Even the Washington Post clues in:
Three months after their Election Day drubbing, Republican leaders see glimmers of rebirth in the party’s liberation from an unpopular president, its selection of its first African American chairman and, most of all, its stand against a stimulus package that they are increasingly confident will provide little economic jolt but will pay off politically for those who oppose it.
After giving the package zero votes in the House, and 0with their counterparts in the Senate likely to provide in a crucial procedural vote today only the handful of votes needed to avoid a filibuster, Republicans are relishing the opportunity to make a big statement. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be.
The thing is, they are being so transparently cynical that it is hard to believe that the American people will fall for it.
*** Update ***
Doesn’t seem to be working out quite the way the Republicans want in the short term, although they are playing long ball here. They are hoping they can pin the economy on the Democrats in 2010 and 2012. And, in all reality, given Bush’s numbers the last few years, a 58% disapproval rating for Republicans IS a step in the right direction. The more important finding is that 66% of Republicans, 78% of independents, and 93% of democrats think that it is either “critically important” or “important, but not critical” that a stimulus plan be passed.
We will see how this plays out politically, but personally, I hope the plan just stops some of the economic bleeding.
obligatory H.L. Mencken reference
Well, the Republicans are making certain that the stimulus package will have little economic jolt, with their insistence on cutting out the spending. So score one for them.
I wish it would result in all pointless tax cuts being ripped from the final bill, e.g., these fuckers have PROVEN tax cuts do not work – they are delusional, fergawdsake, don’t listen to them. Hellooo?? Am I being stupid in thinking it could happen? Again, I appeal to the good sense of other BJ’ers to enlighten me.
Pups are VERY intense on that game. You’d think the Steelers were tossing around a pork chop.
You must not know any Republicans!
The article gives them too much credit. I don’t see how any person with intelligence on the happy side of the bell curve (which leaves out JtP and Confederate Yankee) can not understand that putting people to work repairing bridges will have the effect that those people will get work and the bridges will be less collapse-prone. The Republican’s aren’t betting that the package won’t provide a jolt, they’re betting that the package is weaker than the downturn, and they’ve done everything they can to make sure the fix on that one is in.
And by the way, if you haven’t read ConYan’s "Fencing Pigs" screed, it’s a hoot. Apparently, if the government gets in the bridge repair business, we’ll all be driving over bridges all the time feeling safe which will actually mean that we’re slaves because we will no longer be proud independent wild boars who only cross rivers at the ford. Or something.
Bell curve is as bell curve does.
I hope so. After a majority of the country re-elected Bush I’ve given up making predictions about what the American people will or will not fall for, but I hope so.
Or, unfortunately, many Americans.
I don’t think they are. I just finished listening to the first 45 minutes of Washington Journal (C-SPAN). The people get it and boy are they pissed. If any Rushublican officeholders in D.C. were watching that, I hope they listened. One woman called to say the bill was "full of Republican pork" and then spat out "Tax Cuts!", and I mean spat it out.
Almost to a person; ‘no tax cuts, tax cuts don’t stimulate, we need good paying jobs, the banks are robbing us blind, we don’t make anything anymore, Democrats and Republicans have sold us down the river’ and on and on and on. People are angry and it is palpable.
While I listened to that, I thought of my old job at a boat manufacturer. Those were some pretty damn good times until Daddy Bush killed our industry with that luxury tax. Good paying jobs, good interesting work, good benefits and happy people to work with. It was pretty damn sweet until the Rushublicans destroyed it for us. The company was driven out of business and over 500 people lost good jobs that had good pay and good benefits. That seems to be a theme with the Rushublicans, fuck things up for everyone else but their rich buddies who own them lock, stock and barrel. This destruction was aided and abetted by the spineless Democrats who have been wandering around so long with their heads up their asses that they don’t know what to do now they have regained power.
Working at the boat plant was the kind of job that people who want to work their way up through life and make something of themselves would enjoy. They brought in anyone and kept everyone who was willing to stay and learn. You learned skills that you could apply in many trades, but best of all you made something. You had something to show for your efforts at the end of the day. The money pushers like to boast about how great they feel when they close some big deal and score some big points. Well, Mr.& Mrs. Blue Collar like that feeling too but on a smaller scale and you money people took that away from them.
