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Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell (R) and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington June 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Stop blaming everyone else for the actions Republicans take.
There seems to be a pressing need, in the Beltway, to convince themselves that the failure of the Senate to pass extraordinarily popular gun legislation is somehow the result of the president not being sufficiently insistent on it. Many of the same crowd were also taken aback by Obama's apparent anger after the vote, because Obama isn't allowed to express anger (but yet not expressing anger also gets him criticized for a Spock-like demeanor, so go figure), but in this particular case the complaint is that the president didn't "twist arms" to somehow get a Senate riddled with near-anarchists to pass the bill:
After more than four years in the Oval Office, the president has rarely demonstrated an appetite for ruthless politics that instills fear in lawmakers. That raises a broader question: If he cannot translate the support of 90 percent of the public for background checks into a victory on Capitol Hill, what can he expect to accomplish legislatively for his remaining three and a half years in office?
And so on and so on. Again, I'm not sure where this need to absolve a batshit-crazy Senate of responsibility for their own actions is coming from, but it's gotten to the point of absurdity.

Here's the flaw with the entire argument, which in the New York Times case is predicated mostly on losing Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska: Even if Obama had gotten every last Democrat to vote for expanded background checks, it still would have been blocked, for the simple reason that a cadre of hard-right Republicans vowed to filibuster it and anything like it. That led to the now-commonplace requirement that every last little thing, even the very popular things, need to get a supermajority of 60 votes rather than a simple majority of 51, and that, in a Senate rendered somewhere between dysfunctional and outright incompetent by a large faction who see blocking their own Senate from functioning as a holy cause, killed not just every speck of meaningful gun reform but is also responsible for the sequester, the debt ceiling fiasco, a multitude of judicial and executive nominations currently in limbo, and countless other things.

Why is it on the president to somehow twist Republican arms to support something that between 80 and 90 percent of the public supports? Why is the story not about how a hard-right Republican caucus vows to reject even the things that 80 to 90 percent of the public wants? The background check amendment was intended to better keep weapons out of the hands of violent felons and terrorists. Why isn't the story "holy f--k, in America we actually still let violent felons and terrorists buy assault rifles, and there's actually a goddamn party that successfully blocked even the most basic efforts to fix that?"

How extremist do Republican Party leaders have to get before we get one, just one, story about how the Republican Party is, in fact, extremist in these things? This is the same Senate that couldn't get votes to approve international treaties on the disabled and for tighter restrictions on weapons trafficking—neither would have had any notable impact on the United States, but both failed because of the outright conspiracy theory peddled by actual Republican legislators that it would be a gateway to the United Nations seizing control of U.S. laws. The Republican caucus is mired both in their own delusions and in the earnest belief that government should be wrecked from the inside out, gutting not just the New Deal but pretty much every other department and duty that does not revolve specifically around the use of military force. It's not secret—they say it on television. They say it to reporters. They say it to you, Beltway crowd, in big rooms and to lots of applause.

What's not to get? And why is that most fundamental story so very carefully tiptoed around, while psychoanalysis of all the more centrist players continues to be obsessed over as political parlor game?

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (125+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, GAS, Miggles, Bob Johnson, MKinTN, cherish0708, ontheleftcoast, FloridaSNMOM, kevinpdx, ratcityreprobate, abbysomething, Polly Syllabic, side pocket, elfling, Sarge in Seattle, phonegery, Pinto Pony, itskevin, blueyedace2, mallyroyal, MaikeH, Diogenes2008, belinda ridgewood, NormAl1792, TAH from SLC, tytalus, scott5js, LilithGardener, NedSparks, ivy redneck, elwior, Foundmyvoice, vcmvo2, puakev, arizonablue, Raven in Philly, second gen, mr crabby, Lost and Found, TomP, fumie, MBNYC, nickrud, kharma, CwV, highacidity, BarackStarObama, MartyM, jds1978, brooklynbadboy, carpunder, Gowrie Gal, maggiejean, Deadicated Marxist, gchaucer2, jdsnebraska, BenderRodriguez, Australian2, Red Bean, leftist vegetarian patriot, blue aardvark, Beetwasher, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Denise Oliver Velez, where4art, Troubadour, zozie, Amayi, scyellowdogdem, Portlaw, dzog, Laurel in CA, dmhlt 66, magicsister, Mr MadAsHell, HappyinNM, valadon, Sybil Liberty, swampyankee, akmk, TRPChicago, janetsal, virginislandsguy, BlueJessamine, alicia, Sue B, bartcopfan, Hedwig, David54, Philby, vixenflem, skohayes, Dodgerdog1, Larry Parker, elphinstone, science nerd, barkingcat, Moody Loner, More Questions Than Answers, leonard145b, 88kathy, Beastly Fool, political junquie, Freakinout daily, Possiamo, SoCalSal, msmacgyver, mon, wader, Odysseus, SaintC, Jack Hare, Hirodog, HCKAD, No Exit, DarthMeow504, DSPS owl, zizi, wozzlecat, Acktiv, deha, Matt Z, a2nite, imchange, TrueBlueMajority
  •  And neither are Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly or the (47+ / 0-)

    ... Newtown families, as I have read from a couple of folks here.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

  •  I Think He Can Expect Very Little From His Next (28+ / 0-)

    3.5 years in office and we all know why.

    But let's not forget, the party he leads had a catastrophic electoral failure in 2010 which is the reason he can't get anything done. The Republicans are definitely not solely to blame for our loss of the House.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:45:15 AM PDT

    •  We had another election since then. (11+ / 0-)

      Obama won that one handily, and we could've replaced the House. Perhaps it was gerrymandering, but it wasn't Obama.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:25:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  had more democrats turned out, there would have (6+ / 0-)

      been no "catastrophic failure".  it's time we took responsibility for OUR part in that failure, don't you think?

      the hard truth is that republicans showed up at the polls.  democrats didn't - for what EVER the reasons and democrats and progressives are paying for their own ideological decisions now.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:11:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's also an issue of who they REPRESENT - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, imchange

        and THAT'S the issue democrats ought to hit them on - the issue of who this or that candidate REPRESENTS when they vote on gun control, or VAWA, or banking regulation, or environmental laws.

        "Who does your senator REPRESENT?"
        "Who does your congressman (or woman) REPRESENT?"

        -This question ought to be the primary theme of every tv and radio ad of the 2014 election cycle.

        Combine that with having Medicare being legally allowed to purchase pharmaceuticals from the lowest bidder, even if Canadian, or issues that focus the public's pocketbook, and the democrats ought to get the enthusiasm and turnout necessary to regain the house and strengthen the majority and youth of the Senate.

        Maybe even get enough new dems to get right with the filibuster - bringing it into the 21st century for a change...

        "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

        by Beastly Fool on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:49:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One reason--tired of LOTE (Lesser Of Two Evils). (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beastly Fool, DSPS owl, imchange

        Maybe Dems should try running on something more substantive than "We're the LOTE."  ;-)

        Seriously, if Dems were to actually run on populist economic policies (including on bolstering, not cutting, the social insurance programs), they'd have better luck at turning out their base.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:07:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  democrats DID turn out (0+ / 0-)

        more people voted for democratic house members than republican house members, but we did not get the majority back due to gerrymandering.

