Another Week Where Romney’s Campaign Loses The News Cycle

Abortion and "legitimate rape" are not what the Romney campaign should be having to deal with this week.

Once again, we appear to be in the middle of another week in which the focus of the campaign is about anything other than the one issue the Romney campaign ought to be talking about non-stop:

Actually, it’s not the economy. At least not this week.

A presidential campaign that Republicans wanted to be focused relentlessly onPresident Obama’s job-creation record seems to be about almost everything else at the moment.

In part that’s the result of a months long effort by the Obama campaign to shift attention to Mitt Romney’s wealth and business record.

In part it’s the result of what now appears to be a strategic shift by Mr. Romney, who had spent much of this year hammering home his credentials as Mr. Economic Fix-It. His choice of Paul D. Ryan as his running mate has elevated conservative approaches to Medicare and budget cutting to the forefront of the election debate, crowding out a more direct focus on jobs and economic growth. It suggests that Mr. Romney is more interested in motivating his base than winning an economic argument for the allegiance of a dwindling number of undecided and independent voters.

His current advertising appeal to frustrated middle-class voters is primarily the charge, much debunked by fact-checkers, that Mr. Obama is trying to make it easier for the poor to get welfare checks and escape work requirements. He has chosen to engage in a debate with the White House about campaign tactics, another diversion from what had been his core message.

Of course, the other part of the problem is that, ever since Sunday, the news cycle has been sucked up by Todd Akin and his remarks about abortion and rape, which has led to numerous stories about similar positions on abortion held by the man Romney chose as a running mate and, now, a GOP Platform Plank that looks like it could’ve been written be Aiken himself:

The decision by Republican convention delegates to oppose abortion without explicit exceptions for rape and incest poses a tricky political challenge for Mitt Romney as he prepares to accept the presidential nomination in Tampa, Fla., next week.

The vote puts the Republican Party at odds with Mr. Romney, who supports rape and incest exceptions, at a time that controversial comments by Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, have increased national scrutiny on the divisive social issue.

(…)

s he prepares to accept that nomination next week in Tampa, Mr. Romney is once again being forced to carefully navigate between the uncompromising antiabortion positions of his party’s base and the more moderate politics of the swing voters he needs to win over.

The vote on the platform is an important part of the Republican Party’s outreach to its conservative base. Mr. Romney and his aides have worked hard to ensure that social conservatives at the convention — and the voters they represent — do not feel left out.

The party platform — and the positions taken on abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues — are a key part of that effort.

If Mr. Romney were to reject the party’s tough abortion plank, it would send a politically difficult message to conservatives about how Mr. Romney might govern once he got into the White House.

There could also be a flurry of conservative outrage at the convention, which could distract from the carefully choreographed event Mr. Romney’s strategists are planning.

But Mr. Romney’s campaign is also trying hard to make sure that the convention projects an image that swing voters in battleground states will find appealing. Aides did not expect to be focusing heavily on the party’s abortion positions this week.

The campaign has already chosen in the last several weeks to move off its core message about jobs and the economy. The convention is intended to return the campaign’s message to one of how Mr. Romney will get the nation’s economy back on track.

In the current political environment involving Mr. Akin’s comments, a decision by Mr. Romney to accept the party’s abortion plank will open his campaign to attacks from his rivals that he is out of step with moderate, independent voters.

Other Republican nominees have distanced themselves from the no-compromises position of the abortion plank, but the situation is arguably different for Romney given fact that, in a previous political life, he was quite adamantly pro-choice only to change his mind, so he says, while he was Governor of Massachusetts. It’s one of the primary reasons that many of his Republicans rivals in 2008 and 2012 charged him with being a flip-flopper. How he handles the platform issue is likely to be watched closely, and judged in the contest of his previous comments about this issue.

On the other side of the coin, though, Romney needs to be careful about how independent voters, especially women, react to both the Akin issue and the platform plank. The Democrats are, quite obviously, going to point to this as an other example of what they call the GOP “war on women,” and whether that is an accurate and fair argument or not is really rather irrelevant. Between the party’s position on contraception and Planned Parenthood, the Akin nonsense, and a platform plank that adopts the most extreme pro-life position possible, it’s fairly easy to connect the dots and turn out a 30 second television or radio advertisement that makes Mitt Romney sound like the reincarnation of Jerry Fallwell.

All of this gets back to a theme that I’ve hit on several times this summer. Clearly, the best strategy for the Romney/Ryan campaign is to concentrate specifically on the President’s record, the state of the economy, and why they think continuing down the road the President has laid out would be a bad idea. Instead, they spent last week first trying to turn this into a “big picture” election and then joining the members of the Democratic ticket in turning the race back into silly season. Now, we’ve spent three days, and likely the rest of the week, talking about issues that are electoral poison for Republicans among Independent voters. The Akin issue isn’t the fault of the Romney/Ryan campaign, of course, and they and the RNC have done their best to distance themselves from his idiocy, but it’s still there and it will be there throughout the election season. And all this is happening the week before what is arguably the most important week for the Romney campaign to day. This isn’t a good sign at all.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    And why would anyone expect a candidate that has no chance of winning and the nominal head of a political party that is head for the trash heap of history to have any influence on the news cycle.

    As the U.S. becomes a one party state, it should be obvious that those in power will set the agenda and decide what is important or not. As the U.S. gets close to having a weekly two-minute hate for someone that the MSM has chosen to hate, it should be obvious who really controls political power in the U.S.

  2. Koda says:

    I think they chose Ryan after realizing that they were never going to successfully make this about jobs.

  3. Jennifer Granholm writes an opinion at Politico that could have come from one of us commenters here:

    Then it occurred to me — maybe they [Romney] aren’t talking relentlessly about jobs because they don’t want to. Maybe, deep down, they know they just don’t have good answers on how to create jobs in America as part of a global economy. Sure, they’d never admit they don’t have the answers. Because they have talking points and trickle down. But we’ve all seen the empirical evidence from the Bush years to demonstrate that trickle down doesn’t work; it only shoves money to the wealthy who make decisions about investments and job creation on a global basis. Besides, bigger tax cuts for upper-income earners will not sell with the public. Obama bashing only goes so far. At some point, they need to present a plan and some credible evidence that it will help the American economy – and the Republicans simply can’t do that, because no such evidence exists.

    It was always a tricking game, talking about “the economy” without getting down to brass tacks.

  4. Would that [tricky] game really surprise you, Doug?

    That would be complaining about the economy, and job growth, while carefully never naming an alternative?

  5. sam says:

    Yeah. See Dana Milbank’s column today asking the question, Has God forsaken the Republican Party?

    Oh, and

    Now, we’ve spent three days, and likely the rest of the week campaign, talking about issues that are electoral poison for Republicans among Independent voters.

