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View Diary: A Dose of Reality — In Other Words, I Trust President Obama (528 comments)

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  •  Dem leverage increases dramatically tomorrow if (15+ / 0-)

    there is no deal today.  I agree that POTUS cares more about people and the country, but the rethugs aren't going to take the political hit for allowing taxes to increase on everyone. They also aren't going to accept cuts to military spending. They will be ready to wheel and deal, even in the house. So I do not understand the urgency of doing this today. I do not share your trust of the POTUS, as I don't think he has a truly progressive vision. In his own words, he says that his policies would be moderate republican 30 years ago, and he is correct.  That's why I fear he will cut a bad deal. He also cares way too much about appearing "reasonable."

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:02:11 PM PST

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    •  Lots of other things happen (7+ / 0-)

      UI runs out, tax credits expire, AMT blows up, the Doc Fix is unfixed.  

      What if Republicans, in spite of Obama's leverage, pass a bill out of the house with a $1 million lower threshold, and by doing that, they can both stall for time (hurting the economy in the process) and reward themselves by offsetting lost revenue with further cuts.  The point is that once you go over the cliff, it's hard to see additional leverage created versus the threat of it, unless the public entirely blames the R's for going over.  Once we're over, Republicans can otherwise be as nihilist as they please.

      Relatedly, Obama also didn't say his policies would 'be' moderate republican, just that moderate republicans of 30 years ago could have voted for these bills, except that those moderate republcians are now democrats because the parties used to be regional more than ideological.  Counting the Chafees or John Anderson is slightly dishonest.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:23:47 PM PST

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      •  Disagree about leverage (5+ / 0-)

        The military cuts are enormous leverage.  And as batshit crazy as the rethugs are, I can't see them adamantly refusing to cut taxes. Sure they will try for the $1 million mark, but they will lose public opinion on that one.  By a long shot.  If they really are more insane than we think, well that's a risk worth taking. They'll kill themselves off if they go that route.  

        Power to the Peaceful!

        by misterwade on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:30:01 PM PST

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        •  that is right (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, sagesource, pollyusa, elginblt

          but military spending cuts are not part of the current deal, so even if they're delayed, that bit of leverage is retained.  

          Should we go over, what will happen is this:  Republicans rally around Republicans, Democrats around Democrats, and the standoff can continue.  Getting something done on the cliff next week ain't so bad versus today.  Waiting a month or two, much, much worse.  

          What Obama's always proposed is locking in agreement on the points where they agree, thus reducing the ability or Republicans to hold middle class tax cuts hostage.  That seems to be occurring, and yet folks are trying to cram anything into an Obama-can't-negotiate narrative.  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:37:35 PM PST

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          •  Ready and willing to say "I was wrong.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib

            the prez did a good job negotiating" if that comes to pass.  And it's not just Obama but dems generally, historically, have been pathetic negotiators.  Maybe this will end well, maybe it won't.  But if things like SS cuts go on the table, at the very least they should be proposed by those who want them most, not the party that supposedly supports SS.  Tactics such as this do not inspire confidence or trust, and give support to arguments that he Obama is a bad negotiator.  

            I still think Obamas hand is much stronger after midnight. He can get everything that is supposedly in this deal and more if he waits. But ultimately it'll be the house, I think, that pushes negotiations into the new year.

            Power to the Peaceful!

            by misterwade on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:47:45 PM PST

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            •  as happened (0+ / 0-)

              "but if things like SS cuts go on the table, at the very least they should be proposed by those who want them most, not the party that supposedly supports SS. "

              in Boehener's first proposal.

              Also, letting UI expire tomorrow is it's own downside.

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:50:48 PM PST

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      •  He said he'd be considered a moderate Repub: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib
        Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:21:22 PM PST

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        •  perceived as - (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoanMar, pollyusa, Diogenes2008, elginblt

          not be one.  He went on to say:

          "I mean, what I believe in is a tax system that is fair," he continued. "I don't think government can solve every problem. I think that we should make sure that we're helping young people go to school. We should make sure that our government is building good roads and bridges and hospitals and airports so that we have a good infrastructure.

