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Even Dems are fast losing confidence in gov't

A Gallup poll out today sheds some new light on all the talk about the "enthusiasm gap": It finds that confidence in the legislative branch has dropped most precipitiously among Democrats.

The poll's toplines are worrisome enough for Dems: Confidence in the legislative branch is at a record low of 36 percent. That's yet another sign of all the anti-incumbent sentiment we keep hearing about. But, even more ominously for Dems, this drop is driven almost entirely by Democratic voters:

demconfidence.JPG

As you can see, confidence in the legislative branch has dropped an astonishing 14 points among Dems since last year, to a bare majority of 51 percent.. By contrast the drop in confidence among Republicans and independents is minimal, since it was much lower to begin with.

There are a whole bunch of possible causes for this. Maybe the strategy of GOP obstructionism is working brilliantly: The inability of Dem leaders to prevail, and the resulting sense of government dysfunction, is deflating Dem confidence. Maybe it's the economy -- though it's unclear why that would disproportionately impact Dems.

Or maybe this is more evidence of a much-remarked-upon phenomenon: Dem euphoria upon taking control of the whole government was so high that a steep fall was inevitable. Whatever the cause, this really drives home, again, the folly of the Dem decision to punt on the middle class tax cuts vote. Simply put, rank and file Dems need to have their confidence restored -- and fast.

Yes, I know, it isn't fair that Dems have lost confidence. The Dem Congress has already passed a whole bunch of wonderful things, and every time they fail it's the fault of mean and nasty Republicans. Still: repeating that argument again and again just isn't going to cut it.

Needless to say, taking a stand on something difficult, laying down a marker and fighting for it, even if it results in a loss, is certainly more likely to restore confidence than dithering, equivocating, handwringing about procedure, and basically throwing up your hands and saying, "No we can't." After all, time is hardly on Dems' side here. They can hardly afford to squander any opportunities.

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, Senate Dems  
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Next: Sharron Angle's `chickens for checkups' moment?

Comments

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Greg: You can lead a horse to water ...

I feel your pain.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I'm fascinated by the leftwing blackout of the Coates testimony. From your lack of coverage are we to assume you do not believe in the concept of Equal Protection?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I like the poll numbers coming out of Connecticut - the Republicans now have a chance to pick up that seat.


In West Virginia, that seat is now in play - and the Republicans could pick up that one.

In Delaware, Christine O'Donnell is looking much better if Mike Castle goes in as a write-in. If Castle draws enough votes from Coons, it will be Senator O'Donnell.

Feingold in Wisconsin looks like he is done, a Republican pick-up.

Dino Rossi will beat Patty Murray in Washington State - Murray benefited from good democratic year in slim contests - and now things are going Republican.


Overall, Obama is in trouble.


The Republicans are in good shape. The democratic message has completely broken down - and a flopping fish on a sidewalk looks better than the democratic message.

Obama's staff is quickly departing - not just the White House - but leaving for other parts of the country.


.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Troll-

What "blackout"? You just aren't looking in the right places.

Accusing Greg of not being for equal protection is about one of the silliest leaps of *logic* I've seen here.

But, you did admit to being an extremist...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Effin A I'm an extremist, at least here. Question still stands though.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Currently at the top of TPM:

If you followed the saga of how the Bush-era Justice Department tried to turn the protection of voting rights for minorities into the protection of white people from minorities, then this won't come as a huge surprise. But it's startling nonetheless that the last guy to head the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division under Bush testified today that it was a "travesty" that the Department didn't take a race-neutral approach to cases like the New Black Panthers case in the 2008 election. By race-neutral, he means taking just as an aggressive approach to the long history of minority disenfranchisement of majority white voters as the department historically took to protect black voters. Yes, that's meant sarcastically.

Christopher Coates is now an assistant U.S. attorney in South Carolina, and he testified against orders from DOJ. He was the guy who brought the Black Panthers case originally and is still griped about it being dropped. Appointed by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Coates replaced John Tanner, who TPMers will remember as the guy who defended voter ID laws on the grounds that they discriminated against seniors and blacks equally because "minorities don't become elderly the way white people do: They die first."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/09/amazing_3.php?ref=fpblg

Yeah, it's a blackout alright!

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 24, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

"There are a whole bunch of possible causes for this..."

No offense, but I think all the maybes in this post are being too cute by half. The answer is simple: economic fear.

The only comparable time we have to this set of polling data would be after the Great Depression, or maybe the OPEC/Vietam recession in the mid-70's.

In neither of those cases did we have nearly as extensive polling as we do now, nor was the populous as impatient as we are these days due to technology.

I'm sure there are around-the-edges stuff in there as well...but it seems painfully obvious that the main factor, by a leaps and bounds, is simply that the economy sucks and people are hurting because of it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 24, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

BBQ -- I said the economy could be it! whatever the cause, tho, Dems gotta do something about it quick...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

OT:

* Senate debates tax increases on companies that move jobs overseas *

The Democratic corporate tax bill includes three provisions. One would end tax deductions that companies may take for expenses incurred when they shutter a U.S. operation and shift the work abroad. The second would impose an income tax on products once made in the U.S. but now manufactured by foreign workers. The third measure would provide a payroll tax incentive for companies to create American jobs by shifting overseas operations back to the U.S.

[...]

