Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democrats Day 2

I already did one item about Bill Clinton's speech over at PP, but I probably have more to say about it. Beyond that: I missed a couple of hours there, but from my twitter feed, it doesn't seem that I missed much; I got back a little before the broadcast hour, and mostly discovered that the Democrats don't have enough CEOs to select based on speaking ability, and that Elizabeth Warren isn't much of a convention speaker.

Anyway, Bill Clinton. Yeah, he'll do.

I'm not neutral on this one. Regular readers know that I like politicians as a group. And, well, he's just so much a politician. As much as I tell people that you can't really get inside their heads, it's about as certain as anything can be that he just loves it. Just loves it. Not just, as I've seen some say, loving that the crowd loves him -- he sure seems to love every aspect of it. Particularly, policy: learning the most wonkish of details, but then transforming them into something that...well, I can't really judge if average voters can understand it, but what he's brilliant at doing is transforming it into something that can impress average voters by sounding like it's extremely substantive while at the same time impressing policy folks by actually being extremely substantive, and (usually, and as far as I could hear tonight) factually honest.

Look, here's the thing. GOPer Steve Schmidt said tonight (and I'm sure plenty of others did too) that "“I wish to God as a Republican we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that.” But you know what? It's not just luck that Democrats have a Bill Clinton and Republicans don't. Granted, political talent could show up for either party. But a Republican these days couldn't do what Clinton did tonight, because Republican gatekeepers and, probably, Republican audiences don't want that kind of thing.

It's not that there are no solid, factual, arguments for the policies Republicans prefer. There certainly are! But a politician who tried to stick to those would be competing with the Glenn Becks of the party, and the Rush Limbaughs, and the Newt Gingriches, and the "facts" that those party leaders constantly trot out. Democrats, to be sure, have to compete with some fringe voices who have a dubious grasp of facts and policy, but for whatever reason those voices are kept on the fringe. That's just not the case for Republicans.

It's not always been that way. But that's how it is now.

And so Paul Ryan gets a reputation as a substantive Republican...while repeating the most nutty myths about budgets and health care reform (yes, a David Obey would or a Henry Waxman will give a very partisan interpretation of contested facts; how often do they just make stuff up?). And so Republicans celebrate the policy ignorance of a Herman Cain or a Sarah Palin. And so Republicans don't even bother forcing George W. Bush to show he knows anything about policy or government before they nominate him; to the contrary, they argue that he's a better president because he's not bogged down by all of that stuff and can better govern from his instincts.

You're not going to get a Bill Clinton if your party gives no incentives at all for a smart youngster to try to become that sort of politician. Truth is, a Republican who really knew policy well enough to make the arguments Clinton made tonight would have to hide it.

56 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to Barney Frank. I can't evaluate his career but, stylistically, he's a one-of-a-kind Dem.

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  2. In the cynical and hyperpartisan fog of the 90s, I used to listen to these pro forma speeches a President gives, on C-Span. Bill Clinton made those speeches shine. He had a few important clunkers in his time, like his first convention speech and his second Inaugural, but he had many important and unimportant successes. I didn't always agree with what he did as President (though I usually wound up defending him to friends) but he was always interesting to listen to. I can't think of a better speech than the one he gave tonight.

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  3. Two things:

    1) The last sentence in the open is: Truth is, a Republican who really knew policy well enough to make the arguments Clinton made tonight would have to hide it. Given that, how in the world can anyone not be a deficit alarmist?

    The deficit dove position goes something like this: "Sure, (Federal) Debt-to-GDP steaming past 100% is a problem. But we're on shaky economic footing now, so full speed ahead, soon enough we'll deal with this". Considering the exigencies of the Beltway, the "we'll" in the sentence above means "us and Paul Ryan and the others", no? To which the deficit alarmist replies: really?

    2) If we ever spare a thought for the Clinton marriage, its probably schadenfreude for Hillary and a blue dress. That's a shame, because the Clintons are probably one of, if not the, all-time great political marriages in US history, with Hillary providing a value to WJC that far exceeds not just what Laura Welch, but even Michelle Obama, provide for their husbands.

    For the millionth time - that skill WJC displayed last night? He wasn't born that way. Like any other, that was a skill honed through countless hours of practice, reflection, and consideration - needless to say, his partner in that journey wasn't no Sandy Berger.

