The biggest scandal in 50 years, right before your eyes

If you start naming the biggest political scandals of the past 50 years, Watergate and Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman” mistake would have to be included. So would Ronald Reagan’s decision to secretly trade arms for hostages, along with the mass deception and self-deception perpetrated by the Bush administration to get us into Iraq.

However, while presidents Nixon and Clinton were led astray by their weakness for power and sex, neither consciously put the security of the country at risk. Reagan made a serious mistake, but he was at least motivated by sincere concern for the lives of U.S. hostages. The invasion of Iraq is a closer call, but even there, President Bush and his administration weren’t consciously choosing to do damage to our country.

By that standard, the most disturbing political scandal of the past half century is playing out today before our very eyes, to too little notice or comprehension. Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and now a columnist for the Washington Post, lays the plot out there for everyone to see:

“Today, Obama is perfectly willing to go over the fiscal cliff and blame the GOP for the resulting tax increases on the middle class. But when it comes to the debt limit, he does not have that luxury. He can’t default on our debt — the consequences are too catastrophic. So in the end he will cave.

Indeed, he would have caved during the last debt-limit stand-off, in the summer of 2011. According to Bob Woodward, when Obama told his advisers he intended to veto the debt-limit bill the Republican-controlled House had passed, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told him he couldn’t — that if Republicans didn’t give in, he had no choice but to sign their bill. “You can’t veto,” Geithner reportedly told Obama, because the consequences “would be indelible, incurable. It would last for generations.”

Republicans had Obama cornered and didn’t know it — so they let him off the hook. When the next debt-limit increase comes in February, they will know better. The president’s current negotiating leverage dissipates as soon as we go over the fiscal cliff. Come February, the tables will be turned — and Republicans will hold all the cards in the debt-limit negotiations.”

If I may, I would like to offer a pithier but still entirely accurate version of Thiessen’s advice to Republicans*:

That fool Obama cares too much about what happens to this country and its people. That is his fatal weakness. You, on the other hand, don’t care about “catastrophic” consequences that would be “indelible, incurable” and “last for generations.” Your amorality is your strength. Use it to demand what you want, or else.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find the whole idea extraordinary. Since when is the willingness to inflict “indelible, incurable” damage on our country something to be bragged about and used as leverage? Since when is it OK for a major political party to hold a gun to the country’s head, figuratively speaking of course? Has patriotism become so diluted by cynicism that such strategies can now be publicly embraced and advocated?

And of course, it’s not just some former speechwriter advocating this strategy. This is the course that the Washington Republican establishment seems ready to adopt. As Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox Monday, “In February or March you have to raise the debt ceiling. And I can tell you this, there is a hardening on the Republican side. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling.”

You’re not? What’s next? “We won’t pay the troops, even if it leaves the nation defenseless, unless you surrender to us on the budget?” How would that be substantively different?

Of course, Republicans have talked themselves into believing that this is all justified. They are so absolutely certain that they are correct about the budget that they are willing to knock the United States to its knees to get their way. It requires an enormous amount of self-righteousness and grandiosity to think that way, but they seem up to the task.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem to have crossed their minds that the U.S. Constitution offers an alternative means of resolving such disputes. It’s called free and open debate. It’s called elections. We just had one, focused largely on the issues at stake here; they spent well over $1 billion trying to sell their viewpoint, and they lost.

Now, having failed to convince the rest of their country of their wisdom, they believe that their desperation gives them the right to impose it under threat of grievous harm?

That isn’t leadership. That isn’t patriotism. It is the act of a petulant, frustrated three-year-old threatening to hold his breath until the country turns blue.

Which, now that I think about it, it may very well do.

– Jay Bookman

* A more risque, profane and metaphorical version of the strategy is available here.

762 comments Add your comment

GW

December 11th, 2012
7:54 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
7:56 am

I dunno. I think what Obama’s skeered of is having the balls not to “shut the country down” or whatever kind of happy apocalyptic horsesh-t framing the beltway Villagers prefer, but, rather, to do what is necessary to tell Congress to — can I say it in this context, please, Jay? I think it certainly applies here — eff off and die, by exercising that option to mint a trillion dollar platinum coin.

Yes, it would be hokey and weird and yes, it would establish Executive powers that the next right wing moron to occupy the White House could conceivably use for evil. It would certainly prompt the GOPers to do their usual “let’s impeach a President in his second term!” dance (he’d never be convicted in the Senate of course.)

