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About those Republican candidates- Who gives a f&*#

The horse race coverage is in full stride now.  It’s been neck and neck for the last couple of months, along with a ridiculous number of debates.  First, one candidate is ahead, then another.  One opens a sizeable lead, only to fall back due to something he failed to keep hidden, or bad science.

Let’s take a look at some of these contenders, shall we?

Herman Cain- A businessman who presumably believed that the government should be run like a business.  He’s successful in his pizza biz, why not take that success to Pennsylvania Ave?  Well, for one thing, he’s not a politician and he’s made some really cringeworthy mistakes on the trail.  Not knowing China had nukes? The only thing positive about that is that he doesn’t seem to know anything about China.  Unlike Huntsman, but we’ll get to that in a sec.  And then there are the ladies.  You have to say that like Demitri Martin.  “Ladies“.  A man who thinks he can keep that a secret during a presidential campaign doesn’t have the master manipulator’s fibbing streak to match his gigantic ego.

Newt Gingrich- Everything you need to know about this guy is in his pamphlet on how to manipulate the public during a political campaign using words.  You don’t need to know anything else.

Mitt Romney- One word,”Bakelite“.

Michelle Bachmann- For all we know, she’s a stealth candidate.  She may only look like a fanatic.  She may only be faking her ignorance of how vaccines work.  She may not really mean what she says about destroying the social safety net.  She might really be a bra burning, pro-choice, feminazi who once she has attained power will usher in a new era of equality for women.  Don’t think this possibility hasn’t crossed Rush Limbaugh’s mind.

Rick Santorum- Googling his name doesn’t really tell you anything about him.  So, let me just say that he’s got a house in Penn Hills where I went to high school and he has a respectable number of children for a strict Roman Catholic, which means he has had sex at least seven times.  He probably would have gone to my grandparents’ church where I attended mass when I stayed with them.  I find this much physical proximity to Santorum unsettling.  {{shivver}}

Ok, who else we got?

Rick Perry- Is he really as stupid as he sounds?  He makes George W. Bush sound like mensa material.

Ron Paul- He named his kid “Rand”.  Fergawdssakes, people, RAND!

John Huntsman- another potential stealth candidate.  And a Mormon.  Where did all of these Mormons come from all of a sudden.  Former moderate Republican governor from Utah.  Also, a wealthy scion to a chemical company.  Who was appointed to be ambassador to China by Barack Obama.  What was he doing over there?  Trying to set up new ways to ship the STEM work overseas?  Seriously, I want to know why a guy whose family runs a chemical company was spending time in China on official US business, especially since we have seen a tidal wave of jobs flood there.  Do I trust him?  Not until I see what his mission was.  Cough it up.

Well, it’s not like I’m going to be voting Republican anyway.  It’s not that the candidates bother me so much, except for Newt who I suspect has a real talent for evil.  And not the kind of evil you may first suspect.  I mean evil on a world class scale.  Which is why fundagelical apocalyptic christians will flock to him.  They’ll overlook his infidelities and tax evasion.  The idea that he might be the catalyst that brings on Armageddon will make them breathe heavily and schedule appointments to have their nails done before The Rapture.

The problem isn’t with the candidates, it’s with Republican voters.  They’re not right.  I mean, they’re “tetched”, if you get my drift.  They cheer for misfortune and applaud for death.  They’re like the crowd at the Colliseum, shrieking in orgasmic frenzy for the blood of innocents who were stupid enough to get caught by the Romans.   And they’re motivated.  When it comes right down to it, they don’t really care all that much who their nominee is.  When they get the signal, they will vote in lockstep for whoever that person is.  That person’s job is to knock Obama out of the White House.  He might have faced this kind of opposition anyway but he made it easy for them to want to do it because he’s been so bad at his job.

The Republicans know it.  You know it.  The campaign operatives on both sides know it.  We can all see the train sliding off the tracks and can anticipate the wreck.  But the only party (as of today) that can avoid catastrophe is closing its eyes and praying.

Friday: Messaging

Forget Michelle Bachmann. Get these two guys.

The left blogosphere continues to spin its wheels.  It’s everyone else’s fault for the mess we’re in.

