March 31st, 2010

Politics as sport: not all wins are wins

This Politico article reflects a common theme among pundits and those in the political game, treating politics as a sport in which people like a winner. The theory goes that Obama’s victory in passing HCR should lead to a significant boost in his standing in the polls.

It’s true that people like a winner. And I have little doubt that the passage of HCR will improve Obama’s ratings with those liberals and leftists who were frustrated with Obama during the time it seemed as though the bill would never become law. But I cannot imagine why anyone with a grain of common sense would think that mere passage of what is perceived by many people to be a bad law would raise his stock in the eyes of those who oppose it.

The public likes strength in a president. But most Americans would like that strength to be marshaled against our enemies and to work on our behalf, not vice versa. We the people would like to be the judge of what would benefit us, not a government and leader perceived as increasingly out of control. Politics is not a game where it’s all about who wins a certain battle, although those who reflect on these things for a living might come to think so. But for most people, a win is only a win if we are in agreement with the goal.

One of the strongest Democrat memes is that, as people come to learn more about this bill, they will like it better. That has not panned out at all so far; quite the opposite has been true. Of course, this doesn’t mean that things couldn’t reverse. But Democrats seem to underestimate the American public, assuming that all most people care about is immediate gratification: bread and circuses.

Obama pollster Joel Benenson certainly thinks so:

…[He] predicted the plan would grow in popularity over time, as the public learned it included a ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and helped seniors close the “doughnut hole” of prescription drug costs not covered by Medicare.

“When it comes to health care and insurance, once reform passes, the tangible benefits Americans will realize will trump the fear-mongering rhetoric opponents are stoking today,” he wrote.

I like to think that most Americans are not children in a toy store, looking at the shiny objects and coveting them no matter what they cost. Of course, some people operate just that way. But perhaps not as many as Obama and the Democrats are counting on. Amazingly, quite a few citizens take the long view and realize that such entitlements and perks must be paid for, and that we are in a financial crisis that only promises to get worse as already-existing entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security increase the number of their beneficiaries at the very same time that the number of working people to pay for them decreases as a proportion of the total population.

That’s not rocket science, it’s common sense. But common sense is something that political pundits, Democrat politicians, and our president seem to lack. Or perhaps their goals are not our goals.

43 Responses to “Politics as sport: not all wins are wins”

  1. Mr. Frank Says:

    Right on, Neo. To continue your candy store metaphor, an increasing number of Americans fear that the whole store could burn down if we are not careful. Collapsing the whole economy trumps losing a couple of freebies.

  2. Highlander Says:

    Neo,

    Your observation regarding political pundits, of both sides, seeing it all as a game is dead-on.

    I was dismayed watching the panel discussion on Fox News’ Special Report in the days following passage of Obamacare. The likes of Charles Krauthammer, Steven Hayes, and Fred Barnes – who had argued so long and so well against it’s passage, seemed to have cheerfully moved on to the next battle – while I was furious (I still am) and not ready by a long-shot to give up the fight they had already dismissed with an attitude of “oh well, better luck next time”. Hadn’t they been telling me that there may not be a next time?

    I found this attitude puzzling and in no small way, I felt betrayed.

  3. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Perhaps these pundits would like to consult with Pyrrhus of Epirus about the true cost of victory.

  4. Nabel1611 Says:

    Hello
    I am trying to trace the Bills that claim to be the HCR?
    What is the bill number history? What is HR 3962? What is HR 3590? What is AMDT. to HR 3590? What is HR 4872? What is HR 3200?
    The House drafted and passed a bill sent it to the Senate. The Senate amended it with the same Number that came from the House? Sent it back to the House. The House deemed it passed? And now there is a second reconciliation bill?

  5. Nabel1611 Says:

    Just looking for a School House Rock version of what happened here!

  6. Gray Says:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yzptuxx

    The Republicans are already folding like a wet piece of newspaper.

    “Republicans, they thirst for death.”

    (stoled from G. Vanderleun.)

