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The Morning Plum

* Mitch McConnell openly taunts weakened Obama: In a speech today, the Senate Minority Leader will reaffirm his claim that his single most important goal is ensuring Obama is a one-term president -- only this time he will cast it as a policy imperative:

"Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things."

McConnell's goading of the President suggests Republicans believe he was so badly weakened by Tuesday's results that the burden of appearing to reach out for common ground rests entirely on him. The White House and Dems seem to think that when Obama extends a hand towards Republicans, only to have them reaffirm their desire to completely thwart his agenda or destroy his presidency, it allows him to seize some sort of moral high ground. But Republicans haven't gotten that memo, or if they have, they see no need to act on it.

* Obama to meet with GOP, Dem leaders: The President will announce today that GOP and Dem Senate and House leaders have been invited to the White House to discuss potential areas of common ground. Maybe they can discuss the above quote from McConnell?

In all seriousness, Obama plans to push the new House GOP majority to pass a child nutrition bill and the Senate to ratify the START treaty -- a bit of a hint as to how he hopes to be seen controlling the agenda amid claims that his leadership has suffered a severe public rebuke.

* Howard Dean vows to "beat the hell" out of GOP in 2012: Now this is a bit of a different tone:

"If Republicans think we're going to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid and give tax cuts to those making a million dollars a year, we will wrap that around their necks and beat the hell out of them in 2012."

Too bad Dems are likely to agree to a "temporary" extension of those same tax cuts for millionaires.

* Bush: "Damn right" we should waterboard terror suspects: The former president reveals in his memoir that he swaggered around and felt really tough while other people implemented his torture politics.

* Pelosi, unrepentant until the end: Great line from the outgoing Speaker, who notes in a new interview that the GOP used of her in attack ads as a "personification of health care," and adds: "I take that as a compliment."

* Republicans seized the mantle of "economic populism": Jon Chait marvels at the fact that exit polls showed more of the voters who handed the House majority to the GOP blamed the big banks and Bush for the economy than blamed Obama.

In addition to what Chait says about the GOP successfully seizing the populism mantle, the other thing to note here is that despite the best efforts of Dems, Republicans succeed in achieving separation from Bush.

* Lukewarm tea: NBC News crunches the numbers and finds that less than a third of Tea Party House candidates won their elections -- 40 out of 130.

* Senate GOP caucus at war over Tea Party losses: I noted here yesterday that the Tea Party losses in Nevada, Colorado and Delaware had cost the GOP the Senate, and now tensions over these failures have spilled out into the open in the Senate GOP caucus.

Key takeaway: The Tea Partyers are unrepentant, blaming the GOP establishment for not adequately supporting those candidates, so these tensions aren't going away. And Tea Partyers are already drawing up their 2012 hit list of GOP moderates.

* If you think 2010 was bad: In 2012, more Democratic seats in the Senate will be up for grabs than during this cycle or the last one, potentially putting the Dem majority at even greater risk.

* And here's why the GOP establishment is terrified of a Palin presidential candidacy: Her unfavorability ratings are far higher than any of the other 2012 presidential hopefuls, and she fares far worse than any of them in a matchup against Obama.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Next: Dem memo: GOP doesn't have mandate for repeal

Comments

I ♥ Howard Dean. All future presidents should be ex-governors. Then we can look at their behavior around legislators and budget balancing.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Are Sarah Palin's negatives higher than Hillary Clinton's were?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 4, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Julian Robertson has a great quote today on the Fed's announcement that it will pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy.

Julian said "Think of the printing presses which have to be manufactured to accomplish this - that is the stimulus."

The point, which is more than excellent, is that inflation is not real growth - if anything inflation saps real growth and causes the inefficient allocation of resources.

This Fed policy is going to provide a short-term little-bit of help to the economy, with the risk of long-term damage.

No one knows if the Fed will be able to put the brakes on the inflation once it is unleashed. It is a horrible policy prescription and it does little to create solid growth in the economy.

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

There is something wrong with the Democrats. They did this to themselves.

While we watched horrified, they squandered the greatest outpouring of goodwill we will ever see for an incoming President. What was all that goodwill about? Change. We wanted him not to be like all the others who promised not to do business as usual, but he did. Mistake after mistake after mistake which all added up to business as usual.

For leaders now we need a green visor tightwads, people who do not care about the culture wars but who understand there is no such thing as a free market. All markets are regulated, they are set up for the mutual advantage of the traders. But when the traders are the regulators, everyone serves the traders, who trade not just in jobs, but in lives.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"Lukewarm tea: NBC News crunches the numbers and finds that less than a third of Tea Party House candidates won their elections -- 40 out of 130."

Don't have time to read the link, but I was making the point as to the poor showing of the Tea Party yesterday (albeit in the Senate). I wonder how many of them won in moderate districts.

Here's hoping the press continues to prop them up.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 4, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

But...but...but I heard here yesterday that the tea party won 87.5% of their campaigns.

Posted by: cao091402 | November 4, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Re Chait's bit on the effective distancing between Bush (and his eight years) and the Party... I been tellin' ya for more than a year, the Tea Party thing was about re-branding.

Elsewise...

"...this was most decidedly not a historic year for women. In fact, it's the first time in 30 years that Americans have seen a net loss in the total number of women in political office. As Lawless explains, Democratic women lost a lot of seats, and Republican women—despite all the hype —did not gain enough seats to make up the difference. Hence, we have backslid in the year of the woman.

Another less than promising trend: For all of the love the Republican Party lavished on its women, the GOP did not seem to actually give them any leadership positions."
http://www.slate.com/id/2273340/entry/2273604/

No surprise here. The woman thing was a marketing strategy (like the Bush WH website which had more black people across its pages than Ebony).

One related aspect to watch over the next year will be whether the "Yeah Women!" thing will continue in conservative rhetoric/marketing. If it does, that will be an indicator that Palin will run and has support. If it doesn't, that means strategists will have concluded she isn't running/can't win and that the ideal characteristics of a leader have nothing to do with femaleness. Particularly, watch Matalin and Limbaugh.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Luckily, the 2012 election is not for two more years.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"In addition to what Chait says about the GOP successfully seizing the populism mantle, the other thing to note here is that despite the best efforts of Dems, Republicans succeed in achieving separation from Bush."


Any Democrat who blames Bush should quickly be told to shut up. It's a losing strategy. If they want to keep going, show them the poll numbers about voters blaming banks. Of course the Republicans have that ground pretty well covered, too, with any criticism of corporations or banks as socialist/communist/Marxist and an example of the Left hating success and hating the wealthy.

It's why they need to change the dialogue about the Bush tax cuts away from, should the rich get a cut, to should the middle class get more of a cut.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Mitch McConnell openly taunts weakened Obama"

Holyhandgrenade: See?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

What is with the "weakened Obama" in you headline?

I don't think that Obama is that weakend. He is still the President.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 4, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Today's accuracy in phrasing award to Josh.

