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Bloggingheads 12-08-2011 11:12 PM

The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 

chamblee54 12-09-2011 09:00 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
What happened to her hair?
chamblee54

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 09:33 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chamblee54 (Post 234064)
What happened to her hair?
chamblee54

Going for the Sinead O'Connor look?

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/6788/sinead1.jpg

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 09:38 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Or perhaps more like this Natalie Portman:

http://img848.imageshack.us/img848/9...ortmanupdo.jpg

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 09:40 AM

Republicans at war
 
David Brooks has a really good column about Newt this morning. I'm struck by the caustic tone of his comments; you'd think David was blogging!

Quote:

[Newt] has every negative character trait that conservatives associate with ’60s excess: narcissism, self-righteousness, self-indulgence and intemperance. He just has those traits in Republican form.

As nearly everyone who has ever worked with him knows, he would severely damage conservatism and the Republican Party if nominated.

miceelf 12-09-2011 09:48 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chamblee54 (Post 234064)
What happened to her hair?
chamblee54

Removal of hair is a common mourning behavior. Perhaps she is really upset about the loss of Science Saturday.

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 10:19 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234067)
David Brooks has a really good column about Newt this morning. I'm struck by the caustic tone of his comments; you'd think David was blogging!

It's going to be really interesting to see whether Newt can sustain his surge in the polls, or if his campaign will follow the pattern of Bachmann, Perry, and Cain, leaving Romney as the uncontested leader -- or to be replaced by another front-runner.

Here's a link to that Brooks column:

The Gingrich Tragedy

Gingrich is what the 30-some million members of the GOP base want. The question now is whether the base can get its way, or if the relatively sane but less activist/engaged element of the party (which we presume would vote for Romney) can prevail over the base.

Here's the latest polling:

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/2716/rcp12911.png

miceelf 12-09-2011 10:30 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234070)
It's going to be really interesting to see whether Newt can sustain his surge in the polls, or if his campaign will follow the pattern of Bachmann, Perry, and Cain, leaving Romney as the uncontested leader -- or to be replaced by another front-runner.

it's all about the cresting of the wave. Kind of like musical chairs. The only question is whether we are close enough to Iowa that the music has stopped playing, and if Gingrich is the seat that the buttocks of the base is hovering over when it actually stops.

A point in Gingrich's favor. There aren't that many people left who haven't already had their moment. At this point, who's left are Huntsman, Santorum, and Paul.

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 10:45 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234070)
Gingrich is what the 30-some million members of the GOP base want.

Base? Base? What does that even mean? I think a new word is needed. These wild oscillations suggest there is no longer any base.

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 10:54 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234074)
Base? Base? What does that even mean? I think a new word is needed. These wild oscillations suggest there is no longer any base.

Well, it's certainly an imprecise term, and would be defined differently by different people. For me, it means the hard core authoritarian/extremist element of the party, and doesn't include the more casual Republicans -- the other half who don't pay close attention to politics and are on kind of Republican autopilot -- voting that way in elections but not deeply engaged. I'd also say the base excludes anyone who's moderate. The base definitely includes the people who were still saying they approve of George W. Bush when his approval was 27%. But there is an even more conservative part of the base who disapproved of GW Bush because they thought he was too liberal, and are itching for an even more extreme program -- such as the Ryan Plan to cut medical costs by engineering a mass die off among the elderly and disabled.

Maybe the easiest shorthand for the GOP base is: the Tea Party.

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 11:09 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 234071)
... the buttocks of the base is hovering ...

Yikes! What terrifying imagery. ;-)


Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 234071)
A point in Gingrich's favor. There aren't that many people left who haven't already had their moment. At this point, who's left are Huntsman, Santorum, and Paul.

Yeah. Exactly. Plus, Gingrich just has that top of the lungs "#### ###!" attitude towards the left that just makes the GOP base dizzy with excitement. With enough undistilled hate for the left, he just might be able to keep the base swooning long enough so they don't start paying attention to the cons that Stephanie detailed in an earlier post elsewhere in the forum.

