November 22, 2013

"Republicans, wounded and eager to show they have not been stripped of all power, are far more likely to unify against the Democrats who humiliated them in such dramatic fashion."

In the NYT, Jonathan Weisman assesses post-filibuster politics, under the headline "Partisan Fever in Senate Likely to Rise."
Republican senators who were willing to team with Democrats on legislation like an immigration overhaul, farm policy and a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will probably think twice in the future....
Please, Republicans, please be obstructionist. I hear the secret thoughts of the NYT. Go big-time obstructionistic on things that will leverage Democrats next year to say that you hate the Hispanic people and you're at war against women. 

It's the Democrats who are beaten up right now, who need a boost in the midst of the Obamacare debacle. But the NYT is here to tell you that yesterday Democrats "humiliated" Republicans in "such dramatic fashion." The Democrats are desperate to change the subject back to how terrible Republicans are, and the NYT is here to help. The Democrats go "nuclear" on the old Senate tradition, and the NYT stresses the dramatic humiliation of the Republicans.
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to Mr. Obama, said retaliation by Republicans against the president’s broader agenda would end up hurting them more than Democrats. 
Well, of course, it's his assignment to say why whatever happens is good for Democrats and bad for Republicans. You can try to make up the argument for yourself before reading it.
“If their answer is, ‘Oh yeah, we can make it even worse,’ I think they do that at great risk,” Mr. Axelrod said. “They have to make a decision about whether they want to be a shrinking, shrieking, blocking party, or if they are going to be a national party.”
Did you guess right? A good strategy for guessing right would have been to look at what the NYT had in the paragraphs at the top of the article and presume they'd already used the talking point Axelrod had fed them.
From the moment Mr. Obama took office, the president who proclaimed that there was no red America and blue America, only the United States of America, has strained to maintain some pretense of bipartisanship — through protracted and fruitless efforts to woo Republicans on his economic stimulus plan and health care law....
What?! The health-care law is a monument to throwing out bipartisanship. Everyone plays the bipartisanship game until they decide not to. It means nothing that any politician ever "strained to maintain some pretense of bipartisanship." All that matters is: When did they give up the pretense? We saw the Democrats jam Obamacare through without a single Republican vote, and now they've got 100% responsibility for the biggest, craziest government overreach in American history. And they've muscled Republicans even further to the sidelines, because they want what they want. How on earth can this be an occasion for dinging Republicans for a failure of bipartisanship? Ludicrous!
Then on Thursday, before a solemn, almost funereal gathering on the Senate floor, the pretense came to an end....

Mr. Obama expressed hope that a bipartisan spirit “will have a little more space now.” 
On this "funereal" occasion, bipartisanship was in the casket, so I'm going to read Obama's remark as a creepy quip. What a commodious coffin!

57 comments:

Levi Starks said...

Heads- the Democrats win,
Tails- the Republicans lose.

Kelly said...

Whew! I was so worried about Obama and how this whole ACA mess was affecting him. I'm so glad that he got this victory over the republicans. Not only victory, but humiliation! Go Obama! That'll show them that the next time he falls on his face they better just help him up and dust him off because that's what opposing parties have always done in the history of never.

surfed said...

Now why would the Democrats allow the Republicans to have the power to appoint judges with a simple majority vote. They day will be rued... The imminent day.

policraticus said...

Repeat after me, Democrats: Chief Justice Robert Bork.

policraticus said...

Repeat after me, Democrats: Chief Justice Robert Bork.

khesanh0802 said...

I think this article in the WSJ has it right. The Rs need to let Obama fall on his face by himself while they make positive suggestions for changes that clearly can be accomplished.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304791704579212422022570980?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

The question is who are going to be the spokespeople?

RecChief said...

From the New York Times, March 29, 2005:

"While the filibuster has not traditionally been used to stop judicial confirmations, it seems to us this is a matter in which it's most important that a large minority of senators has a limited right of veto. Once confirmed, judges can serve for life and will remain on the bench long after Mr. Bush leaves the White House. And there are few responsibilities given to the executive and the legislature that are more important than choosing the members of the third co-equal branch of government. The Senate has an obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity of the process.

A decade ago, this page expressed support for tactics that would have gone even further than the "nuclear option" in eliminating the power of the filibuster. At the time, we had vivid memories of the difficulty that Senate Republicans had given much of Bill Clinton's early agenda. But we were still wrong. To see the filibuster fully, it's obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it. We hope acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide."

