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Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Showdown: With the war over the Bush tax cuts likely to spill onto the Sunday shows, the House Dem leadership is out with a new talking points memo crystallizing the Dem message, debunking the opposition's arguments and otherwise girding folks for the fight.

* Meanwhile: Eric Cantor blasts the Dem plan to extend just the middle class tax cuts, labeling it a tax hike for "millions of American small business people."

* Obama can win the Bush tax cut war, but only if he makes a real decision to get serious about waging it.

* I think John Aravosis is right to argue that the perception that Obama won't fight is becoming a real political problem that the White House needs to address.

* The left continues gearing up for 2012 as Beltway power liberal types hatch still more plans to counter the right's massive new spending infrastructure.

* Trend worth watching: "Some GOP moderates are beginning to publicly attack the widespread climate skepticism in their party's ranks." Operative word: "Beginning."

* Eighty-two million dollars was spent on ads attacking the Recovery Act, which might have played a small role in persuading the public that the stimulus failed.

* It sure looks like Michael Steele is preserving the option of making another run for RNC chair.

* Jed Lewison reminds us that MSNBC previously twisted itself in knots to explain why Joe Scarborough's contributions were different from keith Olbermann's. Whoops.

* History lesson of the day: With the usual suspects insisting Dems must repudiate everything they've ever accomplished to win back the public, Atrios reminds us that Bush and Republicans responded to their 2006 Iraq-related bloodbath by...surging in Iraq.

* Senator Richard Lugar practically begs fellow GOP Senators to support START, urging them to "do your duty for your country."

* GOP leaders, not to mention all the rest of us, ignore Tea Party Warrior Queen Michele Bachmann at our own great peril.

* Takedown of the day, from David Frum, on Sarah Palin's Tweet asking whether the leaking of excerpts of her new book might be illegal:

To which the answer is: actually, no it's not. And the fact that Sarah Palin believes it might be is reason number 5,417 why she should be allowed nowhere near the police power of the United States.

And Happy Friday Before Thanksgiving! What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 19, 2010; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sherrod Brown: Obama needs to fight harder and "sharpen message"
Next: Retired general: Senate GOP doesn't trust our military

Comments

Sherrod Brown says

He needs to articulate every day that he's fighting for the broad middle class, while Republicans are for the rich,"

_______________________

Except that isn't really true. The democrats have to be careful 40% of America is Conservative. and 40% are centrist.

The problem when democrats go too far is simple: everyone has friend or a neighbor who is Conservative and the person does not fit that describtion or think that way.


So, the whole "class struggle" thing doesn't work, it falls flat.


Republicans have policies which touch on many different subjects

Just because one wants low taxes, and fiscal restraint, that ISN'T helping the rich.


That is the problem with the democrats, they have moved to campaign themes which are little more than deceptions.

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"Obama can win the Bush tax cut war,"


EXACTLY WHAT IS THE POINT ????

- Drag the Economy down further?

- Drag Hiring down more ?

- To grow government more ??


The additional tax revenues are NOT going to help the poor, the are just going to be wasted by the government.


I find it amazing that the left is fighting so hard to TAKE OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.


It is not an item on the liberal agenda like other items, which are thing they are in favor of.


This item is different - it is rooted in hatred - it is an acting out against richer people. It is HATE.


It is not a positive plank at all.


It is not something that is rooted in ANY SOUND ECONOMIC POLICY.


It is bizarre - It could be rooted in the desire of the democrats to insist that Bush did something wrong - and the democrats are still scronging around, looking for that case to prove that was never really there at all.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse


ALL

you really do not know what was said in the Senate democrats' meeting with Obama yesterday

It is reported that several different view were presented


It would be wrong to believe that the advice given was "go further to the left"


The Senate democrats' MATH is clear: 14 of their seats are at risk in 2012


And that includes States in which the Republicans have recently WON statewide elections.


At this point it is looking like the Republicans are going to win 10 - 14 seats in the Senate in 2012 -


So, with that kind of risk, I seriously do not think the Senators were telling Obama to move to the left and appear further out of touch with America.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If Palin runs for Prez we could see some of the most interesting coalitions to oppose her in US political history.

