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WHY DEMOCRATS ARE ALL BOXED IN!!
Newsweek ^ | 11/23/03 | Joe Klein

Posted on 11/23/2003 5:54:14 AM PST by Elkiejg

Edited on 11/23/2003 6:32:20 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

We have reached a moment of transcendent weirdness in American politics and perhaps a defining moment in the 2004 presidential campaign. In Washington last week, Newt Gingrich and the aarp—who battled each other over old-age entitlement spending in the 1990s—joined the White House in support of a new $400 billion Medicare prescription-drug benefit. Odder still, the Wall Street Journal's ultraconservative editorial page opposed the bill, as did ultraliberal House leader Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy and most of the Democrats running for President. This, after a decade of Democrats pleading for just such a benefit and lambasting Republicans for blocking it. This, in the same week that Tom Daschle and George Bush joined forces to support the fetid enormity of a $31 billion energy bill, which was quickly dubbed the Hooters and Polluters Bill, since it funded, among many other things, construction of an energy-efficient Hooters restaurant in Shreveport, La. This, in the same week that Massachusetts moved toward legalization of gay marriage.

Confused? Overwhelmed? Appalled? Yes, yes and yes. This was an awful week for the Democrats, who are likely to lose— politically—on all fronts. And it was a shameful week—substantively—for the Bush Administration.

The political equation is obvious. The President will be able to say the Democrats opposed prescription drugs for the elderly whether the Medicare bill passes or not (just as he campaigned in 2002 saying the Democrats blocked Homeland Security because they wanted labor-protection provisions in the bill). The same is true, to a lesser extent, of the energy bill, which Senators of both parties managed to stop, perhaps temporarily, last Friday.

The President can still say, "We proposed energy 'reform'; the Dems opposed."

Not many Americans will scour the fine print. As for gay marriage, my guess is that Bush will remain above the fray. The issue is too raw—and his Vice President has taken the same position as most Democrats have. But Bush will benefit nonetheless from the anguish and agitation on the religious right, which will use the ruling to invigorate turnout among Christian conservatives.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; energybill; losers; medicare; prescriptiondrugs; rats
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First - I don't like Joe Klein -- but thought he had some good lines in this article.
1 posted on 11/23/2003 5:54:14 AM PST by Elkiejg
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To: Elkiejg
"...what will the Democrats run on? Their intellectual cupboard is bare..."

Always has been.

2 posted on 11/23/2003 6:01:12 AM PST by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Elkiejg
WHY DEMOCRATS ARE ALL BOXED IN ?

Because they're misled by a tool:


3 posted on 11/23/2003 6:07:04 AM PST by ChadGore (Kakkate Koi!)
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To: Elkiejg
What the Dems don't understand, what they will never understand, is that President Bush didn't get to be governor and then President by lacking political skill. George Bush out-foxed Tommy Daschle with the Homeland Security Bill before the 2002 elections to lead the Republicans back into the Senate majority.

And now he's out-foxed the Dems again. They underestimate this President at their own peril.
4 posted on 11/23/2003 6:07:07 AM PST by Wendel Wilkie
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To: Elkiejg
This is an expensive political win for Bush, but a win nonetheless. In FL, where I live, this is the kind of situation that deflates the Dems, who are overwhelmingly the retiree vote. With Bob Graham's senate seat up for grabs this can tilt the vote to the GOP nominee. Daschle and Kennedy promise a filibuster on this in the senate. That will be a political disaster for them. Go ahead and sustain a filibuster, kill the bill and further alienate AARP going into an election year. Bush and Rove really have them hogtied here.
5 posted on 11/23/2003 6:11:56 AM PST by untwist
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To: Elkiejg
The Democrats are boxed into complicated and unpopular positions because they tend to stand on principle—although the principles involved are often antiquated, peripheral and, arguably, foolish.

When discussed in the mainstream media, this line will be edited to:

The Democrats are boxed into complicated and unpopular positions because they tend to stand on principle.

with no further elaboration or discussion of context.

6 posted on 11/23/2003 6:19:01 AM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Elkiejg
The Bush Administration is outsmarting the Democrats at every turn.

I agree, but at what price? Both of these bills are bloated budget busters that should have never gotten out of committee. The only thing I can hope for is that the Republicans never thought they would become law and just did it to box in the Democraps, but I think that's giving them too much credit.

