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Too late! You’ve been framed.

Greg Sargent reports on Democrat’s latest efforts to turn the Titanic around for next year’s election by accusing the Republicans of wanting the economy to get worse:

In recent weeks, there’s been some question as to how far Dems are willing to go in making the explosive charge that Republicans are deliberately trying to sabotage the economy in order to improve their chances of defeating President Obama in 2012.

On a conference call just now with reporters, Senator Chuck Schumer made the most aggressive case we’ve heard yet along these lines, leaving little doubt that Dems are locking in behind this message as the deficit talks hit crunch time and as the 2012 campaign looms.

“Do they simply want the economy to go down the drain to further their political gain?” Schumer asked. “They seem to be against anything that may create jobs, because they view a weak economy as key to their political chances in 2012.”

“It’s an uncomfortable question, to be sure,” Schumer continued. “Are they trying to undermine the economy on purpose, for political gain? Harry Truman had a do-nothing Congress. The Republicans seem to be trying to make this a do-nothing-on-the-economy Congress.”


The key point here is that Dem messaging chief Schumer is signaling that each example like this will now be pressed into service to build the larger case that Republicans have decided that a worse economy for the country is better politically for them, so any measure that risks creating jobs must be opposed at all costs. It seems like a clear effort to bait the GOP into responding to the charges, so the country can hear an argument over the GOP’s true motives. This line of attack also seems designed to persuade voters — and commentators who are reluctant to accept this sort of thing — that No, both sides are notequally to blame for our current travails.

No duh.

That was the whole point.  I believe we were discussing this back in 2007-8 at DailyKos.  Or was it lambert at Corrente who asked if Republicans were going to make Democrats hold the bag?  In any case, there is nothing surprising about the Republicans’ tactics.  It’s really a win-win for them.  If they make everyone miserable enough in the short term, they’ll extract a lot of concessions on Social Security and Medicare in the long term.  Your unemployment benefits, severance pay and savings only go so far.  When they’re gone, and reality sets in, and your house is underwater, postponing pain into the future makes more sense than losing everything in the present.

Republicans don’t even have to win next year.  It’s unlikely that the American public will get the whole picture in time to reduce their numbers to a minority so small they can’t do any further harm.  So, as long as they have even one member who exceeds the number required to oppose everything the presiding majority wants to do, they will continue to obstruct.  We really should have let the South secede.  It seems determined to wait everyone out until we give them back slavery and let them go.

But if they win next year by making Obama and the Democrats look really, really bad, then they will have carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want.  I’m going to take a guess that the thing they are going to do first with that opportunity is make damn sure their voting strength in Congress is never so diluted that their votes can be discounted.  That way, no matter what happens after 2016, there will be no turning back the clock to a more New Dealish/Great Society moment again.  That’s what *I* would do if I were fiendishly disposed to hold onto power.  Look for the Supreme Court to somehow roll back voting rights in such a way that poor and middle class voters are somehow not as equal as they used to be.

It’s too bad that Obama and the Democrats didn’t see this coming.  Oh, please, of course they saw this coming.  They either didn’t want to do anything about it or were in denial.  Let this be a lesson to Democratic base voters.  The next time you want someone to forcefully push back against your enemies, vote for the hairy, unibrowed Atilla-the-Hun type candidate and not the student body president type.

It’s too late for Democrats to dig their way out of this one by placing the blame on the Republicans.  Yes, it is the Republicans’ fault.  They are that bad.  But the Democrats squandered their opportunity to change this narrative back in 2008 just after Obama was elected.  They should have come out of the gate swinging, attempted to control the media, reinstituted the fairness doctrine, reappointed the board to CPB, carefully metered Obama’s appearances to make the most of his impact and screamed bloody murder in the most hyperbolic manner possible.  That’s what the Republicans would have done.  Allowing themselves to be bullied into cooperating with the Republicans was the dumbest thing they ever did.