Henry said...

The Violence Against Women Act is just political theater.

But immigration and farm policy really have no winning outcomes. They are completely screwed up and given the interest groups, fiefdoms, and grifters involved there's absolutely no chance that anything positive can be accomplished.

Current farm policy is so horribly awful that there is almost certainly nothing that could make it worse. But our politicians would think of something.

Jim said...

This seems like all of the op-eds that say failure to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" will doom the GOP to centuries of status as a minority party. Why are they so concerned with the fate of the GOP? Don't they want the Democrats to be the permanent majority? This seems like a move from weakness rather than strength.

Scientific Socialist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

Usually, the ones on the receiving end of a gigantic "Told you so" are the humiliated.

Alexander said...

Policraticus has the right of it.

Who cares? The left might not always get the judges they want, but they always get the judges they need. The end result will always follow the part line.

The right? As it *was*, the right was forced towards the middle-ground, and the middle-ground conservative judges have a very annoying tendency to go left.

So the first thing a Republican Senate needs to do is go ahead and remove the rules for Supreme Court confirmations and then put the most stalwart conservatives possible on the bench. Threats from the left to do likewise should be ignored because again, 'moderate' leftist judges always rule as expected anyway, no loss.

RecChief said...

"the pretense came to an end....

Mr. Obama expressed hope that a bipartisan spirit “will have a little more space now.”

this is one of the best cases of double speak I have seen in a while. With the Democrat Party's propensity for stealing elections, maybe they are right about having a permanent majority and permanent liberal judiciary as well. This doesn't look good. But I think whoever said it is correct, this was done out of weakness, not strength.

Leit Bart said...

Obama just unilaterally rewrote Obamacare yet again to give Ds cover in the midterms. He pushed 2014 open enrollment to November so the premium rate shocks will come after the elections.

So it's not just Rs who have been stripped of power. Congress has no power. With a friend like Obama, who needs enemies, I mean, legislators?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/22/obamacare-enrollment-for-2015-to-reportedly-be-delayed-until-after-midterms/

Scientific Socialist said...

"From the moment Mr. Obama took office...has strained to maintain some pretense of bipartisanship..."

I'm so confused-are you sure Jonathan Weisman wasn't writing in "The Onion"? Reading the above quote, I laughed so hard that I was crying. Which POTUS in recent-or distant-memory was more intentionally divisive than Obama? What other POTUS routinely vilified not just opposing party politicians but ordinary citizens who didn't agree with his policies? Hint: Obama need not search any longer for a legacy.

PB Reader said...

So, Axelrod would agree that Democrats have only hurt themselves with this move?

cubanbob said...

As a practical matter right now there is nothing the Republicans can do so the only option for them is to wait until the net election and depending on the outcome see what options they will have then. If they do win the Senate and keep the House the best revenge is to simply have a blanket impeachment and removal of the judges appointed by the Democrats in the interim. The Democrats will get the lesson and everyone will clamor to bring back the filibuster rules that were in place since the begging of the republic until now.

As an added measure to drive home the lesson Harry Reid would need to be expelled from the Senate. All of this is nothing more than a judge packing scheme and when the opportunity arises the Republican's should man up and smash the Democrats twice as hard.

PB Reader said...

It's time for the Republicans to sue the president over these illegal actions and insist that the matter be taken up directly by the Supreme Court.

Shouting Thomas said...

You are probably 100% right on this one, prof.

Buy, the Repubs leave me cold, too. The blanket amnesty thing hurts my family. Citizenship is ownership. You don't give it away.

I'm not looking to politics for salvation, only for entertainment.

So, I'm good, so long as open warfare doesn't break out in the streets.

Richard Dolan said...

Althouse could also have added that the spirit of bipartisanship is about the necessity for compromise in a 50-50 nation. The (former) 60-vote threshold in the Senate was a practical way of making both sides pay attention to that reality, particularly on those occasions when partisan fever was pushing them a bit too far. So, if the ode to bipartisanship being sung by Weisman and the NYT were even slightly honest, they would have excellent reason to give an encore of the NYT's view from 2005rather than this silly exercise in hypocricy.

