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The Morning Plum

* Still more signs of slippage with the Dem base? The new NBC/WSJ poll, which puts Obama's approval at 47 percent, also finds that a quarter of Democrats are only somewhat or not at all confident that Obama has the right policies on the economy.

And the enthusiasm gap persists: Half of those "most interested" in the election want GOP to control Congress, while 39 percent want Democratic control.

Two takeaways: The state of the economy may be what's draining away enthusiasm for Obama's string of legislative accomplishments among even some of his supporters. And whatever problems Obama has with the base are a subset of the broader electorate's anxiety and impatience over the Federal government's failure to bring better days. The economy may trump all.

* But: That enthusiasm gap has narrowed 10 points since June, the public is evenly split in the generic Congressional matchup, and less than a quarter view the GOP favorably, an all time low in this poll. There's still time for Dems to turn this around, or at least to limit losses.

* And whaddaya know, the Gulf spill didn't destroy Obama's presidency after all: Fifty percent now approve of his handling of the aftermath of the disaster, versus only 42 percent who disapprove.

White House advisers who predicted the public would warm in retrospect to his handling of the spill after it stopped turned out to be right.

* On the flip side... If we're going to keep talking about the Dems' travails with the left, the flip side is that the Tea Party ferment on the right is creating a whole different set of problems for Republicans in the form of extremely conservative and unpredictable candidates.

* No GOP control of Senate? Also in the above link, Mitch McConnell, perhaps depressing expectations, says it isn't going to happen:

"It would take an almost perfect day to get the Senate back," he said. "I think we are going to have a good day, but I do worry about irrational exuberance."

* Comparing the GOP and Dem tax plans: Don't miss The Post's terrific graphic display dramatizing the differences between keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich and letting them expire.

* Time for another "reconciliation" summit? Will Obama address the Cordoba House controversy at the Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan he's holding at the White House later this week?

* Earthshaking counterintuitive pundit pronouncement of the day: The Dems' blame-Bush strategy is destined to fail, says Karl Rove.

* Genuinely counterintuitive take of the day: Josh Green on why the $26 billion in state aid is only a victory "by the occluded standards of contemporary Washington."

* What's the point of that again? Paul Krugman asks one of this blog's pet questions: What exactly does the White House's urinating on the left accomplish?

* Charlie Crist continues shedding his GOP skin: He comes out against the Arizona immigration law, saying it doesn't represent "the America I believe in."

* And here's the euphemism of the day: Politico has an interesting lead story about all the, ahem, "offbeat" candidates GOP primary voters have elected this year, and how those candidates are imperiling GOP gains.

Translation: The right has gone freakin' insane.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 8:13 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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Next: The Bachmann-ization of American Politics

Comments

What's the point of that again? Paul Krugman asks one of this blog's pet questions: What exactly does the White House's urinating on the left accomplish?
==================================

Jay Ackroyd, via Atrios:

"From where I sit, this flap was really about the Obama administration reassuring fellow members of their New Democrat "centrist" movement that they were staying the course. Erskine Bowles and William Simpson still chair the Catfood Commission. While they have "nominated" Elizabeth Warren, Timmeh's commitment to the new normal will still rule economic policy-making.

There is no chance that the administration will advocate a cheaper, more effective, more popular health care system like the one run by the pinko Canadians. And the manly US war machine will continue to be the foundation of the Beltway entitlement system."

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2010/08/gibby.html
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 12, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"And the enthusiasm gap persists: Half of those "most interested" in the election want GOP to control Congress, while 39 percent want Democratic control."

Obama biggest mistake was proposing centered legislation with hopes of party unity and GOP support. He should have proposed far left base desirable and let the meat grinder move it to the middle then say he tried. There is no way Ben Nelsen would approve of a PO, but if Obama proposed one and let Ben remove it to get his vote, he would still have his base in tact...

Had Obama of proposed far left agenda then allowed it to move to the middle he would have shown the Independents his willingness and ability to compromise and work across the isle. It would also prove that Democratic legislators are self centering since they are both conservatives and liberals.

