When David Brooks and Richard Cohen pull nervously at their collars, it signals that the wealthy people’s party (not exclusively limited to the GOP) has realized that the emergency shutdown button on their tea party rabble monster might not work any more. Boehner is still their man, and grampa Mitch, but with Cantor and DeMint breathing down their necks they may not have enough caucus support to deliver (or at least deliver and keep their gavels).
The hail mary move will come when some very powerful people persuade Nancy Pelosi to make Congressional Democrats vote for a debt limit increase along with just enough Republicans to pass the bill. The existential crisis would go back to sleep for a couple more months and Republicans can go nuts with ads about Democrats voting for more debt. She took a pass when they tried that play with TARP, so she probably will not bite this time either.
Still. TARP went down while the proto-tea party still slumbered in back-bench oblivion. Today teahadists have primaried the bejeezus out of “moderate” Republicans, Bachmanzilla is awfully close to Tokyo and people in tall shiny towers are not a hundred percent confident that they know how to stop her. So who knows.
Someone needs to exercise some 14th amendment remedies on their asses.
Somebody needs to implement some austerity measures on their backers. I’m thinking that cutting off funding to military contractors and ending tax breaks for energy companies would be a good place to start.
Brooks and (even, heaven help us) Cohen know the Politics 101 rule– if you use thugs as enforcers, eventually the thugs will take over. Everyone knows this– Hammett’s great novel Red Harvest is my favorite re-telling of the rule– but it really is common knowledge. And so now, we all pay the price. It’s just ducky.
The only thing I am relatively sure of, is that Obama will not allow the US to default on its debt, nor will he slash entitlement benefits.
The other only thing I am relatively sure of is the the wingnuts will not pass anything that Grover can deign as a “tax increase” It is a recipe for disaster, which most likely will involve Obama being forced to diss the debt limit law, in the end. Mainly because, even though Boehner is not as nuts as Cantor, it would be as Speaker, a near personal act of pol suicide for him to rely on dem votes to pass a debt ceiling raise.
And is one reason why Obama has gone out of his way to look like he is trying to work with and be fair and reasonable with repubs, he no doubt knows like the rest of us, they are crazy as shithouse rats right now. To inoculate his self from the certain firestorm of wingnut fury, that he foiled the wingnut initiative to destroy the world in order to save it. And in doing so, removed (for now) the single plank of the tea tard plarform.
Yes, the very important people sometimes forget that over time you have to push ever close to suffocation to get the same thrill from autoerotic asphyxiation. What they further fail to recognize is that the cost of going to far is vastly worse than the pleasure lost by not going far enough.
Bring on the ‘We are all Reverend Gary Aldridge‘ tag.
Yep. That’s entirely possible.
Several DFH’s have predicted that this moment would come but I really didn’t think it would happen this soon.
Since several of the House Republic freshmen will probably not vote for raising the debt limit no matter how it’s phrased, Boehner will have to bring in some Democrats to pass a bill.
What are the Republicans going to have to give Pelosi & Co. in exchange for their cooperation? I hope that she/they make some significant demands.
If this is true, the wealthy are fighting the last war. The Village is not running things anymore.
Nothing means shit unless it comes out of Rush now.
I think they have blinked.
Rich people don’t want defaults, fertheluvapete. All of their advantages dissolve in a Mad Max scenario.
Unless you consider the shudder potential of the “Jabba the Hut of Exxon-Mobil” in assless chaps.
Brooks and Cohen haven’t, in my opinion, suddenly been gifted with rationality. Get real. They are still paid hacks that carry water for wingnuts.
The thing to look at is who, exactly, it is that pays them. I’m guessing the wealthy overlords realize that a debt default would cost them trillions in their personal wealth, and are attempting to give the wingnut base a wake up call.
I don’t think it will work. They have been told they are “Taxed Enough Already” and any action or thought that intrudes on that thought will be considered blasphemy.
The only way it would work is if the loudest part of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” pushed the point. Will Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, Mark Levine, etc. start advocating for a sane policy? They aren’t as “establishment” as Cohen and Bobo. They get paid by making their listeners outraged. If they were to say to their listeners, “Wait a second, let’s be reasonable…” they would lose their audience before you can say, “Get your government hands off my Medicare.”
You really had to go there, didn’t you? Now where’s my brain bleach.
It was the most apt explanation I could think of – particularly for Brooks.
General Stuck #4
I am very sure that Obama won’t default on federal debt for many reasons, including the Constitution.
