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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/6 (288 comments)

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  •  There's this hysteria First Read: (7+ / 0-)
    If the Obama administration loses, many might not realize the full-fledged political crisis the president will face. His congressional opposition will be more emboldened, if that was possible. (Any advantage the Democrats hold in the upcoming fiscal fights ahead could quickly disappear.) A year before the 2014 midterms, Democrats will start hitting the panic button with a wounded Democratic president in office. (If you’ve paid attention to politics over the past two decades, when the going gets tough, Democrats often jump ship.) And any lame-duck status for Obama would be expedited. (After all, a “no” vote by Congress would rebuke the nation’s commander-in-chief.) Up until now, the first nine months of Obama’s second term have been, well, a disappointment. Gun control was stopped in the Senate; immigration reform is stalled in the House; no progress has been achieved in the budget talks. So if you throw in Congress rebuking the president from taking military action in Syria -- something he has said is necessary -- that would be a huge political blow to Obama’s political standing.
    That seems like a truly horrible situation brought on by...nothing at all. To me, it's like First Read is descriibing one of those Direct TV commercials where the guy has cable, becomes a ninja, and then falls through a ceiling trying to fight crime, before ending up in jail, or something.

    What are Democrats going to jump ship over? Anything truly insane will never anywhere in the Senate, and even if they managed to pass something shitty, he can veto it. He's still the President until 2016, and even if 2014 is really bad for us, we're not going to end up in a situation where they have the necessary votes to override him.

    "At this point, if the president came out in favor of breathing, [Republican leaders would] tell their caucus members to hold their breaths."--Jared Bernstein

    by bjssp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:05:21 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Woe betied Assad is emboldened (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, MichaelNY

      The primacy of Congress had already been reasserted long before this. And that was inevitable after the Bush years.

      "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

      by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I saw that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GReen4994, LordMike, Skaje, MichaelNY

      Struck me as way off. Every president has suffered setbacks from his own party. FDR's court-packing scheme got shoved back in his face. Reagan had several vetoes overridden in the last two years of his time in office, including a highway bill where he personally begged Republican senators to sustain the veto. They didn't. But in both cases, it didn't mark the "end" of their presidencies, as FDR went on to save the world from fascism, and Reagan still managed to be effective in the areas he most cared about, like supporting murderous anticommunist militias who killed more people than the people they were fighting.

      Obama clearly misread the political situation wrt Syria. It amazes me he could have assumed he'd be free to pursue a liberal hawk agenda after staking out an initial identity as the anti-war candidate, that that wouldn't be an obstacle. He misread the public, though he's never shown a great aptitude for understanding the public mood to be fair. He further made mistakes by having Kerry and Hagel up the fearmongering in a way that was so overwrought and made no sense given the stated goal of lobbing a few missiles somewhere for some reason that everyone saw through it, by adopting a McCain/Graham first sales pitch, a belligerent first response, etc. Having said all that, political capital is a pretty silly concept. When it comes time for a debt ceiling standoff, Democrats will rally to Obama's side, unless he tries to give away the store again. Each day is different. People who talk about "lame duck" stuff are ignorant.

      •  Well, he can always attack (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, LordMike, MichaelNY

        if he really, really wants to. Not that this is likely, but I guess it's an option.

        But more likely, it's not as if this is the only chance they have to vote on this, right? If the situation gets quite a bit worse, which doesn't seem all that hard to imagine, the impetus for action is much greater.

        "At this point, if the president came out in favor of breathing, [Republican leaders would] tell their caucus members to hold their breaths."--Jared Bernstein

        by bjssp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:34:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think if he does... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Speaker Boehner won't be able to stop the rank-and-file from filing articles of impeachment. In fact, I think many House Republicans intending to vote "no" are hoping President Obama will attack Syria anyway so they can say, "See! He's going against Congress, which is clearly unconstitutional! Impeach him!"

          Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:56:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some Democrats would actually support (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh

            his impeachment in a scenario in which he directly violated the will of Congress and attacked a country.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:02:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, okiedem

              I wouldn't, but I both take a broad view of executive power and support military intervention in Syria, which I guess makes me a bad Democrat these days? IDK.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:07:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It most certainly does not (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                okiedem, SaoMagnifico

                Have you seen Michael Tomasky's latest at Daily Beast? I read it and thought of you. There are logical and genuine arguments to be made on all sides of this situation. Unfortunately for the president and the people in the line of fire in Syria you and I are clearly in the minority.

                "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

                by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:27:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Same boat - also have to say this hurts Obama (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, SaoMagnifico

                  if not so much domestically, definitely abroad. While I don't think his impending defeat in this vote will have much effect on the budget and debt ceiling negotiations I think it will be pretty catastrophic for his ability to represent the country's interests abroad. While this is bad enough on its own it seems the worst part of this will be that it makes an Israel-Iran war much more likely (paradoxically likely involving a much more active role for the US than would the limited strike in Syria).

                  27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

                  by okiedem on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:35:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SaoMagnifico
                  Unfortunately for the president and the people in the line of fire in Syria you and I are clearly in the minority.
                  And I.

                  23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

                  by wwmiv on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:49:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  you don't need a broad view of executive power (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SaoMagnifico, jncca

                to think the president doesn't at least initially need Congress to give him permission.

                ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                by James Allen on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:34:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I dont think he misread the situation or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, MichaelNY, SaoMagnifico

        the public.

        Quite the opposite. I think it looked like they were going to strike without a congressional vote, and he realized that would be a bad idea, given polling showed around 80% wanted a vote.

        If he loses the vote, it will definitely be a loss for the president, no sugarcoating it.

        But I dont know how much it really affects his domestic standing or his legislative agenda.  

        The Syria strike is unpopular politically, which isnt a reason not to do it. But is his approval rate going to fall as a result? I doubt it.

        And as far as a legislative agenda, immigration reform really depends on the House GOP at this point, not Dems. A Syria loss could have some effect on budget negotiations, but I think that is a completely different issue.

        •  That's one thing that never makes any (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, jj32, MichaelNY

          sense: why is he going to suffer if the House votes down something that is politically unpopular? It seems like a stretch to say that the public will reward the Republicans in some way for doing what is already broadly popular, and it should be clear to anyone who isn't quite fickle that they'd vote down anything he says he's behind.

          "At this point, if the president came out in favor of breathing, [Republican leaders would] tell their caucus members to hold their breaths."--Jared Bernstein

          by bjssp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:40:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, the main effect I could see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            is that possibly it's hard to bring Dems on board for a budget deal. But to be in a position to get Dems on board, the WH and GOP will have to have struck a deal, and that doesnt look like it was happening anyway.

            And Dems arent the issue with CIR.

            And those are really the only two major legislative priorities for Obama. Climate Change is going to be done through regulation. Obamacare is mostly about implementation.

        •  I guess we can thank Bush (11+ / 0-)

          for making an entire generation of Americans cynical, anti-humanitarian interventionists.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:42:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  GW Bush's coalition is the big loser here... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jj32, MichaelNY

            The evangelicals are not welcome in public campaigns by the GOP anymore (even though they still get what they want from the party as a whole).  They've been forced out of GOP messaging campaigns.  Now, the neocons are officially persona non grata with the public, too.  I suspect they'll be official relegated to the GOP closet like their evangelical friends soon enough.

            GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

            by LordMike on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:57:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't necessarily agree (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, LordMike, ArkDem14, jncca

              Perhaps the most touted Republican candidate for Senate of this entire cycle is Rep. Tom Cotton, who is an evangelical neoconservative.

              The most touted Republican candidate for Senate in 2010, now-Sen. Marco Rubio, is...drumroll please...an evangelical neoconservative.

              Libertarianism -- or more accurately Paulism, which is basically evangelical libertarianism/anarcho-syndicalism ("small government", but socially conservative and anti-secular) -- has become a much stronger force in the Republican Party than it used to, but I often think that's more a function of having a Democratic president (isn't hating the very idea of government a convenient way to justify obstructing and opposing him at every turn?) and will quickly fade back to the fringes as soon as a Republican wins the White House.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:06:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  And that was what a lot of people who opposed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            Iraq back in 2002/2003 said. That if the war didnt turn out well, it would hurt a future presidenti's ability to ever use a military response again, even when it's necessary, because the American wouldnt be so trusting.

