February 28, 2013
Sequestration

There's this idea out there that the sequester and its effects are the fault of Republicans. No one following along thinks that, but it's the majority opinion.

In early 2011, the debt limit was going to be reached within the year. President Obama knew this was coming, and should have reduced spending early in the year to prepare for the fact that the law said he couldn't borrow any more money.

Instead, Obama spent as though there would be no limit. He said it was Congress' job to increase the limit, even though he had voted against doing it as a Senator, and told many lies about how not increasing it was going to result in default, even though we had enough money to pay for all mandatory spending.

They did come to an agreement on the debt limit, thanks to Obama promising two things: that there would be automatic cuts if they didn't come to an agreement on deficit reduction. Stated all along was that we need a "balanced" approach, with both tax increases and spending cuts.

So fast forward to 2012, and Obama saying the sequester is a terrible idea that came from the Republicans, and doing other antagonizing of the Republicans that seems designed to push them away, so they would be less likely to want to make a deal. And then in early 2013, the Republicans agreed to spending increases, getting absolutely nothing in return. Obama said he "fulfilled a major campaign promise" by getting the tax increase. Republicans said that this was understood to be the tax increase portion of a deal, and now it was time to work on the spending cuts.

So now we're looking at the deadline to avoid the sequester, and the Repulicans have made several proposals, including to change nothing except to fund certain things that would otherwise be cut, and to cut spending more intelligently. Obama has rejected everything that does not include another tax increase.

And let's not also forget that every single cut that has been announced is a choice. The amounts cut are mandatory, but how they are applied is a choice. Every time someone says "we have to cut teacher pay" or "we have to do this or that," they're lying. They are making a choice about what to cut, and it seems like -- just as Obama is trying to antagonize Republicans into not making a deal by lying about them nearly every day -- Obama is picking cuts designed to make the public angry. The Republicans even offered a proposal to make those choices easier and smarter, and Obama rejected it.

Obama is saying the Republicans came up with the sequester, even though he did. Obama is saying the Republicans won't concede to a tax increase to avoid sequester, even though they did just last month. Obama is saying the Republicans are to blame for no agreement, holding the country "hostage," even though Republicans have made explicitly balanced offers and Obama rejects them.

There's no question that Obama deserves the overwhelming majority of the blame here. He is lying about the lack of tax increases, lying about specific cuts being necessary, and apparently doing anything he can to avoid a deal. Either he doesn't want a deal, or he is doing a great job of pretending he doesn't want a deal.

Indeed, even Democrats are pointing out that because most Americans are blaming Republicans, the President has no real reason to come to an agreement. So avoiding the "pain" of a sequester is not reason enough for him, apparently. It's a bizarre thing: Obama is acting like he wants sequestration, and is responsible for almost every part of how we got here, but everyone is still blaming Republicans.

As I've said, I am open to having the sequestration. If they won't cut spending on their own, this is a good start. It's a terribly dumb way to cut, but it's better than not cutting. But I think Obama wants sequestration a lot more than I do.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at February 28, 2013 06:27 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Excellent post! When the sequester happens it will be spun as the Republicans fault. They share some responsibility but this was Obama's idea and most of the fault lies with the the US Senate which hasn't passed a budget in over 3 years. Patty Murray is complicit for her role as Chairman of the Budget Committee.

Posted by: James D. Kellett on February 28, 2013 07:43 AM
2. And now, if you're in the media and even mention these hard, provable facts (video of President Obama stating the sequester is needed, and that he would veto any bill that didn't cut spending), the White House is going to make you regret you ever mentioned it... See Bob Woodward's statements about that.

Thuggery. Pure thuggery. Say one thing, lie you ever said it. Change agreements unilaterally and claim the other side is the one doing it. And threatening those who even talk about your duplicity. Chicago politics - evil, hateful, spiteful - through and through.

OBAMA - One Big Ass Mistake America!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on February 28, 2013 08:17 AM
3. A big yawn! So GOP has a fighting stick in the game. Yet, arguing over the origin of the idea is pointless. All Congress and the WH want to do is find someone to blaim. Here is an idea for the GOP, if you are really concerned about government spending, then why complain about the sequestration? It actually attempts to cut government spending, not by much, but it does start to tackle some spending. Are the GOP so enamored with out-of-control defense spending that they don't see that it too needs to be cut? They should be applauding the non-defense cuts. They should adopt a budget the incorporates the cuts, but possibly shift them to where they see more appropriate areas. Arguing over whose to blaim is pointless. The GOP should embrace cutting government spending. That is what they have been claiming they want to do. Why are they in such an fit now that a bill they helped pass and does cut spending is now going to take place? Is Defense so sacred that it can't be looked at?

Posted by: say what on February 28, 2013 08:39 AM
4. say what: arguing over the origin of the idea is pointless

Not if you're the White House and you want to blame the Republicans. That's largely the point of my post.


All Congress and the WH want to do is find someone to blaim.

That is, obviously, false. The Republicans in Congress have passed bills to help solve the problem. Democrats in the Senate refuse to even consider looking at them.


Here is an idea for the GOP, if you are really concerned about government spending, then why complain about the sequestration?

Because it's the wrong way to cut spending. It blindly cuts most programs without respect to what should or shouldn't be cut, and it doesn't touch the biggest spending problems: defense and entitlements.


