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Republican insanity is not all it's cracked up to be

Matt Miller is a formidable policy analyst, a great addition to the Post’s stable of columnists, and an old friend, so I hope he won’t mind if I respectfully disagree with his view that Republicans are behaving irrationally -- “cracking up” in his phrase -- by attacking the newly enacted health-reform package.

Matt asserts that, “as a matter of objective reality,” Republicans are overreacting to the passage of what is essentially a national version of Republican Mitt Romney’s plan for Massachusetts. No doubt, the rhetoric has been over the top. But a rational Republican could, indeed, conclude that Romneycare, even if it might have been a good idea for the Bay State once upon a time, is fiscally irresponsible as applied to the whole country, now, at a time of trillion-dollar deficits. To be sure, this requires skepticism about the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the bill, but that’s hardly “insane.” Indeed, 32 House Democrats voted “no,” largely because they doubted that the bill was truly paid for.

But what really amazes me is Matt’s political analysis -- specifically, his view that the Republican freak-out reflects their inability to process a huge political loss, or as he puts it, “being thoroughly beaten.” Really? Republicans lost the vote in Congress -- narrowly -- but are winning the war for public opinion. Now they are pressing that advantage. Despite a shallow and momentary pro-Democrat bounce after the bill’s passage, poll data suggest that health care not only energized the GOP base but also -- most importantly -- triggered a Republican comeback among independent voters. Voters’ phobic reaction to the bill, along with their economic worries, explain why Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg thinks his party would face a defeat on the scale of 1994, when it lost the House, if the election were held today.

And then there’s Matt’s notion that the Republicans are afflicted by “the demise of the tax issue.” It’s futile to blame health care for rising taxes, he argues, since the inevitable growth of entitlements means taxes are bound to go up anyway. No doubt the country’s fiscal situation means we’ll eventually have to pay more taxes, and Republicans are not terribly candid about that reality. But that doesn’t mean it’s crazy, politically, to complain about it. (By the way, I’m still waiting for President Obama’s forthright retraction of his unkeepable no-tax-increase-for-the-middle-class promise.) Nor is it wrong, substantively, to say that, whatever the future tax burden might have to be, it would have been lower without the addition of yet another entitlement.

Last time I checked, there was a whole new anti-tax political movement in America. It’s called the Tea Party, and in the latest Gallup Poll only the margin of error, four points, separates its approval rating from that of the Democratic Party.

The health-care bill has its pros and cons -- enough of each, in fact, to make either support or opposition perfectly rational. But whatever the bill’s merits, the plain, undeniable fact is that it is not very popular. Maybe it should be more popular. And maybe it will be someday, as the Democrats claim and hope. Like it or not, though, President Obama still hasn’t figured out a way to make that happen. Republican denunciations may be hypocritical, annoying, hyperbolic, or all of the above. But crazy? Not so much.

By Charles Lane  | April 1, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

Mr Lane, as a confidant and perhaps more of Mr Hiatt, your opinion starts out questionable and progresses to stupidity, the Repugnicans have the people on their side????
Use whatever polls you can pull out of your.....whatever, the Republicans have lost the extremely small amount of respect they had, that due to Cheney and Bush attempting to ruin our country before they left, as I recall you wee a stput supporter of that duet.

Posted by: rosenfan1 | April 1, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

until republicans fight to repeal medicaid, medicare, and social security, I can't take them seriously.

in reality, they're the biggest enablers in American history.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | April 1, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Gallup poll? Wasn't that the same poll that had McCain beating Obama in Oct 2008? And we are supposed to believe it now?

Posted by: mikel7 | April 1, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"32 House Democrats voted “no,” largely because they doubted that the bill was truly paid for."

Ha, Ha and some Dem's voted no because the bill did not include "single payer" and some voted no because they did not feel abortion restrictions were not more clearly spelled out.

Republicans voted no because they wanted to destroy the Obama administration and hand Obama his (DeMint) Waterloo.

$940 Billion over 10 years is 4 1/2 years in Iraq.
$94 Billion for 1 year is 14% of what the U.S. spends to support the military industrial complex.
A healthy America is a strong secure America.

Posted by: knjincvc | April 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The republican Waterloo was Lamar Alexander's admission that republicans actually believe "Our country (AMERICA) is too big, too complicated, too decentralized for a few of us (REPUBLICANS) here in Washington..."

Republicans have lost the fire in the belly to lead, it's too big, too complicated....

Posted by: knjincvc | April 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Democrats ALWAYS blame the present state of diaster on the past...blame Bush..blame..blame..blame.

Blame this:

I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. I live in a FREE country. There's nothing that the government can do to me if I've broken no laws. My wealth was EARNED honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

"Sorry 'bout that," said the president.
Andrew is very hungry."

"I don't appreciate..." I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll.

"Of course," I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

"And his brother, Eric, is very thirsty," said the President. I didn't say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I withheld my comments and decided to play along. I don't want to seem unkind...

My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

"Eric's children are also quite hungry."

With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

"And their grandmother can't stand for long."

I turned back to the President. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home.

"Andrew's whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven't planned for retirement and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do."

My hands were shaking. I felt faint I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor.

"By the way," he added, "I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I'm firing you as head of your business. I'll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There's a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can't come to you for jobs groveling like beggars...we need to spread YOUR wealth around..."

He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair.

What had I done wrong?

"You should have stopped me at the dinner roll," he said.

WAKE UP AMERICA !!!

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | April 1, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought you were limited to one intellectually flacid column that apologizes for conservative extremist per week.

Posted by: jbanks979 | April 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane,

Your argument rests on the assertion that "if the election were held today" then the health care issue would benefit the Republicans. Aside from the shakiness of the evidence for this, it is completely beside the point. The election will not be held today, tomorrow, next week or next month; it will happen in November, a full 7 months from now, and, as they say, that is an eternity in politics.

For example, could anyone reasonably expect public opinion about the HC bill to significantly change in a week? People are a little smarter than that; regardless of what expectations they may have regarding the bill's potential impact on them, they surely know that the effects of the bill will not be felt for some time, and that it is far too early to render a final judgment.

If you believe, as I do, that seven months from now many of the benefits of the bill will have become evident, while the doomsday predictions of the Republicans will be revealed as cynical fear-mongering, then you would have to say that the Republicans, by failing to prepare for the scenario in which HC reform passes, have swallowed a slow-release political poison pill that will only make them sicker as time goes by.

Already, some Republicans have changed their tune from "repeal" to "repeal the bad parts". How long will it be before they outright try to take credit for the very legislation they voted against, or at least find a more productive whipping boy then the HC bill?

My prediction: Not long.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Ha, Ha and some Dem's voted no because the bill did not include "single payer"
Posted by: knjincvc"

Not some, just one. Kucinich. Every other progressive realized how radical their proposal was and folded to support a plan that provides for a big, expensive framework to support single-payer without the actual implications of a single-payer system.

Posted by: cprferry | April 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The liberal fools didn't believe that they could EVER lose "Ted Kennedy's" Senate seat, but they sure did.

I love the arrogance on the left. You're so delusional that you can sit back thinking that you have the bull by the balls while you lose it all. It will be glorious.

Posted by: RobParker | April 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, thank you for a very cogent and easily readable counter argument that the GOP is dead. Judging from the vitriolic responses from the peanut gallery, I'd say the liberals and closet socialists are afraid. The more afraid they are, the more strident and petulant they become. People are afraid. They are angry, and the so-called "elite" who think they know better than we do are going to get their heads handed to them ona silver platter in November. The snobs with their noses in the air are still going to get them broken on election day. I can't wait for that.

