On top of the horrible jobs report that DougJ just mentioned, Calculated Risk has a slew of horrible awful not good news- sales decreased as compared to last year by 1.2% at GM, the manufacturing index plummeted, mortgage applications are flat and refinancing declined, and so on. And mind you, none of this is in a vacuum- global manufacturing is crashing, and the austerity parade in Europe is paying dividends:
You can see why we’re now at the panic stage. The Bundesbank is already very upset about its large claims on troubled debtors, which are backed by sovereign debt as collateral. Yet if financing stops in the wake of a debt restructuring, the result will be to collapse the debtor nations’ banking systems, a process Martin believes would lead to their ejection from the euro. (He makes me look like an optimist!)
So the ECB keeps saying that restructuring is unthinkable. Yet austerity programs are not working; the prospect of a return to normal financing is receding rather than approaching.
If you ask me, the water level has now dropped so far that the fuel rods are exposed. We really are in meltdown territory.
Domestically, the WH is by all appearances paralyzed and unable or unwilling to do anything because the Republicans, the Blue Dogs, and the “suffer little children” brigade in the media have them completely cowed on the issue of spending and job creation:
If I had to guess, I’d say many White House officials would approve of this kind of approach, but tend not to say so. Why not? Because of political realism — the president and his team don’t see much value in pushing a series of proposals that have no chance of passing Congress. An ambitious approach to lowering unemployment was effectively taken off the table the moment Americans elected a Republican-led House. If voters wanted policymakers to focus on jobs they shouldn’t have backed candidates intent on making unemployment worse.
The administration could still push the issue, even if a jobs agenda can’t pass, but Obama’s team see political risks in such an approach — the more the president sticks his neck out, the more he appears ineffectual when Congress ignores him.
But Krugman urges everyone who still cares about the issue to speak up anyway: “As I see it, policy makers are sinking into a condition of learned helplessness on the jobs issue: the more they fail to do anything about the problem, the more they convince themselves that there’s nothing they could do. And those of us who know better should be doing all we can to break that vicious circle. “
This viewpoint was thoroughly reinforced yesterday when almost 100 dems joined with the wingnut caucus to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling. We are well and truly fucked, and barring a miracle, we’re looking at another economic collapse on the heels of a non-recovery.
And the Dems will have no one to blame but themselves when President Romney/Palin/insert wingnut du jour is elected in 2012 and begin to enact more of the same policies that got us where we are now.
Just start drinking and keep a good eye on your garden. It’s you or the god damned rabbits this year. At least we still have plenty of money for bombs.
This gloom and doom and I get Neiman Marcus add on BJ!
Culture of Truth
It would be nice if it were just an issue of the White House being “completely cowed on the issue of spending,” then we could all blame Obama and call it a day.
But the American voters, in their wisdom, handed control of the House of Representatives, where spending originates, over the Republican party. Add to that Blue Dogs, conservadems, and the usual suspects in the Senate, and you see we have much bigger problem.
Yesterday my daughter and I finished clearing out our store. We were in business 5 years, but last year killed us off. We had a yarn store, and the 90 degree weather through October (what climate change?)combined with a lousy economy, convinced us that it was time to quit.
At least in the 1930’s we had a vocal, organized, and ideologically coherent Left. We have nothing now. As always, I think it will be in Europe where the shit hits the fan first. If all the videos I’m seeing of bloodied protesters in Spain and Greece are any indication, the global cannibal class will have no compunction treating the supposedly free citizens of democratic societies like animals.
Which makes you a little more optimistic than me.
The Other Chuck
Wasn’t the Democrat downvote on the debt ceiling increase some weird piece of theater about rejecting a strawman bill that was put up to be voted down anyway?
Whatever. The world economy is just the plaything of idle rich jowly fat men.
@Culture of Truth: Yeah but blaming THAT ONE is easier. After all he’s just the black Jimmy Carter at the end of the day.
Even during the very worst part of the Depression, 70% of Americans were still employed. If the system breaks, it will have to get worse than that to be comparable. I could just be naive, but all I see are the normal waxes and wanes of the business cycle here. Yeah it sucks if you’re not working. But if you’re not standing up for yourself or with a group (ZOMG UNIONZ!!) then you’re accepting your lot. Resignation is worse than apathy.
@Culture of Truth: I used to see Republican voters as an abstraction. Now I hold each and every one of them personally responsible for our downfall. It’s not pretty but that’s how it is.
@KyCole: My condolences. It’s hard to say goodbye to something you’ve built.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
my not scientific, and thus perfect as an economic indicator is, people are driving even more like shit than usual.
there are even more people than usual driving like they can’t afford the payments and need to get in an accident before the insurance runs out.
at least, so it seems.
Villago Delenda Est
It’s increasingly looking like only violent change can hope to get us out of this mess…which puts us in an even bigger mess, short term, at least.
It took the French centuries to recover from their massive society changing revolution, and the Russians have not yet done so.
We need a US Glorious Revolution, and soon, or we’re going to have a full tilt experimentation with outright fascism before long.
Huh? The Republicans didn’t talk about anything *but* jobs [and Medicare] before the election. True, voters should have seen through this, but we shouldn’t pretend that this bait-and-switch is what people signed up for.
In a very dark humor sense, this is basically what our Galtian overlords are doing to the entire global economy for the 99.9995% who aren’t in their rarefied air:
But I have a question: if the whole thing is to smash and grab all the cash, why the hell would they do it BEFORE they built the domed cities that would take extraordinary measures to breach.
You know, because walls work so well in keep out gigantic angry mobs. (Oh well I guess if they had machine gun nests every 5 ft they’d work… for awhile)
Basically I’m saying is that our future is going to be less Mad Max than it is this, one of my favorite anime-that-I-need-to-find-subtitled-because-it-was-in-a-game-I-liked:
In a nutshell, the rich and privileged live in domed cities while the rest of the population rely on them for technology in order to make their lives on their general desert hellhole of a planet a little less unbearable. There are some more points to the story but I won’t write a whole wall of text about it (well maybe if you ask, it’s a really interesting take on a potential future…)
for what? not being able to convince Americans they’re idiots?
The President doesn’t see any benefit in pushing for jobs programs or anything else because he’s a FUCKING COWARD!
Look at how the Republicans “negotiate”–they may be crazy but they are effective and they take risks. And they only have control of one in three of the elected branches of the Federal government. for fucks sakes, they got most of what they wanted held up when they didn’t control a goddamned thing.
Now cue up the chorus of whiners and Obama fellaters on Useful Idiot Juice. Maybe after some of you silly fuckwits witness the Dems and Obama capitulate 10-15 more times you might begin to get a clue..
The only people with the learned helplessness is the goddamned Democrats.
Meh. I have read many variations on this point (double dip! economic collapse! Gloom! Doom!) on just about every liberal blog for going on 2 years now. The Apocalypse has, evidently, been just around the corner since the Summer of 2009. This continual circle jerk of impending doom is getting really, really fucking boring.
And if I’m wrong (as I often am) then I am pretty sure a large round of tax cuts for our Galtian Overlords will do the trick.
Domestically, the WH is by all appearances paralyzed and unable or unwilling to do anything because the Republicans, the Blue Dogs, and the “suffer little children” brigade in the media have them completely cowed on the issue of spending and job creation:
Could you please stop this? They aren’t cowed and they aren’t paralyzed, and they aren’t unwilling. THEY ARE THE FREAKING EXECUTIVE BRANCH and the money/approval for most of these things have to come from the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. You know, the people who pass the laws? Even the article you quote is clearer on that.
Yeah, yeah, I know, the bully pulpit. Has anyone noticed that the bully pulpit and five bucks buys you a cafe latte these days? How many polls have we seen that say Americans as a whole are opposed to messing with Medicare? The President has said he’s opposed to messing with Medicare. Guess what? The Republicans and their Blue Dog allies are trying to mess with Medicare. Another example: the last few polls on the subject clearly show Americans are moving towards marriage equality for gays. What are the Republican legislatures doing? Passing laws against it.
“We the people” aren’t being listened to. The only leverage the President has is the power of persuasion and the threat of the veto. And good luck to him on the first one.
They also talked about creating jobs through budget cuts and tax cuts, the people fell for it.
Guess what we’re getting, budget cuts and tax cuts.
My real worry for the somewhat longer term is the unwillingness of the public, or the political establishment (I can’t decide which, perhaps both) to commit to ensuring a proper level of taxation necessary to support an adequate social safety net (Social Security, Medicare). Eventually, these programs really will run out of the money needed to finance full benefits, or will be eliminated outright before we even get to that point.
Is that snark? U3 is close to 10 percent, with high numbers among the under 30s, lots of long-term unemployed among the over 50s, housing in the shitter, etc. How is that a normal “wax and wane” of the business cycle?
I, too, think this is just an after effect of the Japan tsunami and high gas prices and it’ll pass by the end of the summer. It just means there’s gonna be a steeper hill to climb
and then there’s always the debt ceiling, which is so not getting raised.
so why wait? Let Republicans get rid of them now, kill themselves permanently, and then rebuild.
James K Polk, Esq.
I was sure that we were entering a world of shit when, driving back home from Memorial Day there was NO traffic. Like less than a normal weekday.
That is a real world lagging indicator.
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
This is where all that corporate profit comes in. By forcing us to all limp along, they will get the GOP president of their dreams and release all that cash in a slew of “Morning in America” moments.
Fuckers. The real terrorists are about to win.
@KyCole: As a user of yarn — wool, silk, cotton, whatever — I’m sorry to hear that you closed your store.
One of the stores I’ve shopped at regularly went to being open only 2 days a week last June. It had been opened in 1935 or so, was still family owned I believe but they were having money and stock problems.
Your argument assumes the Democrats don’t want that outcome. The President isn’t a coward, he’s merely participating in the kabuki that leads to corpocracy. The man is a Caspar Milquetoast technocrat participating in a play to wring the economy into something more friendly to (really) big business.
uh, repubs ran on job creation and they not only failed but have made things worse– the dem bashing i’ll chalk up to old habits dying hard, i guess.
This bad economic data is unpossible, because we extended the Bush tax cuts, which have yielded such incredible economic returns for the whole country since 2003. Must be all the moochers on Medicaid and foodstamps who are to blame! And illegal immigrants, also, too.
Dems should’ve voted for the clean ceiling increase purely on strategic grounds:
1) Can you think of an effective campaign commercial focusing on such an arcane subject? I can’t.
2) How many House Dems who survived 2010 are going to be vulnerable in 2012?
3) It would’ve made the GOP look stupid when their symbolic gesture backfired.
There was literally no reason to vote against the ceiling increase other than genuinely thinking that increasing the debt ceiling would be a bad idea.
@Emma: Yeah I really think the new paradigm here is that if the Galtian Overlords that populate the media do not want a narrative to take hold, it just simply DOESN’T.