It actually attempts to cut government spending, not by much, but it does start to tackle some spending.

Maybe, but unlikely. What's more likely is the sequestration will be reversed at some point.


Are the GOP so enamored with out-of-control defense spending that they don't see that it too needs to be cut?

They proposed cuts to defense, so, no.


They should be applauding the non-defense cuts.

They should be applauding smart cuts for programs that need cuts. These cuts are not those.


They should adopt a budget the incorporates the cuts

They have passed budgets that cut spending levels much greater than the sequester does. Again, the Senate refuses to even look at those bills.

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2013 09:01 AM
5. I don't think Obama wants sequestration, and neither does he want "a deal". He wants "his deal" - more revenues and, most importantly, no real cuts. Obama (correctly IMHO) believes the strategy he is pursuing now will result in at least "no real cuts" happening. He thinks the House will fold and agree to either raising revenues with token cuts or simply to delaying the sequester indefinitely. (The latter doesn't get Obama everything he wants, but it does give him his big desire: no cuts). Looking at it from his point of view, believing any substantive cuts are injurious, it is a good strategy as long as you believe the House will fold. And given past history, that's a pretty sure bet, isn't it?

Posted by: Moderate Man on February 28, 2013 09:25 AM
6. We have a celebrity, self-serving emperor in the White House who is Orwellian, Nixonian and does not care about cutting spending. He only cares about winning at the expense of the opposition as he is patterning the leadership of this country after "Lord of the Flies". When a veteran jouurnalist like Bob Woodward (who helped blow the whistle on Nixon) is threatened by the White House for telling the unvarnished truth to the detriment of Mr. Obama, the Lord of the Flies concept of leadership has kicked in. He is not to be trusted by anyone who has a lick of common sense.

Who loses for this empty-suited thug at the helm in the end ? Not only Republicans, but also Democrats and the general public. Any low information voter who believes otherwise, as @3 is living in a parallel universe and with all due respect need to wise up. A big reason that the GOP cannot cut significant spending (aside from the sequester) is mainly because the President would not sign such a bill if the Senate ever pass the bill.

Posted by: KDS on February 28, 2013 09:27 AM
7. Looking at it from his point of view, believing any substantive cuts are injurious, it is a good strategy as long as you believe the House will fold. And given past history, that's a pretty sure bet, isn't it?
Posted by Moderate Man at February 28, 2013 09:25 AM

If the House folds here, Boehner will probably be dumped as Speaker and the Republicans will also be in danger of losing control of the House in 2014, due to their ineptness. If they fold, they have shown themselves to be the Stupid party.

Posted by: KDS on February 28, 2013 09:32 AM
8. Forgive me, Pudge as this is a bit off-topic but I would really appreciate your take on latest WA Supreme Court decision on 2/3-vote.

Posted by: Duffman on February 28, 2013 12:03 PM
9. Pudge@4
A couple of responses:
You wrote:
Because it's the wrong way to cut spending. It blindly cuts most programs without respect to what should or shouldn't be cut, and it doesn't touch the biggest spending problems: defense and entitlements.
My response
Wait a minute. The bill does cut defense, so don't say it doesn't touch defense. That would be incorrect.
As to not best way to cut spending, totally agree, which is why it was stupid for Congress to approve the bill in the first place. They should have had a clean debt ceiling raise and tackled the budget separately. To come back now and whine about a bill that Congress legislated and passed (with significant number of GOP votes by the way), is as bad as the President whose staff first proposed the idea. Congress didn't need to pass the bill in 2011. To whine about it now and try to pin the blame on one party or another is folly.

You wrote:
They have passed budgets that cut spending levels much greater than the sequester does. Again, the Senate refuses to even look at those bills.
My Response:
Well, part of getting a bill passed is making it so it can pass through both the House and Senate. Let's assume for a moment the Senate took up the bills the House passed. One of two things would have occurred. One, the bill would have been defeated, which puts the House back at square one and in the same place as the bill expiring without action (current state). Two, the Senate could have amended the bill, passed it, and then send it back to the House to approve the amendments. Now what is the likelihood of the House approving the Democrat's amendments, when the Democrats have been clear of what they were looking for (balanced approach -- whatever that means to them). My guess, the odds are zilch. Again you get back to the current state with each party talking past each other and no one willing to compromise (when it comes to the budget). The fact of the matter is the two parties are worlds apart and whether or not the Senate takes up the House passed bills (from past sessions), doesn't really matter.

This is why I am asking the question of why is the sequester so bad. It maybe cuts $45B from the current year's budget. This is a drop in the bucket. Yes, maybe it should be adjusted to allow some flexibility on cuts, but what is the likelihood that the GOP will agree to the defense cuts that should be made, which are cuts in weapon systems the DoD doesn't desire, but benefit some congressman's home district? I say allow the DoD Secretary the discretion to cut out the weapons that have no benefit and allow the ship maintenance (and other needed DoD items) remain. I therefore agree with you that it is a bad way to cut. I don't agree that the cuts, like in Defense, that should be made would be acceptable to the GOP, thus the whining. OBTW, the biggest whiners when it comes to the Defense cuts are more the GOP Senators, and not the House. I thinking the cabal of McCain and Graham and company. What a farce they were in the Hagel nomination hearings. I am glad Hagel is now Sec Def. He was right about the Iraq War. He has had his boots on the ground in Vietnam and will look after the troops first and not some neocon philosopy for the Middle East.

