My Election Facebook Update

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Steven Clemons:

Can it really be possible that every single issue I care about — from DADT, to jobs and infrastructure, to smarter foreign policy strategy, Iran, China, Afghanistan War, Israel/Palestine, Cuba, Syria, energy-led innovation projects, climate, the broader Middle East, to global economic rebalancing, to global institutional reform, the START Treaty, Law of the Seas, WMD non-proliferation, Russia, Brazil, Turkey just got worse?
Looks like it.

– Steve Clemons
Follow me on Twitter @SCClemons

Comments

85 comments on “My Election Facebook Update

  1. DakotabornKansan says:

    The Virtues of Selfishness

    Reply

  2. DonS says:

    “Why should any person have a right to anything other than what he or she contributes, produces, creates?” (drew)
    Perhaps we should just euthanize the young, the old, the handicapped, and, of course, the unemployed? At home and abroad of course.
    Now that’s really insane. Or is it realpolitik?

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Why should any person have a right to anything other than what he or she contributes, produces, creates?”
    Does that mean you advocate cutting these bloodsucking leeches in Israel off?
    And what about the inexplicable amount of multi-millionaires currently steering our ship of state? You think thier performance actually supports the premise that they have somehow EARNED this money?

    Reply

  4. Dan Kervick says:

    “Why should any person have a right to anything other than what he or she contributes, produces, creates?”
    Why indeed? But why would you assume that the amount that a person is currently getting paid represents the value of what they contribute, produce or create. You have an extraordinary faith in the propriety, efficiency and integrity of the private market. It seems no amount of actual evidence of sheer flim-flam and extortion will shake the modern rights hold on their comforting security blanket of market religion.
    But if you have ever been on a team, you know there is a balance to be struck between specially rewarding the special excellence of the stars, and keeping the team moving forward together. There are special trophies at the end for the stars, but many of the obligations and rewards need to be shared equally for the team to function as a cohesive unit.
    But I know that for some of the psychopathically selfish, sharing is always “ominous”; as is teamwork of any kind, since it involves being absorbed into the “collective”.

    Reply

  5. Dan Kervick says:

    “This is economically illiterate. A company budget describes a fixed, limited resource.”
    “A creative economy creates value out of thin air.”
    “Fixed resource”? Talk about economically illiterate. Where do you think the creation of wealth is taking place, drew? Mainly inside companies. I have seen creative destruction in action. I have seen large numbers of people fired and various operational budgets slashed. I have seen new operations created and new talent and workers brought in. I know very well how the new initiatives will create value on the wreckage of the old, and that the company survives and grows by adapting and changing.
    A company budget is hardly a fixed and limited resource. It is constantly in flux, both in overall terms and in terms of the percentages of the budget that are directed to different parts of the firm, and to expenditures on costs that are never fixed. One of those costs consists in wages and salaries. How are those salaries set? People bargain for them; they negotiate. Usually individually, but sometimes collectively. In the current buyer’s market for labor, the employees have limited bargaining power. In a more competitive labor market, employees can demand a better price or threaten to go elsewhere.
    The company’s productive pie is constantly evolving; the kinds and volume of output change constantly; productivity rates are always shifting. And in the dsiposition of the income that comes in from the great productive pie that is baked, *decisions* are made, by *human beings* about how to distribute that income. And there is no magic Blue Book of Life that says how much everyone and every job is worth. It’s worth whatever any given employee manages to bargain the firm into paying him.
    I’m not sure what you mean by a “free agent”. But it doesn’t seem to me that there is any such thing. The value that is produced by human enterprise certainly depends on creative thinking at every level. But it is also based on a combination of executive and management decisions and discipline, organization and teamwork – as well as lots and lots of hard, grubby not terribly creative, nose to the gridstone work.
    The value that a firm is able to produce and retain, the exchange value of which it is able to to deliver to its employees and stakeholders, does depend on a lot of individual initiative, and the things that happen inside the company. But it depends on other things as well: it depends on basic security – on the fact that the company can put things in its warehouse or ship them elsewhere on trucks without fighting off marauders and pirates; it depends on the fact that it is able to draw from a large pool of potential employees who have not just been educated in public and private schools outside that company, but have been socialized by numerous parents, neighbors, coaches and mentors to function in an organized, civilized and cooperative setting; it depends on the ability to ship goods over long distances via roads, rails, canals, bridges, tunnels airports and ports that are networked and managed, and often involve a level of public investment that could never have been organized by any private investor – or at least not by any private investor who had not succeeded in making *himself* the effective government.
    And then of course there are all of those very important areas in which value is not so much created, but preserved, by the power of law and cooperative social action. Part of what any civilized society does in governing itself is confine commerce to certain areas, so that it can protect its homes, its works of art, its memories and historical antiquities and the abundant gifts of nature from the ceaseless, creatively destructive rampage of commerce.
    So there you go. Value. A lot of individual initiative, sure. But it’s mainly a team effort. Nothing is atomized and hermetically sealed. It’s a fantastic and mutually interdependent social system. The whole team has a stake in the outcome, and all of the members of the team have some claim on a share of the wealth that is produced by the team effort. How much of a share? That’s one of the things which have to struggle, haggle and negotiate over. But it’s very naive to think that the appropriate measure is whatever happens to be written on the last paycheck that the gods of the economy might have deigned to deliver too you.
    The modern “conservative” is a sad, angry and morosely alienated figure. In fact, it is hard to describe them even as conservative anymore, because they are so averse to cooperative action that they don’t even no how to *conserve* the things of value that already exist. They have steeped themselves in an a perverse and unsustainable anti-social ideology that is far to the right of Adam Smith and even Frederick Hayek. That’s why my hopes are not dashed by temporary electoral reversals at the hands of these miserable and misanthropic zealots. Human history doesn’t give any evidence for the claim that the future belongs to those who don’t play well with others; to those who can’t cooperate, who disdain sharing, and who are so far locked into their narcissistic and paranoid “free agency” that they don’t even understand the functions of human society.
    Of course, maybe they will actually succeed wrecking this society, and continue to separate, atomize and de-socialize the human beings in America, turning us all into a bunch of drama queen Garbos who only want to be “left alone”. But I tend to think that people who just want to be left alone generally get what they wish for, and end up sitting covered with cobwebs in some corner, so the world can go on without them.

    Reply

  6. drew says:

    And this, DK, is simply ominous. Evidently you think that you
    have the right to demand the reward and property of people who
    produce more than you do. Is the “national product” a big stew
    of everyone’s productivity and property, to be better allocated
    according to an enlightened few? This kind of talk rejects even
    leftist social democracy, and moves directly to a authoritarian
    dystopia.
    “Nobody is just going to *hand you* some perfectly apportioned
    and ideally rational share of the national product. When the pie
    is being cut, you have to put you heavy paws down on the table
    with a loud thud, and demand your cut. Otherwise, someone else
    will walk away with more when no one is looking.”
    Why should any person have a right to anything other than what
    he or she contributes, produces, creates? And where — where -
    - in any constitutional reading do you find support for the idea
    that the gross national product should not be owned by the
    people who produce it?