"Just reflecting back on [Angle's] performance in that debate. Yes, [Reid] was lackluster. But she was frightening. Captures as well as anyone the concept of militant ignorance."

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"Bush: "Damn right" we should waterboard terror suspects: The former president reveals in his memoir that he swaggered around and felt really tough while other people implemented his torture politics"

Damn right Bush is a War Criminal. And proud of it.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

CNN Anderson Cooper challenged the notion of Obama spending $200 million a day on his vacation starting this week.

The number does seem a little high, even with Obama renting out over 500 hotel rooms for his trip for staff that who Obama has no practical way to even speak with during his trip. There is no way that Obama needs 2,000 people to go with him.

This whole thing smacks of a group of people so obsessed and deluded by their own self-sense of faux importance that they have no idea how obscene the whole sight has become.

Aside from room service, it will be difficult for Obama to meet his GOAL OF $200 MILLION A DAY, the most UNPREDENTED WASTE OF MONEY ON A 10-DAY VACATION IN WORLD HISTORY.


Well, there are reports out today that Obama is bringing over 30 "warships" with him on his vacation, for a vacation which is supposed to be mostly "on land."

So, perhaps that is how Obama is planning on wasting the $200 million per day.


So, to CNN's Anderson Cooper who was extremely rude to Michelle Bachman last night on this topic - your extreme rudeness to a sitting member of Congress is extremely unjustified.

.

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

2012 will not be the same as 2010. The electorate will be younger and more diverse.

If the Dems had as many seats to defend in 2010 as they will have in 2012 than I would say that that is a problem.

But 2102 is a presidential year and that means Dems will be out in force.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 4, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Sarah is having a little bit of a spat with Ed Gillespie now.

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

"On Tuesday morning, Gillespie advised Republicans not to pursue exhaustive initiatives such as a complete repeal of the health care overhaul, but rather hone their ambitions on the law's most contentious aspects. Palin, however, seemed to think that this was an awful idea, and painted impending Republican victories as a referendum on a piece of legislation that nobody wanted in the first place.

"No, no, no, see how out of touch even a comment, an idea like that is? No, what Americans are saying is, Obamacare, for instance, the mother of all unfunded mandates -- we didn't want it to start with, we knew we couldn't afford it. Nobody ever would explain how in the world we were gonna pay for this $3 trillion boondoggle when there are better, more sensible reforms for health care that, of course can be provided the problem and we can find some solutions that way," Palin said on Laura Ingraham's radio show Tuesday afternoon. "But instead no, now people are talking about already, 'well, let's just compromise on some of it, and some provisions can be repealed or reformed.' No! Repeal the whole thing, replace it with market based, free-market based, patient-centered reform that Republicans tried to get Obama to listen to."

Palin continued with a degree of animus that has underscored her recent and ongoing feud with establishment Republicans.

"Anyone in the GOP who thinks they can cut a little deal here, there with Obama or Pelosi, to maybe raise taxes -- tax here, or -- they're going to find themselves without a job in 2012. We gotta remind these folks in the next couple of years: we put you in, we can take you out, and that's the other message of this election," Palin said. "We the people, we're gonna be in control and we're not sheep and they can't railroad us anymore, and, you know, we are their bosses. And the GOP has to understand that -- the machine has to understand that -- we're not sending Republicans, commonsense conservatives, to Washington to sing Kumbaya with Obama, we're sending them to stop Obama."

Posted by: lmsinca | November 4, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Holy poop. Revenge of the geriatrics.
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/the-changing-electorate/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I see, I really do.

And where did I express any indication that I actually expected otherwise? Because that certainly was never my intent.

But to suggest we fight hard-line ideologues and petty political posturing with the same is unacceptable. People like yourself are why I stopped commenting on HuffPost and TPM. We are not them, we are better- yet you are practically demanding that we be a liberal version of them.

That is unacceptable.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 4, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

OK Shrink

I'll bite. I agree with you, Governors provide an excellent track record which the American People can evaluate when assessing whether they should support a candidate for higher office.

So, do you agree that there was simply not enough information available on Obama for the American People to give their OK to Obama in the first place?


By the way, can you tell us how Howard Dean interacted with legislators and budget balancing in Vermont??? You sound like you are supporting him so you have looked into this.


Historical note: Howard Dean in 2004 really did not lose on account of the scream - Howard Dean lost the nomination because a gang of democrats got together and stabbed him in the back - mostly because they were afraid he actually might win the general election in 2008, and they were counting on 2008 being their year.

If you are not familar with that story, please look it up, because it is extremely telling about the players and how the inner workings of the democrats go.


.

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - note how Palin refers to the Republican power center(s) as "the machine". I expect she now has a pretty good view of it from her house. As Plouffe said, Dems probably aren't going to get so lucky, but wouldn't it be a fine fight.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ddawd

A major factor in Obama's losses on Tuesday was the OFFENSE TAKEN by the American People at the False Charges of Racism pushed by the democrats like drug dealers over the past two years.

These charges have been all over the internet for at least three years. This is no way to be post-racial.


I have to point out that ALL who participated in this kind of tactics are PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for their own conduct, and they should take RESPONSIBILITY for their part in these shameful and disgraceful tactics. And by that I mean YOU.


Yes, YOU.

YOU are guilty. I hope you repent.

.

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@ashotinthedark: "It's why they need to change the dialogue about the Bush tax cuts away from, should the rich get a cut, to should the middle class get more of a cut."

That's crazy talk. They should let the minority party set the agenda and then act like they are helpless to do anything. The folks who voted for them in 2008 will understand.

@bernie: "... I been tellin' ya for more than a year, the Tea Party thing was about re-branding."

And I don't think it makes any more sense now than it probably did a year ago. If it was a coordinate rebranding effort (which, even if true, still makes little sense), If less than a 3rd of Tea Party candidates won their elections, it was clearly a failure. And had little to do with the other victories (governorships, state legislatures, etc).

I know the "rebranding" thing fits into a beloved narrative of back room Machiavellian machinations, but, at best, there were attempts to co-opt large segments of the Tea Party folks. It wasn't a pre-planned effort that was market tested for a year ahead of time, and the folks showing up to the rallys aren't actors, and I'm pretty sure most of the folks speaking at them aren't shills--these are sincere folks who, rightly or wrongly, thing the country is headed in the wrong direction and they need to "take their country back".

And it would be rebranding, anyway, if you're still calling it the Republican Party, the GOP, and putting out familiar faces like Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin (the recent losing VP candidate who also just quite her governorship) . . . I was in advertising and marketing for 10 years (10 years ago, at this point), and if that's "rebranding", that word means something entirely different now.

