Quote Of The Day – Shrinking GOP

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in History, Quotes, Republicans

“It is near-extinct in many ways in the Northeast, it is extinct in many ways on the West Coast, and it is endangered in the Mountain West, increasingly endangered in the Southwest… and if you look at the state of the party, it is a shrinking entity.”
- Former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt on Repubs

This from a pretty revealing piece in the Wash Post, which uncovered some interesting political tidbits.

On the McCain accepting defeat…

“I was waiting for his bus to crash into a CDC truck carrying bubonic plague to release over Cincinnati and Ohio. It was just one thing after another, you know, and never to our benefit.”

On Couric’s interview of Sarah Palin…

“That is one of the two most consequential interviews that a candidate for national office has given, in a negative way, the other being Roger Mudd’s interview of Ted Kennedy . . . when he couldn’t answer the question of why he wanted to be president.”

On the Bush/Cheney effect…

“The first night of our convention was President Bush and Vice President Cheney. I literally thought by the second night of our convention we could be down 25 points.”

On Lehman Brothers…

When Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall, I knew pretty much straight away the campaign was finished,” Schmidt confessed to an auditorium full of college students. When the number of people who thought the country was on the right track “dropped to 5 percent and the economy collapsed, I knew that was not going to be survivable for us.”

And so it goes…


This entry was posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009 and is filed under History, Quotes, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

56 Responses to “Quote Of The Day – Shrinking GOP”

  1. TerenceC Says:

    It’s tough to watch this party right now – they are so impotent it’s comical. The bigger they are……….the harder…

  2. michael reynolds Says:

    The entire power of the national GOP is now concentrated in 3 people: Specter and the two women from Maine. The beauty part is that the GOP is working to destroy Specter.

    Ya gotta love it.

  3. gerryf Says:

    No, you don’t (gotta love it).

    Just like the Right needed a brake from the Left, the Left needs a brake from the Right.

    The problem remains the idiots on the right, just as the previous idiots on the left, don’t know what they are doing.

    The Left, I believe, intentionally allowed the Right to hang itself the last two years when it had regained enough standing to act as a counter-weight after the 2006 midterms.

    I’m not sure if that is worse than the base incompetence we are seeing on the Right as it flails about without a clue–but it might be.

  4. michael reynolds Says:

    Gerry:

    I was being mordant. I agree with you. But I’ve given up thinking the GOP wants to live. I think they have a death wish. I think they’re suicidal.

  5. Chris Says:

    I think that the dem party ran kerry, and ran his campaign poorly so that they could let the republicans run the country into the ground for another 4 years. They knew they were going to get congress, and 4 more years of bush certainly helped them get the administration.

  6. gerryf Says:

    I don’t think they ran Kerry to allow the GOP to run the country into the ground…that plan came after the 2006 midterm and Pelosi.

    Kerry would have been a better a better president,,,,a hamster would have been a better president.

    The problem with Kerry is they chose the candidate they “thought” could beat Bush, rather than the best candidate. It almost happened again with Clinton over Obaman.

    And the were right–Kerry could have beat Bush before the smear campaign started. Kerry lost because he was going up against a vicous, evil group of people and he wasn’t prepared or willing to fight that kind of campaign.

    Again, I don’t think Republicans are evil–I think “these” Republicans who have infiltrated the party and corrupted it from within are evil. There are a lot of good Republicans who have been pushed aside by the current crowd and I’d hoped a crushing defeat would allow the cream of the crop to rise to the top, but the old guard (Boehner,McConnel) is hanging on strong and apparently has a few young protoge’s (Cantor) hanging ready to step up.

    The GOP needs an exorcism

  7. Simon Says:

    Schmidt spoke openly of McCain’s reluctant choice of Palin after hopes of running with former Democrat Joe Lieberman were scuttled by the right, which threatened a convention floor fight.

    Oh no, Millbank – you can’t try sneak that one through! Did Schmidt say that McCain chose Palin relutantly? Or is that your editorializing, and if so, on what is it based?

    Somehow I think it’s the latter, and based on nothing at all. If Schmidt actually alleged that McCain was pushed into it “reluctantly,” that isn’t a lede that would have been buried; it would have been up there in lights, the better to weaponize against Palin.

  8. Simon Says:

    gerryf Says:

    Kerry would have been a better a better president,,,,a hamster would have been a better president.

    The problem with Kerry is they chose the candidate they “thought” could beat Bush, rather than the best candidate. It almost happened again with Clinton over Obaman.

    FTR, I think that’s completely backwards. I think Kerry was clearly the worse choice in 2004, and that Clinton was clearly the better choice over Obama. Indeed, the proverbial hamster you mentioned would be a better President than Obama: hamsters lack opposable thumbs and so can’t sign laws.

  9. Kevin Says:

    Simon I think you are clearly confused and it appears that you have been for some time.

  10. michael reynolds Says:

    Kevin:

    Simon still thinks Palin was a brilliant choice. I’m hoping he wins that debate and we get Palin again in 2012. She’s the gift that keeps on giving. To Democrats.

  11. Kevin Says:

    Palin-Bachman with a prominent role for John Shimkus would be a specatular choice for the GOP.

  12. Alistair Says:

    I guess having Michael Steele has head of the RNC Chairman was such a good idea. While his buddies, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and the rest of the GOP continue to be offensive with their language, they will continue to lose in trying to reach out to people of color as this nation becomes more divers.

    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/article.php?id=AIA2009040901

  13. Simon Says:

    I see that Michael continues to be in denial of reality. Palin was the best choice; but for that choice, McCain would have faced utter rout. Choosing Palin kept him in the game, a point not falsified by his eventual failure, and certainly not falsified by Reynolds’ seething hatred for her.

