Last season quarterbacking

Chuck Schumer  via TPM is trying to be a last season quarterback on healthcare reform.

“Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform,” the No. 3 Democratic senator, a leader on messaging and policy, told reporters in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

Schumer said Obamacare, enacted in March 2010, was a “good bill” that he’s “proud” to have voted for, but he said it “should have come later” after Democrats had adequately addressed the woes of the middle class.

“The plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed, but it was not the change we were hired to make,” he said. “Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs, not changes in health care….”

 

This argument only makes sense if the choices in the summer of 2009 was healthcare reform or another 2 trillion dollar demand side stimulus package that put massive amounts of money into the hands of people who would quickly spend it.

Is Schumer saying there were votes 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House for Stimulus Part 2 in July/August 2009? Anything less than that like tweaking the tax code or twerking off for corporate cash repatriations would be neither necessary nor sufficient.

If he is, then the trade-off is worth discussing as there would be a legitimate trade-off of getting the economy growing and presumably trying to save a Democatratic majority in 2010 by having 3.5% to 4% GDP growth and 250,000 jobs/month coming back after a helicopter drop and then attempting healthcare reform or doing healthcare reform and seeing a still lousy economy.

But that was not the reality I remember living in at the time. By mid-summer 2009, stimulus was seen as a one shot deal where most if not all of the Blue Dog caucus could be counted on to vote against anything that helped anyone making under $100,000 a year as that would be “fiscally repsonsible.”  “Debt” was becoming the problem as our entire political structure decided to forget the last eighty years of useful zero-bound macro-economics.
So Chuck, shut the fuck up. Be proud that PPACA is working and it actually is structural reform that changes structures of cost instead of telling people poorer than you that they have had it too easy.

77 replies
  1. 1
    Trollhattan says:

    Exactly. Made a similar point in the thread below, in which Chuck seems to have a very selective historical memory. It’s not like he was right there, or anything.

    Senator: You’re not helping.

  2. 2
    The Other Chuck says:

    From one Chuck to another: one of the persistent woes of the middle class was in fact rising health care costs.

    Here’s another one for free: Just retire already you fucking smarmy prick.

  3. 3
    KG says:

    Schumer is just doing his best Ace Ventura impression… talking out his ass. He does this a lot.

    ETA: while I generally oppose term limits, there are more than a few members of the Senate that occasionally make me reconsider that position.

  4. 4
    SatanicPanic says:

    We did get an end to the recession and more jobs and look what thanks Democrats got.

  5. 5
    LosGatosCA says:

    He’s a Democrat. Party loyalty, staying on message, those are for Republicans.

    Defensiveness, fear, panic, disavowal – that’s what makes one a true Democrat.

    Just waiting for the next Republican Secretary of Defense – appointed by a Democrat.

  6. 6
    Trollhattan says:

    @SatanicPanic: “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    And if we had gone all populist and bankster blaming, he would have been protecting the banksters.

    I would like to see the text of the speech. This sounds to some extent like a dmeocrats in disarray article from the socalled liberal media.

  8. 8
    Bulworth says:

    So Chuck, shut the fuck up

    Co-signed.

  9. 9
    dedc79 says:

    Battered Democrat Syndrome.

  10. 10
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Trollhattan: @The Other Chuck: Schumer does a really good job of not-helping. For reasons unknown, his constituents in NY seem to like that enough to keep sending him to Washington to do that. In this case, you’d think that the empirical evidence (NY uninsured rolls fall dramatically post-PPACA which leads to healthier more productive residents) would be enough to make him STFU.

    Mayhew is right: 2009 was Year One for “We’re Broke”, which metastasized into the Teahad, and there was absolutely no traction for additional stimulus because Get-A-Job-Already. If Schumer had any inkling that fixes for “the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs” could be accomplished without either a) a massive WPA-styled employment program or b) equally massive federal stimulus spending, then 2009 was the time to hear about it – and IIRC he didn’t say a whole lot about either back then.

  11. 11
    Linnaeus says:

    I suppose I should be astounded that a Democrat would second-guess his party’s best legislative achievement in decades. But these days, I’m not.

