May 31, 2023
From Jennifer Rubin's column today. "Progressive" Democrats need to read and comprehend what she says, since it's true:
"Democrats, as they frequently do, confused PR with substance. They fretted that McCarthy was getting more and better media coverage. They worried Biden was giving in to Freedom Caucus demands. Biden and his team understood something they did not: The momentary spin McCarthy produced is irrelevant. His right-wing crazies still hate the deal; Democrats still get the deal they wanted all along. Biden — like a prosecutor who lets his filings do the talking — lets his deals do the talking.
"Moreover, Biden could not very well run to the press to tell them McCarthy wasn’t getting much of anything. The “play” here was to allow McCarthy to spin his way out of the corner that he and the Freedom Caucus had painted themselves into. Letting McCarthy boast that his great achievement was “getting Biden to negotiate” was a small price to pay for avoiding economic catastrophe and landing the best deal one could hope for in divided government.
"The media coverage both during the process and after predictably took the frame of horse-race politics. Who won? Who lost? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Biden got a far better deal than the media expected or gave him credit for.
"In underrating Biden’s accomplishments, the mainstream media is able to maintain the pretense of neutralism. And portraying McCarthy as a rational dealmaker feeds the fiction that the Republican Party is not controlled by MAGA radicals. (It very much is, which is why Democrats will need to get the bill over the finish line.) In this instance, at least, the media’s false balance probably makes it easier for McCarthy to sell his deal."
Mr. Hubbell, not only are you a brilliant writer and analyst of our nation’s twisted politics, but you are a good man. Lucky are we to benefit from your wisdom and lucky your family and friends who know they can count on you in any kind of pinch. Your mama raised you right.
On the same day that the Carter Center shared that Rosalyn Carter, age 95, has dementia, Mace’s statement is particularly cruel. I am also reminded of Carter’s statement: "There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers." Which will Nancy be? Nancy Mace needs to remove her tweet and apologize to all who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Here's what I just wrote to Chip Roy who is supposed to be representing me in the House!
"I want to be very clear: Not one American should vote for this man Roy. Not one. He is a bad dude. No one sent him there to default on the US debt and put the economy into a spin . . . . The man Roy is a complete and total sellout to his constituents . . . and a betrayal of his office to protect and defend the Constitution.
If you don't vote for the deal that's been made then you don't have my vote! Sounds like the extreme MAGAs who stole the Republican Party are finally being told to sit down and shut up. Better for you to move back to the conservative middle if you want to stay in the House. We're sick of you...
Sit down, shut up and vote for the deal.
You're no representative of this American!"
Hope your relative gets tremendous benefit from the therapy. May your daily to and fros be safe.
Like many in this country, my family has been touched by Alzheimer’s. I took offense at Rep Mace’s comment. She owes an apology to Biden personally and to the citizens of the USA. I’m not holding my breath.
I am holding my breath about the House and the Senate votes. I am hoping the left wing Dems are merely posturing to give the illusion that the bill might not pass. I hope. And they damn well better vote for it. All of them. And pray that at least 4 non-Kevin Repugs do the same. (I assume Kevin will vote for the bill.). And pray the GQP Senators don’t gum up the works. Or Manchin/Sinema. Tho Manchin got a nice perk so he will likely vote for it.
As for those who whine about how Biden should not have negotiated. I agree with Ms Young when she said it is the necessity in a divided government.
Don’t like it? Then vote this through, avoid the catastrophic pain of default, and live to fight another day. Spend the next 17.5 months working to get blue voter’s registered and committed to voting in Nov 2024.
Think of Nancy Mace’s cruelty like the calloused fingers of a guitarist. She rips off her tirades without a second thought and doesn’t feel a thing. Her cruel and ignorant remark was not directed at dementia sufferers, nor was it even about President Biden. In fact, I would bet that she doesn’t truly believe that the president has dementia. She just knows that as a MAGA minion, this is the red meat that she’s expected to throw to the base.
Her tweet is actually an attack on Kevin McCarthy, signaling that the MAGA GOP is ready to go after him. President Biden is the most competent and experienced politician that our country has had in the White House in this century, and if someone wants to talk about pants, he just beat them off of Kevin McCarthy.
I am submitting this comment from my husband, Stephen Thiroux.
Excellent. Thank you Robert for calling her out. I hope that your relative improves.