Business groups are strongly opposed to the Democratic proposal, as McConnell noted on the Senate floor Friday morning when he raised a procedural objection to Reid's maneuver, forcing a Tuesday vote.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092403293.html

Republicans want to block a bill that would create a disincentive for CORPORATE OUTSOURCING.

WAKE UP AMERICA.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see the WP giving writing jobs to mental retards...

Posted by: mgrantham2 | September 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"No offense, but I think all the maybes in this post are being too cute by half. The answer is simple: economic fear. The only comparable time we have to this set of polling data would be after the Great Depression, or maybe the OPEC/Vietam recession in the mid-70's."

BBQ: I disagree. Yes, the economy is bad but it isn't nearly as bad as it was during the Great Depression and FDR's Dems won overwhelmingly in his first Cong mid-terms. I think the American people were very willing to give Obama and the Dems a chance for bold action but they blew it out of cowardice and ineptitude and now the American people don't trust them to govern.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 24, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

None of these "theories" are based on the real world view of the American public.

We've watched the government fail us repeatedly. We've watched the DC power crowd grow fatter and more arrogant as they spend our money to worsen the mess they've made.

Here's a perfect example: It is obvious that government at all levels failed us when Katrina hit. The city, the state, the feds all failed.

It was easy for the left to blame Bush for that.

then the BP oil well exploded. And again the government failed. Not the state though, and not the city. The Feds failed.
Can't blame bush this time, but also liberals can't admit to a government failure because the government is the cornerstone of the liberal philosophy.

the financial catsasstrophe we're living in now is another sentinel event. it is the result of a signal failure of government. Basically we paid the feds a fortune to keep their eye on the wall street guys and instead they were co opted by them.

The government failed us and as Americans look around they see a bleak picture sincethe value of their investments were crushed by the laxity and stupidty of the government. Now many owe far more to the bank than their house will ever be worth. And who got the bail out? The banks.

and who is in charge right now? So who pays the price? If you Democrats don't like it, I ask you to recall the fact that you hold Bush responsible for 9/11. so this is just sauce for your goose.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 24, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans want to block a bill that would create a disincentive for CORPORATE OUTSOURCING."

No big whoop. I expect the Dems to start caving in exactly 5....4....3...

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I'm afraid that you are right when you suggest "maybe the strategy of GOP obstructionism is working brilliantly". The GOP, led (at that time) by Rush Limbaugh, wanted to see the country, and thus Obama, fail. They have succeeded. There is a tremendous loss of confidence, and that as much as anything else is what holds us in the grip of economic despair. Just imagine what could have happened if the Republicans had been true patriots and worked for a strong recovery!

Posted by: gposner | September 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"It's nice to see the WP giving writing jobs to mental retards..."

Wow....and I thought Palin was under exclusive contract with Fox.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 24, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Dems gotta do something about it quick..."

Greg, they had their chance with the middle class tax cuts, which you made a very strong case for BTW, and they blew it.

Now all we can do is campaign and GOTV, invest some money in progressives (we can go back to saving after the election) and hope for the best. We just have to do the best we can at the margins.

One bright spot is CA though. Brown and Boxer have both moved ahead and legalization looks like it will win, so there's always that. When will the exodus here begin?

Speaking of investing...............

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: lmsinca | September 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think it's just the inevitable disappointment that comes from translating ideals into governance. For a long time, Democrats have been able to sustain themselves with ideals of how much better things would be with the Republicans out of power in the Presidency and Congress. Now that that's actually happened, though, translating those ideals into governance means compromise, accommodation of special interests, etc. It's messy, and so enthusiasm drops. If the Republicans come back into some measure of power, the same rise and fall of enthusiasm and confidence will happen to them.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I think the American people were very willing to give Obama and the Dems a chance for bold action but they blew it out of cowardice and ineptitude."

I disagree, I'd say quite a bit of difficult legislation has been passed during the last two years. That they passed HCR alone was a huge accomplishment, even without the PO.

If the dems have made mistakes, imo, those mistakes revolve around their inability to play politics and control the message. In THAT regard the dems are fairly spineless.

PS - Congrats on the book!

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

Proposition 19, which would make California the first state in the nation to legalize the growth, sale and recreational use of pot, leads 47-42 percent in a SurveyUSA poll and 47-38 in a Public Policy Polling poll. Both polls had a high number of undecided voters: 11 percent in the SurveyUSA poll and 14 percent in the PPP poll.

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=33737

Jeez. A 'high' number of undecideds? Surprise, surprise. :-P Go 19 go!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 24, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

I know you included it...but the fact that there were several other maybes that I felt were simply around-the-edges stuff. That's all I was saying.

It's like 90% economy, then 20 things spread out around the last 10%.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 24, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, will NY be next, you know we always lead the way. LOL

Hoping those undecideds come down on the right side. One of the big groups working against it is, wait for it...............
the beer companies.

Anyway, things are really starting to heat up out here, and I'm not talking about the Santa Ana's.

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

Ethan2010 - No doubt on 19!

I read the other day that having prop 19 on the ballot is going to boost youth turnout in CA dramatically. And the youth vote breaks towards the Dems...

Remember a few years back when the anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives pumped up Republican turn out? Wouldn't it be great if the Dems learned to fight ballot initiatives with ballot initiatives? It'll never happen, that would take political skill, but still, one can dream.

