Democratic Supermen Are Our Superiors

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Jonathan Martin is hearing that the Republican National Committee, increasingly bearish on the presidential hopes of John McCain (he has another economic plan today! Yes, another one), might "triage" and start spending money on tight Senate and House races.

That the party would use new money to block a Democratic triumph in the Senate rather than boost the odds of its presidential nominee speaks volumes about what many Republicans think is still salvageable. And some in the GOP, especially those working on House and Senate races in which their candidates' poll numbers swoon during the financial crisis, are increasingly agitated about money being spent on what all observers, including McCain, acknowledge is an uphill fight on top of the ticket.

"They should pull the money from ­McCain like [former RNC Chairman] Haley Barbour did in '96, when Dole slid away, and funnel it to save some Senate and House seats as best they can," said one longtime GOP strategist who is working on congressional races.

This echoes something that GOP techie Patrick Ruffini was warning about yesterday: If all of the Senate races break for the Democrats, they'll have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

The RNC's IE unit should drop at least $15 million on 4 or 5 key Senate races that are salvageable in the last three weeks.

And the decision for Victory to stay in or pull out of states should be heavily influenced by the presence of key Senate and House contests.

And McCain should start explicitly making the argument for divided government, with him as the only hope of preserving it. This is unlikely to be a voting issue at the Presidential level, but we need to get the idea percolating that we are about to elect Obama with unchecked, unlimited power. Power corrupts… absolute power corrupts absolutely, etc.

Right now the Democrats are leading in 20 of this year's 34 Senate contests, and within the margin of error in three more. If they ran the table they'd have 62 Senate seats, enough of a cushion to send Joe Lieberman to his new offices in a Wasilla bomb shelter and still rubber-stamp every initiative of the Obama administration. The new Senate would include Al Franken, but not Elizabeth Dole.

Was this why McCain tried to raise the issue of card check for union elections in his "relaunch" speech yesterday? The need for divided government is as concrete and important an argument as you can deploy in a presidential election, but it isn't a compelling argument. This is probably why most of the McCain press releases in my inbox are still about ACORN.

Headline explained here.

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  1. I can’t speak to the rest of the GOP Senate races, but here in NC Dole is a goner. About the only good thing I can say of her is that she voted against the bailout — as far as I’m concerned she’s a RINO.

  2. The most left leaning Democratic President in history along with a fillabuster proof majority in Congress. Looks like everything is coming roses for Reason these days. Only downside I can see from Reason’s and especially Weigel’s prospective is that he might actually have to criticize a Democrat then. But Weigel is a smart guy, I am sure he will figure out some way to avoid it.

  3. We may not be as screwed as one might think. This is from today’s NY Times:

    Investments during Democratic and Republican presidencies

  4. What does RINO even mean anymore?

  5. But Weigel is a smart guy, I am sure he will figure out some way to avoid it.

    For fuck’s sake, John, lay off the “Weigel is a Dem shill” crap. Just because he reports potential doom for the Republicans and you don’t like to hear it doesn’t mean he’s pro-Dem.

    “The need for divided government is as concrete and important an argument as you can deploy in a presidential election, but it isn’t a compelling argument”

    So how exactly does Dave’s statement here make him pro-Dem takeover?

  6. “Weigel is a Dem shill”

    David Weigel loved the political world, and he was beloved by the whole political world. Except for a short period in 2008, when he wrote the article…

  7. Election sex toys. (NSFW=Obvious)

    Obama

    Palin

    And I hear McCain has something for the over 60-set, but “labia de-wrinkler” doesn’t come up on a google search.

    Of course… now it does. YOU’RE WELCOME, POSTERITY!

  8. John,

    FDR blamed the failure of his policies on the “do nothing” Republican Congress. That was his excuse for the fact that no matter how hard he intervened in the economy, things kept getting worse.

    If the Republicans manage to hold on to the Senate, what do you think Obama’s excuse is going to be?

    Face it, you Republicans fucked up. Royally. The democrats are rolling into office and are going to have limited opposition. Because, again, the republican party proved itself to be nothing but a bunch of welfare queens bent on ripping off the American taxpayer.

    The good news is, that when Obama’s policies fail. When the country goes into a multi-year recession/depression, he won’t be able to blame the republicans. He’ll be blaming other democrats, and hopefully this meme that capitalism needs to be saved from itself will finally die the death it so richly deserves.

    Don’t blame reason, John… blame yourself. You and people like you have been carrying water fr the current crop of republicans for years. I’ve read your incoherent posts desperately trying to rationalize why we should support them. It’s supporters like you who encouraged them to loot and pillage with impunity.

    Stop blaming reason. It’s not their fault that your political party are a bunch of tax and spend loonies. The fact that they want to kick your friends to the curb does not mean they want the Democrats to take over. It merely means that the Republicans are unfit to be put in charge of a dog kennel, and no amount of pointing at the Democrats unfitness is going to change that fact.

  9. we are about to elect Obama with unchecked, unlimited power. Power corrupts… absolute power corrupts absolutely, etc.

    Where could he ever have gotten that idea?

  10. tarran – the Republican aren’t tax and spend loonies, they’re borrow and spend loonies. For my money, that’s marginally worse.

  11. The Republicans in Congress are dirtbags. And are getting everything they deserve. I am not a water carier for Republicans. Further, Bush, although I agree with him on the war, was a disaster as a domestic policy because he refused to veto and put a stop to Republicans in Congress.

    As far as Reason goes, you people are smoking dope if you think Reason will seriously criticize and Obama administration. No way. They will find some Republican who banged his secretary to talk about. They will talk about local police running some nazi swat team. They will talk about global warming. But, they will not come out and really go after a Dem administration. They will find a way to obfiscate it. Or, if it gets so bad they can’t defend it, the excuse will be it is all the Republicans fault for losing the election and letting it happen.

