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The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Tea Party to House GOP: Repeal health reform, or we'll stamp our feet and get really, really mad: Ruh roh. In a "confidential" memo to be distributed to House Republicans, chest-thumping Tea Party chieftain Dick Armey lays down the law, saying that repeal is "non-negotiable" and that failure on this front risks "rejection by the voters in 2012."

Key takeaway: Self-declared Tea Party leaders have no intention of being constrained by reality in their expectations of the new GOP House majority.

* No compromise on Bush tax cuts: Jackie Calmes reports that Republicans will not accept a compromise in which the high end cuts would be extended temporarily while the middle class ones would be made permanent. They all must be extended for the same amount of time.

This would allow Republicans to avoid having to undertake the politically difficult task of only extending the tax cuts for the rich later.

* Joe Klein: Mitch McConnell is "vile and graceless": The Time columnist marvels at McConnell's taunting of Obama. The continued "one term president" broadside is, at bottom, all about making Obama look even more weakened by Tuesday's results. Also: Keep an eye on the lack of a concerted Dem response.

* All that secret cash swirls down the drain in Washington state: Senator Patty Murray, as expected, declared victory last night, and the DSCC crows:

Republican third-party groups spent $7 million in their unsuccessful attempt to defeat Senator Murray including $3.4 million from Karl Rove's Crossroad GPS.

* Obama admits error: In an interview with CBS News, the president concedes his failure to communicate:

"I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn't just legislation. That it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone."

Of course, his critics won't see this as a concession at all, since he only conceded a failure to sell his agenda, rather than a fundamental public rejection of it.

* A classy sendoff for Nancy Pelosi: Good read from Eugene Robinson, who hits all the right notes: The "San Francisco liberal" caricature is pure B.S.; she was only demonized because she was so effective; she did the right thing and accepted the consequences.

* Pelosi for minority leader? The next frontier for progressives: Getting her elected as a rebuke to the moderates and the Blue Dogs.

* Raul Grijalva hangs on: CNN calls it for the Arizona Congressman, who was a major voice articulating liberal priorities in the House over the last two years.

* And: Grijalva vows to keep on keepin' on, asserting that the House progressive caucus will block any efforts by Obama to be overly conciliatory to the new GOP majority.

* Why Harry Reid survived while so many other Dems perished: Ronald Brownstein maps out how badly Dems got shellacked among heartland whites -- an ominous outcome with potentially far-reaching implications.

Also: He notes that Sharron Angle's race-baiting immigration ads are what helped Reid build a non-white coalition to offset those losses.

* It was liberal apathy and job loss, stupid: Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin dig deep into the demographics to make the case that the elections were not an endorsement of the conservative agenda.

* Takedown of the day: Paul Krugman rips Even Bayh for his meaningless platitude that we should have "focused" on the economy and not health care:

The whole focus on "focus" is, as I see it, an act of intellectual cowardice -- a way to criticize President Obama's record without explaining what you would have done differently.

* And a special bonus takedown of the day: Michael Gerson on how "the GOP's Sarah Palin problem" cost the party key Senate races and could muck things up badly in 2012.

Also: Gerson rips Palin's "odd mix of Tea Party Jacobinism and feminist grievance" and, crucially, notes her complete indifference to the GOP's fortunes. The GOP establishment seems to have concluded that it's all about her, and that this is a major problem that isn't going away.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Next: Why White House may cave on Bush tax cuts

Comments

Sarah Palin's "complete indifference to the GOP's fortunes" includes keynote speechs at RNC fundraisers with Micheal Steele in California and Florida?! You guys are crazy. She is THE number one fundraising draw on the GOP side today. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for Van Tran (or Michael Gerson LOL). If she's going to mess things up so badly, why don't the liberals just get out of the way and let that happen?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

In terms of the "no compromise" on the tax cuts Republicans":

There WILL be a compromise because the Democrats will have 58 Senators in the lame duck and there are already a couple of GOP Senators who said they may compromise on the 2 year extension.

