The McConnell Gambit: Epic Fail

America Held Hostage: Day 701

Whether or not you watch Rachel Maddow‘s Show on MSNBC, her explanation of how the Republicans broke the Senate with excessive abuse of the filibuster is highly recommended. The term filibuster is of European origin and in politics it means literally to pirate or hijack debate, although the tactic dates back to another parliamentary body; the Roman Senate. Unfortunately, a procedure that was intended to prevent a ‘tyranny of the majority’ has now had the opposite effect due to Republican abuse. Observe the following chart:

Those last two lines represent the entirety of Republican filibuster threats in the past couple of years. They don’t even represent true filibusters, which require that the Congressperson stand and argue against the proposal for as long as they can tolerate it. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders demonstrated how this is done when he staged an eight and a half hour demonstration in opposition to the continuation of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Bernie Sanders?

Why have the Republicans engaged in this egregious overuse of a procedural matter? Because Mitch McConnell made a calculated risk when President Obama was elected with Democratic majorities in both houses. McConnell basically created a tyranny of the minority by refusing to allow cloture on every bill that came to the Senate floor. Republicans blocked Presidential nominees if they couldn’t get pork barrel money to their individual states. If the Republicans couldn’t win, then neither would Obama.

To be sure, the Obama administration made their own calculations and picked the hardest battle to win rather than the lowest hanging fruit. They went after Health Care Reform first during the brief period when they had a filibuster-proof Senate. That period existed between the time Norm Coleman finally conceded to Al Franken on July 8, 2009 and Massachusetts voters elected Scott Brown to replace the late Ted Kennedy on February 4, 2010; roughly seven months. President Obama knew that this would be the only time he would ever have to realistically pass health care in the face of hostile Republican resistance.

So how is Mitch McConnell’s strategy working out? Let me count the ways.

Health Care Reform. McConnell called for complete and uniform  opposition to the biggest landmark reform in over a century to a system whose costs were spiraling ever out of control while dropping the American public from coverage at an ever increasing rate. Much of these reforms were Republican ideas. Next year the Republicans plan to defund the implementation of HCR. Do they seriously think that will get past the Senate much less the President’s veto pen after the year long battle to get it passed? This will be seen as a tremendous waste of the Congress’ time that would be better spent improving the bill that has already passed.

The tax cuts. Republicans claimed they would refuse to debate or vote on any other issue until the tax cuts were addressed. More specifically, they want the tax cuts extended indefinitely for the upper bracket even though they admit that this will drive the deficit through the roof. This forever cancels out the myth that Republicans are fiscal conservatives. In fact, their willingness to hold legislation hostage is nothing short of showing up at the US Treasury with bandit masks and demanding future generations of income taxes. Republicans have shown that they have no problem spending tax dollars so long as it’s on themselves and their corporate cronies. This will only work in reelection if the loyal zombies continue to believe what they hear on FOX, Limbaugh, etc.

Despite repeated calls to not deal with hostage takers, President Obama worked out a compromise with Republicans on a  temporary extension of the tax cuts. The President has hinted that this is the Republicans last time at the trough and they won’t be extended again at the end of 2012. While this initially infuriated the Democratic base, it turned out to be a winning strategy since it gave Republicans no excuse to ignore other items on the agenda. Such as…

Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Way to forever alienate the Gay/Lesbian vote. This also completely de-legitimized John McCain as a serious legislator. It turns out he is just an angry old guy yelling at the fags to get off his lawn even though his wife and daughter have taken a stand that DADT is discriminatory. McCain is a walking contradiction unafraid to use his vote as a means of revenge rather than principle. Score a historic victory for Obama and civil rights.

Obama signs the historic DADT repeal into law

Unemployment benefits. Way to kick the chronically hurt in the midst of a recession at 10% unemployment. Legitimate economists agree that opposition to this would hurt the economy. Republicans refuse to grasp the concept that their trickle down policies have failed to create more jobs and that the unemployed have no one to blame but themselves. The unemployed are unemployed because there are no jobs, not because they want to be unemployed. I’m sure the Republicans believe that their constituents all have jobs unlike those liberal, pot smoking losers. Ebeneezer Scrooge is alive and well this season; and he’s a staunch Republican.

DREAM act. Way to forever alienate Latino and Hispanic votes. The latino vote is the Democrats to lose. Come 2012, Democrats need to constantly remind Hispanic voters how the Republicans shot down their chance to get an education or serve the country where they grew up. President Obama and Harry Reid say this fight is not over yet.

9/11 First Responders Health Care Bill. The opposition to this one is really surprising. Those first responders should be treated like any other war veteran/hero. They are suffering from the equivalence of throwing themselves on a slow exploding grenade. That Republicans would oppose this bill at all is unpatriotic at best and petty partisan politics at worst clearly indicative that their priorities lay with their self interests alone. My guess is they just made democratic converts out of a large number of firefighters, police, EMTs and other emergency support workers.

The Omnibus Budget Bill. Republicans suddenly decided they hated earmarks, despite the fact that they proposed most of them in the Omnibus bill and despite the fact it will make little difference in over all savings. They forced Harry Reid to withdraw the bill. The Government will not have any money by the end of the year. Hey, Newt Gingrich got the band back together. How’d that tour go the first time around?

The New START Treaty. Opposition to this is quite possibly the most egregious of all. The Republicans have a long history of sponsoring these kinds of agreements beginning with the original SALT talks and continuing with the first START treaty negotiated under Ronald Reagan. Opposing this landmark agreement not only puts American security at risk, it endangers the rest of the world as well and risks damaging our foreign relations with Russia who already agreed with the President on this one.

But this is where McConnell’s caucus began to unravel. Cooler heads in the Republican Party prevailed and enough defected to ratify this critical treaty. McConnell got egg on his face and Lindsay Graham declared that ‘Democrats have eaten our lunch’. It turns out that President Obama was indeed playing rope-a-dope with the party of nope.

If independent voters, undecideds, and the just plain too busy to notice were even half awake during this lame duck session, their disgust with the McConnell Gambit will likely show up at the polls in 2012. Throw in a little Tea Party wackiness and the carnage in the Republican party should be interesting to watch.

I am uncertain how the next two years will play out. I suspect we won’t see much progress but perhaps this not so lame duck session will have convinced some of the saner Republicans to do what they actually were sent to Washington to do…govern; not obstruct.


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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100 Responses to The McConnell Gambit: Epic Fail

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh!

    U, the GOP did not have the votes to sustain a single filibuster for the first year and the Dems avoided a filibuster of the Obamacare revision bill claiming it was a budget item.

    Your Dems had a problem maintaining their Senate supermajority because your Dems from flyover states knew they were pissing all over their constituents.

    The voters were so upset with the Party of No that they rewarded them with the GOP’s biggest House majority since 1946 and the biggest state level majority since 1928.

    How frigging dense can you possibly be?

    PLEASE point out to the voters that the GOP is now working to repeal the Dem policies they failed to block starting with Obamacare. Your policies are only slightly more popular with Indis and your own Reagan Dems than genital herpes.

  2. shiloh says:

    Repeating Bart’s eloquency re: Boehner, ie the new leader of the Rep party! 😀

    Ain’t governing a bitch!

    Again, how did Obama/Dems get so damn lucky as the yin and yang couldn’t be more obvious ~ Obama’s positivity vs Boehner’s negativity!