Posted by: panamajack | April 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

cprferry,

Dennis Kucinich voted FOR the healthcare bill.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"No doubt the country’s fiscal situation means we’ll eventually have to pay more taxes, and Republicans are not terribly candid about that reality. But that doesn’t mean it’s crazy, politically, to complain about it."

It's only April 1, but I'd nominate "not terribly candid" for most misleading euphemism of the year. I presume it's meant to suggest that GOP leaders understand our country's fiscal situation but aren't speaking out loudly enough.

In fact, they still uniformly reject the notion of raising taxes for ANYONE by any amount for any purpose. Not only that, but they attack the few brave members of Congress who are in touch with reality for daring to point out the need to bring in more revenue before it's too late.

Why Mr. Lane thinks the GOP should move toward the Tea Party is totally beyond me. On the other hand, at least that would make the contrast with the Democrats much clearer...

Posted by: DCSteve1 | April 1, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"vitriolic responses"

Seriously? Your own post is the most vitriolic rant I've seen in a while.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans ARE crazy. Come on... they believe insane conspiracy theories about death panels, census, and crying that Obama is Kenyan/Muslim/socialist, etc., etc.

And then there's this... (this is for real, not a joke), Sean Hannity speaking to a bunch of teabaggers:

SEAN HANNITY: When you think about the vast majorities that they have in Congress and they had to bribe, backroom deals, corruption, that’s all because the tea party movement, the people — all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
.....

Nice. Mc Veigh murdered almost 170 innocent men, women, and children.

These slimeballs cheer the comparison between him and themselves.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | April 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

No, Mr. Lane, it is crazy. It's crazy for Republicans to think that they can utillize these tactis as a means of cobbling together a new, permanant majority from which they can legislate policy. They may do well in 2010 by risding a sentiment of anti-incumbent resentment to victory, just as their opponents did in 2008 and 2010. But, absent vibrant ideas and wisdom, they willl not be able to lead nor govern.
They will face the same paralysis that has hobbled the Democrats.

One of the many problems with the current
two party system is that there is only a default, rather than legitimate, alternative to the party in power. People choose the default party, not because of a
shared policy perspective, but out of frustration and a desire to "send the bums a message." They choose between what they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.

We deserve a better choice. Only a legitimate third party (not an assemblage of eccentric kooks) can offer it. A serious third party would quickly make the Republicans irrelevant and force the Democrats to do some honest reckoning.

The Republicans may will win. They are not, however, winners.

Posted by: BaltimoreCotls59 | April 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I hate opinion that masquerades itself as fact. So are Republicans crazy or not. Draw your own conclusions from the following:

From a Harris poll recently:

-- 25% (1 out of 4) Republicans - not Christian militia nutjobs, Republicans - thought that President Obama is the anti-Christ.

-- 57% of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim (what ever happened to the outcry over (Christian) Reverend Wright? Did Obama convert in the last year?

-- 51% of Republicans believe that Obama wants to turn the sovereignty of the U.S. to a one-world government.

-- 38% of Republicans think that Obama is doing "many of things that Hitler did." (Godwin's law in action here).

Link for overarching story, below. For breakdown by parties, click on the "results showed some stark differences" link within the story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100325/sc_livescience/quarterofrepublicansthinkobamamaybetheantichrist

So...are Republicans crazy?

Well, looking at the data above, the answer certainly is "yes".

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | April 1, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are not cracking up. In their righteousness, they conveniently forget that "the people" whose views they claim to uphold and fight for are about 50 percent of the population. What happened to the other 50 percent? Obviously, they do not matter to Republicans as long as they dare hold a different view from the Tea Party fervents. To listen to the "new" Republican Party [which dare not say or do anything that does not please Ms Palen and her following], one would think that those who do not do as the Republicans say have no Freedom of Speech Right, and were, indeed, not part of the people of this country.

Posted by: nitellub | April 1, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Forget about the TEA Party Movement. They are not as smart, as sophisticated, as caring or as virtuous as we are. They will have absolutely no influence in November. Nothing to worry about - we continue to know what is best for the planet. Everyone loves Barack & Michelle and having health insurance. Go back to what you were doing. Have a nice day.

Posted by: pmendez | April 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

All of us "Tea Party" folks need to make sure we hold Republicans responsible for their actions. While Republicans were in control of the government we lost our civil liberties and built up a giant budget deficit.

It's high time that we disrupt status quo. The only way we can do this is by supporting "tea party" candidates that run against the Republican Party establishment. This means that we need to fight against Jane Norton and McInnis, and not stop until the final vote has been cast in November.

The only chance we have at "getting our country back" is by taking on the Republican Establishment. The Republican party is trying to trick us into believing that we win by electing them, this is propaganda!

Posted by: DevishlyModerate | April 1, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

You know who is less popular than Democrats these days?

Republicans.

The "party of no" needs to start contributing something positive or they will become the "party of Dodo".

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh my!

You conveniently omit the FACT that the republican "principled" opposition is led by the old - the VERY SAME people who benefit from the "socialist" programs of SS, Medicare, SSI and the like.

What you and Hiatt think of as 'principled opposition' is, matter of factly, a load of crap!

Posted by: Heerman532 | April 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely LOVE you lefties. You simply cannot comprehend the fact that you passed a massively unpopular bill. You cannot face the fact that your messiah has lost whatever lead he had in the polls and all that hopey changey magic... BECAUSE of your precious agenda. Statistically, he's lost more points than any president in the first year. All you can do is alternate between "it was Bush's fault", "they're all a bunch of racists", and "Iraq cost a lot of money". That's it. That's all you've got. And - the best part is - that you think that'll be enough come November.

The truth you avoid at all costs is simple. The reason nobody likes Progressives right now, is precisely because of your IDEAS. It has nothing to do with your skin color or the neck color of the Republican. You can't imagine that this could be true, because you've spent so much time and effort convincing yourselves that you had the only ideas in the room, and that you were sooooo much smarter than everyone else.

Which is why you have to haul those CEOs in and interrogate them about their writedowns. It must be a Republican plot. How dare they suggest that it will actually cost more than we say?

The reality is, it's not a Republican plot. It's math. When you're a Progressive, and you left the reality-based community a long time ago, math just gets in the way.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"massively unpopular bill"

Ludicrous; the public is about evenly divided on it at the moment.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Where do they grow these people?

You can attempt to sugarcoat BS until your blue in the face, but the facts are, the Democrats did what an American majority voted them in to do and they did it.

The only thing the Republicans do is say no in an attempt to make them fail and look diminished and they failed.

The American people, no matter what the polls ask to fog opinion do agree health care needed to be fixed and it was.

Now, the Republicans will be forced to answer all the lies they spread regarding the new law which is etched in stone.

Senior citizens are the first to find out they've been duped by the GOP because this new law closes doughnut holes immediately.

Ask the real question the the GOP is fearing to face. Who is left in their party?

As I watch news tapes of tea party activist, 95 percent are old white folks that are misled but passionate about something, but when asked, a boat load of talking points fall out.

It is surely regional, surely old, surely white and quickly dying.

Posted by: rbraun2000 | April 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Republicans would prefer tax cuts, which is what got us into the deficit mess we're in. It all began with Reagan.

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | April 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The repugs are selfish hypocrites and might be stupid but they are not crazy.

Posted by: davidsawh | April 1, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear easttxisfreaky;

The problem with your fiction as political parable is that it is - well - fiction. It tells us more about the nightmares and dreams of grandeur inhabiting your mind than it tells us of the politics or policy of Obama and his administration.

Remember that the administration resisted pressure to nationalize at-risk banks. That it addressed healthcare funding by expanding the pool covered by private insurance. The administration seems to believe fixing up capitalism, not in replacing it.