C’est le merde, I say.

Corbin Sharpe. Baby Boomer leech...and earned it!

December 11th, 2012
7:56 am

I’m not sure I even understand one tenth of what this “Fiscal Cliff” is about, but it doesn’t have the feel of the dire expectations the GOP say it has. If taxes going up is the worst of it, then I say good. I’ve always believed that it is a duty to your country to pay your taxes. If taxes go up, think of it as being drafted and do your duty.

I also seem to remember that this same GOP fear and drama was being said when President Clinton raised taxes. “The economy will fail, there will be no jobs, the sky is falling, we are doomed”. Yet this country enjoyed the greatest economic boom in our recent history…go figure. Maybe I’m wrong, but it does seem “much ado about nothing…”

GA Dawg

December 11th, 2012
7:58 am

We can’t pay it if we ain’t got no money. And with Obarma spending like a drunken you-no-what, we ain’t got no more money for wellfair and handouts to the moochers.

Corbin Sharpe. Baby Boomer leech...and earned it!

December 11th, 2012
7:58 am

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
7:59 am

I wanna see Lindsey Graham hold his breath ’til he turns blue. Oh pleez!

As for the rampant Republican impotence hiding behind threats to take US down if they do not have their way with US, such a threat by the cons should be met with sufficient force to subdue them. Something along the lines of “You losers do not get to call the shots,” from President Obama as he imposes an executive order that cuts the Congressional staff, lights, pensions, salary, etc., and uses that money toward the national debt, etc. Our president needs to play hardball and I think he will this time around.

Granny Godzilla

December 11th, 2012
8:01 am

“It is the act of a petulant, frustrated three-year-old threatening to hold his breath until the country turns blue.

Which, now that I think about it, it may very well do.”
.
.
.
.
Very clever!

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:02 am

“Maybe it’s just me, but I find the whole idea extraordinary. Since when is the willingness to inflict “indelible, incurable” damage on our country something to be bragged about and used as leverage? ”

as Donovan said yesterday … “waaaaaahhhhhhhh” … followed by “Compromise be damned.” … followed by more “waaaahhhhhhh” … and “our principles will not be compromised” …. followed by yet more “waaaaaahhhhhhh” … “You want compromise? Ok. Let’s all hold hands and jump off the cliff together.”

they don’t care – party above country … purity above all …

followed by more whining and something

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:02 am

…and in case anyone thinks I’m making light of the seriousness Jay’s outlined here, I am not. I do believe the stakes are incredibly high, and that the potential to destroy lives/livelihoods is hanging in the balance.

I just don’t think that Obama has that weak a hand on the debt limit, as Marc Thiessen (by way of professional concern troll Bob Woodward) would have people believe.

Phil Lunney

December 11th, 2012
8:02 am

I have a simple solution. Let’s begin with Lindsey Graham and South Carolina, when he invokes the Debt Limit, the U S Government begins to shut down military bases in South Carolina, immediate savings. Next, when Mr. Cantor insists this is a proper strategy, the U S Government shuts down projects and contractors in Richmond, Virginia. Since they are so adamant that we must ‘cut’ expenses and not increase taxes, let’s take them up on their strategy. Charity begins at home, let Mr. Graham and Mr. Cantor demonstrate their generosity with their own districts.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:04 am

We can’t pay it if we ain’t got no money.

another sorry individual who apparently believes that the richest, most powerful nation ever on this planet is “broke.”

unless your real name is “Pete Peterson,” read. learn.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/8-facts-prove-our-govt-not-going-broke?page=0%2C1&paging=off

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 11th, 2012
8:05 am

Now, having failed to convince the rest of their country of their wisdom, they believe that their desperation gives them the right to impose it under threat of grievous harm?

That isn’t leadership. That isn’t patriotism. It is the act of a petulant, frustrated three-year-old threatening to hold his breath until the country turns blue

Secessionists and terrorists….. but certainly not patriots.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:07 am

“I wanna see Lindsey Graham hold his breath ’til he turns blue. Oh pleez!”

and stamp his itty bitty feet

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:10 am

Jay, we’ve heard Obama’s plans on raising taxes in detail, but nothing on his plan to cut spending. Have I missed something?

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:10 am

and stamp his itty bitty feet

and slam his closet door.

not that there’s anything wrong with that.