Back in the 70s the left should have been working houses for disseminating the message. Part of the reason why we’re so ‘disorganized’ now is that we on the Left are trying to build on the Internet what the Right have had for 40+ years, and really even longer than that (when have the media ever not been pro-buisness/war/anything-that-makes-them-obscene-relative-profits)
Ah, that. Proceeded by a couple of decades of murdering anarchists or, how should we call them now, terrorists?
Remember one Arch Duke Ferdinand?
The metric is “sufficiently pissed”. The measure is – apparently – country clubs being blown up and snipers on the greens.
How long can the few grind their boots on the millions? History suggests – not long.
I disagree with the assumption that a double dip will be a GOP Prez win. Obama’s plan might be a bad one, but it is a plan. The GOP contenders don’t have one outside of the tax cut fairy. People aren’t going to want to throw out Obama for someone like Romney or Palin unless they can elucidate a clear plan that indy analysts will sign off on.
you’re off by at least a decade, there.
it’s been Apocalypse Eve in Leftyville since the first lefties learned how to use Blogger.
it’s been the same in Rightytown, too.
people ache for a nice, cleansing disaster.
@jonas: You forgot teh ghey trying to get all normalized and stuff. Nothing wrecks an economy like lack of oppression of your homosexual citizenry.
@arguingwithsignposts: It’s the extreme part of the wane side true. But it has been worse in the past, and even then we managed to fix it. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t have just let it all fail in the first place. But that would bring us from a bigger down than we’re at now.
@zach: There was a post at TPM (I think) that included the wording of the debt ceiling legislation that failed, with said wording assigning the need/blame to raise the debt limit on Obama’s budget. The article indicated most Dems didn’t want to go on record supporting that Republican framing.
All they need is “more tax cuts = economic WIN” and all they need is people to believe it
@cleek: Didn’t someone do a study that said that people have started feeding into doomsday scenarios in the last 150 years because the problems have appeared so complex that they are completely unsolvable by normal means. So we basically need some extra-normal means to solve them.
To some it’s the Rapture, Tribulation, and the creation of the New Kingdom. To others it will be the inevitable World World 3 created from the harsh competition for the livable inland spots once global climate change screws us and but good.
Then again some men just want to see the world burn: a la the Joker in The Dark Knight or whatever that last Batman movie was.
If your snipers are willing to work on public courses as well as private CC’s, could I borrow one the next time my playing partner blows a three-foot putt for bragging rights at the bar?
Um…I’m pretty sure it’s time for a Tunch pic now pls.
Wanna bet? This whole debt ceiling kabuki shit is going to end just like the budget impasse did. Trillions in ‘cuts’ that don’t amount to anything, or unenforceable ‘spending caps’ on future sessions of congress that have the strength of an infant. There’s no way that the people who truly make up the GOP base (the mega-rich, NOT the TeaTards) are going to allow a default, which would completely fuck up their cash flow and cause a lot of Galtian Overlords to lose a shit-ton of cash. Not. Gonna. Happen. McConnell and Boehner are a hell of a lot weaker than the press or the public at large are aware of. They are going to get rolled (at least by TeaBilly standards) like they did on the tax cut agreement (like any GOPer in this day and age wants unemployment extensions) and on the budget bullshit from a few months ago. You know, the one that ‘cut’ spending by 30 some odd billion, when in actuality it raised spending?
The debt ceiling is going to be raised. And not one penny of actual spending is going to be cut when it happens. It’s all bullshit. And the fact that so many people are convinced otherwise is beyond explanation.
Jim Morin, Miami Herald: But we can’t raise taxes because …
This. For the love of god, this.
John Cole is frustrated so everyone gets a taste.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael): Even if a Republican wins, there are still no customers out there to buy all the stuff manufacturers could produce. The Republicans will have us believe that there’s just tons of pent up demand out there waiting to be met and businesses are hoarding cash and not expanding because of all the oppressive regulatory and tax burdens they face. The reality is 1. taxes are at an all time low and 2. THERE ARE NO CUSTOMERS BECAUSE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS GOT CLEANED OUT IN THE RECESSION OR REMAIN UNEMPLOYED.
Sorry to have to shout it, but until our political class comes to terms with that fundamental truth, we will continue to be totally f-ed.
@Trinity: And we get…Rosie poop. Awesome.
@Bulworth: Yeah the gist of the wording of the ‘clean’ bill was basically: “We’re only doing this because O’Bummer is too big of an idiot to run our finances properly. Vote Republican.”
Ok so it really wasn’t that but that’s what I read it as.
@Hunter Gathers: If economic growth and job creation stay where they are now, that is a disaster (and one that’ll make us much less capable of affording Medicare and whatnot in the next few decades). It’s fair to be doom and gloom and not suspect that we’ll return to economic contraction. Of course, if the GOP got what they wanted (or what they claim they want) in terms of government contraction, it’d possibly negate all GDP growth in the private sector: $4 trillion cut over 10 years is $400 billion; that’s about 3% of the United States GDP which is roughly our current growth rate.
Doug Harlan J
At least we’re not Europe, who knew those soshulists would turn out to love Hayekian principles so much?
@OzoneR: Yes, I suppose you’re right. On the few occasions when people asked how they were going to deliver the “jobs, jobs, jobs”, that is what they said.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Which store was this?
I’m just curious because the “Knitting Cafe” (cafe/yard & knitting shoppe) called Stockinette. nearby here just closed down as well.
I think my bigger concern (if that’s possible) is how we are still dancing with a possible deflationary cycle.
Over the past 12 months, inflation increased 3.2%. But without food and energy, the increase was just 1.3%
This economy is screaming for money to be injected into it, and yet we have the fuckwit Republicans trying to take more money OUT and a member of the Fed calling to increase interest rates. God forbid they actually take Hoenig’s advice…
Too much of this country’s levers of power are in the hands of fucking idiots.
It seems to me that we have two big things going on here: (1) obviously, the aftershocks from the collapse of a massive asset bubble, which can take years to play out, but also (2) the end of the post-war American business model, which was on its last legs a few decades ago but got an articificial and unsustainable boost from the dot-com and then the housing bubbles.
Except in a few areas (software, Hollywood) we don’t have a competitive economy, and we haven’t had one for quite a while. We don’t have a very well educated work force, our infrastructure isn’t that great, and we keep out many of the entrepreneurs who might want to come here with our immigration laws.
We disguised all of this for a while with a lot of borrowing, which was possible because of our past glories and status as the reserve currency.
Well, it’s over now. Well and truly over. And the question is, can we reinvent ourselves?
I wouldn’t completely discount the possibility, because America has shown itself to be surprisingly–sometimes weirdly–flexible and self-correcting in the past. But it’s sure hard to see much hope right now.
@zach: At this point I think it’s mostly the teatards that want this shit to burn down because they are so sure that they will win the civil war that’d inevitably arise out of the entire economy going tits up.
I have no idea why they think that, but that what it feels like to this commie pinko black leftie
(yeah I’d probably be the first dude strung up seeing as I live in Louisiana)
@WyldPirate: Would you have the Ds stand strong on the debt ceiling vote? Would you have them say, “No, enough bullshit, raise the debt ceiling free of conditions or fuck you.”
I admit, the idea appeals to me. Call the GOPs bluff. But here is the catch: Many gooper congresscritters don’t understand that it is a bluff and many Democrat congresscritters routinely vote against their own party because, well, that is just what they do.
What happens if they call the bluff and the GOP isn’t bluffing? Usually you would assume that all the players are rational actors and they won’t let the global economy implode. But can you say that of today’s Republican Congresscritters?
Negotiating with madmen is never easy. And as much as you want to blame this on Obama and call him names, he doesn’t control Democrats in Congress. Democrats have never been organized, at least not in the same manner that Republicans are.
You say Obama not pushing legislation he could never get passed makes Obama a coward. I say it makes him a realist and your accusations make you sound, well, not bright. Sorry.
And that is what people believe, and if anyone thinks having the President stand before the country and demand Congress hand him a $1.5 trillion spending bill to create jobs is going to get the public excited, you’re completely out of touch with how grossly misinformed, brainwashed and uneducated the people are.
Yes, the people want jobs, but they’re completely out to lunch on how to get them.
And just cause: The Dog Days Are Over
(Oh, and HT to whoever called this the most depressing blog on Earth. Go elsewhere to get your “Hello, Kitty” stickers. Ain’t how we roll).
The Republicans are the bad cops, the Democrats and Obama are the good cops. But they are both after the same result.
@James K Polk, Esq.:
This. I’ve traveled on about 80% of the Memorial Days in the last 15 years–always the same route I-40 from eastern NC to Middle Tennessee. I don’t recall ever seeing the roads as empty as this past Monday.
BlueDWarrior: I first noticed as a consistent issue during the Bush-Gore campaign. I PERSONALLY would see, hear, or read something and the next day every media piece I saw stated pretty much the exact opposite. I started calling it the “I’m living in a parallel Universe syndrome.”
IMO, it’s not going to change until Americans — not just liberals — realize what’s going on and take steps to stop it. I am not at all sanguine about it. Let’s face it. There’s a sizable percentage of people who consistently vote against their own best interests. That’s why when someone tells me that we should do nothing, let the Republicans get their way and that will absolutely, positively make the right wingers finally flip on the Republican party, I answer with what is usually called in Victorian drama “a hollow laugh.”
@Doug Harlan J: The trick is not to give in to austerity. What is going to end up happening is Phantom Austerity. On paper, it’ll look like we’re ‘tightening our belts’ or whatever, but when the numbers get crunched, spending remains the same. Like on the budget deal from a few months ago. You know, the one Obama ‘caved’ on. This whole budget bullshit is the longest continual tease ever devised by man. And it’s going to end up like a long term high school crush: after all is said and done, after all the drama, nothing happens and life goes on.
@Bulworth: “The article indicated most Dems didn’t want to go on record supporting that Republican framing.”
How in the world would that ever backfire? Again, I can’t think of an attack ad that could use that effectively against Obama or any Dem who voted for the ceiling increase. The offending text isn’t remotely useful in a campaign: “The Congress finds that the President’s budget proposal, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012, necessitates an increase in the statutory debt limit of $2,406,000,000,000.” This is no different that Republicans saying they voted against something because some floor speech hurt their feelings.
@EconWatcher: To riff off one of my earlier posts, I’m firmly of 2 minds regarding the current situation
1) The teatards believe that if we crash the economy we will finally be able to purge the leeches and undesirables (read commies and darkies) in the Great American Cleansing, like some fucking Kosovo shit. We don’t take kindly to being cleansed, so there will be a resulting war, or at least very very high social tensions that always seem like it’s going to boil over into intra-mural conflict (think the 60s cranked up to 11).
