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How Dems should nationalize the elections

I see there's some dissatisfaction on the left this morning over the fact that the White House and Democrats are not planning an aggressive national ad campaign tying the GOP to the Tea Party.

The New York Times had reported that such an ad campaign was in the works. But the White House is strongly denying it, and the Dem party committees are reportedly not too hot on the idea. This has some folks worried that Dems aren't sufficiently committed to nationalizing the elections on their own terms, and are letting Republicans do it on their terms instead.

I'm not terribly worried about this. There's no evidence that such an ad strategy was ever discussed in the first place, so the fact that it's not happening doesn't, in and of itself, seem all that worrisome. What's more, the national party committees have already spent months and months tying the GOP to the Tea Party. If anything, Dems have already invested too heavily in that as a national strategy.

Instead, the best way for Dems to nationalize the elections right now is for Congress to hold a vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts. If Dems did this, it would reinforce the national strategy that Dems already have in place: Making the case that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to the Bush policies that ran the economy into the ground.

Indeed, we're finally seeing polling evidence that voters are beginning to buy the core Dem message that the GOP wants nothing more than a rapid restoration of Bush's policies. Is it an accident that this is happening right when the debate over the Bush tax cuts is dominating the news? Doubtful. And holding a vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts would dramatize the contrast between the national parties even more cleanly, forcing lawmakers to go on record choosing between Obama tax policy and Bush tax policy. Put simply, there is no better way of driving home the Dems' core message than to hold this vote.

I happen to think that all the talk about whether the elections should be nationalized or localized is a false choice: Both are already happening. But if we must talk about how Dems should nationalize the elections, holding a vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts is the best way to do it.

UPDATE, 12:51 p.m.: As Josh Marshall notes, Republicans are now aggressively pressing Dems to hold only one vote, on extending all the Bush tax cuts. And Dems have basically gone quiet on this debate.

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Tea Party candidates at odds with top GOP figures on homosexuality

Comments

Americans aren't thrilled with Democrats these days, but they HATE the GOP.

It's been that way in every single poll.

"the best way for Dems to nationalize the elections right now is for Congress to hold a vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts"

Absolutely 100% spot-on.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama is doing a townhall meeting at the Newseum today - supposedly to talk about jobs.


However, the audience has been STACKED with PRINCETON ALUMNI - hardly the group which represents those hard hit by this recession.

Obama keeps on getting his message wrong.


All the questions had to be submitted last week - so the "townhall" is hardly spontaneous.


This is all Poltics 101 stuff - how could Obama be making such elementary mistakes - clearly Obama is not qualified and is inexperienced - AND it is showing.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

There's "no evidence" except the NYT story, right? Don't be worried, Greg, be SCARED, very scared!!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

If Dems did this, it would reinforce the national strategy that Dems already have in place: Making the case that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to the Bush policies that ran the economy into the ground.
==========================

I agree, Greg. If it doesn't happen, this will be more evidence that the party's DINOs have too much influence.

Ironically, those same DINOs will be the ones most likely to lose their seats.

(Of course, they'll simply transition to new jobs as lobbyists, while their constituents continue transitioning to the unemployment rolls.)
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I disagree.

I think the Dems should be running national ads with quotes from Angle, Paul, O'Donnell, Miller, et al with the following copy:

Do you want to turn the country over to these folks?

On November 2nd, vote Democratic as if your life depended on it.

Because it literally does.

Posted by: Bondosan | September 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought Greg was not a campaign strategist...

Posted by: sbj3 | September 20, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@Bondosan: "Do you want to turn the country over to these folks?
On November 2nd, vote Democratic as if your life depended on it.
Because it literally does."

Yes. Definitely run that campaign. It will be awesome. In fact, "the other party will kill you" campaigns are probably the best, most compelling political campaigns a party can run. Cuz, you know, people don't want to be killed.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 20, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"I think the Dems should be running national ads with quotes from Angle, Paul, O'Donnell, Miller, et al with the following copy:

Do you want to turn the country over to these folks?

On November 2nd, vote Democratic as if your life depended on it.

