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The High Pitched Cry Of Democratic Values

Rep. Peter DeFazio said:

I have been very unequivocal, said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon. No more tax cuts.We have the economy that tax cuts give us. And its pretty pathetic, isnt it?

MisterMix of Balloon Juice objects:

[L]ets not forget the high-pitched cry of the safe-seat absolutist [. . .] Faced with the real possibility of losing the Presidency and both houses of Congress, in the worst recession in most of their lifetimes, this is how the Democratic Party reacts to the least objectionable piece of legislation thats been sent to the hill in a long time. Im sure Future President Perry, Future Majority Leader McConnell, and Continuing Speaker Boehner are all laughing right now.

I suppose some might call that a "pragmatic" analysis. I'm not one of them. Running against the Bush economic record, as DeFazio seems to suggest, seems like a pretty good political notion. YMMV.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Trying to find ways to destroy the (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:53:24 AM EST
    new hard earned bipartisanship I see.  You are so predictable :)

    Plus, didn't we see the other day (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:59:16 AM EST
    that a "safe seat" is not safe if the people don't like the message of the candidate? Maybe we would have more "safe seats" if the message was better.

    Running against the Bush economic record, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:33:31 PM EST

    The "sell by" date on that has expired.

    Might want to check that date, again (none / 0) (#17)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:12:51 PM EST
    While Obama has his share of the blame, most people know that it was Bush that drove us off the cliff.

    ... And more Americans still blame former President George W. Bush rather than Obama for the economic distress. Some 31 percent put the bulk of the blame on Obama, while 51 percent point to his Republican predecessor.


    Parent
    The argument is getting old (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:57:14 PM EST
    It's been 3 years.  The economy was sinking in the toilet long before Obama got the nomination, let alone got elected.  He knew what he was getting into.

    I have no patience for the argument "But, but, Obama inherited this mess." Yes, he did inherit some of it.  So what?  He asked for the job anyway - no more whining and excuses just DO something about it!  

    Parent

    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 03:52:53 PM EST
    ... particularly given how Obama wasted the first two years passing a POS health insurance reform bill and set a precedent by caving again and again.  That being said, my point was that the argument that Bush is (to a great extent) responsible for tanking the economy hasn't "expired" - at least not yet.  This could easily change by next November if the economy stays in the tank (or worsens), as I expect it to.

    YMMV.

    Parent

    Sorry, whenever I see that headline I think of (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:53:12 PM EST
    this:

    Tell me, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?


    And I keep hearing, "The Low Spark of (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:22:58 PM EST
    High-Heeled Boys."

    Which I now cannot get out of my head.

    Oh, well.

    Parent

    me, too! (none / 0) (#29)
    by sj on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:36:31 PM EST
    A contest to cite the most obscure (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:14:29 PM EST
    reference!  So mind-expanding to read Talk Left.

    Parent
    I don't think tax policy ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:14:53 PM EST
    is the issue people are concerned about these days.

    When you don't have a job, taxes really don't enter into it.

    And it wasn't tax cuts that got us into this problem.  It was a 30+ year culture of deregulation.  And the attendant fallout from that.

    It kind of was (none / 0) (#30)
    by sj on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:46:43 PM EST
    Or at least was a contributing factor in the off-shoring of American manufacturing and other jobs.  Which is hand-in-hand with lack of regulations both here AND abroad.

    But AFAIK you're right on how much emphasis people put on tax policy -- even employed people.  They watch.  They shake their heads.  They take big breaths.  They walk away.

    That's pretty much the MO of my colleagues when discussing the economy.

    Did the Robber Barons learn nothing from Robespierre?


    Parent

    Here's the test: (none / 0) (#31)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 05:41:47 PM EST
    Leave tax policy where it is and put banking regulations back to where they were in 1968.

    And all kinds of good things would happen, including a massive natural and more equal redistribution of wealth.

    Do the same with tax policy.  Some good stuff would happen.  Some lower income would benefit from less regressive taxes. But the changes would be seismic.

    Parent

    For the record, DeFazio's seat (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 02:18:13 PM EST
    should not be taken for granted. Yes, his district (OR-4) includes Eugene, home of U of Oregon, but it also includes a huge swath of more conservative rural Oregon. And as bad as the Great Recession has been in Portland and other Oregon cities, it has been horrendous in the rural counties.

