Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Anthony Weiner, US Congressman for New York's 9th District, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, discusses the results of yesterday's election and the Congressional balance of power.
Here's the bottom line. The House dems could have voted on the tax cuts BEFORE the election. They didn't. This miscalcuation goes far beyond tone deaf. Now you cry foul? The dem caucus lacked the courage in fall, and now effectively want to scuttle the best possible deal Obama could have gotten. Its ridiculous, get real.
I think the construction "focus on the economy" is one of the most politically and intellectually useless yet devised. What does it mean?
1) Spend more in the short term to make up for depressed demand (i.e. more stimulus)?
2) Cut taxes on the rich people who aren't spending, so they can park their money in banks that aren't lending?
3) Stare at Andrew Jackson's $20 portrait until, through sheer force of presidential will, more money and/or jobs fall from the sky.
No, none of those. The same people who claim Obama should have "focused on the economy" are the ones who blame the stimulus bill for sinking his popularity. And a man not spending $250k looks the same to the economy right now as a man not spending $500k, so it's not number 2...
Oh, I know! The answer is:
4) Empty political theater, demonstrating for the pundits and the stupid that Obama is "focusing on the economy".
Democrats were afraid of provoking conservatives by passing too large a stimulus bill, and so they got a crappy economy and provoked conservatives both. It wasn't a failure of messaging, it was a failure of policy.
@ Dev -
Maybe you heard?
Weiner got something done in the real world;
viz., Healthcare (albeit not his - or my - preferred version).
Obama moved to the right before he even took office (he was always a centrist) by appointing Geithner as Treasury Secretary, and obviously not focusing sufficiently on the economy and jobs in particular by accepting an insufficient stimulus program. (Nixon offered a similar health insurance reform program) His right wing tack on educational reform was just one more sign of his real lack of change orientation. So this just as Harry Truman once said, "Given the choice between a real Republican and a fake Republican the people will choose the real thing every time". This has become even more true now that the packed right wing supreme court, has confirmed that corporations are people too, and deserve the best government that money can buy.
Obama focused on health care, because that's what he promised as a candidate. It took so long cause the Repubs wanted no change from the current system and offered no alternatives. Obama was trying to give the people what they elected him to do.
And why do Repubs always think they live in the "real world"? So delusional...
Wait a minute! Obama ran with a promise to tackle health reform. He did. It was difficult -- yes, it took a year because of entrenched resistance -- but he acheived landmark legislation. Now he is being criticized for doing what he promised and not doing what he did not promise: Tackling unemployment and the economy.
Yes, the average American is hurting and no longer seems to see the need for long term reform in our health system. But, I think history will see these times differently. There is no denying that Obama achieved the unacheivable with his landmark legislatioin!
Yesterday's results remind me of the well known cliche: It is the best of times and the worst of times!!!
The woman who suggests Michael Moore for the president's spokesman: it's incredible that you can look at this election and conclude that it's due to a lack of message. News flash: Michael Moore is so radioactive his mere presence would bury the president's chances in 2012.
If you argue that Democrats lost because they weren't aggressively liberal enough, how do you explain Russ Fiengold's loss? I think Democrats lost for the same reason Obama won two years ago -- because the economy is bad.
I love you, Antony Weiner. Thank you for being a Democrat with a spine.
I think a lot of Democrats lost because seniors became scared. They are very worried about having continued coverage under their own programs -- medicare and social security -- and are very worried that the health care law and other cuts are going to endanger their situation. Of course, seniors don't view ss and medicare as entitlements like other programs.
I don't think it was about the actual health bill itself as much as it was about how he(OBAMA) compromised the health bill....if you aren't going to concentrate on jobs and a health bill instead.....don't compromise because people will feel empyy handed on both fronts, eh? That's where we are now...empty handed.
Wiener and his liberal cohorts in the Congress are to blame for the Healtchare debate going on for over a year. Their insistence on a public option - that had no possibility of passage in the Senate - was what caused the debate to go on and on.
Wiener is a hypocrite and a delusional person. He has no idea how to get things done in the real world.
The election results say one thing and that it is that the CORPORATE press is failing us as a country. Take Health Care for instance. The majority of the public is reported to now have an unfavorable opinion of Health Care Reform. However, when asked about the individual provisions of the Health Care the public is overwhelmingly in favor of it.
So, there is a disconnect! What the press should do is step up to the plate and educate the public about the facts. Instead, they report that the majority of the public now have an unfavorable opinion of Health Care Reform and they will put forward some of the most extreme individuals to talk about the fact that they are fighting against a government take-over of health care, which has only the slimmest basis in reality.
The politicians don’t have the access to the public to get their message across because there is so much noise pollution out there, rather than news. The electorate is being manipulated (“the emperor has no clothes”) but we the public prefer to go to the coliseum and watch a blood sport and the press is giving us the entertainment we want to distract us rather than the news!
I think the Democrats didn't win because neither party represents the electorate. The last tidal wave wasn't voting in Democrats; it was voting out Republicans. But, since our system uses POSITIVE voting, a vote signals agreement with the candidate for and that they should do what they campaigned on. As a result, we keep voting out what we don't like, which is both parties.
As a long time listener, watching the degree to which public radio has shifted left, it would not surprise me that they will continue to lose federal funding.
Brian why do you sound a little bass-ier. It sounds like your voice is either slowed down or the bass is up.. Is it just my headphones?
Love yeah Weiner! keep on yelling at the republicans. They are A-holes!!!
Will Boehner survive for long as Speaker (among Republicans) or will there be a tea-party infused power struggle for Republican leadership positions ( including Majority Leader, Whip, and Committee Assignments)?
What's the deal on the lame-duck. Is Cong. Weiner hearing the Dems will do much during the next 2 months?
My congressman is the dependably liberal Jerry Nadler, so my stress level during election time is non-existent.
I am a Brooklyn democrat so frustrated with Anthony Weiner's support of big spending in Congress and the fact that he views Congress as a next step to running Mayor. Can't we get representatives that are committed to their jobs as our voices in Washington instead of just thinking about moving on to the next political job?
I was so happy to see he had a Republican opponent on the ballot, who I voted for, and I hope he gets the message that his district is not as pleased with him as he might think.
I don't want to scare anybody but...WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!
Well, they got it... now let's see what they will do with it... truly a singular opportunity for both the GOP and Tea Party, or as one newly elected GOP Rep said, a "second chance"...
Can Rep. Weiner take a guess at the first two or three bold policy moves to be championed by this GOP controlled Congress? (Unfortunately I could not figure this out based on the races themselves...)
Can you ask Rep. Weiner why he feels he had the lowest victory margin (only 58%) of any incumbent House member in the City and if he views it as a rebuke on his own policies in the House including unwavering support of Obamacare?
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR, PRI and American Public Media, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.