New Year’s Eve Open Thread

Buh bye, 2014.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. itlduso says:

    Happy New Year, Polsters!  And, happy belated anniversary to Pols.  I really enjoy and appreciate this blog and (most) of the bloggers.  In just one place, I can get really astute analysis of CO politics and, at the same time, the lies being spewed on Fox News!

    I am still upset about 2014 and concerned about 2015-16.  I saw the video of President Obama's (my hero) interview with NPR where he continues to over think the Dems' lack of messaging to the middle class.  He's still reciting the hand wringing message of Pelosi and Steve Israel that the middle class hasn't been helped by the government, including policies supported by the Dems.  This was a message that Frank Luntz came up with for the GOP in 2009 when the economy was still in free fall. ("The rich and the poor get helped by the government, but the middle class get diddly.")  We are so past that now.

    Consider successful GOP messages of the past:  "It's Morning in America"'; "There's a Bear in the Forest"; "A Thousand Points of Light" come to mind.  WTF do those even mean?  Yet, somehow they resonated with the middle class and independents.  We desperately need our own Frank Luntz to take the good things that the Dems have accomplished and send that message to the brain pans of Americans.  I think we could start by hiring the writers on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" for some pithy messaging.  They seem to get it right every night.

    I have long believed we are looking at a Hillary/Jeb race and believe that more today.  I used to think Hillary could beat anyone, including Jeb who is their strongest candidate, IMHO.  However, Udall and Romanoff should have made mincemeat of two radical members of the most despised institution in America — the US Congress, and failed.  They failed even after reaching their goals in voter turnout!  Why?  Because they couldn't come up with a reason for independents to vote for them. (Balanced Budget Amendment?  I am so done with Andrew Romanoff.)

    So, I hope the Dems found a compelling message to the middle class under the tree this year.  If not, their New Year's resolution had better be to figure one out themselves.

    • BlueCat says:

      Couldn't agree more. All I want for New Year is for Obama and Dems to get a clue and grow a pair. Well… that and world peace, of course. And all the children holding hands and singing, natch. And good health. Oh and fabulous personal wealth and power. Crushing to defeat to my enemies. You know. The usual.

      Oh and a Happy New Year to all. Except those crushed enemies, of course. wink

  2. BlueCat says:

    Good move, Governor O'Malley. And before Modster gets started, no this doesn't mean these people are going free.

  3. Zappatero says:

    Is bipartisan support a worthy goal for legislation? Should it be the primary goal? Is a bipartisan solution truly the best solution? Is the most sensible solution at the halfway mark between left and right?

    The (especially DC) media's obsession with this, to the exclusion of policy details, goals, purposes, and politicians' reliance on it as a precursor to being productive, is very near worthless in determining the worthiness of almost any legislation.

    Yet they still have that chronic urge to pretend both sides have equally reasonable ideas and that both sides are equally responsible for government policy to have a bipartisan provenance, and that both sides approach these responsibilities with the same seriousness.

    They aren't and they don't

    "We now seem to be living in the Age of High C, a period when every fight is Armageddon, every foe is a monster, and every issue is either the key to national survival or the doorway to ruin. . . .

    "When I look around, I see a lot of liberals who live quite traditional family lives and even go regularly to churches, synagogues and mosques. I see a lot of conservatives who are feminists when it comes to their daughters' opportunities and who oppose bigotry against gays and lesbians."

    E. J. Dionne Jr., in his Washington Post
    column "To a healthier democracy"

    by Ken

    My only problem with E. J. Dionne Jr.'s eminently sensible column urging a tone-down of the rhetorical decibel level is the notion that there's anything remotely symmetrical in the allotment of blame, when there's no doubt in my mind that it is caused, screeched, and blood-sucked-on something like 99 percent by the Right, which uses culture wars as a substitute for thought and for actually dealing with problems — not to mention all that toxic grunge stored up inside them…

    He goes on: "It's odd that so many continue to see Obama as a radical and a socialist even as the Dow hits record levels and the wealthy continue to do very nicely. If he is a socialist, he is surely the most incompetent practitioner in the history of Marxism."

    And here I guess I do have a little problem. I get the point that E.J. is making, but the first objection to the proposition that Obama is either a radical or a socialist is that you have to be a total ignoramus or a pathological liar to advance the proposition.

    That matters, doesn't it? 

    It does matter that many Republicans flat-out lie about Obama and his policies, they ignore facts and results, and rely on name-calling as their primary rhetorical strategy. We do no one any favors by accepting the lies and pretending both sides are equally to blame for legislative branch dysfunction.

