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Dems constrained from hitting back at McConnell by White House posture of conciliation

By Greg Sargent

When Mitch McConnell declared last week that his single most important goal is to ensure that Obama is a "one term president," Dems went ballistic, unleashing on McConnell a Web video, a fusillade of statements and an army of surrogates on the chat shows.

Today, McConnell doubled down on his "one term president" broadside, and if anything, his tone was more taunting than before. But the Dem response has been ... crickets.

What's the difference? Most obviously, McConnell's first blast came before the election; the second one after.

But the more important difference is that the White House political arm, the DNC, is constrained from responding aggressively for the time being because it would undercut the White House message that President Obama is fully committed to seeking common ground and a post-election period of civility.

Even surrogates are largely holding their fire. The normally aggressive Dem Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on MSNBC just now, was unusally restrained when asked about McConnell's latest, noting only that "someone in the Senate" hasn't been "listening to voters."

This hints at a broader strategic dilemma. How can the White House and Dems be aggressive in painting the GOP leadership as hell-bent on the partisan destruction of Obama's presidency, if their primary goal is to occupy the moral high ground by preaching cooperation and civility?

Also: If the aim of McConnell's repetition of his "one term president" broadside is to enhance the impression that Obama was severely weakened by Tuesday's results, for now he's getting to do this unimpeded by any pushback or counter-attack that might help dispel that impression.


UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: It's true, as a commenter points out, that Harry Reid issued a statement today blasting McConnell. But he's McConnell's direct adversary in the Senate. The point is there's no concerted, DNC-organized response, which would make far more noise.

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Godd*man it, Barrack Obama, you are the president! Act like a leader or let someone else have the job.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

A long time ago, some thought Obama to be a rope-a-dope expert, paying out the line, paying out some more line...now we know better.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You are totally off. Senator Reid just hit McConnell back on his crap.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/

"It speaks volumes that the first thing on Republicans' 'to do' list is to give power back to big health insurance companies. What Senator McConnell is really saying is, Republicans want to let insurance companies go back to denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, let them go back to charging women twice as much for the same coverage as men, and let them push millions of seniors back into the Medicare donut hole.

"Republicans have always been the party of putting big business over the middle class, and they are wasting no time in trying to jam through favors for big corporations at the expense of hard-working families who are struggling to make ends meet. If Republicans think the American people want to go back to giving insurance companies free rein to impose their abusive practices on middle-class families and seniors, then they are truly out of touch with the middle class."

Posted by: maritza1 | November 4, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

P.S., Greg: You are firing on all cylinders today. Pretty soon you'll be as angry as I am.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy this analysis at all.

I believe that the Democrats are still dealing with the emotional impact of the election loss. I doubt they really have a cogent strategy at this point. Like everyone else they are trying to find meaning in the results.

When the Democrats arrive at an explanation of things that they can live with they will formulate a strategy around that. They will look disjointed for a while simply because they are.

the Democrats haven't done as well as they have without knowing how to face adversity like this. They'll come to sort of agreement about what it all means to them shortly. Then they will all get back on message, whatever that is.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

As if the Dems losing 65+ seats in Congress is not "depressing" enough?!

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

maritza, you're right about Reid. But the DNC is quiet for a reason. Believe me, was able to establish that reason.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama should be pushing for cooperation and civility. The polls show that Americans want our politicians to cooperate and be civil. As the leader of the Democrats, and the most visible politician in the country, Obama should NOT be carrying out attacks personally.

Activists, and Dem congresscritters, should be bringing the fight to the GOP, but they should do it in a way that doesn't reflect poorly on the Democratic Party.

And the timing? Should the Democrats be on the attack two days after getting a whooping? I'm not so sure.

Finally, Greg, I think you are way overestimating the Democrats unity. Your comments assume the Democrats all work off the same script, like the Republicans do. That is not, and never has been, the case. I have no doubt that by the end of the week Democratic Congresscritters will be hitting the GOP on this regardless of anything Obama does or says.

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

nisleib, the point is that the WH political arm, which can make a shitload of noise if it wants to, is dead quiet. see the update

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Obama should be pushing for cooperation and civility."

That is NOT incompatible with forceful leadership. Obama does not have to -- and I agree with you, he should not -- be nasty like, say, I am. However, he can perfectly politely say he will veto any bill that extends the Bush tax cuts for the Rich. That's what leadership looks like, not these mealy-mouthed homages to civility toward those who are stabbing you in the back and, incidentally, wrecking the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"But the DNC is quiet for a reason."