  7. DirtyJobsGUy Says:

    Americans can convince themselves that they are entitled to certain benefits. Social Security and Medicare were structured for that purpose (I paid in so I should get my due). Also they can convince themselves it is fair if others (the rich, the minority, the politically connnected) are abusing their influence.

    In this case the payors (middle class private sector employed non-official minority) figured out that the Payees (non-military gov’t workers, official minorities, politically connected rich and others) are making out like bandits. Whatever crumbs are thrown their way are insulting.

  8. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    DJG – correct. Large numbers of us will quickly feel entitled to keep receiving whatever benefit comes our way, pretending the cost isn’t really there. In one sense, that’s not insane – the cost isn’t going to go away; they’re never going to give it back – so we may as well individually get our money’s worth. (I am not advocating that attitude, merely describing human nature.)

    The costs are going to be largely hidden, tough to pin down. Slower growth, higher unemployment, higher taxes without being able to identify which part goes where.

    I approve of all strategies simultaneously: repeal, legal challenge, gutting what’s there. As for Krauthammer, et al, their strategy is also valid. Fight the next battle, but remember.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Highlander: I am in complete agreement with you. I noticed immediately that their affect was inappropriately cheerful. They seemed to take it all way too lightly.

    I have come to believe (even before seeing that) that many professional pundits form their own special society and feel somewhat immune from the concerns that we regular folk have. They do seem to treat it as some sort of game. It’s not a game to me, nor is it to most people—nor should it be.

    I think that’s the way that people like Mary Matlin and James Carville manage to stay married to each other. They have more in common than they have separating them. What they have in common is that they are both political pundits playing the game. Perhaps it is more important to them that they get invited to the right social engagements in DC. The rest is secondary. If that is cynical of me, so be it.

  10. T Says:

    Dirtyjobsguy,

    I agree. In fact, much of the awakening of the sleeping giant we call the Middle Class is due to the 24/7 availability of alternate news media. The state-run media no longer conrols the discussion; information that negates the mainstream narrative is only a click away.

    The final nail in the coffin will be when this Middle Class realizes that the current Democrat party has not been the party of JFK and Daniel Patrick Moynihan for a long, long time; I think that we’re on the brink of that now.

  11. gs Says:

    Suppose the refs are corrupt or incompetent and the winning touchdown is due to a series of flagrantly bad calls. Yes, Americans like a winner, but do we like a winner that much?
    ***********
    Gray, I’m not surprised by your link. IMO the GOP establishment, having lost the confidence of the electorate in 2006 & 2008, is counting on the Democrats to return them to power.

    To capitalize on your opponents’ mistakes is one thing. To rely on them to win the game for you is quite another.

    This Scott Brown voter has the nagging worry that the GOP could be in for a surprise in November.
    *********
    As it’s repeated on an ever larger scale, the politician’s trick of highlighting benefits and hiding costs will do the country in unless something changes drastically. The longer we wait, the more traumatic the cure will be.

  12. csimon Says:

    I read an interesting Shelby Steele op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this morning that discusses a concept somewhat akin to this subject, but more specifically how the Dems. & Obama view “the game.” As always, it is thoughtful, well-measured, and, as a respected black writer poitics and people he dares discuss Obama and his “accomplishments” in the historic context which is how Obama envisions himself. iEqually interesting are the comments following the article, which reflect much of the anger I myself have felt, but surprised even me, in its fervor. If this is but one example, the Democrats have indeed underestimated the citizens of the U.S. The anger is directed at the process, the actions, and the gall to enact that which flies in the face of the American people, and, more, using means which seriously threaten the ongoing existence of our way of life through profligate spending and risk (ironically the very things they chastise the business class for!) and disregard for the direction of the Constitution.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304370304575152023005805864.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

  13. JKB Says:

    Everybody loves a winner, except for the losers. Normally, it is just the otherside of the aisle and a few politically active people. Unfortunately for the Dems, this time is was a lot of just plain ordinary folk who had a stake in the outcome. Add to that, that Obama has been a less than gracious winner with his “I won, you lose and here are the reparations you owe” attitude. To keep a former adversary from becoming a blood enemy, you have to be conciliatory and help the adversary out. Instead we have Obama and the Dems treating the populace like Germany after WWI, all screw you and pay your reparations. So I doubt it’ll all be tea and crumpets between the Dems and their opponents the American people for a good long while.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    There is a reason why they see it that way…

