Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elsewhere: Congress-bashing, Judges

Sorry for the slow blogging today; some of it is that I'm doing stuff that will turn up elsewhere, some of it is recovering from the Matt Cain gem last night (note the time stamp on not one, but two posts written after the last out of a game that started after 9PM my time).

So: Mitch McConnell has apparently decided to shut down circuit court nominations for the rest of the year; I wrote about it over at Plum Line. I'm probably less opposed to the idea of stalling lifetime-appointment nominations towards the end of an administration than a lot of people are, but it would be a lot more justifiable if McConnell's Republicans hadn't been stalling these positions and every other nomination throughout Barack Obama's presidency; in particular, it would be more justifiable if the non-controversial nominees (that is, the ones who have close to unanimous Republican support) had been already cleared. At any rate, it's a big deal.

And I did a reaction post to Obama's big speech today, focusing on his rhetorical choice of Congress-bashing rather than Bush, or Ryan, or even Republican bashing.

17 comments:

  1. The WaPo has labeled you EJ Dionne for some reason...check out the page it links you to.

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    1. Yeah, I just noticed that -- big promotion!

      I assume it'll get fixed at some point...anyway, yeah, that's me, not him.

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    2. It's fixed now, but I do enjoy reading the comments trashing Dionne. I'd love to see the cognitive dissonance avoidance that would occur were some of the commenters to revisit the page and learn that commie pinko Bernstein wrote this!

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  2. This McConnell judge thing violates the Gang of Fourteen agreement and the agreement from January 2010. So Reid and the Democrats will now use the nuclear option to get rid of judicial filibusters, right? Sigh.

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    1. Ron: your initial optimism is so cute! Then, you had to go and ruin it with the sigh.

      You've got to commit more fully to the sarcasm. Don't soft pedal it....wear the sarcasm like a red badge of courage!

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    2. A "red badge of courage" is a gun shot wound. Read the book sometime if you want to reference it.

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    3. I've found in long experience on the Internet that sarcasm is often very difficult for people to pick up, so I tend to make it bluntly clear when I'm being sarcastic so there is no doubt.

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    4. Yep...otherwise you risk getting accused of having skipped the assigned reading in the 7th grade!

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    5. Ah, the Sarah Palin defense. "Im kuler then u cuz I dont reed."

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    6. Anon: please. I had a whole long response penned here. It's just not worth it. Suffice it to say: I was being sarcastic and using the term (itself a metaphor) metaphorically.

      I was making a sarcastic joke about Ron E. sarcasm. Therefore, I felt a metaphorical use of a metaphor was appropriate. I'm sorry that my attempt at humor was lost on you.

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    7. Matt: You used a metaphor incorrectly because you didn't know what it meant. I pointed that out to prod you for it. You couldn't stand losing face, so you tried to recover by implying that anyone who actually does know what the metaphor means is some snot-nosed little teacher's pet from middle school. I prodded you gain for the anti-intellectualism built into your attempt to save face. Now you are trying to save face again by pretending to be a grand peace-maker selflessly ending a conflict that has torn the blog apart. Get over yourself. Everyone makes a bad metaphor once in a while. Admit it and move on with your life. Or don't admit it, and move on anyway. Either way, if you use snark, don't get upset when someone else uses snark in response. Either that, or have a sense of humor about your hypocrisy.

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  3. BTW, excerpts of the speech I've read have plenty of "they would do X, Y, and Z if they win", which are clear references to the GOP, aren't they?

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    1. Yeah, that's what I heard. Obama spent a large portion of the speech summarizing and bashing the Republicans' plan, which he referred to as either the Republicans' plan or Romney's plan, and the plan was Ryan's long-term budget. He didn't use the name Ryan because he labeled it the Republican/Romney plan, and at multiple points he emphasized how it has the same ideas as earlier Republican/Bush plans.

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    2. Checked the transcript to see if my mind was playing tricks on me. Obama refers to "Republicans in Congress," "Republicans who run Congress," and "the current Republican Congress." He refers to Bush as his "Republican predecessor." Multiple times he refers to Romney's "allies in Congress," which I suppose will register differently and less partisan somehow to low information voters (is that in fact true?). Anyway, a good half of the references to Congress refer to Republicans by that name; the other half don't.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/full-transcript-of-obamas-speech-on-the-economy-in-cleveland-ohio/2012/06/14/gJQAdY10cV_print.html

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    3. Right -- there are some "Republicans" references, but a lot more "Congress" references. I checked yesterday, and it was something like 11 to 5 -- I think he used the word "Republican" 11 times, but only half of them were pejorative.

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    4. So, here's my counting:

      Innocuous ("I want to thank some members of Congress who made the trip today", a bill has been "placed before Congress"): 5

      As part of a slam on the GOP ("Romney and his allies in Congress"): 7

      As praise for the institution: 0

      As a slam on the institution: 0

      Sorry, Jon, I gotta throw the flag on this one. Every time he mentions Congress, it's either because it's grammatically useful (either thanking the local MC or saying something like "I proposed a plan to Congress to do blah"), or he's saying something like "Romney's allies in Congress."

      Obama didn't slam Republicans by that precise name very often. But, it's also true that Voldemort is a minor character in most of the Harry Potter books by that metric. Obama referred to Those Who Shall Not Be Named (take that as either a Harry Potter or The Village reference, though I'd much prefer you do the former), but the audience knew who he was talking about.

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    5. Going further, many of the times he uses "Republican," he's doing so to praise old-timey Republicans. There's Nixon, and Reagan, and Eisenhower, and Lincoln in there, as well as a couple of appeals to Republicans in the electorate as good, rational people.

      But, there's really no mistaking that his speech argues that voting GOP in the fall is a bad idea.

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