Tim Kaine, quiet for a reason? Now here all along I thought he was an innocent bystander. I thought he was installed to replace Howard Dean with the express written intent that he was not authorized to do or say anything. Now I know there was reason behind the madness. Mind explicating the reason Greg?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama has to stay above the fray, even if what McConnell has said is making his blood boil. As the new Congress goes into session, the Dem members who are now part of the "Democratic wing" of the Dem party (not the DNC or the disgraced Blue Dogs), people like Weiner and Wasserman-Schultz need to go after Boehner and Cantor and tear them a new one every chance they get. It might not even be that long before "Granny" McConnell is compromised with his own Larry Craig-like issue to deal with.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

shrink, the reason is that it would step on the WH posture of conciliation.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

DNC = wussies

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Two great posts back to back.

Ya know what?

What we are experiencing right now -- as evidenced in both the last two posts -- is a direct result of what happens when there is no viable press corps.

The utterly shameless lack of responsibility is what gave the Blue Dogs the power to claim fiscal responsibility while being anything but. The same allows McConnell to say pretty much anything he wants without any political consequences. It's not the President's job to explain why McConnell is so far off base with his comments. It's the media's. The POTUS' job is running the dmn country. The Senate Minority Leader's job is working with the Majority Leader to craft compromise on policy.

Where is the news media?

Busy cashing in their advertising checks and laughing their way to the bank. Thanks Limbaugh, thanks Palin, thanks Rachel and Keith, thanks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN.

This country's going to hell and it's mostly because there is no longer a 4th estate to put a check extreme and false statements and accusations.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Greg, ask McConnell this, thanks.

"Some are now saying your rants are because you are bitter because the American People decided they didn't want you to be Senate Majority leader.

When are you going to stop acting like a five year old throwing a tantrum?"

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Some good thoughts from Josh on McConnell's "boy have I got a big penis" theme...
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/11/man_up_barack_obama.php#more?ref=fpblg

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Where is the news media?"

It's owned by the Plutocrats, just like everything else in the country. Face it: we are all slaves to Big Money and nothing gets done in this nation unless Big Money wants it done. The United States of Corporations. How inspiring.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, ok sorry, we are on the same page.

"Why, why, why?"
Nancy Kerrigan

Jeff Gillooly just whacked Obama in the knee and we are supposed to figure out why.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

As most likely know, Kitzhaber now has it in Oregon and Murry further ahead in Wash.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Words with Obama mean nothing. The country was ready for Obama to bring everyone together under bipartisanship in 2009. Obama is two years and a health care bill short.

I remember during the Financial Regulation bill debate on the Hill all the votes Obama forced on the Republicans. And that was after Obama pulled out of the bipartisan negotiations.

For those who do not remember, there were bipartisan negotiations last spring which were thought to be productive and suddenly Obama pulled out of those negotiations and had Reid call votes in the Senate designed to make the Republicans look bad.


Words mean nothing with Obama. Obama has meetings for a photo-op, and then trashes people in the press before they are out of the drive-way. Obama can not be trusted at all. Obama had the last two years to build up trust.

The country has to realize how much of a snake Obama is and then commentary on this subject can be taken seriously.

Negotiations and bipartisanship require a component in which each side has to have confidence that the other side will not try to burn them. Obama has done nothing but try to make the other side look bad - while Obama has claimed to be the person seeking bipartisanship.

America realizes this double-game which Obama has been playing. For Obama and the democrats to complain now - and suddenly think they are going to be Lucy again (and get the opportunity to pull the ball out again) you are mistaken.


AHHH NO.


Obama - you line up to kick the ball. The Republicans will decide if we are going to pull it out from under you now.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham:

I thought that you were going to stop posting at the "The Plum Line"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

There's another aspect to what McConnell is doing here. This is the sort of framing which is guaranteed to get media attention and coverage. They'll keep doing this loud stuff to fill up the media space with their messaging which limits the available space for Dems. That's an on-going media strategy, of course, but probably worth keeping in mind.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Excluding Fox, which is not a news outlet, how can any broadcast medium justify even having McConnell on anymore to spout his crap? Since Obama has been in office,McConnell hasn't been a serious player in advancing any useful measure in the Senate, but he's now jumped the shark. I hope that for the next two years the Sunday talk shows can convince some of the new wingnut members of Congress to appear. This way the entire American public can see what sort of creature is under the rock.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 4, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Haha. The wingers are out in force with their new conspiracy.

