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October 30, 2014


Eh who knows, the American People are pretty fickle. All it would take for a GOP victory in 2016 is mild recession between now and then and a likable GOP Presidential nominee (or one more likable than the Democrats').

But maybe not, perhaps demographics have shifted that far.

I do think that we could benefit from a parliamentary system. What we've got is essentially amenable only to two parties and if you're dissatisfied with one the only alternative is the other. It's not like one can say "well I'm tired of these Democrats, let's try the libertarians, or the Super Lefties" or what have you. No, the only (electable) alternative is the GOP.

It's kind of depressing.

my thought is that bugger all of use is going to get done for the next two years, minimum.

yay us.

the government is divided because the people are divided.

i don't know what the solution is to that problem.

Probably the only solution is local. Let people see, up close and personal, how the two philosophies work out for them in practice. While watching how the other philosophy is working out in the next city/state over.

That won't convince everybody, of course. But it will at least move us to more discussion based on how things really work. As opposed to arguing about how things ought to work in a perfect universe. Which is, IMO, a prerequisite for reaching any kind of concensus.

Interesting analysis, wj.

Regarding Obamacare, this:


Also this:


Including the @550,000 folks of all political persuasions in McConnell's Kentucky who depend on Obamacare and Medicaid to stay the fuck alive.

I will hold any attempt to repeal Obamacare, though certain to be vetoed for the next two years, as nothing less than attempted murder by the murder syndicate known as the Republican Party and I mean at the level of genocide.

The Republican Party, this sadistic monstrosity, should remember that the red areas of the map denoting middle class and poor Americans benefiting from Obamacare, many of them from parts of the country where armed Americans with pre-existing conditions and on the verge of bankruptcy because of medical indigency live, and belong to both political parties, and whom the Republican party has encouraged to become armed to the teeth, will act in self-defense against pig filth who try to bankrupt and kill them.

I also look forward to leafleting communities and neighborhoods in this country which might become centers of infection from the Ebola virus (isn't this a huge pants-wetting concern of Republicans?), and counseling them to stay away from hospitals and expensive medical care should individuals within those communities begin to show symptoms.

Maybe instead I'll foment panic among by howling like a FOXnewshound that they should storm the emergency rooms of every hospital at the first sign of a fever, because that's the only place Republicans allow them to seek help, since they won't have doctors.

Their families will be bankrupted, even if the family member succumbs to Ebola, because Obamacare and expanded Medicaid will not be available to them.

Most survivors of Ebola, and of every other deadly disease 50 million Americans are not insured against because most can't afford it, will be left to die or be destroyed by bankruptcy.

Those struck from the Obamacare and Medicaid rolls by insurance rolls because of their pre-existing conditions will join the others in the misery, terror, and penury prescribed for them by pig filth.

And then their families will hunted down by Republican bill collectors for good measure.

McConnell and company are smirking, murderous, subhuman pig filth.

by insurance companies, not insurance rolls.

Some of my own spittle hit me in my good proofreading eye.


I think you've missed a key aspect in your analysis. Bluntly, the republicans have made themselves irrelevant.

They are in this awkward situation because they have done jack to move this country forward.

They have no plan for immigration, tax reform, health care, surveillance, jobs.
(Yes, Camp had a tax plan, but the leadership did nothing with it).

The way they get out of it, as a party, is to get their act together, propose and advocate for comprehensive reform in SOMETHING, and be willing to compromise with the democrats.

It would be rough for a few cycles, and the tea party wing would likely split off, but other than that, its pretty much as you say: they can't win.

Their base will only get more rabid, the democrats will continue to seize the middle, and ultimately they will shrink into irrelevancy.

Which sucks for them, but they'll get my sympathy exactly when they get off their asses and offer a functional path forward for the country.


It's not like one can say "well I'm tired of these Democrats, let's try the libertarians, or the Super Lefties"

People can. People do. I encourage it. I have convinced more people to vote Green so far than Libertarian...but I'll take it. IMO, the message needs to be sent that playing to either the D or R base isn't sufficient.

mmmm....homophile marxism...I hear that goes well on pancakes.

mighty whitey, your comments here put me in mind of Dick Cheney's invitation to Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor.

Or they are going to be despondent to the point of staying home next time.

next time is a presidential election. nobody sits those out. and two years is more than enough time to gin up new reason to hate the left.

")There is, of course, the outside chance that Republicans win a big enough majority to shut down filibusters and pass legislation over a Presidential veto.

What happens then? Well take a look at places where they have had that opportunity. Check out how the Governor of Kansas is doing in his “experiment” (his word) with real conservatism in state government. Or how the Speaker of the North Carolina House is doing, in a state where Obama is seriously unpopular, in his attempt to reach the Senate – and where his conservative record in the state legislature is a significant issue. Roll that up to the national level, and guess how 2016 plays out. (And that’s ignoring any demographic changes which are occurring.)**"

That's actually a doable strategy.

