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The Party of No Circa 2005

Attempting to label the Republican party as the "Party of No" label is a silly and ill-advised political strategy. It's one that even President Obama has backed off on, claiming he never said it and isn't suggesting people go on repeating it anyhow. That hasn't stopped his minions from repeating the message here and in other venues with cut-n-paste troll spam. The following two examples (hat tip The Corner) show just what a difference a few years makes.

Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics has discovered that Obama's views on unpopular programs and congressional "obstructionism" were much different way back in ... 2005. Speaking about privatized Social Security, then-Senator Obama said:

"I mean, the fact of the matter is, is the president has been on his 60-day tour, and everywhere he goes the numbers just get worse. The American people have essentially voted on this proposal and really what you have is a situation now where I think that the president and the Republican Congress are going to need to figure out a way to save face and -- and step back a little bit. And if -- if they let go of their egos -- listen, I've been on the other side of this where -- particularly with my wife. (laughter) Where I've gotten in an argument and then at some point in the argument it dawns on me, you know what, I'm wrong on this one and it's -- it's -- it's irritating, it's frustrating. You don't want to admit it, and so to the extent that we can provide the president with a graceful mechanism to -- to say we're sorry, Dear, then I think that would be -- that would be helpful."
Contrast that with some of his more recent statements which either ignore public sentiment or claim poor polling of health care is only the result of negative Republican messaging.

For more amusing then-and-now shenanigans go read Megan McCardle at the Atlantic where she contrasts two NYT editorials. From 2005:

So when Congressional Republican leaders tell the president that Social Security private accounts are a nonstarter, they are conveying the informed views of their constituents.

Mr. Bush has reacted by railing against Democrats for obstruction -- as if Democrats are duty-bound to breathe life into his agenda and, even sillier, as if opposing a plan that the people do not want is an illegitimate tactic for an opposition party.

And now:
Recent polls show that the public is divided, with more opposing the bills than favoring them. The negatives have been driven up by critics' distortions about a supposed government takeover of medicine and the tawdry deal-making necessary to win 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
Follow the link above as McCardle has a lot more quoted and the 180 done by the NYT is just humorous.

So to be clear, when President Bush kept pushing privatized Social Security and it clearly was unpopular with the public, he should just drop it and not blame minority Democrats in the Congress for being obstructionists. But now, when President Obama keeps pushing socialized medicine--excuse me health care reform--and it is clearly unpopular with the public, he doesn't want to drop it and accuses the minority Republicans in Congress for being obstructionists. Well, he did promise change...

These are definitely examples of what happens when people turn politics into a Us vs. Them contest instead of thinking about the issues and the will of the people being governed. Changing your view on what is acceptable conduct based on the players involved or the issue being "discussed" doesn't lead to rationale arguments or civil public discourse.


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Comments (36)

"Attempting to label the... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"Attempting to label the Republican party as the "Party of No" label is a silly and ill-advised political strategy. It's one that even President Obama has backed off on, claiming he never said it and isn't suggesting people go on repeating it anyhow."

Trying to escape from the "Party of NO" label in 2010 and 2012 is going to be difficult for the GOP.

And don't confuse Obama's intention to rise above the fray as an indication that liberals won't use it against the GOP. Just don't expect Obama to repeat or endorse it.

(I guess he hasn't lost his Jedi touch - you've already fallen under his spell to not associate the label with him. Well done!)

You guys earned it - and there's no escaping it now.

Red,the appropriate label f... (Below threshold)
Dr Carlo Lombardi:

Red,the appropriate label for the 0bama party would be the "Party of D'oh!".

You guys earned it... (Below threshold)
Chip:
You guys earned it - and there's no escaping it now.

Quite the contrary as far as I'm concerned Steve, I'm embracing the Party of Hell No!

"Trying to escape from the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Trying to escape from the "Party of NO" label in 2010 and 2012 is going to be difficult for the GOP. "

Really, so with 61% of Americans saying that congress should drop health care and focus on the economy how do you construe saying no to health care as a bad thing?

Think about it: 61% of Americans don't want health care 'reform'. The only party that could stop it was the democrats because they had enough votes to pass it and the GOP couldn't even stop it with a filibuster.

So instead of taking credit for hearing the country's mood, they blame the GOP for not getting health care through. Or more accurately: they give the GOP credit for stopping what the public wanted to be stopped when the GOP had no means of doing so.