    Reply

  7. drew says:

    DBK, Frank is provincial because he doesn’t understand the core
    values of his own subject region, and he would prefer that (in lieu
    of understanding them) people would just think about class envy
    and transfer politics in the same manner that he does.
    Well, they don’t. So we live out here, and he doesn’t. He should
    probably preach his “take someone else’s money and labor” schtick
    in environments where no one produces anything, because it will
    make more sense to them. There are entire economies based on
    taking other people’s property and smearing it around for people
    who don’t produce anything. These economies, today, exist within
    50 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific, and a few places that used to
    produce things out of metal but today are welfare sinkholes. There
    are 150 million people in these places; they comprise good places
    in which Frank may concentrate his energies.

    Reply

  8. drew says:

    “It’s fighting for a fair piece of the action. In a company everyone
    knows that when department budgets are under discussion and
    up for grabs, your own department has to fight for the budget it
    wants, because every other department is fighting like crazy for
    the budget they want.”
    This is economically illiterate. A company budget describes a
    fixed, limited resource.
    A creative economy creates value out of thin air.
    The only way your statement makes sense is if you think all value
    and all largesse and all benefit necessarily flows from
    government, which, like your corporate budgeting process,
    describes a zero sum game.
    Anyone who has ever built a company (or succeeded at farming
    or worked for a good company) knows that value and wealth are
    not allocated by overseers, they are created by free agents.

    Reply

  9. DakotabornKansan says:
  10. questions says:

    I hate percentage….
    Landmass, or population…. They are different. That Wyoming is red is fairly meaningless.
    That newly red states will turn purple or blue again is a given.
    That people who want to be left alone suddenly are flipping out is hilarious. The Republicans don’t leave people alone. They impose moralizing laws, they invade personal relationships, they declare wars, they force us to get necessities from oligarchic corporate privatized sources far from control of democratic preference.
    T’aint no “alone” there.
    The fiction that the private economy is full of choice and splendor, “aloneness” and strength, is just kooky.
    No one is alone, no one gets by without services provided by someone, dependence on someone. THE GUMMINT is a silly target when there are so many other powers that force us under penalty of great deprivation or inability to function to part with our money.
    The government is the countervailing force we need to guarantee that we aren’t fed poison, we aren’t drinking poison, we aren’t breathing poison…. The government’s job is to care for the well being of people. A corporation’s job is to make money. If caring makes money, so be it. But caring doesn’t make as much money as corner-cutting does. This is a huge problem.
    Further, corporations don’t really generally ask us about our preferences. Though dollars are a little like votes, they aren’t completely the same. I might be able to vote coke dollars or pepsi dollars, but I might not be able to vote no high fructose corn syrup — strike that — no corn sugar in my coke or pepsi even though I really like coke or pepsi. I also have a hard time getting coke or pepsi to be more careful of water use in India. I also have a hard time getting coke or pepsi out of schools.
    It takes a government’s power to push back, to give people AS CITIZENS a voice, not as consumers.
    Consumers use objects that are provided, and merely choose among the provisions. Citizens get to determine what is provided, and why anything at all should be the way it is.
    Citizenship is far more fundamental than is consumership. And we should really really learn the difference between the two, and learn how to value each properly.

    Reply

  11. Dan Kervick says:

    It’s not envy, Drew. It’s fighting for a fair piece of the action. In a company everyone knows that when department budgets are under discussion and up for grabs, your own department has to fight for the budget it wants, because every other department is fighting like crazy for the budget they want. That’s the way it goes. It’s politics; and it’s universal.
    It works the same way in American society as a whole, and every other society. You have to be a squeaky wheel and you have to push. Nobody is just going to *hand you* some perfectly apportioned and ideally rational share of the national product. When the pie is being cut, you have to put you heavy paws down on the table with a loud thud, and demand your cut. Otherwise, someone else will walk away with more when no one is looking.
    The richest 20% of Americans have about 85% of the wealth; If the rest of us don’t fight to claw some of it back, soon it will be 90%, and the 95%. That’s how it goes. Those with the power to take will take all within their power. The only way to stop them is to constitute a countervailing power that can stop them.
    I don’t know what kind of economy all these people who “want to be left alone” live in. I guess it’s near the land of Oz, where some deity or wizard distributes to all exactly what they merit. But where I live, people take it for granted that you have to fight for what you get.

    Reply

  12. David Billington says:

    To my previous post I would like to add on the other side of the ledger that if the economy does improve in the way that it did before President Reagan’s reelection in 1984, some of President Obama’s strengths could work to his advantage and that of his party. Although obviously very different from Reagan philosophically, like him Obama has tried to be consistent with his view of government.
    Defending his domestic record may be easier for Obama if it is true that the American people dislike health care reform in the abstract but favor key specific parts when these are underlined. The voters who defected from his coalition did so mainly because they saw little to show for the trillion or so spent to revive the economy, not because of a permanent objection to greater regulation of Wall Street.
    If the economy eases eighteen months from now, voters may see more clearly the merits as well as the drawbacks of the President’s record on these longer-term questions that have defined so much of his agenda. The country could also benefit if Republicans have to present their own long-term answers as well as criticisms.

    Reply

  13. DakotabornKansan says:

    Provincialism of Thomas Frank?

    Reply

  14. drew says:

    If you want potholes, you’d best go blue.
    http://global.nationalreview.com/dest/2010/11/05/842f66dabe12
    ebfec773311130110fa7.jpg

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You can drive for three days now and not enter a democrat-held congressional district”
    Be sure to count the potholes, and the disintegrating bridges.
    3.8 billion a week for Afghanistan alone, and we are going to up the ante in Yemen. Mreanwhile, anyone think the incoming scum will honor any promises the eunich Obama made about getting out of Iraq?

    Reply

  16. drew says:

    Maybe 90% of the U.S. landmass is now red. You can drive for
    three days now and not enter a democrat-held congressional
    district. If the republican establishment doesn’t keep its word,
    so to speak, with the fiscal rebels that delivered this win for
    them, they’all have primary opponents (as did Crist, resulting in
    Rubio), or they’ll be destroyed by the third party that the TP’ers
    will spawn.
    People who want to be left alone and the government pared
    down in scope and ambition consider envy a sin and transfer
    politics a form of state-sponsored theft. That Tom Frank thinks
    that they should instead have the thoughts and values of, say, a
    class warrior unionized worker in Cambridge, Mass is well and
    good. But if he really wanted to be convincing he would move to
    some unfashionable spot and proselytize for his point of view.
    It’s this very provincialism of people like Frank (people in Kansas
    should think like people in Cambridge) (presented as
    enlightened balm for the unfortunate, uneducated provincials)
    that gives us an electoral map now in which 90% of the country
    is now red. Meanwhile, the president says the elections on
    Tuesday were not about him, just his inability to communicate
    the complexity and virtue that is HE to the great unwashed.
    Being devoted to the cause of the Kansans, it is now time for him
    to fly 850 people to India to stay at a 5-star hotel for a week-
    and-a-half.
    If the Democrats don’t move back to the center, or find a way to
    repeal the Electoral College, they are going to pack a few states
    with red state democrat refugees, and be defunct as a political
    influence. It won’t do them much good to win their half-dozen
    states and win the popular vote, if the Senate, and the electoral
    college, still exist.