Also, there is a question of needing to rebrand. There's not really much evidence that running against a former president who isn't on the ticket (and, in the case of Dubya, seems to have disappeared from politics entirely) works. Conservatives may obsess over and even try to tie candidates to Clinton, Jimmy Carter, LBJ and so on, as well as try to associate themselves with Ronald Reagan or JFK (and both sides often try to associate themselves with Abraham Lincoln). Yet there's not much indication that it works. McCain made heroic efforts to tie himself to Ronald Reagan in the 2000 primaries when running against Bush. Did not work. Republicans tried to foist Clinton's negatives onto Gore during the 2000 campaign and, if you recall, Gore actually won the popular vote.

Not that the reality makes much of a dent. Republicans will probably be running against "the party of Obama" in 2018 and 2020. And maybe 2030.

Which works with the hardcore base--they love to hear about how Republicans are the party of Bush or Democrats are the party of Obama. But those are also the folks on whom rebranding would have zero effect, anyway.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"But to suggest we fight hard-line ideologues and petty political posturing with the same is unacceptable."

I am advising an aggressive political course in order to alter the current dynamic and achieve important policy results. You have yet to suggest a viable alternative and the one you seem to advocate is just what Dems have been doing for years: apologies and fecklessness. Here's a flash: IT DOESN'T WORK. Bullies don't stop bullying until you stand up the them.

"People like yourself are why I stopped commenting on HuffPost and TPM."

As I said, feel free to ignore my comments if they bug you.

"We are not them, we are better- yet you are practically demanding that we be a liberal version of them."

I am urging Democrats to stand and fight for things that matter. Simple as that. Who is better than whom is irrelevant. Politics is a contact sport. The Cons know this and exploit it; the Dems pretend it isn't true and suffer accordingly.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"I have no intention of monetizing the debt"
Ben Bernanke

It has always been possible for the rich to get richer and the country can show gdp growth even as downward mobility for great swaths of the population accelerates. That possibility is becoming ever more likely. Since both parties have done nothing but accelerate the trend, using indistinguishable banking and monetary policies, one wonders, why vote?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Rebranding


I don't really like this concept however

The truth is that Obama helped in "re-branding" the Republicans - by his failed attempts at smearing the Tea Party.


That turned out to be DOUBLY counter-productive, because that strategy worked directly against Obama's attempts to continue to tie the Republicans to Bush.


The Republicans were either new, the Tea Party OR tied to Bush.


Which was it, Obama??? Obama then started talking about a ditch, a car and the backseat.

.

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"The White House and Dems seem to think that when Obama extends a hand towards Republicans, only to have them reaffirm their desire to completely thwart his agenda or destroy his presidency, it allows him to seize some sort of moral high ground."

Well, it sort of does. But if he attacks the Republicans as inveterate partisans and intransigent obstacles to any progress on Tuesday and then extends the hand of friendship and capitulation on Wednesday, it doesn't work. Either you continue to occupy the moral highground, or you get your hands dirty and play hardball. You don't vacillate between the two and expect it to all work out somehow. In my opinion. As someone who has tried the vacillation strategy more than once. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

shrink2

I'm not entirely sure I understand this QE stuff but aren't the banks the only ones who benefit again? Isn't it just a way to keep their balance sheets profitable and growing by giving them essentially free money from the government in the form of loans which they then sell back to the government at a profit?

Posted by: lmsinca | November 4, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Pelosi, unrepentant until the end: Great line from the outgoing Speaker, who notes in a new interview that the GOP used of her in attack ads as a "personification of health care," and adds: "I take that as a compliment.""

If the Dem Caucus had a hundred Nancy Pelosi's they would have gained seats on Tuesday. Thanks, Nancy, for all you've done.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Shrink

Nice little heart symbol. Can you make it show little pictures of farm animals too?

Posted by: LeavesOfLife | November 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"a child nutrition bill"

Just what I'd expect from a fascist Communist Muslim. Please god, free our children from the tyranny of healthy food and commend onto us their freedom to suffer poor health.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin
"That's crazy talk. They should let the minority party set the agenda and then act like they are helpless to do anything. The folks who voted for them in 2008 will understand."

Or take the "moral high ground" and avoid "petty politics" which will quickly be rejected and labeled as...well "petty politics".

On one hand I appreciate the importance of compromise and finding common ground, but on the other hand, I don't think voters really remember much who compromised or who didn't. They just remember that they don't have a job, or are worried about their job or lost half of their home equity and then vote against who ever has the power.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, one way to look at it, banks get first use of dollars whose value is falling. Fixed incomes get hurt. Speculation is not only encouraged, if you are not speculating, you are losing money. This idea, that we are buying back our debt, is psychotic. But I don't suppose they can say we are devaluing our currency to import inflation. This is a politics blog, so I have to say something political, oh yeah, I already did, why vote. From the perspective of a socialist and from the perspective of the elderly, the young and the working poor this is a bipartisan nightmare.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

That's All, Folks!

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@kevin - re no need to re-brand. You gotta be kidding. After the brief attempt to run a "Bush Legacy Project", everybody on the right went "we aren't Bush and we aren't his bastardized conservativism". Everybody.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Ddawd

A major factor in Obama's losses on Tuesday was the OFFENSE TAKEN by the American People at the False Charges of Racism pushed by the democrats like drug dealers over the past two years.

These charges have been all over the internet for at least three years. This is no way to be post-racial.


I have to point out that ALL who participated in this kind of tactics are PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for their own conduct, and they should take RESPONSIBILITY for their part in these shameful and disgraceful tactics. And by that I mean YOU.


Yes, YOU.

YOU are guilty. I hope you repent.


.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse


CNN Anderson Cooper challenged the notion of Obama spending $200 million a day on his vacation starting this week.

The number does seem a little high, even with Obama renting out over 500 hotel rooms for his trip for staff that who Obama has no practical way to even speak with during his trip. There is no way that Obama needs 2,000 people to go with him.

This whole thing smacks of a group of people so obsessed and deluded by their own self-sense of faux importance that they have no idea how obscene the whole sight has become.

Aside from room service, it will be difficult for Obama to meet his GOAL OF $200 MILLION A DAY, the most UNPREDENTED WASTE OF MONEY ON A 10-DAY VACATION IN WORLD HISTORY.


Well, there are reports out today that Obama is bringing over 30 "warships" with him on his vacation, for a vacation which is supposed to be mostly "on land."

So, perhaps that is how Obama is planning on wasting the $200 million per day.


So, to CNN's Anderson Cooper who was extremely rude to Michelle Bachman last night on this topic - your extreme rudeness to a sitting member of Congress is extremely unjustified.


.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"But Tea Party hero Rand Paul moved immediately to name an insider as chief of staff for his Senate office. Doug Stafford, a longtime GOP operative in Washington, has been his top political consultant and is vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and as a consultant to the Campaign for Liberty."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101103/ap_on_go_co/us_tea_party

Ahhh yes...the more things change.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

Is Bethany off of Madison?

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@holyhandgrenaid: "We are not them, we are better"

Well, you as a person may be, but as a group, in terms of tactics--no, you're not. Certain conservatives say this a lot to: "Just because liberals do it doesn't me we should. We're better than that." And they mean it, too.

