Paul Krugman writes:

This is a column about Republicans ó and Iím not sure I should even be writing it. Todayís G.O.P. is, after all, very much a minority party. It retains some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats, but has no ability to make or even significantly shape policy. Beyond that, Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesnít feel right to make fun of crazy people. Better, perhaps, to focus on the real policy debates, which are all among Democrats.

(Emphasis supplied.) No need to go further. I would add just one point - the most important political debate going on right now is the POLICY debate about the economy and the financial crisis. How the economy goes and how the financial crisis plays out will determine the political fate of Democratic control of Washington. Not tea parties or what David Broder thinks.

Speaking for me only

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    For (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 06:17:20 AM EST
    the life of me I simply can't imagine why anyone cares what David Broder thinks. IMO he is the perfect example of why people are sick of Washington.

    But, but (none / 0) (#7)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:42:31 AM EST
    he's the "Dean"of Washington journalists giving him god-like status among his oh-so-cool peers.

    Very true. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Salo on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:03:02 AM EST
    However the policy/ideological battle over ideas in the Party may have been buried before the convention.

    On this you are wrong (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:45:13 AM EST
    Bill Clintons presidency was a roaring success in terms of bringing the deficits (created by repugs) under control and increasing the wealth of the "common" man but he (and therefore Al Gore) was nevertheless brought down by the endless drumbeat of the repug machine. The only reason the press thought they could go after the Lewinski thing was because they had been lead to go after every crackpot rumor they were fed for years. Ask any repug or even an independent about Clinton and I guarantee you will get that he was a crook. Point out that the government spent $70 million dollars to find wrong doing and found nothing except an affair and they will still insist he must have been a crook and was just able to get away with it.

    Having said that wouldn't it be nice if people really were judged on their deeds and not their words? But alas we live in a society that thinks american idol is real.

    Just posted the same basic reply (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:00:41 AM EST
    Your comment about being judged on deeds not words really hits home for me. When I was young the adults I knew were very skeptical of fancy words and judged people much more on their actions. Over the years our culture seems to me to have shifted to a preference for style and symbolism over substance. I have personally witnessed smooth talkers move up in corporations even though they were not nearly as good at their jobs as their colleagues. People have been so obsessed with keeping up their images that they have been willing to take on ridiculous amounts of debt just to impress. My parents generation looked down on people like that but now these people are admired. Or have been until recently.

    Reagan's people were masters at using images and symbolism to overcome unpleasant facts. The media was cowed by them and rolled over. (See "On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency). Republicans have followed their example ever since with little challenge from our so-called liberal media.


    But, but -- you won't play 11 dimensional chess? (none / 0) (#14)
    by lambert on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    That's our own, home grown version of fancy talk, here on the left.

    Alan Simpson (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by eric on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:43:41 AM EST
    explained the tactic to Bill Clinton, and Clinton put it in his book.

    Simpson to Clinton: "Democrats like you...get into government to help people. The right-wing extremists don't think government can do much to improve on human nature, but they do like power. So does the press. And since you're president, they both get power the same way, by hurting you"

    And, about Whitewater,

    Clinton to Simpson: "I asked Alan if he thought Hillary and I had done anything wrong in whitewater. `Of course not,' he said. `That's not what this is about. This is about making the public think you did something wrong. Anybody who looked at the evidence would see that you didn't."

    I agree with you that the successes of Clinton did not inoculate him from the attacks.  Right now, Obama seems to be faring better.  But the constant repetition of lies and socialism might change that.


    One caveat (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by eric on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:49:27 AM EST
    to this:  the good economy and Clinton's policies did get him reelected and he was very popular despite the press.  In some ways, our complaint really is about the press, I think.  BTD does have a point about working on good policy as a primary concern.

    Al Gore won (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:51:50 AM EST
    Hey (none / 0) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:19:22 AM EST
    We agree on something!  I'm carving a notch on my monitor even as I write.

    Yep, Al Gore won.


    But it didn't do us any good (none / 0) (#33)
    by sj on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:21:03 AM EST
    Did it?  The Bad Guys still dominated the conversation.  There was a faux riot, lots of confusion, hours of bellicose posturing -- all paving the way for the interference of the SCOTUS.  

    Bush was sworn in.


    this does not address my point (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:44:41 AM EST
    Look, from 2003 to 2007, I did nothing but try and expose the crazy Republican Party. I even coined a phrase - "the Party of Dobson."

    But now the President is a Dem and the Congress is Dem. Time to govern.

