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Taxes And "Shared Sacrifice"

Since the economic reality that now is not the time to be dealing with deficits is ignored by every Very Serious Person, from President Obama on down, the next question is how to address the deficit.

Economic reality tells us that it is not the time to reduce government spending as the nation continues to suffer from insufficient aggregate demand, slack that the private sector is simply not capable of picking up at this time. So, if we must address the deficit now, the most efficient (not to mention fair and decent) policy choice is to raise taxes on the rich. President Obama blew this issue when he did The Deal. A terrible mistake. At the federal level, the discussion is about how much the poor and the middle class must "sacrifice," the rich must never do so. And that cake is baked. At the state level, the electorate voted in zanies as governors in many states (Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania . . . New York?) who seem determined to destroy the economies of their states (and to contribute to the destruction of the national economy.) They will likely get their way. In a sense, this will be an additional experiment regarding the basic tenet of Republican governance. But does it matter how it turns out? More . . .

I ask that question because voters, for whatever reason, seem comfortable with a system that protects the rich and punishes the middle class and the poor. Part of this is due, in my view, to the ineptness of the Democratic Party.

There is a myth that the Democratic Party is an effective political organization that effectively represents its constituents. This is false. It is a disastrously inept political organization that when handed political victories due to the worst President in the history of the nation, demonstrated that it is incompetent at enacting its agenda and, just as importantly, winning the policy debate.

In the Open Thread yesterday, this article by James Vega was discussed. Vega makes some good points:

Last week TDS published an analysis1 that carefully delineated the very different political roles of activist, moral leader and legislator. As the author, political scientist Andrew Sabl noted: “all three contribute crucial things to democratic politics—but very different things, normally best performed by very different kinds of people… the same person is unlikely to be able to play more than one of these roles well.…”

While this is obviously true, to me, it does not go far enough. It's not just activists who need to understand that politicians are "not their boyfriends," in Bill Maher's phrase. I return to my refrain:

As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in. I am a partisan Democrat it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the times. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.

And this is true in every context I think. Be it pressing the Speaker or the Senate majority leader, or the new hope running for President. There is nothing more important we can do. Nothing. It's more important BY FAR than "fighting" for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you.

In the middle of primary fights, citizens, activists and bloggers like to think their guy or woman is different. They are going to change the way politics works. They are going to not disappoint. In short, they are not going to be pols. That is, in a word, idiotic.

Yes, they are all pols. And they do what they do. Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about. That often means fighting for a pol of course. But remember, you are fighting for the issues. Not the pols.

Speaking for me only

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  • The Democratic Party can't (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:18:00 PM EST
    enact an agenda if they can't define one upon which they all agree - which is what i think happened over the past two years.

    Once their opposition was eliminated, they failed to come together on basic core values.  The pro-business, privatization wing of the party won most of the big battles that shaped the agenda, but that was never going to yield the kind of unity that they needed to be really successful at governing.  

    There was an interesting article today in the Washington Post about how Obama's White House is trying to mend fences with Obama's Cabinet members many of whom according to the article have felt left out of the governing decisions; tapped only when the White House felt they had made a mistake; ignored in favor of "Czars"; and micromanaged by White House staff.  I raise this article in the context of your story only because I think that it is emblematic of the problems within the Democratic Party right now.

    That small minority of pro-biz types made little attempt to either compromise or build consensus with their more liberal colleagues.  I get the sense that they even actively undermined them and shut them out of the discussions only to turn around and basically say, "Vote for our plan or else."  Which is a kind of legislative strategy, but not much of a party builder and it certainly doesn't yield a well oiled machine either.

    Anyhow, over at Orange there's a story about how Schumer has struck the right tone on the budget debate and he like you and many others think that taxes should be on the table.  Great, we agree, but does that mean that we have a cohesive philosophical view on this issue within the party?  Based on what I've witnessed over the past two years, it doesn't matter how correct Schumer's views are, nor does it matter how popular they are (see Public Option), the tax thing isn't going to happen because a small but powerful faction of the party will do everything they can to undermine such a move.

    And that small faction will confuse the message and image of the Democratic Party again and will continue to do so until someone finally checks their power.  Since a lot of those folks' close associates work in the White House, I'm thinking that there will be no check on their power though and we'll continue to limp along as a party without much of a solid foundation, without firm core values and therefore the best that we can hope for is muddled messaging and unintelligible/quixotic policies mostly driven by the goal of winning an election - not by the principles of good governance.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:25:49 PM EST
    this was one of my problems back in 2008 with Obama. He really "didn't do issues" and uniting around issues is what the party desperately needs.

    Parent
    He is also a relativist. (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:35:44 PM EST
    He doesn't seem to have any core values; lines in the sand; basic principles upon which he/we could build an agenda.

    Something as trite as "people first" would be one example.  A person who put people first would not have catered exclusively to Wall Street enterprise and ignored jobs and Main Street.  A person who put people first would have made it a requisite that the TARP institutions lend the money that they were being floated to Main Street.  A people first kind of guy would have gone directly to the aid of Main Street rather than shoveling all of the wealth into the elite class hoping that they'd trickle some of that cash down...

    OTOH, I guess he's a business first kind of guy.  But that's not a theory of governing.  That's what you're supposed to do when you run a business or when you're a Republican trying to shut the government down.

    I don't know.  I think that the party is pretty screwed up at this point.  I wish these people who came to DC wanting to run businesses would leave government and run businesses - making room for people who want to run government as government - as it should be.

    Parent

    I think you nailed it (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:14:19 PM EST
    When the president leans toward that small but powerful group, they have disproportionate influence, especially since they can (and do) easily side with the Republican near-majority on major issues.

    Party unity of goals and message would have required  that they had minor roles instead of major ones as committee chairs, etc. But the POTUS likes to buck the majority of his own party. Ideologues!!!!

    Parent

    They actually are pretty ideological (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:28:05 PM EST
    as I read them.  Makes the whole "all ideas on the table" game seem pretty patronizing once you figure out that they are coming in with a fairly fixed ideology.

    Parent
    I was being snarky at the end there (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:21:18 PM EST
    Referring to Obama referring to the liberals as ideologues when you are correct, the conservdems are at least as rigid.

    Parent
    Absolutely (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:30:21 PM EST
    Based on what I've witnessed over the past two years, it doesn't matter how correct Schumer's views are, nor does it matter how popular they are (see Public Option), the tax thing isn't going to happen because a small but powerful faction of the party will do everything they can to undermine such a move.

    [emphasis supplied]

    I think that faction is small, but they're never called out for being out of the mainstream by non-bloggers.  That the majority of the Democratic Party is content with being held hostage is ...well, it's hard for me to see how that's necessarily my fault.

    Parent

    Based on my conversations with (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:39:40 PM EST
    Democrats who are only casual observers, the claim that the Republicans have forced the Democrats to do things that "don't compute" has been a fairly successful disinformation campaign.

    That's my take on why more mainstream Dems aren't questioning what the leadership is up to.  The worst of it is that now that the House is in GOP hands, the small but powerful faction in our party that wants to move to the right has even more cover to do so without scrutiny than they did over the past two years.

    Parent

    Pelosi and Reid (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:31:03 PM EST
    and almost all the other party members in power stood for no core principles when they ran the Senate and the House under Bush.  Even then their only aspiration was simply to not be Republicans.  There was no definition of what almost any of them being a Democrat was.  And then to top that off the few progressives who acted like Democrats ended up fighting tooth and nail for their political lives.

    Parent
    Well, I'm not entirely willing to (5.00 / 6) (#106)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:52:56 PM EST
    throw Pelosi under the bus.  The legislation she got passed even with her Blue Dog coalition nipping at her heels when she was Speaker was pretty progressive.  It was when those issues got into Reid's hands that they got really twisted and mangled.  I think that as a liberal, Pelosi's biggest mistake - one that many made it seems - was to believe that the White House was a reliable ally.

    Don't forget that she got so frustrated with the whole thing that she threatened to stop passing bills before the Senate because they kept taking the House's work product and bastardizing it or letting it languish.  Some 400 bills died in Reid's Senate.  Pelosi delivered the public option in her bill and it was unceremoniously excluded in the Senate.  When Pelosi signaled that the shenanigans in the Senate and the lack of White House support for popular programs was going to hurt House Democrats' election chances, they all sort of said "tough" and ignored her.

    And the Pelosi story is just another reason that I believe that our party is in such a shambles.  She managed to get 200+ House Democrats to agree on a lot of issues and two or three Senate Democrats consistently screwed up their work. That's the small powerful doing what I think is pretty significant damage to the greater whole.  200+ vs. two or three isn't exactly consensus building when the two or three railroad the 200+.

    Parent

    Can you spell reconciliation? (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:55:40 PM EST
    Watching the Republicans now, is there any doubt they would have used reconciliation under similar circumstances?

     

    Parent

    Would have only been used if (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:17:30 PM EST
    there was White House backing for it and for the public option.

    But the sad fact is that the writing was on the wall well before the healthcare battle.  The Stimulus was the defining moment.  The President didn't want a bigger stimulus so he didn't get one.  He didn't have a problem with tax credits instead of spending so we got a lot of that.  The House stimulus was bigger, structured to give direct relief in spending and overall far more "liberal" in its approach than what we ended up with.

    Anyway, that's all history now and with Pelosi out of the way and Boehner around to provide cover, the right-leaning crowd in the party will enjoy a lot of cover that they didn't have when Pelosi was passing legislation that was obviously too "lefty" for their tastes.

    Parent

    I can spell it (none / 0) (#116)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:26:39 PM EST
    And so can the Republicans who are chomping at the bit to be able to dismantle HCR thorugh reconciliation if and when they take over the Senate in 2012.

