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Why are Dems in New York still thriving?

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week.

A few folks emailed and asked me why Democrats are still going strong in New York, despite faltering elsewhere in the country. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio's demagoguery over the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero has persuaded New Yorkers the project should be investigated, but it hasn't persuaded them to vote for him against his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo.

In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review, Politico's Maggie Haberman explained why; basically the Dems are better organized and have more money, and despite having the wind at its back, the state GOP is in disarray:

I covered Rick Lazio when he ran against Hillary Clinton. He's a long-serving congressman from Long Island, but he's been out of politics for ten years, and I think he's run an incredibly lackluster campaign marked by incredibly poor fundraising. He's highly consultant-driven. He had a shakeup in the campaign a couple of weeks ago, and I have to be honest, I don't see a tremendous difference. I can't understand why you're shaking up your campaign six weeks out from the primary, anyway.

For folks interested in New York politics, I'd recommend reading the rest of the interview.

This will be my last guest post. I'd like to say thank you to all of Greg's readers and commenters for your comments and criticisms, and I hope you found the blog worth reading, even in Greg's absence. I'd also like to thank Greg and The Post for giving me the opportunity to post here. If you enjoyed my stuff, you can keep reading me over at my own blog at the American Prospect.

Some end of the day links:

Littering and torture.

The Delaware Republican Primary is getting weirder.

Guy screams racial epithets at blacks and Arabs, gets punched in the face.

Is there a way to stimulate the economy without congressional action?

"In the 1950s, we had the best schools in the world." Really?

Shocker: Brewer doesn't want any more debates.

America's latest export: Abstinence-only education.

Sharron Angle keeps on giving.

Here's wishing everyone a happy Labor Day.

By Adam Serwer  |  September 3, 2010; 5:18 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans aren't 'spoiled,' they're angry about not having jobs
Next: Open Thread

Comments

Adam, many thanks for your posts. Best at the other site and keep up the good work.

Ps. Repeat after me: I will not link to Politico, I will not link to Politico....

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 3, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness this is Sewer's last post!

A four-year old could tell you that Democrats outnumber Republicans in NYC three to one; half of them could stay home and the Democrat would still win.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the GOP in NY has improved since the last time I checked:

Dems 5,507,928
GOP 3,130,122

So, I guess HALF of the Dems cannot risk staying home, but pretty darn close still ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@ JakeD2
"Democrats outnumber Republicans in NYC three to one"

NYC is not a state.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 3, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

When the Republicans in New York were competitive - holding the Governorships and electing Senators - those were Liberal Republicans - Rockefeller Republicans.


Since then, the Republican party has moved dramatically to the right.

The State Legislature has one House that is dominated by the Republicans - and there is unusually a split presence in Albany - so the Republicans have a strong influence on State Government - so the State isn't entirely blue.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your posts this week, Adam! It was a change of pace from Greg -- but a good one. I'll be bookmarking your blog at the Prospect from here on out.

Posted by: howardclh | September 3, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@Beeliever....LMAO..."NYC is not a state."

LOL...still laughing...you have encapsulated JakeD's intellectual capacity in one short sentence. LMAO Is it any wonder Jake would be a great fan of the Wasilla Liar. He admires ignorance because he relates to it!

I'm sure Adam considers criticism from JakeD3
as a compliment...but...


@Adam...thanks for your week filling in for Greg. Hopefully you didn't let the troll virus spoil your fun. :-) You did an excellent job and it's not easy to follow Greg. IMHO Greg is a terrific journalist...or who is the idiot who keeps misspelling journalist..journolist...ahhh wouldn't it be a boring world with our conspiracy nuts to entertain us.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Adam, great job and I enjoyed it, well.........except for a couple of minor details. LOL

Anyway, have a great Labor Day weekend all !!

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"Thank goodness this is Sewer's last post!"
Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 5:35 PM
Sewer? Wow, haven't you outgrown juvenile insults yet?
As Beeliever said, NYC is not a state. Try going about two hours north and you'll run into plenty of Republicans. NY has a reasonably good education system; I like to think that's why it's usually reliably Blue.
Thank you, Adam Serwer, for taking over for Greg.

Posted by: carolanne528 | September 3, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Adam, appreciate you filling in and giving Greg a vacation. Have a good LD weekend. :)

Posted by: Beeliever | September 3, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne (from earlier):

"Well, Scott, I'm listening. Please explain how "Natural resources are not finite." "

I sent you the link so that you could read the full explanation. I can hardly do justice to a chapter-long (indeed, book long) argument in the space of a small blog comment. However, in brief....

