GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

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Heady
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GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Heady » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:52 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/us/po ... ml?_r=1&hp
Spoiler:
Republicans captured control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and expanded their voice in the Senate, riding a wave of voter discontent as they dealt a setback to President Obama just two years after his triumphal victory.

A Republican resurgence, propelled by deep economic worries and a forceful opposition to the Democratic agenda of health care and government spending, delivered defeats to House Democrats from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest. The tide swept aside dozens of lawmakers, regardless of their seniority or their voting records, upending the balance of power for the second half of Mr. Obama’s term.

But Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, narrowly prevailed and his party hung onto control by winning hard-fought contests in California, Delaware, Connecticut and West Virginia. Republicans picked up at least six Democratic seats, including the one formerly held by Mr. Obama, and the party will welcome Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky to their ranks, two candidates who were initially shunned by the establishment but beloved by the Tea Party movement.

“The American people’s voice was heard at the ballot box,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who is positioned to become the next speaker of the House. “We have real work to do, and this is not the time for celebration.”

The president, who watched the election returns with a small set of advisers at the White House, called Mr. Boehner shortly after midnight to offer his congratulations and to talk about the way forward as Washington prepares for divided government. Republicans won at least 58 seats, not including those from some Western states where ballots were still being counted, surpassing the 52 seats the party won in the sweep of 1994.

The most expensive midterm election campaign in the nation’s history, fueled by a raft of contributions from outside interest groups and millions in donations to candidates in both parties, played out across a wide battleground that stretched from Alaska to Maine. The Republican tide swept into statehouse races, too, with Democrats poised to lose the majority of governorships, particularly those in key presidential swing states, like Ohio, where Gov. Ted Strickland was defeated.

One after another, once-unassailable Democrats like Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Representatives Ike Skelton of Missouri, John Spratt of South Carolina, Rick Boucher of Virginia and Chet Edwards of Texas fell to little-known Republican challengers.

“Voters sent a message that change has not happened fast enough,” said Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Republicans did not achieve a perfect evening, losing races in several states they had once hoped to win, including the Senate contests in Delaware and Connecticut, because some candidates supported by the Tea Party movement knocked out establishment candidates to win their nominations. But they did score notable victories in some tight races, like Pat Toomey’s Senate run in Pennsylvania.

Senator Reid said in a speech that he was “more determined than ever” after his victory. “I know what it’s like to get back on your feet.”

The outcome on Tuesday was nothing short of a remarkable comeback for Republicans two years after they suffered a crushing defeat in the White House and four years after Democrats swept control of the House and Senate. It places the party back in the driver’s seat in terms of policy, posing new challenges to Mr. Obama as he faces a tough two years in his term, but also for Republicans — led by Mr. Boehner — as he suddenly finds himself in a position of responsibility, rather than being simply the outsider.

In the House, Republicans found victories in most corners of the country, including five seats in Pennsylvania, five in Ohio, at least three in Florida, Illinois and Virginia and two in Georgia. Democrats braced for the prospect of historic defeats, more than the 39 seats the Republicans needed to win control. Republicans reached their majority by taking seats east of the Mississippi even before late results flowed in from farther West.

Throughout the evening, in race after race, Republican challengers defeated Democratic incumbents, despite being at significant fund-raising disadvantages. Republican-oriented independent groups invariably came to the rescue, helping level of the playing field, including in Florida’s 24th Congressional District, in which Sandy Adams defeated Representative Suzanne Kosmas; Virginia’s 9th Congressional District, where Mr. Boucher, a 14-term incumbent, lost to Morgan Griffith; and Texas’s 17th Congressional District, in which Mr. Edwards, who was seeking his 11th term, succumbed to Bill Flores.

Democrats argued that the Republican triumph was far from complete, particularly in the Senate, pointing to the preservation of Mr. Reid and other races. In Delaware, Chris Coons defeated Christine O’Donnell, whose candidacy became a symbol of the unorthodox political candidates swept onto the ballot in Republican primary contests. In West Virginia, Gov. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, triumphed over an insurgent Republican rival to fill the seat held for a half-century by Senator Robert C. Byrd. And in California, Senator Barbara Boxer overcame a vigorous challenge from Carly Fiorina, a Republican.

