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Belmont Club

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

October 4th, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Henry Kissinger, pressed to root for a side on the Iraq-Iran war memorably remarked “it’s a pity they can’t both lose.” Barack Obama, who counted on blaming the Federal Government ‘shutdown’ on the Republican Party, has succeeded in making Kissinger’s impossibility come true. He lamented that it was a pity both parties — especially his — were losing.

In particular the president regretted that too many people were blaming both sides for the event. “When this gets reported on, everybody kind of thinks, well, you know, both sides are just squabbling; Democrats and Republicans, they’re always arguing, so neither side is behaving properly”.

Gallup’s latest poll says its actually true. “Among top U.S. political figures, there are no winners in the budget standoff, at least in the early days of the shutdown. The public sees Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, as well as the president, more negatively as a consequence of the budget impasse. … A majority of Americans, 57%, say they now view President Obama more negatively as a result of the shutdown, while 28% see him more positively.”

Nobody is covering himself with glory because the shutdown opens the door to the discussion of unseemly issues better left under rocks. The public sees it’s all about money. The more astute realize, after a moment’s thought, that it’s about how to spend more of their money. Public money.

Obama’s shutdown calculus was predicated on its likely effect on GOP vs Dem polling, which is turning out to be more of a tossup than he bargained for. But even if the blame fell more heavily on the Republicans, it was the wrong metric to watch. He was measuring blood pressure when he should have been looking at blood sugar. Thus his pollsters neglected to reckon on the shutdown’s effect in another metric: the contest between incumbents versus challengers.

By this metric the incumbents are definitely losing. Readers will recall from Storming the Castle the idea that there is really one party in Washington, the Party of Incumbency and that people like Harry Reid and Charlie Rangel are as permanently ensconced in office as officials in any one party state; that Leo Linbeck’s PAC controversially attempted to support any challenger against an any incumbent, regardless of party in this belief, to break up the monolith.

The shutdown is now operating like a wrecking ball on the incumbent’s popularity. The Economist warned that a disgust of the GOP did not mean that voters thought better of the Democrats. “Things have in fact been moving in the opposite direction: Polltracker’s congressional generic-ballot poll average, which Democrats had led since last year’s elections, is now about even for the two parties, not because Republicans have improved—they have spent the entire period hovering at 38%—but because Democrats have dropped to meet them.”

As Daniel Drezner pointed out, the standoff has had the unanticipated effect of terrorizing the incumbents. Because congressional districts are largely gerrymandered into so many safe Republican and Democratic seats, the sitting congressmen fear being upended by factions within their own party than by the rival camp. If the GOP is holding more firmly in the standoff than predicted it is because they fear an outraged conservative challenge so intensely that they will not risk an open surrender.

Perhaps the Democrats are holding fast for the same reason. Obama can’t surrender to Boehner because he fears the tar and feathers from his own left wing. So it’s over the cliff he goes. That he never anticipated it would come to this was predicated on the belief that the Republicans would fold like a cheap suit as they have so often done.

But Ross Douthat insightfully notes that an unlooked-for awakening within the Republican party which has led to a kind of grim determination everyone assumed was never there.

So what you’re seeing motivating the House Intransigents today, what’s driving their willingness to engage in probably-pointless brinksmanship, is not just anger at a specific Democratic administration, or opposition to a specific program, or disappointment over a single electoral defeat. Rather, it’s a revolt against the long term pattern I’ve just described: Against what these conservatives, and many on the right, see as forty years of failure, in which first Reagan and then Gingrich and now the Tea Party wave have all failed to deliver on the promise of an actual right-wing answer to the big left-wing victories of the 1930s and 1960s — and now, with Obamacare, of Obama’s first two years as well.

“They didn’t dare,” Frum wrote of the Intransigents’ Reagan-era predecessors, “and they realized that they didn’t dare.” Well, this time, no matter the risks and costs and polls, there are small-government conservatives who intend to dare — because only through a kind of wild daring, they believe, can the long-term, post-New Deal disadvantage that the cause of limited government labors under finally be overcome.

The result is that this is turning out to be fight, not between “Republicans and Democrats” — as the press likes to view it. The shutdown is assuming aspects of a struggle between insiders and outsiders; between the Beltway and the Beyond. Obama had calculated on winning the fight. But even if wins the fight, it will be the wrong fight.

