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Dems elevate Boehner as face of Bad Old GOP

There's a reason the White House and Dems are throwing everything they have at John Boehner's speech attacking Obama's economic policies: Dems and White House advisers know they must not allow Boehner and the GOP to achieve a clean relaunch of their party and their ideas heading into the midterms.

The big underlying fight right now is over whether Republicans will succeed in rebranding themselves, achieving separation from Bush and the party that ran Congress before the Dem takeover, or whether Dems will successfully convince the electorate that a vote for the GOP is a vote for the party that brought our economy to the edge of doom.

So the White House is circulating a new set of talking points instructing Dems on the Hill and outside allies to reiterate these ideas:

In a speech in Cleveland today, House Minority Leader John Boehner laid out Congressional Republicans' economic dream. Their prescription for the future = the same policies that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. They want more tax breaks for the rich, less oversight of Wall Street, and a tougher burden for middle-class families...

Representative Boehner is ignoring his party's own record, and he's hoping that American families will, too. In the eight years before the Obama Administration took office, the Republican Leadership took the record surplus and turned it into a record $1.3 trillion deficit. Their irresponsible policies helped to create the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, resulting in 22 months straight of job losses across America.

Congressional Republicans are offering nothing new. If they were to control of Congress, the Republicans have pledged to go back to "the exact same agenda" they were pursuing before President Obama took office. They think the policies they had in place during the Bush years were the right ones.

Fresher-faced GOP leaders like Eric Cantor have mounted an aggressive push to rebrand the GOP and separate it from its previous incarnation by openly conceding the errors of the previous GOP leadership and vowing a new direction. So Dems are hoping to elevate the overly tanned and too-slick-by-half Boehner as the face of the Bad Old GOP, in hopes of reminding the electorate who ran the place only two years ago.

The problem for Dems, though, is that there's some evidence that the Dem message on Bush may not be sinking in. It's not impossible that today's GOP has already achieved separation from Bush and the previous leadership. Dems recently circulated a polling memo finding that only 25 percent think a vote for today's Republicans represents a vote to return to Bush policies. That's why the White House and Dems have been pushing the Bush line so hard today and in recent days -- they don't know if they're winning this argument, and they know it's imperative that they do.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: "Mosque" fight reveals Cheney-ization of GOP
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Comments

"Dems elevate Boehner as face of Bad Old GOP"
---------------------------------------------

Correction: The bad orange face of the ~New~ GOP.

This is NOT your father's Republican party (and it damned sure ain't Lincoln's).

Posted by: CalD | August 24, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Dems recently circulated a polling memo finding that only 25 percent think a vote for today's Republicans represents a vote to return to Bush policies."

This could also be translated as: "Why are you asking me this? That was, like, forever ago!" Granted, it was, in fact, only two years ago, but with the possible exception of Herbert Hoover, it's very difficult to run against the out-of-power, not-in-office party and it's not-running politicians. You have to campaign about the people actually running, and what they are actually planning to do. Of course, the Republicans really haven't committed to do anything other than obstruct and protest, so . . . it could be tricky.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is is the party of liars:

Last week, Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for Senate, Pat Toomey, touted his plan for privatizing Social Security, saying, “I’ve got a whole chapter in a book that I wrote that deals with how I think, one of the ways I think we could reform Social Security to make it viable.” A section of the chapter which Toomey referenced is called “Personal Accounts Lead to Personal Prosperity.” And when President Bush released his plan for privatizing Social Security, Toomey said, “I have been arguing for many years in favor of Social Security personal retirement accounts. “I’m thrilled that the President is taking up this critical issue,” Toomey added. But when directly asked at the Pennsylvania Press Club yesterday whether he still favors privatization, Toomey actually replied, “I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security”:

Q: Do you continue to favor privatizing Social Security?

A: I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security. It’s a very misleading — it’s an intentionally misleading term. And it is used by those who try to use it as a pejorative to scare people…[T]hat doesn’t mean that we must perpetuate exactly this structure for future workers and for very young workers. So I’ve advocated that we consider offering young workers an alternative — a reform within Social Security that would give them the opportunity to take a portion of their payroll tax and actually save that and own that and allow that to accumulate over the course of their working years and for that to provide a portion of their retirement benefit. I think that’d be a very constructive reform, and that’s what I’m going to advocate.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/24/toomey-never/

You certainly fit with this group, nickel.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more willing to believe that the GOP has changed its ways if it put forth some policies that, you know, spelled out a change in their ways...

But I'm unconvinced the Democrats will be able to demonize Bohner. The Republicans have been trying to demonize Nancy Pelosi for years, and in my opinion they haven't been successful. Republicans are MUCH better at this kind of thing than Democrats, if they can't demonize Pelosi I highly doubt the Dems will be able to paint Bohner as the bad guy.

Posted by: nisleib | August 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"In hopes of reminding the electorate who ran the place only two years ago."

You mean four years ago.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think one of the reasons Republicans have had such success separating themselves from Bush is that they truly believe their own talking points.

I briefly got into it with a GOP staffer on the Metro the other day who overheard me bashing Repubs for only caring about spending and the deficit when Dems are in power. He told me that "Bush was wrong to spend so much" but Obama was ultimately to blame. Anecdotal, I know, but I had no impression he was politicking. He really believes that Bush was some aberration, not a "true conservative."

In fact, the Bush economic agenda was precisely everything conservatives have always wanted on that front: tax cuts for the rich, no estate tax, etc. Yet they have no problem convincing themselves Bush wasn't one of them, even though the scant few economic policies now being proposed by the GOP are exactly the same discredited supply-side, Bush-enomics as before. Just read Rubio's 12-point plan, or witness the current drive to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

I think this type of message discipline - the willingness to believe your own BS rhetoric - has always given the GOP an advantage. Not to say Dems never believe dumb stuff, but they don't have that ability to just swallow bogus talking points en masse.

Posted by: jbossch | August 24, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

O/T but related (from Benen):


"The Wall Street Journal editorial board has an item today heralding Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's (R) $400 million budget surplus. According to the WSJ, it "proves" the efficacy of the Republican approach, and reminds federal policymakers to "employ the Virginia strategy."

