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Posted at 4:08 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Obama bested GOP in extraordinary lame duck session

By Greg Sargent

So this afternoon, the Senate voted to ratify New START after months of partisan wrangling and passed the bill giving health benefits to 9/11 heroes after, well, years of partisan wrangling. This, on the same day that Obama signed the repeal of don't ask don't tell, a civil rights milestone. All in all, a pretty productive day.

It's obvious enough that Obama's rebound was remarkable, in that he has defied expectations of gridlock to rack up a fusillade of major accomplishments that have placed him in a stronger position than many expected. But there's more: It turns out he will also emerge from the session with far more kudos from the public than Republicans have earned.

So finds a new CNN poll, which seems to confirm that Obama "won" the session hands down. It finds that voters approve of his handling of the session, 56-41. By contrast, only 42 percent of Americans approve of the GOP's handling of it, versus 53 percent who disapprove.

The poll has more. It finds that Americans think that Obama has done enough to compromise with Republicans, 59-37. By contrast, a big majority, 68 percent, thinks Republicans have not done enough to compromise with Obama, while only 28 percent think they've done enough.

In other words, Obama may be getting much of the credit for the compromising that made the lame duck session a success. Since the public strongly supported the tax cut compromise, it seems likely these bad numbers from Republicans flow from their opposition to the New START treaty and to repealing don't ask don't tell, both of which have strong public support. This would seem to confirm Adam Serwer's theory that Republicans made the session even more of a win for Obama by holding out against the remaining items on his agenda, in defiance of public opinion.

It's true that the poll also finds disapproval of Congressional Dems' handling of the session. But this has at botton been a protracted standoff between the President and his chief antagonists in the GOP. And if Obama's strategy has been to position himself as the adult-in-chief in a capital full of squabbling children, as many have observed, the fact that Obama is standing taller than both Republicans and Democrats suggests his game plan has -- for now, anyway -- clearly worked.

Of course, as Obama's surprising success shows, momentum shifts rapidly in politics, and as Dave Weigel notes, with the House GOP set to take over in January, the GOP is set to seize the momentum right back.

But for now, Dems should revel in the fact that this has been one of the most productive lame duck sessions in memory, coming after two years that -- for all the ups and downs -- were also among the most productive in memory. It's an extraordinary and remarkably smooth conclusion to an extraordinary and very bumpy two years.

By Greg Sargent  | December 22, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

For Obama a good finish to a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year."

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20101221/D9K83E5O0.html

Compromising was, indeed, the key to passing some of this legislation. Obama appears to have learned his lesson.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

For once, sanity prevailed. Let's hope it continues.

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"But for now, Dems should revel in the fact that this has been one of the most productive lame duck sessions in memory, coming after two years that -- for all the ups and downs -- were also among the most productive in memory. It's an extraordinary and remarkably smooth conclusion to an extraordinary and very bumpy two years."

So does this mean that progressives should reconsider their disdain for Obama's role in negotiating the deal that extended all the Bush tax cuts and the deal on the continuing resolution to fund the government?

I believe you can make a pretty good case that had the Democrats not agreed to go along with what the Republicans wanted to do on those issues, none of the rest of their lame duck agenda would have gotten through.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

mark-in-austin, what do YOU think about the "most productive" two years in memory?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

For once, sanity prevailed. Let's hope it continues.

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 22, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

START, the Zadroga bill, and even DADT, with the DOD and Joint Chiefs fully behind it, should all have been no brainer votes. START garnered 71 votes, when it should have been 95. I don't think that bi-partisanship is alive and well. Even the Dream Act going down to firm GOP opposition ought to be used by Obama and the Dems as a cudgel to beat the GOP with the Hispanic voters in 2012.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The democrats have completely lost their minds - this is all nonsense

The democrats suffered a horrile defeat and they are desperate to run around like children shouting "we won"

These are not adults here - they are irresponsible immature people who should be barred from every government building in the country. One thing is sure: the democrats should NEVER be allowed to borrow any money in the name of the government ever again.