Perhaps the most interesting possibility to emerge from the current struggle — which is only a prelude to the debt ceiling limit battles to come — is that the Washington elite is mortal. The outsiders from both camps are knocking at the party doors. Obama has unwittingly played the role of Humpty-Dumpty. Whatever happens “not all the Kings horses nor all the King’s men can ever put Humpty together again.”


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Top Rated Comments   
At this point, Republicans have nothing to lose and Democrats have everything to lose. Republicans have already received the blame, and the only thing worse would be to capitulate with nothing to show for it. They have no incentive to back down.
Democrats on the other hand have a good chunk of their base (public sector unions) out of work and a looming debt ceiling that could throw everything into the mixer. If they do not capitulate or at least offer some face saving option, they will be seen as no different from Republicans and have nothing to gain from that.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
What was genuinely terrifying was the rollout, which demonstrated unequivocally that the power elite had become too corrupt to even defend itself properly. The Obamacare exchanges are the single best measure of how competently they are handling foreign policy, national security and economic strategy.

Even though their political fortunes depended on it, the Obama administration was too politicized, inefficient, and compromised to even hire a competent contractor in time to roll it out half-decently. Just think of it. The same administration that brought you this monumental screwup is charge of protecting the world. And before the GOP crows, think this. That bunch of jokers must be more competent then the GOP since they beat them every time.

It was a "the Emperor has no clothes" moment for me. The power elite in Washington is inbred to the point of being genetically retarded. They believe their own propaganda now. They promote their own ridiculous mediocrities. Look at Anthony Weiner! Look at Bill Blasio, or Al Sharpton. Holy Smokes are we in trouble.

The reason its falling apart for them now is because it had to. How were they going to pay for Obamacare assuming they could get anyone to enrol on its 'Exchanges'? Why are they raising the Debt Limit? To pay for their useless programs? And where are they going to get the money to pay for this debt?

Nobody has any answers. They probably haven't even thought of the questions.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I said in an earlier thread - we can win this thing. In fact, Ross Douthat et al, fear what they see happening - we - the conservative base - are winning this thing and the elite in both parties are covering their faces with sh*t.

A lot of more moderate Republicans, now that we are into the shutdown, which they realize was brought on by our Dear Leader, are getting comfortable with keeping it going and just passing piecemeal funding bills of essential services. There is no downside to keeping it going.

Almost every hour another story of egregious shutdown behavior by Buraq and friends shows up on the internet. Buraq and Harry are covering themselves in slime, for all the world to see, and it's best when your enemy is destroying himself to just let him do it.

Hang tough and don't give an inch.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (92)
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Good timing for the States to collectively step in to provide all services and their legislatures to nullify not only Obamacare but ALL programs not specified in the Constitution. We don't need a FEDERAL board of education, we have 50 State Boards of Education. They can save 49 Billion right there.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the admin had not ordered the ridiculous actions by the Natl Park Service, nobody would realize the govt was , ahem, 'shutdown.' Much like the sequester, doom and gloom were promised but everything turned out okay. Sure there were and are irritations, but the source of those irritations is seen as illegitimate, and thus the punishment, if any, redounds to the resident.

He's overreached in the petty, spiteful, nasty efforts this time. The backlash is rearing back like a tsunami. In my email this afternoon, a retired Silver Star recipient Army Colonel, Harry Reilly, sends word to all vets and friends of vets to Occupy the memorial tomorrow, Monday.

Next Sunday, the Million Vet March on WDC Memorials. We need a Rolling Thunder of continuous Occupation of the monuments, telling the resident to Just Move On.


http://1mvetmarch.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/221224648042883/?ref=22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmoOBNA65mA

"Many thousands live in and around Washington, D.C..............hell they could be there today.........In a month the government will have set a precedent they can do anything and get away with it. The bastards can disrespect a blood soaked memorial and close it? B.S. It's pure political theater and one thing warriors don't stand for and that's being used as political pawns.......blood, life, limb, and family destruction takes no back seat to a bunch of sniveling politicians...........and most especially Barack Obama............

