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KRUGMAN: We aren’t the “center-right” country of (The News Media/GOP) fantasy

November 11, 2012, 5:58 PM28 Comments
James Fallows says something I’ve been thinking, too:

For the first time in my conscious life, the Democratic party is now more organized and coherent, and less fractious and back-biting, than the Republicans. It is almost stupefying to imagine that.

........ the Democrats now look like the natural party of government. Bush had already established a reputation for being unable to get anything right in the actual business of governing; all that was supposedly left was political prowess, and now that’s gone too. And even the news media have, I think, begun to notice that we aren’t the “center-right” country of fantasy, we’re a diverse nation, ethnically and otherwise, in which a lot of liberal ideas have become perfectly mainstream.

Still, hubris and all that: this newly effective coalition could be shattered if taken for granted. And you know what could really produce the kind of dispirited base that was supposed to doom Obama in 2012? A sellout on key Democratic values as part of a Grand Bargain. If, say, Obama raises the retirement age in return for vague promises on revenue (promises that would be betrayed at the first opportunity); if he appoints a deficit scold to a major economic post; it could all fall apart.


Rasmussen Explains What Went Wrong

Rasmussen Explains What Went Wrong

Rasmussen Reports, which had Mitt Romney leading President Obama on the final day of the presidential campaign and picked the winner in just three of nine swing states, explains:

"A preliminary review indicates that one reason for this is that we underestimated the minority share of the electorate. In 2008, 26% of voters were non-white. We expected that to remain relatively constant. However, in 2012, 28% of voters were non-white. That was exactly the share projected by the Obama campaign. It is not clear at the moment whether minority turnout increased nationally, white turnout decreased, or if it was a combination of both. The increase in minority turnout has a significant impact on the final projections since Romney won nearly 60% of white votes while Obama won an even larger share of the minority vote."

"Another factor may be related to the generation gap. It is interesting to note that the share of seniors who showed up to vote was down slightly from 2008 while the number of young voters was up slightly."


We Just Had a Class War - And one side won. - By Jonathan Chait

We Just Had a Class War
And one side won.
By Jonathan Chait Published Nov 11, 2012

Here it was, right before our eyes: a class war, or the closest thing one might find to one in modern American history, as a presidential election. The outcome was plain. The 47 percent turned out to be the 51 percent.


When President Obama took the stage at McCormick Place in Chicago well after midnight, we were all too wiped out with joy or depression or Nate Silver auto-refresh fatigue to pay careful attention to the speech the newly reelected president delivered. The phrase that lingered in most of our sleepy ears was the reprise of his career-launching invocation of the United States as being more than red and blue states. So soaring, so unifying. But those words were merely the trappings of magnanimity draped over an argument that was, at its core, harsher than the one he had regularly delivered during the campaign.

The telling phrase came when Obama turned away from the thank-yous and patriotic hymnals into the guts of his remarks. “Despite all our differences,” he transitioned, “most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.” The key term here is “most,” as opposed to “all”—“most” meaning less than 100 percent and possibly as little as 51 percent. He attributed to most Americans a desire for great schools, a desire to limit debt and inequality: “a generous America, a compassionate America.”

Obama then proceeded to define the American idea in a way that excludes the makers-versus-takers conception of individual responsibility propounded by Paul Ryan and the tea party. Since Obama took office, angry men in Colonial garb or on Fox News have harped on “American exceptionalism,” which boils our national virtue down to the freedom from having to subsidize some other sap’s health insurance. Obama turned this on its head. “What makes America exceptional,” he announced, “are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.” Obama invoked average Americans living out this ethos of mutual responsibility (such as a “family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors,” the example of which stands at odds with the corporate ethos of a certain ­Boston-based private-equity executive). And even the line about red states and blue states began with the following statement: “We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions.”