.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 22, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It could just have to do with the fact that there is no more election, so Brown, Collins, et. al could try and represent their constituents. Those guys are going to have some ground to make up. Yeah, I'm sure they made Roger Ailes happy, but he can buy only so many votes.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

EXCEPT one thing:


McConnell DEFUNDED the health care bill

Ha

Ha

Ha


Ha

Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Barry giving an excellent representation of Socialism.

'12 CANNOT Come Soon Enough !!

Posted by: ChangeWhat | December 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

/highfive Obots!


:P

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"'12 CANNOT Come Soon Enough !!"

I, also, CANNOT WAIT to re-elect this giant of a man.

/highfive Mike :-)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 22, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Been the longest time since I've been happy with Obama and the Dems, but finally they did something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M1c7itPy3Y

Kudos to them!!!

High five RainForestRising!! Isn't victory sweet?

Posted by: Alex3 | December 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

YOU call disrespecting an election "a win?"

That is a joke, right????

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


EXCEPT one thing:


McConnell DEFUNDED the health care bill


Ha

Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Ha


Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 22, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Lame duck kicked elephant butt, and ate it's lunch.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I posted this on the last thread before the switch so I am reposting again here:

Well, it seems the lame-duck session is about over, with victories on START and the responders bill. Now the real question is what next.

Clearly not much will happen legislatively. The Dems in the Senate can block the wingnut bills from the Repub house. Obama will have to turn to executive work. I wonder if the Senate Dems can get judicial nominees through. I hope they really work hard on this, hammering the Repubs for up-or-down votes. I mean, clearly they will have the time since there won't be much in the way of a Dem legislative agenda now that the house will be Repub.

What do people think?

Posted by: michiganmaine | December 22, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Dan Choi got his ring back from Harry Reid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGxhphlJN-I&feature=player_embedded#!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I think you should official re-name what's been refereed to as the "Lame Duck" session.

There really was nothing lame about it.

Maybe the "Whoop dat A55" Session?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 22, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Great video suekzoo1....thnx.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

2nd that, thanks for sharing Sue, posted it on Fb.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 22, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"highfive Obots!"

-------

You betcha!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

No gloating please. It took compromise from both sides to get things done.

We should not start bragging about how Obama won and the other side lost. Without the votes of several Republican Senators, nothing would have passed.

So congratulations to all those who came together, from both parties, to things done.

Happy Holiday season to all, regardless of your political affiliations.

Here is hoping that 2011 will be a better year for all of you.


Posted by: Liam-still | December 22, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Get serious. The guy has had the largest congressional majorities in generations. Including the lame duck majorities. Bozo the Clown could have gotten his agenda passed.

And those lame duck majorities held the country in sufficient contempt to jam down our throats more of the agenda we just rejected. Not a whole lot more the GOP could really do given the math, huh.

Congrats. You had a temporary supermajority owing to multiple historical flukes, and you stuck it to the country but good. Good luck explaining the wreckage for the next two years.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, as Obama's surprising success shows, momentum shifts rapidly in politics, and as Dave Weigel notes, with the House GOP set to take over in January, the GOP is set to seize the momentum right back.

But for now, Dems should revel in the fact that this has been one of the most productive lame duck sessions in memory, coming after two years that -- for all the ups and downs -- were also among the most productive in memory. It's an extraordinary and remarkably smooth conclusion to an extraordinary and very bumpy two years."

A brief recap of some of the Plum Line post over the past three weeks may be in order regarding how much of the lame duck was a Democratic "victory" over the Republicans.

12/6/2010
How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory

"It looks as though the parties are close to deal on the extension of all of the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. This is a tremendous capitulation for Democrats and a huge win for Republicans"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_best_possible_deal.html

12/9/2010
House Democrats' last stand

"House Dems are refusing to support the tax cut deal in its current form and holding out for changes to some of its most onerous elements, most prominently the estate tax provision. Yet all indications are that it's going to pass anyway, with overwhelming Republican support, and it seems to be moving forward in the Senate."

