Fingerpointing, Cont'd

Kevin Drum writes:

Lots of Democrats, including me, have been pointing out that structural factors alone predicted a 45-seat loss in the House this year. In other words, the bulk of the expected Democratic losses weren't due to healthcare reform or Obama's remoteness or liberal overreach or anything like that. It was baked into the cake all along. But the model I wrote about, which comes from Douglas Hibbs, only predicted a 45-seat loss, and it looks like Dems are likely to lose at least 60 seats. That means Democrats underperformed the Hibbs model by 15 seats or so, which is a record for them. [. . .] It really does look like there's a fair amount of scope to place a lot of the blame for tonight's Democratic debacle on both tactical and policy missteps.

I think that the model Drum relied upon is flawed in that our economic statistics understate the level of misery in the country. I could point to tactical and strategic political errors that exacerbated the result a bit, but I really think almost all of the result is due to the economy. That means to me, "policy missteps." Governing well is the best way to win elections. The Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress simply were not good enough on economic policy. The "bums" were thrown out. Of course the old bums were reinstalled. And catastrophe is what we can expect. But that's how elections work. You throw out the bums you have, even if it means bringing back the old bums.

Speaking for me only

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    Yet in a just world, the Democrats would have (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by steviez314 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:45:35 AM EST
    kept the House and lost the Senate, since that's where the worst bums were.

    Life is not fair (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:57:07 AM EST
    sure it is (none / 0) (#9)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:25:44 AM EST
    the great wheel of Ka balances it all out eventually.

    Not all those bums were up for re-election (none / 0) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:21:36 AM EST
    I'd lose Cantwell easier than Murray, but she wasn't the one being challenged this time.

    Obviously (5.00 / 9) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:55:21 AM EST
    there were many reasons for last night's devastation. With so many splintered groups, each with there own peeves, any kind of uniform theme was impossible.

    But there was, and still is, one issue that everyone agrees with, and if Obama had played it right, would have produced a much more favorable result....The Banks, and their slimy CEO's. Everyone hates them, and rightly so. And I just have to believe that the smoldering anger everyone feels about these bums destroying everything for all of us, and making billions of dollars in the process, is a cancer that should have been addressed by the Administration. Investigations, indictments, and trials....that's what the public wanted.

    I approve this message (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:47:44 AM EST
    He still has an opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:51:28 AM EST
    of the same sort with the mortgage crisis.
    I'm sure he'll squander it with his usual elan.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    Yep. Some socialist he turned out to be.

    You would think... (none / 0) (#161)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:15:43 PM EST
    if he's gonna absorb all the slings and arrows, he'd give 'em something to really b*tch about...we got all scare and no red!

    Yet, voting against oneself still seems (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:11:17 PM EST
    like nothing more than really good aim at ones own foot.

    Do Democratic voters truly believe that putting less than 100 people out of their office is going to do more good than finding solutions that might actually work?


    No (none / 0) (#174)
    by weltec2 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:23:56 PM EST
    but it's easier than thinking.

    yes (none / 0) (#155)
    by dandelion on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:51:50 PM EST
    I've voted straight Dem for donkey's years.  But we lost our small business precisely because of the credit crisis, when our clients' financing dried up, they declared bankruptcy, and then couldn't pay us but $.10 on the dollar.  Ever since we've been barely managing, relying on my elderly parents for help trying to hold onto our house, with no unemployment benefits -- when you're small business and/or self-employed, you're really really on your own.

    So very picture of those fat cats swilling champagne and cashing taxpayer-funded checks is just bile in the belly.  I have to believe that's a story told over and over in this country.

    One thing Americans really don't like in the gut is plain basic playground unfairness.  Obama sided with the bullies when he could have rounded them up and set Justice on them.

    That decision right there launched the Tea Partiers and sealed the Democrats' fight -- and also destroyed the Democratic Party's credibility as champion of the people.  

    What'll be interesting now is to see how the Ron Paul Audit the Fed crowd mixes with the Republican-Bushian-fat-cat crowd.  I'm guessing not well.  I'm not 100% sure that, television shots and soundbites aside, the Republicans can truly control the ground-level Tea Partiers demand and fury -- the Karl Denningers as opposed to the Christine O'Donnells.  


    I just love all the economic (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:06:50 AM EST
    models and I guess political models now that cannot truly take into account the existing conditions and thereby just spew bull$hit when put into use.  And I just love all the mediocre pundits, and mediocre treasury secretaries, and mediocre pols that can't seem to bring themselves to operate in the current real world and must cling to them feverishly.

    It definitely wasn't a "change" (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by esmense on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:18:46 AM EST
    election in Washington State. More like a "fear of change" election. We woke up this morning with things pretty much the same -- a couple of  swing congressional districts swung Republican this time but that wasn't at all surprising. They are just as likely to swing the other way the next time around. Everything else remains the same. The Dems once more came close but still fell short in the suburban 8th District that has supposedly been "trending Democratic" for the last 20 years. (The 8th District is becoming the state Democrats great white whale). The income tax was defeated by a wide margin, as I knew it would be. The sale of liquor remains in State hands, workers comp won't be privatized (thank God), and when all the King County votes are finally counted Patty Murray will still be our Senator.

    I'm surprised at how sad I feel about the defeat of the income tax proposal. It was a first step in making an insane, regressive and unsustainable state revenue system more sane, more transparent and more progressive. We desperately need to reform the state tax system. But fear and confusion defeats every attempt to do so.

    I agree with you on the Income Tax (none / 0) (#13)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:49:32 AM EST
    but not on Workers Comp

    I thought that was a solution (none / 0) (#115)
    by esmense on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:39:57 PM EST
    in search of a problem. Out own experience with the state system has been good, and, during my years in advertising, I did enough marketing for insurance companies to prevent me from having any ideological notions that private bureaucracies offer any advantages over public ones. They just cost more.

    Are you paying L&I Insurance premiums now? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:44:17 PM EST
    They are about to skyrocket.

    looking at Yahoo map yesterday (none / 0) (#175)
    by weltec2 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:41:20 PM EST
    WA was red. I clicked on the map and it was close but King County had not yet voted. Yes, when King County votes blue... WA will be blue. Patty is pounding RepugliRossi 62% to 38% in King County. Still, state-wide, it's a close race. I'm disappointed in Spokane County. I'm guessing those Gonzaga kids stayed in their dorms this time.

    People voted for real change in 2008 (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:21:26 AM EST
    and they got incrementalism.  So, they voted for real change again in 2010.

    Not hard to understand really.

    Hopefully, the myth that people don't want real change and only want timid moderation has been put to bed in political circles - even if they could never bring themselves to admit it publicly.

