May 19, 2015

"The GOP Is the Strongest It's Been in Decades."

"While most journalists look at presidential performance as a measure of party strength (see the ubiquitous 'Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections'), we take a broader view of party strength...."

84 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Obama has decimated the Democrats, to the point where an old re-tread like Hillary is the best they have to offer.

harrogate said...

This is my sense as well. It's not just local elections to go by, either. Republican economics has basically taken over the country, locale by locale.

Brando said...

Sic transit gloria mundi--look at how sure the Dems were in 2008 that they had a new permanent majority.

The GOP advantage in state-level races has mostly to do with voters' residential patterns rather than an overall majority among voters. Conversely, these patterns at the national electoral college level explain the Democratic advantage in presidential races.

If the GOP were to make long term inroads in some key Democratic constituencies (such as blacks, hispanics, unmarried women or young voters) without losing their existing advantages among others (male, white, Christian voters) this would spell dominance. Until then it looks like the country is split in half. We haven't seen a national race won by 10 points since the '80s.

Robert Cook said...

Hillary is the perfect candidate: she'll please the owners of the Republicans (if not the Republicans themselves)--Wall Street and affiliated financial services companies--and she'll please the Democrats,who will stupidly see her as a "true progressive," or, at worst, "the lesser evil." They forget that the lesser evil--even assuming it is actually "lesser"--is still evil.

(Being seen as the lesser evil allows one to do great evil in plain sight--as we see with Obama--as those deluding themselves that voting for the lesser evil is admirable and not reckless don't or won't look at what he or she whom they have helped gain power actually does with that power...or they will explain it away as due to the maneuverings and obstructionism of the opposing party.)

cubanbob said...

Never underestimate the ability of the Republican's to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. At the national level the RINO's will blow it next year. They hate real conservatives and real small government advocates with a passion much more than thy dislike progressives-crony's understand each other. A Mitch McConell is better than a Harry Reid but that isn't saying much. A litmus test for the RINO's may well come next month. If the Supreme Court rules unfavorably against the government regarding the exchanges what the national Republican's propose will be telling about how really conservative and pro-small government they really are.

tim in vermont said...

Well, to be fair, we do have the "tough on crime" architect of the Baltimore Police Force tactics, O'Malley, running, and the old commie and Senator for Life from Vermont, Sanders.

Anonymous said...

I love how the commentariat always try to find deep meaning in the history of presidential elections. You don't need FiveThirtyEight to understand these things. All you need is a pendulum.

Look at the data in the 7 elections from 1980-2004 and, whoa, the Democrats only won a clear majority of the popular vote in ONE election — and that one they lost! They're doomed!

Swing voters get tired of being led by Republicans. Then they get tired of being led by Democrats. That's about as sophisticated as you need to get.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary is the perfect candidate: she'll please the owners of the Republicans (if not the Republicans themselves)--Wall Street and affiliated financial services companies--and she'll please the Democrats,who will stupidly see her as a "true progressive," or, at worst, "the lesser evil." They forget that the lesser evil--even assuming it is actually "lesser"--is still evil

Yep. Plus she can get racist Democrats back into the fold.

Sebastian said...

"Strongest" in decades, yes.

But not strong enough.

GOP can prevent some foolishness but is up against Prog legacy (ex.: Illinois).

Rino good old boys have joined GOP in many states.

Pres liability remains.

LIV and "moderate" voters still a challenge.

harrogate said...

Multinational corporations win. it's very exciting!

damikesc said...

I think the GOP has a ton of young talent

...and the most idiotic leadership the world has ever seen.

I'd love to see young Republicans walk away and form their own party.

Hillary is the perfect candidate: she'll please the owners of the Republicans (if not the Republicans themselves)--Wall Street and affiliated financial services companies

Wall Street has GENEROUSLY funded Democrats for decades.

Ditto notoriously wealthy and worker oppressing Hollywood and academia.

High tech is also Democratic and ALSO seems to hate workers (for all of his faults, Ford DID raise tons and tons of people into prosperity. Zuckerburg hasn't done shit for society)

buwaya said...

"Republican economics has basically taken over the country, locale by locale."

No it hasn't. It seems that way only for election watchers. Whats really been happening is that the bureaucracy and its bureaucrat-industrial complex has been displacing democracy.

It matters much less who you elect, or what issues you elect people on, than the fact that the grey goo is making it all irrelevant.

Republican economics my foot. We certainly don't have that. We have a rule-and-process choked mess.

buwaya said...

"Multinational corporations win. it's very exciting!"

Nearly every one is a major net democrat donor and wholly a part of the democrat-bureaucrat-industrial complex.

traditionalguy said...

