Patterico's Pontifications

8/6/2020

Was It All a Lie? A Rant Deferred

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



This morning I was reflecting on a post by Allahpundit, in which he reacted to Rand Paul’s assertion that the GOP should apologize to Obama for pretending it cared about spending during his presidency. Allahpundit replied that pandemic spending is a necessity and that apologies are not owed to Obama. But …

But you know what I will take an apology for? I’ll accept one for running gigantic deficits during a sustained pre-pandemic economic boom with a Republican president in office, Republicans in control of the Senate, and, for two years, Republicans in charge of the House. That’s the spending binge that proved that the tea party was a fraud to its core, not the exorbitant emergency relief effort that Congress is now engaged in.

. . . .

. . .It’s opportunistic Trump-hugging cronies like Paul who think they’re one election away from relevance again.

Never Trumpers, in contrast, are the righties who are most thoroughly disillusioned about what they thought the GOP stood for. Trump’s presidency isn’t an interregnum between periods of Reaganism in their view, it’s an expose that busted the myth that Republican politicians or voters ever cared much about smaller government or “constitutional conservatism” or, you know, basic ethics. Stuart Stevens, a former GOP strategist and now a member of the Lincoln Project, has a book out this week about his own disillusionment with the party titled “It Was All a Lie.” You can’t do better than that as a summary of the Never Trump verdict on the pre-Trump GOP.

It was all a lie. Hose it down with kerosene and light a match.

I have never described myself as a “Never Trumper” (I’m not big on joining groups) but I feel the disillusion, and I made notes this morning for a long rant about my disappointment with various factions. Disappointment with judges who go wobbly on the real issues and wink at abuses of the rule of law done for cronyism. Disappointment with Senators who professed to care about the deficit, and the Constitution, and reining in an out of control executive, and fostering basic morality and decency … and then gave it all up due to fear that speaking out for what they believed in might cost them an election. Disappointment at commentators who ranted at the obvious deficiencies of Trump, and then traded that all for attaboys from strangers on the Internet. Disappointment at large swaths of the voting public for voting such a cretin into office.

But there is a part of me which questions whether I should write this rant at all.

Or at least, that part of me which suggests this as a compromise: that if I do write that rant, perhaps it should be tempered with the knowledge that my views of other people are often changed when I meet them in person. There are public figures I am more reluctant to criticize because they seem nice in person, and I think they actually are, and that niceness is mixed in with the nasty bits I see in public. And you know what? I think it’s true of everyone.

And the reverse is true of me. Whatever angelic image I might try to project onto an Internet screen, the truth is that when you know me in private you find I’m a deeply flawed human being who sins.

I still might write that rant. I’ll probably wait until after my daughter has left the house, because the time I would need to invest would detract from the little time we have with her before she returns to school. It is a silver lining of the pandemic that for a time, we have had a household resembling in many ways the one we used to have before she left for college: all four members of the family together, playing games, going on walks together … just like the old days. That’s going to change soon.

When it does, I may be back at the blog a little more. And maybe I’ll have time to write that rant. But for now, it’s like one of those letters Lincoln wrote in anger and put in his drawer — only I have described a little something about the contents of the letter to you. When days have passed I will open the drawer again, and maybe I will send the letter and maybe I’ll leave it in the drawer.

Or maybe it will become something more temperate. A letter that makes the same points, but less in anger.

We’ll see.

88 Responses to “Was It All a Lie? A Rant Deferred”

  1. Who was the leadership of the senate and house again tea partiers like mcconnell mccain pbuh cornyn, murkowski collins, many like ernst and even rubio have proven dissapointment. Ryan that mountebank before him orange crush. After the (redacted) you threw down on christine o donnell you have the nerve to complain, after all tbw whining about akin that gave us russian tool mccaskill.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  2. You never understood the long game

    https://mobile.twitter.com/proteinwisdom/status/1291371183661658114

    Narciso (7404b5)

  3. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  4. all four members of the family together, playing games, going on walks together … just like the old days. That’s going to change soon.

    Trump says by November 3rd, so you don’t need voting by mail. “Without evidence” said Margaret Brennan yesterday on the CBS Evening News.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  5. I still think the game was up once Boehner retired and in a final act of stupidity cut a deal with Obama to end the budget sequestration, ostensibly so that his successor, Paul Ryan, would have a freer hand in negotiations. We had seen this coming ever since the sequestration deal had been reached: Democrats complaining that cuts to social spending were leaving people dying in the streets Calcutta-style and Republicans complaining that cuts to the military were leaving us defenseless against a retaliatory invasion by Grenada (and yes, I know I’ve used that line before; so sue me). But the ease with which both sides jettisoned the only actual sensible budget measure of the Obama Era told me that it would be years and years before fiscal sanity returned to Washington.

