Josh Marshall: Playthings – TPM


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    “…to normalize the behavior, to stake out the maximalist position early in order to allow it time to become accepted as a given…”


    It’s about time liberals figured this out.

    To illustrate this point, a brief play:

    “Give us the emails.”

    proper response: “No. In fact, I will charge you with treason/unAmerican activities for just asking.”


    “Oh, okay then. I’m going to go back to ruling.”



  2. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I read that last night and as much as I respect Marshall’s take on political maneuvering I think he’s wrong on this one. I think the purpose of McConnell coming out like this is for the signalling value such a declaration presents to the base. That is, his purpose is to motivate the electorate and shape the discourse in favor of GOP political support rather than to normalize an action (obstruction) which, from a purely tactical pov, coulda been achieved without any accompanying rhetoric.

    Insofar as he actually IS attempting to normalize the obstruction, it’s because he’s chosen to run cover for Teddy Cruzer, who is on record saying he’s gonna filibuster the appointment process for long as it serves Ted’s personal ambitions (heh, he didn’t say that last bit…) which will reflect poorly on the GOP for a whole host of reasons. ANd McConnell is conceding that there ain’t a damn thing he can do about it!!Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Yeah. I didn’t see McConnell telegraphing that Obama wasn’t going to be able to nominate a judge.

      I saw him telegraphing that a pick was, in fact, going to get through but he had to say a handful of things for appearances first.Report

    • Either way, it’s hardball thinly disguised as principle, with the disguise being (as always) enthusiastically elaborated by the pundit class. I honestly think one of the main reasons that political talk is so debased these days is the constant dishonesty and doublethink (or to call it by its real name, bullshit) needed to maintain this kind of fiction.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Ahh, I see your point. (It’s about the media and not McConnell.)

        Yeah, hard to argue with that. For the time being anyway. Once obstruction starts in earnest, and depending on the contours it takes, I think punditry will change a bit. But they’ll only do so when reality can be leveraged against the fiction, so to speak.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Well, its a good thing Obama never filibustered a SC pick…

    ETA: With a fairly evenly divided electorate, hardball is the name of the game. That is why we have seperation of powers, and elections. I know this is a bit more that a filibuster, but, well that is how the R’s get to govern right now.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Man, what a f***ing hypocrite! It’s all partisanship with that guy!!! Republicans too!!! Booooo!!!

      OK, with that outa the way, is the pre-emptive declaration to obstruct any nomination different in kind than using congressional tools to filibuster a specific nominee, and in particular, a nominee who was eventually appointed to the SC?Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        I think it doesn’t matter at this time, its stalemate until the election. Much like vetoing O-care repeal, it a check and a balance.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          But do you agree/disagree that there’s a substantive difference between those invocations of the POWAH of the filibuster: to preemptively obstruct the process in advance of any nominee being named, and to temporarily obstruct a nominee who ended up getting appointed anyway?Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            I for one think he’s using the wrong tool for the job, if he persists in his current plan. I checked his Twitter to see if he had simply over-reacted on Saturday (as I had too) and got his goals in line with his available processes… but nothing so far.

            Negotiating from a relative position of strength to influence Obama’s choice – I think he’s got an air-tight case, and even a winning (but difficult) hand to play.

            Not negotiating and simply denying the President his due? Strikes me as a completely unforced error and not something I would back as a principle or a sound tactic.

            There’s still time for him to reframe the issue into a reasonable approach, but he’s already wasted some capital needlessly and its looking to me like he’ll spend it all on this. Very poorly done, if so.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The more interesting stance than McConnell’s is Ayotte’s. It’s the same stance, but the Turtle has some sort of job next year. Ayotte’s calculation seems to be go big or go home, even with a seat on the bubble.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Ayotte will never have to work with Obama ever again.

      She *WILL* have to work with whomever replaces Obama.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        She won’t have a job at all if all the purple states break blue. I do think it’s an untested hypothesis – that GOP obstruction games in an Prez election year will cost them votes up and down the tickets. But Ayotte will certainly be the test case if Scalia’s replacement fight is still going on in December.

        Theres a possible 11th dimensional chess move in Ayotte staking out a position now, getting ‘betrayed’ by a Gang of Whatever, then running against that betrayal w/o the headwinds of a open SCOTUS seat. The problem with that strategery is that she’s always been the Gang of Whatever and is best buddies with McCain and Graham (she took Lieberman’s spot in their band)Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          She can always pivot if the winds look like they’re blowing the wrong way.

          “Hey. I didn’t know that Obama was going to nominate someone freakin’ AWESOME!” before she votes for him or her.

          If the winds don’t blow that way? She will have an answer to “what have you done for me lately?” for the person in the White House, no matter *WHICH* party they belong to, for half a year. More if it’s a Republican.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          It’s a bad Senate map for Republicans. They’ve got the bulk of the seats up, and several are seats they only won because 2010 was an off-year. (GOP Senators in blue states).

          Bluntly, if a Democrat wins the White House, he or she is almost certain to have a Senate to match. And even if we get President Trump, he might have to deal with a Democratic Senate.Report