Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 19, 2010

LUCY, CHARLIE BROWN, AND THE BIPARTISAN FOOTBALL.... This notion, which I suspect we're about to hear a whole lot of, strikes me as wildly misguided.

The narrower majority will force more White House engagement with Republicans, which could actually help restore a bit of the post-partisan image that was a fundamental ingredient of his appeal to voters.

"Now everything that gets done in the Senate will have the imprimatur of bipartisanship," another administration official said. "The benefits of that will accrue to the president and the Democratic Senate. It adds to the pressure on Republicans to participate in the process in a meaningful way, which so far they have refused to do."

This is a great idea, isn't it? All the White House and Democratic congressional leaders have to do is continue to work on their policy agenda, while reaching out in good faith to earn support from congressional Republicans. Bills will start passing with bipartisan support; the public will be impressed; David Broder will start dancing in front of the Washington Post building; a season of goodwill and comity will bloom on Capitol Hill; and Lucy really will let Charlie Brown kick the ball.

Or maybe not.

Look, much of the political landscape has changed over the last year, but if there's one thing that's been consistent throughout, it's that congressional Republicans aren't interested in working with Democrats on bipartisan policy solutions. Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, & Co. have a list of priorities -- destroy the Obama presidency, block the legislative process by any means necessary, undermine confidence in American leaders and institutions, rally the right-wing base -- but "getting things done" isn't on it.

Will that change after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts? The only rational expectation is that the scorched-earth strategy of the last year will get worse -- they'll be less interested in "participating in the process in a meaningful way" when they smell blood in the water and have the votes to filibuster literally everything.

The Republican establishment no doubt realizes that, as the midterms approach, there will be two competing messages:

* GOP: Dems ran Congress, pushed liberal ideas, and couldn't deliver.

* Dem: The "Party of No" wouldn't let us govern. Maybe, with a few more votes, if Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman don't mind, things will get better.

If Republicans have to choose between this message match-up and working with Dems on bipartisan problem-solving, the choice has already been made. Hoping for a different outcome is unrealistic.

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (61)

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Comments

Which idiot was that "administration official"?

Posted by: royalblue_tom on January 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

If the administration really believe this, I've abandoned all hope.

Posted by: Terri on January 19, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Terri speaks for me as well.

Posted by: susan on January 19, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

If Brown wins nothing will happen in the next three years at least.

Healthcare Reform - Gone
DADT repeal - Gone
Cap and trade - Gone
Banking Regulation - Gone
Jobs Bill - Gone
Education reform - Gone

Republicans run on the idea that government does not work and do everything in their power to prove it.

Say hello to Palin in 2012 MA Democrats.

Say hello to 3rd world status middle America.

Posted by: thorin-1 on January 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

The super-secret undercover WH staffer whose only job is feed Politico.com bullshit quotes.

Posted by: inkadu on January 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

This country desperately needs a viable second party.

Posted by: thorin-1 on January 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Will that change after Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts?"

The certainty with which everyone is talking about a Scott Brown victory is disturbing - shouldn't we be using "if Scott Brown wins" to encourage everyone in MA to vote and change this?

It's not over yet and I don't want those who are planning to vote in MA to be discouraged that the race is already decided.

Posted by: MikeinDC on January 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the only good that can come of a Rep. victory in Mass. is a restoration of majority rule. The US constitution only requires a majority to pass a bill. This nonsense about 60 votes is a sham. I'm sure there are many ways to circumvent the filibuster. A little creativity now will prevent future problems. Of course, some of our statesmen may not want to push too hard. They might have to take a stand.
By the way, I think that the President is doing a fine job.

Posted by: hornblower on January 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus. The idiocy is astounding. A Brown victory is an invite for the GOP to go Defcon 4 in obstructionism.

Apparently President Obama blew his wad during the primary and general elections because he's been swinging at ground balls for a while.

Perhaps whoever postulated this will want to take Joe Lieberman under their wing too?

-G

Posted by: GregB on January 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Look, if the Democrats couldn't even manage things with the largest Congressional majority since -- what, Lyndon Johnson? FDR? -- then there's no way they can tackle anything like modifying the filibuster.

They're hopeless. It's like Jon Stewart said: we never should have raised the bar of expectations for them; we should have left it on the ground ... and watched them trip over it.

Posted by: bleh on January 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

"It adds to the pressure on Republicans to participate in the process in a meaningful way"

Yeah, because if the Republicans take Ted Kennedy's senate seat, they will realize that what they are doing is NOT working, and will try something else.