Because it literally does."

Honestly, I don't see these too far away. There is still time to make some of these radicals completely unelectable even for sbj, even though he'd never admit to it because he never gives an inch.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Congress [should] hold a vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts... it would ... [make] the case that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to the Bush policies."

Actually, wouldn't a vote to extend the middle class Bush-era tax cuts be a vote by *the Dems* to return to Bush policies?

Posted by: sbj3 | September 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If everyone agrees that there is an "enthusiasm gap," then any strategy has to address this. I agree that the tax issue is a good one, but it seems that Dem party leaders just can't get over their fear of confronting that subject. The GOP has cowed them into fearing that they can't control that message once it gets out.

The Dems have to out-think and out-work the GOP in the time that remains, and they have to do that with well-chosen ISSUES. Why not assert that locally GOP candidates are (many of them) outside the mainstream (and crazy, often), while ALSO asserting that a vote for a Senator like Miller shifts the balance at the federal level towards a GOP radical agenda?

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Greg, keep the pressure on please. It's both a political and policy winner and really separates the "men from the boys" so to speak. If I could set up an Actblue page for this I would.

In the meantime everyone, please go here to our "community organizers" page and support the candidates who DO support tax cuts for the middle class.

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

Posted by: lmsinca | September 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Raspublican isn't usually my fav but when you get something like this:

Rasmussen Poll: Dem Manchin Leads By 7 Points In WV-SEN Race

you know the all races are local saying still holds water.

Dems in tough districts should be looking to him as Obama has the lowest approval ratings in W VA atm.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan has a point. There is a pattern of rightwing nutters running for office that expands upon the already nutty list of rightwingers already in office (Bachman, etc.)

I'm not saying we shouldn't force a vote on the tax cut issue. By all means, go for it.

If the tables were turned, however, I'd bet the GOP would be painting ALL democrats as a bunch of loons. Would that be fair? No, of course not. But that wouldn't stop the Republicans, so why are the Dems so hesitant?

The Democrats keep bringing (rhetorical) knives to gunfights. You don't get extra points for playing nice.

Posted by: nisleib | September 20, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "There is still time to make some of these radicals completely unelectable even for sbj, even though he'd never admit to it because he never gives an inch."

Hey!

When you're dealing with an electorate that believes randomly selected folks from a phone book could do a better job than the current congress, you aren't going to change minds by calling these folks radical. People *want* radical right now.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 20, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"People *want* radical right now."

Really? Then Obama should be at 90% approval because he's been called radical from day 1 from the right.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It's not easy to appeal to the "adult" mentality of a voting public who watches snippets from the 10 o'clock news and don't bother to get their news from the internet. The Dems do need to nationalize this election, but they need to do it showing some of the whack jobs that are running in various states. These people don't care about YOU. That has to be the message, which is already being shown in the lack of trust the public gives the GOP in the national polling.
By "adult" mentality I mean that the people who voted for Obama in 08 have to realize that you can't turn around the previous 8 years in a matter of 2 years. Instant gratification and complex policy decisions don't go hand in hand. This is a long haul effort and that there are powerful forces resisting change, who are energized, but are nonetheless a minority. The Dems have to go back and use the concept of Nixon's Silent Majority and turn it on its head.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE: "Dems have basically gone quiet on this detate [SIC]" (I wish they would be quiet here on this blog too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You are probably hyper-ventilating over something that is falling within the norms for mid term elections.

"Jon Meacham warns against what he calls 'superlativism.'"


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/video/

Go to the video link, and slide to the 39 minute time on the video. Watch Jon Meacham lay out the figures for the losses that happened during midterms for every president from FDR on.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia:

In the prior thread, Christine O'Donnell at least cares about the 48% of us who do not support same-sex marriage ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If the right had their way, this would be America.

