The Hostage Situation; Part II

Update: House Calls GOP’s Bluff on Tax Cuts (Huffington Post)

Greetings refugees,

I’ve decided to start a new segment. I’m calling it, “The Hostage Situation; Part II”. It’s a little like our Free Forum Fridays only there is no specific day for posting; it’s just a running dialogue that I will try to update on a routine basis.

It’s not a new idea. Back in 1979, Iran decided to take a few dozen civilians at the  American embassy hostage. Not long after, ABC decided to air its own show  called “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage’. This special morphed into ‘Nightline with Ted Koppel’ and a running tally of the day’s events during the hostage situation were reported. Nightline has been running ever since even though the hostages were released after 444 days and Koppel has since retired. This has also been the format for MSNBC’s ‘Countdown’.

It seems we will be entering a phase of non-productivity due to the political divide in Congress so the best thing I can think of to do is to expose the Republican motivation. To me, it feels as if they are holding our government hostage in order to achieve their goals despite the fact that democracy has dictated otherwise. They appear to be hell-bent on defeating the majority at all costs. I am going to document the history of obstruction and report on the legislative blockades in Congress. I want everyone to see why  things are unfolding in the manner they are and who is responsible for those results.

I can’t really identify a specific date for the Republican blockade since they have tried this back in the nineties but I am going to arbitrarily use the inauguration of Barack Obama as a starting point for their resistence.

Days since the Republicans declared war on the middle class and the popularly elected administration: 680; or 1 year, 10 months, and 11 days.

I plan to maintain this accounting until the Republicans either get their asses to the negotiating table or the Tea Party destroys them. In the article below, the Republicans have restated they will block any legislation in the lame duck session until they get their tax cuts permanently extended for the wealthiest 2% of Americans; a process they themselves admit will increase the deficit.

Republican Caucus Commits to Filibustering Any Legislation Until the Tax Cuts Are Addressed (Huffington Post)


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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82 Responses to The Hostage Situation; Part II

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Not a single GOP member of Congress will prevent Mr. Obama and the Dems from doing what the voters just told them to do earlier in the month.

    You progressives really do think the world revolved around your 20% of the electorate.

  2. As opposed to the 18% of teapers. Great.

  3. Bart DePalma says:

    Actually, the Edison exit polling (which historically undercounts conservatives) has Tea Party supporters as 41% of the 2010 vote, which BTW is higher than either Dem or GOP registered voters who cast a ballot. All those Dem senators who are up for reelection in 2012 where we are the majority of the vote might want to listen up.

  4. While I tend to think that 41% is on the high side, there is no doubt that a large number of voters are dumber than a bag full of hammers.

  5. shiloh says:

    Typical, :::chuckles:::, Bart whining about polls he doesn’t agree with, and whining 24/7 about everything lol aside ~ Bartles, is 538 a good daily release for you since all the other political blogs you frequent pay no attention …

    rhetorical question

    >


    “Our Republic Has Stumbled, But Has Not Yet Fallen”

    My descriptive phrases do not begin to do justice to the damage these policies are doing to the country.

    April 23, 2010 10:46 AM

    I wonder whether I live in America anymore when the government imposes its will in opposition to the people. That is what ruling classes do, not representatives of the people.

    May 2, 2010 4:21 PM
    ~~~~~

    death ~ taxes ~ Bart whining at a progressive blog!

    >

    Again, the 201o election proved nothing, except teabaggers were more motivated, out voting Dems by (5 million) nationwide as (((29 million))) 2008 Obama voters stayed home. And speaking of typical the Republicans are either overreaching or being total obstructionists re: solving America’s current myriad of problems. Good luck w/that in 2012.

    1948 all over again, eh. Truman is smilin’ 🙂

    >

    And again interesting in one of the Dems worst political years ever, CO stayed blue !!! Bart and as Reps did well re: state governorships, they are now in charge of those states ie FL, OH, MI, PA, NM, AZ, WI, NV etc. and Rep governors better start shitting some jobs or the …

    yin and yang of politics will kick them in the butt during 2012, eh ~ especially since teabaggers want no help from the federal govt.

    Typical indeed!

    and please, let Bart’s whining continue …

  6. shiloh says:

    While I tend to think that 41% is on the high side

    2004/2008 presidential exit polls showed conservatives were 34% of the electorate ie McCain did not have a deleterious effect on winger turnout!

    but, but, but Bart only swears by polls he agrees with lol

    a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest …

  7. Shiloh: Your post is one of the reasons I rarely post. Y’all (& you know who you are) are more well read, better thinkers and superior writers.

    I can’t thank you enough (Y’all).

  8. Just Sayin' says:

    I, too, loves me some Shiloh in the mornin’.

  9. shiloh says:

    fop, never claimed 😉 to be a good writer and politics is really quite basic, especially presidential politics as again, one party screws up and is replaced by the other party.

    One major intangible being the Dems kept nominating god awful presidential candidates/campaigners ie McGovern, Carter who almost blew a (33) pt. lead, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore. Oh the irony of an African/American bringing the Dems out of the wilderness lol ~ I digress.

    Nixon beget Carter
    Carter beget Reagan
    Bush41 beget Clinton
    cheney/bush beget Obama

    (2) years of economic stress/uncertainty beget Reps taking control of the House in a typical 😉 low turnout mid-term, no surprise.

    ie you win by default most times as voters aren’t happy w/either party.