  12. 12
    Scout211 says:

    Wow. I just read that quote at TPM. My blood pressure spiked and I wanted to scream.

    Thanks for highlighting it, Richard.

    What a poor excuse for a democrat Schumer is.

    But he got his media moment. I assume that was his plan.

    Because it sure wasn’t to help the middle class.

  13. 13

    Yes the Tea Party was all about deficits, that’s the reason their number one focus right now is the President’s executive order on immigration

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    Schumer was, is and always shall be a Wall Street stooge. It’s a chronic weakness within the party, that we can’t emphasize the fact that the ACA was designed to facilitate a massive downward transfer of wealth via the subsidies. It addresses income inequality in an important way — more effectively than any legislation in a generation or two. But we can’t alarm our Wall Street and Silicon Valley patrons by pointing that out.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Dexter says:

    If Chuck Schumer’s hypothesis is correct, then the first person to loose election would be President Obama.

  17. 17
    Laertes says:

    It’s a savvy move on Schumer’s part, though. While most of the senate Democrats are in for some pretty rough handling by the Republicans, this statement ensures that Schumer will still enjoy all the power and influence he had as a member of the majority.

  18. 18
    Tree With Water says:

    He a United States senator that represents Wall Street. All senators from New York represent Wall Street first, last, and always.

  19. 19
    voncey says:

    The stimulus was indeed a one-shot deal. It was repeatedly pared down as the White House and Max Baucus tried to get Republicans on board. There was no going back to well on this.

    Freakin’ Democrats like this drive me crazy. Republicans will defend their policies even in the face of unequivocal evidence of failure while Dems run from actual successes. Shut up, Chuck!

  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    My recollection (I’m hungover, so be kind) is that health care passing was entirely dependent on doing it while Ted Kennedy was alive (to get to 60). I could be wrong….

    …but, if I am right, fuck that schmuck.

  21. 21
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Dexter: Mark my words: Obama is not getting re-elected in 2016.

  22. 22
    askew says:

    Like I said in the thread below, Schumer is showing exactly what is wrong with the Dem Party today. They learned the wrong lessons from the midterm losses and think that holding power and doing nothing with it is more important than passing life-changing legislation.

    Dems have been trying to pass healthcare reform for decades and it hasn’t happened in part because of a lack of will on party’s part. If the Dems would have abandoned Obamacare in 2010, they still would have lost in the midterms and they would have nothing to show for it. And no president after Obama would have picked up healthcare reform again for decades.

    I think this is a signal of what we are in for during the Hillary years. Expect lots of nonsense legislation like school uniforms and nothing of substance to be done. Lost opportunity. With a Dem president and a Dem Congress that had some guts and cared more about policy than their careers/legacy, we could have immigration reform, voting rights bill, climate change bill, repeal of DOMA, passage of EFCA, equal pay, etc. We won’t be getting anything that substantive.

  23. 23
    Napoleon says:

    Schumer is everything that is wrong with the Dems.

    Something that I rarely see mentioned but the ACA in a lot of ways was also an indirect way to protect the middle class program of Medicare. Unless the government started controlling medical inflation, one of the goals of the ACA, then at some point Medicare is going to be threatened, even though it is more efficient then private insurance.

    Of course Schumer’s idea of a middle class benefit is likely corps being able to repatriate corporate earnings for free.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @The Dangerman: Kennedy died just a little too early, and was replaced by Scott Brown. At the time, it looked like the ACA was down for good, but it got through, barely.

  25. 25
    Bulworth says:

    Schumer said Obamacare, enacted in March 2010, was a “good bill” that he’s “proud” to have voted for, but he said it “should have come later” after Democrats had adequately addressed the woes of the middle class.

    Umm, yes, the ACA should have come later, in 2011, after the ruling party lost seats in the House as typically happens during a president’s first term. Or, it should have come in 2012, in an election year. Uh, no, that’s not it. Uh, the ACA should have come in 2013 with control of only one house of Congress. No, wait, how about 2014, another election year? When exactly would have been a good time, Chuck? And what exactly did Schumer and others propose in the way of “adequately” addressing “the woes of the middle class” that aren’t healthcare based?

