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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:11 PM

Plan B Defeat Blows Up Corporate Propaganda About Obama Caving

Before this vote, news outlets bought into Republican talking points about how Plan B was due to Republicans being emboldened by President Obama's willingness to compromise such that they were going to pass a Plan B which would magically give Republicans more leverage in negotiations. Why this was the case, we were never told, but we just had to take the corporate media's word for it. This narrative even appeared in liberal leaning outlets.

Many folks forgot the observation of Paul Krugman that the problem with negotiating with Republicans is not so much that they are tough negotiators, but that they really do not have any core policy ideas. Their think tanks are now dominated by political hacks. Their policies do not make mathematical sense. Cut taxes, increase military spending, cut spending on Medicare, Social Security and Education, then watch the prosperity grow? Thus, when you put an actual policy proposal on the table, they get mad at the fact that reality is not their friend and the fact their talking points can't be translated into a workable, deficit reduction plan.

Well, Boehner's Plan B, which was was designed to be repugnant to Democrats, proved to be repugnant to Republicans as well. The fact of the matter is that Republicans do not have any serious policy ideas, they just have talking points and President Obama, unfortunately, really does not have a choice in having to deal with them.

The truth is that Boehner was chosen as speaker because he represented a reasonable sounding facade for the Republican party. He did not say President Obama was born in Kenya. He did not publicly apologize to oil companies. He did not publicly discuss how Women's bodies shut down during a rape. Yet, this also caused him to lose respect among the crazy fringe of which he is the head.

Maybe the downfall of Boehner is a good thing and maybe we will get a real Republican leader who proudly displays the out of touch craziness that controls the House. Maybe we can finally hold Republicans accountable, rather than blaming President Obama for using some magical leadership quality that gets Republicans to stop being mad at reality.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

1. No, it just means the teabagging tail is wagging the GOP dog

The only way forward for Boehner is to abandon the teabaggers and work with Pelosi. But if he does that right now, be probably loses his job as Speaker.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:20 PM

2. Excellent OP. Bookmarking.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:29 PM

3. Boehner's demise seems inevitable ... so what should he do, knowing that?

The best thing he could do is give up his own political ambitions and do what's good for the country, not himself (cause it doesn't look like he'll be speaker come January anyway). Let the Democrats put up a proposal that can peel off enough moderate Republican votes to pass (the already-passed Senate bill) and step away from the speakership. He's toast. Or he can reintroduce the Obama compromise he already rejected. But will he do that? I kind of doubt it: it would be too noble.

But believe me, it will be a cold day in hell before the Republicans elect anyone more "reasonable" than Boehner. Whoever is next will be worse (if they think he's an appeaser and conciliator, they're certainly not going to elect someone more moderate). I'm kind of scared what happens when we go off the cliff. I don't mind taxes going up for everyone, though it won't be good for the economy. But unemployment benefits, etc. ... that stuff is going to hurt a lot of people.



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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:54 PM

4. The caving part was not corporate propaganda.

Carney said it himself in the press briefing. Obama caved on SS and put it on the table at the Republicans' request.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:49 AM

6. No, It Assumed That Boehner Was In A Position To Actually Negotiate...

...Like it or not, we still have a House of Representatives, which has a sizable Republican majority. I think Boehner is one of the few Republicans who is actually trying to govern. I am not saying that his policies are right. They are wrong. But, on a certain level, he is attempting to keep the government functioning in some albeit limited form.

The problem, which the media obscures, is that Boehner is in the minority. The bulk of Republicans in the House do not really have a serious, comprehensive view of governing. They would rather past feel good bills like repealing healthcare reform. There is a reason why this Congress is the worst ever and has passed the fewest bills of any Congress in history, even less than the Gingrich House. Bills that were routine like increasing the debt limit or disaster relief are not used as cudgels to try to extract some sort of ideological victory. The record low number of bills reflects the fact that even routine legislation is not getting through Congress. On the Senate side, filibusters are being used at a record setting pace.

Yet, the media portrays the contest between Republicans and Democrats with a false equivalency. During the Romney campaign, the media would occassionally wake up and ask Romney why his plans did not add up, but now that the election is over, the media simply lets Republicans argue that President Obama is not serious about deficit reduction while they try to pass a Plan B bill that extends most tax cuts to the rich, except for the 39.6 percent top rate that folks like Romney would not be affected by, while failing to cut spending.

In other words, when Boehner has said that the President is not serious, how often do you see a reporter call Boehner on this? When Boehner demands spending cuts, how often does a reporter demand what and not be satisfied with the pat answer that it is the President's responsibility to identify cuts?

In other words, Republicans are being given a free pass. Plan B was bullshit, yet the media portrayed this as a strong move by Republicans emboldened by President Obama's willingness to compromise. Even liberal outlets repeated this talking point. Some folks on DU bought into this. Yet, we now know that it was an act of desperation by a Speaker who understood that he had no chance of being able to rally his caucas around any negotiated plan, thus he tried to blow up the talks in a way that allowed him to claim that it was being done on purpose for strategic advantage.