You can’t get that feeling working for Burger King. A nation that don’t make shit ain’t worth shit.
What really gets me, and I assume this is the point you’re making, is that not only are they depending upon the stimulus not providing a sufficient jolt, but they’ve been instrumental in weakening the jolt it will have, adding ineffective tax cuts while cutting aid to states and food stamps, spending that would be quick and effective. Campaign on the basis that government is ineffective while simultaneously working to make it so appears to be the Republican strategy.
That’s good to hear. It sounds like the people are smreter than the pundits.
Which of the two fundamentalist, nihilistic organizations, the Taliban or the Republican Party, represents the biggest threat to the American future? The latter.
maxbaer (not the original)
@jenniebee: Can we put Joe the Whatever and Skanky Yankee to work repairing bridges? They’re not doing anything useful now.
Did they just reference Sessions’ comparison to the Taliban as a compliment? Those daring Republicans, dumping mortar shells on the legislative process.
When there’s one Republican left in Congress, the media talking points will have to start referencing the Japanese soldier they found on "Gilligan’s Island." "In one example of the Republican’s daring new approach, Sen. DeMint taunted Senate Democrats as they languished in their bamboo cage. Appearing in Coke-bottle glasses and fake teeth, DeMint patrolled the Senate floor declaiming "Yankee stimurus" – though, at one point the imprisoned party members nearly escaped when Sen. Casey, dressed as a gorilla wearing the Union blues, enraged DeMint with a demeaning, improvisational monkey-dance."
Well, Republicans raised the comparison, I personally would not have gone that far, BUT: this is what came to my mind….
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric that they’ve been using against me before I even took office —
Q: I know, I know.
THE PRESIDENT: — what that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt. There’s no actions that they’ve taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.
In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you’ve built, not what you’ve destroyed. And what they’ve been doing is destroying things.
Is it too late to switch out a coupla words and add this to the Indiana speech?
Exactly! Dems, are you gonna fall for this shit? I’m not ashamed to say, Obama needs to go FDR on their ass. Fuck the naysayers, again, do you not recall that they LOST?
An added bonus to the article was the photo of that hog Limbaugh hobnobbing with these bastards. Sickening, simply sickening.
kommrade reproductive vigor
I wouldn’t think shouting "Hey America, I’m a dog blowing arsehole!" is an astute political move, but then I thought tapping Sarah Palin for Veep was a bad idea.
Uh, the Taliban wasn’t an insurgent group in Afghanistan and I’m going to go way out on a limb and say people who lived under their rule would differ about the amount of damage they did.
Christ, there be some stupid people on the planet.
Edited to add: I don’t see any sign of the Washington Post clueing in. I see the usual "Oooh looky, political drama! [fap fap fap]" that’s replaced political reporting.
I think people DO get it.
Having dinner at my in-laws on Saturday, my father-in-law’s friend from out of town who is a staunch conservative Republican proclaimed:
Granted, he just got done telling me that the housing bubble was caused by Barney Frank for relaxing rules that made minority home ownership easier, but at least if he was going to bat .500, he hit the more important note out of the park.
Uh-oh. Another Terri Schiavo!
Except this time in Italy!
@kay: It took me far too long to realize that he was talking about the actual Taliban and not the Republican party. Brilliant.
The people get it. Check out the new Gallup numbers re: Stimulus Bill.
"The data in particular shows the sharp divide between the public’s views of how Obama has handled efforts to pass a stimulus bill and its views of how the Republicans have handled this — a divide that quantitatively produces a 36-point approval gap."
ConservLib: I used to listen to Washington Journal every morning. It would occur to me from time to the time that most of the folks calling in were retired because they weren’t getting ready for work like I was and had time to dial and dial again, etc. Lately, when I do tune in, as ConservLib noted, they callers are radically pissed and their stories are heart-wrenching. They are calling in b/c they are stuck at home and no longer have jobs to go to! I decided I couldn’t listen anymore nor could I stomach repubes being given air time and the respect CSPAN gives all it’s guests.
As I noted a while back, an interesting occurence on WJ when Ann Coulter suddenly backed out of her book-plugging appearance, giving no reason why and some guy from NR, I think, had to take her place. I suspect she knew she would not be able to hold up under the wrath, the raw anger of the peeps without the "help" she has always had in her cable news appearances.
