving Erick Redstate a case of the melancholies.

    I was one of the few national conservatives to support Governor Scott in 2010 during his primary. He is a fundamentally great person. I really like him. He has been a friend to this site.

    But I am terribly disappointed in his decision to expand Medicaid in Florida.

    This is the difference between a high office holding mentality, versus an activist mentality. The activist can indulge in as much purity as desired, without much negative effect from public opinion. But there is a limit to such behavior for political office holders, especially if they want to be reelected, or to run for even higher office.

    When the writing is all over the wall, even the deepest of republican sociopaths can throw in the towel for self preservation. That is why it is so important for a president to maintain a high job approval number. It is how his would be rivals measure power, and make decisions whether to fight or flee him/her.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Feel bad for the GOP? If there were a mass slaughter of teatard twits in the House, I would not feel sadness. I would cheer.

    FUCK the Rethuglicans. As the GOP currently exists, it’s a clear and present danger to this country. It needs to be destroyed, from top to bottom.

  48. 48
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    (do the kids still say homeslice)

    Um….no. No they dont. They do the Harlem Shake and put in on YouTube instead.

  49. 49
    Alex S. says:

    Ironically, I guess that the most conservative or libertarian or racist etc… people are those most likely not to call themselves republican anymore. Yet it is because of those people that the Republican Party is so unpopular. Your “reasonable” big business republicans, burkean conservatives or whatever you want to call those types like, say, George H.W.Bush, they will self-identify as republican until their death. The party is being abused by its base.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    Count me in that 4% who couldn’t care less about the deficit

  51. 51
    TriassicSands says:

    I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    Yeah, I feel bad for them the way I feel bad watching a rabid dog in the final throes of a painful death…except, first the rabid dog didn’t choose to be rabid, so it is much more deserving of sympathy, and second, the Republicans are far from dead and still pose an existential threat to our social safety net, the poor, and most generally, the US economy.

    So, feeling bad for the GOP is really misplaced.

    And somehow, I don’t think giving Rick Scott and Florida the go-ahead to privatize Medicaid is anything but a terrible idea. Privatization is what the Republicans want; giving it to them is not a way to protect the poor or seniors.

  52. 52
    danielx says:

    @Mandalay:

    Except….always looking for the dark lining in the silver cloud, I’m kind of leaning towards one of the points that was made in SteveM’s post. That being that a (relatively) small but significant portion of the electorate no longer self-identify as Republicans because they don’t think the Republicans are crazy enough.

    Never underestimate the amount of teh crazy floating around out there.

  53. 53
    David in NY says:

    @Mandalay: I think that post and this one are reconcilable for the reason I and others lament above:

    Seven of 10 Americans (including not only 81% of Republicans but also 65% of Democrats) say it is essential for the president and Congress to enact major deficit legislation this year. [Emphasis added.]

    Losing battles but winning wars is a successful strategy.

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Unfortunately more than 22% of the people who actually turn out for the 2014 mid-terms will approve of the GOP.

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:

    @dr. bloor:

    This is why “Party Identity” as a metric is a sack of shit.

    You can draw direct parallels between party id and ballot box results that exist right before an election. It is not a ‘sack of shit’, but as a gauge for the 2014 election, it is too soon to be predictive. Though a record low even this far out is at least noteworthy.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Interestingly enough, no one cared about the deficit at all between 2001 (when someone, no one knows who, destroyed the surpluses that Clinton oversaw) and November 4th, 2008. Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, an entire mass movement of concern about the deficit arose out of thin air where there was nothing before. Since 4 November 2008 (within a few seconds of 8PM Pacific Standard Time, to be precise) the deficit is the most fucking important thing there is on the entire national agenda, eclipsing jobs, war, peace, health care, guns, climate change, immigration, American Idol, Who shot JR, and any other number of issues that formerly had attention share of the general population, not to mention the vermin of the Village.

    It’s astounding.

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @El Caganer:

    Seven out of ten want deficit reduction?

    They want the economy to improve, and they call that ‘deficit reduction’ — as they’ve been trained to do.

    Every morning on the sports-talk station my local Ford dealer has a special section in its used-car ads called ‘Deficit Specials’. Not ‘Recession Specials’. Not ‘Collapse in Aggregate Demand’ Specials.

  58. 58
    Hoodie says:

    @General Stuck: I’ve always thought this was Obama’s strategy. Ostensibly go along with your opponents so they can’t control the narrative, give them the minimum you have to, but never do anything substantial. Eventually, their political frustration leads them to become so extreme they bite themselves in the ass. You’re seeing that now with immigration, Medicaid expansion and, shortly, the sequester. If they keep hyping the deficit issue to the point that they look like they will seriously fuck with Social Security or Medicare benefits for people in their 40s or 50s, they are cutting their own throats.

  59. 59
    Mike in NC says:

    Just read that Willard M. Rmoney has finally emerged from his car elevator and will be a featured speaker at CPAC in DC. I hope he gives them lots of advice on how to spread their message of peace and love.

    “Please proceed, governor.”

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Wow, they’re desperate for speakers if they’ve asked the Marquis du Mittens to attend. What is he going to do, repeat his “47%” collection of greatest hits for the slavering scum that attends CPAC, the crowd that is delighted when they’re pelted with word salad from the Snowbilly Grifter?

  61. 61
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    What frustrates me about the defense cuts is that only federal workers, medical programs, and troop levels appear to be on the table. The actual black hole of defense spending is in weapons program contracts. Well, since Bush/Cheney, contractors period are pulling an excessive amount of taxpayer money.

    Federal employees, however, don’t own and advertise on television and radio networks.

    The United States is 40 years past due for a swords to plow shares reinvestment. If the amount of money funneled into wasteful programs like the F22 were instead distributed to infrastructure, we’d have a green economy.

  62. 62
    handsmile says:

    @Mark S.:

    Regardless of public opinion, climate change legislation will remain forestalled by Congressional indifference and GOP obstruction. According to the just-released annual report of the League of Conservation Voters, the 112th Congress was the most hostile to environmental issues since the report was first issued in 1970. The GOP-controlled Congress registered its lowest rating (42%) on the League’s “scorecard”, while the Senate earned a somewhat higher 56%.

    “In a conference call with reporters, the League was scathing about voting patterns in the House, accusing Republicans of systematically blocking action on climate change or other environmental concerns, even during last year’s extreme storms and record drought.

    “The best that can be said about this session of the 112th Congress is that it’s over,” the group’s president, Gene Karpinski, said on the conference call.

    League of Conservation Voters staffers told the call that votes that would have passed easily a number of years ago were now deemed highly contentious – too risky for Republicans to take on.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi.....ion-voters

    Of course, the GOP’s most reliable and effective enablers, the American corporate media, only deems climate change advocacy worthy of its attention when it can mock actresses like Daryl Hannah being arrested for Keystone Pipeline protests.

  63. 63
    Mandalay says:

    @Mark S.:

    People always think deficits are bad. They are bad for families so they must be bad for the federal government.

    Yes, the media love pushing that trope, indignantly trotting out nonsense about how the average American family sitting around their kitchen table have to balance their budget.

    But gazillions of families don’t come close to balancing their budgets, and are up to their ass in debt, sometimes by choice. They are sitting around the kitchen table working out how to consolidate their credit card debt, or pay off their student loans, or raid their savings to meet their mortgage payment. And of course the finances of a family are nothing like the finances of a nation.

    In the same vein, the media used to push the non sequitur that since Romney was a successful CEO he could be a successful president.

    So the media want us to believe that a family is like a government. But they also want us to believe that a government is like a corporation. And this offers one explanation for why folks come to BJ: to clear their heads of the utterly-absurd-but-superficially-plausible shit the media tries to stuff in our heads.

  64. 64
    Original Lee says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Especially now that the Goopers have been told that the sequester was all Obama’s idea and he made Congress put it into the Budget Control Act.

  65. 65
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Hate to say it, but the President and the Dems are partly to blame for this. They’ve made a tactical error in embracing the meme that deficit was a major priority in the middle of a fucking recession.

    @Anya: Yep. They bought into the bullshit 100%. The deficit’s not even a problem. Not a blip on the radar. Were it to double, then you’d have a problem, albeit one’s that’s still quite manageable.