That fantasy business of yours depends on public investments in physical AND social infrastructure. If you've managed to get rich through the benefits rising from this public investment, you've profited more than most. Fiscal sanity and equity both indicated that you should pay more than most to repay past investments and renew our investments in the future.

Posted by: j2hess | April 1, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans would prefer tax cuts"

Their universal panacea; everything looks like a nail when the only tool in your box is a hammer.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

j2hess,

Well said.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I've been closely watching since Obama first took office and not only is Republican insanity everything that it's cracked up to be, but one could safely say that Republicans have been driven crazy as outhouse rats by their hate, rage and jealousy.

And they get worse on a daily basis - from Beck Bots to tea baggers to Joe Stack and then to Hutaree terrorists last week.

Everytime I think they can't top their last tantrum they surprise me.

Posted by: Andrea_KC | April 1, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

This Lane guy is nuts. What Republicans are there who aren't already losers or non-players or regionalists? NONE. McCain, Romney, Pawlenty, Huckabee, Palin etc are all wing nut losers. There's not ONE national Republican who has any kind of reputation for sanity or ideas. The Obstructionist GOP has shot itself in its hind foot.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | April 1, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if the Repubs are actually insane, however, they are quite naive to ever have thought they could keep lowering taxes in the face of the reality of the aging of the baby boomers. Some are already collecting social security, and the rest are only 2 years or less away from it. The money has to come from somewhere, and making the elite wealthy in the country pay their fair share is a good place to start.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | April 1, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Miller's right, Lane is wrong. Simple but true. Republican heads have been exploding since before the election. They should probably be locked up and sedated before they hurt themselves or others.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 1, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

My God it's thick in here today. Reagan did not get us into this mess. Tax cuts INCREAESE revenues to the treasury, not decrease it. That's because we're on the far end of the Laffer curve, not the near end. Spending was never cut, that's the problem... and that's where the money goes. But, enough Econ 101... it's not like you lefties will ever understand.

When I say the bill is massively unpopular, I stand by that. the fact that it stands at 50%, is massively unpopular. You think all this "rage" on the right is just some sort of talk-radio frenzy. You ignore the fact that it is YOUR policies that are pushing them.

Let's put it in language even a progressive can understand: when Bush wanted to invade Iraq, he spent 14 months making his case, had 77% public support, got his UN resolutions, passed the authorization of force 99 to 1, and he demanded a "clean bill" - no ammendments, just one item, and it fit on one page. You progressives called that divisive. You said the right wing had just "taken over the country".

Compare that to what you just did: 2,700 pages, open bribes with cushy appointments and billions of dollars, barely 50% public approval, zero bipartisan support... but this bill ISN'T divisive? And it's just republicans that are overreacting?

Obama is the real divider. Obama is the real spender. Obama is the one who wants to spy on us (he made the patriot act permanent, did he not?). Obama is the one attacking civil liberties.

In short, Obama is everything you IMAGINED Bush was.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

They may not be "crazy" but they sure are confused.. the republican party seems to be ready to jump in bed with who ever is making the most noise. The Birthers..The Tea Party..anybody who they think will help them defeat the Democrats.. all this government is to big..bull..heck they made it big...listen they had power for 6 or 8 years and did nothing absolutely nothing constructive.. they ran amuck ..starting a senseless war..with no means to pay for it..thought they could hide the cost by not including it in the budget.. medicare drugs with no means to pay for it.. and giving the Pharmaceutical industry a blank check.. their whole platform/agenda is to take care of the biggest spenders... and that does not include the poor and middle class.. I am reminded of a saying.."when you don't stand for something you fall for anything" and by partnering with these fringe groups that saying is so reflective of who the Republicans are..adrift without a purpose. YUCK..who needs them..Republicans are not good for America..

Posted by: sabrina2 | April 1, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Useless article. The majority of Americans, that is the majority part with brains, know the republicans are not only CRAZY, but more dangerous to our nation than foreign terrorists

Posted by: mackiejw | April 1, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

It is inaccurate to say Republicans are "winning the war for public opinion."

The poll you cite shows the generic ballot between Democrats and Republicans within the 3 percentage points margin of error. Therefore, the Democrats were not "winning" when they were 3 points above Republicans earlier this month, neither are the Republicans.

The writer should know that the spread is statistically insignificant. Should know.

Posted by: bluicebank | April 1, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm an independent voter and the Democrats definitely lost my vote because of health care. And I live in a swing district--the district that formerly belonged to JD Hayworth.

Yes, come November, the Republicans will be partying like it's 1994.

Posted by: pepperjade | April 1, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"But a rational Republican could, indeed, conclude that Romneycare, even if it might have been a good idea for the Bay State once upon a time, is fiscally irresponsible as applied to the whole country, now, at a time of trillion-dollar deficits."
_____

Mr. Lane, what is irresponsible about asking the citizenry of this country, as did Romney of Massachusetts, to carry their own weight by purchasing health care insurance? We must all carry our own weight especially at a time of "trillion-dollar deficits." I don't get Republicans' disavowing their own good ideas simply to get the disgruntled vote, which I agree with you is apparently on the rise. At the fleeting moment.

Posted by: Kelly14 | April 1, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@bluicebank: you don't understand the history of the generic ballot, so you dismiss it. The generic ballot has ALWAYS swung democrat by 3-5 points. Always. Since it's inception 30 years ago. Even when we've elected Republicans, it was still +3 democrats. Obama not only gave the republicans the generic ballot, he gave it to them for the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. Add to that, the fact that the ballot showed +6 democrat going into the 2008 election... and that should show you the depth of the pile you've all stepped in. To swing that ballot +9 points in under a year is completely unprecedented. So, keep on lying to yourselves that it all means nothing. In November, we'll see exactly what that 9 point swing means.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

cprferry ~ Kucinic folded too. It's possible they threatened to drop him out of Air Force One of course, or maybe Obama promised to try to bring Dennis' wife back to life.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 1, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The headline says it all. It's like having
to deny beating your wife.

Posted by: garbage1 | April 1, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This post seems to confuse the questions "Is the policy rational in terms of tending to diminish the problems it claims to address" and "Is the policy rational in terms of tending to win its advocates more votes than it costs them".

To the extent that Mr. Lane is arguing that it's at least as politically rational to oppose the recently enacted health care law as it is to support it, in the sense that opposition is likely to win a person more votes than it costs them the next time they're up for election, that's a very modest claim which seems unobjectionable to me based on the evidence currently available.

To the extent, if any, that he's arguing that opposition to the policy is rational because the policy itself is likely to worsen the problems it purports to diminish, he's on far weaker ground.

The health law is not in the first instance a budget deficit fix but a making health care available fix. Second of all, arguing that it will worsen the deficit requires that you discard the only available evidence and assume that contrary evidence will eventually turn up. That doesn't strike me as rational.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | April 1, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

rbraun2000 ~ alas for the Democrats virtually no one ever faces the so-called "doughnut hole".

You people should have examined the process more thoroughly and you'd have discovered that so many people had/have private sector (primary or supplemental) prescription drug coverage that this wasn't much of an issue to anyone.

On the other hand you'd gotten so wrapped up in your ideology that you imagined you'd done things that weren't in the bill.

In fact, the bill was so bad you're already into your second "fix".

That's something people look at closely when you pass a bill without having discussed it or opened it up to public debate.