There are some things to remember about the right these days:

1) They are unpatriotic - they don't mind trashing the country to get what they want (see Confederate States of America).

2) The elites don't get harmed, and will likely profit, so they're fine with destruction.

3) The core of the right won't get directly trashed, so they are OK (don't try to cut their Social Security, or directly cut their Medicare).

4) The President always takes the blame.

That's going to be the necessary step to get them back to being a viable party. But they are going to have to go thru the pain before they accept that it is. The question becomes, how much pain, and for how long?

I'm guessing another dozen years or more. Possibly, if California is any kind of indicator, a couple of decades or more. If Clinton runs and wins, they will tell themselves it is just for similar reasons to why Obama won: she is the first major party woman to be nominated. So it would take until the election after that to accept that they might be the problem.

And along the way they may manage to win a Presidential election, just because the country decides it want a change of party. Which would put things off longer. But considering how the second half of the 19th century went, they probably shouldn't count on that happening.

"In that case, their base will be expecting massive changes in the law. Over Obamacare. Over gay marriage. Over regulation of business. Over taxes. None of which will happen."

Their base is not nearly as stupid as you assume. We all, even the extremes, understand that with Obama there, not much gets done right.

What you miss in your analysis is the Congress begins to function, committees review budgets, amendments get offered, the Senate becomes a part of Congress rather than a buffer for Obama. And lots of things can get done. Bills sent to the White House are harder to veto than bills that Reid never allows to be discussed.

I hear a lot, on my social media, about how the Republicans just say no, but it is true that the Democrats have just said no hundreds of times to bills passed in the House. Now only Obama gets to say no, outside normal course of business disagreements. When the Republicans pass an immigration bill, Obama gets to veto it. When they pass the repeal, Obama gets to veto it. And they are likely to make him.

It is also interesting that I now see some articles about how Obama has reduced the deficit more than, pick one. Which is the Democrats way of spinning his inability to get the House, just say no, to spend more money.

mighty whitey has found a new IP, or someone is doing a really decent job on Halloween costumes.

Marty: What you miss in your analysis is the Congress begins to function

If you keep reading the next few paragraphs, you will find:
"Third, because the Republicans are not exactly in exact accord over exactly what should be done."
In short, I have my doubts about how many bills the Congress will manage to pass (for Obama to veto).

A straight repeal of Obamacare? Sure. (Although I expect it to get filibustered. But I might be wrong about that. Especially if it gets wrapped in with something that Democrats feel is critical to pass.) But anything to replace it; even the parts that Republican candidates have been saying that they want to keep? I have my doubts.

Likewise for a lot of other stuff that they have been promising to do.

You may be correct that a lot starts to happen. But I consider that less likely than that we seem more posturing and not much more constructive action out of Republican Congress than we have seen the last couple of years. I guess we'll find out.

IF by Republican base you mean the Koch brothers, then think you are correct that the base will expect their party to obey their orders. On the other hand what does the Republican base voter expect from their party?

Do they expect Medicare to become a voucher program? Cuts in vet's benefits? Roll back of Medicaid in their state so they have to help pay their mom's bills? Shift of tax responsibility off wealthy people and onto them? Sift of responsibility for unemployment to state government effectively eliminating the program? Do they expect the Ryan budget to get enacted by both Houses? I don't think Republican base voters are capable of expecting their party do do anything in particular. They vote without having any idea what their party will do. They respond to fearmongering without expecting their politicians to have any practical ideas about the problems they identify as important. The Republican party is a con game. It runs on lying to the base to extract money and votes from them. The Republicans who get elected this fall will need to keep the con going for the next election. So they will do what they do: shriek hysterically about how somebody not Republican is destroying America and it is all the fault of someone not Republican. And why can't they save America from the the not-Republicans? Because OBAMA OBANA OBAMA! So it will be two more years of the howler monkeys screaming "Obama". Meanwhile the Republican politicians will carry out their real agenda by appointing as many pro-oligarchy judges as they can while consolidating into place as many voter suppression laws as they can. I don't know if they will try to pass the Ryan agenda or not. I wish they would since if they did even their incredibly willfully ignorant base would finally see their party for what it is.

In short, I have my doubts about how many bills the Congress will manage to pass

Yeah, that's the crux of the issue. I still don't know what the repubicans would pass if they had a majority in both the house and the senate.

Not trying to be snarky, I just have no idea. Which is either a failure in their messaging or the result of trying to not anger any of their various constituencies by not giving them a position to criticize.

MArty: "I hear a lot, on my social media, about how the Republicans just say no, but it is true that the Democrats have just said no hundreds of times to bills passed in the House. Now only Obama gets to say no, outside normal course of business disagreements. When the Republicans pass an immigration bill, Obama gets to veto it. When they pass the repeal, Obama gets to veto it. And they are likely to make him."

What part of 'The Senate requires 60 votes.....' do you not understand?

There are going to be *at least* 55 Democratic Senators, with only a few Blue Dogs. The GOP needs *at least* 5 defectors to pass most bills.

