The Deal Was Bad Politics

Paul Krugman writes:

Republicans aren’t the only cynics. As the national debate over fiscal policy descends ever deeper into penny-pinching, future-killing absurdity, one voice is curiously muted — that of President Obama.

The president and his aides know that the G.O.P. approach to the budget is wrongheaded and destructive. But they’ve stopped making the case for an alternative approach; instead, they’ve positioned themselves as know-nothings lite, accepting the notion that spending must be slashed immediately — just not as much as Republicans want. Mr. Obama’s political advisers clearly believe that this strategy of protective camouflage offers the president his best chance at re-election — and they may be right.

Krugman, like every one else it seems, forgets about The Deal. Once Obama let loose the Catfood Commission, DEFICITS!!!! were going to be what the Very Serious Persons would want to talk about. I stupidly surmised at the time that Obama was shrewdly going to use the Catfood Commission in order to raise taxes on the rich in December. The Deal shattered my naivete. Now when we talk about DEFICITS!!! the question is how much sacrifice are the poor and the middle class going to share (the rich of course never have to sacrifice, only the "little people" have to "share sacrifice.") More . . .

In doing The Deal, Obama took taxes off the table in the discussion of DEFICITS!!! This was bad policy and bad politics.

The worse policy in our current economy of severely depressed aggregate demand is to cut government spending. Raising taxes is certainly not the ideal policy prescription, but because DEFICITS!!! "concern," in no small measure because of Obama's Catfood Commission, is the paramount issue to all Very Serious Persons, DEFICITS!!! had to be addressed politically.

The Deal precluded tax policy from being a part of that discussion. Thus, Obama's approval of The Deal will lead to bad economic policy, which is unhelpful to his political fortunes, and bad politics, as the issue of taxing the rich, which is very helpful to Dems, has been taken off the table.

In case you don't know by now, I think The Deal was a terrible mistake.

Speaking for me only

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    Agreed. Paul Ryan (R.Wi) (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 10:54:15 AM EST
    has a plan to cut Medicare and Medicaid.  No specifics yet, too secret to tell, or, in Wisconsin style democracy, will let it be known in the wee hours of the morning.   Social security is not immune either, but Ryan admits that that is not so tough, just raise the eligibility age to 70 from 67.   The middle class will give back what it got from not letting the Bush tax cuts expire--sort of a shell game.

    Mao had a plan, too. (none / 0) (#43)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:13:52 PM EST
    How'd that turn out?

    When gops take gop deficits half as seriously as they take Dem deficits, I'll take them seriously.

    Until then, they're the same old incompetent, fiscal frauds they've always been.


    Obama's doing what he wants. (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 10:59:37 AM EST
    The passitivity is a mask for collusion.

    BTD (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:02:50 AM EST
    I have come to the conclusion after looking at WI that the solution is going to have to come from us. The dems in Washington are worthless and the Obama administration is less than worthless. They have totally bought into the beltway mentality that it's all about deficits.

    I disagree with the fact that the administration thinks this is worthless. All Obama's hand picked economic advisors are supply siders and since Obama is a know nothing in the area of economics, they are calling the shots.

    It's going to get a lot WORSE before it gets better.

    Camouflage won't help him. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:04:25 AM EST
    This White House is truly bizarre.  One moment Obama is portrayed as an all powerful being shining light and love on the entire nation and then in the next we are to believe that he is an impotent apparition.  

    Its like the people who wear their camouflage to WalMart.  We can still see them quite well.  They don't fade into the wall of Tide boxes on the shelves behind them.

    No matter how hard the political advisors try to dissuade people from looking to the President for leadership, people always will.  And at a certain point they will become frustrated that he is playing hide and go seek with them.

    This is (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:09:42 AM EST
    why I'm not so sure that Obama is going to be reelected like other people are. I mean it's always possible that the GOP implodes but exactly who is Obama motivating to come out and vote for him? It seems the more people do things to try to get reelected the more it doesn't work or that's been my observation from the past.

    I am not convinced either. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:14:31 AM EST
    The GOP was supposed to be irrelevant, done for decades according to some; and then look at what happened in 2010.

    I just know (none / 0) (#14)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:00:24 PM EST
    for the most part, the views expressed here (and on the right) about Obama are in the minority.

    If you want to argue that he's not pushing the liberal agenda, that's fair.  It's wrong but it's a fair argument.

    If you want to argue that most people don't like what he's doing, that's something else entirely.  His approval ratings are Approval/Disapproval ratio is positive and has been for months.

    The idea that Obama wins elections by giving liberals what they want is a false one.  People in general have fairly moderate beliefs.

    Most people want Obama to be a moderate liberal, and he'll probably win and be considered a success for doing just that.


    Still waiting for you (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:05:01 PM EST
    to elucidate what liberal policies he has fought and pushed for?

    Will (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    you quit making stuff up? Obama's approval rating according to Gallup has been mid forties disapprove vs. mod forties approve since May 2010.

    Not just Gallup (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:10:20 PM EST

    Had a few weeks were he barely broke 50% approval, but basically been below 50 since November 2009.


    I believe that the operative level (none / 0) (#84)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    at this stage is high 40s, followed by a rise to 50 by early next year. That is the standard success level from what I understand. (And, of course, people usually side with the incumbent--historically--once the challenger has a name & all the baggage comes out on the oppsotion nominee. That seems to be what happens historically.)

    Before calling someone a liar (none / 0) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:22:57 PM EST
    you should make sure you are accurately reading.  I referenced his approval/disapproval ratio.  That is the spread (negative or positive) between his approval and disapproval numbers.

    That number (http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/gallup-daily-obama-job-approval.aspx) has been between +2 and +7 since late December and that number is often more telling than the raw approval level numbers.  

    Maybe if you stopped trying so hard to see everything an Obama supporter says as wrong, you wouldn't make these mistakes.


    Maybe he wouldn't see the "mistakes" ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:48:17 PM EST
    ... if you weren't constantly making them.  Look at your own link.  In reality, Obama has not been between +2 and +7 since December.  He got a slight bump after the lame duck and the SOTU, but his numbers have been declining over the past six weeks.  The current average of the polls has him at +0.6.