        Rachel did a great piece on those numbers but I don;t have time to look it up right now.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The real problem... (28+ / 0-)
    Why is it on the president to somehow twist Republican arms to support something that between 80 and 90 percent of the public supports? Why is the story not about how a hard-right Republican caucus vows to reject even the things that 80 to 90 percent of the public wants?
    If 90% of people truly want something list background checks or the end of the sequester they're going to have to stop voting for Republicans. The group-think of the Republicans doesn't give the possibility of reasonable actions on many issues. So if you expect reasonable and vote Republican you really don't want reasonable you want "FUCK NO!" as the only option.

    You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:47:03 AM PDT

    •  Yes, the main problem is people voting for Repubs. (23+ / 0-)

      But it'll take a while to fix that one.
         The (much) quicker fix is meaningful filibuster reform because 54 votes, 55 counting Reid ought to carry the day on such an important piece of legislation.
         If Democrats want to pass a bill, change the filibuster rule and then re-work the legislation.

         And the same concept works for so many other things such as raising the minimum wage, passing a good, solid jobs bill, and getting Mr. Cordray approved to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. That needs to be done. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philby, skohayes, SoCalSal, DSPS owl, imchange

        But then what about the House? The most insane thing I heard after the gun votes was someone giving the excuse that it didn't matter that they didn't pass in the Senate because they would never pass in the House. Put that with Boehner saying the House wouldn't pass anything because it will die in the Senate. It seems paralysis is what's in store for a really long time.

        •  No reason to let the Senate off the hook, just ... (9+ / 0-)

          ... because someone thinks the House won't act. Representatives are up for reelection every two years. The House has a lot of Democrats who will vote for good bills brought to the floor. And there are Republican Congressmen who cannot hold out against back home pressure to deal with gun violence.

          House leadership is scared stiffless that the issue will come to them. They can rest easier so long as the Senate refuses these bills. But if when that filibustered logjam breaks - and it surely will - a number of House Republicans will already be near the edge of caving. The pressure will be on Boehner to refuse to bring the bill up. Let's see him hold out against the storm of public pressure then.

          We fight paralysis as it comes. One polarizing paralysis at a time.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:39:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  necessary, but insufficient (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        imchange

        I've come to the conclusion that Reid did not push harder for reform for a very simple reason: it would have meant nothing, since whatever passed the Senate would probably be doomed in the House - at least as it currently stands.

        Had he gone full-measure on filibuster reform, the House would have still blocked everything, and then that tool would have been lost to the Ds should the Senate swing away from them in '14.  Given the oddities and vicissitudes of the electorate, that is not entirely out of the question.

        The only way it works is if the House comes back to Ds AND filibuster reform (actual) is then implemented.

    •  Radicalized GOP killed expanded background checks (17+ / 0-)

      Greg Sargent....

      4/23/13....Steve Benen reminds us that the death of Toomey-Manchin is also another reminder of just how radical today’s GOP is in historical terms:

      There’s an ongoing reluctance among many to appreciate the scope of Republican radicalization. For many, especially in media, there’s an assumption that there are two major, mainstream political parties — one center-left, the other center-right — and an effective president can govern through competent bipartisan outreach.

      Those assumptions are wrong. As we discussed in January, outreach doesn’t work because Republicans have reached an ideological extreme unseen in modern American history. It’s a quantifiable observation, not a subjective one. Even if GOP policymakers were inclined to work with Obama, they realize that they’d be punished soon after by a primary challenge — and they know this to be true because it’s happened more than a few times in recent years (look up names like Crist, Specter, Bennett, Lugar, etc.).

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:27:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Filibuster, like Cramdown=Obama Failure (0+ / 0-)

      Kept his powder dry during filibuster battle, just like the Cramdown he said he wanted way back when...

      •  Kept his powder dry? (5+ / 0-)

        While he was out on the stump, talking to the public and telling them to call their Senators, or when he was having dinner at the White House with Republicans and meeting with Senators like Heitkamp?

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It All Comes Back to the Filibuster (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit

          Jon Walker:

          This amendment, like so much of Obama’s agenda, failed in the Senate because of the filibuster. Amazingly, the word “filibuster” never appears once in their article.

          Obama has had numerous opportunities to aggressively push for reforming the Senate rule but he didn’t.

          While trying to find leverage to twist 60 Democratic and Republican arms for every single action in the Senate is not feasible, Obama could have tried to put everything he had into getting only 50 Democrats beyond Senate rules reform. It would have been tough, but given the implications of this one change it would have been worth using tactics that can’t be justified for a single bill or amendment.

          When Obama didn’t go all in on Senate rules reform at the beginning of this year he effectively chose to give Senate Republicans an unjustifiable veto. Any gun control bill was already doomed the moment that happened.

          It is both irresponsible and damaging to our society for reporters to keep pretending as if the problem for every bill is Obama not sharing enough beers or impersonating LBJ. The single issue in the Senate is Democrats refusing to use their power to pass things with a simple majority.

          Sometimes it's good to hear from outside the bubble....
        •  Kabuki Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          Control the Narrative, not the facts

          The simple fact is even if every Senate Democrat voted for the amendment it would not have received 60 votes. The four reluctant Democrats didn’t prevent the amendment from winning approval in the Senate.

          The senators that should truly be blame are the 51 Democrats who voted for the amendment but still haven’t voted to eliminate the filibuster. If the 51 Democrats who voted for the amendment really wanted to see it passed in the Senate, they could have passed it. They could have voted to eliminate the filibuster and than pass the bill with a simple majority vote like the Constitution specifies.

          Senate Democrats have created many excuses for not reforming the filibuster but the biggest reason is the idea of plausible deniability. It allows them to pretend to support things that they know will fail to get 60 votes and the ability to blame Republicans. They can get credit for voting for things while also exploiting the threat of a filibuster only to let it fail without their finger prints on it.

          Thass the problem.  All this fluff that ignores that just goes round in circles...
          •  And that's the stupidest thing (0+ / 0-)

            I've ever read.

            “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

            by skohayes on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:09:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Exception to 60 votes (0+ / 0-)

              Will be when Obama's fighting D's need to pass his austerity agenda (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid cuts.). Those will no doubt pass with reconciliation simple majority plus one.  Change we can believe in!

              •  They are budget bills (0+ / 0-)

                They don't need the 60 vote threshold. It's been that way for a couple of decades now.

                “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

                by skohayes on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:37:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Most people don't care that much about guns (3+ / 0-)

      RTKBA advocates are single-issue voters.  They will not vote for a candidate who supports reasonable gun control legislation, even if they're otherwise socially liberal or economically populist.  So, there are a lot of possible D votes that elected representatives like Begich or Pryor have to worry about losing.

      The problem is that gun control has wide, but soft, support.  Most voters don't really care all that much as long as they haven't personally been touched by gun violence.  The issue doesn't animate voters on both sides equally, unlike other contentious issues like abortion.

      Republicans just aren't going to lose a lot of votes by blocking gun control, because the people who would rain hellfire upon them if they'd supported the recent measures far outnumber gun control supporters who would otherwise have voted for them.