    Look to history…

    Большая игра

    It was introduced into mainstream consciousness by British novelist Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim (1901).

    while historicall referring to its first roots between england and russia…

    later, though forgotten the cold war was also referred to by those in the business as the great game

    by seeing it as a game, one does not get personally involved but focuses on outcome. sacrifice, subversion, and such then become dispassionate tools to the end.

    a fun read with the term in the title is.
    The Great Game: The Myths and Reality of Espionage
    By Frederick Porter Hitz

    In this riveting insider’s account, a former inspector general of the CIA compares actual espionage cases and practices with classic and popular spy fiction, showing that the real world of espionage is nearly always stranger and more complicated than even the best spy fiction.

    Drawing on his thirty year career with the CIA, Frederick P. Hitz shows that even the most imaginative authors fail to capture the profound human dilemmas raised by real-life cases. Engaging and insightful,The Great Gameshines a fascinating light on the veiled history of intelligence.

    from a review
    And who populates the real world of espionage? Some truly weird folk, by Hitz’s account, wedded to exaggerated notions of their importance to world affairs, prey to various perversities, ever ready to sell out their country, in some cases, for a nice sexual dalliance with a Soviet femme fatale or a bottle of whiskey (“the mother’s milk of spy recruitments”).

    and Hitz has kind words for the many operatives who do their work without becoming turncoats, alcoholics, incompetents, or raving narcissists. Yet he also turns up some astonishing tales of woe, among them one that alone is worth the price of the book: a bureaucratic betrayal of Kurdish operatives who rose up against Saddam Hussein in 1994, under Clinton’s watch, and who were forgotten for their troubles. “This is not how a reputation is forged in the spy business for looking after your own,” Hitz wryly notes.

    the point is that to them it IS a game…
    the ONLY game worth playing
    more real life than most peoples real life
    (at least in their minds)

    its like being in your own movie and your the star…

  15. James Says:

    I had predicted earlier that Obama would try to swing to the middle once the health care bill passed. This would give him the electoral victory in November that he needs to keep Obamacare alive.

    I believe some people didn’t agree with me. But I would claim that this is pretty good evidence of the trend.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/31/obama.energy/index.html?hpt=T2

    Will it work? Can he save the Democratic party in time? He’s certainly going to try.

    James

  16. Artfldgr Says:

    politics as sport just got a lot more interesting..

    the legal challenges to health care are very interesting, and they have brought the MOST interesting resurgence of states rights i have ever seen in my life.

    out in Utah way… they are using the basis of Kelo.. the judgement that allows the government to take your land and put it to better use handing it to a company (thats a poor way of putting it i hope someone does it better). [on another note, the company that the land was taken for in kelo has pulled out and its now a lot]

    they are making the argument that they can seize that federal land (which in utah and other places is a whole lot), and put it to better economic use.

    turns out that many states and such are asserting their rights… whether the courts will be brave enough is not known.. (they werent in other issues of federal regulation in which there was no commerce)

    ah well..

    at least the state leaderships in many places is not falling in.. however the feds have made it clear they will withdraw funding for things if the states dont comply.. (which is why florida is suing on several points).

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    however the feds have made it clear they will withdraw funding for things if the states dont comply..

    Time to bring suit before the Federal judge who reinstated ACORN’s funding on the (dubious) grounds that Congress’s action constituted a bill of attainder.

  18. betsybounds Says:

    JKB, I had a thought similar to yours, “Everybody loves a winner, except for the losers.” While many wait for Obama to enjoy the fruits of his victory, among which is counted the renewed esteem of the American people, pundits and pollsters forget that in this particular game the American people were the opposing team. So we’re not bloody likely start in cheering the one who has so roundly defeated us.

