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It seems to me that Obama's strategy for fiscal and other policy should be to work with Nancy Pelosi on Democratic priorities, and then peel off just enough Republicans to create a working majority. In the old days it probably wasn't so hard to find "moderate" Republicans for such an effort. It may take tougher measures to find persuadable ones in this environment.

My question: How many Republican House members were elected from districts that Obama either won or was very close? Those should be the prime targets, whether they see themselves as moderate or not. But surely some of them are business-oriented "blue chip" Republicans that don't want to see the economy go off a cliff, slope or other downward incline.

Another question: It seems to me that Republican presidents (Reagan perhaps and others) often worked with a House that had a majority of Democrats. The strategy was to start with the Republican minority and then entice just enough "Blue Dog" Democrats to be able to pass legislation. Anybody have good examples that might be a model for today ... suggesting that President Obama's best path is to work with Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic caucus in the House, and then draw in just enough "Blue Chip" Republicans to make a bare majority?

In sum: First, propose a plan that all Dems in the House will support. Then, tinker just enough to get 17 R's to sign on ... offering them pork or other enticements if necessary rather than major policy concessions ... so that we end up with a plan where the Dems get 90 percent of what they want and Repubs get 10 percent rather than the other way around!

If Obama keeps working with Boehner, the only deal that will pass will be one where the Republicans get 98 percent of what they want. And given the crazy Tea Partiers, it may be that even 100 percent won't be enough.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need to peel off some. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So far, conservative Republicans (that is to say, the left-most elected Republicans) are deathly afraid of the Tea Party and not at all afraid of Democrats.

    We should campaign more actively in '14, but we also need to keep the public discussion about what they are doing from now until then.

  •  Remember the discharge petition. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, bontemps2012

    You'd need to get 218 Congresscritters to sign one, because it's unlikely Boehner will let anything through that he doesn't personally support.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:56:18 AM PST

    •  Discharge petition: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, Samer

      Yes, this is a good example of what I'd like to see as the core approach. Start with a plan that the Democrats all support and do the hard work of adding Republicans one by one.

      Instead of the opposite, which entails trying to split the difference with Boehner, and then finding out he's moved the goal posts again, rinse and repeat until he has 98 percent of what he wants.

      At this point, Nancy Pelosi can round up as many votes as John Boehner can. Neither can guarantee an instant majority ... but I'd rather start with Pelosi's 200 and add some moderate Rs (if they exist) than Boehner's 200 and adding either the Tea Party extremists ... or at best a few Blue Dog Dems willing to support something "center right."

    •  Also, the discharge petition can be used (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for bills that have been returned from the Senate.

      The current budget bill has a version that can be used with different language -- still suitable for a discharge petition -- to bump almost anything to the floor.

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:32:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, that is indeed how bi-partisanship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, wilderness voice

    (roughly) used to happen. But for an example, one of todays most "moderate" Republicans that you would need to peel off is Chris Gibson from my district, NY-19, and there is just no way you peel Gibson away from the Republicans. You have to get close to Jeff Flake territory in the current House to get enough Republicans to create a Democratic majority vote. I just don't see any way of that happening.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:56:54 AM PST

  •  Try the old version of bipartisanship (0+ / 0-)

    The old version of bipartisanship was when a President reached across the aisle and brought along a few members of the opposing party, enough to get a majority.

    That seems harder to do today, but has President Obama really tried that, one-on-one with specific members?

    Working with Boehner is useless because that means Boehner has to convince virtually his entire caucus to support a deal. The only deal that will succeed will be something so far right it'll make the Tea Party happy ...

    Far better to forget Boehner and the Tea Party and start nibbling at the caucus one by one. In other words, start with a plan that 200+ Dems in the 2013 House will support, and add just enough Republican goodies to get the fewest R votes that are absolutely needed. It won't be easy and it won't be quick, but I'd rather take that slog than hope that Boehner can deliver anything that we'd want.