Don't look now , but Scott Walker is riding the crest of the GOP support from northern community firster thinkers, southern evangelicals and Reaganite individualists.

buwaya said...

Cook - "and she'll please the Democrats"

Yes she will. The Democrats you don't want to accept as your own, but they are. Your friends aren't who you think they are.

John Lynch said...

James Carville says "the purpose of political parties is to win elections."

damikesc said...

I'd kill for a Republican to vow to bring back the spoils system for public employees.

At least with that, SOMEBODY was responsible for the graft.

Now, the government is even more corrupt and NOBODY is ever punished for any of it.

The current public employee system is a friggin' disaster.

Wilbur said...

I hold with W.C. Fields.

I never vote FOR anyone, always against.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections”

My guess is the analysis does not take into account the margin of fraud - perhaps as much as 5% nationally.

At some future time the sleeping giant of middle class tax payers may (or may not) wake up and come in to counter the great mass of young and low information voters.

Not to tar all young with the same brush, but young voters have no personal recollection of George Stephanoupolis as the Clinton political hack, of Travel-gate, Rose law firm billing records - or, to be fair, of Nixon, Watergate, John McCain, the Keating Five, ...

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The Republicans' local advantage is that there are few and no fiscal liberals in practice. People with near unanimous agreement prefer to keep the product of their labor and prosecute redistributive and general welfare schemes at the national level with debt distribution far (a la environmentalism) and wide (i.e. financialization) to compensate. Then there is the minority who acknowledge intrinsic value and its implications. The Republicans are right, in principle.

victoria said...

Hmmmm. And written on a republican blog. Hmmmm


Vicki from Pasadena

Anonymous said...

My guess is the analysis does not take into account the margin of fraud - perhaps as much as 5% nationally.


What they don't take into effect is the large population centers where Democrats vote and dutifully go to the polls on buses and in vans even though the vote is skewed 99% to 1%.

This sort of voting drives up the popular vote but does nothing for the electoral college.

Which fools people because Mitt Romney doesn't have a show in Philly, for example. He doesn't have buses lined up in New York City, or Los Angeles, or any other major metro area because he knows he will lose California and New York and other major States, so his money is better spend on Florida, or Ohio, whatever.

You've got to win the electoral college, not the popular vote. If it was all about the popular vote, Republicans would be spending huge sums of money to churn out the vote in the big cities, in the population centers, because that's where they would get more bang for their buck.

tim in vermont said...

@Vickie in Pasadena,

Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later! It is almost as if it were a pattern!


Kyzernick said...

1) lower taxes, or at least don't raise them
2) stop fighting gay marriage. Let them bugger each other till the cows come home or they catch the bug
3) outlaw late term/partial birth abortions, unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy (which would be more like an early C-section, no?) Got raped and couldn't decide for 6 months? Too bad sweetie, it's either have the baby or throw yourself down a staircase.
4) lower taxes, or at least don't raise them.
5) return to "big stick" diplomacy and hold fast those red lines for Chrissakes! Give Putin the finger on television. Carpet-bomb ISIS.
6) work to create congressional term limits.
7) machine guns and 24/7 sensor-drone patrols along the border. They're not "swimmers" or "jumpers" - they're "invaders" or "targets".
8) deport any illegal with so much as a jaywalking ticket. Then deport the rest. Then end the "anchor baby" bullshit.
9) speak out against Affirmative Action. I don't want my kids to have to do twice as good to get into the same school as a minority.
10) cut UN funding
11) prosecute Hillary
12) lower taxes, or at least don't raise them.
13) kill the JSF, buy more F-22s (at a deep discount, since otherwise Lockheed executives would be prosecuted over the abject failures of the F-35), develop and procure the FB-22 as our next-gen bomber, then start working on the future of air wars, since the last fighter pilot has already been born.


My wish list.

David said...

So losing is winning? Great.

clint said...

"damikesc said...
I think the GOP has a ton of young talent

...and the most idiotic leadership the world has ever seen.

I'd love to see young Republicans walk away and form their own party."

Forming a third party just hands the plurality win to the Democrats. Ask Woodrow Wilson. Or Bill Clinton.

As soon as a Republican President is sworn in, there will be a shift in leadership in the party. Watch and see.

Part of this is structural -- the President gets to appoint party officials (like the RNC chair). Part of it is that prominent senators will stop running for President and Veep and one of them will challenge McConnell for Majority Leader. Part of it is that 2016 will see a new freshman class of young Republicans, so the 2014 class will move up a step in seniority.

Lots of young talent is a really good thing to have. Wait and judge the GOP Congress by what happens when they've got a White House they can work with.

Mick said...