    And of course it was all about the economic suffering, but I still really do not think that most people in DC understand that suffering well enough to realize that they have to do something rather than telling people that they can't do anything for them - for whatever lame reason they try to use as an excuse.

    Change (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:36:10 PM EST
    C'mon now. As an Obama fan, I knew he'd take his lumps this week.  If you are the guy in charge, that's your job (and hopefully he takes a bunch of responsibility in his speech today).

    But take healthcare reform alone: how on any planet can that be argued as incremental? Even it's detractors on the left acknowledged that it was the most material progressive societal policy change since the Depression. If Obama did that and absolutely nothing else, that change will have reverberations for decades to come.

    It is fair to argue that Obama could have been better. Arguing that he didn't shake things up in a fundamental way is silly IMHO.


    Uh, no ... (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:45:44 PM EST
    But take healthcare reform alone: how on any planet can that be argued as incremental? Even it's detractors on the left acknowledged that it was the most material progressive societal policy change since the Depression.

    ... they don't.


    no, they dont (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:46:35 PM EST
    but it was.

    The GOP plan from 1993 ... (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:57:56 PM EST
    ... is the "most material progressive societal policy change since the Depression"?


    I guess that makes Bob Dole, Kit Bond, Alan Simpson, Lauch Faircloth, etc., the greatest champions of Progressivism since FDR.


    How can you argue that it was (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:08:41 PM EST
    materially progressive when most of it hasn't even taken effect yet??

    It's like telling everyone you know that (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:45:45 PM EST
    you are going to take the best, most amazing trip ever, then getting in your car in the driveway and turning on the engine - but never taking it out of Park - and then bragging about your success...

    You are too harsh. He at least drove (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:47:43 PM EST
    around the block a couple times.

    It's more like going around in 2008 telling (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:10:48 PM EST
    people that your candidate, who is sure to win, is already a bigger historical figure than FDR.

    And should be given the Nobel Peace Prize (5.00 / 5) (#139)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:14:26 PM EST
    The delayed onset is one of the (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:00:18 PM EST
    political weaknesses of the HCR, although its drafters saw it as a strength.  Too clever by half--with, essentially, a 2013 kick-in for a ten-year neutral budget, starting in 2010 with seven years of costs; the timing for the bulk of its implementation was after the 2012 elections giving advanced bragging rights and a check on the list of accomplishments without facing inevitable glitches to be experienced; and avoiding tax increases by financing almost half with still ill-defined "Medicare savings without cuts in benefits" and counter-intuitive and deceptive claims that "less care is better care".

    The latter gave rise to demagogic rebuttals of proposed death panels and fueled a part of the tea party demographic. And, of course, the electoral challenge seems to cast doubt on the merits of vote for me today because you will receive benefits in the future. That voter appreciation is right up there with what have done for me lately.  Now, for a discussion of the materially progressive parts....


    The first result for people with individual (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by esmense on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:46:48 PM EST
    coverage has been a substantial increase in premiums and upcoming decreases in coverage. This is not quite what people like me, who have been voting and working for health care reform for the last 25 years, were hoping for.

    The new increases have brought my premium -- this is for me alone, my husband pays slightly less -- to just barely under $1000 per month. But starting January 1st my copays will be higher as will my already high deductible. I didn't have any "choice" in this, the insurance company just sent me a letter telling me that my coverage was being changed. And I still don't have any "choice" in terms of an alternate insurer -- the company that insures me is still the only company offering individual insurance in the state. The insurance company is making these changes to compensate (themselves) for the fact that they can't dump me for a pre-existing condition or set a limit on my coverage. I appreciate that -- but, from a political point of view, I doubt that recieving these kind of letters before the election has done the President or the Democrats much good. They seemed to have managed this so that people feel the pain before the benefit.

    Right now, in a really bad business environment, when small business and the self-employed are struggling, being hit with a large increase in an important personal expense that many found hard to afford in much better times, is sure to create some anger -- and in many cases perhaps a sense of betrayal.


    It hasn't even been implemented (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by cawaltz on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:01:03 PM EST
    So I guess we can forgive people if they weren't patting him on the back as they received their policy renewals with double digit increases.

    Frankly I thought SCHIP and it's expansion qualified as more progressive than the Health Care Act.


    ha ha ha ha (5.00 / 4) (#73)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:59:39 PM EST
    Even it's detractors on the left acknowledged that it was the most material progressive societal policy change since the Depression.

    I love how the cheerleaders claim to speak for the left.  Oh wait.  No, I don't.

    Let's see Civil Rights Act, Medicare Act ... heck Nixon and the establishment of the EPA are all miles ahead of Health Insurance "Reform".  So far the reverberation that I see is that my premiums went up this year even more than ever.


    Your insurance premiums went up (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:31:16 PM EST
    because the insurance companies wanted more money.

    Perhaps you should look to them first.


    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:34:39 PM EST
    but now with HCR they are able to blame Obama for it and people are buying it whereas before people knew that it was the insurance companies doing it to them. Perfect cover for the insurance conglomerates.

    Also a good point (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:03:26 PM EST
    And one I hadn't thought of

    It was also predicted though (5.00 / 4) (#169)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:41:22 PM EST
    that that would happen, and the only way to prevent it from happening was to provide a public option.  All this stuff was argued out by a few who cared to argue for a good solution, what has happened is not coming out of left field....just the field that the left managed to create, and was foreseen by many once it was clear there would be no public option for anyone.

    Indeed (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:02:53 PM EST
    And the bill provided no cost controls.  

    I expected it to go up as it has for the last eight years that I have been paying attention.  The "Effect" part of this is how blatant and fearless the gouging by the Ins Company was and how happily and openly they raised my premium by nearly 22%.  Until this year they were content with increases of about 5-10% (hard to be exact due to job switching).

    But those cost controls mentioned early on would have surely helped.  Of course, that was the second thing that was jettisoned.


    Ah, but the insurance company says (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by esmense on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:02:54 PM EST
    these changes are being dictated by the health reform. Were premiums going up anyway? Yes. But the decreases in coverage in some areas ARE the result of insurance companies compensating (themselves) for new requirements like no lifetime limit. As I said, the pain before the gain. Not good political planning.

    Your insurance premiums went up (none / 0) (#145)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:26:54 PM EST
    because your fellow americans don't take good care of themselves and like the ability to go to the doctor when they want.  

    Perhaps we should look in the mirror.


    Does your employer pay you to (5.00 / 4) (#171)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:43:05 PM EST
    post this crap?

    Sure, there are people who call the doctor when they break a fingernail, but there are many more people who don't see the doctor when they should because they don't have the money for insurance coverage, co-pays and deductibles.