Both sides employ "ends justify the means" tactics, and sometimes not the smartest way. Or ideologically consistent way. The first two years of Obama's presidency could have been very conservative--at least as conservative as any part of Dubya's presidency, if not more so--had Republicans decided to twist arms and hold things hostage to achieve significant conservative policy gains. Instead, they made their goal preventing legislation, and making healthcare Obama's Waterloo. They never tried to tie and expansion of healthcare savings accounts to HCR, or get rid of the part that ended them. The goal was to stop the whole thing. They could have tried to put a reduction in corporate taxes for small businesses in the bill. They did not. And so on. Obama was clearly eager to move legislation, and--even with large majorities in both houses--would have ended up moving to the right just to get the legislation.

Yes, you lose some stuff in those compromises. Reagan agreed to an increase in capital gains taxes as part of his defense spending and personal income tax reductions. Not because he wanted to increase capital gains tax (a tax very sensitive to the Laffer curve, btw, so revenues went down once it was raised) but because that was a compromise he was willing to make to get his priorities--a strong defense (to break the back of the Soviet Union) and tax reform.

I just think this could have been a very constructive 2 years for conservatism, and it wasn't. Because Washington politicians have their own priorities, and that's winning elections.

But I'm rambling. Point being, it's a balancing act. Being completely reasonable and "better than them" ends up in you losing. Being completely cutthroat and take-no-prisoners also, as often as not, ends up backfiring. You have to be willing to fight hard--but you also have to pick and choose your battles. And it's a lot easier for armchair quarterbacks, probably, than the actual politicians.

Oh, but also, the "if we just did it just right we'd have super majorities forever in perpetuity because everyone would finally recognize that we are right about everything and that would never change" thought process is not uncommon, but is incorrect. No matter how "right" a given strategy is--down and dirty or moral highground--it will end up being trumped by outside circumstances. If unemployment was lower, fewer Democrats would have lost. If unemployment had been higher, more Republicans would have won. But high unemployment was not nearly enough to unseat long time favorites, and usually isn't. But all sitting politicians can't be political royalty. And so on.

Shorter: Democrats will lose, no matter what. Republicans will lose, no matter.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I always defended Bush.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Defeat of California's Prop 23 was damned encouraging though it probably wouldn't have had that outcome without the Silcon Valley interests tossing in bucks against the petroleum interests' bucks.

And that points to a singularly welcome aspect of how future legislation might go re global warming. While the petroleum industry has an enormous interest in pushing false information to protect their bottom line (screw living things) other large interests can and will find themselves in opposition to further degradation of the environment (insurance companies, for example) or will find new economic opportunities in green tech.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@PaintTheRainforest:

"Is Bethany off of Madison?"

Speak English. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I have maintained that the TARP was far more important than ARRA, and that the fact that TARP was essentially a loan program that has already been largely repaid was lost in part to bad messaging. Further, the GM forced reorganization was brilliant but not well understood, and it will end up costing little, while having made it possible to continue a leaner and more effective American auto industry.

The small bank package was too late and there never was an effective foreclosure package - I had a workable and relatively cheap idea for the latter in 2008. I really did.

ARRA was not big enough in one respect but WAY TOO BIG in another. A series of focused bills that would have been rifle shot job measures - along with strengthening the countercyclicals in place, which was done - would have been at least as effective, and easier to understand as "jobs, jobs, jobs, are priority one." Thus more rifle shots could have been fired, over time, a politically wise expedient. OTOH, a near omnibus bill was going to be a nightmare, and it was. Some necessary stuff, some good stuff, but a lot of pork as well. We needed the aid to the states. One bill. We needed an AMT amendment. Another bill. We needed some targeted tax cuts. Another bill. We probably needed to contract out interstate highway and bridge repair. Lots of bills over time. College aid. Veterans' spending. That was about as far from "jobs" as one could get without seeming uncaring about THE anxiety.

18 months of health care debate surely convinced anyone whose job was in jeopardy that "jobs, jobs, jobs" was not a priority. OTOH, Boehner's promise to cut spending is a promise that "jobs, jobs, jobs" will STILL not seem to be a priority.

As hard as the Ds pushed HCR - and for good reasons, considering burgeoning health care costs is a budget buster - it was off-putting to voters. Voters see only the bigness of the enterprise and assume it is wasteful and not related to "jobs, jobs, jobs". As hard as the Rs push tax cuts - pretty much to the detriment of our future - it will be off-putting to voters, too, because it will not lead to "jobs, jobs, jobs" and the tax cuts will only help the well off. As much as the TEA wants to cut spending, R attempts to cut spending, if any, will be in exactly the wrong places for the creation of "jobs, jobs, jobs".

A modest "first step" HCR that simply allowed all private employers to buy into the FEHC could have passed with R support and been seen as a "jobs" bill, b/c it would have cut HC costs to small biz.

If I understood the polling all year, the mood was created by job loss. Neither party actually gets that. They KNOW it, but they still spin and submerge it to their agenda items. On the D side, that was Rahm's blind spot. Economic catastrophe was NOT an opportunity for the D agenda.

On the R side, I cannot think of an R right now who actually will sponsor a bill to create jobs. This is no opportunity for the R agenda, either.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, I'm not clear whether you've agreed or disagreed with me here- I acknowledge that its somewhere in between, but I don't know where exactly.

And I worded that wrong. I really meant something more along the lines of 'We're better than that'. Here I go, accidentally diving headlong into the holier-than-thou invective that I promised to avoid just yesterday. I'm a little ashamed.

And if you've been following my dialoque with wbgonne, you'd see I'm thinking about all of this in terms of fixing the political system from the ground up. I don't expect to see it ever, really- I just want to see progress, civility and cooperation in some capacity. And I don't mean either party's vision of the other bending over double to submit to their whims and ideas.

One day, maybe. A young man can dream.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

God's will and authority made manifest through his servants in Iowa...

"[F]ollowing Tuesday night's election, Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), informed OneNewsNow those judges will soon be out of a job.

"So we're praising God; we're thanking all the Iowans who stood up to judicial tyranny," he shares. "It's great news in Iowa, and it's great news for the country that judges don't have to lord it over us. 'We the people' are the ultimate authority."

The pro-family advocate adds that one of the most heartening aspects of the campaign was the fact that hundreds of pastors across the state spoke out about the issue.

"God is our ultimate authority, and we think that we did God's will by standing up to the three judges who would try to redefine God's institution and say that marriage is anything other than one man and one woman," Hurley explains."
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/chuck-hurley-we-did-gods-will-removing-iowa-supreme-court-justices

Ain't gonna be no stinking Sharia Law in that state. Because Levidican Law will whup it every time, being God's will.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans seized the mantle of "economic populism": Jon Chait marvels at the fact that exit polls showed more of the voters who handed the House majority to the GOP blamed the big banks and Bush for the economy than blamed Obama.