Really?
When they have 2 ineligible candidates (not natural born Citizens) in Cruz and Rubio? And soon to be 3 ineligible candidates when Jindal gets in? Do you think that it is a coincidence that the "R Team" has 3 ineligible candidates?

Here is what 7 FAM says about candidates for POTUS that are born outside of the US:

7 FAM 1131.6-2 (a) “Eligibility for Presidency”

“It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore eligible for the Presidency".

And this is what 7 FAM says about "citizen at birth" (8 US Code 1401, which also includes Rubio)

7 FAM 1131.6-3 Not Citizens by “Naturalization”
(CT:CON-474; 08-19-2013)
Section 101(a)(23) INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(23)) provides that the term
"naturalization" means "the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after
birth, by any means whatsoever." Persons who acquire U.S. citizenship at birth by
birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the applicable statutory transmission requirements are not considered citizens by naturalization".


Notice the date that was added, less than a year ago---the state Dept. is working feverishly to protect the Usurper Usurper Obama, and allow the "R team" ineligible candidates to run.
The Usurper's Solititor General even recently wrote a Harvard Law Review paper, claiming that "citizen at birth" equals natural born Citizen.

They are desperate and lying by mincing words. 8 US Code 1401 is certainly a naturalization statute. It is written by Congress pursuant to their power of naturalization, and those classes of children of 8 US Code 1401(born to various combinations of citizen and non citizen parents abroad and in the US) would not be US Citizens but for the statute.

Are we to believe that the original meaning of nbC, which purpose was to guard against foreign influence, included not yet imagined "citizens at birth" , born overseas to a foreign parent?

I'm sure there will be no comment from the "law prof". Logic is the killer of lies.

"At birth" certainly means "after birth", since those children are certainly not considered US Citizens before they are born, or during their birth. The desperation of this lie is palpable.

damikesc said...

3) outlaw late term/partial birth abortions, unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy (which would be more like an early C-section, no?) Got raped and couldn't decide for 6 months? Too bad sweetie, it's either have the baby or throw yourself down a staircase.

I will say, and I know plenty of doctors and nurses, there is not any medically necessary situation where a partial birth abortion is required and a birth couldn't be done in its place.

Birthing all but the head isn't going to be any more traumatic for the mother than birthing the head also.

Shootist said...

Never forget that fully half of the GOP candidates are as Establishment as Hillary, have the same goals as Hillary and are as tired and weak as Hillary.

Kyzernick said...

@damikesc
That's good to know. My wife's brother was born 3 months early, and he's a strapping young man today. I hate abortions, but will tolerate them up until the point where the child has a fighting chance outside the womb. Aborting after that stage has been reached is Murder.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I read that the Republicans have the advantage in elections for the House, because their support is more evenly distributed in the country, with the Democrats being concentrated in some places much more than Republicans ever get.

This also maybe applies to states, with some states being heavily Democratic and then we have the unequal sizes.

Presidential elections have higher turnouts and weigh things by both Senators and members of the House.

The Democratic advantage comes from there being Republican districts with small majorities in majority Democratic states.

Sammy Finkelman said...

eric said... 5/19/15, 1:25 PM

You've got to win the electoral college, not the popular vote.

But if you win the electoral college, you will also probably win the popular vote.

But the opposite is not the case.

Winning the popular vote does not win the Electoral college.

This is not a paradox - the Electoral College system affects from what a popular vote majority is composed.

Temujin said...

Was there a trigger warning to go with this article?

Brando said...

"But if you win the electoral college, you will also probably win the popular vote."

Traditionally the two have gone hand in hand, but these days when the popular vote tends to be close it's not unusual to imagine winning one while losing the other.

We're in a period of near parity beteween the parties--the overall congressional vote tends to be close, with the GOP largely having an advantage in districts because of living patterns and Democrats having Electoral College advantages due to national-level living patterns as well as the winner-take-all system. But I think it's fair to say the parties have about equal influence among the people at large.

Rich Rostrom said...

Through 1988, the Republicans had won 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections, the only loss being by 2.0%, and four of the wins being landslides.

But... Democrats controlled the US House and Senate (and had for all but 10 of the previous 58 years, the House for all but 4). 27 of 50 governors were Democrats. Democrats controlled both houses in 28 state legislatures, Republicans in only 5.

The multi-level, multi-cycle U.S. political system does produce some odd results.

Alex said...

damikesc said...
I think the GOP has a ton of young talent

...and the most idiotic leadership the world has ever seen


It speaks volumes that Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Sarah Palin get elected.

Scott Walker is the real deal, but he's being drowned out by idiots like Ted Cruz.

The Godfather said...

