Shocking Audio From 1998 Reveals Barack Obama Is A Democrat

Republicans think they found the smoking gun of the 2012 election. They're kidding themselves.

In an effort to push back on the controversy that has arisen in the wake of the video that showed Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments, conservatives, joined by the Romney campaign, are trying to make something out of an audio recording of then State Senator Barack Obama at a 1998 conference at Loyola University:

(CNN) - After withstanding searing criticism from both rivals and fellow Republicans on his secretly recorded remarks at a fund-raiser in May, Mitt Romney and his campaign are mounting a counter-offensive with a recording they hope will go viral as well: then-Illinois state Senator Barack Obama speaking favorably of “redistribution.”

The audio clip first surfaced Tuesday, as Democrats were seizing upon their own video of Romney speaking at a private fund-raiser in Florida. That event was held in May.

The clip of Obama was recorded in 1998 at Loyola University, according to Romney’s campaign and fellow Republicans who are aggressively promoting it. It features the future president discussing what he calls a “propaganda campaign” against government funded entities, and suggesting better ways to make government more effective.

“There has been a systematic – I don’t think it’s too strong to call it a propaganda campaign – against the possibility of government action and its efficacy,” he is heard saying in the audio clip. “And I think some of it has been deserved.”

Later in the recording, Obama says he wants to “resuscitate this notion that we’re all in this thing together, leave nobody behind, we do have to be innovative in thinking how – what are the delivery systems that are actually effective and meet people where they live.”

He continues: “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”

It’s those final words – “I actually believe in some redistribution” – that Republicans have latched onto, characterizing them as an endorsement of redistributing wealth, rather than making sure government agencies were well supported. Many conservatives argue redistributing wealth is akin to socialism.

(…)

When Romney appeared on Fox News later in the day, he made the “redistribution” video a central part of his first answer.

“The president’s view is one of larger government,” Romney said. “There’s a tape that came out today where the president’s saying he likes redistribution. I disagree. I think a society based upon a government centered nation where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money, that’s the wrong course for America, that will not build a stronger America, or help people out of poverty.”

Here’s the audio in question (sound quality is not good, but you can get the point)

The attack continued this morning in the form of an Op-Ed under Mitt Romney’s name in USA Today:

Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong. When the economy is growing and Americans are working, everyone involved has a shared sense of achievement, not to mention the basic sense of pride that comes with the paycheck they earn.

However, over the past four years, those kinds of opportunities have been in short supply. We’re experiencing the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Unemployment has been above 8% for 43 straight months; 47 million Americans are on food stamps. Nearly one in six Americans now live in poverty.

Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility.

Government has a role to play here. Right now, our nation’s citizens do need help from government. But it is a very different kind of help than what President Obama wants to provide.

Paul Ryan has worked the audio clip into his stump speech as of today, and the Republican National Committee gets into the game with a new ad that makes use of the newly available audio footage of a man who was still ten years away from becoming President:

Understandably, the revelation of this audio clip created a lot of excitement among conservatives. It received top billing at The Drudge Report late yesterday and was Tweeted and Re-Tweeted all across the conservative twittersphere, and it’s been picked up by many conservative blogs. The right clearly thinks it has something here, and the Republican Party and the Romney campaign seem to agree. It’s pretty easy to figure out the game plan here. You hit the President as a guy who wants to make everyone dependent on the government and wants to redistribute wealth. You don’t even have to use the word “socialism,” although it might come to that, but it will certainly be heavily implied. Then, the voters will finally see Barack Obama for what he truly is, and send Mitt Romney to the White House.

I’m sure they think it’s a foolproof plan. The only problem is that the GOP tried it before, and it failed miserably.

It was just a little more than four years ago that, on a visit to the Toledo, Ohio area, Senator Barack Obama happened upon a guy named Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher. Wurzelbacher told the Presidential candidate that he was getting ready to buy a plumbing business and that Obama’s tax plan would end up hurting him. Obama responded by saying that his tax plan would include tax credits for small businesses like Wurzelbacher was talking about, and then he uttered these lines:

“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too… My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off […] if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

That conversation happened on October 12, 2008. The McCain/Palin campaign, and the conservative movement, jumped all over this comment and accused then Senator Obama of promoting redistribution of wealth and, yes, using the “socialism” word more than once. John McCain himself never used that word, to the best of my recollection, but Sarah Palin certainly did, and so did many surrogates on the right who spend the next three weeks in an unrelenting attack on Obama on this one issue. And guess what happened? Barack Obama won the election by a popular vote and Electoral College margin of victory that nearly rivaled Bill Clinton’s in 1996.

In other words, Republicans have tried this line of attack on the President before, and it failed miserably. What, exactly, makes them think it’s going to turn out any differently this time?

The bigger question, though, is what it is about Obama’s 1998 remarks, or his comments to “Joe The Plumber” that are supposed to be so shocking. There’s really no difference between what he said on these two occasions and what’s he said on more than one occasion during the course of his Presidency, most especially in the past year or so as he has pushed the idea of increasing the tax burden on the wealthy as part of an overall deficit reduction package. Moreover, there really don’t seem to me to be anything different between what Obama said in the 1998 tape, or in 2008, and what Democrats have been saying since the time of Franklin Roosevelt. Just take a look at what Roosevelt, or Harry Truman, or Lyndon Johnson, or Hubert Humphrey, or Ted Kennedy, or Bill Clinton have said in the past. I guarantee you that you’ll find rhetoric remarkably similar to what the GOP is attacking Obama for today, or what he was attacked for in 2008. Barack Obama is a Democrat. Democrats believe in using the power of the government to help the poor, higher taxes on people with higher incomes, and using government resources to “give people a leg up.” Anyone who is shocked by this has not been paying attention for the past 80 years or so.