    We can’t cut spending in bad times because lives are at stake and the government needs to protect the vulnerable and we can’t cut spending in good times because we need to back-fill all of the items that went “neglected” during the bad times, so you tell me how and when we’re ever going to control our ridiculous appetites.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. And it struck the military much more as was the peace pledge that won him the iowa nomination, there was a budget that pushed reductions in discretionary programs it was doa.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  7. Allahpundit would apparently choose a government shutdown rather than accept a budget busting budget deal, which means he lives in a fantasy world where conservatives win those battles. That’s the lie.

    beer ‘n pretzels (9937ff)

  8. Well the above mentioned leadership team, knows to fly the white flag at first glance.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  9. Allahpundit is right, and it’s amazing the hatred toward him in comment sections.
    Rand Paul owes an apology for his phony fiscal conservatism. Sure, he voted “nay” on at least three appropriations bills, but he also voted “aye” to a tax cut that would add $1 trillion to our national debt. Fiscal conservatism died for good after the Freedom Caucus prostrated themselves before a fraud president.
    And for all of Obama’s overspending and overreaching in his first two years, it was he who signed the sequester bill that helped rein in spending and reduce our annual deficits every year since (except for the uptick in 2016, from 2.4% of GDP to 3.1%). Liberals were furious when I made that observation, and that Douchebag Reid also voted for it.

    Paul Montagu (f2aab5)

  10. @9. The whole “movement” has been a half-century sham.

    “Never mind what I told you. I’m telling you!” – The Captain [James Cagney] ‘Mister Roberts’ 1955

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Apologies? Apologies??

    “Apologies” be damned. Reparations!! Reparations!!! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. I’m personally overwhelmed and exhausted just thinking about the massive deficit and the incredible hole we find ourselves in. With that, however, I am cheered by two things this morning. The first being that you are following wisdom in allowing both you and your rant to breathe. The heat of the moment usually isn’t all its cracked up to be… The second thing that cheers me this morning is your recognition that having your family being back together under the same roof has been a unique gift given this season of uncertainty. Time has proven to be your friend these days.

    Dana (292df6)

  13. And for all of Obama’s overspending and overreaching in his first two years, it was he who signed the sequester bill that helped rein in spending and reduce our annual deficits every year since (except for the uptick in 2016, from 2.4% of GDP to 3.1%). Liberals were furious when I made that observation, and that Douchebag Reid also voted for it.

    Right. But as I pointed out, it was also Obama who was more than happy to kill the sequester because it kept the shrillest elements of the left from carping at him, and also because it helped mask the fact that the economic agenda that Obama and the Dems undertook in his first two years never took us anywhere close to the economic Shangri-La that we were promised. We’re dumping all over the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party, and they certainly deserve censure for a significant amount of hypocrisy, but without them there never would have been a budget sequestration to begin with.

    But let’s face it: the real culprit for all of this ridiculous overspending is us, the American voter. We’re the ones who desperately want Big Government, but want someone else to pay for it. We’re getting exactly what we have deserved ever since the sainted Calvin Coolidge left office and took with him the last vestiges of a responsible and humble federal government.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  14. I agree with everything you said, JVW, and also about Obama.
    We’ve seen this two times now, the former with Newt and the latter with the Tea Party. The GOP only really cares about fiscal conservatism when there’s a Democrat president and Republican Congress, and that “principle” is tossed when power changes hands. It’s hard not to be cynical about any of it.

    Paul Montagu (f2aab5)

  15. yes it seems illconsidered, the freedom caucus was trying to get rid of obamacare, that new carbuncle, they welded to the motor, like something out of mad max fury road,

    narciso (7404b5)

  16. Welcome to 1964.

    Welcome to 1964.

    I wonder if Dean Chance will win the Cy Young Award again…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. “Reagan,” Vice President Dick Cheney famously declared in 2002, “proved deficits don’t matter.”

    Crocodile tears.

    He is “you.”

    Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Never Trumpers, in contrast, are the righties who are most thoroughly disillusioned about what they thought the GOP stood for

    NeverTrump acts like True Conservatives™ ought to, because the way to enact True Conservatism™ is to promote and support the election of the most left-wing slate of Democrats that party has ever run.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. Both parties think their fiscal priorities are more important then the budget.
    Neither party thinks the other parties fiscal priorities are more important than the budget.

    Here’s the top line numbers going back to 1990. Anyone that can show me how the results change based on which party controls what branch of government is welcome to do so. I don’t see it. We’ve been running an average deficit as % of GDP of 3.5% pretty much every year, not counting what happened during the great recession. I’m sure COVID will have an impact also. But it always goes up. No one ever brings it down.