  14. Kevin Says:

    Being able to whip up the GOP base is nothing to be proud of, Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Hannity and Coulter can do that.

    I think what Mike meant was that even though she is popular among a certain group, she was a horribly unqualified candidate and picked for politics and not the country. I don’t hate her. I’m just offended by her lack of serious qualities for such the most important job in the world. A shockingly bad choice. So bad even commentators on the right (the adult ones) wondered aloud what had happened to the once Grand Old Party.

    Witchcraft?? Really??? Seriously???

  15. michael reynolds Says:

    Simon:

    Hate? Me? Palin? I’ve never done anything but laugh at her. And you for falling for her.

    I love Sarah Palin. She’s the living embodiment of the failure of the GOP to enter the 21st century. I expect the GOP to split, to become two parties I like to think of as Nuts and Normals. (Although I don’t suppose the Nuts will adopt that.) Palin will likely lead the Nut parade.

    The GOP, all 25% of it, is unable to square the circle and keep the Palin-Huckabee-Limbaugh-Beck side united with the McCain-Sanford-Snowe-Hunstman-Crist-Romney types. Let alone appeal to moderates.

    The GOP’s only smart play now is to split, to make it a three-way game instead of a two-way. In a two-way the GOP is finished, nothing but the party of old white southerners, rustics and the Religious Right. Not exactly growing demos.

    The more Palin and her ilk dominate, the more alienated the Normals become, and the sooner we get an eventually-beneficial schism.

    Go Sarah!

  16. TerenceC Says:

    They could call themselves the neo-Whigs and claim 40% of the electorate in the old Confederate South.

  17. Drrichardcole Says:

    I find it hard to believe that as many Reputlicans still exist as do. It seems to me that the stage was set when the Grand Old Party abandoned a center capable of tolerating philosophical tension represented by the likes of the Ripon and Log Cabin types. Its current GOP phase is best characterized by a few all or nothing religilitmus tests — life, politico-christianity, fox patriotism — that continues to shave “deviants” viewpoints from the borders, rebuff intelligent discourse, and shrink its tent. Add to this witch’s brew a form of hypocricy of a cuurent party leadership that at one time would claim its roots in political philosophers like Ayn Rand and Russell Kirk while, while abandoning core conservative concepts such as preservation of individual liberties, and embrace financing expeditionary warfare on the credit of future generations. This witch’s brew would cause any reasonable person — and especially a tolerant conservative — to recoil. So why would anyone be surprised that GOP is looking increasingling like glop.

  18. Tillyosu Says:

    Michael:

    I think you’re right. Biden is CLEARLY a better VP than Palin would have been. Ha!

    I was going to link to a site cataloguing the complete idiocy that is Joe Biden, but I forgot the website number. God help us if Obama ever kicks the bucket…

    You know how I know Palin was the right choice? The left’s vicious and unrelenting (not to mention completely fucking shameless) assault on her.

  19. Simon Says:

    Kevin, every Vice President is “picked for politics and not for the country.” If you relly think otherwise, you’re not in much of a position to judge anyone’s qualifications. She was a terrific choice, the only choice if McCain wanted to win, her credentials far outshone Obama’s (that anyone who voted for Obama can criticize Palin’s credentials is laughable to me), and she’s going to be a fine President in her time.

    And if Michael thinks that there is a “Palin-Huckabee-Limbaugh-Beck side” of the GOP and a side of “McCain-Sanford-Snowe-Hunstman-Crist-Romney” types, he should check his prescription.

  20. TerenceC Says:

    Simon

    Really, President Palin? HaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Not even a close chance. She’ll be lucky to win re-election for Governor. You may like her, but most don’t. She’s dumb. She’s ridiculigous. And has never had an original thought in her life.That’s the only demographic she appeals to.

  21. michael reynolds Says:

    Tillyosu:

    I support you in your support of Sarah Palin. Please, God, please pick her. I doubt you can find a Democrat who doesn’t support Palin for 2012.

  22. michael reynolds Says:

    Simon:

    I love the way you always double-down on silly. Thanks to guys like you the GOP has gone from “permanent majority” to 25%.

  23. Simon Says:

    Well, Terence, I sure appreciate your telling me I’m “dumb,” “ridiculigous” (sic.), and that I have “never had an original thought in [my] life.” As ever, you continue to exemplify the “respectful, honest forum” free from “partisan hackery” here offered.

    2012, I suspect, is going to be a referendum on President Obama. If he does well and the people like the outcome, the GOP loses. If he continues on his present trajectory and the people get wise to the scam, the GOP wins. Who we nominate will not really be the issue, I further suspect. Certainly, the media’s sliming of Palin last year is a liability for her (there are an awful lot of otherwise intelligent people who were taken in by the ludicrous partisan hit job done on her, and one recalls the incident where someone came up to Adlai Stevenson saying “Governor, every thinking person is with you,” and he replies, “lady, that’s not enough, we need a majority!”), and of course she has to deal with that. I hope she can. On the plus side of that ledger, I note that the New York Times company, as responsible as anyone else for what happened, is circling the drain, and I for one am going to be thrilled when that typhoid mary is laid to a long overdue rest. (It would be uncivilized to wish for the individual writers responsible to get in this world what’s assuredly due to them — and unnecessary: their reward is bearing down on them like a freight train, whatever any of us think about it.)

  24. TerenceC Says:

    Simon I never said anything about you only Palin – I’m sorry you took it that way. You shouldn’t internalize comments about “R’s” and the leaders in the party – they need to be attacked and exposed for what they are. There’s good one’s and there’s bad one’s in the “R” party, just like there is in the “D” party – I will ridicule all of them and often do. I’m not sure where you were going with the NY Times bit. But it would have sounded better as a biblical quote. “For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.