Presumably more was at work here than mere uplift. The president was establishing the meaning of his victory. Even in the days leading up to Tuesday, clouds of dismissal had already begun to hover overhead. The election was “small,” in the words of one story in the conventional-wisdom-generating machine Politico, and “too narrow and too rooted in the Democratic base to grant him anything close to a mandate,” in the words of another. “I don’t think the Obama victory is a policy victory,” sniffed Romney adviser Kevin Hassett. “In the end what mattered was that it was about Bain and frightening people that Romney is an evil capitalist.”



FOX Guarding Hen House

Patreaus & The So-Called Surge-"He convinced the entire DC establishment that we won the war"

“Perception” is key, he wrote in his 1987 Princeton dissertation: "What policymakers believe to have taken place in any particular case is what matters — more than what actually occurred."


But the warning signs about Petreaus’ core dishonesty have been around for years. Here’s a brief summary: We can start with the persistent questions critics have raised about his Bronze Star for Valor. Or, that in 2004, during the middle of a presidential election, Petraeus wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post supporting President Bush and saying that the Iraq policy was working. The policy wasn’t working, but Bush repaid the general’s political advocacy by giving him the top job in the war three years later.

There’s his war record in Iraq, starting when he headed up the Iraqi security force training program in 2004. He’s more or less skated on that, including all the weapons he lost, the insane corruption, and the fact that he essentially armed and trained what later became known as “Iraqi death squads.” On his final Iraq tour, during the so-called Surge, he pulled off what is perhaps the most impressive con job in recent American history. He convinced the entire Washington establishment that we won the war.


Republicans should be terrified-What California looks like now is what the entire USA will look like

SUN NOV 11, 2012 AT 06:45 PM PST
Golden results in the Golden State: Democrats dominate California
by Dante Atkins


Republicans woke up on Wednesday morning to survey the damage, in few places could it be considered more horrifying than it was in California. With but few exceptions, progressive candidates and ideologies dominated California races on election night and handed stunning defeats to conservative candidates and their billionaire backers.

The "tax revolt" is over. Nearly a quarter-century ago, during Jerry Brown's first stint in the Governor's Mansion, California voters passed Proposition 13. In addition to limiting the growth of property taxes on both residential and commercial property, Proposition 13 dictated that any bill to pass taxes must be approved by a two-thirds vote of both legislative bodies. The passage of Proposition 13 hailed the beginning of the so-called "tax revolt"—a voter rebellion against the fact that property taxes had doubled in a 10-year period as a result of rising property values. But on Tuesday night—with Jerry Brown once again serving as governor—the tax revolt ended. Voters approved Gov. Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30, by an eight-point margin, even though the most reliable polling indicated that the measure could well have been headed for defeat. The effects are already being felt. The measure will raise taxes on high income earners to fund education, and as a result of its passage, the California State University system has already rescinded the most recent tuition increase it passed for the fall semester. Elections have consequences. Additionally, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 39, which eliminates a tax loophole for big businesses and uses the revenue to fund green energy projects.


The Bottom Line: Republicans should be terrified. What California looks like now is what the entire United States will look like in the future, and it is a world in which Republicans cannot win. California is done with the conservative ideology of tax revolts, and they are done with Republican politicians at the ballot box. Nov. 6 was a golden day for Democrats in the Golden State.



Tonight's Simpsons blackboard: "I will not concede the election till Karl Rove gives me permission."

Dave Itzkoff
Tonight's Simpsons blackboard: "I will not concede the election till Karl Rove gives me permission." pic.twitter.com/Tit6xnAr


Christian Conservatives Have a Sad

It is not as though did not put up a fight; they went all out as never before: The Rev. Billy Graham dropped any pretense of nonpartisanship and all but endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Roman Catholic bishops denounced President Obama’s policies as a threat to life, religious liberty and the traditional nuclear family. Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition distributed more voter guides in churches and contacted more homes by mail and phone than ever before.

“Millions of American evangelicals are absolutely shocked by not just the presidential election, but by the entire avalanche of results that came in,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Ky., said in an interview. “It’s not that our message — we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong — didn’t get out. It did get out.

“It’s that the entire moral landscape has changed,” he said. “An increasingly secularized America understands our positions, and has rejected them.”


GOP Constituency

The perfect memorial for the Romney campaign

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