HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins

emails:
Digby:
digbysez at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Monday, November 29, 2010

 
With Friends Like These ...

by digby

I'm watching an exasperated John King on CNN right now visibly stunned that the liberals don't see the savvy genius of Obama's move to freeze Federal Workers' pay. He says:
King: The president here, he knew, the House was going to be in Republican hands in January. A pay freeze was was going to be in their budget. So he decided to be the engine not the caboose, to get out ahead of this, which is smart politics for the president. Get out and get some credit on this and show the voters, "I hear you" we're going to do something.

Here's Larry Mishel who runs the Economic Policy Institute, a labor backed think tank in Washington, says "this is another example of the administration's tendency to bargain with itself rather than Republicans, and in the process reinforces conservative myths, in this case the myth that federal workers are overpaid."

I'll keep going on this point. On the Daily Kos today Jed Lewison writes, "So... instead of actually doing something real about 'sky high deficit spending' (like pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq ahead of schedule), we get a symbolic gesture that will reduce federal spending by less than 0.05 percent.And with that symbolic gesture we witness President Obama's unfortunate alter-ego, President Gimmick."

This is from the Left.


(Hearty derisive laughter from the panel.)

Paul Begala: Yes but I do think his point about capitulating rather than negotiating is a valid one with this president. The pay freeze is probably a good idea but should have come out of negotiation. What do the Republicans give, when the president gives...

Gloria Borger: Why not give something first though? People don't like government and this is an easy gimme for the president.

Begala: What are the Republicans proposing? Then you get it on the Republicans turf. Why don't you say I'll freeze federal pay and cut this in return for this and that program but you guys need to come with taxes on the rich at least say people who make over a million bucks don't get a tax cut. My Lord ...

Borger: Well maybe there's something else he can negotiate.

I'm sure there is. Why not throw in debtor's prisons? It wouldn't be enough to totally appease them, but it would go a long way toward proving they are "responsible."

They prattled on a bit with both Dana Bash and Borger agreed with John King that this was very smart politics because it was something that was easy to give to "make the point." Then John King turned to "analyst" Erick Erickson:

King: To that point, if your the Republicans and the president has made this gesture tonight, the man who will be House speaker said "good for you Mr President, this is something we would have done anyway." [When, by the way, did the House gain unilateral power? Last I'd heard they were practically superfluous and everything depended on getting 60 votes in the Senate.]

Do the Republicans now reciprocate or do they just demand more?

Erickson: I think they probably demand more seeing as he folded so easy on this one. Why not? The problem is that they are fighting on the wrong ground. If you look at the data the federal workforce is only 200 thousand people larger than it was in 1960. With the inflation of population growth that's ridiculously small...

Borger (scoffing): So are earmarks!


Crickets from the panel on the "folded" comment. Erickson said something stupid about federal workers at the state and local level needing to be cut and then he and King went back and forth about taxes, with Erickson parroting the usual "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem" as if that makes any sense at all.

Then Borger just couldn't stand it any longer:

Borger: Can I just defend what the president did today? Sometimes I believe presidents have to make symbolic gestures. Ok? And this was symbolic, just look at your pie chart. And you're about to get a report from the deficit commission you're about to sit down tomorrow with congressional leaders. People care about deficit reduction, they don't like the federal government very much, they think that federal employees are treated differently on their health care and on their pay increases, so he made a symbolic gesture. What's wrong with that?


I guess the reasons why it's wrong as stated by Begala, Larry Mishel and Jed Lewison were so completely outside of her comfort zone that they aren't even worth considering.

They all went on to agree that the deficit is caused by wars, tax cuts for the rich and the recession yadda, yadda yadda whatever. Who cares, everyone needs to sacrifice! Then they also agreed that both sides are equally to blame for the bad relations that poison the meeting tomorrow between the president and Republican congressional leaders (who are on record saying that their most important priority is his defeat at all costs.)

At that point King actually let fly with this old trope (I'm not lying):

King: Why, why is it so bad? Why can't you go back and I guess we're going back too far, to the days of Reagan when he and Tip O'Neill would spar like hell but they weren't afraid to have a drink... Why is that gone?


Oy vey.

Look, when the president's staunchest defenders are villagers like Borger and King, you know he's on the wrong track. In fact, you really don't need to know anything more than when they say something is "smart politics" to reject it out of hand and start over.

I hope the White House is not taking any comfort from this support from beltway gasbags. It's a Democratic disease to think that pleasing the wealthy celebrities who make up the political punditocracy is a good guide to successful governance. These are, after all, people who are so caught up in their useless false equivalence that they continually ask why the relations between the two parties are so hostile. Sure it's rhetorical, but the problem is that in their view it's perfectly obvious that if only the president would just pass the Republican agenda everything would be fine. And what could be wrong with that?

.

Search Digby!