    The only problems worthy of anyone’s attention at the moment are unemployment and a health care system whose costs are running triple what they should be. If you could fix the health care cost issues, that alone would fix the deficit.

    Fix unemployment on top of that and you’ve got an economy running on turbo.

    Of course, the exposure of the austerity lie would mean the end of the Republican party, the Tea Party, the antitaxers and most of the mainstream media, and that cannot be allowed. So we turn into Mexico, minus the nice climate.

  66. 66
    negative 1 says:

    I don’t want to be a voice for ill here, but deficits are bad after a point. No one intelligent argues that. The argument is that they are not as bad, and are made worse by, high unemployment.
    I bring this up because arguing “there’s nothing wrong with deficits” didn’t work for Cheney, so why would it work for Dems? I personally thing “we will address the deficit when unemployment is below 3%” is a far more useful message, and one that can grow legs.

  67. 67
    Tone in DC says:

    I do not feel bad for these wingtards.
    I can’t. They have done far too much damage to receive any pity from me.

    …Since 4 November 2008 (within a few seconds of 8PM Pacific Standard Time, to be precise) the deficit is the most fucking important thing there is on the entire national agenda, eclipsing jobs, war, peace, health care, guns, climate change, immigration, American Idol, Who shot JR, and any other number of issues that formerly had attention share of the general population, not to mention the vermin of the Village.

    It’s astounding.

    Yeah, it is.

  68. 68
    SteveM says:

    Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.

    Ouch. I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP. They can’t even find their usual 27% anymore.

    Oh, they’re still there. Some of them just refuse to call themselves Republicans because they think the Republican Party is too damn liberal. Y’know — like that RINO Mitch McConnell.

  69. 69
    Alex S. says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Didn’t he win the CPAC straw poll three times? Two non-factors stick together.

  70. 70
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, yes – you just noticed? Deficits under Republicans – who cares? Deficits under Democrats? Horrors! Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility!

    Except when they need to finance a couple of wars and a major entitlement expansion without raising taxes, you know…bada bing!

  71. 71
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Seven of 10 Americans (including not only 81% of Republicans but also 65% of Democrats) say it is essential for the president and Congress to enact major deficit legislation this year.

    Obama and the national Dems are either really, really shitty agents of a consistent message, and utterly suck at laying out a case for reality…or this is the way they want things to be.

    They are one percenters, don’t forget.

  72. 72
    GregB says:

    It’s a center right nation on the verge of a permanent Republican majority. Both sides do it. We’d rather fight them over there than fight them over here. Benghazi!

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @David in NY:

    Seven of 10 Americans (including not only 81% of Republicans but also 65% of Democrats) say it is essential for the president and Congress to enact major deficit legislation this year.

    I was surprised by that as well, but I think El Cid (post #11) had a persuasive explanation.

  74. 74
    General Stuck says:

    @SteveM:

    The thing is, you can also see increases in those polled for the Obama position on issues, as a function of basic dem philosophy. Immigration reform, gay marriage, tax reform, etc…. etc…../ Now whether that is lasting or is mostly a function of post reelection honeymoon for Obama/dems, remains to be seen. But those increases in support of the dem brand, didn’t come from outer space.

  75. 75
    Todd says:

    @GregB:

    It’s a center right nation on the verge of a permanent Republican majority. Both sides do it. We’d rather fight them over there than fight them over here. Benghazi!

    Tax Cuts! Rape babies are blessings from God. School prayer. Boo to t-bone eating young bucks and welfere moms in Cadillacs!

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    They do the Harlem Shake and put in on YouTube instead.

    My now-teenage son alerted me to this phenomenon just the other day. I sprained a rib laughing at this one. FSM bless the Norwegians.

  77. 77
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    What frustrates me about the defense cuts is that only federal workers, medical programs, and troop levels appear to be on the table.

    @White Trash Liberal: There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the two big ones is that the Guys In Charge of Defense have decided that if the peons that pay their living expenses dare to cut defense, they’re going to make sure that every last bit of that pain comes out of the hide of the public. I’ve seen a very detailed list of what’s on the table. For example, my job is. Amazingly enough, the F-35 is not.

    The cuts that will happen March 1 will hurt the public a LOT more than the public realizes, and will hurt the Congresscritters that voted for this horseshit pretty badly as well.

  78. 78
    matt says:

    @artem1s: Atrios provides the answer via Pierce:

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....tions.html

  79. 79
    NonyNony says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Obama and the national Dems are either really, really shitty agents of a consistent message, and utterly suck at laying out a case for reality…or this is the way they want things to be.

    You really do hate democracy, don’t you T&H?

    In a democracy, it isn’t actually up to the people at the top to decide what direction we take – it’s up to the people at the bottom to find ways to force them to take the direction we want them to take.

    Sitting back and letting the people at the top decide the agenda ain’t democracy. It might be many different things on various scales of horribleness, but it isn’t democracy.

    If 65% of Democrats believe that major deficit legislation is needed then what do you expect the elected officials to do? Ignore it? Tell them that they’re idiots? That isn’t how our government is supposed to function, and this is a case where how our government is “supposed to work” and how it “actually works in practice” really align.

    You want them working on more social programs? Make social programs popular. Presidents and Congresses don’t make social programs popular – Presidents and Congresses are forced to enact social programs because not doing so would get them thrown out on their asses.

    (Tea Party people at least know how this crap works. I’m constantly amazed at how many Democrats expect elected officials to go off on their own and do good things instead of understanding that the only way to get things done in our political system is by working from the ground up, not the top down.)

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    Is it Obama’s fault, yet?

    ETA: Without fail. Apparently it is.

  81. 81
    meander says:

    It appears that respondents were given ONLY FOUR CHOICES: deficit, immigration, guns, and climate change. Note some items that weren’t on the list, but might score a lot higher than deficit: jobs programs, infrastructure maintenance and building, education, the housing crisis. It’s almost as if Pete Peterson’s deficit zombies designed the poll to increase deficit hysteria…

  82. 82
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @General Stuck:

    Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements.

  83. 83
    Ash Can says:

    @Cassidy:

    Is it Obama’s fault, yet?

    When isn’t it?

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @danielx:

    a (relatively) small but significant portion of the electorate no longer self-identify as Republicans because they don’t think the Republicans are crazy enough.

    But shouldn’t Democrats view that as a good thing rather than a problem?

    The extent to which the Democrats have been highly united under Obama gets little discussion – there’s not much meat to the story I suppose – but I think it is has been a very important factor in the demise of the Republicans.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @El Cid: This. Put unemployment on the list and it goes to the top preference.

    Now, who would want to ignore unemployment and list the deficit first?

    I am just repeating Atrios’s response here.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @matt:

    It’s interesting that when you go to Powder Blue Satan’s site, you’re inundated with the advertorial super-genious of Mark Penn’s current ad campaign telling you you’re being “Scroogled” and that the good folks at Micro$oft would never, ever scan your email looking for key words in order to target you for advertising.

    The stupid. It burns.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    Now, who would want to ignore unemployment and list the deficit first?

    I can’t imagine. Unless it might be…oh, I don’t know…the employed and therefore unconcerned about unemployment vermin of the Village…

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    They want the economy to improve, and they call that ‘deficit reduction’ — as they’ve been trained to do.

    This, this, this. “The Deficit” is, for most people, a technical-sounding way to say “bad economy.” Like saying “physician” instead of “doctor.”

    Second, for a large subset of the people who _don’t_ think “the deficit” simply means “bad economy,” and that it actually has something to do with what the government is spending vs. taking in, there’s a whole just-so story that goes along with it. See, the government owes money because it’s been too generous to poor people, illegals, and Negroes. That’s who Democrats like to reward, and it’s bleeding us dry, and now look at the state we’re in. If the Democrats would just cut them off, we wouldn’t have this debt, and then something something the economy would be better. That’s a moral argument wrapped up in a mystical belief in how economies improve.

    Thirdly, although I also agree that actual deficit reduction is a dumb-ass thing to worry about or prioritize, without it’s having been a concern, there is no way in hell that we would ever have seen an increase in tax rates on high income. That whole language of “paying their fair share” is only activated by the idea that money for what the public needs (or, for that matter, what it wastes) is scarce. “We need help paying our bills” is something that feels important through the perspective of… debts and deficits.

  89. 89
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @NonyNony:

    Idiot.