7 posted on 11/23/2003 6:21:49 AM PST by Reagan is King
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To: untwist
This is LOSE/LOSE. The dims are not that stupid that they'll filibuster it. They will put up a little stink, Frist will cave on anything they want and the Dims will claim credit. The U.S. taxpayer will be left holding a trillion dollar bill for Granny's drugs. Granny doesn't need this bill. We don't need it. This is not Europe. (yet)

Bush is the biggest spending president in recent history. Enough is enough! He's been great on defense and taxes.. Everything else, he's no better than Ted KEnnendy.


8 posted on 11/23/2003 6:22:29 AM PST by petercooper (Proud VRWC Neanderthal)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
They oppose it because it's a Republican bill. That is all. If Algore was President and he proposed it, they would be for it. Politics first, winning first, above all else.

However, these are not bills that Republicans should support. Too much cost for the taxpayer. The Republicans are also playing games.

9 posted on 11/23/2003 6:30:51 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: untwist
I suspect it will never become law, which is good news. What's even more good news is to see the Democrats run against seniors and managed care in an election year. This Republican and his elderly father both belong to an HMO. Guess who I will vote for next year and isn't going to be Nikita Dean!
10 posted on 11/23/2003 6:32:05 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Wendel Wilkie
No, that can't be true, because this president, despite having a Yale undergrad, and a Harvard MBA, who was a jet fighter pilot, and who was twice elected governor to one of the most populous states in the US, is stupid. He couldn't possibly out fox super geniuses like Tiny Tom and "Human Oil Slick" McAwful.
11 posted on 11/23/2003 6:39:29 AM PST by NickRails
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To: Alas Babylon!
I agree that these are not bills Republicans should support...whatever damage they do to the Dems, they do more to America. We could have 'boxed in!' the Soviets by electing communists...which is effectively what this bill is.
12 posted on 11/23/2003 6:44:26 AM PST by blanknoone
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To: untwist
while I in no way predict this will happen, it is still not beyond all possibility that if Bush gets his 60-vote majority, a "new" Medicare reform could come up in 2005 in which they say, "Oops! We underestimated the Medicare deficit. We need further [market] reforms!" and BAM! pass them.

Just saying, it's a possibility.

13 posted on 11/23/2003 6:54:12 AM PST by LS
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To: Elkiejg
Some victory! Bush assures his own re-election to spend our money even more wildly in the next four years than he did as president his first four years?

If runaway federal spending under the GOP is "victory," bring back defeat.

14 posted on 11/23/2003 6:54:42 AM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Reagan is King
No, I think that the GOP did think they would become law, but that in the case of Medicare, the small market reformes eventually would become a "killer virus" that would virtually end Medicare, just like Bush's teeny-tiny proposal to have 3% of SS privatized is the thread that will unravel the whole thing.

Will it be God-awful expensive in the short-run? Yep. Would it be worth it in the long run? Probably, seeing as though the system is going bust no matter what. Indeed, if one was cynical, you might just say that the GOP added the weight onto this sucker to sink it quicker, to FORCE market reforms on this system sooner.

15 posted on 11/23/2003 6:56:36 AM PST by LS
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To: Reagan is King
...but at what price?

How much should we spend to get a true (filibuster proof) majority in the senate? How much should we spend to get approval for judicial nominations that will stem the tide of ruling left from the bench?

If the Dims win, do you think the "bloated budget busters" would not get out of committee and become law? Do you think there will not be even MORE of them if the Dims win? It would be a lose-lose for Republicans. The prescription drug issue was not going to just go away if the bill had been tabled. It would have festered and been an issue that, among others, would bring about a win for Dims in 2004. I think it was worth the price.

16 posted on 11/23/2003 6:56:40 AM PST by arasina (CHRISTMAS! [just try and take my tag line away, Bloomberg])
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To: petercooper
Wrong---if the Dems dare filibuster either the Medicare or the energy bill, it will literally end them as a party. They will be viewed as no longer "standing on principle" but will be viewed, even by many lifelong Dems, as the obstructionists they are.

Moreover, for the politically shrewd, there are MANY things to like about this Medicare bill, especially the notion that it will push Medicare over the top sooner rather than later and genuine market reforms will have to be enacted. (Oh, and by that time, the GOP might just have a filibuster-proof majority.)

17 posted on 11/23/2003 6:59:18 AM PST by LS
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To: goldstategop
It will become law. Get used to it. That's not all bad: there are small market reforms built in. I always maintain that all the market needs is to be on the playing field, not an "even" playing field, and it will destroy socialism.

