Politics Is Stupid

Obviously, I agree with Atrios on the value of calling the middle class tax cuts proposed by Democrats as the "Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts." Ezra Klein opines from the Kaplan Ivory Tower:

Greg Sargent reports that House Democrats want to rebrand the extension of Bush's middle-class tax cuts as "the Obama tax cuts for the middle class." Sigh. Whether you think this is a good idea, a bad idea or a totally meaningless waste of time -- and you can guess which view I hold -- it's worth remembering that Democrats have known about the expiration of these cuts for 10 years now. If they wanted to create their own middle-class tax cut to replace Bush's expiring program and make sure they got the credit from the voters, they could've done that.

If Ezra Klein has not yet figured out that politics is stupid, then he should stop writing about politics. While politics is, and will always be, stupid, it still matters. If you can't deal with the fact that politics is stupid, you stop writing about it.

It's also worth noting that in fact President Obama DID run on middle class tax cuts that included those being proposed now.

Speaking for me only

< Fight For Russ Feingold | Primary Day Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Yet again... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:36:54 AM EST
    ...Ezra's youth is exposed as a weakness. Give him another decade or two, maybe he'll understand.

    although in fairness to ezra... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:37:34 AM EST
    ...many of those much older than him are just as dim.  

    The Dems are dim... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:10:55 AM EST
    if they think a mere extension of the Bush cuts is gonna win them brownie points with the unwashed masses...they need to go beyond the Bush rate and cut even more, or else the people will feel hoodwinked again.

    It's many voters who are stupid. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by steviez314 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:41:52 AM EST
    My estimate has gone up fom 15% to 27% and now 40% over the past few years.

    Pretty soon we'll be a center-stupid-right country.

    Politics would not be so stupid (none / 0) (#4)
    by vicndabx on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:52:12 AM EST
    if the public weren't so codependent.

    Codependence : a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition


    NOW Ezra wants Democrats to do (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:55:52 AM EST
    something original or just shut up?  I wanted them to do something like that two years ago and NOW is not the time for THAT :)

    Actually it is original to look at our economic model and say, "At this time the economic model needs the rich need to return to paying their taxes. The middle class cannot because the old system was horribly skewed against them while Wall Street stole their retirements and now they face serious unemployment challenges"  This is how we deal with austerity while rebuilding at the same time.

    Well, everyone benefits from the extension of the (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by masslib on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 03:30:18 PM EST
    "middle-class" Bush tax cuts, even the wealthy.  The idea that anyone doesn't, that's politics.

    Hear hear (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 08:49:51 AM EST
    Without a strong middle class the wealthy have nobody to sell more crap to to stay that way or become more so.  But sadly most of them are clueless about real life and how real life really works.  They created this money that they have out of thin air, it was all their sweat and blood and magic (sounds like witchcraft to me)....it involved the sacrifices of nobody else and IT IS ALL THEIRS Muwhahahahaha.

    Not True (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 11:07:49 AM EST
    When you have $100m ++ in cash, the middle class' health is irrelevant to your pocketbook.

    What's your $100m in? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 12:32:57 PM EST
    Cash?  If it is any other asset and you and your rich friends rape the economy and destroy the middle class....your assets are mostly fairly useless until further notice....that being when some health returns to the economy if your assets survive the downturn.  Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  Now maybe if you have all cash (who has that?) you get to be in a separate class if you don't destroy the system of wealth backing the currency of the economy you are destroying....that's a maybe baby.  So my friend, you would be wrong on this.

    MT for Congress! (none / 0) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 10:58:01 AM EST
    Or at least DNC chairman or sumpin'.

    How come you can do this framin' stuff and they can't?


    I wish I knew (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:01:29 AM EST
    It seems pretty simple to me.  Selling it is always the difficult part though, and I think they fear having to make the sale.  Put andgarden on that though, he is a Madmen protege.

    MT, you class warrior you! (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:13:17 AM EST
    admitting (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:02:44 AM EST
    politics is stupid would be admitting to being an integral part of the stupdity.



    Sure Ezra - they could have extended them (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:10:15 AM EST
    in 2008, and they would have been known as the Second Bush tax cuts.

    I too would like to examine tax policy outside of the political realm, but tax policy is politics.

    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:10:36 AM EST
    no surprise here.  Ezra demonstrated during the health care debate that he basically has no interest in politicking.

    Never forget (none / 0) (#13)
    by kmblue on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 11:28:23 AM EST
    Ezra already has health care.  The rest of his stupidity cannot be explained so easily.