RT, yeah I hope they keep it up. I could have sold tar and feathers to those people.
One caller to Washington Journal referred to what has happened to our country as ‘economic terrorism’ and that our leaders let it happen.
I happen to agree. They have weakened us so much that one good hit from a terrorist group and we are up shit creek without a paddle.
Both parties own this mess, but the Republicans are the primary culprits. Led by Ronald Reagan, they have trashed our economy and those of other nations throughout the world. All in the pursuit of never ending profits, or so they thought. I wonder if these assholes thought they would do once they concentrated most of the wealth into few hands? What were they going to do then or did they assume that money is infinite and they would just keep making it as needed?
This is one huge f’ing mess and the only way I see us getting out of it is the government sucking the pockets of the bastards who made their money from this mess and putting it back into the economy rebuilding our country and workforce.
As I see it, it is time to nationalize some stuff, return it to profitability and sell it to new hands in the private sector. We have our own asses to look out for and the banks are not the ones who will be doing it. They are in it for the profit, even when there is none. I want our tax money going into something that is worths something, not into a bottomless money pit.
It the jobs that will save our asses, not banks.
Brick Oven Bill
A program to electrify the railroads would put large numbers of people to work in weeks, not months, in every state. It would increase the thermal efficiency of the railroads by 50%, saving long term money and emissions.
The cost to electrify 6 transcontinental routes, at $500,000/mile, would be $15 billion. This bill sucks and is all about political power.
Davis X. Machina
I’m taking the cynicism and giving the points.
Nobody, but nobody, hates America and Americans like Republicans hate America and Americans.
They never miss an opportunity to harm our people, to undermine our ability to survive and thrive, to sell out national interests to the interests of a parochial few of the most venal rich, to reduce our national security by avoiding doing that which keeps us safe while always doing that which puts us at greater risk.
Their instincts are always to seek out and support the treasonous, the separatist, the thieving and the dissembling.
This is the reason they wave the flag so much and accuse others continually of unpatriotism, because it’s simply meant to distract from their own deep, gut-level hatred of everything this nation has ever meant.
Republican Senator Ensign of Nevada, in response to Barney Frank’s comment that cutting state budgets would cause layoffs of teachers and firefighters:
Yup, a severe recession is a good time to be cutting back. Y’glesias notest that in Ensign’s own state, they’re taking about cutting K-12 education 15%. I’m beginning to think ThymeZone is right; the Republican party really is self destructing, I can’t imagine the backlash when the real pain begins. I just wish they’d self-destruct faster, as they’re creating a fair amount of damage on the way out, but they’re obviously doing the best they can.
go check Gallup out. A vast majority of the country prefers Obama’s approach to the Stim. Great numbers. These Republicans really have NO clue what Obama did to them in the last couple of weeks.
Based on the outpouring of public anger over the stolen election in 2000, the marches down Main Streets throughout Middle America in revulsion at the lies leading to the Iraq war and our use of terror and torture since 2001, the massive public disgust over internal spying and the rank politicization of the Justice Department, I do believe you are correct.
They wave the flag so much so you won’t see what they are doing behind it.
headpan, yeah I have listened to WJ since almost day one and you are right, it normally has been older retired types who call in and ramble on. Not so now, these people are younger, home, have a phone and are pissed. As you said, more than likely because they don’t have a job. For the longest time, the Republican callers were in la-la land but once this shit starting coming home to roost the tone changed pretty quickly.
People are angry but it has to get through to Washington. If enough people are put out of work, I have a feeling Washington is going to be feeling the heat. The newly unemployed will join the already unemployed and once a critical mass is reached, I think there is going to be hell to pay.
When people are scared they don’t want histrionics. Now they’re comparing themselves to the Taliban? Obama is a socialist and they’re the Taliban? Can they get any more hysterical and over the top?
Where are they going with this? They should grow the hell up.