    Parent
    Agreed. My view is that (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:51:33 PM EST
    Speaker Pelosi does not belong under the bus.  She accomplished much but made a fundamental mistake when she "took impeachment (of Bush) off the table" as one of her first statements as Speaker.  The sighs of relief coming from the Oval Office and grounds of the Naval Observatory must have been deafening. But more than the possibility of impeachment in and of itself, the statement revealed a basic flaw in her leadership while Bush was president and even more so after Obama was inaugurated. Namely, that the Democratic political calculus was stuck in the "lessons" of the Clinton years and without the update of time and events.  Moreover, it may have paved the way for disastrous Democratic negotiating skills soon to follow.

    Parent
    I think that that is all very fair (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:08:29 PM EST
    criticism.  I'll add that I think that one big deficit that the Democrats suffer from is a lack of governing experience overall.  Pelosi made a lot of decisions based on campaign strategy and did not necessarily give enough consideration to the effect of said strategy on the functionality of the government she was a party to administrating.  The lessons learned went all the way back to Watergate, btw.  On impeachment, the Democrats were afraid of a public backlash.  But moving forward into the 2009-2010 time period, they never seemed to adjust from being the underdogs to taking the leadership roles that they were given by the voters.  None of them took their mandate and ran with it.  But they couldn't because they couldn't agree on what the mandate was even if they had not felt so timid about telling Republicans to sit down and be quiet when they got out of hand.

    The whole game of allowing Republicans to hang themselves is fine up until it starts to hurt other people and unfortunately with things like the stimulus coming back two or three years later and saying that it is the Republicans' fault that it wasn't big enough after not having made that case at the time it was happening is just lame.  People have gotten hurt because of that weak stimulus bill.  They're going to hold those who are in the position of leadership responsible, not the minority.  I think that's what we saw - at least in part - in the 2010 election.

    Parent

    Rather than focus on personalities (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:47:56 PM EST
    How about discussing a plan to approach these issues differently?

    Here are a few of my suggestions (being a political org novice, I freely admit to not knowing whether these type of activities already occur or are even feasible):

     - establish a workgroup that holds regular conference calls to discuss 3-5 agenda items and build consensus around a limited number of items.

     - reach out to unions and similar organizations for participation in the workgroup

     - Use that workgroup to publish set of ideas that political websites such as this agree to support and promote.

    Who can take the lead on such things? Does anything like this already happen? Thoughts? Suggestions?


    Who can take the lead on these things? (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:51:05 PM EST
    I have one suggestion.

    He lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Parent

    Actually, I would nominate BTD and Jeralyn (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:12:01 PM EST
    BTD in a past life worked hard to oppose the Roberts and Alito nominations.....he met with Boxer, no?

    Jeralyn met with Bill at a meeting regarding Bloggers.

    Wisconsin shows the influence bloggers etc can have.

     

    Parent

    One last point (none / 0) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:01:25 PM EST
    use that workgroup to organize and get the word out on rallies in support of the workgroup's agenda.

    Parent
    They already do this kind of stuff (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:34:07 PM EST
    Not necessarily with unions, but with corporate donors.  

    The Department of Labor would be the natural choice, except for the fact that it has to tread very lightly since it is the DoL that oversees union certification in this country.

    Parent

    Not following (none / 0) (#96)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:40:56 PM EST
    The Dept of Labor would be involved w/a citizen run organization to promote particular agendas?

    Parent
    I thought you were asking (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:47:06 PM EST
    who in the administration should take the lead on this kind of stuff.

    Parent
    If you are right, then (none / 0) (#101)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:48:04 PM EST
    progressives should not wait for the administration to take the lead.....

    Parent
    I don't think they are (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:49:58 PM EST
    Haven't you been paying attention to things like those who pushed for a repeal of DADT? The administration needs to be dragged along by these progressive groups, but they always seem to go kicking and screaming.

    Parent
    Nope (none / 0) (#103)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:49:11 PM EST
    Follow up to the points in both Vega and BTD's post.

    Parent
    A positive approach about (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:13:19 PM EST
    taking action--that has much merit....

    Parent
    Kevin Drum writes in the March Mother Jones (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:04:35 PM EST
    edition about how the Democrats split during the '60's and 70's with the anti-war civil rghts, women's rights pit against the old time union power groups which culminated with the McGovern candidacy.  The two factions split and the unions began losing power.  That left one faction of Democrats to form the DLC and turn to  businesses more and more for their financial support  More Democrats into the White House was their goal. But as they say once you get into bed with.....    the gist of their almost entire edition is the weatlh maldistribution and the fact that the Democrats don't really represent the working class anymore.  We saw what the Obama camp did with Hillary and her "hillbillies" during the primaries and that should have been the tip-off. We really don't have a institutional force for working class in the way the GOP has businesses as an institutional force for them. Only Ed Schultz on MSNBC is on fire with the issue.  What to do? Drum says that there is an infrastructure in place to provide the force, but I don't see it.  The young need to get out of Starbucks and their technology obsession and looking down their noses at the blue collar workers for starters.  Think this will go over at the big orange?

    I think unions have declined (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:00:58 PM EST
    as our industrial base evaporated.....

    Some of that ground has been made up by public sector unions.

    The loss of our manufacturing base has more to do with the decline of unions than snotty comments directed to blue collar workers.

    Parent

    There is no question that global forces (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:25:26 PM EST
    and greed have contributed to the decline of unions, but I agree with Kevin about the nature of the two cultures.  It exists today,and was on full display during the primaries. If economic populism could take hold with the young who have by and large been spared (to now) the problems of loss of savings, homes, jobs and soon educational opportunities a new movement more powerful than the tea party hoopla could appear.  The public union workers are trying but they need a fresh set of hands to help them. They are being demonized for breaking the bank.   So far everyone, including our Democratic leaders are cowering about the problems afraid to talk about the maldistribtuion of wealth in this country and how three stock plunges (S&L, Enron,etc and the housing bubble) have wiped out trillions of dollars in middle class income security.

    Parent
    That (none / 0) (#112)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:09:18 PM EST
    And things like foreign manufacturing companies, who are anti-union to begin with, locating in anti-union states.

    Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, etc. come to mind.

    Parent

    Mercedes, Toyota, Honda anti-union? (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Rojas on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:45:14 PM EST
    Japan and Germany are highly organized. Their export production comes from unionized plants. They kicked Detroit's ass for many years with unionized labor and had to factor in shipping cost.
    Right to work does not equal anti-union.

    Parent
    There is no question that global forces (none / 0) (#149)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:28:08 PM EST
    and greed have contributed to the decline of unions, but I agree with Kevin about the nature of the two cultures.  It exists today,and was on full display during the primaries. If economic populism could take hold with the young who have by and large been spared (to now) the problems of loss of savings, homes, jobs and soon educational opportunities a new movement more powerful than the tea party hoopla could appear.  The public union workers are trying but they need a fresh set of hands to help them. They are being demonized for breaking the bank.   So far everyone, including our Democratic leaders are cowering about the problems afraid to talk about the maldistribtuion of wealth in this country and how three stock plunges (S&L, Enron,etc and the housing bubble) have wiped out trillions of dollars in middle class income security.

    Parent
    Both Axelrod and Brazile came out (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:20:43 PM EST
    publicly and stated that the "New Democratic Party" didn't need the white working class.

    Parent
    Yep, (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:26:57 PM EST
    and it this attitude is causing the downfall of the party. Even here in GA the African Americans who have been elected statewide are saying the same thing: the party cannot survive as it is currently composed.

    Parent
    Would that be the (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Rojas on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:57:48 PM EST
    "White wing" that Sir Donald...or his inner Diva... rails about? The working class, white or other has been getting skinned alive by the "New Democratic Party" of the last twenty years.

    Parent
    Drum mi$$ed a $omething - whether Union (none / 0) (#183)
    by seabos84 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:52:13 PM EST
    leaders of tree hugger leaders

    tooooooooooo many are from those upper middle classes living in the leafy 'hoods. they do NOT really know what the life of their barista & jiffy lube & whole foods serfs are like

    or, they do know and they don't give a $hit.

    the policies of kissing the posteriors of the bill gateses has ensued, and labor has declined & the veal pen has bleated.

    rmm

    Parent

    deficits don't matter (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by dandelion on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:39:29 PM EST
    Well, to get back to your original question.

    One way to address the deficit would be to argue that deficits don't matter.  After all, it worked for the Republicans.

    I think it would help us all to get up to speed on Modern Monetary Theory and understand that so much of what drives our discourse about the deficit is based on economic thinking that's just out of date and wrong-headed.  Anyone who looks at our deficit and shouts Weimar is just crazy -- how many ways is the US different from Weimar Germany?  

    The budget deficit is NOT the problem.  The problem is the TRADE deficit.  And our trade deficit is a problem because we don't have an industrial policy and because our idea of "free trade" is actually just wage-arbitrage.

    How doe we deal with the wage differential? (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:47:13 PM EST
    Low wages in Vietnam and India, and the ability to offshore even legal work now, make it hard to maintain wage inequality and our higher wages here.....

    The hope is that wages will rise there too, just as they have in Korea and Japan.  And if we can better educate our workforce....so Obama's emphasis on that is going in the right direction...

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#107)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    one thing that could be done is make the wealthy pay more here so that we would have money to help the middle class with health insurance or other programs. There's really nothing that can be done about wages in other countries unless you want to put an import tax on them to make the prices competitive with american products.

    Parent
    Tariffs--don't agree with that (none / 0) (#111)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:07:19 PM EST
    and the barn door is closed anyway.

    China catching up to us does have its advantages....Getting the Chinese to consume more would be good.  Locke should have that as job one.

    Making the wealthy pay more--up to the Clinton rates--would be good for our middle class and the deficit....Not sure it would help make our wages competitive....