  12. You can blame McCain for running one of the worst campaigns in modern political history, John. This guy makes John Kerry look like a political genius.

  13. But, they will not come out and really go after a Dem administration

    You want to put some money on that?

  14. Hell, he makes the Dole campaign look good. At least Dole would actually campaign for people who were in trouble down ballot and helped the GOP GAIN seats in 1996. Libby Dole, Chamblis, and McConell are in trouble, and where’s McCain? Screwing around in Iowa–a state where he’s been behind double digits since June.

  15. Obama doesn’t need a GOP congress to blame; he’ll blame his failures on Bush’s “deregulation” leaving such a mess. I don’t buy that either, but that’s what the Obamassiah will do.

  16. BDB,

    It’s not as if those Senators are begging McCain to come save them. He’d probably harm their chances if the public associated him with them.

  17. Joe–

    Even in a red state like Kentucky or Georgia? I think he’d help there, at least give them free air time.

  18. If Barack Obama leaves office in 2012 with five to six years of solid economic growth behind him, will the people predicting bad economic performance under his administration acknowledge they were wrong?

    Based on our experience through the 1990s, I think not.

  19. “will the people predicting bad economic performance under his administration acknowledge they were wrong?”

    JIMMY CARTER!!!!!

  20. The timing of the economic problems allow Obama to, to a limited degree at least, blame Bush if there is a prolonged recession (since the problem clearly started on Bush’s watch).

    However, there is a distinct possibly that the Dems will screw things up overall that the Republicans will retake one or both houses of Congress come 2010. That’s what happened in 1994, after all-the Dems had near-total control of the Federal government for the first time in 12 years, and they lost it in 2.

    This isn’t guaranteed, however. The situation is a bit different now than in 1994.

  21. Look, the Dems will get to blame George W. Bush and use him as a bogeyman at least as long as the Republicans got to use Jimmy Carter for the same purpose

  22. The last Democrat to try to “change” Washington was Jimmy Carter. He was blocked by…”fillabuster proof [Democratic] majority”.

    Every effort he made to cut spending, streamline programs or balance the budget was stopped in it’s tracks by the likes Ted Kennedy and Tip O’Neil.

    I’m not counting on Barry having any better luck with Harry Read and Nancy Pelosi.

    Fact is, you don’t have to go back as far as Carter. Consider Bill Clinton’s first two years when a Congress full of Democrats and Rockerfeller Republicans who couldn’t even get it together long enough to pass the health plan they’ve been promising since the thirties.

  23. However, there is a distinct possibly that the Dems will screw things up overall that the Republicans will retake one or both houses of Congress come 2010

    This would be the best outcome we could hope for in this situation.

  24. “the likes of

  25. If Barack Obama leaves office in 2012 with five to six years of solid economic growth behind him

    If he leaves office in four years after having five or six years of solid economic growth, he is the fucking messiah.

  26. The Republicans are too decimated from 8 years of Bush to hope of recovering so soon (2010).

  27. In some ways it would be good for the country for one party to really have power. Then, there would be no doubt who was responsible for what. The problem is that the media would never hold a Democratic Administration accountable for anything. Look, anything can be spun or ignored into a success.

    If the Democrats were to get into trouble, it will be over things like the fairness doctrine and cultural things like gay marriage. They can pretty much get away with any amount of abuse of power or corruption. No one outside of a few right wing blogs will call them on it. Clinton read the FBI files of former Republican staffers and no one cared. Right now ACORN is submitting 1000s of false registrations in what amounts to a paper denial of service attack on various voter registration offices and it is barely being mentioned. Whatever goes on in the bowels of an Obama Administration will stay there or if it sees the light of day be dismissed as a “partisian attack”.

    I doubt even a fillabuster proof majority would get much done. In the end, the temptation to abuse power for personal ends and steal usually overcomes whatever utopian dreams a politician has. I doubt Obama will be any different.

  28. john, jesus called and complained again that you’re hogging all the cross space. if this keeps up i’ll be forced to file an incident report with HR.

  29. Without Jimmy Carter, there would have been no Reagan–just more Nixon/Ford/Baker/Dole GOPism, growing the welfare state.

    Maybe we need to give them enough rope and stop being fucking crybabies. How much worse could Dem rule be after these last years of one disaster after another?

    Quit acting like John fucking McCain is Tom Jefferson.

  30. If Barack Obama leaves office in 2012 with five to six years of solid economic growth behind him

    Hah! It depends on what policies he follows joe. If he dramatically slashes Federal spending, rolls back medicare and stops borrowing money, then he will preside over an improving economy.

    If, on the other hand, he keeps to his campaign promises, there is no fucking way on Gods green earth that the economy is going to do anything but tank. There aren’t going to be any new markets to absorb the new dollars the Fed will have print to pay for his new programs. George Bush had a better chance of conquering Iraq at no cost to the U.S. treasury than Obama has to oversee an economic recovery.

    Again, this is predicated on Obama being truthful in his campaign promises. If he’s lying, and institutes sensible policies, things may turn out differently.

  31. Isaac B raises a good point. The Democrats aren’t the lock-step Republicans.

    They can do gridlock all by themselves, thank you very much.

  32. Well, I’m a Democrat, so I’m not hoping for the Republicans to retake either house of Congress. 😛

    But I do acknowledge the possibility. I believe Obama does as well, so I wouldn’t expect any real radical moves on his part, beyond what he’s already said he’ll do (his health care plan, getting troops out of Iraq), at least not until his second term. Besides, with health care, the economy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s plate will be pretty damned full for the first couple years.

    I think Pelosi and Reid also understand this danger, so they probably won’t pass anything too radical themselves.

