TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads
Well, it's the Sunday after an Election Day. And a Sunday after a BLOWOUT Election Day. Oh, Democrats, y'all really got your asses handed to you, big time. Here's the good news: it was mostly because the economy was so terrible. Especially the unemployment side of things. Y'all need to hear that, because I know how important it is to you that people like you. If unemployment had been at 7% this whole time, we'd be talking about how wildly popular that health care reform package is.
Well look, as long as the economy recovery and employment numbers improve in the next two years, it will be okay. People will like you fine! The bad news is, that's not a whole lot of time!
As for the White House, well, it looks like Peter Feld's cynical take on the 2008 lay of the land ended up looking prescient:
Unfortunately, that means Obama is screwed. It's obvious he'll take office with his hands tied behind his back thanks to the war, the deficit, and the Crash of '08. Even worse, he'll have heavy majorities of Democrats in both the House and Senate.
Full responsibility plus zero options equals political disaster for Obama and the Democrats.
Each time the Democrats have held both the presidency and strong congressional majorities, it's been a trainwreck. Bill Clinton barely got Democrats on the Hill to pass his economic program--which produced the prosperity we're all so nostalgic for this week--and they killed his health care plan. After two years, Clinton was rewarded with a Republican majority for the rest of his term, leading ultimately to the public release of a government-sponsored report on his sexual practices. The first president whose semen stains became federal property--this is what happens when Democrats control all branches of government.
Ahh, but what can you do? McCain promised to contend with our economic woes with, among other things, an insane spending freeze, along with any number of other pro-cyclical economic policies that would have exacerbated the downturn. God only knows how high unemployment would be. McCain also seemed to be -- strangely -- the only politician in America who didn't want to acknowledge the Status Of Forces Agreement we had with the Iraqis or its timetable for withdrawal. (Watching McCain talk about Iraq was always kind of awkward!)
So who knows how that would have worked out for all of us at home and abroad. "Smouldering husks" is how I imagine it!
Don't know what y'all could have done differently, Democrats! Ben Nelson is as Ben Nelson does, you know? White House, you maybe should have leveled with people about how terrible things were going to be, instead of inventing the false hopes of "Recovery Summer," and conducting bank "stress tests" that nobody believed.
And, you might have been better off stifling that tendency to repeat again and again that y'all had "inherited" the economic mess, too. You know...message received, we get it, most Americans blame Bush for the terrible economy...maybe you noticed how the vote went in 2008? But if you'd stepped up and said, "Put the responsibility on me, I want to own this problem," people would have have seen you at the center of their struggle and, good times or bad, they'd have rallied around you.
People remember Churchill for "KBO" -- "keep buggering on" -- and not so much for doing a lot of bitching about how Neville Chamberlain got him into an epic dunghole. People love the guy who is the calm center of a crisis. But to take that space, you really have to stop bitching about your predecessor.
Well, after this last electoral thumping, you might as well take ownership of the messes, and dare the opposition party to participate. It's precisely the sort of thing that someone who talked about a "new era of responsibility" might choose to do. At any rate, you've got nothing better going on. So burden yourselves.
Anyhoo, my name is Jason and this is your Sunday Morning LiveBlog: Special Victims Post-Election Unit.. This week: post-election analysis, grandiose overstatement from the winners, and hyberbolic disingenuousness from the losers. Probably a healthy dose of setting up the circular firing squads, as well. And next week: the 2012 election season begins! I'm so, so sorry about that! But thannk you for being here! Please feel free to leave a comment, or send an email, or, if you like, follow me on twitter. Let us begin!
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
Today, we have Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan and Darrell Issa, chillin' in the crib, and panel time a go-go.
We begin with Cantor, who starts by having to ask a question about keeping Pelosi as the Dem Leadership. "It's almost as if they don't get what voters were saying." Well, the traditional Dem voters would have other things to say. I'm not sure it's a "thumb in the eye of voters anyway," who didn't vote with Pelosi in mind, but with the fact that either they or someone they care about is out of a job.