    Has Ezra ever had to use his (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 12:01:00 PM EST
    health care?  I just got a call from Joshua's doctor, I really stirred some things up with Tricare yesterday.  This person working there had pulled Joshua's approval to go see Dr. Mosca for his second opinion on his feet.  She wasn't returning the doctors phone calls either, then my husband asked for the phone number and he was leaving messages too.

    Then the person called me at home yesterday posing as a "case worker" bent on helping me, but I had not requested a case worker to "help".  Whenever Tricare tries to give you one of those that is when nothing ever gets done. I've learned this the hard way and the doctor must fight all fights or the fight simply dies and paperwork gets lost forever while phone calls are not returned.  I had a meltdown at this person on the phone.  Then I began trying to figure out who this person was and managed to figure out based on her phone number that she was probably the person who had denied Joshua's visit to Mosca.  I got the extension from my husband then left a message on her voicemail, that I didn't appreciate her being sneaky and manipulative and why was she calling me and not working with the doctor.  She called my doctor furious today that I got her extension, she informed the doctor that her phone is a back line for physicians only.  She told the doctor to not ever give anyone her phone number ever again.....or else.....we don't know what happens after that :)  The doctor was giggling.  I think Joshua will probably get the authorization with no more pulling of it.


    Let me get that phone number... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:10:09 PM EST
    cuz now I'm pissed...making decisions that so gravely effect people's lives and then hiding from those same people behind a bueracratic wall?  And in your case, a little boy?  A little boy whose dad gets shot at in Afghanistan no less?  

    Politics ain't the only thing that is sinfully stupid...lookie how we do healthcare.  Permission slip to take certain drugs is bad enough, permission slip to see a damn specialist?  Grrrr.


    They do it all the time kdog (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:27:41 PM EST
    And because everyone fighting on this field is dealing with grave illness we are all emotionally exhausted.  We usually stay nice and traumatized and quiet.  If we complained and someone explained to us how we deserved what was happening to us we are too fragile to risk that, so we never do....unless you are evil like me.

    There is a shame that goes along with literally being denied "life" or your child's life too.  It is hard to explain.  When you first begin walking this path though and you get your first denials you simply break down sobbing, you don't understand why you are denied and there is purposefully nobody to go face to face with to ask or demand.  Tricare denied Joshua for the Titanium Rib procedure though twice.  Then Shriners said they would pay and suddenly Tricare agreed to cover it. You can dial numbers for hours and not get one clear answer though if you try to deal with the insurance companies.  Physicians have more legal pull but often their system to deal with the fighting is maxed out as well.  Anyone who will not fight, who is a pacifist at heart, that soul is immediately mown down.  They do die nice and quiet, they never complained, things simply didn't work out for them and they go away.  The whole system works like this though if you are someone who is actually ill now and you are costing them money.

    If you lose a family member in this fight, you don't keep fighting this fight either.  It hurts too much, you don't stay to fight and testify to what they did to you.  You let it go along with your loved one who passed on, and they keep getting away with putting sick people through this time and time and time again.  It sucks man!


    It's horrifying (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:36:20 PM EST
    Reading your stories I often wonder how I would be able to handle what you deal with every day. The answer always comes back 'not very well'. Josh is so lucky to have a capable mom.

    Martinis (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:54:29 PM EST
    I had several last night while I ranted, and my husband sat across from me and listened and he holds his eyes open really wide so I don't think he has drifted off on me.  I hope she was upset this morning after getting my voicemail once I knew who she was, she had it coming.  I hope she needed a sedative too :)  

    That it does... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:42:27 PM EST
    I immediately thought of those without your fortitude to continually bang their head against the beuracratic wall to get the healthcare they deserve and earned...those who just take no for an answer, like good soldiers in an army that doesn't give a f*ck about 'em.

    I don't know how you do it...or how my sister does it.  She jumps through the hoops and makes the hundreds of phone calls to make sure my niece's care doesn't get lost in the bueracracy of changing plans, new restrictions and procedures...and thank goodness they have the cashish for when no is the final answer, so her care does not suffer, despite my bro-in-law's "cadillac plan" they've gone thousands out of pocket.  

    If I was in either of your shoes I'd surely be locked up because I don't possess that kinda patience...I'd lose my cool and be waiting on one of these bueracrat's doorstep for aggressive negotiations:)


    At some point (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:56:49 PM EST
    we need to get ourselves organized, if any one of us comes through this with enough extra strength to begin to build the army.

    Yep... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 02:11:25 PM EST
    we do need to get organized...and those being served by the status quo know it too...so we get wedge issues 24/7 down our throat.  Hate the mexican, hate the muslim, hate the union, hate the homosexuals...and get a piece of the rock, Prudential.