  25. Kevin Says:

    Simon you said every President is “picked for politics and not for the country.”

    Nice try but absolute BS. Every VP is picked considering politics but not as the only criteria.

    Then you said
    her credentials far outshone Obama’s

    in the way that a person who wanted to be a sportscaster and took six years and five years to graduate from no tier colleges is when compared with a Harvard Law Review President . Of course, she was from a state smaller than the county I live in which makes her experience a little like comparing the Burger King manager to Warren Buffet. It makes you look dishonest when you make such statements because I know we wouldn’t hear anything like this if you reversed the party labels.

    then???

    (that anyone who voted for Obama can criticize Palin’s credentials is laughable to me), and she’s going to be a fine President in her time.

    I’ll try to be as kind as possible since I know only you are allowed to insult people and call them a liar while still being civil but… the statements above strike me as delusional. As I said there should be a level of bat-shit crazy that is too far for anyone. When you talk about law cases, you sound like you are making reasonable arguments. When you make statements like the above you sound like you’re on an Oxycontin bender of Limbaughian proportions. You in a nutshell are the issue that the GOP has right now. When the argument is on policy, the GOP could at least offer a different view. When you make comments about Palin, you make me want to discount everything you say because your ability to make reasoned conclusions must be seriously, seriously impaired. There was a time when intellect was respected and admired in the Republican party. Palin is from the side that worships on the extreme fringe of life. If you really wanted your party to win, you might notice that those of us on the other side can take seriously the serious candidates. So why do you keep persisting in defending the crazy wing? I worked for John Anderson and after a car wreck and severe brain injuries he would have more on the ball than Palin has potential. Why does your party hate reasonable, intelligent credible candidates?

    You then repeated the “oh it would be so much easier for you if only it were true” line

    Certainly, the media’s sliming of Palin last year is a liability for her (there are an awful lot of otherwise intelligent people who were taken in by the ludicrous partisan hit job done on her, and one recalls the incident where someone came up to Adlai Stevenson saying “Governor, every thinking person is with you,” and he replies, “lady, that’s not enough, we need a majority!”), and of course she has to deal with that.

    First of all, Palin was so excrutiatingly pathetic that every Democrat would have paid to get her face time on TV. It’s not a hit job to just sit back and say answer ANY question. Considering that her wacky religious side was pretty much allowed to go without any scrutiny she has mountains of craziness left to mine.

    Again, I repeat — WITCHCRAFT, are you really ok with someone that delusional? If Obama said he believed in leprechauns I know I would have jumped ship immediately. And I would have questioned your sanity if you defended him and would hope you’d question mine if I did. No one should stand idly by while others need serious help.

    I operate on a different standard for the Presidency though. I think they should be worthy of the office. She’s not even worthy of consideration.

  26. Chris Says:

    The media “slimed” her? Dude, all she had to do was open her mouth and they had to record it. I’m confused that people like yourself and intelligent enough to use a computer and learn how to type… yet what you type contradicts that.

  27. michael reynolds Says:

    Kevin:

    It’s a case of savantism. (What people used to call Idiot Savantism.)

    When the topic is law: knowledgeable. When the topic is politics: not.

    Chris:

    Yep, a prime example of auto-sliming. Or some prefer the term self-sliming. It’s sort of a labor-saving thing, when you think about it.

  28. Simon Says:

    TerenceC Says:

    Simon I never said anything about you only Palin – I’m sorry you took it that way.

    You said precisely that. You described your view of her and said that people of that kind are “the only demographic she appeals to” (emphasis added).

    Kevin, her credentials to be President far outshone Obama. I apologize for not being clear on that point. If I wanted a lawyer, I’d probably call Barack before I called Sarah. But we were asked to pick a President, and the fact was that Governor Palin’s credentials for that job outshone any of the three men running. Career legislators don’t impress me as serious Presidential candidates; as you well-put it, “I operate on a different standard for the Presidency,” which includes the necessity that “they should be worthy of the office.” The person who won last fall was only able to save himself from being the least worthy person to the Presidency in the running by nominating Joe Biden, a man whose qualification appears to be having achieved the impossible by being the biggest slime bucket in the Senate whle serving with Chuck Schumer. (I’m not happy with Obama’s victory, but I have no personal ill will toward him; he seems likable, intelligent, and sincere. Biden is another matter entirely.)

    There was a time when intellect was respected and admired in the Republican party. Palin is from the side that worships on the extreme fringe of life … Why does your party hate reasonable, intelligent credible candidates?

    I think you owe Michael money for that. Doesn’t he have a patent on this kind of delusional nonsense? What’s all the more amusing is that while criticizing Palin’s intellect, you continue to bleat “withcraft!” on a semi-random basis whenever her name is brought up, as if you thought this bizarre tourette’s tic was some kind of argument.

    Chris, that kind of condescending tripe has already consumed Michael; try not to get any on Kevin. There seems to be hope for him.

  29. Kevin Says:

    Simon-
    Kevin, her credentials to be President far outshone Obama.

    Being against abortion and for creationism are not credentials and they are the only tings she possessed.

    then
    I apologize for not being clear on that point. If I wanted a lawyer, I’d probably call Barack before I called Sarah.

    or someone with judgement or the ability to speak with intelligence and on and on and on and on.

    But we were asked to pick a President, and the fact was that Governor Palin’s credentials for that job outshone any of the three men running.

    Only in the most delusional of worlds. She couldn’t even get the generally reliable conservative commentators to buy that whopper.

    There was a time when intellect was respected and admired in the Republican party. Palin is from the side that worships on the extreme fringe of life … Why does your party hate reasonable, intelligent credible candidates?