    Fiscal
    Year
    Surplus or Deficit (-)
    1990 -221
    1991 -269.2
    1992 -290.3
    1993 -255.1
    1994 -203.2
    1995 -164
    1996 -107.4
    1997 -21.9
    1998 69.3
    1999 125.6
    2000 236.2
    2001 128.2
    2002 -157.8
    2003 -377.6
    2004 -412.7
    2005 -318.3
    2006 -248.2
    2007 -160.7
    2008 -458.6
    2009 -1,412.70
    2010 -1,294.40
    2011 -1,299.60
    2012 -1,076.60
    2013 -679.8
    2014 -484.8
    2015 -442
    2016 -584.7
    2017 -665.4
    2018 -779.1
    2019 estimate -1,091.50
    2020 estimate -1,100.80
    2021 estimate -1,068.30
    2022 estimate -1,048.80
    2023 estimate -908.6
    2024 estimate -700.5

    Time123 (66d88c)

  20. considering just the prospect of the repeal of obamacare, drove that psycho hopkinson, no doubt encouraged by durbin and duckworth, to try to slaughter the freedom caucus, that is the baseline we are working with,

    narciso (7404b5)

  21. Everyone has a point but nothing will change with so much hate.

    DRJ (aede82)

  22. @21 True, smart people have figured out how to monetize hate, contempt and outrage. They feed a steady diet of in small increments.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  23. “We’re getting exactly what we have deserved ever since the sainted Calvin Coolidge left office…”

    Hmmm.

    “I think the American people want a solemn ass as a President,” Coolidge once told [actress] Ethel Barrymore, “and I think I will go along with them.”-source, wikiyoulose.heisdeadhowcanyoutell.org

    We got one.

    “Oh boy.” – Dr. Westphall [Ed Flanders] ‘St. Elsewhere’ NBC TV, 1982-88

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. This:

    But let’s face it: the real culprit for all of this ridiculous overspending is us, *the American voter. We’re the ones who desperately want Big Government, but want someone else to pay for it. We’re getting exactly what we have deserved ever since the sainted Calvin Coolidge left office and took with him the last vestiges of a responsible and humble federal government.

    *the American voter: there is no real daylight between today’s political left and political right in this.

    (The bolded part made me roll my eyes when observing how those descriptions could never describe the government we have today…)

    Dana (292df6)

  25. @16. I wonder if Dean Chance will win the Cy Young Award again…

    Golly Gee- I wonder if Gilligan’s Island or Jeopardy! will be on the air again… “And the answer is–”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1964_American_television_series_debuts

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. Did Coolidge really sy thaT?

    I thinl he said (or maybe this is somebody else or him quoting someone) Better to keep silent and be thouht a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Also: Something about if you see troubles rolling at you from far away, a lot of them will stop rolling before they get to you.

    Also: The business of America is business

    Also something about there are people with ability who never get anywhere for (I don’t remember the reason) A common belief at the time.

    Also, when his son died in 1925 from tetanus (stubbing his toe) or (eventually) sepsis, the power and the glory of the presidency went away from him or became nothing to him or something like that.
    (this was before antibiotics or even sulfa drugs)

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  27. @6. Go read his wikibio, Sammy. It’s there But “You lose”… did he really say that???

    He said he didn’t. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. ^26.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. Just dont end up like 1964 WS champ St. Louis Cardinals manager Johnny Keane – went for the Bright Lights and Pinstripes next season and ended up a hollow shell (dead in Jan. 1967 of a heart attack).

    urbanleftbehind (d07d9c)

  30. The “solemn ass” comment comes from a book published in 2006.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_Coolidge#CITEREFGreenberg2006

    Although Coolidge was known to be a skilled and effective public speaker, in private he was a man of few words and was commonly referred to as “Silent Cal”. An apocryphal story has it that a person seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, “I made a bet today that I could get more than two words out of you.” He replied, “You lose.”[83] However, on April 22, 1923, Coolidge himself said that the “You lose” quotation never occurred. The story about it was related by Frank B. Noyes, President of the Associated Press, to their membership at their annual luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, when toasting and introducing Coolidge, who was the invited speaker. After the introduction and before his prepared remarks, Coolidge said to the membership, “Your President [referring to Noyes] has given you a perfect example of one of those rumors now current in Washington which is without any foundation.”[84

    On Aprl 23, 1923, Coolidge was not et president. Should that be 1924?