Well, that and passing on Hillary the IronClad for Obama the Tofu.  By the end of the primaries in 2008, the media had spent itself on Hillary and she was still winning primary states.  Their barbs were bouncing off of her with little effect.  Obama, on the other hand, had to be lifted and gently carried over the finish line to “win” the nomination.  He never really had to prove himself against the right wing noise leviathan.  And then Fox News got to work destroying the Democrats with their assistance.  The President *is* a Democrat (nominally) and the Senate *is* in Democratic hands.  What, *exactly*, is the problem here?  Yes, yes, we know all about the numbers but the problem is that Democrats did not use their power to scare the Republicans during the short period of time when they could have made a difference.  And they had Steny Hoyer digging up salacious stories on Liberal Democrats that he didn’t like.  That didn’t help.

So, Chuck Shumer is pissing in the wind.  The problem is intrinsic to the Democrats and no amount of directing the blame where it belongs is going to work until the party gets its act together.  You aren’t going to get Americans to turn on Republicans until they see the Democrats are going to go out of their way to try to help them.  They don’t see any evidence of that.  Partly, that’s a result of Democrats selling out to the monied class, part of it has to do with the fact that Democrats hobbled themselves with the Party Unity shtick at the convention that didn’t include the “old coalition”, that is, the elderly, working class (meaning all of us who don’t live off our investments), poor and women.

The Republicans have framed the Democrats as cowardly, craven milquetoasts.  Yep, that’s about the way I see it.  If the frame fits…

Hey, remember this hit from 2008?  Funny how not everyone in that crowd looked like partying…

32 Responses

  1. He never really had to prove himself against the right wing noise leviathan.

    I kept waiting for the GOP to unleash the Kraken but they never did.

    It was like they didn’t want to win.

    • The Republicans have known that the market was going to crash catastrophically since 2007. Wouldn’t you want to get out of the way?

    • Actually, it’s like they knew Obama was a Republican. So they won after all.

    • The GOP slime machine never popped a gear…that and the media Barry love, told one who was supposed to win . ….I doubt we will see the GOP slime machine go into action this time. GOP Operatives are pining next to silent cell phones….all another indication the man in the White House is not a Dem

  2. I can’t describe how my stomach rolled and how sick I felt when I saw that “Love Train” video – PTSS big time.

    Excuse me while I go and lay down.

  3. 2012’s outcome is already baked in. Why else would our famously free press be harping on it in July 2011? (Honestly, it’s like Christmas carols in the stores starting after Halloween.)

    2016 is the important date.

    • If we still have enough food in the pantry to give us energy to go to the polls. From 2012 to 2016 is going to be an eternity in hell.

    • I’m afraid you are correct…the corporate world,in which the US political system is a subsidiary, does always look way ahead.

  4. I can’t see Obama winning in 2012 if the economy doesn’t improve. He won’t win Florida. He’s got a real struggle in Ohio and Pennsylvania, though he might win Michigan. But if he can’t win Ohio and Pennsylvania, i can’t see him winning, and those are the Dem voters who weren’t sold on him to begin with.

    We’ll know who the elites want by who the Repubs nominate. If they go with the crazy, then I guess they’re happy enough with Obama, and why shouldn’t they be. If they nominate the semi-sane, Romney or Huntsman, e.g., then Obama’s in for a hard fight and yeah, I expect the R’s will throw everything at him, the way they didn’t at all when McCain ran against him. Only Palin hit him hard, and she was very very good at it even as she herself was taking all sorts of media hits.

  5. The Democrats are disingenuous. 2 x 4 Schumer knows it. RD, you blame the GOP, but I blame the Democrats because they had an opportunity to really party for many years, but decided to dirty themselves for a few dollars from Wall Street and their hope that Obama would be always the light bringer of money. I’m looking forward to eat schadenfreude while I sink in my misery when the GOP sweeps in 2012. It’s the only thing that will help my misery, the knowledge that Obama is a one termer and that the Democrats disappear as a political party.

  6. A Five Guys hamburger store opened here in my neighborhood. Does anyone have any experience with these merchants of death? And if so, should I order the regular or Cajun fries?

    • It is good to remain focused on the important stuff.

      Great post!

    • should I order the regular or Cajun fries?


      (Old age is overrated)

    • If you like your fries with ketchup, order the regular. Otherwise, go to Cajun.