    I stand by every single word. There are reasonable Republicans and reasonable differences of opinion. That is not the side that has been in control of the party. Palin is not worthy of even sitting at the table with grown ups. My daughter could have handled the questions she was asked in grade school better than she did. (As could, all of my Republican friends.) You could try a bout with honesty here and admit you would have done phenomenally better. She was a choice for the wing of the party that thought thinking Bush was chosen by God was reasonable. If that isn’t the most convincing argument for atheism it is sure way, way up there.

    What’s all the more amusing is that while criticizing Palin’s intellect, you continue to bleat “withcraft!” on a semi-random basis whenever her name is brought up, as if you thought this bizarre tourette’s tic was some kind of argument.

    It goes to intellect and character. Not impressed with her character and think she is devoid of intellect.. You can see the video of her being protected from witchcraft by her terrorist (in the true sense) pastor. If someone said that over my head, I’d stop them mid sentence and ask them if they were out of their mind. We have got to get beyond the idea that belief in the unbelievable is a virtue. You have still yet to address whether that is a reasonable belief and you are right, I have said it repeatedly because you still have not addressed it. It’s her bridge too far moment for me. It took her into bat shit crazy land.

    Don’t listen to Gabriel before gargling your brain from Palin thoughts. He deserves better.

  30. Kevin Says:

    Sorry for the reggae speak. Key must have stuck on the keyboard.

  31. Alistair Says:

    Simon:

    I don’t think you looked at the interviews that Sarah gave to various reporters and see that she really hurt McCain’s chances of winning the Presidency.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrzXLYA_e6E

  32. Tillyosu Says:

    I think the problem with Palin was that she wasn’t properly prepared for her role in a national campaign. She hasn’t been practicing to be President her entire life like, uhm, some other politicians.

    That said, her performance in the Couric interview was, to say the least, seriously disappointing. Do I think that makes her a total idiot? No. Someone who goes from the PTA to Mayor of her town, and then governor with an approval rating consistently above 65% simply can’t be an idiot…unless you are implying that 65% of the people she governs are idiots as well. Is that your argument?

    Look, when you live in an age where every word you utter is recorded and cable news runs 24 hours a day, you are bound to get a few gaffes. The slime job occurred when those gaffes were looped over and over again for weeks straight. Add to that the obsessive coverage of her family, shameful speculation about the parentage of her children, and mocking impersonations in popular culture, and what you get is unthinking people like some of the commenters on this blog thinking she is “bat shit crazy” or “an idiot.”

    But what if Obama got the same kind of coverage Palin did? What if the national media gave the same scrutiny to his dealings with Tony Rezko as they gave to “troopergate?” What if all we heard for weeks on end was Obama saying that he had campaigned in 57 states? What if SNL did a skit lampooning the ten million “uhms” that he inevitably utters when he’s not in front of a teleprompter?

    I certainly applaud Obama for making it through Harvard Law and becoming Editor. It’s impressive. But in my mind, more impressive is someone who works their way from the PTA to the governor’s mansion without the benefit of being able to say “Hey, I went to Harvard Law…I deserve this, okay?”

    (Oh and btw, guess which other candidate went to Harvard Law? Romney. He also graduated from Harvard Business. How much fawning did he get from the national media? Oh, but then again, he’s one of those icky Mormons right? And besides, that particular achievement is FAR more impressive if it’s made by a black guy because, you know, blacks are so different than whites. I mean…he’s so “clean and articulate!”)

    My point is that the treatment that Palin (or any Republican for that matter) gets as compared to that overrated demagogue is so unequal as to be shameful. Troopergate did smell a little fishy, but is it any more suspicious than Obama and Rezko? Maybe her church is a little bizarre, but is it any more bizarre than Obama’s church?

    Oh and Michael, keep calling her a dumbass. Keep begging for her to run. The left made the same mistake with Bush for 8 years (not to mention Reagan…and Lincoln for that matter). They kept exclaiming how stupid he was. In fact, he was so stupid that he beat them…twice.

    I think if Palin spends the next 4 years hunkering down with policy wonks and getting properly groomed, and Obama spends the next four acting like Jimmy Carter on steroids, we’ll have a nice little contest in 2012.

  33. Chris Says:

    Simon the fact remains that you use big words and type a lot, yet the thought process behind them is lacking. Repeating something over and over again doesn’t make it any more true.

  34. michael reynolds Says:

    Oh and Michael, keep calling her a dumbass. Keep begging for her to run.

    If you insist.

  35. TerenceC Says:

    Tilly

    You’re in dreamland. Palin won’t win – ever – for a few simple reason. She can’t get a majority of the female vote in any area with a decent population size. She also does very poor with minorities,first time voters, the educated, big labor, and moderates.

    They could spend decades “grooming” her and they would still end up with someone of very average intelligence with a stunted view of the world and an intolerant attitude toward social differences. If you think there enough Evangelicals to put her in the WH – good for you. However, there aren’t enough members of the Palin demographic to get her more than 40% – and that 40% will be split in 2012 since responsible politicians realize that the GOP’s 3 issues are not where the majority of the country wants to go. The 3 issue crowd wil be jettisoned to the Palin party. We’ll see a third party in 2012 and she won’t be a part of it.

  36. Kevin Jackson Says:

    Tillyosou
    Do you read what you write?

    There were two issues stated with Palin One was that she was not qualified (after her own running mate had said that was “the most important factor” in choosing a running mate) Here’s what you said

    I think the problem with Palin was that she wasn’t properly prepared for her role in a national campaign. ..

