They hate us for our freedom
low IQ buffoonery
Buzzfeed cut the debate down to its essentials.
Buzzfeed cut the debate down to its essentials.
Last night on the GOP Tea party debate on CNN, the assembled crowd of
mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals fucking assholes dumb old white people cheered like braying assholes asses at the notion that someone uninsured should be left to die.
Here’s just one idiotic comment left on YouTube by a moron using the handle “nicpag9”:
Whoever posted this video needs to off themselves. People like you are what is wrong with this country and the reason it’s in the shape it is in now. No doubt you’ll be voting for Obama again. Too bad we can’t divide the country up into the idiot section run by Communists such as your self and the rest that just want to be left the hell alone for everyone with a damn brain. I’m sure the founding fathers would have no problem with that whatsoever.
No, my fren’ this country is in the state it is because of people like you… too damned dumb to understand the world around them.
Another camera angle on the “action” at GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s $15-a-head Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday. Cringe in horror as Tom Nielsen, a 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha, Wisconsin gets thrown to the ground and handcuffed for “trespassing” (like everyone else there, Nielsen paid a $15 fee for the luncheon) because he objected to Ryan’s plans to destroy Social Security and Medicare. He was also detained for resisting arrest.
This video has something the other ones I’ve seen do not, when smug, rat-faced Republican class warrior Ryan has the poor taste to make a joke at Mr. Neilsen’s expense…
I’ve been harping on this point for some time here on this blog, but what’s been long predicted about the demographic shift that would ultimately doom the Republican Party as the percentage of Latino-American voters rises, is already pretty much a done deal here in California. The Republican challenger to Obama will hardly campaign here, mark my words, it’s simply a waste of time and money. Even with as weak of a Democratic ticket topper as Obama, the GOP nominee would be waging a Quixotic battle in the most populous state.
Republican meanies, this is your future. From the Sacramento Bee:
A new analysis by the Field Poll shows that even as California’s total voter registration grew by more than 2 million voters over the past 20 years, Republican registration declined by 285,944 voters, to 5.3 million.
The party’s share of statewide registration declined eight percentage points, to 31 percent.
Meanwhile, the proportion of registered voters who are Latino grew by about 2.3 million, from 10 percent of the state’s registered voters in 1992 to 22 percent today, according to the poll. In the 2008 presidential election, those Latinos provided Democrats an advantage of more than nine percentage points.
“No one’s talking about the sleeping giant anymore,” said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “The giant is here now, and Republicans aren’t recruiting it.”
California gains two million new voters over the past two decades, but the Republican Party loses over 250,000 registered voters? How I love California!
Still more bad news for the GOP:
The proportion of Republicans who are 50 or older has increased from 40 percent in 1992 to 54 percent today, according to the Field Poll.
The proportion of Republicans younger than 40 has dropped to 25 percent from 41 percent in 1992.
That’s right, they are quite literally dying off…
Not trying to be morbid, but this fact cannot be denied or refuted. The demographic shift in the Golden State is a taste of things to come for the Republican Party: permanent minority party status. How can they possibly fight the demographic changes of the next two decades?
Answer: They can’t.
Attention (formerly) middle-class jobless people in Wisconsin, don’t you go gettin’ sassy with Republican
corporate stooge enemy of the people Representative Paul Ryan because… he’ll have your ass arrested... Via Politics USA:
Paul Ryan held his PPV town hall event at Klemmer’s Banquet Hall in Milwaukee. When some protesters who had paid their $15 stood up and asked him questions about jobs and the Bush tax cuts, Ryan not only had them kicked out. He also had three of them arrested.
The protesters got involved when Rep. Ryan tried to claim that our job crisis is directly related to our debt crisis. One person stood up and asked, “Our debt is out of control because of the tax cuts you’re giving…Our unemployment in 2003 was 6.2% before the tax cuts went through. Now our unemployment rate is 9.1%. What are you doing to create jobs, Congressman?”
This lady was shown the door. She was soon followed by another gentleman. Another woman stood up while Ryan was speaking and said, “You won’t talk to us. How can we give our opinions when you refuse to talk to us?” I think you can probably guess what happened to her. When someone stood up in the back and asked, “Where are the jobs, Ryan?” He mentioned corporations, and was escorted out.
How very Republican of him, eh? What a vicious, arrogant fuck Paul Ryan is. Don’t forget these voters also paid $15 for the privilege.