    Indeed, I was thinking last night that one of the great personal tragedies for WJC is that its probably never good when someone with a ton of personal baggage marries their soulmate. If you know that you and your spouse are inconceivably inseparable, it may be harder for you to control your darker instincts arising from an iffy youth.

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    1. Side note - the following also occurs to me today: its de rigueur around here to lament the Clinton impeachment as a preposterously overcooked witch hunt.

      In the grand sweep of history, when folks come to terms with the extraordinary impact WJC+HRC had on the post-Cold War country and world, historians may see "him trying to shield himself from embarrassment, particularly wrt her" as an eminently impeachable offense, if only in their particular case.

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    2. I want to second the notion that Brother Bill wasn't born that way. He had few peers when he was first elected to President. He had none when his eight years were through. He has none today, because few want to work as hard as he did, and learn as much as he has, about his craft.

      And as a partisan, I really want to echo the notion that it is WJC's (as you style him) patriotism that shines through, and that drives him, even as he has had to let go of the power he used to yield. He loves his country. That is why he mends his bridges, and that's why he spoke for BHO. I think that that is why his brand continues to grow. He pushes for causes that help others.

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  4. yeah. It is a real shame the current president can't give speeches like that.

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  5. "Truth is, a Republican who really knew policy well enough to make the arguments Clinton made tonight would have to hide it."

    Spot on. The Republican Party is now the political equivalent of the Mean Girls clique found in any junio high school -- and if you want to be part of that group, you better hide your intellect, because Mean Girls HATE Smart Girls.

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  6. Romney might be the ultimate demonstration of this thesis. We haven't seen much evidence of it in the campaign, but he's supposed to be a policy guy.

    Presumably, in his Bain day, he had a solid grasp of arithmetic. But that was before he started running for the GOP nomination...

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  7. I have to agree that Clinton did a marvelous job. To be even wonkier, though, I think he left out a couple of things that mattered. For instance, he discussed the advantages of the ACA as it exists so far, but didn't even mention the individual mandate. I have to assume the Republicans are going to jump all over that as something tantamount to a coverup. Second, he discussed the importance of dealing with the deficit without mentioning the timing of that or the consequences of doing it too soon. (What CSH calls the "deficit dove position.") The Republicans, I imagine, would focus on that as an admission that their approach and priorities are correct. Finally, he described Ryan's proposed cuts to Medicare as the same as Obama's cuts to Medicare (gave that line about having the "brass" to accuse someone of doing what he's doing), but he didn't point out that Ryan's savings would go to tax cuts rather than to the doughnut hole or insurance for other people. (I know that last point, insurance for other people, is already a GOP attack line, but it isn't for the people in the room, who looked confused by the reference to Ryan doing the same thing as Obama.)

    Also, I have already heard Republicans this morning distinguishing the "moderate" Clinton from the "radical" Obama. Needless to say, that's not how they described him in the '90s.

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    1. but he didn't point out that Ryan's savings would go to tax cuts rather than to the doughnut hole or insurance for other people.

      You might want to recheck that. I'm sure he made that point - and quite emphatically.

      He also pointed out that Ryan's tax cuts for the rich lead directly to tax increases for the middle class.

      JzB

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    2. I could be wrong, but I don't think he made the point at that moment. If he made it elsewhere, it would have borne repeating. But perhaps I quibble.

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  8. "It's not that there are no solid, factual, arguments for the policies Republicans prefer. There certainly are!"

    Bull.

    At least there are no "solid, factual" arguments for the Republican agenda that don't amount to 'we spent the country into bankruptcy, and now you peons need to eat your broccoli to pay for more tax cuts'. And to make it, the Republican ticket would need to verbalize some actual policy, rather than the lighter-than-a-feather platitude list that Romney calls his set of proposals. That's why the RNC was void of policy talk, they don't have any they can say out loud.

    Tax reform? Give Romney the benefit on his 'magic-pixie-dust' supply-side growth assumptions, the math still doesn't add up - either he raises taxes on the middle class, or he explodes the debt.

    Climate change? The party that first suggested cap-and-trade now uses the concept as a punchline, as a hurricane impacts their second convention in a row.

    Entitlement reform? Last night Clinton laid open that block-granting Medicaid would impact a whole lot of American grandmas in nursing homes. And that's supposed to be the easiest piece for the Republicans to make a case - much less the duplicitous, mendacious $716 billion from Medicare attack. (And they aren't even trying to con people into putting our Social Security into the stock market anymore.)

