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The smoke clears from the wreckage

With the full extent of last night's damage slowly coming into view, the consensus appears to be that last night's Dem losses of roughly 60 House seats effectively wiped away the geographic and demographic gains Dems made in their 2006 and 2008 wave elections.

This kind of analysis isn't really my thing, so let's turn it over to Ron Brownstein:

In a geographic reflection of Obama's weakness among blue-collar white voters, a partial count showed that Republicans captured the seats of at least 35 House Democrats in districts where the percentage of whites with a college degree lags the national average of 30.4 percent. House Democrats elected in 2006 and 2008, when George W. Bush's weakness allowed the party to expand deep into traditionally Republican terrain, also suffered heavy losses.

Geographically, Democrats were especially hard hit through the border states and industrial Midwest: The party lost five House seats in Ohio, five in Pennsylvania, three in Tennessee, two in Indiana, and at least three in Illinois. Meanwhile, Republicans captured governorships in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, flipped Senate seats in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois, and easily held an open Republican seat in Ohio.

But the election's blast radius extended well beyond those highly-vulnerable categories. Besides the freshman and sophomore Democrats, the election also claimed veteran House leaders such as Ike Skelton of Missouri, Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania and John Spratt of South Carolina. While the House losses were greatest in downscale blue-collar districts, Democrats also lost white-collar suburban seats in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and the Philadelphia suburbs, and failed to carry the suburban seat vacated by Mark Kirk, the successful GOP Senate challenger in Illinois. Those losses also extended the Democrats' vulnerability beyond swing states to reliably blue states that have been cornerstones of the party's coalition since the 1990s.

George Bush's stratospheric levels of unpopularity dating back to 2006, followed by the historic nature of Obama's candidacy and an economic crisis that shattered confidence in the GOP among swing voters, allowed Dems to dramatically expand their geographic and demographic reach in a way that created an artificial sense of transformation.

What we will now debate endlessly is why voters gave Dems only two years to win them over before reverting back to their original pattern. The answer to this question (or answers; a bruising debate lies ahead) will help determine how Dems should proceed as they pick their way out of the wreckage.


UPDATE, 10:03 a.m.: Obviously Dems have controlled Congress for four years. What I meant was that the voters who moved towards Dems as part of the 2006 and 2008 waves only gave them two years of one party rule before reverting rather dramatically back to their previous pattern.

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 9:24 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Another big Tea Party defeat in Colorado?

Comments

We are back to 2004 - only this time the democrats do not have the Iraq War to abandon for domestic gain or Bush to kick around anymore.

The democrats will not have those issues anymore.

The democrats will have to put forth a viable Economic plan and run on that. The liberal agenda is completely dead.


.

Posted by: TeaPartyTonight | November 3, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The maps are amazing to look at. The democrats have been relegated to these little tiny gerrymandered districts on both coasts.

The democrats are beginning to look like a regional party.

The democrats hold New York and California, and a bunch of small states - but one has to wonder how long they can hold onto that given the financial issues in each state and the lack of an Economic plan by the democrats.


.

Posted by: TeaPartyTonight | November 3, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I hope that I am wrong about the disasters I expect to see in the next 2 years. Is there any chance the the House GOP has any plan whatsoever to move the country forward or will they simply move forward with their stated plan to ensure the demise of President Obama. The economy is still a mess and if the Republicans do not have any plans to make any worthwhile contribution to solving the economic crisis and would rather continue to ensure failure, this could easily become an apocalyptic depression. I'm afraid that's exactly what the right wants to occur and they will simply be working to blame the problems on the President.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | November 3, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The democrats had 4 years in control of Congress.

One analysis that is may be valid - the American People's support for the democrats was only "anti-war deep"

Which means that the American People bought into the "anti-war" aspects of the democratic platforms - but all the domestic agenda stuff the people wanted nothing of.


The democrats came into Congress in 2006 on an anti-war policy - and those issues have been worked out.

Obama was obviously wrong to attempt to translate the support the democrats had for the "anti-war and anti-Bush agenda" into support for the far left agenda.

Obama was obviously wrong to believe that any "anti-Bush" sentiment was a reflection of his peraonal popularity - but that is just ego.


Going forward: The democrats need an Economic plan and Obama needs to compromise on health care.

in short: The democrats need to start listening to people like me

Posted by: TeaPartyTonight | November 3, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

With the Democrats telling themselves that the recession, not the policies is why they took a drubbing yesterday, the logical progression of things to come spells disaster for Democrats. There is a denial that the people reject the socialist/egalitarian model for government. And with this denial will come more of the same; with more of the same, the resentment will grow and spread.