Montana GOP policy: Make homosexuality illegal

"The party adopted an official platform in June that keeps a long-held position in support of making homosexual acts illegal, a policy adopted after the Montana Supreme Court struck down such laws in 1997."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ijnNHNUQljtnbBWPo7IFFJOU322QD9IAEQFG0

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

99% in Montana.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

What's 99% in Montana?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, "the other party will kill you" campaigns are probably the best, most compelling political campaigns a party can run. "

God knows the Republicans didn't spend a lot of time talking about "death panels" and pulling the plug on Grandma during the HCR debate. /snark

Sheesh....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"In the prior thread, Christine O'Donnell at least cares about the 48% of us who do not support same-sex marriage"

Same sex marriage isn't even on the agenda as a major political issue in this election cycle. By YOU, I, of course, am referring to where the GOP stands on the economy, healthcare and Social Security. Since they are out of step with the voting public on bread and butter issues they have nothing to fall back on but cultural issues. But then, the rest of you on the Right refuse to believe that you are fighting a rear guard action. The Right lost the cultural war decades ago.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington:

Christine O'Donnell at least cares about the 99% of people in Montana who do not support same-sex marriage ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party wants to treat some people as sub humans, on the basis of their sexual orientation; while at the same time; urging voters to reelect a Republican US Senator, who sought out Prostitutes who would put Diapers on him.

Ask Christine O'Donnell if she supports the reelection of Vitter in his Diapers, and in the US Senate.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Jake - how do you know?

At best you know that Christine O'Donnell shares the same bigotry as 99% (using your figure, which I realize you made up) of people in Montana. That's not evidence of CARING about them, only of AGREEING with them.

Besides which, she ain't running in Montana, so what would it matter if she "cares" about 99% of the people there or not?

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: "God knows the Republicans didn't spend a lot of time talking about "death panels" and pulling the plug on Grandma during the HCR debate"

So, refresh my memory. Did HCR or pass, or did the "HCR will kill you" crowd win the day? Because I was pretty sure the "it's got death panels" folks lost, at the end of the day.

But, no doubt, this time it will be an awesome campaign. Democrats should use it in every commercial. "Republicans=Death"

"Hi, I'm Random Democrat. Unlike my opponent, crazed frothing-at-the-mouth-right-winger Random Republican, I'm not going to kill you all, if elected. He will. So, vote for me, or you'll all be dead."

Given how the "death panels" thing stopped HCR in its tracks, maybe talking about how Republicans want you all to die is actually a great campaign strategy.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 20, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

In 1964 Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms opposed civil rights, open housing and integrating our military based upon their own bigotry and public support. The exact type of polling that jake and others use to justify their bigotry towards gays, which he claims is a pressing issue for voters. I would welcome that debate any day of the week.

Bashing gays, Hispanics and insulting all American Jews aligns well with jake and his Tea Party supporters.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Entirely correct, Greg.

What are the Democrats in Congress waiting for? This is a huge win-win for them, and for 98% of Americans too.

Posted by: ottoman88 | September 20, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

And Now For Something Entirely Different:

Just for giggles.

Best Headline Of The Year.

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/naked-spy-found-dead-in-a-bag-was-probably-playing-sex-game-2344346.html

"Naked spy found dead in a bag 'was probably playing sex game' "

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I prefer to point out that Republicans are seeking to restore the Insurance Cabal's Death Panels. They want to go back to the bad old days, when an Insurance Company could take your money, for many years, and suddenly decide that you might get sick, and just drop you.

Republican do want to bring back The Insurance Cabals Death Panels.

Mike Huckabee just came out in favor of doing just that.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This election is already nationalized


I don't know a single person who is going to vote in November without considering their feelings for Obama.


NO amount of pushing some liberal agenda is going to change anyone's votes - if anything, Obama is going to lose votes if he starts to appear too partisan.

This is the SWORD which Obama created himself - Obama promised to be bipartisan -


Any degree of partisanship on the part of Obama is going to get a reaction from the electorate - however, if one wants to live by bipartisanship, one has to stick to it.


Obama did this to himself.


A woman at the CNBC forum today said she was "tired of defending Obama" -


And Obama just gave that smile of him - like he always does when he is caught in a lie.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1:

As you well know, if America had followed South Carolina's lead and elected Strom Thurmond as President, then "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years" ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

President Obama should speak to the nation from the oval office and proclaim the following: "If the Republicans win the midterm elections and take control of the House of Represenatives and the Senate then I am resigning immediately."

