November 6, 2008

"Democrats Vow to Pursue an Aggressive Agenda."

A headline that scares me. Disturbing photo at the link too. Don't let it be said that the NYT selects photos to flatter Democrats. Or do hard-core Democrats find that photo flattering?
On the day after the election, leadership battles were breaking out across Capitol Hill as lawmakers contemplated the prospects of new power and opportunity. The quick start to the skirmishing signaled that some of the more bitter fights in the next Congress could be internal battles among Democrats.
Good! Let them check each other.
But Ms. Pelosi said Democrats could open the 111th Congress in January with efforts to adopt measures blocked by President Bush, including ones to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and embryonic stem cell research. She said Democrats had no choice but to chart a centrist course. “The country must be governed from the middle,” she said. But Democrats on both sides of the Capitol were just beginning to digest the new faces in their expanded caucuses.
Just when I was starting to relax -- The country must be governed from the middle -- I learn that the Democrats intend to digest faces. I'm afraid!

61 comments:

miller said...

Sometimes you really intrigue me.

You voted for a blank slate, and then you say, "Hey, I think I voted for a blank slate, because what I hoped for isn't coming true."

I can predict the remaining 600+ posts on this topic.

Skyler said...

The photo need not be flattering because the election is over. Now begins the campaign to replace Pelosi.

Ann Althouse said...

Miller, I had a choice between 2 men, not between Obama and everyone else in the world. I thought McCain was worse. I think he would have catered to the Democratic Congress too, and then the Democrats wouldn't have to take full responsibility. Let the Republicans get their act together now.

Expat(ish) said...

I thought that was a pretty good snap of Ms. Pelosi. More flattering than the average Hilly pix.

I am hoping you are *scared* and not *startled* because this was 100% predictable.

-XC

Meade said...

Headline I'd rather see simply because it would be more honest:

"Democrats Vow to Pursue an Agenda of Cruel Partisanship"

Also, maybe it would mean they'd even have the decency to limit the term of their vow through, oh, say, September.

Big Mike said...

I shouldn't worry if I were you, Professor. What looks like the center to Nancy Pelosi is a sigma or two to the left of center. From where she stands, she can't see much difference between the real center and the far right.

Re your response to Miller, I think McCain would have tried to work with a Democratic Congress, and I suspect that they would have stonewalled. Downside is that the MSM would have painted it as McCain not working with them.

So you're right, it is good that Democrats have total responsibility. But they can do a lot of mischief in two to four years.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, that;s the message of the chattering classes. We must maintain status quo. Not too much change, Who wants that?

The American People, that's who.

And what does "govern from the middle mean, anyway? What is the centrist creed? In my experience it's "more power to centrists!"

Centrism is often ballyhooed as a virtue, but it's an empty shell of a political position. No values, no ideals, nothing beyond deal-brokering.

I tend to find a lot of agreement on this point with my conservative friends.

dick said...

And if the Republicans do get their act together, just how do you think the news will get out to the public that they do have it together. Do you really think that now that the MSM has their guy elected they will let the opposition off the hook? after all the lies and half-truths they have printed and all the vetting they did not do?

You seem to be saying that McCain does not have anything he would stand up for in the face of the Congress. I think that he proved that is not true by his actions in Vietnam and I also think he proved that he is not an ideologue by his record as senator so I think your choice was made on false pretenses.

laura said...

Agreed. It is 100% predictable. Everyone's just marking their territory. I mean, really, these are Democrats, lots of talk and grand ideas. I think you can relax.

Ann Althouse said...

"But they can do a lot of mischief in two to four years."

I agree and that sucks, but the Republicans deserve most of the blame in my book.

AJ Lynch said...

Everyone should make a list of the Top Ten things that you believe the country should attempt to fix.

Next compare your list to Pelosi & Company's Top Ten.

Lawgiver said...

We all need to just Say a Little Prayer.

TMink said...

"the Republicans deserve most of the blame in my book."

Mine as well. This is not to say that Senator Obama was not a serious and effective candidate. But in 1994 the Republicans got a shot and they turned out to be just normal old politicians.

Honestly, I am not thinking that they will learn much from the experience.

Trey

Darcy said...

