Sunday, January 10, 2010

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

I honestly wondered how the news this week that Joe F'ckin Lieberman's approval ratings among Connecticut voters were way down in Bush territory would be interpreted by Lieberman and his staff.

On today's Sunday shows, we find out:
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) offered a rare defense of Barack Obama on Sunday -- and an even rarer rebuke of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- after the Arizona Republican accused the president of "leading an extreme left-wing crusade to bankrupt America."

In what was a reversal of the role he played during the presidential campaign -- when he stumped on McCain's behalf and spoke at the Republican convention -- Lieberman said he disagreed with the anti-Obama radio ads McCain is running in his home state.

"You know every now and then John McCain and I disagree sometimes, and that's one of the cases," Lieberman said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So I don't agree with that. I think the president understands the importance of bringing our government back into balance. Look he came in, in a most difficult economic time, inheriting a national debt that had doubled in the preceding eight years. I think you are going to hear from the president in the State of a Union, maybe earlier, about some tough medicine for our economy. We need it and I hope that there will be bipartisan support in Congress for doing that."
So he's back to being behind Barack Obama again as long as Obama delivers "tough medicine for our economy" and acts like a deficit hawk.

Yep, still playing the Concern Troll and running both sides of the fence:  See Democrats, I'm behind Obama!  See Republicans?  I support deficit reduction!

Never mind the fact that Joe's basically signaling Obama's got a fight on his hands on any new spending measures to create jobs.  Nothing's changed, Joe.  When you walk down the middle of the road, you're going to eventually get hit by that oncoming truck.

Oh, and this week's Bobblespeak Translations are up.

The Big Dog Makes A Mess

So people have asked me about this bit from Halperin's book, Game Change, about Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, and why Teddy was so mad at the Big Dog.
[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.

Coffee.  Yeah.  Screw that, Bill.

As BooMan points out, this has been a pattern from the Clinton camp.

Mostly I supported Obama because his foreign policy was better than Hillary's (and then he turned around and made her SecState.)  But part of it was that the Clintons had zero problem playing the race or gender card when they got desperate.

The Hillary 2012 people still are.

Geek Is Not Chic

The Obama as the Black Jimmy Carter/Black Al Gore meme is running rampant since the Crotch Bomber failed to actually hurt anything but his own wang, and it's the same old depressing thing where the "liberal" media is piling on Obama for being too smart and not passionate enough.

MoDo the Red goes bugnuts in her column this week:
Unlike the Republicans, who have yet to take responsibility for a single disastrous thing they did, President Obama said “ultimately the buck stops with me.”

But when he failed to immediately step up to the microphones in Hawaii after the Christmas terror and thank the passengers for bravely foiling the plot that his intelligence community had failed to see, President Cool reached the limits of cool.

No Drama Obama is reticent about displays of emotion. The Spock in him needs to exert mental and emotional control. That is why he stubbornly insists on staying aloof and setting his own deliberate pace for responding — whether it’s in a debate or after a debacle. But it’s not O.K. to be cool about national security when Americans are scared.

Our professorial president is no feckless W., biking through Katrina. He is no doubt on top of the crisis in terms of studying it top to bottom. But his inner certainty creates an outer disconnect.

He’s so sure of himself and his actions that he fails to see that he misses the moment to be president — to be the strong father who protects the home from invaders, who reassures and instructs the public at traumatic moments.

He’s more like the aloof father who’s turned the Situation Room into a Seminar Room.
I'm thinking somebody has Daddy issues.  And as Digby points out, eight years of Republicans acting like everything is a crisis now has the Village complaining that Obama isn't terrified of idiots like the Crotch Bomber.  He's not flogging the YOU MUST FEAR straw man enough.  In short, Obama is acting like a grown up, trying to avoid the trap Bush set by giving in to terror by playing up the very fears Al Qaeda is trying to create...and the Village wants its old climate of fear back where they of course get to tell you just how scared you should be.

They were relevant under Bush, you see. Can't spread hysterical fear without a media to do the spreading.  Obama is taking the Village out of the fearmonger equation (at least on the non-FOX News side, Roger Ailes' crew has all the boogeymen it can dream of right now) and they are now turning on him faster than lightning.

It's going to be an ugly road to November 2012.

Get It In Gear

Friday's PPP poll was apparently just the thing Dems needed to stop taking a Martha Coakley victory for the MA Senate race for granted.  Just got this e-mail from Obama's volunteer director, Mitch Stewart:
There's a special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in just over a week -- and it could decide the fate of health reform.

Progressive champion and state Attorney General Martha Coakley is running against a right-wing Republican, who has already promised to "force" reform "back to the drawing board" if elected.

