Originally posted at The Agonist
Social Security Is Not a Campaign Issue?
This is part I of a multipart series to demonstrate how everyone in Washington—and one-term President Barack Obama in particular—are telegraphing the fact that they will be gearing up for a major campaign to steal money from Senior Citizens by making drastic changes to “fix” the Social Security program.
Why oh Why are the Democrats not making Social Security an Issue? Wonders Rachel Maddow (click here and search for “The Ad Democrats Need to Win” for the segment—will edit as avail). As admirable as she is for being quite possibly the most intelligent person on cable news, the incorrect rhetorical effect she seeks is to demonstrate that Democrats are really bad at politics. She points out that many prominent Republicans have plainly said that they will privatize social security or eliminate it altogether, which for obvious reasons is vastly unpopular with very large majorities of Americans.
If Democrats disagree, surely they will raise their voices.
The Dog that Didn’t Bark
Au contraire, mon soeur. The deafening silence coming from the left is because the fix is in. As I’ve always said, if you have a hard time distinguishing between incompetence and malfeasance, it’s almost always both, and if past is prologue, the tin-eared Democrats make no distinctions between bad policy and bad politics. Witness how quickly $1 Trillion of taxpayer money can materialize to prop up the corrupt New York-Washington banko-political patronage system — passed by a Democratic congress! Witness the mandate for every man, woman, and child in the United States to purchase insurance from a corporation at unregulated rates under penalty of federal fine — passed by a Democratic congress!
Legislation like that just might make lifelong Democrats the tiniest bit . . . cynical.
Know also that the White House sets the political tone for the rest of the party through its control of the DNC and heavy hand on the tiller of the DNCC and DSCC.* There is no coordinated campaign message coming from the White House this political season, or from Democratic party organs, and no Democrats aside from the one that Maddow mentions are campaigning on Social Security beyond “strong Social Security, yadda yadda yadda.”
But what will happen after the election is that one-term President Obama’s discredited catfood commission will make recommendations to lower taxes on the rich and eliminate social security. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already put the legislative mandates in place to make a straight up-or-down vote on the commission’s recommendations. Since everything is always framed as a left-right “debate” the only two options that the politicos and the main stream media outlets will consider are Democrats (Cut Social Security) or Republicans (Privatize or Eliminate Social Security).
Sorry, there will be no air time for Raoul Grijalva or Bernie Sanders to discuss the other options, such as leaving Social Security alone (smart) or strengthening it (smarter). Just as there was no air time for them to talk about single payer, or the public option, or millions of United States Citizens spontaneously participating in mass demonstrations across the continent that dwarf any tea party rally to date.
But Democrats won’t campaign on Social Security because they know that videotapes of their campaign speeches will come back to haunt them in the form of oppo research campaign ads. I wonder how voters will feel about them after Grandma has sold everything and moved in to the closet.
* (who through their genius moves brought about the spectacular Hindenburg-inspired catastrophic failure of giving Ted Kennedy’s seat (Ted Freakin’ Kennedy’s seat! WTF?) to a Republican.)