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Thread: The impact of the tax cut debate on public perception

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    Islamic Ebola Zombie Cicero's Avatar
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    The impact of the tax cut debate on public perception

    The GOP’s slip is showing

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: December 22


    Finally. After a year of artful camouflage and concealment, Republicans let us glimpse the rift between establishment pragmatists and Tea Party ideologues. There may be hope for the republic after all.

    Forty Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), joined Democrats in voting for compromise legislation providing a two-month extension of unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut. The bill passed 89 to 10, the kind of margin usually reserved for ceremonial resolutions in favor of motherhood. Senators clearly were confident that House approval would quickly follow.
    But it didn’t, because Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) couldn’t get his Tea Party freshmen to go along. The result was a kind of intramural sniping among Republicans that we *haven’t seen in years.

    “It angers me that House Republicans would rather continue playing politics than find solutions,” said Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

    The stalemate “is harming the Republican Party,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
    The GOP’s slip is showing - The Washington Post

    I disagree that this collapse, of the Republican position, in the HOR, is a result of anything President Obama has done. What it has demonstrated is that there is a distinction between the political pragmatists (on the right) and the ideologues. The question, that remains to be answered, is whether the pragmatists will regain control of their own caucus, or if the "rule or ruin" sentiment of the radical right will continue to provide political cover (to everyone in office) for accomplishing NOTHING. Can the pragmatists regain enough control to make negotiation and governance possible? If not, then what are the alternatives, when doing nothing only makes matters worse.

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    Join, or Die nonsqtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
    I disagree that this collapse, of the Republican position, in the HOR, is a result of anything President Obama has done. What it has demonstrated is that there is a distinction between the political pragmatists (on the right) and the ideologues. The question, that remains to be answered, is whether the pragmatists will regain control of their own caucus, or if the "rule or ruin" sentiment of the radical right will continue to provide political cover (to everyone in office) for accomplishing NOTHING. Can the pragmatists regain enough control to make negotiation and governance possible? If not, then what are the alternatives, when doing nothing only makes matters worse.
    Hm. Well, IMO, the pragmatists aren't the ones who are necessarily going to being negotiation and governance to the table. What you call the "pragmatists" in today's Republican party, are not good people. They're mostly Neo-Cons, actually. Most of the centrist half of the Republican party is tainted in some way, and it's mostly through association with Neo-Cons in one form or another.

    The other half, what you call the "ideological" half, is.... um..... the best way I can characterize them, where they stand right now, is they have a gut feeling they can't yet verbalize. (I use the word "they" very loosely here, obviously, but that's kinda what it looks like to me - they're definitely sensing and feeling that something's very wrong, but they can't lable it, can't put their finger on it and therefore can't verbalize it).

    I think I can though (put my finger on it, and verbalize it). I've said it like this: today's Republican party has lost its political compass. It's jettisoned conservative political principles in favor of other principles which are neither conservative nor political. The entire party has lost its political compass. The central concepts which used to anchor the entire party are gone from the Republican platforms these days, and instead we find stupid idiotic stuff like "the United States is a Christian nation".

    I mean, how did that one ever get by the leadership, right? How did that one ever get to square one on a national political platform? Somethin's wrong here, right?

    See, this is the kind of stuff I'm talking about when I'm talking about people on a bus watching the metro-TV instead of reading the newspaper or talking to the other passengers. The Republicans are kinda packish to begin with, there's a lot of top-down thought process and talking-models and so on, and I really truly believe that most of today's Republicans are more interested in bashing liberals than they are in discovering their own political roots.

    Frankly, in my view a lot of Republicans today don't even know what they believe anymore. They don't know - if you ask 'em they'll tell you something, but if you spin out the logic around what they're telling you it won't take more than 30 seconds for them to box themselves into a corner (and when that happens, they just get pissed and walk away, and likely accuse you of being a "librul" or some such thing).

