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Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Politics | 21 comments

Battle of the Political Butts

The coarsening of American “political discussion” continues:

A salty Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday told members of the Senate to “get off their ass” and pass a bill to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts, setting off an exchange with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” Boehner told reporters in a press conference, repeating a message he had just delivered in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference.

“It’s time for the Senate to act,” Boehner said. “It’s not about the House. We’ve acted.”

Following Boehner’s comments, Reid accused House Republicans of “sitting on their posterior” and challenged Boehner to pass legislation.

“I think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior,” Reid said. “We’re doing our best here to pass something. The Speaker is doing nothing to try to pass anything over there.”

Reid should have turned the other cheek on Boehner’s comment.

But here are three photos that illustrate key perceptions in this “debate.”

John Boehner’s view of the Democratic Party controlled Senate:

Harry Reid’s view of the Republican Party controlled House:

American voters’ view of the Republican and Democratic parties’ Congressional members and leadership:

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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • dduck

    Spot on, JG, and meantime the campaigner in chief (CIC), travels the northeast hoping his words will move his audiences to get off their tails and do what, go after congress.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Why, yes. The GOP House has acted. They just haven’t acted like legislators, only partisan hacks. Their stand is that there have been no spending cuts, which is a lie. They use this lie to justify no further attempts to increase revenue as well as make further revenue cuts. The only reason for this is political posturing. Like I said, they are acting. Just not in the sense of the word that they are claiming.

  • Jim Satterfield

    dduck, it’s the 21st century version of the bully pulpit. It used to be that if you appeared as president on the radio, or in later days network television, you reached a large audience. Now you have to do those things and live appearances that will get news coverage in multiple types of media and send out your message in various social media if you want to really reach a wide swath of the public. In other words he’s just doing his job.

  • KP

    I am in facor of the President mixing in some additional amounts of his work within a two mile radius of the White House.

  • zephyr

    Thanks Jim. Yes indeed, the prez is doing his job. I suppose the alternative would be to sit back and let the GOP paint another deceptive and inaccurate picture for the public of just what is going on here and why. This is about a failed and sick republican controlled House of Reps and a president who is trying to stem the infection.

  • dduck

    Please explain how doing speech after speech and not getting in the trenches helps solve the problem? We are days away, not months away, what good do these speeches do? Seriously.

    Btw: what was wrong with the Rep proposal to give POB the flexibility on the “cuts”. That sounds like a good idea for the department heads to be able to pick the more appropriate program over the more critical. POB rejected that.

  • zephyr


    Seriously? Surely you jest. It’s become nearly impossible to use that word in association with today’s GOP. You can’t pretend the prez has much control over republicans in the house.

  • zephyr

    … or in the senate for that matter. This was the president’s comment on that “flexibility” thing:

    “You don’t want to have to choose between, ‘let’s see, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid? Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other one?'” Obama said. “You can’t gloss over the pain and the impact it’s going to have on the economy.”

    It’s just another way for republicans to attempt shifting responsibility – and it isn’t working.

  • KP

    We can’t expect adults or children to ‘mature’ or ‘grow up’ if others in their lives are constantly calling them ‘dumb’, ‘ugly’, or ‘less than’.

    Most of us would agree, you don’t serve bullies, or yourself, well, by bullying them.

    Why hasn’t the President sat face to face, one on one, with dozens and dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate? He appears to be exceptionally adept at this type of communication. It looks as though he is getting extraordinarily poor advice – or is less sure than I am of his persuasiveness. I think he would excel in that setting.

  • zephyr

    what good do these speeches do?

    I believe the intention is to show examples where cuts will impact in order to bring home to the public why they matter and why accountablity for them matters. I realize the GOP isn’t big on accountability so much anymore, but some people still are.

  • dduck

    “I believe the intention is to show examples where cuts will impact in order to bring home to the public why they matter and why accountability for them matters.”

    How does that help when the problem is in congress? After a few speeches back aways, I think people know it will cause a problem on 3/1. But now, is what you call accountability actually meant to affix as much of the blame on the Reps, which indeed to deserve much of the blame. My point is he is campaigning and the managing.

  • zephyr

    No dd, accountabiity isn’t the same thing as blame. Accountability is about taking responsibility. Some do it, some don’t.

  • dduck

    Z, I apologize for not being clearer. The latest speeches do not do anything to fix the problem, he should be talking to congress directly, not through the BS pulpit.
    I agree, he has not taken responsibility and neither have the Reps.

