Green Room

Are The Democrats Still Winning?

posted at 8:46 pm on October 7, 2013 by

NBC’s Chuck Todd reported today with glee that House Democrats think Nancy Pelosi with the gavel in 2015 isn’t that far-fetched. So have the Republicans lost the debate with the American people as we enter week two of the shutdown? Or is it just wishful thinking?

I have paid a lot of attention to not just the political maneuvering by the administration, but the churlish way the left in Washington has messaged it. The President himself used the gun to the head and/or hostage analogy as recent as Friday.  Jay Carney has defended the Administration’s use of the hostage rhetoric, ever after the new tone that was supposed to be exercised in the days after the Arizona shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others.

But today, something changed, and I’m very curious to know why. President Obama spoke for about 10 minutes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and continued to rail against the Republicans in the House, and saying how amenable he was to negotiate, without negotiating on what the fight in Washington is over. That part remained the same. What was missing was the ‘gun to the head’ stuff and the hostage taking language. Over at the White House Press Briefing, Jay Carney continued to get testy and snarky with longtime staunch conservatives like Jonathan Karl of ABC News, but he also did not employ the same level of discourse that was used, pardon the pun, weapons hot, last week.

Instead, there was a new buzz word to look for – threat. Here’s a sample of what the President said today at FEMA.

What I’ve said is that I cannot do that under the threat that if Republicans don’t get 100 percent of their way, they’re going to either shut down the government or they are going to default on America’s debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills.  That is not something I will do.  We’re not going to establish that pattern. We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of further harm to our economy and middle-class families.  We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of a prolonged shutdown until Republicans get 100 percent of what they want.  We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe that economists and CEOs increasingly warn would result if Congress chose to default on America’s obligations. … It has never before been used in the kind of ways that the Republicans are talking about using it right now.  We can’t threat an economic catastrophe in the midst of budget negotiations.

Jay Carney seemed to shift to the same key word…repeatedly.

“…the need for Congress to pass a budget, open the government, pass a bill so that the United States can pay its bills and, therefore, not continue to do or threaten damage to our economy. … And even in the meetings with the president, some of which were productive and thoughtful, Republican lawmakers never came back with a compromise proposal of their own. But he is ready to do that, just not under threat of shutdown, not under threat of default. … It is our view, as I think both those officials stated this morning, that since the whole purpose of this argument is to remove uncertainty — the uncertainty created by the threat of default, the threat of not raising the debt ceiling… In 2011, Republicans in Congress decided really for the first time in our history to threaten default if they didn’t get what they wanted out of negotiations over the budget. And that threat, once people realized it was real, caused significant harm to our economy. Default did not happen, but the threat of it caused harm. It was measurable harm and it included a downgrading of the United States for the first time in our history. … There’s — so we saw what happened when you mess around with this, when you threatened default in 2011, and you saw what happened when Congress does what it has traditionally done, which is raise the debt ceiling without making these kinds of threats. … Our position has been from the beginning that the debt ceiling ought to be raised without drama or delay and that the problem around these votes has always been the uncertainty created by threats… continue to have these suggestions from Republicans that they would threaten default if they don’t get what they want. … We know from the 2011 experience, and you saw the report from the Treasury last week, what even the threat of default can do to our economy… The president is very eager to start that process again, but not under threat of default and not under threat of continued shutdown. … raising of the debt ceiling has been attached to something, but there hasn’t been a threat made by one party or the other to withhold payment or, you know, allow for default if they don’t get what they want. … As I’ve said in the past, how Congress fulfills it, as long as they fulfill it without drama or delay, without brinkmanship, without threatening default is up to them. … not with the government shutdown and not with the threat of a shutdown.  Etc.

Old and busted: Gun to the head

New Hotness: Threat

In last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, the now-famous unnamed White House source proclaimed that there’s no reason to move to end the shutdown, because “we’re winning.” What do you want to bet that the same winning White House got some focus polling results over the weekend that said they weren’t actually winning friends and influencing people by likening their political opponents to suicide bombers?

My guess? Someone advising the President decided to morph the analogy. Instead of being the good guys on the outside of the building trying to rescue all of the federal agency hostages being held at gunpoint by the awful Republicans, the President has apparently decided to make himself the victim in the shutdown by papering every other sentence with the threat meme. It’s as if the focus polling has indicated that instead of trying to look like the tough guy, if he can play the victim, he’ll be more sympathetic. It’s as if he’s saying, ‘I’d be happy to negotiate with these people, but they threaten us at every turn, and we Americans, you know how much we don’t like being threatened.’

