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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) shows a copy of the
That plan had the exact same cuts to Medicare they blasted President Barack Obama for making. And they'll do it again.
Our very own Joan:
Republicans want these [entitlement] cuts, but more than that, they want Democrats to own them. If anyone thinks that a "bipartisan" agreement that results in benefits cuts to those programs won't hold the starring role in Republican campaigns for the next umpteen elections, then they haven't been paying attention. Remember the "$716 billion in Medicare cuts" that dominated the 2010 and 2012 campaigns? That those cuts had absolutely nothing to do with benefits didn't stop them. And it worked in 2010.
It also worked in 2012, as the Democratic advantage on health care issues (9 percent) remained unchanged between the two years, and well below the 32-point advantage Democrats enjoyed before Republicans began to demonize Democrats on the issue:

Chart showing drop in Democratic advantage on health care issues over the past 20 years.

Click on image to enlarge.

In fact, President Barack Obama's biggest failure in 2012 was the inability to win the senior vote despite running against Medicare's top foe in Congress, losing that co-hort 56-44 to Mitt Romney. Indeed, asked who would handle Medicare better, exit poll respondents picked Obama by a measly 52-44 against a group of people hellbent on destroying Medicare!

And the way they did it, as Joan says, was by muddying the waters with their claims that Democrats had cut $700+ billion from Medicare. The party whose entire governing philosophy is cut taxes and government programs, portrayed themselves, over two cycles, as the party that was going to protect government programs. And it worked in 2010, and likely helped them keep control of the House in 2012.

So watch as Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and that merry band of economic terrorists refuse to name specific cuts, hoping Obama reprises his schtick from a few weeks ago offering up chained CPI for Social Security and heavens knows what else in his obsessive pursuit of his deal. Because while he thinks he's being reasonable by offering up what Republicans want, Republicans will turn around and club Democrats over the head with those cuts in 2014 and beyond.

As I wrote a short while ago, they can do that because they're psychopaths. Obama and the Democrats can't fall into that trap again. It's not a hard trap to avoid! Just stare at Republicans until they're forced to make concrete demands. So if you end up having to make one or two difficult concessions, at least make sure America knows who demanded them.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:31 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this calls for "ruthless criticism" (15+ / 0-)
    As I wrote a short while ago, they can do that because they're psychopaths. Obama and the Dems can't fall into that trap again. It's not a hard trap to avoid! Just stare at Republicans until they're forced to make concrete demands. So if you end up having to make one or two difficult concessions, at least make sure America knows who demanded them.
    But, if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:36:52 PM PST

  •  It sounds like Boehner is done negotiating (21+ / 0-)

    with Obama, anyway, and is on the record stating that any future bills to raise the debt limit will be passed through the regular House machinery.

    So they will have to draft and pass a bill gutting SS and Medicare in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, if that's really their goal.

    You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

    by tomjones on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:42:44 PM PST

    •  If that's the case, then it will be in writing (15+ / 0-)

      from Republicans

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:45:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I totally believe them (10+ / 0-)

      I'm sure the GOP would never lie about anything like that.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:45:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was not voluntary promise from Boehner ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeff Y, AoT, MPociask

        It was a diktat from Rupert Murdoch.

        The WSJ had an editorial commanding that Boehner not unilaterally negotiate nor punt the ball to McConnell.

        But we hope the GOP has learned, after two failed attempts, that Mr. Obama is not someone with whom it can do a "grand bargain." Even as the Senate deal was taking shape, Mr. Obama gave a speech literally taunting Republicans for agreeing to raise tax rates. He also made clear that the price of any future spending cuts or entitlement reform will be another tax increase. He doesn't want to reform government. He wants to expand it and destroy GOP opposition to his agenda in the bargain.

        Having been cornered into letting Democrats carry this special-interest slag heap through the House, Speaker John Boehner should from now on cease all backdoor negotiations and pursue regular legislative order. House Republicans should pursue their own agenda and let Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats pursue theirs. Mr. Obama has his tax triumph. Let it be his last.

        It is popcorn time ... I dont think the stupid crazy party can agree on anything. They can't name any cuts. Probably will come up with a one line Bill:
    •  he said done negotiating "one on one"q (0+ / 0-)

      He didnt say that he wouldnt  bring cantor, Ryan, McConnell along.

      They still want the Dems to name and own the unpopular cuts, I sincerly hope we've learned our lesson

    •  Boehner may be done negotiating "one on one" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, MPociask, Chas 981

      ... with the President of the United States. But the House can pass what it will. The Senate will have its way ... and then the Republicans - who, up to this moment - have demanded to meet with Obama - can bargain with whomever they can find.

      Yes, appropriations and authorizations have to be passed. These are legislative acts ... and the two sides of Congress will have to get together, somehow, somewhere. With very visible effects.

      As for the debt ceiling, have a field day, GOP. It would be irresponsible for the Executive not to pay the bills for Congress's own past enactments.

      What an interesting standoff: Congress refusing to raise the debt limit to spend what Congress has decided to spend.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:18:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay let's hold them to that (0+ / 0-)

      I cringe every time Obama meets one on one with Boehner. That is the context under which truly bad offers to cut the big 3 have been made.  At this point, the president can simply fall back on his warning to the republicans to not use the debt ceiling as a bargaining tool.  I think the public will back him.  If the republicans do shut the government down, I think they will pay a big price in 2014.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:25:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, Obama will fall into that trap (45+ / 1-)

    because he's much more concerned with his own legacy of being bipartisan and dealing with entitlements, than with the future electoral security of the Democratic Party.

    •  What about the "Boehner not negotiating with (11+ / 0-)

      the White House" bit?  If anything to raise the debt limit has to go through the usual Congressional path, doesn't in fall to Boehner and Co. to put it in writing first?

      And the CW is now "The President is refusing to negotiate on the debt ceiling"

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:47:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's good CW - Obama said a good thing about it (11+ / 0-)

        he needs to keep talking.

        negotiating over the debt ceiling is goofy - it calls into question the credit of the US.

        place for that negotiation is over the budget.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:53:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What does that matter? (10+ / 0-)

        That's actually bad news for the Democrats.

        Boehner is going to bring up the bills through committees and no one will see what they say until the last minute - as opposed to the public debate that gave some advantage to the Democrats.

        Anyway, Joan and kos are not entirely correct about the Medicare cuts that came along with the ACA not affecting benefits.  My family and I are receiving first-hand experience with the new "efficiency" game and while our family member's diagnosis and prognosis have not changed at all, the benefits for same are being scaled back.  I know of five other cases in the same small town in which she lives, as well.  It would not bother me so much if it were not putting the patient at unnecessary risk.  Maybe my Mom will die as a result of the reduced care and we'll all realize a financial benefit from having her off of the books.  But many others like her with fewer resources would be in a nursing home right now and we'd all be footing a larger bill - BUT the nursing homes would be profiting, so that might be groovy for the stock market right?  Just looking for that silver lining and, of course, for the efficiency savings.  

        So, happy they cut the home care program that the ACA promised. God forbid a family would be able to keep an ill elderly family member at home while footing about 90% of the costs of care and be allowed to get even a tiny bit of help from the government from the Medicare plan that that family member paid into their entire lives.  My Mother was NOT a housewife.  She earned her benefits - and she helped millions of people over the course of her career.  But never mind.  Her usefulness is over now.  She can no longer contribute - we can do without her - right?

        •  I disgree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They will have a hard time getting a bill that satisfies the wingnuts but is sane enough to pass the senate. if they go through committes, Dems can report what is in these bills make the public aware.

          Why do u think they keep insisting that the prez and Dems name the cuts to SS and Medicare? Boehner forsees a situation where the prez keeps offering cuts to entitlements while he and his crazy caucus demands more. The big difference this time with the fiscal? The prez came in with a low ball offer and refused to budge until the GOP made counter offers.

          Policy wise they are bankrupt, seeing this-boehner became frustated and tried to enact plan B which failed miserably. If Dems refuse to negotiate, Reid and senate Dems pass a clean debt ceiling bill---they will be in a huge bind while the nation watches.

    •  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (10+ / 0-)

      broken record

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:55:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the Democratic politicos believe (35+ / 0-)

      that the increasing diversity of the electorate (more Hispanic- and Asian-Americans, and more younger voters voting) will ensure Democratic dominance for the next generation.

      Because the Republican party sure as hell is not going to make itself friendly to a diversifying electorate, committed as it is to an ever-shrinking base of angry WASP males, the new electorate will vote Democratic by default, or so goes the logic.

      In this way, they hope to remove economic issues from the electoral process completely (which they'd prefer to do, because that's what the 1% want). Once you can win elections without ever having to mention anything related to the economy, then they can have a bipartisan policy of austerity for the poor and corporate socialism for the rich without having to ever discuss it in public.