    I think my correction is probably more accurate.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    Why should I care about a failed governor of a state with a business unfriendly environment and a high unemployment rate. The best indictment of Granholm was that she moved to California after leaving office. If a governor of a state does not want to live in that state, it says volumes about that politicians. Granholm has zero credibility on the economy or on jobs.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @sam:

    Milbank is just making the case that the U.S will soon be a one party state. However, Milbank does not want to admit the obvious.

  8. @superdestroyer:

    That would be an ad hominem attack, and did not contest her point by, say, naming the Romney jobs proposals.

  9. @superdestroyer:

    The “one party state” hobby horse is something that might undermine your overall credibility.

    We clearly live in a polarized, near 50:50 society, and “one party” is crazy talk.

  10. Scott says:

    Given how much drama there has already been in this campaign and given how little polling numbers change, I think the only conclusion is that none of this matters. The public has tuned out or has not yet tuned in. Although I tend to be obsessive about the day-to-day goings on, I know my wife can’t be bothered yet.

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, Romney would have about as much of a chance of winning the “news cycle” as Todd Akin would have of being named chief of NARAL. I mean, come on, the national media is so in the tank for Obama it’s a farce.

    That said, of course it’s about the economy and of course Team Romney, being country club inept, like every national GOP campaign in our lifetimes, has done a horrible job of staying on message. This all goes without saying.

    In the end, however, moderates and Independents don’t need the likes of Katie Couric or Brian Williams to tell them about the economy, much less the screaming freaks on cable TV. If you’re unemployed you know it. If you’ve just been foreclosed out of your home you’re aware of it.

    The election will come down to demographics and turnout. We know who’s voting for Obama. In advance we can predict the margins for Obama among various racial groups and by age groups, occupation, union status and income ranges. It’s priced in. We know also who’s voting for Romney. We know non-partisans will vote by a small but material margin against Obama, because of the economy. What we don’t know is turnout. Obama winning X percent of college students for example is half of that equation. We don’t know what percentage they’ll be of total voters. The same holds true for blacks, public union members and the other Democrat identity groups. We don’t know precisely how many social conservatives will stay home and not vote.

    In other words, the remaining issue is which campaign will do a better job in the final days of the contest with retail GOTV operations. Actually getting their voters to the ballot booths. Time will tell.

  12. You know, I posted a link a few days ago to a story about consumer credit. It said that (as many of expected after the credit bubble popped) consumers were indeed retrenching and borrowing less. The article ended with a bland statement that if consumers kept on shopping things would be fine:

    Related: Best Buy Can’t Stop the Bleeding

    The important assumption in tax-cut stimulus is that people will use the increased take home pay to buy things, and not pay down debt. When they hunker down, tax cuts are not so stimulative.

  13. @Tsar Nicholas:

    We know non-partisans will vote by a small but material margin against Obama, because of the economy.

    That’s the superficial answer, and one that “right friendly” commentators are playing to. They want you to think “economy bad, incumbent out.”

    To the extent that the (surprisingly moderate) Obama team can educate, they can change that.

  14. Just Me says:

    The important assumption in tax-cut stimulus is that people will use the increased take home pay to buy things, and not pay down debt. When they hunker down, tax cuts are not so stimulative.

    My family has been in hunker down mode for about 5 years now. We are only buying things we need and have the money to pay for in cash. If it requires debt to buy, we aren’t buying.

    As for stimulus-I wish the government would stop trying to stimulate the economy either through tax cuts or huge cash giveaways for infrastructure and companies that still can’t stay in business. The government doesn’t need to be spending billions it doesn’t have either.

  15. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer: “As the U.S. becomes a one party state, it should be obvious that those in power will set the agenda and decide what is important or not. As the U.S. gets close to having a weekly two-minute hate for someone that the MSM has chosen to hate, it should be obvious who really controls political power in the U.S. ”

    Your pain is sweet.

  16. Fiona says:

    A big part of the reason Romney isn’t talking about the economy, aside from reminding voters that it hasn’t exactly bounced back under Obama, is that he has nothing to offer in terms of economic policy other than doubling down on Bush-era solutions. And we all know how well those worked.

    The problem for Romney–a problem that’s haunted him through both his presidential campaigns–is that there’s no raisin d’être for a Romney presidency other than a final topper for his resume. Theoptimaly reasons he won the nomination this go round are money, money, money, and the abysmal quality of the Republican primary field. Yet it still took him far longer than it should have to beat down the various non-Romneys and claim the prize. Romney lacks “the vision thing” even W had. He’s far more intelligent than W, but cannot connect to actual humans. Combine his inauthenticity with the lack of any compelling ideas to get the country back on track and you can see why outside forces are driving coverage of his campaign.

  17. Barry says:

    @john personna: “The important assumption in tax-cut stimulus is that people will use the increased take home pay to buy things, and not pay down debt. When they hunker down, tax cuts are not so stimulative. ”

    IOW, what Krugman has been saying for the past few years.

  18. @Just Me:

    As for stimulus-I wish the government would stop trying to stimulate the economy either through tax cuts or huge cash giveaways for infrastructure and companies that still can’t stay in business. The government doesn’t need to be spending billions it doesn’t have either.

    Economists like to remind us that government finances are different, either from family or businesses. They live forever, can (within limits) make the rules, and borrow cheaply. Right now they are borrowing at negative real rates. That means that after inflation they have to pay back less than they borrowed. Such a deal.

    I’ve never been a fan of bad spending, but if good spending can be found, for things that will have long life or big payback, then now seems the time.

    I think there is much ancient and enshrined spending in the US budget that doesn’t fit those criteria. I don’t think farm subsidies fit the bill, or energy subsidies either. Research and development in basic food and energy fields yes, production subsidies no.

  19. @Barry:

    Yes, and I think the right recognizes that Krugman was more right than wrong. They no longer flash his name as a signifier for all that’s wrong with left economics.

    That said, I’m not sure the country ever would have had the guts for a “full Krugman.” What did he want, $3T in stimulus?

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    As the U.S. becomes a one party state, it should be obvious that those in power will set the agenda and decide what is important or not. As the U.S. gets close to having a weekly two-minute hate for someone that the MSM has chosen to hate, it should be obvious who really controls political power in the U.S.

    I haven’t heard that “one-party” state deal. Who is pimping that, Libertarians? You know, people who say that both parties are the same, that kind of nonsense?

  21. Jeremy R says:

    The Democrats are, quite obviously, going to point to this as an other example of what they call the GOP “war on women,” and whether that is an accurate and fair argument or not is really rather irrelevant.

    The Wikipedia “war on women” article actually has a good compilation of the tsunami of federal & state legislation, since the 2010 GOP wave election victory, targeting women’s reproductive rights and protections for women from violence:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Women

    Both federally and in states, this has been one of the primary focuses of GOP legislative efforts, even though it wasn’t remotely what they ran on.