    One of the biggest problems with the system - one the so-called reform has not solved - is that people who pay for coverage and have the temerity to seek medical attention are viewed by the insurance industry as cutting into the profit margin.  You blame people for not taking care of themselves, and blame them again when they want to see someone to get the care they need.

    Maybe that attitude is a winner in the insurance company boardroom, but I think it stinks; and so does the "Affordable" "Care" "Act."


    Assumptions (none / 0) (#178)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:21:35 PM EST
    At no point did I say it was a problem that people sought care.  Nor was I referring to people who visit the doctor for trivial needs.  I was merely pointing out reasons why premiums go up.

    .....and mind-reading to boot:

    You blame people for not taking care of themselves, and blame them again when they want to see someone to get the care they need.

    It is this attitude that keeps us falling back into minority status.


    Oh, baloney. (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:19:48 AM EST
    The attitude that hurts us is the one where solutions to major problems are rejected out of hand - won't even discuss or consider them - if it means upsetting the corporatocracy - even if those solutions would improve the lives of millions of people.

    What hurts us is catering to the out-of-control greed exhibited by bankers and brokers and insurance and pharmaceutical companies whose actions have demonstrated that they are largely responsible for these various crises we face.

    You said the premiums go up because people don't take care of themselves and want to see a doctor when they want; that sounds like "blame them for not taking care of themselves and blame them when they decide to seek medical attention" to me.  It sounds like, "insurance companies want to make a certain profit, have to meet Wall Street's and their stockholders' expectations, so let's blame the insured for expecting us to pay out claims on their behalf."

    We had an opportunity to change the model and that opportunity was rejected before it could be fully explored.  Money was, and is, the reason.  Problems have not been solved, just kicked down the road a few years, and given time to get worse.  Which they will - but the problems will accrue to the people, not the companies, which will - year after year after year - continue to report record profits.

    I hope that was clear enough.


    So it had nothing to do... (none / 0) (#164)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:28:27 PM EST
    ... with profits of my "Health Care Provider"?  I see.

    Well, yeah (none / 0) (#166)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:33:28 PM EST
    That is my point.

    Reverberations is a great word for use (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:00:41 PM EST
    on the health insurance legislation.

    political reverberations:
    repercussions, ramifications, consequences, shock waves, tremors, vibrations; aftermath, fallout, backlash

    Even it's detractors on the left acknowledged that it was the most material progressive societal policy change since the Depression.

    Well no. Quite a lot of it's detractors consider it a POS legislation that was written by and for the insurance and health care industries. It does little or nothing to reduce the cost of health care and has put back the chance of implementing a real workable health care system by decades.


    What plan proposed did? (none / 0) (#146)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    reduce the cost of health care

    The Dems never did seriously propose (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:42:18 PM EST
    a plan to reduce the cost of health care. That was the main problem. The best ways to accomplish universal affordable health care were taken off the table from the very beginning. Other methods that might lead to substantial cost saves were traded away by the administration during the summer.

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha..... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Whew!  You crack me up.  Are you on Obama's payroll by any chance?

    now (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:15:37 PM EST
    I get the frustration that it did not go far enough.  and I have been pretty tough on O but I cant really think of another piece of legislation that is a more "material progressive societal policy change since the Depression" and the new deal.

    and I also think you have to consider it within the framework of its times.  considering that for most of the 2oth century the most conservative opponents of such change would now be considered centrists or moderates.

    having said this I shall move on because I can already hear the gnashing of teeth.  
    this is MO.  sharing it is not required.


    its also worth noting (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:48:49 PM EST
    that in the midst of all this hand wringing on the left about its shortcomings about half the country thinks it was a socialist takeover of healthcare.  so one wonders what might have happened if we had gotten what we actually wanted.  

    full armed rebellion?


    I'm with you on this one (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by CST on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:17:39 PM EST
    obviously.  But I'm also tired of this fight.  I pretty much finished when it passed.

    That being said... if someone is gonna call you a socialist anyway, might as well be a socialist.

    I don't know that they could have gone more bat$hit crazy than they did over that.  "Get your government hands off my medicare!!!"  Puleeze.


    yep (none / 0) (#141)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:20:21 PM EST
    to everything

    in other news, I just saw this hilarious irony:

    Some Miller votes won't count

    In another boon for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, write-in ballots cast for Republican candidate Joe Miller won't count toward his total vote count.

    where to begin. why would you write someone in who is on the ballot?


    oh (none / 0) (#142)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:24:25 PM EST
    and did you see this:

    (CNN) -- Voters in Iowa chose to remove three high court justices who helped make Iowa the first Midwestern state to permit same-sex marriage.

    The vote marks the first time a member of the Iowa Supreme Court has been rejected by the voters under the current system that began in 1962.

    Under the voting system in Iowa, each of the three justices up for retention -- Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit -- needed simply to get more "yes" votes than "no" votes in the election to be elected for another eight-year term. They faced no opponents. None of the judges raised money for the campaign.

    While all seven justices on the court ruled with Ternus, Baker and Streit, those three were the only ones whose seats were up for retention. None of them received the 50 percent "yes" vote needed to remain on the bench.

    Lots of out of state money was spent telling (none / 0) (#162)
    by Farmboy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:16:53 PM EST
    Iowa folks that the ruling the ISC made concerning equal protection for same sex marriage would be overturned if they threw out the judges. Sorry, but no. That's not how things work.

    Plenty of annoyed homophobes at the cafe today. I'm afraid that I couldn't completely hide my amusement at their reactions when they discovered the truth - even though I'm sorry that they bought into the hate-filled nonsense.


    that is hilarious (none / 0) (#167)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:36:28 PM EST
    and totally made my day.  thanks.

    As a visitor from Planet Incremental (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:33:00 PM EST
    I can tell you we think very highly of it.

    Even the plans supporters brag about it as a foot in the door or the camel's nose under the tent. It is even implemented in stages. It is the very definition of incremental.


    I'm not even arguing that it could have been done (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:41:10 PM EST
    Any other way. Maybe he was right that it was the best that could be gotten. But it certainly is incremental.

    The healthcare bill is the very (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:25:41 PM EST
    embodiment of incremental.  It won't even go into full effect until 2014.

    It is almost entirely theoretical for the large majority of Americans right now and it was sold as incremental, btw.

    The stimulus was bare bones and totally incremental.  They said they'd go back for more if they needed to.

    The White House told us they were acting "pragmatically" and "incrementally" on numerous fronts.  What more do you need?


    If governing well.. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:31:14 AM EST
    won elections, Brand R would never win anything...Brand D would have a hard enough time.