I am pretty sure that he won’t slash the entitlement benefits. I am also confident that the House Democrats won’t support benefit reduction.
How? Gee, I don’t know. I’ve read several different ideas but that exercise has only made me more confused.
Look at it this way, a whole lot of rich people are going to lose their shirts if the debt ceiling issue spins too far out of control.
Bigger hit on the plutocracy’s wallet than Obama will ever make.
I see two ways this could play out:
1. The debt limit’s increased in Congress in a way that allows the GOP to blame Dems entirely
2. Obama says he’s going to use this 14th-Amendment option w/ tacit assurance from Boehner and McConnell that they won’t go to court over it; this way Dems can be blamed entirely
The GOP will go along with this if they think they can use the debt ceiling increase against Dems in 2012. I’m totally cool with this. A campaign based upon such an arcane concept will be a complete failure.
1980 in reverse incoming.
This time it won’t be John B. pulling reasonable Republicans and right-leaning Democrats away from Carter. It’ll be someone else taking left-leaning Republicans who finally will have had too much of the crazy and splitting the GOP, giving Obama a runaway.
The issue is what do you mean by default? More than enough cash is flowing in to pay all bonds/debts and run the military; after that, it gets iffy. So, that is an issue for SS, the poor, etc but not wallstreet and that can be the course that Obama follows.
I think Obama knows he has the cards in this one, and I think the galtian overlords know it too. I’m very curious how this plays out because, for a change, it really does seem that Obama has larger issues in mind as he works this crisis.
IANAE, but from my understanding, SS, etc. are government debts just like bond payments, so it would count as a default just the same. And the bond ratings
terroristsagencies would still downgrade the US’s rating.
I always think that, and it never happens.
Davis X. Machina
Been reading Freehling (The Road to Disunion) and MacPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom).
What has impressed me is how fast, in a world with the telegraph, sure, but no internet or television, and with railroads, but no interstates, or airplanes, the whole American political system went prompt critical.
Not apt to give one quiet nights, these days.
Even assuming Obama wins reelection in 2012, even if the Dems would have likely retaken control of the house under 2010 congressional district boundaries, the odds are against the Dems re-taking the house under the congressional districts as they are being (heavily) gerrymandered in the several states where the GOP won legislative + governorships in 2010. Not only that, but the 2010 census shifted a handful of seats from blue states to more reddish sunbelt states. One thing the GOP did inadvertently accomplish in Texas with its DeLay-inspired off-decentennial year redistricting is precedent for the dems to re-do the congressional districts in other states the moment they re-take state legislative control (depending on particular state constitutional provisions in this regard).
As it was explained to me– the US will pay interest owed and will comply with its contractual obligations. Period. Everything else is cash flow and we’ll-pay-you-if-we-happen-to-be-able-to.
Funny thing about cascading failure – real damned hard to plot the speed and trajectory.
David Brooks and possibly Cohen, too, is worried about his stock portfolio.
Rush & Company would only care if it would impact their own bottom line; and if people with even more money than them are concerned enough to take steps, where’s the incentive for the talk radio clowns? As long as they get paid to gin up outrage, they will.
and they are crazy-against the Dems holding the Senate.
Off topic, but I just chortled loudly as I noticed that Sully has been moved from the blogroll to the Mock As Needed roll.
Right, which is why when I start hearing rumblings about the glories of “divided government” I call bullshit.
WereBear – The only way I can see them doing anything other than “Outrage Monger” on the issue is if they realize that their own accumulated wealth (and keep in mind that Rush is HUGELY wealthy) could take a hit, and if the expected hit was greater than the future income streams they can generate by preaching hatred and stupidity.
I don’t see it happening.
I haven’t seen any polling lately, but the general concept of “raising the debt ceiling” is very unpopular among the general electorate. I imagine the Repubs will convince their unruly masses in Congress that making a deal will be political gold for them. There is no political advantage in stopping bad things from happening, and that’s the position Dems are in right now. I think Brooks is wrong when he claims the voters will blame Repubs for this mess. I hope I’m wrong, but I expect the 2012 elections to go something like this: Obama will win – he’s a good campaigner, will have enough money, and is personally popular- but the Repubs will clean up in the House and Senate races. The four years from 2013-17 we will see the veto pen as the last defense against the draconian elimination of the social contract. After that, all bets are off.
Update – Zach- you made my point much more succinctly.
