The Obama Chill: In 2012 Obama Will Run Against Democratic Congress

There’s a lot to say about Obama’s foolish call for a spending freeze in the middle of the Great Recession.

But for now, consider the point that Chris Bowers is making: the spending freeze won’t happen. It won’t happen because Congress, whose remaining power in the era of post-Cheney has been reducted to clutching purse strings, will not let it happen.

In the midst of the rightful outrage over President Obama’s call for cuts in social spending during poor economic times, keep in mind that the likelihood of social spending actually being frozen or cut remain pretty low.

This is because the people who actually write spending bills–members of the House Appropriation and Budget committees–say they won’t be freezing or cutting social spending:

House Democrats are rejecting an idea floated by the Obama administration to freeze or cut discretionary spending in 2011.

Key members of the House Appropriations and Budget committees told The Hill this month they would not go along with alternative spending plans being requested by White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, which are part of the administration’s plan to reduce the deficit.

Months ago, the White House asked the relevant House Democrats to prepare three budget drafts, including one with a freeze on discretionary spending and one with a 5% cut in discretionary spending.  They didn’t even prepare the drafts.

Members of Congress write and vote on the budget, and members of Congress like to bring the bacon home to their districts. As such, the legislative process will ultimately make President Obama’s call for a spending freeze a hollow one.  Like the President’s deficit commission, not much will actually come of this.

This call for a spending cut is a press release.

But it’s more than a press release. It is a promise that is conveniently scheduled to come due just in time for the 2012 election season. In mid 2011, Obama will be haranguing Congress about helping him fulfill his promise. And Congress, up for election like they always are, will ignore him.

And then Obama, who has already saddled Congress with accepting unpopular legislation over popular legislation, appears to be putting his perceived self-interest above Congress’. And this may be no different–by the time the 2012 election comes around, Obama will be in full Deficit Troll mode, blaming those mean Democrats in Congress for his own failures. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but the only logical explanation I can fathom for this obtuse policy is to set up an Obama-vs-the-Dems narrative for Obama’s reelection.

And mind you, I spoke of Obama’s “perceived self-interest” above, because no matter how you look at it this policy simply makes no sense. Voters in 2010 are going to be voting on their pocketbook. Voters in 2012 are going to be voting on their pocketbook. They don’t really care about deficits. Rather, they care about a working economy. And this little PR stunt will only make it harder for Obama to do what he needs to do to get the economy working again.

Hopefully, though, it’ll serve to clarify the issue for Congress: Obama’s not looking out for them, so they’re going to have to pass sensible legislation without Obama if need be. Including more spending to stimulate the economy.

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  1. plunger says:

    It may be that the Republicans were building their strategy around government spending freezes for the 2012 cycle, he caught wind of it, and this was peremptory to stake out this side of the debate. Remember, the old political strategist is back in town. It smells strategic, like “now let’s see the Republicans say NO to this!”

  2. Arbusto says:

    Even though Plouffe has been advising Obama for some months and is on board full time to change course, it appears the Titanic, with XO Emanual, thinks changing rhetoric, not actions will endear Obama to the masses. What asses.

  3. MadDog says:

    Somehow, in Team Obama’s poll-pickled brain (think Massachusetts aftermath), courting Independents, Tea-baggers (yea, a vulnerable demographic thinks TO), and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins Repugs, makes the most sense to Rahmbo’s “slice ’em and dice ’em” political machinations.

    Because Team Obama is stuck in the old “where else are Democrats going to go” mindset mold, and so their thinking is to pick the low hanging fruit from everybody else’s tree.

    At best, the Democratic base is gonna get more “happy talk” and not much else.

    • fatster says:

      I’m looking at your ‘mold’ as a double entendre.

      I’m betting EW has zeroed in correctly on this strategery thing coming out of this WH.

      I also understand why more people are beginning to think Obama is not very smart after all.

    • freepatriot says:

      At best, the Democratic base is gonna get more “happy talk” and not much else.

      considering that I am spitting clawing and snapping at Democratic congresscritters, I don’t think the “Happy Talk” is gonna work

      when the question is “what are you gonna do about the President stabbing you in the back”, there isn’t much room for happy talk

      what are they gonna say ???

      when you fuck me over, happy talk will get you hurt

      I ain’t no pacifist, and I have a long memory

      I hope Obama has a plan to convince the teabaggers to vote for Democrats, or he’s gonna get awful lonely in Washington come next January

      as far as I am concerned, The Democratic Party can fuck off and die

      want my vote ???

      impeach Obama now

      why wait and let the repuglitards do it ???