Having dumped the super-majority rule for some Senate business, it wlll be a short step to dumping it for all Senate business the next time the majority thinks that its will is being frustrated by an obstructionist minority. Since that happens every day in the Senate, a broader rule change is bound to come. Sen Harkin is already pushing for it on the Dem side, and Sen Grassley has made it known that, when the Reps run the Senate, they won't feel bound to honor the ostensible but illusory limits on the rule change put in place by Reid.

So the Senate is well on its way to being run like the House, in which every bill comes to the floor preceded by its own 'rule', detailing what can and can't be considered, etc. Where Senate rules (now any rule) can be changed by a simple majority vote, the only rule that counts is whatever the majority wants, subject to whatever constraints the majority imposes on itself. Good luck with that, as they say.

The structural problem for the Dems is that the Senate weighs each state the same, with Dem voters being concentrated on the coasts in fewer states than Rep votes. Thus over time the Senate is more likely to skew towards the conservative and Rep side than the country as a whole. Many have noted that Dems will rue the day they changed this rule. But that structural reality will be around for a long time to really rub it in.

dbp said...

In the long run it is better for the filibuster to exist but it would be counterproductive to change the rule back as soon as Republicans regain control.

Republican senators should announce that they will change the rule back when they regain control--as soon as they have appointed exactly as many judges as the Democrats push through between now and the restoration of Republican majority.

William said...

As I understand it, the Senate was designed to be the cooling chamber, the place where the passions of the majority went to cool down. So now that's over. Reid has increased, for the moment, the power of the Democrats, but he has considerably diminished the authority of the Senate.

The Drill SGT said...

Everyone plays the bipartisanship game until they decide not to.

In the discussion of the 2005 Nucular (sp :) fight when the GOP thought about it, but stepped back, it is also worth noting that the Gang of 14? was assembled on the GOP side. The group were called traitors (e.g. McCain, etal) but went forward in you know, that bipartisan stuff.

You don't see that from the Dems this time. Only Levin is old enough and leaving soon enough to remind Dems that this is a dumb F'ing idea. In that sense he's playing the "Robert Byrd" role of reminding them how dumb this is in the long run...

The Dem leadership are left wing hacks who are willing to give up anything for short term gain...

Marshal said...

dbp said...
Republican senators should announce that they will change the rule back when they regain control--as soon as they have appointed exactly as many judges as the Democrats push through between now and the restoration of Republican majority.


This would be a mistake. Limiting your advantage to whatever the Dems do first means Dems would always benefit or at worst tie from changing the rules. Without the risk of a net loss they'll never respect the process.

Strelnikov said...

Generally speaking, when Tass, Pravda or the NYT says to do something, I do the opposite.

n.n said...

They should manage Obamacare in the same manner that they managed the omnibus appropriations bill. Force the Democrats to confront reality in manageable doses. If Obama and Reid repeat their past performance, then they will threaten to shutdown the federal government, and bring out the barricades.

Writ Small said...

Since the ACA is unspinnable, the NYT does the next best thing, which is to try to change the subject.

However, the Dems didn't blow up the filibuster just to change the subject. If the straight line trend continues, R's will be running the Senate in a year and an R will be in the White House two years after that. That gives the D's less than 12 months to load up the courts.

The Crack Emcee said...

Rubetalk:

"It's the Democrats who are beaten up right now, who need a boost in the midst of the Obamacare debacle."

Are the Democrats beaten up right now, or is that media imagery?

Beyond words, where's the evidence? It's the Right that has no power, no leverage, no momentum, no agenda, and little hope of attracting voters - how does that put Dems (whatever their problems) in trouble?

I think you fall for illusion too easily,...

damikesc said...

Can anybody name a single story in the NYT worrying about the future of the Democratic Party if they do something stupid?

I'm having a hard time thinking of one myself.

You'd think the press, that votes for them overwhelmingly, would be worried about them once in a while.

mccullough said...

Both parties benefit from each other's incompetence. The Dems benefitted from W and the Repubs have benefitted from Obama.

It's when either party is in power that they hurt themselves.

That said, I think overall Republican governors have done a better job in the last generation than Democratic governors. But the Republicans in D.C. pretty are pretty bad. The Dems are probably worse, but this is pretty much a Russians vs. Germans argument.

The Godfather said...