Considering that the Dems will be defending 22 seats vs the Republicans’ 12 they may just succeed. I’m just cynical enough to believe that your average Low Information Voter has yet to be fucked hard enough to understand that if you vote Republican it will not just be The Other who is the fuckee.
“…or at least deliver and keep their gavels).”
Exactly whether and how control of the House might pass after the initial determination of the majority and election of a Speaker, depends on House rules passed at the beginning of every Congress. These vary from Congress to Congress. It isn’t necessarily true that a revolt within the R caucus, or some coalition of Ds and dissident moderate Rs, could take the gavel from Boehner, and/or change committee composition or assignments.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who knows what this Congress’s rules say on this issue. This would have been something a non-brain-dead media would have reported on in detail at the begining of this Congress, because the exact provisions of those rules would have told us a lot about the intentions of the new R majority. It would have told us whether the majority was preparing for battle by nailing the colors to the mast, and creating a situation in which even substantial desertions from the majority would not change the leadership of the House, vs preparing for peace and a normal and civil level of political conflict.
The real question is where are the seats that will need defending? Numbers alone don’t mean a lot in the Senate, fwiw, where one asshole can hold up the whole circus.
Davis X. Machina
@ Dennis SGMM:
I don’t worry about Low Information Voter. Some of them voted for Obama in ’08 because it was a way to show their kid they are so still hip; by voting for the colored guy they could look the world in the eye and say “We’re a big country, not just a rich one.”, because McCain was too damn old, yadda, yadda. They’ll always split 50-50%, more or less.
I worry about High Misinformation Voter….
Dear Gods, to listen to some of you, the Democrats must be holding 22 seats in Arkansas for the Senate this year.
Reality is that only a very few states are in play for the Senate, and the other reality is that the GOP is fragmenting daily. You think some of the hardcore won’t stay home if Mittens is the nominee? Or that some of the wafflers will still vote straight ticket if Bachmann secures the crazy vote?
I won’t even mention the demographic shifts occuring since 2008, whereby whoever runs against Obama is going to have to pull 6 million votes out of their ass to have a chance, what with the browning of the electorate. Or how this is a Presidential election year, when typically Democrats do better because the young and the minorities vote in better percentages than off years.
Quit fucking Chicken Littling, you’re embarrassing yourselves.
I don’t see how this ends with anything but the administration invoking the 14th amendment, but that’s far from a desirable outcome. If Obama takes this route, I expect the outrage from the tea party to be an order of magnitude beyond what we’ve seen before. They will feel they were on the verge of winning, when the usurper simply decided to ignore the law. Remember how liberals felt when the supreme court declared George Bush the president, and multiply that by 11. They’d talk openly about the legitimacy of violent resistance, and at least one conservative governor would threaten secession. Republicans would push to impeach the president, even as they were secretly grateful default was avoided without them having to stand up to their base. And while the economic outcome might be better than out and out default would be, the world would still not be impressed at the spectacle (with court challenges against the legitimacy of the debt the United States was issuing), and there would still be economic repercussions.
nobody special #36
The wealthy don’t give up that easily, but it’s a good point. One thing that must have everyone shitten in their Guccis is that the Teatards are beholden to nothing but the myths they’ve constructed. Or been fed, actually. By the propaganda machine. But propaganda alone probably can’t reverse the crazy trajectory the TP is heading on.
Davis X. Machina
Enraged, engaged minorities roll apathetic, loosely attached majorities all the time in politics. The present GOP electorate will go to the polls, on hands and knees over broken glass, to get the Socia1ist Kenyan Muslim usurper out of the White House, and they’re not going to split the ticket and vote Democratic for Senate while they’re at it.
What’s driving Democrats to the polls? “Let’s go out there in the second half, team, and not suck quite so much…” is a helluva halftime speech.
The GOP’s plutocrat masters are both hugely wealthy and hugely cynical. Consequently, I think many of them are prepared to force the country into default, as it would destroy the last vestiges of the middle class.
Consider this: August 2nd comes and goes without a debt limit increase agreement. The markets tank hard, and for the first time since the beginning of America, the United States defaults on it’s debts.
The middle class investor is wiped out. If you’re worth less than a million, you’re done. 401ks, Pension funds, etc. that are the tools of the middle class are toast, plunging the vast majority of the country into a need for perpetual employment. Employers now have the ability to drive down wages to absurdly low levels, because there’s so much talent available.
The government enacts increasingly draconian austerity measures, which keeps making it worse.
