Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 27, 2010

PELOSI'S UNDERSTANDABLE FRUSTRATIONS.... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, certainly more than other House Democratic leaders, is generally reluctant to publicly criticize the other chamber -- the one that has abandoned majority-rule, making the American legislative process unnecessarily difficult.

But once in a while, Pelosi's patience is tested more than usual.

The message Thursday as a slimmed-down package went down to defeat in the Senate over GOP objections it would add to the deficit, was quite different.

In back-to-back press conferences, Pelosi unleashed her full wrath on the Senate Republican Conference, blaming them for torpedoing unemployment benefits and leaving the middle class out to dry.

"What did middle-class families ever do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?" Pelosi chided at an afternoon press conference with Democratic women to drum up support for her remaining jobs agenda, much of it either unmovable in the Senate or the subject to stalemate in the House.

Some reporters seemed slightly taken aback by the House Speaker blasting the Republican Senate conference, but need Pelosi's question be considered an unreasonable one? Is it not fair to wonder what GOP senators have against the unemployed?

On a related note, I suggested the other day that it may be time for a discussion about whether GOP lawmakers are trying to deliberately sabotage the economy to help their midterm election strategy. Theda Skocpol seems to have come to a conclusion:

Republicans have figured out that if they undercut economic recovery and increase unemployment rates, they will gain in the 2010 elections -- and probably have a much better shot in 2012.... Republicans may or may not care about unemployed people, most of whom will not vote for them anyway, but Republican leaders know what they are doing strategically: slow-walking economic growth until they get back into office.

Steve Benen 9:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

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Comments

Republicans lie like a bad carpet, and the MSM transcribes without comment.

Occasionally a Democrat tells the truth and "reporters" retire to their fainting couch. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 27, 2010 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

What's with the constant right-wing Google ads that keep popping up here? Talk about aiming your ads at the wrong demographic.

Posted by: Speed on June 27, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Republicans may or may not care about unemployed people, most of whom will not vote for them anyway . . . . "

Unfortunately, Theda Skocpol is wrong here. Way too many of the unemployed and the underemployed will vote for Republicans because they believe that Obama is to blame for their troubles and that he wants to grab what little they have to give to his fellow African-americans (though they use a different word).

Democrats only have four months to educate those who are willing to change their minds. So they'd better quit chasing the chimera of "bipartisanship" and start telling the truth about the assholes in the opposition party.


Posted by: SteveT on June 27, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

There is cover page article discussing the Republicans total indifference to the suffering of average Americans and their lack of concern about the state of the American economy in Duh! Magazine. Its headline is "So What Else Is New?"

Posted by: Texas Aggie on June 27, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

One other frustrating thing about this mess. We all know when Republicans retake the Senate this 60 votes to do anything will instantly disappear.

Posted by: thorin-1 on June 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

So, four and a half months before the election and the Democrats started noticing the Pope is Catholic?

Posted by: August J. Pollak on June 27, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Republicans have figured out that if they undercut economic recovery and increase unemployment rates, they will gain in the 2010 elections -- and probably have a much better shot in 2012."

Only if you adhere to "senate decorum" and fail to call them out for being the SOLE reason that jobs legislation is not being enacted. Dems can't wait for the media to pick up on it. They have to force the media to cover this.

Posted by: bdop4 on June 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

A vote against Senate Republican candidates
this November is a vote to restore majority rule in the Senate - pass the word! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on June 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

When the majority fails to do what's necessary, that is on the majority. They could have blown up the filibuster, but they didn't want to, primarily because many Democrats in the Congress actually prefer Republican policies, and wished an excuse for inaction.
Obama knew it. He failed to deliver the message. Democrats with supermajorities in Congress failed to do what was required. They continue to fail, week after week, month after month, as the evidence continues to mount that a second recession is on the way.
It's hard to see how continued Democratic majorities in Congress will make any difference unless they change their policies and break the filibuster. Not very good, but better than GWB and the Republicans is hardly a rousing political message. Obama needs a challenge from a Progressive whose policies are hardly left wing. Most of what Progressive's want today would have been supported by Nixon, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Truman, etc.

Posted by: gdb on June 27, 2010 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

There is a danger in the game being played by the Party of NO. If they succeed they will inspire the Democrats to engage in the same scorched earth approach to governance. Tit for tat. The country will spiral down into total inaction. From there it is a short step to the public embracing a man on a white horse. Of course, the man on the horse will end our democracy and the true American empire will be born.

Democracy works only when all sides agree to respect the folks on the other side. The Party of NO has to be stopped this fall. Our democracy depends on it. Pass the word. Vote no against any Republican senate candidate.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Did Ms. Skocpol go on to point out that once Republicans regain power their plan for economic recovery is the same policies that got us here in the first place?

Posted by: karen marie on June 27, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Love me some Skocpol as much as anyone, but where's she been the past year? The GOP's master strategy has been glaringly apparent to any sentient person since the stimulus vote.

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on June 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Some reporters seemed slightly taken aback by the House Speaker blasting the Republican Senate conference, but need Pelosi's question be considered an unreasonable?

Sigh, there you go again Steve. Which reporters? What are their names, or at least the names of their magazines, newspapers, or networks? It matters to me.

Posted by: Winkandanod on June 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

So, where are the ads?

You know, the ones that say, "unemployed? Unable to find a job because there aren't any out there? Worried about how you will feed your family now that your unemployment has been cut off? Here's who you should blame: (insert name & photo of local Republican Senator). His party believes you and others in your predicament are just slacker layabouts (insert quotes about how unemployment insurance discourages people from working, Republican quotes blaming the unemployed because they can't find jobs, and pictures of the Republicans who said them). Think things will get better if you vote for these clowns? Think again. Vote Democratic and stop the Republicans from punishing ordinary working people who can't find jobs thanks to disastrous Republican mismanagement of the economy."