    • Leen says:

      have been reading a fair amount about the Mass upset. From ignoring right wing radio hammering away at Coakley,

      http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/margery-eagan-says-media-afraid-talk-ab

      to 2/3 of white no college degree folks voting for Brown. How about this one that I heard on Hardball. 51% of registered voters in Mass are registered Independents

      They also reported on Hardball that Coakley attended 19 pubic events to Brown attending 60. Sure sounds like Coakley ran a really bad campaign

        • Leen says:

          the MSM was far too chicken shit to go near the issue of how Senator Kennedy was able to keep the lid on the prejudice and racism still alive in the Boston area and other spots around Mass.

          While it is obvious that Coakley ran a really bad campaign. With Ted out of the picture in the state, all of that racism that he kept a lid on can percolate to the surface as well as the pro fetus but not pro life crowd.

          Coakley was all about choice and voting for those who cannot access health care being able to access. There is plenty of racism alive in those parts that no one is talking about

  4. bobschacht says:

    If you’re right, EW, this is an idiotic strategy. It will hurt the Democratic brand and open up room for Republicans. This is the year he should be running against Republican obstructionism, and highlighting problems with the Republican brand. He should be loosening the restraints on DOJ investigation of wrong-doing by Republicans (quietly, of course, so as not to make an issue of it.)

    He needs to be campaigning on the theme of “US Government Working for You,” highlighting government programs that are working well. This is to counter the relentless Republican claptrap intoned since Reagan that government is the problem, which works against the Democrats.

    He also needs to be pushing the Overton window back. The Republicans pound relentlessly on the theme equating “moderate” with conservative policies, and labeling Obama’s heavily compromised programs as “far Left” or “hard Left.” The Democrats don’t push back enough at this framing, so that now, policies once advocated by Richard Nixon are regarded as “Left Wing.”

    So, I really hope you’re wrong in this assessment. Unfortunately, you’ve got a better record for being right than I do!

    Bob in AZ

  5. skdadl says:

    OT, but in the Homeland Security hearing, McCain just confused Copenhagen with Amsterdam. He’s hectoring. He deserves to be called on it.

  6. Peterr says:

    Spencer’s latest post also hits this, from an angle that Marcy would appreciate: the DOD in 2010 is like GM in 2008.

    GM found itself building a fleet of SUVs and trucks that consumers did not want and could not afford. Similarly, DoD now finds itself saddled with a number of weapon programs whose capabilities are ill-suited for the types of conflict the military currently faces and whose costs have risen beyond what the Department can afford.

    And who believes the DOD do with some cutting of unwanted product lines, some refocusing on its core business, and some retooling of its production and procurement processes?

    Everyone in Washington who studies the Pentagon budget quickly finds gobs and gobs of wasteful spending. Not some people. Not dirty hippies. Every. Single. Defense. Analyst. If I was so inclined, I could spend my days doing nothing but attending conferences on the latest defense jeremiad or policy paper about how to cut it.

    It’s a very good piece, and quite on point here as well. The only possible reason to exempt DOD from this is to try to keep the media from going berserk with “OMG! Dems hate the military!!!” stories.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      Amen, brother!

      The Democrats should really cultivate a partnership with the military reform movement. A place to start is by passing out copies of America’s Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress to all Congress Critters and their staff members who follow these issues. The guys who wrote the essays in this book, most of whom are retired mid-level officers and career DoD civil servants, make a compelling case that the Defense establishment is broken in numerous ways, and that too much money is to a large extent responsible for the situation. Unfortunately a big part of the problem is the Congress itself, because politics incents weapon system procurements at the expense of readiness expenditures such as training, etc. For an inside look at a multi-$B weapon procurement in deep doodoo, check otu this Counterpunch piece on the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” by Pierre Sprey and Winslow Wheeler, both of whom contributed to Meltdown.

      • DWBartoo says:

        Originally, Eisenhower’s watershed work was entitled, “The Miltary-Industrial-Congressional Complex”.

        A certain group objected and the title was changed.

        As we know, since that time, the “rest” is history.

        Excellent comment, MC.

        DW

  7. Leen says:

    The alleged freeze coming will not come until 2011. Will we hear an announcement for a new WPA in the interim?