    And speaking of god awful candidates, buck/o’donnell/angle helped Dems retain control of the senate.

    Thanx Bart er teabaggers! 😀

  10. filistro says:

    @fopsie… Shiloh: Your post is one of the reasons I rarely post. Y’all (& you know who you are) are more well read, better thinkers and superior writers.

    Yes, shiloh is definitely irreplacable. There’s nobody quite like him anywhere… and we’ve got him!

    OTOH fopsie… it’s people like you who give our blog flavor, variety and uniqueness, and without you we would run out of steam and shut down. So you’d better keep posting… and post MORE… or I will tell everybody what you REALLY use that big drum thingy for… 😉

    And as for you, Just Sayin’… every time you post something I find myself nodding, agreeing (sometimes out loud, which startles the dog) and giving you a “thumbs up”… something I never remember to do for anybody else. So… more, please.

    In fact our hit count (which is really quite astronomical, thanks so much, everybody) shows there must be lots and lots of people who log in regularly but never post at all. Boy, I’d love to hear from y’all. Even if you just say “hey,” it would be so nice.

  11. mclever says:

    Hey. 😉

  12. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro
    hit count

    We got at least 28 thumbs-up the other day on the suggestion of adopting a noose as a symbol to counteract teabags. We must have a lot of lurkers.

  13. filistro says:

    @DC… We got at least 28 thumbs-up the other day on the suggestion of adopting a noose as a symbol to counteract teabags. We must have a lot of lurkers.

    Last time I checked, the thumbs-up on that post had soared well over 30. Not only are there lots of lurkers… they’re mean, murderous and bloodthirsty, and they LOATHE tea parties.

    They sound like such nice people. I’d so love to meet them 😉

  14. dcpetterson says:

    Here’s something to add to the hostage crisis.

    GOP to block all bills until tax cuts are addressed

    They are so enslaved to the elite upper class, that unless millionaires and billionaires get new tax cuts, our government will shut down.

    DADT is being held hostage. Republicans care more about their corporate masters than about our men and women in uniform.

    START is being held hostage. Republicans care more about the authoritarian elites than about national security.

    Unemployment benefits are being held hostage. Republicans care more about the wealthy overlords than about people who are out of work because of Republican economic policies.

    And after the Republicans have used this blackmail to extort $700 billion in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, does anyone believe they will actually allow any of those other things to pass — or even to come up for a vote?

    They are despicable. Totally beyond redemption.

  15. mostlyilurk says:

    Hey 🙂

  16. dcpetterson says:

    … and I didn’t mention the DREAM Act, which the despicable Republicans are also blocking.

    And something else that should concern you all – Republicans want to kill Net Neutrality, the principle that keeps Internet providers from charging you more to visit, say, Bing than Google, and prevents them slowing down your access to companies that don’t pay them kickbacks.

    This is what we can expect for the next two years — continuing and worsening moves toward fascism from the totalitarian Republican elite.

  17. shortchain says:

    Let’s hear from the Tea Party folks — is this what you elected your representatives to do? Hold the country hostage for the sake of tax cuts for those making over 250K a year?

  18. Again with the crickets, DC? 🙂

  19. Bart DePalma says:

    Your whining is amusing.

    Both President Obama and the Dems have repeatedly stated that prevention of the upcoming tax increases is the first item on their lame duck list. The GOP is taking them at their word.

    Here is probably how this will resolve itself. The Dem lame ducks will enact a bill making permanent all tax rates except for the top one, which they will allow to spike to 39%.

    The Senate will hold probably three votes: 1) The House bill, 2) a continuation of all tax rates for two more years and maybe 3) Hoover’s. er… Schumer’s millionaires tax increase.

    The continuation of all tax rates will win so this gets punted to Obama’s replacement in 2013.

  20. filistro says:

    @shortchain… Let’s hear from the Tea Party folks…

    I think the Tea Party folks are in hiding. And no wonder… just imagine Mainer and Max tooling around in a battered white Isuzu Trooper, Mainer driving (recklessly,) wearing wraparound shades, and Max standing on the headache bar with pair of binoculars. They are hunting for Teapers and the the box of the truck is full of nooses. They are a pair of seriously scary dudes. I’d be hiding too.

    On the other hand there’s Bart, who remains indefatigable. No matter what I think of his (eww, yucky) politics, I really have to give Bart some grudging credit for his fearlessness and determination.

  21. marc miwerdz says:

    From an Army vet to a Navy vet : Its good to see my favorite poster is still around. I was worried you went AWOL there for a couple of days,Shiloh. Nice to see you still have that high inside fastball.

  22. Bart DePalma says:

    Rasmussen just released an interesting report that their ongoing partisan self identification polling of LVs has self identified Republicans above self identified Dems for the first time since Feb 2005 when the GOP began its slide in this measure. Likely voters are not so much more likely to self identify Republican as the number who are willing to self identify Dem has collapsed to nearly the lowest point in the eight year history of this polling.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/partisan_trends

    Obama has one upped Bush in destroying his own party brand.

  23. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Don’t you think “destroyed” is a bit strong to apply on the basis of a few polls, especially by the now known to be biased Rasmussen organization? What we’re seeing can’t be compared to what George Bush did to the GOP, where, even now that the teapers have come out as the GOP supporters they always were, there still are only about 35 percent who are willing to admit that they voted for GOP candidates.

