Tag Archives: Democrats

The one sentence from President Obama’s press conference that Democrats should pay attention to

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

President Obama delivered a statement in the White House press briefing room touting the signup successes of the Affordable Care Act. He also took four questions from reporters — running the gamut from the situation in Ukraine to the ACA to the possibility of immigration reform. But, for Democrats running for office this November, there was one line in particular worth paying close attention to.

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Asked by Politico’s Edward Isaac-Dovere whether he would advise Democrats to campaign on Obamacare this fall, the president, eventually, said this: “I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact….we’re helping because of something we did.”  He added that Republicans would have to defend their continued efforts to repeal the law and then quickly pivoted back to talking about the economy, which, he insisted, was the No. 1 priority for most Americans.

Parse those statements and you get this:

1. Democrats shouldn’t run from Obamacare because there is a positive story to tell (and, left unsaid, because they can’t run away from it anyway).

2. Democrats should make sure to focus voters’ attention on Republican efforts to repeal the law and ask questions about whether the GOP has its priorities mixed up.

3. The economy is the real issue and the one on which the midterms will be won or lost by Democrats.

Now, it’s not clear how many candidates will follow Obama’s strategic advice on handling the ACA — particularly given that so many of the seats up in the Senate (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina etc.) are in conservative leaning states where many likely voters probably don’t agree with the president’s assertion that “We can agree it’s well past time to move on as a country.”

But, make no mistake: This is President Obama laying out a strategic blueprint as to how he thinks Democrats can run and win in an electoral environment that, at least at the moment, doesn’t look great for them.

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Filed under Affordable Care Act

MUST SEE: Krystal Ball brutally eviscerates the GOP & trashes corporate Dems in one amazing segment

Daily Kos

If you watch only one thing today, watch this.

Short version: The GOP is a staggering corpse that is fading into irrelevance and the real future is in the fight between pro-corporate Democrats and pro-worker Democrats.

But you definitely want to see it for yourself . . .

Transcript:

Krystal Ball:     “Who will win the battle for the soul of the GOP? Will it be the establishment or the tea party, the libertarians or the social conservatives? Well after watching all sides battle it out at CPAC I have come to a definitive conclusion. Are you ready? Here is the answer; it doesn’t matter.
That’s right, who wins and who loses in the fight for control of the Republican party is totally irrelevant.
Sure, it is a fun parlor game to look at whose up and whose down in the Ted Cruz/Rand Paul showdown. Wait. No. It’s not. It’s  a terrible parlor game. What is a parlor game?
Anyway, if you care about the future of this country the Republican party machinations are of now consequence. There’s a few reasons. First, look at this graph.

There is an unprecedented gap between the voting preferences of young voters and everyone else. Millennials may not be crazy about self-identifying as Democrats but whatever they call themselves they’re liberal. They are much more likely to vote Democratic than older generations.
So Republicans, do you know why in five of the last six Presidential elections you’ve lost the popular vote? It’s because every year the electorate is becoming browner and more influenced by the millennials who are more liberal than any other modern generation, and sorry GOP, they’re staying that way. To paraphrase Sally Field at her Oscar win, they don’t like you, they really don’t like you.

And who can blame them? The second reason the GOP is irrelevant is because your economic ideology is toast, debunked, discredited. Your intellectual heavy is Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan! You’ve been flailing around in a house that Reagan built for three decades and still haven’t realized it’s just an empty frame with no foundation. Come back to me when you have some actual evidence for your economic ideology, and no, Ayn Rand novels don’t count.

Nope. Republicans and their deck-chair shifting civil war don’t matter. If you are interested in where the country goes from here the action is all on the Democratic side, and while our own internal divide is less noisy than the Republican one it is just as real and waaaay more important.

