As the fiscal "cliff" conversation starts to wind down, but the questions about what President Barack Obama's administration is willing to give away remain, what would have been considered fever dreamed wishes of conservatives even five years ago, appear to be possible bargaining chips in a game where, on the other hand, the U.S. wins if everybody does nothing until January 2. The man I knew as a IL State Senator less than 10 years ago would have scoffed at these kinds of give-aways.
This put me in mind of a great OpEd by a man who has been one of Chicago's leading progressive voices for decades, and someone who was an advisor to President Obama less than 20 years ago. He published this in his local paper, The Hyde Park Herald, but I haven't seen it anywhere else, and I thought it might be interesting to the readers of Daily Kos. Sorry if someone has already posted this here.
Mr. President, if I were to sit down with you today, I would remind you of the great people of our community, like Dr. Taylor, Dr. Margaret Burroughs and so many others, who paved the way for your achievements. I would encourage you to fight and fight hard to carry on with the kind of determination that your predecessors possessed. Not to fold, not to compromise on the matters of hard-won principle and public policy for which your forebears fought...More after the jump...
We understood you felt that some compromises were essential. But if I were to sit down with you today, I’d remind you: We stuck by you. We had your back. We expect nothing less from you. We’re retired teachers and postal workers, living on our pensions, or on our Social Security, relying on our Medicare coverage. We contributed faithfully to our savings and pension funds and paid our dues. We trust that you will shield these programs upon which we and our families depend. On Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, compromise means whittling away and destroying the great social programs which shield millions from abject poverty.The rest is on the Hyde Park Herald's website here.
We listen carefully to your speeches. We wait for you to use the words “the poor.” We hear only about the “middle class,” but there are plenty of folks in our community for whom that term simply does not yet apply. And yet, they vote. They too deserve your attention and help. For your second term, you can make America’s urban and rural poor visible and help them to get the employment, the training and the assistance they need to survive in hard times. Don’t leave them invisible. We’re counting on you to make them visible and to fight for them.
For those who have interest, Google Tim Black. There are a lot articles about him out there, including one that appears to be an anti-Communist site, and though Dr. Black doesn't view himself as a Communist, I doubt he'd object to most of the 'accusations' there.