Obama Concedes Defeat on Daschle while Republicans Declare Victory on Judd Gregg and Daschle’s Downfall

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tom daschle twn.jpg
During the battle over John Bolton’s Senate confirmation to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations, a post that Bolton ultimately achieved through presidential recess appointment rather than by Senate vote, I noticed a peculiar difference between leading Democrats and leading Republicans.
On the Sunday morning talk shows, leading Democrats kept saying that while they weren’t big John Bolton fans, ultimately the President would win the fight over the confirmation of America’s leading pugnacious nationalist. At various times during the 21-month long struggle, then Senator Joseph Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Richard Durbin, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and Senator Patrick Leahy all said on political shows that Bolton would get confirmed. To his credit, Durbin actually withdrew his statement and issued a release through this blog commending those working hard to stop Bolton’s confirmation.
Dems were conceding before they needed to — and the Republicans, through the entire battle, were declaring victory even though there was dissension in their own ranks and they were losing the confirmation war.
Obama seems to be replicating the pattern — conceding defeat on Tom Daschle, one of the people most responsible for actually creating the Obama political machine — and on the very same day yielding a senior cabinet position at the Department of Commerce not to a leading business official or Democratic Congressman or Governor — but rather giving it to Judd Gregg who voted 14 years ago to abolish the Commerce Department.
People will be parsing for some time Tom Daschle’s missteps with his taxes, and why he wasn’t vetted more by the Obama team, and whether Rahm Emanuel was part of the game knifing Daschle from behind, and what the political upper crust in Washington sees as “normal” when they leave office — but what this was mostly about was the opposing team taking down one of Obama’s most important chess pieces.
This was all about Obama, about humbling him, about dividing progressives over whether to support or oppose Daschle.
What we see are two interesting things. First, we see that the divisions between the political franchises inside the Obama camp are fraught with tension and anger now. Many of Daschle’s camp are quite furious with Obama’s chief of staff.
And the Republican opposition, which has appeared of late to be weak and inchoate. . .isn’t.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “Obama Concedes Defeat on Daschle while Republicans Declare Victory on Judd Gregg and Daschle’s Downfall

  1. silver slipper says:

    I know it’s probably very politically savvy for President Obama to nominate Senator Gregg (it may completely make Republicans unable to filibuster), but I think it’s funny. The only way he can find an appointee who has paid his/her taxes is to appoint a Republican! It’s hard to believe that Daschle has not paid his taxes correctly!

    Reply

  2. TonyForesta says:

    Hopefully the NSA’s Total Information Awareness driftnet spying programs are watching the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the bushgov, and particularly that shaitan cheney very closely, – because this threat from that fascist chickenhawk cheney is dripping with insinuations that only someone with insider information would know. If there is an attack on the US, – it will be a direct result of machinations and operations implemented, covertly funded, and personally managed by cheney and the bushgov fascist cabals, – just like 9/11.

    Reply

  3. DonS says:

    POA, I’m taling about ignore, as in the MSM giving him a platform
    I support investigations 100%, and you lay out the rather simple timeline and psychology that amounts to the big “setup” for a more permanent totalitarian infrastructure.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It is too early in the Obama Administration for Cheney Inc. to manufacture another trifecta. Too close to Bush’s tenure. After Obama has “undone” many of the Bush initiatives that were justified by the fear mongering that greased the ways for selling the “GWOT”, we will have another 9/11 type event that can be blamed on Obama’s “soft” policies.
    Then, here in America, we will see, and feel, the true nature of facism, the police state. The groundwork has been laid over the course of the last eight years. The only way to block this course is by immediate and thourough investigations and prosecutions, starting with 9/11, the anthrax attacks, and the subsequent executive abuses and infringments on Constitutional law.
    Absent any concerted effort to hold the Bush/Cheney camp accountable, the United States is finished as a nation that employs a representative government that exercises the will of the people.
    “Ignoring” Dick Cheney will be a fatal mistake for our nation. His horns must be exposed to the light of day,, amputated, and displayed to the world community as an example of what happens to an American politician that dares to so wantonly abuse the reins of power. If we fail to do so, we will fail as a free nation.

    Reply

  5. DonS says:

    CEE, as you know, Cheney specializes in the big lie, and is the designated provocateur. And he’s oh so austere. Phew.
    He should be put on ignore, but they wont.

    Reply

  6. Cee says:

    MSNBC just reported that Cheney said we’re going to have another 9-11 event in this country.
    Some people are very happy to have Daschle out of the way again
    WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11, congressional and White House sources told CNN.
    Tuesday’s discussion followed a rare call to Daschle from Vice President Dick Cheney last Friday to make the same request.
    “The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism,” Daschle told reporters.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Pulling the plug on Daschle sends amessage: there are not going to be two sets of rules, one for officials in high places and another for the taxpaying public”
    Oh bullshit. The only reason Daschle is out is because he is high profile, and therefore got the media spotlight. Obama has already stated that he doesn’t believe that Bush committed impeachable offenses, and has implied, by his “looking forward” statements that he is not going to press for accountability FOR KNOWN CRIMES. And Holder is echoing, at least tacitly, Obama’s position.
    Rice, KNOWN to be a perjurer. Gonzales, KNOWN to be a perjurer. Domestic evesdropping, KNOWN to be illegal. Where are the indictments?
    And this issue of vetting is pure unadulterated horseshit. If the vetting process failed in regards to Daschle’s tax cheating, (Which really, is laughable. Are you telling me no one in this process, on Obama’s side, knew about it?) Daschle’s subservience to the Bush agenda was no secret, and didn’t need a vetting process to be recalled to memory. If this administration was really about “change”, Daschle would never have been proposed for ANY position.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Pulling the plug on Daschle sends amessage: there are not going to be two sets of rules, one for officials in high places and another for the taxpaying public”
    Oh bullshit. The only reason Daschle is out is because he is high profile, and therefore got the media spotlight. Obama has already stated that he doesn’t believe that Bush committed impeachable offenses, and has implied, by his “looking forward” statements that he is not going to press for accountability FOR KNOWN CRIMES. And Holder is echoing, at least tacitly, Obama’s position.
    Rice, KNOWN to be a perjurer. Gonzales, KNOWN to be a perjurer. Domestic evesdropping, KNOWN to be illegal. Where are the indictments?

