Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Liberal suicide watch 

David Brooks is rather good this morning, the usual stuff to irritate conservatives notwithstanding.

It was interesting to watch the Republican Party lose touch with America. You had a party led by conservative Southerners who neither understood nor sympathized with moderates or representatives from swing districts....

It’s not that interesting to watch the Democrats lose touch with America. That’s because the plotline is exactly the same. The party is led by insular liberals from big cities and the coasts, who neither understand nor sympathize with moderates. They have their own cherry-picking pollsters, their own media and activist cocoon, their own plans to lavishly spend borrowed money to buy votes.

This ideological overreach won’t be any more successful than the last one. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday confirms what other polls have found. Most Americans love Barack Obama personally, but support for Democratic policies is already sliding fast....

Most independents now disapprove of Obama’s health care strategy. In March, only 32 percent of Americans thought Obama was an old-style, tax-and-spend liberal. Now 43 percent do.

We’re only in the early stages of the liberal suicide march, but there already have been three phases. First, there was the stimulus package. You would have thought that a stimulus package would be designed to fight unemployment and stimulate the economy during a recession. But Congressional Democrats used it as a pretext to pay for $787 billion worth of pet programs with borrowed money. Only 11 percent of the money will be spent by the end of the fiscal year — a triumph of ideology over pragmatism.

Then there is the budget. Instead of allaying moderate anxieties about the deficits, the budget is expected to increase the government debt by $11 trillion between 2009 and 2019.

Finally, there is health care. Every cliché Ann Coulter throws at the Democrats is gloriously fulfilled by the Democratic health care bills. The bills do almost nothing to control health care inflation. They are modeled on the Massachusetts health reform law that is currently coming apart at the seams precisely because it doesn’t control costs. They do little to reward efficient providers and reform inefficient ones.

The House bill adds $239 billion to the federal deficit during the first 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It would pummel small businesses with an 8 percent payroll penalty. It would jack America’s top tax rate above those in Italy and France. Top earners in New York and California would be giving more than 55 percent of earnings to one government entity or another.

Nancy Pelosi has lower approval ratings than Dick Cheney and far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin. And yet Democrats have allowed her policy values to carry the day — this in an era in which independents dominate the electoral landscape.

Who’s going to stop this leftward surge? Months ago, it seemed as if Obama would lead a center-left coalition. Instead, he has deferred to the Old Bulls on Capitol Hill on issue after issue.

Machiavelli said a leader should be feared as well as loved. Obama is loved by the Democratic chairmen, but he is not feared....

Nancy Pelosi has "far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin." If that does not drive liberals insane, what would?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 10:23:00 AM:

Both parties have been captured by extreme elements. The Republicans under Bush-Cheney lost their way on what used to be core values. Bill Clinton got schooled by Newt into being a better traditional Republican than Bush-Cheney ever were. The Republicans will fail unless they reform themselves out of being a party that caters to white male protestants. If they don't -- don't kid yourself -- the Democrats will continue to dominate. We may rebound enough in 2010 for the Democrats to save their sorry asses.

What's remarkable is the lack of news coverage on the inner goings on in Congress and the White House. Is Nancy totally on a frolic, or is Obama getting exactly what he wants? Where is Rahm on this?

Link, over  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 11:53:00 AM:

Nancy Pelosi has "far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin." If that does not drive liberals insane, what would?

Can you imagine the uproar if Nancy Pelosi were to run for elective office outside of her district? Even a statewide office run would expose her more broadly for the kook she is. It constantly amazes me how Congresspeople mistake the Constituional powers of their office for personal strength. Obama does the same thing: he has the almost unbelievable conceit of thinking he is bigger than the Presidency.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 11:56:00 AM:

It seems not to be the case, that the slow rate of spending of "the stimulus" was unintentional.

Larry Summers at the Peterson Institute, 17 July 2009:


Starting around time index 12:00, and especially starting at 13:10:

"While in the context of a problem that appeared significantly smaller, at the beginning of 2008, I had advocated stimulus that was timely, targeted and temporary, our analysis of the situation at the beginning of 2009 suggested that the stimulus needed had to be speedy, substantial and sustained."

This statement does not appear in the "Remarks" press release.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Jul 21, 12:20:00 PM:

Tsk. If someone is going to quote Machiavelli, they should go all the way.

