Rahmbo: From Now On, Policy First, "Bipartisanship" Second

From Jane Hamsher, good to see the Obama team recognize what some of the President's supporters refuse to see:

Mr. Emanuel owned up to one mistake: message. What he called the outside game slipped away from the White House last week, when the president and others stressed bipartisanship rather than job creation as they moved toward passing the measure. White House officials allowed an insatiable desire in Washington for bipartisanship to cloud the economic message a point coming clear in a study being conducted on what went wrong and what went right with the package, he said.

(Emphasis supplied.) This is good. Very good. Now, as Jane says, there really is no need to announce these things on the record, to assuage the peanut gallery (meaning people like me). Just do them. Oh BTW, stimulus bill passes House. How many GOP votes? Why ZERO of course.

Speaking for me only

< Friday Afternoon Open Thread | Remember Betsy McCaughey? She's Back >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Lessons Learned. (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    Let's hope.

    Incompetence or disaster capitalism... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:24:46 PM EST
    Is the apparent incompetence of the new administration real - or is it a smokescreen to obscure the continued workings of disaster capitalism within, what James K. Galbraith's new book calls, The Predator State:
    In the corporate Republic that presides over the Predator State, nothing is done for the common good...[T]o tolerate the Predator State is a formula for eventual national economic failure ... [Where] the worst polluters, the flagrant monopolists, the technological footdraggers are given control over the system and capital markets reward them...

    And equally, the predators suck the capacity from government and deplete it of the ability to govern. In the short run, again, this looks like incompetence, but this is an illusion. Predators do not mind being thought incompetent; it obscures their actual agenda. Failure [on the scale of Katrina] is not due to incompetence. Rather, it is intended. There is a willful indifference to problems of competence. Inside the government, no one cares. The attention of the people in charge is focused on other goals.

    Could it be that this is business as usual? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?


    I don't know that Obama (none / 0) (#41)
    by Radix on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:31:23 PM EST
    ascribes to this concept, it's clear the Republicans do though.

    Obama may feel that his only (none / 0) (#46)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:42:21 PM EST
    option is to be 'pragmatic' about the intractability of "disaster capitalism" and the "predator state".

    Is it really too early to make (none / 0) (#85)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:42:02 PM EST
    a judgment? People judge each other quite quickly in person. Does it work the same way with Presidents? I'm reserving judgment btw. I'm quite disturbed by some things, and happy with others.

    BTD's post is about Rahm admitting mistakes (none / 0) (#86)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:00:30 PM EST
    So sorry if I happened to actually address the subject at hand in a manner you find disagreeable.

    Donald, don't be so defensive (none / 0) (#119)
    by cymro on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:03:18 PM EST
    FHA is merely raising valid concerns, for which he cites Galbraith. Are you dismissing Galbraith's thesis as incorrect or irrelevant (on what basis?), or just trying to ignore it (why -- because it makes you uncomfortable?)

    Cymro, you hit the nail on the head... (none / 0) (#160)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:15:54 PM EST
    The issue at hand is whether there is truth and relevance to the theories James K. Galbraith's sets forth in his book "The Predator State".

    To that end, I would suggest that detractors follow the link, maybe even read the book, and then argue the points they find untenable.


    Funny how it took Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:34:40 PM EST
    to teach them this lesson.

    They were really naive. (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:41:09 PM EST
    I was too, in a way. I never dreamed they would go this far to oppose Obama after the beating they just took. They are worse than even I thought.

    I hope Obama is PO'd with their behavior and tries to please the people now instead of the Republican politicians. The people are on his side and he's wasting time.


    I'm glad they did it so soon (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:42:54 PM EST
    Unfortunately, people tend to ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:51:37 PM EST
    repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

    Especially if that is their intention... (1.00 / 0) (#48)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:44:47 PM EST
    I would have been surprised (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:05:07 PM EST
    if the Republicans had acted any other way through this drama.

    It is that beating that they took that made it predictable in my mind.  They are like wounded cornered animals.  They are going to lash out at anyone who comes near them.  Only a handful are smart enough to see that it is in their best interest to accept Obama's extended hand.  The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Christ in FL.  The rest are under the misguided perception that burning down the house is the best way to get it back.

    I will be surprised if they change course too.  There is a reason they went down to such a huge defeat in the last election and it ain't because the Democrats are so great.


    The Republicans are seething (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Amiss on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 11:42:18 PM EST
    about Crist appearing with Obama in Ft. Meyers. According to the Miami Herald,
    They may not be saying it outright, but the Republican delegation is very angry. If they got Charlie Crist in a dark alley, all you'd have left is a tuft of white hair,'' said Ana Navarro, a Republican consultant from Miami, suggesting Crist has dampened enthusiasm for a potential U.S. Senate run in 2010

    Just up the coast Wednesday at a Palm Beach County Republican Party meeting, one activist unsuccessfully pushed for a vote to censure Crist, according to the Palm Beach Post, which reported that his censure motion drew applause before being blocked on procedural grounds.



    Let em Weep (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 11:51:12 PM EST
    Most GOP Governors want the $$, or should I say need the money. Christ is typical of t hat sentiment.

    "Crist" (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:34:48 AM EST
    It is not just republicans seething at Crist (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by fly on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:56:21 AM EST
    Many of us Dems in Fl who had our votes stolen by Obama are still not ready to make "nice" and many never will be..yours truely included!

    Oh and I was a former Dem Delegate..and Obama went into Kathrine Harris's territory..coinsidence????? No.

    The same area 18,000 votes were stolen in 2006..hmmmmmmm

    Fool me once ..isn't that the saying??????

    Obamy ignored all the counties that gave him support and went to the most repub area in the state..whippeeeeeeeee..we should all be excited now..stole our votes, then came to see the repubs. IN a very repub area..

    That is sure change I will never believe in..unless it is for some agenda ......but I never believed his game anyway.


    Poor Baby (5.00 / 0) (#150)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:44:07 AM EST
    Blame your GOPer controlled state government for that. But why would you, considering you looking to blame all your ego problems on someone else aka sore loser.

    The GOP may be over-protesting about Crist, (none / 0) (#161)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:27:58 PM EST
    in order to call attention to themselves and pump-up the illusion that some Republicans (like Crist, Specter, Snowe, Collins, etc.) are being 'bi-partisan'.

    Seething on the outside... (none / 0) (#170)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 03:56:18 PM EST
    while laughing on the inside? Today GOP gasbags are saying they want to nationalize the banks, so it's probably safe to take nothing at face value.