"For many House Dems, seeing Obama make this deal was the ultimate sell-out. Their effort to block it, or at least change it, is their last stand in the majority, and they're determined to make something of it. And yet the truth is that whatever does pass in the end is likely to be unacceptable to many of them, too."

12/17/2010
Will GOP spending cuts kill Obama's reelection chances?

"Yesterday, Republicans defeated a massive omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government, arguing that the earmarks stuffed into the bill, among other things, constituted too much spending"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/why_the_earmark_fight_mattered.html

The truth is the Republicans got their two top priorities, a full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the defeat of the Omnibus Spending bill. The Democrats got some of their priorities done too, but that doesn't negate the success of the Republicans on the tax and budget issues.

As Ezra Klein notes, the Republicans are playing the long game here and are setting things up for the next move in March, 2011 at which time the failure of the Democratic Congress to handle the unglamorous tasks of passing a budget and the normal appropriation bills in 2010 will come back to bite them.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/the_democrats_hand_over_more_h.html

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/why_democrats_dont_want_to_tie.html

Posted by: jnc4p | December 22, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The guy has had the largest congressional majZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, as Obama's surprising success shows, momentum shifts rapidly in politics, and as Dave Weigel notes, with the House GOP set to take over in January, the GOP is set to seize the momentum right back.

But for now, Dems should revel in the fact that this has been one of the most productive lame duck sessions in memory, coming after two years that -- for all the ups and downs -- were also among the most productive in memory. It's an extraordinary and remarkably smooth conclusion to an extraordinary and very bumpy two years."

A brief recap of some of the Plum Line post over the past three weeks may be in order regarding how much of the lame duck was a Democratic "victory" over the Republicans.

12/6/2010
How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory

"It looks as though the parties are close to deal on the extension of all of the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. This is a tremendous capitulation for Democrats and a huge win for Republicans"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_best_possible_deal.html

12/9/2010
House Democrats' last stand

"House Dems are refusing to support the tax cut deal in its current form and holding out for changes to some of its most onerous elements, most prominently the estate tax provision. Yet all indications are that it's going to pass anyway, with overwhelming Republican support, and it seems to be moving forward in the Senate."

"For many House Dems, seeing Obama make this deal was the ultimate sell-out. Their effort to block it, or at least change it, is their last stand in the majority, and they're determined to make something of it. And yet the truth is that whatever does pass in the end is likely to be unacceptable to many of them, too."

12/17/2010
Will GOP spending cuts kill Obama's reelection chances?

"Yesterday, Republicans defeated a massive omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government, arguing that the earmarks stuffed into the bill, among other things, constituted too much spending"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/why_the_earmark_fight_mattered.html

The truth is the Republicans got their two top priorities, a full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the defeat of the Omnibus Spending bill. The Democrats got some of their priorities done too, but that doesn't negate the success of the Republicans on the tax and budget issues.

As Ezra Klein notes, the Republicans are playing the long game here and are setting things up for the next move in March, 2011 at which time the failure of the Democratic Congress to handle the unglamorous tasks of passing a budget and the normal appropriation bills in 2010 will come back to bite them.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/the_democrats_hand_over_more_h.html

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/why_democrats_dont_want_to_tie.html

Posted by: jnc4p | December 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed the shrill voices from the right have refrained from using the previously popular "lame" these last few days. Some discomfort, I suppose.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post. I received a Movable Type error.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 22, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Given the political situation after the November election Obama did the best one could reasonably expect. He seems to be good at salvaging lurking disasters but not so good at anticipating them. The lame duck session passed legislation that should have been tackled long before the election. Instead, by waiting until after the election he was put in the situation where he had to sacrifice some core beliefs of his most ardent supporters.
He was inadvertently helped by the GOP, who by ferociously opposing popular legislation
made it look as it was all an Obama triumphal march. It goes to show that unthinking spite is not a winning position.