Pure political genius if you ask me. Let's give the opposition credit for giving 61% of the electorate what they want.

Unless, of course, Steve you wish to explain here exactly how the GOP stopped health care reform? We're all still interested in hearing that answer.

Not only health care, but o... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Not only health care, but only 38% have confidence in the government's (Democrats') handling of the economy. Obama's rapidly losing the independents, too.

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politics/1371-americans-losing-hope-looking-for-change

No to the left is good these days, it seems.

Stevie, like his Obamassiah... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Stevie, like his Obamassiah, isn't interested in facts. The One commits no error. The One makes no mistakes. The One knows what's best for all.
The One must be obeyed. Have no thought, The One will think for you.

The Party of No sure is powerful isn't it Stevie? Majority in BOTH Houses and the progressives can't move shit. Oh, they did. "STIMULUS I".

I agree with Chip. Hell no ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I agree with Chip. Hell no to massive deficits, weakening of our security, corruption, Government takeover of healthcare, massive job loss and spending trillions to line Dems friends pockets.

Wait! 59% of voters think ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Wait! 59% of voters think that cutting taxes is better than government spending to boost the economy. only 15% believe spending is better.

Obama wants to spend more money with his "jobs bill"/stimulus 2.0.

With 72% of voters thinking that Obama will just spend more the GOP could make great gains by saying NO to that as well.

Steve, after you explain health care being the fault of the GOP you can explain how pissing off 59% of the electorate will help dem chances in 2010.

It's going to be awfully ha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It's going to be awfully hard to call the GOP the 'party of no' when you can't get all of your own party's Senators to vote for your nominee to the NLRB.

Cloture for Obama's nominee goes down to defeat 52-33 with 2 dems voting against.

They need just one GOP vote for cloture and they can't even manager to keep all their own people on board.

6. GarandFan - "Majority in... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

6. GarandFan - "Majority in BOTH Houses and the progressives can't move shit. Oh, they did. "STIMULUS I".

Your cracking me up here. That's perfect, Stimulus I = shit.

And what are progressives if their only output is shit? Right!

GarandFan, great turn of words.

Stevie reminds me of the ki... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Stevie reminds me of the kid with his fingers crossed and eyes squeezed shut saying "I wish it so, I wish it so". Reality is a bitch. ww

economic realities are like... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

economic realities are like an anvil and Obama and his liberal minions keep hitting it with their tiny ball-peen hammer economic theories and wonder why they can't make a dent.

Steve Green, there will be a day after November that you wake up, look in the mirror, and realize that your entire world view is a fraud with Obama as the ringmaster of this fruad. It will be very painful and you'll need help. Come here and ask for it we will be there for you.

Stevie boyfrom the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Stevie boy

from the NY TIMES

"Mr. Bush has reacted by railing against Democrats for obstruction -- as
if Democrats are duty-bound to breathe life into his agenda and, even
sillier, as if opposing a plan that the people do not want is an
illegitimate tactic for an opposition party. " --NYT editorial, 6/23/05"

I guess libs thought it was okay in 2005 but not today.

If you want to label the republicans as the party of No when we are talking about opposing Obama's agenda then it is a label I will wear proudly.

StevieThe Dems had... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Stevie

The Dems had 60 Senators and a very good majority in the House and still couldnt get health care done.

In 2012 we can run the Party of No (more govt) vs the party of we cant get anything done even with supermajorities.

I have the perfect slogan f... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I have the perfect slogan for the republicans in 2012.

We are the party of Hope and Change.

So, Jim, and I'll use small... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

So, Jim, and I'll use small words - look them up if you need to...

"It's going to be awfully hard to call the GOP the 'party of no' when you can't get all of your own party's Senators to vote for your nominee to the NLRB.

There's no relevance -- oops, sorry - three syllables.

Democrats breaking ranks and not voting the party line has been very commonplace in the last year hasn't it....

It shows that the Democrats frequently break ranks and vote according to the their own minds.

Now, contrast that with the Republicans.

The Republicans who vote no in lockstep with the party.

The Republicans who follow the dictates of their party bosses and vote "no" time after time.

Cloture for Obama's nominee goes down to defeat 52-33 with 2 dems voting against."

And every single member of the Party of No voted no.

You're not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I can count on you to prove my point from time to time.

Hint: repeating the same comments that other trolls use won't get you anywhere. Think for yourself, Jim, and don't just repeat what others are saying.