The bridges that cross the divide between rich and poor fall. If you weren’t born rich, you don’t get to be rich, ever.
This is how the middle class dies.
The irony is this is also how you get revolution.
Davis X. Machina
You don’t build a world-class tree house if you don’t also get to pull up the ladder. Qua houses, tree houses suck. The ladder is their Unique Selling Proposition.
Steve Bennen has a great piece up about Playing Chicken with History, in which he links to a piece by Paul Glastris.
The bottom line is that rich people protecting themselves from tax is not unusual. Indeed, it’s happened many times in the past and has led to the death of empires.
The whole piece is worth a read.
“Quit fucking Chicken Littling, you’re embarrassing yourselves.”
“Let’s go out there in the second half, team, and not suck quite so much…”
Go look at what Bush did with the 109th Congress; 2005-2007. It’s pathetic. Look at Clinton 1993-1995. Obama faced unprecedented do-nothingness and a divided caucus and came away with more than one would expect with reasonable expectations. I wish he’d force his hand more with things that make folks squirm in the beltway but have little electoral consequence (regulatory authority, recess appointments, etc), but other than that, few complaints.
That was said in 2008. No way in HELL a Black man gets elected over a gen-u-ine war hero. How’d that work out again?
While we’re at it, you don’t suppose those minorities are REALLY gonna be apathetic when they see the architects of all the laws being used to bust their asses lining up behind whichever member of Team Crazy survives the primary, do you? Or that said primary isn’t going to do serious damage to whomever wins it, right?
Nah, sounds to me like another round of ‘Those evil firebaggers done spoiled our ‘lection’. Of course, this is a year before said election, and it involves that group you insist is negligible and ineffective, but it sounds to me like you’re ready to roll over and if Obama loses, not your fault. You’re just targeting your fall guy early. Way to go.
Davis X. Machina
We’re going to see a French Revolution where this time the Chouans win.
Of all people, Ron Paul comes up with a rational approach to the debt limit, and (and!) Dean Baker praises it.
Things are getting weird all over.
why don’t we call them teabaggers anymore?
is it impolite?
Nice. the kaiju eiga of american politics.
Bachman is Palin with a senate term or two behind her.
According to this NYT story, a bunch of the Teanuts sent to Congress in 2010 may face primary challengers. But at least in TN, Wes Wamp is as nutty as the guy he wants to replace.
Republicans in disarray?
Cris (without an H)
keep fucking that chicken little
the definition of libertarians in America.
@Davis X. Machina – the difference between 1860 and now is that there were people working for secession (most notably in South Carolina) from just shortly after the ratification of the Constitution. The rapid events of the Secession Winter moved down rails that had been greased over 70 years of effort – like one of those overnight show biz success stories that are actualy decades in the making.
I don’t think anyone has really been aiming for default on US debt, since an awful lot of fortunes on Wall Street are built on the status of the US dollar as (at least one of) the world reserve currency, which default will end instantly. Stumbling into it by accident (1914, not 1860) seems distressingly likely, though.
murbella @ 51 – Doesn’t, “Water for Wingnuts” sound like the name of a movie or a book?
Davis X. Machina
Meh. Obama’s not exactly ‘my guy’. I’m a card-carrying Socia1ist. My party doesn’t even get Presidential electors on the ballot here.
I am very concerned about whether 2008’s extraordinary results among young voters, first-time voters, and African-American voters can be replicated, and even if they are, whether given the highly un-representative nature of the Senate, that it would be enough to keep the Senate from turning over.
Lightning does strike twice — but only given a very good target, like a radio tower or such.
@ Han’s Solo,
But not all that quickly.
There’s an interesting precedent in French history for the current Tea Party Movement, called the Fronde. The French government needed to raise taxes after Cardinal Richelieu’s wars emptied the treasury: the nobles had enough power to exempt themselves, so the tax burden fell squarely on the commoners. After that happened, the nobles stirred up the commoners, hoping to use popular anger to weaken the throne and reconquer the privileges they’d lost under Richelieu’s centralized power.
The whole civil war was just elites-versus-elites, but one of the elites was able to harness public anger even though they were the ones who’d screwed them in the first place. Interesting, early case of phony populism.
I’m sorry, Davis, I forgot that California and Hawaii are trending wingnut this year. Or maybe you can pick a state other than South Dakota that’s a guaranteed GOP pickup?
Chris @55 – No, not quickly. But given that America is such a young country I could see it taking say 60 or maybe 70 years.