    Reply

  9. TheSurge says:

    Pulling the plug on Daschle sends amessage: there are not going to be two sets of rules, one for officials in high places and another for the taxpaying public. The message to banks accepting TARP funds is the same. No big paydays until you turn your bank around show that you can pay back the taxpayers.
    Obama’s only mistake was to choose and to support Geithner. Unlike Bush, he learns quickly.

    Reply

  10. Cee says:

    POA,
    I guess that anthrax letter he received after he asked for a 9-1 investigation made him fall in line.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez, David. It was Daschle that spearheaded the Democratic cow-towing to Bush’s post 9/11 machinations, particularly in regards to the criminal run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
    His tax cheating is the least of Daschle’s unsuitabilities. The guy is a slimeball in every sense of the word, and is damned near as big a turncoat as Leiberman. Surely your memory is able to reach back seven years?

    Reply

  12. DavidT says:

    Feel free to criticize President Obama all you like. But if a cabinet nominee has been compromised by ethical lapses in his past that will sully his efforts in that cabinet post, and decides not to push forward with his nomination, and the president accedes to his request to not pursue it, and that’s weakness, then we need more weakness. Perhaps some of you who are trashing the president after only two weeks in office would prefer that he showed the blind loyalty that Bush showed for Gonzales (i.e would not accept Daschle’s withdrawal under any circumstances)? I am deeply disappointed in Daschle not becoming part of this administration but unless you believe that it was Obama’s doing that Daschle had lapses in tax payment judgment, had pushed for a Commerce Secretary who had helped him make lots of money, and had accepted so much money from health care interests, why is he at fault? It may be, WigWag that Hillary would have gone bare knuckle on this one if she were president. However, is that a reason we would wish her to be president or a reason we should prefer she not be?

    Reply

  13. TonyForesta says:

    Intriguing retort Linda. You may have a good point in that who really knows what either party really stands for today. From my perspective the gop is obviously a criminal overtly fascist and predatory cabal. I had great hopes that the democrats and the Obama administration would affect real change, – but alas – as your last comment states and I must also concede, – “I’m not smart enough to know. Whenever I think I do, I’m usually wrong.”
    What I do know is that the directions and vectors our nation is pursuing now are counterproductive, overtly disadvantaging poor and middle class Americans while overtly favoring the predator class exclusively, and doomed to certain and inevitable failure and a total collapse of our economic system and America as we know it.
    There is no way out of this horrorshow without radical rapid and rigorous CHANGE. Following the same old decrepit FAILED and pernicious policies will drive America and most Americans over the proverbial cliff and into total collapse and certain destruction.
    My advise is to get fit, stock up, and get locked, cocked and ready to rock, – because this horrorshow is going pearshaped and no leadership is doing anything to prevent or diminish the inevitable and certain collapse of America, and the world as we know it.

    Reply

  14. TonyForesta says:

    Intriguing retort Linda. You may have a good point in that who really knows what either party really stands for today. From my perspective the gop is obviously a criminal overtly fascist and predatory cabal. I had great hopes that the democrats and the Obama administration would affect real change, – but alas – as your last comment states and I must also concede, – “I’m not smart enough to know. Whenever I think I do, I’m usually wrong.”
    What I do know is that the directions and vectors our nation is pursuing now are counterproductive, overtly disadvantaging poor and middle class Americans while overtly favoring the predator class exclusively, and doomed to certain and inevitable failure and a total collapse of our economic system and America as we know it.
    There is no way out of this horrorshow without radical rapid and rigorous CHANGE. Following the same old decrepit FAILED and pernicious policies will drive America and most Americans over the proverbial cliff and into total collapse and certain destruction.
    My advise is to get fit, stock up, and get locked, cocked and ready to rock, – because this horrorshow is going pearshaped and no leadership is doing anything to prevent or diminish the inevitable and certain collapse of America, and the world as we know it.

    Reply

  15. Linda says:

    Tony,
    I’m often not sure what either party stands for. But the majority of people in the U.S. thought they knew for 6 of the last 8 years. Now the majority think that Democrats represent their interests. I think the goal of both parties is quite simply “to win.”
    Beyond that, I concede that I’m not smart enough to know. Whenever I think I do, I’m usually wrong.

    Reply

  16. TonyForesta says:

    Reeeealy Linda. What do republicans stand for? What is their platform? Who do they represent? What are the goals and intentions of the republican party? Answer any of these questions in earnest, and you will be forced to admit that the gop, the republican leadership, and thier lockstep partisans in redneck Amerika are rooted in a swamp of pathological lies, and scurrilous slime, and in practical application repeatedly and relentlessly undermine and gut the best interests of poor and middle class Americans on one hand, and overtly favor, shield, promote, cloak and advance the interests of the predator class exclusively on the other. I double dare you to answer one of these questions Linda.

    Reply

  17. Linda says:

    WigWag,
    I only like about half of Krugman’s columns. I don’t agree with that one– or with your interpretation of it. I don’t think Obama is about to change party affiliation, and Republican is not an ugly or unpatriotic thing to be. I’ve even voted for a few of them when I thought they were the better candidates.
    Some Democrats thought the same about Clinton regarding welfare reform and even resigned from his administration–and there was the repeal of Glass-Steagall. That was called “triangulating”–not becoming a Republican or being a quisling.
    But we aren’t going to agree–and that’s OK too.

    Reply

  18. TonyForesta says:

    Exactly whomeveryouare. The gop is the party of the predator class, by the predator class, and for the predator class. Poor Americans have absolutely zero tax options outside of charity outlays. Middle class Americans who are lucky enough to own and home with equity, have mortgage interest deductions, and few other options. Middle class Americans who rent have maybe a few more tax options than the poor.
    The predator class, the superrich have volumes of tax code options to defray, defer, allay and otherwise eliminate thier tax obligations, and can afford the highpriced tax lawyers to insure that the predator class and the oligarchs alone in fact and in practical reality – pay little – or in most cases – NO taxes. Hense the gop pathological bruting of, and obsessive compulsion with tax breaks which TOTALLY, and EXCLUSIVELY benefit the predator class, and predator class oligarchs alone.
    Why dems and the Obama administration fail to shine hot searing lights on this obvious and telling truth is a mystery and an appalling example of just how cowardly, incompetent, or complicit the Obama administration and the democratic leadership is in standing up for poor and middle class Americans on one hand, – and curbing or restraining the grievous abuses, outright deceptions and thievery of, and extraordinary government largess toward the predator class exclusively on the other.
    So many predators, – so few bullets.