Because the legislature needs cooperation with the senate, it will not be able to forward any bill to the president that Harry Reid does not agree to. And though Republicans control the legislature they will be helpless and ineffective at stopping President Obama from implementing the egalitarian agenda through executive order.

But things are changing with the people. People are educating themselves and it is making them alert to the ideology of Marx, Mao and Stalin. Tea Party gatherings discuss Enlightenment philosophy, the history and the struggles that gave us liberty, as they did in the taverns of the eighteenth century. They are beginning to see that we have become complacent about our freedom and that BS has taken us down this road. And, they are "enlightening' others; that is a game changer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ_KFhBUFb0

Posted by: corneliusvansant | November 3, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Election 2010 is strong evidence, if not proof, that the Obamanation is a flash-in-the-pan phenomena. Somehow, left-wingers got one past the filter in 2008. 2010 seems to be a correction of that error.

The Democrat party is making the Republican party stronger with every election cycle that the Democrats win. This is absolutely true.

In 2008, the loopy liberals were dancing on the imagined grave of the Republican party. They said it had been reduced to a second rate, regional, old, white mans party. What a shipload of fools those liberals are. That is what the Republican party WAS about 60 years ago.

The Democrats changed that starting in the 1960s. When the left-wingnuts took control of the Democrat party, it set in motion forces that made the Republican party a national powerhouse.

The Obamanation may have completed the process of making the Republican party Americas dominant party for generations to come the way Roosevelt made the Democrat party dominant after WWII.

2012 will tell the rest of the story.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 3, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

My hope is that Obama says "I heard what the American People were saying. I get it. No more tangential issues like healthcare and cap and trade. We need jobs."

He should be singlemindedly focused on job creation until unemployment is back below 8%.

Posted by: sold2u | November 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to seeing where the first serious spending cuts are proposed by the House GOP. I should probably get comfortable because they're won't be any.

Posted by: cao091402 | November 3, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The democrats have been relegated to these little tiny gerrymandered districts on both coasts."

This is also known as "Where a lot of people live". O'Malley just won the MD gubernatorial campaign by 12 points but only won in 4 counties: Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard, and Charles, plus Baltimore City. What do those places have in common? People live there. Go crazy winning in Garrett and Wicomico counties. That and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee.

Posted by: cao091402 | November 3, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Based on the counts so far the Tea Party insurgent candidates had a very bad night in the senate. O'Donnell, Angle, and Miller are all finished or nearly so; Buck may well be- we'll have to wait for the final results.

I hesitate to count Rubio as a Tea-Party insurgent, as based on his victory speech, he seems pretty boiler-plate republican to me.

In short, you folks got Rand Paul and Ron Johnson. Toomey, Portman, Blunt, et al are just GOP wins.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | November 3, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

cao is fooling himself if he (she?) (it?) thinks that folks on the right have no ideas about how to cut spending.
here's a nice first pass on the first 343 billion in spending cuts:
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/10/How-to-Cut-343-Billion-from-the-Federal-Budget

Many of us have though long and hard about how to cut spending. This will be difficult work as the folks whose ox is about to be gored will fight like heck to keep their lips firmly wrapped around the public nipple.

But cut we must. Our other option is Greece writ large. Who amoung us wants to live in a country where the unions are more powerful than the people themselves? Seen what the Greek public service unions are doing in Germany and Switzerland? I can easily see the AFSCME and SEIU thugs sending the same message.

So it is literally now or never. We have to reduce the 1.3 million member federal civilian workforce. We have to stop the gifts of our children's money that went to the states so that they could sustain their union compensation packages for another year or so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans captured the seats of at least 35 House Democrats in districts where the percentage of whites with a college degree lags the national average of 30.4 percent. "

Did Brownstein make this point when the Democrats won those districts?

"Oh, that explains it. The voters there aren't educated!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 3, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"People are educating themselves and it is making them alert to the ideology of Marx, Mao and Stalin. "

hahahah.....bwwwahhahhaha....oh god..hahahhaa

I can't help myself please stop....ahahahahah...

hooohoohoohoho...hehehe....my stomach hurts!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of gerrymandering, it should be noted that the Republicans took a large number of state governments. This means that for many states the Republicans will drive the reapportionment process.

Here in Ohio we'll lose at least one house seat, maybe two. The Democrats string of pearls that runs along the Lake Erie coast has to be a juicy target when redistricting starts. It will a tough battle but I'm glad that Kasich is in and Strickland is out.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"In a geographic reflection of Obama's weakness among blue-collar white voters, a partial count showed that Republicans captured the seats of at least 35 House Democrats in districts where the percentage of whites with a college degree lags the national average of 30.4 percent."