But Democrats conceded that their plans to increase voter turnout did not meet expectations, party strategists said, and extraordinary efforts that Mr. Obama made in the final days of the campaign appeared to have borne little fruit.

The president flew to Charlottesville, Va., on Friday evening, for instance, in hopes of rallying Democrats to support Representative Tom Perriello, a freshman who supported every piece of the administration’s agenda, but he was defeated despite the president’s appeals to Democrats in a state that he carried two years ago.

In governors’ races, Republicans won several contests in the nation’s middle. They held onto governorships in Texas, Nebraska and South Dakota, and had seized seats now occupied by Democrats in Tennessee, Michigan and Kansas. Sam Brownback, a United States Senator and Republican, easily took the Kansas post that Mark Parkinson, a former Republican turned Democrat, is leaving behind.

Though Democrats, who before the election held 26 governors’ seats compared to 24 for the Republicans, were expected to face losses, there were also bright spots. In New York, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo easily defeated the Republican, Carl P. Paladino, even as Republicans were expected to pick up seats in the state legislature and the congressional delegation. In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick won a second term.

As the election results rolled in, with Republicans picking up victories shortly after polls closed in states across the South, East and the Midwest, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other party leaders made urgent appeals through television interviews that there was still time for voters in other states to cast their ballots.

But the mood in Democratic quarters was glum, with few early signs of optimism in House or Senate races that were called early in the evening. Surveys that were conducted with voters across the country also provided little sense of hope for Democrats, with Republicans gaining a majority of independents, college-educated people and suburbanites — all groups that were part of the coalition of voters who supported Mr. Obama two years ago.

“We’ve come to take our government back,” Mr. Paul told cheering supporters who gathered in Bowling Green, Ky. “They say that the U.S. Senate is the world’s most deliberative body. I’m going to ask them to deliberate on this: The American people are unhappy with what’s going on in Washington.”

The election was a referendum on President Obama and the Democratic agenda, according to interviews with voters that were conducted for the National Election Pool, a consortium of television networks and The Associated Press, with a wide majority of the electorate saying that the country was seriously off track. Nearly nine in 10 voters said they were worried about the economy and about 4 in 10 said their family’s situation had worsened in the last two years.

The surveys found that voters were even more dissatisfied with Congress now than they were in 2006, when Democrats reclaimed control from the Republicans. Preliminary results also indicated an electorate far more conservative than four years ago, a sign of stronger turnout by people leaning toward Republicans.

Most voters said they believed Mr. Obama’s policies would hurt the country in the long run, rather than help it, and a large share of voters said they supported the Tea Party movement, which has backed insurgent candidates all across the country.

The Republican winds began blowing back in January when Democrats lost the seat long held by Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, with the victory of Scott P. Brown serving as a motivating force for the budding Tea Party movement and a burst of inspiration for Republican candidates across the country to step forward and challenge Democrats everywhere.

On Tuesday, the president did not leave the grounds of the White House, taking a respite from days of campaigning across the country, so he could meet with a circle of top advisers to plot a way forward for his administration and his own looming re-election campaign. The White House said Mr. Obama would hold a news conference on Wednesday to address the governing challenges that await the new Congress.

“My hope is that I can cooperate with Republicans,” Mr. Obama said in a radio interview on Tuesday. “But obviously, the kinds of compromises that will be made depends on what Capitol Hill looks like — who’s in charge.”

But even as the president was poised to offer a fresh commitment to bipartisanship, he spent the final hours of the midterm campaign trying to persuade Democrats in key states to take time to vote. From the Oval Office, Mr. Obama conducted one radio interview after another, urging black voters in particular to help preserve the party’s majority and his agenda.

“How well I’m able to move my agenda forward over the next couple of years is going to depend on folks back home having my back,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with the Chicago radio station WGCI, in which he made an unsuccessful appeal for voters to keep his former Senate seat in Democratic hands.

There was little Democratic terrain across the country that seemed immune to Republican encroachment, with many of the most competitive races being waged in states that Mr. Obama carried strongly only two years ago. From the president’s home state of Illinois to neighboring Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio — all places that were kind to the Democratic ticket in 2008 — Republicans worked aggressively to find new opportunities.

