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Opening position

By Tom Toles

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Friday rant: Pipe wrench edition

There are now limitless lines of attack on Obama available to the talking heads, but one stands out among them. This is a really clever one. Republicans have wasted no time in proclaiming that they will spend the next two years obstructing any efforts of the Obama administration, other than, of course, repealing all his prior legislation. Paralysis vowed. Gridlock assured. Partisanship promised. Rancor guaranteed. Animosity boasted. And whose fault is this? OBAMA'S of course! Why? Because he didn't change the acrimonious tone in DC like he hoped to!

So there you have it! If you run PROMISING uncooperativeness, and deliver, that counts as a PLUS! If it's a BAD thing you have delivered, it's the OTHER guy's fault for not stopping you! See how this game works? Analogies pour into the mind! You're a plumber and your partner cold-cocks you with his pipe wrench. Whose fault is that? YOURS! Because YOU were the one who promised to try to get along with him and fix the leaks! The other plumber told everybody ahead of time that 1) there WERE no leaks and 2) that the leaks were your fault) and for good measure 3) your birth certificate was a forgery.

Be sure, however, when using this line of attack, to shake your head slowly in sadness at this turn of events, because you SINCERELY had higher expectations of Obama because you were moved by his lofty rhetoric. Then take out your own pipe wrench and clobber him AGAIN. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | November 5, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  GOP, Obama White House  
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Comments


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Posted by: PrairieDog60

bite it dog....been there done that.

Posted by: bertzel | November 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The only thing the Republican'ts has done is prevent the countries recovery from the financial disaster and the effort to get unemployed workers back to work. In my book, they are all traitors.
Dave

Can't tell you what you are in my book dave...

Posted by: bertzel | November 5, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The only reason we can not have reasoned debate is because you Libs are so unreasonable.
Posted by: dalyplanet

My Reply,
You must be kidding; the Republican'ts have been known as the party of NO! for the past two years after the Democrats supported all of Bush's madness.
Obama has let the Republican'ts gut everything the Dumbocrates got passed.
He and his family even swam in the oil contaminated Gulf of Mexico to support the Republican's cohort BP.
The only thing the Republican'ts has done is prevent the countries recovery from the financial disaster and the effort to get unemployed workers back to work. In my book, they are all traitors.
Dave

Posted by: OckamsRazor | November 5, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Tom ~~~ When in the last ten years did Congress really agree upon anything?

1) When we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress later agreed upon the official version told to US by our government investigative processes.

2) They then agreed the best course of action would be to invade Iraq.

THEY WERE WRONG ON BOTH ACCOUNTS.

It is scary when Congress comes to an agreement on an issue. Oh ya let's not forget the BIG BAILOUT of Wall Street.

Dear President Obama:

I am broke and unemployed still anxiously awaiting my Health Insurance so I can have all my current Health problems treated that programs under the Bush administration caused me to have. If you would like to ensure your re-election in 2012 then I suggest you make it a priority to get in touch with me and help reveal all of these corrupt operations that took place during the Bush years.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | November 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Tom ~~~ When in the last ten years did Congress really agree upon anything?

1) When we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress later agreed upon the official version told to US by our government investigative processes.

2) They then agreed the best course of action would be to invade Iraq.

THEY WERE WRONG ON BOTH ACCOUNTS.

It is scary when Congress comes to an agreement on an issue. Oh ya let's not forget the BIG BAILOUT of Wall Street.

Dear President Obama:

I am broke and unemployed still anxiously awaiting my Health Insurance so I can have all my current Health problems treated that programs under the Bush administration caused me to have. If you would like to ensure your re-election in 2012 then I suggest you make it a priority to get in touch with me and help reveal all of these corrupt operations that took place during the Bush years.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Truth!
GOP=Amoral! Sold us out to Robber Barons and now are working (along with their amoral [Dark Ages mentality Vatican] Supreme Court to enslave US permanently.

Those of us who remember the early 1930's know what the GOP is resurrecting. You younger people are just to ill-informed (FOX & Cronies) to have any idea of what's in store for "working" class people and po' folks!