The Senate majority killing the filibuster will only increase the partisanship and acrimony that have come to characterize our politics and will reduce chances for compromise and cooperation. For example:

There are House Republicans who oppose the Senate-passed immigration reform bill, but who would support more limited reforms. However, they have been worried that if the House passes ANYTHING regarding immigration, it will be sent to conference with the Senate bill, and the conference will recommend what is essentially the Senate bill -- and then a combination of Democrats and pro-immigration (or scared) Republicans will pass it in the House. The Senate filibuster action gives those worried Republicans more reason to worry. Who could possibly assure them that their attempt to compromise wouldn't bite them in the ass?

gk1 said...

I take it as a sign Harry Reid has cashed in his chips for this session and doesn't plan to have anything pass between now and 2014(presuming he won't be in the minority). This desperate move was a sign of weakness and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Rubetalk:

"It's the Democrats who are beaten up right now, who need a boost in the midst of the Obamacare debacle."
--------------------
"Are the Democrats beaten up right now, or is that media imagery?

Beyond words, where's the evidence? It's the Right that has no power, no leverage, no momentum, no agenda, and little hope of attracting voters - how does that put Dems (whatever their problems) in trouble?

I think you fall for illusion too easily,..."

11/22/13, 1:20 PM

So good to see some reality injected into this thread.

Rusty said...


Beyond words, where's the evidence? It's the Right that has no power, no leverage, no momentum, no agenda, and little hope of attracting voters - how does that put Dems (whatever their problems) in trouble?


Obamacare

Anonymous said...

They've put all their eggs in the Obamacare basket. Obamacare isn't their ticket to winning in 2014 or 16.

Having said that, I suggest they stick to their "principles", stay pure, push the Cruz types. Moderate Republicans don't have any chance of winning. None. Look at McCain and Romney. Rightists are correct, they need to continue to move to the right.

Oh and don't forget to keep fighting the Obamacare fight! Oh and don't forget to continue to try to pass some personhood bills giving the fetus full rights from the moment of conception. And follow Santorum's advice about birth control.Yep that's the ticket.

Drago said...

Inga: "Oh and don't forget to keep fighting the Obamacare fight!"

We hardly require a reminder to keep fighting the most mendaciously passed legislation in this nations history which will cause "harm" (increased premiums/increased deductables/loss of doctors & hospitals/less access to care) for 100 to 150 million Americans when it's all said and done.

But go ahead Inga, don't forget to tell those 100 million plus folks that they are all racists and, in terms of healthcare, simply "ancedotes" that don't mean anything.

By all means, run on obamacare.

Remember how you all said you would?

LOL

Drago said...

And btw, it wasn't the republicans who put "all the eggs" in one basket (obamacare), it was the dems.

Happily.

Gleefully.

Joyfully.

Except now....not so much.

Whatever could be the cause of this sudden loss of rapturous giddiness on the part of the dems?

Gee, one can only wonder...

Drago said...

Oh wait.

I forgot.

We're not allowed to say "obamacare" anymore.

That's racist says the dems.

Why would the dems be running so fast away from "obamacare" as a term?

It must be because it's a real "winner" for them.

Anonymous said...

No, no please continue bringing up Obamacare at every opportunity. No need to be concerned about any racist overtones, nonsense! No one will think its racist. People will be so grateful that the right is staying pure and sticking to their principles. Yes people are hungry for more rightist ideology. The people are starving for the truth! It's up to you rightists to speak truth to power!

Drago said...

Inga: "No, no please continue bringing up Obamacare at every opportunity."

How moronic and lacking in self-awareness does a liberal have to be to write that statement at this specific time when the entire nation is transfixed by the incompetence and obamacare lies sold to them and as the healthcare plans of millions of Americans are blowing up.

Notice how Inga has absolutely no regard for any of them.

But then again, as a leftist, we all know all too well the leftist view of things: "Can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs."

Drago said...

Inga: "No need to be concerned about any racist overtones, nonsense! No one will think its racist."

It has already been pronounced as racist by leftists.

Haven't you been paying attention?

Anonymous said...

No, no, Drago, pay them no mind. They are just silly. You just keep sticking to your rightist principles and talking points, you can NEVER go wrong doing that.

Anonymous said...

I mean leftists, they are silly. But by all means Drago and rightists, continue to showcase those poor folks who have lost their insurance, yes please! Oh gosh, and don't forget....Benghazi! Demand the truth!

Anonymous said...

Oh! Another chance to shut the government down coming up, don't miss that chance! It worked so well for you folks last time. Do it!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, then you get to round up some Veterans again, and don't forget to invite that guy with the huge confederate flag. He looked so great waving it proudly in front of the White House. Make sure to get Palin there to talk about slavery. It wouldn't be a rally without Palin's wise words, nope.

