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Let's really think about this, shall we? Because honestly, this is what it boils down to for so many here who find it necessary to second guess and microscopically examine every nuanced morsel of pabulum that gets dished out online these days.

"He put it on the table!"

Oh, the horror!

But really? What does that even mean? It probably means ten different things to 5 different people depending on the circumstances.

Or maybe it means nothing at all.

But it is on this concept that so many are hanging their recriminations of Obama. Yes? I mean I hear that a lot. a. lot.

The argument as I understand it is "he shouldn't 'go there'!" "'No Dem should ever go there!'"

Yeah, that's another one. "Go there." While we're at it, we should probably figure out what we mean by that too, I should think.

So, back to "putting it on the table".  I'll be nice and jump right to it here and suggest that in the context of this discussion "putting it on the table" is referring to the specific act of offering the Chained CPI, which many interpret as possible SS cuts some time in the future, as part of a deal w/ the GOP.  I won't make you sweat out a discussion of what "putting it on the table" really means, I'm not that stupid, I get it. But can we agree that this is pretty close to what we're talking about here? Thanks.

So when you get down to it, what people are upset about is Obama seems to have discussed the possibility that he would be open to including CPI in a deal. He discussed something as an option in a negotiation. Something he knows his opponent might be interested in because they've expressed interest in it before. And maybe he's done it in the past, because he knows it's something they may be interested in and THEY may concede something in return for it.

Ok. And this is a huge crime? or blunder? I don't get it. How?

Offering it up in a negotiation indicates you might be thinking about really doing something, or you might be bluffing. It might be bait. You might be saying it for the sole purpose of seeing how the other side reacts to the offer.  In other words, you might use it as a tactic to gain information about your opponents. The only way to know if the offer is genuine, is to be in the mind of the individual who is doing the offering. You must be able to read minds. Can you do that? That would be cool!

In addition, the way I see it, the peanut gallery having access to every dribble and leak like never before and able to microscopically examine every morsel is a pretty new development. For all we know, Democrats have been offering up stuff like this in back room negotiations for decades and we just never knew about it until information became 24/7.

But really, it boils down to people who believe they know what Obama is thinking in these negotiations and what his true motivations are. I don't know that. I can surmise, and I'm willing to admit that I could be wrong in my summations, but so can you, because what it would take to actually KNOW is to be able to read minds and I can't do that. Not yet anyway.

But I do have a different read on the events that lay before us. One that does not depend upon Obama having suspect motivations. And frankly, his results are also pretty damn good. He's winning and he pulled back everything he supposedly "put on the table". So there's that too. I see a very shrewd negotiator, one who is willing to take some risk, but knows his opponents well. Obama learned a great deal from this round of negotiations with the terrorists who hold our nation hostage.

Because that's what this is folks, a running hostage negotiation. People's lives are truly at stake and I believe Obama takes his role as lead negotiator seriously. And that ain't easy to manage.  Think about it. If we go over the cliff, people will die as a result. People will lose food stamps and UI, and have to make tough choices, maybe between medicine and food. Millions of people. You don't think people die as a result of those situations? You think Obama doesn't take that seriously? Would you?

This isn't hyperbole, this is still a hostage situation with a bunch of loons in the House with a gun to the head of millions of people.

Many people don't realize that this has been a continuum for Obama, carrying on from what went on last year over the debt ceiling. But I'll bet Obama knows that.

So in order to try to get as much as he could, to mitigate any damage these terrorists would do, he "put it on the table". Yeah, "he went there".

God forbid.

And that's my interpretation. That's my read. I don't know if it's true, I can't know Obama's soul. Do you? But I look at his life, I look at what he's accomplished and in what context he's done it and frankly I'm amazed. I'm amazed every day he can get up in the morning and do it again. Shit, I don't think I could. I sure hope he doesn't come here like I do and see the vitriol that's flung at him. See his essence questioned.

These days, under the microscope of the peanut gallery, every thing is suspect. I suspect.

Originally posted to Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:03 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here we go again (39+ / 0-)
    And that's my interpretation. That's my read. I don't know if it's true, I can't know Obama's soul. Do you?
    We have accounts of his words and actions along with the effect they have had on various processes (good and bad). No knowledge of his soul is required.

    But you carry on attacking those who are doing their democratic duty and holding a public official to account using your method if you like. No one is stopping you.

    But don't try to close down any discussion that may lead to criticism of your hero. This is important stuff that will have a profound effect on people for years to come and yes there are things that should not be put on the table by an elected Democrat. An understanding of history should supercede your desire to protect the most powerful man on the planet.

    •  Obama's Cut Benefit Programs? (18+ / 0-)

      Pray tell.

      So what 'actions' do you have?

      And what words do you have the make YOUR opinion that he WANTS to cut these programs reality?

      Why is YOUR interpretation the only correct one?

      How am I shutting down conversation? Are we not conversing?

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:17:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody said that interpretation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        is the 'only correct one.'  It's only the fan boys and fan girls who get on the rec list making that argument.

      •  Your comment (11+ / 0-)

        has absolutely nothing to do with any point that I raised. Maybe you posted it here by mistake?

        •  "We have accounts of his words and actions..." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diogenes2008

          What words and actions do you have an account of? That's what YOU said. And what effect have they had that's so horrible?

          So you must have an account of him cutting programs, or him saying it's something he wants and prefers.

          You don't have that.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:19:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama appointed Simpson and Bowles (5+ / 0-)

            as a "bipartisan" team to examine how austerity could cut the deficit. They both hate social programs, go dig up the record of their statements for proof of that.

            That's one action.

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:12:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He Also Expanded M/M, Which Is Tangible Policy (0+ / 0-)

              As opposed to a bullshit committee that went nowhere.

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:13:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is another (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dumbo, suejazz, allenjo

                talking point and zombie lie.

                As opposed to a bullshit committee that went nowhere.
                After the president jumped through hoops to get that commission created, against the will of the Senate, and after the commission failed to produce a report, the chairmen created their own plan and it is far from dead.  Elements of their plan made their way into Obama's grand bargain in 2011 and into his fiscal cliff offer this time around.

                Ever since that report was created, there have been prominent Democrats bringing it forward as the long term solution to what they portray as disastrous deficit problems.  Last summer and fall, many many Democrats were out in the media saying that Simpson-Bowles was the solution and that they would support it. This includes Nancy Pelosi. In the presidential debates, Obama said that Simpson-Bowles, with some adjustments, was his plan to solve the deficit problems.

                Now how exactly is that an irrelevant bullshit committee that went nowhere?  I'll agree with you that the committee failed, but this president and the Fix the Debt CEOs, Pete Peterson, Wall Street and 1%ers behind the whole thing never accepted that the commission failed.  The chairmen just took it upon themselves to create a plan and everybody has been acting like it was the result of the Simpson-Bowles catfood commission ever since.  Notice that they never convened another commission?  No, they didn't.  It was much easier for the deficit fetishist 1%ers to just get two creeps like Simpson and Bowles to put their plan forward and run with it.  (which you know must be really pathetic because the commission was already stacked with deficit hawks and the plan was so bad that even /they/wouldn't agree to it).

                (Okay, cue the flippant response now that in no way addresses anything I've said)


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:15:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So, I Guess Their Recommendations Are Actual (0+ / 0-)

                  Policy?

                  Oh, that's right. They're not.

                  Nowheresville, unless you show me the policy that's in place.

                  I'll wait.

                  This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                  by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:21:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  No, you aren't conversing. You're making (9+ / 0-)

        juvenile little quips and short, antagonistic, and inflammatory comments in response to coherent, well-thought out responses to your diary.

        You can call that a "conversation" if you want; by that measure people "converse" with six-month-olds all the time.

        •  Did you expect more? (9+ / 0-)

          I think this diary is a fabulous example of the cluelessness about national dialogue and how politics works.  I think we are facing this situation because as the diarist readily admits these people genuinely do not understand how having a national Democratic policy advocate for benefit cuts as the solution to our fiscal problems makes it vastly harder to rally support to protect those programs.  These folks really don't understand that.  They don't understand how having a Democratic president unilaterally freeze workers salaries as his opening effort to balance the budget reinforces the notion that REpublicans are basically correct that overpaid workers are the source of America's problems.  And on and on. We have pie fights because a lot of people are quite tone deaf about optics and messaging so they really don't understand how much damage Obama is doing with his triangulation.

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:28:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Get real -- President Obama has (14+ / 0-)

      a duty to govern and that includes getting an occasional bill enacted which, in turn, requires House approval and therefore putting a thing or two on the table.

      •  Here here! the needs of the many outweigh... (7+ / 0-)

        ...the needs of the few.

        Chained CPI would result in a reduction in Social Security benefits of $985 a year, 20 years from now.

        A loss of Unemployment Benefits will result in a reduction in income of $985 a week next week.

        •  Are you actually correct? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, NoFortunateSon

          First of all, before last week, I never heard the phrase "chained CPI." I suspect that's true of most of the folks here.

          Now, you're saying that some folks here are up in arms about about a thousand-bucks-a-year reduction twenty years from now?!

          If you're right, then that's all the proof I need that the detractors of President Obama on this site will glom on to anything to put him in a bad light.

          How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

          by BenderRodriguez on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:37:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The chained CPI reduce the 'cost of living' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenderRodriguez, artmartin

            adjustment given to Social Security recipients by approximately .03 percent.  So if the COLA adjustment under today's formula called for a 5 percent increase in benefit, that would be reduced  to 4.7 percent increase.

            The President's proposal would also protect poorer recipients, so that they don't feel any pinch.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:00:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Notice How "Poorer" Isn't Defined (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              priceman

              You honestly think some well-to-do senior citizen buying champagne and caviar on that lavish $1,000 or so bucks a month is included?

              best,

              john

              Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long

              by jabney on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:50:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Compounding doesn't enter in of course (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jabney

                neither does the overall long term effect versus something Congress could correct in a few weeks via unemployment insurance. Once changes to SS are implemented they are not taken back like raising the SS age to 67. I expect people who do nothing but make excuses for everything the president does to not know that though.