  3. shiloh says:

    Bartles, I’ll give you a second chance, eh …

    Politico:

    Earlier this week, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, among the most independent Senate Republicans, expressed disgust that the GOP leadership allowed Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to enjoy the most successful lame-duck session in decades.

    “Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” Graham told Fox News radio. “This has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of policies that wouldn’t have passed in the new Congress.”

    ~~~~~

    Charles Krauthammer:

    The great liberal ascendancy of 2008, destined to last 40 years (predicted James Carville), lasted less than two. Yet, the great Republican ascendancy of 2010 lasted less than two months. Republicans will enter the 112th Congress with larger numbers but no longer with the wind – the overwhelming Nov. 2 repudiation of Obama’s social-democratic agenda – at their backs.

    “Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, lamenting his side’s “capitulation” in the lame-duck session. Yes, but it was less Harry than Barry. Obama came back with a vengeance. His string of lame-duck successes is a singular political achievement. Because of it, the epic battles of the 112th Congress begin on what would have seemed impossible just one month ago – a level playing field.
    ~~~~~

    So Bart, do you disagree w/Graham and Krauthammer ?!? just wonderin’

    One for the road … “Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,”

    >
    >
    >

    Your disingenuous Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh! cry me a river projection aside …

    take care, blessings

  4. dcpetterson says:

    Despite the elite totalitarian arrogant Republican obstructionism, Democrats managed to follow the Will of the People. The 111th Congress was the most productive in half a century. Republicans wound up looking like the childish authoritarian egomaniacs they are. They lost the 2008 elections. That didn’t stop them from trying to stop the government at the bidding of their corporate masters.

    Fortunately, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were able to overcome the procedural machinations the Republicans engaged in, and still enacted most of the things We the People sent the 111th Congress to Washington to do. In addition to the things Mr. U mentioned here, we had landmark legislation on financial reform, the climate, equal rights, children’s health, and a myriad of other issues.

    Even in the midst of recovery from the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, the Regressives were able to narrowly capture only one house in Congress in a typically low-turnout midterm election. They will, no doubt, continue attempting to turn back the clock and combating against the policies which all polls show The People want. But history is against the GOteaParty. America will not bow to these fascists. We continue to move forward. Hope and change are here to stay.

  5. dcpetterson says:

    @Bart
    the GOP did not have the votes to sustain a single filibuster for the first year

    You weren’t actually paying attention, were you? Until Al Franken was sworn in, there were 57 Democrats and 2 Indies in the Senate. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster. Try again.

  6. filistro says:

    Is everybody aware there is serious talk of an attempt to change the filibuster rule on January 5th?

    Due to an arcane Senate proceural rule, apparently on the first day of a new legislative session, changes can be made to the way the Senate conducts its business, and passed on a simple majority vote. It appears the Dems are really going to try to do this.

    From the article:

    Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who has championed a weakening of the procedural mechanism that allows the minority party to hold up legislation, predicted “fireworks” on Jan. 5, 2011 — the day on which the Senate can, he argued, revamp its rules by a simple majority vote.

    “There could be some fireworks. There could be some fireworks on January fifth,” Harkin said at a pro-reform event sponsored by several like-minded organizations. “I’m going to be there. I’m armed. I’m armed with a lot of history, and I know the rules, and I know the procedures too, so we will see what happens on the fifth.”

  7. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    The Senate Rule on Clotures should NOT be changed.

    For emphasis, I repeat: DO NOT change the Cloture vote Rule. The Dems are trying to make political hay out of the issue, much as Frist and the GOP did just a few short years ago.

    The Rule was changed in 1975, reducing the vote for Cloture from 67 to 60. This number should be sufficient to protect the minority from the “tyranny of the majority”. As many of us were against the “nuclear” option as threatened by Frist, we should be consistent in our opposition to this effort by the Dems now.

    History and precedent and consistency have merit. Rules should NOT be changed willy-nilly just because.

    No, what needs to be changed is the piss poor procedural operation of the Senate by the current majority leader. The Honorable Mr. Reid has allowed the THREAT of a filibuster, through the 60-vote Cloture Rule, torpedo legislation. A failed Cloture vote is NOT A FILIBUSTER. Instead of allowing such a threat to be the de facto test of filibuster, Mr. Reid SHOULD force the opposition party to actually CARRY OUT THEIR THREAT! Instead, his actions allow the rampant opposition go essentially unnoticed by the public.

    Make the opponents of legislation actually HAVE TO FILIBUSTER! Let the public see, through the media, our Senators actually HOLDING UP the business of the people. Make the opposition actually demonstrate the courage of their convictions. Hold the FIRST Cloture vote only AFTER a filibuster has begun and some time has passed. See if there are any weaklings in the opposition who would rather vote that talk endlessly. The pissing and moaning that went on about having to work through Christmas could be a regular fixture, but we all SEE HOW THAT TURNED OUT! Cloture votes could be called during a filibuster anytime it looked as if some Senators were trying to slip out, keeping them on their collective toes.

    No, don’t change the Rules. Change either the implementation of the Rules or the Majority Leader.

    By the way, this applies during periods of GOP Senate majorities as well.

  8. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart is no longer a worthy opponent. His arguments no longer reflect any thought and have progress past mere deflection and diversion and falsity to pure intellectual laziness.

    They have become nothing more than pro forma. Pretty much to be simply ignored.

  9. filistro says:

    Max… I agree. Bart’s arguments used to be interesting and challenging. Now it appears he is just mailing it in.

    His entire current political view can be distilled down to this:

    When Republicans are elected, they represent the Sacred Will of The Voters and must not be opposed.

    When Democrats are elected, they represent the spawn of the devil and must be opposed at every turn to save the Republic.

    After the fiftieth iteration, this really gets kind of old. But being generous, I think Bart is dispirited by the Tea Party fading, waffling, looking ridiculous, selling out and otherwise being a disappointment. He truly thought this movement would transform American politics, and now he sees that it’s not going to happen.

  10. dcpetterson says:

    Let’s also point out, the intent of a calling for a cloture vote is not merely to kill a piece of legislation. Each cloture vote requires 30 hours of debate before the vote is taken. With 120 cloture votes in the 111th Congress, that means (30 x 120 = ) 3600 hours were wasted in unnecessary “debate.” The Republicans did this simply to slow down the work of Congress — they called for cloture votes even on measures they intended to vote for. Some measures that passed the Senate 95 – 0 still had to go through cloture votes.

    Every time something takes longer than it needs to, it forces something else off the schedule. This was the Republicans’ intent — to slow down progress on everything — particularly on improving the economy. Republicans insist we can’t rely on government to do anything useful, because, they say, government is broken. And to prove their point, they intentionally break it.

    In addition to this arrogant and conscienceless obstruction-by-cloture, the Senate allows secret holds and other methods of prevent legislation (particular nomination confirmation votes) from reaching the floor. There are still over a hundred Federal judgeships and sub-cabinet positions that remain unfilled simply because of Republican obstructionism. The Republicans hate America — they want the business of government to simply grind to a halt, wasting time, wasting money, and most importantly, killing jobs.

    Republicans do not want to govern. They want simply to rule.

