I am going to try my best to be coherent, despite my seething anger at having been sold out. I have had it. This debt limit "compromise," this "deal," this sellout of Democratic principles and folding to hostage taking boils down to one single thing: the pursuit of "independents."
Nevermind that, as shown here a couple weeks ago, that "independents" don't really exist, that most of them are inclined right or left, and don't switch parties. It's like searching for leprechauns. They don't really exist. This nation is truly divided. And in the search for these "independents," the President is losing what he needs to win the election: a base.
The poll story on the frontpage yesterday said 72% of liberals support Obama. That's a big chunk of base missing. The "moderates", you know, those magical people being chased, have him at 49%. Let's think about that. The president has busted his ass to chase people whose support for him is under 50%. In the meantime, he's thrown everything on a negotiating table in a rush to be "reasonable" so "moderates" will love him. Adding to the fun, Senate Dems will introduce the certain failure of a Balanced Budget Amendment to help "centrists" win "independents" next year.
Harry Belafonte said that the President lacks "moral toughness," and those words have a certain historical ring to them. They were last used by him with the Kennedys in JFK's administration. Civil rights and all that. You know this is a big deal for him to use those words again.
Today, this isn't about black or white. It's about rich and poor. It's about the Gilded Age returning. It's about the return of the monopolies, dominating us, stripping workers rights, stripping our benefits, slashing our pay, putting millions (like myself) on the street for whatever flimsy reason they can find.
And for me, this is personal. My mother cares for my youngest brother. He's mentally disabled. She can't work because his problems keep her from being able to. She's tried, but it never worked. Because of this, she gets Social Security Disability to care for him, and he's covered by Medicaid. She's 58 and within sight of her own benefits and pensions from my father's auto job (he died 12 years ago) and from her old hospital jobs. Even so, it is tight for her, very tight. She's spent almost all of their savings over the past decade trying to balance everything.
Me? I'm officially long-term unemployed, still have yet to find a job that I desperately need, keeping things together with sealing wax and spiderwebs cause my unemployment ran out a month ago and they're still deciding on my extension. I'm even getting rejected by retail outlets, in an industry where I've been management twice. It's beyond painful.
So, to see us being sold out, to see programs that help people like MY FAMILY from being hung out to dry put at risk, to see the very heart and soul of our nation's commitment to help the less fortunate being treated as a political football by one side, who talks about their love of Jesus incessantly but follow none of his words, and the other side, who created these programs but doesn't know how to properly fight back and is willing to put them up for grabs instead of standing their ground....it makes me disgusted. I have been seething for over three days, ever since visiting my mom Saturday night and seeing her worried about my brother's Medicaid and their Social Security because of this fake fucking crisis. It's intolerable.
The idea that provider cuts won't hurt beneficiaries is so stupid I can't believe we're talking about it. I say that because quite frankly, provider cuts will mean less providers, which means that beneficiaries will have a harder time getting quality care, or any care, period. They will be left hoping that their doctor is altruistic enough to keep providing care despite losing money, and that is no way to live.
There are very few true "independents," and it's about time that Democrats realize that they got elected because people want them to ACT LIKE DEMOCRATS. Yeah, I know the oddball ones in red territory do have a somewhat shorter leash, but even a majority of Republicans know Medicare and Social Security are important to them, because THEY PAY INTO IT TOO. And, you know, they just might switch their votes to Democrats who fight for a system that everyone believes in because it's always worked, as opposed to Republicans trying to destroy it.
The system works because for three generations, Democrats stood and fought for it. It works because even people like Reagan knew what it meant to people. Richard Reeves, in his bio of Reagan, quotes from meeting notes where Social Security was discussed, including cuts to it to balance the budget (which, as we know, is absurd, since the two aren't tied together). Reagan said, "No, we can't do that. I made a promise in the campaign I wouldn't touch Social Security and I can't go back on that." So, while some adjustments ended up being made, they were done with bipartisan support, with Tip O'Neill joining in, and solvency hasn't been a TRUE worry since that deal.
Tip O'Neill fought. LBJ fought. Bobby Kennedy fought. George McGovern fought. Ted Kennedy fought. Dick Gephardt fought. Robert Byrd fought. Hubert Humphrey fought. Walter Mondale fought. All these men fought for things like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, because they KNEW its importance to millions of Americans.
If I am fortunate enough to be working again, and have the money, it will be going to Democrats who fight. I issued a call a couple months ago saying it's time to fight back against this Tea Party-led nonsense, and Democrats caved on this fight instead. This is a war for the soul of America, and it's time for the President and the Dems in the Senate to get it through their heads. THERE ARE NO FREAKING INDEPENDENTS! Either we take care of each other or we don't, and if we don't, then I fear for the future of myself and my family, because I don't want to live in an America that treats us like cordwood to be tossed on a fire that warms the homes of Wall Street.
I apologize if I've rambled. I tried hard to be coherent in this diary, but I have yet to find the peace necessary for something more coldly analytical. I feel betrayed in ways I can't express. I hope this means something to those of you who read it.