Friday, May 13, 2011

Bipartisan is just another word for choosing who will lose

Our political duopoly is destroying democracy as we once knew it. Of course, this has been obvious for a very long time, but now, for reasons that aren't clear to me, the GOPers decided not only not to bother to hide it, but are openly boasting about it. Jon Walker captures my reaction to Mitch McConnell's remarks about the debt ceiling fight.
It is no wonder so many Americans are cynical about politics. You have our political leaders openly admit the reason the two parties should work together is so they can get away with conspiring against the will of the people, and most of the pundits clap loudly, calling this strategy for undermining the principles of democracy “courageous.”
Jon is riffing off Dave Weigel's report on McConnell's candor when he said:
I was running for the Senate the first time in 1984. This was the year after the bipartisan agreement between Reagan and O'Neill raised the retirement age for Social Security. I do not exaggerate when I say I was not asked about it a single solitary time. Not once in the course of a whole race. And the reason was that they did it together. When you do something together, the result is that it's not usable in the election. I think there's an understanding that if there's a grand bargain, none of it will be usable in next year's election."
Dave reminds me that "the 1983 crisis was explicitly about Social Security becoming insoluble." Then they raised the payroll tax and the retirement age. Now they want to use the same "crisis" ploy to destroy the social safety net altogether. Seriously, McConnell is salivating over cutting Medicare and Medicaid.

I keep hearing Obama isn't going to let them do it, but I haven't seen any strong evidence yet that he's going to come through to save the day. Thinking Steve Benen gets Obama's choice right.
With that in mind, the White House is also effectively left with two options. Option #1: tell Republicans there will be no deal and when the economy crashes, it will be their fault. Option #2: tell the GOP negotiations can proceed after Republican leaders start adding details to their own ransom note.
Exactly. Obama is holding all aces. It's time for him to show he's willing to play that hand. Call their bluff and make them show their cards. [graphic via Engaging Conflicts]

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Blogger Ruth said...

Showing their true colors hasn't been working out for the wingers all that well out 'on the hustings' where they're having constituents out calling them the liars they are. Getting on the record openly destroying the social support system may get them corporate support now, but when even the MOTU see their profits sucked away - as that consumer economy they depend on goes down the drain - is its own reward.

7:08:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Even the corporations are getting nervous now over this irresponsible game of chicken the GOPers are playing. Have a link that says 62 major Big Biz orgs are publicly asking the idiots to cut it out before the crash the whole thing again.

9:43:00 AM  

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