And that's not counting any other sh*t that the GOP has used so heavily. I remember seeing a C-SPAN segment where a GOP Senator was saying 'I object' like a metronome, every two seconds, on every microstep of Senate business.

"despondent", "pain", "accept", willing to compromise" "functional path (forward, no less)", etc.

When during the past 35-40 years of American history have those words been included in their limited vocabulary?

Maybe "pain", but that's got nothing to do with them.

You're more likely to locate an empathic gland by dissecting the snakes and lizards down at the zoo's reptile house. What empathy they might display is used up feeding folks with pre-existing conditions and the unemployed to their carniverous accountants.

Never have a sit down with a sociopath and expect a path forward:


"Which is the Democrats way of spinning his inability to get the House, just say no, to spend more money."

And his ability to fend off Reagan/Bush-like, deficit-creating tax cuts and his reluctance to spend a another couple of trillion dollars of borrowed money arming every piece of shit in the Mideast, though distressingly to some extent, he does try to keep up on that count.

I'm sure the House will come up with some dynamic whoring so your numbers once again fail to add up.

"mighty whitey has found a new IP, or someone is doing a really decent job on Halloween costumes."

The Republican base it represents so accurately numbers roughly 27%, what's that .. tens of million.. of them?

They can keep tag team racist, homophobic internet trolling going indefinitely.

"I wish they would since if they did even their incredibly willfully ignorant base would finally see their party for what it is."

Again, visit the reptile house. Many of them have convenient third, nictitating eyelids to hinder the seeing and produce the self-aggrandizing tears of the victim sociopath.

Better to consult the see no evil monkey.

The pig filth run Hong Kong too:


There are going to be *at least* 55 Democratic Senators, with only a few Blue Dogs. The GOP needs *at least* 5 defectors to pass most bills.

Barry, are you sure you don't mean "at least 45"?

Maybe Barry is imbued with some decidedly un-Koch-eyed optimism.

Torture can win:


A straight repeal of Obamacare? Sure. (Although I expect it to get filibustered.

no need for 60 votes. it can likely be killed in exactly the same way it was birthed: reconciliation.

Torture can win:

I think it won already.

Ya'll are forgetting TeaDouchBaggery. The TDBs want to impeach Obama the worst possible way. If the GOP win the senate, he will be impeached ... and he will love it! (so will Bidden). That's when the gloves come off. Why should he restrain his language in any way when that event occurs. More better, I suspect the first lady will be an order of magnitude more vicious.

Now there are some who say that the moderates will restrain the TDBs. Really? When have GOP every restrained themselves while in attack mode? If they don't impeach, the split in the GOP will be deep, lasting and a wonder to behold.


Most of the House and Senate business over the next two years will be taken up with the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama.

I see Shirt beat me to it.

I hope the pigs enjoy the matinee:


...but it is true that the Democrats have just said no hundreds of times to bills passed in the House.

Well, so what? What bills would those be, Marty?

Y'all make a great point that I had overlooked.

There really isn't any way that the House Republicans can avoid putting forth a bill of impeachment. The far right wants it badly; the more moderate right knows that they will get primaried if they don't support it (however reluctantly). The only real question is what specific grounds they will allege in the bill.

The Senate (barring a far bigger Republican wave than now seems likely) won't convict, of course. But that will just inflame the base more. Which means they will have to do more, and more extreme, posturing to shore up their positions.

The backlash, in turn, will be enormous. (With Clinton, there at least was a case that he had actually broken the law. And his actions were repulsive to most of the country.)

We may not be getting much bread. But circuses we have in prospect in abundance!

I've been waiting for three decades for the electorate to notice outcomes, to notice that most movement conservative "policies" are socially destructive morality tales. So far, voters seem to be disinclined to notice.

So no matter how heightened the contradictions, I'm not expecting the Rs to get "punished" in a way that causes them to rethink. Apparently, there is no peak wingnut.

Forty or so might have been the repeal of Obamacare. At least, that's what the republican ads brag about.

I could probably guess the intent of the other 959, spavining the unemployed, pouring truckloads of Koch effluent into the water supply, tax cuts for Mitt Romney, yeah that last would be good for 200 or so of the hundreds of bills, though it would require a 0% marginal rate to get patriots like Romney to repatriate his cash, plus having the poor line up to blow him as his cash is unloaded dockside into armored cars.

Maybe a bill or two making it legal to interrupt church communion with gunfire, just to test the weaponry required to hold off the unbelievers.

Perhaps a few women friendly bills, say the one or two to equip all fetuses (even those under the age of the gleam in David Vitter's eye) with AR-15s so they can shoot their way out and enter the job market directly at the bare minimum wage, translated to mean they must pay their employers to work.

You get the idea.