This divide, the one that counts, is between the pro-corporate democrats and the pro-worker democrats. It’s pretty easy to tell which are which. In their best incarnation the pro-corporate dems do Wall Street and corporate America’s bidding while doing the best they can to shore up the safety net so that when working folks are inevitably abused by big banks and big business at least there is something of a net to catch them.
Pro-worker dems want to stop the abuse in the first place and keep and expand the safety net just in case those protections fail.

When pro-corporate dems get their way, as they have in democratic politics for, oh, the past twenty-two years, inequality rises. And when inequality rises the power of the plutocracy rises. And when plutocrats call the shots like they do now the safety net gets it.

Plutocrats, it turns out, don’t much care for supporting the workers on whose backs they earn their riches. So even though corporate democrats may be well intentioned their policies lead to a toxic brew of money, plutocracy and power that shreds the safety net, strips workers of their right and hollows out the middle class. The plutocracies wish is their command.

Now to be clear, either type of democrat is a million times better than the folks the GOP has to offer, but that is a pretty low bar. Time to expect more. To demand more. Do we want a society that governs for the needs of the many, or the desires of the few? I know which side I’m on, do you?”

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Filed under Corporate Dems, GOP

‘Don’t Run’: MSNBC’s Krystal Ball Urges ‘Anti-Union’ Hillary to Pass on 2016

I watched the following segment on The Cycle yesterday and silently cheered Krystal Ball’s moment of truth…

Mediaite

MSNBC host Krystal Ball told her audience on Tuesday that she admires former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and she would support her over any Republican and most Democrats to replace President Barack Obama. However, she said that America’s present “existential crisis” requires a candidate that is not as “anti-union” and friendly to Wall Street as Clinton. For that reason, Ball urged Clinton not to run and for freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to get in the race.

Ball began by saying that she supported Clinton in 2008 over Obama. She said she longed for the competence and respect in government that George W. Bush failed to deliver over his eight years. “But that moment has passed,” she said. “We are now in a moment of existential crisis as a country.”

“In a time when corporations have hijacked our politics,” she continued, “is someone who sat on the rabidly anti-union board of Walmart the right person to restore workers’ rights?”

“In a time when we’re still reeling from global financial disaster brought on by foolhardy bank deregulation, is someone who took $400,000 to give two speeches at Goldman Sachs the person we need to wrest control of the asylum back from the banking inmates?” Ball asked. The MSNBC host further assailed Clinton for reassuring the “masters of the universe” that “banker-bashing” on the left was “unproductive.”

Ball swiped at Bill Clinton as well for signing into law much of the deregulation she was decrying. Ball said that she would back Warren to replace Obama as an example of a politician who felt “in their bones the plight of the worker.”

“Don’t run, Hillary,” she concluded. “Don’t run.”

Watch the segment below or via MSNBC:

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Filed under Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton

Gallup Poll Finds Democrats More Compassionate; Republicans More Psychopathic

According to Gallup, these are not the traits of a Conservatives…

No doubt most Progressives already knew this, but a Gallup poll makes it official…

The Huffington Post

Gallup headlined on 28 January 2014, “Democrats and Republicans Differ on Top Priorities,” and reported that the biggest difference between supporters of the two Parties concerned “The environment,” where 71% of Democrats said it’s important to them, versus only 32% of Republicans who did: a whopping difference of 39%, between the two Parties, considered that issue to be important. The second-biggest difference was on “The distribution of income and wealth”: 72% of Democrats, versus only 38% of Republicans – a 34% difference. Third came “Poverty and homelessness”: 82% of Democrats, versus 53% of Republicans – a 29% difference. Fourth came “Education”: 91% of Democrats, versus 70% of Republicans – a 21% difference.

Here were the four issues on the conservative end, the four issues where Republicans scored the largest amount higher (more concerned) than Democrats: First, “The military and national defense”: 76% of Republicans, versus 61% of Democrats – a 15% difference – considered that issue to be important. Second, “Taxes”: 69% of Republicans, versus 56% of Democrats – a 13% difference. Third, “Terrorism”: 77% of Republicans, versus 68% of Democrats – a 9% difference. Fourth, “Government surveillance of U.S. citizens”: 45% of Republicans, versus 37% of Democrats – an 8% difference (but if the President had been a Republican, Democrats might have been more concerned about that issue than Republicans would have been).

