Maybe no one?
“One of the things that I heard some of you saying is why doesn't Biden say what a good deal it is? You think that's going to help get it passed? No. That's why you guys don't bargain very well.”
Lord I love our President. He doesn't crow, he doesn't preen, he doesn't bully or threaten, he just gets it done. We are very very lucky to have him, right here right now.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted:
"Washington is broken.
Republicans got outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants.
I’m voting NO on the debt ceiling debacle because playing the DC game isn’t worth selling out our kids and grandkids."
Amazing the point of this tweet is to assure everyone that Joe Biden is extremely dumb, only to follow it up with the contention sure, Joe Biden might be a dementia-riddled old man, but he still runs circles around my co-workers, congressional Republicans.
All the worst fight people are fighting, you love to see it.
I negotiate for a living, and Biden played this perfectly. The outcome he wanted was to make sure the debt ceiling was raised and not to wreak havoc on our economy. He succeeded!
Worth noting that the debt fight is not actually over; many members of McCarthy's caucus have signaled that they'll vote against it. Which depending on their appetite for a speakership fight, could cause problems for him. But given it's unlikely that Democrats will vote against the deal, I suppose we can call this mostly over. Hopefully. Probably. But I'm not sure we're returning to the 2010s; the politics of obstruction then were defined by having both chambers controlled by the GOP and the GOP maintaining control over them for a very long time. It's entirely possible that next year Biden and the Democrats could control the house again. Or, they could lose the Senate. Politics are like that, really.
As an aside, we do not need to constantly find examples of college kids doing minor disruptions to justify disliking things like MAGA being armed and dangerous. Once upon a time we probably were not such snowflakes that we would clutch our pearls at some during a speech. I know it may be hard but I beg of us all to remember that in an age where guys show up to traffic stops with guns to protest gun restrictions, we have real forms of actual disruptive protest to be concerned about.
Now to talk about men! Because as a man, who is now in his thirties, who grew up during the same time that most of these supposed manliness experts did, and who was thus wrapped up in the culture they were, I feel like I can offer a fairly decent take on their delusions. Because like them, I also grew up in 'red america' and unlike them, I never went to an Ivy League.
And I confess that I once had a crisis of manliness in my 20s. I was also raised by a father whose parents really messed him up because he ended up overcompensating in the extreme; he became hypermasculine in ways that these posers to that title would only dream of, although I'm told by friends and family he was worse when he was younger, unsurprisingly. My point is, none of this is theoretical.
There was a time when I asked 'am I manly?' and my answer ended up being 'why does that matter?' The problem in my eyes is that guys like Hawley want to put men in a box, guys like Tate want to chain them down with outdated notions of what they need to be. Here's the thing: all guys like Hawley do is say 'you're not manly enough, you're not having enough sex, you're not doing your job, you're not doing this, you're not doing that.' It's the parody of hustle culture where you have guys driving fancy cars they rented and going 'if you don't have it made at 18, your life is basically a waste.'
They create a fake idea of what it means to be alive, a fake idea of success, and then say if you're not in that box, you're not a man. They manufacture a crisis that does not exist. They intentionally desire men to be angry and feel chained down so that they'll lash out at things. They attract the disaffected and rather than help them, they make the problem worse. Guys like Hawley are selling alcohol for the soul and calling it self help.
Reality is, the actual virtues of manliness, if you want to call them that, are still worth something. Restraint, wisdom, diligence, compassion, and thrift are never truly out of style. The problem for guys like Hawley is that they consider things like hierarchy and control to be virtues of manliness; they act like the Victorian era idea of men having power over women is somehow a virtue and that the absence of this is a vice. They sell men a fantasy and say that there's something wrong with them if their wife or girlfriend is more successful than them or better educated. They play on resentment and fear, but most of all they stoke the idea that this is somehow a slight against the man.
But this isn't the case, and the figures of the 'manliness ideal' would support this. The amount of guys who spew bile with greek statues in their profile pictures would be better off learning that one of the virtues of manliness, if they ever identified such a thing, is to actually respect women rather than treat them as objects to be either hoarded or used. Manliness has moved beyond the caveman era, but guys like Hawley want to go back to that because they can't accept themselves if they're not putting themselves over others.
