Goin' Down: Obama Meets Reagan

Last Tuesday, Scott Brown won a special election for the Senate seat left open by Edward Kennedy's death. The victory by Republican Brown set the Democrats political hair on fire. Should be be surprised? Yes, if we ignore history. No, if we study history.

Below are some quotes and a link to a Time story from November 1982 when the Republicans got taken to the cleaners in the 1982 mid-term election. I expect the Democrats to suffer the same fate this November...unless of course the economy makes a miraculous about-face and we are all eating rainbow stew and drinking free Bubble-Up. Statistically speaking, there appears to be an inverse relationship between the unemployment rate and a President's popularity...

"I have no interest in sugar coating what happened in Massachusetts. There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient. The truth is Democrats understand the economic anger voters feel, that's in large part why we did well in 2006 and 2008."

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez
Democrati (New Jersey) January 2010

"We've listened and learned, and we will take what we've learned back to Washington. There will have to be some adjustments, some modifications in the things we are doing. No question about it."

Robert Michel
Republican Congressman
November 1982

"...If there was a dominant issue in the election it was Reaganomics, not only because the Democrats tried to make it so, but also because Reagan, against the wishes of some G.O.P. candidates, took to the stump to defend his policies. Particularly hi the dispirited Midwest, where Reagan's handling of the economy was a major concern, Democrats racked up large margins in many races for the House, Senate and governorships. According to surveys taken as voters left the polls, 40% said they had been personally hurt by the economy and 70% told pollsters that they saw their congressional votes as a "vote for or against Ronald Reagan." But Republicans drew on a pool of patience among voters who felt that Reagan's programs might work in time, that the blame for current economic problems was not essentially his but went back to Democratic Administrations, and above all, that the Democrats offered no persuasive alternatives. Some 55% of voters held the Democrats responsible for the staggering economy, and they were evenly split on whether Reagan's policies would eventually help restore prosperity..."

Read Election '82: Trimming the Sails @ Time

"It is a disastrous defeat for the President..."There has to be some bending on both sides."

House Speaker Tip O'Neill
November 1982

"We are very pleased with the results...There have been concessions and compromises in both directions on all the major issues and we expect to continue to work with the Congress in that way."

President Ronald Reagan
November 1982


Bailout Deja Vu

"...Economic power in this country does not rest in the mass of the people as it must if a democracy is to endure. Wealth is not equitably distributed nor do its owners in the main even manage and control it. On the contrary, wealth has become so great and so concentrated that as a matter of fact, it controls those who possess it.

About one-half of the wealth of this country is in corporate form, and over one-half of it is under the domination of 200 corporations, which in turn are controlled by what Ferdinand Lundberg in his recent book referred to as “America’s 60 Families.”

Eight years ago America’s 60 families had held in their hands, since the close of the World War, complete dominion over the economic and political life of the country. They had lulled the American people into the conviction that if the people would grant conditions in which these 60 families would have confidence that they would do as they pleased, the 60 families would put capital to work; enterprise would boom, wages would rise, stocks would soar and there would be two cars in every garage.

The people gave the 60 families this confidence; gave the 60 families this trust in their benevolent despotism—in short, gave the sixty families then what they ask for today, and what happened? Out of their divinely claimed genius as managers of private enterprise the 60 families promptly led the American people into the worst peacetime catastrophe ever known.

Then the disillusioned people changed the government.

The new government bailed the 60 families out of the consequences of their own mesmeric miscalculations and their unintelligent leadership of the system of private enterprise of which they had pretended to be master managers. It preserved the corporate structures in which their capital was invested from going through the wringer of bankruptcy and reorganization and stock assessment..."

Harold Ickes
Secretary of the Interior
January 8, 1938



Hey Rush, Who's Your Neighbor?

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan..."

An earthquake hits Haiti:

"This will play right into Obama's hands -- humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community, in both the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made to order for him."

Rush Limbaugh
Conservative Radio Talk Show Host

Obama calls for donations to help earthquake victims:

"Would you trust that the money is going to go Haiti? But would you trust that your name's gonna end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes? Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax."

Rush Limbaugh

"...But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'"

Luke 10:25-37


Get A Clooney...

The US State Department has issued digitally-altered photos showing how Osama Bin Laden may look now, aged 52.

Its 1998 file image of the al-Qaeda leader has been adapted to take account of a decade's worth of ageing, and possible changes to facial hair.

The digitally-altered photos on the State Department's website show three options for how he may look now - one with a full beard, one without and one with the stubble field sported by Hollywood liberals appearing frequently in Cohen brother movies.