    I’m usually a pretty big fan of Krauthammer, but I, like others here, have been quite disappointed in him lately.

    Artfl’s reference to “The Great Game” as the Cold War made me recall that I read of that usage as even before the Cold War, as being used to refer to the diplomatic face-offs between and among the regimes of Old Europe, back in the day of apportioning the spoils of WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. I think I remember the jockeying over the Middle East, with the French and British Mandates for example, as being regarded at the time as part of “The Great Game.”

    Well, it may not be a game precisely, but I don’t know that it’s any worse than our recent and current fondness for military metaphors, such as “The War on Drugs” or “The War on Cancer.”

    Anyway we can hope that the game is not over, we’re just going through innings. Or maybe it’s more like the World Series, we will have to see who wins the most games.

    And never, NEVER underestimate the Republicans’ ability to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory. I’ve been thinking and saying for a few years now that the Republicans simply have no clue what kind of fight they’re in. They don’t seem to have wised up any in the last year–or even in the last month–either.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    yes betsy that was the original history (centered between russian and the Uk who had india. they were worried that russia would take afghanistan, then use that as a launch point to get india, the crown jewel of the the empire).

    which led into the history of the cold war eventually…

    the point of the term is that to the people up top who are playing it, its like a game. they do not lose anything if they lose, they do not pay prices (or rather seldom did).

    this causes them to not take seriously the moves that they make on the board, as they get wrapped up in playing the game and how much fun that can be if you have been lucky to be where you can get.

    they are one step removed from the gods of olympus playing their game with man…

    they make a tax… its bad… big deal… it really only means something in terms of who pays them or works with them and what deal they can connect to another person and get something going… so they repeal it…

    things get even worse when a bunch collude rather than have this mass of self interest all opposed…

    say obama’s pull back on Israel and the outcome with iran is that there is a war… the player of the game doesnt go into battle regardless…

    oh… a historical point that made the great game more real like a game was the understanding among royals that you dont kill royals… so they ransomed each other… kind of like being in jail till you pay bond and can leave and go back to playing the game.

    when the players see it as a game, you and i become pieces… and like any game you win some you lose some, and get to play another day… unless your one of the pieces who suffer the consequences of the moves made by the players.

    the state once again is seeking to control the people to its ends, and so, it turns us into play pieces it can move and manipulate…

  20. rickl Says:

    James Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I had predicted earlier that Obama would try to swing to the middle once the health care bill passed. This would give him the electoral victory in November that he needs to keep Obamacare alive.

    I believe some people didn’t agree with me. But I would claim that this is pretty good evidence of the trend.

    There was a thread at GCP this morning about that. A couple of the commenters actually work in the oil business, and they are not impressed.

    I also read on another thread here that it might be a ploy to soften people up for a push on amnesty or cap & trade. So I’m not buying it that Obama is moving toward the center. I don’t believe that he is capable of it, nor is he even interested in doing so.

  21. betsybounds Says:

    Artfl, “a historical point that made the great game more real like a game was the understanding among royals that you dont kill royals… so they ransomed each other…”

    Yes. This was true, and indeed many such ransomed royals ended up in Jolly Old England, if I recall–they were family, after all.

    Until the Russian Revolution. That destroyed the royal ransom system. There was no ransom for the Romanovs–although I think one was hoped for, for a while at least. But then came Ekaterinburg, The House of Special Purpose, the slaughter in the basement, and the mine-shaft dump (as distinct from Dr. Strangelove’s “mine-shaft gap.” I remember wondering when I first saw that movie–in the theater–whether that was intended at all to be a kind of irony, or whether it was simply a happy coincidence of terminology! “We must not allow . . . a mine-shaft GAP!!”

    Anyway, the Russian Revolution changed the rules of the game, and showed those who were looking that some people really do play for keeps.

    Those people are on the prowl again.

  22. Artfldgr Says:

    hey betsy… too bad they dont make movies about this stuff in its full real facts and such… so much better than things like shooter… or avatar… some of the heroes from history make the movie heroes pale…

  23. betsybounds Says:

    Just so, Artfl.