                It really shows the disdain they have for the most vulnerable of our society, but they got theirs.

                I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                by priceman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:28:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  If you are unaware of the term, why would (9+ / 0-)

            you rely on someone here on either side to give you a fair reading of it? Why not google CHained CPI, is it a cut? And when you do, go back before this debate because these sorts of debates tends to find a lot of articles from people who have changed positions.

            You also don't understand what the data he is providing you means.

            For example: How long does unemployment benefit cuts affect the unemployed? How long the benefit cuts would affect all social security benefits receivers. What is the political implication of cutting SS to future cuts of SS?

            More questions: What impact will it have on people in terms of income available to the poor? What are the number of seniors without sufficient income versus those on unemployment? If a short term benefit the same as a long term one?  

            For the record, I wrote this the other day to illustrate my priorities, which is African Americans, and its impact on them:

            As my colleagues have shown, the “chained” cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security being discussed between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner is a cut to benefits. The AARP Public Policy Institute’s report, Social Security: A Key Retirement Income Source for Older Minorities, helps us to think about how this cut might affect different racial groups.

            Nearly one-in-five (18.7 percent) of the Hispanic elderly lives in poverty. For African Americans, the rate is one-in-six (17.1 percent) (Figure A). A cut to Social Security benefits runs the risk of significantly increasing these rates."

            and this
            But, more disturbingly, the reality is that all Social Security beneficiaries are not aged. This is clear among African American Social Security recipients where nearly 40% are under 62. This is because one in four Social Security checks for African Americans goes to a worker with a disability. This key element of insurance that Social Security provides far outweighs issues of shorter life expectancy for African Americans. Further, by including the spouse, widows with disabilities and the children of workers with disabilities, nearly 30% percent of African Americans receiving a Social Security benefit are being helped because a worker or his widow has a disability."
            and this
            "The chained CPI, a Social Security COLA cut on the table in deficit talks between the President and Republicans, could dramatically worsen poverty among unmarried senior African American women. As such, it violates the request of major progressive organizations in a letter to the White House and Congressional leaders to “make sure that deficit reduction is achieved in a way that does not increase poverty.”

            According to the National Women’s Law Center’s analysis of Current Population Survey data, in their report on how the chained CPI would affect women, the median annual Social Security benefit for a 65-year-old single African American woman is $10,680. (By contrast, the median benefit for all single senior women is $13,200.)

            That puts the median benefit for African American woman seniors just above the 2010 poverty line for individual seniors, which is an obscenely low $10,458."

            You aren't asking really where he got the data before running with. Where did he get the data? Ask him for a link.  What are the citations used by the link that he provides? Etc

            There are a long list of questions you should ask if you claim not to know or understand the issue.

          •  Yep, that's right ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenderRodriguez, artmartin

            For the first year, using chained CPI would mean that the increase in average annual SS benefits would be about $40-45 less than it would have been using CPI-W.  No actual cut, just a $3.50/month smaller increase.

          •  Chained CPI has been around (4+ / 0-)

            since Simpson Bowles.  It might have been buried in there, but it was also in the "Grand Bargain" fiasco of 2011, which many of us do remember quite well.  Many of us blew off Simpson-Bowles, but when it showed up in the Grand Bargain at Obama's behest (and not that of the Republicans), in a bargain that had nothing to do with SS, it worried us.

            And here it is again, just as non sequitir as before.

            It seems to me that if Obama wants to get a bill passed, pissing off everybody on the left and right by suggesting chained CPI which only appeals to centrists like Gloria Borger is a bad way to go about it.  

        •  I think you've got 'many and few' backwards. (7+ / 0-)

          Far fewer people are on UI than are or will be on social security.

          If you really want to make this a 'many vs few' argument, you'll have to switch your support to the other 'side'.

        •  Your comment would be laughable if this (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoebe Loosinhouse, PhilJD, priceman

          wasn't a serious issue.  What you wrote is just not true.  And even if it were true, do you really think they'd be writing legislation now for cutting $985 in twenty years with the shape of our economy now?

          Chained CPI would result in a reduction in Social Security benefits of $985 a year, 20 years from now.
          Here is the truth:
          According to the Social Security Actuary, moving to a chained CPI would mean an immediate benefit cut. According to Social Security Works, an average earner retiring in 2011 at age 65 would lose over $6,000 over 15 years if the chained CPI were adopted
          And we're not just talking about the elderly here.
      •  Again (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Agathena, joanneleon

        this comment has nothing to do with the points I raised.

        Maybe you to have put your comment in the wrong place?

      •  Social Security (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYCee, 3goldens, joanneleon, allenjo

        is not just a "thing or two".  Some of us wouldn't be so angry about this if it didn't show complete contempt for seniors.  Lying about the nature of the cuts.  Using Social Security as a chip in an argument about something else.

        Social Security has nothing to do with income tax rates.  Giving someone making $400,000 a tax break and paying for it out of a little old lady's Social Security benefit is obscene.

        •  So Obama has complete contempt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, v2aggie2

          for seniors?  Is that what you're saying?  Because from my viewpoint, taking in the full picture of the things he's done for seniors over his entire run of office, it sure seems to me he's taken damned good care of them.  You cannot be intellectually honest and fair and put an analysis of everything on a single action that hasn't even played out.  The author is right on here.  

          "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

          by artmartin on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:13:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently we DO know enough (4+ / 0-)

      about Obama's soul to know he's a masterful 11th dimensional chess player and this is all just part of his genius to hold true to his promises and Democratic values....despite four years of trying to achieve a 'grand bargain' which does far more than merely 'putting 'it' on the table.'

      •  The 11th Dimensional Chess Is Actually His Secret (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008, artmartin

        strategy to dismantle the very programs he's actually expanded, you know, like the M/M expansion in the ACA.

        The 11th dimensional chess supposed that Obama lived and worked his whole life helping people only to become President so he can turn around and fuck them by cutting the social safety net.

        You mean THAT 11th Dimensional chess?

        I'm talking about everyday presidential politics and maneuvering.

        YOU are discussing some whacked out conspiracy theory that flies in the face of the whole context of Obama's entire life up until this point.

        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

        by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:14:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The art of negotiation is (26+ / 0-)

    not easy...especially with the ilk of what passes for today's Republican Party.

    Obama is good at what he does.

    I stand with the President and have faith he will do what is best for the country.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:14:07 AM PST

  •  Cirque du Soleil is always looking (13+ / 0-)

    for good contortionists.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:16:25 AM PST

  •  It's how negotiating is done. (36+ / 0-)

    Party A says, "This is what I want. This is what is acceptable to me, this is what is not."

    There are a lot of people that feel that Social Security cuts are not an acceptable solution. And they are fiscally, politically and morally well-grounded in that view, in my opinion.

    And they are angry and dismayed the President they worked for and voted for does not agree.

    I remember in the first debate Obama said he and Romney mostly agree on what to about Social Security. That comment worried me, and now it seems with good reason.

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:18:37 AM PST

    •  How Do You Know He Does Not Agree? (9+ / 0-)

      Again, why is your interpretation of events superior to mine?

      Obama has spoken about discussing things in a negotiation process, how do you know how he 'feels' about those things?

      "There are a lot of people that feel that Social Security cuts..."

      How do you know what Obama feels? Yes, he apparently thinks it's ok to discuss it in a negotation, but for all you know it could be a bluff. In fact, evidence suggests it may have been.

      I could be wrong. How do you know you're so right?

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:23:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Never Said It Was Any More Than My Opinion (7+ / 0-)

          But how does one EVER know when someone's bluffing?

          You can't, you can only look at the results.

          Honestly though, bluff isn't really the most correct label for it.  It was really a negotiation tactic that Obama may or may not have been serious about. He did totally withdraw it after The Tea Party Rebellion yesterday though. So there's that.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:40:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  People aren't willing to rely on unsubstantiated (6+ / 0-)

            mind reading.

            All we can go on is the available circumstantial evidence

            The strangeness here is that we have a bunch of people engaged in fantasy telling those of us looking at the circumstantial evidence to ignore it based on your feeling that you know what's in the president's heart of hearts.

            As I wrote above, if this weer a court of law, where the two parties must demonstrate a prima facie case for their position, your position would lose miserably. You essentially respond to the mountain of evidence bys aying its fantasy and then proceed to tell us a fantasy you thinkw e sshould believe.

            Why does your opinion trump the circumstantial evidence that people like David Mixer have posted here? That's what you need to answer, but seem to refuse to do so.

          •  I'm just asking questions here. (0+ / 0-)

            Do we know that the President isn't bluffing? Can we prove it? I'm just asking questions here.

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:47:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's no how negotiations work. (22+ / 0-)

        If you're not willing to work for $20K a year, you don't tell an employer you are and then believe you can get them up to $40K by the time the contract is signed.

        It's a waste of both people's time.

        And it's bound to backfire.

        "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

        by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:44:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is That The Same Type Of Negotiation? (4+ / 0-)

          There are different types you know.

          There's a salary negotiation, where I would say I want 50k when I want 40k.

          Or there's a hostage negotiation where I agree to a get away plane later for hostages now.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:48:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Basic negotiation tactic (17+ / 0-)

            find common ground and work from there.

            Obama has by many credible reports communicated clearly he's on common ground with the Republicans in cutting Social Security benefts.

            He seems not to care that he and the party in the White House and the party controlling the Senate will own the responsibility for that decision, regardless of how much coercion we sincerely wish to believe was involved in that decision.

            "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

            by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:54:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Credible reports he's on common ground..." (3+ / 0-)

              Oh, yes, those 'credible' reports from people who can obviously read minds filtered through our glorious dependable media. And you and I, here in the peanut gallery, can accurately glean true reality and Obama's soul through that fine, crystal lens and now cast our aspersions thusly, so well aimed at our diabolically proven and contemptuous President.

              "He seems not to care that he and the party in the White House and the party controlling the Senate will own the responsibility for that decision, ..."

              Seems not to care? To whom?

              He will "own" the responsibility"? From who's perspective?