Why? Two reasons working in concert: first, the GOP's multi-decade Southern Strategy, which is designed to use wedge social issues to get working Americans to vote against their own economic interest; second, the Democrats' turn from economic populism to Republicrat corporatism. So as the Democrats abandon Working Americans economically the GOP provides motivation and additional fuel for anti-Democratoc sentiment. It is a deadly and synergistic combination that Obama and the Dems MUST address immediately if they hope to revive in 2012.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Many of us have though long and hard about how to cut spending."

Or, you could say, many of us typed in askherritage.org and read a bunch of propaganda.

"Our other option is Greece writ large."

Funny but Goldmann Sachs was helping them hide their debt for ages. Now, what other country misery did GS screw over to profit from? hrmmm.

Oh yeah, that would us.

We are nothing like Greece. We will never be Greece. Where is your American Exceptionalism? Gone down the drain with Boehner's tears?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Democrats were especially hard hit through the border states and FORMERLY industrial Midwest"

Yadda, yadda,what the people are saying with these back to back to back swings...we don't like business as usual. Republicans who think this is about making a comeback are going to be sorely disappointed if they make a bunch more excuses about their own earmarks and their own legacy of unfunded mandates, their years long inability to do anything for working people (and I too despise SEIU and AFSCME I am talking about working people, not corrupt bargains done with public employee unions) and stupid wars without end, but that is another topic.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Denver Post has called the Senate race there for Bennett. Another TP loss...

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 3, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "which is designed to use wedge social issues to get working Americans to vote against their own economic interest . . . Obama and the Dems MUST address immediately if they hope to revive in 2012"

I think telling the voters that they are so stupid that they voted against their own interests because they are gullible and easily duped by irrelevant social issues is a great campaign strategy. I hope the Democrats run with it. 2012 will be a Democratic resurgence for sure!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The American People do not like one-party rule. They prefer the "checks and balances" of two-party rule.

Clearly, the liberal agenda is not wanted by the American People - it has now been rejected twice in "wave" elections.

The 2006 and 2008 elections did not indicate any level of support nationally for the domestic agenda of the democrats, that is clear, even through the smoke of the wreckage today.

There is smoke rising from the wreckage of the democratic party - however the fact that the American people will constantly reject the liberal agenda whenever they can is clear.


__________________________________

An important note: In the three largest democratic States - Illinois, New York and California there are major budget problems and the state governments have virtually passed into a status of disfuntionality.

The State budgets in those States are jammed with union contracts.


The "democratic political model" has become structurally unsound. By that the recent (a few decades) democratic party model in which the democratic party derives significant support and money from the unions - and when elected, the democratic elected officials negotiate contracts with the unions in talks which are not really arm-length.

This is important now, very important now.

In each of those three States, there is almost complete gridlock in the State legislatures and the union contracts have weighed down the State, County and Local areas. This can be directly traced to the union contracts - which are negotiated with lawyers - not really determined on the floors of the legislatures.


This process is not working anymore.

The whole model is structurally broken.

Posted by: SunlightRays | November 3, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

mike,

It's "American Except-them-ism." Just ask Sharron Angle.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 3, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

All, big news out of Colorado, looks like Ken Buck may go down:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 3, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Last night was a extraordinary examply why all of you book-learning, IQ fetishists don't understand politics.

What did we hear last night? We are told that NOW when it doesn't matter AT ALL a deal is going to be made on extending the tax cuts. How stupid can any Dem leader be, regardless of degreed pedigree? If the Dems had gotten this deal done 6 months ago, it would have made at least some difference. Doing the deal now, not only means the Dems DON'T get any credit at all, BUT the Reps get credit for having some kind of mandate to do this!!!!!!

So all of you Palin-bashing, blue collar hating, undisclosed donor scared, patrons of this board PLEASE suspend your superior intellignece posts, just for today!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"...Palin-bashing, blue collar hating, undisclosed donor scared, patrons of this board PLEASE suspend your superior intellignece posts..."

Isn't it a little early to be drinking?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

In other words Mike, you have no valid response to the ideas put forth by Heritage. If you did, you'd offer them instead of the bitter snot that seems to be the standard rhetorical posture of liberals these days.

I'll say it again: we have thought about how to cut. And we will do so.

Your goldman sachs retort is a laughable attempt to change the subject. The simple fact is this: the public service unions spend a fortune to keep Democrats in power because Democrats continually reward the unions with more taxpayer money. so the taxpayers are funding the campaigns of politicians who then demand more taxes to reward the thugs who got them elected.

I see Greece writ large. the fact that you don't is just a function of your dogma. You must believe that liberalism solves everything. That's just how true believers are.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

You pretend that the Right Wing is not engaged in a massive propaganda campaign on behalf of Big Business and at the expense of average Americans who subsidize corporate profits by bearing the costs of production externalities. And you also pretend that, even if there is such a propaganda campaign it can't work because propaganda is not effective.