Simon's point is that what matters to us as consumers is not the resources themselves or the absolute physical amount of them that exists, but rather what matters is the services that the resources yield. Or, in other words, what matters is their abundance/scaricity in an economic sense, not a physical sense. And in order to understand how economically scarce a given commodity is...or rather the service which the commodity yields...we need to evaluate the cost of getting it. If something is indeed getting more and more scarce, then the price should be getting higher and higher, as it becomes harder and harder to obtain. However, if we look at the long term price trends of commodities (and particularly the services they render), we see that they are very often downward sloping. They are, in an economic sense, becoming less and less scarce, not more and more scarce.

How can this be? Well, here's one way. Suppose a new resource (let's for the sake of absurdity call it unobtanium) is discovered, and 5 pounds of unobtanium can be used to make an outrageously useful and handy product called a widget (I am nothing if not original). But suppose also that at some point in the future some clever producer figures out a way to make a better widget out of only 2.5 pounds of unobtanium. Suddenly, the same stock of unobtanium can now produce twice as many widgets as previously. So has raw unobtanium become more scarce? Well, in a physical sense, obviously yes. But in an economic sense, the stock of raw unobtanium has doubled, all because of human ingenuity and invention.

And what if, at a future date, another clever producer figures out how to make widgets out of easilyobtanium? Well, then, the price of widgets will reduce further, as will the price of unobtanium since it is less in demand. With it being even cheaper still, the stock of unobtanium, again in an economic sense, has risen yet again, all because of human ingenuity and invention.

This, BTW, is what Simon was referring to in the title of his book. The Ultimate Resource is the human mind.

BTW, you really should take qb's adivce (which you bizarrely dismissed as "propaganda"...please resist Bernie's attempts to make people stupider) and read up on Simon's bet with modern-day Malthusian Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich had ridiculed Simon and his analysis, so Simon challenged him to a 10yr bet on the prices of 5 commodities of Ehrlich's choosing. Naturally, Simon won. (I say naturally because, not only are his theories correct, but Ehrlich has been wrong about virtually anything he has ever pontificated upon. Ehrlich seems intent on disproving the old saw that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Beeliever:

I never claimed that NYC is a state.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Similarly, if I say that I am flying into JFK, no one should take that to mean that I am crashing a plane over Arlington National Cemetary. Most everyone would know that is a reference to the international airport outside of NEW YORK CITY.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Adam. Hope we weren't too rough on ya.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Re Brewer refusing to engage in any further debates - isn't it encouraging to see such respect for the rigorous and enthusiastic exercise of the freedom of speech in a marketplace of ideas?

Of course, what is really going on here is simple cowardice on her part and an absolute cynicism on the part of her handlers. Palin's propagandists have set the model and it's become all the rage for the stupid, the uninformed and the extreme.

And it would not be even slightly viable as a propaganda method outside of the existence of a rightwing media structure.

It's difficult to know where all of this is going to take America but it it's impossible to imagine that it will be a good place. When political candidates have the means to withdraw themselves from any serious questioning or review of themselves and their ideas/policies, you've arrived at a situation which bears little difference from any system which has no free press.

Let's project the continuation of this strategy and how it could play out if, say, Palin decides to run in 2012. Will there be any debates? Will any questions be answered or merely ignored and the space filled in with scripted talking points (as Brewer did to the reporters after the debate and as she did to her debate opponent's questions)? Will her handlers demand that all questions be submitted before the debate?

Unless this cynical and propagandist manipulation of the media systems is rejected, you guys are up poop creek. How could it be otherwise?

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Jake

JFK is within the boundaries of NYC, in Queens. I just thought I would throw that one in.


RFK is now a bridge by the way.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

So, what does it mean when you lie at your "Restoring Honor" rally?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/03/glenn-beck-admits-lying-i_n_704958.html#

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 3, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"When political candidates have the means to withdraw themselves from any serious questioning or review of themselves and their ideas/policies, you've arrived at a situation which bears little difference from any system which has no free press."

Totally agree, Bernie.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 3, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Bernie asks:

"Unless this cynical and propagandist manipulation of the media systems is rejected, you guys are up poop creek."

The Arizona governor refuses to engage in any more debates after a poor performance and this is presented to us as "propagandist manipulation of the media systems" indicating that the apocalypse is near. I swear Bernie, I sometimes think you are a right-wing plant having a huge laugh at the gullible lefties as you try to see what outlandish and idiotic thing you can get them to believe next.

"How could it be otherwise?"

Indeed. The governance of the US to date has been an unbroken history of intelligent, courageous, and honest politicians, particularly at the state executive level. Never before in the history of the US has a second-rate hack risen to become governor of a state. The end is nigh.

Bernie, you are a card.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"When political candidates have the means to withdraw themselves from any serious questioning or review of themselves and their ideas/policies, you've arrived at a situation which bears little difference from any system which has no free press."