Let me be clear about this, I do not agree with the President’s views on “redistribution.” That is one of the many reasons I won’t be voting for him in November. However, the argument that there is anything radical about what he said in 1998, or what he said while walking down a street in a Toledo suburb in 2008, is quite simply absurd. Barack Obama is a Democrat. He thinks like a Democrat. The GOP is fooling themselves if they think this is the smoking gun that will win them the election.

H/T to regular OTB commenter Rob In CT for the idea that lead to the post title.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Great Title Doug!

  2. Ron,

    Well I have to give some credit to Rob In CT for that!

  3. Anderson says:

    I do not agree with the President’s views on “redistribution.”

    So you’re opposed to what, exactly? Medicare? Social Security? Medicaid? Progressive tax brackets?

  4. neil hudelson says:

    Hey that sounds like a guy interested in governing…

  5. Anon says:

    Doug, do you disagree with any redistribution or just think there should be less of it? Any safety nets? What do you think health care in this country should look like?

  6. mantis says:

    Like I said yesterday:

    The right has to deceptively cut Obama’s words down to three-second, out-of-context lines to attack him.

    The left releases 50 minutes of unedited honesty from Romney to attack him.

  7. Jeremy R. says:

    Here’s how Fox is pushing this idiotic meme:

    Pat Buchanan Calls Obama A “Drug Dealer Of Welfare”

  8. @Anon:

    I have no problem with safety nets in principle. My problem is with the idea that “redistribution of wealth” is a legitimate function of government. I realize this is a complicated issue, which likely requires far more content than a blog comment can take.

  9. @Jeremy R.:

    Having been let go by MSNBC, Pat Buchanan has found his natural home at Fox

  10. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Let’s note that “some redistribution” for “a shot” is not exactly a forceful endorsement of redistribution as a core role of government.

    The Romney “ah ha!” on this is a lot like the “ah ha!” on the embassy memo. It isn’t good analysis, it just matches a template of prejudice. It sounds (if you ignore half the words), like something invisible Obama would say.

  11. @john personna:

    I just find it pathetic that they’re resurrecting a failed campaign attack from four years ago.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Well, you can think of redistribution as the insurance richer people pay to make sure they’re not strung up on lampposts.

    A large middle class doesn’t seem to be something that exists in equilibrium. You have to keep whacking away at the tendency of the upper class to grab power and rewrite the rules to benefit themselves. And unless you have a large middle class, you’re not that likely to have a large economy.

    Decide what you want, guys. Aristocracies with intermittent revolutions or progressive taxation and a large “stable” middle class.

  13. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: But aren’t all safety nets redistribution of wealth of some form?

  14. Mr. Replica says:

    Rather than going into another post and pretty much saying what I already said in another thread today. I will just copy pasta it here.

    From what I read today in the headlines, FoxNews is trying desperately to get Romney back on track.
    How are they doing this?
    By bring up comments made by Obama in the past, some as far back as 1998. Comments in which Obama is on the record supporting the idea of wealth redistribution.
    It seems to be par for the course as far as FoxNews talking points, most, if not all, of their talking points are just regurgitated ones from their failed 2008 crusade against Obama.

    I would also like to add that, yet again, they are beating a dead horse. The last time I checked, a majority of people in the United States favor raising taxes on the rich/wealthy. NOT give them another tax break like Romney proposes.

    It’s a losing argument, I think. Even if this plan of attack does some how catch on this election cycle, Romney will most likely not go into any specific details about his proposals, just more platitudes. Which means he is back to the same place he is now.

    Some would consider this doubling down on previous rhetoric. However, seeing that this attack is something that FoxNews and their ilk have been using this for the past 4-5 years. It’s more like doubling down^20.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyAgWQqL-bE

  15. Lynda says:

    Doug you asked

    In other words, Republicans have tried this line of attack on the President before, and it failed miserably. What, exactly, makes them think it’s going to turn out any differently this time?

    I think Einstein had the answer

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  16. @Lynda:

    Nicely done.

  17. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I just find it pathetic that they’re resurrecting a failed campaign attack from four years ago.

    Agreed, but this isn’t directed at you.

    Nor is this directed at independents.

    This is directed at the Jan’s, Jenos, JKB’s, Eric F’s, and the populist conservative base. The same people who want Romney to double down on the 47% message and don’t understand what all the fuss is about. These are the same people who to this day think that the only reason Obama is in office is because he wasn’t properly vetted.

    The Romney campaign has alienated the Republican elite. So he’s throwing in with the populist conservative talkers and bloggers.

    If he’s going all in — which is seeming more likely — I think the debates might be some of the most interesting political theatre that we’ve seen in quite some time. Romney might just opt to go nuclear — disrupting the rules and interrupting Obama in hopes of demonstrating him to be the empty suit, teleprompter driven, maxist angry black man that populist conservatives have always seen him as.

  18. john personna says:

    @mattb:

    +1 for bringing back “vetting”

  19. Mr. Replica says:

    I think this needs to be said again and brought back into the conversation. I’m sure will be talking about in the days to come as the Obama campaign will most likely use it.

    Similarly, as experts have pointed out, Paul Ryan’s infamous budget — which is now officially the overarching blueprint for the whole GOP agenda — simply doesn’t add up unless you presume extraordinarily deep cuts to the nation’s safety net and a shockingly dramatic shrinking of government, even as it, too, cuts taxes deeply on the rich. Those experts see Ryan’s vision as deeply radical. As Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently put it, Ryan’s blueprint “would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history.” Greenstein added that “for most of the past half-century,” the Ryan agenda “would have been outside the bounds of mainstream discussion.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/with-ryan-pick-romney-doubles-down-on-economic-radicalism/2012/08/11/7f8e67a2-e3b2-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_blog.html

  20. cd6 says:

    Seriously though, is it now the Romney campaign’s contention that “things a politician said 10+ years ago, which are now on youtube, represent the true beliefs of that candidate”?