    Just as in 2008, Obama’s failure to live up to expectations has produced a certain percentage of people who now claim to be “independents” — but in 2012 they’ll likely go right back to voting Democratic.

    In short, I find your eagerness to declare the Democratic brand “destroyed” to be simply wishful thinking — and a lot less justified, on the basis of demographics, than the opposite view that the GOP is headed for long-term electoral failure.

    But if you get high on the heady mixture of fume-polling (because, at this stage, that’s all that it is, fumes) — have fun.

  24. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ Your whining is amusing.

    Bart, your ad nauseam, childish projection is duly noted!

    Addendum:

    LBJ beget Nixon in ’68 who interestingly received only (((43.4%))) of the vote after receiving (49.6%) in 1960. So again, Nixon won by default and most historians agree Humphrey would have won in ’68 if the election had lasted (1) more week ~ almost overcoming the disastrous Dem convention in Chicago, race riots, Vietnam War fiasco, MLK’s assassination, RFK’s assassination etc.

    woulda, coulda, shoulda

    The Rep’s main problem in 2012 is they have no rational, dynamic, exciting candidate for president at this time and w/their majority in the House come January, all the political (((stagnation))) will be focused 100% on Boehner and continual Republican senatorial obstructionism.

    Again, wannabe spinmeister Bart 😀 good luck w/that …

    >

    Scott Rasmussen

    ‘nuf said!

  25. shiloh: That is an informative, though strangely nauseating video.

  26. Monotreme says:

    To me, it all depends on what the intent of the Senate Republicans is.

    1. If they are merely using a Power Play to try and force discussion of, and a vote on, the expiration of the 2001 tax cuts, then I applaud their actions. Well played, sirs.

    2. If, on the other hand, they’re trying to be obstructionist, and just block everything, then it’s deplorable.

    It’s only because of their actions of the last two years that we’re discussing option 2 at all. That’s the sad thing.

  27. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono:

    Obama would like to put off the tax votes as long as possible to extend the kabuki dance he is running for the progressive base that they are fighting for a tax increase.

    The GOP is responding by holding the other Dem priorities like repeal of DADT and START hostage to an agreement to extend current tax levels and probably a continuing resolution without more spending. The Dems will play games with unemployment votes until they finally cave an pay for the new spending with offsetting cuts like they were forced to do last fall.

    This is all so boringly predictable.

  28. shortchain says:

    Speaking of boringly predictable, here’s Bart, pretending understanding of Obama’s motives, not to mention the entire Democratic establishment’s motives and strategy.

    Where is the potential for jobs in this equation? We already know, from the years 2000 – present, that retaining the existing tax structure will not grow jobs, and that’s the only thing the GOP is pushing for .

  29. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says: “Don’t you think “destroyed” is a bit strong to apply on the basis of a few polls, especially by the now known to be biased Rasmussen organization?”

    I should more accurately say the conservative Dem brand has been trashed. The progressive Dem brand is doing just fine with the minority of progressive voters who support it.

    What we’re seeing can’t be compared to what George Bush did to the GOP…

    The 2010 election results argue otherwise.

    Just as in 2008, Obama’s failure to live up to expectations has produced a certain percentage of people who now claim to be “independents” — but in 2012 they’ll likely go right back to voting Democratic.

    The folks who are shifting to Indi are the center-right Reagan Dems, not the progressive base who showed up at the polls despite their disappointment Obama did not drag the government ever further left. They will only come back when the conservative Dem brand gets rehabilitated by someone like Bill Clinton. So long as Obama, Pelosi and Reid are the faces of the Dem Party, that brand will just be further trashed.

    … a lot less justified, on the basis of demographics, than the opposite view that the GOP is headed for long-term electoral failure.

    I have lived long enough to see the last cohort of Dem youth voters turn into Reagan revolutionaries. Color me skeptical that the current crop of kids will not grow up as well.

  30. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says: Speaking of boringly predictable, here’s Bart, pretending understanding of Obama’s motives, not to mention the entire Democratic establishment’s motives and strategy.

    You are kidding, right? Axelrod burbled the Obama “strategy” of caving on tax increases because he simply does not have the votes. It was reminiscent of the scene from the Lion in Winter where the inexperienced French king burbles every bit of strategy he has as old King Henry simply leads him on.

    Even if Axelrod was not such a lousy political poker player, the math is pretty damn clear. The Senate Dems in heartland states are terrified of having “tax” added to the “and spender” signs already hanging around their necks like so many albatrosses going into the 2012 elections. Several have announced publicly that they do not believe that raising taxes during a recession is such a hot idea.

  31. shiloh says:

    The 2010 election results argue otherwise.

    Bartles, please explain w/specificity what cheney/bush had to do w/a low turnout 2010 mid-term election. Were they perhaps the #1 teabagger’s cheerleader!

    TIA for your disingenuous, song and dance reply …

  32. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ Even if Axelrod was not such a lousy

    Axelrod was Obama’s chief strategist as Obama, a young, relatively inexperienced African/American bi-racial Muslim from Kenya, first defeated the Clinton political machine in the Dem primary and a war hero and his prom queen in the general.