Posted by: serban1 | December 22, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Digby writes:

How Republicans Get Away With Pretending To Be Human

The 9/11 Responder's health care bill is passed, thank goodness. America is not heartless after all.

Unfortunately, I watched Politico's Jeanne Cummings this morning giving credit for it to Jon Stewart and FOX News...

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-republicans-get-away-with.html

And their viewers...happily getting stupider each day.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy your posts, jnc4p - hope to see you here next year.

To echo Liam - Happy Holidays to all!

Posted by: sbj3 | December 22, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Sour grapes much, qb???

:-D

Posted by: Michigoose | December 22, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

blast from the past:

"
Hobbled Dems, Eager GOP Back for Lame-Duck Session - FoxNews.com
Nov 15, 2010 ... Seven weeks ahead of the GOP House takeover, hobbled Democrats and invigorated Republicans return Monday to Capitol Hill.'

lololololol.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 22, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

qb: Bozo the Clown could have gotten his agenda passed.

Sure enough, and he did...and with a whole lotta help from the GOP.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@sue: Are you calling Obama Bozo?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 22, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Steven Benen reminds us of the press briefing from three weeks ago:

TAPPER: So just to put a period on this, the president thinks that funding the government, passing unemployment-insurance extensions "don't ask, don't tell" repeal, the DREAM Act, tax cuts and START all can be done?

GIBBS: Yes.

TAPPER: In the next 18 days?

GIBBS: Yes.

TAPPER: Good luck.

GIBBS: Yes. Well, thank you. (Laughter.) Yeah, you'll have a lot to cover.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

sbj, sent that thank you letter off to Harry Reid yet? Made that thank you phone call?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 22, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Very productive Congress overall, let alone during this lame duck session.

That despite unprecedented -- and essentially arbitrary -- Republican obstruction.

That said, I'm more concerned than most with the fact that so few of Obama's judicial nominees are being approved (combined with the fact that Obama has been nominating too slowly).

The courts matter, a lot. They matter no less than Congress and -- sometimes -- even the President.

So failing to fill these vacancies isn't just a matter of political score keeping.

In my opinion, it's tantamount to sitting out a Congressional election.

Posted by: paul65 | December 22, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, conservatives. You can repeal all these laws next year on the LPFR basis (last passed, first repealed).

First repeal the START treaty, then repeal the 9/11 responders bill, then reinstate DADT, then...oh my gosh, there's so much to reverse...

The only gear you guys need is Reverse.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 22, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Sour grapes?

Hmm. Angry at all the Obama-Pelosi-Reid wrecking crew has done to the country? You bet.

Outraged at the contempt they've shown for the country, at their dishonesty, their rapacious financial and regulatory assaults on the country, at their zeal to destroy the country? Absolutely. They are imposters and usurpers.

The lowest of the low points to me was the witch Pelosi smarmily and bizarrely bragging that Obamacare was some sort of fulfillment of the Constitution and the Founders' vision. These people are insane.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Not even the Republicans acted like this when they won the election

The democrats are nothing but children


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Sour grapes?"

Yes.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 22, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Sour grapes?"

Yes.

Rapid frothing at the mouth?

Yes.

Eyes popped out of head?

Yes.

Calling Mrs. Pelosi a smarmy and bizarre witch?

Priceless.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/happy_hour_roundup_152.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 22, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@sue: Did that a long time ago...

Feliz Navidad!

Posted by: sbj3 | December 22, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Sure enough, and he did...and with a whole lotta help from the GOP."

I guess, if you count a handful of rinos as a whole lotta help.

