Free Markets, Free People

Republicans And Democrats Still Don’t Get It

The WSJ carries a story this morning entitled “White House Toughens Tone”. The essence of the article is the White House intends to use the State of the Union address to push an even larger agenda and isn’t about making any “abrupt policy shifts”. He will, however, be stressing jobs.

OK. So what? I think we’ve seen a year of speeches which, for the most part, pushed a nebulous agenda but then saw an ineffectual White House unable to push any of it through. What will be different with the SOTU address (other than the fact his use of his teleprompter will be in front of adults vs. sixth graders)?

The article also touts the fact that David Plouffe will be joining the staff of the White House. That is a purely political move, having little effect on policy or its accomplishment. Plouffe is a spin-meister whose preferred venue is a campaign where claims are rarely questioned. That’s not the venue he will find in the White House. And again, if nothing in terms of leadership from the White House follows the SOTU speech, the result will be much the same as it has been all year, Plouffe or no Plouffe.

“People are working harder,” White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the economy. “If they have a job, they’re working harder for less. They’re falling behind. That’s been true for a decade. They look at a wave of irresponsibility from Wall Street to Washington that led to that. And those were the frustrations that got the president elected in the first place, and they were reflected again on Tuesday” in the Massachusetts election.

All that Republican can hope for is David Axelrod and the White House keep believing this. The frustration he’s seeing from voters has little to do with Wall Street, despite the White House’s attempt to make it a populist cause. What is “frustrating” the voters is the out of control government spending and the massively increasing size of government and it’s continued intrusion into their lives. Yes, they want government focusing on the economy and jobs. But not if the “answer” is throwing more money we don’t have at it. Do what is necessary with tax cuts (such as an immediate one for payroll taxes) and rolling back some of the regulatory regime to encourage business to hire and expand. But Democrats and the White House seem oblivious to the fact that 56% of the country opposed the so-called “stimulus” and still do. So I look for Obama to promise massive spending increases to support whatever “focus” he brings to jobs in the SOTU address.

As for Republicans? Well, they have it wrong as well:

Republicans, meanwhile, said their victory in Massachusetts was spurred by opposition to the health overhaul. “The message in Massachusetts was absolutely clear,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “The exit polls that I looked at said 48% of the people in Massachusetts said they voted for the new senator over health care. Only 5% mentioned any other issue. The American people had a victory in Massachusetts, and they were sending us the message ‘Stop and start over.’ ”

Certainly health care was the immediate issue that is most identified as a reason for voting for Brown, but Brown’s overall theme was less spending, less taxation and smaller government. The voter’s disapproval of health care was just part of a broader disapproval of an out of control government spending them into penury. People are finally frightened by what they see. Over the decades the increases in the size, scope and spending of government has been relatively slow and incremental. But within the last year, it has been so massive that even the most disinterested of citizens has been alarmed by it. Democrats are seeking to raise the debt ceiling by 1.9 trillion dollars – again.

This sort of spending is recognized as “out of control” by even the least informed among us. If Republicans focus only on the Brown victory being about health care, they will, as usual, have missed the real problem and the real issue. And that’s unfortunate because it is an issue that plays to their strengths much better than it does those of Democrats. Scott Brown is going to Washington DC because he’s talked about making government smaller, less intrusive and less expensive. He ran a good campaign focused on those primary core issues. It is a blueprint for the coming midterms if the Republicans are smart enough to figure that out and use those broad issues against this Congress and President. They need to get over gloating about stopping health care and make the point that it’s about stopping explosive government growth and the spending that goes with it. It’s about telling the people we can’t afford this and they’re the ones to right the ship of state and cut back on its size and expense. For once, it appears the people are ready to listen to that message. I’m not sure how many more hints they have to throw the Republican’s way before they finally figure it out.