    Dems have had YEARS to educate the public on the need for spending/stimulus, no deficit reduction.

    They haven’t done it. Either because they suck at messaging, or because this is how they want it to be.

    I expect elected people to do what’s needed and right, not put their fingers in the wind. That’s the Bot way.

  90. 90
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy:

    Is it Obama’s fault, yet?

    Is it a day that ends in Y?

  91. 91
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @meander: By doing it that way, you make “deficit” a catch-all category for the economy, pulling in votes from people who think “deficit” means “bad economy” as well as those who think it means “spending on moochers.” Almost as if by design!

    Of course, when people say in other similar polls “jobs,” that doesn’t mean they think the government should do Keynesian things. I’ve never quite known what it is that poll respondents imagine the government doing to make “jobs” happen.

  92. 92
    ricky says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Unfortunately more than 22% of the people who actually turn out for the 2014 mid-terms will approve of the GOP.

    And of equal misfortune is that they will be voting in House districts drawn by those elected to legislatures in 2010.

  93. 93
    General Stuck says:

    @Thoughtcrime:

    I like it!

  94. 94
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’ve never quite known what it is that poll respondents imagine the government doing to make “jobs” happen.

    I do. It means ‘Deport all the Mexicans’.

  95. 95

    @cintibud: You’re both wrong. Look at the questions asked. This was a skewed poll by Pew. Did they ask about jobs/unemployment? No!! So you have your answer.

  96. 96
    Eric U. says:

    I think the reality of a long term deficit is bad, but if we want to keep the overall deficit down we should be spending like crazy right now. Mostly on Supertrains!

    And getting rid of the rest of the Bush tax cuts.

  97. 97
    cmorenc says:

    @Zandar:

    Ouch. I’m actually kind of starting to feel bad for the GOP.

    Well, I’m not feeling bad about this at all, especially if this means that FINALLY the GOP is beginning to pay a political price with the electorate for all their irresponsible lying greedy bullshit.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    They want the economy to improve, and they call that ‘deficit reduction’ — as they’ve been trained to do.

    This right here. IMO, when ordinary people think of “the deficit,” they’re thinking about our sucky-ass, upside-down economic system that has high unemployment for the middle class and below and low taxes for the upper class, not the actual deficit.

  99. 99
    geg6 says:

    @El Cid:

    This. Also too, if you ask people what methods of reducing the deficit do you support, no one ever seems to present, as one of the options, the idea that more jobs for more people at better wages as a way to grow out of the deficit. Ask them about their preference for a Clinton-era deficit approach versus a Paul Ryan approach and I bet you’d get a more revealing answer as to Americans’ priorities in any deficit discussions.

    ETA: And we’re back to the disappearing nym again. Really Cole?

  100. 100
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: Some days it’s like watching a Disney special: “If you just say it enough and wish it hard enough, it will be true!”

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Timmeh demonstrates his Naderite proclivities yet again.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: EVERYTHING is the blah guy’s fault. Everything. We can’t POSSIBLY blame those nice folk in the Congress now could we? How uncouth! IMPEACH!!

  103. 103
    bemused says:

    I was just reading a local yokel commenter who, right after another commenter talked about twice as much cuts than new revenue said, “Obama twice promised cuts but we got more taxes and no cuts…Obama shook hands with Boehner and then broke the deal demanding $400 b more in taxes”.

  104. 104
    Ted & Hellen says:

    What you folks refuse to acknowledge is that in four years Mr. Obama has completely and utterly failed at educating the public as to the facts of deficit/stimulus.

    Poor thing, he just can’t do it. The press and Republicans are so darn mean.

    Or…he doesn’t intend to educate the public.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Of course, when people say in other similar polls “jobs,” that doesn’t mean they think the government should do Keynesian things. I’ve never quite known what it is that poll respondents imagine the government doing to make “jobs” happen.

    I gotta disagree with you here — I think that people being polled are thinking of Keynesian spending on stuff like roads, bridges, and schools when they say the government needs to do more about jobs. It’s the Villagers who insist that’s not what people mean.

    People bitch and moan about the inconvenience of roadwork going on, but I think they actually like seeing the evidence of where their tax money is going, especially when they’ve spent months or years bitching about potholes and too-narrow roads.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Yes, yes, Timmy, everything is the Democrats’ fault, even when the Republicans did it.

    Be quiet now, the adults are talking.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bemused:

    The stupid, it’s everywhere today.

    Local commentator basically recycles Rush’s talking points du jour and expects us not to notice.

  108. 108
    Alex S. says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This, this, this. “The Deficit” is, for most people, a technical-sounding way to say “bad economy.” Like saying “physician” instead of “doctor.”

    And ironically, the people are right. A good economy will increase tax revenue and erase the deficit.

  109. 109
    amk says:

    @idjit troll: yeah right, that’s why the kenyan muslin is over 50% in a shitty economy and won twice despite cu bazillions while the rethugs are trending towards single digit.

    A fucking idjit troll will always be a fucking idjit troll.

  110. 110
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: Well, you know, it’s common knowledge on the pure left that nice, white suburbanites could do a much better job. But, give them credit, they will include women in their ranks. Viva la Feminism!

  111. 111
    Ted & Hellen says:

    IT’S ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY THAT WE ELECT BARACK OBAMA!

    HOW DARE YOU DEMAND THAT BARACK OBAMA HAVE ANY AGENCY! HE IS HELPLESS AGAINST THE WURLITZER…OR SOMETHING…

  112. 112
    liberal says:

    @NonyNony:

    In a democracy, it isn’t actually up to the people at the top to decide what direction we take – it’s up to the people at the bottom to find ways to force them to take the direction we want them to take.

    That’s a very odd thing to say.

    You might claim that as a matter of “ought” (normative). But as a matter of “is” (descriptive/positive)? Simply not true.

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    BTW, I’m really not sure that Democratic politicians and strategists understand that when people say they care about “the deficit” that they by and large aren’t thinking of it literally. I think a lot of the political class really truly does want to reduce the deficit, thinking of it in terms of DLC-ish nostrums about balancing the budget as a key to a healthy economy, and particularly melding the two (balanced budget and robust economy) in the Clinton years. So when they see pollsters finding that people want to do something about “the deficit,” they feel vindication and support. (That’s Erskine Bowles, among others.) But I’m positive that that’s not what people think “the deficit” is.

  114. 114
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    People bitch and moan about the inconvenience of roadwork going on, but I think they actually like seeing the evidence of where their tax money is going, especially when they’ve spent months or years bitching about potholes and too-narrow roads.

    THIS.

    Just this.

    They also understand that infrastructure fuels private sector economic growth.

    Which is the problem. The pie gets bigger, and assholes like the Koch Brothers and their surrogates, like snivelling little twit Timmeh, can’t stop a loss of pie share as the vile peasants see their standard of living improve, which is very frightening for the 1%. It means that the gap is closing and the 1% is that much closer to being no longer so special.

  115. 115
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Actually, the Bots are talking in their echo chamber. Very comforting to each other, I’m sure.

  116. 116
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They got an F in reading comprehension. I swear what their eyes see goes into the brain scrambler and comes out in neat little Fox propaganda turds.

  117. 117
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The pie gets bigger, and assholes like the Koch Brothers and their surrogates, like snivelling little twit Timmeh, can’t stop a loss of pie share as the vile peasants see their standard of living improve, which is very frightening for the 1%. It means that the gap is closing and the 1% is that much closer to being no longer so special.

    Yeah, yeah…tumbrels.

    Do you really, actually fantasize the Democratic party as an agent of fucking revolution in this country? Against itself?

    hahaha

  118. 118
    geg6 says:

    @TriassicSands:

    I think the point is that Scott ended up backing down on the privatization. Scott blinked, just as he got everything he’s always said he wanted. Sadly, his numbers will still stay in the tank (which is the only reason he backed down), just a point of two lower than my own governor’s. Speaking of which, I never cheer for the institution of the NCAA, which we all know is a corrupt grifting organization, but I’m cheering for them now:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....awsuit.ap/

    Nobody but Franco Harris and few other nutbag alumni supported Corbett’s suit against the NCAA and, in this case, I think the NCAA has the winning hand although IANAL. Perhaps some of the BJ legal team can tell me why I’m right or wrong.