              And exactly what decision are we talking about? Oh, you mean the decision to possibly consider something in a negotiation that never materialized?

              Someone please! The fainting couch!

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:00:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're certainly free to believe (12+ / 0-)

                your own mind reading over reports from credible mainstream outlets. It doesn't seem anything will dissuade you.

                I certainly hope you're right. The 2010 debt ceiling showdown was not the brilliant 11th dimensional chess move we were assured it really was, nor was the super-committee "compromise."

                "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

                by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:08:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I Don't Believe My Own Mindreading (4+ / 0-)

                  Because I don't profess to know Obama's intent and motivations. I willingly admit my suppositions and that I could be wrong.

                  What makes YOU so certain YOU'RE right? The only way you could be certain is if you can read minds.

                  You can't, yet so manyu convey such certainty in their knowledge of what Obama really wants, as opposed to something he feels MAY be NECESSARY for him to do (but he doesn't necessarily like to do) in order to get something else that he feels is necessary.

                  And he hasn't even done it. All he's done is supposedly "put it on the table".

                  EGADS!

                  This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                  by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:12:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I didn't say I was certain I was right. (0+ / 0-)

                    Anymore than you said you were certain you were right.

                    I don't know why you're saying I did say that.

                    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

                    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:16:13 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair Enough, But There Are Those Who Certainly (0+ / 0-)

                      Conduct themselves with such certainty.

                      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:17:25 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  What were the horrible consequences of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slinkerwink

                  that debt ceiling fight?

                  Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                  by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:19:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  BTW, there's no "fainting couch" (12+ / 0-)

                involved in my dialogue here. I have been very respectful of our difference of opinion. I don't think I've employed any hysteria or hyperbole, but feel free to demonstrate where I have if you disagree.

                I just have a different perspective on the events transpiring than you do. That doesn't make me a "drama queen" or any of the diminishing ad homs that get pulled out in these discussions.

                I just think you are being overly optimistic and that your interpretation of "what Obama's really thinking" is not based on any actual real-world evidence, but rather your own filter of how you're hoping this will all transpire.

                "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

                by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:12:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  All I Know Is What Comes Through My Filter (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cotterperson

                  And all you know is what comes through yours.

                  There are many here who can't acknowledge the simple fact that there are other, reasonable explanations that make a lot of sense IMO for the events that are unfolding before that do not presupposed malignant intent, or even ineptitude on the part of Obama.

                  In many ways, I believe my interpretation has more internal consistency when taken in a longer context, including Obama's whole life, which has been filled with dedication to helping others and brilliant political maneuvering.

                  This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                  by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:15:39 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "brilliant political maneuvering" (5+ / 0-)

                    He's had some excellent and brilliant moves, I will not deny that.

                    But, he's also been the beneficiary of some of the best luck in modern politics, like running as a Democrat in the wake of Bush's 22% approval rating and being challenged by Alan Keyes, John McCain and Mitt Romney, three of the worst candidates ever nominated for a high political office.

                    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

                    by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:20:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That Wasn't Luck, That Was Maneuvering (7+ / 0-)

                      He took the lay of the  land and went for it at the right time because he recognized the opportunity.

                      And then he destroyed all of his opponents, including the Clintons.

                      Perspective.

                      I truly find all this talk of luck just a bit condescending. Yeah, the BLACK guy with the middle name HUSSEIN beat the WAR HERO in AMERICA.

                      Somehow Obama's opponents all implode and he looks lucky. Somehow. Maybe it is luck. I dunno. But he must be the luckiest man alive then.

                      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:23:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh yeah...his "luck" (10+ / 0-)

                      in managing to be the first African American President. THAT's how he did it.

                      < snark off >

                      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:25:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  That's not really a fair assessment. (5+ / 0-)

                      Omitted from the list of losers he ran against is Hillary Clinton, with a lot of experience and a large machine. He and his team won that with good strategy.

                      As far as his negotiating skills, I believe he learned a lot from the previous disaster (although the sequester is looking good compared to some of the new stuff). While we have bits and pieces of the negotiations, we really don't know what has transpired amongst the players. We don't know what's being said behind those doors. If he can get his present proposal passed, all will be well until the new Congress is sworn in, and they hit it again. Do I think the President is very intelligent? I do. Do I think he's infallible? Of course not. But the way some of the people around here talk about him is unnecessarily harsh. We've sent our petitions letting him know our stance, and we'll keep doing that. Tearing him apart can only be counterproductive.

          •  and there is this, We wanted Democrats when we (6+ / 0-)

            voted and we got..............................................

            still trying to figure out what we actually got but it is not looking so great, thus far.

            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

            by allenjo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:09:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or, in this case, agree to kill one set (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier, 3goldens

            of hostages to free another.

            It could almost work except for the part where the hostages that you "save" are going to be on the chopping block again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

            But even then, it wouldn't work as a defense of the President, since he agreed to this no-win scenario in summer of 2011.

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:50:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I normally phrase this in the opposite (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, Agathena, 3goldens

          I normally say that "You must state the terms that aren't negotiable" and from which you will walk away from the table to get other side to be reasonable.

          At the very least, we know, because the President never denied it,t hat cutting Social Security was not an issue about which he was willing to walk away form the table.

          This is l ogical inference from what was reported and the PResident's response. This again doesn't require mind reading. it simply requires people to use the same techniques in all of modern reasoning to figure out intent or goals of parties.

          To be clear, if this wasn't his intent, if he didn't want this to be understood by the other side, then he's still engaging in poor negotiation

          Why? because to allow the other side to believe something that harms your position like this would doesn't provide the a good bluff even if one were to pretend it was one.

          It strikes me that the support of the President here is of the type that refuses to admit any piece of the critique of them is true.

          That he wasn't negotiating badly.T hat he didn't intend this. And any of a number of separate arguments which can be treated as such are all not true of the President

          The problem here is that not all of them can be false.

          The two above- either he was negotiating badly or he had the intent are mutually exclusive it seems to me in terms of circumstnatial evidence of the actions of the parties subsequent to the disclosure of entitlement cuts beign on the table.

    •  If it's so obvious, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher, cotterperson, Sylv, StellaRay

      what it is Obama is missing about how '"negotiating is done," mightn't it be possible that there's something not-obvious that you're missing?  For instance, "acceptable solution," relative to what?  It might make sense to stave off immediate on-budget spending cuts (not sure of this one), but more relevantly, it might make sense to appear to take the Republicans up on an offer to show the Republicans, themselves, can't deliver.  If it were this easy, Obama would have thought of it.  And it's hard to square the notion that cuts are something Obama affirmatively wants, without something better in return, with his greatest accomplishment being the largest expansion of the social safety net in 45 years.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:49:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This shift to chained CPI will apply (4+ / 0-)

      to every government program, not just Social Security. It will also mean that taxes will be slightly higher.

      Many economists think this chained CPI is a more accurate measure of inflation. Unlike almost every other possible spending cut, it has very little immediate impact. It wouldn't slow down the economy or risk another recession.

      Since it's impact is incremental, we could always adopt another formula for calculating inflation, if chained CPI proved to be unworkable, but the difference in COLA increases would only be .03 percent. That is not a large change, but it would reduce Soc-Sec outlays over time.

      I would like to look at how accurate any CPI is in reflecting the actual impact of inflation on seniors. Meanwhile I'm glad that progressives are making themselves heard on this, but I think the personal attacks on the President are uncalled for and unwise.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:13:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugly, snarky comments about (8+ / 0-)

    the President or those who believe he is negotiating in our best interest, does the Democratic Party no good.

    But, it is your right.  It is also our right to respectfully disagree.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:20:28 AM PST

    •  If there were only a smidgeon of (11+ / 0-)

      "respect" in those who disagree. It is raw contempt very similar to that which we see from the TPers.

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hester

        But I am hardly like a member of the Tea Party

        Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

        by GideonAB on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:26:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  respectfully, the President (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay, cyeko, WB Reeves

        asked us on more than one occasion to hold his feet to the fire in upholding Democratic principles. Most here are doing that, respectfully. I join you in admonishing those who disagree in derogatory tones. I still support him, voted for him, contributed to his campaign and continue to RESPECT his invitation to participate and push back hard.

        •  So the posts we see (5+ / 0-)

          saying the President has sold us out, is in bed with Wall Street, is a murderous thug, that we should stay home in droves and not vote...those are holding his feet to the fire?  How insane.  How about when you see something you don't like, questioning it while acknowledging the things your opponent has done right, suggesting other solutions, understanding the terrible consequences to some Americans if we go over the fiscal cliff.  The author is addressing the all or nothing crowd not people holding Obama's feet to the fire.  There's a huge difference between expressing your unease and out and out attacks on character.

          "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

          by artmartin on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:20:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  that is what "you" think does the Dem party (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, shaharazade, 3goldens, joanneleon

      no good?

      misplaced priorities?

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:11:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I try not to make it personal (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, hester, 3goldens, joanneleon

      But this is a political party not a personality cult.  You can't just toss the signature program of the Democratic Party on the negotiating table without causing some members of the party to have a fit.

      All Democrats had to do was let the Bush tax cuts expire and go back to the Clinton rates.  Even George Bush didn't get cuts in Social Security and we're not even getting back 98% of his tax cuts.

  •  Obama is on record (16+ / 0-)

    offering chained CPI as part of a deficit deal. End of story.
       When you open with an offer, you're not negotiating. What do you do if the other guy accepts?
        Face it: Our unicorn offered to cut Social Security. He can't be trusted on that issue.

    •  Obama also knew it would not be accepted! (9+ / 0-)

      Just like Harry Reid conned McConnell into filibustering his own bill and showing the people what a complete ass the republicans are.

      Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

      by Nica24 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:27:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  It's not at risk... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AdamR510, Beetwasher, cotterperson

          It's not mind reading, it's letting the negotiations play out without stabbing the guy in the back.

          Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

          by Nica24 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:50:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Was I mind reading about McConnell? (3+ / 0-)

          Did it not play out exactly as Reid knew it would?

          Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

          by Nica24 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:51:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "If you put something out there, you risk it" (8+ / 0-)

          not if you know 1) that the GOP will strike it down regardless and 2) (fallback) Reid is standing there saying that Chained CPI or any other cut to SocSec will not even make it to the floor of the Senate if the GOP DID bite.
          It's about as risk-free as anything he's done.
          The only risk is from his own party, his "supporters" that turn on him on a regular basis over just about ever move he makes.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:11:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly! Thank you for saying it so well. (4+ / 0-)

            What happened to all those people that posted the pics of him with the saying "we got your back, Mr. President" We had his back alright, with the knife in the other hand to stab him.

            Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

            by Nica24 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:33:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  stab in the back (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joanneleon

              hardly.  To criticise Obama was doing the wrong thing is hardly stabbing him in the back.

              Obama said "Yes we can".  Putting pressure on Obama to make the change is hardly stabbing him in the back

              Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

              by GideonAB on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:19:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  In reality the political risk is small, if any (7+ / 0-)

            I was getting somewhat worried about it after reading the discussions here lately, so I conducted an informal poll of my friends, family, co-workers, and a number of people I didn't know at a social gathering this past week. All told I asked about 25 people what they thought about the "fiscal cliff" situation right now.

            The number of people who were even aware this discussion was taking place was just over half, and of those, the number who had heard of "chained CPI" or knew what it is or that it is being discussed as part of the negotiations was zero. Zero.

            All of those who said were aware of the discussion had heard only that yet again there was a lot posturing and brinksmanship going on in the government about taxes and stuff, and that in general people feel negative about it and expect to get screwed over in some way. As for blame they said either "republicans" or "congress" or "politics" -- no one I spoke to blamed the president (but I did not talk to any hard core teabaggers). And not one mentioned anything about SS or chained CPI, which when I tried to explain it caused glazed eyes and lost in the weeds reaction.

            I do have a few strongly progressive friends who frequently rail about the drone wars and other issues they have with President Obama, who are also not tuned in on this particular fight. They just said "it's more bullshit" and were not even interested.

            This totally nonscientific polling begin to set my mind at ease about this whole drama and the idea that by "putting it on the table" -- during the few days right before Christmas, as part of an ongoing fight that very few people are even paying attention to -- the President has somehow "destroyed the Democratic brand" and betrayed everyone and everything the party stands for ... are being extremely overblown here.

            But to expand my sample I was forced to go check in on Andrew Sullivan's take -- even though I really dislike his opinions on most things and have mostly stopped reading him, but he does have a huge audience of millions of readers and represents the view of "Obama conservatives" -- and he was calling it a "very reasonable proposal" and was going off on the republicans and their insanity.

            So overall political effects seems to me either nil or possibly positive. He may have "put it on the table" as a way to call their bluff. If so, it worked.

            He may also be quite willing to enact chained CPI as part of any actual deal or grand bargain, if congress were to pass one. The evidence of his own words over the years certainly suggests that to be the case. He's never hidden it, and yet people voted for him in droves. And there are a lot of democrats and even liberal and progressive policy groups that have said it's an acceptable and small adjustment in the COLA formula, not the end of the world.

            So I think even if he did include it and congress voted for it, if the overall deal is good enough it would not be a big political hit. Yes of course there are ideological progressives on this blog and others who  are highly tuned in and consider even discussing it to be an unforgivable sin, and will abandon any pretense of supporting the president if it happens. I am sorry to see that but realize I cannot change their minds. If their conscience tells them it's better to stop voting for Democrats for good if they agree to a COLA formula adjustment, that's their right. I think the number of people overall who feel that way is not many.

            I think those "supporters" who are truly ready to abandon him, and all Democrats forever, over something that he openly said during the campaign that he would do: attempt to secure a "grand bargain" that includes republicans, and a willingness to include entitlement programs in the process, are not making much sense. It seems very emotional and not reality based as they claim. And the viciousness with which they go after anyone who does not agree with the "Obama wants to starve old people" interpretation is disturbing too.

        •  war of ideas (3+ / 0-)

          in addition, I would say that we are in a war of ideas.

          Just suggesting a change to SS, especially if the idea is going nowhere, is ridiculous nonsense.

          "Yes we can" becomes "No I am pretending"

          Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

          by GideonAB on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:23:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So now the next (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, 3goldens

        Republican president can offer it up in good conscience by saying "it's nothing more than what a democratic president offered."  And there you go, the most significant and successful Democratic govt. program in the last 100 years goes down the tubes.  It is called precedent and Obama has set it.

        Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

        by scurrvydog on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:26:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OMG! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          artmartin, CS in AZ, v2aggie2

          Social Security is going down the tubes because Obama discussed the possibility of slowing the rate of inflation in benefits!!!!!!!

          Hyperbole much?

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:53:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  and the fact that Candidate Obama explicitly (4+ / 0-)

            promised seniors in 2008 that he would support raising the Social Security cap rather than changing the way the cost of living adjustment is calculated...

            that doesn't bother you at all?

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:59:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and how do you know he didn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beetwasher

              We get leaks of what happens in negotiations but you have to know we don't get all.  Some of the things discussed could just end up being really embarrassing to Democrats if it turned out that they couldn't even muster up a Democratic majority on an idea.  How do you know that a majority of Democrats (remember we have this Blue Dog faction) actually endorse a Social Security cap increase?  

              "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

              by artmartin on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:25:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know that. I do however know (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                scurrvydog, 3goldens, joanneleon

                that a majority of Democrats oppose a shift to chained CPI accounting--even if many could be bludgeoned into voting for it in the name of party discipline... yet somehow that is on the table anyway.

                These "negotiations" have little to do with what a majority of Democrats want.

                How do you know that a majority of Democrats...actually endorse a Social Security cap increase?  

                When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                by PhilJD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:31:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, We Know That, It's Been Established. So What? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glynis, jiffypop, cotterperson

      If he accepts you live with the consequences. Those being, nothing would happen because nothing would get through congress.

      The results speak for themselves.

      But why is it such a big deal? Really? I don't get it? He discussed the possibility of something being part of a deal with terrorists holding our nations treasury hostage, and real lives at stake.

      Why is that such a problem for you?

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:28:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's been remarkably honest about all this (5+ / 0-)

      He said that his views on Social Security are very similar to Mitt Romney's.

      apparently that presents no logical problem to the ardent supporters of the President who are also ardent haters of Mr. Romney.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:54:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you.... (25+ / 0-)

    I am so over the drama. Why is it we are so quick to throw the President under the bus. Nancy Pelosi too, I just read a diary tearing her apart? Do we ever stand by our politicians? We fought so hard to get them elected and then we believe every end of the world scenario that is thrown our way. I for one will not "guess" at where these negotiations went, nor where they are going. He has told us several time "he's got this", can't we for once believe him? This crap is as bad as Romney calling the medicare savings a cut! This President has fought to bring us back from the brink of crazy, do you really think he is going to sell us down the river now? I heard all of these arguements over healthcare, and they were wrong, he got us healthcare, and it will only get better from here.

    Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

    by Nica24 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:25:14 AM PST

  •  You see. Offering something that actually (16+ / 0-)

    might have gotten us past sequestration and the debt limit fight is wrong. So, all of our taxes will go up by hundreds of dollars a year, if not thousands. A recession could be in the offing. The markets will lose billions in value. Many people on unemployment will lose their benefits. Veterans benefits will likely suffer. You name it, it's possible that it will be happening in the next few weeks and months. But, you see, that's not why Obama offered it up. According to many around here, his ultimate goal is to privatize social security.
    Don't you get it. This site is correct. Obama has been a horrible president. Just get with the program.

    •  so true (4+ / 0-)

      people focusing on the chained CPI and what that could mean completely ignore this part

      A recession could be in the offing. The markets will lose billions in value. Many people on unemployment will lose their benefits. Veterans benefits will likely suffer.
      People will suffer much sooner than a cut in a cost of living increase due to a change in the way it's calculated.

      The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities supports a way to implement chained CPI that limits the impact.  As long as President Obama follows those conditions that they lay out I don't think we should be so rigidly against it.  We should be pushing for those conditions instead.

  •  Great WSJ article today (38+ / 0-)

    Shows that the president is not nearly the wimp some of us thought he was. I can't post the whole thing because it's behind the paywall (I don't pay for WSJ; I discovered today that my school does), but here are a few quotes from it:

    Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
    Mr. Boehner said he wanted a deal along the lines of what the two men had negotiated in the summer of 2011 in a fight over raising the debt ceiling. "You missed your opportunity on that," the president told him.
    Other nuggets of the article are that President Obama refused to come down from the $1.2 trillion revenue target, got Boehner to back off the Medicare age, and said that Boehner "gets nothing" in exchange for putting $800 billion in revenue on the table. The president told him "I get that for free."
    •  Good Stuff! Thanks! (14+ / 0-)

      I suspected as much.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:32:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I saw this too (7+ / 0-)

      I'll bet you Romney's $10,000 that those who knee-jerk criticize him will ignore this.

    •  That's what I'm talking about! (9+ / 0-)
      he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault
      I love President Obama!
    •  What's also interesting (10+ / 0-)

      about that account is that it is never clearly stated that Obama put CPI on the table. It does mention that he was open to further concessions on taxes and spending in the last meeting before Plan B (after Republicans had conceded on taxes and extending the debt limit), but it also says that that was qualified by a statement from him that the bill would need to get Democratic votes to pass.

      If accurate, that might lend itself to more of a "CPI was discussed" interpretation.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:14:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great article. I just can't fathom the drama (13+ / 0-)

      Something we hold dear was going to eventually have to be put on the table.

      Medicare eligibility age?
      Medicaid?
      Social security eligibility age!

      Chained CPI is the weakest concession of all.

      •  Exactly. Which is why we should be angry at GOP (5+ / 0-)

        extremists in the House, not the president who is doing his best to limit the damage. I wrote a full diary about that a few minutes ago: http://www.dailykos.com/...

        If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, the point is that if we want to protect the social safety net, the best thing we can do is not attack the president, but help to call out the GOP extremists and create enough outrage to produce the first ever mid-term wave in favor of the president's party in 2014.