    The people in DeFazio's district are suffering. In 2008 they voted for Obama because they knew thing shad to change, and they were hoping for a change for the better. Well, that is not what Obama delivered. The fact that now these normally Republican voters (even if registered as non-affiliated, they usually vote GOP), are angry and discouraged should not surprise anyone.

    And DeFazio has been quite consistent in his criticisms of Obama's policies. He vocally opposed and voted against the first stimulus because it was too small and too tax-oriented, and because of that vote and criticism he earned the wrath of Obama. He sits on the transportation committee, has a very good idea of just how bad a state of our infrastructure is in, and has been calling for greater transportation spending for years.

    In this last election Peter was challenged by, yes, a Tea Party crazy, a Tea Party crazy who was funded to the tune of millions by a very wealthy  out-of-state donor who had decided to commit himself to Peter's defeat.

    I don't always agree with Peter, but he is committed to his constituents, committed to actually helping the poor/working/middle class, and unafraid to speak his mind.

    Oh, and the only seat in this state that could considered a "safe" seat is Earl Blumenauer's (OR-3). And I don't think Earl should be taking anything for granted.

    running against the bush (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:26:37 AM EST
    and current republican house majority economic record should be a no brainer. it should be.

    It is pragmatic (none / 0) (#4)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 11:52:53 AM EST
    Americans should be told this problem was decades in the making.  Blaming Bush only works for so long.  For us to continue w/the same "look over there" nonsense the Republicans use to distract the populace from the very hard decisions we as a nation need to make is penny wise and pound foolish.

    We want to play the game like Republicans (i.e. hardball tactics) but we fail to master one of the basic principles.  Wanna control the narrative? Don't eat your own in public.

    It's pathetic and so predictable.  I will say this - if this president loses, things will not go well for the Democratic Party.

    A problem that was decades in the (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:40:13 PM EST
    making isn't solved by pushing many of the same things that contributed to the problem; tax cuts didn't create jobs when Bush was implementing them, and they're not going to create jobs on Obama's watch, either.  

    Obama's problem, the Democratic party's problem - and most of all, our problem - is that Obama picked the wrong presidents to emulate; while he would never admit that he is at all aligned with Bush, his policies suggest he is, and not just on the economy.  Obama is more Reagan than Clinton and more Hoover than FDR.

    That's the real problem, that and the fact that I think a lot of people are beginning to feel that they are going to lose regardless of which party takes the WH in 2012.

    One of the reasons it might be so hard to get out the right message is that it's hard to make bad policy sound good, and the fracturing that seems to be increasing among members of Congress is, I think, the result of them realizing that being too closely aligned with Obama is going to hurt them.

    I'd like to feel more sympathy for the angst that is overtaking our esteemed members of Congress if I didn't also realize that if they were more concerned with whether we had jobs, they might not have to be so worried about their own.

    Parent

    Disagree (none / 0) (#20)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:16:18 PM EST
    Here's what you said:

    pushing many of the same things that contributed to the problem; tax cuts didn't create jobs when Bush was implementing them, and they're not going to create jobs on Obama's watch, either

    There's something like 400+ sections in the bill proposed by the administration, less than 10 deal w/taxes or ideas that would be considered Republican.  That doesn't sound like "many" to me.  YMMV.

    Parent

    What about all the proposed cuts (none / 0) (#32)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:41:53 PM EST
    to Medicare?  This is warmed over Repub policy. And it will never pass.  Waste of time at best, too little too late in fact.  

    Parent
    So we should be for tax cuts because (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:21:26 PM EST
    "the problems is decades in the making?"

    Or "don't eat our own in public?"

    Does that apply only in one direction?

    It is pathetic and predictable.

    I agree.

    Parent

    You should be for tax cuts that are targeted (none / 0) (#11)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:55:45 PM EST
    to those that may be able to take advantage of them, yes.  Particularly if you largely agree w/the other pieces of the proposal.  Even more so if it's counter balanced against increases on those you think should pay more.

    Even if you are not, undercutting your side in public on every single issue is not a good negotiating tactic.

    Parent

    I look at the total package (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:58:26 PM EST
    In my view, the payroll tax cut is ineffective stimulus (it's not "targetted" you know - it applies to everyone and indeed it favors the rich who pay more in FICA taxes than the poor) and a risky proposition that will have "spending offsets" attached to it most likely.

