And the GOP continues to lose their shit and become publicly undone:
Across town, democracy was, at best, showing its gritty side as it ground along angrily, noisily and slowly: A weary Speaker John A. Boehner admitted failure in his efforts to avert a fiscal crisis with a bill to increase taxes on millionaires but asserted that his job was not at risk; a top National Rifle Association official bluntly challenged Congress to embrace guns at schools, not control them; and Mr. Obama bowed to the reality that Republicans had blocked his first choice to be the next secretary of state.
Though it has been 45 days since voters emphatically reaffirmed their faith in Mr. Obama, the time since then has shown the president’s power to be severely constrained by a Republican opposition that is bitter about its losses, unmoved by Mr. Obama’s victory and unwilling to compromise on social policy, economics or foreign affairs.
“The stars are all aligning the wrong way in terms of working together,” said Peter Wehner, a former top White House aide to President George W. Bush. “Right now, the political system is not up to the moment and the challenges that we face.”
House Republicans argue that voters handed their members a mandate as well, granting the party control of the House for another two years and with it the right to stick to their own views, even when they clash strongly with the president’s.
And many Republicans remember well when the tables were turned. After Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004, Democrats eagerly thwarted his push for privatization of Social Security, hobbling Mr. Bush’s domestic agenda in the first year of his second term.
If this was just about the collapse of the Republican party, it would be one thing. But the fact of the matter is they are very dangerous to the country. If they were just lying on the floor unraveled, it would be one thing. But institutionally, they have enough power to do serious harm to the nation.
Just for the record, did you want to include a link to the source for that quote?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I remember the Democrats thwarting Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security by, wait for it, allowing Bush to attempt to convince the American people it was the right thing to do. I believe, on the other hand, that Obama spent his campaign telling the people what he was going to do, and then he got reelected.
The thwartings, they be not equal.
Stupid Both Sides Do It comparison. The public hated Bush’s SS plan and sided with Congressional Dems, now they side with Obama and hate Congressional Republicans.
“But institutionally, they have enough power to do serious harm to the nation.”
What are the Democrats and President Obama going to do to stop that from happening? Our side is not powerless. The polls show that most Americans are on President Obama’s side when it comes to the fiscal “cliff”. I don’t think the Repubs are going to win this battle. I just hope President Obama doesn’t compromise too much.
I have a theory about the mindset of the 80 or so tea tards or their supporters in the GOP House. They are going to get more and more nihilistic with things like the debt ceiling, not to necessarily destroy the country, although they would accept that as the cost of freedom, or some such bullshit. I think maybe they are banking on the sanity of Obama and dems, like really they have for a long time, to not let them destoy us, and either cave, OR , I think more likely at this point, force Obama to take extra constitutional, or questionable steps to save the country from ruin, and give them a talking point for the insane. Not to mention something impeachable, in their pea brains.
The wingnuts kept the House because they gerrymandered Republican-controlled states to an absurd degree. Nobody is buying the shit the wingnuts are selling.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Patricia Kayden: Unless Obama has some ability to off a number of Republican House members, his power is the veto. He can use the bully pulpit, but if the Republican House members refuse to listen to their constituents, there’s no way to move them. And those Representatives who are truly representative of their constituents, well, there’s not much that can be done at all. These are the people who currently believe that Obama caused the Sandy Hook shooting to have the UN take our guns and that Obama is causing the fiscal cliff in order to get the government involved in rationing Medicare.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Absolutely. The public by a wide margin opposed privatizing SS, and after Bush’s atrtempt, opposed it even more.
Also, Bush argued that (Clinton’s) budget surpluses should be used to lower tax rates. The public overwhelmingly wanted the national debt paid down instead. But Bush got what he wanted.
The GOP lunatics think they have a mandate! They’re on top o’ the world!
Just Some Fuckhead
Both sides thwart!
“..they have enough power to do serious harm to the nation”.
That is known as the “status quo”.