    2011 and 2012 have seen an unprecedented rise in the passage of provisions related to women’s health and reproductive rights.[31][32] State legislatures across the United States introduced 1100 provisions restricting women’s reproductive rights in 2011.[31][33] The first quarter of 2012 saw an additional 944 provisions introduced in state legislatures, half of which would restrict access to abortion.[32] Legislation has focused on mandatory ultrasounds, narrowing the time when abortions may be performed and limiting insurance coverage of abortion.[34]

  22. Me Me Me says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Why should I care about a failed governor of a state with a business unfriendly environment and a high unemployment rate. The best indictment of Granholm was that she moved to California after leaving office. If a governor of a state does not want to live in that state, it says volumes about that politicians. Granholm has zero credibility on the economy or on jobs.

    Somewhat OT, but I observe that you could substitute “Romney” for “Granholm” in these lines.

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @john personna:

    “Yes, and I think the right recognizes that Krugman was more right than wrong.”

    Really? There are Republicans who are campaigning now saying the stimulus was the proper course in 2009? Who are saying that we need to run a deficit now? Please provide names and cites.

  24. al-Ameda says:

    Maybe it’s better for Romney that he and Ryan do not have to explain to the public exactly how by reducing taxes by 27% (from 34% to 25%), increasing defense spending, initiating the privatization of MediCare, we will still end up with annual deficits of the magnitude that we’re experiencing today.

    Romney and Ryan are talking about trying the Bush approach one more time -big tax cuts while increasing spending. But this time, a the end of all of this, the Middle Class will be further diminished

  25. @Moosebreath:

    I’m really talking about an absence, a change in vibe. I realize that the talking points are still out there, but as Granholm describes, they seem less believed.

    The wide reaction to Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek piece seems to fit that.

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    His current advertising appeal to frustrated middle-class voters is primarily the charge, much debunked by fact-checkers,

    I suppose it’s a nice effort, even though they still can’t bring themselves to simply write “is primarily the false charge” or “is primarily the lie that”.

    I mean really, how weasel-y to rely on the passive “much debunked by fact checkers”. Aren’t reporters themselves supposed to be fact checkers? Isn’t part of the job to tell their readers what’s true and what’s false?

  27. Rob in CT says:

    I’ve never been a fan of bad spending, but if good spending can be found, for things that will have long life or big payback, then now seems the time.

    Otherwise known as investment.

  28. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    I thought $1.2T was the figure. Which was politically unlikely if not impossible.

    While I think Krugman has been more right than wrong, I do think fiscal stimulus via infrastructure spending is/was only part of the proper response. IMO, another avenue of attack that should have been seriously considered was attacking the private debt overhang directly. Ideally, TARP would have required a bunch of principle cramdowns/refis.

    Even if that had all gone off well, I expect the economy would still be sluggish. We’ve been running a massive trade deficit for decades now, right? At some point, that has to bite. If you think about it, if you pull out the crazy part of the bubble (2005-2008), how would you describe the economy post-dotcom crash? Sluggish at best, right?

    One can hope that high oil prices will help push more “onshoring” but I don’t think it will be enough. At some point, do we have to consider deliberately devaluing the dollar? All things equal, that jacks up the price of imports and makes our exports more competitive. I recognize that I’m working with a 101-level of understanding here, so maybe I’m missing something critical. Or several somethings. But something has to give.

  29. Rafer Janders says:

    @Just Me:

    The government doesn’t need to be spending billions it doesn’t have either.

    The government has billions. The government has trillions. The government has as much money as it wants to have, because the government, unlike your individual household, can print its own money. Now, in a normal environment the government has to careful about printing too much lest it set off inflation, but that’s not a problem these days. If anything, we need a bit more inflation.

    The government can also borrow money for basically free. Given historically low interest rates on Treasuries, the government can borrow money long term at practically 0% interest — basically, investors around the world have lined up to pay the US to hold their money for them. It’s idiotic not to borrow as much as we can now, and invest that in infrastructure, education, etc., rather than waiting to spend that money in future years, when interest rates and thus borrowing costs will be much higher.

  30. Rob in CT says:

    Yes, remember: even though our public debt situation is less than ideal, we remain the tallest midget. People are basically falling all over themselves to lend our government money.

    Perhaps we ought to take them up on their offer and put people back to work. Hey, it worked for Reagan 😉

  31. Rob in CT says:

    @Rob in CT:

    In case that’s too subtle: government spending and government employment jumped under Reagan. It was a significant factor in the economic growth at the time. And interests rates were higher then.

    What we’re doing now seems increasingly stupid.

  32. Rick Almeida says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    We know non-partisans will vote by a small but material margin against Obama, because of the economy.

    We don’t know this at all.

  33. @Rob in CT:

    IMO, another avenue of attack that should have been seriously considered was attacking the private debt overhang directly. Ideally, TARP would have required a bunch of principle cramdowns/refis.

    A balanced response to this problem was so hard that politicians punted. They repeatedly passed good-sounding mortgage modification plans, knowing that they would not be widely used, that few would qualify.

    The problem with really wide principle cramdowns/refis is that it would be full-on moral hazard, with everyone jumping in. It really would benefit the most irresponsible borrowers.

    I would have liked something more aggressive than banks or politicians were ready to do, but not as profligate as some demanded. I wanted to see bankruptcy judges given the power to force cramdowns.

    (Other than that, I think globalization and automation are the two big jobs and inequality drivers, and they are under-considered in politics.)

  34. @Rob in CT:

    The left could probably sell that better if they were more discerning. The impression people get is not that squinty green eye-shade folk have approved these things, it’s that all the usual players line up for their funding.

  35. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @sam:

    Sam, there might be something to this. Conservatives are very fond of invoking a relationship between God and natural phenomena, and it would have to be the worst kind of luck if a hurricane hit Tampa during the Republican convention. Can you imagine?

    Incidentally, the mayor of Tampa has said they are preparing to call off the convention if the hurricane hits. That should go over really well.

  36. Rob in CT says:

    they are under-considered in politics

    I think this is because most people don’t think there are political solutions to those problems. Those who do think about them and propose political responses are outside the mainstream, because the responses are pretty radical. You have the libertarian gold-bug faction who want the gold standard, get rid of the fed, slash government spending, etc. You have lefties who want to bring back protectionist trade policy or beef up unions. But there is legitimate fear of a trade war that hurts more than it helps and just about nobody thinks unions are salvageable. So if you’re a politician and you step up to back those things, you are going to get put in the nutty box. And to be sure, at least some (if not all) of those things are nutty.

    If you look for it, you can find people discussing negative income tax/guaranteed minimum income/employment guarantee policies. But I don’t think those have broad popular support and they *certainly* don’t have elite support.