    Cause there are a few youtubes of younger Romney floatin out there which are a tad different than what he’s saying now…

  21. MM says:

    @Vast Variety: I would argue that any form of taxation whatsoever is going to be redistribution of wealth, even if you go with a minimal federal government that does nothing but provide for the common defense. If I pay $1,000 in taxes and you pay $2,000 in taxes and someone else pays $0, we are all three still getting the same amount of national defense.

    Unless we can develop Government-as-a-service based on the Software as a Service model, there is always going to be redistribution.

  22. Eric Florack says:

    So, what you’re saying Doug, is that redistribution of wealth is a must if you’re a Democrat?
    Funny, JFK didn’t feel that way.

  23. Nick says:

    The right clearly thinks it has something here, and the Republican Party and the Romney campaign seem to agree.

    The order of events should be the other way around.

  24. Patrick Watson says:

    Romney and Ryan have no problem with redistributing wealth. They simply prefer to redistribute to banks and defense contractors.

  25. JKB says:

    Of course, it does help to keep reminding people about this tendency in Obama. He doesn’t talk about safety nets and helping those in dire straits, he talks about “spreading the wealth around”, i.e., tossing money out of a speeding car.

    Now, plenty of people like the idea of taking from others and giving to them. But we’ve now had 3.5 years of Obama ‘redistribution” and we see it for what it is. Obama took tax dollars and funneled it to his cronies a Solyndra and other “green” front companies. He’s got it set up to take from the young/healthy and give to the middle ager who are finding the consequences of all that dope they smoked in the Seventies costs money. He’s taking from poor students to feed his friends at the university.

    Will people see that for what it is or will they return to the notion Obama’s going to pay their rent? Don’t know. But this election is about more than Romeny or Obama it is about “They work for us” or “We belong to the government”. Maybe people will vote to live by government leave rather than as free persons. If so, they should do so with all that can inform the decision out there.

    This may just be fluffinutter but it might just cause some who ignored the redistribution Obama last time to take into account just what that meant in the last 3 1/2 years.

  26. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    there really don’t seem to me to be anything different between what Obama said in the 1998 tape, or in 2008, and what Democrats have been saying since the time of Franklin Roosevelt

    Forget FDR, or Democrats. What Obama said isn’t different from what Mitt himself said, in the same interview you cited:

    I believe America was built on the principle of government caring for those in need

    As Greg Sargent said:

    Maybe someone can explain how we can pay for “government caring for those in need” without “taking from some to give to others.”

    Is there any politician who has ever done a better job of repeatedly and instantly contradicting himself?

  27. Rick Almeida says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    My problem is with the idea that “redistribution of wealth” is a legitimate function of government.

    All government spending is redistribution. That’s what government does.

  28. Jr says:

    Next your going to tell he is a black man, Doug.

  29. jukeboxgrad says:

    All government spending is redistribution. That’s what government does.

    Yes. Kind of reminds me of this:

    Well, what do you know about that! These forty years now, I’ve been speaking in prose without knowing it! How grateful am I to you for teaching me that!

  30. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Where is your math?

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ok…. Been working all my life… ALL my life I have made money for somebody else who never picked up a hammer. It was OK as long as long as I got my cut. Nowadays, he don’t care if we can not pick up the hammer. Fwck him.

  32. KariQ says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Conservatives should be banned from talking about JFK until they’ve found out what the man actually believed. I don’t even like JFK and I find the constant references to him by conservatives mind-boggling.

  33. Jc says:

    Well tax rates are at their lowest since when I can remember and all those wealthy job creators have alot more money as a result of that, yet no jobs, even between 2001-2007 new jobs #’s were weak, with the exception of the housing boom. All taxes are redistributions of wealth, it’s just for some reason we focus on the wealthy. The US is and has been a mixed economy for a long time, it will never be truly socialist, people are losing their minds.

  34. Jr says:

    @Eric Florack: Yes…..he actually did. The tax-cuts Kennedy proposed were demand-side which is the same kind of tax cuts that every Democratic President has proposed.

    Kennedy as a supply-sider is one of the greatest examples of conservatives revisionism besides Ronald Reagan.

  35. anjin-san says:

    Conservatives should be banned from talking about JFK until they’ve found out what the man actually believed.

    They have a fantasy JFK to go with their fantasy Reagan. And of course there is the fantasy Obama that only conservatives can see. Collect all the fantasy Presidents!

  36. David M says:

    @JKB:

    He’s got it set up to take from the young/healthy and give to the middle ager who are finding the consequences of all that dope they smoked in the Seventies costs money.

    And the young/healthy will never be middle aged and less healthy? Solyndra and the students/university make even less sense in the list there, without more information.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t think Romney was complaining when millions, perhaps billions, we’re being re-distributed to Bain coffers.
    Republicans and Democrats are both all-in for re-distribution. They only differ on who should benefits from said re-distribution. Billions in Fossil Fuel subsidies…or Aid to States to keep Teachers working.
    The one time Doug’s “Both Sides Do It” fetish might have been valid…and he blew it.

  38. Jib says:

    Just take a look at what Roosevelt, or Harry Truman, …… have said in the past. I guarantee you that you’ll find rhetoric remarkably similar to what the GOP is attacking Obama for today, or what he was attacked for in 2008

    Compared to FDR, Obama is a moderate Republican. FDR was the real deal, an unapologetic liberal who viewed unrestrained capitalism as the enemy of the American people.

    From a MSG speech FDR gave in 1936 when running for re-election:

    “For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

    For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

    We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace‹business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me‹and I welcome their hatred.”