Digby has yet another post about Michelle Bachmann.  Can I just ask what the point of this exercise is?  Who is the target of this particular post?  None of the Clintonistas turned Tea Partiers are going to read it but if they do manage to pick up on it, it’s only going to make them love her more.  Are WE, the Democrats in Exile, the targets?  Please.  We know that Michelle Bachmann is a Republican nutcase.  We don’t need Digby to point this out.  We’d only vote for her to put a woman in office.  No, it doesn’t matter if she’s conservative just like it didn’t matter that Obama was one when he was elected to be the first African American president.  Oh, I’m only kidding (sort of).  I’m sure I can find a third party candidate to vote or write in Hillary.  For sure Obama is not getting my vote.  But would I really vote for Bachmann?  Hmmm, if a woman ever got to the top of the ticket in any major party, it would be very hard not to vote for her.  Even Digby might do it.  Ok, she wouldn’t but I could see her struggling with it in the voting booth.

In any case, going after the personal or mocking her intelligence is not scoring points with us.  We would much rather that people like Digby focus on her policies.  But let’s put logic aside, because that’s all that matters here.  Voting for Obama in the 2008 primary was about as illogical as voting for Bachmann now.  Yes, I mean that.  Dems who voted for Obama back in 2008 knew even less about him than we know about Bachmann today.  I take that back.  We knew that Obama admired Reagan.  But other than that, what legislative accomplishments did Obama have?  What was his record in the community at large?  Bachmann is a foster parent and has juggled a boatload of kids at one time while running for office, working as a tax attorney and suffering from migraines (Get rid of some of your committments, Michelle, like, oh, I don’t know, running for office?  Just sayin’.)  When it comes to sheer energy, committment and sticking to her principles, as whacked out crazy as they are, Michelle Bachmann whups Obama’s ass.

I predicted a couple of weeks ago that Bachmann would keep creeping up in the polls.  And you want to know why, Digby?  It’s because women hate people like us, the snooty, smartass lefty liberals who gave them Obama in place of the person they wanted to vote for.  Yes, I am including me among the smartass liberal set.  Regular women identify with that whole “I am a mother first” thingy, even if she spends most of her time politicking.  They’re sick to death of people like us shoving men in suits in their faces and then having those men screw their economic livelihoods behind their backs.  You can mock their lack of education (to your peril, IMHO) but they know how to balance their checkbooks, Digby, and they don’t like what they see.  No, they most certainly do not.  You can’t tell them there’s a recovery going on when they’re taking in all of their laid off grown up children.  They’re plotting revenge.  You don’t want to encourage them.

They know that Bachmann is out there.  They know she’s a Republican.  And they also know that the best way to stick it to the Democrats who screwed them over is to keep pumping her up.

So, why are we dumping on Michelle Bachmann?  Aren’t there looney, religiously conservative Republican men we can pick on?  Why, yes!  Yes, there are.  What about Mitt Romney and his Bakelite hair?  What about Huntsman?  Doesn’t anyone besides me think it’s weird that two of the right wing’s political aspirants are Mormans and that Glenn Beck, Tea Partier master of ceremonies, is also a Morman?  And what do we know about Mormans?  They tithe pretty heavily to their churches and have their own social welfare system for their members.  They are the ultimate libertarians.  But no, we are focussing with laser like intensity on Bachmann.  That suggests a couple of things to me.  One is that the Democrats know they have a problem with women voters and two, the Democrats have a problem with women in general.

But why does Digby have a problem with women?  Who is running the show at Hullabaloo?

Amanda Marcotte ponders whether Obama is benevolent but ineffective or an evil Republican in disguise.  I thought we settled this question last week sometime.  Obama is an anti- New Deal Democrat at the precise moment in time when the country needs a FDR.  He never admired his mother’s brand of idealistic humanism and striving to right the wrongs of the world.  He thinks that’s a naive waste of time and that people should stop trying so hard to address inequality and learn to be content with the measley bits that life hands out to them.  Trying to do otherwise is setting yourself up for disappointment.

This philosophy goes against everything Americans have believed in since the day the nation was founded.  Americans believe in progress and evolution, sometimes in big whopping chunks, not puny, ineffective increments.  Obama may have spent a little too much time in Indonesia or the golf course.

Of course the primary problem is that the country elects too many Republicans.  That goes without saying.  But you have to wonder why Democrats, AND OBAMA, made so little effort to control the message when they had the chance.  Where was the fight over the “fairness doctrine”?  Why do we have to drag them kicking and screaming to endorse net neutrality?  Why the hell do they put up with so much passivity on NPR?  And why did they squander so much political capital in the first two years of Obama’s term on mindless, boring coverage of Obama’s every bowel movement day after day with the endless TV spots at lunchtime?  Pretty soon, his bully pulpit faded into background noise.  Who’s bright idea was that?