Ann Althouse said:
I agree and that sucks, but the Republicans deserve most of the blame in my book.

Hmm...you voted for total Democratic control, knowing the damage it could do and that it sucks, but it is mostly the fault of the Republicans?

Way to take responsibility for your vote.

MadisonMan said...

Can you say overreach?

alpha liberal's anti-centrist commentary notwithstanding, I think Bush could have cemented Republican control for a generation if he had governed responsibly from the center. Obama could do the same thing if he forced the Democrats to govern responsibly. But somehow long-term goals are always sacrificed for short-term power.

Original Mike said...

Gee, wasn't just last week Pelosi said the Democratic leadership was going to be more bipartisan?

The Drill SGT said...

the Republicans deserve most of the blame in my book.

For winning a war?

For keeping the country safe from terrorts?

Surely you don't mean the Democratic inspired afforadable housing driven, crony caused housing meltdown of the GSE's?

There is a lot of blame to go around.

The things I hold Bush largely to blame for is Rummy and not constraining spending

Roger J. said...

Oh come on, Ann--you are going to blame any potential democratic excesses on a previous republican administration? In fact, it demostrates a total lack of willingness on your part to hold democrats accountable for what they will do.

On a somewhat broader point, I am quite willing to grant the democrats some sort of "mandate" whatever that is, and let them run rampant--the voters will decide in two years and then again in 2012 whether they in fact had a mandate.

As for embryonic stem cells? apparently the democrats havent looked at the recent science that obviates the need for embryonic stem cells.

Ann Althouse said...

Darcy, the Republicans failed to offer a decent alternative, and I don't trust them either, though I do have some hope that they will use this defeat as an opportunity to get their act together.

Henry said...

Here's a joke.

A man and a woman are on their honeymoon. The women says, "That was fantastic. Losing my virginity was everything I hoped for."

The man says "What are you talking about? You've been married three times before."

The woman says, "That's right, but you know, my first husband had the terrible accident, and just before the weddding. We should have called it off. And my second husband, well that was for appearances you know. He wasn't really interested in women. As for my third husband. He was a Democrat. He just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how great it was going to be."

* * *

You know who told that joke, many years ago? Garrison Keillor.

AJ Lynch said...

Drill Sgt said:

"Surely you don't mean the Democratic inspired afforadable housing driven, crony caused housing meltdown of the GSE's?"

I agree and I don't think Republicans can repeat this often enough. The Dems are primarily responsible for the $700 Billion bailout.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Democrats' vow to ---destroy the nation---

There fixed it for you.

dick said...

So you think a pretty face and a good speaker who has coasted along for 47 years on what his handlers have told him to do is a better option that a man who has stood up for his beliefs all his life. Just does not compute!

Darcy said...

I'm sorry, Prof. Althouse, that came out harsher than I intended. I understand your worries about how McCain would have caved in to Democrats. I simply don't agree that Obama had in any way shown he would be better.

McCain was a known. Obama is an unknown - except for his record, which showed nothing close to your hopes. I feel, in an election as important as this one was, there wasn't much room for error.

Anyway, we're going to see. At this point, I'm on the hope train, too, as a very worried passenger.

Roger J. said...

There is at least some anecdotal history that augers well for Obama--the last big city machine politician to become president was Harry Stearns Truman, and he turned out pretty well. In fact one argument that is sometimes made about machine politicians is that they understand they have to satisfy quite a few constiuencies and cannot run completely roughshod over their constituents. I dont know if I totally agree with that, but am certainly willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

(I do have to say that I am hoping against hope that he nominates Kerry to be Secretary of State!)

miller said...

I agree that the fault for the Republicans' actions rests largely on themselves.

And I also agree that it is stupid to reward bad behavior by giving a vote to a group that hasn't really earned on the grounds of "well, gosh darn it, they seem to speak more about my beliefs in general and even though I'm voting from a sincere hope they'll get their act together, they'll see my vote as confirm their spendthrift ways."

But the Blue Team really isn't different in practice (and not much different in principle, if voting and spending patterns are anything) from the Red Team in many respects.

The thing is, Bambi hasn't really hidden his core beliefs - any astute person could realize that his principles are not centrist, they are leftist. (I'm not using that pejoratively.)

