May 31, 2013

Should Republicans make the 2014 elections about Obama?

"'I don’t think I’d personalize it,' said John Linder, the former congressman from Georgia who ran the National Republican Congressional Committee during the late 1990s while Newt Gingrich and House Republicans were preparing an impeachment case against President Bill Clinton."
Mr. Linder said he fought and lost a battle with Mr. Gingrich over their strategy in the 1998 midterm elections, which Mr. Gingrich thought should be focused on assailing Mr. Clinton’s character.

“I didn’t want to talk about Clinton at all,” Mr. Linder recalled, saying the same logic should apply today. “Obama was not in the Justice Department. Obama was not working in the I.R.S.” His advice? “Don’t overreach,” he said.
The analogy to 1998 isn't exact. Clinton was active in doing the things that got him into impeachment trouble, but those things weren't about the political ideology that he shared with the Democrats in Congress. Voters might want Congress to go after him more aggressively, but it made sense, if you agreed with Democratic Party ideology, to regard the sex-and-lies scandal as secondary to the overall legislative agenda when deciding who should represent your district in Congress.

Obama is — or looks — passive. You've got the difficulty of attaching him to the scandals. You have to argue that he should have known more, or he must have known more than we're seeing, or he's not rigorous enough in supervising his multitudinous underlings, or he's responsible for the "climate" within which everyone understands the sorts of things they ought to do to satisfy their superiors. Voters need to be convinced to blame Obama for the things that have gone wrong. But what has gone wrong is something that is wrong with governing.

In both cases — Clinton and Obama — there's room for the argument that we need stronger supervision from Congress. But going after Clinton over sex and lying was only loosely connected to the ongoing work of government. With Obama, the most central work of government has been compromised. It's not just a matter of letting the President off the hook and moving forward to deal with the real problems that affect Americans. Regardless of how directly Obama is implicated and how much any given voter wants to blame Obama, the scandals make a strong argument for opposite-party control of Congress.

That's all I'm going to write this morning about how 2014 is different from 1998 other than to say I have not made the argument that Republicans would do well to personalize the election.

117 comments:

madAsHell said...

Romney failed because he didn't attack Obama.

David said...

Go after his programs.

To the extent that they were based on incompetence or dishonesty, point that out.

Obama's most brilliant political decision was to postpone the actual effects of Obamacare until after the Presidential election.

Ain't gonna work with the 2014 elections.

Bob Ellison said...

"But with Obama, the most central work of government has been compromised."

That is the leftist line. You have fallen for it. Lefties say that it is a crisis of confidence in government, and we must solve it.

No. It is a fact of what government becomes. We must resist the "work of government".

Fr Martin Fox said...

No! That would repeat the 1998 mistake.

The election should be about issues, and how members of Congress voted on them.

Therefore, the GOP should be forcing votes that clarify where everyone stands, whether or not the things voted on can pass or not.

cubanbob said...

Madam protestations notwithstanding you just made the case for the republicans in 2014. There isn't an inch of daylight between Obama and his Administration and the governing practices of the democrats and their governing philosophy.

traditionalguy said...

Obama's smile is the weapon that the GOP cannot beat and best stay away from.

By year 8 of the Dem's intentional conversion of the IRS into a Gestapo unit and the arming of Homeland Security to the teeth has been a quiet invasion of the USA by a hostile tyrant's army intent on theft.

Will the GOP fight them or join them to share in the loot. That is the only question.

AprilApple said...

IRS chief Shulman reportedly visited White House at least 157 times

What about the Benghazi talking points? The entire Obama administration pushed a hoax for weeks on end. It was a youtube video and a flash-mob -they insisted. The entire administration, from the top down, has not apologized or explained their lies.

Colonel Angus said...

I'll be more interested to see if the Democrat nominee runs on Obamas legacy.

Big Mike said...

Nationalize the elections and run against Democrat overreaching and general incompetence as stewards of the Big Government they themselves created.

Things like this will help.

Marshal said...

I wouldn't make it about Obama personally. I'd point out his boilerplate leftist economic policies have been completely ineffective and electing people whose only plan is to spend more on the same policies is not going to change that.

Lem said...

Idolizing Obama helped to get us into this mess, demonizing him is not going to help get us out.

AprilApple said...

When reading news stories from pro-democrat hack msm sites, they continue to white-wash the Benghazi hoax.


Why won't the pro-democrat hack media mention the false talking points regarding the blamed You-tube video and the false flash mob story? Oh yeah - the entire hoax helped to drag Obama over the finish line in Nov. Whatever it takes, huh pro-democrat hack media.

AprilApple said...

At least Holder is investigating Holder. Now that's what the pro-democrat hack media feel is a proper investigation.

Bob Ellison said...

Presidential election success is correlated with the quality of the candidates' voices.

Big Mike said...

To expand on my previous comment, if I was the campaign chairman for a Republican candidate running against an incumbent Democrat I'd post a very unflattering picture of my opponent with slogan "Let's cut the Crap."

Henry said...