But another way to see this is that this bill will totally bankrupt the system, and force a REAL reform sooner rather than later, perhaps with a 60-vote GOP Senate lead.

18 posted on 11/23/2003 7:00:56 AM PST by LS
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To: Elkiejg
I think the gay marriage thing is going to be a big issue this next election cycle. Bush and the Republicans are smart to stay above the fray and let events play out. Many rank-and-file Democrats are disgusted over this issue. Even the Catholic Church here in Massachusetts have broken ranks with the party of Ted Kennedy over this issue and they are predicting that the Democrats will lose a lot of votes next year.

Contrary to what you might think, not many people in Massachusetts are very happy with this ruling.

19 posted on 11/23/2003 7:01:57 AM PST by SamAdams76 (198.4 (-101.6))
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To: Cobra64; Common Tator
I think the most insightful passage to this Klein piece is the following:
The week's events illuminate a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans on domestic policy. The Democrats are boxed into complicated and unpopular positions because they tend to stand on principle—although the principles involved are often antiquated, peripheral and, arguably, foolish. The Republicans, by contrast, have abandoned traditional conservativism to gain political advantage (with the elderly, for instance) or to pay off their stable of corporate-welfare recipients. The Medicare bill contains large gifts to pharmaceutical manufacturers; the energy bill is a $23.5 billion bequest to traditional-energy producers, with additional billions worth of free-range pork tossed in. "This is classic machine politics, the sort of thing we used to do," said a prominent Democrat. Hence the Wall Street Journal's opposition to both bills. After all, Bush is running such huge deficits that they might imperil the prospect of endless tax cuts—and even "increase pressure to raise taxes to pay for" these new programs, the editors noted.

Now take a look at the passage in bold: yes, this is machine politics. Republicans are in a position to reward friends and punish enemies. Yet most of us came of political age during the sixties, the seventies, and the early Reagan years. In those days, Democrats controlled the Hill and the machines of patronage. We argued against that kind of politics in part because we were ideologically opposed to it (a foundation of Goldwater conservatism was restraint in spending). However, in large measure we opposed it because we weren't the ones handing out the goodies. Now we have power, and we are playing classic reward and punish politics. That's what parties that have power do.

And something else. Klein has figured out what Common Tator figured out some time ago, yet so many Republicans refuse to remember: Presidents and parties win by doing what the voters want them to do. George Bush is putting in a hideously expensive prescription drug goody for Medicare. We will pay for it out of our asses in future years. But we want it, the seniors want it, and most of the boomers who are approaching retirement want it.

Bush is giving us what we want. If he didn't give us what we wanted, Howard Dean would beat him over the head with it, and if Dean won, then he would give us what we wanted. Every time I see my fellow rightists go on about Bush spending too much, I can see why Goldwater lost his ass so bad to Johnson. Goldwater didn't get it; Johnson did. Goldwater stood on principle. Perhaps he was a visionary, but not in 1964. Goldwater lost, and Lyndon won. Why? Lyndon gave the American people what they wanted: War on Poverty, Civil Rights legislation, and the Great Society.

Now you might come back and say that Goldwater's vision triumphed in the end, when Reagan won, and I would tell you that you should step away from the crack pipe. Reagan gave the people what they wanted, higher defense spending. Yet he didn't cut back on subsidies, farm price supports, or welfare. That was all a Democratic party myth. Reagan was sharp: he understood that people wanted tax relief and higher defense and social spending. Reagan's genius was to be anything but a green eyeshade, sourpuss Republican. That kind of Republicanism that gave us Mary Louise Smith, the RNC chairman in 1974, who claimed that there was "no recession"-in the deep recession year of 1974. Reagan, on the other hand, understood that tax relief would increase tax receipts, and he was right. He also understood that voters wanted to have their cake, and eat it, too. Carter didn't understand that, neither did Mondale. The rest is history.

But Reagan did nothing to reduce spending. Nor did he abolish the Department of Education. Nor did he get the Human Life Amendment through Congress and the States and into the Constitution. That he did nothing in that regard is because he, like Bush the Younger, understood what people wanted. Bush the Elder, Goldwater, Mondale, and in all likelihood, Howard Dean, haven't quite figured that out.

We will pay for all this in the end. But we will pay for this because it is what we want. And when time comes to pay the piper, the People and the Opinion Leaders in the Press will all bitch and moan that Bush and the Republican Congress didn't Plan For the Future. They will not admit to themselves that they were "wrong" to want all these goodies. Voters never tell themselves that they were wrong.

