Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wake up, Mr. President...

Things are politically heating up, aren’t they?  It certainly is difficult to keep ahead of breaking news.  However, as I write, it appears that the Bowles/Simpson proposal to gut Social Security is dead in the water.  We still have to wait until the end of the week to see what their final report will contain, but it appears that many of the commission’s elected members are balking.  (Maybe they’ve seen the ads with the old folks shaking their fingers at the camera, saying,”Don’t mess with my social security.”  Those ads scared me, too, and I’m one of those old folks.)
It also appears as if Obama’s base is beginning to make some noises at him and they aren’t cheers.   I just got an email from Progressive Change Campaign Committee announcing a drive to pay for an ad that will run in D.C. and in spots around the country.  The ad is titled, “Tell President Obama: Keep Your Promise//  Fight, Don’t Cave, on Tax Cuts.”  [Here]  The organization is asking for donations but they also ask you to join in signing a petition, which is easy to do and is free.  [Here]
It seems that this ad would be an especially useful reminder to Obama, particularly since the GOP Senators answered Obama’s latest “reaching across the aisle” with a letter, signed by every GOP Senator, pledging that they would not vote for: [Here]
...any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.
That’s nifty, isn’t it?  Even the always-ready-to-be-wooed-but-always-saying-NO!-lady senators from Maine signed the letter.  Now, that really tells you how inflexible things are in D.C., but Obama keeps trying to reach, reach, reach.
In the meantime, perhaps in keeping with the expected report this week of the Catfood Commission, Obama signed an executive order freezing the pay of all federal employees for two years.  Who in the world is he trying to impress?  In view of the fact that the federal employees have been the staunchest Democratic base and one of the most solid unions, even I felt a stomach jolt and I’m way out here in the woods.
Salon’s Tom Tomorrow has a commentary on this new D.C. "Spirit of Togetherness" in a cartoon strip titled “The new bipartisanship: there is one thing Democrats and Republicans can work together to achieve.”  [Here] The strip is about a conversation between a bespectacled worried man labelled “The Tepid Moderate” and an assured looking man labelled “The Right Wing Nutjob.”  Our Tepid Moderate tries and tries to find common ground, but is finally yelled at by the Nutjob, explaining his vision of common ground--- “Die! Liberal Scum!  Die!”       

Sums it up, doesn’t it?
Rachel Maddow was also on this welcomed new tack on Tuesday evening. [Here]  She started with a segment from the old Twilight zone classic in which humans mistake a cookbook, “To Serve Man,” as a guide to help humanity instead of how to prepare humans for eating.  As she went on to explain, the GOP and Obama met in the same WH room but were on different planets.  She had the wonderful Bernie Sanders with her to discuss the wide difference and priorities between the GOP's plutocratic agenda and the yearnings of the rest of America.
I wish someone could explain to me why a guy who cannot afford to send his child to college would vote for a Republican Senator who is pledged to vote against Pell Grants.  Or what about a woman who can’t afford to replace her worn-0ut winter coat but will vote for a Congressman who wants to give tax breaks to billionaires.
I just don’t get it...  

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