  119. 119
    General Stuck says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Actually, the Bots are talking in their echo chamber.

    Po Timmy, that ain’t talking you hear. It’s laughter, at you.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t agree that that’s what people envision when saying that the government should create jobs. They want the government to do those things, but because they’re good, not because they create jobs. I suspect if you did a poll in an open-ended way on the question “how should the government create jobs?” the most-cited idea would be, unfortunately, “cut taxes on private sector employers.”

  121. 121
    Cassidy says:

    @geg6:

    tell me why I’m right or wrong.

    Well, you root for Penn State for one.

    Kidding, kidding.

  122. 122
    handsmile says:

    @NonyNony:

    “Presidents and Congresses don’t make social programs popular – Presidents and Congresses are forced to enact social programs because not doing so would get them thrown out on their asses.”

    I’d like to subscribe to that notion of democratic governance, but to take just one example, gun safety legislation such as universal background checks or banning high-capacity magazines may fail to be enacted by Congress despite overwhelmingly (80-90%) public support for the measures.

    I would be thrilled if Congressional (read GOP) inaction on gun safety results in widespread electoral defeat in 2014, but intractable gerrymandering will likely trump resistance to popular support for any one issue.

  123. 123
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I like how when Special Timmeh is ignored, he starts babbling to himself.

    I normally would find someone this desperate for social interaction to be a tragic figure, worthy of pity. And then I remember he’s a fucking pedophile, and the only thing he’s worthy of is being buried in a landfill alongside his shitty carnival art.

  124. 124
    liberal says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    BTW, I’m really not sure that Democratic politicians and strategists understand that when people say they care about “the deficit” that they by and large aren’t thinking of it literally.

    Yeah, well, then they’re idiots and should be fired from their positions within the party.

    Atrios/Krugman/whoever had a link once to a study where people were asked to characterize the historical trend in the deficit. They more or less had no clue whatsoever (e.g. in the aggregate no understanding that the deficit shrank under Clinton).

    “TEH DEFICIT” is simply a tool for right-wing thugs to cut domestic spending in the service of future cuts for wealthy, rent-accruing parasites. (Not to say that your idea about using the deficit to claw back some of those ill-gotten gains is invalid.)

  125. 125
    mikej(droid) says:

    @geg6: There is nothing in the world forcing Penn State to pay the fine. There is no requirement that they play football. Penn State should punish the NCAA by going Galt. Please.

  126. 126
    liberal says:

    @handsmile:
    Well, uh, the Iraq War happened because the public pressured Bush. /snark

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I still think, the way most people think of it, the guy running the road paving equipment isn’t himself in a job created by the government, he’s doing a public service that might make some other private employer hire someone new. IOW, road crews aren’t themselves jobs created by the government, because “jobs” means “jobs at private sector companies.”

  128. 128

    This has likely been mentioned, but I have to run to lunch instead of reading the thread:

    Lots of Democrats want the deficit addressed because they’re sick of the rich not paying their fair share of taxes. Lots of Republicans want the deficit addressed because they’re scared and thus angry and thus want to hurt everyone they can by gutting the safety net. Both types of people say the deficit needs to be addressed immediately.

  129. 129
    Yutsano says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: But see he gets PAID to post here. That’s why he gets banned constantly and always has to change nyms!

    (And that’s my last discussion of the pedo. At least for now.)

    @FlipYrWhig: We will need a lot more washing before we get the stain of Ronaldus Magnus out of the country’s fabric.

  130. 130
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:
    Not that I’m carrying any water for “Ted & Hellen”, but weren’t you the genius who posted a comment a few years ago endorsing Obama’s (frankly idiotic) “family belt tightening” talk?

  131. 131
    geg6 says:

    @Cassidy:

    No, I don’t. I work for them, but I’ve never rooted for any of the PSU teams.

    I’m a Pitt grad. Pitt grads NEVER root for PSU. I’d have to turn in my card to the Golden Panthers Club.

  132. 132
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @liberal: I think people who care about the deficit (by the real definition of it) see popular concern for “the deficit” (the trumped-up and confused issue that has something to do with a bad economy) as validation. And I’m pretty confident that far too few Democratic strategists and politicians read Krugman or any other progressive economist.

  133. 133
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    And then I remember he’s a fucking pedophile, and the only thing he’s worthy of is being buried in a landfill alongside his shitty carnival art.

    Tell us more about your deep seated anger and hatred…

  134. 134
    Ben Franklin says:

    Obama is clearly, on a roll………

    The White House is refusing to share fully with Congress the legal opinions that justify targeted killings, while maneuvering to make sure its stance does not do anything to endanger the confirmation of John O. Brennan as C.I.A. director.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02.....&_r=0

  135. 135

    You’re missing a tagline on this post:

    “I can’t believe we’re losing to these people.”

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @liberal:

    A nitpick interjected into a discussion I haven’t read all of (throw tomatoes at me if you wish) –

    I don’t think the public pressured Bush into going to war, but I think post-9/11 public bloodlust is what enabled him to do it. He might’ve wanted to do it (some in his cabinet especially were obsessed with the idea), but the war hysteria in the public, which really just wanted to see some hajjis pay for what they did on 9/11, is why he was actually able to. Nice confluence of elite interests and public opinion.

  137. 137
    geg6 says:

    @mikej(droid):

    Um, none of this has anything to do with Penn State. This is a fight between the NCAA and Governor Corbett. Don’t like Penn State football? Don’t watch it. I don’t. But it’s still the best place I’ve ever worked with the best co-workers I’ve ever had, regardless of the monsters that are no longer with us and assholes like you who seem to think it was the football team’s fault and not an administrative debacle.

  138. 138
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: That’s what I was thinking. You can reduce the deficit without tanking Social Security, Medicare or other entitlements.

    Cut defense (shut down the Afghanistan war), close tax loopholes, etc.

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @liberal: I’m pretty sure I remember arguing about that before. I don’t think we’re EVER going to get past the government = household analogy, and continue to think that we can use it for positive ends, and that just using that analogy isn’t a gaffe or a sign of wrongthink. Using it badly or sloppily or viciously, to motivate bad policy, is still a problem, of course.

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: @Villago Delenda Est: I still think, the way most people think of it, the guy running the road paving equipment isn’t himself in a job created by the government

    I wish I had taken a picture of the “Who’s John Galt?” bumper sticker on the contractor’s truck working on a road repair project, but of the 2% of the country who would have understood the reference, two-thirds probably wouldn’t have understood the contradiction.
    There was a This American Life on the whole Wisconsin imbroglio, and it was clear from the pro-Walker people they interviewed that the notion that all gov’t workers are ghost payrollers is deeply imbedded in the American psyche. They even found a public school teacher who agreed! Then they mentioned in passing that she and her husband owned a car dealership. I wonder if it was a GM brand.

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    I agree with that assessment. The Dark Lord and his stooge, the deserting coward, saw an opportunity, and seized on it. Many in the public saw Iraq as payback for 9/11, even though Iraq had nothing to do with it (and furthermore, Saddam was an enemy of Al-Qaeda because he was perceived as not being Muslim enough for their tastes) and the warmongers capitalized on that misconception of much of the public.

  142. 142
    liberal says:

    @liberal:
    This might not be the precise thread re “belt tightening,” but it’s very, very illustrative of the good General’s complete cluelessness on this issue: “We’re All Paul Krugman Now”

  143. 143
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    Not that I’m carrying any water for “Ted & Hellen”, but weren’t you the genius who posted a comment a few years ago endorsing Obama’s (frankly idiotic) “family belt tightening” talk?

    Not as a matter of immediate ‘belt tightening’ as in cutting entitlements and the like right now. Long term debt reduction, yes, as a function of Keynesian theory. I do believe long term deficits are a bad thing, and should be addressed as such. I do support belt tightening rhetoric however, as a matter of politics, just not slashing all government spending tomorrow.

    And I have always been a deficit hawk in general. Unlike emo prog gadflies like you, that are deficit hawks when republicans were in power, and now kneejerk to deficits don’t matter. Like say a Dick Cheney when goopers run things.

    And BTW,, you carry Timmy’s water very well/ The full time job is yours if you want it.

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I see your point, but it underlies a serious problem in this country. People don’t get how things work, even though there’s ample evidence all around them of the positive impact of publicly funded infrastructure projects.