~McQ

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41 Responses to Republicans And Democrats Still Don’t Get It

  • “Certainly health care was the immediate issue that is most identified as a reason for voting for Brown, but Brown’s overall theme was less spending, less taxation and smaller government.”
    Agreed, but Republican leadership is fully aware that healthcare reform isn’t dead yet.  And the current package is the antithesis of less spending, less taxation, and smaller government.  So before they move on, they want to put a stake through HCR’s heart.

  • “stop and start over” implies we WANT HCR!  What a dumbass.
    We want “STOP”, and skip “Start Over”.
    They’re not staking the warthog in the heart, they want to shave it, put some lipstick on it, paint it’s nails and pretend it’s a new pony.  They’re doing what they did before, they’re playing Democrat light.
     
    Mitch, you’re a dumbass.

  • Even Brown campaigned in favor of health care reform.  His idea of a federalized system of reform makes a lot of sense.  A move towards more federalism (power to states), with a shift of money to the states as well might be a way for the two parties to find some common ground.  Unfortunately they both like power centralized in Washington, and in that sense the differences between the two parties are nowhere near the differences in the rhetoric.

    • How can the find common ground on shifting power to the states???? The entire Democrat agenda is built around centering power in WASHINGTON.

    • By the way Scott:

      IS THE GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE STILL SETTLED?

      • Absolutely — settled in the sense that the data is so overwhelming, and the potential ramifications so dire, that it’s not worth risking that perhaps the models might be wrong.  In all science there is uncertainty, and there is uncertainty here — but the evidence is stronger now than a year ago, and stronger a year ago than it was five years ago.    Everything we find out reinforces the existing consensus.
        And those who try to deny it and stop us from doing something about it are making life very bad for my children.  That pisses me off.  However, I’ve learned it does no good to complain much here about it, or to correct the efforts to cherry pick small things, or pretend that a controversy is far more meaningful than it is.  All I can do is incorporate it into my teaching (in every class), and work with student organizations to make sure the next generation is active (and they do resent the deniers, because it’s their generation that gets hurt).   But no matter what I say here, you guys will just pretend it doesn’t matter, so I’ll just leave that subject alone in commenting here.  Since you asked, I figured you deserved a response.   But I’m not going to read or comment on those stories here, it just gets me irritated and I say things that are unproductive.

        • In other words, as his worldview crumbles around him he’s in complete panic mode and flailing about in anger.

        • And those who try to deny it and stop us from doing something about it are making life very bad for my children

          — Your kids mean less than nothing to me.

        • ” but the evidence is stronger now than a year ago, and stronger a year ago than it was five years ago.”
          Absolutely right, the evidence is stronger this year that it’s a crock of shirt than it was 5 years ago.
           
          “That pisses me off.  However, I’ve learned it does no good to complain much here about it, or to correct the efforts to cherry pick small things, or pretend that a controversy is far more meaningful than it is.  All I can do is incorporate it into my teaching (in every class), and work with student organizations to make sure the next generation is active (and they do resent the deniers, because it’s their generation that gets hurt). ”
          Translation for non-progressives -  I’m going to indoctrinate as many of the poor young fools who might respect my opinion as I can before they get away so there are more people like me.  We will continue to rearrange these deck chairs until the water rises around our necks! I don’t care what you people say, my ship is NOT sinking, and it just pisses me off that you keep pointing to the rising water as we settle by the stern.  As if ‘facts’ trump my belief that we’re sailing smoothly along!  I will no longer trouble myself with responding to these ‘facts’ on this site, but I figured you deserve a response because I’m not going to have people saying I avoided the issue.

        • One of the really great things about you, Scott, is your capacity to ignore what’s right in front of you.

          There has been a revolution in thinking and science and politics and public opinion around the issue of global warming.

          The “hockey stick” has been debunked, twice.

          The true climate record of the Holocene shows nothing is happening that is unusual with global climate.

          The Medieval Warm Period was hotter than it is now, and there were periods before it in the Holocene hotter still.

          The correlation between CO2 and temperatures is reverse, i.e., CO2 rises in the wake of temperatures rising, it does not lead them.