    Man, I wish we had an FDR running today!

  39. michael reynolds says:

    Have you guys seen this new Romney video? It’s quite revealing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1C6kqXT9XU

  40. jukeboxgrad says:

    Perfect.

  41. Franklin says:

    Every government program is a redistribution of resources. But when distributing from the rich to the poor, it’s automatically bad?

    The thing is, even most Republicans agree with it to some extent. They don’t want to see dead bodies lined up and down the street any more than anybody else. So I guess a quote from 14 years ago that says we should redistribute to some extent is really, really shocking to some people. I don’t know what to say.

  42. Moosebreath says:

    “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”

    Using only Obama’s single full sentence, and not taking a phrase out of context, quite simply shows Republicans don’t believe the words they campaign on. This sentence is about equality of opportunity, the thing Republicans claim is the only type of equality which people should be provided. If they are not willing to provide even that, then they should instead openly say that they believe in a stratified society where all men are not created equal.

  43. jan says:

    @JKB:

    This old video of Obama was not shocking to me. Like you implied, much of Obama’s ideology is interwoven with the reorganization of government where redistribution becomes part and parcel of it’s policy creations.

    When Obama was campaigning in ’08, his recorded conversation with Joe the plumber alluded to the same philosophies. And, as POTUS his legislative agenda has been for non-productive stimulus giveaways, car coupons for clunkers, massive regulations stemming business growth as he extends EU benefits, lowering payroll taxes, as our SS is on an unsustainable pathway with more people collecting than contributing to this program. His first two years of being president, with a Democratic Congress at his disposal, was spent on cramming his ACA thru rather attempting to ‘fix’ the economy.

    Now, with the debris of his last 4 years about to hit the fan, we are facing all kinds of higher taxes (with the non-extension of tax cuts) on income, dividends, capital gains, and death to weigh in on an already taxed, stagnating economy, which most economists agree will send us into another official recession. But, Obama is hoping to glean more revenue in order to give to a society far more demoralized than when he became Commander in Chief.

    Yes, Obama took on a monumental task of governance in ’08, in trying to turn this economy around. He pledged to decrease the EU rate down to at least 6%. He touted cutting the deficit in half. He chided the former leader for his lack of leadership in raising the debt ceiling. But, in the end, Obama has an enduring EU rate of over 8%, a deficit that has increased over 50%, and a debt ceiling that continues to rise. And, when the republicans railed against this, wanting to cut expenditures rather that raise the debt ceiling, they were labeled obstructionists, not leaders, and our credit rating went down because of our lack of leadership and compromise, between the executive and congressional branches of government.

    Now Obama wants a second shot to do what? Oh yes, the stock market is doing great. However most people in that trade say its not main street investors who are involved in this rise, but rather more speculative types, along with cheap money being pumped into the market, such as what is happening in the latest short term vaccination of QE3, to help Obama out in these last few gasping moments of his 1st term.

    In the meantime Obama goes on Letterman, and can’t even answer the simple question of what the deficit was when he came into office. Lettermen, though, had a close answer to his own question. But Obama fluffed it off, saying in the short term it wasn’t important. Maybe in former administrations, when deficits were much lower to GDP, this might have been the case, but not any longer.

    So, no I’m not shocked by this old video response of Obama, as I am not taken aback by Romeny’s 47% one either. Both men look at the world differently. One feels comfortable with debt and redistribution ploys, and the other doesn’t. It’s a proper place for this conversation to be held right now, and in this election — even if it means that Romney loses. Entitlement programs and mounting debt have long been the unspoken problem growing in our nation. No politician wants to address it — either R or D. Now we may be forced to have an uncomfortable discussion, and if Obama wins, we will have to live with the unfortunate consequences.

  44. john personna says:

    @jan:

    Do you understand that Romney’s strategies need to play with moderates? That is people a little left or right of center?

    Do you think “some redistribution” for a shot at success worries them?

    All public education is some redistribution for a shot.

  45. anjin-san says:

    However most people in that trade say its not main street investors who are involved in this rise

    Really? My 401K has had a spectacular 4 years. You would actually have to work very, very hard to screw up a 401K or IRA during the Obama years. Who are these “most people in the trade” you are referring to?

    Don’t bother, it’s clearly another of your made up facts, or a cut & paste from a right wing rantmail you got today.

  46. anjin-san says:

    I went through my mothers investment portfolio recently, she had not looked at it since the Bush crash for fear that she lost most of her investments. She was ahead of the game, even after the hideous losses under Bush.

    Think about it. She is 79, she recouped all those paper losses and made some money, without so much as looking at her portfolio a single time during the Obama years. She is about as far away from being a “speculator” as you can get.

    Could Jan possibly be more full of it?

  47. jan says:

    What may end up being Obama’s Achilles Heel is the ME problems. News is spilling out over how this Benghazi attack was not because of the ‘film,’ but was headed by an Al Queda guy, and is slowly being admitted as being a terrorist attack. It is totally contradicting what the Obama administration has been trying to shush up and blame on a little old slime ball of a film maker. It’s an Obama foreign policy weakness, not a spontaneous act of violence. And, according to recent polls people are watching this incident more closely than they are the 2012 elections.

    Even Anderson Cooper is asking for an investigation into the matter. He claims to have sources saying that the ambassador expressed concerns about his safety and the AQ hit list.

  48. An Interested Party says:

    I just find it pathetic that they’re resurrecting a failed campaign attack from four years ago.

    Why not? Their candidate is resurrecting their failed policies from well over four years ago…

    Funny, JFK didn’t feel that way.

    Oh yes, that must be why he tried to end Social Security and drop top tax rates to an even lower level than they are now…oh wait…

    Where is your math?