In his ridiculous economic speech today, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also singled out Bob McDonnell for praise, noting how impressive it was to see the Virginia Republican "balance his state's budget ... without raising taxes."

McDonnell himself has started patting himself on the back. Last week, he stopped by the Fox Business Network to boast about the greatness of his "conservative, fiscal, practical approach" to budgeting. McDonnell added his way is a model for reducing the "dependence of people on government." Fox Business described it as "an amazing story."

So amazing, in fact, that it deserves a closer look. Indeed, there's a key detail about Virginia's surplus that Republican leaders and their media outlets hope you'll overlook.

From the Richmond Times/Dispatch:

"Richmond, Va. --
Gov. Bob McDonnell decries rising federal spending, but a handout from Washington is helping him balance Virginia's cash-strapped budget, a fiscal think tank says.

If not for $2.5 billion from President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus program, the state's shortfall would have swelled from more than $4 billion to nearly $5.5 billion, according to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

Michael J. Cassidy, institute president, said yesterday that the federal aid helped shrink the hole by 16 percent, allowing Virginia -- at the height of the recession -- to avert "further cuts to key areas like health care, education and public safety."

About $1.3 billion in federal funds was directed to Medicaid, a program that provides health care for the poor; $1 billion went to education, from kindergarten to college; $39 million for law enforcement; and $200 million in general assistance.

McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced Virginia's budget without raising taxes, choosing, instead, to cut spending, borrow millions from the public-worker pension system and plow stimulus funds into education and welfare programs.

Those steps, along with modest economic growth that bumped up tax revenues, allowed the state to close the budget year in June with nearly $400 million in unspent funds -- about $174 million more than initially predicted by McDonnell."

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/virginia-politics/2010/aug/19/budg19-ar-461470/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@cmccauley60: "I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security. It’s a very misleading — it’s an intentionally misleading term. And it is used by those who try to use it as a pejorative to scare people"

I've got to agree with Toomey on that. I'm not familiar with his plan, but if it is anything like the Bush plan, it isn't "privatizing" Social Security. And personal accounts does not mean "privatizing" Social Security.

"So I’ve advocated that we consider offering young workers an alternative — a reform within Social Security that would give them the opportunity to take a portion of their payroll tax and actually save that and own that and allow that to accumulate over the course of their working years and for that to provide a portion of their retirement benefit. I think that’d be a very constructive reform, and that’s what I’m going to advocate."

100% for that, myself, even thought it's getting to the point that, by the time we get it (if ever) I'm going to be too old to take advantage of it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

No SBJ,

Two years ago Bush was still President, so Democrats could not get passed his veto powers.

You are confusing Bush with Quitter Palin, who quit early. Bush left Office in January of 2009. Do some googling on it. It was in all the papers.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, what is the difference, in your view, between a "personal" account and a "private" account?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

So, according to Liam, it's the GOP's fault when they are in the majority AND when they are in the minority. Got it.

BTW Liam, noticed that you were commenting on banning. Didn't you vow to leave forever if Greg banned Bilge?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"if they can't demonize Pelosi I highly doubt the Dems will be able to paint Bohner as the bad guy."

The Republicans "had" to demonize Nancy Pelosi -- by fabricating lies that she is a socialist or what have you -- because of her and the Dems' agenda of helping America move forward.

The Democrats, on the other hand, don't HAVE to demonize Boehner, just put his current statements next to his old (Bush-era) ones.

There's no fabricated boogie-man for Boehner, just ACTUAL POLICIES that the GOP has ALREADY PUT IN PLACE. Namely, deregulating every industry, engaging the Military Industrial Complex, and redistributing America's wealth from the Middle Class to the Wealthy Establishment Elite.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@jbossch: "He really believes that Bush was some aberration, not a 'true conservative.'"

Bush wasn't a small 'c' conservative. He was a big government conservative. However, he was certainly not an aberration. There are plenty of Big Government conservatives in the GOP. All the Project for a New American Century types are Big Government conservatives.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Is that a real date, or is that just a anti-Park 51 rumor?

If that's seriously when they wanted to dedicate it (good luck getting that construction done in a year, btw, in Manhattan. Hah!), I do kinda think that's not the best idea.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 1:50 PM
================

Of course it isn't a real date. It's simply a date the usual crowd of liars put out, knowing their base of crazies would never bother fact-checking it.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201008100011

~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@ Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:02 PM

I really think Democrats would be better off hammering on the failed policies of the Radical Right. George W. Bush obviously did the country a lot of harm, but he didn't do it alone.

A lot of the same people who actually wrote the worst legislation that Bush signed are still in Congress and they really haven't changed a bit. (The bright orange face of John Boehner for example, comes looming into mind.) No reason why they shouldn't own what they broke. Seems only fair.

Posted by: CalD | August 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@cmccaulley: "Kevin, what is the difference, in your view, between a 'personal' account and a 'private' account?"

The difference is semantic, but entirely beside the point.

Having a personal account that involves a relatively small portion of what you put in SS being not only available to you to manage (within limits), but to pass on to your heirs, is not the same thing as "privatizing social security", which implies a wholesale replacement of the Social Security program, which it would not be.

Would a program that put a small portion of your SS contributions into an account that only held interest bearing government bonds constitute to "privatizing" Social Security? I really don't find the phrase "privatizing Social Security" as objectively descriptive of the plans it is usually used to describe.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Do you disagree with this, Kevin?

Toomey seems to be under the impression that if you aren’t in favor of privatizing all of the Social Security system then you aren’t in favor of privatizing, period. But make no mistake, Toomey absolutely favors privatizing a portion of the program, as he makes painfully clear through his advocating that young workers “own” an account. Such privatized accounts would have experienced sharp negative returns in the market turmoil of 2008.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/24/toomey-never-privatize/

There is a method for establishing personal retirement accounts, they're called 401(k) plans, and I'm all for that. But Social Security is a safety net for ALL. Allowing high wage earners to opt out will leave the system with only low wage earners funding it. Of course, these low wage earners are the very people that lack adequate income to fund their own 401(k) plans.

Yeah, I guess now I can see why a republican would be in favor of this scheme.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Even long-time George W. Bush haters like me find the Democrats' sorry excuse for a midterm strategy supremely irritating.

The economy terrifies me. The job market terrifies me. Retirement terrifies me. Health care (still) terrifies me.