Incidentally, Brooks notes Gingrich's big government conservatism; this kind of thing has never really been a problem for GOP voters, though lately a segment of the tea party has objected to it. But the embrace of big government conservatism is exactly what one would expect of the former representative of Cobb Country, GA (which Gingrich is). That county was (still is?) one of the biggest recipients of federal largess in the form of defense contracts. It's a glowing example of the prosperity a community can enjoy as a result of massive government subsidy to private industry. Don't tell the people in Cobb County that the government can't create jobs! Or massive homes with swimming pools, or really good schools, or a wonderful upper-middle class life.

So, is Gingrich's embrace of big government conservatism and his history as the Representative from Cobb Country going to him more appealing or less appealing to the wealthy contributors to political campaigns? The answer is obvious: More!

So: It's probably going to be the base and the monied interests against a few concerned strategists and a more libertarian element that wants real small government, not the kind of "small government" that just means slashing the welfare state while preserving or increasing welfare for the rich and corporations.

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 11:16 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234076)
Well, it's certainly an imprecise term, and would be defined differently by different people. For me, it means the hard core authoritarian/extremist element of the party, and doesn't include the more casual Republicans -- the other half who don't pay close attention to politics and are on kind of Republican autopilot -- voting that way in elections but not deeply engaged. I'd also say the base excludes anyone who's moderate. The base definitely includes the people who were still saying they approve of George W. Bush when his approval was 27%.

I don't like it when people use the word base to refer to extremists. The word "base" implies breadth, stability and large numbers. Too often, people use the word base and tie it to extremists as a rhetorical way of tarring the majority of party members that they dislike.

On the other hand, if you think the extremists are in the majority, it's really not correct to use the word "extremist".

To be clear where I'm coming from, I strongly believe that voters, when measured across any single dimension or axis, fall into a normal distribution. That is, there is no "clumping" of extreme opinion. I've engaged in vigorous debate about this in years past in the BHTV comment section.

stephanie 12-09-2011 11:32 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234067)
David Brooks has a really good column about Newt this morning.

That's interesting and consistent with comments that I was thinking about from Slate's Political Gabfest this morning.

Newt really is national greatness "conservative" extraordinaire. That, plus the "Revolution" rhetoric from the '90s has always made it hard for me to square him with real conservative ideology. If nothing else, it makes me skeptical about how much the right (segments of which are currently enthusiastic about him) is really about classical conservatism in any meaningful amount.

stephanie 12-09-2011 11:40 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234074)
Base? Base? What does that even mean? I think a new word is needed. These wild oscillations suggest there is no longer any base.

Well, I think it's a good question. What does "base" mean in this context? I've wondered about it with the Dems.

On the whole, I think the intent is to refer to the heart of the party, those who are likely to do the work of the campaign, who can be counted on generally to vote for the party, not to swing. Also, who generally form the backbone of the ideological views of the party. And that last is where it gets tricky.

For example, in the Dems, I think the base, classically, has been some combination of union types and generally the white working class. In the '60s, the Dems added African Americans, lost some of the WWC, and perhaps added some degree of ideological liberals on cultural issues, but on the whole I'm not convinced the latter group is really a base in the same sense. The original version of the group (the left) were never particularly fond of the Dems, and mostly were angry with the Dem base (see conventions of '68 and '72). Later, the issues that became part of the mainstream Dem ideology were too often tied to economic conservatism, as cultural issues to some degree follow a class divide. That there's no clearcut Dem base seems to be one of the problems the Dems have.

The Tea Party does seem to me to be the Republican base, the group who will always be on the right, not swing, who the Republicans need to excite to make sure their day-to-day campaign work gets done. But I don't think that implies they are the majority of Republican voters. In a successful campaign the party that wins will probably get a majority of swing voters, after all. The swing voters are never what's meant by the base, however.

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 11:50 AM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234082)
... it makes me skeptical about how much the right ... is really about classical conservatism ...

Yikes. These discussions have us chasing our tails. They revolve around words whose meanings are constantly shifting.

If there was a dictionary that would define what "the right" was, I would consult it. Lacking that, I'll have to ask you directly: What is the difference between "right" and "conservative"?

badhatharry 12-09-2011 12:02 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234067)
David Brooks has a really good column about Newt this morning. I'm struck by the caustic tone of his comments; you'd think David was blogging!

