January 25, 2013

* Good piece by Zachary Goldfarb on how the proposals in Obama’s Inaugural speech were actually quite mainstream, and not left wing, if by “mainstream” we mean, “supported by a majority of Americans.”

* Joe Klein has a terrific post on the big idea in Obama’s Inaugural:

It was a proclamation that the Reagan reaction to the events of the 1960s had come to an end. The welfare state would not be repealed. And while the fate of some social issues, like abortion rights and affirmative action, remains in doubt, equality has now been woven into the national fabric. The speech confirmed the November results: that a political party tethered to a white, regional, rural base no longer has the electoral firepower to govern the country.

* Steve Kornacki gets it just right on the big filibuster fizzle:

Thursday was the latest affirmation of just how broken the Senate has become. The Founders surely never imagined that a three-fifths majority would be the standard requirement for passing legislation in the upper chamber, and for most of American history it wasn’t. But filibuster use skyrocketed in 1993, when Republicans found themselves locked out of the White House and big Democratic congressional majorities. And it spiked even higher when they found themselves in the same situation after the 2008 election. A destructive new norm for minority party behavior has been established, and nothing in Thursday’s agreement will do anything to change it.

* Nice Dana Milbank column on the House GOP fantasy plan to wipe out the deficit in 10 years, without any new revenues, what it says about the GOP’s inability to govern, and why that’s eroding public trust in the party.

* Ed Kilgore has been doing good work unmasking Bobby Jindal’s phony rhetoric about supposedly reforming the GOP and the genuine and unrepentant radicalism that lurks beneath it.

* Also: Dave Weigel on how the problem isn’t the “47 percent” and “makers and takers” rhetoric; it’s that this is the genuine foundation of the GOP policy agenda.

* Must read from Alex Koppelman skewering the guns-for-self-defense alarmism of the NRA and the “gun rights” brigade, and the dystopian vision that underlies it.

* Elizabeth Warren’s well done piece on the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, and the perils that holds for the middle class, again suggests she will be a strong voice for reform in the Senate.

* Via Steve Benen, guess who’s doing the victory dance about yesterday’s big filibuster fizzle? Hint: It ain’t Harry Reid.

* Oh well: It looks as if that GOP scheme to rig the electoral college is headed for defeat, at least in Virginia.

* Flashback of the day: Back in 2004, Republicans appeared to understand that rigging the electoral college is a really, really bad idea.

* And Benen does the math on the electoral college rigging scheme:

Obama won about 51% of the popular vote, but would have won a little over 30% of the electoral-college vote under the new Republican model. That means…Democratic voters would be counted under the GOP plan as about three-fifths of a vote when it comes to the electoral college.

Where have I heard that fraction before?

What else?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.