    Nah...whoever can raise the most money and fool the most people win elections in this country...Brand R outsold the snakeoil competition this go 'round.

    I think the proof of your hypothesis (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:50:37 AM EST
    can be seen in my own state, Maryland.  Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, took office in 2006 and managed, through wise decisions that were supported in the Democratic-majority legislature, to keep the bleeding and the pain to a minimum.  

    When he was challenged by the Republican former governor who preceded him - Bob Ehrlich - the voters gave O'Malley another term and an almost-14% margin of victory: they rewarded him for governing well, in spite of the typical and endless Republican message about deficits and liberal agendas and repealing Obamacare, and so on.

    Good policy matters.

    What happens next, with the Cat Food Commission due to report, I think, by December 1, will be telling; Obama created this commission - and the smartest thing he could do - right now - is to dissolve and disband it.

    Anyone think that will happen?  Will the whole thing fracture to the point where there aren't 14 people on the commission who can agree on any recommendations?  Paul Ryan, who is on that commission, has a pretty big dog in the fight, as someone who will take over the House Budget Committee - and we know Obama thinks he has "good ideas," so what will Obama do?

    The decisions Obama - and the lame duck Congress - make in the last weeks of the year will tell us everything I think we need to know about whether the right lessons were learned, and how this is all going to play out going forward.

    Mhmm, yes. Deval Patrick too. (none / 0) (#113)
    by masslib on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:37:00 PM EST
    Competence pays dividends.  

    Arrrgh (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:05:00 PM EST
    Obama live reaching out to repubs ugh

    Unmitigated good news from California (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:15:12 PM EST
    I am happy as a clam today....

    Yes, Dems got wipped out in the House and this a major loss.

    But there is no GOP in California after yesterday.  The good news is significant.

    Boxer won by at least 10.

    Brown was up by at least 13.

    All state-wide office holders are now Democrats.  I don't think that has ever happened before.  Gavin Newsome is Lt. Governor. The San Francisco DA, who opposes the death penalty, is the new Attorney General.  Ins. Commissioner, Sec'y of State, Treasurer--everything all Dems....

    Only one Dem House member lost--the guy from Modesto--and he didn't lose by that much.

    And the initiatives went against the Republicans...except for Prop 19.  The initiative to roll back the green jobs/climate change bill lost big time.   And the most significant loss was the success of the budget initiative.  Before a 2/3 vote was needed to pass a budget--that is why no one could ever pass a budget here--as the Republican obstructionists could always block them.

    The Repulicans do not matter in the largest state in the nation.  The biggest Republican wave for a long time did not matter.

    Hey, you Republicans, want to bash Latinos some more?    

    Sweet (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by eric on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:22:53 PM EST
    nice work, CA.

    LAT says Harris has slim lead. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:24:57 PM EST
    Ain't over 'til it's over.  

    Can't believe the majority-to-pass budget prop. actually passed.  Brown will have a much easier time as governor due to this single factor.


    I know, but I'll got out on a limb (none / 0) (#51)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:48:25 PM EST
    and say it's over on the AG race....

    I love Brown.  His victory speech last night was oddly funny and rambling...

    He was able to be the experienced one without being the incumbent.  Hard to match that sweet spot in politics...

    The GOP is finished here.  They have no bench.  Mayor of San Francisco and L.A. are both Democrats. And San Diego is not as Republican as it once was and is pretty evenly split now, I think, although you may know better.


    Not sure about that. Bilbray is, (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:52:08 PM EST
    unfortunately, still by Representative.  Can't believe the Dems. ran Francine against him--again.  

    Sacrificial lamb in a bad year (none / 0) (#68)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:58:27 PM EST
    next time, assuimng some decent job growth could be different.

    Hoping re-districting by commission, (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:01:49 PM EST
    not by state legislature, will get me back to the pre-"Randy Duke Cunningham" days.

    Do you think Cooley loses because (none / 0) (#117)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:40:24 PM EST
    he tried to extradite Polanski?  I don't.  Wonder what effect Harris's oppos. to death penalty had on CA voters.  

    Cooley loses because he is a Republican (none / 0) (#144)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:26:12 PM EST
    Harris made it close because she opposes the death penalty, and because, dare I say it, she is a youngish woman....

    Harris will now have Gavin Newsome as her chief rival for advancement.....

    Gavin is smart but keeps shooting himself in the foot.....If DiFi ever retires, Gavin is there.....

    Harris is a bit of an unknown.  She could be Governor after Jerry but Jerry will be around for awhile....


    The only reason that initiative passed (none / 0) (#54)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:51:30 PM EST
    is because they made a big deal out of denying legislators their paychecks until they passed a budget....

    Great framing...

    Someone got real smart and used the initiative process against the GOP....


    whats that they used to say (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:29:41 PM EST
    as california goes so goes the nation.

    lets hope.


    Sure would like to know how CA Sikh (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:32:18 PM EST
    community voted after Pres. Obama declined to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

    that was pathetic (none / 0) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:34:18 PM EST
    and oddly I know a Sikh family there.  they were my neighbors.  helluva nice couple.  I should email and ask them.

    According to yesterday's news, Sikhs (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:35:54 PM EST
    were petitioning U.N.  P.S.  None of the guys in our group were permitted to wear baseball caps!  They wore bandanas tied in back--gang style.

    Also, all the CA Supremes on the ballot (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:33:23 PM EST
    were affirmed by wide margins, despite vote voiding Prop. 8.

    It's a sweet state to be sittin' in (none / 0) (#176)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:00:05 PM EST
    today. and then we had a parade!

    Some good trends (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:19:59 PM EST
    Republicans won on economic issues--not social issues.  The religious conservatives were invisible yesterday.  They may be on the way out.  If so, the Republicans base just took a hit.

    The Republican victory was a mile wide and an inch deep.  Many lost by just a few points.

    The Latino vote is coming of age.  They saved Harry Reid and probably Bennet too.  They took care of Meg I-don't-know-you-and-you-don't-know-me-but-you-should-be-deported Whitman.

    The unemployment rate is 9.5%  Fix that, and all else will be fine.

    I hope you are right (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:30:58 PM EST
    I don't want this election to be seen as turning back the clock on gay rights.  But it doesn't seem to have done that.  I'm very happy about the Latino vote and turnout too.  Americans seem somewhat uncomfortable with giving anti-gay, anti-Latino candidates the power of a Senate seat.  Thank god.

    Hispanic intermarriage (none / 0) (#34)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:34:27 PM EST
    with others and geographical dispersion, too, have gone on for too long for that message to work in many parts of the country.  These are our grandchildren and nephews and nieces and neighbors now, even in families and places that would have astonished me a generation ago.  