You should reconsider what you mean by "win". When fear of teabaggery cowers DEMOCRATS into "distancing themselves" from Obama, so that a slim Democratic majority in the Senate would rest on the likes of Senator Lundergan Grimes, I'd say the GOP has already won. When Senator Prof. Warren is universally considered an unelectable leftie because she points out that federal government profits on student loan interest are a tax on not-rich young people, the GOP has already won the next election too.

For my part, I've given up the notion that the modern American electorate has any collective sanity. Things have to get a lot worse before the average American voter figures out that it's the rich -- not the poor -- who are ripping him off. That it's big business -- not big government -- that's out to screw him. That science -- not fearmongering -- is what protects him from disease. That he's less likely to lose his guns to liberal over-reach than he is to lose his retirement to conservative monkeybusiness.

In the long run, when we are all comfortably dead, the US may have shaken off its "moderate" tendency to seek a "middle ground" between the 45-yard line and the teabagger goalpost that keeps moving ever rightward toward plutocracy, theocracy, xenophobia, and chest-thumpery. But until then, the GOP has nothing to worry about.


What I mean by "win" is a combination of "succeed in doing what they would like" on issues like Obamacare, immigration, gay marriage, etc. and "set themselves up for electoral success in the medium term" (i.e the next couple of Presidential election cycles). Either of those would be possible; but not both.

Certainly the country has moved to the right on some issues over the past couple of decades. On the other hand, gay marriage is now mainstream -- which can't be considered a move to the right. Marijuana is starting to get legalized -- also not a move to the right. You might argue that both are steps in a libertarian direction, rather than to the left. (And I'd tend to agree.) But they aren't where the bulk of the Republican voters were even a 3-4 years ago.

P.S. Senator Warren is probably unelectable (although considering some of the people who might get the Republican nomination, maybe not). But I don't think it's for saying that "federal government profits on student loan interest are a tax on not-rich young people."

P.S. Senator Warren is probably unelectable

You have asserted this several times, wj, but never provided any corroborating information as to which public policies she advocates that make her unelectable....or is it just her aura of leftitudiness?

There really isn't any way that the House Republicans can avoid putting forth a bill of impeachment.

No matter the outcome of Tuesday's election, I would lay you long odds this will not happen.

It would effectively announce to all political players that all bets are off.

Call me an optimist, but I don't think even the majority of wingnuts are willing to go that far.

But they continue to surprise.


Senator Warren is "probably" unelectable because the benighted American electorate probably would not vote for her. I think wj is right on that score.

Like you, however, I'm curious to know what wj thinks is the benighted electorate's reason for that.


Not wj, but Warren strikes me as unelectable because
1) the amount of dark money that would be made available to defeat her
2) the ability to distort her positions to be socialis/communistic
3) the presence of enough powerbrokers among Democrats who would side with other pro-corporatist types to work against her.

What lj said.

I would add that the campaign against her would also involve a lot of dogwhistling, if her opponent's tactics in the senate race are in any way indicative. He just made the mistake to use both mutually exclusive attacks* in the same place while they could be easily be made without much risk in a presidential run in different locations.
More points of attack: She is a professor, i.e. a stinking liberal know-it-all who thinks that you are all hicks (and you will believe that because you are. Oops, should not have said that last part aloud)
Not to forget that she is female.**

*playing the race card while accusing her of mendaciously doing the same in her own favor ('She is a dirty Native American halfblood, so don't vote for her' & 'She claims to be an American Indian while she is not, so don't vote for her')
**while attacks on Hillary would (no, actually will given past experience) accuse her of not being feminine enough.

Actually, I think that Warren is unelectable because,
a) she would be the liberal alternative to Clinton in the primaries. In the eyes of Democratic primary voters, and thus in the eyes of voters generally.
b) combine that with the existing perception (accurate or not) that she is very liberal. That would mean that she would have to rin hard to the right during the general election campaign in order to seem moderate enough to win. (Again, unless the Republicans nominated someone even further right than she is left. Which is hardly impossible -- Senator Boxer has benefitted from that several times in the course of her Senate career.)

That would probably cause a serious drop in enthusiasm on the part of her base of support. Which would make the Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts more problematic.

Could all that be overcome? Yes. Would it be? I doubt it.

Note that what matters for all this is not Warren's actual policies, as shown by the bills she has sponsored, or at least voted for. It's a matter of initial perceptions, which is where she would have to start her campaign. Not just the initial perceptions of the voters (most of whom are not paying attention at this point), but the media narrative of where she stands (which is pretty well established).


There really isn't any way that the House Republicans can avoid putting forth a bill of impeachment.

I doubt this very much. Boehner has been pretty clearly against impeachment. I haven't gotten the impression that the layout in the house is going to change that much. And I certainly doubt it will change enough to force the leadership into such a stupid move.

Just an interesting article:



The irony here is Harry Reid’s attempt to protect his vulnerable colleagues – preventing difficult amendments and scheduling messaging bills – inadvertently pushed them closer to an unpopular president. In hindsight, many may have like an opportunity to illustrate policy differences with Obama.

thompson, I don't doubt that Boehner wants no part of impeachment. In fact, I expect the entire leadership realizes that it would be a disaster for them.