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
8:11 am

There’s one itsy bitsy flaw in that Republican master plan though–they still have to get legislation through both houses before it would go to the president for signature and until they accomplish that little feat, their little fingers will remain curled back pointing toward themselves as the ones that let US default. Go ahead cons, make my day. :lol:

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:11 am

Please, Lord, save me from the “We need to cut SPENDING so that we can PROSPER!” morons in my midst. That’s all I ask.

Amen.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:12 am

“and slam his closet door.

not that there’s anything wrong with that”

I’m assuming you saw this from TBogg: http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2012/12/07/roberts-court-agrees-to-go-balls-deep-in-the-gay/

(best. blog. title. ever.)

Plato

December 11th, 2012
8:12 am

However the Republicans believe Obama is intent on destroying the country, so they won’t want to hand him the keys to the wrecking ball. Because they are Patriots, they will back down first.

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:13 am

My gut feeling is that Obama wants the cliff scenario because it will give him larger tax increases. I’ve yet to hear an explanation from anyone on the left on how the revenue increase will solve the deficit problem. Even Bowles says spending is the major issue, not revenue.

steve

December 11th, 2012
8:14 am

I miss the old days. You know, back when the losing party understood that the people have spoken and abided by it, at least to a fair extent. Today’s GOP is unrecognizable. It started with Reagan’s deal with the devil (religious right), continued during the demonizing of the Clintons, who for all their flaws weren’t evil America -hating socialists as they claimed. So why do these Fox News watching people continue to fall for their utter dishonesty? Letting the country crash and burn isn’t patriotic but it will get you called “a great American” by that phony Sean Hannity!

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:15 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:11 am

When one cannot put forth a rational argument, one resorts to name-calling.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:15 am

I have a simple solution

I have a simpler one. Obama and his seconds and thirds cancel their winter holidays and instead go out campaigning against this Reign of Terror in purple districts.

They signal to their superPAC buddies that they wouldn’t mind a bit if a crapload of attack ads were to appear on TV in those districts, calling the Congressmen child molesters–hey, it’s protected speech now, thanks John Roberts!

They muscle their way into making Congress capitulate and unconditionally surrender on their idiotic “destroy the country to save it” austerity bomb.

(and if that doesn’t work, mint a coin.)

Jay

December 11th, 2012
8:16 am

“Jay, we’ve heard Obama’s plans on raising taxes in detail, but nothing on his plan to cut spending. Have I missed something?”

Straitroad, as the party demanding such cuts, the Republicans are obligated to propose them, correct?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 11th, 2012
8:16 am

I’ve yet to hear an explanation from anyone on the left on how the revenue increase will solve the deficit problem

The problem with the conned is that they are deaf and failures at explaining their own “solutions”. [And I am being charitable this morning]

Georgia

December 11th, 2012
8:16 am

Jay is only encouraging the more risque and profane trolls with that joke. A joke, I might add, which would have been moderated and the author banned for ever. Now, Jay thinks he can troll up his own blog? I’m offended. I’ve already made two phone calls, (to Anita Bryant and toppers Gore). You’re not getting away with this, Jay. Not this time, buster. You’re finished at the ajc. (Jay has been on double secret probation for months).

Iraq War Debt

December 11th, 2012
8:19 am

Where is George W. Bush?

HadIt

December 11th, 2012
8:20 am

Blackmailers never stop. First they will eliminate the taxation of the rich. In time the bible thumper wing of the party will want their way and the Republicans will threaten the nation with destruction unless a constitutional amendment is passed banning abortion and gay marriage. In time the rich will not only be exempted from taxation and military service, they will also be exempted from criminal laws as well. And in time we will not longer be the United States of American; we will be the United Christian States of America.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:20 am

When one cannot put forth a rational argument, one resorts to name-calling.

You took offense? really? at that teensy, generalized bit o’ snark @ 8.11? Well, my bad.

However, you should read the arguments (I think they’re “rational”, YMMV) that I did put forth @ 7.56, 8.02, 8.06, and 8.15 before you get too carried away about my “name-calling.”

