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Politics isn't a child's game. It's a bloodsport. People's lives are at stake. To save people's lives, we have to win. The game is played at many levels, from grass-roots activism to local school board politics to Capitol Hill. All of them matter. Over the next couple of months, one battle will take center stage—the battle over the budget. A prominent Democrat once stated: "the budget is a profoundly moral document." That statement referred to the last truly titanic budget battle, the government shutdown of the mid-1990s, one in which a Democratic president stood firm, and a chastened Republican majority backed down. This time, the principal combatants will be President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner. There is only one acceptable outcome. President Obama must utterly defeat Speaker Boehner, and in the process he must break the House Republican caucus.

In 2011 Washington witnessed the clash over the debt ceiling. It did not end well. John Boehner said at the time:

When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the white House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy.
Of course, that agreement set up the sequester. Remember the sequester? It's the indiscriminate slashing of government spending that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates is costing up to 1.6 million jobs. Yeah, that. This time, the end result must be something that makes Boehner unhappy.

Republicans are building toward a huge fight this fall, built around next year's budget as well as the need to raise the debt ceiling. The level of obstruction is so unprecedented as to have reached the level of sabotage, according to Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post laments that this unprecedented level of Republican obstruction is the "new normal."

More about the Republican obstruction below the fold.

The Republican saboteurs in the House of Representatives intend to use the budget process to demand even steeper cuts, as well as to strip out from the budget all funds dedicated to implementing Obamacare. Here are just a few of the examples of what the House Republicans propose to cut (see this chart for more) from next year's budget:

1) Cut 34% from the current budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal the President's recently promulgated regulations on greenhouse gases

2) Cut 50% from the budget of the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities

3) Cut 27% from the budget of Fish and Wildlife Services

4) Cut 16% for education grants for low-income students

5) Cut 13% from the budget for the Labor Department

In other words, we must either gut progressive priorities in the budget and put a full stop to Obamacare, or the Republicans will simply not pass any budget at all. Oh, and they'll have more demands a few weeks later when the debt ceiling needs to be raised, most likely having to do with cuts to Medicare.

Republicans seem to think that they won the last election. They seem to think they won in a landslide and have full control of both ends of Capitol Hill. They seem to think—with good reason perhaps given the debacle over the last debt ceiling fight—that they just need to hang tough and President Obama will blink. Again.

This cannot happen.

Republicans actually lost the 2012 elections, they lost the presidency, they lost seats in the Senate, and they got fewer total votes than did Democrats in elections for the House of Representatives—where they managed to win a majority of seats anyway thanks in part to gerrymandering.

The time has come for President Obama to remind them of these facts. He gave an excellent speech on Wednesday, one in which he laid out his economic plans and called on Republicans to offer their own. Obama also said he would stand firm against Republican obstructionists and extremists:

They'll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that they've already cut early education for vulnerable kids, they've already cut insurance for people who've lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or they'll bring up "Obamacare" -- this is tried and true -- despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as businesses had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no "Obamacare." [...]

But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington's taken its eye off the ball. And I'm here to say this needs to stop. [...]

Now, in this effort, I will look to work with Republicans as well as Democrats wherever I can. And I -- I sincerely believe that there are members of both parties who understand this moment, understand what's at stake, and I will welcome ideas from anybody across the political spectrum. But I will not allow gridlock or inaction or willful indifference to get in our way. [...]

[T]here are others who will dismiss every idea I put forward -- (laughter) -- either because they're playing to their most strident supporters or, in some cases, because sincerely they have a fundamentally different vision for America [...]

Repealing "Obamacare" and cutting spending is not an economic plan. It's not. If you're serious about a balanced long-term fiscal plan that replaces the mindless cuts currently in place, or if you're interested in tax reform that closes corporate loopholes and gives working families a better deal, I'm ready to work. (Applause.) But you should know that I will not accept deals that don't meet the basic test of strengthening the prospects of hardworking families.

Those words are a good start. Now we need action. The president has to not just say he'll stand firm, he has to do it. Over the past four and a half years he has been often willing to compromise, to incorporate some Republican ideas into his policies on the stimulus, on health care, and many other areas—even after winning the kind of landslide in 2008 that hadn't been seen in a generation. Recent polling shows that the American people know that Republicans are the ones responsible for the obstruction taking place on Capitol Hill. Perhaps Obama's willingness to compromise in the past will mean that—if he really does draw a line in the sand now—the American people will stand with him, seeing that he really had no choice because of the other side's extremism.

And the president really does have no choice. The party that loses an election cannot be allowed to set the country's agenda, to block the implementation of laws previously passed, and to put its budget blueprint into law. If it can, then elections mean nothing.

Nothing.

I know that what I'm about to do is a cliche, a cliche that went meta so long ago it was in a movie centered on the new-fangled wonder that was AOL. But I'm going to do it anyway. Here's how President Obama should deal with John Boehner and his crew's attempt to blackmail this country in order to get what it wants:

Now, President Obama is not going to do what Michael Corleone did to the corrupt, bribe-seeking Sen. Pat Geary (if you haven't seen Godfather II, I'll leave it to your imagination). President Obama is not a criminal. Nor is John Boehner seeking a bribe. I assume you all know that. But the metaphor works. It's about when Michael says: "My offer is this. Nothing."

President Obama must tell Speaker Boehner that he will not get he wants. Period.  Obama won the election, and the American people are with him. If Boehner wants to shut down the government, then he must shut down the government. I believe that in such a scenario, given the polling and the president's history of being reasonable and willing to compromise, the American people will put the blame squarely on Boehner and the House Republicans.

The majority of House Republicans will not bend or yield no matter the public pressure, either because they are in safe districts, or because they are absolutely rigid ideologues. For some, it's both. So the only way this impasse can end is for John Boehner to do what he has already done four times this year (the fiscal cliff deal, Hurricane Sandy relief, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, and a historical sites acquisition bill). He must put together a majority made up mostly of Democrats on the budget and, when the time comes, raising the debt ceiling.

Even John Feehery, the aide to then-Speaker Dennis Hastert who came up with the idea that bills should not pass the House without a majority of the majority, says that it's time for Boehner to ditch that so-called "Hastert Rule." Feehery also reminds us that Speaker Tip O'Neill, after Ronald Reagan won the White House in 1980, said that Presidents should have an opportunity to implement their agenda. So much for following the "O'Neill Rule."

If Speaker Boehner passes a budget out of the House and then authorizes a hike in the debt ceiling (remember, that just means paying bills the government has already racked up, not creating new ones), his speakership may well come to an end. Republicans may look to overthrow him in favor of someone even more rigid and right-wing.

Given that possibility, maybe Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would come to an agreement that would allow Boehner to remain the titular speaker at the head of a coalition of Democrats and a few dozen not-insane Republicans, in return of course for passing what would amount to a Democratic budget, as well as a clean debt ceiling bill and anything else the new "majority" supported. Since House Democrats remain in the minority, this is something I could live with. Rep. Pelosi strikes me as the kind of person committed enough to substance to let someone else hold the gavel while she wields the real power and does what is right for the American people.

But none of this can happen unless Barack Obama does his part. He is the key. If he stands firm, as did Bill Clinton when Newt Gingrich tried to blackmail the country not that long ago, then the priorities and morals of the American people have got a chance.