    Some people apparently think that freeways fall from the heavens, directed by the baby Jeebus to provide an offramp to the local megachurch.

  145. 145
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    And I definitely agree with this assessment. “People don’t get how things work” is one of the more simple and unfortunate facts of our society. We take things for granted that had to be created and sustained by human effort, ignore them, let them fall apart, and when they do, blame the people we don’t want to support for not doing what we didn’t allow them to do. Oy.

  146. 146
    liberal says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    I mostly agree with what you’re saying, but in terms of cold hard facts, the analogy itself is completely false in a country which can print its own fiat currency.

    Of course, you can’t print money without limit; but the bad end result is inflation, not insolvency. (I’m sure you know this stuff already, of course.)

    In my own opinion, at a much subtler level, the discussions on the monetary (not fiscal) side are completely fubar, because AFAICT the argument that the money supply is actually endogenous is correct. The people who cry “OMG! The Federal Reserve is going to turn us into Zimbabwe!” simply don’t understand how the monetary system works. Then again I’m not entirely sure many economists do.

  147. 147
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:

    Unlike emo prog gadflies like you, that are deficit hawks when republicans were in power, and now kneejerk to deficits don’t matter.

    LOL. “Who was in power” is entirely conflated with the state of the business cycle, if we’re comparing the Bush 43 years to Obama.

    But the notion of conflated candidate causal factors is way, way too complicated for someone with as puny an intelligence as yours.

  148. 148
    mikej(droid) says:

    @geg6:The NCAA should simply refuse to sanction any sports in PA. Pensyltucky can go start their own leagues.

  149. 149
    liberal says:

    @Chris:
    Of course, you’re absolutely correct.

    And elites can’t just do whatever they want; they’re obviously bracketed by limits imposed by the populace.

    But IMHO the poster I was responding to painted a picture where leadership at the top isn’t so important, which isn’t true.

  150. 150
    geg6 says:

    OT, but Senator Grumpy McGrumpypants has this to say to the mother of an Aurora shooting victim who confronted him about gun control at a townhall: “I can tell you right now you need some straight talk.”

    Jeebus.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....-mccain-at

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal:

    I mostly agree with what you’re saying, but in terms of cold hard facts, the analogy itself is completely false in a country which can print its own fiat currency.

    The question becomes whether it is worth the effort to explain why that analogy is inapt rather than run with it and turn it your favor.

  152. 152
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The parallel problem of the general public not understanding what “The Deficit” is and why it is a crisis or a long-term problem, is that most of the Republicans who talk about Balanced Budgets give a flying fuck about “the Deficit”, they want to undo the New Deal and the social safety net. The specter of Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen living in the St Regis Hotel and driving a Cadillac (and who do you think pays for the parking!?) is alive and well in the minds Paul Ryan, Tom Brokaw and a whole lot of less usual suspects.

  153. 153
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    LOL, ambush time. I have no problem with my commentary at that time. I don’t like borrowing large amounts of money from the Chinese, or anyone else, but recognize government spending is keeping the economy breathing, at least, until it fully recovers. Long term deficits are a bad thing, even Krugman agrees, and as I said, when the economy does recover, there is a risk of inflation when the private sector starts competing for borrowed money to expand. These are all basic precepts for keynesian and in general economic philosophy.

    I do nuance, liberal, and did in that thread. I know that is too much for your beautiful mind to be bothered with, but makes for some ignorant cherry picking on your part.

    And you are right, this wasn’t the ideal thread to launch your attack, but wrong way liberal, is wrong way. Now go munch some caviar and look down your nose at the proletariat.

  154. 154
    liberal says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    …Saddam was an enemy of Al-Qaeda because he was perceived as not being Muslim enough for their tastes…

    In point of fact, more recent behavior excepted (some kind of PR cover, I don’t know why he did that), Saddam was through and through a completely secular figure. Though I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here.

  155. 155
    David in NY says:

    @Mandalay: Right (about El Cid’s comment). I think an even better explanation for the Democratic numbers, anyway, that I saw somewhere (atrios, perhaps?) was that the deficit was the only economic option, so that anybody concerned about the economic situation would have opted for that (haven’t reviewed all comments so others may have similar ideas).

    Edit: this one for example: @Davis X. Machina:

  156. 156
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    But the notion of conflated candidate causal factors is way, way too complicated for someone with as puny an intelligence as yours.

    Causal factors for debt have nothing to do with its long term effect. It is simply debt, or money owed, and why means nothing in that context.

  157. 157
    geg6 says:

    @mikej(droid):

    Wow, you really are a complete dick. I wasn’t completely sure and was almost regretting calling you an asshole, but I can see I’ve been much too nice.

    Yeah, collective punishment for everyone in the entire state! Because we all are Jerry Sandusky!

    And FYI, dickwad, I don’t live in Pennsyltucky. I live in Pittsburgh metro, which went blue with about 50-60% of votes going to Obama. As did all the other major metro areas of the state. What fabulously blue state do you live in where there are no red areas that make you think you’re so superior to my state?

  158. 158
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:

    I don’t like borrowing large amounts of money from the Chinese…

    We borrow money from the Chinese (or not—I thought net change in their holdings wasn’t positive these days) because they manipulate their currency.

    I do nuance, liberal, and did in that thread.

    If having multiple commenters repeatedly show that you’re in the wrong about multiple facets of an issue is “doing nuance,” I think you need to learn to skip the nuance.

    Now go munch some caviar and look down your nose at the proletariat.

    Hmm…since when did “prole” become an exact synonym for “know-nothing”?

  159. 159
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: Can that old fuck just die already? Or stroke out and be a vegetable?

  160. 160
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Understood, and I understand FYW’s comment about increasing taxes on the rich, but I judge this line of propaganda is ultimately a loser, simply reinforcing the right’s own line.

  161. 161
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Every morning on the sports-talk station my local Ford dealer has a special section in its used-car ads called ‘Deficit Specials’. Not ‘Recession Specials’. Not ‘Collapse in Aggregate Demand’ Specials.

    Good Lord. What does that even mean? And yet, I’m sure that ad was written by the dealer him/herself, and s/he thinks that is not just an ad, but a piece of political commentary worthy of Tom Paine himself.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    If having multiple commenters repeatedly show that you’re in the wrong about multiple facets of an issue is “doing nuance,” I think you need to learn to skip the nuance.

    Okay sparky. You started this, so let’s have it out. Why don’t you yourself state those things I was wrong about in that long ago thread, instead of relying on others to do your bidding?

    List them. one by one.

  163. 163
    geg6 says:

    @Yutsano:

    Seriously. I mean, who talks to a person, not to mention one who has just lost a beloved family member to a slaughter, like that?

  164. 164
    Chris says:

    @liberal:

    some kind of PR cover, I don’t know why he did that

    Saddam’s time in power coincided with the era when Arab Nationalism (the ideology he rode in on) became much less popular as people saw it as having failed, and Islamic fundamentalism rushed in to fill the vacuum. Saddam could feel the winds changing, and tried to co-opt the fundie message even as he was stomping out the fundies that were trying to remove him. Similar things happened all over the region as Arab Nationalist governments that had come to power on a secular, modernist message tried to maintain their legitimacy in an era of increased religiosity.

    I suppose it’s the Middle Eastern version of when Democrats in the 1990s started presenting a DLC, Third Way, “era of big government is over” face to the public. Even in dictatorships, public opinion still matters.

  165. 165
    liberal says:

    @geg6:
    Well, having lived in PA for two years (in Shadyside in Pgh)…WTF is up with having large interstates connect w/o a proper interchange? Breezewood is like that, and there’s a place north of Pgh like that. (Or used to be.)

    The main thing that sucks about Pgh is the cloudiness. Not the worst place in the US, but if you look at actual climate charts it isn’t too good.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @Chris:
    I agree that even in dictatorships pop opinion matters, though I disagree that the turn to the right in the US that you’re alluding to was ultimately driven by the public.

  167. 167
    Mandalay says:

    @geg6: Not to defend McCain, but the quote you posted is not quite as bad in context:

    “My 24-year-old son Alex was murdered in a movie theater in Colorado,” Caren Teves said, according to KTVK. “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to reload. These weapons do not belong on our streets.”

    McCain responded: “I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States.

