The Politico offers us a glimpse at what the future holds for us in a piece titled “Republicans plot fall offensive” (and I thought they were offensive without planning):
Confronting a dire outlook for next year’s elections, House Republicans have begun to fight back with a new three-pronged strategy: painting the new Democratic majority as part of an unpopular Washington status quo, forcing Democrats to make unpopular votes on tough issues and locking arms around a new GOP issues agenda.
House Republicans might well be expected to be watching their better-funded, in some cases cocky, Democratic competitors from the fetal position.
Pretty intense stuff, and a real break from their past strategies of “When in the majority, attack like vicious pit bulls” and “when there is nothing going on, attack like vicious pit bulls.” Never retreat! Never surrender! Never think!
Who would have ever predicted that, in the minority, they would attack? Certainly not I.
I do like the new official Republican narative that Democrats don’t do anything. Assuming people just blindly swallow whatever Republicans and the mass media feed them – filibuster what? Veto who? Motion to recommitt, abuh? – , this will go over really well.
This is the year we figure out whether America is mature enough to be a Democracy.
I think we’re still seeing the legacy of Karl Rove playing out with this strategy. That is to develop a narrative of ideas, ruthlessly enforce narrative among republicans and lie like used car salesman in defending dem attacks on narrative. And like you say never think, just believe.
Maybe it’ll work for them again. I personally think this strategy has shot it’s wad. But who knows.
The Other Steve
GOP loses 25 seats in the house, 8 in the senate
as well as the Presidency
Not my ideal situation. I’d prefer it if we had a divided congress, with the Republicans controlling at least the Senate. I don’t like congress running ruffshod.
But the fact that the GOP can’t behave like adults and work in a bipartisan manner… I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Fortunatel ythe Democrats have a tendency to balance themselves out.
Jim/The Velvet Blog
>>House Republicans have begun to fight back with a new three-pronged strategy:
Oh, there are lots more than merely three prongs among the Republicans.
so that’s why goopers are quitting in droves. my god, it’s strategery!
this is hilarious, painting the guys who were, up until a bit ago, the minority party as the ‘status quo’.
yeah, with the dems in charge, how can this fail?
which is different how?
what a laff. these guys are gonna get butchered in 08.
Heck, in what way is the New Democratic Majority NOT part of the unpopular Washington status quo? Vote for the Iraq war? Check. Vote to violate the Constitution by issuing what is effectively a Bill of Attainder (retroactive immunity for telecoms which help the feds violate then Constitution)? Check. Impeachment “off the table”? Check. Loud mumblings about “nothing” off the table when it comes to Iran? Check! Patriot Act II? Check. Support the troops patriotic mumbo jumbo? Check. It’s bipartisan, folks. Bush is just more blatant, more corrupt, more incompetent, more narrowly focused. The dems are part of the same century-old program-pillage and conquer.
I’m a Alan Keyes man, myself. Accentuate the contradictions!
“The only hope for the world is a grand coalition against the hegemonic power, which will hopefully lead to its complete downfall.”
And the answer is… probably not.
I’m trying to figure out, if The Other Steve’s prediction happens…
…how will that change anything?
Based on what’s happening right now in DC, with Dems capitulating on virtually every contested issue, ignoring the trashing of the constitution, holding oversight sessions which result in ultimatums that are ignored, all without any real consequences.
Does having a bigger majority change all that? If you don’t have principles when you have a small majority, do they magically appear when you have single-party rule?
The reason the Party of Torture is staying on offense, so to speak, is that the Democrats always give up. They’d be stupid to curl up into a fetal position, and they’d never do it as well as we do.
Having had the opportunity to watch Alan Keyes debate Barack Obama, I’ve got to say here that there’s no one crazier than Alan Keyes.
Bat. Shit. Fucking. Insane.
That’s what they do – make a mess, blame it on someone else while the fall guy cleans it up. Rinse and repeat. Iraq is the best example yet. Bush screws everything up and the next (likely Democrat) President gets to carry that albatross and take the blame when things get worse/we skulk away in defeat.
Like health insurance for poor, sick children. Unpopular. Tough issue.
Keep in mind that the margins are relatively narrow. “Democrats” didn’t capitulate on the issues – Diane Fienstein and Ben Nelson and the always dependable Joe Lieberman rolled over. And when you’ve got a committee with 6 Republicans and 7 Democrats, you only need one guy to turn over to foul up a resolution.
