For today's headline concerning the ongoing budget/sequester/hostage negotiations, we have this squirmer offered up by Huffigton:
A deal -- if there is to be one -- will likely resemble something closer to that nearly negotiated twice between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the administration. As it stands now, the White House still has an offer on the table that includes means-testing specific parts of Medicare, and a Social Security benefit cut by indexing payments to something called chained consumer price index.I question the articles headline - calling admonishments from retiring Tom Harkin to not pull the rug out from beneath "our elderly, our sick and our needy" and a plea from Bernie Sanders not to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans hardly seems to qualify for the descriptive "Progressives Fire Warning". What warning? All I read is just the fretful mutterings of 2 old Progressive warhorses who still have pangs of conscience regarding a large percentage of the American population about to get offered up as human sacrifices for Austerity and Deficit Reduction.
A top administration official noted that increasing Medicare's eligibility age, which the president was willing to do in 2011, has been repeatedly ruled out of current negotiations. But Obama is scheduled to meet with House Republicans on Wednesday, and Senate Republicans on Thursday. The GOP members are expected to push Obama to broach the subject again.
Heading into those discussions, some Democrats said they lack a clear picture of exactly what Obama will and won't negotiate.
I only wish there had been an actual warning. Isn't there any Democrat anywhere who can pull President Obama aside and say, "We're Democrats, we don't do that." Apparently not.
Which leads me to wonder about the strange and sudden disappearance of the entire Democratic Party and their replacement by the lone figure of the President in these negotiations.
The Republicans still appear to have a Party, albeit one undergoing a major remodelling job. But, there is Majority Leader Mitch 'The Turtle' McConnell, Speaker John 'Crybaby' Boehner, and the Iago-like Eric Cantor performing their assigned jobs. And Paul 'Moe' Ryan, the purported brains of their organization, is still issuing budgets demanding the dismantlement of Medicare into a voucher program and the repeal of Obamacare, with a bounce in his step like the election never happened and that his misguided, stupid and cruel number crunching hadn't been rejected by a healthy majority of the electorate.
The Democrats, on the other hand, appear to be sequestered themselves in some underground bunker somewhere or assigned to a permanent "silent lunch hour" by their Principle, President Obama who has taken on the role of sole negotiator with the Republicans. Why has he done this, and why have the Democrats acceded to standing by silently while he negotiates away the major distictions and differentations between the 2 Parties? And what will be the end result of this strategy?
I believe I have seen in my lifetime the Democratic Party morph from being an easily defined organization that stood for civil rights, social justice, labor, the common man, The New Deal, The Great Society, The Rule of Law, and whatever else sentimentalists like me regard through our bleary, nostalgic eyes, into some mushy centrist 'moderate' blob that stands for nothing except for whatever shred can be wrestled away and touted as "compromise" from their counterparts, who, while always wrong, are resolutely steadfast in their convictions.
Look at the new underpinnings of the current "Grand Bargain" talks. As I mentioned before, Ryan opens up with a Republican budget MORE to the right than the previous one. If we use a strip poker analogy, beneath his topcoat he has just put on 3 sweaters and an undershirt. President Obama meanwhile, continues to show up in a robe over his bathing suit.
We Democrats seemingly have agreed to silence ourselves in order to show unity behind a President who has brought us Austerity economics and an actual initiation in the dismantlement and weakening of the safety nets - Why?
In my title, I said that President Obama was serving up the seed corn.
To eat the seed cornIs the legacy of one man more important than the welfare of the population? Is it more important than the continuation of the policies and principles that one Party has openly advocated for generations? If the answer is "yes", then the Democratic Party, in my opinion, no longer exists and has become a party of Personality over Policy. Snce we no longer will be able to articulate policies except "Nicer than Them" we will have to rely on a steady stream of charismatic articulate leaders (like Hillary Clinton) because that will be all we've got. Believe me when I tell you - that will not be enough.
To eat the corn which should be saved for seed, so as to forestall starvation; - a desparate measure, since it only postpones disaster.
any desparate action which creates a disastrous situation in the long-term, done in order to provide temporary relief.