Oh Brother! as if 'CONSERVATISM" is something tangible that can be damaged...or hasn't, up until this time, already been.

Anybody but Obama is my current political philosophy. Throw him and all his smarmy elitist bum friends out!

stephanie 12-09-2011 12:07 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234084)
Yikes. These discussions have us chasing our tails. They revolve around words whose meanings are constantly shifting.

If there was a dictionary that would define what "the right" was, I would consult it. Lacking that, I'll have to ask you directly: What is the difference between "right" and "conservative"?

By "the right" I mean the Republican base, of course. ;-)

Seriously, I mean hardcore Republicans, the "right" as defined by the US political spectrum, including the people who would threaten not to vote Republican because they weren't "conservative" enough or were RINOs.

"Conservative" is take on political philosophy, a take that's found within both major parties in the US, but is more prominent on the right. The essence of conservatism is a skepticism about radical change, a strong concern about unintended consequences, a view about how we know things culturally and how change should occur -- basically trust in the wisdom of the population over time, in things like the common law and custom and culture vs. ideology. That's why it's largely opposed to true libertarianism, which is quite clearly an 'ology, the kind of faith in a program vs custom and tradition that would be antithetical to Burke and the usual understanding of classical conservatism.

There's muddling in the US in particular, because our traditions come out of liberal values, but I think it's still possible to separate the strains somewhat.

Talk of "revolution" is not conservatism.

With respect to national greatness "conservatism," I'm focusing more on the skepticism about what the government can do, and there it does get more muddled, as it's quite possible to see Hamilton as a descendant of conservatism within the US tradition. That said, the way in which Gingrich talks about these things (as Brooks notes) does seem to me to basically jettison all traditional conservative skepticism. The ends might be consistent with what the "right" would like, but it's not conservative. (I'd say precisely the same about neoconservatism, the idea that we can impose our values on other countries through anything other than gradual encouragement).

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 12:15 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234083)
I think the intent is to refer to the heart of the party, those who are likely to do the work of the campaign, who can be counted on generally to vote for the party, not to swing.

That's a good answer. That's a definition that can be applied in a straightforward way. As you suggest, talking about ideology will lead you down a rabbit-hole.

Why not apply this definition to Democrats to define the Democratic base?

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 12:18 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234085)
Oh Brother! as if 'CONSERVATISM" is something tangible that can be damaged...or hasn't, up until this time, already been.

Anybody but Obama is my current political philosophy. Throw him and all his smarmy elitist bum friends out!

I'm guessing you are the party base, Badhat.

badhatharry 12-09-2011 12:22 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234086)
By "the right" I mean the Republican base, of course. ;-)

if you haven't read this,

I thought it was quite good.

badhatharry 12-09-2011 12:23 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234089)
I'm guessing you are the party base, Badhat.

Maybe, but I think I'm an unusual member. Let's just say I'm nuanced!

stephanie 12-09-2011 12:27 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234087)
Why not apply this definition to Democrats to define the Democratic base?

I do, but I still don't think it's clear who it is. Or, really, it's a mix of groups who aren't all that consistent in ideology. That's when people on the left on certain matters (foreign policy, security, social issues) get upset about the Dems ignoring the "base," I wonder why they think they are the base or that "base" means farther left. Traditionally, the Dem base was about economics, unions, and those people were not likely to be all that leftwing on the foreign policy/social issues. I think the make-up of the base has changed, but that it's still not clearly leftwing. The Republican base is probably more "right" than the Dem is "left," which explains some of the tension between Dems and "progressives."

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 12:52 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234086)
By "the right" I mean the Republican base, of course. ;-)

Heh.

TwinSwords 12-09-2011 01:16 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234081)
I don't like it when people use the word base to refer to extremists.

I see your point. The thought gave me pause when I was responding to you, because I when I think of the Democratic base, I think of school teachers and nurses and union members -- regular people, not extremists.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234081)
The word "base" implies breadth, stability and large numbers.