In addition to what Chait says about the GOP successfully seizing the populism mantle, the other thing to note here is that despite the best efforts of Dems, Republicans succeed in achieving separation from Bush."
------------

In your efforts to try to reconcile the irreconcilable in explaining how the Wall-Streetophilic Republican Party could gain the number of seats they did, you guys give Republicans too much credit.

The primary driver of the Republicans' gains was that they were the "not-Democrats" party -- the only alternative for a frustrated electorate. But, they were also aided by the fact that they were bound to do well in the many conservative districts swept up in Obama's 2008 win. [Depending on Republican gerrymandering, many of those districts may be in play again in the next election when the other 25-30% of the nation that votes in presidential elections shows up at the polls.]

Additionally, "populism" implies an abiding degree of popular support. Republicans just don't have that. The country still doesn't like them, and as many Republicans themselves acknowledge, the nation has not extended to them a mandate.

By the way, that last point -- the lack of mandate -- seems to have been lost on McConnell and Boehner in their calls for a healthcare repeal. Half of the nation simply does not support their calls for a repeal of healthcare, and it's dangerous for an unpopular party to ignore that, especially since the larger economy is the primary concern of the nation.

Republicans are on a short leash. But, some of their leadership doesn't seem to realize that, and it seems that they're already taking steps to overplay their (already weak) hand.

Posted by: associate20 | November 4, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "You gotta be kidding. After the brief attempt to run a "Bush Legacy Project", everybody on the right went 'we aren't Bush and we aren't his bastardized conservativism'. Everybody."

Including talking-head Karl Rove? Dick Cheney?

I think everybody is hyperbole. Something that is often employed in propaganda. Goebbels would be so proud!

That being said, attempting to distance oneself from a politician with low poll numbers isn't "rebranding" it's "distancing". Words mean things. These folks weren't "new Republicans". They just weren't coming out with a big Dubya banner saying, "Mission: Accomplished!"

That's not rebranding. Everybody one the right was repudiating the surge, the Afghanistan war, the Bush tax cuts? I could add No Child Left Behind and CFR and Medicare Part D to that, but the same folks repudiating that after he left office were the folks repudiating it at the time, for the most part. Intraparty disagreements also don't constitute "rebranding".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse


Julian Robertson has a great quote today on the Fed's announcement that it will pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy.

Julian said "Think of the printing presses which have to be manufactured to accomplish this - that is the stimulus."

The point, which is more than excellent, is that inflation is not real growth - if anything inflation saps real growth and causes the inefficient allocation of resources.

This Fed policy is going to provide a short-term little-bit of help to the economy, with the risk of long-term damage.

No one knows if the Fed will be able to put the brakes on the inflation once it is unleashed. It is a horrible policy prescription and it does little to create solid growth in the economy.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Obama says that "we can not afford the next two years just to squabble."


yea, but Obama, Dude, didn't you start the squabble by acting the way you have over the past two years???

Everyone told you to compromise - and be centrist like you promised. You responded with arrogance and False Charges of Racism - that is the squabble.


.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

do you really believe this?


If anything, the "xenophobia" is directed against Joe Sixpack's--everyone of which apparently hates Muslims and can't wait to kick them out of the country or worse. We have to elect Barack Obama because all those backwoods, beared, beer-swilling, gun-toting, Bible-thumping rednecks out there in the Red States are scary.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - you need to get clear on what "re-branding" is and how it works.

Obviously (or it should be) Rove and Cheney aren't going to accept a narrative that puts the team they headed dead center as a representation of bastardized conservatism.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

That was quite a night! Congrats on defeating Rep. Cao (R-LA), even though you admitted that you would have voted for him had he stuck with ObamaCare. I'm sure you'd rather have had Cao win re-election than Boehner become Speaker. At least Dr. Benishek (R-MI) won Bart Stupak's seat.

Congrats also to wts1574. In the end, however, Angle and O'Donnell allowed the rest of the GOP Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns to sneak in under the radar. While I wish they could have won too, I'd much rather have a 48 GOP Senate "minority" than 51 RINO Senate "majority".

If anyone else thinks that Gov. Palin is NOT running for President:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/04/palin-celebrates-victories-in-web-video/#more-133741

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/04/rollins.palin.2012/index.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@holyhandgrenaid: " I just want to see progress, civility and cooperation in some capacity"

Me, too. But there are too many folks for whom incivility is a calling. Or perhaps a birthright. There are too many folks for whom bitter partisanship and acrimony is preferable. The "party of no" didn't just spring up out of the ground. The base is demanding no compromise, no surrender, and politicians ignore that at their political peril.

I heard a caller to Rush Limbaugh complaining about Boehner's post-election speech because it sounded like capitulation. There are a lot of people in the right wing base (and, in my experience, they are there on the left, too) for whom anything less than immediately punching the opposition in the face upon seeing them is "bending over backwards".

As a former liberal and peruser of Alternet and Plum-line as well as Ace of Spades and NRO, (and long fascinated by what the substances and psychology of ideological difference is) I'm very aware of equivalencies between the two sides. In the 20 years I've been highly engaged in politics, I have not observed any stronger equivalency than the deep conviction on both sides that their politicians in Washington are too conciliatory or too cooperative (or are poised to be, at any moment). Conservatives felt Bush was far too appeasing to Democrats and the left. No Child Left Behind was capitulation to the left. Inviting Teddy Kennedy over to watch a movie was capitulation! CFR was a sop to McCain, and the Democrats. And so on.

Yet each side is convinced (as a generalization) that their side is far too cooperative and conciliatory, and that the other side is on message, disciplined, and works in lock step uniformity. During the Clinton administration, I can't tell you how many talk radio callers I heard complaining that Republicans needed to learn a few things about discipline, protecting their own, and circling the wagons from the Democrats. Yet, too a dedicated partisan lefty, much of that would seem absurd. "What do you mean you don't 'circle the wagons'? Are you smoking crack?"

All I can conclude is that ideological perspective radically warps what we see, yet does it in such a way that the distortion is, for most people most of the time, virtually undetectable. Often, even when you are actively trying to see it.

But, I also conclude, partisanship and acrimony is largely unavoidable in the political process, because it's wired into our heads. Hopefully we can let the better angels of our nature guide us, but it's unlikely that most people will, most of the time.

I also have a theory that hardball politics is not about convincing independents, but motivating the base. The base (especially the deepest blue or red) wants their politicians to fight. They are very much of the wbgonne "never give up, never surrender!" mindset. And if politicians want to get their base out to the polls, they have to make a habit of playing hardball.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Ygleasias and Tyler Cowen point to how the "we are all Tea Partiers now and just hate DC/NYC elites" is a BS cover pretending populism where further support of financial/corporate elites is the real game...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/what-i-would-have-said/

Posted by: bernielatham | November 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

How do you feel about Ireland and Naples?