      The flaw in their electoral calculus is that the new Democratic voter base is not so fanatically committed to the Democratic party as the Republican base is to the GOP. If the Democratic party disappoints them, they will simply not vote. Since the Republican base will never abandon the GOP, they can beat a divided Democratic party.

      And if the Occupy movement showed anything, it's that class distinctions will trump other considerations such as ethnicity or culture. If the Republicans figure out how to co-opt the rhetoric of class before the Democrats do, they could put themselves in a winning position in the next couple of elections.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:00:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both interesting (6+ / 0-)

        and frighteningly plausible.

      •  There's a new movement "IdleNoMore" (6+ / 0-) that might become a Super Global movement.

        Here in America, the response to Occupy is tucked into NDAA as Washington prepares ways to suppress the symptoms of social discord. Without addressing the illness at its root nothing will change. It is like the mythical Many-Headed Hydra, if you cut one head off, two more will grow back. Popular uprisings will continue here and all over the world until leaders understand that people want real fundamental change in policy. Governments should lead by example if they want to be respected.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:05:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and if they insist on acting in such a (0+ / 0-)

        callous, and deleterious manner, I will enjoy watching them lose in 2014 almost as much as I enjoyed watching Mitt Romney lose in 2012.

        I have absolutely no Party loyalty whatsoever when they stop delivering what they promise.  The Dem Party can cease to exist as far as I'm concerned if they don't stand for anything and fight for it.  There are increasingly more and more people like me. So they better watch it, or they will become as irrelevant and idiotic as the GOP.

        Seeing brown people, LBGT people, and aetheists/Muslims/Hindus in office is VERY interesting and something I love to support....  but not if they vote for shit that harms me and those I love. Then they are just an old white, Christian man in a different skin or different religion.  Kinda how I always felt about Condi Rice.

        There are many reasons to enjoy, support, and admire diversity in public office, but if it doesn't net change, and greater equality/justice, etc..... it loses much of it's appeal for the voters.

        Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

        by Lucy2009 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:24:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This will be the end of Obama's legacy (14+ / 0-)

      If he compromises away the gains we've made in Social Security and Medicare, and ignores the severe damage the sequester cuts will make in many vital government programs, the Dems will never forgive him, and the Repugs will never praise him.

      He had the potential to be one of the nations greatest presidents, but his desire to make a deal at almost no concern for the long term consequences, will assure that he goes down in history as one of the most mediocre Dem presidents ever.

    •  These cuts to the safety net will never effect him (4+ / 0-)

      Or any of the millionaires that make these decisions on our behalf. Democrat and Republican millionaires will never feel the rain, cold or eat cat food. That's why they can throw granny off the cliff without talking about Pentagon cuts. Tom Brokaw said on MTP that $250k 'isn't much money'. He was talking about living in the major metropolitan cities (D.C. Baltimore, New York, Chicago, etc.), but that shows how out of touch ALL these talking heads are.

      'It isn’t fair: the caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the glory.' - George Carlin

      by FloridaRedneck on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:37:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The president and Congress get pensions. (5+ / 0-)

        Those pensions are substantial and are funded entirely with taxpayer dollars.  So what we see now is the supreme hypocrisy of people who are currently receiving handsome, taxpayer-funded salaries and who will later receive handsome, taxpayer-funded pension payments telling ordinary citizens that even minimal taxpayer-funded retirement security is beyond our government's ability to provide.

        At the barest minimum, before the president and Congress make any cuts to Social Security benefits, they should put their own pensions on the chopping block.  Most of them are so rich they'll never need the pensions anyway.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:16:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why he would prefer that sort of legacy over (9+ / 0-)

      a more FDR-like one is quite puzzling to me.

      The man is no dummy--yet for the life of me I cannot understand why embracing a true Democratic legacy hasn't been automatic for him.

      For Democrats, it should be a no-brainer, yet here we are, actually worrying about what a Democratic president will do in this regard.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:39:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dick Durbin gave the answer to that (4+ / 0-)

        He said, referring to Wall Street: "They own the place."

        If you look at Obama's deals from the perspective of the 1%, he makes good deals.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:54:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious have you ever read the actual (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrissieP, wishingwell, swampyankee

        history of FDR's presidency? Not the rose colored, 80 years after the fact revisionist one but the actual history of the man?

        Because the parallels are indeed striking. Both faced adversity, FDR his pollo and Obama racism (overt and not); both were at best disliked by the left wing of the party and both passed historic legislature that at least in FDR's case was expanded to a corner stone of the American safety net (the jury's out still on AHCA but I think it will be just as well regarded)

        And yet again people like you and slink keep complaining and then bring in utterly silly 'comparisons'

        •  Where's "I welcome their hatred" (4+ / 0-)

          comparison to FDR when speaking about Wall Street. Or any of the many many many statements of how the Bankers are crushing the average person?

          You really think that that didn't happen, that voters didn't understand that he was on their side. That Wall Street didn't see him as a threat?

          His Left opponents were the Communists and some Socialists who saw FDR as not going far enough; fundamentally saving Capitalism. Which he did. They were right about that. (It would still be under control if Democratic Centrists hadn't played a role in
          deregulating the crooks since Clinton, btw.)

          FDR went as far as trying to pack the Supreme Court so as to have his many bills to create work and relief for Americans be declared constitutional. Fought tooth and nail for that.

          You are right in that there's really no comparison of FDR with Obama.

          Soon, after it's law, we'll be talking about  the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka "NAFTA on steroids" which the Administration is putting the finishing touches on right now. Keeping oversight of those negotiations complete opaque is one thing he has vigorously fought for. And we know how much Trade Agreements have "achieved" so far.

          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:32:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that speech gets overplayed though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yes FDR was a very very populist president. Perhaps the most so of the 20th century. He also cut deals with the KKK, assisted in discrimination and 'caved' on SS by excluding farm workers from SS

            The point I am trying to make is he was a human being and he did good and he did bad. And if you want to deny the parallels go ahead but it doesn't help your crediblity.

            Further let me remind you FDR didn't live in the age we do in regards to transporation.There was no such thing as a 'global market' and while you're welcome to argue whether we're better off or not without it we can't ignore it.

            •  FDR also got 29% of black (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MPociask, slinkerwink, Eddie L

              votes in 1932, and between 60-75% in his 3 subsequent elections. Which carried over to Truman with about 70%.

              Yes he did good and he did bad. My point is that he FOUGHT for us. You cannot say Obama fights for us more than he hopes to be a Great Reconciler.

              I understand, he cut his political teeth in the 1990s when polls showed people wanted cooperation as a top demand. But he's stuck in the mid-90s, and that's where all his advisers live. This was before it was plain that the Big Banks are criminal enterprises and an active enemy the nation and people; we had no lunatic wars going on; upward mobility was the trend rather than today's, where poverty grows by leaps and bounds. Grows, year after year, and almost nothing said about it. The Wall Streeters debt issues: Priority Number One. The People's Job Issues: minor things, certainly no CCC or WPA or anything near it. (One million new recipients of Food Stamps in Nov/Dec 2012, for instance.)

              It sure is a different time. And FDR and Obama are very different people, and have very different political aims.

              btw, I'll direct you to the history of a thriving Global Market since the 16th Century, and one which, before the crash of '29 was thriving. Even without computers and super-tankers.

              The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

              by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:04:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  fought for whom? (0+ / 0-)

                The farmer workers he ignored?
                The black soliders he ignored?
                The women he ignored?

                As I said you're looking at this though the rosey colored prism of revionist history where in FDR was this great democratic champion of the people. And there's truth there, the man also did things that weren't so great and weren't necessarily for the people.

                And the global market while it sure existed it didn't exist in the way and extent that it did since about the 70s.

                •  Who??! Apparently the people (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  who voted for him in a range of significant-to-massive majorities in his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th terms. So, most of America would be who.

                  Your mistake is you think it's a matter of "Yeah FDR! Boo Obama!" and it doesn't go past that.

                  If the President comes out tomorrow with "You know what? This is not the time to worry about the debt; we've protected Wall Street plenty. Now's time for Jobs. Good paying American jobs in America. Lots of them. We're not talking about deficits any more, even if you folks in media want to. We're talking about Jobs and we need them and we need them now, and here's the plan to get them..."

                  You'll see his critics leaping for joy. Because Americans need jobs. It's the answer to most all the economic problems. It's how all those repulsive progressive goals of taking care of people and getting justice get achieved.

                  Not leaping because 'The President Is  Awesome,' but because this is an actual attempt to work politics in our interest. And if you don't know, Conventional Beltway Politics is never in our interest.