How can people be so stupid?

Posted by: Notorious P.A.T. on January 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

They hate Barack Obama. They can't stand the fact that there's a Ni*CLANG! in the White House. They want him out, they want his legitimacy destroyed, his policy attempts ridiculed and negated, his eventual legacy demolished sooner than you can say "What Crawford ranch?"

And they want to be bi-partisan? Fools.

Next time a Dem president is elected, let's say about eleven years from now - we'll need an 81 vote majority in the Senate to get anything passed, because of this bipartisan nonsense.

Either you're a progressive, or just get the hell out of the way.

"If you don't use your majorities, you lose your majorities."
Karl Rove had no trouble understanding that principle, and if he didn't have a majority, he made one up, with or without the help of Diebold.

That's what they're up against.

Posted by: SteinL on January 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

post-partisan image that was a fundamental ingredient of his appeal to voters.
They actually believe this. Sorry, it was his post idiot image that was most appealing. Since he was running to succeed an idiot against two idiots, the choice was clear. Not to mention the entire modern conservative movement is basically selfish idiocy packaged for mass consumption. People wanted to try a starkly different brand. Isn't that what change means?

Posted by: John on January 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

38 years ago, when I took my first job in politics, my great-grand-uncle, who had worked all his life for Harry Truman, made a visit to San Francisco (his last), to meet my boss and approve of my politics. He gave me two pieces of advice, one of which I have quoted here many times (the only "good Republicans" are pushing up daisies), and the other is one that should be tattooed on the forehead of every Democrat everywhere: "Never ever take any election anywhere for granted - assume you're going to fight for it and do so."

The Democratic establishment in Massachusetts decided it was Coakley's "turn" - despite her proven reputation as a lackluster campaigner - since everyone knew that any Democrat would win the election by a wide margin. They did this and dropped the support of a more fiery liberal with a reputation for fighting in his elections (hey, give the lady a chance now, hey?). Then they assumed that Brown was a mook, and that they only had to put on the cruise control to the victory lane.

When this disaster happens, the Democratic Party establishment can look in the mirror when they want someone to blame.

It's time for progressives to create our version of the Tea Party, and start taking over at the grass roots, and doing the hard stoop labor it takes to take political power. If the morons on the right could do it 48 years ago for Goldwater (and go on from there to build a 40 year right wing dominance starting with the election of Nixon), then the smarty-pants liberals should be able to take off their pressed khakis and polo shirts, put on their work clothes, and Get To Work.

Posted by: TCinLA on January 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

60 Dem votes has given the GOP a chance to exploit weaknesses in the Democratic Party. They won't have cover any more if the split changes to 59/41. I have no bipartisan illusions, but the GOP will be forced to become accountable for their obstruction. Right now, they get a free pass due to the simplistic "if all the Dems got their act together, they have enough votes..." logic. When the pressure point pivots to the lack of a single GOP vote to pass anything, they will have a much tougher time explaining their obstruction.

I'd still rather have the extra Dem vote, btw.

Posted by: danimal on January 19, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like whatever that administration official is smoking.

Posted by: Julene on January 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Politico = The Village.

Time to sack, plunder, pillage and then torch The Village.

Posted by: I Me Mine on January 19, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

danimal: the GOP will be forced to become accountable for their obstruction

I'd like to believe this, but I don't.

It happened after Bush, because Bush and the Reps were in power and things were bad, but it happened because things were bad, not because the people who made them bad were in power.

In Mass, it's perfectly obvious what's going to happen if (when) Brown wins -- he's SAID he'll be the final vote for obstruction. He's CAMPAIGNED as the Candidate of No.

Ain't gonna be no accountability moment. Na ga ha pen.

Posted by: bleh on January 19, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why give up on Coakley? It's only 1:15 PM or so, don't be such easy losers.

Posted by: neil bates on January 19, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

this is a joke, right?

this had better be a god damn joke.

Posted by: onceler on January 19, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

inkadu, yes. What "administration official"? The BS one with whom Politico has a torrid relationship.

Posted by: Sapient on January 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
...but the GOP will be forced to become accountable for their obstruction.
They will only be accountable if they are not obstructionist enough.

A royalist party in a parliament has no real interest in cooperating with the small-r republican parties in governing, never mind increasing its share of votes in that body.

The function of a Royalist party is to shut Parliament down, bringing forward the day when the monarchy is restored, at which point they can revert to the place-seeking rubber stamps they used to be.