    He’s too busy playing the victim to be worried about correct arithmetic…

  49. An Interested Party says:

    What may end up being Obama’s Achilles Heel is the ME problems.

    Why, it’s Carter and Iran all over again!!!!! Keep hope alive, sweetie…

  50. dennis says:

    Eric Florack said:

    So, what you’re saying Doug, is that redistribution of wealth is a must if you’re a Democrat?

    I’m sure everybody is smoking Eric on the “not useful” thumbs-down icon regarding his JFK remark; however, he posed a legitimate question that, I think, Doug should answer, considering his constant barrages on Romney and the GOP and his utter refusal to vote for Obama.

    Gat-dayum, not only do you guys have me defending Florack; I’m also writing run-on sentences!!!

  51. dennis says:

    @JKB:

    That is the most moronic, knee-jerk reactive comment from you I’ve read. Mind you, I haven’t been frequenting this site as long as others . . .

  52. dennis says:

    @jan:

    Good grief, jan, stay on topic! Or at least give a warning of transition, for crying out loud! Do you get headaches???

  53. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Why, it’s Carter and Iran all over again!!!!! Keep hope alive, sweetie…

    Actually, it’s more like you turning a blind’s eye to what is happening. People are being killed in the ME, and there has been relatively no honest explanation for it. Not only that, the president has been overtly aloof to this entire incident, going on with his 2 year long reelection campaign, rubbing elbows with Holywood elite and champagne bottles.

    I think he is acting beyond arrogant and insensitive to the events at hand. Supposedly he finally deemed to drop by on an intel meeting, personally rather than just message with his ipad from afar.. What an idiot! If this man had Bush next to his identity, you would be branding his hide with all kinds of non-printable words! Hypocrite!

  54. john personna says:

    @jan:

    Where are most Americans dying?

    Afghanistan?

    And yet your candidate has expressed concern about leaving too soon.

    It is another issue that leads Romney to a hole.

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I just find it pathetic that they’re resurrecting a failed campaign attack from four years ago.

    I find it interesting that many people do not realize that we’ve always had a federal income tax system that redistributes income – that is what a mildly progressive tax system is designed to do. Our tax rate structure has been becoming less progressive as many of our presidents since JFK have reduced the bracket rates.

  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    grumpy:

    A large middle class doesn’t seem to be something that exists in equilibrium. You have to keep whacking away at the tendency of the upper class to grab power and rewrite the rules to benefit themselves.

    Yes. This has been nicely explained by Thom Hartmann:

    There’s Nothing “Normal” About A Middle Class … There is nothing “normal” about a nation having a middle class, even though it is vital to the survival of democracy.

    … what’s “normal” in a “free and unfettered” economy is the rapid evolution of a small but fabulously wealthy ownership class, and a large but poor working class. In the entire history of civilization … the middle class was an aberration. …

    … The idea that turning a nation’s economy over to “free market” corporatists is idiotic isn’t new. Thomas Jefferson laid it out in an 1816 letter to Samuel Kerchival.

    “Those seeking profits,” Jefferson wrote, “were they given total freedom, would not be the ones to trust to keep government pure and our rights secure. Indeed, it has always been those seeking wealth who were the source of corruption in government. No other depositories of power have ever yet been found, which did not end in converting to their own profit the earnings of those committed to their charge.”

    … As Jefferson realized, and FDR proved, with no government “interference” by setting the rules of the game of business and fair taxation, there will be no middle class. And as history around the world proves, when the middle class vanishes, democracy often goes with it.

    Republicanism is about destroying the middle class, and is therefore ultimately about destroying democracy.

    (I posted this a few weeks ago; sorry for the redundancy if anyone has seen it before.)

  57. anjin-san says:

    It’s an Obama foreign policy weakness

    Our embassies and consulates were attacked 7 times in the 8 years Reagan was President and 7 times in the 8 years Bush 43 was President. Guess they were weak too…

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    Now, with the debris of his last 4 years about to hit the fan, we are facing all kinds of higher taxes (with the non-extension of tax cuts) on income, dividends, capital gains, and death to weigh in on an already taxed, stagnating economy, which most economists agree will send us into another official recession. But, Obama is hoping to glean more revenue in order to give to a society far more demoralized than when he became Commander in Chief.

    Actually Jan, Obama has been cleaning up the debris from the catastrophic 2008 collapse of the housing and financial markets. By the way, that economic implosion happened prior to his inauguration in 2009.

  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    grumpy:

    Decide what you want, guys. Aristocracies with intermittent revolutions or progressive taxation and a large “stable” middle class.

    Yes, that’s the choice. That wacky Marxist Alan Greenspan has said this:

    As I’ve often said… this [increasing income inequality] is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing.

    Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobelist and former Chief Economist of the World Bank) explains why:

    Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret. …

    Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business.

    The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

  60. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    Not only that, the president has been overtly aloof to this entire incident, going on with his 2 year long reelection campaign, rubbing elbows with Holywood elite and champagne bottles.

    Neat trick–rubbing elbows with champagne bottles.

    The President is hardly being aloof to the incident. I guess you must have been to busy watching Mitt make a fool of himself by responding without any of the facts at hand to watch Obama’s response or see him and Secretary Clinton at the memorial service. But of course that wouldn’t fit in with the latest nonsense you read and copied from hotair today.

    And, no offense, but I doubt you have a clue as to how many intelligence briefings the President attens.

  61. PJ says:

    From NBC News:

    In rest of ’98 clip, Obama speaks of ‘competition’ and ‘the marketplace’

    In the whole clip, Obama says:
    I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.

    Deceptive editing? I’m SHOCKED.

  62. JKB says:

    jan, those Hollywood elites are releasing a movie about the efforts to rescue Americans trapped by crazy Muslims in a failed Islamic “spring”, back during Carter’s poor presidency.