Reality is that even if we created the world guys like Hawley want, they'd still never feel manly enough, because it's a black hole where their self confidence should be that can't be filled. Guys like that can't be satisfied. The key to becoming comfortable with your own masculinity and being comfortable in life in general is to accept yourself and who you are, and not look to other people for affirmation.
Ironically, the very thing that women actually like, guys who are self assured and aren't constantly in need of emotional support over every tiny thing, is alien to these people. Women don't want to babysit their partner, and yet guys like Hawley who go on and on about manliness describe the most juvenile, adolescent idea of what manliness is and what it means to be an adult. The key to a successful relationship with anyone, even yourself, is to grasp that you are not the center of the world and that other people's needs need to be thought of in addition to your own.
But guys like Hawley aren't here for that, they're here to sell men on a grievance fantasy where the problem is actually that they're not allowed to act like savages, and the only reason women don't like them is because they're brainwashed. More than being aggravating, it's extremely sad that they take advantage of men who are the most insecure and make their problems worse for personal profit.
I despise all the reporting on the debt ceiling deal that talk about "winners and losers." The full faith and credit of the US was at stake. Horserace coverage of an election next year doesn't help inform citizens. On a related note, I can't agree more that all of this nonsense makes the US look like a disfunctional clown car.
With the disclaimer that the debt ceiling crisis is not yet over -- there remain enough children in the room capable of throwing enough of a tantrum to derail the accord -- we arrive at the moment in which some people are obliged to eat some tasty crow, after telling us how Joe Biden let all this happen, was clueless about how to proceed, didn't have control of the situation or the messaging, and maybe too that he wears ugly suits and sunglasses for all I know. And yet in the end, after the process plays out, he once again looks like the adult in the room who knew all along how to get things done. It seems so predictable when one stands back and looks reasonably objectively at the situation. We've been here before, and this is how he rolls.
Not that much of anyone is impressed, because, last time I looked or listened, he still has an approval rating lower than that of the captain of the Titanic. The question remains: why?. At what point does Biden actually get some credit in the media and among rational-thinking folks who see both that there is a mature adult in charge and that's it's still okay to compromise and engage in shared governance -- that, as Charlie notes, it's not about who wins and who loses so much as what actually gets done and how we proceed together from there? What a novel concept -- if it hadn't already existed for many years before this tribalism thing became all the rage.
Accordingly, for those not hopelessly engaged in political blood sport and open-minded enough to see the bigger picture, my question of those who diss Biden for his leadership and overall job performance amidst all the scrum is, boiled down to its essence: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?. You would prefer a return of Trump's toxic perpetual discord to this? You'd welcome a DeSantis war on everything and everyone not in his image compared to Biden's measured, disciplined tone and conduct and willingness to work together?
Rational, reasonable responses requested from those who want to take us back to all of that open hostility and cultural warfare, less because it is a viable pathway forward and more out of spite for someone who, for all his perceived faults, remains the one person in the crowd most likely to get things done, and in a professional, mature way, when it is needed the most. That matters. Very much.
When both the nutty far left and the batshit crazy far right hate something, it might just be a good thing.
Re Cheney. Trump supporters felt the graduates were booing and turning their backs on Cheney because they were supportive of the former president instead. Delusion so thick you could cut it with a knife. -------- In fact (for me) as a more or less progressive, the students infuriated me by invoking her pre-insurrection stances (likely unchanged) on the abortion issue etal, invoking "Hate". Gol Darrn it, she's a conservative from WYOMING with principles, who stood up when it mattered, and suffered the consequences. I don't agree with the whole package either, but decline to cut off my nose to spite my face.
I love reading Charlie's articles, always insightful and funny in equal measure. I do think The Bulwark places a little too much emphasis on what 18-21 year olds do when their college hosts some controversial political speaker (or when said speaker gives a commencement address). A tempest in a teapot. The big, diverse real world is just around the corner, and those of us who were once college kids ourselves should know not to take their enthusiasm or outrage as indicative for anything in that real world of adults with real responsibilities.
