Friday, March 03, 2006
P O’Neill once again shows he’s got better intellectual chops in political philosophy than Sullivan.
posted by Sully 3/03/2006 11:37:00 AM
WE THOUGHT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY:Consider myself watched.
posted by Sully 3/03/2006 11:35:00 AM
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
ANDREW SULLIVAN, THE REAL IRAQI:
You may have seen this Atrios post. Did you read the econium to Sullivan in the post he linked to?Great. Fabulous. Sure. Whatever. That stuff I bolded? That is precisely what you and your Republican ilk have miserably failed to do in this country. You have, in fact, aggressively pursued the exact opposite. You have enabled and apologized for the violent men and evil ideologies that are destroying our country. You are the the evil, the cowardly, and the “simply misguided,” and you have done a great wrong that may not be righted for decades, if ever.What. He. Said.
So fuck you very much.
posted by Sully 2/28/2006 12:29:00 PM
DISTINCTION WITH A DIFFERENCE:
As he often is, Marshall Wittman is wrong. We think even Sullivan could see that Clinton’s loss of his party’s congressional majorities in 1994 (which we agree was ultimately beneficial to his presidency) is a different situation from Bush potentially suffering the same fate this fall.
Clinton had six years to go, meaning the reversal helped him triangulate and define himself in the political spectrum. Bush has already done that. He would not be helped and is unlikely to tack to the center the way Clinton did, or was perceived to do. It would certainly force bipartisanship on him, but while Bush is famous for having worked well with a then-Democratic Texas legislature as governor remember three things:
It’s certainly true that Bush would use a Democratic majority in Congress to rally conservatives. However, its political impact would be limited, since after the elections we will have reached the traditional point at which potential candidates for the next election start to chart their own courses. Bush would be blamed (not publicly perhaps) by congressional Republicans for the loss of control, especially since the White House had spent so much effort leaning on Congress with the promise that it would help everyone get re-elected and retain Republican control of Congress. If that fails, Congressional Republicans will see little, if any reason, to owe the administration anything, and party discipline will break down.
- Much of that success was due to a very savvy lieutenant governor, as even Bush acknowledged;
- The governor of Texas is much weaker than the president, since so many other statewide executive-branch officials are directly elected;
- The Texas Democrats were on the whole more centrist and conservative-leaning than the a Democratic congressional majority would be.
It’s important once again to remember that Clinton, Truman and Eisenhower lost congressional majorities at the first midterm. There is only one historical precedent that gives us an idea of what the impact of losing congressional majorities at the second midterm (always a probability, 1998 excepted, given that the party in the White House traditionally takes a beating then) would be: 1986, when Democrats took back the Senate after six years.
What happened then? The last two years of Reagan’s presidency are seen as a period when he was largely irrelevant, more a symbol than anything else, between the loss of Republican control of the Senate and the Iran-contra investigations. Reagan’s approval ratings took a dive they never recovered from.
And remember that Reagan’s White House had an arrow in its quiver Bush’s doesn’t: a vice president who was universally expected to run for the top job himself. We’ve always said that history will see Bush’s selection of Cheney as his biggest domestic political blunder.
It seems certain that Republican congressional power will take a huge hit, perhaps not lethal but definitely serious, this fall (The ideal outcome for Democrats, and nightmare for Republicans, might just be the outcome some people are pondering: a 218-217 Republican House majority and split Senate, where Democrats can push their agenda without having the responsibility for any governmental screwups. That was effectively the situation Republicans were in for much the late ‘80s and early ‘90s).
posted by Sully 2/28/2006 11:52:00 AM