And yet the best the Democratic Party can do is tell me scary campfire tales about George Bush?

Posted by: Itzajob | August 24, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

More to the point, Kevin, how does taking money out of the system contribute to its solvency?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans aren't adding anything new but the Democrats aren't either.

It is up to the Democrats to list what they want to do in the Congress to continue to grow the economy.

I say promote a NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE BANK.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 24, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@cmccauley: "Such privatized accounts would have experienced sharp negative returns in the market turmoil of 2008."

Well, not if they were in interest bearing bonds, for example. Even a typical money market would perform a little better in terms of what it returned to the retiree than Social Security. And though interest rates very, there are no negative returns in such investments.

Additionally, such investments would be made in the long term. I.e., if you invested $20,000 that had grown to $100,000 and then market volatility knocked it down to $30,000, folks might feel like they had lost $100,000, but, in fact, they would have gained $10,000. Market volatility is generally death to people who are in and out of the market, but don't do serious damage to people who are in it for the long haul, especially if investments were limited to things like index funds--top 25 NASDAQ or DOW funds, for example, have very good long term performance, especially if you dollar-cost-average your investments.

I just think it's a good idea, especially if voluntary, and limited to a percentage of your overall SS contribution. I'd be happy to tie such a scheme with a lifting of the wage cap on SS contributions, too. Of course, I'm not running for congress.

"Allowing high wage earners to opt out will leave the system with only low wage earners funding it."

What plan allows high wage earners to completely opt out? I wouldn't support that, as I imagine you would not. But you might support a plan that allowed all wage earners to put a small portion of their SS contributions into an account that they, as individuals, owned?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"And yet the best the Democratic Party can do is tell me scary campfire tales about George Bush?"

That's not the "best they can do," it's what they need to do politically to make the case why they should be re-hired.

And it's not about "TALES" either. As a Bush-hater, you know that we are STILL SUFFERING THE EFFECTS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

The Dems need to explain to voters like yourself just exactly WHY the economy is so bad, and WHY the job market is so bad, and WHY the health care system is so bad.

They also need to explain to voters like yourself just exactly what the REFORMS that they've passed will do for you and why we need to CONTINUE ON THAT PATH (and not hand the keys back to the people who drove the country into a ditch).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I hate to use terms like "demonizing" Boehner. I know "demonizing" is a lot more exciting and colorful than simply "pointing out what he has said and voted for in the past" but really...if we are to save this nation we need to avoid falling into the right's trap. Remember the old saw our mom's used to tell us...at least if you had a good mom :-).."Breaking up other people's furniture doesn't really make your furniture any better.

And that in a nutshell is the R problem this year. The D problems are obvious..and economy in the cr&pper...and the usual midterm cycle of losses for the party holding the W.H.

In normal times this would produce a Republican rout...not simply retaking the house or even the Senate...but a real rout.
But the R's have ZERO new ideas. They have only taken the time to break up the Dem's furniture...but they spent no time on actually making their own furniture better.

Simply let the people see this...there are plenty of clips to illustrate..beginning with Bohners famous theatrical "hell no" speech during HCR. There has to be reams and reams of video of Bohner making a jackass of himself. Simply show him for what he is...there is no need to "demonize" him.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@cmccaulley: "More to the point, Kevin, how does taking money out of the system contribute to its solvency?"

An important question, but one that doesn't have anything to do with describing efforts to reform Social Security as privatization.

Depends on the plan, of course. I support raising the cap on wages regarding the payment of SS, so that alone would actually bring in more money, not less.

But the other way in which private accounts would help regarding long-term solvency is by having the private accounts end up paying more of the future retirees SS check than current workers. Obviously, there is a gap between when people first opt in to the program (and change the nature of their contributions) and start collecting their benefits, so there would be a significant period where private accounts would not be helping with solvency.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"The Republicans aren't adding anything new but the Democrats aren't either."

Be careful Maritza lest you get cast into the bin of the "looney" left like wbgonne, lmsinca and myself. :-)

We KNOW the right doesn't respond well to the truth...we had hoped Dems would not be so touchy about criticism. Again when one of us says we are going to sit out the election I'll understand...so far I have yet to read that. In fact I'd wager that wbgonne, lmsinca, and myself are far better bets to head to the polls and vote Dem than many indys.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

You just agreed that the difference between "private" and "personal" accounts is nothing but semantics but now you object to the term "privatization" as though it is inaccurate.

It sounds like your real point here is that private accounts can be passed to heirs but, be honest Kevin, you have to agree that that is not the purpose of Social Security, don't you?

If people want a personal retirement account that they can pass to heirs, the vehicle already exists - 401(k).

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin

"Depends on the plan, of course. I support raising the cap on wages regarding the payment of SS, so that alone would actually bring in more money, not less."

Eliminate the cap totally and we can sit down at the negotiating table my friend. Eliminating the cap brings in a huge windfall and we could perhaps agree that instead of raising future SS benefits..we simply control them better...no automatic COLA's etc..and the money left over from that windfall could be used to fund your "personal" "private" (I'm not really concerned about semantics here) accounts.

In other words the increased funding would prevent any CUTS to SS but it wouldn't be used to make the program way more generous...any leftover goes to your private accounts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I suppose, theoretically, the GOP could re-brand themselves, but "Preperation H" (just the thing for sore...well, you know...) is already trademarked.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 24, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

sbj made a fair point. Republicans won't be running things if they retake congress any more than democrats were running things in Bush's last two years. All that happens is major legislation is extremely unlikely to be passed and/or signed into law, and the majority party would have subpoena power, which republicans would definitely use.

These are not equal branches of government. Executive is by far the most powerful, then the courts, then congress.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story! If you want another perspective on current events, politics, international relations, and even just some cultural commentary check out my blog called “Power Walk.” Here is the link to check it out: http://wwwstangblog.blogspot.com (no dots after the www). I hope that it doesn’t disappoint!

Posted by: PowerWalkBlog | August 24, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse


That Dems' ploy might have worked, but by comparison, what the Dems have done to ruin our economy with their disastrous programs in the last 20 months (not mentioning the previous 24 months), makes the GOP look like economic gurus.

People will vote for the lesser of the two evils in November - the Republicans.