2) The great majority of the sane Bottom 90% will actually come together in some form or fashion to at least be able to re-balance shit long enough to that we don’t completely breakdown into several neo-feudalistic mini-states. Sorta like how we kept electing FDR even though the Depression was never completely ‘broken’ until WWII (it was getting better enough to where we said, well at least we should keep trying). Also remember the New Deal was a compromise within the left-center Democrats and a business community that basically conceded they couldn’t actually beat FDR and would rather not risk the county looking like late 18th Century France.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
The depressing thing here is, the Republicans have successfully made it so the only choices, the only choices even heard, are basically to wipe it out so EVERYONE suffers and gets economically fucked, or we take their position and everyone but the richest of the richie riches bleeds out the ass, and we hope and beg for some kind of trickle down voodoo.
They’ve steered us into a Damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation for everyone except those at fault for most of this shit. And that means we’re pretty all well fucked.
True. Not much I can really disagree with in your comment.
Well then at least they’ll see the consequences of their actions. We have to go to stop defending idiots who don’t want to be defended.
No, seriously. What can help this from a policy standpoint?
@KyCole: I’m really sorry to hear that – we had a great indy yarn store in town for about the same length of time and it, too, closed up (last year). I wish you and your daughter the best in your next venture.
OzoneR: And so we destroy the country in order to save it? Which model do we want for what’s left? Bladerunner or Road Warrior?
@BlueDWarrior: “At this point I think it’s mostly the teatards that want this shit to burn down because they are so sure that they will win the civil war that’d inevitably arise out of the entire economy going tits up.”
I’ve talked to enough of them; they genuinely believe that government spending inevitably reduces employment, that things like the Department of Energy have zero value (“They’ve never produced a watt of energy!!!”), that welfare reduces employment, that privatizing any government function saves money, and that there’s a lot of room to reduce government spending without reducing things the government does that they like. If you operate under those assumptions, everything the House GOP is doing pretty much makes sense.
It’s less a case of wanting other people to fail than it is taking stuff taught in business school thirty years ago and extrapolating it to infinity.
drove from DC to NYC on memorial day, expecting it to be hellish. hit traffic in one spot in delaware (which is always shit). even the SIE was clearer than normal, and that’s saying a lot.
Obama’s problem is a total lack of leadership. That’s why he is going to get all of this shit wrapped around his neck in Nov. 2012 if he is not careful.
Let’s contrast the two styles. The Republicans come out with the crazy and ask for two trillion in cuts or no raising the debt ceiling. The ask for the moon.
Obama and his stimulus package? He simply ignored the advice many were giving and chipped away at his own numbers until they were guaranteed to be a half-assed ineffectual measure when the bill was passed.
Lead. Negotiate from a position of strength. Don’t capitulate from Jump St. This is what Obama has been doing from day one. He’s not a leader. He’s a technocrat straight out of academia. I’ve seen a scads of them in my lifetime. They couldn’t lead a circle jerk at a Boy Scout Jamboree much less a country.
In which a freshman Republican redefines “respectful.”
Asymmetrical warfare, Republican-Style(tm).
@FormerSwingVoter: I think this is the part of the Greek Drama were we look for a Deus-ex-machina.
so if you know of something who can stick a sufficiently powerful deity in a machine and have him solve this shit then yeah I think we can go from there.
The actual answer is that we may just have to eat it until at least half the population ceases to give Republicans as presently constituted the time of day. We just have to hope the East Coast isn’t under 20 ft of water by then…
Yeah, because the Democrats had been passing all of those jobs bills in the preceeding two years. Dozens and dozens of jobs bills. Huge jobs bills. Every month, Democrats passed another huge job bill, and the election of Republicans killed all of that.
@Emma: I vote for Blade Runner because at least we’ll have flying cars.
shrug. high oil prices, shitty weather and a ruined harvest are going to make the next few months pretty harsh. hopefully hurricane season doesn’t shit on our rug also. a major landfalling cane hitting a big metro area could just be the cherry on top of a parfail here.
there’s a large confluence of shit swirling around right now. even half of them could combine to sink our half-assed recovery.
mostly just hold on for the ride, i guess.
The greatest and longest lasting damage that the Reagan Revolution bequeathed this nation was the internalization of so many zombie lies as valid economic theories to be debated as legitimate policy choices and not openly mocked: tax cuts for the wealthy grow the economy and trickle down–tax increases on same are job-killers because they are the engine of growth; government spending is always wasteful but the one area we must not cut is the military; a proactive government is a deterrent to innovation, entrepreneurship and ambition, not to mention a blow to individual liberty. And on and on and on…
Throw in pernicious, dandelion-like Perot-inspired debt fetishism (which springs to life particularly when a Democrat is in the White House cleaning up a Republican mess), a whole cottage industry of economists who are paid to ignore the empirical evidence unfolding before their eyes to better serve their Plutocratic overlords and a press corps that cannot and will not debunk the multitudinous bunk that one party in particular ejaculates into the political discourse (with cover given by ever-squishy “moderates” of both parties and sometimes Libertarians) and its no wonder that even president Obama buys into the “the government has got to tighten its belt too” horseshit (not that he shouldn’t be able to see through that nonsense on his own–both sides do not always have a valid point, sir).
Truly, these are latter days of empire when the intellectually bankrupt can still mint the ideological coins of the realm.
I like the cyberpunk fashions in Blade Runner better. Also, V/STOL cop cars and giant advertising dirigibles that yell at you in Japanese.
I’m not so hip on defending my wrecked truck and a quarter tank of gas with a crossbow and bunch of poisonous snakes, really…
I know that this isn’t going to make sense to you, being a troll and all, but Republicans also have the full force of the media defending them, so they can get away with that, seriously, it’s not rocket science. To be able to negotiate publicly, you need an army. Obama has NO army, he’s fighting the entire Soviet military with a plastic baseball bat.
@Bill H.: Well I guess the Congressional Democrats could have passed better jobs programs if half of them weren’t Blue Dogs or otherwise too pussy to do it.
Also the sheer record number of filibusters and unwillingness of national media to call out Republicans despite REPEATEDLY POINTING THIS OUT kinda makes you stop caring after while. I mean you can only pound your head against a brick wall so many times before you concuss yourself.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
There’s not going to be any austerity measures. Period. Full stop. Remember the Gang of Six? Coburn walked because Norquist told him to. Conrad put the whole Gang out of it’s misery by putting in tax raises. So that plan isn’t going anywhere. Ryan’s budget was D.O.A. The debt ceiling dust-up is all kabuki. There will be no ‘Grand Bargain’, it will be raised, there will be no default and there will be no actual spending cuts involved. It’s all a crock of shit.
@celticdragonchick: I’m serious, Xabungle is going to be the model, well once we get the domed cities working…
The media were not particularly pro-war during the Vietnam years, and as late as 1983 you could find anti-nuclear-war-propaganda* like The Day After airing on ABC.
I’d say the pro-war attitude didn’t kick in until the mid-late 80’s. And even then it didn’t become overwhelmingly obvious until the first Gulf War in 1990-1991.
So the Right’s media strategies have only been the dominant mode of discourse for the last 20 years (give or take 5). True, the Right has been practicing and honing it for over 40 years, arguably 70 or 90 years.
But the Right didn’t achieve their current level of success until Reagan obliterated the Fairness Doctrine — freeing the airwaves to advocate for a consensus in the interests of the richest who licensed them, rather than foster healthy fact-based debates for the good of the country. And it was probably the loss of the Fairness Doctrine that kicked the pro-war/pro-business agenda into media overdrive.
(*It beggars belief that there are actually such things as Pro-Nuclear-War Advocates, but such is the state of American eschatology.)
Once it became more profitable for the media to be in the right wing tank, they did it
No shit. Like they really seized the opportunity when they had majorities.
As if it is just about the White House being cowed by Republicans or blue dogs.
@WyldPirate: Who was the last Democratic president who could “lead” the Democratic congresscritters like you suggest? Not Clinton. Roosevelt?
Sure, Republican Presidents have no problem leading their Congresscritters. Historically speaking the GOP caucus always march in lockstep. That may have changed a tad in the mid 90s when they made their huge gains, and recently with the teabaggers, but generally speaking you could replace 99% of the GOP congresscritters with a machine that does whatever it is told to do.
Not so with the Democrats. The term “herding cats” comes to mind.
And as to the stimulus I’d say there was a lot more going on during those negotiations than you know about. Do I think it should have been larger, with more direct spending and less tax cuts? Sure. Do I think a larger stimulus could have passed? No.
You should watch “Too Big To Fail.”
indeed. it’s hard to negotiate from a position of strength when you’re backed by an army of people afraid of their own shadow.
@JGabriel: I don’t know how you un-ring that bell though. Like if we said “Well you have to offer opposing viewpoints when you do extended opinion segments.” how do we know the corporatist media just doesn’t find a bunch of milquetoast or fake liberals to ostensibly muddy the debate that way… actually hell that’s what they do now.
The greater issue is the Telecom Act (that along with NAFTA are the only things I’ll dock Clinton for heavily) which allows massive amoral conglomerates to tilt the market by sheer mass.
I don’t know why people are shocked about this. 15% of the US workforce is in retail, and those jobs are going away independently of economic issues. Amazon, Craigslist, physical products moving to electronic services are all contributing to this and every economic contraction is going to permanently eliminate some of those jobs, mainly because we don’t need 15% of the workforce serving as an interface between you and your credit card.
There’s lots of benefits of retail employees to customers, but you’d be pretty hard pressed to find many of those actually implemented in the market as it currently stands. Basically, retailers are for the most part shitty business owners as far as positioning their labor to be valuable to consumers. Starbucks is an example of a business that gets it right, but their per-store revenues are so low that it’s difficult to keep a fair chunk of their outlets profitable.
How many people here do most of their shopping on-line? How many that do their shopping off-line aim for places with minimal retail exposure, like Costco? Add in that Amazon now sells more ebooks than paper books, Apple is the largest music retailer in the nation by a massive margin. Craigslist has over 80 million classified ads per month, and employs 28 people. There’s a bit more downstream employment to maintain servers and whatnot, but not a lot. Now compare how much retail employee exposure you get now to how much you got 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago?
Even with economic ups and downs, that retail employment sector is going to continue to contract and those jobs will need to be replaced with … what? This is one of many structural employment problems we have.
I have been screaming about this for a year. Honest to God, I do think this is simply how he sees administrative bodies working from his time as a community organizer. He makes a policy statement, and then steps back and lets it get torn apart and left to die in the Senate. I have not seen him once try to engage the public and rally them the way that so many successful leaders manage to do. He sure as fuck has that ability…but he does not use it and then his own base starts to wonder why the fuck he looks disengaged. He should be calling the GOP out on network TV over the Ryan Plan and McConnell holding the debt ceiling hostage over it. The GOP hasn’t gone easy on him, for damned sure. If he does not, then this albatross will be hanged around his neck and he will blamed for everything that happens when we default.