Reid stole the election!

Wonder how long till Fox starts running faux news segments on it non stop to confuse it's viewers.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

You had to see this one coming. Ari Fleisher in the WSJ (h/t Sullivan)...

"If Republicans push too hard, we may blow our chances to actually reform entitlements and meaningfully roll back the size of government after the 2012 elections."

In other words... all our promises will be delayed until the stars are correctly aligned.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham:

I thought that you were going to stop posting at the "The Plum Line"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

nislieb wrote:

"Obama should be pushing for cooperation and civility. The polls show that Americans want our politicians to cooperate and be civil. As the leader of the Democrats, and the most visible politician in the country, Obama should NOT be carrying out attacks personally."

I have my own pet theory about this, which you no doubt could care less about.

Obama has spent his whole life in a collegial atmosphere. He never has learned that at the highest level of society or any organization, you don't get cooperation by asking for it. You only get it by being respected or feared. In other words, winning begats cooperation, not before it.

Johnson and Nixon were feared. Clinton and Reagan were respected for their popularity with the people. Obama has neither, so Rep leaders aren't afriad to go against him, either because of election results or repraisals.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2, I thought you were gonna be an adult and re-ask your question or are you going to continue to ignore me like you were 10?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@Jake - Afraid so. Last week on board (family matters). Did you want to keep up a private conversation or perhaps even date?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Reid stole the election!"

There was a great story in the Las Vegas Sun on how the Reid campaign built their coalition. The Dems can learn something from it, even if Harry was give the "gift" of Angle. Harry may appear old and a bit enervated, but the guy has a lot of steel.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 4, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

OT, this pretty much says it all:

-Republican groups coordinated financial firepower-

The groups – including familiar names like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads – shared their target lists and TV-time data to ensure vulnerable Democrats got the full brunt of GOP spending.

Republican groups had never coordinated like this before, participants said, and backed by millions in corporate cash and contributions by secret donors, they were able to wield outsized influence on the results Tuesday night. The joint efforts were designed to spread the damage to as many of the majority Democrats as possible, without wasting money by doubling-up in races where others were already playing.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which could not legally coordinate with the outside groups, even took the extraordinary step of publicly revealing its own ad buy strategy.

This knowledge allowed the groups to go where the party committee didn’t have the resources to attack. That way, the outsiders could “see where the holes are and figure out who is filling what holes,” Bill Miller, the Chamber’s political director, told POLITICO.

“It was especially important not to overload districts. How bad can you kill Mary Jo Kilroy?” said Miller

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44651.html

Can we all -- including Republicans here -- finally admit that massive corporations and the extremely wealthy corporate conservative elite bought this election? I simply don't see any logical, intellectually honest way around that. Here, in this article, they are directly admitting to it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

gotta love nsleib's take on things:
============
Obama should be pushing for cooperation and civility. The polls show that Americans want our politicians to cooperate and be civil. As the leader of the Democrats, and the most visible politician in the country, Obama should NOT be carrying out attacks personally.

======

so let's be sure we're getting this right: Obama should do what the polls tell him to do, not what he thinks is right or best for the country? Since the polls show that Obamacare is unpopular, shouldn't he, based on your "logic" abandon it and hasten to sign a repeal bill when it gets to his desk?

My goodness is the left really that shallow and feckless? It certainly seems that way based on nsleib's advice to Obama.

So, will there be focus groups to decide Obama's next move? Let's see Red tie with the blue suit or charcoal gray sport coat with tan slacks and an open collar button down blue shirt? Loafers or bostonians? Black socks or brown? Paper or plastic?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, all that matters to the wingers is they won.

Doesn't matter if al-Qaeda funds their elections as long as they win.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham:

Don't be afraid, as I am not the only one rejoicing (therefore, no, I do not want any private conversation or a date with you)!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Polls say a public option would be popular.

I'd like to see Boehner write it into law to be included into the exchanges.

Someone ask him if he'll do that. It's the will of the American people after all.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

Maybe Obama will call for another BEER Summit ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Can we all -- including Republicans here -- finally admit that massive corporations and the extremely wealthy corporate conservative elite bought this election?"