This would energize his base overnight!

Posted by: mwhoke | September 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Being from Montana, I was really interested in the GOP platform about homosexuality.

So, I went to the MT. GOP site, and found the following:

Homosexual Acts

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

http://www.mtgop.org/platform.aspx
--------------------------
The backstory is that at present, Montana still has such laws on the books. The GOP wants to keep those laws in force.

I'm not feeling the usual pride about being from Montana.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It's incredible that they can't do this. Seriously, I don't understand why they can't do "listen, to help the economy it's critical we get these tax cuts for everyone's income up to $250,000. Because we all agree on that. Then we can all argue about what we do with the money that rich people make over $250,000, okay? Maybe we just want to tax stuff over $1 million, maybe there's a compromise somewhere between $250 and $1 million. But it's no reason to hold up the tax cuts for the first $250,000, which will help EVERYBODY, and which everyone in Washington agrees on."

This isn't a hard message. Or a hard vote.

Posted by: theorajones1 | September 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

You aren't questioning "filmnoia" who claimed -- with just as much support as I did -- that "These people [including Ms. O'Donnell] don't care about YOU."

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

I said 99% ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

BTW: I agree completely with SaveTheRainforest re: this election was already nationalized BY OBAMA!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Sharron Obtuse Angle appeared as the featured speaker at a recent John Birch Society sponsored event.

"he first Utah United Freedom Conference was held on September 18th, at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City. The national sponsors of the event were The John Birch Society, Freedom 21, and the National Center for Constitutional Studies. Additionally, there were approximately 33 local sponsors including The John Birch Society, Utah Eagle Forum, Utah Farm Bureau, and the Utah Cattleman’s Association, as well as several 9/12 groups and others. The conference event was held through the day and was attended by 375 participants. …

The concluding speaker for the morning session was Steven Pratt, who has a Masters Degree in Education and did postgraduate work at the University of California at Berkley. He is working with the Center for Constitutional Studies and worked under the late W. Cleon Skousen. Mr. Pratt spoke on “State Sovereignty, the Original Concept.”

Throughout the afternoon there were three breakout sessions featuring 13 different classes — all of which were focused on issues concerning constitutional government and individual liberties. Booths in the hall represented several of the participating organizations. The John Birch Society, for example, was present with two booths featuring books, magazines and DVDs to help inform the participants. Attendees found a wealth of additional knowledge and tools to help with their organizations.

The evenings event concluded with Speakers Rep. Carl Wimmer (“Working to pass the Nullification Act to Obama-care in the Utah State Legislature.”) and Sharron Angle, (U.S. Senate Candidate, Nevada)."

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

That auto industry rescue sure was a bad idea:

General Motors recently announced that, thanks to federal efforts to keep the American auto industry from going under, it would be able to rehire 483 workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to manufacture “three variants of Ecotec four-cylinder engines.” The $438 million arrangement will start producing engines for the Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC models by 2011.

As auto blog Jalopnik reports, the plant recently held a ceremony to welcome back the new workers to begin production of the Ecotec engines. Attending the ceremony were three local Republican legislators, Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Ironically, all three of these lawmakers opposed the plans to save General Motors and other U.S. auto companies. This didn’t stop Corker from taking credit for the federal rescue, anyway. At the event he claimed he “contributed to strengthening the auto industry in this country.” Jalopnik reports that “irony of the Republican lawmakers’ presence wasn’t lost on the workers who attended the ceremony; they booed Tennessee Republican Bob Corker”:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/20/corker-gm-plant/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 20, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Senator Richard Shelby(R) Alabama, also wanted to let the American Auto Brands go out of business.

Why Does The Republican Party hate American Corporations, and American Workers?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

That auto industry rescue sure was a bad idea:

General Motors recently announced that, thanks to federal efforts to keep the American auto industry from going under, it would be able to rehire 483 workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to manufacture “three variants of Ecotec four-cylinder engines.” The $438 million arrangement will start producing engines for the Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC models by 2011.