Posted by: janet8 | August 24, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Maritza, RUK... WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

Love you guys but shoot! The Dems HAVE INDEED offered a positive progressive pro-growth agenda for 2011:

Biden: GOP Has No New Ideas

While castigating Boehner for offering few new ideas, Biden launched into his vision of what the Obama administration hopes to see accomplished in areas such as automobile manufacturing and renewable energy, with the help of government investment.

"Now more than ever the American people need a policy of innovation," he said.

The vice president unveiled a new report from the White House on the stimulus investments made in transportation advancements, the renewable energy sector, medical research and platforms such as broadbrand infrastructure.

Biden said he has heard "not a word from our opponnents on how we're going to spur innovation... [and] lead the world in the 21st century.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20014560-503544.html

Auto Manufacturing
Renewable Energy
Transportation
Medical Research
Broadband Infrastructure

Plus:

Education
Energy Efficiency
Efforts to back Small Biz

Many others...

C'mon now. You guys are letting all the BS get to you. Let's not let the Republican Tea Party get us all pissed off when there is a LOT to be excited about with the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Dems need to focus on the Republican deficit. Americans know it is irresponsible to cut taxes without cutting programs, but the Republicans did.

It is irresponsible to have one war, let alone two, without asking for Americans, not just the servicemen and women, to sacrifice.

The wealthiest, in this recession, are the luckiest Americans, and can afford the tax increase. Anyone still making over $250,000 in this economy is lucky. Why do the Republicans want to protect them, and keep the deficit at record levels?

We need to be smart, and adjust the national budget. If Boehner & Repubs are going to keep the tax cuts, what programs will he and they cut too? Social Security? Medicare? Tell us what the Republican plan is to cut the deficit. Still waiting...

Posted by: Bak1 | August 24, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I think you're missing out on a golden opportunity. Fox is clearly in bed with someone could potentially turn the xenophobe brigade against their own news source.

With all the attempts of Fox to de-legitimize every news agency out there, this Prince Alaweed issue could very well de-legitimize the network to all the very same people are perfectly fine with a network dedicated to Republican propaganda 24/7.

LittleGreenFootball's just re-introduced an old article where the Prince brags about calling Fox and getting them to change a headline regarding the riots in France.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/37017_Saudi_Prince-_I_Called_Murdoch_and_Fox_Changed_Their_Headline_Within_Minutes

I think EVERY Fox viewer should know this.

I think all the news orgs should get a statement from the Prince to see how he feels about being demonized by the network he holds a 7% stake in. Get the interviews out there for everyone to see, including Fox viewers. Let Fox then explain their misinformation campaign to their viewers and to the Prince.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Republicans do seem to be offering nothing new and, in fact, are arguing for a return to the same policies they pushed during the GW Bush years. That being said, Democrats aren't providing a plan to deal with the economy and/or the deficit/debt either. Is there a third choice?

Posted by: wireknob | August 24, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Bak says, "It is irresponsible to have one war, let alone two, without asking for Americans, not just the servicemen and women, to sacrifice."

Now that is a true statement!

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/politics_democratic/99253

Posted by: nisleib | August 24, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

People will vote for the lesser of the two evils in November - the Republicans.

Posted by: janet8 | August 24, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

===

I'm having a hard time seeing how the Democrats are worse. They've been in power for about 18 months. How much success or damage can you really pin on them?

What should they have done instead? Let everything fail? Would we be better off?

Posted by: mikem1 | August 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Funny, mikem, The Dick Armey, thinks that's exactly what should have been done:

In trying to reestablish the conservative brand, Armey is attempting to throw President Bush under the bus. In an interview aired last night on the O’Reilly Factor, Armey dismissed the qualifications of Bush who pushed for the 2008 financial bailout funds. When right-wing pundit Bill O’Reilly tried to defend Bush’s decision, Armey told O’Reilly that “Bush isn’t a big thinking guy” and he lacked “adult discipline,” unlike Armey, who knows better because “he read Hayek and Mises”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/24/armey-on-bush-legacy/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan I hear you brother and certainly take your points. As you well know I am one of the folks who has frequently encouraged and thanked you for bringing in the positive economic news.

My snark wasn't directed at you but rather at two other posters who refer to us as the "looney" left.

Again we have NEVER said we'll stop voting Dem..or even threatened to sit out the election...we DO understand the stakes and we do believe the R's have done so much damage to our nation..economically..foreign policy..civility..that we'll obviously be at the polls.

BUT...having said that...there was a large plurality of the public in favor of the P.O. Obama is a gifted orator...OFA did such an outstanding job during the 08 election you can understand our disappointment that Obama let his effing little retard Chief of Staff water down HCR to an absurd level. EVERY major policy wonk I have read...including Conservatives realize that it's going to eventually be forced by economic necessity anyway. We are the only civilized nation in the World without health care for our citizens...and from the conservative talking points...we are the only nation in the world that doesn't budget health care and say that's it....rationing yes...but we've always had rationing..and always will..it just changing the metrics we currently use to ration. The rich get the finest health care in the world...the middle class are getting squeezed to the point of bankruptcy..and the poor get only emergency health care...that's RATIONING..simply done by the pocketbook.

Foreign policy...Iraq is a wash to me because neither Bush nor Obama got us out of Iraq...it was the Iraqis who forced Bush to accept the dates certain for drawdown...Afghanistan...there is no difference in O's policy than what we would have had under McCain. We can disagree about the strategy but it was hardly a moderate strategy..it is hawkish.

Doesn't mean I don't believe O still has a chance to be a great President...does mean I believe he has a long way to go.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

As there is no actual plan for personalizing/privatizing SS other than Paul Ryan's roadmap, look at the CBPP's response to Ryan's criticism of their evaluation. There are huge ramifications to both privatization and benefit cuts.

ruk, I consider it a badge of honor, and most progressive I know are actually, you know, working on campaigns. LOL

"What makes these accounts private is their ownership, not their oversight or management. Ryan’s response itself states that “the accounts are owned by the individual.” In their management and ownership, these accounts would be similar to what President Bush proposed in 2005, and there was no dispute at the time that they should be considered “private.” Indeed, that’s what their proponents were touting."