Good point.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234081)
Too often, people use the word base and tie it to extremists as a rhetorical way of tarring the majority of party members that they dislike.

I guess, but I think, in the case of the GOP as it is currently incarnated, the "breadth, stability, and large numbers" (though not necessarily a majority) of the GOP is the extremist element. (We may disagree whether those people are extremists, though.)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234081)
On the other hand, if you think the extremists are in the majority, it's really not correct to use the word "extremist".

I see your point, but I disagree, because I think you can be the majority of the GOP (though I'm not convinced that the extremists actually are, in the current case, but speaking theoretically) and still be extremist. I think extremist is defined both in terms relative to political norms and to the population at large, AND in absolute terms of the policies you propose. Even if 80% of the country supported gas chambers for Muslims, that would still be an extreme position, IMO.

While the GOP does not yet go that far, it does hold other views that I think are clearly extreme in absolute terms.

There's one other wrinkle, too: There's a major disconnect in US politics between the views of all Republican voters (base + non-base) and the people who actually run the party. The elected Republicans and the GOP intelligentsia (media, strategists, financial backers) are way, way to the right of the actual GOP rank and file, as polls have shown over and over. In my opinion, it's really these leaders who are extreme, along with the base who follow them blindly and without reflection.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234081)
To be clear where I'm coming from, I strongly believe that voters, when measured across any single dimension or axis, fall into a normal distribution. That is, there is no "clumping" of extreme opinion. I've engaged in vigorous debate about this in years past in the BHTV comment section.

Yes, and I've read them with interest. I'm a big fan of the Simon Willard Theory of the Two Party System. I've said before you give the best American Politics 101 description I've heard yet on how the two party system works, though I do have my disagreements with it. I think it's perfectly accurate in the abstract but fails to take into account the impact of money, the media, and the fact that, as stated above, the parties don't always go where the rank and file would like them to. I don't think it adequately addressed the movement of the poles of the political spectrum over time, either. (In our case, the left and right poles have both shifted dramatically to the right over the last 40 years. Just in the last 10 years, even. In 2003-2004, Bush and Cheney represented new extremes of American conservatism, but the shift continues so dramatically that they are moderate by the standard of the party today.)

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 01:28 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234096)
Yes, and I've read them with interest. I'm a big fan of the Simon Willard Theory of the Two Party System. I've said before you give the best American Politics 101 description I've heard yet on how the two party system works, though I do have my disagreements with it. I think it's perfectly accurate in the abstract but fails to take into account the impact of money, the media, and the fact that, as stated above, the parties don't always go where the rank and file would like them to. I don't think it adequately addressed the movement of the poles of the political spectrum over time, either. (In our case, the left and right poles have both shifted dramatically to the right over the last 40 years. Just in the last 10 years, even. In 2003-2004, Bush and Cheney represented new extremes of American conservatism, but the shift continues so dramatically that they are moderate by the standard of the party today.)

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful remarks. I didn't know I had fans. I will give some more thought to your money/media issue.

Florian 12-09-2011 01:37 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 234096)
In our case, the left and right poles have both shifted dramatically to the right over the last 40 years. Just in the last 10 years, even. In 2003-2004, Bush and Cheney represented new extremes of American conservatism, but the shift continues so dramatically that they are moderate by the standard of the party today.)

That is the saddest thing I have read in a long time, but after watching the Republican candidates this year it seems true to me.

Apropos of the meaning of "base." Remember that the Arabic word for base is Al-Qaida.

Mattfugazi 12-09-2011 01:37 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Kristen, your fashion sense is as always sublime. Check out how well you match to Pantone's Color of the Year for 2012, announced today.

badhatharry 12-09-2011 01:52 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234089)
I'm guessing you are the party base, Badhat.

For me, there is actually just one issue and it is the creep of Washington elites into the life of the country. What I see is a bunch of people who, because of their liberal education, think they know what is best for the rest of us. They are forever fiddling with things, secure in the knowledge that they have the answers to all of the problems (read people like Elizabeth Warren, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank) Of course for their trouble they find it neccessary to feather their own nests while the taxpayers are charged for their fruitless endeavors. To suggest that the Federal government be scaled back sends these folks into a fit and they start talking about how the right wants to starve the poor and kill old people. No, we want to starve Washington.

