Friday, January 21, 2011

Stand, Or Fall

It really is (or was) extraordinary. In a survey taken from Halloween through election day, the liberal-leaning polling outfit Lake Research Partners found that the public believed that Social Security would be better handled by Republicans, than Democrats, in Congress; and by Republicans in Congress than by Democratic President Barack Obama. And they did not (and do not) want the federal government to cut those benefits, notwithstanding the prescription by the Governing Elite, politicians and mainstream media. The public opposes a generic proposal to cut benefits, to impose means-testing, or to raise the retirement age. A partner at Hart Research Associates adds "For the public, cutting benefits is the problem, not the solution."

Nonetheless, speculation is flying about that President Obama will be endorsing in his State of the Union address a de facto cut in Social Security benefits, perhaps by gradually raising the eligibility age. We already knew that the President, having appointed charter school champion Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education, is no fan of the public school system. (Why fund public schools when we can fund private schools which de facto discriminate on the basis of gender, race, or disability status?) And then there was a financial reform bill which maintains the principle of too big to fail and avoids imposing a financial speculation tax. Now, President Obama meets with Hu Jintao to expand U.S.A. business interests in China, likely to be accomplished by offshoring jobs.

The inability, or unwillingness, of the Democratic Party Of Obama to stand up for traditional Democratic values and the middle class which led Susie Madrak to note

If the Democratic Party doesn't stand for public education, helping unemployed workers during a recession, and Social Security, what the hell do they stand for?

Good question. Continuing a post which summarizes (better) the point I tried to make in my last two posts, Madrak explains

Look at the reason Republicans won the midterms: They flooded the airwaves with commercials that said the Democrats were cutting a half-trillion dollars from Medicare. And now the polls show that voters trust the Republicans more than Democrats on saving Medicare.

Think about that. First of all, voters actually believed that Democrats would cut a half-trillion dollars from Medicare, the same people who have always defended it. Sounds like they're not quite sure anymore, huh?

This shouldn't have been difficult. All the Democrats had to do was run response ads, pointing out this had to do with Medicare Advantage, the part where private insurers are raping and pillaging the treasury. Now, I don't know about where you live, but we were inundated with these GOP attack ads in Pennsylvania -- and the Democrats never answered them.

It seems to me that the Democratic Party, like any organization that's adrift, needs to define itself. We can be the party of working people --- or we can be the party of the bankers. But we can't be both, and obviously most voters are just as annoyed and confused about it as I am.

In the private sector, we'd remove our attention and resources from anything that wasn't in line with our core mission. It would help if the Democrats did that, but first they'll have to figure out what, exactly, that is.

Madrak, accurately, emphasizes the political peril not for Barack Obama, but for the Democratic Party, in abandoning the "core mission"

Aaron Tippin (video below) and John Mellencamp (lyrics here; video seemingly unavailable) understand the importance of standing for traditional values, even if public education, Social Security, and protection of the jobs of American workers (think trade deals) are not at the top of the White House's list.

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