  33. So is everyone saying this election is over? John McCain has no chance?

  34. A super majority would quickly degenerate into an orgy or corruption and theft. Is your typical legislator Republican or Democrat a crazed revolutionary looking to redo the government or a corrupt slimebag looking to get himself and his friends back home rich? Their might be a few at either end but most of them tend towards the latter. Every interest group would be demanding a pay off and since one party controlled everything, there would be no way to say no to their own people. Either party in that position would be like the Russian Army entering Moscow in 1812 and just disintegrate into looting.

  35. If he leaves office in four years after having five or six years of solid economic growth, he is the fucking messiah.

    LOL, you know what I meant.

    Hah! It depends on what policies he follows joe. Of course it does, tarran. If solid economic performance follows policies you like, then it will prove that those policies worked. If solider economic performance follows policies you don’t like, thousands of libertarians and Republicans will get “Correlation is not Causation” tatooed across their chests.

    If, on the other hand, he keeps to his campaign promises, there is no fucking way on Gods green earth that the economy is going to do anything but tank. So, Newt, have you heard the new Soundgarden album?

  36. I am not a water carier for Republicans.

    Thanks for the laugh John, I needed that. If you’re not a water carrier for the Reps, then why do you constantly freak out whenever Wiegel says anything positive about Dems. Ideally, I’d like divided government, Dem president and Rep Congress (since Congressional Dems are pussies). Unfortunately, that ain’t happening.

  37. Call me crazy (and I don’t know if this is true), but I’d be shocked if Bill Clinton in 1992 promised as much spending as Obama does now.

    Of course Greenspan and Rubin had a word with Clinton as soon as he got in and basically told him, you’re not going to fulfill any of your campaign promises. And he didn’t.

  38. The Democrats are going to gain seats, at least in the Senate, in 2010. The Repubicans’ best chance is in 2012.

  39. Plus IIRC 1992 wasn’t as bad as 2008 economically.

  40. “If you’re not a water carrier for the Reps, then why do you constantly freak out whenever Wiegel says anything positive about Dems.”

    Because Weigel never says anything positive about the Republicans and his criticism of Dems, such as it is, is never as harsh as it is to Republicans. Do I Weigel is a leftist? No. If he was I was respect him more. Ultimately, I think he is just a journalist who can’t quite bring himself to hold Dems to the same standard he holds Republicans because all of his friends are Dems and Republicans are just icky in his view.

  41. If Clinton had a 60 vote majority in 1992, HillaryCare would have passed.

  42. Joe, what will you say if Obama raises taxes, increases spending, and the economy tanks?

  43. John Said:

    I am not a water carier for Republicans.

    Ha! Ha! Ha!. Hoo, boy, that’s a good one. I needed a good laugh this morning. Thanks, John, you helped get my dad started right.

  44. The economy is tanking right now, BDB.

  45. It was tanking in 1976, joe. It was worse by 1980.

  46. tarran | October 14, 2008, 10:11am | #

    If Barack Obama leaves office in 2012 with five to six years of solid economic growth behind him
    Hah! It depends on what policies he follows joe. If he dramatically slashes Federal spending, rolls back medicare and stops borrowing money, then he will preside over an improving economy.

    If, on the other hand, he keeps to his campaign promises, there is no fucking way on Gods green earth that the economy is going to do anything but tank. There aren’t going to be any new markets to absorb the new dollars the Fed will have print to pay for his new programs. George Bush had a better chance of conquering Iraq at no cost to the U.S. treasury than Obama has to oversee an economic recovery.

    Again, this is predicated on Obama being truthful in his campaign promises. If he’s lying, and institutes sensible policies, things may turn out differently.

    Well, under Keynesian economics, deficit spending your way out of a recession is the way to go. Basically, that’s what Obama proposes. I don’t see how anything that Obama proposes will hurt the economy; actually, quite the contrary.

  47. After the $700 billion bail out can he really afford ANYTHING he promised (even his national healthcare)?

  48. Damn, Mo beat me to it.

  49. BDB | October 14, 2008, 10:21am | #

    Joe, what will you say if Obama raises taxes, increases spending, and the economy tanks?

    The economy has already tanked.

  50. We may not be as screwed as one might think. This is from today’s NY Times:

    Investments during Democratic and Republican presidencies

    Geoff,

    From the looks of that, I’d rather have the median Republican stock market and the mean Democratic one. That chart is skewed by a bad market during the Bush II and Nixon (not to mention Hoover) administrations and a great one during the Clinton administration. That sample size is so tiny that the conclusions you could draw from that are absolutely meaningless.

  51. Geotpf-

    It has room to get even worse.

  52. Thanks, John, you helped get my dad started right.

    Goddamn typos! Day! I meant Day!

  53. BDB | October 14, 2008, 10:14am | #

    So is everyone saying this election is over? John McCain has no chance?

    According to fivethirtyeight.com, John McCain currently has a 5.1% chance of winning the election. I believe that figure is correct.

    That is, barring some extraordinary event in the next three weeks moving the numbers in McCain’s favor, Obama wins.

  54. Thanks, John, you helped get my dad started right

    Seitz, you start your dad? That just sounds wrong.

    “Hey, that’s funny…you kiss just like my dad!”

  55. FiveThirtyEight’s model has no track record so we don’t know how correct it will be.

    He should really plug in numbers from 2000 and 2004 and see if he gets the right result.

  56. You weren’t here in 2001, BDB, but I did not spend that year declaring that George Bush caused the recession.

    It was tanking in 1976, joe. It was worse by 1980.

    And few modern observers blame Jimmy Carter for that, looking instead at the oil shock and Nixon-era wage and price controls.

