Author Topic: There Will Be Blood  (Read 35170 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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There Will Be Blood
« on: November 22, 2010, 09:51:18 pm »
from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

November 22, 2010
There Will Be Blood
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Former Senator Alan Simpson is a Very Serious Person. He must be — after all, President Obama appointed him as co-chairman of a special commission on deficit reduction.

So here’s what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: “I can’t wait for the blood bath in April. ... When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat,’ ” meaning spending cuts. “And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary,” he continued.

Think of Mr. Simpson’s blood lust as one more piece of evidence that our nation is in much worse shape, much closer to a political breakdown, than most people realize.

Some explanation: There’s a legal limit to federal debt, which must be raised periodically if the government keeps running deficits; the limit will be reached again this spring. And since nobody, not even the hawkiest of deficit hawks, thinks the budget can be balanced immediately, the debt limit must be raised to avoid a government shutdown. But Republicans will probably try to blackmail the president into policy concessions by, in effect, holding the government hostage; they’ve done it before.

Now, you might think that the prospect of this kind of standoff, which might deny many Americans essential services, wreak havoc in financial markets and undermine America’s role in the world, would worry all men of good will. But no, Mr. Simpson “can’t wait.” And he’s what passes, these days, for a reasonable Republican.

The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. And that party now controls one house of Congress, which means that the country will not, in fact, be governable without that party’s cooperation — cooperation that won’t be forthcoming.

Elite opinion has been slow to recognize this reality. Thus on the same day that Mr. Simpson rejoiced in the prospect of chaos, Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, appealed for help in confronting mass unemployment. He asked for “a fiscal program that combines near-term measures to enhance growth with strong, confidence-inducing steps to reduce longer-term structural deficits.”

My immediate thought was, why not ask for a pony, too? After all, the G.O.P. isn’t interested in helping the economy as long as a Democrat is in the White House. Indeed, far from being willing to help Mr. Bernanke’s efforts, Republicans are trying to bully the Fed itself into giving up completely on trying to reduce unemployment.

And on matters fiscal, the G.O.P. program is to do almost exactly the opposite of what Mr. Bernanke called for. On one side, Republicans oppose just about everything that might reduce structural deficits: they demand that the Bush tax cuts be made permanent while demagoguing efforts to limit the rise in Medicare costs, which are essential to any attempts to get the budget under control. On the other, the G.O.P. opposes anything that might help sustain demand in a depressed economy — even aid to small businesses, which the party claims to love.

Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy. But there’s no point appealing to the better angels of their nature; America just doesn’t work that way anymore.

And opposition for the sake of opposition isn’t limited to economic policy. Politics, they used to tell us, stops at the water’s edge — but that was then.

These days, national security experts are tearing their hair out over the decision of Senate Republicans to block a desperately needed new strategic arms treaty. And everyone knows that these Republicans oppose the treaty, not because of legitimate objections, but simply because it’s an Obama administration initiative; if sabotaging the president endangers the nation, so be it.

How does this end? Mr. Obama is still talking about bipartisan outreach, and maybe if he caves in sufficiently he can avoid a federal shutdown this spring. But any respite would be only temporary; again, the G.O.P. is just not interested in helping a Democrat govern.

My sense is that most Americans still don’t understand this reality. They still imagine that when push comes to shove, our politicians will come together to do what’s necessary. But that was another country.

It’s hard to see how this situation is resolved without a major crisis of some kind. Mr. Simpson may or may not get the blood bath he craves this April, but there will be blood sooner or later. And we can only hope that the nation that emerges from that blood bath is still one we recognize.




michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 09:02:18 pm »
Might it be a metaphor? ... that the Liberal Krugman is all too eager to take literally ... if the goal is to bash Republicans?

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 06:00:49 am »
Might it be that Republican Party places partisan gain above all:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 06:46:43 am »
Might it be that Republican Party places partisan gain above all:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010


Curtis, it amuses me to no end, the way Liberal and "Progressive" Democrats suffer from complete amnesia with regard to their own strong statements and dramatic displays of partisan opposition during the Bush Administration. Is there just a little double-standard implicit in your statement?  ;)

Given the Presidential power of the veto, there is only one way to effectively reverse the government-expansionist policies of Barack Obama, and that is for him to be a one-term President. This is pretty obvious.

Finally, I have to add, thank goodness that before November 2nd Mitch McConnell or former Senator Alan Simpson didn't say, "Heads will roll on election day."  Given Paul Krugman's literalism, he would no doubt start ranting that Republican senators and representatives were building guillotines behind the Capital Building.


Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 07:16:53 am »
Might it be that Republican Party places partisan gain above all:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010

Curtis, it amuses me to no end, the way Liberal and "Progressive" Democrats suffer from complete amnesia with regard to their own strong statements and dramatic displays of partisan opposition during the Bush Administration. Is there just a little double-standard implicit in your statement?  ;)

Nope, since that statement merely makes explicit their ongoing quest to being the party of No. It seems they place being in power above the national interest. Or worse, they think that's the same thing. Politics is one thing. Placing it ahead of national interests is another altogether. Usually there's a gray area; now not so much.

Oh, and, Micheal, your condescension amuses me to no end.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 07:59:25 am »
... and here I thought you and the "Progressive" Democrats were the "Party of No" during the Bush Administration. Hahaha. Curtis, does it occur to you that Republicans believe it is in the national interest to reverse Obama's destructive domestic and impotent international policies, and to instead take a new positive course of individual empowerment and international strength.