As I have written here in the past about Paul Ryan: “For the record, I’m not a big fan of violence, but it does have its place, historically, in the class war that’s raged since human society began. Admittedly, the image of, say, Rep. Paul Ryan, being forced to fellate a Colt .45 in front of news cameras and having to beg for his life by a once-proud middle-class father reduced to moving his family into a car is something I’d really enjoy seeing. (I think whoever did that would go down in history as a folk hero and at least THEY FEED YOU IN JAIL)”
Ryan might have thought he was being “clever” with this exercise, but there is little doubt that this video will hurt him politically every single time someone watches it. It already has.
How is this asshole a “public servant”? This man is a vicious Republican Ayn Rand-loving shit. He should NOT be in a position of power after displaying such cold-blooded, repulsive, arrogance like this to his constituents. Like they’re “the little people.” You can only imagine what he’d really like to do to them. Yuck. What an ugly human being. Please FB share this and Tweet far and wide.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The GOP’s ‘useless eaters’ solution: No more food for you, poor people!
Michael Lofgren is a Republican staffer, who was, until recently, serving the Senate Finance Committee. Lofgren has worked on Capitol Hill for nearly three decades. He explains why he left his job in a recent column for TruthOut. The Republican “11th Commandment”—Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican—is repeatedly violated in this barn-burner.
Some choice excerpts here, but the whole thing is a must read. His main target is the Republican Party, of course, but the Democrats are not spared, either:
But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.
To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachmann (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.
On burning his GOP bridges:
I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine, to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country’s future; and contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them. And, in truth, I left as an act of rational self-interest. Having gutted private-sector pensions and health benefits as a result of their embrace of outsourcing, union busting and “shareholder value,” the GOP now thinks it is only fair that public-sector workers give up their pensions and benefits, too. Hence the intensification of the GOP’s decades-long campaign of scorn against government workers. Under the circumstances, it is simply safer to be a current retiree rather than a prospective one.
If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren’t after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté. They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be “forced” to make “hard choices” - and that doesn’t mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.
On the debt ceiling nonsense:
Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care. This fact, which ought to be obvious, has nevertheless caused confusion among the professional pundit class, which is mostly still stuck in the Bob Dole era in terms of its orientation. For instance, Ezra Klein wrote of his puzzlement over the fact that while House Republicans essentially won the debt ceiling fight, enough of them were sufficiently dissatisfied that they might still scuttle the deal. Of course they might - the attitude of many freshman Republicans to national default was “bring it on!”
It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.
On “Real Americans”:
You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn’t look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama’s policy of being black. Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some “other,” who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear.
On the wimpy idiocy of the Democrats, their rhetorical incompetence and their amateurish PR:
How do they manage to do this? Because Democrats ceded the field. Above all, they do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? - can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?
You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. “Entitlement” has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is “entitled” selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them “earned benefits,” which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the “estate tax,” it is the “death tax.”
On this point, I could not agree more. I do not understand why Democrats can’t master simple messaging. It always has to be nuanced, complicated, and wonky. Things I might understand but would have to boil down into far simpler terms for the average voter. It boggles my mind that Democrats (and this includes the President) cannot get a simple, easy message out there and hammer it home. Republicans seem to have mastered that.
And then there is this amazing excerpt describing the far reichwing of the GOP taken from a letter President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to his brother Edgar in 1954. How times have changed.
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Their numbers are no longer negligible, but they’re certainly still stupid… At least one of their ranks wised up.
Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult (TruthOut)
Pima County, AZ Republican Chairman Pro Tem, Mike Shaw, is the asshole who made the tacky decision to raffle off a Glock handgun for a local GOP fundraiser. Of course, Jared Loughner used a Glock during the tragic shooting spree there in January that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Was there NOTHING ELSE they could have raffled off in Gifford’s own district? A TV? A microwave oven? A box set of Newt and Callista Gingrich DVDs? NOTHING???
Even with this unusually harsh level of invective for television(!), Olbermann’s pretty much right on the money, here. I especially like the part about how the morally repugnant Pima County GOP should secede from the rest of us. They really should! Via Raw Story:
Shaw had defended the raffle Thursday by insisting Jared Loughner was responsible for shooting Giffords and killing six others, not the Glock.
“I could tell Mr. Shaw and the Pima County Republicans that they have ceased to be humans, that the rest of us think it would be a really good idea if they seceded from the country,” Olbermann explained.
Instead, he read a comment from James Kelley.
“It doesn’t mean the Republican party doesn’t have an incredible record of supporting the Second Amendment, but at this point it’s ill-advised and I won’t stand with them on this,” Kelley told the Arizona Daily Star Thursday.
