Notebook 10 December 2010: Miscellaneous thoughts…

Be careful what you ask for . . .

It’s a little late in the game now for filibuster reform, and were I a democrat in the Senate right now, with the House takeover by rethugs imminent, I’d like to keep the filibuster arrow in my quiver. Senate democrats argued forcefully (yes, they fought, can you believe it?) to keep the Senate rules on filibuster intact.

Just a thought. The timing could be a whole lot better.

The attack begins and so do the lies . . .

Bill Clinton, “master politician” and “elder statesman” of the democratic party today offered the very reasonable sounding picture of the proposed payroll tax cut to make hiring more affordable. First though:

In my opinion, this is a good bill and I hope that my fellow democrats will support it. I thank the republican leaders for agreeing to include things that were important to the President. There’s never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of a partisan and we all see this differently. But I really believe that this will be a significant net plus for the country. I also think that, in general, a lot of people are heaving a sigh of relief that there’s finally been some agreement on something.

I’m something less than a democrat? I’m a partisan?

I’ll remember that when you call asking for money and come begging for my vote.

Here’s what really bothers me though:

I’ve been making an argument as to why the agreement that we’ve struck to provide billions of dollars in payroll tax cuts that can immediately help rejuvenate the economy . . .

But don’t minimize the impact of the unemployment relief for working families, of the payroll tax relief, and of the continuation of the incentives to grow jobs, which will trigger more credit coming out of the banks.

Because if I’m not mistaken, he’s referring to the FICA tax reduction supposedly in the proposal, and so, if I understand this aright, Bill Clinton just came out in support of undermining Social Security.

I get it that it we’re borrowing from the retirement security in the future in order to provide for those in need now. However, if it were in any other situation, with any other atmosphere I’d swallow hard and hope for the best. Today we cannot. Not with this president’s willingness and evident comfort, indeed his willingness, to fight for weakening Social Security.

If Bill Clinton can stand there and talk “payroll tax cuts” while not admitting that they concern Social Security, then we’re seeing triangulation in action here, and that, my friends, is lying to voters.

Finally, tweety. I used to defend him here, you know. I admit, I was wrong. Here he is today:

Who filled Santa’s sack with all that great stuff for the democrats? The reduced cost of labor, the two percent off the payroll tax [he means the Social Security tax cut] the accelerated depreciation for business people . . . put all those goodies in that pack, so that it’s bigger than the president’s stimulus from last year?

Where to begin?

A tax cut of revenues that go directly into and undermine Social Security?

A tax cut for businesses? (The instant depreciation allowance.)

And this from a “democrat?”

Are democrats now trying to sell this bullshit that indeed, tax cuts are the “new stimulus?”

You wonder why I’m pissed? Are democrats really that obtuse?

If that’s so, the republicans have won. We can fold up our tents and go home, because there’s no hope left.

I’m not all that dumb, I get it. If this is the best he really could get, then so be it. I love the idea of people in need getting relief from government, it’s why I’m a democrat. But you see right here is why I want what I call “fighting” democrats. I cannot illustrate this any plainer. If this is what it means to be a democrat, it really is hopeless.

I culled this from tweety’s segment on Hardball, which I won’t link to, if you want to watch this guy pass through the looking glass then find it yourself. Bill Clinton’s remarks are taken from the transcript provided by the white house.

The Real Last Word

I’m not going to watch O’Donnel tonight because I can’t stomach any more of this bullshit today. But to the white house, to the tweety’s out there and the O’Donnells: when the president asked us to make him do it, this is exactly what it looks like.

There is no other issue Americans are as united on right now, and will be no other issue which so unites us save another attack on our territory, as the notion that giving the lying, thieving, cutthroat pirates of Wall Street, the trading pits in Chicago, the union-busting corporations who’ve shipped our very livelihoods to what amount to virtual slave labor camps overseas, and their fellow travelers in office, another bailout, another gift, another unpaid windfall at taxpayers’ expense (because you KNOW they’ll never pony up to make it right) is nothing less than an obscenity. If you cannot see this, if you cannot see the leverage we ought to have over the GOP right this minute, if you cannot see that we should be able to do all the things we need to do to move this country forward, then you can’t see America at all. If you wonder why you’re called Villagers, the power elite, the ruling class, or any other derogatory term, let me answer this for you:

You’ve earned it. You make me ashamed to be a democrat.


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