Thanks for Giving it The Old College Try PolitiFacts

If there’s one year-end task that’s most difficult, it must be compiling the many Most of the Year, Best of the Year, Stupidest of the Year lists. Let’s face it, the modern world is a target-rich environment of cheese. Americans – especially those whom Fox News makes stupid – are addicted to these things. It gives everyone the chance to voice the opinion that whoever picked the list is a dead-wrong ass cake and there’s nothing Americans like more than eating their ass cake and having it too.

BTW, Mark Zuckerman as Time’s Man of the Year? Puhleeze! Either of the LoJoHos – LiLo or ScarJo -  would be better choices. Then again, Zuckerman would easily win a contest against Kim Kardashian as Biggest Ass of the Year so everything evens out.

But the hardest of the hard, (Actually, that could be a spectacular list too…may I nominate Ron Jeremy?) is bipartisan PolitiFact’s choice of Lie of the Year. Damn! These guys are brave. The balls of a Wall Street bull, or at least the balls of a Wall Street CEO! As outrageous as Tony Hayward equipped with a microphone.

So without further ado – drum roll please – PolitiFact’s 2010′s Lie of the Year is… A government takeover of health care!

(Sound of crickets…)

A government takeover of health care? Of all the stupid, idiotic, patently false utterances of 2000-fricking-10, that was the best you could come up with? For Chrissakes, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a lie this year. There was an election dammit! There wasn’t an election ad during the entire race that didn’t kill a hard-on with its lies.

Still, the PolitiFact’s survey did speak a truth. It recognized that in a lying-ass bumper crop of a lying year there were clear winners and those clear winners where The Party Couldn’t Talk Straight™.

It’s not that Democrats didn’t spout their own share of truthiness and bald face lies, they just used a little more finesse – sort of putting a little English on the 8-ball to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. When Republicans smacked Dems in the face with the Putrid Mackerel of Lying Bay™, the Democrats most often just genuflected and said, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Ten minutes later Fox News would cut in with breaking news. “Hey Brian. Republican Minority God, Mitch McConnell, has just announced that Democrats tried to coerce him into a sexually deviant behavior called, um, I’m not sure how to pronounce the word…bipartisanship – I’ll just use gay for short so as not to confuse our viewers. He said he only escaped by fighting off the gang of socialist zombies by beating him with his new $1500 wingtip shoes. After the break, we’ll go to Fox and Friends to report more details and you’ll decide they are the God’s honest truth. Back to you Gretchen!”

PolitiFacts, thanks for giving it the old college try.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Thanks for Giving it The Old College Try PolitiFacts

If there’s one year-end task that’s most difficult, it must be compiling the many Most of the Year, Best of the Year, Stupidest of the Year lists. Let’s face it, the modern world is a target-rich environment of cheese. Americans – especially those whom Fox News makes stupid – are addicted to these things. It gives everyone the chance to voice the opinion that whoever picked the list is a dead-wrong ass cake and there’s nothing Americans like more than eating their ass cake and having it too.

BTW, Mark Zuckerman as Time’s Man of the Year? Puhleeze! Either of the LoJoHos – LiLo or ScarJo -  would be better choices. Then again, Zuckerman would easily win a contest against Kim Kardashian as Biggest Ass of the Year so everything evens out.

But the hardest of the hard, (Actually, that could be a spectacular list too…may I nominate Ron Jeremy?) is bipartisan PolitiFact’s choice of Lie of the Year. Damn! These guys are brave. The balls of a Wall Street bull, or at least the balls of a Wall Street CEO! As outrageous as Tony Hayward equipped with a microphone.

So without further ado – drum roll please – PolitiFact’s 2010′s Lie of the Year is… A government takeover of health care!

(Sound of crickets…)

A government takeover of health care? Of all the stupid, idiotic, patently false utterances of 2000-fricking-10, that was the best you could come up with? For Chrissakes, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a lie this year. There was an election dammit! There wasn’t an election ad during the entire race that didn’t kill a hard-on with its lies.

Still, the PolitiFact’s survey did speak a truth. It recognized that in a lying-ass bumper crop of a lying year there were clear winners and those clear winners where The Party Couldn’t Talk Straight™.