As for Obama, does "he" "get" "it?" Cantor is worried that he doesn't, because has Obama said, "Okay! I will go back to letting insurance companies throw you off their rolls if they need to end up treating you!" Anyway, Cantor says, voters have had enough of Obama! So what does Cantor plan on saying? "We will tell him we are here to talk with you, and help you go back to a common sense agenda." Whatever that means.
I think that maybe the president should get out of the legislating agenda altogether, frankly, and let Eric Cantor and company figure out a way to negotiate with twelve Democratic Senators and Harry Reid. Matt Yglesias expressed this pretty well:
For the past 20 months, Obama has spent a lot of time acting as his party's leader in legislative negotiations, especially in the United States Senate. The correct way to respond to the midterms is, I think, to stop doing this. Let Harry Reid do it. As Reid can tell you both from his time as a Minority Leader and his time as a Majority Leader, it's very hard to pass bills through the US Senate. Let this be John Boehner's problem.
Meanwhile, having cleared his schedule of meetings with Phil Schirilo there's time for more meetings with folks from the Counsel's office about judicial vacancies. There should be a nominee for each vacancy! That'll probably set up a problem of getting the judges confirmed, but the first step is coming up with the names. And Obama will have more time to spend on foreign policy. How are we going to extricate ourselves from Afghanistan? How can we continue the dialogue with China over trade and currency issues? How can we strengthen ties with India, Brazil, Indonesia and other large developing democracies? How can he work with Dilma Roussef to check the spread of authoritarian populism in the region?
Given that congress is almost certainly not going to pass any useful bills, what unilateral actions can the administration take to promote economic recovery? What kind of jaw-boning of FOMC members is likely to be useful?
Frankly, back when Obama was doing more legislative meddling and Gang of Six enabling that I thought was useful, I kind of hoped he'd mapped out his Presidency like this -- get the difficult legislative work done in the past two years, and then lay back in the cut and run an executive branch during the second. The sort of issues that sit before the legislature for the time being -- immigration, energy -- are the kinds of things that he can live with if Lindsay Graham is going to be the guiding hand on. Boehner is betting against the economy, and gambling that Obama is going to stay closely engaged with an unfriendly House when he says, "The president sets the agenda." Instead, he ought to back way off, and tend to the knitting he can do unilaterally.
Cantor is not in favor of not lowering taxes on the rich. "I am not for raising taxes in a recession," he says, knowing that he's not in favor of doing so at any other time. "Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem," Cantor says, seemingly unaware that extending those tax cuts on the top earners will add $4 trillion to the deficit.
Cantor wants to cut $100 billion of non-defense spending, back to 2008 levels. "I think most people would agree that the sun rose and set in '08," Cantor said, not too mindful of the fact that the sun came about a hair's breadth away from setting on a ruined financial system. I wouldn't go around pretending that stuff wasn't near apocalyptic in 2008!
Cantor also wants to ban earmarks, a puny portion of the overall government spending, but an objectionable one. Also, there will likely be some insane refusal to raise the debt ceiling. Wallace reminds Cantor that it's that sort of extremis that led to a government shutdown and bad news for the GOP. Cantor says that it's not a Congressional test. Wallace asks if that means if he's not taking responsibility for what may happen, and Cantor repeats Boehner: "The President sets the agenda." Again: this is why the President should leave the House Republicans to their own devices, and force them to broker deals with 12 Democratic Senators and Harry Reid.
Is Cantor going to give crazy-lady Michele Bachmann to a leadership position? Cantor says basically, no, it's going to be Jeb Hansarling, but everyone is going to vote for whoever they want. Wallace piles on the pressure, wondering aloud if that means the "old boy's network" is in effect, and where does that leave the tea party? Due respect, but what Wallace doesn't seem to understand is that the Tea Party is nothing more than the rebranding of the old boy's network!