    The left could probably sell that better if they were more discerning. The impression people get is not that squinty green eye-shade folk have approved these things, it’s that all the usual players line up for their funding.

    Maybe. It’s always good to be discerning. But when it comes to selling the policy, I think it’s about framing as much as anything. The “usual players” might be, say, state DOTs that really need to do road maintenance (or harbor dredging, or something else that’s needed). That may be a well-picked investment. And it would be met with a torrent of “wasteful government spending union thugs taking your cookie!” A good sales job involves countering that.

  37. jan says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    “I mean, come on, the national media is so in the tank for Obama it’s a farce. “

    Your statement matches that of Peggy Noonan, Mark Halperin and now Jake Tapper.

    Tapper also said he relates to Mark Halperin’s recent comments about the media. Over the weekend, Halperin said, “I think the press still likes this story a lot, the media is very susceptible to doing what the Obama campaign wants, which is to focus on this.”

    “I have said before… [that I] thought the media helped tip the scales. I didn’t think the coverage in 2008 was especially fair to either Hilary Clinton or John McCain,” Tapper said.

    On the 2008 coverage, he noted, “Sometimes I saw with story selection, magazine covers, photos picked, [the] campaign narrative, that it wasn’t always the fairest coverage.”

    But, the lopsidedness in MSM coverage, has been a known media demographic for a long time. The press now will be focused on distorting Akin’s remarks, even though almost everyone in the Who’s Who of the GOP immediately denounced him and his remark. It makes no difference, though, because they will play on it and ignore the instant repudiation, like it didn’t happen. That’s democratic politics — forever smear.

  38. @Rob in CT:

    Trains are efficient, but high speed rail is not.

    Desert solar plants (thermal) are efficient, but home mounted solar (photovoltaic) is not.

    Too often politicians take the easy path to what sells, rather than what will really provide return on investment.

  39. @jan:

    I notice that your comment did not have one positive word for a Romney plan.

    Are you part of the wicked MSM?

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    But, the lopsidedness in MSM coverage, has been a known media demographic for a long time. The press now will be focused on distorting Akin’s remarks, even though almost everyone in the Who’s Who of the GOP immediately denounced him and his remark. It makes no difference, though, because they will play on it and ignore the instant repudiation, like it didn’t happen. That’s democratic politics — forever smear.

    LOL!
    That just about wraps up the “we’re so victimized” whine perfectly.

  41. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    That’s fine (says the owner of a rooftop PV array), and I don’t dispute it. My point is simply this: you could pick the best investments possible and unless you’re prepared for “wasteful government spending union thugs taking your cookie!” you will lose.

  42. @Rob in CT:

    It’s most striking here where we’ve got people putting PVs under the coastal fog, with the Mojave about a hundred miles away.

    But yeah, even things that work, like modern wind power, face opposition.

  43. Rob in CT says:

    The supposedly moderate Jan thinks it’s unfair when the media reports what Christianist loons say.

    Or that Ryan’s denunciations (“stop saying the quiet part loud, you fool!”) matter more than co-sponsoring bills that would make Christianist lunacy federal law.

    Romney… meh. He sucked up to the base hard of late (politically useful/required) but in the past claimed to be pro-choice (when that was politically useful to get elected in MA), so I figure he’s nominally “pro-life” but has little inclination to push it. The thing is he would be the highly distrusted head of a party that clearly does want to push it (based on their legislative efforts, not their frantic damage control this week).

  44. mantis says:

    @jan:

    The press now will be focused on distorting Akin’s remarks, even though almost everyone in the Who’s Who of the GOP immediately denounced him and his remark. It makes no difference, though, because they will play on it and ignore the instant repudiation, like it didn’t happen.

    Because the GOP platform agrees with Akin on abortion, as do most of the Republicans denouncing him. If he had somehow gone off the reservation and endorsed policy at odds with the party, that would be one thing, but he agrees with the party that abortion should be illegal always and in every case. Akin gave a rather stupid explanation why his party holds the position that victims of rape must be forced to carry their rapist’s children, but that is the party’s position.

    I’m sure everyone is very sympathetic to your plight, though, jan. I’m sure it’s tough to deal with the fact that your party’s positions are being communicated to voters. If only the media were fair and helped you hide your party’s beliefs and policy positions from voters….

  45. Neil Hudelson says:

    I wonder if the Republican party realizes the irony that, after four years of actively thwarting the President in every single proposal to stimulate the economy and produce jobs, after four years of only focusing on side issues like health care repeal and limiting abortion, their campaign is being derailed by the inability to talk about jobs and the economy and having to focus on side issues like medicare and abortion rights.

    Oh how sweet it is.

  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Rob in CT: There are well known political solutions to our economic problems. Keynesian stimulus works and used to be bipartisan and absolutely uncontroversial. Most, if not all, GOP presidents in the last 50 years have done it, including W Bush. But we got a stunted and compromised stimulus package because of intransigent GOP opposition. Once Obama wanted stimulus, suddenly it wasn’t bipartisan anymore. McConnell wasn’t kidding when he said his number one priority was to deny Obama a second term. He meant it and he has cheerfully undermined the economy to do it.

    And that’s why Romney can’t present a plan for the economy. His party would scream if he suggested anything realistic, and they’ve dug the hole so deep, they couldn’t support stimulus even if a President Romney asked for it.

  47. jan says:

    Dinesh D’Souza’s film “2016: Obama’s America is drawing big crowds in a small market. It is already the #2 grossing documentary of the year, and will “expand nationwide this weekend after doing notable business in select markets across the country — including in liberally minded New York City.”

    Some in Hollywood were stumped by the amount of business the documentary did at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 in lower Manhattan, situated in a liberal neighborhood where films from the likes of Moore have done huge business.

    Maybe, D’Souza will overtake and become even more of a game changer than ‘Michael Moore’ was on the left.

  48. Rob in CT says:

    There are solutions to the short-term issues, yes. I was and am fine with fiscal stimulus in this economic environment, and I agree with all you say there.

    JP and I got talking about longer-term problems like the persistent trade deficit, increasing automation, outsourcing… those things go back past this recession (and past earlier recessions too). They hang around and I think they have to be addressed as well. And they’re tougher nuts to crack.

  49. Lomax says:

    Another issue that you don’t see on the news or hear the candidates talk about is the UN Arms treaty that will give foreign countries the power to take away the 2nd amendment right to own guns. This is an illegal end run around Congress’ approval of any treaties. If you live in the crime centers of Detroit, Oakland, and Chicago, you need to be especially concerned at this attempt to take away your power to defend your property and family.

  50. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “Maybe, D’Souza will overtake and become even more of a game changer than ‘Michael Moore’ was on the left. “

    Unlikely. Michael Moore wasn’t much of a game-changer, and D’Souza has even less talent as a commentator. Remember that time he blamed 9-11 on “the cultural left?” Oh man…that was hilarious.