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    Republicans believe in a doctrine under which tax cuts are the universal elixir, and government spending is almost always bad. ..
    lol… explain why they spend so much… what a load of bs… it is one thing to believe something but another to follow thru with it…

    Reply

  20. WigWag says:

    Linda, this is Paul Krugman’s blog post from today:
    February 3, 2009, 11:25 am
    Bipartisan bromides
    “Josh Marshall gives us David Broder talking about stimulus — which he says failed to achieve the predicted results the first time. It’s not clear whether he was referring to the TARP or the early 2008 stimulus package, but either way it’s a poor comparison. The TARP isn’t stimulus; the early 2008 package was 1/5 the size of the Obama proposal, and contained nothing but tax cuts.
    But the part that really got me was Broder saying that we need “the best ideas from both parties.”
    You see, this isn’t a brainstorming session — it’s a collision of fundamentally incompatible world views. If one thing is clear from the stimulus debate, it’s that the two parties have utterly different economic doctrines. Democrats believe in something more or less like standard textbook macroeconomics; Republicans believe in a doctrine under which tax cuts are the universal elixir, and government spending is almost always bad.
    Obama may be able to get a few Republican Senators to go along with his plan; or he can get a lot of Republican votes by, in effect, becoming a Republican. There is no middle ground”
    Krugman is right. Unfortunately all signs point to Obama deciding to become a Republican. He’s not only President of the United States, he’s the head of the Democratic Party. Collaborating with the Republican Party when he doesn’t need to is exactly what a quisling would do.

    Reply

  21. Don Bacon says:

    Enjoy — Tahoe’s got a sense of humor!
    “The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.”–Edward Abbey
    “The fact that these people take themselves seriously doesn’t mean that we should.”–Don Bacon

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From The Nation…..
    “No top Democrat did more to undermine opposition to the Republican regime than Daschle, who as the majority leader during the first years of George Bush’s presidency put so much emphasis on the “loyal” part of the term “loyal opposition” that he failed his party and his country.”
    “In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Daschle schemed with the White House to organize a bailout for the domestic airline industry — for which Daschle’s wife was a lobbyist — that made last fall’s Wall Street bailout look like a model of fiscal accountability.”
    “Then, Daschle worked with the Bush administration to undermine opposition to the Patriot Act in 2001 — preventing Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold from introducing amendments that would have addressed vital civil liberties concerns.”
    “A year later, Daschle worked in lockstep with the administration to secure congressional authorization in 2002 for an attack on Iraq.”
    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/404778/don_t_mourn_for_daschle?rel=hp_picks
    Fact is, anyone still buying this con-job about “change” is a complete idiot. Daschle should NEVER have been nominated for ANYTHING in this administration. As much help as the cowardly sell-out was to the Bush Administration, I’m suprised the GOP didn’t jump up and down with glee to see him being nominated for a post. I bet if you dropped his drawers, you’d find “GOP” tattooed across both cheeks, directly under the tattoe that says “CROOK”.

    Reply

  23. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    I won’t comment on most of what you wrote because you don’t like Obama and will not get out of the Clinton-would-be-better mode.
    I do believe you know the meaning of the word, “quisling,” and I think it really should not apply to any President of the US even Bush–just out of respect for the office.
    I still like Obama and am waiting to see how he does as President. I’m willing to give him more than two weeks.
    I gave both Clintons a couple years ignoring dumb mistakes like Travelgate, etc. until I was very unhappy with both of them for messing up health care reform. I knew that meant it would take 15-20 years and many more uninsured before the opportunity would come again.
    I never liked either Obama’s or Clinton’s plan because they both wanted employer-based rather than single payer universal care. If we get anything else (and probably that’s all that is politically possible), it will eventually fail or everyone will go to the public plan option.
    Both Clinton and Obama are with the insurance companies on this issue because they are smart politicians and think they can’t beat them. And I think both of them might be political enough to throw out the public option if it came down to that or not getting health care reform passed. I look to Pete Stark and Barnie Sanders to see that there is a public option.
    Tom Daschle is an honorable man and served this country honorably. It was honorable of him to withdraw. If he knew about his tax problems as early as June and didn’t tell vetters, that was not so honorable.
    And if he ever wanted to serve again in government instead of earning a lot of money, he should have spent the last four years teaching or working at a progressive think tank like Campaign for American’s Future or formed his own like John Podesta did. He could have worked on health care reform in better places.
    If there is one thing I really like about Obama, he is saying he made a mistake and taking full responsibility for it as the guy in charge.
    It was both Clintons bellicose attitude and not taking responsibility for mistakes that really fueled the extreme partisanship in DC, caused many good Democratic and Republicans in the 1990s, people like Pat Schroeder, not to run again.
    I don’t like to fight and like to try to find common ground, probably why I like Obama and am willing to give him some slack and time. I also think that more than anything else people want the climate in DC to change and will give him some time to work on that.

    Reply

  24. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    I won’t comment on most of what you wrote because you don’t like Obama and will not get out of the Clinton-would-be-better mode.
    I do believe you know the meaning of the word, “quisling,” and I think it really should not apply to any President of the US even Bush–just out of respect for the office.
    I still like Obama and am waiting to see how he does as President. I’m willing to give him more than two weeks.
    I gave both Clintons a couple years ignoring dumb mistakes like Travelgate, etc. until I was very unhappy with both of them for messing up health care reform. I knew that meant it would take 15-20 years and many more uninsured before the opportunity would come again.
    I never liked either Obama’s or Clinton’s plan because they both wanted employer-based rather than single payer universal care. If we get anything else (and probably that’s all that is politically possible), it will eventually fail or everyone will go to the public plan option.
    Both Clinton and Obama are with the insurance companies on this issue because they are smart politicians and think they can’t beat them. And I think both of them might be political enough to throw out the public option if it came down to that or not getting health care reform passed. I look to Pete Stark and Barnie Sanders to see that there is a public option.
    Tom Daschle is an honorable man and served this country honorably. It was honorable of him to withdraw. If he knew about his tax problems as early as June and didn’t tell vetters, that was not so honorable.
    And if he ever wanted to serve again in government instead of earning a lot of money, he should have spent the last four years teaching or working at a progressive think tank like Campaign for American’s Future or formed his own like John Podesta did. He could have worked on health care reform in better places.
    If there is one thing I really like about Obama, he is saying he made a mistake and taking full responsibility for it as the guy in charge.
    It was both Clintons bellicose attitude and not taking responsibility for mistakes that really fueled the extreme partisanship in DC, caused many good Democratic and Republicans in the 1990s, people like Pat Schroeder, not to run again.
    I don’t like to fight and like to try to find common ground, probably why I like Obama and am willing to give him some slack and time. I also think that more than anything else people want the climate in DC to change and will give him some time to work on that.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, what a comedy. Obama declares “no lobbyists”, then tries to put Daschle in at Health. You gotta be kidding me.
    Do these criminal sacks of shit think the American public is a collective swarm of complete idiots?
    This isn’t a “republican victory”. Its a victory for every American citizen that is sick and tired of been led down the river by a bunch of swindling crooks. But its a short lived victory, because its quite probable that any replacement nominee will probably be of the same ilk.
    For God’s sake, people, just look at the guy, he literally oozes snake oil. Shake his hand and you’d be lucky if everything you touched for a week wasn’t left with a slippery residue.
    Geez, this horseshit about “change” was sure shortlived, wasn’t it?
    If you really want to talk about the dems caving, you might wanna bring up how this ringer Kerry went wimpering under the baseboard with his early concession, and the ass whupping he cowardly laid down for from the swiftboaters.