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

As the nation becomes more uncivil, the Republican party gains favor. They seem to feed off of incivility, immaturity, lack of reasonable discourse, and name calling. Their stated goal is to make sure Obama is a one term president. There is no real reason they wish this, except that they hate him and want to get power back. It's like a drug for them. They had it for a decade or so, completely screwed things up and drove us over a cliff, and now they need a fix, so they can send us off the same cliff yet again.

I guess I'm not built to understand how anyone can vote for a party that has no answers. Oh, they DO have answers, you say? I haven't heard any yet, from any of them. They want to give us the same things they gave us in the decade and a half before 2008; tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, more wars (Iran) and the mythical spending cuts (which they promised the last time they had congress and the White House, and never delivered).

I'm not making any of this up. This is what they did, and it's what they're promising. Did those that went to the polls just forget what they did to us in the first decade of this century? Did you forget how tax cuts for the rich don't work as an economic stimulus and actually have the opposite effect? Did you forget how deregulation of everything led to Enron, AIG, BP, etc?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If there's a conservative out there who's heard *anything* new from the Republicans in terms of how they're going to change things, please pass it along! I'd love to hear it! So far, it's all a sequel to a really bad movie, with more of the same bad acting and another likely awful ending. Not that I'm enamored with Dems or anything (I voted for Nadar back in 2000), but at least the Dems were *trying* to offer something different, some changes in health care, in how we treat the natural world, in how we treat other nations. Give it a bit more time and I bet it would work.

Are you really so fixated on hating Obama that you have to invent a mythical party that has all the answers and will do all the right things, but doesn't really exist? If that party DOES exist, it's certainly not the Republican party. They're offering the same playbook from 2000. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | November 5, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Truth!
GOP=Amoral! Sold us out to Robber Barons and now are working (along with their amoral [Dark Ages mentality Vatican] Supreme Court to enslave US permanently.

Those of us who remember the early 1930's know what the GOP is resurrecting. You younger people are just to ill-informed (FOX & Cronies) to have any idea of what's in store for "working" class people and po' folks!

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr Toles, there was a time when I thought you were a serious commentator but of late you make it very clear that you are actually a comedian. Your rants are getting more and more humorous with each one you write. Keep up the good work. Everyone loves a good joke.

Posted by: pwscout | November 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The only reason we can not have reasoned debate is because you Libs are so unreasonable.
Posted by: dalyplanet | November 5, 2010 2:21 PM
________________________________________________________________
Your thoughtful, in-depth response is appreciated and I will consider it....for a micro-second. Really, if you have a point, what is it? Did you look at the data? If not, why not? If you did, what is your opinion? Are you simply conceding the debate? You had an opportunity for a reasoned debate. You chose not to engage in one.
How is this my fault?

Posted by: ptgrunner | November 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yet all the same...Just because it is not unconstitiutional does not make it just!

Posted by: bertzel | November 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I did not say it did. I was referring to when the poster I quoted said "But the best politician is the one who asks, "Is this legislation in conformity with the Constitution?" and votes accordingly."

That said I can't think of anything particularly "unjust" they've done. Continuing some of the Bush administration's national security practices I guess, but that's not really what we're talking about here.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | November 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The only reason we can not have reasoned debate is because you Libs are so unreasonable.

Posted by: dalyplanet | November 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Toles, you are wrong.........to think it is possible to engage in a reasoned to debate with TPiers, and even with those Republicans we NOW call "moderates." But I give you, and Obama, credit for trying.

We just got some relatively good news today: a better than expected 150,000 jobs were created in Oct., and Sep. and Aug figures were revised with 110,000 fewer job losses than previously estimated. Hourly wages were slightly higher, too. I am confident that the GOP and Tea Partiers will try to take credit for these improvement (after all, these improvements occurred on their watch in the twisted TP narrative), but it's always possible that they will dismiss this good news as lies by the liberal elite MSM. Obama and the Democrats have managed the economy quite well, and they have done so with little or no help from the Republicans. Obama's policies have stimulated the economy in the short term and some long term deficit issues have been addressed and could be further addressed IF THE GOP WOULD HELP. But it's more important that Obama and other Democrats appear to fail, right??????