    I think it does (none / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:20:50 AM EST
    albeit obliquely.  Yes, FDR delivered results but he also engaged the populace in his fireside chats.  The contemporaneous vehicle for controlling the conversation.  Would he have been as successful without them?  Frankly I don't know.  I wasn't alive then.  But I don't think so.

    And, the way I read it, cpa1 is advocating the same thing you have been:  apply pressure.  One does that by dominating the conversation.

    I don't think BO can govern effectively without also actively advocating for ... whatever it is he wants.  

    Of course, thats assuming that what they (the Dems) do is consistent with what they say.

    You know, I want to agree with you.  Because what you are advocating assumes the environment that should exist.  But I don't think it does.


    Advocating for your policies (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:36:41 AM EST
    does not mean monitoring the insane Glenn Beck.

    Okay (none / 0) (#37)
    by sj on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:47:20 AM EST
    I'll grant you that.  

    However, I think it does mean providing a strong enough counter-narrative to drown him out.  


    When you watch a movie (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by cpa1 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 07:46:01 AM EST
    and the good guy kills the bad guy, don't you always want him to put a few extra bullets through his head?  They never do and the devil rises again.  BTD, I think you missed Krugman's warning that is evident in the rest of his op ed.

    But here's the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn't stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. And they could return to power if the Democrats stumble. So it behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation's two great political parties. .....
    But as I said, the G.O.P. remains one of America's great parties, and events could still put that party back in power. We can only hope that Republicans have moved on by the time that happens.

    I don't want to see blood spewing out of their heads but what the Republicans really are, must be exposed.  They are zombies that live off of hate and fear and unless we educate the electorate about why their policies are so bad for everyone but them, they will rise again.

    Nothing could be more clear of what and who they are than Reagan in California and the federal government and George W. Bush as president (which is still hard to say or type).  Reagan destroyed the California school system with prop 13.  He bled the system of its money and now Caleeeforneea's educational system is on a par with Arkansas' and Mississippi's.

    Their greed sucked out vital infrastructure money from the US and removed any chances of much needed middle class tax cuts.  It drained the Social Security Trust fund and allowed SS and Medicare to become a welfare system to provide employees for Wal-Mart and the like.  With the extra money we do not have, we could have had more research in areas to make us more competitive in the world.  

    They are destroying us and until Democrats are ready to look at these criminals and point their fingers at them in the courts of public opinion, they will be alive and well and planning their next crusade of hate and fear.

    I will never forget what Alan Simpson said on an MSNBC talking head show.  He made a preposterous false statement about Al Gore (who was running for president) and the douche bag Democrats (maybe Jerry Brown or Robert Reich types) did nothing to throw this f__king liar's back against the wall.  The emcee, Forest Sawyer finally said, "Senator, how can you make a statement like that without any backup?"  Simpson's answer gave away the Republican Manifesto, "An attack unanswered is an attack believed."  

    They will never stop attacking because they are people without consciences.  Don't forget, they have a media machine behind their practically dead asses.  

    Totally misses my point (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:05:58 AM EST
    the way to keep them out of power is the way FDR did it - deliver results.

    Talking about how crazy Glenn Beck is and how stupid the "tea parties" are will not keep the GOP out of power.

    Effective Democratic governance will.

    Come 2010, as Charlie Cook stated, the election will not be a referendum on Republicans, it will be a referendum on Democrats.


    agreed. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Salo on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:09:01 AM EST
    They will be able to find  charismatic used car salesman soon enough no matter what our own rhetoric does to harm them short term.  If we do not shift policy to some great degree before that time it'll all have been for nothing.  Single Payer etc should be made a priority because it is the proverbial nail in the coffin of real Conservatism.  getting our jollies at  Glenn Beck's expense is a sideshow.

    I agree results matter (none / 0) (#9)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:48:28 AM EST
    but Al Gore was VP to a president who delivered yet the right managed to defeat him with their malicious spin. I still believe that had the media done their job instead of joining in the right wing's dishonest trashing of both Clinton and Gore and praising Bush as a more fun guy, Bush would never have won.

    Bernie0, you're not thinking! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lambert on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:15:37 AM EST
    You write:
    I still believe that had the media done their job instead of joining in the right wing's dishonest trashing of both Clinton and Gore and praising Bush as a more fun guy, Bush would never have won.

    So, how is that different from "doing their job"?


    Al Gore won (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:52:25 AM EST
    And let's not forget, Gore was a pretty lousy politician.

    Clinton and Gore deliverred, (none / 0) (#21)
    by cpa1 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:03:31 AM EST
    allegedly repudiating trickle down economics and then we elected the worst Republican scumbag ever to occupy the Oval Office and trickle down came back with a vengeance.  

