Saturday, April 30, 2011

Are Dems Doomed to Shoot Themselves in the Behind?

One must ask this question, when one beholds news stories emerging on how some lily-livered Democrats (who I refer to as 'DINOS' - Democrats in name only) who now seem prepared to side with Repukes in the budget cutting frenzy that appears to have seized the D.C. Beltway as its hijacked brains. One wonders if these idiots, or weaklings, really understand the only reason most people vote their way is on account of their difference from the Republican, pro-corporate and business party. The only way to describe this behavior is a willingness of a party to shoot itself in the ass to try and gain what it (falsely) believes is some political advantage amongst "moderates" while alienating their base ....that got them there!

As an example we have the media's fixation on "the Gang of Six", a band of three Dems and three Repubs who are allegedly finessing a budget solution to appease all. Not so fast! First, the Democrats, by allowing three Rs to have equal say are already guilty of compromising beyond belief. They pulled the same crap with the Affordable care Act, allowing its cost-controlling public option feature to be beaten to smithereens in a committee composed of 6 Ds and 6Rs which is why we ended up with no public option (which would have kept the insurance companies honest).

Do any of the brain dead Dems that allowed this health travesty, as well as the 3Ds on the "Gang of Six" have any remote notion of the power they've ceded? Do they believe that if the Reeps had control of the Senate they'd allow a "Gang of Six" with three Dems on it? What are they, nuts? All of these "gangs" (since the Gang of 14 which allowed the devastating nominations of Sam Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court) are all about political capitulation and posturing. They don't serve real bipartisanship but only prove once more that the Dems are always ready and willing to submit to political date rape. Give them power, real power to govern, and they back away and yield a major fraction to their opponents!

The latest news making the rounds is that "a growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt - joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement to lift the debt ceiling" (The Denver Post, 'More Democrats Balk at Raising U.S. Debt Ceiling', April 27, p. 12). Are these people nuts? JOIN the Repuglicans? What the hell are they drinking? If they are serious about a solution to the debt ceiling they need to have the balls to cajole the Repukes into raising revenue, e.g. TAXES, not cut more spending. As recent Financial Times reports have made clear, the cuts that have already passed have had an adverse effect on economic growth - more than halving it over the last month. This is no mystery, since we are still in a demand side crisis, with not enough money circulating. The way to solve a demand side crisis is not to cut money but to pump more in! Either via higher revenues or more stimulus! The guilty party here is the Republican party for signing "oaths" (sponsored by anti- Tax terrorist Grover Norquist) never, ever to raise taxes. This is an inbuilt recipe for fiscal disaster yet the dumbass Dems go along with it!

The article goes on to note:

"The tension is the latest illustration of how the Tea Party infused GOP is driving the debate in Washigton"
But WHY? The Teepees are in recession, retreat! Their influence is WANING! Their numbers attending rallies, conferences are barely one hundredth of the numbers in 2009. The only ones feeding them any gravitas are the Washington press corps and their lackeys! WHY then let these morons drive the debate, and worse, allow the Goopers to use them to beat Dems over the head to accept more spending cuts - when any idiot knows money -much more money - is needed to run this country! As Financial Times columnist Steve Rattner ('Only Tax Increases Can Fix America's Budget Mess', April 26, p. 7)notes:

"Those (Bush) tax cuts were not justifiable when introduced, and at a cost of about $3 trillion over 10 years, and they are not justifiable now. Tax rates during the Clinton era were still among the lowest in modern American history. The economy boomed and all workers saw their incomes rise. What's so bad about that?"

Indeed! But try to drill that into the craniums of the pussified Dems, who are only about political posturing and re-election rather than the national welfare. One of the imps is Kent Conrad (one of the 'Gang of Six') who along with his compadres has said he wants 'a real and meaningful committment to debt reduction". Fine, Mr. Conrad, then RAISE TAXES and tell your Repuke compadres in the "Gang" (especially Tom Coburn who was recently attacked by Norquist merely for suggesting an end to government ethanol subsidies) to break their odious "oaths" and get with the program. You have at least half a brain so you know damned well that cuttting spending isn't going to be enough! Taxes will have to be raised and not only on the rich but the middle class too! They can't be continued to be tax -sheltered and expect to collect their future benefits in Social Security and Medicare! Tell them it's one or the other!Be HONEST for once!

Another traitor Dem is none other than Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri (much like one of her predecessors, Sen. Carnahan in 2001 - who voted for the original deficit creating Bush tax cuts) who now wants to join up with Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee in a pie-eyed, cock-eyed, half-baked scheme to "save $7.6 trillion over 10 years." How? By capping federal spending at 20.6 percent of gross domestic product within a decade. That’s down from 24.3 percent now. And that's despite an expected increase in population of more than 15%. What the hell is she drinking?

As a recent report put it, "this is the Ryan plan with lipstick". The Ryan plan puts spending at 20.25% of GDP in 10 years. By comparison, spending under Republican President Ronald Reagan from 1981-1989 averaged 22 percent of GDP at a time when no baby boomers had retired and needed their Social security and Medicare. But this year alone we have more than 13 million boomers ready to collect benefits. WTF is wrong with this picture? What's wrong is we need HIGHER TAXES to pay for the continued benefits to over-65's not spending cuts!

As the report put it:

"As a result, Corker/McCaskill would have the same dire result as the Republican plan: According to an analysis by the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Corker/McCaskill would require 'enormous cuts' in Medicare and Medicaid and other programs, and likely force similar policy changes to the entitlement programs that Ryan has proposed.

The reductions would total more than $800 billion in 2022 alone — which would be the equivalent of eliminating the entire Medicare program or the Defense Department"

Well, if that's the choice offered, let's at least eliminate the Defense Dept.! (In fact, this is hyperbole, big time. With inflation, the weapons portion of the DoD would be about $800 billion and there have been excellent cases made to cut that anyway. The DoD would still exist and be able to conduct multi-faceted operations, especially if we are out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which we should be by then.) But to expect seniors on fixed income to be thrown to the dogs is something I never expected a D-senator (even from Mizzou) to propose. It shows the degree to which the debate has become debased and perverted.

Paul Van de Water, a health-care expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, correctly observes that the Corker-McCaskill plan "at first blush may sound sort of benign, but the effects on real people in many cases would be extremely dire.". In other words, dying in the streets. Seniors infected with Bird flu pneumonia or a superbug, say, unable to even enter ERs at hospitals, because they'd be without any coverage, period. Well, not unless they're wealthy enough to afford personal physicians! We would effectively return to the early 1930s when many seniors (as my dad recounted for me) simply went to roadsides to die alone, and in sickly agony. They were no better off than deathly sick dogs. Is this what it's come to? is this what a serious Democrat could really propose? Are they that much in bed ideologically with the repukes?

Van de Water goes on to remark also on the vile stealth nature of the Corker-McCaskill plan:

"The Ryan plan is at least quite explicit about the changes that are proposed to be made in specific programs,"

And for that we must thank Ryan, though his plan is still 'Nazified' through and through. But, much much worse than an explicit Nazi who is marching an old guy or lady to the gas chambers, is the stealth Nazi, who smiles and says "Enjoy! It is only a shower and will do you good!"
As we near the debt ceiling vote, we need to get on board, get organized and get active as the recent In These Times noted. The time for civility is over. It is now our lives on the line, and if our own supposed reps are ready to cave on this, we will have to take to the streets and do...whatever. Maybe even fierce, European style and scale protests with more than 5 million clogging the streets.

Tea Party influence? Fuck! We will show these hacks what real influence looks like! Maybe Alan Simpson was correct in the remark he made back in December about "blood in the streets". We will see!

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