For all the drama surrounding the final day of the midterm campaign, more than 19 million Americans had voted before Tuesday, a trend that has grown with each election cycle over the last decade, as 32 states now offer a way for voters to practice democracy in far more convenient ways than simply waiting in line on Election Day.

Thoughts? Love it, hate it?
No matter your point of view, this signals a shift in politics for the next two years (at least).

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby M.C. » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:01 am UTC

Rand Paul wrote:They say that the U.S. Senate is the world’s most deliberative body. I’m going to ask them to deliberate on this: The American people are unhappy with what’s going on in Washington.


He ruined the quote by adding the last part. He should have brandished a weapon for the Senate to deliberate on, or at least a sexually suggestive gesture.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Steroid » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:16 am UTC

As a right-wing, Tea Party-esque libertarian, I can tell you that I don't think this is Armageddon for the Democrats or the Obama agenda. In fact, I think it gives Obama the best chance of re-election.

The Republicans have the house, yes, and that means they can control spending somewhat. It remains to be seen whether they will actually do so, between RINOs who would want to spend heavily even if both houses and the president were republican (as in the George W. Bush era), and Tea Party Congresspeople who will have to face the reality of the nature of legislation. But they can't create an agenda that's going to pass the Senate or the presidential veto.

BUT, that's not how it's being played in the media or in the blogosphere. Right-wingers are going nuts with joy. Left-wingers are going nuts with despair. So you're going to get all the secondary effects of a move to the right without any of the primary ones. Specifically, the economy is going to start improving as business owners, believing that a party that favors them is in power, start hiring and taking on projects, releasing some of the massive cash stockpile they have. No actual deregulation or de-taxation will occur, but no more regulations will handcuff them.

And that's going to benefit the Democrats for 2012. They'll be able to play it up as, "See, our 2009-2010 agenda just needed time to work!" The Republicans can't be the Party of No anymore, they can't shut down the government like in the Newt Gingrich era, they can't play like an oppressed, disenfranchised silent majority anymore.

In popular politics, just like in high school wrestling, it's easier to score points from the bottom. I'm glad there was a small right-wing victory, but I would have preferred a smaller one that kept the right down, to make a massive swing later on, to try to get The Affordable Care Act repealed and a general philosophy of "The best government is the least government" entrenched. I'm less confident about that now.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Hawknc » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:20 am UTC

M.C. wrote:
Rand Paul wrote:They say that the U.S. Senate is the world’s most deliberative body. I’m going to ask them to deliberate on this: The American people are unhappy with what’s going on in Washington.


He ruined the quote by adding the last part. He should have brandished a weapon for the Senate to deliberate on, or at least a sexually suggestive gesture.

Spoiler:
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:22 am UTC

It's very amusing. Bush presides over the country getting into a stinking financial mess, and Obama is the one who gets punished for not cleaning it up quickly enough. Also, apparently, a lot of Americans hate getting free medicine. Ho hum, just another day in politics.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Steroid » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:37 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:It's very amusing. Bush presides over the country getting into a stinking financial mess, and Obama is the one who gets punished for not cleaning it up quickly enough. Also, apparently, a lot of Americans hate getting free medicine. Ho hum, just another day in politics.


Addendum: the one thing that can sustain the right-wing momentum into 2012 and beyond is if the news media, bloggers, and forum posters maintain this sentiment loudly enough to keep the right-wing dander up.

Maybe a couple of you guys could call the voters stupid, or angry? That would help.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:47 am UTC

Other than the medicine thing, which I admit was glib, what's wrong with that sentiment? Do you deny that the country was in financial trouble before Obama took office?

By the way, what's dander? Wikipedia tells me it's a generalised form of dandruff, and that doesn't really make much sense in the context.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Steroid » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Other than the medicine thing, which I admit was glib, what's wrong with that sentiment? Do you deny that the country was in financial trouble before Obama took office?

By the way, what's dander? Wikipedia tells me it's a generalised form of dandruff, and that doesn't really make much sense in the context.


Try this: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/get-your-dander-up.html

To answer your second question, yes, the country was in financial trouble in 2008. That doesn't imply that A) he couldn't have reversed the trouble by working everything toward bringing up employment numbers instead of pursuing The Affordable Care Act and B) he should have taken the left-wing approach of bigger government.