  51. Rob in CT says:

    Dinesh D’Souza

    Ah yes, of “Kenyan anti-colonialist” fame.

    the #2 grossing documentary of the year

    http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=documentary.htm

    Well, it’s currently sitting at #71 all time. I expect its target audience of twu believers will continue to lap it up. Whether D’Souza can reach the dizzing heights of being “the Right’s Michael Moore” (what an aspiration that is) remains to be seen.

  52. Herb says:

    @Lomax:

    “Another issue that you don’t see on the news or hear the candidates talk about is the UN Arms treaty that will give foreign countries the power to take away the 2nd amendment right to own guns.”

    In other words….watch for black helicopters.

  53. sam says:

    @Lomax:

    Another issue that you don’t see on the news or hear the candidates talk about is the UN Arms treaty that will give foreign countries the power to take away the 2nd amendment right to own guns.

    Ah for Christ’s sake, get a bigger tinfoil hat. The one you’re wearing is cutting off the blood supply to what little brains you have.

  54. Rob in CT says:

    @Lomax:

    the UN Arms treaty that will give foreign countries the power to take away the 2nd amendment right to own guns

    My bullshit detector is pegged at 10.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/untreaty.asp

  55. jan says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Jobs and the economy are continuing to be real topics of conversation, as well as the #1 concerns on real people’s minds in this country.

    I am seeing, more and more, that any disconnect seems to be with the far right and left ideologues — most people on this blog being associated with the progressive left. Whether it is workers struggling to keep afloat, or small owner’s trying to keep their business in the black, the economy is at the forefront of issues in this election. In the meantime, the distractions of abortion, the inane ‘war on women’ fascination, a successful candidate’s tax returns keep coming up in social progressive echo chambers such as OTB.

    Like Clinton used to say, though, “It’s the economy, stupid!” It’s the 40+ months of 8+ UE, 4 years of a trillion dollar plus annual deficit, it’s the shrinking body of employed people, the growing percentage of poverty, food stamp participation, disability applications. It’s the 61% of people who think they are worse off than when Obama took office, as well as the majority of those who see a bleak future for their own kids.

    So keep cackling about social/cultural differences you project onto the two main parties. But, I really think that the ‘real’ LV contingency out there will be more caught up with pocketbook problems of which candidate will best help them grow out of their financial difficulties. And, it certainly isn’t the one who currently sits in the Oval Office!

  56. @jan:

    LOL, you did it again. You complained, righty style, about the economy, without naming one policy to improve it.

    “trust us, we’re Republicans”

  57. sam says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Right.

    Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the United States Senate. According to the decision, “this Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty”…

    No treaty can trump the Second Amendment.

  58. bk says:

    @jan:

    most people on this blog being associated with the progressive left.

    That’s a joke, right? Please tell us that you were joking.

  59. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “D’Souza has even less talent as a commentator.”

    D’Souza is a bright guy, despite what you may think of his political stances. Gerald Molen, who produced 2016, has an impressive theatrical background as well, with movies such as The Minority Report, Rain Man, and Schindler’s List as part of his successful resume. Basically, neither man is an intellectual/creative slouch, no matter how much you wish to discredit them. As for this documentary, the trailers indicate a sophisticated, well-researched discourse, sans any of the conspiratorial compromises that one might anticipate from a movie showing the mentality and philosophy behind Obama’s presidency.

  60. David M says:

    @jan:

    Like Clinton used to say, though, “It’s the economy, stupid!” It’s the 40+ months of 8+ UE, 4 years of a trillion dollar plus annual deficit, it’s the shrinking body of employed people, the growing percentage of poverty, food stamp participation, disability applications.

    I’m surprised you weren’t aware of this, but there was a fairly large recession in 2008. It even made the news.

  61. jan says:

    @bk:

    “That’s a joke, right? Please tell us that you were joking. “

    You really must lack self-awareness if you can’t at least see that in the majority of the comments posted here. Also, fewer and fewer people, moderates and to the right of center, seem to be conversing here as well, mainly because they are drown out by a flood of pure leftist commentary. The guys writing the threads aren’t in that category, but the posters, sure are. Pretty soon it will be nothing more than the progressive left singing in the same choir.

  62. Rob in CT says:

    It is indeed the economy, stupid. The problem is that the GOP has a bunch of “solutions” that have been tried recently and clearly do not work.

    People are upset and frustrated with the Dems, certainly (the higher-info types either hate the left as you do, or understand the level of GOP obstruction and thus cut the Dems some slack). But the GOP is selling its usual boilerplate of tax cuts and pixie dust, with a rather unlikeable frontman to boot. All while trying to pretend the Bush years never happened. It’s a tough road to travel. I almost feel for you.

  63. Wow, according to Adam Davidson, I am more of a Hayekian than Ryan. Why?

    To be truly Hayekian, Boettke says, Ryan would need to embrace one of his central ideas, known as the “generality norm.” This is Hayek’s belief that any government program that helps one group must be available to all. If applied, Boettke says, a Hayekian government would eliminate all corporate and agricultural subsidies and government housing programs, and it would get rid of Medicare and Medicaid or expand them to cover all citizens. (Hayek had no problem with a national health care program.)

    I think that’s really excellent.

    Hayek also believed that the government should not have a monopoly on any service it provides; instead, private companies should compete by offering an alternative Postal Service, road system, even, perhaps, a private fire department.

    That is a a little trickier, but we could claim it is what we have. Our government postal service does not take Fed Ex to court and shut them down.

    Anyway, a good read.

  64. jan says:

    @David M:

    “I’m surprised you weren’t aware of this, but there was a fairly large recession in 2008. It even made the news. “

    …and, Obama, with two years of a like-minded Congress at his disposal, plus another two years with a like-minded Senate to do his bidding (one devoid of a budget for some 3 years) couldn’t seem to do anything but stall out, and in some cases make the economy worse (not that any of you would ever admit that). BTW, when GWB came into office he too had the dot com bubble burst, with a recession in tow, plus a little thing called 911 to get beyond…but he managed a far better economy until the last two years, when the dems took over the Congress.
    Hmmmmm….

  65. @jan:

    Why on earth should we believe that a once-in-80-year recession should be cured in 2?

  66. jan says:

    This is just another sad example of how shallow the dems are in their debate of issues facing the country today —>Dem convention becomes anti-Akin affair.

    The exploitation of this issue is so transparent! Apparently there is nothing else on the dem’s dance card but telling women they are going back into the dark ages with the republicans. If any woman truly believes that, they are just plain dumb!

  67. BTW, if you were tying the housing crash to the dems in congress, you are a complete imbecile.

    No excuse is possible.

  68. Rob in CT says:

    He had his like-minded congress for about 7 months, actually (Franken wasn’t seated until after a lengthy recount battle). That said, I wish they had moved faster on the ACA and had time for some other moves.

