Politico: Van Hollen Says Give Rich Folks A Tax Break

Politico reports:

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who heads Democratic campaign efforts, has argued behind closed doors for taking a political issue off the table by giving a short reprieve to wealthy folks before the midterm elections.

(Emphasis supplied.) Chris Van Hollen wants to take the issue off the political table, according to Politico. And he leads Dem campaign efforts. This is why the Dems are going to get creamed in November.

Speaking for me only

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    Lord (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:05:55 PM EST
    first of all, what happened to the geniuses that worked for the Obama campaign?  You would at least hope that they would turn up the heat in terms of electioneering.

    That said, in terms of "mobilizing his liberal base," Obama doesn't seem to be doing a good job either.

    They are still campaigning for (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:13:23 PM EST
    Obama and ignoring the value of enacting popular policy.  In other words, they are stuck in a game of politic thinking that allowing Obama to change positions every five minutes won't have an impact on their credibility or his likability.

    They are so 2008.


    Who are "they"? My friends (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:14:48 PM EST
    who campaigned, rang doorbells, gave $$, are not saying much at present, although one is showering us w/e mails.

    "They" are the geniuses (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:26:18 PM EST
    who ran the campaign.  Those same folks are running the policy decisions - that's the mistake.  "They" are people who think short term and are largely disconnected from reality where it comes to how their spin, speeches and short term media strategies shake out over the long run.

    They are the people who told Obama to run on ending wars and enacting healthcare knowing full well that they'd never go through with any of those policy initiatives "boldly".  All they wanted was 50% plus one vote.  

    "They" believed that Obama was the most likable guy in the world and that he could never lose his mojo.  "They" believed that they could do anything and Obama would still be a magnet for praise and adoration.  "They" believed that they could betray the values of their base and get away with it.  "They" didn't even consider the possibility that people would actually get angry with Obama if he threw them under the bus.  "They" thought people would enthusiastically go down under those big wheels for Obama.  "They" believed that political capital in Washington lasts.  And they have the gaul to call people like me fantastical for my liberal beliefs.  Ha.


    Maybe it's time for free food again? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:28:40 PM EST
    Now more than ever, to revive an ol' campaign slogan.

    The Geniuses Are Running It All (none / 0) (#69)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:31:19 PM EST
    Thanks inclusiveheart for your great post.

    The geniuses that got Obama elected have brought election hubris and the sounds of victory with them to D.C.

    Trouble is they know nothing about governing and have only made Obama's obvious lack of experience
    and ham handed opportunistic tactics more than disappointing.

    None of this group of groupies should be inner circle policy makers and shakers.

    Obama's hesitancy, middling compromises, and less than transparent dealings with the press and the public re: backroom deals with BigPharma and Health Insurance companies, & Guantanamo, et al are expected to be overlooked?

    Obama lost his mojo but this group of hero worshipers remain oblivious to this and oblivious to the very important group of voters they now deride and disavow.

    This is really dumb.


    Never fear (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:35:05 PM EST
    The new logo is here.

    As promised by Kaine, I'm sure it excited democrats across the country. Can't you just feel the excitement building?


    Is that excitement? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:12:47 PM EST
    I thought it was my lunch coming up.

    Yes, it looks like it will make an (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:35:33 PM EST
    excellent target, in more ways than one, though I suppose it could be worse: it could have been a riff on the Obama/Pepsi logo.

    I'd like to know what they paid (none / 0) (#21)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:56:35 PM EST
    for that lil' 'redesign' . . . .

    If the designer did not pay the DNC to use (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:20:00 PM EST
    their design, the DNC paid too much.

    Having said that, what I want to know is how much they are paying the person who thought this whole redesign effort was a good idea. Their salary and this project is a complete waste of money. Best case scenario, this is laughable. Worse case scenario, proof positive for many how completely tone deaf the Democratic Party has become.


    New Logo Blues (none / 0) (#70)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:34:57 PM EST
    A serious mistake in Graphic Design thought up by a bunch of cronies who want this lifeless,tasteless, corporate symbol to epitomize the President of Change you can count on?

    This looks like a logo for an Oil and Gas Corporation.  Safe, Blue, Cold, and devoid of meaning.


    There (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:28:22 PM EST
    are no geniuses who worked for the Obama campaign. They were just as clueless then as they are now when it comes to policy and politics.