I doubt you will be any smarter in the future ~ not even as you stand there on the drop door on the gallows set up in front of the Capitol for the purpose of removing extraneous politicians from the genepool ~ Fur Shur we don't want you getting lose to breed more of your kind again.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 1, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse


SEAN HANNITY TAKES US BACK TO OUR FUTURE

By DICK MORRIS

Published on DickMorris.com on March 31, 2010

As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." If America had truly learned from the history of the Reagan years on the one hand, and the background of its putative president Barack Obama on the other, Sean Hannity would not have had to write his new book Conservative Victory. But, unfortunately our nation did not learn from either Reagan's history or Obama's biography and made a huge mistake. Now we find ourselves engulfed in class warfare, one party dictatorial governance, and government autocracy. Meanwhile our enemies grow stronger basking in Obama's appeasement while our long standing allies suffer his humiliations.

So we all need to read Hannity's book to remind ourselves of what we should have known before we elected Obama in 2008.

Sean takes us through the chilling theology of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the politics of Bill Ayers. We learn of the early, Marxist influences on the future president as he grew up in Indonesia. Obama's friends, associates, and appointees parade before our eyes with their sordid history of radical advocacy. By the time we have finished, we wish America had listened when Hannity spelled all this out before the election.

Then Sean turns to the one year history of the Obama presidency, showing how his economic policies have backfired and are more likely to fuel than to decrease unemployment.

But Hannity also writes of more pleasant histories. He restates the gospel of Reaganism and reminds us of Newt Gingrich's campaign to retake America in 1994. With these lessons in mind, he calls for a Republican victory in 2010, scorning the idea of a third party, much as Reagan did, but calling instead for a new first party of Republican conservatism.

When one puts down Sean's book, one is overwhelmed by the enormity of the mistake America made in 2008. We are left wondering if our nation took leave of its senses and we ponder why it ignored the warnings people like Hannity tried to sound as the election progressed.

In two weeks, we will try to pick up the narrative from the point to which Sean has so eloquently advanced it. In our new book, 2010: Take Back America - The Battle Plan (coming out on April 13th), we sketch the brand new dangers - thus far unreported -- that lie ahead if we give Obama two more years of a Democratic Congress. We identify the new Democratic Senatorial and Congressional targets at which we must aim and defeat. We discuss the new strategy we will need to win and outline the role each of us must play in the battle.

Together, our book and Sean's volumes present a clear case for change in 2010. They tell us where we have been, what mistakes we have made, the dangers that lie ahead and offer a road map showing us how to alter America's course.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | April 1, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Repeal and Replace the Republican Party instead of the Health Care Reform!
Democrats Care!
Republicans Don't!

Posted by: lunetrick | April 1, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

RE:Democrats ALWAYS blame the present state of diaster on the past.

Did you think it logical to blame our problems on...say...the future? As your razor-sharp mind may have noticed, the present is always a result of the past. With a mind like that, I can surely see how you became head of a computer chip company, and with that mind like a steel trap* you may want to consider a career in investment debt management.

(* rusty)

Posted by: bproulx45 | April 1, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@douglaslbarber: all the article suggests is consider that the right (gasp) may not be just crazed teabaggers, that they may have an arguable point. The fact that that seems impossible to most of you shows how much of the koolaid has been consumed.

You are essentially arguing that there is no evidence that the bill will cost more than projected. You ignore the entire history of govt spending in the US - name one bill this size where the projections were even a tenth of what was realized. Plus, you ignore the entire presentation by Paul Ryan at the healthcare summit where he thoroughly dissected several of the "budget gimmicks" that allowed the dems to massage the numbers.

If you think there's no evidence that this will break the deficit, than you just bought a 12 pack of Koolaid... maybe even a case.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

What I am waiting for is the next Congressional round--Financial reform and consumer protection. Everyone from Tea Party members to Progressives is angry with the abuses of Wall Street, the bailout and the rip off of the American Consumer. A while back some Republicans were in favor of some reform and consumer protections. Now that is all changed, with every Republican vowing to fight any reform proposed by the President or democratic members of congress.This block all Democratic proposals of reform tactic is going to make Republicans look totally cracked up and crazy to average Americans who want reform and an agency that is devoted to advocating on their behalf.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

lost: Hannity was sarcastically referring to the crowd as Tim McVeigh wannabes because that is what the liberal lame stream media has called peaceably demonstrating conservatives. Are you that clueless?

Posted by: Love-em-or-leave-town | April 1, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I can hardly believe any writer could get a column in a paper of record and claim, I’m still waiting for "...Obama’s forthright retraction of his unkeepable no-tax-increase-for-the-middle-class promise."

Lane: Can't you at least read the legislation you write about in a newspaper or is that asking for too much? Oh yeah, you're one of those "the CBO's numbers can't be trusted" guys. I guess you can't "believe" the legislation even AFTER it becomes law, either.

Posted by: hrayovac | April 1, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"name one bill this size where the projections were even a tenth of what was realized."

Instead of assigning homework, why not do some:

Name one bill this size that the CBO projected would save 10 times more than turned out to be the case.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are betting -- doubling down, really -- on the notion that demagoguery is an effective political tool. That doesn't make them crazy. Just evil.

Posted by: kerrito | April 1, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans hate not getting their own way all the time. Not much more to it than that. They want to RULE, darn it, not negotiate differences of opinion. They are flabbergasted that Obama finally said, "enough", when it became clear that the Republicans plan to obstruct, delay and sabotage every Democratic initiative, no matter what. There is no reasoning with such people.

Posted by: frodot | April 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Last time I checked, there was a whole new anti-tax political movement in America. It’s called the Tea Party,"

This is like the ComCast is now Xfinity commercial - it's not a whole new political movement - just the same old Republican white folks again.

Posted by: sux123 | April 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight- you're trying to say the GOP can stand tall and tell tall tales that RomneyCare as not appropriate after offering nothing for 14 months of debate for ObamaCare. And that this logic will help them win the day in Nov?

That's a good plan- assume we are all idiots and will forget 14 months of hypocrisy and not only voting NO but OPENLY disregarding the PROCESS.

You pundits are falling into the same poll interpretation as you see fit as the GOP.

The GOP is taking us all as fools and fooling themselves at the same time. Every single time the GOP speaks for "The American People" based on a poll run somewhere in the last 12 hours they only dig their graves deeper.

Posted by: dcperspective | April 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

kerrito,

You're right, and in a way, it's too late for them to change course; they bet everything on the "just say no" delay and obstruct strategy. At this point they would lose their base if they started being reasonable.

Posted by: MarshallFacts | April 1, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

How come the federal government is expanding and our local governments
are shrinking, along with police and fire and schools.
How can you tax us more and spend more
and then reduce our services?

Posted by: simonsays1 | April 1, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

One last thing. Why is it so scary to be a white (I am) middle class (guilty) middle age (I am) male (ditto) in 2010? Why do you go so nuts over current politics? Why is it win at any costs? What is it that makes Republicans so vitriolic. Is there no room for the quiet bipartisan Republicans of yore--Millicent Fenwick, Clifford Case, Lowell Weicker etc. Does it just make some of you so crazy when you read the news and there is a Black President, a female Speaker of the House, a wise Latina on the Supreme Court, a female Secretary of State (Hillary no less) and a gay male head acting as chairman of House Committee on Financial Services? Because if that is all there is to your sense of feeling out of control and losing influence then I have some good news. Today is as good as it is going to get because with each passing day white straight middle class males in this country will become a smaller and smaller minority and sharing power with a whole rainbow of different people will be come the norm.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for countering yesterdays drivel and gloat filled article by the new guy. The cult of lefties who populate these comment sections to Post articles are very fun to watch. But I hope they realize there are not enough of them to make any difference in any election. Moderates and Independents are the ones who decide elections -- and they, for the most part, don't pay much attention to the day-to-day BS that is politics. But recent events have changed that. They are awake now -- and there is no doubt November 2 will not be a happy day for the Lefty Dems -- and there is nothing you can do or say with your childish comments to change that.