    Look at your own link.  Even if you limit yourself to Gallup, Obama hasn't been +2 to +7 since December.  Hell, last week alone Gallup had him at -1.  Jan. 4-6 he was -2 and Feb. 2-4 he was -2. (hint - draw the date slider to the right to limit the time range so you can see more detailed results).


    You said that (none / 0) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:40:15 PM EST
    his approval rating has been positive for months and it has not. These have a MOE of or +/- 3 and unless he is there is over 3 points difference it's essentially the same approval and disapproval rate.

    Moreover it was negative ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:45:48 PM EST
    ... on January 11 (average of all polls) or (using ABG's source), it was negative last week.  Even his own links don't support his poll claims.

    Last I saw he was at about (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:08:36 PM EST
    46-47% - that's not going to win an election in a generic sense although who he might be up against will factor in heavily.

    In any case, I know people across the spectrum who have been puzzled by his leadership - people who voted for him the last time mostly.

    The game of avoiding looking like you are particularly fixed in one place or another on the politics is something that 2008 Candidate Obama could do easily.  Being President and avoiding taking a stand is a very different dynamic. People look to the President for leadership - it is just the way it is.  If he tries to avoid taking a leadership position, he is risking the confidence of the American people.  This isn't rocket science.  It is pretty basic stuff having to do with people generally expecting leadership from their chosen leaders.

    Being "above the fray" has its downsides.


    Actually, political history would suggest (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:10:15 PM EST
    that Obama is well situated, in general, at this point. Historically, he ranks above average in the polls...over 48% average yesterday (including Rasmussen.) It has been widely reported that most polling has ticked up for him since the deal in December. Obviously, that fact doesn't mean anything in the way of what might happen next year nor in terms of the impropriety or not of the all-around deal in December. Obviously too, when an incumbent gets a named challenger--unless the challenger offers something new to the public at the time--the odds favor the incumbent quite strongly...unless.... The big "unless" is if the economy takes a nosedive or there is a nosedive in foreign policy.

    Politically and as policy (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:17:01 PM EST
    The Deal includes what will be done to the budget now and how that will affect the economy.

    In my view, that is why it was a terrible mistake, as policy and as politics.


    We will (none / 0) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:24:48 PM EST
    see if you are correct on both fronts.

    Actually (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:25:33 PM EST
    having checked the UE numbers for the elections since the 1960 election, Obama is NOT in a good position. If the UE number goes down to close to 7% it will probably be enough for him to get reelected but if the election were held right now he would still probably lose unless he's like Nixon and has the opposition implode.

    The top line numbers are the same one that he basically had in November and the party took a walloping. You really need to look at the strongly agree and strongly disagree numbers to get a good indication of what is going on.


    i never responded to this the other day (none / 0) (#68)
    by CST on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:10:32 PM EST
    but my thinking on it is that you just can't really compare this situation to any of those situations.

    We're in the worst economic recession since the great depression.  And I think to a certain extent, people recognize that fact, and have lower expectations for unemployment than in those previous years.

    Obviously the economy has to improve, but I think the threshold will be a bit lower, since things were so much worse to begin with.

    To be clear, this is not about my opinion of how I think things are in the economy, but rather, how I think it will be perceived by the general public.


    I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:44:40 PM EST
    so judging by what happened in November. The voters weren't willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt were they? They sure didn't give Reagan the benefit of the doubt in '82 either. I will depend on what that number is on election day. Now, I might agree with you if he had actually put forth SOMETHING for the middle class to vote for he hasn't. He has basically continued Bush's economic policies with a weak tea stimulus added on.

    About re-election speculation (none / 0) (#91)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:45:48 PM EST
    We are all speculating this far out. But, that is part of the process. I've made clear that absent an infamous nosedive--and political surpises do happen on the minus & on the plus side (see Wisconsin)--President Obama stands a better chance of winning than losing. The reasons are many in terms of looking at the swing states and their demographics, but the strongest reason is that incumbents usually start off with more Aces, with the preference for staying-with-what-you-know rather than chancing a newcomer. Sure, there are a lot of statistics, and all can change, but where there is an incumbent, the incumbent usually wins. In my mind, so long as the economy continues to improve (as all the reported economic commentaries of the past few weeks indicate), he will be in very good shape at the outset. In the short term, the gas cost situation could be a major hurdle...but, even President Carter, who was overtaken by inflation, stagflation, gas costs, and the public humiliation of the hostage situation...even Carter came close to defeating Reagan in 1980.

    The question to me, Ga6thDem: Are you focusing on what you think of the current President or what the American people think of him? I'm not being snide...I know that I can get absorbed by my individual feelings...but the two aspects very well might lead to different conclusions.


    Not your most convincing argument (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:11:05 PM EST
    Obama is not a liberal, and if you called him one, he would run screaming from the label. Do you seriously think he would stand up in public and proudly proclaim that he is a liberal?  If you do, well, okay.  And if he won't cop to being liberal, then he isn't going to govern like one certainly.

    And this why you think he'll be considered a success? Because he might be labeled as something by some general group of people? I don't get it.

    BTW, he has "given" conservatives FAR more than he has "given" liberals. Economically alone, with the raw power that comes with it, he has been a conservative wet dream.

    This economy is not going to get better, my friend. Logic should be telling all of us that right now. We are a nation, the President by his actions included, who thinks it better to make the poor and middle class sacrifice and/or suffer so that the wealthy can continue untouched.


    See that? (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by sj on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:46:24 PM EST
    The term "liberal" is now meaningless.  ABG has successfully [in his own mind] made liberal values a non-issue.  It's purely a sound with no intrinsic meaning.  Singlehandedly he is redefining it.  There.  

    Remember what BTD says:  Fight for your issues.  Not a pol.

    My conclusion is, Obama's relection is ABG's only issue.*  Using myself as an example, you can convince me union X has mis-represented/become corrupted/been ineffective, etc.  But I can never be convinced that a society with weak or no unions is better than a society with strong unions.  Period.  Ever.

    ABG's raison d'etre, his entire reason for any presence on this blog whatsoever is to convince some or all of us of Obama's Good Works and Inevitable Re-Election.  It is flatly impossible to get him to see flaws in the past two years of so-called governing.  Period.  Ever.

    Doesn't matter how many realities he has to create.

