Obama deficit deal rankles Democrats

Democrats weren't too pleased this week with a trial balloon from the Obama White House that cuts (but we won't call them that) to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid may be on the table in debt ceiling talks. To preserve tax cuts for America's nouveau aristocracy, sacrifices must be made, right?

Reps. Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, penned a letter sent to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi opposing any plan that targets the social insurance safety net. They will be gathering signatures to present a unified front against such cuts in any deficit deal.

Email appeals to push back against Washington have flooded my in box. Here are just a few. Greg Sargent suggests that the deal could be finalized by Sunday night, so take your pick and TAKE ACTION:

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Credo Action

Now, you might expect those groups to respond angrily. Then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee joined in with an urgent appeal of its own: TELL THE GOP NO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE CUTS WHILE PROTECTING TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES. (Given their mandate, the DCCC elides any mention of Obama's involvement.)

From Huffington Post's Sam Stein:

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel warned lawmakers on Friday that he would have trouble recruiting candidates for office if the party caved on Medicare during the debt ceiling negotiations.

The comments came during a closed-door caucus meeting. Multiple sources confirmed the remarks, describing them as "impassioned."


Israel, who as DCCC chair is charged with getting members elected, brought up the electoral implications. Democratic lawmakers have tried to draw a distinction between cuts to Medicare benefits and those that could be applied to health care suppliers. But officials -- including, presumably, Israel -- have worried that any changes to Medicare would dull the criticisms Democrats have levied against Republicans for attempting to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

POLITICO quotes Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, saying just that: “It dilutes their argument that the mean old Republicans are going to end Medicare as you know it.”

I made a similar point to a peeved NC Democratic strategist Friday afternoon. Sacrificing these signature Democratic programs could depress Democratic turnout in 2012 worse than the GOP's legislative efforts at vote suppression. In North Carolina, it could hand the governor's mansion over to Pat McCrory.

David Dayen sums up his reaction, saying, "This is really the President pushing his own party into the trenches to be shot."

At dkos, BrooklynBadBoy analyzes Obama's curious governing style. He sees an institutionalist with no political ideology who abhors politics -- he prefers working out agreements behind closed doors to getting out front and rallying public opinion behind a goal. "He's a doer of stuff, but not any particular stuff."

Therefore, if you want to influence Obama:

1. You'll need to get yourself in a high position with some major clout from major institutions.

2. You'll need to not have any particular views that you're not willing to abandon in search of consensus.

3. You'll need to not have any political goals.

4. You'll need to operate in secret.

In other words, you need to be Tim Geithner.

(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)


Is anybody here seriously considering voting for Obama?

Enough is enough.

Tell the OFA volunteers and the DNCers who are asking you to donate and volunteer to SHOVE IT.

Eventually their masters will get the message.

Obama needs NC liberals more than we need him.


See - here's the thing.

I'm as liberal as they come, trust me on that. And while I'm not entirely happy with the way things are going since the 2010 elections, I'll be honest - I think we're a far sight better off than we would have been had it been "President McCain". Where would we be now if that had happened? Health Care? Nope. Lily Ledbetter? Nope. DADT repeal - forget about it not being acted on fast enough, it wouldn't have happened.

So when I hear or see liberals and other Democrats talking like this, it scares the me. I don't want to wind up with a Republican President. In my lifetime, that's never been a good thing.

So I read your comment and I try to figure out how I can come up with more money for a donation to Obama for America.

I'm in the middle

I share your practical view, but am torn. We all have limited resources (except for Art Pope), so it's always comes down about priorities.

At this point, I'm more focused on Senate seats in other states for 2012 (irrelevant in NC, of course). The House seems like a lost cause.

I'll vote for Obama and I'll likely even make a small contribution, but I don't see myself hosting a fundraiser in Chapel Hill.

Am still in a wait and see mode.

I get that.

But if you do host a fundraiser, I'll still be glad to help out.