Right now Politico is reporting that the cut off will NOT be $250,000 but rather a $500,000 or $1million which may peel off some Republican Senators who do want to compromise on this.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

Congrats on the job security.

And to all I've tangled with I'm obliged to report that you won't have wbgonne to kick around anymore because I'm focusing on other writing. One last plug for the Bitter End, available at lulu.com. If you get bored with real politics what better way to unwind than with a novel about ... politics?

I'll probably drop in now and again just to see how everyone is behaving but I'll probably keep my mouth shut (yeah, right).

Anyway, thanks again Greg. You really are a remarkable moderator in addition to being witty, astute and a real nice guy. To the PL Regulars thanks for the discussions, especially the heated ones. As the great English poet Graham Parker said: Passion is no ordinary word.

God bless America.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Greg, Why is it okay for Raul Grijalva to "not compromise"?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Krugman is wrong. Just because he can not figure out what Obama could have done differently doesn't mean no one can. From the day Obama hired on the Bush supply siders, Larry Summers and people like Tom Daschle on health care, I knew he was in big trouble and so we were in trouble (been ranting about it on the fix for two years, much to the dismay of the my president right or wrong crowd). Just yesterday MarkinAustin put up a very good post here what should have happened differently.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Of course, his critics won't see this as a concession at all, since he only conceded a failure to sell his agenda, rather than a fundamental public rejection of it."

Well, yeah. His press conference was one conceited exercise in denial:

The people just don't understand how great I am and how successful I've been. We just haven't moved fast ENOUGH for them. We've turned the economy around, but they just haven't "seen" it. The people want us to work on green jobs and definitely not to revisit anything we did these first two years.

If BO is reelected, it will not be because of anything he does but in spite of himself.


Posted by: quarterback1 | November 5, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Gerson's article was mostly awful other than then end when he questioned Palin's standards (I know shocking I would say that).

His article began by claiming this as a high water mark for Republicans which seems an odd claim to make when the Senate and Presidency are controlled by the Dems and only 4 years after Republicans had both the White House and Congress. But maybe he doesn't want to remind people of that.

He then talks about Obama's progressive tax system. It seems like the only counter to Obama's uber progressive tax system is to continue the Bush cuts. That's an odd solution since, as republicans have repeated ad nauseum, the tax burden became even more progressive under the Bush cuts.

In Palin's defense, for every Tacrando, Angle, and O'Donnell she backed a candidate that did win. I'm just trying to figure out why some Republicans have become so critical of Palin and are voicing that criticism in venues like the WaPo.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, Maybe the "main" reason Angle and O'Donnell lost was because ESTABLISHMENT Republicans refused to support them, instead they VIOLATED Reagan's 11th Amendment. You don't think she would  have done better if Castle had endorsed O'Donnell and actively campaigned for her to combat the Dems and lamestream media? But, I guess that Reagan had to fight a two-front battle against Liberals AND establishment Republicans, so it can be done.

By the way, Gerson, a high-water mark is indeed a "kind of limit" but not against a tsunami or 100-year flood.  Given the GOP control of re-districting, I think it's the Dems who need to be worrying. 

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Re Gerson...too funny for words. Of course the Politico piece from last week was correct - she'd be a disaster and the big boys know it and are already hot on marginalizing her.

So the really interesting part of this will be watching FOX and Limbaugh and Beck and Kristol to see what they do and how they go about it. This will further clarify the actual power structures and alignments in the conservative world.

To the degree they can manage it, these folks will create a snowjob of Obama attacks (because that's everybody's goal) which will help fill the media space so that the internal wars are less in focus. That will also give them some time and room to align and strategize. As Palin is a creation of this media world, they now have a very big problem in working to push her down and demean her as a Presidential candidate. With any luck, her circle will roar like grizzlies against the insider/DC/establishment machine.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

An 18month debate over a bad health care bill (briefly, it reformed nothing it just expanded everything) was not a failure to communicate.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, just be gone already.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, the Cool Hand Luke reference is simply the latest talking point from journ-O-lists.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea, what a coincidence.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I'll kinda troll in here to remind you all that I think Obama is our modern Hoover -- intelligent, compassionate, but corporate. (See http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/07/0082562 for a cleverer case.) I'd hoped Obama would learn, like FDR, but on this I was wrong.