    Reply

  26. questions says:

    Hey Tahoe,
    The piece you cite notes the numbers go from 83 down to 68 — 68 isn’t bad, especially given the hits Obama is taking on right wing tv talk shows. Can you imagine this guy thinks it’s okay to spend a few million bucks on the arts and contraception and re-sodding the Mall in DC??!! Harrumph!
    It’s great having you and WigWag back and as agreeable and non-triumphant as ever!!
    Always nice to know the answer to WWHD, WigWag!

    Reply

  27. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag:
    “Dan, you must be kidding me. Obama has sky high approval ratings.”
    Me:
    How do you think he got them, WigWag? Not by firing the White House travel office and railing against the vast right wing conspiracy.
    WigWag:
    “In case you haven’t noticed, Dan, the vast majority of Obama cabinet and sub cabinet appointments have come from the team assembled by Bill Clinton eight years ago. In light of this, it’s hard to imagine what you mean about changing a culture of corruption.”
    I’m not talking about her appointees. I’m talking about the Clintons themselves. Something slimy would have happened by now.

    Reply

  28. Jack B. Nimble says:

    By publicly admitting a mistake, something Presidents almost never do, Obama has turned this into a plus. Something politicians are afraid of.
    Watch, his numbers will either stay static or even rise.
    This is simply not a victory for Republicans. Steve, you’re spending too much time in insiders’ living rooms.

    Reply

  29. luch says:

    Perhaps I’m being more cynical than is necessary, but I imagine Daschle quit the fight so fast because he thinks registering as a health industry lobbyist may be a better fit for him than the HHS job. And yes, I am glad Obama’s tainted appointees are leaving — we don’t need another scandal-ridden presidency like Bill Clinton’s, and the Republicans would love to give it to us.

    Reply

  30. Spunkmeyer says:

    Oh WigWag, you crack me up. I knew you couldn’t last at least a
    month before trying the re-run the Democratic Primary.

    Reply

  31. Bill says:

    Steve,
    Geithner had a complicated income tax, because he worked for the World Bank, which is somewhat in the US and somewhat not. He did something that most of the bank employees were allowed to, but his particular kind of contractor was not allowed to. I can see the confusion.
    It the case of Daschle, being driven around in a a limo is clearly a taxable benefit. Even I know this, because my company sometimes gives us such benefits, and it shows up on our taxable income. He surely knew. He was simply cheating on his taxes.
    He really had to go, and it had nothing to do with grand strategy, just cheating and getting caught.
    Mind you, I think he is terrific, and a huge loss, but he had to go.

    Reply

  32. Don Bacon says:

    These people are nothing if not amusing.
    InterMedia Advisors, LLP, headed by Leo Hindery, is a principal investment firm specializing in buyouts and industry consolidation. Wall Street operator and Democratic Party moneybags Hindery, who hired and paid Daschle a million dollars a year and gave him a limousine and chauffeur for being a part-time “media advisor,” and who was John Edwards’ Senior Economic Policy Advisor, endorsed Obama last year because, in part: “Barack Obama believes in fairer and more progressive individual income taxation, taxation which will see every American once again paying his or her fair share”, according to an article Hindery wrote for the Huffington Post.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-hindery-jr/why-im-endorsing-barack-_b_89487.html

    Reply

  33. Tahoe Editor says:

    During the campaign, Obama loved to compare himself to Abraham Lincoln.

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    “did you feel the same when bush won, the first or second time? i doubt it..”
    No, I felt much worse when Bush got elected both times. I thought Gore was great and Kerry was okay. The difference is that I had no reason to expect any better of Bush.
    And Tony Foresta, this is the best line I’ve read at the Washington Note in a while, “Democrats are showing up to a gunfight with butter knives.” You’re precisely right. But to make matters worse, they’re being led by a President doing everything he can to imitate the Major General from the Pirates of Penzance. You know what I mean; Obama “is the model of a modern major general.”
    During the campaign, Obama supporters loved to compare him to Abraham Lincoln. The comparison I find more intriguing is between Obama and Roosevelt. After all, Roosevelt was the last President faced with the responsibility of leading his country out of an economic catastrophe.
    Roosevelt’s credo can be summed up by his famous Madison Square Garden speech. “We had to struggle,” he declared in 1936, “with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. … Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
    And Obama’s credo? Looks like its going to be “Thank you sir, may I have another.”

    Reply

  35. Tahoe Editor says:

    Public officials who want to raise taxes on everyone else while “forgetting” to pay their own aren’t “chess pieces” — they’re cheap plastic checkers.
    BEST OF DASCHLE:
    Glenn Greenwald (quoting Matt Taibbi): “In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger.”
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/01/daschle/
    Joan Walsh:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/politics/2009/02/03/daschle/
    And check out this B.S. 1986 campaign ad. He Came To Changeâ„¢ Washington, But Washington Changedâ„¢ him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avG9DvLi-aQ&eurl=http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/38864102.html&feature=player_embedded
    The “honest mistake” exemption:
    http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/a3c63cff-e73f-49e8-8591-f1a2d474c943.html

    Reply

  36. TonyForesta says:

    Word WigWag. “We’ve all lost”. We voted for CHANGE, and an to gop domination and complete destruction of America, but apparently – we were all duped, by a Trojanhorselike candidate who working very hard in every arena to insure that the last thing poor and middleclass Americans can hope for, is CHANGE. The predator class owns and controls the government, including evidently the Obama administration, – so high ho, high ho, – it’s off to neverendingwars, and robbing and pillaging poor and middleclass Americans to feed the predator class we go. Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Amen!