Frum and Greenwald arm in arm?

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 19, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg wrote: "* The left continues gearing up for 2012 as Beltway power liberal types hatch still more plans to counter the right's massive new spending infrastructure."

Most analysis says spending was about equal in this cycle,
http://stlbeacon.org/issues-politics/nation/106282-myths-about-campaign-spending

And Democrats had a spending advantage in the previous two cycles. Is it a problem that spending is now equal?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 19, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that Ezra Klein has it right on this one:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/11/the_democrats_have_picked_the.html

I know that everybody is hoping for a good fight, but let's really think this through. I'd love it if the Chait piece that is linked above were more convincing, but the Republicans have too many trump cards in their hand right now. I think that it would make much more sense to tie a "compromise" vote of *temporarily* extending all of the tax cuts to extending unemployment benefits and raising the debt ceiling. Immediately after that vote (and before the lame duck session ends), Dems should introduce a bill that *permanently* extends only the middle class tax cuts. That way, when the temporary tax cuts come up again for a vote in a year or two, Republicans will have a very difficult time making the case for extending tax cuts for just the rich.

Posted by: billy_burdett | November 19, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI

do you intend to start any bar fights this weekend?

Or go to the Northwestern game at Wrigley?

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

And Democrats had a spending advantage in the previous two cycles. Is it a problem that spending is now equal?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 19, 2010 6:37 PM


_______________________________


Apparently it is for the liberals.


The truth is this: the liberals have trouble claiming that the Republicans are the party of special interests, IF the democrats have more money.


The TRUTH is that the democrats have SOLD OUT to the special interests, and they are worse.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought the suggestion to make the cut off at one million dollars was good because it made for a simple, explicit message: no tax cuts for millionaires. But maybe if Obama could learn to say no tax cuts for quarter-millionaires, it would work. Two Hundred Fifty Thousand just doesn't roll off the tongue.

Posted by: BlueSquareState | November 19, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Obama would be better off getting a compromise together this December - unemployment benefits for a year.

Settling on 36% for the top rate.


This would be far better for Obama - instead of a fight. The Republicans have the mandate, and for the democrats to fight now, it would look silly and petty.


Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Some GOP moderates are beginning to publicly attack the widespread climate skepticism in their party's ranks."

GOP moderates? Both of them?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 19, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Frum and Greenwald arm in arm?"

lms & tao too.

BG, I'd take your right wing in a bar fight. Politics ain't what I used to go to the BlackRose for.


Posted by: tao9 | November 19, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I know a lot of people beat on Greg in the earlier thread about Scarborough getting suspended, that it wasn't a story.

Actually it is a story. NBC and their parent company are punitively punishing their on-air hosts for giving publicly recorded contributions, while in the meantime, they are able to give to PACS to the extent that they please and in total secrecy.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 19, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw: "GOP moderates? Both of them?"

There are TWO??? Who knew?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 19, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

What is widespread climate skepticism ???


When everyone now knows that the Earth is not warming at an alarming rate???

And when the East Anglia emails proved that the "evidence" was destroyed ???


And when the East Anglia emails proved that the Earth "stopped" warming according to their own scientists???


Can anyone please tell us what the left now believes - because the East Anglia emails changed their story -


So what story do the liberals "believe" now - the old one or the new one ???

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

There are TWO??? Who knew?

Posted by: suekzoo1
++++++++++++

We'd better not identify them by name, lest the peetardiers try to suffocate them in their sleep.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 19, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

In this instance, the fellow is infallible.

"At an international papal conference on health care yesterday at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholic church leaders said it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/19/pope-universal-healthcare/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"Frum and Greenwald arm in arm?"

"lms & tao too."

It would definitely be interesting around here if she runs. I know Bernie and others think she won't, but I believe she cannot resist.

tao, I'd go to a bar with you and BG.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 19, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The Pope is a Socialist? Who knew?