It's all up to the president.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for getting stuff done (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    micsimov, Empower Ink, sunbro, unfangus, profh, orlbucfan, dizzydean, joedemocrat, ericlewis0, TheFern, SME in Seattle, Angie in WA State, certainot, Mark Mywurtz, Dave in Northridge, The Lone Apple, matching mole, polecat, Nebraskablue, MBNYC, palantir, missquested, MrAnon, La Gitane, Egalitare, Denise Oliver Velez, hawkseye, gmats, sebastianguy99, AaronInSanDiego, Mary Mike, thenekkidtruth, Powered Grace, belinda ridgewood, Dyana, Justus, bear83, exterris, Neon Vincent, CwV, CA Nana, Caddis Fly, cocinero, J M F, RadGal70, JaxDem, howabout, Sixty Something, AlwaysDemocrat, KayCeSF, mudslide, Lilredhead, DefendOurConstitution, dopper0189, maybeeso in michigan, radarlady, rlochow, wdrath, pyegar, arizonablue, revsue, alice kleeman, emal, richardvjohnson, Bluehawk, Auburn Parks, Remediator, IndyinDelaware, ratcityreprobate, exNYinTX, judyms9, scott5js, jeannew, texasteamster, 417els, psnyder, thomask, Hammerhand, bgblcklab1, david78209, Aunt Pat, SueM1121, JayRaye, kerflooey, Metalgirl, Risen Tree, yorkiedoglover, SteveLCo, ModerateJosh, Zinman, FindingMyVoice, PSzymeczek, roberb7, scottsvine, kleinburger, Pinto Pony, Gemina13, maryannm, lineatus, Buckeye54, Doctor Who, Railfan, eeff, jackl, nominalize, jck, llywrch, LeislerNYC, nuthangerfarm, on the cusp, sidnora, rogeopa, wordwraith, GDbot, Steveningen, OldSoldier99, stevenwag, gfv6800, remembrance, Karl Rover, Tommy Aces, TexasLefty, Mr MadAsHell, willrob, theBCI, JoanMar, BadKitties, karma13612, rubyr, rantsposition, oxfdblue, mcartri, Oh Mary Oh, fallina7, 3rdOption, Upper West, Albanius, Debs2, Will Smith, bbctooman, Noodles, GeorgeXVIII, Jeff Y, bloomer 101, grich01, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, stevenaxelrod, cherish0708, walja, rbird, Showman, ItsSimpleSimon, Hirodog, avsp, shanesnana, bewareofme, leftist vegetarian patriot, RenMin, a2nite, AnnieR, Drocedus, oortdust, Diana in NoVa, Larsstephens

    It's time to show the Republican obstructionists who won the election.

    Apologies that I can't reply right away, but please do comment and I will read and reply a later this evening. Thanks for stopping by.

  •  reality (18+ / 0-)

    http://www.theonion.com/...

    A blank piece of legislation that says nothing, does nothing, and contains no text whatsoever has been the source of heated debate in Washington this week, and has sharply divided Congress along partisan lines, Beltway sources confirmed Thursday.
    of course if it involves the MIC, they all agree.
  •  Look to NC to see what they'd have done to the US (36+ / 0-)

    if they could have.  Imagine if Republicans ran the whole show again.

    We're LIVING it now in North Carolina.  GerryMander, anyone?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:16:09 PM PDT

  •  Not to mention the food stamp debacle (23+ / 0-)

    how a Republican congresscritter can look him/herself in the eyes knowing they are destroying one of the most important programs that helps the poor is beyond me.

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:16:56 PM PDT

  •  Obama will disappoint you. Count on it. (14+ / 0-)
    If he stands firm, as did Bill Clinton when Newt Gingrich tried to blackmail the country not that long ago, then the priorities and morals of the American people have got a chance.
    There is no chance of that happening.

    Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

    by expatjourno on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:17:35 PM PDT

    •  Just look at Obama's track record (15+ / 0-)

      I'm not holding my breath because I know more appeasement is coming down the track.

    •  I wish you were wrong, but Obama will begin with a (13+ / 0-)

      compromise offer, and it will go downhill from there.

      Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

      by hawkseye on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  his position is only as strong as his support and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      that generally sucks- the 'left' does not "have his back"

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:57:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally disagree (10+ / 0-)

        Obama acts like he does because liberals continue to support him. Not the other way around.

        "Problems can not be solved by the level of awareness that created them", Albert Einstein.

        by Bubbatoby on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:07:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they're not supporting him where it counts (4+ / 0-)

          for 25 years the 'left' has completely ignored the right's best weapon.

          as long as the left ignores talk radio it cannot collectively say it has obama's back. without factoring in talk radio most of the evaluation of obama's performance is piss poor.

          he recently pointed out the obstruction and named the fake 'scandals'. that strategy has worked for them because the 'left' gives talk radio a free speech free ride and completely ignores it.

          most of those scandals and those obstructive efforts depend on that freedom to use 1200 coordinated radio stations to blast 50 mil people a week with their think tank propaganda and take free pot shots at dem reps and presidents and candidates all day long, without challenge. then complaining that they won't stick their heads out far enough is pretty bad.

          ignoring rove's invisible political 2x4 while it beats dem reps and presidents 24/7 is the biggest political mistake in history.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:43:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What are your ideas about how to tackle TR? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            certainot, hooper, Ian Reifowitz

            Talk Radio was part of the Powell strategy. I agree it has been cheap and effective for the Republicans.
            It must be when they are willing to loose money on it, they clearly consider it profitable in the larger context where it allows Republicans to continue to rake in trillions of dollars over the last 30 years in tax breaks for business and bogus war profits.

            We clearly need action on this front.
            Even NPR has recently been terrified into becomeing a shill.
            What are your ideas to tackle them?

            To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

            by Bluehawk on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:15:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RW radio dominance needs our universities - end it (6+ / 0-)

              i've had two main suggestions:

              1) probably more than 30% of RW radio stations get endorsements from our state funded unis and colleges. student activists need to get their schools to declare they will start honoring their mission statements and stop taking money to let KKK-lite partisan GOP radio stations put their team logos on their megaphones. see sig... they need to be pushed to look for non partisan alternatives. those stations are dedicated to defunding education and privatization! they attack teachers and unions and defeat taxes to fund ed. wisconsin badgers broadcast on 2 limbaugh stations that work for gov walker. mich and mich state broadcast on 10 limbaugh/snyder stations! north carolina (in the news) university is on 8 limbaugh stations. the stations will suffer major loss of advertising revenue and community credibility and will have to change format or maybe offer to balance programming - either way - the monopoly couldn't handle losing a lot of schools and as soon as a few schools dropped out others would have to follow.

              2) use the best transcription software to monitor the top 50 or 100 RW radio blowhards and make it searchable. if there are copyright problems the dem party can keep it in house, or the results can be scrambled enough to make them searchable for study of subject and repetition etc. there needs to be a written record dems can take to the media to react more quickly when their candidates are getting swiftboated, or benghazi's are being created, or wars are being sold. RW radio has been successful because it is virtually invisible until it shows up as established reality and it's too late. or candidates are being attacked and there's no response. or an issue is being distorted. the left needs  to be able to point out the source of a lot of the shit and shame politicians and media who repeat it.  

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:47:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "Toxic Talk" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz, certainot

              by Bill Press addresses this quite thoroughly.

              You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less expect it to thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at its tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the grassroots. - Jim Hightower

              by PSzymeczek on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:26:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  IMHO This is wrong in at least two ways (4+ / 0-)

            1. Liberals are countering Rush with an effective boycott campaign.

            2. Politicians react to power. The Tea Party is powerful because Repubs fear a primary. We couldn't keep Lieberman out of office. Why should Obama fear us?

            "Problems can not be solved by the level of awareness that created them", Albert Einstein.

            by Bubbatoby on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:16:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  rush is the point man and the boycott is fantastic (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wordwraith, Ian Reifowitz, CoolAqua

              but it is specifically targeted re sandra fluke. this may actually be a good tactic and effect all of RW radio, as would be the case if limbaugh is beaten down and loses stations, but the 'left' still has no idea what those 1200 stations are pumping out every day, and have no real time challenge to it. and its role and importance in the RW successes of the last 25 years is vastly underestimated. which is why the right is still in the game and the 1% keeps winning.

