Paul Krugman is tired of Republican fraudsters powered by Magical Laffer Curve Fairies in general, but this year’s version of the Hunger Games is particularly bonkers.
So, about those budgets: both claim drastic reductions in federal spending. Some of those spending reductions are specified: There would be savage cuts in food stamps, similarly savage cuts in Medicaid over and above reversing the recent expansion, and an end to Obamacare’s health insurance subsidies. Rough estimates suggest that either plan would roughly double the number of Americans without health insurance. But both also claim more than a trillion dollars in further cuts to mandatory spending, which would almost surely have to come out of Medicare or Social Security. What form would these further cuts take? We get no hint.
Meanwhile, both budgets call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the taxes that pay for the insurance subsidies. That’s $1 trillion of revenue. Yet both claim to have no effect on tax receipts; somehow, the federal government is supposed to make up for the lost Obamacare revenue. How, exactly? We are, again, given no hint.
And there’s more: The budgets also claim large reductions in spending on other programs. How would these be achieved? You know the answer.
It’s very important to realize that this isn’t normal political behavior. The George W. Bush administration was no slouch when it came to deceptive presentation of tax plans, but it was never this blatant. And the Obama administration has been remarkably scrupulous in its fiscal pronouncements.
O.K., I can already hear the snickering, but it’s the simple truth. Remember all the ridicule heaped on the spending projections in the Affordable Care Act? Actual spending is coming in well below expectations, and the Congressional Budget Office has marked its forecast for the next decadedown by 20 percent. Remember the jeering when President Obama declared that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term? Well, a sluggish economy delayed things, but only by a year. The deficit in calendar 2013 was less than half its 2009 level, and it has continued to fall.
So, no, outrageous fiscal mendacity is neither historically normal nor bipartisan. It’s a modern Republican thing. And the question we should ask is why.
Well, the “why” part seems pretty obvious. “Break the government, then blame the government for being broken” has been the game at least since Reagan, and the solution is always to take a larger hammer to the federal machinery. Rolling back everything since the New Deal seems pretty much par for the course for these guys, if not cynically burning out the last of America’s consumerist resources before going on to new markets in China and India to exploit. It’s always been about pillaging the treasury and setting the place on fire on the way out the door.
Krugman ends with this:
Look, I know that it’s hard to keep up the outrage after so many years of fiscal fraudulence. But please try. We’re looking at an enormous, destructive con job, and you should be very, very angry.
And our problem is that we’re always finding new and exciting ways to direct that outrage at President Obama and the Democrats rather than the Republicans trying to talk us into self-immolation.
Not I. I can still get soooooo mad at the Republicans! It’s a renewable resource.
Please include that last paragraph at the end of every post.
part of me actually wants the GOP to get exactly what they want with their budget disasters. I want total collapse to happen, because it will happen on their watch, it will happen with their “tax-cuts forever” ideology in full FAIL mode, it will happen despite their blaming librul commie poor blahs for every sin the GOP commits. I want it to fall apart with no way for them to hide or excuse it anymore, with even the hardiest of Teabaggers waking up to the realization they’d been suckers for the big con all along.
Unfortunately, that also means half of us will be starving or dead or worse, with the entire economy collapsed to the point of no return and our government in shambles.
If only there were a way the damage the GOP is trying to inflict on everybody else was only inflicted upon themselves and their corrupt overlords.
Glad to see that PK is putting this stuff in his op-ed column rather than in his blog. We’re at the “Every word they say is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the'” stage. And we’ve been there for a while now.
The persistence of maleficence.
“Break the government, then blame the government for being broken” has been the game at least since Reagan, and the solution is always to take a larger hammer to the federal machinery. Rolling back everything since the New Deal seems pretty much par for the course for these guys, if not cynically burning out the last of America’s consumerist resources before going on to new markets in China and India to exploit. It’s always been about pillaging the treasury and setting the place on fire on the way out the door.
What sort of country do they envision in fifty years? A walmart style of retail? Giant warehouses filled with low-quality merchandise? More highways and cars (non-union built cars) and no public transportation? More prisons? A few bubble gated communities with private security, while the rest of the country is mad max thunderdome porn?
Does anyone remember the R. Crumb “History of America” cartoon? He did an update to it, where enlightened people build a “just and verdant” society. But I think we’re racing in the other direction.