    Word to Obama: Karl Rove et al invented '11 dimensional chess'.


    The GOP has been 'burning down the house' (none / 0) (#90)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:25:30 PM EST
    continually, since 2000. Yet they maintained control of government through the '04 election; they were pretty much undeterred my mid-term losses in '06; and they continue to rule the day despite losing all three branches of government in '08.

    Evidently, it doesn't matter who is in the driver's seat - the dead hand of the GOP is still firmly on the wheel - and very few Democrats are thoroughly dedicated to steering a different course.


    I agree with you to a point. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:21:30 PM EST
    I think Obama's one saving grace in this situation is that he is an egotist.  Moreso than most of the people he served with on the Dem side in the Senate.  I don't think he likes being knocked around.  I don't think his ego can take it.  I do think the Republicans may have over played their hand.  They are funny really.  They only have two speeds which are drive like hell and drive even harder.  They have no capacity fot the light touch knock down.  Had they played the genteel pick pockets like a GWH Bush did, they probably would have prevailed over Obama, but they went with outright thuggery which will be responded to by the Obama folks.  I am surprised the GOP didn't take that note from the Dem primary.  When the Clinton folks came out hitting overtly and hard, they lost every time.  It was when she softened and they took a more even handed and subtle approach to knee-capping they managed to injure him.

    The current leadership of the GOP doesn't have the self-control required to really derail Obama right now anyway.


    Unfortunately... (none / 0) (#101)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:37:41 PM EST
    The GOP and their benefactors are way bigger, and more insurmountable, than Obama's "ego".

    Big egos can also be very fragile - i.e. outward arrogance can mask an uncertain sense of self. However, in this case, I wouldn't presume to understand Obama's inner-most workings.


    Make that 1994 (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by denise k on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:03:14 PM EST
    They have been burning down the house since they took over majorities in 1994.  

    Actually, more like 1980... (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:30:53 PM EST
    When Reagan rode into town and threw the doors wide open for religious-right extremists. They set the bomb, and lit the fuse, for the culture wars. Meaning, Reagan et al empowered social conservatives to wage a 12 year war on social progressives.

    Contrary to Obama's mis-informed belief, the culture wars actually petered out during the Clinton era - when social progressives regained some lost ground and some semblance of 'balance' in public discourse.  


    Oh yeah... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Thanin on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:23:50 AM EST
    the social conservatives definitely took a break during the 90s.  No, they never went after Clinton on any issue and progressives definitely found 'balance' in the media...

    the Reagan/Bush era, 1980-92, and if you were on the receiving end of relentless efforts to abrogate your fundamental rights and freedoms, you would know what I mean.

    The extreme religious right had the full backing of government and they were triumphant in their rapacious campaign to marginalize numerous demographics groups, including: the left, the LGBTQ community, women, ethnic and racial minorities, the poor, the homeless, etc.

    Had you been in any of those demographic groups, persecuted by a government over-run by religious zealots, trust me, you would have noticed a difference when Clinton took office.

    It felt like the proverbial boot-on-the neck had begun to ease off for the first time in more than a decade. It remained a better time for most of us; despite the fact that Clinton himself became the direct target for all of the hatred that fueled the GOP and their thoroughly malignant god-squad.

    What was it that you didn't like about the Clinton era: the peace or the prosperity?    


    That was a nice post... (none / 0) (#162)
    by Thanin on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:16:47 PM EST
    and I was about to apologize for being overly sarcastic, until you ended it with such a stupid question.

    I am so sorry that you (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:42:13 PM EST
    took it the wrong way.

    Sadly, your lack of humor robs you of the ability to assess content and tone - to a degree which, apparently, renders you incapable of responding in a rational or civil manner.

    Have the last word if you must. However, I will spare myself the bother of reading, let alone responding to, anything further that you may write. Hate to say this: don't go away mad - just go away;-)


    Ha... (none / 0) (#164)
    by Thanin on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 04:00:13 PM EST
    youre such a jerk, but in away I kind of have to respect.

    FoxholeAtheist I could not agree more!! (1.00 / 0) (#146)
    by fly on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:48:26 AM EST
    It will take some time before the kool-aide drinkers wake up from their hopey/changey realization, and understand they were bamboozled.

    The new boss is the same as the old boss..some see it very clearly, others not so.
    Same tactics are being used and they don't want to see it.

    Give it time, it took the Bushbots a long time to wake from their slumber as well!!..In the meantime..seems our house has to burn down and those of us who did see this coming, will pay the same price as those who were bamboozled.


    They are true believers & (none / 0) (#111)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:25:06 PM EST
    intractable.  THe mistake is to believe they may be otherwise...

    The crucible of actual experience (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:56:32 PM EST
    can tend to demolish even the most wonderfully constructed theories....

    Obama did say one lesson was that perhaps he should have proposed a plan with no tax cuts, then let the Republicans pressure him into some so they would take credit and ownership of the bill....

    Obama is bright and will adapt....


    We can only hope! (none / 0) (#149)
    by rennies on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 08:44:02 AM EST
    On the other hand... (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by cymro on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:34:21 PM EST
    I can't believe that any thinking person who has followed DC politics for more that a few years thinks that this message change is going to change anything for the good. It isn't. It is going to empower the GOP.

    ... but ordinary thinking people who are subjected to media coverage of DC politics don't expect politicians to change, and care little about the "message" of the day, because they know from experience that it is all just partisan propaganda. What they really care about are results, as reflected in their own lives.

    By commenting here about the importance of "the message", you are proving that you are NOT an ordinary thinking person. You are someone who follows politics closely, and therefore believes that the nuances of "the message" are actually important.

    But the only "message" that matters to most ordinary thinking people is their actual day-to-day experience of life. That is what will determine whether the Republicans or the Democrats are the ones "empowered".  


    The GOP made a mistake (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:39:15 PM EST
    by being such jerks.  Obama proved he'd make horrible concessions to make bipartisanship work, and now (hopefully) Obama will just press his numbers advantage.  And since a poll blamed Republicans for the breakdown of bipartisanship on a bill the majority of the public approves, Obama can now act partisan without being labelled as one.

    The Republicans have only one choice: (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:42:13 PM EST
    to destroy Obama. If they try to wait him out, they will be in the minority for a VERY long time.

    If they wait him out and don't help get some (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:45:23 PM EST
    more stimulus bills through, they may not be. Obama will be the one held accountable come election time unless he can convince voters that the Republicans stopped him from doing what was needed. He's been playing right into their hands until now.