  26. 26
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Napoleon: And everyone at the time was fretting about “the entitlements crisis”, which they pretended meant Social Security was going to collapse but was really all about Medicare. Without some kind of fix, “oh no, what about entitlements” was going to overshadow anything anyone did.

  27. 27

    @voncey:

    It was repeatedly pared down as the White House and Max Baucus tried to get Republicans conservative Democrats on board

    Fix’d for accuracy. There was no way in hell that Schumer and the conservative Democratic senators who side with him were going to approve, say, single payer. The vast majority of the changes that were made to PPACA — including the abortion-related ones — were made at the request of Democrats, not Republicans.

  28. 28
    Archon says:

    I don’t know why, but this comment has me shell shocked. If the Democrats aren’t prepared to fight for health care what exactly are they prepared to fight for?

    Maybe I’m late to the party but I’m actually starting to think the Democrats might have some major problems in the post-Obama era.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    Schumer is among those Democrats who have an inkling that the party leadership has indeed let the plebs down. To that end, he my be trying to find something “safe” to criticize. As in, “Yeah, we know we goofed up, but we will get it right next time.”

    But he won’t get it right as his career is pay-rolled by interests as far from the plebs as one can get.

  30. 30
    Epicurus says:

    I like Schumer as much as I like Andrew Cuomo. Not. At. All. We’re stuck with both of them for a couple of years, but don’t count on my voting for either one again. New York State politics at its finest…yuck.

  31. 31
    Trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Hazy memory by now, but IIRC is was Nancy SMASH who gets a good deal of credit for orchestrating the passage process. The bill hung from the cliff’s edge by barely a fingernail, yet lives on (with life-affirming “assistance” from the Roberts court).

  32. 32
    Culture of Truth says:

    Saw an expert on tv who said the big thing this year for Thanksgiving is spineless turkeys. You may insert your own joke here.

    Not sure what the fuck Chuck is talking about, but it sounds like a panicked reaction to the mid-terms, where polls showed people voted GOP out of dissatisfaction with the economy. So naturally he wants to grovel and apologize for the last 5 years. Yep, that will definitely get people to vote for more Democrats.

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    Corrupt, opportunistic hacks like Schumer are the rot that lies at the core of the Democratic party.

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    @askew: Thank you.

    I think this is a signal of what we are in for during the Hillary years. Expect lots of nonsense legislation like school uniforms and nothing of substance to be done. Lost opportunity.

    After the horrible new of the last 16 hours, I needed some giggles.

  35. 35
    The Dangerman says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    At the time, it looked like the ACA was down for good, but it got through, barely.

    Because it got through with a vote that was taken while TK was still around (I forget the play by play)….

  36. 36
    Archon says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It does sound like a continuation of the “I’m sorry for the last six years under Obama but vote for me” strategy that led Democrats to resounding success in the mid-terms.

    If Clinton and her acolytes think apologizing for the Obama era is her path to electoral success the Democratic party is fucked.

  37. 37
    Napoleon says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    And everyone at the time was fretting about “the entitlements crisis”, which they pretended meant Social Security was going to collapse but was really all about Medicare. Without some kind of fix, “oh no, what about entitlements” was going to overshadow anything anyone did

    Exactly. And admittedly the ACA is the type of fix to the problem that you need a long view to pursue, but ultimately it is the only actual solution to the problem. For as much as Obama can be criticized if he had done nothing more then laser focus on getting the ACA passed successfully, he has done more for progressive governance then all but a handful of Presidents.

  38. 38
    PST says:

    Schumer does not, of course, mean Congress should have passed a stimulus package instead of the PPACA. I agree that such a package would have been the only effective measure and that it could never have passed, but Schumer is talking about some magic jobs program, just like every Republican in the last election who said we should be doing something about jobs, jobs, jobs while proposing policies more likely to hurt than to help employment. A further mystery is why he thinks the PPACA was so overwhelming a task as to have precluded the possibility of accomplishing anything else. Granted it took a year, but that was only because of the sad, futile attempt to get some Republicans on board, while they played Lucy with the football to the President’s Charlie Brown.

  39. 39
    p.a. says:

    You mean help the middle class by not even trying to push the card check law? By playing DLC Republican Lite for 20 years?