    Y'know, it would seem that they need (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:34:15 PM EST
    an opponent to succeed.  Maybe we need HRC to say something about tax cuts, as they sure know how to handle that!

    So why do they not see the Blue Dogs (and Pups) as the opposition?  Do these campaign handler sorts have to have an opponent, in the form of another candidate?  Are they incapable of adapting to also be able to see collective opposition to policy?


    Maybe (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:43:10 PM EST
    but I never saw the genius in the Obama campaign. I just saw them as being in the right place at the right time. Every time OFA called me, they never could explain his stances on issues.

    Man its kind of amazing (none / 0) (#45)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:02:55 PM EST
    that a bungling operation could win as an underdog- I guess it goes to show you that when your opposition is even dumber at politics (Mark Penn, good times, good times) you can overcome huge odds.

    Are you (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:47:10 PM EST
    old enough to remember Jimmy Carter?

    No but Ive read books (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:26:50 PM EST
    but Carter didn't contend with anything nearly as established as the Clinton Machinery- remember Kennedy didn't run in 1976, and the left had already pushed McGovern in 72. I don't think its really possible to argue that either the Obama team's political skills were far superior to the Clinton team's or that Obama himself was simply a much better politician than Hillary Clinton was- absent one of those two factors one is basically forced to conclude that Hillary is equivalent to Jerry Brown or Henry Jackson- which I guess one could see- Brown also made huge mistakes structurally (though entering late seems way, way different than being in the entire time).

    Carter (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    ran against the dem establishment. Jerry Brown was never a serious candidate for the most part. Do you see how he's handling running for Gov. of California? Completely inept.

    Carter never got along with the other members of the party for the most part. We even discussed this in a thread yesterday.

    The "Clinton Machine" is a myth made up by the conservatives.


    So again I have to ask you (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 05:22:18 PM EST
    if Obama's political campaign was so inept- why did he win- was he a better canidate, was Clinton's campaign even worse- what in your opinion made it into a race in the first place, much less a race in which Obama was able to win 10 states consecutively in the heat of the campaign?

    Let (1.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 06:45:20 PM EST
    me ask you if Obama was such a great candidate why was he always whining for Hillary to quit? Obama had all the backing of the establishment Dems for the most part.

    When you have the party running interference for you, you don't have to have a great campaign. And winning those caucuses are no great feat. The real test is when people actually come out and vote for you. I can make a bunch of arguments about how Obama wasn't that great of a candidate. There were plenty of examples. The fact of the matter is that Hillary became a better candidate as the primaries wore on and Obama became a weaker candidate. The Dems could have run a wet rag that would have won in November of 2008.

    My problem with Obama has always been that he was not prepared to lead which beyond obvious to most people at this point. He is not the right person for this time in our country. You guys are always talking about the crazy GOP and you are right but who do you think empowered them? Obama with his "republicans are the party of ideas" and post partisan crap. He had a chance to completely wipe them off the map and he chose to enable them. People don't respect wimps. Only Obama could manage to rehabilitate Bush/Cheney with is idiotic turn the page strategy. He doesn't realize that the culture war is going to be fought by the GOP whether he wants to participate or not.


    The fact of the matter is that (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Socraticsilence on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:01:19 PM EST
    both canidates spoke to specific portions of the electorate and that regardless of the format of the contests, both basically ran steady with their demographic strongholds in all but a few states and likely would have done the same even if the order of said contests were switched- Obama was never going to win in the Appalachias- Hillary was never going to win in the deep south- Obama was unlikely to ever win among high union states- Hillary was unlikely to ever win in states with a lot of college graduates, etc.

    Obama On Issues (none / 0) (#71)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:42:23 PM EST
    Obama made some promises when he ran, but when it came to a vision on issues all we got was "Change"

    He has failed to deliver on his promises, and we have no idea what his vision, his positions actually are.

    I don't even know that Obama knows what they are.

    It's very hard to figure out what Obama really stands for as the inconsistencies and compromises obviate a clear message.