The Congressional GOP's present position is analogous to the royalists and Bonapartists in the French assemblies of the 19th century.

The weirdest transformation of political terminology hasn't been what happened to the word 'liberal' since John Stuart Mill -- it's what happened to the word 'republican'.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bush pushed his rich people tax cut bill through the reconciliation process (less than 60 votes) but god forbid the Dems ever try that.

Meanwhile, annoying David Brooks at the NY Times, through selective poll reading, is pushing the argument still that the alleged Obama 'big government' is a greater threat to this country than health care problems, the wall street mess and the recession that have all existed in part because of Republican failed policies from the last 8 years.

Posted by: curm on January 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Bleh, "Ain't gonna be no accountability moment. Na ga ha pen."

The pendulum swings both ways. The GOP always overreaches. Despite appearances, there isn't a groundswell for "do nothing" in Congress. People want their representatives to work and get things done. HCR is enormously complex and easily subjected to demagoguery, but that issue isn't representative of EVERYTHING that gets proposed. Zero votes for everything will be a disaster for the GOP once the focus is off of HCR.

Posted by: danimal on January 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the point of a quote like this to suggest that now the Republicans have a new chance to be constructive -- so that when the Republicans _refuse_ to be constructive _anyway_ it renews the vitality of the charge of obstructionism?

That way the narrative is this: We came to town looking for cooperation; when we sought that cooperation, we were slapped down. When we sought to get things done in a more partisan way, they complained again that they weren't included. Now they have a new chance to make themselves part of the solution. [Which of course they won't take, and everyone knows full well they won't take it, but making it look like you're _pursuing_ bipartisanship is something voters profess to like.]

Quotes like this always get people worked up because we want to take them seriously. We shouldn't. It's part of the spin operation.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on January 19, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama presidency effectively ends tonight with Mass. voters repudiating the Democratic agenda. It's a clear sign of devastating losses later this year and 2 lame duck years until John Thune becomes the next President.

It's simply that voters believe Republican policy and governance is better. Why that is, I won't guess, but it is an established fact at this point.

Posted by: Rock on January 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the answer to let the Republicans filibuster?
Obviously to do so requires democrats to be available 24 hrs a day for quorum calls, but if this went on for a few weeks, wouldn't the public get the message and start applying pressure to the Republicans? the threat of a filibuster only works if no will to call the bluff.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on January 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

That's just funny. Time to look for some other big country to regulate the world. Maybe China - their human-rights record is a bit spotty, and they practically invented predatory financial practices, but at least they know what to do with the notion that a tiny minority of crazy people get to decide the country's future direction. Voila! crazy-people cat food!

Posted by: Mark on January 19, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK
Isn't the point of a quote like this to suggest that now the Republicans have a new chance to be constructive -- so that when the Republicans _refuse_ to be constructive _anyway_ it renews the vitality of the charge of obstructionism?
It's so touching that there are still true believers in 11-dimensional chess. Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 19, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Their right wing rhetoric betrays them at every turn. Republicans actually believe that THEY -- and not the party that won the last two elections -- speaks for the American people. How do we know this? Because the talking heads on FOX have said so every day since Obama took office.

So, Republicans naturally consider any policy which does not rigidly comport to right wing orthodoxy to be by definition illegitimate, unpopular and the product of an out of touch liberal establishment that wants to ram its ideas down the throats of a resisting American people.

And it is by that calculus that Republicans are able to convince themselves that they have the authority to erect a castle wall of obstruction against the Democratic agenda.

That, at the end of the day, is the undemocratic radicalism at the heart of the contemporary GOP. It is one which refuses to accept or respect the verdict of the American people, believing that public opinion is so malleable that a vote which goes against it is not a failure of ideas or ideology but simply a failure of message and marketing.

Which is why the GOP program today is entirely one of public relations and marketing.

So, how did FOX and the right wing accomplish this remarkable feat despite historic losses in the last two elections?

Well, first they organized a bunch of noisy tea party rallies and disruptive town hall forums. Then they promoted them 24/7. Then they devoted huge resources to giving these events breathless wall to wall coverage. Then they claimed that the few thousands who attended these "grassroots" rallies represented the "authentic" voice of "Real America." Then they repeated this fantasy again and again across cable, print, and talk radio until it finally began to sink in with the public. That is how you "create reality" where none exists.

And helping all of this, of course, was the fact that Republicans were actually able to profit politically by the sheer magnitude of their own foul-ups. Just a little screw wouldn't have been nearly so useful to the GOP's comback narrative as the truly monumental screw-up that actually took place on the Republican's Watch.