    Americans have a short memories and shorter attention spans and they are too susceptible to apple pie and country hate and fear campaigns.

    The Republicans have to be exposed for their hate based government and the greed they represent.



    Let me repeat again (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:13:50 AM EST
    Al Gore won the 200 election.

    It was stolen from him.


    2000 election I mean (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:14:05 AM EST
    He didn't win it by enough (none / 0) (#28)
    by cpa1 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    Sure he did (none / 0) (#34)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:24:04 AM EST
    a win is a win whether it's by 1 vote or by 1,000,000.

    Then the GOP Wins (none / 0) (#26)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:16:10 AM EST
    According to you anyway. Because a few weeks back you agreed that the GOP was right on the banking economy and the Obama was wrong.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:45:05 AM EST
    March 23 (none / 0) (#38)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:57:27 PM EST
    Indeed he was (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    He has since fallen back in line.

    I judge the ideas, not the purveyor of them.


    What do you mean (none / 0) (#42)
    by Catch 22 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:01:26 PM EST
    fallen back in line? The entire GOP is still against the Obama plan. Always have been and that hasn't changed and that includes Cantor. I must say I was somewhat surprised to read that you were touting the GOP position to help make your point. As a progressive to know the GOP is against the plan makes the plan all the more credible.



    Not really (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 03:11:23 PM EST
    Not any pushback to the Geithner Plan.

    Yes (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:03:14 PM EST
    I judge the ideas, not the purveyor of them

    As we all should do, lest we be taken in by fancy slogans and who is better to have a beer with.


    I musta missed that one! (none / 0) (#36)
    by Amiss on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    Wow BTD! Never woulda thunk it! <g>

    I think the reason (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by eric on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:27:18 AM EST
    that many Democrats, and others, don't answer the lies and absurd attacks is that they think it is better to "stay above the fray".  They think that American's are smarter than to believe the lies.  But guess what?  They aren't.  Especially when they don't have the absurdities called out for what they are.

    Krugman here does good when he says, for example, that socialism seems to be raising income taxes on the rich to 10% LESS than Reagan.  That sounds absurd, right?  But if you don't answer this kind of socialism attack, it spreads, as it has done.  I hear it daily.



    Answering the lies (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:37:07 AM EST
    Well, sure. but now what's more important is delivering good policy.

    Not what the GOP says.


    hear it and receive emails of (none / 0) (#22)
    by cpa1 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:11:28 AM EST
    Socialism allegories about one hen laying all the eggs while the others are "unlaxin" at the lodge or teachers explaining how filling swimming pools does no good because the water representing the rich finds it's way to those lowlifes in the deep end.  Then, when you attack the messenger, they whine away that they didn't write it.

    I recall Simpson... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Salo on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:06:02 AM EST
    ...telling Jon Stewart that he wasn't funny after he pointed out that "Every black member of the GOP must have been in the convention hear Bush speak in 2000..."  Stewart went all red and grinned nervously. Jon had the last laugh of course, I think.

    I hate to quibble as I agree (none / 0) (#23)
    by kenosharick on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    with much of what you say, but Reagan was governor from 1967-1975, and Prop 13 did not pass until June 1978. While he supported it and used the tax issue in his '76 and '80 campaigns, he did not use it to "destroy" Calif. schools as you suggest.  

    Must we quiblle with the facts? (none / 0) (#31)
    by cpa1 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 10:54:53 AM EST
    I didn't remember when all this took place, especially being from NY but Reagan was very instrumental in getting it passed, whether or not he was governor.  He planted the seeds and California's real estate tax collections went down something like 57%.  Couple that with Reagan bringing the once 70%/50%(for earned income) top federal bracket down to 28% meant the schools ultimately got a lot less money.

    No (none / 0) (#39)
    by Spamlet on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:00:13 PM EST
    Must we quibble with the facts?

    Not if we get them right in the first place.


    This is wrong (none / 0) (#41)
    by SomewhatChunky on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:52:32 PM EST
    Sorry - I just can't agree with this.  It is fear-mongering from a liberal point of view.  About 1/3 of the registered voters (55 million or so) in the US are republicans.  72 Million are democrats.

    Call me naive, but I refuse to believe 1/3 of my fellow Americans are inherently evil  and I think those who feel that way are way out there on the fringe.


    Since the 80s (none / 0) (#18)
    by nellre on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 09:42:10 AM EST
    I have noted that being able to 'put one over' on others has increasingly become a virtue, starting back in the 80s. This is the antithesis one's deeds being the primary measure of a person.
    It's ubiquitous.