I'll help out, too

Speaking of, I just realized what was missing last weekend. I've gotten spoiled going to your and Jane's July 4th BBQ shindigs. :(

If you need an idea/topic for a replacement party, I can think of several. Like Parent's Day on July 24, or National Aviation Day on August 19th. Or we could make something up, like Steve Is Hungry Day...

We'll be back in the fall

Lily starts UNCG on August 22, so I'll be there to help her get moved in. Then will be coming back and forth between Maryland and NC for a few months as we settle on what to do with the farm. Then in NC all winter for sure. Maybe back here next summer, depending on how things shake out.

A spring event or two seems most likely, though Jane may be hosting a PPCNC PAC event this fall.


Any help I can render is merely an ask away, so don't be afraid to ask.

Here's my point-by-point disagreement

while I'm not entirely happy with the way things are going since the 2010 elections,

I'm not happy with the way things are going since the 2008 elections

I think we're a far sight better off than we would have been had it been "President McCain"

No Republican President has been successful at dismantling Social Security and Medicare. Shrub couldn't. It's taken a "Democrat" to gut a social welfare program every time. If McCain were President, the "Democrats" would never allow a gutting of SS and M.

Health Care?

What f@cking health care? A plan to the right of Romney that becomes effective in 2014?

Lily Ledbetter?

You're probably right on that one, but who knows? Rather than having a "Democratic" President running to the right to leave liberal ideas in the dust, I'm willing to theorize that a McCain might have felt the same need to triangulate, only in that scenario, the right would be left in the dust by their "leaders."

DADT repeal - forget about it not being acted on fast enough, it wouldn't have happened.

DADT repeal has NOT happened... because Obama & Co. are sitting on their hands refusing to certify repeal. DADT was overturned by a lawsuit brought by Log Cabin Republicans (clutch my pearls!) that was upheld by the 9th Circuit in the past few days.

I don't want to wind up with a Republican President. In my lifetime, that's never been a good thing.

Guess what... You've got a Republican President. National Democrats in 2011 are GOPers circa 1993.

Obama and any apologist for his triangulation and treachery can SHOVE IT.

I will work to elect actual liberals and Democrats. I'm not voting for Obama again, and I urge others to not be tricked twice.


Certainly your choice.

I stand by what I said. And obviously, I think I'm right about all of it. I'm not going to try to rebut your rebuttal, that would be ridiculous, since you'll just tell me to SHOVE IT. Such a way with words you have. Delightful to have spoken with you. Bye now.

FDR didn't mind telling corporate handmaidens to SHOVE IT

Nor should any citizen in a state that the charlatan Obama so desperately wants to win.

Liberals in NC have leverage. Failure to use it is political and economic suicide.

From Sunday's post at Howie's place.

FDR speaking with passion: They [Wall Street] are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred.

Howie speaking with sadness: ...and look forward to a day when Democratic Party voters and supporters will break free from the chains of banksters, lobbyists and Inside-the-Beltway careerists.


FDR wasn't talking to

friends on a blog, either. We should be able to debate the merits of the President without resorting to stuff like that.


You are so NOT FDR.

Good gravy, people. It's a blog. Follow the link.

I'm not comparing myself to FDR. I'm referring you to Howie's presentation of how Obama is nothing like FDR.

Here's direct embed from a different source to more directly connect the dots.


Good gravy?

Here's some levity for ya. Worth the watch.

Howie is Howie Klein of the blog "Down With Tyranny"

Here's a link to his main blog page:


A good one to add to your personal twitter feed or blogroll.

The article I referred to upthread is at this link:


Howie/Down With Tyranny slays right-wing reactionaries regularly, but doesn't let off the Blue Dog and Democratic reactionaries either.

In the 2010 Senate race, he relentlessly berated the DSCC (the Democratic Senate Campaign arm) for not coming to aid of Elaine Marshall even after she beat Cal Cunningham the second time.