I suppose it has always been this way and is certainly on both sides of the aisle but I see that it has reached a tipping point. That is the impulse behind the TeaParty and perhaps even OWS. Although OWS doesn't seem to blame Washington and looks to Washington to 'fix things', I think they dimly see that things are way out of whack. Whether any of this will or can be changed is highly doubtful. We've been going down this road for perhaps too long. And I suppose if the economy improves all of the unrest will be forgotten until the next time.

badhatharry 12-09-2011 01:54 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mattfugazi (Post 234101)
Kristen, your fashion sense is as always sublime. Check out how well you match to Pantone's Color of the Year for 2012, announced today.

this may be considered a sexist comment. just please don't call her hot!

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 03:25 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 234100)
That is the saddest thing I have read in a long time, but after watching the Republican candidates this year it seems true to me.

Well, they have to tack right in the primary, and tack left in the general election. We don't see analogous behavior on the Democratic side since there's no contest this year.

I hear the complaint about rightward drift, and I do see it in some respects, but I see left drift in other ways. I'm not aware of any broad quantitative measure that proves the nation as a whole is drifting right over the last 20 years. Someone tell me if I have missed it.

You can find narrow things that show drift one way or the other. For example, the percent of the population that is college-educated continues to rise, and the percent of college students who are female continues to rise (beyond 50%!). Most lefties would assume that these things would correlate to a left shift. (Not BadHat, of course). Then there's the very dramatic increase of the acceptance of homosexuality in the US. And the very dramatic rise in government health-care expenditures would seem to me to argue for left-shift.

badhatharry 12-09-2011 03:32 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234120)
Most lefties would assume that these things would correlate to a left shift. (Not BadHat, of course).

huh?

deecue 12-09-2011 03:38 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
I wonder how much data is behind the assertion that temporary tax cuts don't change incentives and therefore are unhelpful. I keep on hearing this line of argument and always find it a bit odd. Based on my high-school economics understanding, the idea behind this sort of temporary fiscal policy was to try and reaccelerate the economy during a downturn in the business cycle, which if the market accepts should work its way into actual reality. If the market rejects this overall concept as much as republican pundits seem to, however, then this fiscal policy is probably much less useful. Like most things, I guess it depends on how much a downturn is attributed to long-term structural economics versus the economic cycle. Would someone like to correct and/or corroborate my understanding, which is admittedly shaky?

stephanie 12-09-2011 03:59 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234120)
I hear the complaint about rightward drift, and I do see it in some respects, but I see left drift in other ways.

I think we've shifted right economically and left socially, although it depends where you start measuring and what issues we focus on.

It's worth noting that this is an expected result of the realignment and the fact that the liberal/conservative division on many social issues tends to be a class split. Basically, when the white working class got pissed at Dems due to increased liberalism, the culture wars of the day, and racially charged arguments and moved over to the Republicans, it was extremely predictable that the Dems would become more economically conservative as well as socially liberal. When the RINOs found the Republicans less satisfactory due to the increased social conservatism and issues injected by the new members or the appeal thereto or, in the alternative, the Dems more acceptable due to their increased economic conservatism and moved over there, we ended up with two parties basically bankrolled by the same classes, which tend to be economically conservative and socially liberal.

Despite the varying rhetoric, it's not surprising what has won out -- the Republicans use anti-liberal and conservative culture war rhetoric (and hawkishness) to sell the white working class on pro business policies without really caring much to counter the general effect of market-based policies on social values. The Dems use social issues and the opposition to the culture war stuff to satisfy the more leftwing members with policies that its largest individual donors consider economically pragmatic, and uses those donors to fill the gaps cause by the decline of unions.

Ultimately, a realignment driven by the anger of the more socially conservative white working class has probably led to results that they dislike on two fronts and given them no voice. But this assumes they aren't really economically conservative, and perhaps they are, even though they didn't used to be and surveys seem to show otherwise.