As much as the Republicans are to blame for everything bad that has happened to this country in the past 40 years, you have to wonder why it is that Obama cooperates with them so flawlessly.  Why is it that deals on spending cuts and social security are carried out in closed door sessions where people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not invited?  Better yet, why are WE not invited?  Are we just supposed to accept what comes out of those doors, those mighty deals deliberated by our elders and written down in stone that we must obey now and for all time?  Where are the floor fights?  How come all of this is happening in the middle of the summer when Americans are on vacation and are oblivious to all of this wheeling and dealing in DC that will substantially change their future standard of living?  Oh, yeah, I forgot that this is how Democrats have operated since the primary and convention of 2008.  Agreements are made in secret and then a big spectacle is arranged to demonstrate that we’re all unified.  That’s bullshit, Amanda.

At some point, you have to demand that Obama and the Democrats stop acting like the Republicans we despise.  If they won’t do that, then they might as well join one big party and sing Kumbaya.

As for Clinton, it’s nice to see that Amanda acknowledges what the rest of us have known for a long time.  The Big Dawg did a phenomenal job holding the Republicans off under circumstances that were much tougher politically and personally than Obama encountered when he first took office.  At least Clinton knew where to draw the line and make the Republicans crazy.   That’s why they went after him so hard on personal issues.  They wanted to impeach him because he was getting in their way.  I haven’t seen the same over the top nuttiness directed at Obama.  What is Obama’s excuse for refusing to step up?  So some Republicans can’t distinguish between communists and fascists.  BFD.  We know he’s neither.  But other than that, Amanda?  Where are the piles of legal bills, the testimonies and depositions, the ritual humiliation of his wife, the constant distractions and media mania?  It’s not there because Obama decided early on to cooperate with the lunatics instead of fighting them.  It’s much easier to not put oneself forward instead of living with disappointment.

That’s what we signed up for with Obama.  It’s neither evil or naive.  It’s merely self-serving and passive and insensitive to the massive suffering he is letting the corrupt system impose on present and future American livelihoods.  This is what the left signed onto when they forced Obama on the rest of us.  I can’t imagine a worse choice for president in 2008 and we will be paying for it for generations to come.  He doesn’t have to be a Republican to be worse than Bush.

But the question I have for Amanda and the other lefties trying to figure out what Obama is is why they are just now asking this question.  Why did it take 4 years to realize that we know almost nothing about him?  I still submit that the signs were all there in January/February of 2008.  Everything you needed to know about Obama was right there.  His passivity about calling himself a Democrat, his courting of the religious right, the race baiting, the way he blew off the voters of two major states that disadvantaged him in the polls, his supporters caucus activities that he overlooked, his nod towards misogyny, the obscene gobs of cash he was getting from Wall Street that he used to buy superdelegates, his “walking around money” in NJ.  It was all right there.  The fact that he’s president now when we needed a more muscular Democrat is not the fault of Republicans, it’s OUR fault.

But there is something Democrats can do if they’re not cowardly chickenshits.  They can force him out.  No one is “entitled” to a second term.

Update:  Paul Krugman tells us what ails us with respect to Obama in Conceder in Chief and confesses that his frustration with Obama’s 11 Dimensional negotiating skills consists of “suppressed rage and panic” (an excellent description of my feelings as well, Paul).  Then he goes on to say:

It’s very hard to avoid the impression that three things are going on:

1. Obama really just isn’t that into Democratic priorities. He really doesn’t much care about preserving Medicare for all seniors, keeping Social Security intact, and so on.

2. What he is into is his vision of himself as a figure who can transcend the partisan divide. He imagines that he can be the one who brings about a big transformation that settles disputes for decades to come — and has been unwilling to drop that vision no matter how many times the GOP shows itself utterly uninterested in anything except gaining the upper hand.

3. As a result, he can’t or won’t see what’s obvious to everyone else: that any Grand Bargain will last precisely as long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and will be torn up in favor of privatization and big tax cuts for the wealthy as soon as the GOP has the chance.

I hope I’m wrong about all this. But when has Obama given progressives any reason to believe they can trust him?