Do you remember Sen. J. William Fulbright? Among other things, he advocated that the US adopt a parliamentary system. Back in the '70's I thought that was a devious plan to assure the Democrats permanent control of the government. But Bill's wisdom is sinking in.

If we had a parliamentary system, Clinton would have been replaced as chief executive (the US probably wouldn't use the term "prime minister") by Gingrich in 1995, and Obama would have been replaced by Boehner in 2011 -- actually, neither Clinton nor Obama would have been likely chief executives, neither having any connection to the American Parliament, but you get the idea. Nancy Pelosi would have become the first woman chief executive in 2007, and nobody would be even thinking about Hillary! today.

Bill, you were wiser than I thought.

damikesc said...

Scott Walker is the real deal, but he's being drowned out by idiots like Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz an idiot?

That's hilarious.

In terms of sheer brain power, he's the smartest guy in Washington DC and easily smartest in the race.

And I'll mention that Fulbright was one of the many segregationists who didn't join the GOP after the Civil Rights Act...

Michael K said...

"she'll please the owners of the Republicans (if not the Republicans themselves)"

Delusions die hard.

Scott said...

Robert Cook letting loose another canard. It doesn't honk anymore, it wheezes. And the poor thing is so lame, it can't fly. Somebody get the shotgun and put it out of its misery, please.

Both Republicans and Democrats have their own coteries of plutocrats; and the claim that somehow Republicans are the sock puppets of theirs is dogmatic blather. Even so, there is a difference between these two cliques of one-percenters.

Republican rich people typically earned their wealth over time, in the practice of enterprises that crank out profits of 4 or 5 percent per year, who have hundreds or thousands of employees relying on them for a paycheck, and whose profit margins are on a knife's edge.

Democrat rich people are the movie stars, athletes, internet magnates, and securities speculators who are poor one day and fabulously wealthy the next. They are the ones who refer to the rich as "winners of life's lottery," because that's how it worked for them.

I'm not a fan of rich people generally; but I think Republican rich people are closer to the values of the broad middle class than Democrat rich people, who seem to hold the middle class in contempt.

madAsHell said...

Check out Drudgereport!!

It has a picture of Hillary!! doing the Heil Hitler salute.

Robert Cook said...

"Republican rich people typically earned their wealth over time, in the practice of enterprises that crank out profits of 4 or 5 percent per year, who have hundreds or thousands of employees relying on them for a paycheck, and whose profit margins are on a knife's edge.

"...I think Republican rich people are closer to the values of the broad middle class than Democrat rich people...."


You're fooling yourself, Scott.

Gahrie said...

13) kill the JSF, buy more F-22s (at a deep discount, since otherwise Lockheed executives would be prosecuted over the abject failures of the F-35), develop and procure the FB-22 as our next-gen bomber, then start working on the future of air wars, since the last fighter pilot has already been born.

Close.....

Kill the F-35. Re-open the A-10 production line. Give the A-10 to the army to operate.

Spin of MAC into an independent force.

Kill the Air Force. Create a Space Force, and develop a space plane designed to operate in the orbitals. (If we do not already have such a plane in development, immediately fire all the generals in charge of R&D) Give it anti-satellite and KEW capability. He who controls the orbitals controls the planet.

Michael K said...

""...I think Republican rich people are closer to the values of the broad middle class than Democrat rich people...."

You're fooling yourself, Scott."

It depends on your definition of "rich." I don't share the values of many Republican billionaires like those who closed the El Toro Marine Air Station so that they would not have airplanes taking off over their houses in Newport Beach. I am also smarter as I know that the prevailing winds in southern California come off the ocean so commercial jets have to take off over the ocean.

Most of the people who vote Republican and are considered "rich" by those like you are, in fact, small business people who earned their money by building a business. Many were new car dealers who were excluded from the GM reorganization because they donated to the wrong party.

Most of the super-rich do not vote Republican because they make more money when the government aids their rent seeking.

I just don't think you can see outside your leftist bubble.

Fandor said...

Republicans need to get the vote out and to hell with their puffed up spiel.
Their lack of action on that point cost us a Romney administration.

Jason said...

"Our appeal is becoming more... selective."

Bay Area Guy said...

Small businessmen in the private sector make this country great. Mostly, they vote GOP.

buwaya said...

I'm a Republican rich person - top 5% - though I'm not a US citizen. I guess I'm an evil alien meddler in US domestic affairs.
Anyway, like the good doctor, I know plenty of "Republican Rich Persons". They aren't H1-visa mongering, public-employee corrupting, paper-wealth manipulating creeps like the Democrat rich persons. They are also mostly much less rich.
Republican rich people - Gentry
Democrat rich people - Nobility

iowan2 said...