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

skip-

Typically, conservatives love the gov't when it works for them and hate it when it doesn't. Or, split the difference and campaign against it while benefitting from it on the side. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/tea-party-candidates-benefit-from-stimulus-federal-spending.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick
http://primitivepolitics.blogspot.com/

A leader must earn the confidence of his, or her, people. It is extremely difficult to have confidence in a government that has spent the last two years arguing politics and trading insults while those people are suffering. Many citizens have lost jobs or are earning less and waiting for leaders to keep their campaign promises. Promised chicken in their pots, they have no reason to remain loyal while their pots are still empty.

"Why our leaders have not come to the bargaining table to do something constructive", is a question that most of US are asking. It is apparent they all care more about their own reelections than they care about the citizens of this Republic.

The people understand that they would not lose much if they voted all incumbents out of office. After all, what good is an experienced Senator or member of the House of Representatives if they do not put that knowledge and experience to work for the people?

Posted by: friar1944 | September 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I can only say to Americans what I said to them after they re-elceted Bush with an increased majority in 2004:

You are the authors of all your own misfortunes, the worst suckers ever to lower the intellectual tone of the planet, and you deserve everything you're about to inflict on yourselves.

Those who don't remember history are condemned to repeat it. No wonder the United States of Amnesia is stuck in a death spiral.

Posted by: kenonwenu | September 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick
http://primitivepolitics.blogspot.com/

A leader must earn the confidence of his, or her, people. It is extremely difficult to have confidence in a government that has spent the last two years arguing politics and trading insults while those people are suffering. Many citizens have lost jobs or are earning less and waiting for leaders to keep their campaign promises. Promised chicken in their pots, they have no reason to remain loyal while their pots are still empty.

"Why our leaders have not come to the bargaining table to do something constructive", is a question that most of US are asking. It is apparent they all care more about their own reelections than they care about the citizens of this Republic.

The people understand that they would not lose much if they voted all incumbents out of office. After all, what good is an experienced Senator or member of the House of Representatives if they do not put that knowledge and experience to work for the people?

Posted by: friar1944 | September 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick
http://primitivepolitics.blogspot.com/

A leader must earn the confidence of his, or her, people. It is extremely difficult to have confidence in a government that has spent the last two years arguing politics and trading insults while those people are suffering. Many citizens have lost jobs or are earning less and waiting for leaders to keep their campaign promises. Promised chicken in their pots, they have no reason to remain loyal while their pots are still empty.

"Why our leaders have not come to the bargaining table to do something constructive", is a question that most of US are asking. It is apparent they all care more about their own reelections than they care about the citizens of this Republic.

The people understand that they would not lose much if they voted all incumbents out of office. After all, what good is an experienced Senator or member of the House of Representatives if they do not put that knowledge and experience to work for the people?

Posted by: friar1944 | September 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Perhaps you're too plugged into the Beltway mentality, but I haven't heard anyone "on the street" talking about middle class tax cuts as a campaign issue.

The Democrats need to run major league advertising highlighting these fruitcake Tea Party candidates and how their "agenda" would dismantle Social Security, environmental laws, workplace safety, and pretty much all other social protections Americans have relied on over the last 70 years or so.

Posted by: Bondosan | September 24, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

friar-

Some of those promises *were* kept. Arguing politics has a long and storied history here. Trading insults? Well, how about fantastical myths about birth certificates, terrorist-coddling and the like?

Just no percentage for some on the outside of power, thanks to their shellacing in 2008, in talking about something so mundane as policy.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I think your comment:
'The Dem Congress has already passed a whole bunch of wonderful things' is where the fundamental problem begins. A majority of the public does not believe the health care, financial regulation nor stimulus were 'wonderful'. Rather they were monuments to the Democrats hubris. And that hubris is why the party is in trouble.
The Democratic attitude 'we won the election and we can do what we want' has upset and angered the voting public. Hence, throw the bums out.

Posted by: bruce18 | September 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

" a government that has spent the last two years arguing politics and trading insults."

A huh. I don't know what country that guy is living in, but the last two years have seen the passage of many valuable pieces of legislation.

"Why our leaders have not come to the bargaining table to do something constructive"

They have. The problem is that one party benefits if NOTHING gets done.

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Why our leaders have not come to the bargaining table to do something constructive"

At least one side came to the table, the other side said "no thanks" we'll just watch.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

bruce18-

Democrats didn't win large majorities in Congress *and* the presidency because they have nicer hair styles.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
======================
skip-

Typically, conservatives love the gov't when it works for them and hate it when it doesn't. Or, split the difference and campaign against it while benefitting from it on the side. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/tea-party-candidates-benefit-from-stimulus-federal-spending.php?ref=fpb

=======================

I don't find your statement to be valid at all. What conservatives mean by limited government is simple, but not easy. It means an honest acceptance of the fact there really are very few things the government can do better than anyone else.

Is the government we have now a fact of life? Why yes it is. Is it wrong for conservatives to accept that and work with the "system" as it now stands? No it isn't.

If my wife and I were eligible for cash assistance, would be violating some principle to accept it? No, of course not.

Liberals have a hyper active hypocrisy gland. They seek to castigate opponents with this charge. but it is pointless in many cases. the tax code is progressive, should successful conservatives not pay the additional amount that the government demands of them because they object to the concept? How does that make any sense at all?

