Archive for January 28th, 2009

Democratic Self-Sabotage

I guess I can’t really say that this is a surprise…

Well, it passed. After taking out family planning money and ditching bankruptcy reform, plus including significant tax cuts, not a single Republican voted for it. It’s like Democrats are negotiating with themselves.  They give things up and get no votes in exchange.

(…)

It’s one thing to get Republican votes in exchange for a compromise.  It’s another thing to compromise and get nothing in return.

I’m pretty sure that giving stuff up and getting nothing in return is not actually called “compromise” – I think it’s more like “getting punk’d.”

Now the question is what lesson Obama will learn from this.  Will it be, “I won’t get Republican votes no matter what I do, nor do I need them, so I’ll just push for good solid progressive legislation that works and make Republicans explain themselves in 2010,” or will it be, “I guess I need to give up more and be more centrist if I want to win over Republicans to give me a cosmetic bipartisan majority”?

It sounds a lot like the story of the Democratic approach to elections, where every victory is the result of a shrewd appeal to the political center (all hail the genius of Rahm!), and every defeat is the result of being too far left and scaring the center away… even when the VP candidate is Joe Lieberman.

January 28th, 2009 at 11:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Republican Self-Sabotage

This looks like a classic triumph of dick-swinging over common sense:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is up with a television ad taking Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to task for his support of President Barack Obama‘s economic stimulus bill, the first of what promises to be a series of attacks against the majority leader as he seeks reelection in 2010.

The ad, entitled “Trillion”, labels Reid a “super spending partisan” and urges viewers to tell Reid to “stop wasting our hard-earned money” as the image of a hammer smashing a piggy bank (!) is shown on screen.

(…)

It’s a signal that Senate Republicans plan to make Reid’s political life a living hell over the next two years — paying him back for the aggressive campaign Democrats ran against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) in 2008. (McConnell beat businessman Bruce Lunsford 53 percent to 47 percent.) Democrats, for what it’s worth, remain embittered from the 2004 campaign when Sen. John Thune (R) defeated Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) in South Dakota.

(…)

Although the Republican field is not exactly teeming with stars (or potential stars) it’s hard to imagine that they don’t find someone serious to run against Reid given his leadership role, the competitive nature of Nevada and the animosity among some within the Democratic cause — particularly the netroots — for Reid.

While I can certainly understand the GOP’s desire for payback and a high-profile scalp, are they really willing to risk getting rid of Harry?  With the huge majority that Senate Democrats have, an ineffectual and easily outmaneuvered Democratic Majority Leader is the best chance they have of blocking President Obama’s agenda, and maybe even passing some bills of their own.

It may feel good for a little while, but unless Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson is the next Majority Leader (entirely possible), I’m pretty sure it won’t feel good for long.

January 28th, 2009 at 09:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans

How To Respond To Conservative Lunatics

The recent back-and-forth between Rush Limbaugh and Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey (a surname which presumably means “Gingrich-like”) is very instructive.  First, the background:

Responding to President Obama’s recommendation to Republican congressional leaders last week that they not follow Limbaugh’s lead, the conservative talkmeister said on his show that Obama is “obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He’s more frightened of me, than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn’t say much about our party.”

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., did not take kindly to this assessment in an interview with Politico Tuesday.

“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,” Gingrey said. “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.”

Apparently Limbaugh’s army of Dittoheads didn’t take kindly to Gingrey’s not taking kindly and pitched a fuss.  What next?

WRONG WAY:

This afternoon, on the nationally broadcast “Rush Limbaugh Show,” Gingrey said:

“I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments, and I just wanted to tell you, Rush — and all our conservative giants, who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it to get back this majority — that I regret those stupid comments.”

(…)

The congressman also published an extended statement of regret on his congressional web site:

“I regret and apologize for the fact that my comments have offended and upset my fellow conservatives—that was not my intent. I am also sorry to see that my comments in defense of our Republican Leadership read much harsher than they actually were intended, but I recognize it is my responsibility to clarify my own comments….

“Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.”

RIGHT WAY:

Alan Grayson, the outspoken member from Orlando, as usual, wasn’t mincing words: “Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention.  His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism.  Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1% of what he wanted us to do, then we’d all need pain killers.”

My God, do we ever need more Alan Graysons.

Isn’t it funny how you never see Democratic politicians offering abject, grovelling apologies to progressives that they’ve insulted?  Come to think of it, it seems like we only ever see politicians of either party apologizing rightward, never leftward.

Did I say “funny”?  I meant “terribly depressing.”

2 comments January 28th, 2009 at 07:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Republicans

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

As one would expect, the Weekly World News crack political team is covering the Congressional wrangling over the stimulus bill:

After criticizing the economic stimulus plan, Republicans have chained themselves to doors of the Capitol Building to block its passing.

Currently no one can enter or exit the Capitol as Republican leaders have chained themselves to every major entryway.

The audacious demonstration was led by John McCain who shouted to reporters, “I’m still relevant!  See!?  I’m still relevant!!!”

Republicans say that the stimulus package as it stands is too focused on supporting the middle class, without enough tax cuts to the already wealthy.  “That’s no way to run a business” said John Boehner of Ohio.  “You can’t help a country by strengthening the middle class, did Reaganomics teach us nothing?”  He stated that GOP members will continue to forcibly block entry to Capital Hill until their demands are met.

Democrats in the Senate and Congress, despite having a clear majority in both houses and several pairs of bolt cutters laying around, are already working on ways to appease the minority Republican voice.

This is actually remarkably similar to everything else I’ve been reading…

January 28th, 2009 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,McCain,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,Weekly World News

80 Is The New 60

Reading this excellent and depressing piece by Dave Sirota about how Obama and the Democrats value bipartisanship over effectiveness, I am reminded of how the number of votes required to pass any Democratic legislation always seems to be some number significantly greater than the number of Democratic senators.  When they were in the minority, they couldn’t do anything without 50 votes; when they took a slim majority, they couldn’t do anything without 60 votes because of the filibuster; and now that they’re close to 60, they don’t want to pass anything without the Magickal Bipartisan Consensus Number of 80 votes.  It’s like the goalposts are on rollerskates.

Because really, what could be more important in a time of crisis than making sure that everyone agrees on your course of action?  (I mean, that was the Republican approach over the last eight years, right? It’s not like they presented every issue as an existential crisis where the Democrats had to give them everything they wanted or America would be destroyed.) What better way to make sure that you take the kind of bold, effective action needed? I mean, it’s not like the Obamacrats are going to bribe Republicans to try to tally up extra votes to win the Unity Pony, right?

I can’t figure out if Obama and the Democrats have really been chugging the Broderade, or if they simply have zero confidence that the stimulus will work, and want to make sure they take the Republicans down with them if it fails.  Although, as Sirota points out, that’s probably stupid because they’ll take the blame regardless.

Isn’t postpartisanship wonderful?

January 28th, 2009 at 07:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics,Wankers


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