Going after the justice department and the IRS seems like the incredibly obvious thing to do. And thus you go after Obama by proxy.

Obama is so very weirdly isolated from the executive branch he purports to head. He's a figurehead that most Americans seem to like, even if they've lost track of what he actually does. He's like the Prince of Romania: The ineffectual gentleman who embodies a certain generic something or other about the country. That's the role he likes to play. Let him play it.

The only negative opinion shift I've seen regarding Obama is by my most leftwing friends who've suddenly become aware of drones and extrajudicial actions. And, sorry, but the GOP isn't going to peel those votes away from the Dems.

SteveR said...

Obama will campaign against republicans but that doesn't mean republicans should take the bait.

AprilApple said...

It doesn't matter. Between the democrat's successful push for voter disenfranchisement through election fraud, the msm acting as campaign mouths for the democrat party, and hollywood pimping and pushing pro-democrat memes at every turn to low information voters (smoke pot, have sex and vote democrat) it's over.

Phil 3:14 said...

Is he running in 2014?

Nonapod said...

I think it's still a little too early to really think to much about specifics in 2014. There's still a lot of stuff up in the air. What will be the results of all these scandals? What will happen when Obamacare goes into full effect next year? What will be his approval rating by this time next year?

sinz52 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

Progressive: A radical leftwing extremist who operates outside of the law.

They win!

Peter said...

'madAsHell' "Romney failed because he didn't attack Obama."

Romney failed because he allowed his opposition to define who he was (i.e., a heartless plutocrat).

But you probably can't attack Obama by getting personal about it- he's just to personable to attack that way (and you'll be called racist).

But you surely can attack the corruption, and the bungling, and the effect of high unemployment on people of all ages. Show a few college grads trying to land a minimum wage job, for example. And, no matter what Obama does to freedom of the press, don't ever start to think they'll be fair.

Ann Althouse said...

cubanbob said..."Madam protestations notwithstanding you just made the case for the republicans in 2014."

Please reread the post and figure out what I said.

Clue to reading the Althouse blog: Sometimes the idea that comes into your head as you're reading what I wrote is something my writing said.

Just because I didn't sledgehammer it doesn't mean I didn't say it.

If you thought it as you read it, consider whether that's what I wrote... at least before telling me off!

AJ Lynch said...

It should be about govt incompetence and govt overreach and govt stupidity or IOW Obama and his allegedly oh-so-fing-brilliant Team of Rivals.

Seriously, does anyone really view Napolitano, Biden, Geithner, LaHood, Hillary!, Kerry, Lisa Jackson, Jay Carney, Chu etal as an f-ing brilliant Team of Rivals?

edutcher said...

President "I Won" has made everything about him, so running on the issues means running against him.

By then, there'll be that much more info on his actual part in things, the economy, which is already tanking, will be worse because of ObamaTax and the incipient housing bubble (yes, there's another one coming), and the scandals will have metastasized (that last shoe may well have dropped by then).

Of course, you go after him. His numbers are already back down where they were BS (Before Sandy). They ain't goin' higher.

madAsHell said...

Romney failed because he didn't attack Obama.

No, the "election" was stolen through vote fraud.

Witness the 20% of OH voters who are ineligible to vote.

Brew Master said...

2014 should be about the abuses of the Government towards their own people. This tactic will have the press on board given the AP/Rosen overreach by the DOJ. The IRS is already a department that most Americans dislike to begin with, and pointing out that the IRS was either using itself/being used as a political tool will resonate in tandem with the fact that they will now be the enforcement branch dealing with Obamacare.

In short, make the midterms about how intrusive the government has become and you will repeat the success of 2010. Obama was more popular then than he is now, and low information celebrity voters will not turn out.

Keep it about the philosophy of small government, highlight the current abuses and leave Obama out of it.

EMD said...

They could put up "Old Economy Steven!" posters.

sinz52 said...

To me, the real issue here is Lord Acton's famous observation that "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The left-wing notion of an ever more powerful central government that is nevertheless run benignly by progressives for the good of all, is a seductive fantasy.

The more central planning you have, the more oppression and corruption you can expect.

Rush Limbaugh has been saying something similar.

But all that is way too abstract for the GOP base, evidently. They just hate Obama, the alleged Marxist/Fascist/Muslim/Kenyan/Chicago gangster, and want to make all these scandals be about him personally.

That's a terrible waste of a political opportunity. If it should turn out that Obama really didn't know about the IRS shenanigans, the opportunity to use this as a teachable moment about the perils of Big Government will be lost.

The Godfather said...

The Republicans didn't do too well in 2012 running against Obama when he was actually on the ticket. A majority of voters seem to like Obama. I don't see why the Republicans should run against him when he's not on the ticket.

The model might be the 1994 election, where the Republicans managed to "nationalize" the election by running against unpopular Democratic programs, and the arrogance and corruption of some Democratic leaders, but not so much the President. Republicans should pick their issues and run on them.