Clearly, selfish fears swept concerns on the Republican side, whereas concerns for others (and especially the weak) swept concerns on the Democratic side.

One can therefore reasonably infer from this survey that the main difference between Democrats and Republicans is the difference between compassion versus psychopathy.

If these findings are accurate, then one will expect that in political primary elections, where candidates make their appeals to members of their own Party, Democratic candidates will compete with one another mainly on the basis of their proposals for improving things for everyone but especially for the most vulnerable; whereas Republican candidates will compete with one another mainly on the basis of their proposals for improving things for their individual voters. And, in the general election, one will expect that the Democratic nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for everyone, while the Republican nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for Republicans.

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Filed under Gallup Polls

5 important political stories to watch in 2014

Would Boehner lead another shutdown? | Photo: (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Week – Taegan Goodard

1. Will Republicans win back control of the Senate?Most political forecasters give Democrats a minuscule chance of taking back the House of Representatives, so most attention will be on the six seats Republicans need to have the majority in the upper chamber.

The seven most vulnerable seats all belong to Democrats right now: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

2. Will Congress pass immigration reform? A bill has passed the Senate but House leaders refuse to bring it up. Considering the inability of this Congress to pass almost anything, it’s hard to give much hope to immigration reform — particularly in an election year.

However, two things could force the issue. First, national Republicans know they must improve the party’s standing with Hispanic voters and immigration reform is a key issue for this increasingly important voting bloc. Second, Speaker John Boehner has given signs he may move pieces of the Senate bill independently.

3. Will there be another fiscal showdown? Despite a bipartisan budget deal earlier this month, another major battle could be coming in the New Year over the debt ceiling. The federal government is expected to exhaust its borrowing authority by the end of February.

Though many Republicans want to use the event as leverage over the Obama administration to cut spending or tie it to legislation the White House opposes, the politics are brutal for the GOP. The self-inflicted wounds of the government shutdown on the Republican party are still raw and could act to prevent a major battle.

4. Will ObamaCare be a big issue for the midterm elections? Republicans will do everything in their power to tie the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act to Democrats like they did in the 2010 midterms. It helped them retake control of the House.

But the White House is throwing every resource at their disposal to get the law implemented and move beyond the problems that crippled the health care exchange website. If millions of people are getting health insurance they otherwise could not afford by summer, it could end up being a non-issue or even a positive for Democrats.

5. Who knows? Politics is amazingly unpredictable except one thing is almost certain: There is usually a big political story we cannot predict.

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Filed under GOP Leadership

Everyone in America Supports a Minimum-Wage Hike—Except the Tea Party

The following information should surprise no one…

New Republic

Fast-food workers across the U.S. are striking Thursday  (today) to demand higher wages, and it turns out they’re not alone in believing the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is much too low. A majority of Americans—71 percent—support hiking the minimum to $10, according to the 2013 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Democrats overwhelmingly support an increase, and even a majority of Republicans do. The minimum wage “is that rare issue where there is bipartisan and cross-religious support,” says Dan Cox, PRRI’s research director.

Except for the Tea Party, that is.

Public Religion Research Institute, American Values Survey, October 2013

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Filed under Minimum Wage

McConnell lashes out: Tea Party groups ‘ruining’ GOP

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunch of the Republican caucus on Nov. 19, 2013 in Washington, D.C. WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell faces Tea Party backlash in his coming re-election efforts for 2014.  This should be interesting in light of his most recent statement…

MSNBC

Mitch McConnell ripped tea party-aligned forces like the Senate Conservatives Fund in a recent interview, saying they are “ruining” the Republican brand.