I’m inclined to see opportunity in republican party disintegration. Politically speaking, I’m a go for the jugular type guy. The GOP is leaving itself wide open to a world of real political hurt, but only if Obama is inclined to inflict it. And the man is a Reagan democrat at heart.
I think this is funny. Cheap two-bit hood Johnny Bones tryin’ to talk himself out of a jam.
Boehner: ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ for Fiscal Deal
The Fiscal Cliff isn’t the thing that will wreck us; I really wonder if those stupid fuckers want to default over the debt ceiling (anything to give Obama the finger). I can’t imagine their Wall Street bosses would be all that thrilled, but, my fundamental premise is these are stupid fuckers.
We either beat them or they’ll blow everything up eventually. The stakes are that high. The highest.
@sharl: Thank you for providing the link.
It’s really the MSM that props up the Republicans. If the GOP thought they would be held accountable in the press for their actions, they would cave. Their political success depends on their being able to hide their true nature.
The DJIA has fluctuated between 14,000 and about 6,500 since 2004. Does anyone want to see that kind of variability in SS? The public turned out to be right.
Higgs Boson's Mate
This was the moment when…
This is one of those moments when history holds its breath. The system of checks and balances has become a system of checks with no balance.
We are living in interesting times.
Kos is involved in the negotiations now? Ohhh, that GOS. “One bourbon, one scotch, and one beer,” Great Orange Satan. If only Johnny Walker, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, I.W.Harper, George Dickel and Cutty Sark could vote. He’d show that boy in the Whitehouse a thing or two.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Now hold on there.
After Bush was re-elected on a platform to privatize Social Security, the American people overwhelmingly favored privatization, but the president and public will were stymied by obstructionist Democrats who hated freedom.
The gospel according to conservatism.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@efgoldman: Totally agree. Unless Boehner decides to become a pseudo-democrat and bring some other Republicans with him, there is nothing coming out of the House for a while. What I see, though, is that even if he survives a vote in January, he’s not really going to change. If he decided to scrape some other Republicans together to vote with the Democrats, he probably wouldn’t make it through his primary in 2014. And I bet he loves that job more than anything, other than possibly his wife.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Isn’t that called suicide bombing?
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
@magurakurin: Beat me to it.
This summary, presuming it is accurate, really irked me: “Even some of the president’s closest advisers said they were surprised by the ferocity of the Republican opposition.” Really, have the president’s advisors not been paying attention for 4 years? They need to be devising strategies that presume intransigence, not assuming that the GOP as a party will come to its collective senses.
For the four years prior to the election, there seemed to be at least a logical and political mooring to reality – if they made things bad enough, voters would blame Obama and return them to office. That rationale is gone and the demographics have passed them by. So now they’re just being dicks.
In one of my favorite westerns, Silverado, the Kevin Kline character, Paden, is visiting the Danny Glover character, Mal, who’s been beaten and is in jail. Paden says “Why did they do this Mal?” and Mal says “Because they enjoy it.”
Another thing about Bush’s botched attempt to “partially privatize” Social Security in 2005: Democrats didn’t kill it on their own. The GOP was the majority in both houses of Congress at the time. The damned thing was so unpopular that even many Repukes balked at supporting it and the leadership never even bothered to bring it to a vote, because they knew how badly it would lose.
The Teahadists aren’t the ones that need convincing, however. I think technically there are more non-tea-party Republicans in the House than true-believing tea partiers.
I’m not sure how much stock you can put into that statement. One of the president’s advisers might say that simply to portray the GOP’s behavior as over the top, even if the adviser knows it’s par for the course.
Agreed. But there’s a problem. If that takes place in the 113th Congress (in January), then Boehner would need to have the votes of about 16 or 17 other Republicans to add to all 200 Democrats.
I don’t know if there are that many “less crazy” Republican representatives left. Maybe.
In December he would need even more Republicans. So, even if Boehner wanted to, and I don’t think he does, he’d have a hard time finding enough votes.
The Tea Party Republicans are a proto-fascist movement that started as a racist backlash against the first non-white POTUS in US history.