And the Republicans should be as NEGATIVE as they possibly can. The idea that you need to come up with workable alternatives is a trap. That's why Joe Biden is Vice President and Paul Ryan isn't.

sinz52 said...

Peter: "Romney failed because he allowed his opposition to define who he was (i.e., a heartless plutocrat)."

Once the video of Romney dismissing the "47%" as hopeless was released, Romney ended up defining himself as a heartless plutocrat.

sinz52 said...

Peter: "Romney failed because he allowed his opposition to define who he was (i.e., a heartless plutocrat)."

Once the video of Romney dismissing the "47%" as hopeless was released, Romney ended up defining himself as a heartless plutocrat.

gerry said...

We need protection from bureaucrats who just love Obama, what he says, what he stand for, what he believes in, and what he wants to do to us.

How's that?

gerry said...

Oh, and by then, we'll have an IRS armed with Obamacare provisions to aggravate everybody.

That may help.

Nomennovum said...

Why not make the 2014 elections about Obama? The Dems will most assuredly try to make them about Bush.

Brew Master said...

If you do have to bring Obama into it, the only avenue you have to attack him would be his distance/seperation from the actual act of governing.

"It's a shame that President Obama cannot maintain control of the executive branch."

"While the President has stayed aloof over his own administration, his underlings have ran wild persecuting innocent Americans." (this can work with drones as well as the IRS, press)

"We've seen that the 'hands-off' approach taken by our President has led to the bureaucracy oppressing our own citizens. Elect us and we'll reduce the ability of the government to go after it's own citizens."

Etc......

Fr Martin Fox said...

Romney was everything the Obama candidate wanted in an opponent and more. Made to order.

Paddy O said...

Ignore Obama. People, oddly, still like him personally.

Go after every government failing and scandal. They're so tied to Obama that you don't need to beat people over the head by pointing it out. Going after Obama will only make it personal and bring in charges of racism, and then defenses of why its not racism, and why it really is, and so on. Obama City is no longer a strategic goal, we'd get bogged down in the siege. Just go around it.

Talk about the many poor people whose health care has gotten worse and more expensive. Talk about IRS. Talk about drones. Go after corrupt senators and representatives. Republicans need to portray themselves as actually caring more about those things that Democrats say they care about.

Foxxy Conservative said...

Keep spending all your time renaming post offices and trying to repeal ObamaCare. And just keep saying Benghazi over and over again. Voters are starving for that kind of production.

edutcher said...

sinz52 said...

To me, the real issue here is Lord Acton's famous observation that "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The left-wing notion of an ever more powerful central government that is nevertheless run benignly by progressives for the good of all, is a seductive fantasy.

Power tends to corrupt.

The more central planning you have, the more oppression and corruption you can expect.

Rush Limbaugh has been saying something similar.

But all that is way too abstract for the GOP base, evidently. They just hate Obama, the alleged Marxist/Fascist/Muslim/Kenyan/Chicago gangster, and want to make all these scandals be about him personally.


No, but it's all leading back to Choomie.

Where was he during Benghazi?

Why did Shulman make 157 trips to the White House?

Isn't Holder his main man?

That's a terrible waste of a political opportunity. If it should turn out that Obama really didn't know about the IRS shenanigans, the opportunity to use this as a teachable moment about the perils of Big Government will be lost.

"If"????

Yeah, and (Godwin alert) didn't know about the Wannsee Conference, either.

Romney failed because he allowed his opposition to define who he was (i.e., a heartless plutocrat).

Once the video of Romney dismissing the "47%" as hopeless was released, Romney ended up defining himself as a heartless plutocrat.


Like Hell.

He was talking about the likely split in the electorate. Only trolls buy anything else.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Romney was everything the Obama candidate wanted in an opponent and more. Made to order.

No, padre. That's just excuse-making after the fact.

This will turn out to be about the vote fraud.

Paddy O said...

Ignore Obama. People, oddly, still like him personally.

According to Q-pac (and we know how they lean), his approval's 49, his disapproval's 45.

No, the honeymoon is over.

Foxxy Conservative said...

Keep spending all your time renaming post offices and trying to repeal ObamaCare. And just keep saying Benghazi over and over again. Voters are starving for that kind of production.

Somebody tell the She Devil of the SS it's the Demos talking about a "train wreck".

And the revelations about Benghazi have hurt him.

Even the Lefty pollsters admit it.

AllenS said...

Shouldn't there be three "x"s in Foxxy?

Colonel Angus said...

Obama is — or looks — passive. You've got the difficulty of attaching him to the scandals. You have to argue that he should have known more, or he must have known more than we're seeing, or he's not rigorous enough in supervising his multitudinous underlings

Can you explain why this is supposed to be difficult? He's the Chief Executive and by rights is responsible for the actions taken by those within his administration.

If passivity is supposed to absolve him from these scandals then we have really lowered the bar for leadership and accountability for the highest office in the land. Clearly we hold corporate CEOs more accountable than the President of the United States.

Paddy O said...

"his approval's 49, his disapproval's 45."

So his approval is still higher than his disapproval. People, about 50% of the country still like him.