      •  The James Yeager camp. v everybody else camp (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        Newtown wasn't enough. But the next one is being planned as we speak. In a basement someone is collecting AR's to outscore Lanza because we insist on treating guns like video games. So James Yeager can have his little Barbie Gun hobby.

        guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

        by 88kathy on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:32:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who do these guys really REPRESENT? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        imchange

        Voters Do care about how their Senators actually REPRESENT their constituents, which has nothing to do with gun control.

        If it's spelled out for voters in simple 30 second spots, the hot button betrayals where republicans have failed to REPRESENT a simple majority of their district's population, and paint the GOP successfully as a party of voter betrayal, we can accelerate the stampede of independents and disenchanted or open minded republicans.

        The fact is, too many politicians in the republican party have failed to represent the people of their states and districts, on any number of issues, preferring to follow the siren call of the lobbyists and their sponsors. These GOP party hacks have betrayed the public trust, and the very essence of REPRESENTATIVE democracy.

        The issue here is a simple question: "Who do these guys really REPRESENT?"

        "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

        by Beastly Fool on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:05:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is too many people vote GOP. Okay. (6+ / 0-)

      And screwing up at filibuster reform was a huge factor too.  But still, there is a question of how you move people AWAY from voting Republican, and it's not by dumping on the President and Harry Reid.  As has been noted before, Democrats are not always good at messaging.  Even, or maybe especially, progressives.

      I realize that DKos is essentially a place for Democrats to talk to each other, so critiquing the party and the president is one of our key roles.

      But we need to be better at talking to the rest of the country, too.  We need to develop a commitment to a dual role.  Criticize the President and elected Dems on gun regulation all you want.  But also, join Gabby Giffords' new group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, or at least send some money, so they can run ads against Republcans who voted against gun regulation, starting in May.  There need to be people putting out clear, direct, simple messages, such as:

      YOU WANTED BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THESE REPUBLICANS BLOCKED IT.

      It needs to be said 100,000 times between now and the 2014 election, and we, the netroots, need to help that happen -- through blogs, issue groups, radio, and any other way we can -- whether we're really happy about Obama's performance, or Harry Reid's performance, or not.

      THE COUNTRY NEEDS AN INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS BILL AND THE REPUBLICANS WON'T PASS IT.

      Things like that.  

      Hunter, thanks for pointing out the craven refusal of the mainstream media to acknowledge that one of our major parties now ranges from extreme to stark staring crazy.  If you have any suggestions on how we can prod them toward admitting the GOP has no clothes, or bypass them to make the public more aware of this dynamic, please don't hold out on us.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is the tact I try to take. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        imchange

        I know that my GOP friends and family will never vote for baby killing godless Democrats who just want to tax and regulate and... Fuck I can't even keep up anymore.  So I tell them "Vote Republican.  But not THESE ones." and I tend to have a great deal more success.  

        They need a similar movement to the one we had last decade, i.e better candidates, not just more of them.  The GOP incumbents need to lose their primary immunity.  And the Dems who think like Reid, maybe even more so.

        That's a conversation you can actually HAVE with a conservative.

  •  ODS runs extremely deep in this country. (53+ / 0-)

    If you're NRA he's comin fer yer guns, if you're RW he's plotting with the UN, if you're Libertarian he disrespects your selfishness and talks about sharing the costs of government, if you're radical Left he's a closet Republican.  

    Presidenting while Black sure unearths the buried crazy in this country.  How we can think it's anything but endemic racism baffles me.  He is the polar opposite of what this culture depicts as the average black man, throwing years of propaganda into question.  The fact that he's intelligent, competent, a loving husband and father, highly educated, extremely gifted as a speaker, writer, and politician, and funny and likeable as well has deeply threatened the entitled white male and his female enablers.  

    This is what a level playing field might bring us, and the less competent are livid.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:54:27 AM PDT

    •  I'll add to this that many people aren't reacting (19+ / 0-)

      consciously, when it comes to what you note.  it's a society-wide sickness that infects all of us.

      even black males like me.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's the endemic aspect. I met it in myself (15+ / 0-)

        a few years back and was amazed at how instantaneous my reaction was.  I always "knew" I wasn't a racist until that fear popped out.   Then I knew -at some level, I'm infected and I need to dig deeper.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:33:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  same here. (15+ / 0-)

          and I must stress this again:  I'M BLACK.

          This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

          by mallyroyal on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:37:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bc we won't talk abut the real cause: CLASS. (6+ / 0-)

            Imagine if instead of 'black youths commit crime X', the stories over the last 50 years had simply siad the far more relevant: 'poor youths commit crime X'.

            Of course, then we'd have to acknolwedge and maybe do something about how in this country race and poverty are so closely bound.  And, gess, maybe do something about poverty besides demonize LBJs War on Poverty bc empowering poor peole scares the Very Serious People and undermines the New Aristocracy agenda.

            Nah.  Start a campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., blame all our problems on 'welfare queens', take back for the superrich what little the middle and lower classes have managed to get for themselves since FDR and destroy the ability of government to do anything meaningful except give more to the rich.

            Yeah, that'll fix it all!

            •  class actually doesn't enter into what I mean (4+ / 0-)

              all the black males I grew up with were either middle class or upper class, or somewhere in between, and I knew that.

              I'm talking about what society has instilled in us for hundreds of years, wrongheaded as it is:  "race trumps class."

              we have to deal with the society we have, not wish for one that doesn't exist.

              This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

              by mallyroyal on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:38:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Race has always been class in this country. A larg (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite, mallyroyal, imchange

                e(r) black middle class is a recent development.  Even today, minorities are 3 to 6 times as likely to be poor than non-hispanic whites (depending on whihc study you cite).

                But the point you absolutely must understand is that this is a historical bias: for much of US history being black meant being poor and many in power liked it that way since it provided an easy means to control poor whites ('least you ain't no n***, you know how we treat them').  It is not a coincidence that Reagan spoke of the black welfare queen in her Caddy, or the entire 'War on Crime' was directed at young blacks and drugs (i.e., young blacks, cause little white Johnny rarely gets busted and gets probation when he did, unlike his darker friend).  Red-lining blacks into 'poor' neighbors continues to this day, even though its been illegal for 40+ years.  People whith 'black' names suddenly get all sorts of job offers when they instead give 'white' names.

                And even you have really done the poor=black 2step:  Tell the truth, when you think of this black kid you fear is it your firend's face you see, or someone from the 'ghetto' or Projects?

                Don't feel bad if it is the latter, or that the class propaganda has been so good (re-inforced willfully by racist segregation and regional forced-poverty) that even you have been victimized by it.

                •  no the stereotype has always been "black = poor" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  imchange

                  but it's never been as simple as all that.  my own family history shows that.

                  to answer:  as a kid I feared the middle class bullies in my neighborhood.  kids that were enamored with bad behavior because that's what society expected from them.  2 parent household kids, with rec rooms.  like that.

                  by the time I started hanging out in "the hood" I was in college (ironic, no?), and I was a nihilistic dancehall and hip hop listening, dreadlock-having badass my damn self, so others probably feared me more than I did them.

                  I did a diary about how I was, by nature of my appearance, "suspicious."  it was in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder.  what I may not have mentioned, while raging about how black men in hoodies are percieved... is that I'd probably consider me, while hooded and scowling, suspicious too... were I anyone else.