If Amanda is serious about taking on Republicans, she and we would be better off attacking their messaging system, specifically Fox News, News Corp and Rupert Murdoch.  Shutting News Corp down in the US would go a long way towards recovery.  Today, The Guardian reports that James Murdoch’s testimony before Parliament the other day was less than honest and forthcoming and that the US is preparing subpoenas for the Murdochs.  Two former news editors of the now defunct News of the World are spilling the beans about payments that Murdoch approved to victims of some of the hacking.  In short, the payments were too large compared with similar payments to other recipients, suggesting a more serious infraction at the News of the World had occured and that James Murdoch had to have known the true extent and details of the hacking.

If we weren’t so caught up with this debt ceiling problem, we’d be better off holding hearings of our own and accusing News Corp of being the malevolent blight on the republic that it is.   Go after Murdoch, Amanda, and save the world.

Finally, there’s this from The Onion: Congress Continues to Debate Whether or Not Nation Should be Economically Ruined.

Thursday: The Ass in the Room

Digby has a new frontpager.  By the way, the Ass in the title doesn’t apply to Digby.  She’s a great writer.  No, really.  And I think her heart is in the right place.  It’s just that she’s a bit, um, chickenshit.  SHE called herself that, not me.

Anyway, what brought about the addition of ThereIsNoSpoon to Hullabaloo?  I don’t know but I have occasionally read her comment threads lately and many of her readers are fed up and ready to throw in the towel on Obama.  Not only that, there seem to be a lot more commenters expressing regret about how they blew off Hillary Clinton for Mr. Schmoozy McMashieniblick.  Well, we can’t have that, can we?  So, ThereIsNoSpoon dons his “Howard Dean Mantle of Imperviousness” and says, “Step aside, Digby, *I’ll* handle this!”.  Either that or someone at Advertising Liberally told her to get her house in order or she was going to get cut off.  (One can not accuse me of having a deficit of imagination.)

So, ThereIsNoSpoon made his debut on Hullabaloo to get those morons back in line and toeing the party line.  And let’s throw in a little learned helplessness in there.  We don’t want them to get ideas.  Take them down memory lane.  Howard Dean!  Howard Dean!  Remember how we all wore orange and sang the Marseilles and vowed to purge Washington of the Bushies?  Were those times great or what?  {{this Clarkie rolls her eyes.  I can’t stand Howard Dean}} ThereIsNoSpoon goes on to say how much he doesn’t want to go over 2008 because it’s so five minutes ago and then he loses me forever:

 For those who may not know, I’m 1st Vice Chair of the Ventura County Democratic Party in California, and a recently elected member of the California Democratic Party Executive Board. To many, that would be considered an asset. To others, it might be a curse, a straitjacket preventing free expression of ideas and forcing a toeing of the “party line.” It shouldn’t bear reminding that it was none other than Howard Dean, no slouch in the progressive movement, who first asked of all of us who were upset with cowardice and corporatism in the Democratic Party not to shun the Party, but to actively get involved with it.The reason for Howard Dean’s call to arms was not so that progressives might be co-opted and sell out, but rather that they might storm the gates and force real changes in the Party. I am not alone in having done this in California: my brother Dante is a vice-chair in the L.A. County Dem Party and a CDP E-Board member; Robert Cruickshank, a superb netroots activist and constant and forceful Obama Administration critic, was a vice-chair in the Monterey Dem Party for a long while before moving to Seattle to work on progressive mayor McGinn’s communications team; Brian Leubitz, owner of progressive California blog Calitics is a CDP Regional Director in the Bay Area. Getting involved in this way has been for all of us not a professional consideration, but an ideological one. The entire purpose of being involved is to force changes in the way the Party thinks and the way it behaves in every aspect: from the values of candidates endorsed, to the nature of field operations, to the aggressiveness of communications, and everything in between. These changes do not happen overnight. Often they take years to gestate. Almost invariably they are met with fierce opposition from the comfortable, institutional powers that be, as well as their ideological allies who prize being “nice” and “reasonable” as a greater good than actually solving the problems that face the country.

