January
19th 2010
I do not think that question means what you think it means

Posted under: American history, jobs, wankers

From a story at Politico claiming that the White House “plans a combative response” in the event that Scott Brown (R) beats Martha Coakley (D) today to succeed Ted Kennedy as the next Senator from Massachusetts:
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said a key theme of 2010 will be asking voters “whether the people they have in Washington are on the side of protecting the big banks, whether they’re on the side of protecting the big oil companies, whether they’re on the side of protecting insurance companies or whether they’re on the people’s side.”

Unless the White House has been relocated, isn’t the Obama administration among “the people” we “have in Washington?”  Don’t Dems still have a controlling majority of the House and the Senate?  So, do they really want to ask us that question?  ‘Cos I’m a lifelong left-liberal Democrat, I’ve given a lot of my time and money to the Dems here in Colorado and nationally over the past six years, and I’ve got an answer for Gibbsy–but I don’t think he wants to hear it.

 Awesome politics, White House!

34 Comments »

34 Responses to “I do not think that question means what you think it means”

  1. Roxie on 19 Jan 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    In addition to Mr. Cool and Above It All Obama going all populist and anti-Washington, he and his minions are doing exactly what they did in advance of earlier defeats in VA & NJ: trashing the candidates. It never has anything to do with them, their policies, or their politics. It’s always flawed candidates, mean Republicans (not that they are ever NICE), or dumb voters who somehow fail to appreciate the wisdom of the great and powerful Precious. Sheesh. Gimme a break, Dems. Prepare for a bloodbath in the midterms.

    Oh, hey, and pardon a little blog-whoring, but we got some fun happening over at my place today. History geeks more than welcome to join in with the English profs to plan the conference that will never be, MLA 2010. Come visit: http://roxies-world.blogspot.com/2010/01/cffp-mla-2010.html.

  2. RKMK on 19 Jan 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Unless the White House has been relocated, isn’t the Obama administration among “the people” we “have in Washington?” Don’t Dems still have a controlling majority of the House and the Senate?

    *facepalm*

    Also, I’m trying to remove myself from news cycles as much as possible, because I think a Coakley loss in MA will foreshadow the doom of us all. I don’t think I can take much more of this. >.<

  3. Mamie on 19 Jan 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    The AP has called it: doomsday is upon us.

  4. RKMK on 19 Jan 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

  5. KoshemBos on 19 Jan 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    A bloodbath will hurt us twice; we wont be able to push even the few programs that are while and will strengthen the forces of real evil.

    It is not a big surprise that Gibbs doesn’t get it and may run against himself. The Obama gang showed brilliant capacity to self destruct. His summer of sitting idle has cost us and him enormously. He nourished the tea baggers and the Obama is evil without ever reacting.

  6. Historiann on 19 Jan 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    This is not the end of the world for Dems and even for health insurance reform. If the Dems gave a crap about getting something done with 60 votes, they’re not very disadvantaged with FIFTY NINE!!! The problem is that they got frack-all done with 59 votes (since R. Byrd is in and out of consciousness), so they didn’t deserve to win this one.

    I’ll give this to Obama: his mismanagement of health care/health insurance reform HAS united the country–in opposition to him and to his bill. Raving lefties like me are happy to see this thing go down in flames, along with the Tea Partiers–and that’s an accomplishment! (Of a sort.)

    When will Dems remember that good policy is good politics? By refusing to stake out his terms, defend his turf, and be unafraid of putting his stamp on the bill, Obama has achieved the worst of all possible worlds for himself: whether it lives or dies, it’s his baby, and no one will ever forget that. (Even if it lives, the modest benefits that people might enjoy don’t kick in until 2014, but we’ll start paying for it immediately!) By risking nothing (or so he thought), he gave congress permission to risk nothing of themselves. Where was the leadership?

    Nice negative coattails, too (NJ, VA, and now MA.) If Obama wants to ride herd on congress and get something out of them this year, he should threaten to campaign FOR congressional Dems. (They’re going to be running for cover.)

    Awesome!

  7. Digger on 19 Jan 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    What a horrible question Gibbs asked. It says a lot about what the Administration thinks of itself, and a huge gulf between that and reality, imo.

    Totally yay for the Princess Bride quote; so very relevant, too!

  8. Historiann on 19 Jan 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks, Digger: I’ve been looking for an excuse to bring out Inigo Montoya!