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

That is just about right


One doesn't "seize the mantle" of economic populism like it is some cover story to fool people into supporting a candidate - who will turn around and push a liberal agenda that no one wants.


Economic populism has to be believed and felt.


.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "you need to get clear on what "re-branding" is and how it works."

I'm pretty clear on how rebranding works. I'm just not sure you are.

@PaintTheDumb: "do you really believe this?"

Believe what? Any further piece of incoherent performance art will be ignored, btw, unless you can give me some overall sense of the piece you're working on.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"On the D side, that was Rahm's blind spot. Economic catastrophe was NOT an opportunity for the D agenda."

Mark, correct analysis. I too had a dozen or so what you call rifle shot real job stimulating and housing disaster mitigating bills in mind, not hard to imagine then, too late now. Obama had to work to squander all that good will. The people he assembled around him devastated him. Rham, Larry Summers, Tom Daschle, the Bush Fed, he went Supply Side, exactly what we did not ask nor want him to do...oh well, water under the bridge.

And yes, voters punished the Obama administration. But anyone thinking Republicans are about anything other than taking back the White House and from there doing what they always do are going to be sorely disappointed, they should be used to that by now.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@Jake, RE: Palin

We can only hope.

Posted by: DinOH | November 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

How is it that the Senate GOP caucus is at war over Tea Party losses?! That's not the only reason. If Fiorina, Raese, Rossi, and McMahon (not my candidate) had won, then it wouldn't have mattered what happened in Nevada, Colorado, Alaska and Delaware.

BTW: I think that Howard Dead should run for President in 2012 ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

Fair enough, but I truly think one can do both- cooperate and play hardball at the same time. I mean, that approach characterized much of Ted Kennedy's career, as well as fairly right-wing Senators such as Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett (although try to convince the Tea Party of that one).

My point is, you can compromise and be true to your values- there's ample evidence to the viability of that move. That said, right now such decisions are tantamount to suicide- at least on the right.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 4, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

How do you feel about Ireland and Naples?


The question is do you think the country should support Obama because all those backwoods, beared, beer-swilling, gun-toting, Bible-thumping rednecks out there in the Red States are scary.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

How do you feel about Ireland and Naples?


The question is do you think the country should support Obama because all those backwoods, beared, beer-swilling, gun-toting, Bible-thumping rednecks out there in the Red States are scary.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

DinOH:

Careful what you wish for.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I think that Howard Dead should run for President in 2012."

I know you are baiting me but, careful what you wish for. Obama needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Those "lukewarm tea" numbers aren't really useful. A quick scan of the list shows a lot of them were running races in "safe Dem" seats. Hardly surprising that they got crushed in seats that routinely vote 60%+ for Dems. Any GOP candidate in those races, tea party or moderate, is going to lose, and lose big, in those races.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 4, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I think all of the President's advisers and strategists would do well to identify to whom their message should be directed. The target is the voter and this is exactly who the Republicans sent their messages to.

They were able to convince voters that they (the voters) were victims of Democrats Gone Wild through relentless dissemination of falsehoods and gross exaggerations. They also positioned themselves as defenders of the voters as each piece of legislation, no matter how big or small, entered a news cycle by steadfastly obstructing constructive dialogue that could derail their strategy.

The Democrats went completely off track with the campaign to use the anonymous campaign donation theme as this only sets up the candidates as victims and not the voters, while the Republicans were able to convince enough people that said contributions were actually a public service in the campaign to end Democratic excess.

Look for the reform of Health Care Reform (Health Care Reform Reform?) to be an early target of the Republicans because people are already realizing the benefits of the program and the longer it goes on the more popular it will become and the less likely Americans will feel that they have been victimized by it.

The Democrats couldn't sell water to a guy stranded in the desert while the Republicans could convince him that water was no good for him.

Posted by: mikemfr | November 4, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@PaintTheDim: "How do you feel about Ireland and Naples?"

Okay. One more chance. I'm still not feeling the direction you're going in here. Is this some sort performance art about international commerce? A travel diary?

Look, I always try to respect the creative talent. But you've gotta give me something to work with here.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Jake

What happened to you yesterday - I was wondering if the democrats had lynched you in a riot over the election results.

And what is up with that Connecticut Secretary of State, is she out of her mind?

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin- "never give up, never surrender!"

Is that a Galaxy Quest reference? If so, well done!

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

meth abuse is not performance art

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

In Alaska, it might not be known who won for several more days because officials need to determine which write-in votes actually went to Murkowski. At least they moved up the deadline from November 18:

"[Murkowski] was one of 161 people who filed the paperwork necessary to qualify as a write-in candidate, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

As of Wednesday night, with 78 percent of precincts reporting, the write-in candidates were leading the pack with 41 percent of the vote. Miller had 34 percent, and McAdams trailed with 24 percent.

CNN has projected that the Democratic candidate will finish in third place but has not yet called the race for Murkowski or Miller.

Despite Murkowski's excitement, Miller's campaign remained optimistic Wednesday, saying, "This campaign is not over!"

"Previous write-in campaigns in Alaska have demonstrated that as much as 5 [percent] to 6 percent of returned ballots have not met the standard to be counted as a valid vote," the campaign said in a statement.

"Candidates who mount a write-in campaign opt for an uphill battle. At this point, without a single write-in ballot counted, Lisa Murkowski has no claim on a victory."

Another fellow Alaskan running as a write-in is Lisa M. Lackey, whose presence on the ballot may complicate things for Murkowski.

Under state law, for a write-in vote to be valid, the name written on the ballot must match the name as it is listed on the write-in candidate's declaration of candidacy. In Murkowski's case, the law requires her supporters to write "Lisa Murkowski" or "Murkowski" for the vote to be counted.

However, in the event a voter misspells or abbreviates a candidate's name, such as "Lisa M." instead of "Lisa Murkowski," the Division of Elections would determine the voter's intent "on a case-by-case basis," according to division director Gail Fenumiai.

With two potential "Lisa M's" as write-in candidates, determining the intent of a voter who writes in "Lisa M." on his or her ballot would be much more difficult.

Matt Felling, an anchor for KTVA-TV in Anchorage, said the race could prove to be the "highest stakes spelling bee in American political history."

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/04/murkowski.write.in/index.html

Colbert had urged his Alaska viewers on the correct spelling before election day: "MILLER" ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

Let's do the mature thing. Take down your program, and stop harassing me.

And we will never speak of this again.

We can just walk away right now. Agreed?


.

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I'm pretty clear on how rebranding works. I'm just not sure you are."

Bernie is the epitome of the hammer/nail metaphor.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

If Obama thinks that he gains anything by repeatedly, extending his hand to the Republicans, only to be predictably rejected, he is a complete idiot and deserves to lose in 2012. Americans hates this type of behavior for it's apparent inexhaustible ability to "turn the other cheek" in the face of it's obvious futility (ie. it's weakness).