    That said, her performance in the Couric interview was, to say the least, seriously disappointing. (And you think if she couldn’t handle Couric that should inspire confidence in the rest of us that she could handle the Presidency???)

    Look, when you live in an age where every word you utter is recorded and cable news runs 24 hours a day, you are bound to get a few gaffes.
    I get a few and I get that a candidate has a tremendous schedule and almost no sleep (a bit like sleep deprivation so it looks like we all know that creates issues in judgment)

    I think if Palin spends the next 4 years hunkering down with policy wonks and getting properly groomed…

    If you read what you wrote. It all says, “She was not ready, she was not qualified.” Welcome to reality, hope you stay here

    Then the other comments
    She hasn’t been practicing to be President her entire life like, uhm, some other politicians.

    That was snarky. Palin also had goals, she wanted to be a sports anchor on ESPN.

    You said
    The slime job occurred when those gaffes were looped over and over again for weeks straight.

    I guess my memory must be going, isn’t that exactly what they did to Howard Dean? Do you think that was a fair or accurate portrayal of him? Didn’t it end his campaign almost immediately?

    Add to that the obsessive coverage of her family, shameful speculation about the parentage of her children, and mocking impersonations in popular culture,

    Almost like people calling another candidate, a Muslim, a Terrorist, a non-Citizen etc etc. Get a grip. The media is now Rupert Murdochized and bears little resemblance to a real news organization. They like to cover train wrecks and Palin was the train wreck of the decade.

    then
    What if all we heard for weeks on end was Obama saying that he had campaigned in 57 states?

    If he acted woefully unprepared, every time he was in front of a camera, trust me he wouldn’t have been the nominee. The 57 comment is one of those those gaffes you acknowledged earlier. If he had made numerous comments of the Sarah Palin level they would have been out there.

    What if SNL did a skit lampooning the ten million “uhms” that he inevitably utters when he’s not in front of a teleprompter?

    This one is just silly. I know the Right is clinging to it like a bone but every politician at that level uses a teleprompter and having heard him speak numerous times I can tell you that he is one of the better speakers I have heard. (I used to be a Professional Speaker in a Toastmasters group so I have seen a few) The uhm is an annoying affectation. Many people use that as a pause to collect their thoughts before speaking. I don’t like it but Republicans might find it very helpful. The other one he does is tuh instead of to. The level of his speaking is light years above anyone we’ve had in a long time though.

    (Al Gore was pilloried for all of the “proof” that he was exaggerating and NONE of them were true. You could look them up. To me being willing to slime someone with untrue statements spoke volumes on the character of Bush and Rove and the ease at which their followers could be manipulated)

    The next snarky coment was about Obama being able to say “Hey, I went to Harvard Law…I deserve this, okay?”

    He could have done that directly after law school and didn’t which again showed his character. Another reason, many of us voted for him.

    Then you went to Romney
    (Oh and btw, guess which other candidate went to Harvard Law? Romney. He also graduated from Harvard Business. How much fawning did he get from the national media?

    Quite a bit actually. Unfortunately the Fox darling was Rudy so they had to save all of their fawning for him.

    Oh, but then again, he’s one of those icky Mormons right?

    They do have the misfortune for making up a religion so close historically that many of their beliefs are demonstrably not believable. As someone who travels to Utah and many of the other Red States, I will tell you that they are the places that respect freedom the least in the US and as our last President said. The terrorists hate us for our freedoms. SO why do they side with the terrorists?

    And besides, that particular achievement is FAR more impressive if it’s made by a black guy because, you know, blacks are so different than whites. I mean…he’s so “clean and articulate!”)

    This is just silly or stupid I can’t tell for sure. Are you saying that a rich white kid with connections out the butt is on even footing with a mixed race child from a broken home? If George Bush had been black, he would have never had all of his failed businesses, wouldn’t have stayed out of the military, wouldn’t have gotten into Yale, wouldn’t have been Governor or President. Would have had a jail record and would likely have been begging for a spot on a sofa to sleep with friends as a 40 year old alcoholic.. At least in Romney’s case you see a bulb in the socket, but the skids were greased before birth for him. As Ann Richards said famously of Bush’s father (but it could just as well have been Mit), “He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.”

    As to batshit crazy.
    Believing in witchcraft, young earth and creationism earned her that title. It’s a term reserved only for the most nutty among us, or as you call it your base. I don’t use it on McCain or Romney or even Rudy. Palin and Bachman and Shimkus have earned it. It means that in a group run by the rabidly, proudly willful ignorant segment, she has risen to the top.

    And finally…overrated demagogue????
    That one is just silly on it’s face. Obama is so overrated that he did something many of us thought might never happen, Even with all the bigotry and ignorance still in this country (you did see the Palin rallies and the documentary on McCain’s campaign), he became President. All of us should be very proud of our country for that.

    And Demagogue? Rudy could be but he doesn’t have the speaking chops but Reagan would fit the model just as easily as Obama.
    Are perhaps you using the term in the original meaning? A spokesman for the people. On that we can agree.

    Palin/Bachman 2012 PLEASE!

    And as a postscript
    On Bush
    They kept exclaiming how stupid he was. In fact, he was so stupid that he beat them…twice.

    Electing him once proved how stupid the voters were (overwhelmingly on your side) We will be paying for that gaffe for decades. I sure wouldn’t be proud of it if I were you. The country isn’t.

  37. Tillyosu Says:

    “If you read what you wrote. It all says, “She was not ready, she was not qualified.””

    Talk about a straw man! Are you that cowardly that you can’t engage my argument as I made it?

    What I was saying was that she WAS qualified, but NOT ready.

    “And you think if she couldn’t handle Couric that should inspire confidence in the rest of us that she could handle the Presidency???”