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    did you feel the same when bush won, the first or second time? i doubt it..

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    Speaking of Obama, Dan Kervick says “He campaigned on his perceived capacity to end bipartisan rancor, and to soften the red state/blue state divisions in the country by reaching across the aisle.”
    You’re absolutely right. He did campaign on this and it was one of the minor reasons he won (a fiercely pro-Obama press was the main reason). The point is that Obama and his supporters are naive if they think appointing Republicans to the cabinet, putting Republicans in charge of the census so millions of urban Americans won’t be counted and acquiescing to massively wasteful tax cuts will end bipartisan rancor. It won’t. Republicans will happily accept any gift Obama wants to give them and then still attack him, his cabinet appointees and every policy that might help working class Americans. It’s who Republicans are. If Obama or his supporters are too dumb to see it; that’s their fault but it’s all our problem.
    “Yes, if Clinton had been elected, she could have justifiably gone ahead with a ball-busting partisan agenda, and made no significant efforts to bring about changes in the Washington culture of corruption and partisan division and favor-mongering. She didn’t run on changing that stuff, so if she didn’t work for those changes nobody would blame her.”
    In case you haven’t noticed, Dan, the vast majority of Obama cabinet and sub cabinet appointments have come from the team assembled by Bill Clinton eight years ago. In light of this, it’s hard to imagine what you mean about changing a culture of corruption. The only difference between the people appointed by Obama and the people Hillary Clinton would have appointed is that she might have sprinkled in a progressive or two (e.g. Joe Stiglitz) like her husband did. And she wouldn’t have appointed Gates at DOD or Gregg at Commerce. The only new “culture” that Obama is introducing is a culture of cowardice.
    “Yes, Clinton would probably be by now full steam ahead with an aggressively partisan agenda, Republicans be damned.”
    I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. I’d be happy with a fiercely partisan agenda. But that’s because I think we need infrastructure spending not more tax cuts. And I think that members of minority groups who live in inner cities should be counted in the census not ignored. This obviously isn’t part of Obama’s agenda. His main agenda item seems to be making sure that everyone loves him. And his supporters don’t know what they want (other than wanting whatever their hero wants.)
    “Obama’s going to get a massive stimulus package passed in short order, filled with tons of progressive goodies. The complaints are about stuff around the edges. He’s going to get it passed in the face of republican and Blue Dog opposition…”
    Dan, you must be kidding me. Obama has sky high approval ratings. He has 59 Democrats (including Sanders and Lieberman) in the Senate once Franken is seated and he has more than a 60 vote majority in the House. He’s still in his honey moon and the economy is collapsing. Passing the stimulus bill he wants will be a piece of cake. Ruining the bill with tax cuts just to make Republicans happy may help Obama keep a campaign promise but it won’t make America stronger and it’s not an accomplishment that he should be proud of. But passing the bill is a slam-dunk.
    But you’re right. Clinton lost. Obama won. But as we learn more and more about his policy prescriptions and more and more about his character flaws (his obvious need to be adored), it’s becoming clear that we’ve all lost.

    Reply

  39. Curious observer says:

    I fail to see how anyone who calls himself “progressive” could abide by the notion of Tom Daschle in any administration position.
    High-paid shill for the health care industry, milquetoast who refused to stand in the way of the march to war in Iraq… In short, no redeeming qualities. (And I’m not even a “progressive” myself.)
    This is, what, three presidents in a row promising a higher standard of ethics on government, then turning around and appointing the same clowns from the same pool of 800 or so hangers-on in DC? Sheesh.

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    Look, WigWag, in contrast to Secretary Clinton, Obama actually campaigned on this stuff you are complaining about, and made a variety of promises that Clinton didn’t make.
    He campaigned on his ethics reform record in both Illinois and Washington.
    He campaigned on ending the influence of lobbying, gifts, revolving doors and Beltway freebies.
    He campaigned on his perceived capacity to end bipartisan rancor, and to soften the red state/blue state divisions in the country by “reaching across the aisle”.
    And Obama won. He won the nomination, and then he won the general election. So he naturally and not unreasonably thinks that the voters approved him and his message, and that he has been charged with the voters with fulfilling some of the promises and commitments he made. He didn’t just wake up the day after the election and decide that he needs to put some Republicans in his cabinet and act all post-partisan. His entire appeal to the voters over a four-year span was based on these ideas. He sensed that bipartisan, competent, clean pragmatism is what many voters were yearning for, and he seems to have sensed correctly. If you don’t think the message that “there is no red America or blue America, but the United States of America” was a big part of Obama’s appeal, you need to get out of the partisan hothouses of the blogosphere, and talk to more regular folks.
    Yes, if Clinton had been elected, she could have justifiably gone ahead with a ball-busting partisan agenda, and made no significant efforts to bring about changes in the Washington culture of corruption and partisan division and favor-mongering. She didn’t run on changing that stuff, so if she didn’t work for those changes nobody would blame her. But they would blame Obama, because he is a different animal. And Clinton wasn’t elected. She lost.
    Yes, Clinton would probably be by now full steam ahead with an aggressively partisan agenda, Republicans be damned. She might also be knee-deep in two or three new scandals of her own. That’s her track record. She alos probably wouldn’t have the same majority in Congress, because since she is viewed as a divisive partisan, actively detested in many quarters, it is likely that even if elected voters would have compensated by not voting for as many Democrats.
    Obama’s going to get a massive stimulus package passed in short order, filled with tons of progressive goodies. The complaints are about stuff around the edges. He’s going to get it passed in the face of republican and Blue Dog opposition because as a unifying, non-divisive figure, he won states that no Democrat has won in a generation, and his long coattails helped sweep in that commanding Democratic majority of which you speak.
    Now I have to watch myself, because the last time I let loose on the Clintons, Steve deleted my comment. So I’ll stop here.
    Except to remind you she lost.