But take a look at what legislation has been passed in the House, repeatedly. Minimum wage hikes, Civil and Voting Rights legislation, Iraq War Timetables, Environmental Reform, funding for the VA, SCHIP, Stem Cell Research … basically everything you could reasonably ask for from a Democratic Majority.
That all these programs get filibustered in the Senate or Vetoed by the Prez, isn’t the fault of the Democratic Party as a whole. A handful of Blue Dogs and “moderates” have repeatedly turned Majorities into Minorities, but we haven’t see Flag Worshipping or Gay Bashing Amendments to the Constitution since the end of ’05, we haven’t seen Iraq Jerk-off Sense of the Senate resolutions since early ’07 (when it was the Republicans doing the whining about toothless bills right before they started introducing their own). Investigations and Subpeonas into all sorts of fraud, at home and abroad, weren’t even taking place this time two years ago. Gonzo is gone. Rumsfeld is gone. Can you honestly say these men wouldn’t be in office if Republicans held the reigns of power today? And what’s the hottest question for the new incoming Attorney General? “Will you honor our document subpeonas? Will you condemn the US torture of prisoners? Will you investigate and prosecute governmental misconduct?”
It’s baby steps to be sure. With the damage that has been done, who can blame us for wanting quick and sweeping change. But we’ve come a long, long way from two years ago. That our government is just now approaching levels of human decency acceptable to a fifth grader isn’t the fault of the Democratic Party as a whole. It’s the shame of the American Government.
I agree that we still have to many dems indebted to big business and their big money, and too many who fear repub charges of weakness on national security which often makes the difference in close votes.
But if the Dems get the WH and increase their majorities in the House and Senate we will see big changes away from right wing extremism we’ve endured for the past 7 years.
If and when that happens, we’ll be presented with a whole new set of problems with a dem control of government. And that would be dems tendency to spend money like there’s no tomorrow and expanding government reflexively to reward their special interest groups.
For me, that’s a much better set of problems than what we have now in King Bush.
” A handful of Blue Dogs and “moderates” have repeatedly turned Majorities into Minorities”
But…this is the vast majority of your party. Lieberman was 100% supported by the Party establishment, even when well-meaning netrootsers got Lamont nominated. The “left” is a minority with no real authority. Keep in mind how enthusiastic Nancy Pelosi was for Clinton’s fun little wars. It’s purely a power thing-they have no principles. We have 92-9 (or whatever) votes that could be basically used by the Warlord to authorize attacking Iran.
Plus, a kinder and gentler American Exceptionalism is not something I’m enthusiastic about. I don’t believe anymore we are the City on the Hill. We don’t get to pass resolutions condemning others’ transgressions when our whole history is based on similar transgressions. We need to be originalists. read George Washington’s words-we cannot run the world. The Dems will do nothing to stop the bleeding red ink of our empire.
Even if all Democrats do is prevent Republicans from introducing more flag burning, war-authorizing, gay-bashing amendments, I’m at least a bit satisfied. In fact, as you point out, they’ve done a hell of a lot more than that. And they’re starting to shift the goalposts (in a good way) on things like the national debate about healthcare.
The American public isn’t going to turn around overnight and vote a 100% Democratic majority into the House, Senate and WH. We’re not going to get all of our agenda passed in 2, 4 or even 8 years. But let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Keep working to elect Democrats everywhere (local, state, national). Keep pushing those Democrats do vote right on the issues that matter (I think retroactive telecom immunity is bullshit, for example). But don’t cut of your nose (vote Republican, vote green, stay home) to spite your face.
Well Brian, all I can say to dems who agree with you, is to let me know when you form the circular firing squad so I can get the hell out the way.
It’s no legacy. Rove is still making goper strategy.
This is the administration that has secret laws, secret exceptions to laws, secret memos on torture, secret spying programs, and secret detention without habeas corpus. This administration routinely hides documents, e-mails, transcripts, logs, reports, and briefings regardless of their source or content. This administration has no use for precedent, ethics, tradition, rules or laws. This administration favors secrecy, backdoors, doublespeak, deception and closed-door deals. These people categorically hide what they do, and when pressured or exposed they simply call it something else and then continue doing what they were doing in secret.
Why then would any reasonable person assume Rove stopped doing what he was doing? Just because his job title and office changed?
Who really believes Rove is now quietly spending his time with his family?
The strategy sounds like Rove because it is Rove.
Are you serious? You really think the majority of voters know Pubs have been filibustering so much, or even know what a filibuster is? When 20% can’t pick out the United States on a map?