Actually, this is what happens when people are going down. They try to feather their bed, you know, up in Heaven, as if God were watching on CCTV.

Joe Ratzinger wasn't so sure about what the state owed poor people when he was full of piss and vinegar, when he was a younger man.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Jeezus. Just saw that MSNBC suspended Scarborough. That's just idiotic and they surely understand that it's idiotic, don't they? It will please no one at this point (given the quick return of Olbermann). So what the hell is up? Is the coming Comcast merger going to lead to some moves with which the MSNBC's growing audience will be unhappy and this, it is hoped, will somehow set up a justification or warrant? It's bizarre.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

"Russians are mystified. They can't quite believe that the U.S. Senate might fail to ratify the nuclear arms treaty, and they see no good from such an outcome."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111805950.html

Add every other nation in the world, with the exclusion, as someone noted, of N Korea and Iran.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Bring on the drones...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111906268.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

shrink said: "The Pope is a Socialist? Who knew?"

The Catholic church, for all its many failings, gets some things right, not least being the call to moral duty in aiding the least among us and in working to lessen needless suffering. Inherent in this fundamental christian notion is the recognition of all humans as part of the same community - the "we are all brothers" idea and the attending "I am my brothers' keeper". And obviously, as this statement of values from the Pope implies, all of the above applies not merely to us as individuals but to our institutions of governance as well.

One immediately wonders what Bill Donahue might say in response to the Pope's call. Or what various US Bishops who were loud and militant six years ago.

Here's a quote from the Weekly Standard in 2004...

"American Catholics now find themselves having to think about a question that concerns their church and the Democratic party's presumptive presidential nominee, John Kerry. The question is: Can Kerry be a good Catholic and yet take positions as a lawmaker that contradict the teachings of the church on "life issues," especially abortion and stem-cell research? "

Will we now hear those Bishops, so vocal at the time in opposition to Kerry, rise up in chorus against Republican candidates opposed to guaranteed healthcare for all American humans?

Will the Weekly Standard follow up with a "Gingrich's Catholic Problem" column?

It will be "no" on both of those. And that's part of what's wrong with the church.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"I wish [our] countries understood each other the way the CIA and ISI understand each other," the official said."

Pakistan and America, lead by the CIA and ISI, I feel so much better now.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have a copy of 37th's CV? I presume he has a few papers in Nature. No? Perhaps JACS. No? Well, then. Thin Solid Films. No? Perhaps the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Bing bing bing bing bing!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Proof, beyond doubt, without qualification, that Republicans have a profound respect for the intelligence of America's citizens...

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/gingrich-pretends-republicans-cant-be-raci

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I noted earlier the pathetic lack of courage and consistency of Abe Foxman's response to Ailes' description of NPR as "fascists" and Beck's boilerplate anti-Semitism. Tomasky has a good post on this...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/nov/19/rupert-murdoch-ailes-nazis

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"And obviously, as this statement of values from the Pope implies, all of the above applies not merely to us as individuals but to our institutions of governance as well."

Bernie,

Um, not really.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1004736.htm

Relying on the ThinkProGaga paganboiz for White Smoke interpretations is alot like some poor mook relying on you for analysis on the state of the American polity.

Ie., of equal value to a road-kill squirrel pelt.

{{{Est vir qui adest.}}}

Posted by: tao9 | November 19, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

From WUWT today.

"Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010

'Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.' – Ottmar Edenhofer

For those who may not know, Ottmar Edenhofer is the co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III."

Redistribution of wealth. And that was what it has really been about all along. Climate change is a subterfuge and now someone at the IPCC is basically acknowledging it.

Posted by: actuator | November 19, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Fairlington

Read the East Anglia emails


20,000 years ago, not all that long in the history of the Earth - there was ICE a quarter mile thick over New York and Chicago


HOW did all that ice melt???

No SUVs, no fossil fuels burned - no carbon dioxide scare -


HOW did all that ice melt ???


And yet all that ice melted.


Nature forces - that is what happened.


HOW do you know that what happened then is not happening now ???