    Welfare-to-work? A lie so big, even the Washington Press Corps sat up and began to take notice.

    In summation... Bull.

    "It's not that there are no solid, factual, arguments for the policies Republicans prefer. There certainly are!"

    This is conventional Washington "both sides" false equivalency. I don't think you've actually thought through what these 'solid, factual, arguments' might be. I say prove it, or they don't actually exist.

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    1. I was going to make this same point.

      I'd just add, on entitlement reform & fiscal responsibility, the biggest long-term problem is health care costs. Not "entitlements", not "Medicare", but health care costs. So everyone concerned about that issue voted for the ACA, which was a first step in bringing our health care costs from their stratospheric-relative-to-everyone-else-in-the-world levels. And everyone concerned about the debt refrains from voting for Republicans like Paul Ryan, who supported the occupation of Iraq and the fiscal policies that turned our surpluses into deficits.

      Hasn't ever been thus, shall not ever be thus, but for the time being, no one with rational policy preferences votes for Republicans.

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    2. Neither does anyone with a uterus.

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    3. I agree and disagree.

      I'd agree that there are some issues on which the GOP professes to have the same goals as the Democrats. In that case, one can more or less adjudicate whose policy proposals are more rational, empirically supported, and likely to be effective.

      But there are also many issues/topics on which ideological Republicans and Democrats have completely different understandings of the issue in question and different goals and different governing premises and values. In that case, both can in fact be pursuing "rational," "solid," and "factual" policy paths given these priors.

      If one doesn't grant this, then there's actually no social and conceptual space for rational disagreement in a democracy.

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    4. If one doesn't grant this, then there's actually no social and conceptual space for rational disagreement in a democracy.

      That is true in the abstract, but it is not true of the current Republican party.

      Unless you believe that undoing the New Deal, the progressive movement, and the enlightenment, in order to restore theocracy and the divine right of rich oligarchs is a "rational," "solid," and "factual" policy path.

      JzB

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    5. Put differently, I suppose what I'm saying is the big problem is asymmetrical elite polarization, not a whole contingent of the elite becoming genuinely irrational and incompetent. (I focus on the political elite, because I think their concerns and perspectives do really shape the political field, and then they audition before lower-information, less involved voters.)

      GOP leaders and their elite supporters have moved sufficiently ideologically rightward that they don't in fact share certain major governing and political-values premises with the mainstream or with many Democrats and liberals about the purpose of public policy in practice. Incompetence and irrationality seem to be a smaller problem, which only seems overwhelming if one is already starting from a liberal wonk's set of premises.

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  9. Serious and solid reasons for Republican policies.....let's here them. The intellectual and moral degeneracy of the GOP is the major threat to the country.

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  10. Democrats, to be sure, have to compete with some fringe voices who have a dubious grasp of facts and policy, but for whatever reason those voices are kept on the fringe.

    .

    Wow. Just wow.

    Scroll up to hear from some of that lefty fringe you claim doesn't exist, and while you're at it, you can head over to YouTube and watch the lefty platform committee organizing an emergency clean up crew, fixing several own goals scored by the non-existent fringe, in the writing of that platform (and getting booed by that fringe, who prefer own goals, evidently).

    Now, yes, Bill Clinton and his 2000 federal spending level of 18% of GDP doesn't put him on the fringe, which makes it surprising that you lefties are celebrating him, even as you hysterically condemn anybody who resists the Left's current massive spending levels, which are nearly 50% greater than Clinton's and are spending the nation into debt obvlivion.

    But then, the Left's intention isn't to actually DO or BELIEVE in what Clinton did in politics, as we know.

    I'm just finding it amusing that the far Left here takes their calling those evil R's lying, stupid racists as mainstream, and not fringe. ;-)

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    1. the Left's current massive spending levels

      ... are not real-world phenomena. As I pointed out above, the policies that did the most work converting our surpluses into deficits were the occupation of Iraq and the Bush fiscal policies. Also, we tax & spend at a low level compared to other wealthy democracies. You're free to argue that Pres. Bush and Paul Ryan are of the Left, but then you're no longer talking about the subject matter of this post: the differences between the two parties.

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    2. Yes, the main cause of debt is Republican policies, see the chart at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/28/republican-national-convention-the-one-graph-you-need-to-see-before-watching/ ...not to mention the nice article at http://www.poisonyourmind.com/2011/08/the-long-term-debt-issue-is-health-care-costs-2/ you linked to earlier about debt and health-care costs (which Democrats have done far more to try to seriously address).