If even 1/10 of the progressives writing online would become similarly involved and demand that the institutions of the Democratic Party be accountable to the progressive base and the well-polled progressive preferences of the majority of Americans, it would be a boon to our political system. This is why Howard Dean asked us to do it. Nor for the most part would it hamper our ability to speak openly and honestly about our beliefs. What I say here or elsewhere is not the official position of the Democratic Party at any level, nor should be it construed as such. The onlyconstraint on a Party official’s personal positions is that one grant that, at a fundamental level, voting for Democrats is advantageous over voting for members of other parties. That’s a big one, of course, and a non-starter for many in the progressive movement. Which is fine. Reasonable people who want the same things (single-payer healthcare, an end to pointless foreign wars, a decent safety net, a reduction in income inequality, equal rights for all Americans regardless of race, age, gender, orientation, etc.) will certainly differ on the best tactics we might use to get there.

Oh, brother, where to start? I have nothing against people getting all “Student Body President!” in the party at the local level.  Good for him.  I used to attend those meetings. But let’s talk about the party faithful voters who supported Clinton in 2008, or do those people, more than half the party, still not count like the Obama contingent does?  Did THEY not get involved?   From what I could see, they were plenty involved.  I phone banked and canvassed (a LOT in Pennsylvania) for Clinton.  She had no shortage of volunteers.  The weekend before the primary in NJ in 2008, her office in Trenton was jammed with people.  There was nowhere to sit so I had to sit in a backroom with a campaign finance person who was fielding calls from all over the state of NJ.  I tried not to listen but from what I could tell, Obama’s campaign was employing “walking around money”, a lot of it.  From what I could tell, it was an ungodly amount in the millions and millions of dollars.  The Clinton person was saying that the budget for NJ was exhausted and it couldn’t match Obama’s spending there.  The campaign people would have to make do with what it had.  OMG, Clinton was going to have to rely on the strength of her candidacy and not obscene gobs of cash!  (And it worked.  Well, we can’t have that, right?) I think the campaign was even out of bumper stickers.  My car has a spanish one because the English versions were all gone.  She was very, very popular here.  Hillary Clinton won NJ by 10 points anyway, which just goes to show you that money can’t buy you love.  But Jon Corzine ignored all of that and gave our entire delegation to Obama at the Convention.  No, I won’t get over that-ever.

I went to YearlyKos in 2006 and 2007.  I volunteered for Linda Stender in NJ-07.  The party supported her in 2006, completely abandoned her in 2008 even though she could have won this district with their help.  She lost the 2006 election by something like 4,000 votes, which in NJ is *tiny*.  I mean, REALLY tiny.  She could have been a very successful candidate here.  But she was unabashedly liberal and the party didn’t cotton to liberals in 2008.  Would ThereIsNoSpoon like to hazard a guess why that might be?

I stood there in the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas when Wes Clark jumped up on a table and told everyone that blogging was not enough.  He said that if we wanted to win back Congress in 2006, we would have to get out there and meet people and convince them and work our asses off.  So, I tried that.  And my candidates lost anyway.

And why did they lose?  Well, it wasn’t for lack of effort or popularity or policies.  What I have learned about the latest incarnation of the Democratic Party is that they want you to express your opinion and work for your candidates.  But if your candidate is not the one they selected beforehand, then too bad for you and all of your effort.  ThereIsNoSpoon, the voice of the Democratic Party, lays it out to the readers of Hullabaloo:

For various reasons locked into the nature of our winner-take-all Constitution, we have a two-party system, not a parliamentary one. That is very unlikely to change. Further, putting efforts into third parties to the left of the Democrats has not been shown to pull the party to the left, but rather to the right (outside of small, liberal states like Vermont.) Democrats did not look at the votes for Nader in 2000 and move to Party to the left to win those voters; instead, the Bush Presidency shifted the Democrats farther to the right. Theoretically, one could try to bury the Democratic Party in the same grave as the Whigs and start over anew–but what happens in the meantime during Nihilist Republican rule? Will the country survive? Frankly, there are too many deeply vulnerable people in this country and around the world to take that chance.

Which means that for better or for worse, the Democratic Party is what we have to work with. In the short term, that means that Barack Obama, for better or for worse, is what we have to work with at this time (primarying him being pretty much a fantasy, particularly given his still soaring approval rating among the vast majority of self-described liberals.) It’s not pretty, but it’s reality.

It’s therefore our job as progressives to work both from within the Democratic Party and from outside the Democratic Party to make the changes to it we would like to see, to refashion the Party to fit the ideals that the American people deserve. That requires an aggressive, uncompromising stance.