  40. 40
    Laertes says:

    President Obama ran on health care reform. It was the centerpiece of his campaign. If he hadn’t made a bona fide attempt to pass it early in his first term, that would have been a shocking betrayal. That this means nothing to Chuck Schumer says a lot about him, none of it good. And it also goes a long way toward explaining why we elected President Obama and not, say, President Schumer.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PST: The “World’s most deliberative body” you see can’t ever tackle more than one item at a time.

    If I recall, there was a group of Dem Senators who told Obama to slow down when they should have been trying to speed things up. That was the problem. They were the ones who still believed that comity was the only way to go. Because reasons.

  42. 42
    Culture of Truth says:

    Mr Schumer has some good ideas for boosting the economy even more. He should consider running for office.

  43. 43
    Turgidson says:

    @Napoleon:

    One of the good, but frustrating, things about the ACA is that for middle class people, its utility won’t be obvious to them until disaster strikes. If they have employer-based insurance already, they think they have no need for the ACA right now and probably hear a lot more about how the changes the ACA has imposed on the larger system affect their health plans in negative ways – higher premiums, smaller networks, whatever the case may be. And since the average low info voters can’t see beyond their own noses, they’ll think they will never need the ACA because they’ll always be employed and healthy and they heard somewhere that Obama is a commie.

    Not until they lose a job or their employer stops offering insurance and/or they get sick or injured will they understand what the ACA was necessary and what it actually does. And even then they may not understand the bigger picture that, but for the ACA, they might be facing medical bankruptcy. For middle class voters, the ACA is basically a safety net they can’t see because it doesn’t benefit them right now, and thus they don’t think they need it. Part of the reason SS and Medicare are so popular is that SS sends you a check and Medicare pays the doctor for you. The ACA isn’t so direct for those who aren’t eligible for Medicaid or large subsidies. So it’ll never be as popular.

  44. 44
    p.a. says:

    @Archon: No- Hillary Clinton is fucked. I can’t see the party moving right any more in presidential nominations.

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There’s a way in which this could possibly make sense, and it’s this: Schumer may be saying that if there was a better economy, the losses of 2010 don’t happen, so then they can do health care in the window between 2010-2012. I think he’s falling for the notion that HCR was so divisive that it drove the losses in 2010, so they should have done something else and avoided those losses. The problem is that it’s quite likely that This Other Great Unspecified Thing They Totally Would Have Done would _also_ have been divisive, and then the 2010 losses still happen, and then you don’t get HCR then, either.

    But in general, I co-sign Mnemosyne’s sentiments. What’s sad is that Schumer isn’t even close to being the Democrats’ biggest problem. If _Schumer_ is a “conservative Democrat,” the number of liberal Democrats in the Senate is, what, ten?

  46. 46
    TG Chicago says:

    Schumer thinks Democrats weren’t elected to reform healthcare even though that was a major issue of the campaign — so much so that even Republicans pretended to care about it. Prior to the Bush Economic Collapse, 80% of the electorate said healthcare reform was Extremely or Very Important.

    And besides that, Obama only pivoted to healthcare after passing the stimulus bill. Obama did exactly what Schumer is saying he wishes Obama did. I mean, at the time, the DC Conventional Wisdom was that the stimulus bill was going to be enough to quickly turn the economy around. Of course it wasn’t, but DC only figured that out much later. Should Obama have been sitting around twiddling his thumbs until the economy got better? Of course not.

  47. 47
    Napoleon says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The problem is that it’s quite likely that This Other Great Unspecified Thing They Totally Would Have Done would _also_ have been divisive, and then the 2010 losses still happen, and then you don’t get HCR then, either.

    More then quite likely, but certain. No matter what the Dems did the Reps would have been screaming about it from that point forward and the media would play along. The only way I buy his argument, and Richard hits on this, is that if what they did was a go for broke economic package, the type of thing that would be Krugman’s wet dream. But anyone with half a brain knows that was never going to happen (and quite frankly if it ever was going to happen it should have happened at the time of the original stimulus)

  48. 48
    Sherparick says:

    By the summer of 2009, the hue and cry was “Deficit, Deficit, and Deficit.’ Both the Republicans, Blue Dogs, and VSPs in the media were blaming the “Deficit” as the cause (rather than the result of the recession, which it was), for the way the U.S. economy plunged in late 2008 and the first half of 2009. Someone more clever than me will have to do the “Google Search” or Nexis search and one all the articles from newspapers and cable news sites at the time shouting about the “exploding deficit” (the shrinking deficit of the present day, not so much).