People who don't like him, don't need convincing to vote some other way. It's the people who do like him that need convincing.

Quaestor said...

Isn't it a bit early to start strategizing about the 2014 races? After all, it's a least a year before campaigning will begin in earnest. Until then the contest is between Republicans and Republicans for the various nominations. Between now and next June things will certainly change. Best to wait and see the lay of land first.

Case in point: The talk about Hitler in Ann's post about image shattering images reminds me of Hitler as a military strategist. Putting aside his disastrous decisions regarding the Russian front Hitler did at least a few things right. In the winter and early spring of 1939-1940 the High Command of the Wehrmacht was preparing to deal with France using the same strategy created by Count Alfred von Schlieffen in the 1890's, namely a widely sweeping advance through Belgium to hook around the left wing of the French army and take Paris from the southwest, "brushing the Channel with the sleeve", in effect re-fighting WWI with the same result a likelihood. Hitler was uncomfortable with the plan, but did not interfere until a breech in security gave him an opportunity to substitute an alternative, Case Yellow, an armored thrust through the "impassable" Ardennes against the hinge between the Allied field armies and the static defenses of the Maginot Line. Lesson: Strategy must derive from accurate and timely intelligence and not from some fixed idea from the past.

PS Fall Gelb was originated by Erich von Manstein who did the research into the real state of the roads and bridges of the Ardennes rather than relying on their supposed condition. Hitler merely adopted the plan, but he nevertheless deserves credit for recognizing Manstein's inspired thinking and acting decisively on his recommendations.

AprilApple said...

The GOP should always focus on the corruption of democrats. Make Pelosi and Hillary! and Reid the central focus. That would be a start.

edutcher said...

Substitute Chuckie Schumer for Hillary! and you have a winner.

April has a point. Reagan loved going after Tip O'Neill.

Paddy O said...

his approval's 49, his disapproval's 45.

So his approval is still higher than his disapproval. People, about 50% of the country still like him.

People who don't like him, don't need convincing to vote some other way. It's the people who do like him that need convincing.


My point was the phony bounce he got from his bromance with Christie can't even be made credible in the face of what's happened. He's underwater and the bad stuff has only started.

Besides, only the real voters come out for the midterms. The DWTS/Kardashians stay home.

Quaestor said...

Isn't it a bit early to start strategizing about the 2014 races? After all, it's a least a year before campaigning will begin in earnest. Until then the contest is between Republicans and Republicans for the various nominations. Between now and next June things will certainly change. Best to wait and see the lay of land first.

The time frame shortens for the midterms, granted, but fund-raising and getting the field in some sort of shape for the primaries starts right now.

I agree a lot can change, but most of it doesn't look good for the Choom Gang.

Colonel Angus said...

Hitler merely adopted the plan, but he nevertheless deserves credit for recognizing Manstein's inspired thinking and acting decisively on his recommendations.

He also figured they could take out the so called impregnable Belgian fort Eban Emal by landing glider troops on the surface and use shaped charges to take out key weapon emplacements.

The fort fell in one day.

Quaestor said...

Paddy O wrote:
So his approval is still higher than his disapproval. People, about 50% of the country still like him.

It's 47/47 according to Gallup, if Gallup is trustworthy seeing as they habitually over-sample Democrats. One must keep in mind that polls are snapshots in time and don't predict future trends very well. In early 1973 Nixon was still on a role, he had just won an historic electoral college landslide. Many people didn't like Nixon personally, but they respected his abilities as a politician and statesman, but the respect eroded as Watergate unfolded.

edutcher said...

PS Love this image of the bromance.

Saint Croix said...

Run on Obamacare and the IRS. It's a no-brainer.

AprilApple said...

Hillary! had everything to do with the weirdness of the faux Benghazi talking pints. Add to that her decades of lies, "I don't remember" and cattle futures.

It's important to pour Hillary in the bad batch of toxic paint.

AprilApple said...

pints = points.

Saint Croix said...

Run on Obamacare and the IRS. It's a no-brainer.

edutcher said...

The midterms will swing on the effect of Choom's policies.

With the media slowly turning against him, he'll have less of a shield.

If any.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

Oh. I think by 2014 Obama and his policies are going to pretty much insert themselves into the debate. There won't be much choice by that time.

Quaestor said...

[Hitler] also figured they could take out the so called impregnable Belgian fort Eban Emal...

True, but the assault on Eben-Emael was part of Army Group B's diversionary operations in the Low Countries, the strategic objective being a "wave of the matador's cape" to encourage the Allies to forward deploy into Belgium, thus opening a gap for Army Group A's 45 divisions to execute their "Sichelschnitt" across the Allies' rear. Even if Student's men had failed to carry the fortress it would not have materially affected the outcome of the Battle of France.

bbkingfish said...

Since January 2009, the GOP strategy has been to attack Obama. Why would anyone think they will change tactics in 2014?

Colonel Angus said...

One thing to consider with the scandals is that I think the electorate just isn't as shocked when they happen. It's the equivalent of finding out Lindsey Lohan is back in rehab.