He made some excellent feints to the center, but he'll govern as a leftist.

The choice was between a man who had a clear record of enraging his right wing, and a man who has a record (albeit somewhat muddled by evasiveness and dissembling) of supporting his left wing.

You're right in that you had only two real choices. (Pfft! to Barr and Nader and the rest. Seriously, they are vanity candidates.)

And I respect you for thinking about your choice; I'm just puzzled at how you think your "hope" for Bambi's behavior is in any way justified by history or performance? He's a leftist, and he'll govern leftist on the core decisions.

As someone said, "hope" is not a strategy, even if it is an operating principle. A scientist doesn't "hope" his experiment works out differently than the situation warrants; he expects his experiment to turn out just as predicted given the ground conditions.

Bambi isn't going to somehow run to the center out of core principles or beliefs. If he does do anything centrist, it's to remain in power long enough to adopt leftist causes.

The Republicans deserve to stay in the minority until they clean out their Robert Michel claque and learn to govern on conservative principles of limited government, low spending, and humility in the power of government. Until that great day dawns, the Democrat Party will remain in power, shiftless, spendthrift, patronizing, and humorless.

The Drill SGT said...

the last big city machine politician to become president was Harry Stearns Truman, and he turned out pretty well.

Daley would fit your model. Machine Mayors need to get the snow plowed and protect the people. Senate Senators from Hyde Park vote present and the frst sign of a tough choice.

Harry had made things happen in the big city, had been a commander in combat, and had fought corruption and pork in wartime defense spending.

Obama, none of that...

Roger J. said...

What Miller said--the republicans could have put Shadeqq and Flake in leadership positions; instead they went with the Hastert team. They deserve to wander in the wilderness until they figure it out. Fortunately, I already have my social security, medicare, military retirement and VA comp, all of which are COLAed which for this year looks to be about 6 percent. I dont think you younger folks are going to be quite so lucky.

Roger J. said...

drill: your point is very well taken

miller said...

But, let me state that one of the things that keeps me returning here is not that Ann agrees with me or even disagrees with me -- it that she states what she thinks/believes, and lets her entourage talk amongst themselves.

It's a stimulating blog because it's not doctrinaire on one side or the other. I'm afraid that other places are much more narrow-minded about opposing viewpoints. (Yes, Kos and Huff-Po I'm talking to you, not that you listen.)

It will be disastrous when Bambi, after listening only to his leftist sycophants, makes his first set of big decisions. (I'm sure the desire of Barney Frank to cut the Defense budget 25% will fly well with the Russians as they stack their missiles on the Polish border.)

A good conversation involves more than having everyone agree with you. What we need are more engaged leftists AND rightists talking about the issues without rancor.

I think it's fine and funny to poke holes in the opposing side's arguments and proponents, but it can be done with grace, humor, and wit.

What I don't like are the doctrinaire believers who are so threatened by opposing thoughts that they actually lose their tempers.

I intend to hold Bambi's feet to the fire for the remainder of his term, and question every decision. That's not unpatriotic nor is it unfair -- no one forced him to take the office. And I intend to do so with all the powers of my wit mixed with my self-effacing humility.

I hope the host of this blog can retain her perspective and humor as well, and even when she praises Bambi for the occasional good decision, she also is fair enough to point out his many, many mistaken choices.

Randy said...

Disturbing photo at the link too. Don't let it be said that the NYT selects photos to flatter Democrats. Or do hard-core Democrats find that photo flattering?

Of course they do. And so did the editors of the New York Times. I find it hard to believe that you are that obtuse.

Darcy said...

Great thoughts, Miller. On our decisions in this election and this blog.

I really do understand why voters who were dismayed with the way Republicans behaved over the last 8 years would vote for Obama.

I'm just very fearful of the result.

Bob W. said...

It will be interesting to see exactly how "centrist" and "restrained" Pelosi and Reid will be in the coming months. My guess is "notsomuch".

But the Dem leadership owns all of the domestic problems now, the terrorism issue, and the war(s); they are probably realizing it is much more fun to be an insurgent than it is to govern.

Speaking of which, President-elect Obama received his first daily intel brief today; should be a pretty good eye opener for what #43 has been dealing with for the past 8 years, and all the great fun he has ahead of him.