  24. James Says:

    Mostly Mea Culpa – or whatever that phrase is.

    Turns out the oil drilling thing was a swindle too – as rickl up above suggests.

    Here is powerline on the story:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/03/025970.php

    James

  25. rickl Says:

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse, apparently the island of Guam is in danger of tipping over and capsizing.

  26. GINA COBB Says:

    Quote of the Day: Childish Ways…

    “I like to think that most Americans are not children in a toy store, looking at the shiny objects and coveting them no matter what they cost. Of course, some people operate just that way. But perhaps not as many as Obama and the Democrats are countin…

  27. Ilíon Says:

    Artfldgr:[Re Kelo]… they are making the argument that they can seize that federal land (which in utah and other places is a whole lot), and put it to better economic use.

    Ah! I’ve long wonders how long it would take for some State to see asn act upon that implication of Kelo.

  28. miss disey Says:

    Neocon and the commenters here seem to count themselves among the wise people who understand that perks and entitlements must be paid for.

    What proposals were advanced here for paying for the war in Iraq or paying for Medicare Part D? I’ve never seen any Republican make any proposals to pay for these things.

    The Health Care Reform legislation has a package of industry concessions, spending cuts and tax increases that the CBO scores as more than paying for the benefits.

    I certainly thought it was tragic that just as we were entering a period of demographic challenge the Republican party took us from a $200 billion surplus to a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. I can’t make any sense out of people who did that and nonetheless have a self image as fiscal conservatives.

    Certainly there is a lot of anger at Barack Obama here. And you reach for rhetorical cudgels with which to beat him. But the real reason for the anger still seems hidden.

  29. betsybounds Says:

    miss disey, the real reason for the anger is that we’re all racists.

  30. Highlander Says:

    Although I disagree with many of President Obama’s policies; believe they are a danger to the Republic, and will fight them with everything I have. I save my anger for his dismissive and derisive treatment of all those who disagree with him.

    I have disagreed with Presidents in the past, but I always had the sense that they had respect and compassion for the American people as a whole. Not so Mr. Obama. Instead, when speaking to his real and only constituents (i.e. his supporters), he insults average American citizens by derisively making fun of their concerns. I’ve never personally felt a President’s disdain before. It gives me a feeling of profound disconnection. I think it is, in part, because he has never abandoned his campaign in order to become the President. The result is the antithesis of, what to me, a President should be. More than that though, Obama appears a small man; haughty, peevish, aristocratic, and ruthless. President of only a the minority of Americans who are either in agreement with him, or enthralled by him. The rest of us are to be ridiculed and dismissed. A totalitarian at heart; continuously struggling to free himself from constitutional bonds, I am quite convinced that, unlike most of those who came before him, were he to be offered unlimited dictatorial power, he would accept it gladly and without condition.

  31. physicsguy Says:

    miss disey wrote:

    “I certainly thought it was tragic that just as we were entering a period of demographic challenge the Republican party took us from a $200 billion surplus to a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. I can’t make any sense out of people who did that and nonetheless have a self image as fiscal conservatives”

    I think many here would actually agree with you that the Republicans were not exactly ‘fiscally restrained’ during those years. However, by your OWN metric, how would you grade the current administration that quadrupled that same debt in ONE year rather than eight??

    I await your answer.

  32. Oblio Says:

    If you think war is expensive, miss disey, wait until you see how expensive “peace” turns out to be. For what it’s worth, borrowing money to finance war is a long-term strategy of Anglo-American geopolitics and governance, dating back to the 17th Century. I recommend you read Niall Ferguson or Walter Russell Mead to gain a greater understanding of this strategy and its long term benefits.

    Also for what it is worth, when considering financial matters, we would do well to remember the difference between capital infusions and ongoing operating expenditures based on entitlements. The bank bailout falls into the former category; Obamacare into the latter. The Fannie/Freddie bailouts look more like the latter than the former. The government has turned a cash-on-cash profit on their bailout of the banks, which is extremely unlikely to happen for Freddie and Fannie and almost certainly will not happen for the auto companies. So all bailouts are not created equal, and the bank bailout was actually required if you follow the Ferguson/Mead thesis about the importance of financial markets for national economic power.