    Yet, despite all that, Pelosi and Reid and Obama refused to bow down to these anti-democratic totalitarian tactics. The 111th was one of the most productive Congressional sessions in our history. America owes Congressional Democrats a debt of thanks for having the courage and determination to stand up to the anti-American forces of destruction who sought to prevent enactment of the Will of the People as expressed in the historic election of 2008.

    So we watch the end of this Congress, and salute those who worked so hard to bring America into the 21st Century. Particularly those who did what they knew to be right, despite the danger they’d face in unlimited campaign contributions from the other side. Yes, the Regressives gained a majority in the House — a smaller majority, it must be said, than the Democrats had in the last Congress. But progress always is two steps forward, one back. In the end, America will not be stopped. And the 111th proved not even the most obscene misuse of Senate rules by the forces of obstruction can keep America from her greatness.

  11. mclever says:

    I agree with Max. While I applaud Harkin for raising awareness of the issue, I do not think the cloture/filibuster rules should be changed.

  12. dcpetterson says:

    Max aka Birdpilot

    Bart is no longer a worthy opponent. His arguments no longer reflect any thought and have progress past mere deflection and diversion and falsity to pure intellectual laziness.

    Well, when the most convincing argument Bart can put forward is:

    Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh!

    … I’d say you’re right, Max. Bart has been reduced to simple whining. Does he imagine a newborn tantrum would be convincing to the rest of us? He previously claimed:

    “I know what is best for you rabble!”

    … apparently re-diapering Baby Bart must rate toward the top of the list of “what’s best,” eh?

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    I heartily join Harkin in seeking the repeal of the Senate filibuster.

    So long as the GOP has the House, the filibuster is meaningless in the Senate.

    When the GOP takes the White House and the Senate in 2012, the Dems would then lose their only tool to stop the repeal of Obamacare and other misbegotten Obama policies and then start pushing through reforms the voters have been demanding.

  14. Bart DePalma says:

    Shiloh:

    I agree. Graham can be a whiny little brat when he isn’t playing RINO.

  15. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    His entire current political view can be distilled down to this:

    When Republicans are elected, they represent the Sacred Will of The Voters and must not be opposed.

    Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?

    I have no problem with folks like Pelosi voting the socialist agenda of her nutty district. That is their job.

    My problem, and its a shame that it is not your problem, are the authoritarian Dem games meant to thwart the will of the national majority of voters.

    When Democrats are elected, they represent the spawn of the devil and must be opposed at every turn to save the Republic.

    Nah, I don’t blame the devil for Dem authoritarianism. Dems are 100% responsible for their own misdeeds.

  16. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart hates it when I’m right.

  17. filistro says:

    @Bart…Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?

    Which part? The part where Obama’s overwhelming electoral victory in 2008, and the Dems holding all three branches of govt. for some reason didn’t even represent a mandate to govern in your mind, let alone the “will of the people.”

  18. Jean says:

    Here’s what I read is being considered:

    Among the chief revisions that Democrats say will likely be offered: Senators could not initiate a filibuster of a bill before it reaches the floor unless they first muster 40 votes for it, and they would have to remain on the floor to sustain it. That is a change from current rules, which require the majority leader to file a cloture motion to overcome an anonymous objection to a motion to proceed, and then wait 30 hours for a vote on it.

    “There need to be changes to the rules to allow filibusters to be conducted by people who actually want to block legislation instead of people being able to quietly say ‘I object’ and go home,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

    This year, McCaskill lined up backing from more than two-thirds of senators for elimination of secret holds, which allow a senator to block action on a bill or nomination anonymously. She said that Democrats will also push plans to force senators who place holds to do it publicly.

    http://nationaljournal.com/congress/senate-s-returning-democrats-unanimously-favor-filibuster-reform-20101222

    The problem is that all a senator has to do is file “an intent to filibuster” and that is sufficient to require the cloture vote of 60 votes. Let’s start by making senators get up and actually debate the way they did in the old days.

    Udall’s proposal does not seem unreasonable given the “will of the people” (as Bart constantly reminds us). The results of a November 2010 poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee by the Democratic pollster PPP reveals that among Democrats, who saw much of their legislative agenda tied up in the Senate by Republican filibusters this year, 77% called for an end to the practice of effectively requiring a 60-vote majority to pass bills. Fifty-seven percent of Republican respondents said they opposed the filibuster, as did 61% of independents.

    For PCCC’s Adam Green, the survey is a signal that his group’s push to end the filibuster doesn’t end just because the Senate’s Democratic majority shrank on Tuesday night.

    “Even among a skewed 2010 electorate with depressed Democratic turnout and high Republican turnout, voters are tired of obstruction in the Senate and overwhelmingly support the boldest filibuster reform possible: the Constitutional norm of majority rule,” he said. “Democrats can resist the inevitable Republican protests that will come with such reform with the full knowledge that even a Republican-voting electorate supports Democrats being bold on this issue.”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/on-election-day-majority-agrees-we-should-scrap-the-filibuster.php

  19. shiloh says:

    then lose their only tool to stop the repeal of Obamacare

    Bartles just admitted Reps can’t do squat re HC the next (2) years!

    I agree. Graham can be a whiny little brat when he isn’t playing RINO.

    Much like yourself, whatever you appear to be playing on a particular day ~ btw, on Christmas, did you feel more like a Rep or a Libertarian ?!? 😀 Bart’s totally pissed off ie (((depressed))) Harry Reid cleaned the Reps clock in the lame duck session, plus he will never recover from Colorado turning totally (((BLUE))) on election day w/help from his teabagger buddies lol.

    >

    Indeed Bart’s hyperbolic, inane, disingenuous projection needs to be repeated one more time, eh ~ Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh!. Again Bart’s posts get rather short when he’s depressed and mailing it in ~ god love him. Bart as always, “we” can help w/your intervention ~ but, but, but winger trolls say: god helps those who help themselves!

    take care

  20. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    (Ignoring Bart until he at least acts like an adult)

    I’ll certainly go for the removal of the “anonymous hold” rule. I could also agree to slightly modify the Cloture Rule to:
    end the 30 hour delay and replace it with a rule that requires a vote once the member currently with the floor, without yielding to another Senator, yields back to the Chair; it would include the provision that, once an “intent to filibuster” is filed, all Senators would be required to remain in Washington subject to a quorum call, and;
    a motion to invoke Cloture may be made no more than once every 24 hours and may be made at any time without regard to floor ownership.

  21. Jean says:

    Max,

    There is a very interesting filibuster reform discussion etween Ezra Klein of WaPo and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley at

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/sen_jeff_merkley_this_isnt_a_q.html#more

    As Senator Merkley points out, “…I think it’s important for people to understand that this isn’t a question of filibuster or no filibuster, it’s about the ability of the minority and the majority to participate in a deliberative process. The filibuster was designed to make sure every member gets to participate and that the minority has a significant role. It wasn’t designed to obstruct the deliberative process, and there’s nothing about the way that the Senate is operating right now that is consistent with the way the Senate has operated historically.

    So if the social contract is broken, the contract that said “I understand that only under the most pressing, important circumstances will I utilize my privilege to delay the Senate and demand a supermajority vote,” if that social contract is gone and it’s a routine thing because one wants to paralyze the Senate and keep it from operating, then we need to adjust the rules. That doesn’t mean we get rid of the filibuster, but it does mean that we should make anyone who wishes to exercise that have to put more energy into it than simply filing an objection and walking away and having dinner while you delay the Senate for a week.