  8. Jim White says:

    Heh. A Matt Browner-Hamlin tweet that is being retweeted says that someone needs to tell Obama that it’s okay to break McCain’s campaign promises. That sums it up.

  9. Gitcheegumee says:

    Is it just me,or does it seem odd that this “deep freezing” was announnced AFTER the SCOTUS ruling last week on corporate spending?

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Obama is Joe Lieberman. He will “reluctantly” run against his own Party and Congress, because he’s the only leader who can take us from George Bush’s mess and dump us into a bigger one – and call it progress.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Obama’s Freeze – which is likely to be his opponents’ theme song against him – seems consistent with his abhorrence of politicking and dealmaking. That’s usually a sign, too, that he’s not any good at such things or that he simply doesn’t want to be associated with his own priorities.

    Across the board freezes always have obvious targets – the social “safety net” is one here – but are sold as disinterested attacks on an evil – here, purportedly an imbalanced budget. They are sold as sharing or spreading pain in an attempt to get everyone to work together. (That goal is belied by carving out the enormous sums spent on “national security” spending.) Like smaller-scale corporate reductions in force, they hide the changes those who advocate for them really want to make. More importantly, they hide who is accountable for wanting and achieving those changes. That seems to be a top priority for Villagers.

    Such freezes are like a surgeon taking up a baseball bat instead of a scalpel. Carving out such a huge, amorphous chunk of spending – national security spending – from a freeze is a giveaway that cutting spending is not the goal. So what are your goals, Mr. Obama, or would you rather not say?

  12. WilliamOckham says:

    Here’s a different way to look at the “spending freeze” (yes, it’s really, really stupid as policy and as politics). Every President in my memory (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II) has floated the idea of an across the board spending freeze. The plans always exempt “entitlements” and “defense”. None of them have been successful with it, no matter which party controlled of Congress. This is more about the executive branch vs. legislative branch than anything else. A “spending freeze” robs Congress (especially the House) of its most fundamental power. So far, no Congress has been stupid enough to go along.

  13. BayStateLibrul says:

    I’m not ready to throw Obama under the (fill-in-the-blank).

    He needs results in year 2.

    I’m hoping for an upswinger…

    Imagine McCain as President…

    • DWBartoo says:

      I’m still trying to imagine Obama as President.

      This guy doesn’t sound all that much different than I imagined McCain would be.

      But your loyalty to Obama is … your loyalty to Obama, BSL.

      Still, though we’ll never know, I audaciously ho… (oh! nevermind!)

      You got some spare change?

      We could use some of that.

      Doncha think?

      DW

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Loyalty yes, blind no?

        Sure, the bathroom bowl sure needs cleaning, but Obama gets to pick the

        Supremos, and remember Palin would have been VEEP…

        • DWBartoo says:

          I think you see well enough, BSL.

          My worry is that Obama is setting us up for the demagogues.

          Guess who?

          • DWBartoo says:

            Palinoia n. The compulsive repetition of an act, over and over again, until it is performed perfectly.

            I kid you not.

      • Leen says:

        someone brought up on one of the morning shows that generally when someone like Plouffe is brought back on board..someone should be let go. They were talking about how during the Clinton administration people were let go of all the time, not so much during the Bush administration. The disloyalty factor…criminals have to stick together

    • Leen says:

      all of it?

      Agree with E.J. Dionne Obama has to have a Roosevelt moment tomorrow night. A new WPA announcement or something that leans that way along with the alleged announcement of a spending freeze that will start next year and not be across the board. He has to have that “Roosevelt moment” or his ship will continue to sink

  14. JohnLopresti says:

    I think it is alright to debureaucratize some programs that have assumed a life of their own, if that is O*s strategic plan. I thought Clinton*s denaturing of segments of the social safetynet typically a near Applachian perspective of Democratic Party initiative, or, rather, a marriage of Gingrichian dismantling of oversight while doing the usual Republican act of balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. Viewed in another way, locally, I know of a state governor who is terming out before the autumn elections; a Republican, he has vitiated education and many social programs, and clearly from his scripted pronouncements over past few weeks is relishing the prospect of shrinking government yet further before his November 2010 swansong. In a way, that gov*s plans could be characterized as simply a nonpartisan approach to restoring economic strength in the wake of the drains which occurred during Bushco but the afterwash of which slapped upon these shores during Obama*s tenure. The two parties always seem to try to generate a handicap to impede the progress of the other party when the administration is going to shift to the opposing party for 4, or 8 years. It seems to take 8 years in these times to go thru the backwash phase, then to build a more genuinely distinct solution to governance in tune with the individual party*s fundamental aims. Although I think education needs to be stronger, not defunded more than the current waves of defunding, maybe there is a different way to design some coursework in the i-age. There is a lot of learing possible for people who are online. Sometimes is seems like the internet looks like all the most interesting and knowledgeable profs are all available onscreen as if in one room.