Ahhh, so what ThereIsNoSpoon is saying is that if you work within and from the outside of the Democratic Party to make the changes you want to see, the party will just ignore you and tell you that your insistence on a primary candidate for Obama is a “fantasy”.  In other words, the Democratic party doesn’t want participants.  It wants children.  It is going to be very parental about this.  You aren’t going to get a Democrat who represents you and that’s final.

And what are the ideals that the American people deserve?  The American people have said, pretty definitively, that saving our jobs is at the top of its priority list.  What has Obama done about that?  Nothing.  The American people have said overwhelmingly that they don’t want anyone messing around with social security or Medicare.  And what has Obama proposed?  He proposes raising the eligibility age on Medicare and reformulating social security payments so as to screw recipients out of a sizeable chunk of benefits that they paid and paid and paid for.  He proposes $4 *trillion* in spending cuts.  He didn’t have to propose these changes.  He *volunteered* them.  The austerity measures were gifted to the Republicans for very little in return.

ThereIsNoSpoon goes on to the proven scare tactics to force people back into the fold.  If you don’t vote for Democrats, Michelle Bachmann will win and then what will happen?!?  Jeez, I dunno, how much worse can it get?  I mean really, would crucifixion be that bad after we’ve been drawn and quartered?

Centurion: You know the penalty laid down by Roman law for harboring a known criminal?
Matthias: No.
Centurion: Crucifixion!
Matthias: Oh.
Centurion: Nasty, eh?
Matthias: Could be worse.
Centurion: What you mean “Could be worse”?
Matthias: Well, you could be stabbed.
Centurion: Stabbed? Takes a second. Crucifixion lasts hours. It’s a slow, horrible death.
Matthias: Well, at least it gets you out in the open air.

I’m firmly of the belief that “Friends don’t let friends vote Republican” but by the time Michelle gets the nomination, the damage will be done, by a DEMOCRAT.  In that eventuality, I might just vote for Michelle.  She and I share almost nothing in common but our XX chromosomes but heck, if the entire Democratic party can use race as a reason for slipping a stealth candidate into the White House in 2008 (no, don’t even try to deny it.  We have the spam), why can’t I vote for Michelle to get MY underrepresented cohort to the pinacle of power?  If Barack Obama doesn’t start representing American New Deal Ideals during The Little Depression, why should I vote for him?  It can’t get any worse with Michelle and if the Democrats get a clue and win back Congress, they might have to play defense for awhile.

I’ve noticed that the “let’s all jump on Michelle” game is getting cranked up by both parties.  Migraines? Oh, please.  Why don’t we just come out and accuse her of letting her raging hormones disqualify her from keeping a cool head during a rough week in the situation room.  I’m already pre-disgusted by this crap.  The Democrats have already lost their credibility with women, why make it worse for the voters who have to continue living as women?

It’s all in vain, Dems.  You will not get me back until you give me a real choice.  I won’t play this game where you pretend to listen to my concerns and still serve me the same breakfast cereal day after day anyway.  I’ve made my feelings known to every campaign financing org that the Democrats have.  Lately, I’ve even heard from the Democratic Party of New Jersey (that’s a first) who solicited me for funds.  This is my message: “I am not contributing to your organization because of the disgraceful way the party treated voters of Hillary Clinton in 2008.  Barack Obama turned out to be a weak president and I do not approve of his policies or performance.  I want a primary challenger for Obama.  Do not bother me again until you get a clue.”

So far, they haven’t gotten a clue.  I am unperturbed by the specter of what will happen next year.  I have my own personal problems, ie joblessness and a fascinating but difficult gifted teen to raise, to worry about what some clueless and disconnected Democrats are going to do.  My vote is my own and next year, I will bestow it upon who I choose and who I think can shake things up the most.  If the Democrats are starting to worry, then good!  But I suggest they stop trying to make it sound like they are concerned with the plight of the poor and most affected during this economic downturn.  *I* am one of those people, a liberal, New Deal Democrat in Exile, and I do not care to keep the current cohort of Democrats in power.  The party still needs votes to win and continuing to ignore the concerns of average Americans in order to not lose face for shoving Obama down our throats is not a winning formula.  So, bring on the disaster.

The lack of planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

PS: Check out the comment thread on ThereIsNoSpoon’s post.  It’s amazing.  Methinks the party is too late to fix this.  Obama appears to have jumped the shark.