When did working class wages stagnate, and when did the wealthy start taking in an ever larger portion of the income? In the Mid seventies?
If that is the case I’d say we still have a decade or two of funneling money and wealth to the American upper caste before the whole experiment falls to pieces.
I gotta say, that’s quite clever. In effect, it’d be the banks bailing out the federal government, which seems more than fair.
@ Han’s Solo,
Or changes, like it did in the 1930s, and in a similar direction – one can only hope.
@Rick Taylor #37:
Agreed on your prognosis of how a 14th Amend. solution plays out. I don’t think it will come to that, tho. More likely is Wall St pulls hard on the GOP choke chain, the Dems bend and give up a little bit more than is on the table now, and we get a deal which passes Congress that is about a 90-10 split between spending cuts and tax increases. In this scenario nobody leaves the table happy and both sides are convinced they gave up too much, which sets us up for even more brinksmanship next time.
keep fucking that little chicken
Rand Paul’s “rational approach” is to repudiate $1.6T in debt.
The 14th amendment specificially prohibits that. The quibbles about whether the 14th applies for the debt ceiling is about whether deferring payments due for later (defaulting) trigger the repudiation trigger.
This? There is no doubt about the trigger.
Davis X. Machina
@ Nobody Special.
GOP pickups: SD, NM, VA, MT, MO, NE, and Manchin wins re-election and then switches parties.
The 14th says the Government can’t refuse to pay. It doesn’t say that the government must demand to be paid everything it is owed. As the holder of bonds, the gov could destroy them and refuse to collect, even when it can’t refuse to pay.
It’s still a moronic idea (is now the time to undo QE?), but I think it passes constitutional muster.
I wouldn’t count out NM and MT just yet. Currently the Dem is leading in NM and Tester is only two points behind as of right now, and their campaigns have barely started. Plus it might be worth keeping an eye on, of all places, Texas: a Hispanic former general is running for the Dems there. Should be a very interesting year.
Oh and Kaine vs Allen should be a campaign for the ages. Both former governors, both with mixed records. That’s a toss-up.
Isn’t this the definition of “negotiation”? Even St. Reagan said out loud that if you get 80% of what you want, that’s a victory.
The fact that this is now considered a negative outcome in our culture is a big part of our current problems, IMO.
See what happens when gays can get married in some states? It’s that goddamn slippery slope. Box turtles will be next, I tell you—
American history says that if a President chooses to test or break the limits of the Constitution on a matter of public policy, he gets away with it. This has been true from Jefferson through GW Bush.
The history of 2009-2011 says that Obama will cave and accept being a one term President rather than be confrontational. Whether that’s because he thinks the country cannot abide a black leader being confrontational or because he’s fundamentally a weakling I do not know. But if he played the 14th amendment card, he’d get away with it.
@ monkey business 41
This is the nightmare scenario that is frequently discussed out on the fringes of the internet (e.g. Godlike Productions). Hope to hell that you’re wrong.
That’s….a stretch. Really.
SD, yeah. NM? They have a Tea Party problem, and Wilson is NOT gonna waltz to the nomination. VA, someone better hope that everyone forgot about his ‘macaca’ moment in a state that Obama is gonna campaign heavily in. Likewise, Obama is gonna be in Nevada heavily, which redounds to Berkeley’s credit, along with her huge support in Las Vegas.
MT and MO, both are incumbents, and whoever is McCaskill’s opponent is gonna have to hack through a Tea Party primary as well. I’m not betting against any incumbent from the same party as the incumbent President, because coattails are a hell of a thing as 2008 proved…again. I also don’t believe Brown survives another election with his voting record.
I’ll call it now: Senate stays Democratic.
But these are serious stakes. Do you cut the green wire, or the yellow one? (Or should that be “red or blue”?)
It’s deciding where to throw the monkey wrench, because not throwing it is “off the table”.
A tiresome game, repeatedly played.
The only way to win is not to play.
Davis X. Machina
It’s a stretch, but keeping 2/3 of the 22 Dem. Senate seats up is about all I expect — in some years, it would be considered good business.
I don’t see a GOP turnover anywhere. Brown wins MA by 4-6% of the vote. I’ll take all action at any odds.
It’s a grim map.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Davis X. Machina @21
I’m in the midst of reading Battle Cry for the third time. I’m at page 250 (of 862) and Buchanan is still the POTUS. McPherson’s narrative isn’t exactly linear, but he does trace the roots of the Civil War back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, through the Missouri Compromise and on forward.