One of the reasons why Dems should make the Pubs actually filibuster on important votes. For days if necessary. Get it on the teevee. There’s been no pain for the Pubs in filibustering, so they will keep doing it. Working for them.
In a way they have a point. Dems have been backing down or even joining the Pubs on major issues, so they are becoming part of the status quo.
It’s funny, Pubs are trying to put the blame for an incompetent admin and its Pub cheerleaders on the Dems. And Dems are helping them out with that. And still getting called nasty names for not putting their asses up high enough.
Whipporwill: The issue is the ever expanding, ever insecure National Security State eagerly supported by your Party. As economic decay, the rise of competing powers like China, and competition for oil gorws, things will get more desperate. I expect the firing squad will not be circular at all. It never is in police states. Is V is for Vendetta prophetic?
Harry Reid will respond to the Republicans with his deadly “Your Foot to My Balls” Kung-Fu.
In 1942 the Aleutian island of Attu was seized by the Japanese as a diversion during the Battle of Midway. On May 11, 1942 the Americans moved to take back the island the Japanese had fully supplied and fortified. By May 28th after bitter fighting in the harsh climate, the Japanese force had been reduced to about 800 defenders and held one end of the island, as the Americans were preparing for the final push.
That night, in near total darkness and fog, the Japanese staged one of the largest “banzai” charges of the war, achieving total surprise, penetrating the American lines and streaming into the rear echelon. The attack nearly succeeding in capturing the American artillery, which the Japanese planned on turning against its former owners. Only 28 Japanese survived.
Romney wins the presidency.
Democrats gain three Senate seats.
Republicans pick up 10 House seats.
Yes, but those are the people who don’t actually vote. Keep in mind, A) Politics in general has been more front-page news today than it was ten years ago, B) A bare fraction of the public gets its news from gumbas like FOX and rags like the NYPost, and C) Republicans vacillate between crowing about their “victories” in crushing Stem Cell Research and SCHIP, and pretending they never happened, but the general voting public isn’t quite that forgetful.
Note that Bush’s poll numbers dipped about 5 points after the SCHIP veto. Those who are paying attention to politics, and who are more likely to vote in November, have noticed.
The people Republicans are going to fool – those who don’t give two flips about what a filibuster is or if a bill got vetoed – won’t be voting for the Republicans anyway. So who cares?
I’m curious as to your party, Brian. You kind of sound like the neighborhood Anarchist. Anyway, some people in my party have made grievous mistakes in supporting the neocon Bushite’s to create the mess in Iraq, with a general shoot first, ask questions later mentality. But the overwhelming majority haven’t.
The vote on Iran shouldn’t have happened, but it does not authorize war with Iran. It’s my opinion Bush is going to do what he wants regardless of what Congress does.
And Yea, things are bad in the world and they could get a lot worse. It is my choice to always view things with at least a modicum of hope. That’s the choice all of us have, even you Brian.
Don’t look now but Republicans in the House are getting into a tizzy because of something Pete Stark, a Democrat said. Get the fainting couch ready…
You’re fucking bonkers.
I don’t even think he’s going to win the nomination, let alone the election. In the latest poll, when asked who voters definitely would NOT vote for, these were the results:
Barack Obama — 39%
Hillary Clinton — 41%
John Edwards — 43%
Rudy Giuliani — 44%
John McCain — 45%
Mitt Romney — 57%
Fred Thompson — 54%
Get it? Mitt Romney is the leading candidate to NOT get elected. And lo and behold, Hillary Clinton the nefarious polarizing one is deemed as more electable than any of the leading Republican candidates. Imagine that.
PARTY MESSAGE COURTESY OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: That’s right folks, the Democrats actually wanted to govern this country after we completely shit all over it and bankrupted it for decades to come! What kind of crazy people are they? For fuck’s sake!
Variant on this theme (from Sideshow Bob Roberts): “Mayor Quimby supports revolving door prisons. Mayor Quimby even released Sideshow Bob — a man twice convicted of attempted murder. Can you trust a man like Mayor Quimby? Vote Sideshow Bob for mayor!”
They don’t and they don’t care and they won’t care even if you tried to make them care. What people do care about is how they feel about life in general. A few hot topics (CHIP, a never-ending war) hold people’s attention. The know a Republican vetoed the one and started the other. They know their mortgage payments have suddenly jumped, they know they didn’t get a pay raise, they know a Republican is running the country, and life sucks.
