The most interesting question about the stimulus reconciliation vote later this week is whether or not Boehner and Cantor will make all the House Republicans vote against it again. If they do, they’re assholes who have thrown their most vulnerable incumbents under the bus to make themselves look like tough guys.
Remember, everything you hear from people in Washington about what Americans think is bullshit. Most of the time, they’re just trying to claim that whatever position they’ve been forced to take is just what their constituents want. But you can tell if a threatened incumbent really thinks his constituents like something he did by how much he talks about that something; and you can tell if a challenger thinks constituents hate something the threatened incumbent did by how much the challenger talks about that something.
In my area, there are two freshmen Congressmen who may face tough re-election battles in 2010. One, a Democrat, Eric Massa (NY-29) voted for the stim and has worked to get a huge amount of press coverage of the projects it would bring to the area (this district is covered by one of the best single district blogs in the country, so this has been easy to follow). The other, a Republican, Chris Lee (NY-26) voted against the bill and is now being hit with ads from the DCCC for doing so. That tells you all you need to know about how the stimulus is likely to play in my area.
I’m not sure how typical Western New York is of the United States but it’s fairly typical of the Rust Belt. People in the Rust Belt are particularly scared about the economy and generally love outside spending (from the state or feds) on local projects. Making Rust Belt Republicans vote against the stimulus is a good way for the Republicans to write off places like Pennsylvania and Ohio in the next election.
I don’t think Boehner and Cantor are quite dumb enough to do this. But I’ve underestimated Republican stupidity before.
$5 says the rust belt GOP tries to discredit the whole stimulus package as *draws from hat* Welfare payments to *draws again* to illegal immigrants *draws again* who want to take away people’s guns.
I’m going to do a post about how poorly immigrant-bashing plays in the Rust Belt later. There’s some interesting stuff I found about this.
it is no longer possible to estimate republican stupidity by any known yardstick.
They have to. Cantor and Boehner must get 100% GOP no votes on this.
If *any* Republicans vote for the Dreaded Porkulus Bill (scary music), then the entire GOP strategy (as much as you can categorize Donner Party 101 as "strategy") immediately disintegrates into intra-party war. The Wingers will have no choice but to target those same vulnerable Republicans as "traitors" and such, launch primary challenges, etc.
They back down now, they get the worst of both worlds. They know it. They are 100% committed to the destruction of the economy now for political gain.
They already had their show, got their pub, and made the news. No way they vote en masse again against this, unless they’re much dumber than I thought.
@DougJ: The Postville raid would be a good place to start, Doug. It opened the eyes of a lot of on-the-fence midwesterners.
The thing is, though, that there are lots of swing areas — like around here — where Congressmen will take a big hit for voting against the stim. These are areas where moderate Republicans (these existed in the times of Sherry Boehlert and Amo Hougston) held seats for years. Giving those away — considering the advantages of incumbency — makes it that much less likely the Republicans will regain the House in the foreseeable future.
Maybe there’s a reason the Republicans have only held the House for 14 of the last 76 years.
There’s a site on the internet that allows you to generate headlines for the Daily Mail. There should be something like that for Republican talking points as well.
Come to think of it, we could just use the Daily Mail one and adjust the spelling.
I’d like to see how the Senate votes. My bet is that the Maine girls provided some of their colleagues with a degree of cover in their "keep it under $800 billion shtick". Once the votes are counted, more Republicans will be ready to line up on this one.
But in the House, Republicans don’t really get anything by showing their support. If they vote in favor it passes and they earn some of the blame for being fiscally irresponsible. If they vote against it, their constituency still gets all the tax cuts and spending they were promised. No earmarks means the bureaucracy decides how the money is spent and House Reps don’t have much hand in that anyway.
There is a bit of political damage in opposing popular legislation, but from an ideological viewpoint Boehner and Cantor sacrifice nothing. And since the GOP is continuing its ideological purity crusade, that’s all that matters.
m = Republicans
c = speed of light
E = Stupidity
E = mc^2
I also wonder how Republicans in Illinois (my neck of the woods) will vote for the final bill. Given the potential $9 billion budget shortfall the state is facing, it would be hard for Roskam, Kirk, etc., to explain why they voted against funding that would have helped to close that gap.