Mick

December 11th, 2012
8:21 am

This too shall pass but it’s starting to get very old…

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:21 am

Jay

December 11th, 2012
8:16 am

I think both sides are obligated to propose the cuts. I have heard Obama state mulitple times that he believes this problem should be solved using a balanced approach but he only mentions tax increases with any specificity. Obama is the current leader of the country, thus he is obligated to lead.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

December 11th, 2012
8:21 am

Well, if we welch on our debts the budget will be Balanced, right? We’ll have a clean slate. And nobody will ever loan us another penny again, so we’ll never be able to go back into debt.

And that means no more welfare checks and food stamps to Those People. And that’s what this whole fight’s about. Oh, you can use all the high-falutin’ words you want, but the bottom line is one side’s been saying for years, “Get those N—-s and Mexicans out of my wallet!” We’ll, we finally found a way.

Have a good Tuesday everybody.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:22 am

” I’ve yet to hear an explanation from anyone on the left on how the revenue increase will solve the deficit problem”

REALLY???

you don’t understand how increasing revenues will help with the deficit problem??

I’m assuming you also go to the boss every year and demand a pay cut to help increase your standard of living, as well …

Oops

December 11th, 2012
8:22 am

Jay

This column is legitimately unhinged, an by that I mean yours

Republicans care and don’t want to default either

I don’t believe what you write, or what Thiessen writes

Hyperbole sells, but it doesn’t move us closer to an answer

blahblahblah

December 11th, 2012
8:22 am

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here”. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

- Barack Obama, 2006

What a petulant, frustrated three-year-old. Liberal spin machine in 3, 2, 1…

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:22 am

A joke, I might add, which would have been moderated and the author banned for ever.

awjeez. Jay would never moderate out a link to a profane post (unless the auto-bluenose didn’t like a word in the URL).

And you know it. So, please stop lying.

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:22 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:20 am

Stands, I’m just tweaking you. I know it’s a little early for that. No harm intended.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:24 am

Well done! we get the irrelevant Senatorial 2006 quote in 40 minutes!

Just wipe ten minutes off that time and you can… I dunno, deliver crappy pizza or something.

Oops

December 11th, 2012
8:24 am

“It’s called elections. We just had one, focused largely on the issues at stake here; they spent well over $1 billion trying to sell their viewpoint, and they lost.”

Republicans won. The house anyway. Deal with it.

Obama doesn’t get to run this country like a dictatorship.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:25 am

Stands, I’m just tweaking you. I know it’s a little early for that

yeah, ok. If memory serves, you’re usually not out there in la-la land, and can be reasoned with, so I hope we’re good.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 11th, 2012
8:25 am

USinUK, well I know whenever I have some big bills coming due, I says: “I could bring in more money, nawwww… how would that possible help solve the problem.” ;)

tm

December 11th, 2012
8:26 am

Jay sound like a 3 year old who didn’t get the toy he wanted for Christmas. What are they suppose to do? Bow down to the King and give him everything he wants? The King started this feud when he shoved his Obama Care with his tax increases without any compromise on his end. He them proceeded to lose the majority in the House. Actions have consequences.

Oops

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

Republicans are trying to force the other side, the one that loves to spend and rack up debt, to face facts

Spending will have to be reduced

If the spendthrifts have to be brought to the bargaining table kicking and screaming, so be it

Christian Conservative

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

The same can be said for Obamacare Jay. Its a huge gubmint scam that will hang over the head of every hard working American from now on unless something is done. And you forgetting to mention the burden of debt Obama and the dems are putting on the backs of our children and grandchildren without a care in the world. Thats the real travesty going on. wink wink.. you forgot to mention the Obama scandals in your tripe.. Bengazi, failed solar companies, arming rebels with our weapons, Fast & Furious.. I could go on but we must continue to blame Republicans for this administrations continued failures….

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

“Republicans won. The house anyway. Deal with it.”

Republicans lost seats, dear. LOST seats.

Haliburton (Dick Cheney's) Contracts

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

How much were the contracts worth?

Examining Halliburton’s ‘Sweetheart’ Deal in Iraq

December 22, 2003
Oil services company Halliburton has come under intense scrutiny over its multi-billion-dollar contracts with the U.S. military in Iraq. Congressional critics want to know if the company is engaging in gold-plating contracts — inflating costs and pocketing the difference. Other critics charge that Halliburton has seemingly become another branch of the U.S. military, while the company’s former chief executive officer, Dick Cheney, is now the vice president.

In the first of a three-part series looking at the complex relationship between the defense contractor and the federal government, NPR’s John Burnett examines the scope of contracts in Iraq held by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, better known as KBR.