    You must be young, (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by bocajeff on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:45:25 PM EST
    It's called politics. The republicans have to be republicans as much as Dems have to be Dems. That's why they are elected in the first place. To assume a person will cross the aisle against their beliefs or the beliefs of their next election is rather irrational in the real world.

    Your comment makes no sense to me (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:49:39 PM EST
    Most politicians can find a reason to support almost anything if they feel sufficient political pressure.

    But for the Republicans, the worst thing they can do is give Obama a free pass.  


    A thought. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Radix on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:23:35 PM EST
    Most politicians can find a reason to support almost anything if they feel sufficient political pressure.

    The fact that Repubs felt comfortable enough to vote no, would seem to indicate their constituents got what they wanted. No?


    The paradox is (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:26:07 PM EST
    the more Repbulicans get beat the more conservative they get--all the moderates representing swing districts have been ousted....

    What we have left are those dedicated to representing the 30% dead enders....


    There are still (5.00 / 0) (#93)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:40:01 PM EST
    a number of Republican Senate seats that are at least possible to be picked off eventually.  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire.

    In the future I wouldn't rule out Texas and Arizona.


    Didn't FDR do better in '36 (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:45:35 PM EST
    than '32?  And didn't the Democrats increase their majority in 1936 too?

    If the economy improves by 2010, the Republicans could be finished for a long, long time.


    Yes (none / 0) (#98)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:05:50 PM EST
    FDR destroyed Alf Landon with the largest popular vote win (until LBJ roasted Goldwater) and biggest electoral college win up to that time.

    After the '36 election Democrats held 75 out of 96 seats in the Senate and 333 out of 435 House seats.  


    That would be my point, as well. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Radix on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:28:18 PM EST
    I don't think so. (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:18:16 PM EST
    I think that their constituents got shafted.  This bill is too small.  The Republicans are counting on this measure failing so that they can regain power.  I think it is very, very hard to believe that if some guy or gal in a conservative district were presented with the real option that the GOP is giving them which is - regaining our power through your economic collapse - the vast majority would not be willing to make that personal sacrifice for the "good" of the party; and they also would be smart enough to understand that waging economic destruction upon the vast majority of voters will NOT in the end give the Republicans any advantage at all - mostly because promising tax cuts to unemployed people and bankrupt businesses is, well, completely idiotic.  Their quest for destruction might help the Libertarians or the Alaskan Independence Parties of the world, but it will not help the Republicans.

    I might be worried about them coming back if most of their elected party members were not so ideologically entrenched and so convinced about the "righteousness" of their mission to destroy this country.  I don't think they can satify their constituents until they either change their minds or get replaced.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#117)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:58:44 PM EST
    Maybe not. The Dems continually gave Bush a free pass even after 2006 and he still went down.

    it's going to be hard for them to destroy (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:48:47 PM EST
    Obama because of the legislative numbers.  Either the Blue Dogs will have to conspire with the GOP to undermine legislation or  Obama will have to destroy himself with scandal.

    Their best hope is in the Senate (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:50:46 PM EST
    And so far it isn't working.

    We need to seat Franken right away (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:58:39 PM EST
    The Republican slow walk of Franken is Machiavellian and working....

    Maybe, Maybe not... (none / 0) (#8)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:44:15 PM EST
    Remember their patron saint, Ronnie, old teflon himself. Just when ya thought there's no way he can deflect the feces from that whirlymagig, he always seemed to do so. Point is, I like your thoughts, I wouldn't count on the end result you do, though.

    Um, as I read the article, (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by dk on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:48:22 PM EST
    Rahm is only apologizing for losing message after they submitted their initial proposal.  In other words, he is not apologizing for the fact that the bill, as initially proposed by Obama, was inadequate, nor is even admitting that his initial proposal is inadequate.

    Thus, I see no evidence from this that Obama is ascribing to economic philosophy that has a chance of being effective.  

    Oh it will be effective. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by SOS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:51:09 PM EST
    For a few months.

    As Krugman says... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by lambertstrether on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:58:45 PM EST
    ... Kicking the can down the road.

    that may be the only goal of this stimulus (none / 0) (#67)
    by of1000Kings on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:18:35 PM EST

    just trying to inject a little bit of the lost GDP while we figure some things out...

    that's the way I've looked at the stimulus package, and I wish that was the way it was framed, I think a lot more people would have understood the bill...

    it's not a miracle package, it's just a package that will hopefully buy some more time while the housing and credit issues are figured out...


    I wonder (none / 0) (#23)
    by SOS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:57:15 PM EST
    anyone even read it.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by SOS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:49:15 PM EST
    are we all stimulated yet?

    I'm waiting for my stimulation to trickle (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:51:20 PM EST
    down from the 11th dimension into the real world.

    I think something is missing: (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:50:14 PM EST
    pointing out who the enemy is.
    He can't be timid about calling out Republicans for blocking good policy. In fact, the White House needs to blame them for any failures---preferably preemptively.

    "We tried to reach out (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:57:02 PM EST
    to Republicans to get cooperation on a critical bill, but they refused. Republicans just want to play the old, partisan games"
    Something like that would be better.

    Same guys who (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by SOS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:59:19 PM EST
    have lectured the rest of us about taking responsibility for our own lives and actions, their code for cutting social programs, while they have been the slipperiest, sleaziest, most clandestine, least accountable bunch to come down the pike and the most successful, through war and corruption, at feeding at the public trough.

    Republicans will pay (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by denise k on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    In spite of the Beltway BS, I think the "real" world sees through the bi-partisan shtick.  The thing Obama did right, was reaching out in a very visible way.  By doing that, I think he makes them look (once again) petty and mean by slapping his outreaching hand.  Republicans are re-running the 1993 playbook that was so successful for them.  I think it is going to backfire on them big time.  Not only is Obama not Clinton, this is a different world.  

    In 1993, there were still a lot (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:23:24 PM EST
    of Southern Democrats.....They were all turning into Republicans anyway.

    This Congress has fewer vulnerable Democrats or retirements.  In 1993, we were still in the midst of the "Reagan Revolution," which from an economic standpoint was just warmed over Keynesian deficit spending caused by tax cuts and huge government spending on defense.

    The Rebublican idea of tax cuts for the wealthy powering the economy has been discredited....

    The Democrats just need to press their advantage....To hell with the Republicans.....


    We are reading from the same page! (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by denise k on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:07:50 PM EST
    This tactic is not going to work this time.  It is never a good idea to fight the last war and that is precisely what the Republicans are doing.  

    Buh Bye, Boehner!