Err, no - the Dems spent more money than the GOP.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Great! Democrats are trying an approach which has failed and failed and failed!

Wonder how it will work this time?

Answer: Poorly

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 4, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama is destroying himself by going on an expensive trip to Asia right now.

It is a really bad idea.

The message is that Obama doesn't understand - the cost estimates are shocking.

Obama should immediately start to think about concessions. And start to bring the Republicans in.

Obama also will need at least 7 Republicans to get anything through the Senate now - that means he has to get to know them. The one or two deal is not working anymore.

What a disaster.

What do I say to the losing democrats calling me now? Do I say "I told you so?"

I said that already in the first text message. So what do I say ?

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, read this:

"Republican groups had never coordinated like this before, participants said, and backed by millions in corporate cash and contributions by secret donors, they were able to wield outsized influence on the results Tuesday night."

Spreken zie English?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

so let's be sure we're getting this right: Obama should do what the polls tell him to do, not what he thinks is right or best for the country?

******

No, Skip, you are not getting my point at all. My point is that it is best to have your surrogates do the attacking, just like every President (for the most part) up until now has done.

But I'm guessing you knew that and are just trying to be cute. Try harder.

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is moving forward:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/252477/midterms-lessons-learned-and-way-forward-sarah-palin?page=1

Governor Palin actually endorsed 57 candidates for the House with at least 36 of these candidates winning their respective Congressional seats (last time I checked, 8 more are still too close to call).

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Err, no - the Dems spent more money than the GOP."

Nonresponsive! Your answer ignores the roles of groups which are not party committees, like Karl Rove's GPS group. They spent hundreds of millions and most of it was corporate money.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

54465446 | November 4, 2010 3:47 PM

"You only get it by being respected or feared. In other words, winning begats cooperation, not before it."

Hmm, odd that, because Obama won handily two years ago and got zero cooperation. You should rethink that point.

"Clinton and Reagan were respected for their popularity with the people. Obama has neither, so Rep leaders aren't afriad to go against him"

Um, really? At this point in their first term how popular was Clinton? How popular was Reagan? Were they more popular than Obama is now? Look it up and get back to me.

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans tried to work with Obama in the Financial Regulation bill last spring.

All they got was politics from Obama.

There is no way that Obama is going to come out with one speech - and remake the atmosphere that he created.

The first thing is the democrats have to start to be honest.

Obama should get out in FRONT, and start to propose moderation of the health care plan. All the spin about the cause of Obama's problems - the truth is it is everthing, not just one thing.

It is illogical - if you don't like two things, you don't like both of them. You don't start taking a poll, and figuring out which one you hate more - and then conclude that you don't hate the other thing.

Obama needs help. Obama's main problem right now is that reasonable people doubt whether he has the ability and temperment

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 4, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, interesting new polling of independents:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/liberals_and_centrists_battle.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Another local Chamber of Commerce dissociates from the national chamber for its in-the-tank-for-Republicans activities...

"Responding to the U.S. Chamber’s right-wing political activities, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce issued a statement yesterday making it clear that it does not want to be associated with the national Chamber"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/04/local-chamber-distance/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Well SBJ?

Did you read this yet?

"Republican groups had never coordinated like this before, participants said, and backed by millions in corporate cash and contributions by secret donors, they were able to wield outsized influence on the results Tuesday night."

What are your thoughts on that paragraph, SBJ?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne | November 4, 2010 3:05 PM

I get where you are coming from, but I don't think a veto threat is a good idea right now.

Personally I'd like all the tax cuts to expire because Republicans refused to compromise. Of course, I think letting the tax cuts expire is the only fiscally sane thing to do regardless. But if the tax cuts expire because of Republican stubbornness I want it clear to the American people that Obama stood ready to compromise and the GOP said "NO!"

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

ANDY01:

How much to you think that GOP party committees and non-party groups like Rove's spent total?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@andy01: Sorry - but you are wrong:

"So far, the latest figures show that the Democratic Party machinery has outraised its Republican counterpart in this campaign cycle by almost $270 million.

"And even when outside spending on television advertising and direct mail is added to the mix, Republicans still haven’t closed the gap.

"The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries, based on figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics."