    Reply

  17. DakotabornKansan says:

    It

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    POA, the opposite actually.
    If AIPAC is irrelevant, and American Jews don’t give a shit, then maybe our I/P policy comes from a whole range of other concerns….
    Why not read the MJ thing (it’s at TPM Cafe), and quote from it and interpret it and tell me what it’s really about if it’s not about the irrelevance of AIPAC…..
    Remember, Fleschler did a whole book about AIPAC’s not quite MJ-ness. He noted that fear of an AIPAC challenge was more the issue than AIPAC’s actual power (power is something of presto-magico-illusion making). Note that I have long pushed the scholarship on this issue — interest groups do not work the way that journalists suggest they do. Note that there are two wonderful blogs, the Jonathan Bernstein blog and the Monkey Cage, that take a more rational line on many political/congressional issues. Note that the self-financed campaigns did pretty badly. I think only Fla’s gov worked out, and there’s was a whole lot of other stuff going on in Fla besides Scott’s money. Note that there’s a whole new book about lobbying and policy that differs from the journalist line…..
    Fact is, AIPAC and other interest groups work very differently from how activists and journalists think. Once you have data, you have to change your conclusions.
    But hold on to your fears of an AIPAC planet if you like. You do like, clearly.
    And remember, that’s The Honorable Schakowsky! And she was TARGETED by the omnipotent and omniscient crowd over at AIPAC!!!!!!!
    *****
    Regarding the plane bombs and the alleged “changing stories” meme…. Ummm, ok, so THEY are able to set up this whole fake bomb conspiracy, but they FUCKING FORGET to use accurate addresses, and they FUCKING FORGET to check to see that UPS and FED EX have direct flights and they can’t FUCKING REMEMBER to keep their stories straight, but they are FUCKING GENIUSES at cooking up scary stories to help justify all or some of the following:
    The right to shoot up a country we’ve already been shooting up
    The restoration of the Republicans in the House (which of course Obama really wanted)
    The continuation of anti-Islam policies that we were continuing anyway
    The staying in Iraq and Afgh even longer — so clearly it made sense to Yemenize
    ….
    Who has an interest in faking this? It makes no sense at all. In fact, the bombing is a continuation of a long narrative that makes a lot of sense.
    Yes, there are “bad guys” who would like us out of their countries. Sadly, it’s a little more complicated than beating a hasty retreat. We’re superstuck and their tactics are changing as one would assume they would.
    Not even Pape thinks a total exit is a great idea, and he probably knows a little more about this than the average reader of…. Our presence at some level is crucial, determining that level is difficult, and reducing it enough to stop pissing people off while still being effective when the regional players include Pakistan and Saudi Arabia…. Ugh.

    Reply

  19. nadine says:

    Then the Tea Party is still very much alive and kicking, little as you might like it.

    Reply

  20. Dan Kervick says:

    Going third party *is* flaming out Nadine. That’s where political movements go to die.

    Reply

  21. nadine says:

    “>If the Tea Party had gone third party …”
    By 2012, they very well might.” (Dan Kervick)
    Didn’t you just say they were flaming out? Guess that was more of wish than a prediction.
    If the Republicans don’t get spending cut religion in a hurry, the Tea Party might indeed go third party. The Republicans are on probation. For the moment, they seem to know it.

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    “In the House, 130 Tea Party-backed candidates ran, and just 40 so far have won.”
    Who did they run against? Mostly entrenched Democrats, including long-serving committee chairmen, who hadn’t faced a hard race in decades. Keeping that context in mind, they did very well. Would I liked to have seen Barney Frank defeated? Sure. But Obestar and Skelton are gone. A year ago, who on either side of the aisle would have thought that was possible?

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    “If the Tea Party had gone third party …”
    By 2012, they very well might.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    “The Tea Party appears to have peaked several months ago, and is already in the process of partially flaming out. ”
    Brave words only two days after the Dems got slaughtered at the polls. Over 60 seats in the House! It was due to Tea Party enthusiasm that the midterm voters went +9% Republican. If the Tea Party had gone third party they would have destroyed the Republican party.

    Reply

  25. Dan Kervick says:

    The Tea Party appears to have peaked several months ago, and is already in the process of partially flaming out. Republicans failed to make the really big dent in the Senate they were hoping for, and the high-profile TP candidates seem to have lost their moxie as the fall dragged on. And Sarah Palin’s prospects were damaged by the election.
    It all went downhill when the Tea Party nominated O’Donnell and showed the country they are not grownups ready for prime time governance. It’s going to be interesting, because the Tea Party was providing a lot of the gas in the Republican tank; but now that tank seems to have sprung a leak just as the car has pulled up to the checkered flag. As the election got close you could sense the national party telling the Tea Party, “Thank you very much; but we’ll take it from here.”

    Reply

  26. Don Bacon says:

    nadine: “The Tea Party effect was huge.”
    from nbc:
    For all the talk of the Tea Party

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads. Well, if the American Jews couldn’t care less, and AIPAC is irrelevent, then our policies towards Israel are just a bit inexplicable, eh?
    Or, uh, perhaps AIPAC ISN’T irrelevent, and our Congress couldn’t give less of a shit what American Jews want, prefering instead to give a shit about what ISRAEL wants.
    And questions, spinning Rosen’s essay into the disingenuous bit of horseshit that Rosen thinks AIPAC is “irrelevent” is one of the more intellectually dishonest bits of garbage I’ve yet seen you offer. You seein’ Nadine on the side?
    Rosen thinks AIPAC is irrelevent??? Maybe in your weirdest wet dreams, but not in reality.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    McConnell to Obama — “Shove it”.
    Obama to McConnell– “Please do, but you’ll need to get in line behind Hillary and Bibi”.

    Reply

  29. Don Bacon says:

    McConnell to Obama — shove it
    WASHINGTON — Barely an hour after President Barack Obama invited congressional Republicans to post-election talks to work together on major issues, the Senate’s GOP leader had a blunt message: His party’s main goal is denying Obama re-election.
    Sen. Mitch McConnell on Thursday called for Senate votes to repeal or erode Obama’s signature health care law, to cut spending and to shrink government.
    “The only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things,” McConnell said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

    Reply

  30. questions says:

    Actually, oops, from Monkey Cage….

    Reply

  31. questions says:

    STOP THE PRESSES:
    “This year, the coalition targeted two Democrats

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    AIPAC Statement on the 2010 Midterm Election Results (PDF, 32k)
    http://www.aipac.org/Publications/2010MidtermElections.pdf

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    Don, the fact that only 40% of voters vote in midterms does not invalidate surveys of voters; by definition, only the opinions of voters count in elections.
    You can argue whether more voters have really become conservative now, or whether they retain their previous values but Obama has yanked the signposts to the left. But you have no basis for arguing the poll is invalid just because you don’t like the results.
    But by all means, continue in denial. The Dems are doing fine, just fine! the midterms were a total aberration by crazy voters! IOW you shouldn’t change a thing.