    It seems like it was a joke.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  31. The “Solemn ass’ comment was already known in 1972:

    https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010643539

    But that sounds like apolitical cartoon.

    An artile in the Baltimore Sun in 1996 says it is a book of anecdotes about presidents:

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1996-07-06-1996188014-story.html

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  32. @30. So? The tapes kept revealing Nixon Nuggets well into the 21st century.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  33. errata: I thought his son died in 1924, and in fact it was 1924 but one web page I was reading said 1925. I shouldn;t have gone with that.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  34. I’m just not sure what is the original source of the “pompous ass” comment.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  35. Caught Stuart Stevens whining and pitching his book on one of the cablers and his terrified view that ‘Trumpism’ has seeped deeply into the GOP, rooted and will likely steer it for the next quarter century.

    But it was his closing remarks which were the tell: he wants his views and opinions to still matter.

    Guess what, pal- they don’t. Welcome to 1964- you and Mona and George and Jonah and much of the pundits on the masthead of the National Review are castaways, on the beach w/the Professor and MaryAnn. So get a tan– for the next 25 years- ‘little buddy.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. NeverTrump acts like True Conservatives™ ought to, because the way to enact True Conservatism™ is to promote and support the election of the most left-wing slate of Democrats that party has ever run.

    That is the claim made every single presidential election. That you make it now, with Joe Biden (the most moderate candidate on the debate stage) running, proves that the argument will be repeated no matter who is running.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  37. Right hes embracing green new deal and medicare for all, with ady barkin, so.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  38. People love to deliver impassioned sermons about it, but non-defense discretionary spending is not to blame for the pre-pandemic deficits.

    As I’ve pointed out before, if you completely zeroed out non-defense discretionary spending (which includes many, many essential functions like border enforcement, food inspection, law enforcement, etc) the budget would *still* be in deficit.

    In fact, prior to the pandemic, non-defense discretionary spending was about 1.5% of GDP LOWER than it was the last time we had a budget surplus in 2000.

    Completely zeroing out the defense budget, also clearly not a realistic or safe option, would not balance the budget either.

    It’s the entitlements, stupid.

    Here is a great website where you can try your own hand at fixing the federal budget, using a wide variety of possible cuts and revenue increases:

    http://www.crfb.org/debtfixer/

    Also, concerning “overspending”, we should understand this in context.

    Government spending as percentage of GDP (data from 2018; for the US this includes state and local as well as federal):

    Russia: 32.6%
    Switzerland: 32.4%
    China: 34.1%
    US: 35.1%
    Australia: 36.7%
    Japan: 37.1%
    UK: 38.3%
    Canada: 40.7%
    South Korea: 42.5%
    EU Average: 44.7%

    We are well below most large developed countries. Switzerland is helped by the fact that their GDP per capita is 40% higher than ours ($83.1K vs. $62.9K in 2018).

    But remember much larger defense budget. Out of our 35.1%, 3.2% was defense spending in 2018, while for most other countries it’s about half that.

    So we are “overspending” in the sense of spending much more than we take in, but in terms of non-military spending we are well below just about all of the developed world.

    What about revenue?

    Government revenue as % of GDP, again for 2018 (again, includes all levels of government):

    China: 29.3%
    US: 29.5%
    Switzerland: 33.7%
    Japan: 33.9%
    Russia: 35.5%
    Australia: 35.8%
    UK: 36.9%
    Canada: 40.3%
    South Korea: 45.1%
    EU Average: 45.3%

    And finally, the borrowing/surplus numbers (difference of spending and revenue as %GDP):

    US: -5.7%
    China: -4.8%
    Japan: -3.2%
    UK: -1.4%
    Australia: -0.8%
    EU Average: -0.6%
    Canada: -0.4%
    Switzerland: +1.3%
    South Korea: +2.6%
    Russia: +2.9% (yes, Putin, bless his black heart, is the fiscal conservative we’ve always longed for…)

    There are basically three (not mutually exclusive) things we can do to significantly alter the picture:

    1) Slash defense spending
    2) Slash entitlements
    3) Increase revenue

    To minimize the undesirable side-effects of each option, one would imagine some kind of balance would be the least painful.

    Or we could take the attitude that one or more of them is completely off the table.

    Politically, #1 and #3 are anathema to Republicans, #2 is anathema to Democrats, and the can keeps getting kicked further down the road while solutions become more and more difficult to achieve.

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. Cash in those Iraqi War Bonds!

    Oh. Wait.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. That is the claim made every single presidential election.

    From the back cover of Sean Hannity’s new book:

    “[T]he truth is that the future of American freedom rests on Donald Trump’s reelection.”

    Smart move to cash in on the rubes one last time before Trump’s reign of error comes to an ignominious end.