     He has said one thing and does another.  And does the other in the most lukewarm manner he and his handlers think will put him center right so as to get re-elected


    What she said? (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:20:54 PM EST
    If the logo doesn't work, (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 04:30:46 PM EST
    this surely will. AP Headline:

    Dems to voters: You may hate us, but GOP is worse

    and this which really portrays the Dems as a strong party ready to lead us out of the mess we are in.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- With just six weeks to avoid a possible election catastrophe, Democrats are trying to limit the damage with a closing argument that's more plea than platform: We know you voters are furious with us, but just let us explain why the Republicans would be worse.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 06:46:59 PM EST
    that worked so well for the GOP in 2008 didn't it?

    President was speaking to donors, who (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:13:26 PM EST
    I guess are his real base.

    Well at least he didn't use the (none / 0) (#9)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:18:47 PM EST
    Professional Left or F'ng Ret**rd labels.

    Isn't (none / 0) (#18)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:46:12 PM EST
    that's whats happening right now- hasn't the president been hammering this tax thing pretty strongly for 2 weeks straight- I mean BTDs been pretty on top of it in mentioning the speeches and stuff.

    Two steps forward (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:48:37 PM EST
    one step back?  How the tax cuts turn out will be far more influential than his speech at a fundraiser.  Still, I don't enjoy being told to shut up...

    I do enjoy (none / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:00:20 PM EST
    how if basically every executive branch message on this has been the same be it a speech to the nation or a press conference or a leak, but Congressional Branch messaging has been different its on Obama for not having a clear message- or "secretly wanting the tax cuts for the wealthy" - I mean the same people who laughed at the "11-D chess" stuff somehow see amazing hidden moves and psuedofeints in every single action- is the president some sort of svengalian mastermind with a master plan, or isn't he?

    Well, I agree with you there (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:27:59 PM EST
    I don't think Obama secretly wants the full extension of the tax cuts by any means.  I don't think he's behind our Blue Dog rebellion here.

    What I do question is why we have so many clearly politically incompetent people in charge of DNC organizations that appear to have not learned any lessons from the 08 Obama campaign.  Menendez, Kaine, and now DCCC Chairman Van Hollen.  Then again, the DNC has a lot more money than the GOP right now.  Maybe they're hoping to win it on $$ alone, screw policy and real politicking.  


    The problem is we're (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:38:47 PM EST
    Democrats- we always, always, always, stab each other in the back- maybe it was different under LBJ- but since then every single Dem president has been significantly undercut by his supposed allies in congress- be it Carter and Kennedy, Clinton and Nunn (or Lieberman, etc) or Obama and Van Hollen.

    I think it has to do with our (none / 0) (#42)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:39:54 PM EST
    party having a different mindset (due to a number of factors) than the GOP.

    Democratic Leadership (none / 0) (#72)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:50:08 PM EST
    Frankly the Democrats have learned nothing about leadership when we look at the pack of middling, lukewarm, incompetent, and lifeless political hacks.

    No vision, no charisma, no understanding of what communication is about. Just look at the new disgraceful logo that looks like a Gas Co sign you'd see when filling the car up.

     That this group of tasteless deadheads with tin ears that are running the Party is cringe making.


    Agree, Socraticsilence (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:12:17 PM EST
    And, of course, this is the infamous positioning phase.
    If anything would surprise me about this argument on the 98/2 tax situation, it would be that Democrats would not put the middle-class relief bill to a vote. It is a winner. My concern (because in the days leading up to how-it-all-plays-out, one always gets edgy, etc.) is that we maneuver too long in trying to get as many blue dogs in non-lose positions as possible that we become "too smart by half."

    As for Politico, well.... Ya never know. They've run misguided stories before (and, factual ones as well.) But, who knows what anyone said to whom "behind closed doors" as van Hollen is alleged to have done? Was the informant to Politico an ally/friend of van Hollen's or was the informant an enemy/opposition type (or was there something more than a "journalist's" deduction?) It is good that we all get a bit riled up publicly about it, tho--just in case van Hollen and others (those additional Democrats referred to in the article who are not identified) might get faint-hearted about moving ahead.


    I think the Blue Dogs are screwed (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:19:49 PM EST
    either way- if they vote for it and the tax cuts for the rich expire: "they 'raised' taxes" (people aren't all that good and understanding legislation), if they oppose it like the GOP on the hope of getting a full extension passed- guess what: "They voted against what even President Obama called a 'tax cut' don't vote for someone to the left of a socialist"

    Same article also says there are now 38 (none / 0) (#1)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:01:36 PM EST
    house dems who have signed the letter to extend all the tax rates for a year.  The vote math is not working out well for Madame Speaker.