We need a fucking knife fighter, not a facilitator.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
The most galling thing is, right after the vote, the GOP put out two press releases attacking the Dems. Those who voted for the increase were made out as ‘debt pimps’. Those who voted against it with the GOP were ‘hypocrites’ and fakes and really wanted more debt for Obamacare and such.
When the fuck will Dems realize that there is no fucking working with these hacks anymore? They don’t want to work with you, they want to fucking cull you from the Washington herd until there’s only enough left to act as the proper scapegoats for any ‘unforeseen consequences’ of their Galtian Paradise.
Okay, here’s what we do:
Exempt the first $20k of income from payroll taxes, for both employees and employers. Permanently.
Then, in 2013, we raise the top limit on payroll tax by $10k. We do it again in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
It get more money into the economy, and it does it through tax cuts, so it should get bipartisan support, right? Especially since it’s deficit-neutral in the long run, right?
…Oh, that’s right. Tax cuts for the middle class don’t count. My bad.
@Martin: mechanization, cyber-ization (allowing 1 person to look like 10 people because of what they do online), and just straight up auto-mization I think is a problem coming to the fore now, although it’s not the BIGGEST PROBLEM.
But eventually what are we going to with all of this population and the private sector either doesn’t want to or just simply can’t employ them…
I don’t think we even come close to getting at that problem yet, mostly because that kind of problem has never existed at all during human history.
It didn’t even matter if a right-biased media was directly more profitable. If it could be used to propagandize for deregulation and union-busting, then — it’s owners believe — they could get greater profits from their other investments.
Somehow, right-wing corporatists never seem to realize that when they poison the environment and gut wages, they’re destroying the spending power of their own customer base.
@Emma: Why not Roadrunner?
@BlueDWarrior: I wasn’t familiar with that one.
We could always go with the Warhammer 40,000 model with zombie Reagan as our Emperor and God. All we need are Space Marines, giant hive cities that reach into the upper atmosphere above the lethally polluted industrial wastelands, and Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors who take machine guns and flamethrowers into the cities to purge unbelievers and mutants.
@celticdragonchick: You know I keep thinking to myself “Why doesn’t the president get out there and pound the podium more”
Then it evolves into “Why don’t the Congressional Democrats get out there and pound the podium more”
And then I look at who gets on TV outside of MSNBC, and then it dawns on me, it’s like pro wrestling: If the booker doesn’t want you on TV, no matter how good of a talent you are, HE DOESN’T GET ON TV. A big, big problem in the messaging wars is that people who are against us basically control the booking for the Sunday and Evening shows.
If the President gives a speech and no one is around to hear it, does it count… I don’t know.
I’m starting to think that Wyldpirate is some sort of bot that generates comments based on keywords in the comments of others. Or he’s just a dumbass. One of the two.
James K Polk, Esq.
@celticdragonchick: Who did you think you were voting for? Obama never intimated during the campaign that would be his style…
@James K Polk, Esq.: I noticed it too, JKP. It was kind of eerie.
@celticdragonchick: I dunno, I listen to Boner and McConnel speak and I could swear I hear “MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD” when I do.
Ewwwwwww!!!! All Aboard! We are back to the Hate Obama and Obama is the reason everything is fucked, train. He had a pretty good honeymoon, but we knew that it wouldnt last….
I don’t think anyone knows exactly what is happening to the economy. Day to day, things are kinda understood, but the big picture of the key dependencies and what it would take to fix them is unclear.
We have a political situation where the Republicans are clearly willing to sabotage the welfare of the country to one up the administration. People like WyldPirate on the hysterical left, were silent when things were improving or going well for the administration. Whew, I know that you waited a long time to get back on your ususal shtick.
I said two years ago that we were in terra incognita. The Real Estate market collapse coupled with the exagerrated and thin air profits that made up our business sector would have to be “corrected” – but slowly enough not to completely distrupt the economy. That would unfortunately preclude an easy and immediate fix and rapid ascent from the slow down — a soft landing rather than a crash (to mix metaphors). I am not an economist but that is what I think we are in. We were able to duck complete free fall catastrophe as what we saw in Greece, Iceland and Ireland, but we aren’t able to bust back like Germany either.
Of course, we have bitchin blogs and a MSM that thrives on bad news and “the sky is falling”, which actually makes recovery even more difficult — putting a thumb on the scale of any success, so to speak. Yawn.
Same ol same ol from the same cast of characters.
OH FOR FUCK SAKE, HE DID THIS!!!! HE FUCKING DID THIS!!!! HE DID A WHOLE FUCKING SPEECH A MONTH AGO DOING THIS!!! AND IT WAS FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE NEXT DAY.
I’M SO FUCKING SICK AND TIRED OF YOU PEOPLE ATTACKING HIM FOR NOT DOING THINGS HE’S ACTUALLY DOING. IT’S NOT FUCKING WORKING!
@Hunter Gathers: This continual circle jerk of impending doom is getting really, really fucking boring.
@James K Polk, Esq.:
Honestly, we really hadn’t seen what his managerial style would be…but point taken.
Unfortunately, his inabilty to take the fight to the GOP means that virtually every day they are taking right to him, and I do not believe this will all be 11th dimensional chess in the end. The GOP has a powerful motive to derail our debt ceiling and blow the economy up on his watch, and they will spend every day blaming him for what they did.
He has the biggest damned pulpit in the country, and he better use it if he doesn’t want to preside over Hoover’s worst nightmare while Fox News gleefully proclaims he did all by himself.
fuck you you goddamned excuse-making piece of shit. I’m no troll just because I disagree you about Obama and his limp-wristed style of leadership.
He isn’t getting it done. And even worse, he isn’t making an effort in my eyes.
If the media is the problem, he should be calling them out as the morons that the fucking are not once every six months (and yeah, I’ve noticed when he did) but every goddamned day. Same goes for the Republicans. Call them out as dangerous fools that they are that are destroying the country. Don’t kiss their goddamned ass and roll over and bare your throat to them.
Contrary to what most of you dumbfuck Obama fellaters and excuse-makers think, the Presidency is almost totally about the “bully pulpit”. It is pretty much the only tool the President has other than Executive Orders. It is about getting off your ass and selling your vision for the country to the people and, if necessary, ridiculing your opponents. The “bully pulpit” is what allowed many Presidents to push their agendas through (see Ronald Reagan).
This is probably the wisest advice of all:
As Voltaire wrote in Candide,
We truly live in the best of all possible worlds.
Its pretty scary actually.
you have to remember, when things are doing better the ODS guys take a holiday for a bit. when the bad news starts coming in again they always show up to put the blame in the proper place.
lacp: Low-hanging fruit?
@EconWatcher: Good comment. I think if we can get away from the expectation of constant growth and imagine something other than a manufacturing economy, we might be able to soften the blows that are, at this point, inevitable. It seems more likely that the country will fracture along socioeconomic lines, which are more visible every day.
@celticdragonchick: For Chrissakes, the Republicans had to cry mercy and beg Obama to stop slamming Ryan’s Plan
actually it was pretty fucking clear from the get-go that he was a consensus-builder.
For the ten millionth time, HE DOES NOT HAVE THE BIGGEST DAMNED PULPIT IN THE COUNTRY. HE DOES NOT.
Get it through your fucking skull.
@OzoneR: Yep. Didn’t Bobo complain that the President should have had lunch with Ryan rather than give that speech and we mocked Bobo mercilessly for it? And we accuse Republicans of having delusional short term attention spans.
Oh my. WP just audibly farted a load of unpleasant truths during High Tea at Balloon Juice. How will the Obamans, pinkies tumescent, react? I’m all atwitter and sidling closer behind the potted palms for a better eavesdropping spot.
nice one. i guess you’ve moved on from all the anal rape talk to some other crypto-homophobic metaphors.
Well another part of this dynamic is that Republicans, because they believe the government should basically be little more than a national police force (well except to help certain corporations keep their market share) essentially will do nothing to help Democrats.
Democrats because they want to actually do something will inevitably ‘cave’ to the forces of Conservatism because A) there aren’t enough nominal Democrats elected to render Republicans completely moot because of procedural rules and B) there are enough conservative Democrats and districts and state shake down to where if there WERE enough nominal Democrats at least 1/3rd of them would be Conservatives and we’d have the same exact problem as (A).
Of course it would make us feel better if the Democrats would go to the wall with Republicans on everything, but as it stands, the current inertia doesn’t work in favor of our ends and the current media environment makes it hard for me to believe that enough of the greater public would see past the Republican lies.
Yes, and every Sunday talk show was loaded with right wingers talking about how Ryan was serious and bold and the Democrats were just shit flingers, right up until this weekend where they bemoaned shit flinging worked in NY26.
The President does not have a bully pulpit because to have one, people need to hear you speak from it. No one hears the President speak unless they want to hear him speak.
As someone said before, if the President gives a speech and no one hears it, did it make a sound?
The WH is waiting for the correct time, which is next spring and summer. They will slam the GOP with good growth proposals and watch each get shot down, providing talking points for the election. Now is the perfect time for the DD, by sept/oct 2012 things will pickup again. Remember, we essentially have two bubbles to get out of our system, 2000 and 2008. The WH has shown a keen understanding of the politics of growth, its all about timing.
Caps got stuck?
One speech at midday somewhere will not do it. This needs to be in your face stuff twice a week at the very least for the next two months. Have some of the MSM nightly news anchors in for an interview. Christ on a crutch, this is the shit his press secretary should be putting together!
We are facing a 24 hour a day propaganda network with a huge audience. We MUST get our massage out, and the President will need to go beyond facilitating and actually be visible.
People in this culture respond to leaders. We need the leader of our country and our party to actually start leading and be visible about it. There are things that will get people involved that he can advertise and call attention to. I knocked on doors for his election. I remember him talking about people doing just that when he spoke in Greensboro, NC. How about talking about getting his supporters together again to knock doors about what the GOP is trying to do? Actually using some of those community organizing skills and sending us out?
CDC, I know you believe me to be a woman/lesbian/gay/self hating/mysoginist/racist/troll pig or something, but every word you wrote here is truth. Please grudgingly accept my support for this statement.
@jonas: Oh there is pent up demand… but very few people have the money to buy things. Besides the unemployed and underemployed, people are still scared about losing their jobs.
Me, myself, I could use some new clothes to replace stuff that is wearing out, I need a new reclining chair (back problems), a new refrigerator (current one is dying at 25+ years old), a new desk chair, a new computer for working at home (the net book is okay for some stuff but not everything), etc., etc. But being unemployed for 2+ years I have no money for this stuff. Relatives’ help can only so far.