(As a radical libertarian, I don't think that A is true, but it might be what a left-leaning moderate would think. In Obama's terms, the car's in a ditch, and he's doing a tune-up and lecturing us about gaskets and washer fluid while it's sliding further. Maybe it's time to have a Slurpee yourself and take another look.)

And as to your first question, there's nothing wrong with the sentiment, but it's the sentiment of the status quo ante, and it's the only way I can see to have a repeat of yesterday in 2012.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:44 pm UTC

Oh boy. One set of corporate-sponsored career politicians beat another set of corporate-sponsored career politicians. Let me know when someone who actually understands what they're voting on gets elected.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Lucrece » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

3 of the Iowa Supreme Court Justices that concluded in favor of marriage equality (unanimous decision) were also voted out of their jobs as well.

Gotta love populism in a country where people don't even grasp half of what they're voting for on a ballot.

And, having worked the polls for all yesterday's election, I've got a message for this country's youth:

Fuck you. You can take the time to make videos for youtube and boast about your many hits, but your poor shit-eating self can't even carry your ass to a poll to vote. Please, next time you go get shitfaced at the local bar, drink just a few more hopefully for a coma, because nobody needs your useless ass taking up space and cropping up all this reality TV outbreak as you bitch and moan about inconveniences in your fairly frivolous life. Enjoy all these rash of politicians who want to outlaw birth control sales and foist Christian fundamentalist crap on state and federal regulations.

Truly, this country deserves the shit it gets. An abysmal fraction of its population bothers to vote, and an even smaller fraction of that is people under 30. So next time you go write a sad rant on your blog about how universities are fucking you over or how low-paying your jobs are, you can thank your mediocre ass for not putting the effort of mailing a ballot or even spending 10-20 minutes of your life casting a vote.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Truly, this country deserves the shit it gets. An abysmal fraction of its population bothers to vote, and an even smaller fraction of that is people under 30. So next time you go write a sad rant on your blog about how universities are fucking you over or how low-paying your jobs are, you can thank your mediocre ass for not putting the effort of mailing a ballot or even spending 10-20 minutes of your life casting a vote.


I'm not sure that's fair. They'd suffer those things no matter which party was in power.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Amusing side not; Joe Manchin winning in West Virginia(my state) is sort of interesting. He ran on cap and trade is bad, health care is bad, pro life pro gun(and I mean those were his campaign talking points not just things he claimed) as a democrat. It will be interesting to see how he actually votes on things.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Vellyr » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:01 pm UTC

Fuck you. You can take the time to make videos for youtube and boast about your many hits, but your poor shit-eating self can't even carry your ass to a poll to vote. Please, next time you go get shitfaced at the local bar, drink just a few more hopefully for a coma, because nobody needs your useless ass taking up space and cropping up all this reality TV outbreak as you bitch and moan about inconveniences in your fairly frivolous life. Enjoy all these rash of politicians who want to outlaw birth control sales and foist Christian fundamentalist crap on state and federal regulations.

Truly, this country deserves the shit it gets. An abysmal fraction of its population bothers to vote, and an even smaller fraction of that is people under 30. So next time you go write a sad rant on your blog about how universities are fucking you over or how low-paying your jobs are, you can thank your mediocre ass for not putting the effort of mailing a ballot or even spending 10-20 minutes of your life casting a vote.



I don't see the problem, most college students that I know are completely uninformed and have no opinion of their own anyway. I would just as well they didn't vote.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Lucrece » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Lucrece wrote:Truly, this country deserves the shit it gets. An abysmal fraction of its population bothers to vote, and an even smaller fraction of that is people under 30. So next time you go write a sad rant on your blog about how universities are fucking you over or how low-paying your jobs are, you can thank your mediocre ass for not putting the effort of mailing a ballot or even spending 10-20 minutes of your life casting a vote.


I'm not sure that's fair. They'd suffer those things no matter which party was in power.


That wasn't the issue. The issue was that people like Christine O'Donnel and Sharron Angle got such large percentages of votes even if they lost thanks to youth not voting.