      Also, anonymous says "Scroll up to hear from some of that lefty fringe you claim doesn't exist"--which comments would those be, exactly?

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    3. It's not real world phenomena to the fringe Left, I'd agree.

      Iraq AND Afghanistan were, at their spending peak, $15B per month combined. The Obama deficit max is ten times that. That's assuming you even think that matters, since you lefties all voted for candidates that voted for Iraq, at least once, so that line of reasoning is pure hypocrisy.

      I'm not understanding what you're speaking of with this "Bush fiscal policies" throwaway line. Bush jacked spending from Clinton's 18% of GDP to +20% or so, but Obama's helped ram it up to 25-27%, and you lefties intend for it to stay there, and are hysterical if anybody suggests otherwise. You lefties want this spending level, so don't blame anybody else for it.

      And actually, you lefties may want to modify your long established nostrum about the US standing vs "other wealthy democracies" fiscal policies. Canada just nudged under the US in that measure, meaning the Obamabots have really and truly moved the needle into fiscal oblivion. Next stop Greece, I guess. ;-)

      I'm just amused that you lefties are getting leg tingles over Bill Clinton here. Trust me, he was never one of you fringe lefties, and his 18% spending level proved it. ;-)

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    4. There's been no "Obama spending surge"; in a big recession, policies that long precede Pres. Bush or Pres. Obama, eg unemployment & Medicaid, increase spending. This makes sense & is sound policy, as they're designed to help folks in need, of whom there are more in a bad recession. Another thing a recession does: diminishes gdp, thereby increasing gov spending as a % of gdp. As I pointed out above, the biggest policy contributors in converting our surpluses into deficits were the Iraq occupation & the Bush fiscal policies; you can see a variety of charts at the link.

      You cling tenaciously to that one metric because you want to express the negative emtions you feel about the president & Democrats, in lieu of discussing any actual policies.

      Which brings us full circle: hasn't ever been thus, shal not ever be thus, but for the time being, no one with rational policy preferences votes for Republicans.

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    5. Anonymous, you continue to undertake an argument with yourself, repeatedly making strawman assertions that you insist other people are making. Bush (like Reagan) annually ran deficits in good years and bad for no reason other than the fact that he didn't want to raise the revenues to pay for them or cut expenditures to the level of revenues. (I understand that Romney cut taxes in Massachusetts, leaving it with a structural deficit as well.) Obama inherited an economic catastrophe that requires heavy spending to compensate for the loss in aggregate demand, despite the lamentable fiscal position that Bush left him with. With the aid of maybe three Republican votes in the Senate, he passed a stimulus package that (in combination with TARP and Fed actions) stopped the collapse. It was not enough, however, to reignite self-sustaining growth. For one thing, the Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated that the economy was contracting at a rate of 3.8% per annum when it was actually contracting at a rate of 8.9% (according to a BEA revision two years later). After that, the Republicans did everything they could to prevent any further action to stimulate growth, all the while complaining that Obama wasn't doing anything about the economy. Austerity during a downturn will send the economy back into recession, as it has in Europe. The deficit will have to be dealt with after the economy has recovered. Will it be even worse by then? Yes. Will premature austerity prevent the deficit from getting worse? No. Part of the deficit problem will take care of itself as the unemployed return to the tax roles, adding to revenues rather than expenditures. The mass of the long-term debt requires getting control of rising medical costs (not government medical expenditures, all medical expenditures), which Obamacare begins to do. Now, go ahead and tell me what I really mean.

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    6. Dude, I'm going to ignore that post and leave it unread for 2 reasons. You don't know how to use paragraphs, and you started it off with personal attack.

      Get back with me if you want to take federal spending down from the massive percentage of GDP it's currently at, that's burying us in debt. If you do, we can talk. If you don't, let's just sit and watch.

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    7. "Anonymous," if you're so thin-skinned that you can't read past one of the mildest "personal attacks" I've read on this very civil discussion thread, then you don't belong in this discussion thread. This is the classic response I so frequently see from Republicans who have their arguments skewered: they pout and whine and complain. And, to revisit one of your earlier comments above: because the GOP's main platform is based on lies, racism, and basically political evil (i.e., defeat Obama instead of doing what's right for America), then the Left's comments about that lying, racism, and evil is not fringe, it's the mainstream.