@PaulW: No matter how horribly it falls apart, they’ll blame it on the libruls, and the suburbs and exurbs and rural will believe every word.
As far as I can figure it out, one of the most significant problems in this is that the modern Democrats, including and especially Obama, give lectures and discussions while the Republicans Go. To. War.
I know that seems awfully glib, but a energetic even anger filled focus on message is terribly important. Americans are human beings. Human beings are tribal. There is a certain amount of deference paid to energized leaders who give the simplest and most emphatic message as is possible and essentially keep on beating the same horse. It’s not pretty but that’s the way it has worked from Nixon, Reagan onto Bush Jr and the current GOP.
This is an economic class war and one side acts like it and the other side doesn’t.
Over 1.2 million public school students are homeless. For every 100 families needing affordable housing for the lower working class there are 29 such units of housing available to them. Neither of those two numbers are getting better, in fact they are getting worse.
@PaulW: Unfortunately, not only would thousands of people die or suffer immensely, but if a Dem is President at the time, the GOP would only get partial blame. People in this country assume the President is omnipotent and everything bad that happens is his/her fault.
And this runs across the ideological spectrum. See last paragraph of post.
Didn’t we come close enough to that under the Cheney regime? Another path might be preferable.
I have enough slobbering hate to cover all those villains mentioned above, still I wonder why the word Corporation is not used at all. A non-partisan issue?
Never has there been such a convergence of fraud, greed, ignorance, stupidity, malice, delusion, and sociopathic malice as in today’s Republican party and hard-core conservatism. They want to take us back to some imagined golden era untarnished by any progressive perversions of society and government…this mythical era is an inchoate blend of the 1950s, the 1920s, the Gilded age of the 1870s-1890s, and the yeoman frontier days of 1790-1810 (roughly the Washington through Jefferson presidencies). Throw in a bit of the American pioneer days when land and minerals were for the taking for any settlers or prospectors willing to go west in a covered wagon. They long for an America riding dominant and heroic over the world as we thought we did in the era just after World War 2. All this is an imaginary feverish dream, in which they willfully put blinders on against all the vast problematic details about each of these eras which made life for most people much less and much different than in their rosy imaginations, such as the harsh racial segregation and prejudice that still reigned in the 1950s, or the monopolistic, predatory excesses of capitalism in the Gilded Age, or the heedless greed which led to the Great Depression.
The sheer scale of pig-headed willful ignorance blended with malicious sociopathy of these people makes my blood boil. ASSHOLES
we will see how much of the crazy Harry Reid put off.
They expect Idiocracy. It’s their Utopia….. Welcome to Costco. I love you.
The Moar You Know
@Keith G: Thank you. Even the President doesn’t get it.
But the GOP is in it to win it, while we refuse to admit that the war’s been on and being fought since 1981.
And they are winning, make no mistake.
Short-sightedness is a hallmark.
Looking beyond the next quarter (or in some cases, the next news cycle) is not considered.
One where they’re dead but they lived well for the time they were here.
This is serious – most of them don’t seem to even care about the world they leave behind for their children beyond making sure that their kids inherit all of the wealth that they’ve built up.
Oh and there’s the other group – the group that assume they don’t have to worry about what the world will be like 50 years from now because Rapture. There are probably more of them in Congress than you’d expect. They care even less about the world their kids will have after they’re gone because they assume their kids will be Raptured when they are. (Armageddon theology is a curse whether you live in the Middle East and weirdos are destroying countries because of the immanent return of the Mahdi or you live in the US and weirdos are destroying the country because of the immanent return of Jesus. I wish they’d both show up and give their various fanclubs the speech William Shatner gave to the Trekkies on Saturday Night Live…)
@Germy Shoemangler: Plantations and slaves. They’re overjoyed that they’ll be able to pick from whites as well as blacks.
“If only there were a way the damage the GOP is trying to inflict on everybody else was only inflicted upon themselves and their corrupt overlords.”
Like is happening in Kansas
I know what you’re trying for, but you need to reread Zandar’s last paragraph. The blame for this is entirely Republicans. They did it.
@Wag: There are a lot of people in Kansas who don’t fall into either of those categories. Yet it is still happening to them.