        •  Thank you. Fine diary, happily recommended. nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          democrattotheend, Beetwasher

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:22:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  2014 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allenjo

          If the Democrats vote for cutting Social Security via a deal offered up by this president, no amount of money or political tricks can prevent the wreckage in the 2014 elections.  They will be doing themselves in.  And even those who did not vote for it will be damaged.  

          It will be blamed on the Democrats because this party has been the one to defend those programs for decades and there is not a voter in this country who doesn't know that.  Also, there is enough information in the media that people have a sense that this fiscal cliff is not quite the apolcalyptic crisis as the political geniuses and Wall Street have made it out to be.  

          80% of the country does not want Social Security touched.  Everybody knows there is waste, fraud and abuse in the humongous defense budget. Some enormous percentage of the country wants out of Afghanistan, now and does not want to leave 10K troops and god knows how many mercenaries behind that we will have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars for.  Everybody in this country knows that the wealthiest few in this country don't need any more handouts or tax breaks and that corporate profits are at a all time high.

          Nobody thinks it is fair to take from the people who have the least and give to those who have the most, unimaginable wealth for some. Nobody thinks that is "balanced".  Hell, even a lot of the 1% themselves have come out and admitted that.  


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:49:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It will be blamed on the Democrats! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joanneleon
            It will be blamed on the Democrats because this party has been the one to defend those programs for decades and there is not a voter in this country who doesn't know that.

            agreed, joanne, this is bad business not just for the poor, elderly, vets, and disabled, but also very bad for the Democratic party.

            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

            by allenjo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:12:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  by agreeing to cuts to Social Security? (0+ / 0-)

          Do you really think that is his best?

          not the president who is doing his best to limit the damage
          What would you consider his worst?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

          by allenjo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:08:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that's a lie (5+ / 0-)

        and the worst lie of all this

        "something we hold dear was going to have to eventually be put on the table."

        No. You make Republicans put it on the table. You refuse to go along. And do it all as publicly as possible. Because the public does not want Social Security cut in any way, at any time, no way no how. If Republicans want the cuts so bad, let them suggest them.  And then let the public fallout descend on them. Meanwhile the Democrats become the heroes of the people.  When UI runs out, use your inaugural speech to tell America that the Republican party is trying to force you to choose between cutting off people's unemployment--and cutting people's Social Security benefits.  Tell the American people that you refuse to engage in a zero-sum gain that will result in Americans dying needlessly.  Tell them to organize in every district, every state that has a Republican representative or Senator, and demand accountability for those American lives that are being put at risk by cutting benefits to the unemployed, to the elderly, and to disabled soldiers. In fact, when you make this speech, have disabled veterans standing--or sitting in wheelchairs--behind you.

        PUT THE REPUBLICANS ON THE DEFENSIVE.
        MAKE THEM DEFEND SOCIAL SECURITY CUTS TO THEIR OWN CONSTITUENTS.
        BURN THEM ON THAT DAMNED THIRD RAIL.

        Of course, that's hard to do when you yourself want Social Security cuts, and signed off on an agreement with Boehner that created this situation in the first place.

        A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:06:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Get ready (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo

        for more of it if critical social programs are put on the chopping block by a Democratic president.  

        The party has been defending Social Security for 60+ years, Medicare for 40+, and is constantly having to defend Medicaid.  It's one of the core issues of the party and has long been held as a vitally important stance.

        You demean people by calling it drama.  I'm not sure why.  But I know one thing for sure. If this president keeps going after social programs, taking away from the people who need things the most and giving to the obscenely wealthiest few, you can expect a lot more "drama" than you have seen over the past couple of weeks.  Count on it.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:41:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Many dems in congress hold the MIC dear (0+ / 0-)

        not just Republicans.

        Congress never lacks votes for war funding.

        Something we hold dear was going to eventually have to be put on the table.
        So it is time for those to put the unsustainable cost of the MIC on the table, and to start closing some of the 5,000 military bases.

        The war Dems of course won't like it, but hey, something dear to them has to go on the table.

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

        by allenjo on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 04:06:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  and would you also casually dismiss (6+ / 0-)

    the perception now created that the President and Pelosi are willing to cross the line and offer the security of our most vulnerable citizens on that negotiating table? Regardless of the outcome or negotiating end goal that perception undermines the confidence we put into the party to protect and advance our long standing basic tenets and values. Perception is everything. You pretty much admit it just in the penning of this diary.
     

  •  you echo my thoughts. (11+ / 0-)

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:39:39 AM PST

  •  Look, it clearly is a cut (10+ / 0-)

    SS is a direct payment of funds to the contributor.  Nothing more, nothing less.  When they offer up chained CPI as a money saver it because they intend to pay contributors less.

    I could care a less about Obama or Nancy or Reid or Hoyer.  Likely, none of those people will ever rely on it.  I care abot the disabled and the 70% of American seniors who count SS as the bulk of their income.

    The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

    by masslib on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:46:48 AM PST

    •  Not Really Relevant To My Discussion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      democrattotheend, CwV

      I'm ambivalent on whether it's a cut or not, but that is not relevant to my discussion. But thanks.

      But let's say it's a change that you all a cut. A change that comes later.

      You will stand on that ground and sacrifice lives NOW to protect that? Remember, it will be medicine vs. food for some of the millions losing food stamps and UI.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:51:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be fair (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beetwasher, Lefty Coaster

        we don't know whether some sort of current thing regarding medicine and food stamps will be part of the deal or not...

        simply because as far as I can tell, there is no deal.

        •  We do know. (0+ / 0-)

          Going over the cliff entails the unemployed not getting their checks.  In addition, although many here think the sequestration not a bad thing, and if we're talking about defense, that's true, it also means cuts in food stamps and other social services.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:22:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know this all gets confusing, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            but I don't think the sequester cuts things like food stamps.

            From the White House summary:

            Consistent with the bipartisan precedents established in the 1980s and 1990s, the sequester would be divided equally between defense and non-defense program, and it would exempt Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. Likewise, any cuts to Medicare would be capped and limited to the provider side.
            Perhaps someone has more specific information. But I would assume the exempting "programs for low-income families" would mean exempting food stamps.

            Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:14:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The sequester and going off the cliff (0+ / 0-)

              are two different things, that will BOTH happen if no other agreement is reached before the new year.  For instance, the sequester says nothing about the Bush tax cuts, but they are scheduled to expire regardless of the sequester.

              Unemployment insurance will definitively be effected by going off the cliff, as in checks will cease until some other agreement is reached. And it is my understanding that the same is true of veteran's benefits.

              It is also my understanding that the sequester DOES effect food stamps, and other programs for the poor.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:16:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You act as though you are unaware (5+ / 0-)

        That millions of Americans have already lost their UI benefits or had their food stamps cut.  You can't steal from Paul to pay Peter forever.  This isn't a fair concession to continue tax cuts to the wealthy

        The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

        by masslib on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:16:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So That Means It's Ok For More To Do So? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson

          It's not stealing from Peter to pay Paul, it's telling the terrorists you'll give them a get away plane LATER for hostages NOW.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:18:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's telling terrorists (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, joanneleon, masslib

            I let you kill a bunch of hostages last year, and the year before, and I'm going to let you kill some more now, in exchange for which I want you to put off threatening yet another group of hostages for one more year. At which point you can threaten UI again, and demand more deaths.

            There is no getaway plane. Why would the hostage-takers want to leave when they keep being allowed to kill hostages and get 98% of what they want?

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:19:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What Hostages Were Killed, I Missed That Part (0+ / 0-)

              Oh that's right. There were none, cuz there were no cuts to any programs. At all. Period. That's a fact. In fact, M/M has undergone the largest expansion since LBJ. Do you deny that?

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:20:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You do not trade TEMPORARY extensions of UI (3+ / 0-)

        for able bodied working age people for PERMANENT Social Security cuts on vulnerable old and disabled people on fixed incomes.

        That makes no sense.  

        I get it if some of you and maybe the Democratic Party no longer care about older voters but I'm old enough to figure that if you think you are ever going to get any support for unemployment benefits in the FUTURE if you tell seniors that you cut their Social Security COLA TODAY, I think you do not understand middle America very well.

        If Americans have to choose between Social Security and unemployment benefits I can tell you what they'll choose because the people who will be voting won't be the unemployed they'll be the people collecting Social Security.

      •  OK. The 70% of American seniors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, joanneleon

        that depend on Social Security as the bulk of their income are irrelevant to your argument.

        I'm guessing the disabled soldiers who depend on this income are equally irrelevant.

        As for the unemployed, well, how about putting "on the table" a plan for creating large numbers of federally-funded jobs as the alternative to unemployment insurance?  In other words, when the Repubs hold UI hostage, say publicly:  I suppose then, Mr. Boehner, that you are going to support the bill for full employment that Congressman Conyers currently has in the House?  Since I'm sure the Republican party doesn't want to increase poverty in America any cut to UI will obviously be compensated for by an equivalent amount of job creation?  And, by the way, if Republicans are not up to that, I will direct the Fed, which is empowered to strive for full employment, to engage in direct job creation to offset the harm the Republicans in Congress will do to the American people by cutting their unemployment benefits. I will do that immediately upon receiving any bill that cuts unemployment benefits to the American people. Because the American people have suffered enough."

        A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:16:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How About Getting Your Plan Through Congress? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          v2aggie2

          I'll wait.

          And since there are no cuts and never were any cuts, you're point is moot.

          Were cuts discussed? Hypothetically, it seems they were. So what?

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:23:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  are you deliberately misunderstanding? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, joanneleon

            the point of this is not, in the short term, to get the plan through Congress, the point is to hoist the Republicans on their own petard. To put the pressure on them in every district and every state.  To put them even further back on their heels after beating them in an election.

            Make. Them. Own. It.

            And if the resultant pain is too hard to bear, we could use the Fed, for once, to ease the pain of the 99% instead of using it to hand trillions of dollars to the wealthy.