"In fact, Ryan does not dispute our contention that his proposals to alter the indexing of Social Security benefits and raise the full retirement age would cut benefits for the average retiree compared to current law. He correctly notes that his plan contains a modest benefit increase for some very low earners and that currently scheduled taxes are not permanently sufficient to finance scheduled benefits. But these points in no way contradict what we wrote. Our report made the point that his plan would provide massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans even as it cut Social Security benefits for average workers."

http://centeronbudget.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3119

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@cmccaulley: "It sounds like your real point here is that private accounts can be passed to heirs"

That's an added benefit, not the whole point. More money for retirees in the long run is the main point.

"but, be honest Kevin, you have to agree that that is not the purpose of Social Security, don't you?"

Indeed. However, I like the idea of a decent amount of money being passed on to children or a spouse (although spouses get survivorship benefits already), especially for lower-middle to lower income earners, where typically the only supplement to retirement is the house (if there is one) and a pension (if there is one). Thus, they end up leaving very little or nothing, which doesn't seem particularly unfair if they die when they're 90 and had been drawing of SS for almost 30 years, but if they die at 68, a portion of their contributions in a private or personal account being passed on to their surviving spouse or children seems like a net positive.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, you really can't blame the Democrats for trying.

After all, when you've got such a bad old orange face just hanging out there spouting nonsense......

It's hard to resist. ;)

Posted by: elscott | August 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I don't think talking about changing social security to "personal accounts" or "privatizing" is a winner for the GOBP right now, even with young people just starting out in their careers. Why? Because of the lack of JOBS! The latest crop of college graduates are struggling under a pile of college debt without JOBS! For everyone else, they aren't going to be enthused about changing a system until they have their personal situation stabilized, i.e. a steady, stable job! How excited can someone get about getting to put part of their money into a personal account, when they DON'T HAVE A JOB or feel insecure in the one they do have?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Eliminate the cap totally and we can sit down at the negotiating table my friend."

Unfortunately, we don't represent most Republican and Democratic politicians, these days. I think it's entirely reasonable to compromise in ways that essentially let both parties except an ideological loss for big wins. And I personally have no problem with rich people paying a lot more into Social Security than they get out of it. The wealthy has a long term interest in retirees and the disabled being able to support themselves and live their lives.

I don't think there's much compromising left to be done, alas. DC politics is pretty much "to the victors go the spoils", and the other side says, "oh no, yo don't" so instead of productive compromise we get what little can be squeezed through stalemate and gridlock.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

All, Sharron Angle caught on tape agreeing that we have domestic enemies within Congress:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/sharron_angle_agrees_we_have_d.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - That would be a net positive, but is not what Social Security is supposed to do.

It isn't a retirement account and we shouldn't be pretending it is.

I'm not an expert on Social Security, but I had a friend a LONG time ago whose parents had died when he was very young (16). He received money from the governemt until a certain age. It has been (way) to long for me to remember what program he received money from, but I thought it was Social Security.

Posted by: nisleib | August 24, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I guess since none of us actually know what the deficit commission has planned for Social Security we'll have to wait until December to hash all this out.

Since the official GOP version per Boehner is increasing the age to 70 and Obama has said no privatization we've got nothing that tells us what kind of tweaking Dems think is acceptable. Too bad we won't know until after the election I guess.

I'm working on a campaign in my district, Bill Hedrick, who is opposed to both so I know what he stands for at least.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and my other point about the Dems using Boehner....

Don't you think, Greg, that this is also a "get out the base" tactic by the Dems? Seems to me it's a reasonable way to try to energize the party to get out there and get involved in the midterms, even if some in the furthest left wing of the party are feeling neglected and maligned.

Boehner is a great (orange) poster boy for what will happen if Dem voters are apathetic and don't turn out in November. It won't be pretty, to say the least.

Posted by: elscott | August 24, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it really the case that the Democrats must run on their record while the Republicans must run on their vision of the future?

Frankly the record of the Democrats is a target rich environment. the economic numbers are dreadful and America knows it.

Meanwhile the Republicans have to simply hold onto to their position: which is "We're not the Democrats".

This past cycle Obama ran as the "un bush" and it worked. Sauce for the goose it seems to me.

The Democrats will work hard to get specifics out of their opponents, but I don't think that too many will fall for that trick. Once someone provides anything, the Liberal press and the Democrat party organs will instantly start demogoguing. This hardly serves America well, but it is the lay of the land now.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo Agree with your observation about privatizing accounts. As someone who considers himself very fortunate indeed, but WELL below the $250,000 mark, like many in our group my wife and I have watched our professionally managed retirement account lose close to 50% of it's value. As have our two real estate investments..my wife's office building and an investment duplex...
We did everything by the book in terms of diversification...regular savings and investment..and then a few years before retirement...boom. This is not to feel sorry for myself, as I said I am blessed, it is to point out the folly of any system that relies on "private" "personal" whatever you wish to call them accounts for our nation's retirement. They are simply far too undependable.

@lmsinca...I appreciate you keeping up the good fight on S.S. I am with you 100% in your attempts to beat back any cutbacks.
I do believe however if we'd simply eliminated the cap on the FICA taxes not only would the system be far more fair...the resulting increase in funding would give us some room to maneuver and maybe consider Kevin's plan as a Supplement to SS as long as it didn't result in cuts in basic benefits.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Non-snarky question Kevin - Have you done the math on this at all? What percentage of the social security contribution would you allow to be diverted to the private accounts?

The current rate for a middle class wage earner is 6.2% and the employer contributes an equal amount. Would you allow diversion of a portion of the employer contribution too?

For purposes of analysis, let's allow for a 50% diversion of the employee contribution, 3.1% and a wage rate of $40,000 annually or a total of about $1200 per year for a private account diversion amount.

Doesn't sound like much to retire on. How much are you going to reduce the social security benefit after the diversion? What happens if the economy tanks again and all the private accounts lose substantial value?

And does it seem to you that there would be much left as that middle class taxpayer is subjected to the vaunted death panels that will surely result if the GOP plan for Medicare is enacted?

