The most annoying and ultimately destructive defense of President Obama’s legislative record is to constantly cite the filibuster myth. It is the argument that poor weak Obama couldn’t do anything without 60 votes in the Senate. The latest in a long line of examples comes from Jonathan Chait’s criticism of Cornel West.
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday August 26, 2014 11:07 am|
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday July 22, 2014 2:19 pm|
I thought when Senate Democrats so easily eliminated the filibuster for executive appointees that was going to be the final nail in the coffin of the filibuster myth, but I was mistaken. The myth that the filibuster is some insurmountable hurdle, instead of something which can easily be dealt with, lives on in Kevin Drum’s defense of President Obama’s first year.
|By: David Dayen Monday March 26, 2012 1:20 pm|
The International Crisis Group has a new report out showing that the so-called reconciliation talks with the Taliban are actually going nowhere, and that civil war could result from a US continuing to lead those talks. The think tank believes that responsibility should shifted to the United Nations.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 3, 2012 1:30 pm|
The Taliban has agreed to open an office in Qatar, seen as a precursor to peace talks in Afghanistan. The Taliban want release of their prisoners from Guantanamo as part of a goodwill gesture preparatory to peace talks. Congress is going ballistic, and because of the NDAA and other bills, the process for getting clearance to release Guantanamo detainees is almost impossibly complex.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 30, 2011 6:55 am|
The release of Fazl and other Taliban may just be a Hail Mary pass, however. Talks have been suspended at the request of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President. Though asking for a prisoner release previously , Karzai doesn’t favor it now. We may get the establishment of a Taliban office in a neutral third country, with talks continuing there on a reconciliation. But Karzai stopped the talks when he found out that the US was negotiating directly with Taliban officers to use Qatar as the third country, recalling the Afghan ambassador there.
|By: Jon Walker Friday November 4, 2011 9:40 am|
Instead of the media spreading myths about how powerless our politicians are to change anything, it should tell the American people what they actually could do if they wanted to. The American people deserve to know the truth that our politicians can actually fulfill many of their promises and that they are simply choosing not to.
|By: Jon Walker Friday October 14, 2011 12:30 pm|
There is a widely believed myth that a Republican Senate could not use reconciliation to repeal most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. But that view ignores the history of how the reconciliation rules have been used, as well as the ability of a Senate majority to interpret or change its rules.
|By: Phoenix Woman Sunday September 4, 2011 7:00 pm|
Jonathan Chait is a typical Beltway-minded Very Serious Thinker, which means that in his crafting of an apologia for yet another cave-in by Obama to corporate America’s well-heeled (and campaign-contributing) titans, he likes to a) assume that Obama’s most prominent lefty critics have no idea how politics works in America when in fact they understand it better than he ever will, and b) play fast and loose with the truth.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 28, 2011 6:19 pm|
Walter Pincus was the guy at the Washington Post known for writing skeptical stories about the Iraq debacle that wound up on page A17. He still gets that level of respect today, even when he’s got better information than anyone else. In this case, Pincus advances the story of permanent bases in Afghanistan (I’m calling them permanent bases, even if they end up being “joint bases” in the end), by taking a look at the construction contracts.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 22, 2011 4:04 pm|
Since Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung broke the suspense, I guess I’m free to say now that the President will announce tonight the removal of all 33,000 second surge troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, by September 2012. This would include a reduction of 10,000 troops by the end of the year, with the other 23,000 to be removed next year.