Not doing it this way allows the Republican's to sell the idea that Obama has this far left radical agenda even though he is passing centered legislation. That Obama is unwilling to compromise because he can't take centered legislation and move it further to the right. He leaves himself no room to negotiate when he proposes centered legislation from the start...

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Krugman on what does Gibbs' meltdown accomplish?

All I can think of that there must be REAL FRUSTRATION in the White House of not getting any backing from the "Professional Left" when they feel underseige from the Right and the Middle. We all know that the "Professional Right" never went after Bush during his presidency the way that the "Professional Left" has done to Obama but that is just the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

In all this just shows to me that there needs to be a SHAKE UP in the White House because I truly believe that EVERYONE in the West Wing are DAMN TIRED. Obama essentially has been president since the day he won the election (months before he was sworn in) because President Bush had checked out of the presidency months before his presidency ended. Thus the Obama administration must be utterly EXHAUSTED with the combo of the Great Resession and 2 wars.

In conclusion I hope the Obama administration injects new blood to fortify it after the midterms including new advisers, new podium spokesman, new communiation folks, new economists, etc.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 12, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

@ifthethunderdontgetya = "What's the point of that again? Paul Krugman asks one of this blog's pet questions: What exactly does the White House's urinating on the left accomplish?"

Right now it shows the Indies that he is governing from the center since both the right and left are mad at him. I don't think it's working since Fox and the huge right wing media has had 18 months lead on selling the contrary. He needs to start explaining that his legislation is centered and that the Democrats have been the only ones serious about the economy and deficit. They need to make Bush tax cuts for the wealthy so toxic not even Mitch McConnell would defend them...

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

" On the flip side... If we're going to keep talking about the Dems' travails with the left, the flip side is that the Tea Party ferment on the right is creating a whole different set of problems for Republicans in the form of extremely conservative and unpredictable candidates."

As soon as all the primaries are over the Democrats need to break out the tea party footage with their outrageous signs with radical statements from the likes of Palin and Bachman always ending with Boner misquoting the constitution and asking, "is this who you want running the country"?

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@Greg: "about all the, ahem, "offbeat" candidates"

2010 - The Year of the Exotic Candidate

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 12, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"Comparing the GOP and Dem tax plans: Don't miss The Post's terrific graphic display dramatizing the differences between keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich and letting them expire."

The Republicans defense of the tax cuts for the rich proves they aren't the least bit serious about controlling the deficit. What they care about is making us believe they care so we'll put them back in power then their spending will match the Democrats out of control spending. The only difference is who will get the money (unemployed and poor vs defense and the rich). The middle class isn't represented by either party. We are the only ones who get nothing either way...

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"And here's the euphemism of the day: Politico has an interesting lead story about all the, ahem, "offbeat" candidates GOP primary voters have elected this year, and how those candidates are imperiling GOP gains.

Translation: The right has gone freakin' insane."

The Democrats and the WH should be shoving this story in the face of every American and get it some national news time...

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman asks one of this blog's pet questions: What exactly does the White House's urinating on the left accomplish?
==================================

"Urinating" is rather a strong and misleading description, isn't it?

The WH manufactured this controversy (in the middle of August when few voters are paying attention) to suggest that the Left get some perspective. This is just a reminder that with the upcoming midterms, the Dems have to close the enthusiasm gap. The Left's apoplectic response shows that Gibbs hit his target. After the defensiveness, we will see some self-pity, some soul searching, and then a momentary effort to get behind the big blue machine. We've see this before, we'll see it again.

Posted by: mercerreader | August 12, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@Sue = "

@Greg: "about all the, ahem, "offbeat" candidates"

2010 - The Year of the Exotic Candidate

:o)"

Someone said, I forget who, if they can't win this year they'll never win... That is a scary truth of what may happen in November...

Posted by: soapm | August 12, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Mercereader,

I think you hit the bullseye. Gibbs' rant happened in August NOT October which says a lot.