          The climate models don’t work.

          The data used by IPCC was fudged.

          It goes on and on.

          You’re not any sort of scholar, Scott. You don’t even pay attention to what’s happening right in front of you.

          • Gawd though, wouldn’t you like to be able to write papers for his classes though?  Just make up things that almost bear a resemblance to fact and get your classmates to agree it looked correct?
            “In 1066 Harold Godwinson defeated William of Normandy, later referred to as “the conqueror”  by cleverly acting dead at the end of the battle of Hasty, fought on Similac Hill,  a suburb of modern day Loundown, which is capital of Englishland.  William went on to believe he was ruling England, being propped up by American support with numerous military bases established by the Land Leaves program when in fact Harold was acting behind the scenes to act as a shadow government, not unlike Mookie Al Sadr’s current government in modern Iraq.  Ultimately William died and the Americans were forced to withdraw, leading to the American Revolution with England.”

          • This has been the standard alarmist response to the recent revelations such as the CRU emails and documents, the numerous cases of data-tampering, as well as the evidence that the IPCC’s appalling sloppiness in preparing its reports has rendered those reports moot.  The alarmists simply continue to insist that there’s plenty of other data that proves their case just fine, ignoring the fact that a large part of the research and information on the climate is based on the badly-mangled data from places like East Anglia and NASA.
             
            They are the ‘deniers’ now, and they will cling to that fairy tale to the bitter end, it seems.  And again I wonder, just how far back have they set science?

        • Shorter Erb –
          .
          “Don’t bother me with reality, I’ve got a paradigm, damnit!”

          • No,  I deal with science, not political spin on science.  There is a well financed misinformation campaign going on, and I’m sorry so many of you have fallen for it.   I do use the ‘denier’ arguments to  show students how to see through those arguments and recognize that it is political propaganda trying to obfuscate and confuse — or give people with a political bias a rationale to grab on to in order to hold their bias.  But that’s really all I want to say now — I know in this forum you’re minds are made up, and so my focus will be elsewhere.

          • It’s all you want to say, Scott?

            Well that’s a first. Probably has nothing to do with you being incapable of arguing your position as opposed to wearing it.

            Nothing to say on the reverse correlation of CO2 and temperature?

            How about the false claim that global temperatures today are at an unprecedented high? Or that they are rising at an unprecedented rate?

            If you “deal with science,” which I’ve never seen you do, by the way, then you should be able to deal with these issues.

            Your reluctance to do so doesn’t have anything to do with this blog.

            I recommend that you go on over to Anthony Watt’s blog and try your hand with the “deniers” over there. They’ll eat your lunch so fast your eyes will glaze over.

          • No, I deal with science, not political spin on science. I do, I tell you! Stop laughing! Just because I’m a political scientist doesn’t mean I don’t understand real science and stuff! Why, I made a B in Statistics for Social Science Majors, and besides, I’m depending on other wise leftists who actually passed a few physics courses, and all the ones I talk to support global warming, and the fact that the dean calls anyone who doesn’t support global warming a denier and denies them tenure has nothing to do with it! Nothing, I tell you! Stop laughing! You sound like a hyena!

            There is a well financed misinformation campaign going on, and I’m sorry so many of you have fallen for it. Why, the disinformation campaign is so complete, it even includes colder-than-normal weather here in the US! Of course, all the other weather stations, under the auspices of wise leftists in the UN, continue to show warming, and that data is totally reliable, I tell you!

            I do use the ‘denier’ arguments to show students how to see through those arguments and recognize that it is political propaganda trying to obfuscate and confuse. And supporting global warming in the face of those emails talking about it’s a travesty they can’t explain cooling in the last ten years is not the least political. It just isn’t! So shut up with your denier arguments – I don’t care how many global warming scientists get investigated or even hauled off to jail. It’s just a conspiracy by you dense righties to find “evidence” and “data” that prevents wise leftists from taking over the entire energy sector, which we absolutely must control if we are to create our earthly utopia.