            That's a winning message. Both sides of it: the part that bashes the Republicans, and the part that says: Congress is blocking me, so I'm going to take what action I can to spare you pain. Meanwhile, you might want to take your Congressmen and Senators to task for hurting you.

            A Democratic party that did that would be in business for years.

            A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:03:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You Missed The Meltdown In Congress, I Assume (0+ / 0-)

              Because they do own 'it'.

              There's nothing to "own" regarding any hypothetical SS cuts, cuz they never happened, and they ain't happening at this point from what I can tell.

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:10:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Diary! (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:58:57 AM PST

  •   "The President didn’t put it on the table." (12+ / 0-)
    "The President didn’t put it on the table. This is something that Republicans want."
    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/18/2012

     http://m.whitehouse.gov/...

    Let's face it, sometimes the diaries here are more entertainment than informative. Plot twists, surprise endings, betrayals, it's better than the movies. Why is it that politics is always so much more exciting on blogs than it is on traditional media.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:01:22 AM PST

  •  as someone who has done a lot of negotiating (14+ / 0-)

    i think you're spot on.   You have to be very knowledgeable about your opposition and also be confident in the strength and conviction of your support.  I also agree about the 24/7 info. cycle.  It's increasing important to know how to manipulate your supporters and the opposition through released info.

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:15:34 AM PST

    •  Most People Who Do Any Negotiating (6+ / 0-)

      of any real sort, will understand these concepts.

      It's unfathomable to me that some people truly believe that Obama could get where he is without having chops.

      It's really silly, quite frankly. I'd love to know what these armchair critics in the peanut gallery themselves have actually accomplished in the real world.

      Never mind. Maybe I don't want to know.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:32:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not part of deficit and how even good politics? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, shaharazade, joanneleon

    The GOP wants to cut benefits than they should tell the public. I am not certain how this was good politics or even a good way to strengthen Social Security (SS). This was a give away to wealthy interests. The public would easily chose to increase the revenue side of SS given a pressing, public need to strengthen Social Security.

    •  If It Never Happens, And I Feel Pretty Confident (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ORDem, cotterperson

      at this point it won't, though you never know, then no one will ever remember except us in the peanut gallery with our microscopes.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:20:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know what he was thinking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, 3goldens, joanneleon

    when he put it on the table, but I do know what he was thinking when he promised that he would not.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:21:38 AM PST

  •  Negotiations tactics vs. reality (10+ / 0-)

    Reality:

    John Boehner has been exposed as the weakest negotiator in the room, the semi-sane Republican vs. Tea Party civil war has broken the once-unified Party of No, the Democrats are more unified than ever, the President's negotiating resolve led to Grover Norquist breaking his own tax pledge that he has had since he was a 12-year-old and the President has not given up a single, solitary, thing.

    Negotiation tactics:

    The President said he's open to chained CPI.

    Here at Daily Kos, at the moment, saying you're open to chained CPI is tantamount to the greatest betrayal ever from a Democratic president.

    Meanwhile Franklin Roosevelt, in his Social Security negotiations, agreed to exclude working women and black people as beneficiaries in order to get votes from southern bigots, refused to sign anti-lynching legislation to get and rounded up American citizens of Japanese descent in a spineless act of capitulation to fear and racism.

    So perspective minus invective would be nice as these negotiations go forward.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:21:44 AM PST

    •  FDR would be a traitor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher, FiredUpInCA, v2aggie2

      these days to this over-reactionary faction of our party.  Can you imagine what they'd be saying about JFK or LBJ with some of the missteps they had in regard to foreign policy?  The picture to a President is a whole lot more detailed and chilling than to any ordinary citizen and the ethical conundrums they face daily age them tremendously during their terms of office especially the ones that are the most compassionate and empathic.  

      "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

      by artmartin on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:39:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican Party (6+ / 0-)

    for the most part believe Bush tax cuts have to expire. It took them a long long time to get to that point, but they're pretty much all on board now, other than the TParty members.

    This past election probably woke the party up more than anything.

    I am dismayed about these SS offers, but this is the only problem I see so far for Obama within his own party as he works his way towards a deal.

    I saw Nancy Pelosi's press conference yesterday and she was quite clear in stating that there are things the president is offering that she doesn't agree with. I thought -  well then, the SS offer must be the real deal.

    I'm unhappy about this, but the GOP aren't thrilled about a lot of what they had to give up either.

    I give President Obama high marks for the way he is dealing with this deal. He looks and sounds like a man very much wanting to get this deal done and working side by side with a party he probably has zero respect for these days.

    I forget who it was, but this morning it was stated that Reid & McConnell are possibly working together to get this done.

    Who would have imagined such a thing?

    The Democrats are looking quite good during this whole nonsense. Their approach has been pitch perfect throughout.

    President Obama nor Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid yesterday humiliated John Boehner and instead said they would work with him.

    •  Well wait till Republicans explain to Americans (0+ / 0-)

      that the bill that most of them will vote against cut Social Security benefits.

      If the House has to give up 2 dozen Republican votes and the Democrats have to march off the cliff together on this deal, then it will be the Democratic Party's deal pure and simple.  Americans aren't getting any new tax cuts, just the old Bush tax cuts.  What's new will be the Obama Social Security benefit cuts.  That's all anyone is going to remember in 2014.  

  •  Poisoning the well (6+ / 0-)

    I'll accept for the sake of argument the absurd rationalization that Obama offers up these concessions confident that GOP craziness will preclude his offer being accepted.

    It still poisons the well to accept--and propagate, as he so often does--the discourse that Social Security is part of the problem. It also poisons the well to put forward an offer in which cost of living increases for Social Security recipients are cut back while raising the income level for tax cuts from $250K to $400K. That essentially proposes taking money from  strapped seniors to give to some of the most well-off people in this country. A Democratic President should be making precisely that point, not validating it as a legitimate policy option by offering it to the GOP.

    But of course, the idea that Obama doesn't really want to screw the Democratic base on Social Security and other social insurance programs is belied by both his constant statements (except around election time) that he wants to do precisely that and by his attempts to get the GOP to accept his proposals to do precisely that. That the GOP is even more crazy than he is clueless is small consolation.

    In today's New York Times, President Obama is quoted as saying, "Call me a hopeless optimist." I'll grant him the first half of that description.

  •  "which many interpret as possible SS cuts" (4+ / 0-)

    In the reality community based community 2 - x < 2, for positive values of x.

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:27:06 AM PST

    •  this is an incredibly damaging discussion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itswhatson, George Hier, 3goldens

      as full-on doublethink worthy of Fox News is aimed toward defending the President, and we're all supposed to swallow it. The real cliff we're diving off of is the cliff of reality-based politics, otherwise known as "caring about the facts."  Once we've dived into full-on propaganda, there will be nothing left to discuss, or do; we'll simply sit here and wait for the Democratic party leadership to feed us our lines.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:22:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama isn't as smart as he seems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, scurrvydog, 3goldens

    I can't explain his abysmal negotiating skills any other way.
    I'm done rationalizing excuses for why he keeps offering to give away the store.  

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:34:34 AM PST

  •  If you care at all about the 2014 (10+ / 0-)

    elections, you'll see that it was a massive blunder on the President's part, and one that ties it to the entire Democratic Party. You do not fucking touch the third rail and expect to come away alive.

  •  This isn't even a nice try (8+ / 0-)

    At litigating him out of it with semantics. And if Obama is your model for negotiation let me be the first to hope you and I end up on opposite sides of one someday.

    Ask yourself - if this defense is all you're left with, what does that say about how bad the idea is in the first place?

    If you believe the cut is OK, what you're arguing for is that the economy can't be addressed unless we begin to dismantle the social safety net, starting with EARNED BENEFITS that don't affect the "deficit."

    The President offered it up. Whether or not Boehner asked for it first is immaterial. He owns it now for good, and the precedent has been set.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:36:31 AM PST

  •  To be fair (7+ / 0-)

    if one were to list the president's crimes, this is comparatively low if it's a crime at all.

    His greatest crime is in being an accessory after the fact to Bush war crimes.  Followed closely by assassinating a 16 year old American sitting by a road having a campfire.

    ‎"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederick Douglass

    by Nada Lemming on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:45:23 AM PST

  •  I appreciate your approach to this. (9+ / 0-)

    Many people here seem so terribly confident of their read on this situation and its consequences. Its almost impossible to address the questions...like:

    1. Did Obama actually put CPI on the table? Or was it simply discussed?

    2. What would public perceptions about the failure of negotiations have been if PBO refused to compromise after Boehner conceded on taxes and the extension of the debt ceiling?

    3. If Obama actually put CPI on the table, what conditions were included to protect those most vulnerable? And were those protections the reason Boehner walked out on the negotiations immediately afterwards?

    Lots of questions that make the rush to judgement about Obama look to be more grounded in what people assume about him than what we actually know happened.

    There is one place where I disagree with your perceptions. I personally don't think that Obama bluffs.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:52:05 AM PST

  •  thank you! (7+ / 0-)

    it sometimes feels like hysterics are the norm around here - and seeing you clearly sum up the reality of "negotiations" is a welcomed read.

    one good thing that comes from the hysteria, though, is the huge response that the
    'other side" can see,  sadly, we don't through the full weight of our objections on them - we put it all on our own team!  i can't help but wonder how the republicans would react to massive pressure from voters... they aren't getting it from our side, only their own nutcases are contacting them.

    we need a list compiled of the contact info for repubs!

  •  Biggest crime? (3+ / 0-)

    Well if you want to do down that road ... I don't see this as a crime just an unnecessarily betrayal of Democratic Party principles.

    With that said if he you want to talk about crimes, be careful about what you wish for.  What the President has been doing with drone attacks is borderline legal (if not totally outside of international law).  I think his legal advisers know it and are looking for a way to wind it down a bit.  At least, I hope that is the case.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:00:38 AM PST

  •  A Rather Nonsensical Diary (6+ / 0-)

    Putting anything regarding Social Security "on the table" is and should be anethema to progressives. It's a slippery slope from Chained CPI to Age of Eligibility to Privatization. Why start down that slope?