    One of my alumni associations is hosting a get-together. I suspect in economically lean times it is fitting that this particular group is planning the reunion to take place around a swimming pool. One need not have earned sufficient income to afford a tux; a birthday suit plus bathing suit are the sole requirements, plus the ticket. We will see how far the Republicans go with an idea like that. Though, I have no inkling of whether the alumni association is Republican; the way I recall those folks, most of them were of Democratic persuasion.

    On the idea of the defense budget, that has been a challenge for the Democrats for a long time. It helps to have smart leadership. O*s first term in office has let well enough alone there; there are other more strident ways to describe O*s DoD, understand. Clinton certainly had one of his earliest trials withstanding Republican hype in his defense administrative policies, and survived the gamut, even increased a few defense spending programs by the time his second term was awash in socialite scandal. The issue of the Republican blockade of OLC is more than a spurious sideshow, and represents a specific sort of dereg dear to neoRepublicans, a dangerous policyless toying with the structure of executive and the three branch balance of powers. For O to segue to a 2nd term and new programmitic initiatives, and to repair what Bushco did to DoJ, O needs to turn the economy around. I am reading that employers, while doing better, simply are likely to continue coasting without rehiring, leaving chronic unemployment way above its classical low single digit range, for a few years or longer. What was it Chris Cox did at SEC? Oh, yeah, dereg. A lot of things like that epoch are already shifting to a more sensible and salubrious sort of oversight, the sort which Democrats typically do well.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      John, I can’t recall if you particpated in the Book Salon on Sunday,over at FDL.

      The book being discussed was “Freefall”,by Joseph Stiglitz,and hosted by Bill Black.

      Terrific salon,and made moreso by the abilty of these gentleman to demystify much of the economic jargon that often obfuscates ,rather than elucidates.

      As to the matter of Dems doing oversight well, I mentioned in the Salon that I thought it significant to remember that Obama is from the Chicago School-the Mecca for Free Marketeers- such as Friedman and Greenspan-and as such, thought this was part of the reluctance to rein in Wall Street.
      Mr.Black enthusiastically concurred.

      But here is a quote from one of the administration’s leading voices that would seem to underscore this view:

      “In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last year, Mr. Sunstein said Mr. Obama was intrigued by “law and behavioral economics” as an approach to regulation that would avoid ideological extremes.

      Mr. Obama believes in “doing law in a way that’s realistically based on human behavior,” Mr. Sunstein said. “He’s a University of Chicago Democrat, so he’s very attuned to the virtue of free markets and the risks of free-market regulation. He’s not an old-style Democrat who’s excited about regulations” for their own sake.”

      “Obama’s Regulatory Czar Likely to Set New Tone”,WSJ,1/08/09

      Link to follow

      • DWBartoo says:

        That Cass is a pistol, isn’t he?

        We owe Harvard Law more than we may ever repay.

        (Submitted as being consistent with the OFFICIAL view of true and acceptable … “history in the making”, as promulgated by Professor Sunstein in recent weeks.)

  15. cregan says:

    Congress actually going along with a spending freeze is like asking a junkie to go on a heroin freeze. It ain’t going to happen.

    What is needed is EFFECTIVE spending. The so called stimulus has not really been effective because it was never really intended to be effective. Obama didn’t even make up the stimulus. Congress did, so you can imagine the planning that went into it. None. Pork barrel and pet projects with no over-arching plan. It was throwing spagetti (sp?) at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    Also, so many things are exempt from the freeze, that it will be more like a cool Miami winter.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican , and the “Square DeaL” referred to in Dionne’s piece:

      The Square Deal was President Theodore Roosevelt’s domestic program formed upon four basic ideas of “Conservation”, “Regulating Business Monopolies”, “Enforcing the Anti-Trust Act”, and “Supporting Progressive Ideas”. Thus, it aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved attacking the plutocracy and trusts while at the same time protecting business from the extreme demands of organized labor.–Wiki

      NOTE:I suppose this could be viewed as being in the spirit of bipartisanship should any of these ideas be implemented.