            It's obviously debatable whether we should use force here, but the trust an the war weariness is definitely there.

          •  I understand that sentiment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, SaoMagnifico, JGibson

            We invaded Iraq when I was 16 years old, before my political sentiments had really solidified.  At the time, with my basic understanding of politics and foreign policy, I bought into this idea that Saddam Hussein was "bad" and we should do something about it.  One year later, I had turned against the war.  The resulting decade-long involvements in both Iraq and Afghanistan cemented my beliefs.  I promised myself I would never again get swayed into supporting a non-defensive attack on another country.  I think a lot of other people did too.

            •  The problem with the Iraq precedent (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, SaoMagnifico, ArkDem14

              is the reasons for that were entirely fictional.  If Sadaam just had used chemical weapons on the Kurds, and Bush said that civilized people can't tolerate that, we would look at the whole situation differently.

              Politically this is a much more clear issue: will the nation support/resist/shrug over taking missile action against one of the most entrenched dictatorships in the world?

              Iraq is not an historical precedent for that.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:40:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No kidding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            We are all living with the scars of the Iraq War. (Oh, and still not really giving a shit about people living with the actual scars, physical and psychological, of the Iraq War, judging by our depressingly shitty VA healthcare system and generally wrongheaded approach to mental health in this country.)

            Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:58:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Carville pinned it on Bush (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, KingofSpades, kleinburger

              O'Reilly rolled his eyes. But damn truth it is. Republicans would be falling over themselves to vote for this is Bush was proposing it. At least Democrats are consistent with their concerns whoever the CIC happens to be.

              "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

              by conspiracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:54:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Syria has ZERO affect on budget (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, jj32, bythesea, MichaelNY

          They are completely independent.  Leverage is unchanged.  Politics are unchanged.

          45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:02:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  First Read has gone downhill recently (7+ / 0-)

      They really used to be good at resisting the Beltway echo chamber, but they've gone off the rails now.

      The Syria vote affects nothing else at all.  Everything else that's on the table is driven entirely by its own politics.  Appropriations, the debt ceiling, and sequestration are bundled together as their own issue with a long-predictable outcome, which is that sequestration is retained as in current law for another year; the debt ceiling is raised for a year; and appropriations are continued in FY14 at FY13 levels.  If anything different from that happens, it will be slightly to Democrats' favor, not the GOP's favor.

      Immigration, too, succeeds or fails under its own political incentives for the House GOP.

      All that really matters is that Obama isn't pushing anything unpopular except Syria, and even on Syria either the waters calm from no action, or they calm later if Obama ends up bombing but there are no U.S. casualties.

      One thing I've learned is to remember what most people seem to remember and forget about past political battles.  That helps toward understand how important so much in the news isn't.

      45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:01:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with the other responses (6+ / 0-)

      and I'll just add that I truly do despise the beltway mentality on stuff like this.  The Syria vote isn't some magical thing that, if Obama "wins" it, makes Democrats stronger and Republicans wilt under the pressure and just pass whatever the president wants.  Alternately, if Obama "loses" it, Republicans don't suddenly get any more obstinate than they already are.  The past three years of Congress should have clued people in to the kind of resistance Republicans will offer.  It's a resistance that has held steadily predictable despite beltway punditry asserting they would moderate themselves after Obama's re-election, and it will hold steadily predictable despite beltway punditry asserting they will get "emboldened" if the Syria resolution is defeated.

      I'm so tired of reading "analysis" that talks about things being "blows to (politician)", rather than the actual implications of the policy.  It's really not analysis at all, and it made #1 on one of my favorite political articles: 5 ways to spot a bullshit political story.  (The others are if it mentions "gaffe", if the headline ends in a question mark, if the headline is about a politician "blasting" something, and if it's about some down-in-the-weeds local legislator/mayor/city councilor/county executive saying something dumb (there's thousands of them, and dumb things are said everyday)).

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