    While McCain certainly should have been more sympathetic, I have some respect for a response that didn’t bother to sugarcoat the (ugly) reality of the situation.

  168. 168
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @liberal:

    “OMG! The Federal Reserve is going to turn us into Zimbabwe!” simply don’t understand how the monetary system works.

    They think the magic solution to all this is a return to the gold standard.

    They don’t get that all currency is fiat currency, even if it’s represented by gold or silver, which were chosen as currency because they were durable and portable.

    Then again, I’m living in a country where everyone believes in the “free market” and the “invisible hand”, yet have never cracked open, much less read, the work that gave us those memes.

  169. 169
    Cassidy says:

    @geg6: republicans, conservatives, all around shit heels like some of our trolls

  170. 170
  171. 171
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:

    Causal factors for debt have nothing to do with its long term effect. It is simply debt, or money owed, and why means nothing in that context.

    It certainly means something in the context of your idiotic claim about people who only oppose debt when a Republican does it.

  172. 172
    Cassidy says:

    @Mandalay: Are you sure? Sounded to me like he was telling that leftist woman the way it was going to be.

  173. 173
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Good Lord. What does that even mean?

    It means ‘Your income, especially after increases for health insurance, has been flat for as long as you remember. You’re maybe even working for less than you were a decade ago. You’ll never buy a new car again –we both know that. And your beater can’t be strung along stop-gap repairs any longer. So here are some cheap used cars.’

    But that won’t fit into a thirty-second spot.

  174. 174
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    I agree that even in dictatorships pop opinion matters, though I disagree that the turn to the right in the US that you’re alluding to was ultimately driven by the public.

    It’s a democracy moron. The public votes for what they want, and choose the message of the candidates that they like. They kept the GOP mostly in power for roughly thirty years.

  175. 175
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “Invisible hand” didn’t come from Dungeons & Dragons?

  176. 176
    handsmile says:

    @Chris:

    Well, perhaps a cherry tomato….

    In interpreting “public bloodlust” following 9/11, I think it’s important to distinguish respective popular support for US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Reprisals against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan enjoyed widespread support even among the “decadent Left in its enclaves on the coast” (Sully, to his everlasting shame), but there was substantial public resistance to Bush’s war of choice in Iraq including “the middle part of the country-the great red zone” (also Sully).

    That Congressional representatives of both parties and the corporate media ignored or denounced that resistance (e.g., the millions who marched ten years ago this month in anti-Iraq war protests) is now commonly accepted and those complicit largely forgiven.

    Nevertheless, Rachel Maddow’s just-aired documentary, “Hubris,” is an essential if infuriating reminder of how the “confluence of elite interests and public opinion” on Iraq was accomplished. Current alarm on the federal deficit demonstrates once more how effective such “confluence” remains.

  177. 177
    gene108 says:

    @David in NY:

    Don’t feel bad for Republicans. They’ve won the message war: The deficit must be eliminated NOW!.

    The Republicans don’t want simple deficit reduction. They want to use the deficit as the reason to drown government in a bathtub, i.e. cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and anything else that helps the poor, so they can keep speed up the system that lets the rich get richer, at the expense of everything else.

    EDIT: Deficits being reduced are secondary to gutting the social safety net. If the deficit gets reduced, it’s a nice side effect but not essential.

  178. 178
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: Obviously that woman was not showing the proper deference to John Sidney McCain III War Hero. Why, I doubt she even knew he was a POW!! The shame!

  179. 179
    Ruckus says:

    @Waynski:
    Follow the money.
    You want to change what you see on a program? Don’t bother with the program execs. Morning Joe is bad? That’s what the sponsors are paying for.
    Tell the sponsors. Tell them you stopped watching. And more importantly, stopped buying. That will effect change far faster than telling the people that are getting paid to produce the crap you don’t like.

    Follow the money.
    Always follow the money.
    It is always about the money.

  180. 180
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Chris:

    . Saddam could feel the winds changing

    He was always secular, and only feigned a religious perspective. He assisted the Neocons with his WMD denial through the inspection process in order to hide his weakness from his local enemies. He feared them more than the West, since he already dodged a similar bullet in the first Gulf War.

  181. 181
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @geg6:

    What fabulously blue state do you live in where there are no red areas that make you think you’re so superior to my state?

    Certainly not mine (Oregon) or our Blue neighbor to the north, The Soviet of Washington, where, if you look at a county-by-county breakdown, much like PA, the urban areas are deep royal blue and the rural areas are flaming red, for the most part.

    The catch of course being that the urban areas are where the vast majority of the votes are. However, due to the way the state legislature’s apportionments work, the legislature’s make up doesn’t reflect that royal blue reality.

  182. 182
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    I’m not sure what you mean by a “proper interchange.” I mean, I’m no civil engineer, but it’s pretty easy to get onto any of the major interstates at Breezewood since that’s where a most of them intersect in the state. As for any other major interstates, again, if other major roads connect to them, how is that not a proper interchange?

    Personally, I like living here. There are four actual seasons, totally distinguishable from each other. And Pittsburgh is simply a great city. I’ve lived in Pennsyltucky (also a breathtakingly beautiful place) and I prefer the metro area. Though we do have a cabin in the mountains near Titusville, I’d never live there full time.

  183. 183
  184. 184
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    t certainly means something in the context of your idiotic claim about people who only oppose debt when a Republican does it

    Bullshit. The reasons why money is borrowed is an ideological and political question, and not an economic one. As a matter of possible purely economic consequences of that borrowed money. And that is what we were discussing in the thread you linked to. Keep talking moron, and show your stupid.

    and I’m waiting for your point by point allegations on my wrongness.

  185. 185
    geg6 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Context doesn’t help the total lack of any empathy for this person, IMHO. You need some straight talk? No, Senator, you do.

  186. 186
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @handsmile:
    @Ben Franklin:

    Students of mine going into the Army as late as 2006 and 2007 were still being told, in basic, and in the specialized training for their MOS’s, that they were probably going over to the sandbox, and if they got shot up in an Iraqi civil war-cum-war of liberation it was because of Saddam’s role in 9/11.

    Granted, this was from NCO’s, in training, and I don’t know if anybody believed it, or if it was officially sanctioned..

  187. 187
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    Even in dictatorships, public opinion still matters.

    This is a subtle but important point. Modern (i.e. mostly 20th Cen+, although you could argue that Napoleon III was really the first of this kind) dictatorships are still based on a form of mass politics, just a very different sort from parliamentary democracy. Modern dictators are a very different beast from the more antique strange women lying in ponds distributing swords as a system of government style of authority.

  188. 188
    Yutsano says:

    @raven: IT’S A BEE!! I wonder if this means bee populations are starting to bounce back.

  189. 189
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108:

    Deficits being reduced are secondary to gutting the social safety net. If the deficit gets reduced, it’s a nice side effect but not essential.

    DING DING DING DING DING.

    It’s always about gutting the safety net. Always. That hippy Jesus compassion for the poor, the down and out, the old, the ill, is just morally wrong to them. They’ve fully immersed themselves in the tenets of Calvinism, that wealth is the sole sign of the favor of the invisible sky buddy.

  190. 190
    raven says:

    @Yutsano: Dunno, I stood under the tree with my camera for about 5 minutes and the hummm was amazing. I tried capturing it in video mode but no go.

  191. 191
    Joel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Widaho just doesn’t have a ring to it.

  192. 192
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Heck, Napoleon I claimed the same sort of mandate from the masses thing. He rode the chaos of the late revolutionary period to power, for the glory of France.

  193. 193
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    In Boot, it’s wise to go with the flow……..

  194. 194
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m living in a country where everyone believes in the “free market”

    Not quite. You are living in a country where the rich and the powerful believe in the “free market” (on their terms), and their servile lackeys in the media and Congress push that nonsense.

    So that is why it seems that “everyone” believes in that free market. The rich and powerful will do whatever it takes for their view to prevail.

  195. 195

    @Villago Delenda Est: No safety net, makes the reserve army of the unemployed even more desperate. Desperate, is just how the Pete Petersons and MoUs want us to be.

  196. 196
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Actually, they don’t believe in a free market. They believe in using the free market to kill it and establish monopolies and similar abominations.

    Adam Smith talks about these parasites continuously in his obscure work that few, if any, have ever bothered to read.