    It's not a math problem: (none / 0) (#3)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:03:56 PM EST

    If Pelosi puts a bill on the floor that freezes rates for 97 percent of workers allowing them to rise for the upper 3 percent, Republicans and Democrats alike are still likely to vote for such a compromise, as evidenced by Minority Leader John Boehner's acknowledgment last Sunday that he would do so if faced with a choice between cutting taxes for most folks and cutting them for no one.

    Just a question of what vote is first.


    No (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:04:37 PM EST
    They want tax cuts for the rich (BTW 221 did not sign the letter.)

    They will ALL vote for tax cuts for the middle class.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#16)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:43:38 PM EST
    I really don't see how if this comes to a vote- it doesn't pass- say the Hypothetical Middle Class Tax Act comes to the floor- it extends the Tax cuts for those making under 200,000 and doesn't even mention the upper tax brackets (which it wont because only a moron would put something in rather than simply letting them expire)-- who votes against that?  See the problem for the GOP (and I guess the Blue Dogs) is that doing nothing on the Upper brackets is all thats needed to raise them- they never even need to be mentioned in the debate- whereas to stop the middle class tax cut bill the GOP and the Blue Dogs would have to proactively work- in essence their primary tools- obstruction and procedural jujitsu work against them here in a sense this is an inversion of the dynamic of the last few years its a perfect example of how a small majority can run stuff simply by deciding the order in which bills are voted on and deciding what gets to the floor itself (note: this basically has to happen this session).

    Yesterday there were only 33 on the list (none / 0) (#30)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:26:23 PM EST
    today 38.  Another day or two like that and the magic 218 is underwater.

    Put it to a vote and see (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:30:36 PM EST
    Absolutely, (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:35:06 PM EST
    I'm taking names, I want all of the names. . . .

    The clock is ticking (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:12:09 PM EST
    They are out of session in a week or so, so they can have the month of October to campaign.

    Tick tick tick tick.....


    for the love of gawd yes (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:10:18 PM EST
    not if it (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:28:33 PM EST
    never comes up for a vote.

    Or fails in the senate.

    Or the president vetoes.

    I have yet to see one of those people say they will only vote for middle class tax cuts if taxes for the rich are included.

    If you introduce a bill that does not include tax cuts for the rich, it will pass - and those 38 will still vote for it.  It just means they'd also vote for a bill that extends the cuts to everyone.


    where can one find a list of those who signed? (none / 0) (#66)
    by DFLer on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:08:16 AM EST
    Here's a list (none / 0) (#75)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 05:57:37 PM EST
    of the first 31. I haven't been able to find a list of 38 names anywhere on the web.

    Get back to us when there's a letter (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    from House or Senate Dems that says they are opposed to extending the lower rates to the middle class; that would mean something - this doesn't.

    Nobody, really is saying no extension for the (none / 0) (#44)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:51:46 PM EST
    middle class, so that is a bit a strawman.

    So, then, why the emphasis on (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:27:55 PM EST
    however-many Dems want the cuts extended across-the-board?

    I mean, if "no one" is saying no to extensions for the middle class, why even bring up the letter?

    Because dragging straw men into these threads is something you do, and do often, with considerable glee.

    Makes your arguments disingenuous - if not dishonest in their intent - which seems to be 'hey, how can I get these liberals riled up - I know - I'll wave all those Blue Dogs at them and watch the fun!"

    Get a new schtick; this one's grown tiresome.


    You must want to ignore the political pressure (none / 0) (#49)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:36:54 PM EST
    being placed on the Dem leadership.  That is exactly what those 38 representatives are doing which places the leadership in a bad spot.  They are professional vote counters and deal makers - with that number growing it lessens the chance of delivering a middle class only result.  Those facts are neither disingenuous nor a schtick.

    What bad spot? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 06:04:40 PM EST
    The worst that will happen is that the cuts will be extended for the rich, because I don't think these Dems are saying they won't vote for the middle class to get the benefit of the extensions - just that they think the top 2% should get them too.