That's another good reminder NOT to give to the DSCC this cycle (again). They only support corporate whores, not real progressives.


excuse me for BEING gay, but

All these idiots (especially MY FELLOW LGBT activists) who are whining that DADT
repeal "has not happened yet" *REALLY* need to STFU.
I mean it. I mean it AS a gay man. Every last one of these complaints
is like complaining that somebody who has JUMPED OUT A WINDOW *FOR YOU*,
IT IS NOW IN the process of happening.
The fact that it is not going to FINISH happening until 9 months AFTER the
actual bill got signed IS NOT something you get to whine about!
A version that TAKES that long to culminate is THE ONLY thing that
could be gotten past a Republican filibuster! If you want to whine about
it taking so long, you may whine AT RICHARD BURR and NOT at Barack Obama!

Your wnining makes about as much sense your whining at the mother
of YOUR twins that IT TOOK HER 9 months after you did YOUR part!

* S H U T * U P !!!!!!! *

In the spirit of my post above,

let me repeat myself: We should be able to debate the merits of the President without resorting to telling each other to shove it or to shut up.

We've got one big ass mountain to climb in the runup to November 2012, and we're not going to make it by fracturing into angry splinter groups.

Live together, die alone.

how are you going to work to elect actual liberals in NC?

Brad Miller doesn't have a district any more.
If the R's draw the lines then no actual liberal WILL NEED your
help; his district will be far beyond solid.
The only thing you could do that would actually help would
be to put some defenses of liberal values (like, "NO, there will
be NO cuts in Social Security benefits UNTIL AFTER *I'VE GOT MINE*,
in other words, OVER MY DEAD BODY, because I'VE BEEN PAYING
ELEVATED PAYROLL TAXES into the SS trust fund for my ENTIRE adult
life, and THAT pile of money HAS MY NAME on it, WITH INTEREST--
so if you think it's running short and needs shoring up, THE ONLY
help you're going to give it IS POPPING THE CAP - the rich are ALREADY
getting a disproportionate share of SS benefits BECAUSE THEY LIVE LONGER,
SO IT'S ABOUT TIME they started paying their fair share!") ON
Which you cannot afford to do.
Whining here is not going to help you.
Or any liberal candidate.

There is the problem

It is OFA, "Obama for America". Obama will be fishing for independents and dissident Republicans -- assuming that we have no alternatives on the left/center. The damage that does to the Democratic Party will be substantial. After all, the day after election day 2012, Obama has no real use for the Democratic Party, win or lose. Folks may resent or dislike the Democratic Party in NC, but it does provide a central rallying point for a fairly wide range of people, and it is well worth preserving in the abscence of any other icon.



I agree

That's where we need to be sure we keep as many Democratic representatives in Congress. Because they'll need us, and Obama will need them. And of course, there's the state level stuff, too. There's a lot of work to do.

The fact that the DNC will be in Charlotte

is certainly going to mean that there is more integration between
the presidential and state versions of the Democratic party than
there was last time. There is also going to be a third effort
(against DOMA) that might like to co-operate but that might in
fact wind up attracting activists on the far left who are unwilling
to be seen helping Democratic moderates (who in turn may turn wrongly
for the amendment and be glad to have some distance from its opponents).

yes, everybody here is seriously considering voting for Obama

Because if you don't, IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT that the
Republicans carry the state. So unless you are going
to say that Obama does NOT NEED NC to win, and you
are free to be irrelevant, yes, YOU, TOO, are seriously
considering voting for Obama. Especially if you voted in 2000
and saw what happened in New Hampshire.

Obama is openly talking about gutting Social Security

..and Democratic party apologists are on here telling citizens to SHUT UP?

No, NO and NO!!!

It's time for "Democratic" party "leaders" and the party apparatus to bend to the will of its purported constituency.

Pledge not to vote for Obama or any Democrat if they agree -- or apologize for any person who agrees -- to gut Social Security.

Liberals in NC that fail to use their leverage deserve what is so clearly coming their way.

The party is not more important than the people it is grinding up and spitting out.