On the other hand, their far right members are rabid to get rid Obama any way that they can; the sooner the better. And the leadership has shown little stomach for resisting even the craziest demands from the right. So I don't really see them resisting this one.

I may be mis-reading the situation, of course. I hope so. But I sure wouldn't bet the ranch on it.

This is about right:


wj, I agree that "I don't doubt that Boehner wants no part of impeachment." but the weepy tan man may not be speaker next year. And, he may not have a choice even if he is. But the best part of a bill of impeachment is that it will occupy both houses for an entire congressional season... Unless the dems retain the senate. I would not be surprised if the GOP sandbags one of their own just to avoid the coming GOPalypse

lj, wj:

I agree with all the reasons you cite for Warren's unelectability, but I note that they are all what we might call game-theoretic reasons. What they amount to is: the American electorate can be (or already has been) persuaded by "dark money" to think of her as a "socialist/communist", so that's the ballgame.

But doesn't that just support my original point that the Republicans have already won?


Tony, they've only won if you think that Warren is where the Democrats are actually at. But if you take the country as a whole, Warren is out on the left (albeit not as far) just as those driving the behavior of the Republicans in Congress are out to the right. Neither represents the country as a whole.

I haven't been following the conversation as closely as maybe I should, but I do think that the notion of an Overton window is better than arguing that one side has 'won'. Certainly, it is now at a point where Warren is probably unelectable, but that doesn't mean it always has to be that way.

we've reached a sorry pass in this country if Elizabeth Warren is so "far left" that it's unimaginable that she could have any national constituency.

unfortunately, I think that's exactly where we are.

Of course she has a national constituency. It just isn't big enough, on its own, to get her elected. Which means she has to appeal beyond that constituency. And that, in turn, hinges on how far left of center she is compared to how far right of center her opponent is.

Certainly there are lots of potential Republican nominees who would be far enough out for her to win a general election. But there are also potential nominees who are not that far out.

But there are also potential nominees who are not that far out.

Well, OK. Name one. Jeb Bush is pretty much out there with the rest of them....just more polished.

Come on, Bobby. Surely you can see the difference between Bush (or Christie or Kasich) and, for example, Cruz.

You personally may think all of them are beyond the pale. But most country would see a major difference. To the point where Warren could beat Cruz, but probably not Bush or Kasich.

Or, to take an example from the last time around, Warren would probably not have beaten Romney (or Huntsman). But could have beaten any of the rest of that pack easily.

Come on, Bobby.

The only difference I see as between Jebbie and the others is possibly on immigration and not much else, and that difference is more just BS than real. You don't think Cruzmizzile would hew toward the middle like you claim Warren would have to?

Warren would beat kasich like a drum (see your previous comments on Randy Paul). You are just asserting that since he strikes you as "more in the middle" that therefore he would get more votes than "lefty" Warren. It does not work that way.

In any event, if that is the case, Hillary is an ironclad lock.

I look forward to attending her inauguration, much as I disagree with a whole lot of her policy positions.

More on Jebbie....



Funny how the press lets this shit pass.

The odd idea is that, after one mediocre Bush Presidency and one failed one, it would be a matter of simple fairness to try a third. This can’t be what we call equal opportunity in America.

Is America reviving the aristocracy ?

Fun to think that in another generation you might have a George Bush III...

I think wj is right, not because there is a lot of daylight between a Jeb Bush and a Ted Cruz in terms of actual policy positions, but in terms of media treatment, it's night and day. Of course, if Cruz were (like Perry before him) approaching the possibility of winning the nomination, they'd treat him like they treated Perry before he screwed up so royally in the debates. This Salon piece brings up what has to be the embarrassing fact that Santorum was the runner up by virtue of having everyone else implode. Basically, imho, if a Republican doesn't implode, they have a fighting chance cause the media is never going to examine their deeply held positions very closely. That's the way that basically unserious people get elected.

On the other hand, I do think that Kasich would get beaten by Warren, but that's only because he's got 3 years of crappy gubernatorial decisions around his neck. If it were Kasich from 2000, I'm not so sure.

From the NewYorker article, there is this
In other areas, Jeb could only be called a moderate in comparison to Ted Cruz—but that, perhaps, is the point.

That, I'm afraid, is enough.

that is the point I was trying to make. It's not their actual policy positions that would matter so much. It's the perception of their positions (driven by the mass media as much as anything) that would. It would be like the perception of Obama as a lefty -- that the reality is very different doesn't matter all that much.

If, Bobby, you think that their actual positions ought to matter more, you'll have to figure out how to get us a more informed electorate. Which I agree would be a good thing; I just don't see it happening.

Which means she has to appeal beyond that constituency.

Personally, I hope that Warren has no interest in running for the Presidency, because to do so she would have to do exactly what you've described.

And, in doing so, the value that she brings to the current political discourse would be lost.