I mean seriously - pointing out that Democrats don't vote in party lockstep and Republicans do vote in party lockstep doesn't exactly help your suggestions that the Republicans aren't the Party of No, now does it?

And what about ol whatshisname - the Republican from Alabama who was blocking 80 cabinets confirmations because he wanted more pork for his state? I forget this name - you know the one - the fat, sweaty white racist guy... isn't he another example of the Party of NO at work? Hint: yes.

Time and time again Blue Dog Democrats break party ranks and vote their own minds.

Time and time again Republicans don't. They've earned "The Party of NO" label.

depp=true
notiz=race baiting will get you smacked.

Time and time agai... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
Time and time again Blue Dog Democrats break party ranks and vote their own minds.

That's because the Democratic Party agenda sucks.

The Alabama Senator I menti... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

The Alabama Senator I mentioned is Richard Shelby, poster child for the Party of No

Steve - I see you ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Steve -

I see you still won't answer the health care question.

It's not some unthinking lockstep when the GOP votes against a policy that their constituents are 60-40 against. That would be called listening to the will of the people in most circles.

Republicans broke ranks when Bush was in office. I'll note that back then the criticism was on those republicans who wouldn't follow the party leadership and there wasn't so much whining about the dems.

You miss the point (or you are avoiding it assiduously) which is that Obama says that health care is critically important. All his party have said that it is critically important. They did get 60 votes for cloture in the Senate. It took them all year to do it. Why? Perhaps because one or two dems were actually listening to their constituents.

If Obama wants to criticize the GOP for blocking his policies then he needs to be able to say that he got all the dems behind his agenda and the GOP is just being partisan about it. The fact is that he cannot say that because there has been huge resistance from within his own party to a deeply unpopular health care bill.

The reason health care didn't pass yet is not because there was GOP resistance, it was because there was a lot of democrat resistance and fear of reprisals from the electorate who are very much against it.

You will disagree with the analysis, but you still have to answer how it is the GOP's fault health care hasn't passed.

The GOP has won in Virginia, NJ and Mass. Dems are in trouble all over the country. Reid is almost a sure loser. Evan Bayh, who usually is a lock to win reelection in Indiana can't poll above 45%. Even Barbara Boxer is having a tough go of it.

BTW there are only 20 cabinet positions and cabinet level posts (excluding the VP and Chief of staff which the Senate does not confirm) so no one can block 80 cabinet level positions. Oh, and in case you were wondering they have all been filled so the Party of NO voted yes on Obama's cabinet and on his Supreme court nominee in sufficient numbers to put them in office.

Sucks when you're wrong, but you should be used to it by now.

Stevie boyIf the p... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Stevie boy

If the party of NO is so bad why are the dems so worried about losing Murtha's seat.

You speak about the Alabama congressman but you forget your ole buddy Murtha who turned down a $50k bribe because it wasnt enough.]

You know the Murtha seat with an airport named after him. An Airport that cost taxpayers millions and has maybe 100 passengers a day. Want to talk about "fat, sweaty white racist guy"s then you only have to look at folks like Murtha and Byrd.


Stevie-boy Green: "Trying t... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Stevie-boy Green: "Trying to escape from the "Party of NO" label in 2010 and 2012 is going to be difficult for the GOP."

Yep. It was devastating to the GOP in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts!!!

keep it up Stevie boy!!

BTW, what happened to the melting glaciers?

Hey Steve-Not to k... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hey Steve-

Not to keep asking questions that you won't answer...

But Shaun was asking back on the Early Look at 2012 thread why you won't answer a previous question about injecting racism in a discussion.

You won't answer how the GOP is at fault for the failure to pass healthcare.

Now you inject race into this thread by calling Sen Shelby a racist. Care to back that one up? Alabama is 26% black. I suppose they voted 100% for the dem candidate or were kept from voting by the white man. Shelby won 68-32 in 2004.

Explain how he's a racist or I assume that you are the racist since your mind jumps to race so quickly.

Give it up Jim.Ste... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Give it up Jim.

Steve's paid role is to troll.

All they have left now is "racism!!" and "party of NO!!"

But they have a couple of problems which will greatly benefit any Republican nominee in 2012:

1) the charge of racism is now so overused noone who matters is going to buy it (except Steve of course, but he's the kind of guy who likes people who like Chairman Mao and Che and Chavez, so really, who cares?)