That is because the hole that Republicans left for Obama to fill was so wide and so deep that the only way Obama could fill it was with massive amounts of government spending -- the very stuff that gave Republicans just what they needed to create their make-believe story about Big Government Democrats and their irresponsible tax and spend ways.

Posted by: Ted Frier on January 19, 2010 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

FlipYrWhig on January 19, 2010 wins the thread. It's expectation-setting, nothing more.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on January 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody who believes congressional Dems are going to hang with Obama if Coakley loses is forgetting a key fact.

OBAMA PERSONALLY CAMPAIGNED FOR COAKLEY.

If Brown wins every congressional Dem will read that as meaning Obama can not deliver the votes when it counts. Forget Republican obstructionism, the Nelson's of the world will become the new congressional leaders. Anytime Obama annouces anything a dozen Congressional Democrats will will immediately say they are against it.

Senate Republicans won't have to filibuster, Reid will never be able to get 51 votes for anything.

Posted by: thorin-1 on January 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant! So the take-away from a Brown win is that the Democrats should be even more craven and chickenshit than usual. The White House "gang that couldn't shoot straight" still doesn't get it -- Americans respect guts. The Republithugs have them. The Democrats traded theirs away and called it bipartisanship.

Posted by: fradiavolo on January 19, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Johnny Canuck: "the threat of a filibuster only works if no will to call the bluff."

Well, yes. And that's why the Republicans do so well with it. To continue the poker terminology, they have an opponent who's convinced he's losing to a straight flush hand after hand. Not hard for them to win by bluffing.

But I agree that making them actually follow through with the filibuster is all the "procedural maneuvering" needed to get back to majority rule. Let them read the phone book for two weeks instead of accomplishing anything and see what the opinion polls say.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on January 19, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

This is going to be the spin: that Obama will have to work with Republicans for a change. There was a similar comment in MSNBC's FirstRead yesterday from Chuck Todd. The problem with this is that it's nonsense. Republicans who voted against anything and everything this year, are hardly going to be in a hurry to work with Dems as the midterms approach. What is the matter with Politico and Todd? Have they been in a coma? To Republicans, bipartisanship means "do it our way." End of conversation.

Posted by: Jeri on January 19, 2010 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but the Democratic strategy has been to lie in a fetal position while the GOP beats the snot out of them.

Nothing will happen until this party gets up off the canvas and start rhetorically beating these assholes senseless. There needs to be direct challenges to debate the issues on national TV and anyone who declines the challenge should be mocked unmercilessly. If the media refuses to recognize the challenge, they should be ridiculed.

It's time to adopt the Alan Grayson strategy.

Posted by: bdop4 on January 19, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's so touching that there are still true believers in 11-dimensional chess

@Steve LaBonne, what's more likely, that a "senior administration official" is candidly being stupider and more naive than thousands upon thousands of blog readers, when talking to a media outlet; or that he or she is using that media outlet to put forth a certain message? I think it's naive to presume that political figures are themselves naive.

The whole point of "bipartisanship" is not that it accomplishes anything good, but that political non-diehards--the opposite of people like us--respond to it. There's value in _projecting_ bipartisanship. If there weren't, Republicans wouldn't go on Meet The Press and hypocritically bellyache about how the real problem with the health care bill is that it didn't incorporate enough Republican ideas. We know they're lying, they know they're lying, but they know it plays with a lot of people to act like they're willing to come together, so they fake it.

And, honestly, if the "senior administration official" said "What we expect from a Senate that includes Brown is even less cooperation and even more difficulty," would you really feel better about that? Why wouldn't that just play as whining?

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on January 19, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Posted by: tas on January 19, 2010 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

okay how about this: This Politico piece is disinformation meant to convince us that the administration actually contains people this absolutely naive and/or stupid.... Right??? (yes this may just be some wishful thinking but who knows)...

Posted by: UG on January 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

The U.S. Constitution was never designed to function in a situation where there is massive anti-government propaganda going out 24 hr/day on the radio and TV machines, and where one of the two viable political parties is dedicated to destroying the ability of government to govern. In fact, I don't see how any sort of republic could function under such circumstances.

If the legislative process were to be completely disruptive by filibusters, Obama could be forced to govern by administrative regulations and Presidential Directives. Then we will be stuck with the time-limited monarchy that some of the framers favored.

Oh well, that's life in the big city. But I don't see how a long-term safety net can mature under such an arrangement. Every time it unfurls under Democratic rule, it will be cut to pieces by the Republicans.