I like this approach and am employing it everyday! :-)
btw, is that paraphrased from Candide? If so, Voltaire was even wiser than I thought…
@OzoneR: President Obama and the Democrats is just starting to get back over with the fans out there, and the retarded bookers are cutting his TV time again because hey, people want to see the Republicans speak the same platitudes over, and over, and over again.
I swear to god the same people who did the wrestling-style booking for WCW after 1998 do the booking for the Sunday Morning and Evening shows today.
(You see if helps if you read politics like pro wrestling sometimes)
You really seem to be getting upset here. Maybe you need to take a break and get a drink.
HE DID THAT! He sat down with 60 Minutes, he sat down with ABC, he even sat down with fucking Fox. He did interviews with local affiliates around the country. He went on a full court press for two weeks leading up to the vote when nearly ALL THE REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR THE BILL ANYWAY. He did it up to the point where they begged him to stop!
He did everything you said he should do, why won’t you admit it didn’t work.
Do I have to prove this to you, do I have to show you links? Why can’t you admit a simple fact?
You’re criticizing for not doing something he fucking did!
What “Indy analysts” might that be?
All the mainstream pundits are either right-wing, right-wing sympathetic, or tarnished with the “evil leftist pundit” brush and therefore not listened to.
My apologies for making some wrong assumptions about you.
@celticdragonchick: I’m really getting sick and tired of hearing you complain that the President needs to do what he’s been doing. Why do you consistently ignore facts?
@celticdragonchick: I’m trying to think how Obama pounding the podium every day on TV actually gets the Republicans off their positions.
I really do think they want everything to burn down and I don’t know how Obama is supposed to get the flamethrower out of their hands since it was the voters that handed them the flamethrower to begin with.
This might be one of those situations were the public just fucked up big time and we all gotta eat it until time comes around to fix it again.
Someone is stamping their feet. Hard. This is sure to turn the argument.
I am curious thouh: If not Obama, then who DOES have the biggest bully pulpit in America? I see Bad Facelift Palin all over the news all the time, so I guess it’s her.
@OzoneR: But they clearly don’t fall for that fallacy. Ask Paul Ryan. People like tax cuts, but they support raising taxes to pay the debt.
@Judas Escargot: The CBO. Economists on the other political side of the spectrum. Thats what I mean.
Never, ever, apologize.
@Tim, Interrupted: Remember how I likened political coverage to pro wrestling booking. Yeah you can have something with all the talent and all the positive heat with the crowd in the world, but if management hates him then at that point we just need new management.
So what I am saying is we need a new media just as much as we need a new politics.
Also I want a unicorn that craps gold while I asking for things that don’t exist or are entirely unreasonable.
Anyone on Fox, The Jersey Shore cast, whoever the celebrity de jour is
I’m MAD! Obama should be FIGHTING and he DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT! Oh my God what a disaster what a wuss negotiation 101 leadership blargh blarghity blargh.
What month and year is this?
@BlueDWarrior: No, it’s not the biggest problem, but it’s going to undermine job growth at various times.
I see people all the time go on about the retail deals they get online, or how they’ve eliminated mailing bills with an automated payment system, or whatever, and then are outraged that there are no jobs and that the postal system is losing money.
I’m not saying that we should head back to a 1950s economy for the sake of jobs, but shit, people seem to have NO clue that the two are related.
I say forget the ideas above. Stop screaming for Obama to push Congress harder – he already articulated why that won’t work when he met with the GOP house caucus in 2009 and told them that they had painted themselves into a corner that their only way out was to oppose everything Obama asked for. Legislators will not commit electoral suicide simply because you want Obama to pound the table harder – and the GOP has created a set of conditions that siding with Obama is electoral suicide. The only way to get them on board is to not use the bully pulpit, stupid as that sounds.
The entire employment scenario is based on the assumption that the nation needs nearly every male and half of the females aged 20-65 employed 40 hours a week to meet the economic needs of the country. Every gain in productivity therefore needs to be met with an equal gain in export, or a disproportionate increase in domestic demand outside of the 18-65 demographic in order for that assumption to hold true. It’s no longer true. The 40/week is arbitrary. It’s not some magic number handed down by the Founders. It used to be much higher and with 12-20 year-olds added in.
Everyone is fucking around trying to make a formula with a faulty assumption work. It’s not going to work. If you want employment to balance out, you’re going to have to take some people out of the workforce, in some manner. I would suggest a 5% reduction in the standard workweek along with a proportionate increase in minimum wage to make up for base pay, along with changes to the tax structure that make adding workers over asking for overtime more attractive. Increase payroll taxes on overtime wages, and get those healthcare costs down because employers don’t need to pay proportionately more for benefits as they expand hours, but they do face that as an up-front expense when adding workers. It’s cheaper for my employer to pay me for 60/wk than it is to hire an assistant for me.
If we want more jobs, we need to make workers less productive without being stupid about it.
Since you don’t start with an ad hominem I’ll give you the courtesy of a reasonable response.
Lyndon Johnson, for all of his flaws, was the last one that comes to mind that was really effective at this sort of “Congressional leadership”.
I’m not saying that Obama isn’t facing challenges. He is from the media and the Republicans. He faces challenges from the continual move to the right by Democrats as they try to capture sane swing-voters as the Rethugs get more ideologically detached from reality.
I would much rather live in a country where we had sane people who were not corrupt to the gills governing us. That’s not the case. OTOH, just because we aren’t doesn’t mean that one can get away with being blasé in their approach to things if one is in a leadership position and truly has the nation’s best interests at heart.
His detached, “to cool for school” attitude isn’t working. There will be a price to be paid for that if the economy doesn’t show signs of improvement. People will stay at home if they lose hope and there are a lot of people that have and rightfully so–their country–or their leaders–aren’t working for them anymore.
You keep doing it and you keep doing it.
If you don’t like the hard game of politics in a society with the attention span and memory of a gnat, then I have no sympathy for you. The Mormons got their message through on Prop 8 with millions in advertising and repeated their bullshit over and over and over again on how all of us GLBT types were coming to destroy families and pervert their kids.
Of course, the blood libel that gays are child molesters has a long history in this country and it is very effective and getting an emotional response.
The President has just such a weapon at his disposal, and that is that the GOP wants to kill Medicare. It has the added value of also being true, and has been used with great success in the past. He needs to be hammering this home and making it clear that as the President he is defending senior citizens and everybody who will day be a senior as well…
I have no idea where your defeatist thing came from, but Reagan was famous for just this sort of thing, and Obama has equal, if not superior oratorical skill.
I was wondering the same thing. I will go with either Snooki or Kim Kardashian, personally.
@Martin: But our Galtian Overlords have declared that their
wage slavesemployees will work until they either snap mentally or physically, and so it shall be…
better overlords please, kthnxbye.
@Tim, Interrupted: You asked
@celticdragonchick: If you can’t see why bigot Mormons and Ronald Reagan had an easier time keeping their message in the news than Barack Obama, you’re not paying attention celtic.
You can’t compare them. Reagan and bigot Mormons have an army, willing to go out and keep their message going. Obama DOES NOT.
It’s not about his fighting skills, it’s about who he has repeating the message after he said it. He can’t be blamed because no one takes the ball and runs with it. It is unfair to blame him and only him as if he’s the only one who should be doing it.
Reagan wasn’t the only person who messaged. He had Rupert Murdoch and still does
Who does Obama have?
THIS. Job sharing seems like a plausible option, too.
@WyldPirate: If he wanted Nelson and the other conservative Democratic Senators to actually go to along with a public option or a bigger stimulus, butNelson, et al just fundamentally do not believe in those things… well I don’t know what exactly Obama could threaten or promise to Nelson, et al to make them walk down that road with him.
I mean at some point we just have to point out the reason we didn’t get more liberal policies passed was because we had an insufficient number of liberals, and now amount of podium pounding will fix that until we get to election time and we can gin up the Democratic base enough to primary the conservative Democrats. Now that creates a whole other problem because then if you have the Democratic President going after a Democratic Senator, well depending on how assholish that Sentaor is he can raise all kind of hell (see Liberman tanking the Medicare-for-all at the last second).
@WyldPirate: Johnson wasn’t facing a unified party opposition. He was generally facing a bipartisan, regional opposition. The ability of Congress to present a unified opposition just wasn’t there like it is now. Here’s a test:
Name 3 moderate Republicans in the Senate.
Name 3 moderate Republicans in the House.
There were tons when Johnson was president. Fuck, there were liberal Republicans then. There were Democrats that fought as hard as anyone in the GOP against Civil Rights, and there were Republicans that fought as hard as any Democrat in favor of it. When does that happen now? Never. Not one Republican in the House voted to increase the debt ceiling. One voted for ACA and got destroyed for it. Johnson never faced a suicide cult, which is not far from what the GOP has become, at least publicly.
An attempt to post apparently takes me to the phantom zone.
There’s a Chicago Fed study being reported on which finds that a part of the lowered unemployment rates from Octover 2009 to January 2011 was due to the exhaustion of benefits and thus exit of those individuals from the labor market.
Their conclusion was that approximately 0.28% of that rate change was due to such benefit-ending labor force departure. The study relied on individual level data, not broad statistics.
Therefore the unemployment rate would have been 9.3% in Jan ’11 instead of 9.0.
Since perhaps links are sending me into oblivion, or comments appearing on another timeline, just Google “Chicago Federal Reserve” and “unemployment” and “study” and that will get you the link to the PDF.
OzoneR: Don’t bother. The Obama haters will never admit to facts when it comes to him. You can give them the links to every speech, every town hall, every interview and they will stomp their feet and scream it wasn’t enough! If he did it my way, he would magically turn all the Republican old farts into liberals, he would, he would!
“If we want more jobs, we need to make workers less productive without being stupid about it.”
Hold on, there, chief.
The problem isn’t that workers are too productive. That’s always a good thing. We have a lot of people with a lot of needs not being met. We want to be as productive as possible.
The problem is distribution. We’ve got almost all of the money flowing to the top, and there’s just only so many BMWs and caviar that rich folks will buy.
If you spread the wealth downwards, folks will get those tutoring lessons for Johnny who isn’t doing so well in school, buy that new furniture they’ve been wanting for years, maybe even finally take the kids to Disney World.
There are an infinite number of needs to be met. We just have to make sure the needy have the resources to meeet them. Then jobs will be created.
But that requires a whole lot of change.
Lyndon Johnson didn’t changed one fucking vote in the Senate. Can you name a Senator whose vote he changed? No, because there were none. He had to compromise, he had to compromise ALOT
Oh, they do exist– and I’m glad they do. Just seems that whenever the CBO says something that disagrees with the GOP message, they get ignored.
They were right about the damage the Bush tax cuts would do (like, really right– within 1-2 decimal places) and they were ignored.
The CBO scored the ACA to show the deficit reductions it would give… and they were ignored.
