Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Let's Hope For An Internecine GOP 'War' !
All of this was anticipated by the GOP obstuctionists, of course, acknowledging progressives' midterm lethargy as well as the general dumbing down of the populace. Recall as recently as 2010, the rodent -faced Mitch McConnell vowed that the GOP Senate’s primary responsibility was to make Barack Obama a one term president This strategy failed but as Paul Waldman put it in this insightful piece in the American Prospect:
“He devised and implemented the strategy of total obstruction in the first six years of the Obama presidency not because he couldn’t stand the president, but because he thought (correctly) that it would be the strategy most likely to get Republicans what they wanted.”
And, of course, the GOP did get what it wanted thanks to up to 8 percent of the Demo general election voters staying at home. What? Were they stoned? Were they incapacitated? Did they not know that the gates of hell would be unleashed electorally on the majority?
Some of this - of which most aren't aware - includes:
- Further cuts to food stamps, to increase defense spending, leaving even more poor kids hungry at night (already 15 million since the December, 2013 sequester cuts)
- Putting back on the table cuts to Social Security, mainly via the chained CPI but also more severe and general cuts (up to twenty percent) which I recently was warned about in a letter from the National Committee to Protect Social Security & Medicare. Excerpt:
"Republicans made a change to their proposed rules package that makes it more difficult to pass legislation to protect millions of current Social Security beneficiaries (disabled workers and their families) from a potential 20 percent cut in their benefits in 2016.
Your National Committee was on Capitol Hill all day long fighting to stop this dangerous last-minute amendment from passing. And we sent a letter to every member of Congress, which you can read here, urging them to vote it down."
- Efforts to annihilate Medicare and replace it with a "premium support" system, i.e. seniors would get a fixed voucher each year to try to get the health care they need - described by one wonk thusly:
"Beginning in 2022, it would create a marketplace in which seniors have a fixed amount of money to buy health insurance. The amount of 'support' would match the price of the insurance premium."
The truth is eighty percent of seniors would find themselves further behind the eight ball on account of rising medical costs -especially for cancer treatments, hip replacement surgery etc.- while the vouchers would be barely $10, 000 a year, if that. This means they'd have to cough up much more out of pocket.
- Gutting a main component of Obamacare by eliminating the 30 hrs. a week of work entitlement to access, and replacing it with 40 hrs. But all that would happen if this was done is the corporatocratic rats would ensure most workers don't make the 40 hr./week cut and leave it at 39 hrs. or less.
- Passing the Keystone XL pipeline which would be the fastest way to hurl us all into the climate shitcan given the degraded quality of tar sands oil - in terms of CO2 injection into the atmosphere, but also the risk of spills across the length of it especially near the Ogallala aquifer.
At least Obama has vowed to veto the last, and he will certainly veto many others as well, particularly if the Dem spines collapse in the Senate - as I predict they will. The Dems when in opposition never display cojones, they act more like terrified little wimps afraid to act the least bit obstructionist. See also:
So, in fact, we may have to rely not only on Obama vetoes but splits in the GOP itself - as revealed earlier this week when the Teepees threatened Johnno Boehner's Speaker hegemony in the House.
As salon.com columnist Heather Digby Parton put it ('The GOP's Coming Horror Show'):
"The real battle of the budget may just be between the House and the Senate Republicans with Democrats reduced to popping popcorn and settling in like they’re watching a live version of “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
But let' not forget the GOP House also has a faction that is leery of Boehner's leadership and this bunch of renegades (mostly Tea Partyers) attempted to oust him from his Speaker role on the first day. They failed, but their intentions and agenda were clear: they want the party to go all out in its anti-Obama crusade and not give an inch.
Maybe, if we're lucky, the GOP with its fighting factions - extremists vs. not so extremists- will 'blow itself up' and most of their bills won't even reach the sign off stage.
One can always hope!