    Also, this is a lot of “hand waving” and “blame shifting” by Schumer since no one outside of Bernie Sanders, Peter Fazio, and the members of the House Progressive Caucus (who no one was listening to in 2009) proposed a major follow up stimulus package in 2009. Certainly not Chuck Schumer.

  49. 49
    Turgidson says:

    Was there a magical period of time where a 2nd stimulus bill had a chance of passing? Is that what Schumer is talking about? I certainly don’t remember. What I remember is how the GOP and their reactionary plutocrat sponsors managed to convince the media and vast swathes of low info voters that the real threat was debt and deficits and Obama’s runaway spending. Future historians and economists will be puzzling over that for decades. Once that happened, there was no way the Blue Dogs or Presidents Collins and Snowe were going to let another substantial stimulus pass. Hell, the Maine ladies partially sabotaged the stimulus we did get by refusing to let it go over $800 bil and larding it up with less efficient tax cuts.

    Obama and the Democrats were far from flawless during this period. Bernstein and Romer really fucking blew it by publicly predicting how bad unemployment would get with or without the stimulus, before they had complete information about how bad the crash actually was, which made it really easy for the GOP to brand the stimulus a failure even before it was spending most of its money. There was more Obama could have done to help distressed homeowners (btw fuck Rick Santelli and his moral hazard bullshit eruption with a rusty chainsaw).

    And I’ll believe until the end that Obama should have prioritized a strong “Fuck Wall Street” financial reform bill the moment the stimulus passed. That was a time when the Dems might have been able to rally the populist anger that was out there to their side, rather than let the Teabagger astroturf plot seize the initiative and fuck up the conversation. The GOP would have looked totally ridiculous if they’d opposed it in unison and I don’t think it would have cost Obama much political capital, so I don’t think it would have precluded health care from also getting done. But call me crazy – I don’t think a draconian Wall Street bill is the kind of thing Mr. Schumer has in mind when he says the Democrats screwed up.

  50. 50
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Turgidson: I think he’s just talking about “optics.” He wants to say that they took their eye off the ball of helping the middle class and did HCR instead, which was a mistake, because it made everyone mad and then they got wiped out in the elections of 2010. I’d be _shocked_ if he had a concrete idea in mind.

    Re: Wall Street, the only problem with that is that I can sort of imagine Wall Street deliberately monkeying with the economy so that the “Fuck Wall Street” bill would be blamed for deepening the crisis. But, yeah, I think it would have been politically smart too: take a Wall Street reform bill out of a desk drawer somewhere and ram it through once Dems take control of the Congress in 2009. Sabotage is my only concern.

  51. 51
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Was there a magical period of time where a 2nd stimulus bill had a chance of passing?

    @Turgidson: Only if the Republicans wrote it. That’s how the first one got passed. Mr. Schumer seems to have forgotten his own recent history – the first/only stimulus bill was a GOP-written and passed project, signed into law by good ol’ George W. hisself.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sherparick: I know I’ve said this before, but I repeat myself because it’s totally true. Millions upon millions of people think “the deficit” MEANS “bad economy.” “Do something about the deficit” doesn’t mean anything about the actual federal budget in-flows and out-flows, it means “fix the economy”–unless it means “stop giving out welfare.” I’d bet that if you did person-on-the-street interviews and asked open-ended questions about “the deficit,” the number of people who explained correctly what it was would be, like, 10%.

  53. 53
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Aren’t you thinking of the bank bailout? The stimulus is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

  54. 54
    askew says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Pelosi and Reid both give Obama credit for rallying Dems in Congress and getting them to pass Obamacare. It was his push at the end after Brown’s election that got it done. Pelosi definitely deserves a lot of credit for pushing through the bill in the House, but Obama was the driver behind final passage.