Since Paul Ryan is up next, this seems like a good time to remember that the plans The Hairstyle has dreamed up involve raising taxes on everyone who's not wealthy:
And a budget plan that uses fantasy assumptions and wouldn't balance the budget in any event:
"The CBO score that people are relying on to reach that conclusion doesn't actually estimate how much revenue Ryan would raise, instead it just takes Ryan's word for it that his ideas would raise 19 percent of GDP. That's because the CBO doesn't score tax issues, that's done by the Joint Committee on Taxation. But if you look at what Ryan's ideas would actually do, the truth is rather different..."
Just some stuff to keep in mind, as you listen to The Hairstyle!
Also, Darrell Issa is here, to talk about subpoenas!
Issa says that his role is to "seek the truth" and investigate stuff, because it inhibits "underlying conclusions." (ISSA SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE HAIRSTYLE'S ASSUMPTIONS, MAYBE!)
Wallace asks Ryan if he means to cut 2700 FBI agents and eliminate Pell Grants and cut the NIH's budget by six billion, and Ryan complains that Wallace is running a "Washington monument tactic" where the most treasured things are wheeled out and asked about. It seems to me that this is actually "journalism?" But nevermind, Ryan is not going to answer these questions specifically because YES ALL THOSE THINGS ARE GETTING CUT.
So, give me your cuts, Wallace asks! He'll take away money from the EPA, for starters, but he prefaces it by saying "when you add stimulus." That's important! Stimulus has more or less already paid itself out. Cantor says that the Fed's quantitative easing is a "big mistake." Because of INFLATION! It's like the 1980s again! Also, Cantor will have to work very hard to defund health care, but he'll try! Because the non-fiscal trainwreck thing to do is for more American citizens to crawl off into the woods to die.
Issa also hates the earmarks, and he also hates Federal grant programs! Currently, the federal government outlays X dollars to agencies like the Department of Education or the Department of Health and Human Services, and those agencies have programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program or the Ryan White Title 3/4 Program. People from all across the country compete for that money - it could be a school or a hospital or a creative afterschool program.
What happens then is that the grantees go through a multi-tiered grant review process that evaluates their work. It involves outside experts, and it leaves the government agency to do very little but total up the scores, make sure everyone's t's are crossed, and then it issues grants. What Issa apparently wants to do is add another layer by which the agency comes back and says, "We want permission to give this program this amount of money." The reason Issa wants to do that is because he wants to add another layer of lobbyist exposure and internal favor trading, so that he and his colleagues can work a little additional grift for the benefit of their campaign warchests.
All in the name of increased scrutiny! It's a really good con!
Issa will leave the judiciary to battle with the phantom menace of the New Black Panther Party. He will also stop people from clearing primaries with job offers, forever. Which is okay with me, frankly! He's also mad at Angelo Mozilo, but even more mad at Fannie and Freddie. He ought to reverse the polarity on that one, and then he'd be getting it straight!
Will Issa use oversight as a weapon, or will he continue to just use love as a weapon? Issa says that this is true and he believes that investigations do not have to be partisan.
Ryan is asked about the work of the fake, phony, Blue Ribbon Panel on Putting All the Deficit Peacocks In a Room Together To Circle Jerk Themselves Into a Pretend Frenzy of Budget Deficit Cutting and he says that no "grand bargain" on entitlements. There certainly won't be any tax increases, because there are too many GOP members on the committee. There won't be any serious cuts because there are too many Democrats on the committee. The point of the committee is to provide the illusion of activity to offset the ongoing lack of achievement.
And now it's Panel Time!
I'm running so ridiculously behind that I'm going to pick things up. Brit Hume is convinced that Obama should have always neglected the people who voted him into office and not done what they wanted him to do and instead do the things Brit Hume wanted done, and he didn't do that, so Brit Hume is sad. Voters basically need an end to the massive unemployment crisis. If that was over, the health care reform package would be insanely popular.
Liasson says that Obama is untethered from the Democratic base, and he'll move to the center, and then, presumably, that Democratic base will ensure that Obama is not the President anymore by "untethering" themselves from the idea of "voting for him."
Kristol says Obamacare will be a huge issue in 2012, and that it's not going away unless a new president comes into office in 2013. This complicates things for Mitt Romney, who is the father of Obamacare, and who is likely to end up the GOP frontrunner.
