Democrats’ “tea-party downgrade” spin is self-defeating

posted at 8:25 pm on August 8, 2011 by Karl

Various Dems, including but not limited to Pres. Obama’s presidential campaign adviser David Axelrod, Sen. John Kerry, and fmr. DNC Chairman Howard Dean, were busy Sunday blaming S&P’s downgrade of America’s credit rating on the Tea Party. It is bad spin on at least two levels.

First, the spin creates mixed messages. To quote Jim Treacher: “Yesterday, the downgrade was fake. Today, the Tea Party caused it. ‘This isn’t happening… and it’s all your fault!’” In particular, it muddles the Obama administration’s official position, which is that S&P is mistaken. If the administration is trying to stave off similar downgrades from other ratings agencies (even if the impact is more limited than many think), having the president’s campaign flack suggesting a real phenomenon is at work is counter-productive.

Second, the left’s focus on S&P’s comments about GOP opposition to higher taxes (and avoidance of S&P’s comments on entitlement reform) sends a toxic subliminal message to voters. Consider this from the S&P explanation:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

Of course, S&P may not be entirely accurate on this point: Obama blew up a grand bargain with Speaker Boehner that included $800 billion in revenue. But taken on its own terms, S&P’s explanation necessarily assumes not only that the GOP will continue to oppose raising tax rates, but also that the GOP will succeed in doing so. S&P’s analysis implies: (a) the House GOP is unlikely to suffer serious losses in 2012 from their position on the debt ceiling; (b) Pres. Obama may not win re-election in 2012; (c) if Pres. Obama is re-elected, he will likely be beaten a third time on taxes, despite being a lame duck with nothing to lose. These are the narratives being advanced by Democratic spin about a “Tea Party downgrade.”

As the WSJ’s James Taranto quipped: “So the argument for re-election is going to be ‘Don’t blame Obama, he was no match for the Tea Party’?”

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We are all TeaExtorHobborrists today.

Bishop on August 8, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Dude…most of the voters never watch anything but the MSM, if that. So, all this is mental masturbation when it comes to Nov 12.

Dingbat63 on August 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

They ain’t seen nothin yet.

Both of the parties are headed for a crack-up because they can’t figure out how to stop the spending. The American people can and will change that and it will be extremely painful. What comes out the other side of this hasn’t been seen in nearly 150 years as a concept… personal liberty and freedom valued over having government ‘care’ for the poor and sick. It sucks at that and costs too much. The American people can do it better, faster and cheaper once we get this idiot Nannystate oaf out of the picture.

ajacksonian on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

S&P upgrades OHIO………

http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/2011/07/16/sp-upgrades-ohio-rating-warns-us-debt.html

Thank you GOP Gov. Kasich!!!

CW on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

That’s all they got: shut up or it’s your fault I’m a spendthrift.

AshleyTKing on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Half of the Tea Party voted FOR the compromise last week. But in Democrat Land, that never happened.

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Dingbat63 on August 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Give this man a brass ring!

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Bishop on August 8, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Simplify it. We’re Teahadists! We bombed the economy!

predator on August 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Hey Karl, you forgot to mention Debbie Downer.

Wasserman Schultz noted in a tweet Monday that she agreed with Kerry, calling the Tea Party “tyrants” who blocked a more comprehensive bargain on the debt ceiling

Move over terrorists, the tyrants are now in charge/

Knucklehead on August 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

First, the spin creates mixed messages.

You assume that the hearers can discern those mixed messages.

Professor Mike Adams had an interesting article today. Read point #3 about the intellectual stupor of the average college student. Depressing.

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

The LSM will assist them in any way they can…The idiots that make these claims know they have cover.

d1carter on August 8, 2011 at 8:39 PM

You made three points. The first one is far to logical to have any impact on Liberals. The second one is multiple choice and hard on the head. That’ll never stick with Liberals.

But the third one just may sink in. The President cannot handle the Tea Party. Wasn’t the Tea Party supposed to be some fringe fad? But now, it’s gotten so powerful that the President himself must succumb to their every whim.

Yeah, that’s the fatal blow right there.

