Sextant and Compass wallpaper, When do facts start to matter

Sextant and Compass wallpaper. Typo on the file name. Sorry about that.

I’m a little burned out on the who’s more energized, who is more enthusiastic or more motivated. Instead of the hardcore numbers of letting the upper tax bracket tax cuts expire, or how much the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( health care reform) will draw down the deficit or how the stimulus ( however imperfect) helped the economy from hitting bottom, we seem to be having a national conversation that uses the language we normally use in describing a diet with more vegetables and lower in fat. Republicans cannot bring themselves to admit that beyond the shrill daily whining they got nothing. House Minority Leader John Boehner(R-OH) admits as much – Boehner: The ‘Pledge’ Is Just To ‘Lay Out The Size Of The Problem,’ Americans Aren’t Ready For Solutions

Indeed, Boehner was more than a little off message in saying “let’s not get to the potential solutions.” As his own Pledge states, surveying the proposals laid out in its pages, “We recognize that these solutions are ambitious.” It concludes by affirming that Republicans will fight to “promote and advance solutions.”

But numerous Republicans, including Boehner, have proposed plans to deal with Social Security and Medicare: cut benefits. All of their proposals — from raising the retirement age, to privatization, to declaring the entire social safety net unconstitutional — are deeply unpopular with the American people, hence Boehner’s apprehension to delve into the issue.

So let’s just follow our broken compass to – cross your fingers – some proximity to our destination. Once we’re there, hopefully we’ll be able to deal with the conditions on the ground. Are you ready America to once again follow these spend and borrow charlatans of the cliff. Since the daily argument is all about how we feel, than recent history and the facts don’t matter. George Lakoff has some observations on the framing of this great national debate that Republicans want to have later – when it will be too late, Why The Democrats’ Response to the Pledge Has Been Inadequate

The Democratic response to the Republican Pledge to America has been factual about its economics. The September 26, 2010 Sunday NY Times editorial goes through the economic details, and Democrats have been citing the economic facts from the Congressional Budget Office. As Dan Pfeiffer reports on the White House blog, the Republicans are proposing:

* Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires by borrowing $700 billion we can’t afford;
* Tax hikes for 110 million middle-class families and millions of small businesses;
* Cutting rules and oversight for special interests like big oil, big insurance, credit card and mortgage companies and Wall Street banks;
* Doing nothing to stop the outsourcing of American jobs or to end tax breaks that are given to companies that ship jobs overseas;
* All while adding trillions to our nation’s deficit.

Their plan is also notable for what it doesn’t talk about: protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization schemes; investing in high-quality education for our nation’s children; growing key industries like clean energy and manufacturing; and rebuilding our crumbling roads, rails and runways.

This is the same agenda that caused the deepest recession since the Great Depression…

The Democrats who have checked out the facts have echoed President Obama’s judgment of the Pledge: It’s “worthless.”

I agree.  And if the voting public voted on the basis of the economic details, plus the Democrats’ system of values, the Republicans wouldn’t have a chance in hell in the November elections.

But the polls show otherwise. What do we conclude? The voting public does not vote on the basis of the economic details, and the voting public does not fully accept the Democrats’ system of values as they apply in this election.

I will make a bet. When the new polls come out next week, the Democrats’ response to the Republican pledge will not have turned around the Republican lead in the polls.

In short, the Democrats’ response to the Republican Pledge may well be irrelevant.  Why? And why does the President have such a hard time defending his accomplishments?

Pundits have been looking for a simple answer. But the answer is complex and depends on understanding how the minds and brains of voters work. Here are ten basic principles:

First, all politics is moral. People vote for values they identify with, for what they see as right, not wrong.

Second, the facts alone don’t set you free. Facts matter, but they must be understandable, that is, framed for normal human beings, and framed so as to be relevant to the moral views that define a voter’s identity.

Thinking back to the 2008 election cycle has anyone else wondered about the difference in the general level of details about what is wrong and what to do about it. What’s different now? During the election cycle there was the usual daily over dose of right-wing conservative disinformation, but we had some semblance of balance via campaign ads on TV and radio. Obama even had a quick response team that posted the newest lies on the net and sent out press releases to counter right-wing spin. Now that the elections are over where is the Democratic message. There is a snip of an Obama speech or press secretary briefing versus Fox, all of Murdoch’s newspapers and the Sunday political talk ( still weighed in Republicans favor. Democrats do not have an entire network devoted to the centrist to center-left message. There are progressives on radio, but they do not have the kind of market penetration the right-wing line-up has had for going on three decades. The Right gets people on their way to and from work and maybe they might channel surf across a few minutes of Rachel Maddow. Many Democrats are taking the glass is half empty view of Democratic accomplishments. Republicans completely screw over America and botch what they thought was going to be a fifty year era of Republican rule beginning with the Bush administration. Now they feel more empowered than ever while Democrats – with all that has been accomplished – feel uninspired; at least that is what the polls and the media says. I find it hard to believe Democrats are going to sit this one out and let Sharron Angle (Tea Nut-NV), CarlyFiorina (R-CA), Rick Scott (Tea Nut-Fl) or Jim Russell (Tea Nut-NY). Maybe. If Republicans win the House it would be entertaining to see Boehner answer the daily double jeopardy question – what have you done to balance the budget today or where are those super secret plans to turn the economy around …which Republicans also kept a closely guarded secret from 2000 to 2008. Only America hating goons would make their country suffer as they kept such miraculous answers to themselves for political gain..right? The GOP Pledge Against America: ‘Same Sh*t We Heard Before’

The real faces of Repulgican Hypocrites—“Tea Party Candidates Benefit From Stimulus, Federal Spending…most Republican candidates’ opposition to government spending isn’t very deep at all — particularly when they benefit directly. candidates — base their campaigns largely on opposition to President Obama’s agenda…they say, the stimulus wasted tax payer dollars, and simply bloated the federal government…Ron Johnson, who claims “government doesn’t create jobs,” and who’s hoping to unseat Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), has perhaps the longest record of benefiting from government largesse.  In 1979 a company called Wisconsin Industrial Shipping Supplies, owned by Johnson’s brother-in-law, received a $75,000 development grant from the city of Oshkosh to build a rail spur to a plant it was building. One of the conditions of the grant required WISS to hire 11 people in exchange for the funds. Just a few months later, WISS became Pacur — the company Johnson owns today — and the factory was opened. The factory itself was also built with the help of a $1 million government-issued development bond.” and on and on and on.   For Repuglicans its’s a do as I say, not as I do kind of world.

I’ don’t think most Democrats have a deep ideological axe to grind when it comes to privatizing government services as long as a cost/benefit analysis shows tax payers come out ahead, consumers are protected and programs like Social Security are not enslaved to the same market forces that brought us Wall St malfeasance .Republicans are pro privatization as a simple knee jerk ideology. Thus we had and still have all the wonderful benefits of KBR-Halliburton. The way supplies and services for the military used to work we had government procurement from suppliers. The military took things from there. Republicans decided rather than the government buying bottled water from a supplier we’d have KBR buy the water, who in turn sold it to the government (us) for a profit. Why did Republicans insert a money-grubbing pimp in the supply chain. Republicans LOVE big govmint as long as they get their cut. It’s the pimping of capitalism for no other reason than Republicans being able to feed at the public trough.