Juan Williams basically says that this is a misread of the election, and because it's no longer the week where everyone is frantically kissing Juan's hero-victim ass as a favor to him, Wallace looks at him like he is a crazy man. Anyway, Juan Williams says the "white women want bipartisanship," which is probably the most Mark Penny thing I've heard all day.
Now everyone is fighting about Nancy Pelosi, who was basically an effective Speaker like Tom Delay, but because she had a vagina, is hated by Bill Kristol. Hume says that people should only strive to do "historic things that people like," which is why the next speaker of the house should give Brit Hume a gigantic chocolate bunny every week, covered in skittles.
Is that it? Oh, no, there's more.
Wallace seems to think it's crazy that Boehner would highlight health care reform and not the economy as the key issue of the next two years. Hume says that's basically true, because maybe our super new war with Iran will be the key issue of the next period of time.
Kristol says that the current tax rates will be extended, for at least two years, and then they will try to repeal Obamacare, and that repeal will be vetoed. Also, the Tea Party is not going away, even though they won't get Michele Bachmann as their new vice-chair of crazy-talking at the teevee everyday. Juan Williams says, OH HO! GOP CIVIL WAR! But the Civil War is over. Those Tea Party types are going to get a taste of that K Street boodle on their itchy lips and they will subsume themselves into Washington's gooey, grafty establishment with a quickness, I promise you! And there may be some forthright types among the Gadsdenites who truly want to hold the GOP accountable, but in another two years, the bulk of those folks will be members of The Dick Armey, and they'll be happy with massive and unrestrained and unsustainable government spending as long as it's massive and unrestrained and unsustainable government spending on things they like.
In short, a lot of true-hearted Tea Partiers are going to learn an old lesson: their revolution was a lie. Don't feel bad about that, though, it happens to the best of us:
Okay, let's peep in on the panicky folks who live at...
THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW
Today's panel of deep thinkers/lousy lovers includes the titular hero of this show includes Bob Woodward, Joe Klein, Katty Kay, and Andrea Mitchell. Gads.
So, the election! It happened, and it was a "shellacking!" But Obama's "personal popularity" is high. But Bob Woodward says that he needs to have more intimate dinners with people so that he can tell them who he is and what he's like. Matthews wants Obama to play poker with Mitch McConnell. Woodward says that the GOP's positions are "locked in," so the only thing left to do is to chillax with one another over steaks and snifters of cognac while America struggles with massive unemployment.
Katty Kay, who sort of lords her BBC "otherness" over the American political landscape, says that Obama needs to stop being smarter than most people and wishing that wasn't the case. Maybe we should go back to the George W. Bush way -- where I get spoken to by my public servant as if I were two years old.
Klein says that Obama has to be a "better working politician," and be so CALM around Boehner and McConnell that bullets fly past his head in slow motion, like the Matrix.
Mitchell also says that Obama needs to have drinks with GOP leaders, like merlot. And then they should tenderly cradle each others' balls.
Basically, the esteemed panel of this show thinks that most of America's problems are going to be solved at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, with industry lobbyists.
Woodward says that Obama is "adaptable," and so it won't be hard for him to have everyone over to play cribbage and eat Welsh rarebit.
The Matthews panel says the GOP won the message war. Joe Klein says that this specifically happened when John Boehner cried. This makes sense!
Woodward: "The economy is complicated...also: foreign affairs." The banal never stops!
Joe Klein: "He's willing to compromise. The question is, will [the GOP] be willing to compromise." It's like Joe Klein didn't exist for the past two years!
Now we get to the part where Chris Matthews plays a clip from Saturday Night Live, to elucidate an important point: CHRIS MATTHEWS LOVES TO LAUGH AT STUFF.
Bob Woodward reports that contra Saturday Night Live, Dick Cheney did not make Bush sit at a little kids desk.
Is there a difference between Bush and Obama, when it comes to fighting terror? Woodward says that Obama would not have invaded Iraq. Well, that's really helpful to know! STORE THAT AWAY, I guess, if you have a mind to suspending a whole bunch of laws and having Bush back as president again!