The former got ~40% of the vote for SENATE and Angle nearly dethroned Reid. Both were woefully underqualified, doesn't matter the party they belong to. That's a shitload of people that deemed them worthy of such an important and influential position.

-----(rest not directed at Sly)---

If you think college students are uninformed, you have not participated in elections, much less worked the polls. The people that came to vote the most were 40 and over, and a sizable portion of them seniors who had no fucking idea what to do with a ballot, but who voted the party their church instructed them to. So many of the people that came to my poll came with "chuletas" (in Spanish, a sort of "cheat-sheet" for remembering answers). If you need a cheat-sheet for voting, obviously you don't know the issues/candidates well enough.

Why the FUCK do we have judicial retention elections when most of the people don't even know a fucking judge; and if judges are not retained like the Iowa justices, it isn't because people read their legal opinions and examined their record but rather because they saw some ad paid for by a special interests group that told them to vote a judge they'd previously had no fucking idea about out.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Wnderer » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

Heady wrote:Thoughts? Love it, hate it?
No matter your point of view, this signals a shift in politics for the next two years (at least).


1. Contrary to current polls, I like Obama. He has been a rational and pragmatic leader that held back most of the tide of liberal nuttiness the last two years.
2. The Tea Party made sense in 2009 with the stimulus and the bailouts. Somebody needed to yell STOP! But then they stopped.
3. Liberals make lousy supporters and followers.
4. Nobody will be happier with a Republican take over than the left. They rather bitch and moan and dream of a fantasy world than rule in reality.
5. The Tea Party is a loose association with a wide range of viewpoints. As soon as the Republicans try to grab them, they will lose most of them.
6. The liberal chorus needs to tone it down. Insulting everyone is not the way to gain support.
7. The US economic system is not fundamentally flawed. The last 25 years of growth was not a figment of our deranged imagination. There are just some bugs and some mistakes that need to be fixed. Fix most of them and then just leave it alone. The markets want stability.
8. "Just Blame Bush" is dead. Bury it.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Drumheller769 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:31 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:Amusing side not; Joe Manchin winning in West Virginia(my state) is sort of interesting. He ran on cap and trade is bad, health care is bad, pro life pro gun(and I mean those were his campaign talking points not just things he claimed) as a democrat. It will be interesting to see how he actually votes on things.



Wait what...*double take*....A democrat with those viewpoints....one exists?? Awesome
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby savanik » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

At this point, I'd have to agree with other posters - I don't see us repealing The Affordable Care Act anytime soon. But then, that's pretty par for the course on legislation - laws are rarely repealed once enacted. And to all those people who say 'Americans must not want free healthcare' - obviously you don't pay for your own. Prices for health care plans are going up, not down.

On the bright side, having a split Republican/Democrat Congress means that the economy will actually do a lot better - if no new regulations are going to pass, then companies can at least know what to expect. :D
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Nordic Einar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:41 pm UTC

I don't really have much to say, other than to shake my head at all the people who've bitched, moaned, and screamed at me to stop being "so aggressive" with my "gay agenda" over the last two years.

Give them time, they said! ENDA, DADT, DOMA, etc etc etc? You don't need to push them all. They'll get through, it's a Dem controlled everything! Yeah. Lets see the Rand Pauls of 2010 pass fucking ENDA.

What a waste.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Dauric » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:54 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:4. Nobody will be happier with a Republican take over than the left. They rather bitch and moan and dream of a fantasy world than rule in reality.

And nobody's happier with a democratic takeover than the right for the same reasons. It's always easier to sit back and bitch and moan about "The other guys" and how one's own idealized agenda would fix every societal ill than it is to... y'know, actually govern.

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fixd.

At which point All of D.C. is enveloped in an inflating trenchcoat, sprouts a helicopter rotor and flies off.

Elsewhere the rest of us continue with life as normal.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:08 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
9. Go Go Gadget Gridlock!

fixd.

At which point All of D.C. is enveloped in an inflating trenchcoat, sprouts a helicopter rotor and flies off.

Elsewhere the rest of us continue with life as normal.
Clearly, DC would pull one of it's buttons and have the coat inflate - representing political bloat or something... I don't know.