In the Tea Party narrative, the recession was the fault of Obama and the Democrats. But the recession started in Dec. 2007 so how could that be? Moreover the economy (U.S. adjusted GDP) began to "hook" downward (GDP graph concave down) sooner than that. See:

http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=230

Of course, TPiers won't have Rush to interpret the data, so they will have to wing it. OK, OK. I'll try to explain it to them: the economy (GDP) took off in mid 2006 (housing bubble, which the GOP rode into the ground), then began to level off in late 2006 when, yep, the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. We all know what happened after the "leveling off". The level-off was just a prelude to the recession. The concave down GDP curve started well before the Democrats took control of the House Of Representatives. So from this data and graph, the TPiers may decide that the recession and continued mediocre economy must somehow be the Democrat's fault. But you can say that I haven't tried to reason with them. And you CAN say that that is an exercise in futility.

The national debt. Under only three Presidents since WWII has the national debt relative to the GDP gone up: Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. All Republicans! Even under Jimmy Carter, the national debt relative to GDP went down. What does this say about Republicans? Answer: they are irresponsible! And the Tea Party clowns are far worse than your garden variety Republican.
Case closed.

Posted by: ptgrunner | November 5, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

This will last until the 'Publcans remind us why we ran them out in '06 & '08.

Posted by: Capn0ok | November 5, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"2013...Can you say first White House shooting range, oil well on the lawn and stuffed polar bear in the hallway. Sarah will probably keep the basketball court since she can still bring it there too."


President Palin? Surely you jest. She just failed to get the Republican candidate elected to the Senate in Alaska.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 5, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I imagine Mr. Toles expects those bad Republicans to say something like "elections have consequences. We won" at any moment now. But, of course, Obama need not listen to any proposals the Republicans might make because, as today's cartoon explains, agreeing to any of them would cause him to lose his head. In fact, ignoring the Republicans is how the Democrats defined bipartisanship in the past two years, while Republicans' complaints about having been shut out from input in legislation was, in the Democrat universe, obstructionism. Such contortions of logic make the cartoonist look like, well, . . . a cartoon.

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

~~ or certainly not unconstitutional. That may be what you believe, but that doesn't mean you are right.
Posted by: jhnnywalkr |~~

Yet all the same...Just because it is not unconstitiutional does not make it just!

Posted by: bertzel | November 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Obama should try a new political approach - sabotaging economic recovery.

Sounds crazy I know, but hey, it worked for the Republicans.

Posted by: kenonwenu | November 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Tom! They're not gonna fool us 8 times in a row!

Posted by: duke5 | November 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be this notion that passing lots of legislation makes one a good politican, which is why there are commentaries appearing declaring that Nancy Pelosi is one of the best House Speakers in U.S. history. But the best politician is the one who asks, "Is this legislation in conformity with the Constitution?" and votes accordingly. The best example of that would be Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. It is often more important to fight against the passage of bad legislation than to fight for the passage of seemingly good legislation.

Posted by: DirtFarmer1 | November 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

This is absolutely correct. The thing is, not everyone believes the big accomplishments of the Democrats the last couple years was all "bad legislation" or certainly not unconstitutional. That may be what you believe, but that doesn't mean you are right.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | November 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be this notion that passing lots of legislation makes one a good politican, which is why there are commentaries appearing declaring that Nancy Pelosi is one of the best House Speakers in U.S. history. But the best politician is the one who asks, "Is this legislation in conformity with the Constitution?" and votes accordingly. The best example of that would be Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. It is often more important to fight against the passage of bad legislation than to fight for the passage of seemingly good legislation.

Posted by: DirtFarmer1 | November 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Again, you have it exactly right.

My disgust is matched only by the hope that Obama is fortified by their idiotcrazy and does everything possible to push for what is best for the country instead of capitulating to the GOP and their corporate sponsors.