Mike in NC
This was even too much for the Washington Post, which ran an editorial entitled “Fiscal Phonies” to denounce the sham Republican ‘budget’ which would screw the bottom 99.9% of the country.
To be honest, at this point they need to move.
@Belafon: Sorry but I reject that. Politics is always about a clash of ideas. In its best form it’s a reasonable clashof ideas between two equal and or reasonable parties/sides.
Our early constitutional government took its shape because of the clash between the Federalists and the Antifederalists. If you read the original source material, you will find that it was pretty rough stuff.both sides brought their A game and both sides engaged in unethical behavior.
Yes, the Republicans have to own the essentially anti-social doctrine that they are spreading. Nonetheless, Democrats have to own they haven’t fought like hell to oppose it and use every tool in their toolbox and or explore finding new tool boxes to use.
Paul in KY
@Keith G: FDR and Truman and LBJ all understood that.
Um no. I barely survived the last one.
Paul in KY
@cmorenc: It’s like if the No Nothing Party of the 19th century had unlimited money & control of all the daily newspapers.
@Lee: With what money? If someone is a poor Democrat in Kansas getting screwed by the GOP government, they don’t have the money to move. Unless you, Lee, are willing to personally subsidize the costs involved in getting said poor Democrat a new job, housing, the cost of the movers, cost of re-registering a vehicle, etc.
These days voting with your feet is a luxury a lot of people can’t afford.
I now it’s terribly easy and somewhat pointless to keep begging for a useful press, but if it’s only Krugman and a handful of other opinion folks who speak the truth about the budget, and all the A-section reporters just say “the GOP budget, which cuts some things and is blah blah blah” without unpacking the fraudulence, then we’re screwed.
We can’t have any sort of real discussion if there aren’t even terms of discussion that mean the same thing. That’s the deep fraud of this budget – the GOP knows most news will not push back on its pack of lies, so we’ll be having this meaningless talk across each other in Alice in Wonderbudgetland.
The country will be led to utter financial ruin by a combination of GOP gross malfeasance and a press that has completely abdicated their role as seekers of fact.
Abetted by our diligent media, who will of course point out how Both Sides are to blame.
Don’t read comments. Don’t read comments. Aaaargh, I read the comments!
The overwhelming majority are pro-Krugman, but I find that even one “the Democrats are 10 times worse” or “OK maybe Obama reduced the deficit but first he TRIPLED IT WITH A FAILED JOBS BILL” starts me gnashing my teeth and yelling at clouds.
What will it take to peel the rest of the voters away from these lunatics and leave them as literally the party of the mentally ill. I know (see crazy lady at Santorum rally) that a big part of their base is clinically insane, but I think they need to get to the point where that’s their ONLY base.
Somewhat off-topic, a bit of good news: The FBI is taking a look at Aaron Schock’s mileage-claim fiddle.
@Paul in KY: When one considers the unusual amount of traction that Elizabeth Warren has it gotten, one can see the power of strong and aggressive progressive argumentation.
It’s not about magical powers or a secret recipe.
Well, we’re getting a test run in KS and WI, and both slash and burn a$$hole Republicans got re-elected, so I’d say voters will not deliver us out of this evil just from their own suffering.
A frightened populace just as likely to veer hard right as wake up and overthrow the overlords. Look at Israel.
@Amir Khalid: I’m so glad to see that.
He resigned so quickly that it makes me think there are a lot of other questionable/illegal things that are just waiting for the rocks to be turned over and that he resigned that fast in the hopes of stopping all investigations in their tracks.
I would love for the Republicans to experience some of the natural consequences of their behavior.
@MomSense: I barely survived as well. Still feeling the effects. And I’m concerned for my grown children. They work hard, and I’m sad to see they’re getting screwed by their bosses in ways my bosses never dreamed of when I was their age.
This isn’t some abstract chess game for me. This is too real.
OT Breaking News for TL: Isaac Newton royal medal design discovery
Newton designed it himself while at the Mint and it divided opinions along political lines, Haha! And an additional cheer for the depths of libraries, the papers that lurk and those that visit same environs.
