Imagine you’re a three term US Senator, a part of the biggest congressional majority held by Democrats in decades.
2008 brought a tidal wave of hope and change fever, fueled by Barack Obama’s pie-in-the-sky rhetoric, bolstering the majorities gained in 2006, and generating tons of political capital. The Republican party is all but extinct and is in disarray. Nothing stands in the way.
The new administration is sworn in, promising to revive the economy and pulling the US from the “precipice”—the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Then you wake up in December, and you realized that the incompetent leaders of your party just spent the last nine months pushing the biggest Federal entitlement expansion in modern history, squandered its precious political capital on backroom deals, union payoffs—-pushing and pushing an unpopular healthcare reform package.
Rarely throughout the contentious summer and fall, if ever, was there a mention of creating jobs or reviving the economy from the White House or the congressional leadership.
Now, the political climate is such that the Democratic party is toxic in deep blue states, it’s ambitious agenda on the rocks. You’re once safe Senate seat is all but out of reach. You have to call it quits.
How do you feel?
If I had to make a bet, it would be just like how Byron Dorgan feels right about now:
A top Senate Democrat on Friday stressed that jobs and economic recovery, not healthcare reform, should have been the president’s top priority last year.
While Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) described President Barack Obama’s focus on healthcare as “very important,” he said the timing of Obama’s legislative push ultimately “wasn’t good.”
The North Dakota senator later added Obama should have pursued an agenda that was “all economy, all the time [and] all jobs, all the time” in order to “repair this economy and put people back to work” more quickly.
But the president won the election — I didn’t,” added Dorgan, who will not run for re-election this year. “
Dorgan’s admission Friday that Democrats erred by focusing almost exclusively on healthcare reform in 2009 is sure not to sit well with the party’s leaders.
In other words, the Obama administration, with supermajorities in Congress being elected to promote the general welfare of the country, fumbled the ball. They blew it.
Instead of focusing on the economy and trying to create jobs, the Obama Democrats spent their time trying to ram through a healthcare reform package that lawmakers will not vote for and that the majority of Americans don’t want.
Nothing is so sad in politics as wasted political capital, so precious is it to obtain. And it’s all because of Barack Obama’s enormous ego and the complicity of the mindless drones in the Democratic leadership.
Screenshot of Janet Napolitano, she of the “system works”, anti-terrorism operation in the USA, taking in the energizing President Obama at the SOTU speech the other night:
Keep in mind that this person is in charge of HOMELAND SECURITY—keeping the country safe from terrorism, securing the borders, the whole bit.
So has she been keeping the homeland secure? Probably not. The same day of the SOTU speech, she skipped out on the Congressional comittee that oversees the DHS:
Top Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee publicly scolded Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for failing to show up at a Wednesday hearing where the committee examined the attempted Christmas Day suicide bombing of Northwest Flight 253. One Democrat on the committee said he wanted to know “where the hell” Napolitano was.
That evening, Napolitiano did prominently show up at the Capitol to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. But earlier in the day, she dispatched Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute to testify on her behalf in the Homeland Security Committee on what went wrong in the homeland-security process that allowed would-be suicide-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board a plane bound from Amsterdam to the Detroit.
Democrats openly expressed their dismay with Napolitano as the hearing proceeded. Rep. Chris Carney (D.-Pa.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight, said during his question period: “I am very dismayed that the Secretary herself isn’t here. I mean it’s probably fair to ask: “Where the Hell is Secretary Napolitano?”
Rep. Jane Harman (D.-Calif.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, said: “I would like to welcome our witnesses but comment on the absence of Secretary Napolitano. This is the committee with primary jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security. She is the secretary of Homeland Security. She is in Washington, D.C. She was invited to testify at this very important hearing, and she should have been here. … I am very personally disappointed that she isn’t here.”
Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D.-Miss.) rebuked Napolitano for a lack of courtesy in dealing with the committee. Thompson said during the hearing that he had spoken with Napolitano just two days before and that there had been no discussion of her not attending.
Apparently the only things that keeps America safe from terrorism are faulty underwear detonators and fellow passengers who decide to take matters into their own hands.
That should be enough, because “the system works” and those in charge of our safety have better things to do—like napping in front of 60 million people while the President rambles on about how we are going to be safer because Democrats run the government now, and giving the finger to your congressional oversight committee.
It’s funny, because I’ve been told for several years by my leftie friends that it was Republicans that didn’t take governing seriously.