There is a subtle shift of power occurring in this nation. Not Republicans v Democrats. But the reassertion of federalism. Many people, at a subconscious level, have intuitively figured out that if the govt is going to function at an even moderate level,to respound to the voice of the people they are going to have to focus on the local, county, and state level. People sense that the federal govt has stopped serving the people and only serves to enrich those in Washington DC

This is a non partisan phenomenon.

jr565 said...

"Republican economics has basically taken over the country, locale by locale."
Repulicans running for president have to stop apologizing for republicanism and actually promote responsible governance.

etbass said...

What is missing in this country now is morality. There is no sense of outrage at the dishonesty in high places anymore. There is no sense of disgust over the high handedness of government. There seems little alarm that the deepest Christian traditions that were the foundation of our nation have been replaced by hedonism.

I don't think it is going to matter whether Republicans are in ascendancy or not; the pervasiveniss of unrighteousness has swept the land with breathtaking rapidity. And "righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people."

Bob Ellison said...

Like 1980? The 2016 GOP lacks a Reagan.

Like 1994? That wasn't a presidential election.

Like 2014? Again, not a presidential election.

The article is mostly a pollster frusterbation. That's been proven silly over the past few years. Nate Silver.

Might be more like 1969. Summer of riots preceding election of uncertainty.

Titus said...

Ok I just viewed rentals in bush wick ans I could rent something for 3k which covers my loft and is comparable. Is da nick the creative from Brooklyn worth it? I could get a job at HBO for 20k above my current salary.

But my hubby offers me security and monthly payments. Da nick does not and well his body and dick is nice it is not as nice as my current who supports me.

Do nick offers adventure though in Brooklyn.

AprilApple said...

Cory Gardner rocks.

Hillary is an old wealthy corrupt money-hag. Her extreme wealth NOT created by hard work, but through graft.

EMD said...

"So losing is winning? Great."

Didn't bother to read the article?

MikeR said...

"he's being drowned out by idiots like Ted Cruz." You are aware that Alan Dershowitz said that Ted Cruz was one of the very best and brightest students he ever had?
So many people define intelligence in their own image. You're smart if you agree with me.

Be said...

May they Walk With God, then.

Rhythm and Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richardsson said...

Although it doesn't look like that here in California, I think Sean Trende's analysis, as usual, is pretty solid. He is not taken in by the "Demography is Destiny" myth. The most important demographic event of the 20th Century, the baby boom, was never predicted by the demographers. The demographers of the late 1940's predicted that in the 1950's, the birth rate would revert back to the "normal" 1930's lows. Furthermore, anyone who has done genealogy can tell you that Census Data is unbelievably bad. In the 1910 census, my mother was listed as a boy, and none of the members of either side of my family had their names spelled correctly. But just as geologists can only tell you where earthquakes have happened, political scientists can only tell you how the winner won the election, and they don't all agree.

Terry said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"You're fooling yourself, Scott."
Let's check out the Democrats, shall we? Not random Dems, but important Dems.
Like the Kennedys.
Joe Kennedy was banker to bootleggers. Teddy Kennedy, liberal lion of the senate.
Expelled from Harvard for cheating. A legacy admit, I suppose.
Then Teddy joined the army to piss off daddy Joe. These days they'd probably just let him out when bootlegger Joe pulled strings. In the 50s they didn't up with that crap, so poor young Ted had to actually do army stuff -- though daddy bootlegger got his service term reduced to two years instead of the four he'd signed up for.
The Korean War was going on, but, thanks to Daddy's string-pulling, young Ted got to be an embassy guard in Europe. Score! Imagine some poor Black fellow or some hillbilly slugging it out with the Reds in some Korean Hell hole. Then imagine Teddy Kennedy taking time out from guarding the American embassy in Paris to climb the Matterhorn. That is what money buys you in the Democrat party.
The thing with Dems is they hate the working class. Teddy murdered Kopechne. Sarah Jane Olson killed Myrna Opsahl, a woman just standing in line at a bank.
If it was up to me, Olson wouldn't have been pardoned, she would have been shackled to Opsahl's tombstone and made to drag it around with her with for the rest of her life. The lives of working-class people matter. They aren't there to be punching bags for the bourgeois.
The people Bill Ayres plotted to bomb were enlisted men and non-coms at a Jersey army base. The New Left celebrated the murder of working people. Recruiting officers for the military, armored car guards, etc. These were not Harvard guys.

Brando said...

We live in a small-c "conservative" country, in that the people prefer incremental change and preserving institutions. Only extreme circumstances like the Depression can justify radical swings in policy, otherwise the voters force the pendulum back and vote out those who brought radical change. Since WWII, we generally had party balance--even when the Democrats had dominated all branches of government, it was balanced between conservative and liberal Democrats.