    Again, underestimate Axelrod/Obama at your own peril as Obama now has the power of incumbency to work with …

    solo estoy diciendo

    take care

  33. shiloh says:

    btw, power of incumbency = Nixon getting 43.4% in 1968 and 60.7% in 1972 …

  34. Bart DePalma says:

    sc: What we’re seeing can’t be compared to what George Bush did to the GOP…

    BD: The 2010 election results argue otherwise.

    shiloh: Bartles, please explain w/specificity what cheney/bush had to do w/a low turnout 2010 mid-term election.

    There was not low turnout in the 2010 election. The Dems showed up at about their normal midterm percentages.

    What I was referring to was the shift of the working class Reagan Dems to the GOP in numbers which we have not seen for a GOP President since Reagan himself and have not seen for a GOP Congress since 1946.

    shiloh: Axelrod was Obama’s chief strategist as Obama, a young, relatively inexperienced African/American bi-racial Muslim from Kenya, first defeated the Clinton political machine in the Dem primary and a war hero and his prom queen in the general.

    What does this have to do with the fact that Axelrod could not keep his mouth shut about Obama’s tax plans?

    Obama barely won the Dem nomination because of a brilliant internet strategy (which he and Axelrod had nothing to do with designing) that got his people out to caucuses en masse. Hillary won the most Dem votes.

    Obama won the general election because of a superbly (for him) timed market crash which shifted white working class Reagan Dems Stan Greenberg’s polls showed were leaning McCain in August.

  35. shiloh says:

    and then Nixon resigned in disgrace! 😀 as all fame is fleeting …

  36. shiloh says:

    polls showed were leaning McCain in August.

    until McCain nominated a brain dead prom queen as his v-p! and he suspended his campaign, canceling the presidential debate, rushing back to Washington to single-handedly solve America’s economic crisis lol

    your turn Bart

    apologies to brain dead prom queens

  37. shortchain says:

    And, as usual, Bart ignores the elephant in the room in favor of whiffing his favorite effluvium. The big question is where the economy will be in 2012 — and who will be blamed for it if it is still stagnating.

    By being perceived to cave, the Democrats may (and, unlike you, Bart, who is certain about everything that will happen in the future, not to mention everything that has ever happened in the past, even when your predictions have turned out to be fundamentally wrong) be able to pass the buck to the GOP.

    We’ll see. I don’t know. But the point is that Bart doesn’t either, so his triumphal bellowings are nothing but the escape of flatulence.

    Of course, if that is the Democrats’ plan, it smacks of politics over the public good — which will surely make the GOP angry, because that’s their bailiwick.

  38. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: polls showed were leaning McCain in August.

    shiloh: ….until McCain nominated a brain dead prom queen as his v-p! and he suspended his campaign, canceling the presidential debate, rushing back to Washington to single-handedly solve America’s economic crisis lol

    Palin was by far more popular than McCain. John tagged along with Sarah so he could could speak to crowds larger than 500.

    Sarah could pack them in. We had nearly 20,000 filling a hanger and overflowing into the tarmac during their first visit to Colorado Springs. The crowd was chanting Sarah for five minutes before they would let her give her stump speech. McCain was a good trooper about playing second fiddle to his VP, but Cindy had a rictus smile painted on her face and looked like she was fuming.

    Dems misunderestimate Palin at their own risk. If you exclude union and special interest people bussed in by the Administration, Palin could easily outdraw Obama in any district currently painted Red after the last election. Any candidate winning all those districts in 2012, wins the election.

    In any case, you do have a good point about McCain committing political hari kari by taking the lead on TARP while Obama stayed well away from Washington. Sometimes simply standing to the side while your opponent is pouring gasoline over his head and lighting a match is a really good idea.

  39. shiloh says:

    Bart, I was mostly being facetious as it’s water under the bridge, eh. But please feel free to keep (((obsessing))) over past Republican ineptitude!

    And speaking of the past, which Bart er Reps are so fond of ~ Reagan is still dead …

  40. Monotreme says:

    I said:

    To me, it all depends on what the intent of the Senate Republicans is.

    1. If they are merely using a Power Play to try and force discussion of, and a vote on, the expiration of the 2001 tax cuts, then I applaud their actions. Well played, sirs.

    2. If, on the other hand, they’re trying to be obstructionist, and just block everything, then it’s deplorable.

    I just heard an NPR interview with Sen. Judd Gregg. It’s definitely #2. I’m almost sorry I even trusted the Republicans in the Senate for a few hours there.

  41. filistro says:

    I remember DC posing this question a while ago, but I don’t recall us arriving at an answer, and I’d really like to know.

    When people describe America as being a “center-right nation” do they mean:

    a.) slightly right of center?

    or

    b.) in the center of the right-hand side of the ideological spectrum?

    Picture a Gaussian curve. Just past the middle of the fat part… or halfway between the middle and the right-hand edge?

    Thanks.

  42. filistro says:

    @Bart… Dems misunderestimate Palin at their own risk.

    No, Bart.
    They don’t.
    There is NO risk in underestimating her. None, Zero. Read my lips. NO RISK.
    There is enormous risk, however, in overestimating her. She is a frail reed upon which to heap the weighty hopes of millions. I can hardly believe you all are going to do it, but… ye gods and little fishes… I really think you are.