    As for the $700 billion, it (and the recession/depression/whatever) are going to put a big crimp into the next president’s tax cutting and spending plans, no question, at least in the short term. If the economy improves in a year or three and the bailout actually does recover some significant part of the initial cost, we could expect to see a more active agenda at the end of this term, or the beginning of the next one.

  57. Guys, at least the Democrats in 2004 waited until after the election to bitch about election “stealing”. I really do think it’s over if the Republicans are seriously doing it three weeks out.

    Joe, you’re quite confident of his re-election prospects four years out.

  58. Yes, fraudulent voting is very easy to catch. That’s why it’s so implausible to think that improper voter forms can influence elections.

  59. I do think that people like [Screen name randomized for his protection] and Guy Montag, who have denied so far there even is a recession, will scream at the top of their lungs about the OBAMA DEPRESSION!!! starting in March of next year. Watch.

  60. BDB,

    I think his chances of re-election are significantly better than even.

    Most incumbent presidents are re-elected.

    The ones that don’t either have an economic crisis start on their watch, or they were elected while bucking a realignment towards the other party.

  61. Well, under Keynesian economics, deficit spending your way out of a recession is the way to go. Basically, that’s what Obama proposes. I don’t see how anything that Obama proposes will hurt the economy; actually, quite the contrary.

    According to Keynsian economics the early 1970’s shouldn’t have hapenned either: the Kennedy/LBJ policy of stimulating the economy building things to kill yellow people with, coupled with the welfare state at home should have inaugerated a permanent paradise. I think we can throw Keynesianism next to Marxism in the dustbin of economic theories that look pretty on paper but have a poor track record of describing reality.

  62. I think George Bush has been so horrible that it would be laughable if it didn’t affect my money so much, but I think Obama will be way worse.

    John McCain is a wash. He’s somewhere in the middle between horrible and worse Either way we’re screwed.

  63. Keyensians say there won’t be any recession, tarran?

    You sure about that?

    Because I’m pretty sure they don’t. I’m pretty sure Keyensians treat the business cycle as a given, and propose ways to deal with recession when they happen.

    Please, tell us more about describing reality.

  64. This is my favorite book!.

    That’s Econ 101 for you libs!

  65. See, there are too many “S”s in “Keynesians,” so I didn’t have any left for “recessions.”

  66. LOL@the “Bush Boom” book.

  67. I looked on that NY Post ACORN thread to see if there was anything really funny to post, but it’s pretty much what we get over here:

    Wake up America!! Obama and his ACORN thieves are out to steal votes. If McCain wins, there will be race riots in every city that has low income ACORN supporters. The liberal social communists aren’t going down without a fight.

    The naked desire for race riots is a bit Mansonesque, n’est-ce pas? And I call a party foul on the liberal social communists construction. If you want to say they are all the same thing, say so and don’t trade on redundancies.

  68. BDB | October 14, 2008, 10:28am | #

    FiveThirtyEight’s model has no track record so we don’t know how correct it will be.

    He should really plug in numbers from 2000 and 2004 and see if he gets the right result.

    Well, in both of those years, the election was much closer than it is now (polling wise). Look at the polls for yourself (and compare them to those in 2000 and 2004, if you wish). Obama clearly has a significant lead, especially in the electoral college.

  69. Wake up America!! Obama Bush and his ACORN Diebold thieves are out to steal votes. If McCain Kerry wins, there will be race riots in every city that has low income ACORN supporters corporations. The liberal social communists Neofascist Disaster Capitalist Neocons aren’t going down without a fight.

  70. The naked desire for race riots is a bit Mansonesque, n’est-ce pas?

    That’s because they figure they’ll win, being a vast majority of the population. Fair fights are no fun, right?

    (sucker punches NutraSweet)

  71. No, joe,

    According to Keynesianism, there should have been no recession in the late 1960’s. After all, the government was stimulating consumer demand like crazy.

    I do however agree with you on one point. The future will tell us whether or not Obama’s economic policies are going to work or not. If they do, great! My kids won’t be growing up in a depression. I’ll happily eat humble pie for making a bad prediction. After all, there’s nothing like abandoning a bad theory in favor of a better one. But at this point, according to the economic theories I think are right, there’s no way Obama is going to be able to tax and spend, or inflate or spend his way out of a massive contraction of the U.S. economy, a contraction – mind you – that is needed to convert the structure of production that actually serves consumer demand.

  72. Dorothy Kilgallen wrote:

    Obama sure is the ACORN that didn’t fall far from the tree.

    For shame, Dorothy Kilgallen. FOR SHAME!

  73. That’s because they figure they’ll win, being a vast majority of the population.

    I said it was Mansonesque, Mr. Poopy Pants.

  74. I can live through four years of Obama taxes and a sucky economy – I think. My husband owns a small business, but it thrives in bad times (it’s a full service auto repair shop). I work for lawyers so we always have work. We’ll pay higher taxes – we are decidely middle class, under 100K a year at the moment – and if you don’t think you won’t pay higher taxes, you’re high.

    What worries me about Obama with a supermajority: 1st and 2nd amendments. Look for revival of the fairness doctrine; look for attempts regulate internet speech; look for speech codes legislation and shit like they have to deal with in Canada. The whole “dissent is patriotic” view will no longer be in vogue, and the people who spent 8 years screaming about suppression of free speech will suddenly find it really easy to suppress other peoples’ speech when they’ve got their hands on the steering wheel. They’ve used it as a campaign tool and they won’t stop when they are in power.

    I don’t know if the media will deign to notice it; probably not, until it directly impacts them.

    And look for Reason writers’ shock and dismay when Congress starts looking at gun control again. And when Obama fills a couple seats on the Supreme Court, and someone decides it’s time to review Heller.

    I hope I’m wrong about this. I really do.