    If you vote for a candidate based on how well they do in a Couric hit job then you are just as stupid as everyone else who voted for Obama.

    What inspired my confidence that she could handle the presidency was that she was a governor with one of the highest approval ratings in the country. Yes, she actually GOVERNED…something Obama had NEVER done.

    True, she may not have governed a very populous state, but I would venture to say that Alaska has more people than whatever community Obama “organized.”

    “Electing him once proved how stupid the voters were.”

    Oh I LOVE how when America elects your guy, they should be “proud.” But when they elect the other guy, they are “stupid.”

    I don’t usually engage in name calling as a proxy for argument, but you’re an idiot…really.

  38. Kevin Says:

    Tilyosu-
    You are going to hurt yourself. Your arguments are like cognitive dissonance on display

    What I was saying was that she WAS qualified, but NOT ready.

    REALLY- anyone of the right age is qualified. The key is that they be ready.

    Couric Hit Job is like Full Contact Powder Puff Football.

    Sorry about the Bush comment, I can see how that may have confused you. I didn’t mean to imply that he was a horrible choice because he was a Republican I meant to say he was a horrible choice because history and the World have judged him to be so. (I was ahead of the curve in recognizing it though-I read) I have worked and voted for people in all parties. Bush is something no one should be proud of.

    As much as I like Obama, I think it’s doubtful he would have won against a good candidate in an even race at this stage of the countrys history. I certainly thought he was the best candidate but it is a testament to how bad the last President was and the choice of Palin that he is our President and for that I think you and hope you continue “thinking” as you do.

    As to the name calling, no offense taken, I’d have to respect your judgement and opinion for that to have bothered me.

  39. michael reynolds Says:

    Obama is currently handling:

    1) a major financial crisis
    2) rising unemployment
    3) a housing market collapse
    4) a stimulus plan
    5) a health care plan
    6) war in Iraq
    7) war in Afghanistan
    8) flu epidemic
    9) energy plan
    10) collapse in Pakistan
    11) Nuclear weapons development in Iran
    12) ditto North Korea

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin wasn’t able to cope with:

    a) interview with Katie Couric.

  40. Tillyosu Says:

    “Obama is currently handling”

    Yes, but apparently not very well. Obama’s approval rating is currently lower than Bush’s was at this point in his presidency.

    Oh and I just had to add this:

    http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wapoobamabudget1.jpg

    Remind us again, Kevin, what we will be paying for for decades?

  41. Kevin Says:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ikQec4s9i1Pkvb_MecsjUpBAkNaA

    Read it and weep or find someone to read it to you.

    and today’s budgets are an attempt to deal with yesterdays failures, it’s not like he started with a clean slate.

  42. Tillyosu Says:

    BWAHAHAHAHA…

    Wait, um, are you seriously arguing that Obama has to spend $13 trillion because of George Bush?

    I mean, I can’t wait to hear this argument (thought I won’t hold my breath)…

  43. Kevin Says:

    Arguing with a man who has renounced reason is like giving medicine to a dead man. Hold your breath.

  44. michael reynolds Says:

    Tilly:

    It’s easy to get good poll numbers coasting on Clinton’s surplus, strong economy and peace.

    A bit more challenging when you’re cleaning up after an entire series of Republican disasters.

  45. Tillyosu Says:

    Kevin:

    Is that a concession? You made an argument. Back it up.

    Michael:

    Do you really want me to challenge Clinton’s “surplus, strong economy, and peace?”

  46. Kevin Says:

    Tilly-

    You are fractally confused and I’m afraid no one can help you. I hope you rise to a position of importance in the GOP.

  47. Tillyosu Says:

    Glad to see my posts have reduced you to baseless insults.

    If you can’t defend your positions…say so. People may even respect you for it.

  48. michael reynolds Says:

    Tilly:

    Yes. I absolutely want you to compare and contrast the situation Clinton handed to Bush with the one Bush handed to Obama.

    I wait with bated breath.

  49. gerryf Says:

    FTR, I think that’s completely backwards. I think Kerry was clearly the worse choice in 2004, and that Clinton was clearly the better choice over Obama. Indeed, the proverbial hamster you mentioned would be a better President than Obama: hamsters lack opposable thumbs and so can’t sign laws.

    I hate to even bring this up so late in the discussion given all the fun that has been going on…but I never said Kerry was the best choice, I said They (party leadership) thought he was the best chance to beat Bush. I agree with you…I think he was one of the worst candidates.

    I disagree Clinton was the better candidate; Clinton is too polarizing and if anyone could have mobilized the GOP base to the fevered pitch needed to overcome 8 years of Bush policies, it was Clinton. Now, that does not speak to her credentials–only her chances of winning.

    As for the rest of this conversation–

    Palin was a good choice and probably gave McCain his best chance of winning. She had broad appeal and her short time in public service made her hard to pin down. In truth, she is a lot like Obama in that respect. No one should be claiming either of them was/is “well qualified” to be president.

    That said, the campaign demonstrated Obama could run a large, complex enterprise–the campaign itself became his resume. Conversely, people watched Palin’s campaign and found her wanting. For those still hoping she returns in 2012, don’t count on it. She is currently polling behind Lisa Murkowski as a candidate for the Senate Seat vacated by Ted Stevens. She had her brief moment in the sun and it is over.

    Random comments/thoughts:

    Simon: Give the partisan hack stuff a rest. Seriously, man, if you are going to play that card, you have to stop being a partisan hack yourself. I enjoy your posts a lot more when you are not pretending to be some agrieved party. Really, the NY Times is evil? Please. You’re much to intelligent to be reading Glenn Beck talking points.