How do you see this working, Kevin?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

ruk, I'm all for eliminating the cap on FICA. I don't actually think we'd have to do anything else. If you know anyone living on SS unfortunate enough to not have any other sort of retirement account, investments or property you'll understand where the real fight is going to be waged. These are the people we protected with Social Security 75 years ago.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

So much for the "failed" stimulus. Yet another positive report on its impact:

"Stimulus boosted GDP by up to 4.5 percent in 2Q 2010"

"The massive stimulus package boosted real GDP by up to 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and put up to 3.3 million people to work, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/08/stimulus_boosted_gdp_by_up_to_45_percent_in_2q_201.php?ref=fpa

[Oh, and by the way, the article notes -- for the deficit "faux hawks" -- that the stimulus will actually cost LESS than originally forecast.]

Ok, so the stimulus wasn't perfect. But, I think it's safe to say that anyone saying that it didn't help doesn't know what he or she is talking about.

Posted by: associate20 | August 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

cmccauley, in the Ryan plan, if the private accounts lose money, the taxpayers bail them out. Seriously.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Stimulus Plan Boosting Tech Innovation

According to the analysis, the package's $100 billion "innovation" investment has helped put the United States on track to cut the cost of solar power by 50 percent in the next five years.

The report also predicts that the cost of electric vehicle batteries will drop 70 percent by 2015. The country's total capacity to generate renewable energy, it says, will double by 2012.

Additionally, the analysis says that medical investments funded by the Recovery Act will lower the cost of a personal human genome map to under $1,000 over the next five years - a development that could have significant ramifications for health care.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/08/24/biden.recovery.act/index.html

That was for RUK and Maritza.

The Democratic Agenda is not only progressive, it is vastly critically important to FUTURE GROWTH.

Btw, RUK, have you voted in the FL primary? ;-)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 24, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

That surely is a burning issue, isn't it? You are whistling past the graveyard.
Remember November.

Posted by: PreferenceForTruth | August 24, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

A vote for a Republican is a vote against your own best interests. Too bad so many Americans are too dumb to understand this. They get fooled over and over again by right-wing lies and propaganda. Goodbye Democracy!

Posted by: Chagasman | August 24, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I've never hired a housekeeper, but if I ever did and things were still a mess after two years, and all I'd heard were complaints the whole time, I think I'd be calling Merry Maids for a replacement.

Posted by: TomCatzzz | August 24, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Kevin: As a current Social Security recipient, I'd like to know how you would make up for the money that is diverted from young people's payroll taxes into their private and personal accounts. Are you for raising taxes on someone, cutting my benefits or cutting somewhere else in the budget, and if so, where? Or do you just give up and say let the deficit grow, Cheney proved that deficits don't matter?

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 24, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@associate 20 & @Ethan

Thanks both for the very positive economic news. BTW...while I am disappointed in our Afghan war policy and what I believe was an unnecessarily watered down HCR...I do give Obama an A+ on the economy. Wish the stimulus could have been larger..but so did he and I believe he got what he could on that front.

So thanks Ethan and Associate for giving me a positive reason to support O because as the man said "It'sthe economy stupid."

@Ethan...no I couldn't vote in the Primary today because I'm a registered Independent, and Florida has closed primaries. Being an indy has historically worked for me, but given the nature of the GOP(hard for me to imagine ever voting for an R in my lifetime) and the Jeff Greene/Rick Scott phenomenon, where rich scumbag crooks are within a whisker of stealing a major party nomination...I'm going to have to re-register as a Dem.

A bit ironic that a former R, Jeff Greene who switched to the Dem to try and steal a primary has moved me from indy to Dem to prevent any future attempts at a hostile takeover by a wealthy crook.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Chagasman, let's just wait until November and just count the votes of the "so many Americans too dumb to understand" your argument. That sound you hear is the sleeping giant waking up.

Posted by: PreferenceForTruth | August 24, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Of course it does, lms.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

No Preference...the sound you hear is the lies coming from the Great corporatist media giant Rupert Murdoch and his partner the Saudi Prince.

"Too bad so many Americans are too dumb to understand this. They get fooled over and over again by right-wing lies and propaganda. Goodbye Democracy!"

Apparently you agree with chagasman since you said nothing to refute...oops excuse me..refudiate LMAO his claim..you actually endorsed. He pointed out that a lot of misinformed folks will be voting against their own interests...the sleeping giant who woke up was ill educated, uninformed and voted on gut reactions and emotions rather than pragmatism.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

In answer to someone above, the SS program is technically OASDI--Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance. Your friend got survivor's insurance, which pays minor children of people who paid into SS, and spouses get benefits as well. Then there is the disability component. The important thing is that SS is INSURANCE, and as with insurance, those who die young lose but their survivors gain more in benefits than they put in. Those who live long collect more benefits. Passing on what you did not live to collect destroys the risk-spreading aspect of SS as an insurance pr5ogram.

And yes, we do have privatizing, it is called 401k)s and they haven't been doing so well. I really appreciate the monthly benefits and so will you if you live to collect them and you protect the program from predation.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 24, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now that you've all purged your bowels for the day -- tell me how things are going for this country TODAY -- not in the past -- can't do a thing about that. I submit that things suck big time -- and the administration in power right now doesn't have a clue. Heaven help us all.

Posted by: BadNews | August 24, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I will be the first to admit that the Republicans spend too much money and many were turned out of office because Republican voters would not continue to support them. In return, we got spending from the Democrats who made the Republican spending look like chicken feed compared to the Democrats spending habits. The Congress which has been under control of the Democrats for the past 4 years are the ones who has ran up the deficit big time with our present President more so than Bush and the Republican controlled congress ever did.

Posted by: sales7 | August 24, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

So, cmccauley, unless I'm mistaken Ryan's plan cuts benefits, provides tax breaks for the wealthy, signals the end of SS as we know it, transfers middle class wealth to Wall Street and if the scheme fails the taxpayers take the hit. Sound familiar?

Mimikatz, thanks for explaining it so well, and my husband and I aren't too far away ourselves. Also, I watched my mother live on my Dad's benefits after he passed and if it wasn't for us she'd have been eating hamburger helper without the hamburger. A lot of her widowed friends weren't so lucky.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 24, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 - I congratulate you on your flawless logic. Take a cookie and sit down.