    The recession that greated Bush the Lesser was not nearly as severe as the ’08 crash. Also, you may want to note that he responded with stimulus measures. Ryan was there too, backing him up. Stimulus only became bad on 1/20/09.

    until the last two years, when the dems took over the Congress.
    Hmmmmm….

    Please explain how the 2006-2008 Democratic congress engineered a massive housing bubble that started years earlier and was mirrored by housing bubbles around the world. Bonus points if you can show how they were behind the invention and proliferation of shady mortgage-backed securities and default swaps, and the shoddy regulation thereof.

    [there is a reasonable case to be made that various policies, supported by Dems and Republicans, may have contributed to the crash we experienced. Fed interest rates, Fanny/Freddie, financial regulation or rather lack thereof, etc. But of course you are not making that case.]

  69. jan says:

    @john personna:

    “Why on earth should we believe that a once-in-80-year recession should be cured in 2? “

    Obama’s held the reins of power for 4 years, not 2. And, frankly, if McCain had become POTUS, instead of Obama, and had overseen such an economic malaise, you all would be on speaker phones yelling disparaging remarks about his ineptness. And, frankly so would I…because, for me it IS about economical issues, which have been mismanaged and ill-addressed as to growing jobs and the economy. What has grown, under Obama, has been social programs, regulations and worker despair.

  70. jan says:

    It’s pathetic how vociferously many of you rationalize Obama’s world of economics. You are not being objective, but rather totally writing with a partisan subjectivity.

    And, I will wager, if Obama wins and the stock market falls, or even crashes under the weight of business cashing out before Obama takes on another 4 years, you will continue to blame it on circumstances out of his control, or better yet, like the former SOS, Madeline Not-So-Brght, dump it on Bush for ‘forever.’

  71. David M says:

    @jan:

    Obama, with two years of a like-minded Congress at his disposal, plus another two years with a like-minded Senate to do his bidding

    So the GOP never filibustered anything?

    (one devoid of a budget for some 3 years)

    The “didn’t pass a budge” nonsense is for people that don’t understand how our government works. This is one of the dumbest fake criticisms ever invented, and you know that no one here will buy it, so why repeat it?

    couldn’t seem to do anything but stall out, and in some cases make the economy worse (not that any of you would ever admit that)

    We were in a recession at the end 2008, losing jobs every month. We’re now no longer in a recession, and are adding jobs every month. I’m pretty sure that’s making the economy “better”. (Better isn’t perfect either, but if you can’t admit not being in a recession is an improvement, how do you expect people to take you seriously.)

    BTW, when GWB came into office he too had the dot com bubble burst, with a recession in tow, plus a little thing called 911 to get beyond…but he managed a far better economy until the last two years

    As usual, history says otherwise. And really. “Aside from the worst recession in 70 years, Bush’s economic policies were a great success”?

    when the dems took over the Congress.

    Specific legistlation or actions they took that make you think they caused the recession?

  72. grumpy realist says:

    @jan: So you’re perfectly happy with being forbidden to have an abortion if you were raped? Or that even if your life is in imminent danger, a hospital would be able to deny you life-saving treatment based on “moral objections”?

    Troll alert. I doubt that Jan is even female.

  73. mantis says:

    @jan:

    And, I will wager, if Obama wins and the stock market falls, or even crashes under the weight of business cashing out before Obama takes on another 4 years

    Such a firm grasp on economics this one has! Jan, please explain how business will “cash out” if Obama is re-elected.

    While you’re at it, please consider that the stock market has grown since Obama took office. Here, I’ll let the Wall Street Journal explain:

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged 60% since Barack Obama was inaugurated as president three years ago, according to research firm Bespoke Investment Group. This means President Obama is one of only five presidents that have witnessed the blue-chip index surge more than 50% during their first three years in office.

    Why do you think a second term for Obama with crash the stock market when in his first term it has seen enormous growth? Do you even have a reason? Do you understand what the stock market is?

  74. mantis says:

    @jan:

    Apparently there is nothing else on the dem’s dance card but telling women they are going back into the dark ages with the republicans. If any woman truly believes that, they are just plain dumb!

    Get that ladies? If you believe the official GOP platform represents the positions of the GOP, you are dumb. Just ask jan. She knows dumb.

  75. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @jan:

    Jan,

    I have suggested this before, but you didn’t respond. You think that all of us of the progressive persuasion “are not being objective, but rather totally writing with a partisan subjectivity.” In fact, you might be trying to be polite and actually think far worse of many of us here–that we are not just deluded, but sophists, actively trying to confuse and abuse those who are not as smart or as well-prepared as you. So I have a proposition for you. Let’s analyze this scientifically:

    Write 10 things that you “know” or think strongly that will happen under a Romney presidency and a reelected Obama administration. Next to them, right how you know, or why you think those things might happen. Save that away and come back to it after four years (or even less), but make sure you write it down and give plenty of rationale for your decisions. Do not just make mental notes. I promise to do the same thing if you take me up on it.

    Based on my view of the world, I would bet that most if not all of the things that you predict for either administration (but especially for Obama) will not happen. If they don’t, ask yourself, why not? why was I so wrong? At that point, you might ask yourself if there are not other things you take for granted that you are actually very wrong about.

  76. David M says:

    @jan:

    It’s pathetic how vociferously many of you rationalize Obama’s world of economics. You are not being objective, but rather totally writing with a partisan subjectivity.

    And, I will wager, if Obama wins and the stock market falls, or even crashes under the weight of business cashing out before Obama takes on another 4 years, you will continue to blame it on circumstances out of his control, or better yet, like the former SOS, Madeline Not-So-Brght, dump it on Bush for ‘forever.’

    Um Jan? Didn’t you already give Bush a pass for the economy and stock market going down in 2008? Isn’t that exactly the same thing you’re complaining we might do in the future?

  77. george says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Milbank is just making the case that the U.S will soon be a one party state. However, Milbank does not want to admit the obvious.

    Oddly enough, a lot of Canadians (and Europeans) argue that the US already is in practice a one party state. There’s only the left and right wings of the capitalist party – both of which are pretty far to the right of even conservative parties in Canada and Europe.

    For instance, the Conservatives in Canada, or Germany, wouldn’t even think of getting rid of the public health option – which neither party in the US (or neither wing of the one party if you prefer) will endore. Nor would any Conservative gov’t in those countries spend as much of the GDP on military as the two wings do in the US … lot’s of examples all the way through.

    Is that what you meant?

    I should add I personally think there’s a still a difference between Democrats and Republicans, even if the difference is small compared to the range you get in other western nations.

  78. slimslowslider says:

    @jan:

    Madeline Not-So-Brght

    Good one.

  79. Me Me Me says:

    jan criticizing the intellectual abilities of Madeline Albright. What a hoot.