Well, you have to understand that your average teabagger actually believes this stuff: Fully on-board with supply-side economics, absolutely positive tax cuts will spur revenue to new heights, create millions of jobs, and convince all those lazy people on welfare (no, not those lazy people on welfare…those lazy people on welfare–you know which ones) that they should put down the T-bone steaks and get jobs because the only thing standing between them and some serious bootstrappin’ up is the desire to do it.
So in 50 years, if they get their way, they envision a utopia: financially thriving due to the magic of tax cuts, a Bible in every backpack, no liberals inventing racism because it totally doesn’t exist, and so much liberty, it makes you tumescent.
@Amir Khalid: This is good. I don’t want this to go away. My neighbor told me he avoided trouble by quitting. I hope he’s still held responsible.
So 2 people didn’t read to the bottom. And 1 things Warren doesn’t lecture also. That’s the problem with Dems. It’s the fangirl syndrome. My guy is doing it right, but those other guys do it wrong. No. Your guy did it well enough that the people who showed up to elect them. Just like those other guys. It’s not all the same people.
@Paul in KY:
FDR, Truman and LBJ all had Congressional majorities in both the House and the Senate.
What I blame liberals for is the decision in the 1960s and 1970s that winning elections was no longer necessary and all you needed were outside pressure groups to force the government to do what you wanted. Unfortunately for our side, conservatives realized that the best possible way to stop further progress was to take over the government and they proceeded to do that. Now we’re trying to play catch-up to their 30-year strategy of putting conservatives in every single elected office from dogcatcher on up, all because we didn’t want to dirty our hands with those nasty politics.
Since I am the only other one who mentioned Warren, I’ll bite. What are you talking about?
@Bubblegum Tate: And the funny thing about the tea baggers believing THOSE PEOPLE should all get jobs is…. no teabagger I’ve ever met would hire them, if they had the chance. They don’t even feel comfortable being in the same room with them.
In my long and miserable career (dead-end job after dead-end job – don’t ask, I didn’t take college seriously and spent most of my time creating ART) I worked for many companies that had no people of color employed. My conservative co-workers would read the newspaper on their breaks, and then give commentary on the various crimes they saw reported (the fact that the newspaper played up, with photos, the black misdemeanors while downplaying the caucasian felonies is a different story). “They don’t want to work!”
One day a young black guy came in for an interview, suit and tie, better dressed than the manager. They were excessively polite to him, and then when he left they spent the rest of the day giggling about him.
Last place I worked, a place with about 500 employees. I think three people of color. No. Two.
Where are they all supposed to work? Black barbershops and beauty parlors?
@Mnemosyne (tablet): I got the impression in his (Paul) response to me that he was not talking about legislative action as much as he was talking about the content of and commitment to arguing for liberal ideas.
If that is indeed the case, then the population of the legislative branch is/was not an issue.
BTW my #42 was a response to @ruemara:
Sorry about that.
My point is that arguing for liberal ideas doesn’t do jack shit if you don’t get elected. In fact, part of our problem as liberals has been thinking that all we need to do is argue for our ideas outside of the system and the system would magically recognize that we were right. We didn’t realize that we needed to be INSIDE the system for our arguments to have any effect.
Arguing for liberal ideas is useless if you don’t have legislators to pass legislation embodying those ideas and executives to sign that legislation into law. That’s just reality, but way too many liberals still don’t want to face up to that reality.
All one has to do is listen to the gibbering insanity embodied in the Santorum clip that was posted earlier this week on a number of liberal blogs. There is no reasoning with that type of person. Facts won’t sway them. Reasoned conversation will sound like static. And that is a significant percentage of the Republican base. A base Republicans must kowtow to in order to get elected.
You have this backwards. Destroying the government is not the end, it is the means. The end is putting blacks back in their place, creating a country by and for fundamentalist white men. What do they want to cut? Food stamps and medicaid, which they have been told at least since Reagan are ‘welfare’ and go overwhelmingly to make lazy blacks equal with whites. When did they freak the fuck out? When a black man became president. Did they give the slightest damn whenever Bush expanded the government? No, because he only did it to benefit whites or hurt browns. Selling out the government to the rich is a bonus. The GOP base (correctly) believes the government is interfering with them oppressing blacks, and they care about that more than anything else in the world.
Paul in KY
@Keith G: Part of being a good politician is repeatedly pointing out the other side’s worst ideas. Done adversarialy, too. If you can do it with a humorous bent, all the better.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Whether or not they had those majorities, it doesn’t change the way they spoke about the Republicans & their schemes. That’s what I’m talking about here.