There's a large picture aspect we may be missing. Biden and McCarthy may have worked together to create a deal that the extreme Republicans on the right could not tolerate. That would force Democrats to vote for the deal to bring it across the finish line. And, if extremists bring up a vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker, enough Democrats could support his remaining in place so he's able to jettison the far right. This would support a more bipartisan House that can actually work with Democrats on some issues to help the nation.
sent this morning:
Mocking people suffering from dementia is offensive and uncivilized; have you no shame?
You once cared about people struggling with discrimination (women, LGBTQ); what happened to that person? South Carolina, and the nation deserve better representation.
Removing that comment and issuing an apology would be a good first step.
I'm sure the many decent people in SC - including many of my friends and colleagues - are shocked and saddened by your cruel words.
Paul Krugman wrote on May 16 in criticism of Biden’s negotiating tactics over the debt ceiling. So did Josh Marshall. On May 16th, I may have agreed with them. What do they think two weeks later? I’m on vacation and have little access to Krugman. I know what Marshall thinks.
I’m an old chess player. Chess players have a saying. “The threat is stronger than its execution.” You might capture a pawn only to find that all your initiative is gone. You’d have been better off holding the threat in reserve and letting pressure build. Think about that, in the context of the 14th Amendment. Two weeks ago, Biden was kinda sorta implying that he MIGHT have to use the 14th, but that he really didn’t want to. Yet it was a threat, threatening that the GOP would get a big fat nothing for its efforts and blame for default. The threat was effective. The GOP accepted little as better than nothing. Probably they got much flak from their big donors.
Had Dems executed their threat as a first rather than held it in reserve as a last resort, it could possibly have blown up in their faces. The execution would have been weaker than the threat.
Masterful tactics by Biden. Krugman and Marshall were wrong two weeks ago. So was I.
Another great column for 3 reasons: it underscores the salient details of the budget deal; it points out the moral corruption (is there a better phrase?) of the opposition criticism of Biden; and it points to the foundation of real community -- driving through Sepulveda Pass in morning traffic for a friend is heroic! As to Biden's performance (and his explanation to the media about not claiming victory), I am put in mind of the widely attributed insight, "You can accomplish a great deal if you don't worry about who gets the credit."
Lawrence O Donnell hinted last Monday that this deal would blow our minds. His chuckle convinced me that all was well, and indeed it is!! Anyone who believes that Biden has diminished capacity for leadership is not paying attention. ALL the Dems should vote for this bill to further enrage the MAGA brats that only shout and whine. Jeffries needs to be thankful, a great Shepard who collects his flock and brings them home. Nancy would have it no other way! And now I’ds the chance for the “moderate” GOP to show up to support this bill and once and for all send their MAGA groupies packing! The evil spell will be broken if they can find the courage to back McCarthy. He’s definitely not on my top 10, but bringing a solid bipartisan bill to the Senate is a great sign that Trump is in the rear view mirror at last.
Everyone underestimated Biden. Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out that Biden’s negotiating team included a long time budget negotiator from the Clinton days and forward who really knows his stuff.
Biden has a strong team. It would help if we all remember this going forward. That and that divided government means we do not get everything we want. Pragmatism is the way forward-especially with authoritarians having overtaken the Republican party. We need to stay focused and work hard everyday for our democracy. We are in perilous times.
"Democrats should help pass the bill through Congress before more such details emerge." Why would they not? Are Democrats so caught up in the partisan divide that they can't vote for a deal where they got the best bargain available? I'd like to see a tax rate increase and a few other things we didn't get this time but there is time to make that happen.
There is an old song that says "you can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need." Democrats should try, and the 4 who voted to oppose passing the bill out of the Rules Committee should apologize to the President.
As regards the loss of funding for the IRS, what was "lost" is $1.8 billion of the $80 billion originally passed, that would have been spent in the next 18 months. and the other $8.2 billion of the $10 billion total reduction (remember, the GOP wanted to totally gut this, so they settled for cutting $10 billion and leaving $70 billion, which is still the largest increase for the IRS ever) is being spent to save funding on other parts of the Biden program.
Any "progressive" who tells you this is a "loss" is just another lefty with his head up his ass, a position they've long been used to keeping their heads in since 1876.
As for Mace, if you look at photos of her, it's obvious she is very proud of her "natural endowments" and wears clothes that show them off. Her IQ is smaller than her bra size.
Best to your and your family, Robert, and safe travels. And thank you for your continued work on this newsletter. We are all the better for your insight and ability to distill the important news of the day.