Posted by: say what on February 28, 2013 12:43 PM
10. Remember when it was cool to be Bob Woodward? My how times have changed for the worse. Nixon would be proud of Obama. He's getting away with it.

Posted by: Leftover on February 28, 2013 01:45 PM
11. I've always liked Woodward. Even before Clinton was President. Still do.

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2013 01:51 PM
12. say what: The bill does cut defense, so don't say it doesn't touch defense. That would be incorrect.

What I meant is that it doesn't tackle the toughest and biggest problems in defense spending, the ones that would actually make a difference.


They should have had a clean debt ceiling raise and tackled the budget separately.

No, they shouldn't. The Democrats have proven they simply will not participate in tackling the budget. Forcing them to the table through not raising the debt ceiling is perfectly reasonable.


To come back now and whine about a bill that Congress legislated and passed ...

It's not the sequester bill that Republicans are whining about. They are complaining that Obama and Democrats are not engaging in good-faith efforts to avoid sequestration, while Democrats have falsely accused the Republicans a. of coming up with the idea and b. not trying to avoid the sequestration.

Saying the Republicans are wrong to defend themselves from false accusations is the Beltway equivalent of the schoolyard bully's "stop hitting yourself."

Well, part of getting a bill passed is making it so it can pass through both the House and Senate.

Utter nonsense. In fact, it almost never works that way. The way it has almost always works is that the House passes a bill, the Senate dislikes it, changes it, and sends it back to the House, which dislikes the changed version, so they go to conference and hammer out changes. This is ALL ON THE SENATE DEMOCRATS. Their actual job is to pass their own version of a bill and then work it out in conference with the House Republicans.


Let's assume for a moment the Senate took up the bills the House passed. One of two things would have occurred. One, the bill would have been defeated, which puts the House back at square one and in the same place as the bill expiring without action (current state). Two, the Senate could have amended the bill, passed it, and then send it back to the House to approve the amendments.

The latter of which they have, historically, almost always done.


Now what is the likelihood of the House approving the Democrat's amendments, when the Democrats have been clear of what they were looking for (balanced approach -- whatever that means to them). My guess, the odds are zilch. Again you get back to the current state with each party talking past each other and no one willing to compromise (when it comes to the budget).

Nope. What happens at that point is you go to the next step -- conference -- not back to "square one."

There's a reason why the Democrats don't do that: they want sequestration so they can blame Republicans. If they work through the process, they either get a deal, or even if they don't, they get part of the blame. By doing nothing they can blame Republicans. That's all the Democrats are doing, is blaming, and doing everything they can to actually give us the sequestration they falsely say is going to doom the nation, and they falsely say was the Republicans' proposal, and they falsely say is happening because the Republicans wouldn't compromise.


... what is the likelihood that the GOP will agree to the defense cuts that should be made, which are cuts in weapon systems the DoD doesn't desire, but benefit some congressman's home district?

Better than the odds that Democrats would agree to anything at all.


OBTW, the biggest whiners when it comes to the Defense cuts are more the GOP Senators, and not the House.

Well, Senators in general, not just the Republicans. But yes.


What a farce they were in the Hagel nomination hearings.

Could be worse: they could've been Hagel, who proved himself incapable of doing the job, part of which is honestly and openly reporting to Congress.


I am glad Hagel is now Sec Def. He was right about the Iraq War.

He was wrong about much of it, including being completely and utterly wrong about the surge, and he won't even own up to it. It's his lack of honesty in the hearings that turned me from having McCain's opinion -- whether he's a bad nominee or not, he's Obama's choice -- to being opposed to his nomination.


He has had his boots on the ground in Vietnam and will look after the troops first and not some neocon philosopy for the Middle East.

I used to think that, but since he wouldn't answer honestly to the Senate, I now have serious doubts.

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2013 02:23 PM
13. The fallacy here is that the sequester only hits about 1/3 of the spending from the Fed. The impact of a relatively small cut is exaggerated because Obama and Dems REFUSE to even talk about entitlements. That said, Obama is responsible for growth of government spending that equals 5% of GDP in 4 years. Most of it the result of his Stimulus that reestablished baseline spending FOREVER.

Obama is a man who believes government should be responsible for redistribution of ALL resources; not just money. He believe in a massive centralized government that makes every decision for Americans that government deems appropriate.

Obama's fundamental transformation of America, as promised in 2008, is more than a transformation. It is the utter destruction of the nation and the Constitution he rejects, and the establishment of a new society where government is at the center of every Americans life, and every American is dependent on government in one or many significant ways.

Prosperity is the ENEMY of Progressives. Prosperity is the only way to defeat progressivism, which is not progress at all, but a return to slavery. Slavery to a massive central government.

You need no more understanding than to accept the left's agenda to destroy prosperity if you want to understand why Democrats oppose EVERY SINGLE solution to this nation's problems.

Posted by: Reality on February 28, 2013 02:24 PM
14. This is a sidebar - If the GOP wants to get their message out and influence future elections and have a decent shot at winning; they must significantly ramp up their presence on social media, otherwise the left will continue to have the upper hand on messaging and influence on voters no matter how atrocious their policies are and the tail will continue to wag the dog.