    It’s going to be SO GREAT… 😛

  43. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    fili said “I think the Tea Party folks are in hiding. And no wonder… just imagine Mainer and Max tooling around in a battered white Isuzu Trooper, Mainer driving (recklessly,) wearing wraparound shades, and Max standing on the headache bar with pair of binoculars. “

    Actually, being a red-blooded American, the pickup would be a Ford Ranger, not one of them thar furrin jobs! Not even one of them Toyota’s made rite cher in San Antonio! And to be on the safe side, what with Bart’s threat that them Teepers are “better armed”, I think we’d have a 50-cal mounted on the bar.

    Just in case.

    🙂

  44. Mr. Universe says:

    It is not raising taxes. It is letting your tax holiday expire. I’m going to beat you over the proverbial head every time you say this. This is America. Everybody pays their fair share in taxes. The rich hoard their taxes. They do not create new jobs. Trickle down = Epic fail.

  45. dcpetterson says:

    @Monotreme
    2. If, on the other hand, they’re trying to be obstructionist, and just block everything, then it’s deplorable.

    I just heard an NPR interview with Sen. Judd Gregg. It’s definitely #2.

    Of course it’s #2. Obstruct and stall is all the Republicans have. Oh, if they can convince the Dems to cave on everything, they’ll do that. But failing total capitulation, they’ll keep doing what they have been doing, which is to prevent anything from being enacted.

    So, they’ll demand that all of the useless Bush-era federal giveaways to the millionaires and billionaires, all that welfare for the wealthy, be reinstated, resulting in $700 billion in additional debt, with zero positive effect on the economy and zero additional jobs. Afterward, they’ll insist that everything else needs to be debated and debated, and they”l pull tricks to stall and obstruct, and nothing else will be enacted in the lame duct session.

    It’s so predictable.

    Harry Reid should say, Bullshit. We’ll discuss taxes after we’ve repealed DADT, and enacted DREAM, and passed the START treaty, and extended jobless benefits. Maybe we’ll extend the middle-class tax cuts first, as a sign of good faith. But the millionaires have to wait until the rest of the country is taken care of. Then you can discuss the federal giveaways to the wealthy on your own time in the next Congress.

  46. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    So generally Bart is saying that, IN SPITE of all the deficit cutting, responsible spending talk from the GOPers, that they are going to make a deal with the Dems to INCREASE THE DEFICIT yet again, IN SPADES, by passing BOTH unemployment bene’s AND tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%. Putting “our children and grandchildren” under an even heavier debt load.

    Wonderful how compromise works to the cost of us all!

  47. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Palin is a natural born populist everywoman. Voters turn to populists when distrust and hate of elites runs high and it has not been this high since the 30s.

    As he struggled to discern the popularity of the Tea Party movement, David Brooks despaired that what he calls the “educated class” to which he belonged was loathed:

    The United States opens this decade in a sour mood. First, Americans are anxious about the future. Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey. Only 27 percent feel confident that their children’s generation will be better off than they are.

    Second, Americans have lost faith in their institutions. During the great moments of social reform, at least 60 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing most of the time. Now, only a quarter have that kind of trust.

    The country is evenly divided about President Obama, but state governments are in disrepute and confidence in Congress is at withering lows. As Frank Newport of the Gallup organization noted in his year-end wrap-up, “Americans have less faith in their elected representatives than ever before.”

    Third, the new administration has not galvanized a popular majority. In almost every sphere of public opinion, Americans are moving away from the administration, not toward it. The Ipsos/McClatchy organizations have been asking voters which party can do the best job of handling a range of 13 different issues. During the first year of the Obama administration, the Republicans gained ground on all 13.

    The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

    The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

    The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

    Palin is tailor made for this kind of polity.

  48. Monotreme says:

    Funny, Bart, I read your last sentence as:

    Putin is tailor made for this kind of polity.

    and it made perfect sense. Then I re-read it, and it was nonsense again.

  49. filistro says:

    Bart, please.

    Sarah Palin is a narcissistic nincompoop. She has the highest unfavorables of any presidential hopeful in the field . She is intensely disliked by women (more than half the voting public. ) She has an extremely unpleasant VOICE that even her admirers admit is annoying to listen to… a terrible drawback for a politician. She is unbelievably thin-skinned and quarrelsome. And her popularity with her rabid followers is largely predicated on her willingness to attack and cruelly mock political opponents… something that is a huge turn-off for the general populace. Worst of all, she quit her governorship halfway through to become a media star and make lots of money.

    Apart from those tiny details… yeah, great choice. Have at it. Knock yourselves out. The girl’s a winner, you betcha 🙂

  50. Monotreme says:

    Majority Whip-Elect Rep. Eric Cantor has found a way to crowdsource “stupid”.

    http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/Review.htm

    This, of course, fits with Brooks’ comments above.

    Notice the keywords that make an NSF grant “wasteful”. Lawyers are included, Bart.

  51. dcpetterson says:

    Now the Republicans are even blocking procedural motions. A day after pledging to work with the Democrats, the Republicans have doubled down on their partisan hostage demands.

    They think they’re in charge. 1) They’re still a minority in the Senate, and 2) this is still the 111th Congress, and 3) they are already defrauding on promises made only yesterday.