Plus the big rumor is that next week that Obama is going to nominate Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Protection Agency.

This will give Democrats a BIG SHOT IN THE ARM. I fully expect Obama to build on that in September to try and close the enthusiasm gap.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 12, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Mercerreader,

I think you hit the bullseye. Gibbs rant happened in August rather than October for a reason.

Besides the rumor (based upon Katrina's tweet) that Obama is going to nominate Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Protection Agency next week.

That is going to give the Democratic Base a huge SHOT IN THE ARM heading towards the midterms. I fully expect Obama to expand upon that in September to try and close the enthusiasm gap for the midterms.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"The economy may trump all."

I really hope the "may" in that sentence is snark, Greg.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Don't miss The Post's terrific graphic display dramatizing the differences between keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich and letting them expire."

Stunning. The Democrats should have T-shirts made with that graphic. And please tell me again how the Grownups & Professionals in the White House are LOSING this argument on taxes.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@Maritza - I share your sympathies for Gibbs in this, contra Krugman, Yglesias and Greg etc.

The present climate makes the WH communications job a very tough one because while we cherish the pluralism of our community we have the real-world situation where we are up against an opponent which excels in message unity and falling into line for electoral advantages.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 12, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Krugman:

"Rudeness at the proper moment can serve a purpose .... But if you vent for the sake of venting; if you alienate people you’re going to need; then you’re just being stupid. And that, I’m afraid, is what’s going on here. Rachel Maddow isn’t going to go away, or turn all meek, because the White House Press Secretary implicitly denounced her. Even more to the point, liberal critics have an audience because they’re reflecting real concerns of real people. Those concerns need addressing, if necessary in the form of explanations of why their expectations can’t be met. Denouncing the people giving voice to those real concerns as the “professional left” is both unfair and, as I’ve said, stupid."

Stupid. From Day One. Commit political malpractice then blame the victims. Insufferably stupid.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for the Tea Party/libertarian/government is bad crowd to reach the logically necessary conclusion that government is given license and validation for itself through the Constitution. The only substantive and guaranteed way in which to eliminate the oppressive entity of government, so that individuals and free enterprise may finally be released from the artificial bonds tying them down, is to abandon completely that founding document.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 12, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Left's apoplectic response shows that Gibbs hit his target. After the defensiveness, we will see some self-pity, some soul searching, and then a momentary effort to get behind the big blue machine. We've see this before, we'll see it again.

Posted by: mercerreader | August 12, 2010 8:54 AM
======================

Could you be any more delusional?

=>New claims for unemployment aid reach 484K- AP

New applications for unemployment insurance rose last week to their highest level in almost six months, the latest evidence that some employers are still cutting their staffs.<=

That's reality.

My interpretation of Gibbs' remarks: Corporatist Democrats would rather lose elections than control of the party.

And the tycoons who own the government and the media are happy with this. As are the lobbyists and the pundit class who work for them.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 12, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I understand Gibb's frustration.

I'm a lefty on most issues, but when I turn on Ed Shultz I'm amazed by how reactionary, stupid and short sited he is. It is like someone turned Rush Limbaugh into a liberal.

Olberman can be the same way, but I don't think he is quite as bad. (Maddow and Matthews are pretty good though.)

Go to Daily Kos, on most any day of the week, and you'll find outrage from people who must not have a clue about today's political realities; it wouldn't bug me, but it is a politics blog, shouldn't someone have a freakin' clue?

Look, I understand (as do Shultz and Olberman) that outrage sells. For many of these people their jobs, literally, depend on getting people upset. That is the same dynamic that fuels hate radio, and it leads to hyperbolic nonsense.

Posted by: nisleib | August 12, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, the economy and the unemployment and mortgage crisis are weighing down both the WH and Congress. I'm in middle class America, a small business owner, who talks to small business owners across the country, and everyone is worried. No one is investing in their businesses, we're all just laying low, doing the minimum amount of buying necessary to keep the doors open and pay the bills. We've lost about 5% of our customers this year to early retirement or just closing the doors. Everyone seems to be in "waiting for something to change" mode.