_________________________________


Exactly - wasn't it Obama who stopped having press conferences after he said the Cambridge police did not act properly???


I think Obama is way behind in taking press questions - even now.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Exactly - wasn't it Obama who stopped having press conferences after he said the Cambridge police did not act properly???"

No, you're wrong (shocker, I know). Obama held his last press conference on May 27 of this year. He's also got one scheduled for next Friday.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 3, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

As Dick Armey told the Economist...

"Politics is about 97 percent fiction and 3 percent imagination."

What this means for Armey is that lying has no negative moral component. It is, in his conception of the world, merely the reality of 97% of political speech. Honesty is not admirable and not evidence of civic responsibility. Honesty is naive, a fool's pursuit.

And it's why we get such a consistent breach of anything approximating honesty from this walking example of social psychopathy...
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/03/armey-conspiracy-theory/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

No, bernielatham, Armey is simply saying that politics is the art of compromise that that is it is completely amoral.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest:

Good catch! I should have said that JKF is an airport just outside of Manhattan proper.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yglesias quotes a NYT piece and writes:

Orszag and the NYT

Interesting news:

"Peter Orszag, economist and former director of the Office of Management and Budget, will become a contributing columnist for The New York Times Op-Ed page. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, his columns will appear one to two times a month in The Times and online at NYTimes.com/opinion and will cover a broad range of economic and domestic issues, including national fiscal policy, education and health care. In addition to his columns, he will examine these and other relevant issues on The Times’s Opinionator blog."

Orszag has been in jobs where one can’t fully speak one’s mind for several years now and has managed to make a remarkable quantity of thought-provoking on-the-record statements given those constraints so I’m looking forward to this. In a dream scenario, I’d love to see some back and forth and engagement between him and Paul Krugman about some of Krugman’s critiques of the Obama administration but for whatever reason newspapers seem to discourage their writers from actually engaging with one another’s arguments."
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/orszag-and-the-nyt/

Yes, please make it so.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Geez Bernie,

Karl Rove called, he wants to be your boogie-man again.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 3, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

NYC may not be a state, but it seems to be where most of the state's people live. The three to one Dem to Repub ratio mirrors the intellectual ratio in the state---three morons for every person with a modicum of intelligence. That's why NY is out of step with the rest of the country.

But they really know how to spend money. And elect politicians who lobby for mosques. Let them. I don't live there. They're about one more 9/11 tragedy away from becoming a lot more conservative than they are today. Count on it.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Adam for your posts this week. I've got American Prospect bookmarked. BTW, JakeD2, JFK airpor is located in Queens, which is a borough of New York City. There are in fact 5 boroughs. So when you write, with typical right-wing ignorance and assurance, that JFK airport, or JKF, is not in NYC, or "correcting" yourself, that it's "just outside of Manhattan proper, you show, if it needed to be demonstrated, just how fact-free the conservative mental universe is. Do you also have an opinion on the Park 51 project (which may never be built) and a suitable location for it, maybe in Queens, "just outside of Manhattan"? Ha! I suggest you try actually experiencing or seeing some of the things or places you have such secure opinions on. Or maybe get an education?

Posted by: nancycadet | September 3, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Bernie the mind-reader:

"What this means for Armey is that lying has no negative moral component."

But one wonders why Bernie would be so exercised about such a belief given that he himself believes (or at least claims to believe when he finds it convenient) that there are no moral truths in the world, only personal preferences akin to a taste for chicken over steak.

Bernie sure does a lot moralizing for a guy who dismisses the universality of moral claims. Is there no end to his cognitive dissonance?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"Karl Rove called, he wants to be your boogie-man again."

Heh. Good one.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Bernielatham wrote,
"I’d love to see some back and forth and engagement between him and Paul Krugman about some of Krugman’s critiques of the Obama administration."
-------

Krugman is an educated idiot. Obama's not far enough left for him.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

rukidding wrote,
"He admires ignorance because he relates to it!"
-------
If that's true, then the two of you have at least one thing in common.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2 - I normally assume that a person's actual words represent what they mean to say rather than some other party's interpretation which doesn't, you know, match the words.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

nancycadet:

I do have an opinion on the Ground Zero mosque. Let me know if you have any more questions after you read them.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/the_mosque_exclusion_zone_quan.html

bernielatham:

You are using "fiction" in the negative sense as a "lie" though. Do you similarly feel that Stephen King is a liar?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

@ bernielatham | September 3, 2010 8:10 PM:

"...but for whatever reason newspapers seem to discourage their writers from actually engaging with one another’s arguments."

Maybe they they think the Gray Lady is too regal to host a blog fight. I'd love to see that too though.

