The fact we are where we are at right now with the budget deal, the resulting market collapse and downgrade, even though the administration used those possibilities to browbeat us into agreeing to a deal the week before, is symbolic of what has become of the Democratic Party in the US. Imagine a 3-inch elephant holding to heel and herding an entire flock of donkeys (and the donkeys emanating with pride at getting the miniature beast to stop scaring them by caving in to all of its demands and then following it with a mass display of hari-kari). In my adult life, and this goes back to the Clinton years, I have never witnessed such a gutless display by the national Democratic Party towards its voters as I have seen these past two weeks. You would almost think that we should be thankful to the House Republican caucus for even allowing us to live. I am sure if the Democratic leadership could negotiate that away, they most certainly would.
And it is not just the budget deal, which was a Republican budget ‘compromise’ (i.e., everything the Republicans want with nothing in return for progressives). Worse than even that, our beloved Senate Democrats have come to the rescue of the Republicans in the House by appointing its newly minted members of the vaunted ‘super committee’ that will deal with budget cuts. And of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not going to appoint members who represent the views of what the Democratic base is like, minus possibly Sen. Patty Murray (Sen. John Kerry has a much more moderate voting record than anyone likes to give him credit for). Understand, one non-progressive member with a slew of conservative Republicans means that there will be a conservative majority and cuts that only conservatives will want to have included in the future for the budget (i.e., Social Security, Medicare, and anything else not related to the Department of Defense).
Enter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s last pick, Senator Max Baucus, probably the most odious Senate Democrat since Joe Lieberman (before he finally quit the party back in ’06). The same Max Baucus who has been a longtime recipient of corporate campaign money, the result of which was his influence in killing the public option in Obama’s health care bill back in ‘09-10 (with the full support of the Obama Administration).
Max Baucus has never met a corporate interest he could say no to, or an intern or lobbyist for that matter. Putting this waste of Senatorial space on a right-wing-contrived committee (which goes outside of the scope of what Congress is supposed to be doing in Article 1 of our Constitution), a committee that is designed for the sole purpose of destroying Social Security and Medicare (and giving every last dime of our tax money to the upper 1% income tax bracket), is a crime of immense proportions. Essentially, the Democratic Party has declared war on its voters and gone in league with the Republican Party to gut every last vestige of the New Deal and Great Society programs that once made the Democratic Party worth voting for.
At this point, there is only one solution, the defeat of every last anti-progressive Democrat in the US by electoral non-cooperation. There would be no Max Baucus, Lawrence Summers, or Timothy Geithner without us. They have to come to us, the progressive base, to get votes. The Republicans (Attila the Hun types who view anyone to the center of Jefferson Davis as Satanic) will deem all non-Republicans as socialists (just as they red-baited Bill Clinton in the ‘90s, even while he was signing NAFTA, GATT, the Welfare Reform Act, and the Defense of Marriage Act). That is what Republicans do, or at least the incarnations since the Reagan era, and when you negotiate with Republicans this is what you get (i.e., Republicanism). If you want to stab us in the back (the people who put you into office) then you should be replaced, and if that means allowing by omission the Republicans to win then so be it. That is the fate we deserve for having a party filled with jellyfish leaders.
And when we are in the minority, for which we truly deserve to be right now, we should waste no time whatsoever in assigning the blame and holding to account the Obamas and Reids for what they have done to us, as a party and a country.
Give the conservatives in the GOP credit. They know and understand that much in their party, and they have no quandary about seeking ideological purity, and have done so to the point of getting what they want (and winning elections in the process). There is no reason why we should avoid doing the same. And if it means being a permanent minority to prevent our backs, knees, and throats from being slit by DLC-third way corporatists then we do not deserve to win to begin with. I will take that, and losing to an honest person who is wrong, over someone who pretends to care by waiting for the first opportune moment to throw me to the ash heap.
And, lastly, before I leave the fine reader, I would like to ask, where is the Constitutional challenge to this committee? Where in Article 1 of our Constitution does it give Congressional leadership the right to negotiate away the budgetary process, which is supposed to be under the control of Congress (as a body), over to a White House-brokered special committee with 1/45ths of the US Congress in it? Could anyone reading this imagine what James Madison would think to see his entire article in our Constitution rescinded by a 'compromise' with a branch of government that is not even supposed to be writing our budget or acting as a legislature? With the notable exceptions of Rep. Ron Paul (to give him his due) and Dennis Kucinich, very few members of Congress have spent anytime addressing this issue, to the media or the public. Of course, you will not see this type of objection from our Congressional leaders, Republican or Democratic, never mind the White House. No, so long as you give them what they ideologically want (cutbacks in social spending), the Constitution and the entire budgeting process be damned, to which I say, damned you, Congressional Democratic leaders and the White House for what you have done to our party and this country. It will take a generation to undue the damage you have done with this deal. This is the poison pill you have given us, and may it come back to haunt you all.