It’s not that Democrats didn’t spout their own share of truthiness and bald face lies, they just used a little more finesse – sort of putting a little English on the 8-ball to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. When Republicans smacked Dems in the face with the Putrid Mackerel of Lying Bay™, the Democrats most often just genuflected and said, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Ten minutes later Fox News would cut in with breaking news. “Hey Brian. Republican Minority God, Mitch McConnell, has just announced that Democrats tried to coerce him into a sexually deviant behavior called, um, I’m not sure how to pronounce the word…bipartisanship – I’ll just use gay for short so as not to confuse our viewers. He said he only escaped by fighting off the gang of socialist zombies by beating him with his new $1500 wingtip shoes. After the break, we’ll go to Fox and Friends to report more details and you’ll decide they are the God’s honest truth. Back to you Gretchen!”

PolitiFacts, thanks for giving it the old college try.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Thanks for Giving it The Old College Try PolitiFacts

If there’s one year-end task that’s most difficult, it must be compiling the many Most of the Year, Best of the Year, Stupidest of the Year lists. Let’s face it, the modern world is a target-rich environment of cheese. Americans – especially those whom Fox News makes stupid – are addicted to these things. It gives everyone the chance to voice the opinion that whoever picked the list is a dead-wrong ass cake and there’s nothing Americans like more than eating their ass cake and having it too.

BTW, Mark Zuckerman as Time’s Man of the Year? Puhleeze! Either of the LoJoHos – LiLo or ScarJo -  would be better choices. Then again, Zuckerman would easily win a contest against Kim Kardashian as Biggest Ass of the Year so everything evens out.

But the hardest of the hard, (Actually, that could be a spectacular list too…may I nominate Ron Jeremy?) is bipartisan PolitiFact’s choice of Lie of the Year. Damn! These guys are brave. The balls of a Wall Street bull, or at least the balls of a Wall Street CEO! As outrageous as Tony Hayward equipped with a microphone.

So without further ado – drum roll please – PolitiFact’s 2010′s Lie of the Year is… A government takeover of health care!

(Sound of crickets…)

A government takeover of health care? Of all the stupid, idiotic, patently false utterances of 2000-fricking-10, that was the best you could come up with? For Chrissakes, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a lie this year. There was an election dammit! There wasn’t an election ad during the entire race that didn’t kill a hard-on with its lies.

Still, the PolitiFact’s survey did speak a truth. It recognized that in a lying-ass bumper crop of a lying year there were clear winners and those clear winners where The Party Couldn’t Talk Straight™.

It’s not that Democrats didn’t spout their own share of truthiness and bald face lies, they just used a little more finesse – sort of putting a little English on the 8-ball to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. When Republicans smacked Dems in the face with the Putrid Mackerel of Lying Bay™, the Democrats most often just genuflected and said, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Ten minutes later Fox News would cut in with breaking news. “Hey Brian. Republican Minority God, Mitch McConnell, has just announced that Democrats tried to coerce him into a sexually deviant behavior called, um, I’m not sure how to pronounce the word…bipartisanship – I’ll just use gay for short so as not to confuse our viewers. He said he only escaped by fighting off the gang of socialist zombies by beating him with his new $1500 wingtip shoes. After the break, we’ll go to Fox and Friends to report more details and you’ll decide they are the God’s honest truth. Back to you Gretchen!”

PolitiFacts, thanks for giving it the old college try.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Having it both ways

Tom Jensen on PPP's latest Montana polling, showing Baucus with shrinking support from Democrats, and popularity among Republicans long gone:

Baucus' plight is similar to that of a number of other Senators who tried to have it both ways on health care, watering down the bill but still voting for it in the end. Blanche Lincoln's stance, among other issue positions, alienated her base so much that she nearly lost her party's nomination. And it certainly didn't help her to win Republican votes in the fall, leading to her overwhelming defeat in November. Joe Lieberman's actions on health care have helped to put him in a most unusual position- his approval rating is under 50% with Democrats, Republicans, and independents, one of very few Senators who's managed to pull off that trio. And on the other side of the aisle Olympia Snowe's vote for the health care bill at one point in committee, even though she voted against it in the end, infuriated the Republican base in the state and has many folks hankering for a primary challenge against her.

Every voter has his or her issue that is, to them, indisputably the most important issue ever, but Jensen's conclusions show that every party also has a set of issues that support for (or opposition to) is a nearly foregone conclusion in the minds of voters.  Affordable health care was such an issue for Democrats.  Opposition to that same reform was a given for the GOP.