As auto blog Jalopnik reports, the plant recently held a ceremony to welcome back the new workers to begin production of the Ecotec engines. Attending the ceremony were three local Republican legislators, Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Ironically, all three of these lawmakers opposed the plans to save General Motors and other U.S. auto companies. This didn’t stop Corker from taking credit for the federal rescue, anyway. At the event he claimed he “contributed to strengthening the auto industry in this country.” Jalopnik reports that “irony of the Republican lawmakers’ presence wasn’t lost on the workers who attended the ceremony; they booed Tennessee Republican Bob Corker”:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/20/corker-gm-plant/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 20, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis et al:

I was not being hyperbolic. Many of these "tea party" candidates believe that Social Security is an unconstitutional intrusion into Americans' lives and should be abolished.

Prior to Social Security, most of the elderly in the United States died prematurely and in poverty.

They also believe that the government should not be in the business of regulating private businesses.

Therefore, if a business wants to dump toxic waste into a nearby river, thereby saving a lot of money, it's up to the "free market" to correct their behavior.

People should vote Democratic in November because, quite literally, their lives depend on it.

Posted by: Bondosan | September 20, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only American who remembers Sarah Palin's own link to witchcraft? There was a video widely circulated in 2008--it was on YouTube--of Palin being called down to the well of her church to receive a blessing from the preacher--who, among other things, engaged in real witch hunts, found them, and neutralized them. This is no joke people. Palin's pastor really does wage warfare against witches.
So now we have no less than one Republican Senatorial candidate and one likely presidential candidate who admit to the reality of witches. This is what the Republican Party has come to.

Posted by: tbarksdl | September 20, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

John Kevorkian Boehner was first elected to the US House of representatives in 1990.

He signed Newt's Contract On America, in 1994, in which he pledged to serve for only eight years. Remember all their guff about only going to serve for eight years. Twenty years later, Boehner is still in the House , and running again. He is now planning on introducing another Contract On America.

Strange how all those Tea Party types suffer from collective Amnesia, and do not recall that Boehner did not keep his word, to balance the budget, and to only serve for eight years!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Attending the ceremony were three local Republican legislators, Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Ironically, all three of these lawmakers opposed the plans to save General Motors and other U.S. auto companies. This didn’t stop Corker from taking credit for the federal rescue, anyway. [...] the “irony of the Republican lawmakers’ presence wasn’t lost on the workers who attended the ceremony; they booed Tennessee Republican Bob Corker”"

KEVIN, that's your crew!

Aren't you just SO PROUD of them that they opposed the Obama auto bailout and then tried to take credit for its success?

Isn't it nice to know that they stand with the resurgent auto industry after trying to allow it die off?

TN GOP, heckuva job.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

FDR was elected president in 1932 and launched the historic 100 Days of economic legislation. In the 1934 Mid-terms the Democrats romped even though the Depression was as bad as ever. So FDR demanded and got a Second New Deal.

"After the 1934 Congressional elections, which gave Roosevelt large majorities in both houses, there was a fresh surge of New Deal legislation. These measures included the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which set up a national relief agency that employed two million family heads. However, even at the height of WPA employment in 1938, unemployment was still 12.5% according to figures from Michael Darby.[62] The Social Security Act, established Social Security and promised economic security for the elderly, the poor and the sick. Senator Robert Wagner wrote the Wagner Act, which officially became the National Labor Relations Act. The act established the federal rights of workers to organize unions, to engage in collective bargaining, and to take part in strikes.