    Perhaps this distinction isn’t clear to you, as it is unclear to the White House, the Congress, and the media. It is a pity that people handling so much money don’t seem to know the first thing about finance.

    Finally, this obsession with deficit scoring is partially misplaced. If the government were to raise domestic entitlement spending by a trillion dollars a year, but to manage to find a trillion dollars a year to pay for it (which won’t happen), and the resulting deficit were zero, it might still be a terrible policy on the merits.

    But I am with you, perhaps, in thinking that the Medicare part D program was progress in the wrong direction. Good politics in the short run, I guess, but adding fuel to the fire of health care spending. Not a good reason to press the accelerator to the floor and keep going.

  33. Artfldgr Says:

    Not a good reason to press the accelerator to the floor and keep going.

    Unless you grew up idolizing the noble story of Thelma and Louise…

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/03/to-be-lawyer-or-not-to-be.html

    I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

    The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool.

    According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement).

  35. Highlander Says:

    Neo,

    Perhaps the best comparison to be made about political pundits is that of the lawyer who, having fought tooth and nail for his/her client in court, goes out for a drink with the opposing counsel once the verdict is in. Professionals – they retain an aloofness that reasserts itself at a mutually agreed upon point in time. They are engaged only so far and no further.

    I can understand this mindset to a point with pundits, but not when, by their own words, the fate of the nation is at stake. It is then that this cultivated detachment from events has the effect of diminishing their credibility by contradicting their own statements. I know I will look at them differently from here on.

    I believe I can now appreciate better the genuine passions of a Michele Malkin or an Andrew Breibart. They may go “over-the-top” on occasion, but they at least seem real.

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    miss disey: hello, Democratic-talking-points troll.

    If you never heard many Republicans and especially conservatives talking about their disagreement with Bush’s Medicare Part D plan, then you weren’t listening at the time (or perhaps you’re lying now—whatever).

    At least it was a very popular plan at the time—unlike Obamacare.

    I’ve been fascinated by the strange gimmicks Obama’s supporters are reduced to now. There seem to be two. The first is to say “Bush did it!” Not only do two wrongs not make a right, but usually the thing Bush did pales in comparison to whatever Obama is doing, both quantitatively and qualitatively (plus, as I have already noted, it often was done with at least some Republican and conservative opposition—one of the reasons true conservatives never liked Bush and did not consider him one of them. But most Democrats are so unfamiliar with conservative thought, and so sure of their own smarts, that they don’t even do their research and are therefore unaware of this fact).

    How far you have sunk from those hopey-changey glory days, when the best you can say about Obama is that he is like the evil Bush so we have no right to complain!

    The second charge, of course, is racism. This one’s as old as the Obama hills. The minute he came on the scene, his supporters played the race card for every criticism of the man. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Highlander: I believe you have hit the nail on the head. “A totalitarian at heart.” He wants to squash all dissent. Nixon had an “enemies” list, but it was limited to certain people in the media and politics. Obama’s enemies list is over half of the American people.

  38. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    I can’t make any sense out of people who did that and nonetheless have a self image as fiscal conservatives.

    And I can’t make sense out of people who have no argument to advance other than tu quoque.

    Republicans have never claimed to be perfect, nor have they ever claimed to be immune to the failings of which they accuse Democrats. It is, therefore, entirely reasonable to criticize Republicans for failing to adhere to fiscal conservatism. But that criticism is not an answer to criticisms of spendthrift Democrats, who have now made the worst spending sprees of Republicans seem like pocket change.

    Don’t worry; if Republicans forget their roots as fiscal conservatives, they will be taken to the cleaners, as they were in 2006 and 2008… and they will deserve it.

    Is that true as well on the other side of the aisle? With our liberal President embracing decidedly illiberal societies in Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, at the expense of our allies — thereby promoting societies that subjugate women and religious minorities, while insulting societies that promote freedom — will American liberals decide to stay home in November 2010, feeling that Democrats have forgotten their roots?

