I don't know that it was the most important thing of the week, but the Obama Administration filed their appeal on the recess appointment decision; of course, the appeal was expected, but the case matters quite a bit (also, I wrote about it yesterday).
Nice to get all the presidents together, but attempts to rehabilitate George W. Bush aren't going to work, and don't really matter.
That's what I have. What did you notice? What do you think mattered this week?
Erm, attempts to rehabilitate George W. Bush matter in the sense that it shows GOP continues to be out of touch with regular Americans. If Republicans wanted to be anything close to a populist party, not a party exploiting populism for political gain, they'd have distanced themselves from all things Bush Administration long, long ago.ReplyDelete
It looked like they were headed in that direction after the economic collapse but they seem to be walking that back now.
Senate Democrats agreeing to ease the effects of the sequester on air travel--rather than to to try to use those effects as presure for a broader modification of the sequester--could be said to matter if it wasn't so utterly predictable. (And no, I'm not saying that such pressure would have led to concessions from the Republicans. But it would at least have clarified that the Democrats did not regard inconveneince to air travelers as worse than, for example, the sequester's effects on the poor.)ReplyDelete
Agree with David T above -- as a political strategy, the sequester collapsed this week with veto-proof majorities to overturn part of it the instant it began to hurt the upper middle class. Beyond that, I'll go with Reinhart-Rogoff again. This news had a week to sink in, R-R had a chance to admit errors or make a well-reasoned defense, they decided instead they'd rather be Paul Krugman's pinata, and I think / hope that opinion against austerity is therefore continuing to harden. Unfortunately the bad news on the sequester militates against this having any real effect.ReplyDelete
The collapse of the sequester as a political strategy on the Democratic side mattered. In retrospect, the whole thing looks like a positively brilliant maneuver by the Republicans. The alleged chemical warfare in Syria may matter, but probably won't.ReplyDelete
Things that didn't matter: Bush Library,
Perhaps the thing that mattered about the sequester was how easily the ATC change was made. Look, none of us has any idea whether the air traffic disruptions represented the FAA's 'best efforts' under sequester; what we're all sure of is that they'd rather not furlough air traffic controllers if they can avoid it.ReplyDelete
Which is what should be troubling about this to progressives: when the poor and marginalized suffer, they do so invisibly; there's nothing they can do to visit their problem on you and cause you to share their motivation to make the problem go away.
In an era of looming spending cuts, that doesn't bode well for the have-nots.
Dear Progressives, Liberals and Democrats, Please chill out about whether the Republicans "won" the sequester. JB has done some work on this, which I think is illuminating, in which he says that Republicans are identified with spending cuts. Yes, they deny supporting whichever spending cuts people happen to complain about. But the party position is "cut spending." Now, over the next few months all over the country people are going to see small but noticeable effects of the sequester. A few of these will make national news... like maybe a cancer patient dies because she got thrown out of the hospital due to the sequester. But most will be felt locally. Generally, everyone, even those not directly hurt by the cuts, is going to have a bitter taste of what "spending cuts" means. And you know what else is happening? The economy is improving, and the deficit is shrinking... shrinking pretty dramatically. Democrats are going to keep on saying that the sequester is stupid, while Republicans are going to keep on saying that Obama is spending too much. Which message do you think will resonate, come November '14?ReplyDelete
Syria using chemical weapons definitely, definitely mattered.
Many Americans, perhaps as many as thousands a day, suffer otherwise preventable deaths if they had more resources.Delete
Does anyone vote based on that unfortunate fact?
No, I think what's going to happen is that people are going to be dis-inclined to vote for spending cuts. Maybe something else will happen to bolster GOP electorally, but I don't think it's going to be the sequester.Delete
RE: the sequester, I think it's really funny that after weeks and weeks of Republicans saying the cuts won't be so bad and OMG the Dems are totally overstating the effects and "just cut 1% from every department no biggie" or whatever it was Paul Ryan and the rest were saying, suddenlty it's freak out time when planes are late. We're the most spoiled nation on earth.ReplyDelete
The way Republicans in Congress jumped to fix the FAA funding issue is a big about face for them, not so much for Dems. Dems were being consistent. They said people would feel the cuts, that it would be a problem, and they didn't want to do it. Of course they'll jump in to fix it. What's funny is how Republicans have been dragging their feet over every single thing for 5 years, dragging their feet over every penny, we can't afford food stamps, we can't afford Head Start, we can't afford green energy investment, we're broke we're Greece, we're this, we're that, and as soon as someone complains that their flight to Atlanta is late it's Hey guess what guyz, we found the money!
Yeah, I think this looks really bad for the Republicans, though of course that probably won't matter politically.Delete
Conservative ideology holds that the government should be involved in the economy/society as little as possible, doing stuff obviously for the common interest (building roads), or if playing favorites, only doing so to prevent extreme outcomes associated with poverty, etc.
Liberals push back that conservatives don't mind government involvement, they just hate it when said involvement benefits the poor and marginalized.
After this week, I'm not sure what answer conservatives have to that liberal critique any more.
I suspect that a lot of marginally involved conservative voters assume that all government money is wasted by definition, and therefore, cutting it can't have any real-world impact. If something is causing the planes to arrive late, it must be some sort of chicanery on the part of Democrats. The Republican argument will play into that.Delete
The process we're seeing now is separating the "too painful" cuts from cuts that probably make sense. We could have done this earlier if the political atmosphere wasn't poisonous, but we know it's poisonous, so sensible consideration (the scalpel approach) wasn't in the cards. So we're fixing it after the fact. It's not so terrible. But, yeah, you may be right that we're the most spoiled people on earth.Delete