While the First New Deal of 1933 had broad support from most sectors, the Second New Deal challenged the business community. Conservative Democrats, led by Al Smith, fought back with the American Liberty League, savagely attacking Roosevelt and equating him with Marx and Lenin.[63] But Smith overplayed his hand, and his boisterous rhetoric let Roosevelt isolate his opponents and identify them with the wealthy vested interests that opposed the New Deal, setting Roosevelt up for the 1936 landslide.[64] By contrast, the labor unions, energized by the Wagner Act, signed up millions of new members and became a major backer of Roosevelt's reelections in 1936, 1940 and 1944.[65]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt#Presidency.2C_1933.E2.80.931945

And that, My Friends, is the difference between FDR and Obama. And it is also the difference between winning and losing. Today's Democrats who cheer fecklessness as "smart strategy" are ignorant of history. Congressional Republicrats and Blue Dogs are destroying Obama's presidency and he is helping them do it by not taking charge.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 20, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only American who remembers Sarah Palin's own link to witchcraft? There was a video widely circulated in 2008--it was on YouTube--of Palin being called down to the well of her church to receive a blessing from the preacher--who, among other things, engaged in real witch hunts, found them, and neutralized them. This is no joke people. Palin's pastor really does wage warfare against witches.
So now we have no less than one Republican Senatorial candidate and one likely presidential candidate who admit to the reality of witches. This is what the Republican Party has come to.

Posted by: tbarksdl | September 20, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Did HCR or pass, or did the "HCR will kill you" crowd win the day? Because I was pretty sure the "it's got death panels" folks lost, at the end of the day."

Now you know as well as I do, that HCR and it's passage was hardly so cut and dried.

It might've passed (and barely, might I add) but it was a shell of what progressives had hoped for and the approval polls were not exactly in the Dems favor (mostly based, of course, on misconceptions like "Death Panels" - not on what was actually contained in the bill). We're still feeling those repercussions today. So, to summarily dismiss the "dems are going to kill your grandma" campaign as ineffectual just because it didn't kill the bill is not entirely accurate.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 20, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"BTW: I agree completely with SaveTheRainforest"

Random caps locks and all!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats extend the tax cuts for the top bracket, it's not because they caved into the Republicans, it's because they've turned into the Republicans.

There is no good policy reason to do it, no populist reason to do it and no political advantage to doing it. There is however greed.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious.

@tpm:

"According to the Las Vegas hotel that was supposed to play host to the second national tea party convention, the much-hyped event has been canceled. Organizers of the convention haven't returned my calls, but grassroots tea party leaders I talked to today said that they haven't heard a word about the convention in awhile -- and Nevada leaders told me that if the event is canceled, good riddance.

If the convention really is off, the loss of the event will stand as the third high-profile tea party organizing fail in a month. With the election rapidly approaching, the failure of the LibertyXPO in DC this month, the second DC 9/12 rally and now the second convention suggest those that hope to leverage the movement for big, nationally-covered productions may have tapped out the tea party grassroots. "

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/did-the-second-tea-party-unity-convention-crash-and-burn.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious. (Yes, another)

@tpm:

According to the Washington Post, which obtained its information from House Democrats, some of the "small businesses" that could see a small increase in their marginal taxes are household names like accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers and Tribune Corp. -- privately-owned behemoths whose owners and managers dodge corporate taxes by reporting profits on their income tax returns.

It's those receipts that allow Republicans to claim, based on a recent report by JCT, that Obama's plan will ensnare 50 percent of all "small business income. JCT addressed this in the same report. "These figures for net positive business income do not imply that all of the income is from entities that might be considered 'small.'"

Over the last three decades, the numbers of these types of businesses -- both small, large, and enormous -- has exploded.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/gop-bechtel-pricewaterhousecoopers-and-other-small-businesses-will-see-tax-hike-charts.php

(Pulls hair, rends garments)

WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE MASSIVE CORPORATIONS?!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

For those who think FDR did better:

FDR lost a ton of house seats in 1938. He lost six Senate seats and 71 House Seats in the 1938 Mid Term elections.

That is just a reminder for those who would try to revise history, and make FDR into something he was not.

It is also important to point out, that FDR still had a solid Democratic South in his party, because the South was still segregated, and he still did not have any wars to deal with, in 1938, when he lost 71 house seats, and six senate seats.

Keep that in mind, when you feel tempted to go berserk about how much Obama has failed, compared to FDR.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"According to the Las Vegas hotel that was supposed to play host to the second national tea party convention, the much-hyped event has been canceled."