    Reid should keep the Senate in session 24 hours a day, call up every bill except the tax cuts, again and again, and vow to keep the Senate in session continuously. He should refuse to cave in to the Republican terrorist demands. He should say the tax cuts will be considered last on this session’s agenda.

    Republicans are despicable. Slimy, dishonest, arrogant, totalitarian. Completely beyond redemption.

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Headline: House GOP stalls bill on lunches for needy kids.
    Republicans say nutrition bill is too costly, example of government overreach

    And how much does this program cost? $4.5 billion dollars. Compare this to one year of the extending the cost of tax cuts to those making over $250k: $70 billion dollars.

    So in the GOP mindset, $70 Billion a year added to the deficit and debt to keep money in the pockets of the wealthiest 2% of Americans without corresponding offsets is HUNKY-DORY, but LESS than 6% of that amount to feed needy children is a vast governmental overreach.

    Is there wonder why numerous millionaires have signed an open letter to Congress NOT to extend the Bush tax cuts that are, by presidential and GOP intent because it was too costly when originally passed, now sunsetting this month? Even many of the well to do don’t want to be a part of the hypocrisy of the GOP.

    Truly a “Let them eat cake!” moment.

  53. Bart DePalma says:

    dc/max:

    The Dems refuse to cut other spending to pay for their new initiatives as Candidate Obama promised in 2008. The GOP will vote against anything new that is not paid for, so the Dems are running individual bills for unemployment and school nutrition up for votes to embarrass the GOP. Thankfully, the Republicans are not budging. Nothing like knowing the voters are behind you to give you spine.

  54. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    is “The GOP will vote against anything new that is not paid for” blind stupidity, or dishonesty — because the tax cuts are not paid for.

    If the GOP is going to pay for them, I’d like to see the invoice before buying. It’s not as if these people are trustworthy — they’re politicians, for FSM’s sake.

  55. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain:

    Taxes are not spending and do not have to be paid for because my money does not belong to the government. Rather, it is Congress’ responsibility to keep spending under revenues.

  56. Bart DePalma says:

    Remember when I mapped out for you how the GOP could achieve massive cuts without allowing Obama to shut down the government by enacting individual spending bills for each agency. Looks like Boehner is doing just that.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/45845.html

    Boehner may be my favorite Speaker since Newt if he keeps this up.

    Bravo, sir, bravo!

  57. shortchain says:

    In other words, according to Bart, taxes aren’t part of the equation for balancing the budget. It’s got to be spending cuts, period.

    You still haven’t absorbed the truth of the front-page quote. And I’m guessing you never will. I think what filistro mistakes for “fearlessness” and “determination” is simple ideologically-induced stupidity.

  58. shortchain says:

    Oh, and also, Bart refuses to even participate in asking what spending cuts will pay for all this largess to the rich. That’s real populism for you.

  59. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain: In other words, according to Bart, taxes aren’t part of the equation for balancing the budget. It’s got to be spending cuts, period.

    That has been the clear message of we the people for decades now. We kicked out Bush 41 in 92 and the Dem Congress in 94 for disregarding our will.

  60. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart, Serious question. No bullshit or equivocation or hidden agenda. Just an honest attempt to see inside your thought processes. Please answer in the same spirit, honestly and with no bullshit. If you’ll do so, I’ll reserve the right to ask one and only one follow up for possible clarification. Milk, tea or water: Make this as clear as water. Thanks

    Since you write a lot about the “will of the people”, particularly as it relates to the conservative/libertarian side of the spectrum, please relate to us your take on that same “will of the people” and their expectations, as it relates to the 2008 election wherein Obama was elected with the largest popular vote in numbers, a percentage vote wider than that of any Republican since Reagan, the election of a Democratic majority in the House of 255-178 and a Democratic majority in the Senate of 60-40?

    Again, serious question looking for a serious answer. No talking points. Thanks

  61. shiloh says:

    Max, Bartles reply: We the people thought Obama would act like a conservative 24/7 and were (((shocked, shocked I tell ‘ya))) when he didn’t …

    or some such nonsense!

    Bart has an excuse for everything as this is what trolls do at a progressive blog, apologize ad nauseam for Republican shortcomings … hmm, maybe Bartles should write a book! 😀

  62. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    shiloh,

    I really want to give Bart the benefit of the doubt to see if he can give an insightful response without the shyster coming out, demonstrating rational though not expansion of talking points. Something in the Buckley/Safire realm. All y’all know I’ve lambasted the man for his irrational rationalizing, many times in the face of empirical evidence. So I thought I’d try once again to see if Bart is capable of putting aside his ideological blinders and play nice.

  63. shiloh says:

    Boehner may be my favorite Speaker since Newt if he keeps this up.

    gingrich resigned in disgrace, much like Nixon …

    Oops!

  64. shiloh says:

    Max, is there a statute of limitations on benefit of the doubt 😉

    Just wonderin’

  65. drfunguy says:

    @filistro and other comments re. Palin above
    http://www.thenation.com/article/156650/misunderestimation-sarah-palin
    Whatever else you can say about her, she has made effective use of media to promote her ‘brand’ (and get paid for it!) and keep the center of attention firmly on her.

  66. dcpetterson says:

    Bart keeps talking about the “will of the people.” He forgets that Teapers do not account for 100% of America. “The People” have more than one will. He wants to exclude anyone who disagrees with him. The rest of us are not American People.