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:49:06 PM EST
    on the tax situation I was really talking more about giving the middle class some breathing room. I don't think tax policy can change the top line number in wages but things like not having to pay $800 a month for health insurance could give the middle class a lot more disposable income.

    Parent
    While the barn door is closed (none / 0) (#127)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:02:02 PM EST
    nonetheless adjustment tariffs would be helpful or eliminating trade agreements with east and south Asia.  Trading with equals (western Europe) makes more sense than trading with economies based entirely on export.  Economies based on export will always feature very low wages and very low standard of living.

    Trading with low wage countries benefits one class of people and damages another class.

    There are only a handful of reasons to trade.  Trade for what we cannot grow or grow enough of, cannot extract or extract enough of, cannot make or make enough of.

     

    Parent

    "Do not fight for pols." No kidding. (5.00 / 5) (#115)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:25:56 PM EST
     If you take the "who" out of this, and just look at the "what," a lot of things get a lot clearer.

    Unfortunately, I feel like the "who" is serving as a giant speed bump between where we've been for far too long on too many issues, and where I, at least, think we should be going.  And by "who" I am not just singling out Obama, but a significant chunk of the Democratic party.

    We've been slowed down by that speed bump; we've tried going sideways to see if there's a way around it.  I'm at the point where I think we need to just drive over it, and those in the way can choose to see what the underside of our bus looks like, or they can get out of the way and get on board.

    As a Democrat and a citizen, my job and my responsibility is not to function as a loyal helpmeet in the furtherance of someone's personal political fortunes, but to push and shove and light fires under and agitate and advocate and make my voice heard toward the attainment of the goals I believe in - my interests, my life, my future.

    And one of those goals has to be that we must have campaign finance reform if we are ever to have better quality candidates who aren't bought-and-paid-for and loyal handmaidens to the corporate sector and the special interests.  When and if that ever happens, I expect to find out about it from my assigned cloud in the Great Beyond.

    For the short-term, we need to make a lot more noise and be a lot more present, along the lines of what's happening in Wisconsin; how fast do you think Walker's budget bill would have been passed if the Democrats in the legislature and the public employees and union members had just decided there was nothing they could do?  Lightning speed.  So fast it might not have been visible to the naked eye.

    Push issues.  Push for the whole thing, not just what might be politically possible.  Wear your principles and your purism with pride - if it makes these so-called leaders look bad, tough.  If they don't want to look better, let them be responsible for that.  Stop sccepting the sad shrugs and the it-was-the-best-we-could-do expressions of regret, when we can all see that little or no effort was expended to do better; reply with: "that is not acceptable - try again and keep trying until you can report success."  Parents say that to their kids, teachers to their students, employers to their employees - why shouldn't we say this to the people who purport to be working for us in government?

    Oh, I'm so naive.  I don't know how "the game" is played.  I will never get anything if I can't be flexible and willing to compromise.  I need to look at all the checkmarks on the list and be happy I got anything at all.

    Well.  Maybe it's time to change the game.  Change the rules.  Stop telling them that no matter what they do, we will vote for them anyway.  Demand more, expect more, settle less.  Tell them our list is the list they need to be working on.

    What are they gonna do - teach us a lesson we haven't already learned?  Show us they're every bit as craven as we know they are?

    Oooh...I'm so afraid.  [rolling eyes]

    Issues, not personalities.  


    "Helpmeet" (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:59:55 PM EST
    Haven't heard that word for a long time....

    Parent
    Haven't used it in a long time :-) (none / 0) (#131)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:10:16 PM EST
    Seemed appropriate to describe how some people see their role as members of the Democratic party.

    Parent
    Inept by design? (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by pluege2 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:19:49 PM EST
    It is a disastrously inept political organization that when handed political victories due to the worst President in the history of the nation, demonstrated that it is incompetent at enacting its agenda and, just as importantly, winning the policy debate.

    its highly suspicious that one side of the political spectrum could be enormously successful in enacting their agenda that hurts the majority of the people while obscenely rewarding a tiny sliver of the population, and the other side could be so inept that it can't enact policies that people actually want, are decent and fair and good for the majority of people.

    Seems pretty indisputable to me that both sides are working to the same ends: to enrich the already obscenely rich.

    My take on it too (none / 0) (#180)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:41:20 PM EST
    Seems pretty indisputable to me that both sides are working to the same ends: to enrich the already obscenely rich.


    Parent
    "The 'first black Potus" (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by the capstan on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 09:15:20 PM EST
    Fire of Hades!  He is not the 'first black Potus.'  According to my admitedly out-of-date history lessons (college grad, 1954), Obama is the first mixed-race (half and half) Potus.  Is Obama nothing more than a skin color?  Is he not human?  Doth he not bleed (red, as usual) when pricked?  Etc. Etc.  If he represents only a skin color, he is nothing but a shadow, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  I want a POTUS of whatever color, green, yellow, or purple, who recognizes that he is not an island, but a part of all who live.

    I read somewhere that the difference (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by Bornagaindem on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 07:38:23 AM EST
    between europeans and americans is that europeans understand that higher taxes do not hurt the middle class. in fact they get back much more than they pay in services. Americans are too stupid to grasp this simple concept. Until they do (and one can only hope this will penetrate their tiny little brains after governors like that in Wisconsin who is cutting pay to a wide swath of the middle class and states where schools are having to bear the burden of bad tax policy) we will have the worst democrats ever. You see up until now repugs have been giving tax cuts and not cutting anything because they could raid the pension funds of the idiots that vote for them but now the piper is having to be paid and that will translate into pain for repugs as well as as faltering economy because indeed this is the worst time to be laying off any body and paying the deficit.

    Even if Obama had not made the deal (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Saul on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:28:40 PM EST
    he IMO did not have the votes in both houses to get it done.  If the deal was to keep the Bush cuts for only those making 200,000 or less but to raise it on the rich IMO he did not have the votes from his own party to get it done.  

    If he would had vetoed the deal to keep the Bush tax cuts as they were his veto would IMO would have been overturned ( his own party would have been his main problem) and the tax relief of the bush cuts would have been credited to the Republicans.  This would have been a major factor in not winning in 2012.  

    He did not need any votes (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    Frankly, by now, I would have hoped that this type of comment would have ended by now.

    The Bush tax cuts would have expired without passing any legislation.

    Disagree with my prescription, but please do not misstate the facts.

    Parent

    BTD off subject (none / 0) (#48)
    by Buckeye on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:00:24 PM EST
    What are your thoughts on the Tressel situation?

    Parent
    Who cares? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:10:39 PM EST
    The problem is the pretending.

    So what if Tressel knew? It's a stupid rule.

    I tell you what, if you guys don't want him anymore, we'll take him at Florida (and yes I'd get rid of Muschamp to get him.)

    He and the Iowa coach are tow of the best in the country.

    Parent

    Thanks. I wanted a reasoned opinion. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Buckeye on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:12:43 PM EST
    It was technically wrong what he did, but people are making too much of it IMO.

    Parent
    They always do (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:14:45 PM EST
    It is all nonsense.

    Hell, Pryor should not have been suspended imo.

    I hate the NCAA.

    Parent

    Agree. (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by Buckeye on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:25:16 PM EST
    And even though I would have hated it, IF you are going to suspend somebody, why not start it immediately?  Why let him play the Sugar bowl?  All the NCAA accomplished was making themselves look even sleazier.  It would have looked better if they just asked him to pay back the money and forget about it as opposed to inflicted punishment, but delaying it past the lucrative bowl game.

    Parent
    Agree (none / 0) (#97)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:44:18 PM EST
    not that it means anything but your assessment of Tressel and Farantz is on the mark.

    Parent
    So the only way to win (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    is to be a Republican on taxes? That is just ludicrous.

    Need I remind you that Bill Clinton raised taxes in 1993 and won in a landslide in 1996.

    Your premise is demonstrably false.

    Parent

    True (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:20:15 PM EST
    And the vote was very close.  By 2 votes in the House...and Gore broke a tie in the Senate...and the Republicans swept the 94 elections....

    The time to have pushed a progressive agenda was the last two years....The backlash was inevitable....

    Better to have pushed the envelope as far as possible while in power.  Republicans instinctively get this....Witness what they are doing....Love 'em or hate 'em, the Republican governors are advancing the GOP agenda....

    And who could forget the Cheney response to someone who told him the polling was against his current policy for Iraq:  "So?"  Liberals are too paralyzed and too disorganized.  

    Parent

    Thank You (none / 0) (#98)
    by vicndabx on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:44:52 PM EST
    and d@mn near half the thread is devoted to the same old arguments over things that have already happened.

    Parent
    Because heaven forbid (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by sj on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    that we learn from history. Or even bother to keep the record straight when some one pulls it sideways.

    Those old arguments are so last week.

    Parent

    Bill Clinton stood up to Republicans though (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:35:20 PM EST
    And he didn't do so much in the backroom, he spoke to the people and instructed them about what was taking place.  For Republicans, the rules to negotiating with Bill Clinton were much different.

    Parent
    By this time, (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by the capstan on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:15:38 PM EST
    I don't give a toot (did not cuss) if he does not win in '12.  I think he can do still more damage given more chances.  Whereas one of the opposition idiots just might cure a few voters of the delusion that Repugs want to govern instead of annihilate.  What progress is being made is made by partisan groups (gays) who sometimes drag Obama along to a place he does not like but cannot get out of.  

    Parent
    He didn't have to do anything (none / 0) (#43)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:57:13 PM EST
    last year. Are you saying he could not pass a middle class Obama Tax Cut sometime this year?

    Parent
    Sigh BTD (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:54:07 AM EST
    the cuts aren't even the worse of it. The GOP is determined to strip the citizens of this country of every right they have. It's so depressing and Obama sees nothing wrong with what they are doing apparently.