The Dems thought in 2008 that there was an extreme enough circumstance to justify pushing their whole agenda due to the financial crisis, but soon learned the people still reacted badly to such wild swings--hence the GOP coming back in 2010. The GOP would be wise to avoid that mistake--push too radical an agenda and the voters will punish you.

Rusty said...

I need to know.
How do "Republican Economics" differ from "Democrat Economics"?

I Callahan said...

Hillary is the perfect candidate: she'll please the owners of the Republicans (if not the Republicans themselves)--Wall Street and affiliated financial services companies--and she'll please the Democrats,who will stupidly see her as a "true progressive," or, at worst, "the lesser evil." They forget that the lesser evil--even assuming it is actually "lesser"--is still evil.

Robert, I think you're an honest progressive. But understand that your current view represents about 1% of the country's voting public. Hillary thinks just like you, in just about every way, but understands that being honest about her beliefs would give her that 1%, and only that 1%. She needs the other Dems to get her over the 51%.

You've laughed at that view before (Obama, Clinton are your fellow travelers, but you're just more honest about your beliefs), but you've never been able to articulate why you think it's funny. So I'm challenging you again: what makes you think they are so different than you, other than the things they're saying?

Mick said...

If you are a member of either party you are a fool.

Divide and conquer.

I Callahan said...

Scott Walker is the real deal, but he's being drowned out by idiots like Ted Cruz.

Graduated honors from Princeton, high honors from Harvard.

Law clerk to Rehnquist on the USSC.

Taught USSC litigation at the U of Texas for 5 years.

Authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments.

Yup, sounds like a real idiot. Alex, you aren't fit to wear his used underpants.

Robert Cook said...

"The Dems thought in 2008 that there was an extreme enough circumstance to justify pushing their whole agenda due to the financial crisis, but soon learned the people still reacted badly to such wild swings--hence the GOP coming back in 2010."

Completely wrong.

The circumstances in 2008 were extreme (and dire) enough to justify--to require--dramatic reforms. Obama won office at least partly because he presented himself as one who would make those necessary changes, and the people clamored for that. (It was easy to see he was lying, if one was paying attention, which is why I didn't vote for him.)

Obama came into office and...nothing. It was business as usual. Much of Obama's cabinet was made up of the same old Washington good ole' boys and Wall Street scumbags who have been around for ages, and we got what they (and Obama) wanted: a continuation of what had come before.

There was no attempt at change or reform. There was no "wild swing," no "pushing of (the Democratic) agenda." (Obama's signature "reform," Obamneycare, was essentially a conservative scheme, its progenitor, Romneycare, having been touted by conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. It still keeps the private insurers in the game, guaranteeing continuing high prices for health insurance. A true reform would have been some form of "Medicare for all.")

Many who had voted for Obama became disillusioned and at least some didn't vote for him a second time. Any resurgence of the GOP in 2010 has other causes--at least some of it, I think, though not not all, due to disillusionment with Obama's failure to act on the pressing matters of the day.

I Callahan said...

Robert,

I'm curious as to what reforms you think should have been pushed post the 2008 election.

Brando said...

"Many who had voted for Obama became disillusioned and at least some didn't vote for him a second time. Any resurgence of the GOP in 2010 has other causes--at least some of it, I think, though not not all, due to disillusionment with Obama's failure to act on the pressing matters of the day."

I think you're misreading the cause of the 2010 swing--the Democrats in 2009-10 pushed an agenda that was popular among their own core supporters but was viewed as far to the left of the mainstream--the stimulus (which featured massive spending aimed at pet projects popular among Democratic legislators as well as targeted tax cuts rather than across the board lowering of rates), Dodd-Frank, Cap and Trade, and above all the ACA. Now, many of these were considered too "compromised" by the Left to get support, but the feeling on the Right was that these were hopelessly leftist policies and the middle broke to the right on this one.

But look at the "compromised" nature of the ACA and stimulus (to take two examples)--why were they compromised? Not because the true blue Leftists didn't want a public option or a larger, more "aimed at the poor" stimulus--but rather because the Democrats needed the votes of more moderate Democrats. If the mood in the country favored more radical change, that would not have been as much of a consideration.

The more either party placates their base, the more they risk losing their majority.

Christopher B said...

Robert Cook @ 7:26

Actually not a bad assessment. I'm even willing to overlook the now-obligatory mis-identification of Obamacare as a Republican plan now that's become such an abysmal failure even Obama won't even implement it.

Robert Cook said...