    Reply

  34. Don Bacon says:

    Voter turnout is a key factor in elections, obviously, and since turnout is low (less than fifty percent) one should be careful in extrapolating voter sentiment to the entire electorate. (In fact, don’t do it.)
    Only about 21% of ther electorate approves of the Congress (RCP ave.) so it’s amazing to me that turnout is as high as it is. Over half the electorate votes ‘none of the above’ and who knows why, their reasons probably differ wildly.
    Turnout:
    2006 41%
    2008 63% (presidential)
    2010 42% (6.2m more than 2006)
    A key turnout factor in the recent election is that only 9 million young people (18-29) voted compared with 23m in 2008, a decrease of 14 million people many of whom voted for Obama in 2008. Apparently Obama didn’t donate his rolodex to the recent cause. It would have made a major difference if the Dems had energized the “change” people but — what would they have energized them with? is the question.

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  35. Don Bacon says:

    nadine’s entire comment about William Galston at TNR and the ideological composition of the electorate, as determined by voting patterns, is weak. I wouldn’t take it seriously.
    1. Galston seems unaware that the electorate is the people who are qualified to vote, and only about half of the electorate votes in a mid-term, so voters represent only about half of the electorate.
    2. Statements like: “In 2006, those who voted were 32 percent conservative, 47 percent moderate, and 20 percent liberal” are meaningless. I imagine these scientific-looking statistics were obtained by exit interviews of actual voters, asking them if ther are c, m or l, but we have no way of knowing how the polls were conducted or what questions were asked to identify that “moderates” decreased by 17% between 2006 and 2010, for example.
    3. The whole notion that a member of the electorate is either conservative, moderate or liberal is questionable. Many Americans have conservative values. They don’t like radical changes. Many of the same people want access to health care, education, employment and a safe environment. So these titles are bogus, like we come in three colors or three sizes and must fit in somebody’s theoretical box.
    4. Galston: “In 1992, moderates were 43 percent of the total; in 2006, 38 percent; today, only 35 percent.” Mark Twain on statistics: “Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.’”

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  36. David Billington says:

    I think Steve Clemons has reason to be pessimistic about the issues he lists. But the
    lesson I would draw from this election is the need for greater focus in Washington and
    not a multitude of issues pursued concurrently. Of course, some of these issues cannot
    be postponed, but energy and emphasis must be found to address economic concerns
    more centrally and more persuasively.
    Over the next two years, Washington seems fated to endure greater confrontation
    between the two parties. The Democrats have real cause for concern:
    First, if unemployment stays at ten percent, independent voters will abandon Democrats
    in rustbelt states critical to an electoral college majority. Foreign policy may continue to
    be a marginal concern but could reinforce negative impressions of Obama because he
    doesn’t have any good choices: if he stays in Afghanistan, he alienates his left, but if he
    leaves the country to an unrepentent Taliban/al-Qaida, he alienates everyone else.
    Second, Democrats have to defend 21 Senate seats in 2012 and Republicans have to
    defend only 10, and the 10 are all safe Republican seats. It is a near-certainty that
    Republicans will retake the Senate in 2012. It is less clear that tea party candidates who
    replace more moderate conservatives in the Senate primaries can win election, and still
    less that Republicans will take enough seats to break filibusters. But with a simple
    majority in the Senate a more militant Republican caucus could revisit the so-called
    nuclear option (to abolish the filibuster by simple majority and let the Supreme Court
    decide the constitutionality of doing so) in 2013.
    Between now and election day 2012 is still a long time. Republicans could alienate
    centrist voters if to meet tea party demands they shut down key parts of the
    government, and the pledge that tea party candidates made to their own supporters not
    to deficit spend will be tested in the spring if the federal government really will default
    on its obligations unless the national debt ceiling is raised. But it may be a lot to expect
    that Republican defeats in these things, if they occur, will be enough to sustain the
    Democrats in the fall of 2012 if the economic rebound does not bring back jobs.
    Hoping for the Republicans to self-destruct is not a strategy and cannot take the place
    of a stronger and less complacent Democratic vision for the economy.

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    William Galston at TNR: “It’s the Ideology, Stupid”
    “The ideological composition of the electorate shifted dramatically. In 2006, those who voted were 32 percent conservative, 47 percent moderate, and 20 percent liberal. In 2010, by contrast, conservatives had risen to 41 percent of the total and moderates declined to 39 percent, while liberals remained constant at 20 percent. And because, in today

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    “nadine, indeed I thought something similar, though without quite as much jargon!”
    Really, then why did you say
    “What if those groups had never materialized? Would it have jeopardized the Republican gains?
    The short answer is “no.” ?
    Recognizing that monkeycage ignored the national Tea Party effect invalidates your conclusion. The actual generic vote was an unprecedented +9% Republican. Something like 35% of voters said they supported the Tea Party. The Tea Party effect was huge.

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    nadine, indeed I thought something similar, though without quite as much jargon!
    I think we have to wait and see how attractive the Tea Party is once it tries something vaguely like governance. It’s a different beast to “return” the country to the corpulent white men, or to “go back” to the Constitution (in all its true non-clarity), or to simplify or whatever when there are actual constituents making actual demands, actual contracts that actually have to be paid, and some actual nutcases like M. Bachman whose 200,000,000 dollar Obama India trip per diem meme is the guiding if utterly inaccurate and wildly overwroght mot du jour.
    Seriously, how do you “govern” when you think things that are so out of the ball park?
    Others figured out just how little interested Repubs often are in actual governance given their politico-philosophical preference for drowning the “thing” in the bathtub. But, in fact, people do make demands on the gov’t and it has to respond with institutional might to those demands or the MCs will lose their jobs.
    The ‘pubs will exit eventually as they don’t govern effectively.
    Or they will defer every cut for, say, 20 or 30 years and enjoy their careers and pensions while leaving a time bomb for the next dem….
    Been there, done that.
    By the way, the tax cuts are likely mostly here to stay. We HATE LOSS more than we love equal gain. Taxes feel like losses even when they are exchanged for civilization. We love the gifts of civilization less than we HATE the loss of the taxes….
    This is a permafeature. Sometimes we get around it when money is earmarked for schools, but often not.
    “Obamacare” might lose part of the mandate, might lose some feature somewhere that no one is wedded to, but try and repeal age 26, the end of rescission, the end of pre-existing condition restrictions, the end of lifetime limits, the state exchanges that compile the info in easy to read websites and help us compare plans, the well-care coverage…and we’ll start bitching!
    Seriously, my insurance is better than it was, the premium increase is low, and I am a happy ACA camper!
    There is a poster on 538refugees.com who did a really really nice summation of the health care issues. From asking what we do about infectious diseases and medical emergencies — cover or let infect/die on the hospital steps…through the fact that it’s cheaper to prevent…through the fact that the mandate makes people pay their way responsibly and upfront, and you can see the broad outlines of the ACA. It’s a wonderful post. In the archives, by now?

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    Fred Barnes makes a key observation:
    “Ten Democrats whose seats are up in 2012 come from right-leaning states or saw their states scoot to the right this week: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Jon Tester of Montana, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
    It

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    questions, this was a good comment on the themonkeycage analysis: “John, I like the analysis, but a cross-sectional model like that won’t be able to identify if the Tea Party movement had a national effect, raising or lowering GOP vote share in all districts (on average). It would just be rolled into the constant.”
    So if you remember that he is ignoring national Tea Party effect, the fact that he can identify an extra 1.3% of the vote for the most Tea Party affiliated candidates is rather significant. Many races were won or lost by less than that.