Posted by: CalD | September 3, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

BernieLatham wrote,
"Re Brewer refusing to engage in any further debates - isn't it encouraging to see such respect for the rigorous and enthusiastic exercise of the freedom of speech in a marketplace of ideas?"

It's called a strategy for winning. I recall when Hillary Clinton was running for Senator from New York, she wouldn't get anywhere near anyone who might ask her a tough question.

-------

"Of course, what is really going on here is simple cowardice on her part and an absolute cynicism on the part of her handlers. Palin's propagandists have set the model and it's become all the rage for the stupid, the uninformed and the extreme."

LOL. If that were true, every Dem in the country would be using the strategy. Maybe she can debate Alvin Greene. Has she or Palin ever said anything about the flags the astronauts left on Mars? Or the drugs Bush 41 pipelined into South Central LA to keep "people of color" enslaved? Did her pastor ever say anything about America's chickens coming home to roost? Just curious.

Let's see now. When she wins the race for governor, that will mean . . . what? The majority of Arizona voters are stupid, uninformed, and extreme? Or maybe just gullible, like the people who voted for Obama. Surely the Dems who vote against her---the Latinos, African-Americans, et al.---can't be stupid; it would be racist even to imply such a thing. In libspeak only a large majority can occupy the lunatic fringe.

"And it would not be even slightly viable as a propaganda method outside of the existence of a rightwing media structure."

Right. Maybe you can come up with another Lucy Ramirez memo, or one from some other "unimpeachable source." That would show those lying rightwing media nuts.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the day...a tweet from Ted Nugent:

"I am not a hunter. I am an operator. I provide solutions. Final solutions."

Strikes me as a sort of cross between Norman Rockwell and Jeffrey Dahlmer.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen this posted here yet.

FOX News to run Media Matters ad

"After three rounds of changes, Fox News has agreed to run a Media Matters for America ad pointing out the cable network’s parent company’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0810/Fox_News_to_run_Media_Matters_ad.html

Bernie...please let us know how this fits into the Vast Right-Wing Media Propaganda plot to destroy the nation. Will FOX subtly undermine the ad's message by sending subliminal flashes of Beck and Rove to convince their ignorant and gullible audience that Media Matters secretly employs Muslims? Or is it even more devious?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Brigade said: - "It's called a strategy for winning."

Yes. That's the Stalinist view of the loveliness, purity and rational basis for political expediency in one's quest for power.

"I recall when Hillary Clinton was running for Senator from New York, she wouldn't get anywhere near anyone who might ask her a tough question."

I'm sure you've got this right. This debate with Lazio was, probably, created digitally by the folks who faked the moon-landing...
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/14/nyregion/senate-debate-overview-lazio-hillary-clinton-clash-donations-taxes-trust.html

That was, as I'm sure you'll recall, one of three debates between the two.

Or here's the debate between her and Spencer... http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/194981-1

I'm not going to bother tracking down all the interviews she did in the news media at the time.

Perhaps you'll understand why I might pass on whatever else you wrote after the quotes above.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"FOX News to run Media Matters ad"

Why this is just the old "rope a dope" to draw Media Matters in and then... UTTERLY DESTROY THEM! Bwahahahaha!

Somewhere Dick Armey is kneeling in front of his picture of Dick Cheney and chanting over and over again: "Rove, you magnificant b*st*rd"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 3, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

A few have noted Ensign's awkward "we has seen the enemy and he is us/me" quote. Benen puts it in more specific context...

"Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), currently the subject of criminal and ethics investigations stemming from his six/corruption scandal, told constituents this week, "If you don't hold us accountable, we'll do some real bad things in Washington, D.C." He was trying to talk about the economy, but I nevertheless found his lack of self-awareness hilarious."
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025527.php

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Moving on. Jan Brewer decides to man-up and speak to that "beheading" avoidance thing yesterday....

"All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," Brewer told the Daily Star. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on."

Courage. Honesty. Integrity. The lady has it all.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Rove, you magnificant b*st*rd"

At least he was half right. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@Scott Man you are way off your game tonight. Hyperbole of the type you're tossing out this evening is truly beneath you.
You posted..
"The Arizona governor refuses to engage in any more debates after a poor performance and this is presented to us as "propagandist manipulation of the media systems" indicating that the apocalypse is near."

Bernie posted..

"When political candidates have the means to withdraw themselves from any serious questioning or review of themselves and their ideas/policies, you've arrived at a situation which bears little difference from any system which has no free press."

This has nothing apocalyptic about it. It points to a true concern. If Palin/Angle/BAchman/Brewer/Paul et al are allowed to completely dodge all interviews from a FREE press and simply stick to their propaganda arm of Faux news then don't you agree that is not a good thing for our nation? While not an apocalypse it certainly doesn't bode well for a well informed electorate now does it?