    My reforms would create a situation where if you want to delay the Senate for a week and force a supermajority, you can’t do it on a whim. You’re going to have to go to the floor, and you’re going to have to defend your position to the American people. The American people are going to be able to respond to it, and you’re going to have to spend the time and energy to do that. That’s the heart of it.”

  22. dcpetterson says:

    It’s a really odd viewpoint we hear from the Teapers. When Republicans are a minority in the government, somehow the wacked-out ideas of the most extreme of the Republican nutcases represent the “will of the people” — even when all issue polls show these positions to be, by far, in the minority.

    I wonder which Alternate Earth these folks are from, and what color the sky is there?

  23. dcpetterson says:

    I truly don’t think Bart’s ideas of Chinese revolution-style mob rule are appropriate for our American representative republic. Besides, as we’ve seen, the arrogant elites who always whip mobs into such frenzies of revolutionary anger wind up being the most autocratic and totalitarian of historical forces. But then, that’s what the corporate masters of the Teapers are seeking — a fascist corporatocrisy, kept in power through agitprop spoon-fed by the Propaganda Channel.

    But, in the end, America will never succumb to their tyranny.

  24. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?

    filistro says: Which part? The part where Obama’s overwhelming electoral victory in 2008, and the Dems holding all three branches of govt. for some reason didn’t even represent a mandate to govern in your mind, let alone the “will of the people.”

    Obama and the Blue Dog Dems who campaigned as tax cutting fiscal conservatives promising a net spending decrease and health care reform reducing premiums of the health insurance were would be allowed to keep had a mandate to govern as they campaigned – from the center-right. Instead, they lied, pissed all over their voters and governed from the furthest left in American history.

    Even if they had campaigned on nationalizing the auto companies, Porkulus, Son of Porkulus, Obamacare, Cap & Tax, raising government spending to 25% of GDP and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, Obama and the Blue Dog Dems had a duty to adjust their policies when their constituents made it plain to them that they had changed their minds and opposed those policies. Instead, Obama, Pelosi and Reid strong armed the Blue Dogs into pissing all over their constituents.

    Thus, I once again pose the question to you and everyone else here who supported this anti-democratic behavior: Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?

  25. Mr. Universe says:

    I wonder which Alternate Earth these folks are from, and what color the sky is there?

    Why red, of course.

  26. filistro says:

    Bart… I will answer your question if you word it without the ugly, overworked cliches and juvenile name-calling.

    You should know by now that if you want me to talk to you, you have to call things by their real names, not their Freeperville monikers.

  27. drfunguy says:

    @Bart
    “Thus, I once again pose the question to you and everyone else here who supported this anti-democratic behavior: Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?”
    What part of: you have made no case for your premise escapes you?
    According to politifact, of the top 25 campaign promises three were broken:
    No. 38: Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes
    No. 240: Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials
    No. 456: Create cap and trade system with interim goals to reduce global warming
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/subjects/politifacts-top-promises/
    Most were fulfilled or in the works, sometimes with compromises, a few are stalled (such as closing Guantanamo).
    Now, as I have said before, HCR would have been better with a public option, single-payer better (and cheaper) yet. It is unfortunate that we only have two parties and both are beholden to the insurance industry…
    So Barts comment about pissing all over the voters holds no water.
    As usual.

  28. Jean says:

    fili,

    Bart obviously revels in his own and the childish wit of the freepers. Bart must come from a family of wits. I wonder which branch he is from – the Half or the Nit Wits.

  29. Number Seven says:

    Life is far too short to engage Bart and the rest of the Public Cons in any sort of rational debate, but I do have to admit I like reading about him getting his latest smack down 🙂

  30. Number Seven says:

    Wanted to add this for Mr. U: one of the best thread starters from you I have read. It really states the case of having to do something to stop the filibuster abuse that has been going on since 2006. Should the filibuster be dropped? No. Should the rules be changed to make those who filibuster prove the courage of their convictions? Hell yes.

    It was nice to see Reid stop curling up into a fetal ball everytime someone whispers filibuster for one. Let’s hope he can keep it going next year.

  31. Bart DePalma says:

    drfunguy:

    Politifact is a Dem CYA joke from a Dem paper.

    Every single major Obama initiative represents one or more broken campaign promises.

    Obamacare is a perfect example.

    Let’s start with the general campaign promises:

    No increased taxes for anyone making under $200K or 250K depending upon the speech – Broken. There are several Obamacare taxes which break this promise.

    All new spending will be more than offset by other spending cuts for a “net spending cut” – Broken. Obamacare will cost over $2 trillion over its first ten years of full operation.

    Now the more specific promises from the campaign site:

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s plan strengthens employer–based coverage…

    Only if you get a waiver like the unions and McD. Otherwise you lose your coverage.

    … ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference.

    HHS and the Medicare death panel sets your coverage and thus your care.

    Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year.

    You can only buy government approved health insurance which has immediately spiked in cost.

    If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.

    No one is signing up for the Obamacare high risk pools because the insurance costs a fortune.

    Picking off Obama lies is a target rich environment.

  32. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ Which part of the duty of representatives is to implement the will of their constituents escapes you?

    Obama was elected to a (((4 year term))) w/(((69.5 million))) votes ~ 7.5 million more than cheney/bush in 2004. So what part of the will of “we the people” don’t you understand dimwit!

    Again Bart, feel free to stop whining at any time. Obama Gallup job approval 49/45 ~ Congressional job approval 13/83 lol ~ hmm, will of the people soooo 83% of congress should be replaced, eh. 😉 And good luck w/boehner being the new face of wingers!

    apologies to dimwits …

  33. Jean says:

    Bart,

    re: Every single major Obama initiative represents one or more broken campaign promises.

    And what’s your point, Bart? Why the so-called “concern”? Since you did not and do not support Obama and did not vote for Obama, your concern regarding any broken campaign promises is specious and blatently hypocritical.

  34. filistro says:

    Bart conveniently forgets the circumstances of the nation (and the world) at the time of the election. Barack Obama was elected to pull the country back from the brink of economic catastrophe and save the nation’s future.

    He has done so… even though it involved some tough love and bitter medicine… and that is why his approval ratings are hovering around 50% and rising.

  35. drfunguy says:

    @Bart
    When you comment on alleged bias in a news source without demonstrating it, again. You merely reveal the extent of your ignorance and laziness on the topic, which are apparently boundless. Let me know when you have actually learned what constitutes bias in media and can demonstrate that with actual examples.
    As for your comments on HCR, you seem to think that the President legislates (at least for the moment on this topic) perhaps you need remedial high school civics.

  36. Monotreme says:

    Barted:

    Politifact is a Dem CYA joke from a Dem paper.

    Source, please.

  37. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    (Ignoring Bart until he at least acts like an adult)

    Mono said “ Bart, source please” Mono, Bart couldn’t source a cat if you spotted him the “a” and the “t”.

  38. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    SCOTUS Justice steven Breyer has a couple of excellent books out currently I’d encourage all to read.

    “Active Liberty” is a short piece on his philosophy of the Constitution and some rationale behind his decision making, and “Making Democracy Work”.

    An excellent peek into the inner thoughts of a SCOTUS Justice.

  39. dcpetterson says:

    I note that Bart again tried to hijack this thread.