    Tilly: You crack me up. You keep insisting that people make and back up arguments, but you never make or back up arguments yourself. You stamp your feet a lot and have opinions, but no one here can really figure out what you base those opinions on. Bush was a failure until 9/11 made him a wartime president and to our everlasting shame we followed the con-man to war, but there is a difference between people supporting a president because they feel they must during war, and supporting a president who is grappling with difficult issues left behind.

  50. Tillyosu Says:

    “Yes. I absolutely want you to compare and contrast the situation Clinton handed to Bush with the one Bush handed to Obama.”

    Well that’s not really what I asked you, now was it? What I asked was:

    “Do you really want me to challenge Clinton’s “surplus, strong economy, and peace?””

    For the surplus, I would refer you here:

    http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

    For the strong economy I would refer you here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_com_bubble

    And for the peace I would refer you here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

    I would argue that the “surplus, strong economy, and peace” that Clinton left Bush was, at best, illusory…

    gerryF:

    Which arguments would you like me to back up? I was just pretty disappointed because I wanted to see Kevin try and weasel his way out of this whopper:

    “and today’s budgets are an attempt to deal with yesterdays failures, it’s not like he started with a clean slate.”

    When I asked him to clarify that statement, suddenly I had “renounced reason” and I was “fractally confused.”

    How convenient.

    Oh and the “budgets” he is referring to can be seen here:

    http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wapoobamabudget1.jpg

  51. michael reynolds Says:

    Tilly:

    Yeah, I know that’s not what you offered to do. I wanted to get you to tacitly accept my original point which was that Mr. Bush walked into a field of daisies while Mr. Obama walked into a crapstorm.

    But your specific responses are so ludicrous I really have to respond in a bit more detail.

    re: budget surplus. Alan Greenspan testified before Congress about his concern that the surplus would lead to our paying down of debt too quickly. He cited this concern as justification for the Bush tax cuts.

    re: the dot com bubble, yes, that was bad. Sort of a case of measles versus the combination leprosy-ebola-tumor we have going on now. Find me a single economist anywhere who thinks Mr. Clinton left behind a bigger mess than Mr. Bush.

    re: peace. You cite 9/11 as evidence that Mr. Bush walked into a difficult situation? We were comparing first 100 days. 9/11 happened 8 months into Mr. Bush’s presidency. Not 100 days, 8 months. During which time Mr. Bush had thoroughly ignored Al Qaeda despite warnings.

    Of the two wars he handed off to Mr. Obama, one was the result of 9/11, the other was not. In fact the mishandling of Iraq led to the mishandling of Afghanistan. And both these incompetently-managed messes were dumped on Mr. Obama.

    Which again, makes my original point.

  52. gerryf Says:

    Than you Tilly,

    That was much better than the statements you generally make–you need not even cite things provided you actually make your points.

    Let’s start with the “clinton deficit myth” as you and Craig Steiner call it. You (or he) actually make some pretty good points, but the problem with those points is you are redefining the generally understood concept of budget deficit so you can win your case. This is not unlike the Bush Administration’s decision to pay for the Iraq war almost completely with supplemental bills to hide its true costs, or numerous administrations playing games with how unemployment or poverty are defined.

    You’re right, if you add in inter-government holding, Clinton’s record on deficit surplus can be made to look inaccurate, but Clinton is not the one who started cooking the books this way, but rather this has been common practice since the 1970s.

    I won’t insult you by saying, well Reagan, Bush and Bush 2 were far worse when it came to deficits than Clinton and even Carter. I think on this point we can both agree that all of them have done a pretty crappy job, but if you are being honest, you have to concede that Clinton did a better crappy job, then any “conservative” president.

    Thank you for the article, though. I share your outrage when it comes to this kind of spending.

    As for your argument on the overall economy, I am not quite sure where you are going with that. Absolutely, there was a dot.com bubble…uhm, so what? Clinton did not create the bubble nor did he encourage it with any specific, target legislation. He surely benefitted from it, and was harmed by the crash. Nevertheless the economy he presided over was far superior for far more people then his immediate predecessor or successor. As it is, most people would argue that with few exceptions Clinton was virtually a Republican in his economic policies. Folks on the left always scratch their heads at why “conservatives” hate him so much.

    And finally, blaming Clinton for 9/11 is another one of those baseless right wing talking points that makes no sense on the surface or after careful review. Certainly, Clinton did not “get” bin Laden, though there is ample evidence that he was far more concerned about him than his successor, who ignored credible evidence that 9/11 was coming.

    Now, unlike many of those on the left, I do not blame Bush for 9/11–I think that while the Bush Administration clearly had some inkling that something was about to happen the nature and severity of the attack could likely not be anticipated unless someone were specifically looking for it.

    Indeed, while i had reservations at the time, I believe that Bush’s response to 9-11 (Afghanistan) was reasonable and appropriate. It’s what he did after than which was reprehensible.

    However, that’s getting off track. Blaming Clinton for 9/11 makes you look like a fool. If you want to play that game, then you need to blame Carter, Reagan and Bush 1 for bin Laden, for without their support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets, bin Laden likely would have never grown in prominence.

  53. Tillyosu Says:

    “you are redefining the generally understood concept of budget deficit so you can win your case. This is not unlike the Bush Administration’s decision to pay for the Iraq war almost completely with supplemental bills to hide its true costs”

    I don’t disagree with that. But most people who talk about budget surpluses somehow think that we just had money laying around that we didn’t know what to do with. My point was that that was not exactly the case. And I do think that Bush’s decision to largely keep the Iraq war out of the budget was wrong…as wrong as keeping GSE liabilities off the books. But I digress…

    I do commend Clinton for his work on the budget. However, I would rather see budget balancing come from spending decreases rather than tax increases.

