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Raise the Green Lantern, Fact Chuck Edition

[ 46 ] March 11, 2013 |

Shorter Glenn Kessler: Republicans aren’t lying when they say that President Obama doesn’t have a plan. Because if he was really behind a plan, he could shove it right down Congress’s throat. By having the leadership to lead, with leadership. Like that time Bill Clinton gave a speech and then something happened after that.

…we should also always remember that grand bargains are a con even if presidents could magically make them happen.


Comments (46)

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  1. JKTHs says:

    I especially liked this:

    By the same token, just having “a plan” on a Web site is not really a plan either. The White House’s proposal contains a mix of tax increases and modest reductions in entitlement and other spending programs, allowing the White House to claim it has made such proposals. In effect, however, this is another talking-point plan.

    This in the section called “Baseless Assertions” “The Facts”

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      What is needed to break through the party’s respective echo chambers? The answer, in almost all cases, is sustained presidential commitment.

      This is my favorite. It’s clearly just bonkers!

    • arbitrot says:


      The ignorance betrayed by the source you quote makes the mind reel.

      Surely you — though not your source apparently — are aware that the White House has proposed a fiscal 2013 budget which already proposes implementing the elements in the summary plan at the White House website?

      Oh wait. I guess these scores of thousands of line items don’t mean anything to your source and don’t constitute a “plan” because one has to actually download them from links provided at the White House website. Then read them. Then understand them. Which would undoubtedly be the most difficult part for someone who had made the inane claim that said you liked.

      Bill O’Reilly was stupid enough in his contretemps with Alan Colmes to bloviate about how Obama should compress the details of the budget on a single page and personally deliver it to Billo. But Bill the Clown would say something as dumb as that, wouldn’t he?

      I can only assume you are not that obtuse, and that it is your source who has not reached above the Fox News mentality.

  2. sparks says:

    Like that time Bill Clinton have a speech and then something happened after that.

    Sentence makes me tense.

  3. sibusisodan says:

    So a plan is only a plan if it’s been put into action (i.e., the voting on it has commenced in some form).

    Meanings of words, how do they work?

    Also, I’m reasonably certain that if Joseph Heller had not put pen to paper until this year, and was just now beginning to draft his meisterwork, he’d give up in disgust and go to do something else entirely.

    After all, who needs the example of Yossarian nowadays, when we can just point to any of several politicians and media folk? And sigh. Repeatedly.

  4. actor212 says:

    As a reasonably honest, above-board man, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around how corrupt and base one’s soul has to be in order to completely warp reality to suit your situational morality and ethos, such as in situations like this.

    Can anyone help?

  5. John says:

    Favorite thing: the first comment to the Kessler post is someone who claims that Kessler is practicing false equivalence – by being unfair to Republicans!

  6. Steve LaBonne says:

    Why is the Kaplan Fishwrap still in business?

  7. WhatDragon says:

    To what extent are Kessler and Republicans able to get away with claiming the President doesn’t really have a plan because the plan that the President does have isn’t actually that popular with anyone?

    I am not saying that having a more popular plan would lead to its passage or anything of that nature.

    I mean that there is no real constituency within the Democratic Party for Chained CPI and other entitlement cuts in exchange for some tax increases on the wealthy. This lack of a constituency means that there really isn’t anyone willing to defend the president’s plan in a manner that clarifies the debate in any meaningful way.

    • Cody says:

      More importantly, how is the PRESIDENT supposed to pass a bill in the House to make it a real plan?

      Also, the Republican “plan” is a bill that is batshit crazy and every Republican I know deny every detail in it.

      The President’s plan is bad because it compromises with Republicans too much. Which is exactly what they want…

      but it’s not a “real” plan I guess.

  8. sherparick says:

    Like when Dubya privatized social security in 2005. Oh, that did not happen did it even though Dubya, Cheney, and Tom Delay were all wishing as hard as they could on on the rigninhish.

  9. JKTHs says:

    I’m not sure what speech Kessler’s referring to but I know that 1995/1996 was a great time for bipartisanship given the multiple government shutdowns and near-breaches of the debt limit.

  10. commie atheist says:

    After Jonathan Bernstein points out how full of chi Kessler is, Kessler’s response is this”

    But clearly our point was not clear enough because we are certainly not endorsing the idea that something is not a plan unless it passes both houses of Congress or is even politically viable. The test, in a period of divided government, is whether a politician is willing to highlight uncomfortable facts about their proposal, even at the risk of alienating their own supporters. Just pointing to a plan on a Web site is not the same thing.

    Obama needs to explain how important it is to cut Social Security and Medicare, so that Republicans can then campaign against Democrats cutting Social Security and Medicare in 2014.

  11. Pseudonym says:

    I’m sorry; is Glenn Kessler’s job to determine whether plans are appropriately bipartisan enough to appeal to his fetish for centrism, or is it to check the fucking facts?

  12. […] a Grand Bargain — or, in practice, devoting most of their criticism to Obama.Silly Greg. As Scott Lemieux explains, the centrist view is that all Obama has to do is have the leadership to lead, with […]

  13. Patrice Ayme says:

    Obama always finds the leadership to lead, against himself. At least when he negotiates with with plutophiles.

  14. What the GOP wants is for Obama to propose their plan so they can run against him as the president who proposed gutting Social Security, taking candy from babies and whatever other nonsense is in the Republican plan. It worked once before, it could work again. They win all around.

    They get a bunch of tax cuts for the rich, gut a bunch of programs so less people are benefiting from them so those plans are now more vulnerable politically, and they get to blame it on the president. Oh, and they make the deficit worse so they can come back and ask for some more tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social programs. And the economy suffers so the president gets blamed for this too. It is a no brainer for them.

    If only we had a free press, willing to stand up to them, but there is more money in being part of the plutocracy.

    This is what the demise of a democracy looks like. The concentration of wealth and power, very unequal representation (see GOP gerrymandering and natural city versus country distribution of voters), apathetic and misled public, media controlled by and serving the plutocracy and a political party determined to destroy democracy (see permanent Republican majority plans.)

    • Rick says:

      We no longer have a free press. We don’t really have much of a “press” at all, just a thousand munchkins yammering over top of each other. Can any of them be heard over the din? WSJ? NYT? Who? Time Magazine has a brilliantly researched cover story on health care running to 30,000 words last week, and did it even make a ripple? Two decades ago it would be on everybody’s lips. Now? “Time Magazine? Does anybody still read that?”

  15. […] Greg. As Scott Lemieux explains, the centrist view is that all Obama has to do is have the leadership to lead, with […]

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  18. […] now think that Obama could get his legislative agenda through a Republican House if he only had the leadership to lead, with leadership? Here’s an exhaustive list of the “same people” who have changed their minds? […]

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