No election was ever won by the guy who set up the Rainy Day Fund.

People like Andrew Sullivan constantly get on Bush because he is spending so much. I respect Andrew, and happen to agree with him on the issues. Yes, the Medicare bill is a budget catastrophe in search of a generation to pay for it. Yes, the Energy Bill is a pork-laden monstrosity. But I understand what Andrew appears not to understand. Bush knows that he will win by giving the electorate what it wants: guns and butter!

Now before Conservatives turn into the Stupid Party again and sit out the election in disgust, they had better figure out that it is Bush who will win the war. Howard Dean might win the war, but he is just as likely to lose it, because he lacks the ruthlessness and guile needed to defeat the likes of Bin Laden, Saddam, the Chia Pet in North Korea, and the Mullahs in Tehran. Bush is a nice guy, but he has ruthlessness and guile in spades. He's his mother's son more than he is his father's.

Is "guns and butter" the best thing for the country? No. I prefer that we focus on guns. But we haven't had a truly mass casualty attack on the Hiroshima scale yet, so much of the electorate is still living in the Nineties. For example, the decision of the Nightline staff to focus on Michael Hershey Highway instead of the President's Three Pillars speech tells you where most of the Democratic Party still is-as James Lileks remarked in his blog. Bush has to work with the political environment he's got. It's not Starship Troopers time in America quite yet. Because the nation as a unified mass hasn't been shocked into running off and joining the Mobile Infantry quite yet, Bush has to maintain a policy of foward attack while practicing Great Society politics at home. Republicans who ignore this reality are Republicans who are good for one thing: losing elections to liberal Democrats who get it.

It's either Bush or Howard Dean, and my larger purpose is to vote for the guy who is focused on winning the war at the expense of all other things, even when he has to spend money on other things to keep members of the war coalition on board. That's Bush, not Dean. Andrew should know that, as well. But he doesn't. Bush does, however, and that makes all the difference.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

20 posted on 11/23/2003 7:12:17 AM PST by section9 (Major Kusanagi says, "Click on my pic and read my blog, or eat lead!")
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To: Elkiejg
*BUMP*!
21 posted on 11/23/2003 7:21:09 AM PST by ex-Texan (CBS [SeeBS] Deserves a Long Double Flush . . . Pull the Chain!)
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To: Elkiejg
With all due respect, this article isn't from Newsweek - it's from Time: http://www.time.com/time/election2004/columnist/klein/article/0,18471,548959,00.html
22 posted on 11/23/2003 7:35:22 AM PST by RippleFire
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To: Elkiejg
rats that are starting to get it make me laugh. They act like its a new emergence that they're in trouble.
This 04 election will be a perfect storm for the rats and their pals.
23 posted on 11/23/2003 7:38:10 AM PST by jmaroneps37 ( Please support how-odd? dean in the primaries. That just might get us 4 more senate seats!)
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To: Elkiejg

24 posted on 11/23/2003 8:07:07 AM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: petercooper
I think we would be shortsighted to underestimate the Democrats' stupidity. They are working from sheer passion, not pragmatism. The judicial blocks are having an affect on the undecideds in our favor and the liberals know it. I think that as a first-step this is the best way to go. We need to remember that the Johnson Great Society did not start to create great financial pains for a generation. The momentum of the weight of the cost will push us irreversibly to move to a more market-driven system but we won't get it all at once. Gingrich is not stupid on this. The key is that we get a start to the market-driven system. Within 10 years (this is to start in 2010) I believe we will have means-testing and medical savings accounts will be a necessity. The times will drive the laws and I believe that we are taking a right step to turn the ship around.

The demographics are clear - the young people now registering to vote are going republican. The elderly who are most fearful and will pass on in the next 10 - 20 years are mostly democrats. We are in the midst of a big demographic shift here and I think this, as a first step will help us to position correctly.
25 posted on 11/23/2003 8:13:21 AM PST by untwist
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To: LS
I am in agreement with you. The weight of the cost and the changing demographics in our country will push us to a market-driven system. If you look at the current job situation in our country, one of the biggest contributors to the heavy layoffs is the very high cost of medical and dental benefits for the workers. I work for one of the biggest conglomerates in the world and I can tell you that a lot of high-skilled people were let go and some are now back as contractors. They are getting good pay but are now having to find alternatives for health care because the employer can't carry the load by themselves. I believe that a real phenomena of the jobs recovery will be a high-skilled, mercenary workforce who because of today's technology don't necessarily have to move every time they get a contract job. So much can be done remotely, and many project, on-site tasks (that can't be farmed to India) will require people from here. The key is how will these people be able to insure themselves and their families? I think we will see a privatized system come into fruition sooner rather than later.