I read Catherin Rampel s piece in the WP.She is spot on in that it would have been the same solution had it gone thru the regular process in the fall.I 'll add one more point.Remenber that the crazy caucus wanted their radical cuts on basically everything for ten years.And they didn't want to compromise on anything.The crazy caucus got nothing.The far right and left will holler.But the end result is generally pretty good.Biden did a good job negotiating.Not to say I told you so, remember when The Bulwark (among others) wrote about how McCarthy badly outmaneuvered Biden in the PR wars about debt ceiling debate? I said wait to see the results instead of stewing on the process.My thought is that McCarthy's speakership is in jeopardy now that Biden out negotiated him. DY
Looking at Trump's Memorial Day message and its not-so-passive aggressive tone reminds me yet again how his approach to leadership, as it were, is both to insult and abuse his way to the top rung of the ladder and to turn every possible opportunity into an infomercial for himself. The only question I have left is: at what point do even his most ardent supporters get tired of this schlock, the utter sameness of his messaging and tone, and get bored with reading and hearing the endless loop of vitriol and anger unleashed, over and over and over and over again?.
Even in my most impartial, charitable all-politics-aside moments I look at Trump's attempts to bully his way back to power and think, "Gawd, that's embarrassing. Get over yourself." The fascination with this man, never mind the absolute fealty to him, remain beyond my comprehension. There must be some sort of psychological explanation for all of it. And it should be required reading for any student of abnormal psychology. That may be the only ultimate benefit to Trump's endless anger at the world and everyone not in service to him. It is a detailed roadmap of what not to do and how not to behave in a functioning civil society.
I practice law. Most of my cases involve some form of negotiation at some point. It’s often said that a good deal is one where no one walks away happy but everyone gets something that they want. And that’s what we have here.
No one being happy is the key sign of actual compromise.
And as pointed out, this whole mess is something that could have been done, IDK, in the ACTUAL appropriations process--where that stuff is supposed to happen.
The problem is that the GoP apparently thinks that they cannot get the massive cuts they want through regular appropriations--and they are probably right. Their strategy (such as it is) seems to be to cut revenue to push ever increasing deficits in the hope that, at some point, things will break (since they can't enact cuts that even their base is opposed to or no substantive reduction in spending that is actually going to reduce deficits).
I was always under the impression that FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY was about balancing income and expenditure--meaning that if you can't actually reduce expenditure (which we can't, otherwise it would have likely happened by now), you have to raise income to cover it.
It is bad, in principle, that members of the government actually try and openly blackmail the government. It does make you look like clowns, very dangerous clowns, but still clowns.
As for the Liz Cheney’s commencement speech, there have always been a certain set of progressives who are obsessed with purity testing and not wanting to be aligned with a broader pro-Democracy coalition. I don’t expect people on the left to agree with her politics, but I they should respect the courage she had to break with Trump. She ultimately sacrificed her career to stand up for what was right, that’s ultimately something to applaud, regardless of what you think of her past.
First of all it’s not over yet. The abnormal freakazoids of the republican party could still put us into default. Please make no mistake about it: Joe Biden has been an excellent president period. Despite not having the charisma of a Barack Obama, he has surrounded himself with smart, competent, patriotic people who he actually listens to. In the face of a republican party that has gone batshit crazy he has managed to keep our ship afloat. Does he get everything right? Probably not,but who does. With the evil narcissistic fool trump lurking, we have thus far been lucky.
Charlie, I am furious. Not at Biden or even McCarthy. I’m furious at Democrats for not ending this thing back in the lame duck. Get rid of this sword of Damocles once and for all! This escalating and repeating crisis will bite us in the ass at some point over just the crumbs on the plate of our federal budget. These people are all clowns and they deserve to be ridiculed for doing this. You don’t hand a loaded gun to goddamned toddler and that’s what democrats did.