Is America reviving the aristocracy ?

As far as I can tell, that is a done deal. In other words, we're there, now.

if Jeb gets anywhere near the nom it will be because America is too bored with politics to care and too lazy and timid to try anything else from the menu.

If Jeb gets anywhere near the nomination it will be because Republicans have figured out that running ever more pure super-conservatives is not a winning strategy . . . and they would rather win with someone who is not their ideal than run their ideal candidate and lose to someone far to the left of what they want. Not that Jeb is the only one who might fit that description, but if he gets close that will be why.

Speaking only for myself:

I see Jeb as a moderate-ish Republican who probably could make a decent Chief Executive (as he made an above-average Governor) but who unfortunately comes as the third Bush to step forward for the Oval Office.

We need no more dynasties, nor successors to this one. I don't like everything about Jeb, nor do I dislike a lot about him, but he is unfortunately a decent guy in the wrong place & time.

I see Warren as a newbie to public office. I don't agree with much of what she says, but I don't care about her enough to really dislike her.

What I think about the Presidency is that we all place far too much importance on that office, while placing far too little importance and accountability on our elected representatives. But every four years, the focus is on who will be in the White House rather than who is or is not equipped to do their jobs in Congress. As a result, we have a dysfunctional Congress, with the Presidency being a complete distraction from said dysfunctionality.

All by design, says cynical me.

If Jeb gets anywhere near the nomination it will be because Republicans have figured out that running ever more pure super-conservatives is not a winning strategy

Except that I don't think McCain or Romney were "pure super-conservative." Maybe you're talking about Congress?

Look at the arc from Dole to Bush II to McCain to Romney. They had to run like they were ever more conservative in order to get the nomination. If (like Romney) they actually weren't massively conservative, they had to sound even more conservative, in order to overcome their more moderate track record.

Romeny certainly wasn't, in reality, a super-pure conservative. But he had to proclaim himself one, early and often and loudly. If you look just at what he said in the course of the primaries, and ignore what he actually did as governor of Massachusettes, it's pretty clear what has been increasingly required to get the nomination. (And if he hadn't had to do that in the primaries, he would have done rather better in the general election at attracting votes beyond the Republican base.


And if he hadn't had to do that in the primaries, he would have done rather better in the general election at attracting votes beyond the Republican base

And that's why the Rs will continue on their path to irrelevance. Just ask Rand Paul:

"Our brand is not so good," he said.
"The party has to change," Paul said. "Evolve, adapt or die."



Except that I don't think McCain or Romney were "pure super-conservative."

In Romney's case, I agree, he's not a natural-born tea-bagger.

But he sure as hell was more than happy to play one on TV.

"The party has to change," Paul said. "Evolve, adapt or die."

I don't think most (R)'s - at least those holding elective office - see things that way.

It seems to me that they see another alternative - not evolve, not adapt, not die, just get in the freaking way.

It's sort of like being the political equivalent of kidney stones. Nobody calls kidney stones "irrelevant".

So far, it seems to be working for them.

This time tomorrow, the (R)'s are highly likely to hold both houses of Congress. I'm not seeing how playing the reactionary card is anything but a winning strategy.

One really should (although Republican Congressmen, even as Russell, do not) distinguish between what works in individual (and frequently gerrymandered) Congressional districts, and what works in Presidential elections.

Being reactionary can work in districts which have been crafted to favor exactly that. But for the country as a whole, i.e. in a Presidential election, it is pretty clearly
a) not a winning strategy now,
b) a strategy which will become increasingly unsuccessful in the future.
Being conservative can be a viable approach. Being radically reactionary, in the Senator Cruz mode, cannot.

What, pray tell, did Dole, McCain, or Romney do to allegedly woo those "moderate" votes?

And even if they did, maybe they were on a fool's errand.

And Randy Paul?...pathetic. What exactly does he think the GOP has to do? More candidates with nose rings and longer hair? More "out there" glibertarianism? When your mission is to comfort the comfortable, you're kinda' on a dead end trip, and telling folks you don't have a problem with them smoking a little weed now and then is not going to cut it, especially in times such as these where the rich get steadily richer and everybody else gets to fight over the scraps.

Just my 3 1/2 cents.


Dark and dirty money, gerrymandering, and stealing the voting franchise from millions of Americans are the murder syndicate's main advantages.

Rand Paul?

A whining child raised in a racist, paranoid, conspiracy mongering lunatic asylum of a family.

That he poses as the Beatrice spirit guide to what is wrong with the murder syndicate is horrific, pathetic, and cause for throwing up a little in the mouth.

He reminds me this young woman dressed as a little girl (lank hair, long yellow teeth, sores on her face) I encountered in a visit to a Halloween haunted house a couple of years ago. Narrow stairs led up to a kind of garret and there she was sitting in a swing hung from the rafters, grinning like a realtor at us. As we entered her lair she bared her teeth in a ghastly smile as greeting and jumped down from the swing to show us the way to the exit door. Taking my hand, in an awful flirtatious manner, she said it was O.K to enter the next room, but that we might not like it. I asked why, and she lifted her top lip to reveal her ghastly incisors and said, sweetly, that THEY, in the next room, were going to eat us.