Posted by: stonedone | November 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What's this all about?

As you may have heard, President Obama will travel to India on Saturday, part of an overseas diplomatic mission that will put the president face-to-face with the leaders of a key strategic and trade partner, not to mention a regional nuclear power. For Obama, the India visit is a chance to get all presidential after his recent "shellacking." For India, it's a change to further a relationship mutually beneficial to both nations. For the right wing, it's a one-way ticket to Freakoutville.

Here's the right-wing India trip meme: Obama is spending more money -- $200 million per day -- than the nation spends daily on the war in Afghanistan, in order to fly something like one million planes full of his closest friends to a multi-day bacchanal on the steps of the Taj Mahal, all paid for by you, the taxypayer. Or something.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/freak-out-right-wingers-howl-over-obamas-india-trip.php?ref=fpb

Do the local righties believe this story? What do you think about the "folks" the are pushing it?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | November 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I see over at NRO there's a Palin piece (written by someone else - "If that happens, the story of 2012 may well be that of the GOP going the way of the Whigs" or "The last, and possibly most important, lesson is that a winning conservative message must always be carefully crafted.").

Her way out of this - and the way out for Kristol and crowd and want to win power and dominate US politics for an indeterminate period of time measured in decades - is for her to ease herself (in appearance at least) out of the running. She'll conclude after much prayer and conversations with Trig that she can do more to return America to the state it was in back in the days of the early Archie comics by helping from a cheerleader/leather motorcycle cop role. For the good of America.

I hope that doesn't happen but it would be the smart play. Gerson is a seriously deceitful jerk and ideologue but he ain't stupid.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Palin made a name for herself taking down corrupt REPUBLICANS too (on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, etc.) so she will do just fine. Bill Maher will be small potatoes.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 5, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Who pulled the plug on Mitt Romney? Is he sick, on vacation? He should be elbowing people aside and claiming victory for his agenda, yelling follow me in front of crowds of angry, downwardly mobile crowds dying to vote against their interests.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Mitt and T-Paw are dead in the water and know it. My money is (STILL) on Haley Barbour for Prez. Marco or Bobby are interesting possibilities for Veep. Expect opposition from a cultural conservative (Santorum, Gingrich, Gov. whathisname from AK).

The Teeper most likely to run and win the nomination? Gov. Good Hair. Bet on it.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Just signed the petition over at Daily Kos for Nancy Pelosi to run for Minority Leader (largely as "rebuke" to my Blue Dog rep). She is probably the biggest fundraising machine in the House on the Dem's side right now, and forcing her out of the leadership if she wants to stay in is just throwing the baby out with the bath water. The Blue Dogs lost their credibility in this election, and I'm hoping that we're seeing the start of their decline.

Posted by: Michigoose | November 5, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

From Yglesias...

"It seems to me that the only way for Barack Obama to avoid going down in history as something like the Zachary Taylor of the climate change era is to stand firm on the EPA’s legal obligation to regulate carbon dioxide emissions..." http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/epa-regulation-and-the-new-congress/

Yes, at least this for now. Some won't like what follows but I don't care.

The unprovoked, illegal and grossly immoral launch of warfare against Iraq has resulted in the deaths of some 100,000 to a million women, men and children. How many maimed is not knowable but the figure is larger than that of deaths. In other words, the consequences of this decision to set to war, in terms of humans destroyed, would be comparable to terrorists setting off a big nuke (not a piddly suitcase variety) in the middle of Portland.

And this war was implemented in order to, as Greenspan admitted, ensure US control of the oil resource there.