MrX on August 8, 2011 at 8:41 PM

The way things are, with Barry having the MSM leash, 2012 is going down as Year of the Zombies. Dirtiest campaign season since Caesar parked his fanny in Cisapline Gaul. Look for the return of Olby to center stage as the MSM gets desperate to man the south side of the Rubicon.

Limerick on August 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM

But…but….but the Tea Party was “nothing”. Just a bunch of RACIST! extremists that no one would listen to. Well, maybe not RACIST!, but very “unpatriotic”, er…ah…no! “Terrorists” and “hostage takers”! “Suicide bombers”! Yeah! That’s it!

Not bad for a ‘fringe group’.

GarandFan on August 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Remember Cut, Cap and Balance?

Yeah, that was awesome

Fallon on August 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

As the WSJ’s James Taranto quipped: “So the argument for re-election is going to be ‘Don’t blame Obama, he was no match for the Tea Party’?”

Boooosh!

ladyingray on August 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

The downgrade would not have occurred if S&P had any faith that the government would cut spending. It’s not just a matter of no additional revenue, it’s a recognition that the Political Class has not the balls to cut spending.

Labamigo on August 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Obama was downgraded.

BKeyser on August 8, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I’m for repealing the 20th century…

PatriotRider on August 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Half of the Tea Party voted FOR the compromise last week. But in Democrat Land, that never happened.

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

That’s what’s so silly about all this. The members of the Tea Party caucus in Congress did not vote very differently from the rest of the Republicans. The democratics cannot logically blame them for what happened.

The Tea Party is a real grass-roots movement that put hundreds of thousands of people into the streets last year. That’s why the democratics are terrified of them, and they and their liberal media will blame them for everything that they can between now and the election.

slickwillie2001 on August 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

The Tea Partiers just want to return to a time and economic situation, not that long ago, when we had the best credit and best prospects in the World.

RBMN on August 8, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Wasn’t Cut, Cap, and Balance the Tea Party idea?
If they had gone with that plan, we wouldn’t be talking about this now would we.

Kini on August 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

The Tea Partiers just want to return to a time and economic situation, not that long ago, when we had the best credit and best prospects in the World.

RBMN on August 8, 2011 at 8:59 PM

You my friend are dimly crazy! You just want to blow up the economy for political reasons. Now get there and max those credit cards and maybe buy a jet as well. /s

bluemarlin on August 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Dimly = simply

bluemarlin on August 8, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Wasn’t Cut, Cap, and Balance the Tea Party idea?
If they had gone with that plan, we wouldn’t be talking about this now would we.

Kini on August 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

No we wouldn’t, per the S&P statement prior to the vote and the eventual downgrade!

bluemarlin on August 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM

..funny, isn’t it, how all of these dimwits seem to come up with the same term to ascribe to the object of their enmity? It’s almost like, well, they’re on the same wavelength or something.

..someone on tonight’s BORe said it best, “It’s like trying to blame an emergency on the guy who makes the 9-1-1 call.”

The War Planner on August 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Let’s face it, liberals have run out of reasons why their socialist policies are a complete failure. We all knew government spending far beyond the means of revenue would have a disastrous outcome, and the rise of the Tea Party Americans were first to step forward to say “enough is enough”. The Keynesian economics embraced by this President will never work in a free market economy. Historically, every time we’ve allowed our government to attempt to smooth out the bumps, the situation only gets exacerbated, and only extends the pain. Even responsible Democrats understand that the Tea Party is just a faction of Americans who are focused on reducing government spending and will not submit to raising taxes—ON ALL AMERICANS—to pay for out of control spending. If the Tea Party were responsible for this downgrade, how does the rest of the worlds economic failings figure into this? And blaming S&P for the reality of a country out of fiscal balance is a joke on all of us. Thanks to the Pelosi Government, (endorsed by Barack Obama), we will all have to pay the piper, like it or not.

Rovin on August 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM

As our old buddy over at MSNBC, Al Sharpton demanded of one of his interviewee’s “What’s the Tea Party’s jobs plan?…. Duh.

Herb on August 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

CW on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Amem to that!! That proves it can be done, just do it!!

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Mixed messages and who can hear them. I read that Adult and College Student conversation. Intellect vs emotion. The college student sounded like he watches the left TV. Actually, the college student sounds like some adults, LOL

My son had a friend that attended college and came out a flaming liberal. Not a lick of sense, completely brainwashed.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:27 PM

I heard the Tea Party has peaked. They have no power.