    As to the inevitable outcome of our little welfare state:

    First, then, let us see how he would bestow increased powers and new functions upon municipal and other local authorities, with the view of increasing the enjoyment and raising the morals of the people. He points to the fact, as we havo seen, that these authorities have already given to the people parks and art galleries and museums out of the pockets of the wealthy. Why, we may well ask, are they to stop there? Personally, we may care very little for fossils and may care a great deal for Shakespeare and the opera bouffe. It is a considerable check upon my indulgence in these intellectual pastimes that I have to pay for them out of my own pocket; but why, we should like to know, should the man who wants to look at fossils, or some modern genre picture, be gratified at the public expense, while another has to pay for his seat in the theatre? If the persons who have the levying of the taxes are not to pay them, but are to benefit by the money when it is paid, we see no limit to the amount of recreation and enjoyment which may be provided by means of taxation for the poor of this country—except the bottom of the purse of the rich man. No doubt we all desire to see the lives of the poor enhanced in the way Mr. Chamberlain indicates, and no one desires it more than the poor man himself, and we can understand that having amusement provided at the public cost is a taste which grows by what it feeds on. It is said that a man who had been shipwrecked, who had lived upon the hardest of boots and shoes and upon a very exposed raft, for we do not know how many weeks, and who was ultimately rescued, was brought to London, and introduced to some feeling journalist who, when he had got his story out of the man, asked him if he could do anything for him. Whereupon the man, who had nothing in the world, for he had, as we said earlier, eaten his boots, asked for “an order for the play.” We expect to hear a good many more demands made, following Mr. Chamberlain’s lead, for recreation at the expense of the rich. That the national resources which are necessary “to put the poor to work” should be frittered away in attempting to raise by indulgence, by amusement, by recreation, the lives of those whose first necessity is discipline, is, we think, a very questionable proposal. That a statesman, with a due sense of his responsibility, should so far mislead the people by promises which can only, in the long run, lead to disappointment, is a bad sign of our times. Surely he must know that if the people once taste the sweets of plunder, if they begin to enjoy the unearned increment, there will be larger demands made, and that the only end to those demands will be the end of that useful milk-cow, the capitalist class. Having recreation at the expense of another can only be a temporary, a very temporary, expedient. In the first place the wealth of this country is not, by any means, so great as to enable the whole of the inhabitants to enjoy life in the way suggested, and even if it were, a time would very soon come when the person who supplied the recreation would have no more to “pay the piper” with, and then, we fear, the dancing must cease, or go on without music. But will it last even so long? An American candidate said “Capital is sensitive; it shrinks from the very appearance of danger.” We think that it is shrinking in this country, and if capital goes beyond the seas, if it is taken to other and safer countries, we shall have the poor of this country dancing to quite other tunes than those which are being composed by their over-sanguine guides for their delectation. We shall have the poor of this country condemned to misery and starvation. They themselves cannot see this, but it behoves those who would constitute themselves the leaders of the people to take heed lest they mislead them into such ” sloughs of despond.”

  63. anjin-san says:

    There is nothing “normal” about a nation having a middle class,

    Quite true. The vast American middle class of the 20th century was a historical anomaly. So do we fight to preserve it, or go back to the normal course of history, where a handful of people own everything, and everyone else asks how high when they say “jump”?

    I think we know where Mitt Romney stands…

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:

    You know, my suspicion (based on nothing but fantasy) is that Drew was at that fundraiser.

  65. David M says:

    I know this won’t surprise too many people, but apparently the Romney campaign deceptively edited the video. Here’s the entire quote, the part in bold was left off by the GOP:

    I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.

  66. sam says:

    @jan:

    “….ME….blah, blah, blah”

    Shorter Jan: Squirrel!!

    Pathetic.

  67. sam says:

    @JKB:

    That the national resources which are necessary “to put the poor to work” should be frittered away in attempting to raise by indulgence, by amusement, by recreation, the lives of those whose first necessity is discipline, is, we think, a very questionable proposal.

    That’s really what it comes down to, right? Discipline. The lower classes must suffer discipline lest they forget that they are the lower classes. Society has it’s natural order. Some few are born to acquire wealth and power, some many, many more are born to stand in mute obsequiousness to that powerful few. To be disciplined by the upper class is the necessary lot of the lower classes. This is written into the aggregate soul of a people. To attempt to ameliorate the conditions of the lower classes is to introduce an imbalance in the national soul. Nothing good can ever come of these undoings of the natural law.

    You didn’t give a cite for that long quotation, but it has a Churchillian cadence. In the first post-war election Churchill and his party were buried by a landslide.

  68. sam says:

    Oh, and proof positive that the “natural order of society” theory is bullshit: Donald Trump

  69. C. Clavin says:

    What a shock…Republicans took the quote out of context to change the meaning.
    I can only assume that with the entire quote now clear Jan will change her opinion.
    Right?

  70. C. Clavin says:

    Mitts mom describing his father as one of the “parasites”:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/before-ann-and-mitt-lenore-and-george?s=mobile

  71. @C. Clavin:

    It doesn’t matter to those guys. As I say above, it fits their stereotype. As long as it has the word “redistribution” in it, it’s going to convince them that invisible Obama is real.

    He [Obama] really believes in what I’ll call a government-centered society. I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America,” Romney said Wednesday at an Atlanta fundraiser. “There’s a tape that came out just a couple of days ago where the president said yes he believes in redistribution. I don’t. I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others but to create wealth for all.”

    That’s pretty amazing coming from a guy whose dad received “redistribution” to get his start, to bootstrap the Romney dynasty.

    The crazy party can’t even keep their personal histories straight.

