Not The Onion

August 1st, 2011 at 3:37 pm David Frum | 24 Comments |

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This is the Washington Post’s emailed bulletin report on the budget debate:

Asked for single-word characterizations of the budget negotiations, the top words in the poll — conducted in the days before an apparent deal was struck — were “ridiculous,” “disgusting” and “stupid.” Overall, nearly three-quarters of Americans offered a negative word; just 2 percent had anything nice to say.

“Ridiculous” was the most frequently mentioned word among Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. It was also No. 1 in an April poll about the just-averted government shutdown. In the new poll, the top 27 words are negative ones, with “frustrating,” “poor,” “terrible,” “disappointing,“ “childish,” “messy” and “joke” rounding out the top 10.

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • cheves222

    Whaaa? I thought it was disinterested, valant statesmanship all around!

  • Oldskool

    And all of it was intentional. Somewhere, there’s a handbook floating around that says if you’re out of power, the more chaos the better.

  • Zero-Cost Antics | Poison Your Mind

    [...] Via FrumForum, fun stuff from the Washington Post: Asked for single-word characterizations of the budget negotiations, the top words in the poll — conducted in the days before an apparent deal was struck — were “ridiculous,” “disgusting” and “stupid.” Overall, nearly three-quarters of Americans offered a negative word; just 2 percent had anything nice to say. [...]

  • dugfromthearth

    This poll must be from before Obama hailed the results of the debt-ceiling showdown as a “bipartisan deal to avoid default and reduce the deficit.”

    I am sure that once he said that people suddenly thought that the process had been mature and reasonable and produced good results.

  • JeffreyGoldfarb

    People know that the whole enterprise was ridiculous as the political class is disconnected from the concerns and insights of ordinary people, as well as professional economists and policy analysts. This is not just a function of arrogance. I think it is a function of a troubling new political culture, manifested on the right, where facts and true belief fundamentally ruin our political life. As a reverse Marxist, I hope this is not the farce that precedes the tragedy. http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2011/08/truth-and-politics-and-the-crisis-in-washington/

  • valkayec

    How can you define actions that belie sanity, thoughtfulness, integrity, concern for country, the economy, and the nation’s families. No single word is apt. In all of my nearly 65 years, I’ve never seen anything like this…and it makes me truly ashamed. Yesterday, I did a little rummaging through foreign media only to find them angry, in shock, disgusted, and shaking their collective heads at the antics of the Tea party and their willing partners in the GOP. Is this how a world leader behaves? Does this behavior represent a nation which the world is supposed to look up to and admire?

    All this rush to cut government immediately during a weak economy will do is create a debt trap.

    • Bunker555

      Der Spiegel sums it up well:
      “Obama’s target constituency in 2012 is not his base but rather independent and moderate voters,” the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote. “And those fence-sitters love compromise in almost any form.”
      “At the same time, it is the very Republicans who are now celebrating who might help steer Obama out of the crisis — including the one within his own party. If they agree on a presidential candidate who scares left-leaning Democrats, then they will once again flock to Obama — for better or for worse.”

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,777724,00.html

      Copyrighted information

  • Maddog88

    I cannot believe I’m the only one that offered “Poppycock!”

  • Banty

    How about “just you wait until the Bush tax cuts are up to expire”

  • sunroof

    Here’s the thing. Everyone craps on Washington, but the real culprit is the rank-and-file American, young or old, rich or poor, hawk or dove, conservative or liberal, who expects someone else to fix the problem and leave their personal ox ungored.

    Yes you, Mr. and Mrs American.

    If American politicians are unwilling to attack defense spending or entitlements or taxes, it’s because they are afraid of voters with ADD – which is most of you – who hear some twit promising a painless fix for the current and future state of the US debt and blaming the other party for everything , and believe it. And vote for that twit even though by all logic, he’s peddling cow manure.

    I’d like one party – or interest group – to start building a consensus around the following:

    1. Everyone’s ox has to be gored a bit to put the country’s finances in good shape, short term and long term.

    2. Everyone has to pay some taxes. This isn’t Greece (or is it?) where half the country doesn’t pay taxes.

    3. Get on with it. No one likes the proverbial trip to the dentist for a root canal, but if it’s going to happen get it over with while the problem is fixable and the solution tolerable. The sooner the world has clarity about America’s ability to reform its finances, the sooner the greatest boom in American economic history can get off the ground.