America’s war on terrorism has created a windfall for KBR. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the company has constructed base camps at more than 60 locations throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Under its deal with the Pentagon — known as a “Logcap” contract — KBR is the go-to company to provide troops in Iraq with everything from portable toilets to Internet cafes.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1559574

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

Republicans won. The house anyway.

they held a sufficient number of gerrymandered seats. I don’t really have to tell you though that fewer Americans voted for Republican congrefscritters than voted for Democratic ones, do I? And that there are enough vulnerable Representatives out there who can have their arms twisted, if the administration should so choose, to make this reallll interesting?

Oops

December 11th, 2012
8:28 am

Tm

Apparently the repubs are just supposed to roll over and play nice

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:28 am

Keep up – exactly. improve my standard of living? naaaahhhhhh …

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:29 am

“Apparently the repubs are just supposed to roll over and play nice”

well, that would be nice. but we would settle for putting the country – rather than party purity – first.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:29 am

And I can tell you this, there is a hardening on the Republican side

…and a hard man is good to find.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Uncle Billy

December 11th, 2012
8:29 am

If no agreement is reached by Dec. 31, 2012 tax rates revert to those in effect before the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Discretionary spending would be significantly curtailed by the agreement reached in 2011. Then we would have the austerity which Romney/Ryan proposed. So why do Republicans see this as intolerable? It is what they have been calling for.

Oops

December 11th, 2012
8:29 am

The deluded think that the House isn’t run by the Republicans

Figures

[...] to Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman, however, the way the Republicans are handling the issue could be the biggest scandal in American [...]

tm

December 11th, 2012
8:30 am

“Apparently the repubs are just supposed to roll over and play nice”

My Lab does that not my representative who I want to e a pit bull.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:30 am

Spending will have to be reduced

…because Pete Peterson and his hired leather slaves Simpson and Bowles tell me so?

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:31 am

“And I can tell you this, there is a hardening on the Republican side”

there’s a Bob Dole / Viagra joke in there, somewhere …

Tap Out

December 11th, 2012
8:32 am

Make all these broke red states pay their fair share. The rest of the country is tired of supporting them.

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:32 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

There are democrats in gerrymandered districts as well.

JohnnyReb

December 11th, 2012
8:32 am

The Dems under Obama have now gone 4 years without a budget, increased the debt more than our entire past history, added the mother of entitlements, and obviously enlisted legacy media to convince citizens the real bad guys are the Republicans. To top that off, Obama wants authority over the debt limit without Congressional approval.

Rant on Jay. Conservatives, stick your ground.

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:33 am

“The deluded think that the House isn’t run by the Republicans”

no the deluded think that the Republicans have a mandate to hold the line.

Who knew?

December 11th, 2012
8:35 am

When we do fall off the cliff, we’ll all do a swan dive. Followed by a score of perfect 10!!!

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
8:36 am

Is there a Republican in the house that can explain the process by which bills are paid by cutting revenues while increasing spending through borrowing. You know. The Bush years.

Thomas Heyward Jr

December 11th, 2012
8:37 am

“Since when is the willingness to inflict “indelible, incurable” damage on our country something to be bragged about and used as leverage?”
.
I’m sorry but………Lincoln,FDR, and LBJ DOES come to mind.

GW

December 11th, 2012
8:37 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:38 am

The same can be said for Obamacare Jay.

yawn.

What’s your latest complaint about how that was passed, anyway–they didn’t televise the conference committee bathroom breaks? They didn’t say “mother may I?” before caving on the Public Option?

And you forgetting to mention the burden of debt Obama and the dems are putting on the backs of our children and grandchildren without a care in the world.

Ok, again, read. learn.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/8-facts-prove-our-govt-not-going-broke?page=0%2C1&paging=off

8. Won’t our kids be forced to shoulder the debt we leave behind?

Yes, this is a real tearjerker. Who among us wants to pawn off our debts onto our kids? A sad thought, if were true. But it’s not. Government debt, unlike our mortgages, is rarely repaid in full. Instead they roll over. The cost to taxpayers is the interest we pay on the outstanding debt and the refinancing of it. With the global economy at stall speed there is no danger in the foreseeable future of rising interest rates.

