Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dogs, Not Barking

Haven't done one of these for a while...occasional item about items not in the news or not happening, which is actually news of itself.

1. White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. I have no idea of how good a job he's doing overall, but unless I'm missing it I don't see many liberals who are frustrated with the White House blaming it on Daley. Of course, liberals were quick to blame Daley's predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, for all sorts of things. I don't think liberals (at least outside of Washington and Chicago) like Daley very much, but they don't seem very interested in him, at least from what I see.

2. Impeachment! Occasional speculation notwithstanding, it's been 30 months so far and as far as I know we still haven't had a single Republican file a formal impeachment resolution. I was wrong on this one; I thought they would be much quicker to do it (of course, this is related to another dog not barking, Obama Administration scandals -- although the relationship between the two is difficult to sort out, in my view). Republicans deserve credit for not being as crazy (so far at least!) as some of us expected.

3. Oh, I'll just go with an obvious one. Inflation.

4. You know what -- I remember there was a rider on something that came from the House (was it the CR?) that would double-super make sure that the Fairness Doctrine wasn't coming back, but I have no idea whether it wound up being passed into law or not. I'm too lazy to look it up now...I'll just pivot to the ever-popular immanent imposition of strict gun control by the White House.


  1. #4 How can a piece of legislation ensure another piece of legislation isn't passed?

  2. If they really believe that stricter gun control is "immanent" -- i.e. "restricted entirely to the mind; subjective," by one definition -- then of course they're right. In fact I think that typo captures a real truth: a lot of what the far right worries about isn't actual policy but a kind of spiritual state. Taxes are higher, guns are being seized, death panels are underway, the UN is plotting with China to abolish the dollar, they're building superhighways for illegal immigrants, etc. -- these things may not actually be "true" in the banal sense of, like, reality, but in some deeper sense they're already immanent (indewelling, inherent) as long as the wrong people are in office.

    Also, not to be quarrelsome, but isn't saying that "Republicans deserve credit for not being as crazy (so far at least!) as some of us expected" a bit like saying that the London rioters deseerve credit -- so far at least -- for all the neighborhoods they haven't burned down?

  3. Here’s another one -- the Democratic peace movement. Barney Frank is reminding folks that we can get a lot of deficit reduction from simply ending the wars. He’s even looking to the tea party for allies:

    "The Tea Party people are anti-military spending to a greater extent than establishment Republicans and have a healthy dose of isolationism thanks to American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan,'' says Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who has long pushed to cut the defense budget. "On this issue, they were a positive force."


    But I think it’s unlikely that Republican pressure will force the President to change policy -- the Democratic base has to apply pressure for that to happen.

    #3 -- Greenspan and a number of center-left commentators have been seriously talking about inflation as a solution to our debt problems. Of course, bondholders might have something else to say about this.

  4. Re Daley - That's a dog I never expected to bark. Billy manages his press connections totally differently from Rahm's mode. Doesn't leave many fingerprints, and doesn't thrive on personal promotion or personal battles. So he looks like the good soldier -- there's no space apparent between him and his boss that would draw outside attacks.

    For all the focus on Daley's business links, he's been a Dem pro since birth (literally). He's got a long history of relations with the pros who run traditional Dem groups like unions, Urban League, conservation orgs, etc. as well as with big-time fund-raising for the DNC and state parties. Not that the interest groups always see eye to eye with him (far from it), but they often go back a long way with him and have an easy entré with him. So there's no big percentage in attacking him publicly.

    And his low profile doesn't attract the attention of the firebaggers.

  5. Everybody has finally realized the obvious which is that the things we don't like that the White House does are a reflection of the President not his chief of staff. That's why nobody bothers complaining about Daley.

  6. Interesting argument by Ron E.

    Is the job of the chief of staff to be invisible, or to be a lightning rod for partisans?


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