“Mr. Kelley, critical of this crass, heartless, neanderthal gesture from the Pima County Republican Party is the Arizona Legislative District 29 Republican chairman,” Olbermann explained. “Bravo to him and not to this human-shaped pile of feces, Mike Shaw, and his Pima County Republican Party.”
If you want a gander at Shaw trying to defend himself on CNN, click over to Raw Story for the video. What a fucking idiot.
In a Q and A in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” column, famed evolutionary biologist and outspoken smart person, Dr. Richard Dawkins ridiculed Texas governor and GOP theocrat Richard Perry in a manner both highbrow and low-ball simultaneously. I found it most satisfying:
There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.
A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.
Nope, but you might become the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Funny how it works that way…
Hilarious! Wisconsin’s Marathon County Central Labor Council is dis-inviting state Republicans from participating in this year’s Wausau Labor Day parade. The following statement was released about the event and signed by Randy Radtke, President of the Marathon County Labor Council AFL-CIO.
The Wausau Labor Day Parade is a time to celebrate the working men and women of Wisconsin. It is not a political event or stop on the campaign trail. It is a time for working families to come together to celebrate their hard work and a time where we recognize the labor movement for all they have given us—the weekend, the 40 hour work week, child labor protection, a safe work environment.
It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker’s rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain
Via Daily Kos:
That’s right: Wisconsin Republicans eliminated collective bargaining rights, and as a result, they’re disinvited from celebrating working men and women, their unions, and their history of struggle. And Sean Duffy, of Real World and “I struggle to meet my bills right now” on $174,000 per year fame, isn’t too happy about it:
On the federal level, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) represents Wausau. In a statement to local ABC affiliate WAOW, Duffy’s office decried the labor council vote. “Having walked in this parade in past years, Congressman Duffy was hoping that for a moment, we could set our differences aside and simply have some fun in a family-friendly event,” a Duffy spokesperson said.
“[The congressman] walks in a lot of parades, and staff called to register a spot last week and was informed in colorful language that no Republicans were being allowed to participate this year,” added Duffy Chief of Staff Brandon Moody in an email to The Huffington Post.
Yes, so sad that on Labor Day those nasty unions are refusing to set aside their differences with elected leaders of the party trying to eliminate them.
You piss in the wind, it comes back to hit you in the face and some urine-stained chickens are coming home to roost for Republican politicians in Wisconsin. As someone who believes wholeheartedly that anyone who self identifies as a Republican should be shunned by right-thinking people, this news gave me quite a good chuckle.
The day after the first leg of the Wisconsin recall elections, I thought the number of “We won!” emails coming from the various lefty and labor organizations I support seemed a little odd. Did we win? It sure didn’t look that way to me. If “we” would have won, the tallies would have been different, right?
Maybe they were half right. Wisconsin Democrats did, after all, oust two Republican senators in two of the very, very few successful recall races ever held in American history. Pity the other two races didn’t fall their way, but it’s certain that what happened in Wisconsin awakened an awful lot of people to what was going on in their state, the role of the Koch brothers in rightwing AstroTurf politics there and just how aggressive and vicious the GOP can get when they are in the majority in a legislative body.
The Republican majority now hinges on one vote in Wisconsin. Personally, I’d rate the glass more than half-full considering the power math of less than a year ago. There is little doubt that Democrats will retake the legislature next year.
The collective bargaining rights issue highlighted by the recall election in Wisconsin, as I’ve maintained here, has never been merely a statewide matter. It’s a national issue of great importance to the future of this country’s middle-class families. Wisconsin was the flash point. The first battle in a longer war.
When I stopped and thought about it, I realized what HAD been gained in Wisconsin and this is now coming much better into focus as Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Republican party seek to back-walk the deeply unpopular anti-labor bill SB 5—it’s not a law yet despite the GOP’s best efforts—and are asking Ohio Democrats and labor unions to withdraw a November referendum on it. The public opinion is decidedly against the Republicans and polling just a little over two months from the November 8 vote shows an overwhelming 54% to 36% gulf in favor of rejecting the bill.
With this much Republican blood in the water, why would Ohio Democrats be stupid enough to withdraw the referendum? AS IF the Republicans would ever pay them the same courtesy! It’s hilarious to watch Kasich say this shit! So craven! So… Republican.
Kasich and the Ohio Republicans have been knee-capped and they damn well know it. Working families across Ohio owe Wisconsin progressives their gratitude. We all do.