    *  Oh, he says he has other issues and will occasionally rattle off a list or two.  But he never advocates for anything on it.  They are merely a checklist on which most items have already satisfactorially been addressed.


    All will be revealed to you (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:49:21 PM EST
    if you just believe.

    The hope is strong ... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:18:00 PM EST
    ... with this one. (in Darth Vader voice)

    Liberal (none / 0) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:44:15 PM EST
    The term is now meaningless. If you have two people in a room who believe in universal healthcare, welfare, and affirmative action and only one of the people in the room believes in bringing home the troops from Iraq immediately, those here would argue there is only one liberal in the room.

    If that's the case, I say you can have the term. It has no real meaning and has come to stand for "As liberal as I think you should be".

    In any event, Obama, like Hillary, called himself a progressive.


    Well since Obama does not claim (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:57:14 PM EST
    to be liberal, it would be preferable if you and other Obama apologists would quit claiming that he or his policies are liberal. Your redefining liberal to equate to corporate centric, center right policies helps the Republicans to define any policies less conservative than the most conservative Republican policies as socialist.

    They called themselves progressives (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by cal1942 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:32:36 PM EST
    because the word liberal has been destroyed by the right over the last few decades.

    Oh and BTW (none / 0) (#79)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:02:22 PM EST
    Obama's insurance legislation was never designed to provide universal health care. It was designed to subsidize paying for overpriced health insurance premiums for a fixed number of people regardless of how many people needed health care when and if it was finally implemented in 2014.

    You know what (none / 0) (#100)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 07:23:47 PM EST
    ...I agree that we "liberals" are moving through some trying circumstances, an undertow in the vast ocean.  How do we define "tolerance?" That is one question that should be explored. Why? Because here we are, as you may be saying, in a kind of purity contest.  And yet, those of us who have lived as Democrats have always had lots of different groups under the big tent. Do some people want to rent a smaller one?

    Fascinating. You receive the semi-shunning treatment (and so do I and a few others.) Political correctness? Echo chamber? Groupiness? Who knows. I'm glad that you don't mouth the expected...even tho sometime I think you are out there on the defensive (as am I.) But, that isn't important. What strikes me is the clustering. Take a look at the Republicans and their right wing purity.  Ah yes, but only the right can have purity tests. Right?


    A complete lack of standards or (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 08:50:08 AM EST
    adherence to the Democratic platform is now the accepted in the name of bipartisanship and tolerance. According to you and other Obama apologists having no standards at all, never having any line in the sand and being willing to adopt each and every Republican policy is a great thing.

    You and I both know that putting the "Purity label" on people who support liberal policies is just a technique used to try and discount what the other person is saying and shut down debate.

    That "purity" BS may work wonders on Republican blogs or at the Orange but it is not effective here.


    Okay, I'll forego the labels (none / 0) (#110)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 12:23:17 PM EST
    Yet, I'll restate a call for tolerance. That is not a label; that is an attitude essential in a democracy.  And, as for "labels": The fact that I or anyone else might disagree does not transform one into an "apologist." That is too often becoming a catch-all to put down someone with whome we disagree. Because: If support for the President translates as "apologist," then it is only an extension of that approach to say that those adhering to a set of rigid/semi-rigid/nondebatable positions are purists, is it not. At least, it is something to think about. Peace?

    It is sad but ironic that you (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 02:18:52 PM EST
    call for tolerance for policies that were condemned when Republicans like Reagan and Bush II pursued them.

    From trickle down economics, elimination of needed services for the poor and middle class, larger tax cuts for the rich to the suspension of civil liberties and condoning torture all policies which were once criticized or condemned are to be praised or at least tolerated now that they have become Obama's and the New Democratic Parties policies.

    Sorry, my values or issues are not as flexible as yours and are not based solely on which party is implementing them.


    Tolerance (none / 0) (#114)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 03:07:36 PM EST
    I understand your position MO Blue; but, let me clarify my words about tolerance. That is, I do not ask for tolerance for the policies you perceive and set out in your middle paragraph. What is asked for is tolerance for those, like myself, who view policies and the issues they respond to in a manner differently than you view them.  

    Recently, I had a somewhat routine eye-checkup. For some strange reason, eye exams freak me out more than dental drills, etc. It may be that they frustrate me because I look at two different fonts so differently--one is so clear, one is not. And, given an astygmatism--as the doctors always remind me--I "see" things a bit differently. When I fret a bit, the doctor will usually point out that eyes change in any number of ways as we age.... My metaphors and analogies get mixed up at times, but I am trying to encapsulate my sincere belief that subjective situations can be viewed and often are viewed differently by people of equally good intention. An example: I disagree with the conclusions in your middle paragraph because my vision sees and interprets what has happened almost in an opposite way. (And, it is not from an astygmatism.)  Even with all that, I'll bet that a lot of us--you & I included--have similar societal values. Our societal "shoulds" might well match.

    So, I'll still offer an olive branch....


    I would be willing to bet that (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 03:17:28 PM EST
    those same Obama policies and issues that you claim you view differently were not not cheered or excused when they were enacted by Reagan or Bush.

    Partially agree (none / 0) (#117)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 03:46:08 PM EST
    I have not liked the continued expansive reading with regard to Guantanamo. Even here, it is easy to see also the practical dilemma that the President inherited...namely, the open pushback from states, etc. about where to transfer the detainees. The classic NIMBY, and that was just the first wave of opposition to closing Guantanamo. I do believe--even in the face of the many logistical difficulties--that Obama should have moved ahead with his original plan.

    As for "the deal": I get very long-winded on this one usually. For now, I'll cut to the chase and disagree with BTD and most people on this thread about what it means. I "see" this deal as encompassing much more than letting the rich off the hook (in the way of Bush tax continuation); I am one of those Democrats who see it as an intermediary step that first allowed for the abolition of DADT, the passage of the new START Treaty, the much-needed $$ relief to first-responders, and the short payroll tax holiday as well as moving the continued tax relief for the middle class forward.  Obtaining the other legislation noted has been attributed to the agreement to let the Bush tax cuts go forward. Given that Obama lacked the numbers to pass the extension for the middle class (which, of course, would have expired without Cong action) and given that Repubs were in crazy-man high dudgeon at the time, the compromise made sense for the middle class and for avoiding getting trapped in that stagnating argument that would only resolve itself the same way at a much later time. FWIW, the provision to add the tax for those over $250K is included in the Administrations FY '12 proposal.  