Just as disturbing, is that this story is not getting any real play in the media, not that I should be surprised. I can only imagine the uproar if these things occurred in a Republican administration. And I seem to recall Democrats criticizing everything the Bush administration did to try and stop terrorism. Now that Democrats run all facets of the Federal government, they’re asleep at the switch—literally. God help us.
The Republican Party steered clear of passing a so-called “purity test” proposed by a handful of conservative members of the Republican National Committee and instead passed a toothless watered-down resolution that “urges” Republican Party leadership to consider a candidate’s record and statements and fidelity to the party platform before providing financial support or an endorsement.
In the wake of the special House race in upstate New York last November where the Republican Party candidate DeDe Scozzafava found her campaign derailed by conservatives, several RNC members proposed the idea of passing a resolution where GOP candidates would have to agree to eight out of 10 stated policy positions before being eligible for support from the RNC.
The proposal, initially drafted by Indiana national committeeman James Bopp, was met with strong resistance by state party chairs concerned about such a one-size-fits-all approach. This week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele made clear that he, too, opposed the proposed resolution.
After the vote, Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bob Tiernan and Bopp got into what became a heated exchange over the resolution.
“I would say read the resolution,” Tiernan said. “It says what it says. It is a suggestion, it’s common sense, we do stick to our principles, but there’s nothing mandatory down there, there’s nothing required. I am a chairman and I’m not going to take that back and make my candidates sign it. That’s ridiculous. We rejected the litmus test today.”
Bopp quoted from the resolution: “This is binding, you are to determine – determine — that the candidate wholeheartedly supports the core principles.”
When Tiernan again asserted that there is nothing binding in what passed today, Bopp told him to “shut up.”
I have no misconceptions about the dearth of leadership and cohesion, and the outright incompetence of the establishment Republican party. It’s been painfully obvious for years now.
When the party proposed the so-called “purity test” after the NY-23 special election debacle, I disagreed with it from the outset. I didn’t think then, and I don’t think now, that the party should paint itself into such a corner with what I felt were uncomfortably restrictive prerequisites for RNC funding and support. This was a reactionary, tactical move by the RNC, not a long-term strategic one.
Yes, I believe that conservatism and adherence to conservative ideals are critical for the Republican party and its candidates’ electoral success. It’s the national party’s job to support REPUBLICANS and to do what they can do get REPUBLICANS elected. (As for NY-23, there was nothing conservative about Dede Scozzofava—the RNC had no business supporting her. Had it stepped in with support for Doug Hoffman earlier, the result would have been different—-heckuva job, RNC)
Having said that, I understand why this was brought to a vote—after a summer of contentious town halls and staving off left-wing vitriol, the Republicans felt like they had a shot in the Northeast, a region of the country where Republicans were effectively disappearing. Needless to say, NY-23 was the only loss of any significance that day with GOP victories in New Jersey, Virginia and later, Massachusetts.
But let’s not kid ourselves here. It’s not like the GOP is making great strides in brand recognition over the past year or so. I really believe that the Republican gains over the past several months is due more to the incompetence of the Democrats than anytthing the Repubclians are doing. I think it was LBJ who said, and I’m paraphrasing: “If your opponent wants to make an ass of himself, get out of his way.” That sums up what’s been going on here. The Republicans have been smart enough to just let the Democrats ride the healthcare debate over a cliff with their 2010 electoral hopes along for the ride. Voters are moving over to ther Republicans because they are realizing the damage that Democratic party rule can have on the country, and they want no part of that.
Republicans need to understand that a small government, low taxes, fiscal conservative message will win out over spendthrift liberal Democrats—-always. The key to that understanding, the key to across the board electoral victory, should come from the top. When the Republican party establishment can’t even agree on that—that they have to water down a lame purity test—shows that they’re not ready for what needs to be done to revitalize the party.
I already knew this week was going to stink to high heaven on Sunday—that’s how bad it was going to be. Maybe it was because this was the first truly full workweek of 2010. New Years Day was on a Friday. The following two weeks went by went by realtively quickly with no office related B.S, and last week was a short week due to the MLK holiday.
Sunday came and there was a feeling of blah. Thank goodness it’s finally over.
Corporate life really stinks. It sucks the blood from you.
Anyway, this song shuffled onto my iPod on my way to the office this morning. It’s as good a tune as any to wrap up the work week:
…[W]e have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust -– deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we have to take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; to give our people the government they deserve.