It is the Senate Minority Leader’s latest attempt to stand up to extremists in his party amidst a tough reelection bid that’s left him fielding attacks from the left and right, with Democrats criticizing his role in allowing a government shutdown and his Republican challenger criticizing his role in ending it.

In an interview published on Friday, McConnell chided the most far-right wing members of his party—without specifically naming the tea party —and blamed them for the government shutdown in October.

“There were people who were basically afraid of [conservatives], frankly,” McConnell told theWashington Examiner. “It’s time for people to stand up to this sort of thing.”

In standing up to the tea party, McConnell is walking a tight-rope: he doesn’t want to anger the far-right, grassroots Republicans who have long made up his base, but he does want to stop the tea-party led insurgency that has dragged Republican approval ratings down to historic lowsshut the government down for 16-days, and caused a GOP civil war.

“To have the kind of year we ought to have in 2014, we have to have electable candidates on November ballots in every state—people that don’t scare the general electorate and can actually win, because winners make policy and losers go home,” McConnell told the Washington Examiner. “We can’t just turn the other cheek and hope for the best. It didn’t work in 2010 and 2012 so we’re going to try something different in 2014.”

McConnell kept quiet for the first few years of the group’s existence once he saw its power in Kentucky (a McConnell-approved candidate lost to tea party darling Sen. Rand Paul in a race to be Kentucky’s junior senator), courting tea party forces and even bringing Paul’s 2010 campaign manager to run his 2014 bid.

His battle with the tea party coincides with his 2014 bid, where he’s facing challenges on both sides—from a formidable Democrat, former Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan-Grimes, and a tea party challenger, Matt Bevin. McConnell trumps Bevin in polls, but he and Grimes are neck and neck.

It’s perhaps why McConnell’s gloves came off when he discussed the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that aims to boot the Senate’s seasoned Republicans, including McConnell, in favor of farther right conservatives like his challenger from the right, Bevin.

“The Senate Conservatives Fund is giving conservatism a bad name. They’re participating in ruining the [Republican] brand,” McConnell said. “What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause — which is utter nonsense.”

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Filed under Senate Republicans, Tea Party Agenda

DNC Wants To Help You Talk With ‘Your Republican Uncle’ On Thanksgiving

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You gotta love this idea from Democrats.  Just in time for the holidays at that…

TPM LiveWire

The Democratic National Committee is launched a Thanksgiving-themed website Wednesday called YourRepublicanUncle.com that purports to help people deal with “lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics” that occur during the holiday season.

YourRepublicanUncle.com features talking points Democrats can use during hypothetical political conversations with their family members.

“This time of year, the only thing more annoying than holiday traffic is an awkward conversation with family about politics,” DNC Digital Director Matt Compton wrote in an email announcing the site. “We designed YourRepublicanUncle.com so that it look greats and loads quickly on your phone — no getting ambushed when you go back for seconds on stuffing.”

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Filed under Affordable Care Act

Three reasons filibuster reform might actually happen today

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Harry Reid – (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

This must be done soon.  Preferably, today.  Enough is enough from the Teapublican filibusters in the senate.

The Washington Post – Wonkblog

Filibuster reform might actually happen this time. In fact, it might happen today.

Harry Reid is poised to end the filibuster against executive-branch appointments and judicial nominations. Could Democrats back out at the last minute, as they have so many times before? Absolutely. But there’ve been three big changes in Senate Democrats’ outlook since the last time filibuster reform failed.

1. Filibuster reform is just another word for nothing left to lose. Back in January, the best arguments against filibuster reform had nothing to do with filibuster reform. They had to do with the rest of the Democrats’ agenda.

“Speaker John Boehner said the House wouldn’t consider legislation from a post-filibuster reform Senate. It’s very likely that a real filibuster reform fight would’ve destroyed the Democrats’ agenda in the coming months — think immigration and gun control.”