Via Digby, an article describing the outcome of states cutting back:
Do the Republicans seriously think that if Obama’s stimulus fails somehow that a majority of Americans would say to themselves "oh great, let’s just go back to the moronic tax-cutting deficit-enlarging Republican Party THAT GOT US IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE, and also F-CKED UP OBAMA’S STIM PACK IN THE SECOND PLACE!"??? That bridge has burned. That ship has sailed. There are a lot of us Americans p-ssed off at the GOP and no matter how badly the Dems screw up we’re not going back to you morons.
You know why, o Rush, o Hannity, o Beck, o BS artists across the Far Right? You know why we won’t turn away from the Dems? BECAUSE AT LEAST THE DEMS WANT TO DO SOMETHING! At least they’re sincere about trying to get us re-employed and at better wages! You guys, you GOP morons? YOU WANT MORE TAX CUTS, EVEN LESS REGULATION, EVEN MORE SLASHING OF SOCIAL SERVICES THAT US UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE ARE GONNA NEED.
And I used to be a registered Republican. I used to think the GOP was fiscally responsible. Here is my angry response to my ex-party today. F——CCCCCCCKKKKKK YYOOOOOUUUUU. Never going back to you. EVER. I don’t care if Clinton… uh Obama gets caught blowing goats while wearing a Che t-shirt and bookmarking pages in Das Kapital.
I just noticed ATB’s link to that Gallup poll. Damn right we Americans know exactly who to blame when this all goes to the Sh-tpile: the Republicans.
Time for a serious Third Party (siddown, Nader!). Because you’re right, Cole. The Republicans are *insane*.
re: Gallup numbers and Obama’s apparent ju-jitsu
Everyone Chill the Fuck Out is becoming a tiresome (and worrisome!) cliche, but it keeps on proving to be correct.
In a certain cynical way, I think we may wind up missing the feeling of being smarter than the President.
Which is why we need Tax Cuts(tm) so people will have more money to donate.
That is what I am thinking, maybe Obama pulled a major rope-a-dope here. He knows how bad it is out there and he let the idiots mouth off, brag, preen and strut for the press and cameras. He let them have ‘the floor’ and they shit all over it.
Right in front of America.
Now comes the heat, and Obama is going out to talk to the public about it. The real public, not a hand-picked audience of bootlickers and party loyalists. Now it is time to close the deal and Obama intends on being right out front and available to us.
Imagine that, a reachable president. Someone who actually listens to us and even better, he talks to us like adults.
Those poll results for Democrats are pretty good, especially since those who think they’re doing a rotten job include both those who dislike the stimulus and those who are angry the bill has been watered down. It would be interesting to see a poll that broke down the results according to why people approved or disapproved of them.
The only polls the GOP is interested in right now are the ones that poll their base.
yep. I think that anyone who thinks it is a coincidence that Obama is out there this week pushing this and giving it to the Republicans, right before the deadline he set for the bill to be signed after very publicly giving the Republicans a hand in cooperation must think Obama just makes it as he goes along. Huh? We may not love the bill but what do we think Obama spent the months of the transition doing? Our president is a planner, he sees things in the big picture but the media as always obsessed with the 24 hour news cycle did not see this. Classic rope-a-dope I think.
Hope you’re right, and that as we speak Obama is weaving the rope these dopes will hang themselves with. But when I look at his bank bailout plan, and appointments like Geithner and Summers, I get a sinking feeling.
Pretty impressive numbers, given how god-awfully stupid the media has been on this.
I caught a little bit of Morning Joke on MSNBC this morning, and Scarborough said something like, "Well, as everyone knows, true Keynesianism isn’t just about spending, it’s about smart spending."
Uh, no, moron. Keynes is the economist who said that government should pay people to dig holes, and then pay other people to fill the holes in. Smart spending had nothing to do with it.
When Clinton was running the first time, I knew a lot of soft democrats and swing voters who couldn’t get past Carter and vote for Clinton. It was almost understandable then. But, I was a bit shocked when this past November, I heard people discussing Obama as another Carter. Not as many, but more than you would figure 28 years later.
If the GOP thinks they are getting over Bush in two weeks, two years, or two decades, they are insane. Bush will haunt them for generations. Probably until the current generation of under 30 yr olds dies.
Recessions will come, and they will get into the White House, but for that middle 20% of the electorate, Bush will be a monkey on the GOP candidate’s back for a long time.
They are also insane if they ever think the current economic mess will be pinned on Obama.