  72. Rick Almeida says:

    @jan:

    One feels comfortable with debt and redistribution ploys, and the other doesn’t.

    Is it your position that cutting taxes on the wealthiest and raising them on most everyone else is not increasing debt while redestributing wealth?

  73. @Rick Almeida:

    I think for those right of some boundary the word “redistribution” means “the bad stuff.”

    For Doug too, right?

    I have no problem with safety nets in principle. My problem is with the idea that “redistribution of wealth” is a legitimate function of government. I realize this is a complicated issue, which likely requires far more content than a blog comment can take.

    I’d guess that for Doug the bad stuff is just moving money to even it out, to address inequality absent any demonstration of need by the recipient.

    The thing is, redistribution in that sense is totally absent in the US system.

  74. mattb says:

    So pop question for the “all mid east turmoil is caused by Obama’s foriegn policy” types — how exactly would Romney’s foriegn policy differ from Obama’s? And how do you think it would ease existing tensions?

  75. Rob in CT says:

    How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities

    Like I said in the other thread… what a commie!

    The redistribution we do is a form of insurance. Insurance requires pooling resources. That’s how it works. Granted, many people hate insurance even if it functions properly. “I pay my premiums and I didn’t have a claim so they ripped me off!” I shouldn’t get started on this particular rant, sorry…

    The safety net is multi-purpose insurance. It protects you against the possibility of personal disaster. It provides some counter-cyclical spending in hard times, to help prevent a deflationary spiral. And it promotes stability (aka “social cohesion”), such that there is a roughly zero point zero percent chance that Mitt Romney, or me, or Reynolds, or Drew, ends up up against a wall. Aristocracy isn’t just morally wrong. It doesn’t work.

  76. @Rob in CT:

    If conservatives broadly say they support the safety net. but oppose redistribution, we can either explain to them that the safety net is a kind of redistribution (as you have done) or we can ask them where this other (bad) kind of redistribution lies.

    I suspect the bad kind is more fanciful than real.

  77. Then again, maybe all redistribution is the bad kind:

    This isn’t from a secret video, it’s from the untranscribed portion of Ryan’s 2005 speech at the Atlas Society’s “Celebration of Ayn Rand.” It fits well with the Romney video because it makes clear that middle class entitlements, “so called defined benefit programs” such as Social Security and Medicare ARE an explicit strategic target because they are collectivistic, socialistic and foster dependency.

  78. Rob in CT says:

    And make no mistake: without some effort to provide opportunity to those not born into the right circumstances, what you will get is an Aristocracy. We’re dangerously close to having one right now, thanks in part to Conservative policies (thanks also in part to macro events that policy could probably have only ameliorated partially).

    As has been noted: public education is redistribution to “make sure everyone has a shot.”

    Everyone has to draw their one line as to how much is enough. I get that. So does Obama. So does Romney, even if he’s going to spin it otherwise for the moment.

    No redistribution = a pure, no exceptions whatsoever flat tax, and zero transfer payments. No public education. Certainly none of the New Deal programs! No Pell grants. None of it. No federal infrastructure spending even (unless you’re comfortable going back to Ike’s original claim that the interstate highway system was necessary for national security purposes).

    If you don’t want to go that far, and the vast majority of Americans do not, you are not against redistribution. You are simply for less of it, or for retargetting it. Ok, then you need to explain the withertos and whyfores of your desired changes to the status quo, and be prepared to defend them.

  79. ptfe says:

    @john personna: I think at this point that “conservatives” (or, at least, what I take that to mean in this context) are only offering suggestions that are “more fanciful than real.”

    Here’s how I see the election right now:

    – People generally on the left and in the middle see this as a choice between (1) a flawed president who’s done some things right and some things wrong, is largely doing a decent job considering the circumstances; and (2) a possible replacement whose ideas mostly rely on unicorns and fairies and a massively unpopular prior president’s agenda, who says or does something you never want a president to say or do every single week, and who seems to be running because, damn it, he should be president because money!

    – People generally on the right see this as a choice between The Worst President Ever and Republican Anti-Tax Gods Who Will Save Us From The Sharia Commie.

    That’s a severe disconnect. And while I’d like to think people like Jan are competent enough to understand the nuances of governance, I’m getting more and more convinced that they just don’t want to.

  80. Rob in CT says:

    Regarding the connection between “the 47%” and the EITC (an argument I’ve been making), Kevin Drum has a useful chronology. It was particularly useful for me, because I had some details wrong (I thought the EITC started in the 80s. It goes back to 1975).

    But let’s do a quick history review first. Back in the 60s there was a groundswell of support for a negative income tax, a concept that held some appeal as a simple mechanism that could replace the complex alphabet soup of existing New Deal and Great Society anti-poverty programs. But Mr. Great Society himself, Lyndon Johnson, objected to it because it doled out money even if you weren’t working. (FDR probably would have opposed it for the same reason.) Republicans agreed that it undermined incentives to work, and the NIT died.

    However, after several years of political haggling, Sen. Russell Long won passage of the EITC in 1975. Because it was available only to those with earned income, it provided a positive incentive to work and enjoyed bipartisan support. It was made permanent in 1978, again with bipartisan support.

    But then things changed. EITC was expanded in 1986 with support from Ronald Reagan but with far less support from congressional Republicans, most of whom fought the expansion. Another expansion in 1990 enjoyed even less Republican support, and in 1993, when Bill Clinton included a further expansion of EITC in his budget bill, it passed with no Republican votes at all. It was at this point that the EITC became associated exclusively with Democrats, and after the Gingrich revolution of 1994 the EITC became a frequent target of attacks from the GOP. House Republicans pushed for major cuts, and Clinton eventually managed to buy them off only by setting up a special $100 million IRS fraud unit targeted specifically at the working poor.

