Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the fiscal cliff, banning pundits and our predictions for 2013!
1) A lot of liberals are urging the president to just allow the fiscal cliff to happen, but wouldn’t that result in a recession? If so, isn’t that bad for the liberal movement, ie. the liberal gentry disregarding economic hardship for the sake of “winning” the fiscal cliff fight?
Chez: First of all, I'll admit that I wasn't really sure about your use of the word "gentry." It seemed like you'd gotten it wrong -- a case of "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means," -- but then I realized that I was just a little drunk and therefore wasn't reading you right. That said, I think that allowing us to slide over the fiscal curb, because that's really what it is, likely wouldn't be good for the country but there's no doubt that at this point it would teach the GOP a very serious lesson about hostage politics, given that polls show most Americans blaming the Republicans for fiscal obstructionism. The fact is that whether the GOP wants to accept it or not, a majority of Americans sided with Obama on issues of economics a couple of months ago, which means that he's got some political capital to spend. It's good for everyone for both sides of the equation to work out a deal, but the GOP has proven that it's not the least bit interested in giving Obama an inch. Problem is, the Republicans are going to be the side that pays if everything goes sideways.
Bob: Well, a lot of these same liberals are also saying there might not be a recession, but... I'm not so sure. Considering how spazzy they are in Lower Manhattan, there could be a massive sell-off followed by a drop-off in consumer spending -- and right on the heels of a rather anemic holiday shopping season. Now I'll also qualify my answer by writing that I was hit badly by the Great Recession and so I'm not entirely into the notion of another recession, therefore I'm being cautious. Ultimately, I hope they come up with a deal before the cliff and I hope the president and the Democrats come out on top.
Ben: Hi Kayla, yes, the spending cuts could well result in the beginnings of another recession. Thing is, Obama won't take the brunt of the blame for it given he has clearly tried to make a deal, whereas Boehner has not (whether he is to blame is another story altogether). I think the most likely scenario is for there to be no deal in the immediate future, and either a new deal somewhere down the line after the cuts/tax hikes go into effect, or an extension of the deadline itself. Obama will probably opt for the long game given that's what he is good at, and try to make future negotiations less public for the sake of Boehner, who is hamstrung by the loons in his party. If there's a way he can help Boehner save face, a reasonable deal could be hashed out without the media jumping up and down about it. Obama definitely understands that he can't have another recession because as you say, it won't look good politically. I just don't think we see the full picture of what is going on behind the scenes though, and if we go over the fiscal cliff, I don't think it's the end of the world.
2) If you could ban one pundit (left or right) from appearing in any form of media for life who would it be?
Bob: That's a tough question. If Fox News is included, I'd have to go with Greg Gutfeld from "The Five" and "Red Eye." He's a troll and has no business meddling anywhere near "news" -- however loosely that word is employed at Fox News. If we exclude Fox News (because it's too easy), I'd have to go with Mark Halperin of course. He's an insufferable hack with nothing of value to add to the conversation. His only role on cable news is to be wrong all the time, while also reinforcing the conventional wisdom inside the DC press.
Ben: Mark Levin. He's the most obnoxiously annoying loud mouthed chicken hawk I've ever had the misfortune of seeing or hearing. There's something about his nasally, high pitched hectoring that I find genuinely painful to listent to, and I'm at a loss as to why anyone thinks he should be on air. Michelle Malkin is up there too. She really is a spiteful, nasty human being.
Chez: Mark Halperin, because he's a self-serving douche and he's always wrong. And David Sirota, because he's just a self-serving douche.
3) Name several of your predictions for 2013, political or otherwise.
Chez: By this time next year I'll be issuing a lot of predictions for 2014 that very likely won't come true. The Republicans will be insane. :Psy will be elected governor of California. Also, Larry King will be dead.
Bob: Hmm. There will be a serious gun control law signed by the president, but only after a heated debate that will surely be covered here. Lincoln will win best picture at the Oscars, Daniel Day-Lewis will win best actor, but Spielberg won't win best director nor does he deserve to. That honor will go to Ben Affleck for Argo. Chris Christie will easily win re-election. Lance Armstrong will finally confess to using performance enhancing drugs, and thus begin the long process of rehabilitating his reputation. And Americans will continue to not give a shit about the climate crisis.
Ben: 1: The world will continue (unless the Mayans were off).
2: The Daily Banter becomes one of the biggest politics/news/media sites in the world
3: The Republicans don't sort themselves out.
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