  197. 197
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The .1% want servile compliant serfs. They don’t want us to have ambitions or goals that might dethrone them from their lofty perches, so they have the rules fixed to keep the lowly as low as they can. That durn SS and Medicare interferes with their plans plus creates pockets of money that aren’t making them even more wealth, so they have to go. It’s for the good of all dontchaknow.

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    While McCain certainly should have been more sympathetic, I have some respect for a response that didn’t bother to sugarcoat the (ugly) reality of the situation.

    Wait, we’re supposed to admire McCain for saying that he’s going to block any attempt at an assault weapons ban? He’s not some outside commentator giving his opinion about what might happen — he’s a frickin’ member of Congress! It’s not like he’s powerless to address the situation, FFS, and yet we’re supposed to admire him for saying he’s going to block any reform because of his honesty about his own moral failings?

  199. 199
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    OT: I think mistermix ought to be required to have a morning guest blogger when he disappears for a few days.

  200. 200
    handsmile says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I fear that if the question “Was Saddam Hussein responsible for the 9/11 attacks?” (or even the more “nuanced” “Did Saddam Hussein play a major role in the 9/11 attacks?”) was to be polled today, the affirmative response would be more than 27%.

  201. 201
    Yutsano says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Right now this thread is on course to be a 500 comment wonder for pretty much no good reason other than lack of posting. I feel…cheated.

  202. 202
    xian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: please don’t treed the foal.

  203. 203
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    honesty about his own moral failings?

    McCain? Honest about his own moral failings? I don’t think so. This guy whored out his integrity to his ambition long ago. As I’ve often posted, he could have been the Conscience of America back during the deserting coward years by telling the Dark Lord that torture, no matter how you pretty it up with euphemisms, is wrong, and he knows that from a “been there, done that” perspective.

    But he didn’t.

    And permanently, indelibly, irredeemably disgraced the uniform he once wore.

  204. 204
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Actually, they don’t believe in a free market. They believe in using the free market to kill it and establish monopolies and similar abominations.

    Agreed. That was what I meant by a free market “on their terms” but you have expressed it more clearly.

    I would add that more problems arise from duopolies and oligopolies rather than monopolies, since they present the illusion of a free market.

  205. 205
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    mistermix told us he’d be lightly posting, if at all, for this week and some of next, and he’s the anchor of the morning show. Then we get the occasional Zandar post (like the one this conversation is threaded to) and then, in the afternoon, Doug Galt and the Kat and Dawg Fancier (and our genial host) chime in.

    So, things are disrupted a bit without mistermix around to tote that bale in the mornings.

  206. 206
    JGabriel says:

    Zander @ Top:

    I’m aware that if Americans think cutting the deficit right now is our most urgent priority over firearms, climate change, and immigration, we need to get that unskewed real damn fast

    .

    It’s not like anyone is going to see this response this late in the thread, but here goes:

    I don’t think the American people believe the deficit is that important — the think jobs and the economy are that important, but it looks like that wasn’t an option they could choose. So they picked deficits, because that’s what the news media keep telling them is wrong with the economy.

    Here’s a link to the priorities question as asked by Pew. Note, there’s nothing about jobs.

    Intentionally or not, this question operated as a push poll to emphasize the austerity view over the Keynesian view of the current problems in our economy.

    .

  207. 207
    JGabriel says:

    Zander @ Top:

    I’m aware that if Americans think cutting the deficit right now is our most urgent priority over firearms, climate change, and immigration, we need to get that unskewed real damn fast

    .

    It’s not like anyone is going to see this response this late in the thread, but here goes:

    I don’t think the American people believe the deficit is that important — they think jobs and the economy are that important, but it looks like that wasn’t an option they could choose. So they picked deficits, because that’s what the news media keep telling them is wrong with the economy — and they had no other choices related to economic problems.

    Here’s a link to the priorities question as asked by Pew. Note, there’s nothing about jobs.

    Intentionally or not, this question operated as a push poll to emphasize the austerity view over the Keynesian view of the current problems in our economy.

    .

  208. 208
    Chris says:

    @handsmile:

    I knew someone who back in 2009 didn’t know that we hadn’t found WMDs in Iraq. Not a foreign policy n00b, a fellow international studies student who’d just graduated college with me and with fairly good grades, but who just happened to be, well, a Republican, and somehow had managed to edit out that little fact from her mind. Plenty of them still believe it was a good war, just one that went wrong (prolly liberals backstabbing like they always do, y’know) and that they can’t talk about in public too much.

    I’m bracing myself for when the Rambo remakes starring Iraq veterans going back to Iraq to fight the Axis of Evil start pouring in.

  209. 209
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: in 2008, John McCain hired the guys Bushed used in 2000 in So Carolina to spread rumors about his wife’s drug addiction and to race-bait about his “black daughter”. To this day, serious liberals flog his mild correction of the woman who called Obama a Muslim in camera shot with him, no one seems to remember when one of Palin’s howler monkeys yelled out “Kill him!” during a campaign speech, and the old fool paused, blinked in surprise, and went on with his speech. Obama scolded his supporters for booing McCain. Amazes me the Beltway still sees and him as a man of crusty but unquestionable “honor”. IIRC, he has already been on MTP alone, not counting the other gas baggers, four times since Jan 1.

    I never realized what a good relationship I had with my father till I watched Brokaw, Russert and Tweety publicly drool over McCain as their magical war hero surrogate Daddy.

  210. 210
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    “My 24-year-old son Alex was murdered in a movie theater in Colorado,” Caren Teves said, according to KTVK. “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to reload. These weapons do not belong on our streets.”

    McCain responded: “I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States.”

    @Mandalay: Agreed with your take. It would be far more cruel to tell that poor woman that something will be done, and that what happened to her son should not have happened and that the American political system will do its damndest to insure that such a barbaric act is never allowed to happen in this nation ever again.

    Because that would be a bullshit lie.

    McCain is right. No assault weapons bill will pass. Doesn’t have the remotest chance of doing so. And I think it would be a damn good thing for the President, instead of sending Biden out on his current pointless fool’s errand, to simply admit this, point to the House of Representatives, and say to the public that if they don’t like any jerkoff with a pulse and a credit card to be able to buy a battle rifle and as many bullets as they can carry, to take it up with Orange John and his flying monkeys.

  211. 211
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Heck, Napoleon I claimed the same sort of mandate from the masses thing

    Yeah but there were differences between N1.0 and N3.0.

    N1.0 very deliberately tried to dampen popular enthusiasm for mass participation in politics (not exactly a shocking surprise given the way things had gotten so badly out of hand during the previous decade) and during his reign the cheering masses were mostly just there as colorful backdrop (and potential recruits into the army).

    N3.0 on the other hand ran what was by the standards of his day a highly sophisticated mass media apparatus which was quite deliberately designed to whip up popular enthusiasm for his regime (necessary in part because N3.0 was rather colorless and uncharismatic compared with his more famous namesake) and giving ordinary people a sense of political participation in the national resurgence through him and his regime, including a frequent use of plebicites to both validate the regime and cement that validation thru a popular sense of participation (that the plebicites were at least partially rigged was beside the point).

    This was a new development in authoritarian politics, deploying the masses not just as angry mobs used to intimidate and destroy political enemies, but as participatory citizens. You could see hints of this during the Revolution, but N3.0 really professionalized the business of running a popular dictatorship using the new instrument of a modern mass media.

  212. 212
    Kathleen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I am shocked, shocked, that not one of our hard hitting journalists has asked a Rethuglican/centrist/fiscal hawk, “Why weren’t you concerned about the deficit from 2001 to January, 2009? Did you agree with Dick Cheney’s statement, ‘Deficits don’t matter’?”

  213. 213
    xian says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Ill Doctrine makes a good point that if negative-attention-addicted trolls like our special Timmeh can’t get their fix on websites, they may start annoying people in public:

    http://vimeo.com/42788869

  214. 214
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    I don’t think the American people believe the deficit is that important — the think jobs and the economy are that important, but it looks like that wasn’t an option they could choose. So they picked deficits, because that’s what the news media keep telling them is wrong with the economy.

    Correct. And as the economy improves, especially a take off for rapid job creation, the substitute of blaming or focusing on the deficit will subside, as well. And the wingers will mostly drop it from their quivers. Though it has become an anti Obama symbol and will remain alive in the right wing echo chamber.

