In her very first opening remark on ABC's This Week program, after President Obama's historic re-election and solidifying the Senate as well as decreasing the GOP House majority, this is how she chose to open her opportunity to speak on national TV:
MURRAY: Well, here's where we are, our country has a tremendous debt and deficit problem. We also have a challenge in making sure that we educate our work force. We need to make sure we care for our veterans who need that care today. We need to have research. And we need to be able to compete in a global marketplace, those investments are important.Sen. Patty Murray is
[an]influential member of the Senate – Budget Committee member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair and co-chair of the 2011 "Super Committee" on deficit reduction.
No! We don't have a tremendous debt and deficit problem. Please, Democrats - stop buying into the Republican framing of this 'crisis' that they manufactured.
The Democrats won this election decisively yet they continue to allow Republicans to frame the problems and thus set the agenda. We will not hear anything until after inauguration day other than the debt and deficit crisis facing this country. Democrats have to seize this and reframe it and take away this talking point.
There was no other Democratic politician to push back on it but fortunately there was Katrina vanden Heuvel to speak up. Thankfully, she was listening to the opening segment where Sen. Murray spoke, and not just waiting for her turn to talk later in the program.
First she defines the election:
VANDEN HEUVEL: I don't think -- this was not a status quo election, this was a decisive win for a different set of values both the social values, the issues of immigration, of fairness, of dignity, but also of rebuilding a middle class that has been really hit hard in these last 30, 40 years. So that is not a status quo election.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with Paul Gigot. Americans voted decisively for fair share taxes on the richest, for protecting Social Security and Medicare, but also for growth and investment. You cannot get growth and investment with the spending cuts as they are laid out in the grand bargain.And finally she tells it like it is.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Certainly not the sequester. So I think part of the problem we're having, George, is the fundamental assumptions overriding this entire discussion. Senator Murray said that we have a big debt and deficit problem -- no, we don't. We have a big public investment and jobs problem.If Democrats want to win this fight they are going to have to not accede the playing ground before the game starts. President Obama is right, he campaigned on raising taxes on the rich, and despite Sen. McConnell's protestations to the contrary,
VANDEN HEUVEL: Last point. We're not Greece. Austerity, if you believe in evidence-based politics and economics, you look at what's going on in Europe, and austerity, which we may have American-style in this country if we proceed the way we are doing, has led to economic pain, has led to killing growth. Killing growth.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And debt and deficit.
he knows he has hand. As Bloomberg News said the day after the election:
In Obama’s second term, leverage will shift to the Democrats on almost every issue of importance. And that shift has already begun.Use it, please.
UPDATE: H/T Jim PUPDATE: H/T Progressive Pen
Link to Sen. Patty Murray's contact form. Please write to her to stop opening arguments with Republican right wing think tank talking points.