Paul in KY
@Keith G: You got it, KG!
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne (tablet): It does do ‘jack shit’. Why do the Republicans do it incessantly? Because it works. It’s like advertising. You have to have committed spokespeople putting your ideas out there & trashing the stupid ideas of the other side.
Tree With Water
“And our problem is that we’re always finding new and exciting ways to direct that outrage at President Obama and the Democrats rather than the Republicans trying to talk us into self-immolation”.
A person can do both. And just who exactly should the rank and file hold accountable, if not those they send to battle the republican party? Some people feel its wrong to publicly censure Hillary Clinton for the role she played in unleashing the catastrophic Iraq War. They consider it harping, you know.
@Paul in KY:
Large majorities of people who had their backs didn’t change the way that they spoke about their political opposition?
Um, no. LBJ and FDR were both more aggressively combative because they knew they had majorities and the GOP could do fuck-all to mess with them. FDR especially was elected on a “fuck those guys – they suck” ticket and was basically handed a mandate to talk smack about Republicans and rub their noses in their failure.
Obama, OTOH, was elected on a “can’t we all just get along and work to make the country better” ticket. And his majority in Congress was never more than wafer thin, with most of the folks there not all that enthused about riling up conservatives in their home districts. Anyone expecting him to be the standard bearer for an aggressive smack-talking campaign against Republicans was not paying attention to the elections in 2008 or 2012.
These critiques about Obama not rhetorically smacking Republicans around piss me off more than anything else. Have you looked at the Democratic electorate? Do you think they actually like people talking smack to other people? No. They consistently actively punish Democrats who run their mouths off. What kinds of politicians do you think we’re going to get when Democratic voters pretty much think that their politicians should be nice guys who try to reach consensus for the good of the country? We’re not going to get smack-talkers, I can tell you that much.
@PaulW: So, basically a national version of Kansas.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Of course you are right that in the late sixties and throughout the seventies, and dare I say the eighties, the arguments for liberal and progressive ideas were less successful than they should have been. The great retrenchment of the last half of the century had begun.
Rather common sense liberal ideas were argued by the right to be part of a plan to give the black man what the white man had worked for, even if so many of those programs were also very useful to a much larger white population.
But now conditions have changed. The economic clique formerly known as the Reagan Democrats have had their economic lives disrupted and in many cases completely shattered by policies sponsored by Republicans and conservative Democrats.
There are many, many Americans in doubt and in pain waiting to be led. And unfortunately, as is usually the case, whoever gets there first with the clearest and simplest message will get the first chance to lead them to the polls.
No; it’s always been about racism, and ensuring none of the wrong people ever think they’re better than those coming up with these destructive, short-sighted, self-serving policies. Pillaging the treasury and setting the place on fire is just an excuse.
They stopped winning national elections because they stopped collaborating with white supremacists. That was basically it. The New Deal coalition had been supported by a morally intolerable deal with the devil, and when it ended, the white supremacists bolted to the Republican Party and liberalism lost the country for 50 years.
The loss was a gradual process that first expressed itself in Republican presidential landslides, and then in gradual domination in Congress. By the Bill Clinton era, in most of the country, a Democrat could only get elected by running way to the center. Outside pressure groups were all liberalism really had left.
What’s slowly changing the story is demographics: the United States is now less white. But midterm GOTV is very hard, and the Reagan coalition still reigns in the older set who vote in midterm elections.
I was just at a presentation where a GOP state rep (actually one of the better ones) was lauding ALEC because they help them write legislation on complex issues. Most of these guys are just Babbitts who don’t know jack shit about the stuff they legislate, but are culturally comfortable and thus easily swayed by big buck lobbyists with a line that hits their erogenous zones. Money has also created an arms race that makes this worse. The counterweight to that used to be the ability of organized labor to deliver votes and, perhaps more importantly, to focus the minds of their voters on who’s for or against them. It’s no accident that the GOP has zeroed in on killing unions ever since Reagan.