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    8. Fair enough, dude. You continue to run that exact fringe Left campaign, that your evil opposition is a bunch of lying, stupid racists. The voters will take care of the rest, I suspect. Especially when you inform them that they're a bunch of evil stupid racists if they don't support the massive spending increases you lefties want. ;-)

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  11. Yes, the problem here is that the fiscally responsible are expressing "negative emotions", or at least that's what the non-existent fringe Left thinks is the problem here. ;-)

    Because clearly, borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend is wonderful policy. It's working well for Greece, certainly.

    I think we need another election, kids. ;-)

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    1. Oh, and I'm still amused that you lefties are celebrating Bill Clinton. That's a hoot. ;-)

      I guess you younger kids wouldn't know, but Bill Clinton's rise in politics was in DIRECT opposition to the fringe leftism as expressed on this site. It's just amusing, watching this all play out today, given that history, particularly as regards the massive spending levels you lefties advocate, 50% greater than Clintonian levels. ;-)

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    2. Clinton was s middle of the road Democrat who appealed to disenchanted moderates who didn't like Bush's lying about no new taxes. Then, as president, he slashed federal payroll and raised taxes while reforming a major entitlement, cooperating the entire time with the GOP (whether by necessity or because it was the right thing to do, it doesn't matter), and balanced the budget, undoing 12 straight years of the kind of deficit spending that Republicans today are claiming is fiscally reckless. Which, of course, they'll then claim is no big deal if a President Romney does the same thing.

      The Right has gotten so fringe they're mainstream. The only part that's still fringe are the Akins and Bachmanns, but they're not that far off.

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    3. You're taking an awful lot of words to say that Clinton helped drop federal spending to less than 18% of GDP, a level that you fringe lefties view as a vampire does a crucifix. ;-)

      I'm still getting a kick out of you all cheerleading for that guy today. ;-)

      Did you also know that he doesn't give a fig whether Obama gets reelected, as long as he isn't blamed for the loss, and Hillary gets the nod in 2016? ;-)

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    4. Anon -

      It's clear that you know absolutely nothing about Federal budgets, nor the realities of federal revenues and expenditures. I recommend you spend some time at the St. Louis Fed's data base, and educate yourself on some economic realities.

      http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/

      Deficits are caused by only three things: 1) wars and other military expenditures (frex:"star wars"); 2) tax cuts; and 3) the double whammy of an economic downturn that reduces tax revenues and increases mandated spending.

      The size of the Fed Govt has shrunk under Obama. There has been no spending surge. In fact, since the official end of the recession, the growth of federal spending has actually gone negative. Certainly nothing like that happened during the W admin.

      http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=agQ

      One thing we lefties have that is in very short supply on the other side is a grasp of facts and data. The other is a capacity for critical thinking rather than relying on spoon-fed talking points.

      Hence the well-known liberal bias of reality.

      JzB

      JzB

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  12. As I say, you lefties on this site are a far fringe of the allegedly non-existent lefty fringe. ;-)

    As regards fiscal realities, I'm going to let Bill Clinton's spending at 18% of GDP do my talking for me, and let the Left's current spending at +25% of GDP do the talking for you fringe lefties. ;-)

    And no, plastering links to the St. Louis Fed ain't gonna change the above hard reality, lefty. I can help you find direct links illustrating the massive spending disparity between Clinton and now, if you like.

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    1. Clearly, your bubble is impenetrable.

      But, just for kicks, here is my message coming from FORBES, of all places. Go over there and call them lefties if you like.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/

      But, since you are immune to facts and data, that won't make any difference, either.

      I'll also point out that spending/GDP has a denominator. As Bubba Bill pointed out last night, the truth is revealed by arithmetic. Why look at a ratio? Either to provide context, which is valid; or to skew a number, which is not.

      Here is the way the numerator and denominator have changes in recent years.

      http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=ahw

      Enjoy your alternate universe.

      JzB

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    2. Dude, 18% of GDP spending is a LOT less than the Left's preferred +25%.

      I.E. the Left wants to and is spending MASSIVELY more than just a short while ago.

      How far did you go in mathematics, by the way, lefty? ;-)

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  13. Anon: if Obama wins re-election, does that mean the American people have experienced 4 years of hard-left socialism and have decided they want 4 more of it?

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    1. Perhaps, but on the other hand it could mean they think Willard the Mittens is a flipflopping crapweasel, like I do.