HOW do you know ???

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Fairlington

Where is Bginchi - Ask him to take a look at Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the result of the glaciers

Lake Michigan is evidence.

Lake Michigan is evidence that the glaciers were there - and they ALL melted.


Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The additional tax revenues are NOT going to help the poor, the are just going to be wasted by the government.


I find it amazing that the left is fighting so hard to TAKE OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.
-------------------------------

A couple of things.

First of all, additional revenues obviously aren't necessary - unless you're concerned about the deficit. Most tea party types profess to be, but generally don't seem to understand that spending cuts alone won't deal with it.

If you want to do something about the deficit, something has to give--spending that primarily benefits the poor and middle class, policies that mainly benefit the wealthy, etc.

Not sure why you feel that money that goes to the government is by definition wasted. A claim like that sounds like it's more motivated by ideology than fact. Clearly, it's not correct--money paid in taxes doesn't spontaneously combust, no matter what you might want to believe.

As for "taking other people's money" -- do you refuse to pay your bill at restaurants, too? Paying taxes is part of the cost for the benefits people enjoy living here. The wealthy happen to get more benefit than most. Refusing to pay is, in fact, theft.

Posted by: n0ym | November 19, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, 37th, can't help you there. If you have a burning interest in Fermi level pinning at the interface between hole injection layers and conducting polymers or ultrafast charge transfer, let me know.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Effin' Canadians. Workers of the world Unite!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/UN-Finds-Canada-and-Ontario-iw-3357413948.html?x=0&.v=1

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 20, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"'Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.' – Ottmar Edenhofer

For those who may not know, Ottmar Edenhofer is the co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III."

Redistribution of wealth. And that was what it has really been about all along. Climate change is a subterfuge and now someone at the IPCC is basically acknowledging it."

Unless you're like Chinese or Indian, this will probably work in your favor. Climate change policy is going to hit developing nations harder than it would hit countries like the US.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 20, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

You know what You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://ow.ly/3akSX .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: alencary | November 20, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

At least Joe Miller now has a fighting chance with a federal court halting Alaska's certification on 11/29.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Sarah Palin is right (again), and HarperCollins is suing Gawker. You can't post pages and pages of copyrighted material to get hits on your website and claim "fair use" doctrine.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111906976.html?hpid=entnews

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Bernie said: "And obviously, as this statement of values from the Pope implies, all of the above applies not merely to us as individuals but to our institutions of governance as well."

tao said: "Bernie,

Um, not really.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1004736.htm"

Nice link, thanks. But you're "Um, not really" isn't validated anywhere in that link.

On the moral responsibility of nations:
"VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay."

On access to adequate care as a right:
"Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message Nov. 18, was one of the "inalienable rights" of man."

On this moral duty and on this right as a necessary concern of Christians:
"The care of man, his transcendent dignity and his inalienable rights" are issues that should concern Christians, the pope said."

On the proper role of government institutions following from the above:
"Because an individual's health is a "precious asset" to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by "dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access."

"Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions," he said, cautioning that protecting human health does not include euthanasia or promoting artificial reproductive techniques that include the destruction of embryos."

And from Cardinaql Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State:
"In his own written statement, Cardinal Bertone had strong words in support of the need for governments to take care of all citizens, especially children, the elderly, the poor and immigrants.

"Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care," he said, adding that the provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is "commonly accepted as a fundamental human right."

Posted by: bernielatham | November 20, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

All of that is really interesting from the Catholic church. It's weird though, you don't have to be a Catholic or even a very religious person to just "know" it's true. The idea of watching a fellow American die due to denial of access to health care is abhorrent to most of us. I think the problem is that people don't believe it actually happens that way.

I wanted to wish you the best of luck with your brother's illness, I was sorry to read that yesterday. Hang in there and treasure every minute.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 20, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Fairlington mentions:

Perhaps the Journal of Irreproducible Results

__________________


Perhaps the climate models belong in this Journal

Because over the past 10 years, the temperatures have not acted as the prior climate models had predicted.