As to the first point, read Invisible Hands. Until then, you're just living in your own fantasy world.

As to the second, well if you believe that propaganda doesn't work then you are really a propagandist's dream. Beyond that, if you are correct the Plutocrats sure are wasting a lot of money (though lord knows they've got plenty of it after 40 years of transferring wealth from Working People to Big Business).

Your insistence that uneducated people are not uneducated and that propaganda is ineffective are simply additional examples of the Radical Right's War On Reality. But what else should be expected from a booster of President Palin?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Skip-
"cao is fooling himself if he (she?) (it?) thinks that folks on the right have no ideas about how to cut spending."

I don't think cao said the right has no ideas, I think the question is whether or not they are anything more than ideas. Given what happend before 2006, I think it's fair to question whether the right is any more fiscally responsible than the left.

As I've seen first hand with the City of Detroit, people are all for cutting things until it impacts them. And politicians are all for cutting things until it costs them votes, which it inevitably will.

How can either party seriously talk about fiscal responsibility after all they money they spent on the elections?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

shrink wrote:

"...Palin-bashing, blue collar hating, undisclosed donor scared, patrons of this board PLEASE suspend your superior intellignece posts..."

Isn't it a little early to be drinking?"

You were "the better team" you just lost the game, right? A loser argument if ever I heard one.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

How can cutting jobs - any jobs - be the proper response to 10% unemployment?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | November 3, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Nattering nabobs of negativity now have agent orange, corporate insider John Boner is in the House to speak on their behalf, that is all Republicans won. As if Republicans could stop spending...

Republicans sure have done a lot for America's (formerly) working people. Sure I can't recall anything but it must be true, like a battered spouse, downwardly mobile people keep voting them back, as if they will change this time.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@544: "So all of you Palin-bashing, blue collar hating, undisclosed donor scared, patrons of this board PLEASE suspend your superior intellignece posts, just for today!"

If they could do that, then they wouldn't have lost 50+ seats. ;)

@wbgonne: "You pretend that the Right Wing is not engaged in a massive propaganda campaign on behalf of Big Business and at the expense of average Americans who subsidize corporate profits by bearing the costs of production externalities."

That's a lot of words in one sentence. What I "pretend" is that if I make a positive case for myself and put my best foot forward, and paint a pretty rosy picture about what will happen if you do things my way, it's the same thing, no matter which side is doing it.

"Americans subsidize corporate profits" . . . and corporations are created by, owned, run by, and employ . . . Americans. So, yes, I suspect that is indeed the case.


"And you also pretend that, even if there is such a propaganda campaign it can't work because propaganda is not effective."

Advertising doesn't always work. Just ask Coca-Cola about how that big New Coke campaign turned out.

"As to the first point, read Invisible Hands. Until then, you're just living in your own fantasy world."

If it's an impenetrable conspiracy, wbgonne, how come there's a book out about it?

"As to the second, well if you believe that propaganda doesn't work then you are really a propagandist's dream. "

Well, like the man who finally got his wife to consent to a threesome with her best friend--and then found out they both seemed much more interested in each other than in him--I think I'm kind of a 3rd wheel in this conversation. I don't think propaganda isn't effective, but it certainly isn't everything. Most political advertising makes me dislike the advertiser. When was the last Republican you were propagandized into voting for?

Clearly, propaganda has it's limits. But more importantly, it isn't the only explanation--or even the primary one--as to why people vote in a way you don't think they should.

"Beyond that, if you are correct the Plutocrats sure are wasting a lot of money "

I'm down with you! I am a hundred percent behind the Democrats launching a "Down with Plutocrats" campaign. A guaranteed winner.

"Your insistence that uneducated people are not uneducated and that propaganda is ineffective are simply additional examples of the Radical Right's War On Reality. But what else should be expected from a booster of President Palin?"

All I can see is that, with that orientation, I am slightly bemused that your side didn't lose more last night, or that it ever gained that much to begin with. But then, I look at the quality of the Republicans, and I understand it, even if I don't particularly like it.

"Oh, I see why we lost, the voters in these states are ignorant!"

It's a great campaign strategy. You should use the dumf***istan post election map some witty liberal came up with after the 2004 election. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

here, folks, is the current liberal dogma, summed up nicely by wbgone:
==================
Why? Two reasons working in concert: first, the GOP's multi-decade Southern Strategy, which is designed to use wedge social issues to get working Americans to vote against their own economic interest; second, the Democrats' turn from economic populism to Republicrat corporatism. So as the Democrats abandon Working Americans economically the GOP provides motivation and additional fuel for anti-Democratoc sentiment. It is a deadly and synergistic combination that Obama and the Dems MUST address immediately if they hope to revive in 2012.
===============
The underlying assumption is that liberalism is best for everyone and anyone who doesn't get that is just too stupid to live anyway. yeah right. Like Kevin, I hope you guys run on that next cycle.