Posted by: BadNews | April 1, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone in their right mind vote in a party that has stated that they want the government to fail?


Look at the record of the Bush years. The Republicans did everything they could to bankrupt the government.

They started an unnecessary war and refused to pay for it. They gave money away with no bids and and no oversight and acted surprise when the money vanished and the work didn't get done.

When the Republicans governed they expanded the government while reducing taxes again refusing to pay for their programs.

They removed regulations on banks and again, like the savings and loan crisis, like the energy market crisis (Enron) they caused massive financial destabilization. They point to this as the failure of government. It wasn't a failure of government it was a failure of Republican policies.

When looking at what the Republicans did how can anyone think anything but that they purposefully bankrupted the government. They said they wanted to shrink the government to a size that would fit in a bathtub and then drown it. They nearly made it.

Posted by: zpope | April 1, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

So, lets' get this straight... nowhere on this board do any of you seem aware of the problems with the bill. You all seem to live in this bizarre fantasy land, where you won't address any of the substantive issues with the bill, and you just chalk it up to racism or partisan obstruction? First; neither is the case. There are a whole host of problems with this bill, not the least of which is math.

But the truly reprehensible part of it is the way all of you just high five each other in the echo chamber; all while carefully dancing around any factual discussion.

Doesn't it bother you that he essentially took a third of medicare's budget, counted it as income for Obamacare, savings for medicare, and never says how he'll replace it?

I got a list of these questions a mile long, but we'll just start with that. Please try and answer without mentioning Bush, racism, or telling me "what the republicans are really up to."

Republicans never got their way "all the time". That's pure BS. Even when they "had power" it was only by a 1 or 2 vote margin. Remember Jumpin' Jiff Jeffords? He HAD to switch to save us from the "tyranny of the right".

The truth is, prior to 1994, the democrats had control for 40+ years. The republicans got it back for 12. Now it's back to the dems. That's hardly "in control all the time". Give me a break.

Also don't forget: during the 12 years the republicans held "power" the deficit averaged 180billion. During the 2 years since the democrats took over in 2007, it averaged 1.2trillion.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

sux123 ~ did you imagine that the day you signed on as an Obama Truth Squad employee that you'd be getting into racial recriminations?

Minorities usually avoid using racism for pretty obvious reasons.

Posted by: muawiyah | April 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

steven804 ~ again, another Obama Truth Squad guy ~ don't you people have any imaginations about your internet names?

Anyway, my money is on the East Asians stealing all your stuff.

You won't have the white boys to kick around anymore!

Posted by: muawiyah | April 1, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I would agree that in the past it was moderates and Independents that held the key to the outcome of a lot of elections. But the huge participation by new groups in voting in 2006 and 2008, specifically among Black, Hispanic and college age students under 25 has changed all that. And given current birth rates and demographics and the upcoming results of the 2010 census, it would not be a fun job to be a pollster for the Republican Party.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Lane, if you have to explain.....

Posted by: kurthunt | April 1, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

steven804 ~ demographics favor Republicans. The reason is abortion. You kill your babies. We keep our babies.

Slowly but surely the Leftwingtards in this country are passing on into biological non-existence.

As far as youth voting, they'll be 29 by the time the next Presidential election comes around and large numbers of them will have been prosecuted and punished for not paying the Obamakkare jizira (special tax on unbelievers eh)

I'm sure they'll be really looking forward to voting for you people again (Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!)

Posted by: muawiyah | April 1, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

What's with my name. My given name is Steven and 804 is part of my street address. There is no other trick there I own a small internet company and I do not work for a political party or in government. Do you always demonize or build conspiracy theories around anyone with a different opinion. Guess what, there are plenty of real people who are pro-Obama. Do I like everything he has done. Certainly not. But I am not even discussing him--I am discussing what path the Republicans might take on future reform. You guys have to always turn it into some conspiracy theory or personal attack.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@zpope:

"Why would anyone in their right mind vote in a party that has stated that they want the government to fail?"

Not the government, just Obama.


"The Republicans did everything they could to bankrupt the government."

Apparently not. Not only was there still a government left for Obama, you think 4.5trillion in new spending won't do so either, so what do you care?


"They started an unnecessary war and refused to pay for it."

Stop with the bumpersticker philosophy. Tell it to all the Iraqis forming a modern, democratic society. Tell them you'd rather they still had a dictator, because it would make your ideology much more convenient. Cutting taxes raises revenue, that's your first error. What Obama is doing now... widening the war in Afghanistan at the same point he's raising taxes, will have the effect you seek.


"They gave money away with no bids and and no oversight and acted surprise when the money vanished and the work didn't get done."

You're doing the same thing, with a much larger pot, and with the same results... who's stupider? And here's a newsflash: maybe the government is the problem.


"When the Republicans governed they expanded the government while reducing taxes again refusing to pay for their programs."

Once again; the laffer curve. Look it up. We are on the far side of the curve, so when we cut taxes, we raise revenue. Which is why the Bush tax cuts almost doubled the revenue to the treasury.


"They removed regulations on banks and again,"

Absolute BS. Total libprogressive myth. A meme with a mind of its own. Just look at youtube, you'll see the great hearing with Barney Frank in 2007. It was the 11th attempt by the Bush admin to regulate Fannie Mae, and Barney step right up to stop them.

"like the energy market crisis (Enron) they caused massive financial destabilization."

Then, why are the progressivfes busy implementing Enron's cap and trade carbon trading market solution? Bush arrested Ken Lay and put a stop to Enron and all the corruption from - The Clinton Years. Stop blaming Bush for cleaning up Clinton's mess.

"It wasn't a failure of government it was a failure of Republican policies."

Name them. Show me the "policies" that failed. Let's challenge the myth, shall we? I'd be interested what you even think a "republican policy" in this area is.


"When looking at what the Republicans did how can anyone think anything but that they purposefully bankrupted the government."

Easy. It's still here. How can Obama have expanded it 36% if Bush bankrupted it? Don't let a little reality get in your way...

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God. Who said I was pro abortion. Were we even on that topic. NO. AND I have never discussed my position on a board like this. Now will I. Why. First of all I am a male. It will never be my decision to make. Second of all one must choose ones battles. Abortion is not one of mine so please do not assume that because I state I am a democrat that I am pro-abortion. And by the way who said I was a democrat. WRONG AGAIN. And finally yes in 3 years all the 25 year old will be 28--do you think that at a certain age they just turn stupid and vote Republican. But even if they all do, my 17 and 19 year old boys will be voting for the first time--and they are thrilled with health care reform because they can stay on my plan while they pursue their dreams and finish their graduate school educations and not worry about only taking a corporate job that offers health insurance.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The acts of the Grand Obstructionist Party are tantamount to treason. They want to be back in power so badly that they actually WANT AMERICA TO FAIL. They are the worst enemy this country has ever faced, and all the spin they try to put on it doesn't hide the truth.

Posted by: Sam888 | April 1, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the "crackup" Miller is referring to is the extreme nature of the Republican reaction: "It's Armageddon! The end of freedom as we know it!" Maybe Lane thinks such reactions aren't crazy, but I agree with Miller.

Anyhow, Lane strikes me as a Broder-style Washington pundit who reflexively wants to split the difference between what the two parties are saying, without examining the substantive merits of what the parties are saying.

I would like to test that proposition (and perhaps make a little money in the process):

1. I will request that the Lane family pay me $2 million, for no reason.
2. The Lane family will, of course, say no.
3. I will ask Charles Lane (the pundit) to mediate this dispute.
4. Lane will say "Hmm ... cgw1 says my family should pay him $2 million. My family says they should pay cgw1 $0. The right result is - my family should pay cgw1 $1 million."
5. The Lane family pays me $1 million.