    Further, anything that the majority of Americans wants, but that Bart doesn’t want, gets ignored. Ask him how he feels about DADT (which at least 60% of Americans want to repeal). Ask if he things the START treaty should be enacted now (70% of Americans do). Ask if he wants a single-payer insurance system (lat it it was polled, between 60 and 70% of Americans want it).

    Bart’s blather about “the will of the people” is nothing but an empty and meaningless Republican talking point. Cynical and hypocritical, too.

  67. DC: You are correct in your assessment that it is only the will of “his” people. Everyone else be damned.

  68. filistro says:

    @doc… Sarah Palin will never be elected president. The math just doesn’t add up. She has the approval of 7% of Democrats and 21% of Independents… and not enough Republicans to counteract those numbers (which would have to be somewhere north of 100%).

    Republicans won’t even vote for her in a bloc, because Republicans are a strange bunch. Unlike liberals who are an egalitarian, independent, secular , “I’m as good as anybody” kind of people, conservatives are programmed to worship. They prefer to focus upward on a “greater than me” entity, even in their politics. If they can’t perceive a politician as being “better” than themselves in some way, they’re not interested.

    Reagan was perceived as more charming, affable, private and wise. Dubya was more powerful, well-connected and blue-blooded. Newt was just smarter.

    Sarah Palin is none of the above. She is simply the vaguely exhibitionist woman down the street who likes flashy clothes. She could be elected as a Democrat, but not as Republican.

    On the bright side, nothing anybody says can discourage the true believers from plunging off this cliff… and taking the whole party with them. I believe they will nominate her. Because to attack Sarah Palin is to attack them. She is THEM… the very embodiment of what the worst of the Republican party has come to represent… mean-spiritedness, greed, exclusionary world view, hatred of scence, juvenile dogma and elevation of ignorance. If she is attacked their knee-jerk reaction is to defend her all the more passionately, because an attack on her is (for the extremists who now control the party) an attack on everything they represent.

    When Joe Scarborough published this article a few days ago, I thought they would pay some attention when it came from one of their own, and sanity would begin to prevail. (I was actually kind of bummed, because of course I am rooting hard for Sarah to be the nominee.) But the result was just the opposite… immediate circling of the wagons and universal furious attacks on Scarborough.

    Over at Freeperville, about a dozen of the old bulls I’ve been watching carefully… guys who’ve been sounding a note of caution for the past year about Palin’s bleak prospects if nominated… were so angry at Joe Scarborough that they, too, are now firmly in Sarah’s camp.

    They are going to nominate her. She can’t be stopped… because for them, to stop her is to deny the essence of what they themselves have become.

    It’s utterly fascinating… perhaps the most spectacular self-immolation by a political party that anybody has ever witnessed .

  69. Realist says:

    @filistro,

    Reagan was perceived as more charming, affable, private and wise. Dubya was more powerful, well-connected and blue-blooded. Newt was just smarter.

    Sarah Palin is none of the above. She is simply the vaguely exhibitionist woman down the street who likes flashy clothes.

    I disagree. She’s much more media savvy than any previous candidate, and she exploits something that advertisers have been exploiting for years. Charismatic people can convince Minnesotans to pay for ice in the middle of winter. She may not understand the machinations behind the talking points she speaks, but she doesn’t necessarily have to. That’s the power of good advertising.

  70. filistro says:

    Realist… sorry, you’re wrong. Her appeal is admittedly powerful… but extraordinarily limited and target-specific. That’s what makes her so utterly unique in modern politics… a person whose appeal is simultaneously strong enough to get her the nomination (probably quite easily) but weak enough to make her (and her party) a national joke once that has occurred.

  71. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro

    I agree with you. The ease with which Tina Fey turned Palin into a laughingstock, merely by quoting Sarah’s own words show what a powerful political force Palin isn’t.

  72. Realist says:

    With four years to refine her talking points and messaging, I expect her to sound a lot better the next time around.

    We had a discussion here at one point about candidates needing time to refine their messaging, and that it usually happens by working their way up the ladder. A quicker way to get there is to spend four years campaigning nonstop. You learn quickly, and you get really good at it.

    It’s not like I think she’s a shoo-in at this point, but she has the right opportunity at her disposal. We will get to find out if she’s truly lazy or not by how well she performs starting this time next year.

  73. shortchain says:

    I’m with filistro as well. The people pushing Palin are indulging in wishful thinking. They’d like the rest of the politically-aware populace to take Palin seriously and work on counteracting her — but, when you come down to it, there’s nothing there to counteract except ignorance and narcissism. You can’t counteract ignorance by any means but patience and education, but you can’t force an education on people, and countering narcissism with attention is a classic example of positive feedback — it not only doesn’t work, it produces catastrophes.

  74. filistro says:

    @shortchain… countering narcissism with attention is a classic example of positive feedback — it not only doesn’t work, it produces catastrophes.

    Ahhh. Very astute.

    In fact, I see a lot of Dems who are in the messaging business being (for once)… :-(… really quite astute about this. The best approach is NOT to ignore her. Give her tons of attention. Take her seriously. Talk at length about her every move and pronouncement. Attack her at every turn… and they can produce the very catastrophe that shortchain predicts. Because whenever Palin is attacked, Republicans leap to her defense. It’s a knee-jerk thing, they simply can’t help themselves…. because, as I said, Palin is THEM. We see it right here at this site, from people who are otherwise reasonably sane and smart.