    Reply

  41. TonyForesta says:

    This ridiculous, fruitless and impotent attempt at reaching across the isle, or reconciling, or working in bi-partisan ways with the gop is SUICIDAL. The gop are now, and will continue to gut and undermine every policy (or I should say progressive policy) advanced by the Obama administration and the democratic majority in Congress.
    The gop had no problem with Geithner’s tax issues (which are far more disturbing than Daschel’s since he is now the head of the nations Treasury Department), – because Geithner is one of their own, – a predator class operative who only purposes are robbing and pillaging poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, the predator class, and advancing and promoting the best interests of the predator class exclusively.
    Gregg at Commerce is a tragedy, that the gop supports carte blank. This selection (among all the viable candidates) is a rank betrayal of the Obama teams and President Obama’s promises to give voice to the voiceless and effect real CHANGE!
    Democrats and Obama had better learn how to fight, and fast. The gop is NEVER going to be bipartisan, and it is stupid and suicidal for democrats and the Obama administration to pursue a tactic that the gop will use and exploit every time, on every occasion to gut and undermine democratic and Obama administration policies.
    The gop and gop ideologies have been soundly rejected by the majority of Americans in the past two elections. Obama and the democratic leadership seem utterly blind to this truth and fact.
    How is it possible that the gop is able to advance any policy in this catastrophic environment which the gop largely owns? How does the gop have any credibility after eight years of systemic deception, costly bloody unfinished wars of choice, and an economic catastrophe that has ushered America to the brink of insolvency? This impossible situation is only possible because the cowardice and the pathetic weekness, or the invidious complicity of democratic leadership.
    Democrats are showing up to a gunfight with butterknives. The political battles that must be fought and won for the peoples best interests are bloodsports and ultimate fighting contests. There is no pretty way to win these battles. There is no reaching across the isle, there is no reconciliation, there is no bipartisanship.
    The gop is the party of the predator class, by the predator class, and for the predator class and must be framed accurately and justifiably in exactly that light on every issue. The gop works for the predator class, the superrich exclusively – to the great disservice, disdain, deprivation, and disadvantage of poor and middle class Americans – again on every issue.
    Democrats and the Obama administration must immediately quit the fruitless, impotent, and suicidal attempt at bipartisanship, – and adopt in earnest a strategy to thoroughly defeat, knockout, chokeout, and/or submit the gop on as many issues as possible, as ruthlessly as possible, – and certainly on economic, and foriegn affairs issues where the gop owns, and is particularly responsible for epic, catastrophic, costly, bloody, FAILURES.
    The gop must be thoroughly defeated, and submitted, – or they will continute to gut and defeat the dnc and the Obama administration. The majority of the people elected and put in power democrats and Obama to counter the gop’s illicit control of the government and overt favortism and largess towards the predator class exclusively, and with the audacity of hope that democrats and the Obama administration will work to give voice to the voiceless and effect real CHANGE.
    Dems and the Obama adminsistration must get tough, and start honoring their promises.

    Reply

  42. JohnH says:

    Daschle and Geithner illustrate just how tough it is to find an honest politician, one that doesn’t regard himself above the law. Hubris runs rampant in Washington.
    It’s time to put a pillory in Lafayette Park and make a few cases of tomatoes available to throw at the next scumbag politician who gets caught cheating.
    Correct that–we might need a whole bunch of pillories.

    Reply

  43. Pay to Play says:

    in addition to the disturbing Salon article above …
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18336.html

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    This isn’t about Tom Daschle or about Rahm Emanuel; it’s about Barack Obama and what a weakling he is. The man obviously has no stomach for a fight. Perhaps he thinks he can spend the next eight years without his pristine reputation being blemished or perhaps he just really needs for Republicans to love him like everyone else does. But if Obama can’t take on John Cornyn over the Daschle nomination it’s hard to see how he’s going to take on United Health Care and Aetna over health care reform, Merck and Pfizer over drug pricing, Netanyahu over settlements or Ahmadinejād over nuclear weapons.
    It’s quite ironic that Daschle withdrew within hours of Obama nominating Judd Gregg to be Commerce Secretary. Doesn’t the Commerce Secretary supervise the census? Isn’t the census and then redistricting coming up next year? Is this really the time to appoint a partisan conservative Republican to run the Commerce Department?
    While I don’t love Tom Daschle, he was uniquely qualified to steer health care reform through the political thicket it will undoubtedly face. What could be more important with hundreds of thousands of Americans losing both their jobs and their health insurance every month? Given Obama’s penchant for bipartisanship, it wouldn’t surprise me if he nominated Phil Gram to replace Daschle. The Republicans would love it and health care reform would consist of Medical Savings Accounts for all Americans. Working Americans would be screwed, but why would Obama care? After all, he would have accomplished his most important goal, placating Republicans.
    Obama was elected with the largest mandate in a generation and the House and Senate haven’t been so overwhelmingly Democratic in a quarter century. Yet Obama has appointed more cabinet secretaries from the opposing party than anyone since Teddy Roosevelt. To make matters worse, he ruined the stimulus bill by acceding to Republican demands that it contain hundreds of billions in unnecessary and frankly destructive tax cuts. All for what; so the Republicans will like him more?
    What Obama can’t seem to figure out is that no matter what he does, Republicans aren’t going to support him, they’re not going behave in a bipartisan way and the two party system isn’t going to evolve into one big happy family.
    More bad news about Obama is revealed every day. It’s not just that he’s hopelessly naive; it’s that he is a quisling.
    Had Hillary Clinton been elected, she wouldn’t be appointing Judd Gregg to run the Department in charge of the census. And she wouldn’t be groveling before the Republicans when she didn’t even need their votes.
    But this is what happens when you vote for an inexperienced politician just a few years out of the Illinois legislature,
    You can call it “change you can believe in” or “morning in America.”
    At the end of the day; it’s all the same thing.

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    Geithner is supposed to be some sort of money wizard.. these same money wizards have brought us to where we are today… think again.. an outsider is needed…

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    Public Service Announcement!
    It’s getting about time for the
    usual cast to remind the assembled
    masses that while we are all
    focused on Daschle’s misdeeds,
    the criminal enterprise called
    Bushgov continues to get off without accoutability, abetted by clean
    governent Obama.
    Perspective, people.