It is better to be feared than loved, best to be both feared and loved, but under no circumstances should a prince allow himself to be hated. And that's where Obama is headed.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Jul 21, 01:48:00 PM:

When I grow up, I want to be a selfless statesmen like James DeMint:

"Last week, Republican Senator Jim DeMint made it pretty clear why the opponents of health care reform are fighting so hard. As he told a special interest attack group, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

Here's how Obama responded:

Think about that. This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy. And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time, not now. There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake."

Well, imagine Obama's gall.

The trouble is, it's Democrats captured by interest group money and fear who are gumming this up.
Obama's not Harry Truman or LBJ. He's going to threaten and damn folks, curse and fill the airwaves with homespun exhortations. Maybe that's his problem: he's Obama--who was elected because he IS a undramatic fellow. He's a good guy and yet he's STILL an uppity negro to many on this blog comment roll. Lord talk about a rock and a hard place. But hey, maybe he needs a little LBJ and HST to fight thru the bullshit? It couldn't hurt. Being reasonable, academic and speaking in sentences doesn't seem to matter much anymore, which is why Palin is popular among well, fanatics and trivial fools. Nancy Pelosi is unpopular because she forgot where she came from, and needs to re-adopt the style her dad and brother taught her in Baltimore.

FYI to DeMint. Waterloo didn't happen because of a gallant effort that flies in the face of ignorance and entrenched fat interests. It came about because of one man's unflappable faith in the person he once was. The Allies would have won eventually anyway. But a clearer thinking Bonaparte could have messed them up enough to hold the line, forced a truce. And in the repose, people would start to think, start to get smarter. Less selfish. Build something better and lasting.
Indeed, the victory at Waterloo begat the trenches 100 years later, which begat blitzkrieg and japanese aggression barely 20 years after that...  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Jul 21, 02:40:00 PM:


Unrelated to specific topic but to general themes:


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 02:47:00 PM:

Sometimes, CC I despair over you. Can you really be so childlike in your thinking? DeMint was simply trying to cast the battle against the incipient Obama tyranny in heroic, good versus evil terms. The state of Napoleon’s mind and military capabilities aside, I can well understand the use of Waterloo as a metaphor.

Moreover Obama may indeed be a "good guy", or he might be a closet Trotskyite-- I don't care and don't think it matters much. The Democrat policies he's shoving down our throats are bad for America, just horrifically terrible really, and speaking in apocalyptic terms seems about right.  

By Blogger Diane Wilson, at Tue Jul 21, 03:00:00 PM:

To take Machiavelli a step further, quote Ralph Peters: It is better to be hated and feared than to be hated and held in contempt.

That is where Obama is headed.  

By Anonymous John, at Tue Jul 21, 04:43:00 PM:

Chris --

Obama never even gets the nomination from Hillary in the Democratic Primary if he's perceived as threatening. And personality-wise, you can't fake a non-threatening personality through a two-year campaign. But the same personality that allowed people to feel free to pull the lever for Obama also makes him vulnerable to being rolled by every special interest group within the Democratic Party. He doesn't mind being hates by conservatives, but he can't bring himself to not being loved by everyone else, especially the key leaders in his own party.

Maybe he truly believes he can get away with all this spending and not send the country into a spiral of debt and inflation. But fewer and fewer people think that he can, and sooner or later he's going to have to choose between listening to the voters (and to some of his own party's Blue Dogs) and pulling back on his plans, or continuing to listen to the special interests, who want what they want and they want it now, even if long-term its a disaster for the party and for the country.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 04:52:00 PM:

If they don't -- don't kid yourself -- the Democrats will continue to dominate.

Which of course is why the democrats have been losing the generic congressional ballot poll for a month straight now, right?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 04:52:00 PM:

CC merely rewrote a White House talking point and posted it, as instructed.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 04:58:00 PM:

By the way, Obama hasn't liked having the Congressional Democrat's own CBO making nasty noises about Obamacare and the Congressional leadership obviously wasn't making enough progress in getting them under control, so he met with them directly. That'll put a stop to that!  

By Anonymous Edward Lunny, at Tue Jul 21, 05:16:00 PM:

"Maybe that's his problem: he's Obama--who was elected because he IS a undramatic fellow."....RUBBISH ! He is yet another liberal extortionist. Another who would rape and pillage the efforts and earnings of the productive and responsible people to give to those whom do not, and largely have never, done anything to help themselves. Those whom think that victimisation entitles them to the gifts of other peoples efforts while being unwilling to make any effort of their own. Obama is yet another liberal whom will skim and steal to line his own pockets and those of his friends while decrying the unfairness of society. He will spend anyone's, everyone's, money, but, not his own on those societal deficiencies that he claims are so important to him. He is no more than another lying, thieving, shyster sicialist fraud.  