    That said, and not to change the subject, Bush did receive a fair amount of criticism from the right on spending (and rightly so). But anyone who looks at the Obama budget and is not vastly more concerned is just being disingenuous. This spending is astronomical and, I would argue, an existential threat to the country’s fiscal health (as in, yes, we may have to default at some point in the future).

    “Absolutely, there was a dot.com bubble…uhm, so what? Clinton did not create the bubble nor did he encourage it with any specific, target legislation”

    Well, I could make the argument (as I did at length earlier this year in school) that Clinton DID help to encourage the housing bubble as well as the current financial crisis (through HUD lending standards, and the signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act). I’m not exempting Bush from having any role in the crisis, but it should be noted that he urged major changes to the GSEs in 2005 amidst bipartisan opposition.

    “And finally, blaming Clinton for 9/11 is another one of those baseless right wing talking points that makes no sense on the surface or after careful review.”

    Let me be clear: I am not blaming Clinton for 9/11. I’m just saying that the world Clinton handed over to Bush couldn’t rightly be called peaceful. I would say that both Clinton and Bush dropped the ball when it came to al Qaeda, though Clinton had greater opportunity and incentive to deal with it.

    I just think it is grossly unfair (not to mention intellectually lazy) to drop the financial crisis and the wars in the Middle East in Bush’s lap and say that’s the end of it. Certainly the Bush administration deserves its share of blame, but these problems were created by both parties, in the legislature and the executive.

    But back to the point of this post:

    The left has been relishing writing the obituaries of conservatism ever since the election. But while the outlook for the GOP may not be rosy, to count them out right now is as ignorant as counting out the Dems in 2004. The Democrats OWN the government, and every problem the comes with it. Pretty soon, the “well we inherited this” mantra is going to lose it’s political effect.

    By the way, does anyone else think it’s terribly hypocritical for Obama to, in the same paragraph, exclaim that “I’m the President, I accept full responsibility” and then “but make no mistake, I inherited this mess”?

    What a cop out.

  54. michael reynolds Says:

    By the way, does anyone else think it’s terribly hypocritical for Obama to, in the same paragraph, exclaim that “I’m the President, I accept full responsibility” and then “but make no mistake, I inherited this mess”?

    How can something factually correct be hypocritical?

    He did inherit the problem. And he is responsible for the actions he takes to deal with it.

  55. Chris Says:

    Is tilly really simon? It’s amazing how they both type alot, but have a serious lack of logic. Did you guys both grow up drinking the same polluted water source or something?

  56. gerryf Says:

    Tilly, believe it or not, I actually agree with much of what you said. I was outraged when Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (in fact, I was outraged any time Clinton signed anything that had Gramm attached to it). And I also agree with your point on the “HUD lending standards” if by that you mean the HUD mortgage policy (HUD doesn’t actually lend, but they directed Freddie and Fannie to acquire loans made by other institutions–and that fueled the subprime mortgage mess.) If you mean the CRA that so many right wingers trot out, well, that issue has been greatly overstated and is easily discredited.

    But, back to the HUD mortgage policy.We have to make a few points….

    First, this is a chicken and the egg scenario–neither HUD, Fannie or Freddie initiated subprime loans–they just took them off the hands of lenders, who had already begun the practice. HUD made it easier for these lenders to profit from these loans, however, because the lenders knew they always had a ready buyer.

    HUD also allowed Fannie and Freddie to count billions of dollars invested in these crap loans as public good, which again, accelerated the subprime loan

    However, it should be noted that your time line is off. Yes, absolutely, HUD’s policies began under Clinton in 1995. One could argue it was a laudable program. However, the good of the program became hopeless corrupted.

    The program seemed to be working well, but in 2000 (still under Clinton), there was concern the subprime loans were becoming bait and switch programs that brought people in under low initial costs but socked them later. HUD revised it’s affordable housing goals, and placed restrictions on Fannie and Freddie that restricted them from acquiring subprime loans of this type.

    Unfortunately, no one paid any attention to these restrictions. From 2000 to 2004, (now under Bush) Fannie and Freddie’s purchases of subprime backed loads and risen dramatically. Critics were worried, and warned Fannie and Freddie needed to curtail this practice.

    Two things happened around this time. In late 2003, the Bush administration proposed taking Fannie and Freddie under its supervision, rather than under Congress. A lot of Republicans point to this now and say that Bush was acting to curb the abuses and get things under control, and they blame Congress and Democrats for letting Fannie and Freddie continue its prior bad acts.

    There is actually a good point to be made here, if Bush really did intend that–except it doesn’t hold water. In early 2004, Bush revised HUD’s mortgage policy goals again…(remember, HUD directs Fannie and Freddie, which is overseen by Congress).

    So what did Bush do? Did he revise the goals down?

    No, he ratched up the affordable housing goals UP by 6 percent….why would he do this, if Republican revisionists are to be believed?

    He did it for one simple reason–Wall Street wanted to continue selling and packaging subprime loans, and they wanted a ready and willing buyer in Fannie and Freddie (or we the taxpayer when you get right down to it).

    So, I do agree with you–Clinton’s plan–even if it was well intentioned, was not properly overseen and easily corrupted. From 1995 to 2000, it might arguably have done some good, but it laid the ground work for some serious abuse.

    But as bad as it got by the time Clinton had left office–and it was bad to the tune of probably around $40 billion–it was nothing to what it would become over the next 6-7 years.

    All that said, we are actually more in agreement than I would have thought we might be–and I take back what I said earlier. When you are posting like this, you are making very solid points and it is definitely food for thought.

    I know this thread devolved into something it shouldn’t have at times, but I have gained some valuable insight from your posts.

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