    Talk is cheap and Obama's actions (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 06:20:13 PM EST
    has proven the value of his rhetoric.

    FWIW the provision to add the tax for those over $250K is included in the Administrations FY '12 proposal.

    Worth about as much as his campaign promises in 08 to roll back the Bush tax cuts.



    I see, christine, that you have totally (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 06:48:16 PM EST
    bought into the argument that the ONLY way we were going to get START, or repeal of DADT, or extension of unemployment benefits, or anything else, was to agree to the Deal - and I guess the obscene estate tax gift was just, what, icing on the cake?  A little "thank you" to potential high-dollar donors?

    I don't happen to agree that this was the only option, nor do I think it was worth not getting ageements on the continuing resolution to fund the government, or agreements on some boundaries for the next budget.

    We're seeing the consequences of that now...with the GOP continuing to agree to temporarily fund the government, but each time getting more cuts out of the Dems.  They'll eventually get everything they wanted - and what will Obama's explanation be?  That we worked together, that he had no choice, that these are tough times and we all must sacrifice, what?

    I'd say that the GOP was playing Obama like a fine fiddle, except for the fact that I don't think Obama's all that opposed to what's happening; he's just putting on a show of concern that isn't fooling anyone.


    It isn't a matter of "buying into" (none / 0) (#121)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 09:59:03 PM EST
    Based on the political reality of sheer numbers and based upon the very real situation the Democrats found themselves in at the end of the year, most people were surprised at the ability of the President to gain what he did. You don't see it that way; but, many writers and voters did (judging by the "numbers" resulting from the "lame duck session.") You may style it how you like, of course: but, I view it very differently...as you might expectMy question: Without the clever compromise, exactly how--what numbers & precisely how would they be obtained--would those numbers been reached to pass several pieces of imprtant legislation? Where, precisely, would the votes have come from? It is about the numbers in the end.

    He was elected as a Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:29:27 PM EST
    This is a progressive site. I would expect the majority of comments to reflect that view point.

    Obama`s economic policies are much farther  to the right of most Democrats. He's much more in step with the Republican concept of the "trickle economy" than anything else.

    We still are at war, (even though the media and public are tired of it and it's reduced to the back pages or just not mentioned).

    Fisa, which he campaigned against, but voted for is still in effect. (He was going to fix it when he got elected).

    Gitmo is alive and well and will still be operating when my grandchildren are ready for Medicare. (If it hasn't been eliminated by then.

    The Patriot Act was just extended again.

    Looking back at the issues of the election and the situation as it stands now, there's very little difference. Particularly when you take into account that the Democrats controlled the whole show for two years.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:50:04 PM EST
    and unlike others, I provide polls and stats to back up my points.

    Kos is polling the exact question we are discussing:

    Do democrats believe that Obama is too conservative.  Survey says:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/953873/-dKos-Poll:-Views-of-Obama-from-the-Left,-and-Implic ations-for-2012


    As I said.  You all may see Obama is a conservative but democrats generally do not.  


    You realize, of course (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:52:12 PM EST
    That "Democrats" is but a small slice of the electorate - one that is growing smaller, as more people choose not to identify with the party, don't you?

    As opposed to gops, eh? (none / 0) (#66)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:07:56 PM EST
    Nice try.

    Which has nothing to do with (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:09:59 PM EST
    his statement that "most Democrats do not find Obama too conservative."

    GOP'ers don't enter the equation.

    But nice try.


    Given the number (none / 0) (#69)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:23:03 PM EST
    of gops who think he's a secret Muslim who wasn't even born in the US, they shouldn't.  

    I know that (none / 0) (#76)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:55:43 PM EST
    despite the fall in numbers, more people identify as democrat than identify as republican.

    Which at the day in a two party system is really what matters most.


    Wrong again (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:26:25 PM EST

    Depends on what poll you look at, but it's actually neck-and-neck.  Everyone agrees, however, that Democratice party affiliation has plummeted since 2008, tying a 22-year low.

    Thanks, Obama.


    Voters identifying as Democrats (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:24:28 PM EST
    has shunk. Many lifelong Democrats now self identify as independents. March 2011 data on right track/wrong track and independent voters.

    The proportion of Americans who believe the country is on the right track dropped 7 points in the past month to 31 percent, and 64 percent think the country is on the wrong track.

    But his approval among independent voters who he will need for his 2012 re-election drive took a sharp dive, to 37 percent from 47 percent, the poll found. link

    A Gallup analysis of interviews of more than 350,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia finds that fewer people defined themselves as Democrats in 2010 than did in 2008.

    In fact, notes Gallup "every state and the District of Columbia had fewer residents identifying as Democrats, or identifying as independents but leaning Democratic, in 2010 than in 2008." States carried by Barack Obama in 2008, including New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, and Nevada, saw some of the most significant shifts away from  for example, Democrats had an 18-point lead in party affiliation in Wisconsin. By the end of 2010, however, that lead had shrunk to 2.6 percent. link

    The "Millennial Generation" of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009. The Democratic advantage over the Republicans in party affiliation among young voters, including those who "lean" to a party, reached a whopping 62% to 30% margin in 2008. But by the end of 2009 this 32-point margin had shrunk to just 14 points: 54% Democrat, 40% Republican. link

    The shrinking number of Democratic voters probably do think that Obama is doing just great because many of us who strongly disagree have left the "New Democratic Party."


    If the dkos poll, like most (all?) others (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    does not include those whose home phone is a cell phone, that poll is off.  

    From KOS (none / 0) (#99)
    by cal1942 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:37:29 PM EST
    give me a break.

    Nothing has changed (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:51:00 PM EST
    in two years? Really?

    Now I know Obama was never going to convince you.


    Of course things have changed... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:07:28 PM EST
    for most people, they've gotten worse than they've gotten better.

    We have more people without jobs, more people without insurance, we have an official indefinite detention policy, we have fewer protections of our rights, women's reproductive health rights have been further weakened, there are more people in poverty, more children going hungry...