Joe talking about True Keynesianism? LMAO. Turn the clock back just a year and Joe would have chocked on the word now he claims he knows what it is all about? Let us think about that for a second and realize we (more like the economic reality) already changed the terms of the debate.
As a new American – and still only 50% American/50% Furriner – there are still some things I’m not getting. Isn’t there some way of going LBJ/Sam Rayburn on these guys? The Republicans are trying to play hardball from a position of weakness – so play hardball back. There are no doubt lots of military bases in Republican districts characterized as unnecessary by some commission or other. Well, close em, and make sure that the word gets out that their representative/Senators were just too ineffective to save them. States (besides Maine) with two Republican Senators should find that the Federal spigot is tightened to the point where it is just dripping. Let Idaho and Wyoming find out what life would be like if they weren’t absorbing way more Federal dollars than they give back.
For heaven’s sake – we just had an administration that (seems very likely to have) set the (so-called) Justice Department to prosecute a marginal violation by the Alabama governor just because he was a popular Democratic politician who was a threat to one of their Senate seat. So Alabama should count itself as lucky that this administration is committed to a Justice department that is above politics. NASA, on the other hand, will be gradually shifting its research funds from Huntsville Alabama to New Mexico. That’s where the good telescopes are, after all. The move makes sense (or at least, that will be the official line). Start the word circulating: Damn shame that Sessions and Shelby aren’t the kind of political heavyweights to keep stuff like that from happening…
If you want bipartisanship, you need to make it clear that Senators who fail to be bipartisan will pay a price. Otherwise you’re just a sucker singing Kumbaya as your pocket gets picked.
Well, if you believe in a "stimulus" package that promises to spend $300,000 for every 1 job created… well, you believed in flying unicorns during the elections.
Instead of spending $300,000 for every 1 job created in this $900 tril fraud, why not just cut a $30,000 check to each of 30,000,000 unemployed (guess what… there aren’t that many unemployed at 7.6%)? At least, the money would be spent and immediately circulated throughout the economy.
Why not, indeed. That’s because this "stimulus" bill is not, was not, and will never be a "stimulus" bill. This is a "grab what we can while we have both houses and the presidency" bill. This is the Democrat Looting of America… a raping of our treasury. The Republicans took advantage of Lady Liberty in ’01-’08, the Jackasses are now proving they have no problems with sloppy seconds in ’09.
This country is swirling the final few times around the bowl. We are no longer great; we are no longer a country to be proud of.
We Juicers all been pretty much wishing for the same thing here, but to no avail. BTW, where are you from?†
† – Welcome to BJ and the USA.
@jenniebee: Ok, that was just fuckin’ weird. Everyone knows pigs will dig under the fence.
@D-Chance.: Um, let me ask you this, and I’ll dumb it down since I’m talking to a 5th grader, where exactly do you think that money goes? Does the magical unicorn eat it?
Thanks for the welcome – I’m originally from Soviet Canuckistan.
Argh! BJ ate my comment! I will try again, I posted this downstairs but it got lost in the blog wars. Why does the pres not unleash that 13 million e-mail list that he has? You know send out a quick note "please call/fax/e-mail/write your representative and tell them to support this bill. KTHXBAI Your Cool POTUS" I mean none of these representatives have the staff (or probably the will) to check on the voter registration status of everyone calling or contacting their office and it would be a foolish representative indeed who ignored such an outpouring of support for the bill would it not? Is this the card that Obama is holding up his sleeve and just waiting to use it at the right time? I dunno, however I do know that the pres is a whole lot smarter than I am so perhaps I should just relax, watch the game play out and hope that Maverick really does know that the card is an ace.
Though I love the "Everybody chill the f**k out" pic, I’m starting to think a parody of Death Note’s "Just as Planned" would be as equally appropriate.
"Soviet Canuckistan" haha…I love Vancouver and Victoria.
The Other Steve
If you read that in reverse… Obama has a 25% approval rating, and the Republicans in Congress are incredibly popular.
...now I try to be amused
I read stuff like this and all I can think is: they’re going all-in before the flop with an iffy hand. If there any justice in the universe, the Republican Party will go the way of the Whigs for this. But if they create the self-fulfilling prophecy they want, they’ll double up instead. Bastards.