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    And this, just posted, on the Tea Party effect:
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2010/11/how_much_did_the_tea_party_hel.html
    “With those important caveats in place, the provisional conclusion is this: in 2010, affiliating with the Tea Party helped GOP candidates win an additional 1% of the vote.”
    Interesting reading.

    Reply

  43. Jim says:

    Per Don Bacon: The government still doesn’t get it. It will create and spend another Six Hundred Billion Dollars — $2,000 for every man, woman and child — on a fantasy.
    Fed policy is deeply flawed. Geithner is doing more harm than good. The Fed is creating investment capital outflows from the US which are flooding emerging markets with excess liquidity.
    Hence EM govts are concerned about resulting inflation and asset bubbles.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/business/global/05global.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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  44. questions says:

    Via Bernstein:
    “What if those groups had never materialized? Would it have jeopardized the Republican gains?
    The short answer is “no.” If we use a basic model to predict the outcome (previous vote, presidential vote, money, and incumbency), and then substitute a measure of spending that doesn’t include the outside expenditures, the difference is two seats…for the Republicans! That is, the Republicans would have done a little better without the outside expenditures. While this is a cute result, the real message (given uncertainty in the estimates, blah, blah) is that the effect of all that outside spending was a big, fat zero.
    Note that this analysis assumes outside spending is just as effective as other kinds of spending. So I’m not saying that the independent ads were somehow inept or hit the wrong themes. Rather, it’s more likely that outside spending was more balanced than the media reports implied. The average independent expenditure for Democratic candidates (either for that candidate or against his/her opponent) was about $240,000. The average for Republican candidates? About $225,000. Even if we restrict the analysis to candidates receiving at least a million dollars in outside spending, the average for Republicans was about $1.6M and for Democrats about $1.8M. ”
    From The Monkey Cage:
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2010/11/nuclear_whac-a-mole.html
    And this one:
    “If you had one thing, and one thing only, to predict which Democratic House incumbents would lose their seats in 2010, what would you take? The amount of money they raised? Their TARP vote? Their health care vote? Whether they had a Tea Party opponent? A Nazi reenactor opponent?
    …..
    “In all 402 contested House elections, the 2008 presidential vote in that district would explain 83% of the variation in the Democratic House candidate’s vote share. Nothing else in our dataset comes close.”
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2010/11/back_to_basics_districts_and_d.html
    ****
    Ok, so add The Monkey Cage to your bookmarks as well and read it every day.
    It’s a great antidote to the daily news.

    Reply

  45. questions says:

    “Why should anyone care about a little pessimism? Because Democrats wound up with a relatively lousy crop of candidates in 1996 who were unable to take advantage of Clinton’s popularity and Newt’s disasters. ”
    http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-day-rising-case-for-democratic.html
    Read Jonathan Bernstein every day!
    Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment.
    It’s time to find state senators who can run for the House, statehouse members who can run for the state senates, find community members who are convinced that helping people is good and who have helped people.
    Get some teacher onto the school boards, even.
    Find them, train them, fund them.
    The GOP pulled a lot of people out of the woodwork for the House. Many were untrained and so fringy in their views they tanked. But many made it in anyway.
    There will be a need to help one another in 2 years. If the economy rises, we’ll need one kind of help and if it tanks we’ll need another.
    Find people who can speak to cooperation, to service, to being regular and ready to lend a hand, who know what it’s like when gov’t succeeds AND when it fails so they can help set reasonable regulations.
    Rational regulations, rational gov’t, there when you need it, and gone when you don’t need it, instead of the opposite.
    Remember, the ‘pubs put the gov’t in places we don’t want it and are absent precisely when we are desperate for regulations.
    Turn the ‘pubs on their head….
    The time for recruitment is this week. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of thought and a lot of listening tours and policy training and brushing up on just where it is in the Constitution that “religion” is mentioned and where in the Constitution “guns” are mentioned!!!!
    Someone in the hedge fund universe, someone in the democratic hierarchy, someone out there, needs to fund the training.
    NAF?? Any fellowships for policy wonks who are camera-ready?
    Every think tank wonky institution should be fishing for souls of local folk who could be successful at the district level.
    Every new ‘pub is vulnerable in 2 years. The time to start getting famous in your district is now.
    We also need to start protecting the Senate right here and right now.
    Strategic votes need to be planned and readied in timely fashion.
    Stop sleeping, and start moving, and stop bickering.

    Reply

  46. Don Bacon says:

    DKos has a diary on how Harry Reid (really!) ran a strong campaign in Nevada. excerpt:
    Reid’s frontal assault on GOP racism isn’t textbook DLC “be like a Republican” stuff or even textbook Obama “let’s all get along” stuff. It is old school, hardball, walkin-around money, ward boss “whose side are you on?” kill-the-enemy Democratic politics. I love it. God help me, I love it. — brooklynbadboy
    http://tinyurl.com/27yehft
    This was never Obama. He made it clear long ago he was neither a fighter nor an idealogue.

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  47. Don Bacon says:

    Obama:
    “We just had a tough election. We will have another in 2012. I

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  48. WigWag says:

    “Can it really be possible that every single issue I care about… just got worse?” (Steve Clemons)
    From your perspective, I can understand why you feel that way, Steve.
    During the campaign, our new Senator, Marco Rubio, announced in an interview with the Conservative Magazine, “Human Events” that he would do everything in his power to fight any opening to Cuba while the Castro brothers remained in charge. He promised to oppose the lifting of the economic embargo and to oppose lifting travel restrictions to Cuba.
    The new chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, feels precisely the same way. Like Rubio, she was born on the Island and is staunchly anti-Castro. Whatever openings to Cuba there might have been had Obama acted faster now appear dead; at least for now.
    Our new Senator has also announced that he is leaving for a tour of Israel this coming Sunday; which is only 5 days after his election victory. While in Israel he will pay a visit to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak and many other Israeli dignitaries. I am sure that Senator-Elect Rubio will also get the usual helicopter tour led by one or more Generals in the IDF. When asked whether he planned to visit the West Bank, his answer was a terse

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  49. larry birnbaum says:

    I don’t agree, exactly. Obama is learning reality lessons. Objective
    political conditions will now make it harder to make progress
    domestically and economically, where I probably agree with all or
    most of what you do. In foreign policy, I believe his approach (and
    yours) was always based on wishful thinking about the values and
    nature of our adversaries. Now that he’s learning otherwise I
    believe we’ll have much better success because our policies will be
    more reality-based.
    Of course I hope you learn too but that’s less important.