Essentially you guys get to enjoy 2 years of nothing, while the republicans attempt to fuck over your country to get rid of the blacky president. And if the tactic doesn't backfire (like it did last time), you'll just have 2 years of nothing...
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby duckshirt » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:01 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Essentially you guys get to enjoy 2 years of nothing, while the republicans attempt to fuck over your country to get rid of the blacky president. And if the tactic doesn't backfire (like it did last time), you'll just have 2 years of nothing...
If that really was the strategy, then it doesn't appear to be backfiring...
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:07 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:...
3. Liberals make lousy supporters and followers.
...
6. The liberal chorus needs to tone it down. Insulting everyone is not the way to gain support.
7. The US economic system is not fundamentally flawed. The last 25 years of growth was not a figment of our deranged imagination. There are just some bugs and some mistakes that need to be fixed. Fix most of them and then just leave it alone. The markets want stability.

Its not that Liberals are lousy supporters, its that the democrats are a relatively big tent party with many factions that have opposing views. Only about 20% of the US considers itself liberal/progressive, the rest of the democrats are made up of other constituencies, like the urban poor and unions, that tend to not be liberal but still support democrats for a narrower section of the democrats agenda. This in contrast to conservatives, which make up somewhere between 30%-40% of the US. This allows the Republicans to keep a solid base, and a consistent message.

Liberals are really hurting themselves when they insult Tea Partiers/Repubs/Conservatives. It only helps coalesce the "us versus them" mentality in politics, and coalesce against themselves for that matter. Statements seemingly as harmless as "I lost because I got outspent 5 to 1" is a subtle insult.("I only lost because my opponent used his massive advertising campaign to manipulate you")

The US, and for that matter most of the Western economic system is fundamentally flawed. Debt financing an economy, even for 25+ years, at some point has to end. That is the very nature of debt.
savanik wrote:At this point, I'd have to agree with other posters - I don't see us repealing The Affordable Care Act anytime soon. But then, that's pretty par for the course on legislation - laws are rarely repealed once enacted. And to all those people who say 'Americans must not want free healthcare' - obviously you don't pay for your own. Prices for health care plans are going up, not down.

I would only be a little surprised if SCOTUS declared The Affordable Care Act unconstitutional . I believe three state supreme courts already decided to allow it to stand trial.

As for yelling at people for not voting. Generally its my belief that anyone who decides not to vote, probably wasn't informed enough to be a "good" voter anyway. Actually I would like if a little more were done to insure that people had the basic information needed to be a "good" voter, like removing party names from the ballot. This would make sure that even if you just wanted to vote all Democrat, you would at least have to take the time to look up who the Democrats are running in the race ahead of time.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:18 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Lucrece wrote:Truly, this country deserves the shit it gets. An abysmal fraction of its population bothers to vote, and an even smaller fraction of that is people under 30. So next time you go write a sad rant on your blog about how universities are fucking you over or how low-paying your jobs are, you can thank your mediocre ass for not putting the effort of mailing a ballot or even spending 10-20 minutes of your life casting a vote.


I'm not sure that's fair. They'd suffer those things no matter which party was in power.

And on top of that, how can you really be all enthused about voting absentee when the bastards don't even send you an "I Voted" sticker. :(

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

I'm only upset that Russ Feingold lost. He was the only Senator that I liked, and I'm not a democrat.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Not A Raptor » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Specifically, the economy is going to start improving as business owners, believing that a party that favors them is in power, start hiring and taking on projects, releasing some of the massive cash stockpile they have.

Hold on... You're saying that the only reason that the recovery is sluggish is because the Powers That Be hate D's? I happen to think that's a little twisted, myself.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:23 pm UTC

This is the most freaking hilarious election year in my lifetime. The House passed jobs bill after jobs bill, all but a few of which died in the Senate, and it's House Democrats who lost their seats because there aren't enough jobs.

When Republicans are asked what they're going to do to create jobs they say

-- Extend the Bush tax cuts (which have been in place for ten years and have yet to show any evidence of being a winner, jobs-wise)
-- Freeze government hiring (lol, wut? The way to create jobs is to get the largest employer in the country to not hire people?)
-- Bring government spending back to pre-08 levels (reducing the amount of demand in the economy will totally create jobs, right guys?)