In fact, over the past 10 years, MORE carbon dioxide has been placed into the atmosphere than any other decaded in human history, and yet temperatures have been FLAT.

_________________________


Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 20, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Palin does irony (and very well, too)

"[Simon] Cowell, Palin writes in America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, is "almost alone in his willingness to tell hard truths" to contestants deluded in their belief that they are talented singers.

In one of several scanned pages of the book on the US website Gawker, Palin says: "No one they've encountered in their lives – from their parents to their teachers to their president – wanted them to feel bad by hearing the truth. So they grew up convinced they could become big pop stars like Michael Jackson."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/18/sarah-palin-admires-simon-cowell

It isn't just the "trip the heavy fantastic" performances by dotter, though that one pop up and say "howdy!". It's the source of her learnin' about these life lessons. In this instance, not Pascal (an old favorite, she's said) nor even Ben Franklin or Aristotle or even an inspirational lesson from the bible or the Bircher stuff

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0908/Whats_on_the_desk.html

Palin draws her life wisdom from reality TV.

Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Simon Cowell... celebrity hucksterism will guide our steps to the promised land.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 20, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

The El Al Airlines

The name of the person I mentioned the other day who was interviewed - who was head of security for El Al Airlines is Isaac Yeffet.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 20, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

All, a retired general has come out and said the Senate GOP doesn't trust our military:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 20, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - re brother, he's fine. Modern technologies have really helped in the treatment of this type of cancer, if such treatments are available (improved meds and stem cell research). I'd not wanted to mention this (it's irrelevant to anyone but me) but it provided a perfect example for Canada's seriously wonderful single payer system. The reality of this is that though my brother has this cancer with its degree of future unknowns, his situation is far better than many people who walk past my store each day here in Oregon. And that's where the moral issues arise.

I made a little joke up above saying that in this particular instance, the Pope was infallible. But on this one, the church gets it right. Or to be more accurate, the church's moral stance matches my own as does the Pope's recognition of how a culture and nation are bettered where such a moral stance holds sway.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 20, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"Or to be more accurate, the church's moral stance matches my own as does the Pope's recognition of how a culture and nation are bettered where such a moral stance holds sway."

This is exactly the reason I supported passage of the HC bill, even though it clearly did not address enough of the HC cost issues. It still provided access to people, especially those with pre-existing conditions, that wouldn't otherwise have comprehensive care. The other issues will all be revisited as time goes on and people begin to realize that the most crucial option is still missing. Although it may take longer than I expected if the Republicans have their way.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 20, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn and sockpuppet central (RTR/STRF/OF/etc...):

Troll I guess you don't actually expect people to read the articles you cite...From your link, if you actually read past the first paragraph:

:Bruce La Pierre, a Washington University law professor and expert on election law, says that Citizens United "has become the whipping boy for criticism of money in politics." He says it is impossible to figure out how much unlimited corporate money came into 2010 elections.

"We don't know whether these 'independent' (no official coordination with candidates) groups are getting corporate money or rich people's money or, if both, the percentage from corporations or rich people -- so no one can be certain how much corporate money, freed by CU, poured into campaigns this year," said La Pierre.

John Jackson, a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, argues that the big money spent by outside Republican groups in the wake of Citizens United had an effect on the election.

"First, it cannot be totally wasted money and uncorrelated with the fact that Republicans and conservatives won big time and in lots of competitive places and even in some races where they should not have been competitive (the Wisconsin Senate race with Feingold)," said Jackson. "Second, there is a financial 'effectiveness threshold' below which any campaign cannot fall and still be competitive. The extra money coming in to conservative causes and candidates allowed them to be competitive everywhere and to reach that threshold everywhere. Money is fungible....Finally, the unions will never be able to keep pace. They have maxed out already and their numbers are shrinking."

Jackson adds this zinger: "I find it ironic that those same people who want corporations to be individuals under the campaign finance and other laws also don't want them to pay any corporate income tax!"

I think the second point is being willfully ignored by the rightwingistan crowd.