….forcing Democrats to make unpopular votes on tough issues…..
Oh, I dunno that they have to be forced. They’re voluntarily voting in an incredibly stupid GOPish way on many issues, and it’s making them very unpopular with *me* anyway. It’s obvious, however that despite my pounding them with email and snail mail, they don’t much care.
If and when that happens, we’ll be presented with a whole new set of problems with a dem control of government. And that would be dems tendency to spend money like there’s no tomorrow and expanding government reflexively to reward their special interest groups.
You’re kidding, right? Spend like there’s no tomorrow? As opposed to what, exactly? Those skinflints over at the GOP? Last I saw, they broke the bank giving away hundreds of billions to no-bid contract/war profiteers, Big Pharma, handing over public lands to miners — all while mindlessly cutting taxes AND increasing the budget. There’s literally no possible way the Democrats can be as bad. When your “special interests groups” include the poor and theirs is defined by “ultra-huge big business” who’s going to win that battle?
Look, I think the Democrats are hopeless, by and large. But more of them are actually human and are prone to reason than their counterparts across the aisle. More of them make the right vote than the wrong one, but they suffer from being politically timid, they have poor leadership and there’s too many who DO buy into the GOP’s fear and guns program.
Still, the reason people hate Congress these days is because they’re giving in to the GOP who are universally despised. There’s literally nothing the Democrats can do — and Lord they’ve tried — to get many people to turn around and vote Republican in 2008.
In a sense, they are powerful because they are weak. The GOP yells this all the time: The Dems don’t want war. The Dems want to help middle-class sick kids. The Dems bend in the wind. The Dems support habeus corpus. That’s the public perception of the Democratic Party — and those are all positives in the public’s mind. Just don’t tell the GOP this.
Dems sweep in historic numbers in 2008.
Now, if they don’t actually get things done starting then the GOP might have something to run on.
Disagree. Almost guarantee if you went to any mall in the country and surveyed asking them how much Pubs have been obstructing votes, you would get a blank from most. But a lot of them do vote. Not calling them stupid, but for most keeping up with politics is not a big daily priority. I’d also be guessing the party registrations would be fairly evenly divided.
Republicans approach politics like war. Even if wounded, if the bad guy still has a weapon with any chance and inclination of using it, you put him down. It’s a blood sport for them. Not saying Dems have to go that far, but it would be nice if they used a little bit of it.
Pubs have shot themselves with incompetence in Iraq, Katrina, etc., and pissed off a lot of people with an arrogant “we can and will fuck you over if we want” attitude with Schiavo, widespread domestic surveillance, and now a bit with SCHIP. They’re wounded. Is it too much to ask that Dems don’t patch them up and help them to their feet. While the wounded bastards still call them assholes while trying to put a knife in them?
Thanks, Zif, for reminding me that it could be worse. I’m kind of in a funk politically right now. An override of the SCHIP veto would be the best medicine I can think of.
no luck re S-CHIP.
Waiting for the big Democratic push-back in the media to make sure every voter knows about Rep obstructionism.
Any time now, guys…
/(drops dead of old age, despair, gout)
So speaking of rolling over and this could be because the Senate is more evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, but they’ve let forward legislation for the NSA spying law. This includes legal immunity to telecom companies. I don’t think though they deserve immunity if they’ve been spying before 9/11 as it has been alleged.
If you want to be the government’s tool then you better face teh consequences of your actions.
There was an interesting Zogby “blind bio” poll of Republican voters recently. Mitt finished last. The really interesting thing was that a random conservative physician (noted cardiologist Ward Casscells) filling in as None Of The Above came in second. Thompson and Giuliani tied for first.
Um… well… don’t look now…
That said, if you’re looking for actual good news, look no further than the FISA bill.
Who are you, Gary Farber?
(sorry, had to do it.)
I am not “really” an anarchist (Heck-I’m a government bureaucrat) but I find the anarchist and real libertarian (left-libertarian) critique of our current State system more and more convincing. I agree with Jefferson-it’s time for a Revolution. Given that absolute power corrupts absolutely, we may need a serious devolution/dissolution of the centralized American War-State.
The Democratic Party is certainly kinder and gentler, but it’s almost totally in thrall, when it counts, to the same militarized ideology as the GOP.
I don’t have an easy answer. I don’t have any answers, but I think apres nous, le deluge. I agree with the anarchists and Chalmers Johnson that there may not BE an answer in the current political and economic structure. The War State is too entwined with every aspect of American life to be excised at this point.