Understanding America's working class is vital to electoral success. Here's the facts:
"Since 1960, Democrats have simultaneously controlled the White House and Congress with large supermajorities four times: 1965–66, 1977–80, 1993–94, and 2009–10. In each of the three previous instances, Democrats suffered landslide reversals in Congress within four years of obtaining their supermajorities. They will do so again this year. The only time they did not also then lose the presidency was in 1996, when the triangulator Bill Clinton was reelected. Is this a coincidence?"

Henry Olson, author of the above, doesn't think so. He thinks the defeats were the result of the ascendency of liberals in the Democrat party. They pushed too far to fast and the bed rock Americans responded negatively.

Here's Mr Olson's analysis of the Democrat's problem:
"One can begin to arrive at the political problem of liberal progressivism when one notes that each of those reversals saw the white working class abandon Democrats in record numbers. Nixon’s Silent Majority, Reagan Democrats, angry white males — these catchphrases from those past elections are merely euphemisms for the white working class. In each election, it was their defection that cost the Democrats their majorities and gave victory to the GOP, and polls and casual observation suggest that the white working class is in revolt against President Obama"


it ain't the "southern strategy" or republican boogie men or stupid people voting against their interest. It is a fundamental lack of understanding of the working class that drives these repudiations. Looking at the way liberals refer to these folks here, the problem for them is obvious.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"...it ain't...stupid people voting against their interest."

Oh yes, it certainly is, but we can agree to disagree on that point.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

""Americans subsidize corporate profits" . . . and corporations are created by, owned, run by, and employ . . . Americans. So, yes, I suspect that is indeed the case."

You can't possible be that obtuse. Corporations are run by the SuperRich, some of whom are Americans and some of whom aren't. Either way, it is the Plutocrats who benefit not average Americans. Over the past 40 years corporate profits have been enhanced under the guise of deregulation and subsidization, which means that the extraction and disposal costs of corporate products have been shifted from corporations to regular American citizens who bear the costs by way of degradation of our common environment.

"As to the first point, read Invisible Hands. Until then, you're just living in your own fantasy world."

"If it's an impenetrable conspiracy, wbgonne, how come there's a book out about it?"

Read the book or stop pretending you're interested in the subject.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"...it ain't...stupid people voting against their interest."

Oh yes, it certainly is, but we can agree to disagree on that point.

Posted by: shrink2
---------------------------------------

Even if you are right, what's the point of saying it?

It doesn't facilitate discussion and it's political suicide.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

A propaganda campaign worthy of Goebbels and designed to make Americans slaves to Big Business:

http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/powell_memo_lewis.html

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"...it ain't...stupid people voting against their interest."

Oh yes, it certainly is, but we can agree to disagree on that point.

Posted by: shrink2
---------------------------------------

Even if you are right, what's the point of saying it?

It doesn't facilitate discussion and it's political suicide.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, ashotinthedark. And anyway, I don't think American workers are stupid. But like everyone else they ARE susceptible to propaganda, especially propaganda orchestrated by the the best minds in Big Business (hello, advertising industry). All that aside, the Dems best bet is to cede corporatism to the GOP just run on economic populism. Pure and simple.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

All you Republicans who think they voted for jobs, jobs, jobs...actually no, you didn't. You voted for business as usual and how has that worked for America lately?

I'll bet the Chinese are thrilled with last night's victories for the corporate flaks. Now the rich will get richer, as Lloyd Blankfein calls it, "doing God's work." And you think they might "create" some jobs for AMericans with all that money. Am I right?

"Multinational corporations, such as International Business Machines Corp., Merck and Company Inc. and Caterpillar Inc., that get a big part of profits from overseas will also breathe easier. Under Democratic control of Congress, these companies faced the prospect of higher taxes on overseas profits and potential penalties levied against them for moving jobs to other countries."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575591171988213264.html?wpisrc=nl_wonk

No. America's industries learned a long time ago the "Free" Trade and a healthy American middle class were mutually exclusive. The rich don't need low unemployment to get richer, can't you understand that?

All over the world now and throughout history, countries have had high economic growth that has generated no middle class, with 20-30% unemployment rates. It is bad for social unrest, but there are ways of dealing with that. Republicans are all about income disparity, they have working people thinking that is a good thing.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

sold2u said:

"He should be singlemindedly focused on job creation until unemployment is back below 8%."