Posted by: PreferenceForTruth | August 24, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The GOP Re-brand itself? Not necessary. Return to the Principles and Concepts of the Country’s Founded, which are written in the Country’s Founding Document: The Declaration of Independence and the Social Contract between the states and the people: The Constitution of The United States. No, the Republican Party does not need to re-brand itself, just educate, and engage our fellow Americans. The GOP’s principles are based on the founding concepts of freedom from Coercion and Federalism, that is diffused power to the various states and people, with only a specifically enumerated functions being carried out by the federal government. The GOP believes, as it is written in the founding documents that this country is a Constitutional Republic, where the majority cannot crush the minority.

The Democrat Party stands against these founding principles. They believe in things like demagoguery, and telling specific groups of people what they want to hear. They believe the Declaration of Independence is not a Founding Document, but a letter to the King of England. They believe that the Constitution was intended to be “living and breathing” unlike any other normal contract (Lease agreement, contract to purchase, or arms’ length transaction), and can be interpreted in a politically expedient manner to serve their purposes. The Modern Democrat believes in the supremacy of the state.... For the Modern Democrat, the individual's imperfection and personal pursuits impede the objectives of a utopian state. In this, Modern Liberalism promotes what French Historian Alexis de Tocqueville called soft tyranny, which becomes increasingly more oppressive, partially leading to hard tyranny.... As the word "liberal" is, in its classical meaning, the opposite of authoritarian, it is more accurate, therefore, to characterize the Modern Liberal as a Statist

Posted by: 50Eagle | August 24, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse


After the election the Democrats can rebrand themselves as the minority part in Congress.

70 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob21 | August 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The "old GOP" was the party of tax cuts for the rich, fear and hate. They are trying to rebrand by becoming the party of No, tax cuts for the rich, and hate and fear. Isn't that better?

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | August 24, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's kick sick old ladies out of their apartments. Let's throw chronically sick destitutes out of nursing homes and onto the street. Let's send a government letter to tapped out retired people informing them of an upcoming tax increase on them (to pay for their Social Security checks) versus an extended tax holiday for the Dick Fulds of the world. Let's find some more wars to start. This is the world as envisioned by the GOP. They have a "better" idea. America is far from a utopia and would be no nearer to a utopia even if a little buffering is applied to naked capitalist behavior. Nothing wrong in general with capitalism. Jack DeCoster runs a capitalist business that recently sickened multitudes. His employee hens hate the hen house. Some government intervention could shape up Mr. DeCoster's blind faith in religion and capitalism. But that would, in the view of the GOP, be wrong, as free-market economic theory is supposed to cure every ailment.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 24, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"where the majority cannot crush the minority."

Wow you mean you are not one of those conservatives upset with the judge who ruled on California's prop 8 because he pointed out that very thing....the majority trying to crush the rights of the minority gays.

Most Conservatives are caterwauling about how awful it is that a mean old judge can override the vote of the "majority" of Californians!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Boehner is like the arsonist who comes back as the fire is burning to tell the firemen what to do. The policies he advocates are what put the economy down the toilet in the first place. The fact that he is (apparently successfully) running against the very economic crisis that Republicans created is, unfortunately, evidence that voters may be even dumber than Boehner. After 30 years of cutting taxes on rich people, and promises that it would produce prosperity, you would think that it would dawn on the electorate that it doesn't seem to help anybody else but the super-rich and their growing roster of servants -- including the GOP. But no, let's try it for another 30 freaking years and see if we get a different result.

Posted by: tboyer33 | August 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@tboyer

You have captured the logic of those who vote R perfectly!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 24, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Boehner voted for Medicare Part D, which has a present value of $15.5 trillion or 1.2% of GDP forever.

Now that is generational theft

Six years ago, "it was standard practice not to pay for things," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Posted by: somnamblst1 | August 24, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a rebranding motto for the two parties everyone:

Republican Party Motto: Liberty for All

Democrat Party: Tyranny over All

Posted by: 50Eagle | August 24, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

After the election the Democrats can rebrand themselves as the minority part in Congress.

70 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob21 | August 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse


====

I'm not a democrat, and I probably wasn't going to vote this time, but your post reminds me why I need to.

Posted by: mikem1 | August 24, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Want US jobs exported to Red China? - Boehner's your man!

Want more tax cuts for the ultra-rich paid for by borrowed money? - Boehner's your man!

Want unregulated deep sea oil drilling? - Boehner's your man!

Want endless foreign civil wars of Republican adventure but not budgeted for? - Boehner's your man!

Kick Boehner to the curb.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 24, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

These young WaPo writers and bloggers are just the worst type of hacks. There is absolutely nothing newsworthy in this bit. Democrats will try to blame Republicans and their leaders both old (Bush) and current (Boehner.) No way. You are kidding me. Thanks for the insight. Next time, just provide the link to the White House talking points. It would be a lot more honest.

Posted by: jymerk | August 24, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Amazing...I would say that Republicans have short memories but that would be incorrect, it's as if they have no memories.

How is it that the Republicans place Ronald Reagan on a pedastool yet he raised taxes throughout the 80's. Reagan was no tax cutter, in fact he was a tax raiser.

Republicans have no problem losing focus of domestic issues when they are in power, and instead attempt to force American values down the throats of other cultures halfway around the world...think Somalia, Iraq, and Afganistan for starters. All the while using hard earned taxpayer dollars to pay for the misadventures, and have no plan for how to get out.

Republicans have no problem with government as long as it's mandating what a woman can or cannot do with her body, or what type of sex men and/or women choose to marry.

Republicans have no problem with government practicing domestic eavesdropping in the name of national security.

Republicans have no problem allowing a fringe group of dumb and unintelligent Tea Party wingnuts to design their party's agenda.

Republicans have no problem being bigots, racists, homophobes, and hypocrites, as long as that's what their favorite conservative AM radio personality tells them to do.

No plan, no ideas, no work ethic, no discipline...now that's what Boners party of No has to offer this country. If they get back in power in 2010 they'll be left to their own devices, and will once again show the country what disastrous managers/leaders they are, and then Obama is sure to win a second term.