    The Republicans have abused the rules of the Senate for the purpose of thwarting the Will of the People. America elected — overwhelmingly — a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress and a Democratic President. In America, government happens by a system of representative democracy — not by the mob rule of taking opinion polls every couple of days.

    Rather than allow our democratically-elected representatives to do the job We the People sent them to Washington to do, the Republican Party decided to obstruct and prevent, in an arrogant totalitarian and autocratic drive to rule rather than govern. They decided to substitute their will for the Will of the People.

    Bart’s agitprop is designed merely to distract us from this simple fact. The People of America elected Democrats to run the country in 2008. Republicans tried to thwart their Will and to substitute their own corporate masters for the Constitutional government by the people, of the people, and for the people.

    That is why there is a drive to change the rules of the Senate. A great deal more of the People’s Will would have been enacted in the 111th Congress, had it not been for Republican obstructionism and arrogance in the Senate. This anti-democratic fascist attempted coup d’etet must never be allowed again.

  40. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, I have to thank you for reminding us:

    1) how badly the Republicans screwed up the economy, thus forcing some extraordinary measures to rescue America that that oculd not have been foreseen during the campaign in 2008,

    and

    2) how desperately the Republicans worked to thwart the Will of the People, thus interfering in some of the things we elected Democrats to do — and forcing some of those things to either be postponed or achieved in a different way.

    Your slanted and biased spin attempts have additionally served to show us how dishonest and hypocritical your people are, the true depth of arrogance and totalitarianism that is the Tea Party. Again, thank you.

  41. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Every single major Obama initiative represents one or more broken campaign promises.

    Jean says: And what’s your point, Bart? Why the so-called “concern”? Since you did not and do not support Obama and did not vote for Obama, your concern regarding any broken campaign promises is specious and blatently hypocritical.

    I have to live with the results of the fraud…and I take justified pleasure in beating those who actually still believe this liar over the head with reality. Have any of you scraped your Obama stickers off your cars yet?

    filistro says: Bart conveniently forgets the circumstances of the nation (and the world) at the time of the election. Barack Obama was elected to pull the country back from the brink of economic catastrophe and save the nation’s future.

    You actually believe that, don’t you? That might be cute in a really delusional way if we all weren’t on the hook for the $3 trillion dollars plus interest Obama ran up on the national credit card in only two years with the reward being a 9-10% unemployment rate as far as the eye can see.

    drfunguy says: When you comment on alleged bias in a news source without demonstrating it, again.

    Perhaps you missed my evisceration of the politicfact claim that Obamacare does not take over the health insurance industry. My favorite is still their claim back in 2008 that there was no evidence that Obama had anything to do with ACORN.

    As for your comments on HCR, you seem to think that the President legislates (at least for the moment on this topic) perhaps you need remedial high school civics.

    Have you noticed that your narcissistic President is the only Dem who is not at all upset with the term Obamacare?

  42. drfunguy says:

    Bart
    “Perhaps you missed my evisceration of the politicfact claim that Obamacare does not take over the health insurance industry. ”
    You can’t evicerate something that you haven’t read.
    Nothing you wrote about politifact evidences any familiarity with it at all.
    And are you going to make excuses for the unprecendented use of the filibuster by the Republicants of late or do you admit that they have been thwarting the will of the people?

  43. Mr. Universe says:

    Thwarting the will of the Republican people. I like it. Or how about ‘will of the Republican minority’? I’ll be using that from now on.

  44. drfunguy says:

    p.s. Bart: “Have you noticed that your narcissistic President is the only Dem who is not at all upset with the term Obamacare?”
    This is the sort of unhinged statement that makes you so entertaining. Neither relevant to the discussion at hand nor based in any fact; sweeping, grandiose and insane all at once.
    Who knows whether President Obama (or any other Democrat for that matter, let alone all of them) is upset about this childish label from winger land?
    And if they were upset about childish verbal games as opposed to serious debate and governing or if they were not upset, so what?

  45. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ I have to live with the results of the fraud

    (((Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh!)))

    A certain symmetry when Bart starts the thread off w/his disingenuous, inane, hyperbolic projection …

    and then

    and then

    and then

    does nothing but continue to whine throughout this thread. 😀

    >

    btw, any 538 thread which is positive re: Obama and negative re: Reps, ie the truth, Bartles always has to be the 1st to pounce w/his ad nauseam, winger, nonsensical rhetoric as again, a certain 538 symmetry …

    The yin and yang of 538 positive progressives and Bart et al conservative lemming, negative regressives!

  46. Panamanian Girl says:

    Wow, Mr. DePalma. Really? Genital herpes? That infantile “cooties” taunt aside…

    I am so fed up with the “will of the people” battle cry. According to people like Bart, “we” (the centrists, the liberals, the moderate conservatives, and anyone reasonable) are not worthy of being included among “the people”, so our “will” should be disregarded.

    Only the will of those who want to bring us back to the Dark Ages and install a theocratic, oligarchic plutocracy is the one that is valid, right?

    It is disheartening to see that looking for alternate (or better) methods to approach and solve crises, defending inalienable human rights, improving the common welfare, and being open to cross the aisle and showing a willingness to compromise, make us the recipients of the “unpatriotic”, “un-American”, “Constitution defiler”, or “traitor” labels.

    This is not what I was expecting when I became a naturalized citizen. I was hoping to see a serious attempt at keeping democracy alive. I was hoping to see unconventional, non-mainstream ideas considered valuable and worthy of inclusiveness. (I grew up under a military dictatorship, which I protested against and was tear-gassed for it. And some accuse our President of being a tyrant? Laughable and clueless. They have no idea what a tyranny is like.)

    Now I see so much division and obstinacy (the apparent rift among centrist, Third Way, and left-wing Democrats); a most reprehensible Party of No childishly refusing to cooperate unless they get absolute control; and many misinformed, brainwashed, irrational and tantrum-throwing people, that I almost feel like giving up on reading and participating in politics at all.

    I apologize for the absence of data in this comment, but I simply needed to say how dismayed I am at the obstructionists who do not care about getting us out of the ditch in which the last administration threw us all.

    And Bart, be civil and nice.

  47. Monotreme says:

    @Panamanian Girl,

    Indeed, we have established that for Bart DePalma, minor changes in the tax code constitute tyranny.

  48. filistro says:

    @Panamanian Girl… I apologize for the absence of data in this comment, but I simply needed to say how dismayed I am at the obstructionists who do not care about getting us out of the ditch in which the last administration threw us all.

    There is no need to apologize, Pan Girl. We use Bart as a touchstone in this forum… and your reaction to him proves you are pure gold 🙂

    As for this…. I almost feel like giving up on reading and participating in politics at all … it’s a feeling I understand and often share. The thing is, people of conscience just can’t give up, because the other side (motivated by greed and self-interest) will NEVER give up…. and we just cannot allow them to trample everybody else without restraints on their excesses. So like it or not, we have to remain engaged in the battle and do what we can.

    On the bright side… we’re winning 😉

  49. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “Perhaps you missed my evisceration of the politicfact claim that Obamacare does not take over the health insurance industry. ”

    drfunguy says: You can’t evicerate something that you haven’t read.

    I am perhaps the only one here who has read parts of the bill. You may recall that I cited the grandfather and Medicare “death panel” clauses to educate the 538 crowd repeating Dem talking points.

    drfunguy says: And are you going to make excuses for the unprecendented use of the filibuster by the Republicants of late or do you admit that they have been thwarting the will of the people?