I think that when the history of this anti-liberalism movement is written, it will trace back at least as far to the John Birch Society’s founding, if not further, to the reaction of conservative’s to FDR’s election, Reagan as the movement’s Polk, Ayn Rand as its Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Do a serious look. Those blue states are blue for a reason. Most of them are and have been solid blue for decades. Their incumbents routinely pull 3/5 of the vote, no matter WHO runs for President. The GOP is not getting those seats no matter how much the Tea Party froths – they are increasingly a regional party.
I wish everyone bitching about Obama and the Democrats would remember one thing: the fucking US Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is unlikely to last another presidential term. Everyone who thinks having President Romney or President Bachmann appoint the next justice for life is a good idea, raise your hand. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Davis X. Machina
@ Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I meant specifically the time elapsed between jockeying on the floor of a party convention to a hot civil war — in under a year.
@ Temporarily Max McGee,
I’d say the founding of the National Review and William F. Buckley’s blatherings in it. Aside from the fact that it was founded before the John Birch Society, it was also much more “respectable.” Robert Welch and his followers were generally seen as complete loons, but Buckley managed to espouse more or less the same philosophy and make it semi-mainstream.
If you want to go back further than that, movement conservatism draws from several sources, some previously at odds (i.e. Confederate ideology and Gilded Age economic royalism both). In its modern form, though, I trace it back to Buckley.
Davis X. Machina
@ You’ll get no argument from me about what should happen, but we’re more likely to get saddled with the wrong end of the ‘what could happen’ spectrum.
Davis X. Machina
Well, I blew that tag…
i think Obama’s got this.
If Tim’s Pelosi+justenough republicans works, then they run with that, if not, 4th amendment nuclear option.
im waay more interested in Iraq today.
the headlines read– the US stays, but Obama says the US goes.
is this more good cop/bad cop?
why are all the headlines optimistic? Obama is sticking to the SOFA.
but continued american troops is destabilizing Maliki’s government, and Muqtada is stepping up Sadrite attacks.
we need to get the message that in islamic countries our troops DESTABILIZE the government, and do not stabilize the government.
The roots of the fall of this country will be traced solely to the failure of the Union to create a government of the people, by the people and for the people during post-civil war reconstruction. The elites have owned this country (read the congress and all real economic power) since.
It’s Iraq’s question to ask. If they don’t want us there, we won’t be there. I think they should know better than us the stabilizing effect of our presence. But it’s interesting that the WH has suggested that we’ll not provide more than 20%-ish of the current level after this year. If they stick to that number, that’s a minimum of 35K more troops back to base. Not too bad.
We had topped out at around 190K troops in Iraq/Afghanistan when Obama came into office. If we do keep 10K in Iraq, then we’d be down to no more than 78K combined in Iraq and Afghanistan by next Sept, if I have this right. That’s still a lot, but it sure as hell is going in the right direction.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Davis X. Machina @76
That’s your takeaway from McPherson (I haven’t read Freehling)? I think you’d have to be reading quite selectively by dismissing the abolitionist mobs in the north defending fugitive slaves, the Sumner martyrdom and Bleeding Kansas and the rift it created between northern and southern Democrats (and for that matter, the earlier split of the Whigs into the abolitionist and Cotton Whig factions). The outcome of the Charleston convention and the Civil War that followed shortly were a long time coming- and easily foreseeable.
There’s intellectual movement conservatism and there’s populist conservatism. I don’t think the Tea Partiers can get past the first “a” in antidisestablishmentarianism.
the secessionists wanted to enslave other humans. that is not a human right.
the elites own this country because that is the natural progression of the “Freed Market”.
oooh oooh i said this in the bobo thread!
The SOFA exists for a reason.
Know why? Because in 2007 America was about to see a popular uprising that was going to force evacuation by helos from Bagdhad rooftops.
THIS is how the Arab street sees us.
We are destabilizing Zardari’s government in Pak, Karzais government in A-stan, and the fragile Maliki/Allawi detente in Iraq.
we need to GTFO.
muslims hate us, with reason.
Davis X. Machina,
I’ve always enjoyed your succinct and perceptive comments on the various lefty blogs for lo these many years, including your less optimistic takes on whatever issue was at hand (particularly because I’ve found you to be much more often correct than not in your assessments).
But now you see not only a French Revolution coming (a truly horrible thought in itself) but the Chouans winning this time?