    And really, I kind of doubt the public is really serious when they focus on the debt in hard times, as it is more like a creature comfort generic whipping post for general economic anxiety. Obama has had some whopping deficits and increases in national debt, and they still reelected him handily.

  215. 215
    JGabriel says:

    Apologies for the double post @ 206 & 207.

    I hit Click To Edit, but FYWP seems to have reposted the corrections as new. Anyway, 207 is the correct post, not 206.

    .

  216. 216
    bemused says:

    This just kills me. Once upon a time, Republicans such as Boehner, Cantor, Paul Ryan and the RNC were warning that sequestered cuts would threaten massive job loss, set back the economy, drive (state of Virginia) economy into recession and take a meat-axe to the economy. Just this week Boehner told WSJ that sequester “threatens U.S. security”. Of course, they are saying the sequester is entirely Obama’s idea and he owns it.

    At the end of Jan, Greg Sargent talked about our economy shrinking due to a plunge in defense/federal spending and the Republicans jumping on this economic “contraction” as leverage against Obama, But as Sargent says, “If the sequestered spending cuts threaten dire harm to the economy, wouldn’t replacing them with other cuts do the same?” Well, duh.

    I doubt very much the Villagers or media are pointing this out.

  217. 217
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Ill Doctrine makes a good point that if negative-attention-addicted trolls like our special Timmeh can’t get their fix on websites, they may start annoying people in public

    @xian: I’m old enough to have spent the majority of my life pre-internet. You still got those types every now and then, but they were always rare.

    You see, IRL if you start yelling vile, goading shit at anyone passing by, odds are that sooner or later someone will make sure there’s no cops around and then knock your fucking teeth out.

  218. 218
    xian says:

    @geg6: that’s just fucking sad

  219. 219
    bemused says:

    @Chris:

    One of my relatives shocked me with that same belief about the same year. I haven’t wanted to find out if she still believes in the wmd myth.

  220. 220
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Quoted w/attribution and posted at my place.

    Well said.

  221. 221
    xian says:

    @Mandalay: it would only be real straight talk if he finished by saying “because me and other people in my party have been paid to oppose it.”

  222. 222
    xian says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Actually, she called him “an Arab,” and McCain said no, he’s a good and decent family man. (Something, I suppose, that no Arab is?)

  223. 223
    Chris says:

    @xian:

    “Is Obama an Arab, or is he a decent family man? Opinion is divided. The idea that one could be both is still a little radical for many Americans.”
    – Rahul Mahajan, commenting at the time.

  224. 224
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wait, we’re supposed to admire McCain…

    Nobody is asking you to admire McCain, so don’t pretend otherwise.

    …for saying that he’s going to block any attempt at an assault weapons ban?

    He didn’t say that. He said that assault weapons legislation will not pass. That’s all. You just make yourself look silly by making stuff up.

    It’s not like he’s powerless to address the situation

    It is actually. There is nothing McCain can do to cause assault weapons legislation to pass even if he really did want it to happen. You are deluded if you think otherwise.

    we’re supposed to admire him for saying he’s going to block any reform

    Again, nobody is asking you to admire him. Just stop making stuff up.

    because of his honesty about his own moral failings?

    He was being honest by bluntly stating that assault weapons legislation will not pass. It won’t. Stop making stuff up.

    Since you have trouble understanding what I write, try post #210, which certainly explained things better than I did.

  225. 225
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Nobody is asking you to admire McCain, so don’t pretend otherwise.

    No?

    While McCain certainly should have been more sympathetic, I have some respect for a response that didn’t bother to sugarcoat the (ugly) reality of the situation.

    So, I’ll adjust my question to you. Why, exactly are we supposed to “respect” McCain for telling us that he’s going to block gun control legislation?

    He was being honest by bluntly stating that assault weapons legislation will not pass. It won’t. Stop making stuff up.

    No, he was being “honest” by “bluntly stating” that he will oppose assault weapons legislation. And you “respect” him for that.

    Again, he’s not some powerless back-bencher who was just describing what other people are going to do. He’s one of the most powerful men in the Senate. He was describing what he is going to do, which is to block any gun control legislation. And we’re supposed to “respect” him for being honest about his own plans.

    ETA: If McCain wanted to work with the Democratic majority in the Senate to get gun control legislation passed, he could. The fact that he is refusing to do so and bluntly tells a gun violence victim that he refuses to do anything is a position we’re supposed to “respect” because at least he’s being honest about his own assholery and refusal to do anything. Good one.

  226. 226
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    The Prophet honors me.

  227. 227
    Heliopause says:

    Umm, two-thirds of Democrats say we need a grand bargain this year to reduce the deficit?

    That’s nothing, three-thirds of sitting Presidents say we need a grand bargain.

  228. 228
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So, I’ll adjust my question to you. Why, exactly are we supposed to “respect” McCain

    1. Again, as you know perfectly well, nobody is asking you or anyone else to respect John McCain, yet you persist in pretending otherwise. I stated my opinion about McCain’s bluntness and you are free to disagree. But you are not free to lie about what I wrote.
    2. Your posts in this thread illustrate a wider ongoing issue on BJ: you constantly and deliberately distort what others have posted, and then confront them with your lies and distortions of what was actually written.
    3. I’m done with you and your lies. GFY asshole.

  229. 229
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Kathleen:

    I am shocked, shocked, that not one of our hard hitting journalists has asked a Rethuglican/centrist/fiscal hawk, “Why weren’t you concerned about the deficit from 2001 to January, 2009? Did you agree with Dick Cheney’s statement, ‘Deficits don’t matter’?”

    You might want to note that Barack Obama has not asked them that question either, at least not in any effective way.

  230. 230
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Your posts in this thread illustrate a wider ongoing issue on BJ: you constantly and deliberately distort what others have posted, and then confront them with your lies and distortions of what was actually written.

    It’ a Bot thing in general, but Menmospleen is the worst offender. Without it she has nothing.

  231. 231
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    You see, IRL if you start yelling vile, goading shit at anyone passing by, odds are that sooner or later someone will make sure there’s no cops around and then knock your fucking teeth out.

    Wow…you so butch and manly and fierce behind that keyboard. Man, I am afeared!

  232. 232
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    1. Again, as you know perfectly well, nobody is asking you or anyone else to respect John McCain, yet you persist in pretending otherwise. I stated my opinion about McCain’s bluntness and you are free to disagree. But you are not free to lie about what I wrote.

    You said you respect John McCain. I disagree with your reasons, and I explained why. I’m not sure how you magically turned that into me “lying.”

    2. Your posts in this thread illustrate a wider ongoing issue on BJ: you constantly and deliberately distort what others have posted, and then confront them with your lies and distortions of what was actually written.

    Again, you said that you respected John McCain. I said why I disagree.

    3. I’m done with you and your lies. GFY asshole.

    Sorry you can’t defend your positions. I’ll try to explain mine one last time since you seem confused: I see no reason to extend “respect” to a powerful Senator who tells the victim of shooting violence that he plans to oppose any gun control legislation that gets proposed. Because, again, McCain is not an uninvolved reporter or commentator giving his opinion about what Congress will do. He is stating his position as a Senator and saying what he is planning to do with his power as a US Senator.

    I give no “respect” to assholes who are up-front about their assholery and state their plans to continue to be assholes. YMMV.

    ETA: Again, here are your own words:

    While McCain certainly should have been more sympathetic, I have some respect for a response that didn’t bother to sugarcoat the (ugly) reality of the situation.

    I have zero respect for a US Senator announcing that he plans to block gun control legislation. He’s not being a “realist” about the chances of that legislation and just giving us the facts. He’s telling us what he himself is planning to do — he is planning to block the legislation.

    He has power in this situation and he has announced that he will use it to block gun control legislation. I do not find that to be worthy of respect.

  233. 233
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Sorry, can’t get in to re-edit my comment and I need to change something — you said you respected McCain’s response. Please swap that in where I said you respected “McCain,” because I did not mean that you respected him as a person.

    I do not respect the response since the response is basically, “I don’t give a shit about you or your murdered family member, I’m not going to do anything.”

  234. 234
    Redshirt says:

    @Mandalay: That’s not really appropriate language for the Internet. For shame!

Comments are closed.