What about in 30 years when our darlings are at the helm? The answer depends on the economy, not on debt. If we borrow cheaply now to put our people back to work, if we invest fully in funding higher education, and if we build up our crumbling infrastructure and tend to the environment, then we’ll leave behind a prosperous economy. Debt will shrink over time as the economy grows. And more revenues will come in as our people go back to work.

However, if we become obsessed with debt and deficits, and slash to the bone the programs that develop future prosperity, we’ll leave behind a faltering economy and an even bigger environmental mess.

Debt hysteria is like a pandemic that quickly cripples logical thinking. Once infected, Very Important People with Very Impressive Degrees sound like fools.

Let’s hope there’s a cure…and soon.

Thomas Heyward Jr

December 11th, 2012
8:38 am

“Since when is it OK for a major political party to hold a gun to the country’s head, figuratively speaking of course?”
.
Since when has it NOT happened.
.
Figuratively speaking of course……………….not.
.
lol

straitroad

December 11th, 2012
8:39 am

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
8:36 am

I certainly can’t. Bush was far too liberal with his spending and the Republicans governed as if they were democrats.

Thomas Heyward Jr

December 11th, 2012
8:40 am

“Has patriotism become so diluted by cynicism that such strategies can now be publicly embraced and advocated?”
.
Only to the Romney/Obama bots who confuse patriotism with nationalism.

tm

December 11th, 2012
8:41 am

Stand- a whole lot of “Ifs” in you theory

Alex

December 11th, 2012
8:42 am

Straitload, the plan he endorsed 2 summers ago, the last time we did this little dance, had TONS of cuts.

The point is, the republicans are proposing NOTHING substantive. They don’t want any tax increases, and they just want “cuts.” But they won’t say which cuts.

So Obama is calling their bluff. He knows they have become a fringe party — representing the best interests of white conservatives with lots of money and evangelicals brainwashed to vote against their own economic interests (as well as against the economic interests of the bible, but that’s another topic) — so he is forcing them to either become more moderate in their stances, or reveal to the American public how, deep down, they don’t want to support the poor or any seniors who aren’t independently wealthy.

Grasshopper

December 11th, 2012
8:42 am

Oh. please. Stop the histrionics.

If Obama were any type of leader at all, he would have moved us past this on the day after the election. I know you weren’t talking about Obama when you wrote the following, but you should have been:

“That isn’t leadership. That isn’t patriotism. It is the act of a petulant, frustrated three-year-old threatening to hold his breath until the country turns blue.”

JohnnyReb

December 11th, 2012
8:42 am

“Lincoln,FDR, and LBJ DOES come to mind.”

I can’t agree with putting Lincoln in the group, but add Wilson and Obama and you have the biggest mistakes in our political history.

alittlecommonsense

December 11th, 2012
8:43 am

Of course it’s not that Republicans have deeply held concerns about the looming debt crisis. No, it’s that they are immoral and “don’t care about “catastrophic” consequences”.

This is the problem with you hardcore Democrats. Instead of looking at the other perspective, you demonize.

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
8:43 am

Republicans governed as if they were democrats.

Really. So you’re claiming that Democrats were in charge in 2001 and 2003. Please share some more of your revisionist history with us, straitroad.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:45 am

Stand- a whole lot of “Ifs” in you theory

um, a little help here–which half-baked theory was that?

I think I’d put at least twelve of them out there this morning…

TaxPayer

December 11th, 2012
8:46 am

This is the problem with you hardcore Democrats. Instead of looking at the other perspective, you demonize.

No, dear child. This is demonizing. And that nutjob doing it is purebred Republican.

JohnnyReb

December 11th, 2012
8:46 am

Here’s another proud moment courtesy of Obamacare – WalMart is dropping insurance coverage on a very large number of employees and moving them to part time status.

Of course, this gives Jay an opportunity to again bash the Walton family.

indigo

December 11th, 2012
8:47 am

“Since when is the willingness to inflict indelible and incurable damage on our country something to brag about and used as leverage?”

Why, sir, since:

1. Since they sold themselves to Big Business and daily receive their marching orders from CEO chieftains whose personal estates will prosper no matter what else happens.

2. Since they allowed Christian fundamentalists to become their base, people who, in the end, don’t really care about what happens here since “we’re only strangers here, heaven is our home”.