They have no motivation now beyond personal animus for democrats in general, and “that one” in the White House in particular.
The Dems need to help foment a civil war within the Republican ranks.
House Republicans argue that voters handed their members a mandate as well
Well, I guess Republican-controlled state legislatures do qualify as voters, if a small group thereof.
I forget who posted it, but someone pointed out that if most recent congressional elections were held according to 2012-13 boundaries, Dems would likely control the House. Part of it is legitimate Demographics, I do think (St. Louis isn’t big enough to guarantee two safe Dem districts in Missouri anymore, for instance), but some of it is just gerrymandering and other bullshit.
If I could make two changes to the redistricting process, I’d a) take out of the hands of state legislatures and give it to an independent committee focused on demographics, not politics (although it would be hard to find such neutral people, I’ll admit), and b) legally require district apportionment to be tied to state voting patterns as closely as possible (i.e. the vote ratios in presidential and senate elections would inform how many Dem-friendly and GOP-friendly districts a state would have.)
Higgs Boson's Mate
Not so much irked as I am unsettled. This is the same TB gang that brought the nation close to defaulting on the obligations that it had voted in. To be surprised by anything that they do is moving into Condoleezza Rice territory.
The article is lying with “Both Sides Do It” again. The Republicans controlled the Congress after 2004 (Dennis Hastert was the fucking Speaker) and they didn’t even bring Shrub’s stupid piece of shit bill to the floor for a vote. How can the Democrats thwart anything when they controlled no Houses of government?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Spaghetti Lee: While waiting to vote on something back in May, the guy behind me – a “voting fraud exists” conservative – and I came up with something: House Reps should all represent the same number of people, even if this means that their districts extend across state boundaries.
ETA: This doesn’t replace what you are suggesting, it should be considered in the design of districts.
@Baud: Agreed, which is why I added the disclaimer. It’s always hard to know what is being released for framing and what is a reflection of actual sentiment. On the other hand, I’m not convinced this framing helps much any more.
@Baud: Who are all scared of being primaried from the right.
I’m not sure. A coup can only work so many times. I think if they get rid of Boehner, whoever succeeds him could have a little more wiggle room. But I haven’t heard of anyone stepping up to unseat Boehner, so he may be safer than we think. We’ll see in a couple of weeks.
not at all. We can turn it into a parlor game.
Ya know, every time I think we’ve hit Peak Wingnut something happens to prove me wrong.
Seroiusly, at this rate the only people self-identifying as Republicans will be the mentally ill on Wayne LaPierre’s national database.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
I think this would require a constitutional amendment.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Except that the tax hikes on income above $250K have now been– explicitly, loudly and in the face of accusations of ‘soshulism and redistribution”– the very public face of not one but two winning Obama campaigns, and if Bush was ever less vague than “reforms that strengthen social security”, I’ll eat my hat and his. And as others have already pointed out, Bush’s party controlled both houses of Congress in ’05.
Typical both-sides-doitism from the grey lady. Pathetic.
This is a bullshit assertion without any proof. In fact, I will bet that John Kerry was the president’s first and only choice.
what it is?
There was a book, in another era, called “None Dare Call It Treason”, John A. Stormer. The title seems vaguely apt now, though not as originally intended. (It was written in the era of the John Birch society, about communist infiltration of the US government and other institutions, IIRC. The tea party are arguably the spiritual heirs of the Birchers. Some of the older TP probably were Birchers.)
If nothing happens before the end of the month we “go over the cliff” and everyone’s taxes rise.
Soon after the new Congress is sworn in the Republican House could send up a bill that gives everyone a tax cut.
When that does not get past the Democratic Senate a whittled down bill that gives tax cuts to all income under $250M/$400M/whatever could pass both houses and get signed.
Republican reps could go home an argue that unreasonable Democrats caused taxes to rise on everyone. And that they were able to get tax cuts restored for almost everyone.