As a volunteer working on a progressive campaign out here in CA, I can tell you that whether Gibbs meant for it to trickle down to the grassroots or not, his "professional left" comments demoralized a lot of our worker bees. I've had about 15 phone calls and dozens of emails regarding it, and none of them were good.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 12, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "I'm waiting for the Tea Party/libertarian/government is bad crowd to reach the logically necessary conclusion that government is given license and validation for itself through the Constitution."

That particular reducto ad absurdum isn't going to happen. Thomas Jefferson himself said that the government that governs best is the government that governs least, but he did not suggest that the country not have a constitution, and generally supported the bill of rights.

Conservatives regard the constitution as a set of limitations on government--it defines, and thus constrains, what the government can do. Government cannot establish a state religion. Government may not abridge free speech, esp. political speech. The military cannot arbitrarily quarter troops at your house just because they want to. The government cannot take your guns (which can be seen as a limitation on the governments ability to control individual state militias).

Constitutional democracies (or republics) are not given license by their constitutions, they are restrained. There have been many forms of governments without U.S. style constitutions, and they are generally monarchies or dictatorships.

Additionally, even most libertarians don't advocate for "no government", they advocate for "small government" and, generally, isolationism. The theory being a pinch of salt preserves and adds flavor, while a pound of salt makes the food inedible.

Conservatives (generally) believe that the government has many roles--from productive infrastructure to protecting property rights to adjudicating disputes to providing for the national defense and enforcing contract law and protecting the border, and so on. They just don't necessarily believe the government should be paying for our healthcare, or deciding where a doctor is going to practice and what is specialty is going to be (as was once part of Hillary Care). Most are dubious about the government bailing out banks or industries that are "too big too fail", or the idea that the government can somehow insure that nobody feels any pain, that nobody loses a job, that no industry will suffer contractions when markets and technology and cultural trends change.

Even the most rabid Tea Partier "supports the troops", and drives to each rally while staying on the right side of the road ( an admittedly useful national government standard) on roads funded and maintained in part by federal tax dollars. And, most of them (there are always outliers) have no objection to that. Wanting limits on government regulation and spending is not the same as wanting no government at all, or wanting to abolish the constitution. In my opinion, current market value: 2¢.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 12, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

Please allow me to summarize the position of the antigovernment Right: We want government to do only those things we want the government to do. We don't want the government doing things that people we disagree with want it to do. It says so in the Constitution.

That about right?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

What has the "Professional Left's" frequent urinating on President Obama accomplished?

Gibbs urinated back at them, but at least he did it by himself.

The "Professional Left" went so far, in their mania to piss on President Obama, that they recruited Grover Norquist to come piss with them.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@soapm:The middle class isn't represented by either party. We are the only ones who get nothing either way..

Way to buy in to the conservative meme. In fact, supporting the poor and unemployed is the best thing to help the middle class keep their jobs by stimulating demand. Aid to state and local governments is the best way to save middle class jobs, keep our governmental infrastructure functional, and pump money into the economy.

Posted by: srw3 | August 12, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that right, Liam, applaud Gibbs. Stockholm Syndrome really is fun, huh?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush on Ryan's GOP budget roadmap:

"He's not saying the world's going to be full of butterscotch sundaes," is how Jeb Bush described the plan to me recently. "He's saying: 'Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don't get to eat at all for a few days. You don't get steak -- ever."

I'm not sure if Bush is for it or against it.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Winners of the Morning:

1) mercerreader with "The Left's apoplectic response shows that Gibbs hit his target." Dead on and if Gibbs has to do it again, he should do it again. But not after Labor Day.

2) Greg for posting the chart comparing the GOP Tax Cut vs the Dem Tax Cut

3) Anyone -- particularly Indies and GOPers (looking at you Kevin_Willis) -- who visits the chart and understands the consequences of giving millionaires an extra $100,000 for no reason while ADDING TO THE DEFICIT.