  75. I said it was Mansonesque, Mr. Poopy Pants.

    (carves swastika in NutraSweet’s forehead, uses blood to write “PIGS” on the wall)

  76. I’d like someone to show me where in the Democratic platform they talk about reviving the fairness doctrine or having speech codes.

  77. stubbylibrarian,

    I work for lawyers.

    Are you a member of SLA? We might have got our drink on together…

  78. stubbylibrarian | October 14, 2008, 10:59am | #

    I can live through four years of Obama taxes and a sucky economy – I think. My husband owns a small business, but it thrives in bad times (it’s a full service auto repair shop). I work for lawyers so we always have work. We’ll pay higher taxes – we are decidely middle class, under 100K a year at the moment – and if you don’t think you won’t pay higher taxes, you’re high.

    Under Obama’s plans, you will get a tax cut, and a bigger one than under McCain’s. All independent analysis of such plans agree with this. If you don’t believe that, you are the one who is high.

    Obama will not raise taxes on anybody who makes less than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Period.

  79. McCain has jumped the shark in deperation. He was taken doen by the financial crisis combined with his oft stated unfamiliarity with economics. This country is moving left for a long while. Obama won’t be so stupid as to pass every bleeding socialist thing right away. He will lay the groundwork, get the social programs started and let the economy drift ever worse. He has at least 2-3 years of bad economic news ahead of him that he can justifiably blame on bush, so a quick recovery is his nightmare scenario as it will allow him less time to pass welfare. That said, if we must have welfare, ad as soon see it go to people instead of companies. I just wish it went to people in my tax bracket.

  80. Sugar: No. I’m in AALL. I haven’t been to a conference in a while – last one I attended was Seattle.

    BDB: if you’re that naive, Some Greater Power bless ya. If you’re bein disingenuous, oh well. There has been at least one – and I think more – bills submitted in the House to revive the fairness doctrine; Hoyer and Pelosi have express interested in “ensuring the availability of fair and balanced information to the American public.” See this Bill Moyers interview with some Congress chick in 2004.

    In This article from June 08 Obama says he doesn’t support the reinstatement of the FD.

    I don’t believe everything a candidate says while campaigning. I tend to assume that once they get in office, things they said they’d do, or wouldn’t do, don’t seem to apply anymore. Maybe I’m just a cynic. You think?

  81. Higher tax rates are the best possible thing that could happen to this country. Let them tax the rich until they bleed. It will only result in disaster, and to a resurgence of fiscally conservative thought – which we don’t get now from either party. Things have to get much worse before they can get better.

  82. You don’t see as much WAKE UP AMERICA! as you used to. There used to be WAKE UP AMERICA! all over the place in the 1990s.

    I wonder if the militias are going to make a comeback, too. Now THAT was some quality WAKE UP AMERICA!

  83. I don’t think Obama is so politically stupid as to blow his political capital and some arcane regulation of broadcast TV that has been rendered obsolete by technology, stubby.

    Good God some people are stuck in a time warp. FAIRNESS DOCTRINE! GUN CONTROL! JIMMY CARTER!

    Should I hook up my Atari to the woodgrain tv?

  84. I wonder if the militias are going to make a comeback, too.

    They never went away, they just learned to keep a lower profile. I sure there’s still canned food, ammo, and Prussian Blue CDs buried all over Utah.

  85. No, joe,

    According to Keynesianism, there should have been no recession in the late 1960’s. After all, the government was stimulating consumer demand like crazy.

    You should go back and familiarize yourself with the tenets of Keyensiasm, because you are misstating its principles. The Keyensians never argued that constant government stimulation of the economy via deficit spending could prevent recessions, but that spurts of stimulus could make them shorter and shallower when they did happen.

  86. I agree that Obama will break his campaign promises though, but on something more substantial than bringing back an obsolete regulation made for 1970s technology.

  87. OK, stubby, since you’re too wordly to believe what Obama says on the campaign trail about the Fairness Doctrine, and look at what politicians do while in office, then there must be some action Obama took while in the U.S. Senate to lead you to believe he secretly supports it, right?

  88. And regulating INTERNET speech? Not even Communist China has managed to do that, so spare me the LibruhFascist melodrama.

  89. managed to do that successfully, I meant.

  90. Geotpf: I’m sure you believe that. I hope you are right.

    If I told you that a Republican presidential candidate with a very good chance of a Republican super majority had pledged to repeal the DOMA – period – you would have trouble believing that, no? Likewise, when I hear that a Democratic President with a supermajority – especially a supermajority led by the likes of Pelosi and Reid – will cut my taxes, well…

  91. Actually, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a resurgence on the right of The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker. An on-point apocalypse scenario: Black street gangs, armed covertly by China, take over the major cities and plunge the US into chaos.

    You know that Obama’s from Hawaii, right? You know what Hawaii’s near? China. Think about it.

  92. Saying that Obama will probably raise taxes on everybody back to 1999 levels is probably a better argument against him than ranting about how Der Schwarz F?hrer will ban free speech.

  93. Joe:

    I wasn’t aware that there is any evidence of any actions Obama took in the Senate.

    BDB:

    you are right about the technology thing. It’s a whole different world of communication today, so implementing the FD would be a lot more difficult. It could be a real legislative flustercuck. Which makes me think it’s that much more likely.

  94. BTW, I never thought we would be burying John McCain three weeks out. Looks like close elections were the exception after all.

  95. heh. I was momentarily confused. Year of the Quiet Sun is also a Polish romance from the 80s.

  96. No, close elections are still the norm. This is an unusual year.

  97. Since 1968 we’ve had four close elections (1968, 1976, 2000, and 2004). The rest were blow outs or near-blow outs (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, probably 2008).