Posted by: jessicagreen1 | November 5, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Spot on as usual, Toles, and nice rant too.

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

OK. School age riddle time.

If a plane crashes on the border of Mexico and the USA, where do you bury the survivors?

Ha Ha.

One never buries survivors.

Just the dead.


Now why should President Obama be contrite? Because his Health reform will save money in the long run? Because his stimulus plan saved jobs? Because he did the right thing?

HA HA.

You never apologize when you are right.

Unless you do as the Republicans ask.

Then you say "We were wrong and you are right, Mr. President. Now will you apologize?"

"Will you say 'I am sorry the Republicans were wrong.' "

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 5, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

More predictable and tedious partisan dreck from Toles.

I like the commentary from Toles. What a partisan hack. Keep spewing those talking points, Tom. Maybe someday you will come up with your own thoughts, but that would require some degree of creativity.

Posted by: bobmoses | November 5, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

The recent film "Invictus" is very enlightening in light of our situation. President Mandela made a point of coming to the white conservatives to find common ground and work together for the benefit of the country. And they reciprocated. In a recent St Andrews Golf tournament the white South African winner commented on the day being Mandela's birthday. In America, Obama's first action after the election was to meet with John McCain to try to work together to end the worst economic slump since 1929 (also caused by Republicans). Then he met with the Conservative pundits, with the Republican caususes. He continually held his hand out to Republicans to work together. AND THEY SPIT IN HIS FACE.
What a bunch of nasty, mean spirited SOBs they area. This is why my wife stopped being a Republican. I stopped when I realized that nearly all the "former" segregationists had not only become Republicans but had taken over what was once the Party of Lincoln. Though they did maintain one older Republican virtue, that of being shills for the rich.

Posted by: roscym1 | November 5, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

In 2012 the youth and minorities will show up to vote again and things will be much tighter. If the Repubs deliver nothing but gridlock they will be shown the door again. The voters will still be angry and this time the Repubs will own some of it. When the public discovers there is nothing but empty rhetoric in the Repub bag of tricks they will be the ones held accountable.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | November 5, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

2013...Can you say first White House shooting range, oil well on the lawn and stuffed polar bear in the hallway. Sarah will probably keep the basketball court since she can still bring it there too.

Posted by: bignoisylawnmower | November 5, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

So boring. Liberals gift wrapped the tidal wave last Tuesday and seems like they're headed for the same outcome in 2012. Didn't learn a thing...
Posted by: pararanger22

My Reply...
You are so right!
I could have gagged When Obama stated the same old song and dance about doin' the
unifying, "Mashed Potatoes" again.
All he will get is the Republicorp "no! and hell no!".
The republicans have turned everything Obama has done to their advantage and made him look like a loser.
He needs to get a backbone and kick Republican ass. Start with end the wars and put Bush/Cheney in jail where they belong for starting a war under false pretenses.
Dave

Posted by: OckamsRazor | November 5, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Hillary had her shot and blew it...won't go back in time.

Posted by: bertzel | November 4, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

You should see what kind of trap the Democrats have planned for him it begins with the letters HILL_ _ Y.

Posted by: jornolibist | November 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Another Toles ridiculous rant. The media has been bashing Obama for the past 36 hours because of the arrogant, unapologetic tone he delivered at his news conference. Far Lefty Milbank and Ms. Parker clearly outlined his shortcomings.

But not 'tingly leg Toles'. It's all the GOP's fault, not the messiah. Couldn't be.

Until Toles actually delivers a few rants (without the usual 'go to hell GOP' caveats) that squarely take on the Liberal goof-ups, he'll never have any credibility. Toles just sounds like all the other Liberals that were voted out of office: not our fault; we didn't do anything wrong; its Fox, its Rush, its those dirty Elephants - blame them!

So boring. Liberals gift wrapped the tidal wave last Tuesday and seems like they're headed for the same outcome in 2012. Didn't learn a thing...

Posted by: pararanger22 | November 4, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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