The huge amounts of money spent makes the threshold for being competitive much higher and advantages repubs because of their deep pocketed corporate backers.

There is no real parity between what outside groups spend and what candidates spend. Candidates have to put their names on the ads that they run. The outside groups that spent the lion's share of the money for repubs could make false, nasty, and misleading ads with no accountability. The repub candidates could say, "well we didn't run those ads, so we are not responsible" while reaping the benefits of these ads are relentlessly driving dems favorables down and unfavorables up. REpub candidates couldn't run these kind of ads without a lot of negative blowback on their campaigns' (I am not voting for repub x because of the false ads s/he is running). It is the old plausible deniability racket again.

Posted by: srw3 | November 20, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Reading RTR's "sage" advice to dems is like hearing tokyo rose trying to convince servicemen that their wives and girlfiends are cheating on them. Consider the source.

Posted by: srw3 | November 20, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@TMWN:But corporations have been able to avoid publicity by making large donations to outside political groups, some of which have been disclosed and others of which have not. This lack of disclosure is one reason it is hard to determine how much additional money Citizens United injected into the 2010 races.

another quote from your link that basically refudiates your overall point that spending was about equal.

Posted by: srw3 | November 20, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps one of the problems is that people think House and Senate races "should not" be competitive.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence12 : Absolutely seats should be competitive. Representation should more accurately reflect national trends and not be controlled by vestigial power centers.

But I believe that republicans have a far worse record of gerrymandering districts to maximize partisan advantage. Both parties do it, but repubs are at least 1or 2 orders of magnitude more warped in their map drawing to gain and mantain partisan advantage.

Tom Delay's mid decade redistricting jihad comes to mind.

And of course, no discussion of voting and representation problems would be complete without noting that repubs are the list purging, voter caging, post card requiring (See blackwell kenneth), vote suppressing party here in the US.

Posted by: srw3 | November 20, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Tom Delay's mid decade redistricting jihad, voter caging, etc. seem like orders of magnitude greater because you don't know American political history.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@cl12:you don't know American political history.

You are not impressing anyone with unsubstantiated assertions about other posters.

well some links or even examples would help. As I said, both parties do it. But in the last 30 years, repubs have been the prime offenders. The voter caging in Wisconsin I believe, ridiculous onerous voter requirements (postcards of a certain weight paper only???--see ohio), the bushies trying to get famous voter suppressor von sposky (sp) on the commission regulating voting rights. And mid decade redistricting (was unprecedented before the delay coup.) are just the examples that come to mind right now. The Fla and other southern state voter list purges, focused on dem areas, also pops up.

Instead of hyper partisan restricting as repubs have repeatedy engaged in, both parties should be working on how to increase voter participation. For example.

-move voting into early to mid september so it is light longer and warmer/better weather. waiting in the cold and dark is a big deterrent to voting.

-national holiday for voting. I am sure the founders would rather get 80% participation in voting than have shooting off fireworks and getting plastered in their names a holiday.

-instant runoff voting, where you rank candidates in order of preference. If your first choice is not in the top 5, your vote goes to your next choice until someone has a majority.

These are bipartisan real ways to improve turnout amd more accurately portray voter intent.

Getting rid of the electoral college and reducing the influence of small pop state senators would also help a lot, but they requrire constitutional amendments and small states would never agree to this even though it is in the national interest.

Posted by: srw3 | November 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Atrios reminds us that Bush and Republicans responded to their 2006 Iraq-related bloodbath by...surging in Iraq."

And then they lost in 2008. Thus, politically, the double-down strategy might not actually be a good idea.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The Founders would be horrified at the people voting today. That's exactly the lack of historical context I'm talking about. No "link" can cure said defect.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 20, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Nonetheless, here's one such "link" just to prove that mid-decade redistricting is NOT in fact prohibited by the U.S. Constitution (did you even know that a Texas court ORDERED mid-decade redistricting way before DeLay and no one ever complained about that?):

http://org.law.rutgers.edu/publications/lawjournal/issues/37_4/Gladden.pdf

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 21, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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