  98. Actual fraudulent voting

    Wake me up when it rises to the level of fraudulent disenfranchisement practiced by the Republicans in the last two elections.

  99. But hey! John McCain has Obama RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS HIM!

  100. Are you a member of SLA? We might have got our drink on together…

    Did you kidnap Patty Hearst together, too? Good times. Good times.

  101. joe | October 14, 2008, 11:33am | #

    No, close elections are still the norm. This is an unusual year.

    Part of the reason that it’s such a blowout is that the election moved from areas where McCain is perceived to be strong (foreign policy/war/terrorism) to an area where he’s preceived to be weak (the economy). If Romney was the Republican nom, the election might be closer now (although I think Obama would still be leading).

  102. Stubby, you’d do best to just ignore BDB and Joe. They are on here everyday with their huge man crushes for the messiah. They are blinded with the love and truly think denying makes everything turn out the way their messiah told them it would be.

  103. Romney would be extremely easy for the Dems to stereotype as a mean, plutocratic, let-them-eat-cake de-regulator who wants to starve the poor and…btw…he’s a MORMON!

    No, Mittens would be down 20 points instead of 11 like McCain.

  104. I’d like someone to show me where in the Democratic platform they talk about reviving the fairness doctrine or having speech codes.

    You are right BDB. Every Party and every President stick exactly to the platform and strive to keep all campaign promises.

  105. SIV, I find it extremely hard to believe that’s at the top of the agenda for them. Maybe for Dennis Kucinnuch it would be, but he isn’t running.

  106. Wake me up when it rises to the level of fraudulent disenfranchisement practiced by the Republicans in the last two elections.

    Do you make your own tinfoil hats rhywun?

  107. I think there will be no tax cut under Obama, and that he will raise taxes on everyone and not just “the rich”.

    But I think McCain would do the same in return for a blank check from the Democrats on his foreign policy goals (much like Nixon), so it’s a wash.

  108. “But I think McCain would do the same in return for a blank check from the Democrats on his foreign policy goals (much like Nixon), so it’s a wash.”

    The only way it’s a wash is when you shun them both and refuse to play their game, instead of taking up a daily internet watch to push their talking points like a fan boy.

  109. Saying Obama will break his promise of tax cuts and raising taxes only on “the rich” is a talking point? Ok, TallDave.

  110. BDB: I don’t believe I made any references to race, did I?

  111. No, did I say you did? I was making a joke.

  112. BDB | October 14, 2008, 11:43am | #

    I think there will be no tax cut under Obama, and that he will raise taxes on everyone and not just “the rich”.

    Of course, Obama is swearing up and down that he isn’t going to do this. You could have easily said Obama would pass a law requiring everybody to wear a pizza for a hat; it’s just as true.

  113. Geotpf–

    Bill Clinton said the same thing and changed him mind two months in.

  114. Stubby has it about right. The problem is that the left has delluded themselves to believing that the last 8 years are Nazi Germany. Therefore, they will see nothing wrong with anything they do because afterall “The Republicans were worse”. I suspect that will be the standard Reason take if Obama wins and he moves after the First and Second Amendments. Just imagine if we have a terrorist attack? At that point I am sure the protections under Heller can be waived in the name of the emergency.

  115. Bill Clinton campaigned on the middle class tax cut and then got into office and forgot all about it. Look for a “budget emergency” to hit about March of next year and for taxes to have to be raised to meet the emergency. Taxes are going up on pretty much everyone. A whole lot of people don’t pay any federal income tax beyond FICA, so the only way to cut their taxes is to cut them a check.

  116. I’ll have you know, guy-who-won’t post a handle, that my mancrushes are on John Kerry and Theo Epstein, who only signed Julio Lugo to fake you out.

  117. You are right BDB. Every Party and every President stick exactly to the platform and strive to keep all campaign promises.

    So, in other words, there is no legislative record to point to, no positions put out by the campaign, and nothing in the party platform.

    But SIV has feelings. Very strong feelings. About the Democrats.

    Oh, I don’t know what to believe!

  118. John–

    I agree about the taxes completely. Even Dems at the state level do this all the time–they run on a “middle class tax cut” they will pay for by “raising taxes on the ‘rich'” and then get elected and raise taxes on everyone.

  119. Do you make your own tinfoil hats rhywun?

    No, I read the news, which at the time contained e.g. stories of non-felons being disenfranchised in Florida. Sorry if your memory is a little off.

  120. Maybe McCain and his supporters could talk about that instead of Ayers, ACORN, and the Fairness Doctrine. They might have a shot then.

  121. Obama will not raise taxes on anybody who makes less than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Period.

    You so confident that you are willing to refund me double the difference if my taxes go up?

  122. I love this theory that FICA taxes aren’t actually taxes.

    I guess we can just lose that earnings cap on FICA, and John won’t complain, because those won’t really be taxes.

  123. BDB | October 14, 2008, 11:55am | #

    Geotpf–

    Bill Clinton said the same thing and changed him mind two months in.

    Show me a quote where Clinton said such on the campaign trail, and then show me how a tax bill he signed differed from said quote.

    Obama said this in the second debate:

    “I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, 95 percent.

    If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”

    Find an equilvalent quote from Clinton, or STFU.

  124. Here you go:

    http://www.observer.com/2008/obama-plays-tsongas-clinton-plays-clinton

    From the article:

    In 1992, with the country mired in an economic slump, Bill Clinton made a middle-class tax cut the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

    It never happened, and he raised taxes on everyone his first year in office.

  125. I love this theory that FICA taxes aren’t actually taxes.

    Me too, but I prefer to point it out during SS arguments. How social security is two separate things – an income tax and a welfare payment and that the supreme court agrees with me and that there is no connection between the two. SS is neither insurance nor retirement, it is welfare. Welfare for the wealthy in many cases.