    Physician friend of mine (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 02:46:19 PM EST
    quit medicine entirely because she couldn't keep fighting and losing anymore.

    Among other things, the HMO her practice was affiliated with (one o' those Medicare Advantage deals) regulated how many total tests a physician could order annually for X number of patients-- ie, rationing.  If a physician went over that quota, the cost of the tests was taken out of their pay/reimbursement.  So basically, the HMO made the physicians pay for the tests out of their own pockets.

    And this was with an overwhelmingly elderly patient load, who invariably need lots of tests of lots of different things just to figure out what's quit working right.


    A hug for you MT (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 03:06:09 PM EST
    Lots of hugs. You are strong; but, please accept this momentary squeeze of the hand.

    Walking hospital halls, seeking answers there (and in follow-up, pursuing phone calls), waking up in chills & sweats about what to do next...it is a very separate, lonely passage. Sometimes your heart screams and, almost worse, the silence in the midst of the noise.

    You know that you will prevail; because your son is your guide.


    kdog beat me to it (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 01:22:49 PM EST
    Sounds like a number that needs to have a wider distribution. Do you have 'the twitter'?

    I know, that would be wrong. Just a good revenge fantasy.


    I think they SHOULD have done that. (none / 0) (#25)
    by masslib on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 03:28:12 PM EST
    I think it was a strategic blunder to expand any of Bush's tax cuts rather than just let them sunset on schedule, even for the first 250k in income.  There were far better tax cuts that could have been proposed and passed when Obama first got into office.  Personally, I don't support the expansion of any of the Bush tax cuts.

    I agree as a matter of policy (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 03:57:19 PM EST
    I say let them expire and start over with some real help for the middle class. It seems to me we need more brackets too, so couples making 250k are not lumped in with millionaires.

    But I definitely do not want them extended for everyone, and I see the political point in being able to use it as a wedge issue.


    They will be extended for everyone. (none / 0) (#30)
    by masslib on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 04:28:28 PM EST
    I think you mean you do not want to see the tax cuts exclusively on income above 250k extended.  

    You know (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 04:23:23 PM EST
    you're getting old when...

    you remember one of the candidates on the ballot as the h.s. hockey star in your sister's class who's identical twin brother you accidentaly switched bar tabs/credit cards with one night.

    In related news, I fully support his twin brother's taste in bars, gin, and banks.

    I guess his politics are alright too.

    oops (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 04:24:01 PM EST
    wrong thread.  Oh well.  Politics are stupid...?

    Speaking of stupid politics (none / 0) (#31)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 04:54:23 PM EST
    Reid announced today that he may attempt to add the DREAM Act at an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill.

    Obviously it is pure election pandering, but it will also probably blow up in his face, along with the DADT item that is already attached.

    it seems to be (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:01:10 PM EST
    upsetting all the right people.

    seriously (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CST on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:10:26 PM EST
    still trying to figure out how a vote on DADT is a bad thing for Dems, or for that matter the DREAM act - whether they pass or not, I'd still like to have these vote on the record in Nov.

    Both of these things are polling around 70%.

    Real train wrecks...


    It has zero chance of passing using that (none / 0) (#33)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:06:46 PM EST

    And? (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by CST on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:14:29 PM EST
    Having Republicans on record voting against two items that 70% of Americans support is bad for Democrats because....?

    Immigration reform is something that can be (none / 0) (#37)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:22:00 PM EST
    and needs to be done - the correct way.  

    IMHO, any possible gains the Ds MIGHT get by attempting this - and probably failing will be offset by their losses 3x over with the majority of the voting public.

    This is so blatantly shallow election gamesmanship, everyone will see it for what it is and then ask - WTF are you doing about JOBS!?!?


    personally (none / 0) (#38)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:33:06 PM EST
    I think its about time we saw some "blatantly shallow election gamesmanship"

    Go for it, as it will cost the Dems seats. n/t (none / 0) (#39)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:34:29 PM EST
    Curious - why would it ... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Yman on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 05:09:30 PM EST
    ... "blow up in his face" (either DREAM or DADT)?  It may be pandering, but most people (including Republicans) are in favor of a full repeal.

    eh? (none / 0) (#40)
    by diogenes on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 06:41:44 PM EST
    How is preventing a tax hike for the middle class translatable as a "tax cut" except in the Washingtonian language of spin?

    Your question is a perfect fit for the (none / 0) (#41)
    by BTAL on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 07:02:29 PM EST
    subject line of this thread.