              2 the tea party is powerful because of talk radio and the alternate reality we allow it too create for them. teabaggers are the talk radio base, reused and renamed.

              teabagger reps won in primaries because they were the ones that repeated the talk radio talking points the best. they had limbaugh hannity beck at their backs. and the local blowhards.

              GOP politicians react very strongly when they diss limbaugh and he names them- then they kiss his ring.

              lieberman had national GOP and talk radio on his side.

              if you want obama to move left get rid of the main impediment - the right's most important weapon- the RW radio monopoly

              how? see comment above to blue hawk

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:28:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Horse shit. (0+ / 0-)
            they're not supporting him where it counts (3+ / 0-)
            for 25 years the 'left' has completely ignored the right's best weapon.
            Number one, thanks to Clinton, six companies control 95% of the media. Not something "the left" can do anything about.

            Number two, Limbaugh just got dropped by the second-largest radio network. So obviously, the left is doing what it can.

            I don't know who you think is ignoring talk radio.

            Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

            by expatjourno on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:35:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  talk radio has been kicking liberal ass for 25 yrs (0+ / 0-)

              and until the stoprush/fluke boycott there has been no organized reaction from the left. stoprush is still specifically targeted and i'm hoping for secondary effects but there are still a hundred major national and local talkers out there lying all day for those think tanks.

              limbaugh is point man and him getting dropped by cumulus is fantastic and the stoprush workers need big thanks from the left- more than they know. the monopoly is still there and has layed a big part in media deregulation and preventing progressives from reregulating. that's what's so stupid about complaining about media consolidation and clinton's part while ignoring the main tool used to push it and protect it.

              for 20 years i've been hearing talk radio is nothing and for most of the left it is still insignificant. the left continues to evaluate obama's performance as if it is secondary to fox or irrelevant- that's the horseshit.

              and the  left still has no idea what those coordinated talkers are saying for the think tanks and how often they repeat it- the left still plays catch upon major issues.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:29:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  PS even without consolidation the right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              would still have limbaugh on 600 stations and hannity on 500 etc because the left thought it was okay to have those assholes on every corner and stump in the country calling us liars and thieves and traitors all day.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:33:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, the left didn't think it was OK. (0+ / 0-)

                We obviously hang out with different crowds.

                Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

                by expatjourno on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  so where was the action prior to sandra fluke? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ian Reifowitz

                  talk radio's been kicking left ass for 25 years and the left still largely doesn't know it- recent history with benghazi, irs, the debt ceiling BS- all are talk radio successes, surprising dems.

                  it was always fox's fault. or media matters might print something relative to racism or sexism- otherwise on the local and national level the left allows these shits to lie all day long with no talk back until after it's on the front page as fact.

                  This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                  by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I think there's a certain division between (3+ / 0-)

          what certainot calls "the left" and you're calling "liberals," the difference being, I suppose, that "the left" is farther to the left.  

          With regard to that faction (which certainly includes me, BTW), PBO has yet to learn that that having-each-other's-back business is a two-way street.  

          With regard to "liberals" generally, I suspect the President is foolishly relying on the Republicans' and the media's definition -- i.e., everybody to the left of them.  

          •  i call dems/liberals/progressives 'the left', as (3+ / 0-)

            opposed to the 'right'

            it's convenient (short), but in terms of talk radio, all thinking democracy-loving americans are affected adversely by it. it is the 1%'s best weapon.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:01:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't follow. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              You're talking about the terminology of "left" and "right," right?  But that's been around for a hundred years.  How is it especially the friend of the 1 percent?  

              •  you mean (4+ / 0-)

                how is talk radio the 1%'s best weapon?

                because everything liberals and progressive would like to do is made harder merely because they ignore it. the 1%'s think tanks have direct local and national coordination of 1200 or so of the loudest radio stations in the country.

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:51:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The "input" of the right-wing puke funnel (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ian Reifowitz, certainot

                  After it hits the radio waves, legions of teabagger zombies spew it back on blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Fox News.  

                  It's scary how 1) a something happens in the political world that could elicit multiple potential right-wing responses, 2) there's a brief lull, 3) Rush Limbaugh makes his pronouncement at lunchtime the next day, 4) his reaction funnels through the rest of the right-wing outlets and pretty soon every right-winger you encounter has the exact same opinion on the political event and talking points to go with it.  

                  A great example of the puke funnel in action is the official gunloon response to any mass shooting.  You can literally watch 123 and 4 happen as they try to explain why it STILL has nothing to do with the guns.  

                  Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                  by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:33:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  We try, but he ignores us. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bubbatoby

          He is a centrist ideologue, as firm in his conviction as any Neocon or Teabagger. And he hasn't moved from that position no matter how ineffective it is against right wing extremism. We can only hope that he is still capable of learning and changing direction. But I'm not counting on it at this point.

          •  He's not a centrist. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bubbatoby

            Obama is a Reagan Democrat. He himself said that his policies would put him in the mainstream of the 1980s Republican Party.

            Reaganomics, endless war all over the globe and electronic surveillance of everyone on earth do not add up to a centrist.

            Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

            by expatjourno on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:32:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, the center has moved right over 30 years (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              Most of the American political system has. Particularly when compared to all political possibilities world-wide. At this time you are exactly correct as to where the center lies.

              However it is always a moving target. I think it is slowly moving left again though it will take at least a decade to move back to where it was in Reagan's time. But in the 50's, being called a conservative was nearly a dirty word so there is plenty of room for change given enough time.

              •  I meant to write, you are correct about Obama (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ian Reifowitz

                and that he is where the center currently lies. He is a centrist at this time. 30 years ago there were liberal Republicans.

              •  I'm not going to reclassify Reagan as a centrist. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Noodles

                Centrists are where the center of the country is on the issues, which is a good deal to the left of both parties on health care, taxes, surveillance, war, the environment, gun control and any number of things.

                I agree with you that the plutocracy has managed to get a lot of very right-wing people elected, since voters only get to chose between a conservative and a wingnut. That doesn't make a conservative a centrist, it only makes him not a wing nut.

                The Heritage Foundation, for example, is a conservative think tank. That means the the individual mandate, for example, is a conservative policy prescription, not a centrist one.

                Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

                by expatjourno on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:06:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Reagan was not a centrist in his day (0+ / 0-)

                  Bill Mahar makes a good case that even today he'd still be at least a moderate Republican who could still raise taxes (though on poorer Americans) as he did 11 times in while in office.

                  And I agree with you about the individual mandate. I was not a fan of Obama's health care approach even when he was still a candidate although it was better than nothing. I preferred, and still hope to see, some sort of single payer system, perhaps where Medicare is greatly expanded or allows an optional buy in for those who do not qualify as an optional health insurance plan, and where all private insurers would be paid by the government and not individuals. Whereby the government would restrict how much they earn, but still giving those which perform best an opportunity to profit a little. Something like that is probably the most likely sort of single player plan which would work in the US. At least in our lifetimes.

              •  +1 (0+ / 0-)

                Barack Obama: From Nobel Laureate to excusing torture, to drone strikes, to violating the privacy of every person on earth. On the other hand, there's always Lily Ledbetter.

                by expatjourno on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:06:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  it's a big mistake to blame the rightward shift on (0+ / 0-)

                some cyclic movement.

                the shift to the right the last 25 years was largely caused directly by the left's total ignore-ance of the right's best weapon- talk radio. starting with excusing the reagan admins criminality and deifying him, turning the party of lincoln into the party of limbaugh.

                considering the time lost on global warming that's been the biggest political mistake in our history.

                if the left had gone after limbaugh when he was treating anita hill like sandra fluke the political landscape would probably be totally different because limbaugh and RW radio would have gotten the notice they deserved - we'd have single payer by now, no bushes and iraq, and certainly no clarence thomas.

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:54:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noodles, Ian Reifowitz

        Just try us!  If the President ever negotiates for a liberal bill, on ANYTHING, we will ALL be standing up and cheering.
        I'm standing up cheering, and sent an email telling him so, because he said "I will not allow gridlock, or inaction, or willful indifference to get in our way...".