I find it hilarious if pathetic that liberals worship Bozo as some sort of colossus when it would have been a millenial feat of incompetence not to get just about everything he wanted. And I have to say rainy is right that the Dems are childish and churlish in victory. Nothing new.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@ qb-

"...destroy the country..". Oy. Hard to take the person typing such hyperbole seriously. Must be a productive "lame" duck, after all.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 22, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess, if you count a handful of rinos as a whole lotta help.
----------------------------------------------------
Didn't the 9/11 responders bill pass with unanimous consent? That's more than a handful of rinos.

Oh, the list of RINOS is very, very long and very, very comprehensive.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 22, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

'Outraged at the contempt they've shown for the country, at their dishonesty, their rapacious financial and regulatory assaults on the country, at their zeal to destroy the country?'

The contempt they've shown for their country, by fulfilling campaign promises they had won an election on?

Their 'regulatory assaults' -- now that is very funny -- I guess he means regulating the American financial industry, which because of republican deregulation, nearly took down the world's economic structure and plunged us into the deepest recession we've seen in decades?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

What we see is manipulation of the news media. I hope the news media is happy. But there still is about 9.8 percent unemployment. Besides a stimulus that does nothing but add to debt. Yes we have a great success in giving the public more free lunch but one day they are going to pay for it. That is the bad news. We have quantity versus quality and lots of it. It seems like the public follows the news which has been manipulated. Just as the same thing happened with the Iraq war. Mission accompanished.

Posted by: artg | December 22, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Barry gave an excellent presentation on his favored Socialist Doctrine.

'12 CANNOT Come Soon Enough !!

Posted by: ChangeWhat | December 22, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I love the TeaBagging ignorance screaming about "socialism". They don't even know what it is. The nations with the highest standard of living in the world are "socialist". Hey Teabaggers, you need to give up every single governmental service or you are "socialist".

What is REALLY funy, is the Nation is sick of the TeaBaggers already and they haven't even taken office.

Hey TeaBaggers, trust me, we can't wait for 2012 either. ; )

Posted by: notbuyinganyofit | December 22, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse


In the mind of leftist WaPo hacks like Greg Sargent perhaps ... consider the source.

Silly Dims the 111th Congress is over. Barry the incompetent boob Obama is taking his umpteenth vacation in Hawaii. When this headless chicken in the White House returns the House is going to be firmly in the hands of the GOP.

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 22, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

EXCEPT one thing:

McConnell DEFUNDED the health care bill

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Posted by: RainForestRising
=======================
So, denying health care to your fellow citizens makes you happy? I feel sorry for you.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"Hard to take the person typing such hyperbole seriously. Must be a productive "lame" duck, after all."

Not really hyperbole. But hardly inflammatory compared to the routine rhetoric of PL libs.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"I love the TeaBagging ignorance screaming about "socialism". They don't even know what it is. . .. Hey Teabaggers, you need to give up every single governmental service or you are "socialist"."

Guess who else doesn't know.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse


Dan Choi? Isn't that the screamer who was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital one week ago?

Posted by: screwjob23 | December 22, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

@sj23 - Nah, that was 37thandwho.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 22, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Get serious. The guy has had the largest congressional majorities in generations. Including the lame duck majorities. Bozo the Clown could have gotten his agenda passed.

And those lame duck majorities held the country in sufficient contempt to jam down our throats more of the agenda we just rejected. Not a whole lot more the GOP could really do given the math, huh.

Congrats. You had a temporary supermajority owing to multiple historical flukes, and you stuck it to the country but good. Good luck explaining the wreckage for the next two years.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 22, 2010 5:15 PM
The quarterback sums it up pretty well. I dont understand all the talk of productivity. I think much of what has passed has been silly, expensive, and leaves us with more government than I care to buy. Frnakly these lame duck guys should be ashamed of taking on so much when the country has clearly told them to get lost.

Posted by: walt12345 | December 22, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Obama and the Democrats for passing significant legislation against the odds.

By the way, I AM a socialist to the bone; your charges that Obama is a socialist are absolute nonsense. Just ask the Wall Street traders who've gotten rich over the past 2 years. Or ask the Gitmo prisoners who are STILL waiting for justice; or the insurance companies that will make windfall profits as a result of "Obamacare".

