As one of four Vice Chairs of a county Democratic Party serving over 3 million residents, I suppose that it will fall upon people like me to sell the $hit that President Obama has proposed to over half a million voters in my region of the county. I probably can't sell them on the notion that this $hit -- reducing the amount of money that recipients of Social Security will receive compared to its purchasing power -- is actually a good thing, but I will be asked to sell them, at least, on the idea that this $hit doesn't matter nearly as much as they might think it does, compared to the good things that President Obama has done.
It doesn't seem to be working. In fact, I don't think it's going to work at all. However big or small one can argue that it really is, this $hit is looming large in people's minds -- and the Republicans have already shown that they're going to jump on this $hit with both feet. Symbolically, it's not the size of the $hit that matters so much to voters, but the fact that it's there at all -- in a place where they never expected to see it, least of all from Democrats. This is the kind of $hit that people are going to remember -- the kind of $hit that can really bring us down in 2014.
I want to be a good Democrat, but I just don't think that I can sell this $hit to voters at all.
Getting Democrats to accept this $hit is going to be hard enough. It's a kick in the gut to them. I've been promising them, based on what I've heard from those in the Democratic Party establishment and what I've heard from the President's staunchest defenders here, that this crazy $hit was just the equivalent of a pose or a prank. This $hit was all talk; it would never really be seriously proposed! I staked a fair bit of my credibility on the idea that it wouldn't!
But now -- it looks like the $hit just got real. Dress it up however you'd like; it still feels like a gigantic, repulsive, I'd even call it agonizing $hit. And I just don't think that voters will stand for it!
But the bigger problem is going to be trying to sell this $hit to independent voters, ones who already don't trust the Democratic Party to spare them this sort of $hit. In my area, we absolutely need independent voters to win many of our races. Campaigning on preserving the support of Social Security for retirees is one of the best weapons we have. Now I'm supposed to tell them that they have take our $hit? They don't WANT our $hit! They won't ACCEPT our $hit! This $hit is not supposed to BE our $hit at all! It was always supposed to be someone else's $hit!
Seniors, increasingly just getting by as it is, simply can't afford this sort of $hit! With retirement accounts being raided or dwindling, investments being liquidated and savings being wiped out in order for people just to survive, Social Security -- the remaining of the three legs of what we call the "stool" designed to support people in retirement (for those who will retire at all) is all that is going to keep people alive in the last decades of their lives, other than the kindness of strangers or using up the nest eggs of their children.
As for youth, who are critical to our electoral success, they just can't believe this $hit. This $hit confirms many of their worst suspicions about the Democratic Party. It undoes years of trying to convince them that we can be trusted. I'm not just talking about voters -- I'm talking about people we need as campaign workers, people who we need to walk around neighborhoods talking to voters, building up the Democratic brand. Voters don't want to hear people talking about this kind of $hit -- "oh, our $hit doesn't stink!" -- to them when they know that their complaints about this $hit are valid. And people I want to recruit as campaign workers don't want to have to talk about this $hit on the phone to strangers -- trying to get them to swallow Obama's $hit with a smile!
Does President Obama realize what this sort of $hit is going to do to our party? How can we get through to him, past his advisers who seem to be keeping him in some sort of $hit bubble?
If I could say one thing to President Obama, it would be this:
(If you're wondering about the above, when I'm writing formally, instead of on a blog, I usually don't abbreviate the word "MONEY" as "$" -- but on a protest sign I think it's worth spelling things out. So I sure hope that you've been pronouncing "$hit," whether silently in your mind or especially if you're reading this essay to someone out loud, as "money hit" -- that is, an unnecessary and destructive hit to the amount of money left in American retirees' wallets!)
Mr. President, many people depending on Social Security are barely getting by and their bank accounts cannot afford to take a MONEY HIT!
I hope that the President will reconsider and just stop talking about this $hit. If he won't, though, we'll just have to convince all good Democrats to kick the $hit out of his proposed budget. For the good of our party, we cannot let this $hit stain every piece of campaign literature we hand out!
DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th
(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. Guest crosspost by Yves Smith
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Friday April 12
1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find email contact information here
2. Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!". Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Email contact page is here.
3. Petitions. There are a number of petitions available. Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.
a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
4. Social Media. Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary. Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.
Blogathon diaries you might have missedMonday:
Hell No! #NoGrandBargain: "Pushing back at the Grand Bargain" by Roger Fox
Hell No! Chained CPI will reduce eligability for EITC #noChainedCPI by Roger Fox
Hell No! Dan Pfeiffer: "The President's Budget Shows That He is Serious About Solving Deficits" by eXtina
Guest Crosspost, Yves Smith: Obama Wants to Be the President Who Rolled Back the New Deal by Yves Smith via joanneleon
Hell No! Stop crushing the poor by Horace Boothroyd III
Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit by slinkerwink
Hell No! No Grand Bargain: Chained CPI: Social Security Means So Much To So Many by joedemocrat
Hell No! No Grand Bargain Liveblog 2014 Budget press conference by joanneleon