    Say it with me now: a Democratic loss in Massachusetts? Teddy Kennedy’s seat going to a Republican? In-con-THEEVE-able!

  9. RKMK on 19 Jan 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Say it with me now: a Democratic loss in Massachusetts? Teddy Kennedy’s seat going to a Republican? In-con-THEEVE-able!

    That’s what I’m saying: apocalypse upon us. *sob*

  10. Historiann on 19 Jan 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    But, RKMK, the Dems weren’t doing anything with their majority! They’ve been pretending all year long like they need 60 bloody votes instead of 50 + Joe Biden to get anything done!

    I found this clip by Jon Stewart the other day that pretty much sums it all up. Once again: Dems take the gun handed to them by the voters and put it up to their own temple.

  11. Indyanna on 19 Jan 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    If you can’t run the country with 59-41, then the putative “democratic process” is useless. If I were in the White House tonight I would invite my party to send me the bill with 59 votes, I’d sign it tonight on national TV, and let the Court try to straighten it out. I don’t think a Senate “rule,” much less some invocation of the “culture and customs” of the venerable body, has much constitutional standing. What’s that old saying about how many divisions the Pope has?

  12. Historiann on 19 Jan 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Heh. Or, like a Dave Chappelle parody of George W. Bush a few years ago called “Black Bush.” Go to 2:54 on UN sanctions: “Sanction me. Sanction me with your ARMY. Oh–wait a minute! You don’t have an ARMY! Looks like you better STFU.”

  13. RKMK on 19 Jan 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    To be clear: Martha Coakley taking out whatsisface in the Dem primary was my personal mental symbolization that people were, I don’t know, waking up from Obamamania and realizing that a tough middle-aged broad with a load of accomplishments is a better person to vote for than some smarmy empty suit. I thought her win in “true-blue Massachu” was practically pre-destined, and while I do not care two whits about getting more Dems in the Senate, I give a bazillion whits about getting more women.

    Anyway, suffice it to say – I was wrong. Again. And now I retreat to my hole and palliate my pain with wine and cheese.

  14. Historiann on 19 Jan 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    RKMK: Now I understand. It would have been nice to put another woman in the U.S. Senate. But–I have to say I’m not entirely surprised. Although I think Coakley got swamped by the rising tide of populist revolt, I also think that Massachusetts is tagged as a “liberal” state undeservedly. It’s a very *democratic* state and was very loyal to the Kennedys, but mostly because it’s also very Roman Catholic, not because it’s particularly liberal. Massachusetts has a poor record of sending women to statewide or national office, perhaps because of the very Catholic nature of the Dem party there.

    (But all Americans–women and men, Catholic or no, are ambivalent if not hostile to the notion of women holding real political power, so perhaps this is unfair.)

  15. RKMK on 19 Jan 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I hear what you’re saying. And I don’t know allllllll that much about Massachusetts psychology – a couple of Southie’s I knew, once upon a time, who were raised by their iron-willed Irish ma – and always gave me the impression that they had a certain respect for tough old broads. Anecdata, I know, but it reminded me of the “wise old women” respect in Latino cultures – similarly Catholic and prone to machismo, but not threatened by powerful women. (I seem to remember that Latino/as tended to vote for Hills in droves?)

    (I’m rambling, and grumpy, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some wine.)

  16. life_of_a_fool on 19 Jan 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Historiann: I agree: Massachusetts isn’t nearly as liberal as its reputation. I also agree that the Dems should be able to get things done with 59 seats in the Senate (and that it would be nice to have another woman in the Senate).

    But, as a resident, I’m still appalled with the outcome. Every time I see Brown, I think of Mitt Romney, and didn’t we learn our lesson on that one??

  17. life_of_a_fool on 19 Jan 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Oh, and the pimping out of his daughters on (what I assume was) national TV during his acceptance speech did not win me over.

  18. Historiann on 20 Jan 2010 at 6:38 am #

    Hey–every politician puts their kids up on stage. Obama does it. The Clintons did it. Sarah Palin did it. I didn’t see his acceptance speech, but I don’t think that merely having the young women on stage with him counts as “pimping out.”

    I’ll say this for Scott Brown: he’s definitely the handsomest U.S. Senator, by far! (Even compared to people who aren’t the shriveled troll millionaires who compose the majority of U.S. Senators, he looks good.)

  19. life_of_a_fool on 20 Jan 2010 at 6:39 am #

    It wasn’t that they were on stage. It’s that he said “they’re single! Just kidding, just kidding. . .But, really: they’re single!”