WWW.acreofindependence.com

miller said...

I posted in 2006 on another blog about how I was reluctant to vote for Republican national legislators because of their inept, crooked behavior, and was denounced by some (and defended by few) because my choice would bring "San Fran Nan" into power.

So in other words, I can't vote against "our team" even when they are reprehensible.

I can't be that kind of citizen.

When an elected representative for any office behaves in a way that disgusts me, and I have the choice to vote against him/her, I will. Not on one simple thing -- I'm not a one-issue voter -- but just voting and behaving against my principles.

I am embarrassed to have people like Ted Stevens on my side. But the other side has to contend with Barney Frank and Alcee Hastings and William Jefferson and Chris Dodd.


Oh, and Patty Murray. Ugh.

PatCA said...

If the Freedom of Choice Act passes quickly, as Obama promised, there should be plenty of embryonic stem cells available, too!

paul a'barge said...

Pelosi ... "she's got the whole world, by the balls ... she's got the whole wide world, by the balls ...."

AJ Lynch said...

"I am a very worried passenger on the Hope train".

LOL Darcy!

The Drill SGT said...

eliminating the secret ballot in union elections and the Fairness doctrine both have a certain advantage that the FOCA doesn't.

Card check pays off a debit and raises Union cash for Dem PACs

Fairness doctrine stifles the GOP popular response

both would not cause the popular uprising that a nasty abortion fight would create.

Donn said...

Fairness doctrine stifles the GOP popular response

If this spills over to the internet, I think this could turn off a lot of young Dem voters. We shall see.

Original Mike said...

Well, that photo of Pelosi is sure scaring the hell out of the market.

Arturius said...

I was always humored by everyone who supported Obama because he was promising Change. For anyone who has ever worked in an office the two most frightening phrases you could hear were:

1) Clean out your desk

2) There are going to be some
changes made here.

Arturius said...

I think he would have catered to the Democratic Congress too, and then the Democrats wouldn't have to take full responsibility.

Professor, I would suggest you not think that should an Obama administration and Democrat led Congress will hold themselves accountable should we be worse off 2-4 years from now. Such self-evaluation from any political party would be unprecedented.

laura said...

Darcy, it may not be any consolation, but as one who voted for Obama, I carry some fear, as well. I want this to work. I really want this to work, but what does governing from the "center" (as there's debate to where that "center" is - slightly left, slightly right, or actually center), look like? I don't know, but I'm trying to have the willingness to let it unfold.

Pogo said...

Since Obama's election, the Dow has fallen 900 points. Completely unrelated to the historic Democrat propensity to screw the economic pooch, I'm sure.

Things should bottom out at 4-5000. Not quite selling-apples-on-the-street time, but damn close. Looks like we're gonna get change good and hard.

BHO and the Dem majority will govern from the center of your wallet. The change you'll get to keep is pocket change.

Enough mebbe for apples or some vodka.

Big Mike said...

...that sucks, but the Republicans deserve most of the blame in my book.

Can I safely assume that you regard a woman who was raped after walking down the street wearing a tight sweater and short skirt as having "asked for it"?

Republicans have scarcely been perfect, but have the Democrats really been better?

I don't know what you mean when you suggest that the Republicans get our act together. There is a need for a party that doesn't view Christians, gun owners, and small business owners with raw contempt. There is a need for a party that wants to see the children of poor people have a fair shot a decent education.

The Drill SGT said...

Arturius said...
I was always humored by everyone who supported Obama because he was promising Change. For anyone who has ever worked in an office the two most frightening phrases you could hear were:


You forgot:

We're from the governmint and we're here to help :)

Arturius said...

Things should bottom out at 4-5000. Not quite selling-apples-on-the-street time, but damn close. Looks like we're gonna get change good and hard.

The Dow has been overpriced for the better part of 15 years and is finally starting to seperate the chaff from the wheat.

Here is an example of what I mean. From 1940 to 1960, the DJI rose from 150 to 680, an increase of 353%. Pretty big jump yet consider the history with the end of the war, a revitalized industry and a fair amount of tech innovation. Then we have 1960 to 1980 where we go from 680 to 840 or an increase of 23%.