While the large majority of Massachusetts voters support Martha, special elections often have very low turnout and are notoriously unpredictable. And the same guys behind the Swift Boat ads are now smearing her with hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads. The election may end up being very, very close.

It comes down to this: If Martha wins, we'll be in great shape to pass health reform. If we lose a vote for reform in the Senate, the path will be much more challenging. Wherever you live, if reform matters to you, then this race matters.
So Obama and the White House are taking this seriously now, and that's for the best.  Some of the best analysis of the race actually comes from Rightwing Nuthouse's Rick Moran:
I think it entirely possible that Brown is surging, buoyed by the growing realization that he could pull off the upset. He certainly has gotten a lot of positive press since those Rasmussen numbers have come out and for the 53% of Massachusetts voters who say they are following the election closely, that may have had an effect.

But is Brown really only a point behind? Massachusetts, like New Jersey and other heavily Democratic states, usually show a close race in the week or 10 days just prior to the election. But in the final 72 hours, a lot of Democrats start coming home and since in MA, registration for Dems outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1, that one point difference may indeed be a mirage.

There are several things going for Brown that might upset the conventional wisdom this time around - not the least of which is a powerful anti-health care reform sentiment as well as an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans.

But make no mistake - it is still an uphill battle for Brown. In this most Democratic of states, a Republican needs to be over 50% in the polls on election day to have a chance. And in neither of these new polls is Brown reached that milestone.
I agree with Rick here.  It matters who turns out on Tuesday, and the fact of the matter is Massachusetts is about the bluest blue state in the nation.  Coakley will win, but she will have to take this last week treating Brown as being a deadly serious threat instead of an also-ran.

Shakedown, Breakdown

As TBogg points out (and as the Bob Seger song goes) Harold Ford is running a shakedown of Empire State Dems, and it's not going very well.

Shakedown, breakdown...
Harold Ford wants the people of New York to know  that he’s just like Sarah Palin: a commonsense lone wolf who will not toe the party line. Also, a grifter.
Everybody wants into the crowded light...
“It’s good to have credible candidates explore this race. So what are they afraid of?” began the statement, from Mr. Ford’s spokesman, Davidson Goldin.

In a swipe at those who have asked Mr. Ford to stay out of the primary contest, Mr. Goldin said that New York needed a senator with the “independence to stand up and do what is right for our state, regardless of what the party bosses in Albany and Washington want.”
Shakedown, breakdown...
This has all of the indications of an elaborate shakedown of the Democratic Party by Ford who will no doubt want some form of “compensation” or “consideration” for not running a divisive campaign that he can’t win considering his conservative voting history.

He just wants to be treated like the political royalty he thinks he is. So, asshole.
You're busted, Harold.  When you're selling a shakedown, make sure it's a problem that you can solve that actually exists.  People seem rather happy with Gillibrand in New York.

And playing the Palin card when you've been selling yourself as a Democratic insider pundit on TV for the last two years?  Not happening.

A Stone's Throw From Internment Camps

South Carolina Republican Congressman J. Gresham Barrett wants to deport a couple million people from the US on a rather permanent basis and them keep them out.  Apparently the J stands for Complete Asshole.
The Stop Terrorists Entry Program Act (STEP) was first introduced by Rep. J. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) in 2003 [PDF link]. The updated version, he explained in a media advisory, would bar citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Syria from entry into the United States. It would further require citizens of those nations who are legally visiting or residing in the United States to be deported within 60 days.

And he's doing this as a response to an American who killed 12 other soldiers at Fort Hood, and a Nigerian who allegedly attempted to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day.

If the apparent problems with such a proposal are not not abundantly clear, the Iranian-American blog niacINsight puts it another way: "The American Army major and Nigerian alleged to have committed those attacks would not have been affected by the STEP Act."

"Twice in the past two months, radical Islamic terrorists have attacked our nation and the Administration has failed to adapt its national security and immigration policies to counter the renewed resolve of those who seek to harm our citizens," Barrett opined.
So, this bright spark wants to stigmatize a million Iranians as The Enemy and deport thousands legally residing here...and I'm betting there's at least that many Americans of Cuban descent if not more.  I wonder how Marco Rubio down in Florida, as well as Florida's three GOP Cuban-American Reps. and New Jersey Democrat Albio Sires feel about this bill...all Cuban-Americans.  I know a guy originally from the Sudan who's a co-worker of mine, has two kids, and is a great person.  He wouldn't be able to see his family again.  Nice.

And the best part is this bill wouldn't even have stopped the Fort Hood shooter or Crotch Bomber.  But that's Republican logic for you.  Clearly we need more Republicans in Congress because the Democrats are worse than Bush, right?
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