      And don’t be fooled. A “little” hamburger is a single instead of a double patty.

    • Ah, the joint from my neck of the woods. It’s the food of the gods. I suspect partly because you’ll be seeing the gods soon after you eat. But damn it’s good.

  7. The Ds squandered their chance to change the narrative in 2006, not 2008. That’s when Pelosi took impeachment off the table. Since then it’s been one long collective discovery that Yes, the Ds really do suck that bad, except, of course, for the usual suspects at The Obama 527 Formerly Known as Daily Kos, put they’re all wannabes anyhow. Has anybody run into an Obama fan, lately? I haven’t.

    When I say 2016, I do so because the events in OH, WI, and MI could well cause a D insurgent to emerge — somebody whose name we don’t even know right now. That’s what I hope for.

    • I’m hoping to see another D or Independent emerge as well. I also agree with you about 2006. I was elated when Dems won Congress, but deeply disappointed and stopped donating to the Dem Party when they did not end the war as they promised during the ’06 campaign.

  8. Look like the D’s kept their powder dry a little too long.

    It doesn’t matter what thew republicans motives are , insanity, hatred of the working class, or a desire for unlimited power, the results are the same. Nature abhors a vacuum and apparently that’s all there is at the top of the Democratic party, unless it’s raising money.

    I used to think it was the R’s that were morally bankrupt but I was wrong.

    • The Dinocrats are morally bankrupt. The Reptilians print counterfeit morality, so they look flush to the naive. 😈

  9. Dropping in with an Off Topic comment …. Cough still as strong as ever (6 weeks now?) Went to the doctor (3rd time) yesterday & she thinks it might be an allergy (mister has a cold now though so I don’t know where that fit’s in.) In fact the cough is worse — I couldn’t breath without coughing for a couple of hours in the middle of the night..

    So I’ve got an appointment with an allergy specialist and meanwhile I’m using a Neti Pot and and allergy-quality face mask.

    I miss everyone but I’m an exhausted wreck and can hardly read much less comment!

    • get well soon!

      • Good luck with the allergist. I feel much better since I’m taking some prescription level meds.

    • katiebird, you sound like you feel miserable.
      So sorry and I hope you feel much better soon.
      I bet your doc is right, this has been an awful allergy season.

    • Get better! Sending good thoughts your way.

    • katiebird, If you can’t find it in a local healthfood store, order a Sambu Cleanse from Flora, Inc. It kills viruses and pulls all the mucous from your body. You will be amazed.

    • Holy hemiola! It’s the bronchitis from hell. I hope they settle on the right drug combo to finally kick that thing. The last time I heard from you, you still sounded pretty bad to me even if you thought you were getting better.
      Lung problems are the worst.

    • And stay away from Sanbu cleanses from Flora. If it really did all it claims, the FDA would have pulled it from the shelves pending clinical trials. It happened with a homeopathic remedy my mom was taking for her blood pressure. The damn thing turned out to have an active ingredient after all. It got pulled. So, you can assume that if Sanbu is still readily available without a prescription, it’s useless.
      Just sayin’.

  10. Dems always find an excuse to do nothing, zilch, nada , even when they have a supermajority…they spent that time rehashing how to give the health care industry exactly what it wanted. Modern Dems hate Bill and Hillary in part because they work and expect others to do so…. I use to think Dems were simply bought off…but Obama’s “watch this drive” attitude towards actual work, was very likely irresistible to what passes for Dems .

  11. I know book recs were in the last post but check out Fingersmith,The Imperfectionists and Patti Smiths memoir, Just Kids. All great reads

  12. I hope everyone’s been watching the free concerts from iTunes. “iTunes Festival London” can be watched on any iDevice with the free app, or on iTunes (runs in osx or windows). Paul Simon was yesterday. Seasick Steve is tonight. He’s my new hero. It lasts the whole frick’in month of July!

    • Excellent.
      I’m at the beach in a condo with a lot of people and the weather forecast for the week is suboptimal. This may be the first time in my life thar I go to the beach and don’t come home with a sunburn.
      So, music is good. Cranium will only get you so far.

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