$100,000 FOR MILLIONAIRES! Hello!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne: "Please allow me to summarize the position of the antigovernment Right: We want government to do only those things we want the government to do. We don't want the government doing things that people we disagree with want it to do. It says so in the Constitution. That about right?"

Fair enough, although that's arguably the position of any given group. We want the government to do what we want it do--tax the rich, feed the poor--and to not do what we don't want it to do--tap phones, profile plane passengers. Or, what have you. Your mix may be different, but the fact that everybody wants a completely customized experience is largely the same.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush has an interesting take on Paul Ryan's remedy for the budget and deficit:

""He's not saying the world's going to be full of butterscotch sundaes," is how Jeb Bush described the plan to me recently. "He's saying: 'Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don't get to eat at all for a few days. You don't get steak -- ever.'"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/bush-on-ryans-roadmap-you-dont-get-steak----ever.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 12, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 says, "$100,000 FOR MILLIONAIRES!"

Just because I MAKE over 1 million per year doesn't mean I'm a millionair. Remember, we aren't taxes on what we own; we are taxed on what, on a yearly basis, we EARN.

"Millionair" is a term, as I understand it, that refers to anyone with over a million dollars in assets.

Chances are if you are making over a million dollars a year you have way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way more in assets than a measly million.

A more concise form of outrage would be along the lines of, "$100,000 FOR BILLIONAIRES!" Or, better yet, "$100,000 FOR PARIS HILTON!"

Posted by: nisleib | August 12, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to disrupt the gloom & doom and Robert Gibbs, but I think this is excellent news:

"GM reports $1.33 billion 2Q profit, a sign of strength as it prepares to sell shares"

It was the second straight quarterly profit for GM, which made $865 million in the first quarter.

CEO Ed Whitacre said last week that the company is eager to sell shares in an initial public offering so it can end its dependence on the government and pay off $43.3 billion in bailout funds that were converted into a majority stake in the company.

Whitacre said the company plans to file paperwork in the near future for the IPO. But it's unclear if the recent record of profits — $2.2 billion for the first half of 2010 — is enough to convince investors. GM lost $88 billion in the five years before it filed for bankruptcy protection last June.

GM's second-quarter revenue totaled $33.2 billion, up 5.3 percent from the first quarter on growing sales in every region except Europe. In the U.S., GM saw strong sales of new and redesigned models like the Chevrolet Equinox wagon and Buick LaCrosse sedan.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/08/gm_posts_133_billion_profit_a_sign_of_strength.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 12, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Even if the top Bush rates expire, according to Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, people earning more than $200,000 would still pay roughly $6,300 to $6,700 less than under pre-Bush rates, since the lower rates would remain intact on their first $200,000 in earnings.

However, their breaks would be much higher if the top Bush rates were extended — worth as much as $103,834 a year for those earning more than $1 million.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said earlier this year that extending all of the original Bush-era tax cuts would increase budget deficits by $2.56 trillion during this decade. As it stands, deficits under Obama's budget plan are expected to total $9.75 trillion in the next 10 years.

Raising rates only on the top income brackets would rake in an estimated $700 billion over 10 years.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/08/11/99038/game-of-chicken-coming-in-congress.html

Let's see.

$100,000 for millionaires (even more for billionaires)

OR

$700 BILLION to decrease the deficit!

Who in their right mind thinks that more money for the rich while ADDING to the deficit is BETTER than slashing the deficit by almost $1 TRILLION?????

Who are you, and what are you smoking?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

There are going to be a lot of "whaddaya know?" moments. I prediced when the capping of the well was announced, that this would cease to be a major story in 30 days. I think we're ahead of schedule.

As for the Dem base, they may grumble, but they more than most recognize the threat that GOP control of either house of Congress would entail. They will show up on Election Day. They don't want to relive one minute of Gingrich/DeLay & Co. on steroids.

Posted by: joeff | August 12, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"the fact that everybody wants a completely customized experience is largely the same."