    I applaud the GOP for doing everything in their power to stop policies which the voters opposed. The voters in 2010 agreed.

    BD: “Have you noticed that your narcissistic President is the only Dem who is not at all upset with the term Obamacare?”

    drfunguy says: Who knows whether President Obama (or any other Democrat for that matter, let alone all of them) is upset about this childish label from winger land?

    It would be easier to count the number of Dems who have not voiced upset at The One being joined rhetorically at the hip with his frankenstein creation. It is revealing to hear Fili and other Dems call this “name calling” as if the government health insurance takeover they support is an epithet. Deep down, you know this bill is a frankenstein creation as well.

    Panamanian Girl says: Wow, Mr. DePalma. Really? Genital herpes?

    There is always the “heartbreak of hemorrhoids,” but that is a bit cliche and Fili would get on me.

    Panamanian Girl says: “I am so fed up with the “will of the people” battle cry.”

    Unsurprising. As a minority with desires to run other people’s lives, most progressives have no use for the “will of the people.”

    Panamanian Girl says: According to people like Bart, “we” (the centrists, the liberals, the moderate conservatives, and anyone reasonable) are not worthy of being included among “the people”, so our “will” should be disregarded.

    The center and the conservatives punished the left Dem government for their policies last election. You are not speaking from the center and certainly not as a conservative.

    Panamanian Girl says: This is not what I was expecting when I became a naturalized citizen. I was hoping to see a serious attempt at keeping democracy alive. I was hoping to see unconventional, non-mainstream ideas considered valuable and worthy of inclusiveness.

    Democracy is majority rule by the People either directly or through representatives. It is not an exercise in policy diversity.

    Panamanian Girl says: (I grew up under a military dictatorship, which I protested against and was tear-gassed for it. And some accuse our President of being a tyrant? Laughable and clueless. They have no idea what a tyranny is like.)

    Tyranny is the government’s imposition of its policies against the will of the people. Tear gas is optional. The British only used violence once against American protests of its tyranny.

  50. Bart DePalma says:

    Speaking of tyranny…

    You may recall that the Senate removed Obamacare legislation directives to doctors to counsel their patients to consider living wills and other cutoffs of end of life care. This was actually a diversion from the actual Medicare death panel hidden at the end of the bill, but the Senate did act in reaction to the public outrage.

    A week after abusing the regulatory process to grant itself the power to determine whether premiums are “reasonable,” HHS just enacted regulations reinserting the counseling language the Senate removed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/us/politics/26death.html?_r=3&hp

    The Democratic Party is now a contradiction in terms. May I suggest that it be renamed to Caveat Emptor. Believe their campaign promises at your own risk.

  51. filistro says:

    Hey Bart!

    The president’s “approval index” at Rasmussen this morning is -10… the best reading in almost a year (lately it’s been hovering around -20.)

    Looks like the “will of the people” is increasingly to get behind their president and give him their support. I’m sure you’ll respect that.

  52. shortchain says:

    It’s always amusing to see Bart misread, misinterpret, and just plain miss the news of the day.

  53. drfunguy says:

    BD: “Perhaps you missed my evisceration of the politicfact claim that Obamacare does not take over the health insurance industry. ”

    drfunguy says: You can’t evicerate something that you haven’t read.

    I am perhaps the only one here who has read parts of the bill.

    Here you demonstrate that you don’t even understand what you yourself write!

  54. filistro says:

    Anybody here who’s clued in to Wisconsin politics?

    This poll shows Feingold beating Ryan by 7 points in 2012… but to run, Feingold would either have to challenge his friend Herb Kohl in the primary, or Kohl (who is 75) would have to step aside and not run again.

    Is either scenario likely?

  55. filistro says:

    Here’s a timely reminder to all of us why we must stay in the battle and never weaken, never yield an inch to the crazies over there on the right. It’s the Freepers, just this morning, designing their dream administration for 2012:

    This is a Federal Administration that I would wholeheartedly endorse and work for:

    Sarah PALIN – President
    John BOLTON – VP
    Steve Forbes – Sec. of State
    General Patraeus – Sec. of Defense
    Mark Levin – Attorney General
    Thomas Sowell – Sec. of Treasury
    Jan Brewer – Sec. of Homeland Security

    Dept. of Veteran Affairs – Merge with Defense
    Dept. of Interior – Merge with Treasury
    Dept. of Commerce – Merge with Treasury
    Dept. of Transportation – Merge with Treasury
    Dept. of Health & Human Services – Merge with Treasury
    Dept. of Agriculture – Merge with Treasury

    Dept. of Education – ABOLISH
    Dept. of Energy – ABOLISH
    Dept. of Labor – ABOLISH
    Dept. of Housing & Urban Development – ABOLISH

    20 posted on December 27, 2010 5:34:46 AM by (redacted)
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

  56. shiloh says:

    It’s always amusing to see Bart misread, misinterpret, and just plain miss the news of the day.

    It’s always amusing to see Bart misread, misinterpret 538 posts and deliberately miss current events as he lives in his insulated teabagger bubble.

    >

    Panamanian Girl, Bartles has been a disingenuous, nonsensical, crybaby winger whiner since he first arrived at 538 as that’s how he rolls lol and we play w/him accordingly. 😀 It’s that basic as he is totally consumed by Barack Hussein Obama the freely elected 44th President of the United States of America!

    Bart is 538’s whipping boy and it’s soooo nice that he obliges us, eh as he just can’t help himself. Again, if “we” didn’t chat w/Bartles, who would.

    btw, Bart seems wayyy too familiar w/genital herpes …

    >

    and speaking of disgruntled children, will McCain ever get over losing to an African/American and pickin’ a prom queen as his v-p, who is now getting more media attention than him ~ rhetorical question.

  57. Bart DePalma says:

    Interesting. I would prefer a real all star team…

    President – David Petreaus
    Vice President – Haley Barbour
    Sec State – John Bolton
    Sec Treasury – Steve Forbes
    Sec Defense – Jim Webb (D)
    Sec Interior – Sarah Palin
    Sec Commerce – Hillary Clinton (D)
    Sec Health & Human Services – Paul Ryan
    Sec. Transportation – Best available transportation reformer.
    Sec. Agriculture – Best available agriculture subsidies reformer.
    AG – Randy Barnett

    Dept. Homeland Security – Abolish
    Dept. of Education – Abolish
    Dept. of Labor – Abolish
    Dept. of Housing & Urban Development – Abolish
    Dept. of Veteran Affairs – Merge with Defense

  58. Panamanian Girl says:

    Bart,

    I never said I was a conservative. I am a centrist liberal Democrat, strongly supportive of Third Way and mixed economy policies.

    Consensus democracy is just a valid salient feature of democracy as any other.

    All of your obtuse discernments, misinterpretations and political gospel remind me of a warning quote by James Madison:

    “Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.”

    The majority and the majority rule can bring malfeasance upon the dissenting. It is not a given that majorities are innately and automatically wise and just in every aspect of policy and civil rights.

  59. shiloh says:

    Bartles, surely you can’t be serious!

    Did I mention Bart obliges us daily w/his over-the -top winger inanity!

    ok, ok, I would like to see palin’s interior …

  60. filistro says:

    Bart..what would a “transportation reformer” do?