Also, Ray LaHood, a Republican, is currently the Secretary of the USDOT. Here is a press release the US DOT issued today:
Other than having a TIGER team (they’re grrreaaatttt!), I think that a former Republican Congressman telling Congress to pass the bill should be a wake up call to the Republican party, or at least those members who value their job security in 2010.
To paraphrase Einstein: "There are only two things that are infinite, the universe and Republican stupidity, and I am not certain about the universe."
Will they? I mean, will they take any more heat for voting against it than for it? The outcome is all the same. Voters in these districts won’t suffer any more or less for a yes or no vote. And Red States have never shirked at the chance to take progressive benefits while pooh-poohing progressive policy. If these guys didn’t get ousted for trying to privatize Social Security or bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid, why are they going to get ousted now?
I think Doug’s post is the part of this whole thing that kills me the most. The GOP flat-Earthers and the Dem Blue Dogs have real people in their states that are screaming for aid. Real people have lost their jobs and are facing oblivion. Yet these morans are sputtering about "spending bills" and offering tax cuts.
It makes my blood boil.
True. Vote yes, get shanked. Vote no, get steamrolled.
Six million ways to die. Choose one.
They won’t be able to brag about all the stim projects they brought in.
In the local districts I follow, incumbents spend *a lot* of time talking about all the projects they bring in. It may be the number one issue.
Giving up what may be your number one issue to be part of some Holy Alliance headed up by Boehner and Cantor is not smart politically.
I think the Republicans already lost the Rust Belt with their opposition to the auto bailout. They’re banking entirely that the economy will be this bad in four years. It’s a pretty suicidal strategy.
Why the hell not? Maybe they’ll talk about how they "fought hard for the tax cuts that are truly repairing the economy" or maybe they’ll explain how they "worked with the President to come up with an effective plan, but disagreed with the Congressional railroading tactics" or maybe they’ll just lie out their asses and say, "I full supported the stimulus" even in the face of a no vote.
And the stimulus products will still come in. And abortion and guns and taxes and scary brown people will still be issues. I just don’t know if people will care, so long as they all get their money.
Brick Oven Bill
Today, I sat in the office of one of my elected representatives. This particular representative of mine voted for the stimulus bill. Me and the guy who runs this local office get along good. He has a son currently serving in Iraq. It would be inappropriate to call this gentleman ‘Deep Throat’ as he is middle management. I shall refer to him as ‘Tonsil’.
But Tonsil manages the people who take the calls. I am there on other business, but Tonsil asks me if I would mind handling the phones for a couple of days. Tonsil says it has been crazy. I ask if the callers support the stimulus plan. Tonsil shakes his head and makes a noise. The callers are overwhelmingly against the plan, he says. This is in a blue state.
Some of his old friends are calling him up and expressing anger. Many of these angry callers are probably not aware of the coming inflation. Republicans should vote no.
I wonder how many votes that will cost him.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Many of these angry callers are probably not aware of the coming inflation
BOB, what naturally follows a deflationary spiral once it stops spiralling?
It should be noted Obama got everything he wanted, so far. Including the ratio of tax cuts to spending.
The Moar You Know
@Brick Oven Bill: On this we are in total agreement. I think they should vote no, and I think they should make lots of commercials bragging that they had the foresight and wisdom to insist that tax cuts for the wealthy are the only possible course of action when America falls into economic catastrophe.
Shorter BOB: "Pay no attention to methodologically sound polls regarding the opinions of likely voters. Anecdotes of phone call in this one office from this guy I know are the TRUE measure of public opinion."
Please, Republicans…vote no en masse. I beg you.
From Michelle Malkin:
Why are these people so angry at the idea of folks being excited about their President? Are they mad nobody said or did the same thing at Bush town halls? Are they mad nobody is yelling "terrorist"?
Really, Michelle. Are you mad that this man INSPIRES people? Isn’t that the job of a leader to get people motivated and interested? Your God, GW Bush, couldn’t motivate a dog to stop shitting on other people’s lawns let alone his own base.
Why the anger and hostility and sarcasm to this guy and Henrietta Hughes? Do you think it’s funny this woman cried on Teevee looking for help? Do you live in such a bubble that you don’t see all these folks who are on the verge of JOINING Henrietta in their cars?