The problem with that is that Obama thinks that massive new spending, raising taxes, Obamacare, cap and tax ("green jobs of the future!") are how you "create jobs." He's an economic illiterate. We should hope he goes off instead to focus on his library and legacy, while basking in the glow of his two-year run as Nobel-winning miracle worker.

As for Greg's big question, the answer is simple. Dems were fired because they had unified power unprecedented in recent decades, and the public got a very good dose of their arrogance and overreaching liberalism, and have seen what it is doing to the country. They said they would transform the country, the waters would recede, unemployment would stay reasonably low, all would have health care and pay less for it, etc.

Promised the moon, delivered a crap sandwich. Told the disappointed public they are ungrateful and irrational racists. Oh, and enemies, too. Don't forget enemies.

I can see how shocked Dems are that this was not a winning formula. They are like the junior high kid who suddenly loses his spell of "cool" over the other kids. When you have to start explaining and arguing about it, it's over.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 3, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"And you think they might "create" some jobs for AMericans with all that money. Am I right?'

No! We know it's only the government that creates jobs, through taxes, regulations, etc. Business only ships jobs overseas.

We only vote R because we want there to be no jobs and for Bill Gates and George Soros to have all the money. I have it from Rove personally that these will be the top priorities.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 3, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's talk fiscal responsibility and the electorate.

As I've noted several times now this election wasn't a vote FROR Republicans. It was a vote AGAINST Democrats.

We'd already fired most of the offending Republicans during the early days of our concern about pork and ear marks.

this is from Senator DeMints WSJ editorial today:
"But someone can't be bribed if they aren't for sale. Here is some humble advice on how to recognize and refuse such offers.
First, don't request earmarks. If you do, you'll vote for legislation based on what's in it for your state, not what's best for the country. You will lose the ability to criticize wasteful spending. And, if you dare to oppose other pork-barrel projects, the earmarkers will retaliate against you.
In 2005, Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) offered a measure to kill funding for the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." Before the vote, Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), an appropriator, issued a warning on the Senate floor.
"If we start cutting funding for individual projects, your project may be next," she said. "When Members come down to the floor to vote on this amendment, they need to know if they support stripping out this project, Senator Bond [a Republican appropriator] and I are likely to be taking a long, serious look at their projects to determine whether they should be preserved during our upcoming conference negotiations."
The threat worked. Hardly anyone wanted to risk losing earmarks. The Senate voted 82-15 to protect funding for the Bridge to Nowhere"

so the dynamic is well understood by some members of congress. Many leading Republicans understand that the party was fired for its inability to hew to fiscal probity and that this election is NOT a mandate for them but an opportunity at redemption.

Your Example of Detroit is funny. Was this before or after the mayor was convicted? Was it before or after Ms Conyers got into a shouting match with a school girl?

Just too funny.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"We only vote R because we want there to be no jobs and for Bill Gates and George Soros to have all the money. I have it from Rove personally that these will be the top priorities."

Wow, all this arguing and finally, a converso! Welcome to socialism qb1, we are having a commie cell meeting tonight, Bill Ayers is going to tell us how to eat the rich.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, ashotinthedark. And anyway, I don't think American workers are stupid. But like everyone else they ARE susceptible to propaganda, especially propaganda orchestrated by the the best minds in Big Business (hello, advertising industry). All that aside, the Dems best bet is to cede corporatism to the GOP just run on economic populism. Pure and simple.

Posted by: wbgonne
------------------------------------------

I also agree that workers aren't dumb, but I'm not sure blaming propoganda is a much better political platform. Republicans have effectively equated education to elitism to arrogance. You can look at this board and quickly see that when a liberal. Both sides are confident that they have the best solution, it's just that when liberals say it they are perceived, sometimes rightfully so, as thinking those who oppose them are stupid.

Meanwhile I can't remember how many times I've read about people being duped, or drinking the Kool-aid or some other similar phrase. Yet, somehow those phrases aren't criticized as arrogant in the same way. And that doesn't even being to mention the whole "real American" "take America back" phraseology that infuriates me to no end.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

so the dynamic is well understood by some members of congress. Many leading Republicans understand that the party was fired for its inability to hew to fiscal probity and that this election is NOT a mandate for them but an opportunity at redemption.

Your Example of Detroit is funny. Was this before or after the mayor was convicted? Was it before or after Ms Conyers got into a shouting match with a school girl?

Just too funny.

-----------------------------------------

I'm not comfortable with framing elections the way you do, but I'v expressed my disagreements on that so let's move on. I do have some hope that you are right and that spending will be cut I just hope defense spending is in the discussion, which it likely will not be. At least rhetorically there is agreement that spending needs to be cut, so let's see some compromise by each side. If I'm going to say we need to cut spending I can't raise a big fuss when "my programs" get cut.

