Politically, The Country Seems To Have Drifted Further Right Since Obama Became President, by Howie Klein

When American voters rose up and resoundingly smashed Republican control of the White House and both Houses of Congress over the past few years, who would have imagined the DCCC would be funding candidates to run ads like the one from Bobby Bright, putatively a Democrat, above? And, worse, who would have imagined that an exceedingly well-financed, extreme right-wing noise machine would be on the verge of celebrating success in returning power to their Republican Party puppets and coconspirators? And, worse yet, who would have imagined that under a Democratic president and Congress we would be reduced to fighting to save something no Republican– though not for lack of trying– has been able to kill (i.e., Social Security).

Today is Rahm Emanuel’s last day in the White House and my spirits should be soaring. Somehow, though, I can’t imagine Obama will use it as the start of a new, more progressive direction for an Administration that held so much hope for so many and has fallen so bitter flat for so many.

So liberals in Congress are threatening a Democratic Administration– in the same words they used to threaten George W. Bush!– that they will not permit it to start the process, long cherished (like 75 years worth of cherishing) by the Republican Party, of dismantling Social Security. Always remember, George HW Bush failed in passing NAFTA because Democrats stood up and fought for working Americans. Once Clinton (and Rahm) took over, they persuaded enough Democrats to join in this devastating GOP plan to please Wall Street that NAFTA passed– and was followed by CAFTA, WTO/GATT and the utter destruction of the U.S. manufacturing base. And Obama LOVES that kind of bipartisanship, just loves it for its own sake.

Congressional liberals threatened to vote down whatever results from President Obama’s fiscal commission if it contains a plan to change Social Security.

Liberal members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses said they would look to defeat the fiscal commission’s final proposal if it calls for cutting Social Security benefits, raising the retirement age, or privatizing any part of the entitlement program.

“[D]o not send Congress a plan that cuts Social Security benefits, raise the retirement age, or privatizes Social Security,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) warned Thursday on a conference call. “If you do, we’ll vote it down.”

The bipartisan commission Obama created by executive order is set to make its proposal to address the nation’s looming debt crisis at the end of the year. House and Senate leaders have pledged to allow a vote on the entirety of the recommendations, which would come during a lame-duck session of Congress.

…GOP leaders haven’t ruled out the idea of making changes to Social Security, but they also haven’t openly embraced that notion after having been burned by it when President George W. Bush proposed reforms in 2005.

Well, Boehner hasn’t embraced it… but Boehner is probably closer to landing on the garbage heap of history than Emanuel. You see, even the highest profile Republican nominees this year fully embrace ending Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage… In fact candidates like Rand Paul (KY), Sharron Angle (NV), Pat Toomey (PA), Christine O’Donnell (DE), Linda McMahon (CT), Ron Johnson (WI), Joe Miller (AK), Mike Lee (UT) are frothing at the mouth to turn back the clock to some dystopia straight out of Ayn Rand’s warped Hobbesian vision of a dark and brutal world. It’s as though they all read Mike Lux’s book, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be, and decided to destroy everything that has been great about our nation. And those are the Senate candidates! There are even more bizarre kooks running for House seats! And Boehner says “lawmakers need to have an ‘adult conversation’ about the looming fiscal crisis with Americans.” Yeah, first he’ll have to get through Mike Pence (who leaked it to the media that Boehner has been porking a lobbyist), Dick Armey (who fancies himself King of the Teabaggers), the billionaires who are financing the new Republican counterrevolution and, worst of all, the incoming, thoroughly radicalized freshman class who have no love (or respect) for Boehner and whose attitude can be best summed up by this song from Thommy, a New England artist formerly known as Poverty who grew up in shelters, raised by a drug addicted mother who prostituted herself to support her habit (Blue America debut, more or less):



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