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Election 2014

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Election 2014

Postby pjbogart » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:51 pm

I'm starting to think that this fiscal cliff fiasco is actually fairly calculated political theater. It's hard to imagine at this point that Boehner will be able to keep his position as speaker when the new House is sworn in but the Republican Party is very likely to move to the right, and perhaps significantly so, with any new speaker they select.

So why is Harry Reid condemning John Boehner's lack of leadership? Why does Obama seem content to twiddle his thumbs and watch Boehner sweat? Isn't it counter-productive to help Republicans push someone like Eric Cantor into the role of House Speaker? It sounds strange to refer to John Boehner as a centrist, but compared to many of the other Republicans in the House, he's practically a Democrat.

Democrats know that polling suggests that the public views Republicans as unwilling to compromise and largely to blame for the impasse on the fiscal cliff. It's almost like they're daring the Republicans to plunge the country into another recession. It's the last hurrah for the Tea Party, they can either figure out a way to govern or pay the price in 2014, potentially handing complete control of the government to the Democrats.
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Re: Election 2014

Postby bdog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:58 pm

Your drunk posts are sooooo much better.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....
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Re: Election 2014

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:54 pm

I'm starting to think that this fiscal cliff fiasco is actually fairly calculated political theater.


I agree with pj. It's theater cooked up by the right, which is now on the verge of committing hara kiri in their own drama.

If they splinter and blow it, they'll leave a whole array of their own voters harmed directly: people getting unemployment, very-small-income people with families losing tax credits, and so many more. Those people won't forget, either. When someone in need takes a direct financial hit, they know where it came from and they don't forget.

Their only recourse would be to pass, one by one, remedies for those hits or at least some measures restoring what was blown up. The result might not be all bad, either.

Polling is not in their favor at the moment. Remember polling? The little exercise that brought us Nate Silver? On the other side you have superstition and the imaginary hand of the free market that brought us Intrade. Take your pick -- right now the Rs are looking to be in deep water.

The country's budgetary problems do not all have to be solved in one big gesture. In fact, to solve them in a more gradual and measured way would be less disruptive to the economy. There's a reason people around the world are still taking refuge in our Treasuries -- they're the best deal out there, and everybody knows it.

The Rs cooked this up, and the Rs now have to eat what they cooked. I have been watching in amusement, except for keeping an eye on Obama and his tendency to give away the store.

How does Michele Bachmann for Speaker sound? Are they that nuts?

Incidentally Nate Silver had an article in the NYT today showing why he thinks the present polarization is going to be with us a while due to the way districts have deliberately been redrawn to be as extreme (in either direction) as possible. Few representatives have much incentive to bargain or be moderate, because their districts are just as extreme as they are -- for now. He seems to think their voters will stay that way. I'm wondering if that's necessarily the case.
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Re: Election 2014

Postby pjbogart » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:58 pm

snoqueen wrote:Their only recourse would be to pass, one by one, remedies for those hits or at least some measures restoring what was blown up. The result might not be all bad, either.


I was telling a right-wing buddy of mine that I thought Boehner was being forced to take us over the fiscal cliff. The anti-tax pledge prevents them from raising taxes, but if the taxes are raised automatically, they can certainly lower taxes on a piecemeal basis to achieve the same results.

The problem is that Boehner no longer seems to have any control over his caucus. When Obama capitulated and offered to raise the $250k threshold to $400k, Boehner countered with an unrealistic $1 million/year threshold for the tax increases. Obama was unlikely to agree to that but it didn't matter because the Tea Party caucus killed the compromise. Think about that for a second. They were willing to go through sequestration, massive tax increases and budget cuts across the board rather than see a 3% tax hike on people making over a million dollars per year! They've lost their minds.

And that's the pool from which we get a new House Speaker?
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Re: Election 2014

Postby DCB » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:03 pm

pjbogart wrote: They were willing to go through sequestration, massive tax increases and budget cuts across the board rather than see a 3% tax hike on people making over a million dollars per year! They've lost their minds.

I get the feeling they've put far less thought into their agenda than you have. I think it comes down to "stop Obama", and not much else.

Right now they're making noise about opposing Chuck Hagel's nomination to Sec. Defense, because he's "not conservative enough".
I'm certainly not endorsing Hagel (my own preference would be to nominate Kucinich to Sec. of Peace). But these guys are just bonkers.
I don't think people truly understand how big a departure this is from what used to be standard procedure. It wasn't long ago that these votes were pro-forma. It was presumed that elections have consequences and the president got the cabinet he wanted. Then it became a little more dicey and it was presumed that the president would always get any ex-Senator approved. That has changed too, to the point at which a president has to think twice about nominating a Senator of the president's party who is considered to be "too partisan." Now they are refusing to approve a president's choice even if he is a Senator and member of their own party.
At this point I'm not sure they'd approve Dick Cheney.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/ ... -john.html
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Re: Election 2014

Postby snoqueen » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:59 pm

The problem is that Boehner no longer seems to have any control over his caucus. ... They were willing to go through sequestration, massive tax increases and budget cuts across the board rather than see a 3% tax hike on people making over a million dollars per year! They've lost their minds.


True enough, but don't give Boehner a pass. He may lose the speakership -- he may even be a lame duck at this moment, at least realistically -- and he still won't bring a reasonable bill to the floor for a vote of the whole House. Who knows how many Republicans would cross the aisle and, for the good of the country and the world economy, pass something halfway reasonable? Everybody isn't from a hardcore conservative district, you know. And some are themselves leaving office and are free to do what they like. I would love to see a vote count and find out how close we really are to a deal. Might be closer than we think -- or not close at all.

But Boehner won't bring anything up for a vote, even though it might be his last major act as speaker.

Part of this is on the teaps, but the other part is on Speaker Boehner himself.
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Re: Election 2014

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:04 am

bdog wrote:Your drunk posts are sooooo much better.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....


This cliff thing is a rediculous notion. Your comment above suggests that you do not want to participate in, well, smart democracy.

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