Rather than being amused by the Left's amnesia and double standard, would you prefer that I become angry? Don't get all bent out of shape. It is amusing, Curtis.

The Left-wing sites spread these condemnations (like that Republicans don't care about the national interest because they want Obama to be a one-term President) and people just pick up on 'em, without even thinking back to their own conduct and statements during the Bush Administration, when they very much were demanding that Bush be a one-term President (if not actually impeached) and then after his second term that only a Democrat should be elected to the Presidency. C'mon Curtis. Admit it. Amnesia. Double Standard.  ;D

But hey, speaking of the national interest, you should be able to take some small comfort in one thing. At least nobody on the extremist radical right-wing lunatic fringe is calling Obama the Antichrist anymore. According to that theology, the Antichrist is supposed to be a great deceiver, wildly popular with the masses. Um ... looks like, of late, President Obama flunks that test.  ;)

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 09:11:18 am »
... and here I thought you and the "Progressive" Democrats were the "Party of No" during the Bush Administration. Hahaha. Curtis, does it occur to you that Republicans believe it is in the national interest to reverse Obama's destructive domestic and impotent international policies, and to instead take a new positive course of individual empowerment and international strength.

Rather than being amused by the Left's amnesia and double standard, would you prefer that I become angry? Don't get all bent out of shape. It is amusing, Curtis.

First of all, I am me, not the Progressive Democrats. One of your lawyerly habits (Tu quoque), I suppose.

Next, yes, it did occur to me. ("Or worse, they think that's the same thing.")

Third, I meant no criticism of your amusement. I am often amused by your gyrations. It's the Blues response. Seriously. I am not bent out of shape in the least. <* Smiles and shakes head *>

Finally, I see you want to assert some kind of equivalence between the way the Republicans have behaved in opposition with the Democrats while President Bush was in office. Suffice to say, I disagree.

Have a good day.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 07:00:00 am »
Finally, I see you want to assert some kind of equivalence between the way the Republicans have behaved in opposition with the Democrats while President Bush was in office. Suffice to say, I disagree.


Why do you disagree? Because Obama is a Democrat, and Bush is a Republican? Because you happen to agree with those who wanted to oust Bush, but you disagree with those who wish to oust Obama?  Curtis, your charge that all the Republicans are interested in is power, not the national interest, is an exact quote of many right-wing talk radio hosts during the Bush Administration, in their characterization of the Democrats. If you step outside yourself for a moment, you will see that what the present Left-wing Media is alleging is identical to what some Bush supporters were alleging (other than switching the party reference). That is what is so amusing. It all has to do with who is an "innie" and who is an "outie." No need to examine the belly button.

Curtis, it looks like we can agree on one thing. I too disagree that there is an equivalence. The Leftist opponents to Bush were, on many levels, a heck of a lot worse! Hahahahaha.  ;D

Or maybe not ...



                              The New Republicans

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 12:16:07 pm »
Here's the difference:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
~Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, (R-Ky.), October 2010

That's not "the media", that's the Republican leadership.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 04:14:52 pm »
What difference? Essentially identical strong sentiments were expressed by the Democratic leadership during the Bush Administration, in terms of striving to elect a Democratic President and getting rid of George W. Bush. Causing identical charges as those levied by you, except by the right-wing talk radio hosts against the Democrats. C'mon, Curtis. And please don't claim amnesia, or ask that I act as some kind of research assistant here to jog your memory. We both lived as adults during the 8 years of the Bush Administration, and we both know the kinds of sentiments that were expressed against Bush by both elected and unelected Democrats. That you would claim otherwise, given the harsh rhetoric that was directed against Bush, is amazing to me.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 06:18:32 pm »
Didn't we already disagree on this?
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Battle

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2010, 09:20:27 am »
>>>Curtis Metcalf
michaelintp is the ''Mr. Furley'' (from the TV show, 'Three's Company') of HEF.  In other news, Pres. Obama is recovering from a elbow injury to his lip. Having recieved several stitches, let's hope that's all the bloodletting for now!

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2010, 10:48:10 pm »
Didn't we already disagree on this?


I just keep thinking that there needs to be a rational basis for disagreement. The phrase "I disagree" really does not suffice under that standard.

Um ... here's something I've thought about from time to time. There is nothing wrong with once in a blue moon just acknowledging, "Hey, that's a good point; I need to rethink my position on that point" or "You're right, I was mistaken on that point" or "Hey, you may be right, perhaps I am unconsciously applying a double standard." I'm not saying any major change in philosophy is warranted, but just acknowledging a little point here and there, from time to time, might make sense. Believe me, it is good for the soul. ;)

... OR ...

We can forever be ...


Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 08:43:07 am »
When that happens, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, this delusion that your perspective is the only rational one amuses me to no end.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

michaelintp

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Re: There Will Be Blood
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2010, 03:55:35 pm »
When that happens, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, this delusion that your perspective is the only rational one amuses me to no end.


You misunderstand. All I am saying is that on this thread you have not explained the rational basis for your disagreement, that's all. All you do is post the same quote and say you "disagree" with what I posted above without explaining why the observations I posted are irrelevant or incorrect (from your perspective).


                 "Let me explain ..."

I do not contend that my perspective is always the only rational one, on every issue. However, I do try to explain the rational basis for my point of view when I do express a point of view. I figure I owe that to anyone with whom I'm disagreeing, so that they will understand that I am not being arbitrary. Though it does sometimes result in longer posts, or posts reflecting research. Ohhhh my ...