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  50. Paul Norheim says:

    Speaking of escape options, I don’t want to boast, but here’s the
    latest…ahem… communist propaganda from the evil, terrorist-
    friendly, Jew-hating and illegitimate UN today:
    “Oil-rich Norway remains the best country in the world to live in,
    while Zimbabwe, afflicted by economic crisis and AIDS, is the
    least desirable, according to an annual UN rating released
    Thursday.
    The assessment came in a so-called human development index,
    a measure of wellbeing published by the UN Development
    Program for the past 20 years that combines individual
    economic prosperity with education levels and life expectancy.
    The UNDP placed Norway, Australia and New Zealand at the top
    and Niger

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    Slightly unrelated, POA: 30 years ago I remember reading a
    notice in the papers about a young couple who feared a nuclear
    armageddon, and wanted to escape to some remote island. They
    studied the world atlas, and eventually chose the idyllic Falkland
    Islands outside Argentine. They moved and settled down there -
    and a couple of months later, all hell broke loose with the
    Falkland war between Argentine and England…
    The moral? Perhaps that there’s no hiding place left. Or that
    home is as safe as anywhere…
    Well, except if you’re unfortunate enough to live in Saana, or
    Tehran, or Beirut, or Tel Aviv, or Gaza…or…or…

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  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yes, Paul and Carroll, New Zealand IS attractive. Trouble is, the amount of money they want you to come in with. I HAVE checked it out, long ago.
    Looked into Costa Rica as well, and a number of other options.

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  53. DonS says:

    So, we’ve got fools like DeMint and Palin feeling like the tide is going their direction. That doesn’t spell less government, more freedom. It spells repression of civil liberties, especially for immigrants, LGBT, “intellectuals” (educators, scientists), more war. The only more government we will get are paramilitaries and surveillance. These testosterone fueled teabaggers and other RW bots may think they are returning the country to ‘sanity’, but they are advancing it towards greater athoritarian control.

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  54. drew says:

    Obama’s principal accomplishment, other than increasing the
    government’s share of the economy by 30+% in 20 months, to
    the point where Britain and Germany have *smaller*
    governments (as a percentage of GDP) than we do is this. He has
    presided over a 34 point swing in the independent vote, from
    Democrat to Republican. And he has caused a 28% increase in
    the number of Americans who self-identify as Conservative
    (32%, 2006; 41%, 2010).
    This didn’t all happen on November 2, as though it were some
    mysterious weather event that appeared out of the clouds. This
    happened months ago, and likely the inflection point was the
    contempt for process and public will that enabled the health
    care law to be passed. Why Washington mandarins have so little
    regard for electorate is beyond me, except that it’s obvious that
    they make a living presiding over, not serving, the public
    interest.
    It’s fine for the left to assert that they will now self-organize an
    anti-anti-government weather event of its own, but where will
    they get the people to do that? I suppose that they can mobilize
    people who neither produce anything nor pay any taxes nor
    usually vote — but the problem remains that the country’s
    producers and net-taxpayers self-identify (in a plurality) as
    conservative. So that grand march, to be led by Dean, I guess,
    will just force the rest of the independents, working Democrats,
    and RINOs farther and harder to the right.
    To win an election in a two-party system, one must capture the
    independents, and the independents have jobs and pay taxes
    and think that the government, consuming 44% of GDP, is
    already too big, to detached, and way too stupid. They’ll have no
    choice. Nobody can work any harder to pay for the transfer
    politics of the hard left, and the debt markets are a couple of
    years from being tapped out now.
    Even in his remarks yesterday Obama pushed these people
    farther to the right, as those remarks may be summed up as,
    “People are scared so they’re not able to appreciate all of my
    achievements, because they just don’t understand how beneficial
    my efforts are to them.” His narcissism is veering close to the
    sociopathic. Oh, and now he’s leaving on a $200mm/day golf
    trip to the other side of the world. Cool! At least he’s grounded
    himself in the concerns and values of the nation, and exemplifies
    in his behavior a recognition that he is a public servant,
    obligated to rebuild the trust of the people that he held 24
    months ago.
    I expect that the McConnell/Graham/Rovian Republicans will
    prove Obama’s best friends, as they furiously scramble now to
    co-opt the new hires in the Congress, and cause them to bolt
    their marriage of convenience with the Republicans. The way to
    restore Democrat fortunes is to cause the Tea Party and its
    socially liberal, fiscally conservative element to go third party.
    That will wipe out Republican leverage, and someone like Hilary
    can come in and do the triangulation thing on behalf of the
    Democrats. I think that, by spring, the Republicans will have
    dismantled themselves, and we’ll be staring at third party activity
    much stronger and rooted than Perot’s ever was. And Perot, a
    flake, got 19% of the vote, electing Clinton.

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  55. Don Bacon says:

    The government still doesn’t get it. It will create and spend another Six Hundred Billion Dollars — $2,000 for every man, woman and child — on a fantasy. Here’s part of a Federal Reserve PR (Nov 3, 2010):
    “The Committee will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings. In addition, the Committee intends to purchase a further $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011, a pace of about $75 billion per month.”
    Ten members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted to spend the $600bn, one voted against it. “Voting against the policy was Thomas M. Hoenig. Mr. Hoenig believed the risks of additional securities purchases outweighed the benefits. Mr. Hoenig also was concerned that this continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future financial imbalances and, over time, would cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations that could destabilize the economy.”
    Mr. Hoenig had a point about the “high level of monetary accommodation”. Here’s a translation into plain English of what the Fed intends, from NPR: “Second

    Reply

  56. questions says:

    Sidenote….
    It ain’t the money, nth edition:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/03/AR2010110308584.html
    Money in politics stands for things. Money isn’t the causal mechanism.
    Citizens United, in my best estimation, probably did a whole lot less than meets the eye. I am guessing we’ll get numerous quant studies nicely mixed with qualitative work that show a different dynamic from the media take.
    People have to be leaning a fair amount to succumb to ad campaigns. Changing party ID is pretty significant for major races. Better to look at the economy stupid, the particular candidates involved, and the particular campaigns and gaffes.
    As for issues like climate change, because the effects are difficult to see, because weather and climate are easy to confuse, because the kinds of changes we’d really have to make are threatening, because science education really does lag so people really do have a hard time making certain kinds of connections, ads might have more of an effect — but only because it already feels murky to people.
    So the capntrade crowd might lose out more because of the inherent complexity and short-term thinking. It’s not really because of an ad campaign funded by the execrable funders of science denialism. They just tap in to what’s already there.

    Reply

  57. Dan Kervick says:

    “What that means is you have to abandon the socialist fantasies of the people cheering your massive government takeovers, the promise of freebies paid for by endless deficit spending.”
    It means nothing. Two years ago Republicans were routed by Democrats, and within a few months, the Tea Party was the most important political force in America. The left will take its lessons from you guys, not tools like Evan Bayh.

    Reply

  58. nadine says:

    But what does that mean, Comrade Nadine? A majority of registered voters – though not likely voters – polled last week say they prefer Democrats to Republicans.
    If they don’t vote, their opinions don’t count. The pollsters are making clear that most of the independents and a good slice of the Democrats voted Republican this time. Some of the Democrats who saved themselves did so by running as Republicans, like Gov. Manchin of WV. Did you notice that 19 state legislatures flipped from Dem to Rep?
    What that means is you have to abandon the socialist fantasies of the people cheering your massive government takeovers, the promise of freebies paid for by endless deficit spending. The voters have seen them, and they don’t like them. I would also advise you to stop whining about how frightened and irrational the voters are. That rarely works well.
    And I’m not a liberal either
    You’re scarcely a conservative.