Baucus lost any popularity he held with Montana Republicans the minute he even acknowledged there was a health care reform effort to be a part of.  So you follow that up with a plan to water down the bill, weakening not only the reform, but support from the base you need even more, having lost the Republicans?  Genius strategy.

You're losing one side either way.  Why not give the side you still have everything they really want?

The choice was always either complete support of the strongest bill possible, or complete opposition to any reforms at all, and the electorate had shown that clearly in poll after poll leading up to Max's two month long delay crusade to be everyone's hero. 

Baucus' antics during the health care reform debate exemplify the Democratic Party's obsession with moderation (as defined by David Broder!) for moderation's sake and bipartisanship (as defined by Fox News!) for the media's sake, and now, for Baucus, it's coming home to roost.

Time to bypass this Liebermann/Blue Dog strategy for electoral "success."

Bipartisanship: Independents Couldn't Care Less

Writers at The Democratic Strategist have embarked on a breakdown of the composition of the 2010 electorate, questioning the oft-repeated, little supported meme that Democrats lost big on Nov 2 for moving "too far left," against an electorate moving center-right.

Connecting two of the most recent posts on Ruy Teixeira's data crunching conclusions offers a glimpse at the reality slaughtered by what is passing elsewhere for post-election analysis.

First, Andrew Levinson on the shift of "moderates" to "conservative":

During the early, pre-9/11 era, not all of George W Bush's supporters considered themselves conservatives. Many considered themselves moderates. They would express this by saying things like "I usually vote Republican but I consider myself a political moderate and not a hard-core conservative. In 1992 I supported Bush senior, in 1996 I supported Bob Dole and In 2000 I supported George W. Bush because he seemed like a moderate too".

Since Obama's election, however, as the political debate has become deeply polarized with charges of socialism and fascism leveled against Obama, these same people can no longer accurately express their feelings about politics by calling themselves "moderate Republicans". They are now more likely to use the word conservative to describe themselves rather than moderate because the latter term does not adequately convey a clear rejection of Obama's agenda. In actual conversation this "moderate Republican now turned conservative" view is expressed in phrases like "Oh, I'm not a tea party person but I'm really a pretty conservative person in a lot of ways, you know, and I just don't support a lot of those these things Obama's doing."

Second, Ed Kilgore on "true independents":

...true independents tend to vote against the party in power when the economy is bad, regardless of the perceived ideology or partisanship of the party in power. It happened in 2006 and it happened again in 2010. Arguing, as some have done, that the answer for Democrats is to "move to the center" and find some way to work with Republicans makes sense only if such steps contribute to an improvement in the performance of the economy. If they don't, then it's not the right direction to take, particularly if you consider the costs in terms of sacrificing progressive policy goals and making the Democratic elements of the electorate unhappy precisely on the eve of the cycle when they can be expected to return to the polls.

The two takeaways here:

Despite the self applied "moderate" label, these "shifting" voters were just Republicans by another name.  At some point, they simply stopped labeling themselves "moderate."  The change from "middle" to "right" happened in poll responses, not voting habits, and within the confines of Republican voters, not the electorate at large.

Second, "true" independents don't care about bipartisanship, the process, or (surprise!) even intra-party leadership battles.  Many of them fail to even identify policy as Democratic or Republican policies.  They identify policy as effective (something changed for me) or ineffective (nothing changed for me).

Overall ideology hasn't changed much in the past few years, and it's important to understand, especially as a challenge to the idea that the midterms were a warning for Democrats to tack right in response. 

So no evidence of a shift in the electorate, and the swing-voters of 2012 will be just like the swing-voters of every election.  They don't care if the parties work together, and they certainly don't care if the Obama alienates his base in order to prove his commitment to bipartisan policy.  What they care about, as always, are the policies that brought results.

Kilgore quotes The Monkey Cage's John Sides:

Here's a counterfactual to ponder. What if Obama and the Democratic Congress had rammed through a $2 trillion stimulus, failing to garner a single GOP vote, but then the stimulus somehow reduced unemployment to 6%? Do you think independents would be offended by the lack of bipartisanship?

Nope, they'd be singing the Democrats' praises, all the way to the 2012 voting booths.

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