                  But he won't make Jobs a priority. Congress wouldn't pass it, sure, but they'd have to negotiate toward it. At least give reason why they don't want jobs to the Public. And if they don't pass it the Democratic Congress in 2014 will. As close to guaranteed as you can have in life.

                  No. Its not about like and dislike. It's about objective actions and objective outcomes.

                  It's about commitment to stated, and pursued, goals.

                  "I welcome their hatred" is cited not because people think it is cool (it is) but the man ran against Wall Street. Ran against Republicans. It wasn't something he said once. Keeping them from what they wanted was something he worked on day after day for years. He didn't give in by increments.

                  The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                  by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:20:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you are utterly moving the goal posts (0+ / 0-)

                    here away from my point.

                    If you can not contest that point then please just say so

                    •  I completely contested your point (0+ / 0-)

                      and in full and directly.

                      You asserted that ordinary people's love of FDR is why we use that one quote which is unrepresentative of his practice.
                      Rebutted in my last paragraph above.

                      ... that progressives are looking through rose colored glasses at FDR
                      Rebutted in previous comment, as it was policy and rhetoric we are focused on

                      ...he didn't fight fiercely for people, Implying that he didn't advance peoples situation when the voter turnout in 3 elections, including blacks and women, confirms they felt he did.

                      If you can't address the rebuttals to your own plainly stated points, ... claiming I'm moving goal posts might make it so you don't have to formally cede the points, but it doesn't change what you wrote and what I wrote in response. Anyone can read the thread.

                      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                      by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:14:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  we're going to disagree then (0+ / 0-)

                        because contesting the point had nothing to do with much of your rebuttal and in point of fact the policies of FDR especailly the ones that were not progressive is exactly what I was talking about that you are now ignoring

                        You're right anyone can read the thread and before this devolves I choose to leave it here.

                        •  FDR progressive moves: Many and (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:


                          BO progressive policies: Few and intermittent.

                          FDR rhetoric and action against our enemies in finance, and for people needing work: Strong and Unrelenting

                          BO rhetoric and action against our enemies in finance, and for people needing work: Light and Sporadic

                          I don't see how that's arguable.

                          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                          by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:49:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

    •  Question (0+ / 0-)

      Are there not $716 billion (or more) in potential cost savings in Medicare?

      Wait till Republicans start running on protecting Obamacare.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:35:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep...Obama clearly doesn't care about 2014... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If he did, he wouldn't have set the Democratic Party up for a massive demolition by separating taxes from the budget, debt ceiling, and Big 3 discussions. He has virtually guaranteed that the GOP will hold us hostage on the Big 3 in order to raise the debt ceiling...something that we'll get blamed for come 2014.

      •  Not just 2014 (5+ / 0-)

        It will be used by the Republicans against Democrats for elections to come for god only knows how long.  

        The real question is why the House would allow themselves to be led like sheep to slaughter.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:56:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See, that's just it...I don't believe they did... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          House leaders knew taxes on the wealthy were going up...and that their base was going to scream about it. So instead of allowing Obama's "grand bargain" to take shape, they gave him a tiny "victory" on taxes knowing that the one thing that could mitigate their "loss" - Big 3 cuts - could be negotiated separately.

          God, I feel sick to my stomach saying this, but the GOP played this one beautifully. Cheerleaders run around this site high-fiving each other as though we brought teabaggers to their knees...when, in fact, all we did was tell them we'll be bringing NO leverage to the second round of this fight. Seriously, what do they have to lose by allowing debt default, wholesale spending cuts, and "reforms"/cuts to the Big 3? When Obama signs them, HE'LL OWN THEM...whereas the GOP would have owned them in a comprehensive deal because we could tell the country they traded tax cuts for the wealthy for cuts to programs the public loves and needs.

          It's madness...I can't believe our side is this inept, but we're seeing it with our own eyes.

    •  why cant we grab a few hostages of our own? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, sunny skies, Jim P, Eddie L

      do not allow any more bills cutting taxes unless they are paid for...

      Do not approve a defense appriations bill unless we raise the debt ceiling

    •  No, intrepid progressives will stop him, just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher, wishingwell

      as they stopped him from cutting SSI and Medicare the last umpteen times you predicted he would.

      I can only stand in wonderment at your accomplishments: here he has had four years and three standoffs and you've prevented him from accomplishing his goals of cutting entitlements.   Keep up the good work.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:54:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  65% and higher of the ENTIRE, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, slinkerwink, Eddie L

        that's ENTIRE political spectrum have raised a shit-storm when cuts to the safety-net are brought up. Yea, even unto the Teabaggers.

        So please stop with the bullshit about "progressives."

        I realize many here think anything that protects the interests of the people is dispensable, that the reputation of one politician matters above everything, but fortunately, the people don't.

        Did you not note that support from seniors; that percentage of voters who see Democrats as a better protector of the safety net has gone down since Obama started pushing the bipartisanshit lunacy?

        It hurts us.

        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:43:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What a "legacy" to shoot for! (0+ / 0-)

      Not something that would seal his name in honor for all time like seriously curbing climate change, or making a New New Deal...

      what a tool.

      Obama: self-described moderate Republican

      by The Dead Man on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:01:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why call the President a Tool or call him names (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SethRightmer, FiredUpInCA

        as I was enjoying this debate and I do not object to even the heated debates. But I immediately get turned off by calling the President names or calling each other names, no matter what side of the argument is doing it.  Or were you calling someone else a tool?  He has not done anything yet worth calling him a tool or anything so disparaging.  Bush was a tool, but Obama, I mean really ?

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:41:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me know when his legacy building (0+ / 0-)

          includes something other than fake economic crises designed to maintain or increase the 1%'s wealth.

          And yes I stand by my use of words.  I'm not going to hold back or pass out smelling salts.

          Obama: self-described moderate Republican

          by The Dead Man on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:15:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it isn't helpful (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            When you call the president names, it gives the people who admire him something to focus on besides the meat of your criticism. They will simply ignore anything else you said and turn the debate around to focus on your disrespect.

            If all you are doing is preaching to the choir, and venting, then good job. If you want to win over the undecided, not so good. If you hope to make Obama's admirers see your point, utter fail.

          •  To me and keep in mind my opinion only, I stand (0+ / 0-)

            by what I said...I find name calling a turn off and nothing personal ..but a bit immature..but that is my background speaking....

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:43:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  just when are you going to admit you are wrong? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      I know you said this in November and you were wrong. I know you this in December and you were wrong.

      Just how long? Till people stop reccing your comments? Till 2016? Just how much does it take?

      •  Too soon to tell, duhban (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        Neither admirers of Obama nor his critics have ANY firm ground to yell "Case closed! We won!" Not yet. We will know soon, though.

        I don't like the fact that slinkerwink chose to impugn Obama's motivations. I mean, I used to do that but I learned not to. When I really feel that something any politician did was bad for our side, I will criticize their policies, but I'm not going to ever mention what I think about their motivations.

        And I honestly don't know about this latest deal. Both sides have good points. But none of us own crystal balls. It's too soon to tell, and anyone who is making firm declarations for or against is just showing their bias at this point.

        I mean, if you want to criticize this deal, go ahead. But why make it about Obama? Why not take issue with the fact that Bernie Sanders and other core progressives supported it?

        I mean, I'm as big of a critic of some of Obama's policies as anyone here. In my opinion, he acts like a centrist. I wanted a radical. He's pretty far to the right of me on a lot of issues. But if you've been listening to him, he's never claimed to be otherwise.

        In my opinion, Obama is another Bill Clinton. Bill gave us NAFTA, and telcom deregulation. He was never really pro labor. Or pro consumer. He was pro corporation. He did alright on the environment, and props to Hilary for trying to champion universal health care. I wasn't a huge fan of Mr. Clinton back then, though of course I voted for him twice. I respect him only marginally more now. At least he apologized for NAFTA.

        Some time down the road, will Mr. Obama be apologizing for helping destroy what little social safety net we had left? Who knows.

        And that's scary.

        •  not the point seth (0+ / 0-)

          I remember right after Obama won slink just going on and on and on and on about how next Obama was going to sell out SS and medicare

          But he didn't, then it was the same story in December but again he didn't

          So to me it seems that it's less about actual reality for some people and more about old grudges and issues that have nothing to do with the facts.

          •  Well, we'll know soon enough (0+ / 0-)

            However, I should point out, I really don't know that Obama is another Bill Clinton. He might be something far more interesting.

            Being a community organizer, from Chicago, Obama must be aware of the previous success of Saul Alinsky in that city. Meaning, I'm fairly certain he has read this book. He might be another Bill Clinton, or he might be executing Saul's strategy on a grand scale.