    And the more strongly they defend her, they more powerfully they get ensnared in this dreadful trap they’ve created for themselves.

    For Barack Obama, it’s a stunning combination of terribly rotten, no-good, bad luck… and spectacularly GOOD luck. He had to have his first term during the worst recession in almost a century, but a capricious Fate decided to even the scales by giving him Sarah Palin.

  75. Fili- Your frequent surveillance at Freeperville begs the question: What does it smell like over there? A swanky country club locker room? A tractor pull?

  76. filistro says:

    @fopsie… What does it smell like over there?

    Hmmm… let me think.

    Okay… I’d say it smells vaguely like the Old Spice Guy… with a subtle overlay of dead skunk.

  77. dcpetterson says:

    @Realist

    You are right, that four years is a long time to hone the packaging. It won’t alter the internals of the product, however. So the question will become, Can the “win at all costs” mantra of the Republican establishment allow them to embrace an unqualified emptyheaded arrogant sleezebag who holds them all in contempt?

    I could see them supporting her IF they thought she would leave them all in power. That is, if her candidacy and possible election would not mean they’d be kicked out of their political positions or disrupt their business ties. These people are all about wealth and power — for themselves, not for country or party.

    So a lot of it depends on how the campaign plays out. If it is an ugly primary campaign, and if she wins the nomination, and it she does not immediately embrace all the establishment elites that she’d just spent four years savaging, the Republican establishment will begin to actively work against her election bid in the general campaign. This may mean fielding a third-party candidate of their own, or just secretly funding a massive swiftboat effort (Citizens United insured this possibilty).

    But on the other hand, if she does invite the establishment into her tent, will her loyal worshipers accept that? Or will they think she’s selling out? All those people whom the Palinstas had been convinced are RINOs or even traitors to America, will they suddenly be accepted as new and willing and trustworthy allies after they pull a turncoat to their own cause?

    And even if the establishment can come to an agreement on power-sharing with The Quitter, how will the public react? Here, I think filistro has more faith in the American public than I do. We’ve elected jokes to the presidency before — Nixon, Reagan, Shrub. Though Palin is such a total clown, I don’t know if she can fool anyone other than her cultists. That depends on the effectiveness of the advertising, and whether she has any unscripted moments. Also, it depends on the impact of whatever crimes she committed while Half-Governor of Alaska, because all that will come out.

    Personally, I can’t see Palin agreeing to any sort of power-sharing. She’ll want to put her own people everywhere. And I can’t see the Republican establishment agreeing to concede all their power to her. So by the time the general campaign rolls around, I think we’ll see the death of the Republican Party as it now exists.

  78. Realist says:

    @dcpetterson,

    Can the “win at all costs” mantra of the Republican establishment allow them to embrace an unqualified emptyheaded arrogant sleezebag who holds them all in contempt?

    My gut says “yes.”

  79. shiloh says:

    Realist ~ With four years to refine her talking points and messaging, I expect her to sound a lot better the next time around.

    You never get a second chance to make a 1st impression, especially in politics. One may get lucky by running against a bigger buffoon than said fool the second time around, but as Bill Parcells said quite eloquently, You are what your record says you are! … you bet’cha!

    ie

    She made a fool of herself answering simple questions in 2008. She complained about invasion of privacy while putting her family in the media spotlight 24/7. She quit her political office governing 700k under stress, etc. etc. The political ads for her opposition write themselves, eh ~ She’s a quitter !!!

    It’s amusing when her apologists compare her to Reagan and Nixon. Won’t go into detail w/the idiotic Reagan comparison again, but Nixon is kinda unique as he was v-p for (8) years. Lost a close race for president in ’60 w/49.6% and won by default in ’68 w/43.4% ~ again, no comparison as Nixon’s political background was light years ahead of mama grizzly.

    palin’s main problem is she does not and never will have the Rep party machine hierarchy behind her. (((If))) she does run, one suspects the party regulars will quickly coalesce behind the candidate who they think has the best chance to defeat Obama. In 2008, they decided it was McCain who had the best chance to defeat either Hillary or Obama and rolled w/it.

    Republicans fall in line and none of the party bigwigs are getting behind palin. As Bush41 would say, not gonna happen ~ wouldn’t be prudent! 😀

    >

    Will she or won’t she ie is Nate a genius or not 😉

    of course, I could be wrong …

  80. mclever says:

    Palin’s one of the handful of Republican hopefuls who have passed through Iowa a few times already. Her last “book signing” drew a big crowd of rabid fans, so I’d guess she and her handlers see that as an encouraging sign for a 2012 run.

    I haven’t checked the itineraries of all of the Republicans on the short-list, but in past years, frequency of visits to Iowa a year or two out has been a good predictor of running in the next go-round. The more they’re priming the pump now, the more they expect a flood of voters at the caucuses.

    I think she’ll run.

  81. shiloh says:

    Let the record show Bartles has escaped yet another thread under duress …

    and Jupiter is aligned w/Mars. 🙂

  82. Monotreme says:

    From Twitter:

    @daveweigel
    Senate tax cut votes collapsing because one GOP senator who can’t yet be identified doesn’t want those votes. Impeach Obama, I guess.

    He refers to this:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/45890.html

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