  80. Rafer Janders says:

    @jan:

    The exploitation of this issue is so transparent!

    My god, the Democrats are exploiting a Republican politician’s remarks in the middle of their political campaign against the Republicans! This is outrageous — why, the Democrats are politicizing politics! Can’t we get back to a time when a Republican congressman could say an insane, hateful thing without anyone making a big deal out of it?

  81. jan says:

    @David M:

    “Um Jan? Didn’t you already give Bush a pass for the economy and stock market going down in 2008? Isn’t that exactly the same thing you’re complaining we might do in the future? “

    I’ve never given Bush a pass. He along with a democratic congress owned the ’08 crash. I do think he addressed various earlier economic perils, though, better than Obama has. And, if his presidency hadn’t been handed off to obama in ’09, I I postulate we would be in a better economic position than we are today. It’s a contrast of presidencies. Basically, IMO, Obama’s solutions have produced less than Bush’s. However, Bush made blunders, especially the Medicare Part D. His No Child Left Behind had good intentions, but was of little value too.

    What I admire about the republicans, however, is that they are more ‘honest’ than their counterparts, the dems. Bush was roundly criticized throughout his presidency for various spending habits, as well as the handling of Iraq, until the surge, by republicans. In fact the seeds of the teaparty movement were sowed under Bush, and then hot-housed rapidly when Obama came on the scene with the ACA. Even this latest stupid comment by Akins was immediately repudiated by most republicans, whereby they have withdrawn almost all support from him. However when Biden made his ‘Chain’ gaffe, he was cast in a forgiving light by dems, as merely a gaffe-prone Uncle Joe, rather than being inappropriate or insulting.

  82. Neil Hudelson says:

    @jan:

    You do realize that nothing you just stated dealt with my point whatsoever, correct? Unless you can show me how the Republicans have been owning the news cycles with their talk of jobs and economy, I stand completely uncorrected.

    Of course jobs and the economy are being discussed among the populace. The fact that the Romney campaign can’t focus on this is delicious, delicious irony.

  83. DRS says:

    @jan:

    If any woman truly believes that, they are just plain dumb!

    They don’t have the advantage of being on the Romney payroll like you. (Please tell me you’re getting paid for this, Jan. It would be pitiful if you’re giving away all your credibility for nothing.)

  84. Rob in CT says:

    You are not being objective, but rather totally writing with a partisan subjectivity.

    Projection.

    If McCain had won, enacted some policies I think are improvements but was repeatedly stymied by lock-step opposition by the Democrats, I’d cut him quite a bit of slack. Just as I have Obama, even though I disagree with a number of his decisions. But that didn’t happen. The past experience I have to work with is 2000-2008 (or at least 2000-2006).

    You probably can’t quite get this through your head, jan, but as of ~10 years ago I had zero affinity for the Democratic party, and still view them with suspicion. I was raised in a Conservative household (though more Tory than US Conservative, so heavy emphasis on fiscal & tax policy, very little on social issues), and my personality is such that I default to trying to work out compromise solutions. I’ve actually had to learn over the years that it doesn’t work that way when you negotiate (I’m talking work experience here, but it appears true of politics as well). I loved it when Bush the Lesser the candidate promised to be wary of international intervention and nation building nonsense. I liked the fiscal trajectory the country was on. And then a bunch of Republicans got elected and screwed it all up.

    The GOP has spent the last 10 years doing just about anything they could to alienate me. The social reactionary freakout is only the half of it. They have earned my deep and abiding dislike and distrust. The Dems, pikers they are, haven’t been nearly as screwed up.

  85. David M says:

    @jan:
    Bush would have handled the economy better than Obama? Now I understand why your posts are always free of any inconvenient facts.

  86. Rob in CT says:

    What I admire about the republicans, however, is that they are more ‘honest’ than their counterparts, the dems.

    I love how honest is in quotes. As it should be. What a joke.

    Bush was roundly criticized throughout his presidency for various spending habits, as well as the handling of Iraq, until the surge, by republicans.

    Thanks for the dispatch from the Red Universe. IF ONLY.

  87. C. Clavin says:

    Has Romney won a week of news coverage yet?
    I’m looking forward to seeing how Obama manages to subvert the Convention in Tampa.
    The hurricane thing sounds like potential fun but those things tend to fizzle or go somewhere else.
    Romney got basically no bounce out of the Ryan announcement…other than Wisconsin where it was the equivilant of the margin of error. If he comes out of the convention with no bounce this thing could be over.

    (FYI…Jan is the low no-information voter who sees Niall Ferguson’s propoganda piece in the check-out line and believes every word…if it’s in print it must be true. Y’all are wasting your time asking her questions.)

  88. David M says:

    @Rob in CT:
    My experiences exactly, as I would have supported Bush over Gore. Tax cuts, Iraq, deficits, etc changed that.

  89. Rob in CT says:

    @David M:

    Pretty close to me, though I chose neither Bush nor Gore. I was a low-info voter at the time and decided that it didn’t matter a great deal which of them won. I voted 3rd party in 2000, as I had in 1996. Of course, since I don’t live in FL, I did no harm. But I was wrong about it not mattering, and began paying more attention to things. What I saw from the GOP was horrifying. What I saw from the Dems was a mix of disappointing, frustrating and occasionally horrifying. These are our options.

  90. bk says:

    @jan: @jan:

    a flood of pure leftist commentary

    Ok, now I get it. “Leftist”, to you, is anyone more moderate than Attila the Hun.

  91. Rafer Janders says:

    @jan:

    And, if his presidency hadn’t been handed off to obama in ’09, I I postulate we would be in a better economic position than we are today.

    Yes, the crackerjack team of McCain-Palin would really have gotten the job done, you betcha.

  92. LC says:

    Of course Republicans, the media, and the public should concentrate on the economy because the rights of half the population are trivial, the ability of a Republican Congress and President to implement policies that will hurt women – at least the 90% of women who don’t have the money to fly to another state or another country – are unimportant.

    To say nothing of the fact, of course, that you continue to believe that a Republican government in 2013 will be more fiscally responsible than the Republican government of 2000-2008. Or, more likely, you simply look forward to lower personal taxes because who cares about the rest of the country as long as the “right kind of people” get the tax breaks they deserve.

  93. gVOR08 says:

    @jan:

    …and, Obama, with two years of a like-minded Congress at his disposal, plus another two years with a like-minded Senate to do his bidding

    I see the Mitch McConnell permanent filibuster has gone down the memory hole.

  94. jan says:

    @gVOR08:

    “I see the Mitch McConnell permanent filibuster has gone down the memory hole. “

    Exactly what didn’t get passed during the first two years of Obama’s presidency. The stimulus? Cash for clunkers? The housing credit? Were any regulations stymied? American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? Dodd/Frank? Don’t Ask don’t Tell? ACA? What Green ‘investment’ project, paid with taxpayer monies, was denied?