            I don't have enough information to judge. But either way, the outcome depends on everybody getting mad as hell and then doing something about it. I mean, read the wiki page about that book. Sounds like what's happening right now, doesn't it? Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, though. I really don't know yet.

            •  well true ultimately history will judge (0+ / 0-)

              but what bothers me is people not even allowing for that

              what will be, will be we will just have to face it

              •  I'm hoping everybody gets really pissed off (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And we demand more, not less. I want people to get angry, to realize that the system, as it stands, is flat out broken, and we need to change it in a big way, no matter how scary that may feel for most people.

                We need more, not less. The ruling class, the dominators, the owners of this society, they have robbed us blind. But they still resent the fact that we take care of each other. That's nothing but an untapped market to them. Any little scrap we can throw to each other, to those of us who are in need, is a scrap they can't SELL.

                So they resent the fact that we take care of each other. Honestly, they believe they should have the power of life and death over us. They get to decide who eats and who doesn't eat. If you make them some money, you get to eat. That's the way they'd have it.

    •  The President is most concerned with keeping the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, poco

      fragile economic recovery going.  If you think defaulting on US debt and causing a global calamity constitutes a "legacy", then yes, he is concerned about his legacy.  For what it is worth, I believe that PBO could go to the brink on the debt ceiling game and that the Wall Street barrons will call up their slaves in Congress (both GOP AND Dem) and tell them to raise the debt ceiling and it will be raised.  But this is a very high stakes game and for what it is worth, I'm not sure I'd bet my meager savings that this scenario would work out the way I'd like it.  If you think he is more concerned about a bipartisan legacy and slashing entitlements than with having a global calamity occur on his watch, I think you are very mistaken.  I also know that few people here at DKos think that a global calamity could ever happen, but they are also wrong.

      •  So when do the threats and concessions stop? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They can threaten the same global calamity time and again and of course they will if they get what they want every time they do it.

        •  I wish I had an answer to that question - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, Eddie L

          it is a problem - THE problem.  It is easy for us to blog and comment about this but defaulting on US Treasury securities is very serious.  This is one of many reasons that I am not qualified nor would I want to be President - this is high stakes stuff.  Honestly, I am hoping that maybe the outreach to greedy-assed Wall Street and to the corporate masters who run the country can make the GOP pull back from the brink - but I'm sorry - I just can't lambaste the President for not wanting to take the risk of default and recession.  IMHO, this is an ugly situation.

          •  Well he's got to face them down (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CrissieP, slinkerwink, Eddie L

            He can close a bunch of military bases and stop paying defense contractors or whatever.  You can't run a country when one party can shut down the government every time they have a hissy fit.  He has to play hardball.

            •  I agree - he/we have got to try to find (0+ / 0-)

              a way forward...but I'll admit I'm scared.  Nothing he does will come without consequences - and because we now live in this "24/7, everybody is a pundit" world, it could get ugly.  Lily-livered Dems and the media will not be his friends.

      •  Agreed, I think the President is less concerned (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrissieP, poco

        about his legacy and being bipartisan or anything else over than the economy and further economic growth and recovery.  I think that is his top priority, economic growth and jobs.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:43:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, slink, no. Not okay. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Do not call Obama's motivations into question. That is a personal attack against the president. His motivations are not something you could possibly know. Accusing him of selfish motives adds NOTHING to the conversation. If you want to criticize policies or actions, I will support you 100% but I can't support this.

      It is a dark day on DKos when I find myself disagreeing with you and agreeing with GoGoGoEverton.

    •  I don't see how that helps his legacy..... (0+ / 0-)

      He'll go down in history as the Dem President who fucked over poor old and poor disabled people. Wow...  what a legacy.

      In what world is that a legacy to be proud of???

      I seriously don't get it.

      His legacy will also show that by his complete ineptitude as a negotiator, that twice he capitulated to the GOP terrorist tactics and screwed the entire American economy as a result and lost two midterm elections for his efforst.

      Again, in what world is that a proud legacy???

      Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

      by Lucy2009 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:18:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It must be nice to be so clairvoiant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hedwig, SallyCat

      that you know absolutely everything about what POTUS is thinking every single moment of the day. To have powers us mere mortals can only fantasize about must be really amazing!

      Economic Left/Right: -8.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.54 Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons (or cats), for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

      by triciawyse on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:27:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually (46+ / 0-)
    Just stare at Republicans until they're forced to make concrete demands. So if you end up having to make one or two difficult concessions, at least make sure America knows who demanded them.
    The Democrats should refuse to cut Social Security and Medicare. Such cuts don't become magically acceptable if the GOP gets blamed for them.

    Jeez, if this is the kind of 'defense" of Social Security and Medicare put up by progressives, we're in deep shit.

    •  don't look down, but I think you're gonna need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, midwesterner

      some new boots.

      Queue up the "it wasn't my idea, it was his" defense.

      Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:53:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's all about the blame (4+ / 0-)

      Hey, there's always another crisis/election just around the corner... so hush up and put out more flags.

      Perpetual crisis means never having to say you're sorry.

      by chuckvw on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:13:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How does a stare force (0+ / 0-)

      someone to make concrete demands?

      And what happens when the Democrats have to either a) cut Social Security and Medicare or b) see the country default on debts and be thrown into a recession that's even worse than cutting Social Security and Medicare.

      This is why it was a teensy weensy bit important to deal with this in that long-ago era when we had a glimmering of leverage.

      If I'm a Republican, I just don't see the downside to refusing to raise the debt limit until ... well, whatever my little crabbed heart desires.

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:25:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's no need to cut Social Security (5+ / 0-)

        and a need to open up Medicare-for-all and do some serious policing of it.

        The Congress can be bypassed on the debt-limit, as it's not Constitutional just an internal agreement of one Chamber. The Constitution trumps it. It only takes a modicum of courage to tell the Media/House, "bullshit on your debt ceiling, the full faith and credit of the US will not be questioned" and order Treasury to issue the currency.

        It's only a problem if you pretend that bipartisanshit is the most important thing facing us in our governance.

        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:50:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to say the same thing (9+ / 0-)

      It seems kos is accepting these cuts as a fait accompli, and is merely worried about the optics of these disastrous cuts.

      That's a really, really sad commentary on the liberal movement, in my opinion.

      •  it's all related (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Williston Barrett

        if the GOP has to own the cuts, they will be less likely to push for them

        if the Dems are to make the GOP own them, the Dems will be less likely to support them.

        the way I see it - either cuts will come in such a way that ownership is obscure, or they won't happen at all.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:36:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No kidding (9+ / 0-)

      When I read this

      So if you end up having to make one or two difficult concessions, at least make sure America knows who demanded them.
      that sounds like managing expectations and conceding that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or some combination of the three will be cut.

      I oppose that strongly.  The entire Democratic party should stand in solidarity against any cut to those programs.  And no BS spin about how chained CPI is not a cut, or any similar deceit.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:59:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our Team! Our Team! Our Team! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david mizner

      It's sort of like the Red and Green chariot teams in ancient Rome which came to be a way to show your political affiliations. And had precisely the same degree of relevance to actual politics as played and lived.

      There's a hell of a lot more comparisons to be made to the decline of Rome, and they aren't just clever things to say, either.

      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:46:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There has to be a relentless campaign of (14+ / 0-)

    resistance and agitation by progressives against the tearing down of the social safety.

    It has to be focused, well-organized, relentless, and strategic.  And we have to find a way to exact a price from those who oppose the progressive agenda.

    If we leave these things to the establishment Democrats, they'll fold; they'll cave in.

  •  Ed Rendell is doing their work for them. (18+ / 0-)

    He was absolutely disgusting today.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:43:34 PM PST

  •  Agreed - in the end, Obama signs it into law (28+ / 0-)

    Remember the repeal of Glass-Steagal - it came from a Republican Congress, but Clinton signed it and most Americans blame him for at least some of the financial meltdown on this point, right or wrong.

    Same with commodities manipulation - it was Clinton in 2000 that signed the bill de-fanging the CFTC.  This was a huge boon to the speculators in the commodities markets.

    We made the Republicans own it when Bush tried to privatize social security, and it hurt them in 2006, even Repubs that weren't for privatizing.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:44:23 PM PST

  •  Can the Democratic members of Congress (4+ / 0-)

    Just this once--


    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:44:46 PM PST

  •  Yep, Prog Talkers Have Been Saying This All Last (7+ / 0-)


    I think Obama lost more than seniors; if I recall FP stats correctly, he lost 40 and older so seniors, boomers and Gen X no?

    When politicians lose blocks of voters while winning races, they are known to back-burner them.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:48:18 PM PST

  •  this is it right here: (7+ / 0-)
    So if you end up having to make one or two difficult concessions, at least make sure America knows who demanded them.
    But Dems don't message well, or they don't know what they think, it appears.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:51:02 PM PST

  •  Why do I get the feeling... (20+ / 0-)

    this is a foregone conclusion?