    Oh good. I'm sure they'll avoid social issues (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:14:26 PM EST
    now that they are in control.

    Maybe, but let's see (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:21:15 PM EST
    If the focus stays on the economy, then with more jobs, the social conservatives may be on the sidelines for a long time...

    The Latino (none / 0) (#35)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:34:44 PM EST
    vote might have been enough to swing Arizona in 2008 if McCain wasn't the nominee- seriously, its the unwritten story of this election- hidden by the big GOP wins in R- almost entirely white districts- that the Senate races have started to show that the GOP is in serious, longterm trouble at least on National and State-wide elections- I mean what exactly happens if the GOP loses Arizona and Nevada permanently- if Texas becomes a state they win but actually have to spend time on- what is there map to 270 then?

    Conventional wisdom was that (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:43:26 PM EST
    the GOP's anti-Latino jihad would not hurt them until later elections.

    But it cost them at least two Senate seats last night.  The Latino vote now means, as shown by last night, that Nevada and Colorado are Blue States.  The GOP cannot win a national election without those states.

    Cheer up BTD, Marco Rubio will not save the GOP from their own bigottry....  


    MKS: That is exactly right. (none / 0) (#38)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:36:59 PM EST
    Oh (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:20:14 PM EST
    he so has not learned anything.  All the questions are do you get the message, and of course, he doesn't.

    So I'm guessing he's still (none / 0) (#26)
    by waldenpond on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:29:11 PM EST

    Obama (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:31:08 PM EST
    More interested in being accepted by Republicans than he has been in fighting tooth and nail for those who got him elected.  

    There is something deeply dysfunctional about it. Or terribly dishonest. Or both.

    The prof is lecturing (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    "first do no harm."

    Too late.

    "Too early to say."  uh oh

    Jesus Christ (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:41:01 PM EST
    Insurance premiums are breaking everyone now, and everyone is having to downsize their coverage if they aren't wealthy.....but he still thinks the HCR was a good one.

    Oh boy (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    now kissing the ass of business.  "I take responsibility for making clear to the biz community...(that they are important)...must set the right tone publicly."

    Dear Lord and corporate overlords, I am sorry.

    He doesn't seem to feel the little people's (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:53:34 PM EST

    He seems to understand he has (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:52:49 PM EST
    dumped the citizens and consumers.  First decent thing he has said but he still can't get off of nuturing business.  Business has been nurtured too much man!  They are so dysfuntional, they nurse off the goverment udder and then go back to sleep all day and all night long.  Business isn't an infant.  They need to pay their taxes and be forced out of their mom and dads house and get with making their own living.

    He wants to talk to business, like business is a person.

    He seems to understand he has (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:53:24 PM EST
    dumped the citizens and consumers.  First decent thing he has said but he still can't get off of nuturing business.  Business has been nurtured too much man!  They are so dysfuntional, they nurse off the goverment udder and then go back to sleep all day and all night long.  Business isn't an infant.  They need to pay their taxes and be forced out of their mom and dads house and get with making their own living.

    He wants to talk to business, like business is a person.

    "Citizens United." (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    question (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:58:22 PM EST
    you are accused of being out of touch with ordinary people

    are you gonna change your leadership style

    "they liked me in Iowa...blames the White House...hard not to seem removed...must give them confidence that I'm listening to them...letters break my heart, but nobody is filming me reading them..."

    changes subject to Reagan and Clinton--they went through this too after midterms

    "this is a growth process, an evolution...peaked at election, it's gotten tougher"

    I come away from my encounters with the electorate optimistic...

    no answer on style, changing of

    If I'm personally making him feel optimistic (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:59:37 PM EST
    right now he is deaf :)

    Drop in women voters for Dems (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:52:38 PM EST
    was huge, per CNN exit polls.  

    Now, this is historic: 49% of women voted for Dems, 48% for Repubs.  That's a regression to decades ago; now I have to see just how far back I have to go to find Dems with so little support from women.

    Is this (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:01:50 PM EST
    surprising though? We all warned the party but nobody listened.

    Turnout down (none / 0) (#147)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:31:02 PM EST
    Get more jobs and a better economy and the ship will right itself.

    Not (5.00 / 4) (#148)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:32:27 PM EST
    necessarily. Obama has rolled us under the bus too many times to count.

    Turnout is a related but different factor (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:08:47 PM EST
    although intriguing -- now, put the two together, i.e., which women stayed home, and what does it tell you? and what does it tell the Dems?

    But the Nu Dems don't want to hear it, of course.  So this ship will stay on the same course. . . .


    Yep (5.00 / 3) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:14:37 PM EST
    Over at the big orange Kos put up a post about how the turnout was whiter than 2008 but did not acknowledge the problems with women voters. I guess that's the Nu Dems for you. Honestly, they don't have a clue over there. I guess it's all about rallying the troops not anything else.

    An astonishing insight. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:01:21 PM EST
    This revelation from David Gregory:

    "This means that speaker Nancy Pelosi is no longer going to be the speaker."

    That's why he gets the big bucks, while people like you and me and our favorite bartenders don't.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:46:02 AM EST
    The GOP is probably going to do even worse but when you can't sell what little you have done it doesn't matter in the end because people will jerk their knees and vote for the other guy.

    Ho hum (none / 0) (#11)
    by waldenpond on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:33:48 AM EST
    Got up this morning after ignoring all coverage and still don't care about the national scene.  I enjoy voting and discussing voting with a few people.  We voted to repeal corp tax cuts and a 5 yr increase in sales tax in our community.  

    The internet blaming really stands out when you stop watching cable.

    Obama looks (none / 0) (#17)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:05:34 PM EST

    Pissed? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:02:01 PM EST
    If he didn't see it coming, then he doesn't deserve the job he has. Nor does he qualify for it, even remotely.

    And your point is? (none / 0) (#85)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    My point (none / 0) (#91)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:11:41 PM EST
    apologies (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:26:50 PM EST
    'Twas I who wasn't clear.

    It was actually agreement with your statement of the obvious.  


    Please no (none / 0) (#18)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:07:38 PM EST
    "building consensus" and a plea for civility

    I know, not everyone (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:26:34 PM EST
    is as visual as I am but this was not the damn day for a red tie!  This was the day for the blue tie.  The red tie is for when we have terrorists trying to hit us.  But I get it, why would you need the blue tie today?  Today is the day to get more Republicanish, as if our leaders weren't already.