Damn, man, but that’s some despairing shit right there.
I agree wholeheartedly on your take on the electorate in this thread. I am not sanguine at all on any sort of positive repeat of 2008 in 2012 (did the more optimistic ones here really not grasp how overwhelmingly the GOP kicked ass in 2010, and why?).
But actual revolution? That has to be avoided at just about any cost.
Because you’re right – the Chouans would win this time. And the results of that would dwarf the horror of mid-twentieth century fascism.
Hope everyone had a really nice 4th.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Jacksonian Democracy was never really the issue. Had it been, you’d find a lot more northern antebellum op-ed pieces about the inherently unbalanced situation created in the House and the Electoral College by the Three-Fifths Compromise.
Boil it down, and it was a war over labor systems: Free labor, supported by northern industrialists, and slavery, supported by the southern planters. Or, at least, that was what it was about to the southerners who seceded and fired the opening shots of the war, and that’s what really counts. In the north it was about labor systems and/or the morality of slavery and/or (especially in what was then known as the West) access of goods to the ocean via the Mississippi River. Democracy rarely entered into the conversation.
@Judas Escargot #66:
Not quite, at least not in a sustainable way. Stable long term negotiating partners need to each come away feeling that they got something good enough from a given round to justify their continued use in the next round of tactics based on some degree of compromise and accomodation. This can survive the occasional round where one side feels screwed but if both sides come away feeling screwed, and feeling that way because they gave ground to a partner who was not negotiating in good faith, then negotiations can break down into pure confrontation very rapidly. That is how a crisis spins out of control. When both sides come to the table thinking “I got screwed last time, and this time that is not going to happen, no matter what” then we aren’t dealing with negotiations any more.
It doesn’t undo the important part of quantitative easing, which was to facilitate growth by injecting cash into the economy. Additionally, I think your reasoning on the 14th Amendment question is correct. Since the Fed (an agency of the federal government) owns the bonds, the obligation is merely intragovernmental, so the government can cancel it without creating a default.
Uh, you all do know that South Dakota does not have Senate election in 2012. Even if we did, if Johnson runs there is only 1 Republican with a shot at winning the seat (Rounds) and I doubt he would run.
North Dakota is where the Democrats will lose a Senate seat.
Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937
What is Dick Armey’s end game?
Well then, the rich do realize that when the wronged, former middle classers do rise up whose shit do they think we will pillage?
Not trying to be silly, but the honest truth about uprisings throughout history is that the peasantry class and those who lost something big tend to focus on the haves.
I hope the rich do realize that in the end, this game will not end in a positive way for them. It never has.
Take from me by rigging the system and don’t be surprised when me and my mob friends come knocking on your door for payback…yes, I am being facetious to some extent but there is some truth to this. Our wealthy benefactors need to realize that the genie is out of the bottle. THEY sold us the damaged goods that were the “American Dream” and if they want to take it away, that may not set well with the wronged.
The Populists @ 93 – No, the rich don’t realize that now any more than they did in the countries listed in the article.
Many of our richest people got that way be being born into money. This has given them monstrous senses of entitlement. The caste system in America may not exist as it did in France before their revolution, but it does exist.
As long as we are killing “entitlements” to balance the budget, that is the “entitlement” we should wack away at first.
I remember when I was in college; I was working three jobs just to keep going. One of the jobs was at a pizza place. I remember overhearing a young woman complaining vociferously to her friend how her daddy wouldn’t let her take the Mercedes to college, how she had to take the BMW. She was really upset.
Onward Norquistian Soldiers… right off a cliff!
Why do Republicans think it’s okay to side with someone who has stated publicly that he wants to destroy the government completely?
This thread is cashed but I wanted to say that I read it at work and found it very entertaining and informative. That’s so rare in blog commentary. Thanks for the good read.
As far as the class war, I’m not optimistic for change. It can get a lot, lot worse before it gets violent. There are already many people living in actual poverty. many more from the middle class could join them before anyone took to the streets.
Geithner would not have mentioned the 14th Amendment if they weren’t prepared to use it. That was not a casual aside. That was a warning shot. Though some crazy Repubs will think, oh, good, no bad thing will happen so now we can really dial up the refusal to compromise.
Everyone who says Obama is not going to let the US default is right. The only question is, if he’s pushed to that, how good the speech will be. May his sweeter, compromising angels take a holiday. Blow torch with his best, most beguiling fancy language would be my suggestion. Because from that moment on, the only thing the Repubs will talk about is King Obama. He’s got to pre-empt all their strikes.