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie....of Brigade you wrote...

"Perhaps you'll understand why I might pass on whatever else you wrote after the quotes above."

Completely understood. Brigade wandered into an economic debate between Q.B. and myself on the last thread and tried to argue that our economic woes are largely because..
The D's are the party of deregulation and lax control of Wall Street while we can o course trust the R's to embrace more regulation and control of Wall Street.

I believe I'll join you Bernie in scrolling past our newest troll.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

This highlights five of ways the Tea Party organizers in the form of Koch, Americans for Prosperity and their congressional mouth pieces Michelle Bachmann will be screwing the actual Tea Party members themselves. By couching their rhetoric in patriotism, the Constitution and small government they're convincing people to vote against their own self interests. I know we've already discussed this phenomenon, but it's spelled out pretty well here. Amazing when you think about the disconnect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Speaking before an audience of Tea Party supporters at the RightOnline conference convened in July, Bachmann referred to Social Security and Medicare as "welfare" that had seen its day. The event was convened in Las Vegas by the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, whose board is chaired by David Koch. There, more than 1,000 Tea Partiers -- the majority of whom are over the age of 45 -- sat in rapt silence as Bachmann outlined a plan to end Social Security for all those who will be under the age of 65 at the time her potential dream Congress enacts the legislation.

For those between the ages of 55 and 65 at the time Bachmann's Kill Social Security Plan hypothetically passes into law, there would be a means-tested program for "those who truly need it -- the truly disadvantaged, those who truly can't go forward." For everybody else, there would be unspecified "alternatives and adjustments." Those under the age of 55 would apparently be squat out of luck, regardless of how truly disadvantaged they are. From the assembled Tea Partiers, not a discouraging word was heard, even as Bachmann outlined a plan to essentially rob them of the money they've been putting into the system all their lives."

http://www.alternet.org/news/147911/5_ways_the_tea_party_agenda_screws_tea_party_supporters/?page=2

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Dave Weigel writes:

"Thank you for inviting me to speak to you. I’ll just add a little to the introduction by saying that I’ve been covering the Republican Party and the conservative and libertarian movements since 2006, and I’ve covered the Tea Party movement since February 2009, when I followed the Washington activists who put together one of the movement’s first events in LaFayette Square. So what I want to do today is explain how the Tea Party developed so quickly, analyze its impact on the Republican Party, and suggest where the merger of this bottom-up movement and top-down political organization is going to head next.

I. History

I’d like to start with a comparison which, hopefully, which demonstrate just how incredible the tea party movement’s capture of the willing Republican Party has been..."

This tasty morsel might lead you to read more here: http://daveweigel.com/?p=2412

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Jan Brewer decides to man-up and speak to that "beheading" avoidance thing yesterday...."

Wait a second. Are you saying the press DID ask her questions? So does this mean we do have a free press? Or is this just another example of the "cynical and propagandist manipulation of the media systems" by that obviously clever and ingeniously fiendish Jan Brewer?

Man, is this propaganda campaign complex, or what? I'm glad we have you here, Bernie, to explain it all to us.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca...It amazes me as well how folks like the koch brothers are able to bamboozle folks into voting against their interests.
We are in a "golden" age where we are witnessing the "golden rule". He who has the gold makes the rules.

While I did some online research debating Q.B. in the last threat I came across something I find encouraging considering the source...no less that Republican Rep from Texas of all places...a R candidate for President and noted libertarian. Rather than say how stupid we progressives are I'd love for one of our righties..Scott..Q.B. Brigade..to argue with Dr. Paul's observations. IMHO Dr. Paul has hit it out of the park.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/111232

Top 1% own 38.1%
Top 96-99% own 21.3%
Top 90-95% own 11.5%
And it gets much uglier as you proceed downward. Bottom 40% of population has 0.2% of all wealth.

The founders equated freedom to liberty which in their language meant you "owned" property (you were not in debt). The amount of property you owned had a proportional relationship to the amount of liberty you experienced.

Our system of freedom is skewed and is becoming very dangerous (approx. 100 million US citizens experience ZERO freedom). You can only cage humans for so long and then something has to give. When liberty is skewed into the hands of a very small number of the population, then our ability to "self-govern" becomes a complete and utter illusion.

I believe in free markets, but this distribution of wealth is not a normal distribution in any way (meaning it is not subject to natural forces- i.e. statistics 101). It can only exist within an un-natural (non-free) system, where the relative nature of freedom is constrained."