    I also like pointing out that EVERYONE* pays 15.3% (well technically slightly less after recalculating the denominator) not just people like me who explicitly pay 15.3%.

    *until the limit, then it drops off

  126. The other thing that’s bugging me about this election – and it’s not necessarily because I plan to vote for McCain – I think the polls are seriously screwy. Dangerously screwy.

    If McCain wins, it will be very very ugly. A lot of people have convinced themselves that there is absolutely no possibility of a McCain victory. If the result does not fit their expectations there will be charges of fraud. Regardless of all the obvious ACORN fraud.

    The media has helped to whip all this into a frenzy – and no, I don’t mean to start a threadjack about biased media – the MSM is in the tank for Obama – this is objective reality and if you don’t see it, you don’t see it. The MSM is no more neutral than Obama is Muslim or McCain is conservative.

    So between the MSM pressing the “Obama can’t lose, nothing can happen in the next two weeks to change that” – despite the fact that the Democratic party can blow an election like nobody’s business – and wierd, wierd polls – yeah. This could be very ugly.

  127. “I think the polls are seriously screwy. Dangerously screwy. ”

    Evidence? Or is it feeling-based?

  128. robc,

    If the employer’s side of FICA was eliminated, are you actually saying that every penny of that would go towards employee wages?

  129. BDB | October 14, 2008, 12:09pm | #

    Here you go:

    http://www.observer.com/2008/obama-plays-tsongas-clinton-plays-clinton

    From the article:
    In 1992, with the country mired in an economic slump, Bill Clinton made a middle-class tax cut the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.
    It never happened, and he raised taxes on everyone his first year in office.

    That’s not a quote. I want to know exactly what he said, not some reporter’s take on what he said. I suspect Clinton’s plans were much more wishy washy than Obama’s firm “no tax increase for people making less than $250,000” statement.

    In any case, Obama is not Clinton. What Clinton did really has little bearing on what Obama will do.

  130. I think the polls are wrong, too. I really feel it. In my gut!

  131. joe,

    If the employer’s side of FICA was eliminated, are you actually saying that every penny of that would go towards employee wages?

    No, but it will follow the same supply/demand rules as other taxes do with costs. Is the sales tax entirely paid by the customer? It depends on the elasticity of the product. To use a local example, when the sales tax here went from 5% to 6% did costs of goods go up 1% or did stores lower there prices by .1% to eat some of the additional tax themselves? The answer depends on elasticity.

    How much would go the employee depends on the elasticity of the job market.

    Im saying, from an employers perspective, that it is part of the compensation package for the employee. If it went away, a new equilibrium would be reached.

    The opposite could be argued that both portions are paid for by the employer as are state and local and federal income taxes. The employee works for his take home pay, that is what negotiations are about and the other part isnt his problem. 🙂

  132. “I guess we can just lose that earnings cap on FICA, and John won’t complain, because those won’t really be taxes.”

    ACtually I wouldn’t provided Congress wouldn’t steal the money and instead actually use it to shore up Social Security. The FICA tax is a flat tax so I don’t have that much of a problem with it.

    The problem with doing that is the money wouldn’t go to Social Security, it would just be stolen by congress for use on pork and giveaway programs.

    Obama can’t cut taxes and also meet his obligations to liberal consituencies unless he plans to just bankrupt the country. They are already talking about pushing through $150 billion in “emergency spending” in December.

  133. BDB:

    Eh. Anecdotes, feelings, what others are writing who understand statistics, the fact that the polls go waaay out here, then come back waaay in here; John Zogy’s caution about poll hype; the acknowledged oversampling of Dems.

    I make no claims to numerancy – I am mathmatically handicapped. I have no idea if my feelings about the polls will be borne out on Nov. 4.

  134. The polls have been pretty stable since the financial crisis showing between a 6 and 11 point Obama lead. They really haven’t been very volatile since then.

  135. OK, robc, that’s reasonable. It’s not quite “everyone pays 15.3%,” though.

  136. BDB:

    Yeah, but Rasmussen today (daily poll) puts it at 50/45.

    A lot of my “screwy poll” feeling comes from believing – with no evidence, I grant you, this is a purely emotional response – that on Nov. 4, the undecides who get in the booth and close the curtain will go “guy I know….guy I don’t know….hmmm” and pull for McCain.

    I don’t think it’s a race thing. I think it’s an unknown thing. Somebody said he’s getting the highest numbers since Dukakis of people feeling he’s not ready. Zogby reminds us of the 1980 election, when polls did not show undecideds breaking for Reagan till the Sunday before election day. Of course, they broke for the challenger in that election. But still – polls changed late in the game.

    I just don’t get the feeling that the Presidential election will necessarily be a landslide. It just doesn’t feel inevitable to me. Down ticket races, absolutely. But not President.

    But that’s just me and I got no evidence.

    And now I have to take the kid to the dentist.

  137. Zogby is quite possibly the worst pollster ever. Srssly, he has Obama up in Arizona.

    And wasn’t Reagan the “guy they didn’t know” in 1980?

  138. joe,

    Its everyone pays 15.3% in the same way that everyone pays 6% sales tax. Economically speaking, it isnt completely true, but close enough.

  139. X-post from my other forum:

    I’m wondering if the impending loss by McCain, the split in the party between the neo-cons and the paleo-cons (and the few remaining brain-dead libertarians), and the potential filibuster-proof majority by the Democrats in the Senate will spell the end of the GOP.

    Of course, the federal government’s stable equilibrium is at two parties, so something would replace it eventually; but it might be about time for the GOP to admit that it represents no viable coalition anymore. I’ve been saying for years that there’s a large, untapped coalition of civil libertarians-the “leave me alone” coalition-out there that first needs the GOP to get the hell out of the way before it can really start sucking membership from the Democrats. Could this be the way to get there, however painful unified government for a few election cycles would be?