We need a Viet Nam memorial crowd by the hundreds if not thousands by Monday, 7 October to open the Viet Nam Veteran memorial...........The Viet Nam Memorial must be reopened and it must done without delay.........
Harry Riley"
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Humpty would have better balance if he could get a good night's rest...

Shutdown OK- saves taxpayer money too!
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Out here in my wedge of the land of linkin', yrs truly is monitoring the broadcast nets looking for anyone to make any of the HUGE points right there in the three top-rated comments. No luck so far. Will advise if & when.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS: How 'bout this: Call or email your favorite reps and read or or type in the Belmont URL --and ask the entity to please read the three comments at the top. I would say, "Fax 'em!" but i wouldn't want to be misinterpreted.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know not who will win this Dummernarr vs Idiotocracy pissin' contest, I know for a fact though I'm the one who will get pissed on in the process.
At least it isn't raining!
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just saw this elsewhere:

"The U.S. military has furloughed as many as 50 Catholic chaplains due to the partial suspension of government services, banning them from celebrating weekend Mass. At least one chaplain was told that if he engaged in any ministry activity, he would be subjected to disciplinary action. [punished for conducting worship?] 'In very practical terms it means Sunday Mass won’t be offered,' Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told me. 'If someone has a baptism scheduled, it won’t be celebrated.''

(So, is this continue the beatings until morale improves? Until the peasants learn their proper place and not to question their betters? I think somebody is very detached from reality.)
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barack Obama is a jealous god.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public."

Theodore Roosevelt
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barack "Humpty Dumpty" Obama is going to have fits with this.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/bp_trial_phase_2_-_source_control.html

Q. At any point in time while you were executing Top Kill,did you believe that Top Kill was working?

A. Yes. On Day 3, it actually -- well, we had pumped at over 50 barrels per minute. We shot the last of the junk that we had, made a real -- the guys offshore made a real effort to try to keep a consistent mud flow going. And as we were watching the job in the Operation Center, the weep at the kink -- the weep coming out of the kink had slowed and stopped. We reached a certain pressure threshold, but certainly we thought we had potentially killed the well. And there was a celebration in the room. A lot of people thought we had won and we were winning.

Q. Did Top Kill ultimately prove to be successful in killing the well?

A. No. Because shortly after that, after a period of time, we saw the well fight back, push the mud back out, and then kind of regained its strength and it started flowing again.

Q. Were there members of the government who were also monitoring the Top Kill operation throughout the entire time it was being executed and present with you?

A. Yes. I was with Secretary Chu the whole time. He was in the main command room where we were watching all the operations. Tom Hunter from the National Labs, a lot of the Science Team, Deputy Secretary Hayes was there. Secretary Salazar was not there. But yeah, the Science Team, mainly Secretary Chu, all day long we were monitoring it together.


From the comments

"When dealing with a "momentum kill", you need to realize that the momentum of the mud is due to two factors, the velocity due to the pumping rate and the mass due to the weight of the mud. By increasing the momentum of the mud by increasing the pumping rate and/or the density of the mud, the well should have been killed in May 2010, not on July 15, 2010.
More than half of the oil spilled never should have gotten out of the well in the first place. The well should have been killed in May. They proved that by briefly stopping the flow of oil from the kink in the riser. Clearly, the well would experience a rise in shut in pressure once they stopped pumping. They just needed to resume pumping to get more mud down the hole. Steven Chu should not have made them quit."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shouldn't our federal taxes be reduced by about 0.3% for every day of the shutdown?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bad news is that no one can access the sites;
The good news is they can't see the premiums.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I asked folks all around the feed stores and such, no one understood what it was all about, everyone said They thought the government had shut down so how can you register with no one there and If the government cannot handle their selves how are they going to handle anyone's healthcare and what happens when your healthcare gets shutdown?
The most common afterword was, That's way off in Washington it don't matter here in our state.
States rights will trump the lot then the POTUS will be pissed.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, if the people see the rates, it would be good.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey, look at the news on TV tonight. I'm old to remember when SEAL missions were confidential. Now they are ads for how cool Obama is.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Got their arses handed to them, got out alive thank King Neptune!
left ammo, equipment and other military toys scattered and discarded in their haste.
So The Obama administration brags about it?
Well, The SEALS did get out alive as far as we know.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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