But it completely belies the fiction that the Constitution mandate one thing or another. The federal government can do anything the people really want it to do other than those things specifically prohibited by the Constitution (and there aren't many of those). This purported Constitutional grounding of the GOP/Tea Party platform is nonsense. Just a sop to people too lazy to really understand how the Constitution works. We have a national government to provide for the common welfare. That is the point of all democratic governments. The common welfare is decided by the people operating through the political branches. The Tea Party- GOP is just petulant because it lost the election and is hiding behind the Constitution as it whines.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good point re: assets, nisleib.

The Bush Tax Cut for the Rich is in the hundreds of thousands for people who earn a million dollars a year. But for people earn a billion per year, their tax cut is literally millions upon millions of dollars. WHAT IS IT that a couple extra million dollars will get a billionaire -- who already earns 1,000 times that -- that they couldn't already buy with their billions?!

When you have a BILLION DOLLAR INCOME what good will an extra million do? NADA! "Create jobs"?! Ya mean to tell me that $1B isn't enough to create jobs? They need more?

Give me $1 million, I'll create some jobs!!! And I bet they'll be better quality jobs than the out-sourced overseas sweatshop jobs the corporate set just loves to "create".

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

WoeBegone, You sure are doing your level best to make sure that the Tea Baggers dreams come true, and that Republicans will regain power soon.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

GOP tax plan would add billions to deficit

A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.

New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000.

[...]

the joint committee said their overall federal tax rate would jump to about 29.9 percent under the Democratic plan, compared with 24.6 percent if all the tax cuts were extended.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/11/AR2010081105864.html

That's all this really is. Two things:

1) Tax cuts that ADD TO THE DEFICIT

2) Debate over TAX RATES

This garbage about "tax cut this tax cut that." It's just a debate over TAX RATES.

It's not some grand philosophical argument. It is whether the rich should pay 24.6% or 29.9%! It's not whether there should BE taxes in the first place. It's an argument over a NUMBER. A TAX RATE.

Let's not let it be lost on Americans that that's really what we're talking about here. Arguing over what NUMBER is better for rich people versus what NUMBER is better for all of America.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Constituent tells GOP Senate candidate in Washington State that both Dem Senators "ought to be shot":

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 12, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Ethan, I get where your frustration comes from.

"When you have a BILLION DOLLAR INCOME what good will an extra million do?"

Here is the hidden secret to the GOP's underwear gnome-like financial plan: The only industry that matters, THE industry upon which all other industries are 100% reliant upon, is the yacht building industry.

If we can increase the number of boats built that cost more than 10 million US dollars the entire economy will prosper.

How did they come to this conclusion? It has to do with the saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats." Well, that won't work if there aren't any boats! And everyone knows a boat just isn't a boat unless it costs 10 Million or more!

And who buys boats that cost in excess of 10 Million? Well, rich people do. Therefore, if you want to boost the economy, you have to encourage people to buy more yachts. You must give people with 100s of millions even more money so they can buy a second and third yacht. It really is that simple.

Posted by: nisleib | August 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Post chart on the tax cuts is devastating. They are less under the GOP (even if it is only a few bucks) until you get to the big contributors, the people who make over $200,000 in AGI, then it skyrockets under the GOP. What frauds. I do think that impatience over half-sized measures on the economny is what depresses people the most.

On the impatience of the Left: It depends on your perspective. Rachel Maddow had three service people on last night, one of the top rated cadets at West Point who resigned because she realized that she couldn't in good conscience make the commitment as long as DADT remained in force; a captain with 10 years of service and three combat tours, commander of a Stryker brigade, who was fired under DADT early this week and Lt. Colonel Victor Ferenbach who has 17 years of decorated service as a fighter pilot with 1500 hours of combat missions who was outed by someone and is apparently being dismissed this week. This puts a human face on Obama's equivocations. True, he fired McChrystal, but he won't stand up to the fundies in the military.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 12, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Liam. I'm not doing anything other than expressing my views. My frustration is genuine, not calculated. You are convinced that the Democrats still are the path to real change in the country. I have lost that confidence.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Seriously nisleib. Question for Republicans:

How many $10M yachts need to be sold before we can expect the unemployment percentage to go down?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"What's the point of that again? Paul Krugman asks one of this blog's pet questions: What exactly does the White House's urinating on the left accomplish?"
---------------------------------------------

ROTFLOL!!!! I knew you wouldn't be able to hold your "urine" for long. God you've gotten predictable.