This from a tea party hero...and I couldn't agree more with that last paragraph. We do have a very un-natural as he calls it...system!!! The rich get richer ..the poor get poorer..the middle class is disappearing...and Scott, Q.B. and Brigade have no problem with that.

Don't mean to be insulting guys but it really does seem as if you love America but hate Americans!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Bob Shrum takes on the Deficit Commission. There are more and more calls for Dems to take the protect Social Security stance to the voters. It's becoming more of an issue every day. I linked a letter from House Dems this morning and there's another one from Bernie Sanders, both demanding that Dems stand up to the cut/privatize Social Security commission.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

"The president’s deficit reduction commission was a response to a series of popular myths—that the federal deficit is a root cause of our economic distress and that Social Security is a root cause of the deficit. Over time—once the economy is strong again—the deficit must be brought down, as Bill Clinton achieved with his tax and budget packages in the 1990s. However, it’s more than doubtful that the commission, replete with taxophobic Republicans, can agree on anything like that.

So the deficit commission has targeted Social Security, which has nothing to do with the deficit. The program has a $2.5 trillion surplus right now, rising to $4.3 trillion by 2023. Paul Krugman has calculated that the increased costs of Social Security over the next two decades are “significantly smaller… than the rise in defense spending since 2001.”

http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/206740/saving-social-security----and-democratic-seats

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Scott...just curious...did Bernie say something bad about your momma? The level of your vitriol is truly unbecoming. We expect that from some of our obviously uneducated, uninformed trolls. But we'd like to regard you as simply someone from the right with a different opinion.

You assaults...loaded with sarcasm, hyperbole, and stretching meanings...well as the young people might say today..Scott you are sounding a lot like a simple hater!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Hyperbole of the type you're tossing out this evening is truly beneath you."

Hey, if Bernie can interpret an embarrassed politician's avoidance of difficult questions as being the absence of a free press (guffaw), I don't think any hyperbole I could possibly come up with ought to be considered too much.

"up poop's creek", the apocalypse? Close enough for government work.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"And it gets much uglier as you proceed downward. Bottom 40% of population has 0.2% of all wealth."

But some people here think they should still be paying income tax on their paltry wages.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"Bachmann outlined a plan to essentially rob them of the money they've been putting into the system all their lives."

Imsinca,

Because SS current revenues do not meet their outlays, they need to cash in their bonds, which requires borrowing. That borrowing results in higher taxes, at some point, meaning that we're now, or soon will be, taxed twice for the same benefit. So, not only have they been "robbed" (though it's hard to understand why anybody would think a government would not spend money that is just sitting there) of their benefits, they're / we (unless somebody mercifully shoots this program and puts it out of our misery) going to have to pay for them all over again in either higher direct taxes, or the value killing inflation if debt continues to be monetized. Phasing out SS and perhaps coming up with something else, somthing not controlled by the government, seems to be most practicle and least "robbing" thing to do.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 3, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

McWing, you make it sound like we have to borrow the entire $2.5T all at one time to offset the bonds. I am not going to surrender one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our history, which is entirely self funded, without a fight. There are other fixes out there, a lock box on the fund, eliminating the FICA cap, or a slight increase in FICA above say $60k per year.

The fact that Norquist has exacted a strict no new taxes promise from conservatives in order to drown government, doesn't make it good policy. The middle class has been hit hard during this recession and we need to keep the safety net for seniors intact. If anything we should be making plans to increase benefits not reduce them.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

NY is still demo because the majority of the people that earn a living in NY don't live in NY. The majority of the people that live in NY are on the dole and they love the Demos because they give them all they need for nothing.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | September 3, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"When political candidates have the means to withdraw themselves from any serious questioning or review of themselves and their ideas/policies, you've arrived at a situation which bears little difference from any system which has no free press."

Were you out of the country in '08, B?

{{{tres gigglette}}}

Posted by: tao9 | September 3, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"did Bernie say something bad about your momma?"

Suffice it to say that I am mocking Bernie because I think he deserves to be mocked. I think so for many reasons, including his manifest hypocrisy, but this ridiculous and incessant apocalyptic propaganda schtick of his especially can't be left unremarked upon.

BTW, I tried to address him seriously on this issue in the past, but he refused to answer my questions. C'est la vie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

tao "Were you out of the country in '08, B?"

Were you tao?...perhaps I'm getting old..alas there is no perhaps..:-)..and my memory is fading..but I remember all the candidates..Obama..McCain..Clinton..Romney.. while he was still in it...all providing the press with opportunities for questions...that is every candidate except for the Wasilla Hillbilly...she tried a few interviews...embarrassed a nation...became one of those rare cult celebrities..ala Parish Hilton or Brittany Spears whose words were used VERBATIM for one of the most hilarious comedy sketches of the year. Her handlers literally forbade access to the press to "protect" her.
In other words tao Palin was LITERALLY A JOKE!!! No wonder she wished to avoid any REAL scrutiny..she's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier and so it's understandable.