    The demise of the Dixiecrats (none / 0) (#97)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:48:42 PM EST
    was a huge piece of the 1994 elections.

    What concerns me is (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by nellre on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:07:47 PM EST
    That Obama didn't know that the Republicans would dig in and not support the bill to "prove" that they were not for spending, deficits and big government even though, under Republican rule, that's exactly what's happened.
    We can't blame them. Their constituency lets them get away with this.
    We need to blame their constituency. Educate the idiots.

    If the citizens of Texas are any judge... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:09:32 PM EST
    I really don't think these repubs have anything to fear. For example, the folks in North Texas are not big fans of Obama. I am amazed at the manifest hatred, already. In fact, I would comfortably submit that the majority want him to fail. Senators Hutchinson and Cornyn are at no risk whatsoever from their constituency. States that are dark red, like Texas, will never support Obama. Its just not their nature.

    The two TN Senators were both pretty (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:16:08 PM EST
    moderate by GOP standards when they were state office holders. They were two of the worst speaking out against this bill. It makes me realize how bad the really true right wingers are. The Senate has taken away any reasonableness they used to have.

    Do they not care (none / 0) (#30)
    by denise k on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:15:39 PM EST
    about the economy?  or is Texas not in trouble with unemployment and such?  or is it just their natural predisposition to want to see a Yankee government fail?  Like a Confederate holdover thing?  

    Help me understand.


    North Texas has been somewhat immune (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:26:42 PM EST
    to the economic downturn because of the Barnett Shell natural gas reserve. The drilling has been considerable over the past four years or so. Drilling is slowing and the unemployment rate is beginning to creep up, however. So, the general sentiment could change but I doubt it.

    It all seems to turn on that values thing. People here seem to be more concerned over gay marriage, abortion rights, guns, etc. In other words all those premises of repub talking points. Read the book "What's the Matter with Kansas." It'll give you a much better explanation.  


    There may be an opening (none / 0) (#89)
    by lobary on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:22:28 PM EST
    Kay Bailey will almost certainly take out Guvnah Goodhair, leaving the Democrats with another opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.

    Which Dem in TX can take a senate seat? n/t (none / 0) (#92)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:31:58 PM EST
    Bill White or John Sharp (none / 0) (#102)
    by lobary on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:47:09 PM EST
    If I'm not mistaken (none / 0) (#104)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:02:11 PM EST
    No Democrat has won statewide in Texas since 1994.

    Correct (none / 0) (#107)
    by lobary on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:11:05 PM EST
    And one of them was John Sharp.

    He tried again two more times that I'm (none / 0) (#108)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:13:33 PM EST
    aware of, and didn't win then either.

    Texas needs considerably more demographic change before it's going to start electing Democrats again. Right now, the Republicans have a massive advantage.


    the repubs have declared political (5.00 / 9) (#32)
    by kenosharick on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:16:29 PM EST
    war on the Obama administration straight off. I say crush 'em anyway possible.

    Senate debate (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:22:59 PM EST
    Orrin Hatch is really throwing Snowe Collins and Specter under the bus.  "The reason we are in this position is because there have always been too many liberals and too many Republicans who vote with them."  He's said something like that a few times already.

    BTW: Is Gregg voting on this bill now that he's withdrawn?  If so, how do you think he'd vote?

    Supposedly voting no (none / 0) (#36)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:23:59 PM EST
    TPM confirms he'll vote no (none / 0) (#47)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:44:18 PM EST
    Insatiable desire (5.00 / 6) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:33:07 PM EST
    in Washington for bipartisanship?  Seriously?

    My take is that when Obama made it clear that he was going to work across the aisle, the GOP privately rubbed its collective hands in glee, knowing that what that meant was all they needed to do was stand pat, let the Dems give in and give in, and it would almost be like they were still calling the shots.

    I will have to wait to see if it's a new day and a new way for the Obama WH, but I can almost imagine Rahm telling the president, "OK.  We did it your way, and we ended up giving away stuff we didn't need to, we don't have as good a bill, and it may cost us.  From now on, we do it my way; let me demonstrate the proper way to squeeze those GOP cojones."

    But we shall see.

    My hope, as well (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:11:15 PM EST
    Rahm has, to put it mildly, never had the tiniest instinct for actual "bipartisanship," so I've been surprised by his participation in this nonsense.  Maybe that's what it was about, to give Obama a real object lesson about what a fantasy world he's been living in.

    "Insatiable desire in Washington for bipartisanship" surely refers to the Village, not the pols in House and Senate themselves.  IOW, the Broder Brigades.


    If so, (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by Spamlet on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:50:10 PM EST
    it's a very expensive lesson for the rest of us.

    Maybe that's what it was about, to give Obama a real object lesson about what a fantasy world he's been living in.

    Who said experience is overrated?


    Indeed (none / 0) (#131)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:10:26 AM EST
    Couldn't possibly agree with you more.  Don't want to refight the primary wars, but...

    I choked on that too (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 05:59:00 AM EST
    Came to the thread late and was scrolling down to see if anyone highlighted that. I can depend on you Anne!

    The hunger appears quite satiable if your name is not Obama or Broder.


    I sense (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:39:16 PM EST
    a little bit of good cop/bad cop taking place here.

    Obama is not going to abandon his fundamental approach to governance after three weeks.

    Being bipartisan at the same time you communicate the message that your policies are right and the other guy's are wrong is a very difficult assignment.  One way you can try to square that circle is by dividing up the responsibility for setting the message.

    Saying Obama "reached out" is (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:45:44 PM EST
    an overstatement.

    Obama proved he wasn't really serious by letting Pelosi and the loony left write a bill that no republican (and no blue dog democrat) could go back to their constituents with a straight face and support.

    The bill sucks, it's a dem spending spree for the sake of spending and if the shoe where on the other foot and a republican congress wrote a bill with 890 billion dollars in tax cuts I'd expect no on the left to support it either, no matter how bipartisan a president was acting.

    obama was naive to think that republicans could support a bill that was obviously partisan and handled in a partisan way.

    Not that they needed to be partisan so why did he bother?  He hoped by playing the part he could curry political favor with the american people but underestimated the partisanship of Reid and Pelosi and nobody is buying this reaching out rehtoric.

    According to ProPublica, Summers was the point man (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:30:59 PM EST
    working with the House. He believed highway spending got into the ecomony faster than mass transit spending, so he told the House to cut the mass transit amount. And it was done. LINK.

    Also, Rahmbo was working with the House chairmen.

    The House did not go rogue.

