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Get ready for this in 2014, because it is coming in HD to a tv screen near you:
"Social Security is a sacred promise to all of our Seniors. This is why I opposed the Obama/Democrat Party Social Security Cuts, and I always will...."

-American Crossroads is responsible for the funding of this advertising.

This is why, as a Democrat, you should fight what is happening right now in DC on Chained CPI inside the Democratic Party. It's the same reason all Democratic office holders in DC should be against it. Chained CPI is worse than bad policy, it's bad policy and bad politics.

It is all downside with no upside to it at all.

If you can't be against it because you don't care about cutting the social safety net, you should be against it because you aren't fucking stupid.

One thing that is really frustrating about the bad policy meeting bad politics in Democratic politics in DC is this: Some things are so incredibility damaging and so reputation mauling that they don't actually have to pass to stick to you in a hurtful and lingering way down the road. They just have to be seen as your idea. You just have to be stupid enough to put your fingerprints on them. You can, if you are really inept enough as a political party, put your Democratic fingerprints on the Movement Conservative dream of cutting the social safety net, even if the debate the act occurs in goes nowhere and the particularly bad policy doesn't get adopted.

In fact, for the GOP, that's even better.

Paul Krugman has been warning people for years that there are bad outcomes on many levels beyond just the worst case outcome. Fail comes in many flavors, and levels of intensity.

Just put the sacred cows in play. That's enough.

Because it allows the GOP to point out that you put Social Security cuts on the table, and they stopped you. So, if you support Social Security, why, you need to vote GOP! Of course it's all a lie. It's their policy. It's their dream to cut and gut the social safety net. But. Thanks to the Village we have, and the Lucy with the Football aspect of the Democratic Party, it's a lie that can be sold to low information voters very easily. Vote GOP! Why? Because they are Social Securities defenders. It will happen, and, if Chained CPI becomes "the Obama/Democrat Party Social Security Cuts" it will stick.

What hurts my heart is that it will be a surprise when the first American Crossroads ads start running. It shouldn't be. But it will be. This was done with Medicare in 2010. Democrats cannot depend on their reputation saving them from bad faith lies if they destroy their reputation at the bargaining table. You have to have an unsullied reputation to rely on the effectiveness of it as an 'everybody knows this isn't true' defense. And, rather than learn this lesson, it is being done with Social Security right before the 2014 elections. The one where Democrats are already behind the eight ball as it is without any additional stupidity or own goal epic fail-ism making their lives harder.

The Progressive Caucus' budget being ignored is as insane as putting Social Security cuts on the table as a cheap bargaining ploy. But it's par for the course. If there is a way to epic fail, the Democratic Party will find a way.

Putting Social Security cuts on the table, for whatever the tactic, goal, reason, alone is enough of a brand damaging act for the Democratic Party as a whole to be folly. Instead, idiot Democrats will quibble. They are small cuts. They are not all bad. The President says he needs this, and I stand with him. Idiots. All of them. This is about getting played in a profoundly brand damaging way, not how roughly you pinched the butterflies wings.

But it is even moreso when there are other, better options, like rasing the Social Security cap, that both solve your problem and are good politics.

The Democratic Party has nobody but itself to blame for it being the Washington Generals of our politics. When people think of it as "the GOP are bullies, and the Democrats are wimps". They did that as much as the GOP did that to them. When they get seen as untrustworthy and unprincipled and as a party that has no core values beyond moderating and humanely implimenting Movement Conservative policy? They enabled it. You can get cruelly slapped down by Paul Ryan, or you can get your pain dosed out over a few years because "we care". That's an echo, not a choice, crowed about like its something to be proud of.

The Democrats are enjoying a demographic advantage because they are not Republicans. That's it. It's like profoundly mistaking being in the right place at the right time by sheer good fortune to take advantage of the gross stupidity of somebody else as being the inevitable consequences of your great talent, vision, and hard work.

This advantage is an opportunity, admittedly, but is also can be squandered very easily. Getting something by default is not securing something lasting. It's luck. Who we used to be is our greatest strength in maintaining it.

Not because there is a brand there that is thriving, it's a brand living on the accomplishments of the past, and those accomplishments are in play for the right price.

Only in the beltway is this kind of stupidity seen as good politics and good policy.

And there is something worse. Something that has been an issue for a lot longer than Democrats being fucking stupid about the beltway take not being the public's take.

The kitty. The kitty and the ante up.