Further your reply is beside the point. The people have a dim view of government because the government has failed us repeatedly. The picture of our government that is emerging is ugly. we see over paid inattentive crooks who live better than we do and provide nothing of value to the society. These are simply drones we're supporting for no apparent reason.

This week someone mentioned that the FBI investigations of the county officials in Cuyahoga county Ohio will hurt Strickland's re election bid. I don't think so, but what I do believe is that thinking people have seen enough. Cuyahoga county equals Bell,CA to many. Elected officials screwing the taxpayers. Government employees getting far more compensation than the tax payers while lording it over us with a blizzard of new CFRs. It is small wonder that the polls are as they are.

We have a dysfunctional government. While we were off leading our lives these theives are killing us via the death of a thousand cuts.

We need a clean sweep and some fresh perspective. We need to interupt our lives for long enough to fire these bums and hire new ones. the price of freedom is constant vigilance, including keeping an eagle eye on our own government.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 24, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

THE ECONOMY


The public KNOWS perfectly well what happened.


George Bush was never smart enough to mess up the economy this bad - everyone in the country KNOWS he was off fighting two wars and he didn't do anything to the economy.


The American People know that BILL CLINTON IS TO BLAME FOR THE ECONOMY.


Derivatives were deregulated by Clinton - at exactly the time Hillary was thinking about running for Senator of New York. coincidence? I don't think so.

Clinton REPEALED the Glass Steagall Act - if you don't understand that, look it up.


Clinton's people were STACKED INTO FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC WITH LONG-TERM DEALS - it was the Clinton people who were in charge at FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC the whole time.

Obama Still will not fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - for unknown reasons.


MOST IMPORTANTLY - Bill Clinton SOLD OUT the country with the Free Trade Deals. Millions of jobs shipped overseas - the promise of high-paying jobs coming here broken.


Again - Clinton had charges of campaign contributions coming from Indonesia and China when these deals were being talked about.

THE DEMOCRATS DESTROYED THE ECONOMY.


The American Public knows that Bush is not responsible - could not possibly be responsible.


Obama loves to "blame Bush" but Obama never gives specifics - this short post has more specifics on Clinton than Obama ever gave about the blame Bush deserves over the economy.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Sargent wrote: 'Congress has already passed a whole bunch of wonderful things'

It will never occur to jounolist that the reason the Democrats are in trouble is that the wonderful things the Congress has passed.

There is partisanship involved. Republicans HATE the health care plan. Democrats just don't like it.

Republican HATE the stimulus plan. Democrats (except the public sector union goons that got the pay off) just don't like it.

Repub...

I am wasting time. As far the journolist is concerned the only problem is that the public thinks too stupidly to understand all the wonderful things the Obama has done for them.

LOL

Posted by: TECWRITE | September 24, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

bruce18: "'The Dem Congress has already passed a whole bunch of wonderful things' is where the fundamental problem begins. A majority of the public does not believe the health care, financial regulation nor stimulus were 'wonderful'."

Not true. Have you looked at the latest HCR polling? Do a WaPo search.

bruce18: "The Democratic attitude 'we won the election and we can do what we want' has upset and angered the voting public. Hence, throw the bums out."

How stupid is that??? Democrats have done nothing that wasn't promised during the 2008 campaign - over and over. And they were elected in a landslide. Most of us call that a mandate. (Big word for you, I know - look it up.) They haven't angered "the voting public," they've just angered the sore losers.

Some who voted Democratic are upset that jobs have lagged behind the recovery, but that's something that the President and Congress have little or no power over.

Talk to your CEO buddies, who are sitting on pots of money and not hiring.

Posted by: Pamsm | September 24, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The other day STRF said Bush never blame Clinton for anything. That made me do a spit take.

Now here STRF is blaming everything on Clinton, just like the Republicans have been doing for a decade.

So what should we learn from this?

1) If nobody will believe that a problem can be solved with tax cuts blame the problem on Clinton.

2) Being a Republican means never taking responsibility for anything.

3) IOKIYAR

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

skip-

I'm with you to the extent that the system needs changing. Mostly, I'd like to see less lobbying and money. Period.

I'm no more thrilled than you about graft, waste, etc. Who wouldn't be?

You are making gross generalizations about gov't/employees when you say the following:"we see over paid inattentive crooks who live better than we do and provide nothing of value to the society".

Still, I wonder what Bachmann would do w/o her subsidies...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

In a sense, the democrats are victims of their own rhetoric about George Bush.


NO one in the country really believes he is to blame for the economy - any of it.


It sort of is the RHETORICAL VERSION OF JUSTICE -


The democrats lie about someone, and the blame ends up on the democrats anyway.

It is true - the portrayal of Bush by the democrats for so many years GETS BUSH OFF THE HOOK FOR THE ECONOMY.


Everyone is blaming Obama and Clinton.

It is quite hilarious actually.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 24, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals have a hyper active hypocrisy gland."

LOL! Meaning they know it when they see it...?

Posted by: Pamsm | September 24, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

There's one main reason why the legislative branch is losing U.S. confidence: that branch can't accomplish a thing while the Tea Bigot Republicans block anything from happening.

Get rid of them, see the poll numbers rise for Congress.

Posted by: 2229 | September 24, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

There's one main reason why the legislative branch is losing U.S. confidence: that branch can't accomplish a thing while the Tea Bigot Republicans block anything from happening.