    I know we have to scream at the top of our lungs otherwise, but it almost seems like it won't even matter.

    I don't want to feel like I do right now...that the die has already been cast.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:51:13 PM PST

  •  So...when the house sends its proposal... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    To the White House, Obama calls a presser, talks about the cuts that the repubs want, talks about his view, and go from there. Use the pulpit!!

    •  That's a big "If" you left out there. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, mightymouse

      The Republicans want Obama to submit a budget so they can claim it's all his budget ideas.  They want the budget to come from the White House to the House of Representatives (which it will, per usual).  Then the House takes it and committees it and then eventually they're supposed to pass something which goes to the Senate.  Well, the Republican House doesn't want to pass a bill but they'll pass continuing resolutions so they can avoid stating what they want, but they'll still beat President Obama about the head and shoulders for having submitted the budget proposal to the House.

      President Obama should submit a budget proposal to the House that is a long ways from what the Republicans want so he could try pulling the Republicans his way for once.  But the last four years he's adopted the method of pre-appeasement and the Republicans take his starting position, reach far over the right side, and then refuse to compromise, so he keeps moving ever right-ward.  He needs to stop that.

      But he doesn't ask me (or pay attention to my writing him, afaik).

  •  Because Obama's playing 99th Dimensional Fizzbin. (9+ / 0-)

    And we're clearly too stupid to figure out the long term benefits of cutting Medicare.

    Which will lead to better medicine for all through...


    the magic of the free market...  No wait, we voted AGAINST that, right?


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:54:59 PM PST

  •  Boehner is done negotiating with Prez... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, CrissieP, wishingwell

    So it means House will have to pass own bill, and Senate will have to pass their own bill.  This is not a case where GOP says "We want more cuts" and Pres Obama offers up more.  They'll have their far right House bill passed with 218 Republican votes for all the world to see.  

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:55:53 PM PST

  •  Instead of calling the, "entitlements", (6+ / 0-)

    ...we need to begin calling the wht thy are.... Safety nets.

  •  If actual cuts happen, yes. (6+ / 0-)

    As we say with the Medicare Advantage subsidies, actually making cuts hands the Republicans a cudgel.

    On the other hand, the back-and-forth "on the table" proposals, that went nowhere, don't seem to have produced any political damage.  I remember when people were predicting that the Republicans were going to spend the 2012 campaign attacking Democrats over Chained CPI and the Medicare Retirement Age.  Not so much, as it turned out.

    The lesson from this is that cutting entitlements is as toxic as ever, but nobody pays attention to inside baseball that doesn't produce any actual changes.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:57:20 PM PST

    •  "actual" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher, wishingwell

      what a lot of people do not seem to understand is that during negotiations if one side makes an offer and offer is rejected or changed, the original offer is off the table. that is the way negotiations work.

      could a new offer in a new negotiation include them.... absolutely however by time vote would need to be made there will be over 70% of voters opposed to any cuts to earned benefits and less than two years from midterms, whoever goes in that direction is committing political suicide.

      think O has managed to split the House GOP for good and will split it open more with immigration and gun violence discussions.

      screw negotiations, House needs to deliver legislation to the senate and let the process work.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:04:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's another thing: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, GussieFN, Beetwasher, wishingwell

        the political cost of actually implementing such cuts to Medicare and Social Security would be astronomical.  They are, as you say, very unpopular with the public.  They are also anathema to the retiree lobby, which throws around more weight than an Atlas rocket.  The AARP  makes the MIC look like NAMBLA when it comes to political muscle.

        These oft-threatened cuts never seemed realistic to me.  Now that we've seen this little dance performed twice, I can't understand why people are still so certain that the programs are on the chopping block.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:14:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I'm a republican, and all I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask, schnecke21

          want is to cut Medicare and Social Security, but as you say, they're hugely unpopular ... what do I do?

          Well, my best strategy is to take my lumps--as long as I can make the Democrats take equal lumps. Then the public hates both of us, which actually helps me, because I'm the party of government-hating.

          So how do I make the Democrats take lumps? They've got to vote for it. Huge bipartisan deal. Optimally, they actually originate it, but whatever.

          How do I do that? Make Democrats vote for a signature Democratic achievement that is hugely popular?

          By presenting them with an alternative that's even worse.

          What could be worse? Is default worse? How long until default is worse? Can I hold out while the country spirals into recession for long enough that the Dems, in order to save us from anther Depression, will craft and vote for cuts to their beloved programs?

          If I'm a Republican, that's the only question I'm asking myself.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:31:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is exactly why it was important for Obama... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN, Beetwasher, wishingwell

            to get the political win, to look like the reasonable, accommodating one and make the Republicans look like the intransigent, irresponsible ideologues blocking a deal.

            By doing that, he makes it harder for the Republicans to hold out on things like the debt ceiling.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:35:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay. But ... how does (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FogCityJohn, MPociask, schnecke21, HCKAD

              looking reasonable and accommodating actually change the dynamic?

              Republicans: We're not raising the debt limit until Democrats start slashing Social Security.
              Obama looks extremely reasonable.
              The clock ticks. The crisis looms.
              Polls show that Republicans look like intransigent, irresponsible ideologues.
              Republicans: Still not rising the debt limit until Democrats start slashing Social Security.
              Obama looks more reasonable than ever, as parts of the government shut down.
              The crisis arrives. Shit starts falling apart.
              The mass media points directly at the Republicans  as the cause of everything, not playing any 'both sides' games.
              Republicans: Still not rising the debt limit until Democrats start slashing Social Security.
              You and me: At this point, slashing Social Security is less bad than continuing the slide into Depression. Please, Obama, pull us back from the brink!
              Obama looks extremely responsible as we're pulled back from the brink. In fact, he does such a good job with brink-pulling, that very little damage is done.
              Republicans: See? Very little damage was done, and we finally got control of entitlement spending when the Democrats slashes Social Security!
              Next election: "DEMS KILL SOCIAL SECURITY!!! VOTE REPUBLICAN!"

              There's no mechanism in there that leverages how anyone 'looks.'

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:41:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Debt ceiling "default" talk is flim flam. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberaldemdave, greenbell

          Politicians who say "oh no, we might default!" are fooling you and they know it.

          1.  A country that prints it's own money cannot be in default, though it can CHOOSE to ignore its obligations.

          2.  If the US ignores its obligation re: govt bonds, etc., it will drive interest rates sky high (GOP, Dems, and Wall St do not want that)
          3. the dollar will quickly lose World Currency Reserve status and all the benefits that come with it  ( GOP, Dems and Wall St and IMF really, really don't want that.)

          If the pols start staying OMG we have to cut this or that to avoid default, think of that scene in Blazing Saddles where Cleavon Little - the new sheriff in town - suddenly holds his own gun to his head and says, "Nobody move or the n*&# gets it!"

          Any talk of default by politicians is an act.

  •  Leaopards and new spots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sorry. The Dems will allow themselves to be hung with those unwise cuts. Thats the way they roll.

  •  Obama didn't lose seniors because of Medicare (13+ / 0-)

    He lost that age group by the same margin in 2008. He lost that age group in both elections because those people are more frightened by the diversity and culture of the 21st century America, which Obama is the personification of.

    •  I wish people here would stop shitting on seniors. (10+ / 0-)

      My 79 year old mother voted for Obama twice.  She isn't afraid of diversity or culture.  

      There are many seniors here.  Stop this crap.

      you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

      by Dem Beans on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:14:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Clearly, the GOPers (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, MPociask, glynis, 3goldens, Loge

      demonized Obamacare to such an extent that the fall-off started in 2009,and has remained constant since then.

      Is this really news? Seniors were propagandized that Obamacare was going to ruin their medicare.
      Thats GOP politics in America...scare the crap outta seniors by suggesting a new program is going to screw them...

      As for the 760 billion...sure they threw that around,but it did not get any real was fact-checked to death,and made Ryan and Romney look like liars.

      Two edged sword using outright lies to demonize your opponent these days....sometimes you might get a temporary bump,but it can catch up to you.

    •  True (0+ / 0-)

      That.  The 700 billion didn;t help but it was not that it was the black dude all the Mexicans the Blacks and Chinese and the gay people are voting for. Plus that age are the people who pass more time in front of TV watching Fox

    •  Besides, the seniors have been promised that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pescadero Bill

      their benefits won't be cut - it's only those who are 54 and younger who will have their benefits cut.  

      Republican age warfare at its finest.  Trying to divide and conquer the electorate, gambling that they can squeeze out a few more victories by having seniors be willing for their children to have it worse than they do.  I think seniors aren't so greedy and willing to sell out their kids, but I could be wrong.  We shall see.