No, Obama is no socialist. But he is a liberal Democrat who just kicked Mitch McConnell's butt, so he's OK with me.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

By the way, in the spirit of non-partisanship: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

My next post will, of course, be acerbic and sarcastic and will question the manhood of conservatives. But, for now, please enjoy the holiday.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the GOP was thinking in this last flurry of law making. They won the midterm election (as if anyone expected otherwise) but they seem to have lost managing the message and the strategy.

This is a big win for Obama no matter how you slice it. I guess Republicans are hoping for better results in 2011 - maybe that's their strategy; however, repealing any of these laws will prove much harder than they think (imho), so it will go down as a Democratic win.

I'm not complaining. As a true socialist (vs. the phony socialist label for Obama), I like most of these achievements.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"I love the TeaBagging ignorance screaming about "socialism". They don't even know what it is. The nations with the highest standard of living in the world are "socialist". Hey Teabaggers, you need to give up every single governmental service or you are "socialist".
=================
Agreed. Most of these morons can't tell Karl Marx from Groucho Marx, not that it makes any difference to them. Their whole agenda hinges on pinning the socialist label on Obama.

Of course, they can't call him what they REALLY want to call him because that would expose their agenda. So they use socialist as a proxy.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Where is everyone? I thought my last posts would rile at least a few conservatives.

Well, it's the holidays and people know there are more important things than politics - which ultimately says something very positive. So, maybe it's a win-win after all!

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Frnakly these lame duck guys should be ashamed of taking on so much when the country has clearly told them to get lost."

Good grief. How can you tell that these folks read the same stuff, then don't think about it at all, then repeat it.

If this "logic" held, then after the 2008 elections when the Democrats won the WH and majorities in the Senate and House, Republicans should have just stepped out of the way and allowed Dems to do as they please for, after all, the electorate had clearly "told them (Republicans) to get lost". Yes?

Not to mention that a Presidential term has the electorate giving the fellow they chose to be President four years to do his thing. Yes?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating. One of the worst election set-backs in years, and yet Obama manages to pass several significant pieces of legislation, most of which will be very difficult to repeal. Talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes.

I guess the GOP has a broader agenda that will result in some sort of big defeat for the president in 2011; but - at least at the moment - it's difficult to imagine just what that might be.

My theory is that Mitch McConnell has a gay thing for Obama. That seems to be the only explanation that makes sense.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

All I hear is crickets chirping from my last few posts. I guess conservatives are only interested in gloating when things go their way. When it's otherwise, they go silent. I don't blame them.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Conservative posters have gone dark. And I'm such a fish in a barrel - you'd think as a socialist I'd be an easy target.

I know it must be hard for you conservatives: A liberal president (or socialist if you prefer the label as propaganda, and you don't really care about the definition of socialist) passes several landmark pieces of legislation in a lame duck session of Congress after you've won a majority in the House.

Ouch.

LOL.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

From Mike Tomasky...

"Meanwhile, this session of Congress...geez. Obama could lose an election tomorrow and still be one of the most active and successful presidents of the modern era. Things are going to get pretty tough again next March, when he and the Republicans start fighting over the budget, but for now, enough complaining, liberals!"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/dec/22/congress-johnmccain-joke

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@MidwaySailor - Things tend to slow down this time of night. I expect you'll find that the folks you are talking to will turn up again nearer the morning.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

One of the most pervasive notions forwarded and believed by people on the right is that government is getting bigger and that it got bigger under Democratic administrations. But neither is really true at all...

"Yes, government got bigger under those socialists Dwight Eisenhower, LBJ, and Nixon. *Since then, however, there has been no trend relative to population.*

And bear in mind, again, that the representative government employee isn’t a bureaucrat trampling on your liberty; he or she is a schoolteacher.