    • BlueCat says:

      He says it's odd that so many continue to see Obama as a radical socialist since it's so clearly untrue, which matches your position, but it's also true that, even though you have to be a total ignoramus to believe that to be true, everyone on the right does or claims to believe it, regardless.

      I don't think Dionne is exactly imputing equal blame to both sides though he's remiss in leaving out the reality that the conservatives who oppose bigotry are a pretty insignificant minority in Republican legislative bodies whereas there isn't a shred of evidence that Democrats are more likely than Rs to be lacking in family values. Just as Obama is certainly no radical socialist, for instance, it would be impossible to fault his family values. Unlike so may on the right who are smug about superior family values, which mainly consist of religious intolerance and bigotry, the Obamas are a long time married couple, neither ever divorced, doing an excellent, responsible job of raising their children in a very trying fishbowl atmosphere judging by results. Both girls are teenagers who haven't been anywhere near the hint of a scandal involving misbehavior of any kind. Must be a pretty strong family with admirable values.

      I think you're being a little hard on Dionne who isn't going as far into the equal blame weeds as you propose but I agree that this column is over generous towards the elected right. Yes, the decibel level is insane but almost all the blame for that lies with the congressional Republicans who declared at the outset of Obama's first term that everything they planned to do would be aimed at blocking anything and everything that could be considered as contributing in any way to an Obama victory, then proved they really meant it by opposing even those policies that came straight out of their own playbook the second Obama agreed they were good ideas.

      And, yes, sometimes finding a mid point simply results in policy too watered down to work. When Obama first came in with the strongest hand, majorities (albeit small) in both houses, his first mistake was to not only offer to meet the Republicans, whose only wish was to destroy him, halfway but to offer them as much 90% of what they wanted as a starting point. True to their word they kept turning down that 90% while Obama stubbornly stuck with his doomed charm offensive. That charm offensive, along with LBJ style arm twisting, should have been directed at uniting his own legislative majority to get as much of the policy he ran on passed as possible. That's what the leader with the upper hand is supposed to do because that's what the majority who elected him voted for. Sure they also said they'd like more civility but everybody says they believe in being nice to puppies, too.  What they really wanted was the replacement of failed conservative policies with the policies Obama ran on. You certainly would never see an R President with both houses under R leadership give away the store in the name of bipartisanism. God help us if that's what we get in 2016.

      I don't think Dionne is saying that the Democrats are equally to blame for the decibel level but he certainly isn't accurately apportioning the blame either. I think it's an attempt at a civil New Years call for less hysteria that errs on the side of being much too kind and generous to elected conservatives. 

      • Zappatero says:

        Great points and thanks for the critique. Yes, I'm more sure in who's to blame and find their motives far more cynical and manipulative than Dionne. He's obviously a nice guy but also frames things way too gently. By doing this he won't get assigned to the "both sides do it" category. But again, this let's the right off the hook because their haters are far more numerous and prominent and vituperative than anyone on the left – in or out of office, and in or out of the media.

        Take Savage, for example: he's on over 200 stations, 5 days a week, with reruns on most. It's actually scary listening to some of it, especially when someone calls in to challenge his views. He rips the holy hell out of them. His language and attitude is adopted by high officials, electeds, spokesmen, analysts, and average <s>Joes</s> AC's all the way down the line to the psychotics.

        There is no one on the left who spews even 1/100th the amount of hate into the discourse as Savage, and he's just one of their weapons.

        So just saying "both sides do it" is the easy way out for our guys, and shouldn't be the default explanation, because too many independents actually believe it by now.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        "Unlike so may on the right who are smug about superior family values, which mainly consist of religious intolerance and bigotry"

        Not to mention the rank hypocrisy of paying a hooker to diaper (and presumably nurse) them, playing "find the sausage" in the Minneapolis airport rest room, and hiking the Appalachian Trail by way of the mistress' house in Buenos Aires.

        I love when they go all family values on the rest of us.

  4. BlueCat says:

    BTW. Happy New Year. Staying in with a cold which makes my better half very happy. He wasn't too thrilled about the neighborhood party we were invited to and now he has a great excuse to do what he likes best; stay home and fall asleep long before midnight in front of the TV.  Have fun, everyone.smiley

  5. bullshit! says:

    Happy New Year, lefties and righties!

  6. notaskinnycook says:

    Happy 2015, everybody! Slow night for us, too. Just a couple of friends in watching Doctor Who reruns with Karen while I clean up my email and try to ignore the Daleks.  Life with a sci-fi freak (sigh).. 

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