  • SteveK

    After 4 years of trying to talk to and work with an admittedly obstructionist congress (even dd admits this) President Obama has decided to take the problem to congresses ‘boss’, the American people… And, it’s working.

    That’s probably why so many on the right are ‘offended’ by it. It’s not a BS pulpit it’s a conversation with ‘We the People’ and from some of the comments it seems to be something the right feels A) ‘The People’ don’t have the right to hear; or, B) ‘The People’ don’t really understand the problem like the ‘Do-nothing House Republicans’ do.

    Read the news, watch the net and all you’ll see from the right is Fox News (and their lackeys the Republican Leadership) crying “Obama’s isn’t even working on a solution!” when in reality he’s working very hard taking his case to the American People… And the President IS succeeding.

    Meanwhile, the only work with results the Republicans seem to have done is passing H.R. 667.

    “as this urgently needed legislation is known, would “redesignate the Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.”

    If you have to ask “Why doesn’t President (Barrack Hussein in GOP speak) Obama have the good sense to work with the hardworking Republican leaders [sic] in the Lower House?”… You haven’t been paying attention!

  • yoopermoose

    dd, I am sure that POB hopes that by bringing his arguments directly to the people, they in turn will put pressure on congress. Quite frankly, I find this criticism of POB for speaking directly to the American people about how the budget cuts will affect them a tad elitist. As far as speaking directly to congress, it’s hard to speak to the GOP congress directly when 1) they are on vacation, and 2) they have no intension of compromising on increased revenue.

  • SteveK

    To quote Robert Stein in his TMV article: Boehner,s Anatomy Lesson in Anarchy

    Boehner’s self-inflicted wounds have led the President to his only viable option, two more years of stumping against Republican madness in the hope of wresting control of the House from them in 2014. Meanwhile, he is setting them up for their own voters’ realization that tax money pays for actual services.

    It’s understandable why the right is running off at the mouth about the Presidents going to the people… They’re running scared.


  • dduck

    Hey guys, congress is BACK. And, POB, at least fake talking to congress, even just the Dems, and it would shut up critics like me.
    As it is, you guys are defending POB’s constant speeches, even this week, to a public that knows there is a problem and has had ample time to contact their representatives, on a strictly partisan basis. POB has NOT been a leader and “the other guys don’t want to play fair” meme is wearing thin.

    To clarify: when I throw the Reps in a sentence in a realistic way to show they are part of the problem, is to try and set an example for those of you that only blame Reps for everything as does Obama without accepting part of the “responsibility” for a malfunctioning government.

  • SteveK

    As it is, you guys are defending POB’s constant speeches, even this week, to a public that knows there is a problem

    Actually the public doesn’t know squat.

    Bloomberg News just polled on the question: “IS it your sense that this year the Deficit is “Getting Bigger”, “Getting Smaller” or “About the Same.”

    62% – Getting Bigger
    28% – About the Same
    6% – Getting Smaller

    Guess What… The Deficit is getting smaller AND it has been getting smaller every year since President Obama has been in office.

    Here’ a segment of the Rachel Maddow Show where “Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, member of the House Budget Committee, and Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, talk with Rachel Maddow about the curious fact that only 6% of Americans are aware that the federal deficit has decreased every year under President Obama.”

    GOP relies on public ignorance for deficit scare tactics

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    So who you going to believe… The Republicans or Your LYING Eyes?

  • KP

    Ahem ..

  • KP

    I may be mistaken, but I thought the CBO suggested that there was no chance of a decreasing deficit. Rather, a possibility of a slowing of the increasing deficit?

    As well, any less more/bad projection counts the automatic 85 billion dollar spending cuts set to take place March 1.

    Perhaps Maddow is focused on “this year deficit”?
    Rather that our deficit … as in “is getting bigge”r.

  • dduck

    Well, I see we have veered from poor POB leadership performance to an area chock full of numbers where fudging doesn’t mean making brownies.

    Even if some people think the deficits are getting smaller, and they are by some measurements (please don’t quote me, I am not allowed to throw numbers around for a living), POB’s speeches full of “squat” to the American people have NOT decreased and their influence on legislators has waned.

    BTW: Maddow, oh yes, she had the grace to admit that a tape of John McCain had been, er, truncated by someone and it made him look bad and callous in response to some woman’s remark, when in fact it was a good response. Point is CNBC aired it and RM admitted it knowingly. Kudos to her on this one, although altered tapes accidentally have appeared before on NBC.
    If I have gone too far off topic, I understand if I am deleted.

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