    It has been said that Obama got the greater percentage of legislation he wanted passed in those first two years, along with a tremendous increase in our annual debt. It wasn’t until the raucous midterms did the R’s regain the house, and some would say ‘fiscal sanity,’ were the breaks applied and spending was somewhat impeded and slowed. Of course that is now called being an obstructionist. These same people might say, using the same definitions, that stopping a speeding train is also being an obstructionist.

  95. David M says:

    @jan:

    Nice straw man there, no one is claiming nothing was passed in 2009/2010, just that the GOP consistently obstructed the Democratic majorities. Major legislation like the stimulus and Dodd-Frank had to be modified to win GOP support, and the GOP was able to block attempts to address climate change and immigration. And on issues like health care reform, even if the GOP did not stop the reform, their filibuster made it more difficult and time consuming to pass, and the end result was arguably worse for it.

    Your second paragraph indicates you don’t understand what the deficit is, or why we have one.

  96. rudderpedals says:

    What didn’t get passed during the first two years of Obama’s presidency?

    The Climate bill, the DREAM act, primary residence bankruptcy cramdown. There’s more. Important appointments were and are stymied for frivolous reasons.

  97. jan says:

    @David M:

    Does it ever dawn on people like you that representatives in Congress are supposed to represent the people and just not follow, like sheep, the POTUS whims and wills.

    There was a majority in the populace who were against the ACA, which is what was represented in the fight that took place over the ACA. Also, global warming has now been rhetorically altered to be more frequently labeled climate change, continuing to be controversial among scientists as to it’s causes — CO2 or simply natural weather cycles. As for immigration, it’s another issue that has difficulty being resolved between both political party’s need for power. The dems want it to continue being a divisive issue on which they can politicize, exploit and reap the benefits of pandering to another constituency. The republicans have a hard right inflexible base they have to tip-toe around, in making any compromises in their immigration policy.

    In other words, no straw man, just political realities, that for some reason democrats like yourself just can’t be honest about.

  98. David M says:

    @jan:

    You and the GOP have lied about the ACA for 3 years, and it’s opposed for political as opposed to policy reasons. I refuse to care that you don’t like the ACA.

  99. jan says:

    @rudderpedals:

    As discussed above, the climate bill and DREAM act were both unsettled issues between the parties. The Climate Bill was met with too much skepticism to be passed, and had too many negative economic consequences with such a passage. And, the DREAM act, which Obama recently got around, also had too many unresolved immigrations differences.

    Gee, how many bills and appointments were stalled, argued, blocked when Bush was President?

  100. jan says:

    @David M:

    “You and the GOP have lied about the ACA for 3 years, and it’s opposed for political as opposed to policy reasons. I refuse to care that you don’t like the ACA. “

    When all else fails call your opponents a liar. What an adolescent you are. There are moderates, indies, and conservatives who simply don’t like the bloated government plan called the ACA. No lies, just dislike for it.

  101. David M says:

    @jan:
    You’ve consistently lied about the support for and against health care reform, for a long time. If you don’t want to be called on it, stop doing it.

  102. jan says:

    @David M:

    You’re either in denial or blind.

  103. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @jan:

    So I guess you’re too busy fighting with David to take me up on the proposal. Too bad, it’d be quite interesting to see the results.

  104. mantis says:

    jan, why won’t you explain your prediction of a stock market crash as a result of Obama’s re-election?

  105. An Interested Party says:

    It’s pathetic how vociferously many of you rationalize Obama’s world of economics. You are not being objective, but rather totally writing with a partisan subjectivity.

    You’re either in denial or blind.

    Honey, you really need to check out a mirror before writting such twaddle…

  106. rudderpedals says:

    @jan: Gosh, I don’t know. I’m a commenter, not a research assistant. Mann and Ornstein have the dope.

  107. superdestroyer says:

    @george:

    It is not that the two parties are close to each other even though both cater to many of the same established constituencies.

    The U.S. will soon be a one party state because the percentage of voters who are automatic Democratic Party voters will soon be above 50%. If the Democrats win most of the elections without running serious elections or even bothering to have competent candidates. If you look at how elections are irrelevant in the districts represented by the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, you will see what the future of politics will be in the U.S.

    As the Republicans collapse due to their own stupid, the idea that the Republican Party can recover is laughable. Also, the idea that any group current part of the Democratic Party will walk away from the $4 trillion controlled by the Democrats is laughable. No amount of ego or issues will cause anyway to walk away from the wealth controlled by the Democratic Party.

    The issue with more other countries is that all of the political parties are in on the spending and government goodies and work together to keep them coming. At least in the U.S. there is some discussion on how much of the economy the government can consume and how much dead weight everyone else has to carry.

  108. anjin-san says:

    …and, Obama, with two years of a like-minded Congress at his disposal, plus another two years with a like-minded Senate to do his bidding (one devoid of a budget for some 3 years) couldn’t seem to do anything but stall out,

    It’s fascinating. The right spends half their time telling us we should not rely on the government to solve our problems, and the other half whining about Obama not solving our problems fast enough…

  109. David M says:

    @jan:

    Assessing the popularity of Obamacare is difficult, partly because of how it was dishonestly described by GOP partisans. It’s also difficult to determined the popularity of a very large program that isn’t understood very well by the public.

    That said, we do have some idea of how popular the law is. Simplistic polls like “keep or repeal Obamacare” are useless, as you may as well ask people if they are registered Democrats or Republicans. A good way to asses the popularity of Obamacare is to see what people think of individual pieces of the law, and those pieces are all popular, except for the mandate. So it would seem the public likes most but not all of Obamacare.

    Another way to see what the public thinks is to poll them with options like “repeal all of it”, “repeal parts of it”, “keep it as is” or “keep it and improve it”, and there will not be a majority for “repeal all of it”. So it would seem the public does not support the GOP position of full repeal. There is more support to “keep it as is” or “expand it” than there is for the repeal positions, so again it doesn’t seem to be “unpopular”.

    The final nail in the coffin for the “majority” against the ACA is if you poll Republicans about the individual pieces of Obamacare, without mentioning the name, they support everything but the mandate and the Medicare expansion. So even the GOP supports most of the PPACA as long as they aren’t reminded of “Obamacare”.

  110. jukeboxgrad says:

    the public does not support the GOP position of full repeal

    Yes. A lot of the people who are polled opposing the law are opposing it because it doesn’t go far enough. The number of people who want this law or something stronger is larger than the number of people who want what the GOP intends to do: repeal and replace with nothing. Link, link.

  111. David M says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Absolutely. A poll that ends up grouping people that dislike Obamacare because it isn’t single payer with libertarians who also want to repeal EMTLA and HIPAA doesn’t really tell us anything useful.