CW on August 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Today, the president, Senator [John] Kerry and other Democrats now want to blame somebody for the credit downgrade – other than themselves,” Cain told a standing-room only crowd at Crunk’s Café here. “They control the Senate. They control the White House. Obama’s Treasury secretary [Tim Geithner] is in charge of the Treasury. Now they are trying to blame the Tea Party movement for the downgrade. How pathetic is that? That’s not leadership, folks – that’s not leadership.–HERMAN CAIN

CW on August 8, 2011 at 9:31 PM

RBMN on August 8, 2011 at 8:59 PM

That’s true but that is why there is no agreement. The Admin and the Dems don’t want that. In my opinion, after the House passed CCB(cut,cap & balance) they should have adjourned and allowed the Senate to do what they did. If not adjourn, at least not send any other bill.
Fear of being blamed. Well, they got the blame anyway, along with the Tea Party. Lesson: do what is right and the best interest of the Country.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Democrats have run out of other people’s money to spend. And boy, are they throwing a hissy fit.

BruthaMan on August 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM

The War Planner on August 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

I’ve found that if liars are accusing others falsely, they themselves are guilty of those very accusations.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Rovin on August 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM

I’ve forgotten what website this was on, but thot it was great!

The idea that a capitalist economy can support a socialist welfare state is collapsing before our eyes, says Janet Daley.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Did you see the Rick Santelli interview on CNN? Here’s the clip:

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/08/08/rick-santelli-if-it-wasnt-tea-partywe-would-have-been-rated-bbb

Makes you wonder if the Tea Party made the “revised base case scenario” better than it was.

djaymick on August 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

CW on August 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

You know not to believe everything you hear:-)

Seriously, my concern is that the Conservatives/Republicans/Tea Party won’t stay united. If we want a change in Nov/2012, we have to be united.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:49 PM

djaymick on August 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I hadn’t seen that clip with

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 9:57 PM

djaymick on August 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I like Rick Santelli. He’s right about the downgrade would have been worse had there been no spending cuts at all. They weren’t enough to prevent the downgrade, but at least we didn’t get a BBB, LOL

Taking responsibility for one’s mistakes seems to be unheard of in D.C.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Oops on that 9:57PM post. Lost my connection.

bluefox on August 8, 2011 at 10:14 PM

I’m a little slow on the uptake and just thought of this, and I don’t know if anyone else has said this or not, but the Democrats, in their talking points, called this a tea party downgrade. Here’s my question: Are we to believe that, had the Republicans did as the Democrats and Obama wanted, and had a clean raise in the debt ceiling, and did nothing else, that S&P wouldn’t have downgraded us? Am I wrong or is this what the talking points actually mean? I’d love to ask someone from S&P that question and get the answer because that, IMHO, is what the Democrats were insinuating.

Vote Republican and only be called a racist one more time.

bflat879 on August 8, 2011 at 10:49 PM

I’d love to ask someone from S&P that question and get the answer because that, IMHO, is what the Democrats were insinuating

They feel pretty secure that S&P won’t come out and smack down their assertions. That tells me that something isn’t right with S&P and these other raters.

One thing the raters fear more than anything is a non-borrowing government. There would be no need for them.

Buddahpundit on August 9, 2011 at 1:43 AM

Another reason why the “Tea Party downgrade” fails is because the federal government was downgraded because of the unfunded liabilities, the massive debt and the out of control spending. The Tea Party was founded on opposition to all three.

scrubjay on August 9, 2011 at 2:08 AM

Everyone knows the down grade is becausing of “their” reckless spending.
And when I say “theirs” there are alot of “old school republicans” in this too.
Hey Mr. Speaker, I think you should be challenged for your seat next term. The fact that “His Speaker Wimpiness” hasnt come out to reject the name calling of some of his caucus tells me alot!!!
Flippen Cry Baby!

mmcnamer1 on August 9, 2011 at 11:36 AM

According to this guy if it werent for the TEA Party then we would have been rated bbb LOL , I agree.
http://moonbattery.com/?p=912#comment-7192

ColdWarrior57 on August 9, 2011 at 8:33 PM