    From my perspective (none / 0) (#25)
    by Realleft on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:26:35 PM EST
    It was lost when they decided to focus on health care instead of jobs.  I don't really know if anything much can be done about jobs, honestly, but that should have been the theme for two straight years, tied to the financial problems created in the administration before.  But if health reform was to be the focus, they could have still leveraged it by focusing on costs of health care and ways to reduce those.  Everybody knows and hates how much hospital bills are, and there is rampant overbilling, etc. involved.  

    But when it really seemed sunk to me was when they hyped up the "victory of historic proportions" theme when the very watery bill was passed.  Progressives weren't behind it because it was a sellout and no one much else other than Democratic PR-types was behind it because it sounded like a stereotypical (PR-wise) Democratic spending issue.  That moment where Obama, Pelosi and Reid all posed together looking super-pleased with themselves was iconic.

    Even after watching the train wreck slowly unfold over the past two years, it still seems like a shock how quickly what could have been a progressive era (of sorts) went down the drain.

    Yes, and if the Repubs had fought (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:30:58 PM EST
    a jobs bill, as at least some would have done and probably a lot, who could have been poster boyz and girlz for what's wrong with Repubs -- and if the Dems had been capable of pushing the message about obstructionism on issues that matter to voters, i.e., jobs -- the Dems would have won yesterday.

    But today, I'm listening to Obama talking about how we all need to get along and compromise . . . more.


    Makes sense to me... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Realleft on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:43:28 PM EST
    I've never been opposed to the idea of compromising to find mutually tolerable outcomes, but I think it's the old thing of speaking softly and carrying a big stick.  Obama didn't have a big enough stick, enough Dem votes behind him to do anything with, so he wasn't large enough (despite all the positive PR) to back up a "rise above" solution and should have fought for center-left stances instead of starting with center-right stances thinking they would be acceptable to Rs because ideologically they mostly fit for them.  As soon as it became clear (well before the election?) that Rs were only interested in obstructionism, losing principled (or at least explainable) battles to obstructionism would have carried more weight to build forward for the longer term than continuing to press forward legislation that no one liked.  Really tone deaf.

    Oh I think Obama's stick was big enough (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    He just used against the so-called "left-of-the-left".

    The insurance bill (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:55:31 PM EST
    wasn't just watery, it was actually HARMFUL.  And people, at least those of us on the individual market, are seeing it right now, this very minute, in exhorbitantly increased premiums AND DECREASED benefits, sometimes benefits cut in half or more.  It is the worst single thing any party has ever done to me personally.  I will NEVER forget it.

    Others on the individual market are seeing it too.  And even people on employee plans are seeing their premiums increase and benefits reduce because of it.  Even Microsoft, a company that has probably the best health insurance benefits in the NATION, is actually going to start requiring their employees to pay a part of premiums and deductibles.  This has never been the case before.


    The public needs to know this. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by hairspray on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:05:32 PM EST
    The amount of disinformation about what the GOP is doing is mind boggling. I am rereading "What's the matter with kansas" and it is the story of the US, not just kansas. Clinton, stumping foe Sestak,  called it bait and switch and that is what it is.  Our public relations guru's have got to get a cogent message of class inequaities and stick with it.  The national Dems spend so much time on issues that dilute our major theme.  Sure we want immigration reform, repeal of DADT and climate change but by god we need to triage.  We can't get any of these things if the crazy people run the show.

    Yglesias (none / 0) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    has an effective counter to this:

    "To me it seems obvious that having the 111th Congress press hard to get big things done was the right call, even if it contributed to electoral defeat. This is especially true because as I said yesterday you need to do the analysis at the margin. Losing 65 House seats is way worse than losing zero House seats. But dropping the Affordable Care Act wouldn't have saved 65 House seats. Maybe it would have saved 15. But that's not nearly as big a deal. The reason you try to win elections is it gives you the chance to pass important laws, so saying you want to avoid passing laws in order to slightly reduce your midterm losses seems silly."


    okay. (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Realleft on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    Guess it comes down to how important you think the law is.  As it turned out, I don't think it's very important.  An important law would have focused on reducing health care costs at the core, not the periphery.  Holding out risked not passing anything, but also could have brought about larger change.  

    This has been lost (none / 0) (#119)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:42:50 PM EST
    but the importance of the law comes is judged based on the number of lives it saves and bankruptcies it prevents. If the law saved no money and did nothing to lower costs, we have a moral obligation to provide healthcare to as many people as we can.

    The thousands of lives saved through preventive treatment, etc. are my judge of the bill.

    I thought that's the way us progressives thought.

    If the risk was that nothing passed (and as a result more lives were lost in a few years than through each of the wars we are fighting as a result), that outcome was not acceptable.

    My knock with Obama is that he wasn't constantly reminding people that the Dems passed a law that will save a lot of lives.  Even in a liberal forum like this, that point is forgotten.


    Thousands of lives have already been (5.00 / 4) (#135)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:03:43 PM EST
    saved by the Health Care bill? Really?

    Shh. Don't let being reality-based (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:45:08 PM EST
    stop him.  I'm waiting to be sent to the website!

    dude (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:53:45 PM EST
    you are a glutton for pummeling

    Errr, preventive coverage has saved lives already? (none / 0) (#177)
    by beowulf on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:44:46 PM EST
    The idea (commendable as it is) of preventive care is to start treating small problems become they become big problems.

    Any "free" preventative care  that's been received (unless you're on Medicare, don't think for a second that insurance won't pass on the additional cost on to the premiums) may save lives, oh, in a decade, but this year... not so much.


    The biggest things the president (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:37:59 PM EST
    and the Democratic Congress didn't do were (1) a larger stimulus and (2) a comprehensive jobs bill; people who are working are people who are spending in the community and paying into state and federal coffers, not draining them.

    But, okay, they didn't do that; Obama wanted to be the only president who could solve the crisis in the health system.  He went about that by first eliminating what even he said was the best solution to the problem so they could stick with our uniquely American "employment-based" system - at a time when (1) more and more people were losing their jobs and (2) more employers were cutting or eliminating coverage.

    I don't know - that doesn't seem like the way to approach a crisis to me.

    By the time it was all over, by the time the last insurance industry CEO had limo-ed back to his or her corporate office from the WH, by the time the last deal had been made with Big Pharma, we were left with a bill that delayed the bulk of the implentation for four years, solidified the insurance industry stranglehold on our throats, given the industry a huge head start on establishing sky-high benchmarks for premiums when implementation finally - if it ever - kicks in, not to mention plenty of time to find all the loopholes and all the escape hatches, and plenty of time for states to challenge all the provisions and mandates.

    This was not legislation designed with the American public in mind, but with preserving an industry that is largely responsible for getting us to the crisis stage.  It was "Too Big To Fail, Medical Edition."  