  20. Historiann on 20 Jan 2010 at 6:41 am #

    Oh.

    Well, then, that’s a big EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeewwwwwww!

  21. life_of_a_fool on 20 Jan 2010 at 6:46 am #

    sorry, I think he used the word “available,” not single. Same idea. Gross.

  22. votermom on 20 Jan 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Ooh, Princess Bride!

    Dem Party Campaign Slogan: “Get used to disappointment.”

    Obama, Reid, Pelosi in conference:
    Pelosi: That Obama, he can fuss.
    Reid: Fuss… Fuss… I think he likes to scream at us.
    Pelosi: Probably he means no harm.
    Reid: He’s really only good at charm.
    Pelosi: You have a great gift for rhyme.
    Reid: Yes, yes, some of the time.
    Obama: Enough of that.
    Pelosi: Harry, are those rocks ahead?
    Reid: If there are, we’ll all be dead.
    Obama: No more rhyming now, I mean it!
    Reid: Anybody want a peanut?
    Obama: DYEEAAHHHHHH!!!

  23. GayProf on 20 Jan 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Aside from the health care issues, Obama refuses to acknowledge that most Americans have found his economic policies a horror show. Why does Timothy Geithner still have a job after it has been shown that he will doing anything for Wall Street and screw over Main Street? Why reappoint Ben Bernanke when he failed so miserably at the Fed?

  24. quixote on 20 Jan 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Raving lefties like me are happy to see this thing go down in flames

    Seconded!

  25. Indyanna on 20 Jan 2010 at 11:54 am #

    “Available?” That’s even worse. And he said it twice?!? DoubleEEEEwwwww!! I agree with life_of_a_fool: If you can’t govern with 59, how would 65 make any difference? Pathetic.

  26. not abandoning ship on 20 Jan 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    H-ann, I think it’s a good thing if the White House wants to get more combative. I also thought that was what H-ann has wanted all this time… and hey, it frees us from the tyranny of Joe.

    Further, we all can and should give money to the Dem party but the other part of Democracy is the active part, and that’s where the Tea-Partyers got it right. Their crazy shit did a heck of a lot to add momentum to the mindless anti-health-reform movement that is so appealing to many in this extremely conservative country we live in.

    I propose liberal tea parties and for one believe we can be JUST AS FREAKING INSANE as they are…

    I’m also distressed by people who are ready to jettison the current legislation so glibly. What about the 30 million who’d benefit from coverage and the people who’d be protected from being dropped? Check this out:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/opinion/18krugman.html

    And this answer to the ‘why can’t we govern with a majority’:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/23/the-myth-of-the-filibuste_n_169117.html

    I agree that the new senator is better looking than most pols. Next to Palin, we’ve got a pretty darn good looking Republican ticket in 2012! Pro life all the way, baby!!!!

  27. cgeye on 20 Jan 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    A health insurance plan that proposes mandates enforced by the IRS without price controls or enforcement toward insurance companies charging whatever they want is not a good plan: It is corporatism with an extortion chaser.

    It does me absolutely no good to guarantee my ability to purchase insurance when the government can tax the plan that helps me live, or force me to buy an inferior and expensive plan should I have to get another one.

    And I’d rather eat glass than contribute one dime or man-hour to a party that, yes, hates me. They made it plain everytime Obama insulted people who told him this defeat was in the cards, and that his policies were so far right that sensible voters would vote for the true Republican, instead of pols pretending to be Democrats.

    I am *thisclose* to asking on whose WH payroll you’re on, but I was raised to be a lady….

  28. cgeye on 20 Jan 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    And since when do we assume the Tea Party folk contribute to the GOP? I thought the GOP paid *them* for their PR operations, since their purpose is to add noise to the debate while the old pols do the same ‘ol, same ‘ol….

  29. Historiann on 20 Jan 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    It is corporatism with an extortion chaser.

    Good one! My thoughts exactly. Anything the insurance companies and the AMA are just fine with is something of which I must be reflexively suspicious. If Dems care to do the right thing, and pass the parts of the bill that attempt (ever so gently!) to regulate and establish mandates for the insurance industry, then they can do that. But they’re not going to hold up a baby, put a gun to its head, and then blame US for not caring about the poor little baby if we don’t go along with their extortion scheme. (Well, they might in fact do just that, but I won’t let them shape the narrative that way–not on this blog, anyway.)