    That is a smokescreen put out by some who didn't manage the bill well (lookin' at you, Rahmbo).


    No question this is Obama's Bill (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by pluege on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:44:16 PM EST
    not the House's and not the Senate's.

    I agree it will be seen as his (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:20:28 PM EST
    bill but he lost all his "bipartisan" momentum by letting Pelosi cram a bill through the house.

    Maybe it's the bill he wanted but if he'd been the on putting it together he could have played the bipartisan card a lot better.

    Nobody's buying this bipartisan clap trap.  It's a dem bill and if it works they'll get the credit.  If it doesn't they'll pay the price.


    The reporting seems to indicate the House did what (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 05:54:14 PM EST
    the White House wanted it to do. It does not seem to be a situation where the House went rogue or ignored the WH's directions.

    The Repub and Don't Blame Us, We're Just the Executive Branch spinners seem to want the public to think the House bill was done sui generis at the House.

    Again, reported facts don't seem to support that.


    In Washington (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:04:01 PM EST
    the insatiable desire for bipartisanship is code for 'don't let Democrats be Democrats.'

    yes, bipartisanship is a dance (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:16:14 PM EST
    which Republicans always lead.

    And When Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    got control of the White House and Congress the Village press corps did not call for bipartisanship.

    Curious how that works eh.


    I would feel better (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:11:11 PM EST
    had Rahm said 'policy first, the HELL with bipartisanship'

    I hope in private (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 06:00:58 AM EST
    his description of bipartisanship is laced with his trademark epithets.

    What may have happened here (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:34:09 AM EST
    I think, is that as Chief of Staff, Rahm was in charge of getting this bill through.  That translates to:  Rahm was in charge of being bipartisan.  That translates to: disaster.

    Bottom line (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by JThomas on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:59:10 PM EST
    is that this only passed with 60 votes and without Specter,Collins and Snow,it was in trouble. So, even the facade of reaching out did yield the desired effect..legislation that passed.

    Now, Specter is being quoted as saying that in the cloak room a GOP senator approached him and thanked him for voting for the bill..and when Specter asked him why he did not..guy admitted he was fearful of being primaried in 2010. Specter said he thinks there are a number of others who were for it but too cowardly to go against the limbaugh taliban corp.

    Specter deserves some credit as he knows he is going to get primaried out of existence in 2010 for this ..hopefully he plans on retiring and is going with his conscience the rest of the way.

    That's a bunch of Hooyey (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:22:22 PM EST
    Maybe a few republicans are worried about thier hydes but it's obvious that most thought it's just a lousy bill.

    i mean they are republicans after all.

    The left isn't a big fan of this bill either.

    I don't see anyone saying they actually think it will work.


    This is why (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:28:23 PM EST
    BTD is right that it is foolish worrying about what is in a politician's heart.  Political pressure is what they respond to, and that holds true for both sides of the aisle.

    Poor Specter is only trying to cover for (none / 0) (#127)
    by suzieg on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 11:58:39 PM EST
    his vote by making himself a fearless hero by going against his party, hoping that democrats in PA will make up for the republican votes he'll lose in 2010 - I don't believe him!

    Can someone explain (none / 0) (#7)
    by bocajeff on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:43:32 PM EST
    Why is that Republicans had to support Obama for it to be labeled biparisan? I mean, why didn't more Dems not support the bill - wouldn't that be bipartisan also?

    Not to be glib...It seems like Dems were in somewhat unanimous agreement yet they aren't critcized for not crossing party lines...

    I only say this because I hate this stimulus bill

    Totally agree (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 02:45:33 PM EST
    That is not my point though.

    My point is why chase house and Senate votes you ain't getting anyway?

    I actually would be very interested in your reaction to the 3 GOP Senators voting for the bill.

    Can we (meaning you and I) that their actions truly make no sense, as Ross Douthat argued earlier this week?


    C'mon, you knew it, we all knew it... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:01:07 PM EST
    The Dems weren't going to get the GOP votes. Do you honestly think Rahmn et al didn't also know that?

    Brilliant Dem strategy to cast the GOP as obstructionists? Or transparent Blue-dog/Dem strategy to have their cake and eat it too? i.e. they passed the corporate-friendly bill that they wanted to pass all along and now they pin it on the GOP, who are more than happy to take credit. Everybody but the average voter is happy. We do know that none of this was ever 'about us' right?


    Bingo! (none / 0) (#128)
    by suzieg on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:00:32 AM EST
    Question (none / 0) (#43)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:34:13 PM EST
    With the stimulus expecting to pass with the barest minority of votes necessary, how do you think Lieberman would have voted if Obama and the Senate Dems kicked Lieberman out of the caucus and stripped him of his committee assignments?

    It's a good question: (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:36:30 PM EST
    I'd say there's a 50% chance he'd vote no out of spite, and a 50% chance that he'd be in the Susan Collins club. Now that the President is no longer fighting with Congress over Iraq, he's somewhat less dangerous.

    If directed to me (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:47:28 PM EST
    I kindly remind you that I supported Obama's directives to treat Lieberman with kid gloves.

    I know (none / 0) (#52)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:54:34 PM EST
    I was all for kicking him to the curb. If anything, the question was directed to me.  

    oh, and I still hate his guts (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:59:48 PM EST
    Me too (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:45:33 PM EST
    Were you? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:59:15 PM EST
    I did not remember that.

    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#56)
    by magster on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:04:04 PM EST
    Ever since he won as an independent, I have been for expelling him from the caucus, and this was amplified exponentially when he was campaigning with McCain.

    Unserious Obama (none / 0) (#94)
    by pluege on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:40:30 PM EST
    If Obama was serious about "change we can believe in" (I know, I know - no question he's not) then the change he would have brought to Washington would have been integrity. And that kind of change would have dictated doing everything you can to get rid of skanks like LIEberman. There is NO room for egomaniacal posers such as LIEberamn in honest serious debate.

    Same goes, if Obama had been serious about change he would have taken his once in 80 years opportunity to flush the system of extremists, otherwise commonly known as today's republicans.

    But since Obama is really a center-right inside game player, more of a Blue Dog than anything, he needs republican foils to contrast and promote his magnificence - hence he resurrects them. And since he is not anywhere near being an actual progressive and has every intention of dissipating and wasting this once in 80 years opportunity to make real progress, he has his PPUS that is of no policy making value at all in today's environment, but is nothing more than one dimension of his 11 dimensional chess, super hedron obtuseificating game board.  


    He chose Lieberman to be his mentor (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by suzieg on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:03:07 AM EST
    when he first came to the senate - he probably feels some loyalty to him!