    Almost no one went to the polls yesterday having reaped a positive benefit from this "historic" legislation.  A lot of people went to the polls still worried about not having a job, about the cost of health care and the cost of insurance coverage.  And wondering why a president who claims to care so much about their well-being convened a commission that threatens to remove more of the safety net that for many, is all that stands between them and a freefall into the abyss.

    Voters reward good policy, good governance and the courage to be accountable for the job they do; the Dems have given us very little on those fronts, I don't care how big or what kind of title you give the legislation.

    Democrats gave most people no concrete reason to keep them in office, other than that they might be marginally less evil than the alternative.  

    Apparently, that campaign strategy failed, as many knew it would; the question is, will Democrats stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to listen to the truth about where they went wrong, or will they read people like Yglesias and others so they can keep believing it was someone else's fault?


    Policy over Politics (none / 0) (#125)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:49:24 PM EST
    Healthcare doesn't kick in until 2014 in earnest. Would it be better if it kicked in immediately from a political perspective? Yes. Would it have been passed if it did? Doubtful.

    The bottom line is that we are arguing over the short term ramifications of legislation that is expected to provide benefits for generations.

    The idea that we can call it a failure based on (a) the mid terms and (b) the fact that it is imperfect is about as short sighted as you can get.

    Have people actually looked at what happened with the original Social Security Act? It's the exact same dynamic (unpopular, concessions made, the left/civil rights groups were angry, etc.).

    This is how big pieces of policy change begin and morph over time.


    Yes, we know the bulk of the Act (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:10:07 PM EST
    doesn't kick in for another four years, which, in my book, doesn't seem like the right way to address the problems with a system that is in crisis; by the time help arrives - and it's not clear that much will be left of the Act in four years - it will be too late for a lot of people.

    Politics is abstract, and the political abstraction of promising help for millions of people has lost much of its promise with the reality that millions are experiencing in their daily lives: rising costs for the care itself, and rising costs of the insurance coverage, a greater share of co-pays and higher deductibles.

    I love the continued assertion that a better plan stood no chance - that we had to settle for mediocre; sure, the GOP would have fought it, but they fight everything, don't they?  What chance do we ever have for excellence if we keep eliminating it as a goal?  For a guy who never missed an opportunity to use the phrase "Yes, We Can," he sure has spent a lot of time saying, "well, no, we can't."  

    And why "can't" we?  Because someone or something else won't "let" us?  Us, who had a big majority AND the support of vast numbers of the American people, gave up before the whole thing ever really got started.

    Your expectation may be for positive, multi-generational benefits from this legislation that isn't even fully operational - and may never be - but you've created it out of thin air, as far as I can tell.  And that you are willing to sacrifice the lives of others in the "short-term" is really pretty disturbing.

    I am not calling the Act a failure because of the mid-terms, I am calling it a failure because it solves nothing that is wrong with the system, nothing.

    Look at Medicare: up and running and everyone who qualified enrolled within one year.  And that was before we had the kind of technology we have today.

    Seriously, you are an infomercial producer's dream come true...


    This isn't the only (none / 0) (#163)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:21:19 PM EST
    blog where the Obama apologists seem to be out, calling the health care bill "the most progressive piece of legislation since the New Deal." (Never mind, as you and others have mentioned, Medicare/Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, but I guess they don't count.)  That seems to be the "meme of the day."  (Sigh)  On a slightly different topic, although still about the election, you live in Maryland too, don't you?  Did you hear about the election afternoon robo calls which seem to have been an attempt to suppress the voter turnout?  The Maryland State Attorney General says he will investigate.

    Yes - I had been thinking we might (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:31:19 PM EST
    get all the way to poll-closing without some dirty tricks, but I guess not.  Ehrlich camp is, of course, condemning it, and claiming no responsibility, but why would the Dems do it - it might work in terms of people believing Ehrlich did it, but the flip side is that it was an effort to get people not to vote - and that makes no sense if you're trying to make sure every registered Dem goes to the polls and touches the screen for you.

    Well, hey - at least it wasn't homeless men with fliers this time, eh?

    I hope this is the last time I have to see Ehrlich's name on any ballot...


    I, too, really hope (none / 0) (#168)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:40:12 PM EST
    that "Bobby Haircut" fades into the woodwork.

    Oy (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:59:32 PM EST
    Once again, focussing on optics instead of results.

    And he still thinks that businesses will (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:30:19 PM EST
    just get off the sidelines.  Guess what Mr. President, they will not get off the sidelines until they have to play.  They aren't hungry like everyone else.  Why would they risk anything right now?  There is no rational business reason for them to do so at this time.

    And he is for natural gas fracking (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:31:03 PM EST
    even though it is destroying our ground water all over the place.

    Jake Tapper (none / 0) (#33)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:33:17 PM EST
    asks Obama will he compromise on bush tax cuts--
    oh dear--what will he answer?

    "My goal is to sit down (none / 0) (#39)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    with Boehner and Mitchell to provide some certainty to businesses. . . .  We're not going to play brinksmanship."

    But you knew that would be the answer, kmblue.


    You're right CC (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:38:15 PM EST
    and this presser overall is going exactly as I expected.  Boy am I depressed.

    From a policy perspective (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:01:56 PM EST
    I support a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for those under 250k--and a two year extension for those over that.

    From a Kenyesian perspective, I agree you don't raise taxes during a recession....

    Politics may be a different matter.

    But by giving only a two year extension, you would make Republicans in 2012 favor a tax cut for the rich without being able to use the middle class for cover.


    Joan Williams of Hastings School of Law (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by hairspray on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:24:29 PM EST
    writes in the SF Chronicle today that Democrats began losing the presidency when Nixon pried white working class people from them in the '70's.  And that is when this group began losing ground. The New Deal focused on economic security through universal programs like SS. She goes on to describe the Dems as conceding the working class to the Kansans, Nebraskans, and the rest of the midwest.   And these themes of disrespect continue, unfortunately now with Obama.  The Democrats lack respect for this Demographic (we saw that when HRC was being dismissed with her hillbilly coalition in 2008) which is  hurting the new Democratic party beyond belief.  

    Ambiguous (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:37:48 PM EST
    But will first do no harm....so yes, he will compromise.

    now he is skinning cats (none / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:41:21 PM EST
    the  horror.

    boy you can tell from the questions that the media honeymoon is over cant you.

    He (none / 0) (#47)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:43:30 PM EST
    appears to be in denial.  
    Talking about DADT.  Man, he is making me angry.
    Blaming the courts?