But gun control died in the Senate. And it turned out that Boehner refused to consider the Senate’s immigration legislation regardless of the filibuster’s status. Now, with President Obama’s political capital at a nadir, it’s clear that there’s no second-term agenda to protect in the near future, and they’re may not even be a Democratic Senate majority after 2014.

So in pure “getting-things-done” terms, Democrats are faced with a choice: keep the filibuster and get nothing done. Change the filibuster and get nothing done aside from staffing the federal government and filling a huge number of judicial vacancies with lifetime appointments.

2. Democrats believe Republicans will shred the filibuster as soon as they get a chance. The main reason filibuster reform typically fails is that the majority party is scared of what will happen when the minority party gets into power. But Senate Democrats just watched Republicans mount a suicide mission to shut down the government. Their confidence that Republicans will treat the upper chamber’s rules with reverence is low, to say the least.

This has led to some fatalistic thinking about filibuster reform: If Republicans are going to blow the filibuster up anyway, Democrats might as well take the first step and get some judges out of the deal.

3. Senate Democrats feel betrayed by Republicans. It’s hard to overstate the pride senior Senate Democrats took in cutting their January deal with Senate Republicans. That kind of good-faith dealmaking, they said, was exactly how the Senate is supposed to work. Some even argued it was a sign that immigration reform, gun control, and other top Democratic initiatives might pass.

But then Republicans filibustered more judges and executive-branch nominees. And the pride top Democrats took in their deal to avert filibuster reform has turned to anger that Republicans made them look like trusting fools. “Just talked to at least 10 Senate Dems about filibuster reform, including some who previously opposed it,” tweets the Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery. “Just one opposes now.”

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Filed under Senate Filibuster, United States Senate

Congressman gives GOP a piece of his mind in Obamacare hearing

Rep. Timothy Griffin, the Congressman who asked Rep. Bill Pascrell if he would “yield” so that Griffin could speak, is on his way out of Congress, because according to Griffin,  he wants to “spend more time with his family”.  In my opinion,  the corrupted king of ‘voter caging for the Bush administration can’t leave soon enough.

Daily Kos

On Tuesday, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) excoriated Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR) and Republicans over their intransigence on Obamacare.  He reminded them that they did not like President Bush’s new drug program. They had valid objections. The donut hole and lack of negotiating on drug prices were serious flaws. Democrats in the end helped make the program work.

The following exchange was beautiful to watch. One would hope more Democrats would get the spine to speak up as this congressman did. Americans need to see those that support the program display more passion than those that hypocritically oppose it. This program is essential as a pathway to real universal health care coverage.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): Despite Democrats opposition to Part D ten years ago we committed to making the best of the program. … We lost the policy fight. And what did we do? We went back to our districts. And we told our seniors although we voted no, we personally believe and would work with the Bush administration to make it work. That’s what we did. And how many of you stood up to do that. … What are you going to do about the approximately seventeen million children with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. … You are going to tell the parents of those kids? Which one of you is going to stand up and tell the parents of those children, the game is over. Sorry, that was just a failure.

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR): Will the gentleman yield.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): Yes I will.

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR): It’s a false choice to say it’s Obamacare or nothing. There are numerous proposals including the one I am a co-sponsor of. …

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): Are you really serious; after what we have gone through over the last three and a half years? You can sit there and say that you had a legitimate alternative after these years? We’ve gone through 44 votes, 48 votes now of you trying to dismantle this legislation. You call that cooperation? I don’t.

It was evident that Democrats are starting to hit a sensitive spot in these hearings. Republicans have opposed most laws that expanded the safety net. This is why they respond immediately to the valid accusations. Their responses are generally flawed at best.

Having hearings like these provide Democrats with a platform to expose those who really care about the well-being of middle class Americans. It is important that one is not meek in defending the values Democrats and progressives stand for. Republicans are bold in lying about their policies’ impact on Americans. Democrats must be more passionate in truth telling. Democrats must buck lies at every turn mercilessly.

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October 30, 2013 · 6:10 AM