    A large part of the party's problem I lay at Obama's feet and his PPUS strategy. The party made a huge mistake with him and we are all paying for that. That being said, there's blame to go around on everybody currently in elected office. And why does Tim Kaine still have a job? His head should have been the first to roll after November.

    The only bright spot in the ineffectual Obama presidency is that people like those in WI are finally realizing that Obama is not on their side and that issues are important and the people on the ground in the states are fighting for issues.

    The party is going to have to rebuilt. One poster over at Kos said that he's in MI and Obama is going to have a hard time in that state in 2012. If that's true, then maybe no one should waste time trying to get Obama reelected and focus on issue activism and rebuilding the party.

    Obama having a hard time in MI? (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 11:57:15 AM EST
    Wouldn't that have shown up in the 2008 primaries?

    Parent
    It's 2011 (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:12:29 PM EST
    If you would have asked me in 2008 who was one of the greatest politicians of my generation I would have said Obama.

    Today I would say he is single handedly ruining the Democratic Party.  One measure at a time is being dismantled, and all the the republican BS, is being adopted.

    My point is it ain't 2008, and a lot of us disillusioned democrats are sick and tired of this pseudo-liberal President and his never ending rationalization of continued republican policies.

    Parent

    I think that was snark (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:14:16 PM EST
    Obama voluntarily pulled himself off the ballot in Michigan is 2008 because he knew he couldn't win.  But then after the fiasco of the RBC, he ended up getting delegates anyways.

    Parent
    Such short memories. (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:55:50 PM EST
    I Completely Forgot... (none / 0) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:58:07 PM EST
    ... that fiasco, now my comment seems... rather dumb.

    Parent
    Nah (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:00:05 PM EST
    You were giving a well-though out answer.

    The situation was dumb.

    Parent

    Obama (none / 0) (#54)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:07:03 PM EST
    Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and the entire DNC pulled out of the Michigan primaries before they even started you mean.

    Easy to win if no one else is campaigning in a state.

    Parent

    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:11:19 PM EST
    When you are conspiring to game the system because you know you don't stand a chance anyways.

    And there were other people on the ballot - including Dennis Kucinich.

    And it's easy to win a nomination when you get votes you didn't earn too.

    Parent

    yes (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by dandelion on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:18:42 PM EST
    Not even Nixon dreamed of using "rules" to knock two states off his opponent's roster.

    I'm as much over that  Michigan Florida DNC fiasco as other Dems are over the 2001 Supreme Court decision.  

    My husband argues that a party is allowed to determine how they function and apply their own rules, and my reply that I don't have to support a Democratic party that doesn't function in accordance with the basic principles of democracy.

    Parent

    It happens (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:26:18 PM EST
    A good example was 1972.  McGovern used the rules to knock HHH out of the running.  Yes, the "good" liberal McGovern played hardball.

    The (then) winner-take-all California Primary put McGovern over the top.  HHH talked about how unfair that was, that the Democrats could not be the party of disenfranchisement, that the rules should be changed.  McGovern argued the rules should not be changed during the middle of the game.  Big fight at the convention over this...

    Sound familiar?

    All this doesn't matter now.

    The issue is what to do going forward.

    Parent

    DNC (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:45:45 PM EST
    violated its own rules - please let's not go down this path.  

    Parent
    Since we are kind of on the subject... (none / 0) (#135)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:04:38 PM EST
    the FL Republicans, having learned how to make the FL primary irrelevant at best, and a point of contention at worst, for Dems, are going to schedule the primary day early again in 2012.

    Fasten your seatbelts...can we break the Iowa/New Hampshire deadlock this time?

    Parent

    Ruffian - From WaPo (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:06:43 PM EST
    The added wrinkle this time: The 2012 Republican National Convention is in Tampa. If national Republican leaders make good on their threat to penalize states that don't follow the rules, host delegates could be stopped at the door when the GOP gathers to pick its presidential ticket.



    Parent
    They said he didn't stand a chance (none / 0) (#69)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:14:26 PM EST
    in Iowa.

    I don't think he was making decisions based on what "they" said.

    Parent

    No on said that (3.50 / 2) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:21:33 PM EST
    Stop making sh*t up.

    Parent
    "They" (none / 0) (#137)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:32:02 PM EST
    is a pretty broad term. You sure are certain that it wasn't said given the number of people "they" could be.

    Let's be objective about this:  what do you think Obama's odds were to win Iowa without looking them up.

    The people that put their money where their mouth is say that Hillary was an even bet and Obama was 5:1 at best.

    Hillary was supposed to steamroll him.

    Parent

    Disagree. (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by huzzlewhat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:55:16 PM EST
    IIRC, the "Hillary is inevitable" meme was primarily used by Hillary's opponents, as a weapon against her. It fed into the "She thinks she's entitled to it" meme that Clinton supporters spent a lot of time struggling against.

    It was incredibly bizarre, watching the media and the political field transform the first serious female candidate into some sort of faux inevitability -- by doing so, they managed to cement a general perception of a potentially truly groundbreaking moment into "same old, same old." It finally led up to the point that Obama could, with a straight face, contrast his and Clinton's as historic vs. more of the same. That's just amazing to me. Incredibly successful politicking, there.

    HRC was never going to have an easy win in the primaries; to say that she was was pure political tactics, and effective ones at that. Bill Clinton's own assessment of her chances was that the primary would be the hard part -- if she pulled out the primary, the general election would be a walk.

    Parent

    Absolutely ... (none / 0) (#144)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:15:04 PM EST
    IIRC, the "Hillary is inevitable" meme was primarily used by Hillary's opponents, as a weapon against her. It fed into the "She thinks she's entitled to it" meme that Clinton supporters spent a lot of time struggling against.

    ... correct.

    Parent

    This is completely untrue (none / 0) (#150)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:42:21 PM EST
    Just completely false. Not a little bit false, but absolutely, demonstrably and provably false.  Mark Penn made a decision to present her as inevitable, they did, it backfired and then he was fired.

    D*mn it there are memos. I like this one because it tells you a lot about who took the gloves off and when:

    Link

    Parent

    Wrong ... again (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:49:55 PM EST
    It's entirely true.  The "inevitable" and "entitled" memes were consistently pushed by Obama supporters to support their "she thinks she's entitled to it" theories.

    Yeah, Penn wrote several memos (particularly early in the campaign) indicating Clinton was a strong candidate.  He pointed to her strong poll numbers and other advantages she held at the time ... so what?  That's what you do when you're the frontrunner.  You point out your candidates strengths and your opponents relative weaknesses to encourage people and donors to get behind (and stay behind) your candidate.  But that's not even close to the same thing as claiming your candidate is the inevitable winner or entitled to the nomination.

    BTW - How exactly does this memo demonstrate "who took the gloves off and when"?

    That's just illogical.

    Parent

    Better than Hillary's (none / 0) (#145)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:15:28 PM EST
    It is precisely why Hillary seriously considered not contesting Iowa.

    Look, you simply do not know what you are talking about.

    Parent

    This is my territory (none / 0) (#151)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:43:49 PM EST
    BTD. I know a lot about this.

    A lot.

    We can rock and roll all day on this topic, but why? I am not going to be convinced and neither are you.

    One thing I won't do is back down on the point though.  

    Parent

    You know NOTHING about this (none / 0) (#175)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:32:50 PM EST
    ... as evidenced by your suggestion that Hillary somehow "keep (the Republican legislature) Florida in line", that the Four State Pledge was somehow a promise to omit Florida's delegates, and that Obama's odds of winning Iowa were "5:1 at best".

    Parent
    You know nothing (none / 0) (#197)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:40:12 PM EST
    based on your comments.

    If you want to know what I know about it, check the archives.

    Parent

    Again (none / 0) (#153)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:53:20 PM EST
    You make these pronouncements without the proper parameters. The question is "when" the odds were taken.

    By the time Iowa was about to occur, it was obvious that something fundamental had happened. But that was the RESULT of the "inevitability" strategy that Mark Penn began subtly almost a year earlier not the CAUSE of the inevitability strategy by Obama and Edwards.

    Again, there are freaking Mark Penn memos people.

    Parent

    You know nothing cold (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:49:16 PM EST
    The Clinton campaign seriously considered not contesting Iowa in the summer of 2007.

    You arre clearly unaware of this fact.

    You know Obamabot myths and nothing else.

    Parent

    I'm not arguing your facts about Penn (none / 0) (#169)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:55:08 PM EST
    But since when do even money odds, no matter when they were taken,  indicate she had a lock on Iowa?  Her whole problem all along was that she could rarely make it above even money odds. My memory of the caucus week was that it was wide-open. I was paying attention, and had no idea who would win between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. I was not at all surprised when Clinton lost. The thing that surprised me was that I cared.

    Parent
    Your recollection ... (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:35:40 PM EST
    ... that it was wide-open is correct.

    ABG is just making it up as he goes along.

    Parent

    I think (none / 0) (#71)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:15:12 PM EST
    he would have been happy to disregard the Florida and Michigan votes as everyone agreed at the start.

    His win would have come just as easily.

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    Obama won the nomination and the Presidency.

    But he never would have won the Florida primary against Hillary. Never.

    The demographics made it impossible for him.

    Hillary had no chance in Iowa imo.

    As for people saying Obama could not win Iowa, that is just false from you.

    Obama was always a strong candidate in Iowa. Always.

    Parent

    Hillary (none / 0) (#138)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:35:50 PM EST
    should have convinced Florida to stay in line so that she wouldn't have signed a pledge that said the following:

    "THEREFORE, I Hillary Clinton, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as "campaigning" is defined by rules and regulations of the DNC".

    Her bad.

    Parent

    Just ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:51:40 PM EST
    1)  
    Hillary should have convinced Florida to stay in line

    You want to explain how she should have "convinced Florida to stay in line", particularly given the fact that it was the Republican-controlled legislature/governor that set the primary date?