In other words, Republicans are going to do precisely jack shit to create jobs. And there isn't anything to suggest that there's anything the Democrats got passed in that realm that hasn't already taken effect, so get used to 9% unemployment!

The silver lining politically for liberals is that if the Democrats can end the filibuster as an automatic trump card in the Senate (big if), they'll be able to pass bills from there and when they die in the House it'll be the GOP holding the knife, instead of (from the country's perspective) "Democrats controlling both Houses and having nothing to show for it." They'll be able to keep a running tally "since January 2011, Republicans have voted no on X thousand jobs," with the names of bills passed by the Senate and vote totals from the House. That and the fact that a majority in the Senate and the President's veto pen will be enough to control damage for the next two years.

Economically there is no silver lining, because none of the things Republicans say they want to do has any fucking thing to do with creating jobs, and there's no reason to believe the economy is going to rebound on its own.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:29 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'm only upset that Russ Feingold lost. He was the only Senator that I liked, and I'm not a democrat.

PATRIOT act. Yeah, that was enough even for me to fall in love with the guy.

My Facebook feed erupted in anger immediately when MSNBC called the election. I have a number of friends that are campaign staffers/senate staffers of his that are now out of work(well I guess the campaign staffers would have been out of work anyway). They took it pretty hard.

EsotericWombat wrote:In other words, Republicans are going to do precisely jack shit to create jobs. And there isn't anything to suggest that there's anything the Democrats got passed in that realm that hasn't already taken effect, so get used to 9% unemployment!

I think what Republicans really believe is that government can't create jobs at all, so instead we should focus on balancing the budget. Of course this is separate from what they say or what they will probably do for that matter.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Steroid » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Not A Raptor wrote:
Steroid wrote:Specifically, the economy is going to start improving as business owners, believing that a party that favors them is in power, start hiring and taking on projects, releasing some of the massive cash stockpile they have.

Hold on... You're saying that the only reason that the recovery is sluggish is because the Powers That Be hate D's? I happen to think that's a little twisted, myself.


No, not the only reason, nor is it as direct a corrolation as you're implying (or I'm inferring). Businesses have been delaying hiring and spending waiting for the election results because the Democrats regluate more and tax more in general. Now that they know that cap and trade is all but dead, that The Affordable Care Act might be repealed or just not funded, and that the Bush tax rates have a decent chance of staying in force, it makes more sense to hire and spend.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:45 pm UTC

And over in the real world, they still aren't going to hire and spend because there isn't enough demand in the economy to justify doing so.

This is the same world where under a Republican administration the economy shed private sector jobs while under Obama there were nine consecutive months of private sector job gains.

And where there isn't a damn thing Republicans can do to health care reform that Obama can't veto.

Dark567 wrote:I think what Republicans really believe is that government can't create jobs at all, so instead we should focus on balancing the budget. Of course this is separate from what they say or what they will probably do for that matter.


They can say that all they want, but once again, in the real world jobs are created as a response to demand in the market, and demand can absolutely be spurred by the government. And when demand is flat in the market, government is the only entity which can create jobs. Saying that the government can't create jobs while advocating a freeze in hiring isn't any less intellectually sterile than saying that a hiring freeze will create jobs.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Drumheller769 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:53 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote: <snip>
-- Bring government spending back to pre-08 levels (reducing the amount of demand in the economy will totally create jobs, right guys?)
</snip>



Because the government spending alot of money does anything? TARP spent alot of money and was a failure (Note this is IMO, I dont have any citations, but as Joe Mainstreet, it did jack crap for me).
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

Well, I can't say I didn't see these results coming. Still, I hope that both parties can at least gain enough competence to run the country effectively.

Then again, maybe they won't.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby StNowhere » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:05 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Still, I hope that both parties can at least gain enough competence to run the country effectively.


If I were still eating breakfast, the milk would have come flying out of my nose at this point.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

StNowhere wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:Still, I hope that both parties can at least gain enough competence to run the country effectively.


If I were still eating breakfast, the milk would have come flying out of my nose at this point.