    “Reaganomics.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  41. @37, Patterico, it continues to remind me of how the left successfully painted Romney as a some sort of racist extremist. I’m told that it helped cement the opinion on parts of the right that there was no point in nominating a moderate candidate because the left would portray them as extreme. So might as well nominate a wack-a-do like Trump.

    I think if Biden loses because he’s successfully mis-portrayed as a communist radical the left will be far less likely to nominate someone centrist due to electability concerns.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  42. Total Household Debt Decreased in Q2 2020, Marking First Decline Since 2014

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which shows that total household debt decreased by $34 billion (0.2%) to $14.27 trillion in second quarter of 2020. This marks the first decline since the second quarter of 2014 and is the largest decline since the second quarter of 2013. The Report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data. This latest report reflects consumer credit data as of June 30, 2020.
    …….
    Reflecting the sharp decline in overall consumer spending due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related social distancing orders, credit card balances fell sharply by $76 billion in the second quarter. This was the steepest decline in card balances seen in the history of the data. Auto and student loan balances were roughly flat in the second quarter. In total, non-housing balances (including credit card, auto loan, student loan, and other debts) saw the largest drop in the history of this report, with an $86 billion decline.

    Aggregate delinquency rates dropped markedly in the second quarter, reflecting increased uptake of forbearances, which were provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
    ……
    “Protections afforded to American consumers through the CARES Act have prevented large-scale delinquency from appearing on credit reports and damaging future credit access” said Joelle Scally, Administrator of the Center for Microeconomic Data at the New York Fed. “However, these temporary relief measures may also mask the very real financial challenges that Americans may be experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic slowdown.”
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. @41. Whistling past the graveyard; Reaganoptics.

    Glorious.

    First dibs on bet: President Trump will follow McCain pattern w/U.S. flag lowerings and will not attend JoeyBee’s funeral.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. @44. ‘Whistling past the graveyard’– Perhaps that should be Reaganoctaves, instead. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. That is the claim made every single presidential election. That you make it now, with Joe Biden (the most moderate candidate on the debate stage) running, proves that the argument will be repeated no matter who is running.

    If Biden wins he’ll resign right after he is inaugurated and hand the Presidency to whichever actual leftist is his VP. My question is, given his obvious mental decline, when will Jill Biden and the top campaign staff be charged with elder abuse?

    Horatio (85e4f7)

  46. That you make it now, with Joe Biden (the most moderate candidate on the debate stage.

    Thanks for demonstrating how it’s done…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  47. I call BS on Bulwarkism.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. Thanks for demonstrating how it’s done…

    How what’s done?

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. Yes, they be most moderate… https://spectator.us/top-democrats-contemplate-civil-war-biden-loses/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  50. Wouldn’t, shouldn’t or couldn’t…

    https://youtu.be/dsv6gqPIJbs

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  51. 37… A “moderate”?

    Biden supports a repeal of the Hyde Amendment (which protects pro-life taxpayers from funding a practice they consider to be murder), revoking the Mexico City Policy (which prevents abortion funding overseas), striking down state limits on abortion, and he supports restoring federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

    Some “moderate”.

    https://joebiden.com/womens-agenda/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  52. I know captain pike is hard to gauge by his responses but ady barkin was pleased.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  53. 54. Some “moderate”.

    That’s abut abortion where he changed his position.

    What you are talking bout has been the policy of any Democratic Administration. It doesn;’t add too much to Roe v Wade.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  54. 50. Podesta must have been enjoying himself. He wanted to give a twist to the organizers. This would make it similar to the Election of 1876 but go further.

    I don’t think this is at all a possibility – but it was a game so Podesta played. Secession of course is ridiculous, even with state level restriction on movement in place,

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  55. Narciso (7404b5) — 8/6/2020 @ 12:32 pm

    Right hes embracing green new deal

    Eliminating carbon emissions is like eliminating the deficit for Republicans – it won’t happen by planning although it could happen by accident.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  56. Carbon emissions is what the planet does sammeh

    Narciso (7404b5)

  57. ‘I made notes this morning for a long rant about my disappointment with various factions. Disappointment with judges who go wobbly on the real issues and wink at abuses of the rule of law done for cronyism. Disappointment with Senators who professed to care about the deficit, and the Constitution, and reining in an out of control executive, and fostering basic morality and decency … and then gave it all up due to fear that speaking out for what they believed in might cost them an election. Disappointment at commentators who ranted at the obvious deficiencies of Trump, and then traded that all for attaboys from strangers on the Internet. Disappointment at large swaths of the voting public for voting such a cretin into office.