    2)  

    he would have been happy to disregard the Florida and Michigan votes as everyone agreed at the start.

    Despite the myth propogated by Obama supporters, the "Four State Pledge" was merely an agreement that the candidates would not campaign in those states.  It said nothing about discounting the delegates/votes from those states.

    3)  

    Let's be objective about this:  what do you think Obama's odds were to win Iowa without looking them up.  The people that put their money where their mouth is say that Hillary was an even bet and Obama was 5:1 at best.

    Actually. let's be factual about this and look them up.  Obama was a slight favorite over Clinton, not a "5:1" underdog.

    For a guy who "struggles to determine the best way to argue in an environment where facts don't count", ...

    ... you sure do have issues with the basic facts.

    Parent

    Hillary was supposed to convince the (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:48:27 PM EST
    FL Republicans to stay in line? It was they that changed the date of the primary. the Dems could not stop it, with or without Hillary.

    Parent
    Please ruffian (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:54:01 PM EST
    do not confuse him with facts. :-)

    Parent
    Beats talking death panels with jimppj (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:22:51 PM EST
    You definitely have a point (none / 0) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:36:39 PM EST
    Iowa and New Hampshire (none / 0) (#142)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:14:29 PM EST
    did not stay in line.

    Hillary's mistake was going along with the pledge.

    Your "rules are ruels" line is utter horsesh*t.

    This was discussed in detail at the time.

    Just as the silly superdelegates discussion.

    This is all water under the bridge but this stupid Obamabot (yes it was Obamabotism) idea that Obama was pristine and Hillary was calculating is so embarrassing for you that it makes me question your ability to analyze anything regarding Obama.

    Parent

    BTD (none / 0) (#154)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:58:23 PM EST
    Here is the Inception/Matrix logic jedi mind screw:

    Your position that Hillary was certainly going to win FL and Michigan only makes sense in a world where Hillary was using an inevitability strategy.

    If Hillary sees herself as inevitable and is trying to project that image, it all fits and makes sense. Who needs FL if you are hillary. Why sign the pledge otherwise. It makes no sense.

    And wait a second now, let's not pretend that she was forced. Who's supporters dominated the DNC at the time the pledge was crafted.  Oh right, their names rhymed with Minton.

    This was my life for a 18 months BTD. I admit when I don't know something, but the PUMA bullcrap 101 is some sh*t I have cold.

    Parent

    Apparently not (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:34:57 PM EST
    If Hillary sees herself as inevitable and is trying to project that image, it all fits and makes sense. Who needs FL if you are hillary. Why sign the pledge otherwise. It makes no sense.

    This was my life for a 18 months BTD. I admit when I don't know something, but the PUMA bullcrap 101 is some sh*t I have cold.

    The "Four State Pledge" was nothing more than an attempt by the DNC to pressure states to adhere to its primary calendar.  As has been noted repeatedly (including at TL), the candidates were not agreeing to discount or omit any delegates from any states that held an early primary.

    Parent

    I said Florida (none / 0) (#200)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:47:38 PM EST
    Not Michigan.

    Look, I guess you did not read me during the primaries, but demographics determined just about every contest save Wisconsin, which really was Obama's biggest primary victory in so many ways.

    Obama would never beat Hillary in Florida ever.

    Only someone with no clue would say otherwise. Obama's people admitted it for crissakes.

    Parent

    Didn't South (none / 0) (#184)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:52:29 PM EST
    Carolina also jump the calendar in violation of the rules -- or is my memory faulty here?

    Parent
    I think they changed their date (none / 0) (#202)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:52:08 PM EST
    in violation of the rules as well.

    I distinctly remember Iowa and New Hampshire breaking the rules.

    Parent

    Ethanol! (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:23:26 PM EST
    This is giving me a headache.  Oh wait, it's the Novacain.

    Parent
    Complete and utter BS (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:40:37 PM EST
    This just demonstrates precisely how little you know about the subject.  Explain when/where
    everyone agreed to disregard the Florida and Michigan votes at the start
    .

    Here's the text of the Four State Pledge letter, if you think that will help.

    Parent

    untrue (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by dandelion on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:15:45 PM EST
    Obama and Edwards together decided to remove their names from the ballot and did so in the last minutes before the deadline to do so.  Plouffe himself wrote about this in his memoir -- that it was a tactical decision made to damage the HRC campaign in Iowa.

    The DNC decision required that candidates not campaign in Michigan.  It did not require that they remove their names from the ballot.

    In fact, there were other Dem candidates on that ballot besides HRC -- and I'm sorry, I can't remember who they are.  Since I don't know, I won't make up facts.  You could look it up if you were so inclined.

    Parent

    Kucinich and Dodd (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:18:23 PM EST
    But things like facts don't matter.

    Nor do the approximately 81,000 votes that HRC received (4 delegates) that were given to Obama.

    Parent

    Florida and Michigan had no delegates (1.00 / 2) (#139)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 04:42:29 PM EST
    They were told they would not, they didn't follow the rules and they did not.  The awarding of delegates was just a prefunctory way of not alienating the states, but it is ridiculous to consider the votes of states that were told before hand wouldn't count and which all of the candidates agreed before hand wouldn't count.

    Would you all rather have Obama hold his ground, demand that everyone live up to what they promised and win that way?

    Because either way he was going to win.  The question was how much the dems wanted to punish the states who disobeyed.

    I can go at this all day.  The myth that Hillary was robbed is the reason that I have my name.

    It's all horseshi*t by a bunch of sore loser pumas who couldn't believe the young guy whupped the Clintons.

    I will not concede in any way the concept that the first black POTUS "stole" his victory.

    I mean you couldn't make some stereotypically racist stuff like that up if you tried.

    The black POTUS WOULS be the one to completely steal it from the fair hair damsel, right?

    This sh*t turns me into the hulk.

    Parent

    Not this again (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:11:13 PM EST
    Iowa and New Hampshire broke the rules also.

    Please, you simply do not know what you are talking about.

    Parent

    BTD (none / 0) (#156)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:01:35 PM EST
    Rarely do I pull this but you don't know me.

    I do, actually, know a lot about what I am talking about.

    Parent

    Seriously, ABG, the more you (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:05:55 PM EST
    keep telling us that you know what you're talking about, the more it seems you really don't.

    I can't tell you what to do, but a wise person once said that when you find you've dug yourself into a hole - and you have - stop digging.

    Parent

    Not based on your comments (none / 0) (#198)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:41:53 PM EST
    Did or did not Iowa and New Hampshire break the rules?

    You don';t know do you?

    The answer is they did.

    Parent

    Here's the problem with your argument (5.00 / 5) (#143)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:14:32 PM EST
    One what planet do the actions of candidate Hillary Clinton whitewash the disenfranchisement of Democratic primary voters in Florida and Michigan?

    You can argue until you are blue (or green) in the face that Hillary's political calculation to write off the states early in the process makes her an improper proponent for the positions that their delegates should have been restored. But that does not translate into the moral high ground you seek, because no candidate ever had the right to unilaterally disenfranchise the voters of those states.

    Parent

    OK (none / 0) (#155)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:00:47 PM EST
    Then blame all of them.  Blame the entire democratic establishment, of which Hillary and Bill are a fundamental part.

    But this idea that Obama and his slick talking South Chicago henchman worked the system is insulting on more levels than I can express.

    She played a game on rules that she helped establish and it didn't work.

    We can debate about how fair those rules were to the voters, but you don't get to take the moral high ground (to your direct political advantage) when your only chance of winning is reversing your position.

    That wasn't going to happen.

    Parent

    You can't avoid the reality (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:10:25 PM EST
    that you are endorsing disenfranchisement as a means to and end. "They all did it," is no more useful to you than "she did it."

    I said nothing about "slick talking South Chicago," and I would appreciate it if you didn't impute that attitude to me.

    Were that we saw such tactics regarding the budget or other issues of paramount importance!

    Parent

    Incorrect (none / 0) (#160)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:21:49 PM EST
    Take florida. The rules were set by the DNC, the FL congress (republican but the elected congress) changes the rules to cause problems and the voters of Florida could not convince them to chage their minds.

    If you are angry at someone about the disenfranchisement, be angry with the FL congress. That is where the decision was made.

    What people always forget is that if not for a quirk of the FL system, all of the candidates would have withdrawn their names.  They were on the ballot because they had to be, not because they wanted to be.

    I am sorry that the Florida voters got a raw deal, but if anyone is stealing anything, it is the person trying to re-write the rules in her favor after the fact.

    Parent

    You keep going on about blame (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:29:57 PM EST
    But blame isn't the issue I'm interested in. I'm interested in the disenfranchisement.

    And you just shrug your shoulders.

    If the Florida Legislature decides to put all Democratic voters in one massive Congressional seat this year, surely your response won't be "oh well, they elected the bastards," right?

    Parent

    The people (none / 0) (#164)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:33:05 PM EST
    who make this argument mainly Obots absolutely cannot complain of what Bush did in 2000. It's the same thing and the same darn state.

    Parent
    Not incorrect ... just outright false (none / 0) (#174)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:23:02 PM EST
    I am sorry that the Florida voters got a raw deal, but if anyone is stealing anything, it is the person trying to re-write the rules in her favor after the fact.

    So sick of this myth ... name the specific rule she was trying to re-write.

    Must be easy just to make it up...

    Parent

    Oh I get it now (none / 0) (#170)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:06:10 PM EST
    She helped establish the rules, but he did not work the system? Puhlease.

    I'm not saying there is anything sleazy about it. Just hardball politics that we have not seen since.

    Parent

    Wow - what does race have to do with this? (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by mjames on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 05:25:44 PM EST
    Because Obama's black he couldn't possibly cheat? Is that what you're saying? Only whites cheat? Or are you saying that, because he's the FIRST black president, he couldn't possibly cheat? What about the fact that Obama is half-white? Does he cheat half the time?  