For starters; the so-called Tea Party (better renamed the Don't Tread on me patriots) and Freedom Works can do this as can politicians with an R in front of their name and others in the conservative media.

I'd like to see a post from someone knowledgeable about updated GOP efforts in social media - there is probably a lot more going on than we know about, but do not know that for sure.

Posted by: KDS on February 28, 2013 07:40 PM
15. Aack, Maxine Waters warns 170 million people will lose their jobs if sequestration happens!!!

There's only one problem with her math, as theblaze.com tells us:

"... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 134 million people working in the United States. So by Waters' estimation, the sequester cuts would be so apocalyptic that nearly 40 million people who don't have jobs would become even more unemployed."

And she'll be re-elected in 2014, in spite of having no idea what she's talking about. Knowing basic facts is clearly not required to be a candidate in her district.

Posted by: Princess Leia on February 28, 2013 08:50 PM
16. From a post on Powerline that adeptly describes the flap between the White House and Bob Woodward. Leftists and low information voters -take note - we know your blind spots - it would help for you to learn about them too;

"Woodward's story is remarkable not because it reveals an insecure and arrogant President, but rather because it has become exceptional for a professional journalist to challenge a liberal president. Long gone are the years when journalism investigated and reported matters in an even-handed, factual way that was independent of political connections.

Woodward saw it his patriotic duty in the 1970s to challenge a corrupt President. Too many younger journalists, by contrast, seem to refuse to pursue a point of view if it runs the risk of offending other journalists, who are overwhelmingly liberal. Journalism, IMHO, would be better and more ethically served by covering all subjects boldly, fairly and thoroughly.

The news has become the opiate of the American people. We are losing our freedom, inch by inch, because the media has lulled the American people to sleep."

Posted by: KDS on February 28, 2013 10:10 PM
17. KDS: one thing about the mainstream media is that they are generally more biased in favor of the news media, than in favor of the left. So there's a chance this will actually hurt Obama, whereas if it were not one of their own, it certainly would not.

Posted by: pudge on March 1, 2013 08:08 AM
18. Here it is Monday, and it seems normal - the sun is even out and no apocalypses have occurred after the Sequestration has been signed into effect. In some areas, things may improve.

One clear take away is that the sky has not fallen after the budget has been trimmed by a whopping 2.5%, but there is still a slight spending increase over last year (by ~ $30 Billion).

Posted by: KDS on March 4, 2013 09:26 AM
19. I just heard that John Kerry (via the White House) gave Egypt $250 Million dollars for aid - to the Muslim Brotherhood government -
WTF ? Will we also end up giving millions to Iran to prevent from attacking Israel ? and what about the millions we have poured into fighting global warming for the UN ?

The sky is falling mantra was all about political theatre and Obama has gotta have a legacy with an all-Democrat congress after 2014. These people can NEVER be trusted.

Posted by: KDS on March 4, 2013 10:22 AM
20. KDS @19
So, the GOP was also wrong about the Sequester, then too? Why where they in such a tizzy to blaim someone and not just stated what you said, which is 2.5% isn't that much to cut.

I liked what Portman had to say was that Obama did get his balanced approach of 2:1 cuts versus revenues, when you combine the tax revisions of Jan and the sequester.

I like the approach that Congress is starting to gel around which is keep the percentage of cut but allow greater flexibility on where it is applied. Of course, the Israeli lobby is already barking about not cutting aid to Israel, which why do we provide for 20% of their defense budget? Its not like they are a poor country.

Posted by: say what on March 4, 2013 12:59 PM
21. Portman was correct, but the cuts are small. I support the Simpson-Bowles proposal. Any Republicans and Democrats who don't support it are not thinking straight.

The sequestration would be called a minor form of austerity and the country has two choices to maintain financial stability - minor austerity now and incremental OR bigger austerity later. Sorry, there is no other pathway available. Europe will need and in some cases is using some form of austerity also in order to keep from going bankrupt.

Posted by: KDS on March 4, 2013 04:15 PM
22. Ever wonder how much money Washington State gives to Microsoft and other Corporations to ensure they stay in our state. Washington State Crony Capitalism. I guess Republicans are for this too. I know I am not a liberal, but if being a conservative means I have to support this kind of stuff because it's "good for business" and "brings jobs" then I guess I am not a conservative either. Don't know quite what I am.

Posted by: Mary Jane on March 4, 2013 05:18 PM
23. This was the link you can go to in order to find out.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/01/us/government-incentives.html#WA

Yeah, it's New York Times, but if anything they probably underestimated the total.

Hollywood is another industry that gets all kinds of benefits from Federal State and Local Government all the while small independent business and the middle class get stuck with the tab.

Republicans support the rich. Democrats support the poor (and the rich if the truth be told) but no one supports the middle class. A new party that would take on both crony capitalism (and so called "free trade") and support conservative issues would find overwhelming support.

Posted by: Mary Jane on March 4, 2013 05:24 PM
24. Mary Jane, maybe you are new to WA, but almost all that corporate welfare in WA is from Democrats, not Republicans.