Fuck you bitch. I hate to break it to you but the America I grew up in helps their neighbors, regardless of their political ideology, in a time of need. All I see people like you doing is using poor Henrietta to make fun of Obama.
The dark ages?
joe from Lowell
The difference between a defeat and a rout is the troops breaking ranks.
Yeah, you lose some guys retreating in a controlled formation. You also keep that formation together, to fight another day.
Take as another example the fine and stalwart governor of California. Budget problems exist here. There’s no arguing that. He wants the state legislature to get off its butt. This is where one can start to argue what he means by doing it right, which I happen to think is a recipe for disaster. However, his idea of a threat to the legislators is to lay off state employees. What is that going to do for the legislators aside from speed up the line at the Sacramento City Center Starbucks?
Republican stupidity is a feature of the human race. It provides the required agitation that keeps life from stagnating. Which is why at least one quarter of the population will always have it. Though it can be difficult to deal with, just be glad if you don’t have it.
Brick Oven Bill
There are three monetary theories out there as far as I can tell Fencedude. I won’t pretend to be an expert in the Austrian school, or the Keynesian school, but I have heard these described as ‘tight’ money policy, and ‘loose’ money supply. Both of these schools require domestic production though, as far as I can tell.
The third monetary theory, I shall call the ‘Mugabe School of Economics’. I think I understand this one. It involves printing more money when the last round of printed money did not work. This cycle then repeats.
Shorter BOB: I have no idea what the economic ramifications of a recession are and should not be trusted.
Further evidence presents itself.
@Brick Oven Bill: You do that skippy. Vote no. Go ahead. I have had it with people who have been wrong about everything for the last 8 years warning the country about disaster.
Honest to god, where do you idiots find the chutzpah to warn anybody?
The smart thing is to maintain discipline over everyone in a safe district or one whose population might be anti-stim, and then turn the others (maybe 20-30) loose.
Many of these angry callers are probably not aware of the coming inflation
Actually BOB, if you allow this economy to remain as is, deflation will take hold. Do you own a business? If you do, the last thing you want is deflation.
Inflation is bad but if wages had kept up instead of stagnating, maybe some of these problems wouldn’t have happened.
America has a choice. Do we do it Obama’s way or do we do it the Republicans’ way? What if…
… we just did nothing?
Here in California that’s exactly what we are doing: nothing.
We have a Republican "Governator" rather than a Governor (lesson number one: never send a fictional character to do the job of a real person), and what we see here is what will happen to America if we let the Republicans have control.
This state is a disaster, and it’s falling apart.
You do that skippy. Vote no. Go ahead. I have had it with people who have been wrong about everything for the last 8 years warning the country about disaster. Honest to god, where do you idiots find the chutzpah to warn anybody?
Let them keep whining about this thing (that is what they are doing without a doubt). When the middle class no longer exists we shall see how BOB feels about being an obstructionist.
The Dems went along with Bush’s doomsday talk on the TARP funds. Why is it when the Dems have ideas, they are told NO even if they won a mandate from the American People?
The NPR All Things Considered story just had their reporter claiming that at the end of the day, everyone in Congress agrees that something has to get passed.
Good to know; I wonder if anyone has informed the House Republicans?
P.S. It would be great if some Dem in the House had introduced that asinine DeMint plan (permanent tax cuts, skewed to the wealthy, totaling $3 trillion over ten years, as "stimulus") and see if the House R’s would go 90% for it like the Senate R’s do – at present at least the House R’s can claim they just opposed this bad bill, because they haven’t put themselves on record supporting something so obviously worse like the Senate R’s did.
This has nothing to do with Bush or Obama. This has to do with Malkin. Michelle Malkin doesn’t like President Barry, so no one else should, either. Imagine hating spinach and seeing a guy across from you at a restaurant pull up to the table with a big smile and a giant spinach salad. Then imagine watching that person eat the whole salad and end it with a loud, "Mmmm… I love me some spinach." Now imagine you are three years old. How would you react? Like Michelle Malkin.
Their voters’ wallets were not feeling the pinch first hand then. They are now.
@Warren Terra: There was an amendment to the House Bill that mirrored the DeMint amendment. Stripped out all the appropriations funding. Put in a giant bucket of tax cuts. It got universal Republican support. Didn’t actually pass.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Then where do you get off "describing" Keynesian economic theory if you don’t know what it is?