      •  I think PO lost the initial strong support he (0+ / 0-)

        was given when for two years he showed his disdain for progressives and the Democratic Party platform in favor of sucking up to the GOP to show his "bipartisanship" (aka appeasement).  From labor unions, to single payer advocates,  to economists like Paul Krugman, our president seemed to simply not be interested in including progressives/liberals at the discussion tables, much less taking any of their advice.  Repubs and blue dogs were much more his cup of tea, it appeared.

        In January 2009, seems his previous 2008 "supporters", suddenly were perceived as ungrateful complainers (hah!) who did nothing but whine about how they didn't instantly get all their ponies.  Which led up to the lackluster, unenthusiastic voting of the Dem base in the 2010 census/redistricting year.  Which led up to the highly motivated rightwing TeaOP base turnout in that same year.  Which led up to the GOP Taliban taking the gubernatorial and House majorities.  Which led to .... the obstructionism galore that we all get to enjoy today.

        Had Repubs not unintentionally mobilized minority turnout  by their blatant voter suppression efforts, I really feel that President Obama would not have been re-elected in 2012.

        Because generally "supporters" expect the people that they help elect to support them in return.  When they perceive that their elected official has their backs, they tend to return the favor.  Of course, when they perceive the exact opposite, they often reciprocate.

        •  your evaluation/analysis, like most is completely (0+ / 0-)

          devoid of consideration of the right's best weapon.

          talk radio has been dominating local and national politics and media the last 25 years, moving the center (and the perception of it) way right and the left still blames their reps.

          anyone who wants to see the center and obama go left fast, and any major reform, is going to have to fix the radio first.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:44:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do not disagree with your analysis of the (0+ / 0-)

            immense, negative influence rightwing talk radio has had over the decades.  It is a hate-filled cancer that has metastized (sic) throughout our country.

            I, however, chose to base my comment on why I think some/many on the left no longer strongly support President Obama.  I think it has to do with many of his actions that demonstrated his disdain/disinterest in supporting, addressing, and fighting for concerns  of an important element of the Democratic base.

            Support is a two-way street, and generally requires reciprocity.  

            •  yeah, i've just gotten to a point where i think it (0+ / 0-)

              is impossible for ANY president who could play the modern political game and get into the white house to push any major reform as long as we allow this ridiculous talk radio domination.

              he only has the bully pulpit when he's actually on it. and  most of the analysis and evaluation of what he and dems have done and what they can and want to do is done with a great ignorance of what talk radio has done and is doing.

              it's like watching a football game where the fans are pissed at their team for losing while not noticing the other team has extra players on the field.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:06:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmm...your football analogy is interesting food (0+ / 0-)

                for thought.  Makes sense.

                No matter how hard I try, I just can't figure out why previous presidents appear to have had the ability to figure out how to effectively use the bully pulpit to promote their policies, yet PO has not.  

                Hate radio is powerful, but so is the bully pulpit and the office of the presidency that it represents.  I suspect it most has to do with having the desire and a steel resolution to utilize those powers for the greater good of this country.  Most modern presidents appear to have been able to set aside their squeamishness (if any existed) to muscle through their agendas during times when their party held majorities in the Senate and/or House, and even when their parties did not.

                President Obama seems to almost always prefer flight to fight.  No one expects him to win every battle; however, we do at least expect him to engage and put up good fight for principles that he says he believes in.  When he takes a stand and fights, his base supports and stands with him.  When he wimps out, especially preemptively, many in his base regard him with the disgust and contempt he richly deserves.  

                I am particularly disgusted with his willingness and repeated attempts to sacrifice safety nets for seniors, middle class workers, and the poor on the altar of some "grand"bargain that will benefit no one but the wealthiest in our country.  IMO, talk radio is not the culprit in THAT regard, nor in other fake "bipartisanship" deals that our president constantly seeks.

                Thanks for taking the time to listen and respond.  Peace.

                •  the last dem president got the beginnings of the (0+ / 0-)

                  talk radio treatment, when they were getting it going.

                  they tried one scandal after another and eventually got lucky with the lewinsky. they had him by the ankle most of his presidency and ended all early attempts for health care reform.

                  now it works even better for them and throw in the racism and    i don't see anything getting much better until the gets serious about talk radio.

                  take any of the last major events the left has expected to finally cause a national discussion gun control, race, etc. he makes great speeches and maybe they spark some sicussion, mostly on the left, but 50 mil a week are getting the limbaugh hannity and sons RW think tank version before and after for as long as it takes till they turn some molehill into a mountain and completely distract the MSM.

                  if he keeps going on a topic the blowhards are calling him desperate and by next week the weekend assholes on the weekend shows are calling him desperate, weak.

                  the game is rigged, but he could do a lot more if the left at least knew what was being pounded out from those 1200 coordinated radio stations.

                  i think he's the best president we've had in decades. i laugh when i hear people thinking this MIC would allow a denis kucinich or bernie sanders or ralph nader.

                  elizabeth warren is an aberration as senator, although talk radio worked great to keep her out of the admin (like many other great people who the left also allowed to be pounded all day mercilessly from 1200 radio stations). if she dies in a plane crash like wellstone will the left believe it's just another plane accident and allow rove/limbaugh to turn another funeral into a staged democratic political event?

                  personally i think obama wants to do a lot more good and could if the left got serious about the right's best weapon. until then there will be more benghazis and debt ceiling 'crisis' diversions. forget gun control. evaluating obama while allowing those radio stations to dominate and poison any national discussion at will is not only unfair, but guarantees little or no progress, no matter what progressive want or how hard they push.

                  most of the issues obama gets criticism on depend on congress- and his and the  dem's bargaining position vs corporate dems and blue dogs and republicans will be directly proportional to the left's ability to challenge RW radio. so far that's restricted to the stoprush boycott, unfortunately.

                  with RW radio they can create made-to-order constituencies in days, for any obstruction they want. most of their corrupt and looney reps were elected over more moderate candidates because for their ability to parrot the talk radio talking points and myths later on fox.

                  maybe the boycott will have secondary effects (by design or not) that will help minimize their messaging domination. but there are other things the left could be doing to RW radio and the R's samson hair that could make the next election a big win for dems and progressives. otherwise we'll have another bunch of close races and another media induced close call, with more compromise while the earth warms and the left waits for americans to wake up enough to overcome a well coordinated propaganda op in their own neighborhood.

                  another analogy: 25 years ago the right put carnival barkers on every corner and stump in the neighborhood and all that time they've been calling our sisters sluts, our brothers thieves, our representatives liars, and our ideas treasonous. and we've just been walking by with our fingers in our ears.

                  thanks for the rant.

                  This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                  by certainot on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:56:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your points are well taken. Can't argue with most (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    certainot

                    of what you say because, obviously, it's true.  All of it.

                    But...I still believe that President Obama could have mitigated at least some of talk radio's effectiveness if he had taken on a mantle of strength immediately following his first inauguration.  Instead, he gave his enemies and way too many in his base the perception of weakness and unwillingness to actually LEAD.  

                    The Repubs immediately perceived him as a weakling who could and would be easily rolled, on everything.  Many progressives/liberals soon perceived him as a wimp, who would not fight for anything.  Many in both parties realized that much of his soaring rhetoric was only that, with no will to get down in the trenches and slug it out to make those democratic values a reality.

                    Talk radio was going to do everything it could to destroy the president and the Democratic party regardless--even if Dems conceded on every single destructive, obstructionist rightwing demand.  That being the reality, appeasing the GOP was doomed to failure before PO ever was sworn in.