    Many of us are working harder just to maintain where we were two years ago, and are slowly losing that battle.

    Yes, things have changed, but not in the direction Obama was going to take us.



    Anne (none / 0) (#78)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:57:47 PM EST
    If you believe that Obama had the ability to stop the economy on a dime and reverse 8 years of Bush policies and the worst recession on a dime, you are mistaken and you were always going to be disappointed.

    Economists say that Obama's policies didn't start showing up in the economy until the middle of last year at the earliest and are only now trickling all the way through.

    Your expectations are completely unrealistic.


    Really hard to reverse Bush's the effects of (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:29:44 PM EST
    economic policies when you continue the same policies. Or better yet the same trickle down policies of Reagan.

    trickling all the way through.

    Nowhere in my comment did I (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:54:03 PM EST
    say that I expected Obama to stop the economy on a dime.

    But projecting that onto me allows you to have the argument you want, which explains why you do this kind of thing so often.

    For what it's worth, there are many Bush policies that could have been stopped on a dime; instead they were continued, and continue still.  Some of them even got worse.

    Obama never needed the permission of the insurance companies to construct a better plan to reform the health system; he never needed anyone's permission to start from the best possible place, instead of from some mushy middle ground that was then watered down even more.

    I am completely over the president-as-powerless meme that you and others use to explain why more hasn't been done, why more hasn't changed, why more is getting worse.

    I don't expect perfection, but, shoot, even "mediocre" seems to be an unrealistic expectation these days.


    I can tell you what I don't hear anymore: (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:42:53 PM EST
    excitement about Obama, excitement about his actual governance, enthusiasm for where we're headed, relief about the state of the economy.

    And lest you think that's because I hang out with Republicans or hard-core liberals, let me disabuse you of that assumption.  The people I know who were all-in for Obama - and not just being good little Democratic voters - preface most of their assessments of how he's measured up to his promise with a long, drawn out, "Weeeeeelllll..."  And that's followed by one of two things: a barely tepid endorsement, or a pretty angry expression of disappointment.

    The Republicans I know, who were nearly apoplectic over an Obama presidency, aren't nearly as upset; their long, drawn out, "Weeeellll..." is usually followed by, "he's not done as bad a job as I thought he would."

    Will the Dems do the good soldier thing again?  Will the Republicans go rogue and vote Obama in 2012?  Hard to know, but another two years of what the last two years have looked like I don' think is going to help Obama.  Or us, which is the really important part of this.

    As for what he is pushing, here's how I see it: he is taking on issues that matter to liberals, but resolving them in a conservative fashion.  That he is - at least officially - a Democrat does not automatically mean he is a liberal.

    And then you have to look at what it means to "push" an agenda; his DOJ spent two years defending DOMA, which seems more like maintaining the status quo than pushing for, um, change.  DADT?  He didn't do a whole lot of anything except punt to the military, and make statements in support of ending it whenever the gay community got antsy - but it was the work of the gay/human rights community that did the pushing.  And I think you have to ask yourself what he would have done had the military announced that ending DADT would be the absolutely wrong thing to do.  My guess is he would not have overridden their objections.

    Health and financial reforms?  I think leaving the corporations and industries that were responsible for much of the reason we needed reform, in the driver's seat, was not a particularly "liberal" way of dealing with reform.  

    The liberal agenda included holding Wall Street and the banksters and mortgage lenders accountable for their roles in so much that contributed to the financial and housing meltdowns; what did we get?  HAMP, for one - a program Obama is still defending, and which has done so little to help, and done even more harm, that calling it in any way, shape or form a liberal solution is insane.  

    Who has gone to jail for the meltdown-related stuff?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Well, I guess the poor babies did have to scale back their bonuses a little, but there has been nothing about the way this has all been handled that has a liberal fingerprint on it.

    And someday, maybe you can reconcile for me these two statements:

    If you want to argue that he's not pushing the liberal agenda, that's fair.  It's wrong but it's a fair argument


    The idea that Obama wins elections by giving liberals what they want is a false one.

    But, just for fun, I'll state that I believe that what liberals want are things that would be good for the majority of citizens, things that would improve the most lives - and those are the kinds of things that win elections for the people responsible for them.


    Nah, not as long as 5-4.... (none / 0) (#35)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:46:44 PM EST
    can come ridin' to the rescue.

    Besides, gops are like vampires. Ya gotta drive a stake through their malignant little hearts.


    here's how I can see it happening (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:16:44 PM EST
    If the R's nominate someone that is not scary - maybe someone like Pawlenty or Daniels who are a little to the right of Obama but not nutcases like Huckabee, McCain or Palin, people like me are not going to be afraid to vote a third party.  If a lot of liberals decamp to a third party, Obama won't win.

    I really don't see what would be much different under a Daniels administration. Up to Obama to convince me, if it comes to that.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    that's my scenario basically but I don't know about the third party so much as people just not voting in the presidential election or just not voting at all.

    Bingo (none / 0) (#39)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:06:38 PM EST
    Ya didn't see the gops going the third-party route and ya won't no matter how much the msm pretends they're a separate, distinct entity from the gops.

    They're gops. They've been gops since the implementation of the southern strategy and it's gops they'll remain.

    I'm as disappointed with Obama and the Dems as anyone, but to continually pretend that there's no difference between them and the gops because there's not enough difference between them and the gops to suit ya is why we got Shrub in the first place.

    Obama voters didn't show this past November and we've got a Koch Brothers House to show for it.

    Obama still thumps any gop with a name, a face, and a record whether they've got a faux show or not.

    As long as people get off their duffs and vote, gops are toast beyond the diabetes belt.


    I guess I think there are a lot of Dems more (none / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:18:33 PM EST
    likely to vote 3P than to sit out a presidential election altogether.  Yes, it is how we got Dubya. Personally I could see that Dubya was dangerous from the get-go so did not vote Nader. Maybe I 'll feel the same about Daniels, Pawlenty or whoever when the time comes and won't vote 3P.

    Or maybe not.


    Liberals are not going to decamp to a third party (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:42:39 PM EST
    This is where spending too much time in the bloggosphere warps things.

