It is probably the best thing that has happened in the whole "fiscal cliff" fiasco. The Prince of Orange John Boehner suffered a humiliating defeat to his own radical caucus and left Washington without doing his job in disgrace. And while the Republican "Plan B" was shot down in flames the President and his post re-election ideas are just about as bad. And of course since its best for America that both Boehner and Obama's latest "compromises" are rejected the Senator for Communist China Mitch McConnell is calling for something he hasn't wanted for four years. For the Senate to pass a bill.
The news today if true about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations is not only quite disturbing, but equally as much perplexing. I guess it should not be. The modern Democratic Party with a few exceptions has long been very good at this. Through cowardice or complicity or whatever reason you might believe the Democratic Party always seems to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. No wonder they can never keep power for too long and can never enact an agenda to stop decades of trickle-down economics. Americans believe they talk a good game but are too cowardly to do anything about it. And you know something? They are for the most part spot on.
No matter what party controls the White House or Congress one thing is ringing true time and time again. The politicians in Washington care little about the will of the American people and instead hope to impose their own elitist will upon the rest of us. These "fiscal cliff" negotiations are becoming the latest example of the "screw you" attitudes of politicians in both parties. Because although the American people have spoken, and continue to speak loud and clear on this issue Washington politicians simply refuse to listen.
Mitch McConnell is doing what he does best. Around here, we call him the Senator for Communist China for a reason. That is because he thinks America should be much more like the oppressive Communist regime in China. That way, no matter what people think or what Americans want McConnell can feel justified in destroying Democracy. Now, after this election Mitch McConnell is planning to do just that again.
With the announcement that the Administration will indeed roll over to Republicans once again one thing is ringing true. In the political arena when these "compromises" are reached the only folks that are expected to give anything up are Progressives, and working America. When we had huge majorities in Congress and the White House still Progressives were expected to concede everything. Now it has become apparent that once again we are the only ones to sacrifice. One begins to wonder if this is not the way it was meant all along.
This is getting ridiculous. After all the soaring rhetoric of the 2008 elections one thing is ringing true. Absent "Hope" and "Change" the one thing we are getting from this White House and the Democratic Party as a whole is simple. Cowardice. In fight after fight, our leadership and President seem always willing to push the chicken switch no matter what and cower to the greed of the Republican Party at every turn. Now it is happening once again as President Obama and the disgraceful cowards he "leads" once again tuck their tail between their legs and run like whipped puppies from a fight.
Finally someone within the Democratic Party is standing up and saying that it is time to fight for real Democratic principles. After compromising to much before sitting down and "reaching out" too much on the healthcare bill it appears as if at least a couple of Democrats are sensing the public mood and have decided to fight for real reforms. Today in a controversial move both Russ Feingold and Maria Cantwell bucked the party leadership and voted against closing debate on the Financial Reform bill.
In an expected turn of events that has been coming down the wire it appears as if the knife is sharpened and once again Progressives have been stabbed in the back. The "House of Lords" could not manage to represent those of us in the unwashed masses and have decided to side once again with the high and mighty and not give real Americans a real choice in healthcare all while shoving the mandate down their throats.
With the roller-coaster ride the public option has had over the last couple of months it appears as if the ride will continue. Everyone seemed determined just a month ago to kill the public option or come up with reasons to compromise it away. Luckily, some Progressives have refused to retreat and now two factors are keeping hope alive for the public option.
Boy, with friends like Max Baucus who needs the Republicans?? All during the healthcare debate he has been determined to let the Republicans poison any kind of real reforms to our healthcare system. His "Gang of Six" has been giving a defeated and disgraced party too much leeway in writing any bill. And because he seeks to give enemies a greater voice than friends, his deal reeks and should be a non-starter to Progressives.
Well it appears as if the healthcare fight may finally come to an end. With Congress soon to reconvene and exhausted negotiators getting weary the final fight will hopefully begin. In the Senate negotiations are stalled and it appears now as if the Democrats will have to go on their own. It also appears as if Progressives are attempting to "resell" President Obama on the Public Option.
We have seen much talk and banter about the public option not having the votes to survive the Senate. Even President Obama and others under him in the administration have appeared to back away from the public option in favor of the Co-ops proposed in the "House of Lords" that has become the United States Senate and were introduced by Kent Conrad. The only problem with the Co-ops is that they have been tried before and simply do not work. However an even greater problem is that like so many have assumed about a public option, Co-ops simply do not have the votes.
A new compromise has been reached after negotiations with rebelling liberals on the deal struck earlier with Blue Dogs. The last minute agreement should move the bill through committee and preserved some subsidies to the working poor, preserved a public option and cut drug costs more deeply.
With all the attention being paid the Blue Dogs, and all the fanfare in the media about a "compromise" one caucus has not been impressed with the precedings. One caucus has fought for the real reforms that are needed. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has voiced its displeasure and signed 53 names to a letter that demands a robust public option to earn their votes.
Those who support Progressive causes are in an odd position these days: we’re often in the majority on issues that matter; and we’re seriously talking about how to turn what, just a few years ago, was a wish list...into a “reality list”.
Staying in the majority, however, requires the assistance of centrist voters--and that means, from time to time, finding philosophical compromise with voters we’d like to keep “in the fold”.
In years past, the issue of the death penalty has created a considerable chasm between Progressives and centrists; with the one side concerned about the misapplication of capital punishment, and the other convinced that, for the most heinous of crimes, the only way to achieve a truly just outcome is for the guilty party to face the most severe of punishments.
What if we could bridge that gap?
In today’s discussion we propose to do exactly that: to create a death penalty process that only executes those who are truly guilty and excludes those who might not deserve to be put to death...in fact, those who might not be guilty of any crime at all.