    •  Those People? Careful young'un (3+ / 0-)

      Lots of progressive boomers hitting "senior" status these days and we read, remember what really happened in all those long past elections, and were part of the crowd that hounded LBJ and Tricky Dick out of office...

      Yeah, there are "seniors" who vote rethug for various reasons... but the old guard is getting older and fewer, while the incoming Boomer bunch consider old 20 years older than whatever age they happen to have hit...

      And the congress critters and Senators pay loads of attention to mymymy Generation, cuz they know the golden rule and a bunch of us (including progressives) have a bit of coin and we VOTE... EVERY ELECTION...

      You can bet there will be  loads of pissed of "seniors" calling and writing Senators and Congress critters if anything smelling of SS or Medicare cuts comes up..

      We could care less about O and his bipartisan bullshit and we understand the difference between "investment" in infrastructure and education and "spending" on pork laden useless Defense programs that contribute nothing to keeping our nation safe.

      As for frightened of diversity and change... who the hell do you think set the goddam groundwork for all this fancy tech you use everyday? If anyone knows about diversity and change it is someone who has had to live through lots of interesting changes... bet you never woke up with atom bomb dreams. We grew up with duck and cover and above ground tests.. We grew up with Sputnik and Man on the Moon... We made the Rolling Stones the band of our generation...

      “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

      by miguelmas1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:34:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you know how old I am? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, wu ming, TFinSF

        No, you do not.

        I'm not going to go through the trouble of pulling up all the polling showing seniors are less comfortable with the changes in society and how that cuts into the numbers of that age group who are open to Obama as a candidate.

        Since the age group was lost by 52-44, that means 44% of them voted for Obama. Great. The question is, why didn't more of them? Many say they were scared into voting for the GOP because of thier medicare campaign tactics. I am saying it is not medicare. It is social issues.

        •  you are painting with a broad brush (0+ / 0-)

          and should back up you contentions with demographics showing ages and locations....

          “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

          by miguelmas1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:52:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  were that the case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limpidglass, Williston Barrett

        obama would have done better with seniors in 2012 than 2008, because of all the progressive boomers aging into that bracket.

        •  Show me the numbers (0+ / 0-)

          making generalized statements without data specifics is not a good habit...

          “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

          by miguelmas1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:19:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  this was covered in detail after the election (0+ / 0-)

            but here's one exit poll analysis of the many that came out months ago.

            interestingly, the only age cohort shifting left in 2012 was 30-44, presumably as older more liberal millennials age into that bracket, and older, more conservative gen x'ers age out into the 44-65 bracket. if there was some liberal boomer demographic wave pushing things leftwards in the over-65 bracket, they don't show up in the exit polls. i suppose it's possible to argue that there was a bigger short rightwards among those seniors older than the boomers that outweighed said hypothetical shift left, but you'd need actual numbers backing up that argument, given that it goes contrary to the overall statistical picture of the past two election cycles.

            sure, there are liberal boomers, but they are not the majority of their cohort, and they are not making the senior population more liberal as they age in, especially. something like that is going on for the cohort in their 30s right now, however, which reflects an internal ideological watershed between older and younger gen x'ers, IMO.

  •  To wit... (4+ / 0-)


    the Senate majority must act on legislation early in February—rather than waiting until the last minute, abdicating responsibility and hoping someone else will step in once again to craft a last-minute solution for them.
    The Senate majority must do this, he says.

    Not sure who appointed him the decider, but there it is.

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:00:35 PM PST

    •  The senate majority (4+ / 0-)

      needs to tell him to kiss their fat liberal asses. Let the house make their recomendations, let the senate refuse to pass it, Let them keep going back till they draft something that will pass the senate. The house republicans are the problem here, so let them fire the first volley. Otherwise everyone else is just pissing into the wind.

      While many minority groups are the target for discrimination, few face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many glbt youth.

      by azrefugee on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:05:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it was rather practical (0+ / 0-)

      the Republican House can't do anything, and McConnell knows it.  If he and his party draft it, it won't get through the Senate.   So that leaves the Dems in the Senate to put something together that might pass the Senate putting the pressure on the crazies, who will again say it is better to default, so they force the slightly less crazies in the Republican caucus to vote with the Dems again.

    •  To wit... ? (0+ / 0-)

      I thought you mean to write TWIT :-)

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:04:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Entitlement is another word for rights. (4+ / 0-)

    Of course, rights must not be disrespected or abused. After all, Congress is tasked with providing for the general welfare. The way it does that is by doling out money to pay for needful things. Spending. That's what money is for.
    Money is not for saving. Money is an IOU. Money is a certificate of obligation -- one that, unlike a certificate of marital obligation, can be easily passed around.

    If something is to be saved, it is souls.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:10:37 PM PST

  •  Yep. And the GOP's already asking Fox for help (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, tvanel, Matt Z

    From this AM

  •  It is going to be a bi-partisan reach around (3+ / 0-)

    when the dust clears.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

    by Farkletoo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:16:35 PM PST

  •  So, where's your petition for this, kos? (0+ / 0-)

    You could use your final paragraph as the rationale.

    I'd sign it in a heartbeat!

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:19:32 PM PST

  •  Hard truth...GOP better at Politics than the Dems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, CrissieP

    Seriously...we (our elected leaders) are shitty at it.  We can provide a far superior Government and run good campaigns but when it comes to playing hardball politics, we lose thus we can't govern and eventually lose campaigns (i.e. 2010)

  •  If this is true, and Obama 'wanted' SS cuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Beetwasher

    then why weren't there any in this deal?

    Principle before Party! Recession 2013!!

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:27:06 PM PST

  •  What will this WH do? Let history be our guide. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett
  •  is it too much to ask... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, ferg, Williston Barrett, PhilJD

    that on such a far reaching and profound consequences, that our elected representatives actually DEBATE the issue in front of the American people?

    or will we be strung out for months, hanging on every trial balloon, trying to decipher tidbits of leaked information to favored journalists?


    Al Qaeda announced its dissolution, “our mission of destroying the American economy is now in the capable hands of the U.S. Congress.” Andy Borowitz

    by dear occupant on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:30:36 PM PST

  •  Obama should lay low. He has the veto. (0+ / 0-)

    This time, let Biden and Reid and Pelosi negotiate as well as they can.

    Congress has to make law, ultimately

    BUT - Make the Republicans delineate the proposed cuts. if they somehow pass them through the Senate, Obama can veto whatever pile of *^&% they send up. then the R's will have to own the cuts they attempted to make.

    if the R's want to shut down the government, good. That'll work about as well as in 2014 as it did in 1996.

    My guess is that McConnell is not that stupid. The country is catching on to the obstuctionist and extremist BS even if Chuck Todd and "Legacy Luke " Russert haven't


  •  It worked in 2010. (0+ / 0-)

    "Get your hands off my Medicare!"

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:46:19 PM PST

  •  How do you out-psycho a psychopath? (0+ / 0-)

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism. Fuck the NRA.

    by democracy is coming on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:51:35 PM PST

  •  only Nixon could go to China, and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, Williston Barrett

    only Obama could cut Social Security.

  •  How about eliminating the ridiculously low ceiling (3+ / 0-)

    for income subject to Social Security withholding?  The Democrats should just come out with this as their first and only response to whatever damaging cuts the Republicans propose.  

    Again, Democrats need to stand firm and erect an impenetrable barrier for defending Social Security, not some wishy-washy "line in the sand".

    Make the Republicans own and feel their own ideological sadism.

  •  make the GOP vote for it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back of Bourke, cocinero, schnecke21

    Something I found infuriating about the fiscal cliff deal is that most of the agony was attributable to satisfying the whims of the GOP House members and in the end barely more than 1/3 of their caucus voted for it. If they are going to threaten to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want then I want their fingerprints on the final bill, i.e.: GOP policy gets passed with GOP votes.

    They shouldn’t get to monkeywrench the whole works and then act like bystanders to the train wreck. We need to put a stop to this pattern where the GOP manufactures a crisis and then relies on Democrats to make government function. The GOP runs one house of Congress, so they need to act like it. “They are not doing their job.” Is a pretty clear political message that people can understand. If the Democrats can hammer home that the GOP can’t or won’t do their job they might have a chance at getting some leverage from public opinion behind them.    

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:05:17 PM PST

  •  If the President goes for a Grand Bargain (6+ / 0-)

    he should have to do it with mostly (if not all) Republican votes.  The President's not up for re-election again but Dems in Congress are.  Any Dem interested in getting re-elected better strongly oppose cuts to safety net benefits, even if it means opposing President Obama.  This is bigger and more important than the President.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:12:28 PM PST

  •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem

    the Inauguration speech, as well as the SOTU speech, will provide him with the opportunity to frame how he sees this playing out.

