Andrea Tantaros brags about what an awesome decisive straight shooter Michele Bachmann is. Um, our last president was a decisive straight shooter too, and the country still hasn’t recovered. A decisive straight shooter is not such an asset when they’re wrong all the time, about everything.
Besides, I think she’s being unfair to Obama: He knows exactly what he wants, he just has to put on a show and pretend that he wants the exact opposite. Then he pragmatically “compromises” back to his true position.
John Dean explains that if Watergate happened today, the Nixon administration would have easily survived it because of the advances in legal ethics.
The sad truth is that if Watergate happened today, the real reason the Nixon administration would have survived it is that no one would have been held accountable for it, and no one would care. And that’s only assuming that it even got reported in the first place.
At some point, Democrats need to realize that the reason our nation’s debt has skyrocketed 35% over the past two years is that government spending is out of control.
America does not face a debt crisis because we tax too little, but because Washington spends too much.
This is fascinating. While it is true that debt occurs when spending outpaces revenue, the only way you can possibly blame the national debt on spending alone is if spending increased while taxes held steady. Of course, the reality is that in 2000 we had a surplus and were poised to start paying down the debt when a Republican president recklessly pushed through massive tax cuts that turned that surplus into a deficit, even before he started throwing money away in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And that’s without even pointing out that American taxes are actually very low in both historical and global terms.
Obama has mastered the art of achieving Republican goals through questionable compromises and concessions. If he’s not a corporatist deficit hawk, then he is the weakest or dumbest president we have ever had. And I really don’t think he’s either.
Obama starts at a progressive or moderate position and ends up at a Republican one. Not because he has to, but because he wants to.
I hate to defend Obama, especially on unemployment where he truly is awful, but this is just silly:
OBAMA [explaining lack of private sector hiring]: Well, I don’t think it’s a matter of me being unable to convince them to hire more people. They’re making decisions based on what they think will be good for their companies. A couple of things have happened. Look, we went through the worst crisis since the Great Depression…..The other thing that happened, though, and this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate….
Fox Nation: “Obama Blames ATMs For High Unemployment.” A June 14 Fox Nation post embedded video of Obama’s comments under the headline, “Obama Blames ATMs for High Unemployment.” [Fox Nation, 6/14/11]
CNN’s Erickson: “Barack Obama Thinks An ATM Ate Your Job.” In a June 15 RedState post titled, “Barack Obama Thinks an ATM Ate Your Job,” CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote:
Yesterday, Barack Obama gave away the game. Without actually using the words, Barack Obama admitted he is completely and utterly ignorant about job creation and economics. In an interview with the Today Show, Barack Obama declared that the unemployment rate remains so high because of ATMS.
Limbaugh: Obama “Cited ATM Machines As A Reason For High Unemployment.” During his June 14 radio program, Rush Limbaugh said:
There’s a new reason for high unemployment as told by Obama. He had that interview with Ann Curry at the Today Show, and basically there’s too much automation out there. He cited ATM machines as a reason for high unemployment. No, no. I kid you not. That’s right! Obama explained to NBC News the reason that companies are not hiring is not because of his policies, it’s because the economy is so automated….
He actually said this.
So Obama says that employment is down because companies aren’t hiring in a down economy and people are being replaced by machines, such as but not limited to ATMs and ticket kiosks – both of which happen to be true – and the right freaks out that “Obama said ATMs are the sole cause of unemployment. What a maroon!”
When the rich and powerful can act with impunity and can crush and exploit ordinary people any time they feel like it, that is not democracy. John Edwards may have been a philandering bastard, but I thought his Two Americas message was very important. I wish it could have survived the death of his political career.
The Washington Post’s piece about the rise of Tim Geithner is conspicuously light on actual achievements. What Geithner primarily appears to be good at is convincing Obama to behave like a Republican deficit hawk (assuming he was not so inclined already).
When it comes to actual policy like how to stimulate the economy and create jobs, Geithner’s accomplishments are actually negative. But hey, his incompetence is becoming more and more influential, so that’s gotta count for something, right?
You know the old cliche gag where someone has an angel on one shoulder telling them to do the right thing, and a devil on the other shoulder telling them the exact opposite? The GOP is kind of looking like that right now, and the devil is winning.
Representing the angel (relatively speaking, this is the GOP we’re talking about), David Frum:
Look at the issues the House GOP has decided to showcase this summer:
A) A budget plan that would gradually withdraw Medicare coverage from everyone younger than 55, to the point where the Congressional Budget Office estimates that senior citizens will be paying two-thirds of their health coverage out of pocket by 2030.
B) A threat to force a default on the obligations of the United States by August unless the president yields on point A.
Tea Party conservatives complain that Republicans who advocate restraint, responsibility and moderation do so in order to be nice to Obama. That’s utterly upside down. Restraint, responsibility and moderation are indispensable to the defeat of President Obama. It is Tea Party conservatism itself that is Obama’s last, best hope for a second term.
The Obama campaign can only redirect attention from the president’s own record to GOP kookiness if the GOP cooperates. The conclusion that you’d think would follow: don’t do it.
And in the devil corner we have, who else but Karl Rove:
Next year, Republicans must describe their Medicare reforms plainly, set the record straight vigorously when Democrats demagogue, and go on the attack. Congressional Republicans—especially in the House—need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform. They have to become as comfortable talking about Medicare in the coming year as they did in talking about health-care reform last year.
There needs to be preparation and self-education, followed by extensive town halls, outreach meetings, visits to senior citizen centers, and the use of every available communications tool to get the reform message across.
Yes, a full-court press to make sure America knows all about the Republicans’ Medicare sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea! And maybe Robert Samuelson can explain that the end of Medicare is a good thing, and exactly how cutting seniors loose with $8,000 to buy private coverage will “[force the] health-care delivery system… to restructure by reducing costs and improving quality.”
Obama doesn’t really deserve to win next year, but the GOP seems determined to help him out.
When you’re drowning the government in the bathtub, always be sure to keep your own head above water. Republicans are especially good at this…
Exhibit A: Texas legislature forgets Republican vendetta against public employee pensions, protects pensions of state legislators who commit corruption-related felonies.
Exhibit B: Aggressively pro-austerity-except-when-it-comes-to-taxes Florida Governor Rick Scott rails against “failed” stimulus plan, takes $370 million in stimulus money anyway. When asked to explain, he basically says “Stimulus is bad, mmmkay?”
Exhibit C: Aggressively pro-austerity-except-when-it-comes-to-taxes New Jersey governor Chris Christie takes a police helicopter to his son’s Little League game (plus a limo to take him 100 yards from the landing area to the field), refuses to reimburse the government for it.
So yeah, shared sacrifice, fiscal responsibility, tighten our belts, yadda yadda yadda. Just don’t expect any of the people saying that to actually abide by it.