I wonder if this would work ...

Posted by: cgw1 | April 1, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

prof_robinson, what field are you in? Moronics?

Posted by: dougharty | April 1, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Stop calling into question the loyalty of love of liberty of your fellow Americans simply because he or she has a different opinion about health insurance.

That is more than a little silly. We need to get real here.

Posted by: forrest3 | April 1, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

dougharty, that's a knee slapper for sure. What are your other favorite arguments... "I know you are but what am I"? How about "I'm rubber and you're glue". Or, maybe the Progressive favorite, "why are you such a racist"?

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The reality is, it's not a Republican plot. It's math. When you're a Progressive, and you left the reality-based community a long time ago, math just gets in the way.
....

Also don't forget: during the 12 years the republicans held "power" the deficit averaged 180billion. During the 2 years since the democrats took over in 2007, it averaged 1.2trillion.
Posted by: prof_robinson
....

Hmm, CBO figures are close to 235B, but maybe you're using constant 1994 dollars to reduce the size of recent deficits?

But more important than being able to do the calculations is knowing what the results mean. We're spending now to stave of the advent of another Great Depression, so the numbers aren't comparable. But I suppose Republicans would prefer a depression? That would tend to confirm Miller's diagnosis.

Posted by: j2hess | April 1, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I think this article is completely correct. The Republicans will win All of the seats in the November elections.

Now that we have established that, let’s look at the new America they are going to bring us!

• More Tax cuts leading to huge budget deficits!
• This means we need to DEREGULATE because when we reduce government we won’t be able to monitor the regulations anyway. That means cutting the following agencies to the bone: FEC, FDA, EPA, SEC, FTC, FAA, and all the banking regulatory agencies
• Now we need to cut entitlements - drastic cuts to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, welfare, and Medicaid
• Add to that the cuts in Public Education, National Park funding, Post Office, Transportation (Roads & Highways), Medical Research, Drug Research, Hospital funding, NIH, NIS
• The savings from these budget cuts will allow the increase in spending on Military and Defense
• Further reductions in the size of government can be gained by privatizing additional functions and awarding contracts to KBR, Halliburton, and Xe (Blackwater)

Good times!

Posted by: NewThoughts | April 1, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans just don't like entitlement programs. At least that's what they say, but they've never repealed a single entitlement that I'm aware of.

The Republicans and their allies in the right-wing media are just fulminating about their losses.

Over time they'll calm down and accept universal health care, just as they've more or less accepted other social programs.

Lane should know that public opinion is a somewhat changeable thing. And there are eight more months before the Midterms. That's an eternity in politics; a lot can change in that period.

Posted by: Carl_Goss | April 1, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@j2hess: you are correct, in that this is a kensyian drama unfolding. We are seeing a test of the theory that you can actually spend your grandkids money, devalue your currency to near zero, and spend your way to prosperity. That's why its so important that people pay attention. There's two entire schools of thought competing, and both have data on their sides.

There is good reason to believe that the extra spending in the depression, didn't help it but prolong it. The first despression in the 1920s, became the roaring twenties because taxes were slashed from 75% to 15%. Then the progressives came along in the 30s and decided the solution was to spend... and we got the great depression.

Which followed a double dip recession - which I'm wagering we're heading for right now.

All in all, we should have our answer to the great left/right economics debate by this time next year. Isn't this exciting?

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm not sure, but it certainly seems crazy to fight against what you depend on to survive. Farmer Fincher in another article is the perfect example.

Posted by: Frazil | April 1, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey professor Robinson--the Democrats took over in 2009 as in last year--Bush was president for the 8 years prior. So let us look at what Bush started with (a surplus) and what he ended it with and what new programs of Obama have contributed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CBO_Forecast_Changes_for_2009-2012.png

So according to the chart the $850 Billion Clinton surplus became the over $1 Billion Bush deficit. And what Obama has added to it was necessary to avoid a depression and fight terrorism.

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Crazy McCain lady.
The Self Cutters
Tea bag ladies
Shouting oaths at the other side because you loose a vote when you are in power? (Dick Cheney)
Letting Bin Laden escape (Dumbsfeld)
Saying Waterboarding aint torture? (Dick Cheney)
Giving Dick Cheney's bankrupt Halliburton the worlds biggest ever Social Security check while failing to give US troops body armor and sending them out in unarmored humvees?
Failing to support walter Reed hospital until there are news stories about rats in the rooms of veterans.
Giving Wall Street 1 Trillion Dollars of welfare for the wealthy? (Bush/Paulson)
Leaving the next president with 2 Wars and economy on the rocks? (George Bush Jnr.)
Limbaugh Sycophants praying for America to fail?
GOP representatives insulting the President in the Senate?
GOP supporters smashing the windows of the Democratic parties offices?
GOP supporters threatening the US President with guns when he takes time to go out to discuss policy with them?

So how much does it take for people to realise the GOP is nutsy CooKooo

Posted by: walker1 | April 1, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@steven804:

The democrats won the 2006 elections. (Turn that nine upside-down) They took power in January 2007. That's when fannie mae imploded. That's when the mysterious electronic bank run occurred that no one has addressed. that's also when congress, which controls the purse, began spending even more.

The "Clinton Surplus" is another fabulous liberal myth. The "surplus" only appeared once in history. the very last Clinton CBO report on 1/17/01. It was a 15 year projection that didn't take into account an internet bubble, a terrorist attack, two wars, a housing bubble, and progressive greed. It was fantasy, and was later retracted in the next CBO report 3 months later, entitled "difficulties in long term budget projections". You libs act like it was all in this account somewhere and Bush lost the checkbook or something.

The first mention of the infamous "surplus" occurred on 9/9/2001, by Hillary at some fundraiser and it made the local news.

Bush hadn't even passed a budget. Even if he had, it wouldn't have taken effect yet.

The surplus is a myth, based on a fantasy. And you guys whip it out whenever you want to engage in your all-time favorite past-time: blame Bush.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@walker1: wow, you actually believe all that crap? That's sad. You don't even know how much you don't know. That was almost the full monty of progressive kook conspiracy theory DNC fax machine talking points. Good luck with that.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Matt Miller had it dead-on. I thought it was one of the best written pieces I've read in awhile.

It's funny that people can make a living writing about other writer's posts...??
Seems to be a trend. ?

I guess the news corps are cutting back - and copy and paste is a good way to get a story out in time to catch the latest 'Dancing with the Stars' episode on Fox.

Posted by: PulSamsara | April 1, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Professor R--How long have we been operating under an Obama budget?

Posted by: steven804 | April 1, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The republican Waterloo was Lamar Alexander's admission that republicans actually believe "Our country (AMERICA) is too big, too complicated, too decentralized for a few of us (REPUBLICANS) here in Washington..."

Republicans have lost the fire in the belly to lead, it's too big, too complicated....

Posted by: knjincvc
===========================================
Why cut the quote off there? You wouldn't be trying to distort it would you?

What he said is the US is to big and complicated for a few people in washington to write a few rules remaking 17% of the economy all at once.
Actually a fairly intelligent position.

Posted by: saw1 | April 1, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ. The Republicans ARE crazy. It's not their opposition, or even their misguided efforts to challenge or organize a movement to repeal the law: It's their arrogance in believing they are absolutely correct in their beliefs, and their vehemence in misrepresenting what the law says, and how it was enacted. Republicans have been acting in an uncivil and, yes, crazy manner about this issue. And, they are guilty of organizing a movement that spits on black Congressmen and calls them by racial epithets. If that's not crazy, I don't know what is.