      Either way, it won't change the fact that the Left currently supports MASSIVE increases in federal spending, which Billy Jeff Clinton rejected, even as the Left is celebrating him today. ;-)

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    2. To take an idea from President Clinton, look at the scoreboard on whose policies are responsible for this "massive spending".

      Representative Ryan, America is literally in YOUR debt.

      Ryan voted for two wars with no revenue to pay for them, he voted for the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, he voted for the unpaid Medicare Part D prescription drug program. And he voted in favor of the Wall Street bailout.

      Going by big government spenders, Paul Ryan is ten times the socialist any Republican ever BSed themselves into believing Barack Obama was.

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    3. "Perhaps, but on the other hand it could mean they think Willard the Mittens is a flipflopping crapweasel, like I do."

      Sure, though enough of a weasel to vote for hard-left socialism? Or should we expect to see a surge of votes for the Libertarian or Constitutional Party candidates?

      I guess what I mean is: if the American people don't want 4 more years of hard-left socialism, they will find someway to vote for someone besides Obama, right?

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    4. Well, Willard has voted for a bunch of progressive and lefty nonsense in the past, so I wouldn't use him as your measuring stick on anything.

      You're assuming that the electorate will find some significant difference between Obama and Willard. I don't, and why should we assume that they will? They will likely be prone to view Obama as a failure, and that may drive their decision, but it would likely be a mistake to extrapolate beyond that discrete calculus.

      And I do expect the Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidates to do better than normal, now that you mention it.

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    5. "You're assuming that the electorate will find some significant difference between Obama and Willard. I don't, and why should we assume that they will?"

      In this case, are you expecting that 95% or more of Americans will either vote for a hard-left socialist or someone who supports insignificantly different policies from him? For better or worse, isn't that a ringing endorsement by the American people of hard-left socialist policies?

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    6. Is there anybody here who actually has some idea of what socialism is?

      Obama is hard left makes exactly as much sense as Obama is a foreign-born Muslim internationalist who hates white people.

      This is really depressing.

      JzB

      JzB

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    7. Again, you're fantasizing what it is the electorate will do, and how it thinks as it does it. Perhaps you lefties enjoy that fantasy, but the real world of politics doesn't support that.

      Let me assure you of on thing. The 2012 US presidential election isn't and won't be a "ringing endorsement" of anything... and THAT we don't need to fantasize about. It's stone cold reality.

      Now, we may find a rejection of Obama in that election, in addition to a void of "ringing endorsement" for anybody. But any speculative fantasy beyond that is pretty much worthless.

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    8. "The 2012 US presidential election isn't and won't be a 'ringing endorsement' of anything"

      Anon: you stated earlier that if Obama wins, it "perhaps" would be a sign that the American people had tasted hard-left socialism for 4 years and decided they wanted more of it. You stated the other possibility is that they'll vote for Obama because they think Romney supports "insignificantly different" policies (meaning all the GOP primary voters supported someone who is a hard-leftist).

      In the latter scenario, the American people are voting for Obama as opposed to a third party candidate. So while they may not love hard-left socialism, they don't hate it enough to vote for SOMEONE who is not hard-left?


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    9. Or, at the least, sit the election out in incredible record numbers/leave the ballot blank for the Presidency. Anything but actually vote for the hard-left socialist!

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    10. ...again, you're fantasizing as to what a bloc of people will do, and why they'll be doing it.

      You should really give up the fantasy. It has no relevance to political analysis. We only know what we know, and most of what you claim we know or will know is just fantasy.

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    11. And you may want to avoid using quotation marks around quotations that I haven't made.

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    12. So you were engaging in fantasy earlier when you wrote:

      "Perhaps, but on the other hand it could mean they think Willard the Mittens is a flipflopping crapweasel, like I do."

      "You're assuming that the electorate will find some significant difference between Obama and Willard. I don't, and why should we assume that they will? They will likely be prone to view Obama as a failure, and that may drive their decision, but it would likely be a mistake to extrapolate beyond that discrete calculus.

      And I do expect the Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidates to do better than normal, now that you mention it."

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    13. "And you may want to avoid using quotation marks around quotations that I haven't made."

      Not sure how to respond to that except to copy-and-paste below your passage from this very thread where you said exactly what I quoted you as saying:

      Let me assure you of on thing. The 2012 US presidential election isn't and won't be a "ringing endorsement" of anything... and THAT we don't need to fantasize about. It's stone cold reality.

