One of the things that most drives me crazy -- and judging by their comments, a huge number of fellow Kossacks concur -is the discredited meme that "Both sides do it." "Both parties need to grow up and stop bickering." What's worse is that this nonsense is spouted by way too many of the conventional media, and all too often even by Democratic officeholders. ("Let's reach across the aisle to get things done.")
Well, follow me across the great orange divide to see what would be happening right now if that were really true.
September 27: Hearing reports about Boehner's "wish list" of demands that the Democrats must agree to in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, President Obama calls a prime time press conference.
Here is his opening statement:
In response to reports about the House Republicans' latest position on the debt ceiling, I want to make the following position very clear. I will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. I will not even entertain a single one of the Republican demands.Here's the funny thing: Even if Obama were to do this -- and I would guess that the media and the political establishment would be apoplectic if he came anywhere close -- it still wouldn't be as extreme as what the Republicans are doing. Because these are all realistic policies that, in many cases, should have been enacted years ago. They would help the country.
However, let me go further. I pledge to veto any increase in the debt ceiling that does not contain the following provisions:
Eliminate the sequester and set discretionary spending 10% above the pre-sequester levels agreed to in the Budget Control Act.
Immediate addition of a public option to the Affordable Care Act, and a 7-year phase-in of Medicare for All, that is, a single payer system that lowers the age for Medicare eligibility by 10 years as of each January 1 untill all Americans are covered.
Immediate confirmation of all pending executive branch and judicial nominees.
Repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act and the Hyde Amendment.
A $3 trillion program to foster solar power and other alternative sources of energy while phasing out the use of fossil fuels in industry and transportation over the next 20 years.
A Constitutional Amendment clarifying that the 2d Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a collective right related to state militias, i.e. the National Guard, and not an individual right.
Immediate passage of Immigration Reform providing a path to citizenship.