    There's really only one solution to this IMO, Republicans have to be brought face to face with their own logic. They have to be made to stay put long enough to look in the mirror, and that is a very tricky proposition when there's a billion dollars in play. A billion dollars buys a lot of movement, and it buys a lot of partisanship. But really, I think that's what all these endless debates have been about, it's been an effort by "someone" to get the party to do a little soul-searching and look at itself a little more closely in the mirror. 'Cause during the BushCo years it never even looked at itself at all in the mirror, that asshole Bush probably even broke the mirror - deliberately - 'cause that's the kind of scoundrel he was.

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    Islamic Ebola Zombie Cicero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsqtr View Post
    Hm. Well, IMO, the pragmatists aren't the ones who are necessarily going to being negotiation and governance to the table. What you call the "pragmatists" in today's Republican party, are not good people. They're mostly Neo-Cons, actually. Most of the centrist half of the Republican party is tainted in some way, and it's mostly through association with Neo-Cons in one form or another.

    The other half, what you call the "ideological" half, is.... um..... the best way I can characterize them, where they stand right now, is they have a gut feeling they can't yet verbalize. (I use the word "they" very loosely here, obviously, but that's kinda what it looks like to me - they're definitely sensing and feeling that something's very wrong, but they can't lable it, can't put their finger on it and therefore can't verbalize it).

    I think I can though (put my finger on it, and verbalize it). I've said it like this: today's Republican party has lost its political compass. It's jettisoned conservative political principles in favor of other principles which are neither conservative nor political. The entire party has lost its political compass. The central concepts which used to anchor the entire party are gone from the Republican platforms these days, and instead we find stupid idiotic stuff like "the United States is a Christian nation".

    I mean, how did that one ever get by the leadership, right? How did that one ever get to square one on a national political platform? Somethin's wrong here, right?

    See, this is the kind of stuff I'm talking about when I'm talking about people on a bus watching the metro-TV instead of reading the newspaper or talking to the other passengers. The Republicans are kinda packish to begin with, there's a lot of top-down thought process and talking-models and so on, and I really truly believe that most of today's Republicans are more interested in bashing liberals than they are in discovering their own political roots.

    Frankly, in my view a lot of Republicans today don't even know what they believe anymore. They don't know - if you ask 'em they'll tell you something, but if you spin out the logic around what they're telling you it won't take more than 30 seconds for them to box themselves into a corner (and when that happens, they just get pissed and walk away, and likely accuse you of being a "librul" or some such thing).

    There's really only one solution to this IMO, Republicans have to be brought face to face with their own logic. They have to be made to stay put long enough to look in the mirror, and that is a very tricky proposition when there's a billion dollars in play. A billion dollars buys a lot of movement, and it buys a lot of partisanship. But really, I think that's what all these endless debates have been about, it's been an effort by "someone" to get the party to do a little soul-searching and look at itself a little more closely in the mirror. 'Cause during the BushCo years it never even looked at itself at all in the mirror, that asshole Bush probably even broke the mirror - deliberately - 'cause that's the kind of scoundrel he was.
    I disagree with you on this issue, primarily in the area of the ideologues. What we are seeing, in the Teaparty Congress, is not a princpled stand based on their campaign platform...we're seeing more of the same, with a touch of the radical right agenda thrown in. They have been thoroughly coopted. This is also the problem I have with Ron Paul. He pretends to be against the very things he takes. He decries government while benefitting from it. This doesn't excuse Obama, or anyone on the left who has done many of the same things the right has done. That both sides commit deplorable acts isn't a justification, it's an excuse...and not a very good one. As @Sparta has observed, previously, it's something one would expect from a child, not an elected official.

    I think the problem with the ideologues is that they are so fixated on ideological purity (in this case opposing anything Obama favors) that they never question it. This last stupidity on the tax cut deal was a perfect example of their "we must destroy the village to save it" mentality. Sorry, but that approach has NEVER worked. It's insanity.