Get rid of them, see the poll numbers rise for Congress.

Posted by: 2229 | September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

There's one main reason why the legislative branch is losing U.S. confidence: that branch can't accomplish a thing while the Tea Bigot Republicans block anything from happening.

Get rid of them, see the poll numbers rise for Congress.

Posted by: 2229 | September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

Thanks re: the novel.

And speaking of fiction, this idea that Est Dems cling to that the Obama-Dems have been wonderfully productive but misunderstood and mis-marketed is just that: fiction. As I explained earlier, homages to the "difficult circumstances" the Dems faced b/c of the Republicrats fall on deaf ears to all but Est Dems. No one cares that the Democratic Caucus is dysfunctional contains members who undermine the party. That is an intra-mural matter that voters ain't interested in. Americans expect that each of our two political parties can govern when given the chance; they won't accept incompetence.

Americans elected Obama and the Dems and gave them vast power. If the Dems can't shoot straight it isn't voters fault or problem and the polls show accordingly. Abandoning popular and sensible legislation b/c Ben Nelson won't vote for it is a problem within the Democratic Party but the American people can't fix it and can't be expected to like it. In any event, voters don't like it and the Dems are suffering accordingly.

Meanwhile, Republicrat Mary Landrieu spits in Obama's face and I don't hear one peep from the Est Dems. And yet Est Dems wonder why Americans think they are a dysfunctional party. The disconnect and failure to recognize the obvious is mindboggling.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to run major league advertising highlighting these fruitcake Tea Party candidates and how their "agenda" would dismantle Social Security, environmental laws, workplace safety, and pretty much all other social protections Americans have relied on over the last 70 years or so.

Posted by: Bondosan | September 24, 2010 3:33 PM

________________________________

That will not work - everyone in America knows the Tea Party - knows them personally.


The smear campaigns of the democrats will not work anymore -


First it was false charges of racism, now its false charges of craziness - next week the democratic talking points will be charging them with something else - like maybe appreciating the Constitution.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

All, Sharron Angle's chickens for checkups moment?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/sharron_angles_chickens_for_ch.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 24, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Or let me use a concrete example: yesterday, (I believe) you agreed that if the Dems had enacted HCR with a strong PO they would be cruising to victory in November. But, you said, the Dems couldn't do that because the Conservadems undermined them. Now you may think that is a valid explanation for not passing such popular legislation but most voters don't buy it. Most voters expect a political party to act cohesively and pass legislation the American people want. That's what political parties are for and, if they can't do that, why bother voting for them?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 24, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse


What...(yawn)...EVER.

Posted by: wcmillionairre | September 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I like the poll numbers coming out of Connecticut - the Republicans now have a chance to pick up that seat.


In West Virginia, that seat is now in play - and the Republicans could pick up that one.

In Delaware, Christine O'Donnell is looking much better if Mike Castle goes in as a write-in. If Castle draws enough votes from Coons, it will be Senator O'Donnell.

Feingold in Wisconsin looks like he is done, a Republican pick-up.

Dino Rossi will beat Patty Murray in Washington State - Murray benefited from good democratic year in slim contests - and now things are going Republican.


Overall, Obama is in trouble.


The Republicans are in good shape. The democratic message has completely broken down - and a flopping fish on a sidewalk looks better than the democratic message.

Obama's staff is quickly departing - not just the White House - but leaving for other parts of the country.

TrollMcWingnut, you really are a Fool if you believe that Christine O'Donnell is going to win in DE. As for Wisconsin, you are the ONLY one who has given that Race to the Rethuglicans, every Poll out shows the Rethuglican with a Slim Lead which means nothing this early out. But let's say you are right and your precious Rethuglicans recapture the House and Senate. It still does not mean that the Retuglicans will win the White House in 2012. Remember Bill Clinton and 94? Lastly, I hope the Rethuglicans Win it all because your Ideas have not changed, it's the same old Bullsh****t that got us into this mess and once the Economy tanks again in to Recession, we attack Iran, Gas Prices shoot up. This will show the American People ,especially Young People and People of Color, the foolishness of not Voting. We will sweep you Guys A$$$ out again for a Decade. Remember, the Demographics are on our side not yours. Old Foolish White & Black Folks wont be around in enough Numbers to screw us again. Especially Old White Folks. So, if you win in November, rejoice because it will be short lived.

Posted by: aunkmaa1 | September 24, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse


"First it was false charges of racism, now its false charges of craziness - next week the democratic talking points will be charging them with something else - like maybe appreciating the Constitution."

WHAT!?!
Appreciating the CONSTITUTION???

Those BASTARDS!


Posted by: wcmillionairre | September 24, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Talk to your CEO buddies, who are sitting on pots of money and not hiring.'

They are sitting on cash because of Obamanomics and the looming threat of more Obamanomics. Pure and simple, cut and dried. Only a fool would be spending and investing what they have now, with the drumbeat for new and higher taxes, regulations, card check, etc. Go talk to the execs. They'll explain it to you.

"At least one side came to the table, the other side said "no thanks" we'll just watch."

That's partisan poppycock. Democrats swept into office committed to radical "transformation" and bigger -- much bigger -- government and much smaller freedom. Committed to all that is inimical to conservative's vision and policy goals. There was and is no "positive" role for Republicans to play in the Democrats' campaign to "transform" the country into a different one, and Democrats never "came to the table" for their help with anything.