      Much is the pity,imvho,that our leader is not an old style,old school Democrat like FDR.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        FDR was POTUS from March,1933 through April,1945 just for the record.

        Teddy Roosevelt,a Republican, had the Square Deal.

        FDR,a Democrat,had the New Deal.

        A quote from Arthur Schlesinger’s The Coming of the New Deal (p. 444) about the FDR administration in 1933, the year they passed the Glass-Steagall Banking Act and the Securities Act:

        “No business group was more proud and powerful than the bankers; none was more persuaded of its own rectitude; none more accustomed to respectful consultation by government officials.

        To be attacked as antisocial was bewildering; to be excluded from the formation of public policy was beyond endurance. When one remembered both the premium bankers put on inside information and the chumminess they had enjoyed with past Presidents and Secretaries of the Treasury, the new chill in Washington was the cruelest of punishments.”

        NOTE: The new “chill” was FDR.

        We now have Mr. Freeze

  16. Gitcheegumee says:

    Obama’s Regulatory Czar Likely to Set a New Tone – WSJ.comJan 8, 2009 … Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein will be named the Obama administration’s … where his wife, Samantha Power, also teaches. …

    online.wsj.com/article/SB123138051682263203.html – Cached – Similar

  17. browngregbrown says:

    Obama has done absolutely nothing for anyone but the wealthy. He gives good Democratic speeches and then acts to support Republican policies. Won’t be listening to any more of the monster’s speechifying; I’ll just be watching what he does, which is how all politicians should be judged (then convicted and imprisoned ;-)).

    He will run in 2012 and be buried because Republicans will prefer someone with an (R) after his/her name to a phony Democrat like Obama. Democrats who are decent human beings will be voting for a third party candidate. Stupid Democrats will vote for the charlatan, Obama, or stay home and thereby let the Republicans win.

    • sundog says:

      I think it Truman who said, and I paraphrase, “When given a choice between a Republican and a Republican, the people always choose the Republican.”

      I haven’t been able to figure out if Obama’s an idiot, a fool, or just a Republican in Dem clothing (Clinton II). Of course, I feel like the idiot for telling all my family and friends to vote for Obama because he was going to be different. Stupid fucking me.

      • DWBartoo says:

        Caveat emptor?

        or

        Caveat venditor?

        Sundog, you are not to blame, so suffer no embarrassment and suffer no shame.

        Of blame and shame there is plenty.

        Let the seller(s) beware.

      • fatster says:

        You are not alone, and don’t be so down on yourself. Remember those speeches, those promises, how wonderful it all seemed, particularly since we were also suffering from severe Bush fatigue?

        Now, though, I guess we can adopt this (updated) warning: Beware of Chicagoans bearing gifts. (Particularly wrapped up in a horse donkey.)

  18. freepatriot says:

    you’re usually SPOT ON, ew, but in this case, you missed a few things

    Obama isn’t gonna run against a Democratic Congress, cuz there ain’t gonna be a Democratic Congress

    Obama killed the Democratic Majority yesterday, about 6:00 PM, PST

    Obama is gonna get to repeat Clinton’s impeachment in 2011

    and in 2012, Obama is gonna lose a Democratic Primary to Alan Greyson

    anybody wanna bet on it ???

    • Leen says:

      He sure seems to be setting himself up in the running. Hate his vote as well as all of the other congress critters who voted to condemn the Goldstone Report without ever reading it or having Judge Goldstone come to the hill to discuss his findings. Grayson is a PEP Progressive except for Palestine.

      US Congress condemns UN Goldstone Report, 344 to 36; full text & voting breakdown
      http://blog.unwatch.org/?p=511

  19. lysias says:

    I wonder if Obama’s administration is going to turn more and more “bipartisan”, with more and more Republicans brought on board, and if eventually Obama intends to turn Republican, or to set up a new centrist party for his 2012 run. (Call it “The Independent Party”.)

  20. Gitcheegumee says:

    FDR was hated by Wall Street. Here is an excerpt from his 1936 campaign reelection speech,given at Madison Square Garden:

    We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.

