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Thursday, July 28, 2011


Anthony Renli

A few thoughts on the topic –
1) Saying that right now that the Democratic Party is looking better than the Republican Party is like that old episode of South Park where they boys have to vote for their school mascot and the choices are “An Old D-Bag” (Dirt…I’m thinking they mean Dirt…yeah, that’s it) and “A Poop Sandwich."
2) Leaders from both parties need to stand up in front of the American people, and the special interests and plainly say “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (having a recording of the Rolling Stones playing in the background is optional). We really don’t have a choice about raising the debt ceiling. If we don’t do it, it WILL have drastic negative effects on the economy. If we want to have a serious discussion about spending and the like, the time is during the budget negotiations, not when it’s about to hose us all.
3) When we do have budget negotiations. It is a NEGOTIATION. That means that both sides have to be ready to give ground. In a divided Congress, neither party can threaten to take their ball and go home. If you say “Absolutely No Cuts To Defense Spending!” ok, what are you willing to give up for it. That means giving up something else YOU want, not something that the other side wants.
4) Leaders from both parties need to look at special interests and tell them that there are no NEVER and ALWAYS votes. This means NO to signing any pledge. I’m sorry, just because I think that taxes shouldn’t be raised, that does not mean that there are absolutely no possible situations that could ever come down the pike where taxes shouldn’t be raised (let’s say it’s a choice between cutting the DOD budget and letting the Bush tax cut’s expire…I’d have some thinking to do) . Or conversely, Just because I think that Public Radio is a good thing and should be supported, that doesn’t mean that situations may not come up where it’s funding should be cut (I don’t know – I have the choice to raise taxes or cut Public Radio funding…sorry to the Car Talk guys).

Sadly, do I expect either side to act like grownups and deal honestly because as soon as they do the other side will immediately jump all over them, the media will eat it up, and the American people will buy it.

Stan Gibilisco

As a Republican (on paper, anyway), I'll confess that my fellow Republicans get more of my wrath over the "debt ceiling crisis" issue than the Democrats do. But when I try to figure out why, I wonder if my brains aren't in my guts -- or a little lower, even.

The Republicans have a great opportunity to compromise here, to "lose a small battle to win a big war." Yet, they seem glued to their ideological extreme faction, the Tea Party caucus. The field is incredibly fertile for some savior, some Solomon, some wise, moderate conservative to "save the day," and the Republicans seem content to simply let all their vitality bleed out onto the desert sand of public rejection.

Makes me wonder if Donald Trump is right when he says that the Republicans must have a death wish. Doubtless he, The Ego, will be ready in a few months to swoop in and deliver the "coup de grace." Perot redux, and four more years of Obama.

George Mason

Stan; Perhaps it is because the Republicans are capable of thinking for themselves. The only times they have acted unanimously was in response to really bad ideas.

Bill Fleming

Correct, today, Obama's job approval numbers are at an all time low at 40% with 50% disapproving. But even at that, they are nowhere near as bad as Congress numbers: Repubs: Approve 25%, Disapprove 66%. Dems: Approve 30%, Disapprove 60%. (Pew Research, July 20-24. http://www.pollingreport.com/congress.htm

The same poll shows Obama's numbers slipping against a generic GOP candidate: http://www.pollingreport.com/wh12gen.htm

Bill Fleming

Translation: The people are not happy.


Yes Bill, and you might also mention that when Bush had such bad numbers, Congress had even worse numbers. And Congress is not running for President. Obama is, and if some on the left have their way, another Democrat will. Eventually he will face a Republican and some others. If he cannot get past that 40% figure, then he is toast. What is amazing is that there are 40% approving of him.

Bill Fleming

Not quite, DuggerSD. The ratings are for job approval. His favorable approval ratings are still quite a bit higher:

Let's take another look in a few months.


Do you like the guy or dislike the guy? 1/2 like him and almost as many dislike him. That is not good. Is the guy competent or incompetent? 40% say competent and 60% think something else. There is a bid difference between job performance and likeability. Yes, let's check again in a few months when things are still tanking thanks to his policies. It does not help he still blames the problems on Bush. That might be why his likeability is only 50%.

Bill Fleming

I like him. But I have problems with some of his policies. Probably the exact opposite of the policies you dislike, DuggerSD. Put it this way, if he's got both you and me upset with him, that probably explains the 40% number. It could also mean that he's doing something right. ;^)

duggar s d

I can see why you would like him. He is egotistical, self centered and in love with himself, too. But he is still a terrible President.

larry kurtz

Even though he was white, President Lincoln won his second term in an electoral landslide then succeeded in convincing his party to support Reconstruction. President Obama will defeat whatever GOP earth hater stumbles to the fore just so South Dakota can reaffirm its red state necrosis.


Thank you all for your lively comments!

Anthony: I agree with much of what you say - however, representatives are just that - representatives. They are meant to represent their constituents. So I am not as comfortable as you are with the idea of congressmen and senators standing up to the American people.

On negotiation - when you have much of what you want already, you don't negotiate down. If what Republicans want is not to raise the debt ceiling - they've got that. If Democrats want to change it, they are the ones who will need to give things up. At this point, I suppose you could say that Michelle Bachmann is winning. On the other hand, if what Republicans want is to cut spending before they raise the debt ceiling, and it probably is, then there is something to what you say. But it is hard to find a program other than defense that Republicans want to preserve, while Democrats want to cut. Which programs would you suggest?

Stan: I don't think the Republicans are clinging to the Tea Party caucus much, if at all. While Bachmann has spoken against raising the debt ceiling at all, Boehner has offered several compromises that cut much less than many tea partiers might like. But The Economist agrees with you: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/07/debt-ceiling-negotiations

Bill: Thanks, again, for the links.

Duggersd: I feel rather sorry for him. Dr. Blanchard talks about how he was "shielded" from a typical college education by his mentors. He seems to have been shuffled from student to President without much of a chance to ready himself. Now,he is facing some of the worst problems the nation has faced in many years. I do not envy him. I agree with you regarding his job performance. But to a certain degree, it's hard to blame him for it.

Larry: In your view, is every Republican a "hater?" or are there exceptions? If there are exceptions, would you vote for any of them?

Bill Fleming

Dugger, "love they neighbor as thyself." i.e. self love is the template upon which altruism rests.

Miranda Flint

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -- Same source, but I think you might draw a different conclusion from this quote.

Bill Fleming

...but not his tax dollars, right Miranda. LOL.

larry kurtz

The last hope for the Republican Party died on 19 April, 2010: http://interested-party.blogspot.com/2010/04/these-people-are-gods.html

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