    Reply

  59. Don Bacon says:

    The pity, according to Kervick, is that Obama didn’t do even more domestic damage. The national debt increased by three trillion dollars, or about ten thousand dollars for every man, woman and child, and employment decreased by three million jobs. We should have had more debt and more make-work jobs.
    Americans have rejected these policies.
    Obama’s foreign policy can’t get much worse than it presently is. The US is creating enemies on every continent, particularly on the ones where American armies conduct their summary executions.
    Whatever the sensibility of it, all war all the time is a profit-center, one of only a few, and so the Repubs will embrace it even more than the Dems have. The ‘faith and freedom’ I saw on a campaign banner will propel the new Republican House majority into a renewed war fervor. The Pentagon is pumped up with a new Petraeus-inspired “strategic communications” program — propaganda — which will exalt a successful US crusade against Islamic terrorists.
    Obama will side with the warmongers while any hope for diplomacy anywhere vanishes completely beneath Ms. Clinton’s ample heel. But it’s merely the extension of an on-going trend, isn’t it.

    Reply

  60. Dan Kervick says:

    “20% liberal, 40% moderate, 40% conservative”
    But what does that mean, Comrade Nadine? A majority of registered voters – though not likely voters – polled last week say they prefer Democrats to Republicans.
    And I’m not a liberal either.

    Reply

  61. Dan Kervick says:

    “Some of us blogged about it negatively at the time. Remember? Kervick does. He supported it.”
    Hmm…that’s funny. Because I remember going into a tirade in the fall of 2008 about the “Podestacrats” and the Clinton retreads, and the absence of even a single lefty in Obama’s economic cabinet selections and his foreign policy selections. Of course, if you mean that I haven’t supported moving in the direction of Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Murray Rothbard and a bunch of the other right-wing heroes a lot of you Raimondo-heads support, then guilty as charged. I also don’t like Alan Greenspan. Sue me.
    But I do regret not supporting a larger stimulus – I thought one would be enough. Although it wasn’t exactly just a larger one that was needed. What was needed was a comprehensive jobs program that went beyond pumping money into “shovel ready” and not-so-shovel-ready infrastructure projects. The government should have hired unemployed people directly, and put them to work doing all kinds of useful things – maybe even just pay them to go to school and re-train themselves. If we had 1% higher growth and 3% lower unemployment, the midterm election would have been a different ball game.
    I sure don’t regret supporting the health care public option; or cash for clunkers; or the GM bailout. The latter two helped. And if Obama had devised a more aggressive health care plan that slashed costs at the roots and got the public’s heavy foot in the door to bargain down costs further – instead of making a deal with Pharma to stick the middle class with the bill for necessary progressive health care measures – then some people might actually be starting to see their health care policy rates fall.
    But anyway, count me as one of those people who thinks -contrary to Steve I guess – that hardly anything important is going to change at all. Obama’s foreign policy isn’t going to change; and he wasn’t going to do any more progressive action in the domestic sphere anyway. All indication are they he, himself is gearing up to be Mr. Deficit Hawk for his next two years. He’s going to call the Republican bluff on this deficit business when the debate about the Bush tax cuts fires up. As usual, we will see that in the pinch most Republicans don’t actually give a fig about deficits, and are happy to have high deficits if that is the cost of keeping the tax cuts for the rich in place.
    The Republican leadership isn’t about to get pulled into ridiculous foreign policy debates that are now about 20th place on the national radar. All people care about are jobs, their underwater mortgages, their evaporated retirement wealth, the vanishing American Dream and their kids’ vanishing prospects. Voters will have zero patience with sideshows. Nor are the Republicans going to want the US to get involved in any new adventures abroad – because they don’t want to hand Obama an opportunity to cover himself in any kind of military glory.
    The Republicans are going to drift in an increasingly isolationist direction anyway. It’s in the cards. Look at their iffy prospects: It’s pretty hard to imagine what kind of tangible achievement they could possibly bring to the table in 2012. Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate, and nothing can get passed that doesn’t have broad bipartisan support. And anything that does get passed in that way is going to have Barack Obama’s name on it too. So any legislative success Republicans can squeeze out of Congress will be an Obama success as well.
    The economy is likely to recover reasonably well. Most people will be much more chipper in 2012. So what are the Republicans going to run against? Well, they will probably still have the deficit to kick around. But they are going to shoot themselves in the foot on that one when they are seen as refusing to raise taxes on the most obscenely wealthy Americans to put a dent in their precious deficit.
    So they will probably have to go after Obama on foreign policy. By 2012, it is going to be the Republicans running commercials against “Obama’s War”, complete with shots of body bags and mounting multi-billion dollar price tickers.
    Most of the people who voted last night – 60% – say they don’t like the tea party. The election was a protest vote against Democratic economic failure. It wasn’t any kind of mandate. If the American electorate hold true to form, they will now start counting on Obama to protect them against the consequences of their own protest vote, and hold the line against crazy wingnut social initiatives and overreaching, which some Republican yahoos can be counted on to serve up to Obama on a silver platter.
    So it’s just going to be two years of not much happening. We’ll grow out of the recession, things will be better in 2012, and then there will be a big argument about how much of the recovery is due to the stimulus, and how much is just old-fashioned private sector recovery.
    I expect to see the Republicans drifting in a vaguely isolationist direction over the next few years. The whole global-crusade-against-the- Muslims business has palpably run out of gas, and by election night that stuff was nowhere to be found except in the most predictably right-wing precincts. It’s old hat. No one is paying any attention to that act anymore.
    If foreign policy is an issue in 2012, the issue will be China, China, China. Some of the nastiest China-bashing commercials were from Democrats, the Republicans aren’t about to allow themselves to get out-demagogued on foreigner-bashing by a bunch of wussy Democrats.
    Anyway, here’s a question for Steve. If literally *everything you care about* gets worse when Republicans win, Steve, then why are you constantly adopting the pose of Mr. Non-partisan? Maybe you should pick a side. Otherwise don’t complain about getting hit in the face by an oncoming bus when you stray too close to the center line.

    Reply

  62. nadine says:

    Dan Kervick:
    20% liberal, 40% moderate, 40% conservative
    That’s what you have to remember. Like Obama, you keep trying to pretend that 60% of the country is liberal, and you keep telling everybody to STFU when they object to your liberal program.
    But the country just returned a great big “No, YOU STFU! Listen to us! Stop the spending! Don’t raise taxes! We don’t want Obamacare!” response to the Democrats.
    If they are smart they’ll listen. But I’m not holding my breath. Obama clearly has not heard a thing.

    Reply

  63. kotzabasis says:

    “Legendary Stork Brought Unloved Child to the White House”
    As a result of the mid-term elections in the United States that are a devastating blow to the presidency of Obama and which more likely than not will deprive him of a second term in office, I’m republishing the short article below that was written and published on May 2009, that predicted what would be the fate of Obama.
    By Con George-Kotzabasis
    A photo of Obama that tells it all about the latter

    Reply

  64. Don Bacon says:

    Well, Steverino, they didn’t JUST get worse, they got worse a couple years ago when no-drama worthless Obama was selecting his economic, social and military principals.
    Some of us blogged about it negatively at the time. Remember? Kervick does. He supported it.
    The best time to recover an errant vehicle when it goes into a slide and heads off the highway is at the inception of the slide. It’s a little late now, when the vehicle is in the ditch, to say that things just got worse.
    Sorry to be so blunt. Let’s go on from here. As Abraham Lincoln said after the Dred Scott decision that a black man is chattel: “We think the decision is erroneous. We know the court that made it has often overruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we can to have it overrule this.”
    Let’s go on from here. (Otra vez.) Russ Feingold said that we should look forward to 2012. That’s a thought.