The world is changing so fast and the radical democrats are without clue as to a plan to deal with it. They are career politicians who don't understand the concept of balance sheets and profit and loss. The media is as ignorant as they are. Put Bush, Cheney, Snow, et. al and their experience in real business up against the Kennedy, Daschle, Peloso, Hillary mindset and it really is the adults against the children. I have a lot of optimism long-term.
26 posted on 11/23/2003 8:25:13 AM PST by untwist
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To: goldstategop
The current bill will not be put into effect as it is. This is political maneuvering but the poison pill for the democrats is any movement toward privatization. This will be their doom. Our country will move in the coming years to a privatized system or we will collapse. I am confident that we will not collapse.
27 posted on 11/23/2003 8:28:00 AM PST by untwist
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To: section9
Chris Thanks for a great post, the real heart of which is

We will pay for all this in the end. But we will pay for this because it is what we want.

Brings to mind two questions:

What party/candidates should those of us support who don't want "this"??

In a hundred years, will it make a difference whether our republic falls to external terrorist attacks, or if our republic falls in internal collapse because there is no one left to cash the checks we keep writing to ourselves ?

28 posted on 11/23/2003 8:39:40 AM PST by Charlotte Corday
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To: section9
Excellent post.

From my point of view, the #1 issue in 2004 is keeping the U.S. safe, in the wake of 9/11. You have to have a country that can function, before you can worry about what programs we should and shouldn't have, how much government should be involved in social issues, etc.

I may oppose some of Bush's domestic agenda -- and I think the Patriot Act went too far in some quarters. However, the only Democrats who I think actually get that the nations needs to be protected are Lieberman and maybe Gephardt, both of whom I have other issues with.

One other thing. Within the Socialist movement were the Fabians. Their strategy was not immediate revolution, but slow, incremental steps. Looking at how things went through the 20th century, the Fabians seem to have won out.

The Fabian strategy is admirable. The country is not philosophically or emotionally ready to be dropped into a stripped down conservative/libertarian society, no matter how much many of us on Free Republic would like it. Adding free market aspects to federal programs is a small Fabian-like step. It's not great by purist standards, but by practical ones -- well, it could easily be a lot worse. I think some of the left recognize that and know their history. That is why they're going nuts.

As for the stripped-down government, it's not going to occur until the people are ready and wanting it. That means ground level work in creating a society where personal responsibility is the expected standard, honored in the observance, rather than in the breach. A lot of hard, Fabianesque slogging to get that done. But the way society is going, it may well get done -- though I suspect I'll be an old man when I see it, if I ever see it.

29 posted on 11/23/2003 8:43:56 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian (Shake Hands with the Serpent: Poetry by Charles Lipsig aka Celtjew http://books.lulu.com/lipsig)
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To: Charlotte Corday
The Republicans and Bush, if only because they have a clearer understanding of the stakes in this war.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

30 posted on 11/23/2003 8:45:21 AM PST by section9 (Major Kusanagi says, "Click on my pic and read my blog, or eat lead!")
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To: SamAdams76
I think the Democratic Party is reduced to its core constituency:

Homosexuals and Trade Unionists.

This means the battle for the 21st century is the polarization inside the Republican Party, which will splinter and assume the 2 party position.

The Democratic Party, I predict, will dwindle to marginal status in the next decade.

Homosexuality and Trade Unionism are the core issues they are passionate about.

31 posted on 11/23/2003 8:50:40 AM PST by Beachcomber
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To: Wendel Wilkie
Did I miss something? Isn't W a coke-head, National Guard runaway, stupid, drunken, fraternity mentality, syntax deprived nitwit? He's not? Oh. That's why he keep cleaning their clocks.
32 posted on 11/23/2003 9:22:31 AM PST by doug from upland (Why aren't the Clintons living out their remaining years on Alcatraz?)
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To: blanknoone
I think that the strategy is to incite the 'Rats into filibustering the bill, thus causing no bill to pass at all, and then blaming the 'Rats for their obstructionism. Then, after Republican gains in 2004, a better bill can be bought. Bush and Frist have learned that Daschle & Company will mindlessly oppose anything that's perceived as benefitting Republicans, and this is the bait. If so, then they get my kudos for clever strategy.
33 posted on 11/23/2003 9:35:47 AM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: arasina
Does anyone remember the term "triangulation"? It was popular in 1997 as Dick Morris's clever strategy for reelecting Bill Clinton in 1996. Back then, Clinton took small portions of the Republican agenda and made them his own. Well, I see Bush and Rove have made the strategy their own, and the 'Rats are stewing.
34 posted on 11/23/2003 9:40:32 AM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: section9
Chris, you had some good points. I would have included some other things that Bush is doing that are obviously because he is pricipled, not just pragmatic.