  55. 55
    Turgidson says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    True. The Masters of the Universe proved to be the most oblivious, biggest fucking whiny babies on the planet in 2009 when people had the audacity to blame them for fucking up the world. They probably weren’t above planting a bomb inside the building they had set on fire to prevent a real reform bill.

    I had a jolting education about how fucked things were on my honeymoon in summer 2009 when my wife and I met an older couple from Florida who both worked for massively bailed-out financial firms, who were pissing and moaning (and repeating lies, natch) about all of “Obama’s bailouts” within the first ten minutes of meeting them (basically as soon as they were done explaining to us how amazingly talented and wealthy they were). The cognitive dissonance was stupefying. And I’m sure the people who actually work on Wall Street itself would make those two look like paragons of modesty and self-reflection.

  56. 56
    RaflW says:

    I just can’t even.

    Really, Chuck? Now you want to revise legislative history to fit your post-conceived notions of what would have been a winning 2014 strategy?

    Just get in your car and drive to Connecticut and have a pathetic little circle jerk with Joe Lieberman. We really don’t need you.

  57. 57
    Napoleon says:

    this is good on Chuck and health care reform.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....rt-history

  58. 58
    Turgidson says:

    @RaflW:

    I mean, he’s not wrong to suggest that the middle class doesn’t feel particularly grateful to Democrats (and this certainly had its part to play in 2014). But unless he has some ideas about how the Democrats could have reversed wage stagnation (which was decades in the making and I certainly don’t know what to do to fix in a short period of time) and created public works programs to help employ the chronically un- and under-employed, I don’t think he should be talking about how passing the ACA when they did was a mistake.

    The painful aspect of 2014 is that the top line economic figures – GDP growth, job creation, unemployment rate, stock market indices, even consumer confidence – all look very good. Good enough that you’d think the Democrats could campaign on them and win (or at least not lose too badly). But I don’t think it seems that way to the electorate at large. So the Dems probably thought they’d look like idiots if they went around bragging about how great the economy was. Problem is they looked like even bigger idiots when their campaigns were scared to defend their achievements at all.

  59. 59
    RinaX says:

    Maybe I’m late to the party but I’m actually starting to think the Democrats might have some major problems in the post-Obama era.

    You think?

  60. 60
    Fake Irishman says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Actually, we did get that too. It was caleld Dodd-Frank. Not nearly as strong as most of us would have liked, but it did tighten a lot of rules, created an independent Consumer Protection Bureau with teeth and gave us a way to orderly put a big bank out of its misery when it failed without taking the whole financial system down with it.

  61. 61
    balconesfault says:

    A second stimulus bill WAS proposed.

    Heath Shuler and the other Blue Dog Dems in the House killed it off, since they were afraid of Tea Partiers screaming about increased deficits.

    They should have, of course, been afraid of a stalled recovery leading to an angry backlash by voters who expected government to create jobs, no matter what the Heritage Hacks kept saying about “Government Can’t Create Jobs”. Another trillion pumped into the economy would have been pretty damn useful.

    And when the House finally did pass a watered down jobs bill .. it was filibustered in the Senate.

    If Schumer had his way – right now we’d have no additional economic recovery bills … AND no ACA.

    If he wants to go after someone, how about his banker and Wall Street buddies who went hard for supporting Republicans in the 2010 election, in order to stave off any tax increases that could have created some money for additional stimulus in the time of deficit fetishism?

  62. 62
    Turgidson says:

    @Fake Irishman:

    Of course. And Dodd-Frank was a solid bill that I’m grateful for. My point (which FYW was responding to) was my belief that the Democrats’ most politically effective strategy would have been to go aggressively after financial reform quickly upon assuming office and getting a stimulus passed. That’s when populist anger was at its hottest, and also at its most malleable. The banks were most politically vulnerable (although never as vulnerable as they ought to be) at that time and would have had a hard time winning a PR war fighting the bill. I think a bill at least as strong as Dodd-Frank would have been a slam dunk in early-mid 2009 and would not have taken away from efforts to tackle health care thereafter. We’ll never know, of course.

  63. 63
    Fake Irishman says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Nope he’s refering to this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....ct_of_2008

    It was a compromise between Pelosi and Bush. The conversation went like this:

    Pelosi: Mr. President, we need a stimulus now.