There was no turning back.

My prediction for the post-election period is that I will be banned from OBWI forever for suggesting over and over what the solution to the Republican pig-filth problem is, and how quickly it must happen if we expect to have a country left.

Jodi Ernst is spreading the news that is a matter of opinion how many people suffer from Ebola in America, with her cagey estimate being higher than the official reported tallies.

I counsel panic and rioting based on her Republican pig vermin authority.

She spreads a different fatal virus by mouth.

A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!

Also sprach William F Buckley Jr. As far as I can tell, it is the consistent thread through conservatism at least since Reagan, probably going back to Goldwater.

If you like, take it back to guys like Kirk, with his nostalgia for antique civilizations and their lovely stratified class structure.

I'm not seeing any form of conservatism articulated in the public sphere that isn't one of the following:

1. a reactionary desire to roll back American society and institutions to pre-FDR days, if not pre-Progressive.

2. an obsessive, knee-jerk laissez faire capitalism, parroting dudes like Hayek et al

All of that, mixed with hysterical lets-all-crap-in-our-pants shrieking about Ebola or We Must Secure Our Borders or ISIS Is Going To Kill Us All.

Who doesn't fall into one of those categories? What Republican on the national stage is presenting something other than some mix of the above?

I think the (R)'s are going to take the Senate, and I think they're going to break the freaking country. For whatever reason, there are no (R)'s at the national level who are willing to gainsay the reactionary party line.

If you'd like to name the exceptions, feel free. My guess is that you can count them on one hand.

I agree that those in the public sphere calling themselves "conservatives" mostly fit Russell's description. Personally, I'd call them reactionaries . . . except that the past that they want to return to never actually existed.

There is, however, a third kind of conservative:
3) Someone who says "Yes, we need to change something to deal with this problem. What is the smallest change we can make, so we don't screw up anything else in the course of trying to fix this?"

Not "No change!!!" but "Only change what we really need to in order to fix real and significant problems."

thompson: I don't know about brilliance, but Huntsman is a pariah in the Republican Party for any number of reasons and would need to self-finance any political aspirations, unless he ran as a Democrat.

Now, Welch is the real thug/pig deal; for every dollar he can donate via dark money pools, he can make a call to dozens of other big donors for his Cruz/Paul ticket.

And then Ayn Rand wins and Adam Smith loses:


wj: this third kind of conservative, this unicorn, does it have a name?

Do you see a close encounter with this third kind any time in the future?

The Republican Party base does not want governance, least of all competent governance, which it holds to be the biggest threat to its goal of destroying the federal government.

Here's a poll:


What are you going to do with that amount of the racist stupid virus which has swarmed its way into the galloping Republican zombie at the cellular, genomic level?

There's a nigger standing on the levee. Let's hang him.

First thing Obama needs to do tomorrow morning a he comes out of his corner is announce a blanket amnesty by executive decree for illegal immigrants already in this country as a deliberate eye poke when the bell rings.

I want impeachment and the constitutional crisis, including the violence that will accompany it, to commence immediately.

I'd also like to see the President call the ISIS/Ebola-on-American-soil-bluff spat out by the Republican home of the sceared and cowardly by declaring a national emergency on both counts and using the perogative of his commander-in-chief position to forcibly test and quarantine the top 20,000 Republicans (politicians, media filth, and business people) in the country because of their frequent travel abroad, and on the ISIS-front, I want the same wrecking crew investigated and harassed by every Federal agency for their ties and contacts with the Saudi Arabian Government, who are funding ISIS as they did al Qaeda.

I want every dollar of their anonymous campaign donations investigated, tracked down, and confiscated, with Lois Lerner named to head up the armed task force.

thompson, my reference to your reference belongs on the other thread.

Count, I call that third kind real, as opposed to pseudo-, conservatives.

No, I don't see us surging into prominence any time soon. The radicals who control the Republican Party won't accept it. And even though the Democrats have absorbed a lot of disgusted conservatives in the past couple of decades, they are still a center-left party.

Might see some independents who fit the description, however. And the number of independents who are managing to win elections is an index of just how far the cores of the two parties are from the center of mass of the voters.

wj: this third kind of conservative, this unicorn, does it have a name?


The GOP has been largely controlled by social conservatives since about 1984, by my watch.

Although I tend to be socially conservative in terms of preference, I tend to shy away from making my preferences into policy.

Contrariwise, I would prefer that others not inflict their preferences on me via the law.

Would you object to not being allowed, by FTC regulators, to purchase caffeinated underpants?


Unelectable in a Republican primary certainly. And unlikely in a Democratic primary. But entirely electable in a general election.

Would you object to not being allowed, by FTC regulators, to purchase caffeinated underpants?