    I was ‘disappointed when Nixon killed Apollo.

    Life goes on.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. Let’s count Haiku’s rhetorical moves here:

    I say Biden is “the most moderate candidate on the debate stage” (compared to the other Democrats).

    Haiku says:

    37… A “moderate”?

    Biden supports a repeal of the Hyde Amendment (which protects pro-life taxpayers from funding a practice they consider to be murder), revoking the Mexico City Policy (which prevents abortion funding overseas), striking down state limits on abortion, and he supports restoring federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

    Some “moderate”.

    I did not say he was a moderate in general. Did other candidates on the debate stage have a more moderate view on these issues? I doubt it, and I doubt that Haiku will produce evidence of it. I can produce plenty of evidence that Biden has more moderate positions on all kinds of things, from illegal immigration to executive orders on gun rights to defunding the police, and on and on.

    Haiku also says:

    Yes, they be most moderate… https://spectator.us/top-democrats-contemplate-civil-war-biden-loses/

    Another twisting of my position. Who is this “they” you speak of? I was talking about Biden as compared to the other Dems. That article — which I skimmed because I really didn’t care and just wanted to see if it said anything about Biden being more radical than, say, Warren or Bernie or Kamala Harris — says nothing about Biden.

    Meanwhile Haiku has failed to prove any fact to show that this is “the most left-wing slate of Democrats that party has ever run.” Which, again, we hear every time, and which is a joke when referring to Biden.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  59. I think it’s more accurate to say it’s “the most left-wing slate of Democrats that party has ever run” except for that one guy who’s the most senile candidate ever run.

    beer ‘n pretzels (26e26a)

  60. No Trump supporter who hears Trump say

    “He’s following the radical-left agenda: take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God,” Trump said about Biden in his Cleveland speech. “He’s against God.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-god/trailing-in-election-polls-trump-says-rival-biden-opposes-god-and-guns-idUSKCN25237A

    and still supports him is worth engaging. Or worth much of anything else for that matter.

    nk (1d9030)

  61. That was the democratic platform eight years ago, since then churches are shuttered but abortion clinics have free reign in the interim you have the sisters of the poor, who were nearly crushed by the beast.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  62. In fact ill go further, they have erected new idols from san francisco to new york with madison in the middle

    Narciso (7404b5)

  63. Trump’s remarks make more sense when you remember who God is in his real religion…

    Dave (1bb933)

  64. “No Trump supporter who hears Trump say … and still supports him is worth engaging. Or worth much of anything else for that matter.”

    https://twitter.com/DineshDSouza/status/1291526945319145472

    Do Trump supporters have to pronounce it “Thighland” now?

    Davethulhu (385c64)

  65. 39 said:

    1) Slash defense spending
    2) Slash entitlements
    3) Increase revenue

    To minimize the undesirable side-effects of each option, one would imagine some kind of balance would be the least painful.

    Every time there is a deficit I hear a similar proposal. “Let’s have a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.” The inherent problem with this approach is that it means taxes will just go up and up over time.

    How about leaving taxes (which are high enough already) where they are, and cutting the spending?

    norcal (a5428a)

  66. Look, it doesn’t really matter from which point of the compass you come from, it’s clear both these major parties have some serious structural flaws in how they operate, how they are financed and how they are managed to spit out two 2020 models like this.

    If the Ds & Rs were automakers, heads would roll– not the cars.

    …and Toyota smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. Biden’s not a moderate. He’s a plagiarist.

    OTOH, Trump is a Presbyterian.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. DCSCA, who of the democratic field did you prefer this year? Not a trick question or anything. I’m genuinely curious.

    Biden isn’t a moderate, but I am pretty sure the entire thread, Patterico included, agree with that. He was obviously Barack’s selection to bring himself to the center, and obviously Biden’s an old-school democrat, considered conservative to Bernie Sanders supporters.

    I can’t stand him. I wish there was a candidate I could stand but I also dislike Kanye.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  69. How about leaving taxes (which are high enough already) where they are, and cutting the spending?

    OK!

    So what do we spend $1T less on every year?

    Here’s a helpful diagram based on 2019.

    Total discretionary spending was $1.305T, split almost equally between defense and non-defense. The budget deficit was $0.984T.

    So all we need to do is eliminate 75% of that pie.

    Or cut entitlements.