Obviously that’s a “creative” history of what actually happened, but let’s fact facts. The people who vote for Republican representatives are largely Republicans. And if Republicans are dumb enough to believe Fox News they can be sold just about anything.
I suspect that may be the way it plays out. With larger battles on restoring funding later. Two more years of bullshit and getting little accomplished.
The Tragically Flip
An amazing number of people misremember why and how privatizing SS died. I see it nearly every time killing the filibuster comes up, someone will chime up that Democrats needed the filibuster to save Social Security in 2005.
The damn bill never came to any kind of vote in either chamber of congress. It never left a committee. It was toxic, and did not have anywhere near majority support in either chamber.
It is true liberals were organizing to keep Democrats on side and prevent them from offering their own “plan” to wreck Social Security (Pelosi’s finest hour: “we have a plan, it’s called ‘Social Security.'”) – but that wasn’t about the filibuster (any plan would have been jammed through under reconciliation if Dems did filibuster it) but more to prevent the media from running “Dems support privatizing Social Security” articles.
Institutionally, President Obama and his gang of lawless authoritarians also have the power to do serious harm to this country. Obama has now institutionalized the endless ever-more-draconian War on Terror. Obama has institutionalized universal warrantless eavesdropping on every America. Obama has institutionalized the murder of U.S. citizens without even charging ’em with a crime. Obama has institutionalized the drone murders of innocent women and children in foreign countries with which we are not at war.
If a hostile foreign power had taken over America and started implementing these anti-democratic policies in gross violation of the constitution and in contempt of the rule of law, you’d see a Red Dawn-style uprising. But because the president pronounces the words “national security” while ordering American citizens murdered without charging ’em with a crime, suddenly it becomes hunky-dory and peachy-keen.
@efgoldman: That’s Speaker Oompa-Loompa to you, sir.
@Baud: All House Republicans are teadhadis. You know who the most liberal Republican was during the last Congress? Ron Paul.
I seriously doubt he’s going anywhere. The crazies get to use him as their chewtoy without having to take any responsibility themselves.
In Mclaren’s defense, she really, technically, truthfully isn’t a firebagger. I mean, don’t go mistaking her for some other kind of animal. One of a kind, one of a kind, she is.
I forget when this popped up as a fun fact I’d not realized, but the Republican candidate for President has not won the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections.
Yes Bush the Lesser served two terms, but he got to the White House, in 2000, via some historically unprecedented shit going down.
I think it is just dawning on Republicans that despite steamrolling Democratic Presidential candidates in the 1980’s, and holding the White House for 8 years recently, they really have not done well in Presidential elections for the past 20 years.
I think the backlash is their lizard brains finally realizing how hard a road they have to hoe to win the White House. With Virginia* becoming a Democratic leaning state, NC becoming a swing state, Rove’s electoral strategy of letting the Dems take the Northeast and west coast, Reps taking the middle and then have the election come down to Ohio or Florida or some other swing state has been shot to hell.
The Republican margin of error has really shrunk.
If Democrats can rebuild state Parties in the South over the next decade you will truly see the death knell for Republicans. Of course if state Democratic Parties remain weak the Republicans can still hang around doing some mischief in a mean way.
*I understand all the transplants into NOVA have helped turn VA purple, but Jesus F’in Christ the traffic is fucking insane now. It took me FOUR HOURS to get from DC to Fredricksburg today. They really need to expand I-95, because of all the new people living there now. Fucking ridiculous lack of planning.
every time when you think that these guys (the GOP) will “have to do something” for the good of the nation they step right up to the plate and show you that the nation can go fuck itself as far as they are concerned. they have the ball and they are leaving the playground. You guys better go find yourself another ball.
If no one uses the playground and that means that the neighborhood goes to shit…. well they are quite willing to see the playground leveled and replaced by a landfill, what do they care, they have a ball.
interesting how the word “institutionalized” is emphasized in this post.
By giving them half a million fewer votes than the Dems, which translates into more House seats only through their corrupt gerrymandering. In addition to the built-in rigging of political power in favor of redneck rural states in this country.