    Roughly speaking, then, Republican support for the EITC has steadily declined since the mid-80s, and the majority of the party has been actively opposed to it since the mid-90s. So I don’t think you can really blame the current antipathy toward EITC on the historical ignorance of modern Republicans. This all started 30 years ago, when Republicans were still keenly aware of both the program’s origins and its conservative policy underpinnings. They just decided they didn’t like the idea of giving money to poor people anymore. Now they’ve gone even further, and Mitt Romney’s echo of his wealthy donors’ disdain for the non-taxpaying poor is merely the next step along a logical path. Here’s the path:

    1975-1985: Support for work-oriented anti-poverty programs like the EITC.

    1985-1995: Mixed emotions toward EITC.

    1995-2005: Opposed to EITC.

    2005-present: Not just opposed to EITC, but actively in favor of making the poor start paying income taxes.

    The EITC hasn’t been a bipartisan program for a long time, and its current sorry state within the GOP isn’t just due to youngsters who have forgotten their party’s past. As the EITC’s history demonstrates, for the past several decades the core of the Republican Party has simply become steadily more hostile toward the working poor.

    Gingrich. He’s like a bad penny, always turning up.

  81. @ptfe:

    From my possibly warped perceptive, I think you’ve got both the cynicism and the reality just about right.

  82. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @JKB: I’m impressed by your ability to simultaneously violate Fair Use and forget that paragraphs exist.

  83. mattb says:

    @sam:

    You didn’t give a cite for that long quotation, but it has a Churchillian cadence. In the first post-war election Churchill and his party were buried by a landslide.

    Actually, it’s an excerpt from the speech “Socialism at St. Stephen’s” delivered by Francis Charteris.circa 1885/6

  84. JohnMcC says:

    @Rob in CT: Just a line or two, my friend Rob, to point out that Gen Eisenhower had personal experience with the ease and speed with which the Wehrmacht moved from east to west. An example is the surprise they achieved in the Battle of the Bulge. He actually thought the InterState System was something that would keep us safe.

  85. Rob in CT says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying his argument was total bull. It wasn’t. It’s just that our present Interstate Highway System is likely more than is required for the purpose. So if that’s the *only* reason to allow federal spending on highways, then you are probably looking at significant cuts. But I overstated the argument.

  86. Jeremy R. says:

    Shocking audio from” 2005 “reveals” Paul Ryan “is a” randian / objectivist bent on upending social security & medicare:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=5368

    “Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system”

    “If we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing social security … think of what we will accomplish. Every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist. They will be an owner of society, they will be an owner and a participant of our free enterprise system, of our capitalist system. I would like to have more people on our team who are owners and believers in the individualist capitalist system than on the other side, and if every worker in this country becomes an owner of real wealth, of seeing the fruits of their labor come and materialize for their benefit, then that’s that many more people in America who are not going to listen to likes of Dick Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, the collectivist, class warfare-breathing demagogues.”

    “If we do not succeed in switching these programs, in reforming these programs from what some people call a defined benefit system, to a defined contribution system– from switching these programs—and this is where I’m talking about health care, as well—from a third party or socialist based system to an individually owned, individually prefunded, individually directed system.

    We can do this. We are on offence on a lot of these ideas. I was the principle author of the Health Savings Account law, which was an amendment I brought to the floor and passed in the Medicare bill in the last session of congress. Health Savings Accounts, personal accounts for Social Securities, these are the things that put us on offence, that get the– the individual back in the game and break the back of this collectivist philosophy that really pervades, you know, ninety percent of the thinking around here in this town.”

  87. sam says:

    @mattb:

    Ah. Good. Thanks. Not familiar with that work.

  88. jukeboxgrad says:

    clavin:

    Mitts mom describing his father as one of the “parasites”

    Jon Stewart:

    George Romney was on welfare, so according to Mitt Romney’s own logic, Mitt Romney could not win the vote of his Dad, who would be one of the 47% of unconvinceables.

  89. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    Shocking Audio From 1998 Reveals Barack Obama Is A Democrat

    Shocking Article From Yesterday Reveals VP at AEI Is A Democrat (link):

    … I choose to rededicate myself to building that shining city on a hill that Reagan evoked … That city is … a place where the government … offers everyone a hand up.

    “Offers everyone a hand up” is just another way of saying ‘redistribution.’

    Sane Republicans (a rare and endangered breed) are realizing that all this Galtian taker-maker crap spouted by Mitt and Ryan is in the process of sinking the party. That’s why we have AEI rushing into the breach to gently remind Mitt that even Kemp and Reagan accepted the core premise of redistribution.

    But it’s a dilemma, because the base loves their Randian “Anti-Tax Gods” (as ptfe put it). They’re drunk on Rand, and not getting sober anytime soon. All the rest of us can do is embrace the schadenfreude of watching the GOP at war with itself.

  90. ernieyeball says:

    Jan sez: “This old video of Obama was not shocking to me.”

    Jan you ignorant cupcake!
    No one was shocked unless they stuck their fingers in a light socket while they were reading the title of this post.
    I believe Mr. Mataconis was being facetious.
    I don’t know how you expect anyone to take you seriously.

  91. An Interested Party says:

    People are being killed in the ME, and there has been relatively no honest explanation for it.

    Umm, here’s a clue…people have been killed long before this President sat in the Oval Office and they will continue to be killed long after he’s gone…

    If this man had Bush next to his identity, you would be branding his hide with all kinds of non-printable words! Hypocrite!

    That’s rich coming from someone who had nothing to say when Bush was fu@king this country over left, right, and sideways…apparently there are no mirrors in your house…

    You know, my suspicion (based on nothing but fantasy) is that Drew was at that fundraiser.

    Really? Was he one of the fatcats or was he cleaning toilets…