    Bush: OK, but only tax cuts and no infrastructure.

    Pelosi (rolls eyes): Fine, but only if you actually focus the tax cuts on the working poor and middle class.

    Bush: OK.

    Pelosi: Harry’s on board, but he wants assurance you’ll take care of McConnell.

    Bush: Don’t worry, that little ankle-biter won’t be a problem. Laura and I will have him over for dinner and explain the situation to him over a nice bowl of turtle soup.

    Pelosi: Good.

    It was an actual not-bad compromise (that got me a $500 check which I promptly reinvested in the economy — I needed a new computer).

  64. 64
    Turgidson says:

    @Fake Irishman:

    Right, but CONGRATULATIONS called it the first and only stimulus that was passed. Unless the nearly $800 bil ARRA is somehow not considered stimulus, that’s obviously incorrect.

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    Is Schumer saying there were votes 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House for Stimulus Part 2 in July/August 2009? Anything less than that like tweaking the tax code or twerking off for corporate cash repatriations would be neither necessary nor sufficient.

    Richard, I made some points in the thread below this, but I will rehash a bit hear, where it is more appropriate.

    I do not think Schumer is entirely wrong.

    The Democrats should have focused more on the economy, in 2009. They went all over the place, from healthcare reform to cap-and-trade policies for carbon emissions. I think healthcare reform is too pressing an matter to have delayed, and if Baucus had done his job (in replacement of Ted Kennedy, who should have ushered healthcare reform through the Senate, but was out of action due to brain cancer), HCR would’ve passed in 2009 and the Democrats could have moved on to other things.

    Obama’s greatest blunder (or Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, depending on who you want to blame) was greatly underestimating the size and scope of the Great Recession. I believe Obama Administration officials stated unemployment would not approach 8% because of the passage of the ARRA.

    In retrospect the Democrats probably should have taken a slower approach, with regards to making sweeping changes, and taken a wait-and-see approach with regards to needing to do more about the economy, rather than try to overhaul so much of the regulatory landscape.

    There were a lot of discouraged people, by 2010, who felt nobody was addressing their concerns about needing a job or not getting their house foreclosed upon.

    I think this is what Schumer is getting at, a post-mortem analysis of what went wrong from the highs of 2008 to the current mess the Democrats are in.

    Though I think Schumer would have found what would have helped Democrats distasteful for himself and his banker buddies, such as cram-down at one end to, at the least, easier methods to refinance to avoid foreclosure.

    There are things Democrats could have done, such as making refinancing easier to avoid foreclosure, that did not require another major outlay from the government coffers.

  66. 66
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Another powerful Democrat who doesn’t have President Obama’s back. I guess they’ll come out of the woodwork now in support of Hilary. They should be careful though. They may tick off the millions of voters who supported and still love our President.

  67. 67
    David Koch says:

    Schumer is a moron.

    The fact is the 6th year of an administration always produces significant loses. Doesn’t matter who is president. Whether it was FDR or Ike or LBJ or Reagan, they ALL have bad loses in the 6th year.

    Take Ike for example. Ike was personally very popular and didn’t engage in any controversial actions. Yet in 1958 he lost TEN fucking Senate seats and FORTY-EIGHT fucking House seats.

    Take Reagoon. The so-called-liberal-media loves to wax on and on and on about how great he was, but they never tell you that he lost 30 seats in the 82 mid term or that he lost EIGHT Senate seats and control of the Senate in the 86 midterm (and that was before Iran/Contra had surfaced).

    The only time a 6th year midterm didn’t produce heavy losses was in 98 because of the unfair impeachment, which created a huge backlash.

  68. 68
    David Koch says:

    @gene108: you’re missing Richard’s point: the blue dogs (Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Lieberman, [remember them] etc. etc.) weren’t going to support any further fiscal stimulus. It was a monumental effort to get them to support the first stimulus.

  69. 69
    David Koch says:

    @balconesfault:

    A second stimulus bill WAS proposed.

    Heath Shuler and the other Blue Dog Dems in the House killed it off, since they were afraid of Tea Partiers screaming about increased deficits.