In reality, the Obama administration just spit in our face. Yes, Mr. President. You lie:
A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama’s administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday’s State of the Union.
The Treasury Department on Thursday morning invited selected individuals to “a series of conference calls with senior Obama administration officials to discuss key aspects of the State of the Union address.”
A handful of lobbyists told The Hill on Thursday morning that they received the invitations and were planning to call in.
Some lobbyists say they are extremely frustrated with the White House for criticizing them and then seeking their feedback. Others note that Democrats on Capitol Hill constantly urge them to make political donations.
One lobbyist said, “Bash lobbyists, then reach out to us. Bash lobbyists [while] I have received four Democratic invitations for fundraisers.”
Lobbyists say the Obama White House has held many off-the-record teleconferences over the past year.
Of course, just because you’re President doesn’t mean you cut ties with lobbyists who helped fund your campaign—even if the money is coming from those greedy and reckless Wall Street “fatcats” that you hate so much.
At what point do “independent” Obama supporters and Democrats tell themselves that they’re tired of being lied to and treated like trash by “virtuous” Democratic presidents and congressmen? One day after what’s being hailed as a turning point for the Obama presidency, where he purposely demonized bankers, lobbyists, etc., trying to position himself as a populist—and this is how the administration responds?
I, for one, was not shocked at all. I always knew the President was a liar.
Yes. And I would add “slimy” to the list as well.
Which makes him a perfect fit with the rest of the lying windbags on MSNBC.
Jules Crittenden has a roundup of the usual Obama-hugging commentariat here.
And also, this:
Which I think sums it all up perfectly.
I never give much credence to SOTU speeches to begin with, but given the political climate over the past several weeks, this one was supposed to be “special”.
Generally, I never really agree with Matt Yglesias on anything but he’s one of the better liberal bloggers out there, and I agree 100% with what he says here:
[...] Obama is fantastic at delivering formal speeches and has a fantastic speechwriting stuff. The past twelve months are a reminder that giving fantastic setpiece speeches has limits as a political strategy. You drop out of speech mode into the realm of cold, hard vote-counting and I don’t think anything’s really changed in that regard.
Again, giving great speeches only takes you so far and I think that the country tired of that months ago. I thought the speech was pretty standard fare for a SOTU, not the big call-to-arms on healthcare reform that liberals wanted it to be, which I’m sure will cause some hand-wringing and continue the progressive vs centrist flame wars that have been raging over healthcare over the past few weeks.
U.S. President Barack Obama will freeze the salaries of senior White House officials and other top political appointees for savings of $4 million in fiscal 2011, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.
The official told Reuters that Obama, in his State of the Union address on Wednesday, would likely mention the move, which will expand on the pay freeze he ordered last year.
That freeze affected White House staff earning more than $100,000 a year. It will be expanded to include political appointees working across the executive branch and in all agencies. The total number of people affected will be 1,200 for a saving of $4 million in fiscal 2011 beginning Oct. 1, the official said.
“Across the country, families and companies are making tough choices and the president is asking political appointees to be part of a government that is more careful and responsible with taxpayers’ dollars,” the official said. “These are difficult times.”
Yes. A whole $4 million dollars.
This is really pathetic. But then again, it’s nothing out of the ordinary for this president, making a big deal of $4 million in pay freezes to a gargantuan federal budget. I imagine the federal government uses that much on toilet paper on any given day. What a hypocrite.
On the bright side, $4 million could buy about four more wasted trips to Copenhagen just to get slapped in the face over some global warming climate change fiasco.
Leave it to the United States Senate to come up with a lame idea like this:
Despite growing public anger about the burgeoning federal deficit, the Senate today rejected a proposal to establish a commission to devise ways to cut spending and raise taxes — and to give the panel teeth by essentially forcing Congress to consider its recommendations.
The bipartisan amendment would have required Congress to vote on the deficit commission’s recommendations — up or down, without change — in an effort to prevent lawmakers from sidestepping politically difficult choices and cherry-picking easier but less effective measures.
If I picture the meetings between Senators when they were coming up with this incredibly toothless and complacent idea, I’d imagine they went something like this:
Yes. With deficits at record levels, soaring public debt and a seemingly bottomless appetite for more spending, the Senate decides….to form a commission to look for ways to curb the deficit. Good grief.
And with a Democratic majority in the Senate, you can see how seriously Democrats take their spending problems.