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44216.html#ixzz14LZebeSO

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: Did you even read the article to which you linked?

"The coordination between the Republican groups is perfectly legal – and in many ways was modeled after Democratic efforts in 2004 – although the Democrats disclosed their big donors and the Republicans have largely avoided that this cycle by organizing under tax codes that keep contributors' names secret. Republicans watched those coordinated efforts by Democrats jealously in 2006 and 2008, and vowed to replicate them this year -- an effort some view as a test run for 2012.

"The results speak for themselves."


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44651_Page2.html#ixzz14LaULDML

If you're simply beating the already dead horse regarding shady secret money - you are wasting your time.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

My point is simply that Obama can take control of the tax debate by threatening a veto. Or he can -- like he's done for 2 years -- defer to Congress, which will undoubtedly continue the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich. Why in the world would Obama choose NOT to assert himself after Tuesday's drubbing? It's as if he doesn't want to be the boss; he wants to be a mediator.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

"Republican groups had never coordinated like this before, participants said, and backed by millions in corporate cash and contributions by secret donors, they were able to wield outsized influence on the results Tuesday night."

So, SBJ, you support corporate cash having an outsized influence over American elections?

Yes or no will do.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

But if you listen to McConnell, he doesn't sound like a leader. He doesn't sound like someone interested in moving the country forward. He sounds like someone ranting at a neighborhood caucus meeting. He can't do that for two years and expect a favorable outcome for the Republicans in 2012. At some point he's going to have to have some ideas. In the House, it's even more pressing. They don't have a bunker to throw bombs from anymore. They're in control and if all that comes out of the House are investigations of ACORN, they will be voted out in 2012 also.

Posted by: klautsack | November 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham:

You sure that you don't want to get started early on your family-related leave of absence?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: I'm not seeing much consistency from you. I don't understand your "point" - and you aren't being responsive.

You are aware that during the soft money era the Dems were the biggest benefactors?

You are aware that corporate contributions are legal?

You are aware that the Dems also use secret donors and shady organizations?

You are aware that the Dems and affiliated groups outspent the GOP and their affiliated groups this last cycle?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I also agree if all that comes out of the new House are investigations of ACORN, they will be voted out in 2012.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ethan is just the voice of denial.

First, when will Ethan count the massive spending by unions? If today's denial theory is that the Democrats lost because they were outspent, how does Ethan account for the millions ponied up and spent by folks like AFSMCE and SEIU?

As with the other thread about "blue dogs did us in" this is just a phase of the Kubler Ross mourning process. It will be interesting to see when, exactly, the left moves from Denial to Bargaining. I doubt they will ever get to acceptance. That would be just to great a violation of their dogma.

oh, and Ethan, this is from the NYT:
"Lost in all of the attention paid to the heavy spending by Republican-oriented independent groups in this year’s midterm elections is that Democratic candidates have generally wielded a significant head-to-head financial advantage over their Republican opponents in individual competitive races."

Oh and how about this?
"Just when we’d been told the Chamber of Commerce had bought the election, along comes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to pour nearly $90 million into the campaign.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this makes the public-sector union the biggest spender of all the outside groups. The National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union rank among the top five. Collectively, these three unions representing millions of public workers — only the SEIU is majority private — are devoting an estimated $170 million to an election Democrats insist that they are losing because of the nefarious influence of outside money."

soo the public sector unions are proud of the fact that they have a closed loop financing system. They spend on campaigns for Democrats who insure that government grows which insures that there will be more government employees which insures that there will be more union dues which makes more campaign financing available for Democrats.

and the liberals are whining about the chamber of commerce? did you guys really expect that we wouldn't ever figure this out?

Come now Ethan, time to get past denial and move on to the next step in the mourning process: bargaining. For help with this Mr Sargent offers several insightful blog posts about compromise with the Republicans. Go there and be consoled in your grief.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"You are aware that the Dems and affiliated groups outspent the GOP and their affiliated groups this last cycle?"

No, sbj3, I don't think they know that (the final tally is not "official" yet, but that was indeed the estimate ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Your article is from a week before the election. Plus, we just do not have information on what the outside groups actually, spend, to quote the Center for Responsive Politics (the group cited in your linked story:

"The [Citizens United] decision allows such activity to take place without complete or immediate disclosure of who funds such communications, preventing voters from understanding who is truly behind many political messages."