Posted by: pudge on March 4, 2013 05:46 PM
25. Pudge, could you listen to this guy and then tell me where he is off in his thinking?

http://stevedeace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/deace_podcast_022813_hour1.mp3

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 04:07 AM
26. This is something that all Conservatives would appreciate listening to.

http://stevedeace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/SDEACE_Hour1_030413.mp3

This is even better than the last audio.

If you don't like this then you are not a Conservative, Pudge. You are merely a Republican and Conservatives are on to people like you.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 04:24 AM
27. Greg, no, I will not listen to one or two hour-long podcasts from someone I've never heard of just because someone I don't know asks me to, and says that if I disagree I am not a "conservative."

You really think that makes any sense? At all?

Also, for what it's worth, there's not a single person who knows me who thinks I am not a conservative. I don't need validation from people I know, and far less do I need validation from you.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 08:13 AM
28. Pudge this is less about validation from me but actually validation from you.

Especially on the first video, I feel the gentleman made some good points about how useless it is to vote for Republicans.

He said that Boehner has basically given over the House of Representatives to the Democrats particularly on Social issues.

Do you agree (after listening to his full statement)?

Also he said that the old line about we had to vote for RINOS because of Supreme Court appointments has been shown to be a lie last year. Again. listening to his explanation do you agree?

I ask this because I am seriously thinking about not participating in politics any more because I feel that I have wasted my vote on Republicans. I have spent time energy and treasure to help them get elected and quite honestly I have been quite successful (I live in one of the few areas where those calling themselves "Republican" actually win most of the time, although we did have one who switched parties) but I keep on seeing my very own "Republican" vote with the Democrats on issues such as "cap and trade". Yeah, the Democrats do the same thing but at least I have spent no effort getting them where they are.

So, this guy had his say, and quite honestly I find him very convincing, but I thought I should allow someone as active in Republican Politics have his say before I drop out completely. If you are so insecure in your opinion that you will not listen to another conservative express a contrary opinion to yours (and really on the first one at least you only need to listen to the first 20 minutes though the whole show was quite interesting) perhaps indeed, I do have my answer and my course of action.

Look, you can berate us, you can mock us, you can condemn us as much as you want, but that won't bring the conservative grassroots who have dropped out back. And there is are more of them than you think out there. If Republicans are going to bring them back into the fold then someone is going to need to refute these arguments. And if Republicans do not bring them back into the fold, well, forget about winning another Presidential election ever. I already see 2016 as very unlikely for Republicans to win because I see the same thing happening within the party now that I saw leading up to the Romney debacle.

Gosh Romney is even going to speak at CPAC. Why not rub salt in our wounds will you! And Jeb Bush going to run in 2016. Why don't you change the name of the Republican Party to the Bush party if all it is going to be is a vehicle for the political aspirations of one political family. And I really don't care who that Political Family is, as no one political family should have that much influence in American society but it really adds insult to injury that this political family have been responsible for two of the greatest defeats in conservative history leading to both Bill Clinton and Obama.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 08:46 AM
29. Greg: this is ... about ... validation from you.

Sorry, you think I have something to prove to you?

Interesting delusion.


Do you agree (after listening to his full statement)?

I am not going to listen to it. I have absolutely no reason to do so.


Look, you can berate us, you can mock us, you can condemn us as much as you want

You can be further delusional and pretend I've done any of those things.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 08:53 AM
30. Greg: If you are so insecure in your opinion that you will not listen to another conservative express a contrary opinion to yours ...

I have no reason to think it is contrary to mine. I just don't care. Why should I listen to it? There's millions of podcasts out there, why should I spend 20 minutes of my valuable time listening to this one?

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 08:55 AM
31. I mean first audio.

Look, ignoring the issue isn't going to change the situation. Conservatives still do exist and they exist in larger numbers than reported.

But fewer and fewer of them vote.

If the Republicans think "the Latino vote" will take up the slack, they are sadly mistaken.

2012 was a watershed election. For the first time conservatives in significant numbers sat out. Yeah we started seeing this in 2008 with McCain but we really saw it last year.

Bullying them, frightening them, mocking them, condemning them will not work. And without them you won't win.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 08:56 AM
32. Greg: ignoring the issue isn't going to change the situation

So? What's that got to do with anything I've said?


2012 was a watershed election. For the first time conservatives in significant numbers sat out.

You don't remember 2006?


Bullying them, frightening them, mocking them, condemning them will not work.

And this has what to do with me, or anything I've said?

Why are you pretending that I do any such things?

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 09:00 AM
33. I can only conclude that you have no response for him.

Then, I am sorry, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

I will work through my church, I will prepare, but I will never, ever vote again.

You had your chance, but your dismissive attitude towards this massive conservative drop out from politics (check the Hannity ratings decline if you don't believe me) proves that these people are sadly taking the only course of action available to them, and available to me.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 09:01 AM
34. @33 - If you want to blame the drop on conservatives on someone, blame it on Karl Rove.

Hannity is too much of hyperpartisan and I get angered every time he refers to Rove as the architect, but his guests are interesting. Dennis Prager, who does not stray into gotcha politics much, but is saavy about the culture is my fav conservative talk host.

Posted by: KDS on March 5, 2013 09:16 AM
35. Greg: I can only conclude that you have no response for him.

How could I possibly have a response to statements I've never heard or seen? Yes, and I also have no response to what your boss said to you yesterday. I have no response to most statements, because I don't know most statements.


