Book of the Month

Republicans pistol whip each other.

I have just had knee surgery and the drugs have induced a hub of the universe mental state which last time around produced my piece, "Jamie Dimon as William Holden"---which received my own unanimous favorable ratings.

As master-hub-man I have been trying to put the Newtown tragedy, the fiscal cliff, the stories about Hagel, Rice and Kerry and the odds that we may yet have a Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts all into a neat matrix. Two articles today helped me illuminate everything. The NYT article by Michael Shear predicting very tough sledding for Obama; and Nate Silver's arithmetical analysis of the House of Representatives. I cite these two articles because they are the two which I read. (Another Vicodin, please)

I think that the NYT piece is correct in its prediction that Obama will have a rough second term---because of realities such as the intransigence of the NRA, the Susan Rice defeat at the very get-go, and the clout of the small but determinative group of extremists in the House Republican caucus. But the good news is, in my opinion, that Republicans will continue to pistol whip each other and anyone else who doesn't agree with their views---views which are extremist and appeal to a shrinking audience....and thus: 

A. Republicans lost the last election because the audience reflecting its stated, and largely extreme, values, (see the Republican party platform) has shrunk and continues to shrink.

B. Republicans are not changing their values, but are intensifying the ones they steadfastly exhibited in the lost election of 2012. To use the vernacular, they are "doubling down". In the meantime they are threatening to pistol whip each other---for example, should any "establishment" Republican go along with anything smacking of bi-partisanship, like actual tax hikes on the rich or an assault weapons' ban, they will be slaughtered by the Tea Party and the NRA in their next primary.

C. The Electorate is becoming ever more diverse, plus the groups which support Obama---minorities, single women, young ascendants---not to mention socially liberal business owners on a high---are increasing in numbers.

D. The arithmetic of the electorate makes the nature of Obama's sledding in the second term a moot issue because if the tax cuts expire and spending is reduced, things will be rough but the economics should be good by 2016 and result in a Democratic win---which, to me, is the ultimate good news.

But I hesitate to call "tough sledding" a moot issue because of the pain that gridlock may bring both to small businesses (like mine) and individuals who need a common sense government. Both will suffer the indignities of another recession if all the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire and the blunt instrument of the sequester cuts stalls the economy again. But I don't think Obama should allow the Republicans to continue to pistol whip the majority will of the country. As far as the pain Republicans are inflicting upon each other I can suggest an excellent drug.  

What one must conclude from La Pierre's statements, if they go unchallenged, and the behavior of three dozen Congressmen, if they continue trying to hold the rest of us hostage---is simply that we ourselves lack courage. A society which cannot defeat minority bullying from the likes Eric Cantor, Grover Norquist, and La Pierre is a society truly weak at its core.

We can win the long game. But Republican intransigence is a fact of life. In the immediate term we should just go over the fiscal cliff if need be. And make Draconian budget cuts if necessary. And fight the NRA leadership whatever outcome may result. Capitulating to bullies and hostage-takers never works, it only encourages them. And capitulation results in something worse---a sense of helplessness as a society. That sense of helplessness is mother's milk both to a bully like La Pierre and to the saboteurs of reasonableness in Congress.      

 

 

Sounds painful!

Hope you recover properly.

As far as the repubs; I hope they never recover.

We need a new party out there that addresses real issues with real facts.

Thanks, Day. You are my muse.

I believe you underestimate the strength of the Republican Party.

I believe the democrats would be foolish to attack the front line, of the Republican right wingers, where the NRA is concentrated.

The Democrats could easily score a victory and get more funding for mental health care, by finding Republicans, willing to give on funding mental healthcare, than wasting precious political capital going after Republican guns.

How about you?

Could you see a way to increase healthcare now, putting off an attack on guns, until after we fund mental healthcare?  

If you go after the guns now, I can see the democrats losing at the midterms.

Is that a price the Democrat Elite are willing to pay?  Sacrificing the rank and file on hopeless legislation, intended to rally the right wing?  

Unless of course those pushing the “Take the Guns” really want, a divided working class, assuring the greedy capitalists, wins the next election.   

It’s easy for a Democrat in a safe district, to throw away an opportunity, to garner support for an increase in Mental healthcare benefits.

If the Democrats should lose the mid-terms, will they again lament their loss of leverage, as Obamas first 4 years proved unproductive?

More grid lock, as the ratchet ever so slightly , tightens further towards the right.

As it becomes obvious, our grand negotiator will again become neutered. You cant blame him, if the Right gains seats, at the mid term.  

Thanks. Good comments.

A year ago I would have mostly agreed with you. And I agree that the mid-terms are problematic under my scenario---how much so I don't know but it does worry me.