                    Democrats might as well have pushed their avowed party platform agenda from day one.  Capitulating and appeasing TEH CRAZEES got them NOTHING but laughed at by their foes and a disgusted electoral base.  Thus my original response to the diary comment that was made saying Obama's support from the left "sucks".  I don't believe that left wing support waivered until our president gave us daily lemons to suck on for his first two years in office.  And, his latest proposal for another "grand" bargain with his enemies shows us that his bag of sour citrus fruit for his base is still plentiful.

                    Thanks for the conversation.  I've enjoyed it.

                    •  thanks for listening. i'd like to add... perspec (0+ / 0-)

                      tive

                      The Repubs immediately perceived him as a weakling who could and would be easily rolled, on everything.  Many progressives/liberals soon perceived him as a wimp, who would not fight for anything.
                      remember obama coming in on bush's econ disaster? it was scary to a lot of people. and when he was trying to puch GOP senators he met with them and the press mad eit known he said to those GOP senators something close to, paraphrasing,  "we're not going to get anything done if you keep listening to limbaugh".

                      for a couple of weeks the GOP (reps and media hacks) had RUSH tattooed on their foreheads and were useless. the left dropped the ball and went after rush and it was back to normal fairly quickly.

                      he also mentioned talk radio in his first state of the union. and the left dropped the ball.

                      the right was scared shitless of that black man. that probably includes those bush fundie generals in the military he was supposed to listen to on iraq and all those christian college 'attorneys' rove put all over the DOJ.

                      imagine if obama did something great like take over the fed, turn the defense dept into the peace dept, and impose a carbon tax.

                       those 1200 unchallenged radio stations and their previously ignored blowhards would have tens of thousands of idiot well armed  'freedom' fighters in the streets at the behest of the 1% the next morning, screaming about the constitution and their freedoms. and there's be a coup.

                      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                      by certainot on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:34:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  and on this (0+ / 0-)
                      And, his latest proposal for another "grand" bargain with his enemies shows us that his bag of sour citrus fruit for his base is still plentiful.
                      i've heard it suggested the GOP won't fall for it because the reason that corps only pay 15 % (or nothing) is because of loopholes. they don't pay shit now. remove the loopholes and their taxes go way up.

                      they won't go for it because they do whatever  those think tanks PR pros tell them to say.

                      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                      by certainot on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:44:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Again, you bring up good points. However, on (0+ / 0-)

                        Inauguration Day, Jan. 2009, the GOP leadership were already in meetings plotting strategy to obstruct every single thing that PO proposed.  As McConnell said, their major goal was to destroy his presidency and stain his legacy no matter what he did or did not do.

                        President Obama may as well have done everything the right hated and feared with their cowardly, sniveling, inhumane souls.  The pre-planned howling from the GOP obstruction brigade and their talk radio minions would commence with a fury and be never-ending regardless. Even if the prez did nothing, they would fabricate and broadcast lies 24/7saying he did "something" fascist, socialist, Hitlerish, monkeyish, and/or fried-chicken-and-watermelon-eating-ish.  Gawd, I despise those people!!!

                        President Obama should have held firm and fought for those ideals that he wooed us with in his campaign speeches.  He has certainly been excoriated by the right as if he had actually enacted a progressive/liberal agenda, which is far from the truth.  At least then he and we would have deserved their fake poutrage.  Pity it wasn't (isn't?) to be.

      •  Why should we? (0+ / 0-)

        When has he ever - ever! - had our back? Why should "the left" support a President who never even pretends to give a damn about their priorities?

        The Congressional Progressive Caucus put out an alternative budget when the sequester was first proposed, you know that? What did Obama do with it? Did he use it as a springboard to move the Overton Window to the left? HELL no - he ignored it, just like the media did.

        Also, given that he doesn't need to worry about re-election, President Obama doesn't need anyone's "support".

        "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

        by Australian2 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:29:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't expect any major reform as long as the (0+ / 0-)

          left allows the think tanks to put carnival barkers on every corner and stump in the country and walks past with their ipods in their ears while they take free pot shots at our reps and call liberals traitor and thieves all day.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:38:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm counting (0+ / 0-)

      For a number of reasons ... and they keep growing with the likes of Clapper and Summers and all the corrupt and incompetent asswipes Obama surrounds himself with as he makes one bad decision after another. lt doesn't matter whether it's national insecurity or the economy ... he's not the guy who can rally the dems.

      "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". –George Orwell

      by crescentdave on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:54:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This time around (7+ / 0-)

    There are no future re-election concerns for the president.  This might give him more space to exact a deal more to his liking, as his favorables will bear less on the next election cycle.  My gut tells me the president is looking forward to this fight.

    "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

    by TheFern on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:19:02 PM PDT

    •  Would having this fight earlier (6+ / 0-)

      really have cost him his re-election? Why? Would the public have spurned Obama for being mean to the poor Republicans?

      Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

      by Boogalord on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so, and I don't think you think so, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluehawk, TheFern, Ian Reifowitz

        but I think he thought so.  

        •  I think you're too charitable to the President. (0+ / 0-)

          He's not stupid, after all - he simply doesn't give a damn about any priorities to the left of Genghis Khan. He's a younger, biracial version of Ronald Reagan - a suit put up by the corporates to shift America to the right, and to make yesterday's outrage fodder the new normal.

          "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

          by Australian2 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:31:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  After the 2010 midterms (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        I think more than a few administration officials were concerned about the president's chances in 2012.  If Obama lost a second term, the ramifications would have been enormous.  So, yes,  I think Obama thought he would be spurned by the public for not dealing.  Thus, we were stuck with the failed "grand bargain".

        "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

        by TheFern on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:38:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zinman, Odysseus, rlochow

          I think if Obama never tried to engage in the budget battles (that no average voter followed anyway) and instead put his foot down and insisted on strengthening government programs in an time of economic downturn instead of cutting them... Why, I think he would have won re-election even easier.  I always find it baffling that people automatically assume that the President going for positions that are favorable to the people will spell doom for him politically. Why, because the Republicans will tar him for it? Of course they will. They'll do it anyway, no matter what, so why bother with this Republican-lite bullshit, unless it's what he himself wants?

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:11:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That gut feeling could be gas. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Frontal legal attack on gerrymandering (8+ / 0-)

    Aren't there some neglected court rulings that could be used as precedent to attack the entire practice?

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:19:47 PM PDT

    •  gerrymandering (0+ / 0-)

      I think we (Democrats) use it whenever we have an oppportunity.  The only way to avoid being disadvantaged is to be the party in power in a year ending with a '0'.

      The only way the Republicans can prevent Democrats from re-germanderring districts is to win power in 2020.   That, I presume, they plan to do by preventing Demorats from voting.

         

      Planning a vacation or convention in Arizona? Come to Palm Springs instead! Same desert weather, none of the smog, traffic and bigotry.

      by grey skies turning to blue on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:43:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Remember the sequester?" (11+ / 0-)

    Yes. That was the administration's brilliant idea last time.

  •  2011 ended with the Republican's utter defeat. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yorkiedoglover, Ian Reifowitz

    The reason we can talk about this being the "end game" is because of the political victories the President has scored over and over again in these budget fights.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:25:14 PM PDT

    •  you mean like (10+ / 0-)

      the sequester?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:35:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I mean like the politics. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        You remember politics; it's so important to win them because it's a matter of life and death.

        BTW, how are those absolutely certain, absolutely devastating attacks about "putting Social Security on the table" that the Republicans are certain to use in the 2012 election cycle working out?

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:18:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know this is hard (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, Ian Reifowitz

          but i've been saying all along that democrats wouldn't allow chained cpi. they can run against obama. but i'm guessing you never thought he'd actually put chained cpi on the table.

          and i'm not following the logic of claiming he wins every time, then blaming a disastrous failure on politics.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:27:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nothing you write is hard. (0+ / 0-)

            Your political understanding is like a stick figure. I don't spurn it because it's complicated or difficult, but because it's simplistic and distorted. For instance, the notion that the Democrats "can run against Obama." A better observer of politics would note of how that worked out for the Democrats who tried to run against Obama in 2010.