    (not abandoning ship isn’t a troll or on the White House payroll. Ze just thinks that all along I’ve been too cynical about Obama! I think ze’s onto something–I think the energy of the Tea Partiers would be great to replicate to our own ends. See Big Tent Democrat’s “Madman theory of political bargaining” over at TalkLeft. Sometimes getting all crazzy in someone’s face is what works! Who cares if they think we’re crazzy, so long as we get what we want. And so far, it looks like the Tea Partiers have the upper hand.)

  30. RKMK on 20 Jan 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Surprise, surprise

    With Democrats reeling from the Republican victory in the Massachusetts special Senate election, President Obama on Wednesday signaled that he might be willing to set aside his goal of achieving near-universal health coverage for all Americans in favor of a stripped-down measure with bipartisan support.

    In short, he got exactly what he wanted.

  31. Historiann on 20 Jan 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Say it with me now: Oh, yeahhh!!!!

  32. cgeye on 21 Jan 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Ah-henh. Whatever you say, Miss Historiann….

    Can I at least assume Chi-com brainwashing, then? Cause rooting for an Administration that, when seeing its steering is driving the ship of state into the rocks, spins the wheel extra hard so the first boulder will hit the hull below the Plimsoll Line is *just damn loony*.

    Ze can dance with the band on the Titanic, for all I care; I’m joining the folks on dry land, dressed in warm clothes and common sense.

    And I thought we were already considered crazy old bats with PMS because we didn’t drink the Obama Koolaid, so what good will it do to create a parallel Tea Party structure that will be severely impoverished (who’s gonna fund it, feed the extras, provide buses — George frakkin’ Soros?) and fighting the media every step of the way? Don’t be fooled by MSNBC — as soon as folks stop rallying for COCO and start rallying for something real, the camera lights will shut off. The tea party rallies are *pro-business* — that’s the only reason they haven’t been classified as domestic terrorism. (Protest against a company that does animal testing, anytime, through any subsidiary or partnership, and that’s what it’s called…) The only activism that will get through is through corporatist puppets, unless we risk going person to person, home to home, under the radar — and that requires being honest about just how bad things are, with no cheerleaders required.

  33. Historiann on 21 Jan 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Check out this WaPo account of Robert Gibbs’s toolishness:

    Gibbs acts as though he’s playing himself in the movie version of his job. In this imaginary film, he is the smart-alecky press secretary, offering zippy comebacks and cracking jokes to make his questioners look ridiculous. It’s no great feat to make reporters look bad, but this act also sends a televised image of a cocksure White House to ordinary Americans watching at home.

    This is the most visible manifestation of a larger problem the Obama White House has. Many Obama loyalists from the 2008 race still seem, after a year on the job, to be having trouble exiting campaign mode. They sometimes appear to be running a taxpayer-funded rapid-response operation.

    It’s like he’s playing himself on The West Wing. (Only President Bartlett’s press secretary C.J. was never an a$$wipe.) Gee–I wonder where people are getting the idea that this White House is out of touch with reality? Lefties liked to joke about George W. Bush as “the bubble boy,” but srsly: do they really think all of this towel-snapping in the locker room plays well when they haven’t bothered to try to play the game well on the field, let alone WIN?

  34. cgeye on 21 Jan 2010 at 10:42 am #

    When *Steny frakkin’ Hoyer* says more on point about the public attitude about politics and the economy? Cats and dogs, living together….

    “I don’t need the Massachusetts race to tell me the psyche of the American people,” the Maryland Democrat said. “People are angry, people are fearful. . . . Probably none of us in the room knew how deep the recession that confronted us was.” He acknowledged that the Democrats’ agenda “has not affected . . . change as quickly as all of us would like.” He admitted that “we’re all pretty unpopular.” He assured the reporters that “I get it.” ”

    First, after a *year* they didn’t know? How nice, to be them… and since he’s one of the whips preventing change from happening, this can only be interpreted as “we’ve got to protect our phony-balony jobs”. About time.

    And this is as close to an admission of political deafness as I’ve seen in print:

    “About the closest the spokesman came to acknowledging fault in Massachusetts was to say that Obama “understands that frustration” among voters, but he then added that the president “heard it when he ran for the United States Senate, beginning in 2003.” Unemployment, now at 10 percent, was 5.7 percent at the end of 2003.”

    Didn’t care then, doesn’t care now. Do they really want us to go back to his ineffectual Senatorial record, ’cause we can….

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