    Listen, I am the first to complain that the Dems are allowing a relative few to dictate policy, but as I said, let us know when there's a letter that says these Dems want to raise taxes on the middle class, because then, we might have a problem.

    It won't be the end of the world if the rich get the break, but it would be terrible if the middle class taxpayers had to sacrifice more of their hard-earned pay to higher taxes.

    The Dems just need to do something, and do it now; if there is a problem, it is that they are dithering too much about it and just need to get something done.

    You aren't fooling me with your bogus "political pressure" argument; this is about getting people cranked up.


    My point being is that the Dems and the BTD (none / 0) (#61)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 06:33:17 PM EST
    drum beating in the echo chamber is politically foolish.  Nobody is buying this "Obama Tax Cuts" nonsense - to include you, as you correctly have dissected the factual aspects of the issue.  Those, what ever the number grows to, Dem house members and Senators see the political writing on the wall and are going to do whatever is needed to save their skins.  

    This is not something unique to the D party, so it is not a bogus political pressure debate, but one addressing the facts relating to those elites on both sides of the aisle.  In this case, it is the D leadership who are showing their petticoats for all the world to see.

    As to what will be the impact of all the rates being extended, that is a question that will need to be addressed within the D party and its base.  Will it be another paper cut or result in a deeper wound - not my call and will not offer an opinion.

    Again, my point was to address the continuing false flags that are being tossed up here regarding the "Obama Tax Cuts" and the political realities.


    YOu misunderstand what it is I'm (none / 0) (#68)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:46:02 AM EST
    buying or not buying.

    I'm well aware that, if the rates are extended beyond the end of the year, middle class taxpayers will not have one more penny in thier paychecks than they did before.  But, what they won't be having to come to grips with is less money than they had before - less money to use for whatever it is that money used to be spent on - food, clothes, entertainment - whatever.  

    Millions of wage-earners with less money to spend means a more depressive effect on the economy, as demand decreases yet again.  Maybe employers who were hanging on hoping for an uptick now have to let more employees go as business decreases.  Maybe more businesses will just cease altogether.

    And what does that mean?  More people collecting unemployment, with even less money to spend than they did when they were working.  More decrease in demand.

    It's a downward spiral that has to be avoided.  

    Extending the lower rates may not increase demand, since people will have the same amount of money they did before, but maintaining demand - for now - is better than decreasing it, no?

    The rich DO benefit from an extension of the lower rates - because their income, in those lower brackets, gets taxed at those same lower rates, until their income goes above $200K or $250K.  And if Obama gets his way, and the rate on dividends gets permanently set at 20% for people at those top income levels, they will get even more.

    If Obama were as smart as he thinks he is, he would be more honest about how the wealthy will benefit, even if they don't get the lower rates above those highest income levels: he would be able to frame them - and the Republicans - as greedy and overreaching.

    And, Gordon Gekko notwithstanding, greed is not good: I think the American public has had its fill of the greed that pretty much got us here in the first place.


    Donald from Hawaii (none / 0) (#73)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:51:49 PM EST
    You've got it right.

    Van Hollen is (rightly) worried about (none / 0) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:02:53 PM EST
    those $2,000 max donations every one of his members depends on.

    The contributors can outvote the voters every time.

    don't know why (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:44:57 PM EST
    they don't need those max donations anymore- frankly the GOP could forgo personal donations entirely from hereon in and still run even or ahead in the money game- that's whats so scary about the Citizen's United thing.

    Er, yes, but (none / 0) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:29:33 PM EST
    these are Dems.  How much dough do you think congresscritters are going to be getting from big business accounts?

    Van Hollen? Why? (none / 0) (#74)
    by norris morris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:56:01 PM EST
    This is a lifeless and unimaginative political hack.

    Van Hollen as Party Head is a big mistake and this Obama and Co. choice is more of  empty opportunism and playing it safe.  Van Hollen is an empty suit.


    Drip drip drip (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:24:58 PM EST
    I know I'm harping on this, but if they were going to extend the cuts only for the middle class, they needed to do it fast. If they don't have the votes to do it, take it all off the table and let them expire. In 6 months the middle class will be hurting even worse and they will have the votes. And dems will still need the political shot in the arm.

    And if they don't have the votes today (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:27:04 PM EST
    It is absolutely true that they don't deserve to exist as a party.