Dems may be looking forward to this briar patch

Well, as long as politicians insist on playing games, Boehner and McConnell may have put themselves on the losing end of this one.  Kevin Drum lays out the details of “The Blink” in Mother Jones:

  1. Next month Obama would receive approval to raise the debt ceiling $700 billion.
  2. A “resolution of disapproval” would then be taken up by Congress on an expedited basis (i.e., no filibusters allowed).
  3. If the resolution passes, Obama can veto it.
  4. If he vetoes it, it requires a two-thirds vote of both houses to override.
  5. If there’s no override, the debt limit is increased, but Obama would be required to lay out a “hypothetical” set of budget cuts totalling $700 billion.
  6. This would be repeated (in $900 billion increments) in the fall of 2011 and summer of 2012.
Kevin is dismayed and disappointed at how juvenile this is.  But if I were Dems, I would head for the fainting couch, hysterically weeping at how awful the deal is but they’ll have to do it because they haven’t got a choice.  It’s either this or defaulting and sending the world into a steepest economic descent.
Then, let the Republicans tie everything up, 3 times in the next year.  Let all the legislation that should have been passed be eaten up with time wasting demogoguery on the House floor.  While the rest of the country waits for the Republicans to move on already and do something about unemployment or step aside forgawdssakes and let the Democrats do something about unemployment, we will watch a rerun of Newt Gingrich’s bone headed hostage crisis of 1996 and we’ll get to see it 3 times!
 If the Democrats are smart, and so far, they haven’t demonstrated a surplus of intelligence. they’d propose cuts to military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, or they’ll propose a Millionaire’s tax or they’ll let the Bush tax cuts expire on anyone making more than $250,ooo.  It would be the responsible thing to do when so many people are out of work and can’t afford to pay their piano teachers or their mortgages (or the piano teachers who can’t pay their mortgages).  Are the Republicans saying they want even MORE people to lose their houses while they tie the Congress up in knots and drag Obama kicking and screaming to their chambers to beg them to be reasonable?  Because, at this point in time, I’m not sure that’s a calculation the Republicans should think they will profit by.  Fox News doesn’t look quite as reliable as a propaganda organ as it did a few weeks ago. And many of us are ready to ditch Obama in 2012 anyway.  If the Republicans want to play Red Rover, we’ll send Obama over in a heartbeat.  I mean, if it’s going to be only marginally less bad with him there anyway, why not just bite the bullet and vote for a truly nutty Republican like Michelle Bachmann and go for a Democratic House?  You know, make Democrats play defense for a change.
And when you think about it, electing Bachmann could have some benefits.  For one thing, a woman on the ticket would be hard to resist.  Sure, she’s a conservative who is ready to kill the New Deal but, as it turns out, so was Obama.  Sure, she’s not a proponent of reproductive rights but Obama isn’t exactly a Sensitive New Age Guy.  (Quelle Surprise!)  Anyway, the sooner we get rid of Roe v. Wade, the sooner we can work on equal rights for women that would restore choice by default and who’s to say that Bachmann wouldn’t be on-board with that?  Think of how the feminist movement would be energized and let’s face it, it’s about as anemic as it comes right now.  Besides, for all we know she’s a secret liberal, she’s just playing a conservative to win.   I’ll bet she’s really a brilliant mathematical genius who can do differential calculus with a blindfold and without a calculator.  (See?  *We* can make nonsensical assertions as well as any Obot in 2008.)
Just a thought {{tongue firmly in cheek}} but think about it, ladies, it’s passed time for us to take the White House and if a historical barrier has to be broken with a conservative, so be it.  It’s not like the concept has never been tried before.  Otherwise, we may never see a female president in our lifetimes and I’m kind of sick of waiting, aren’t you?   We could have had a competent, experienced, DEMOCRATIC female president but that lovable but crrrrazy activist base of ours will have none of it, so, why not the next best thing?  If you’re hoping to hurry the governmental Armageddon that will bring on a millenium of earthly paradise, you can’t go wrong with an Evangelical Christian.
But I digress.
If I were Democrats, I’d jump on this once in a lifetime opportunity to let the Republicans hang themselves.  By the time the election rolls around, they’ll be thoroughly sick of the game and voters will remember the ordeal the pols put them through.
That’ll learn’em.
This one’s for you, John Boehner:
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