You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 8, 2011.

There’s all kinds of interesting stuff out today.

Let’s start with the field of Republicans for 2012 and an analysis from 538 with an interesting graph with pretty colors representing the four regions of the US pasted onto a Cartesian diagram measuring the degree of a pols “inside” relationships to Washington against ideology.  Pete McCloskey is an extinct species.

So there you have it.  I have a little problem with tea party affiliation being “outsider” such that it includes DeMint and Bachman, both who have been in the beltway for more than long enough to be considered insiders.  And I don’t consider Rand Paul a moderate.  But there you have it.

….

The Patriot Act renewal has been temporarily blocked by a coalition of liberal Democrats and Tea Partiers.  It’ll come up again under a different procedure which requires only a majority vote.

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Obama is on the tobacco wagon.  Michelle Obama reports that it’s been about a year since he imbibed – right around the time health care reform passed.

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Keith Olbermann has a new gig already, with Current TV.  I guess his non-competition agreement only applied to the big boys.

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65 percent polled support at least civil unions for same sex couples.

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Eric Cantor is slamming Obama for telling the Chamber that businesses have a social obligation to create jobs.  So, if not the private sector, then who?

And by the way, he’s promising that the House GOP will forbid Obama from spending any federal money to implement the Health Care Reform law.

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Thanks to Mitch for this one on the illegal practice of engineering.

I love this part:

Cox has not been accused of claiming that he is an engineer. But Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report “appears to be engineering-level work” by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.

So basically, it’s only illegal if it’s good work.  Crappy work is fine.

….

From the state in which the Republican contender for Senate called Tea Partiers “dumbasses” comes the resignation of the head of the GOP because he’s “tired of the nuts.

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And this Republican’s call for “open season” on federal judges probably won’t resonate well after last month’s events.

More later.

Addendum: One last note.  Eric Alterman wrote about Obama’s relationship with the media, and I found this gem of a quote in his Dissent piece.

“Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us,” conservative commentator David Frum has observed, “and now we are discovering we work for Fox.” This turned out to be literally true in the case of at least four likely Republican candidates for president in 2012: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. In fact, as two Politico writers observed in the autumn of 2010, “with the exception of Mitt Romney, Fox now has deals with every major potential Republican presidential candidate not currently in elected office.”

John Thune, also with a fairly large bubble up on the chart above, comments that he doesn’t see his lack of employment with Fox as a disadvantage.

Michelle Bachman is a hybrid.  She’s actually in an elected position, which must be a distraction from her constant media presence, on Fox and the other cable networks.

Second addendum: I forgot about this one.  A popular ex-mayor won’t get his name on a public building because his name is too funny.  But seriously folks…

Ironically, they’re out of money.

I’m not actually sanguine about it.  The Democratic Leadership Council, like the Blue Dogs, represent real constituencies within the party and not just evil corporations.  Not everybody who votes for Democrats think like a hippie in the green belt.  There are economic liberals who are culturally conservative, and there are cosmopolitan values fiscal conservatives, and all sorts of permutations which don’t fit into any particular cookie cutter.  These groups do need voices.

But the real irony of the DLC is that it was never very pragmatic.  It was always about moralizing and a sense of entitlement held by Democrats running in red and purple states who wanted the left to shut up while they played the center to squeak out wins.  Their appeal to the left was never really expressed in strategy in which the pitch was that liberal policies actually have a better chance with more moderate Democrats in office.  The case could have been made (though very much undermined by the Prima Donna approaches during the Health Care Reform debate.  It was the DLC types who killed the public option while the Republicans sat back and took potshots at the whole thing, including ideas they had first proposed, to earn points with their angry fringe.   Even many moderates were angry about the way they handled it, and it doesn’t surprise me that they find themselves marginalized now that they’re no longer needed to break a filibuster.

Even back in the 1990s, the whole Clinton agenda stalled very much because Sen. Sam Nunn threw a fit over the possibility that the military might not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.  Again, the Republicans stood back and watched, and then reaped the benefits in 1994.  Basically, the moderates don’t act very moderate.

I’ve read a few accounts around the web.  Some are blaming Obama’s nomination over Clinton for the DLC’s demise (the DLC had pounded heavy for HRC).  Some are blaming the “Blue Dog Bloodbath” last fall, where more than half of that coalition were ousted by their respective electorates.  But I think it was the whole approach of the organization itself.  The temper tantrums.  The whining.  The failure to explain why a vote for a DLC candidate is any better than a vote for a Republican.  They could have responded, “that’s easy, there are no moderate Republicans anymore,” and explained why they are still in the Democratic Party.  Absent such explanations, they looked like a Republican front group.

Maybe the DLC will be replaced with something better, or at least more pragmatic.

She meant well.

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