I can tell you one thing it accomplished though. It got the WH a very large and resounding Hoo-Rah! from thinking liberals, sickened by the constant whining of some of the more feces-filled megaphones of the pony-demanding far left. It reaffirmed that we're not alone or even in the minority on the American left in actual fact and that we have a rightful place in the political discussion. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Posted by: CalD | August 12, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@Liam I love you my hibernian brother but I'm afraid I have to call you out for hyperbole on this one.

"WoeBegone, You sure are doing your level best to make sure that the Tea Baggers dreams come true, and that Republicans will regain power soon."

This is TOTALLY about GOTV. That is the only thing that can be possibly affected.
In other words while I am in complete agreement with wbgonne's posts perhaps wbgonne shares my view as well...

I'm a proud American citizen...I'm ashamed to admit that I avoided the political process for far too long..not voting...not caring...that has changed and so I'll go to the polls out of civic duty! Once there I'll obviously vote as frantically as I can against every Republican....

Yes I've lost enthusiam bigtime for O's administration...not so much O himself although I readily confess that is a bit contradictory. I think O is a principled intelligent man who perhaps let the establishment...can you say the Clintons...goad him into appointing all those old Clinton hacks. At least he didn't give that loser Lanny Davis a job.

Because O did move quickly and we avoided the Depression A+

O's HCR is a bandaid that will pull off before it fully goes into effect...we'll eventually have to move to a single payer system augmented by private insurance for co pays...can you say Medicare for all?
HOWEVER...it was historic in that it was the first time we have established health care as right...the bill itself truly sucks. A for effort F for results= C

Foreign Policy A+++ for the attitude change in the World and ban on torture.
F--- for the wars. He didn't get us out of Iraq...nor did the Bushies..it was the Iraquis who forced us to sign these withdrawal agreements against the will of the Bush Admin...it's there freaking country not one of our colonies.
Afghanistan...Obama completely blew it here...his WORST decision since taking office. Already Patreaues and his minions are pushing for a longer timetable for the drawdown. As a vet and an American I love our military but really...ask a General what we should do in ANY situation and it's always the same...MORE TROOPS and money.

And so that leaves me grading Obama at a C+ or perhaps B-...

But don't worry Liam..that's not how voters look at it...they'll grade Obama on the curve..and YES if you put O's record against the previous Administration even though I'm one of those senseless progressives who are pushing to hard you have to give him A++++++++++++++++++++++++


Posted by: rukidding7 | August 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

CalD Wow dude. I thought we were on the same side. I mean I've grown accustomed to hear what a (fill in the blank with the most outlandish pejorative of choice) from the Fright...but to hear this from people who are supposed to be "progressive"? "Democrats"?.

"It got the WH a very large and resounding Hoo-Rah! from thinking liberals, sickened by the constant whining of some of the more feces-filled megaphones of the pony-demanding far left."

Sorry if holding our current Prez to higher standards than his R predecessor sounds like whining to you...and we'll work especially hard at cleaning the feces out of our megaphones. WHEW!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

CalD - based on your post, I fail to see how you count yourself amongst the thinking liberals.

This is eerily like the Iraq War debate -- not only is dissent from DFHs not acceptable, it is to be met with derision.

Posted by: beenjammin | August 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

A couple of noteworthy things about that NBC/WSJ poll:

* Party ID for Republicans is running 9 points lower than for Democrats, with most of the difference coming from the "strong" category.

* In previous mid-terms where the results were this close on the which party people wanted to see control congress (1998 and 2002) only handful of seats changed hands in the net results. Less than 10 in both cases.