    • LauraNo

      “Everyone has to…” nothing. Everyone did not start wars, they were cleaning toilets for minimum wage. Everyone did not cut taxes for the rich at a time of war, they were busy watching other people’s children so they could also watch their own. Everyone DOES pay taxes, even illegal immigrants who have no chance of ever collecting the benefits they pay for. There will be no great boom in our future ever again unless it is another bubble generated by huge wealth in the hands of the few, who have nothing better to do with it but gamble. We’ve outsourced family sustaining jobs, probably half of our families rely on part-time income from Walmart, McDonald’s or some other no-benefits type of employment. No boom coming. Yes, I made up the numbers, but to illustrate my point, not to mislead.

    • TJ Parker

      Here’s the thing. Everyone craps on Washington, but the real culprit is the rank-and-file American, young or old, rich or poor, hawk or dove, conservative or liberal, who expects someone else to fix the problem and leave their personal ox ungored.

      This is certainly false. The fault does reside in Washington and in its moneyed interest groups. They downgrade facts and evidence to the level of opinion, and keep the argument there. Is there global warming? Ignore the science! Are tax cuts good in a recession? Ignore the evidence! Every country has an example of a working health-care system, and we pick the one that is clearly the worst. “Do what works most effectively” isn’t the mantra of Democrats, but should be. “Keep what works” isn’t the mantra of Republicans, but should be. “Country first” should be the guiding principle of all these jackasses, but isn’t.

      Endless campaigning, thanks to the lingering odor of the turd that blossomed from Bush’s brain.

    • Traveler

      Not “everyone” voted for the Teabaggers in 2010. But enough did. You cannot have a representative democracy if the electorate is not only uneducated, they even willfully vote against their own interests.

      So face it, “we” made our own beds, and now we get to lie in them. TJ, I find it totally disingenuous to blame the operatives who are carrying out a methodical agenda to defraud the citizens, when it is the citizens themselves that drink their cool-aid. Laura, you are dead on the money as to what you say about the less well off, but you didn’t refute sunroof.

      So why I empathize with the points that you and TJ make, they don’t change this basic fact. We are what we vote. And we vote pretty stupidly.

      • TJ Parker

        Indeed. But people are stupid. Or, to put it charitably, as Obama does: people have other interests and concerns. Politics is boring. Economics is boring and difficult. Nobody understands math or wants to. Politicians are payed off to push someone’s agenda. They, in turn, pay off the voters for their support.

        Snake-oil has always sold. But nowadays the world is so complex and the waters so muddied, non-experts have a hard time sifting the turds from the tomatoes.

        Did you know that nearly 50% of college students don’t believe in evolution? How is that possible? As China educates its peasants and raises them up economically, we’re doing the opposite to the next generation. Igornant, impoverished slugs: suited mentally and physically (corn-fed! like Christie, Limbaugh and Jabba the Hut) for the minimum-wage jobs that they’ll have to choose from.

      • Primrose

        Excuse me Traveler, but the Tea Party is a minority group, with only a small fraction of influence in one half, of one third of the branches of government. I absolutely will not take the blame for this minority.

        The people to blame are the Tea Party folks, and those like Boehner who chose to enable them. That’s it. That’s who. Any attempt to transfer or widen blame is attempt to let them get out of responsibility.

        • Traveler

          Primrose,

          I agree that the TP is a minority, but somebody sure voted them in. For sure it wasn’t you or me, so I certainly wasn’t blaming you or others on this site personally. The fact is, we are just another minority. But what really pisses me off is that the majority of the dems sat on their hands while the TP mobilized. Let the TP be the asshats they are. We should have outvoted them, but we didn’t. I still consider BO’s lack of leadership as being instrumental in their election. Be that as it may, the TP won and we moderates lost. And that was because too many of “us” sat it out. I will never forgive the nonvoters for that. Lazy turds handed the political process to the teabaggers. We have to look in the mirror for that. But its the royal “we” I blame, not you. Capice?

          Furthermore, most citizens are seriously deficient in basic civics, social studies, economics and science. As TJ points out, even half the college educated folk don’t believe in evolution. Considering that, I think we should be grateful we aren’t completely F****d. Oh wait, maybe we are, and just don’t know it yet.

          Peace. :)

  • WTBoy

    It cannot help the Republicans to be the party that tried “to force your Grandma to eat dogfood”.

  • John

    Now that Republicans got “98% of what [they] wanted” (to quote Boehner), do you think there will be any accountability when these austerity measures fail to stimulate the economy?

    • Churl

      “…do you think there will be any accountability when these austerity measures fail to stimulate the economy?”

      No more accountability than when the borrowed $800 billion Stimulus, the very antithesis of austerity, also failed to stimulate the economy.