As for Detroit, it was after Kwame and there were actual protests (I watched them from my office) when the new Mayor, Dave Bing, cut a few bus lines. Seriously people, the city is so bankrupt it's not even funny, but you're going to fire anyone that tries to cut back.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"I just hope defense spending is in the discussion, which it likely will not be."

You have not been paying attention. Wars pay for themselves or even if they don't there is no budget for them ergo they shouldn't be in the budget.

Also, "defense" spending is what Republicans consider stimulus spending, as if weapons were infrastructure, as if a Boeing job funded by tax dollars were fundamentally better than a community infrastructure job funded by tax dollars. This is because Boeing looks like a private company which we know "creates" jobs and a guy working on a city contract making a bridge earthquake proof, that is a fake "make work" job. Are we clear on this?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"What we will now debate endlessly is why voters gave Dems only two years to win them over before reverting back to their original pattern"

It's pretty clear the debate is over. Two years is plenty of time to tell if someone is incompetent. Obama needs a focus group to figure out what tie to wear in the morning. I heard the dude uses teleprompters at cabinet meetings. Don't know if that is true but I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: peterg73 | November 3, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"You have not been paying attention. Wars pay for themselves or even if they don't there is no budget for them ergo they shouldn't be in the budget.

Also, "defense" spending is what Republicans consider stimulus spending"

Yes, it's often that you hear the Great Depression was ended not because of government spending but because of WWII. Apparently, I have been woefully misinformed on who funded WWII.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

" I'm not sure blaming propoganda is a much better political platform"

I think it has to be done. And it has to be done relentlessly. Call it counter-propaganda. Counter-prop alone isn't enough of course, Dems must provide a positive message of economic populism. But counter-prop is necessary to counteract the propaganda and raise awareness that Big Business is attempting to hijack the country by undermining government (which is the only viable check on runaway corporatism). We'll soon see if the Dems incorporate (yuck yuck) this plank into their foundation or if they even want to be populists at all.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, "defense" spending is what Republicans consider stimulus spending, as if weapons were infrastructure, as if a Boeing job funded by tax dollars were fundamentally better than a community infrastructure job funded by tax dollars. This is because Boeing looks like a private company which we know "creates" jobs and a guy working on a city contract making a bridge earthquake proof, that is a fake "make work" job. Are we clear on this?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Excellent comment. The military industrial complex and the national security state are the gravest threats to our economy and our civil liberties. Think about it: the United States today is essentially the word's arms dealer and that is about all we have for a manufacturing base. Anyone else think that might have a gross distorting impact on our foreign affairs? The Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

my goodness but the nonsense spigot was opened wide for the disappointed liberals here. Every false bit of Liberal Dogma will be repeated for the next few days it seems.

the first bit of liberal dogma to which we're being treated is the "voters were duped" line. True believers MUST believe that their particular faith has all the answers to the problems confronting mankind. Since the voters didn't accept the liberal dogma, even though it is perfect, the fault must be with them!

sorry, that's just arrogance coupled with blind faith.

Next: The people of America vote against their own interest when they vote other than lefty. It is a basic tenent of liberalism that "workers" are better served by a quasi socialist state that "spreads the wealth" The fact that the "workers" don't agree with that is, once again, a function of their failure, not the validity of the faith.

Referring back to the article by Henry Olson, let me share this:
" One of the striking facts about America is how readily we believe that we can prosper through hard work and our own efforts. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly believe this to be true. These polls also show there is a high correlation between the belief that one is in control of one’s life and the belief that one can prosper through one’s own efforts.

Working-class Americans share classic American beliefs very strongly. They value economic growth because they believe they personally benefit from it. Unlike Continental Europeans, working-class voters do not envy the rich. They believe that Bill Gates has earned his billions, and while they do not believe they can become billionaires, they believe their children can."

americans aren't all that interested in spreading the wealth around. That's what the liberals simply don't understand. Americans are interested in working hard and giving their children a better shot than they had. Taking money from "the rich" and giving it to everyone else is the antithesis of what Americans believe.

I'll get to the nonsense about the military shortly.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Ashot: we experienced the same problem when the Cleveland MTA cut some circulator routes last year. yes the battle was tough, but the routes are gone.

the problem with the bus example is that in reality some people do rely on it, just not enough to make it viable.

that's why I like DeMint's focus on earmarks and the bridge to nowhere. That was just plain waste and served virtually no body.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@Skip-
"the first bit of liberal dogma to which we're being treated is the "voters were duped" line."

Republicans have been saying people were duped by Obama and that they voted for him because he's a good speaker etc for oh...about 2 years now. So they are equally arrogant.