It’s a subtle shift, but a definite shift in the rhetorical debate that we had better notice, and not let them outflank us. The Democrats, from Obama on down, are solely responsible for the shutdown. They wanted it, they said they were winning because of it. They don’t get the ability to claim victimhood on top of it.

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Very nice post Generalissimo Patterson.. :cool:

Dire Straits on October 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I have paid a lot of attention to not just the political maneuvering by the administration, but the churlish way the left in Washington has messaged it. – Gen. Patterson

THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Great work.

egmont on October 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Wasn’t Duane one of the ones on here that was most peeved at Ted Cruz for holding the line? Wasn’t he blaming the conservatives for the shutdown a week ago? Quite a difference a week makes…

h a p f a t on October 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

no, absolutely not, hapfat. i merely referred to cruz’ filibuster as quixotic, which meant exactly what it said – against all odds. but i applauded the fight, still do, and think that the fight is larger than just obamacare. at least be fair in critiquing me for something i said, not something i didn’t say. i never was peeved, and cheered cruz every step of the way.

Duane Patterson on October 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM

I think that Story in the San jose News about the O-bots getting O-care sticker shock is shaking things up. If Nancy Pelosi’s constituents are starting to “Understand” why Republicans are so pissed, Obama has got to be worried.

Iblis on October 7, 2013 at 10:05 PM

no, absolutely not, hapfat. i merely referred to cruz’ filibuster as quixotic, which meant exactly what it said – against all odds. but i applauded the fight, still do, and think that the fight is larger than just obamacare. at least be fair in critiquing me for something i said, not something i didn’t say. i never was peeved, and cheered cruz every step of the way.

Duane Patterson on October 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM

^5, Duane! Nice article, too! :)

Anti-Control on October 7, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Has anyone else noticed Obama’s phrasing of when and how he will negotiate?

“I’m perfectly willing to negotiate with the Republicans on a whole host of issues as soon as they do their jobs…”

Apparently “do their jobs” to him means rubberstamp whatever I’m demanding. And what issues, pray-tell, will be left to negotiate on if we roll over on these? How many jewels there should be in the crown?

UnderstandingisPower on October 7, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I say let it burn. If the people want the democrats to run wild again, we are going to get a heck of a lot more than just higher insurance premiums.

mrscullen on October 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM

It’s a subtle shift, but a definite shift in the rhetorical debate that we had better notice, and not let them outflank us. The Democrats, from Obama on down, are solely responsible for the shutdown. They wanted it, they said they were winning because of it. They don’t get the ability to claim victimhood on top of it

…has any body cued the press yet?

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

no, absolutely not, hapfat. i merely referred to cruz’ filibuster as quixotic, which meant exactly what it said – against all odds. but i applauded the fight, still do, and think that the fight is larger than just obamacare. at least be fair in critiquing me for something i said, not something i didn’t say. i never was peeved, and cheered cruz every step of the way.
Duane Patterson on October 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Duane Patterson, you’re the one who needs to be honest.

After months of never posting a single word here, you came on to offer this pointless three-sentence blurb:
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/09/24/ted-cruz-begins-his-quixotic-talking-filibuster-to-end-obamacare/

Actually, maybe “pointless” is the wrong word. You clearly meant to get in a few digs.

Quixotic means impractical and unrealistic. No one ever calls someone “quixotic” to compliment them. It is used to mock them. What’s more, you make it seem in that post like Cruz believed the filibuster alone could end Obamacare.

Look, I had never heard of this Duane Patterson, and I’m not sure why he is suddenly posting here, but I wish he’d not try to pretend like he has been such a great supporter of Ted Cruz. Apparently being a friend of pro-amnesty and pro-establishment talk show hosts like Hugh Hewitt may give one special access and posting privileges on major conservative sites, but that doesn’t mean such people shouldn’t be held to account for what they say.

bluegill on October 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM

blue, there’s plenty of people on the left to attack. not sure why you’re going after someone on the same side as you. despite your Carnac-like abilities to know what I meant, Ted Cruz was a staple on our show for months leading up his election as senator. We’ve bled time on him from the time he mounted his fledgling campaign. You described exactly what quixotic means – impractical and unrealistic. At the very time Senator Cruz gave his 21 hour address, the idea that Obamacare would get repealed or defunded was in fact impractical and unrealistic, being that Republicans are 21 votes away from being able to overturn a veto from Barack Obama (24 if you include McCain, Graham and Collins). That said, the shot in the arm Cruz gave all of us who want to see the stake planted in the heart of Obamacare was better than any medicine that could be prescribed. One can be analytical about the odds of success, and yet still champion the passion and principle that leads someone to take on an improbable quest.