It is funny, but he was only expressing a hope. I hope that someone will invent a perpetual bacon machine or a wireless blow-job dispenser in the next year.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Kag » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

Drumheller769 wrote:Because the government spending alot of money does anything?


It wouldn't be the first time.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:26 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:-- Freeze government hiring (lol, wut? The way to create jobs is to get the largest employer in the country to not hire people?)

No, see, this is pretty common. Republican administrations/Congresses tend to do this, then hire contractors to do the excess work that the governmental staffs can't handle, while Democratic administrations will hire more federal workers. Ultimately, the same work tends to get done, albeit in slightly different manners. The difference at the end of the day is that it's easier to get rid of the contractors.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:They can say that all they want, but once again, in the real world jobs are created as a response to demand in the market, and demand can absolutely be spurred by the government. And when demand is flat in the market, government is the only entity which can create jobs. Saying that the government can't create jobs while advocating a freeze in hiring isn't any less intellectually sterile than saying that a hiring freeze will create jobs.

I am sure they would argue that demand absolutely can't be spurred by the government, that it is in fact just moving the demand from somewhere else.

Keynesian economics is hardly considered the end all of theory of economics. The only thing that is intellectually sterile is dogmatically following one theory to explain a phenomena, when we have but scant data to make conclusions.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:02 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:I am sure they would argue that demand absolutely can't be spurred by the government, that it is in fact just moving the demand from somewhere else.


And I'd ask them if they can show me a scrap of evidence that supports that notion, and they wouldn't, because there isn't any. On the other hand, there's plenty of data to suggest that the main failing of the stimulus is that it didn't contain enough state aid, and as a result the states are raising taxes and cutting spending, which kill jobs-- especially if those tax increases come in the form of sales taxes, which punish most those who are the worst off.

Drumheller769 wrote:Because the government spending alot of money does anything? TARP spent alot of money and was a failure (Note this is IMO, I dont have any citations, but as Joe Mainstreet, it did jack crap for me).


TARP was not government spending. It was a loan that's being paid back at an 8.2% return on investment. It also wasn't a failure. You'll note that we still have a banking system in this country, which is exactly what the purpose of TARP was.

TARP was, on the other hand, a colossal missed opportunity to completely overhaul the banking system, or at least demand certain actions by banks seeking loan guarantees. If it were required that banks use TARP money to make business loans, we'd be looking at a completely different economy right now. But attaching those strings may have killed the deal in Congress.

I seem to remember a floor speech in which John Boehner, at the time sounding genuinely patriotic, called on both sides of the aisle to put aside their differences and approve TARP for the good of the country. Because at the time it seemed most productive to make a deal and do something, no strings were attached and banks went right ahead using that money to buy up other banks and lobby Congress against Wall Street reform.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby JonScholar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:17 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:The difference at the end of the day is that it's easier to get rid of the contractors.


The contractors also tend to be non unionized, while at the same time being more expensive to hire. At least, this was my impression when I was doing some minor book keeping at the Oregon board of nursing. "Harder to get rid of" in the sense that the state workers are unionized, and thus are allowed a right to due process before being laid off. Which, contrary to the claims of fact-starved conservative talking points, isn't a bad thing.

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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:22 pm UTC

JonScholar wrote: "Harder to get rid of" in the sense that the state workers are unionized, and thus are allowed a right to due process before being laid off. Which, contrary to the claims of fact-starved conservative talking points, isn't a bad thing.

Umm, tell that to Greece or Spain. The right to due process before being fired is questionable. The right due process before being laid off is absolutely destructive to an economy.
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Re: GOP Takes House, Democrats hold Senate (barely)

Postby JonScholar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Umm, tell that to Greece or Spain. The right to due process before being fired is questionable. The right due process before being laid off is absolutely destructive to an economy.


Actually, layoffs are destructive to the economy, not worker protections. Layoffs drastically increase competition for employment, driving down wages, and ultimately tax revenues. Which is one of the reasons why "austerity" is ultimately self defeating, and historically doesn't work. Lower revenue results in renewed deficits, and confidence is never restored. And I won't debate Greece with you, since I'm probably derailing the thread at this point, but the situation there isn't a result of a welfare state, or of "destructive" workers protections. So I'll happily tell them to keep their workers rights and not regress towards a third world economy.


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