* Of the people who would prefer to see a Republican-controlled congress, the number of people who said their preference was based on support for the party and its candidates (rather than opposition to the other party) was 13% lower (35/48) than for people who prefer to see Democrats in control.

I also note that the most recent ABC/WP poll asked the voter enthusiasm question straight up and found no particular difference (within the MoE for the poll if memory serves) between Democrats and Republicans.

And finally on the question of, "do you consider yourself to be liberal, moderate, or
conservative?":

Very liberal ...................................... 9
Somewhat liberal ....................... 14
Moderate ...................................... 38
Somewhat conservative ........... 19
Very conservative ....................... 16
Not sure ......................................... 4

And that, I'm afraid is very much in line with the results of every poll I've ever seen that asked that question in this country. Liberals should probably keep those numbers in mind whenever a question arises as to whether we can better advance our various causes by a) urininating more on the center-leaning members of our coalition, or b) trying not to urinate on them any more than we absolutely have to.

Posted by: CalD | August 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

CalD: You are missing the point entirely. My complaint is that Obama and the Establishment Dems have squandered the opportunity presented by the Bush Dark Age. The nation was ready for very serious change and the DLCers sabotaged it. Conservadems, Republicrats and the DLC are the cause of the dismal poll numbers you note. The disquieting question is whether Obama is one of them or not.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"The disquieting question is whether Obama is one of them or not."

He's not. He is the leader of a big tent party.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 12, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@ rukidding7, beenjammin, wbgonne:

You forgot to say "urinating."

Posted by: CalD | August 12, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@ nisleib | August 12, 2010 9:44 AM:

They may be clueless about politics, but you can ask them anything you want to know about ponies.

Posted by: CalD | August 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Talk about urinating, here's a comment from Linda R. Monk, J.D. I'd say LOL, except that she's dead serious as am I.

Constitutional scholar, Author of The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution

"Almost exactly a year ago, President Obama uttered these memorable words:

"There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up."

He was talking about fears that his health care bill would not pass both the House and the Senate. Turns out, those fears were justified many times over.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the source of this memorable phrase, explained it thusly: "This is sort of an August pattern of people getting overly nervous about something that has a long way to go... Bedwetting would probably be the more consumer-friendly term for it."

Now Gibbs has become the Wee-Weer-in-Chief. And with good reason.

If the "professional left" and their audiences don't turn out big for Democrats this November, then gone will be any chance of "bipartisan" deals with Congress (assuming there ever was any). If Gibbs thinks he has problems now, just wait. He will have to trade in his press secretary's "flak jacket" for a sign saying "Kick me, Republicans."

My prediction: Gibbs gets a "promotion" that removes him from talking to the press, just like George Stephanopoulos did during the Clinton administration.

My advice to the president: Get past the "boys on the bus" mentality inside the White House, and promote some women to your inner circle. Gibbs ran off two senior women in the communications office, and eminent economist Christina Romer quit recently because she was sandbagged by Larry Summers et al. Nothing stops towel-snapping in the locker room faster than a female reporter among naked men.

It's time for some grown ups in the White House, and Robert Gibbs isn't one of the them. Pampers, anyone?"

Posted by: lmsinca | August 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Try this analogy: By repeatedly undershooting the mark this Administration has inflected serious friendly-fire damage on its advance troops.

Ethan: Big Tent or not, Obama has to stand for something. Otherwise the tent collapses. Is Obama a Republicrat, that is the question. Did the Administration never even want a public option, but just pretended to? Does Obama really want to be rid of Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson or does he want them around to give him cover? The evidence points one way, I'd say. And these repeated attacks on Liberals seem to confirm it. Obama is a Republicrat. Show me the evidence that I'm wrong.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"clueless about politics"

That's a good one coming from somebody whose politics cost the Dems Ted Kennedy's east one year after a landslide Democratic victory. Incompetent boobs pretending to be wise men.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy's "seat"

Major dyslexia.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 12, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@ wbgonne | August 12, 2010 1:23 PM:

What are you raving about?

Posted by: CalD | August 12, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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