Consider the IRS scandal. Most if not all liberals view the Tea Party and its members as the unholy coupling of the Nazis and the KKK. So to them, what the IRS did wasn't so much a scandal but their patriotic duty. Now if it had been some group like the American Muslim Confederation then you'd have a scandal ;-)

Fast and Furious too inside baseball for most and 4 dead in Benghazi isn't going to raise much blood pressure when we lose about that many a month in Afghanistan. Really only the Robert Cook leftists are going to call Obama out and that's limited to his drone killing of terrorists and supposedly handing bushels of cash to Wall Street. Needless to say that brand of leftist is small, thankfully since the mainstream ones are bad enough.

At this point Presidential scandals that would cause damage would need to involve doing lines of coke in the Oval Office and having sex with young boys or farm animals. Anything else is so 90s.

Quaestor said...

Since January 2009, the GOP strategy has been to attack Obama.

You're confusing strategy with tactics.

Colonel Angus said...

Even if Student's men had failed to carry the fortress it would not have materially affected the outcome of the Battle of France.

Agreed

Scott M said...

Since January 2009, the GOP strategy has been to attack Obama. Why would anyone think they will change tactics in 2014?

Hillary was doing it since early 2008. Why would the GOP do anything different than the world's smartest woman?

edutcher said...

Colonel Angus said...

One thing to consider with the scandals is that I think the electorate just isn't as shocked when they happen. It's the equivalent of finding out Lindsey Lohan is back in rehab.

Consider the IRS scandal. Most if not all liberals view the Tea Party and its members as the unholy coupling of the Nazis and the KKK. So to them, what the IRS did wasn't so much a scandal but their patriotic duty. Now if it had been some group like the American Muslim Confederation then you'd have a scandal ;-)


Yes, but the Tea Party's gone up 10 while Choomie's gone down 5, so the revelations have hurt. and the low info crowd won't be voting this time.

Besides, it's not the Lefties that count, it's the people in the middle, the ones who will be hit by ObamaTax, the new housing bubble, and whatever other effects his policies will have.

bagoh20 said...

It's not about Obama now, and it will be even less about him then. The choice needs to be offered for a more libertarian vision again and again until the people choose to save themselves. Continuing to give them only a choice between big brother left or right is not offering them a solution. Sure they have to take it, but if you care about the end result getting better rather than worse there is only one possible path: smaller government and bigger citizens.

What we have been doing is simply speeding up on the same road to failure, without even looking up to check the road signs. Different drivers, but same result.

I think people on both sides can find something to like about the libertarian view, as long as it's modified away from the extremes of it's most ardent supporters like myself. I don't expect most people to sign on to what I would like, but they only have to move in the right direction for a while to help enormously.

edutcher said...

bbkingfish said...

Since January 2009, the GOP strategy has been to attack Obama. Why would anyone think they will change tactics in 2014?

Gee, I heard a lot of talk about the economy, jobs, ObamaTax out of the Republican Party.

The only people who talk about Little Zero are the Lefties.

Quaestor said...

At this point Presidential scandals that would cause damage would need to involve doing lines of coke in the Oval Office and having sex with young boys or farm animals.

I disagree. One must remember that politics in this country is a margins game -- move the marker two or three percent either way and fortunes are reversed. It's true that the low-information voter won't be swayed by any high crime or misdemeanor of this president, but they won't decide the fate of the Congress.

Furthermore I must reiterate that everyone here has fallen over the stumbling block familiar to the fans of Messrs Holmes and Watson of 221B Baker Street, namely theorizing in advance of the facts.

AprilApple said...

The democrats never stop campaigning and asking for handouts.



Colonel Angus said...

Yes, but the Tea Party's gone up 10 while Choomie's gone down 5, so the revelations have hurt. and the low info crowd won't be voting this time.

It's hurt but its not Watergate hurt. Depending on what poll you look at, he's hovering anywhere from 45-50% and thats fairly consistent with most 2nd termers.

Again the key will be what are the Democrats going to run on? A continuation of Obamas legacy or a new course? Obamacare is not going to be repealed so they just need to drop that issue. If they are smart they should lean more libertarian and push to cease intervention overseas and work on means to tackle our near insurmountable debt plus push hard on fracking with gas again hovering near the $4 mark.

Marshal said...

Colonel Angus said...
Again the key will be what are the Democrats going to run on?


Distractions. What else do they ever run on?

War on women. Racism. Abortion.

Colonel Angus said...

I disagree. One must remember that politics in this country is a margins game -- move the marker two or three percent either way and fortunes are reversed.

I don't know. Benghazi occurred in September and it was obvious from the outset the Administration was clueless on how to respond other than to yell at Romney for daring to question the Administrations response, or lack thereof and it didn't hurt Obama much at all.

Then again I think Obama is the exception since any crticism of him is immediately followed by the racism fallback.

Jack Wayne said...

Dear Ann, considering Obama ran against Bush in 2008 and 2012, the Me Too party would be stupid not to return the favor.

gerry said...