Word. The GOP do not fear the Democrats enough.
well, unfortunately, it looks like that’s all it will do for now stop a little of the bleeding.
I appreciate that Obama is more popular than the Repugs of course he is, people just voted him into office and them out. good to see the public giving bad ratings to Senate Dems as well, they deserve it. we, as Democrats, receive absolutely terrible, awful, just mind-numbingly bad representation from our Senators, nearly all of them.
people like Obama and agree with what he’s trying to accomplish. but they will be mad if he promises the moon and delivers, something that is quite clearly not the moon. in this case, if we see massive job losses mounting, a bank "solution" which hands another un-reviewable $1T to banks to write off losses and keep their CEOs in hookers & blow for the next 2 years, it will not matter a damn how much people started off Obama’s term liking and respecting him.
people saying there’s no chance the GOP will come back in 2 years, 4 years, are fooling themselves & ignoring history. but as we can see, the public’s head is generally in the right place right now, and people want more Obama, not less. and he should give the people what they want, and make people trying to take away what they want explain themselves in the most public formats possible.
I was reading a New York Times article that washington insiders don’t seem to understand that there is a populist anger spreading through the country. They said that Obama is danger of being co-opted by this and this anger was part of the reason why Daschle got his ass kicked out. Normally tax problems is not a cause for getting your nomination removed and it happened really fast.
That said they said Republicans were completely tone deaf and that the only guy who seems to understand what’s going on is Obama. That said, you’d think that McCain would know something since he’s been running around on that straight talk express! That fool must have been doing most of the talking and not a lot of listening. Moron.
I think the article was by Frank Rich, I was able to read it Here is the article.
Obama gets major kudos for saying things like "This isn’t a game" emphatically. He was clearly irritated with the Washington attitude. All the washington press also don’t seem to get it. Putting republicans all the time on cable is going to backfire on the entire republican party. Especially when you have that fuckhead Steele out there saying Govt jobs aren’t real jobs. WTF is he talking about? Jeezus..
That’s precisely why I love my printing job.
As for Ensign and the rest of the flat-Earth Repubs, that their own constituents are suffering for such obstruction borders on metaphysical criminality to me.
inspired by Pete Sessions’ comparison of the GOP to an insurgency, the elevation of vicious opposition as an end in itself, the t-shirt slogan-level depth of their arguments and the transparent hope that the government will fail so badly as to give them an opportunity to rise from the ashes, i have a new term for these dead-enders: "Che Guevara Republicans." especially useful because it’s sure to annoy them.
image that somebody should make: black outline of limbaugh in a beret on a red flag.
I’ve found things on the bottoms of my shoes that are smarter then pundits.
Keynes never said it was good spending policy to hire people to dig holes and others to fill them. He said that although it would do something to provide jobs, there were far more efficient (i.e. more banf or the buck) ways the money could be spent.
"It is not reasonable, however, that a sensible community should be content to remain dependent on such fortuitous and often wasteful mitigations when once we understand the influences upon which effective demand depends."
Seems as though those looking for handouts, public and private have come alive. The same polls of the Democratic run house and senate had much different views not so long ago. But now they look to gain something,($$$) so all is well.
Doesn’t this kind of make you think?
No. The country shifted Left. The media missed it, because they’re nothing if not mindlessly conventional.
They missed the shift Right for Reagan, too, but that’s over now.
You get about a twenty-thirty year run in American politics.
We’re not center Right. We’re center Left.
What’s is your point?
The media misses nothing, and are fully aware of everything through the use of, " an anonymous source". They report on the stand point of their owner. That being a basic fact, I would say media owners only allow their political leanings to be voiced.
As to we are Center Left, define center?
Nancy P and Harry R have no leanings of mindset that represent the center.
My point was, how many people wait 48 hrs in line for the new Xbox, I phone, IMAX tickets. How many people wait 24 hrs for a new Chick Filet annual pass, Crispy Creme Doughnuts. They add up to a few million. Now how many people and businesses will line up for cash?
Wow PaulW, when you now sound more like the rest of us, I see some sort of transformation is taking place.
Sorry it had to come down to you having to ditch your Republican beliefs, but, you’re welcome to join our side.