The sad truth is that the House is controlled by zealots who do not care about governing. Indeed, for them, the act of governing feels like validating the importance and existence of government. This is why it is vitally important to take back the House in 2014. We have a House full of Ron Pauls who are blissfully ignorant in the alternate universe that is Fox News.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:30 PM

11. While that may all be true, it doesn't change the fact that Obama caved and offered up SS

when it isn't even part of the equation and at a time when he had the leverage to not need to offer it at all.

Hopefully he rescinds it.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:43 PM

12. Caved, my ass! Caving would be agreeing to SS cuts. Playing bait-and-switch with a caucus ...

that has the collective IQ of a radish is NOT caving.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:48 PM

13. He did agree to SS cuts. He put them in his proposal at the Republicans request.

It was in Carney's briefing.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:27 AM

5. They tried to have it both ways with Plan B.1 and B.2

They put the low hanging fruit for republicans in the first vote, avoiding the military cuts, etc. This squeaked by barely. The tax portion that would have let the rates return to pre-Bush levels for 1,000,000 and up was set aside for a separate vote, one that never happened. In between the early vote and the tax vote, Boener tried to pass the ball to the Senate saying the House had done its part as if both parts had passed.

Whether he meant to raise taxes on millionaires or not, he can not get any increase on top earners passed. Reports of progress were based on the House following him which they won't if David Koch's taxes go up. Realizing this, he has spent his time and energy coming with ways to make anything bad that happens look like it was Obama's fault.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:30 AM

7. Well said, Tom

Like you, I'm going with Krugman on this. They got nuttin' -- and in the new year I pray that the GOP comes around enough so that we can get some business done.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:41 AM

8. Thank you, Tom.. I've been curious.. Why

do you think the gop house baggers did not like Plan B?

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Response to Cha (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 12:53 AM

14. I Think The GOP Is So Extreme That They Oppose Anything Obama Would Agree To

I think the problem was set up by the astroturf folks who helped ushed in a House Majority whose only agenda is to be anti-Obama and anti-tax. Even Plan B is repugnant because it could be construed as a tax increase on a tiny, tiny portion of the wealthy. It is anti-tax absolutism, and many of these new Republicans have no interest in governing, but rather in keeping things simple for the Republican primary crowd who want a 100 percent rating from Grover Norquist and the NRA. These Republicans owe far more to the astroturf crowd then they do to the Republican establishment.

The Republican establishment may have a long term interest in the viability of the Republican party, but the individual tea partiers are only worried about the Republican primary in their heavily red state. Thus, what is good for the individual tea partier, might be toxic to the Republican establishment and visa versa.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:04 AM

15. Thanks, Tom.. I finally got

that later that asking those making over $1 million to pay their fair share of taxes just wouldn't do for the Koch tea partiers in the gop House.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:42 AM

9. John Boehner

 

is not someone's History, that you can completely dismiss, as part of the Gang of Seven and the Contract with America with Newt Gingrich. His purpose for running for Congress was to get rid of such programs as Social Security and Medicare. His continous attack on spending programs is no accident and existed long before the Tea party. Boehner gained his power through coups on his own. Plan B was just a manifesto of his longtime desires and this time, some of it was actually in print, for people to see. Do people know whom Meals on Wheels serve actually? It serves mostly the elderly and disabled who can't get to food shelters or banks. A lot of those programs exist in rural areas and many in the South. Boehner has a problem with poor people apparently. And I wonder what you consider a Liberal outlet? The only outlet I see is the media. If people are considering MSNBC a Liberal outlet, the morning shows are not Liberal. They are pretty balanced. Their afternoon shows are much more Liberal but even those criticize Democrats. Chris Matthews is not that Liberal. He prefers the Blue Dog philosophy. President Obama shouldn't have put Social Security out there period. And I don't agree with his Foreign Policy Period! It is the difference between people just voting as sheep or people that really cares about issues.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:26 AM

10. The point of all this

was to get Boehner to schedule a vote on anything within the remote realm of reasonable. To fall within this realm, President Obama laid a marker down, revenues must increase from the wealthy. Boehner stretched the realm to folks north of $1 million, well beyond what the President said would draw a veto. He could not even get that done.

There is only one point in negotiating with someone who cannot make a deal, and that is to prove to them that they can't swing it.

We are going over the cliff because the republicans cannot form a majority that will vote for anything to stop it. This is why the cliff was created, because last time around they could not do it either.

The notion was perhaps the reality of massive defense cuts would cause them to come around. It didn't. Krugman is correct, they have no ideas and cannot unite to run the country.

What will happen in January is the discharge petition. We will get a clean vote on the 250K tax cut, and the rest of the Bush* rates will expire. We only need about a dozen R's to sign on in the new congress. It will be a huge favor to the R's because it won't be their fault as the leadership will not be in control of a discharge petition, and the dozen or so will figure out that voting for a tax cut for 98 percent of their voters will not hurt them politically.

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