Caffeinated underpants are not mentioned - not even once - in Article I section 8, so they are clearly outside the purview of Congress' lawmaking powers.

Likewise, there is no mention of caffeinated underpants in Article II, so they are equally clearly outside the brief of the executive.

Contrariwise, I would prefer that others not inflict their preferences on me via the law.

The word "preferences" has more elastic in it than Fruit of the Loom.



thompson, my reference to your reference

Which oddly enough was a reference to your reference. It's references all the way down.

I don't know about brilliance, but Huntsman is a pariah in the Republican Party for any number of reasons and would need to self-finance any political aspirations, unless he ran as a Democrat.

Yeah, which is sad. There are things I don't like about his politics, but he struck me as someone that was willing to compromise. Maybe even an example of wj's third kind. Also in the direction of where the republicans need to be if they want to stay relevant.


I'm curious: who is farther from "the center" -- Huntsman, presumably right-ward, or Warren, allegedly leftward?

I'm interested in both your personal answer, and your assessment of the popular or conventional answer.

Notice that, taking Huntsman and Warren as fixed points, the question really amounts to "where is the center?"



As far as the body politic of this country goes:

I'd speculate that in an imaginary presidential matchup between Huntsman and Warren, Huntsman would get most of the swing states.

Based purely on vague impressions and speculation, not an in depth analysis of their platforms.

Mostly based on Warren being perceived as to the left of Obama, and Huntsman likely a little to the right of Obama, who seems pretty centrist to me.

TL;DR: I'd speculate that Huntsman is more 'centrist'.

Personally? I don't know and don't really care. Neither strike me as particularly authoritarian, corporatist, or hawkish, so I don't really have a hate-on for either one.

In terms of policy, I'd probably agree more with Huntsman. In terms of ability to compromise I don't have the impression that either one is a polarizing figure, so good.

I haven't really dug into the public statements and writings of either one (well, not recently anyway), so I could be way off. I'll cross that bridge if and when they mount a campaign in an election I can vote in.

Mostly based on Warren being perceived as to the left of Obama

Eisenhower was to the left of Obama. Nixon was to the left of Obama.

Draw your own conclusions about what that says regarding where the "center" is nowadays.

Most days I wake up and I have no freaking idea what country this is anymore.

Of course, Eisenhower and Nixon weren't black. For all that there are those on the right who disagree with Obama on the issues, it is hard to miss the fact that the virulence of the opposition exceeds anything faced (from my admittedly limited knowledge of history) by any President since Lincoln. I remember the oppositon to Bush II, to Reagan, to Nixon -- none were in the same ballpark. Neither, from what I have read, was the oppositon to FDR.

And, of course, the geography of the opposition suggests the same factor is involved.

Neither, from what I have read, was the oppositon to FDR.

Well, there was that military coup plot against FDR. But, it never really got off the ground, so maybe it doesn't count.


Basically, I think the country has lost the plot. Any plot, pick whatever one you like.

We have no common understanding of what we're about anymore. We really don't.

The rest is commentary.

It's not the first time, probably won't be the last. It just makes it really hard to get anything useful or necessary done.

I am so fing tired of this racial absurdity. I remember the opposition to carter and Nixon being thousands of people in the street and virulent hatred. Actually Reagan was a
Calm interlude, because he worked well with others. Bush 1 was hammered incessantly, and Bush II was the most pilloried President in my lifetime. Obama was the President of hope. He doesn't get crap because he's black, he gets crap because he failed to deliver.


How's the weather on your planet? Do they photoshop pictures of white presidents with bones through their noses there?

You seemed annoyed at Obama for NOT failing to deliver health-care reform a couple of years ago. Amusing.


What's Bill Clinton, the other black President, got to do to get a little hate around here?

As for Obama, maybe Mighty Whitey will be by to argue with you.

Bush I was hammered incessantly by Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and Tom Delay, so you are right there.

I'd say Nixon was the most hated, but we still had a draft. That he was an eminently hateable maneuvering swine on many other fronts didn't help.

If Bush II had a military draft at his disposal and was sending rich kids over to be torn apart by IEDs while they destabilized Iraq and the rest of the Mideast to make room for glorious democratic ponies peeing top-shelf craft beer into the mouths of liberated Iraqi women, pillorying would have been the least of his worries.

The Reagan era seemed calm because the professional, racist John Birch vermin haters were busy working in the White House and the Government instead of trying to destroy the thing from the outside.

You want hate -- try being LBJ in 1968. The war, draft, the Left, the southern racist democrats who hadn't converted to the Republican Party yet, but spat at him, and their new friends the John Birch Right.

John Kennedy, a conservative by any measures still extant, had to go to Dallas, Texas where they serve up the down home cooking of real American armed f*ck-hate.

MLK, not a President, but the U.S. Government in the person of J. Edgar Hoover and the Southern Democrats and the Republicans wanted the man dead. Course, the bullet was a Southern round.


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