  61. Brian says:

    Ah, the will of the people…

    The same will of the people that cast more votes for Al Gore than George W. Bush?

    The same will of the people that overwhelmingly elected Obama and his promises?

    The same will of the people that wanted a public option?

    The same will of the people that wanted both Sotomayor and Kagan approved?

    The same will of the people that did not want tax cuts for the rich?

    The same will of the people that wanted DADT repealed?

    The same will of the people that wanted START enacted?

    That will of the people?

  62. Bart DePalma says:

    Panamanian Girl says: All of your obtuse discernments, misinterpretations and political gospel remind me of a warning quote by James Madison:

    “Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.”

    The majority and the majority rule can bring malfeasance upon the dissenting. It is not a given that majorities are innately and automatically wise and just in every aspect of policy and civil rights.

    I agree completely, which is why I go off when legislation like Obamcare violates multiple clauses of the Constitution.

    Government should be democratic and democratic government needs to be checked by a strong and binding constitution.

  63. shiloh says:

    Bart..what would a “transportation reformer” do?

    Hopefully they would get rid of The Chase format in NASCAR ~ and get rid of the lucky dog and wave around as well ~ solo estoy diciendo.

    carry on

  64. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ which is why I go off when legislation like Obamcare violates multiple clauses of the Constitution.

    (((Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle:::: Waaaahhhh!)))

  65. Panamanian Girl,
    Not everything needs hard data. It helps, of course, but I doubt there’s much dispute over the increased polarization of US politics.

    Personally, I found your observation to be poignant, and particularly valuable coming from an immigrant who has experienced true totalitarianism.

  66. shiloh says:

    Sec Defense – Jim Webb (D)

    Bartles, you do realize Webb disagreed w/every decision made re: cheney/bush’s Iraq War, beginning w/the unprovoked attack of Iraq!

    Much like Marine Corp General Anthony Zinni.

    take care, blessings

  67. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Bart..what would a “transportation reformer” do?

    Stop the looting of the highway fund to subsidize mass transit and other unrelated items.

    Brian says: Ah, the will of the people… The same will of the people that wanted a public option?

    That was a minority.

    The same will of the people that wanted both Sotomayor and Kagan approved?

    A majority did not even know who they were.

    The same will of the people that did not want tax cuts for the rich?

    That was a minority. The majority did not want any tax increases at all.

    The polling claiming that the wealthy were getting a tax cut was a lie. The 2010 rates are simply continued for another 2 years until we can make them permanent or lower them along the lines of the deficit commission plan.

    The same will of the people that wanted DADT repealed? The same will of the people that wanted START enacted? That will of the people?

    Finally, yes. That is why those bills passed with super majority bipartisan support. It is easy to pass legislation with majority voter support over filibusters and vetoes.

    The reason why voters rewarded the Party of No is because the major Dem bills had majority opposition.

  68. Bart DePalma says:

    Shiloh:

    Webb was a very aggressive Sec Navy and will do what Petreaus orders. I have full confidence in Petreaus national defense judgment.

  69. shiloh says:

    Bartles, feel free to provide certifiable/verifiable citations, links, references for any of your above bogus opinions …

    take care

  70. filistro says:

    I’m bemused by this whole “will of the people” argument. It seems (as many have observed) to mean “but only when the will of the people coincides with my wishes.”

    Take Joe Miller, the Tea Party candidate in Alaska. Even while allowing the election results to be certified, he has filed to keep his lawsuit before the court, entirely on the basis that the electoral commission should throw out all ballots for Lisa Murkowski that spell her name even slightly wrong. ie.. “Merkowski” instead of Murkowski.”

    Isn’t that Tea Party position in direct contravention to the “will of the people?” If a voter’s intent was clearly to vote for Murkwoski but she made a spelling error, why should her “will” be discounted?

  71. shiloh says:

    Bartles re: Webb you avoided directly answering my post, but deflected like there was no tomorrow, eh.

    As per usual and thanx for not disappointing! 😉

  72. filistro says:

    Bart… how is mass transit “unrelated” to transportation?

  73. Bart DePalma says:

    Shiloh:

    Here is the latest poll on the loathing of the individual mandate:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/255961/poll-opposition-individual-mandate-all-time-high-daniel-foster

    Here is the latest reading of the rising support to repeal Obamacare.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

    If they polled it, I imagine every single person with private heath insurance would oppose the spike in their premiums from Obamacare mandates.

  74. Brian says:

    Actually, I’m looking at searches for the public option and am finding 50-60% approval ratings. The only onr that has less is Rasmussen, and they’ve been less than credible lately.

    As to Sotomayor and Kagan, a majority of those polled wanted their confirmation. Again, unless you trust the “fair and balanced” Fox News.

    And everyone that opposed both repealing DADT and confirming START was a Republican, right?

  75. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Bart… how is mass transit “unrelated” to transportation?

    The point is that each mode of transportation should be self supporting. We tax gas to finance the highway fund.

    If the cities want federal funding for mass transit, Congress should tax mass transit tickets to fund it. Of course, this is unnecessary because mass transit authorities can raise ticket prices themselves to finance their own capital needs. They simply want to pass those costs onto car drivers.

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian says: Actually, I’m looking at searches for the public option and am finding 50-60% approval ratings.

    You won’t find any accurate polling on the subject because the polling done assumes the false premise that a public option would be just another non-profit health insurance company which is self funding without tax payer subsidies.

    The original House Obamacare bill assumed that the taxpayers would provide all capital needs for the new public option and that the public option would offer lower premiums which would require subsidies. If the government simply offered folks Medicare and made them pay a full per capita premium, no one could afford to buy it. A public option would not be any better and its premiums would require enormous subsidies to stay in business.

    As soon as you include the fact that the public option would need taxpayer money and was designed to put your health insurance co out of business, the public option would poll in the toilet like the individual mandate.

  77. filistro says:

    @Bart… The point is that each mode of transportation should be self supporting. We tax gas to finance the highway fund.

    I think that level of fragmentation is silly, regressive and inefficient. Transportation is essentially a zero-sum game. Every increase in the use of one type of transportation reduces the use of some other type (and thus reduces the stress on that sector) so the whole area can be most efficiently managed as a single entity with lots of moving parts, and the revenues should be wholly fungible within the entire department.

  78. shiloh says:

    Bart ~ Here is the latest poll on the loathing

    No, self-loathing has to do w/Gay Reps and if one didn’t have totally in the tank for wingers polls to refer to, how would you cope Bart ?!?

    hmm, I can deflect as well …

  79. Brian says:

    So you’ve gone from ignoring all but 3 points, to focusing on just 1, which you make claims that you can’t back up. Just standard operating procedure, eh?

    Even GROG can produce better arguments. (No offense GROG)

  80. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: The point is that each mode of transportation should be self supporting. We tax gas to finance the highway fund.

    Fili: I think that level of fragmentation is silly, regressive and inefficient. Transportation is essentially a zero-sum game. Every increase in the use of one type of transportation reduces the use of some other type (and thus reduces the stress on that sector) so the whole area can be most efficiently managed as a single entity with lots of moving parts, and the revenues should be wholly fungible within the entire department.

    Transportation is like any other part of the economy in that it has competing means to accomplish the same purpose. In a free economy, you allow the price mechanism and consumers to choose which means to purchase. Mass transit as it currently exists is socialized transportation where you pay one low subsidized price whose balance is paid by someone else. It is long past time for mass transit users to pay their own way.