                  I know what I mean, chris.  it's not "class" for me, when it comes to my unexamined fears.

                  This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

                  by mallyroyal on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:06:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok, but the single does not = the general here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mallyroyal

                    from all I've experienced, seen, read etc.  I certainly in no way meant to minimize your personal perspective.

                    OTOH, perhaps theirs a lesson there in that I know it as 'poor=black' and you know it as 'black=poor'?  the former is more how the bigots have 'ghetto-ized' poverty so that whites would be less concerned with economic hardship and easier targets for the political party of the privileged (whoever that was at a certain and place) to co-opt, while the later is more of an view from inside the effect of the policies that propaganda produced and that were required to 'validate' same (and which, at least in the first century or so, were exactly what the priivileged - so many of whom - or their families - were slaveholders, related to, beholden to, etc. - the North had a succession of 'minorities' to demonize, the Irish, the Polish, the Italians, but the South always made it about blacks).

    •  I have no doubt (11+ / 0-)

      that this president knew upon taking office that he would need to work twice as hard to get half the credit, and then some.

      Half the Republican Party believes he's a foreign imposter of some kind--they need to believe that to avoid the introspection necessary to realize the source of their anger.  Or as Yoda would say, "search your feelings..."

      I'm white, but like mallyroyal above, I find myself occasionally reacting in a fashion that stems from societally ingrained white supremacy and racism.  I feel like the first step to eradicating this sense is to recognize when it happens.

    •  Bingo. And damned good summary that many (9+ / 0-)

      of the left here don't mention or refuse to mention.

      That's why I call for workshops on racism at Netroots Nation.
      Especially racism against black people. There may be a "different kind" of racism on the left, especially an unaware one that lacks the vicious, visceral, "old-fashioned" racism of the right, but they're both racism.

      "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

      by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:23:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a white guy who's known of his own racism (6+ / 0-)

        since about 1975, when I took a black studies class in college, I'm appalled at some of my own family's talk at times, and even in moments, some of my own thoughts. One of the most compelling diarists here, Denise Oliver Velez, has renewed my own willingness to examine and confront the bigotry in my own mind, and when I have the clarity and courage, to respond as soberly as possible when my brother says something stupid.

        I don't make the distinction between liberal and other racism. None of it is healthy, or more fair. And for me, sexism and judgements against the mentally disabled can be as crippling. Bigotry is bigotry and comes in as many flavors as there are people, or should I say, has as many odors as there are people. It stinks. It bullies. It kills.

        It is up to each of us to learn all we can, to confront what we can, to admit what we're able to in safe company, and to use the experience to improve this place, so idiots like the bombers in Boston, no matter what color, don't turn to a bomb or a gun to act out their woundedness and hatred.

        But it's not just guys like them. It's not just the perpetrators. It's all of us who enable by getting into hatefests and angry go nowhere 'discussions' that change no-one's mind, but cause everyone only to become more convinced of their own righteousness.

        Meanwhile, people die, and are otherwise bullied and slandered and insulted by stupidities.

        We are better than this.

        "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

        by Beastly Fool on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:33:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good comments. I don't pretend to be "deplete (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          imchange, I love OCD

          of racism." I think we can feel some progress, as I do, when we finally stop denying that we've inherited (through no fault of our own in our childhoods) racism from our family and neighborhood and school environments. And we can listen to victims of prejudicial thinking openly without quarreling with them and in a more relaxed way.  Workshops and confronting our own past honestly is the beginning, at least.

          "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

          by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:27:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Barack "Bugs" Obama (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NedSparks, mallyroyal

      Sure knows how to push their buttons. And he ain't even tryin'.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music

      by Beetwasher on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:52:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aren't these the same villagers... (12+ / 0-)

    Who keep saying that 'The President is not meeting the GOP half-way' on his economic proposals and lauding him on his 'willingness to tackle entitlements'?  So which is it?  Should he be a ruthless negotiator or an accommodating consensus builder?

    Of course this mindless idiocy is easy to point out.  The real tragedy here is that there is strong evidence that the President is actually interested in what those idiots say about him.

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:03:56 PM PDT

  •  None of this was difficult to foresee (7+ / 0-)

    OK, what was the White House, and the President personally, doing when the groundwork was being laid in the Senate for his second term.  Was there a demand that filibuster rules be changed to prevent the sort of abuse by which McConnell has made such a name for himself?  Were obligations and alliances being drawn, were the informal rules by which governance in a fractious caucus is possible being strengthened and enforced?  Republicans like Susan Collins were being courted for possible trips across the aisle, but were the known potential Democratic defectors being held in line by carrots and sticks.  The specifics of the final debate were not known, but the outline of the split in the Senate was as clear as can be.  A White House that cannot even get a vote, much less a law, with 90% approval and a headstart of months, isn't pulling their weight.  That doesn't mean that Obama and his staff are solely responsible for this failure.  It does mean that Obama should hold himself and his staff accountable for a part of it, and so should we.

    •  This is about DESTROYING DEMOCRATS, not about (8+ / 0-)

      passing anything.  

      Proof: 1) Begich and 'squeeze Alaska till he squeals!', guaranteed to harm his re-elect either way, and 2) 59 is not 60, if every D had voted for it and the few Rs who did not switched, it would still have died bc of Thugs.  And even if it passed in the Senate, it would still die in the House, meaning the red-state Ds walked the plank for nothing (bc there are not 17 Rs in the House who would risk the Wrath of the UltraRight in their primaries.

      Ornstein, as rockribbed a Thug as you can find with a brain, told the truth: Its all the Thugs fault.  He got blasted, shamed and exiled by pretty much all the media for it.

      Bc this is not about the truth.  This is not about reportage or journalism, or even accurate punditry.  

      This is about further the agenda of the SuperRich and corporations by promoting their completely owned-Party by destroying the one they don't completely own- Democrats.

      Even the NYT is not immune to that, as Judith Miller proved a decade ago.

    •  Exactly - Hunter misses the boat on this one (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Mywurtz, salmo, joejoejoe

      It is an ineffectual President who can't translate 90% support for an issue into a vote in the
      Senate.  The fact that Rs are playing hardball does not mitigate the blame on Obama - instead it reinforces the standing notion that the President does not know how, or doesn't want, to play hardball.

      Hunter misses the boat on this one.

      "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

      by oregonj on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, he should have gone for blood (4+ / 0-)

        Face it, there are a lot of Republican politicians who should end every day by reaching into their pants, grabbing hold of their genitals, & thanking God that Obama wasn't a vicious, take-no-prisoners, old school type of politician who took great joy in terminating their ability to sire children. With vengeance.

        Because the only thing that would overcome these determined reactionaries & mugwumps is a vicious, take-no-prisoners, old school type of politician who'd take great joy in ending their ability to sire children.

        I don't know if I am being snarky, but it's sad that a reasonable person like Barack Obama is being blocked at every turn by a bunch of uncooperative & unprincipled hacks. And it would be quite enjoyable to have at least a couple of these uncooperative & unprincipled hacks emasculated then forced to watch their genitals ground in a garbage disposal. Which is what these uncooperative & unprincipled hacks deserve.

      •  Ridiculous. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl, imchange

        From day 1 the GOP in congress made it clear that they would block anything this President wanted. They even went so far as to say that out loud.