    Is Keven Drum really a blogger? (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:50:41 PM EST
    where are his links to "structural factors" and/or Hibbs?  Lousy.

    didnt have any complaints (none / 0) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    about his leadership style when he was running around in Iowa.  did I hear that right?  tell me I did not

    You heard it right (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:54:50 PM EST
    Being a great campaigner and public speaker automatically makes you a great leader in all other respects.  The mask is the core.

    and now we get (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:55:40 PM EST
    being president is hard.

    Every President needs to go through this? (5.00 / 6) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:57:51 PM EST
    NOPE, just the unseasoned unproven ones.  This is a growth process?  OMG, it is what Anne was talking about.  He is going through therapy and analysis and he thinks he is free to take all the rest of us with him.  WHAT AN EGO!

    Stop, stop ... (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    You're gonna make me turn it on, and I just had lunch.

    You're safe. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:01:56 PM EST
    He's finished.  Or should I say, we are.

    Did he really use the words (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:32:34 PM EST
    "growth process"?
    I can tell you one thing that's not growing---his reputation.

    I heard that, too -- it is Bush redux (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:57:52 PM EST
    Obama really did just complain about the workload in the White House.  And with a drawl, dropping his g's.  Do Hawaiians drop their g's like faux Texans?

    First, "heck of a job" to Jon Stewart. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:13:09 PM EST
    Now this.  Scary.

    Yes (none / 0) (#69)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    you did.  I did too.

    I got (none / 0) (#75)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    your optimism right here.

    Obama will compromise and give it all away.
    Cat food, here I come.

    Hard to see why it is soooo bad for (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    the average voter to vote to "throw the bums out" when, here on TL, I haven't read anything in support of the bums so far today.  

    I have been marginally (none / 0) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:09:19 PM EST
    supportive of the bums.  nice to see you btw.

    Thanks. P.S. I didn't see a single (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:11:40 PM EST
    notable Garuda!  Surprising.  Did see what I thought was a pretty spectacular, smallish, temple to Ganesh.  In Simla.  Also, didn't see a complete depiction of the churning of the river of milk--my fave.

    You forgot (none / 0) (#88)
    by kmblue on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:09:49 PM EST
    this year's Democratic slogan:

    "Yeah, we suck, but THEY suck worse!"


    The Dems can't even summon enough (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:14:28 PM EST
    courage to repeat the '08 mantra, Don't Forget About Roe v. Wade.

    Ask Your Husband and Religious Advisor (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:26:18 PM EST
    is the new mantra.  Get with the program!

    Stupak/Pitts. (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:27:10 PM EST
    Superceded by President order. (none / 0) (#104)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:28:36 PM EST
    "Keep the bums around awhile longer!" (none / 0) (#98)
    by tigercourse on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:17:56 PM EST
    The "bums" (none / 0) (#93)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:13:46 PM EST
    were 2% less evil, so they should have stayed.

    And it's a travesty that the remaining "bums" now have to get the lousy offices, rather than the really nice ones.

    Otherwise, I personaly see no difference today over yesterday.


    Oh (none / 0) (#96)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:14:30 PM EST
    except the other side is a little more honest about their REAL interests.

    The juxtaposition of Boehner/McConnell's ... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:40:09 PM EST
    ... approach with Obama's is expected, but depressing as hell:

    "Obama doubles down on civility":

    But the defining feature of his remarks was his re-commitment to the notions of post-partisan dialogue, collaboration and what he called "civility."

    "No one party will be able to dictate where we go from here. We must find common ground in order to make progress on some uncommonly difficult challenges," Obama said. "I do believe there is hope for civility. I do believe there is hope for progress and that's because I believe in the resiliency of a nation that has bounced back from much worse than what it is going through right now."


    "We hope he is willing to work with us on these priorities. But as I have said, our new majority will be the voice of the American people as they expressed it so clearly yesterday," Boehner said.


    McConnell was more pointed than Boehner, ...

    Republicans will "work with the administration when they agree with the people and confront them when they don't," McConnell said.

    Bunker mentality on Obama's part--- (none / 0) (#136)
    by observed on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:04:34 PM EST
    but still civil. I'm thrilled.

    Pointing the finger... (none / 0) (#121)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:44:45 PM EST
    at my fellow NY'ers...Jimmy Mac is looking about 10k votes short of making 'The Rent Is Too Damn High' party a NY staple....he could do no better than 4th.

    Thanks for trying Jimmy, we let you down man.

    saw a picture (none / 0) (#126)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:50:49 PM EST
    of his entry on the ballot yesterday. classic.

    Apologies to... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:04:43 PM EST
    the Mac...s/b "2" instead of "Too"...I always screw that up!

    It was even cooler to fill that bubble with black magic marker bro...its so much more fulfilling to vote for people you actually admire instead of the lesser of two evil dance.

    My polling place did a great job with the new ballots and scanners, in and out no issues...assuming the votes were counted and all:)  Was weird to not go in the old mechanical booth with curtain I am used too though, and hitting levers.


    what were we saying yesterday (none / 0) (#128)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:59:28 PM EST
    about how all those wacky republican investigations were not going to happen? from TPM:

    The GOP Plan To Investigate Obama: The First Four Potential Investigations

    1. New Black Panther Party
    2. Joe Sestak's Job Offer
    (the world awaits an answer to that one)
    3. ACORN's Offspring
    (wouldnt that be an oak tree)
    4. BP Oil Spill
    (ok, this might stand investigating)

    There goes the birther vote bloc (none / 0) (#179)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:33:13 PM EST
    as won't they be ticked when they find out that searing expose is not on the list.

    Yman wont like this (none / 0) (#132)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:01:52 PM EST
    The Results Are In: Welcome to the 'Teavangelical Party'

    The Brody File has coined a new phrase: The "Teavangelical Party." The polling from the 2010 Midterm Elections proves it.

    According to a Public Opinion Strategies poll that has assessed the Midterm Election results from Tuesday,(conducted for the Faith and Freedom Coalition) 52 percent of all people who identified themselves as part of the Tea Party movement are also conservative Evangelicals.

    Saw it ... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:34:18 PM EST
    ... and another, similar poll, both conducted for Evangelical groups.

    I'll take the WP/Gallup/NY Times polls over a GOP polling firm doing polling for Christian fundamentalist groups any day of the week.

    BTW - You might find some of their other polls interesting.


    bad choice for a name (none / 0) (#159)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:12:00 PM EST

    Heh, ... (none / 0) (#170)
    by Yman on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:41:57 PM EST
    ... didn't catch that ...

    I point my finger at the economy also (none / 0) (#152)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:43:07 PM EST
    There were some "fringe" issues that contributed in one way or another but, by and large, it was the economy.  States we lost in, PA, MI, and IL all saw unemployment rates rise to 8.8% or higher.  States like WI were below the national average.  Google Graph