“This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal…I don’t think this has ever happened before.”
- -6 Obama’s net favorability, as of this month
- -7 The Democratic Party’s favorability
- -25 The Republican Party’s favorability source
» Why no love for the GOP? Over the last six months, everybody—Obama, Democrats, and Republicans—has seen a net drop in their approval ratings, but Republicans are clearly the most hated of the bunch. This is probably due to a combination of factors: Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, Scott Walker’s anti-union antics in Wisconsin, and the GOP’s handling of the debt ceiling debate were all high-profile issues that attracted (mostly) negative attention to the GOP. Whatever the cause, there’s one thing we can glean from these results: Democrats seem to be out-messaging Republicans in 2011. Whether or not this can carry Obama to reelection amidst a horrible economy remains to be seen.
“I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”
Biden, McConnell and the making of a deal
He had given away his demand for a clean increase in the debt limit. He had given up on tax hikes on the rich and closing corporate loopholes. He had even given away billions in cuts to domestic programs close to his heart.
But by 4 p.m. Sunday — two days before the country would plunge into default — President Barack Obama drew the line against congressional Republicans who wanted assurances that defense spending would be cut less than many other programs.
“We just can’t give there,” Vice President Joe Biden, Obama’s chief emissary to the Hill in the budget negotiations, pointedly told House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
With that, a grim Obama contemplated the unthinkable: pulling the plug on a deal and precipitating a global economic crisis. Huddled in the Oval Office, the president and his top aides proceeded to discuss how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner might step out later that night and prepare the country for the inevitable market crash.
Then, almost as abruptly, the compromise started coming together. What happened during a weekend of frenzied negotiations to salvage the deal is a tale of cataclysm narrowly averted, a historic debt-reduction plan that satisfies none of its signatories and a lesson on how even the most dysfunctional political system can be made functional through the injection of fear, finesse and Joe Biden’s old friendships.
Continue reading… Politico
Interesting analysis from Nate Silver of the New York Times on why the Democrats shouldn’t be too disheartened with the debt ceiling plan:
This ought to be a big deal for Democrats, since many of them are favorably disposed toward cuts in the defense budget. The table below reflects the views of Democratic and Republican adults toward cuts in 18 areas of federal spending as derived from the 2010 General Social Survey. The scale runs from 0 (meaning that voters would like to see increased spending in that area) to 100 (meaning that voters would like to see spending cuts).
What I find interesting in this table is that there’s an actual category: “Improving conditions of blacks.” One would think that if you need to have a category of improving a large group of people, then you really need that category.
Hey libs, maybe it’s ‘Time' for a deep breath?
Five Things for Liberals to Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal
[A]s the details of the compromise emerged, it seemed there was actually a lot for liberals to like about this bill. If and when the House passes the bill on Monday, it will likely be with the help of a lot of Democrats. Here’s why some liberals are actually happy with this deal:
The trigger: This is counterintuitive, but the trigger is actually pretty good for Democrats. For all that MoveOn thinks that it would force benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, it actually wouldn’t trigger benefit cuts to any entitlements. The only cuts it would force would be a 2% or more haircut for Medicare providers. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with most Democrats, has never opposed provider cuts. Not only that, most progressives actually want the Pentagon cuts. So if the committee deadlocks and the trigger is pulled, Democrats won’t be miserable.
Continue reading… Swampland, Time
You are beating up on President Obama just constantly, and it just is incredible to me that you don’t pay attention to the idea that the country was facing (a) potential depression, and you had a president that stepped in, offered leadership that pulled us off the brink, Sean. …You are having a tantrum. In fact, you’re mad at other Republicans — you say, why is the Wall Street Journal, why is the Weekly Standard, why are other Republicans saying to the Tea Party people, ‘You have gone over the line?’ You’re encouraging this kind of behavior, Sean!
…You hate the stimulus spending. You say ‘that contributed to the high rate of (joblessness) under the spineless Obama!’ I’ve heard your rap. But what I’m saying to you, Sean, is do you realize 40 percent of (stimulus) spending was on tax breaks for people? Tax breaks? …In other words, President Obama tried to spend some money, cut taxes for everybody in the country — as I said, 40 percent of the stimulus spending — and all you can do is say ‘Well, it didn’t exactly work as predicted!’ as opposed to saying ‘He tried something instead of just simply obstructing,’ which is what the Republicans have been doing all along.”
And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.
Republicans will supposedly have an incentive to make concessions the next time around, because defense spending will be among the areas cut. But the G.O.P. has just demonstrated its willingness to risk financial collapse unless it gets everything its most extreme members want. Why expect it to be more reasonable in the next round?
In fact, Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.
Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.”
Paul Krugman, The President Surrenders - NYTimes
"Huge win for Obama: Across the board spending cuts in trigger would not take effect until 2013 — when Bush tax cuts expire." - @StevenTDennis
Krugman writes that Obama “surrendered last December.” But as I wrote here, Obama was the clear winner during that lame duck session. And it took some time for that to become the consensus. Steven Dennis’ tweet might be an early indication that the negative reaction to Obama’s seeming capitulation could be overstated. It might be a good idea to wait a day, week or probably much longer to lay judgment.
“Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota responded quickly with a statement condemning the debt plan reached in Washington..
“Mr. President, I’m not sure what voice you’re listening to, but I can assure you that the voice of the American people wasn’t the ‘voice that compelled Washington to act.’”
Maybe he heard the voices in her head.