Lynnie Gal

December 11th, 2012
8:48 am

This scandal about the GOP hard right has been playing out since Clinton was hunted down like a dog by them. Bill gave them the ammo and they went to extremes–impeachment of our president for a sexual dalliance. Then, W., Cheney and Rummy conspired to lie us into two wars which we are still paying for in human lives and money. Then, the TeaP’s crash our city halls and town hall meetings demanding that people in this country, even those with pre-existing conditions, do not deserve health insurance–even though the majority of them were on SS and Medicare. They assailed our president with claims of Socialist, Muslim, Kenyon, terrorist–all version of lie, until this election with the vast majority of Americans told them to go to hell. Now, the dead-enders of the hard right are threatening to take down our economy, including themselves, just to let everyone know they still have power. They’re still crushing unions and women’s rights, starting days after the electorate told them to go away. These are sick little men, abusers, really, who want to further crush the poor and middle class with their policies and claim they are “helping” them. Next election, everybody with an “R” by their name needs to be removed from any office he holds–statewide or nationwide.

guy

December 11th, 2012
8:48 am

There is something wrong when the speaker and obama haven’t met one on one in 18 months until the last day or two. ???? Look how much the deficit has increased in 5 years and obama wants to raise the debt ceiling. Neither party knows a damn thing about running a business and that’s why we are all where we are today. There’s nothing to boast about on either side. We ought to be mad as hell instead of making excuses for these fools,whether you are repub. or demo.

BRW

December 11th, 2012
8:49 am

“there is a hardening on the Republican side”
Old white guys and their arteries. Do tell….

DownInAlbany

December 11th, 2012
8:51 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

Republicans won. The house anyway.

they held a sufficient number of gerrymandered seats.

Speaking of gerrymandering. Have you looked at the Second Congressional district? Does the name Sanford Bishop mean anything to you? G-mandering happens with both parties.

Alan Grayson says more Walmart employees on Medicaid, food stamps than other companies

December 11th, 2012
8:51 am

Leave it to Alan “Congressman with Guts” Grayson to get a security escort from Walmart on Thanksgiving.

Grayson, who returns to Congress next year after losing his old seat in 2010, ditched his family on Thanksgiving to hand out turkey sandwiches to employees of an Orlando-area Walmart.

Amid employee walkouts across the country, Grayson approached workers with his turkey tidings and told them about their right to join a union.

Walmart employees are paid so little, he argued, they often seek government programs for help.

“In state after state, the largest group of Medicaid recipients is Walmart employees. I’m sure that the same thing is true of food stamp recipients. Each Walmart ‘associate’ costs the taxpayers an average of more than $1,000 in public assistance,” Grayson wrote in a Huffington Post column on Nov. 24, 2012.

He doubled down in a subsequent interview with The Young Turks show on Current TV, saying Walmart employees represent “the largest group of food stamp recipients.”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/dec/06/alan-grayson/alan-grayson-says-more-walmart-employees-medicaid-/

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:51 am

(best. blog. title. ever.)

I don’t think I got past the photo (which I had seen before, but it never gets old.)

as for riffing on Lindsay’s closet, I have to credit Sam Seder for that; he’s had a sound effect of a creaky door closing shut whenever the guy’s name comes up for ages, now.

no, it is not fair (and probably not even accurate), but if it gets laugh…

USinUK - not very ladylike (and former Girl Scout)

December 11th, 2012
8:53 am

“WalMart is dropping insurance coverage on a very large number of employees and moving them to part time status.”

right.

and that’s Obama’s fault.

I love the party of personal responsibility!

ad

December 11th, 2012
8:53 am

Government debt is a problem when 1) the amount of interest the gov pays prevents spending on necessities, 2) the gov’s borrowing crowds out private borrowing and raises interest rates for everybody and 3) the debt is so high that nobody is buying your bonds. We don’t have any of those problems. Interest rates are low and US bonds are still the most attractive in the world. That’s not to say that there isn’t an amount of debt that’s too high, but, given current circumstances, we’re not there.

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:53 am

G-mandering happens with both parties.

Agreed; never claimed it doesn’t (although I know nothing of the district you reference).

I’m just saying that the moral/political high ground claimed by those who point out that the House was held by the GOP in 2012 is not exactly unshakeable.