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    14. No, I don't really engage in fantasy, lefty. That's for you, as when you put quotation marks around things I never said, fantasizing that I said them.

      I'm more of a data driven guy. And the data seems to be telling me that you're not worth wasting time on any longer.

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  14. Dude, you lefties voted for 2 wars as well, so again, let's drop that hypocrisy. That's getting old now.

    And Obama and the Left signed off on the "Bush Tax Cuts" in December 2010, so as of right now, they are the "Obama Tax Cuts". Let's drop this hypocrisy as well. It's getting old, too.

    You lefties want that Medicare Part D and MORE, ObamaCare and even more obviously, so let's not argue that point either. It's hypocritical.

    And of course, you lefties wanted TARP and all of the bailouts, and more since. More hypocrisy.

    Not to mention, despite all the above spending you support, you want even more MASSIVE new spending increases. No, the spending and debt devastation isn't something you lefties can blame on anybody else. You own it.

    Clinton/Gingrich = less than 18% GDP spending

    Obama/Pelosi = +25% of GDP spending and over $5T in fresh new debt in less than 4 years

    The facts and reality are clear here.

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    1. The Bush tax cuts were re-upped as part of a deal because the entire GOP would rather light America on fire than let them lapse.

      The ACA decreases the deficit, according to the CBO; Medicare Part D was 100% deficit-spending financed. As Jon Chait pointed out, "Republicans controlled both houses of Congress at the time, and exerted massive pressure to pass the bill. The coalition that squeezed the bill through after the vote was held open for hours consisted of 207 Republicans and 9 Democrats."

      You are correct to say that the Democrats are too far to the right when it comes to invading and occupying countries. That's not a good reason to vote for Republicans, however.

      In light of the last 20 years, no one who cares about the deficit votes for Republicans-- particularly not wildly fiscally irresponsible Republicans like Paul Ryan, who doggedly worked to turn our surpluses into deficits.

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    2. Dude, the Obama Tax Cuts belong to Obama and the Left, and you lefties need to stop whining and hypocritically blaming others for what you do and don't do.

      ObamaCare has ballooned the deficit massively. Nobody anywhere agrees with you to the contrary.

      You support Medicare Part D and more, as do all lefties. Stop the hypocrisy. You want that massive fresh spending, then and now.

      Let's face it, the Left wants massive new spending, even more than the massive spending we've brought on under Pelosi and Obama.

      No sense ignoring that reality. People are believing Ryan over the Obamabots, and they agree deficits are a massive problem.

      Take a look at the bottom issue here:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/156698/Americans-Continue-Give-Obama-Low-Marks-Economy.aspx

      Now, either you hard leftists are wrong, or all those polled folks are wrong. I know which way I see it. ;-)

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    3. ObamaCare has ballooned the deficit massively. Nobody anywhere agrees with you to the contrary.

      Except for the Congressional Budget Office.

      In a one-two punch, it said that the Affordable Care Act will reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years by $84 billion. It then added, in response to a request from House Speaker John Boehner, that the Republican-controlled House's bill to repeal the 2010 law would raise deficits by $109 billion in the next decade.

      http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/true-cost-the-cbo-takes-an-impartial-look-at-the-health-law-646805/

      But, of course, you will reject this, as you do everything that does not comport with your pre-concieved notions.

      There is no evidence - nor indeed even any kind of a speculative basis - for your absurd contention that "the Left" wants massive new spending. Where do you get this stuff?

      The only way someone can hold your views is to be seriously disconnected from reality.

      Further, you have a stereotyped blanket concept of "lefties" that cannot be supported by facts, data, or anything that actually makes some sort of sense.

      Do you have any capacity for critical thinking?

      JzB

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    4. There is no evidence - nor indeed even any kind of a speculative basis - for your absurd contention that "the Left" wants massive new spending. Where do you get this stuff?

      .

      You mean, those Obama budgets begging for MASSIVE NEW SPENDING didn't exist? ;-)

      The Obama budgets rejected unanimously by even the US Senate lefties, who know the Left's preferred MASSIVE NEW SPENDING might cost them their nice cushy jobs? ;-)

      It's funny how disconnected you lefties are from reality. ;-)

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    5. It's even funnier that you lefties shriek hysterically about evil Ryan not spending enough to match the MASSIVE NEW SPENDING you lefties want, yet you're still denying you want it.

      It's hypocrisy, but it's amusing. ;-)

      Delete

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