So, we have an act morally comparable to terrorists nuking an American city and we have it done in order to protect a corporate/economic structure which is in the process of poisoning/heating the planet so severely that the future world will be, near to certainly, beset by crises of enormous proportions, all unnecessary.

There are great evils abroad in world. This sits near the top.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 5, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"...dying to vote against their interests."

If only those rubes would stop thinking for themselves and just listen to what intelligent, beneficent liberals tell them is best for them, they would be so much better off, eh?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The Teeper most likely to run and win the nomination? Gov. Good Hair. Bet on it.

*****

I'll take that bet. I live in Texas and it is fairly well known that Goodhair Perry is a friend of Dorothy. That wouldn't bug me, but I'm not a Republican.

Posted by: nisleib | November 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

So Dick Armey, who represents about 15 Tea Party House members, is issuing non-negotiable demands? The respect of these people for majoritarian democracy is quite inspiring.

Posted by: zimbar | November 5, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Bernie - I'm sorry to say, but that's silly. Oil is a fungible resource. If Iraq is selling its oil to anyone, it increases global supplies by a given amount. We no more control Iraq's oil than one can control a gallon of water dumped in a swimming pool.

Now, you could consider contracts for working on Iraq's oil infrastructure as a plum prize. Given that those go out for bid and the multinational nature of these corporations, not much of a prize for the US and certainly not worth the expenditure. It would have been easier to present Halliburton with a $100B check. Oh wait. We did.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 5, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Yes Scott, its because we are educated and they are not.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I didn't believe it.

That said, it would have been nice if, say, way back when then trip was announced someone had asked Gibbs or State, like, what's the scope ($$, staff support, etc.) of the outreach, what do you intend to accomplish, and why.

It was excellent propaganda though.

HEY BERNIE!!!!

Posted by: tao9 | November 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Which midwestern Whites? The ones who always vote in mid-terms (older, middle class)? I doubt the majority of those folks voted for Democrats in 2008.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 5, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@ashotinthedark: "I'm just trying to figure out why some Republicans have become so critical of Palin and are voicing that criticism"

Because Palin is rogue, and was demonstrably not a good kingmaker when it came to the general election? Because she's not "my party, right or wrong", but "my Palin, right, right right"?

BTW, I'm not being critical of Palin. Love her. But I think she's building her fortunes on being a thorn in the side of the establishment GOP, and also can't win in a general presidential election. So, it's understandable why many establishment Republicans don't like her. They think she represents a danger to the party's electoral prospects is she runs for president and wins the primary (both of which are possible). I suspect many of them believe she would not only lose (I tend to agree) but lose profoundly, and they don't want to see the GOP take a Mondale-level drubbing. I don't think that would happen. But I don't think they'd be any happier to find out Beck or Hannity were running for the presidency. The establishment GOP (and there are many of them among elected Republicans and their consultants and hangers-on) are in it to win elections.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - Thank you SO much for the Troll Hunter. It seems to be working perfectly!

No more PLRA!

Posted by: nisleib | November 5, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin-

Troll Hunter deeds notwithstanding (thanks again) my estimation of you just went down a notch with the "Love Palin" comment. Unless you are being ironic and love her for her entertainment value only.

Statements like the "real America" are the winger version of the "elitist" tag that we liberal supposedly are.

Say it aint so...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticstill: "Do the local righties believe this story? What do you think about the 'folks' the are pushing it?"

Which part is untrue? The amount of money spent or who is going on the trip? Or are both parts untrue? I'm agnostic on the specifics, because I haven't done my own research, and probably won't on this story.

However, even if it's completely false, and Obama is in fact flying coach and staying at the Mumbai Motel 6, I have no doubt that, if this were Bush, the same, and much worse, would be coming from any media and punditry even marginally left-of-center. And something about extraordinary rendition and secret CIA prisons would be thrown in, for good measure.