The problem is not necessarily saving the government from GOP predations, it’s keeping the GOP from using government to serve select predatory interests by having countervailing interests with enough juice to fight back. The reason these guys treat government like they do is that they already have a government, a shadow oligarchy of various business interests. They don’t need the titular Government other than as a tool for furthering those interests. It doesn’t have to be perceived as working to do that and, in fact, it’s often more useful to make it seem dysfunctional. The only place they want it to be perceived as working is defense, where it arguably has been an enormous failure, but makes some folks a shit load of money.
Paul in KY
@NonyNony: Whether or not they are currently voting for you, the vast majority of Americans are your natural constituents & if you don’t speak the truth to them, who will?
Paul in KY
@NonyNony: If you think telling the unvarnished truth about Republican politics & personalities is ‘talking smack’, then maybe you need to go to the Green Party or the Sparkliing Pretty Pony Party and accelerate your descent into irrelevance.
I heartily approve both your and Dr. Professor Krugman’s conclusions, and I am very, very, VERY angry. I just don’t know what I personally can do about it, which just leads to more frustration.
@Randy P: Their base include both the mentally ill, and the constellation of personality disorders known as “authoritarian followers” , or “assholes”. It’s as small as it;s going to get, I am afraid.
Also, every indication I can find suggests that white people are getting more and more scary-Republican as their relative numbers decline. Romney lost with 60% of the white vote, but he could have pulled it off if he’d gotten, say, 70% or 80%, and that might be possible in future elections if we keep slouching toward Inevitable Race War perpetrated by nutty white believers in the Inevitable Race War. Though not actually having a literal black President as the target might tamp it down for a while.
@Matt McIrvin: I still think crummy macroeconomic recovery had a lot to do with Democratic problems during midterms, at least to the extent that the midterm disasters were due to low turnout by Democratic voters.
@Paul in KY:
It doesn’t matter how you talk about the other side IF YOU CAN’T GET ELECTED. If you can’t get elected, you’re dead in the water no matter how awesome your rhetoric.
Tree With Water
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I’m curious then. What do you think accounts for the profound shift in the content of political rhetoric from the days of FDR-Truman to the rhetoric of the Clinton-Obama era democratic party?
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): I don’t recall Paul or myself arguing that rhetoric was a silver bullet.
There are interests in this society is that are and have been advocating policies that amount to aggrevated economic abuse. One of their weapons in this assault has been their ability to construct a narrative that is as easy to digest as it is preposterously false.
I believe that successfully confronting that narrative is not impossible, but that my side has as often as not just not been trying hard enough to get the job done.
Tree With Water
@Keith G: I for one believe FDR & Truman tried harder, and were more effective in advancing the interests of the democratic rank and file for it.
It is unfortunate that Democrats don’t have the Republicans’ eleventh commandment, that is until you actually see what that has done to rational thinking on that side of the aisle. Obama is is as open to criticism, say on the Gitmo issue, as he is reticent to address that critic, say on the Gitmo issue, due in part to playing the long game with what he presumed were rational people on the other side of the aisle. Democrats are left to think for themselves and thus express those thoughts, unlike the POGs that are morally compelled it would seem, to echo whatever fantastical or delusional thing coming out of their party’s elected officials.
No other President has had to deal with this level of political onanism as Obama has. Sending his munchkins out to criticize the professional left was a major miscalculation as it bought him nothing from the Rs, and po-ed a lot of supporters on the left. That’s where we are then, a somewhat demoralized base contending with the GOP: “In Fraud We Trust.”
As an earlier supporter, and early critic, I give him a B+ in effect, A- in conduct, and a D in transparency and civil liberty. YMMV
Tree With Water
“Sending his munchkins out to criticize the professional left was a major miscalculation as it bought him nothing from the Rs, and po-ed a lot of supporters on the left. That’s where we are then, a somewhat demoralized base contending with the GOP: “In Fraud We Trust.”
I’ve been a demoralized member of “the base” since the powers-that-were took a hike on George McGovern in 1972. And I refused to cast my vote for the president in 2008 because he double crossed me on the FISA vote within days of clinching the nomination.
“And our problem is that we’re always finding new and exciting ways to direct that outrage at President Obama and the Democrats rather than the Republicans trying to talk us into self-immolation.”
Fucking-A, Zander. This is the cold, blunt truth.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Right on, Mnemosyne.