    It is, in a vacuum, not terrible policy right now.

    But we do not live in a vacuum.

    Parent

    And it does nothing, nada, zip, for (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:20:46 PM EST
    anyone who doesn't have a freakin' job; it doesn't put a dime money in their pockets, and it's not doing anything to create the jobs that will.

    The extension of the payroll tax cut is, really, the "suspenders" Obama's afraid to take off because he fears the "belt" won't hold the country's economic pants up all by itself.  That may be a valid reason to do it, but let's not kid ourselves that it's going to stimulate anything.

    Parent

    Favors the rich and not the poor (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:36:28 PM EST
    Going to the store and buying a loaf of bread favors the rich and not the poor.  That is how our society is and it is not going to change overnight.  

    The only way we can move toward a society that feels any different is to fully support those pols that are more inclined to be aligned w/that thinking and give them the time and support they need to enact provisions that demonstrate good judgement.

    That payroll tax cut may favor the rich, but it also gives more than just the rich a few more bucks in their pocket in a time when we are trying keep our heads above water.

    Parent

    Favors the rich and not the poor (none / 0) (#24)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:36:43 PM EST
    Going to the store and buying a loaf of bread favors the rich and not the poor.  That is how our society is and it is not going to change overnight.  

    The only way we can move toward a society that feels any different is to fully support those pols that are more inclined to be aligned w/that thinking and give them the time and support they need to enact provisions that demonstrate good judgement.

    That payroll tax cut may favor the rich, but it also gives more than just the rich a few more bucks in their pocket in a time when we are trying keep our heads above water.

    Parent

    Let me add (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    that those in favor of extending the payroll tax cut are NOT on my side specifically. I am on DeFazio's side on that one.

    Parent
    Disagree. (none / 0) (#6)
    by seabe on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    Use small links please (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 12:45:52 PM EST
    Also, too, that post has nothing to do with mine.

    FTR, no legislation is going to pass, small, big, adequate or inadequate.

    Parent

    I disagree that it has nothing to do w/it (none / 0) (#14)
    by seabe on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:03:39 PM EST
    You're posting about DeFazio essentially undercutting the president's message (whether that's good or bad is beside the point). The point here is to challenge Democrats who are doing that, whether it's DeFazio or Carper. Perhaps DeFazio is correct, but it is absolutely ridiculous for progressive activists to allow someone else that's included in mistermix's point -- the Blue Dogs -- to be eating the president right there in public, especially from the right wing in a BLUE STATE. And then yell at the president while ignoring those other people.

    Parent
    Is that TNC's post? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    Quote the part that you think says that. Cuz I disagree with your reading of his post.

    Parent
    here (none / 0) (#16)
    by seabe on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:09:22 PM EST
    The other day Tavis Smiley made the point that president's job plan didn't go far enough. I'd bet a lot of progressives concur and I think pushing the point is healthy, legitimate, essential and fair. But it's also healthy, legitimate, essential and fair to then ask, "What would make more progressive legislation possible?" That line of thinking has to confront the kind of statements and action by Democratic Senators who evidently feel little or no pressure from their progressive base.

    One of the reasons why I've harped on the "flying while brownish" series is because I think liberals are much more comfortable attacking whoever seems to hold the most power, and much less comfortable examining the power of the "weak," as well as the power that they, themselves, wield. Power confers responsibility. In evading the notion that citizenship in a democracy confers power, you also evade the notion that it confers responsibility. It's comforting to believe in a narrative of liberal "betrayal," to argue that the game is rigged in such a way that the Hippie-punchers always win.

    It's also pretty cynical.

    And then here in comments:

    I can't get over the fact that Carper is from Delaware. I'm not big on the whole "disrespect" narrative. But that strikes me as pretty blatant. How you come from a deep blue state, where your greatest threat is Christine O'Donnell, is beyond me.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but a serious political movement would have him in fear of speaking like that. The Tea Parties would be all over a senator from Alabama attacking the Ryan budget.



    Parent
    Not seeing it (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 01:14:27 PM EST
    "I'd bet a lot of progressives concur and I think pushing the point is healthy, legitimate, essential and fair."

    "Don't take this the wrong way, but a serious political movement would have him in fear of speaking like that." About CARPER. Not DeFazio.

    I'm thinking you are not understanding TNC here.

    Parent