Your side tries to radically transform the country, and we try our best to stop you. That's just the system we have.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne - I've written a novel, it takes a lot of work. Getting published takes even MORE work. Congrats!

But we will have to disagree. I think this congress has been hugely successful.

Google "most productive Congress"

here is a link to one article I found:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012902516.html

Actually what I said about not passing the public option is that they didn't have the votes. I never mentioned conservadems. Heck, Lieberman is NOT a Dem at all.

Look, I want the public option too. But we won't get it unless

1) The senate changes the filibuster rules

and/or

2) The Senate Dems change the rules and give themselves the power the Republicans have. My understanding is the Ds can't enforce discipline by removing committee posts, etc. They haven't given THEMSELVES the power. Nothing is stopping them.

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's end farm subsidies today. Just pull the plug on them because like so much the government does, they have outlived their usefulness.

Do I exagerate when I say that government employees are over paid? I don't think so. Chris Christie is taking on the teachers' union in his state, but that's just the tip of the ice berg.

here's some data about a cuyahoga county from the Buckeye Institute. the average private sector employee's annual compensation is 45,602. In that same county the average federal employee's annual compensation is 67,485. the average state employee in that county earned 56 461.

Now lets' think about the cost of health benefits. Private sector employees pay a significant amount for coverage, gummint employees pay far, far less, for much better coverage.

then there's pensions. private sector faces IRA's with a match from employer, this is defined contribution. Public employees: tax payer funded and based on defined benefit. A benefit we can't afford.

and what do we get for that money? 68,000 new federal register pages each and every year. And inept, distracted employees. the news didn't make a big deal of it but in both the Wall st failure and the BP well employees of the accountable regulatory bodies were watching porn on thier government sponsored internet connection while catasstrophe was brewing.

americans are rightly bitter about this situation. If the regulations worked, or if the social programs worked, the those who are employed by them could easily make their case. but they don't work, yet the costs never decline.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 24, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the millions of dollars the GOP spends each year telling us we should hate our government is finally paying off (helped along by a sluggish economy and high unemployment).

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | September 24, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

savetherainforest is truly delusional.
go post at the WATimes. your ilk resides there

Posted by: strictly_liberal | September 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

If some Democrats are losing confidence, I would submit that they're trying their best to save themselves and their well-paid careers. Just look at guys like Sen. Ben Nelson/Nebraska....I can't truly believe the're real Democrats.....just bol weevils living in an agricultural, rural environment trying to preach that they are for the common man. When push comes to shove, they bail out like true republicans.

Posted by: bigisle | September 24, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Skip - Get rid of farm subsidies?

Don't make me like you!

You do understand it is more likly that I win the Heismann than the Gov gets rid of farm subsidies, right?

Posted by: nisleib | September 24, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

skip-

Regulations and social programs work every day of the week. Sorry you can't see it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"That's partisan poppycock."

I vigorously disagree. Anyone who thinks Republicans weren't given a seat at the table on the Stimulus, HCR, or Financial Reform simply wasn't paying attention while the bills wound their way through the committee process. And to pretend that compromises weren't made is also ignoring the obvious.

There are times when government intervention is needed because the private sector and the general public have been decimated by a perfect storm of calamities. Watching and waiting for some sort of free market solution to unemployment, free falling home and retirement value, and a health care system that not only neglects the sick but even worse, lets them die, was not a viable option. Tax cuts and de-regulation are not some sort of panacea that solves all our problems.

Republicans could have put the country first but AFAIC they chose the alternative and then worked diligently to undermine whatever bit of success Dems had in bringing the country back. They spent their time talking about death panels, socialism, czars, and throw the bums out, while the majority was attempting to right the ship.

If the people want to reward them for that, it's up to them when they vote.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 24, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

OK,

I think we should close the Ag Department today. I think farm subsidies are expensive dinosaurs that we could easily live without. Most of the money goes to agribusinesses anyway.

Much of this, IMHO, was based on the family farm of the past. But as George Will pointed out, the number of farms declined dramatically while the number of Ag employees grew. Now the ratio is something like 1:6. He tells of an Ag employee who was looking sad at the water cooler. A co worker asked what was wrong. the answer: "My farmer died".

Neither the red tape factory nor the massive social programs have lived up to thier billings. As I've pointed We've witnessed three signal failures of regulation recently with countless smaller failures going unnoticed. Certainly the BP disaster can be attributed to inept employees a MMS. Who got fired? Even the guys spending their days looking at porn still have jobs.

that's failure. Am I say "no regulation" of course not. but we have to inject some sense into this and we have to squeeze these drones out. They need to be herded away from the slop-trough. We just can't afford this anymore.

And of course the social programs failed. Our treasury is empty and our prisons are filled. more than half the babies born in America today go home with a single mom. The rate for blacks is actually 70% and climbing. Why? A dependant child is the key to the welfare kingdom. It is the incentive from hell. Anyone who thinks that this is acceptable performance should move into my 'hood. the stench of failure is everywhere. Rootless, directionless people who live on government hand outs are my fellow customers at the supermarket. These people aren't really poor, they have homes, TV's, running water and cars. In short they have virtually everything I have. yet the are poor. That's because they are poor in spirit. the liberal agenda has crushed their drive while the welfare dollars permit them to subsist at the margins. Is that truly the best the left can do?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 24, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

But what is the Republican solution? National security and defense are $1.2 trillion of the federal
budget. And, if you won't cut that, what then? Eliminate Social Security???