@mclaren: You really just can’t stand the black guy, can you?
Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches
Elvis loves you.
Be seeing you.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Cassidy: mclaren is the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Perpetual Outrage.
Yes it is. Almost like an ass backward cry for help/
@General Stuck: I disagree. They are counting on Obama being the one always willing to prematurely compromise and to go to their corner again and again. So it really is the HOR and the Senate Democrats that matter. Unfortunately, Obama is a really terrible negotiator and really he is, as he has said on more than one occasion, an admirer of Ronnie Rayguns.
In other words our national political culture is so far to the right now that there really are only just a few progressive representatives at the national level to articulate the vast majority of Americans’ views. Instead, the Congress are only talking about how quickly we destroy the remainder of the New Deal. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans actually have no one representing their present and future interests.
I hope you are snarking with this nonsense.
Either way, I am worn out by politics, and am going to bed. Maybe overnight my computer will pass away in its sleep.
How chilling, perhaps Orwellian, how Coolhand Luke: I don’t want guns in schools, you don’t want guns in schools, but to remove unwanted guns from schools, you’ve got to have a change of heart, get your minds right, and want guns in schools.
The prophet Nostradumbass
LaPierre: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gun.
Never forget: the Koch brothers’ daddy was on of the founders of the John Birch Society. Talk about undermining from within — these guys have literally been working to overthrow American democracy for more than half a century!
Well, even if most of the public is ignoring the FC negotiations; something will get their attention soon.
The Senate passed the Farm Bill last July & cut a few billion off the Snap program. That wasn’t a big enough cut for the Ingrates in the House so they haven’t passed it. I assume they’re still negotiating or ??
Some of the provisions/regs expire Jan 1. The most important being a Reg. on the price of MILK which may spike to $8gal. along with other Dairy products. This will affect almost everyone in the US. Unfortunately, they’ll probably blame Obama Vilsack has been on it but I’m not sure the Exe Branch can resolve it themselves.
Interestingly, “someone” in the Senate added this to the Farm Bill as “a Poison Pill” to get the House to pass it before Jan 1. heh
There’s no “were” about it, they still are. The JBS is still around, and disturbingly popular in Utah.
It’s not exactly a “lack of planning”. It’s that Richmond, from whence the Virginia government is run, hates NoVA. Southern Virginia is a Confederate State, and Northern Virginia is all Damned Yankee Carpetbaggers who don’t deserve roads and bridges and Nice Things. The fact that house values in Fairfax and Arlington Counties are what actually pay for everything in the Richmond area probably makes them hate you even more, if that’s possible. :-) (I haven’t been there in more than a decade, but I’m sure that has not changed, though now I wonder how much Stafford Co has filled up…)
@flytiger: After the School Cops are armed, and the Mall Cops are armed, and the Movie Theater Cops are armed, and the Supermarket Cops are armed, and the Church Cops are armed, and the Park Cops and the Beach Cops and the Downtown Plaza Cops and the Live Performance Theater Cops and, well, you get the idea … when there are three armed cops for every civilian, then and only then will we be safe! Of course, the six armed cops in your bedroom (if you’re not single, three if you are) may make it hard for you to sleep at night, but that’s the price we must pay for “freedom” doncha know!
@The Tragically Flip:
“How about ‘never’? Does ‘never’ work for you?”
I had that clip on an endless loop until I sprained my wrist. NANCY SMASH!
I’m starting to wonder if a spoof troll has hijacked mclaren’s name and is posting under it. The recent postings have been a little more tongue-in-cheek than one would expect from that source.
No one cares, princess
@gene108: You just need to move to south, to the “real virginia” – no traffic problems there.
Exactly. It’s more of a “I’m shocked–SHOCKED–to find gambling is going on in here” kinda statement.
Oh noes, the big, bad GOP, I’m so scared. They’ve been so effective these past few years. I mean, wouldja just look at all the shit they’ve got to show for their efforts of late. Ooh, I cannot, dare not look, lest I be blinded by their overwhelming brilliance, nay, goodness, that puts all else to shame. Alack that we have nothing to counter the awesome power of the G – O – motherfuckin’ – P.