            But that’s really all I want to say now — I know in this forum you’re minds are made up, and so my focus will be elsewhere. And that argument about someone’s mind being made up and unable to face facts doesn’t apply to me! My focus will be elsewhere, I tell you! Because I’m sick and tired of you grunt engineer types insisting on presenting actual numbers and data and stuff. I will only be commenting in areas where there aren’t any numbers, so that you don’t get to do that to me, you mean righties. And since you dense righties are so smitten with Sarah Palin, I also will be avoiding saying anything about her full lips and ample bosom. Stop laughing, I said!

          • Amending my comment just before Ott’s, it should be clear that I’m using (or misusing) “reverse correlation” to mean that the CO2 rise follows temperature rises as opposed to leading them. That’s a misuse of “reverse correlation” because it is normally used to mean that as one thing goes up, the other goes down. In my haste I threw it in to help express the actual order of CO2 rise vis a vis temperatures.

          • “There is a well financed misinformation campaign going on, and I’ve completely fallen for it.  ”
            There,m fixed that for ya Doc.

      •  There is a well financed misinformation campaign going on

        >>> Yes, by the global warming crowd.

        Does the deliberate lie about the Himalyan glacier mean nothing?

        • JUROR #8 (Henry Fonda) – We want to hear your arguments.

          JUROR #3 (Lee J. Cobb) – I gave you my arguments!

          JUROR #8: We’re not convinced. We want to hear them again. We have as much time as it takes.

          JUROR #3 - Everything… every single thing that took place in that courtroom, but I mean everything… says he’s guilty. What d’ya think? I’m an idiot or somethin’? Why don’t cha take that stuff about the old man; the old man who lived there and heard every thing? Or this business about the knife! What, ’cause we found one exactly like it? The old man SAW him. Right there on the stairs. What’s the difference how many seconds it was? Every single thing. The knife falling through a hole in his pocket… you can’t PROVE he didn’t get to the door! Sure, you can take all the time hobblin’ around the room, but you can’t PROVE it! And what about this business with the El? And the movies! There’s a phony deal if I ever heard one. I betcha five thousand dollars I’d remember the movies I saw! I’m tellin’ ya: every thing that’s gone on has been twisted… and turned. This business with the glasses. How do you know she didn’t have ‘em on? This woman testified in open court! And what about hearin’ the kid yell… huh? I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve got all the facts here… [he struggles with his wallet and throws it on the table. The photo of him with his son is on top] Here… Ah. Well, that’s it – that’s the whole case!

          “Twelve Angry Men” (1957)
          dir. Sidney Lumet

    • As we’ve learned, Scott, the chief obstacle to competitive pricing for medical insurance is the inability of insurance companies to compete across state lines.

      That restraint on trade alone could account for, let’s say, 20% of the cost of coverage at every level of coverage.

      But the “inability” of insurers to compete across state lines can also be interpreted as their <i>unwillingness</i> to so compete. Insurance companies would have to restructure and streamline their bureaucracies, face potentially lower profits, see their stock prices suffer. So they might have very good reasons for holding on to the status quo. And they clearly have intrenched political power state-by-state as well as in D.C., the capital of national corruption, but having nothing on the state capitals when it comes to sheer criminality.

      Meanwhile, the ObamaCare monstrosity is opposed by a solid plurality or a majority of Americans in every poll. Obama and the Democrats showed themselves to be worse than incompetent, because they began with technocratic socialism and merged it with crony fascism. The worst of both bad worlds.

      But the one simple massive change from in-state to interstate competition would likely produce medical insurance products that would be vastly more affordable.

      The further away both federal and state governments get from medical insurance, the more available and affordable it will be.

