Result: GOP looks horrible and Clinton Approval skyrockets, cruises to re-election


Result: US Credit Rating downgraded, GOP looks horrible, Obama approval increases and cruises to re-election.


Result: Republicans look incompetent, Dems win both chambers and Trump loses in the next election.

2023- GOP in House Control-- "LET'S SHUTDOWN THE GOVERNMENT!

Result: What's the definition of insanity again?

Expand full comment
Jan 9·edited Jan 9

"Over the weekend, I had breakfast with a smart Republican lawmaker who lamented the fact that politics was no longer about ideas or public policy. Now, he said, it was all about anger."

Do Democrats seem angry? This is only a problem in politics to the extent that politics in general is affected by Sarah Longwell's "Triangle of Doom:" GOP voters, politicians, and propaganda outlets. Anger is a problem, but problems can't be fixed unless they're clearly defined, and this problem has little to do with Democrats. Democratic voters didn't provide the Bolsinaristas the template they acted upon yesterday, and Democratic politicians didn't provide Bolsinaro the template he has used for the last 6+ years. Democrats care deeply about policy and ideas.

Expand full comment

The MAGA Republicans - hell, from what I've seen, 99% of Congressional Republicans - have no interest in actually governing. They're all about sound bytes and tweets and photos that will get them on social media, Fox News, Breitbart, etc. They're all about being a CELEBRITY, because that's where the money and the clicks come from. And they ran on the platform that government is the problem, so they're going to make sure government no longer functions. They don't think about the fact that government is what keeps things functioning, from roads to those Social Security checks that I, for one, depend on to keep the lights on. They don't care. They don't care. They don't care.

Expand full comment

There are reasons to believe that some Republicans in congress function as Russian agents even if they choose not to be aware of this. They benefit from laundered Russian money that supports both their campaign and their high end life style and they support policies promoted by Russia. Maybe its time to do an investigation by following the money.

Expand full comment

"But now we get a somewhat new-ish chapter where the GOP turns its focus to open warfare over… wait for it… fiscal conservatism. ... Of course this is not new; it’s a loop back to the pre-Trump kamikaze politics of the Tea Party. (Think Ted Cruz and his pointless government shutdowns.)"

Yes, but at the same time this is an understatement. We do remember Norquist. We remember Gingrich even better. Probably there are others who predate them, if not in such toxic ways, who were fine with sabotaging the ship of state and watching it sink as long as it would advance a divide-and-conquer agenda that in turn would advance their own careers. We've seen this film so many times before. It's always about the GOP deciding that fiscal prudence matters ... when the Democrats are in charge. When not, there are priorities that have to be met, no matter how much it costs. Who needs a healthy society and E pluribus unum when we can have tax cuts and trickle-down?

People ask me when I stopped being a Republican voter and why. Usually I say what many others do, that I didn't leave the GOP so much as it left me. But there is more to it. At some point I realized that I could not defend the indefensible anymore, with all of the inherent contradictions that the GOP has become. I also realized that I was looking for a party with people who had a heart and a soul (and were okay with showing it), who didn't measure most things in dollars and cents even when at core they weren't about money, and who understood that fundamental happiness and quality of life are not necessarily wedded to a price tag and are more important, and ultimately more rewarding, than building up as big of a stash of cash as possible. The Democratic Party is not perfect, but I've found that casting my lot with those who are more interested in showing us what they are for than what they are against, who value empathy for others over personal profit, and who place human warmth and sharing above "getting theirs," is a more satisfying way to go through life. I keep looking at these new-breed GOP legislators. seeking some sign of humanity, and I just don't see it. Thoughts and prayers that, someday, they will figure it out for themselves. If they haven't ruined it for the rest of us first.

Expand full comment

As usual, good job on your analysis. I am of a mind that for those living in an alternate fact world, where facts are opinions, and opinions are facts, non of the consequences matter. They want to crash America's economy, so they can blame it on Biden. What boggles my mind is the number of people my own age (early sixties, approaching retirement) are apparently okay with this: even those who like me have played by the rules, have a 401K and a company pension plan stand to loose if this happens.

Expand full comment

Biden's trip to Kentucky with McConnell may prove to be a model for the next year. With McConnell wanting the R's to take over the Senate in 2024--and many more D seats up than R--McConnell has an incentive to be a rational actor this year. He wants Republicans to look sane--it's the crazies who keep losing him easy-win senate seats--and the bar is being set quite low by the House. I am betting Biden and Mitch put forth normal policies and then spend a lot of time dealing with the unruly child.

Expand full comment

The only time in recent history the Federal budget was balanced - in fact in surplus - was under Pres. Clinton and the Democrats. They did it by raising taxes - which also ended a recession.

Expand full comment

I want to know if there is a Las Vegas line on how long it takes for McCarthy to have the first vote challenge to his speakership. 5 days? Over/under?