Then, I am sorry, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

Your asking me to spend my time to listen to someone I've never heard of say something that you've already asserted I must agree with to "validate" myself is pretty insane, I'll give you that.


I will work through my church, I will prepare, but I will never, ever vote again.

I could not care less. I am a true conservative, which means I won't judge what you choose to be the best path for you. It is YOUR life, which means what you do with that life is YOUR decision, and not mine to judge. I've long been a defender of those conservatives who say they won't vote. That's your decision, and I simply don't care about it.


You had your chance

You are completely full of crap. You think it is somehow my job or responsibility or obligation to spend my time listening to someone else, and if I agree with them then you won't vote, but if I don't agree with them, then I have proven I am not a conservative, so you won't listen to me. You literally said that my response wouldn't matter. (Of course, even if it WOULD matter to you, it's still unreasonable for you to put any demand on me to listen and respond to it, as if I have nothing better to do.)

You talk like a Democrat, frankly: putting undue obligations on other people for things you alone are responsible for, being closed-minded, refusing to accept disagreement, etc.


... but your dismissive attitude towards this massive conservative drop out from politics ...

That's a lie. I had no attitude of any kind toward this alleged drop-out. My dismissive attitude was toward YOU, for your attitude and assertions toward me. It had nothing to do with the substance of your claims, which I didn't address or consider at all, because of your terrible attitude toward me.


(check the Hannity ratings decline if you don't believe me)

Yeah, hard to know where to begin with that, except to say that there is no rational reason for me to believe there is any correlation of any kind between Hannity's ratings and conservative participation in politics. I'm one of the most conservative people around, and Hannity is, to me, the worst host on Fox. I agree with most of what he says, in terms of principles, but his presentation is terrible. He begs the question, attacks red herrings and straw men, and does it every night.

So maybe people are just sick of *him*. Or maybe they are tired of politics: participation for the losing party in the general election almost always drops off in the short term following the election. Or maybe conservatives are dropping out ... but you simply cannot know that from looking at Hannity's ratings.


... proves that these people are sadly taking the only course of action available to them, and available to me.

False. Again, I had no dismissive attitude towards this alleged drop-out, so this nonexistent thing cannot prove something else. It's not logically possible.

It's also false that you have only one course of action. There's participating within the party to improve it, and there's starting a new party, or joining a third party. Or there's joining special-interest PACs that focus on specific goals, rather than work through the party system. And as to voting, you could vote for conservatives when they do come along. Even if you won't vote for McKenna, doesn't mean you shouldn't vote for Koster, for example.

There's many other options available. You're simply incorrect.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 09:17 AM
36. KDS: Karl Rove did not cause ANY of our problems, except perhaps in spending money that could've been used to greater effect in other ways.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 09:18 AM
37. Gosh, 2016 is going to be a mess.

You will have J try to run (I thought since we called George W. Bush "W" we might as well call Jeb "J". He will through the usual bully tactics tie up all the "establishment" money, even if he can't pull out a primary win. Then in a hissy fit (as RINOS often do) he will probably give his support (under the table at least) to the Democrat (remember his family are going friends with the Clintons).

You will have candidates like Rubio and Jindal try to run who a good number of conservatives would never vote for because they believe that they don't meet the "natural Born citizen" requirement due to the fact that their parents were not US citizens when they were born.

Yeah, you can try to convince them otherwise but the very debate will be used to paint the GOP as "racist" and will negate any effect that they may get from being an "ethnic" candidate.

The effects of the Boehner lost of the House in 2014 will still be around to diminish the vote for Republicans even more. It will be a situation like we saw in 2006 leading to 2008.

Yeah, things don't look good for the next eight or so years. And really it's just time for us conservatives to admit that it's hit the "point of no return" in politics. Time to drop out and put our focus elsewhere.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 09:19 AM
38. "Remember his family are good friends with the Clintons. That has widely been shown especially with the elder Bush."

Beyond that I am going to not cite any Bush Family conspiracy theories. After all I just have to point to the effects of their administration.

Clinton and Obama.

But that said, I think three members of the same family being President within one lifetime is WAY too many, even if they were the best Presidents in history, which again they were anything BUT!

Yeah, let's rename the GOP the BUSH PARTY!

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 09:27 AM
39. The only thing that will prevent 2014 from being another 2006 is if a lot of incumbent Republicans lose their primaries. But incumbents losing primaries is quite difficult given how much lobbyist money they can throw at a primary challenger combined with the "dirty tricks" the Republican infrastructure always does on behalf of incumbents.

But apart from such an historic and really unprecedented "clearing house" of Republican incumbents in primaries then yeah, Republicans lose the House in 2014.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/02/20/as-country-club-republicans-link-up-with-the-democratic-ruling-class-millions-of-voters-are-orphaned/

If you get Republicans who act like Democrats, might as well just have the Democrats. Boehner has already practically given them the run of the place as it is!

Posted by: Ted on March 5, 2013 10:11 AM
40. Greg: You will have J try to run

Good.


He will through the usual bully tactics tie up all the "establishment" money

False.


Then in a hissy fit (as RINOS often do) he will probably give his support (under the table at least) to the Democrat

You're lying. There's no evidence this would ever happen.


(remember his family are going friends with the Clintons).