This has apparently led to a market glut of fanny packs and rascal scooters.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 20, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

To JakeD2

You ask for evidence. Its all over the news. All you need is to do is read and try to understand. You just cant dismiss every bit of information that's contrary to your views. In the immediate term anger might be very sensational and motivating but that itself is not going to carry our country in the long term.

And oh yes.. theres that fear mongering that will also win votes. You are asking the writer to "be scared. Be very scared" I agree with the author and I am not scared. I will fight this fear mongering and gross distortion of facts with every bit of my energy to prevent this country from being hijacked by the fearmongerers whose only intent is to win elections and who wouldn't care even if the country is burnt down in their process of winning the election. I am not alone and we are not a small number either. I have voted in the past for moderate republicans who have shown prudence and reached across the aisle to tackle the problems of our society but they seem to be a very rare breed these days. I will vote for the sustainable growth of this country and I will vote democrat.

Posted by: Citizen111 | September 20, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The best strategy is to confirm what people already believe. There are plenty of GOP candidates who have endorsed ending/privatising/personalizing Social Security.

IMO, an ad that shows these folks, one after another, promoting the end of SS would be very effective.

If that turns out to scare people, it should. If it doesn't scare you, you are young or wealthy.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

There's at least one celebrity (voter?) who is trying to nationalize this election re: DADT

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/09/ad-of-the-day-a-message-from-l.html#comments

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, Republicans are unveiling their Contract on America on Thursday. They failed to take down our economy in 100% in 08 and want another chance.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Citizen111:

I pointed out that the NYT certainly stands by its story as "evidence". Don't tell me you aren't attending the upcoming "March to Keep Fear Alive" rally?!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

All, we now have another Tea Party GOP candidate, Ken Buck, expressing hidebound views on homosexuality:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 20, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

http://www.keepfearalive.com/

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

You are wrong again, Liam. FDR won huge in his first mid-terms. And he won BECAUSE he was strong and commanding. He then followed with even further powerful legislation after the mid-terms EVEN THOUGH the Blue Dog Democrats of that time had already turned on him. That is called bold leadership and the American people want it in any president but especially at times of crisis. That is WHY Obama got elected. But it is not what he has been since then.

Even now, Obama let's the CongDems diddle around with a slam-dunk winner like Middle Class Tax Cuts. And I would bet a good sum that the CongDems are going to screw up taxes, too, just like they did health care. And all alleged Democrats like you can do is moan about the poor Blue Dogs while the Obama Presidency and the entire Dem party is on the verge of an historic rout that will effectively end Obama's ability to do anything at all other than what the GOP tells him to do. With friends like you cheering it on, the Dem Party is collapsing from spinelessness.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 20, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Mike, the nutbag GOP is dead-set on killing the economy.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/20/steve-king-shutdown-blood-oath/

You simply DO NOT shut down the government in the middle of recovery from a recession.

As Benen accurately stated, "Voters should appreciate how serious this is before heading to the polls."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025748.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Here is a list of elected Congressmen who want to end/privatize/personalize social security.

Boozman from AR
McCain from AZ
Kyl from AZ
King from IA
Grassley from IA
Pence from IN (wants to raise retirement age)
McConnell from KY
[Bunning from KY] not running again
Alexander from LA
Vitter from LA
Bachmann from MN
Blunt from MO
Boehner from OH (wants to raise retirement age)
Portman from OH
Thune from SD
Hensarling from TX
Barton from TX
Cornyn from TX
Cantor from VA

I believe every one of these is GOP.
-----------------------------
Then there are the GOP candidates in addtion.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Citizen111,

Let me tell you what sort of a Moron this JakeD2 is.

He is a strident Birther, when it comes to President Obama, yet he recently ,on Plumline, a call for a Republican ticket of Palin/Dinesh D'Souza in 2012

In other words; The Birther Moron has started calling for to have a guy born and raised in India, on the Republican Ticket.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

re; Montana GOP

Once again the "Big Tent" party is trying its damnedest to shrink it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

And we get this drivel from a supposedly neutral non-patrisan journalist. The WashPOS is so brazen it's laughable.