I may be a bit of a “troll,” and I agree that many of the current Democratic Party candidates would be (slightly) better than the Republicans (although Ron Paul at least understands one aspect of the problem), but I think they will be able to do little to reverse a course that has been set, arguably, for over 100 years. I think Hillary, frankly, wants to continue this course and expand the War State. That’s why the Party leadership “loses” on these issues-many of them want these powers.
I won’t defend the GOP, but the corporate welfare spending by Gooper’S had more to do with depraved leadership of Delay.inc and White House politicking by one Karl Rove. Except for the 24% ‘ers most republicans, even though they slavishly followed their leaders like sheep, won’t let that happen again.
Maybe you weren’t around in the 60’s and 70’s when dems went completely nuts with government programs and out of control spending. That’s the historical reference I was making if dems were to get control of the entire government.
Although I’m as unhappy as you are Jay B with the lack of progress the dems are making, I’m just as fed up with some alleged dems ready to pound dem leaders to a pulp cause they’re not doing what they want yesterday.
I believe the majority of dems have their priorities straight and some clearly don’t. It’s all about numbers in the congress and right now and dems need more to do anything meaningful, and it wouldn’t hurt to win the White House in 08. One thing’s for sure we won’t win by circular firing squad. I know, that’s the second time I’ve used that today, but apparently it needs repeating often. Praise Be.
End of Sermon
Well I’m glad to hear you’re not an anarchist, Brian, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just not any where near the level of cynicism you have towards our country.
Although, the cold facts are we’ve got two near diametrically opposed ideologies in this country and have since the beginning, and have fought a bloody civil war basically over the how the constitution prescribes we conduct ourselves. I believe in essence a similar thing is happening today and I hope to the heavens we aren’t headed to the same place we did circa 150 years ago. I’m going to believe the best will happen for America , until that’s no longer possible, which I suspect and hope, is still pretty far off.
Maybe you weren’t around in the 60’s and 70’s when dems went completely nuts with government programs and out of control spending.
OK — what, exactly? Medicare? Medicaid? WIC? Head Start? Hell, LBJ created VISTA during the Great Society and I was a VISTA volunteer, and damn proud of it. Moreover, Nixon created OSHA and the EPA — both are big government entities which I also support.
I often support government programs. I like them especially when they are well-run, have a reason for being and generally serve to help people. It’s the liberal in me.
What the Democrats of the 60s spent far too much money on was Vietnam. But if he was able to lay off the guns and simply spread the butter, LBJ would have gone down as one of our truly great presidents.
Since then, of course, the Democrats have had two presidents who were fiscally conservative — along with control of Congress until 1994 — I can’t think of a single thing Carter or Clinton initiated which would be considered overspending. I think we can safely dispose of the myth that the Democrats are still ‘tax and spend’ types.
Except for your quote above, I agree with everything you said, and the government programs you listed. I should have been more clear and said “wasteful” spending and meaningless programs. At that time there were hundreds of lessor known programs, many more than we have today, that were promulgated on a whim, that were useless and wasteful.
Why do you think American’s gave Reagan 2 landslide victories.
Ronnie? Well he had some good slogans, Morning in America and Welfare Queens Driving Cadillacs, Fiscal Repsonsibility. So what we got was ransomed Embassy captives, run out of Beruit when he knew who blew it up and where to find them, the largest deficit in history, an illegal immigration amnesty followed by total non-enforcement, the list is very looooooooong and this grade B movie star governor is a Republican hero, St Ronnie, for pete’s sake. Blow that out your kazoo, his actual accomplishment were virtuall nil and the damage done was immense. Modern terrorism’s biggest boost was the Reagan response. Just because he could mouth the speechwriters lines without blowing it doesn’t make him anymore than an actor.
Seriously, Chuck is right. Americans gave Reagan victories because the guys who learned to market Republicans, starting with Nixon (see ‘President, selling of’) were very good at it and they had a great image and good actor.
I’ve heard Reagan was coached to have the line “There you go again” ready. KILLER MARKETING. Could’ve been in a movie. In a sense, it was. How much bearing did that have on reality? Nil. The whole concept had nothing to do with responsible governance- but by God, did he win the popularity contest!
Ronnie was on a path which led us here. Back then, they were still working a positive upbeat bullshit message. Since 9/11, it was cheaper to scare people, and it was still a popularity contest, so we ended up pretty fucked.
No way, dude. They just make it look easy.