    Let me use Mamma AngryBlackGuy as an example.  My mom doesn't like Obama much right now.  She was angry at the Deal.  She wants the troops home yesterday. She wants a public option.

    But she's also been more fascinated by this union stuff than anything in a long time. And every time Palin or Newt or Huackabee try to out do one another with a ridiculous statement, she gets ill.

    The bottom line is that Obama is imperfect but decent. That plus the evil on the other side of the equation will have her lining up to vote for Obama regardless of reservations.  Given her interests and concerns, it is the most logical decision.  A third party vote is a throw away vote in this environment and most practical people know that.

    So there will be a lot of talk about all of the evil Obama has done and how hated he is and whatever on the blogs and then when people watch the horror of the GOP primary, they will pull the lever for Obama.

    I think advocates of any other scenario have the burden of proof.


    Why do you (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:11:54 PM EST
    always characterize liberal characterization of Pres. Obama's policies or himself as "hated" or "evil"?  Use of these words to describe critics and their views as emotionally-driven, base and nasty comes off as an attempt to equate reasoned criticism -- whether you agree with it or not -- as mean-spirited, hate-driven and irrational.  I truly take issue with use of such adjectives.  As I've said before, no one here hates the President.

    At the very least. (none / 0) (#93)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:55:23 PM EST
    The gops are totally beholden to their counterfeit-christian teabagger wing. They're not gonna let 'em nominate "another" moderate. Not as they define the term.

    They don't "think" Mormons are any more "Christian" than Obama.

    It's gonna be the lunatic-fringe likes of psycho santorum or bust.

    Good luck gettin' moderates to buy his song and dance in the general.


    Under Daniels might it be better? (none / 0) (#47)
    by smott on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:18:25 PM EST
    Since the Dems would actually unite against those policies, instead of rolling over.

    By royal decree, (none / 0) (#90)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:44:27 PM EST
    Daniels unilaterally nuked the collective bargaining rights of union workers in Indiana on his first day in office.

    Still havin' trouble decidin'?


    See Gallup factoid today about Repub split (none / 0) (#37)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    Indication that Republicans may be in the same situation as the 1964 Goldwater period...in view of the inability of any Repub candidate so far to register among his/her own party @30% or more.

    True (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    But all the talking going on right now is posturing.  After the first Republican debate (May 2011), then the horse race will really begin.

    If anyone declares by then. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:11:14 PM EST
    lol  They are taking their sweet time getting into the race.

    Agree. One qualifier, tho (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:14:46 PM EST
    The Gallup measurement compares the same points in time beofe the election, and found that the situation for Repubs today compares closest to 1964.  But, I really do agree, that--like baseball statistics--the statistic is only accurate until someone changes it.

    Sure thing. (none / 0) (#95)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:58:55 PM EST
    Good luck moppin' up anyone raising their hand when asked if they believe in evolution.

    You're gonna need it.


    This seems (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:28:12 PM EST
    to what it comes down to: hoping that the GOP implodes because nobody really seems to be that excited about Obama.

    Not really. Its about looking at (none / 0) (#94)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:57:21 PM EST
    numbers. Combinations & permutations of "what ifs."  Cold sounding, even tho I expect to support President Obama enthusiastically. The Why? Because much as I might have variations on how I would do certain things, the reality in our system is that there is a choice to be made...and, for those who choose to participate, the campaign itself becomes about moving forward and obtaining the electoral numbers.
    If the other side chooses to implode/whatever, that is not my issue. For example: Recall how BTD has often talked about politicians being politicians & doing what they do? I would only say: Take what he says seriously...he is correct. It is not about sentimentality. And, now: Wisconsin brings it home...the unavoiable "Elections have consequences."

    He's only impotent when the GOP is (none / 0) (#12)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:55:28 AM EST
    doing his dirty work for him.

    As we watch a trajedy (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:06:15 AM EST
    of epic proportion unfold I can't help but think back to the campaign:

    "Experience isn't important,
    'Vision' is what we want."

    America, as we've known it.........R.I.P.

    "The Streets," our only hope.

    I got what I wanted (none / 0) (#15)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:04:43 PM EST
    sorry you didn't.  

    Hate to be snarky, but "America, as we've known it.........R.I.P." is just a ridiculous statement,


    Do you work on Wall Street??? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:06:56 PM EST
    If not, how can you say you got what you wanted---assuming you are rational.

    Well (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:08:30 PM EST
    for one there's the Obama can do no wrong cult and then there's the 20% or so that strongly approve of what he is doing. Apparently ABG falls into either one of these categories.

    I wanted (none / 0) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:13:55 PM EST
    healthcare reform, the wars to end and a president who was moderate/left on most issues.

    I got everything except the wars ending.


    I don't think you got a dang thing, (none / 0) (#98)
    by the capstan on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:34:19 PM EST
    except that 'first black POTUS' you always hark back to. When anyone asked why I refused to vote in 2010, I said , "I am a liberal, and Obama is not."  Vote for the lesser evil--no way: it is still an evil.  Who was the lesser evil in the 30's?  BTW, I think your 'bottom line' is incorrect also.

    Ridiculous? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:21:52 PM EST
    The entire economy has been exposed as a complete Ponzi scheme.  American workers haven't gotten a raise in almost have a century.   Corporations are now free to buy elections and politicians at will, the SCOTUS has legalized the graft.  We are a dying military empire with our soldiers languishing all over the globe.  We are deep in hock to China -- CHINA, a totalitarian nation!  And they own us.  You as an American can be disappeared and held without charges indefinitely.  The American dream of buying a home as an investment doesn't even exist right now for most Americans.  The price of fuel is about to hit record highs.  Public schools are a disgrace of cost-cutting and testing-as-salvation, performing about as bad as any industrialized nation on earth.  Of course I could go on.  But I have a child and prefer to cling to a little optimism for the next few minutes.

    Something is certainly dying alright. And the only thing ridiculous is putting your head in the sand.    


    People (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:40:38 PM EST
    who don't have children just might not be that upset about what is going on. I'm really, really worried about my children. The schools, the job situation, the cost of college etc.