Good people of Wisconsin: You lit what might be a long fuse, as Rachel Maddow eloquently pointed out on her show last night:
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips is such a fucking idiot that I have, on more than one occasion, wondered if he was some sort of long-fuse “Yes Men” prank designed to embarrass and disgust current or would-be Teabaggers from having anything to do with the dying-off political movement. Just Google his name, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of examples of completely unintelligent, ill-informed, ignorant and just plain stupid things he’s said. Judson is a small-town jackass who puffs his chest out and says dumb shit like only land owners should be allowed to vote. What does he add to the conversation besides a hefty dollop of DUMB?
Here’s just the most recent example of what a complete buffoon this man is. Via Raw Story:
At a Wisconsin rally on Saturday, Judson Phillips, CEO of “Tea Party Nation”, one of the many tea party splinter groups, claimed that “the left” has “killed a billion people in the last century”.
According to Politico, Phillips and other speakers heated up the rhetoric around Tuesday’s historic recall elections, with one speaker referring to Democrats as terrorists who struck at a Republican “Ground Zero”. Vince Shmuki, leader of another tea party group, the Ozaukee Patriots said, “This is ground zero. You remember what the term ground zero means? We have been attacked.”
Earlier this week, Judson Phillips compared protesters who opposed Governor Scott Walker to Nazi storm troopers. On Saturday, he said, “I detest and despise everything the Left stands for. How anybody can endorse and embrace an ideology that has killed a billion people in the last century is beyond me.”
See what I mean? If Judson did not exist, it would be in the interests of the Democrats to “invent” him. If they weren’t so lame, the Democrats, I’d have added “and maybe they have” but this is Democrats we’re talking about.
Phillips made this statement at a sparsely-attended rally to support Republican State Senator Alberta Darling, who is in the fight of her political life trying to hold onto her seat against Democratic Representative Sandy Pasch. When they were making the speakers list for the rally, you have to wonder what the selection process criteria was that they decided to INVITE (and probably pay the travel and hotel costs) for a complete idiot like Judson Phillips. How is inviting a fool to say crazy shit that is then ridiculed all over the media and blogsphere in any way helpful to their cause?
Unless it IS helpful to their cause, of course, which is just too frightening to contemplate.
Below, Phillips makes a complete and utter fool of himself on Hardball with Chris Matthews when he decided to flap his lips about the Gabrielle Giffords murder attempt just after the shooting in Tucson. How dumb would you have to be to follow this goofball?
With with the unusual volume of noise in the media lately, one major story that’s getting crowded out is the hotly contested recall election in Wisconsin, which is just a little more than a week away.
A look at the polls show a mixed slate slightly, if not mostly, favoring Democrats. So what can the Republican party do if they can’t win the election fair and square?
Here’s a plan: How about sending absentee ballots to Democrats with instructions to return the paperwork AFTER the election date? That’s exactly what Americans for Prosperity, a conservative front group for the goals of the rightwing billionaire Koch brothers did.
Is there no low these creeps won’t stoop to? Apparently not!
Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.
The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk “before Aug. 11.”
A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.
“These are people who are our 1’s in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain’t AFP members, that’s for damn sure,” the source said.
The “1s” referred to above are extremely likely Democratic voters. Along with this lowdown trickery—did they REALLY think this would not get found out? Do they not even care??—Americans for Prosperity have spent another $150,000 of the Koch’s money to buy pro-Republican television airtime in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison.
And here’s another item of interest. Not saying this IS suspicious until the fire department have had a proper look, but the timing for this is fortuitous for the GOP isn’t it, when their opponents’s headquarters burn to the ground just a little over a week before an election? Well, that’s what happened to the pro-labor We Are Wisconsin PAC in LaCrosse. From Crooks and Liars:
Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections.
The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown. Firefighters thought they had the blaze under control in the afternoon, however, that wasn’t the case and it continued into the evening, the newspaper reported.
We Are Wisconsin used the building at 432 Jay St. to oversee its efforts in the 32nd Senate District recall election, which will be held Aug. 9. Incumbent Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke is being challenged by Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling in that district.
A spokesman for the group told the La Crosse Tribune that the group’s office was a total loss.
A final word: Don’t look on this as merely a statewide election, What happens in Wisconsin is one of the most important turning points in American life for decades to come. If the left can’t win the state where the labor movement was arguably birthed, this country is fucked.
Help beat back the Reichwing in Wisconsin. If not, your state—and your job—might be next.
A) Hilarious? B) Tragic? C) Who gives a flying fuck anymore? D) All of the above.
The saddest thing about the whole debt ceiling spectacle is that the Democrats hold the Senate and the White House during the worst economic downtown since the Depression and we’re actually hearing talk about the death of Keynesian economics? Unfuckingbelievable, but there you go.