Plus, under Michael Steele many donors avoided Republican Party Committees.

In short, ya got jack.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/democrats-have-outspent-republicans-856-million-677-million_513059.html

That was as of the end of October. It will be interesting to see what the final totals were for the entire cycle.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind, also, that "GOP" groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent money supporting some (conservative) Democrats too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

ANDYO1:

Did you vote straight GOP ticket too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if these folks are against corporate money, undisclosed money, or just money in general.

Go money!

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 4:35 PM

I'll take that as a vehement YES.

Yes, you apparently DO support corporate cash and secret donors having an outsized influence over American elections.

I, on the other hand, DO NOT support corporate cash and secret donors having an outsized influence over American elections. In fact, I think corporations' ability to spend millions of dollars on whatever false ads they want HURTS America while deceiving voters. Again, I find it absolutely astounding that you, SBJ, refuse to stand up against the outsized influence these groups have on election results.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

but Andy, all you have is denial. You are, it seems clear, trying to console yourself about a humiliating loss by blaming campaign financing. On other threads liberals seeking consolation are wallowing in similar theories, such as "the blue dogs did us in".

the facts, though, are plain. The liberal agenda was rejected soundly. I understand that this can be a bitter pill to swallow, but unless the Democrats and their supporters face facts they will continue to be thumped at the polls. It is just that simple.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28,

I'm against ALL outside groups spending money to influence elections.

It sounds like you're okay with the Chamber of Commerce spending millions on ads, but not unions. That is obviously a disingenuous double-standard.

As I said, I'm against both. What about you? If you could snap your fingers and make outside spending illegal, would you? Or would you keep things exactly the way they are?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

ok, back to this:
===========
No, Skip, you are not getting my point at all. My point is that it is best to have your surrogates do the attacking, just like every President (for the most part) up until now has done.

But I'm guessing you knew that and are just trying to be cute. Try harder.

==========

so if the polls said that Obama should be uncivil, he should do so in your opinion? Even if he believed that to be wrong for his presidency and his country?

Or a you saying that his "surrogates" whoever the heck they are, should be cognizant of the polls and act accordingly while Obama puts on a show for the groundlings who can't figure out the game?

You need to try harder too. This is still poll driven phoniness. Is that really what we voted for when Obama won? Because that's what you're saying here.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in an evil 501(c)(5) CORPORATION too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The first FEC filings covering the total amount spent are not even due until November 31, 2010. The current estimate, however, is OVER $4 BILLION (with more than $2 BILLION of that by Dems and Dems-affiliated outside groups):

http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/daily.php

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"How can the White House and Dems be aggressive in painting the GOP leadership as hell-bent on the partisan destruction of Obama's presidency, if their primary goal is to occupy the moral high ground by preaching cooperation and civility?"


One possibility is, when asked for comment, patiently explain that you're focused on finding common ground and putting Americans back to work & aren't yet focused on the 2012 election. It is possible to make a point while being civil.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 4, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I meant November 30. See you all later, guys!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 4:59 PM

Now you are just trying to be irritating.

No, this is not poll driven anything, it is the established practice going way back that Presidents, regardless of party or poll, don't usually attack directly, they have others do it for them. Every political junkie knows that, and given that you post here regularly I'm guessing you do to. Which means that right now you are just trying to be an assh0le, so I will say good night to you.

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Now you are just trying to be irritating."

"NOW"? Heh heh.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 4, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Testing a syntax for __italics for emphasis__ and possible !!bold statements!! for bolding and even possible {{blockquoting entire segements of text so as to make things look more groovy to people using the WaPo Trollhunter.}}

This is only a !!test!!. But, feel free to get __WaPo Troll Hunter__ and try it out!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Trying something different. Undrerscores and !! don't work! Blockquote does. So, let's try [[to make this particular sentences bold]] and then let's try to make ((this italic)), which I'm very dubious about. Thanks for your patience!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

One last one. I'm going to try
{{blockquoting, but with a ((bold sentence)) then an [[italic sentence]] then both a ((italic and then [[bold sentence]])).

then I'm going to leave and open [[ bold tag and see that it does.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

One last one. I'm going to try
{{blockquoting, but with a ((bold sentence)) then an [[italic sentence]] then both a ((italic and then [[bold sentence]])).
}}
then I'm going to leave and open [[ bold tag and see that it does.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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