    Reply

  47. LindaZF says:

    Oops, only got up the last part of this post that started off agreeing with Paul, but I made the suggestion of having Daschle go and putting Howard Dean at HHS on the previous DOD thread this morning before Daschle withdrew his nomination.
    HHS is a very big department and requires someone with executive management skills that Dean has as six-term governor of VT.
    Obama owes Dean as head of DNC and Dean’s 50-state stragegy for his election as well as control of both houses of Congress. Also use of www and grassroots organizing came from Dean and Joe Trippi in the 2004 presidential primaries.
    I think I read somewhere that Rahm Emanuel doesn’t like Dean either, but maybe Obama should just tell Rahm to cool it a bit. I might actually be in awe of Obama if he could do that!

    Reply

  48. Dan Kervick says:

    Anyway, isn’t this what the whole “advise and consent” process is about? Republicans found an ethics problem with Daschle and nailed him fair and square. One approach in response would be for Dems to say they are going to the wall in defense of all their nominees, ethics problems be damned. Another approach would be to get better politicians who haven’t taken so many free gifts and cheated on their taxes. If the Daschle people are mad, then they should have thought about that when their guy was riding around in his free car and not paying any taxes like the rest of us do.
    I was willing to say that we had to fight to keep Geithner, despite the tax issues, because Geithner is supposed to be some sort of money wizard, and we need that lind of talent in the current environment. But Daschle isn’t important enough.

    Reply

  49. Zathras says:

    A ruthless, determined opposition would have a much harder time going after Cabinet nominees who didn’t break the law.
    Part of President Obama’s carefully cultivated image of being above the grubby business of politics in Washington is completely genuine; he has been above it, or rather outside it, and hasn’t been around long enough to confront the temptation to cash in on his service in public office. He’s exceptional in this, and has shown a degree of insensitivity to this weakness.
    Tom Daschle didn’t pay his taxes. His nomination should have been withdrawn — I would have preferred Obama had announced its withdrawal as his own decision rather than Daschle’s — not because he had become a “distraction” but because he did something wrong. Of course his personal friends, people who enjoyed his patronage when he held public office or his presence at parties and symposia since will mourn the terrible loss to the country. They’re entitled to their opinion, but the sense of entitlement among the political class in this country has reached a point where standards have to be set for aspirants to high public office. Tom Daschle doesn’t meet them. The country will survive his departure from the scene.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    Chicagoan, maybe the tax stuff was a red herring to distract from the, ahem, other stuff ; )
    I do like, on the face of it, Paul Bua’s suggestion above; H. Dean for HHS. Also agree, Daschle caves pretty easily (even as Majority leader); but he is too big a fish to take a second or third tier role in a department. Maybe as special advisor, but even there the background might be problematical. (its only not problematical if you Republican, doncha know)

    Reply

  51. Linda says:

    Dean also is a fiscal conservative and managed VT very well–balanced budgets and lowered taxes and had one of the first universal coverage of health care for children of any state.
    Dean also was a family practice physician with his wife who doesn’t like DC or politics at all. So she might just stay practicing medicine in VT, or could come down to DC and work in a health clinic in one of DC’s many poor neighborhoods.
    As for Gregg, I think it’s cool that he wanted to abolish the Commerce Department and now will run it.

    Reply

  52. Bill R. says:

    Your post is about an insider grieving for an insider. Everything I’ve read says this was Daschle pulling the plug on himself, especially after just finding out his brother has brain cancer. This tax thing is unnecessary baggage and Daschle was not forthcoming about it when he was offered the job. He should go!
    Frankly we have a much better qualified person from here in Oregon who put together the Oregon Health Plan, former Gov. John Kitzhaber.

    Reply

  53. Michael says:

    Sad news today out of Washington for Tom Daschle.
    (pay your taxes!!!)
    However, after the dust settles, President Obama
    and Secretary of State Clinton should appoint him
    as special envoy for Latin America. With Obama off
    to Canada, Clinton to Japan and China, Mitchell to
    the Middle East, Holbrooke to Pakistan, and Ross
    to Iran — sending Daschle to Mexico, Brazil,
    Colombia would be a huge step in the right
    direction.
    In a previous life, when I worked for a think-
    tank, we organized a conference that Daschle
    headlined, called Crisis of Governance: The
    International Stake in Sustaining Democracy in
    Latin America.”
    “””He asserted the United States needs to: 1) use
    engagement, not “big stick” diplomacy of a prior
    era, 2) accept the election of leaders whose
    beliefs do not match its own, as long as those
    leaders accept the rules of democratic governance,
    3) redouble its efforts to combat regional
    violence, 4) help create more economic opportunity
    in Latin America, bridge differences on trade, and
    make it safer and less expensive for Latino
    immigrant workers to remit money from the United
    States, and 5) reform immigration laws. Daschle
    also noted that “[t]here will not be one silver
    bullet to resolve the crisis of governance that is
    threatening countries throughout the region. But
    there will be a long, never-ending fight, waged by
    the region’s citizens with our help, to keep what
    they have gained.””””
    A year later Daschle penned an authoritative op-ed
    in the WashPost, “The Right Trade Deals With Latin
    America” – recommended reading for all.
    Not paying your taxes shouldn’t disqualify you
    from government work – it does however disqualify
    you from a Cabinet position (Geitner should have
    withdrawn as well).
    Regardless of today’s news – put Daschle to work –
    he’s the real deal!

    Reply

  54. Chicagoan says:

    I think “irredeemably corrupt” about covers it, the tax fraud being the least of the issues. With full knowledge that there was a very good chance he’d be running the health care portfolio in a new administration the guy was hoovering up hundreds of thousands in what were, if we’re being honest about it, legalized bribes.
    I don’t think Daschle’s defenders would be giving the benefit of the doubt to a Republican tipped to run energy reform in a dual-hat role as a White House aid and Cabinet secretary who was (in all but name) lobbying for big oil interests, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in speech fees from big oil interests, and failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of services from his fat cat cronies.

    Reply

  55. nopher says:

    I haven’t read reports that Emmanuel was involved in Daschle’s decision. Regardless, my issue is with the notion that this is another example of dems caving into pressure (agree there are too many such examples, though!). Daschle, Geithner, Richardson, the efficiency czar (name?)…I think from a PR standpoint he’d be laying yourself bare to be attacked for empty rhetoric. Obama particularly should worry about walking the walk given that he raised expectations significantly AND critics have been waiting to say I told ya so. Last, I agree that Daschle would be a FANTASTIC fit but not that he’s indispensable.