"americans aren't all that interested in spreading the wealth around. That's what the liberals simply don't understand. Americans are interested in working hard and giving their children a better shot than they had."

I think Americans are interested in spreading the wealth around, they just don't want the government to be the ones to do it. Do you think Americans are interested in the wealth being accumlated primarily in the hands of a few?

Of course Americans are interested in making a better life for their children, unfortunately there just isn't much to support that hard work does anything other than help you give your children the same things you had. Which isn't all that bad and is probably reason enough to work hard, but it's not exactly what you are selling.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Skip, you'll have to excuse me if I don't believe anything a republican says. The pro-torture party is the opposite of everything I believe in.

Posted by: cao091402 | November 3, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Let me dispose of cao first: What torture are you talking about? is that honestly the best you've got?

to A shot: then let me define my terms. I was being flip (at best) via my use of the phrase "spread the wealth around". I was quoting Mr Obama, in his famous admission to Joe the Plumber.

I have a hard time disagreeing with Henry Olson. American workers understand that they won't be billionaires, but they also fervently hope for better for their children.

And I disagree with your pessimism all of the children of my parents are doing better than my parents did. My children will do markedly better than I. Opportunity abounds. Could there be more opportunity? Certainly, but the gummint isn't going to create that, the private sector will.

What I've never understood about liberals is their rock ribbed belief that no one in America who isn't already rich can ever become rich. That makes no sense at all. How many new millionaires get created in America every year? And no, I don't mean lotto winners.

the "few hands" meme is just a symptom of the class warfare upon which liberalism relies. By demonizing the successful they hope to rouse the unsuccessful into voting for them. Its a horrid approach to politics and has resulted in spiritual poverty all over America.

The Reverend Wright message, that your problem isn't you its whitie, is nothing short of a sin. Yet it is the message you send every time you complain about "wealth distribution". If you want to increase the number of hands tha accumulate wealth, then by all means shut up and get to work like the wealthy did.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Skip-
So the objection you have to Obama's use of the phrase "spread the wealth" around is not that Americans disagree with the idea that wealth should be spread around, but that they disagree that the government should do anything about it?

"And I disagree with your pessimism all of the children of my parents are doing better than my parents did. My children will do markedly better than I."
The facts are the facts, social mobility barely exists; your personal case study notwithstanding.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2006/04/b1579981.html


"If you want to increase the number of hands tha accumulate wealth, then by all means shut up and get to work like the wealthy did."
No, I won't shut up. It's called multi-tasking, I'll work while I talk, thanks.

The wealthy certainly worked hard and that's why their share of the wealth increased over the last decade. I'm not saying they didn't work hard. I'm just not sure why the middle class wasn't similarly rewarded for their hard work. Are you saying the lack of a wage increase for the middle class over the last decade was because they didn't work hard enough?

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

Yes, in part that is exactly what I'm saying. The middle class wage earners saw their jobs threatened by any number of dynamics that liberalism cannot wish away.

One perfect example is automation. How many middle class jobs are now being done by machines ashot?

next is excellent global logistics: as we improve our ability to move material around the globe we also make certain jobs more portable. further, the tech jobs can be relocated at will as the web grows to cover the entire planet.

These things just won't go away. They adversely impact the wages of employees. It is a fact of life now, just as it was when the Saboteurs threw their wooden shoes into the mechanical looms.

How about one of the liberal favorites: illegal immigration? That's driven down the price of labor in America, yet liberals oppose virtually every attempt to stem the tide. If you want wages to rise, reduce the number of candidates for these jobs. Why is unemployment among American youth so low? Oh yeah, why pay an American for what an illegal will do for less.

But again, liberals have blocked virtually every attempt at ameliorating this problem.

And I never really understood the concept of hard work until the ms and I opened our own business. Now that's hard work. Yes it is tough, but it is ours. If it succeeds I will fight Obama for my own money. Small wonder I dislike liberalism with such passion. So how many wage earners want nine to five and accept their lot? According to Mr Olson, quite a few.

the link you provided is interesting, but like a lot of economics, there are no doubt alternative interpretations out there.

My position remains: access to great wealth exists in America as in few other places in the world. the old institutional barriers are gone.

yet the liberals still aren't happy. I wonder why? Perhaps liberals want a specific outcome, whereas others want freedom and opportunity to decide where people wind up.

the dodge in liberalism is that no one has to be responsible for their outcome. If I don't work as hard or make sound choices, the gummint will bail me out and level everything. Whereas in a truly free environment everyone must confront their choices and their work ethic and admit to themselves that they are where they are by virtue of their own efforts.

Quite a difference, doncha think?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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