    Also, according to Alan Simpson, (none / 0) (#49)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:20:39 PM EST
    lots of people don't like their grandchildren anyway.

    not so sure about that (none / 0) (#58)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    there's enough bad sh*t happening in the now across the board, you don't need to have children to see/feel it. and the reality of the situation is, i think most childless people would prefer their tax dollars go to schools vs the top 2%, or to programs like WIC vs Wall Street. and we don't want to work until 70 or have our MC snatched away either.

    I thing many of us (none / 0) (#103)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:17:21 PM EST
    with and without children, are very concerned about our country's immediate and long term future.  Having kids ads another dimension to the concern, but we're all in this together.  

    The ability to make the case (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:20:41 AM EST
    for progressive taxation is one of the things I find bizarrely lacking in most Democratic politicians.  It looks more and more like Obama might punt on this issue again in 2012.  As you said, tax issues can be very good for Dems.  The unwillingness to put tax issues in play makes you wonder.

    Unless of course I should just give up and believe that elected Democrats are unprincipled chickensh*ts.  And that there is only one party and everyone else just tries to stop them.  Which is how it seems to me.

    IMO the only direction that taxes on (none / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:48:34 AM EST
    corporations and the rich will go is further down.

    IIRC the Cat Food Commission recommended reducing the tax rate for corporations and the upper brackets and eliminating Earned Income Credits for the poor and gutting SS and Medicare.

    Dancing to the tune of Wall St. is the only way for politicians to raise huge amounts of campaign cash and make sure that those funds are not spent to elect their opponent. Regular people for all extents and purposes lost the war when corporations were given the rights of people and were buried with the Citizens United decision.  


    Problem isn't inability to make a case... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Yes2Truth on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:53:03 PM EST

    the problem is that there are precious few Democrats
    who are progressives.

    Disagree (none / 0) (#42)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:12:12 PM EST
    pretty much the entire Democratic Congress has at one time agreed with letting the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire.  That is a completely mainstream idea.  So there must be another explanation.

    They said they agreed and campaigned (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:34:27 PM EST
    on it but when push came to shove and the rich said raise our taxes and no campaign funds to Democrats, the Dems decided rhetoric without action was the way to go.    

    Making the case for progressive taxation (none / 0) (#96)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 04:15:53 PM EST
    Honestly, lilburro, my frustration about why Democrats shy from making persistent strong arguments about revenue enhancement through a progressive tax is also at the head-spinning stage.  While I can partially understand the reasons--Democrats have gotten clobbered (trans: shellacking plus) over the years when painted as the party of taxation, and we acquired the habit, through years of reactive practice, of running from any whiff of taxes--it is harder to accept when well-positioned, relatively safe Democratic Congresspeople avoid or change that subject. Even our newly elected Governor John Hickenlooper (D. Colo) decided right off that he would propose severe cuts in the budget--which is being countered by Dems in in the Dem-controlled State Senate--instead of touching any taxes, and stated that decision quite openly more than once.

    To date: Democrats have that relatively recent 3rd-rail take on taxes; and, Repubs (tho they keep trying to demolish Social Security) are circumspect in openly pouncing on Social Security. (Though looking at Cong. Paul Ryan, the Repubs might be taking off the mask and getting set to pounce.)

    Finally: Don't give up! Every profession has its share of unprincipled, etc. types...and, maybe, the political field welcomes a tad more.  Over the years, I have seen a number of caring, principled Democratic officeholders and those who aspire to be officeholders. They do exist.


    It's ironic that Dems (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:20:37 PM EST
    are scared of raising taxes on the rich -- when Clinton did so, got re-elected and balanced the budget, but now find it okay to put "Social Security on the table."  What is it to be a Democrat these days?

    Colorado (none / 0) (#109)
    by sj on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    I haven't followed Colorado as much lately as I usually do, but this:

    Even our newly elected Governor John Hickenlooper (D. Colo) decided right off that he would propose severe cuts in the budget--which is being countered by Dems in in the Dem-controlled State Senate--instead of touching any taxes

    It seems to me that TABOR would have an unholy hand in this:

    Under TABOR, state and local governments cannot raise tax rates without voter approval and cannot spend revenues collected under existing tax rates if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth, without voter approval.[2] Revenue in excess of the TABOR limit, commonly referred to as the "TABOR surplus," must be refunded to taxpayers, unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset in a referendum.[3]

    Yes, there are always Tabor implications (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    There are also ways around it. And, of course, Tabor provides for going to the voters directly to seek approval.  In trying to keep my above comment relatively short, I did not add that Hickenlooper has explicitly ruled out seeking any tax raise. He believes that Colorado voters won't agree...so, he had 2 basic options (1) explain, educate about the need to seek a tax increase, etc. & go for it OR (2) fall back to the spending cuts approach without more. He chose door #2.

    It is troubling. (none / 0) (#113)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 02:28:57 PM EST
    I can't imagine where he is getting this stance from (his advisers?), especially since he played a major role the last time option #1 was rolled out--and that initiative was quite successful. People are never going to just say "sure, let's raise taxes" unless they understand why its needed.  That hasn't changed in the intervening years.  

    Maybe he's setting things up for down the road, I don't know.  For instance, with the drastic cuts that JeffCo schools are having to make, does that make the traditional "taxes are always too high" crowd realize they can't have the basic services they desire without funding and therefore perhaps more open to making changes?  

    I wish he'd come out and support Rollie Heath's ballot initiative--or at the very least, put some proposed solutions out there instead of the same old sad stories and scare tactics.  It's time to lead, John.


    Tax matter "down the road" (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 03:17:30 PM EST
    It is early in his term, so I am inclined--as you suggest in your middle paragraph, MileHi--to think that this could be an eye-catching approach to transit to the likelihood of revenue enhancement. Meantime: I kinda like state senator Heath's proposal to rollback tax levels to the circa 1999 period...a time of relatively good economic times.

    I'd like to think so too, christine but... (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 12, 2011 at 03:52:20 PM EST
    I'm not so sure he isn't a bit overwhelmed and somewhat paralyzed by the complexity of the job and trying to be all things to all people (ie, the opposition).  He really didn't have that problem as mayor.    

    For instance, at a critical time for the State in setting up and implementing HCR, we still don't have a Commissioner of Insurance.  In fact, as I understand it, there are not even any candidates at the moment.  Marcy Morrison left the job early in order to clear the way for the Governor to appoint his own person and have them hit the ground running because she understood how important this time period is.  Months later, I have to wonder is he is worried about appointing someone who is going to be seen as too industry friendly or too much of a consumer advocate.  (I know which way I'd like him to lean!)