Posted by: BadNews | September 20, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama is probably thinking of giving each family a fuzzy puppy.

Posted by: muawiyah | September 20, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

BadNews, then leave.

Go back to Fux Noise where every piece of news is "fair and balanced" in the Neoconfederate Party's favor.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Dems can never look forward to being in power for more than four years until they grow some and fight Rove's tired old smear and fear strategy with one of their own like nationalizing the November elections like the teabaggers are.

Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How many more years will Dems loose to RepuBPlican wedge issues of xenophobia, homophobia and intolerant religious hysteria and fear-mongering.

Teabaggers are better at this than were the neocons and their offspring the Huckabees. Dems need to wake up and fight back, or they could just sit back and watch what's left of your father's GOP destroy itself but the latter my not be enough to save The Hill in November.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 20, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"And we get this drivel from a supposedly neutral non-patrisan journalist"

------------------------------

washingtonpost.com > Opinions > The Plum Line

You do know what the word "Opinions" means, right? If not, you could use "the google".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it was a reference to Greg Sargant being a member of the JOURN-o-LIST?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Liam
True the republican voters seem to suffer political amnesia. Whats worse is the blatant hypocrisy and dishonesty by the republican candidates. Like the Boehner example you pointed out. But none of this is going to dissuade the "angry" people. They let the republicans run the country into the worst recession in our lifetime for 8 years and now they are all angry that the country hasn't recovered to prosperity in less than 2 years. They oppose bailouts to the too big to fail under TARP (even though Bush had done it prior but the GOP base was sleeping) but now they oppose the plan to reinstate the taxes to those in the higher brackets. They obstruct every measure put forth by the white house and then say not enough is being done. Whats bizarre is that GOP is convincing voters to vote against their own long term interests and sadly they seem to be succeeding.

GOP wants to privatize social security - That means billions of more dollars into the hands of investment bankers and brokerages to play with. Most of these guys vote republican most of the time anyway if Forbes and Wall Street Journal (now under News Corp) are any indication. What people dont seem to realize is that if a recession like this hits again (thanks to deregulation lobby), all the nest eggs will be washed away in one swell swoop. And I bet you anything the investors will still get their bonuses.

Posted by: Citizen111 | September 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan:

"Prior to Social Security, most of the elderly in the United States died prematurely and in poverty."

And with SS they die belatedly and in great wealth? Or at just the right time and moderately well off?

When, I wonder, is the "right" time for elderly people to die.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 20, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the price action of stocks if the GOP is successful in passing privatization/personalization/end social security. There are a finite number of investment grade companies selling on U.S. exchanges (somewhere around 10,000). With all this new money coming in, those stocks will have the mother of all stock market bubbles. Then, when the wave of new money levels off, the bubble will deflate. In my memory, no bubbles deflate gradually. They just blow up.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Freeper thread on Montana GOP Platform

Warning! You will be offended by many if not most replies here.

Many if not most here favor the criminalization of homosexual “acts.”

Very disheartening.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2591832/posts

Posted by: SisterRosetta | September 20, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party has a long history of vote-for-me-or-the-other-guy-will-kill-you attacks, though they're just a little bit more sophisticated. Remember the Revolving Door ads? The message, thanks to Lee Atwater, was Vote for George HW Bush, or Willie Norton will kill you, like he did that kid in the filling station, and the woman who was raped and whose boyfriend also got stabbed and car got stolen. Or, more subtly, vote for our guy, even if he never really served, because the other guy lied about his service medals. The difference, is that Rand Paul, Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and all the rest are on camera saying what they really believe, and are avoiding further exposure that would confirm it. They're wack jobs wishing to legislate their magical thinking. It's up to rational, perhaps altruistic, people to help steer the sheep to safety, literally. (Yes, most of the population are trained, indoctrinated and brainwashed to be a docile flock from near infancy, and never question authority.) That's patriotism beyond personal responsibility which alone beats the morals of the right and the abdication of fairness and indifference to pain & damage by Libertarians.

Posted by: southpaugh | September 22, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

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