His father is friends with Bill Clinton. So? John Adams was friends with Thomas Jefferson. I have friends who are Democrats. Even Socialists. It doesn't make me any less conservative. You're being ridiculous.


You will have candidates like Rubio and Jindal try to run who a good number of conservatives would never vote for because they believe that they don't meet the "natural Born citizen" requirement due to the fact that their parents were not US citizens when they were born.

That is highly doubtful. I am not even sure where you get this from. The overwhelming majority of people who argue against Obama being "natural born" question where he was born, and what the law about parentage was when he was born. There's no open questions that being born in the U.S. to a non-citizen makes you natural-born, and it's only a tiny tiny percentage of Americans who think otherwise.

That said, Rubio is waaaaay too green to be President, and I am not convinced Jindal is up to it, either.


The effects of the Boehner lost of the House in 2014 will still be around to diminish the vote for Republicans even more.

It won't happen. The GOP will keep the House in 2014. Even the Democrats believe this, and there's really nothing at all to back up your belief.


But that said, I think three members of the same family being President within one lifetime is WAY too many

I don't discriminate against people based on their family. Sorry that you do.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 10:43 AM
41. Ted: The only thing that will prevent 2014 from being another 2006 is if a lot of incumbent Republicans lose their primaries.

You base this on ... what? What would cause the GOP to lose the House? There's no basis in reality for this claim, that I've seen. Please, share with us how the Democrats are going to overturn all of these seats. If they didn't do it in 2012, why would they do it in 2014?

In 2006, you had a rising anti-Republican atmosphere and voters shifted to Democrats. That is not happening now. Yes, some people are abandoning Republicans, but those that are, are not shifting to Democrats, and by far most voters are still voting for the better candidate for them, which means the Republican.

Whether you like that or not, that's what they are doing.


But apart from such an historic and really unprecedented "clearing house" of Republican incumbents in primaries then yeah, Republicans lose the House in 2014.

No, they don't. You're living in a fantasy land. (Note that I am not saying it cannot or won't happen. I am saying there is currently no reason to think it will happen.)

In fact, while I opposed the vote for increased taxes -- and unfortunately, at least some of our own Republicans in WA voted for it -- most Americans, including many many Republicans -- either didn't oppose it, or thought it was a reasonable compromise. Worst case, many of them probably think, the Republicans did their part in a "balanced" approach.


If you get Republicans who act like Democrats, might as well just have the Democrats

If they *always* act like Democrats, true. But they don't, so you're not making an actual point.


Boehner has already practically given them the run of the place as it is!

You realize that we all know that's not remotely true, right? Who do you think you are fooling with this obviously false line?

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 10:50 AM
42. Gosh, I guess it's not only a river in Egypt for you Pudge. Your denial on common sense is incredible.

First the Bush name is HATED in most of the country both by the Left and the grassroots Right. You may think it's unfair that Bush was blamed for the recession, but as unfair it might have been it is still a belief in most of America.

And gosh, do you want to live in a Monarchy? Again, if that's the case, let's rename the party to the Bush Party.

Regarding Natural Born Citizen. In this audio regarding "Deal Breakers" for the 2016 election which I know you won't listen to so I won't bother asking, Natural Born Citizen was brought up as an issue and it will be brought up over and over again as the election season goes on whether you like it or not.

http://stevedeace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/deace_podcast_022613_hour2.mp3

And regarding "Boehner handing control (in regards to setting the agenda and driving public policy)" well of course it was mentioned in that other audio I posted which of course you won't listen to but it was also the subject of the article that Ted linked to which of course you probably won't read.

So, yeah keep on playing the denial game. Reality will prove you wrong soon enough just like it proved you wrong about the great WIN we were going to have in 2012.

Posted by: Greg on March 5, 2013 11:37 AM
43. Greg: Gosh, I guess it's not only a river in Egypt for you Pudge. Your denial on common sense is incredible.

You are transparent. If it were common sense, you would be able to back it up.


First the Bush name is HATED in most of the country both by the Left and the grassroots Right.

Even if true, what does that have to do with anything I said?


You may think it's unfair that Bush was blamed for the recession, but as unfair it might have been it is still a belief in most of America.

It's not "ufnair," it's stupid and thoughtless. No rational person believes it. But more importantly, that has nothing to do with Jeb Bush, and pretending it does is even more stupid and thoughtless. Feel free to criticize Jeb for what he says and does, but to criticize him for things he literally had nothing to do with is just supremely idiotic.

Stop being supremely idiotic.


And gosh, do you want to live in a Monarchy?

Pretending that people freely voting for someone who happens to be related to a previous President equates to a monarchy is, again, stupid and thoughtless. And supremely idiotic.

Once upon a time, we had a very popular two-term President. His popularity catapulted a long-time right-wing civil servant, and current vice president, to the presidency. But he lost his bid for a second term to the smooth-talking left-wing politician from the South. They greatly disliked each other, but after they were both retired, became friends. And the first guy's son became President, and some people complained about it being a monarchy.

But those people were as silly in 1824 as they were in 2000, and 2014. (I am talking about Washington/Adams/Jefferson/Adams, not just Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush, in case you didn't get it.)


Regarding Natural Born Citizen. In this audio regarding "Deal Breakers" for the 2016 election which I know you won't listen to so I won't bother asking, Natural Born Citizen was brought up as an issue and it will be brought up over and over again as the election season goes on whether you like it or not.