Judges in particular, which I would argue is his most important item on his long-term domestic agenda.

35 posted on 11/23/2003 9:43:26 AM PST by Tennessean4Bush
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To: LS
or think further ahead, assume a Bush win in 2004, medicare bill got passed, and in 08, assume the worst, the hildebeast got the nod in the WH, and bamm, medicare, social security ran out of money, big deficits, and what will the dems WH do then..sure, the beast can blame the bill signed now, but my golly, they have to do something, how about the beast calling for cutbacks in medicare, means testings, mkt reform, and raising social security benefits age - oh wow, now would that be fun to see a dems to undo all those great society bs...

36 posted on 11/23/2003 9:43:41 AM PST by FRgal4u
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To: Wendel Wilkie
Absolutely right. The Dems won't win by continuing to "misunderestimate" Dubya.

As for Karl Rove, no doubt he's good--but Dubya has to make the final decisions on who,how, when, and why.

It's always amazing to see the comments by leftists who have only heard the party line--after they meet Bush. Without exception they say the same thing: They've misunderestimated the man.
37 posted on 11/23/2003 10:05:04 AM PST by wildbill
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To: section9
Well said!!!

One for the archives.

38 posted on 11/23/2003 10:21:09 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: Beachcomber
I think the Democratic Party is reduced to its core constituency: Homosexuals and Trade Unionists.

Gotta add Environmentalist wackos, feminazi's and inner city residents

39 posted on 11/23/2003 11:26:19 AM PST by Go Gordon
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To: Cobra64
"...what will the Democrats run on? Their intellectual cupboard is bare..."


Bill Clinton took the only bone they had.
40 posted on 11/23/2003 11:31:45 AM PST by tet68
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To: section9
Bump.
41 posted on 11/23/2003 12:15:17 PM PST by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber!)
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To: wildbill
The Dems won't win by continuing to "misunderestimate" Dubya.

I love it. Series, I love it.

42 posted on 11/23/2003 12:57:02 PM PST by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: section9
RE: Your entire post

Exactly correct. The true believers apparently lack any sort of long vision,if they have any at all. I think this Medicare thing is terrible.The up side, the Dims are destroying themselves on it. The Energy Plan? Pork laden yes, but, a plan, nonetheless.The Dims cry out for one, they now are faced with one ,,and they are howling.
Bush 43 gets this viscerally.I've said this before, this ain't cribbage; it is high risk, high stake poker.
The "pricipled" among us remain without a clue as to the whys of this strategy , nor do they want to learn it.Too easy to carp and moan.
Chris, a great analysis.
43 posted on 11/23/2003 1:22:48 PM PST by gatorbait (Yesterday, today and tomorrow......The United States Army)
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To: section9
Another way of stating what you said is that Bush only has so much political capital, and can only fight so many battles. In a way, the Democrats, by attacking and obstructing on all fronts are feeling the brunt of this effect.
44 posted on 11/23/2003 1:49:46 PM PST by lepton
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To: Clintonfatigued
Does anyone remember the term "triangulation"? It was popular in 1997 as Dick Morris's clever strategy for reelecting Bill Clinton in 1996. Back then, Clinton took small portions of the Republican agenda and made them his own. Well, I see Bush and Rove have made the strategy their own, and the 'Rats are stewing.

This doesn't always work...in 1995, the worst cries against the Republicans were that they were trying to pass legislation that Clinton had claimed for years to support. On the other hand, the internet and Fox are widely available now.

45 posted on 11/23/2003 2:00:54 PM PST by lepton
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To: section9
An excellent post demonstrating the point of many finer philosophers (from Ancient Greece onward) than me that human beings are not naturally inclined to freedom.

It does not take long in a democracy for the majority to discover that it can live off of the productive minority with a simple vote. Creating a democratic republic simply delays the inevitable.