    .

    This.

    The rightwing propaganda machines used the deficit spending created by the first stimulus to mobilize their shock troops. Once the brown shirts were out in the streets the blue-dogs turned tail and ran.

  70. 70
    Kerry Reid says:

    “Fuck Chuck.” Schumer or Todd — your pick!

  71. 71
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yeah, I’ve got my knife sharpened for Schumer’s next self-serving email.

  72. 72
    Valdivia says:

    I see problems if the Dems are going to go with this line. Running away from Obama and his accomplishments in 2016 is the stupidest thing ever. My god, what idiots.

  73. 73
    David Koch says:

    Schumer really is out of touch and that’s scary considering could be Reid’s replacement when he retires.

    What he doesn’t get is any action or inaction by the Dems will be demonized and attacked. There is no cost free course.

    For example, take Libya. They were all attacking Obama for not intervening in Libya, then when Obama intervened in Libya they all attacked him like flying monkeys for doing exactly what they called for.

    Just last week Fixxed News spent all day attacking Obama for not “displaying his faith”, then the very night he cites scripture in his immigration speech and they proceed to attack him for “displaying his faith”

    They yell and scream that Obama doesn’t invite them over for dinner and drinks and then when he does they attack him for doing so..

    And on and on and on.

  74. 74
    Chris says:

    @Turgidson:

    One of the good, but frustrating, things about the ACA is that for middle class people, its utility won’t be obvious to them until disaster strikes.

    Quite possibly not even then, especially if they’re young enough that it’s the first time disaster’s really struck (or if they were always well insured enough when it struck before). Whatever measures the ACA put in place to help them, they’ll simply assume that it’s always been this way, and continue to bitch about the horrors of “Obamacare.”

    The frustrating thing about the safety net in general is the number of people who’ve grown up in its shadow for so long they don’t even realize it’s there, and therefore think nothing of bitching about how much better things would be without it. There are plenty of reasons why so many former Democrats fell for Reagan’s bullshit, but I continue to think that one of the big ones is the success of decades and decades of liberal economic reforms creating a much wealthier and more enfranchised nation… which they simply took for granted, in a way that their forefathers going on strike and getting shot by Pinkertons never would have.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Not sure what the fuck Chuck is talking about, but it sounds like a panicked reaction to the mid-terms, where polls showed people voted GOP out of dissatisfaction with the economy. So naturally he wants to grovel and apologize for the last 5 years. Yep, that will definitely get people to vote for more Democrats.

    I think the fact that Democratic senators and representatives live in Official Washington in itself means they pick up a lot of this bullshit by osmosis. “Wired for Republicans” is a thing for a reason. “Obama’s failed presidency” was a view already building up in November 2008, and a year later had become completely mainstream among the pundits, lobbyists, professional politicians, and just regular high society that the senators and congressmen hang out with. Every electoral defeat, beginning with Scott Brown, was greeted as a tidal wave proving that the people were rejecting Obammunism. Every electoral victory was ignored. Achievements like the ACA were showered in hand-wringing debates about “overreaching.” All the talk about Obama failing to lead and also failing to reach out across the aisle… Pick your cliche, they hear nothing but that day in and day out.

    Even the ones who aren’t crooks end up allowing that this or that must be true, because surely everyone around them can’t be wrong, can they? It’s how you ended up with Gore believing that he should’ve run away from the “taint” of Clinton’s record even when public opinion polls showed that that wasn’t especially true. All the Democrats running from Obama = same thing.

  76. 76
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    What bugs me is how he’s just a powerless cog unable to influence Democratic policy making in this statement. If you were elected to make things better for the economy, Chuck, why didn’t you, y’know, make things better? You’re a Senator after all. When did they become powerless?

  77. 77

    […] though, is that a existence of 2009 and 2010 doesn’t unequivocally support his thesis. As Richard Mayhew notes, it seems unlikely, to contend a least, that even President Obama and an overwhelmingly […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] though, is that a existence of 2009 and 2010 doesn’t unequivocally support his thesis. As Richard Mayhew notes, it seems unlikely, to contend a least, that even President Obama and an overwhelmingly […]

Comments are closed.