    NOTE: EVERYONE should read the ENTIRE speech. Extraordinarily eeerie in its parallels to the current situation .

    Links to follow

  21. Gitcheegumee says:

    Our Times and Franklin Roosevelt’s 1936 Speech » New Deal 2.0Jan 11, 2010 … We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have …

    http://www.newdeal20.org/?p=7389 – Cached

  22. Gitcheegumee says:

    Palinoia n. The compulsive repetition of an act, over and over again, until it is performed perfectlymindlessly.

    There,fixed it for you. *G*

    • bobschacht says:

      This commentary comes to similar conclusions as Garry Wills’ new book, but from a slightly different direction.

      It has been unusually difficult for the President to form and achieve control of his government. A US President names some five thousand officials, his own staff apart. The process is preposterously cumbersome, the requisite approval in the Senate slow and now often delayed or blocked by the Republicans who are following a policy of total obstructionism.

      This is followed by numerous examples. How much does any new present control the government in the first year of a new administration when the party of the chief executive changes?

      I was thinking some more about the implications of Garry Wills’ new book. This relates to why Obama is keeping people like John Rizzo, Bob Gates, General McCrystal and other Bush holdovers. If Obama replaced them, would their replacements be able to find out about all the illegal stuff going on? Maybe– Panetta found out about one of those programs (exactly what, we’re not sure), blew a fuse, stopped the program (so we’re told), and reported on it to Obama. But if the stay-behinds are willing to follow executive direction, Obama might be able to stop such behavior better through the stay-behinds who know what’s going on.

      The Federal government is huge. It won’t turn on a dime.
      What I hope is that Obama is serious about changing its direction.

      Bob in AZ

  23. Leen says:

    The rumor that Obama is going to move towards the middle is insane. On health care when you start with the public option and then move to putting all of the money in the pockets of Pharma and Insurance companies. What a fucking myth that he was even on the left of any issue. The “public option” is the middle. Single payer is the left. What a myth.

    Afghanistan, the Wall street bail out. Can anyone tell me one issue that he was on the left. I guess on closing Guantanamo.

    We have not witnessed one person held accountable for eight years of operating outside of the law and International agreements.

    Where is this he is movin to the middle hogwash?

    Hell Pat Buchanan is the new middle

  24. tanbark says:

    Well, Marcie, 12 months ago, if you’d said “Let congress do it”, I’d have yowled like a scalded cat. But, after that year of Obama so diligently frenching republican ass, I say:

    Can it get any worse with the congers calling the shots?

    I mean, it’s looking like we’re gonna get hammered at the mid-terms, anyway. Might as well get something out of the only term for the lameduck “centrist” that fooled us all.

  25. Slothrop says:

    It’s not a Great Recession. It’s a depression worse than the earlier one. We’re only about 1/3 of the way through it.

    That “Great Recession” phrase is a thought-control device designed to misdirect your attention from the truth.

    In time, it will not be referred to that way.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Its a great RE-gression.

      Its feudal, but not necessarily futile.

      We still have a voice….and a choice.

  26. Gitcheegumee says:

    @#65

    Translates to “dear”, as in dear one.

    Equivalent to “cher’ in French,or “querido” in Spanish.

    Dear man,indeed./s

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yep, dear man that he is. Yiddish variations on his name are admittedly childish, but come much closer to describing his work as a legislator for the state of Connecticut.

  27. JohnLopresti says:

    [email protected], Nice of you to reply to my list of stuff for Obama to do over next 7 years, and his party*s work too. I tried to engage Sunstein when he blogged at U Chi. He is elusive. I can see why Wall Street Journal*s editors cite his framing of what an obamaco could do, in terms reminsicient of a page from a Sunstein treatise. He had a funny roundtable with JackBalkin and Marty Lederman once about five years ago, worth reading, at JB*s site. If Democrats had terse William F. Buckley Jrs, CSunstein might resemble that concept. However, I can grasp some of the camaraderie he and the president developed in years of yore at UChi, the nation*s *#1* lawschool, perhaps. I think O has seen a lot, enough to endow him with a philosophical, yet observant, and patient, view of matters political. I used to read WSJ, but its editorial page always was impudently smug. Also, re the book salon at FDL, I visit it these days only if my limited time budget permits, or if ew is the host; I like the questions ew asks fast. Elsewise, I have a burden of many projects and responsibilities which limit online moments.