I think it's just the nature of the partisan political environment we exist in, and the "ends justifies the means" or "kitchen sink" approach those out of power have towards those in power.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"But I think she's building her fortunes..."

This is a point upon which we can all agree.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post on why White House may cave on the Bush tax cuts:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yay White Men! Boo Diversity!

But the more than 100 newly elected lawmakers who will soon descend on Capitol Hill for freshman orientation collectively do not look like America. Flipping through their portraits, you see a blur of white men. Ninety-seven are men, and 12 are women. Although some contests remain too close to be called, it appears this might be the first election cycle in 32 years that the number of women in Congress does not increase.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/03/AR2010110308373.html

It's about time white men got a chance to lead this country!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence12: "wbgonne, just be gone already"

Just wanted to remind you, there's always the WaPo Troll Hunter.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"It's about time white men got a chance to lead this country!"

They are taking their country back.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"There's a reason so many Republican voters seem confused about current events -- they're lied to as a matter of course."

This from Benen's most recent post over at Washington Monthly. It's at the end of a story about the Prez's trip to India and the Right Wing freak-out, but it applies to just about everything (Death Panels, ACORN, going to war in Iraq, etc., etc., etc.), doesn't it.
And I agree with tao's comment, that somebody might have wanted to do some actual journalism to demonstrate how this freak-out is false. But. . .

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026491.php

Posted by: Michigoose | November 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

White men still hold most of the power. There are more white men in congress, on the SCOTUS, in the boardrooms, than any other demographic. Sure, they don't hold ALL the power currently, but they do have the vast majority.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@ChuckInDenton: "Troll Hunter deeds notwithstanding (thanks again) my estimation of you just went down a notch with the 'Love Palin' comment. Unless you are being ironic and love her for her entertainment value only."

Neither ironic, nor just in regards to entertainment value. And did I say I loved Palin? I meant . . . I looooooovveee Palin. For many reasons, some of them perhaps counterintuitive, but I love her just the same.

While many of my fellow rocked-ribbed conservatives might disagree, I characterize myself as a rock-ribbed conservatives.

While I am sad to have lost some of your respect for holding an opinion of someone that you disagree with, I'm afraid I will have to solider on, nevertheless. I suspect you will do the same.

Because, frankly, you've lost some of my respect. Because you respect me less. And anyone who thinks I'm anything less than totally awesome . . . I have a hard time respecting that. /snark

That being said, I'm glad you like the Troll Hunter. Feel free to use it on me, if necessary. I'm as blockable as the next guy. :P

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"Yes Scott, its because we are educated and they are not."

Being educated doesn't mean one has even the slightest clue about what someone else values.

The true arrogance and authoritarian nature of liberals is displayed not so much in their belief that they know better than the less "educated" how to achieve particular ends, but rather from the absolute conviction that they know best what ends the "uneducated" (and everyone, for that matter) ~should~ be seeking.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Your "act" is not comparable.

Or actually, it is comparable if one has a cast of mind that can confound logic and common sense, for the purpose of rote denunciation, by comparing 40 years of action and response by multiple opposing moral or immoral agents of countless political, cultural and national allegiances; and crytallize it into...

One Single Act, by some concentrated malign force, that you will identify as...

Us. Naturally.

Because we suck, everyone, of course, except Bernie (et.al.).

Posted by: tao9 | November 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

However, even if it's completely false, and Obama is in fact flying coach and staying at the Mumbai Motel 6, I have no doubt that, if this were Bush, the same, and much worse, would be coming from any media and punditry even marginally left-of-center. And something about extraordinary rendition and secret CIA prisons would be thrown in, for good measure.

I think it's just the nature of the partisan political environment we exist in, and the "ends justifies the means" or "kitchen sink" approach those out of power have towards those in power.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 10:35 AM

That's total horsesh*t, KW. So long as the so-called "reasonable" people on both sides continue this "I don't know/care if it's true, all I know is the other side would do the same" BS ... I don't even know what to say.