    The more mushy it is, the more pessimistic I'll be.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:20:57 PM PST

  •  and bald-faced liars (0+ / 0-)
    they can do that because they're psychopaths.
    They proved that in 2010 and 2012 with their repeated lies about ObamaCare/Medicare.
  •  As I keep saying (0+ / 0-)

    bills originate in the House under our Constitution.  Obama should ask "where's your bill?"

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:30:48 PM PST

  •  "If you want entitlement cuts (0+ / 0-)

    You will have to propose them, in writing, signed by a majority of your delegation."

    That should be the first and last position of Obama.  Of course the growth rate in health care spending needs to come down but right now, there does not appear to be any consensus on a sane approach for how to do this while protecting beneficiaries.  Instead, Rs throw brickbats at Ds who are sincerely trying to make programs more efficient, without admitting that they would like to do away with them entirely.  Ds should just walk away from this nightmare.  

  •  I don't believe it. (0+ / 0-)

    The President, seething with hostility, has made it crystal clear that he is done playing games with the GOP.  Pass the debt ceiling, don't pass it.  Avoid the sequester, don't avoid it.  The result will be on their heads since this is the way they choose to operate.  I don't see the WH giving an inch in the next few months...

    When do I get to vote on your marriage?

    by jarhead5536 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:43:13 PM PST

  •  If you think the GOP won't accuse (0+ / 0-)

    every dem in 2014 of trying to destroy medicare, REGARDLESS of what Obama does in two months, I don't know what to say.

    They will say it regardless of the truth. Obama should do the right thing, but even if he doesn't, he will still be accused of destroying medicare, because change of some kind will happen to medicare and the rest of health care in the next few years and he is the president.

    it's not an "easy trap to avoid." it's an inevitable trap, and he doesn't even half to walk into it.

  •  Stop using the word "entitlement" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To Republican supporters, "entitlement" means "welfare" which they conceptualize as walking around money for lazy swarthy gang-bangers.  (Right-wing emails typically talk about the $1 trillion we waste on "welfare" each year.)

    The first step to having a real debate is to make the assholes on the other side actually say the words Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Don't let them hide behind the word "entitlement" - which, as I said, conveys a false meaning to half the population.

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:49:51 PM PST

    •  That's true, and just as most support cutting (0+ / 0-)

      welfare but oppose cutting any specific assistance program for the poor, most will support "entitlement reform" but no one but no one wants the government getting their hands on their Social Security or Medicare. Less so Medicaid I'd wager, but I believe a large proportion of voters, perhaps most, don't really understand what Medicaid is. I would say this makes it all the more vulnerable, but then again, Obamacare, so we have that bulwark against the Ryans and the block-granters.

      It's similar in concept to "cutting the deficit." At this point, only the casual observer and the "on the other hand" pundit believes even for a minute that Republicans give one flying )(#* about the deficit, but it's a feel good talking point that is easy to rally around.

  •  Another reason (0+ / 0-)

    to stop giving shit away.

  •  Agree it's both bad and easily dodged. (0+ / 0-)

    Reminding the WH of how the republicans demogogued the medicare $700B SHOULD do it.

    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

    by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:51:24 PM PST

  •  Good (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    masslib, greenbell, midwesterner, NealB

    Because if there are entitlement cuts, Democrats SHOULD own them. They are who I'll blame if they happen.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:52:24 PM PST

  •  Little know fact, I once had a job selling cars (5+ / 0-)

    A job I did not hold for long, nor was I well suited for.

    But my short term mentor told me something I never forgot:

    "First one who speaks in a negotiation loses."

    He was 100% right. And it is advice that has served me well.

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:55:29 PM PST

  •  to be fair (0+ / 0-)

    I highly doubt the democrats are ever going to win the senior vote any time soon simply because most of those seniors are still life long republicans

  •  What muddies the waters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is preemptively freaking out at Obama rather than republicans (or even blue dogs).  This lets the Rs off the hook and excuses a refusal to evaluate details.  As the example of Romney's campaign agn the $760 bn cut, not all things are equal.

    Besides, Obama lost that same group in 08 I think.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:58:53 PM PST

    •  Obama Will Point To Sequestration And Say (0+ / 0-)

      "Those are the cuts, you don't like them?  Whatchya got?"

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

      by Beetwasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:17:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you are right - (0+ / 0-)

        but I worry that he can't use defense cuts as leverage because Dems love defense as much as the GOP does - whether they admit it or not.  In addition, there are jobs in the defense industry - an inconvenient truth - but truth nonetheless.

        •  For Reduction in defense Seq We get Reduction in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Discretionary seq. Dollar for dollar.

          All the cuts are already offered and it will be all the leverage Obama needs.  That and US making a stink.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

          by Beetwasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:35:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  well, obama has come out against (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the cuts on the discretionary side.  

        I don't think Obama would have ever agreed to sequester anything unless he absolutely could not live with them.  The total dollar amounts we can live with, but the substance of the cuts matters, and that's why Obama has to come out with his own proposal, which will probably also have additional spending requests in it, and it has to be passable by the House, meaning there will be stuff progressives don't like (but yet better than the specifcs of the sequestered amounts).  

        Still, I like the idea that every dollar of spending on defense the republicans want to add back, they should insist on finding new revenues (loopholes) and can substitute domestic spending cuts only with Obama's agreement and which are themselves counted towards the domestic side of the sequestration.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:49:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  we should counter with: (0+ / 0-)

    Republican House passed largest tax increase in history!!!!  Vote them out!!!!

  •  Completely agree. I think there are a good chunk (0+ / 0-)

    of Democrats who understand this and won't go for it.  There are some that need pushing though.  However, like I've posted in the comments in other diaries and I've written about quite a bit is some Democrats, like Senator Mark Begich (D. AK), are actually proposing bold plans to strengthen Social Security:

    I want this to become the official plan of the Democratic Party.  If a Democrat from a red state like Alaska can grow a pair and propose a bold plan that makes rich people pay more into Social Security, other Dems should follow suit.  Plus there are a lot of old people in Alaska and Begich gets that and old people are pretty consistent voters, especially during midterms.  Even Max Baucus understands that Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit and has made that very clear:

    But remember people, we need to keep up the pressure.  Call your Senator and Congressman every day if you have to.

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:00:26 PM PST

  •  Consequences (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I will never vote for any Democrat who votes to cut Social Security benefits.

    And I will use my network to discourage Democratic voters, especially in swing districts, from voting for those who do.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:04:13 PM PST

  •  Which is a secondary but still important reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to not cut entitlements, the primary reason of course being that it would be devastating for seniors and the poor not to mention the economy. But this comes as a very close second since it would be politically devastating to Dems. On top of which, such cuts aren't even politically necessary if Obama holds firm and calls their bluff on the debt limit.

    Sure, we might have to eat CCPI (which can be fixed before it really begins to kick in) or means testing but the big stuff I believe we can protect. All Obama has to do is call their bluff, and tell them that if they want to cut entitlement programs so badly, they need to propose such cuts themselves, and NOT offer them himself, and explain to the public why this is necessary and good.

    He still has leverage, but only if he's willing and has the nerve to use it.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:07:58 PM PST

  •  if the new deal programs are cut (0+ / 0-)

    then i will never vote for a democrat again.  period.

  •  It looks like the good-cops and bad-cops are (0+ / 0-)

    taking turns being good-cops and bad-cops.

  •  They don't have to make one or two (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Difficult concessions...but there ie no point in stating the obvious.  Didn't Obama just say something along the lines of I am willing to make the difficult choice ( chained CPI) to strengthen social security?  Hardly a concession.  

    This is the second time I've read something you wrote saying essentially if you are going to cut entitlements make the Republicans own it.  Frankly, I am far less worried about the optics than I am the policy.  Obama seems to believe if Democrats in Congress support A and Republicans support C, B must be the answer.  Actually, they are both wrong.  The correct policy choice would be to increase benefits in light of the end of the defined benefit pension.  

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:12:18 PM PST

  •  Thanks you thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for making this point.

    I saw Debbie Wasserman interviewed last night on the Ed Shultz program and she was already saying that, of course, Obama would be looking to changes in "entitlements". Shultz, to his credit, said "Of course when you say entitlements you're referring to Social Security and Medicare."

    Seems to me that we're headed into some very rough waters and we have to nobody at the top we can count on.

  •  No They Wont (0+ / 0-)

    The cuts.are already laid out for them.  The sequestration ARE Obamas cuts, and for the record they protect SS and MM.  Obama will point to them and say "Those are the cuts.  You don't like them?  Whatchya got?"