            And since he put chained CPI "on the table" over two and half years ago, it's pretty silly to say that I didn't think he'd do it again. Keep guessing things, though.

            and i'm not following
            No kidding. And you never will. It's going to keep happening over and over again, and you will never, ever be able to understand what's going on. If you could, you would have by  now.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:34:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i know this is hard (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              but in 2010, blue dogs lost and liberals mostly won. after some people kept telling us we were going to win, and only naysayers thought we were in trouble.

              and i know this is hard, but he hinted at it years ago, which was much debated on this site, but never explicitly put it in the table until he was re-elected.

              and yes, i don't follow how failure is victory. truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:40:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, not hard. Just dumb. (0+ / 0-)

                Your need to preface your arguments with the chest-thumping is an act of insecurity. It doesn't actually make your argument look more credible; it must makes you look like an asshole.

                I mean, have you ever, even once, found an argument more convincing because it was prefaced with this type of boilerplate internet asshole wanking? Then why would you think anyone else would?

                To do so immediately before a statement ("Blue dogs lost") that is just repeating what I just wrote back to me as if I needed it explained is especially lame. Wow, the Blue Dogs (who ran against Obama in the 2010 elections) lost? You don't say!

                I don't know who these people who didn't think the Democrats were going to lose seats in 2010 were. I can't remember ever reading anyone who thought that. Obama himself made a famous statement shortly after being inaugurated about how his popularity wasn't going to last long, because of the economy.

                I'm not sure what this has to do with anything, though. You seem to be throwing out random assertions of your internet awesomeness.

                and yes, i don't follow how failure is victory.
                What you fail to follow - so much so that you can't even accurately describe the idea - is that a policy outcome you don't like can result in a political victory. This is a common shortcoming of the sort of brilliant political mind that writes endless varieties of "The best political tack for the Democrats to take just happens to line up perfectly with my own policy preferences." It's a consequence of not understanding the difference between yourself and society, between politics and policy, and between other distinct concepts that get jammed together by ineffective political thinkers.

                Anyway, I think you're better tell me that something is hard again. Ah, but do you know that it's hard? That's what I really wonder.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:51:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  No violence? (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, baby. Egypt.

    I support Eric Snowden not being tortured. Yossarian yes - Snowden - no.

    Catch-22 notwithstanding.

    Today!

    Sweet AR-15Caroline..

    It's fucking inevitable. Handcuffs optionable.

    What the hell can a slum-dog possibly know?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:25:33 PM PDT

  •  Target as many GOP in House in 2014 as possible (14+ / 0-)

    Regardless of how red their districts, ALL of them need to be targeted.  

  •  I wish there was some precedent here (19+ / 0-)

    I wish it weren't this way, but let's look at this administration's great success: the Affordable Care Act. We didn't get it with confrontation; in fact, Obama gave away single payer and the public option without even being prompted to do so. What you're suggesting is something that we haven't seen from the administration before, and that's what is making me nervous.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:28:42 PM PDT

  •  Take Social SECURITY cuts off the table (17+ / 0-)

    Heck, since he's become such a zealous advocate for shoveling money at everything SECURITY, I'll be darned if I know why he can't include Social SECURITY on the list of things that he and Pelosi will go to the mat for come hell or high water.  

    Well, I do know.  The people who have bought Congress can't make any money from Social Security and that is why it is on the table and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.  

    •  You're right.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow, divineorder, Ian Reifowitz

      because it's "Social" security...

      if it were "Homeland" security...  i think they'd find the funds.

      social = for the good of the people

      homeland = corporate welfare

      ian,

      i sure hope you're right, but quite honestly, even if obama plays hardball, and even if boehner worked with house Dems, i'm nervous about obama will attempt to accomplish.

      he is perfectly capable of having said all those nice things about hardworking families and turning around and pushing his desire for a grand bargain.

      in any case, the faultlines in the House of Puke are obvious to all.  the opportunity to play hardball is now...

      should be interesting.

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:24:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is, (13+ / 0-)

    I don't think the Republicans care if the government shuts down. That's kind of what some of them want anyway.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:31:29 PM PDT

  •  This is scary, (5+ / 0-)
    Given that possibility, maybe Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would come to an agreement that would allow Boehner to remain the titular speaker at the head of a coalition of Democrats and a few dozen not-insane Republicans, in return of course for passing what would amount to a Democratic budget, as well as a clean debt ceiling bill and anything else the new "majority" supported. Since House Democrats remain in the minority, this is something I could live with. Rep. Pelosi strikes me as the kind of person committed enough to substance to let someone else hold the gavel while she wields the real power and does what is right for the American people.
    but perhaps the most rational suggestion that I have read. We don't need a third party, we need a party that will govern, regardless of political identification.
  •  This. (14+ / 0-)

    I've been waiting for a long time for someone to say it: it's time to kill the republican party. Burn it down, raze the ruins, and then sow salt on what little remains. Like the Romans did with Carthage.

    Too many Democrats think being nice or being right is important. It is, among our own. But the other side is enemy, and they need to be treated like enemies.

    This is not a game, not funny, or a therapy session. It's about saving this country. We can do the touchy-feely stuff when the battle is won.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:37:15 PM PDT

  •  obama acts like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    someone who lost an election not won one, either that or he just doesn't have the stomach for the good fight.

  •  This... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz
    ...maybe Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would come to an agreement that would allow Boehner to remain the titular speaker at the head of a coalition of Democrats and a few dozen not-insane Republicans
    ...would be a remarkable turn of events.

    I could, however, see the Financial Elites convincing Boehner that he's taken enough abuse and that he'd grow comfortably accustomed with the job of "Special Executive Consultant" for the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America or some other organization where his "unique skill set" would be highly valued.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:38:40 PM PDT

  •  if history is to be our guide (4+ / 0-)

    We would best keep our expectations low

    A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

    by aggieric on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM PDT

  •  I think it starts in my district. n/t (3+ / 0-)

    "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." -- Irish Proverb

    by Our Man in Twisp on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:45:46 PM PDT

  •  Start calling White House (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    202-456-1414
    A lot of the times that I've called it has been busy, especially near the end of the day.
    Anyone  know of an alternative number?
    Let's make him do it( 'member, that's what FDR told us!)

  •  I'm putting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    $20.00 down on Obama folding like a cheap lawn chair. There have been reams of things written about what Obama needs to do yet he does not do them when it's crunch time.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:02:56 PM PDT

  •  Let 'em. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, Ian Reifowitz

    Time to stand up to the GOP and call their bluff. Let them shut down the government and take the blame like they did before.

  •  I want to see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, Ian Reifowitz

    just one time before Obama leaves office to act like the president I was hoping he would be ,take off the gloves and go bare knuckles,, we have compromised everywhere. Not this time!

  •  Watch out Ian, the Obama sucks brigade is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    trying to highjack your diary, which is excellent as usual.

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 02:27:30 PM PDT

  •  Do we really want what the president wants? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2laneIA, Ian Reifowitz
    I asked the president-elect, "At the end of the day, are you really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of grand bargain? That you have tax reform, healthcare reform, entitlement reform including Social Security and Medicare, where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?"

    "Yes," Obama said.

    "And when will that get done?" I asked.

    "Well, right now, I’m focused on a pretty heavy lift, which is making sure we get that reinvestment and recovery package in place. But what you described is exactly what we’re going to have to do. What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government? What are we getting for it? And how do we make the system more efficient?"

    "And eventually sacrifice from everyone?" I asked.

    "Everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game," Obama said.

    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    That was January 2009. Obama has wanted a "grand Bargain" for quite some time now.

    Pensions are disappearing, 401(k)s are unreliable because of market volatility, many people lost their savings in the crash, and interest rates suck because of Fed policy. Nevertheless, Obama thinks seniors need to give up the ability to retire with dignity.  

