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Maybe I'm in a bad mood. Or, maybe I've transferred my doubts about MoveOn (full article to come) onto all petition-happy groups. For some reason, CREDO's most recent petition has me seeing red - from the title on.

Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
The title implies that Steny Hoyer is trying to “sell out” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Selling out does not appear to be his purpose when I read the referenced articles.
The corporatist wing of the Democratic Party once again has its sights set on cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits under the guise of deficit reduction.
This plays right into the ridiculous notion that both parties are the same. Why would Credo be so careless with wording? Are they oblivious to the damage this language does, or is that their purpose? I’m inclined to treat them the same way they treat Steny Hoyer in their title and assume that they are trying to “sell out” the Democrats.
And our friends on Capitol Hill tell us House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is leading the charge.
Their friends? Who are their friends, and exactly what did they say – and why?
Last November CREDO activists helped stop Senate Democrats from agreeing to a terrible Super Committee deal, which would have resulted in deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits in exchange for promised but unspecified tax increases that may have never materialized.
Ah. Now we’re on to something. CREDO activists are the heroes. Without CREDO, Senate Democrats would have agreed to a terrible Super Committee deal.

Never mind that hundreds of other groups who are trying hard to build “brands” and mailing lists and donors created similar petitions, or that millions of people called and wrote their representatives directly, or that Senate Democrats often do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do. If CREDO, and MoveOn, and other “brands” create their own petitions (instead of using the White House petition site and directing concerned citizens there, then things will get done.

And let’s not think for a second that those Senate Democrats were smart enough to know that agreeing to “put everything on the table” was a good strategic move, or think below the knee-jerk and ask if those “deep cuts” could have been to fraud and outdated services instead of real benefits. Shoot, if people thought that way, or predicted that groups like CREDO and MoveOn would pull these things back out and try to use them to make Democrats look bad later on another knee-jerk petition in order to build their brand, they might realize that they can petition their representatives without these groups.

But now House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a prominent member of Democratic Leadership in Congress, is once again pushing a similar legislative proposal that would sell out our social safety net. He is working on a potential backroom deal to put the cuts we defeated last year back on the table.
Once again? This “prominent member of Democratic Leadership” has often been an enemy of the people, selling out our safety net in “potential” backroom deals? Seriously?

Since when is “on the table” a negative to people who want honest debate, a comprehensive look at all options, and reasonable compromise? Ooops – are we to adopt the Republican language and assume that all compromise is bad now?

PETITION

Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

According to recent reports, Rep. Hoyer is "looking to shake legislative politics"1 by forcing a vote on what the Washington Post called "a so-called grand bargain to raise taxes and restrain entitlement spending."2

According to recent reports? Is that anything like, “Well, somebody I know said they heard from a friend,” or “Rush Limbaugh said it so it must be true,”?  So-called? Looking to shake?
Hoyer declined to provide any specifics to this proposal but he gave his remarks at an event hosted by an organization called Third Way, which is a Washington-based, so-called "moderate" Democratic think tank that shills for corporate interests and has previously advanced debunked arguments promoting cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.3
Don't know about the rest of you but I sorta like to see specifics before making a decision. I would certainly want specifics before creating a petition and asking others to sign it. If I actually had sources, I would be demanding specifics. So-called? They really used third-grade language in this petition and want me to sign my name to it?
Hoyer's move -- which appears to be in coordination with Third Way -- poses a danger to our social safety net. We cannot remain quiet while such a prominent member of Democratic Leadership appears to be working on a proposal which likely includes brutal cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.
Appears to be? Not good enough for me - even when I'm not in a bad mood.
Medicare and Social Security are wildly popular programs, and the clear majority of Americans want to protect these benefits. If we push back hard and make sure that conservative Democrats like Hoyer don't cut a back room deal on benefit cuts with Republicans, we can hold the line and protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

House Democrats will be particularly sensitive to this kind of pressure in an election year -- if we can expose this potential sell out, we can quash the momentum Hoyer and conservative Democrats need to move forward with a "grand bargain" at the expense of benefit programs pivotal to millions of Americans.

Tell Steny Hoyer: Don't sell out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Click here to automatically sign the petition. To be clear, we are not against sensible reforms to these programs.
To be clear, we are not against sensible reforms to these programs. But we shouldn't be cutting benefits for our seniors and other vulnerable Americans in order to spend more on our bloated military or keep taxes low for the ultra-wealthy.  
THEY are not against? Anyone else find this appallingly egotistical?
If Democratic Leaders such as Hoyer are serious about addressing our nation's debt and deficit, they should work to address the biggest drivers of our debt -- the Bush tax cuts, foreign wars and our economic downturn.4
Excuse me for thinking this might be exactly what Steny Hoyer is doing when he suggests we put everything on the table, and when he says, “the action necessary to reaching a solution requires bipartisan support and a sharing of responsibility for the tough decisions that must be made. The shared power that now exists provides a unique opportunity to build on the dialogue both sides began last year. ” Of course, I would need specifics in order to make a let-me-sign-that-petition-NOW decision.

If CREDO's purpose was to make me research this carefully, they succeeded. If they wanted me to sign their petition, that isn't going to happen.

1:58 PM PT: 1. Brian Beutler, "Hoyer Working Behind The Scenes On Major Deficit Reduction Bill," TalkingPointsMemo.com, February 27, 2012
2. Lori Montgomery, "Steny Hoyer: Get the debt deal done before the Nov. election," the Washington Post, February 27, 2012.
3. Robert Creamer, "Why Any Deal to Cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid Would be a Moral, Economic and Political Disaster," HuffingtonPost.com, March 28, 2011.
4. Steve Benen, "What drives the debt," The Maddow Blog, February 13, 2012.

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