Posted by: bert8 | April 1, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama moved pretty quick on the first budget. So, we're about +13 months on the first budget. Typically, the effects of the budget begin to be felt around 12-16 months, so we're at the transition point. But it should also be noted that we've been operating under a pretty warped budget since 2007. Lefties like to point to Bush about TARP - and its true he did support it - but TARP is a different thing than these seven other spending bills. And they conveniently forget that it was the bush/pelosi/reid/clinton/obama/mccain bill as well. They're all progressives of one shade or another. Actually, Obama's more a marxist.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

@bert8: I beg to differ. The Democrats ARE crazy. It's not their imposition, or even their misguided efforts to re-foudn the country around socialist principles: It's their arrogance in believing they are absolutely correct in their beliefs, and their vehemence in misrepresenting what the bill means, and to what lengths they will go to enact it. Democrats have been acting in an uncivil and, yes, obsessive manner about this issue. And, they are guilty of organizing a movement that uses black Congressmen to stir up fake racism because all they can do is call their opponents racists; and they have to make it stick. If that's not crazy, I don't know what is.

Posted by: prof_robinson | April 1, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If business is good who cares. The idiots will keep donating to the idiots and the idiots watching TV will sit around pretending they know better when they don't know much at all. I know I'm sore from working and in a matter of hours I'll be back at it.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 1, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"There is good reason to believe that the extra spending in the depression, didn't help it but prolong it. " prof_robinson

When it comes down to the opposing views of Ben Bernanke, who made a career out of studying the Depression, or the poorly supported posturings of an unknown commentator who likes to style himself/herself as a professor, I'll go with the guy who's got a track record.

Posted by: j2hess | April 1, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

"But whatever the bill’s merits, the plain, undeniable fact is that it is not very popular."

I believe you're leaving the impression it isn't popular because people think it's a government takeover and will lead to the end of the world.

If you look behind the poll numbers reported, you find that about 15% who say they don't approve of health reform, don't approve because it isn't liberal enough.

But let's assume it isn't popular. The reason is that between the conservative media and the Republican lawmakers there have been so many lies and misrepresentations made about the bill. From death panels to the IRS is hiring 16,500 armed agents to come and get you if you don't have insurance.

Both are lies but lies that have taken on a life and hindered any discussion of actual facts. BTW, check FactCheck on that IRS agents lie.
http://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/irs-expansion/

Posted by: FauxReal | April 1, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Sing the praises of the Tea Baggers and in the same breath tell us the ReThugs are not crazy. Sorry, but you wingnuts are crazy, and you are also scary. Go away.

Posted by: ch4gas | April 1, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

lol c'mon dude, this is a population that believed Bush on WMD's. Have you ever stopped to question WHY people are terrified? Surely you have. The answer is the constant screaming and hysteria from the Stone-Age lovin' Right Wing. WAKE UP. Americans are fickle, easily led fools. That's why they all bought homes they couldn't afford. That's why they are addicted to oil like it's crack. That's why two months ago they loved healthcare, now they sorta don't like it, in a year they'll love it again.

Imagine what a great healthcare bill we *could've* had if the Right participated in the process instead of screaming NO. Instead we just have a really good one.

Also you are incredibly naive Mr. Author, if you don't think race plays a part in this. Again, WAKE UP.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | April 1, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

More evil than crazy. Violent with their wars and guns and no health care for the poor. 100% are on welfare with their tax cuts to debt. Reverse Robin Hoods with their take from the workers and give to he rich.

Believe in Jesus, but follow none of his teachings. Constantly cast the first stone at anything Obama. They consider the truth and facts their mortal enemies.

Republicans, party of NO!, tea baggers. Evil or crazy? You choose.

Posted by: chucky-el | April 1, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Where did this Republican insanity begin? Was it in the Town Halls or the Tea Party movement? Neither. The people organized both movements not the Republicans. It's easy to say Republicans when President Obama and the Democrats actually mean the people. The Republicans had to catch up with the people in opposing health care. Republicans are politicians, so they are used to the rotation of power that comes with election. So are the Democrats, but to say the Republicans cracked up because they lost the election is foolish. The Republicans are out of it until November. The people are in charge now because they hold public opinion President Obama hasn't been about to control with his social justice propaganda speeches. If Mass voted for a Republican, it's because the Republicans aren't a threat to what they hold dear. Mass voted for Brown because of the one party dictatorial rule. It was corrupt and corruption of government is something the people won't stand for. Forget the Republicans. It's the people President Obama is fighting against. The Democrats are just throwing the Tea Party movement and the Republicans our there to mislead the people with who President Obama's anger is with and it's not with the Republicans he shut out over a year ago.

Posted by: houstonian | April 1, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