    Social Security: $1.038T
    Medicare: $0.644T
    Medicaid: $0.409T
    Other: $0.644T (includes food stamps and unemployment)

    Finally there’s interest on the debt, which cost us $0.375T last year, during a period of extremely low interest rates.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. One, it would be better if you undeferred your rants, Patterico. I advise you to keep up the good work and the good fight.
    Two, I didn’t jump on the DRJ bandwagon last week because I don’t like to gush (just ask Mrs. Montagu), but I’m here because of DRJ’s posts and comments, along with those by Dana, JVW and of course Patterico. Great team. /gush
    Three, since this is a diary about rants, the decision by Judges Reeves in Jamison v. McClendon is worth a full read, and the story of Mr. Jamison is a reason why there is a BLM movement. Even though Mr. Jamison was treated terribly in what turned out to be an almost two-hour traffic stop that resulted in $4,000 damage to his car by a white Mississippi cop, the judge threw out the case because of current qualified immunity law. The decision was an injustice.
    Over at Reason, Orin Kerr argues that the judge came to a wrong decision, which may be true, and maybe Jamison was sort of a legal pawn in this case, but I think it ensures that it gets heard up the chain.
    And related, the title to Mr. French’s latest is…

    Supreme Court Precedent Killed Breonna Taylor
    And it will kill again.

    I think he has a point as it relates to no-knock warrants and qualified immunity, and it doesn’t just apply to Ms. Taylor. If it’s behind a paywall, I can cut-and-paste the juicy bits, but here’s a video of Ms. Taylor’s story.

    Paul Montagu (f2aab5)

  71. @69. It doesn’t matter. The objective is to neuter the modern ideological conservative movement.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. @66 I think if you look at Dave’s numbers @39 it might be possible to conclude that if we want to remain economically competitive in the developed world, we may be more under taxed than overspent. We are already taxing less AND spending a lower percentage of GDP than any other developed nation and we are borrowing far more. If you look at the deficit percentage alone, it’s clear that we are taking in far far far less than it costs to run the country even though we are already running it at a lower rate than any other developed nation is. And it’s possible that that puts both our citizens and our businesses at a disadvantage. I’ve traveled extensively in Europe both in the 80s and in the last 10 years. In the 80s our infrastructure was generally as good or better than theirs. Now? It is…not. Freeways, bridges, internet? Ours used to be the best, now their’s are better. We have fallen behind.

    Nic (896fdf)

  73. The objective is to neuter the modern ideological conservative movement.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 8/7/2020 @ 1:05 am

    And you’re intensely hostile to Joe Biden.

    It doesn’t matter.

    You coulda just said Bernie. I’m not going to get judgey.

    Well I guess I can’t expect an answer, but what about the ideology of conservatism is a threat to you? Not narrow picture on what you disagree with, but big picture, how is it bad for you that there’s a movement like that?

    Is it really better for you that the right’s coalition, the evangelicals, the boogaloos, the libertarians who don’t smoke pot, white supremacists, is it better for you or your country that they support this Trump thing today, instead of what they were supporting ten years ago?

    I am very cynical about the GOP’s leadership then, but I think if Trump was really going to be better he’d have to actually do something other than stir up so much division.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  74. Nic (896fdf) — 8/7/2020 @ 1:13 am

    The mantra we conservatives have repeated is that with sufficient growth, the deficit and the debt become less important. But despite the longest continuous economic expansion in history, that isn’t what has happened.

    From 2011 to 2015, the deficit as a fraction of GDP did shrink, because spending stayed essentially flat in real terms while the economy grew. It got down to 2.4% of GDP, which is below the 3% level considered tolerable. It was on track to be twice that in 2020, before the pandemic.

    Federal outlays as percentage of GDP:
    2009: 24.4%
    2010: 23.3%
    2011: 23.4%
    2012: 22.0%
    2013: 20.8%
    2014: 20.2%
    2015: 20.4%
    2016: 20.8%
    2017: 20.6%
    2018: 20.2%
    2019: 21.0%

    Even under Trump, spending hasn’t risen so much relative to GDP.

    Federal receipts as percentage of GDP:
    2009: 14.6%
    2010: 14.6%
    2011: 15.0%
    2012: 15.3%
    2013: 16.7%
    2014: 17.4%
    2015: 18.0%
    2016: 17.6%
    2017: 17.2%
    2018: 16.4%
    2019: 16.3%

    And the deficit, which is the difference:
    2009: 9.8%
    2010: 8.7%
    2011: 8.4%
    2012: 6.7%
    2013: 4.1%
    2014: 2.8%
    2015: 2.4%
    2016: 3.2%
    2017: 3.5%
    2018: 3.8%
    2019: 4.6%

    The increase in the pre-pandemic deficit under Trump is more attributable to decreased receipts than increased spending, although both have contributed.