@Paddy O:
Quinnipac has Obama at 45 approve / 49% disapprove.

bagoh20 said...

"Obamacare is not going to be repealed so they just need to drop that issue."

The thing is a huge disaster, and thus an opportunity for the GOP to run against by constantly pushing reforms that will attempt to fix every little stupid, alienating, and ruinous provision. It's a gift that can keep giving for years, exactly because it wont be repealed. Unfortunately, the ACA will rob this nation of full points in GDP as the cost of this opportunity for the GOP.

cubanbob said...

"If you thought it as you read it, consider whether that's what I wrote... at least before telling me off!

5/31/13, 9:32 AM "

Ann I will take your suggestion and re-read the post. That said, please note that while I can certainly disagree with you at times whatever coments I have made or will make will never ever be telling you off.

Methadras said...

The 2014 midterms won't be a reforendum on Urkel simply because he isn't running anymore. Each rep/senate seat up for grabs should be hammering the point that leftism isn't working and that it has foisted massive government largess upon you at the expense of tax payers. In fact, the reason to keep and grow republican seats is to simply prevent the Urkel Administration from fucking it up further. There is power in being the party of No, if you can manage it properly.

Steve Koch said...

Nice post, good explanation of distinction between Obama and Clinton. It is mind boggling that the head of the IRS visited the White House over 150 times.

elkh1 said...

... about Big Govt. and corruption... about how Obamacare "solves" their health insurance problems, and how the IRS solves Obama's problems.

Robert Cook said...

If the next President is either a Republican or a Democrat, we're fucked.

Steve Koch said...

Alinsky said you have to personalize politics cuz it is more effective than focusing on abstract issues. Obama should have much lower favorability ratings but the gop has been very lazy, cowardly, and incompetent at tearing down his ratings by relentlessly attacking him. Your typical dumb ass indy voter probably does not even get the connection between all the gov scandals and Obama/dems (if they are aware of the scandals at all). The gop has to attach a face to these scandals and Obama is the logical choice.

Negative politics works and the gop should be exposing the dem crimes relentlessly.

Richard Dolan said...

It's far too early to focus on what message may or may not work in 2014, or whether it makes sense to package that message in policy terms or more personal, 'it's O's fault' terms.

It's a fair guess that the state of the economy will be far and away the key issue, since (other than war) it always is. But no one knows today what that 'state' will be -- improving, declining, treading water; or what the distributional effects across the country and across different segments of the economy will be. In 2010, it was the rapidly rising national debt that got the Tea Parties going, along with the give-aways that went under the name of 'stimulus.' Perhaps that too will reappear.

If Obamacare is the train wreck some predict, it's also a fair bet that its name-sake will be front and center as well. One side or the other is almost certain to make O-care a key issue, depending on how it is viewed both generally and by each side's key demographics.

As for all the rest in the news today -- Syria, Benghazi, IRS, the Sebelius slush fund, the snooping on the press, etc. -- it's hard to see all of that having staying power.

edutcher said...

Consider:

ObamaTax will increase CA insurance premiums 64 - 146%.

Colonel Angus said...

Obamacare is not going to be repealed so they just need to drop that issue.

Check out my little headline and remember even the Demos are starting to get antsy.

I'm willing to bet they'll be leading the charge; this will undo all the benefits of Social Security and Medicare for them.

Yes, but the Tea Party's gone up 10 while Choomie's gone down 5, so the revelations have hurt. and the low info crowd won't be voting this time.

It's hurt but its not Watergate hurt.


Neither was Watergate at this point in '73.

Patience. Remember how Sergeant Mallory did the dam in Yugoslavia.

Steve Koch said...

Alinsky said you have to personalize politics cuz it is more effective than focusing on abstract issues. Obama should have much lower favorability ratings but the gop has been very lazy, cowardly, and incompetent at tearing down his ratings by relentlessly attacking him

That's the RINO factor, the people Uncle Saul always counted on to play by the rules.

Gonna be interesting to see how much of a factor they are this time.

Colonel Angus said...

Patience. Remember how Sergeant Mallory did the dam in Yugoslavia.

Are you saying Harrison Ford and Carl Weathers are digging up the dirt in the IRS ;-)

Colonel Angus said...

I wonder if that makes McCain as Lescovar.

Don H said...

It is mind boggling that the head of the IRS visited the White House over 150 times.

That would be mind boggling, but it isn't true. Perhaps this is why Republican scandal mongering doesn't work, because it's usually made up.

B said...

If the next President is either a Republican or a Democrat, we're fucked.

We're already fucked though you and I would disagree on the whys and wherefores.

So I agree. We should elect/install Caesar's horse as president. We'd get horse sense anyway.

Big Mike said...

@Don, it certainly appears to be true. Outside of the sort of left-wing lunatic blogs where people wish away inconvenient facts, do you have a link that says what the truth really is?

B said...

There are no scandals.

But what about the evidence?

There are no scandals.

But what about the documentation?

There are no scandals.