FFS, people. We’re winning. Enjoy it. Tell your friends.
Our school system (Baltimore County) has, for a number of years, kept one uniformed and armed Cop in every single High and Middle school (the nearby city that has one of the highest murder rates in the county has had zero issues/problems with guns. Tells you a lot about what race really needs to be profiled and watched – yes, white gun nuts/right wingers, I’m talking about you.)
The Cops in the county schools are required to teach classes and, of course, are there to immediately provide intervention (and despite that, one shooting just recently occur – no one died – but a teacher tackled and subdued the shooter after one student was shot in the back.)
I can see a few advantages with having the Cop assigned to a given school (they are not rotated yearly, either) and that is these Cops really get to know all the students on sight, and their daily interaction/class room time enables the Cops to both create a bond between them and ‘their’ students as well as enabling them to observe/get to know exactly who they should keep an eye on (and that should work two ways.)
The issue for our school system is that they never assigned a Cop to the Elementary schools – I guess that will soon change.
One thing, being in a very wealthy county has advantages but still, despite that, it led to a limited (but thankfully) non-fatal failure.
So even having an armed, fully trained and dedicated Cop in the school will not in any manner guarantee complete student safety nor even a mass killing (thanks to the NRA/assault rifles/automatic hand guns and massive clips that ‘hunter’s seem to require.) Still glad the Cops are there … .
@mclaren: I see the same stupid asswipe troll is trying in his pathetic manner to get some shit thrown its way; laughable but living in his mothers basement requires it to try in a desperate manner to entertain itself when it isn’t pleasuring itself.
@Geoduck: That’s it. Boehner is the mutilated stick that the House crazies jamb into the spokes of State over and over again. They know better than to put forward one of their own as a leader to clearly and effectively communicate the batshit crazy ideas they absorb from Fox News and each other.
@Baud: As the “Keep Government Out Of My Medicare” Tea Party Scooter Queen would say, “Bingo”!
What always seems to be missing in these discussions … the fact that these guys and gals in the House just got elected too.
Maybe, just maybe, this is what they were elected to do.
From Slate: “Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood.“
Sometimes – and more often as of late – I just think this country is fucked.
I realize that kind of pessimism isn’t useful, and I try to get past it. But it’s getting harder to do that, it seems.
American citizens who go overseas, and fight AGAINST America renounce their citizenship by doing so.
They were elected to force their leader to fail on/withdraw his first hard legislative proposal for all this?
lol teabagger legislative analytical genius.
@SP: I agree that we all hate the Republicans, but they are our last best hope to prevent the Great Betrayal that seems to be the Democratic leadership’s goal.I would rather not go onto the Gentle Fiscal Slope, just because of uncertainty, but I don’t want any cut to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, 57 other social welfare programs that depend on annual COLA, and a stealth income tax increase on the lowest income levels.
@Hill Dweller: Nobody is buying…? Didn’t you notice that 47% voted for Romney and about 49% voted for Republican candidates in the House? That’s nearly half the country buying what they’re selling. And they care at least as passionately as we do. Don’t lose sight of the fact that they KNOW they want what is best for our country, so they KNOW that their policies must be good. Just like us.
@Jim Faith: That rationale is not entirely gone. It’s gone as far as Obama is concerned, but it still applies to the Democratic Party. If the Republicans can show that the Democrats are incapable of getting anything done the voters are more likely to go for them in the next election(s). I don’t think it will work, but I believe that’s how a lot of them are thinking. I think Obama is going to hand it to them on a platter by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, 57 other social welfare programs, and imposing a stealth tax increase on the low income earners through the chained CPI. I think Obama is thinking that the yearly amount will be too small for people to notice, and he wants, for some incomprehensible reason, to go down in history as having made a Grand Bipartisan Bargain. I think at least half the Democratic Party and all of its leadership are willing to go along.