          "I do believe that it makes sense that everyone in America, as rich as this country is, shouldn't go bankrupt because someone gets sick, so the things I believe in are essentially the same things your viewers believe in," Obama said.

          There's a thing called exaggeration, and speaking to a group of people who were fond of calling him a socialist -- Miami Cubans -- it was to illustrate how absurd that criticism was.  This omits all the ways in which he wouldn't be a republican, like the second paragraph.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:40:58 PM PST

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          •  Ah, I see. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib

            So presumably what the president really meant to say was this:

            "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would inaccurately be considered a moderate Republican."

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:51:20 PM PST

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            •  No. How about: (4+ / 0-)
              There is no way in hell the policies I want to pursue would get enough votes to get to my desk. Heck, I can't even get my judicial nominees voted on in the Senate. So I propose policies that in the real world should get some Republican votes so that we can get some things done for the people of this country. As you can see, that hasn't worked. See what happened to  the American Jobs Act?

              Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

              by JoanMar on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:23:49 PM PST

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              •  Is this a quote or an invention? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul

                In either case, it makes little sense.  Proposing policies that "should get some Republican votes" was shown to be a dead-end strategy back in 2009.  The Republicans aren't going to cooperate on anything, period.  

                In those circumstances, you have to face reality and make them own all the bad shit they're trying to force on this country.  If they want to cut off unemployment benefits, make them propose it.  If they want cuts in Social Security, make them propose it.  If they want to preserve favorable tax treatment for the very richest Americans, make them propose it.  And then if you really have to give in, at least they'll pay the political price for the damage they've done.

                As it is now, they're getting a pass.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:24:08 PM PST

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                •  I have used the Solomon baby (5+ / 0-)

                  analogy before and it is necessary yet again.
                  What you are proposing is the cutting in two of the baby.
                  You want to bring the economy to her knees so as to make a point.
                  These are not the Republicans of yesteryear. These aren't even Newt Gingrich's Republicans. These guys could give a rat's ass if the country is destroyed.
                  Are you honestly proposing that we sacrifice this generation so as to make a point? Make them propose it, you say. They have. Did you see Ryan's proposals. Did you see them during the primaries. And after they have proposed it, then what?
                  And lets not even indulge in the all too familiar revisionist history by telling me about the mythical FDR. It is just not the same world.

                  Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

                  by JoanMar on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:41:00 PM PST

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                  •  Then you have no limits. (0+ / 0-)

                    You will end up conceding everything, because our opponents know you will never take a stand when they threaten to do something.  As a consequence, we will eventually see the complete triumph of the Republican Party's most extreme views, because you will always argue we must give in to them to avoid "sacrificing this generation."  The inevitable result of your position, though, is the sacrifice of all future generations.

                    The Solomon analogy doesn't work here in any event.  In that story, the baby had no say in what happened.  In this case, the baby represents the American people.  Unlike the baby, they are not totally helpless.  If someone tries to cut them in half, I suspect they'll react with justifiable anger.  Perhaps we should let the Republicans try it and see how well they fare after the attempt.  

                    Certainly there will be pain, but there is no outcome here that will not involve pain.  Continuing to accede to Republican demands simply means that the most vulnerable in our society will suffer as Democrats trade away our already inadequate safety net to appease the rapacious demands of the 1%.  

                    What will we tell those people when we've traded everything away?  That they should be happy because we slowed down the pace at which we dismantled the safety net?  In the end, someone will have to take a stand.  Otherwise we will continue to take from the poor, the working class, and the middle class to give to the corporations and the wealthy.  

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:48:01 PM PST

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            •  well, that wouldn't be hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

              what he's saying is that the stuff he's proposing is so uncontroversial, you shouldn't be able to discern what his overall affiliation was, just form that fact.

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:31:12 PM PST

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