    •  Agree!! The President Needs To At Least Try The (0+ / 0-)

      approach the diarist suggests. If the President can't peel off enough Rethug votes in districts Obama won, then the Dems should just wait until the next Congress gets sworn in come January - there will be fewer Tea Bag nutcases in the House to deal with (i.e. no Allan West, etc.).  Once the Bush tax rates are allowed to expire, it will be more difficult for the Rethugs to insert tax breaks for the wealthy into future legislation, and if they do, at least Democrats can use those tax breaks as bargaining chips. In addition, it might be easier in the next Congress to peel off some Obama district Rethugs to vote with the Dems, since the Rethug base (i.e. defense contractors) will be screaming about upcoming defense cuts. The President should at least give it a try.

  •  Have You Been Living Under a Rock? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Those types of Republicans (of which I used to be one) are gone from elected office.  There are so few left that even with them and even if the Blue Dogs didn't peal off, there still aren't enough votes to get anything done.  Not to mention, Boehner simply refuses to put this stuff to a floor vote.  Ain't gonna happen.

    •  Not only are they gone (0+ / 0-)

      but anyone actually there, and who might have been open to it at some time in the past, won't dare now because the Tea Party fringe will primary and win.

      Progressives need to build up that kind of force in the Democratic Party.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:40:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi & her deputies are killing the mid terms (0+ / 0-)

    right now, live on tv. Why would any of us who worked and waited in lines to vote for these backstabbers, lift a finger for them in 2014.

    I had hoped that we could have a good mid term, but now, not  2 months after the election Obama, Pelosi, Hoyer and Van Hollen are selling us out.

    Boner refused Obama's counter offer, but the Dem leadership is going hand him a gimme. I'll have to say they really reeled me in this time. I thought Obama was finally acting like he would stand up for 98%, but nope. Every thing and anything bad that is about to happen is going to be the repugs fault, and the public knows it. So the fucking back stabs in the Dem leadership are going to save the repugs bacon for them. They may play on the repug team, but they sure as hell don't play on ours.

    The Democrats have already lost the mid terms. They don't seem to care about them so why should we?

    Enjoy your CPI and don't forget to thank Obama for it.  

  •  Obama has "worked" Boehner to the point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    where there is no functioning Republican Party in the House of Representatives.

    No party discipline.

    No knowledgeable experts in finance.

    No competent use of CBO.

    No legal skills, not at this level anyway.

    Let the fools believe that Obama is giving away the kitchen sink. Then look at who just went off the cliff -- John Boehner.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

    by bontemps2012 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:38:56 PM PST

    •  Even a fool can see that Boner going over a cliff (0+ / 0-)

      isn't going to stop Obama from giving away the kitchen sink. It just makes it harder for him.

      •  Paranoia ????? (0+ / 0-)

        That's on a par with believing that our president was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii.

        "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

        by bontemps2012 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:47:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No it isn't. the Democratic Parties leadership is (0+ / 0-)

          poisoned by conservadem ideas. No Democrats asked Clinton to privatize SS in the 90s. And  The majority of Dems and most everyone else, wants the cap on taxable income raised as the ONLY change to SS, and I can't remember Mr. Obama ever mentioning this since he was elected and re-elected.

          Are Hoyer and Van Hollen off the reservation when they want to concede a proposal to the repugs that was rejected by them? Or are they trying, with Obama's approval, to move an endgame as close to Simpleton Bowels as they can.

          The repugs are out of touch not only with most Americans they are out of touch with common sense. But sadly the leadership of the Democratic party dismisses what Democratic voters tell them loud and clearly every election about SS and Medicare.

          IF you are gonna fuck with these programs, make them better for the citizens who need them not the for the Pete Petersons and Wall St Nab Bobs who don't. Raise the taxable income level for SS and bargain for better drug prices for Medicare for starts.

          And even if Mr. Obama is a moderate conservative, as he says, he should still listen to the rank and file and the people who pulled the lever for him.

          He doesn't. Maybe a post election Peoples Convention is required to keep consevadem party poobahs in line.

          Obama is more conservative than the voters who elected him. And he should heed this. He bends over backwards to reach out to mouth foaming repugs and kicks his Liberal base to the fiscal curb.

          We Liberals have better ideas for the country and for our peoples future. The Democratic elites and the repugs don't.

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