By Anonymous Edward Lunny, at Tue Jul 21, 05:19:00 PM:

Argh...sicialist should be socialist. I should have read that through again  

By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Tue Jul 21, 05:56:00 PM:

Nancy Pelosi has "far lower approval ratings than Sarah Palin." If that does not drive liberals insane, what would?

If I'm insane, I'm the grinning kind of insane. Because Nancy Pelosi is Russia in winter. Keep attacking, gentlemen.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 06:11:00 PM:

Happy to oblige, Comrade.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 06:26:00 PM:

Not only is Obama willing to step on the CBO to force lockstep allegiance to his proposals, but he is also now willing to use reconciliation to step on the constitutional prerogatives of the legislature.

There is nothing he won't do to win, no institution he isn't prepared to sacrifice.

From yesterday's emergency blogger conference call:

Jonathan Singer: Well thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Mr. President. Given the timeline and the fact that it seems like bills may not be through both the House and Senate by the August recess, is there a point at which you would say to the Senate, "Sixty votes doesn't seem like it's going to happen. Use the reconciliation process. Lower the threshold so the Republicans cannot delay the process." I know that's not optimal. But is there a point at which you would say that to the Senate?

President Obama: Keep in mind that the way we had structured the reconciliation issue several months ago, we moved forward on the basis of the assumption that we can get a bill through the regular order and the regular process by October. If I think that that is not possible, then we are going to look at all of our options, including reconciliation."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 21, 08:39:00 PM:

From Link.

If the Republicans don't fix their act "... don't kid yourself -- the Democrats will continue to dominate." I stand by this.

The damage Obama & Co will do is mostly backdated. If Energy and Healthcare get adopted, for example, not a lot happens right away. We can be lulled back to sleep. We may see an economic recovery into 2010, despite Obama. Then we get a sugar rush from Stimulus. This is by design.

The Republicans will have a challenge making gains in the Senate in 2010, because of the seats that are up. Were the 2010 elections held a month ago the Republicans would likely have lost five seats. The Republicans are far behind in the House. Obama won't need huge majorities after 2010, if he gets his major legislation enacted now.

The Republicans turned themselves into a regional party -- it's their own damn fault. Thanks to Newt, Clinton was schooled into being a better Republican than Bush-Cheney were. The vacuum that was created among disaffected independents made Obama possible. Unless the economy totally goes into the tank -- which is still possible -- the Republicans can't count on anything in 2010 or even 2012.

I'm throwing John Boehner's hat in the ring. The religious right don't like him because he won't genuflect and kiss their ring -- he's pro- small business and Catholic. A protégé, of Newt, he's exactly what we need. Rush and the religious right would rather fantasize about Palin. Regular Americans will have great difficulty accepting Romney.

Hoping Obama really screws up is not a strategy. He's still clever, resourceful and diabolical.

Link, over  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Tue Jul 21, 09:49:00 PM:

The Republican-Democrat ideological overreach equivalency overlooks some basic facts. Despite the rhetoric by Democrats every time they lose even the fringes of their power, they have been the dominant party throughout our lifetimes. Obama has greater majorities in his party from day one than any Republican since Harding, briefly. Bush had majorities only four of his eight years. GWB was not an ideological overreach, but the usual underreach Republicans have to do to get elected. If you are a Democrat, you can comfort yourself with the idea that most districts elect Democrats over and over again. If you are a Republican, you can wince again that conservatism has still not been tried in this country. That the stereotypes about Republicans persist despite their variance from the facts is testament to the power of 24/7/365 propaganda. It doesn't sway everyone, but enough to win elections for Democrats repeatedly.

CC - do you not know what DeMint meant, or do you know and pretend not to to score rhetorical points? (See propaganda 24/7/365, above)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 22, 01:53:00 PM:

CC posted a White House talking point email essentially verbatim, as his own thoughts. He can't defend it because they aren't his thoughts.

By the way, as weighty as the health reform issue always is the issue of end-of-life care hasn't been brought up by the GOP. If they had they would have been condemned as using scare tactics. So what to make of the President raising the issue? In stark, frightening terms, no less. Strange political move.  

By Blogger Sheep_dog, at Wed Jul 22, 03:51:00 PM:

CC - If not that small BENELUX town, how about Stalingrad?

Neil - heh. Nancy might not be as resilliant as the Rodina, but she doesn't have T-34's either.
Pompus words and ancient rhetoric is no match for a good blaster, son....  

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