Of course we won't see those ads, because these are the Democrats we're talking about, and they're too worried that someone's fee-fees might get hurt.

Posted by: Jennifer on June 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats with supermajorities in Congress failed to do what was required. They continue to fail, week after week, month after month, as the evidence continues to mount that a second recession is on the way.

Correction -- the problem is specificially with the Senate, not the House, which is why Pelosi is so angry. If the Senate had passed the same bills that the House has already passed, we would have had financial regulation months ago. Ditto with jobs bills and unemployment extension.

Our Senate is broken. Generically blaming "Congress" does no good, because Pelosi is doing her job. It's not her fault that the aristocrats in the Senate have decided that the small people haven't suffered enough yet.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 27, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans have figured out that if they undercut economic recovery and increase unemployment rates, they will gain in the 2010 elections

I've been saying this to anyone that will listen for months. Its painfully obvious. yet no one seems to take it seriously. "Even they can't be that cynical."

Everything is political to the GOP, EVERYTHING. They don't give a rats ass about people.

Posted by: Simp on June 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps they are punishing us for voting Democratic?

Posted by: gelfling545 on June 27, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

"What did middle-class families ever do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?"

I guess Pelosi doesn't pay too much attention to what the cretin opposition has been saying. They've been explicit in this:

the 90% of Americans below very wealthy status exist to bailout the incompetent, greed-obsessed, proclivities of the plutocrats.

Those Americans that don't make the grade serving the plutocrats are hobos, lazy, shiftless no-accounts who's only goal is to be on the public dole.

Very simple really. All Pelosi has to do is take the words that republicans speak literally (and why not, they do). The middle and left's denial that republicans can't really believe what they say and do is very dangerous.

Posted by: pluege on June 27, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The real problem is that, thanks to the Blue Dog RepubliDems, Democrats DON'T have a working majority in the Senate. On the contrary, people like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln have consistently worked with the Republicans -- in a truly bipartisan manner -- to defeat the Democratic agenda. And the White House seems to be so politically clueless as to continue to support these individuals. BTW, I agree totally with Speed about the anti-labor, anti-Obama ads popping up (literally) in this site. They detract from your otherwise (usually) excellent blog.

Posted by: fradiavolo on June 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus, could there possibly be a more useless institution than the U.S. Senate? Are there any bigger assholes in the universe than Senate Republicans (and Ben Nelson, (D) NB?

Posted by: Patrick Star on June 27, 2010 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well, then the answer is let’s keep bringing it up to a vote and let the Republicans keep voting it down.

Also, I agree with Jennifer, where are the ads showing the unemployed that the Republicans say you are lazy, no good, hobos ?

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

How about a public works Program to clean up the gulf? 2,000,000 people all working at BP's expense.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I love it when right-wing ads show up on the blogs I read. I click on them, over and over and over, knowing that each click costs the right wing sponsors a tiny bit more, and supports the blog a tiny bit more.

The more repellent the ad or the sponsor, the more I click.

Posted by: joel hanes on June 27, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Are there any bigger assholes in the universe than Senate Republicans (and Ben Nelson, (D) NB?

Well, there's Joe Lieberman, (I, AIPAC)

And there's Roger Stone, who is proud of having organized the Brooks Brothers Riot that stopped the legal vote count in Florida in 2000.

And there's Karl Rove ...

Posted by: joel hanes on June 27, 2010 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

How can there be any question that the republicans are sabotaging the economy? Their only goal is to defeat the Democrats - President Obama in particular - and they'll take down the country to do it.

Why is it considered impolitic for Pelosi to say it out loud? The entire Democratic Party should be shouting it from the top of the capitol dome.

Posted by: CDW on June 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Good for Madame Speaker, best thing to happen in a long time was a Woman as house speaker. America, you're not only narcissistic but you’re incredibly stupid, good luck with that! No amount of television advertising is going to change the mind of a moron.

Posted by: Trollops for Treason on June 27, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

From Fardiavolo: "And the White House seems to be so politically clueless as to continue to support [the bluedog Dems]".

Yes and no. A bluedog Dem from an electorate that would otherwise only send a Republican to Washington is a good thing, because that ensures a majority that prohibits Republicans from setting the agenda. It is easy to let disappointment and frustration cloud the immense value of not having the Republiscum in charge. However, you're right that bluedogs often deny the Dems a working majority. The solution (besides hanging on in the majority until the next opportunity for changing the ground rules) is electing a few more Dems in total and a few more progressive Dems in particular. Converting Voinovich's seat to another Sherrod Brown would be an ideal example. The exact opposite to a solution is giving up in frustration and ceding the next election to the R's.

Posted by: N.Wells on June 27, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

@ joel hanes

I click on them, over and over and over, knowing that each click costs the right wing sponsors a tiny bit more, and supports the blog a tiny bit more.

Can anyone confirm that this is true?

It seems unlikely to me, but then I am a born skeptic with a master's in cynicism.

Posted by: efgoldman on June 27, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

"whether GOP lawmakers are trying to deliberately sabotage the economy to help their midterm election strategy"

It's fairly obvious, isn't it? I mean, if you're looking. What, is there some question about it?

Posted by: Jon on June 27, 2010 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

it's time to abolish the filibuster.

Posted by: ang on June 28, 2010 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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