        When the President has played hard ball the media has jumped all over him while giving air time to the GOP congress critters as the cry their tears of regret because of that mean, angry black man.

        There has never been an opposition party that is as willing as this one to outright destroy the country to stop their opponent. Blaming the President for this is very MoDoish.

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But they never asked their constituents (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike S, salmo, imchange

          if destroying Barack is what they wanted.

          THAT wasn't an actual issue.

          The voters, we can assume wanted REPRESENTATION, they wanted a Senator or representative who would stand up for their interests.

          Instead, they choose to 'destroy Obama' and block CFPA, and water down environmental law, and allow banks to regulate their own settlements over foreclosures, and negotiate tax laws in favor of the uber wealthy, etc.

          Who REPRESENTS the voters?  No one, it seems.

          2014, they ought to be called on this, for all the issues where they failed to meet the public's trust.

          "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

          by Beastly Fool on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:42:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  that's Reid's responsibility (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, pistolSO, imchange

      The Senate rules are the problem of the Senate majority, not the President. And, no, this isn't a case where the President has any responsibility, even if he was a Senator for a few years. This is all on the Senate Democrats.

      The whole point of Senators like Feinstein supporting the filibuster was to duck responsibility. They don't also get to shift blame for their failure.

      •  Too big to fail? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        imchange

        I am not arguing that Feinstein, Levin, et al are blameless.  I am arguing instead that in any organization, which is what the Democratic Party is, leadership is responsible for performance.  You write that the leadership in this case is Harry Reid.  I assert that the Democratic Party will be held accountable and must be where responsibility lies.  Who sets the legislative strategy?  Is this an adhocracy, where each subset of leadership makes it up as they go along?  It appears that for this Congress and this White House, the answer is yes.  And, therein lies the problem.  

        The Senate rules were a major impediment to progress in the last Congress.  It's not as if no one could have foreseen that this pattern would be repeated.  I have no doubt that Feinstein wishes to duck responsibility, and that she is not alone.  Reid has some carrots and sticks.  If we take him at his word during the organization of this Congress, they were not enough.  We have seen Presidents use a far wider range of power than Reid wields to appeal to Senators' better natures, and step on their priorities and pet projects so as to punish their baser impulses?  Republican Presidents routinely do this; Clinton did it too.  Obama has not.  His apologists say that things have changed.  I think maybe not so much.

        Obama has run two very effective campaigns.  Doing that means directing complex organizations involving multiple independent actors and high stakes strategy requiring careful coordination.  When there were mistakes, he learned and changed his approach.  Clearly, he cares about that.  He has now presided over four years of mostly ineffective legislative strategy as the leader of the Democratic Party.  Significant majorities were pissed away, political gifts were granted to his opponents.  How's that bipartisanship working out so far.  He's still at it - witness the precompromise of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid cuts where Democrats are going into the 2014 elections carrying the burden of those unforced errors.  Those were mistakes.  The fact that he hasn't learned and hasn't made fundamental changes, including putting enough pressure and inducements on Senators in his party to clear the road for his agenda, tells me what he wants more effectively than any speech or policy paper.  Are our leaders too big to fail now too?

  •  Sheer idiocy, and worse... (10+ / 0-)

    If the president had played hardball as the article seems to recommend (e.g. getting in the way of a visit to Alaska by the interior secretary), and it was found out, the media would blast him for weeks. There would be congressional hearings. There would be editorials, probably even in the NYT, lambasting the president for misusing the power of his office. It wouldn't be pretty - and to tell you the truth, I'm glad Obama is better than these kinds of tactics.

    •  DC Media is hard-wired to support the GOP (3+ / 0-)

      Congressional GOP talking heads fill-up the weekly talk shows and Fox News. So they all get a free ride.

      The Obama admin stays away from providing DC media access, so they get "dinged".

      This is all related to the press' belly-aching a few months ago about not getting enough photos and attention from the POTUS.

      •  No, that's not it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        The media is hardwired to say "both sides do it", so they can continue to show "impartiality" and have 5 times more Republicans on the Sunday shows whether there is a Democrat in office or a Republican.
        This is about making profit, not covering "news". Not anymore.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:15:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow the vocal minority of Suxxers will find (7+ / 0-)

    some reason to blame him for it like he wasn't using his Green Lantern Ring hard enough to get Reid to pass real filibuster reform or somehow using the Green Lantern Ring to get more Republicans on board.   Or they'll say that his heart wasn't really it in and that they'll say his one and only goal is Chained CPI.

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:11:59 PM PDT

    •  They will say, like they did at the beginning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jds1978, pistolSO

      that to form a committee to investigate and propose solutions is code for "I don't want to do anything on this issue, but I need to make it look like I am doing something at least until the problem goes away".  I don't think that this is true given his consistent behavior on the matter, but it is a possible excuse.

  •  Why, indeed. (9+ / 0-)

    kossack I Love OCD speaks my mind, above.

    now come the replies from people who will claim both that kossack and myself just called them racists lol.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Pres. was told to lay low on immigration (10+ / 0-)

    It has been very well known in the media that Senators have asked president Obama to lay low on immigration reform. If the President tries to "lead", collaboration with republicans is in jeopardy.

    How much clearer the situation needs to be ????

    I honestly don't know how Barack Obama is able to deal with all the ugliness without losing his mind.

  •  He can't even get their votes by (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mallyroyal, vcmvo2, elwior, skohayes

    Adopting THEIR bills and proposals as his OWN, ffs (see eg the ACA etc). You're right. This is dumbas* argument, for sure. MoDo peddled the Mean Girls Snark version last week; front page NYT did the serious journalism version today.

  •  I am almost shocked to see this diary on the front (13+ / 0-)

    page. Great job Hunter!

  •  Media Matters wrote about this (6+ / 0-)

    http://mediamatters.org/...

    Part of a media theme, apparently. To the point that Republicans don't even get a mention in some of them, like the Slate article they cite. I was going to write about this today, but a little late now I guess, heh.

    If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

    by tytalus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:24:27 PM PDT

  •  While not directly in answer to the diary question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, sebastianguy99, llywrch, Matt Z

    The recent blog by Nate Silver does a pretty good job of theorizing on the behavior of the Senate on the background check issue.  Note, this is an update to the one released a few days ago.

    Overwhelming majorities of 80 to 90 percent of the public say they favor background checks when guns are purchased at gun shows, at gun shops or online.
    (snip)
    And yet, the Senate did not behave as though this was a piece of legislation favored by 80 percent or more of the public.
  •  Of course the Republicans bear the majority of the (8+ / 0-)

    blame for blocking gun control reform.
       90% of Senate Republicans voted to block the will of 90% of the American People, 90%+ of Democrats were on board, so the remaining (4) Dems bear some of the blame as well.
       But more than those 4 gutless wonders, blame goes to Harry Reid who backed away from meaningful filibuster reform. It's doubtful that 41 Republicans would have the nerve to actually stand and filibuster such a popular measure.

      The president is not to blame for not "twisting arms" on this one. He worked it hard, and might have been able to make the vote closer (to 60), but in the end he would have failed anyway.  