Eventually, as always, the majority will push too far and the minority will be forced to violent revolt. It has been a sad but true reality throughout human history.
46 posted on 11/23/2003 2:29:24 PM PST by seowulf
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To: section9
Reagan was sharp: he understood that people wanted tax relief and higher defense and social spending. Reagan's genius was to be anything but a green eyeshade, sourpuss Republican. That kind of Republicanism that gave us Mary Louise Smith, the RNC chairman in 1974, who claimed that there was "no recession"-in the deep recession year of 1974.

If was in 1962 after Brown Sr. won the governorship of California that Reagan decided to run for that office in 1966 as a Republican. Reagan had a big problem. He had been a Democrat all his life. He had been elected and relected as his union's president. He had negotiated real good contracts for his members. He had openly spoken for FDR, HST, and JFK. He had donated money and campaigned for them. He was sure to be painted as a RINO by every right wing California Republican who could talk.

The question Lyn Nofiziger, Ed Meese, and Ronald Reagan pondered was how to counter the RINO label .. especially in the primary. As Riordan found out in 2002, getting labeled a RINO in a Republican primary can cost one the nomination.

In 1964 as Goldwater sewed up the Republican Nomination several things became apparent. Many Republicans did not want to appear or speak for Goldwater at the convention. Goldwater was so right wing that being associated with him would spell political disaster. Goldwater was destined to get just a tad over 1/3 of the votes in 1964. Every Repulican office holder who could read a poll, did not want within 200 miles of Barry Goldwater.

The Reagan camp came up with a bright idea. Goldwater could not get any centrist or even moderately right wing Republicans to speak for him at the convention. So Reagan proposed that he speak in Goldwater's behalf. The Goldwater people were elated. A hollywood star,a retired union President, a FDR, HST, JFK fan would speak for Goldwater at the convention in prime time. His name was Ronald Reagan ,,, the TV star of Death Valley Days.

Reagan felt giving a speech for Goldwater would help tone down if not eliminate the RINO label attached to hin.

Reagan wrote a great speech and gave it in prime time. Ronald was astounded by the result. The media did not paint him as a RINO trying to earn points with the right... they painted Reagan as a far right wing zealot in the Goldwater tradition. The media knew Goldater was poison and that Reagan as a great natual comapaigner. The Media knew Goldwater was very unpopular with the center and the left... So they painted Reagan with a Goldwater brush.

The right in Californis fell in love with the man with the guts to stand up for Barry AuH2O. When Reagan ran in 1966, the media painted Reagan as the right wing zealot. They figured that might be enough to defeat him. But that strategy did not work. Reagan won. But from then on the charge of right wing nut was used to try to defeat him.

It is interesting to note that in the first years of the Reagan administration, his most vocal Republican critic was Barry Goldwater. To quote the Washinton Post obit for Barry, "Mr. Goldwater refused to join the Republicans of the New Right during the 1980s."

If Reagan was an extention of the Goldwater philosophy why did Barry oppose so much of what Reagan tried to do in the 80's. Barry was a constant source of stories in the Post and Times opposing the Reagan agenda from 1981 until he retired in 1986.

If Reagan was the implementation of the Goldwater agenda... you could not prove it by the Goldwater attempts to thwart that agenda' implentation by Reagan. Goldwate foght it at every turn.

47 posted on 11/23/2003 7:59:38 PM PST by Common Tator (I support Billybob. www.ArmorforCongress.com)
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To: gatorbait; Common Tator
Exactly correct. The true believers apparently lack any sort of long vision,if they have any at all. I think this Medicare thing is terrible.The up side, the Dims are destroying themselves on it. The Energy Plan? Pork laden yes, but, a plan, nonetheless.The Dims cry out for one, they now are faced with one ,,and they are howling. Bush 43 gets this viscerally.I've said this before, this ain't cribbage; it is high risk, high stake poker. The "pricipled" among us remain without a clue as to the whys of this strategy , nor do they want to learn it.Too easy to carp and moan. Chris, a great analysis.

First, I would commend to you Common Tator's post about Reagan and Goldwater. It's an insightful read into the political, indeed cultural, differences between the two men. If you read between the lines, you'll see why Barry was doomed in 1964 while Reagan was almost assured in 1980 (running as he was against the green eyeshade, sourpuss Democrat, Jimmy Carter).

Barry was Moses down from Sinai, all tablets and thunder. Goldwater was convinced that if you hit people over the head with the truth long enough, a little bulb would go on in their heads and they would automatically throw off the chains of decades of Democratic voting patterns. Goldwater was a visionary, but a clueless visionary.

