Josh Marshall is Right, and Was Right in 2004

In the aftermath of the Massachusetts debacle, a lot of people are wondering what the hell happened.

The talking heads inside the Beltway are sure that it's because Obama is too Librul, of course, but I think that Josh Marshall talked about the core problem in August of 2004.

He was talking about the Bush-Kerry campaign, and he characterized it as follows:

Let's call it the Republicans' Bitch-Slap theory of electoral politics. It goes something like this.


Consider for a moment what the big game is here. This is a battle between two candidates to demonstrate toughness on national security. Toughness is a unitary quality, really -- a personal, characterological quality rather than one rooted in policy or divisible in any real way. So both sides are trying to prove to undecided voters either that they're tougher than the other guy or at least tough enough for the job.


One way -- perhaps the best way -- to demonstrate someone's lack of toughness or strength is to attack them and show they are either unwilling or unable to defend themselves -- thus the rough slang I used above. And that I think is a big part of what is happening here. Someone who can't or won't defend themselves certainly isn't someone you can depend upon to defend you.


Hitting someone and not having them hit back hurts the morale of that person's supporters, buoys the confidence of your own backers (particularly if many tend toward an authoritarian mindset) and tends to make the person who's receiving the hits into an object of contempt (even if also possibly also one of sympathy) in the eyes of the uncommitted.


Only now, it isn't the Republicans bitch slapping anyone. It's the Democrats who bitch slap themselves.

Or as Zaid Jilani's southern ConservaDem friend says:

And can I say this? F*ck the Democrats. They couldn’t get shit done with 60 seats, why the hell would I care if they have 59? F%$# them seriously we deserve to lose Congress this year. And don’t bitch and whine about it either how much has changed since we took over in 2006? Ain’t s%$# as far as I can tell. We capitulated to Bush, then capitulated to Republicans and now are just capitulating to ourselves.

F%$# it dude, I mean Republicans get whatever the fuck they want with 50 seats and we can’t do fuck all we deserve to lose

("%$#" mine, "*" original)

Fundamentally, when we look at what is going on in DC, it looks like no one in the Senate or the White House is even trying to make substantive change. (Pelosi, at least, creates the appearance that she is trying to do something)

What's more, among the DC Dems, there has been near constant bitch slapping of the Party Base, whether it's the capitulation on the public option, the labor union insurance surtax, or the constant drum beat of how "the left" hates the Democratic Party because they want to primary DINOs (Democrat In Name Only) who have safe seats. The central campaign platform of the Republican Party is that government can't do anything.

The Democratic Party seems to try very hard to prove them right.

Cross posted from 40 Years in the Desert.

Climate Change Misinformation Act for green jobs

An open letter to our Democratic Leaders;

I am writing to suggest an uberbold political campaign that has President Obama and our Democratic Congress use climate change misinformation legislation to more speedily create millions of green jobs, to finally put, and keep, the seriousness of global warming at center stage, and to help us win Senate and House seats in November 2010.  The powerful and ingenious dynamic of this legislation is that it would not need to pass and be signed into law to have its intended effect.

An unapologetically draconian Climate Change Misinformation Act (CCMA), would make it illegal for media corporations and large organizations to deny, or provide a podium for individuals to deny, the reality and seriousness of global warming.  The bill would be based on our Country's longstanding precedents prohibiting individuals and corporations from practicing medicine and law without a license, prohibiting individuals and corporations from making false advertising claims, and protecting the public health, as through the banning of cigarette ads on television.  

The Climate Change Misinformation Act would, of course, allow peer-reviewed professional scientific journals to challenge established scientific findings on global warming.  It would also allow individuals to deny, and self-publish material denying, global warming.  The bill would, however, prohibit corporations and large organizations from challenging the established scientific consensus on global warming, and require the courts to impose severe financial and other penalties, including the imprisonment of top officers and executives, for transgressions.

There's more...

What is the best way of using our 60 Senators?

A lot has been said about the limits of having 60 Senators because there can at times be one or two rogue Democratic Senators who would join Republican filibusters.  It looks like we are about to see the full power of having 60 Senate seats.

Health care reform, especially with the public option, has not been the easiest kind of legislation to pass, but it is set to pass the Senate next week because all of our Democratic Senators stuck together.  In a week or two, we will better understand just how much power 60 Senate seats gives us.

This post is part question and part suggestion.  Here's the question; what is the best way for the Senate to pass an avalanche of legislation that is very popular with the American People, but not so popular with the Republican Party?

There's more...

Weekly Mulch: Companies Ditch Chamber for Climate Bill

By Raquel Brown, Media Consortium Blogger

Major utility corporations, like Exelon, California's Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E)  and New Mexico's PNM have announced that they are leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the organization's controversial stance toward climate change and opposition to a clean energy bill. The Chamber represents business interests, and according to a New York Times editorial, "no organization has done more to undermine [climate change] legislation."

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The Daily Pulse: Deep Six the Gang of Six

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire Blogger

Ed. note: The Weekly Pulse is becoming the Daily Pulse for September. Every weekday, we'll bring you highlights from the health care reform debate, including exclusive video interviews with leading experts and independent journalists each Friday. Even better, you can be a part of the conversation. Stay tuned to find out more!

A power shift is underway in Washington. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick announced on Monday that a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy would not take place until January 19, 2010. With Kennedy's seat empty, the Democrats no longer have the 60 votes they need to break a filibuster in the Senate. Up until this point, the White House was hoping for a compromise bill that the entire Democratic caucus, and maybe even a few Republicans, could agree on.

There's more...


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