DownInAlbany

December 11th, 2012
8:53 am

guy

December 11th, 2012
8:48 am

There is something wrong when the speaker and obama haven’t met one on one in 18 months until the last day or two. ???? Look how much the deficit has increased in 5 years and obama wants to raise the debt ceiling. Neither party knows a damn thing about running a business and that’s why we are all where we are today. There’s nothing to boast about on either side. We ought to be mad as hell instead of making excuses for these fools,whether you are repub. or demo.

Nominated for post of the day!

Aquagirl

December 11th, 2012
8:55 am

Neither party knows a damn thing about running a business and that’s why we are all where we are today.

What Constitution are you reading? The one taught in inferior public schools doesn’t mention stuff like profit margins anywhere. Obviously government brainwashing is at fault for this.

Patty

December 11th, 2012
8:56 am

Oh, please. Neither side of this are thinking about the American public. It’s like two little boys standing out on the playground, having a pissing contest. Too bad we’re the ones getting pissed on.

Alex

December 11th, 2012
8:57 am

Also, if we should cut the military, duh.

If we really are a Christian nation (whether you believe Christianity is a religion, or if you’re bill o’reilly and believe it’s a philosophy), then we should NOT have the largest army in the world and a military budget that dwarfs all else. Instead we should be following the way of the Slaughtered Lamb, the One whose strength is weakness, who did not regard equality with God as power to be exploited, but humbled himself, taking the form of a slave; who implored his followers to turn the other cheek, who is called Lord of Lords and yet Prince of Peace, who, contrary to the worldly expectations of his followers, did not institute a kingdom or empire with the force of armies, but instead willingly died on a cross to end the cycle of violence, which can never be redemptive, and to give a glimpse of the coming kingdom where nation shall not raise up sword against nation, where they shall practice war no more, where the wolf shall lie down with the lamb. The message of Jesus is that there are things in this world worth dying for but NOTHING worth killing for.

So there’s your cut. The military. Final answer.

Jhunt163

December 11th, 2012
8:59 am

stands for decibels

December 11th, 2012
8:59 am

We don’t have any of those problems. Interest rates are low and US bonds are still the most attractive in the world. That’s not to say that there isn’t an amount of debt that’s too high, but, given current circumstances, we’re not there.

so, shaddup-a you face about this BS “debt crisis.”

(I’d pay a coupla months’ earnings to hear Obama say that on TeeVee.

Stevie Ray

December 11th, 2012
9:00 am

JAY

Loved the gutter version!

Anyhow, I think it is healthy to go over fiscal cliff. Clearly, the GOP don’t have to elaborate on cuts….if the president is committed to same he needs to pony up..the idea that all should cave since your guy won is silly.

Your guy needs to put his arrogance aside..he should put the $109 bln of cuts back on the table and push for the $50+ billion in defense cuts..that’s more difficult than other stuff. Increased taxes on “rich” which is the holy grail of liberals is done..He has successfully laid blame on all our woes on the evil 1%.

Best for the country if GOP gives BO everything he wants…or nothing at all. The drama of doom of going over cliff is just that..

Thomas Heyward Jr

December 11th, 2012
9:01 am

Any night now………………….Chris Mathews will proclaim that the term “debt-ceiling” is ………………………racerist.
.
Problem solved.
.
lol.

Stevie Ray

December 11th, 2012
9:03 am

Jhunt163

December 11th, 2012
8:59 am

C’mon now…this is completely different than millionaires here…no way they would move to greener pastures…neither will businesses…the liberals are telling us so…President Trillions et al know what’s best for all of us…you just can’t accept that can you? :-)

JP

December 11th, 2012
9:03 am

Jay,

I thought you were going to say the biggest scandal was “Benghazi” or “Fast & Furious” and recommending that O be impeached…just kidding…of course, it has to be those Evil Republicans because O “cares too much about what happens to this country and its people.” Thanks for the laugh this morning…I haven’t laughed in Omerica since the elections!

JKL2

December 11th, 2012
9:03 am

-That fool Obama cares too much about what happens to this country and its people.

ROFLMFAO!!!!!

Is that like the man who kills his wife because he “loves her too much”? Most people don’t want to “radically transform” things they love.

Thanks for the laugh Jay.

curious

December 11th, 2012
9:04 am

This is great!

Let the country go broke and the party of individual responsibility will have the chance to “build it themselves”.

Let’s default on our obligations and let China foreclose on on us. I predict all these companies that are hamstrung by the government will be the first to scream “uncle” and plead for help.