    With your references to the "fair hair damsel" and "sore loser pumas," you're a fine one to talk about prejudice.

    Oh, and by the way, you have your "facts" wrong on Florida. Dead wrong. But there's no reasoning with the irrational and overly emotional.

    Parent

    Race has NOTHING to do with this (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:56:29 PM EST
    ... except in ABG's mind.

    But hey .... it worked during the primaries ...

    Parent

    I am saying that (none / 0) (#157)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:06:47 PM EST
    it is easier to sell the argument that a black man stole an election than it is to say the same thing about a white woman.

    I am saying that when you have a group, the core of which are almost all white, point the fingers and yelling theft, the chance that race is a factor is real.

    I am saying that it is ironic to me that many former PUMAs can see the unconscious racism in the Tea Party while ignoring what their own words looked like from the african american perspective.

    I am saying that arguing that Obama stole the election is no different than arguing that he was a machurian candidate born in Kenya in my eyes.

    It's offensive. Highly.  It is a slap in the face to every black man who has been accused of something similar with the caveat of "well it's not because of your race, this is REALLY because we believe you stole X."


    Parent

    Good grief. (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 06:23:28 PM EST
    This is silly. If you are going to look at everything through those lens then it's a losing proposition.

    And you were the one the other day whining about how Hillary was the cause of all the problems. I don't think you guys will ever get over all this apparently.

    Parent

    This has been an extremely instructive (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:36:01 PM EST
    sub-thread - on many levels - not the least of which has been seeing what has been under the surface of ABG's ongoing refusal to hold Obama accountable for anything - and his need to wave "at this point in the Clinton presidency" polls in our faces at every opportunity; and you know when the "P-word" rears its ugly head, and is used as viciously as he used it, that whatever follows is likely to be just this side of irrational.  He's let that slip a time or two, so I had a feeling there was a lot of CDS going on, but I had no idea how deep it was.

    All I can say is that his recollection of what happened is not mine, and I don't care who he really is or what he thinks he knows better than anyone else, I know that a lot of people were disenfranchised, without their permission, the Democratic Party made it happen, Obama could have stopped it - and we know why the party did what it did, and why Obama didn't do what he could have done, don't we?

    What matters to where we are now is not what happened in 2008, but the decisions that have been made since - and that is owned 100% by Barack Obama.  No one named Clinton made him do anything he's done, so my suggestion would be for ABG to let go of the primaries - his guy won, for heaven's sake! - and deal with now.

    There's nothing worse than an ungracious winner, lol.

    Parent

    What's driving this (none / 0) (#182)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:51:04 PM EST
    IMO is the fact that many things the P*** said about Obama has come to be true. He really doesn't have what it takes to be president. Just my two cents 'cause otherwise I don't think he would be as angry as he is. And also, I think he's scared. If there's a lot of people who think like we do on this board, then that's a lot of people who are going to sit home in 2012.

    Parent
    Then why were other (none / 0) (#185)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 07:56:04 PM EST
    states that violated the rules not punished with loss of their votes?  You really do NOT know the basic facts.  

    Parent
    He WILL have a hard time in MI (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:10:44 PM EST
    High unemployment, a Republican governor who, although put forth an unpopular budget, is not beholden to or crazy like the wingers.

    Macomb County, Michigan is the home and epicenter of the Reagan Democrats.  Guess what?  They're back in full force.  

    Then you have the whole west side of the state, where lots of fundies live.

    The Upper Peninsula is mostly rural, and like western PA, where they "cling" to their guns and religion.

    He will have a very hard time in MI in 2012, barring a miracle.

    Parent

    What part of jobs does this (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:27:07 PM EST
    President and his advisors not understand?

    I just don't get it at all.  Did they really think that staggeringly high unemployment was going to be okay.  Did they not understand that unemployed people have a lot of free time on their hands to watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh?

    We are back to Democrats running the show who don't see the value in fighting for votes on every square inch of this country.  They write off whole swaths of people thinking that somehow those people are isolated from poisoning their well.  The reality is that if only 10% of the country is unemployed then nearly 100% of the country is going to feel the effects of that deficit.  They act like it is just the unemployed people, but those unemployed people have families who are supporting them, friends who worry about them, people who count on them and are suffering as a result.

    What part of this extremely simple situation does the Democratic Party Leadership not get?  It is so frustrating to have watched them blow this opportunity to not only do right by the country, but also to have likely grown the party as a result.

    Parent

    I think you should run (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:28:46 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:29:57 PM EST
    Obama is clueless on economics and all his advisors are supply siders so that's a huge part of the problem. They really see themselves as impotent on the job situation like they do on most every other issue it seems. Even Obama said that the new deal couldn't be done again. Yes, we can't should be his motto.

    Parent
    I don't think that they see themselves (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:47:32 PM EST
    as impotent at all.  That's just a ruse - a dodge - a way to avoid valid scrutiny of their misguided decision not to pursue a jobs initiative.  The trickledown was supposed to be the answer to the jobs problem; and we're all still waiting for that fairy tale to come true....

    Parent
    This would be a much stronger point (none / 0) (#19)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:44:30 PM EST
    if not made the same week that we learned of the best job report in 3 years.

    This feels a lot like what happened when Bush pronounced with absolute certainty that we'd find WMDs even as the first reports of empty warehouses were coming in.

    Perhaps it would be wise to wait a while before calling his economic policies a failure.

    Or don't.

    The more wrong his detractors look, the better he looks.

    Parent

    The WMD is the budget (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:48:45 PM EST
    as most people (even Ezra) agree:

    But there are some dark clouds. The jobs report could've been better. If not for the 30,000 jobs the public sector lost, we'd have created 222,000 jobs. So it's worth worrying that the House GOP is pushing a spending bill that economist Mark Zandi says will cost 700,000 jobs and Ben Bernanke says will cost "a couple hundred thousand" jobs. Zandi's estimate is high enough to wipe out this jobs report and a few more like it.

    The most important thing for not only the economy, but also the long-term deficit, is that we get unemployment down, and fast. When businesses begin hiring again, that'll mean more revenue rushing into state and federal coffers, it'll mean gains in the stock market, it'll mean lower social spending through programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. Sharp spending cuts may save us some money, but that doesn't mean they're a good deal, at least right now. What we need at the moment is more jobs reports like this one -- businesses need to be convinced that this is a recovery, not merely a good month. Anything that might get in the way should wait until we've had a few of them in a row.



    Parent
    You know what? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:50:11 PM EST
    the sad thing is that I've been more right than wrong w/r/t Obama. All my predictions of him being weak and ineffectual have come to be seen by many more people.

    Parent
    My friend, I respect your game (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:52:30 PM EST
    But there hasn't been a jobs report in our lifetimes that wasn't "revised", always downward and always quietly, a few months later.  

    The larger problem, the elephant on the footstool, is that our entire economic system has been exposed as largely fraudulent, and no one anywhere near the levers of power seems to have the slightest interest in genuinely doing the hard and dirty work of cleaning up the mess, restructuring the system with equitable rules, or doing much of anything. We're still all expected to play a game against folks in whose favor the rules continue to be wildly rigged. In other words, we are all still expected to be sacrificial lambs for the more deserving class of people.

    We have been sold out. And we cannot bear to believe the extent of it.

    Parent

    "Best jobs report in 3 years" (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:54:29 PM EST
    Do you realize how ridiculous that phrase is?

    Parent
    That's Exactly What I Was Thinking (none / 0) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:07:27 PM EST
    I was also thinking that every time unemployment apps go down one week, the next week boom, numbers back to their usual, and then some.  Ditto for all good new concerning the economy, once in a while there is an anomaly, but it never sticks.

    Parent
    Except (1.00 / 1) (#67)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:13:26 PM EST
    you are completely wrong and it looks like a broader trend.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0147e2ffc108970b-pi

    I am struggling to determine the best way to argue in an environment where facts don't count.

    Parent

    Stop the BS (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:17:23 PM EST
    "The facts don;t count?" You just don't like the facts that are brought to your attention.

    You invite insults when you make comments like that.

    You still have not answered my question about what the Obama Administration thought unemployment would be now in January 2009.

    Parent

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    I am struggling to determine the best way to argue in an environment where facts don't count.

    That's always been such a problem for you.

    BTW -

    we're at 8.9% unemployment, best in years

    Actually, it's only the best since April, 2009, as long as you use the seasonally adjusted figures and/or don't factor in all of the people who have given up in their search for a job.

    But "best in years" does sound better.

    Parent

    We (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:48:02 PM EST
    heard about "the best job report" before and we heard the "summer of recovery" that never happened. Get back to me when when we are really on our way to recovery and not just another blip.

    Parent
    yes (none / 0) (#20)
    by dandelion on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:47:26 PM EST
    It really shows, I think, that Obama, whatever he studied at college and law school, didn't study economics.  (And I question how much history he studied, given his comments about FDR.)  I cringe every time he speaks of the govt. "going broke."  Even Bernanke admitted that it is impossible for a govt. sovereign in its own currency to go broke.  

    I also cringe, though, when people say that Obama just brought in all Clinton re-treads.  Sure, he brought in Summers et al.  But Clinton also had Stiglitz and Reich -- those voices or voices like theirs are nowhere in Obama's world of advisors.  He's truly only getting advice from one side, the Chicago School side.

    And certainly he's not reaching out to any of the new thinkers at all -- I doubt he's even heard of Modern Monetary Theory.

    Parent

    I also think that Clinton could separate the wheat (none / 0) (#65)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    from the shaff.  When Clinton became president in 1993 the Republicans had been in power for sixteen of the last 20 years so there was a dearth of seasoned talent for him to pick from.  And if one looks at results they certainly weren/t too bad.