    Same politicals of personal interest (none / 0) (#147)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:50:44 AM EST
    over Americans' interest you say? No surprise there, no change we can believe in.

    What is Coburn talking about? We are on our (none / 0) (#50)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:51:00 PM EST
    way to a medical system like Great Britain? Did they pass some good health care programs and sneak it past me? What's he trying to accomplish here?

    I hope he's right! (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:12:17 PM EST
    Me too. McConnell is talking now...did you (none / 0) (#65)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:17:15 PM EST
    know that this trillion dollars (where's that number come from) is more than spending x amount of dollars every day since Jesus was born?

    I wonder how many years before Jesus we'd have to go back to to get the the $'s they gave away in tax cuts and Iraq spending? This new found concern for deficits is almost amusing. I hate these hypocrites.

    Obama needs to get some charts and show who really believes in deficit spending. He can win this battle if he tries.


    it is pretty sickening (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by of1000Kings on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:24:50 PM EST
    that the republicans are able to get away with talking about 'big spending' after the last 8 years and the deficit that came along with the last 8 years...

    just goes to show that they are better at playing the message game...

    and that deep down most media outlets are pretty much skewed to the right (or maybe they're just skewed against the party of current power...maintain the status quo...create more news...not sure)


    Yeah. Now it's McCain's turn. He is all (none / 0) (#70)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:27:48 PM EST
    worried about the deficit now, too. Of course, he voted the other night for those tax cuts. They would add much more to the deficit. Why doesn't the media point that out?

    the problem is (none / 0) (#114)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:40:14 PM EST
    that the Dems did not oppose much of the big spending during the Bush II years.

    Right (none / 0) (#118)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:01:45 PM EST
    Like that Medicare Prescription Drug Act, when Tom DeLay had to keep the vote open for hours because the Democrats opposed it en masse.

    Or the time the Democrats voted to set a timetable to end the war.  Oh wait, I forgot, they gave in after Bush vetoed, so they're just as complicit as the party that ran the government all those years...


    I said (none / 0) (#152)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:47:39 AM EST
    did not oppose "much" -- perhaps I should have said as much as many of us would have liked to avoid your attack.

    Did the Dems en masse opposed the original bank bailout with no quid pro quos?  


    The number comes from (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:53:11 PM EST
    adding in the interest to be paid on the package.

    But of course (none / 0) (#130)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:09:21 AM EST
    NOT adding in the increased tax returns from folks with jobs and retail businesses with income.

    And God forbid they should acknowledge that the "bail-outs" are almost entirely either loans to be paid back with interest or ownership that amounts to preferred debt if the institution goes bankrupt.

    I can't figure out whether the Republicans are spectacularly stupid or spectacularly evil.  Probably some of both, but there are a few of them, like, oh, Lindsey Graham, for example, I'd give a lot to sit down with and really work on.


    Lindsey Graham (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:00:54 AM EST
    makes my skin crawl.  Maybe it's the voice...the accent...combined with that Pillsbury doughboy look.  Whatever it is, I wouldn't waste 30 seconds on Lindsey Graham...not even if he were buying the drinks.

    By the way...you owe me a nickle.


    I owe you a nickel? (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:08:45 AM EST
    Glad to pay up, but no idea why...

    Lindsey Graham also makes my skin crawl on a personal level (maybe something to do with his attempting to be in the closet but not quite), but he's basically a pretty rational and smart guy who I'm convinced mostly knows better.  But I just use him as an example.  Olympia Snowe would do, or a number of others.

    Some are spectacularly stupid, like Collins, some spectacularly evil, like Boehner, and some who are both, like DeMint.  But there are a few who surely know better, and I'd be curious to see how they'd respond to principled challenge.

    You do realize you have to get over the accent prejudice sometime, no?


    No! And, oops, no! (none / 0) (#138)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:19:15 AM EST
    Sorry...had you confused with shoephone in the thread where you told me that if Teddy were breathing, he'd show up to vote.  I SHOULD have bet you a nickel!

    Anyhow, the accent thingy is impossible to overcome at this late stage of life.  I do fight it but must acknowledge that I automatically subtract 20 IQ points when I hear the drawl...then try to work my way back to par.

    The only saving grace is that I do know my prejudices and don't revel in them.  I also know my strengths and weaknesses.  Wish more people did.


    Yes, Teddy (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:00:01 PM EST
    I think what must have happened is they were completely confident his vote wasn't needed, but it's not a good sign that he didn't get there.

    I got over my accent prejudice, and a rather snotty general elitism, early when I got involved in a fairly high level state political campaign and got to know some Boston political types with heavy, heavy Boston accents and decidedly non-elite educational backgrounds who were some of the smartest, savviest, most perceptive people I'd ever met.  It was such a stunning object lesson that I just stopped even noticing that stuff after that and listen to what people say, not how they say it.


    Oh, well....Boston Irish and (none / 0) (#166)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 10:21:04 PM EST
    working class suits me fine.  I'm 'all' Irish and married a machinist...no snotty elitism here.  This is a union household.

    I think the only accent I have trouble with is the so-called Southern accent.  I'm pretty sure it comes from watching their politics on TV every damn night of the 60s being explained to me by Orville Faubus or George Wallace or some other white male racist power player.  I was conditioned to the sound and that sound carried despicable content and disgusting behavior...the sound of ignorance and stupidity and racial politics.

    You see the problem...I'm not proud of it but I understand it and deal with it.  Usually.


    I understand (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:32:27 PM EST
    For me, the thick Boston accent represented the exact same thing in the personage of the late and unlamented Louise Day Hicks, and more latterly the type of Albert O'Neil of the City Council-- IOW, heavy accent of any kind = ignorance and stupidity and mostly also venality.

    But I got that knocked out of me so forcefully that it doesn't operate much at all for me in any realm anymore.

    BTW, just between you 'n me, this was all when I was for a year the assistant to the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis when he ran for lt. gov. (eventually with Kevin White) way back in 1970.  Most fun I ever had with my clothes on.


    It's from this article that (none / 0) (#132)
    by suzieg on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:16:05 AM EST
    appeared in Bloomberg:



    Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

    The bill's health rules will affect "every individual in the United States" (445, 454, 479).


    The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle's book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept "hopeless diagnoses" and "forgo experimental treatments," and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

    Elderly Hardest Hit

    Daschle says health-care reform "will not be pain free." Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

    Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

    The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle's book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

    In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.