    While those working behind the scenes are the best of the best, we both know that putting things into place with the knowledge that the next person in the big office might well throw all that work out the door is at best troubling. Not to mention the lack of a public face (including working with the NAIC and HHS) for the organization at a very important time.  


    knOwbama nothings (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:26:28 AM EST
    I have a feeling he will not get re-elected. Since this administration has failed to even attempt to seriously disempower those who crashed the economy in the first place, they are in a perfect position to work their "magic" as November 2012 nears. And when they do, where will Obama be?  He will have no credibility, no record of dealing with the problem, he will be the fool who failed to lead.  A Repub nominee will play populist music to the masses, then when elected, and right on cue, will drop it all and the Wall Street Gods will have survived to rule on unfettered.

    What's causing the long term deficit? (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:14:46 PM EST
    Obama names Medicare/Medicaid, tax expenditures/ collection (I think), defense spending, entitlements. He started with Medicare/Medicaid.
    Thanks a bunch.
    Odd how tax expenditures but not tax rates are causing the long term deficit.

    Yes, thank you (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by david mizner on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:40:57 PM EST
    I was just citing you over at Dkos. It's the big development that no one seems to want to talk about.

    This is The Deal's political world. We're just living in it.

    The Deal was a multi-faceted (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:48:53 AM EST
    catastrophe. Kind of like an earthquake with attending tsunamis and aftershocks. You are right to highlight the various aspects.

    Politically, it confirmed Obama as being lockstep with with mainstream Republicans on economic issues. He thinks there are Independent votes to be had there. But if the Repubs come up with a mainstream-looking candidate, he will get those votes. In my experience most Independents are either Republicans embarrassed by the far right, or Dems embarrassed by the Lewinsky scandal. Obama turned off the Dem base in order to court the mythical middle, who would just as soon vote R.

    As we said yesterday, it all depends on who the R is.

    Gives (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:57:17 AM EST
    a whole new meaning to the whole "dem for a day" thing a couple of years ago doesn't it?

    LOL, forgot about that (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:08:05 PM EST
    "Dem for as long as the inauguration (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:09:04 PM EST
    takes" is more like it.

    Why are independents independents (none / 0) (#54)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:29:20 PM EST
    Darned if I know. They've always driven me crazy. But, looking at an important statistic these days, can make one even more frustrated: The percentage of those classified as/calling themselves Independents in recent years continues to grow.
    Here, in Colorado, the largest number of registered voters fall into the Independent category. They swing back & forth, as you know; and, now, they appear (in this state anyway) to have embraced the spending cut meme. (Maybe--I hope--that will change after the proposed meatax approach our new Democratic Governor Hickenlooper has taken to education and other infrastructure needs...in liew of taxes because the Governor has concluded that people won't allow for a tax increase without retribution to the political figures who pursue it.) To top it off, Presidential candidates really do pursue Colorado's electoral votes these days.
    So...ignore Independents? I'd love to...when we figure how a Democrat wins without them.  Numbers matter. Numbers of registered voters matter. And, no matter how energized those of us who regard ourselves as Liberals may be (thank you Wisconsin), those large numbers of middlin' Indies determine the outcome.

    The problem (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:33:17 PM EST
    isn't that Obama's trying to get independents to vote for him so much as he's letting independents opinions on issues decide what he does and that never works. It's not a way to lead. And from my experience, Independents run the gamut of political philosophy and don't all reside in the "mythical middle" like Obama seems to think.

    It all ends up being a bunch of muddled mush with no policies, no nothing.


    Because they are either (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by me only on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 02:39:40 PM EST
    socially liberal, but fiscally conservative, or they are socially conservative, but fiscally liberal, or they perceive both parties with similar goals (like the socialists, or the isolationists.)

    Or, like me, they cannot stand one party rule.


    Maybe they wouldn't be indies (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 01:51:54 PM EST
    if one of the 2 major parties lived up to what they want from them. Ya know, Dems acting like Dems for starters. People don't say they left the Dem party, they say the Dem party left them.

    And why wouldn't they embrace the spending cuts? Seems to be the flavor of the day . . . . from the top down.


    Speaking of bad politics, I'm (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:10:58 PM EST
    watching Obama's presser now.  Mr. Empathy is showing his stuff again.

    Ah, and he's "bullish" on housing. (none / 0) (#26)
    by observed on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:11:55 PM EST
    Calling MT...

    I'd be bullish too if I were a buyer (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:19:27 PM EST
    Unfortunately, the new numbers released the other day show 23% of mortgages are underwater. so there are that many millions of people unable to sell their homes at current prices. Still leaves plenty of good cheap houses for foreign investors though. Yippee!

    Start learning Chinese now (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:21:04 PM EST
    There is nowhere to go but up on housing (none / 0) (#80)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:09:37 PM EST
    Wrong (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:33:38 PM EST
    Bank of America has millions of foreclosures they have yet to process. They froze foreclosures for months last year and are just unfreezing the foreclosure process this month. This will further depress the housing market. We have not yet seen the bottom of that market.

    Yes, and there (none / 0) (#105)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:24:23 PM EST
    are still more adjustable rate mortgages being reset -- up -- this year and next.  

    Many experts predict that the housing (none / 0) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 03:44:08 PM EST
    market will decline another 15% - 20% before it levels out.

    Just curious, but do you get your (none / 0) (#106)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:25:01 PM EST
    talking points by daily e-mail, or what?

    Honestly, anyone who has been following the foreclosure mess, the problems with the housing market, knows that we still have not seen the bottom of the market, not by a long shot.  

    And yet here you are, announcing that there's nowhere to go but up.

    Un-freakin'- believable.


    Dems same as Repubs (none / 0) (#107)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 10:33:50 PM EST
    This person is either punking Dem sites or the Dem party is in bigger trouble than I thought.  Conservatives abandoned policy and critical thinking for ideology and fealty... it looks like Dem supporters are going down the same road.  I never thought I would see the day Dems would flat out lie in support of their dear leader.

    Either way, I like it.