Posted by: magnifco1000 | September 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

skip

Just because I'm a liberal doesn't mean I'm in love with government waste and fraud. When those folks in Bell were arrested I'd say there was a whole bunch of bi-partisan cheering going on.

There's always room for improvement in trimming some of the government waste of taxpayer dollars. One bi-partisan bill that was signed with very little fanfare has already trimmed over $100b in the waste and fraud department and has a target of another $50b next year. Who knew?

It's funny when Republicans are out of power they scream about all the things they had the chance to do themselves when they had the keys but didn't.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 24, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

We should return to the draft. Military pay, lifetime pensions, Tricare for life, cost us over $300 billion a year. Way too much!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | September 24, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

you were doing fine there lmsinca but you lost me on the screaming part. Today on an admittedly conservative radio talk show one of the authors of the pledge said that the Republicans understood that they had been fired by the American people.

that's the part that liberals and democrats just don't acknowledge. And I think that failure to recognize what was going on among conservatives lead them to the wrong conclusion about the 08 election results.

We on the right were in the middle of firing lackluster Republicans. Sherrod Brown for example got his job not because he's soooo much smarter than his opponent but because Ohio conservatives were furious with Dewine. We were up in arms about earmarks and porkbarrel and we showed that at the ballot box.

the Democrats assumed that it was their message and agenda that was solely responsible for their success in elections and therefore they completely misjudged the American people. they went too far left, thinking that this is what people voted for, only to be confronted by the same anger that got the Republicans in hot water in 04, 06 and 08.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I almost forgot this one...

for every visa labor worker in the USA, an America of a different etnicity must be hired to learn from them...
non compliance gets you deported...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 24, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It's all about the economy. Obama can be a card carrying Marxist if people have jobs and money. European style single payer healthcare? Sure, but bring back the jobs first!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | September 24, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

skip, I read the pledge and I'm just not seeing how it's much different from what they've always done. It's easy to say we've changed and then turn around and do the same thing. You may be right about turning the same old Republicans out on their keisters but I'm not buying the whole Tea Party thing as being a boon for the conservative movement or the Nation. We'll see.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 24, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Skip is upset about earmarks. Interesting skip in a 21 page document there is not one word mentioned about earmarks. Certainly you are aware of that, right?

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Americans are losing confidence because WE ARE LIVING BEYOND OUR MEANS. And, in hard economic times, people are not as generous. This is why HCR is a bit unpopular. To recover, we need to GET OUT of Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to let all the Bush tax cuts EXPIRE. Then, as the economy gets back to a normal heartbeat, HCR will be embraced; and, perhaps, people will start giving a little thought to the effects of climate change on themselves, their children, their grandchildren ad infinitum.

Posted by: dozas | September 24, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

We've lost confidence in government because we now realize any group of extremists with contacts inside the MSM (the Teabag Party) and a loud frothy mouthed scream can dominate the news cycle instead of the people who are trying to fix America.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 24, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Skip says:
"Now lets' think about the cost of health benefits. Private sector employees pay a significant amount for coverage, gummint employees pay far, far less, for much better coverage."

This is just what HCR is meant to (and does) address.

Skip: "...then there's pensions. private sector faces IRA's with a match from employer, this is defined contribution. Public employees: tax payer funded and based on defined benefit. A benefit we can't afford."

Look up the Thrift Savings Plan - an IRA type of plan for "gummint" employees. Defined Benefit is a thing of the past for them, too.

And all that drivel about babies and welfare...did you miss Welfare reform in the Nineties (signed by Clinton). Living a lifetime on Welfare just isn't possible any more - it dries up after an initial helping hand. You're stuck in the Reagan past with his fictional "Welfare Queen."

As for Farm Subsidies, I'm with you. Phase them out except where a true need or benefit to us all can be proven.

Posted by: Pamsm | September 24, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice try. The nation is waking up more every day to the calibre of lunacy that makes up the current Republican/'tea party' psycho candidates. The opposition is now helping the Democrats. Unlike 1994, people now have a good luck at the lunatics in the shadows.

Posted by: revbookburn | September 24, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

As a political matter, did taking a stand on DADT and going down to defeat (for now) actually benefit the Democrats, as per the general principle stated here?

Do Americans ever admire noble losers (or any kind of losers)? Don't think so.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | September 24, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Take heart Demmies. There is still much work to be done. There is income to be redistributing, illegal aliens to be amnestied, health care to be socialized, industries to be nationalized. Y'all are giving up now, when the Socialist Wonderland is so so near at hand? That makes me sad. Now, comrades fall back in line and let's get Chairman Obama's dreams realized....

Posted by: RedStater3 | September 24, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Take heart Demmies. There is still much work to be done. There is income to be redistributing, illegal aliens to be amnestied, health care to be socialized, industries to be nationalized. Y'all are giving up now, when the Socialist Wonderland is so so near at hand? That makes me sad. Now, comrades fall back in line and let's get Chairman Obama's dreams realized....

Posted by: RedStater3 | September 24, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

ROTFLOL! Another installment of "The Dumb Line" by Greg Sargent...