    However, the bigger problem to me is the slide from "those making above $250,000 should pay more" to $400,000 or possibly higher. How long will it be until the President agrees with Republicans that no one should suffer higher rates?

    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

    by edg on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:00:46 AM PST

  •  "what it boils down to" (3+ / 0-)

    what it all boils down to is people like you don't even have an argument unless you create strawmen to flog.

  •  Good lord, most of the comments (7+ / 0-)

    on this thread don't discuss the merits of the diary. They just question the diarist, his/her motives and intent. Ridiculous.

    Who of those questioners has ever run and served in electoral politics? I have. And there are some things that are discussed in private, in hallways, times when you consider the unthinkable, the impossible and rule it out. Or in.

    In my public service days, I kept my initial budget out of everyone's eyes because I knew it would change and people would flip if they saw the raw first draft. The same is true for preliminary proposals for major projects. We had to start with some structure and often left holes for areas we weren't yet sure about. That's not ready for sharing.

    Never did I feel that I was withholding information or conducting business in secret. Nothing was decided nor would it be finalized until many eyes had seen it.

    I don't know the eventual outcome of this economic debacle, one, I might add, not created by this administration. My hope is that it is fair.

    In the face of the ugly that this president has to face daily, I wonder why more people don't scream about that than the fact that the discussion table is wide open. That's what we should be fighting together: GOP gridlock, not imagined intents on the part of any diarist or POTUS. Analyzing people from what they wrote in a diary or comment, being critical and nasty is easy, simple and wrong.

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:08:04 AM PST

  •  Hyperbole,... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artmartin, v2aggie2

    thy name is Daily Kos.

  •  hostages on either side (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    either choice made, people get hurt and some people die.

    So no, "putting it on the table" isn't Obama's worst act. Getting togther with Boehner in the summer of 2011 and setting up this fiasco may be.

    But Obama wants to cut Social Security. His views on Social Security are basically the same as Mitt Romney's. He said so.

    A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:15:55 AM PST

  •  I'm reconsidering... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2

    ...hangin' out here.Sheesh! What a buncha whiny lambs.

  •  There's two sacrosanct rules: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud

    1) You don't touch social security in any way, shape or form

    2) If you do, it must mean you're are trying to kill it dead.

    That's how it works around here. It may not make any sense, but it's been that way for so long that you're not going to make any headway trying to convince people it could be any other way.

    Taboos: people ain't gonna break 'em easily. That's what makes them taboos.

    "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

    by kenlac on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:25:36 AM PST

  •  "Crime" is your word choice. I haven't seen it (10+ / 0-)

    much here.

    But yes, the undeniable reality that our Democratic President  has expressed his willingness to accept something that everyone agrees is a quintessentially conservative idea is unsettling.

    and...

    The fact that quite a few Kossacks who have until now been stalwart supporters of Mr. Obama are objecting to this offer--objecting, when they aren't recoiling in horror--says quite a lot about what a deeply bad idea it is.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:42:13 AM PST

    •  Man, Must Suck To Get So "Unsettled" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin

      over such hypotheticals, since there's is no deal and there was never any chance there would be a deal really. So you're unsettled that some things were discussed and hypothetically considered?

      I guess that's your right. Me? I prefer to look at outcomes, like the largest expansion of the social safety next since LBJ. But I guess Obama did that cause he wants to dismantle the social safety net. Eventually. Maybe. You feel.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:47:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, 3goldens, gooderservice

    Actually most people were upset because the "putting it on the table" came 3 weeks after promising it wasn't "on the table"

    It's a pretty reasonable response to the perception that someone is doing something they said they wouldn't do. Nevermind that had a deal actually been made that included it, it would mean a Democratic President made some serious cuts to the most integral social program in U.S. History.

  •  As long as we're talking about "tables" (4+ / 0-)

    There's something called the "commitment line" on a poker table - chips that cross that line are committed to the pot. You can do whatever you want with the chips on your side of the line. Some players count out chips there before moving them across the line and into the pot. Sometimes they do that just to get a read on their opponent - how do they react to the prospects of a big bet or raise? Until the chips go into the pot though, nothing has really happened. You could count out a big stack and then say "check."

    That's how I feel about this whole SS and Chained CPI deal.

    Mitt Romney is filthy rich. And if he lost all his money, he'd still be filthy.

    by frsbdg on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:54:38 AM PST

  •  No, I'm pretty sure the biggest crime (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Dumbo, PhilJD

    would be either extra-judicial assassinations or going out of his way to avoid prosecuting Bush regime war crimes.

    Offering up the social safety net to the idiots on the other side to rip up is sadly not actually illegal.

    And, btw, in real life hostage situations, Obama had seals shoot the hostage takers, not offer them up a different set of hostages and a set of ginsu knives.

  •  But SHRIEK! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beetwasher

    BETRAYALAZZ11!!11

    Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

    by MBNYC on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:07:53 AM PST

  •  Aren't those beets clean yet? (0+ / 0-)

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:16:00 AM PST

  •  "....unpatriotic and servile..." (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, 3goldens, Dumbo, gooderservice

    This diary is a contemptible cheerleading piece. That's all I have to say.

    TR says it so much better, though.

    "The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
    "Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149
    May 7, 1918

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:19:35 AM PST

  •  one part of this is true. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, gooderservice
    I don't get it. How?
    No.  You don't get it.  Just like a lot of people are utterly clueless about the wider debate and rhetoric and how it drives national policy.

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:22:59 AM PST

  •  The President's got his job to do (4+ / 0-)

    and we've got ours.  He apparently feels it's worth sacrificing up some SS cuts in order to avoid the fiscal cliff and, he's hoping, clear the table a bit so he can concentrate on the other things he wants to pursue like immigration reform and gun control.

    But for many others, including myself, doing something like cutting SS benefits that will do so much harm to so many is not acceptable.  Worse, many of us feel offering up such cuts was wholly unnecessary since SS has nothing to do with the deficit.  But whatever the President's reasons for putting SS cuts on the table, for those who strongly believe as a matter of principle and necessity that SS benefits must not be cut, making as noisy and even angry a fuss about it as possible is not just irrational tantrum-throwing.  It's the smart, dare I say pragmatic thing to do.

    By making such a huge fuss about even the suggestion that SS will be cut, we are, for one, effectively inserting ourselves into negotiations.  President Obama will measure the backlash and if it's strong enough, he may start doubting whether such cuts can pass at all, and more importantly it puts congressional Democrats on notice that their electoral prospects may be jeopardized if they go along with such cuts.  And if such efforts are successful in scuttling a proposal to cut SS, it will make future Presidents and elected representatives think twice about cutting SS benefits in the future.

    So as I said, this is simply smart politics on the part of liberals, and it simply doesn't make tactical sense to remain quiet.  If liberals stay quiet on this, this let's politicians think that maybe they have the green light to move on SS cuts.  To deride such efforts completely misses the point of those efforts.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:31:00 AM PST

    •  I Can Agree With Everything You Said (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, I would go so far as to say Obama may in fact be depending on us making a stink discussing these things, and he may even find it useful in his continuing negotiations.

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:34:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very good, however (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        why then are you ripping on liberals for making a stink over SS cuts being put on the table?  Yes, they've directed some pretty harsh remarks at the President over this like calling the proposal of SS cuts a "crime" or "betrayal".  But isn't that one way to effectively make a stink?  

        “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

        by puakev on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:54:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, That's Not An Effective Way (0+ / 0-)

          Other people have done it more effectively by educating people what those cuts would actually mean, and contacting their representatives that they would not support it.

          But frankly, it's moot. They ain't happening and they never were happening. They were hypothetically discussed, and now dropped.

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:57:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This doesn't save us from the fiscal cliff: (0+ / 0-)
      He apparently feels it's worth sacrificing up some SS cuts in order to avoid the fiscal cliff
      SS has nothing to do with the fiscal cliff, nothing to do with the deficit, as has been explained in nauseating detail many times now.  And the Republicans don't want it -- they want Ryan's privatization plan, and that's when they are talking about SS and not the fiscal cliff.  The chained CPI idea comes from Democrats, and so far Republicans have shown very little interest in it (good for them!) so its usefulness as a bargaining chip is close to nil.

      No.  This is something that the Pete Peterson type moderates close to the administration have wanted for a long time.  The Republicans are kind of baffled by it all.  "Why does he keep offering us this damn juke box when we came here to rent a pinball machine?"

  •  So basically, you're denying that: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, 3goldens, gooderservice

    1 - CCPI is a cut.

    It is. Or, that it's a cut, but not a big let alone painful one. It is, both. Only liars and loons claim otherwise. Talk to any SS expert or senior.

    And this is just insulting:

    Chained CPI, which many interpret as possible SS cuts some time in the future
    No interpretation necessary, because that's what it IS, a CUT to Social Security, and why it was invented!

    2 - Obama offered it, whether on his own or after being asked for it.

    He did. Stop pretending otherwise. The WH has admitted it to news outlets. Are you calling the NYT liars and if so why has the WH not said they are?

    3 - Whatever its possible merits in getting us an otherwise good final deal, CCPI is bad policy and bad politics by itself.

    Seriously? After up to 70% of Americans said they're against cuts?

    More broadly, why must we always assume that whatever Obama does, it's always the smart and necessary thing? Is he some sort of infallible god who never gets it wrong? No, this is hardly the worst thing he's ever done. That would be drones, or the Afghan surge, or not prosecuting torturers and banksters. But this is certainly far from the best thing he's done.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:48:40 AM PST

    •  Must We Always Assume That? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CS in AZ

      I thought we must always assume that he has some secret plan to fuck us, when his whole life was dedicated to helping people.

      Or we must assume any success he has is because despite his inept flailing, he always gets lucky in the end and his opponents implode all on their own.

      Or we must assume that the first black president, who's middle name is Hussein, who came from humble beginnings, is a naive chump who doesn't know how to negotiate.

      And we assume all those things despite the fact that his OUTCOMES have been, given the context in which they were achieved (Racist Tea Party Controlled Congress) were actually pretty respectable and to date, have not only protected the social safety net, but have been responsible for it's greatest expansion since LBJ.