    •  The tell (2+ / 0-)

      that he has not wavered since 2009 in his determination to cut Social Security and Medicare:

      So I’m going to be calling on the private sector to step up. I will be saying to Democrats we’ve got to question some of our old assumptions.  We’ve got to be willing to redesign or get rid of programs that don't work as well as they should.  (Applause.) We’ve got to be willing to -- we’ve got to embrace changes to cherished priorities so that they work better in this new age.  We can't just -- Democrats can't just stand pat and just defend whatever government is doing.  If we believe that government can give the middle class a fair shot in this new century -- and I believe that -- we’ve an obligation to prove it.  And that means that we’ve got to be open to new ways of doing things.
      Those priorities aren't just cherished by Democrats.  Huge majorities are opposed to cuts whenever the poll questions are asked.  That is why the Republicans would like to snooker the Dems into voting for Obama's proposals, then run against them in 2014 and 2016.  

      The Democrats have been blurring their image as the populist party for some time now, since Bill Clinton embraced Wall Street and founded the DLC corporate wing of the party. They are well on their way to being the "we're not as venal, corrupt and heartless as the Republicans, but we're just as bought" party.  Any Democrat who votes for chained CPI is asking for a primary in blue districts and a populist Republican challenge in swing districts.  Some of them understand this.

  •  Well, yeah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlochow, Ian Reifowitz
    President Obama must utterly defeat Speaker Boehner, and in the process he must break the House Republican caucus.
    You don't say.  
    He gave an excellent speech on Wednesday, one in which he laid out his economic plans and called on Republicans to offer their own.
    No one ever said Obama couldn't give a speech.  
    Obama also said he would stand firm against Republican obstructionists and extremists:
    How many times have we heard this?  
    But none of this can happen unless Barack Obama does his part.
    Good luck with that.  
    It's all up to the president.
    I truly appreciate the hope in this diary.  Unfortunately, It isn't going to happen.  Obama is the problem.  Not the GOP.  Not Fox News.  Not Rush Limbaugh.  

    Obama will not do what needs to be done.  He will do whatever his corporatist GOP lite ideology tells him to do.  So while he may complain about the sequester that he negotiated and the other deals he agreed to, he isn't going to do squat.  Except, of course, give another speech as if he isn't part of the problem.  

  •  Republicans seem to think that they won the last e (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Or the Democrats forget that they didn't lose.

  •  it's not going to work this this batch of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    republicans. they would think it would be a good thing if the federal government shut down for a couple months.

  •  The unity of Democrats in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    ...are what will be required for this to end well.  In 2011, the grandstanding, showboating, I'm a bipartisan-y kind of guy folks met with the Republican saboteurs and formed another Gang of HoweverMany to screw with the stare-down of the Republicans.  That turned out to make the crazies think they had won.

    Watch what the same bunch is out to do this time.  Remember that Durbin will ally with them primarily so that the President knows what's going on.   And watch out for Baucus, who is now a lame duck.

    The whole idea of the Constitution and representative government was to temper the war of all against all that characterized the religous wars of the 17th century.  Politics is not a sport, specifically because people's lives are on the line--that cliche and similar ones have given license to a full-throttled politcal war in which the Democrats are mostly unarmed (literally).  This confrontation in September, if no one blinks first, could be very dangerous.

    Already at the state level there are folks being brutally arrested for protesting runaway state legislators (and tightly ziptying an 84-year-old woman and forcing her to ride 20 minutes on a prison bus, sitting on her hands, and then releasing her for a citeable offense better be seen as brutality).  Over 3000 school teachers in Chicago have been laid off.  Detroit is likely to have its art collection stolen at fire sale prices for private collections.  All because the Federal budget had ramifications at the state and local level and Republican legislatures, aping Congress, added their own pain.

    I have no control or influence over how my Senators vote; they're bought and paid for.  The same for my Democratic Congressman, in hock to the defense industry.

    The time has come for them to break the House Republicans.  Can the folks without the gonads to kill the filibuster muster the animal spirits to do that?  God help us if they can't.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:14:06 PM PDT

  •  "It's all up to the President" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    We're doomed.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:21:44 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, Mr. Obama is incapable of playing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    hardball.  If he could do it, he would have already done it.  He has no idea how to use power.  Too bad LBJ isn't around to show him how it's done.  If Mr. Obama knows how to use power, but deigns to use it, he's worse than I thought.

  •  "Small ball" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Here's how to win: bring a case in lower federal court that what Grover Norquist and allies have been doing under the guise of politics and his "anti-tax pledge" constitutes a defacto extortion and fraud complex which requires aspiring Republican Congress-persons to perjure themselves when taking the oath of office should they win a general election. The case should not charge a particular person with a crime but instead seek to establish the criminal nature of this pledge and power usurpation scheme so that a "cease and desist" order can be issued declaring the pledge "null and void" and further observance of loyalty to it or advancement of it are in violation of the laws on the books already with regard to political extortion.

    The next step is to get it through everyone's head through the press that this default which has gone unchallenged legally for almost two decades is what has reduced the Republican party to a gang who is loyal to each other first and foremost and why the fringe has become the center. If anyone wants to fight, federal subpoenas can rain down like snow and questions about who funds whom and why will occupy the media for the rest of the Obama administration and beyond. Norquist and his allies will need to consider themselves lucky it is not worse. This is not politics. It's law. And "leaning on" would-be Congress-persons with partisan media to ensnare them in conflicts of interest with their own oaths of office is nothing but old fashioned extortion using a new tool.

    I have called this the "small ball" approach by refraining from trying to hit home runs by indicting all the people who have stalled and steered the US economy into sequestration, and instead just limit the game to making sure that everyone now knows what Norquist has been doing in plain sight has been routinely crossing the line from politics to crime. The wrongs will begin to be righted and the hardline guilty will out themselves. It's not as glamorous as a home run, but it may save Obamacare, a million jobs, and get people who think it's their job to "repeal laws" into other jobs where they can't empower any more criminals.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:09:24 PM PDT

  •  I was on board until you got to this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz
    The time has come for President Obama to remind them of these facts.
    Obama isn't even close to the only participant on our side.  We've got Reps, Senators, Governors, State legislators, academia, think tanks.  Our congressional leadership has also got to step up in an agressive way.

    Most of all we've got us.  If we hold to progressivism we should be aware of that.  It betrays our strengths to fall into the lazy assumption of most Americans about King-like powers of the office of the Prez.  There is something indecent about the people's party expecting one person to always be completely dominant in any interaction with the opposition.

    Forget the president. Not totally, of course. The president matters. But not as much as you think. Not as much as you've been led to believe. The centrality of the executive is something of a convenient fiction in American politics.
    http://prospect.org/...
    Also, politics isn't a bloodsport.  It is war without as much shooting.  We need all our resources out.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:10:13 PM PDT

  •  Yes (4+ / 0-)

    Break the Republican Party entirely in 2014-2016.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:29:07 PM PDT

  •  You know as well as I do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    that President Obama's desire for the grand bargain enabled Boehner and McConnell. I have nothing against reform of the medical care system. I would love to see medicare for all. But, Obama's desire for a comprehensive rewrite of medical care in terms of further privatization and mandates involving individuals and businesses further enabled the hard core on the right.

    Obama and Lew will talk tough about no negotiations on the debt ceiling and preserving middle class benefits and services in the budget, but when push comes to shove they will fold their hands so they can go home to dinner. My hope is they choke on it.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:37:21 PM PDT

  •  "The level of obstruction is so unprecedented (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    as to have reached the level of sabotage, according to Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute."

    Are there no real journalists left in mainstream press that would report this as a coherent story/narrative?

    I'm still hearing "the infighting in Washington" and that "balanced" reported idiocy. THAT is something that is ruining our country.

    The Reps are doing unprecedented evil against their country for benefit of party and it is NOT being reported en mass. It should be a scoop.