Ronnie didn't waste his time with that crap. He understood that political victory often goes to the man who only gets half the loaf, but acts as if the whole loaf was owned by him from the beginning ("I paid for this microphone!"). The Dems could control Congress in the early '80's, and AuH2O could carp from the sidelines, but sunny Ronald won the day. Ronnie understood the voters in the way that only the truly successful pols do. Reagan was one, Clinton another. Bush appears to have the secret, as well.

Look at the idiot Democrats. They are THREATENING A FILIBUSTER OF THE MEDICARE BILL.

This is Goldwaterism gone haywire. Now you know that this is a fiscal monstrosity, I know that it is a fiscal monstrosity, and the trial lawyers know it is a fiscal monstrosity. But the people want the damn medicare bill. Why? Because they believe that puppies are cute, kittens are cuddly, the little chilluns should have free education and hot lunch at school, and old folks who have done their time in the great WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, should have a God Given Right to a Prescription Drug benefit in medicare.

And the stupid Dems are fighting this. Now I want you to step back and wonder what Karl Rove is going to do with this. He will take Dean and morph him next to the Senate Democratic leadership:

OPENING IMAGE: WHITE LETTERS, BLACK BACKGROUND...

"HOWARD DEAN AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO KEEP THE GREATEST GENERATION FROM RECEIVING PRESIDENT BUSH'S PLAN FOR A PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS IN MEDICARE..."

CUT TO: Image of elderly couple in Cemetary Villiage counting pennies to try to afford drugs for osteoporosis.

CUT TO: WHITE LETTERS, BLACK BACKGROUND.

"WHILE PRESIDENT BUSH IS TRYING TO HELP OUR SENIORS GET A PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT, THE HOWARD DEAN DEMOCRATS KEEP ON FILIBUSTERING PRESIDENT BUSH'S PLAN TO HELP SENIORS FIGHT OFF THE HIGH COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS...."

CUT TO: Image of the lady from the "fallen and can't get up" commercials looking wanly into the camera.

DISSOLVE TO: Image of elderly retiree looking at picture of himself with his bomber crew in England during the War.

CUT TO:

PRESIDENT BUSH AND FIRST LADY WALKING IN ROSE GARDEN WITH SENIORS, TALKING AND SMILING..

BLACK LETTERS, WHITE BACKGROUND, UPLIFTING MUSIC: "PRESIDENT BUSH IS TRYING TO HELP SENIORS FIGHT THE HIGH COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. YOU CAN HELP HIM HELP OUR SENIORS...

CUT TO: WHITE LETTERS, BLACK BACKGROUND, DARTH VADER MUSIC:

"CALL HOWARD DEAN AND THE DEMOCRATS AND TELL THEM TO STOP PLAYING POLITICS AS USUAL. TELL THEM TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO GIVE A PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT TO SENIORS IN MEDICARE-CUT TO HOWARD DEAN'S PRIVATE HOME NUMBER."

Trust me on this, people. I have no idea who it is who is telling the Dems to have such a brain fart, but they have decided that they can run as bleeding hearts AND green eyeshade sourpusses. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The more I see the Dean campaign come into contact with reality, the less I admire about it. And Dean had nothing to do with this catastrophe.

But that won't stop Rove from tying it around his neck.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

48 posted on 11/23/2003 10:52:10 PM PST by section9 (Major Kusanagi says, "Click on my pic and read my blog, or eat lead!")
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To: seowulf
The key to understanding what goes on in any successful Administration (unlike, say, Carter or Bush I) is to realize that it is the adept President who divines the true definition of democracy:

Democracy is when two wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner!

The Framers understood this. That is why they designed a Constitutional Republic filled with competing centers of power and had, at the time, supplemented it with a Bill of Rights. They all had read their Shakespeare: give the Mob enough time and they will always vote for Caesar.

It's like Common Tator says: you vote for the Bush medicare plan now, or the Dean Hockey Night In Canada National Health Care Plan later...

So, how would you like your lamb?

Be Seeing You,

Chris

49 posted on 11/23/2003 11:01:54 PM PST by section9 (Major Kusanagi says, "Click on my pic and read my blog, or eat lead!")
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To: untwist
You got it. If you want a rather amazing study of what is happening to the population, and its effects on the economy, read "Birthquake," by Diane Macunovich. It isn't an easy read---lots of jargon and stats---but her research is from my perspective unimpeachable. More of the unemployment picture has to do with demographics than with the actual performance of the economy, both good and bad.
50 posted on 11/24/2003 4:25:42 AM PST by LS
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