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View Diary: You See Where This is Headed, Right? (271 comments)

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  •  There is a 3rd option, right? (26+ / 0-)

    Couldn't President Obama hold a press conference and call out the GOP for trying to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare? That would change the dynamic in 5 secs.

    Of course that won't happen b/c President Obama wants to cut these programs. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't work, in theory.

    Am I missin' something?

    •  Also, he wants them to be his friends. (24+ / 0-)

      For them to all be gentlemanly and ladylike in their manners with each other. If he were to take a bold stand in favor of the people and against their enemies, our enemies might be personally offended and that's no way to have comity.

      A day of comity in DC is worth putting tens of millions of Americans in hell for the rest of their lives, after all.

      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

      by Jim P on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:21:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hey dclawyer.. (9+ / 0-)

      I haven't been able to help but feel pessimistic. I just don't think we are going to get any revenues out of the GOP. I feel President Obama and Democrats are between a rock and a hard place..

      I think populist rhetoric is wonderful, even better when its actually passed. But I haven't felt optimistic about this whole thing..

      I think we are going to have a build an economic movement from the group up- by re-educating people on what is sound economic policy and that's a fair economy where people are paid a living wage and have health care.

      There are days I felt optimistic - for example when I see how many more people support a big hike in the min wage compared to 10 years ago..Also I don't see how there can be a large disconnect between the political establishment and the public indefinitely.

      The whole thing sucks. We need a genius to figure out how to outmaneuver them.

      As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

      by joedemocrat on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, just like it went with guns, right? (5+ / 0-)

      Where he made a big speech, took some unilateral actions, and then outlined the path forward for Congress?

      How'd that go?

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:18:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It went poorly, mostly because... (10+ / 0-)

        this nation is gun-obsessed and the optics of an AA president, and a democrat, championing gun control during these uncertain times is a non-starter.

        Comparing that fight to Social Security that enjoy broad, bipartisan support is facile at best.
        Are you suggesting the Obama administration is not supporting SS/Medicare more vociferously b/c they fear republicans would win?

        lmfao, please tell me that's your argument...
        Seriously, you made me lol.

      •  More specifically... (7+ / 0-)

        are you suggesting the Obama WH wants to support SS/Medicare but is wary of the fight because they couldn't win in the court of public opinion?

        They can't convince the public to protect SS/Medicare against the GOP's plan to raise age of eligibility?

        Is that your argument?

      •  Actually, what he did on guns is what he is (0+ / 0-)

        really, really good at:

        Said some nice words that led people to believe he wanted action on guns, but then really didn't.

        "They deserve a vote," does not equal, "I demand action! I demand doing Action A, Action B because the American People demand A & B and they deserve A & B!"

        And we cannot call him out for lying, because they'll point to the transcript: "They deserve a vote."

        And a vote came along. Sure enough, it did!

        Too bad nothing ever came of it, because there was no real leadership behind the meaningless applause-line words.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:24:27 PM PDT

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        •  That's unfair, YucatanMan... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He is a politician, but he's not completely craven and he's not a monster. I certainly don't blame him for being unable to secure an AWB--there are huge forces pushing back against him(NRA, Dem Senators from gun-friendly states facing reelection in '14, Senate Majority leader/Sen Judiciary Chairman who are from gun-friendly states, etc.).

          He can't be expected to undo the USA's centuries-old tradition of gun obsession with the wave of his hand. And there is a real paranoia out there, that treats all things-Obama as apocalyptic.

          From all appearances, he tried to get something substantial enacted on guns.

          •  Btw, I've been hard on President Obama... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradyB, YucatanMan

            for his stance on austerity.
            And deservedly so.

            I also blasted Nancy Pelosi upthread for pushing these cuts---she's no innocent. But there are many, many others involved in this grand bargain, either through their open support*, or their tacit acquiescence.

            Question: Where is Senator Gillibrand on this?
            She's from a solidly blue state, is newly elected and has sought support of the left by posting on this website, inter alia.

            Has she pledged to vote against any bill that includes cuts/reductions to Social Security and Medicare? If not, why?


            *For example Senator Warner is drooling at the change to slash these programs---but I never hear anyone blame him for the Grand Bargain:

            As Murray’s Budget Committee began considering her proposals Wednesday, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) argued — to the “consternation” of people “on my side,” he said — that Democrats will have to do more to prevent Social Security and Medicare from bankrupting the nation as the population ages.

            “I share the belief of even my most progressive colleagues that Medicare and Social Security are among the greatest programs ever implemented. But I also believe that the basic math around them doesn’t work anymore,” Warner said.

            It's not all Obama's fault, a huge coalition w/in the Democratic Party supports austerity.


          •  History is littered with politicians who came out (0+ / 0-)

            fighting for something that was necessary or unpopular and swayed the nation, the people, or a couple policians.

            I agree an AWB is a tough-road today, but there are plenty of other measures he could have put a hard demand upon and followed up with arm-twisting politics.

            Fact is, he is not an arm-twisting politician.  And he's fully willing to walk back on his very own positions, because "the deal" is more important to him than his own stated goals.

            He's done that exact same thing - as describe above and walking back his own goals without even being asked - over and over.  We've got over four years of experience with him now.

            He wants a deal, not a fight.  If it comes down to it, he drops his own demands (and even before it comes down to it).

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:16:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You are missing everything (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, RJDixon74135, YucatanMan

      How is your press conference pressure concept any different than the premise that built the sequester? Both rely on public pressure affecting Republicans, who have shown themselves to be resistant to public influence. I'm struggling to come up with an example of these Republicans changing their positions as a result of public pressure. President Obama wants to cut these programs more than he wants to allow the sequester to cut other programs. I'm with him on the merits, but the politics of it are so bad even the Republicans seem uninterested in this chained CPI package. What am I missing?

      You Hate Cuts To the Big Three? Do You Love Obamacare Also? It added $1 trillion to Medicaid.

      by CornSyrupAwareness on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:32:20 PM PDT

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      •  President Obama has never said, unambiguously,... (9+ / 0-)

        and clearly, that he intends to protect folks' Social Security and Medicare against any cuts.

        Those programs are not part of the sequester. If they were, then this controversy would've lasted 1 week:

        I'm on Medicare. What happens to my benefits?
        Good news. No change in Medicare benefits, including Part D low-income premium and cost-sharing subsidies and catastrophic subsidy payments.


        Will anything happen to my Social Security payments?
        No worries here either. Social Security and disability payments were exempt from the budget cuts. On the other hand, the Social Security Administration might reduce services to the public, close some offices and watch its already epic backlog of disability claims grow even bigger.


        While not part of the sequester, they are in the crosshairs for any compromise. The GOP, at a minimum, demands they be cut.

        If President Obama stood unambiguously in defense of them, and called out the GOP's desire to slash them, I think he'd win.

        Why doesn't he?

        •  He doesn't because he wants to cut them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, HCKAD

          His actions for years have shown that.  He appointed Social Security haters to head the deficit commission.

          Chained CPI has now become Superlative CPI.  He wants to cut our entitlement programs because cutting the military is apparently too far out of the realm and raising more money via a transaction tax on Wall Street, excess wealth, or unearned income.

          He's a Wall Street Democrat, socially liberal (sorta, kinda) and whatever Wall Street wants for everything else.  Coming soon, war with Iran.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:28:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Republicans are plenty amenable to changing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dclawyer06, AoT

        their positions in response to public pressure as long as it's pressure from people who MIGHT vote for them. Think about what they've done and still are doing in order to get support from their own far right, e.g., the tea party. OTOH, I don't expect them to do anything to appeal to yellow-dog Dems like me.

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