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

    by Beetwasher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:22:29 PM PST

  •  Reason why seniors reject Obama - HE'S BLACK (0+ / 0-)

    wanna bet that a big chunk or that 56% that voted for Mitt did so because of the color of the presidents skin. Fortunately, those old white bigots are dying off!

  •  So if you end up having to make... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldemdave, greenbell

    "... one or two difficult concessions,...."

    How about just not making concessions on social insurance policies that we've all held since we were born? What difference does it make who gets blamed for them? Republicans want to steal our insurance money. So, apparently does Obama.

    No. It's not about who gets blamed. It's about outright theft of benefits we've been paying for our entire lives. Lets see Obama, and Democrats in general HONOR that commitment. No concessions at all to Republican thieves.

  •  For What It's Worth (0+ / 0-)

    Here's the body of a letter I just faxed to my (newly elected) Congressman:

    Congratulations on your election.  I write about the upcoming fight over extending the federal debt ceiling and how that struggle may affect Medicare and Social Security.

    It’s likely that if a deal to extend the debt ceiling includes a proposal to reduce spending and/or increase revenue, the deal will only be able to pass the House if many Democrats vote for it.  That was certainly the case during the late December and early January shenanigans over the expiring Bush tax cuts.  More House Democrats voted for that deal than Republicans.

    Should it come to a debt ceiling-deal that includes cuts to Medicare and/or Social Security, I urge you to vote against such a deal.  Cutting Medicare and/or Social Security (including by changing the way cost of living increases are indexed to inflation) would be immoral, given that a quarter of seniors depend on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income.  For the non-rich elderly, Medicare is the only way they can obtain quality medical care.  Cuts to medicare benefits will hurt the non-rich elderly.  In either case, the “deal” would be closed on the backs of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.  That would be immoral.

    It would also be bad politics.  During the 2010 and 2012 elections, the Republicans made clear that they will hang any cuts in Medicare or Social Security spending around the necks of Democrats.  This was true of the so-called $716 billion cut to Medicare that didn’t cut Medicare benefits by a penny.  If Democrats vote for such a deal they already know what the ads against them will look like.  

    While you are in a safe district, I expect that at some point you aspire to being in the majority.  While President Obama may want a grand bargain for his legacy, he is at the end of his political career.  You are just beginning. I would like to see you in the majority and thus be represented by a Congressman who has some power.  That requires that Democrats take back the House.  Voting to cut Medicare or Social Security will frustrate or retard that goal I presume we share.

    So please, vote your conscience and your long-term political best interest.  Vote against any debt ceiling-deal that includes any cuts to Medicare and/or Social Security.

    Feel free to use any or all.  By the way, my experience is that faxing a letter gets a better response than an e-mailed one.  So if you have a fax machine, I suggest you use that.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:34:57 PM PST

  •  This is why I wonder if it's worth worrying as (0+ / 0-)

    much as we do about SS and Medicare. They represent the Democratic birthright, we've always been the defenders and advancers of these programs, yet the senior bloc consistently gives Republicans ludicrously high marks when it comes to these programs. The senior bloc is so heavily tilted against us for the medium term, so it seems no amount of convincing will make them believe that we are their guys and gals when it comes to SS/Medicare/Medicaid.

    It hurt us in 2010, but didn't low enthusiasm and Democratic turn out hurt us much more? I committed the gravest sin of my life sitting out the 2010 elections because Obama wasn't progressive enough for me, and I will always regret that and never, ever not vote again... can we assume enough Democrats, like me, learned their lesson and even if we're pissed about this or that cut we will still get out there so the outcome doesn't rely so heavily on seniors who are faithful voters for the party that really, truly would take their Social Security and Medicare away if they could?

    I mean, it just seems like this is a demographic we can't win anyway. In practical terms, this generation of seniors will be supplanted by the not-yet-retired. So far as I've seen, approximately speaking, 50-65 year olds are right about split evenly between Dem/Rep; younger generations tilt Democratic, tilting more heavily as one goes younger. Will these groups change their party affiliation and become lifelong Republican voters because a Democratic president "strengthened and preserved" these 'entitlements' with a "balanced approach" that combined "responsible savings" while "asking the well-off to pay their fair share"? I mean, Reagan raised the retirement age on SS to 67, and the Reagan generation - those in their retirement, among them some of the first people to be affected by these changes - are still solid Republican voters.

  •  The presidents postion for negotations should be (0+ / 0-)

    Fuck Off!!!

    America, We blow stuff up!!

    by IndyinDelaware on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:40:16 PM PST

  •  The whole sad point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the real people who will own and die by the cuts is the elderly, and disabled.  At that point no one will care about what party does the cuts because both parties in this country are so corrupted and both wanted it.  

    It is like every other year they keep changing the rules and breaking down the structure by which two generations lived.  I finished grad school at 39 years old, had students loans with 10% interest on them, government loans, it was a sweetheart deal some senator made.  Worked two jobs paying off loans and then on top that they started with paying out pocket for health care.  A little bit at first and then whamO most your income is going for healthcare, then pensions are gone, it is 401Ks which will be gambled away by socipaths on Wall Street.  Then they raised houses prices out of reach, and then at 48years old I got sick slapped with a pre-existing lost whatever savings I had, and now that I finally got disability after three years of trying and going hungry and losing my home, now I'm screwed again.  And I'm speaking for a lot of people that are in my same position.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:42:51 PM PST

  •  Amazing how quickly the screws turn (0+ / 0-)

    Even while people are looking. Some point it out, and they are "insane." This site points it out, and the zeal of hyper partisans is instantly dialed way down. But they still defend people they don't even know, with assumptions lacking precedent.

    When is it finally going to be bout the policy?

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:02:29 PM PST

  •  Tax The Rich & End Corporate Welfare! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen, Agathena, joanneleon, Ginger1

    How To Raise Taxes: Think Eisenhower!!!

    Quoting J.J. Goldberg at  

    [...] Eisenhower inherited a top marginal income tax rate of 92% from his predecessor Harry Truman when he entered the White House in 1953. He quickly lowered it to 91%, where it stayed until Lyndon Johnson lowered it again to 77% in 1964 and then 70% in 1965.  

    During his eight years in the White House, Eisenhower managed to reduce the federal deficit by 75% — down to a quarter of the size he inherited — while building the Interstate Highway System and launching America’s space program. GDP growth averaged 3% per year. Unemployment averaged just under 5.5%.  

    Reagan, entering office in 1981, inherited Johnson’s 70% top marginal income tax rate and immediately lowered it to 50%, then to 38.5% and finally to 28%. His theory was that high taxes stifle economic growth, while lowering taxes unleashes growth and creates jobs. It was a great national experiment, and the result was conclusive: It didn’t work. Growth averaged 3.4% per year during Reagan’s presidency, hardly better than Eisenhower’s, while unemployment averaged a shocking 7.43%, far worse than Eisenhower’s and hardly better than the much-maligned Obama record. [...]  

    So the next time you listen to a presidential debate, remember that nobody up there is taking the Democratic side. The debate we’re having today is between a robust Reaganism and a faint, timid echo of Eisenhower Republicanism. In fact, when you get down to it, the Democrats can’t even bring themselves to take Eisenhower’s side with any conviction. We’re all touting variations on a flimflam theory that’s been tried and proven a colossal failure.


    How To Cut Spending: End Corporate Welfare!!!     

    As Rex Nutting of Marketwatch noted in his 12/18/2012 article “Why isn’t Obama demanding corporate welfare cuts?”, “$2.6 trillion could be saved [...] It’s possible to achieve all the budget savings we need for the next 10 years simply by cutting the fat out of discretionary spending programs and tax expenditures [removing all of the corporate welfare] without raising tax rates on the wealthy or cutting the safety net at all.”     

    Oil and gas companies, which are raking in record profits, certainly don’t need $4 billion a year in subsidies, and even the oil company CEOs admit they don’t need it!     

    Why are cuts to Social Security and Medicare even being discussed while literally billions in corporate welfare are constantly spilling out of the Treasury? 

    White House petition to End Corporate Welfare:

  •  They Should Do It (0+ / 0-)

    "GOP will make Democrats own any entitlement cuts"

    As well they should.

  •  Political suicide (0+ / 0-)

    It's nothing less than that.  Should thevDemocratic Partybcave in to cuts to the big 3, it will be a major political mistake.  More so, it will be immoral and unnecessary.  We need to grow our way out of the deficit.  Jobs not spending cuts is the answer.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:19:53 AM PST

  •  Can we please stop using the word "entitlements" (0+ / 0-)

    ...this term has taken on a negative connotation, thanks to the wingnuts. Is it accurate? Sure. Damn straight we're "entitled" to SS and Medicare -- we've paid into them. But it seems to have become a loaded term.

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