for you republicans who don't seem to get out & mingle much, here are some reposts/thoughts from outside the bubble :)
"What worries me is that the 'center' is being pulled steadily rightward over the years as reasonable men compromise by moving towards the unreasonable - who then pull away further. Munich is behind us in 2011 - now we are looking at the invasion of Poland. Where should the line be drawn?"
"While Mr. Silver is an excellent statistician, he is a sub-par political analyst.
Before Newt Gingrich we had legislators from both parties who supported items like clean air and water, sensible regulation, funding for education and safety net programs like food stamps.
The funny thing, we did not call these legislators from bygone days "liberal" but simply "pragmatic," because they did not see government as the enemy of the people, but the face of the people.
And to compound this error in political analysis, Mr. Silver goes on by implying that today's Establishment Republicans are today's pragmatists.
But, apparently Mr. Silver has not paid any attention to this "pragmatic" lot during the last four years or even the last 20 years.
Because today's Establishment Republicans would have been considered the right wing fringe of yesterday's GOP because they basked in the paranoia of groups like the John Birch Society.
And if you need a hint that today's GOP is not "establishment" by any means, just look at the recent Senate vote on the U.N. disability treaty and efforts by a real establishment GOP politician named Bob Dole who could not sway a JBS-brainwashed GOP to vote for the treaty."
""The House is no longer truly made up of two parties, Democrat and Republican. It is actually THREE parties. Democratic Party, Republican Party, and Tea Party or Extremists. This new third party does not appear to caucus with anyone but themselves. Hence, the Speaker's poor attempt to have a meaningless vote that he had to pull because of lack of support. They actively challenge Republicans in open primaries if it believed that those members have not adhered to the most extreme values and are not "true republicans or Americans" (see Alan Spector, #$%$ Lugar). They appear to be unable to compromise or participate in that act of governing."
"The entire matter puts front-and-center the myth of Congressional mandates. Many members fear taking any action that might lead to a challenge in the 2014 primaries - not a challenge in a competitive general election. Members by and large run for re-election in bullet-proof (or perhaps "ballot-proof") districts, typically with an overwhelming advantage in campaign funding. Partisan-written gerrymandered districts have not led to great things other than ensuring members' re-election."
"The math problem for the republicans is that the people cast more democratic votes for President, Senate, and House races this year. So the house majority is based on gerrymandering, redistricting, voter suppression, and dirty tricks - and not the will of the people. If they think they can overthrow the will of the people and ram their politics down Americans' throats they better think long and hard about what 40 years in the political desert will feel like. They are being set up - and they are too stupid to see it. If they had any sense or any decency they wouldn't be overplaying their crooked hand. "
"I can't understand why these Republicans are posturing so and acting like they don't like the fiscal cliff. It's THEIR cliff - the one they crammed down everyone's throat in exchange for "permission" to increase the debt ceiling. That was another one of those times when Obama didn't seem to know he was the President and didn't take the advice surely given at the time: "Just say no to this ridiculous solution - and let the Repubs shut down the government like a bunch of spoiled brats. Then watch them back off." But that would be the Clinton approach - and a very effective approach it was. Too bad Obama didn't listen to either Clinton on this one. Either Clinton could have dispatched Boehner et al in about 15 minutes.
The Republicans wanted all the upcoming spending cuts, as well tax cuts for their wealthy donors. So here we are. Obviously, as usual, they are too cowardly to jump up and take the "credit" for this. Why is that? "
"The first to suffer if we go off the cliff - and it would be IMMEDIATELY - are those people who have lost jobs and are now collecting federal unemployment. On January 1, over 2 MILLION people will find their only incomes disappear completely.
This represents immeasurable harm to these people (how can you even continue to look for work when you can't pay for gas to drive to interviews or cable to send out your resumes, let alone keep paying rent and buying food for your children?). Zero income - no job prospects.
Aside from the immorality of allowing millions of individual tragedies, it represents a staggering loss to a barely recovering economy of perhaps $4 billion dollars a month - $60 billion over the year - every penny of which would have been put into the economy within days of each check arriving. Add into that an estimated 1 million additional unemployment cut-offs that will happen within the first couple of months of 2013 as a result of not renewing federal unemployment, and you have close to $100 billion in lost spending, causing consumer demand to crater. The result will be business contraction and even more people laid off - a vicious circle spiraling downward into a failed economy.
For those who have worked productively all of their lives, paid taxes, and participated in the economy, but are now out of work through no fault of their own. Boehner's and the Tea Party extremists' psychotic intransigence will truly be a Financial Cliff - endlessly deep."
"Though I still doubt that Obama will remain firm enough long enough, if he does, eventually everyone's taxes will go up. Will all those Republicans who voted for Republican congresspeople be happy about that? Will they consider that a victory? Just what is the percentage, in GOP districts, of people who make more than $250000? Will the less wealthy GOPers be willing to pay increased taxes for some abstract principle that says that the rich shouldn't see their rates go up unless everyone's go up? They're not a particularly bright bunch, but eventually reality will bite them. "
"The bankers, brokers, and assorted rich people who bankrolled the Republican campaigns had a pretty good deal coming from the Obama cliff plan- low dividend taxes and higher taxes only above 400k. But because of Republican stupid intransigence they face a near tripling of dividend taxes and a higher tax bracket for nearly all of them.
And the Frankenstein monster they helped create now promises debt limit extortion that will sabotage the financial markets, lower the nation's credit rating, and trash their bond portfolios. Heckuva deal for them."
"Those of us on the thinking side of the political aisle came, reluctantly, to understand that President Obama felt a need to wait until his reelection was out of the way before he would grow a spine on certain issues, such as the rich paying their fair share or a sane policy on guns. So let's give John Boehner the same bit of slack. For the moment he feels that remaining speaker is more important than acting in the public interest. But fast forward to January 4. He is again speaker for the next Congress. That will be the moment to do what the country needs. He brings to the floor a bill that calls for tax sacrifice by the rich. He also brings to the floor a bill to ban assault weapons. Both pass with a majority of Democrats and the smattering of reasonable Republicans who remain in Washington. Boehner proves that at long last he really is a patriot. The Republican crazies fume. The country breathes a sigh of relief that sanity has returned to Washington. Boehner goes down in history for his good works. I hope the Speaker is on the phone right now to the sane majority in the House, planning this brilliant bit of statesmanship. Do it, Mr. Speaker. Do it!!!!!!"