2) The campaign commercials with the video of Obama admitting that the republicans did have ideas that they offered are already being filed away.

Got that Steve-o? You messiah himself has publicly exonerated the GOP of the charge of being the "party of no"!! (didn't you get the word?) Sheesh, good trolls are so hard to find, even in this "stimulus is working perfectly" economy!!

2a) Being the "party of NO!" in 2012 is going to sound pretty good to the majority of independents in the country.

Hey steve-o, you never told us your thoughts with obambi and sheriff Joe taking over the student loan programs! How come?

Steve, I really must apologize for "deluging" you with a melting glacier-like amount of obambi-related questions. It's no wonder that you are standing there dumbstruck. You know, like a "corpse-man"!!!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

(see what I did there again? that little thing? get it? obambi is an idiot!)

The Democrats and the White... (Below threshold)
kevino:

The Democrats and the White House, having lost their 60-vote filibuster-proof majority, plan to make the filibuster an issue in the 2010 election. This proves once again that they don't understand the electorate in general or the Massachusetts election in particular. The people in Massachusetts voted for gridlock, and polls seem to indicate that many Americans want it too.

So please, Democrats, make the filibuster an issue. Please. Tell the American people that those nasty Republicans are slowing down or stopping your agenda. Please. You agenda sucks. The American people hate it. And the only way for the GOP to take control of Congress is for Democrats to remind the American people every day that the only thing that stand between them and the Democratic party driving the country off the cliff is the GOP.

This is just another deep t... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

This is just another deep the denial is within the Obama administration.

Judging by the poll numbers, the party of "No" is exactly what people are looking for these days.

Seriously, does Obama really think that anyone is going to lose their seat because they 'didnt' vote for the health care scam?

Given Obama and the Dems ig... (Below threshold)

Given Obama and the Dems ignoring of the people's objections to their agendas we should perhaps call them "The Party Of What Part Of No Don't You Pinheads Understand"

So why won't he explain w... (Below threshold)
Will:

So why won't he explain what it is about tort reform, portability and interstate competition that he doesn't believe in, and why he would allow them in a trade.

stevie-"You guy... (Below threshold)
914:

stevie-

"You guys earned it - and there's no escaping it now."


I embrace it.. Just like You and Barry embrace the party of Mao.

Hey, does anyone remember B... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Hey, does anyone remember Bill Clinton, I think it was in '93 or '94 after losing legislative battles to the Republican minority, whining about it at a press conference? He got emotional and said, "How can we get anything done when all they will say is no, no, no, no, no, NO!" as he pounded the podium like a petulant child?

Ah, good times, good times.

Obama is getting closer to a meltdown every day. He's tried hundreds of speeches and interviews, been on television nearly every day since he was elected, and gets nowhere, so . . . he plans more speeches and a Kabuki theatre TV production - because he doesn't know how to do anything else.

Let the good times roll!

"It shows that the Democ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"It shows that the Democrats frequently break ranks and vote according to the their own minds."

Unless they can get a couple hundred million on the side.

Well, they are dancing on g... (Below threshold)

Well, they are dancing on graves without knowing. This bickering looses everyone valuable time to tackle the ONLY problem worth addressing: sovereign default!

So, you're saying that when... (Below threshold)
Don L:

So, you're saying that when a Republican acts like a Democrat (RINO) is it morally consistent to excoriate them and reject them?

So be it Johnny McCain -the sheriff is now looking for you. At least he's consistent!

Steve Green, you are forget... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Steve Green, you are forgetting the other side of the coin. The Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. They own all of the problems in the country. They spent the last year focusing on healthcare instead of the economy and then failed to deliver.

They aren't the Party of No, they are the Party of No Competence.

As you say, you guys earned it - and there's no escaping it now.

C'mon guys.Disent is... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

C'mon guys.
Disent is the highest form of patriotism... as long as the left is doing it. Otherwise it is treason and/or racism

The majority speak with wisdom and should be listened to... as long as the left is agreed with. Otherwise the hoi paloi are unwashed, uneducated hicks, and not to be trusted near the levers of power.

There is nothing wrong with... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

There is nothing wrong with the word NO. In fact, if it was used more, many of today's problems would not be occuring. Some liberals who do not understand politic's and ideology will never comprehend why one party would disagree with another. ww

Had republicans made up the... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Had republicans made up the party of NO vote buying, no pretending to be democrats and no going along with Bush's inherited stupidity, they would still be in power.




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