    • Then let it be done at the state level, as was done in Massachusetts.  I’m not interested in helping
      Nebraska get ‘free’ Medicaid ( or California, or any other state).
      And the most significant problem with any of this is the idea that the Federal government can mandate that I buy a product (and please, let’s not try and tie the canard that having to buy car insurance for my car is the same as being forced to buy health insurance for my health).
      This ‘money’ you so casually discuss ‘shifting’ is MINE, and I don’t want  it shifted out of my pocket to Washington so they can hand it out to pay for your largess.

      • I think one can make a strong argument that bureaucratically, a huge federal system will be less effective than state systems, and if you let states experiment, you’re likely to learn  about what works better.   The key to any shift of authority to states is to also shift revenues.  That’s something Washington is loathe to do, especially when their debt level has gone from 30% of GDP in 1980 to now over 100%.

    • Even Brown campaigned in favor of health care reform.

      Few doubt that the HC systems need to be reformed, but wrecking the system completely is not REFORM it is DEMOLITION.
      Why don’t you try some analysis, but leave out the anal part (if that’s possible).

    • I think it was Dale Franks that pointed out, ‘if Brown wins its a vote for healthcare and if Coakley wins its a vote for healthcare’.  Nice spin.
       
      No matter how you spin it, Brown stumped on killing healthcare (and for smaller gov’t in general) and won.  GGs.  Thanks for playing.

  • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but fiscal restraint is not a strength for the GOP.  Their track record on the topic is bad.  Not as bad as the DNC’s record of late but if you want fiscal restraint then neither of the major parties is for you.
    Unfortunately that leaves you with no viable alternative.  You can throw a protest vote to a third party but don’t hold your breath waiting for them to get elected in enough numbers to do anything about it.
    As much as I’d like to see an alternative to big spending in Washington I just don’t see one.

    • tkc[I]f you want fiscal restraint then neither of the major parties is for you… As much as I’d like to see an alternative to big spending in Washington I just don’t see one.

      I’m afraid that you’re exactly right, and hence there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s not a question of will we go off the cliff, but rather of how soon and how far will we fall once we’re over the edge.

      However, I suppose I can enjoy some slight satisfaction from watching the dems lose big in November, which they WILL do so long as they persist in their present course of trying to blame the country’s woes on everybody else AND demonizing the American voter.  I’m especially  looking forward to seeing a “feisty” Obama, as my guess is that it will be less “feisty” and more “whiny and petulant”.

      • …more “whiny and petulant”.

        Is that possible? Even remotely?
        I though it was a basic characteristic of a narcissistic personality, not to mention a delusional one.

  • I’ve said it before, there’s one problem with the efforts to continue to blame the Bush administration for the current problems– the voters understand that Obama inherited a lot of problems.  Those voters blamed Bush and the Republican party, and they sent a lot of them home and handed Democrats the White House and a large majority in both houses of Congress.  The implicit message was clear– we got rid of the guys we blamed for the problem, and we ‘hired’ you to fix it.
     
    A year later, things are worse.  And the guys they hired to fix it continue to excuse their lack of performance with “but it was broken when we got here!”  If Brown’s win in MA is not enough to clue them in that the ‘dumb excuse strategy’ isn’t working, then nothing will.  November is likely to be a massacre.  But as tkc says, there’s no reason to think that the incoming Republicans will be interested in cutting spending and shrinking government.

  • Absolutely — settled in the sense that the data supports at least one multiple truth that is overwhelmingly in favor of giving power to wise leftists, and the potential ramifications of not giving us power is so dire, that it’s not worth risking that perhaps the models might be wrong.

    In all science there is uncertainty, and there is uncertainty here — but the evidence is stronger now than a year ago, and stronger a year ago than it was five years ago. So stop talking about the fake melting glacier claim, and the emails suggesting a conspiracy to fudge the data, do you hear me, stop saying that! And especially don’t bring up those computer programs that you grunt engineer types claim are specifically designed to fudge the data into warming trends. I have my fingers in my ears! Nyah, nyah, nyah, I can’t hear you! No, none of that stuff matters. Everything we find out reinforces the existing consensus. Everything, I tell you! Including the strawberries!