I Callahan:

Imposition and enforcement of stringent oversight on the big banks and Wall Street; criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of major actors--both institutional and individual--responsible for the financial collapse in 2008; criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of those who had mounted aggressive illegal wars on the basis of fabricated justifications; criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of those who implemented torture as official American policy; real health reform, (i.e., some form of "Medicare for all," as stated previously); aid to and protections for the many families who were evicted from their houses as a result of the fraudulent activities of the financial institution and mortgage lenders; cessation of our aggressive wars abroad, which squander billions of dollars better spent at home; etc.,etc., etc.

tim in vermont said...

"...I think Republican rich people are closer to the values of the broad middle class than Democrat rich people...."

You're fooling yourself, Scott.
- Robert Cook

Somebody is fooling themselves.

I Callahan said...

Robert,

OK, NOW we can get into some of the nitty gritty:

Imposition and enforcement of stringent oversight on the big banks and Wall Street;

I'm not sure what the hell else the government is supposed to do here. Banks pretty much can't do anything without a government approval in the first place. Every loan has to follow governmental rules from top to bottom. The government even supplies the template for the forms to fill out.

criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of major actors--both institutional and individual--responsible for the financial collapse in 2008;

This should be a fun one to prove. If that's the case, the entire US government, at least in the banking related departments, should be doing time, along with those on Congress who passed the laws they did. You see, it was the government who created the atmosphere in the first place that caused the financial mess.

criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of those who had mounted aggressive illegal wars on the basis of fabricated justifications;

Another fun one to prove. We can all agree to disagree on whether wars should be fought or not, but when Congress approves the President's official declaration of war, that makes the war legal. And as for fabricated justifications: if you're speaking about Iraq, every world leader PRIOR to GWB openly said Iraq had WMD. So your view is just leftist echo chamber chatter, and not related to reality in any way here.

criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of those who implemented torture as official American policy;

I'm of both minds on this one, so I'll defer to you.

real health reform, (i.e., some form of "Medicare for all," as stated previously);

As someone who has been on the financial end of health care for 25 years for a career, I can tell you that the above will not improve the health, or access to health care, of a single soul. Medicare is run by the government, and therefore is not responsive to any other pressures than political. This is a bad thing, by the way. I could go into details, but I'd be here all week typing this comment.

aid to and protections for the many families who were evicted from their houses as a result of the fraudulent activities of the financial institution and mortgage lenders;

See my points above about "fraudulent" banking practices for one thing, and let's not let borrowers completely off the hook for decisions they made. This is a copout.

cessation of our aggressive wars abroad, which squander billions of dollars better spent at home;

I'm of a similar mind, as long as our national interests are not too adversely affected. Yes, I'm talking about the oil supply. It's the lifeblood of our economy, and can't be ignored.

Sorry, Robert, but it sounds to me like you've bought the leftist agenda hook, line and sinker. It isn't based on anything resembling reality.

Robert Cook said...

"If the mood in the country favored more radical change, that would not have been as much of a consideration."

Brando, the "mood of the country" at the time was certainly such that real reforms would have been welcomed by the masses and could have been implemented. But that requires a leadership interested in making reforms. Reforms weren't implemented because Obama and the Dems didn't want them and didn't push for them, because they are compromised themselves, essentially "owned" by the same interests who own the Republicans.

See this clear-eyed indictment of the liberal apologia for Obama.

Particularly, pay attention to the sections sub-headed "To Quell the Mob" and "Inside the 40 Yards Lines." Obama admitted to the financial interests he was on their side and would protect them. (And he's not done yet, as he's now trying to pass the TPP treaty, the terms of which are being kept secret.)

I Callahan said...

Brando, the "mood of the country" at the time was certainly such that real reforms would have been welcomed by the masses and could have been implemented. But that requires a leadership interested in making reforms.

The old "never let a crisis go to waste" view. Because you agree that these reforms should have been done, and that Americans may have wanted something drastic done, doesn't mean they should have been done.

Most voters are functionally illiterate when it comes to the minutiae of things like banking. The last thing we need is ignorant people making such decisions. I hold no truck with some of our politicians, but we don't have a democracy for a reason, and that's because high-heat issues like this one needed to be thought out and not emoted into law.

Robert Cook said...

I Callahan,

It's touching that you think the banks assiduously follow the laws, but your remarks support my point: there were no reforms because the government is compromised, in the pockets of the oligarchs. You are correct that the laws regulating financial institutions are written by Washington...and in the last 20 years or more, those laws have been rewritten to loosen restrictions and allow for a great deal of the behavior by the banks that wrought the 2008 catastrophe. For this, they were rewarded with handouts, the banking execs didn't miss their big bonuses, and families across the country were evicted from repossessed homes. That's sure some "leftist reforms" in action!

tim in vermont said...