Weimar, here we come!

Posted by: Ralph on January 19, 2010 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think like the 1st 10 commenters nailed everything I was going to say.

Fuck the fucking Republicans! Dammit Democrats, are you going to piss away our gains?

Posted by: rnato on January 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

That's some stupid shit right there (the 'administration' comment).

Maybe once they get punched in the face 80 or 90 more times, they'll see the light.

and a pony...

Posted by: Paul in KY on January 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Next time a Dem president is elected, let's say about eleven years from now - we'll need an 81 vote majority in the Senate to get anything passed, because of this bipartisan nonsense.

SteinL, I'm not sure even a 100% majority in the Senate would enable Obama to get progressive legislation passed. The sad truth is that about 50% of our Democrats are Republicans. The only way to make them vote for the legislation he proposes is to make them vote for the legislation he proposes... by any means available.

Posted by: Ralph on January 19, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is what they call spin. When handed a big bunch of shit, you try to spin it to make yourself look good.

The administration's first and biggest mistake was appointing Tim Geithner, with all his bail out and failure to pay his correct taxes baggage. Then came the AIG bailouts. And lots of independents were turned off with the the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies because it was so poorly explained and sold (the President should have gone to factory in Ohio stated that the only way to keep it open was the controlled bankruptcy). It all seemed (and to great extent was) a continuation of the last 3 years of Bush-Cheney-Paulsen crony capitalism).

I am not sure what David Brooks means "humble government?" What policies would he support except more laissez-faire regulation of the financen industry and the dropping of "humble" bombs on Iran.

Posted by: sherparick on January 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the "unnamed source" is Rahm Emmanuel. The same clown who said not to worry about the liberals cuz they'd do whatever they were told. If not Rahm, it's Joke Line who said the same thing.

Posted by: cosmosis on January 19, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

why do i bother to vote.

Posted by: ron on January 19, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is still popular in MA (I'm from there and just got back from a visit). Anyone who thinks the outcome of an election is completely about the sentiment of the voters and not about the quality of the campaigns should tell their candidates to not bother campaigning and just leave it to the voters. Let us know how that works out for you.

Coakley is in trouble because her campaign sucked AND because of the Dems' problems. The Dems are in trouble because they forgot why they are elected. Middle-class voters hate two things: what they see as the lazy underclass (that is sometimes but not always spelled racism), and Wall Street fat cats. Traditionally the Dems have been friendly to the underclass and tough on Wall Street, while the Republicans have been the opposite on both. Each party is one-for-two, a toss-up. But now with the Obama-Geithner-Summers bailout administration, the Dems are 0-for-2 and the only thing giving them any staying power at all is the batshit lunacy of the Teabag Republicans and lingering resentment of the Bush wars.

Dems better shape up. Republicans are never going to.

Posted by: noname on January 19, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Dem: The "Party of No" wouldn't let us govern. Maybe, with a few more votes, if Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman don't mind, things will get better.

Well -- I'm sure seeing starbursts now!

Yeesh.

Posted by: Gregory on January 19, 2010 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

I do have to comment on the inanity of the MSM. Why would the Republicans wantn to work with the Democrats or Obama administration at this point? Their strategy of oppose, obstruct, and slander has pretty much worked. On the substance, they neutered the stimulus package and forced it to be substantially low return tax cuts (such as the ATM adjustment and the housing purchase tax credit) without taking any ownership of it, and then have pretty much defeated health care, cap and trade, and finance reform (any hope for all three is pretty much a denial of political reality after this election). Health care reform is probably dead for a least 10 years, and only then if the crisis of of care and the budget forces an action. This will mean at least 450,000 premature deaths, millions of lost hours and productivity due to untreated chronic illnesses (or conditions that become chronic because of the lack of treatment, millions of medical bankrupticies, and ever spirialing costs.

The Movement Conservative arguement is that "Governmetn" cannot ameliorate the conditions of capitalism or provide goods and services to the people. They then underfund and mismanage Government, including lots of corruption and fraud, waste, and abuse to prove it. Middle and working class people see less and less for the their taxes, so they are receptive to the argument that all tax money is wasted and so any tax increase will be stolen and given to "THEM." We liberals have not made the case for positive Government for everyone since the 1960s, because unfortunatle lots of us don't believe in it. We have been running form the epithet Liberal since the 1972 election. We have also not been prudent in managing government with our reliance on interest groups, unfortunately burdening states with pension liabilities they cannot afford as country's mean standard of living starts to fall.