And most of us here, fans of Dr. Krugman, don’t need to be told how he’s been marginalized and ignored for years now.
We need to get three old white people in tricorn hats to hold up CBO score data at a Sarah Palin rally. Maybe then some actual information could leak out to the rubes for a change.
@EconWatcher: I prefer to think of the economy like a big house, and capital is like water in pipes.
Right now the people up in the penthouse are blocking the pipes to they can have more water to fill their pools, with no regard to the fact the pipes and bust and screw up the entire building, including their penthouse. They seem to be operating under the assumption that if the pipes burst then only those peons on the lower floors will get flooded.
@EconWatcher: I prefer to think of the economy like a big apartment building, and capital is like water in pipes.
Right now the people up in the penthouse are blocking the pipes to they can have more water to fill their pools, with no regard to the fact the pipes and bust and screw up the entire building, including their penthouse. They seem to be operating under the assumption that if the pipes burst then only those peons on the lower floors will get flooded.
@WyldPirate: LBJ was pretty good at working Congress. But as VP he couldn’t get Congress to pass Kennedy’s domestic policies and it was Democrats who, for a quite a while, were filibustering the civil rights act.
And your opinion on his leadership style is your opinion and nothing more. In fact, his “too cool” style has done remarkably well. He passed health care reform, something LBJ (and all the other Democratic presidents couldn’t do) in a time of unprecedented obstruction. That alone would be more legacy than most presidents, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of Obama’s legislative accomplishments.
It is a month and year where I am terrified that the GOP will successfully propagandize their way back into the WH.
We got our assess kicked badly 8 months ago, and a big chunk of that was blowback from HCR.
The President let that baby fester in public for a year with almost no public input from him, and to nobodies surprise, the GOP succeeded in turning into a huge propaganda coup for their side and the MSM meme is now that it was classic Democratic overreach.
We know it is bullshit, since the President campaigned on the Goddamned subject. Doesn’t matter. He sat back and let the enemy define it for him. They won on opposing it.
This is how shit works, see? If you don’t look like a leader when you are in a leadership position, then somebody will try to kneecap you (figuratively) and make you look even weaker, and this is exactly the narrative that the GOP is running on. Mitt Romney’s comments yesterday that were shown on Hardball are exactly that. He is being accused of being weak, ineffective and even cowardly by the candidates on the right. This didn’t stick with Bill Clinton (they had something else to use, after all ) but it does appear to be sticking on Obama or they wouldn’t be using it.
The killing of Bib Laden will only go so far in helping him, and stories that minimize his own involvement have already successfully been spread. If he wants to keep this job in the middle of what looks to be a double dip recession (or worse), then he will need to do something different from what he is doing now, and he will need to engage with his base and people like me to get us all involved and out on the streets helping to spread his message.
Davis X. Machina
There’s a fork in the road that used to be reached only by science fiction writers, and we’re going to get there, in the developed world, in the lifetime of the youngest posters here.
If what happened to agriculture, where 2% of your population can provide all your food, happens to manufacturing, and then to services, what do you do next?
Many fewer people?
Many more people doing essentially nothing?
Many people doing something for doing something’s sake, because of an ingrained belief that idleness is a sin?
Which is why you need the odd philosopher, and shouldn’t just teach STEM.
This is also why its pretty futile to compare this Presidency with other Presidencies. In the 1980’s you didn’t have a political party hellbent on destroying Ronald Reagan’s presidency like Barack Obama has with the Republicans. I don’t think Tip O’ Neill or Robert Byrd telegraphed to the nation that they wanted to ensure Reagan was a one term president. Granted, during election year, they worked hard doing that by campaigning and questioning his policies, but on otherwise routine or required legislation, they never used that to try and force Reagan to go along with their policy prescriptions that they knew he wouldn’t agree with.
Today, Barack Obama is faced with a Republican House who not only wants to defeat him, but formulate policies that would aid in that endeavor. Now, he can saber rattle to his hearts content, but if he is intransigent along with the House of Representatives, it doesn’t lead to a solution, but more intransigence.
exactly. the ‘bully pulpit’ only works when it’s inside a large echo chamber. keep the message reverberating and it will sink in. obama can pound the podium til he’s blue in the face, without democrats taking the message to the streets he’s got nothing.
given that the rank-and-file democrats have been feckless since before i was born, it’s an uphill battle to be sure.
“And as to the stimulus I’d say there was a lot more going on during those negotiations than you know about. Do I think it should have been larger, with more direct spending and less tax cuts? Sure. Do I think a larger stimulus could have passed? No.”
Folks don’t seem to remember or know that the stimulus that came out of the Conference Committee and was signed into law was very close to Obama’s original proposal and much better than the bill that initially passed the Senate. There were some unstimulative tax cuts and somewhat smaller Making Work Pay cut, but the level and type of spending was pretty much what Obama asked for and it was passed quickly.
@GOVCHRIS1988: That is what the Republicans want, they want to lock the Democrats into a Gridlock-Deathspiral where both sides stand and yell at each other and their cohorts in the media can say “Both sides are bad and unreasonable, so we just need to eliminate one side form the equation.”
Three guesses which side is the ‘bad side keeping us from our Capitalist Utopia’…
Jesus H Christ.
He has Us!!
For God’s sake, I was on a committee here in Greensboro that was working to turn this state blue for the first time in a generation!! I’m out of school for the fucking summer, and I am old enough to actually interact with senior citizens in a way that kids could not. Use us! Use the people who walked and phoned and donated time! We are here! Lead us! I am willing to fight for his programs. I want to see that he will actually call us to do it and tell America time and time and time again why we need to fight!
Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube.
This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation.
This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers.
This tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world.
And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people….
…. And when the 12th largest company in the world controls the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network. — Howard Beale – “Network”
If only Obama would stop capitulating, start knife fighting, and stop throwing his supporters under the bus unlike all those Presidents before him, such as, ummmm…
I just don’t see the point in arguing that an angry Obama stomping around on national TV is going to fix anything, or that when mass amounts of Dems are essentially telling the WH to go fuck itself that Obama can just muscle them into submission.
I disagree with the premise that he let this fester out there. Hell, during the whole time, all I saw was him going out to town hall forums across the country, him going on television news broadcasts talking up the plan, him having an hour and a half press conference on prime time television. He even had members form his administra In that time, I hardly ever saw a Democratic Representative, a Democratic Senator, a Democratic Governor or our own supposed liberal defenders talking up the plan. It was just him.
The moral of the story should be that a General alone cannot win the war. He needs troops.
“And the Dems will have no one to blame but themselves when President Romney/Palin/insert wingnut du jour is elected in 2012 and begin to enact more of the same policies that got us where we are now.”
Nope, not more of the same policies.
If they get in with a GOP, president, house and senate they will start spending like crazy to inflate the economy – just like they always do.
@Hal: You see the issue isn’t that it’s mass amounts of Democrats telling Obama to piss off, it was about 10-15 Senators telling Obama to piss off, and that means a whole hell of a lot because of the retarded way the rules are set in the Senate.
I see it as deep metaphor: The Villagers are the dog, and we’re the carpet.
Today’s Lesson: Mustn’t upset the Villagers. Never know what they’ll poop out on us in protest.
Davis X. Machina
@Hal: In a country that already has all the deep divisions you need for a quality civil war, I’m loathe to give up on anybody who’s loathe to give up on politics.
Well, that is true, no doubt. But one thing higher income folks tend to do is consume more services, something which can’t be outsourced and is harder to replace. As Davis X. Machina noted, agriculture has become so efficient as to be almost a non-entity in the labor equation, but restaurants and other food services have picked up at least some, if not much of that slack.
So the real question is whether increased income to the bottom half will actually get dumped into our economy, or will it just buy more crap on Craigslist and cheap-ass netbooks made in China? If it’s the latter, than it’s not going to help much. If everyone hires a gardener, problem solved.
Angry is exactly the wrong thing. Determined works, and even mockery, since the GOP really hates that (which makes them rather like the devils in CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters)
Anger, especially from an African American, will not work on a policy message. Sad to say it, but that is something that would used against him to drown out the message.
that’s the problem.
Comparisons only go so far, but here in Brazil former president Lula used the so-called ‘bully pulpit’ repeatedçly and to great effect. Make your point against the opposittion once, and you get a single headline followed by weeks of rebuttals from the other side. Keep at it in every speech and address, each time adding to your narrative, and you start to control it.
He even granted an interview to five conservative newscasters (at the same time) and very calmly but forcefully made his points and shot down their pre-packaged schmuck bait.
US incumbents have this culture that as long as you don’t engage their rivals, they can’t be seen as ‘losing’, and that doing so elevates them into more powerful enemies. But that only happens if you fail to drive them out of relevance after being exposed as wrong and/or in bad faith.
then again, the US is much farhter along in terms of media building a different reality in which a pol can swallow the mike during a debate and still have pundits praising his robust, powerful oratory.
@Davis X. Machina:
I’ll dust off that “warp drive” project in the garage.
Well you saw it celt. He did it for weeks, gave speeches, sat down with interviews, called out Ryan, said this
Over to you.
Good point. I did see a couple of those townhall events. Problem is, they only get so many people in and they tend to be the choir anyway. Leaders do have to delegate, of course, and there was a distinct lack of anybody stepping forward to really work this besides Alan Greyson.
@Brazilian Rascal: Oh it seems like you have a media that isn’t necessarily in the business of completely rewriting reality to suit their corporate paymasters…
don’t worry, that’ll change soon enough.
i assume that having obama go all angry black man(tm) on teevee would do more harm than good.
It’s not even that people asked for this as much as it is the retailers themselves loving the thought of signing fewer paychecks. What was it… Best Buy? who fired all their competent staff and replaced them with minimum wage teenagers? And for years Home Depot has moved in, hired the business owners who really understood the product and had been driven out of business… only to dump them a year in and replace them with clueless minimum wage folks.
Yes, people gladly spent $10 in gas to save $5 on a hammer; that’s part of the problem. But it was aided and abetted to the current state.
Shall I slit my wrists now or wait until my spouse comes home to tell we are are truly fucked?
Davis X. Machina
@Martin: A nation may not be able to survive with an economy based on everyone taking in each others’ laundry, but has anyone ever tried it with something more value-added than doing laundry?
A nation of nurserymen (and nurserywomen) and luthiers and BMW technicians and hand-bookbinders and cabinet-makers and Thai-fusion chefs and crew shuttling yachts between Tortola and Kennebunkport may not be the nation of yeoman farmers Thomas Jefferson had in mind, or of highly organized and compensated industrial workers Walter Reuther had in mind, but it’s not evil per se.
@celticdragonchick: “He has Us!!”