Posted by: Gyre57 | November 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@PaintMeDone: "The question is do you think the country should support Obama because all those backwoods, beared, beer-swilling, gun-toting, Bible-thumping rednecks out there in the Red States are scary."

Um, no. Do you ever actually read anything I post?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 4, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

NoVAHockey:

Good points, and I'm not sure how many of those candidates were really backed by the TEA Party anyway.

PaintTheDome:

I took yesterday off to start packing (we are moving back to California next week ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed at how quickly the Democrat-controlled media have begun to spin the election results. In just 24 hours we have been told that the GOP sweep was "not significant", "not historic", "not a mandate" and a meaningless event triggered by fearful and ignorant peasants who, while clinging to their guns and religion, were "impatient with the pace of change". In fact, if only we had gone farther to the left, faster, with the Dear leader explaining it better, we would all be happy and ignorant little workers in the "USSR of A". When Obama spoke yesterday he spoke in measured code words: (1) Republicans could offer modifications to speed up socialized medicine, but nothing more. (2) Republicans could work with him on environmental projects and electric cars, but the election did not mandate any other changes. (3) Republicans will be offered a hand by Obama, but only to the extent that they follow his lead and do not try to change the course.
Contrary to what t he media is saying, that is not "compromise". That is a sign that this arrogant little dilletante just does not comprehend the fact that the people do not agree with him.

Posted by: MARKM2 | November 4, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@ Kevin

Thats a silly question to ask the Trollbot 9000 mk21 (by my count anyway)

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 4, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The Mid-term elections absolutely were a REFERENDUM on OBAMA. Obama/Pelosi/Reid
"took advantage of a crisis" by Ramming ObamaCare down our throats and by using
so-called "stimulus" money for Entitlements...... that's why they didn't work on the economy, because they were too busy "pushing their social agenda through".
If ObamaCare is not repealed and replaced,
it could further hurt our economy because
Americans Cannot afford higher premiums or higher taxes, and with ObamaCare we WILL get both.
Democrats didn't even try to reduce healthcare COSTS., because their priority was to takeover healthcare.
Democrat agenda was not to solve problems at all... it was about POWER.

Posted by: ohioan | November 4, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

jake

Why are you heading back so quickly Were you working on a campaign?

Posted by: PaintTheDome | November 4, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

MARKM2:

Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history; he is an anti-colonialist.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse


Jake-
"Good points, and I'm not sure how many of those candidates were really backed by the TEA Party anyway."

Since when have such subtleties really mattered? Things like whether the candidates were Tea Party candidates, were backed by the Tea Party or would have lost regardless of whether they were GOP or Tea Party have no place in the absolutist language of political discourse.

Doesn't this also conflict somewhat with the Tea Party comments that they would have won more seats if the GOP had supported them?


Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

markm2 wrote:

"I am amazed at how quickly the Democrat-controlled media have begun to spin the election results. In just 24 hours we have been told that the GOP sweep was "not significant", "not historic", "not a mandate" and a meaningless event triggered by"

You are at ground zero for that line of thinking. Greg still hasn't come up with anywhere that the Dems went wrong. In fact one of his main columns yesterday was how it was really a victory because the Tea Party kept the Reps from taking the Senate!

Sorry Greg, I like your writing or I wouldn't be here, and we're both Democrats, but as Bill Parcells coined the phrase "you are what your record says you are".

Posted by: 54465446 | November 4, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Not McMahon's campaign (we were volunteering for Peter Schiff, but I guess he wouldn't have won either). People in Connecticut don't care about a candidate lying re: military service in Vietnam.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"he is an anti-colonialist."

Can we make fun of you yet?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

jake wrote;

"Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history; he is an anti-colonialist"

Tsk, Tsk, victory has made you insufferable!

The D'Souza piece is pychobabble nonsense, and Jefferson was the most anti-business President in history.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

All, Dems launch preemptive strike on GOP health care repeal push:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Feel free to make all the fun of me you want. The Dems resignations haven't even started yet ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean vows to "beat the hell" out of GOP in 2012: Now this is a bit of a different tone:

"If Republicans think we're going to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid and give tax cuts to those making a million dollars a year, we will wrap that around their necks and beat the hell out of them in 2012."

...And then he let loose with this kind of wild, primitive scream that completely shocked and disturbed those present, so much so that many immediately questioned his continued leadership in the Democratic Party...

Posted by: converse | November 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Mr Sargent is a very talented guy. Not only can he produce vast reams of left wing agitprop, he can also read minds!

Rather than take Mr Mc Connell at his word, Mr Sargent does his "the shadow does" imitation; he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, especially republican men serving in the senate.

To me Mr McConnell was quite clear: rolling back the legislation of the past two years is a high priority. If Mr Obama thwarts that then the only way to achieve the desired result is to defeat him in the next election.

The "seems to" phrase is one of Mr Sargent's favorites. It is right up there with "suggests" as in "The clouds and the cold wind seems to suggest that snow will fall soon" it is pure speculation and should be taken with a heaping helping of NaCl

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

(RALEIGH, NC) -- While most races were decided Tuesday night, 2nd District Congressman Bob Etheridge is still refusing to concede in his race with Republican Renee Ellmers. He said Wednesday that he is prepared to call for a recount.

"As of right now, where the votes stands is the margin is less than 1 percent, which is the threshold for recount. I have notified the Board of Elections that it is my intent to request a recount if the margin is less than 1 percent when all the votes are counted," said Etheridge.

Elections officials say they should finish up the count by November 12th. If the margin separating Etheridge and Ellmers is within 1 percent, a recount will be held. The results will be certified when the State Board of Elections meets November 23rd.

http://www.ncnn.com/content/view/6574/26/

I've been watching this race ever since Rep. Etheridge assaulted those two high school students:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oqIP9yagkQ

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

converse wrote:

"If Republicans think we're going to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid"

Someone should tell Howard to read the bill. Slowing the growth of Medicare is EXACTLY what the cost savings are based on.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

At least Rep. Joe "YOU LIE!" Wilson (R-SC) won.

P.S. to ashotinthedark: was Rep. Wilson a "TEA Party" candidate?

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/elections/south-carolina-elections/2010-11-02/congress-candidate-joe-wilson-credits%3Fv%3D1288703887

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Jake2 -- I think it's stuff like that gets people worked up about media basis. There was no chance -- none whatsoever -- of any republican winning a lot of those races. To use those results to support a position that the tea party is ineffective is disingenuous.

"Doesn't this also conflict somewhat with the Tea Party comments that they would have won more seats if the GOP had supported them?"
I think that's a fair point -- if you limit it to competitive races. Maybe if the GOP doesn't pump cash into a race that's over before it begins, some of those races turn.

But it work's both ways. Dems spent a ton of money trying to defeat Joe Wilson -- waste of resources. blinded by rage at what he did, they probably could have used the money and volunteers in other more winnable contests. like the PA senate race.


Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 4, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So that stick the Democrat Party has been beating us over the head with:
http://gravelle.us/content/democrat-party-demands-compromise
...is an olive branch now?

It's not the Republicans who are currently in the "compromising" position:
http://www.dailyscoff.com/?p=3168

Rather than an imagined mandate to expand the scope of government authoritarianism, the incoming representatives have a REAL mandate to act upon: REPEAL...


-jjg

Posted by: jgravelle | November 4, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Jake2 -- I think it's stuff like that gets people worked up about media basis. There was no chance -- none whatsoever -- of any republican winning a lot of those races. To use those results to support a position that the tea party is ineffective is disingenuous.

"Doesn't this also conflict somewhat with the Tea Party comments that they would have won more seats if the GOP had supported them?"
I think that's a fair point -- if you limit it to competitive races. Maybe if the GOP doesn't pump cash into a race that's over before it begins, some of those races turn.

But it work's both ways. Dems spent a ton of money trying to defeat Joe Wilson -- waste of resources. blinded by rage at what he did, they probably could have used the money and volunteers in other more winnable contests. like the PA senate race.


Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 4, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed at how quickly the Democrat-controlled media have begun to spin the election results. In just 24 hours we have been told that the GOP sweep was "not significant", "not historic", "not a mandate" and a meaningless event triggered by fearful and ignorant peasants who, while clinging to their guns and religion, were "impatient with the pace of change". In fact, if only we had gone farther to the left, faster, with the Dear leader explaining it better, we would all be happy and ignorant little workers in the "USSR of A". When Obama spoke yesterday he spoke in measured code words: (1) Republicans could offer modifications to speed up socialized medicine, but nothing more. (2) Republicans could work with him on environmental projects and electric cars, but the election did not mandate any other changes. (3) Republicans will be offered a hand by Obama, but only to the extent that they follow his lead and do not try to change the course.
Contrary to what t he media is saying, that is not "compromise". That is a sign that this arrogant little dilletante just does not comprehend the fact that the people do not agree with him.
----------------------------------
Hohandy- You think taking the high road is going to work with people like Mark?

Here are some of the MSM headliens I have seen:
GOP Roars Back Democrats Cling...
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/02/election.main/index.html?hpt=T1

Obama called it a "Shalacking"

Republicans Sweep...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/03/3055930.htm


Maybe Greg spun this election in the best light for Democrats, but I don't think the MSM did.

Here's a poll where voters say Republican don't have a mandate.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-28/republicans-winning-house-get-no-mandate-in-poll-showing-clinton-approval.html

And how can Republicans claim a mandate when the public overwhelmingly disapproves of them?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark:

Rep. Joe "YOU LIE!" Wilson was sent back to Washington with a mandate to repeal ObamaCare:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/elections/south-carolina-elections/2010-11-02/congress-candidate-joe-wilson-credits?v=1288703887

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Jake-
You raise a good point about the difficulties regarding who is or isn't a Tea Party candidate. Based on Joe Wilson's own language I would say no, "We give a lot of credit to the tea party"

As for the mandate to repeal PPACA there seems to be a mixed picture.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/02/first-exit-polls-economy/


What is more clear is that repealing health care is less important than getting the economy going.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

If exit polls showed that the number one reason why every GOP Congressman won was to repeal ObamaCare, would THAT be a "mandate" in your opinion? Maybe we should define terms first.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Jake-
I would prefer to have a moving target for you to shoot at ;)

To avoid being evasive, I would prefer to see broader support for repeal prior to calling something a mandate. That's my main focus, but I think seeing it as a higher priority would strengthen the mandate argument. That said, I recognize that there isn't a huge difference between those who have jobs as their priority (about 12% according to Gallup) or spending (2%) as their priority.

Overall, I don't care that much about what is or isn't a mandate. If the economy still stinks in 2-4 years, voters aren't going to care about whether they did or didn't give someone a mandate or if one party claimed a mandate or not. And if the economy is better it provides political cover for both repealing or not repealing. On one hand they can say we appropriately focused on jobs so that's why no repeal occurred. On the other they can say we fixed the economy which you gave us a mandate to do, so we then repealed health care because you gave us a mandate to do that too.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Watch the lying squat heads at MessNBC squeal like the barnyard specimens they resemble over the Obama trip to India being $200 Million. Skinhead Anderson "Teabagger" Cooper is skeptical. I guess it would be okay for this Vanderbilt scion if it were "only" $100 million/day.

Can you imagine the squawks and squeals of the MSm had GWB undertaken a trip with even ONE WARSHIP??? Costing $10 Million/day?

This country is in the grip of some maniacs. First order of business, get CA to secede.

Posted by: djman1141 | November 4, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Jake- This was horribly phrased by me:
"That said, I recognize that there isn't a huge difference between those who have jobs as their priority (about 12% according to Gallup) or spending (2%) as their priority."

What I meant is that Gallup shows stimulus as the priorty with the debt like 12% behind and repealing health care another 1-2% behind.

Or just look at the poll:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/144164/Democrats-Favor-New-Stimulus-Republicans-Healthcare-Repeal.aspx

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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

My guess is that the SCOTUS will rule that ObamaCare is unconstitutional way before the Dems try their goofy little card tricks on the voters.

Historical landslide, biggest since WWII and the MSM, ever true to their Marxist lack of principle, try to diminish the achievement.

Posted by: djman1141 | November 4, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark (last time I will ask, I promise this time):

If exit polls showed that the number one reason why every GOP Congressman won was to repeal ObamaCare, would THAT be a "mandate" in your opinion?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Hold on. Let's rewind. Wall Street Mitch McConnell opened his lie-hole and said the following:

"But the fact is..,our primary legislative goals are to...to end the bailouts"

1) Are we in the Twilight Zone? Mitch McConnell was the GOP's point-man in the Senate FOR the Wall Street TARP trillion dollar bailouts (originally $700 billion, now run over a $1 trillion). McCONNELL -- yes, Mitch McConnell -- was the one who helped Bush, on the Republican side, get the bank bailouts passed: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/27851.html

2) "cut spending, and shrink the size and scope of government"

Uh, the national deficit EXPLODED under George Bush and the GOP: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500803_162-4486228-500803.html

So why aren't Kentucky residents tar-and-feathering Mitch McConnell?

Posted by: thebeagle1 | November 4, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

thebeagle1:

Because we were attacked on 9/11 and spending was warranted back then. See how easy it is to answer questions?

Do you recall that Obama said he would withdraw out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you recall that Obama said he would close GTMO? Do you recall ANYTHING detrimental about Obama?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Jake- Fair enough, if that is the only factor I am looking at then I'll answer, yes.

dj- The SCOTUS is not going to rule the entire health care reform package, there are a couple bills you know, to be unconstitutional. I don't think anyone is even pursuing such a case. I suppose if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional, a big if, the whole thing might fall apart.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I will cross you off my list.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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