  81. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart,

    I told my cohorts here that I would abstain from responding to you since I generally think you are so obtuse as to be beyond reasoning with. But that comment above is a new low for you. That’s just plain lying. I’m not sure how you can even come in here with a clear conscience and make such unsubstantiated claims. Stop pretending you know what the the ‘will of the people’ is.

  82. filistro says:

    @Bart… Mass transit as it currently exists is socialized transportation

    Good grief, Bart.

    You really are one sick puppy, aren’t you?

  83. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Mass transit as it currently exists is socialized transportation

    Fili: Good grief, Bart. You really are one sick puppy, aren’t you?

    Do you actually disagree with this?

    Mass transit as it exists today is classic socialism.

    Identical service.

    Identical subsidized cost.

    Redistribution of income from those who do not use the service to those who do, which under progressive tax systems is simply another transfer of wealth.

    The model is identical to any nationalized health care system you care to name.

  84. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U:

    What comment are you taking issue with? I have been on a roll on this thread, fencing with multiple opponents at once.

  85. shortchain says:

    Bart is a one-man illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect. He apparently imagines he’s “fencing”, when all he’s doing is providing amusement.

  86. Brian says:

    Bart, your idea of being on a roll reminds me of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “It’s only a flesh wound! You want some more of this?”

  87. shiloh says:

    Bartles has never been on a roll at 538, which is how he rolls lol ie again, in his own little teabagger bubble, totally unaffected by facts!

    except Bart always has progressives rollin’ in laughter 😀

    apologies to sick puppies …

  88. Jean says:

    Opinion Research Corporation for CNN. 12/17-19. 1,000 American adults. MoE 3%.

    As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law earlier this year. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?

    Favor: 43%
    Oppose: 54%

    (IF OPPOSE) Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?

    Favor (from previous question): 43%
    Oppose, too liberal: 37%
    Oppose, not liberal enough: 13%

    So 56% percent now either favor or think ACA wasn’t liberal enough, with 37% opposing, saying it is too liberal.

    And interestingly the “opposed, too liberal” has decreased from 43% in March of 2010 to 37% in December 2010.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/27/rel17h.pdf

  89. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    (Ignoring Bart until he at least acts as an adult)

    Anybody here wish to do away with the educational system where all are taxed, even those who don’t use it, to pay for those who do?

    Yes, there are improvements that should be made to the educational system, but doing away with how it is financed?

  90. drfunguy says:

    the interstate highway system as it exists today is classic socialism (in Bartspeak) every individual or trucking company that uses it is subsidized by federal taxes

  91. drfunguy says:

    p.s. still waiting for evidence that you actually read the politifact information I cited above which nowhere makes any “claim that Obamacare [does or] does not take over the health insurance industry”

  92. Todd Dugdale says:

    BDP wrote:
    Redistribution of income from those who do not use the service to those who do, which under progressive tax systems is simply another transfer of wealth.

    It’s entirely possible for someone to purchase petrol and not use the Federal Highway System, isn’t it? I routinely go months without using it, and I could easily avoid using it altogether. For five months out of year, most of my driving is on a 49cc scooter which is illegal (and insane) to drive on a highway. Even when I drive my car, I seldom use the FHS. Socialism! I’m subsidising you, Bart! Tyranny!

    You could also include petrol purchased for motorboats, lawnmowers, and generators. These purchases do not use the FHS, yet they are taxed to support it. Socialism!

    I also pay for highways in states that I have never driven in, nor ever will. Why should I be forced to subsidise highways in Oklahoma, for example? Socialism!

    Mass transit as it exists today is classic socialism.

    Mass transit, as it exists today, is primarily about reducing congestion on those federal highways.
    So there is direct and indirect benefit. In the case of large numbers of people commuting into the urban core, mass transit takes vehicles off the road and eliminates the need for expensive parking in the urban core. Both of these things are benefits to the hapless victims of socialism who pay less than three cents a gallon to support mass transit.

    It’s always seemed crazy to me that conservatives will cheer billion-dollar freeway projects to reduce congestion by adding another lane, but fume and screech over spending a fraction of that sum on mass transit projects that will eliminate the need for that new lane in the first place.

  93. Monotreme says:

    I support Bart’s suggestion to install tollbooths on all federal highways in order to charge a fair price for their use, as long as we make sure to include the attendant costs of environmental damage and potential loss of life from highway accidents. Don’t forget to charge the people for sending an ambulance their way. Anything less would be socialism.

    If we did that, then I bet public transit would fill up right fast.

  94. dcpetterson says:

    Gosh, Bart just uses “socialism” to mean “stuff I don’t like,” right?

    Or maybe he uses it to mean “stuff that actually helps people and that people in America like.”

    We already know he makes up definitions for words.

  95. Jean says:

    Max,

    re: Anybody here wish to do away with the educational system where all are taxed, even those who don’t use it, to pay for those who do?

    An interesting conversation, although I am not anywhere up to speed on our educational system. What I do know is that my youngest child is 29 years old and I raised my three children as a single mom and paid Catholic and private school tuition for all three, while also being taxed for public school education in MN. And doing so did not bother me at all to pay both private school tuition and taxed for public schools. My thoughts were that I was blessed in being able to be able to send my own kids to private /Catholic schools , thus I had no problem also contributing tax-wise to support public schools. In the long-run, we ALL benefit from the next generation getting the best education possible, even though it may be part of my tax dollars paying for their education.

  96. shiloh says:

    Jean, as JFK said ~ And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!

    “general welfare of the United States” ie the Common Good!

    etc. etc. as Bart has a myriad of problems re: how his tax $$$ should be spent, especially since he’s a self-centered SOB w/no children er it’s Christmas time so let’s say he’s Ebenezer Scrooge!

    Again, the yin and yang between Dems and Reps ie human/spiritual empathy vs. hatespeak/misinformation/fear as Reps can’t function w/out a boogeyman! There are miserable human beings and then there’s Bartles.

    apologies to Ebenezer Scrooge …

  97. dcpetterson says:

    “Mass transit as it exists today is classic socialism.”

    You say that as if it’s a bad thing.

    Let’s imagine, for just an instant, that this statement is not utterly insane.

    Are we supposed to flee from mass transit simply because Bart used a dirty word?

    The mere sound of the word “socialism” is supposed to make us recoil in horror and run the other way — and avoid doing whatever-it-is that the word has been attached to. For no reason other than that we’ve been trained in Pavlovian fashion to avoid anything that some right wing nutcase has decided to label “socialism.”

    I’ve got news for you — the Internet is Socialist! Did you personally pay for the research and the infrastructure that you use? Or were the costs shared among billions of the Earth’s citizens?

    Bart, if you were consistent in your insane bleatings, you would never ever use the Internet. The fact that you’re posting here proves you don’t actually believe a word of the agitprop you’re spouting. Just sayin’.

  98. Mr. Universe says:

    And of course, if you’re opposed to government regulation of carbon emissions then you should be really supportive of mass transit projects. That’s one of the key benefits of mass transit. But cling to your bibles and guns and destroy the atmosphere if you want to because that’s your God given right.

  99. Pingback: Cinco de Enero | 538 Refugees

  100. Mr. Universe says:

    100!

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