    And those who try to deny it and stop us from doing something about it are making life very bad for my children. Because they might have to live in a world where dense righties have prevented wise leftists from guiding us to an earthly utopia. That pisses me off. However, I’ve learned it does no good to complain much here about it, or to correct the efforts to cherry pick small things, or pretend that a controversy is far more meaningful than it is. And it’s not either because you shred everything I say with your so-called evidence!! It’s not, it’s not, it’s not! I’m right about this, I decree it!

    All I can do is incorporate it into my teaching (in every class, repeating it over and over again until those malleable young people don’t dare think anything else), and work with student organizations to make sure the next generation is active (and they do resent the deniers after we get through indoctrinating them, because they’re certain then that it’s their generation that gets hurt).

    But no matter what I say here, you guys will just pretend it doesn’t matter, so I’ll just leave that subject alone in commenting here. Since you asked, I figured you deserved a response. There are other subjects I won’t comment on either. Like Sarah Palin, because her naughty librarian glasses, full lips. and ample bosom are just beyond anything I know how to deal with, and certainly not because I was taken in by some random web site that said she was going to be indicted for kitchen redocorations, so stop saying that!

    No, I’m not going to read or comment on those stories here, it just gets me irritated and I say things that are unproductive. Like that you guys are Nazis and inbred and stuff. I didn’t really mean that. And I didn’t really mean it about not commenting here anymore either. So I’m not being dishonest when I come back. I’m just not. I decree it, because I have a multiple truth that says I’m an upstanding, honest, competent professor, and that’s another area just like climate change where your so-called “evidence” can’t affect my opinion. And I don’t either come here because my own self respect demands that I find someone to feel superior to! Stop saying that! I could stay away! I could! I managed it for about three weeks! I can stop coming here and sharing my brilliance with you dense righties any time I want to! I just never want to for more than a few days.

    • Like Sarah Palin, because her naughty librarian glasses, full lips. and ample bosom are just beyond anything I know how to deal with, and certainly not because I was taken in by some random web site that said she was going to be indicted for kitchen redocorations, so stop saying that!”

      Now that, right there, is why Ott Scerb is the best. I blew cherry coke out of my nose. I should know better than to drink while reading Ott.

    • “Including the strawberries”, do you suppose he has a set of steel ball bearings he rolls around in his hand while he conducts classes?
      “Now there’s no need for that I know exactly what they’ll tell you. Lies! They were no different, no different than any other deniers — they were all right wingers, I tried to teach them properly by the book but they fought me at every turn. If they wanted to walk around with their bibles in their hands, clutching their guns that’s all right let them take the tow line. Defective minds no more no less, but they encouraged other internet readers to go around scoffing at me and spreading wild rumors about facts and figures. And then old yellow stain. I was to blame for McQ’s spelling and poor penmanship.  McQ was the perfect blogger but not Professor Erb!
      Ah, but the strawberries! That’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the staff lounge did exist! And I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t taken away my tenure! I-I-I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow righties and!……(realizes he has been ranting, babbling)
      Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory if I’ve left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I’ll be glad to answer them…one-by-one…”

  • Boy have I missed Ott Scerb.  What a hoot!

  • Here I am again, confused. I thought the Global Warming Religion stated that children were bad for the environment but now I find out that Scott Erb, PhD., created some CO2 emitters. This is all too complex for me, I am going back to the 100 acre wood to find a pot of honey.

    • TheOldManI thought the Global Warming Religion stated that children were bad for the environment…

      Only if their parents are right-wing or non-white.

  • “No,  I deal with science, not political spin on science.” -Erb

    Erb, you wouldn’t know science (as opposed to political rhetoric) if it bit you on the pompous ass.

  • Seem like the American people ‘get it‘ on Global warming – FOOLS! taken in by a well financed misinformation campaign, oh, wait, were we talking about electing Obama or Global Warming or HCR (works for all of em don’t it?) ?