How the aging of America is hurting the Republican PartyThe Fix:
On Friday, President Obama embraced a concept long cherished by his party: false equivalency...I know I've been with Greg Sargent on hammering the press on insisting on false equivalency, and I took this as an acknowledgment that Obama and Dems object to it. Better than ignoring it.
Rejecting the “both sides do it” construct will delight Obama’s base who has been insisting for weeks (months, really) that the media’s tendency toward playing “fair” has led to a gross mischaracterization of the facts surrounding sequester. (The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent has been a leading voice in the “false equivalency” chorus.)
Now that the sequester is set to hit, and both sides are settling in for a long, grueling political fight, they are eying the government shutdown deadline of March 27th as the next deadline around which to craft their strategies...
UPDATE: One additional point. Even if the sequester takes some time to be felt in districts, Dems are hopeful that groups within districts who are worried about getting hit by the cuts will go to their GOP members of Congress to tell them that the sequester is a real problem for them — hopefully making it harder for these Republicans to support continuing funding at lower levels. There’s also the possibility that some Republicans who don’t think the sequester is good enough could also deny support. The key for Dems is to maintain unity against any lower level funding extension.
Presidents have plenty of pollsters on staff, and they give many speeches in the course of a year. So how do they so systematically overestimate the importance of those speeches?
[Political scientist George] Edwards believes that by the time Presidents reach the White House their careers have taught them that they can persuade anyone of anything. “Think about how these guys become President,” he says. “The normal way is talking for two years. That’s all you do, and somehow you win. You must be a really persuasive fellow.”
But being President isn’t the same as running for President. When you’re running for President, giving a good speech helps you achieve your goals. When you are President, giving a good speech can prevent you from achieving them.
We will appoint a reader representative shortly to address our readers’ concerns and questions. Unlike ombudsmen in the past, the reader representative will be a Post employee. The representative will not write a weekly column for the page but will write online and/or in the newspaper from time to time to address reader concerns, with responses from editors, reporters or business executives as appropriate.Employee = independent ombudsman? Another false equivalence.
This all happened back when the Democratic Party ran the White House and both branches of Congress, with the mystical 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for a short time. In the face of stubborn Republican opposition, though, what that 60 votes meant in practice was that any Democrat (or independent aligned with Democrats), could for any reason hold everything up until his demands were assuaged. Every one of 60 senators had a chance to be king for a day.Don'tcha miss him more than ever? And don'tcha love selfless and humble Friends of Joe McCain and Graham even more right now after reading this?
And wouldn't you know it, Joe Lieberman decided this was his time to shine.
As CNN reported in December 2009: "Dashing the hopes of Democratic lawmakers Sunday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman signaled he would oppose a health care bill that includes a proposal to expand Medicare to people as young as 55." This came just months after he told this newspaper's editorial board, on camera, that he favored just such a plan.
So why did he change his mind? As The New York Times put it, "he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals."...
Health coverage in America is demonstrably worse off than it could have been all because Joe Lieberman wanted to stick it to the liberals.
Jonathan Chait has a good post up about how Republicans don't really care about tax reform. I'd go further and say they aren't all that interested in deficit reduction, either. Let's review the contours of the current dispute between President Obama and House Republicans over ending the sequester.