Rand Paul is another issue altogether. Perhaps even worse. While Palin/Brewer/Angle are misinformed, ill educated jokes...Paul is not and he is hiding because he is afraid of another gaffe...

Political gaffe being defined by one pundit as when a politician gets caught telling the truth. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

OK Scott C'est la vie. You've been hanging out with Tao too long...ohhh the French influence...

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Blackwater behaves just as one would expect...

"Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials..."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/04/world/middleeast/04blackwater.html?hp

And if you don't have the book noted in this link, get it (used for next to nothing) http://www.amazon.com/Blackwater-Rise-Worlds-Powerful-Mercenary/dp/1560259795

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to bother tracking down all the interviews she did in the news media at the time.

Perhaps you'll understand why I might pass on whatever else you wrote after the quotes above.


Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:07 PM
------

It's well known that she dodged interviews. A matter of fact. Believe whatever your fantasy demands and pass on whatever you like. You libs do a lot better in the echo chambers where you don't have to engage others.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

NY state has swallowed the obama kool-aid. as long as obama is willing to devote the US treasury to keeping ny state afloat, it will be his.

Posted by: andreas_drexler | September 3, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

One more SS link, then I'll drop it, but just for tonight, LOL. This is from Nancy Altman. She was on Obama's transition team and is now working with Social Security Works in order to prevent cuts to SS.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Policymakers should be asking what level of monthly benefits is appropriate for Social Security to provide, can we afford it, and do we as a nation want it. I believe that benefits are too low today, averaging just $1,071, less than full-time minimum-wage work, at a time when private pensions are becoming less adequate and available and when Americans have lost trillions of dollars in investments and home equity. We can afford Social Security’s current level of benefits. The entire projected shortfall is just 0.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, about the same as extending the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent of the income scale. Poll after poll has made clear that Americans value Social Security, believe that it is more important than ever, do not want the retirement age increased, and are willing to pay more to ensure it continues to pay all scheduled benefits."

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/69006

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"Completely understood. Brigade wandered into an economic debate between Q.B. and myself on the last thread and tried to argue that our economic woes are largely because..
The D's are the party of deregulation and lax control of Wall Street while we can o course trust the R's to embrace more regulation and control of Wall Street."
----

For anyone who's interested, this is a flat out lie. I neither said nor implied any such thing. Of course, if you remove the lies from liberal arguments, they pretty much evaporate. And when a lib gets caught in a lie or receives an intellectual plow-cleaning in an exchange, then the one who challenges is automatically a troll and someone to scroll past if not ban outright. How trite, tiresome, and predictable. But D-baggers do fare much better when they ignore me as opposed to engaging on issues.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Middle East peace in a year? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/02/middle-east-peace-talks-israel

I imagine everyone agrees this would a modern miracle but I imagine we all wish it to happen. As much as I despise Blair for his submission to Bush administration war-mongering (and his reluctance to face up to the consequences of his submission) it is also the case that, prior to the war, he tried to get the Bush people to first resolve the Palestinian issue as he properly saw it as the prime cause of Arab/Muslim hatred towards the West. His participation and contributions in this effort will hopefully be informed by that same wisdom.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@andreas_dexler...Not to be impolite but as they might say in the NBA..get out of here with that weak sh*t. LMAO

Seriously Andreas you can't post absolute falsehoods and get away with it on this blog. This is not Palin's lala land.

You posted..."NY state has swallowed the obama kool-aid. as long as obama is willing to devote the US treasury to keeping ny state afloat, it will be his."

Perhaps you have Obama derangement syndrome...perhaps you're simply ignorant...not in the pejorative sense but the literal sense. You don't know what you're talking about.

New York gets 81 cents from the Feds for every dollar they send to Washington. Do you get that Andreas. That means New York is subsidizing our Federal Government. Thanks heavens for all those awful Dems there who are helping float our national boat!

By contrast the Wasilla Hillbilly's home state gets $1.81 back for every dollar Alaska sends to D.C. In other words Andreas Sister Sarah is a welfare queen whose state gets 81 cents more on every dollar than they send.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

rukikdding7 wrote,
"It amazes me as well how folks like the koch brothers are able to bamboozle folks into voting against their interests."
----

Of course anyone who doesn't vote dem is voting against his/her interest---unless they want to find a job. Amazing how when a Republican is elected, people have been bamboozled, but when it's a Dem, people have exercised good judgment. We may be just a couple of months away from discovering that the lunatic fringe is comprised of the majority of voters. Strange world.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi ru,

Just a wee elbow2rib re: the MSM's obeisance to the Lightgivers's halo, mothballing their usual proctological bent.