Please show me one time, somewhere, where President Bush or Laura for that matter, was criticized for travelling on state business?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | November 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Have I mentioned lately how much I <3 Kirsten Gillibrand?

The Record newspaper reports that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR'-sten JIHL'-uh-brand) of New York has asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to redirect the money to the Long Island Rail Road's East Side Access Project and the construction of the Second Avenue subway line.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/11/ny_makes_bid_for_3b_marked_for_nj_rail_tunnel.php

Yes yes yes. Finish 2nd Ave tunnel please! Jersey can wait in traffic, as they apparently want to do, but sorry, outta the way, we NYers, we've got stuff to do.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

ScottC: "The true arrogance and authoritarian nature of liberals..."

Hilarious.

We're "authoritarian" because we think that everyone ~should~ get an education.

Everyone should seek to be educated about the world and strive for excellence in their desired field.

OMG, I'm such an arrogant authoritarian!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Being educated doesn't mean one has even the slightest clue..."

Dang it, all those years I spent in school, all for naught. But seriously, some of my best friends are hayseeds, folks who just fell off a turnip truck, who keep voting to make the rich richer (viz next thread), hoping maybe this time some of all that borrowed money will trickle down and "create" some jobs for them to work.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin- I'm not so much suprised that Palin is being criticized, but that it is being done so publicly. What happens in the off chance that she actually wins a nomination?

Claw- Killing off Republicans seems to be an odd bragging point for....a republican. And Palin can wear the rejection of the likes of Rove and Gerson as a badge of honor for her Tea Party credentials, but I'm not sure that independents or even moderate republicans will see that as such a positive.

As for your point about the MAIN reason Angle and O'Donnell lost, I don't get your point. They were bad candidates (as Gerson pointed out) so they didn't get enough people to vote for them. I'm just confused why you (and skip does this too) are so eager to point out that Republican losses are Republican's holding themselves responsible.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 5, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@tao: "Because we suck, everyone, of course, except Bernie (et.al.)."

That's because Bernie's Canadian. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Ashot, KW,

Speaking of Palin being a joke and hurting the GOP... Did you guys see this yesterday?

-Kondracke: Palin’s a ‘joke’-

Kondracke discussed whether Palin could be the 2012 nominee: "She's a joke even within her own party," Kondracke said. "The idea that she would be the presidential nominee is unthinkable."

Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, then said: "Think of Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint as the new faces of the Republican Party. It's a nightmare for the party, but I think the adults will have a hard time talking about them with anything but complete and utter respect."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/1110/Kondracke_Palins_a_joke.html

Classic!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So many good things in the column this morning to rile me up. I'll have to do more than one post. Feel free to troll me if you need to.

Paul Krugman, the ultimate intellectual terrorist, the man who has never run for office, never engaged in business, never tried to risk any of his on theories in the real world where he might fail, the ultimate know-it-all critic and bomb thrower; accuses Bayh, a man who actually put his hat in the ring and tried to accomplish something, Krugman cals someone ELSE a coward??????????


GOT IT!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@ashot: " I'm not so much suprised that Palin is being criticized, but that it is being done so publicly. What happens in the off chance that she actually wins a nomination?"

The Republicans criticizing her think that's a guaranteed loss, not to mention a huge PR struggle (and perhaps negative coat tails), so there's no downside to trying to keep her out of the nomination process and, if in the primaries, attempting to keep her from getting the nod. They consider it a guaranteed loss, anyway, and they aren't likely to be the folks in Palin's inner circle, should a miracle occur and she wins.

"As for your point about the MAIN reason Angle and O'Donnell lost, I don't get your point. They were bad candidates (as Gerson pointed out) so they didn't get enough people to vote for them. I'm just confused why you (and skip does this too) are so eager to point out that Republican losses are Republican's holding themselves responsible."

Did I do that? I think the main reason Angle and O'Donnell lost was that they were bad candidates. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. And I've said repeatedly they were bad candidates (especially O'Donnell, but Angle, too) leading up to the election.