    Reply

  56. Paul Bua says:

    The loss of Daschle is troubling. If the past 30 years of politics have taught us anything, you don’t put partisan heavyweights up against Senate confirmation if they can’t pass vetting. You give them non-confirmation posts and make them the center of gravity in that dept…
    Daschle has caved before…and for the life of me I cannot believe that he thought he could become Secretary of HHS (in spite of the tax issues) after “lobbying” for the past four years in the health care field…..
    I have the utmost respect for Daschle but he obviously could not live up to Obama’s “New Washington” standards or stay and fight…I think he was worth fighting for….
    However, now is the opportunity to put another partisan (and I think someone who will make a difference) in the HHS post: Howard Dean…..
    Dean has shown results and can carry the HHS position for Obama/Daschle’s ideas……
    I hope the Obama administration is listening..go with Gov. Dean for HHS…….

    Reply

  57. True or False? says:

    any strange assumptions in the article posted above? was daschle’s track record far weaker than many of his admirers are willing to admit?
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/01/daschle/index.html

    Reply

  58. DonS says:

    Chicagoan, I don’t know so much about Daschle being “irredeemably corrupt”, unless you have an axe to grind. More like another typical pol screw up. I don’t necessarily think Daschle should have stood, but the whole thing stinks.
    I rather agree with Steve’s important points:
    “what the political upper crust in Washington sees as “normal” when they leave office” . . . follwing on with the whole discussion of upper crust Washington that Steve takes so much flak for documenting, but which seems to be an ingrained culture that has developed over the decades in which “enrich thyself” appears the accepted mantra, and
    “but what this was mostly about was the opposing team taking down one of Obama’s most important chess pieces” . . . nasty politics played at the expense of the people.
    It’s all fine and good to be all goody two shoes about ethics in politics — something which Repubs seem to know precious little about on their own — but the object of the game seems so divorced from addressing the massive crisis in this country that someone, I would say the President, ought to point this out. My partner suggest a TV speech. Now would be the time for Obama to let the scales fall from his eyes (assuming he has been blind sided on several fronts) and kick some butt. NOT general “let’s all get ethical butt”; some craven, neanderthal Repubican butt.

    Reply

  59. Dan Kervick says:

    The thing is, I don’t think many Democrats really cared much about this one. Nobody was crying out for Tom Daschle as the indispensable man for reforming health care. Most just saw his appointment as the return of a political favor. Daschle’s leadership during the Iraq war debate and other matters didn’t endear him to a lot of people, and I don’t remember him as a particularly popular majority leader. Most barely registered his nomination and subsequent withdrawal. It’s a tree falling in the forest.
    Democrats care a lot more about people like Solis. They’re the one’s worth going to bat for. The rest of these appointees are a bunch of middle of the road pragmatists, and you can take ’em or leave ’em.
    You know, Daschle and Richardson should have been more forthcoming about the issues that forced them to withdraw. Instead, they played the game and covered up their foibles so they could get a job.

    Reply

  60. Spunkmeyer says:

    I’m glad he withdrew. No one did Daschle in but Daschle.

    Reply

  61. Chicagoan says:

    I’m sure there was a lot of behind the scenes knife fighting leading up to this “withdrawal”—and very interesting that it came after Obama had expended capital on standing firmly behind the guy who built the car Obama is now driving—but in the end Daschle was revealed as iredeemably corrupt. That, not the various forces acting to take advantage of it, was the problem, and it has to be blamed on Daschle.

    Reply

  62. susan says:

    Steve, one of the reason the Dems won the election was because
    people were sick and tired of Republican corruption. unfortunately,
    both Geithner’s and Daschle’s (and now Kelliher’s) tax evasion
    shows us that Dems aren’t immune to it either. yes, it’s part of life
    in Washington-all the perks, the fancy dinners, the big salaries-
    but “regular Americans” don’t have household staff, or chauffeurs,
    or limousines-and are not happy when politicians who do also seek
    to game the system by not paying their fair share for them.
    Nobody seems willing to point out the signature line on the IRS
    federal tax form that says the information is “true and complete.”
    Millionaires like Geithner and Daschle hire fancy accounting firms
    to do their taxes, and to me it’s a huge stretch to think that those
    highly paid CPAs are gonna “miss” $100K in tax liability.

    Reply

  63. DonS says:

    For those old enough to remember, the Dems do a pretty fair imitation of the 98 pound weakling getting sand kicked in their collective face by the bully at the beach — in the Charles Atlas advertisement for body building.
    A number of other images come to mind: martyr, wimp, overly cerebral, hand wringers. And the Repubs seem to take advantage of all these traits with their own counterparts.
    Even when the Dems had a majority in the Senate under Bush, virtually everything was subject to Republican filibuster threat. Fast forward to even larger majority. Dems still cower under the same threat. Importantly, the Dems cave even before the filibuster is gotten on, even before allowing normal public outrage at Republican tactics to build.
    The recent election: the people speak – throw the bums out. And the Obamans act like its an embarrassment; gotta be all fair and balanced you know (I am overdoing it a bit I realize). Versus 2000; Bush steals the election, claims a mandate and the rest is 8 years of rape of historical proportions — Dems acquiescing for the most part.
    You don’t think Obama would nominate Gregg just to squeeze out a Republican vote on the stimulus? Just asking. We’ll see. And say he does vote against the bill. Obama get’s another merit badge in Kumbaya; or does he open a vein on public TV?

    Reply

  64. DavidT says:

    Steve,
    I am deeply disappointed with the Daschle withdrawal. But why do you blame Obama for not fighting hard enough? Daschle withdrew, plain and simple (according to Andrea Mitchell who spoke with him within minutes of the announcement, the NY Times editorial pushed him over the line).
    Why don’t you at least address the concerns the New York Times raised? How come no mention of how it looks that he took so much money from health care groups that legislation he will be pushing will be affected by? Why no mention of the person you’ve pushed several times for Commerce Secretary whose role here is an embarrassment to Daschle (given that Daschle made quite a bit of money off of their relationship yet pushed him for the cabinet post that you pushed him for without any apparent government experience and his having some troubling profiles in the news media).
    This is a great loss to our country but Daschle besmirched his reputation, sadly, and would have had some trouble forwarding the Obama agenda even though I’m sure Obama is deeply sorry to see Daschle not join his team. I wished he had fought harder as well but see no reason to blame Obama or Emanuel for this (other than they should have vetted better).

    Reply

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