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« Hey hey my my | Main | Personal and political »

Nov 10, 2012


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Seriously? Occupy?

You're really grasping now.

Ed Cone

I think there's some substance to Pierce's case for Occupy helping to reframe the national debate.

Surely distrust of plutocrats and a reluctance to restore Bush-era regulatory policy played a role in the election, and the x% meme played strong right through the fall.

To say Occupy had nothing to do with that, and with the emboldening of old-school liberals described in the linked article, seems like a tough sell to me.


I don't think people weren't pissed until Occupy came along. That movement attracted a bunch of naive college kids, criminals, anarchists, and Communists. They discredited themselves early on by lawlessness and disorganization.

Most sane people quickly dismissed them.

Even TPM found that the Tea Party had more support than Occupy and that was late last year.

Andrew Brod

In any case, "grasping" is what the losing side does. No grasping is needed when your side wins.

sean coon

sure, occupy attracted an anarchist side of the population—as well as those looking to sleep outside, smoke some dope and have free love—it also attracted some really smart people vested in the current machine who just became fed up.

trash occupy all you want, but it unequivocally focused attention on not only how we got into this mess short-term, but the long-term historical trend of capitalism run amok (aka. lobbying and circumventing regulations with money and power)


Actually "grasping" occurs when the winning side uses the win as an opportunity to exaggerate the meaning of the win. In doing so, they might believe that the win means that FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, Karl Rove, etc have all been taken out and movements such as "Occupy" and other Left wing groups have won the war.

I find this interesting considering that 7 out of the 10 most prolific fundraising private groups (read: those enabled by Citizens United) were for Democrats. Not exactly Occupy territory/ideology in play there.

It's actually interesting to see how broad the brush is being stroked, especially considering how well Romney did on the actual issues with voters compared to Obama in exit polling even if Obama ended up winning their vote.

I would be tempted to panic if the majority of Americans suddenly described themselves as liberals and supported left wing policies, but they haven't. Some conservatives have panicked, but the data indicates that America is still a center-Right nation on most issues. I still believe that liberalism is far more endangered than conservatism and that you will soon see that as Obama must move more to the center in the coming months than to the Left if he wants to get anything done and maintain his approval rating.

Obama's win hasn't left me in the dumps, much to your chagrin.

Andrew Brod

You've mistaken me for someone who cares whether you're in the dumps. But I do care about false statements:

"...7 out of the 10 most prolific fundraising private groups (read: those enabled by Citizens United) were for Democrats."

Not according to Open Secrets: 8 of the top 10 outside organizations on the 2nd list on this page are affiliated with Republican candidates and causes.

sean coon

spag: "Actually "grasping" occurs when the winning side uses the win as an opportunity to exaggerate the meaning of the win. In doing so, they might believe that the win means that FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, Karl Rove, etc have all been taken out and movements such as "Occupy" and other Left wing groups have won the war."

on the contrary; i'm completely aware that fox, rush, the tea bags, rove, etc. are still in play, and i'd say it's an unfortunate circumstance for true conservative republicans. fox and rush spinning up the fear and conspiracy games speaks to a dwindling audience, not a growing one. the tea bags in office? nothing but a thorn in the side of rational, conservative congressional republicans. karl rove... really?

you speak of data, but don't link to it. what data tells you that the majority of americans don't want a health care system that is fair, humane and works? where are you finding data that states a majority of the country is against marriage equality? what poll says that americans want the federal government to build a wall from california to texas and to boot out current illegal immigrants?

i believe that americans are, predominantly, hard working, family-oriented, creative, good people who want nothing more than a level playing field. that includes self-identifying conservatives, liberals and everyone else in-between... well, except for those with lots of capital looking to cut corners in any way possible to make lots more capital. obama represents the former, and that's why he's a two-term president; the latter can influence policy via lobbying, but it's getting much harder in this social age to buy actual votes.

Andrew Brod

"America is still a center-Right nation on most issues."

Spag might be right, according to Brad DeLong. Look at the agenda Obama won with:

"Barack Obama broadly follows Ronald Reagan's (second term) security policy, George H.W. Bush's spending policy, Bill Clinton's tax policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group's financial-regulatory policy, Rick Perry's immigration policy, John McCain's climate-change policy, and Mitt Romney's health-care policy."



PAC spending.

Andrew Brod

I can't read the entire WSJ article, but perhaps you should re-read the hed: "Union Is Top Spender for Democrats"; and the lede: "The Service Employees International Union has emerged as the top outside spender on Democratic campaigns this year." (Emphasis mine.)


"I can't read the entire WSJ article......."

But you just KNOW what it contained. No need to actually read.

Good work, Carmac.

Andrew Brod

It's behind a paywall, dork.


If you read the full article, there is a chart with the top ten spenders. Seven are left wing/Democrats.

sean coon

spag, the data you link to is really hard to break down. i mean, the percentages are presented along party lines, which doesn't tell me much (some percentages for an issue are cumulatively higher for registered dems, some for registered repubs).

as for obama... he's already a center/right leaning president. health care reform was modeled after bob dole's plan; aside from ending the wars, he's kept bush's policies in play re: terrorism, his regulations of wall street are friendly to wall street... aside from him championing marriage equality and keeping roe v. wade intact, he's nowhere near a liberal president.


Sean, let's remember that even in getting out of Iraq, Obama was adhering to a timeline negotiated by the Bush administration. Center right is not a smidgen to the left of the Tea Party. The center has moved.

sean coon

the tea party is extreme far right, roch. there's plenty of room between there and center, and obama is quite possibly the most pragmatic democratic president in modern history. all the screams of fox news, rush, beck, etc. about obama being a librul, marxist, communist, immigrant muslim was just noise to scare the voters into making him a one-term president. now that he's re-elected, they switch gears and want him to "move" to center/right. he's been there all along.

i don't think he'll need to cave on what he wants now. even though they own the house, the republicans overplayed their hand in the eyes of the american public. they've backed themselves into a corner with their obstructionism. if they ever want to be relevant with a broad demographic, they're going to need to learn to compromise.

Andrew Brod

I think I'll believe a table everyone can see over a table that's stuck behind a paywall and in an article that's obviously about the top donors to the Democrats.

Andrew Brod

Hey, I got in through Google and am looking at the table to which Spag refers. The data are from the Center for Responsive Politics, the same organization that gives us OpenSecrets.org, which is where I got the data I linked to upthread. So the two tables shouldn't contradict each other so long as they're describing the same thing.

The WSJ table is titled, "Top 10 political entities that spend most of their money on behalf of candidates in the 2012 election." That appears to omit the organizations that spend primarily on issues advocacy, which is hardly less partisan. But it's a bit more expansive than the table I found, which is focused on the presidential election. And the time frame is different.

In any case, it appears to matter how one slices the data, and it's far from clear that Democratic-leaning organizations are dominating the outside fundraising. In the OpenSecrets table I found, it's quite the opposite. Even in the WSJ table, the 7 liberal organizations spent only slightly more ($226 million) than the 3 conservative ones ($210 million).

sean coon

it doesn't matter, andrew. when the dems (politicians and voters) complained about citizen united, never once did i hear a caveat of "it's bad for republicans to do so, but good for us." the way it played out was that the rules were changed, and everyone played by the new rules.

if the right wants that supreme court decision changed, i'm sure the left would appreciate the help in overturning it.

Andrew Brod

I agree, Sean, but I still don't like false statements.

sean coon


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