Not sayin' that Brewer's a mensa. She'll probably win though.

Happens alot on both sides.
Exhibit A: VPOTUS.
Exhibit B: St. Teddy
Exhibit C: DownEast Olympia

Posted by: tao9 | September 3, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Jake

You would be hard pressed to get an airport into Manhattan - even if all the buildings weren't there.

To get to JFK .... you have to go on the dreaded......... VAN WYCK.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 4, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

new yorkers love being victims...
thats why they keep voting for morons...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 4, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey all, I'm back (sorta), and here's an open thread for you for today:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/open_thread_3.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 4, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol writes a column at the Weekly Standard titled "Beck To The Future". Witty, no? It's typical Kristol, that is, providing about the same amount of solid reality and nutrional value available in a ghost's fart. Or, one might think that on a superficial reading.

But I'll argue that there are some rather interesting things to attend to here. For example, Kristol writes:

"For better or worse, where conservatives tend to look to God, liberals tend to look to mankind; and where conservatives tend to think first of country, liberals tend to think first of humanity."

As generalizations go, this isn't a bad one. I could easily write the same thing. And, to his credit, he even hedges on which perspective or "reality" will work out better.

That is because his neoconservative ideology is, for all its serious failings, considerably more sophisticated than the Beck/Palin/Tea Party ideological mix he is describing. For example, Kristol himself (and this applies to his father along with almost everyone else in the neoconservative camp including, importantly, Strauss) demonstrates little or no personal religious belief or behavior. These things are social/psychological phenomena and their importance to neoconservativism is as an available means to organize or arrange society in the manner Kristol and camp find philosophically agreeable. If people are prone to religious ideas (and we are) then this fact is to be utilized to move people in certain directions. Precisely the same is true regarding "patriotism", that is, nationalist fervor. If people have the propensity to be stirred by appeals to such fervor, and we obviously have this propensity, then go ahead and stir them so as to arrange society as you believe best.

It's interesting and important to consider who Kristol is talking to in this piece. He's clearly NOT talking to the Beck/Palin/Tea Party audience to whom Kristol's "for better or worse" formulation is already established beyond need for reflection. Even posing it explicitly as an uncertainty is, to that crowd, a dangerous falling-back from key certainties. America is real and good and best but Mankind is a liberal bleeding heart abstraction which even includes Muslims and dreaded athiests and the French. This is certain. And Faith is to be placed in the benevolent and all-knowing Divine, not in fallen man. That is certain.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

These are, as Kristol suggests, the two key aspects in Beck/Palin's notions of "humility" and "patriotism" as developed in the speeches. And as I noted on Greg's blog a few days ago, this conceptual construct has as a fundamental purpose a framing which validates the notion that Obama (with his education, his talking down at us demeanor, his brain, etc) is the elitist-other. Not really American with his bows to other national identities/values. Not really "humble" (much too much faith in himself, his education, his brain and in Man).

But, of course, is we look at Kristol himself we see someone far closer to Obama than to the "masses". Same level of education via Ivy League universities, same intellectual aspirations, etc. In fact, Kristol's private school Upper West Side wealthy upbringing represents something far more elitist than Obama's upbringing. Further, there's less indication of attachment to a place of worship to to a particular theological view in Kristol than in Obama (though this is more opague than the matter of intellectual/social elitism.

And this tells us to whom Kristol is actually talking here. He is trying to convince the intellectual elites of his party and movement that Beck/Palin and the Tea Party rabble might be a way into future power - even if they represent something quite intellectually and socially undignified to the upper classes of the modern right.

Here's Kristol's concluding graph:

"That certain portion of the country was “stirred up” at the rally to express pride in America and faith in God. That certain portion of the country is about to show itself (at least for this election) as a majority of the country. If that majority is animated not just by limiting government or living within our means or getting power back to the people—important though those are—but is also moved by the notion of rededicating oneself to God and Country, it could well be a lasting majority."

You'll perhaps appreciate the double entendre in "Beck To The Future" - an acknowledgement of moving backwards (into the undignified muck of the masses and populism) in order to get back to power in the future. Power is the all-important goal of neoconservativism as when they don't run the show, it will fall to the lesser classes and their unpredictable base responses.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/beck-future

Posted by: bernielatham | September 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Hi Greg...if you don't mind, I'll re post that last thing on the new thread

Posted by: bernielatham | September 4, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it since I am not a New Yorker but apparently they are just smarter than the majority of Americans. That would be the main reason Democrats are still thriving in New York.

Posted by: wickiser | September 4, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

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