You've given me no reason to listen to it, so why would I listen to it?

If you have an argument to make, make it. I have no reason to spend an hour listening to someone I've never heard of in hopes that he makes a argument that relates to your point. Either you make your argument, or you do not.


And regarding "Boehner handing control (in regards to setting the agenda and driving public policy)" well of course it was mentioned in that other audio I posted which of course you won't listen to

So? I could have mentioned it my OWN writing or speech, and it wouldn't matter: your job is to make your own arguments, not expect other people to do research to make your arguments for you. What you're doing is lazy and pathetic and, worse, extremely anti-conservative, because you're trying to use MY time for yourself.


So, yeah keep on playing the denial game.

Shrug. The only person in denial here is you: you keep pretending that you've made any arguments, and that people should believe you just because you said so, and some other guy no one has heard of also said so. That's not an argument.


Reality will prove you wrong soon enough just like it proved you wrong about the great WIN we were going to have in 2012.

Stop lying about me. It's bad enough you refuse to engage in honest and reasonable argument, but lying about me on top of it all is entirely unacceptable. I never said we would have a "great win" in 2012, nor even hinted at that.

If it is "reality," then demonstrate that. Make an argument. But so far you're just saying I should do your work, and attacking me for not doing it, and lying about things I never said.

Stop it.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 12:02 PM
44. Say what you will. This nonsense has caused the White House to close tours effective 3/9/13. How insensitive. How do newly arrived immigrants achieve an understanding of how our great country was conceived? Especially, Mexicans and Chinese who want to make a positive contribution to our society regardless of their immigration status. The Republicans need to shut down their overwhelming need to support business and pay attention to the victims who have been unjustly unemployed. Anyone who wants to be part of our country should have not have to run the gauntlet of the border patrol before they achieve their dreams. We should welcome these people with an open White House and the history behind it. Like guest in our own homes, we need to provide food and shelter which truly says we are a free and caring nation...

Posted by: Gordon on March 5, 2013 04:10 PM
45. Ha. Nice parody Gordon.

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 05:03 PM
46. Pudge: I wish I could be as optimistic about the GOP keeping control of the House in 2014 as you. I will say that the lower Obama's approval ratings go, the more likely the GOP will keep control of the House.

However, a point that you and I will agree is that the GOP must become more saavy at messaging and that includes a sharp increase in the use of social media. If they don't clearly demonstrate what they have to offer that is a better deal for Americans than the left does, they will lose by default because the Democrats appear to have the big edge in messaging. Right now, few GOP voices are effectively challenging the bully pulpit, which is very irritating and stupid of the GOP.

Obama has the edge over all in campaigning (with the OFA "permanent campaign" - designed for 2014), so the Tea Party and the GOP leadership had better take heed of that, get out there and make some meaningful noise and put up a fight starting very soon.

Posted by: KDS on March 5, 2013 05:21 PM
47. KDS: generally, the party in firm power doesn't lose tha power unless there's a reason for it, and that means a significantly decreased satisfaction with the people in power, or a significantly increased desire for the opposition to be in power. I see neither happening any time soon. I see the voting patterns in 2014 continuing from 2012, except that it might be weighted even more heavily to the GOP, since more of the Dem voters only voted because it was for Obama etc.

As to messaging, I totally agree. It's my biggest beef with the WSRP. But as to social media, I don't agree. It can include social media, but social media is just one way about it. Obama did not win the general election in 2008 or 2012 because of social media. He won because of the pervasive mass media views of Bush as the architect of the recession, of McCain as "changed" from 2000, Romney as a "1%er," etc. Social media can reinforce this, but mass media still dominates and shapes these public perceptions more than social media does (although, of course, the mass media itself is influenced by social media, etc.).

Posted by: pudge on March 5, 2013 05:43 PM
48. The reason I brought up social media is because the White House is increasingly controlling the message and the liberally biased media is gradually losing access to the White House, which is using social media to blast out their message. The media model is morphing into the old Soviet Union - thanks to the maneuvers of the White House where the State controls the message. Twitter and Facebook are becoming significant media now and the GOP is behind the curve.

This phenomenon has been documented recently in Breitbart news and even Politico had a story about it last week.

Posted by: KDS on March 5, 2013 10:24 PM
49. KDS: but my point is that social media is still dominated by traditional media. And the current sequester stuff demonstrates it: even with Obama largely bypassing the mainstream media, the media is still mostly pointing out that Obama is full of it, that he is mostly responsible for the sequester, that Obama already got the tax cuts he promised in his campaign (and admitted it), and so on, and therefore you see a pretty big recent drop in Obama's approval rating.

I submit that if party/campaign social media were king, Obama's approval rating would've increased, not decreased.

It's a complex thing, but it mostly goes like this: social media follows mainstream media, but mainstream media is informed significantly by social media, but moreso by their own reporting. When mainstream media and social media agree, that's when you see the most powerful messaging, but mainstream media is still largely dominant.

So I am not saying social media doesn't matter, I am saying it is not all-important, or even necessary. It is likely to be a part of any reasonable messaging strategy, but it doesn't have to be.

Posted by: pudge on March 6, 2013 04:40 AM
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