America will not default. The only people willing to drag the stars and stripes through mire, shame, and the point of no return are the Republicans.
Comrade Scrutinizer @67:
And then Mr. McConnell can FINALLY make Mrs. McConnell an honest ‘woman’.
I ran into Thomas Friedman over the weekend (I live in Aspen and he comes here often). I actually had a chance to talk to him and told him what I think about his idea of a third party. He said “even if you support someone you should criticize them” which I told him I don’t think coming up with a third party is criticizing Obama but rather try to defeat him in the election. He told me “I voted for Obama, I don’t regret my vote and will vote for him again”. We had a ten minute conversation and I told him I am surprised Obama has a 45% approval rating when everyone from left and right is beating him up. He kind of agreed with me!! He was very cordial.
I am going to approach this Constitutional debate from another angle. That President Obama would risk impeachment by NOT acting under the 14th Amendment to prevent default.
Whether any of us like it or not it this debt ceiling debate is all about the “obligations” that Congress over time has signed into law, not the bonds.
The ceiling raise has nothing to do with future spending, only that which has already been committed to by this and prior sessions of Congress over out history.
We elected them, they act via their Constitutional responsibility passes laws/funding programs, we own it and has the “full faith and credit” of the US behind it. These are all laws that then need to be upheld, ie honored.
The Constitution is by definition the original document plus any and all Amendments to it so trying to separate the two is a specious argument as well.
In PERRY V. UNITED STATES, 294 U. S. 330 (1935)SCOTUS addreses the larger context of debt as “obligations” that further supports the notion that default would be unconstitutional and thus stopping it would be required of the President:
“…The government’s contention thus raises a question of far greater importance than the particular claim of the plaintiff. On that reasoning, if the terms of the government’s bond as to the standard of payment can be repudiated, it inevitably follows that the obligation as to the amount to be paid may also be repudiated. The contention necessarily imports that the Congress can disregard the obligations of the government at its discretion, and that, when the government borrows money, the credit of the United States is an illusory pledge.
We do not so read the Constitution….To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor. This Court has given no sanction to such a conception of the obligations of our government.
The Fourteenth Amendment, in its fourth section, explicitly declares: ‘The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, * * * shall not be questioned.’ While this provision was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress, as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression ‘the validity of the public debt’ as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations.”
The office of the President as “Chief Executive” is empowered by the Constitution that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.
He is also Constitutionally bound by his oath of office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
This creates a slippery slope for any President. In other words he has no choice in acting per the Constitution lest he violate his oath and for that could be subject to impeachment.
A secondary argument, slightly less compelling, is that in his job as Commander in Chief to protect the nation against any threats could be cited here. A default that plunges the nation into another recession and costs the taxpayers hundreds of billions in additional Federal interest payments and billions more in higher credit card, mortgage and consumer loans threatens the nation as much as any war or attack does. Not acting would weaken the nation considerably and his failure to protect the nation from this sort of “attack” would also be seen as a failure to fulfill his oath.
So the 14th/PERRY V. UNITED STATES makes it clear on the debt’s validity and the fact that it cannot be abrogated in anyway that diminishes the full faith and credit of the nation and its trust with any one owed money via a statute approved by Congress, be it your mom on SS, a cleaning contractor for a federal building or foreign nations holding bonds. All are equally valid and must be honored.
So no action by Congress is illegal and the Debt Ceiling law in any dispute is trumped by the Constitution. In “Perry” Chief Justice Hughes wrote the majority opinion: “We do not so read the Constitution…the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations.”
Altering those obligations means that the terms of meeting them cannot be changed in anyway so even a default of a few days or a program to pay bills in some order with revenues is not allowed. So inaction that allows any sort of modification is out of the question as well.
If Obama does not act to avert the crisis if negotiations fail that is a more compelling reason to Impeach than trying to claim that he exceeds his Constitutional power in resolving the crisis using the 14th.
Leading up to the 2012 election we will be told by the VSP brigade that Dem voters lack entheusiasm. The goal of such rhetorical fantasy is to discourage any and all Dem-leaning voters from voting-to stay home because, gee, it just aint worth bothering with, ya know, that whole voting thing is so time consuming and unnecessary.
All the while the goopers are self-destructing, yet the media focuses on the baggers frothing hate machine, which, one assumes, makes good television.