    IT'S THE FILIBUSTER STUPID!
       Obama is to blame only because he didn't press the real issue harder, i.e., filibuster reform, and he still fails to do so.

       The Senate is obviously broken as a result, and one must wonder when Democratic leadership will get it together to fix it.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:29:31 PM PDT

    •  Getting to 59 votes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, YucatanMan

      If the fire department stands around and lets a building burn, it's the fire department's fault. If the water department provides no water pressure to fire hoses, the water department's fault. I don't blame Obama for being a bad fireman, but he runs an incompetent water department. There was no pressure in the hose because Democrats didn't stick together. That's on the leadership of the Democratic Party. If you want to own an issue, own it 100%, not 90%. If the Senate could have gotten to 59 votes it highlights the wrongness of BOTH the filibuster and the GOP position on background checks.

      The way it played out? Same shit, different day.

      •  90% of the Democrats (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, pistolSO, BleacherBum153

        voted for the bill and you're complaining because they didn't stick together?
        Even if the four Democrats had voted for it, it would not have passed.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:19:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, 59 is not 60. Hence it's mainly the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          GOP's fault and it's Senate Democrats for not changing the rules so 60 is no longer the threshold to pass a fucking bill.   Obama is not to blame.  QED.

          I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

          by pistolSO on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:30:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I blame Harry Reid, too (0+ / 0-)

            He has been a great supporter of progressive bills, but he still believes in the "comity" of the Senate, that when two Senators shake hands and agree on something, one Senator isn't going to turn around and stab the other in the back the next day. Even though it's happened more than once since Obama was elected.
            That's not what we need as Senate Majority Leader right now.

            “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

            by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reid has so many knives sticking out of his (0+ / 0-)

              backhis back, I don't understand how he still believes in that myth.  There's no way he actually does.

              This is the kind of thing that makes me get out my foil hat.  Who has what dirt on Reid that they've been able to make him turn 180 and act against his own party's interests at every key moment these last three election cycles?

              •  I have no idea to what you're referring (0+ / 0-)

                But I'd suggest putting the tin foil hat back in the closet.
                He didn't pass filibuster reform because he didn't have the votes to pass it.

                “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

                by skohayes on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:05:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Votes aren't something he "has" (0+ / 0-)

                  They're something he goes out and GETS.  He's not the majority counter, he's the majority fucking LEADER.

                  Reid should have brought it to the floor, and DARED those four cowards to vote against it, just like he should have done with every single bill where a pissy little temper-throwing Democrat looking to make a name for themselves threatened to sink the boat unless they got something special for their district.  His unwillingness to put his own members (and Republicans to boot) on record voting against their own party's interests is the exact source of my tinfoil tendencies.

                  His cowardice goes so far beyond the definition of the word that it starts to become complicit collaboration.

        •  No! The Senator from Alaska (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          must commit electoral suicide to please the progressives from big cities!

  •  In The Beltway? (16+ / 0-)

    How about here.

    Just earlier today I learned that JFK and LBJ would have ended the fillibuster and magically changed the makeup of the house and abolished the second amendment and who knows what else by now.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:00:58 PM PDT

  •  This website might help (3+ / 0-)

    It's very well done and lays the blaim at the feet of those who are ignoring the vast majority's wishes. Spread it around.

    http://www.theydontworkforyou.org/

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:02:12 PM PDT

  •  Nice to see this on FP (11+ / 0-)

    People reading this:  Hunter is not just talking to the quasi-journalists banging this drum; he is talking to YOU.  Here.  On this site.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:02:14 PM PDT

  •  Will people learn that issue polls don't = votes? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noway2

    Perhaps if they did polling district-by-district on issues then we might more accurately assess where the country stands on an issue and how likely the stances are to translate into legislative action.

    I guess the short version is to acknowledge that people don't vote as the poll on issues.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:02:53 PM PDT

  •  Obama can't be blamed... but Harry Reid can be (6+ / 0-)

    It wouldn't have passed the House but it sure as shit should have passed the Senate and put the pressure on Boehner and the House. It is fully Harry Reid's fault for not creating meaningful filibuster reform.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:03:19 PM PDT

    •  Filibuster reform, some major arm twisting and... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bartcopfan, skohayes

      getting Obama to tell the public (over and over:  because the electorate isn't that bright, and memes need to be repeated)that Republicans want terrorists to be able to buy guns with NO background checks.  

      Bombers and Muslims get extra attention(the way the every- day gun carnage in the USA doesn't) and the NRA wants to make sure they are armed to the teeth.  

      If Liberals Hated America, We'd Vote Republican

      by QuarterHorseDem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:43:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People not doing their job is very hard to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, a2nite

    discuss or write about. That's one reason they adopt that strategy. In the olden days, when pols used to hire relatives for railroad or other public works jobs where they never showed up, it was called feather-bedding. When people are on the honor system, catching them cheating is hard.

    One suspects that the reason the President has been attacked for playing golf or going out to dinner is because that's an area where the Congress is vulnerable and they need to innoculate themselves by going on the attack.
    Which means, for example, that we should make a big story about the fact that when the citizens from Newtown went to Capitol Hill NONE of the Senators were available to meet with them.
    Perhaps we should start requesting copies of their daily schedules--not ahead of time, but after the fact.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:28:36 PM PDT

  •  Most of my criticism of Obama is over SS cuts... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, elwior

    ...not background checks, where I blame both Harry Reid (for not pushing for the outright elimination of the filibuster, as anything less is unacceptable for me), and the other senators who voted against background checks (vast majority of which are Republicans).

    The Republicans on Capitol Hill serve only one purpose: make President Obama's life as miserable as possible. There's much of President Obama's agenda I do like (such as raising the minimum wage), and there's parts of Obama's agenda I don't like (such as cutting Social Security benefits).

    I'm a hard-line progressive on most issues, but I'd only blame Obama over background checks failing in the Senate if he actually came out against background checks, which he didn't.

    Progressive first, Democrat second

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:30:55 PM PDT

  •  Someoone posted this solution in another thread.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, 88kathy, llywrch, BleacherBum153

    Instead of changing filibuster rules why not simply limit the number? Lets say a minority is only allowed 50 filibusters per calendar year?

    The GOP would then have to pick and chose which bills to filibusters. you can also apply filibusters to judicial nominees and fed appointments, limit those to ten.  

  •  If only there was a way to stop the filibuster! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, Simplify

    I mean, it's not like a simple majority vote could remove these Republicans' strangle hold on procedural motions that cause common sense legislation to die a very embarrassing death... oh wait.

    Sure, sure. The POTUS has very little impact on legislation in the grand scheme of things.  And the diarist is correct in his assertion that President Obama is not much to blame here.

    The blame should be split between aggressively stupid conservatives and the callow, feckless, mind-numbingly-incompetent-verging-on-complicity Democratic establishment in Congress.  

    "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

    by The Rational Hatter on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:47:15 PM PDT

  •  Most Important Political Story in Decades: (10+ / 0-)

    The GOP is batshit, crazy insane and hellbent on destroying this Country to achieve their radical, unpopular agenda.

    And it's essentially completely ignored by the Traditional Media.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:47:23 PM PDT

    •  Oh, come on. You know that "both the right and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher

      the left" are equally crazy. Wolf Blitzer et. al. say so.