    I'd prefer they do the middle class tax cut as (none / 0) (#15)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:39:28 PM EST
    close to the election as possible, and then run out of time to have a vote on extending the tax cuts for the rich.  Make that an issue for the election.

    I'm afraid if they vote on the first too soon, they'll have to have a vote on the second, Blue Dogs will join Repubicans to pass it, and everyone will say "see, Dems and Repubs are the same".


    Could be (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:14:13 PM EST
    I tend to think they will take the coming weeks to talk themselves out of it.

    I think that the (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:35:13 PM EST
    economic policy wonks in the Obama Administration wanted to preserve the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans all along.  That is the only way to explain the political malpractice we're seeing in how this issue is playing out right now.  

    Explain (none / 0) (#19)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:47:29 PM EST
    please- the President seems to be pretty on the ball on this one- I don't see how this could be seen as political malpractice whatsoever.

    They have focused their economic (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:51:44 PM EST
    policy almost entirely on "the big guys" from the very start of this administration.  They have consistently walked away from the tough fights with the big money interests.  They couldn't even find it in themselves to support curtailing usurious interest rates.  Their current "populist" stance is driven entirely by the upcoming election - they know that they won't preserve the middle class tax cuts without keeping the top 2%'s cuts in place.  They know that.  They had umpteen opportunities over the past 18 months to build and make a strong case for raising taxes on the wealthy and preserving cuts for those who are not so fortunate and did not.  The large majority of the people serving in the White House are anti-populists and believe in trickle-down theories of economics.  That has been made clear time and again.

    If they had doggedly built the case and were simply just losing the public debate, I'd cut them a lot of slack.  But they haven't been doing that at all.  What you are seeing right now is an administration paying lip service to an issue because they are worried that if they don't appear to be on the correct side of the issue, the President will have problems in his next election.  The reality is that they are loathe to be perceived as "redistributing wealth".  They don't want to be accused of that; and so, I predict that it will be all or nothing - and if the Republicans are really smart - they are going to strike a deal where the wealthiest Americans get 100 to 110% of their cut and that middle America ends up with 60 - 70% of theirs - because, ya know, "We can't afford all these tax cuts"...  Right there they've given the GOP an opening - what we can't afford is such a hugely inequitable distribution of the burden of running this country, our government, two wars, etc.  That's what we can't afford and that's what will destroy our economy.


    It is the usual inability of Dems to all agree on (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:17:32 PM EST
    something (at least in public) that should be a no-brainer. The President is right on the ball, but Hoyer, van Hollen et al are undercutting his message.

    another theory (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:08:06 PM EST
    politics is like herding cats.

    Maybe - but this Administration (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:32:00 PM EST
    has hesitated every time they've had a clear opportunity to shut the opposition from the other party down.  They go after them only after those within their own ranks have broken with them.  If they went out smart, hard and fast at the start, it would be much more difficult for Democrats to break ranks; and they wouldn't be in the untenable position of lambasting those within the party after they've taken a stand.

    Same thing happened with healthcare.  Had the White House set forth clear goals for that bill well before Baucus introduced his plan, they would not have found themselves having to choose between good policy and insulting a very powerful Senator within their own party.  But I never really thought they wanted anything more or better than Baucus' plan anyway.  If they had, I think they would have at least allowed some discussion about single payer Medicare for all...

    Oh well.


    Herding cats will always be tough, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by DFLer on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:14:53 AM EST
    especially if you act like a mouse!

    Chris Van Hollen... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kempis on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:29:37 PM EST
    is why I don't give money to the DCCC.

    Which, alas, is one reason why (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 03:35:03 PM EST
    he and his operation are so dependent on big money donors.

    THE irony about welfare for rich is that (none / 0) (#65)
    by seabos84 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 09:18:53 PM EST
    the repukes would ATTACK the dims in a heart beat on welfare for the rich,

    IF the pukes could get away with it!

    there is some b.s. ad in Seattle telling people to call Patty Murray cuz the senate wants to do some tax thing that would ... cost jobs, hurt the energy business of gawd's country, and help BP! ha ha ha ha. as if those running the ad care about peee-on jobs, and, the BP boyz must be laughing up their sleeves at being t.v. punching bags!

    we SHOULD expect some lame excuses for selling out, AND, we SHOULD expect to be sold out.