Woodward reminds that Colin Powell warned "if you break Iraq, you are going to own it," and suggests that this wasn't Powell suggesting that Iraq should not be invaded.
This is really trenchant stuff today. This panel is really fully of the moment!
Woodward also "spent eight minutes" with Bush, probing him carefully about...what? What? You really want to know? Okay! EIGHT MINUTES ON WHETHER HIS DADDY WOULD APPROVE OF INVADING IRAQ. Journalism! (The takeaway, of course, is that Junior thought that Jesus would like him if he invaded Iraq.)
The panel goes over the Iraq War of eight years ago, picking through the social banalities of the run up to war that were probably discussed extensively at Washington DC steakhouses, which is why the Iraq War wasn't problematic at all, and everything went perfectly, as a bipartisan success.
Andrea Mitchell says she thinks that the Bush book will be widely read, and had a good publicity campaign.
I'm beginning to worry that this show may not have left itself a lot of time to substantively grapple with the pressing needs of ordinary Americans, and the problems they face every day.
Things Chris doesn't know include the following: Obama is trying to stabilize relations between India and Pakistan, John Boehner and Obama both smoke cigarettes (and Katty Kay will probably cause a stir by using the British slang term for cigarettes on the air), Marco Rubio is popular and from Florida and is a Cuban-American game changer, and we're sending cash to Hamid Karzai because of the Taliban...and...Chris Matthews wants to hear about Marco Rubio some more.
Chris Matthews wants to know if Obama is going to get primaried by Russ Feingold or someone. Woodward says no. Kay says that it could happen. Mitchell says he'll definitely face a primary challenge and he'll lose re-election as a result. Klein says that if there's a challenge, it won't be a serious one.
Anyway, Obama will just be unstoppable if he starts having lobster tails and Glenlivet and gentlemanly games of canasta with everyone in Washington, including his fellow smokers. You can bet that the economy will wake the hell up and start extending credit to small businesses then! (Maybe Lloyd Blankfein can come to these gatherings?)
MEET THE PRESS
Meet The Press will have to work very hard at sucking more than the Chris Matthews Show's "Gathering of the DC Elites for a Session of Mealy-Mouthed Onanism" spectacle I just witnessed, but having to watch David Gregory match wits with Jim DeMint will probably do the trick.
DeMint says that the Tea Party is not running the GOP, but he hopes that the GOP will fall in line with them anyway. This should be easy enough, considering the fact that the Tea Party is older, affluent, white people! Anyway, YAARRGH SPENDING!, says DeMint.
David Gregory is really hammering DeMint for supporting Christine O'Donnell. This is surely the most substantive and important ground on which DeMint should be challenged! DeMint says, predictably, that it's silly to be concerned with whether the Tea Party cost the GOP the Senate. He blames the GOP establishment for not supporting her. David Gregory very bravely challenges him on the grounds that O'Donnell actually lost because she was crazy. (She was actually, more simply, just out-of-step entirely with Delaware voters, but it's not like David Gregory understands what or who a "Delaware voter" is.) DeMint ably changes the subject. Gregory bravely allows this. I can't get mad at him for doing so, considering that the original question put nothing important at stake anyway.
DeMint will dismantle Obamacare because Americans prefer a system by which health care eventually gets so unaffordable that poor people do the dignified thing and crawl off into the woods and die so that more productive people can hold sway in the economy. DeMint will have to defund health care reform and slow its implementation, before going back to the massive health care rationing they prefer.
Earmarks! Will there be a showdown between McConnell, who likes them, and DeMint, who does not? Is DeMint prepared to "go toe to toe?" DeMint doesn't seem to think it will be necessary. On the debt ceiling, DeMint is naturally opposed to increasing it, unless it's "combined with" budget balancing and repealing Obamacare (which he just said wasn't possible, so, there you go).
