David Weigel, "Bachmann vs. Romney". August 3
SOMETIMES you gotta wonder whether Sarah Palin is too smart for the room. Cillizza:
Liberal anger and disappointment with the president is real. But will it have real political consequences heading into 2012?
The answer is “sort of.”
The most obvious impact will come in fundraising, where virtually no one in the Democratic donor base — affluent (and liberal) individuals, trial lawyers, organized labor — is happy with the deal.
While Obama’s $86 million haul in his first three months of active fundraising suggests he will have few problems raising the money he needs for his reelection campaign, it will almost certainly be more difficult for House and Senate Democrats — many of whom voted for the final deal — to collect cash from a disgruntled donor base.
So fundraising "sorta" affects politics?
A secondary, but far harder to gauge, impact is on the question of enthusiasm.
One of the keys to Obama’s sweeping victory in 2008 was the fervent following — in terms of campaign contributions and volunteer hours — from the liberal base of the party. Their energy proved infectious as the Obama effort went from campaign to cause.
Even before the president cut this debt deal, some of that intensity of feeling had worn off as liberals grew discouraged by what they believed to be a series of concessions made by Obama — from not closing the Guantanamo Bay prison to an extension of the Bush tax cuts.
I know, I know: that's Chris Cillizza twice this week, and it's only Wednesday; next stop, correcting the grammar at Townhall. And I know it's nothing new, or out of the ordinary, but just look at how the argument is constructed: Liberals are angry. This may affect campaign contributions for the people they're angry at. They may also lose enthusiasm. Bear in mind, the next time some schlub at the Post fills six column inches with a piece about how the sticker on his toaster warned him not to use it in the bathtub, that this is how their own wise men speak.
We will hear, shortly--from "a Democratic consultant sympathetic to the liberal cause"--that liberals and progressives have no where else to go (and nowhere is this truer than for the sympathetic Democratic consultant). Interesting, then, that a couple years ago "conservatives"--who'd just been shellacked at the polls the second straight time--could form An Entirely New Party, to widespread Press acclaim, which later just happened to be captured by the Republicans.
We might add here that the Obama campaign famously succeeded in, and by, motivating large numbers of new voters, a bloc which had a proven track record in losing interest immediately afterwards, and that their lack of motivation helped seal the 2010 midterms. With any luck, not voting will develop into a life-long habit. Meanwhile, if I might suggest it, any "Liberal" or "Progressive" who now finds himself with Nowhere Else To Go should consult a specialist about how the 110th and 111th Congresses were wiped from his memory. I can't personally recall when Liberals and Progressives had any place to go at all, let alone One Glowing Possibility. Maybe back when the Washington Post practiced journalism.
Meanwhile, I was gonna write about Weigel's backhand "defense" of Joe "They're All A Bunch of Terrorist Bombers" Biden's unprecedented use of metaphor, a piece which was supposed to inform curious Slate imbibers that David Weigel Is Immanently Reasonable while reminding them in a stage whisper that Joe Biden is not. But when I went back to quote the thing he was on to Round 14 of Michele Bachman Talk Like This, But Mitt Romney Talk Like This, a game which, for the life of me, I can't imagine who Weigel thinks is interested in. On their recent ads:
One's a primary ad; one's a general election ad. They really are polar opposite campaigns. When Romney eventually opposed the debt limit hike, he did it as a press release, an afterthought, because who is this voter who's going to cast a November 2012 vote based on which presidential candidate wanted to hike the debt limit?
When, y'know, Iowa hasn't been relevant to a Presidential primary since Carter '76, and that was just from the novelty factor. The only reason anyone would pay attention to Iowa is in the hope that it propels some cracked bride of Jesus into Serious Candidacy, apparently just for the sport of it.
If you're a Republican, either the distinction between Mitt Romney, rich guy panderer, and Michele Bachmann, insane Tax Cutting Jesus Lady, mean everything to you, or they mean nothing. Is there some middle ground? Some Centrist Undecideds out there trying to make heads or tails of the race? Pah. Republicans are either gonna hold their noses and vote for Mitt, because Hair, or they aren't. If you're nutty enough to believe Michele Bachmann is qualified to be President--even of the United States, the Satis House of Geopolitics--then no evidence of anything matters. If you aren't a Republican, why do you care about either of them?
Mostly I enjoyed how once again with Weigel Disingenuousness pats itself on the back for being so even-handed. Bachmann "remain[ed] elusive on just how the budget would be balanced this year." S'funny, but as far as I recall it, you could say that about every Republican candidate for anything, going back at least to Ronald Reagan's first campaign. That's not criticism; it's hitting fungos to yourself. Mitt, on the other hand, eventually opposed the debt-ceiling hike. And this is supposed to be a slashing criticism of a guy who's changed every single one of his original positions in search of the Republican nomination?