On the other hand I have had enough of the hostage taking mentality of the other side. And I believe that if we try to solve the school violence problem by arming the schools, for example, we have deemed ourselves helpless and lost our power to return our society to sanity.

If I impaneled twelve jurors randomly I cannot believe that I could not get a unanimous verdict against LaPierre and his recent speech in favor of weapons of mass carnage.

I cannot believe that that panel would not laugh at a Senate Minority Leader who filibusters his own bill.

I cannot believe that that panel would endorse a Speaker who produces a Plan B (not the morning after pill surely) and then prevents his own bill from hitting the House Floor.

I do know this.

The states controlled by repub legislators will continue to inhibit our right to vote.

The states controlled by repub legislators will continue in their unconstitutional designs to gerrymander and even to remove statewide elected electors in the swing states in order to buttress their aims in getting a repub elected President.

There are still many chess moves remaining.

But the dems won the Congressional races by 1.2 million votes and remained in the minority in the House of Representatives.

The best possible outcome of the repub breakdown would be the division of the repub party into two or three parties.

With this NRA push, I just see the majority of Americans either staying away from the polls or backing a new conservative front that begins to understand the reality of things.

 

There may indeed be many chess moves remaining for Republicans, but to me,  they seem reduced to pawns protecting their king, rather than being able to mount any kind of effective offensive at this point in the game. Perhaps, due to an unforced error by the Dems, one of the Republican pawns will make it to the other side and they'll get back their queen in 2014 ... but barring that, what do they have besides the House pawns? 

Though chess moves remain

They ate all of the pieces

Thinking prawns not pawns.

 

 

Nice one, Oxy!   LOL

 

 

Obama holds an ace of trumps if he has the balls to lay it down: Mint the platinum coins that cut off the house tea ballers at their very knees. That's what winners do.

I have no idea what this means! hahahaaahahah

Platinum balls?

hahahahahah

But that's okay

Rose would say

Don't you worry none

They'll be good times by and by...

hahahahahah

Jolly, you and I need to change our meds. 

haahahahah

But I wish Jolly a Holly Jolly Christmas!

They give me those fancy pills but I don't swallow them...I just hide'em under my tongue. When I get five saved up, I trade'em to this cute nurse who lets me watch her do things to herself for fifteen minutes...wait, what? oh, yeah, merry Christmas back at ya'.

I want what you're having.

My wife's view is

o The republicans want to avoid voting for a tax increase

o Therefore they won't , between now and year end

o After the bush tax cuts  automatically die on Jan 1 they'll be willing  to do a deal which  will involve  revoking some of the increases which had just happened.That's not voting to increase taxes , it's voting to cut them.

To which I add

o Therefore Obama shouldn't hurry back from Hawaii.  And in particular  shouldn't spend any bargaining chips fruitlessly attempting to obtain a deal next week.

Why cant Obama, get the republicans on the record; announcing the urgent need for more money for mental healthcare, in order to protect our children from another Sandy Hook catastrophe .

Play the nuclear mushroom scenario, use it against the Republicans, as G Bush did against the democrats, to get authorization to use military force in Iraq.

"We cant wait, fund it now" 

Or will the Republicans use our kids as pawns.

Save our kids or save the rich from tax hikes?

Again, a year ago I would have subscribed to the trade off to get more mental health. But I think that's more of a first term strategy. It's like fighting last year's war---which I think is what the Republicans are doing and last year's strategy doesn't often succeed in business or politics.

Of course there is "urgent need for more money for mental healthcare".

But federal funding is year to year. They can raise funding one year and eliminate it the next.

The GOP wants to cut healthcare coverage for children living in poverty, and most GOP states are cutting Medicaid, subsidized health care for poor families, which is 90% payed by the feds.

It's a pipedream to believe this country will raise and maintain funding for mental health. Only with a national single payer system that gives patients and practitioners national standards for treatment and fraud prevention, and the long term certainty of availability and affordability of mental health treatment could we meet the challenge.

Our federal government is so deficient in operation, that currently, as to people already mentally ill, relating to FBI checks: "there are millions of names are missing from the federal (mentally ill) database, gun control advocates and law enforcement officials say."

The US has one party, the GOP, whose primary goal, besides wielding the power of their office for their own gain, is to make sure government only works for the 1%. Republicans have no interest, motivation, ideas or experience in doing the job of running effective government. The concept of using government to solve the serious national issues and problems we face is anathema to them and their base. To the best of their ability the GOP will ensure that government doesn't 'work'.  As members of Congress, they will do nothing but pursue that mission to prove it.

Agree. Give away no bargaining chips.

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