I posted this as a comment on another Diary but I have decided this argument needs to be seen by a broader audience. If the POTUS is indeed proposing changing the way Social Security benefits are calculated in the “Fiscal Cliff” (I prefer “Monetary Molehill”) negotiations; LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR I AM OPPOSED TO SUCH. In fact, I believe we need to go over the Monetary Molehill to put more pressure on the Rethugs and their Tehadists wing to compromise. Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Period. Then we can talk.
However, I am a realist. We have a Democratic POTUS who loves the idea of compromise for the sake of compromise. Further, he has never shown that he is anything but enamored of having a “Grand Bargain” as a part of his legacy. We are also in a situation or divided governance. While hopefully waning, the Rethugs have some very real power that must be addressed. See more after the orange sherbets.
Elections have consequences and this proposed change in Social Security benefits is a direct consequence of the failure of progressives, the Democratic Party and the POTUS to effectively counter the Tehadists in 2010.
Compromises are painful. I receive Social Security. I don’t like the proposed “Chained CPI” proposal any better than anyone. However, I have to take responsibility for my inaction and lack of effort in the 2010 midterm elections.
If the Rethugs did not control the House of Representatives; Social Security and Medicare would not be on the table at all. In fact, we would not be talking about the “Monetary Molehill”9 either.
In November 2010 I was in the process of moving to a district that was going to easily reelect their progressive Rep. I had moved from a district that elects deep red conservatives. I could have donated and helped financially in the House races in purple districts where the Dems had a chance of gaining or retaining seats.
I guess I was also basking the afterglow of having elected the first POTUS with African American heritage and the passage of a flawed, but step in the right direction, health care reform bill. I, like a number of my fellow Dems and progressives, did little to help.
However, that is all water over the dam. Now I am most concerned that if the compromise goes through; a number of Dems and Progressives will “take their ball and go home” for the 2014 mid-terms. My fear is that we will have another election where a number of left-wingers will stay home or push for the election of candidates to the “left” of the Dems. Such action will push Washington further toward Tehadists control. Possibly more importantly the Rethugs will take more state houses and be given free reign to mess with “right to work laws,” voter suppression, women’s health issues, etc.
Much has been said and written in regard to the Rethugs’ problem with changing demographics. However, unless all Democrats and progressive recognizes that we are slowly moving the dialogue to the left and that we are winning in the long term; national policy will continue to be dictated by the Kochs, Norquist, Rove, etc.
Two steps forward and one step back is still a net “one step forward.”