It Wasn’t 11th Dimensional Chess
Now that the Republicans have completely imploded in a ludicrous display of Party extremism responding to the appalling offer of the President in these merry Cliffmas negotiations there is a definite gloating going on among defensive Obama supporters. Obama, you see, never intended what y’all are so freaked out about because he knew the Republicans could never effectively respond. What twaddle.
Precisely the same result in a somewhat different form could have been effortlessly obtained by doing nothing and waiting the Republicans out—who could argue they’d suddenly be effective by simply waiting? No one. Instead we got a scenario where remember that promise from the Vice President that Social Security would never be on the table? Never mind! Remember what the Majority Leader of the Senate promised, that Social Security wouldn’t be part of the negotiations? Whoops! Remember all the statements from Reagan that Social Security was and is never part of the deficit problem? Oh well! Remember all those firm lines that could never be crossed? Hasta la vista, baby.
Then when all these alleged vows to principle—that Democrats never, ever throw our children or elderly to the wolves in tough times or at any time—were chucked in the trash can we got the pathetic display of poor Nancy Pelosi trying to be a good soldier for the President making ludicrous statements (along with the Press Secretary) that this somehow strengthened Social Security. We are the reality-based community in these liberal Democratic pixels, yes, that thought is so reassuring to me after all this.
This isn’t 11th dimensional chess, it’s rank political incompetence on multiple levels. The political history and legacy of Social Security is completely (incredibly) ignored, at least half the Democratic base howls from the betrayal, amazingly the lives of our Seniors are put even more at risk, and the future messaging on what a Democratic President did to Social Security is a nightmare none of us ever want to even think about, let alone live through.
Again, the approval rating for Congress is 9 percent. All of this spectacle or the alleged leadership from Obama hurts Congress and the general view of government even more, if that were possible. I don’t call that chess either.
The general view among the gloaters is that of course Obama could never bend himself into some political contortion for this Republican extremism and over the cliff we go. The fervent hope and view of the realists is that Obama sees the futility of ever trying to deal with the Republicans and over the cliff we go. Everyone is so happy no deal is in sight, but there are still 10 days left to go and Obama has said going over the cliff doesn’t make sense and has repeatedly debased the Party and Presidency with appalling deals with Republicans, all criticism be damned, it means he’s doing the right thing by making the liberals howl. Right?
We shall see. We got into this reeking rabbit hole in the first place by—amazingly, incredibly—allowing the extreme Republicans to hold the country hostage. That history does not instill a lot of faith that these negotiations will turn out well for the little people in the future.
That, of course, is one of the core missions of the Democratic Party, that we protect and shepherd the little people to ever greater levels of opportunity, equality and prosperity. When I see Obama pounding on the bully pulpit every week to make that a reality in the United States instead of proposing deals that knife our Seniors then, and only then, can I be counted on as one of his enthusiastic supporters.