Insanely, Democrats like to bargain away past hardfought victories, like abortion rights, and social safety net threads, like the gains of the past are poker chips. Worse, they like to toss those chips out on the felt with people who are blatantly acting in bad faith across from them. The ones with cards up their sleeves, the ones who bribe dealers and try to steal chips from you when you are looking at your cards, the ones who cannot be trusted not to take your pound of flesh and then demand more. Or demand that you put more chips out, and they hand you a knife and demand you hold it to your own throat, then declare than the knifeholder will kill the hostage if conservative demands aren't met.

For years, the GOP has been saving the Democrats from themselves, and delusional Democrats have been going around crowing about it as if that's not what has happened. That, see, x didn't happen (ignoring that it didn't happen because the GOP wouldn't take yes for an answer, not because of any genius on the Democratic side) so it was never going to happen. Ha! X didn't happen because the President is so much smarter than the rest of you, it was a trick to get them to harm themselves. No. The GOP was angling for 'we get everything, you get nothing'. And the Democrats keep coming back to the table with a worse outcome being in play if they only say 'yes'.

Like a Democratic Party, from Barack Obama to Harry Reid to Nancy Pelosi, all being willing to put their fingerprints on Social Security cuts even if GOP extremism means those policy changes never get codified into law.

They don't even have to ever see a vote on Chained CPI if the Democrats keep talking about it like it's all them.

"I opposed the Obama/Democrat Party Social Security Cuts...."

-American Crossroads is responsible for the funding of this advertising.

"I fought the Obama Social Security Cuts, because what Obama and his Democrat Party cronies are doing is the wrong thing to do to America's seniors...."

-FreedomWorks is responsible for the funding of this advertising.

"I opposed the Democrat Party on cruel and unnecessary Social Security Cuts...."

-Citizen's United is responsible for the funding of this advertising.

All a Chained CPI will get the Democratic Party is a Republican Senate majority and Obama spending the rest of his time in office in a Hell that makes 2009-2012 look like cupcakes with sprinkles by comparison.

When Senator Ted Cruz has a Senate Committe Chair, and a gavel, and a large staff of investigators and subpoenas ready to be sent in tsunami-like waves over the Obama White House, and the House Republican caucus is talking about Paul Ryan being the logical choice for a House Impeachment manager, when the Village grabs its popcorn for the show, and the Democrats are reeling that, yes, in fact, Ben Ghazi and the Fast and the Furious "scandals" are being discussed as impeachable offenses, it's actually happening.

Now, there is something I want to bring up. Something we all need to be warned about when this fight looks like a done deal for the bad outcome and there is no hope. We must not give up. It would be a dry cold moment of false comfort to ever sit back and smugly think "well, they did it to themselves" if the worst goes down.

All the blowback. All the bad outcomes. All the fail.

It was all predictable as far back as 1993-4. 2000. 2004. 2010.

Being right in the ash heap is still being in the ash heap.

The worst thing you can be in DC is right, honest, and a strong voice for the best possible non-Movement Conservative outcome for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the middle class.

The only thing worse than that?

Being right in the ash heap without exhausting every other option to stop the disaster.

It will be a hollow moment, because the damage done will be generational. This is why it's worth being scorned. It is worth the risk of being lied about, sneered at, and being hated and excoriated by every Democrat you ever worked your ass off in the past and fight this with everything you have got.

Social Security is bigger and more important than any Democratic Pol in America. It is bigger and more important than even the Democratic Party itself. If they forget that, they need to be reminded. Even if it's painfully done. Embarassing. Inconvenient.

The Democratic Party has benefitted from the GOP's radical extremism and obstructionism in a way. Their hands-on role in why DC is a fucking mess gets obscured and mitigated by the insanity of the other side. The fool looks better than the sociopath by comparision. But that's a trap, not a good outcome.

As if "Fools Vs. Sociopaths" is the only viable choice to find yourself arguing.

It's time everybody realized that the Democratic Party has reached a point where it is willing to make existential level political mistakes in the foolish pursuit of mediocre and temporary gains. We have moved on from bargaining away hardfought victories as poker chips to drinking poison in the name of transient gains from bad faith compromise. You cannot trust that the people in DC are smarter than you are because that is what makes it easier for you to sleep at night. You can't 'trust them'. You have to make them. If the Democratic Party isn't smart enough to avoid this trap, we have to make it impossible for them to go forward with this for their own good.

They can all fucking thank us later.

Originally posted to LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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