      You meant hose assumptions?

      This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

      by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:54:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think he wants to fuck us. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        He wants to do something that he thinks will help us but will, just by happenstance, fuck us.  There's a difference.  

        I do think that there's a great deal of dishonesty in all this, though, in all the pretense that this is something coming from the right when it isn't.  

      •  Look, you like the guy, we get that (0+ / 0-)

        But that doesn't change basic facts. Reality doesn't depend on whether you like it or not. The facts are what they are.

        And I never said he wanted to "fuck us". Stop with the straw men.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What Facts Would Those Be? (0+ / 0-)

          The largest expansion in supportive services since LBJ? Those facts?

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

          by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:25:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How convenient of you (0+ / 0-)

            to only took at half the facts, the ones that suit you. The fact that he's done good doesn't change the fact that he's also done bad. Changing the subject doesn't win you the argument. It loses it.

            Bush fought AIDS in Africa. Obviously no criticism of him is legitimate.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:52:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Score: Beet 1 fact, you no facts (0+ / 0-)

              Nt

              This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

              by Beetwasher on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:15:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is a trollish comment (0+ / 0-)

                It's literally as if you asked me to prove that the world wasn't flat given the countless times people have gone into exhaustive detail on Obama's many, many failings. It's like you believe that denying reality changes it.

                I can state that 1 + 1 = turnip but that doesn't make it so.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:02:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  HR'd (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Just Bob, gooderservice
    Hidden by:
    Jeff Simpson

    for being a dick in the comments--this diary isn't to discuss, it's here to berate, troll and waste time.

    Sixty fucking people rec'ing this while the Wall Street Journal tries to walk back the "Social Security on the Table" thing with their newfound admiration for the President's negotiating skills.

    or something. I don't know about the rest of you, but I smell me some flop sweat...

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 11:51:19 AM PST

  •  Ridculous. (5+ / 0-)

    First, Obama created the situation when he created the cat food commission and stacked it with constipated conservatives.  

    Second, it isn't "maybe" someday.   It is "inevitably" someday.  One done, it's done and not to be undone without a fuss.   Might as well make the fuss now.   Obama doesn't have a "free hand".   He has a mandate from his voters, and it was to hold corporations and CEOs accountable and reinvest in the middle class.

    Third  If Boehner takes his offer, does Obama jump up and say  April Fool

    Fourth - who died and left you boss?    You can compliment Obama's strategy as you see it without dragging in the people who just don't agree with you.   What is it with people like you.  Why do you need everybody to agree with you.  Is it approval you're looking for?

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:00:00 PM PST

  •  I am mystified (6+ / 0-)

    as to why someone would HR the tip jar. As nearly as I can tell, diariest hasn't done anything wrong, except possibly the omission of this week's obligatory OMG!ObsamaHasSoldUsOut screech.

    Yeah, it's an ongoing hostage negotiation, and even thought US government says it doesn't negotiate with terrorists, when the terrorists are on the other side of the political table, it may be necessary to bluff, use trial balloons, do any number of other strategies to get through to the goal.

    Given the total collapse of the Republican side in this whole mess, it seems that so far he's doing pretty well. And there are still 10 days left in this year, lots of time for more [choose one] negotiations, position statements, hair-pulling-out, achievement of Democratic goals.

    The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:08:04 PM PST

  •  Simple (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Just Bob, gooderservice

    "Ok. And this is a huge crime? or blunder? I don't get it. How?"

    Umm, because SS, even if it were totally eliminated from existence today, would not reduce the deficit one red cent. He offered something that would only hurt America, not strengthen it.

    THAT is why.

  •  Civility (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Just Bob, gooderservice

    This diary is contentious and adolescent. Vigorous debate involves the intellect. What I see here is vague allegation and name calling. After going through a dozen or two comments, I see no attempt at resolution, discussion or civility. The diarist "suspects" that "everything is suspect" and when he is then subject to being suspect, his only argument is invective. The only clarity here is his claim to be an asshole, in which I "suspect" he is correct.

  •  Social Security does not contribute to the deficit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Just Bob, gooderservice

    It should not be part of any deficit-reduction negotiation. To take money from Social Security amounts to theft, since that money is contributed by us, working Americans, in the expectation that we will get it back in our old age.

    Cut the military; cut Homeland Security; cut highways; cut NASA; cut myriad other things that your government spends money on, Mr. President; but don't cut Social Security. It's not part of your budget; it's not yours to cut, and to do so is an act of treachery to working people all across America.

  •  Diaries of this type would make a stronger (5+ / 0-)

    impression on me if I could believe that the people making them actually cared whether or not Obama let chained CPI become the law of the land.  

    See, I think that if Obama did make chained CPI the law of the land, and if he did it right in front of them and rejoiced when it happened, they would not be dismayed, but, rather, find the silver lining in the cloud, because surely as "shrewd a negotiator" (quote unquote the diarist) as President Obama is wouldn't want such a thing unless it was REALLY good for the elderly.  

    I genuinely think that the day that chained CPI is passed, there will be people on DailyKos, some of them familiar names, making just that argument.  Some of them are already test-marketing it too, in comments, as we've seen, although it hasn't worked very well.

    So since I doubt your sincerity in actually opposing chained CPI for policy reasons, I find these arguments that Obama is being a "shrewd negotiator" really looking out for our best interest to be suspect and possibly disingenuous.

    I'll just nitpick one statement here.

    He discussed something as an option in a negotiation. Something he knows his opponent might be interested in because they've expressed interest in it before. And maybe he's done it in the past, because he knows it's something they may be interested in and THEY may concede something in return for it.
    This is something HIS OPPONENT might be interested in?  I'm sure there are some, but chained CPI, from what I can tell, isn't a popular policy position on the right, and I've googled around on this.  Somebody with better searching skill might be able to correct me on this.  But chained-CPI was part of the findings of the SIMPSON-BOWLES commission that was OBAMA's BRAINCHILD.  This is not a proposal of the right -- they want Ryan's privatization plan.  Chained CPI is a product of centrist deficit hawks in the administration.  And it should not surprise you because Obama has made numerous statements over the years about the need to rein in entitlements.  

    Do you disbelieve all his statements on this?  Or do you just think they don't apply in this particular instance, even when it is a proposal coming straight from the Whitehouse and not from the Republicans?

    And there's this, which is the final piece of evidence: chained-CPI affects SS and thus it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FISCAL CLIFF.

    So why try to tempt the Republicans with something they don't want that doesn't address anything in the fiscal cliff?

    One more thing... Do you think it's possible that by trying to tell people that what is about to happen ISN'T about to happen that you might be doing all other progressives who oppose cuts to Medicare a great disservice by lulling them into complacency when they should be fighting back?  

    I realize that you may admire Obama and not want to see him in a negative light, but even presidents from your own party (this is true for Republicans, as well) can support legislation that is bad for their own base and do it for all the wrong reasons.  Part of having a functioning democracy requires that the people say HELL NO when that is about to happen rather than sticking their heads in a hole like an ostrich until its over.

    I'm not going to be angry when chained CPI is passed.  I've already got over my angry over that, because I've had months to do that.  I kind of accept that this is where things have been heading for quite a while.  It's just fascinating to me, at this point, to see the enduring attempts to rationalize away what is happening.  And it will be equally fascinating to read the comments the day after chained CPI becomes law as the same people who said it couldn't happen say that it wasn't Obama's fault -- or that it's a GREAT IDEA whose time has come.

  •  I give you 1000:1 odds he'll do it again and more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob

    Course I'm not offering real money here.

    Now that Republicans know this is how far they can push him; when they get serious again he'll go that far and further.

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism. Fuck the NRA.

    by democracy is coming on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 01:17:24 PM PST

  •  Do people know what Democrats stand for anymore? (2+ / 0-)

    In marketing, one of the most important things is the brand. Companies spend huge sums of money on advertising, research, litigation, and so on to create a clear understanding of what a brand means. Avis = we try harder. Coke = inclusiveness. And so on.

    Forty years ago, there was no question what Democrats stood for: Social Security, Medicare, civil rights, the right to unionize, and so on.

    And then came the DLC.

    Free trade.

    Fiscal responsibility.

    A strong military.

    All of these were attempts to poach the Republican brand. To some degree they worked. Clinton sold higher taxes as fiscal responsibility, and that was a good thing.

    But then suddenly a lot of things were on the table. The protections for children through so-called "welfare" got thrown out in TANF, for example. And most important, the defense of Medicare and Social Security was no longer a do-or-die proposition. Both have already been cut (see Miller here for SS: "Today's young people will see lower rates of return").

    The pressure is on to cut so-called "entitlements," even though this will create terrible hardship for many elders.

    Do people trust Democrats on these issues anymore? Apparently not. It's not wise to lose one's brand.

  •  Excellent and succinct. Good points all. (0+ / 0-)

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:19:19 PM PST

  •  This diary is bizarre... (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine making this argument and then feeling proud of it.
    The economic impact of the policies at stake are almost totally ignored in favor of this strange psychological profile.

    Whatevs...

  •  Diarist=time wasting troll (0+ / 0-)

    Beetwasher is the epitome of phrase arrested development.

    Radio Free Moscow -- A Blue Beacon in the Red State of Idaho -8.5219, -2.0592

    by brentbent on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:14:49 PM PST

  •  Happy to see I'm not the only one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon

    who found this diary a piece of crap. Hurts DailyKos, imo, as to perceptions of our collective IQ.

    The election's over. Time to get policy done, which must not include pandering to Tea-bagger losers on SS.  Deadly serious policy, in diametric contrast to the juvenile, flippant tone of the diarist's comments.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 05:39:56 PM PST

  •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't believe Obama would put Social Security cuts on the table unless he was considering them, and yes, making those cuts would be horrible.  Many on Social Security can barely make it as it is.

    The term "Christian Conservative" is an even greater oxymoron than "Colosseum Lion Trainer for Christ".

    by StevenJoseph on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 07:18:41 PM PST

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