With friends like these…
So, you’re saying that Obama isn’t doing enough because “we” haven’t done enough to help him? I think that democrats have actually been pretty successful around this whole medicare thing. Reps have lost several seats since the medicare vote, and democrats have run several ad campaigns to the point where republicans who voted for the bill are now running in the opposite direction. Obama doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars in ads a year before the election touting this medicare vote. That will come, but not now. You ride that horse hard this early, you’re gonna kill the horse before the finish line.
You mention prop 8, but the heavy ad rotations didn’t start until about a month before the election. Yes, money was flowing from all groups long before that, but the actual ads weren’t.
the Pres, up to this point, has done what he needs to do, stand up in front of Ryan and call his plan callous and silly, and totally non-serious. What more is he supposed to do without diluting the message by beating the horse for an entire year?
Direct quote from the version available on Wikisource. Candide is one of my favorite books, and I really like the ending. I often feel like I need to be reminded to keep an eye on the small problems in front of me and not worry about the big problems I can’t do anything about.
@Emma: “Which model do we want for what’s left? Bladerunner or Road Warrior?”
What about Victorian? At least we get better costumes.
Will this zombie lie never die? The president spoke early and often about health care, even during the summer of Tea Party discontent. Whitehouse.gov is full of statements, speeches, etc. about HCR while it was being negotiated. And last I checked, the president doesn’t sponsor, introduce, or schedule legislation in the fucking legislature.
and that’s where the analogy dies. Democrats can’t get the single headline, unless someone Tweeted a penis on their account
Hilarious! What exactly do some of you think is going to happen if Obama gives a speech/interview twice a week every month, bully pulpit, etc, etc.?
Republicans will cower and change their minds? Well how is that possible when you’ve been shouting at Obama that Republicans will never work with him no matter what? Anthony Weiner is one of your heroes and not once have I seen any of his rants change a vote or get a bill passed.
Do you think the American people will take to the streets? can’t be because you tell us they are too stupid and lazy to see what’s right in front of them.
The media will be shamed and change their narrative? can’t be that either because they are in the tank for their corporate masters.
What exactly are some of you hoping this bully pulpit will achieve?
or you could wait for a handwritten invitation to write your senators and representatives and to demand that your friends, neighbors and family do the same. cause being pissed off on the internet aint making any of obama’s agenda pass congress.
I was thinking of giving this post “Croak of the Day,” but it it’s more of a cri de coeur.
The good part is that I don’t think we will see President Palin. I expect Obama will be re-elected. The bad part is I don’t think things are going to get better for years.
As for Obama, I think a comparison with General McClellan is appropriate. McClellan had his virtues: he was very good at preparation. But he was far too cautious. Obama seems also to have learned his economics from the now-discredited Chicago school. He also seems to have a very poor sense of political strategy–no sense of the relationship between policy and politics.
As always, I wish you leaders worthy of your loyalty.
EVERY GOD DAMNED PRESIDENT COMPROMISES. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE.
For all his flaws? I’m shocked that you actually praised someone with flaws. that shows growth.
Do you live in this country? you seem to have a thing for dictator like leadership.
Listen, I am a news fanatic. My spouse hates it, since I talk about politics and whatever fucked up thing happened in Congress when she just wants to take a shower after work…and I do not see Obama controlling the narrative in the news. I see the GOP controlling the narrative. We can cry in our beer over the unfair villagers in the tank for Cantor and John of Orange while Fox News screams shit that belongs in a max security psych ward, or we can start doing something about it.
I am most definitely not an Obama hater. I think he has weaknesses, but then, so do I. I want him to start being proactive and take the massage war to their doorstep. The GOP handed us a huge gift with the Ryan votes. people were showing up at townhalls without any organization at all to protest! It is time that the President and the DNC harness our energy, and that means the President will have to lead his base and make repeated and constant massages to the American people on prime time (make sure that you say something that the MSM will have to pick up) while getting us out into the streets to work the neighborhoods.
I need to get going for some shopping in a minute. Don;t take anything I said as an attack on you. I enjoy a debate, but was a bit perplexed when you seemed to take this personally. I am not angry with you or trying to start a personal fight with you or anybody else in any way.
And again, I do apologize to Tim for some unwarranted assumptions I made. I’m glad I was wrong.
Obama cannot control a news narrative, producers at networks control the news narrative. All he can do is talk and hope someone takes it. You can’t blame him for something he has no control over.
You’re asking him to do something he’s done. He’s leading you, he’s been leading you all month, but you aren’t following.
It’s wrong to blame him for something he has no control over.
How did that work out for Alan Grayson?
Hell, I used to be like you. In 2007-2008, I was a nervous wreck. Everytime, I believed that the GOP or the Clinton Campaign controlled the narrative and that Barack Obama was always on his hind legs. I saw it with the Jeremiah Wright Controversy, the Celebrity Ads, Lipstick on a Pig, Joe the (non)Plumber etc. What cured me though was November 4th at 11:00 P.M. when he won. Then healthcare, where after losing the Massachusetts senate seat, he won again. The media has been playing catch up with this man for awhile so, don’t expect them to be on the same page for a while.
We do something by doing what most did in 2008, campaigning door to door and spreading the word. You might think it is futile, but it actually can be successful if we work at it. I really don’t care where the media is, just as long as we know where we are going.
The President is absolutely allowed to send legislation to the Congress. He/She just can’t amend or vote on it, obviously.
I know what you are saying with regard to the President making speeches at small venues during the Summer of Rage...
It didn’t work, since as I noted, he was basically preaching to the choir in (relatively) small, friendly audiences. The opposition was successfully framing the narrative and he let that get away from him. Sorry, but he did. Whatever venues he spoke at or appearances he made, it was not enough to overcome what the minority party(!) was doing.
Remember that. The minority party screamed loud enough to make most American think that HCR is really, really bad. The President and his party should have been able to scream louder. So to speak.
I do need to get going. :)
yeah, it’s been that way forever, and it’s going to be that way for a long-ass time. obama can’t shit ponies, you know.
@celticdragonchick: Good for you.
Your observation that the Democrats did nothing to take advantage of the huge groundswell of support which Obama attracted in 2008 is echoed by Seattle liberal columnist Joel Connelly, who has pointed out that there was nothing done in Washington to make that support into the lasting base of a new generation of Democrats.
In terms of the 2010 election, I think the loss was due to the failure to act on jobs and housing. This belongs squarely at the door of the Democratic Party, which controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress.
I don’t see much future for the Dems as a liberal party.
@GOVCHRIS1988: I agree. Obama does have masterful timing.
As was pointed out above, slamming things and stomping feet is not something Obama is likely to do. That isn’t his personality. Which is why we elected him.
Seriously, does anyone think America would have elected an “Angry Black Man?” I don’t.
which I guess would explain why in states with high unemployment and high foreclosures, like California, Dems did fine, while in states not really effected by either; the Dakotas, New Hampshire, Texas, they got slaughtered.
Yeah, he is allowed to do that. Problem with that is that usually Congress sees that as ignoring its authority to write, vote, and pass bills of their own construction. We saw that with the Clinton Health Care Plan.
On the minority party, its easy to do when you primarily frighten folks about what the majority is doing, using outlandish distortion, mostly filled with lies. Its also easier when you are not really in charge of anything to do that.
Another thing is this sort of chips away at the argument that he has done nothing to televise his issues. Now, you’re saying that he has done things, but since many supporters came to the events, it wasn’t good enough. Tell me, what should he do, and how effective would it be. Be thorough in this now, because I want to see all the bases covered.
why would you? the democratic party hasn’t been a ‘liberal party’ for decades.
Everytime, I believed that the GOP or the Clinton Campaign controlled the narrative and that Barack Obama was always on his hind legs.
But the thing is– you were absolutely correct. Time and time again, Obama let the narrative get out of control. He managed to recover, and everyone who took him on managed to melt down, but at the end of the day, he has allowed these eruptions to spiral out of control to the point were health care reform almost collapsed, and the democrats had bad losses in the midterms. These things matter. Being reactive and remaining calm to recover from trainwrecks is a great skill of Obama’s, but it would be nice if he didn’t simply react from a narrative created by others and instead was driving it.
@Davis X. Machina:
FTFY. Just a nit, same point.
IMO China’s long-term prognosis isn’t as good as some would have us believe. At some point, automation becomes cheaper than even a Chinese worker. Probably right about the same time oil prices get high enough to start seriously inflating shipping costs.
That’s a few battles away, though…
@chopper: Today Andrew Sullivan (yeah, him) said, “What I worry about is that the GOP is, in fact, increasingly the reverse of a conservative party. They don’t much care if extraordinary damage – even a global depression – occurs in their mission to take us back to before the Great Society.”
So if the Democratic Party is no longer the party of liberals, and the Republican party is anti-conservative, where does that leave us?
Sadly, it leaves us with two parties largely controlled by corporations/wealthy people.
@Han’s Solo: “So if the Democratic Party is no longer the party of liberals, and the Republican party is anti-conservative, where does that leave us?”
In the hands of a bipartisan coalition of conservative Democrats and non-Tea Party Republicans. We may work towards the formation of a new national party in the next 10 years, but the coming years promise to be hard.
Yah, and it’s like seeing dead people.
Let me tell you a story: my partner is a bright bright person who used to work on top secret projects in the Pentagon, and all his friends did too. He’s an Actual Moderate, as compared to the Raging Liberal that I am.
Just this year he finally admitted I’ve been right all along with my ranting about the media being deep in the tank for Republicans.
Give me a timeframe on the average citizen coming to the same realization, and get back to me.
But Health Care Reform didn’t fail, thus changing the narrative.
and after the midterms when Republicans were elected to many offices in the House, the narrative changed after they started to implement their policies and people found them detestable.
Maybe the reason why President Obama doesn’t try, at least in your view to control the narrative is because they change so easily by actions. Its much better than obsessing every day about what the media is squawking about.
But what everyone seems to be missing, is that this isn’t up to him.
Look, there are people who the left points to as liberals to idolize because the way they fight is how Democrats should do it…one of those is Anthony Weiner, and even he can’t control the narrative now.
Obama can’t control the narrative, the sooner you all realize this, the better we’ll all be.
What if they can’t? This is all totally circular:
What the fuck is going on? The president should be out there barnstorming for his plans and rallying the public.
Uh, he did, and does. It was all over the news.
He should be more critical of Republicans!
Uh, he did, and does. It was all over the news.
OK, no, actually, you’re right. I know he did that, but it didn’t work. Thus he didn’t do it the right way. So what he really needs to do is that, but, you know, harder. Because it would totally work.
Work to do what? What is supposed to happen?
Let’s say Obama does the world’s most exciting series of personal appearances, gets huge crowds, has his people writing kickass legislation, it wows the press and the pundits, and polls show 74% of the public loves it all. They even won over 1% of the crazification factor, it was just that awesome.
