Josh Marshall says "oy."

Sen. Ensign (R): 2001 Bush tax cut a model of bipartisanship Obama should aspire to.

I'm going to disagree with Josh here -- I think the 2001 tax cuts are exactly the model of bipartisanship that Barack Obama should aspire to. At the outset of his term, George W. Bush was able to get more or less everything he asked for from the Congress in terms upper-range tax cuts, yet still managed to get a dozen Democratic Senators and another couple dozen House Democrats to vote "aye." If President Obama can get almost everything he wants in the 2009 stimulus bill, and can steamroll a significant chunk of Congressional Republicans to support his position at the same time, then that's the kind of bipartisanship I can believe in.

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The Case for Chuck Hagel

Good evening everyone!

I am going to lay out the case for Chuck Hagel as our Vice Presidential nominee.  I want to be clear about something, though.  I am not endorsing Chuck Hagel for this position.  I am warmer to him than most here but I do not think he would be the best choice.  I am writing this diary because no one hereabouts is willing or able to understand why Senator Hagel would be a compelling choice from a certain point of view.  I don't want to get attacked for writing this.  Instead, remember that I'm trying to foster some useful dialog and maybe broaden some perspectives.  You don't have to agree with the premise of this diary to be better for having read it.

Interested?  Read on...

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Let's Take Obama's Message Seriously - Don't Demonize McCain

Howdy gang.  I think I've found a theme here at MyDD.com.  I've tried to be a voice for civility by default (though I have a sharp tongue when stupidity abounds).  I'd like to continue in that vein.

Primary messages often morph into something else once the general election begins.  The territory a primary candidate stakes is often selected because it's the only possible approach against other Democrats.  That narrative doesn't usually survive unscathed in the general election.

One aspect of Barack Obama's message needs to prosper.  We, his supporters, need to dial it back a notch in how we speak and write about John McCain.  I do not mean we should hold our fire in criticizing the man.  I will be doing it, I can assure you.  However, for a variety of reasons I will lay out below the fold, we should moderate how we do it.

Read on...

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Meta-Messaging: "I Play Nice With Others"

Jerome's post this morning, hinted at the biggest danger facing Democrats in the likely McCain-Obama general election match up: both candidates will be using the same overarching themes and narratives throughout the campaign. As he notes,
I haven't seen much of a dent being put into McCain's core brand (war hero, reformer, maverick) to date...If McCain is able to leverage that into becoming a "change Republican" he'll have done what Matzzie says, which is pointed out in the above examples: "Sometimes being the first person to adopt a message isn't the winner--your opponent can hijack the dialog in the media and turn it to his advantage."
This misses, however, the other massive overlap between their messages: both lay claim to the mantle of bi-partisanship, of being able to bring people together despite their differences to work out functioning compromises. For Obama, this is encapsulated by his theme of "Unity," whereas for McCain, its in his branding as a "Maverick," as distinct from the ideological, far-right Republicans. As one Republican consultant told the NY Times,"I think that by rook or by crook or by providence or just dumb luck, we nominated the one guy who continually outpolls the Republican brand."

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The Myth of Bipartisanshp

I've been working on a piece concerning the bizarre Washington wish for every to "just get along." In it I note that it is not the Democrats, but the Republicans who fail to compromise.  The failure of the media to call out this minority party for their continued obstruction of popular legislation is simply unforgiveable.  That piece can be viewed here:

http://www.theleftanchor.com/2008/01/bip artisanship.html

The David Broder's of the world fail to realize the benefits of partisanship.  There are debates to be had here, there are issues to be addressed.  And if anything, the most troubling aspect of the current Republican party is their continued failure to agree on any empirical reality.  Without an objective set of facts with which to debate the issues, the issues become non-negotiable.  They won't admit to any objective reality, and therefore, there is little we can do to convince them of our positions, or to even reach a compromise.  I have a piece concerning that factor here:

http://www.theleftanchor.com/2008/01/jud icial-activi.html

And if anyone wonders what a brokered Republican convention might look like, I've taken my best stab at it here.  I'd like to think it's both funny and accurate, but what do I know?

http://www.theleftanchor.com/2008/01/giu liani-now-fo.html

Go Blue in 2008,
Big Blue

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