From Liberal Victory to Disempowerment in Six Easy Steps

Picture: Antonu (CC)

Glenn Greenwald, via Common Dreams:

STEP ONE: Liberals will declare that cutting social security and Medicare benefits – including raising the eligibility age or introducing “means-testing” – are absolutely unacceptable, that they will never support any bill that does so no matter what other provisions it contains, that they will wage war on Democrats if they try.

STEP TWO: As the deal gets negotiated and takes shape, progressive pundits in Washington, with Obama officials persuasively whispering in their ear, will begin to argue that the proposed cuts are really not that bad, that they are modest and acceptable, that they are even necessary to save the programs from greater cuts or even dismantlement.

STEP THREE: Many progressives – ones who are not persuaded that these cuts are less than draconian or defensible on the merits – will nonetheless begin to view them with resignation and acquiescence on pragmatic grounds. Obama has no real choice, they will insist, because he must reach a deal with the crazy, evil GOP to save the economy from crippling harm, and the only way he can do so is by agreeing to entitlement cuts. It is a pragmatic necessity, they will insist, and anyone who refuses to support it is being a purist, unreasonably blind to political realities, recklessly willing to blow up Obama’s second term before it even begins.

Read more here.

9 Comments on "From Liberal Victory to Disempowerment in Six Easy Steps"

  1. alizardx | Nov 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    Replay of the Obamacare healthcare scam in which a cost-effective national health care program (e.g. Medicare for everybody with the ban on Medicare negotiating with Big Pharma for same med discounts all other First World nations get lifted) was never even on the table because a cost-effective program would interfere with increased tax-funded profit for the wealthy. What will Obama get out of it? Think of Bill Clinton’s post-Presidential career, only with a better-funded Obama Foundation that will be able to get Obama a private jet. What did “progressives” and the American people get out of the deal? Chump change in the form of better funding (probably on the table for disappearance) for Community Health Centers and a few other things. The wealthy got mandatory enrollment in private health care programs with tax subsidies which will fatten the bank accounts of the 0.001%.

    As usual, “progressives” turned their defeat into a victory in their minds and hypnotized themselves into believing that the “left”-centrist Obama is a positive good as opposed to voting against the right-centrist Romney to stave off immediate disaster on the basis of the Romney open appeal to bigotry and his plans to do precisely what the article describes his campaign was based on.

    I left the Democratic Party and DailyKos and the conventional political left over the Obamacare disaster. I’ve been telling people that Obama victory does NOT mean we are saved.

    So “Son of Catfood Commission” is coming back?

    As for how the bi-partisan centrist austerity program, as in elimination of all transfer payments from the Feds that do not go straight to the wealthy, i,e, eliminating socialism for everyone *except* the rich will go?

    If you receive SS / SSI / VA / EIC / government pension or care about somebody who does, get ready to participate personally in the fight of your political life. The good news here is that quite a few Republicans are going to be involved, on the basis that they also receive these payments. I’d guess that this will be opposed by about 75% of the American people no matter what kind of sales program is used to push this. Even if this is played as an intergenerational fight, Gen X/Y people who are doing sufficiently well to not be living with their parents due to their own money problems are not going to want their parents forced to move in with them.

    The bad news is that Congress is either collectively stupid enough to believe that two years will be enough to make the American people forget or know that if they vote “right”, their post-political retirements are assured even if the House is 100% incumbent-free in 2014 and every Senatorial incumbent running is defeated. IMO, “Catfood Commission” is “a bridge too far” for bipartisan neoliberal centrism and the superwealthy who will be receive the benefits of “austerity”. If they get what they ask for, not only will the suffering of people formerly receiving transfer payments increase drastically, but the economy will completely tank (look at Greece for most likely outcome).

    • BuzzCoastin | Nov 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm |

      I haven’t seen many people pick apart Obama Care, but I think your analysis is right on. It was a big win for Big Healthcare and a big FU to the people.

      • When Obamacare happened, lots of people picked it apart. We were on DailyKos, and we got shouted down by the Obamabots. That’s one of the reasons why I realized how ineffective the “progressive” “left” movement in America really is and decided to do something else with my time.

        My political writing is actually better here because I don’t have to pretend to respect the viewpoints the people whose politics are a matter of tribal loyalty to the Democratic Party and personally to Obama and who no more realize that “left”-centrism is intended to screw the subset of them who don’t fly in private jets as right-centrism is intended to screw the people who support it who also don’t fly in private jets.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Nov 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm |

    if you still believe that there is a left & right point of view
    and that they jostle for supremacy in Amerikan politics

    rather than observing the process and noticing
    that politicians puppets are being held up by elite puppet masters
    for the benefit of the puppet masters

    you will enjoy this analysis of the left & right

  3. "Big" Richard Johnson | Nov 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

    I’ve never heard of a “progressive pundit”.

  4. This article and the comments make my head hurt.

  5. The original poster didn’t grab enough of the original article – telling us that decisions on cutting Social Security and veterans benefits, etc. will happen in the NEXT TWO WEEKS, with the plan being symbolic tax increases for the wealthy vs massive cuts in Social Security, veteran programs, and anything else that gets paid by the Feds to people who are not wealthy. depending on political fatigue to ensure people aren’t going to notice or want to do anything.

    ————– quote
    Consider the very first controversial issue Obama is likely to manage, even before the glow of his victory dims, literally within the next couple of weeks. It is widely expected – including by liberals – that Obama intends (again) to pursue a so-called “Grand Bargain” with the GOP: a deficit- and debt-cutting agreement whereby the GOP agrees to some very modest tax increases on the rich in exchange for substantial cuts to entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare, the crown legislative jewels of American liberalism.

    Indeed, Obama already sought in his first term to implement sizable cuts to those programs, but liberals were saved only by GOP recalcitrance to compromise on taxes. In light of their drubbing last night, they are likely to be marginally if not substantially more flexible, which means that such a deal is more possible than ever.

    ——————- end quote
    rest at the URL


    The ballot issues that the non-batshit won on is the stuff like gay marriage and pot decriminalzation that will either not cost the wealthy money or will increase profits of the 0.0001%.

    This is also an easy to check political prediction.

    If American people lose on this, there actually is time to build a new electoral political movement with a real chance of getting a mass following. There are going to be people pissed off at this across the political spectrum, and many willing to say “F*ck (whichever party one previously belonged to)

    • Liam_McGonagle | Nov 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

      I hope you’re right. But Americans have proved stupider than I expected at almost every turn, so I’m not holding my breath. It’s two years under midterms. People can come up will all sorts of crazy stories to rationalize in the meantime.

      • What I’m saying is that what would/will be disaster for many is a potential political opportunity for actual change.

        Eiites always overreach. What they overreach on determines whether results are revolution, (peaceful or their heads attached to pikes). conquest, or dieoff.

        Austerity tanks economies. One of the other situations that points towards massive political change is an unemployed intellectual class. Lots of people who have graduated from college in last few years have yet to get their first professional jobs.

        Also note that if Greenwald called it right, this is only the beginning, the pot under the boiling frog is about to get turned way the fuck up.

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