But what about....

There are no scandals.

Oh. Well. Ok then.

Big Mike said...

Getting back to Althouse's original question, it really isn't that easy to run against a president. It's one thing to nationalize an election by running against Nancy Pelosi or Tip O'Neill, it's quite another to run against the person who, for better or worse, is one of the symbols of this country. The 2006 elections are a counter-example, but I suspect that if Bush had sacked Rumsfeld sooner and started the surge in 2005 or early 2006, Republicans would have held the House and Senate.

Will Obamacare be the Democrat's equivalent of the Iraq War? If I was a Republican trying to win reelection or trying to unseat an incumbent Democrat, I'd hate to bet on it. Not because Obamacare will be a success -- for about 90% of all working Americans it will mean paying more for less in the way of healthcare coverage and by 2015 the first of the elderly will be denied needed medical treatments due to Obamacare regulations.

But 2015 is after the election.

Don H said...

@Don, it certainly appears to be true.

White House records show Douglas Shulman signed in for 11 visits, not 157, between 2009 and 2012.

Sayyid said...

"Obama is — or looks — passive. "

Yeah. Meeting with the IRS over 100 times totally looks passive. Waves hands. This is not the leadership you are looking for!

Marshal said...

White House records only provide time of arrival information -- confirming that he actually went to them -- for 11 events over the 2009-2012 period, and time of departure information for only six appointments.

That does not mean that he did not go to other meetings, only that the White House records do not show he went to the 157 meetings he was granted Secret Service clearance to attend.


So we can conclude:

(1) the records Don Ho is claiming show Shulman visited only 11 times in fact do not show that, and

(2) Don Ho doesn't even understand the evidence he offers.

#2 is always amusing.

edutcher said...

And in the Well, It IS Friday Dept.:

This can't be good. The IRS may have investigated more than tax exempt applications.

Don H said...

White House records show Douglas Shulman signed in for 11 visits, not 157, between 2009 and 2012.

The Daily Beast, of all things, begs to differ.

Well, we now know the latest disinformation, don't we?

Who says he signed in for all of them?

Shulman's admitted to 118. and public records show 157. Some people don't have to sign in.

Funny that.

Sam L. said...

No. Just Democrats in general.

edutcher said...

PS Info on who has to sign in and who doesn't comes from the WaPo, so it's getting harder and harder to obfuscate this.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I said:

Romney was everything the Obama candidate wanted in an opponent and more. Made to order.

Edutcher said:

No, padre. That's just excuse-making after the fact.

This will turn out to be about the vote fraud.


Actually, I said it before the election. I expected Obama to win in 2012.

edutcher said...

Well, sir, I probably said you were wrong at the time, as well, but that has certainly been a running theme in certain quarters since the "election".

Don H said...

(1) the records Don Ho is claiming show Shulman visited only 11 times in fact do not show that,

The records show Shulman visited 11 times.

Perhaps you don't understand being cleared to attend does not equal attending.

The Daily Caller making shit up again? This is my shocked face.

Steve Koch said...

Don H said...
"It is mind boggling that the head of the IRS visited the White House over 150 times.

"That would be mind boggling, but it isn't true. Perhaps this is why Republican scandal mongering doesn't work, because it's usually made up."

Haha, notice that the IRS head renting a room at the White House came to light during his testimony to a House Oversight committee. Good thing we are used to dem hacks blatantly lying on this blog and know to immediately challenge their "facts".

From the Daily Caller:

"Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member"

By Vince Coglianese

"Released records show that embattled former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet.

Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/29/irss-shulman-had-more-public-white-house-visits-than-any-cabinet-member/#ixzz2UtnQ0rVC

Marshal said...

Don H said...
The records show Shulman visited 11 times.

Perhaps you don't understand being cleared to attend does not equal attending.


It's always amusing when someone is so far behind he thinks he's ahead. The passage I quoted was from the Atlantic - the article you linked in fact - so impugning the DM doesn't advance your argument. And the Atlantic article expressly admits those records do not prove Shulman visited the White House only 11 times. They show he went at least 11 times, but that there are many other methods of White House entry which do not appear in those particular records.

So if you want to argue the point maybe you should take it up with the Atlantic. Or read the article.

edutcher said...

Don H said...

(1) the records Don Ho is claiming show Shulman visited only 11 times in fact do not show that,

The records show Shulman visited 11 times.


No, the sign ins only show 11 times. Shulman himself has copped to 118 in sworn testimony.

Don H said...

From the Daily Caller:

That's where you need to do a full stop. They are wrong frequently and also make things up.

B said...

The records show Shulman visited 11 times.

Well, no. The entry log that shows sign in shows 11 times. Card or vehicle access is not reflected in that log. So one 'record' shows 11 visits over his personal signature. Another 'record' shows that he was cleared for 157 visits in total. But the 'records' of the total number of visits are not available.

Perhaps you don't understand the difference between record and records?

The Daily Caller making shit up again? This is my shocked face.