    That's not an article (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 12:26:05 AM EST
    It is a "commentary," otherwise known as a fictional right-wing hit job, discussed on the front page of this site here.

    oops, me bad, obviously I hadn't read up to it! (none / 0) (#154)
    by suzieg on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:10:22 AM EST
    That's a good question (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:12:33 PM EST
    The answer is here.  Short version: in their viral effort to undermine the stimulus bill by any means necessary, Republicans have brought back one of the leading liars from the Hillarycare days to claim, completely falsely, that the stimulus package has a trojan horse that would create a bureaucracy to tell your doctor what treatments he can and can't prescribe.

    It's totally nutty, but that's how these people operate.  Obama can say he wants to encourage young people to participate in national service, and they start writing essays about how he's trying to bring back the Hitler Youth.  As pointed out here, at least nowadays we have tools to push back against this kind of crap.


    Ah, the computerized records. I'm all for that. (none / 0) (#68)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:22:13 PM EST
    They sure can turn anything into something bad can't they? I thought Bush even favored that??

    Yup (none / 0) (#72)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:33:40 PM EST
    I want the feds monitoring my health records.

    Who says they'll do that? (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:43:23 PM EST
    Are you ok with Bush monitoring your phone calls?

    I recall (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Steve M on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:49:58 PM EST
    your anguished posts from back in 2004 when Bush created this bureaucracy.

    Very scary piece on CNN on this (none / 0) (#123)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 11:25:32 PM EST
    the other day.  I didn't care one way or another on this issue, particularly, not being up on it . . . but then CNN's medical reporter showed how, within minutes, she could find out amazing stuff on other staffers -- just from what is already out there online about us all.  And this is before even more is put out there?!

    I would say we need to watch carefully for the bill to crafted with privacy protections -- but the reporter showed that all that she found already was supposed to be protected.  I don't think it can be done.


    Can Obama avoid being B. Clintonized? (none / 0) (#51)
    by pluege on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:54:27 PM EST
    if Obama and his geniuses have truly figured out the disgusting anti-American sorry-ass excuses for humans that they're dealing with in the form of the republican party, they'll be able to use it to their advantage to go on the attack and further dissipate the republican party.

    If not, then you can kiss progress good bye, and Obama will become the new Bill Clinton.

    Uh, I hope so! (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 03:58:47 PM EST
    B. Clintonized? Cripes, it's like no one ever (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by masslib on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:18:55 PM EST
    puts the 1990's in historical perspective.  BC became president while conservatism ideology was still on the rise.  He dealt with a Democratic Congress that thought they would be in power forever, and then didn't even hold an up or down vote on his health plan, thereby losing their majority.  Please, Bill Clinton was President when the electorate was still experimenting with conservative economic policy and seeing if it would work out better for them.  That era officially crested in 2006.  I give Bill Clinton some slack given the general sense of the electorate at the time.  Had Al Gore become President, he would have governed more progressively as the surplus would have allowed him more breathing room.  For Obama, the cresting of conservatism as a valid governing philosophy and, paradoxically to Gore's opportunity, the depression allows him even more room than Gore would have had to govern from the Left and redefine centrism.  If you view Obama only through the landscape of the '90's than I suppose it will always be easy to say "Oh, well, so long as he isn't Clintonized".

    Obama could do a lot worse (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 01:06:39 AM EST
    than 'become the new Bill Clinton.'

    Hell, that would work for me.


    Obama as Clinton would be a lost opportunity (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:40:29 AM EST
    Clinton was hugely successful fighting a constant reargard action - he had to spend all his considerable talents beating republicans at their game instead of implementing a progressive agenda.

    Obama OTOH inherits a hugely defeated and demoralized opposition leaving the road ahead to real progress. Unfortunately, it appears that Obama is more interested in resurrecting a defeated republican party instead of putting a stake through its heart. So far Obama is the best thing that could have happened to republicans. Continuing on this track will put Obama back in the Clinton situation of expending huge amounts of effort on mostly churn.

    Bill Clinton with Obama's situation would have been a sight to behold.


    There ya go... (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:00:10 AM EST
    Thanks for spelling it out.

    You couldn't be more right...errrr, correct.


    If he can be Clintonized (5.00 / 0) (#143)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 06:03:43 AM EST
    instead of Carterized I will be overjoyed.

    Clinton was Carterized (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:47:23 AM EST
    Clinton was just a lot better than Carter at playing the game of beating republicans. So the Clinton outcome looks different, but it was the same republican attack with lies and distortion, anti-American shtick. Plus Cater had real emergencies thrust on him that Clinton didn't.  

    Obama OTOH inherits multiple real crisis and we see once again that republicans will use the crisis to work against Obama and the interests of the American people in order to further their own selfish vile plutocratic agenda.


    yes. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Salo on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:11:21 PM EST
    The House and Senate are much more firmly Democratic this time around.

    Of course... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Salo on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:10:26 PM EST
    ...if only Rahmbo could put these ideas into effect.

    Operations are the speciality of military chiefs of staff.

    Here is the vote. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:33:12 PM EST
    When will the Senate use electronic voting? Never?

    The Senate has an archaic tradition (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:59:28 PM EST
    Meanwhile, I have an email out to C-SPAN for that stupid new black info bar at the top of the screen.

    I'm so glad netroots primary hero Lugar (none / 0) (#74)
    by Teresa on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:44:40 PM EST
    helped his buddy Obama out by voting no.

    Um...what? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Maise7 on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:01:46 PM EST
    "From Jane Hamsher, good to see the Obama team recognize what some of the President's supporters refuse to see:"

    Refuse to see? What? That he promised to work in a bi-partisan fashion? He kept that promise and it's the REPUBLICANS who don't want it. I don't see this as a mistake of Obama or a tarnish on his record.

    I'm really glad he got them involved, so the country could see first hand what Republicans care about...THEMSELVES.

    Um Rahm called it a mistake (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:27:33 PM EST
    Go argue with Obama dude.

    a) Reach out; or b) Reach around? (none / 0) (#106)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:09:29 PM EST
    Imo, that is the question. If it was a "reach out", Obama's got egg on his face. If it was a "reach around", he's more than happy to hide behind the egg.

    Sorry, the polls (5.00 / 0) (#115)
    by JThomas on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:43:14 PM EST
    say the american people like Obama's approach way more than the GOP and this has only helped his image with the voters.
    The only egg is sunnyside up for breakfast.

    No (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:16:36 PM EST
    the American people are giving him the benefit of the doubt like they give every President. They did the same thing for Bush. Wait about six months or so and then see where the polls are. That will tell you where the American people are at.