Imposition and enforcement of stringent oversight on the big banks and Wall Street;

I am not sure that is possible, to anticipate every pitfall and to still exploit opportunities for the society as a whole to get richer, but one thing is possible, and didn't happen, and it didn't happen under Obama's watch.

Those who made the decisions should have ended up broke.

They didn't. Plumbers should be living in their homes in the Hamptons, Their condos in Manhattan should have been auctioned off to the highest bidders. Instead the are still getting rich handing the huge amount of borrowing the government is doing, getting rich off of the stock market gains that are coming, not from real growth that creates middle class jobs, but from the fact that the huge amounts of currency the govt is printing out of thin air have to go somewhere.

All of that is on Obama. Hillary is right in line to take his place.

If it came down to Jeb Bush vs Warren, I would vote for Warren.

I Callahan said...

It's touching that you think the banks assiduously follow the laws

I think it's up to you to cite some evidence that they didn't, since it has been your contention all along. Did some laws get bent or broken? Sure. Anywhere where humans are involved you'll see this. Was that the REASON for the collapse? Absolutely not, and you are living in a bearded-Spock universe if you believe that.

but your remarks support my point: there were no reforms because the government is compromised, in the pockets of the oligarchs.

The truth is the opposite. The banks are in the pockets of the real oligarchs, which is the US federal government.

Brando said...

"
Brando, the "mood of the country" at the time was certainly such that real reforms would have been welcomed by the masses and could have been implemented. But that requires a leadership interested in making reforms. Reforms weren't implemented because Obama and the Dems didn't want them and didn't push for them, because they are compromised themselves, essentially "owned" by the same interests who own the Republicans."

You sound exactly like the right wingers who believe that the country would happily welcome their own wish list--and everyone seemingly has the polls to prove their point.

However, whenever the government tries to raise taxes to pay for "popular" new entitlements (in a realistic way, not in the "surtax on the ten richest people in the country" way) or enact even a modest cut in any social program, it goes absolutely nowhere. This isn't because some nefarious corrupt government actors are preventing it, but rather because there is a large enough and interested enough constituency against major change.

Had Obama pushed a more "extreme" agenda in 2009, he wouldn't have even passed what he did.

Brando said...

"Imposition and enforcement of stringent oversight on the big banks and Wall Street".

The big banks and Wall Street firms are already carefully watched and regulated--many of them even provide office space to their regulators because they spend so much time there running audits. But then, when Congress passes banking regulation, who do you think helps write it? Industry groups. Largely because only people who have worked in the industry can even understand it. But the alternative is letting some bearded anarchist try to figure out how to keep Goldman Sachs in line. It'd be like letting the Khmer Rouge decide what sort of crops the farmers of Cambodia should have produced.

Besides, there is no identifiable "wrongdoer" when it comes to blaming someone for the financial crisis--that's why it's so frustrating. People can't even really agree on the causes--overleveraged debt, appraisers being paid by the lenders, too low interest rates, the fact that the stock market bubble burst had led people to invest in homes, or that buyers, sellers, lenders, and government regulators all seemed to think house prices would go up indefinitely--let alone find any party that can be blamed. And most of the "reform" people call for now is closing the barn door after the cows got out.

Who can you blame? A bank that loaned to a borrower whose credit and income were spotty? But then the government tells that bank that they'd better not refuse credit to such borrowers, as this can be discriminatory, and the secondary market is willing to buy the debt anyway, so why should the bank be worried? Isn't the borrower also to blame, for assuming they could always flip the house if they couldnt' make the payments? Or the appraiser, who didn't want to underappraise or they might not be called again by the bank? Or the government, for keeping rates low, and offering numerous subsidies to encourage homeownership and happens to also keep prices high?

We're all pissed about how it turned out, but while rich greedy bankers make nice scapegoats, they're not really the reason for it.

FleetUSA said...

Go Scott Go

furious_a said...

You've got to win the electoral college, not the popular vote.

You've got the win the Pennant, not the Batting Title. Al Gore was confused about this in 2000.

furious_a said...

criminal prosecutions (with jail time as punishment) of major actors--both institutional and individual--responsible for the financial collapse in 2008;

Start with the Boards of Directors for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That they both are a roster of Dem party grandees is just a bonus.

ken in tx said...

Republican reform of the federal gov should start with the Merit System Protection Board. This little known entity is dominated by Democrats and almost totally prevents any accountability of the civil service. Short of arrest and conviction for serious crimes, this board can reverse any negative personnel action taken against people like, say Lois Lerner for instance. It is the reason problem employees are shuffled around and never fired.