Now we have the what I refer to as the WTF generation (1980-2000) where the numbers are 840 to 11,500or an increase of 1,269%. In fact just look at 1990 to 2000 where the DJI went from 2750 to 11,500 or 318% in a ten years. What happened here? Well two biggies.

1) The Cold War ended and we had the peace dividend.

2) The Internet and the accompayning tech advances.

Peace and prosperity with some major tech innovations. Not unlike the 1940-1960 era but with a lot more exhuberance and a massively expanded middle class to partake in the fun.

Now we're entering into the 1960-1980 era. My bet is that the DJI realistically should be sitting around 8000-8500 plus or minus a few points.

Arturius said...

There is at least some anecdotal history that augers well for Obama--the last big city machine politician to become president was Harry Stearns Truman, and he turned out pretty well.

I'm not sure that's a good thing. Truman was, and I hate to use this term, thrown under the bus by his own party and was so despised by the end of his first term with a 22% approval rating he didn't bother even attempting re-election.

If Obama fires Pretreaus and nationalizes the auto industry, I'd say history doesn't bode well for his chances in 2012.

PatCA said...

Pogo,
The market "correction" is patriotic! Neighborly! It's just reallocating capital to...The People!

Or, I blame Bush.

veni vidi vici said...

So, the Democrats are "digesting faces", eh?

Meanwhile, the Republicans are off digesting feces. Enjoy the post-election sandwich, congress-douchebags. And yeah, get yer act together with something beyond spending and earmarks. Show us a pfackin' reason, please.

blake said...

Huh.

Turns out Windows isn't as good as OS/2.

Rich B said...

A little soon for buyer's remorse, eh Althouse.

Pogo said...

"My bet is that the DJI realistically should be sitting around 8000-8500 plus or minus a few points."

I agree.
That's where it should be.
But like in the 1930s, I suspect we will waaaay overshoot and, with FDR-type capital-killers, delay the recovery to that level for years and years.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Pogo said:
Since Obama's election, the Dow has fallen 900 points. Completely unrelated to the historic Democrat propensity to screw the economic pooch, I'm sure.

Funny how the markets have lost all hope since the election. Maybe this is just phase 1 of Barry's wealth redistribution plan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The markets had been falling for some time in anticipation of an Obama economic policy...among other things. It wasn't the only reason. After the election, the markets continues to decline as institutional investors consider their options and take capital gains now, before they become too expensive

I think we are in for a decade of stagnation in the DJI like in the 79's where the Dow started near 800 and ended near 800. This didn't mean that people weren't able to make money in the market. In actuality, many money managers did quite well. Y'all need to realize that the DJI is only a few stocks and not really representative of the opportunities out there.

"My bet is that the DJI realistically should be sitting around 8000-8500 plus or minus a few points"

I agree with this as well. And I agree with Pogo and hope that the government will keep its meddling incompetent stupidity out of the way. However, I feel that is too much to hope for and we are most likely going to be in a deep recession if not depression if Obama, Pelosi, Reed, Frank and Dodd get their way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

decade being from 79 to the end of 79.

sigh...proofread! THEN post

The Drill SGT said...

There is NOTHING in any of Bambi's pre-election promises that should improve the general outlook on Wall Street.

I can't understand at all, why anybody on the Street supported his election.

MadisonMan said...

Fascinating.

The end of Bush's term when bad things happen? Obama's fault. The beginning of the term when bad things happen? Clinton's fault.

MadisonMan said...

What the government should be doing now -- money wise -- is building things like sewers, bridges, electric transmission lines, rail lines. You know, infrastructure. It is sadly needed, it will provide jobs and the people employed will spend money.

It should also be spending money on basic scientific research so that the technologies of tomorrow will be developed.

These two 'simple' things will lay the foundation for the economic rebound to follow. The problem is that these simple things will not lead to an immediate turnaround, and most Americans are impatient.

blake said...

Fascinating.

Oh, not really. Heck, Bush caused hurricanes. And the recession that started six months he got into office.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Fascinating

Yeah, I was going to point out the same thing on the resession. MM has selective memory. Didn't you know Bush also burst the tech bubble even though the markets topped and were sinking months before the 2000 election? What goes around comes around.