    Didn't you also (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 11:45:07 AM EST
    predict many times that Obama would lose the election.  Weren't you just sure he couldn't win North Carolina?  Didn't you mock him for trying to win Indiana?  In fact, you have consistently predicted doom for Obama.  I see you haven't changed your tune during your absence.

    Yes (none / 0) (#174)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 06:53:56 AM EST
    and I also predicted that the GOP would roll over him and they have. What's your problem? I've never seen such unhappy winners.

    'Way more? (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 11:34:00 PM EST
    Gallup poll showed Obama still has two-thirds of the country with him overall -- but only 55% of the country approves his handling of the economy.

    That's not 'way more.  It is what it is:  An acceptable level of approval, enough to keep going, considering how very split (the red/blue dichotomy that Obama so dreads) is this country.  He can't just make the meanies, the conservatives and fundies and crazies, go away.  He can't cure them.  

    If he has given up catering to them and their craziness, now Obama can begin again.  He still has three-fourths of his first 100 days, that important benchmark.  Let's see if he's Ready on a New Day One.  The next big bill will be interesting.


    What are the numbers (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by JThomas on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:09:10 AM EST
    for the GOP congress? At least 30 points lower than the President. They have gone down the last few weeks. Americans see them as obstructionist jerks after this last few weeks.
    I know you feel that the President should be their exact mirror image on the democratic side...but most americans are not as partisan as you. The President has had a very productive 3 weeks in office whether you will admit it or not.

    You're changing the factors (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 11:37:25 AM EST
    in the analysis, and I'm not gonna play your game.

    Plus, you're playing another game of painting me as what you wish me to be.  I'm not partisan at all -- I have no party.


    Depends What You Call 'Way More' (none / 0) (#171)
    by daring grace on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 06:32:44 PM EST
    I suppose...

    And what you mean by Obama's handling of the economy.

    Gallup's poll from last Tuesday--the most recent as of tonight-- shows 59% approval of the stimulus bill's passage to 33% diapproval. I could see that being reasonably characterized as 'way more'.

    In addition, a majority of Democrats (82%) support it, predictably, but so do a majority of Independents, albeit by a smaller, but still respectable (56%) margin. Support even inched up among Republicans...24-28%. I know--teehee--but there it is.

    Gallup sums up by saying:

    "Obama's salesmanship appears to have been effective in recent days, helping to build public support for the economic stimulus package, and thus push Congress to pass a final version by his desired Presidents Day deadline. At the least, he has stemmed any erosion of support in the face of some spirited conservative opposition. While most of the increase in support is among Democrats, the plan retains solid support from independents and has not lost any ground recently among Republicans."


    That's a bit better (none / 0) (#172)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 07:27:11 PM EST
    than in the previous Gallup polls.  Must be the result of Dems actually getting out there to try to reframe the issue, as Emanual admits was needed.

    Now they'll do better at doing so from outset with the next bills, he says.  Good.


    In that case, enjoy :-) (1.00 / 0) (#116)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:46:43 PM EST
    BTW, I haven't been watching the polls in the last couple of days. Do you have a link?

    Obama planning ambitious road ahead (none / 0) (#151)
    by Rajan on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 09:50:12 AM EST
    It should be  apparent  to any careful observer that, in the midst of all the din and noise on The Capitol Hill, no comprehensive thinking has been devoted to ascertain  in advance how and  what benefits will accrue to the economy of this country from this stimulus package.

    There are essentially two components  (apart from various inevitable pork-laden earmarks) in this stimulus package:

    1. Tax cuts and tax rebates (A Republican input)
    2. Spending on infrastructure like highways, bridges,  electricity grids, etc.(A Democratic input)

    Giving a few hundred dollars to a family, by way of tax cuts and rebates, will only  straightaway induce them to go out and buy some sundry  and consumer electronic items  from WalMart or Target stores. If these products are  at least manufactured within this country, it will certainly give a shot in the arm to the country's economy.  But, it is an unpalatable fact that almost all these items are imported from China, Mexico and other countries.  We are not living in times akin to  1930's or even  a couple decades later  when almost every  household item was made within this country.  Hence, buying these products may somewhat ameliorate the economic situation in the countries we import these products from and certainly not in this country. How much stimulus was given, by the way, to the economy by the $659 billions doled out as tax cuts and rebates just a few months before GWB vacated the White House? Hence, this way of  boosting consumer spending is just applying a 1930s' remedy to a 2010s' disease.

    As for the proposed spending on various infrastructure projects, unless the Government (at the state or the federal level) decides to execute all these projects directly without involving any private enterprises or contractors, they all will be non-starters.  If the overall objective of this exercise is to create jobs in the private sector, there are many hurdles in the way.   I  doubt that even a die-hard Democrat would relish the situation in which the government   will have to create jobs on its own payroll for carrying out these infrastructure projects on its own without private sector participation. But, on the other hand,  if any private contractor makes a successful bid for any such project, he or she will have to tie up needed working capital in advance. After all, the Government will pay the contractor only either after the project is completed or in part payments depending on the progress in the project execution. I  am not sure that anyone in the government would favor  payments to private contractors (who are not in the big league)  in advance of  the projects being  even started. Do we have an extradition treaty with Mexico or Brazil?

    Here lies the crunch. The banks are not  as yet willing to advance any credit to medium and small scale enterprises and businesses. After all, they got burnt and themselves  into the present mess by giving loans to people with poor credit (of course, out of greed to earn fat bonuses), like in the case of sub-prime mortgages. Hence, the main and most crucial problem related to the credit crunch must be sorted out before any of these ambitious plans are rolled out for execution.  If this is not done posthaste, the stimulus package is DOA. That was the reason why the former Treasury Secretary, Paulson (a Wall Street veteran) soon realized this problem and changed the tack midstream  to bail out the banks first, however distasteful and unpopular it might be, and incurred the wrath of ignoramuses in both chambers of  the US Congress. Only a few people in the governmental hierarchy in the present administration, like the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke (who had evidently supported Paulson in the urgent bailout of the banks), seem to be aware of this catch-22 situation  but they are  obviously afraid to speak out.

    Don't forget.... (none / 0) (#168)
    by KoolJeffrey on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:30:11 PM EST
    Independents pretty much got Obama elected. They love bipartisanship. I don't see how giving lip service to it hurts much. Only the Beltway sycophants get so feverish about it. Those idiots consistently underestimate the intelligence of the American people.

    Can you link those stats? (none / 0) (#169)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:49:41 PM EST
    No animus, just asking.