Bruce Bartlett writing at The Fiscal Times wonders if Barack Obama is “the Democrats’ Richard Nixon?” He makes some good points
By 1995, Clinton was working with Republicans to dismantle welfare. In 1997, he supported a cut in the capital gains tax. As the benefits of his 1993 deficit reduction package took effect, budget deficits disappeared and we had the first significant surpluses in memory. Yet Clinton steadfastly refused to spend any of the flood of revenues coming into the Treasury, hording them like a latter day Midas. In the end, his administration was even more conservative than Eisenhower’s on fiscal policy.
And just as pent-up liberal aspirations exploded in the 1960s with spending for every pet project green lighted, so too the fiscal conservatism of the Clinton years led to an explosion of tax cuts under George W. Bush, who supported every one that came down the pike. The result was the same as it was with Johnson: massive federal deficits and a tanking economy.
Thus Obama took office under roughly the same political and economic circumstances that Nixon did in 1968 except in a mirror opposite way. Instead of being forced to manage a slew of new liberal spending programs, as Nixon did, Obama had to cope with a revenue structure that had been decimated by Republicans.
Liberals hoped that Obama would overturn conservative policies and launch a new era of government activism. Although Republicans routinely accuse him of being a socialist, an honest examination of his presidency must conclude that he has in fact been moderately conservative to exactly the same degree that Nixon was moderately liberal.
Here are a few examples of Obama’s effective conservatism:
His stimulus bill was half the size that his advisers thought necessary;
He continued Bush’s war and national security policies without change and even retained Bush’s defense secretary;
He put forward a health plan almost identical to those that had been supported by Republicans such as Mitt Romney in the recent past, pointedly rejecting the single-payer option favored by liberals;
He caved to conservative demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended without getting any quid pro quo whatsoever;
And in the past few weeks he has supported deficit reductions that go far beyond those offered by Republicans.
Further evidence can be found in the writings of outspoken liberals such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who has condemned Obama’s conservatism ever since he took office.
I’m with Krugman myself. I simply can’t believe Obama is negotiating with these assholes (see below) and losing! It’s incredible to watch.
What would Obama do in a fist fight, you know? He should have told the House GOP to do their worst but that he’d veto anything too aggressive and make sure the bills were paid under the 14th Amendment. He should have started there!
Then what would have happened?
It would have been a different story altogether. He should have listened to Bill Clinton.
Instead we’re getting a deal that the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, called “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”
With fuckin’ Democrats like Obama, who needs Republicans, anyway?
This country is doomed…
Via Think Progress
It’s based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.
An additional significance of the chart: it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks—like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years than during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up - partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.) If you want, you could even put the spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this category: those were policy choices, but right or wrong they came in response to an external shock.
The point is that governments can respond to but not control external shocks. That’s why we call them “shocks.” Governments can control their policies. And the policy that did the most to magnify future deficits is the Bush-era tax cuts. You could argue that the stimulative effect of those cuts is worth it (“deficits don’t matter” etc). But you cannot logically argue that we absolutely must reduce deficits, but that we absolutely must also preserve every penny of those tax cuts. Which I believe precisely describes the House Republican position.
After the jump, from a previous “The Chart That Should…” positing, an illustration of the respective roles of external shock and deliberate policy change in creating the deficit.
Obama is a fucking idiot the way he’s played his hand on the debt ceiling. He appears to be an ineffectual fool trying to broker peace with a bunch of schoolyard bullies. The whole thing is so Planet of the Apes. When Mitch McConnell (sensibly, for all parties) tried to offer him the political cover to raise it on his own, he should have jumped at the chance. Now look at the mess he’s in. When is the guy going to act like a Democrat (at the very least!)? It’s becoming harder and harder to support him or even give a shit what happens to his presidency anymore (I’m sure I’ll change my tune closer to November 2012, but voting for Obama with the same “passion” I felt for John Kerry is not something I imagined happening a couple of years ago…)
How the Deficit Got This Big (New York Times)
At the National Education Leadership Conference in 2004, Michele Bachmann, then Minnesota State Senator, gave a lecture on the effects of same-sex marriage on education. It’s as stupid you you might imagine.
There is not a whole lot of nuance in her words describing homosexuality and LGBT people, is there?
“I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”
Funny, but her brand of “profound compassion” sounds just like Christianist bigotry to me. Exactly like it, in fact. Is there ANY discernable difference?
Here’s another winner. Bachmann on hate-monger Fred Phelps:
“I almost think that the gay community has hired this guy, or created this guy, to do what he does. He is their best friend.”
Noted and quoted.
Via Dump Bachmann