      "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

      by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:24:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that's beginning to change, though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher

      And maybe I'm being optimistic, but it seems that moderate Republicans are getting tired of the shenanigans. And losing elections. They really hate that.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another point in support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    Pundits are always complaining about "how Washington works," i.e. the influence of special interests, etc.  And politicians frequently boast that they are going to "change the way Washington works."  So, President Obama frequently chooses to mobilize the voices of the people (e.g. the Newtown families) instead of using the old-fashioned back-slapping, glad-handing that everyone claims to hate in Washington.  And then he gets criticized for it.  Hypocracy at its finest!

  •  I posted this yesterday, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherish0708, llywrch

    But it got lost.  I did some calculations about the  way an unfair setup in the Senate is made even more unfair by virtue of the whacked out filibuster.  I calculated based upon the populations of each of the states, and the votes cast for or against the background checks amendment.  For those states whose votes were split between the parties, I divided the state populations in half, and apportioned each half equally.  Here were the totals of Anericans represented by the votes (based upon estimated 2012 populations found in Wikipedia):

    Ayes. --  156,735,668
    Nays --  118,213,376

    A majority vote in favor of the amendment, representing a difference of 38,532,293 people, and still the amendment failed! 38million people!

    It's bad enough that Wyoming has the same number of votes in the Senate as California.  If nothing else, this would guarantee that the minority has a huge, unbalanced influence.  But by adding what should be illegal--a 60 vote requirement for all bills, the minority is calling the shots.  
    Sickening, and bewildering.  

    I have learned here since then that Harry Reid set the 60 vote rule on amendments in this case, to protect against GOP amendments.  The point remains: the GOP is hellbent on passing nothing in order to defeat Obama, and we are helping them.  

    One further point: this blaming of the President for the Senate's failings doesn't just happen in the msm.  It happens here a lot, too.

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:06:12 PM PDT

  •  ODS has two components. (8+ / 0-)

    One is the obvious, treasonous GOP desire to deliberately cause national disasters and then blame them - and their own sabotage of the solutions - on President Obama.  This is also why the media blames him for everything and characterizes everything he does in the most negative imaginable terms: They're just on the other side.

    The other, which we see far too much of around here, is the whiny, irresponsible need of the Democratic base to excuse our own failure to hold Congress accountable by blaming Obama for not being enough of a dictator or a magician to force them when we can't or won't.  Some of "us" are just plain stupid, and think civic activism consists of shrieking louder about what we want Barack Obama to do for us.

    Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

    by Troubadour on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:06:24 PM PDT

  •  President Obama is not responsible for this. (7+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid and a hand full of assholes who wouldn't vote for real Filibuster reform are.

    I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:10:58 PM PDT

  •  Better to be a Senator than POTUS (0+ / 0-)

    Obama should have stayed in Congress.

    Then the media would also give him a free pass like they do with today's Congress.

    All blame is put on the president, never Congress.

    A single Senator can block legislation, even if it is supported by 90% of Americans. And he / she will skate free from any accountability.

    It is better to be a Senator than President, for sure, in this country.

  •  Of course it's Obama's fault b/c he insists upon.. (5+ / 0-)

    ... Breathing While Black, because if he would quit doing that, the whole problem would be solved.

    •  And until the news media gets BJs from the prez .. (0+ / 0-)

      ... they'll continue to ding him.

      It's no coincidence that the MSM give the GOP a free pass.

      The GOP give them quotes and are on their weekly programs every week.

      The Obama admin doesn't give the MSM their care & feeding they desire, so they get admonished in the press.

    •  yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mallyroyal

      there was indeed a black man elected to the Oval Office

      alright

      not once, but twice

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:30:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

    "A Senate filled with not-remotely-like-anarchists."  I'm a "near-anarchist", and have so little in common with Senators that it's a surprising result of biological science and taxonomy that we're members of the same species.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:29:43 PM PDT

  •  Wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhecht

    "And so on and so on. Again, I'm not sure where this need to absolve a batshit-crazy Senate of responsibility for their own actions is coming from, but it's gotten to the point of absurdity."

    The presidents party controls the Senate.  Or at least they could, if they actually tried.  Democrats are to blame for whatever happens in the Senate this session.  They knew exactly what would happen if they did not reform the filibuster, and they chose to do nothing.  The President shares the blame for this, he is the leader of the party and I see no evidence that he applied any pressure on Reid. Are you seriously suggesting that POTUS can't influence his own party, if he was willing to fight?

    A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. - Dwight David Eisenhower

    by Mestral on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:32:40 PM PDT

  •  If the President is as helpless (0+ / 0-)

    as this diary implies, why does it matter which party holds the office?

    The President doesn't have the primary responsibility for this failure--of course that's on the assholes who voted no--but there's plenty of blame to go around. Mr. Obama bears some of it. He was conspicuously silent when Presidential arm-twisting really would have been effective: the battle for filibuster reform.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:35:51 PM PDT

    •  Why does it matter which party holds office? (5+ / 0-)

      That's why.

      Facebook
      If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."
      "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz

      by weatherdude on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:52:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a classic non sequitur. Obviously (0+ / 0-)

        it makes an emotional difference which party holds the Presidency, which is all that posting Shrub's picture speaks to. You're answering the wrong question though, whether through disingenuousness or befuddlement I really can't say.

        I'll spell it out, since apparently if beginning my comment wasn't sufficient. I'm suggesting precisely the opposite of what you seem to think I said: that of course it matters who is President, because of course the President--the most powerful individual in human history-- is anything but a powerless figurehead. Ironically, "helpless figurehead" is the position implicitly argued by Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters... when it suits their purpose.

        We see this dynamic on DKos over and over: Mr. Obama merits the lion's share of praise for anything good that transpires, but any bad outcome is solely the responsibility of Congress. I'm confident that if this bill had passed the Senate, the applause here for the President's "bold leadership" would be deafening.

        Thanks though for the reminder that George Bush was able to enact quite a lot of his agenda.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:27:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you think he didn't show leadership (0+ / 0-)

          on this issue?

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:53:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I think he DID show leadership (0+ / 0-)

            on this issue. Unfortunately, it was too late to affect the outcome.

            The time for Presidential arm-twisting was during the filibuster fight, because this vote and others like it were all-too-easy to foresee.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:59:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  that damn liberal media (0+ / 0-)

    bends over forward for any right-wing shill who comes down the pike, then bends over every which way to express surprise & shock that everything's going to hell.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:40:30 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, I'm not sure what he could have done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    differently.  I am so torn on this... I don't like the idea of purity police, that every Democratic rep has to vote party line on all issues, and but for some of our Red State senators, we would potentially be in the minority in the Senate (I don't have an exact count in my head).

    But Alaska is Alaska, and if Begich voted for a gun control bill, regardless of nationwide support, he would be skewered in Alaska.  Do we want to have a fighting chance at a Senate majority (a body that is heavily skewed towards rural, red state voters) or do we want to have a minority that can enforce party line votes?  If having senators like Begich and Heitkamp lets us get some things done, as opposed to getting no things done under McConnell, is that better?  