Are Republicans going to vote for it? No fucking way. They don’t care. They don’t give a flying fuck about public opinion issue by issue. And even if they did, the only way to punish them is to vote them out in 2012.
You’re figuring that the way that politics works is that politicians do what the public says they want. That’s the way _Democrats_ approach politics and policy. That’s NOT the way Republicans do it. Republicans just want to inflict pain and cut taxes, and they figure that in most elections they’ll have a fighting chance anyway. And they’re right.
Rallying the public as a means of creating pressure that moves policy leftwards, or even just in a minimally humane direction, is dead.
@OzoneR: “Controlling the narrative” is to politics what “momentum” or “chemistry” is to sports. It’s something announcers like to talk about.
@OzoneR: Yep. There seems to be a misunderstanding about what the narrative actually is. The narrative that the press (or others) wants to tell about Obama has nothing really to do with the content of his speeches, but what the press takes them to mean as part of a wider story they want to tell.
If we get off of Obama for a moment and go back to Clinton, the Narrative about the Clintons was that everything that they did was somehow a cover for a scandal – a misdirection, a distraction – hiding their true motives. Bill Clinton could have given a speech about how he really liked olives on pizza, and within a few paragraphs of analysis, the press would right “Bill Clinton, obviously because he is on the ropes with Travelgate, talked about Pizza yesterday. Could he be sending a message to the people in Arkansas to hide his drug dealings?”
Obama can give all the speeches he wants to in Indiana about how manufacturing should be the center of industrial policy, and the press will still cover the speech as another sign that “America on the Decline. It’s power is waning. This is the end.” Obama could come back from Asia with a treaty in which the Chinese agreed to recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan as an indpendent country, and they would write about how it is another sign of “America on the Decline. It’s power waning. This is the end.” That’s the story they want to tell right now and nothing short of sending a picture of his own underwear to Cokie Roberts is going to change what they write.
Wow. I am becoming a CDC-bot today.
CDC, you are firing up some major truth telling today. Calmly, persistently, and to the point, which can be hard to do around here with Obots under every rock.
I love this quote:
Yes: Why doesn’t Obama use his Presidential Presence, which commands attention even for him, to force the media to pay attention, any goddam way neccessary, every day if necessary? Why isn’t he on a bus or train, touring the country, delivering barn burners every fucking day about how the Repukes left a shit pile behind Bush, how Wall Street is fucking us over, how we need to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq forever and forever, amen; oh-sorry, but whatever his fucking message is, why isn’t he POUNDING it out every day in some way that is impossible for the right wing media to ignore?
I get the impression he thinks such things are beneath him. Tacky, if you will.
I also get the impression he doesn’t do the above because he doesn’t support the message. Those kind of populist messages are only for during the campaign, to get the rubes stirred up to vote, you see.
@FlipYrWhig: It’s almost like talking to a teabagging voter or a member of the GOP caucus: the complete imperviousness to each fact presented, the stubborn repetition of the beloved theory, the twisting of the data to fit the adored thesis rather than changing the thesis to fit the objective reality. Magical thinking with progressive politics.
This is a failure of education.
Americans elected Repugs to run the House, where spending originates, as you know.
How many of those Americans, who voted the Repugs in, even KNOW THAT SPENDING ORIGINATES IN THE HOUSE?
Seriously. The country is being run by people– that means us— who do not understand how to run a country, because after 40 years of continual cuts, education is crap, the voters don’t understand how the Constitution even works, and the media spreads the ignorance faster and harder than any education could overcome it anyway.
I continually hear ordinary people who should know better expressing opinions based on an assumption that we exist in an elected dictatorship, and the President is the only office that matters. They don’t understand economics. Hell, they don’t even understand the Constitution, and it’s shorter than a NYT article (not that they’d read one of those either).
This is 40 years of starving the public schools, come to roost. As Frank Zappa said back in 1988: if one person’s vote counts as much as everybody else’s, then one person’s education counts as much as everybody else’s too. And that “education” is coming from starved public schools, and a media that spouts lies and bullshit every day, relentlessly, 24/7. Without good information, and the means to evaluate it, democracy is toast.
Regression towards the lowest-common-denominator, really, is what caused this crisis. I don’t see any way of solving it. Assume the crash position, this plane is going down.
@FlipYrWhig: werd a su madre (that’s Spanish for “nicely done, hail fellow well met”)
@WereBear: 10-20 years.
I just checked in again to rejoin the conversation and see that the thread has been taken over by the ITSOBAMA’s fault crew.
@Emma: I vote for Fallout, because at least things could get fixed at the end. Mad Max is just too depressing (and that’s saying something).
And honestly? The Rs remind me too much of the Enclave: evil, deeply stupid, and with too much power/time on their hands.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
Right! You guys are the army that helps spread his message, by continually attacking every effort he makes as ineffective. With friends like this…
I am the middle aged transwoman ebola virus of Balloon Juice! (I couldn’t think of a good geologic analogy…)
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
Since when did friendship mean keeping quiet and doing nothing if your friend fucks something up, and you have some ability to help out?
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
The minority party screamed loud enough to make most American think that HCR is really, really bad. The President and his party should have been able to scream louder. So to speak.
They screamed just as loud.. that the president gave away the public option, that HCR is really, really bad. Seriously. The president has to fight a unified GOP AND progressives who are dissatisfied with every increment we move in the right direction.
Nope. It is more anti-intellectualism ascendant. Americans love to assert a deity given right to the sanctity of their opinions, no matter how uninformed those opinions might be. And pop culture exalts the natural man or woman, the slacker with a heart of gold, whose soul is oppressed by being in school. And so even Hollywood types who went to college throw us crap tv shows and movies about ordinary guys who don’t need no book learning as long as their gut and love of beer keeps them moving in the right direction.
This dovetails nicely with the right wing’s hatred of all things elitist and their firm, unshakable belief that everything you need to know can be found by reading the Bible.
The schools are there, even when underfunded. The libraries are there for anyone who cares. But we’re all too busy playing video games.
Is it any wonder that there are so many wingnuts in love with Our Lady of Perpetual Stupidity, Sarah Palin, who wears her faux common sense folksiness and freedom from the burden of having any complex thought like a badge of honor?
@Emma: Hey, I was just holding the bat and the ball ran right into it.
kestrel: never played it, but I know exactly what you mean.
lacp: that’s your story and you’re sticking to it, eh?
@WereBear: Well, HD only swapped out the knowledgable staff when Lowes arrived and started with clueless staff. Competition does that if the consumer isn’t willing to pay for the more knowledgable staff.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
There is a difference between A) quietly telling your friend that they made a mistake, and B) loudly announcing to everyone you know that your friend SUCKS and going into borish detail about his many flaws.
To translate that metaphor to action, A) would require getting involved in the Democratic party at the local level and writing letters to the White House. B) means doing what you are doing. You questioned why the White House doesn’t have supporters loudly promoting their policies the way the GOP do? Its because his ‘supporters’ are too busy attacking them. We are never going to convince the uneducated to vote for Obama and Democrats if we are all loudly agreeing with the GOP they suck. Grumble all you want. That is just true.
Dave (and others): Bladerunner it is, then. I admit, I like the steampunk/retro feel of it all.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
That’s just the appearances, of course. Everybody here knows that President Obama has a master plan that he is brilliantly and fiercely implementing behind the scenes which will redound to the great benefit of The American People. Have more faith.
@Uncle Clarence Thomas:
Not sure that there is much of a master plan here. About the only good thing is that Obama is swatting down the crap proposals coming from the GOP, while also damping down the idiocy coming from most progressives, who having little more to offer than self-important posturing and cannot connect the purity of their dreams to practicality or the real world.
Dead thread yet? Guess we’ll see.
Well, anyway, to get back to the title and theme of the post:
Some here, like Yutsano and Hunter Gathers, roll their eyes at what they see as “same-old” Chicken Little-ism (Hunter even finds it “really, really, fucking boring” — how droll).
But just because someone is always predicting the end of the world – and others are always slavering over a potential “cleansing” of some sort – does not mean that the current concern over a possible double-dip back into recession (and the subsequent bad outcomes of such) is silly and unwarranted.
The likelihood of a double-dip is perhaps not a high probability, but it is certainly not anything close to zero (IMAO, it’s about fifty-fifty right now — I would have said less a few months back).
This isn’t some ridiculous “sky is falling” apocalyptic nonsense – it’s an all-too-real economic possibility that will have very bad consequences if it happens.
I’m in business (engineering and construction) with a company that has actually done very well over the past several years. But we’re an outlier. Most of those around us (and all our direct competitors) have been going in the opposite direction since ’08.
A double-dip is being seriously discussed – and planned-for – by local and regional management (among whom I am numbered) in our sector of the economy. The only “positive” outcome of that eventuality being voiced is that Obama (and the Senate Dems) would get trounced in 2012 (I am the rare non-Republican in our ranks).
And despite what some others here who wish Obama “WOULD JUST LEAD US!” think, there ain’t a damn thing he can do about whether the economy tanks or not. It’s not in his hands.
In whose hands is it?
Why, the Invisible Hand, of course.
Hah! Good answer.
I just got an email from the future, the headlines from the New York Times.
“Record Unemployment after financial crash, no one could have expected”
Except he wasn’t, because he doesn’t have a voice, they do, it’s called Fox and talk radio.
Obama can get as angry and nasty as he wants if he wins next year.
And THAT will be the measure of him for me. For now, I think he’s played the cards he’s been dealt all right, but I’m more of a Grayson kind of guy when it comes to politics.
More to the point, I think we’re going down and it’s going to be fast, like the next 10-15 years as someone forecasted up thread.
He might if he pulled out all the stops; ie, stopped all the wars and the associated military spending. Not going to hold my breath, though.
Bully pulpit or no, if we’re going down, Obama better dedicate some speechifying on exactly whose fault it is. Or he’s going to get chosen as scapegoat by default.
“obama can’t shit ponies, you know.”
You sure about that, Chopper? Because according to GG, Moore, Hamsher, and the PL, he must be able to do that…along with waving a magic wand and bringing instant results.
“Rallying the public as a means of creating pressure that moves policy leftwards, or even just in a minimally humane direction, is dead.”
Sad, but unfortunately, very true.
Besides, as demonstrated here, most would rather turn verbal AKs on the Democrats and let fly with the bullets, rather than focusing (and getting others to focus on) the Repubs.
The whole “no difference between the two parties” meme is absolute bulls**t and has been since the election of 1968.
I’m not fond of everything Obama has done as President, but he has done a lot of good, and he’s at least TRYING to fix the enormous mess that Bushco left us.
Problem is, it seems that he’s the only one using the broom, while everyone else is either screaming at him, trying to kick him in the ass, and flinging more crap on the pile. No one is bothering to pick up a broom and help, it seems.