As for why I don’t write so much or what Hugh believes, whatever. Haters hate.

Duane Patterson on October 8, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Duane, I apologize if you took offense. That quick post about Cruz was frustrating because it seemed to take te same attitude of all the others that haven’t put up anything except token votes to repeal Obamacare. We finally had someone that took the lead in the fight. For a whole that was Michele Bachmann, but there is only so much she could do in the House and he seems pretty ineffective at advancing anything beyond the talk radio circuit

That is why conservatives are sensitive about criticism towards someone actually sticking a neck out and advancing the fight. The exercise may have been “quixotic,” but he’s forced the GOP leadership to take te fight further than they ever would have without it.

h a p f a t on October 8, 2013 at 1:16 AM

Actually, maybe “pointless” is the wrong word. You clearly meant to get in a few digs.

Quixotic means impractical and unrealistic. No one ever calls someone “quixotic” to compliment them. It is used to mock them. What’s more, you make it seem in that post like Cruz believed the filibuster alone could end Obamacare.

bluegill on October 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Words can only be used in ways that you are familiar with & approve of? You’ve never taken a communications course nor studied up on what “good listening” entails, have you?

Duane explained what he meant by “quixotic”; I understood him perfectly, and, unlike you, I can see he wasn’t being critical of Cruz at all.

That you can’t let go of your personal negativity & consider that you don’t know as much as you like to believe you do should be a sign to you that you need to have your head examined…

Anti-Control on October 8, 2013 at 6:47 AM

The dems were never winning, except in their own minds.

dogsoldier on October 8, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Duane Patterson on October 8, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Anti-Control on October 8, 2013 at 6:47 AM

Hagfish has to be hagfish.

cozmo on October 8, 2013 at 8:11 AM

This administration is issuing so many “threats,” Duane missed one when he was bolding them. Last sentence of Obama’s lecture threat speech has another “threat” (that I think should be a “threaten”).

CJ on October 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Tangential obligatory praise for Generalissimo. His and Ed’s 60-90 minutes on Friday are among the more interesting right-wing commentaries/discourses out here. I am constantly and happily surprised how Duane nails stuff.

Note to Ed: Duane deserves a regular spot on Hot Gas and the Hewitt show (sans Hewitt’s childish brickbats about your producing ability). You do your job practice your craft well. Were you a commentator on 870, I would be a steadfast listener instead of an occasional visitor.

The War Planner on October 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Saw the clip of Brian Williams on Letterman, wearing Obama’s *ss as a hat. An indoor faux pas yes, and yet he wore it proudly. Letterman thought he was stunning.
Actually the whole thing was.

onomo on October 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I heard Obama use a fascinating analogy today.

Obama roughly said ‘you do not negotiate with someone who comes into your house and threatens to burn it down if you do not buy ‘insurance”.

Does Obama realize that is EXACTLY how Obamacare works?

Freddy on October 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Democrats would likely be doing worse if republicans would put someone up right after to call him out on his bs every time Obama goes on TV to spread his bs about defaulting, but they don’t.

xblade on October 8, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Very good catch. Nice lookin out.

budfox on October 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Jay Carney has defended the Administration’s use of the hostage rhetoric, even after the new tone that was supposed to be exercised in the days after the Arizona shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others.

Either you’re being sarcastic or you’re being naïve. In fact, when it comes to the whole issue of Obama’s “civility speech”, you’re being naïve even if you’re being sarcastic.

Obama’s civility speech was so outrageous, so phony, so exploitive in it’s partisan ghoulishness, that it was a thoroughly inadequate response for Conservatives to simply roll their eyes and say “yeah, let’s see how long this civility lasts for”. Obama should have been raked over the coals by Conservatives for flying to Arizona to give that disgusting speech, not simply mocked.

I fear that we are becoming so immune to both the idea of the MSM serving as the Democrat’s propagandists, and the Democrats thinking that they can say and do anything, knowing that the MSM has their backs, that we’ve lost our will to fight, and are just content to make sarcastic jokes amongst ourselves about media bias.

The fact that DP even alludes to the civility speech only reinforces my fear.

ardenenoch on October 9, 2013 at 12:20 AM