I don't think I suggested that Republican losses are just Republicans holding Republicans responsible (although I have certainly said the base if fired up, and isn't going to have any patience for even being polite, much less actual compromise, but I think that's a different thing).

I think the Republicans fielded numerous weak candidates in this cycle. Republican victories were mostly a product of weak Democratic candidates, poor messaging, and a bad economy. I also don't think the "why won't you stupid people vote for me" vibe that sometimes comes out helped them, either. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Greg, how does the Murray win jibe with your pre-election screed that secret cash was the end of the world?

Also to be obvious, how come we have never seen your column on the election night exit polling that showed secret cash was the top issue in how many people voted?

I know, I know I won't hold my breath waiting for a response.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

What's your next post, 54465446?

But but but... Teh India Trip gakgak! ;)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"But seriously, some of my best friends are hayseeds, folks who just fell off a turnip truck, who keep voting to make the rich richer (viz next thread), hoping maybe this time some of all that borrowed money will trickle down and "create" some jobs for them to work."

Well, if your "friends" are actually telling you this, then it is no wonder you have such contempt for them. It seems more likely, however, that this is just your spin, and is hence more an expression of your contempt than a justification for it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

5446whatever, I think Ken Buck is supposed to have received the most secret cash of any candidate this cycle, he lost too.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/16810-1

But lets not worry about Dino, he'll be back, like a plate of bad oysters.

And I could not agree with you more on your Krugman point. Krugman, joking aside, is an excellent specimen, Exhibit A, a fine example of ScottC3's point in re the effete liberalklatura.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticstill: "That's total horsesh*t, KW."

Well, not to me. And not in my experience.

"So long as the so-called 'reasonable' people on both sides continue this 'I don't know/care if it's true, all I know is the other side would do the same' BS ... I don't even know what to say."

"Please show me one time, somewhere, where President Bush or Laura for that matter, was criticized for travelling on state business?"

I believe it started with Bush's 2nd Inaugural Ball, which was smaller than either of Clinton's, and cost a whopping $40 million. Compared to the $150 million price tag of Obama's in a crashing economy. ABC did a poll on how many people thought Bush's Inaugural Ball was too expensive. No poll on the $150 million price tag of Obama's Inaugural. No NYT articles on the inadvisability of such lavish expense.

In both cases, the majority of the expense was funded by tickets and private donations. But, still, Bush was called out being overly lavish with his Inaugural spending, when he spent less than 1/3rd of what Obama spent on his first Inaugural.

Bush was repeatedly criticized for goofing off while the country suffered, yet Obama has played more rounds of golf in under 2 years than Bush did in 8. I'm not praising or attacking either, but different sides have, without a doubt, approached these particular pieces of trivia very differently.

Compare the approach of Michelle Obama's wardrobe to Palin's during the campaign. Etc.

Both sides do it. They may do it in somewhat different ways or pick different battles--or feel presented with different opportunities--but they do. This is partisanship.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"That it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone."

Of course, his critics won't see this as a concession at all, since he only conceded a failure to sell his agenda, rather than a fundamental public rejection of it."


No, his critics, of which I am one, believe that he is certainly correct. He passed some really influential legislation that needed some heavy lifters to explain it, charismatic talkers who speak the language of the people.

Unfortunately, his admininstration might go down as having the WORST group of communicators in high level positions since the Carter years.

Try to sell any policy driven by the loathesome Reid and Pelosi and see how far you get, but that's not the President's fault.

The we move to the patently ridiculous Christina Romer, who left commentators on CNBC laughing about what she said after her every appearance. Move to the mute Tim Geithner, who makes Alan Greenspan seem unpretentious, the inert Hillary Clinton, the shadowy Robert Gates, very uncomfortable in front of the cameras, the lightweight David Axelrod, and so on.