But a rational Republican could, indeed, conclude that Romneycare, even if it might have been a good idea for the Bay State once upon a time, is fiscally irresponsible as applied to the whole country, now, at a time of trillion-dollar deficits.

~~~

And here is what is wrong with your analysis.

1. There are NO Rational Conservatives. They are all irrational just like this article.

2. There would not be any trillion-dollar deficits, if it had not of been for your Master Bush and his co-horts.

3. Finally, stop trying to compare RomneyCare with Obamacare.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | April 1, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare- my new proctologist is the IRS.

Posted by: Valentinne | April 1, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Tea Party represented a majority of americans, so what??

People need to learn what elective representatives do...they apparently dont understand how our government works..

Lastly, George W frequently said he didnt pay attention to, or care about polls..

I guess it was a whole lot easier to sit at home fat and happy while he sends young men and women to war, unpaid for...

Posted by: kreator6996 | April 1, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

No, crazy is liberals' watching, month after month, as Obama's popularity plummets; Democrat prospects dwindle; books by conservative authors flying off the shelves; increasing numbers of affiliates broadcasting conservative radio shows; and more and more independents leaning right--and these same liberals are as smug and out-of-touch as ever. Kept there by the likes of Harry Smith and Matt Miller.

Posted by: RossOdom | April 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice spin but let's check the facts. Millions cheered as the college students can now get on their parents insurance. Millions of baby boomers will now be able to get affordable Health Care Insurance. Millions will save money by not getting those big premium increases and being denied. Children and Adults can't be denied by pre conditions. Check out the local newspapers of the Red States and you'll see what's really going on. I think it was the RNC using donations at a Gay Club that dipped it over. Teabaggers are mainly baby boomers who will need the Health Care while campaigning against it. Few realize the KKK secretly put people in the Teabaggers and that's why you see the hate spilled. For over a year the GOP continued to vote NO on everything the people needed yet they rushed in to vote Yes for the Banks. As more scandels come to light of the corruption of the GOP let's say you might see more independent candidates get voted in this election.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | April 1, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't take a professor to note that Republican columnists have been in lockstep citing this bill's cost while neglecting to mention the effect of its new taxes on the budget deficit.

To name a few, Lane, Krauthammer, Will, Samuelson.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | April 1, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane,

Your argument rests on the assertion that "if the election were held today" then the health care issue would benefit the Republicans. Aside from the shakiness of the evidence for this, it is completely beside the point. The election will not be held today, tomorrow, next week or next month; it will happen in November, a full 7 months from now, and, as they say, that is an eternity in politics.
--------------------------------------

I couldn't possibly agree more. Articles such as these are completely useless because they're full of rampant speculation and hypothesizing. Not only that, they avoid the actual substance of the debate in favour of the horse-race side of politics - whose up, whose down, who has momentum, who is ready for a comeback, who will lose the big game aka election - it's almost as if modern day political writing has been taken over by sports writers! Get back to me in October, until then, this is akin to reading tea leaves.

Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 1, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

32 Democrats voted against the Healthcare bill, yes. In most cases these Dems represent districts with socially conservative, less educated voters (just a statement of fact).

Perhaps some did vote against the health care measure because they didn't fully buy the CBO's scoring. However, I suspect for most it was just a question of political survival.

As far as the GOP acting "irrational" I think this is not an accurate diagnosis of the national leadership (although it certainly applies to a portion of the GOP base). The GOP today exists largely because of sugar daddies in the FIRE sectors -- Finance, Insurance, Real Estate. You could add Big Oil to the equation too -- although there are some local interests at stake there as well. They understand that money tends to win elections. Take away the cash advantages and they hold 20 seats in the Senate and less than 100 in the House.

It's not an accident that the GOP's strong hold is primarily in cheap to purchase states and in the Old South. During the Civil War plantation owners were able to convince a lot of yoeman farmers to risk their lives and homes -- even though the plantation system largely benefited only a few wealthy land-owners. Vestiges of that old system still exist in the economic structure and political voting patterns.

Posted by: JPRS | April 1, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

20 years ago you could have called me a conservative. Not anymore. Among other things what changed me was waiting in a VA hospital waiting room more like a hall to see a VA Dr, and seeing the mass of humble humanity waiting there with me. Me I have the dubious privilege of being first having priority because of my service connected combat wounds.

Looking around I see masses of humanity which I am sure all together their wages in several months work "hundreds" of these folks income was a drop in the bucket to just one health care executive.

Their luck was having put on a uniform of some kind in their life.

Posted by: ArchieHaase | April 1, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

From a Harris poll recently:

-- 25% (1 out of 4) Republicans - not Christian militia nutjobs, Republicans - thought that President Obama is the anti-Christ.

-- 57% of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim (what ever happened to the outcry over (Christian) Reverend Wright? Did Obama convert in the last year?

-- 51% of Republicans believe that Obama wants to turn the sovereignty of the U.S. to a one-world government.

-- 38% of Republicans think that Obama is doing "many of things that Hitler did." (Godwin's law in action here). Hawaiiexpat
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Neocons crazy? Naw, couldn't be!
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"Every drunk teabag is one less" Republikin Proverb
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Posted by: Mnnngj | April 2, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

JPRS wrote, "During the Civil War plantation owners were able to convince a lot of yoeman farmers to risk their lives and homes -- even though the plantation system largely benefited only a few wealthy land-owners."

Yup.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | April 2, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The tea party is nothing more than domestic terrorists. Americans threatening Americans with violence. President Obama needs to send the national guard to every tea party rally. Someone is going to get shot or killed. The FBI needs to take a hard look at the taa party and Sarah Palin.

Posted by: moxford0 | April 2, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm afraid that the new healthcare bill will be a boondoogle and more expensive than claimed.

But there was always a cure for that. . . . . . . . . . It's call single-payer healthcare, which saves loads of money. AND, when joined with drug negotiate prices can cut healthcare costs almost in half.

But nooooo, between the Republicans who are slaves to most anything Corporate, and Democrats who are afraid of the Republican boogieman, we have this mess.

Still, I hope it's better than nothing.

Posted by: Here2day | April 2, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

TEA PARTY THANKS PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR TAX CUTS
Concedes U.S. Born President Not a Socialist, Anti-Christ

RICHMOND, VA - A coalition of the leading Tea Party movement organizations today issued joint statement of gratitude to President Barack Obama for the tax cuts received by over 95% of working American households. In a dramatic reversal of recent rhetoric, spokesmen for Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Express, the National Tea Party Convention, Tea Party Patriots and other affiliated freedom-loving groups also announced that President Obama wasn't a socialist, a Muslim or the Anti-Christ.

The surprise declaration of thanks followed just weeks after a CBS poll found that "of people who support the grassroots, 'Tea Party' movement, only 2 percent think taxes have been decreased, 46 percent say taxes are the same, and a whopping 44 percent say they believe taxes have gone up." As it turns out, Barack Obama as promised delivered tax relief to over 95% of working American households. Political statistician and analyst Nate Silver put the impact even higher, with the 2009 stimulus tax cuts reaching 98.6%.

"I'm afraid we had the whole 'Taxed Enough Already' thing wrong," acknowledged F. King Loof, executive director of the Tea Party Express now touring 42 cities nationwide. "One of our members saw that his tax refund went up this year. When we did some digging, it turned out the average refund from the IRS was up 10% because of the tax credits in the Obama stimulus."

Tea Party Coalition (TPC) leaders have revised their position on the contentious health care reform bill as well. Since August, Tea Party members have been telling President Obama and Democrats in Congress to "keep your government hands off my Medicare." The revelation that Medicare is a government program after all prompted an across-the-board reevaluation of Tea Party rhetoric.

"Surveys showed that 59% of self-identified conservatives and 62% of McCain voters believed the government should 'stay out of Medicare,'" said Tea Party Nation co-founder Tim "Poppa" Vane, adding, "But just because we were wrong doesn't make us any less angry.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | April 2, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

But what really amazes me is Matt’s political analysis -- specifically, his view that the Republican freak-out reflects their inability to process a huge political loss, or as he puts it, “being thoroughly beaten.

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

you must be easily confused

or just totally fookin dishonest

we had this thing called an "ELECTION" back in 2008

repuglotards thought the worst they could do in the US Senate races was lose three seats

instead they lost EIGHT seats in the US Senate

now here is where the "your stupid or a liar" part comes in

losing EIGHT SEATS IN THE SENATE IS A HUGE LOSS

maybe your small brain can not process that information

maybe you forgot

or maybe you're just a lying repuglotarded shill spouting false propaganda

or maybe you've been "Off-Planet"

so whicj is it, lane ???

lying, stupid or crazy enough to believe your own lies

Posted by: nada85484 | April 2, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

houstonian wrote:

Where did this Republican insanity begin? Was it in the Town Halls or the Tea Party movement? Neither. The people organized both movements not the Republicans

===================================

another teabagger terrorist who doesn't know he is being duped by dick armey

the repuglotarded party is led by grifters con men and hate mongers

and goobers like houstonian think they are the ones who are leading this hate fest

dick armey and focus on family, dude

you could look it up

stop being played by the repuglotards, goober

Posted by: nada85484 | April 2, 2010 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Spending is composed of wants and obligations. You want a television but you are obliged to pay the rent.

Health care is an obligation. Not time to be selfish.

Posted by: gary4books | April 2, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Lane. You may refuse to see what's in front of your eyes, but the GOP has cracked up, indeed. It is now a party of crackpots, as examplified by the GOP's embrace of its demented fringe, the TeaBaggers.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | April 2, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Compare the once great Republican Party of the 80s and the Regan Era with what we have today. Despite the differences in ideology, there was at the end a common goal, which was to advance the welfare and best interests of the Country. Look at what is now the GOP, or as some like to call it, "The Party of NO!" Power is the main issue for them, not the best for the country. Regaining seats, attempting to discredit Obama's health care reform efforts was the only goal they had. No concern for the un-nsureds, or the massive costs and rate increasing taking place as the "debate" continued. (How does 29% strike you) The true goal was to block everything, then argue the the Democrats lacked the will and ability to govern, and they should be put back into power. P-O-W-E-R!!! That is what the current GOP wants. not what is right for America, or what America needs to regain its wealth, identity, and place in the world. For 8 years decisions, or lack of them were made to insure that bubble continued, no slowing it down, no using existing laws to regulate, ignoring repeated warnings, simply to claim that tired Neo Con "deregulation" "tax cuts" "let the regulated regulate themslves in their own enlightened self interests"! were the basis of our continued growth and prosperity. Boy, were they wrong. The GOP has been hijacked by the right wing, who will do whatever it takes to reclaim power, whatever the costs to the people or the country. Where oh where has the once great GOP gone?

Posted by: atc333 | April 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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