    Parent
    The "Party" (none / 0) (#187)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:01:09 PM EST
    seems to be favoring the sources of big campaign $ rather than the sources of votes.  Latest polls show BHO in trouble -- approval rating falls to 46%.  

    I personally believe that Michigan is not the only state to go Dem in 2008 in which the Dems will have trouble in 2012; and I'd start with writing off Ohio.  

    Parent

    jbindc (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:48:38 PM EST
    I have to respectfully disagree on this:

    a Republican governor who, although put forth an unpopular budget, is not beholden to or crazy like the wingers

    Snyder, IMO, is as loony as the rest and maybe even worse.  He may actually be far more dangerous.

    His 'Emergency Managers' bill will allow him to appoint a czar to go into a community and remove elected local public officials including city councils, mayors, school board members, cancel union contracts, etc.  In effect the czar would arbitrarily run local governments and/or school districts.  This comes after his budget proposal to cut statutory state funds for local governments.  A set up.  

    His budget includes cuts in K-12 education, higher education, elimination of the state's EITC, cuts business taxes by 1.8 billion while raising taxes by 1 billion on modest and low income people.  Some types of businesses will pay zero taxes.

    He's laid off human services workers at a time when they're most needed.  He'll likely make other cuts in public employment because there's still, no surprise, a billion plus shortfall in the state budget which wouldn't exist had business taxes not been cut.  His budget calls for a 1/10th point cut in the state's flat rate income tax.  Fat lot of good that'll do except lose another 200-250 million in needed revenue.

    IMO, Snyder is out of control just like the wingers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.  He asked his party to eliminate several gross union busting bills in the hopper only after seeing the polls that disapproved of Walker's activities in Wisconsin.  Before the polls he was Jake with those bills.  

    Remember, Snyder was the worst kind of CEO.  I have a feeling he's only warming up.


    Parent

    I should rephrase (none / 0) (#105)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:52:47 PM EST
    He doesn't COME OFF like one of the crazies.  He's not a fire-breathing vocal social conservative, from what I can see.  Not to say he doesn't hold those views, but he's all about economics and fiscal policy.  Now you may not agree with his budget actions (I don't), but he doesn't come across as a Mike Huckabee, Michelle Bachmann, or Sarah Palin (yes, I said, the "S" word).

    Parent
    Yeah (none / 0) (#117)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:26:50 PM EST
    and with Bachmann, Palin, Huckabee,etc.

    That's putting the bar pretty low.  Hell, right on the ground.

    With Snyder, my contention is that he may be the most dangerous of the lot.

    Snyder is hard core Conservative, a business man without any understanding of what government must do and he has both houses of the legislature.

    Parent

    Welllll (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:23:58 PM EST
    in fact the Tea Party is not that large, in terms of protests.  The one thing that analysis is missing is that lobbying works, FoxNews works, and our news media is atrocious.  I guess the gamble w/the Netroots to some extent was that changing the Beltway and working from inside the Beltway had a higher ROI than traditional organizing.

    Broken Record (none / 0) (#14)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:33:08 PM EST
    I know I sound like one, but my compulsive disorder compels me to counter this.

    You cannot be turned down for a preexisting condition.

    You cannot be fired from the military for being gay.

    You cannot rely on the executive branch to defend DOMA.

    You cannot have your unemployment benefits dropped for (relatively speaking) longer than any time in recent memory.

    You can find more women on the supreme court than at any time in history.

    Etc.

    BTD's position only makes sense in a universe where some of the most incredible democratic accomplishments of the last 20-30 years are ignored.

    I refuse to let people pretend as if nothing happened the last 2 years.

    This post is about the deficit and taxes (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:48:48 PM EST
    Even if I agreed with your assessment of the achievements you list, and frankly, I don't, your comment is not to the point.

    Parent
    "You cannot ..." (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:25:46 PM EST
    ... afford the health insurance you're required to buy.

    You cannot have a government option to purchase the health insurance you can't afford, despite Obama's promises to the contrary.

    You cannot have a bankruptcy judge modify the terms of your mortgage, despite Obama's promises.

    You cannot be assured that that the NSA/FBI/CIA will need a warrant and probable cause to listen to your phone calls.

    You cannot buy cheaper prescription drugs from outside the US, despite Obama's promises to the contrary.

    You CAN be held indefinitely in Guantanamo, despite Obama's promises to close it with a year.

    You can, if you're wealthy, rest assured that your Bush tax cuts are safe, despite Obama's promises to the contrary.

    You can, if you're an oil company, stop worrying about a windfall profits tax to fund alternative energy programs.  You can also stop worrying about offshore drilling moratoriums.

    ... and on, and on, and on ...

    Parent

    DADT still in effect (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:43:57 PM EST
    In December, Congress voted to end the 17-year old "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibited military service by anyone who was openly gay or bisexual. President Obama applauded the vote, which he had long urged, and signed the bill on Dec. 22.
    ...
    The bill passed by Congress did not actually repeal "don't ask, don't tell," but only created a mechanism for doing so. The policy will not end until 60 days after the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that the Department of Defense "has prepared the necessary policies and regulations" to carry out the change, and that the shift will not damage the ability of the military to fight or recruit. Until then, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 expressly states that the old policy "shall remain in effect."
    ...
    Meanwhile, the administration has yet to announce it is ready to start the 60-day repeal process; it has said the word might come in August. The military is conducting training in the new policies.
    ...
    And although the Department of Defense tightened the rules under which people could be discharged for violations of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Mr. Sarvis said that his group was working with several service members who are currently under investigation, and that discharges were still possible. And that, he said, is "unfortunate." link


    Parent
    Broken record is not (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:07:17 PM EST
    a problem, spinning a record is another story.

    Parent
    That's not a counter (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:37:41 PM EST
    what do you think the next 6 years are going to be like?

    Also

    9.5% unemployment.

    Parent

    state variation (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by dandelion on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:51:19 PM EST
    I think it's going to matter too how uneven that unemployment figure is distributed.  U-6 at 21% in California, for instance.  High numbers in Michigan and Ohio.  The disaster in Florida.  These are big big states in the electoral college.

    Then there's the foreclosure crisis.  Two million foreclosures estimated for this year.

    And also the age breakdown in unemployment.  I think it's going to matter a great deal that youth unemployment is so high.  They're a fickle voting bunch.

    Parent

    I fully (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:00:46 PM EST
    expect the youth vote to not show up in 2012 unless things change dramatically. It's not like they're going to vote for the GOP.

    Parent
    The next six years (none / 0) (#24)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:48:04 PM EST
    In what respect, taxes, the economy, the GDP, unemployment, oil prices, income inequality, what?

    The whole point is that pointing at one issue (taxes) and arguing that it defines success or failure is short sighted IMHO.

    Personally, unemployment is my biggest short term issue. And your number is wrong:

    we're at 8.9% unemployment, best in years. Not great but we are moving in the right direction and have been fairly consistently:

    "The nation's unemployment rate - the result of a separate but simultaneously released survey of households - was down by a tick to 8.9%. February marks the first month since April '09 where we've seen the rate below 9%.

    Many economists and folks on Wall Street have been doubting the steep drop in the unemployment rate which started in November (it was 9.8% back then), but today's results should remove that doubt."

    Link

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:49:36 PM EST
    "we're at 8.9% unemployment, best in years."

    You have got to be kidding me.

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:55:33 PM EST
    "we're at 8.9% unemployment, best in years."

    Except, no.

    As ABG likes to point out, if Obama can lower the unemployment to just 1% point than it was when he took over, he will be successful.  

    Too bad that means he'd have to get it to 6.5%

    Parent

    BTD (none / 0) (#42)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:56:27 PM EST
    In all seriousness, what exactly are you expecting realistically in the midst of a global crises of the proportions Obama faced?

    If you believe that Obama could have had us at 6 or 7 percent unemployment, you show me a country where th unemployment rate dropped 3% in two years.

    Let me save you some time because you can't.  This recession was powerful, it was deep and it was largely interconnected, and there has not been an industrialized nation of size on the planet that has been able to put up the completely unprecedented job creation numbers that you seem to demand.

    Not one.

    So before scoffing at 8.9% (which is obviously high and something we have got to work on), let's keep some perspective on what is possible in the real world, as opposed to the one of economic hypos in which the US economy isn't tied to other economies globally and ham strung by impossible to quickly reverse policies.

    Parent

    Here's a question for you (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:58:24 PM EST
    What did the Obama Administration expect unemployment to be now in January 2009?

    Here's another question, what do YOU expect it to be in January 2012?

    Parent

    Woah (none / 0) (#50)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:00:53 PM EST
    hello strawman

    If you believe that Obama could have had us at 6 or 7 percent unemployment, you show me a country where th unemployment rate dropped 3% in two years.

    No one actually thinks that.  Show me anyone who thinks that.

    More realistically:

    What If The Stimulus Had Been Bigger

    Parent

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:07:31 PM EST
    During the Reagan Presidency, unemployment went from 10.7% in 1982 to 7.6% in 1984.

    But that was a Fed driven recession intended to wring out inflation. We are in a zero bound situation in which the only way to significantly drive down unemployment is through massive fiscal stimulus.

    Also, the unemployment rate dropped significantly between 1993 and 1996.

    Parent

    Moreover, after Carter appointee (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:32:03 PM EST
    Volker ratcheted up the interest rates, there was still an industrial economy in the Midwest that could quickly hire back all those Union workers.....

    If only that were the case today.....

    And huge Defense spending in California created many middle class jobs in Long Beach and other environs in California.....

    Parent

    Excellent MKS (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:42:54 PM EST
    Happy that someone pointed to the 12,000 elephant in the room.

    A part of the problem is that there isn't any place to go.

    Foolish trade laws and from Obama we get - a Korean NAFTA and his weaselly statement that it'll "sustain" 75,000 jobs.