Quote:

You can find narrow things that show drift one way or the other. For example, the percent of the population that is college-educated continues to rise, and the percent of college students who are female continues to rise (beyond 50%!). Most lefties would assume that these things would correlate to a left shift. (Not BadHat, of course).
I think these things are neither left nor right. I'm not sure why they would be.

Quote:

Then there's the very dramatic increase of the acceptance of homosexuality in the US.
I agree with you here.

Quote:

And the very dramatic rise in government health-care expenditures would seem to me to argue for left-shift.
I don't agree here, because of how it came about and how screwed up the mechanism is that leads to this result. It's more investment of people in keeping what they have and not risking losing any/having to pay more by expanding it. Basically, denial about the real costs and what people already receive due to the gov't, tax benefits to employers by those who have received the benefits.

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 04:22 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234126)
I think these things are neither left nor right. I'm not sure why they would be.

I guess I was falling back on the old notion that education for women is a liberal value. Perhaps we are beyond that now. Much of the developing world is not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 234126)
I don't agree here, because of how it came about and how screwed up the mechanism is that leads to this result. It's more investment of people in keeping what they have and not risking losing any/having to pay more by expanding it. Basically, denial about the real costs and what people already receive due to the gov't, tax benefits to employers by those who have received the benefits.

Are you saying it's all an accounting thing?

badhatharry 12-09-2011 04:57 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deecue (Post 234123)
I wonder how much data is behind the assertion that temporary tax cuts don't change incentives and therefore are unhelpful. I keep on hearing this line of argument and always find it a bit odd. Based on my high-school economics understanding, the idea behind this sort of temporary fiscal policy was to try and reaccelerate the economy during a downturn in the business cycle, which if the market accepts should work its way into actual reality. If the market rejects this overall concept as much as republican pundits seem to, however, then this fiscal policy is probably much less useful. Like most things, I guess it depends on how much a downturn is attributed to long-term structural economics versus the economic cycle. Would someone like to correct and/or corroborate my understanding, which is admittedly shaky?

Temporary cuts to payroll tax... When will it return to normal? How will we recoup the loss to Social Security? Isn't Social Security already in trouble? That's why the Republicans are balking at this. And Obama and Harry Reid are using it to demonize them, of course.

I think it's cool how they've tied it to the approval of the Keystone Pipeline project. Harry Reid is scandalized...never heard of such a thing!

stephanie 12-09-2011 05:00 PM

Re: Republicans at war
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 234128)
I guess I was falling back on the old notion that education for women is a liberal value. Perhaps we are beyond that now. Much of the developing world is not.

Yeah -- I guess over the period of time we are talking about I see the US as being past that. Maybe I'm too quick to make that assumption. I do think women's rights/sex equality is a matter on which the country has moved left.

Quote:

Are you saying it's all an accounting thing?
I'm saying that the government pays a lot, but how the payments are distributed, the recipients of the benefits, generally favors those who are otherwise already privileged. It's not at all clear that the country has moved left in terms of rights or how the money should be distributed or any such thing. I don't see government spending as inherently left. The details matter.

Cincinnatus 12-09-2011 05:06 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234104)
this may be considered a sexist comment. just please don't call her hot!

Alas, I have learned to keep my comments to myself.

miceelf 12-09-2011 05:26 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cincinnatus (Post 234132)
Alas, I have learned to keep my comments to myself.

Me too, but there's no 'alas' about it.

;-)

Simon Willard 12-09-2011 07:51 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cincinnatus (Post 234132)
Alas, I have learned to keep my comments to myself.

You mean a lass taught you to keep your comments to yourself?

carkrueger 12-09-2011 08:13 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Weird in Washington (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Kristen, what exactly should we conservatives take seriously about Obama's speech? He offered no vision out of our economic condition.

Maybe you should listen to ANY talker on the right who analyzed this speech.

Glenn calls Obama a “liar” who doesn’t understand “rugged individualism”

President Obama's Osawatomie Speech was a Marxist Attack on America

Obama’s campaign for class resentment

Obama Blames the Rich
He does not understand the sources of economic mobility.


The Obama Watch
Organizing the Takers Against the Makers


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