Posted by: burlydave | August 24, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism as Reagan, Bush 2 and Clinton practiced it is and has been the biggest threat to this country. The GOP's "BIG" ideas are old ideas... Tax cuts... done that... didn't work... The rich got richer... the middle class continues to lose economic ground and we have huge deficits because nobody wants to cut programs that are near and dear to their hearts and one president thought it was a good idea to waste over a trillion dollars in Iraq... Deregulation...We saw that that has done and it is bad. We need gov to act as a check against corp abuse, not aid in their dismantling of the middle class and poor. Then they have the nerve to still talk about "limited gov". Its tough for the GOP to say that with a straight face since Reagan and Bush 2 did the exact opposite.
The GOP is a joke. The economic mess we are in today is the result of 30 years of corporatism in Gov and the GOP bears much blame here. 2001-2006 should be a warning to anyone in the middle class and poor of the dire consequences when the GOP gain power. It was the the worst Gov we had in the modern era. The Dems are trying to make HC more affordable for the avg person... What did the GOP do? Nothing... They think tax cuts for millionaires, encouraging outsourcing and a war against a country that did not attack us are good ideas. Enough of the extremists known as the GOP.

Posted by: dwdave67 | August 24, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Um, Greg. Slight problem.

"Dems and White House advisers know they must not allow Boehner and the GOP to achieve a clean relaunch of their party and _their ideas_ heading into the midterms."

WHAT ideas Greg?

Please advise what is different, because I sure the heck don't see it. It's the same Trickle Down VooDoo, race, religion and gender bashing that has been going on for the past 45 years.

Except now, most of the intellectuals have totally abandoned the Republican Party.

Name one intellectual from the Republican Party that can tell us what Party policy is; without looking at their palm, or screeching "Hell no you CAN'T!", that is.

Posted by: shpilk | August 24, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I was set to give kudos to Sargent for at least admitting that he's basically a white house shill. I thought it was a refreshing change from the usual re-wording of white house talking points, disguised as an actual thought-out opinion piece.

But the lefty posters are extra moon-batty today, it appears.........which makes up for Sargent's better-than-usual job.

"Reagan raised taxes"...heh heh

Well, that's an odd conclusion to reach, considering the top tax rates went from 70% to 28%.
It' true that other taxes were raised.
How else would we have been able to fund all of those unconstitutional progressive welfare programs, when the prior tax policies had already stunted the growth of an already fragile economy?
The tax burden had to be shifted to draw private investment.
It worked out for everyone.
Unemployment rates fell from 7.6% to 5.5%
There were 17 million jobs created, which works out to over 2 million per year.
We've only averaged 1.3 million per year, since (Actually, it is much less, since the job losses during this administration weren't included in the figures)
Median household incomes rode by over $4000 during Reagan's eight years.
There was no growth in the eight years before Reagan took office.
Those incomes actually fell post-Reagan.
Reaganomics absolutely destroyed the stagflation that was left in Jimmy Carter's wake. The Consumer Price Index fell from a staggering 13.5%, to just 4.1%.
Interest rates fell from 18.9% (yes...18.9%) to just 8.2%.
And here's the big one
Revenue DOUBLED under Reagan, from 517 billion, to 1.03 trillion.

Posted by: MrMeaner | August 24, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Boner believes in "trickle-down".

Most of us describe it as p!ssed on by those with the most welath.

Posted by: veerle1 | August 24, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

boner made a claim today that even a 3rd grader would understand is insane. He said the bush tax abortion will be an engine for job growth. crickets..........those tax cuts were enacted a decade ago. When exactly does boner think they are going to kick start the economy?

And why would anyone think that returning the tax code, at least the upper class portion of it, to the more reasonable and responsible way it was under President Clinton is a bad idea? I remember the 1990s well. Longest economic expansion in US history., The first time in almost 3 decades that wages for the average houshold increased in real dollars. And more importantly, since boner and the republicon are playing the "ooohh we don't like deficits (when democrats are in office) Clinton was the first president in decades to balance the budget and actually start paying down the national debt.

Whose economic ideas have proved better over the course of the last century? FDR or Hoover? Reagan and Bush or Clinton? Bush or Obama? it is a no brainer. Republicons skrew up the economy, Democrtas fix it. Period.

Posted by: John1263 | August 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Hoover and FDR were both progressives that raised taxes and opposed free trade.
The real comparison is Wilson vs.Harding/Coolidge, or Harding?Coolidge vs. Hoover/FDR.
Reagan's only problem was he had to deal with a congress that wouldn't let him emulate Coolidge, who was greatly admired by Reagan.
Both Bushes were moderate progressives.
Bush was the one who coined the term "voodoo economics", because, as we can see from the change in economic conditions from Reagan's terms to Bush's term, he was an idiot.
(And now, you're quoting an idiot...and a Bush, no less.)
That makes me smile.
And lets remember why it was that Bush lost to Clinton (aside from Ross Perot)
Bush broke his "read my lips...no new taxes" pledge.
Clinton was a progressive that valued his legacy more than satisfying the left.
His consistent signing of GOP legislation was a stroke of genius on his part, and provided him a legacy of fiscal responsibility

Posted by: MrMeaner | August 24, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Boehner has a worthy Democratic opponent for his seat in Ohio Congressional District 8: Justin Coussoule - West Point graduate, lawyer, small business owner, middle class working family background, impressively articulate. Boehner can be replaced and should be replaced this election season.

Posted by: freedom9 | August 24, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Poor Democrats. At this point they are so pathetically desperate they realize they cannot even defend their own signature legislative health care bill, their stimulus bill, or any other legislation they passed as public opinion is against all of these that they are forced to try to run against someone who has stayed completely out of the limelight for 20 months now. This is a compelling argument: "We are horrible and have passed virtually no law the American people approve of, but doesn't the GOP remind you voters of Bush, someone you did not like who was president 20 months ago and who has no one has heard from since he left office."

Posted by: davtepper | August 25, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats spent 18 months pretending that Rush Limbaugh was the house minority leader and that hasn't worked. Thus, they have no choice but to pull out the September surprise: that dangerous radical extremist from Ohio, JOHN BOEHNER (!!!). You know, I heard he has a weird tan.

Be afraid America, be very afraid.

Posted by: dummypants | August 25, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dems? What's a Dem? "Sarge" seems to know the name of the minority party, maybe if he learns the name of the majority party we could be slightly interested in his opinions.

Posted by: rlfast | August 25, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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