What cuts would DeMint make? DeMint says...uhm...cut earmarks...and "look" at entitlement programs. "We've got the plans to do this," DeMint says, of his "plans" to "look" at things, and then tell people, "We're looking at things," and then hoping that voters send them back to office, to continue to "look" at things, and in so doing, kick the can down the road so that it becomes the problems of legislators who come to power long after Jim DeMint retires on a pile of special interest money.
David Gregory is SOOO ADORABLE, and wants specifics! He could maybe be the first person to get some Republican to say something specific. But DeMint starts with "waste" and I'm sort of hoping he mentions "fraud" and "abuse" so that I can yell "Yahtzee" and pour myself a tumbler of scotch and quaff it, in keeping with Sunday Morning drinking game traditions.
DeMint says, "Cutting benefits to seniors is not on the table." So, Gregory tries again. DeMint says, "Look at Paul Ryan's budget roadmap." Of course, we looked at it earlier today, and its fraudulent. But it's enough to satisfy the cotton-brained Gregory.
Who's got the "inside track" for 2012? DeMint says that "voters" have the inside track. DeMint also seems to think that Chris Christie will run for President, which means that Gregory will now ask him that question a half a billion times.
Gregory asks Christie what the deal is with the GOP's relative unpopularity, even during a period of time where they had electoral successes. Christie has platitudes at the ready: it's "put up or shut up time" and the GOP "lost their way" and everyone had better let Rudy get in for one play if they want to sack Obamacare in South Bend, Indiana.
What does that mean: DUH, less spending, lower taxes, not regulating the industries that destroy coastlines and economies. All the old showstoppers.
Gregory ADORABLY, asks Christie for specifics on what programs he'd cut. All he can offer is that he made cuts on the state level. They cut pensions and education funding and it's "shared sacrifice" because New Jersey is going to suck out loud for a while but that's everybody's fault!
Christie says that he endorsed Mike Castle, and the Tea Party should be cool with that, because everyone shares the same principles of massive unrestrained spending on stuff conservatives like, gutting regulations so that wealthy interests can increase their profit margins, and a less, intrusive government that only intrudes on the basis of whether someone is doing something culturally deviant, like being a gay person or a Hispanic person who doesn't want to carry his birth certificate around with him at all times.
Chris Christie was also very much against building a new commuter tunnel to New York, because New Jersey was going to shoulder too much of the costs of building it. So now, no tunnel. And no economic benefits from the tunnel, for New Jersey. Chances are, New York is looking at this in this way, "Good news! Fewer people from New Jersey here, at all hours of the day!"
Chris Christie is in favor of extending all of the Bush tax cuts, but he'd rather not engage the whole question of "HOW DO YOU PAY FOR THAT," other than to say things like, "I agree with you that they should be paid for." It's just, you know, in the event that they cannot be paid for, we should have them anyway.
Chris Christie also believes that the president should "focus on growing private sector jobs," as if that's not something that's been happening for many, many, many months.
Gregory and Christie talk about that time he interjected with some questioner at a Meg Whitman townhall event, because he correctly recognized that Whitman was the sort of person that was willing to spend hundreds of millions of her own dollars on quixotic political quests, and if he's an eye to mount a quixotic political quest of his own, it's best to defend the honor of Meg Whitman's money publicly, because CHIVALRY IS NOT DEAD, BUT CAN BE PURCHASED ON LAYAWAY.
David Gregory spends about three hours asking Christie if he's going to run for President, and basically gets the answer that 2012 is out, but maybe 2016, depending on what Meg Whitman is willing to spend, I guess.
Panel time, with Marc Morial and Mike Murphy and Karen Hughes and Anita Dunn. Just the thought of this panel makes part of my life-force deflate.
Anita Dunn thinks Obama is great, and that he faces big policy challenges and big communication challenges and that he's done a great job and it's too bad that Americans are still largely jobless and angry. But happily now there's a clear choice between Dems and the GOP and that will make everything great.
Hughes thinks it's a "massive repudiation of Obama's policies," but the truth is that if unemployment was at 7%, all of those policies would be crazy popular.
Morial cautions against "overstating the results of the elections," and that it's a repudiation of the GOP...which explains why they gave the GOP all those seats? I think that people are just in a desperate situation, what with all the joblessness, and they lack much means of getting Washington's attention.