Did you read the Daily Caller on this or are you just parroting the Atlantic? The Daily Caller acknowledges that the 'records' are not all there.

Perhaps you don't understand the difference between record and records?

Or perhaps you want to believe the best based on one 'record' supporting that without all the 'records' available as badly as others want to believe the worst based on another 'record' supporting that without all the 'records' available?

Since Mr Shulman himself is not disputing the figure of 118 visits he was asked about (the question was about actual visits by the way, not cleared to visits) its safe to assume that at this moment the smart money is for actual visits far exceeding 11.

So unless Shulman digs in on the 11 number, again, he hasn't, yet, it's safe to dismiss your opinions in favor of Shulman's current position and/or waiting for the 'records' to be revealed (if ever).

In any case, the asinine statement:

'Republican scandal mongering doesn't work, because it's usually made up.'

not only has no historical basis it isn't supported by any case you've made. It does however label you as just another partisan lefty jackass for making it.

edutcher said...

Don H said...

From the Daily Caller:

That's where you need to do a full stop. They are wrong frequently and also make things up.


A few citations, por favor.

Again, the Daily Beast, no right wing rag, and Atlantic writer Megan McArdle agree with the DC.

Don H said...

not only has no historical basis it isn't supported by any case you've made.

Hysterical Republican scandal mongering and the deluded morons who gobble it up has a long history.

The only question remaining is why the media continually runs after the kicked ball. Nothing like the Clinton years mind you, but some things never change.

Marshal said...

Citing articles that don't actually say what the commenter claims they say has a fairly long history at Althouse.

And the commenter with that long history also had an unbroken record of impugning any dispute or inquiry into Democratic actions as partisan driven.

I'm sure this is purely by coincidence.

Don H said...

Citing articles that don't actually say what the commenter claims they say has a fairly long history at Althouse.

The article says exactly what I claimed it did. If you can find a log with 146 entries showing a Shulman visit then knock yourself out.

Big Mike said...

@Don, purely out of curiosity, what makes you think the Atlantic is any more creditable than The Daily Caller?

B said...

Don H said...Hysterical Republican scandal mongering and the deluded morons who gobble it up has a long history.

Your handlers can tell you this repeatedly and you can parrot it repeatedly. While that's par for the course bleating from the progressive sheepcot it doesn't support a reasoned discussion.

Until you put up some references supporting a history of republican scandal mongering and then demonstrate why they should be considered hysterical you are just a monkey pounding a keyboard.

Marshal said...

If you can find a log with 146 entries showing a Shulman visit then knock yourself out

Why would anyone need to find such a record? The article you pulled the 11 figure from notes the cited records are not comprehensive and therefore not usable to determine what number of the 157 authorized meetings Schulman actually attended.

I see no matter the sockpuppet logical thought is still not a priority.

Hagar said...

The 157 visits were brought up at the House hearing, and Mr. Shulman did not argue about it. And it is on camera.

As for "making the election about Obama," I would not think there be any doubt that Mr. Me, my, and my shadow will manage that without any help from the Republicans.

B said...

Don H said...If you can find a log with 146 entries showing a Shulman visit then knock yourself out.

Until the cover Obama's ass left can prevail upon the administration to release the electronic card and vehicle access records (and please don't try to claim such a basic precaution wasn't taken) your challenge is middle school level nonsense.

You're asking us to disbelieve Shulman's specific testimony in favor of some progressive partisan screeching out the same talking point over and over again. Even after those talking points have been dissected and shown to be nothing but best progressive case wishful assumptions based on incomplete records.

Stop embarrassing yourself. Your dog won't hunt. Hell, your dog isn't even breathing.

Original Mike said...

"Clinton was active in doing the things that got him into impeachment trouble"

That's one way to put it.

edutcher said...

Don H said...

not only has no historical basis it isn't supported by any case you've made.

Hysterical Republican scandal mongering and the deluded morons who gobble it up has a long history.


Waiting for the... ya burnt?.

B said...

By the way, Don.

You consider this issue nothing more than hysterical Republican scandal mongering based on your (correct) observation that currently only 11 visits have been indisputably verified by physical records.

Holding this position singularly based on the one hard record available is unequivocally disputing the sworn word of the principal in the matter, Shulman, who is explicitly implying that that record is incomplete.

By your logic Shulman is then a hysterical republican scandal monger who is brazenly lying about the number of times he visited the WH in that time frame.

Doesn't seem smart to risk pissing him off that way. Haven't thought it through have you? (Big surprise that)

Fandor said...

"Should Republicans make the 2014 elections about Obama?" NO!! Republicans and every citizen who loves this country should make the election about LIBERTY!

phx said...

"Should Republicans make the 2014 elections about Obama?" NO!! Republicans and every citizen who loves this country should make the election about LIBERTY!

You have a good idea but you watch, they won't be able to help themselves.

bardseyeview said...

Use testimony from Lerner and others' taking the Fifth, if Issa can get her to actually say it out loud, in TB and radio commercials. You don't really need to do much else.

Landslide coming. Pity the republicans have no idea what to do with it.