“Hard to believe. But, this… could get uglier.” - Stephen Colbert
- -6 Obama’s net favorability, as of this month
- -7 The Democratic Party’s favorability
- -25 The Republican Party’s favorability source
» Why no love for the GOP? Over the last six months, everybody—Obama, Democrats, and Republicans—has seen a net drop in their approval ratings, but Republicans are clearly the most hated of the bunch. This is probably due to a combination of factors: Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, Scott Walker’s anti-union antics in Wisconsin, and the GOP’s handling of the debt ceiling debate were all high-profile issues that attracted (mostly) negative attention to the GOP. Whatever the cause, there’s one thing we can glean from these results: Democrats seem to be out-messaging Republicans in 2011. Whether or not this can carry Obama to reelection amidst a horrible economy remains to be seen.
Here are the 26 Senate no votes on the Debt Deal (74-26)
The bill passed, kids.
Biden, McConnell and the making of a deal
He had given away his demand for a clean increase in the debt limit. He had given up on tax hikes on the rich and closing corporate loopholes. He had even given away billions in cuts to domestic programs close to his heart.
But by 4 p.m. Sunday — two days before the country would plunge into default — President Barack Obama drew the line against congressional Republicans who wanted assurances that defense spending would be cut less than many other programs.
“We just can’t give there,” Vice President Joe Biden, Obama’s chief emissary to the Hill in the budget negotiations, pointedly told House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
With that, a grim Obama contemplated the unthinkable: pulling the plug on a deal and precipitating a global economic crisis. Huddled in the Oval Office, the president and his top aides proceeded to discuss how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner might step out later that night and prepare the country for the inevitable market crash.
Then, almost as abruptly, the compromise started coming together. What happened during a weekend of frenzied negotiations to salvage the deal is a tale of cataclysm narrowly averted, a historic debt-reduction plan that satisfies none of its signatories and a lesson on how even the most dysfunctional political system can be made functional through the injection of fear, finesse and Joe Biden’s old friendships.
Continue reading… Politico
Interesting analysis from Nate Silver of the New York Times on why the Democrats shouldn’t be too disheartened with the debt ceiling plan:
This ought to be a big deal for Democrats, since many of them are favorably disposed toward cuts in the defense budget. The table below reflects the views of Democratic and Republican adults toward cuts in 18 areas of federal spending as derived from the 2010 General Social Survey. The scale runs from 0 (meaning that voters would like to see increased spending in that area) to 100 (meaning that voters would like to see spending cuts).
What I find interesting in this table is that there’s an actual category: “Improving conditions of blacks.” One would think that if you need to have a category of improving a large group of people, then you really need that category.
Hey libs, maybe it’s ‘Time’ for a deep breath?
Five Things for Liberals to Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal
[A]s the details of the compromise emerged, it seemed there was actually a lot for liberals to like about this bill. If and when the House passes the bill on Monday, it will likely be with the help of a lot of Democrats. Here’s why some liberals are actually happy with this deal:
The trigger: This is counterintuitive, but the trigger is actually pretty good for Democrats. For all that MoveOn thinks that it would force benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, it actually wouldn’t trigger benefit cuts to any entitlements. The only cuts it would force would be a 2% or more haircut for Medicare providers. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with most Democrats, has never opposed provider cuts. Not only that, most progressives actually want the Pentagon cuts. So if the committee deadlocks and the trigger is pulled, Democrats won’t be miserable.
Continue reading… Swampland, Time
Paul Krugman, The President Surrenders - NYTimes
“Huge win for Obama: Across the board spending cuts in trigger would not take effect until 2013 — when Bush tax cuts expire.” - @StevenTDennis
Krugman writes that Obama “surrendered last December.” But as I wrote here, Obama was the clear winner during that lame duck session. And it took some time for that to become the consensus. Steven Dennis’ tweet might be an early indication that the negative reaction to Obama’s seeming capitulation could be overstated. It might be a good idea to wait a day, week or probably much longer to lay judgment.
I hope a likely vote tomorrow doesn’t result in the cancellation of “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Debt Ceiling Eve.”
Maybe he heard the voices in her head.