Murphy says that the President's ideology was repudiated. I'm sure he'll say the same thing about Meg Whitman, losing to...uhm...JERRY BROWN.
Karen Hughes, who worked for the Bush administration, as a communicator, criticizes the Obama team's use of "words" because the laws of irony have been suspended, somehow.
Anita Dunn points out that voters do not want the Bush tax cuts renewed which is a good point!
What do American's want, by the way? I think back to June of this year:
On Saturday, the group known as America Speaks (funded by Wall Street mogul Peter G. Peterson and two other foundations) brought together several thousand people in meetings in 18 cities. They gave participants misleading background information about the federal deficit and economic options to achieve fiscal "balance" and future prosperity .
Peterson cannot be pleased with the participants' mainly progressive policy choices, which will be presented on June 30 to the Deficit Commission that Peterson encouraged President Obama to create.
According to America Speaks' own press release, when a scientifically selected group of participants picked up their electronic voting devices, they overwhelmingly supported proposals to
* Raise tax rates on corporate income and those earning more than $1 million.
* Reduce military spending by 10 to 15 percent,
* Create a carbon tax and a securities-transaction tax.
Also: massive unemployment crisis? Morial says that the White House needs to "focus like a laser on jobs." I agree! But there needs to be sixty similarly inclined Senators, as well.
Karen Hughes recommends that Obama follow the Clinton model of reaching out to Republicans, only to be subsequently impeached for having the same extramarital relationships as the top Republicans of the same era.
Murphy takes the responsibility for that crazy Meg Whitman campaign where she thought she could buy the California statehouse. He goes on to note that there's no real "Civil War" coming with the bulk of the "Tea Party" because the bulk of the "Tea Party" is actually standard-issue Republicans. He has a mild beef with Jim DeMint over the whole Christine O'Donnell thing, but that's about it. "There has to be some level of pragmatism," he says, but that's Dick Armey's job: to tame conservative insurgents and make them into obedient standard bearers for the establishment. I promise you, it will work out fine!
Marc Morial points out that you cannot cut taxes and cut spending and also balance budgets, and doesn't know why we can't just have a tax plan that gives working and middle class families tax relief instead of the wealthy. Anita Dunn also thinks it's a good idea, and points out that the dilemma we find ourselves holding with the Bush tax cuts today is a product of the budgetary gimmicks they used to get the tax cuts passed in the first place.
Now we are going to talk about the legacy of George W. Bush. Naturally, neutral observer Hughes will field this question, and she says that Bush's book is awesome and candid and fascinating, which weren't at all the things I expected her to say, at all.
So, programming note! You remember that time a few weeks ago that I asked everyone if they wanted to switch to the new Liveblogging tool for this liveblog, and every single one of you practically declaimed with one voice that you didn't want to switch to the new liveblogging tool and that you wanted this to remain the same as it always was, and I totally agreed with all of you but sort of quietly hedged by pointing out that at some point, The Powers That Be might step in and overrule us and make us switch to the new Liveblogging tool? Well, I have some bad news for everyone!
Either next week or the week after, we will switch to the new liveblogging tool for reasons too uninteresting to go into here. I'm sorry about this, because I know you guys didn't want to change. However, let me say that the major point of contention seemed to be that you didn't want to liveblog to "read reverse" -- that is to say, you wanted new content on the bottom, and old content on the top.
Two things: First, there is a toggle switch at the top of any page using the Liveblogging tool that will allow you to alternate between the two choices. Here is a screenshot:
As you can see, you can switch between readouts, so, by selecting "Older," you get the traditional "read" of this liveblog. (Go ahead and play with it yourself, on this page.)
In addition to that, hopefully, before we switch, I'll be given the means to select OLDEST--->NEWEST as the default setting when I set up the liveblog in the morning, so that this is very quickly a thing that you all no longer have to even think about. I'll do my best for all of you, I promise.
Anyway, have a great week, everyone! See you next Sunday, in some way, shape, or form!