Yes folks ole Greg pines away wondering what could it be that's got even the democrats feeling down about congress. Hmmm could it be that those evil republicans are winning the strategy war? No it's not that. Could it be that it's that democrats just expected too much after winning complete control? Not sure about that one either...

HELLO GREG! Knock knock is anybody home? Clearly it's that the progressive socialist democrats are the biggest bunch of know nothing screw up's that have ever bungled their way into power in this country.

Geez you progressive socialist loons are just too pathetic!

Posted by: SayWhat5 | September 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that the main reason is that dem supporters don't see their leaders standing up to the GOP. They act impotent and lack spine. Even in victory they failed to act like winners and prefer to cower in fear. It's quite pathetic. The GOP seems to dominate the media cycles constantly on offense. Meanwhile the dems act only in fear. Who can get excited about that?

Posted by: rramos01 | September 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Dems are losing more than confidence, they are losing America.

GOP Committee Chairs with Subpoena Power are coming......

"CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case: ‘Bombshell’ for Obama?"

The WashPo can scrub the article from its front page for a while....

Holder is gone...an upcoming election will see to that...same with HHS Secretary and DHS Secretary....political toast.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | September 24, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse


"Americans are losing confidence because WE ARE LIVING BEYOND OUR MEANS. And, in hard economic times, people are not as generous. This is why HCR is a bit unpopular. To recover, we need to GET OUT of Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to let all the Bush tax cuts EXPIRE. Then, as the economy gets back to a normal heartbeat, HCR will be embraced; and, perhaps, people will start giving a little thought to the effects of climate change on themselves, their children, their grandchildren ad infinitum."

Posted by: dozas | September 24, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

=============

I agree that we are losing hope in large part because we are living beyond our means. Both parties exacerbate this problem rather than confront it. Both parties are currently falling all over themselves trying to cut taxes when they've driven the country from "surpluses as far as the eye can see" in 2001 to annual deficits of over a trillion dollars as far as the eye can see. This is the very definition of dysfunction.

While the wars are certainly expensive, the cost of the two wars over the last 7 years is less than the projected annual budget deficit. We can also be certain that one day these wars will end, and we can be equally certain that health care benefit increases (which are massively more expensive than the wars) enacted under the last two administrations will not.

I disagree that "Obamacare" will become more popular in the future. It is essentially a document built to garner votes in Congress, and as such it is full of things that will be popular immediately to to awe the populace as well as things that will cost the country dearly in the long run to garner support from the special interests who can afford to take a longer view. It will be a financial disaster first and foremost, but one that will not impact the government until after the 2012 elections. The Dems know it is wise to use a long fuse when you are laying a big bomb. Support for this legislation has already peaked, and it's a long way down from here.

As many others have noted, by pushing the pork laden and ultimately partisan stimulus bill, cap and trade (a very expensive way to extract political donations and a heretofore inefficient way to reduce greenhouse emissions), and the health care reform bill doomed the Democrats. They needed to focus on financial regulation, reformation of the tax system, and entitlement reform. These issues are not sexy, but they underpin the ability of government to do everything else. Addressing them seriously would have given Americans confidence in their government rather than another kick in the teeth.

Posted by: robert17 | September 24, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

It seems every generation has to discover anew why we never want Democrats in control of the Presidency and the Congress. We have had Obama for two years and a Democratic Congress for four and it has been a disaster. From 1992-1994 we had President Clinton and a Democratic Congress and it was a disaster. Clinton was a very good president with a Republican Congress. From 1976-1980 we had President Carter and a Democratic Congress and it was epic fail. From 1965-1968 we had President Johnson and a Democratic Congress and we had Vietnam, the failure and expense of the Great Society and a runaway Supreme Court.

Posted by: georgiarat | September 24, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@kenonwenu: "I can only say to Americans what I said to them after they re-elceted Bush with an increased majority in 2004: You are the authors of all your own misfortunes, the worst suckers ever to lower the intellectual tone of the planet, and you deserve everything you're about to inflict on yourselves."

I'm afraid that this is correct. Osama Bin Ladin won by making the U.S. into a basket-case of a nation.

Posted by: George23 | September 24, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

One thing we are NOT losing confidence in is the wonderful WaPo's devotion to the wealthy and powerful. With their innocuously-named rallyforjobs.org ads, they are supporting the Koch brothers in their scam to skim even more money from out of work Americans so that our beloved Tea Party founders can become even richer.

Thank you, WaPo, for helping sucker these poor unemployed dupes into the Koch brothers' wonderful pyramid scheme! You truly serve the people (the rich people, but they are people too)!

http://www.nojobsurvivor.com/No-Job-News/rallyforjobsorg-is-a-scam.html

Tea Party 2010
"Because the Rich Can Never Be Rich Enough"

Posted by: TriCorneredHead | September 24, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Unemployment is up. Growth is down. Deficits are at a record. What has gone wrong in Washington?

Congressman Jim Himes voted for the stimulus bill, but he does not think that it went far enough. He admits that he would vote for pork barrel stimulus spending again if we give him the chance.

Jim Himes voted for the healthcare takeover, but he wants to go further. His only regret is that he had to act incrementally while the voters are watching.

November 2nd, 2010 will be a referendum on the Himes record. If you think that there is a better way, you can do something about it here: http://www.40seats.com/ct4

Posted by: ccdemuth | September 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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