It was extraordinarily telling that 10 years out of office they were still relying on Bill Clinton in the re-election campaign because there was no one else to go to

Yes, give the man credit for being right, that his people did a terrible selling job, but also the blame for picking them.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

" Raul Grijalva hangs on: CNN calls it for the Arizona Congressman, who was a major voice articulating liberal priorities in the House over the last two years.

* And: Grijalva vows to keep on keepin' on, asserting that the House progressive caucus will block any efforts by Obama to be overly conciliatory to the new GOP majority."

NICE! Grijalva is certainly the man to listen to. After all, how many Congressmen are so incredibly stupid that they call for people to boycott their own state, and then barely squeak by in a race against a 28 year old rocket scientist running for the first time with no money, name recognition or national party support (all of which you somehow forgot to include in the column Greg).

Now there's a man whose political instincts I would trust!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - You're talking about two totally different things. 1 - Criticizing the cost of official travel. 2 - Criticizing the cost of an Inaugural Ball. 3 - Criticizing time spent off on vacation. Furthermore, the figure you cite was the total cost of the inauguration, not that of the inaugural ball.

Rather than go for the off-topic distraction, please feel free to cite any MSM articles criticizing Bush for official state travel.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Also: He notes that Sharron Angle's race-baiting immigration ads are what helped Reid build a non-white coalition to offset those losses."

So is ok then to call Reid's vocal promotion of the Dream Act race-pandering in his re-election campaign?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Bush was not on vacation when he was in Crawford, he was clearing brush.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"It was liberal apathy and job loss, stupid: Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin dig deep into the demographics to make the case that the elections were not an endorsement of the conservative agenda."

Greg, you've been making this case for three days now. You don't need any help. We get it the Dems won and the Reps lost. Isn't this just piling on? LOL

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

As Bogart said "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Well, if your "friends" are actually telling you this, then it is no wonder you have such contempt for them."

And I do, I keep them around to condescend to, to train them up so to speak. I scratch their fuzzy heads and flip them treats now and then to show I care. Sometimes, if they act like they can think for themselves, I have to scold them, but gently, I don't want to damage what little self-esteem they have (after all, what's to admire?). To the uneducated, I must seem like lord and master.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

You do me a total injustice. The trip's numbers are ridiculous and a total lie by that idiot Bachmann.

You wanna talk about Palin. Is there any state in the union that takes elections less seriously than Minnesota?

Ventura, Wellstone, Franken, Bachmann, who's next to run there Stewart or Colbert?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin- Sorry, I meant the second part of my post to be addressed to claw.

The more I think about the treatment of Palin the more it makes sense. There is no way a Palin supporter is going to get so mad that they vote for a dem. They may sit out the elections, but even that seems unlikely.
Is there any chance she runs as a 3rd party candidate? She'll have enough money to do it I think. That seems like the most likely way that this treatment of Palin could come back to bite the GOP. If they make her mad enough, she might not care that she ends up costing them the election.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Good point ashot, she hooked up with Tancredo, Miller, McDonnell, she is fully capable of deep sixing Republican prospects to advance her own.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, O'Donnell, how could I have confused Ed Gillespie's creation, Mr. Confederate History Month, with Bible Spice?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour would be almost as good a GOP nominee as Sarah Palin...if you're President Obama.

He's a real-life Foghorn Leghorn. "I say, I say, boy!"

Posted by: Observer691 | November 5, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@54465446: "So is ok then to call Reid's vocal promotion of the Dream Act race-pandering in his re-election campaign?"

Doing the right thing for non-citizens who volunteer to serve to protect America in the U.S. military is now "race-pandering"?!?!

Hilarious.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

Do you really think that the military wants to be inundated by people who are only there to get citizenship????? They don't even want the draft back, let alone this.

I'm quite sure that you can't be serious about this. People in the military are unanimous in their opposition. Do your own research.

(Nice try at invoking pseudo-patriotic language though. Fox would be proud! LOL)

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Barbour is probably running for vice-president, not president. He could only make it as a balance to say Romney on the top of the ticket.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Kevin has left the building.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 5, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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