    Sustaining stevedores to unload crates stamped Made in Korea and drivers to truck the stuff around the country.

    On top of that is the "Deal" that'll continue to send money out of the country seeking high returns in east Asia.

    Parent

    Come on dude. The 9.8% to 9.0% drop in (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Buckeye on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:07:54 PM EST
    November was 100% due to calculation change.  Private sector job growth lagged population increase.  We have had only one good jobs reports (this last one) and that was nothing to write home about.

    I have read the working age population is going to grow over the next 18 months by 1.8 million.  Add to that an estimated 700,000 jobs cut from state, local, and federal government and we are going to have to add 2.5 million jobs to hold serve on the unemployment rate.  Do you see an economy with the staggering demand shortfall, austerity measures from governments, and no help to main street chaning the current trajectory?

    Parent

    My # wasn't seasonally adjusted (none / 0) (#37)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:54:27 PM EST
    And the question is whether or not we are in a Lost Decade.  

    Parent
    lilburro (none / 0) (#52)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    The answer to your question is yes.

    Now the more relevant question is whether this is GLOBALLY a lost decade.

    The answer to that question is yes.

    If you understand that you can place a proper perspective on the relative effectiveness of our actions.  

    Take the UK.  Don't look at the absolute numbers.  Look at the shape of the two graphs:

    US

    UK

    Parent

    The problem is structural now? (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:08:56 PM EST
    Ridiculous.

    the problem is a massive decline in aggregate demand due to the financial meltdown.

    The problem is the unwillingness of governments, especially the US government, to implement the proper policies.

    Your analysis is 100% incorrect.

    Parent

    What? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    Who says we are "globally in a lost decade"?  

    The UK's unemployment is rising because of new austerity measures implemented by their conservative government.  So get excited about that US budget.

    Parent

    6 years? (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:50:07 PM EST
    Maybe 2

    Parent
    None of this (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:42:48 PM EST
    is going to matter because Obama screwed up job number one: the economy. All of that except the supreme court can be undone by a GOP President in 2012. The HCR is already being slowly rendered useless by the GOP.

    Parent
    Uhm (none / 0) (#27)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:48:55 PM EST
    the economy is getting better and has been consistently for months.  It's just happening slowly.

    Parent
    The economy is not improving in (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:07:37 PM EST
    any way that helps the average citizen.  

    Parent
    and Obama is not going to lose in 2012 (none / 0) (#28)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:49:26 PM EST
    Probably not (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:52:43 PM EST
    But Obama's reelection is a means, not an end. Just as his election was.

    did you read my post?

    Parent

    That seems likely (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    The more interesting issue is not whether Obama is re-elected (he is favored now) but what that would mean for progressives.

    Wisconsin shows that blogs and unions and organized progressives have a shot at influencing policy.....keeping my fingers crossed that the Cheeseheads can hold on to win via the re-call or threat thereof....

    Putting pressure on Obama has a chance of succeeding....

    Parent

    It doesn't mean anything for progressives (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:19:57 PM EST
    1. Obama is who he is.
    2. If he wins (still a big "if" at this point, as we don't have a Republican right now and everything out there is just noise)
    3. More than likely he will be dealing with a completely Republican Congress.


    Parent
    Yeah (none / 0) (#121)
    by cal1942 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    There is a slight possibility of influencing the Democratic Party or perhaps increasing the number of progressives but no chance to influence Obama.

    As you say.  He is who he is.


    Parent

    Please, pretty please, Mr. President will you (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:52:42 PM EST
    do something to create jobs. Please rest assured that you have my vote regardless of any thing you do but I could really use a job.

    Progressives normal tactic for putting pressure on Obama. :-(  

     

    Parent

    The way to pressure Obama is to let (none / 0) (#125)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:58:03 PM EST
    him know that he does not have the votes in the Senate to:

      1.  Change Social Security
      2.  Pass GOP issues....

      The way to pressure the Senators is through  the grass roots....

    Schumer said some good things about the budget today.....Supporting that kind of thing can work.

    I recognize that you don't believe the Senate Dems will stand firm, either.

    But I disagree and think it can be done.  It has been done in the recent past.

    Parent

    You are assuming (none / 0) (#128)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:04:12 PM EST
    wrongly, I think, that Senate Dems are going to matter one whit after 2012.

    I think they are going to be in the minority, so it won't really matter what they want or what they think.  Obama can try to influence them (assuming HE's still around) all he wants - it isn't going to matter.

    Parent

    Schumer had some good ideas (none / 0) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:19:28 PM EST
    on the tax extensions. IIRC he put the GOP in an uncomfortable position on protecting the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaire. Obama went over his head and negotiated tax cuts with the GOP which were even more generous to the rich than the Bush cuts and raised taxes on the poor.

    Obama has had no problem getting votes to pass Republican agenda items. Once again there are 15 Dem Senators that would be on board with cuts to SS and Medicare. Of course, they would not be defined as benefits cuts but ways to strengthen the system.

    I recognize that you don't believe the Senate Dems will stand firm, either.

    But I disagree and think it can be done.  It has been done in the recent past.
     

    The Dems stood firm when Bush wanted to cut SS benefits. Now under Obama, key Democratic Senators are out selling cuts to the system. They definitely didn't stand firm on extending the tax cuts rather they voted to make the tax cuts to the rich even more generous. So please put me in the category of "I will believe it when I see it."

    Parent

    The Democrats (none / 0) (#133)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 03:10:41 PM EST
    are Oliver Twist, and Obama is Mr. Limbkins.  (Tim Geithner is Mr. Bumble.)

    'Please, sir, I want some more.'

    The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

    'What!' said the master at length, in a faint voice.

    'Please, sir,' replied Oliver, 'I want some more.'

    The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

    The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

    'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!'

    There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

    'For MORE!' said Mr. Limbkins. 'Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?'

    'He did, sir,' replied Bumble.



    Parent
    I'm not so sure (none / 0) (#190)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:12:22 PM EST
    If the Repubs nominate someone who comes off as sensible and has a record of reasonable policies -- however touted as conservative moves -- the Repubs may have a very good chance of winning in 2012.  

    Parent
    I think (none / 0) (#192)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:15:55 PM EST
    that's why the GOP is pushing Romney. He's really slick and can fool people and they are smart enough to know that a Bachman or a Palin or Newt can't win.


    Parent
    I think Huntsman (none / 0) (#193)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:18:35 PM EST
    would be a better bet for the Repubs

    Parent
    Yeah (none / 0) (#194)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:25:41 PM EST
    but he's not running and Romney is probably the closest to him. A MA repub will be seen as a moderate and not "scary" like most of the GOP is.

    Parent
    I'm not so sure Huntsman will (none / 0) (#195)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:28:15 PM EST
    not run.  & Huntsman has some appeal to the right wing of the party.  Romney came off as so insincere in 2008 and as such an opportunist, that he bombed in the primaries. I don't see how he'd do better this time.

    Parent
    Because (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:37:53 PM EST
    he has no competition at least as far as I can see. He's the "front runner" only because all the other candidates are sincerely, truly down right awful.

    Parent
    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    has never had to actually run for reelection in a competitive situation in his entire life so I don't know how you can predict that. it's not 2008 anymore. I mean who would have thought that the GOP could make such gains 2 years after being completely wiped out? He's going to have to answer for all the decisions he's made this time and by trying to please people who will never vote for him he's been playing a losing game.

    Parent
    Ga6thDem.....you are Correct ! (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:59:05 PM EST
    I've watched Obama through 5 election cycles starting with his first run in Illinois and the one competitive race he faced was against Bobby Rush....he lost. He will be held accountable in 2012.

    Parent
    And the media (none / 0) (#191)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 08:13:37 PM EST
    is no longer the President's fan club

    Parent
    I pray that Obama will demonstrate more (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:26:24 PM EST
    leadership in his next term.  And I do hope he wins which will probably happen unless a dark horse like Mayor Bloomberg appears on the scene.  Then all bets are off.  In another thread you accused Anne of being a sorehillaryloser in her critique of Obama.  I think it may have more to do with the Obama primary team accusing Hillary of being a corporatist in every breath. Now we see a real corporatist and it is hypocrisy.  Democrats thought they wouldn't get Hillary's corporatism (who know how she would have acted?) but now we do and it hurts.

    Parent
    Donald Trump (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:28:20 PM EST
    is probably going to be running instead of Bloomberg. I don't know if that would cost Obama or not. Depends on who the GOP candidate is.

    Parent
    The Donald won't run (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:34:27 PM EST
    He is just raising his profile.  Pretty smart actually.

    Parent
    Donald Trump with all of his (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 02:54:49 PM EST
    millions cannot be trusted to pick a decent hair style so I wouldn't trust him to make good decisions for the country. :-)

    Parent
    Donald Trump? (none / 0) (#89)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:33:34 PM EST
    Are you kidding.  He is a joke as far as I am concerned.  But there are some serious non political people who may see our country needing a different perspective and could step forward and make a splash due to his/her celebrity.  Who could that be?

    Parent
    I wouldn't discount the Donald (none / 0) (#92)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:34:53 PM EST
    Jess Ventura won, after all.

    Parent
    Yes, you do sound (none / 0) (#93)
    by the capstan on Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 01:34:57 PM EST
    like a broken record.

    And until you quit harping on 'what Obama's done,' and report on the condition of the very poorest and most defenceless of our citizens, I, for one, will not listen.

    When you mentioned 'the black guy in office,' I reminded myself that that fellow is a half white guy.  Neither race gets the whole credit or blame, regardless of what some racist
    has to say.  One man sits in the seat (may I amend that to say 'sits in the seat of the scornful'?) of power.  And if he got there based on a high wind of hope and change instead of long-held principles of equality, I guess that's the fault of the so-called party and its loyal constituency.

    Parent