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View Diary: Yup, the House is in play in 2014 (174 comments)

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  •  It's a lousy tactic. Most people in the public (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmspringer, Calamity Jean

    do not, in fact, react to that kind of proposal as being just a political tactic.  They take it as information that the Democrats have gone wishy-washy, and are willing to cut SS, Medicare, and Medicaid if offered the right trade.  

    And it's not just happening ahead of this budget conference.  It's been offered over and over again, for years now, including by the president, and often pretty damned convincingly.

    Try to keep in mind that people who live from check to check on Social Security, or depend on Medicare to take care of Granny, are going to "clutch their pearls" well before you are going to stop yawning.

    Social Security and Medicare are the Third Rail of American politics.  The Democrats need to stop playing games with them.  Those games are played partly because the centrists  and austerity-hounds do in fact want to cut entitlements in return for blah blah.  ANd partly because Democrats have gotten too blasé in playing games with things their base care about.

    They'd be smarter to model themselves on the AFL-CIO and declare that they are unalterably opposed to ANY CUTS in SS, Medicare, or Medicaid and will fight "ferociously" against them.  THAT is the classic and appropriate Democratic response.  

    Or maybe you'd like to go tell Richard Trumka to stop clutching his pearls.

    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

    by Fiona West on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:27:05 AM PDT

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    •  Not Now. Probably Not Ever. (0+ / 0-)

      Except those folks living pay check to pay check aren't really paying attention if they're worried.  They're just worried to be worried.  And the reason being, no one has proposed cuts to existing benefits.  And the means testing that will apply to chained CPI will limit people who don't really need SS all that badly - down the road.  Is that cool?  Hell no!  That's me!  I want my money when I retire.  

      But stirring up fears that grandma is going to be eating cat food is irresponsible - it's leap beyond what the proposed policy ACTUALLY says.  Current recipients really don't have a thing to worry about - even if the policy were serious it would come into affect years down the road.  

      You just ASSUME that these tactical trial balloons are directed at YOU.  They're not.  They're directed at Beltway Pundiots who shape the national policy conversation.  And those guys are all convinced that cutting SS is the WAY TO GO!  Ugh.  They live for Third Way solutions, no matter how stupid they are.  

      The Dems know the GOP will never take an SS cut - especially pinned to new revenue.  Never.  It's a poison pill.  But if we don't throw it on the table to call the GOP's bluff, then they'll go on blabbing about it without ever really being serious about doing it.  And the Bobble Heads will continue to call the Dems "unserious" for not bringing this forward.  

      So sticking this in the budget and putting it on the table as a topic of conversation is a way to shut the GOP up about it.  Remember, the budget is a suggestion, it's not in stone until it's passed.  And we're never going to get there with this House.  

      If the Dems are serious about SS cuts then they deserve to lose the House and Senate and we'll start over Tea Party style.  But I also don't think they're serious.  Durbin probably is, but he's a Conserva-Dem and now's the time to lat him blab.  It's air escaping from a balloon.  It's also a good time to float this thing so that our buddies in the unions can line up the troops to help whip the truly wishy-washy Dems.  

      These are all tactical decisions.  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:40:27 AM PDT

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    •  One more. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      It's Trumka's job to be loud and proud and to whip the troops into action.  He's doing what he's SUPPOSED to do.  This is all a strategy for Reid to keep his caucus in line.  There's plenty of Red State Demsn who'd happily throw the party under the bus to keep their seat and their bullshit pension.  Now they'll think twice.  

      Honestly, this kind of politics is never what it appears to be.  And I'll be seeing Richard next month, so I'll tell him "thanks!"  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:42:50 AM PDT

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