    Personally, I don’t think so… but time will tell.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  39. Baklava Says:

    Miss Disey,

    You are so right. I admit. I am a racist. The first step in changing yourself is to stop denying reality.

    So… Moving forward…

    My children are 50% non-white. My girlfriend is Mexican. My best friend is black. BTW, he did not vote for Obama either.

    I, nor my fellow conservatives, approved of the left leaning (yes Republicans acted like leftists) approach in expanding Medicare with Prescription Drug coverage.

    I’m GLAD to see it seems like you opposed the big government approach of the prescription drug program also.

    Let’s work together to repeal it because the federal government’s obligations (what it is obligated to pay) are too large and my daughters and your children’s future has been mortgaged by our reckless behavior.

    What is mandated by the constitution for our federal government is national security. Prescription drugs are not mandated by the constitution.

    You may have disagreed with the war in Iraq – but at least the federal government IS tasked with national security by the constitution.

    So! Look in the mirror. See what YOU oppose and propose for bringing down our government’s obligations and come back to us after you’ve cleansed your racism from your body and mouth and soul. We’ll be glad to explain to you how conservatives actually believe.

    Are you ready to listen?

  40. miss disey Says:

    Physics guy, no the Obama administration has not quadrupled the deficit. I’ve seen the chart circulating that attributes George Bush’s FY 09 deficit to Barack Obama. I expect the people who made that chart knew they were lying to you.

    Barack Obama did add a $700 billion stimulus package to the deficit. I think that was a good start in the face of a potential depression and the results speak for themselves. I’m confident that the Obama administration will move to clean up the Republican deficit as Clinton did before him.

    Ohio, I don’t think that ‘because war has always been paid for with deficit spending’ is really a rationale. I can’t think of another war during which taxes were cut. It seems to just come down to values. You are comfortable borrowing from future generations to pay for war. I could be persuaded that it is worthwhile to borrow from future generations to invest in capitalizing American people.

    Medicare Part D was completely unfunded whereas HCR is at least officially paid for. If entitlements paid for by debt were a sincere objection then I would expect to see an appreciation of the difference between the unfunded entitlement championed by the Bush administration and the funded one passed under the Obama administration.

    Neo, please don’t think I am minimizing my appreciation of the work of the Obama administration. The context here is not the work of the Obama administration but the work of this site. There is a great deal of anger, stress, preoccupation, rancor, dismay at the Democrats here. And there is rhetoric to convey that anger. That rhetoric means something to people who share that anger — it feeds the habit.

    I can only share with you as an outsider that I find no coherent rationale for the anger.

  41. ELC Says:

    I’m confident that the Obama administration will move to clean up the Republican deficit as Clinton did before him. So, you think the official forecasts of $1.5+ trillion deficits per year for the foreseeable future is “cleaning up”?

    Quit the Kool Aid, miss disey, before you drown yourself in it.

  42. Oblio Says:

    miss disey, I don’t think you understand what I wrote. You can say “It seems to just come down to values” [sic] because you don’t understand the argument. That’s not a counter-argument at all. That is only attitude, unsupported by any facts or logic. You know nothing of my values when it comes to investing in human capital or anything else. My point was that “deficit-scoring” is not the issue when you are talking about wartime, and that a lack of deficit is not necessarily a virtue if the underlying tax and spending is counter-productive. I take it you are prepared to accept the CBO scoring because you don’t know any better when it comes to economic analysis or evaluating financial forecasts…which was also my point. The Democrats and the media count on this kind of ignorance being widespread.

    Since you need also a history lesson, I’ll give you an example of a war where the US cut taxes–the Cold War. Fiscal stimulation was an essential part of the war strategy. I remember very clearly because I was in Washington at that time working on national security issues.

  43. Mission viejo Water Damage Says:

    this page was precisely what i’ve been looking intended for! I found this blog bookmarked from the friend of mine. i may also share it. cheers again!

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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