    I get it's mostly a monopoly now. And editors are conservative leaning and reporters are pressured to appear non-biased. In doing that though they aren't reporting the actual NEWS
    new news.
    Even that story that surfaced (and was not denied) that they Reps met on innaugaration eve 2009 to plot to oppose Obama completely on his agenda in order to make him fail? That wasn't reported as front page headline news.

    It WAS worthy front page headline news. It very well might have been if it were Dems who did that to, say, Bush. But even though he probably stole the election in Florida, Dems didn't do that.

  •  There have always been a large percentage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    of people willing to "cut off their nose to spite their face".

    People who, when they are playing chess, if they see they are losing the game, will accidentally bump the table and scramble the board.

    When you can't cheat to win, there are always ways of disrupting the game somehow, even if it means pulling a fire alarm when you go to take a bathroom break.

    This is the nature of today's Republican Party. They've painted themselves into a corner, and now they're going to feel like they need to bore through the wall or the floor, to get out of the trap. It's not going to be pretty, whatever happens.

    "The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths," ~Paul Krugman

    by Nimbus on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:14:33 PM PDT

  •  You think Obama will listen to (0+ / 0-)

    progressives? He stopped pretending to listen to progressives the day Hillary Clinton conceded the primaries, and hasn't looked back.

    He was a Wall Street shill dressed up in shiny progressive rhetoric, and people believed him. But everything he's done - every single thing - has either been to Wall Street's advantage, or hasn't impacted them. He's refused to do anything that might possibly damage his paymasters, and it's time progressives admit they were snookered into supporting his nomination back in 2008.

    There is ZERO chance that he'll stand up to John Boehner on any substantial issue that Wall Street doesn't want him to. He might - might! - stand up to Boehner on Obamacare, but that's only because Obamacare is an unprecedented giveaway to Big Health.

    The rest of it? Fugeddaboutit - he'll cave, call it "compromise", and cave some more when the debt ceiling comes up. All with this "oh, well" half-smile on his lying face, as if he couldn't do better.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:24:16 PM PDT

  •  Good diary, Ian. It could have been a good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    place for us to discuss how WE can help bring about the change you write about, instead it's a bash Obama diary. How freaking tiresome. This is why the Dems never get anywhere. Eat their own with feeling.

    Thanks anyway.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:34:05 PM PDT

  •  Remarkable Ian! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, shanesnana

    I really don't like to talk politics [stop laughing] and I hate to admit partisan participation. What's clear is that I'm on the left... WAAAAYYY left [extreme LIBERAL!!!], so of course I found nothing wrong with anything you said. I applaud the President for all that he says, his demeanor, and his courage in the face of all of his challenges. HOWEVER, I have to agree that he must stand up and fight. He has to make a few more enemies if he's going to get the job done. He should be past the novelty of winning 2 elections. It was enough for a lot of people (myself included) that he was ever elected in the first place. But now in the second term, it's time for him to come with it! Otherwise he should have let someone else take the realm. It would have been understandable. But I think that he wholeheartedly believed that he could do better than his first term. And I believe he can, but he has to impose his will and the will of the people onto the corporate conservative republicans, because they are killing this great country, and for those who support them - they know it to. Reminds me of that saying, "If President Obama was supporting Air, republicans would suffocate themselves." That's what conservative supporters are doing to themselves. They would rather cut their own limbs off rather than to lend a hand to the work of [human beings] real Americans - the poor, the hungry, the downtrodden. If anyone would like to oppose anything I've said, I will not respond. This is not a debate. Everyone has a right to feel the way they do and I will not step on their toes. Having said that, this is how I feel and I support your diary, Brother! Tipped, rec'd, & Hotlisted! ;)

  •  It's good that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    The budget battle is coming before the debt ceiling battle. President Obama should use budget negotiations to demand that the debt ceiling be raised WITHOUT any concessions and that the sequester be ended.

    If Republicans put up a fight he should let the government shutdown and go around the country campaigning against them and watch as their poll numbers nosedive. Soon enough, they will come back to the bargaining table and meet Obama's demands, or as Ian put it, pull a Michael Corleone.

    ps - I like the idea of Dems keeping Boehner as Speaker if the GOP try to overthrow him. If that were to happen that would be an amazing power play for Pelosi.

    Filibuster? I hardly know her!

    by grich01 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:48:26 AM PDT

  •  The Al Pacino Godfather II scene (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Please, if anybody here has a friend of a friend of a friend who works in the White House, get them to force Obama to watch it. I know that Lawrence O'Donnell is familiar with the scene; he showed part of it on his show one night.

    The thing is, Boehner and McConnell are at least as corrupt as the senator portrayed in the scene. (The character was probably based on Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-NV).)

    And the Repugnikans have insulted Obama's family. Many times. If Don Corleone Jr. can say that this is unacceptable behavior, so can the POTUS.

  •  Thanks Ian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:06:52 PM PDT

  •  Obama is not enough of a fighter (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is a peacemaker, a deal maker, a coalition builder.

    But he's just not a fighter. He doesn't have a single 'hood rat' bone in his body, let alone one ounce of 'Borgias blood'.

    The GOP knows this. They have no cards to hold, but they outplay him every time because at the end of the day, he's not willing to let them jump off a cliff.

    He's all negotiator, and no 'trial lawyer'.

    He can't make the Michael Corleone play, its not in his nature.

    I'm just wondering how the GOP will outplay him this time, and end up getting what they want at great cost to us all.

Malacandra, SME in Seattle, Angie in WA State, Powered Grace, eeff, rubyr, devtob, exNYinTX, dpeifer1949, Doctor Who, Zinman, pucklady, sidnora, revsue, Redfire, psnyder, Noodles, wdrath, Steven Payne, Bluehawk, wordwraith, Diana in NoVa, TexasLefty, Albanius, sebastianguy99, oortdust, vcmvo2, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, radarlady, Sam I Am, jiffypop, llywrch, Laurence Lewis, PSzymeczek, BayAreaKen, bmaples, sunbro, bjedward, FindingMyVoice, Showman, tommymet, 417els, dopper0189, cookseytalbott, arlene, gpoutney, MBNYC, BlueMississippi, Dyana, thenekkidtruth, CA Nana, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, bear83, hooper, Debs2, Van Buren, Mary Mike, Dave in Northridge, certainot, joedemocrat, rantsposition, mudslide, dizzydean, Ralphdog, on the cusp, Empower Ink, JaxDem, Sixty Something, lineatus, Jeff Y, Gemina13, 3rdOption, punkdavid, palantir, jimmycck9, clent, J M F, RenMin, TheFern, Nebraskablue, tari, rbird, DefendOurConstitution, Remediator, petral, oxfdblue, Denise Oliver Velez, stevenwag, karma13612, Larsstephens, Railfan, awcomeon, FogCityJohn, Susan Grigsby, leftist vegetarian patriot, JoanMar, shenderson, ItsSimpleSimon, Storey, ericlewis0, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, stevenaxelrod, annieli, Liberal Capitalist, bgblcklab1, Mr MadAsHell, La Gitane, poorbuster, thomask, SueM1121, Caddis Fly, ratcityreprobate, weinerschnauzer, Auriandra, Jakkalbessie, The Lone Apple, AnnieR, a2nite, shanesnana, belinda ridgewood, Lilredhead, bewareofme, Canines and Crocodiles, Buckeye54, avsp, arizonablue, jeannew, ShoshannaD, Hammerhand, Thomasina, kleinburger, remembrance, JayRaye, Dewstino, aresea, unfangus, alice kleeman, paccoli, howabout, Icicle68, bob152, Grandson named me Papa, ModerateJosh, IndyinDelaware, BadKitties, peterfallow, The Story Teller, starduster, Mark Mywurtz, richardvjohnson, Will Smith, OldSoldier99, maryannm, nuthangerfarm, micsimov

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