When you get deeper into the details, you find other stories; thanks to one of my commenters for pointing to Mike Konczal’s dissection of claims that there has been a huge increase in the number of regulators; it turns out that essentially all of the increase reflects the growth of Homeland Security.

So those are the facts — not that they matter."

Go to the link below to see a graph of government employment relative to population (see Notes on Government Employment)

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"We asked Bruce Sterling (who spoke at Webstock ’09) for his take on Wikileaks.

The Wikileaks Cablegate scandal is the most exciting and interesting hacker scandal ever. I rather commonly write about such things, and I’m surrounded by online acquaintances who take a burning interest in every little jot and tittle of this ongoing saga. So it’s going to take me a while to explain why this highly newsworthy event fills me with such a chilly, deadening sense of Edgar Allen Poe melancholia.

But it sure does..."

http://www.webstock.org.nz/blog/2010/the-blast-shack/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 22, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

God bless America and God bless our president. After 2 years of cleaning up the last administration's mess, crisis after crisis, fake outrage after fake outrage, a hostile Congress, hostile parties on BOTH sides, he has remained a classy, strong, quiet leader that gets things done. A man of honor.

Posted by: mirrorimage | December 23, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

The media gave Obama the approval ratings.

The lame duck just showed the "party of no" was a sham pushed by hack media. Democrats just wouldn't give legislation worth passing. When they did and actually compromised in the lame duck they got things done. The MSM of course will be void of this logical conclusion.

The "accomplishments" of the democrats increased spending in every instance.The credit card bill has resulted in an increase in my interest rate and the health bill is skyrocketing costs more than forever before.

I guess if you want to continue to take down the US while the economy is stagnant the democrats did very well this session.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Where is everyone? I thought my last posts would rile at least a few conservatives.

Well, it's the holidays and people know there are more important things than politics - which ultimately says something very positive. So, maybe it's a win-win after all!

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | December 22, 2010 9:09 PM
==============
Conservatives only occasionally check this blog except for a few. For most part it is just a leftist cheerleader and void of any worthwhile analysis. Just another Journolist following.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh another liberal lie exposed. Liberals have been blaming Bush for "wrecking the country." Now your stance is that congress couldn't get things done under him?

So which is it? I thought Bush and congress passed all these evil things. Oh that's right it was just another lie like 'tax cuts for hte rich" where 75% went to poor and middle class who don't pay 75% of taxes.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I guess, if you count a handful of rinos as a whole lotta help.
----------------------------------------------------
Didn't the 9/11 responders bill pass with unanimous consent? That's more than a handful of rinos.

Oh, the list of RINOS is very, very long and very, very comprehensive.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 22, 2010 6:03 PM
===========
Good compromises were made so that the help actually goes to the people not just to lawyers. Then it made sense to pass.

See what happens when you actually make a real compromise not just to pay special interests? Republicans will vote for it. So quit with your whining party of no.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

“If you’re a supporter of this President’s agenda, you have seen some setbacks and false starts, but Christmas has undoubtedly come early. While the President is being labeled the “comeback kid” and the glow of a convalescent figure follows him to vacation in Hawaii. Your gift was a country moving in the progressive direction you voted for in 2008. Change has indeed come to America, now it’s time to dig in and protect all that has been accomplished.”

My review of the 111th “Mighty-Duck” Congress:
http://j.mp/i7kUMZ

Posted by: RyanC1384 | December 23, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Lets give the President credit he skillfully maneuvered this session of Congress and won some hard fought victories that the Republicans probably thought they would defeat or least stall until the new session was seated.

Sen. Graham and the Republicans are whipping their base "back into line". With the new members coming in and many other important issues on the docket. The Senator is "setting the tone" and sending a message especially to The Administration...Things are going to be different the next go around. I would do the same in their shoes and I'm sure The Administration is expecting it.

Mr. President ... Great job sir! Move the country forward!

Posted by: LordMo | December 23, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

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