    Source for all figures: White House OMB website

    Dave (1bb933)

  75. @39 Dave: “1) Slash defense spending, 2) Slash entitlements, 3) Increase revenue”

    When was the last time anyone had a serious conversation about any of this….maybe pre-9/11? And this is one of the ever-growing number of reasons that Trump must go….we need to get back…somehow… to a political environment that enables serious conversations…..and Trump is the embodiment of the trivialization of politics….and simply treating it as an unserious sport. Look, there’s no easy medicine here….but politicians should be rewarded for taking any of it on…..and looking for some compromise and blended solution. Simply doing the same thing and pretending we’re not heading for a cliff is a losing proposition, where idealogues are selfishly content with getting the last eye poke….and thinking that their poke actually matters. Neither candidate will be great on leading on deficit reduction….but the GOP is incoherent at this point….and it has to find its way back. More Trump is the antithesis of an antidote…..sometimes retreating and regrouping is the right tactical move….

    AJ_Liberty (5b2883)

  76. 59… Ow, My Balls!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  77. In a world where pensions are mostly a memory where there were at least two serious downturns in recent memory, you want to cut entitlememts, what are you smoking. The dems are offering everything as an entitlement except electricity but of course

    Narciso (556da4)

  78. In a world where pensions are mostly a memory where there were at least two serious downturns in recent memory, you want to cut entitlememts, what are you smoking. The dems are offering everything as an entitlement except electricity but of course

    Narciso (556da4) — 8/7/2020 @ 6:26 am

    You won’t raise revenue. You wont’ cut defense. You won’t cut entitlements. Cutting ALL discretionary spending wouldn’t get us there. Do you see why ppl say the GOP isn’t serious about the deficit?

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  79. @59, weird that you’re taking things he says seriously.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  80. You want a wealth tax, a carbon tax a tax on a tax, you try to sell people on an entitlement cut and see how far they ride you on a rail.

    Narciso (d25c8c)

  81. @74. WTF?! You got an answer: It. Doesn’t. Matter.

    The objective is to neuter the modern ideological conservative movement. In less than 4 years, Trump has accomplished what D’s have only dreamed of for decades. A D win will continue that; a Trump win will as well.

    Glorious.

    And BTW, it is hardly “hostile” to point out Biden’s history of plagiarism, multiple brain surgeries, vanity hair plugs, decades of gaffes, his betrayal of the middle class favoring banking legislation and his chummy relationship w/Delaware bank pals and CC firms; he Ukraine mess w/his kid; his suspect emotional instability; asking if he’s a Scranton boy today or a Wilmington fella this week, etc., etc.,…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  82. If Joe Biden was in his prime, or hell the 2008 Joe Biden I’d absolutely agree with the host that Biden will be the most moderate candidate when compared to other Democrat candidates.

    However, let’s be real here. It doesn’t matter if he wins the election. The biggest difference in this case, compared to every other election is that it’s obvious that Biden isn’t all there. So his “handlers”, be it the Whitehouse staff and/or DNC leadership, will be running the show at the Whitehouse.

    That’s not hyperbole. (as it is in past elections).

    These “handlers” are NOT the moderate types and will PULL the Biden administration the the far left… much further than the Obama administration.

    whembly (c30c83)

  83. I’d like to point out something that I think most folks would agree.

    The GOP party never has and never will be the “Conservative” party.

    The Tea Party and even the Freedom Caucus within the GOP party are still minorities of the overall party.

    whembly (c30c83)

  84. 83. whembly (c30c83) — 8/7/2020 @ 8:16 am

    So his “handlers”, be it the Whitehouse staff and/or DNC leadership, will be running the show at the Whitehouse.

    Doesn’t he get to chose his handlers? Or his wife does?

    The problem is what his political advisers could be telling him.

    That’s a problem with Donald Trump, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (fe6a9b)

  85. Doesn’t he get to chose his handlers? Or his wife does?

    Heh! Is that the real difference between Democrat and Republican Presidents? The Democrats are married to strong capable women who are the power behind the throne, and Republican First Ladies just look pretty or bake cookies?

    nk (1d9030)

  86. 83… yes, same ol’ stuff, as if conditions haven’t changed much at all.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. Dave and Nic,

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my comment. I was otherwise engaged, or I would have responded. Alas, at this late hour, I’m afraid a substantial response would go unnoticed.

    I believe my basic observation remains true. If, every time there is a deficit, the response is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, then taxes are destined to go up ad infinitum. I’m sure both of you would agree that at a certain percentage, taxes would get too high under this approach, at which point the solution would be spending cuts, and spending cuts only.

    Allow me to adjust my stance. I think taxes were at an appropriate level before Trump’s tax cut. I think his tax cut in the face of a deficit was wrong.

    norcal (a5428a)


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