@Tree With Water: Well maybe you should run for office, at least you’ll have the perfect candidate to support. I voted for McGovern anyway, although the Eagleton choice gave the not so liberal with mental illnesses media a perfect opportunity to submarine him, which they did.
On the other hand I hate cliches, but sacrificing the good on the alter of perfect leaves us with gerrymandered States and overweight POG representation while the discouraged sit on their asses and express their moral outrages.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): The talking is supposed to help with the getting elected. Chicken or egg, I guess…
Paul in KY
@Tree With Water: Although we seem to agree on aggressive messaging, you were an idiot for not voting for the President (IMO). He is certainly not perfect & is a politician, but with all his imperfections he was/is light years ahead of Grumpy McCrappyflyer or any other republican.
Tree With Water
@Paul in KY: I’m an idiot? Talk about aggressive messaging.
Paul in KY
@Tree With Water: You were, IMO. You can’t let your desire for perfection be the enemy of good.
Just some random dude on the internet calling it as I see it. No animosity towards you, Pres won, etc.
Tree With Water
@Paul in KY: #1 I’m OK with online animosity. #2 You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’ve never conflated perfection with politics.
“…our problem is that we’re always finding new and exciting ways to direct that outrage at President Obama and the Democrats…..”
By “we” you are of course referring to people like wr0ng way Cole who thinks the latest Republican manufactured controversy (“eGhazi”) is the most seriously totally serious very bad double on top no take back totally horrible issue there is to talk about.
@samiam: Hillary Clinton is going to get ten times as many attacks from the left as Obama has. Obama didn’t get it until he actually entered office and inevitably started disappointing people. The left wing of the Democrats already hate Clinton, and have for many years. For that matter, Obama’s supporters have resentments left over from the 2008 primary.
Especially among the posting-stuff-to-the-Internet crowd. Among the people I know online who post lots of progressive opinions, I’d say more of them are already shouting about how Clinton is a corrupt auto/plutocrat and they’re going to vote for Jill Stein or nobody than are actually visibly supporting Clinton. (At least their interest in Rand Paul seems to have died down.)
Personally, I think preventing Republicans from taking the White House is pretty much always Job 1 when it comes to presidential elections. But it seems like the more visible attitude is that voting is a form of self-expression or an endorsement of everything about the candidate: that if the President you vote for does something wrong, you’re morally tainted by association, so you’d better abstain or vote for someone with no hope of winning if you want to remain clean. Even if the country and the world end up worse off as a consequence.
I have to remind myself that these people are a tiny contingent in the American electorate, and Hillary Clinton actually is walloping everybody in the early polling.
@Matt McIrvin: I have two points to make about your comments.
1) Obama’s greatest strength as a presidential candidate was that he had very little history for them to attack him on. Hillary is just the opposite. However, Jeb has plenty of (real) ugly history as well! Not just manufactured BS like most of the Hillary attacks.
2) Early polling means pretty much NOTHING! In fact I would say less than nothing. I’ll bet Rmoney was ‘walloping’ Obama in early polling as well depending on which polsters you talked to and what questions were asked.
@WereBear: Me too! My well of hatred for the Republican shenanigans is deep.
Thanks for the kind encouragement this morning on the puppy thread. I had to go to work so dropped off early.
I’m known to be a risk taker and normally roll pretty well with everything. I’m just tired, and my roll-with-it reserves are low right now. But every day is a new one, and I really am looking forward to your book! And in the meantime I can print out what you wrote and put it where I can see it as a reminder.
another Holocene human
@thefax: seconded. God.
another Holocene human
@EZSmirkzz: Calling a halt to civil forfeiture bullshit earns more than a goddamn D in my book.
The majority of people can’t intellectually comprehend the reality that Republicans do not WANT to actively govern.
That’s the problem with Dem voters: They project their own competent/forward-thinking framework onto Republicans… and then punish the only Democrat politicians who recognize and confront the reality of Republican politicians.
Normal Dem voter: “How could R’s actually be that bad? They just believe. How couldn’t they be worked with?”
Total BS. People need to wake the front door up.
Yeah, this is key. Running the Democratic side of the aisle may be like herding cats, but it’s the inevitable result of actually encouraging thought. I don’t see how you can match Republican discipline without ultimately turning into the same pool of lobotomized zombies that their current voter base is.