    Reply

  65. DakotabornKansan says:
  66. questions says:

    On the catfood commission, I just read Orszag’s thing in the NYT and here are my questions for anyone to answer….
    Orszag suggests that the left should use this magic moment of a dem pres to get SoSec cuts that the left can live with as whatever the right does will be awful
    At the same time, he notes that there’s really not a huge actuarial problem w/in SoSec.
    The problem basically seems to be that the Treasury is going to have to cough up a LOT of money that SoSec holds as bonds, and that’s what hits the budget — this paying back over time into the SoSec system. This is more a long term budget issue than anything short term.
    The left doesn’t think there’s an issue at all, that the US gov isn’t about to go bankrupt and stop paying its debts, not even to SoSec.
    What is going on with all of this? Why does Orszag maintain that there’s an issue and why is he salivating over the catfood commission?
    I have read that Wall St. would love the incoming money from individual accounts. The fees and the vast cash pools would be quite a tasty bubbly balloon it could feast on for a time. The market would rise, more securities would come and go, fees would be paid in, and then the Robin Hood Foundation could build a few pleasant senior centers with a portion of the proceeds (in NYC, of course.)
    Is there any REAL issue with SoSec that anyone knows about? Does the catfood commission have anything to add to the universe of RATIONAL discourse?
    Would the budget suddenly be saved hallelujah if there were private SoSec accounts that paid fees to brokers for maintenance and didn’t guarantee returns and perhaps bankrupted the investors whose savvy ranks with that of the Madoff victims?
    What’s up with Orszag?

    Reply

  67. Dan Kervick says:

    Here

    Reply

  68. Carroll says:

    There may be a silver lining in this.
    Maybe we will have even more criminal capitalism, more wars, more special interest policies, more government of, by and for the politicians instead of the country.
    Maybe we will get to that final collapse a lot of us have been waiting for so we can start over on the original American principles.

    Reply

  69. DakotabornKansan says:

    Obama just declared in his press conference that voters rejected Democrats in part because

    Reply

  70. WigWag says:

    Quotes of the day:
    “Can it really be possible that every single issue I care about…just got worse?” (Steve Clemons)
    “Can it really be possible that every single (foreign policy) issue I care about just got better?” (WigWag)

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  71. Maw of America says:

    Like I tell my brothers when they complain about losing their hair – “Let it shine!”
    It seemed that Obama perpetually played not-to-lose, when he should have embraced his base and reached for the brass ring. It reminds me of something I heard at Leo Burnett Advertising: If you reach for the stars, at least you’ll never come up with a handful of mud. Or something to that effect.
    It would have been interesting to see what kind of results might have come about with a full-throated embrace of the progressive left. But that kind of behavior never comes out of Washington. Which may, in part, explain why the Tea Party (whatever that is) did well, relative to the establishment Republicans.

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  72. DakotabornKansan says:

    Then there is soon-to-be-former Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana in today

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  73. Tahoe Editor says:

    God Bless the Great Good People of the State of Nevada, that’s all I have to say.

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  74. Cee says:

    See what bending over in front of your enemies gets
    ya?
    Blue Dogs from New York to Arizona had lost their
    seats in a wave that brought down at least 61
    Democrats and gave Republicans a pre-recount House
    majority of 240-195 after four years of Democratic
    control. It is the first time since Senators were
    directly elected under the 17th Amendment in 1914
    that the House has changed party majorities but the
    Senate has not.

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  75. Carroll says:

    Here’s my non expert prediction.
    The repubs will “investigate” and attack Obama like the Dems didn’t do to Bush.
    The Dems will ‘whine’ about everything, but not fight the rethugs ‘too much’, just make the usual noise, because after all they depend on the same special interest money as the GOP does.
    Obama will stay ‘bi partisan” and now get the chance to ‘cater’ to the GOP opposition even more.
    Same old, same old.

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  76. Paul Norheim says:

    My deep and sincere condolences to the American people
    (well, except for those who voted in these assholes).
    Carroll is right, POA, there is no better combination of
    climate/political system than New Zealand. As for Dan, if he
    likes the climate in New Hampshire, I guess he would feel at
    home in Scandinavia (not to say that we don’t have plenty of
    local cretins here as well, but they can’t do as much harm as
    their American counterparts).

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  77. Carroll says:

    Does it matter?
    Chris Hedges writes:
    ‘The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators.
    It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for

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  78. Carroll says:

    ….”just got worse?”
    It’s still up to Obama, F-Policy still resides in the executive office.
    Influenced of course by money, special interest, political parties voting niches.
    I think Obama is just going to hide out and do nothing until his term is up.
    Talk about Bush, Jr. looking like a deer frozen in the headlights…Obama is like a possum playing dead when it comes to foreign policy.

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  79. DakotabornKansan says:

    Every single issue you care about contributed to the red tide

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  80. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Nov 03 2010, 12:00PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    New Zealand is a nice little country….check it out.

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  81. questions says:

    It all depends on whether or not these things would have worked better with a push from behind or if they are structural slow issues that need to work themselves out.
    Iowa dumped pro-gay marriage judge(s?) according to a headline.
    DADT will go when the military brass say it’s ok. The Tea Party effect isn’t going to be as heavy on gay issues given the libertarian streak, and the existence of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam placeholders.
    With the various wars, it’s a little harder to see — maybe it’s a Nixon in China thing — it takes a Republican House to decide to stop funding war after war after war?
    Treaty stuff is the Senate’s purview, so the question will be what does the leadership there do with rebalanced committees, catering to Lieberman and the like.
    I/P all along has probably been a little less of a concern than has been pushed around here, though on strict humanitarian grounds, it’s be awfully nice if these people could find a better equilibrium than the current one. Gazans deserve better, certainly.
    Cuba again is fading as an issue. There’s just not a whole lot of anti-communist fervor the way there is anti-immigration, anti-Islam, and anti-gov. In fact, a whole freedom to travel and trade theme might play well with the TP.
    And if I were the dems, I’d be playing around with FREEDOM TO and FREEDOM FROM ways of casting some of their policies. Might get something through the fringes of the Congress if it’s a freedom issue.
    (And ot, hope POA visits the package bomb thread below with the “joke” headline from the NYT….)
    The repubs may very well overplay their hand. Remember the Gingrich. He did not handle things well. There is some desire our there for effective, if lean, programs.

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  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blame Obama’s political cowardice and failure to adhere to the promises that rocketed him into office.
    Things are not only “worse”, but are now far more dangerous for our nation’s security, and for our rights and freedoms. Obama handed it back to the neo-con scum, on a silver platter.
    If the real estate market wasn’t so fuckin’ bad, you’d now be reading the comments of an expatriot. I have long ceased being a “proud American”.

    Reply

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