Rusty said...

Inga said...
No, no please continue bringing up Obamacare at every opportunity. No need to be concerned about any racist overtones, nonsense! No one will think its racist. People will be so grateful that the right is staying pure and sticking to their principles. Yes people are hungry for more rightist ideology. The people are starving for the truth! It's up to you rightists to speak truth to power!


Incompetence is racist now?
Incompetence is a race?

Good to know.

Rusty said...


Oh and don't forget to keep fighting the Obamacare fight!


We don't have to. It's augering in all on it's own.

Rusty said...

You can always tell when Inga starts tapping that box of chablis.

Girls all revved up and no one to shoot.

Unknowable said...

"While the filibuster has not traditionally been used to stop judicial confirmations, it seems to us this is a matter in which it's most important that a large minority of senators has a limited right of veto. Once confirmed, judges can serve for life and will remain on the bench long after Mr. Bush leaves the White House. And there are few responsibilities given to the executive and the legislature that are more important than choosing the members of the third co-equal branch of government. The Senate has an obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity of the process.

A decade ago, this page expressed support for tactics that would have gone even further than the "nuclear option" in eliminating the power of the filibuster. At the time, we had vivid memories of the difficulty that Senate Republicans had given much of Bill Clinton's early agenda. But we were still wrong. To see the filibuster fully, it's obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it. We hope acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide."

Last two paragraphs of NYT Editorial, circa 2005.

Drago said...

Inga, please don't forget to have your occupy buddies rape a few more women and defecate on a couple more police squad cars.

After all, those guys are probably best suited to represent your leftist "principles".

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm not going to hang out, but you guys get how ObamaCare's playing, all wrong. You live in a world of media hype:

Like every other "scandal" you've had on Obama lately (Benghazi?) it's a manufactured mountain out of a molehill.

You're talking about a website - an insurance website at that.

Isn't the point that a lot of people never even had insurance before?

Then - in the real world - doesn't it figure almost everywhere, but on TV, nobody will really care about this shit until they themselves get hurt?

Here, further - let me play Karl Rove and explain the psychology of entitlements to you:

People will wait, to get it right, as long as the Dems care (and/or appear to) for those who can't.

The party - my party - that insists on looking and acting like it's filled with stupid white racists, who want women in the kitchen and everybody in church, has nothing to compete.

But Chris Christie.

Add Scott Walker to the ticket (if he doesn't realize what a lack of charisma he has and take the veep spot before foolishly deciding to challenge) and we're in.

Otherwise, forgetaboutit.

I do like watching you guys, going nuts over nothing, though.

You're like cheerleaders in an empty stadium,...

Marshal said...

Inga said...
Oh gosh, then you get to round up some Veterans again, and don't forget to invite that guy with the huge confederate flag. He looked so great waving it proudly in front of the White House. Make sure to get Palin there to talk about slavery. It wouldn't be a rally without Palin's wise words, nope.


Revealing that the leftists never concern themselves with what's best for America, only with how the media can manipulate public perception. You'd think they'd at least learn to fake caring about America after Obamacare, over concern that such obvious incompetence will risk breaking through the propaganda machne. Maybe the smart ones will.

Marshal said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Isn't the point that a lot of people never even had insurance before?


Almost none of the people added to Obamacare policies were previously uninsured.

Then - in the real world - doesn't it figure almost everywhere, but on TV, nobody will really care about this shit until they themselves get hurt?

They'll think about it every time they write a check for $200 more than they used to, so that'll be every month.

The Crack Emcee said...

Marshal,

Almost none of the people added to Obamacare policies were previously uninsured.

I said they're not even thinking about it yet.

They'll think about it every time they write a check for $200 more than they used to, so that'll be every month.

We'll see - it was a Republican (Rand Paul, I think) who first opined that he feared people may like it in the long run,...

Rusty said...

crack said,
"Isn't the point that a lot of people never even had insurance before?"


I think the point has become, through obamacare, even more people don't have insurance now.

The website is a cauldron of cheap political pandering, recruitment, corruption and theft.

Even if it is somehow miraculously "fixed" no one with a working brain cell trusts the system with their personal information.

We are witnesses to what happens when you elevate mediocrity and then reward it.

Anonymous said...

An empty stadium with a big echo.