  140. “Most incumbent presidents are re-elected.”

    Yeah, right.

  141. LBJ was re-elected.

  142. “LBJ was re-elected.”

    No, he wasn’t. He assumed the presidency, was elected to a first term, and then bailed on a second term.

  143. Politically, a lot of manuevering will take place to shift blame or claim credit from both sides, but I believe government systems are collapsing which makes all the political bickering incoherent and inconsequential in comparison. One can only hope we recognize the collapse and make serious changes, not just changes where one group of bozos replaces another.

  144. “I’ve been saying for years that there’s a large, untapped coalition of civil libertarians-the “leave me alone” coalition-out there that first needs the GOP to get the hell out of the way before it can really start sucking membership from the Democrats.”

    That would assume that anyone who is currently a Democrat is wanting to be left alone. That is a big assumption. Yeah, they want to be left alone when it comes to abortion and moral issues, but they sure as hell don’t want to be left alone when it comes anything else.

    The problem is that most of the “leave me alone” contingent really don’t want to leave anyone alone when it comes to their sacred cows. Further, they only recognize the individual not the community. What really has turned me off to libertarians if they have abadoned all pretense of federalism or local control when it comes to things they don’t like. Yeah, they all love leave me a lone, but let the members of some town they have never heard of and will never live in put up a publicly funded Chirstmas tree or decide that this or that book shouldn’t be in the public library and then leave alone goes out the window and becomes, “we have to stop those stupid rednecks” and they become just as authoritarian as anyone else.

    Sure, a lot of people want to be left alone. But, I don’t think many people in this country are willing to live with the collary of that which is “leave other people alone.” For this reason I have stopped buying the idea that there can ever be a “leave me alone” coalition in any meaningful way. If there ever is one it will just be “leave me alone but feel free to fuck with everyone who does things I don’t like.”

  145. squarooticus | October 14, 2008, 1:07pm | #

    X-post from my other forum:

    I’m wondering if the impending loss by McCain, the split in the party between the neo-cons and the paleo-cons (and the few remaining brain-dead libertarians), and the potential filibuster-proof majority by the Democrats in the Senate will spell the end of the GOP.

    Of course, the federal government’s stable equilibrium is at two parties, so something would replace it eventually; but it might be about time for the GOP to admit that it represents no viable coalition anymore. I’ve been saying for years that there’s a large, untapped coalition of civil libertarians-the “leave me alone” coalition-out there that first needs the GOP to get the hell out of the way before it can really start sucking membership from the Democrats. Could this be the way to get there, however painful unified government for a few election cycles would be?

    I used to think there was a chance that the Libertarian Party could replace the Republican Party as one of the two main political parties in the United States. But I’ve since decided that they are way too disorganized and looney tunes for this to be a viable option, at least any time soon.

  146. John,

    I think you’re confusing “we have to stop those stupid rednecks” with “we ought to mock those stupid rednecks and/or hippies.”

  147. “I think you’re confusing “we have to stop those stupid rednecks” with “we ought to mock those stupid rednecks and/or hippies.”

    No. They just don’t always have the ability. Further, they would never lift a finger to ensure the rights of people to do things they don’t like. Most Libertarians are frauds. They are libertines who want to live their life as the see fit but have no interest in defending the rights of people they don’t like. Further, Reason would absolutely cheer on and have no problem with a state or the federal government coming around and stomping on a small community that did something they didn’t like. When it comes to drugs or things they like, they are very federalist. Anything else, they couldn’t care less.

  148. I’d like someone to show me where in the Democratic platform they talk about reviving the fairness doctrine or having speech codes.

    BDB-
    From the 2008 platform:
    We will encourage diversity in the
    ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.

    “clarify the public interest obligations” is the weasel words here. Looking at some archives, a plank for the fairness doctrine seemed to considered, but was explicitly not adopted. There are some other sites that claim it was in the 2000 platform, but all have been right leaning and I have not seen a primary source.

  149. It might be more productive to argue which is worse: the Bengals or the Raiders?

    I move for a declaration that both Democrat and Republican Parties suck, and that the best we can hope for from either is a timely shot in the foot.

  150. I, for one, welcome our new Democratic overlords!

  151. I wish Squareroot’s vision was something to be reasonably hoped for in the near future, but I don’t think so. I suspect that John is right – there is no party that truly wants to leave other people alone.

    And all this talk, every few years, of “permanent ____________ majority” is just so damned silly. The wheel turns, people. It always turns. Six years ago we were looking at a permanent Republican majority. Today, the Republican party is in its death throes and we face a permanent Democratic regime.

    Thirty years ago (or whenever – at the middle or tail end of the first punk era) it was inconceivable that the Tories would ever govern again – till Thatcher came along. Then Majors fell, Blair came in, and soon – it was absolutely inconceivable that the Tories would ever form a government again. When’s Brown got to call the next GE?

    I think Brooks is a hack half the time. Half the time he’s right. It’s the same half – Brooks is right when he’s being a hack. To say that the overreach is coming and the backlash will be next is to simply remember what happened a few years ago, and a few years before that, and a few years before that. It doesn’t require the gift of prophecy.

    The coming Democratic supermajority will not be permanent. It will, however, last long enough to fuck up some stuff that can’t be put right, and fuck up some other stuff that won’t be put right for a long time, and the economy is in the latter group.

  152. Geoff Nathan | October 14, 2008, 9:11am | #

    We may not be as screwed as one might think. This is from today’s NY Times:

    Investments during Democratic and Republican presidencies

    I wonder what the graph would look like if inflation was factored in?

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