    BTW, I love Alaska, it is an amazing and beautiful state, but the population of the entire state could fit into metro Sarasota, FL, with room to spare (can you find Sarasota on a map?  I can't ^_^).  It's a scandal that 700,000 people have two Senators just the same as do the 38,000,000 residents of California.  But that's baked into the system, since the Constitution requires 3/4 of states to ratify an amendment; it would only take less than half of the rural states to kill any change.  It is wrong, unjust, and will never change; we have to learn to live with it and how to win our battles despite the structural problems of the Senate.

    Interestingly, I don't hear much talk of that silly "bully pulpit" bullshit.  No-one can reasonably say that he didn't get out there forcefully on this, and did that get this measure a single vote that it otherwise would not have gotten?  I suspect not.  My life will be complete if I never hear about that fake "bully pulpit" again.

    I can't say this enough - I feel like I need to make it my sig line.  We have to win back the House.  Yes, we have to win it back even with the redistricting that has made it so difficult.  Until then, we're just pissing into the wind.  Right now, the GOP controls the House and the Senate is in permanent gridlock.  Want to advance Democratic bills and causes?  The only way to get them written and onto the floor is through the House.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:40:34 PM PDT

  •  How much money (0+ / 0-)

    did the NRA have to spend to kill this bill? And, considering the cost to the firearms industry, would it be profitable for them to do so again? How much does it cost to corrupt congress and is that amount less than the profitability of this industry?
    We will have to answer these questions if we wish to make any profit limiting laws.

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:07:25 PM PDT

  •  hunter, you have aptly stated what many of us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drummergirl, BleacherBum153

    on THIS site keep repeating (with resounding ridicule from the same extremists that sit on OUR side of the aisle)

    How extremist do Republican Party leaders have to get before we get one, just one, story about how the Republican Party is, in fact, extremist in these things?
    unless democrats and progressives start calling out republicans instead of democrats and, specifically, the president, nothing is going to get better any time soon.

    we are doing the republicans' job for them in our actions here - and we are doing the job just as efficiently as the bought and paid for press is doing for them elsewhere.

    it's time for people to hold those who are causing this problem responsible - the republicans in government.  i've been screaming this for four years - only to be met with derision here on this site by those who will ONLY blame the president or democrats.

    i have to wonder what the agenda is - both in the media AND on sites like this one - when the myopia turns to willfully inflicted blindness to the real culprits.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:09:52 PM PDT

  •  I'm glad people are finally catching on... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drummergirl, skohayes, Mebby

    ...but we would have done better to catch on to this four years ago.  This has always been the intent of the GOP, but we've amplified a narrative of Democratic Party fecklessness, helping to undermine the argument to keep Republican in the wilderness.

    We need to realize that a big part of their strategy is essentially to starve the Obama Administration of its acheivements, and us of the morale boost that would come from it.

    We need to blame filibusters on the party that pushes them, that keeps them going with their party-line behavior.  Stop beating up Democrats without making sure that the punch first hits the Republicans.

    •  exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      I was saying a lot of this four years ago when the first thing pundits wanted to talk about was how into the wilderness the Republicans were after the spanking they got it '06 and '08. What could they possibly do to get back power?  It worried me from the get go that the media felt it their duty to help them figure it out and were all too happy to give tons of airtime to the tea party.  

      What also bothered me was the attitude of many that after griping for  eight years that we didn't want a bully in the white House and the need to appreciate separation of powers, suddenly some were really pissed that our guy wasn't a bully. A whole lot of "He could just sign an executive order to do (fill in the blank)."

      It baffles the mind that the behavior of the Republicans is not news all the time, every day! But alas, as a typical example of "reporting" there has been a headline on Huff Po all day that the Republicans are blaming flight delays on Obama. Seriously! Why does every ridiculous bat-shit crazy thing they say have to be reported?! The headline should be, "Republicans Falsely Blame Obama for Flight Delays." And I would hate to see the number of articles that would come up if I googled "Democrats blame Obama for..."

      I don't mean to be a bitch, but...

      by drummergirl on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:31:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The story is the story (0+ / 0-)

    because the top ad execs and network execs and Foundation funding people and top corporate execs in charge of media are essentially Dittoheads and Hannity fans with odd ideas about "Libertarianism" and who really can't deal with a person of color attaining a position of influence they can't somehow buy for themselves.

    The media landscape in our culture is racist, both in make-up and in disposition, anti-women, anti-labor (actually this should be first on the list) and anti-education. It will take another generation before the worst among them cease to have their say against social progress.

  •  Thank you, Hunter n/t (0+ / 0-)

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:57:05 PM PDT

  •  The Republicans have become a disease (0+ / 0-)

    America needs someone like Doctor Joseph Stalin to cure the disease once and for all.   Because the only good et cetera, et cetera.  Is this too radical?  Perhaps, but there are millions out here who are ready to call the doctor.

  •  What's in a Word? (0+ / 0-)

    ". . .Senate rendered somewhere between dysfunctional and outright incompetent by a large faction . . . "

    May I suggest, incontinent.

  •  The evil TGOP is to blame nt (0+ / 0-)
Bob Johnson, Odysseus, TrueBlueMajority, alicia, 88kathy, highacidity, itskevin, wader, kharma, virginislandsguy, Eyesbright, chrismorgan, GreatDane, auron renouille, valadon, sebastianguy99, Gowrie Gal, Brecht, vcmvo2, 3goldens, blueyedace2, Beetwasher, SaraBeth, where4art, Overseas, Floja Roja, zozie, gpoutney, JVolvo, MBNYC, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Hedwig, bartcopfan, slksfca, janetsal, phonegery, Cronesense, Deadicated Marxist, puakev, flumptytail, HCKAD, second gen, Bridge Master, gchaucer2, carpunder, leonard145b, TomP, HappyinNM, GAS, Sixty Something, Foundmyvoice, elwior, brooklynbadboy, skohayes, Calamity Jean, No Exit, Troubadour, magicsister, dmhlt 66, dzog, Diogenes2008, maggiejean, bluemoonfever, Rick Aucoin, carolyn urban, Sarge in Seattle, imchange, Partisan Progressive, ebrann, DefendOurConstitution, Denise Oliver Velez, jdsnebraska, political junquie, FogCityJohn, eXtina, estreya, vixenflem, piers, stunzeed, BenderRodriguez, Polly Syllabic, Lost and Found, leftist vegetarian patriot, anonevent, DiegoUK, nickrud, ericlewis0, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, mallyroyal, Acktiv, I love OCD, Mr MadAsHell, Possiamo, BlueJessamine, NormAl1792, CoExistNow, Haf2Read, akmk, BarackStarObama, floridablue, TRPChicago, healthy, drummergirl, blue aardvark, jolux, ratcityreprobate, Miggles, SoCalSal, NedSparks, DRo, Laurel in CA, Monsieur Georges, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, weatherdude, pistolSO, Core Da Freak, David54, barkingcat, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, This old man, hotheadCA, ivy redneck, belinda ridgewood, MartyM, pittie70, tytalus, arizonablue, Glen The Plumber, Portlaw, Australian2, madcitysailor, Sue B, GoGoGoEverton, Blue Dream, Illinois IRV, wozzlecat, remembrance, poopdogcomedy, aresea, jplanner, LilithGardener, LtPowers, DarthMeow504, Ticorules, Dodgerdog1, antelopewells

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