It would be nice to know if there's a line on how long he lasts period.

Where do I put my money?

Expand full comment

McCarthy: “What he’s really saying for the party and the country is we have to come together.”

Don't know what is more appalling; the stupidity or the shamelessness.

Expand full comment

As someone who only started to vaguely pay attention to politics starting after I got back from war in 2008, this has been the GOP's game all along. Nothing has changed. And then I started looking at the kind of deficits Reagan ran and I realized that this game went back to before I had been born in '86.

The only president who has run a surplus budget in my lifetime was Clinton. Everyone else ran deficits, it just was a matter of degree. For instance, under Obama, the deficit shrunk at the fastest rate since we had gotten out of WW2. This was partly a reduction of the government no longer doing bailout programs post-'08, and also winding our physical footprint down in both Iraq and Afghanistan. George Bush had been writing blank checks to the Pentagon since 9/11 while expanding Medicare Part D and signing off on revenue cuts (tax breaks for the rich). Reagan also ran large Cold War military budgets (relative to his time) and cut revenues (tax cuts for the rich) while still spending plenty domestically. You've already covered that Trump spent more in one term than Bush or Obama had with their two on--you guessed it!--tax cuts for the rich to the tune of trillions.

When emergencies like global pandemics or recessions or wars happen, I get it. Uncle Sam needs to step in and spend a bunch of money to make sure Bank of America doesn't become Bank of China when it collapses under its own leverage or to launch a Warp Speed program and lock down public activities to make sure excess deaths don't happen. But when you're running deficits in good economies like Reagan and Trump and had and their "fiscally conservative" party doesn't give a shit, it tells you exactly what you need to know about that party. The GOP has always been an unhappy marriage between the culturally-resentful and the business elite who want less regulation and lowered taxes. It is a gentleman's agreement between resentful working class voters and rich conservatives whereby the rich conservatives get lowered taxes so long as they use the political power that the resentful working class gives them with their votes to punish the people they don't like in the culture wars. That's why they don't care about the deficits they run in the good economies they had. George Bush Jr put the whole Global War on Terrorism on the credit card and congress gave it to him on a platter via the AUMF. The GOP has a looonnnggg history of hypocrisy on "fiscal conservatism." Ask me about their hypocrisy on being competent with the military and foreign policy next and I'll give you an earful lol.

Expand full comment

All the best ex-hatchet men who are on the light side of the Force (Tim, Stuart Stevens, Mike Madrid) need to be shoveled wheel barrels of money by the DNC, DCCC, etc, to get ads ready to go which will neutralize any attempt of the GOP to contextualize their extreme position that it’s either less money for elderly people or world-wide economic collapse as a reasonable way to deal with “run away government spending”.

Expand full comment

Sadly, I have to agree with you. And that picture of Greene and McCarthy almost made me puke! Two loathsome people.

Expand full comment

Great Morning Shots! Glad you didn't let the Cargo Cult Coup distract from the domestic politics.

If people want to make a difference, call in THIS WEEK before the rules package is confirmed. Aid to Ukraine, the debt ceiling, all require the procedural support to work. There are 18 Biden districts with R representatives, hold their feet to the fire!

Expand full comment

1) I am not so sure that there are ANY smart Republican lawmakers... although I guess that would depend upon how you define smart. They might be smart on a personal level (with being able to get themselves elected or re-elected... but that doesn't take too much smarts these days with the state of the GoP voter base)--but they aren't smart about much of anything else--or so it seems to me.

2) I am wondering exactly how bad the world economy is going to get when a bunch of people who don't understand much about the economy (or care) performance art their way into a US debt default. If you think the bit of inflation and supply chain issues we have now is bad... well, I think you are going to see a whole new kind of bad.

Maybe we need--or rather, maybe some of us need--to see how bad things can actually get before coming to the realization that MAYBE things aren't actually quite so bad and haven't been very bad in this country for a LONG time. Maybe we need another Great Depression or something similar to snap people out of it. Except it probably wouldn't.

The problem is that I do not think that this country would survive it.

3) There is really only one angry political party in this country right now. Everyone knows who that party is. everyone also knows that most of that anger is MANUFACTURED. That the anger doesn't actually need to exist, except to serve the purposes of some people that want to get elected or who want to make a lot of money in media.

Neither anger nor fear are particularly useful and both get in the way of what little rationality that people have to begin with. Which, of course, is the point.

I will admit that I am angry--but that is the general low level anger you get when you look at the idiocy (and disfunction) around you. I am not angry at anyone about their skin color or sexual/gender preferences. or the books they read, or what they buy, or the fact they are religious... I am just angry at the stupidity.. and boy, is there a LOT of it.

Expand full comment

Day three of America Held Hostage.

Expand full comment