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    Join, or Die nonsqtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
    I disagree with you on this issue, primarily in the area of the ideologues. What we are seeing, in the Teaparty Congress, is not a princpled stand based on their campaign platform...we're seeing more of the same, with a touch of the radical right agenda thrown in. They have been thoroughly coopted. This is also the problem I have with Ron Paul. He pretends to be against the very things he takes. He decries government while benefitting from it. This doesn't excuse Obama, or anyone on the left who has done many of the same things the right has done. That both sides commit deplorable acts isn't a justification, it's an excuse...and not a very good one. As @Sparta has observed, previously, it's something one would expect from a child, not an elected official.

    I think the problem with the ideologues is that they are so fixated on ideological purity (in this case opposing anything Obama favors) that they never question it. This last stupidity on the tax cut deal was a perfect example of their "we must destroy the village to save it" mentality. Sorry, but that approach has NEVER worked. It's insanity.
    Well, I gotta give you the part about the Tea Party, some of those folks are kinda baby-ish. The passive-aggressive thing never goes over too well in public forums, these guys come off as very amateurish and incapable of getting what they want any other way than by pouting and stomping their feet.

    But, this human nature. What I mean is, this is how people typically behave when you've hurt 'em real bad and they can't quite verbalize how they feel. They do little petty stupid things (like the passive-agressive bit) just to let you know you're on their shit list somehow, but they'll never tell you exactly what you've done, and if you ask 'em point blank they'll come up with some dumb-ass way to cover up their inability to verbalize their own feelings. Like, "what, you don't know?" Or, "well, if you don't know then I'm not going to be the one to tell you," or some such thing.

    But people like that, and situations like that, are not to be taken lightly. You know what they say, "still waters run deep". It's when they stop being passive-aggressive that you better start worrying, 'cause that means they've found some other way to express their displeasure, and get back at you for whatever it is they think you've done. When something like that drops off the radar screen, is when it starts become interesting. 'Cause these kinds of passive-aggressive personalities are the same kind that'll smile at you in private for 30 days in a row and then clobber you first chance they get in an important public meeting. Um.... "untrustworthy" is the word that comes to mind, these people are loose cannons "behaviorally speaking" and can't be trusted that way.

    BUT - none of this changes the underlying issue. There's something wrong. These people are complaining about something - specific - and even if they can't verbalize exactly what it is, in the usual way like in a party platform or through a paid spokesperson on a TV ad or whatever - they're still responding to something real. There's a reality in play here, 'cause no one behaves like that for no reason. No one does that, because it's bad politics. It's very bad politics, and they know this on Capitol Hill, right?

    They know this, but they're doing it anyway.

    I wouldn't take this lightly. This movement is going to have an enormous influence on the future shape of the opposition.

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    King Obama is a traitor! michaelr's Avatar
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    It is a complete dog and pony show. But hey the happy heads said that passage of this is a victory for Obama.

    A victory for Obama? I guess in New OrwellianVille it is. He gets to have a "victory" in a couple more months.

    Imagine the clown that decimated the middle class is working for the middle class. Makes me want to place my hand over my heart, wrap myself in the flag, and chant....Gold-Man-Sachs....Gold-Man-Sachs....Gold-Man-Sachs....


    hahahaha a victory would be jobs.

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    Senior Member PapaBull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsqtr View Post
    Well, I gotta give you the part about the Tea Party, some of those folks are kinda baby-ish. The passive-aggressive thing never goes over too well in public forums, these guys come off as very amateurish and incapable of getting what they want any other way than by pouting and stomping their feet.
    Same perception I have of OWS. That's why I'm not a fan of either group. I've got no use for pouting crybabies throwing hissy fits and demanding they get their way just ... well, dammit... just BECAUSE!

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    Sofa Can Coded! Sparta's Avatar
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    A counter movement of fringe nutjobs may be required for counter-balance.

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