Posted by: sherparick on January 19, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

The article was from Politico. They aren't exactly a bastion of fairness or lefties. I'd suspect that this was a deliberate attempt to frame the issue favorably for the GOP.

Posted by: Shade Tail on January 19, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Dem's major mistake was seriously contesting the 2008 election. Bush f**ked the nation up so much that anyone who got elected was going to become unpopular trying to mitigate the disaster. If it wasn't for SCOTUS nominations, it would have been smarter to let McCain shovel this particular pile of excrement.

Posted by: Tim H on January 19, 2010 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Echoing the EOCynic and Hornblower. And the others who said the Democrats lack the stones to make the GOP actually filibuster instead of just selling wolf tickets.

People respect a show of strength.

Posted by: zak822 on January 19, 2010 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Then they claimed that the few thousands who attended these "grassroots" rallies represented the "authentic" voice of "Real America." Then they repeated this fantasy again and again across cable, print, and talk radio until it finally began to sink in with the [strike]public[/strike] Villagers.

Fixed. The rest of Ted Frier's post is, as usual, spot-on.

Posted by: Gregory on January 19, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

@Steve LaBonne, what's more likely, that a "senior administration official" is candidly being stupider and more naive than thousands upon thousands of blog readers, when talking to a media outlet; or that he or she is using that media outlet to put forth a certain message?

In February, I would have picked the latter alternative. Given the inability of the Dems to do anything substantial since then, and they're unwillingness to make the Rethugs pay for their obstructionism, I'm thinking it's the former.

Rahm Emanuel is a take-no-prisoners kinda guy, we heard? I guess they meant "no Democrat prisoners", because he sure ain't doing anything to beat up Rethugs.

Posted by: SFAW on January 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Can we now at least dispose of this idea of the administration playing 11-dimensional chess?

Posted by: eserwe on January 19, 2010 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and his administration have high conceptual IQs-- and emotional IQ 's somewhere below that registered by your average artichoke.

Posted by: gdb on January 19, 2010 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Dimocrats are inept, corrupt and ineffectual. With an overwhelming majority in both houses, they can't get a goddamn thing done. Wait, I mean WON't get a goddamn thing done for US. For their corporate, defense industry, big food, big pharma and insurance and banking masters? Anything they want ON OUR DIME.

The eternal Lucy to our Charlie Brown

Here's hoping the Insurance Giveaway Bill (aha "health care *cough* reform *cough*) DIES the death it deserves.

All that really remains of it anyway is an illegal mandate that American buy private health insurance.

Fuck that.

Posted by: getaclue on January 19, 2010 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK
Middle-class voters hate two things: what they see as the lazy underclass (that is sometimes but not always spelled racism), and Wall Street fat cats.

The middle class shouldn't be too hard on the underclass...many of them--or their children--will be joining that socio-economic group in the near future.

Posted by: Dictynna on January 19, 2010 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

The dems can't force the repubs to filibuster. You think Lieberman or the blue dogs are going to hang around in the senate to force a vote? The blue dogs would rather spend months trying (unsuccessfully of course) to form another gang of 14 with republicans who will string them along. We can't even get them to vote our way after making concessions they asked for.

Then it would be the run up to elections, so none of the usual dem suspects would want to be on the record supporting a "liberal" agenda, even though it running to the right won't do them a whit against the actual republican candidate.

The press wouldn't even bother report it, even if the president came out and said it was going to be attempted.

Can we all just agree that, yes, we're appalled by the lack of spine in the dems, and the fecklessness of the candidate selections we're offered. We need to build an organization with only one goal - build ground support for proper left leaning primary candidates across all fifty states. At the same time we need Soros to do what Scaife and the Kochs did, and create a left facing media relations machine to counter the right wing one.

Or we're done - there's just no way to get a united left wing to face off at an obviously united right wing (because they have the advantage of "how hard is it for everyone to agree to say no"?)

Posted by: royalblue_tom on January 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

I have been saying this for months! I have been writing the White House and Congressional leaders alm ost weekly!! It is long past time to fight fire with fire! It is long past time for allowing Republican lies to go unchallenged and unexposed. Bipartisanship is absolute nonsense when the stated goal of the opponent is to destroy you. Persisting in the current status only reinforces the extreme right wing of the GOP to cling to power within the party. Time to fight fire with fire.......... a LOT of it!

Posted by: Tom S on January 20, 2010 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Fawjoydaydync on July 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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