There you go, ladies and gentleman, your modern GOP.
Can’t be bothered to learn, just make up shit as we go along.
Their voters’ wallets were not feeling the pinch first hand then. They are now.
The day or reckoning is coming soon…
Didn’t they have it for a few years during the Eisenhower era (I think Joe Cannon was speaker).
Yeah, they are never going to let go of that safety net. No matter how the GOP and Wall Street cry.
They did and all but a few Reps voted for it (and 2 Dems)
Yeah, you’re right. I should have said 16 of the last 78 years.
Zifnab, thans for covering BOB’s economic illteracy. IKm walking and typing and it would have taken forever.
The latest from Gallup: Stimulus Support Rises to 59%
Will the Republicans be stupid enough to unanimously oppose a bill supported by nearly 6 in 10 Americans? I sure hope so.
@media browski: I swear to god. If I hadn’t majored in math, I’d have majored in Econ. I love it so much. But I will choke the life out of the next wingnut hero I meet if he starts trying to tell me all about the Keynesian Theory he admits he only heard of in passing.
Skipping all other comments to reply so excuse me if I am repeating someone else but NC has basically looted the Highway trust fund (paid for by vehicle taxes etc., ) to pay for pet projects totally unrelated to highways and left the roads to rot. I have absolutely no fucking sympathy for that guy, when he should have been on the governor and the legislature to let the highway funds be used for what they were intended, building and fixing roads.
@#40 from Zifnab
@#45 from Napoleon
Thanks for the correction. Somehow I knew all about the DeMint plan but not about the House R’s similar inanity. I think there were maybe more people pointing at the DeMint plan and laughing or expressing disgust, according to their particular predilections, than there were in response to the House R plan.
Lemme show you something. This house has been sitting on the market for three months. We just looked at it two weeks ago, and not only is it beautiful, it’s about 15 minutes away from the area of Richmond where tech jobs are concentrated, it’s assessed at $475K and listed – by the bank – at $299. It isn’t selling. And there are plenty like this. And this is in the population center of Eric Cantor’s district.
What’s the county level version of the 50-state strategy?
Polish the Guillotines
And lest we forget, the audiences at Bush "town hall meetings" were hand-picked for their loyalty to the GOP.
That’s really gotta leave a mark.
It’s simple: DCCC press releases detailing the amount of money for the district that the Republican Rep voted against. Even an organization as ham-fisted as the D-trip will be able to execute that simple plan.
When you cut through the "pork" bullshit, the detail of what’s being spent is impressive. It’s money for schools, for health care, for unemployment — stuff that anyone with common sense realizes is money well-spent.
Another angle that Massa is using in NY-29 is to accuse Republicans of raising property taxes by voting against school funding.
There are many rich veins to be mined here.
Sheeyit. If the commute wasn’t so far from San Francisco, I’d snap it up myself. Around here that house would be closer to a million.
Though I hear it is "…the worst form of government; except except for all the others that have been tried
Why, the 3,068-County Strategy! What else?
Now, what we really need is the 208,801-Census Block Group Strategy!!!
Bob, like other wingnuts, has a habit of saying x will happen when y will be the actual result: See Iraq, WMD, Terry Schiavo’s brain function
The problem is not inflation, it is a downward deflationary cycle that the leading economists and obama are trying assiduously to avoid.
Aargh why even listen to these guys when they have been wrong nearly every time?
Haw! Spit-take. Damn it.
@Zifnab: I’m getting very pissed/tired/sick of hearing Republicans beat their chests, declare their superior economic knowledge, and the demonstrate profound ignorance of even high school civics level economics.
And yeah, it’s gorgeous logic!
"The third monetary theory, I shall call the ‘Mugabe School of Economics’."
I think Dr. Marc Faber actually called it the "Zimbabwean School of Econ" on CNBC yesterday. Nice rip though.
"The callers are overwhelmingly against the plan, he says. This is in a blue state."
Yes, but is the CD blue or red? Or is the reason this fictitious example has a guy who manages phones for a congressional representative because people from all across the state are calling one Representative? And since you’re sharing such piercing anacdotae, how many calls were there regarding the plan? 10? 10,000?